Tuesday, June 3, 2008

India is the World's Murder Capital

While India leads the world in total number of murders, South Africa is number one by per capita murder rate. The top five countries by total number of homicides are India, Russia, Colombia, South Africa and United States, according to Nationmaster.com.

Based on murders per 1000 people, India ranks at 26 along with Yemen while Saudi Arabia and Qatar have the lowest murder rates ranking them at 61 and 62 respectively on a list of 62 countries. Though Pakistan is not included in this list, its per capita rate of 0.0602 per 1000 would put it at number 20 along with Poland and just slightly above the US which is at number 24. Pakistan's murder rate is also well below the weighted average of 0.1 per 1000 reported for the world by NationMaster.com.

There were 32,719 incidents (Nationmaster puts it at 37,170) of murder recorded in India, whereas there were 28,904 in Russia, 26,539 in Colombia, 21,995 in South Africa, 16,692 in the US, 13,829 in Mexico and 9,631 in Pakistan, the report compiled by National Crime Records Bureau and released by the India's Union Home Ministry, said.

Experts believe the actual crime rate in India (and probably Pakistan) is even higher with many cases going unreported.

Overall, five million cases of crime, including murder, rape and drug offenses, were reported in India in 2007-08, the report compiled by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) and released by the Indian home ministry says.

It is interesting to note that Pakistan does not really live up (or down, depending on your perspective) to its undeserved reputation as an "unsafe country" when compared on the basis of real data and crime statistics. On the contrary, it appears to be about as safe as the United States or neighboring India. It is a few, high-profile Al-Qaeda and Taleban terrorist leaders, and the acts of violence they inspire, that contribute to Pakistan's image as an unsafe place. The Western and Pakistani media's pre-occupation with wall-to-wall reporting of such violence enhances the stature of the terrorists and serves their purposes by attracting misguided young men to their destructive cause.

The Pakistan travel advisories by the US, UK and other governments advising their citizens not to travel to Pakistan dramatize the concerns about the security situation there. Refusal by sports teams such as the Australian cricket team to play in Pakistan also wrongly reinforce security concerns.

Among the BRIC countries(Brazil, Russia, India and China), Brazil had some 55,000 homicides in 2005 -- a few thousand more civilians than in three years of war in Iraq, according to leading estimates as reported by Reuters news agency. In 2005, 31,000 murders were reported in China, down 3,000 from the year before, according to He Ting, director in the ministry's criminal investigation bureau, as reported in Shanghai Daily. Neither Brazil nor China are included the NationMaster.com report ranking 62 nations.

For the average tourist or businessman or investor, Pakistan is as safe or safer than the BRIC countries attracting a lot of attention as today's most important emerging economies. It is important for Pakistani government, media and the people to accurately inform the world about the real crime data and violence statistics and put them in perspective through a media campaign. If, instead of staying away from Pakistan, every one joins Pakistanis to defy the terrorists and the warmongers, the world will be safer for all of us.


Riaz Haq said...

In a recent op ed piece in the Guardian newspaper, author Pankaj Sharma argues:

"Apparently, no inconvenient truths are allowed to mar what Foreign Affairs, the foreign policy journal of America's elite, has declared a "roaring capitalist success story". Add Bollywood's singing and dancing stars, beauty queens and Booker prize-winning writers to the Tatas, the Mittals and the IT tycoons, and the picture of Indian confidence, vigour and felicity is complete.

The passive consumer of this image, already puzzled by recurring reports of explosions in Indian cities, may be startled to learn from the National Counterterrorism Centre (NCTC) in Washington that the death toll from terrorist attacks in India between January 2004 and March 2007 was 3,674, second only to that in Iraq. (In the same period, 1,000 died as a result of such attacks in Pakistan, the "most dangerous place on earth" according to the Economist, Newsweek and other vendors of geopolitical insight.)

