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DALIT / MINORITIES

Dalit / Minorities 

 

 

Five more arrested in dalit boy’s murder case

AHMEDNAGAR/PUNE: Ahmednagar police on Thursday arrested five more suspects and detained two minors for the murder of 17-year-old dalit boy Nitin Raju Aghe from Kharda village in Jamkhed taluka of Ahmednagar district.

Nitin was murdered and hanged from a tree over his alleged love affair with a minor girl from an upper caste on April 28. The police on Tuesday had arrested two suspects and detained a minor.

Deputy superintendent of police (Karjat division) Dheeraj Patil told TOI over the phone on Wednesday that investigations revealed that the suspects in a fit of anger murdered Nitin when they saw him talking to the girl. The group had allegedly attacked Nitin with sticks and strangled him to death with a rope. They then hanged him from a tree.

“The rope used by the suspects was seized from the crime scene. The girl’s brother Sachin Golekar (21) and Sheshrao Yeole (42) arrested on Tuesday were sent in police custody remand till May 9,” said Patil.

The five suspects Pappu Golekar (24), Vilas Gadkar (23), Nilesh Golekar (23), Bhujang Golekar (42) and Eshwar Golekar (24), all from Kharda village, will be produced before the court on Thursday for seeking police custody remand, Patil said. The minors detained have been sent to remand home in Ahmednagar. He added that the law and order situation in the area was under control.

Meanwhile, senior police officials held a meeting with the members of the dalit community and residents of Kharda village and appealed to them to maintain peace. Police officials have assured them that they will take strict action against the suspects.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/pune/Five-more-arrested-in-dalit-boys-murder-case/articleshow/34445558.cms

 

Three minors were brutal in attack on Nido Tania, says CBI

New Delhi: In the attack on 19-year-old Arunachal Pradesh student Nido Tania here in January, which caused his death, three juveniles were most “brutal” along with the main accused Farman, the CBi has said in its charge sheet.

 

The charge sheet filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) before Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Pritam Singh has named seven people, including three minors, for culpable homicide not amounting to murder of Tania.

 

The charges also include wrongful confinement, common intent, and violation of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act by passing racist remarks against the youngster.

 

The CBI charge sheet – which has been accessed by IANS – has laid the major blame for Nido’s killing on four accused – Farman and three boys under the age of 18. They were present when Nido with his companion entered a paneer shop in south Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar market to inquire about an address on Jan 29.

 

According to the CBI, Nido’s friend Lokam Lulu in his statement told the agency that “none of them replied to his querry, instead they started laughing, specially looking at the hair colour of Nido because it had been dyed golden brown”.

 

They also made some insulting “racist remarks” about Nido, the CBI said, citing Lokam Lulu.

 

Nido told Farman that a friend of his required emergency medical assistance and they had to reach the address immediately to attend to him. However, the accused continued to laugh and mock Nido and his friend Lokam Lulu.

 

In frustration, Nido banged the glass counter of the paneer shop with his right fist, thereby breaking the glass of the showcase.

 

“Thereafter the accused, namely, Farman and R, F and S (juveniles in conflict with the law, who cannot be named for legal reasons) rushed out of the shop in furtherance of a common intention to overawe the deceased Nido Tania with criminal force. R and F (two minors) forcefully caught Nido Tania from behind and whilst accused Farman started hitting Nido Tania on his hands and feet,” said CBI in charge sheet.

 

Lulu said in his statement, which is part of the charge sheet, that when he made efforts to save Nido, the two minors pushed him back and “they also beat Nido with punches”.

 

Lulu, who is a prosecution witness and complainant in the case, has stated that “Farman started hitting on his (Nido’s) head from the front with a wooden stick while minors hit him with hands and feet”.

 

Nido sustained injuries on his head and face. There were cut marks on his both fists also and blood was oozing out of his right fist.

 

Subsequently, three local neighbours of Farman, namely Pawan, Sunder and Sunny Uppal also joined Farman in furtherance of the common intention of overawing Nido with criminal force by raining blows on Nido Tania whilst uttering derogatory racist remarks, the charge sheet said.

 

The post-mortem examiantion report and the report of the medical board have opined that the cause of Nido’s death was cerebro-pulmonary edema and its complications as a consequence of blunt trauma to head, face and lungs.

 

The CBI, however, has dropped murder charges against the attackers on the ground that his killing was not premeditated but a result of altercation over breaking the glass counter.

 

Nido died in a hospital Jan 30, a day after being beaten up by several shopkeepers in south Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar area following an argument over his appearance and clothing.

 

After a detailed investigation, the CBI concluded that seven people — namely Farhan, Pawan, Sundar and Sunny Uppal and three juveniles — were involved in the assault on Tania that led to his death.

 

The four adults – Farman, Pawan, Sunder and Sunny Uppal – will be tried by the court while proceedings against the three juveniles will be carried out by the Juvenile Justice Board.

 

The case was transferred to the CBI from Delhi Police for further investigation after the victim’s parents met Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, demanding speedy justice.

 

The maximum punishment for culpable homicide is 10 years in jail, under which the CBI charged the seven accused. In accordance with the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, the three accused below the age of 18 at the time of the crime are to be treated as juveniles in conflict with the law.

 

Even if convicted for crime by a juvenile court, these accused can be punished with only a maximum term of three years in a special home, irrespective of the crime.

 

Recently, many cases have come to light where juveniles were involved in most brutal crimes like rape and murder. In the Dec 16 Delhi gang rape, one of the six accused was a juvenile and was sent to special home for three years after being convicted on charges of committing rape and murder.

 

Two juveniles are also accused in the Shakti Mills gang rape case in Mumbai, where a photo journalist and a telephone operator were gang raped.

 

http://www.mizonews.net/nation/three-minors-were-brutal-in-attack-on-nido-tania-says-cbi/

 

Five years for rape attempt

Adilabad Special Judge for SC, ST cases, N. Raj Kumar, on Monday sentenced V. Suresh, 35, of Kolhari in Gudihatnoor mandal to five-years imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs. 10,000 for attempting to rape a 35-year-old ST woman of the same village. According to the prosecution, the accused attempted the crime when he found the victim alone in her house in December 2011.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-andhrapradesh/five-years-for-rape-attempt/article5980937.ece

 

‘Atrocities against Dalits increasing’

 

Water conservation minister and Dalit leader Nitin Raut on Monday took his own government to task over the spurt in cases of Dalit atrocities. He said that such cases have been increasing in Maharashtra. He has asked chief minister Prithviraj Chavan to call a special Cabinet meeting to discuss the issue in detail.

 

Mr Raut visited villages of Osmanabad, Buldhana and Ahmednagar where cases of Dalit atrocities have been reported recently. Referring to them, Mr Raut said, “Such cases have been on the rise. In Ahmednagar alone, this is the second case of Dalit atrocity within a year and the state government had to take it seriously.” He was referring to the murder of 17-year-old Nitin Aage at Kharda village of Ahmednagar.

 

The minister has written a letter to the CM for a special meeting of the Cabinet to discuss the issue and said he would raise the issue in the meeting on Wednesday.

 

On whether the state has failed to curb such incidents or is it a failure of the home department, he said, “You can interpret it as you like, but all I can say is that the cases of atrocities against Dalits have increased in Maharashtra and this needs to be stopped.”

 

He also expressed shock over anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare’s silence. “I am shocked as to why a senior social worker like Mr Hazare is mum even when Ahmednagar is his home district. In less than a year, this is the second case where a Dalit youth was brutally murdered and he has not uttered a single word on it,” Mr Raut said.

 

“I believe all political parties and social activists should come together to solve this problem as the mentality of the people needs to be changed. We have laws and the accused will be convicted, but such incidents will be curbed only when the mindset changes,” he said.

http://www.asianage.com/mumbai/atrocities-against-dalits-increasing-763

Gujarat worse than neighbours in dalit justice

AHMEDABAD: Gujarat fares poorly when it comes to dispensation of justice to dalits in atrocity cases. Its neighbours Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh fare much better. Data released by NGO, Navsarjan Trust, on Monday showed that the conviction rate in atrocity cases in Gujarat is as low as 7.8%. 


According to the data received by the NGO through RTI, 8,884 cases of atrocity were registered in the state between 2006 and September 2013. The data revealed that on an average the state recorded 18 murders, 37 rapes, 52 severe injuries and 1,019 cases where families were afflicted with atrocities every year. Analysis of the data showed that 11 districts are sensitive to dalit atrocity. 


The NGO claimed that the state government has not followed the provisions enshrined in the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 nor has it made reviews of cases registered in order to improve conviction rate. Navsarjan executive director Manjula Pradeep told the media that Gujarat government needs to review the law for faster solution to the cases. 


Manjula said, “Though the cases have been registered in police stations, the conviction rate is 7.8 % which is very poor when compared to Rajasthan (41%) and Madhya Pradesh (29%). The reason is that the state government has not reviewed either the atrocity law or the cases in last seven years.” 


Navsarjan activist Kirit Rathod told the media that there is a provision in the law to run special courts for atrocity cases but no court has been started by the state government, which has led to 42.47% of the cases pending in the court. 


“The chief minister has not called the meeting of the vigilance and monitoring committee to review the atrocity law. Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh are ruled by the same party, yet they have reviewed the law and sanctioned special courts and police stations. The Gujarat government is not sanctioning the vacant posts in police force for investigation of the atrocity cases,” said Rathod.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ahmedabad/Gujarat-worse-than-neighbours-in-dalit-justice/articleshow/34702971.cms

 

8 ostracised Dalits vote after NHRC intervention

 

Bhubaneswar, Apr 17:

Eight voters belonging to three ousted dalit bonded labour families of Birakesharipur village under Satyabadi Assembly constituency in Odisha were able to exercise their franchise today following the intervention of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

 

The families headed by Surendra Sethi, Maguni Sethi and Hina Sethi Human were escorted by a team of special police force to the booths as per the NHRC order to ensure that they did not face any problem while voting.

 

Rights activist and advisor to Odisha Goti Mukti Andolan, Baghambar Pattanaik, in a complaint to the NHRC on Wednesday, had sought its intervention in the matter as the ousted families had expressed their desire to exercise their franchise in today’s polling.

 

Acting on the directive of the Commission, Lalit Das, special secretary of the state Home depatment directed Puri SP Anup Kumar Sahoo to make special arrangements for the ousted families to cast their votes.

 

Accordingly, a special police force led by Tapan Das, IIC, Gadishagoda, escorted the eight voters of ousted dalit bonded labourer families to the polling booth at Birakesharipur where they exercised their franchise.

 

It may be recalled here that members of these three families belonging to the washerman caste render customary service to the upper caste villagers and their community in lieu of 15 kg of paddy per head per year called ‘Bartan’ or a piece of land belonging to upper caste community called ‘Heta’.

 

As per custom, they carry on head a box loaded with approximately 60 kg of articles and accompany Danda artists from village to village in the Odia month of Chaitra for about two weeks without wages.

 

After Surendra Sethi refused to carry load due to old age, he was physically assaulted. Three families, including that of Sethi belonging to the washer man caste, were driven out of the village last year as Sethi lodged a case in Gadishagoda police station against the assaulters.

 

The victims met Joydeep Nayak, IG of Police, SC & ST Protection Cell, HRPC, Odisha, Puri collector Dhirendra Kumar Pattanaik and SP Anup Kumar Sahoo,in the month of February this year. But despite a directive from the collector to the SP in this regard, the victims had failed to get back to their village.

http://odishasuntimes.com/47596/8-ostracised-dalits-vote-nhrc-intervention/

 

 

 

 

Over 1 lakh of cases of atrocities against SCs, STs during 2001-12: Report

 

New Delhi: More than one lakh cases of atrocities against persons belonging to Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) were reported across the country in the period between 2001 and 2012 — when both BJP-led NDA and Congress-led UPA were in power. 

Such cases saw an increase across the country during the 12-year period with as many as 1,22,458 instances reported under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, according to a report by some Delhi-based NGOs. 

A total of 13,113 such cases — the highest during the period — were reported across the country in 2001 when the NDA was in power, the NGOs said in their report based on National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data.

 

In 2012 when the UPA was in power, there were as many as 12,576 cases of atrocities againstpersons belonging to SCs and STs. 

“The total number of reported cases stood around 8,000 in 2004 when the UPA took over in the middle of the year. Since then there has been a continuing trend of increase in the number of reported cases every year,” said the report prepared jointly by Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights and National Dalit Movement for Justice, New Delhi.

There was a significant downward trend only between 2009-2010 when the number of such cases fell from around 11,400 to around 10,400. The trend showed upward movement for the remaining years up to 2012, it said. 

“The steepest fall in the number of reported cases was in 2003 at 25 per cent during the last year of the NDA regime. However, the number of reported crimes rose steeply in 2008 by 16.7 per cent under the UPA regime,” the report said. 

http://zeenews.india.com/news/nation/over-1-lakh-of-cases-of-atrocities-against-scs-sts-during-2001-12-report_926418.html

 

 

 

Rights denied, Dalit kids forced to do menial jobs at schools: report

New Delhi: It talked about a government primary school in Bihar’s Patna district where caste discrimination has led to irregular attendance among Dalit students.

 

“I don’t go to school when my clothes are dirty. It happens once or twice a week. The teachers say you wear dirty clothes, go sit in the back,” the report cited a Dalit child, who also claimed that they are forced to massage a senior teacher’s leg and clean teachers’ toilets.

 

Drop out among SC and ST at present stands at around 51 per cent and 58 per cent respectively, much higher then 37 per cent for non-SC and ST students.

 

The report has highlighted case studies, examining how the lack of accountability and grievance redress mechanisms are continuing obstacles to proper implementation of the Right to Education (RTE) Act.

 

“Dalit children continue to be pushed out of the education system because of discriminatory behaviour of teachers. Dalit children are made to feel inferior in schools and schools reinforce caste norms.”

 

“When it comes to any manual work such as cleaning of classrooms or picking up garbage, it is always the Dalit children who are asked to do so,” the Rights Watch report said quoting an officer in Bihar who is engaged in ‘Centre for Social Equity and Inclusion’.    

http://www.deccanchronicle.com/140423/nation-current-affairs/article/dalit-kids-have-do-menial-jobs-schools

 

Andhra HC strikes down all sentences in Dalit massacre case

 

In a dramatic judgment, the Andhra Pradesh High CourtTuesday set aside an order of a special court that sentenced 21 people to life imprisonment and 35 others to one year’s jail for the 1991 massacre of Dalits in Guntur district.

 

The high court struck down the sentence for lack of evidence in the sensational case, which had attracted national attention.

