Opp demands probe as cases of crimes against Dalits show alarming rise
LUCKNOW: The number of cases of crimes and atrocities registered with the police in which members of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes were victims have shown an alarming increase in UP.
With the Assembly elections round the corner, Opposition parties are not missing any chance to embarrass the ruling BJP-led Government over the issue. Bahujan Samaj Party vice-president Mayawati and Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav cornered the Vajpayee Government on Wednesday over the upsurge in such incidents in Uttar Pradesh. They sought a report on the atrocities and also on the action taken by the state government.
On June 11, five members of a Dalit family were shot dead by an upper caste in Jeharana village of Aligarh. On June 17, five Dalits were clubbed to death in Fatehpur district following a dispute over an FIR lodged against members of an upper caste family.
According to police records, there was an increase of 29.76 per cent in the total number of cases of crimes against Dalits from January to May this year. The cases of murders of Dalits registered showed an increase of 12.78 per cent compared to the same period in 2000, rape cases increased by 12.5 per cent, instances of rioting by 37.70 per cent, petty crimes by 42.54 per cent and atrocities by 28.54 per cent.
Over 150 Dalits were murdered and 144 Dalit women raped. About 90 cases of rioting and arson in which Dalits were the victims were registered with the police. In the corresponding period last year, 133 Dalits were murdered and 128 women were raped. There were 61 cases of arson and rioting.
During the same period in 1999, the figures were 121, 107 and 60 respectively. The number of assault and rioting cases too registered an alarming rise at 1357 and 1198 respectively, compared to 952 and 932 in 2000.
The state government claims that the figures rose because of fair registration of cases. A government official said that the SCs and STs in state were were not suppressed anymore. They were now conscious of their rights and standing up against injustice, he said. Earlier such cases used to go unreported for fear of retaliation but now they go to the police stations and register cases against upper caste people howsoever influential they may be, he said.
After the constitution of the SC\ST Commission in 1995 the registration of such cases has become easier.