New posting for Kalimuthu may strengthen Social Justice Dept

ERODE: The appointment of former Chennai police commissioner Kalimuthu as Director of Social Justice Department has been welcomed by many dealing the Protection of Civil Rights and SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act.

According to informed sources, the previous government created the social justice department but did not give any importance to meet the expectationsof various Dalit organisations.They frequently raise complaints regarding untouchability.

Many expected that as a senior police officer in the rank of Additional DGP was posted to that department, he would deal with all complaints regarding atrocities against the Dalits.

They said the PCR Act was passed in 1955 under which untouchability and two tumbler problem was dealt with. But, to give more protection to the dalits, the SC/ST prevention of Atrocities Act was passed in 1988.

As per the Act, the government has appointed an officer in the rank of IG to look into the issues regarding human rights and social justice. It has appointed Kalimuthu to look into social justice issues.

They said already the DSPs in the districts were empowered to register the cases and also one separate wing called PCR wing is functioning in all district headquarters with an officer in the inspector grade to head it.

So, both the DSPs and the inspectors are looking into the complaints from the public. Once a chargesheet is frame, the government sanctioned Rs 6250 to a complainant if his complaint is regarding that another person insulted him with using his caste name.

Similarly, Rs. 50,000 (one fourth of the total assistance) is given to a rape victim and if the complaint is related to murder, then the government offers one fourth of Rs. 1 lakh if the victim is not a earning member and Rs. 2 lakhs if the member is a earning member.

The complainant can claim the rest of three fourth of the compensation once the court convicted the defendant. Similarly, under the Acts only, the collectors are empowerd to construct the houses or repair the houses if the dalits houses are damaged by others. But, there is no provision to claim the already disbursed compensation, if the court dismisses the complaint as false one.

But in most of the cases under the Acts, they said, the witnesses turned hostile and in some cases the complainant himself backtracked from his complaint following some local adjustments. Conviction became very rare, they pointed out.

They suggested that some amendments should be made in the Acts in order to protect the affected SC/STs as well as innocent people belonging to other castes as several parties started complaining about the misuse of the Act on the one hand and on the other dalit outfits raised hue and cry over the police's apathy to register cases under the provisions of the Act.

They appealed to Kalimuthu to take keen interest to make the department a vibrant one and render full justice to all sections of people.

Karunanidhi demands CBI inquiry into DPI leader murder

CHENNAI: DMK president M Karunaidhi on Wednesday demanded a CBI probe into the murder of Dalit Panthers of India (DPI) treasurer Mudakathan Pandian on June 18 in Madurai.

In a statment Karunanidhi accused the police of diverting the issue by attributing personal motives to the murder. "The murderers should be arrested and the CBI should invesigate the case," he added.

He also strongly denounced the murder of the DPI functionary and expressed his condolences to the bereaved family.

However, significantly, the DMK chief stopped short of expressing any support for the DPI-sponsored bandh at Madurai slated for June 22. He merely cited the bandh plan and went on to endorse the demand for a CBI inquiry.

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Referred by: Mukandan CM
Published on: June 22, 2001
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