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Atrocities against the tribal community 



By Ashita Goel 

There has been a recent atrocity against a tribal women in a village of Madhya Pradesh. And this tragedy has highlighted the vulnerability of the tribal people of Madhya Pradesh, who make up 22% of the state’s population. Madhya Pradesh has the highest tribal population in India and it has been registering most cases of atrocities against the tribal population for the past couple of years. Crimes against scheduled tribe (ST) communities increased by 9.3% to a total of 8,272 cases in the year 2021. According to the National Crime Records Bureau, Madhya Pradesh has seen a steady rise in the number of Scheduled Tribe atrocity cases. Up from 1,922 in 2019 and 1,868 the year before, 2,401 instances were reported in 2020.

In June 2021, the police in Dewas district of MP had discovered dead bodies in a 10-ft-deep trench. In May 2022, two tribal men were beaten to death.  

These incidents are not standalones. There are innumerable atrocities committed against tribal people and Dalits. But unfortunately, there are many that go unreported. And those that are reported to the police, rarely see an end. According to the latest data by National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), around 37,751 Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe  atrocity cases are now pending in courts, with 10,302 cases relating to Scheduled Tribe having a 36% conviction rate.

The above-mentioned statistics project that the tribal community is suffering and hence, it is crucial that anti-tribal crimes be considered on priority as well. There are many regulations in place to deal with the violence against India’s underprivileged  tribes. The Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act of 1989 and the Protection of Civil Rights Act of 1955 are two specific statutes. Additionally, the Indian Penal Code, which oversees the majority of crime in India, contains sufficient legal provisions— if they are followed, a lot of crime can be controlled.