To put it in plain language - which the NCTC is unlikely to use - India is host to some of the fiercest conflicts in the world. Since 1989 more than 80,000 have died in insurgencies in Kashmir and the northeastern states."

Anonymous said...

What you wrote clearly illustrates that South Africa is the murder capital of the world. Per capita is the only relevant statistic when comparing countries with such a drastic difference in population. India is 24x larger than South Africa, and at 2nd largest country in the world by total population it is 3 times larger than the 3rd largest country, USA.

Anonymous said...

South Africa is the CRIME, MURDER Capital of the World.

60 to 149 MURDERS per DAY South Africa



South Africa is the CRIME, MURDER Capital of the World.

According to South African Police Services: Murders 60 per DAY.
According to Department of Home Affairs: Murders 83 per DAY.
According to Medical Research Council: Murders 89 per DAY
According to Interpol claims: Murders 149 per DAY.

The reason for this under-reporting of MURDER and CRIME in South Africa could be the desire by the ANC Government to change the growing reputation of South Africa as the “crime capital of the world”, this title is one any government would desperately want to lose as it would cause any potential investor to take his money elsewhere.

According to South African Police Services 21,683 per year
According to South African Police Services 60 per DAY in South Africa
Police new computerised Geographic Information System (GIS), which, as of June 2001, had been implemented at 340 priority police stations covering 80% of the country.
According to Department of Home Affairs, 30,068 per year
According to Department of Home Affairs, 83 per day.

According to Medical Research Council 32,482
According to Medical Research Council 89 murders

MRC statistics, there are 89 murders committed on average every day in South Africa.
Non-natural” deaths from 37 mortuaries in six provinces (note that South Africa now has nine provinces).
MRC's revelation of serious under-registration and misclassification in the government's death statistics was gleaned from various sources.
According to Interpol claims 54,298 per year.
According to Interpol claims 149 per day.


Interpol figures South Africa has extraordinary high level of VIOLENT CRIME. It is South Africa’s high level of violent crime which sets the country apart from other crime ridden societies. This finding is supported by CIAC data indicating that since 1994 recorded violent crime has been escalating at a faster rate than any other crime category. It is primarily violent crime which fuels people’s fear of crime. To lose its label as crime capital of the world, violent crime levels have to drop substantially in South Africa.

Google: Murder, Crime, South Africa

South Africa is the CRIME , MURDER Capital of the World.
60 to 149 MURDERS per DAY South Africa

Sheraton Karachi said...

It is irrelevant that which country lead or not in murder rate every country should not make effort to count the problem they should word together and stop terrorist to doing that.

Riaz Haq said...

India has more deaths in road accidents than any other country. During one of my visits to India I nearly got killed when my driver almost ran into an nondescript vehicle on the road between Delhi and Agra. It was a makeshift diesel engine mounted on a wooden cart with no lights or safety devices of any kind being used in near darkness to transport people. After the near-miss, it was described to me as Jugaad, with the warning to stay away from it, and other contraptions like it.

Here is a BBC report about road accidents in India:

It's an all-too-depressing sight on India's chaotic roads. An accident - the crushed remains of a car or a van - and more anonymous victims.

There are now more road deaths in India than anywhere else in the world - a man-made epidemic according to a government committee.

In 2006 - the latest year for which figures are available - more than 100,000 people died, and an estimated 2,000,000 were seriously injured.

The economic and social costs of these shocking figures are enormous.

India loses 3% of its GDP to road crashes every year. Many of the deaths happen in rural areas, and one study found that 70% of families who lose their main wage earner in a traffic accident subsequently fall below the poverty line.

It is a scourge which claims far more victims than communicable diseases like Aids, TB and malaria combined. And yet far less money is spent on trying to do something about it.

"It's a national crisis," said Rohit Baluja, a leading road safety activist. "Not only casualties, but violations are increasing. We need strong political will to bring down the number of accidents."

Riaz Haq said...

