Karnataka tops in atrocity rate against SC/ST citizens

Published - October 22, 2019 11:00 pm IST - Bengaluru

Data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) for 2017 released on Monday shows the State topping in rate of atrocities against members of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities.

Though Uttar Pradesh reported the most cases that year in absolute numbers — with 2,309 cases and 2,358 victims — the rate of cases was 5.6 per one lakh population of SC and ST members. Even though Karnataka reported fewer cases — with 1,298 cases and 1,520 victims — the rate was 12.8.

In 2016, Karnataka had recorded the highest number of atrocity cases even in absolute numbers. The State has been reporting a large number of atrocity cases for several years now, which the police and a section of Dalit activists attribute to better awareness among Dalits and social activism in the community helping victims fight. “It is true that the Dalit movement has empowered those from such communities to not take things lying down,” said N. Venkatesh, convenor of the Dalit Sangharsha Samiti, Karnataka.

However, many feel there is a lot more to be done. “There is still resistance to filing atrocity cases at the police station level. Unless activists intervene, no cases are filed even today,” said Mavalli Shankar, convenor of Dalit Sangharsh Samiti (Ambedkarvaada), Karnataka. A recent trend has been of perpetrators being encouraged by the police to file counter-complaints, forcing the aggrieved Dalits to “settle” the issue, he alleged. “MLAs, often from upper castes, get men from their communities posted as inspectors, who end up supporting the communities [of perpetrators].”

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