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Dalit bodies want SC/ST Act restored through ordinance

IANS  |  New Delhi 

A number of organisations on Thursday asked the government to "restore" through an ordinance the SC/ST Act that has been "diluted" by a order and withdrawal of cases filed against activists during the countrywide shutdown on April 2.

Addressing a press conference here, they also announced to observe April 14 -- the birth -- as "Protect Constitution" day across the country.

Those addressing the press meet included Ashok Bharti, to the National Confederation of and Adivasi Organisations; of National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights; of All Dalit Rights Federation; of Dalit Shoshan Mukti Manch; and Nirmal of Bharat Mazdoor Union.

"The government must bring an ordinance to protect the sanctity of the SC/ST Act. Also, the cases against the Dalit activists who were implicated during the Bharat Bandh on April 2 must be withdrawn," said Bharti.

Accusing the government of not being "honest" vis-a-vis Dalit icon Bhimrao Ambedkar, the Dalit leaders said that the (BJP)-led government could not use the past governments' inaction or deliberate unwillingness to give the Dalits their due as an alibi to deny them their rights now.

The in an order on March 20 said that an accused cannot be mandatorily arrested under the Scheduled Castes and Schedules Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act without an initial probe. The Dalit organisations and various groups see it as "dilution" of the Act and accuse the of conniving in the case.

"Our claims that he comes from a backward class. Our request to him is that being from the backward background, he should do justice to the backwards. Let's give 52 per cent reservation to the backwards through a legislation," Bharti said.

The Dalit leaders also demanded putting the Scheduled Castes and Schedules Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, under the Schedule IX of the Constitution.

They asked the to fulfil their demands before August 15 -- -- this year.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, April 12 2018. 19:00 IST