Neutral agency to study atrocities against Dalits
HT Correspondent

Mumbai, August 24, 2010First Published: 01:05 IST(24/8/2010)

Following the Dalit ministers’ demand that atrocities against their
community be averted, the state government on Monday decided to
appoint a neutral agency to recommend measures to check the social
evil. In the Cabinet meeting on August 4, Ministers Nitin Raut, Varsha
Gaikwad and Ramesh Bagwe (from Congress) and Laxman Dhoble (from the
NCP) raised Khairlanji mass murder case. They had demanded the issue
be discussed in the Cabinet as the Dalits wanted to know whether the
state was serious about their concerns.

Chief Minister Ashok Chavan turned down the demand but had held a
separate meeting on the issue immediately after the Cabinet meeting.
The high court has reduced the death sentences of the six convicts to

The ministers alleged that the accused got a relief because they were
not tried under the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes
(Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

Following the court’s verdict, the Dalit community demanded the state
to challenge it in the Supreme Court. Taking note of this, Chavan
asked the officials to present the state’s side to the Central Bureau
of Investigations that has probed the case.

“We will also verify if it is possible for the government to plead its
case in the Supreme Court,” Chavan said.

On Monday, the CM discussed the case with Dairy Development Minister
Nitin Raut, who had led the protesting ministers, Republic Party of
India’s Ramdas Athwale, advocate general, Ravi Kadam, senior
bureaucrats from home, law and judiciary, social welfare department
and CBI officers.

The state is likely to appoint the Tata Institute of Social Sciences
to study atrocities against the Dalits, said a government source. He
said a high-power committee would also be appointed to supervise the
social issue. “A nodal officer will also be appointed.”


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