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'Attacks on dalits are only rising'

Last Updated : 14 April 2011, 20:01 IST

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A demand to provide separate facilities to register cases of assault on people belonging to Scheduled Castes and Tribes in the district was made by Umashankar, district unit president of the Graduates’ and Post-graduates’ Union.

Speaking about the matter to presspersons, Umashankar said dalits in the district are continuously being attacked. Despite several years since the implementation of legistations to protect civil as well Scheduled Caste people’s rights, there has been no fall in the number of cases of assault on dalits. “Failure of the administration and officers is the reason for this,” he alleged.

He explained citing the example of the year 2007, when a total of 1,157 cases of attack on dalits were registered in the State. “Of them, however, a mere 235 cases reached the courts for hearing. The number of instances where the accused were proven guilty and received punishment was even lesser- just 2.55 per cent,” he said.

In 2008, 1543 cases were registered, 262 cases were heard and the guilty were punished in only 36 cases- which is merely 3.44 per cent of the total cases. In 2009, the number reduced very little- there were 1450 cases registered, 64 cases heard and 4.65 cases saw justice delivered.

“In almost every case, the accused is let free as innocent. This has reduced fear of the law among the miscreants and increased the number of attacks on dalits to a scary level,” Umashankar said.

“Dalits were burnt alive in Kambalapalli. They were fed faeces in Harati. Members of a dalit family in Nagalapalli were hacked to death in broad daylight,” he cited.

Umashankar said that in addition to the fact that control of attack on dalits has only increased, “in most cases, prevention of assault is not supported by the people.”

“There is delay in registration of cases with the police. Also, even when an FIR is filed, the case is just neglected and discarded as a false complaint. In many other cases, wrong names are quoted or registered as accused. FIRs are also filed on matters totally unrelated to the assaults. There are also instances where the complainant is made to sign on an empty sheet of paper and then a totally different case is filed under his name,” he explained.

If a complainant manages to surpass all such hurdles and moves ahead with his complaint, the accusations are taken off from the B report. Otherwise, he is threatened or lured into a compromise with the accused.

“The legal guardians themselves prevent the cases of assault on dalits from reaching the court. How then can the dalits get any justice?” he asked.

The acts related to justice for dalits need urgent reconsideration, he urged.

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Published 14 April 2011, 20:01 IST

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