 

A division bench headed by Justice L. Narasimha Reddy observed that the prosecution failed to produce sufficient evidence before the court, and noted that the accused have already spent a long time in jail.

 

The high court pronounced its judgment on a petition by the convicts who challenged the special court’s order in what is known as Tsundur massacre case.

 

The court directed Guntur district superintendent of police to make adequate security measures and ensure that no procession or celebration is organised after the convicts are released.

 

In 2007, a special court sentenced 21 to life imprisonment and 35 others to one year’s rigorous imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs.2,000 each, convicting them for the massacre.

 

The court set up under the SC/STs Prevention of Atrocities Act, 1989, held 56 people guilty but acquitted 123 others for lack of evidence.

 

Eight Dalits were killed and many others injured in attacks allegedly by upper caste people on Aug 6, 1991 at Tsundur village of Guntur district, about 350 km from Hyderabad.

 

The houses of Dalits were looted and set afire and many families were forced to flee from Tsundur and adjoining villages.

 

The police filed a charge sheet against 219 people, of whom 33 died during the course of the trial and seven were let off as police did not find any evidence against them.

 

The case was heard over nearly 16 years in the country’s first-ever special court set up at the scene of an atrocity.

 

Guntur superintendent of police Satyanarayana said the high court order would be challenged in the Supreme Court.

 

Several Dalit organisations have also reacted strongly to the high court order. They plan to challenge the high court order in the apex court.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/andhra-hc-strikes-down-all-sentences-in-dalit-massacre-case-114042200757_1.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dalit Kid made to eat last, Muslims insulted in school : Report

Children from Dalit, tribal and Muslim communities are being blatantly discriminated against in schools in rural areas in several states of the country, says a shocking report released by an international rights group on Tuesday.

 

The discrimination, the Human Rights Watch report titled ‘They Say We’re Dirty’ says, includes “teachers asking Dalit children to sit separately, making insulting remarks about Muslims and tribal students and village authorities not responding when girls are kept from the classroom”.

 

The report also says “teachers and other students often address these children using derogatory terms for their caste, community, tribe, or religion”.

 

“In some schools, children from vulnerable communities are not ever considered for leadership roles such as class monitor because of their caste or community. Many are expected to perform unpleasant jobs such as cleaning toilets. Schools in marginalised neighborhoods often have the poorest infrastructure and least well-trained teachers; many have fewer teachers than required,” the report said.

 

The report was prepared with interviews with more than 160 people, including 85 children, to examine obstacles to implementation of the Right to Education Act, said Human Rights Watch.

 

Here are some of the instances of bias the children face on the basis of caste and religion, as cited in the report:

 

1. This is what a student from the Ghasiya tribal community studying at a school in Sonbhadra district in UP was quoted as saying: “The teacher tells us to sit on the other side. If we sit with others, she scolds us and asks us to sit separately … The teacher doesn’t sit with us because she says we ‘are dirty.’ The other children also call us dirty everyday so sometimes we get angry and hit them.”

 

2. The principal of the same school in Sonbhadra said this about the tribal children: “These Ghasiya children come to school late, come when they want to come, no matter how much we tell them to come on time. Their main aim is to come and eat, not to study. Just see how dirty they are.”

 

3. A 14-year-old boy, working at a brick kiln, recounted: “The teacher always made us sit in a corner of the room, and would throw keys at us [when she was angry]. We only got food if anything was left after other children were served… [G]radually [we] stopped going to school.”

 

4. A dalit girl from Bihar said this: “Other children don’t let us sit with them. Some of the girls say, ‘Yuck, you people are Dom [street sweepers] – a dirty caste….’ The teachers never say anything even when we complain.”

 

5. A 12-year-old boy, from the Muslim community in Delhi, said this: “The teachers don’t let us participate in any sports. Class monitors are always chosen from among Hindu boys and they always complain about us Muslim boys.”

 

6. Sharda, a Dalit girl, said she was withdrawn from school by her parents because they were worried about her safety. She was married at age 14 against her will. Before her wedding, when she went to school despite her parents’ refusal, she found that her name was no longer in the school register. While some villagers cautioned her father against marrying her at such a young age, no local authorities or members of the gram panchayat intervened.

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/dalit-kids-made-to-eat-last-muslims-insulted-in-schools-report/1/357043.html

 

Dalit Woman Demands Security, Alleges Harassment

 

A dalit woman of Malavoor village in the taluk has sought security alleging mental and physical harassment on a regular basis by her neighbours.

 

At the monthly SC/ST meeting held at the Deputy Commissioner’s office on Sunday, Channamma alleged that her neighbours Ramanna, Saraswathi, Baby and Rakesh Poojary had threatened to murder her. “They knock on my door at midnight and throw garbage in my hut. When I opposed it, they asked me to leave the village.

 

Though I had complained to Bajpe police, they refused to register a case,” she said.

 

Channamma said, “My husband died four years ago when he fell from a building. My 16-year-old daughter was fatally knocked down by a train. I live with my younger daughter. My neighbours have been making my life stressful. Hence, I need police protection.”

 

She also accused the Bajpe police of being hand-in-glove with the miscreants.

 

Police Commissioner R Hithendra instructed Mangalore North ACP Ravi Kumar to conduct a proper investigation in this regard.

 

Dalit leader P Keshava said a dalit who met with an accident at Moodbidri recently was treated at a private hospital in Karkala. The hospital authorities are not giving proper documents on the treatment, which is needed to avail insurance, he added. Hithendra directed the Moodibidri sub-inspector to look in to it.

 

http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/karnataka/Dalit-Woman-Demands-Security-Alleges-Harassment/2014/02/24/article2074534.ece#.UwrwxOOSyZA

Dalit groom beaten in Delhi for using chariot during marriage procession

New Delhi: Oppression of Dalits takes place in Haryana, UP and Rajasthan, but a similar incident has taken place in the national capital too.

 
During a marriage procession in Saidullajab near Mehrauli in South Delhi, a local PWD worker’s daughter was getting married. 

The groom had come riding a chariot along with his relatives. But, this was objected to by some people because the groom was a Dalit.

 
Two youths, Ramu and Sonu started abusing and beating the groom, saying how he dared to ride a chariot in their locality.

 

This incident resulted in a virtual stampede in the area.

 
The two accused were later arrested and case under SC/ST Atrocities Act and violence has been registered against the two.

 
On Saturday, after court’s hearing both the accused were sent to judicial custody.

 
Further investigations are on and the situation which had become tense in the area is now under control.

 

http://www.indiatvnews.com/crime/news/latest-news-dalit-groom-beaten-in-delhi-for-using-chariot-durin-5389.html

 

 

 

 

Tragic: Dalit man stoned to death in Uttar Pradesh

Muzaffarnagar: A 50-year-old Dalit labourer was allegedly stoned to death by two persons after a tiff in Mansoorpur area of the district. While one accused, Mahipal, was arrested yesterday another accused is still on the run, police said. Mahipal and the two accused had a heated argument yesterday, police said, adding that the duo used bricks to kill Mahipal Nawla village.

 

http://www.mid-day.com/articles/tragic-dalit-man-stoned-to-death-in-uttar-pradesh/15117089

 

 

Over 39,000 cases filed under SC/ST Act in 2012: Min

 

The year 2012 saw a total of 39,512 cases registered under the SC/ST Act while the conviction rate in those stood at a dismal 23.8 per cent, Parliament was told. 

Sharing the data on cases under the Scheduled Castes andScheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities Act), 1989, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment added that 83.1 per cent of these cases were pending in courts. 

According to the report, 10 states accounted for 92.6 per cent of the 33,592 cases which were registered over alleged atrocities against Scheduled Caste people. 

Of these, a maximum 6,201 cases were registered in Uttar Pradesh followed by Rajasthan (5,559) and Bihar (4,821). 

Other states which made up the top 10 here were: Andhra Pradesh (3,048), Madhya Pradesh (2,875), Karnataka(2,594), Odisha (2,265), Tamil Nadu (1,638), Maharashtra(1,086) and Gujarat (1,026), the report added. 

As to cases related to atrocities against people belonging to the Scheduled Tribes, 10 states accounted for 94.2 per cent of the 5,579 cases filed. 
The highest number of such cases were registered in Rajasthan (1,351) followed by Madhya Pradesh (1,218) and Odisha (688). 
In the above respect, Andhra Pradesh had 666 cases followed by Karnataka (373), Chhattisgarh (344), Maharashtra (307), Jharkhand (287), Gujarat (221) and Kerala (124), the report said. 

Of a grand total of 1,09,721 cases related to atrocities against SCs (including those that were brought forward by courts during the year) 4,075 resulted in convictions and 12,861 in acquittal while 1,117 were withdrawn. 

A total of 91,668 such cases are pending, the report said. 

As regards cases of atrocities against STs, 20,727 of these went to court of which 789 resulted in convictions, 2,702 in acquittals. The number of cases withdrawn stood at 465.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/over-39-000-cases-filed-under-sc-st-act-in-2012-min-114021101376_1.html

 

 

No clean water for Dalits?

 

As alternative sources disappear, ‘low-caste’ villagers are assaulted while trying to use clean drinking water wells in Rasooh-which is home to several caste groups and prejudices that stretch back generations

By Ashutosh Sharma

 

The sleepy village of Rasooh in Jammu and Kashmir is surrounded by arid, rocky hills, denuded of trees. But its placid air belies generations-old tensions between caste groups -tensions which are being exacerbated by a scarcity of safe drinking water, threatening the health of the most socially marginalised villagers.

Rasooh is located in the Siwalik foothill region known as the Kandi belt, in the industrialdistrict of Kathua. The belt extends through the northwestern states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana.

In rural areas of the Kandi belt, residents are largely dependent on wells and ponds for water, which in recent years has become a scarce commodity.

Amrish Vaid, programme coordinator at Kathua’s District Farm Science Centre, said that the water table has been affected by erratic rainfall over the past 20 years. And Sonam Lotus, director of the Meteorological Department in Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, confirmed that the area is experiencing unpredictable and fluctuating levels of rain.

Even though the Jammu region recorded above-average rainfall last year, in villages like Rasooh the water crisis is a daily reality. While the waterways of the Kandi belt can be raging torrents in the rainy season, these streams slow to a trickle or are completely dry in summer.

Experts and villagers say that the erratic rainfall is one of the causes of growing water scarcity, along with more denuded hills, high levels of soil erosion, a lack of proper water management and the disappearance of age-old systems of water harvesting through village ponds.

Increasingly, social tensions in Rasooh are coming to a head over water, particularly access to the remaining working drinking water wells.

DALITS ASSAULTED

The most marginalised residents of the village are Dalits, a low-caste minority still treated here as “untouchables”. Dalits say that upper caste communities have become increasingly hostile and belligerent whenever Dalits try to use village wells – something they have often been banned from doing, but have little alternative to in seasons when streams have run dry.

“In my village, the upper caste villagers don’t allow us to share water from clean water wells,” said Sardari Lal, a Dalit man. He said the supply of water delivered through pipes laid 20 years ago was irregular and often brackish, contaminated and unfit for drinking.

“We gave many representations to government officials and held protest demonstrations too but to no avail,” he said, adding that some in his community who were financially better off had left the village to settle elsewhere.

In 2012, the State High Court, following an incident in which a number of Dalit women were reportedly assaulted for attempting to take water from a village well, ordered water deliveries to ease tensions.

“The court got samples of the piped supply water tested which proved that the water was not safe for drinking,” Sardari said. “It directed the local administration to arrange a tanker to ensure a regular supply of clean water to the Dalits as an interim solution. But after a few months of providing a regular supply, the tanker now comes to our village only occasionally and we are again facing the worst kind of drinking water scarcity.”

A middle-aged Dalit woman in Rasooh, who did not want to give her name, was one of the women attacked when they tried to use the community well.

“Our children were falling ill after drinking unsafe water. When it was brought to her notice, the District Development Commissioner visited the village and encouraged us to use water from the clean wells,” the woman said.

“But after the official left, when a group of women neared a ‘forbidden’ well, we were roughed up and our clothes were torn by upper caste people,” she said.

HIGH CASTE PRIORITY

After that, police officers started to guard the well. But the well then was damaged by a group from an upper caste, “sending out a clear message that caste barriers on sharing natural resources were here to stay,” the woman said.

“Clean drinking water is the most precious commodity to us. Usually, we use stored water provided by the tanker that comes to the village once in a while but at times we take water from any source and use it for drinking after boiling it,” she added.

While Dalit women are dependent on the water tanker or upon ponds or sources abandoned by the upper caste villagers due to the poor quality of water, upper caste women continue to enjoy a monopoly over fresh water wells.

And on the increasingly rare occasions when the water tanker comes to Rasooh, and villagers jostle to collect as much water as possible, the enforcement of caste codes means higher caste groups get priority, local people said.

Rahul, a local activist who uses only his first name, said that while there are laws against caste prejudice, “these laws need to be implemented in letter and spirit. It’s only through development and education that the society can be made caste-neutral.”

A study by the National Institute of Hydrology confirmed that “while the government claims that almost all villages in the Kandi belt have been covered under drinking water schemes, the reality is something different. When demand for water sharply rises in summer, villagers often turn to the ponds for drinking water, which is not fit for human consumption. Quite often the same pond serves as a drinking water source for cattle.”

The study found that water-bearing aquifers in the region were deep and difficult to reach well wells, meaning ground water was inadequate. It stressed the need for rainwater harvesting to meet domestic and agricultural needs.

Taj Chaudhary, executive engineer of Kathua’s Public Health Engineering Department, said he was not aware of any acute water scarcity facing village Dalits due to erratic supplies. But he said steps would be taken to ensure a regular supply of water.

(The writer is an independent journalist and can be reached at bulawaa@gmail.com)

http://www.kashmirtimes.in/newsdet.aspx?q=28794

DSP alleges harassment, abuse by ex-DGP of Haryana

CHANDIGARH: Nearly nine years after a Punjab bureaucrat was rounded up along with the wife of state’s chief secretary by an inspector in Panchkula, a Haryana police cop, who is now a DSP, has accused former DGP P V Rathee of harassing him. His allegations are being backed by Dalit Bachao Sangh, which has demanded Rathee’s narco analysis.

On Monday, DSP Desh Bandhu alleged that he was subjected to “mental and administrative torture” by the state government due to his role in the controversy involving Punjab bureaucrat Mukul Joshi and wife of then Punjab chief secretary Y S Ratra. The cop had taken the two in temporary custody after raiding a house in Panchkula Sector 9 after getting a wireless message from the control room in October 2004.

“This happened during the INLD regime in Haryana and CaptAmrinder Singh as CM in Punjab. Mukul Joshi was believed to be Amarinder’s blue-eyed officer,” he alleged.

