Most Prisoners in India Are Muslims, BCs: NCRB

Though Muslims comprise only 14.2 percent of the total population of the country according to a recent census data, they constitute 26.4 percent of the prison population.

Published: 03rd October 2015 06:04 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd October 2015 06:10 AM   |  A+A-

COIMBATORE: In India, you are more likely to be lodged in prison if you are a Muslim, or belong to the Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST) and Other Backward Communities (OBC), reveal statistics from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).

Though Muslims comprise only 14.2 percent of the total population of the country according to a recent census data, they constitute 26.4 percent of the prison population.

Moreover, 60.3 percent of all inmates are classified as belonging to the OBC, SC and ST communities. 'Other' communities constitute the remaining of the prison population. OBCs and STs constitute 38.1 percent of all 'detenues'. Detenues are persons detained in prison on the orders of a competent authority under relevant preventative detention laws.

NCRB.JPGWhile Muslims constitute around 30 percent of all prisoners, in the 'pre-trial phase', the number of convicted Muslim prisoners stand at only 16.4 per cent.

Activists point out that the last statistics clearly points to a 'prejudiced' police system across the country, where minorities are 'targeted' by the law enforcement agency.

Speaking to Express, A Marx, a human rights activist and Chairperson, National Confederation of Human Rights Organisations, said that the criminal justice system was inherently prejudiced against members of the backward communities and Muslims.

 "Since 1980, it has been established that Muslim men are being detained unjustly by the police. There have been demands to establish fast-track courts to deal with Muslim undertrial prisoners, where those found innocent are provided compensation, and officers who make wrongful arrests are punished immediately," Marx said.

Senior leader of the Manithaneya Makkal Katchi, M H Jawahirullah, spoke of incidents over the last few years, including the Malegaon blasts in 2008, where young Muslim men were picked up on suspicion by Anti-Terror Squad personnel, before being released after finding that the blasts were in fact masterminded and carried out by Hindu fundamentalists.

"Just because the statistics show that more Muslims are in prison does not necessarily mean that members of the community are prone to be criminals. Muslims are also the targets of biased police officers,” he said.

Stay up to date on all the latest Tamil Nadu news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp