Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government is taking steps to set up three special courts in Cuttack, Bolangir and Balasore districts to try cases of atrocities against SC and ST people.

“Steps are being taken for establishment of three special courts each in Cuttack, Bolangir and Balasore districts for which funds have been provided for construction of court building,” said Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik addressing a state-level vigilance and monitoring committee here.

The government has already designated 92 district and sessions courts and additional district and sessions courts as special courts for the trial of such cases.

The chief minister said the government has approved 390 legal aid cells in the state to provide free legal services to people from SC/ST communities.

“As many as 697 legal retainers have been appointed in 350 legal aid cells. Steps are being taken to operationalise the remaining legal aid cells in the coming months,” he added.

Informing that the government has enhanced the monetary relief to the victims of atrocities by 50 percent, the chief minister said a total of 1,536 atrocity victims have been given Rs.4.5 crore as monetary relief in 2014-15.

Encouraging inter-caste marriages among communities, he said the government has provided Rs.3.86 crore in cash incentives to 802 couples in 2014-15.

Patnaik said 55 hostels for SC and ST students have been sanctioned in the tribal dominated districts.

Source: IANS