VCK MP writes to TN Law Minister flagging caste-based discrimination in state prisons

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | March 06, 2024 IST

 Chennai, March 6 : Leader of Dalit political party Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK ), D. Ravikumar, has written to the Tamil Nadu Law Minister seeking immediate steps to end caste-based discrimination in the prisons of the state.

The Lok Sabha MP from Villupuram also pointed out the status of the revised prison manual for the state to the Law Minister.

In the letter addressed to Law Minister S. Regupathy, Ravikumar said that there were media reports on discrimination in the prisons of the state based on caste and religion.

The VCK leader also said that he had come to know of instances where prison authorities specifically asked the caste of the prisoners upon their entry into the jail.

He said the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) too had taken serious note of this discrimination of prisoners who were assigned prison duties based on their caste.

In the letter, Ravikumar pointed out to the minister that the MHA has already written to the chief secretaries of all the states and Union Territories, including Tamil Nadu, urging them to ensure that their jail manuals do not contain any discriminatory provisions.

The VCK leader also said that a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court headed by the Chief Justice of India, D.Y. Chandrachud, had found that prisons in more than 10 states, including Tamil Nadu, continued to witness discrimination, including forced labour, based on caste.

Ravikumar said that he wants to draw attention to Rule No. 447 of the Prison Manual of Tamil Nadu, which restricts the involvement of convicts in extramural employment if they belong to a “wandering or criminal tribe”. He said this rule explicitly violates Article 14 of the Constitution. (IANS)


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