‘Give status report on caste-based atrocities’

Human rights activists press for action by State govt.

May 25, 2020 09:42 pm | Updated 09:42 pm IST

MADURAI

Pointing to the number of caste-based atrocities being reported in the State during the COVID-19 lockdown, human rights activists have demanded the government to come out with a status report on the action taken in this regard.

In a press statement issued here, Executive Director of ‘Witness for Justice’ I. Pandiyan said the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and Rules mandated the State to protect vulnerable groups and made it accountable for the atrocities against the SC/STs.

He said the State and district-level vigilance and monitoring committees must ensure the provisions of the Act were implemented. The Director General of Police, head of the State-level SC/ST Protection Cell, must conduct a survey of atrocities-prone areas and deploy adequate force.

The Collector, being the Chairman of the district-level vigilance and monitoring committee, must review the situation as stipulated under the SC/ST Act and Rules. A meeting should be convened by the State government and a report should be published, he added.

Executive Director of ‘People’s Watch’ Henri Tiphagne said the pandemic situation was not an excuse for the authorities concerned. They should take action to stop atrocities in addition to the work they had to do now. Otherwise, it would amount to neglect of duty, he said.

Executive Director of ‘Evidence’ A. Kathir said at least 50 such incidents had taken place against the SC/ST community during the COVID-19 lockdown. The State government must take necessary steps to prevent such incidents, he said.

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