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Despite Mayawati, Dalits in UP still carry nightsoil

By A Delhi Correspondent
October 17, 2008 12:38 IST
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Uttar Pradesh Governor T V Rajeshwar has in a report to the Law Commission stated how Dalits -- even in the state that has a Dalit chief minister -- carry human excreta for disposal even 15 years after a ban was imposed on such inhuman practice through an Act of Parliament in 1993.

Politically-wise after picking up fights with previous chief ministers, Rajeshwar has, however, tried to avoid any clash with Mayawati. He has taken the cover by pointing out that this problem is limited not only to Uttar Pradesh but also rampant in Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar.

The Law Commission has forwarded the Governor's letter to Social Justice Minister Meira Kumar, which says that 13 lakh people in the country still carry human excreta for disposal.

The Governor wants the Commission to issue a directive to the state governments that the district magistrates be made responsible to stop this practice by October 2, 2010, if not 2009.

Since the Law Commission is only a recommendatory body, its Chairman Justice A R Laxmanan, a retired Supreme Court judge, has written to Meira Kumar to bring to notice this 'important human issue' to the state governments and ask them to implement the Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act.
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A Delhi Correspondent