How do you spot a hate attack in India?
It can take hours and even days to identify the attackers, but the police are ready to tackle any cases.
The hate crime act was passed in 2013, but there are no uniform national guidelines on how to detect such attacks.
But a recent report by the All India Human Rights Commission (AHRRC) highlighted a pattern of police inaction that is increasing the likelihood of hate crimes.
It said that only 11 percent of hate crime cases were registered by police.
“The police have been doing nothing in the face of this problem,” said Ashish Pandey, an advocate with the Human Rights Law Center (HRLC), a New Delhi-based civil rights group.
Pandey has been pushing the government for an act of national legislation since 2015.
“We need to move beyond the concept of ‘hating crimes’ to a national law that covers all crimes and the perpetrators of them,” he said.
The report, released on December 1, said that there were no national guidelines or guidelines for police to follow in identifying and investigating hate crimes and crimes against persons because they are not integrated into a national system.
“There is no uniform approach,” said Ravi Srivastava, director of the India Human Research Institute (IHRI).
The HRRC report said that police were doing little to tackle the problem.
“Police, especially the public security forces (PSF), have been accused of not taking hate crimes seriously.
A 2015 survey conducted by the National Commission for Protection of All India Citizens (NCPC) found that nearly 30 percent of the police force in India have received no training on hate crime,” said the report.
In April this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that all police forces would be equipped with anti-hate crime equipment.
But it is not clear whether the police have implemented this in practice.
The Indian police force has been criticised by human rights activists for failing to take hate crimes very seriously and failing to adequately investigate them.
“Many police forces have a culture of ‘hate crimes’ and not taking them seriously,” said Pandey.
In 2017, the HRRC issued a report calling for an “anti-hate crimes act” that would make it mandatory for police departments to file hate crime reports in advance.
In addition to the hate crime laws, there are many other laws that address hate crimes, including the Prevention of Organised Crime Act (POOCA), the Prevention and Suppression of Hate Crime Act and the Protection of Minorities Act.
“Hate crimes are not just a problem in India,” said Srivakumar, a member of the HRLC’s executive committee.
“In a country of 1.25 billion people, if there are 500 people in your house, you should know about hate crimes.”
According to the HRC report, “Hates are committed against Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims and Christians by groups ranging from radical groups to lone wolves, but it is the Muslims who suffer the most.”
The HRCC also called for a national hate crimes awareness campaign, and the establishment of a national police force to identify and prosecute hate crime perpetrators.
It called for police stations to be equipped to record such cases, and for the police to carry out training to identify potential hate crime suspects.
“It is time that police departments and departments of all levels were equipped with the necessary equipment to investigate and prosecute cases of hate violence and hate crime against minorities,” said Raju Agarwal, the chairman of the National Advisory Council on Hate Crimes (NCCHC).
“These are the types of steps that the government should take to combat hate crimes in India.”