Crimes Against People from the Northeast in Delhi: A Swaniti Report

Crimes Against People from the Northeast in Delhi: A Swaniti Report

Swaniti Initiative | December 18, 2014 | The Swaniti Blog

In the wake of Nido Tania’s murder in Delhi in January 2014, the Bezbaruah Committee conducted a groundbreaking investigation into discrimination against people from the Northeast for the Ministry of Home Affairs. Swaniti has extended this research to examine the impact of recent Delhi police reforms intended to help people from the Northeast report crime. Swaniti conducted interviews with primary stakeholders and evaluated new data on the incidence and scope of crimes with victims from the Northeast region.

Since February 2014, the number of complaints and cases filed for incidents in which the crime victim is from the Northeast region has increased dramatically. In 2013, there were a total of 53 cases filed in which a person from the Northeast was the victim. In 2014, there have been 233 such cases filed so far, as shown by the data table below.

Criminal cases registered in Delhi where the victim was from the Northeast Region, 2011-2014

Head 2011 2012 2013 2014(to date)
Crimes against Women 11 21 33 62
Total Cases Registered 27 50 73 233

Note: Crimes against women include Rape/Attempt to Rape, Molestation of Women, Eve teasing, Anti Obscene Remarks, Anti Stalking

Source: NCRB and Delhi Police

However, no law in India outlaws crimes motivated by bias (i.e. an anti-hate crimes law), so it is unknown what percent of these cases were discriminatory in intent. However, in 2014 the police have so far registered nine cases for in which the victim was from the Northeast Region under the Scheduled Caste and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, which outlaws hate crimes against people belonging to SCs/STs. In other words, in these nine cases the fact that the victims were from the Northeast Region was incidental to the hate crime cases filed under this act.

Speaking with activists, journalists, and police confirmed a widespread agreement that crime against Northeastern people motivated by discrimination is prevalent. These stakeholders occasionally disagreed on the causes and extent of this violence, however. As described above, there is a very significant lack of data to fully understand the scope of the problem. In the interim, though, a law banning all forms of discrimination would give stakeholders the necessary tools to address the problem.