New Delhi, July 21: A week after four Dalit men were brutally assaulted by cow protection vigilantes in Gujarat, the central government on Thursday urged the states to effectively implement constitutional safeguards for the Scheduled Castes to create crime-free environment against them.
"The government has strengthened constitutional provisions for prevention of atrocities against Scheduled Castes and for their empowerment," Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Thaawar Chand Gehlot said in a statement here.
"Urgent steps should be taken to ensure implementation of these provisions effectively and to set up monitoring mechanism at each level," he added.
Gehlot urged the states to sensitise official machinery.
"Eradicating the discriminatory practices against the Scheduled Castes is our constitutional responsibility. The state government should sensitise official machinery at each level for this purpose," the minister said.
He asked for setting up of the "special courts, the working of the district and state level monitoring committees, and the disbursing of the laid down monetary compensation" to be monitored at highest levels.
In a meeting convened by the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC), Gehlot emphasised on schemes oriented to benefit the Scheduled Castes and said, "The funds should not deviate. The states should ensure that the actual expenditure is 100 per cent of the allocation and funds are not re-appropriated."
Only a week ago, a video of some men beating half-naked members of Dalit community allegedly for skinning a dead cow went viral. Gehlot, in the meeting, discussed monitoring of prevention of atrocities on the Scheduled Castes.
"Identification and rehabilitation of manual scavengers, implementation of the Scheduled Castes Sub Plan (SCSP) and implementation of reservation in state government was also discussed," he said.