Report by OD bureau; Bhubaneswar: Odisha Government has decided to open legal aid cells in all 314 blocks to address atrocities against the SCs and STs. It was informed by the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik during the High Power Vigilance & Monitoring Committee Meeting on Saturday here.
Full Text Speech of Hon’ble C.M. for the High Power Vigilance & Monitoring Committee Meeting on 25.08.2012 at 05.30 P.M.
This Committee will review the implementation of the provisions of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act & Rules. The State Govt. is committed to the overall socio—economic development of the SCs & STs and has a firm commitment to sternly deal with cases of atrocities against the SCs and STs.
To address the issues relating to the prevention of atrocities and to provide proper relief and rehabilitation to SCs & STs affected by such atrocities, the State Govt has taken a number of measures.
A State level SC & ST Protection Cell has been constituted recently with a full time Inspector General of Police along with the required number of Deputy Superintendents of Police. The mandate of the cell is to monitor the progress of enforcement of SC & ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 and to submit a monthly report to the State Govt.
The compensation to the victims of atrocities has been increased by about 150 percent vide State Government's Resolution dated 28.06.2012.
A comprehensive strategy for creating awareness through the print and electronic media, involvement of NGOS, civil society organizations, PRI members, etc. has been chalked out and an amount of rupees two crore has been earmarked for this purpose.
The State Govt. will also initiate steps to revisit the syllabus at the school level for greater sensitization of students. Training of teachers will also be undertaken.
Frequent interface of the magistracy and the police at district level is insisted upon to sensitize officials for prompt action in all cases of atrocities.
2 A decision has been taken to open legal aid cells in all 314 blocks with two legal retainers who will provide legal assistance to SC / ST beneficiaries free of cost. Legal retainers have been appointed in 227 blocks. This is likely to provide substantial relief to SC & ST families in accessing legal assistance.
Cases of atrocities should not be viewed as a law and order issue alone. It is a socio economic issue and the State Government therefore strives to bridge the gap between different social groups by improving the overall socio-economic status of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.