Centre asks states to encourage inter-caste marriages

May 31st, 2008 - 8:28 am ICT by admin  

Agartala, May 31 (IANS) The Centre has asked the state governments to make efforts to encourage inter-caste marriages in order to combat casteism, Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Meira Kumar said here. “In a letter to all the chief ministers, I have also requested to increase the incentive amount for inter-caste marriages to at least Rs 50,000, of which 50 percent would be borne by the Centre,” she said late Friday.

“The union government was deeply concerned over the low rate of conviction and high rate of acquittal of those people involved in the incidents of atrocities on people belonging to scheduled caste and tribals,” she added.

The union minister was chairing the sixth meeting of the high powered committee looking after the prevention of atrocities on the people belonging to scheduled caste and tribals and effective implementation of the protection of civil rights act, 1955.

Top officials of Orissa, West Bengal and some northeast states attended the meeting, which was held in the northeast for the first time.

“The factors like land disputes, land alienation, bonded labour, indebtedness, non-payment of minimum wages and forced labour or ‘begaar’ trigger major offences of atrocities,”

Praising the role of the traditional laws of tribals in checking crimes, the minister said, “These customary laws are also beneficial for the upliftment of the backward tribals and protect them from various nature of atrocities.”

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