MYSURU: At a time when the alleged rape and the killing of a 20-year-old Dalit girl in Hathras in Uttar Pradesh has caused an uproar across the country, data from the Karnataka State Police has revealed that 4,162 crimes against members of the SC/ST communities, including rape and murder, have been reported in Karnataka in the past three years.
The number of cases of rape of women belonging to the SC/STs in 2018 in the state was 130, which increased by 61.5% in just one year as nearly 210 cases were registered across various police stations in 2019. Meanwhile, offences under the SC and ST (prevention of atrocities act 1989) were 1,219 in 2018, 1,187 cases in 2019 and 899 in 2020 (till August 31).
Karnataka registered 428 rape cases of SC/ST women and 263 murders of SC/STs from January 2018 to August 31, 2020, where the accused are people from other castes. While there has been a decline in crimes in the State amidst the pandemic and the lockdown, the data available shows that the atrocities against SC/STs did not see much change as the State registered 88 rape cases and 45 murder cases in the last eight months (January 1 to August 31 2020).
“It is sad that the crimes against SC/STs are not properly dealt with. The conviction rate is also low which I feel is due to the poor response mechanism and failure of the police, public prosecutors in collecting the required evidence. In most cases, police submit a ‘B’ report which indirectly provokes and gives confidence to the perpetrators and their aides to commit the same crime in future,” said P Yashoda, State convenor for Committee for Monitoring and Strengthening SCs and STs (Prevention of Atrocities) Act in Karnataka.
“Most of the districts have not conducted the district vigilance and monitoring committee meetings which need to be mandatorily held every four months. In the last two years, even the state-level meeting in this regard has also not taken place,” she said.