Prayagraj: The Allahabad High Court has issued notices to two IAS officers for allegedly ignoring the SC/ST Act provisions while providing monetary help to the victims of the 2017 Saharanpur riots.
On May 5, 2017, violence broke out between the Dalit and Rajput communities in Shabbirpur village that left one dead and several others injured.
The violence erupted over playing of loud music while a procession was being taken out to mark Maharana Pratap Jayanti.
Later, 56 Dalit homes were torched.
Giving details of the case, Raj Kumar, lawyer representing Dalits, said that in October, the special SC/ST court of V.K. Lal had made some scathing observations about failure to implement the law by the two officers — former Saharanpur District Magistrate Alok Pandey and former Additional Chief Secretary of the Social Welfare Development Department, Manoj Singh.
“This contempt is a matter of treason and calls for sedition charge,” he observed.
The lawyer had also ordered registration of a complaint on the issue.
“There is no provision of registration of a complaint case in the SC/ST Act, but the special court did so instead of ordering a sedition FIR against the two IAS officials. We had challenged this order in the Allahabad High Court. The high court accepted our petition and has issued notice to the two officials,” he added.
Kumar added that Dalit victims were given Rs 3 lakh by the district Social Welfare Development Department.
Under the SC/ST Act, victims of dacoity, attempt to murder, rape and other serious crimes should be paid monetary compensation of Rs 8.20 lakh.
The chargesheet filed by police in court also said the clash accused were booked under IPC sections 395 (dacoity) and 307 (attempt to murder) besides relevant sections of the SC/ST Act.
But the officials ignored these provisions and the 90 victims got just Rs 3 lakh each as compensation.
“Besides, a monthly pension of Rs 5,000 was also supposed to be arranged by the district magistrate, which has not been done till date,” Kumar added.