National

Rajnath Singh appeals for peace, harmony

Call for calm: The police taking out a flag march in Bhopal on Tuesday .

Call for calm: The police taking out a flag march in Bhopal on Tuesday .  

Home Minister says government is fully committed to protecting the interests of Dalits

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh informed the Lok Sabha on Tuesday that the Narendra Modi government was fully committed to protecting the interests and welfare of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes and appealed for peace and harmony.

Amid shouting of slogans by Tamil Nadu MPs over the delay in forming the Cauvery Water Management Board, Mr. Singh struggled to make himself heard while making the suo motu statement.

The Home Minister said the government was not responsible for the dilution of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act as it was not a “formal party” to the case in the top court.

Denies quota rumours

He said there had been widespread rumours on the issue of reservation, and termed them “false and baseless”.

“I wish to inform the House that the government was not a party to that case. Through the House, I want to assure the people that there has been no dilution whatsoever by my government. After coming to power, we have examined the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and have taken a decision to strengthen it,” Mr. Singh said. Until Tuesday morning, he said, eight people had been killed during protests against the Supreme Court order on the Act. Giving figures of the death toll during the Bharat bandh on Monday, he said six people had died in Madhya Pradesh and one person each in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.

Denying the Opposition’s allegation that the delay in filing a review petition before the top court was responsible for the violence, he said the government had “immediately” taken a decision to file one and did so within six working days.

“I wish to assure you that our government is fully committed to the welfare of the SCs and the STs. Our government is fully committed to protecting the interest of the community,” he said and added that the Attorney-General pleaded for an urgent hearing.

Mr. Singh said that the Centre had given all the assistance that the States asked to deal with the situation. “We have issued advisory to all the States to ensure that no breach of law and order takes place and safety of the lives of citizens and properties are ensured. I appeal to all citizens to maintain peace and harmony. I appeal to all political parties to help maintain peace and harmony,” he said.

He mentioned how the government had “strengthened” the SC/ST Act.

“In order to protect them, the provision of witness protection was introduced. The compensation payable to the victims was enhanced. There has been new provision where action against government servants shall be taken against those found negligent in implementing the Act.’’

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Printable version | Apr 5, 2020 11:15:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/rajnath-singh-appeals-for-peace-harmony/article23428327.ece

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