`Rehabilitation package for atrocity victims to be fixed'

The Times of India News Service

BANGALORE: A permanent rehabilitation package worth about Rs 3.7 crore would be set up by the state level SC/ST Vigilance and Monitoring Committee to help victims of atrocities belonging to that community, Social Welfare Minister Kagodu Thimmappa said here, on Monday.

Speaking to reporters, Thimmappa said, ``In cases like Anehala in Chitradurga district and Kambalapalli in Kolar district, we have rehabilitated as individual incidents. This package will list out the rehabilitation required, according to the severity of the situation, and will be strictly adhered to in all cases.''

The Committee, which met on Monday afternoon under the chairmanship of Chief Minister S.M. Krishna, decided to appoint Home Secretary II S. Mariswamy as nodal officer for the Committee's programmes. ``The Civil Enforcement Directorate will be converted into an SC/ST protection cell,'' Thimmappa said.

He also said the government would write to Karnataka High Court Chief Justice requesting him not to load the Special Courts for SC/ST atrocities set up in the six districts of Belgaum, Raichur, Gulbarga, Bijapur, Mysore and Kolar with regular cases, as is being done. ``There is a backlog of 4,000 cases on atrocities against SC/STs,'' he pointed out.

He said the government would also set up a mobile court in these six districts to clear the backlog, and would also request the Chief Justice to spare a Sessions Judge for the purpose. ``The other decision taken is that witnesses who come to depose in these cases will get TA/DA and one day's wage on the day of the deposition itself. Till now they had to come another day to claim this, which does not serve the purpose at all,'' Thimmappa stated.

The Minister said district-level vigilance and monitoring committees comprising the local MLAs and MPs, under the Deputy Commissioners, will also be set up and asked to submit a report within a month, or the DCs would have to face suitable action.

The state-level committee had been set up only on Saturday, Thimmappa said, though it should have been constituted in 1995 itself. ``The SC/STs Prevention of Atrocities Act (1989) had made provision for the formation of these committees at the state-level and the rules for the Act were formulated in 1995 itself,'' he added.

The state committee is headed by the CM, with the Home Minister, the Finance Minister, the Social Welfare Minister and all SC/ST MPs and MLAs from the state as members, Thimmappa said.

Thimmappa said the Committee had decided to meet again in July to review the progress on these decisions. Experts would also be consulted to draw up an awareness programme against the atrocities to SC/STs, he added.

DSS to hold seminar in B'lore


With a view to propagate the idea that the community of untouchables should identify themselves outside the fold of Hinduism, the Dalit Sangarsha Samiti will hold a seminar in Bangalore on May 28.

Addressing a press conference here jointly, Samiti convenor D G Sagar and Gulburga district convenor Arjun Bhadre said that as long as they are in the fold of Hinduism, the dalits will not get whatever is due to them. ''The Dalits will be able to turn a new leaf only if they formally and rationally reject Hinduism,`` they said. The seminar, which will be held at the Senate Hall on the Central College campus is to be inaugurated by secretary of Bodhgaya Mahavihara Sri Badantha Prajnasheela Bantheja.

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