Over 67 percent of the 4,78,600 prison inmates in the country are Hindu while nearly 18 per cent Muslim, according to Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) data.
The prison statistics presented by Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy last week in Parliament were based on a compilation of data by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) updated till December 31, 2019. The data showed that 3,21,155 (or 67.10 percent) prison inmates were Hindu, 85,307 (or 17.82 percent) Muslim, 18,001 (or 3.76 percent) Sikh, 13,782 (or 2.87 percent) Christian, and 3,557 (or 0.74 percent) 'others'.
A gender-wise break-up of the figures showed that among women, 13,416 prison inmates were Hindus, 3,162 Muslim, 721 Sikh, 784 Christian and 261 'Others'. Among the states and Union Territories, Uttar Pradesh had the largest number of Hindu and Muslim prison inmates at 72,512 and 27,459, respectively.
The maximum number of Sikh, Christian and 'Others' were imprisoned in jails of Punjab at 12,778, 1,640 and 915, respectively, the data showed. A category-wise break-up of data showed that there were 4,78,600 prisoners across jails in the country of which 3,15,409 (65.90 per cent) belonged to the Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Other Backward Classes (OBC) categories while 1,26,393 fell in the 'Others' group.
The maximum 1,62,800 prisoners ( 34.01 per cent) belonged to the OBC category, 99,273 (20.74 per cent) to the SC and 53,336 (11.14 per cent) to the ST. Among states and UTs, Uttar Pradesh had the overall highest number of prisoners 1,01,297 (or 21.16 per cent of the country's total prison inmates) followed by Madhya Pradesh (44,603) and Bihar (39,814).
The maximum number of prisoners from the OBC, SC, and 'Others' categories were in Uttar Pradesh jails, while ST community's in Madhya Pradesh jails, according to the data. West Bengal had not furnished prison statistics for 2018 and 2019 because of which its figures from 2017 were used in the data, while Maharashtra's category-wise break up was 'not available', the data mentioned.
Of the total prisoners, 4,58,687 (95.83 percent) were men and 19,913 (4.16 percent) women, the data showed. Of the total 19,913 imprisoned women, 6,360 (31.93 percent) belonged to OBC, while 4,467 (22.43 percent) were SC, 2,281 (11.45 percent) were ST and 5,236 (26.29 percent) in the 'Others' category, it showed. Of the total 19,913 imprisoned women, 6,360 (31.93 percent) belonged to OBC, while 4,467 (22.43 percent) were SC, 2,281 (11.45 percent) were ST and 5,236 (26.29 percent) in the 'Others' category, it showed.