In the backdrop of recent incidents provoking Dalit violence in Maharashtra and reports of atrocities against them, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has called a meeting of the chief ministers of all states to discuss the issue on December 9.
In an agenda sent to all the state chief ministers, the prime minister expressed unhappiness over the crime against Dalits and the administration’s “indifference” to them.
The prime minister also wants to take stock of the implementation of various welfare schemes for the Dalits and the tribals. The state governments will be asked to report on the action taken to check atrocities against the Dalits.
The discussions, to held in an inter-state council meeting, will follow the National Development Council meeting, scheduled for the same day.
Officials said the SC/ST welfare schemes were also expected to be taken up at the development council meeting, where the Planning Commission plans to introduce new proposals to improve their lot.
The meeting is significant in the wake of the violence in Nasik and other parts of Maharashtra after the desecration of the statue of Dr BR Ambedkar. Three people died and public property worth crores was torched.
Two months ago, the state was rocked by another spate of Dalit violence, after four of a Dalit family — including two women — were killed. Similar, incidents have also been reported from other states.
In May, a Dalit village in Haryana’s Karnal district flared up, when the community defied police orders to take out a procession of Ravidas Jayanti. A deluge of complaints is pending with the National Commission for Schedule Castes and Tribes because of the government’s failure to enforce the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Many states are yet to appoint vigilance and monitoring committees that the law stipulates.
Email Chetan Chauhan: chetan @hindustantimes.com