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600 arrested for gay sex in India last year

600 arrested for gay sex in India last year

Nearly 600 LGBTI people have been arrested in India since the Supreme Court recriminalized gay sex in December 2013, according to Home Ministry statistics.

As of October, there were 778 registered cases and 587 arrests under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which punishes same-sex relations with up to life imprisonment.

However, the numbers are thought to be much higher as some states gave incomplete data, while others, including Karnataka and West Bengal, did not submit at all.

Delhi topped the list with 140 cases and 110 arrests but only submitted figures until September. Uttar Pradesh came second with 127 cases and 36 arrests, according to data for the first six months of the year.

Haryana and Maharashtra also had a high number of cases with 99 and 98 respectively, the former arresting 89.

Kerala had 69 cases and 64 arrests and Madhya Pradesh had 64 cases and 48 arrests.

The National Crime Records Bureau started collecting data related to Section 377 from January last year.

The number of people arrested for gay sex are much higher than previously thought. The Supreme Court said in its judgement that only around 200 persons had been prosecuted under the Section 377 since 1857, and therefore the law was not being misused.

LGBTI activists have filed a curative petition against the ban and have appealed to the government to repeal the law.

However, Minister of State for Home Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary recently told parliament that the Centre had no ‘separate proposal to repeal or amend Section 377.’