A total of 4,794 people were arrested between 2018 and 2020 on charges of hurting religious sentiments and promoting enmity between groups on grounds of religion, race and place of birth, Ministry of Home Affairs informed the Lok Sabha on Tuesday. Of these arrests, 1,716 people were held in 2018; 1,315 in 2019 and 1,763 in 2020, according to details shared by Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai in a written reply to a query by Trinamool Congress MP Mimi Chakraborty.
Among 28 states and eight Union Territories, Uttar Pradesh is on the top with 628 arrests in these three years followed by 613 in Tamil Nadu, 552 in Kerala, 387 in Andhra Pradesh. The number of arrests in such cases was much lesser in north-eastern states. However, Assam reported 351 arrests while 23 people were held from Manipur. Other states like Telangana, Gujarat and Rajasthan also reported a large number of cases.
Goa was one of the states where only two arrests on the ground of promoting enemity between groups were registered between 2018 and 2020. A total of 34 arrests were made in Jammu and Kashmir in these three years while 31 such arrests were made from Delhi. “Not a single arrest was made from Ladakh, Puducherry, Lakshadweep and Chandigarh Union Territories,” according to the data compiled by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) and shared by the Minister.
In terms of filing cases, Rai said, National Investigation Agency (NIA) lodged 17 cases between 2017 and July 29, 2022, on charges of hurting religious sentiments and promoting enmity. Of these 17 cases, the NIA registered one case in 2017, four in 2018, two in 2019, three each in 2020 and 2021, and four this year till July 29.