Sunday, July 18, 2010

[ZESTCaste] Dalit forum in Mumbai rues laidback enforcement of atrocities act

Dalit forum in Mumbai rues laidback enforcement of atrocities act
Neeta Kolhatkar / DNA

Sunday, July 18, 2010 1:31 IST

Mumbai: The lack of evidence under the atrocities Act in the
Khairlanji case has yet again raised eyebrows regarding the total
indifference shown by the administration in dealing with such cases.
The Dalit forum on Saturday held a workshop detailing the need for the
diligent implementation of this act.

Former high court judge BG Kolse Patil said the way the Democratic
Front government has been dealing with cases of atrocities is against
the constitution itself.

"To deny a Dalit their right to register their cases under the
atrocities act indicates that they are being denied their fundamental
rights, as stated in the constitution. The government is detached from
the people in such instances," said Kolse Patil. The speakers strongly
condemned the government's attitude towards the Khairlanji case.

"The rules are well-specified and stringent; yet, in eight out of ten
cases, we see that the police and government administration just
ignores them brazenly. Firstly, there is total non-cognisance of
registering offences under this act. It is clearly mentioned that no
officials below the level of a deputy superintendent can lodge a
complaint under this Act, yet that happens," said Anand Teltumbde, a
Committee for the Protection of Democratic Rights (CPDR) activist.

Teltumbde cited an example of a study conducted by the council of
social justice, "From 1995 till 2010, in 95 percent of cases, the
rules under the Act have not been followed." Buddhapriya Kabir, a
Dalit human rights activist from Marathwada, said a public campaign
for creating awareness is required.


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