At a press conference convened by Dalit Bachao Sangh, an NGO headed by dalit leader Kanta Alahria, Desh Bandhu said he had been at the receiving end since 2005.

“Soon after change of guard in Haryana, I was shifted to Madhuban and then began my harassment. He (Rathee) headed chief minister’s CID department as ADGP and personally called me in his office to make me re-write my statement related to the incident. When I refused, he not only abused me, but also made castiest remarks. In the past nine years, I have been denied increments and discredited in my annual confidential reports (ACRs) with adverse remarks,” he alleged.

Desh Bandhu is now a serving Haryana police service (HPS) officer and posted at Haryana Police Academy, Madhuban. He was the station house officer (SHO) of Sector 5 police station when the incident took place.

“I had to face nine departmental probes, out of which one ended up with the notice of compulsory retirement. A case under Prevention of Corruption Act was also slapped against me by CM’s flying squad that works under Rathee. All this just because of being a person from dalit community,” he added.

“My career has already been spoilt and now my mother has threatened to commit suicide, which forced me to raise the issue with the support of the NGO,” he said.

Meanwhile, Rathee rubbished allegations made by the DSP. He, however, confirmed the registration of corruption case against him. “I have never met him as general police is under a separate DGP and I headed the CID cadre. Secondly, this officer has a tainted past and faced probe in 1996-97,” Rathee said.

‘Order CBI inquiry or we’ll agitate’

Demanding a CBI probe, Dalit Bachao Manch president Kanta Alharia gave a 15-day deadline to Haryana government, with a threat to start a statewide stir. “After atrocities on dalit girls, women and youth, now the state government is targeting dalit officers. After February 23, an agitation will be launched and the government will be responsible for any violence. We also demand a narco analysis test of Rathee and three other officers of CMO, including principal secretary K K Khandelwal,” she said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/DSP-alleges-harassment-abuse-by-ex-DGP-of-Haryana/articleshow/30190572.cms

HC Seeks UP Govt’s Reply on Alleged Starvation Death

The Allahabad High Court today sought Uttar Pradesh government’s reply on a public interest litigation alleging that a 75-year-old dalit woman died of starvation in a remote village near here as she was too frail to earn money to buy food.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice Dilip Gupta asked the state government to file its reply within three weeks on the recent death of Chameli Devi, a resident of Khangatiya village in Jasra block of Allahabad district’s trans-Yamuna region.

The PIL was filed by four law interns associated with the Human Rights Law network who blamed the woman’s death on the “failure of the Public Distribution System to ensure regular supply of food grains to the needy”.

The petitioners claimed that they came to know of the starvation death through a news report last week following which they visited the village and learnt that the woman had died after having spent several days without food as she was too frail to earn money sufficient for buying food from the market while the fair price shop nearby was unable to provide her with her quota.

Alleging that “corruption and apathy” of government officials as well as Gram Sabhas had led to a “collapse” of welfare schemes targeting the poor, the petitioners claimed that although the state government has empowered the concerned Lekhpal, Gram Pradhan and Block Development Officer for providing immediate” monetary assistance of Rs 1000 to anybody facing severe malnutrition following prolonged hunger, the benefit was not given to Chameli Devi.

http://news.outlookindia.com/items.aspx?artid=826422

 

Shunned Dalits left begging for water after upper caste villager boycott

At a time when India was celebrating 65th Republic Day, four Dalit families of a Karnataka village in the Parliamentary constituency of Union Minister K.H. Muniyappa were begging for water and groceries after their fellow upper caste villagers boycotted them.

 

Their sin was celebrating Sankranti ahead of its schedule and applying for the post of midday meal cook at a government school in Kolar district’s Kagganahalli village, just over 100km from Bangalore.

 

The irony is not lost on the people in Karnataka, considering Muniyappa – a prominent Scheduled Caste leader – represents the Kolar (reserved) constituency.

 

The Dalit community was asked not to apply for the cook’s post in the school, as other communities might not approve of it.

 

A fine of Rs 501 on the families found socialising with Dalits; a penalty of Rs 1,001 for sharing water with them; prohibiting grocery shop owners from selling anything to the Dalit families – all these diktats were announced in the village.

 

Sixteen Dalit families reside on the periphery of the village. The families of Muniswamappa, Munivenkatappa, Papanna and Krishnappa are now facing a social boycott.

 

The Dalit families had approached the police seeking intervention, but the social boycott was announced on January 22 nevertheless.

 

According to the villagers, water is supplied from a public borewell and the Dalits are permitted to draw water only during evening hours.

 

As news of the boycott spread, Deputy Commissioner, Kolar, D.K. Ravi met the victims and held a separate discussion with other communities of the village on Sunday.

 

“The villagers informed us that they have not imposed any social boycott. Instructions have been issued to everybody to ensure that the Dalits do not face discrimination,” Ravi said.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-2546902/Shunned-Dalits-left-begging-water-upper-caste-villager-boycott.html

 

 

Harassment drives Dalit family to seek final deliverance

Fervent appeal at a grievance meet takes officers and participants by surprise

 “Give us permission to die; we want nothing else,” this fervent appeal by a Dalit family at a grievance redress meeting here on Monday took officers, including Deputy Commissioner D.K. Ravi, and the participants by surprise.

 

Shankarappa, a resident of Shyanubhoganahalli in Kolar taluk, explained the family’s plight due to the alleged harassment by upper caste people in the last two years.

 

As the meeting was in progress, Shankarappa, his wife, Rathnamma, and other family members, including their children Akash, Anusri and Amalasri, entered the hall at B.R. Ambedkar Bhavan.

 

They started complaining that they no longer are able to endure the harassment being meted out to them by caste Hindus and that death was the only solution to their problem as the officials concerned had failed to provide justice to them.

 

Though cases have been registered and the matter has gone to court, the family came to the meeting with the hope of finding relief.

 

Vociferous appeal
Rathnamma vociferously appealed to the meeting with folded hands: “Give us permission to die. We cannot bear the harassment any longer,” even as several Dalit activists tried to console her.

 

The investigation officer of the Civil Rights Enforcement Directorate has, in his report, concluded that Shankarappa’s family was under threat from caste Hindus.

 

“However, our family is yet to get justice,” Shankarappa and Rathnamma told the meeting.

 

The report of the directorate, a copy of which is available with The Hindu, has said that the local police has colluded with the perpetrators of crime.

 

“My parents, Basappa and Lakshmamma, are living in an undisclosed location due to threats, and my children are unable to attend school,” Shankarappa said.

 

Assurance

The family members left the venue after Mr. Ravi assured them of redressing their grievance.

 

Kolar Superintendent of Police Ram Nivas Sepat, Kolar Gold Fields Superintendent of Police Rohini Katoch, Zilla Panchayat Chief Executive Officer R. Vinod Priya and Assistant Commissioner C.N. Manjunath were present.

 http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/harassment-drives-dalit-family-to-seek-final-deliverance/article5623647.ece

 

Gurjars in Ajmer threaten to strip Dalit girl

A few members of the Gurjar community have threatened to strip a 13-year-old Dalit girl living in the Ajmer district of Rajasthan, if she does not withdraw a molestation case.

 

The Dalit girl’s family, who live in Dumada village, 20 km from Ajmer, are living in constant fear after threats from the Gurjar community members. The village is dominated by Gurjars with only two Dalit families.

 

The Gurjars have threatened to kill the family and strip their daughter in public if they don’t withdraw a case of molestation registered against Raghunath Gurjar, 55, who allegedly molested the girl, said Ramesh Chand Bansal, coordinator of Center for Dalit Rights.

 

According to Bansal, on January 21 Raghunath Gurjjar allegedly molested the teenager after forcibly dragging her into a room on his farm. The girl had taken her cattle for grazing and a few of them had entered into the fields of the accused.

 

The father of the victim who works as a labourer was in Ajmer city while her mother was away to work on a NERGA site. The victim narrated the incident after her parents returned and reported the matter to police. The victim has alleged that the upper caste members are threatening them and asking them to withdraw the case, alleged the victim’s father.   

 

Bansal alleged that police tried to weaken the case and has not added the relevant POSCO and SC/ST sections. The police have registered the case under section 354 and 341 sections of the IPC, said Bansal.

 

“We are investigating the matter,” Preeti Chaudhary, CO, rural Ajmer, said.

BSP MLA’s brother booked under SC/ST Act

An FIR was today lodged against the brother of a BSP MLA in a case of atrocity against Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, police said here today.

Lali Bind, brother of Ramesh Bind, BSP legislator from Majhwan was booked under various sections of the IPC and the SC/ST Act at Dehat kotwali police station here.

According to police, Rajendra of Etwa village had complained on January 14 that Bind has used derogatory language against his daughter and made an attempt to drag her into the agriculture field but fled when she raised an alarm.

Further investigations were handed over to Circle officer, Sadar Shewta Srivastava, they said.

Meanwhile when contacted, BSP MLA said he had nothing to do with the case and if the police feels that his brother has done something wrong he should be arrested.

The MLA has also alleged that some political parties are out to defame him.

 http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/bsp-mla-s-brother-booked-under-sc-st-act-114012401226_1.html

Dalit Alleges Boycott Over Land Dispute

A dalit family which has alleged boycott by fellow villagers for more than a year over a land dispute, staged a protest in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office on Friday. They picketed the office with their utensils, clothes and other belongings.

 

Venkatram, a resident of Mavinahalli in Mysore taluk, demanding justice for his family, was accompanied by his wife Leela, his mother and two children. He said fellow dalits have been boycotting his family for filing a complaint against the alleged encroachment of his land.

 

He accused a local villager of Chikkahalli of encroaching one acre of his land on Survey No 130 in the village after Venkatram’s late father failed to return the `100 he had borrowed from him. He said the rest of the land was taken over later in lieu of interest. Venkatram said he was still a minor when this happened and that he and his mother were forced to work on the land.

 

Venkatram accused the villager of cheating his illiterate mother and other dalits.

 

He said he had not followed the village headman’s advice to strike a compromise. “I was away for a year after the boycott. But the boycott continued even after my return and we were not allowed to perform pooja during Sankranti, fetch water from borewells and interact with others in the village.” Meanwhile, dalit families from the village denied Venkatram’s charges.

 

Superintendent of Police Abhinav Khare said he was not aware of the issue and promised to take action. There was no response to calls made to Deputy Commissioner C Shikha.

http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/karnataka/Dalit-Alleges-Boycott-Over-Land-Dispute/2014/01/25/article2019120.ece

Dalit Sena plea on student suicides

The Rashtra Dalita Sena (RDS) has appealed to Vijayawada Sub-Collector D. Harichandana to take steps for conducting a comprehensive investigation of the recurring incidents of student suicides in corporate colleges.

 

In a memorandum submitted to her on Monday, RDS State general secretary D. Prem Kumar stated that four Intermediate students of reputed corporate colleges in the city had killed themselves in the last five months apparently due to the torture meted out to them in the name of coaching but punitive action had, so far, not been taken on the managements responsible for those unfortunate incidents.

 

One of the students held the institution responsible for the extreme step to which she resorted, saying that she had no alternative except to commit suicide for saving herself from stress and failures but the college management was not taken to task.

 

Mr. Prem Kumar expressed regret that the Government was doing little to curb the menace and it could not even dare to take action against the powerful lobbies behind the so called corporate colleges.

 

If the same situation continues, more number of students will end their lives.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-andhrapradesh/dalit-sena-plea-on-student-suicides/article5599899.ece

 

Dalits to approach SC/ST panel

“Officials have demolished their houses in violation of Government Order’’

 

A group of Dalits, who had lost their homes in an encroachment eviction drive conducted along the Tamirabharani watercourse here, has decided to approach the National Commission for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes.

 

The group, all scavengers and coolies, who submitted a petition to Collector M. Karunakaran on Monday, said they were living at Bharathi Colony near Meenakshipuram in Tirunelveli Junction for the past 45 years.

 

Their dwellings made on watercourse poramboke, termed as encroachments by the Public Works Department, were demolished on July 9, 2012.

 

Though the residents of these houses had been given drinking water connections, power supply, ration card, Electors’ Photo Identity Cards, the houses were razed down.

 

“However, the Corporation surveyor’s reply given for a query raised under the Right to Information Act shows that the land on which the houses had been constructed was classified as an unused graveyard poramboke, which can be given to the public, as per the Government Order 75 of February 5, 2000 (issued by Revenue Department),” said S. Murugan, one of the petitioners.

 

As per this Government Order, people who have constructed their houses on unused grazing poramboke, graveyard poramboke or ‘paattai’ poramboke lands and have been living there for more than 10 years, can be given patta.

 

“Since we have been living on the unused graveyard poramboke land for more than 45 years, the officials should have given us patta as per the Government Order and our houses should have been exempted from the eviction drive. But the officials have wrongly treated our land as watercourse poramboke and demolished our houses,” said A. Madasamy, another petitioner.

 

Since the government officials have demolished the houses without following the Government Order, the affected have decided to approach the National Commission for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes besides exploring legal options, said the affected persons, who staged a dharna on the Collectorate premises before submitting a petition to the Collector.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-tamilnadu/dalits-to-approach-scst-panel/article5599580.ece

 

Congress accuses Badal government of ‘misusing funds’

The Congress on Sunday accused the Akali-BJP government of diverting a central grant worth Rs 330 crore, which was meant to help poor Dalit and backward class students pursuing post matriculation studies in Punjab.

 

Leader of the Opposition in Punjab, Sunil Jakhar met Union Minister Kumari Selja in Delhi and alleged that that the Parkash Singh Badal government was misusing funds meant for the students belonging to schedule castes and backward classes. 

 

“The Union government, vide letter number 14011 on November 1, 2013, had released funds worth Rs 280.81 crore for the year 2013-14 as financial assistance to the needy Dalit students. 

 

“The Union government earlier in 2011-12 had also released a grant of Rs 50 crore which has not reached to the needy students as the funds have been diverted elsewhere,” Jakhar said. 

 

The CLP leader appealed to Selja, the Social Justice and Empowerment minister, to proactively monitor the scheme so that the funds reach the beneficiaries. 

 

On her part, Kumari assured Jakhar she would look into his claim even as the responsibility of fund disbursal remained with the Punjab government. 

 

“The ministry releases the fund after evaluating the number of beneficiaries in each state and Rs 280.81 crore is released for the students in Punjab. I will inquire into the matter,” Selja said. 

 

She added that her ministry will examine Jakhar’s proposal of extending the financial help to all deserving candidates from economically backward families.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-2542298/Congress-accuses-Badal-government-misusing-funds.html

Class 7 Dalit girl killed after being raped; body bearing bite marks found in a field

A minor Dalit girl was allegedly raped and murdered in Haridwar district, a senior police official said on Wednesday. The body of the girl, bearing bite marks, was recovered from a field by villagers on Tuesday evening, SSP Haridwar Rajeev Swaroop said.

