Alarmed at the growing rate of atrocities against Dalits and high acquittal rates in such crimes, the Centre has appointed a high-level committee for effective coordination to devise ways and means to curb such offences.
The Committee headed by Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment would also see effective implementation of the Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955 and SCs/STs (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, Ministry Sources said.
The government is very keen to handle the atrocity cases under the Prevention of Crime Act, 1955, and SCs/STs (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 at the highest level in the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and has held several meetings with representatives from different states to finalise an effective action plan in this regard.
The Committee, which has already held three meetings, observed that a responsive police administration was essential to take care of its subjects and in the present context added that it was essential for prevention of atrocities that are inflicted upon the members of SCs/STs by "unscrupulous elements from the dominant sections of society".
As many as 87,647 cases of atrocities against scheduled castes were pending by the end of year 2005, which also saw lower conviction rate of merely 29.77 per cent and high acquittals to the tune of over 70 per cent.
"There were 1,09,072 cases of atrocities against SCs registered during 2005. Of the total, 87,647 cases are still pending while merely 6,145 were convicted and 14,495 acquitted," they said quoting records from the National Crime Bureau.