BJP, TRS Govts anti-Dalits: TPCC chief

Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) president N. Uttam Kumar Reddy has accused the BJP government at the Centre and TRS government in Telangana of pursuing “anti-Dalit” policies.

The TPCC chief, who was here on Wednesday as part of Congress Praja Chaitanya Yatra, addressed the media to condemn the increasing “atrocities and injustices” against Dalits under the BJP and TRS regimes in the last four years. He said the recent judgment of Supreme Court altering the SC, ST Atrocities (Prevention) Act has instilled fear among the already victimized Dalits and Girijans.

Uttam Kumar Reddy alleged that the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre caused inordinate and deliberate delay in filing a review petition in the Supreme Court on the issue which led to large scale protests across the country. Dalits were forced to hold protests on the streets against the negligent attitude of the BJP Government towards the Dalits, he added. He said in the last 70 years of independence, it was only during Congress regimes that steps were taken for the safety and welfare of Dalit and Girijans. However, he said, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao governments have failed to protect the interests of the SC and ST communities.

He reminded that a Madiga MLA Dr T. Rajaiah, who was inducted in the cabinet as Health Minister, was later removed on vague allegation of corruption. He also alleged that Dalits, who objected to activities of sand mafia in Sircilla were subjected to third degree torture. The murder of a Dalit youth in Manthani remained unsolved even after one year, he said, adding that no cases were booked when two Dalit youths in Manakondur attempted suicide alleging denial of three acres of land despite greasing palms of TRS leaders. The case was hushed up although one of the youths succumbed to burns later and the victim named culprits in his dying declaration, he said. He also said some tribal farmers of Khammam were implicated in false treason cases for holding protests demanding remunerative prices to their chilli crops. Later, they were handcuffed while being produced before a court.

Uttam Kumar Reddy pointed out that the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) pointed out diversion of over Rs 10,000 crore of SC and ST funds by the TRS Government. He also alleged that attacks on Dalits, especially in North India, have increased after Narendra Modi became Prime Minister. He demanded that the Centre initiate steps to ensure that the SC, ST Act remains unchanged. (NSS)