Patna,(BiharTimes): Notwithstanding tall claims of better law and order Bihar witnessed the highest number of cases of atrocities against Dalits in the year 2011. Not only that the chargesheet and conviction rate for crime against Schedule Castes and Schedule Tribes too are lowest in the country.
According to the National Crime Records Bureau
(NCRB) figures there was a spurt in crimes under the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act in the entire country in 2011. It witnessed 11,342 cases, which is an increase of 7.9% over 2010.
What is shocking is that with 3,024 cases under SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, Bihar accounted for 26.7% of total such crimes in the country. It left behind states such as UP and Rajasthan. This is notwithstanding the fact that the number of Dalits in Bihar is less than half of their total population in Uttar Pradesh, where maximum number of Dalits live. In that way the crime committed against Dalits by other castes in Bihar is many times more than neighbouring Hindi speaking state of Uttar Pradesh with which it has much similarity.
However, UP has one distinction. As Dalits form more than 21 per cent of this huge state’s population the crime committed by Dalits against their fellow castemen is highest.
It is often argued by many opinion-makers that such figures give a misleading picture as the Act is highly abused where false complaints are lodged against people to settle personal scores. NCRB figures show that 10.8% of cases registered under this Act all over the country have been found to be false.
But then there is other side of the story too, which often remains unreported by the media. In a large number of cases Dalits are not even allowed to reach police station to lodge case against the perpetrators of crime. This is very common in Bihar nowadays. In that way the crimes committed against them might have been much more.
Not only that the rate of charge-sheeting cases under the Atrocities Act stands at 82.2% in Bihar, which is much below the national average of 90.7%. All other states known for caste violence have scored better than Bihar with Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan scoring over 99%.
At 10.6% Bihar is far below the national average of 31.9%, so far conviction rate of crime committed against Dalits is concerned. The conviction rate in Andhra Pradesh is 11.6% while the figures of UP and Rajasthan stand at 59% and 45.7% respectively.