Dalits, Adivasis Most Susceptible to False Arrests: CSDS Survey
Bhopal: People stage a demonstration during a nation wide strike called to protest against the dilution of the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act in Bhopal, on April 2, 2018.
Bhopal: People stage a demonstration during a nation wide strike called to protest against the dilution of the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act in Bhopal, on April 2, 2018. (Photo: IANS)

Dalits, Adivasis Most Susceptible to False Arrests: CSDS Survey

A report on the status of policing, jointly unveiled by the Common Cause and Lokniti-CSDS, on Wednesday, 9 May, revealed that the Dalits, Adivasis and Muslims were most susceptible to being falsely implicated in cases of petty crimes, Maoism, and terrorism respectively.

Thirty-eight percent of respondents agreed that Dalits were framed in cases of petty crimes, 28 percent said that Adivasis were vulnerable to false arrests for Maoism, and 27 percent agreed that Muslims were likely to be falsely implicated in terrorism-related cases.

The report titled, "Status of Policing in India Report (SPIR) 2018: A Study Performance and Perception", analysed the law enforcement in 22 states across India through a combination of official data and perception of police in the minds of people.

The SPIR was released in the presence of CSDS director Sanjay Kumar, former law commission chairman Justice AP Shah, former DGP Indian Police Prakash Singh and Human Rights Lawyer Warisha Farasat.

Of all those who reported police contact, "67 percent contacted the police, whereas only 17 percent were contacted by the police." The police were more likely to contact the Adivasis (23 percent), Muslims (21 percent), OBCs (17 percent) and Dalits (13 percent).

Trust in Police

The lack of trust in police still pervades a vast majority of the population, with only three among 10 people having significant levels of trust in a senior police officer.

The lowest levels of trust were reported for traffic police, at 16 percent. The police only fared better when compared to government officers, high trust in whom was found to be 18 percent.

The aforementioned data, however, shows a significant improvement when compared with the 2013 CSDS data, according to which, only 16 percent of people had reposed hope in the police.

Haryana was one of the states topping the list of people having tremendous trust in a senior-level officer. Vipul Mudgal, Director and Chief Executive of Common Cause, clarified that the survey was carried out in the state prior to the conviction of Dera Sachcha Sauda chief Gurmeet Singh in a rape case.

Gurmeet Singh's conviction had set Haryana on fire, with supporters of the Dera Sacha Sauda chief rampaging through the state.

When asked about the level of trust in the police which surprised many of the attendees, CSDS director Sanjay Kumar said that people's perception of police hugely depended on the "value" given to their opinion.

While people, in general, may speak negatively of police, they will be extra careful when you tell them that their opinion will be used in a study and carries extra value. 
Sanjay Kumar, Director CSDS

SC, ST, OBCs, and Women Remain Underrepresented

Forty-four percent of respondents reported "significant fear of police or torture in some form", according to the report.

Eighteen of the 22 states that were part of the study failed to meet the reserved quota in the police force for SCs. Only six of 22 states fulfilled the reserved quota for OBCs and only nine for STs.

Women still remain massively underrepresented in the police force, with all 22 states failing to meet the 33 percent benchmark for recruitment of women.

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