What’s the State of Law & Order in Mr Siddaramaiah’s Karnataka?


Our last article on Karnataka in this section titled  ‘How Safe are Women in Mr Siddaramaiah’s Karnataka?’ examined how women’s safety has worsened in Karnataka during the tenure of the present state government led by Chief Minister S. Siddaramaiah. While most neighbouring states in the southern part of India saw a fall in crimes against women, Karnataka saw a rise. We compared the figures with Gujarat, as Mr Siddaramaiah has constantly compared his state’s model to that of Gujarat’s — and we found Gujarat faring far better than Karnataka. In this article, we will look at the overall law and order situation in Karnataka and check if it is a story different from the one on crimes against women.

Why is law and order another parameter to gauge the performance of Mr Siddaramaiah’s government in Karnataka? It is so because law and order is a state subject and its health directly reflects the performance of the state government in question. Therefore, let us see what the facts tell us.


An examination of the Crime in India statistics published by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) reveals Karnataka’s state of law and order as it has changed over recent years. Here, it should be recalled that Mr Siddaramaiah took over as CM in 2013.

The below figure shows the trend of total cognisable crimes under the Indian Penal Code (IPC):

Figure 1:

Source: NCRB

The above figure highlights the following trends:

  • Incidence of crime fell from 2011 to 2012, which was during the tenure of the previous state government that was succeeded by Mr Siddaramaiah’s.
  • In early 2013, Mr Siddaramaiah took over the reins of Karnataka and the incidence of crime has never seen a dip since.
  • On the contrary, from 2015 to 2016, we can clearly see a sudden surge in crimes, at about 6.9%, which is more than the rate of increase in crime in the years before Mr Siddaramaiah’s tenure.


Mr Siddaramaiah talks about a Karnataka model of development. Surely, so steep a surge in crime would seem to deflate a state’s claim to being a role model?


In Statistics, sampling is done over small sample sizes to estimate the overall result. We saw the above trend of crime in the whole state of Karnataka. A sample of the entire state would be the capital city of Bengaluru. Let us look at the trend of cognisable crimes (IPC) in the city over the years in the figure below:

Figure 2:

Source: NCRB

The above figure shows the following:

  • Just as the overall incidence of crime dipped in Karnataka (Figure 1) from 2011 to 2012, the same trend can be seen in Bengaluru over the same period.
  • 2013 onwards, the incidence of crime in the state and the city have only seen an increase and no dip. Again, this is the tenure of Mr Siddaramaiah.
  • We can see that, just as in Figure 1, the incidence of crime in Bengaluru saw a sudden increase from 2015 to 2016, but the city showed a higher rate of increase at more than 28%.


The growth rate of crime from 2015 to 2016 in Bengaluru tells us a very different story from the one Mr Siddaramaiah has been promoting on Karnataka. After all, the city is the seat of the state government. If the capital sees a steep deterioration in law and order, can there be much to expect from the state thereafter?


A big indicator of the condition of law and order in a state is social harmony. It has already been established that the state of women’s safety has worsened in Mr Siddaramaiah’s tenure. Another parameter to gauge social harmony are the atrocities/ crimes committed against Scheduled Castes (SCs) in the state. The following are the numbers of crimes against SCs in 2016 in different states:

  • Karnataka: 1,869 cases
  • Maharashtra: 1,750 cases
  • Telangana: 1,529 cases
  • Gujarat: 1,322 cases
  • Tamil Nadu: 1,291 cases
  • Kerala: 810 cases

Karnataka has a higher incidence of crimes committed against SCs than its neighbouring states, which is a clear reflection of its safety record when it comes to Dalits and other marginalised sections of society.


In the ongoing election campaign in Karnataka, Mr Siddaramaiah and Congress president Rahul Gandhi have kept harping on theirs being a model of inclusive growth. The incidence of atrocities against SCs shows that their model may not be so “inclusive” after all, not to mention the increase in crimes against women that our last article talked about.

There has been a sharp increase in crimes in Karnataka and Bengaluru since 2013, the year Mr Siddaramaiah took over as Chief Minister. So, we can see what Mr Siddaramaiah inherited and what he did with it.


Also read:
How Safe are Women in Mr Siddaramaiah’s Karnataka?

  • ramesh rao Rao