Saturday, June 22, 2024

India: Data show Muslims disproportionately in jail relative to their population

Ludhiana jail

The latest data of India’s prisoners of 2020 released by National Crime Report Bureau (NCRB) shows that Assam has the highest percentage of Muslim convicts and undertrial prisoners in the jail putting it at 47% and 52.3% respectively.

The percentage of the prisoners points to the high disproportionate presence of Muslims in Assam’s jail as the share of Muslim population in the state is pegged at 34 %.

The NCRB report shows that West Bengal is at the second number of keeping Muslim convicts and undertrials in the jail putting it at 33% and 43.5%. The percentage of prisoners in West Bengal too is highly disproportionate as Muslims account for 30 % of the state’s population.

Haryana (100%), Jammu and Kashmir (96.4%) and Telengana (49.5%) are top three states where Muslim detenues are the highest percentage in the jail.

On 27 December 2021, the NCRB released the report of India’s prisoners named ‘Prison Statics India’ (PSI).

Lawyers have pinned the blame on the prejudices of the security forces and the state machinery for the disproportionate presence of Muslim in the jail.

Supreme Court lawyer Anas Tanwir, who runs Indian Civil Liberties Union (ICLU), feels that it has also a lot to do with the political scenario of the country. Apart from that, Tanvir said that the poverty, police prejudices and state machinery’s biasedness are the factors responsible for it.

“Most of such Muslims belong to lower strata, who does not have access to the legal aid and good lawyers. Therefore, they end up being in jail longer than they should be. There was also study that showed that the police officers and policemen see Muslims of having more criminal nature than other communities. There is inherent biases in the policing and the administration,” said Tanwir talking to Maktoob.

Apart from Assam and West Bengal, Kerala (32%), Telangana (23.5%), Gujarat (19.5%), Delhi (21%), Haryana (16.7%) are some of the states which have highest percentage of Muslim convicts in the jail.

Uttarkhand (30%), Uttar Pradesh (28.3%), Kerala (27.5%), Delhi (26.8%), Telangana (26%), Karnataka (23.4%), Tripura (21.8%), and Gujarat (18.2%) are some of the states which have the highest percentage of Muslim undertrial prisoners.

Overall, Convicts (17.4%), undertrial prisoners (19.5%), Detenues (30.7%) and other prisoners (57.2%) are in the jail across the country.

Abdul Wahid Shaikh, lawyer and former prisoner, echoed Tanwir’s opinion with regard to the police and state prejudices pointing to the same study.

“The hidden agenda of the state is also to prosecute as well as persecute Muslims more and more. They want to implicate educated Muslims in false cases so that they could not make progress. This is the display of anti-Muslim sentiment and hate against them,” said Shaikh, who was implicated in a false terror case.      

Details of the High percentage of Muslim prisoners in states:

Convicts

Assam – Out of 2770 convicts, 47% (1313) are Muslims in the jail.

West Bengal – Out of 5367, 33 % (1794) convicts are Muslims in the jail .

Kerala – Out of total 2426 convicts, 32 % (792) convicts are Muslims in the jail.

Haryana – Out of total 3338, 16.7 % (558) convicts are Muslims in the jail.

Tamil Nadu – Out of total 4161, 13% (559) convicts are Muslims in the jail.

Uttar Pradesh – Out of total 26734, 20% (5411) convicts are Muslims in the jail.

Gujarat – Out of total 3853, 19.5% (755) convicts are Muslims in the jail.

Telangana – Out of 1910, 23.5 % (450) convicts are Muslims in the jail.

Delhi – Out of 1470, 21 % (316) convicts are Muslims in the jail.

Undertrial Prisoners

Out of 6495, 52.3% (3403) undertrial prisoners are Muslims in Assam’s jail.

Out of 10195, 18.2 % (1860) undertrial prisoners are Muslims in Gujarat’s jail.

Out of 14951, 14 % (2096) undertrial prisoners are Muslims in Haryana’s jail.

Out of 17103, 19 % (3267), undertrial prisoners are Muslims in Jharkhand’s jail.

Out of 10577, 23.4% (2482) undertrial prisoners are Muslims in Karnataka’s jail.

Out of 3569, 27.5 % (984) undertrial prisoners are Muslims in Kerala’s jail.

Out of 16930, 18.6 % (3161) undertrial prisoners are Muslims in Rajasthan’s jail.

Out of 3946, 26% (1041) undertrial prisoners are Muslims in Telangana’s jail.

Out of 472, 21.8% (103) are Muslims in Tripura’s jail.

Out of 80557, 28.3 % (22849) undertrial prisoners are Muslims in Uttar Pradesh’s jail.

Out of 3906, 30.6 % (1199) undertrial prisoners are Muslims in Uttarakhand

Out of 20144, 43.5% (8774) undertrial prisoners are Muslims in West Bengal’s jail.

Out of 14506, 26.8 % (3902) undertrial prisoners are Muslims in Delhi’s jail.

Detenues

Out of 1169, 35.7 % (418) Detenues are Muslim in Gujarat’s jail.

Out of 20, 100% (20) detenues are Muslims in Haryana’s jail.

Out of 42, 38 % (16) detenues are Muslims in Karnataka’s jail.

Out of 46, 41.3 % (19) detenues are Muslims in Kerala’s jail.

Out of 79, 24 % (19) detenues are Muslims in Madhya Pradesh’s jail.

Out of 1430, 14.7 % (211) detenues are Muslims in Tamil Nadu’s jail.

Out of 258, 42.6% (110) Detenues are Muslims in Telangana’s jail.

Out of 101, 49.5 % (50)detenues are Muslims in Uttar Pradesh’s jail.

Out of 228, 96.4 % (220) Detenues are Muslims in Jammu and Kashmir’s jail.

Waquar Hasan
Waquar Hasan
Waquar Hasan is freelance journalist based in New Delhi.
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