BACKWARD CASTES, Dalits and tribals constitute almost 67 per cent of India’s population, but their representation in police forces in the country is only at 51 per cent. The latest data on police organisations released by the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) shows that only Scheduled Tribes have better representation in police forces in comparison to their share in population while all other backward classes fare poorly.
According to the data, 14 per cent of all positions (from constable to deputy superintendent of police) in police forces across the country were represented by Dalits at the end of 2019. According to Census 2011, Dalits make up 16.6 per cent of India’s population.
Tribals, who form 8.6 per cent of the population, have 12 per cent representation in the police forces, placing them at a comparatively better position.
The Other Backward Classes (OBCs) fare the worst on the representation front. The data shows against a 41 per cent share in the population, OBCs constitute only 25 per cent of the police forces, causing a deficit of almost 40 per cent in representation.
Notably, the goal of proportionate representation has remained unfulfilled despite all state governments providing reservation to these categories.
While women too continue to be represented poorly, their situation has improved considerably over the past five years. Since 2014, when the actual strength of women in police forces stood at around 1.11 lakh, their representation has almost doubled to 2.15 lakh. In fact, over 2018, the strength of women in police forces increased by 16 per cent in 2019. However, at still 10 per cent of the actual strength of the police in the country, women have a long way to go in claiming a representation proportionate to their population share, which is 48 per cent.
It is also reflected in women population per woman police ratio, which stands at 3,026 nationally. At the national level, the actual strength of woman police in other departments such as traffic police is 5,979. In special branches dealing with intelligence collection, it is 3,632, while in special police units dealing with insurgency, extremism and terrorism among others, it is a poor 516.
The data also shows that police-population ratio (number of police personnel per one lakh of population) declined in 2019. From 198 in 2018, it dropped to 195 in 2019. While Andaman and Nicobar Islands have the best police-population ratio at 816, Jharkhand (45) and Bihar (55) have the worst. Odisha (67), Assam (68), Andhra Pradesh (85), Gujarat (87), Uttarakhand (95) and West Bengal (97) are part of the bottom 10 states.
Among larger states, Jammu and Kashmir (399) and Punjab (236) have the best police-population ratio. The UN mandated police-population ration is over 220.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines