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‘To block criminal thoughts,SC hostels need other students’

Minutes of meeting record Maharashtra Speaker’s comment.

Written by Rakshit Sonawane | Mumbai |
July 5, 2011 3:21:24 am

Maharashtra assembly speaker Dilip Walse-Patil has said that if 10-20 per cent of students from Scheduled Tribes,OBCs and general categories are not accommodated in hostels built exclusively for Scheduled Caste (SC) students,such facilities would breed “criminal thoughts”,according to the draft minutes of an official meeting convened by him.

Walse-Patil convened the meeting at Vidhan Bhavan on June 2 to discuss the status of residential schools and hostels being constructed by the state’s Department of Social Justice.

During the meeting,the discussion turned to admissions of SC students in hostels built exclusively for them.

“If we don’t get 100 per cent SC students then an intake of 10 to 20 per cent ST,OBC and open (category) students be allowed,” Walse-Patil said,according to the draft minutes of the meeting,a copy of which is with The Indian Express. “If we don’t keep this ratio then the process of constructing a wall of criminal thoughts will begin in that place.”

The remarks,recorded in the draft minutes and circulated to various government departments,indicate that the speaker is apprehensive about hostels being reserved exclusively for SC students,government sources said.

Reached for his comments,Walse-Patil said that the proceedings of the meeting had not been recorded and that he did not remember the exact words. He,however,said that he had never used the word “criminal”,and that he had been misquoted by his staff who prepared the minutes.

“How can I say such a thing?” he asked. “I am very much concerned about the welfare of SCs and have been convening meetings to review the status of welfare measures for them. This was the fourth meeting I had called on the issue.”

He said he had always advocated the mingling of students. “There is a need to reduce this compartmentalisation. SCs,STs,OBCs… They should mingle freely. That is the intention.”

He also said that the draft minutes had not been sent to him for approval. An inquiry would be conducted and the necessary “correction” would be done,he added.

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