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Detention of Muslims in Gujarat rising to post-2002 riot figure

03 Nov 2014 07:11 PM, IST


Detention of Muslims in Gujarat rising to post-2002 riot figure
security personnel dousing flames of bike during communal violence in Vadodara

By IndiaTomorrow.net,

New Delhi, 03 Nov 2014: The ratio of Muslims among convicts and undertrials has steadily declined in last 10 years in Gujarat, though it is still double the state population ratio of the community. But their ratio among detenues has made a big jump in the last five years.

 

At the end of 2002, there were 3286 convicts in Gujarat jails, Muslims constituted 33% of them. They were 33.16% of 6369 undertirals in the state that year. The bloody riot following the Godhra train carnage had happened in February-March that year. In 2009, their ratio went down to 27.94% and 29.23% in the two categories respectively. It went further southward in 2013 with 23.26% and 23.16%. However, it is still more than double their population ratio which stands around 10% in the state.

 

But what could be seen as more alarming is the development in the category of detenues.

 
 

Convicts in Gujarat

Undertrials in Gujarat

Year
Hindu
Muslim
Christians
Others
Total
Hindu
Muslim
Christians
Others
Total
2002
2085
(63.45%)
1090
(33.17%)
11
100
3286
4105
(64.45%)
2112
(33.16%)
44
108
6369
2009
2978
(67.99%)
1224
(27.94%)
45
133
4380
5004
(69.44%)
2107
(29.23%)
46
49
7206
2013
2885
(75.76%)
886
(23.26%)
17
20
3808
5642
(74.19%)
1796
(23.16%)
31
135
7604

Source: National Crime Records Bureau

 

Rise in detention of Muslims in Gujarat

In 2002, there were 592 detenues in Gujarat. Muslims constituted 38% of them, almost four times higher than their population ratio in the state. However, seven years later it came down to 28.93% in the year 2009. But five years later, their detention ratio is going back to the 2002 figure. According to the Prison Statistics Report – 2013, which was released by the central government last week, there were 646 detenues in Gujarat by the end of 2013, Muslims constituted 35.13% of them, a little behind the 38% figure of 2002.

 
 

Detenues in Gujarat

Year
Hindu
Muslim
Christians
Others
Total
2002
332
(56.08%)
225
(38%)
11
24
592
2009
245
(68.82%)
103
(28.93%)
4
4
356
2013
407
(63%)
227
(35.13%)
3
9
646

Source: National Crime Records Bureau

 

Reasons of Rise

One obvious reason of the rise could be the rise in total number of detenues – from 356 in 2009 to 646 in 2013. However, free use of preventive detention laws against minorities is also counted as one of the reasons behind steep jump in percentage of Muslim detenues in the state.

 

“Muslim population in Gujarat jails is high. Our population (in the state) is just under 10%. Muslim convicts figure is about 23%, undertrials about 23%, but detenues 35%. The last figure reflects the free use of preventive detention laws,” says human rights activist Prof J S Bandukwala, Vadodara resident Prof. Bandukwala himself has been detained several times in the past.

 

“Muslims, including myself, have been arrested on such strong laws as NSA or MISA or TADA or POTA. Any hint of Muslim unrest leads to arrest of innocents of that area. It creates a panic situation, as residents literally flee their homes to avoid going to jail or comply with monetary demands from policemen,” says retired academician Bandukwala.

 

He opposes these laws terming them as violative of human rights.

 

“We have opposed these preventive detention laws as violative of our human rights. Yet political parties that get elected with our support, back these laws once they are in power. Muslims pay the price in the name of national security,” he says.




Keywords : Detention of Muslims ,   Gujarat ,   Prison Statistics Report 2013 ,   NCRB ,   Gujarat riots ,   Godhra train carnage  




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