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India: In Decade Since 2009: 91% Hate Crimes Under NDA

Sunday 19 May 2019, by siawi3

Source: https://www.sabrangindia.in/article/decade-2009-91-hate-crimes-under-nda

In Decade Since 2009: 91% Hate Crimes Under NDA

Published on: May 17, 2019

Mumbai: Nearly 91% (262 of 287) of hate crimes motivated by religious-bias recorded in the decade between January 2009 and April 30, 2019, took place in the last five years, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power, according to Hate Crime Watch, a FactChecker database that tracks such crimes.

Haryana Hate Crime
Ballabhgarh: Muslims wear black arm bands in Junaid Khan’s home village to protest against Khan’s killing. Khan, a muslim teenager was stabbed to death on suspicion of carrying beef on a train.

Between May 2014 and April 30, 2019, 99 persons were killed and at least 703 injured in hate crimes motivated by religious bias, across 23 of 36 states and union territories (UTs) in India.

More than half of these states and UTs (12) reported hate crimes only after 2014, namely Assam, Bihar, Delhi, Gujarat, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Manipur, Meghalaya, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Uttarakhand.

In eight of these 12 states and UTs, the BJP went on to form part of the ruling state governments in assembly elections that followed the 2014 general elections, revealed a FactChecker analysis of Hate Crime Watch data.

Of the rest four, Telangana, under the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, was formed in June 2014, after the general elections.

In Chhattisgarh, the BJP had been in power from December 2013 until December 2018, when it lost the recent assembly elections to the Congress.

Meanwhile, the incumbent governments of Delhi and Tamil Nadu retained power in the subsequent state elections: the Aam Aadmi Party in 2015, and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) in 2016, respectively.

Source: Hate Crime Watch

Post 2014, 73% hate crimes against minorities
Of 263 hate crimes reported from May 24, 2014, to April 30, 2019, minorities formed 73% of the victims. Muslims, who comprise 14% of India’s population, were the victims in 61% of cases (160) and Christians, 2% of the population, in 11% (27 cases).

Hindus, constituting the majority or 79.8% of the population, were victims in 14% of the cases (37). Sikhs (1.7% of population) were victims in 1% or three recorded cases. In 31% or 80 hate crimes, the religion of the perpetrator was not known.

Among 182 cases in which the religion of the alleged perpetrator was known, 81% of cases involved Hindus (148 cases), Hate Crime Watch shows. In 18% or 33 cases, the attackers were Muslim. In one case, the attacker was a Sikh.

Cow protection was the most common reason for attacks motivated by religious bias post-2014, with 77 such hate crimes recorded in the last five years. Overall, 124 cow-related hate crimes were recorded between May 24, 2014 and April 30, 2019, according to a FactChecker database that tracks this kind of hate violence exclusively. For these crimes to qualify as cow-related violence in Hate Crime Watch, the religion of the victim must be different from that of the perpetrator to indicate a bias against the victim’s religious identity.

The other most frequent causes for hate crimes were opposition to interfaith relationships (15%) and communal clashes (10%).

Minorities were targeted under previous government too
In comparison, 25 hate crimes recorded across 12 states between January 2009 and May 23, 2014, in which three were killed and 17 injured.

Minorities formed 84% of the victims: Christians were victims in 56% of cases (16 cases), Muslims in 24% (6 cases), and in one case, the victim was a Sikh.

Hindus were victims in 12% of cases.

In six hate crimes, the religion of the perpetrator was not known.

Of the 11 cases in which the religion of the alleged perpetrator is known, 84% of cases involved Hindus (16 cases), Hate Crime Watch shows. In 11% or two cases, the attackers were Muslim. In 5% or one case, the attacker was Sikh.

The most frequent reason (36%) for hate crime attacks prior to 2014 was religious conversion (nine cases).

In more than a quarter of cases (28% or seven cases), the pretext for the attack was unclear–four involved vandalism of religious shrines, and three were explained as revenge by fundamentalist groups for minor disputes. The pretext for these incidents is recorded as ‘Other’.

Hate Crime Watch is a multi-organisation effort steered by FactChecker.in, in collaboration with Aman Biradari, a people’s campaign for secularism, justice and compassion based in New Delhi, and NewsClick.in, a public-interest journalism non-profit. On the advisory board of the project are Ajit Prakash Shah, chairperson of the 20th Law Commission of India and former chief justice of the Delhi High Court; Chaman Lal, Padma Shri, former director general of police and former special rapporteur of the National Human Rights Commission; and Maja Daruwala, senior advisor to the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative.

The data collection for Hate Crime Watch is modelled on other similar experiments across the world. In this first phase, we collated and cross-verified reports of religious hate crime from English-language print and online media sources across India. English language media tend to have the widest national coverage, are easily verifiable and hold up to scrutiny.

In the second phase, we are supplementing these media reports with our own investigations from the ground to verify the reported crimes. In a six-part series published on FactChecker starting January 22, 3019, we reported from the sites of 14 hate crimes listed in Hate Crime Watch from Uttar Pradesh, the deadliest state for such violence. Our investigation uncovered some common strands–mobs infiltrated by Hindu right-wing groups; questionable police probes and action; and a a jumble of societal, economic and political causes. In one instance, we found the case to not conform to our definition of ‘hate crime’, and removed it from Hate Crime Watch.

In the second series, we visited the sites of 14 cases reported from Rajasthan between 2013 and 2018–13 of these were already on the database; one, from Pratapgarh in September 2017, was added after our investigation. We found these cases falling into three broad categories: lynchings of Muslim men suspected of being cow smugglers, concentrated in Alwar district; attacks on Christians driven by opposition to alleged forced conversions; and communal clashes between Hindus and Muslims, usually during festivals or rallies.

A forthcoming series will present our investigation from Jharkhand, where we have verified nine cases listed in Hate Crime Watch spread across the state.

We recognise that a large majority of hate crimes do not get reported, so these findings are based on information that we have been able to collect for this evolving database.

Hate Crime Watch does not aspire to be an exhaustive record of all hate crimes committed in the country. It is an effort to document the rising incidence of hate crime and identify patterns in order to inform public understanding. We hope the state will take notice, take action, and also start recording and reporting such crime, which it does not at present.

Courtesy: https://factchecker.in/