Govt to protect every right enjoyed by Dalits: Rajnath

Govt to protect every right enjoyed by Dalits: Rajnath

Home Minister Rajnath Singh. PTI file photo

The government on Wednesday said it will not allow any right or privilege enjoyed by Dalits to be snatched away from them as Opposition MPs raised concern over dilution of a law providing protection against atrocities.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh's assurance came in Rajya Sabha during Question Hour when CPI MP D Raja queried what the government was doing to following Supreme Court order that made "literally redundant" the SC Prevention of Atrocities Act.

"The government assures that no institution or no person can snatch away whatever protection the Constitution guarantees to Dalits. Our government has not diluted the Act. Whatever we have done os to strengthen it," Singh said.

Giving details of the measures taken by the government, he said the NDA government has not only amended the Act but rules too to ensure protect the weaker section.

"There is no question of dilution...more crimes have been brought under its ambit," Singh said as Raja asked what government intended to do as it had earlier promised to make changes in law or even bringing an ordinance. 

Supreme Court had earlier said that no person should be arrested just on the basis of an FIR before a thorough investigation as it was being misused. Dalits and politicians had opposed the order saying it diluted the law and demanded that the government amend the law to ensure that Dalits continue to get protection.

On lower conviction rate in cases of Dalit atrocities, Singh said the country already have special courts to deal with such cases. "Now we have 194 exclusive special courts to deal with it. With this, I am sure the conviction rate will rise," Singh said.

Minister of State Hansraj Ahir, while replying to a question, admitted that the cases of Dalit and Tribal atrocities are rising in past years. 

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