Muslims constitute 28% of detainees in India
By Abu Zafar, India Tomorrow,
New Delhi, 16 March 2014: Several human rights groups and community organizations have been alleging that huge number of Muslim youths have been picked in last few years – particularly in the wake of terror blasts – and are behind bars without any trials. A recent government report confirms there is truth in the allegation.
According to the National Crimes Record Bureau (NCRB), a government of India institution that works under the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, the number of detainees belonging to Muslim and Christian minorities is more than double of the share of the two communities in the national population.
The NCRB report ‘Prison Statics India- 2012’ reveals that in 2012, as many as 28.02 per cent of the total detainees in entire country belonged to the Muslim community while the community constitutes only 13.4% of the national population. The year 2012 saw an increase in the number of Muslim detainees – in 2011 there were 26.5 per cent Muslim detainees in Indian jails.
According to the report, the proportion of detainees from Christian minority is also very high. As per the census data, Christians are only 2.3 per cent in Indian population but at least 6 per cent of detainees in 2012 belonged to the Christian community.
According to NCRB, any person detained in prison on the orders of competent authority under the relevant preventive detention law is called detenue (detainee).
The report says that a total of 1922 persons were detained in 2012 and 28.2 per cent of it (i.e. 543) were from the Muslim community. According to Census of India- 2001 the percentage of Muslims in India is only 13.4%.
Muslims are far more than their national population share not only among detainees but also among undertrials and convicts.
Out of the total 2,54,857 under trial prisoners, 21 per cent (53,638) belonged to Muslim community in 2012.
Out of the total convicts in the said year, 17.8 per cent (22,687) were Muslims. Interestingly, 53.5 per cent of convicted Muslims were lodged in four states Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
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