 

A student of Class VII in a government boarding school, the girl had come home to spend winter vacations with her parents. The girl had gone missing from Pathri police station area on Tuesday morning. When she did not return home till late, her parents got suspicious and started searching for her along with the villagers. After hours of search they found her body lying in a sugarcane field.

 

A case has been registered against unidentified perpetrators of the crime and a combing operation launched in the area to nab them, the SSP said. Though no arrest has so far been made in connection with the case, interrogation of the girl’s relatives has thrown up some important leads which may help in arresting the culprits soon, he said.

 http://ibnlive.in.com/news/class-7-dalit-girl-killed-after-being-raped-body-bearing-bite-marks-found-in-a-field/444096-3-243.html

PUCL report on Coimbatore violence in late-1997

Editor’s Note

Here are detailed, edited excerpts from a report by a PUCL team on the communal violence in Coimbatore between November 29, 1997 and December 1, 1997. The report, focussing on the anti-Muslim aspect of the communal violence, provides salient factual details. However, the PUCL as an organisation has failed to focus on the activities, strategy and deadly explosive strikes of Muslim fundamentalist organisations which have exploited the situation in Coimbatore and some other parts of Tamil Nadu and preyed on the feelings of innocent Muslims, especially young men. Readers should keep this in mind while reading these excerpts, which constitute relevant background to the serial explosions that took a terrible toll in human lives, well-being and morale in Coimbatore.

PUCL report on Communal Violence in Coimbatore between November 29, 1997 and December 1, 1997

The People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry, constituted a 12-member team to probe the recent violence in Coimbatore. Its members were: S. Kalavathi, scientist, Kalpakkam, and treasurer, PUCL; P. Chandran, bank officer, Chennai, and member, PUCL, Chennai; R. Venkatesh, law student, Chennai, and member PUCL, Chennai; D.V. Natarajan, scientist, Kalpakkam, and member, PUCL, Chennai; V. Sridhar, scientist, Kalpakkam, and member, PUCL, Chennai; Irfan Engineer, Director, Centre for Study of Society and Secularism, Mumbai; Sandhya Matre, researcher, Mumbai; P.A. Pouran, Advocate, and general secretary, PUCL, Kerala; Venu Vilayudi, social activist, Kerala; S. Gopal, engineer, Kalpakkam, and member, PUCL, Chennai; G. Kurinji educationist, Erode, and treasurer, PUCL, Erode; and G. Sukumaran, secretary, PUCL, Pondicherry.

The team visited the affected areas, namely Fort, Kempatty Colony, N.H. Road, V.H. Road and R.S. Puram, from December 22 to 25, 1997. The team met several of the officials concerned and affected persons. It visited the houses of several Muslims who were injured or killed.

The team met Nanjil Kumaran, Commissioner of Police, Kovai; Lallawm Sangha, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Kovai; C.T. Dhandapani, MLA; K.N. Murali, Inspector, B-1 Police Station; M. Mohammed Ansari, state secretary, Al-Umma; Jaffer Ali, district president, TMMK; office-bearers of the Federation of All Muslim Organisations of Coimbatore; Kottai Saravanan, district secretary, Hindu Makkal Katchi; Ramasamy, convenor, Youth Wing, Tamil Nadu Arunthathiyar Democratic Front; Moogambikai Mani, state secretary, Hindu Munnani; Raj Mohan, district office secretary, Hindu Munnani; Dr. Aslam, Kottaimedu; Dr. Fakir Mohammed, Kottaimedu; Prof. Jawaharullah, president, Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam (TMMK); Hyder Ali, secretary, TMMK and S.A. Basha, president, Al-Umma.

The team also visited the residence of M. Ramanathan, DMK MP, and spoke to his wife and son. The efforts to meet the Dean of Coimbatore Medical College Hospital were unsuccessful but the team could meet a few doctors, staff nurses, affected persons and patients who were in the ward at the time of the violence. The team could not meet District Collector G. Santhanam as he was busy with his work. The team also spoke to several eye-witnesses.

Edited excerpts from the PUCL report on what happened in Coimbatore between November 29, 1997 and December 1, 1997:

BACKGROUND

The conflict and rivalry between sections of the Hindu and Muslim communities, which started from the early 1980s, are allegedly due to the intolerance of some leading Hindu businessmen towards the growth of Muslim businessmen (like the owner of Shoba Cloth Centre).

Hindu Munnani leader Rama Gopalan had visited Coimbatore many times and delivered highly provocative speeches insulting Muslims and Islam. The Hindu Munnani has also gone on a campaign asking Hindus to purchase only from shops owned by Hindus.

Immediately after the demolition of the Babri Masjid, there were protests in the Kottaimedu area. On December 8, 1992, the police unnecessarily opened fire on a Masjid and lathi-charged Muslims who had assembled there. There were no injuries or death.

Following the bomb blast in the RSS building in Chennai in November 1993, the Kovai police arrested S.A.Basha and 15 others under the Terrorists and Disuptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA). The police also entered Kottaimedu, terrorised Muslim people and ransacked their houses. They arrested almost all Muslim youth and boys on false grounds and beat them up in custody. This brutalised the minds of Muslim boys and youth against the police.

To add insult to injury, the police put up three checkposts at important entry roads of Kottaimedu, and four pickets inside Kottaimedu, thereby isolating the place as an island. This further affected the psyche of the boys and youth who thought they were being perceived as criminals. PUCL, in its report dated February 28, 1994 on the above incidents, specifically recommended the removal of the checkposts. It also named some of the police officers as being responsible for the brutal and illegal attack on the Muslims. Many people whom the present team met said that one police officer (named in the PUCL report) was seen instructing his men to shoot during the events on November 30, 1997.

In the recent past, some Muslims have got organised under various organisations like Al-Umma and the Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam (TMMK) for their ‘protection and safety’. Another organisation, Jamaithul Ahlul Quran and Hadis (JAQH), works for removing the ills in the Muslim community.

During the last election campaign, DMK candidates promised that the checkposts would be removed if they came to power. As the winning trends were known, some Muslim youth smashed the checkposts and stabbed two constables who protested their action. Some policemen took the above incident as a challenge to their authority. M. Mohammed Ansari, secretary, Al-Umma, admitted to the PUCL team that such an event took place and several youth were arrested.

In Kottaimedu, about 80 per cent of the people are Muslims; the rest are Hindus and others. All along, they have been living together peacefully, even during some of the worst periods mentioned above.

It should also be noted that the percentage of Muslim policemen in Kovai is less than 1 per cent.

Platform shops and mamool: There are about 1,200 platform shops in and around Ukkadam, Big Bazaar and Kottaimedu, mostly owned by Muslims. The police have been collecting as mamool approximately Rs.25 to Rs.50 per day per shop. After the elections these traders got themselves organised under various organisations like the TMMK, the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) and Al-Umma. It is to be noted that Al-Umma and TMMK have played a crucial and effective role in curbing the mamoolcollections by the police. This loss of revenue also seems to be at the background of the conflict between the Muslim community and the police.

Poster war: The TMMK has been issuing calls since September 1997 to Muslims all over Tamil Nadu to attend the procession to be held on December 6, the day on which Babri Masjid was demolished. They have declared it a “black day”. The Hindu Munnani also put up posters calling December 6 a “victorious day” for the Hindus – a day of destruction of the symbol of slavery, and soon it would be Mathura and Kasi (“Indhukkalin vetri naal; adimai chinnam agatria naal; viraivil Kasi Mathura“). This poster of the Hindu Munnani affected the sentiments of Muslims and also instilled a sense of insecurity among them. Later a poster put up by “Indian” appeared calling December 6 the day on which “Bharat Matha was raped” (“Bharatha Matha karpazhikapatta naal“). The Hindu Munnani objected to this poster. No Muslim organisation claimed authorship of this poster. However, no steps were taken by the authorities to remove this and it started a poster war. The current crisis should also be seen against this background.

INCIDENTS ON NOVEMBER 29

On November 29, around 7.00 p.m. two Muslim youth on an M-80 vehicle were stopped by a Sub Inspector (S.I.). One of them was Jahangir, office bearer of Al-Umma. The S.I. asked for his licence and Jahangir did not have it at that time. He claimed that the licence was at his home. When the S.I. asked his name, he did not divulge it but said he was an Al-Umma member. This led to a wordy duel and he was taken to the B1 station. The vehicle was also taken. “The young-blooded, recently recruited, volleyball playing probationary officer”, the S.I., is alleged to have used foul language against Muslims.

On hearing of this incident, Ansari, Secretary of Al-Umma, went to the police station at about 7.30 p.m. to enquire about it. According to Ansari, he went straight to the Inspector and complained about the incident. In the presence of Ansari, the S.I. allegedly told Jahangir that all Muslims should be packed off to Pakistan and used denigratory language against Muslims. Ansari used abusive language in retaliation. He was beaten with a lathi by the S.I. and the constables. The Inspector intervened and stopped the beating. Ansari said that he would take up the matter with the higher-ups and left at 8.30 p.m.

The news of ‘Amir’ being beaten up spread and a large number of people assembled before Al-Umma office. When Ansari reached the office, the crowd started debating on a road-roko to protest against the S.I. As the meeting was in progress, around 11 p.m., Commissioner Rajendran came with a police force to Al-Umma office for “searching”. The restive crowd objected to this. The police then informed the assembled that they had come to arrest the three persons who had killed a traffic constable named R.Selvaraj at 9.00 p.m. Ansari said that he was not aware of such an incident and that he would help apprehend the killers and hand them over by 11 a.m. the next day. Ansari told the PUCL that he was still unaware of the reasons for the killing of Selvaraj. According to him, two Police Inspectors were also present. The Comm-issioner agreed and asked the police to withdraw.

The police, while withdrawing from Kottaimedu, allegedly set fire to the platform shops. Kottai Saravanan, district secretary of the Hindu Makkal Katchi, told the PUCL team that it was “the Hindus” who burnt down the platform shops. Leaders of the TMMK, who were returning from Pollachi at 1.30 a.m. on November 30, saw the shops burning. Arunthathiyars (a Dalit community) living across Ukkadam confirmed that the shops were burnt during the night of November 29. The PUCL team could not visit the police quarters to meet the police constables as “the situation there had not yet returned to normal.”

K. ANANTHAN 
Personnel of the Central forces in the thick of action during the November- December 1997 riots in Coimbatore.

The burning of platform shops lends credence to the theory that mamool collection was at the backdrop.

Based on a few eyewitness accounts, Al-Umma located the three persons suspected in the killing of Selvaraj – Abbas (22), Shafi (22) and Azeez (20) – and handed them over to the police at 9 a.m. on November 30. While Abbas and Shafi were iron scrap traders, Azeez was a platform vadai vendor. The three belonged to Pothanur, N.H. Road and Karumbukadai respectively.

INCIDENTS ON NOVEMBER 30

By 8.00 a.m. on November 30, about 100 policemen staged dharna at Ukkadam. Kottai Saravanan told the PUCL team that two senior leaders of the Hindu Makkal Katchi (named) and also cadres of the Hindu Munnani participated in the dharna. (This additional crowd, comprising mostly persons attired in Iyappa Swami dress, will be referred to as “Hindu fundamentalist forces” in the following text.)

The police staged a dharna for over an hour-and-a-half and then took out a procession towards the General Hospital. They blocked the railway subway on the Trichy road for some time. Several senior police officials said that no one could get any policemen to carry out law and order work. They could get drivers only with some difficulty. Some officers said that several policemen confided that they were afraid of the organisers of the protest and procession and therefore were not in a position to obey their seniors.

In the meantime, at Ukkadam, several Muslim youth came out to protest against the burning down of platform shops. Rumour was rife that Hindu fundamentalist forces in Kempatty Colony were planning to enter Kottaimedu to attack the Muslims. In the CMC colony, where the majority of residents are Arunthathiyars, the rumour was the other way round. Therefore, the Hindu fundamentalist forces of the CMC colony, comprising several Arunthathiyars, rallied to protest against the rumoured Muslim entry. The PUCL team has checked and found that there was no such entry.

However, according to some Arunthathiyar eyewitnesses in the CMC and another interior colony, the Hindu fundamentalist forces first attacked Muslims with acid bottles and stones. Muslims retaliated and a tense situation prevailed. The Arunthathiyars also said that a police Inspector (named) had asked them to loot and take whatever they wanted. A few days later the Inspector allegedly threatened them to return the loot, failing which they would all be booked for looting. While the Inspector agreed to the latter statement, he refuted the former. He said that there could have been a mistaken identity.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Lallawm Sangha was seen controlling the crowd effectively. Later he had to go to the hospital area. Both sides had words of praise for DCP Lallawm Sangha’s efforts.

Ayub Khan, district urban secretary of the TMMK, came to the trouble spot around 11.00 a.m. and saw the situation tense. He also saw Valliammai Bakery and Krishna Sweets burning. A few huts on the colony side were also seen burnt. It is claimed that Ayub Khan and his friends saved a few Hindu youth caught atop the Bakery. Then Ayub Khan went about controlling the Muslim crowd and made them sit down.

Meanwhile, one Noor Mohammed(23), who went to work in the morning to MMA Market, returned home by foot around 11.30 a.m. on November 30. As he came to L.N. street, he sensed some movement of metal close to the back of his head. He quickly turned and saw a policeman swing an aruval (a kind of chopper) to chop his head off. He ducked and put out his left palm to stop the aruval and received a deep cut. He ran for his life and escaped. Noor Moham-med also saw a few members of Hindu fundamentalist forces along with the policemen. Having narrowly escaped death he reached Dr. Aslam’s clinic and got first aid. He was later sent to the hospital for treatment.

The PUCL team met Dr.Aslam and Dr. Fakir Mohammad, who did yeoman service in trying to save lives. Some of the lives saved were later snuffed out inhumanely at the hospital grounds. According to Dr.Aslam, who runs a small clinic on Vincent Road, over 100 people came seriously injured th e same day. He made this estimate on the basis of the 70 ampoules of injections which were used up between 11.30 a.m. and 6.30 p.m. on November 30.

Several patients had to go without injections. Three were brought dead and two died as Dr. Aslam was treating them. Most of them had gunshot injuries anywhere from above the hip to the head. Several persons had deep cuts, caused either by an aruval or a bayonet, from hip to head. Hardly one or two cases had injuries on the leg. A few Hindus with cut injuries were also treated by Dr. Aslam. (It should be noted here that Arunthathiyars told the PUCL team that when the Hindu fundamentalist forces were fired at during the looting spree, rubber bullets were used.)

