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Dalit groups to form forum

Special Correspondent

SALEM: A few social and Dalit groups have decided to initiate a coordinated effort to identify villages and hamlets in Tamil Nadu where various acts of untouchability are being practised.

These groups under the "Dalit Civil Rights Forum (DCRF)" would collect details, documentary and video evidences that would highlight the prevailing practices of untouchability.

"This will enable the civil groups to evaluate the present status of Dalits in Tamil Nadu with documentary proof and without depending on the details provided by the State," said Kadir, the forum's State organiser.

Talking to reporters here on Saturday, he said the low conviction rate in the cases booked under the SC, ST (Prevention of Atrocities' Act) 1989 and other Dalit and human rights violations were disturbing.

Initially, the forum would form independent committees in Salem, Coimbatore, Madurai, Sivagangai, Cuddalore, Vellore, Thanjavur and Nagapattinam.

It also would take steps to ensure state accountability for human rights violations after carrying out field studies, initiating legal measures and making effective interventions.

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