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Home > India > News > Report

Of guns, crime and a booming Bengalooru

Vicky Nanjappa | February 14, 2008 11:22 IST

Bengalooru has gone into self-defence mode. Booming real estate prices, rise in the crime rate and now a looming terror threat has prompted the city's residents to think of various means of protection.

The most evident of them all is the increase in the number of gun licenses in the city, which has gone up by almost double in the past five years. Statistics reveal that in the year 2007 alone, 340 people from the city applied for gun licenses as against the 150 in 2002.

Bengalooru police say most of the people applying for gun licenses are either realtors or those who live in the outskirts of the city. In many cases, the police themselves have advised people to apply for gun licenses as a safety measure. Cops says that as they cannot provide round-the-clock protection to everyone, it is better that people adopt their own mechanism.

A realtor, who did not want to be named for this report, told that he lived in the outskirts of the city where the number of robberies were high. He gets back home only late at night and at times it could be dangerous.

There were many incidents in which realtors were attacked because huge transactions were involved. Hence, I thought it would be better to purchase a licensed weapon for self defence, he said.

The police, on their part, say there is thorough scrutiny before licenses are issued. The applicant's antecedents are verified and only after a long procedure are the licenses issued. They want to ensure that licenses do not fall into the wrong hands.

Bengalooru has seen a steep increase in its crime rate. The data available regarding the crime rate in the city indicates that it accounts for almost 9.2 per cent of the crimes in the country. The number of incidents has gone up ever since the IT boom. The boom has contributed to land prices going up and the realtor raking in the moolah. This has prompted attacks on realtors and also techies in the city.

Till last year, Bengalooru had the fifth highest crime rate in the country. While Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh had the first and second highest rates of crime, New Delhi and Mumbai stood 10th and 26th respectively.

The latest problem daunting Bengalooru is the threat of terrorism. If this problem is not nipped in the bud then the day would not be too far when the city, apart from having the distinction of IT capital, will also be known as the leading crime city in the country.