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The harsh reality of Dalits in the dynamic city

Earlier this year, Bangalore was awarded with the title of the most dynamic city in world, but this rapid development in infrastructure and education has not diminished the existence of casteism from the state capital. In the last six years, Bangalore, the state capital has nearly 1450 FIRs filed under the Prevention of Atrocities (POA) I in the Urban and Rural areas, reveals a RTI. 

Prevention of Atrocities Act prevents atrocities against Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and insures speedy justice to the victims.

Karnataka recorded the highest violations in the Prevention of Atrocities act in South India, while Andhra Pradesh ranked second. According to Government of Karnataka report, as many as 11,226 FIRs were registered under POV in Karnataka between 2011-16.  Rajasthan leads the chart with  8415 cases between 2010 to 2014.

Number of POV cases in Karnataka

However, experts don’t agree with the above mentioned number of cases filed in Karnataka.  S Balan, a labor activist from Bangalore said “ST and SCs are mainly agricultural tenants, who hardly own any land and they are exploited the most by their landlords.” He also asserted, “Casteism has changed it’s from in urban cities, most of the menial jobs are done by ST and SCs who are exploited at their work place.”  “Most of them don’t file an FIR”, he added.  

Although the number of violations stands at 11,226 across the State, the low number of convictions tells a story of under-representation of these lower communities of the society. Deeptha Rao,  a practicing lawyer at Karnataka High Court said, “Most of the victims are from the marginal communities. But, due to the pace of the law procedures and, below average financial conditions, they usually refrain from filing FIRs.” She also added, “Additionally, the Public Defenders show no interest in these cases.”

According to 2011 censes, 1.08 CR Scheduled caste and scheduled tribe reside in Karnataka.  However, the average conviction rate of the people who do this crime is very low which lead to convicting merely 118 cases.  The numbers revealed from the RTI suggest that the conviction rates have gradually decreased over the years, from 42 in 2011 to a mere 10 in 2015.










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