Official NCRB figures show Dalit women are not safe in UP
The Crime in India 2019 report lists crimes against Dalits in the country and the figures for Uttar Pradesh indicate the high incidence of crime against dalits and dalit women
The ‘Crime in India 2019’ report, released recently, is a compendium of data on criminal cases registered in the country during last year. The report provides a statewise break-up of such cases. Crime against Dalits is part of this official report. It is not a secret that all criminal acts are not registered by the police for a variety of reasons. Many cases are never reported to the police. It is also well known that when it comes to lodging complaints by Dalits, how difficult it is to file such complaints especially if the perpetrators happen to be people belonging to powerful sections of society and dominant castes.
Many rape cases are either not recorded or they are registered under sections of the IPC which provide for lighter sentences. Despite the flaws inherent in such a report, the data still provide an insight into the various crimes perpetrated against Dalits. It records 45,935 cases of atrocities against Dalits with 11,829 of them reported from Uttar Pradesh.
Crimes under SC/ST Atrocities Prevention Act (including IPC): In the year 2019, 41,793 crimes under this Act took place in the entire country whereas 9,451 crimes occurred in Uttar Pradesh alone.
Murder: The number of Dalits murdered in the country is recorded as 923 out of which 219 murders took place in Uttar Pradesh.
Attack on women with intent to outrage the modesty: As many as 3375 cases were registered in the country out of which 776 were in UP.
Attack with intent to harass women (Section 354A): 976 cases recorded in all with 226 cases in UP alone.
Assault with intent to disrobe Dalit women (Section 354B): 266 cases in the country, 104 of which were lodged in UP alone.
Women kidnapping and Abduction (363, ........ 369 IPC): 916 cases registered while in Uttar Pradesh alone there were 449 cases.
Kidnapping women (Section 363): 392 cases registered in the entire country, out of which 196 cases were registered in UP.
Other kidnappings: Just 313 cases were registered in the entire country but 176 of them were in UP.
Kidnapping of Women for Marriage (366 IPC): A total of 357 cases in the country were registered, out of which 243 were in Uttar Pradesh.
Rape (Sec. 376 IPC): 3,486 cases of rape of Dalit women were registered out of which 537 were from UP.
One can see that serious crime against Dalits such as murder, outrage of modesty, sexual harassment, rape, kidnapping and kidnapping for marriage, and crimes under SC/ST Act etc. are much higher in Uttar Pradesh than the national rate. One of the key reasons is that the social, political and economic structure of the state continues to be feudal. The police and the administrative structure reflect this social reality and serves the interest of the dominant classes. The feudal- mafia-money nexus are present in all political parties. These elements also change their party affiliation as and when required. That is why even after a change in the Government, their political hold/reach is seldom weakened. There has been no resistance at the grassroots level either in the state and no movement by peasants. Dalit politicians and political parties in the state claiming to work for their welfare also enjoy power with the help of these very feudal/money mafia elements, which is why they remain as strong as ever.
(The author is an I.P.S. (Retd) officer, a former IG of Police and national spokesperson, All India People’s Front)