Panel raps Punjab on SC, ST atrocities
From Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

AMRITSAR, Oct 31 - Expressing concern over the rising number of atrocities on the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, the National Commission for SCs and STs has directed Punjab to take steps to clear the backlog of reserved posts, apart from the implementation of the reservation policy in toto.

Talking to TNS here today, Mr Dalip Singh Bhuria, and Mr Harinder Singh Khalsa, chairman and member, respectively of the commission said it was a matter of shame that a prosperous state like Punjab did not lag behind in cases of atrocities on the down trodden.

They said the Secretary Education had given a commitment that the state would given due share to candidates of the reserved class so far as the selection of 600 lecturers were concerned. Mr Khalsa said it was a matter of shame that despite the amendment in the ruling of the Supreme Court, reservation could not be implemented on one or the other pretext.

He said if states failed to implement the reservation policy in its true sense, the commission would submit a detailed case to the President and the Prime Minister for their intervention.

The commission had also directed the Punjab Government to allocate sufficient budget under the special component plan.

Mr Khalsa said he was shocked to learn that 74 per cent of the budget under the plan was not being used for the welfare of SCs/STs. Both categories had 28 per cent population as per the 1991 census in Punjab. If the budget was allocated, it was done at the fag-end of the financial year. The commission members said it was mandatory for all states to allocate sufficient funds well in time.

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