SC, ST Act Dilution Impact? Sharp Rise In Cases Of Atrocities; Sangli Records 105% Rise, Pune Shows 80% Rise
The March 20 order of the Supreme Court, which has led to the “dilution” of the Prevention of Atrocities Act, 1989, might have led to the increase in the number of cases.
Maharashtra: There has been a sharp rise in the cases filed by Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes in Maharashtra. The March 20 order of the Supreme Court, which has led to the “dilution” of the Prevention of Atrocities Act, 1989, might have led to the increase in the number of cases.
Pune rural saw an increase of 80 per cent in PoA cases, The Indian Express reported. According to the data collected by the office of Maharashtra Director General of Police, 37 cases were registered between January and April 2017 in Pune Rural. This year the number in the same period rose to 68.
In Sangli, there is a record 105 per cent rise in PoA cases compared to the first four months of 2017. Only eight cases were registered in the first four months of 2017; the number has risen to 20 in 2018, the report said.
In Ahmednagar, there was a 60 per cent rise in PoA cases. Thirty cases were registered between January and April 2017 and this year 48 cases have been registered in the same period.
In Solapur, there has been a 41 per cent rise, from 31 cases to 44 this year.
The apex court guidelines are applicable only when cases are registered under PoA alone, said the Maharashtra Police.
In Maharashtra, 97 per cent of the cases registered under the IPC also invokes the PoA Act.
In 2017, there were 2,142 cases registered under the PoA Act, and only 55 were registered solely under its provisions. The rest of the 2,087 cases registered under the IPC had provisions that the PoA Act invoked.
Similarly in 2016, of the 2,155 cases which were registered, only 68 were registered for PoA Act alone.
The Maharashtra police attributed the rise in the number of cases to the Bhima-Koregaon violence after which conflict between communities has increased, The Indian Express report said.
A senior officer in the office of the Director General of Police said, “There were a lot of protests and even a bandh call. Therefore, many cities and towns in Maharashtra with sizeable SC/ST populations saw a spike in cases under the anti-atrocities Act.”
Prakash Ambedkar, the grandson of BR Ambedkar and part of Bharatiya Republican Party Bahujan Mahasangh, said, “After the bandh call on January 3, we had asked people to register cases of loot or body offences, if they have been victimised in any way. The rise in numbers could be owing to that.”