A writ petition has been filed in the Madras High Court seeking a direction to the Centre to effectively monitor the implementation of schemes by the State government that are meant to prevent offences against Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and to ensure provision of relief and rehabilitation to victims of such atrocities.

The petition, filed by an owner of a printing press here, who belonged to the Dalit community and was a Buddhist, has been filed in the wake of a mob frenzy in Dharmapuri district on November 7 last year.

The First Bench comprising the Acting Chief Justice Elipe Dharma Rao and Justice Aruna Jagadeesan has posted the petition for hearing, along with other petitions relating to the Dharmapuri incident, on February 4.

The petitioner, L.Yakkan of Ellis Road here, said atrocities had been committed on Dalits in Tamil Nadu in the past several years.

The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act was enacted to prevent atrocities against Dalits, setting up of special courts to try cases of offences against SCs and STs and for relief and rehabilitation of the victims. This brought some hope to the victimised communities. But implementation of the law was “inefficient and tardy.”

Mr.Yakkan said there was an attack on Dalits at Natham and Annanagar Colonies and Kondampatti in Dharmapuri district on November 7 consequent to an inter-caste marriage. Rehabilitation measures were being implemented at a slow pace.

At Vriddhachalam, a Dalit engineer and his wife, who belonged to an upper caste, were murdered in 2003 because theirs was an inter-caste marriage.

In 1997, six Dalits were murdered in Melavalavu village in Madurai district. The State government did not realise that attacks on Dalits enjoyed political patronage.

The law-enforcement agencies were inefficient and unable to take remedial measures. Referring to other incidents of violence, the petitioner said the Centre had a vital role to advise the State Government to protect Dalits.

The petitioner also sought a direction to the Centre to issue appropriate instructions to the State to take all measures mandated under the law to give full protection to SCs and STs.

  • It refers to Dharmapuri incident on November 7

  • “Relief for victims of atrocities coming at a slow pace”