The crime rate in Punjab has witnessed a decline this year with the fall in numbers of murders and kidnappings, Inspector General of Police Sukhchain Singh Gill said on Monday.
Quoting the crime data, he said the number of murders this year reduced to 654 from 723 in 2021, whereas kidnappings decreased from 1,787 in 2021 to 1,645.
Similarly, theft-related cases have also reduced from 8,417 in 2021 to 8,407 in 2022 and cases related to the Excise Act have decreased from 10,745 in 2021 to 9,104 in 2022.
The data also shows a significant decline in the total number of first information reports (FIRs) registered in the state from 73,581 in 2021 to 71,827 in 2022.
Recounting the achievements, Gill said during 2022, Internal Security has busted 18 terror modules with the arrest of 119 terrorist and radicals and recovered 43 rifles, 220 revolvers and pistols, 13 tiffin improvised explosive devices (IEDs), 24.5 kg RDX and other explosives, 37 hand grenades, two sleeves of disposed rocket launcher, 22 drones, and 23 vehicles.
He said similarly the Anti-Gangster Task Force (AGTF), since its formation on April 6, has succeeded in busting 111 gangster and criminal modules after arresting 428 gangsters and neutralising two. A recovery of 411 weapons, 97 vehicles used in criminal activities, 44.21 kg heroin, and Rs 1.30 crore cash was made.
The IGP said from January 1 to December 20, five major incidents have taken place in Punjab, including an IED blast at a police post in Ropar, the RPG attack at Intelligence Headquarters building at Mohali, murder of Punjabi singer Shubhdeep Singh, alias Sidhu Moosewala, killing of Bargari sacrilege accused Pardeep Kumar, and RPG attack at a police station in Tarn Taran.
He said the government is committed to making Punjab a drug-free state and extensive anti-drug drives have been launched by Punjab Police to combat the menace of drugs in the border state.
Giving yearly updates on drugs, he said from January 1 to December 25, the police have arrested 16,798 drug smugglers or suppliers, including 2,316 big fish, after registering 12,171 FIRs, including 1,374 commercials.
He said the police have recovered 582 kg heroin from across the state after carrying out search operations in drug-affected areas. Additionally, 147.5 kg heroin was recovered from seaports of Gujarat and Maharashtra, taking the total effective recovery of heroin to 729.5 kg in a year, he added.
Apart from seizing big haul of heroin, the IGP said that the police have also recovered 690 kg opium, 1,396 kg ganja, 518 quintals of poppy husk, and 60.13 lakh tablets, capsules, injections and vials of pharma opioids from across the state.
The police have also recovered Rs 11.59 crore of drug money from the possession of smugglers arrested this year.