CHENNAI: The National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) Monday said it has taken note of the deaths of manual scavengers belonging to the SC community and tough steps were being taken, including filing of cases against employers under the SC/ST Atrocities Act.
Vice Chairman of the commission, L Murugan said in at least 11 incidents of manual scavenging, more than 20 people belonging to SC and other castes died in the national capital last year.
"Tough steps are being taken, including filing of cases under the provisions of SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act 2015 in cases where the deceased belonged to the SC community," he told reporters here.
Citing deaths of two manual scavengers in Coimbatore last month, Murugan said he ordered the police officials to invoke the SC/ST Atrocities Act in the case.
Offences under the Act are non-bailable and facilitate compensation for victims, he noted.
"Last year in Delhi, in at least 11 occurences of manual scavenging over 20 people belonging to SC and non-SC communities died," he said.
According to the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act 2015, new offences of atrocities includes 'permitting manual scavenging'.
On additional compensation for victims of serious crimes such as murder and rape for the community, Murugan said the commission has been involved in facilitating it in almost all states.
"Apart from the 8.50 lakh compensation, additional compensation of house or land or a government job for one of the family member (of SC and ST community) is being made available by the commission," he said.