Steep rise in Dalit murders in 2014

But the overall incidence of crime against SCs has dropped

Updated - March 29, 2016 04:23 pm IST

Published - August 20, 2015 12:00 am IST - CHENNAI:

Tamil Nadu saw a disconcerting rise in the number of Dalits murdered in 2014, even though the overall incidence of crime against the Scheduled Caste (SC) community has dropped.

The latest crime figures released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) reveal that the situation in Tamil Nadu is as bad as it is in several Northern States with respect to murder of Dalits, with 72 such cases recorded in 2014. This is higher than Bihar, which registered 56 murders, and just below Madhya Pradesh with 80 cases under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code.

In 2013, 28 Dalits were murdered in Tamil Nadu. There were also 52 SC victims of attempt-to-murder cases in the State.

The data says the 72 murder victims came from 43 incidents, indicating prevalence of mob attacks or clashes. Bihar, for example, had 56 victims from the same number incidents.

Thirty-three Dalit women were raped in Tamil Nadu in 2014, compared to 28 in 2013. There was a lone attempt-to-rape case.

Overall picture

The overall picture though provided a positive trend, with the incidence of crimes against Dalits dropping from 1,845 in 2013 to 1,546 in 2014. The NCRB data used the Census 2011 figures for population of Dalits, which was pegged at 1.4 crore for Tamil Nadu.


Calling the increase in murders of Dalits a “disturbing trend”, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi leader D. Ravikumar said Dalits faced huge hardship in getting cases registered.

At a recent public hearing conducted by the National Scheduled Caste Commission, many pointed to a high rate of acquittals in cases registered under the Prevention of Atrocities Act.

“There have already been questions raised on the number of farmer suicides the NCRB reported. I feel there is a clear case of underreporting,” he said.

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