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Why NCRB collected data on lynching, cow slaughter & hate crime, but left it out of report

The NCRB, whose reports provide an estimate of the crime situation in India, released its much-delayed report for 2017 Monday. 

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New Delhi: The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) did collect data on hate crimes, cow slaughter and lynchings for its 2017 report, but found it too “unreliable” for inclusion, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) told ThePrint. 

It was on similar grounds that data on human rights violations by the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) as well as crime against journalists, RTI activists and whistleblowers was not included either, the ministry said.

“It was observed that data received for certain newly created additional parameters/crime heads are unreliable and their definitions are also prone to misinterpretation,” the Ministry of Home Affairs said in reply to an email query.

“Accordingly, data related to the certain parameters/crime heads have not been published.”

The NCRB, whose reports provide an estimate of the crime situation in India, released its much-delayed report for 2017 Monday. However, questions were immediately raised about why India’s crime-recordkeeper failed to pull off a proposed sub-categorisation of the “murder” category to include crimes such as lynching and hate violence, which are believed to have spiked under the Modi government.

Other proposed subheads for the 2017 report included crimes against social workers/activists, witnesses, and persons belonging to the north-east. The NCRB had also sought data on crimes committed by religious preachers, illegal migrants, organised groups of contract killers, liquor traffickers, khap panchayats, private security guards or body-guards, proclaimed offenders, and even those on parole or bail. 

However, the NCRB failed to procure reliable data for any of these categories. 

Other exclusions included rumour/fake news as a murder motive, and animal-related offences covered by different laws such as the state-wise cow slaughter Acts and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. 

Despite the data not being completely reliable, an NCRB official said, a subcategory for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes was included under the human trafficking section “on the instructions of the MHA”. 

Meanwhile, honour killings — crimes where “honour” is cited as motive — were eliminated from the report this year, again on account of inadequate data.

The data is now being collected in greater detail for several categories of crimes. For example, under cyber crimes against women and children, crime statistics under cyber blackmailing/threatening, cyber pornography.  

Also Read: No farmer suicide numbers for second year in a row as NCRB releases crime data for 2017

Delay in publication of report

The delayed release of the report for 2017 received a lot of criticism, but the media wing of the MHA said a comprehensive review of the data took time. 

“New data collection and compilation software was prepared. Training of officials of the states/UTs on the revised proformae & data collection/compilation software was done,” the MHA said in its email.

“States/UTs were required to provide information on additional parameters/crime heads. Following persistent follow-ups since August 2018, final data (after removal of errors/inconsistencies) received only in July 2019. And hence the delay in publication of the report,” it added.

Also Read: Fake banknotes seized in India doubled after demonetisation, Gujarat topped list: NCRB



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