Skip to main content

New Gujarat government order on norms for compensation to Dalit and tribal atrocity victims "lacks clarity"

By Our Representative
In an order, the Gujarat government has declared that the tribals and Dalits, who become victims of atrocities perpetrated by a group consisting of tribals or Dalits, on one hand, and other communities, on the other, would also be compensated under the prevention of scheduled tribe and caste (ST/SC) atrocities Act. Issued ahead of the declaration of the Lok Sabha elections, on February 24, 2014, the order has come in the wake of incidents like Patan gang rape case, in which two of the five convicted for life -- Manish Parmar and Ashwin Parmar -- were Dalits. Non-Dalits convicts are Kiran Patel, Mahendra Prajapati and Suresh Patel.
Senior Dalit activist Kantilal Parmar of the Navsarjan Trust, a Dalit human rights organization in Ahmedabad, said, while the decision was welcome, it has not only come too late, but has failed to take into account past cases. “Ever since the rules for providing compensation to tribal and Dalit victims were promulgated on March 31, 1995 under the anti-atrocities Act, between 200 and 250 tribals and Dalits must have suffered at the hand of groups which consisted of tribals or Dalits and other communities. It is not clear whether they will get compensation”, he said.
Parmar said, as an exceptional case, the Patan gang rape victim was compensated against, but this has not been the case in other instances, when the perpetrators consist of non-Dalits and Dalits or tribals and non-tribals, too. Refusing to pay compensation to the victims, the Gujarat government would “assiduously” cite a government resolution of October 16, 1982, which said that compensation cannot be paid under the anti-atrocities Act “in case the atrocity is committed by person of the same community”, i.e., Dalits or tribals.
“The order, issued on February 24, 2014, should have come not today, but two decades ago, when new norms for compensation were announced”, Parmar insisted, adding, “Now it seems necessary for all those who have not been paid compensation for wrongly interpreting the Act to approach the court of law in order to get justice. The atrocity against them was treated as falling under criminal procedure code.” Significantly, there has also been a demand from a section of the Dalits that atrocities committed on Dalits from within the community should also be paid compensation at the same basis as others.
Those who believe that Dalit victims of atrocities should get compensation even if the atrocity is committed by Dalits point out that there is caste hierarchy even within the Dalits, which is overlooked by the law. At the lowest rung fall the Valmikis, who are forced to do manual scavenging, and they are often treated as untouchables for so-called upper caste Dalits. “This has come to light in several studies”, a senior Dalit expert points out, adding, “Intra-Dalit conflicts, unfortunately, are a major hindrance in the fight against atrocities against Dalits. Unless this is overcome, it is not possible to proceed ahead.”

Comments

TRENDING

Impact of state repression? Kashmir's 65% people prefer independence: Cambridge study

By Rajiv Shah 
Even as the Government of India’s controversial move to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) into two union territories is not only refusing to down die but has acquired international dimensions, a recent study, published by the Cambridge University Press, has claimed “pro-independence attitudes” among that 65% of Kashmiris, warning, this sentiment worsens when the state machinery resorts “repressive violence”.

Congress' anti-democratic laws led to Modi govt's 'Constitutional' changes: Scholars

Counterview Desk
A large number of academics* said to be belonging to several Indian and international institutions, even as taking strong exception to the Narendra Modi government's alleged move to amend the Constitution through "illegitimate" means, have taken strong exception to their colleagues in academia who we have become "all too accustomed to adopting a calculated silence in the face of such indignities."

Dholera 'inundated': Gujarat govt tries selling low lying area as top smart city site

Counterview Desk
Even as the Dholera Special Investment Region Regional Development Authority (DSIRDA) of the Gujarat government was busy organising a junket for Gujarat-based journalists for the area sought to be sold as an ideal special investment region (SIR) for industrialists, well-known farmers' activist Sagar Rabari has wondered why no investor has so far agreed to put in money in an area situated in Ahmedabad district along the Gulf of Khambhat.

Kashmir normal? Schoolboys, teenagers being arbitrarily picked up, detained: Report

Counterview Desk
A four-person team, consisting of Jean Dr├Ęze, well-known development economist; Kavita Krishnan, who is with the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist); Maimoona Mollah of the All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA); and Vimal Bhai of the National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM), back from a five-day fact-finding mission (August 9-13) from Kashmir, has said that people they spoke to “expressed their pain, anger, and sense of betrayal against the Government of India.”
In a report, “Kashmir Caged”, released along with a short eight-minute film, they said, the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A, dissolution of the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), and bifurcating it into two Union Territories, is not being supported by anyone they met, except for BJP spokesperson on Kashmir affairs Ashwani Kumar Chrungoo, who claimed 46% vote share in J&K.
Excerpts from the report: When our flight landed, and the airlines staff announced that passeng…

Quit India Movement 'betrayal' and dubious role of Hindu Mahasabha, RSS leaders

By Shamsul Islam*
After the recent guillotine of Article 370, Hindutva ideologue Ram Madhav, while celebrating the occasion stated that it was honouring of the sacrifices of Dr Shyam Prasad Mukherjee and thousands others who laid down their lives for its removal. It is to be noted that Dr Mukherjee was a cadre of RSS and was groomed into a Hindutva leader by another Hindutva icon, VD Savarkar.

Modi's Gujarati mind? Why govt move to 'sell-off' defence PSUs isn't in national interest

By Sandeep Pandey*
The Standing Committee on Defence, 2017-18, of the 16th Lok Sabha highlights the idea of Buy Indian-IDDM (Indigenously Designed Developed and Manufactured). The Committee expressed concern over the import content of equipments produced and developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Ordnance Factories (OFs) and defence Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) because of the dependence it creates for military hardware on foreign suppliers.

Kashmir kayoed, bhakts 'jubilant': Much like crowds when Hitler purged Jews, Catholics

By Fr Cedric Prakash sj*
August 12, 2019 was the great festival of Eid al-Adha (incidentally, for Jews, Christians and Muslims – the sacrifice of Abraham is a very significant one); for the people of Kashmir however, this year Eid was a sad day indeed, what with the lockdown and communications blockade!

Hindus to be 'sent' to Kashmir? Despite Israeli settlements, peace eludes the region

By Anand K Sahay*
Curfew, news and communications blackout, transportation shut-down... News reports from Kashmir are worrying. So are the views relayed through the media, especially television. Old-fashioned repression seems to be consorting comfortably with expressions of concern “for our Kashmiri brethren”. We are looking at Orwell’s 1984 in the making.

Central Gujarat effluent channel 'releasing' highly polluted industrial wastewater: PM told

Counterview Desk
Senior environmentalists of the Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS), Vadodara, Rohit Prajapati and Krishnakant, in an open letter to the Prime Minister, the Gujarat chief minister, the Gujarat chief secretary, and senior Government of India and Gujarat government officials dealing with environment, pollution and climate change have said that the authorities’ response their pleas to take action against the leakages and flow of polluted wastewater from the effluent channels of Central Gujarat industrial areas has met with complete inertia.

Modi's Kashmir move meant to 'solidify' Hindu majoritarianism, 'demonize' Muslims

By Battini Rao*
The parliament of India on August 6 put its stamp of approval on bills abrogating article 370 and downgrading the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) to two union territories. When the representatives of the people of India were deciding the fate of the state, the people of J&K were forced into collective house arrests.