For the first time in 16 years, the Union Home Ministry has decided to stop making public information about Muslims serving in the police force.
Until last year, representation of SCs/STs and Muslims in the force was part of a chapter titled ‘Police Strength, Expenditure & Infrastructure’ in an annual report called ‘Crime in India’, published by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).
In the NCRB report for 2013, information about Muslims in the police force showed that there were 1.08 lakh Muslim policemen who accounted for 6.27 per cent of the total 17.31 lakh police strength in India.
Their representation had been falling — in 2007, they made up 7.55 per cent of the total force, and in 2012 they were 6.55 per cent.
Muslims were the only religious community in India whose representation in the force was separately provided in the NCRB report. In fact, such data was first made public in 1999 during the Vajpayee-led NDA government.
“Records of police strength and infrastructure are an administrative issue and it has been decided that the NCRB will not compile this data. The data is also compiled by the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) and henceforth will be done by it alone,” Chief Statistical Officer of the NCRB Akhilesh Kumar told The Indian Express.
Replying to a questionnaire, NCRB Director General Archana Ramasundaram claimed the decision to drop this information was part of the “proforma revision” of NCRB publications.
The BPR&D, which also functions under the Home Ministry, has, however, said it does not plan to collect information about Muslim personnel nor will it make them public.
“We have not been given any instructions to collect data on Muslims. The BPR&D will continue to put out figures the way it has been doing in the past. No new incorporation of religious communities is likely to take place now as we have not received any directions nor are we seeking such data from states,” BPR&D Director General Navneet Rajan Wasan said.
The BPR&D keeps a record of police strength in the country and the information is made public in its annual report. It gives details on SC, ST and OBC representation in the police force. Till date, it has never put out the total number of Muslims in the country’s police force.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines