NCRB data shows Muslims, Dalits higher in jail than outside

Compared to 2015 data, the Muslim proportion among undertrials fell in 2019, but arose among convicts.

New Delhi: The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) released data which reveals Muslims, Dalits and tribals remain to be higher in number in jails than outside.

The 2019 data reveals, Muslims are the one community which has more under trials than convicts.

With a population share of 16.6%, Dalits make up to 21.7% of all convicts in jails across the country. With same amount of population share, Scheduled Castes among under trials in jails stood at 21%, as reported by The Indian Express.

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With a population share of 8.6%, the Scheduled Tribes made up 13.6% of the convict population, and 10.5% of all undertrials in jails.

With a population share of 14.2%, Muslims formed 16.6% of all convicts, but 18.7% of all undertrials. This convict to undertrial ratio was reversed in case of both the Dalits and tribals.

β€œThe data show that our criminal justice system is not only tardy but also loaded against the poor. Those who can hire good lawyers get bail easily and also have a fair shot at justice. The poor also tend to get sucked into petty crimes for lack of economic opportunities,” former chief of Bureau of Police Research and Development N R Wasan said.

The OBCs and non-marginalised population in the various categories form 41% of the population as per the National Sample Survey Organisation 2006 data, they represented 35% and 34% of the convicts and undertrials respectively.

The others broadly include upper caste Hindus and non-marginalised sections form 19.6% of the population, they formed 13% of the convicts and 16% of the undertrials, as told by The Indian Express.

Compared to 2015 data, the Muslim proportion among undertrials fell in 2019, but arose among convicts. In 2015, Muslims formed 20.9% of all undertrials in jails, and 15.8% of all convicts β€” compared to 18.7% and 16.6% in 2019.

For SCs, STs, and Dalits the situation has not changed much over the past five years. Dalits formed around 21% of the convicts and undertrials in jails as per the 2015 NCRB data β€” almost the same as 2019. The tribal numbers remain almost constant among convicts (13.7% in 2015, 13.6% last year), while falling among undertrials (12.4% in 2015 to 10.5% in 2019).

The maximum number of Dalit undertrials in jails, state-wise, were in Uttar Pradesh (17,995), followed by Bihar (6,843) and Punjab (6,831). Most ST undertrials were in Madhya Pradesh (5,894), followed by UP (3,954) and Chhattisgarh (3,471). The maximum Muslim undertrials were in UP (21,139), followed by Bihar (4,758) and Madhya Pradesh (2,947).

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