The soft-spoken Dr.Aslam was ably assisted by Dr.Fakir Mohammed, retired Joint Director of the Forensic Department, in saving several lives and handling bloodied Muslims by struggling for over seven hours without even time to worry about what caused all this. The PUCL team was greatly impressed by the dedication of these two doctors and their sense of professional ethics. Dr. Aslam spoke not a word about religion or caste. He spoke only of medical requirements and necessities.

On the other side of Kottaimedu, off N.H. Road and into CMC Colony in Hafizpet, a vicious attack on the houses of innocent middle class and poor Muslim families was launched by Hindu fundamentalist forces clad in black and saffron, chanting “Jai Kali; Om Kali”. In terror, several families handed over their house keys and stood as mute spectators just to save the lives of their women and children. Some of the looters told the Muslim women that they were left unscathed and unmolested merely because at that time they were “Iyyappa swamis”. (The terror left behind could be felt by the PUCL team even 25 days after the event. On the day the team visited this area it saw that rice, kerosene and a few vessels were being handed over to these families by a Rotary Club.)

A Masjid in the locality was desecrated, the Quran burnt to ashes, furniture and fans twisted out of shape, and windows broken. In one of the houses a burning gas cylinder was thrown at the entrance to blast it open. A middle school building catering to all the children of that locality was heavily damaged. The wall of the DMK office was pulled down, leaving a gaping hole.

Almost all the houses were allowed to be looted by the police and Hindu fundamentalist forces. Poverty-stricken Arunthathiyar women and children went into every house and carried every item they could lay their hands. A rice godown (located in a Muslim building but owned by a Nadar) was ripped open and looted. After some initial hesitation, the looters managed to carry away sacks of rice. Buckets, fans and various consumer items were taken away. A few days later, as instructed by an Inspector, most of these items were dumped in the Lakshmi Theatre compound.

In contrast not even a scratch was made on a Hindu house or on the three temples in the Kottaimedu side. (Less than one fifth of the population here are Hindus.) Kottai Saravanan, who has his shop in this locality, confirmed the above observations.

A KILLING SPREE

The arrival of a senior police officer (named) on the scene at about 12.30 p.m. on November 30, 1997 started a series of senseless shooting at Muslims that left over 17 dead and more than 100 seriously injured. Beginning at Eswaran Koil Street Junction on Big Bazaar street and ending at the L.N. Street junction near Ukkadam, the police unleashed an orgy of violence. A police officer (named) along with 20 policemen, was sighted shooting without orders. (A lower level officer confirmed this on condition of anonymity.) In one case, an officer was seen pulling down the above officer’s hand when he was about to shoot down another innocent Muslim. Yet another officer was seen pleading with him that such illegal and brutal behaviour was unbecoming of a police officer.

Muslim boys, who came running to see the shops of their relatives or friends being ransacked or burnt, were shot at without any reason. One Abu Backer Siddique aged 13, was killed on the spot by a bullet piercing him close to the heart. In order to cover up this hideous crime, the policemen dug a deep crater around this region, poured petrol into it and burnt the flesh. Later they attempted to get a post mortem report stating that Siddique might have died in the “communal clash” owing to stabbing or immolation. The PUCL team was told that when the false report was not accepted, the parents were refused access to the body. The parents got the half-burnt bodily remains of their son with the correct report only three days later, thanks to the efforts taken by some Muslim organisations which are part of the Coimbatore District Federation of All Muslim Organisations.

When a senior officer along with some policemen reached the L.N. Street junction, he saw Ayub Khan controlling the crowd and making them sit down. Ayub overheard the senior officer instructing the policemen to shoot down “the person with a blue shirt” and saw the officer point his finger towards Ayub. Inspector Suresh was heard arguing with the officer that there was no need to open fire as the crowd was sitting quietly, away from the main road and that some Muslims as well as Ayub were seen effectively controlling the crowd. Inspector Murali confirmed this.

But the senior officer ignored Suresh and proceeded with his instruction to fire at Ayub. On seeing the pointed gun, Ayub ducked as a bullet grazed by. The next thing he realised was profuse bleeding from the right side of his head. He also saw the next bullet felling Sahul Hamid, who died a little later. The crowd ran for their lives into Kottaimedu even as bullets were flying past or through them.

Ayub was taken to Dr. Aslam’s clinic. Later he and the other injured were put in a Matador van and sent to the General Hospital. On the N.H. Road, the senior officer did not allow the van to go towards the hospital. The van left for the hospital when the Assistant Commissiner of Police Antony Selvaraj took strong exception to the officer’s inhuman behaviour.

AT THE GOVERNMENT HOSPITAL

The policemen, who came on a procession after the dharna along with Hindu fundamentalist forces, assembled in the hospital grounds. The first signs of rowdyism and savagery were seen when, around 8.30 a.m., C.T. Dhandapani, sitting DMK MLA, was beaten up when he visited the hospital to express his condolences over the death of Selvaraj. The uniformed policemen were indifferent spectators while policemen in mufti and Hindu fundamentalist forces carried on the attack. The PUCL team spoke to the MLA. Even though he confirmed the presence of the above people, he said he would prefer talking about their identity to the P.R. Gokulakrishnan Commission of Enquiry.

Inspector Murali told the PUCL team that at that time the DCP was in the hospital grounds. Even as early as 8.30 a.m., several hospitals were threatened not to treat a single Muslim if he or she came injured. It should be noted here that the first firing in the Kottaimedu area took place four hours later.

Several eyewitness accounts by those who were in the hospital grounds and on the Tiruchi Road and those who had been in-patients during those days give graphic details of the gory incidents that took place on November 30 starting with the arrival of the first injured Muslim. They were stopped, prevented and driven out, beaten, kicked about, battered or tortured to death – after ascertaining that they were Muslims. Several Muslims tried to escape death by using Hindu names. Those who were identified were mercilessly attacked with bayonet, aruval, wooden rods and the boot. Even those Muslims who accompanied the seriously injured ones were attacked. Autos were overturned and occupants battered or knifed or torched.

Noor Mohammed, Ayub Khan, Habib Rehman and Mohamed Harris along with two other wounded persons reached the G.H. in a Matador van. The van was stopped by the Hindu fundamentalist forces along with some policemen in mufti. Ayub jumped out of the van and ran into the hospital.

Habib and Harris (who had bullet injuries) were dragged out of the van and savagely attacked by policemen in mufti along with Hindu fundamentalist forces. Habib Rehman’s condition became serious and the police took out petrol from a nearby vehicle and poured it on him. One among the Hindu fundamentalist forces set fire to him. Dr. Chidambaram Jothi and his colleagues rushed to put out the fire with a blanket. They were not only prevented but also threatened by the police and Hindu fundamentalist forces that they would face a similar fate. Habib Rehman was then torched to death. The injured Harris was then attacked and killed.

The Hindu fundamentalist forces then went into the premises with battering rods, aruvals, bayonets and other deadly weapons in search of Ayub Khan. Several patients, who were inmates at that time, confirmed seeing the crowd shouting and searching for “someone”. The terrorised Ayub ran from ward to ward, from ward to canteen and finally into the trauma ward to save his life. According to Ayub, some “BJP cadres” saw him at the canteen and chased him, calling him a naxalite and saying he should be evicted from the hospital.

In the trauma ward, a Hindu doctor protected Ayub by holding his bleeding head on the doctor’s table and attending to the wound. He told the “BJP cadres” that there was no one by the name Ayub and that he should be left alone to carry on with his work. When the cadres left, the doctor asked Ayub to escape through the back-door. Realising that it was not safe, ward boy Prabhu suggested that Ayub be hidden inside the medicine room and locked. Ayub gratefully recalled how the doctor and the ward boy, both Hindus, took a great risk in hiding him inside the room and providing him with food. Later in the night, by arranging for a Maruti van, Ayub escaped death.

Noor, who saw the events from the window of the Matador, hid himself under the seat. Later he jumped out of the van and rushed into the crowd. Some of the Hindu militants spotted him and chased him. He ran hither and thither pleading for help. One police constable cleverly hid him, and when no one was noticing, caught him by the collar and threw him over the compound wall, asking him to run away from that area. Thus he escaped the carnage.

Arif and his friend Sarfuddin came to the G.H. on a scooter to see what happened to his brother Ayub, who was shot at. They saw an auto being stopped before them. They then saw the Hindu fundamentalist forces rip apart the auto and attack and stab wounded persons inside. They stopped the scooter and rushed to save the lives of the auto passengers. Inside the grounds, Sarfuddin and Arif got separated. The fundamentalists caught hold of Arif, while he was rushing towards the G.H., beat him up brutally and burnt him alive. The injured Ayub, who was inside the hospital premises, witnessed this savagery. But he did not realise at that time that it was his innocent brother, who actually came to see him, who was being torched to death.

There was yet another case when two Muslims were declared dead and sent to the mortuary. The caretaker of the mortuary realised that they were alive much later and asked them to go out of the mortuary. These two Muslims were so much terrorised by the happenings that they begged the caretaker to permit them to stay inside the mortuary. Late in the night they were let out, thanks to the Hindu caretaker of the mortuary.

The humaneness and courage of the anonymous doctor and ward boy Prabhu, Dr. Chidambaram Jothi and the caretaker of the mortuary (all Hindus) were gratefully recalled by the Muslims. The PUCL team could not meet any of these people despite a visit to the hospital. The team’s attempt to meet the Dean also failed. Later, when contacted over the phone, the Dean said that he could speak only on permission from the Collector. The Collector was busy and the PUCL team could not meet him either.

INCIDENTS ON DECEMBER 1

The PUCL team met one Mustafa, (son of K.P.Aliyar), who was brutally attacked and shot at by police on December 1 around 7.45 p.m. He was an eyewitness to the brutal killing of his friend, Ubaidur Rahman, by the police.

By November 30 Rapid Action Force (RAF) and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel had arrived at Coimbatore. The next day TV and other media proclaimed that normal life had been restored in Coimbatore. Believing this, Mustafa along with his friend Ubaidur Rahman, owner of a typewriting Institute, started on a Yamaha bike to Majeed Colony to meet Rahman’s sister. Ubaidur Rahman was riding the bike and when they reached Vincent Road junction at Ukkadam, they were stopped by the police and checked. One of the policemen asked for their names and on knowing they were Muslims, he started attacking them brutally, shouting “These are Muslim dogs and should be beaten to death” (“ithu thulukka naingada, adichi norrukkungada“).

Mustafa got down from the bike and was beaten with rifles on his head, neck and chest. One of the policemen pleaded with the rest not to kill innocent people. While running away, Mustafa heard gunshots and saw Ubaidur die a short while later. The policemen fired at Mustafa four times and one of the bullets pierced his left shoulder.

LOOTING AND ARSON

Despite the presence of CRPF and RAF personnel, pre-meditated, calculated looting and burning down of many Muslim shops and households round Coimbatore went on. This was not only unchecked; it was abetted by the police. Many eyewitnesses told the PUCL that the RAF and CRPF were deliberately taken through another road while arson, looting and rampage took place on adjacent roads. It was also alleged that Hindu fundamentalist forces along with rowdy elements encouraged, guided and assisted by the police went on a rampage between the night of November 29 and December 1, destroying Muslim shops and houses selectively. Some of the eyewitnesses informed the PUCL team that police personnel participated in the looting. According to one Muslim organisation, the TMMK, the looting and burning of Muslim shops and houses resulted in a loss of over Rs. 500 crores.

There were several indications that the massacre, plunder and loot unleashed on Muslims were carefully planned and executed. The alleged motive seems to have been the decimation of the economic base. A senior scientist, a resident of Sukravarpet, who was a witness to the looting in the area, was categorical that even if Selvaraj had not been killed, some other reason would have been found to execute this violent attack.

Some highlights of the attack:

a) The property destroyed ranged from small platform shops through medium cycle and grocery shops to mega stores like Shoba. Several of these shops had been doing business for over three generations.

b) The execution was to a large extent clinically precise. While two Muslim shops separated by a Hindu shop were targeted, the Hindu shop remained untouched.

c) Many Coimbatoreans realised that shops like Pazhamuthir Solai, Top Notch, Zodiac and Popular Automobiles were owned by Muslims only after they were targeted. The Kovai episodes were not a mere expression of anguish over the death of a constable. In fact, they exposed the strategy of the perpetrators of these attacks and revealed the connivance between Hindu fundamentalist forces, police and perhaps several administrative officials.

d) Moogambigai Mani narrated an incident in which he had to intervene to stop the burning down of a building housing a Muslim shop. The building was owned by a Hindu. The looters removed the contents of the shop and set them on fire on the road.

e) Systematic rumours were spread that Muslims were coming in large numbers to attack Hindu establishments or household. Anxious and unsuspecting Hindus then formed a protection ring around the area. The Hindu fundamentalist forces along with kalasis or rowdy elements or hired goons then joined these protection rings and executed their planned strategy of loot, plunder and arson. The senior scientist at Sukravarpet was a witness. Several eyewitness accounts at the Poo Market also confirmed that such methods were used in that area too.

f) Several, otherwise well-meaning Hindus of Coimbatore and elsewhere seem to feel that the Muslim community deserved such an attack. But a sustained dialogue with them reveals they have no direct data or experience to back up their feelings. Many of them were shocked when they saw the photographic evidence of the gory violence unleashed. “The damage to the common man’s psyche was the worst part of the whole episode,” said the senior scientist. The PUCL team did find that spontaneous but discreet help was given by several Hindu neighbours to Muslims.

g) There is a striking similarity between the methods used in Coimbatore and those used elsewhere in India (for example, Mumbai and Meerut) to target Muslims economically, politically and psychologically.

http://www.frontline.in/static/html/fl1505/15051150.htm

3 yrs after riots, Haryana dalits still suffer

 The hardships in the appalling relief camps spread across Muzaffarnagar district in western UP for riot victims have left many in utter dismay.

Faraway in Haryana’s Hisar district, a relatively similar predicament grips several dozens of riot-hit Dalit families who have never returned to their homes even three years after the riots in Mirchpur village.

This is their third winter in make shift camps under extreme biting cold conditions that these victims will be forced to spent. Around 60 children and nearly two dozen elders have been living in the camp within a farmhouse in the district. Many of them returned to their village months after the riots, yet a sizable lot refused to return fearing a repeat of 2010 caste-based riot in the village.

 

That ill-fated day on Aril 21, 2010, a group of upper caste Jat youth torched houses of Dalit families in Mirhcpur village spreading chaos and fear. The incident was provoked over a minor scuffle. Tara Chand, 70, and his physically challenged teenage daughter were killed in the riot.

