NHRC to hold open hearing on atrocities to Dalits

Last Updated: Fri, Jan 25, 2013 15:30 hrs

Mumbai, Jan 25 (IANS) A delegation of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), headed by its chairman Justice (retd.) K.G. Balakrishnan, will hear over 550 cases of atrocities faced by the Scheduled Castes at an open hearing in Nagpur from Monday, an official said.

"The delegation will be hearing 571 cases over four days in Nagpur. These are related to atrocities against the Scheduled Castes and the problems faced by them in seeking justice from state government agencies," an official said.

NHRC members Justice B.C. Patel, Satyabrata Pal, A.K. Garg and other senior officers of the commission will be part of the delegation, the official added.

The rights panel had invited complaints for the open hearing and received around 1,400 complaints. Of these, 571 were short-listed for calling reports from the authorities and will be taken up during the open hearing.

"The commission has also identified 29 cases that would be taken up during interaction with the officers of the state government at a meeting in Mumbai on Jan 31. These mainly comprise complaints on denial of benefits of social welfare schemes, police inaction, malpractice of revenue authorities, non-payment of retirement benefits, forcible dispossession of SCs from their lands among others," the official said.

Prior to this, the NHRC has held four open hearings of complaints on atrocities against the Scheduled Castes in Odisha, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan.

According to the official, the commission has decided to hold such open hearings to reach out to the Dalits and hear their complaints about violations of their rights by the public authorities.

"The decision is based on the recommendations given by retired bureaucrat K.B. Saxena, in his report commissioned by the NHRC, on the continuing problems faced by the Scheduled Castes," the official said.

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