Expressing concerns over rising cases of atrocities against Dalits in Odisha, Union Social Justice Minister Ramdas Athawale said on Saturday that the Centre would consider providing financial assistance for inter-caste marriages in the state.
After attending a review meeting on the condition of Dalits in the state, Athawale said it is painful to see a rise in such cases in Odisha.
"If provisions under The Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 are properly implemented, the cases would certainly come down," he said.
"Currently, the state government is providing Rs 2.5 lakh financial assistance for each inter-caste marriage in Odisha. If applications are made in a proper manner, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment will also consider giving an additional incentive of equal amount," Athawale said.
In Odisha, 2,320 cases of atrocities against Dalits were reported in 2018, which increased to 2,469 in 2019, he added.
Stating that the Narendra Modi government was committed to the welfare of the SCs and STs, the minister said the Centre has sanctioned Rs 83 crore to Odisha in the past two fiscals.
"Assistance has also been given for construction of 6,000 SC and ST student hostels in the state," he said.
Asserting that the NDA government has been working for the development of Muslims, Athawale said, "If there is any trouble for Muslims due to the Citizenship Amendment Act, I will be the first person to draw the attention of the prime minister and the home minister.
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