The murder of a 19-year-old Dalit girl in Hathras by strangulation had grabbed the national headlines, with the Congress party leaving no stone unturned in politicising the case. The Congress party had been trying to harp on the anti-upper caste sentiment through Dalit activism and portraying themselves as champions of women’s rights. It is, however, pertinent to remember that that the Congress scions, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi, had maintained a stoic silence on several rape cases that have surfaced from the State of Rajasthan, a state ruled by their own party, while constantly attacking the Yogi government in UP.
According to the latest NCRB data [pdf], the crime rate against the Dalits/Scheduled Castes has been increasing in the State of Rajasthan from the past 3 years. NCRB data has revealed that a total of 45,935 cases have been registered for crimes against Dalits in 2019, as compared to 42,793 cases in 2018.
The majority of crimes against Dalits included simple hurt (28.9%), cases under SC/ST act (9%), and rape (7.6%). As such, there has been an overall increase of 7.3% in 2019, coupled with an increase in the crime rate from 21.2 in 2018 to 22.8 in 2019.
Rajasthan reported the highest number of ‘attempt to rape’ cases where victims were Dalits
Although India’s most populous state Uttar Pradesh has registered the highest number of cases (in absolute terms) in 2019, Rajasthan tops the list in the highest crime rate against Dalits at 55.6%. In 2019 alone, 6,794 cases were registered for atrocities against Dalits, up from 4607 in 2018 and 4238 in 2017. This marks a stark increase in the crime rate from 34.7% (2017) and 37.7% (2018).
Rajasthan also reported the highest number of cases for ‘attempt to rape’ against Dalit women and ‘assault on adult women with intent to outrage her modesty in 2019. The State has surpassed Uttar Pradesh, a state with the highest population of Dalits, in this regard.
Reportedly, Rajasthan’s capital city Jaipur also accounts for the highest percentage share of crimes against Dalits at 20%. The percentage share has risen from 13.4% in 2018 and just 6% in 2017. The city had the worst record amongst 19 other metropolitan cities.
Even though the Congress scions have been busy in politicising the Hathras case, it is ironical to see that they have turned a deaf ear to the atrocities on Dalit women in their own backyard in Rajasthan.