Says provision of non-bailable arrest should be amended

The Anaiththu Samuthaya Pathugappu Peravai, led by Pattali Makkal Katchi leader S. Ramadoss, has sought amendment to the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 to prevent the misuse of its provisions.

A resolution to this effect was passed at a consultative meeting of leaders from 51 castes held here under the chairmanship of Dr. Ramadoss on Friday. Addressing the media, Dr. Ramadoss said that the provision of non-bailable arrest under the Act should be amended as “bailable” to protect innocent people from being falsely implicated.

Similarly, the government should make it mandatory that a committee headed by a District Judge should scrutinise all cases registered under the Act before taking any action.

“If the charges made in any of the cases are not proved, those cases should be treated as false and stringent action taken against the complainants,” he said. “We are not for total repeal of the Act, but demand only amendments in it,” he added.

Another resolution sought to increase the minimum age for marriage to 23 for men and 21 for girls to prevent girls falling victim to “misled Dalit youths” in the name of love.

“Marriages before the proposed minimum age should be only with the consent of the parents,” Dr. Ramadoss said.

Stating that the peravai would form committees at the grass-roots level, he said it would collect details of those who were encouraging Dalit youths to ruin the lives of young girls by enticing them in the name of love. A committee headed by retired High Court judge should study such cases.

“A meagre section of the Dalit men were involved in such acts,” he said.

Dr. Ramadoss said that the peravai was not against inter-caste marriage. However, he was evasive when questioned whether he was only against love affairs involving Dalit youths or love marriages per se.

On the demand of his arrest for making remarks that would disrupt social harmony, he said that only those who did not understand his ideology would make such demands.

Police should provide adequate protection to girl students in buses and at bus stops against eve-teasing. The government should operate special buses for women.

The peravai would stage a protest demonstration in all districts on January 24 to draw the attention of the government to these resolutions.

PMK leader G.K. Mani and several other leaders were present.