In seven years, 9,178 cases of crime against Dalits reported in Gujarat

"The Gujarat government claims women's safety on one hand, but the government's own statistics show that incidents of rape of Dalit women in Gujarat have been increasing steadily".
Image used for representational purpose only. (Photo | PTI)
Image used for representational purpose only. (Photo | PTI)

AHMEDABAD: The murder of two Dalit brothers in Gujarat is taking on political overtones. As families protested, the Gujarat Police constituted a Special Investigation Team to investigate the incident and suspended two police sub-inspectors. This is not an isolated incident in Gujarat. As many as 9,178 cases of crime against Dalits were registered in seven years since 2015, the Union government told Parliament citing a National Crime Records Bureau report.

The families of two Dalit brothers, who were allegedly killed on Wednesday by members of the Kathidarbar community in Samadhiyala village in Gujarat's Surendranagar district protested outside the hospital and claimed their bodies after more than 40 hours. This was after the police agreed to provide the family with protection in their agricultural field and during court hearings, as well as a fast-track trial in the case.

According to NCRB data provided by the Government of India in the Lok Sabha, 1010 cases of atrocities against Dalits were registered in 2015, with only 10 cases convicted; in 2016, 1322 crimes were reported, with only 22 people convicted. The conviction rate in 2015 was only 3.2 percent, but it rose to 4.6 percent in 2016. In 2017, 1477 incidences of atrocities against Dalits were reported, followed by 1426 cases in 2018, 1416 cases in 2019, 1326 cases in 2020, and 1201 cases in 2021.

Thus, according to Gujarat statistics, as many as 9,178 incidences of crime against Dalits were filed in the last seven years. Hiren Banker, spokesperson for the Gujarat Congress said, "The Gujarat government claims women's safety on one hand, but the government's own statistics show that incidents of rape of Dalit women in Gujarat have been increasing steadily for the last three years."

In 2015, there were 25 cases of attempts to commit murder, 65 cases of rape, and 51 cases of atrocities against women; in 2016, there were 32 cases of attempts to commit murder, 70 cases of rape, and 75 cases of atrocities against women; and in 2017, there were 24 cases of attempted murder, 105 cases of rape, and 63 atrocities against women. In 2018, 25 attempts to commit murder, 92 rapes, and 77 atrocities against women, 31 attempts to commit murder, 107 rapes, and 82 crimes against women in 2019, and 27 attempts to commit murder, 116 rapes, and 69 crimes against women in 2020. In 2021, there were 21 attempts to commit murder, 120 rapes, and 69 crimes against women.

Thus, 185 cases of attempts to commit murder, 675 cases of rape, and 476 cases of assault on Dalit women to outrage have been documented in the last seven years.

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