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Posted On : 10 Sep, 2017  Source : PTI  Place : Chandigarh 
Athawale pitches for reservation for SC, ST in defence
Union minister Ramdas Athawale today pitched for reservation for scheduled castes (SC) and scheduled tribes (ST) in defence services.

The Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment also said exemplary punishment should be given to those who attack mediapersons and a law should be enacted for the protection of journalists.

The Dalit leader said his Republican Party of India (A) will soon raise with the government the issue of SC/ST reservation in armed forces.

"There should be reservation for SC and ST in the army, navy and air force. If there is reservation for SC and ST in government departments, then similarly, it can be given to them in defence also," he told reporters here.

He reiterated his demand for raising the reservation limit in government jobs and educational institutions to 75 per cent in order to provide quota to economically backward sections in all castes including the Jats, Patels, Marathas and Rajputs.

"I want to say that there are a large number of people in other castes like Jats in Haryana, Patels in Gujarat, Marathas in Maharashtra and Rajputs in Rajasthan who are economically backward. For such castes, 25 per cent reservation can be given and there should be law on raising the overall reservation to 75 per cent," he said.

He also appealed to the government and political parties to support enactment of a law to enhance the reservation limit.

To a question on alleged atrocities on Dalits, he said casteism is one of reasons behind this. "Inter-caste marriage should be promoted to end the problem of casteism."

The minister also strongly condemned attack on journalists.

"There should be a law for the protection of journalists.

If journalists are attacked and in case somebody dies then compensation should also be given. There is also a need for the enactment of a strict law in order to stop attacks on journalists in future," he said.

"Those who carry out such attacks (on journalists) they should be given death sentence," he said.

The minister said he held a meeting with Haryana minister Krishan Kumar Bedi here and discussed several issues.
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