Dial home for murder

Dial home for murder

Another murder in the family! If this doesn’t shock you anymore, blame it on a chilling statistic: Bangalore, on an average, records at least 10 killings within the family, every month. The macabre eliminations are only getting bigger. Disturbingly, there seems to be no end in sight!

Before dwelling deep into the whys, here’s the big picture: The deadly medley of Bangalore’s consumerist overdrive, stressed lives of its denizens and rising disconnect within the family members, have spawned a trend that couldn’t get more sickening than this: Husbands killing wives and vice-versa, children eliminating parents, and violent sibling rivalries.

There is no class distinction here, as pointed out by the City Police Commissioner, Shankar Bidari himself. “These murders are committed by individuals cutting across class, caste and geographical areas,” says he. “Taking revenge remains their primary aim. They come from good backgrounds and slums as well. But the three main factors that drive them to indulge in brutality are sexual affairs, incompatible marriages and property issues.”

Lifestyle changes in a dynamic city is another obvious contributing factor. People are less patient these days thanks to intense work pressures and untimely work shifts. Physically and mentally, many are overburdened. But if in the past, the home offered a respite, it seems no longer the case. Increasingly, there is nobody home to share an emotion. Flying off the handle is getting more common. A fit of rage is all that triggers an extreme crime as murder !

More than the murders, the police are worried about the way in which they are committed. The volume of murders within the famly is largely dependent on socio-economic and demographic factors. The institution of family has undergone a metamorphosis. “Individual freedom inside the family as well as inside the community override other considerations. Social norms are loosing their control and generally accepted behaviour is no more respected. This change is the base for such offences,” analyses Gopal B Hosur, Additional Commissioner (Law & Order).

A liberalised outlook among citizens is also driving a few to commit such heinous crimes, asserts Hosur. These days, a criminal is sure he can get away with serious crimes because he finds it easier to get out on bail.  But Bidari discounts the apparent rise in such intra-family crimes in the City after the IT/BT boom.

“They are not increasing at all. Such murders have been taking place all over the country. One tends to think so as every minor crime is attracting media glare these days. Most of such murders would go unreported a few years ago.”

Hosur agrees. “Such crimes have been there since time immemorial. The increase in the number of murders should be viewed in relation to the City’s rising population. During the past few years, new areas have been added to Bangalore City including two separate divisions. This is like adding two new districts. The number of police stations has gone up from 60 to nearly 130, so also the murders and other crimes.”

While intra-family crimes make big news if committed in middle class and upper class families, the casualty list is higher in the lower strata of society. Hosur finds enough reasons for the prevalence of such crimes there. “This class is not conditioned by the environment to overcome such (emotional) urges,” he notes. “The assailant here is unmindful of the consequences of the murders on him / her and their dependents. In most cases, these murders are committed under the influence of alcohol. Very few murders are pre-planned and cold blooded ones.”

So, is there a solution to these intra-family crimes. The police assert that their role is very minimal in preventing such murders. Solutions need to be explored from a socio-economic perspective. As an officer put it, “Finding a lasting solution falls outside the purview of the police department. The problem requires constant mediation and counselling which are to be carried out by specialised agencies and not the police.”

While this might be apparent, the police could coordinate better with the other agencies and indicate trends. A thorough analysis of the intra-family murders and other crimes in the past ought to shed some light into a hitherto dark tunnel.

PROPERTY
Greed for property is one of the most common reasons for a murder within the family.  A person may kill his / her own blood relative to gain property rights. The victim is often the larger shareholder

INCOMPATIBILITY

Incompatible relationship is another reason why a husband or a wife takes the extreme step to end the partner's life. Domestic  violence and strained relationships trigger crimes leading to chilling killings

INFIDELITY
Extra marital affair is one common trigger, where one partner may feel insecure or jealous of the other. The wife or the husband is convinced that the partner has an illicit relationship. Sometimes, just the delusion and lack of faith leads to murder.

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