NHRC issues notice to the UP Government on allegations of caste-based discrimination and sexual exploitation in Bundelkhand region.

New Delhi, 6th June, 2013

The National Human Rights Commission has taken cognizance of a complaint alleging that caste-based discrimination, sexual exploitation and untouchability are widespread in Bundelkhand area of UP, which is very backward. In the demography of the region, 53 percent are OBCs, 25 percents Scheduled Castes/Dalits, 10 percent tribals and 12 percent are Thakur and Brahmins who own land, but dominate others.

The Commission has issued notice to Chief Secretary, Government of Uttar Pradesh calling for a report within four weeks into the allegations. It has also asked its Director General (Investigation) to send a Fact Finding Team.

Allegedly, a Dalit needs to take off his shoes and hold it in his hand, if a Thakur is approaching towards him. He has to do so while visiting a locality in the village inhabited by upper caste. The complainant, Dr. Lenin Raghuvanshi of PVCHR, Varanasi, UP, has alleged that this practice is prevalent in several villages of District Lalitpur in the region.

He has also alleged that the women of the Balmiki community manually dispose off human faces and carcass of dead animals. Violence against women is rampant and during the last few years, a number of Sati deaths have been reported from the region. There have been cases of selling of daughters or wives to repay debts even as the sex-ratio is very adverse in the area.

The complainant has prayed for appropriate action against the system under the Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1995 and Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.