Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh and Telangana State witnessed the highest number of caste atrocities among the southern States in the year 2018.
This gruesome revelation comes from the data released by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs in response to a question in the Lok Sabha regarding SC/ST PoA cases.
The data shows that Andhra Pradesh registered the most number of cases registered under Prevention of Atrocities against SC/ST Act (PoA), with 1,830 cases, among the five states in the south. Telangana ranked second with 1,507 cases while behind was Tamil Nadu, which recorded 1,407 cases.
However, Andhra Pradesh registered a decline in the number of SC/ST PoA cases while it was on the rise in Telangana compared to the figures of 2017, when it stood at 1,465 cases.
The Ministry of Tribal Affairs clarified that “it is the duty of the State Government to establish adequate number of Courts to ensure that cases under the Act are disposed of within a period of two months, as far as possible.”
However, the data further revealed that a substantial number of atrocities against SC/STs await trial. In the case of Andhra Pradesh, more than 3,000 cases are pending trial in court, as of 2018, while in Telangana it is at 2,815.
"Different districts in Telangana have designated District Sessions Courts that function as Special Court for SC/ST PoA cases. In Hyderabad, it is the 6th Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge who functions in the Special court for Trial of Offense under SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, in the Secunderabad court complex," said K Pratap Reddy, Addl Public Prosecutor, Addl Metro Sessions Court, Hyderabad.
Speaking about the rising crimes against people belonging to marginalised castes, advocate B Karthik Navayan said, "This shows that there is an undoubtable increase in the number of atrocities, but it also needs to be noted that several cases go unregistered as well. In many cases, victims have accused police officers of filing closure report for their cases, instead of charge sheet, after the police colluded with the accused for monetary gains. On an average, around 50 percent cases were closed by filing closure report."