THE STATE police has registered 2,150 cases against individuals for committing atrocities against members of Scheduled Castes (SC) and 559 cases for atrocities against members of Scheduled Tribes (ST) in 2019.
The ‘Crime In India 2019’ report released by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) showed an increase in cases of crime against SCs — the figure was 1,689 in 2017 and 1,974 in 2018. The share of cases registered in the state in 2019 comprised 4.7 per cent of the total cases registered in India. In all, 45,852 cases were registered in 2019 with Uttar Pradesh (11,829) accounting for 25.8 per cent of the total in India.
In Maharashtra, the Prevention of Atrocities Act and the Indian Penal Code (IPC) were both invoked in 1,932 cases, while the Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955, was invoked in one case. Under the Prevention of Atrocities Act, police registered 126 cases where members of SCs were “insulted, intimidated or humiliated”.
In cases where only the IPC was invoked, police registered 405 cases for molestation of women and children belonging to SC and 202 cases of causing hurt. In addition, 337 cases of rape were also filed in 2019.
The report also noted that 297 members belonging to SCs were targeted in 220 rioting incidents. Case registration against members belonging to STs also showed a steady increase — from 464 in 2017 to 526 in 2018 and 559 in 2019.
According to the 2011 Census, the state’s ST population is 10.5 crore — the second highest in India after Madhya Pradesh (15.3 crore). The NCRB report found that the rate of crime for every one lakh ST people in the state, last year, was 5.3 per cent, while the state’s offences against STs accounted for 6.8 per cent of India’s total.
Police registered 506 cases under the Prevention of Atrocities Act and the IPC. Crime against women and children comprised a large proportion of the offences committed against members belonging to STs. Police registered 171 cases of assault with the intention of outraging modesty and 114 cases of rape.