Tamil Nadu has been identified as the state where most Dalits and Scheduled Tribes are subjected to various kinds of violence. Data revealed by the Ministry of Home Affairs on July 19, Tuesday said that an overwhelming 345 villages in 37 out of Tamil Nadu’s 38 districts have been identified as ‘atrocity prone’ for crimes against the oppressed Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities. Among its seven commissionerates, 27 villages were identified as ‘atrocity prone’ in 2020, the Ministry said. The data was released in response to a question by Telangana Congress MP Komati Venkatreddy and Telangana Rashtra Samithi MP Manne Srinivas Reddy in the Lok Sabha.
An RTI reply had earlier revealed that between 2016- 2020, a total of 300 murders in incidents of various caste-related violence across Tamil Nadu were registered under the provisions of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2015. The victims in most of these incidents were members from the Dalit community. The RTI was filed by Madurai-based non-governmental organisation (NGO) Evidence.
According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, the state governments of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and the Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands have identified the atrocity prone areas. Section 21(2) of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) (POA) Act, 1989 and Rule 3(1)(i) of the POA Rules, 1995 specifies the delineation of ‘Identified Areas’ (commonly known as ‘Atrocity Prone Areas’) where members of SC/ST are vulnerable to being subjected to atrocities and prescribes adoption of necessary measures to ensure their safety.
Among the southern states, after Tamil Nadu, Telangana has the highest number of villages (66) in south India where Dalits and STs are vulnerable and subjected to atrocities. Of these, Nizamabad Commissionerate in the state has as many as 18 villages followed by Bhadradri Kothagudem 17, Ramagundam Commissionerate 9, Nalgonda 6, Rachakonda Commissionerate and Mahabubnagar 5 each, Adilabad 4, Narayanpet and Jagtial 1 each.
Similarly, Andhra Pradesh has 53 villages classified as ‘atrocity prone’. Among them, East Godavari district (including Rajahmundry urban district) has the highest number with 47 villages; Kadapa district has 5 villages and Srikakulam has 1 village.
Three districts in Karnataka – Bengaluru Urban, Kalaburgi and Yadgir – have also been identified as atrocity prone.
In Bengaluru Urban, Basavalingappa Nagar Sampigehalli, Bagalur, Bandikodigetialli and Kothanuru Malleswaram have been identified as ‘atrocity prone’. Two villages in Kalaburgi and four villages in Yadgir have been identified.
Across the country, followed by Tamil Nadu, Bihar has 34 districts (Patna, Nalanda, Rohtas, Bhabhua, Bhojpur, Buxer, Gaya, Jehanabad, Nawada, Aurangabad, Saran, Siwan, Gopalganj, Muzaffarpur, Sitamarhi, West Champaran (Betia), West Champaran (Bagaha) East Champaran (Motihari), Vaishali, Darbhanga, Madhubani, Samastipur, Saharsa, Madhepura, Purnia, Bhagalpur, Banka, Munger, Sheikhpura, Begusarai, Khagaria, Katihar, Jamui and Araria) identified as atrocity prone. The details of the villages in each district have not been specified.
Odisha has identified 19 districts (Angul, Bolangir, Balasore, Bhadrak, Boudh, Cuttack, Deogarh, Dhenkanal, Jagatsinghpur, Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Kendrapara, Keonjhar, Nuapada, Puri, Rourkela, Rayagada, Subarnapur, Bhubaneswar Urban Police district), Rajasthan has 11 districts (Bharatpur, Shri Ganganagar, Tonk, Alwar, Ajmerl, Pali, Barmer, Hanumangarh, Sikar, Baran and Nagaur), Madhya Pradesh 11 districts (Indore, Vidisha, Morena, Bhind, Gwalior, Shivpuri, Ashoknagar, Narsinghpur, Hoshangabad, Harda and Betul) and Gujarat too has 11 districts (Mehsana, Ahmedabad Rural, Junagadh, Kutch, Banaskantha, Kheda, Amreli, Rajkot Rural, Surendranagar, Vadodara Rural and Bharuch). Jharkhand has 10 districts (Giridih, Saraikela, Chatra, Khunti, Garhwa, Dumka, Chaibasa,Palamu, Lohardaga and Ranchi). Chhattisgarh has two districts in which 101 villages are atrocity prone. In Jalgaon district of Maharashtra, two areas are listed as atrocity prone.