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HindustanTimes Fri,29 Aug 2014

Scheduled Castes panel to summon ADGP

Vishal Rambani, Hindustan Times  Patiala, April 19, 2013
First Published: 20:57 IST(19/4/2013) | Last Updated: 21:03 IST(19/4/2013)

With a rising number of complaints from Punjab, mostly of police inaction, reaching the National Commission for Scheduled Castes, the latter has decided to summon the additional director general of police (ADGP, law and order), citing poor compliance of laws meant for protecting SCs.

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This was stated by Raj Kumar Verka, vice-chairman of the commission, who was here to probe a complaint by an MBBS student, Anmolpreet Singh, against a Rajindra Medical College faculty member, Dr Harsimran Singh. Verka ordered the registration of an FIR against the doctor for allegedly making casteist remarks against the student.

"Enough is enough. Every day, there is a video showing policemen beating someone or not bothering to register cases despite evidence. Law and order in Punjab is deteriorating. SCs and Scheduled Tribes (STs) are mostly at the receiving end. For this, the custodian of law and order is responsible, so I have decided to summon the ADGP (law and order)," said Verka.

He said the commission had so far received nearly 10,000 complaints from Punjab in the past two years or so, mostly related to the police department.

Meanwhile, the commission, after recording statements of various parties and getting the fact-finding report from the medical college principal, has ordered the Patiala SSP to register an FIR against Dr Harsimran Singh, assistant professor, ophthalmology, for allegedly making casteist remarks against a student, Anmolpreet, in the classroom. "I have also asked the SSP form a team headed by at least a DSP-rank officer and submit the action-taken report within seven days," said Verka.

The report of the college's three-member inquiry committee has found Dr Harsimran guilty of using foul language in the classroom and speaking against the SC reservation policy.

'One-sided probe'
The Punjab unit of the All India Equality Forum of Government Medical/Dental Colleges has termed Verka's probe one-sided.

"We are not satisfied with the inquiry into the alleged incident. Neither the doctor nor his witnesses have been given the opportunity to give their version," read the press release issued here by Dr Gurmeet Singh Bhagowalia, president of the unit.

"We demand that the National Commission for Scheduled Castes conduct a detailed and impartial inquiry before initiating any action. The forum does not support violation of human rights of anybody, irrespective of caste and creed," the press release said. The unit has also constituted a seven-member committee to probe the incident.

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