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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Sep 2014

Verka demands report on allegations of discrimination against Dalits

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Bathinda, April 05, 2013
First Published: 20:52 IST(5/4/2013) | Last Updated: 21:52 IST(5/4/2013)

National SC/ST Commission vice-chairman Raj Kumar Verka has demanded the action-taken report from the district administration on the alleged discrimination against Dalits at a gurdwara at Lehrakhana village in the district.

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Verka was here to discuss the status of the SC/ST welfare schemes and programmes running in the district with the administration.

"This issue was not discussed at the meeting. The district authorities did not inform me of the case," Verka said at a press conference after the meeting held with deputy commissioner KK Yadav, SSP Ravcharan Singh Brar and other district officials.

"I have come to know about this case from the media. I will serve a seven-day notice on the Bathinda DC and SSP to submit the action-taken report on the issue," said Verka.

Tension had mounted at Lehrakhana village after Dalits were allegedly discriminated against.

Sitting Congress MLA from Tarn Taran, Verka was also not happy with the district administration for presenting a "half-hearted" report on the status of cases registered under the SC/ST Act. "They provided an incomplete report on the status of cases registered under the SC/ST Act. I have told them to provide me details of the conviction rate in these cases."

Verka said, "The cases of exploitation of Dalits have been increasing in the state. The Punjab government has not been running any schemes for Dalits. They are also sending back the money sent by the Centre for constructing hostels for Dalit students."

On the status of reservation in the state, Verka said, "Punjab has the highest Dalit population in India. But the state government is not providing jobs in that ratio. Only 13% posts under reservation have been filled in the state whereas at least 33% such posts should be filled."

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