17.1 % increase in crimes against Dalits, what governments are doing?


The crimes

  • Dalit girl beaten brutally because her shadow fell on upper caste man. Two Dalit boys killed for not having change for Rs 4.
  • Dalit girl’s hand burnt for asking upper caste man to lower volume of music. Dalit man crushed because an upper caste man didn’t like his mobile ringtone.
  • Several Dalit women and girls gang-raped. All of this in just last one month.
  • In 2013, overall, there was a 17.1% increase in crimes against Dalits.

Toothless prevention

  • The Prevention of Atrocities against Scheduled Castes and Tribes Act has not curbed violence against Dalits.
  • Number of cases pending under the Act: 84.1%.
  • Only 5% of total cases result in conviction, and the rate is declining steadily.

Suggested reforms

  • Dalit coalition NCPSA has suggested major amendments to the current Act.
  • Key changes: There should be no need to prove caste as a motivating factor in crime. Hard to prove intention. Identity of victims should be enough.
  • Officers should be held responsible for failing to act when crimes against Dalits are reported. Official apathy is a key reason Dalits don’t get justice.
  • The scope of the Act should be broadened to include socio-economic boycott, destruction of property, limiting access to opportunities, humiliation of men and women, etc.

Government inaction

  • UPA 2 Cabinet cleared the updated Bill in 2013, but it couldn’t be passed in Parliament.
  • Ordinance was passed, but Modi govt allowed it to lapse. Then sent it to Parliamentary Standing Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment.
  • Committee cleared it late last year with minor changes, but govt hasn’t moved on it yet.

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Source – CatchNews

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Filed under Caste Discrimination, Casteism, Dr B R Ambedkar, Latest

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