Amnesty India launches website to track hate crimes

New Delhi: A global human rights body today launched an interactive website to track alleged hate crimes in India against “marginalised people” such as the Dalits, members of religious minority groups and transgenders.

“‘Halt the Hate’ website documents alleged hate crimes against Dalits, Adivasis, members of racial or religious minority groups, transgender persons, and other marginalised people which are reported in mainstream English and Hindi media,” a member of Amnesty International India said.

The starting reference point for tracking crimes is September 2015, when Mohammad Akhlaq was killed in Dadri, Uttar Pradesh, for allegedly storing and consuming beef, it said.

“It documents 141 incidents of alleged hate crimes against Dalits and 44 against Muslims in 2017, including 69 incidents of killings where at least 146 people were killed,” Amnesty India claimed in a statement.

The global NGO, based in Bengaluru in India, also claimed, “35 incidents were found where women from these groups or transgender persons faced sexual violence”.

Cow-related violence and so-called ‘honour killings’ were among the common instances of alleged hate crimes, the human rights body said.

“In 2016, 237 alleged hate crimes were recorded. Most incidents were recorded in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Gujarat,” Amnesty India alleged.

“The first step to ensuring justice and ending impunity for hate crimes — where people are targeted because of their membership of a particular group — is to highlight their occurrence,” said Aakar Patel, Executive Director, Amnesty International India.

The website aims to draw the attention to some of these crimes by tracking and documenting them, he said.

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