In a span of barely two months, the Congress led opposition parties again called on President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday, to seek his intervention in the recent Supreme Court verdict, which dilutes the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) act.
The leaders from various opposition parties, including the Congress President Rahul Gandhi, Gulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma, Kumari Shelja, PL Punia, BSP leader Satish Chandra Mishra, SP leader Vishambhar Prasad Nishad, CPI(M) leader TK Rangarajan, NCP leader Vandana Chavan and DMK leader TKS Elangovan submitted a memorandum, signed by opposition MPs, to the President.
“Today we met President to request his urgent intervention of dilution of SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. We have given a representation too. Atrocities against Dalits are increasing and the Act has been weakened”, said Mr Gandhi after the meeting.
Recently the Supreme Court diluted stringent provisions directing immediate arrest under the SC/ST prevention of Atrocities Act, citing the increasing ‘misuse’ of the act against the government servants.
“The judgment comes at a time when Dalits in the entire country are facing distressful situation and many families stand devastated because of the atrocities committed against Dalits in every nook and corner of the country, almost everyday”, the opposition said in the memorandum.
It further pointed out that a crime is committed against Dalits every 15 minutes in India and six Dalit women are raped every day, according to National Crime Records Bureau.
Referring recent incidents on atrocities against Dalits, reported by media, the memorandum said that every day news papers are flooded with reports of atrocities committed against Dalits in one part of the country or the other.
“Though such instances are myriad in number, some instances of barbaric and inhumane treatment of Dalits”, it said.
The opposition also said to Mr Kovind that there is great unease and a feeling of insecurity amongst the members of Dalit community and other oppressed classes after the Supreme Court judgment was delivered.
“If immediate steps are not takes by the government, then we are afraid, this may turn into something not less than a national disaster”, the opposition said.
On February 9th a delegation of opposition parties met Mr Kovind to demand that the Supreme Court monitored Special Investigation Team inquire the alleged suspicious death of the CBI Judge B H Loya and two of his confidants.