Cruel and Degrading Atrocities against SC/ST

Last updated on Jun 14, 2022

Any of the following crimes committed against members of SC/ST are referred to as atrocities in law.  The punishment for these acts is imprisonment between 6 months and 5 years, along with a fine.

  • Hurting or boycotting an SC/ST member
  • Force-feeding an SC/ST member with any disgusting substance that is not fit for humans to eat, such as cow dung, human excreta etc.
  • Dumping any disgusting substances (such as the bodies of dead animals, or excreta) inside or at the gate of a place where SC/ST members live, or in a neighbourhood of an SC/ST member, but only if it is done to insult or annoy her in some way.
  • Making an SC/ST member wear a garland of chappals, or making them walk around naked or semi-naked.
  • Forcing an SC/ST member to do anything which is insulting to the dignity of a human being, such as making them undress, forcing them to shave his head or his moustache or forcing them to paint his face.
  • Making an SC/ST member do bonded labour. The exception will be if the government makes some kind of public service compulsory – in that case, it will not be a crime.
  • Forcing an SC/ST member to carry or dispose of a human or animal dead body.
  • Forcing an SC/ST member to do manual scavenging, or employing an SC/ST member to do manual scavenging.
  • Insulting and humiliating an SC/ST member on purpose, if it is done in a place visible to the public.
  • Abusing an SC/ST member using her caste name if it is done in a place visible to the public.
  • Damage any object, such as a statue or picture of Dr Ambedkar, which is important to members of SCs/STs.
  • Say or publish anything that encourages hatred of SC/ST communities.
  • Say or write anything that insults any late person who is important to the SC/ST community, such as a leader.
  • Spoiling any water source that is usually used by SC/ST members.
  • Blocking an SC/ST member from a public place where she has a right to go.
  • Blocking an SC/ST member from:
    • Using any common public area or resource such as water bodies, taps, wells, cremation grounds etc.
    • Riding a horse or a vehicle or carrying out a procession.
    • Entering into a religious place or participating in a religious ceremony, that is open to the public.
    • Entering a public place like a school, hospital or cinema hall.
    • Carrying on any business or job.
  • Accusing an SC/ST member of practising witchcraft, and hurting them physically or mentally.
  • Making a threat, or actually excluding them socially or economically.

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Related Resources

Reporting a Crime/Atrocity

If a crime has been committed against you due to your identity as member of the SC/STs, you can approach several places for immediate relief.

Externment of Persons Committing Atrocities

If a person is likely to commit crimes against members of SC/STs in scheduled areas, Special Courts can have them removed from there.
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Precautionary and preventive measures to be taken by States

The law requires special measures to be taken by the State Governments to prevent atrocities against members of SC/STs.
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Investigation of Cases

Investigation for crime against member of SC/STs reported under special law must be done by a police officer of rank of DSP or above.

FIR, Arrest and Bail

No preliminary inquiry needs to be conducted by investigation officer before filing FIR for a crime committed against a member of SC/STs.

Relief and Rehabilitation for Victims of Atrocities

The law requires measures to be taken by the District administration to provide relief and ensure rehabilitation of members of SCs or STs
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