Bengal second in atrocities against SC/ST, providing false reports: Commission

Kolkata: Accusing the West Bengal government of being irresponsible and indifferent in tackling the cases of atrocities against the backward classes in the state, the National Commission for Scheduled Castes on Monday said the state is in the second position in the country in terms of crime committed against them, with only Kerala being ahead of them.

“The West Bengal government displays apathy in the cases of attacks on the Scheduled Castes. They are not serious in this matter. In terms of crimes against the backward classes, West Bengal is in second position. Kerala is at the top while Haryana can be considered third,” Ram Shankar Katheria, Chairman of the commission said here after meeting state officials.

The Commission also alleged that the state police does not lodge FIRs in the cases of attacks and crimes against the backward classes and said they have asked for a report from the state government, within 15 days, on these lapses.

The panel would send a report to the President within a month after receiving the state’s report and also send a letter to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to make her aware of the situation here.

“The state police do not take FIRs in the incidents of murder, rape, torture and other forms of atrocities against the Scheduled Castes. As a result nearly 50-60 victims every year have to approach the Magistrate concerned to lodge the FIR under section 156 (3) of the CrPC,” Katheria said.

“The state administration is also irresponsible in taking the necessary action against the accused in cases of atrocities against the Scheduled Castes after the FIR is lodged.. Also police often refrain from implementing the relevant sections under the SC/ST act against the accused and avoid the serious sections,” he alleged.

Katheria said that in several cases, the SC/ST families of murder or rape victims in the state, did not get the allotted compensation in case of a rape or murder even after more than a year, though according to the SC/ST Act, the compensation should reach them within a week.

Coming down heavily on the state government for not giving the accurate information in their yearly report, he said it is shocking that a state government is trying to misguide a constitutionally-approved commission.

“The backward classes welfare development report given by the Bengal government is providing false information. The murder and rape index in the state is being shown as zero in all the years while three members of a Scheduled Caste family were murdered in 2015. All the reports by the state are wrong,” he alleged.

“It is shocking that the state government is providing wrong information to the commission that is constitutionally approved. It is good that the victims came to meet us,”he said.

Claiming Maharastha and Gujrat are far ahead in terms of developmental schemes for backward classes, Katheria said the Scheduled Castes here are not getting the benefits of Central Government’s developmental initiatives as much as they should.