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Atrocities against Dalits poorly investigated in state, says Karat

Atrocities against Dalits poorly investigated in state, says Karat

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CPI(M) polit bureau member Brinda Karat during a press conference at Pune Union of Working Journalists on Thursday. (Express photo by Arul Horizon)

Brinda Karat, Community Party of India (CPI – Marxist) polit bureau member, blamed the state government for poor investigation into the cases of atrocities against Dalits in Maharashtra.

Karat held a press conference in Pune on Thursday in the view of killing of  Dalit youth Nitin Aage (17) allegedly by upper caste men for talking to the sister of one of them at Kharda in Ahmednagar. Karat visited Kharda village on Wednesday as a part of the “long march” organised by various organisations. Activists of these organisations had walked from Pune to Kharda to condemn the alleged rise in atrocities against Dalits in the state.

Karat said, “There are mainly three issues about the killing of Dalit youth in Kharda. One is the terrible issue of poverty. The victim belonged to a poor family, making him vulnerable. Second is the caste factor. He belonged to a backward class. And thirdly, the gender aspect. I have deep sympathy for
the girl. Even if a girl speaks to a classmate, it can cause serious problems.”

Karat also alleged lapses in investigation. She said incident began at the school in Kharda, but none of the school authorities were interrogated.
Meanwhile, Karat added that as per statistics, in 2013, there were 7,000 cases of atrocities pending, and conviction took place only in 60 cases (0.85 per cent). “This is a shame for the judiciary and state,” she said.


Karat said her party would also raise the issue of killing three Dalit youths in Sonai, Ahmednagar district. “The role of public prosecutor in this case is dubious,” she said.

‘Disappointed at way Art 370 issue raised’

The CPM leader said she was disappointed with the way the new central government and Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) raised the issue of Article 370, which is an important part of the constitution. She added that there were crucial issues pending before the people of Kashmir, which the Centre should address.

Karat calls Heptullah’s statement “bizarre”

Karat said it was a bizarre statement that Muslims were not a minority and Parsis needed special attention. Minority Affairs Minister Najma Heptulla of the NDA government recently said Muslims were too large in number to call themselves a minority and that it was the Parsis who needed special attention because they were a “minuscule minority”.

No comments on Smriti Irani

She said she would not comment on the ongoing dispute about the educational qualification of Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani. “I am not interested in making any comment on something, which is personal. We are more interested in policy issues,” she said.