Skip to main content

As Bharat Bandh takes off, "Brahminical" attitude of BJP blamed for apex court ruling on anti-atrocities Act

Bharat Bandh: Madhya Pradesh
By Our Representative
Even as the national call for action Bharat bandh against the Supreme Court allegedly diluting provisions of the Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) Prevention of Atrocities (POA) Act takes off, India's premier civil society network, National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM) has said that the apex court judgment is in line with what the "Brahminical attitude of the BJP governments at the Centre and several states of India."
Demanding immediate action against the apex court ruling, which says that the POA Act is being "misused" to blackmail innocent individuals, NAPM in a statement has said that there is an urgent need to improve the "criminal justice system" in order to "ensure better implementation of the POA Act and conviction of perpetrators of atrocities on Dalits, Adivasis and Muslims."
NAPM regrets, the apex court ruling comes at a time "when abuses and atrocities against Dalits, Adivasis and Minorities have increased manifold, with the saffronized governments both at the Centre and in many states is looking the other way round." It adds, "Instead of containing these atrocities, regressive forces are relentlessly undermining the democratic right of reservation to the oppressed sections."
NAPM says, the March 20 order of the division bench of the Supreme Court, "diluting the already weakly implemented PoA Act, 1989, is nothing short of a direct attack on a piece of legislation that tries to uphold our constitutional ethos of protection of marginalized sections."
NAPM says, the fact is, the need for "a specific Central atrocities Act attained fruition in 1989 after protracted struggles, because even four decades since independence and an equal Constitution, brutal everyday crimes against Dalits and Adivasis remained largely unreported, unaddressed and unpunished."
According to NAPM, "Instead of looking at the entirety of the mounting atrocities and status of implementation of the Act, reflected even by the National Crime Record Bueau's (NCRBs) own data, the apex court chose to selectively issue guidelines on the need to 'safeguard innocent persons against false implication and unnecessary arrest'."
Bharat Bandh: Jamnagar district, Gujarat
It said that (a) FIR should not be filed without preliminary inquiry, to be completed within a week, and report must give reasons when permission is given for registration of FIR, (b) even if preliminary inquiry is held and a case is registered, arrest is not necessary, (c) no public servant is to be arrested without written permission of appointing authority, and (d) no person accused under the Act can be arrested without the written permission of the district police authorities.
NAPM believes, "In a land where registration of FIR is still a challenge for the oppressed and marginalized, what to speak of charge sheets and convictions, this judgement, based on partial reading of the NCRB data and prejudice, if not set aside, is bound to cause serious damage to the dignity and well-being of lakhs of Dalits and Adivasis across the country, who despite a POA Act are exposed to humiliation and hate crimes."
Pointing out that the data put forward by the apex court "is only a minuscule reflection of the large number of actual crimes across the country", NAPM quotes from the 2017 NCRB report, which reveals that the number of cases reported under the PoA Act rose by 5.5% to reach 40,801 in 2016. "In 2016, Uttar Pradesh (10,426 cases) reported the highest number of cases of atrocities against SCs, accounting for 25.6% of the total, followed by Bihar with 14% (5,701 cases) and Rajasthan with 12.6% (5,134 cases)."
Especially referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state, NAPM say, "The conviction rate of crimes against SCs and STs is way below the national average in Vibrant Gujarat, which despite the Una uprising is witness to gruesome atrocities to this day, including the killing of a Dalit man in Bhavnagar district for riding a horse!"
It further says, "The disposal of cases by police and courts reveal that under the POA Act, 11,060 cases were taken up for investigation in 2016, but the charge-sheeting rate was 77%, the conviction rate was 15.4%, while the pendency percentage was 90.5%. The data clearly shows how difficult it is to access and obtain justice within the Brahminical system which is deep within the administration as well as every sphere of life."
In support of Bharat Bandh:
Viramgam, Ahmedabad district
"While different parties such as the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) and the Republican Party of India (RPI) have already filed separate review petitions against the Supreme Courts order, we think the Central government must immediately file a categorical review petition, praying that no dilution to the Act be permitted", NAPM says.
"The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) and the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) have also conveyed their views and demanded a review of the verdict, saying the original Act, as it existed before the apex court verdict, should be restored. We demand that Parliament must discuss this issue urgently and come up with solutions to prevent any dilution of the Act", insists NAPM.
The statement has been signed, among others, by well-known social activist Medha Patkar, former Sonia Gandhi adviser and Right to Information campaigner Aruna Roy, and Goldman Environmental prize (also known as Green Nobel) winner Prafulla Samantara, among about 50 top civil rights leaders.

