Terror cases: Gujarat Muslims "more likely" to trust police than most other states, claims industry-supported study

By Rajiv Shah
Gujarat may have suffered one of the most heinous communal riots in 2002, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was at the helm of affairs in the state. However, if a new survey, sponsored, by two philanthropic organizations, Tata Trusts and Lal Family Foundation, is any guide, 16 years down the line, Muslims in Gujarat are likely to trust the police more than most other Indian states.
Titled “Status of Policing in India Report 2018: A Study of Performance and Perceptions”, and carried out by the high profile Common Cause and the Lokniti-Programme for Comparative Democracy at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), the survey report, surprisingly, suggests that just 15% of Muslims respondents said police discriminates them on the basis of religion, while 59% didn’t think that way.
Even more surprising is that the all-India average of Muslims most likely to see police as discriminating on grounds of religion is 26%, much higher than Gujarat. Most other states’ average on this this score is much higher than that of Gujarat: Andhra Pradesh 26%, Assam 14%, Bihar 56%, Karnataka 32%, Kerala 4%, Madhya Pradesh 35%, Maharashtra 50%, Rajasthan 55%, Tamil Nadu 50%, Uttar Pradesh 39%, West Bengal 13% Delhi 41%, Jharkhand 25%, Uttarakhand 7%, and Telangana 26%.
The survey report, incidentally released around the time when BJP chief Amit Shah met top tycoon Ratan Tata, chairman, Tata Trusts, as part of his “outreach” programme, is based on a sample size 15,563 persons, of whom 895 respondents were from Gujarat. Details of the survey provided in the report, however, do not give any breakup of religion- or caste-wise break-up the respondents.
The report, interestingly, states only 17% of Muslims agreed that “there is false implication of Muslims in terrorism related cases by the police”, which is the lowest among all Indian states. If the study is to be believed, a whopping 47% India’s Muslims – nearly three times that of Gujarat – believe that they are being false implication of Muslims in terrorism-related cases. 
Other states’ average on this score is: Andhra Pradesh 49%, Assam 31%, Bihar 49%, Karnataka 60%, Kerala 32%, Madhya Pradesh 36%, Maharashtra 62% Rajasthan 41%, Tamil Nadu 63%, Uttar Pradesh 59%, West Bengal 32%, Delhi 65%, Jharkhand 59%, Uttarakhand 46%, and Telangana 68%.
Providing some caste and religion-wise details, the report states, scheduled tribes (ST) “distrust the police more than any other caste groups.” Thus, 32% Muslims, 27% upper caste persons, 30% other backward classes (OBCs) 29% scheduled castes (SC)¸ and 37% STs across India distrust the police.
Giving a glimpse all-India perception of who all contact the police, the report says, “Hindu Upper Castes were least likely to have been contacted by the police (13%). Scheduled Tribes and Muslims on the other hand were most likely to have been contacted by it (23% and 21% respectively).”
It adds, “In terms of class hierarchy, the likelihood of the police contacting a person is nearly twice as high amongst the poor compared to the upper class (21% as opposed to 12%). These findings reflect two possibilities: firstly, Muslims, scheduled tribes and those who are poor are less likely to contact the police on their own and secondly that they are more likely to be contacted by the police.”

Comments

Uma Sheth said…
There is always a possibility that Muslims are reluctant to be open about their perceptions out of fear of reprisals