NEW DELHI : Students and police clashed 1,557 times between 2016 and 2018, figures released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) showed, amid a groundswell of such skirmishes in recent months.

Most recently, students of Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) have locked horns with the Centre over violence on the campus on Sunday, alleging police failed to act when armed masked men attacked the varsity’s students over three hours.

The NCRB’s statistics for 2018, released on Thursday, show that while cases of ‘riots’ have come down over from 61,974 cases in 2016 to 58,880 in 2017 and 57,828 in 2018, those of sectarian violence have risen from 434 cases in 2016, 184 in 2017 and 209 in 2018.

Student violence rose from 488 cases in 2016 to 562 cases in 2017, but dropped marginally to 507 cases in 2018.

Cases of communal riots dipped marginally from 869 in 2016 to 723 in 2017 to 512 in 2018. Bihar topped the list of most riotous states for the third year in a row, recording 12,627 cases in 2018 as against 11,689 cases in 2017 and 13,677 in 2016. While sectarian violence is a part of communal violence, it largely involves two groups or sects pertaining to a certain ideology or religion.

However, the NCRB does not track specific cases of vigilantism and mob lynching. The 2016 data skipped recording cases of vigilantism entirely, while the 2017 and 2018 figures mention just two and four cases of rioting by vigilantes, respectively.

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