R'than cops downplay atrocities on Dalits: PIL

Numerous incidents of Dalit atrocities have created huge uproar in Rajasthan in the last few years but not a single case has been registered by police under the Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955.

A PIL has been filed in the Rajasthan High Court that states that police have not registered a single under this law since 2012, despite frequent incidents like stopping Dalits from entering temples, taking out wedding processions, cremating bodies in common funeral centres and even restricting them from taking out water from village wells.

“After intense research on various cases of Dalit atrocities lodged by police, we have found that none of the case has been registered under the Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955. In order to avoid wrath of higher communities, most Dalit atrocity cases have been lodged under the ST/SC Act or under different IPC sections. We have filed a PIL in Rajasthan High Court in this regard,” said A K Jain, petitioner and advocate in Rajasthan High Court.
The Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955, has strong provisions against practices of restricting someone from the use of watering place, taking bath at community ghats, restricting burial on common cremation ground or any kind of restriction on movement in public places.

According to the petitioner, a through research was conducted and individual cases were studied before lodging the PIL.

“We have come across over 20 cases in 2014 in which bridegrooms were refused to take out wedding processions through colonies of upper caste people. Dozens of such cases were lodged in 2012, 2013 and also 2015. Around seven cases were reported in last three years where Dalits were not allowed to use common funeral grounds. But none of the cases was registered under the Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955,” said Jain.

The petition says that cases of Dalit atrocities have been rampant in Rajasthan but according to cases lodged with police, Rajasthan is shown as a state with minimum case of Dalit atrocities.

“Police do not file cases under the Protection of Civil Rights Act because they don’t want to invite the wrath of upper class community. It presents a gloomy picture of discrimination by local police,” said Jain.

The petition has been filed on behalf of Dalit Manav Adhikar Kendra Samiti and the hearing is likely to take place in July.

 

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