Jammu and Kashmir HC directs Govt to ensure safety of Dalits in Kathua village

Posted: June 14, 2012 in Conflict and Peace, Human Rights
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

UNTOUCHABILITY

JAMMU, JUNE 13: A Single Bench of Jammu and Kashmir High Court has directed the state government to ensure that the members of a particular community may not face harassment for using water from the village well in a village of Kathua district.
The Directions were issued in a petition filed by inhabitants of Village Rasooh Tehsil and District Kathua seeking directions to the state to proceed against the members of the upper-caste who according to them were committing atrocities upon the members of Scheduled Caste Community for using the village well for drinking water facilities.
The petitioner claimed that untouchability was being practiced in the village well under the knowledge of the state officials.
Justice Muhammad Yaqoob Mir issued notices to the Chief Secretary J&K, Financial Commissioner (Home), DGP J&K, Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Deputy Commissioner Kathua, SSP Kathua and SHO P/S Lakhanpur returnable within three weeks.
In the meanwhile, the court directed Deputy Commissioner Kathua and SSP Kathua to ensure that the petitioners are not subjected to any type of harassment and inconvenience. “They will also file their affidavits indicating therein as to what steps they have taken as against the allegations contained in the memo of the petition”, the court held.
The petitioners contended that in a democratic country like India it is unfortunate that even in the year 2012 such a practice of untouchability and casteism was being allowed and the culprits are left free.
“On one hand policies are being framed to uplift the under privileged people and in Kathua its on the reverse side where people are openly practicing untouchability and are being allowed to do so under the noose of the administration which has failed to take action and instead encouraged the upper caste people by asking the petitioners not to use the village well”, they added.

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