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NSCA demands SC/ST Act in Schedule IX of Constitution

Statesman News Service | Chandigarh |

A Punjab-based Dalit right groups on Friday said demanded the Union government to enact legislation for addition of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989 in the Schedule IX of Constitution to insulate it from judicial scrutiny.

In a memorandum to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi through the Divisional Commissioner of Ropar, National Scheduled Castes Alliance (NSCA) drew attention towards the rising instances of violence, crime, social discrimination, boycott and injustice against the scheduled castes (SC) community in India.

The NSCA president Paramjit Singh Kainth said one of the main reasons for writing this memorandum is the ‘dilution’ of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989.

In the absence of any significant public position the government so far on this extremely important issue, we requested the government takes a more proactive approach in solving this crucial issue which is close to the sentiments of the SC community, he said.

“We demand the Union government without delay go beyond political compulsions to enact legislation for addition of SC/ST Act in the Schedule IX of the Constitution by calling a special session of the Parliament. This will provide a buffer for any future misdealing with the Act and boost the confidence of the SC community in the government,” Kainth said.

The NSCA president said various schemes like Stand Up India scheme, Startup India scheme, Pre-Matric Scholarship to SC Student, Post Matric Scholarship for Scheduled Caste Students, Special Central Assistance (SCA) to Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan (SCSP), Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana etc which have been launched by the government but the implementation of these schemes has been dismal and disappointing.

“There are almost 6398 branches of various banks in Punjab out of which only 886 have joined the initiative of Standup India to provide loans to the budding entrepreneurs of the community. So far no strict actions against the banks that have rejected the scheme or who have not fully executed the scheme efficiently, has been taken by the government,” he said.

Kainth said Punjab government also lacks the desire to protect the rights of the students belonging to the SC community. “They have been unable to take advantage presented the Post Metric Scholarship for the SC students. The delay in release of funds and inability of the Punjab government to procure them has led to the suffering of thousands and lakhs of students in the state,” he said.