Compensation to Dalit rape victim as per law: Mayawati

July 16th, 2009 - 8:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Bahujan Samaj Party Lucknow, July 16 (IANS) Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati Thursday claimed that the monetary compensation being paid to a Dalit rape victim was strictly in accordance with the provisions of the Dalit Act and the amount had been determined by the Congress party when it was in power.
Speaking to mediapersons, she said: “Whatever we are paying to Dalit victims of rape was determined by none other than the Congress party, whose government was responsible for drafting the provisions of the Dalit Act.”

Mayawati was referring to the remarks made by state Congress president Rita Bahuguna Joshi on the payment of compensation to rape victims belonging to the Dalit community.

Flaying Mayawati for giving a paltry sum of Rs.25,000 to a rape victim, Joshi was alleged to have observed at a party meeting in Moradabad: “If Mayawati thinks that such an amount is fair compensation for the mental and physical trauma suffered by a rape victim, then I would be ready to offer her a compensation of Rs.1 crore.”

Joshi sought to highlight that while the state police chief was busy spending lakhs on helicopter rides to hand over the compensation to rape victims, the amount being offered to them was a pathetic Rs.25,000.

Joshi’s remark infuriated Mayawati and her Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) party workers, who protested against the statement. Joshi’s house in Lucknow was ransacked, allegedly by BSP workers.

“Personally, I am not satisfied with the provisions for punishment under the law. Left to me I would recommend nothing short of life imprisonment or death sentence to a rapist, and that too irrespective of caste and creed,” the chief minister pointed out. “If the Congress is so much against the existing provisions, why doesn’t it change the law through suitable amendments or by bringing in a new enactment,” she asked.

However, Mayawati declined to state how much compensation was laid down in the Act.

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