A saner mind may not find a dispute over water, human sacrifice for gains, caste or honour a reason to kill a fellow being but Indians were involved in over 200 such cases in 2017, exposing the other side of a beaming 21st century India.
These numbers may be minuscule when the total number of 28,653 murders are taken but an analysis of motives of killings reported exposes the faultlines of Indian society, which is fast turning short-fused.
If one takes casteism as a murder motive, there were 56 such cases in which Uttar Pradesh topped the list with 29 cases while Karnataka came second with eight such cases, amid a new found assertion of socially weaker sections who are demanding what is due to them.
The fight over resources is also increasing as the country saw dispute over water leading to murder in 50 instances with Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, which reeled under drought, topping the list with 14 each cases. Gujarat reported five such cases while Punjab and Bihar had four cases each. Karnataka too had its share of two cases, same as that of Uttar Pradesh.
There were also 19 instances of human sacrifices in 2017 where people fell victim to witchcraft and black magicians and bulk of the cases came from Karnataka, Haryana and Maharashtra, which reported five each cases.
When it comes to honour killings, there were 92 such cases compared to 192 cases in 2015. Murder due to witchcraft cases were 73, again down from 135 cases in 2015.
Love affairs (1,390 cases) and illicit relationships (1,738) can also lead to a number of murders in the country while the highest number of murders were due to disputes. Among the disputes, quarrel over money led to the killings in 779 instances while petty quarrel resulted in 1,872 murder cases.
If one compares the total number of murders in 2017, it shows a decline from 30,450 reported in 2016 and 32,127 in 2015. In 2017, Uttar Pradesh reported the highest number of murders followed by Bihar (2,803) and Maharashtra (2,103) while Karnataka reported 1,384 cases, including 235 in Bengaluru.
Year-wise murder cases
2015 – 32,127
2016 – 30,450
2017 – 28,653
State-wise murder cases in 2017
UP – 4,324
Bihar – 2,803
Maharashtra – 2,103
West Bengal – 2,001
Karnataka – 1,384