Dalits, tribals demand POA Act amendment
Thousands of people from the dalit and tribal communities assembled in the national capital Friday and sought amendment in the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and its approval in the current parliament session.
Atrocities and crimes against Dalits had increased and only a few cases were investigated by the police, National Commission for Scheduled Castes chairman P.L. Punia told participants of the National Dalit and Adivasi Sammelan at Ramilia Maidan here.
"We request the government to pass the amended act in parliament as soon as possible," he said.
But Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Kumari Shelja told the gathering that it was difficult to bring an amendment to the Prevention of Atrocities (POA) Act in the ongoing winter session of parliament.
"The draft has been prepared and we will try to present it before parliament in the budget session," Shelja told the gathering.
Women and Child Development Minster Krishna Tirath said dalits and tribals wanted equal rights and security.
"We should unite to press for the passing of the amended act in parliament," she said.
Around 500 tribal and human right organisations were part of the National Coalition for Strengthening the POA Act, said National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights activist Beena J. Pallical.
Union minister P. Balram Naik, Lok Janshakti Party chief Ramvilas Paswan, Communist Party of India leader D. Raja, Communist Party India-Marxist leader Sitaram Yechury and dalit leaders from several states also took part in the event.