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UP: Preventing misuse of SC/ST atrocities law top priority, says new state panel chief

The three-time MLA from Agra said preventing the misuse of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act (SC/ST Act) would be his top priority.

Written by Maulshree Seth | Lucknow |
June 17, 2021 5:14:12 am
The post of the SC-ST Commission’s chairperson had been vacant since 2019 when its then chairperson and former DGP Brijlal became a Rajya Sabha MP.

After about one-and-a-half years, the Uttar Pradesh government on Wednesday appointed 63-year-old BJP state working committee member Ram Babu Harit the chairperson of the Uttar Pradesh Commission for Schedule Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

The three-time MLA from Agra said preventing the misuse of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act (SC/ST Act) would be his top priority.

“My main focus will be to ensure that SC-ST Act is not misused in the state,” Harit told The Indian Express, adding that as chairperson of the commission he would work to ensure social harmony by giving everyone the opportunity to present their side of the story.

Asked about his political career, Harit said his 30-year journey in politics began with his election as a corporator in the Agra Municipal Corporation in 1989. In the early 1990s, he went on to become the deputy mayor of Agra and was thrice elected to the state Assembly from 1992 to 2007. Harit also served as the Minister of State for Health in the BJP governments of RP Gupta and Rajnath Singh between the late 1990s and 2002.

Asked how he would handle the applications pending for a long time with the SC-ST panel, the BJP leader said his long experience would come in handy and added that he would focus on maintaining social harmony.

The post of the SC-ST Commission’s chairperson had been vacant since 2019 when its then chairperson and former DGP Brijlal became a Rajya Sabha MP.

Meanwhile, the state government also appointed Mithlesh Kumar from Shahjahanpur and Ram Naresh Paswan from Sonbhadra the commission’s vice-chairpersons. It also appointed 15 members of the panel. They are Sadhvi Geeta Pradhan from Sambhal, Om Prakash Naik from Aligarh, Ramesh Tufani and Ram Singh Valmiki from Lucknow, Kamlesh Pasi and Manoj Sonkar from Varanasi, Seshnath Acharya from Balia, Teeja Ram from Azamgarh, Anita Sidhartha from Jaunpur, Ram Asarey Diwakar from Farrukhabad, Shyam Aheriya from Mathura, Shravan Gond and Amresh Chandra Chiro from Sonbhadra, Kishan Lal Sudarshan from Kanpur, and KK Raj from Etawah.

Sources in the government said the administration would soon fill other posts in various commissions that have been vacant.

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