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High Crime Rate, Low Convictions: A Snapshot of SC, ST Atrocities in 5 Years

Over the last five years, even as cases of SC, ST atrocities went up, the conviction rate remained abysmally low.

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Cases of crimes against people belonging to communities in the Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) categories have risen progressively and steadily between the years 2018 and 2022, according to figures by the National Crime Records Bureau.

These include crimes such as murder, assault on women, sexual harassment, stalking, kidnapping, and assault of children among others.

The NCRB — a government agency responsible for collecting and analysing crime data — released its latest report on 4 December.

An analysis of this data between 2018 and 2022 revealed that even as cases of atrocities against SC, ST communities went up, the conviction and charge-sheeting rates remained abysmally low.

This report, in 10 charts, looks at what the crime rate, charge-sheeting rate, and conviction rate across states tell us about atrocities against vulnerable caste demographics.

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UP, MP, Rajasthan, Odisha Lead The Charts in 2022

As per the 2022 numbers, Uttar Pradesh (UP) with 15,368 cases recorded the highest total cases of atrocities against people from the SC category. Rajasthan with 8,752 cases stood second, whereas Madhya Pradesh (MP) with 7,733 cases was on number three.

It must, however, be noted that the crime rate (crime per lakh population) in Rajasthan was 71.6 — more than double that of UP which recorded a crime rate of 37.2. At the same time, Rajasthan's charge-sheeting rate was 45.9 percent, which means that a chargesheet was filed in only 45.9 percent of recorded cases. In UP, charge-sheeting rate stood at 84.9 percent.

A comparison of conviction rate also showed that while Rajasthan saw only 39.5 percent convictions, in UP, the rate was 80.2 percent.

MP recorded a high crime rate (68.2) and high charge-sheeting rate (99.5 percent) but the conviction rate remained low (22.9 percent).

Over the last five years, even as cases of SC, ST atrocities went up, the conviction rate remained abysmally low.

Most cases of atrocities against people belonging to the ST category were recorded in MP (2,979) followed by Rajasthan (2,521) and Odisha (773).

While MP and Odisha, 99.8 and 94.9 percent respectively, saw high charge-sheeting rates, Rajasthan's charge-sheeting rate remained low at 44.3 percent.

Again, conviction rates in MP and Rajasthan were 35.9 percent and 46 percent respectively while that in Odisha remained low at only 19.6 percent.
Over the last five years, even as cases of SC, ST atrocities went up, the conviction rate remained abysmally low.
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2018-2022: The Overall Figures

An analysis of NCRB data from 2018 to 2022 suggests that the conviction rates in crimes against people belonging to the SC and ST categories saw a spike in years before and after the Lok Sabha elections.

For instance, the conviction rate in crimes against SCs went up from 28.5 percent in 2018 to 32.1 percent in 2019 and 42.4 percent in 2020. The rate then dropped to 36 percent in 2021 and 34 percent in 2022.

This while the number of cases steadily increased from 42,793 cases in 2018 to 57,582 cases in 2022. The crime rate in this period also went up from 21.6 to 28.6.
Over the last five years, even as cases of SC, ST atrocities went up, the conviction rate remained abysmally low.

In cases related to atrocities against people belonging to the ST category, conviction rate went up from 23.5 percent in 2018 to 26.4 percent in 2019 and then went up to 28.5 percent in 2020.

It then plateaued at 28.1 percent while crime rate went up from 6.3 percent in 2018 to 8.4 percent in 2021 and 9.6 percent in 2022.

Over the last five years, even as cases of SC, ST atrocities went up, the conviction rate remained abysmally low.
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2018-2022: State-wise Data For Crime Against SCs

Over the last five years, UP, Rajasthan, and MP consistently recorded highest cases of atrocities against SCs. The crime rate in all the three states saw a steady increase.

In UP, it went up from 28.8 in 2018 to 37.2 in 2022. The conviction rate also increased steadily from 55 percent in 2018 to 80.2 percent in 2022.

Over the last five years, even as cases of SC, ST atrocities went up, the conviction rate remained abysmally low.

Rajasthan performed poorly in terms of charge-sheeting and conviction rates. While crime rate went up from 37.7 in 2018 to 71.6 in 2022, the conviction rate dropped from 43.6 percent in 2018 to 39.5 percent in 2022.

The conviction rate increased marginally in 2019 went up to 51.1 percent.

Over the last five years, even as cases of SC, ST atrocities went up, the conviction rate remained abysmally low.

MP, also in line with trends seen in other states, saw a conviction in less than one-third of the charge-sheeted cases. While the crime rate went up from 41.9 in 2018 to 68.2 in 2022.

Despite a high charge-sheeting rate (above 99 percent in all five years), conviction remained abysmally low. It went up from 28.8 percent in 2018 to 31.5 percent in 2019 to 40.1 percent in 2020. Then, it dipped to 28 percent in 2021 and to 22.9 percent in 2022.
Over the last five years, even as cases of SC, ST atrocities went up, the conviction rate remained abysmally low.
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2018-2022: State-wise Data For Crimes Against STs

Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Odisha were the most unsafe states for people belonging to ST category as they recorded maximum cases of atrocities between 2018 and 2022.

In MP, the crime rate went up from 12.2 in 2018 to 19.4 in 2022. The conviction rate remained low fluctuating between 34 percent in 2018 and 35.9 percent in 2022. It marginally increased from 31.3 percent in 2019 to 35.9 percent in 2020.
Over the last five years, even as cases of SC, ST atrocities went up, the conviction rate remained abysmally low.

Rajasthan also saw a drastic rise in crime rate against STs as it spiked from 11.9 in 2018 to 27.3 in 2022. In the same period, the charge sheeting rate remained low with a charge-sheet being registered in only close to 50 percent cases. The conviction rate despite rising steadily, remained low.

Over the last five years, even as cases of SC, ST atrocities went up, the conviction rate remained abysmally low.

Odisha, which has a tribal population of close to 22.84 percent, saw a zero conviction rate in 2019, 2020, and 2021. While the crime rate went up from 5.8 in 2018 to 8.1 in 2022. The charge sheeting rate remained high with a chargesheet being registered in more than 90 percent cases.

Over the last five years, even as cases of SC, ST atrocities went up, the conviction rate remained abysmally low.

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Topics:  Crime   Caste   NCRB 

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