Protests against Kathua and Unnao rape
People participate in a candlelight vigil as they protest against the rape of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua near Jammu, and a teenager in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh state, in Bengaluru, India, April 13, 2018Reuters

A fake message circulating across social media platforms claimed that Muslim men were responsible for an overwhelming number of rapes and that most of the victims were non-Muslim women. This message states that these figures are from the year 2016.

(NCRB report: India is most dangerous for women reason: In India, 95% of the rape cases have a Muslim perpetrator. Of the total 84734 rape cases, 81000 rapes had a Muslim rapist and 96% of the victims are non-Muslims and with an increase in their population, number of rapes will also increase -translation).

hindi translation
Hindi translation of the reportAlt News

Among those who shared it is Mahesh Vikram Hegde, founder of fake news website PostCard News on July 3, albeit without reference to the NCRB report. At the time of writing, Hegde's tweet has been retweeted more than 1200 times. Hegde is also followed by PM Modi on Twitter.

The provocative claim has also been shared on Twitter and Facebook.

alt news
The provocative messagesAlt News

It is evident from this message that a fear psychosis is sought to be created among members of the majority community by portraying Muslims as sexual predators.

Does NCRB record rape crimes on the basis of religion?

National Crime Record Bureau(NCRB) is the nodal agency for the compilation of statistics on crime in India. The last report by the NCRB on 'Crime in India' which catalogs incidents of crime committed in 2016. According to the methodology section adapted in 2016, it is the 'population' segment that defines the demography on the basis of which crimes are recorded in the document. There is no reference to religion as a category for recording crime.

alt news
NCRB recordAlt News

We have posted below relevant screenshots from the 'Crime in India' 2016 report. The data shown below is a tabulation of the incidents of rape across different states in 2016. As can be seen, there are two broad categories under which crimes of rape are tabulated- Age group of the victims, and offenders' relation to the victims.

  1. Rape victims are categorized into age groups. There is no mention of women of a particular religion as victims.
Rape statistics
Statistics.Alt News

2. Offenders' relation to the victim is tabulated, with the two broad categories of offenders known to the victims and not known to the victims.

alt news statistics
Crime in India reportAlt News

As can be seen from the data in the 'Crime In India' report, there is no column for religion and the data is limited to age and offenders' relationship with the victim.

NCRB: Wrong data and complete misrepresentation of facts

In an official statement given to Alt News regarding the claim, NCRB has clarified, "It is totally wrong data & complete misrepresentation of facts as NCRB does not collect data on the religion of accused & victims. It is malicious propaganda, which needs to be countered by the law-abiding citizens. Concerned officials have been advised to initiate legal action.".

Incitement to communal hatred is a recurring theme in the social media ecosystem wherein ingenious ways are devised each day to further suspicion, prejudice, and hate. Such messages exploit the gullibility of social media users who may not be aware of the methodology and function of an institution like the NCRB.

(The article was written by Jignesh Patel for Alt News. Reproduced under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License)