Following NCP leader Sharad Pawar, Raj Thackeray has asked for a review of the atrocities act on the grounds of it being misused. He also demanded reservation on basis of economic status and not caste as is practised today.
Thackeray recalled that when he visited a village in Karjat, where a minor girl was raped and brutally killed, the villagers complained that the atrocities act was being misused by the Dalit community.
“We need to change the act as we are seeing a lot of cases where it is being misused,” said Thackeray. “Why do we need laws framed on basis of caste? He questioned. He also wanted the current reservation system to be changed.
“Reservation should be on basis of economic factors and not on caste basis,” he added. In the ill-fated fated incident at Karjat, the victim belonged to the dominant Maratha community while the accused were allegedly of the Dalit caste. The villagers prevented Dalit leaders like Ramdas Athawale and Prakash Ambedkar from visiting the village to meet the victims, though both condemned the incident in strongest terms.
The Scheduled Caste and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act were framed by the Union Government in 1989 to prevent atrocities against the members of the SC and ST and help to bring them in the mainstream. However, the act has not been a successful deterrent to prevent crimes against Dalits.