VISAKHAPATNAM: CPM politburo member Brinda Karat on Sunday called for the need to amend the criminal law to protect tribal women against the atrocities by officials and guards of forest department.
Expressing concern over the increase in crimes against women, Brinda Karat said the issue of atrocities against tribal women should also be addressed.
She was addressing a national seminar on tribal rights and issues organised by Adivasi Adhikar Rashtriya Manch here. She said that Left parties had demanded that in all cases of sexual assault against scheduled tribes and schedule caste women, the punishment should be enhanced. “Unless there is stricter punishment, you can’t say that law will be fair for tribal women. Instead of improving the legal rights of tribals, it is being diluted and destroyed,” she regretted.
Referring to the 154 amendments being sought by Union minister for rural development Jairam Ramesh to the Land Acquisition Relief and Rehabilitation (LARR) Bill, Brinda Karat said the Central government is trying to bypass the amendments without placing it before the Parliamentary Select Committee. “Jairam’s scrutiny cannot substitute Parliament scrutiny,” she pointed out.
Jiten Chowdhury, minister for rural development, government of Tripura, said that majority of tribals had been suffering because of lack of access to basic amenities including food, education, health, shelter and jobs. Tribals are alienated from development because of the anti-people policies adopted by political parties except the Left.
Pointing out that Tripura, with a population two lakh tribals had issued ‘patta’ (land title deeds) to all those who had applied, he said his State was set to achieve 100 per cent literacy during this year.