The 120-odd Dalit families in the village fled towards Delhi out of fear, some still in fear of being targeted in case they return. Malha Devi, one of elderly women staying in the camp, says the winter chill is unbearable for her ailing old body. Their tents have worn out over the years. The Dalits are demanding adequate rehabilitation.

Early this month, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi was apprised of the hardships of the Dalit families staying in the camps in Haryana during a meeting convened in New Delhi.

Activist Rajat Kalsan highlighted the issue of Mirchpur victims.

A petition seeking relief and rehabilitation for the victims of riots is pending before the Apex court. Kalsan pointed out the alleged apathy of the state government in getting the families to return.

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/377144/3-yrs-riots-haryana-dalits.html

National Commission for Scheduled Castes seeks report on dalit victim’s abuse in police custody

AMRITSAR: National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) has directed Amritsar city police to hold an inquiry into a case of shoving of baton into the private parts of a dalit in custody. NCSC vice-chairman Raj Kumar Verka told media persons on Friday that he had directed Amritsar DCP Bikrampal Singh Bhatti to get done a medical examination of the victim from a government hospital and submit a report within five days to commission.

Giving details, Verka said an autorickshaw driver had approached him to tell him about being summoned to a police post Sultanwind for an inquiry into a theft case on December 25. The victim alleged that cops used third degree torture to pressurize him to confess that he was involved in the theft, he said. “A policeman stripped the victim, beat him, poured cold water on him and shoved a baton in his anal passage,” Verka said. He said he had also asked the DCP to take action against the police personnel responsible for the incident.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chandigarh/National-Commission-for-Scheduled-Castes-seeks-report-on-dalit-victims-abuse-in-police-custody/articleshow/28031702.cms

Rape victim’s father was offered Rs 10 lakh

NCSC pulls up Bhiwani SP for attempt to close case

Deepender Deswal

Tribune News Service

 

Bhiwani, December 30. The family of the Dalit schoolgirl who was reportedly raped by a schoolteacher of Nigana in the district about a month ago was being offered Rs 10 lakh to withdraw the case. This was revealed by the girl’s father to the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) during a hearing of the case in Delhi today.

 

Shocked at the revelations by the victim’s father and the attempt of the police to close the case, the commission pulled up the Bhiwani Superintendent of Police (SP) during the hearing and directed him to review the case and report back to the commission on February 10.

 

The victim’s father and Dalit activist lawyer Ramdhan, who were present during the hearing at the National Commission for Scheduled Castes headquarters, said the SP informed the commission that nothing had come out of the allegations on the basis of the inquiry and they wanted to close the case.

 

Commission Secretary JS Chamber slammed the Superintendent of Police and termed the probe as a botched-up one which had failed to do justice to the minor Dalit girl.

 

“Is this the probe you have come up with? If you are unable to bring out the truth, I will refer the case to the CBI. You must review the investigation and bring out the truth so that justice is delivered. It is shocking that so many rape cases are being reported in Haryana,” the NCSC Secretary reportedly told the SP.

 

The girl’s father confirmed that money was offered to him to withdraw the case. “Some persons approached me on two occasions. They told me to accept Rs 8 lakh and then offered Rs 10 lakh to withdraw the case,” he said.

 

“Certain persons spread the rumour in the village that I had accepted the money to malign me and my family. Political pressure is being exerted on us not to pursue the case,” he alleged. He added that certain government officials had paid him a visit, urging him to ‘forget’ the incident.

 

The victim’s father said the SP brought the attendance register of his daughter’s class to the commission office, showing ‘P’ (present) marked in the register twice between November 6 and November 16.

 

“This is wrong as she did not attend school after the incident. Her condition was deteriorating every day as she seemed to have lost mental balance. We admitted her to a private hospital at Hisar, where doctors told me to shift her to Delhi,” the girl’s father said.

 

Ramdhan confirmed that the SP intimated the commission about the closure report, which irked the NCSC. “The SP agreed to review the case and submit a fresh report at the next hearing,” he said. The police could not close the case as the medical examination had reported vaginal rupture and the victim was a minor, he added.

 

The minor, a student of class X at the government school in the village, was raped by her teacher on November 6. When she did not attend school for nearly 10 days, the family suspected that something wrong.

 

They prodded her to reveal the reason for her continuous absence from school.

 

On November 16, the girl disclosed the rape, after which a number of villagers closed the school and thrashed the teacher, who then managed to escape.

 

The police had booked the accused teacher who was yet to be arrested.

 

The Education Department had suspended the teacher and transferred the entire school staff.

 

Money offered to withdraw case

 

* The girl’s father confirmed that money was offered to him to withdraw the case. “Some persons approached me on two occasions. They told me to accept Rs 8 lakh and then offered Rs 10 lakh to withdraw the case,” he said..

 

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2013/20131231/haryana.htm#5

Councillor booked for molesting Dalit girl in Yamunanagar

Our Correspondent

Yamunanagar, December 30

The police have booked a municipal councillor under relevant sections of the Information Technology Act and the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Act on charges of molesting a Dalit girl, sending her MMSes and making casteist remarks.

 

A delegation of women led by the victim held a demonstration on the premises of the Mini-Secretariat here today, demanding the immediate arrest of Navneet Sharma, alias Neelu Pandit, councillor from ward 13.

 

The woman met Deputy Superintendent of Police (Headquarters) Vijender Kumar Vij and handed over a memorandum for the Yamunanagar Superintendent of Police, seeking the arrest of the councillor and termination from the corporation.

 

In a complaint to the Yamunanagar Sadar police, the victim alleged that she was stalked and molested by the accused. She said the accused sent her an MMS on her mobile phone. She alleged when she objected, the accused not only passed casteist remarks about her, but also threatened her of dire consequences.

 

“The councillor keeps sitting outside an office situated near the bank of the western Yamuna canal. Whenever I go that way from home to the market, he stalks, stops and molests me. He has been torturing me for two or three months,” alleged the victim in her complaint to the Yamunanagar Superintendent of Police.

 

She said he also made casteist remarks and threatened her that she would face dire consequences if she did not respond to his demand. “The councillor has been sending me MMSes on my mobile phone from his mobile phone continuously since December 26,” she said.

 

The victim also alleged that the Station House Officer of the Sadar police was supporting the accused and pressuring her to arrive at a compromise in the case. On the other hand, councillor Navneet Sharma said he had been made victim of political vendetta and was implicated in a false case.

 

“A murder was committed here last month. I have been supporting the family of the victim. The opposite party which is involved in the murder wants to settle the case. In order to exert pressure on me, they got a false case registered against me. The complainant belongs to the family involved in the murder,” said Navneet Sharma.

 

The councillor, Navneet Sharma was elected as an independent councillor from ward 13 in the elections held this year. Yamunanagar Superintendent of Police Sibas Kaviraj said the Deputy Superintendent of Police (Headquarters) had been directed to conduct a thorough investigation into the case.

 

“The Deputy Superintendent of Police (Headquarters) will go through the allegations levelled against the councillor. If the allegations are found to be false, the first information report will be quashed. If the charges are found to be true, the councillor will be arrested. The Deputy Superintendent of Police (Headquarters) will inquire the allegations levelled against Station House Officer for forcing the victim for a patch-up,” said Superintendent of Police Sibas Kaviraj.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2013/20131231/haryana.htm#18

Protest against boycott of Dalits in Gadyal village

Staff Correspondent

 Members of the Raichur taluk unit of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) staged a protest outside the Deputy Commissioner’s office here on Tuesday against the alleged social boycott of Dalits at Gadyal village in Jamakhandi taluk of Bagalkot district.

 

According to the protesters, landlords in Gadyal had imposed a social boycott on Dalit families as revenge for some Dalits lodging a police complaint seeking action against those who had allegedly defaced a statue of B.R. Ambedkar.

 

“The landlords have even imposed a fine of Rs. 5,000 each on two youths for protesting against the social boycott and standing in favour of the Dalits. Dalits have been jobless for the last four months as ‘caste’ Hindus are not allowing them to work in their fields. Children belonging to ‘caste’ Hindus and Dalits are afraid of speaking to each other,” K.G. Veeresh, taluk secretary of the CPI(M), said.

 

He urged the State government to intervene immediately.

 

“The government should pay Rs. 25,000 each as compensation to Dalit families that have been rendered jobless for the last four months owing to the social boycott. As part of long-lasting rehabilitation, Dalit youths in the village should be given training, with financial aid, in self-employment and other trades, under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act,” Mr. Veeresh said.

 

A memorandum addressed to the Chief Minister was submitted at the Deputy Commissioner’s office.

 

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/protest-against-boycott-of-dalits-in-gadyal-village/article5527114.ece

2 Held for Attacking Dalit over Flag Row

A 17-year-old Dalit youth was attacked with sickles by caste Hindus at Malavarayanatham near Srivaikuntam on Wednesday night.

 

According to sources, on Tuesday, miscreants threw cow dung on a drawing of a Dalit party’s flag, on the steps of a stream at Malavarayanatham. Around that time, two Dalits, Alexander (32), son of Thangadurai, and Immanuel Praveen (17), son of Micheal Raj, from Malavarayanatham, had noticed two caste Hindu youth roaming around the area on a bike.

 

The duo were identified as Nangaraja (25), son of Poolpandi, and Suresh (23), son of Vanamamalai, also from Malavarayanatham.

 

On Wednesday, Alexander and Praveen had informed the Dalit leaders that it was Nangaraja and Suresh who threw the cow dung at the drawing, following which the duo was questioned.

 

Irked by this, Nangaraja and Suresh attacked Alexander and Praveen with sickles in the evening, besides abusing them. Alexander managed to escape and informed other Dalits about the incident. In retaliation, they burnt Suresh’s bike. Suresh was admitted at the Tirunelveli GH for injuries in the head and left hand. Praveen too was hospitalised.

 

While both parties lodged complaints against each other, Nangaraja and Suresh were arrested for allegedly attacking Praveen.

 

A heavy posse of police personnel has been posted in the village to prevent any untoward incident.

 

SP M Durai claimed that personal vengeance between the four was the main reason behind the clash. When asked if peace talks would be conducted, he said that the villagers knew the exact reason behind the attack and hence question of peace talks did not arise.  He further said that the trouble mongers had been arrested and further clash would be averted.

 

http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/tamil_nadu/2-Held-for-Attacking-Dalit-over-Flag-Row/2014/01/03/article1979721.ece

Dalits celebrating New Year attacked

Villagers say caste discrimination prevalent for a long time

New Year day celebrations turned violent at Karukkakuruchi on Tuesday night, when a group of caste Hindus attacked Dalits.

 

The Dalits alleged that a section of upper caste Hindus objected to their celebrating New Year in the village. Vigneshwaran, a Dalit, suffered fracture on the hand after a caste Hindu youth dashed a two-wheeler against him. Vigneshwaran was admitted to the Government Headquarters Hospital in Pudukottai. A complaint has been lodged with the Vadakadu police.

 

Villagers said caste-based discrimination had been prevalent in the village for a prolonged period and the recent incident was only the tip of the iceberg.

 

The Dalits were silently suffering the humiliation. “We did not expose it fearing insecurity to our property and family members, particularly college and school-going girls,” says Nagaraj, one of the villagers.

 

A section of Dalits of the village, led by village panchayat president Kalaimani Annadurai, on Wednesday, met Pudukottai MLA Karthik R. Thondaiman and sought his immediate intervention. They also submitted a petition to the District Collector. They dispersed after the MLA and officials assured them of prompt action.

 

In the complaint to Vadakadu police, the villagers have sought adequate protection to the Karukkakurichi Vada Theru panchayat. A team of police personnel visited the village and conducted an inquiry with villagers.

 

Police pickets have been deployed in the village as a precautionary measure. No arrest has been made.

 

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/dalits-celebrating-new-year-attacked/article5527400.ece

 

Foul Play Alleged in Dalit student’s Death

High tension prevailed on the premises of Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Government Hospital here on Friday after relatives of a 27-year-old dalit nursing student, who had allegedly committed suicide on Thursday, refused to receive the body after the autopsy alleging foul play.

 

The relatives of the Geetha (27), a nursing student at a private college here, staged a sit-in protest in front of the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Government Hospital alleging that she was murdered. They claimed that the body of the deceased was in a half-burnt condition with injury marks on her head and demanded that the police register a murder case. They sought proper investigation into the matter. 

 

Geetha, wife of Durairaj and a resident of Manaiyeripatti in Thanjavur district, was pursuing third year diploma in nursing at Indira Seshadri School of Nursing at Raja Colony here. Geetha had returned to the hostel on Thursdayafter spending New Year holidays with her family at native place.

 

On Thursday afternoon, Geetha’s father Rajendran received a call from the college officials informing him that his daughter was hospitalised.

 

“When I asked for the reason, they did not even tell me what had happened to my daughter. Even before I began questioning them, they cut the call,” Rajendran said. Soon after the call, Rajendran and his family members rushed to Tiruchy.

 

“At the hospital, we came to know that Geetha was already dead. The act of calling us and hospitalising our daughter was just a cover-up. When we finally saw her body, it was half-burnt. There were several injury marks on her body and head. We suspect that Geetha was murdered,” Rajendran claimed.

 

The relatives tried to stage a road-roko in front of the government hospital, but were stopped by the police.

 

They later returned on to the premises and staged a sit-in dharna. On information, Tiruchy Revenue Divisional Officer (RDO), A Basheer, reached the place and pacified the agitators.

 

Subsequently, the Revenue Divisional Officerinspected the hostel Geetha was staying in. He assured the relatives of a proper inquiry into the death would be conducted. 

 

When Express contacted the college, officials evaded questions citing that there was no competent authority available to speak on the issue at the moment.

http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/tamil_nadu/Foul-Play-Alleged-in-Dalit-student%E2%80%99s-Death/2014/01/04/article1981688.ece

Murder of two Dalit youths alleged

Dalit organisations alleged murder of two Dalit youths out of vengeance recently at Bilakala Gudur in Gadivemula mandal. Dalit leaders Anand Babu, K. Srinivasulu, T. Seshaphani, M. Giri, K. Ramanjaneyulu and others stated at a meeting here on Monday that Raju and Ravi Kumar were murdered in a gruesome manner by slitting open of their throats. Their bodies were dumped in the pond. The leaders alleged that the police did not render justice to the victim’s families, but implicated the innocent Dalit youths in the case by misrepresenting facts.

 

The local leaders and perpetrators, who had political connections, hushed up the case and to escape the charges under the provisions of SC/ ST Atrocities Prevention Act, they arrested Dalit youths.

 

The Dalit organisations formed a committee to carry forward the struggle and see that the culprits were booked.

