On February 6, Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation, Amit Shah, made a speech at the Vijay Sankalp Rally in Santirbazar, Tripura. During his address, Shah made one incorrect and three partially true claims regarding crimes against women in Tripura, number of self-help groups and primary health centres, and the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi. Our factcheck:

Claim #1: There has been a 50% decline in crimes against women in Tripura.

This claim is incorrect.

The claim was also later tweeted by the Bharatiya Janata Party’s official Twitter account.

The Union Minister did not mention the specific time frame for the decrease in crimes against women in Tripura. To verify Shah’s claim, FactChecker analysed official data from the Crime in India reports published by the National Crime Records Bureau’s between 2018 and 2021 and found the claim to be incorrect.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist)’s government in Tripura, which lasted for over 20 years, ended their last five-year term in 2018. Since then, the state has been governed by the BJP, with Biplab Kumar Deb as the chief minister from 2018 to 2022 and Manik Saha as the chief minister from May 2022 onwards.

Reported crimes against women in Tripura decreased by 11%, from 907 cases in 2018 to 807 cases in 2021, not 50% as claimed by the Union home minister. Additionally, the data showed that in 2019, the number of crimes reported against women increased by 18% (1,070 cases), before declining to 874 cases in 2020, amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The latest data from the National Crime Records Bureau is for 2021.

This decrease during Covid-19 might not be an actual decrease in crime but of reporting of crimes.

“Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the crime statistics for 2020-’21 were highly unusual. The ability to report criminal cases was hindered during the pandemic due to inaccessibility, leading to a decrease in registered cases,” said Devyani Srivastava, Head, Police Reforms Programme at Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative.

Majority of cases under crimes against women in Tripura in the National Crime Records Bureau reports were registered under ‘Cruelty by Husband or his Relatives’, with a 17.1% increase between 2018 and 2021. The number of cases had increased 48.8% from 303 cases in 2018 to 451 in 2019, after one year of the BJP government. This figure declined to 355 in

According to the Annual Report 2018-’19 & 2019-’20, the Tripura Commission for Women received 558 complaints between April 2018 and March 2019, which increased by 22.5% between April 2019-March 2020 to 684. Domestic violence / matrimonial disputes were the largest category of crimes committed against women in Tripura during both time periods under the report.

Often, crimes recorded by the National Crime Records Bureau might not capture all crimes against women. Srivastava pointed out various factors that contribute to the under-reporting of crimes among women, including social barriers that prevent women from reporting crimes, lack of knowledge regarding criminal offences, and difficulties in accessing the police to report crimes.

To address these issues, the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act of 2013 was implemented, making police non-registration of specified sexual offences a punishable crime in itself. In addition, helpline numbers have increased and One Stop Centers have been established in several districts across India, providing women with greater access to reporting crimes, Srivastava added. Currently, 730 One Stop Centers are functional across the country, with eight of these located in the state of Tripura.

“The upward trend in statistics of crimes against women is a good indication as it means that more crimes are being reported, and under-reporting does not necessarily mean a decrease in crime,” Srivastava said.

Claim #2: Swa Sahay Juth or self-help groups (SHGs) have increased from 4,600 to 42,000

Partially true.

The Ministry of Rural Development launched the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission in 2011 to empower rural poor women. The mission aims to organise these women into self-help groups and provide them access to credit from banks so they can increase their income through various livelihood activities.

According to latest data, the number of Women self-help groups has increased to 45,161 under Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission. There however appears to be a discrepancy regarding the numbers with the Tripura Rural Livelihood Mission reporting 42,766 self-help groups as of 2022, 2,395 lower than the number given by the Union minister.

Additionally, in an answer to an unstarred question in the Rajya Sabha in 2022, Minister of Rural Development Faggan Singh Kulaste shared data which said that, between 2017 and 2021, a total of 28,826 new self-help groups were formed, with 1,848 in 2017, 4,064 in 2018, 4,636 in 2019, 13,394 in 2020 and 4,884 in 2021. This suggests that over 13,000 self-help groups were already present in the state when the BJP formed the Tripura government. The National Rural Livelihoods Mission website also says that there were 12,424 self-help groups already in the state even before the National Rural Livelihoods Mission.

FactChecker has reached out to Charanjit Singh, additional secretary, Ministry of Rural Development and Prasada Rao Vaddarapu, IFS, Chief Executive Officer, Tripura Rural Livelihoods Mission to understand the discrepancy between the national and state dashboards. The story will be updated once we receive a response.

Claim #3: In 50 years, 73 primary health centres were built, and the BJP increased this to 118 centres

Partially true

The annual publication of Rural Health Statistics provides the number of primary health centres based on healthcare administrative data reported by states/UTs.

But the oldest Rural Health Statistics report available publicly dates back to 2005, which shows that Tripura had 73 functional primary health centres with 152 allopathic doctors. In 2017, just before the BJP came into power, the state had 93 functional primary health centres with 156 allopathic doctors. The latest Rural Health Statistics report from 2020-’21 indicates that there are 116 functional primary health centres in Tripura, with 230 allopathic doctors serving in rural areas and nine in urban areas.

The latest report also said that there was a shortfall of 380 Auxiliary Nurse Midwives at primary health centres, while there is a surplus of doctors.

FactChecker has reached out to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, which maintains the Rural Health Statistics Report, via email, to provide reports prior to 2005 and the updated list of functional primary health centres in Tripura. The story will be updated once we receive a response.

Claim #4: Around 2.5 lakh farmers are getting Rs 6,000 every year

Partially true

The Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme is a fully government-funded programme launched in December 2018. It aims to provide financial support of Rs 6,000 per year, distributed in three equal payments, to all farmers who own land.

Since April 2022, nearly 2.5 lakh farmers have been receiving the instalments, but in earlier years the number of farmers who received the direct benefit transfer were lower, as per data from the Rajya Sabha and the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi dashboard.

Further, there is a discrepancy in the numbers from April to July 2022. While the number of registered farmers in Tripura was 2,46,996, the number of farmers to whom the money was disbursed was higher at 2,67,937.

FactChecker has reached out to Manoj Ahuja, secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare and Saradindu Das, director of agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Government of Tripura for more information of the beneficiaries under the programme. We will update the story if we receive a response.

FactChecker tried contacting Union Minister Amit Shah via phone and email for clarification and comment regarding his statements but did not receive a response by the time of publishing this article. We also tried to contact Saket Kumar, private secretary to the Home Minister, and Abhishek M Chaudhari, additional private secretary to the Home Minister, via call, but our calls were not answered. We will update the story if we receive a response.

This article first appeared on FactChecker.in, a publication of the data-driven and public-interest journalism non-profit IndiaSpend.