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Police Firing in India – More than 4000 incidents from 2009 to 2013


The twin encounters in the states of Andhra Pradesh & Telangana a few days ago shook the entire country. 25 people were killed in these encounters when the police allegedly opened fire in self-defense. This number is 1/4th of the total number of civilians killed in police firing in 2013. Have police firings increased or decreased over the years? Here is an analysis of the incidents of Police Firing from the year 2009 to 2013.


Number of Incidents of Police Firing

There have been a total of 4415 incidents of Police Firing from 2009 to 2013. The highest number of such incidents took place in 2010 (1421). The highest number of civilians & policemen were also killed in the same year. The least number of such incidents was in 2011 with only 482 incidents of firing. 2009 & 2010 accounted for more than 60% of the total incidents in the 5 years. Number of incidents of Police Firing have significantly decreased in 2011 and are again on an increasing trend since then.

Number of Incidents of Police Firing (2009 - 2013)

When do Police open Fire?

According to the data maintained by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), Police Firing incidents have been categorized into four types.

  • Riot Control
  • Anti Dacoity Operations
  • Against Extremists & Terrorists
  • Against Others

Number of Incidents of Police Firing (2009 - 2013)

The large number of incidents of Police Firing in 2010 is due to the very high number of incidents of riot control. Uttar Pradesh & Jammu Kashmir alone accounted for 78% of firing incidents in 2010. The incidents of police firing against extremists & terrorists have remained more or less similar over the 5 years. The variation in the total number of firing incidents is due to the large variation in the incidents related to riot control & others.

Deaths in Police Firing

Deaths in Police Firing Incidents (2009 - 2013)

There were more civilian deaths in all of these five years. The highest number of deaths occurred in 2010 when the number of incidents of Police Firing was highest.

Deaths in Various Incidents of Police Firing (2009 - 2013)

More than 80% of the Policemen died in incidents of firing against extremists & terrorists. The highest number of civilians also died in these incidents. More than 100 civilians died in incidents of Police Firing during riot control & anti dacoity operations. Very few policemen died (less than 10) in these incidents.

Data Source: Crimes in India, National Crime Records Bureau

Featured Image Source: AFP/Tauseef Mustafa


About Author

Rakesh has been working on issues related to Right to Information (RTI) for a decade. He is a Data/Information enthusiast & passionate about Governance/Policy issues.

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