On February 6, Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation, Amit Shah, spoke at the Vijay Sankalp Rally in Khowai, Tripura. During his address, Shah made a series of claims regarding decline in violent crimes and the performance of the Union government schemes in the north-eastern state.
FactChecker’s analysis of official data shows that two of these claims were correct, two were partially correct and one needed additional context. Our fact-check:
Claim #1: Murder, rape, kidnapping, atrocities on tribals, and many such serious crimes have been reduced by 30% in five years of the BJP government
The claim was also later tweeted by the Bharatiya Janata Party’s official Twitter account.
The Communist Party of India (Marxist) governed the state of Tripura for over two decades until their last term ended in 2018. The Bharatiya Janata Party has been in power since, with Biplab Kumar Deb serving as the chief minister until 2022, followed by Manik Saha, who has held the position since.
FactChecker analysed official data from the National Crime Records Bureau’s “Crime in India” reports between 2018 and 2021 in order to verify Shah’s statement.
The Union Home Minister is unclear in his statement regarding whether the term ‘serious crimes’ encompasses violent crimes as described in the National Crime Records Bureau’s. FactChecker has reached out to Shah via email for comment and clarification about this. We will update the story when we receive a response.
The National Crime Records Bureau’s categorises several crimes including murder, rape and kidnapping as ‘violent crimes’. Such crimes in Tripura decreased by 33.3% from 2,456 cases in 2018 to 1,637 cases in 2021.
“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,” Devyani Srivastava, head, Police Reforms Programme at Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, told FactChecker in February.
Cases of murder decreased by 11%, from 137 cases in 2018 to 122 cases in 2021. Similarly, reported cases of rape declined by 37.1%, from 97 in 2018 to 61 in 2021. The number of reported kidnappings also fell 18%, from 166 cases in 2018 to 136 cases in 2021.
Claim #2: Under the Communist government, 24,000 households received ‘Nal se Jal’ and this number increased to 4.2 lakh households under the BJP government
The Union government launched the Jal Jeevan Mission in August 2019 with the goal of providing a functional household tap connection to every rural household i.e., Har Ghar Nal Se Jal by 2024.
As of August 2019, at the start of the mission, 24,502 households in Tripura had tap water connections. During the remaining seven months of the financial year 2019-’20, 45,756 rural households (6.1% of total households) were provided with tap water connections. Despite the outbreak of Covid-19, the number of households with tap water connections increased to 1.4 lakh (19.1%) in 2020-’21. The following year, 2021-’22, saw a further increase of 1.6 lakh households (22.2%) during the second wave of the pandemic. Currently, as of February 15, 58.8% of rural households, or 4.3 lakh households, have access to tap water in Tripura.
Claim #3: The BJP government has provided the benefits of Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat Yojana, under which a family gets health cover of Rs 5 lakh free of cost, to 13 lakh people of Tripura
Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, launched in September 2018, provides health coverage of Rs 5 lakh per beneficiary family per annum for secondary and tertiary healthcare hospitalisations to approximately 10.7 crore poor and vulnerable families identified on the basis of select deprivation and occupational criteria in rural and urban areas respectively as per the Socio Economic and Caste Census database of 2011.
The Union minister’s statement is unclear as to whether he is referring to the number of Ayushman cards issued under the programme or the number of beneficiaries of the programme.
FactChecker tried contacting Union Minister Amit Shah via phone and email for clarification and comment regarding his statement 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 when we receive a response.
According to a Lok Sabha reply on February 10, 13 lakh Ayushman cards have been issued under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana programme in Tripura. Total number of authorised hospital admissions, as on January 29 stands at 1.9 lakh.
Claim #4 : Scholarship of Rs 10 crore has been given to more than 1 lakh scheduled caste students
The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment is implementing a Centrally Sponsored Scheme of providing Pre-Matric (Class 9 and 10) and Post-Matric (Above Class 10) scholarships to scheduled caste students in all the states. As per written replies to questions in the Rajya Sabha in December 2019 and March 2022, the amount disbursed for Tripura was more than 10 crore annually, for both Pre-Matric and Post-Matric Scholarships for scheduled caste students. Between 2017 and 2020, the total Central Assistance given for the scholarships went up from Rs 20.5 crore in 2017 to Rs 30.3 crore in 2020.
Between 2014-’15 and 2020-’21, Rs 160.5 crore of Central Assistance was provided for scheduled caste scholarships.
Between 2018-’19 and 2020-’21, Central Assistance provided to Tripura for provision of scholarships to scheduled caste students was Rs 119.5 crore, with 76,626 students benefiting from it.
by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment from 2018, 2019 and 2021 to questions in the Parliament showed that the number of Post-Matric Scholarship beneficiaries increased while that those availing the Pre-Matric Scholarship declined by 87.5% from 36,583 in 2014-’15 to 4,592 in 2020-’21.
Approximately 2,13,333 beneficiaries obtained the scheduled caste scholarships between 2014-’15 and 2020-’21, as per data from the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
FactChecker has reached out to Anjali Bhawra, secretary, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Surendra Singh, additional secretary, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Kalyani Chadha, joint secretary (Scheduled Castes Division-B), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and Pravin Kumar Thind, director, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment seeking information about the updated numbers of the students who have been provided the scholarships, and for information on Central Assistance provided in 2021-’22 and 2022-’23. We will update the story when we receive a response.
Claim #5: 20 cities (towns) in Tripura have become Open Defecation Free
The Swachch Bharat Mission aims to make both cities and rural areas Open Defecation Free. Under this, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs monitors cities and Urban Local Bodies cleanliness and carries out ‘Swachch Sarvekshan’ surveys every year.
As per the Swachch Sarvekshan 2022 Dashboard, 13 Urban Local Bodies have been declared as Open Defecation Free and 6 other Urban Local Bodies have been declared as Open Defecation Free ‘+’, bringing the total figure of Urban Local Bodies declared Open Defecation Free to 19.
As per Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs’s guidelines, an area is declared Open Defecation Free if, at any point in the day, no one is found defecating in the open. An area is declared Open Defecation Free + if, at any point of the day, not a single person is found defecating and/or urinating in the open in addition to all community and public toilets being functional and well maintained.
This article first appeared on FactChecker.in, a publication of the data-driven and public-interest journalism non-profit IndiaSpend.