New Delhi: A delegation of opposition parties led by Congress President Rahul Gandhi met President Ram Nath Kovind to raise their concerns on dilution of the provisions of arrest in the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and seek his intervention.
The delegation which besides leaders from Congress and other parties also included Bahujan Samaj Party leader Satish Mishra and DMK leader Kanimozhi, met the President around 5:30 pm on Wednesday and handed him a memorandum.
The delegation while referring to the Supreme Court order which made prior sanction mandatory in cases of arrest under the provisions of the Act and allowed anticipatory bail to be granted in such offences asserted that perpetrators of discrimination and violence were emboldened and insecurity was rising among Dalits after the recent Supreme Court judgment diluting provisions of arrest under the Scheduled Castes & Schedule Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
“The problems are not restricted to one particular state and have assumed a national character. This coupled with the recent judgment pronounced by the Supreme Court shall further embolden the perpetrators and atrocities against Dalits will rise even further”, they said.
“There is great unease and a feeling of insecurity amongst the members of Dalit community and other oppressed classes after the said judgment was delivered. If immediate steps are not taken by the government, then, we are afraid, this may turn into something not less than a national disaster”, the delegation said.
INC COMMUNIQUE— INC Sandesh (@INCSandesh) March 28, 2018
Memorandum submitted by Opposition Parties to the President of India on rising atrocities against Dalits and dilution of The Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. pic.twitter.com/r3zUEEX1YF
Earlier, Rahul Gandhi had said that the dilution of arrest provisions in the SC/ST Act by the Supreme Court comes in the backdrop of “growing” atrocities on Dalits and tribals across the country.
“The Supreme Court ruling diluting provisions of arrest in the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act comes in the backdrop of growing atrocities against Dalits and Adivasis across India,” Rahul Gandhi said on the Twitter. “Leaders from opposition parties will meet President Kovind this evening to share their concerns,” he added.
A number of parties have protested on the issue and have demanded that the government seek an immediate review of the Supreme Court judgment or bring amendments in the law. A protest led by Republican Party of India (RPI) was also held in Nashik. It was also reported that RPI leader and Union Minister Ramdas Athavle is moving to the Supreme Court with an appeal seeking revision in its order.
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