Comments

Urvashi Devi said…
Can't understand why you all keep blaming the BJP ? It's been like this for decades . I can recall that in my grand mother's elections (maharani Gayatri Devi )one of things we went on and on about treating Dalits like human beings . In Rajasthan they couldn't use the same well , we used to drink water in a Dalit home just to say it's alright . So it's not the BJP it's the ancient mindset

TRENDING

Mystery around Gujarat PSU 'transfer' of Rs 250 crore to Canadian firm Karnalyte

By AK Luke, IAS (Retd)*
While returning from a Board meeting of the Oil India Limited (OIL) in Ahmedabad some time in 2012, two officers of the Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (GSFC), Nanavaty and Patel,  saw me off at the airport. They said they were proceeding to Canada in connection with a project GSFC had entered into with a company there. As we were running late, I hastily wished them the best.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad 'declared' two-nation theory in 1937, Jinnah followed 3 years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

Indians have made 119 nations their ‘karma bhumi’: US-based Hindu NGO tells Rupani

Counterview Desk
In a stinging letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, the US-based Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR), referring to the report citing his justification for the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) – that “while Muslims can choose any one of the 150 Islamic countries in the world (for residence), India is the only country for Hindus" – has said, he should remember, Hindus have made several countries, including USA, their home.

J&K continues to be haunted, as parts of India 'degenerate' into quasi-Kashmir situation

By Rajendran Narayanan*, Sandeep Pandey**
“Jab har saans mein bandook dikhe toh baccha kaise bekhauf rahe?” (How can a child be fearless when she sees a gun in every breath?) remarked Anwar, a gardener from Srinagar, when asked about the situation in Kashmir. On November 30, 2019, a walk through an iron gate in a quiet neighbourhood of Srinagar took us inside a public school. It was 11 am when typically every school is abuzz with activity. Not here though.

Tata Mundra's possible closure? Power ministry's 'pressure tactic' on consumer states

By Bharat Patel*
Tata power has announced to the Union Ministry of Power that Tata Power may be forced to stop operating  its imported coal-based Mundra Ultra-Mega Power Project (UMPP) after February, 2020. It is not only unfortunate but also criminal that irreversible damage has been caused to the fragile ecosystem of Mundra coast for a project that will have a running life of only seven years.

Population control? 10% Indian couples want to delay next pregnancy, but fail

Counterview Desk
Shireen Jejeebhoy, director at Aksha Centre for Equity and Wellbeing, previously senior associate at the Population Council, India, argues that the debate on the country's population was fuelled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day address to the nation, where he drew attention to “concern” about the challenges posed by this ‘exploding’ population growth, needs to centre around the promotion of rights and education, instead of the language of explosion and the threat of coercion that this term implies.

Upendra Baxi on foolish excellence, Indian judges and Consitutional cockroaches

By Rajiv Shah
In a controversial assertion, top legal expert Upendra Baxi has sought to question India's Constitution makers for neglecting human rights and social justice. Addressing an elite audience in Ahmedabad, Prof Baxi said, the constitutional idea of India enunciated by the Constituent Assembly tried to resolve four key conflicting concepts: governance, development, rights and justice.

Savarkar 'opposed' Bhagat Singh's, Netaji's dream of India, supported British war efforts

By Shamsul Islam*
In a shocking development, the student wing of the RSS put the busts of martyrs Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose with Savarkar's on one pedestal at the University of Delhi late in the night on August 20, 2019. Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for a socialist-democratic-secular republic and Netaji raised Azad Hind Fauj (INA) consisting of people of all religions and regions for armed liberation of India.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.