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Recent Publications

  • Small Arms of the Indian State: A Century of Procurement and Production, January 2014. India Armed Violence Assessment Issue Brief No. 4 (Also available in Hindi).

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  • A Heavy Hand: The Use of Force by India's Police, August 2012. India Armed Violence Assessment Issue Brief No. 3 (also available in Hindi).

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  • Mapping Murder: The Geography of Indian Firearm Fatalities, September 2011. India Armed Violence Assessment Issue Brief No. 2 (Also available in Hindi)

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India Armed Violence Assessment

Approximately 33,000 to 38,000 Indians die violently each year, nearly five per cent of all violent deaths worldwide. While crime appears to be declining in India, there remain very real problems with political, caste, and religious violence; with crimes against women; as well as with terrorism and insurgency.

In India military threats to the state cause no more than 5 to 10 per cent of all violent deaths in the country. In 2009, the most recent year for which reliable data is available, there were 32,369 homicide victims compared to just 2,231 deaths linked to terrorism and insurgency. Factors shaping armed violence can be traced to domestic challenges, including gender-based aggression, organized crime and drug trafficking, political intimidation, caste violence, communal tensions, regional separatist movements, and a home-grown Maoist rebellion. Some of the most extreme violence in India is concentrated in particular cities—including the national capital of New Delhi.

The India Armed Violence Assessment (IAVA) is developing a comprehensive evidence base on the contours of violence and fatalities in the country. It intends to initiate a dialogue that widens the understanding of armed violence, to bring together leading experts and social science research communities to review the many causes and consequences of insecurity, and to build networks of policy-makers and practitioners to thicken the evidence base. The project leaves no doubt that India has the capacity to reduce armed violence, and can expand its vision to encompass the full dimensions of human security and development.