Madhya Pradesh & Rajasthan have the highest rates of crime against Dalits. Here’s why

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National Crime Records Bureau data indicates that for every one lakh Dalit residents, Rajasthan & MP reported more than 60 crimes, while UP recorded 31 crimes in 2021, which is against the an average national rate of 25.

New Delhi: Uttar Pradesh has yet again gained the dubious distinction of having the highest rate of crimes committed against Scheduled Castes, or Dalits in India as per in the Crime in India 2021 report published on Monday from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) that is part of the Union Home Ministry.

However, a closer analysis of the data shows how Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan present some troubling patterns.

The two states had the two highest rates of crime (cases per million of the people) in the fight against Dalits in 2021. They were significantly higher than UP and nearly twice that of the average national rate.

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ThePrint utilized NCRB data to determine the average five-year rate of crimes against Dalits from 2016 to 2020, and then compared it to 2021’s figures. This is also the case, as Rajasthan along with Madhya Pradesh showed the greatest growth in the rate of crime against SCs.

In its count of atrocities and crimes committed against SCs The NCRB is limited to cases that fall within SC/ST Act. Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act of 1989, more commonly referred to in SC/ST Act. SC/ST Act. It doesn’t count cases filed within the Indian Penal Code (IPC) because “those cases refer to crimes against SCs by SC/STs” according to the report.

In all, the latest NCRB report indicates that India has reported six cases of crimes against Dalits every hour from 2021 and the total number of cases rising to 50,900 from 50,291 in 2020.

In terms of absolute numbers, Uttar Pradesh reported the highest number of crimes committed against Dalits with 13,146 cases that is nearly a quarter of total number of incidents that occurred in 2021. In the next four states was Rajasthan (7,524), Madhya Pradesh (7,214) as well as Bihar (5,842). In the three states mentioned, UP, Rajasthan, and MP witnessed a higher amount of cases than 2020, however Bihar was the only one to see a decline.

An accurate representation However, a more accurate picture can be determined from the rate of crime rather than from the figures.

MP as well as Rajasthan have the highest rates of crime against SCs

Uttar Pradesh is home to the largest number of Dalits with a total of over 4 million according to the census in 2011 (which the NCRB utilizes to calculate the crime rate in the case of SCs). In the year prior, UP recorded a crime rate of 31.8. That means for each one lakh Dalits in the state, there were about 31 crimes based on caste in 2021.

This is less than the crime rates of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, which were 63.6 percent and 61.6 percent, respectively. Each state has the Dalit population of more than 1 crore, as per the census in 2011.

To give a an example, the average national crime rate for SCs is 25 crime per one lakh of this population. The rate of crime for Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan is higher than the average.

Other states also reported an increase in crime rates over the average across the country and three of them performing less well in comparison to UP: Bihar (35.3) as well Telangana (32.6) and Odisha (32.4). Other states that had an above-average crime rate for Dalits included Haryana (31.8 which is similar to UP), Kerala (31.1) along with Gujarat (29.5).

It is important to know that, in absolute terms West Bengal has the second largest Dalit population in India with a population of around 2.1 crore. But the rate of crime against the Dalit community of the state is incredibly low, at just 0.5 for every 1 lakh inhabitants. Tamil Nadu, home to approximately 1.4 crore Dalits has a very low rate of crime against SCs which is 9.5.

In Punjab in India, where person in the three is a member to the Scheduled Castes community, the crime rate among Dalits is also very low. About two out of one million Dalits had to face criminal charges in 2021.

Regarding the latest developments

Based on previous NCRB studies, ThePrint calculated the five-year average crime rate against Dalits from 2016 to 2020. It then looked at data from 2021.

Statistics show that the rate of crime for SCs of Rajasthan has seen the greatest growth. Over the past few years, Rajasthan recorded about 45 crimes per people on an average. In 2021, that rate jumped to 61 crimes per thousand, or 16 additional crimes per one lakh Dalits within the state.

In the same way, Madhya Pradesh reported almost 15 additional crimes committed against Dalits as compared to the past five years with an median of just 49.

The second highest increase, in 2021 when comparison to the five-year average the highest was recorded in Haryana where crimes against Dalits increasing to more than 13 per million from those in the SC population.

In UP in comparison to the five-year average of 2016-2020, crime against Dalits increased by only 3.6 per 1,000 in 2021.

Contrastingly states like Bihar and Gujarat where there are the highest rates of crimes based on caste The crime rate for 2021 in comparison to the average over the last five years has actually dropped by around 5 crimes per lakh.

“People don’t take the insults lightly’

Experts believe that the changes according to experts, the trends in Rajasthan and MP can be at least partially due to slow growth in the economy and slow social progress. Another factor is that individuals may be more likely to come forward and confront police officers in the event of discrimination or crimes based on caste.

“Most work opportunities available in Rajasthan are related to tourism and traditional jobs continue to dominate social issues. The absence of metropolitan areas in the state , coupled with a high costs of moving restricts economic mobility, and people rarely leave their segregated surroundings. This may be a reason why the communities in these areas are more casteist,” said Khinvraj Jangid who is a professor of Jindal Global University, Sonipat and an expert in caste-related issues in the western region of Rajasthan.

Bhanwar Meghwanshi is an activist and Dalit activist and the author of I’m Not Hindu The Life of an RSS Dalit from the RSS,told ThePrint that the Marwar region of Rajasthan and the Malwa zone located in Madhya Pradesh share similar cultural practices, which is why that it’s “not surprising to see MP also topping the charts”.

Then, why do you think that the caste collisions between the two states are increased in the data?

Growing awareness and the rise of social media are aiding young people to fight these atrocities with legal aid Meghwanshi is of the opinion.

“In Rajasthan, over the recent years there has been a dramatic increase in the number of atrocities committed against Dalits. But, the current generation of young people isn’t going about these incidents lightly. Nowadays, we have smartphones and a viral video and police and administrators consider these cases seriously,” he told the Print via phone. “Nowadays all you need is an image of the crime to get it noticed by the police, and a case is opened. It’s not necessary to have the presence of 5,000 people to file and file an FIR.”

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