New Delhi, Mar 7 An online repository of religious identity-based hate crimes reported in the country was today launched here that seeks to bring "greater accountability" on part of various justice delivery institutions for victims.
Christened, Documentation of the Oppressed (DOTO), the website, currently has data pertaining to 489 incidents and 2,670 victims, Vipul Kumar, one of the members of the team that executed the project, said.
The baseline for collection of data is 2014, incidentally, the year the NDA government came to power.
"The national database currently draws from secondary data, like news reports (in English language), reports of fact-finding panels and various civil societies. But, we want to go for primary data collection as well.
"The data we currently have is neither comprehensive nor truly representative, but it does represent a collation of the most easily accessible information in one place. Also, we seek to bring greater accountability on part of various justice delivery institutions like the National Commission for Minorities, for victims," he said.
The website has been set up by city-based NGO, Quill Foundation, with support from the Jamaat-e-Islami-Hind, Jamiat Ulema Hind, APCR, NCHRO, Citizens Against Hate, United Against Hate, Citizens for Justice and Peace, Jamiat Ahle Hadees, among other organisations, the foundation said.
Among the categories listed in the database are -- physical assault, identity of victims, political orientation of the perpetrator, reason or context behind the violence, it said.
The chairman of the Delhi Minorities Commission, Zafarul-Islam Khan, who was present at the launch, alleged that there was "rise in incidents of violence against the minorities by various right-wing outfits, and how they were being emboldened by lack of action against them".
Incidentally, Amnesty International (India) is also working on a similar database ('Halt the Hate' tracker) which also seeks to "document the motive" behind the alleged hate crimes.
"The database, that we are launching on March 15, records cases of caste violence, lynchings, hate crimes against Dalits, adivasis, transgenders and other minorities, including migrant population," Likhita Banerjee, a researcher from Amnesty India said.
"The cut-off date is September 28, 2015, when Akhlaq was lynched in Dadri, and we will go till 2019. The database would be an interactive website, that would also allow users to submit their own cases, which we would then verify before making it live," she said.
Noted activist Teesta Setalvad, spoke about her project -- Peacemap. The initiative is a seven-stage conflict management platform that aims to warn, predict and prevent violence across India.
"It is a work in progress, and as a pilot, we are launching it in English and Hindustani, but we seek to add seven more Indian languages later," she said.