100 hate crimes in first six months of 2018, highest in UP: Amnesty report

hate crimes

According to human rights advocacy group Amnesty International, 100 hate crimes have allegedly taken place against people from marginalised groups.

As per the data recorded on its interactive website, ‘Halt the Hate’, Uttar Pradesh has recorded the highest number of hate crimes followed by Gujarat, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Bihar.

In 2016 and 2017 also, Uttar Pradesh recorded the highest number of alleged hate crimes.

According to the Amnesty report, a total of 67 hate crimes against Dalits and 22 against Muslims have been recorded in the first six months of 2018.

‘Halt the Hate’ documents alleged hate crimes in India starting from 28 September 2015, when Mohammad Akhlaq, a Muslim resident of Dadri, Uttar Pradesh, was lynched by a mob claiming that he had stored beef in his home.

This website documents alleged hate crimes against Dalits, Muslims, Adivasis, Transgender people, Christians, and ‘Other’ vulnerable groups.

“Hate crimes are different from other crimes because there is an underlying discriminatory motive behind these crimes. However, the law – with some exceptions – does not recognize hate crimes as separate offences. This means that even today, the extent of hate crimes in India is unknown. Police need to unmask any potentially discriminatory motives during investigation and duly record them,” said Aakar Patel, executive director, Amnesty International India.

“The data on our website is just a snapshot of alleged 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,” he added.

Also read: ‘Mobocracy can’t take over’: SC condemns mob lynchings, asks Centre to make new law

Apart from this, in a reply from the Home Ministry in Lok Sabha on February 6-7, 2018 it was known that in over four years ending 2017, as many as 2,920 communal incidents were reported in India, which led to the death of 389 people and injured 8,890 people.

Three major communal incidents were reported in Baduria-Basirhat district North 24 Parganas, West Bengal, Hazinagar in West Bengal and Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh 2017, 2016 and 2014 respectively.

India’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, reported the most incidents (645) over the last four years, also leading to the most deaths in these incidents (121).

Karnataka reported 379 communal incidents leading to 35 deaths. Maharashtra registered the third highest number of communal incidents (316).

Recently, a report compiled by Varieties of Democracy ranked India 81st among countries. Even Sri Lanka and Nepal rank higher than India in the South Asian region.

The report took into account both, the liberal and electoral aspects of a democracy. The liberal aspect includes the protection of individual and minority rights and checks and balances between various players in the political system.

Also see: Hate Crime Map

As per the report, electoral aspect is fine as the elections are held timely and in a free and fair manner, but it is the liberal aspect which drove down India’s score on the Liberal Component Index.

“The infringements on media freedom and the civil society activities of democracy following the election of a Hindu-nationalist government have started to undermine the longest-standing and most populous democracy in the Global South,” the report read.

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