There's been a rash of teenage suicides in Mumbai this year, according to a BBC report:

Inexplicably, teenage suicides have become an almost daily occurrence in Maharashtra - one of India's most developed states - and its capital Mumbai (Bombay).

The toll of teenage suicides from the beginning of the year until 26 January 2010 stood at 32, which is more than one a day.

While there are no comparative figures for the same period in 2009, there is a consensus among the concerned authorities in Mumbai that teenage suicides are spiralling out of control.

There is also a general agreement between psychologists and teachers that the main reason for the high number of teenagers taking their own lives is the increasing pressure on children to perform well in exams.

The scale of this largely preventable problem is dizzying - both in India with its billion-plus people and particularly in the state of in Maharashtra.

More than 100,000 people commit suicide in India every year and three people a day take their own lives in Mumbai.

Suicide is one of the top three causes of death among those aged between 15 and 35 years and has a devastating psychological, social and financial impact on families and friends.

'Needless toll'

World Health Organisation Assistant Director-General Catherine Le Gals-Camus points out more people die from suicide around the world than from all homicides and wars combined.

"There is an urgent need for co-ordinated and intensified global action to prevent this needless toll. For every suicide death there are scores of family and friends whose lives are devastated emotionally, socially and economically," she says.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a BBC report on women protest against sexual harassment in India:

A rally has taken place in India's capital inspired by the "Slutwalk" protests held in a number of countries.

The protest is to challenge the notion that the way a woman looks can excuse sexual abuse or taunting - "Eve teasing" as it is known in India.

Hundreds took part in Delhi, though there was little of the skimpy dressing that has marked protests elsewhere.

The protests originated in Canada after a policeman said women could avoid rape by not dressing like "sluts".
'It's our lives'

The BBC's Mark Dummett in Delhi says the organisers are trying to challenge the mindset that the victims of sexual violence are to blame for the crimes committed against them.

He says Delhi can be a very difficult city for women, with sexual harassment commonplace, and rapes and abduction all too frequent.

And according to a recent survey, India remains one of the most dangerous countries in the world for women.

One protester told our correspondent: "Every girl has the right to wear whatever she wants, to do whatever she wants to do with her body. It's our lives, our decisions, unless it's harming you, you have no right to say anything."

Another protester said: "There are a lot of problems for women in Delhi because a lot of women do face sexual harassment and just a couple of weeks ago the chief of police of Delhi said that if a women was out after 0200 she was responsible for what happens to her, and I don't think that's the right attitude."

Most of the marchers in Delhi were soberly dressed in jeans and T-shirts or traditional shalwar kameez.

India recorded almost 22,000 rape cases in 2008, 18% up on 2004, the National Crime Records Bureau says.


Anonymous said...

Hi Riaz, may I just say something?

The individual "Snowy Smith" is a known troll, racist and spammer. Ignore him, his data has 'massive' flaws and no expert even agrees with it - including the MRCSA who he quoted!

South Africa is, of course, not the murder capital of the world, that belongs to Honduras or Venezuela. I would add however that Colombia (the former "murder capital of the world" king) has so many disappearances that getting an accurate murder rate for that country is more difficult than the others who report statistics.

Then again we'd have to start bringing Liberia, Somalia and Afghanistan into it I guess.

Many thanks.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's Times of India on 250 murders a day in UP:

The Bahujan Samaj Party on Friday alleged that there is a spurt in crime in Uttar Pradesh ever since the Samajwadi Party came to power and asked chief minister Akhilesh Yadav to seriously work towards providing justice and security to all.

Addressing a press conference here, leader of the opposition and state BSP president Swami Prasad Maurya said that law and order has hit a new low in the state and accused the state government of making officials' transfers a "mini industry in the state". Citing cases of murders which have been reported from different parts of the state in the recent days, Maurya said, "These indicate as to how the state has become a hunting ground for criminals and mafia elements in the present government. In merely 40-42 days of the SP government, people have started remembering the good days of BSP's rule of law," said Maurya. He added that on an average, four murders were taking place in every district every day and by this rate, 250 murders were taking place in the state every day.

