NEW DELHI

‘U.P. tops in atrocities against Dalits'

Of 38,849 cases registered in the country in 2009, 7,465 from the State: Wasnik

Union Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Mukul Wasnik said here on Friday that maximum cases of atrocities on Dalits have been registered in Uttar Pradesh. He regretted that despite the existence of two laws -- Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and Protection of Civil Rights Act -- there has been no let-up in the cases of excesses on Dalits in the State.

The Union Minister was in Lucknow to attend the 14 {+t} {+h} review meeting on the law to prevent atrocities on Dalits.

Mr. Wasnik told reporters that the sensitive districts in the State in relation to atrocities on Dalits have not been identified since 1986. He said 38,849 cases of atrocities on Dalits were registered in the country in 2009. Of these 7,465 cases were from Uttar Pradesh – 7,461 related to Scheduled Castes and four Scheduled Tribes.

On the outcome of his meeting with State Government officials, including the Chief Secretary, the Minister said it was revealed that around 80 per cent cases of atrocities were pending in courts. He said 40 special courts had been constituted for the purpose, but only a few were functional.

Mr. Wasnik said he had suggested to the State officials that pending court cases be speeded up and more special courts be set up in districts. An assurance in this regard has been given by the U.P. Social Welfare Minister, Indrajeet Saroj.

The Union Minister laid emphasis on identifying the villages and towns prone to violence against Dalits, which he said would act as a deterrent on the incidents of atrocities against the weaker sections. He said 20 sensitive districts were identified in 1986 but since the SC, ST Act became a law only in 1990 the other districts could not have been identified. Now, there is urgent need to identify all the sensitive districts, Mr. Wasnik said.

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