15 Dalit outfits meet NCSC president, demand action

More than 15 Dalit organisations on Saturday met National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) President, Vijay Sampla over the brutal lynching of a Dalit man at the farmers’ protest site along the Singhu border. They demanded strict punishment to the accused persons involved in the incident.

The SC Commission Chairman has assured all Dalit organisations that appropriate steps will be taken against the accused involved.

Sampla in an exclusive conversation with IANS condemned the lynching and expressing anger, said, “The sight of the incident at the Singhu border sends down shivers among people. It is a heart-wrenching incident in itself. We strongly oppose if the deceased man was involved in the desecration of the holy Guru Granth Sahib. Strict action should have been taken against the victim but no individual has the right to take law into their own hands.”

“Lynching has no place in our country as well as of Punjab. Following this incident, we bow our heads in shame,” he said.

“The way Taliban terrorists carry out public executions and release the videos of killing people, it makes one think that such barbarism could still happen, but today it is very painful to see such a similar incident taking place in India,” he added.

Asked if any talks were held with farmer leaders after the lynching incident, Sampla said, “We have never had any talks nor do I have anything to do with the farmers. But many people from the Scheduled Castes community are part of the farmers’ agitation. But such a brutal killing involving a person belonging to the same community is unfortunate.”

“The protesting farmers have remained silent till Saturday following the lynching incident which took place on late Friday evening. They have not condemned the incident but released an arm-twisted statement.”

“The protesting farmers said the deceased and the accused are not part of the farmers’ agitation. For nearly 10 months, the accused persons have been working with the farmer leaders and standing united with them at every step. But it is not right to distance itself from the killing of a young Dalit man.”

Asked how many cases of atrocities against Dalits have come to the notice of the commission till now, NCSC Chairman said, “Nearly one thousand incidents of atrocities against the Dalits have been brought to our notice every month from across the country, of which the rights body has taken immediate cognizance.”

“The maximum number of atrocities against Dalits have come to light from Bengal, Rajasthan etc. While there is no state from where atrocities against Dalits have not come to the fore. I receive a lot of such incidents taking place from Punjab as well.”

The NCSC Chairman said nearly 3,241 complaints have been received since March 2021. Apart from Sampla, complaints of atrocities against Dalits keep coming to other members of the Commission as well.

Asked about the steps the NCSC is to take to stop atrocities against Dalits, Sampla said, “There are four members in the NCSC and work has been equally assigned to them but since the time I took over, nearly 68,000 files were pending following which we have acted upon nearly 30,000 cases related to atrocities against Dalits.”

Asked about the steps taken by the Commission regarding protection of Dalits, Chairman Sampla said, “It is a matter of law and order. But whatever incidents come to our notice, we act upon them swiftly and give justice to the victims of such atrocities.”