In the last five years, India has seen a rigorous rise in the hate crimes towards minority communities with Muslims and Dalits constituting a significant share as the victims of religious hate crimes. India is a Secular, Democratic, Republic, however, the responses from the state administration and machinery are in contradiction with these constitutional safeguard .The fairness and credibility of state apparatuses have been called into question due to its partial interventions in the hate crime cases.
These crimes are not an unfamiliar concept, however, the authorities consider hate-inspired crimes as stand-alone cases to perhaps lessen the gravity of the situation .But, at the same time, tremendous rise in hate-instigated violence has left it almost impossible to sugarcoat such crimes anymore. In India , we have gender-based violence, caste –based violence ,honor killings ,communal riots, violence and differential treatment against dalits, xenophobia, witch-hunting, violence towards LGBTQ community , ragging and bullying in school and colleges etc.
Amnesty International India’s interactive website ‘Halt the Hate’ has found that reports of alleged hate crimes have witnessed the steepest rise in numbers since 2016 highlighting a very alarming trend in the country. From September, 2015 to June, 2019, Halt the Hate has recorded a total of 902 reported hate crimes in India. Sadly, the true extent of hate crimes in India is unknown because the law, with some exceptions does not recognize hate crimes as separate offences. As a result of which, government data on discriminatory motives behind crimes remains missing. The alarming rise of the alleged hate crimes clearly indicates that lack of accountability and implementation of the Supreme Court guidelines with respect to such crimes. Incidentally, the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) which publishes annual statistics on the incidence of crime has not released its Crime in India Report since 2016.
Hate Crime Watch is a database of religious-bias-motivated hate crime in India. The project, launched in October 2018, maintains a counts of such crimes since 2009. India’s National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) is a federal organization that tracks and collates information on a wide range of crimes, it does not count hate crimes primarily because there are no specific laws to deal with them. As of April 2, 2019, Hate Crime Watch has recorded 282 attacks which resulted in 100 deaths and at least 704 injuries. Muslims–who comprise 14% of India’s population were victims in 57% incidents, Christians 2% of the population were victims in 15% cases. Hindus who constitute the majority or 80% of population, were victims in 13% cases.
The United Nations human rights chief Michelle Bachelet issued a warning to India that its “divisive policies” could destabilize economic growth, stating the narrow political agendas were marginalizing vulnerable groups in an already unequal society. In her report to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, The ongoing atrocities against minority communities in India, she said, “We are receiving accounts that indicate increasing harassment and targeting of minorities – in particular, Muslims and people from historically underprivileged and marginalized groups, such as Dalits and Adivasis”.