Minorities in Jails – UPSC GS1

National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) reports show that in almost all the states of the Indian Union, irrespective of the party holding office, religious minorities are over-represented in jail.
  • Muslims are over-represented among jail inmates in almost all the Hindu-majority states. For example, In Assam, Muslims, according to the 2011 census, are 34% of the population and they represent 43 to 47.5% of the “undertrials”. In Gujarat, Muslims are 10% of the population and since 2017, they have been about 25-27% of the “undertrials.
  • The only major state where Muslims have been under-represented among the “undertrials” is Bihar, where Muslims are 17% and they represent 15% of the undertrials.
  • Similarly, Hindus are overrepresented in states where they are in the minority. eg In J&K Hindus are 28.5% of the population and represent 34-39.5% of undertrials and 42.5-50.5% are convicts.
Why the situation is alarming?
In almost every state, the minorities are over-represented in jail and the majorities are under-represented, irrespective of the ideology of the ruling party. This is a clear indication of the communalisation of the police that tends to prevail.
This problem can be solved by the recruitment and promotion of policemen from minority communities.
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