State worried over rise in crimes against SC, ST
Swati Sengupta, TNN | Feb 8, 2012, 03.07AM IST
KOLKATA: The issue of atrocities against scheduled caste (SC) and
scheduled tribes (ST) was discussed at a meeting at Writers' Buildings
on Tuesday. The discussion was triggered by the rise in number of
complaints on atrocities against SC) and ST in recent times in the
You could read that it can be considered as something alarming because
Bengal, unlike Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, is not known to be a state
where caste is any major issue- unlike states like Bihar or Uttar
Pradesh. Or it could really be what the government claims it to be:
that awareness among the SC and STs has increased and therefore more
and more SC and STs are going to police stations to lodge complaints
under the Prevention of Atrocities (POA) Act.
Whatever may be the reason behind this trend, the state government is
soon going to get a clear picture, a top official said on Tuesday.
The issue was raised and discussed at length at a meeting of the
state-level vigilance and monitoring committee at Writers' Buildings
on Tuesday, and it was evident from the data provided by CID that the
number had indeed increased rather sharply. The crime figures are not
"incidentally" that of SC and STs - it is not that those at the
receiving end of the crimes like rape, murder, arson, grievous hurt -
were incidentally SC or STs. But all these crimes took place because
of "caste-related issues" that the crimes took place, and that is what
makes it a matter of concern.
"The complaints lodged explain that there may have been harrassment
because of a caste of a particular person and then that led to a
serious crime," the official explained.
The Centre has now asked the state government to increase the
compensation for the crimes - which is shared equally by them - from
Rs 50,000 (the maximum for rape) to Rs 2.5 lakh. Half of the amount is
to be paid initially, and the rest after conviction.
After a discussion on Tuesday at a meeting chaired by finance minister
Amit Mitra, the government had decided to place it before the chief
At the moment, 42 cases are pending with the police for investigation,
and 31 of these are of SCs and the remaining are that of STs.
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