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  Sharad Pawar makes U-turn on atrocities act

Sharad Pawar makes U-turn on atrocities act

AGE CORRESPONDENT
Published : Aug 31, 2016, 6:54 am IST
Updated : Aug 31, 2016, 6:54 am IST

NCP chief retracts statement, saying demands to scrap pro-Dalit Act can’t be ignored.

Sharad Pawar at a press  meet 	—Shripad Naik
 Sharad Pawar at a press meet —Shripad Naik

NCP chief retracts statement, saying demands to scrap pro-Dalit Act can’t be ignored.

Two days after demanding that the Schedule Caste And The Schedule Tribes (Prevention Of Atrocities) Act, 1989 — widely known as the Atrocity Act — needs to be changed, NCP President Sharad Pawar has made a U-turn. Blaming the upper caste people for misusing the Act, he has said the law should not be used in the wrong manner.

 

“Atrocity Act has been misused by Savarnas (upper caste), not by Dalits. In fact, the local leaders are misusing the Act to settle their own squabbles by using Dalit youths,” he said on Tuesday.

His comments are in stark contrast to his earlier statements, where he had said social demands for scrapping of the Atrocity Act following the Khopardi rape-murder case could not be ignored.

“Girls and women are subjected to abuses... demand for scrapping of the Act needs to be considered seriously. The root causes should be investigated,” Mr Pawar had said in Aurangabad.

He was speaking in the backdrop of a brutal rape and murder of a 15-year-old girl on July 13 at Khopardi village in Ahmednagar.

 

However, on Tuesday, the Maratha strongman said he had not demanded scrapping the Act. “I had said that cognisance should be taken of several rallies that are being held in huge numbers to protest the Khopardi incident. The state government should try to determine what caused it. Prevention of misuse of the Atrocity Act and reservation for Maratha community are their main demands,” said Mr Pawar.

Aurangabad and a few other cities have recently witnessed huge rallies from members of the Maratha community to protest the Khopardi rape-murder incident.