Do not politicise Dalit atrocities: Speaker
Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar on Monday said attacks on Dalits was a
matter of serious concern and asked members to rise above political
consideration on such issues.
Intervening in a matter raised by Samajwadi Party and Rashtriya Janata
Dal members in connection with the recent murder of a Dalit youth
inside a police station in Uttar Pradesh, Ms. Kumar asked them to give
proper notices so that such issues can be raised and the government
can take corrective measures.
Raising the matter during zero hour, Ramkishun (SP) alleged that a
Dalit youth was killed inside a police station in Chandauli district
(U.P.) following a feud with his brother. Mr. Ramkishun demanded an
enquiry into the incident and the cause of death, as also a
compensation of Rs. 10 lakh to the victim's family.
While some members of the ruling Bahujan Samajwadi Party interrupted
him, RJD members came out in strong support of their SP colleague and
sought a statement from the government.
The heated exchanges led the Speaker to assure the House that a
discussion on instances of attacks on Dalits and other downtrodden
sections in any part of the country could be taken up if proper
notices were given. Ms. Kumar also stressed the need for granting
security to the vulnerable sections.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs V. Narayanasamy said the
government had taken note of the matter and would come out with a
Jagdambika Pal (Congress) referred to the "deteriorating law and order
situation in Uttar Pradesh" and alleged that those responsible for
maintaining law and order were violating the law. "Even Ministers in
the State are not safe," he said, amid interruptions by BSP members.
"Encouraging casteist forces"
Another Congress member, Panna Lal Punia, attacked the Uttar Pradesh
government for "encouraging casteist forces" by stopping reservation
in the recruitment of cooks for the mid-day meal programme. Several
people had stopped sending their children after reports that the meals
were being cooked by the Dalits and other downtrodden sections, he
"Instead of fighting it out and making efforts to root out this social
evil, the BSP government has stopped the quota," Mr. Punia said.
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