‘Alarming rise in hate crimes’

March 16, 2018 12:29 am | Updated 12:29 am IST - Bengaluru

Amnesty International India, which launched an interactive data website that documents hate crimes, has said there is an “alarming increase” in the number of crimes against people from the marginalised groups, especially Dalits and Muslims. The website documents hate crimes from September 2015.

U.P. tops

The interactive data website “Halt the Hate” notes that 40 of the total 200 hate crimes across the country in 2017 were from Uttar Pradesh. Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan reported 18 each. It also shows that 141 of these crimes were against Dalits and 44 were against Muslims.

The website documents alleged hate crimes from September 2015, since Mohammad Akhlaq was killed in Dadri, Uttar Pradesh, for allegedly killing a cow.

“The first step to ensuring justice and ending impunity for hate crimes — where people are targeted because of their membership of a particular group — is to highlight their occurrence,” said Aakar Patel, Executive Director, Amnesty International India, in a press release. He said the data on the website were just a snapshot of hate crimes in India.

“Many incidents are not reported in the media. While criminal investigations have been initiated in some cases, too many have gone unpunished. Authorities need to do much more to ensure justice for victims and their families,” Mr. Patel said. The website also has a column where people are encouraged to report a hate crime.

Padmini Ray Murray, faculty at Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, who helped in the design, said, “We have mapped the data in such a way that it is possible to compare State by State, by party in power and the identities of minority groups — and this can be used as the basis for thinking about emerging trends.”

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