Friday, October 26, 2012

SC and ST Prevention of Atrocities (PoA) Act

Daily average of crimes registered under the SC and ST Prevention of Atrocities (PoA) Act is 93 crimes. In comparison, the conviction rate is a mere 30 %, with over 80% of atrocity cases pending trial each year.

New Delhi, 25 Oct 12: 

25 October, 2012, Delhi: On November 26, 2012, it will be 63 years when the Constituent Assembly adopted the Constitution of India. “A range of advancements across spheres in this period notwithstanding, the lot the Dalits and Adivasis in the country has not improved” stated Dr Prasad Sirivella, General Secretary, National Dalit Movement for Justice. Speaking about the abysmal failure of the system, he added that even after 63 years, Dr. Ambekar’s vision of equality and non-discrimination remains unfulfilled. He pointed out that while the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) shows that between 1995 and 2007 the average number of crimes registered under the SCs and STs Prevention of Atrocities Act (PoA) 1989 was 33956, bringing the daily average to 93 crimes, the average conviction rate during the same period was only 30.3 percent. “It is significant that over 80% of atrocity cases are pending trial each year, despite the creation of Special Courts to ensure the speedy trial of such cases,” he emphasized

Commenting on this, Dr Vimal Thorat, Convenor, All India Dalit Mahila Adhikar Manch stated that, “Dalit and Adivasi women are particularly vulnerable to violence committed against them as they often find themselves targeted for atrocities directed at themselves, their families and/or their communities, with little hope for justice in the aftermath.”

In this connection, it was also pointed out by Mr.Paul Diwakar of the National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights that “with atrocities and rampant   discrimination getting intensified, the  Dalits’ and Adivasis’ assertiveness to claim their rightful places in the nation too has grown.” 

Speaking on behalf of the National Coalition for Strengthening the SCs/STs Prevention of Atrocities Act (NCSPA) comprising around 150 NGOs from 18 states of India, Manjula Pradeep, Executive Director, Navsarjan Trust, Gujarat urged the government to put a stop to these heinous crimes by amending and effectively enforcing the SCs and STs (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989 (POA). “The time has come to review and assess the POA Act and strengthen affirmative action policy of the state”, she added

In fact, to commemorate 63rd year of the Constitution, the National Coalition for Strengthening the SCs/STs Prevention of Atrocities Act (NCSPA) is spearheading a Mass Rally with 63000 Dalits and Adivasis at Ram Lila grounds in New Delhi on 23rd November 2012. “Our rallying call is ‘Chalo Delhi’ for a National Dalit and Adivasi Sammelan,” stated Beena J Pallical of the Coalition.

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