World Bulletin/News Desk
Muslims, dalits and adivasis -three of the most vulnerable sections of Indian society- make up more than half of India's prison population, according to the Times Of India report citing an official report on prisons. Although the proportion of these three communities in India adds up to about 39%, their share amongst prisoners is considerably higher at 53%.
According to the report, India had 4.2 lakh people in prison in 2013. Nearly 20% of them were Muslims although the share of Muslims in India's population is about 13% according to Census 2001. Religion-wise data from Census 2011 is yet to be released but it is unlikely to be much different. Dalits make up 22% of prisoners, almost one in four. Their proportion in population is about 17% according to Census 2011. While adivasis make up 11% of prisoners, their share in the general population is 9%.
Most experts say that this disturbing trend is not because these communities commit more crimes. Rather, it arises because they are economically and socially under-privileged, unable to fight costly cases or often even pay for bail. Some say that these communities are targeted with false cases.
Pointing out that nearly 68% of the prisoners are undertrials, Abusaleh Sharif, who was member-secretary of the Sachar Committee and later brought out an updated report on the conditions of Muslims, said that they had to remain behind bars because of inability to negotiate the hostile system.
Last Mod: 25 Kasım 2014, 13:46