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Kerala's Kannur registers the largest number of rioting cases
Shemin Joy in New Delhi | January 13, 2008 18:56 IST
It may be one of the most literate states, but Kerala [Images] has the highest crime rate in the country and one of its districts, which is currently the flashpoint of the clashes between Communist Party of India � Marxist and the Rashtriya Swyamsevak Sangh, tops the list in riot cases.
According to the latest statistics on crime in India, Kerala has the highest crime rate of 20.19 per one lakh population regarding offences committed against public as against the national average of 5.82.
The state also registered a total of 6,365 riot cases in 2006, which is third in the ladder behind Bihar (8,259) and Maharashtra (7,453).
Regarding arson, Kerala with 435 cases is behind Maharashtra (1,188) Andhra Pradesh (1,012) Madhya Pradesh (815) and Bihar (785).
But Kannur in the state's north had 737 riot cases in 2006 and this is the highest number registered by any police district in the country.
The district, a bastion of the Marxists for long, had been witnessing frequent clashes between the activists of CPI-M and BJP-RSS, with both sides claiming to have lost at least 150 cadres each.
A number of political clashes were charged under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code relating to rioting and this is the reason behind this kind of figures, a Kerala government official said.
The majority of the present state leadership of the CPI-M, including state party secretary Pinarayi Vijayan, hails from Kannur. State Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan also hails from Kannur.
Prominent Marxist leaders like A K Gopalan, who was the first Opposition Leader in Lok Sabha, kickstarted their political career in this district.
According to the National Crime Records Bureau, cases of rioting and arson are the major components under the category of crimes against public order and it constitutes 3.5 per cent of the total crimes registered under the Indian Penal Code.
Incidence of crimes under this head has increased by 0.7 per cent from 64,686 in 2005 to 65,121 in the next year.Bihar, Maharashtra, Kerala and Karnataka account for about 47 per cent of cases of rioting and arson in the country. In the national capital, 87 cases of rioting and 33 cases of arson were registered in 2006.