National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) Chairman PL Punia has sent a notice to the Mayawati government over the killing of three Jats in Bhatta-Parsaul, in recent clashes between villagers and police, also asking about the status of the compensation due to their families.
Ironically, Jats are a dominant caste in the region and are OBCs, not Dalits, in the state.
However, what has made Punia decide to send notice is that Article 338 (10) of the constitution — Article 338 as a whole deals with the NCSC —expressly states: “In this article, reference to the Scheduled Castes shall be construed as including references to… other backward classes…and also to the Anglo Indian community”.
“We have sent notice to UP under Article 338(10), informing them of the charges that three OBC youth were killed in police firing, and seeking to know from them what compensation they have given to the aggrieved families as of now?” Punia told HT.
Jats were included in the UP state OBC list in the year 2000, but are not part of the central OBC list yet. Punia however said, “This incident took place in UP and was thus an atrocity against OBCs, on which the NCSC is constitutionally empowered to take cognizance.”
This attack from the NCSC chief — a Congress MP and an aide-turned-arch-rival of UP CM Mayawati — comes close on the heels of the NCSC’s summoning of the district magistrate and superintendent of police of Gautam Buddha Nagar over atrocities on Dalits in Bhatta-Parsaul.
Politically, this is being seen as part of the ongoing Congress-Mayawati row after Rahul Gandhi visited the twin villages that became the site of a recent land acquisition controversy.
Sociologically, the notice may seem an anomaly to some, as a constitutional commission mandated to safeguard the interests of Dalits — at the bottom of the social pyramid — has sent notice to a Dalit CM about the killing of members of a locally dominant caste.