Saturday, February 12, 2011

[ZESTCaste] Atrocities against SC/ST on the rise

Atrocities against SC/ST on the rise

11 February 2011
rajib chatterjee
KOLKATA, 11 FEB: Atrocities on people belonging to Scheduled Castes
(SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) in West Bengal have gone up in the last
year, compared to the two previous years.
This was revealed in a report prepared by the state backward class
welfare department before the meeting between state government
officials with the members of Parliamentary committee on Welfare of
the Schedule Castes and Scheduled Tribes held in the city on 3
February. The report comes at a time when the state government has
been claiming repeatedly that it has achieved significant success in
improving the living conditions of, , as well as protecting, people
belonging to SC/ST categories.
A senior official, who attended the meeting, told The Statesman that
the members of the Parliamentary committee have expressed concern over
increasing incidents of atrocities against people coming from these
two categories.
The report states that a total of 29 incidents of
"harassment/atrocities" on SC/ST people were reported in West Bengal
in 2008. In 2009, 25 complaints of "harassment/atrocities" on SC/ST
people were registered in the state. Last year, the number rose to 42.
The official said the Parliamentary committee members have been told
that all the "cases have duly been registered and investigation is in
progress". The report points out that one "SC and ST Protection Cell"
at the state headquarters has been set up and police administration in
districts "promptly attends cases of atrocities".
A committee comprising senior officers and special courts have been
set up in every district while Special Public Prosecutors have been
appointed to deal with the cases.
On the issue of securing employment on the basis of false caste
certificates, the state government has reported to the Parliamentary
Committee members that "few complaints have come to their notice".
"During the last three years, about 100 certificates have been
cancelled". Certificate issuing authorities (Sub-divisional officers
in districts and additional district magistrate South 24-Parganas in
case of Kolkata) initiates proceeding if reports of obtaining caste
certificates through misrepresentation of facts come.
The report also brought to light that "in a few cases" land belonging
to ST category people "have been allowed to be acquired after ensuring
acceptable compensation for the tribal person selling the land." "In
all such cases, provisions of Land Reforms Act have been strictly
adhered to," the report states. The report has stated that 61.14
hectares of "tribal land" was "transferred" in 2009-10 year compared
to 45.28 hectares and 31.55 hectares in 2008-09 and 2007-08


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