New Delhi: The Centre on Tuesday rejected the contentions that there has been an increase in the number of atrocities on Dalits in Uttar Pradesh since Akhilesh Yadav took over as Chief Minister of the state.

The government has argued that atrocities against Dalits were prevalent during the tenure of Mayawati as well.

While addressing the conference of Home Ministers and Ministers of Social Justice of all states and Union Territories to review SC/ST prevention of atrocities act, Union Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Mukul Wasnik said that the government has not reached to any conclusion that atrocities on Dalits increased only after Akhilesh Yadav became CM of the state. On this occasion Home Ministers of all states were instructed to strictly enforce the SC/ST Act in their states.

“A total of 5,885 cases against STs were reported in the country during 2010 as compared to 5,425 cases in 2009 showing 8.5 percent increase, whereas conviction rate in connection with atrocities on SCs and STs in India was between 3 to 8 percent, pendency of such cases in court was 80 to 90 percent,” Wasnik said.

Referring to the leniency shown by the state governments in maintaining law and order, Wasnik clarified that no action has been taken against a single erring official in past 30 years despite there being a provision in the law to act against the officials who are not keen on taking action on the complaints registered by SC/STs. Besides, the rate of conviction under the SC/ST Act is also dismal where improvement is needed. The number of pending cases is high in 10 states of the country.

The conviction rate in cases of atrocities against SCs and STs is 3.3 percent in Karnataka, 6.4 percent in Gujarat and 6.6 percent in Maharashtra, 6.7 in West Bengal while pendency rate is 90 percent in Gujarat, 88 percent in West Bengal, 87 percent in Maharashtra, 85 percent in Assam, 85 percent in Odisha and 82 percent in Bihar.