 

They alleged that the employer of one of the youths was responsible for the murder as the deceased developed intimacy with a woman in their family.

 

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-andhrapradesh/murder-of-two-dalit-youths-alleged/article5392431.ece

Protest on Murder of Dalit 

3

Shocking: Six professors thrashed for gang-raping ‘dalit girl’ for four months, five get life term

Ahmedabad/Patan: In a case of gang-rape of an 18-year-old Dalit girl by her teachers, Gujarat high courton Saturday awarded life term to five accused while reduced the sentence of one of the convicts.

 

The high court observed that a gruesome crime had been committed on the girl that traumatised her to the extent that she suffered from frequent bouts of fainting. So, this was certainly a case of crime where no leniency was justified.

 

After hearing the appeal against the sentence by the six convicts, a bench, comprising Justice Aqil Kureshi and Justice ZK Saiyed, confirmed the sentence of life imprisonment given to Kiran Patel, Ashwin Parmar, Suresh Patel, Mahendra Prajapati and Manish Prajapati.

 

While Atul Patel, the sixth convict in the crime, the HC observed that since he was engaged in only one crime and not involved in the conspiracy or the act of gang rape, he was charged under Section 376 and sentenced to a 10-year-rigorous imprisonment. 

 

In 2009, Justice SC Srivastave of a special fast track court had declared all the six guilty and sentenced them for life.

 

In 2007 and 2008, a Dalit girl was repeatedly raped over a period of four months by her professors at the government primary teachers’ training college in Patan. 

 

The victim is one of the five children of a landless agricultural labourer, the accused were thashed by locals for perpetrating the crime. 

 http://daily.bhaskar.com/article/GUJ-AHD-shocking-six-professors-gang-rape-student-for-four-months-five-get-life-term-in–4450678-PHO.html#seq=1

Dalit family beaten, house burnt in Berasia

BHOPAL: A dalit and his family were beaten up and their house was burnt by a group at village Birah Shyamkhedi in Berasia on the outskirts on the state capital. The incident had taken place on Saturdayevening.

Police said the dispute was over a piece of land on which the victim and accused parties are claiming stakes.

 

The accused are yet to be arrested.

Victim, Kaluram, 38. had erected a shanty on an elevated land area in the village after his small piece of land submerged in a dam project.

However, accused Arvind Singh claimed the land to be his. Police said the situation turned violent when Arvind along with his brothers Rajendra, Santosh Singh and a relative Beer Singh attacked Kaluram and his family, including his wife Narayani and daughter Sarju.

After beating the family, the accused torch their house and escaped. The police have registered a case under the relevant sections and said the efforts are on to nab the accused, adding that the nature of injuries sustained by the victim side is not serious.

Police said the land in dispute between the two parties is a government land.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhopal/Dalit-family-beaten-house-burnt-in-Berasia/articleshow/26727858.cms

Arrest of accused in rape demanded

A demonstration was held by tribals and Dalits in Malkangiri town on Sunday demanding arrest of accused persons involved in the rape and murder of a Koya tribal girl. This victim from Bandiguda was beaten up, and raped by some youths before she was murdered by administration of poison on Nov. 24. In a memorandum the demonstrators demanded the Chief Minister order CBI probe into the case, and payment of Rs. 1 lakh as compensation to family members of the victim. They handed over the memorandum to Collector M. Muthukumar. The Collector formed a committee with Sub-Collector and SDPO to look into the case.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-otherstates/arrest-of-accused-in-rape-demanded/article5412956.ece

Fearing threat to life, Dalit woman seeks gun licence

Apprehending threat to life and property, a Dalit woman on Thursday petitioned to the National Commission for Scheduled Castes here seeking its help to obtain a gun licence.

 

S. Sudha of Veppamarathur village in Dharmapuri district has alleged harassment and repeated threats to her life even as the police have provided her with a round-the-clock security cover.

 

The woman claimed in her petition that three years ago she got married to Suresh, who belongs to the Vanniyar community.

 

After Dalit villages in the district were allegedly attacked by Caste Hindus, following the sensational Ilavarasan-Divya marriage in 2012, her family was ostracised from the village. Even her husband’s family was not allowed to draw water from the common tap or enter the temple.

 

Having suffered social boycott, Ms. Sudha lodged a complaint with the Bommidi police, who registered a case under the provisions of the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, 1989. Since no action was taken against the accused, she filed a petition in the Madras High Court, which directed the Dharmapuri district administration to provide adequate protection to the petitioner.

 

Alleging that some Caste Hindus continued to harass her and her family members, the victim said she was also accused of attacking and abusing some men.

 

Though the issue was taken to the notice of government officials, they only acted in favour of the Caste Hindus, she alleged.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/fearing-threat-to-life-dalit-woman-seeks-gun-licence/article5402552.ece

Four of Dalit family laid to rest, main accused found injured

The four slain members of a Dalit family, including two toddlers, were today laid to rest amid heart-wrenching scenes near Kotrani village here, while the main accused in the gruesome murders was found injured and in an unconscious condition. 

Baljinder Kumar alias Kala allegedly butchered his 28-year-old wife Seema, daughter Sumni(3), son Harsh (2) and his sister-in-law Reena (32) yesterday at his home in Kotrani village. 

Kala, along with some of his associates, also attacked his son Tari (26) and Reena’s son Harry (5). They were left seriously injured and are recuperating in DMC hospital Ludhiana

The children, Harsh and Sumani, were buried. The two sisters Seema and Reena were cremated. 

The pyre of Seema was lit by her elder brother Vijay Kumar while that of Reena by her husband Sunehri who had reached here from Dubaia few minutes before the cremation. 

Sunehri, who was not informed about the murders, came to know about the incident after reaching the village. 

Meanwhile, Kala landed dramatically at Civil hospital last night in an unconscious state with serious injuries. 

Hospital sources said that Kala was found lying injured on road near Chachrari village. He had multiple injuries on face, arms and other parts of the body. 

However, Phagwara SP Gursevak Singh Brar, when contacted, said that the patient was suspected to be Kala.

 

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/four-of-dalit-family-laid-to-rest-main-accused-found-injured-113113000421_1.html

 

6 held for the death of non-dalit woman’s death case

MADURAI: A 21-year-old non-dalit woman, who had married a dalit a few days back, was found dead under mysterious circumstances at a village in Paramakudi taluk. An honour killing is suspected as hers was a love marriage opposed by both the families. The woman’s body was hastily cremated by her family after she was found dead on Saturday, claimed NGO Evidence which conducted a fact-finding investigation into the incident.

Emaneswaram police inspector said a case has been registered for suspicious death and six people including the woman’s parents and sister as well as three others have been arrested and remanded to custody.

Sasikala, the daughter of Karuppiah had fallen in love with Kottaisamy, son of Chandran. While the girl belonged to Vilathoor village in Ramanathapuram district, her husband is a resident of Ponnaiahpuram near Paramakudi. Both were classmates at college.

The probe by the NGO revealed that Sasikala’s relation with Kottaisamy was opposed by both the families. Hence, they secretly married in a temple near Sathirakudi on October 11. However, Sasikala’s family members, who came to know about the wedding, took her along with them after threatening Kottaisamy. On Saturday, she was found dead and her family cremated the body immediately, without informing the police.

Police, who rushed to the spot after being tipped off by villagers, retrieved the partially-burnt body. The post mortem has been videographed.

Police have registered a case to find if it was a murder or death due to other causes. Emaneswaram police are now interrogating Sasikala’s father, mother and sister.

On Sunday, the fact-finding team from Evidence asserted that it was a case of honour killing. Sasikala’s family was trying to marry her off to a person from the same caste. After the wedding, the couple had even escaped to Dharapuram fearing for their lives. On the same day, Sasikala’s father had lodged a complaint with the Emaneswaram police alleging that her daughter was missing. But her family members located her at Dharapuram and brought her with them. She was produced before the Paramakudi court on October 15 and it sent her with the family, the NGO members stated. Emaneswaram police had also visited Kottaisamy in Dharapuram and got him to sign an agreement that he would not interfere in Sasikala’s life, the NGO claimed. Evidence has demanded an inquiry by a high-ranking police official. Ramanathapuram police are attempting to register a case for instigating suicide against Sasikala’s parents under Section 306 of IPC when it should have actually been registered under Section 302, it alleged.

Similar cases have also been reported from the region in the past. The police case about the suspicious death of another non-dalit girl, Thiruselvi, in 2008 was converted to murder on April 20, this year. Thiruselvi, a resident of Kalaiyoor village, near Paramakudi, was found dead after marrying a dalit, Daniel Raj, on June 5, 2008. Evidence has alleged that there are similarities in the death of Sasikala and Thiruselvi. Both belonged to the same caste.

Honour killings are on the rise in Tamil Nadu and it was high time that the Central government passed a law against it, said A Kathir, executive director of Evidence.

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-10-21/madurai/43249794_1_sasikala-paramakudi-honour-killing

Sand mining sparks Vanniyar-Dalit clash

Residents of Senur Colony thronging the Viruthampet police station on Sunday, demanding action against members of the Vanniyar community who were involved in the group clash | S Dinesh
Residents of Senur Colony thronging the Viruthampet police station on Sunday, demanding action against members of the Vanniyar community who were involved in the group clash | S Dinesh

Residents of Senur Colony on Sunday laid siege to the Viruthampet police station demanding action against members of the Vanniyar community, in connection with a clash between them over sand mining from Palar riverbed. The incident created a flutter in the vicinity for over an hour at 2 pm.

Ponarasu, Thirunavukarasu and Harikrishnan of the colony were arrested on Saturday for attacking Udhaya Kumar, Nehru, Pradeep and Santhosh of Vanniyar community, and residents of the village, following a clash between them over mining sand from the Palar riverbed. Both the groups and their supporters attacked each other on Friday night.

In the incident, Udhaya Kumar and three others sustained injuries and were admitted to the Government Vellore Medical College Hospital.

Acting on the complaint, police registered a case against Ponarasu and his supporters under various sections of IPC and arrested them on Saturday.

Subsequently, they were remanded to the Vellore Central Prison for Men.

Irked over the arrest of members of their community, residents of Senur Colony gathered in front of the police station on Sunday and demanded that the Vanniyar community people who were involved in the case also be arrested.

The residents of the colony withdrew the protest following an assurance from police. Later, Police also arrested Raja, a Vanniyar, and launched a search for his associates in connection with the case.

http://newindianexpress.com/states/tamil_nadu/Sand-mining-sparks-Vanniyar-Dalit-clash/2013/10/21/article1846487.ece

Caste certificate puts Dalit girl’s education in crisis

An eleven-year-old Dalit orphan girl has been running from pillar to post for the last three months to get her community certificate in order to pursue her studies.

 Sneha, the daughter of Rani and Arumugam, both of whom are deceased, submitted a petition to the collector on Monday during the public grievance day meet regarding her struggle.

Sayed Ibrahim (57) of Thiruvappur, who is the caretaker of Sneha, told Express that he is a blind bachelor and Rani of Thiruvappur was working as a maid in his house from 2005 to 2011. She was living with Sneha since her husband Arumugam died in 2003. However, Rani also died in 2011 due to illness, when Sneha was just nine. On knowing her plight, Ibrahim decided to take care of Sneha.

Meanwhile, Sneha joined Class VI at the municipal high school at Thiruvappur, after she finished Class V at the municipal middle school. There, the students were asked to submit their community certificate to continue their studies. After this, Sneha approached the taluk office in Pudukkottai seeking her community certificate.

However, the authorities wanted the community certificate of her parents. Since Sneha could not provide the certificates of her parents, who were illiterate and never had  the document, they asked her to submit the community certificate of her blood relatives, though they too did not possess it.

 Against this backdrop, the headmaster strictly asked Sneha that she should bring the certificate within a week or she would not be allowed to continue her studies in the school.

 In order to get the community certificate and continue her studies, she has approached the collector and appealed to the top official that he should intervene and take steps to issue the document to her soon. The collector has forwarded her petition to the revenue authorities.

http://newindianexpress.com/states/tamil_nadu/Caste-certificate-puts-Dalit-girls-education-in-crisis/2013/10/22/article1848642.ece

Government not releasing funds to Dalit, OBC institutions, says Eshwarappa

The Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday accused Chief Minister Siddaramaiah of acting against social justice by stalling the release of Rs. 54.50 crore sanctioned by its government to several religious and social institutions belonging to Dalits and other backward classes.

Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, the former Deputy Chief Minister K.S. Eshwarappa demanded that Mr. Siddaramaiah should either release the funds immediately or declare that he was cancelling the fund allocation by the then BJP government, led by Jagadish Shettar.

The Assembly elections were declared just when Rs. 30.50 crore was to be handed over to the beneficiaries. “We appeal to the Chief Minister to order disbursal of funds,” he said.

On the propriety of government funding religious institutions, he said that there was nothing wrong as the oppressed sections did not have a resource base for their activities.

Endorsing Mr. Eshwarappa’s charge, the former Water Resources Minister Basavaraj Bommai alleged that the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government had stopped irrigation work worth Rs. 1,000 crore taken up during the BJP dispensation under the Special Component Plan and Tribal Sub-Plan for the oppressed sections.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-karnataka/government-not-releasing-funds-to-dalit-obc-institutions-says-eshwarappa/article5263203.ece

DMDK man booked for abusing dalit

The police registered a case against the DMDK union secretary under SC/ST Act based on a  complaint filed by a village panchayat assistant.

Police said that G Pandi, Assistant of Village Panchyat board and a Dalit resident of Uchapatti village near here, was at Austinpatti on official duty with other officials when  R Jayaraman, DMDK union secretary and three others allegedly attacked him and also abused him using his caste name. 

http://newindianexpress.com/states/tamil_nadu/DMDK-man-booked-for-abusing-dalit/2013/10/22/article1848634.ece

DMDK man booked for abusing dalit

The police registered a case against the DMDK union secretary under SC/ST Act based on a  complaint filed by a village panchayat assistant.

Police said that G Pandi, Assistant of Village Panchyat board and a Dalit resident of Uchapatti village near here, was at Austinpatti on official duty with other officials when  R Jayaraman, DMDK union secretary and three others allegedly attacked him and also abused him using his caste name. 

http://newindianexpress.com/states/tamil_nadu/DMDK-man-booked-for-abusing-dalit/2013/10/22/article1848634.ece

Protesing Dalits removed from Jalandhar Bypass

Police on Wednesday removed 29 members of various Dalit organisations protesting at the Jalandhar Bypass for the past two weeks seeking jobs and education for the youths of the community. 

