At a time when Narendra Modi Government is seen enthusiastically extolling the virtues of Dr BR Ambedkar, the Father of Indian Constitution, crimes against Scheduled Castes have registered increase of 19.4 per cent in the year 2014.
As per National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, a total of 1, 88,991 crimes against SCs were registered under different laws from 2011 to 2014.
“The year 2014 witnessed an increase by 19.4 percent from the previous year, in terms of crimes committed against SCs under the crime heads of ‘dacoity’, ‘rape’, ‘kidnapping & abduction’ and ‘hurt’ in general, and ‘SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act’ specifically,” data reveals.
According to statistics, Uttar Pradesh, sharing 20.5 percent of the SC population, accounted for 17.2 percent of the total such cases reported in the country, followed by Rajasthan (17.1percent), Bihar (16.8percent), Madhya Pradesh (8.8percent) and Andhra Pradesh (8.7 percent).
The data was revealed in the second National Public Tribunal on caste-based discrimination. The event was organised by National Campaign for Dalit Human Rights- National Dalit Movement for Justice (NCDHR-NDMJ).
As many as 19 cases were presented related to the atrocities against Dalits. Some of the cases being heard by the Tribunal includes, Jadu Mallick’s a Dalit man’s plea for freedom to access the religious institution; Chadrama Prasad plea for justice for 13 members of the Dalit community and residents of Azamgarh who were beaten up and set ablaze, gang rape and murder of a minor Dalit girl Shubhangi Baliram Arjune in Latur Maharashtra; Shivam a Dalit boy whose hands were crushed in a sugarcane extracting machine for refusing labour and brutal murder of Dalit woman Seeta in the name of ‘honour’.
1.The police officer without any delay and hesitation registers FIR without Prevention of Atrocities Act.
2.Take stringent action against dominant caste that violates provisions of Prevention of Atrocities Act.
3.State and District vigilance Monitoring Committees hold monthly review meetings and submit reports of status and implementation of SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act. No bail application is opposed.
4.As per the provisions of the Prevention of Atrocities Act, Special Public Prosecutor should be from SC and ST background. The District Magistrate to review the performance of the SPP.
5.Special Courts to be constituted to hear cases under Prevention of Atrocities Act.
6.Public officials violating the provisions of Prevention of Atrocities Act to be duly punished.
7.Fast track court to be constituted.
8.Special protection to be given to Dalit girls in school and women in working place.
9.Importance to be given to Section 4 of the Prevention of Atrocities Act for proper implementation.
10.Even if the cases are old and pre-amendment and provisions of new amendment don’t apply. Incidents of continuation of newer harassment and intimidation to be filed under the amended law 2015.
11.To call monetary assistance as not compensation but as interim relief for fighting the case.
12.Identify and map existing and emerging atrocities prone district/ areas and to set up support systems.
13.Replicate provisions of POCSO for Dalit and Adivasi children.
14.Sumangali scheme, of Tamil Nadu, aimed towards empowerment but resulting in structural violence on poor Dalit and Adivasi girls needs studied and assessed and exposed at the international level.
15.Information about the provision of the SC/ ST Prevention of Atrocities Act and other relevant legal provisions to be publicised by the government in the Panchayats, Gram Sabhas, Mohallas and police stations.
16.To set up national helpline.
17.Push for the promulgation of proper rules.
18.Public apology to be given to the Dalit community for the long history of violence
19.Adequate relief rehabilitation and restoration to be given to the dalit community.
20.Impunity against Dalit women to be checked in line with the CEDAW recommendation which stressed legal literacy and improving access to justice for survivors.
21.Linkages to be made between violence against women and other structures of violence in the society.