Wednesday, May 12, 2010

[ZESTCaste] Dalits will be protected against atrocities: Wasnik

Dalits will be protected against atrocities: Wasnik

May 12th, 2010 - 7:44 pm ICT by IANS -
Chandigarh, May 12 (IANS) Rights of Dalits will be protected and
strict laws will be implemented to prevent atrocities against them
like the arson attack on Dalit homes in Haryana, Union Minister of
Social Justice and Empowerment Mukul Wasnik said here Wednesday.
"I have travelled to various states of the country to see whether
there is any discrimination with these sections of society. We will
strictly implement the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of
Atrocities) Act, 1989 at all places," Wasnik told reporters.

Asked about last month's arson attack on Dalit families in Haryana's
Mirchpur village, he said: "It is our responsibility to ensure an
environment of safety and we are working in this direction."

A 70-year-old man and his 18-year-old physically challenged daughter
were killed and at least 18 houses were damaged in an arson attack
April 21 on Dalit families in Mirchpur village in Hisar district.

Wasnik was in Chandigarh to participate in a function organised by the
Seva Dal, a grassroots organizational outfit of the Congress party,

On the issue of Khap panchayats (community councils) demanding an
amendment in the Hindu Marriage Act and a complete ban on marriages
within the same gotra (common lineage), Wasnik said a final decision
would be taken by the union government.

"Everyone has the right to express his desire but in this case, a
final decision will be of the central government. Nobody is above law
in our country and we cannot go against it," Wasnik said.

The demand of khap panchayats comes after a Haryana court in March
gave capital punishment to five people for the "honour killing" of a
couple who married despite belonging to the same gotra.


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