UP ''worst offender'' in crimes against Dalits; Punia

Aligarh, Feb 10 (PTI) Uttar Pradesh is the "worstoffender" as far as crimes against Dalits are concerned,Chairman of National Commission for Scheduled Castes andScheduled Tribes P L Punia said here today.

He came down heavily on Chief Minister Mayawati in thebackdrop of arrest of some Dalit women, who tried to block herway during a visit to Aligarh last week.

"The state government''s reported move to impose theGangster Act against those persons who protested before theChief Minister during her Aligarh visit was a pointer to thefact that fundamental rights were mercilessly trampled upon inthe state," Punia told reporters.

The Chief Minister has responded in a "crass feudaland autocratic manner" by sending the women to jail on "flimsytechnical grounds," he said.

Punia said that Mayawati had become "unapproachable"even to her own party members who left with "no option but toforce their way through" when she visited Aligarh district.

He said the Commission has served notices on SPs ofAligarh and Firozabad asking them to submit their reports ontwo separate complaints filed by some Dalit women.

One complaint was filed by Sunita, daughter of ajunior engineer, who was allegedly murdered last year, andanother by a woman accusing RES Minister Rajveer Singh ofharassing her for money for a party ticket.

Punia visited Sunita, whose father Rajender Singh, ajunior engineer in the state Irrigation Department, wasallegedly murdered last August in Aligarh. He accused Mayawatiof "shielding" two ministers suspected to be behind the murderof Singh.

"The Chief Minister in her tearing hurry to give cleanchit to two of her ministers appears to have forgotten thatshe rose to power riding on the back of the same ''Dalit''community whose women folk she is treating with such a disdaintoday," Punia alleged.

He also said that on an average the Commissionreceives about fifty complaints by Dalits in UP in which thepolice have not even registered preliminary reports.

Punia also "advised" state Cabinet Secretary ShashankShekhar Singh to not indulge into "brazen sycophancy".

"If Singh wants to issue political statements then heshould resign from his post and join the political party whichhe is presently championing," said Punia.

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