NEW DELHI: Dalit women continue to face violence due to assertion to access the basic resources of land, water, sanitation facilities, education, and payment of wages, according to a report 'Dalit Women Rise to Justice: Status Report 2021 by All India Dalit Mahila Adhikar Manch (AIDMAM).
As a part of the report, the case analysed 81 case interventions. Dalit women's assertion of their right to self-dignity, legal recourse, participation in local self-governance, the assertion of the right to cultural freedom, nexus and collusion of perpetrators with state authorities, retaliation over unsolved disputes, lack of awareness of basic human rights, legal and fundamental rights, and women-related policies, said the report.
The major forms of violence against Dalit women included rape, gangrape, attempt to rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, murder (accompanied by rape, gangrape or kidnapping), witch-hunting, mass attacks with physical assault, loss of lives and property, and social boycott, according to the observations made in the report.
The AIDMAM's legal intervention in 81 cases of atrocities on Dalit women and girls showed there was a delay in registration of FIRs, discouragement or refusal by police to file complaints at the first instance, the procedure being delayed by police in producing the survivor before the judicial magistrate in recording the statement, false counter cases filed against victims of caste and gender-based violence, survivors being denied by the administration. The report said that compensation was paid to 31 survivors of the 81 cases, ie. 40.26 per cent of the total FIRs. This cumulative amount of Rs 13.6 million was paid by states after the AIDMAM followed up on the cases, according to the report.
The report pointed out in many cases there was no effective implementation of provisions of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. The National Crime Records Bureau report had documented an increasing number of criminal cases against Dalit women.
The AIDMAM pointed out in its report the NCRB 2019 data showed 10 Dalit women and girls are raped every day but 29 per cent of the accused are convicted for their crimes.
The reports have come up with a slew of recommendations which include holding public campaigns to create awareness on the provisions of the SC/ST (PoA) Act, states taking up violence prevention measures by mapping atrocity-prone areas, and setting up protection cells.
Effective implementation of the SC/ST (PoA) Act, and allocating adequate budget, and ensuring utilisation of funds for rehabilitation of survivors are the way forward, it said.