Orissa registers low untouchability cases
Even as over 10,000 cases of atrocities on schedule caste and scheduled tribe people were pending for investigation in Orissa, only seven cases relating to untouchability were registered in 2008.
Bhubaneswar: Even as over 10,000 cases of
atrocities on schedule caste and scheduled tribe people were
pending for investigation in Orissa, only seven cases relating
to untouchability were registered in 2008.
Low occurrence of untouchability in the state came to
the limelight during a review of the situation here today by
Union Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Mukul Wasnik.
"Only seven cases (2.82 per cent) of untouchability
against SCs were registered in 2008 under the Protection of
Civil Rights Act, 1955, though 248 such cases were registered
across the country," the state government told Wasnik during
the review meeting.
Only seven people belonging to scheduled castes have
faced untouchability problem, no tribal in the state had any
complaint in this regard, the minister was informed.
"Pendency of many cases relating to atrocities on ST
and SC people in Orissa is a matter of great concern," Wasnik
told reporters adding the Centre had asked Orissa to expedite
investigation and hearing of such cases.
As about 90 per cent of cases registered under the
Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955 and SC and ST (protection
of atrocities) Act, 1989, were pending, they should be
disposed off immediately, he said.
The union minister also asked the state government to
reverify figures relating to registration of atrocity cases.
"While the state government claimed that 1036
atrocities cases were filed by SCs, the National Crime Record
Bureau (NCRB)`s data put the number of cases at 1252," Wasnik
The minister questioned as to why the state level and
district level vigilance monitoring committee meetings were
not held at regular intervals as stipulated in the law.
On delay in disposal of cases, Wasnik said the state
government had assured him of its plans to set up three
special courts in districts having high pendency and
registration of cases under POA Act, 1989, with the
concurrence of the High Court.
"The state government could not hold any such meeting
in 2009 due to implementation of the model code of conduct for
the general elections," Orissa`s minister for ST, SC
development, minorities and backward class welfare, Bijay
Ranjan Singh Bariha said.
Meanwhile, Orissa State SC-ST Youth and Student
Council, in a memorandum to the union minister, alleged that
though there were 200 deputy superintendents of police (DSP)
rank officers in the state, the government has failed to
dispose equal number of atrocity cases.
"Monthly average atrocity incidents in Orissa is about
150," said council`s president Haldhar Sethy.