Caste panel holds review meet: Huge spurt in crime against Dalits in UPhttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/lucknow/caste-panel-holds-review-meet-huge-spurt-in-crime-against-dalits-in-up/

Caste panel holds review meet: Huge spurt in crime against Dalits in UP

Around 51,000 cases of “atrocities” against Dalits were reported in 2014 across the country.

Pointing out to the rise in incidents of “atrocities” against Dalits in the state, the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) expressed dissatisfaction over functioning of the UP government in dealing with the issue.

It also criticised the government for non-utilisation of the Special Component Plan funds and bringing in the High Court order cancelling promotions under the ‘reservation in promotion’ policy, among other issues that concern the community.

Around 51,000 cases of “atrocities” against Dalits were reported in 2014 across the country of which 9,112 (nearly 17 per cent) were from UP, NCSC chairman P L Punia told mediapersons, after holding a review meeting with state government officials on Thursday.

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“Number of such cases in UP increased from 6,427 in 2012 to 9,112 in 2014. Most of these cases are of serious crimes, including that of murder and rape. In today’s meeting, the commission told the government that most of these cases are not initially lodged by the police but mostly registered after the court interevene,” Punia said.

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Punia added a large number of cases of crime against Dalits have been piling with the police, pending investigation. He also claimed that conviction had been ordered in 1,772 cases (nearly 54 per cent) whereas acquittal had been granted in 1,504 cases in 2014. “But nearly 50,000 cases are still pending, which is not okay,” he said.

The NCSC chairman added: “In a meeting with Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday, I told him that no meeting of State Vigilance Committee has taken place since June 3, 2011. Taking a serious note of it, the CM said the officials never inform him about the schedule of these meetings.”

Talking about the implementation of the Special Component plan, Punia said the UP government had allocated a budget of Rs 14,633 crore for utilisation in the welfare scheme, of which only around Rs 350 crore was used while the rest of the amount was utilised in funding other general schemes like development of roads. “If that budget would have been used properly every year, the number of SC people living below poverty line (BPL) category could have been reduced,” Punia said. Currently, nearly 21 per cent share in state population are SCs, of which nearly 33 per cent are in BPL category, he added.

Punia suggested that the state government needs to utilise the remaining fund in education sectors like opening schools and providing coaching to students in private centres for preparation of civil services.

On complaints filed by Dalit students after their applications were cancelled due to “technical errors” while filing online forms, Punia praised the UP government’s initiative of allowing the registration and transfer of the scholarships of these students into their bank accounts directly through online system.

Talking about the High Court order to do away with the reservation in promotion policy, Punia said, “The government has assured to form a technical committee to analyse the policy and facts and take legal opinion on the issue of promotion in reservation. NCSC will also write to the central government before issuing an advisory to the state in this regard.”

Meanwhile, the NCSC chairman also demanded a CBI inquiry into death of a Dalit youth in police custody in Dewa area of Barabanki last month. Punia said he has discussed the matter with the DGP on Thursday and told him that suicide by hanging was not possible for that youth from such a height, as claimed by the police.