[The IndiaSpend team gathered information about cow-related violence from 2010 onwards, and found no cases reported during 2010 and 2011. (File photo)]
New Delhi: After the recent murder of a dairy trader by cow vigilantes on the Rajasthan-Haryana border, 11 deaths have been reported in 2017, the highest toll from cow-related hate crimes since 2010, from when IndiaSpend’s database records hate crimes.
Alison Saldanha of IndiaSpend in a report published today said, 76% or 13 of 17 cow-related hate crimes were reported from Northern India till 2015. Since then, during 2016 and 2017 to-date, more incidents have been reported from the East, West and South of the country.
No incidents of hate crime were reported in 2010 and 2011, but over the eight years since 2012, 29 persons have been killed in cow-related hate violence, 25 of whom were Muslim, Saldanha, an assistant editor with IndiaSpend, said in the report.
The National Crime Records Bureau does not collect data on cow-related hate crimes, the Home Ministry told Parliament on July 25, 2017. Hence IndiaSpend team collected, analysed and verified print and online news reports in the English media, which tend to have the widest nationwide coverage.
All reported incidents were cross-referenced to eliminate discrepancies and, where needed, verified with local reporters or those who had filed original stories, Saldhana said in the report.
The IndiaSpend dataset includes the number of crimes committed each year since 2010, the severity of attacks and the reported cause of each incident. Most entries include the names of districts, towns and villages.
The IndiaSpend team gathered information about cow-related violence from 2010 onwards, and found no cases reported during 2010 and 2011.
"From 2012 until today, 78 cow-related hate crimes have been reported across the country. Most of these–97% of all incidents–have occurred over the last three years since the Bharatiya Janata Party and Prime Minister Narendra Modi assumed power in May 2014", the report said.
"Only one incident each was reported in 2012 and 2013", the report added.
"In the eight years since 2012, most of those killed–25 of 29 persons–were Muslim. Of all victims–killed or injured, whose identity was reported in news reports–53% were Muslim, 12% were Dalit, and 10% were Hindu. (Newspaper reports did not include the religious identity of 22% of the victims.)", the report said.
"In a third of all cases–26 of 78 cases–the police filed cases against the victims under cow-protection laws", the report said.
"Geographically, from 2012 to-date, most cow-related hate crimes–64%, or 50 of 78 incidents–were reported in north India. Since 2015, the attacks spread towards the east and south of the mainland at an increased pace.
"Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, with 10 incidents each, reported the most number of crimes, followed by Gujarat where seven incidents have been recorded", the report said.
Besides collecting the records, IndiaSpend also spoke to some of the experts in criminal law and human rights for more insight into the rising Hate Crimes against minorities, especially the Indian Muslims. They said one of the reasons why the attacks have escalated after Modi came to power in New Delhi is because the attackers believe they have protection and will not be punished for their crimes.
“When religious/political leaders go on stage or television and urge followers to take up arms to protect the cow, they are not merely inciting a single individual to commit a single act of violence. They communicate a sanction inciting several followers to commit such crimes across the country,” senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, founder of the Human Rights Law Network, told IndiaSpend.
"This not only motivates violence, it also destroys law and order because the police become reluctant to prevent the crime and/or arrest the perpetrators", he said.
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