-The Times of India
For a city notorious for its crimes against women, this would come as a surprise - the number of women killed in Delhi has been declining in the past six years while there has been a steady rise in murders against men.
Last year, the number of men killed in the city was more than four times higher than the women murdered. In 2006, male murder victims were less than triple the number of women who met a similar fate.
These figures were provided by the Union home ministry in reply to an RTI query filed by information activist Dev Ashish Bhattacharya. Between 2006 and 2010, Delhi witnessed 2,736 murders, of which 2,120 victims were men and 616 women.
"The data suggests that extreme crime against women has decreased while it was gone up in the case of men," said Bhattacharya.
The overall rise in murders points to a growth in crime as well as a city on a short fuse. Around 19% of all murders were for trivial reasons. Reasons that led to killings in the capital included not reading out a bus's route number urinating in front of someone's door and not delivering enough milk. TOI found that more than 85% of the murderers were first timers.
Curiously, the figures show a sudden rise in the number of murders between 2007 and 2008. While the number of women murdered came down from 127 to 116 in 2008, there was a jump in male victims - from 384 to 473. The number of men murdered in Delhi has not dropped below 450 ever since. Cops say 2008 was the year when the infamous Bunty gang entered the capital and street crime meant shooting at victims. But police added that there was also a big jump in murders committed for trivial reasons.
Thankfully, police have also improved their rate of solving murder cases as well as convicting the guilty. In 2005, Delhi saw just 26% conviction against a total number of 650 murder cases. This had gone up to 48.1% by 2011.
"We increased the salary of our lawyers and also ensured investigations were more scientific. A specific programme to file chargesheets before the stipulated 90 days was also taken up. These steps have given us good results,'' said a senior Delhi police cop.