The BSP leader advised the chief minister to desist from tall claims and instead seriously work for providing justice and security to all. He said the people of Uttar Pradesh would soon realise their mistake and would repent voting for the SP.


Riaz Haq said...

Here are excerpts from a story on guns murders in India:

New Delhi, September 21
The easy availability of illegal firearms made Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand witness to two-thirds of all murders committed using firearms in 2008, the latest year for which the related data is available.

India, as a whole, witnessed 4,101 gunshot murders during the period. These accounted for 12.2 per cent of the 33,727 murders reported during the year. Overall, the country lost 6,219 persons to gunshots - 66 pc of them were murdered, 26.3 pc killed accidentally while 7.7 pc committed suicide using weapons.

These and many more revealing facts form part of the India Armed Violence Assessment, a UN Information Centre and UNODC-supported first-ever study of firearm crimes in India.

Conducted by Delhi University’s Anil Kohli for the Small Arms Survey, a global project on armed violence assessment, the research reveals that most of the victims of firearm murders in India were killed using unlicensed firearms. Such arms were used in 86 to 92 per cent of all arms-related murders committed from 1999 to 2008. Further, out of 650 million civilian-owned guns in the world, 40 million were in India. Of these, just 6.3 million are licensed, thereby increasing the possibility of criminals procuring unlicensed weapons for crimes.

The availability of unlicensed weapons is particularly easy in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand which accounted for 2,559 of all 4,101 firearm murders in 2008. Uttar Pradesh alone reported 1,470 murders; six of its cities figured among the eight most unsafe mega cities in India.

Picture this - in 2008, 35 Indian mega cities together reported 791 firearm fatalities. Out of these, the maximum 263 were reported in Meerut, the most dangerous city. Others in Meerut’s league are Allahabad, Patna, Varanasi, Kanpur, Agra, Indore and Delhi.

Regionally speaking, Manipur, Nagaland, Jharkhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand and Chhattisgarh are among the most dangerous in terms of gunshot fatalities, with Manipur reporting 6.11 firearm deaths per one lakh population, the highest for any single state in India. The figure is 1.72 for Jammu and Kashmir and 0.70 for Chhattisgarh. These figures represent the reality of Naxal violence, closeness to international borders that facilitates smuggling and separatist violence in the North-East and J&K.

“In UP, Bihar and Jharkhand, a high rate of firearm murders not only reflects easy arms availability (Meerut and Patna, for instance, have several illegal firearm factories), it also reflects political violence, caste conflicts and Naxal attacks in which gun use is common,” Kohli said at the launch of the study on the eve of International Peace Day today.Another telling finding of the study is that deaths by gunfire halved from 12,147 in 1999 to 6,219 in 2008. Out of all deaths, surprisingly, murder-related deaths declined from 77 pc in 1999 to 66 pc now while the number of accident and suicide-related incidents went up. Between 1999 and 2008, the proportion of suicides among firearm-related deaths, however, rose from 19 to 26.3 pc so also of accidents from 4.5 to 7.7 pc.


Riaz Haq said...

No other country in the world matches India's 40,752+ murders (per UN ODC)...plus here means at least that many and could be a lot more. Because of endemic corruption murders are significantly under-reported by the police in India.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's a WSJ report on murders in India:

In recent weeks, it seems as if Indian papers have been full of crimes driven by unrequited love or obsession.

The Hindu reported last month that a Delhi man allegedly shot four people, before turning the gun on himself, after a failed attempt to marry a 17-year-old girl. Two weeks ago, a man in love with a domestic worker broke into the home where she worked and allegedly shot her employer, the Times of India reported.

And last week, the Deccan Herald reported Delhi police were looking at whether a relationship may have led to the murder of an engineering student in the capital.

Other cities in India also report that “crimes of passion” are a major concern.

While the level of violence may vary from case to case, these “love” murders appear to be on the rise, statistics show.

