Poll-bound Uttar Pradesh has reported the highest number of cases of atrocities against the Scheduled Castes (SC) in 2015 while the highest number of such cases against the Scheduled Tribes (ST) during the year were found in Rajasthan, according to Union Minister Ramdas Athawale.
The Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment on Monday said that a total of 44,839 cases of atrocities against these communities were recorded in 2015 -- of these, 38,564 cases were against the Scheduled Castes and 6,275 against the Scheduled Tribes.
"In 2015, we found highest atrocity cases against the SCs in UP (8,357), followed by Bihar (6,293), Rajasthan (5,991), Madhya Pradesh (3,546), Andhra Pradesh (2,263)," Athawale told media persons.
"In the same year, atrocity cases against the STs were found to be highest in Rajasthan (1,409), followed by Madhya Pradesh (1,358), and Odisha (691)," he added.
In 2013, a total of 46,114 (39,346 against the SCs and 6,768 against the STs) cases of atrocities were recorded while the number in 2014 stood at 47,124 (40,300 against SCs and 6,824 against STs).
On Monday, Union Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thaawarchand Gehlot and Athawale held a meeting and discussed issues atrocity cases, prevention measures, abd compensation to victims.
The Centre has sought action and taken reports from the state governments to improve the disposal and conviction rates in such cases.
"We discussed issues such as special court set-up for speedy disposal of atrocity cases, hike in compensation to atrocity victims from the existing Rs 85,000 to Rs 8.5 lakh, inter-caste marriage promotion," Athawale said.
Athawale added, "We are looking at possibility of encouraging inter-caste marriage by giving monetary incentives. We are mulling to give a job and Rs 5 lakh or five acre land in rural area."
"We have also discussed measures like building dedicated teams of six-seven policemen headed by a sub-inspector at each police station to deal with atrocity cases, dedicated helpline to file complaint, preference to SC/ST advocates," he said.
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