Violation of Civil Rights, Atrocities and Deprivation

  • G. C. PalEmail author
Part of the India Studies in Business and Economics book series (ISBE)


The incidence of denial of basic rights to and atrocities against Scheduled Castes (SCs) on account of the low caste identity has been a common phenomenon across the country. This clearly reflects on the convoluted connection between social identities and social relations. There are certain States that have a dubious distinction of being home to the highest number of such human rights violations. Given the changed socio-political context and caste dynamics of the State of Uttar Pradesh (U.P.), over last two decades, the violation of civil rights and perpetration of caste-based atrocities against SCs have raised many questions on the role of state machinery. While it is important to promote an understanding of the linkages between sociopolitical conditions and enforcement of the laws on the issue of human rights in the state, it is also critical to explore the implications of human rights violations on the overall development of the SCs or lower caste groups. This article reflects on the patterns of violation of civil rights and atrocities against SCs in U.P. with a focus on the responses of state administration and its potential impact on socio-economic conditions of the groups. Evidence is drawn from various sources that include data of the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), fact-finding reports of civil society organizations, media reports, state-level official documents, experiential account of human rights activists in the state and case studies. Results reveal a disturbing trend of commission of certain atrocities against SCs and perpetration of atrocities in a collective and organized manner. Another critical issue is that the political role of caste identity continues to define the social relationship amongst social groups in the state, and this very often creates a ground for confrontations between caste groups. While SCs start utilizing the public space due to the increasing social and political participation, these result in hostile attitudes amongst dominant caste groups towards them. The socio-economic power of dominant caste coupled with higher economic dependence among SC on them offer a disproportionate scope for perpetrating atrocities with impunity. Violation of civil rights and atrocities directly or indirectly restrict the opportunities for social and work participation. All these increase the feeling of social insecurity amongst SCs, making it difficult to realize many of their hopes.


Civil rights Crimes Atrocities Deprivation PoA act Access to justice 



The author would like to thank the DFID and Christian-Aid UK for the support to undertake the study on ‘Mapping Caste-based Atrocities in U.P.’. Thanks are also due to Sukhadeo Thorat, R.P. Mamgain, Anand Kumar, Sirivella Prasad, Ram Kumar, Ram Dular, and Abirami, and other officials and members of different organizations in U.P. who provided support in innumerable ways towards completion of the study.


  1. Aloysius, I. S. J., Mangubhai, J. P., & Lee, J. G. (2006). Dalit Women speak out: Violence against Dalit Women in India (Vols. I & II). Chennai and New Delhi: IDEAS, NCDHR and NFDW.Google Scholar
  2. Bhatnagar, R. R. (1990). Crimes in India: Problems and Policy. New Delhi: Ashish Publishing.Google Scholar
  3. Drez, J., & Khera, R. (2000). Crime, gender, and society in India: Insights from homicide data. Population and Development Review, 26(2), 335–352.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Hindustan Times. (2011, June 26). Forty five per cent of rape cases in U.P. in 2010 were of SCs. Hindustan Times. Indore.Google Scholar
  5. Human Rights Watch (HRW). (1999). Broken people: Caste violence against untouchables. New York: HRW.Google Scholar
  6. Kumar, V. (2008). Changing trajectory of Dalit assertion in U.P. In N. Ram (Ed.) SCs in contemporary India: Discrimination and discontent (Vol. 1). New Delhi: Siddhant Publications.Google Scholar
  7. Mahmudabad, A. K. (2012, March 5). UP’s caste of characters. The Times of India. New Delhi.Google Scholar
  8. National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB). (2002–2015). Crimes in India. National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, New Delhi.Google Scholar
  9. Oldenburg, P. (1992). Sex ratio, son preferences and violence in India: A research note. Economic & Political Weekly, 2657–2662.Google Scholar
  10. Pal, G. C. (2015). Social exclusion and mental health: The unexplored aftermath of caste-based discrimination and violence. Psychology & Developing Societies, 27(2), 189–213.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Parashar, A. (2011, May 4). One more party for SCs in U.P. Current Affairs, New Delhi. Retrieved from
  12. Prasad, C. B., Shyam Babu, D., Kapur, D., & Pritchett, L. (2010). Rethinking inequality: SCs in U.P. in the. Economic and Political Weekly, XLV(35), 39–49.Google Scholar
  13. Rawat, R. S. (2011). Reconsidering untouchability: Chamars and Dalit history in North India. USA: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Sharma, S. (2015). Caste-based crimes and economic status: Evidence from India. Journal of Comparative Economics, 43, 204–226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Srivastava, T. (2012, February 1). Caste-ing the Vote in U.P. SIFY. New Delhi.Google Scholar
  16. The Protection of Civil Rights (PCR) Act. (1976). Act No. BC.12013/2/76-SCT-V, 15 September 1977. Ministry of Social Welfare and Empowerment. New Delhi: Government of India.Google Scholar
  17. The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. (1989). Act No. 33, 11 September 1989. Ministry of Social Welfare and Empowerment. New Delhi: Government of India.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Indian Institute of Dalit StudiesNew DelhiIndia

Personalised recommendations