Vol. XLII No. 16 April 22, 2018

Dalit Groups Meet to Fight Unitedly for Saving the PoA Act

TO facilitate the building up of a united resistance by all dalit organisations against the onslaught on dalits by the present Modi-led BJP government, a meeting was held in Delhi on April 12 with the representatives of different dalit organisations.  The meeting was presided over by Prakash Ambedkar.  On behalf of DSMM, V Srinivasa Rao and Nathu Prasad, Thirunavukkarasu from the All India Agricultural Workers Union, V S Nirmal from All India Khet Mazdoor Union, Rameshnathan and Kamal Nath from NCDHR, Ananda Rao from AIDRF, Ashok Bharati from NACDOR attended the meeting. 

The meeting decided to observe unitedly April 14, B R Ambedkar’s birth anniversary, as `Protect Constitution Day’.  The meeting decided to raise the following demands:

1)    Lift all the cases booked against dalits and dalit leaders in the event of April 2 Bharat Bandh. Particularly in Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, thousands of cases were booked against dalits in the name of perpetrators of violence.  Innocent dalit youth were put behind the bars. Many of the employees who were on leave that day have received suspension notices or cases have been booked on them. This type of repression should be stopped immediately and their jobs should be resumed immediately. 

2)    Victims of families who died in the police firing and got injured should be compensated.  At least Rs One crore should be given to the family of every deceased person as demanded by dalit organisations. Every affected family should be given employment and pucca houses. 

3)    SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act should be protected under the Constitution.  This should be put in the Ninth Schedule of the Indian Constitution. 

4)    To restore the supremacy of the PoA Act, government should issue an ordinance to stop its dilution.

The meeting discussed and decided to mobilise public opinion in favour of the PoA Act throughout the country. It also warned the government of India to take immediate steps to strengthen PoA Act in its original form immediately. Otherwise, if the same lenient approach continues, the dalit community with the support of democratic movement will launch a nationwide movement after August 15.

The meeting appealed all dalit and other democratic organisations to build a strong and united movement against the conspiracy to dilute the PoA Act.