MUMBAI: Voices seeking a relook at the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act may be increasing in the state, but a glance at the data compiled by the home ministry shows that as many as 3,647 cases of crime against Dalits were reported in the state between January 2015 and June 2016. While 2,489 cases dalits were registered in 2015, the number touched 1,158 till June 2016.
According to the state home ministry data, there were 331 cases of rape and 97 cases of murder of Dalits in 2015. In 2016, the number of rapes of dalits touched 142 and murder 36 till June end. Officials said that the highest number of crimes against Dalits was registered in Pune division: 544 cases in 2015 and 245 till June end in 2016.
According to the rules, the government has to provide monetary compensation to the complainants, ranging from Rs 85,000 to Rs 8.25 lakh. A part of the compensation has to be given when the complaint is filed and the remaining in the due course and then the final at the end of the case. However, compensation has been paid in less than 40% of the se cases
In the 2,489 cases registered in 2015, compensation was given in only 984 cases. This year, compensation has been paid to complainants in only 366 cases, while 1158 cases had been filed till June.”There are many reasons why compensation were not paid such as non-availability of caste certificate, or non-submission of medical certificate. In some cases, the sanction to release the funds were pending,” said an official from the social justice department.
State government officials along with the police will be conducting a special drive to sensitize police officials about the Act and also the different provisions available for the complainant. “There has been a growing demand to sensitise the police. Every year, we see that cases are being filed only from a few villages or areas in a district and that needs to be looked into,”said an official.