According to India’s National Crime Records Bureau, the number of murders due to “love affair/sexual causes” went up more than 11% in 2011, the most recent years for which figures are available. Murders as a whole rose just under 3% compared to 2010.

Of the 34,305 murders across India last year, the motive in the majority of cases was listed as “other” in the report. But for more than 14,000 of the killings, a motive was identified. About 2,637 of these murders was due to “love,” making it the third most common motive for murder after “personal vendetta” and “property dispute,” respectively.

In 2010, 2,365 of 33,335 murders occurred due to love affairs.

The stats, released in June, also highlight the role that thwarted romance plays in other crimes such as kidnappings in a country where families still exercise a lot of control over young people’s lives, particularly when it comes to marriage.

The 2011 numbers showed that an astonishing 62% of kidnappings of women and girls are perpetrated by men that want to marry them.

But it isn’t clear from the crime statistics how many of the kidnap-for-marriage cases involve a consensual love affair, and how many are actual abductions. In some cases, when a woman elopes with a man parents don’t approve of, it’s not uncommon for the girl’s family to file a complaint with police alleging that she has been abducted.

In 2011, there were 45,239 kidnappings and abductions reported to the authorities across India, a nearly 16% increase from the previous year. Of these, 34,870 cases involved women or girls, about 70% of them between the ages of 15 and 30. The motive behind the kidnappings in 21,691 of the total cases was marriage.

About 67% of women between the ages of 15 and 30 who were kidnapped were cases related to marriage. But even in the age group of 10 to 15, marriage was a factor in nearly half the 3,000 or so cases.

Kidnapping of women for marriage went up in 2011 by nearly 20%. In 2010, there were 39,148 kidnappings, of which 30,172 were of women. Of these, 18,126 were for marriage.

The bureau records kidnapping for the purposes of prostitution or illicit intercourse and the buying and selling of girls for prostitution as separate crimes.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's WSJ on world homicide rates:

MEXICO CITY—Latin America is the world's most violent region, accounting for nearly one in three global homicides, according to data from a new study by the United Nations.

Latin America racked up some 134,519 homicides in 2012, about 31% of the total for that year, according to a tally by The Wall Street Journal of the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime's Global Study on Homicide, its first since 2011. Yet the region's 574 million people comprise just 8% of the global population, according to U.N. figures.

As a whole, Latin America's per capita homicide rate is 23.4 per 100,000 people, nearly double the rate in Africa, which is sometimes mistakenly believed to be the most violent continent. Venezuela is the only country in the region with a consistently rising homicide rate since 1994, the report said.
Brazil, the host for this year's World Cup soccer tournament, has more overall homicides than any country, at 50,108, accounting for one in 10 globally, followed by India, with 43,355 murders in 2012.

Brazil's Justice Ministry, asked about the numbers, said it has four priority programs in boosting public safety, and pointed to success stories like police pacification units in the slums, or favelas, of Rio de Janeiro.

Parts of Brazil, including São Paulo, are indeed far safer than the country's violent northeast, where crime is rising fast.

Just four Latin American nations—Brazil, Mexico, Venezuela and Colombia—accounted for nearly 107,000 homicides in 2012, nearly one in every four global killings.

Of the top 10 nations ranked by per capita homicide rate, and excluding tiny nations with fewer than 100 killings a year, Latin America has the top five nations and seven of the top 10, according to The Wall Street Journal's ranking of the data. The only three non-Latin American countries in the top 10 were Lesotho, Swaziland and South Africa.

Honduras is the world's most dangerous country outside a war zone, with 90.4 homicides per 100,000, compared with a global average rate of 6. Second is Venezuela, with 53.7 homicides per 100,000 people, up from 47.8 in 2011.

Afghanistan, by contrast, had a homicide rate of 6.5 per 100,000 in 2012, and probably a similar rate of deaths due to the country's conflict, said Ms. Me.

