'Dalits still being targetted in Uttar Pradesh'
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Lucknow, Nov 21 (IANS) The National Commission for Scheduled Castes
Sunday rejected the Uttar Pradesh government's claims of bringing down
incidents of violence against Dalits, terming them 'baseless and
The commission's newly-appointed chairman P.L. Punia said the state
government released figures of only the first six months of this year,
and atrocities against Dalits had actually registered a steep rise
over the three-and-a-half year rule of Bahujan Samaj Party, according
to statistics by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).
Punia further accused the government of diverting funds meant for
Dalit welfare programmes.
'Construction of four medical colleges at Saharanpur, Azamgarh,
Kannauj and Jalaun was being carried out with the diverted money', he
Punia said the government's move of reserving 70 percent of seats in
these colleges has been disallowed by the Medical Council of India.
He also gave the state government a deadline to furnish correct
details on welfare schemes.
'November 30 is the deadline I have fixed for these details, after
which I will convene a hearing with the concerned officials,' he said.
Punia, a bureaucrat turned Congress MP from Barabanki, was once part
of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati's inner circle.
He served as the principal secretary to the chief minister twice, but
later fell out with her. He switched loyalties to her arch rival
Mulayam Singh Yadav, before joining the Congress.
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