With 57 cases, Uttar Pradesh recorded the highest number of such cases for the third consecutive year, followed by Gujarat and Rajasthan, the organisation said in a statement on Tuesday.
Releasing data recorded on its website, ‘Halt the Hate’, Amnesty India said hate crimes were reported against people from marginalised communities, which includes Dalits and Adivasis, members of racial or religious minority groups, transgender persons and migrants. These are only cases reported in mainstream English and Hindi media that the website recorded.
In 2018, the website documented a total of 218 incidents of alleged hate crimes, of which, 142 were against Dalits, 50 against Muslims, and 8 each against Christians, Adivasis, and transgender persons.
Of the cases, 87 were cases of killings while 97 were assault. Besides these, 40 incidents were reported where women from marginalised groups or transgender persons faced sexual violence, Amnesty India said in the statement.
In particular, Dalit women faced a disproportionate amount of sexual violence – 33 out of 40 such incidents reported last year.
Among the common instances of alleged hate crimes were the caste and religion related murders that are termed as ‘honour’ killings, and cow-related violence that were recorded in many States in northern parts of the country, the report added.
The five States that topped the list were Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Bihar, it said. Incidentally, the top three States are administered by the Centre-ruling BJP – though Rajasthan now has a Congress government since late last year. Bihar is ruled by the NDA.
For the third straight year, Uttar Pradesh reported the highest number of hate crimes at 57. In 2017, the number of incidents reported were 50 while it was 60 in 2016, Amnesty said.
Since September 2015, there have been 721 incidents of alleged hate crimes, a vast majority of which have been against Dalits and Muslims, the report said.
“The first step to ensuring justice and ending impunity for hate crimes - where people are targeted because they belong to a particular group – is to highlight their occurrence,” said Aakar Patel, head of Amnesty India.
“Unfortunately, the true extent of hate crimes in India is unknown because the law – with some exceptions – does not recognise hate crimes as specific offences.
The police need to take steps to unmask any potentially discriminatory motive in a crime, and political leaders must be more vocal in denouncing such violence,” Patel added.
Identity And Incidents
- Transgender persons-8
Nature And Number
- Property damage-24
- Sexual harassment-19