Following a news report (‘Discrepancies in distribution of free notebooks to students') published in The Hindu on January 30, 2011, the National Commission for Scheduled Castes has issued a notice to the authorities concerned and decided to investigate the matter.

A notice (dated February, 2) has been issued by E. Dasarathan, Director, NCSC, Chennai, to the Secretary to Government, Adi Dravidar and Tribal Welfare Department, and the Commissioner, Adi Dravidar Welfare Department, to submit the facts and information on the action taken on the allegations/matters to the NCSC within 30 days. It further states that the Commission has decided to inquire into the matter in pursuance of the powers conferred upon it under Article 338 of the Constitution.

The petition originally filed under the Right to Information Act 2005 by S. Karuppiah, joint general secretary, Dalit Liberation Movement, found major discrepancies in distribution of notebooks for SC/ST students in Tirupur, Karur, Madurai, Nagapattinam and Tiruvannamalai districts. The allegations include non-distribution, issuing less than the stipulated number of notebooks and false information by the departments concerned.

Protest meeting held

A protest meeting was held by the Dalit Liberation Movement on Wednesday in front of Aravakurichi Tahsildar's Office condemning the State government for not implementing livelihood rights of Dalits and demanding immediate action on the notebooks issue.