MADURAI: It has been 20 years since the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 came into force but several states in the country, including Tamil Nadu have failed to implement the Act, said Suresh Mane, national general secretary, Bahujan Samaj Party.
Talking to The Hindu in Madurai recently, Mr. Mane cited various reasons for the non-implementation of the Act. “There exists lacunae on many fronts, right from conducting the investigation by a competent authority till the setting up a Special Court, States should have a nodal officer to look into its implementation but none of this has been done”.
The general conviction rate under the Indian Penal Code is 45 per cent whereas the conviction rate under SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, 1989 is less than 15 per cent, this showed that this Act which was a tool for legal empowerment of Dalits, lacked resources for its implementation, he said.
In the case of Tamil Nadu, The National Commission for Scheduled Castes, Vice Chairman, N.M. Kamble had highlighted this at a review meeting. Mr. Mane also said that there have been rampant acts of atrocities in Tamil Nadu especially the southern districts where two-tumbler system still existed and access to avail common property resources was prevented for Dalits.
Stating that every State in the country was trying to divide Dalits in the name of reservation, he said that it was against the Constitution and law. Citing the Arunthathiyar case in Tamil Nadu, he questioned whether the Tamil Nadu Government could provide a special quota in the case of castes coming under Other Backward Classes and Most Backward Classes.
When asked about the Ranganath Mishra Commission Report, Mr. Mane said that it was a failure on the part of the United Progressive Alliance Government and Tamil Nadu Government not to provide reservation to Dalit Christians and Muslims.
On March 15, BSP would be celebrating its Silver Jubilee function at Ramabai Ambedkar Ground in Lucknow and 250 delegates from Tamil Nadu would be participating, he said. On the occasion, a documentary film on Kanshi Ram would be released by the BSP supremo and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati, he said.
As part of the nation-wide membership drive which started on January 16, Ms. Mayawati would be visiting southern states during April or May.
Reference: The Hindu