The Ministry of Home Affairs on Wednesday issued a clarification over the exclusion of mob lynching deaths in the crime data 2017 released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) on Monday night. According to a report in PTI, an official stated that murders due to lynching and other heads were not included as the data based on these parameters that were accessed was ‘vague or unreliable'.
The official also stated that other parameters that were left out of NCRB 2017 data were incidents of crime against RTI activists, journalists and social activists, besides others.
An Indian Express report had on Tuesday stated that though the NCRB collected data on deaths due to lynching, killings ordered by khap panchayats and murders by influential people but the same was not included in the final report that was released. However, under 'motives of murder', a column ‘communal/religious’ has been added.
In the year 2017, there were around seven incidents of mob lynchings reported by the media in India, including the lynching of Pehlu Khan, which was caught on camera as well. In one incident, in May 2017, seven men were killed in Jharkhand following rumours on WhatsApp of the presence of child kidnapping gangs in the area.
Meanwhile, regarding the data on attacks on RTI activists and journalists, Sudhir Pratap Singh, IPS, the Director-General of the Bureau of Police Research and Development under the MHA, had made a note at the beginning of the NCRB 2016 ‘Crime In India’ report that information on such attacks was being collected.
“I am happy to know that NCRB has once again started consultation process with all stakeholders to improve the quality and content of the report. The NCRB has already developed 14 additional proforma in 2017 for collection of information on attacks against media personnel/RTI activists/whistleblowers/ persons from North East, preventive arrests, notices u/s 41 CrPC, unclaimed seizures (4I/102 CrPC), etc,” Sudhir Pratap Singh had noted in the report.
However, the data never made it to the final NCRB report. The 2017 report itself was released on Monday, after over a year’s delay.