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India: Documenting Violence Against Dalits: One Assault At a Time

Wednesday 24 January 2018, by siawi3


Documenting Violence Against Dalits: One Assault At a Time

January 23, 2018

After the killing of a person during the violence on the 200th anniversary celebrations of the battle of Bhima-Koregaon, violence against Dalits in India is again under the spotlight.

National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), which gathers data about different crimes in the country, shows that the rate of crimes against Dalits has risen in the last few years. The conviction rate for such crimes has also declined substantially.

Graphic here Atrocities against Dalits by crime: Assault on SCs women to outrage her modesty

In 2016, an estimated 214 incidents of crimes against scheduled castes (SCs) were reported per million SC population, up from 207 the previous year, according to the NCRB data.

In all of India, 40,801 atrocities against Dalits were reported in 2016, up from 38,670 in 2015.

Map here Top ten states in terms of atrocities against Dalits reported
Uttar Pradesh reported the highest number of atrocities against Dalits, the NCRB data shows, at 25.6% of all cases reported. This is followed by Bihar (14%) and Rajasthan (12.6%).

According to the NCRB data, most of the crimes against SCs reported were crimes against women, including assault, sexual harassment, stalking, voyeurism and insult to modesty.

Uttar Pradesh reported 14.5% (49,262 out of 3,38,954 cases) of total cases of crimes against women followed by West Bengal (9.6%) (32,513 cases) during 2016.

The NCRB data shows us the numbers, revealing that even in this age, being a Dalit in the country isn’t easy. However, it doesn’t tell us the larger story. Why are these people attacked? What makes the people belonging to the “upper-caste” feel a sense of superiority?

In attempting to map the atrocities against Dalits in the last one year, we came across some horrifying incidents. In the first incident of 2017, three people were beaten up in Uttar Pradesh because they didn’t greet an ‘upper-caste’ man with ‘Ram Ram’. In the same state, a woman and her unborn child died after she was beaten up all because she touched the bucket of an upper caste Thakur. Dalits are often socially boycotted, denied food and work from the upper caste forcing them to flee homes and sometimes, even take their own lives. And, this is what the NCRB data doesn’t tell us.

In an attempt to go beyond the numbers, News18 mapped incidents of Dalit atrocities over the last one year across India.