Hyderabad: Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao (KCR) has said entire country should stand by Dalits.
He also condemned the attack on Dalits during Bharat Bandh on Monday, which was called by Dalit outfits against the apex court’s ruling that allegedly diluted the act.
“The entire country, society should stand by Dalits, who are economically, socially and politically suppressed for generations together,” KCR said.
He maintained that the governments have a bounden duty to ensure that the Laws and Acts made for the Dalits should be implemented properly.
On March 20, the apex court, in a bid to check misuse of the SC/ST Act, ruled that preliminary enquiry in a case under the Atrocities Act would be done by the Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) to ensure the allegations are not frivolous, and to avoid the false implication of an innocent.
“The Dalits are feeling that the recent Supreme Court guidelines are weakening and diluting the Laws and Acts meant for protection of Dalits. The Judiciary should take into account the feelings, agony and opinion of the Dalits. The governments, which are to ensure the implementation of these Acts, should also respond to the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court reflecting the larger Dalit sentiment,” the Chief Minister said.
KCR also opined that Prime Minister Narender Modi should speak with the Supreme Court Chief Justice in this regard.
The CM urged the PM to place before the Supreme Court on “how the guidelines issued by the Apex Court are punching holes in the SC/ST Atrocities prevention Act”.
“The Central government should take a sympathetic view on the ongoing agitation launched by the Dalits who are crestfallen with the SC guidelines.
The Centre also should repose faith among the Dalits and assure them that it stands by them,” KCR said.
The Telangana Chief Minister also commented on the issue of cancellation of the accreditation of journalists accused of filing fake news items.
“The government should have a responsibility to protect freedom of the press without violating the basic civil rights. There are already Acts, laws in vogue to deal with those writing fake news, baseless news. By stating that identification of journalists will be cancelled under the pretext of curbing fake news is now sending disturbing signals among thousands of journalists in the country,” KCR said.
It is notable that an Information & Broadcasting ministry statement issued on Monday stated that if a journalist is found to have created or propagated fake news then his/her accreditation will be suspended or cancelled permanently.
However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday directed that the guidelines be withdrawn and the matter should only be addressed in Press Council of India.
After Prime Minister’s directive, Union I&B Minister Smriti Irani said she would be happy to engage in a debate with journalists to fight the menace of fake news.