Home Minister Rajnath Singh today asked police chiefs of the Northeastern states to pay special attention to the low conviction rates in the region, saying if the trend continues, people’s faith in the criminal justice system will erode. Addressing a meeting of chief secretaries and DGPs of the region, Singh said poor investigation is the main reason for high acquittal rates in the Northeast. “Unfortunately, in some states of the Northeast, prosecution in criminal cases and conviction rate is very poor. In one state, the conviction rate is just 5 per cent against the all India rate of 86 per cent,” he said.
The home minister said in several states, kidnapping, abduction and extortion are rampant but in such cases, prosecution and conviction rate is less than 1 per cent, “which is unacceptable”. Singh said if a criminal gets acquitted even after committing a crime, then the faith of common people in justice system gets eroded. “If the acquittal ratio is very high, then not only the moral legitimacy of the state gets undermined, but it incentivise the crimes. There is a need for special attention by the police chief in this area,” he said.
Singh said the scientific tools were not used adequately for investigation in the Northeast and the condition of forensic science laboratories were also not satisfactory in several states.
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The home minister said the government has taken a number of initiatives for development of road, rail and air connectivity, improving power and digital infrastructure to ensure speedy development. “Because of such initiatives, there are hopes that security situation will be improved further. With the launching of the Act East Policy, the doors of the region will be opened for the South East Asian markets,” he said.
Singh said the Northeastern region is rich in natural and human resources and for better use of these resources, there is a need to ensure proper security and creation of peaceful environment.
The home minister said the security eco-system in the region has been vitiated due to the ongoing militancy. He also said cyber crime is an emergency security threat and incidents of cyber crime have been increasing globally. “There have been attempts to create instability and unrest in cyber space along with financial crimes. We know how some people tried to create instability by misusing cyber space after the ethnic clashes in Assam in 2012,” he said.