Free Press Journal

Centre to release Rs 8.60 cr to Gujarat for Dalit welfare


dalitSurat: Dalit community members holding a protest rally in Surat on Wednesday in protest against the assault on dalit members by cow protectors in Rajkot district, Gujarat. PTI Photo (PTI7_20_2016_000160B) *** Local Caption ***

New Delhi, The Social Justice Ministry has proposed release of 90 per cent of the total allocated funds to Gujarat for various welfare schemes for Dalits, two months after seven youths of the community were flogged by cow vigilantes’ in the state leading to widespread protests there.

“The Department of Social Justice and Empowerment has proposed for sanction of Rs 8.60 crore under the centrally sponsored schemes for implementation of the Protection of Civil Rights Act, and the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act during the current financial year,” it said.

The state government can also use funds for awareness generation, special courts, incentives for inter-caste marriage and vigilance squads, according to a proposal prepared by the ministry.

According to sources, the total budgetary allocation for the state is Rs 9.50 crore, and the move is aimed to ensure that there should not be any shortage of funds for welfare of Dalits in the state.

The move came nearly two months after seven Dalit youths were flogged allegedly by self-styled cow vigilantes at Una in Gujarat, which triggered outrage and protests across the state.

The state police filed a charge sheet against 34 people for the Una incident, including four police personnel who were also arrested on charges of dereliction of duty.

The state CID has also filed a separate charge sheet against three minors in the case before the Juvenile Justice Board at Junagadh.