Sunday, November 28, 2010

[ZESTCaste] Concern over ‘misuse' of SC/ST atrocities Act

SRIKAKULAM, November 27, 2010

Concern over 'misuse' of SC/ST atrocities Act

Staff Reporter

'Only five out of 45 cases filed in last one year are genuine'

Crying foul: Leaders of dalit associations submitting a memorandum to
Collector N. Srikanth in Srikakulam on Friday. — Photo: Basheer The
Police Department has expressed serious concern over rising incidents
of misuse of SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act-1989 to settle
personal scores. As per the Act, the police will arrest the accused
immediately and send him/her to judicial custody. Bail will be allowed
only 20 days after the arrest. It causes mental agony among the
accused, particularly those who are arrested on a false complaint. The
department, which conducted a thorough inquiry into the grievances
under the Act, found that many complaints were lodged with
ill-motives. Only five out of 45 cases filed in the last one year
proved to be genuine while the rest aimed at only harassing their

Srikakulam District Superintendent of Police T. Panasa Reddy asked all
the police officials concerned to book cases under IPC 177 against
persons who lodge false complaints under the Act.

Mr. Reddy said that SC/ST persons were engaged to guard disputed
lands. Cases were being registered under the Act as soon as anybody
approached them to claim the land. Higher officials in various
departments were being harassed with the frequent threat of
subordinates to file cases against them under the Act.


"We have found that a few leaders are encouraging others to file cases
under the Act to make their opponents fall in line. The police will
not be silent if the Act is misused to settle scores with rivals. The
very purpose of the Act will be defeated with false complaints," Mr.
Panasa Reddy said.

Meanwhile, a few dalit associations organised a rally urging the
government to protect their rights. They submitted a representation to
district Collector N. Srikanth seeking a direction to the police to
act swiftly when cases were filed under the Act.


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