2018: Fewer But Deadlier Cow-Related Hate Crimes In India Than Previous Year




Bulandshahr: Vehicles were damaged after violence erupted in Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr where a police Inspector was attacked and shot dead by a Hindu mob protesting against alleged cow slaughter while a young man was gunned down in unexplained circumstances on December 3, 2018.


Mumbai: India recorded 28 cow-related hate crimes in 2018, 15 fewer than 43 in 2017, the most violent year since 2010, according to a FactChecker.in database that records such violence.


Cow-related hate crime dropped by a third over 2017, and yet the likelihood of getting killed in such violence increased, rising 13 percentage points. Although 58% of those killed in 2018 were Muslim, the proportion of Hindus among those killed rose to 25% from none in 2017, and Adivasis were 8% of victims, the same as the previous year, according to our database.


In 2017, 30% of such hate crimes lead to deaths (13 deaths in 43 incidents). This has now risen to 43% (12 deaths in 28 incidents).


Since 2010–the startpoint of our database–India has recorded 120 cow-related hate crimes nationwide, in which 45 persons have been killed and at least 245 injured.


Over 98% (117 of 120) of cow-related hate crimes recorded over nine years after 2010 took place after 2014, when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge at the Centre, as we reported in December 2017.


Source: Hate Crime: Cow-related violence in India


Muslims still prime targets; Hindu, Adivasi death toll rising


Of 120 cow-related crimes reported since 2010, Muslims, 14% of the population, accounted for 50% of the victims. Hindus, 80% of the population, accounted for 9% of victims. Dalits and Adivasis, making up 16% and 9% of the population, respectively, formed 10% and 3% of victims. For 80 victims (28%), the ethnicity was not reported.


Of 45 people killed in these attacks since 2010, Muslims accounted for 78% (35), Hindus, 16% (7) and Adivasis made up 4% (2). In one fatal attack, the ethnicity of the victim was not reported.


In 2018 alone, of 12 persons killed in cow-related hate violence, Muslims accounted for 58% (seven) of those murdered. Hindus accounted for 25% of deaths (three), the highest count since 2010.


Adivasis, as we said, formed 8% of the murdered victims this year–the same as in 2017.


In 2017, Muslims made up 92% or 12 of 13 victims murdered in cow-related hate violence. This was 78% in 2016 and 82% in 2015, an analysis of the database showed.


Deaths From Cow-Related Hate Violence, By Ethnicity
Year Ethnicity
Adivasi Hindu Muslim Unknown Total
2015 2 9 11
2016 2 7 9
2017 1 12 13
2018 1 3 7 1 12
Grand Total 2 7 35 1 45

Note: No deaths were recorded between 2010 and 2014
Source: Hate Crime: Cow-related violence in India


In 2018, Uttar Pradesh recorded most cow-related hate crimes, most deaths


In 2018, most cow-related hate crimes including deaths were recorded in Uttar Pradesh (UP), a state-wise analysis of our database showed. Administered by the BJP, UP recorded eight cases of such violence.


Karnataka, under a Congress-Janata Dal Secular government, and Jharkhand and Gujarat, run by BJP governments, were next with three incidents each.


Cow Hatecrime Map


With four cow-related crimes leading to five murders, UP also emerged as the deadliest state this year. Jharkhand followed with two killed over such violence. Assam, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan recorded one death each.


Over nine years to 2018, UP and Haryana, with 19 and 14 cases, respectively, reported most cow-related attacks. Karnataka, Jharkhand and Gujarat, followed with 11 cases each.


In terms of fatalities over nine years, UP reported most with 11 deaths, followed by Haryana, Jharkhand and West Bengal with six deaths each. Rajasthan, with four deaths, recorded the third-highest toll.


In 2018, 79% of cow-related hate violence in states run by the BJP


In 2018, 79% (22 of 28 cases) of cow-related hate violence was reported in states by run the BJP.


In UP, most (14 of 19) cow-related hate crimes took place after March 2017, when the BJP and chief minister Yogi Adityanath came to power in the state, as FactChecker.in reported on December 4, 2018. Before March 2017, UP recorded five incidents of bovine-related hate violence over two years.


Between 2010 and 2018, 59% of cow-related attacks (71 of 120 cases) were in states under BJP governments.


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