Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday assured the Rajya Sabha that the Centre had taken all measures to safeguard the rights of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities and that the protection conferred on them by the Constitution could not be taken away by any institution or individual.

Mr. Singh’s statement came on a supplementary question by member D. Raja who said the atrocities against the Dalit and Adivasi communities had increased. Mr. Raja also said that a recent Supreme Court verdict had made the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act redundant and the very essence of the Act had been diluted.

Mr. Singh said the government had taken all steps to ensure that the rights of the ST/STs were not diluted in any way. He said the Act was amended in 2015 to include new crimes and that even the rules had been amended. In all, 194 exclusive special courts had been set up, which would ensure a greater conviction rate.

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