Officials will be taken to task if casteism is practised in jail
CHENNAI: Vice-chairman of the national commission for scheduled caste (NCSC) L Murugan said he would inspect the central prison in Palayamkottai to check whether inmates were discriminated against based on caste.
“Stern action will be taken against prison authorities if we find that the inmates have been discriminated based on caste,” he said while responding to a question on inmates being segregated based on their caste. TOI had sometime ago carried an article, exposing the ill-practice by the prison authorities. The prisoners belonging to Dalit community were separated from non-Dalits.
On manual scavenging, he said 20 people have been asphyxiated in 11 incidents of manual scavenging in the national capital.
The commission has directed the authorities to invoke the SC/ST (prevention of atrocities) Act in connection with the deaths of persons belonging to SC community in manual scavenging. Two persons died in similar incidents in Coimbatore two weeks ago. They have directed the police officials to invoke the SC/ST Act against the persons, who engaged the victims.
“We have also been ensuring that the victims’ family get compensation of Rs 8.50 lakh as per the provision of the act. Apart from financial aid, the victims’ kin is entitled for house, land patta and employment for one of the family members in government sector,” he said and added that they have intervened in several cases and ensured the victims’ families have received the benefits.On the prevalence of casteism in schools in rural pockets of the state, he said that the commission has been taking appro priate action if the issue was represented to it. They have also been trying to reach out to people in rural areas by organising district and taluk level adalats to hear the grievance of the SC people.