Hyderabad: Crimes against people belonging to Scheduled Castes has increased in Telangana since 2015, says National Crime Record Bureau’s (NCRB) 2017 report. While 54 lakh people belonging to the Scheduled Caste category in Telangana, the rate of crime against SCs in the state is almost equal to the rate of crime in more populous states such as Uttar Pradesh and Odisha.
Madhya Pradesh tops the list with the most number of crimes against SCs in the country (51.9%) followed by Bihar (40.7%). Both states have an SC population of more than one crore.
Interestingly, West Bengal records the highest number of SC population in the country. However, the rate of total crime against SCs in the state in the year 2017 comes to a negligible 0.6%.
Crimes committed against SCs have been on the decline in the neighbouring state of Andhra Pradesh since 2015. Among all five South Indian states, Kerala recorded the highest number of crimes against SCs (30%) although with a lower population of people belonging to the SC category in comparison with other states in the South. Telangana comes second, closely followed by Andhra (23%). Even though Karnataka and Tamil Nadu contain a high SC population, the crimes reported from both these states have been less compared to others. Karnataka recorded around 18% crimes against SCs in 2017 while Tamil Nadu registered the less among the five states — 9%.
Caste Atrocities in the Cities
One would imagine caste discrimination to be a thing of the past, at least in urban spaces, but the recently released NCRB report data shows a different picture.
Although the general trend in Hyderabad shows a dip in the number of crimes committed against SCs in the city from 2015 to 2017, the crime rate in Hyderabad (5.6%) is higher than other major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata. Lucknow accounts for the highest number of crimes committed against SCs compared to the total share (21.4%) while Bengaluru ranks second (14.9%) among the cities in the country.
Court disposal of crimes against SCs in the country
The NCRB statistics reveal alarming details about court procedures and the implementation of law in the country. As of 2017, there are 2,070 cases registered under crimes/atrocities against SCs in Telangana awaiting trial. However, only a dismal 8% conviction rate has been observed for these cases. As far as Andhra Pradesh is concerned, where the trial is pending for 2,975 cases, the conviction rate is 5.5%. Equally disconcerting is the fact that the pendency rate for court cases is above 75% for all states in the country.