In Gujarat, the police do not seem to be looking back in prosecuting tribals. They have lodged 951 FIRs against tribals in the state. Charge sheets have been filed against 2,399 people and only 12 have been convicted, so far.
Numerous complaints have also been registered in police stations on issues like murder and rioting and yet, in the last three years, only 12 cases have been convicted. After Rajasthan, in North and Central India, Gujarat has the highest number of charge sheets against STs.
As the world celebrated Tribal Day on August 9, the Minister for Tribal Affairs Arjun Munda, presented a report in the Lok Sabha, which revealed police’s negligence. He also mentioned that it was the responsibility of the states to maintain law and order, protect the lives and property of citizens and investigate crimes and atrocities against SCs and STs.
According to the NCRB report, Gujarat has the highest number of cases against ST accused in North-Central India after Rajasthan. In Uttar Pradesh, the percentage of tribals is barely half a per cent, yet there are many complaints against tribals and the conviction rate is negligible.
In Uttar Pradesh, 954 police complaints have been lodged in three years, out of which only four cases have been proved.
The government statistics reveal that there are 15,089 prisoners in Gujarat jails out of which 2,356 prisoners belong to Scheduled Tribes. As of 2019, there were 10,582 Hindu prisoners, 4,117 Muslim prisoners, 214 Sikh and 129 Christian prisoners in Gujarat.
Even the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, especially set up to handle complaints related to harassment of tribals, have shown a lackadaisical approach in resolving issues. In the last three years, the commission has received 61 complaints of which only five of them have been resolved.