Southern Africa, which makes up just Botswana, South Africa, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland, can still claim the title as the world's most violent subregion. But even there, violent crime is on the decline. South Africa's rate has fallen from 64.9 in 1995 to 31 in 2012, for instance. Latin America, meanwhile, shows a slight increase in crime per capita since 1995, with a big exception being Colombia.

The Americas as a continent now tops Africa in terms of homicide rate. The Americas has 16.3 homicides per 100,000 people, followed by Africa with 12.5. The last UNODC survey showed a homicide rate of 15.5 for the Americas compared with Africa at 17.4 per 100,000....
The U.S. homicide rate is 4.7 per 100,000—well above every other industrialized country.

The Americas also had the highest rate of guns as the cause of homicide—with 66% of the homicides caused by guns versus 28% in Africa and Asia and 13% in Europe.

However, not all Latin America is a hotbed of violent crime. Southern South America—Chile, Argentina and Uruguay—have crime rates roughly similar to the U.S. There is far less organized crime and better policing in those nations compared to the rest of the region, Mr. Hope said.


Riaz Haq said...

15 countries you should be afraid to visit (include India, not Pakistan).

Describes India as "one of the world's most dangerous countries. Crimes in India include arms and drug trafficking, sex crimes, and corruption but is mostly known as one of the most dangerous countries for women."
Here are the names: Colombia, Russia, Mexico, Nigeria, India, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Lebanon, Guinea-Bissau, Yemen, Iraq, Sudan, Central African Republic, North Korea and Syria.


Riaz Haq said...

LUCY Hemmings has travelled around India for much of the past three years, so it’s fair to say she has seen and experienced a lot of the country.
And while ups and downs are part of any holiday, unfortunately the 26-year-old blogger, who’s currently based in Mumbai, had her trip tarnished by sexual harassment. And not just on one occasion.
Ms Hemmings tells news.com.au about how she dealt with the shocking situations, and why it’s a big problem over there.
A few days ago I was sitting in a bus stop in Mumbai, India. The local guy that I had paid no particular attention to moved closer.
From the corner of my eye, to my horror, I realised that he had pulled out his penis and was masturbating, staring intently at me. I felt sick.
As much as I hate to admit it, this isn’t the first time it’s happened to me. In fact, chances are, if you’ve ever been to India, you’ll have bumped into at least one traveller who has experienced this sort of behaviour, or heard of someone else who it has happened to.
I’ve spent countless hours with other travellers picking apart the men who do it; why they seem to think its okay, why dignity seems to disappear when there’s foreign female flesh on show.
The first time this happened to me was back in 2012; I was 23 and it was my first trip to a developing country. Along the way, I’d met an Australian girl, Gemma, and we ended up spending three months or so travelling India together.
At the time, we were wandering through Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Ashram (Or “The Beatles Ashram”) in the northern town of Rishikesh, when I spotted a man, hiding in the bushes watching us and masturbating.

My horror quickly turned to hysterical laughter; Gemma and I screamed profanities, laughed and pointed.
Laughing empowered me; I felt we sent a very clear message that we weren’t intimidated by him and that we thought he was pathetic. It was because of this that the next time a man masturbated in front of me (I was travelling alone at this point and in a train station) I felt perfectly comfortable laughing as loudly as I could, catching the attention of every person in that station, screaming;
“Look at this disgusting man! With his tiny penis out! How embarrassing!”
The man skulked off, I laughed for a while and that was it, I spent no more time thinking about it.
Fast forward three years and to the man a few days ago. I’m not entirely sure why I felt so different, and why this time affected me so much. Obviously I’m a few years older and an ounce or so more careful, but I still feel like I’m the same free-spirited and optimistic person, why was this experience so difficult for me?
For days afterwards, I was nervous walking anywhere on my own, I stopped making eye contact at anyone in the street and I started carrying a pocket knife. I only ate in busy restaurants, sitting near families with children and I stopped smiling at any men, even the familiar faces of men who ran the guesthouse I was staying in.


