Even as incidents of communal riots decreased in 2015 over 2014, agrarian, sectarian disturbances and student riots and caste conflicts have seen a rise, reveal data from the “Crime in India” report for 2015 released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) on Tuesday. Kerala tops the crime rate list, with 16.3 riot cases per lakh people, followed by Bihar (12.9) and Karnataka (10.6).
Kerala, in fact, is the hotbed of political riots in the country with more than half (1,031) of the overall 1,960 incidents.
More than half of the student riots reported in 2015 took place in Uttar Pradesh and Kerala.
Recorded incidents of agrarian riots in the country jumped 327 per cent from 628 in 2014 to 2,683 in 2015.
This fueled an increase in the number of arrests made – from 3,540 to 10,353. Sectarian riots — defined as violence between sects of the same religion not considering caste conflict — showed a significant jump in incidents and convictions from a low base in 2014. Much of these incidents occurred in Uttar Pradesh.
However, the decrease in communal riots recorded by NCRB — from 1,227 in 2014 to 789 in 2015 — does not tally with the data released by the Ministry of Home Affairs in July 2016, which showed a slight increase from 644 incidents in 2014 to 751 in 2015.
The NCRB data is based on FIRs, and there could be duplication in the number of cases registered. The MHA data is merely based on the number of incidents.
About 20 per cent of the overall 65,255 riots were reported in Bihar, followed by Maharashtra (8,336) and Uttar Pradesh (6,813).
Uttar Pradesh had the maximum number of caste conflicts (724) followed by Tamil Nadu (426).
Chennai recorded the lowest rate of total crimes among major cities (154.3 per 1 lakh population). Among all cities, only Surat (86.9), Kannur and Dhanbad had better rates.
The report shows that the number of people arrested for student riots increased to 3,600 – more than double compared to 1,474 in 2014. The incidents of student riots increased by 85 per cent from 261 to 485.
Uttar Pradesh had the maximum number of caste-related conflicts (724) followed by Tamil Nadu (426). Reported cases of rape and assault on women showed only marginal change from 2014. Rape cases decreased by 5.7 per cent while assault cases went up by merely 0.22 per cent.