Include DNTs in caste census: NAC to government
New Delhi: Seeking to bring nomadic tribes to the mainstream, the National Advisory Council has asked the government to include them in the ongoing caste census and bring out guidelines for the police to deal with them.
The Sonia Gandhi-led Council (NAC) also asked the government to review the implementation of the existing legislations to provide built-in safeguards for Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes (DNT) from harassment by officials.
"A process for enumeration and classification of DNTs should be integral to the on-going Socio-economic and Caste Census (SECC) as a first step towards identification of persons belonging to the DNT communities," the NAC said in a communication to the government put up on the Council`s website.
It said the DNTs should be given a special focus as well as priority in the issuing of UID cards.
The NAC also asked the government to launch a campaign to inform DNTs their rights as SC/ST/OBC, disseminate information about a helpline for addressing complaints of harassment, and inform the public that violence/discrimination against these communities and violations of their human rights is punishable under law.
It said the home ministry should issue a special advisory to all state governments to develop a code of conduct in dealing with these tribes.
The tribes, mostly nomadic communities who at one time were known to indulge in criminal acts for a living, were notified as "criminal tribes" under the Criminal Tribes Act, 1871, by the British government.
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