PM concerned over low conviction rate of cases under SC/ST Act

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New Delhi, Sep.7 (ANI): Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday expressed concern over low conviction rate of persons involved in carrying out atrocities against schedule castes and schedule tribes.

Speaking during inauguration of a conference of state ministers of welfare and social justice at New Delhi on Monday, Prime Minister Dr. Singh said: "Reports of atrocities against SCs, STs and senior citizens continue to appear with disturbing regularity. I have in fact written to the Chief Ministers of all states recently to enforce the provisions of the SCs and STs (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. It is shocking that conviction rate for cases of atrocities against SCs and STs is less than 30 percent against the average of 42 per cent for all cognisable offences under IPC."

"The state governments need to give more attention to this issue," the PM said.

Singh told them to conduct meetings of state and district level vigilance committees on a regular basis and said that court cases should be pursued on priority.

Focussing on the need to change the general mindset towards disadvantaged groups, the Prime Minister said such people should be made equal partners in the developmental processes.

"We propose to amend the Persons with Disabilities Act in consultation with states so as to bring it in line with the UN Convention (on Rights of Persons with Disabilities)," Dr. Singh said.

Referring to the drought like situation prevailing in many parts of the country, Singh said, "the experience has been that weaker sections tend to be the worst affected by such natural calamities.

"We, therefore, need to step up monitoring and implementation of welfare schemes like NREGA, Annapurna and Old Age Pension Scheme, which target the weaker sections." (ANI)

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