Mapping communal violence in India (2013 - 2016)

This map is an interactive tool depicting incidents of communal violence that have taken place across India between 2013-2016, based on official statistics from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). The shading of each state represents its place on a scale, with states shaded a darker colour indicating higher incidence of communal violence for the entire period. Clicking on a state reveals information on the number of incidents of communal violence and related injuries and deaths per year, as well as details regarding the demography of the state. Also included is an icon denoting whether the state has anti-conversion or anti-cow slaughter laws in place, given the increasing role such legislation has in inciting vigilante violence along communal lines in India.
MHA figures have been used as they provide the most recent and comprehensive data set on communal violence disaggregated by state that is available. These figures were released to the lower house of India’s Parliament, the Lok Sabha, on two separate occasions: first in July 2016 and then in February 2017. Yet, due to methodology, there remain gaps in MHA data as well as discrepancies between it and official data released by the National Crime Records Bureau. Detailed information regarding the cases of communal violence, for example who was targeted or the dynamics of each incident, are also not specified.

Although the map does not offer a complete overview of all incidents of communal violence across India, many of which go unreported, it does provide perspective on recent trends and developments, with figures spanning two different national governments. To address some of these gaps and allow for more detailed analysis of how religious minorities are impacted by communal violence in India, this map has been released alongside the briefing A Narrowing Space: Violence and discrimination against India's religious minorities jointly published by the Centre for Study of Society and Secularism and Minority Rights Group International.