Over 1.3 lakh cases of crime against Dalits since 2018; UP, Bihar, Rajasthan top charts
Nearly 139,045 cases under crime against Dalits have been registered in different states between 2018 and 2020 with 50,291 such crimes reported last year alone, the government told parliament on Tuesday.
Uttar Pradesh registered a maximum of 36,467 cases of crime against scheduled castes (SC) in the three years, followed by Bihar (20,973 cases), Rajasthan (18,418) and Madhya Pradesh (16,952), as per data from the home ministry. Among the states that reported least number of crimes against Dalits were West Bengal with only 373 such cases in three years, Punjab (499 cases),
Chhattisgarh (921) and Jharkhand (1,854). Some activists, though, accused these states of administrative failures that allegedly prevented many Dalit victims from registering complaints. Cases of crime against Dalits stood at 45,961 in 2019 and at 42,793 in 2018. The home ministry also said 53,886 cases were registered under the Prevention of Atrocities Against SC/STs (PoA) Act in 2020, up from 49,608 in the previous year.
Among the southern States, the government’s response said Tamil Nadu had registered 3,831 cases of crime against Dalits in three years, while Kerala registered 2,591 cases. The number of cases in the same period was 5,857 in Andhra Pradesh, 5,156 in Telangana and 4, 227 in Karnataka. Gujarat registered 4,168 such cases in the three years while Haryana registered 3,257 cases.
In its response to a question by Amroha MP Kunwar Danish Ali from the Bahujan Samaj Party, the home ministry pointed out that police and public order are state subjects under the Indian Constitution and that the responsibility of maintaining law and order and protection of life and property of the citizens including Dalits with state governments.
Ali said he was not satisfied with the reply as he had asked for a “district-wise breakup of the number and nature of crimes against Dalits”. “But they have just given out the major data points which also show the crimes are increasing,” he told ET. “Caste discrimination has to be talked about in detail for us to address the matter.”
Vimal Thorat, national convenor of All India Dalit Mahila Adhikar Manch, said it was a good sign that the number of crimes against Dalits being reported is increasing in some states but it was no sign that justice was handy. The increase in reporting of cases was because of growing awareness among Dalit communities about the law, she said.
“There is Dalit assertion which is often met by the assertion by the dominating castes in the village,” Thorat said. “Dalit families struggle for years to see these cases reach a conclusion. Less than 20% cases get conviction, and over half of them are not pursued, as often the pressure on the families is very high,” she said.
“In some states, because of the hostility against Dalits and the nexus of medical officers with police with caste groups, the complainants are forced to compromise,” Thorat alleged. “Unless there is a committed activist standing firm with the family, it is difficult to see many of these complaints through
Courtesy : TETN
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