Although the Gulshan division under the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) is less populated, it supersedes many populated neighbourhoods in the capital with higher rates of murder and rape, mainly in its Badda, Bhatara, and Khikhet territories.
The crime-based zone also comprising Banani, Baridhara, Bashundhara residential area, and Cantonment thana is home to around 12 lakh people.
According to the DMP, 33 incidents of murder took place in the Gulshan division, where low-and middle-income and floating people mostly live, while 80 rape cases were filed simultaneously.
On the other hand, the Mirpur division, having a population more than thrice as large as that of Gulshan, last year recorded the same number of murder incidents as that of Gulshan.
The DMP is working on controlling crimes by dividing its area comprising 50 police stations into eight crime divisions. The divisions are Ramna, Lalbagh, Wari, Motijheel, Tejgaon, Mirpur, Gulshan, and Uttara.
Ramna is in a relatively good position in terms of crime incidents. Ramna is larger than Gulshan and Motijheel in terms of population, but the crime division recorded 23 murder cases last year.
Terming the higher rates of crimes in less populated areas "alarming", crime experts, therefore, suggest attaching special importance to crime suppression and adopting different strategies, if necessary, by analysing the types and causes of crimes in these areas.
However, the Gulshan division claimed that since Gulshan is a commercial area, business- and extortion-centric killings are more common there. Besides, the rates of other crimes, including murder, are high in the Badda police station area, which is the most densely populated area in the Gulshan division, they added.
According to law enforcers, there are many killer groups in Badda, Satarkul, and Aftabnagar areas under the Gulshan division. Some of the top terrorists sitting abroad control extortion and local politics in Gulshan, Banani, and Baridhara areas with the members of these killer groups. As a result, various crimes including murder are happening a bit more in Gulshan.
Mahbubur Rahman, joint commissioner of the detective branch of the DMP, told The Business Standard that crimes are more prevalent in densely populated and slum areas and on the outskirts of Dhaka.
"The Satarkul area of Badda under Gulshan division is thickly populated and there are slums there. So, the crime rate is higher there. And because of Badda, the crime rate is higher in Gulshan division," he added.
According to the DMP, 219 murder incidents were recorded in the capital in the last one year. Some 22,673 cases were registered over various offenses, including murder, robbery, snatching, rape, torture of women, drugs, and weapons and 42,359 people were arrested in these cases.
An analysis of DMP data shows the lowest number of murders occurred in the Lalbagh division. Even though 15 murders took place there last year, the division registered the highest number of drug-related cases during the same period.
There were 2,070 cases of drug seizures in Lalbagh last year.
The Wari division was in the second position in terms of drug seizure and cases filed in this connection. There were 1,899 drug-related cases in Wari last year.
Asked why the numbers of murders and rapes are higher in Mirpur than in other divisions, ASM Mahatab Uddin, deputy commissioner of police (DCP) of Mirpur division, told TBS that such incidents are higher in the area as the number of population is higher there. "Around 40 lakh people live in Mirpur, but there are divisions where the number of residents is merely 10-20 lakh."
"Mirpur is mostly inhabited by industrial workers. More than one family lives in a single house. Rape cases are often filed due to various family conflicts. However, police are taking strict action if any criminal offence takes place. Crimes cannot be suppressed by legal means alone. We need to raise social awareness to curb such crimes," he further added.
Meanwhile, Biplob Bijoy Talukder, DCP of Lalbagh division, told TBS the prevalence of drug abuse is high in the area because of its geographical location and a high number of low-income people living there. But due to the strict stance of the police against drugs, the incidents of drug seizures and drugs-related cases there, he claimed.
According to the DMP, the highest numbers of robbery and snatching took place in the Tejgaon division last year.
There were 45 cases of robbery and 17 cases of snatching in this division during the period. The lowest number of robberies and snatchings took place in the Uttara division.
Tejgaon was also ahead of other divisions in terms of recovering illegal arms.
Some 26 cases were filed in this division last year over illegal arms recovery. Mirpur division is in the second position in this respect by registering 20 cases.
Abdul Quader Mia, an associate professor of criminology and police science at Mawlana Bhasani University, told TBS people from different parts of the country live in Dhaka. "They come to Dhaka for employment but after failing to get employed, many of them get involved in crimes. Besides, there are various sources to get involved in crimes in the capital."
"Gulshan has now developed into a business hub of the capital. As a result, a kind of crime is happening here. In the areas of the capital where slums and floating people live more, drugs, snatching and other crimes are on the rise there. For these reasons, the type of crime varies from region to region," he added.