Arrest of tribals under UAPA on the rise, reveals reply of Ministry of Tribal Affairs

By Express News Service
NEW DELHI: The number of tribal persons put under trial under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) has increased between 2017 and 2019, according to a resposnse by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs in Parliament on Thursday.

While the National Crime Records Bureau does not maintain such data, additional information was obtained from the agency, the ministry said in response to a question on the number of tribal undertrials. It did not respond to a query on what was being done to ensure speedy trial of suh prisoners. 

The number of such prisoners in 2017 was 4,098. It increased to 4,862 in 2018. Next year, this number was 5,645, according to data shared by the Centre. Such prisoners were the highest in UP in 2019 at 1,519, almost doubling from 784 in 2017. The number of undertrial tribal prisoners in Assam remained consistently high — 1,337 in 2017, 1,397 in 2018 and 1,374 in 2019. The other state recording a significant rise tribal undertrial prisoners is Tamil Nadu — 8 in 2017 to 141 in 2019.

The overall number of cases also saw a rise with 901 reported in 2017, 1,182 in 2018, and 1,226 in 2019. Number of persons arrested saw a marginal dip. While 1,554 persons were arrested in 2017, the subsequent year saw 1,182 arrests. In 2019, 1,226 persons are arrested.