Karnataka sees rise in crimes against SCs: NCRB report

City National

Karnataka has a high number of crimes against SCs registered under SC/ST (Prevention of atrocities) Act, 1989.

Karnataka registered an increase in crimes against the scheduled castes, shows the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report for 2017, released last month.

Crimes against SCs registered under IPC increased from 1,852 cases in 2015 to 1,869 in 2016. The number increased to 1,878 in 2017, according to the ‘Crime in India’ report, released by NCRB.

In 2017, Karnataka registered the highest number of incidents (1,298) with 1,520 victims under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. This was next only to Uttar Pradesh (2,309 incidents). It is striking that except for these two states, all the other states registered close to 400 cases or less for the same year.

Sandeep Patil, joint commissioner of police (crime) said: “We monitor all crimes in the city including crimes against SCs and STs. It is a fact that crimes which have been solved do not get reported or highlighted, unlike the ones which do not get solved.”

The contingency plan report by the Commissionerate of Social Welfare, Karnataka, provides a comprehensive picture of the roles of every authority after an atrocitiy has been committed and the time limit within which action must be taken.

Some of the IPC sections under the ambit of the SC/ST Act include murder (Sec. 302), grievous hurt (Sec. 325 and Sec. 326), voyeurism (Sec. 354), and kidnapping and abduction (Sec. 363).

Karnataka, with an SC population of 104.7 lakh, accounted for 4.3 % of the total crimes against SCs compared to other states, with a crime rate of 17.9% in 2017. On the other hand, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan have registered a decline in crime against SCs. Karnataka stood second in the number of cases registered under Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955, which deals with untouchability.

Among the cities, Bengaluru registered the highest number of cases (190) with 207 victims under the Act for 2017. Data obtained from the Commissionerate’s website shows that in Bengaluru Urban district, for the period 2019-20, more FIRs were filed than in any other district.

A director-level senior official from the Commissionerate informed The Observer: “We strive to create awareness through advertisements, street dramas and acts so that people are aware of the penalty and their legal rights under the Act.”

An official from Karnataka Regional office of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC), a statutory body, said: “The purpose of NCSC is to investigate the matters pertaining to SCs and make recommendations. The recommendations which are submitted to the President of India are confidential but the public have the right to know. At the regional level, we are making sure that the people are aware of the provisions of the Act.”

Data from NCSC’s website shows that the number of SCs living below the poverty line (BPL) in Karnataka is 37.01% in rural areas and more than 50% in urban areas.

The SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Rules, 2016, has increased the compensation amount provided to victims and made the formation of Vigilance and Monitoring Committees at the state and district levels mandatory. The rules state that the committee should meet at least twice in a calendar year to review the implementation of the Act.
The Indian Express reported on November 13 that Bihar, which also has a high number of cases registered under the Act, has directed district magistrates to ensure that the recommendations of the committee are implemented.

The statistical branch of the NCRB ‘has published two reports apart from ‘Crime in India’: ‘Prison Statistics India’ and ‘Accidental deaths and suicides in India’. Though ‘Crime in India’ and ‘Prison Statistics India’ were released for 2017 in October, ‘Accidental deaths and suicides’ reports have not been published since 2017.



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