Ahmedabad: The Gujarat government on Tuesday directed the district collectors and superintendents of police to keep a watch on social media platforms for instances of atrocities on SCs, STs and other vulnerable sections of the society.
Speaking at the state-level meeting of Vigilance and Monitoring Committee of the social justice and empowerment and tribal development departments, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani asked officials to work for high conviction rates in such cases. "It is the government's first duty to provide protection to oppressed classes like the SC and ST," a release quoted Rupani as saying in the meeting.
It may be noted that after the 2016 Una Dalit atrocity case, which first surfaced on social media, many cases of harassment of Dalits and tribals in Gujarat were captured on camera and widely circulated. These cases related to Dalits/tribals keeping moustache, bridegrooms riding a horse during a marriage procession and using the suffix Sinh in their names, among others. Rupani asked the departments concerned, particularly district collectors and SPs, to tighten the administrative machinery and keep an eagle eye on social media. "If such incidents are found in the social media space then immediate action should be taken," Rupani told officials.
He called for increasing the fines and conviction rates in such cases. The conviction rate in cases of harassment of Dalits/tribals was 3.78 percent during the last two years. He said 16 special courts have been set up in the state for fast-tracking such cases. "Even as the compensation given to the victims have been increased, the committee was informed that Rs 33-crore assistance was extended to the victims during the last two years, including Rs 8.90 crore to tribals," the release said.
The meeting was attended by deputy chief minister Nitin Patel, leader of the Opposition in Vidhan Sabha Paresh Dhanani, ministers Ganpatsinh Vasava, Ishwarbhai Parmar and Pradeepsinh Jadeja, and top government officials, among others.
Updated Date: Oct 24, 2018 11:14 AM