NEW DELHI: Crime against people from the scheduled castes (SC) and scheduled tribes (ST) has increased sharply in Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat between 2014 and 2016 while it has declined in Jharkhand, Bihar, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. Overall, crimes and atrocities against SCs and STs across the states have shown an increase of 0.3% over this period.
National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data shows Madhya Pradesh, which tops the chart in increase in crime against SCs and STs has witnessed a 49.4% rise in crime against SCs and a 15.6% rise in cases of crime against STs.
Kerala has recorded a 51.7% rise in crime against STs, the highest among all states. The overall crime against STs between 2014 and 2016 has dropped by 3.8%, while crimes against SCs have increased by 1%. The analysis here is for states that have registered at least 100 cases of such crimes.
Gujarat is the only state apart from MP that figures in the top five in terms of increase in crimes against both SCs and STs. It has witnessed 26% and 21% increases in crimes against ST and SC respectively. The state registered 1,094, 1,010 and 1,322 cases of crime against SCs and 223, 248 and 281 crime cases against STs in 2014, 2015 and 2016 respectively.
States like Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Bihar and Jharkhand have seen a decrease in crimes against SCs and STs. Bihar shows a 67.5% decline incrime against STs, while crimes against SCs have declined in Jharkhand by 41.9%.
A study conducted by the New Delhi based Socio Economic and Educational Development Society (SEEDS) that analysed primary qualitative data for the last few years reveals that, apart from caste prejudices, the practice of untouchability and deeprooted social biases, the major factors responsible for such atrocities include land disputes, land alienation, bonded labour, indebtedness, non-payment of minimum wages, forced labour, family disputes, inter-caste marriages and economic disputes.
The study refers to earlier surveys conducted by various agencies, research organisations and social activists to indicate that there has been an increase in such crimes and atrocities, but lack of uniformity and inconsistencies in the reporting of various types of crimes and atrocities means all of it is not being captured in the official data.
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