Riaz Haq said...

#American tourist in #India says she was gang raped this week. http://wapo.st/1UYmRLl

A 46-year old American tourist on her first visit to India says she was gang raped earlier this week while visiting Dharamsala, a popular tourist destination in the hills of northern India, according to Indian media reports.

“She says she had gone out for dinner at around 9 p.m.,” senior police officer Renu Sharma told NDTV. “When she was returning at around midnight, someone grabbed her and then she fell unconscious. She said when she came to, she realized she had been raped. She then went to the police station.”

The Times of India reported that a case had been “registered” against “two unknown assailants” in connection with the allegation.

The rape is one of several reported in the past few years by women tourists at a time when the country has been grappling with many more rapes of Indian women.

A 30-year-old American woman was reportedly gang raped in the town of Manali in 2013. Earlier this year, Japan warned female citizens about visiting India following two rape allegations brought by Japanese women, one in Jaipur and another in the state of Bihar.

In December, 2012, tourists from Switzerland, Ireland and Denmark filed rape charges as well.

The U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, citing rapes and sexual harassment in India, warns that while most rape victims are local residents, “foreign women” particularly in tourist areas “are at risk and should exercise vigilance.”

“Women should observe stringent security precautions, including avoiding use of public transport after dark without the company of known and trustworthy companions, restricting evening entertainment to well-known venues, and avoiding isolated areas when alone at any time of day,” it warns.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan designer Huma Nassr robbed in #NewDelhi #India during Shan-e-Pakistan Fashion exhibit http://dnai.in/cUc3 via @dna @AzaanJavaid

From hassles of getting through Wagah border to robberies, Pakistani designers currently in India for Shaan-e-Pakistan, a two-day fashion and lifestyle exhibition, have been experiencing a harrowing time in the Capital. Huma Nassr, the organiser of Shaan-e-Pakistan festival had her purse, which had in it, jewellery worth Rs 12 lakh, Rs70,000 in cash and credit cards, stolen when she visited the Nizamuddin Dargah in Southeast Delhi.

The manner in which Huma's purse was stolen is, however, not as strange as the way it was returned to her husband merely half an hour after the incident took place here on Thursday.

Originally from Karachi, Huma on the day of the incident was on her way to Hotel Grand in South Delhi when she and her husband decided to make a stop at Nizamuddin shrine. Her driver, identified as Vikas, parked the car nearby and remained seated in the vehicle.

"I had kept my bag in the back-seat and hidden it under newspapers. I had told the driver to take care of it but when we returned the driver told me that two men had knocked on the window of the car saying that it was leaking oil. The driver claims that when he returned the purse was gone.

"I broke down in the middle of the road. Someone told us that local police station is nearby so we rushed to the station. The SHO spoke to us and came to know that we were from Pakistan. He then left for a meeting. Few minutes later we got a call from someone telling that my purse was found in Lajpat Nagar area which is few kilometres from here. The husband and few police officials went to collect the purse and when they opened it, the only thing that was in the purse was my passport," Huma said.

According to police, an FIR has been registered against unknown people but so far investigators have failed to identify the any of the suspects. "Other than the jewellery, there was currency from India, Pakistan, Dubai and United States. Everything was gone. I will visit the Pakistani High Commission as well," said Huma who has been coming to India for the last six years.

Local police confirmed Huma's story's but contended some of her claims. "The ornaments were worth Rs3-4 lakh and the purse was returned to her. A shopkeeper told us that a boy in his teens handed over the purse saying that he had found it on the roadside," said a senior police officer posted in the area.

Huma however said the police have not been as helpful as she was expecting them to be. "I thought I was a guest here," she said. Mandeep Singh Randhawa, the Deputy Commissioner of police (southeast) said that the facts of the case needed to be checked and for that an investigation is already underway.

Earlier dna had reported about the problems faced by the designers at the customs department.