Bihar to set up 30 new SC/ST police stations

May 20th, 2008 - 12:10 pm ICT by admin  

Patna, May 20 (IANS) In a bid to check crime against Dalits and help them seek justice, the Bihar government has decided to increase the number of special police stations for the Scheduled Castes (SC) and the Scheduled Tribes (ST) to 40 from 10 at present. “We have decided to set up more SC/ST police stations to check crime against the marginalised and weaker sections of society,” said Jitan Ram Manjhi, Bihar’s SC/ST welfare minister.

Manjhi, who is a Dalit himself, told IANS that the decision to set up 30 more SC/ST police stations within this year was taken to speed up probes.

“It was noticed and reported time and again that probes were getting delayed due to lack of adequate SC/ST police stations,” Manjhi said.

He said that at present there are only 10 SC/ST police stations in Bihar, which has 38 districts. Dalits constitute over 15 percent of Bihar’s population of 83 million.

According to official figures, 3,091 cases of atrocities against Dalits were pending in the state till January 2008. Some of these cases were under the SC/ST Atrocities Prevention Act and others under the Indian Penal Code.

The number of registered cases of atrocities against Dalits increased from 1,729 in 2006 to 1,932 in 2007.

A police official said that while more SC/ST police stations were needed, even the existing ones lacked basic infrastructure and manpower.

“Some places don’t have vehicles. Others don’t have telephones or electricity. We have to work with an inadequate number of constables,” he said on condition of anonymity.

However, Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Anil Sinha said that SC/ST police stations would soon be upgraded under a modernisation plan.

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