NCRB Report Shows Rise in Atrocities Towards Dalits and Adivasis
Representational use only.Image Courtesy: Huffpost.Com
New Delhi: A new edition of ‘Crime in India’, the annual report of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), was released on August 29, for crime-related statistics in 2021. NCRB reports have been a valuable compilation of statistics over the years on offences ranging from crimes against women to economic and financial crimes.
The National Coalition for Strengthening SCs and STs (PoA) Act (NCSPA) has analysed the NCRB 2021 Report. NCSPA is a platform of more than 500 dalits and Adivasis civil society organisations, communities, leaders, and activists.
NCSPA believes that despite explicit constitutional provisions and guidelines, the suffering of dalits and Adivasi communities across India remains the worst. This community is not only the victim of this scourge caste system but also faces institutional discrimination and social exclusion. It is evident because a dalit minor girl got gang-raped and murdered when she went to defecate and never returned. A small dalit boy lost his life, merely because he touched the pot of the school principal, to quench his thirst.
The organisation believes that these are the cases that got the attention of mainstream media. However, the number is huge and even the 2021 Crime data shows a similar trend of an upsurge in violence; with a large proportion of crimes against dalits and Adivasi women and children.
The report revealed that atrocities or crimes against Scheduled Castes (SCs) have increased by 1.2% in 2021 with Uttar Pradesh reporting the highest number of cases of atrocities against SCs accounting for 25.82% followed by Rajasthan with 14.7% and Madhya Pradesh with 14.1% during 2021. Further, the report reveals that atrocities against Scheduled Tribes (ST) have increased by 6.4% in 2021 with Madhya Pradesh reporting the highest number of cases accounting for 29.8% followed by Rajasthan with 24% and Odisha with 7.6% in 2021.
Violence against dalit and Adivasi women has also risen. Cases of Rape against SC women, (including minors) account for 7.64% and ST women account for 15% out of the total cases reported. The report has also tabled detailed numbers for cases of rape against dalit Women cases of minor rape, attempt to rape, assault on women to outrage her modesty, and Kidnapping of women and minors which cumulatively stood at 16.8% in SC women and 26.8% in ST women.
The report showed that a total of 70,818 cases of atrocities against SCs were pending investigation at the end of the year 2021, including the previous year's cases. Similarly, 12,159 Cases of atrocities against STs were pending investigation and a total of 2,63,512 cases of atrocities against SCs and 42,512 cases of atrocities against STs came for trial in court. Conviction percentage under the SCs and STs (PoA) Act in conjunction with the Indian Penal Code (IPC) remained at 36.0% for SCs and 28.1% for STs. At the end of the year, 96.0% of cases of atrocities against SCs were pending trial whereas, for STs, the percentage stood at 95.4%.
The NCPSA believes that even after the amendments came into force in the year 2016, which generated hope for the dalit and Adivasi victims in accessing speedy justice, the implementation of the amended SCs and STs (PoA) Amended Act 2015 remains a challenge.
The organisation has called upon the Government of India to robustly, enforce and implement the new provisions of the amended Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989 (2015), and take swift and robust action against the dominant caste perpetrators violating the human rights of dalits and Adivasis, conduct an open and transparent investigation under the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2015 and prosecute those Government and police officials who are found to have aided and abetted criminals. The organisation has also demanded that the GOI robustly implement the Exclusive Special Courts mandated in the amended act for speedy trials.
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