Nearly 139,045 cases under crime against Dalits have been registered in different states between 2018 and 2020 with 50,291 such crimes reported last year alone, the government told parliament on Tuesday.
Uttar Pradesh registered a maximum of 36,467 cases of crime against scheduled castes (SC) in the three years, followed by Bihar (20,973 cases), Rajasthan (18,418), and Madhya Pradesh (16,952), as per data from the home ministry.
Among the states that reported the least number of crimes against Dalits were West Bengal with only 373 such cases in three years, Punjab (499 cases), Chhattisgarh (921), and Jharkhand (1,854). Some activists, though, accused these states of administrative failures that allegedly prevented many Dalit victims from registering complaints. Cases of crime against Dalits stood at 45,961 in 2019 and at 42,793 in 2018.
The home ministry also said 53,886 cases were registered under the Prevention of Atrocities Against SC/STs (PoA) Act in 2020, up from 49,608 in the previous year.
Among the southern States, the government’s response said Tamil Nadu had registered 3,831 cases of crime against Dalits in three years, while Kerala registered 2,591 cases. The number of cases in the same period was 5,857 in Andhra Pradesh, 5,156 in Telangana and 4, 227 in Karnataka.
Gujarat registered 4,168 such cases in the three years while Haryana registered 3,257 cases.
In its response to a question by Amroha MP Kunwar Danish Ali from the Bahujan Samaj Party, the home ministry pointed out that police and public order are state subjects under the Indian Constitution and that the responsibility of maintaining law and order and protection of life and property of the citizens including Dalits rests with state governments.