Section 144 of the CrPc was also imposed in the area on orders of deputy commissioner of police (DCP) Harsh Bansal, prohibiting assembly of more than five people.

The members of the Dalit community were rounded up under preventive detention and for disrupting traffic on Jalandhar Bypass on the national highway.

 Additional deputy commissioner of police (ADCP) special branch Harmohan Singh Sandhu, who has been given additional charge of traffic, said the detention was taken as a preventive action only.

 Meanwhile, supporters of Dalit leaders gathered on the spot and allegedly pelted police with stones to protest against the detention.

 The protesters had blocked traffic for at least two hours on October 20.

 Sources in the health department said the supporters of leaders, who were rounded up, used to call the civil surgeon office every evening claiming that the condition of leaders was not stable and required immediate attention.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/punjab/ludhiana/protesing-dalits-removed-from-jalandhar-bypass/article1-1139094.aspx

Protesing Dalits removed from Jalandhar Bypass

Police on Wednesday removed 29 members of various Dalit organisations protesting at the Jalandhar Bypass for the past two weeks seeking jobs and education for the youths of the community. 

Section 144 of the CrPc was also imposed in the area on orders of deputy commissioner of police (DCP) Harsh Bansal, prohibiting assembly of more than five people.

The members of the Dalit community were rounded up under preventive detention and for disrupting traffic on Jalandhar Bypass on the national highway.

 Additional deputy commissioner of police (ADCP) special branch Harmohan Singh Sandhu, who has been given additional charge of traffic, said the detention was taken as a preventive action only.

 Meanwhile, supporters of Dalit leaders gathered on the spot and allegedly pelted police with stones to protest against the detention.

 The protesters had blocked traffic for at least two hours on October 20.

 Sources in the health department said the supporters of leaders, who were rounded up, used to call the civil surgeon office every evening claiming that the condition of leaders was not stable and required immediate attention.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/punjab/ludhiana/protesing-dalits-removed-from-jalandhar-bypass/article1-1139094.aspx

At stake is the dignity of Dalit women

The national conversation, dominated by temples, toilets, has no patience for stories of Dalit women who face humiliation daily. Given the measly media coverage, their stories cause no outrage. Complicit in this are the police, loath to file FIRs against politically connected and rich criminals.

 Away from the din of ‘dehati aurat’ and ‘escape velocity’, 45 Dalit women are talking about the daily humiliation that is their life. The women and, in some cases men who are deposing on their behalf, have come to Delhi  from eight states across the country, and to them it doesn’t matter if it’s the Congress or the BJP or a regional party or some new-fangled alliance that is in power. For them the story never changes.

 From East Champaran, Bihar, not far from where Mahatma Gandhi launched satyagraha, a landless labourer tells of how his wife was beaten to death for asking for Rs. 400 that was due to her as daily wages. From district Dausa, Rajasthan an educated Dalit woman, an elected member of her village’s panchayat, tells of how she was not allowed to sit on a chair on a podium during a Republic Day function because ‘upper caste women in the audience were sitting on the ground’.

From district Patna, Bihar, a husband talks of a squabble between two nine-year-old boys, one Dalit and the other upper caste, and its consequences when the family of the upper caste boy decides to ‘teach them a lesson’. They do this by stripping the mother and dragging her through the village.

When the grandmother and younger daughter intervene, they are thrashed. The mother runs from house to house, naked, begging for help. Nobody comes forward; they are too frightened. Finally, the village sarpanch steps in and a bystander offers the woman her shawl. A first information report (FIR) is registered, but the accused get bail. “My wife lives in the village, knowing that her tormentors are free, that nobody helped her and that they have all witnessed her shame. But what choice does she have?” asks the husband.

In Gujarat’s Mehsana district, cooperatives won’t buy milk from women who own ‘Dalit’ cows. In Bihar, a young bride is beaten up by priests after being denied entry into a temple. And in Haryana the gang-rape of minor Dalit girls by upper caste men is now so routine that in some districts girls are being pulled out of school and kept home.

Rural Dalit women face a double whammy: discriminated by caste as well as patriarchy; poor and illiterate; ignored by city-based feminists and non-government organisations; often singled out for rape by upper caste men as a way to ‘humiliate’ the entire community and keep it in its ‘place’.

If they try to assert themselves by going to school or asking for wages or contesting panchayat elections, they become vulnerable to what Asha Kowtal of the All India Dalit Mahila Adhikar Manch (AIDMAM) calls ‘backlash violence’.

The national conversation, dominated by temples, toilets, has no patience for these stories. Given measly column centimetres, if at all, in newspapers, they cause no outrage or candlelight processions. Complicit in this conspiracy of silence are the police, loath to file FIRs against politically connected and economically influential criminals. The legal system grinds along with notorious delays.

Medical reports are botched up by compliant doctors. And victims of the worst crimes are liable to ‘compromise’ since they depend on the dominant castes for their livelihood.

To come forward and fight a system so loaded against you requires incredible, boundless courage. Seated in the audience is a young girl. When we get talking she tells me she was raped last year in August by 12 upper-caste Jat men in village Dabra, Haryana.

The police filed an FIR only after her father committed suicide.

She tells me that four of the 12 were never arrested while another four have been acquitted. Still she fights on. A year after she was raped, the girl from  Dabra is doing her BA, studying music, art and Sanskrit and says she wants to  become a lawyer.

“I am the first Dalit girl to fight against the upper castes in my village,” she says. “And I will fight for all the other girls so that this never happens again.”

At stake is not financial compensation or vengeance but dignity.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Comment/NamitaBhandare/At-stake-is-the-dignity-of-Dalit-women/Article1-1134063.aspx

Day after Dalit leaders’ arrest, uneasy 

calm prevails in city

A day after the police arrested Dalits protesting on Jalandhar Bypass, an uneasy calm prevailed in the city on Wednesday.

Heavy police force was deployed to keep the situation under control various parts of the city, especially in Basti Jodhewal, Karabara Chowk and Salem Tabri.

Dalit organisations had been protesting at Jalandhar Bypass Chowk since October 9. Fifteen of the protesters were on a hunger strike.

 

The Dalit organisations were demanding quota in government jobs, exemption from toll tax, `1500 pension as old-age pension, and free medical services at government hospital.

To intensify their stir, some of the protesters blocked traffic on Karabara Chowk on Wednesday for more than 4 hours and were rounded up by the police. Soon after, protesters who were not rounded up demanded the immediate release of the arrested persons. The crowd also went on a rampage spree and vandalised some vehicles, while the policemen remained mute spectators. The protesters were about pelt stones, but some people intervened to bring the situation under control.

The police commissioner has imposed Section 144 in the city and now more than five persons cannot gather at a place.

Meanwhile, the protesters who were arrested on Wednesday were produced in court on Thursday and remanded in 14-day judicial custody.

Also, deputy commissioner Rajat Aggarwal and police commissioner Paramjit Singh Gill visited the spot and assured the protesters of arranging a meeting with higher authorities. After the assurance, the protesters lifted the traffic jam but continued to sit on the protest at Jalandhar Bypass Chowk.

Though the protest was called off at 2 PM on Thursday, the police made several announcements through loudspeakers to pacify them.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/punjab/ludhiana/day-after-dalit-leaders-arrest-uneasy-calm-prevails-in-city/article1-1139705.aspx

No normalcy yet in Dharmapuri’

Normalcy has not yet returned in Dharmapuri district, Special Government Pleader IS Inbadurai told the Madras High Court on Thursday.

Justifying the prohibition order issued under Sec. 144 of the CrPC in July following violent ncidents and clashes between two caste groups and another order issued on September 5 this year consequent to the death of Dalit youth Ilavarasan, Inbadurai told Justice KK Sasidharan that normalcy had not returned in Dharmapuri district. The submission was in response to a writ petition from the Dharmapuri unit of the PMK challenging an order dated October 10 last of the Dharmapuri DSP, rejecting permission to the party to conduct a public meeting on the eve of the general elections to the Lok Sabha to be held in May 2014.

No election schedule had also been announced, the SGP added.

http://newindianexpress.com/states/tamil_nadu/No-normalcy-yet-in-Dharmapuri/2013/10/25/article1854304.ece

Mob ‘attacks’ Dalit area, 13 injured

Front

 

A mob of over 60 men and women — all from the dominant Maratha caste — allegedly attacked the Dalit basti of Rajwada in Shevge Dang village, Nashik district, on Sunday, causing serious head injuries to 13 men.

The police have arrested 11 men so far.

According to the villagers, the attackers came in tractors, carrying sickles, knives, bricks and boulders. They alleged that their houses were damaged and photographs of B R Ambedkar were desecrated.

According to reports, the fight ensued over a small accident, when a tempo owned by a person belonging to the Maratha caste rammed into a tree on October 15, injuring several persons travelling in it, including a 50-year-old Dalit woman Lata Bharit.

“My son went to Chandrakant Shinde, the driver, and asked for compensation. He was abused and sent back. Both parties approached the police and the issue was resolved amicably,” said Lata.

“While the Dalit families assumed the situation was normal, the Maratha men had begun to conspire. They waited for most of the villagers to leave for their daily work, and then attacked,” said investigating officer and SDPO R N Hazare. The police have registered an FIR for attempt to murder, criminal conspiracy and dacoity under the IPC.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/mob–attacks–dalit-area-13-injured/1186954/

Mangalore: Dalit Leader Ashok Konchadi Stabbed and Assaulted

Mangalore: Dalit activist Ashok Konchadi was reportedly stabbed and assaulted by a group of about 15 persons near Yeyyadi around 8-30 pm on Friday.

He is said to have been riding his bike with his wife and child in the pillion, from his home in Konchadi towards his wife’s home in Perlagudi of Padavinangadi.

He has been admitted to Wenlock hospital in the city. In a complaint to the Kavoor police, he has stated that the assailants appeared to have trailed him over a distance and then waylaid his bike. He has named, among others, Thimmayya, Govinda, Vasudeva, Krishnappa Konchadi, Chinnu, Ashok and Panduranga. He has accused them of assaulting him with knives and sticks.

Earlier in the day, he had been assaulted by Thimmayya while getting down from a bus in Konchadi in the evening, he has stated. A complaint had been filed in the Kavoor police station. Within two hours, the second assault followed, he has stated.

The assault was in the backdrop of his agitation for the widening of the road leading to the Dalit colony from the Konchadi school, sources said..

http://www.mangalorean.com/news.php?newstype=broadcast&broadcastid=434191

Release Dalits of Ragimarur village from bonded labour’

 
Members of pro-Dalit organisations staging a protest in Hassan on Friday in support of their demand.
Members of pro-Dalit organisations staging a protest in Hassan on Friday in support of their demand.

Members of pro-Dalit organisations staged a protest here on Friday to demand that Dalits who have been working as bonded labourers at Ragimarur village in Arkalgud taluk be released and provided relief to take up alternative jobs.

Around 30 Dalit families in the village have been working as bonded labourers for landlords to clear loans taken years ago. The Hindu had reported their plight on August 15. Following media reports, Deputy Commissioner V. Anbukkumar visited the village and ordered for a probe into the issue.

‘No report yet’

 

The protesters said that though the Deputy Commissioner ordered the Assistant Commissioner of Sakleshpur subdivision to file a report in 15 days, no report had been submitted so far. According to the survey conducted by Jeevika, an NGO working for the release of bonded labourers in the State, more than 900 people are working as bonded labourers in the district.

Mr. Anbukkumar, who received a memorandum submitted by the protesters, instructed the District Social Welfare Officer to visit the village and workout a proposal to provide temporary relief to the bonded labourers. He also assured the protesters that the district administration would initiate measures to provide security to Dalits against atrocities, if any, in the village.

 

Dalit students seek fair deal

BHUBANESWAR: At least 30 dalit students, studying in Chakada-Gogua High School at Mahakalpada of Kendrapada district, are on dharna for the last three days at Lower PMG in the city.The students are seeking transfer of teachers, alleging the latter discriminated against them on caste lines. They alleged that the teachers and some students of higher caste even assaulted them and did not allow them to offer prayers during Ganesh puja on September 9.“Our fault was we wished to worship the Ganesh idol in the school for which we paid fees. But some students and teachers of upper caste did not allow us to break coconuts in front of the idol and asked us to leave the school premises,” said Pramila Mallik, a student of Class X.“Our pre-test exam will begin on Monday. But we won’t go back to school if the teachers concerned are not transferred,” she maintained.The students had lodged a complaint with Mahakalapada police, but when no action was taken they came to the capital to air their grievance. “Our children have not attended classes since that day. Even they face discrimination when midday meal is served as the upper caste students eat separately,” said Abhay Mallik, parent of a dalit student.

The children and their parents have lodged complaints with school and mass education and ST & SC development departments in this regard. The school and mass education department has ordered an inquiry into the incident.

“The secretary of ST & SC development department, Santosh Sarangi, assured action against the teachers involved,” said Ashok Mallik of National Confederation of Dalit Organisations, which has taken up cudgels for the dalit students.

 

Food security law may leave out many dalits, tribals

Food security law may leave out many dalits, tribals

A good number of dalits and tribals may be left out of the ambit of the ambitious Food Security Act.
 
NEW DELHI: A good number of dalits and tribals may be left out of the ambit of the ambitious Food Security Act, with the socio-economic caste census reporting lesser number of households of the two communities than found by the decennial census, a fraught prospect that has led to jitters in the government.As per the preliminary figures of socio-economic caste census (survey),1702 tehsils across 27 states have fewer SCs and STs than found in the decennial population census 2011. The census figures of SC/ST population exceed the survey numbers by 1%.It implies that fewer SCs/STs would be part of the poverty list to be shortlisted by the much-awaited survey. Once finalized, the survey is to serve as the blue book of poor households for entitlement schemes and its first big use would be in the implementation of food security scheme that Congress has called a “game-changer”.The discrepancy has been found in the poorest states like Bihar (124 tehsils), Madhya Pradesh (163), Odisha (132) as also in Andhra Pradesh (450) and Maharashtra (154). However, the absolute number of households in Andhra is not high because the tehsils are small in size, sources said.According to sources, rural development minister Jairam Ramesh has shot off letters to 26 chief ministers and the administrator of Daman and Diu, seeking proactive initiative to detect omissions.The census-survey gap in population figures of SCs/STs is seen as sensitive since it involves the sections more likely to be poor and obvious candidates for the poverty list. Being SC/ST is also one of the seven deprivation indicators to rank the surveyed households in the poverty index.The fear of SCs falling through the cracks of identification process made social justice minister Selja to recently urge the Planning Commission that dalits should be deemed to be poor except those paying income tax and government servants among them.The RD ministry stumbled upon the possible underreporting of SC/ST population when it did a comparative study between the survey and the census as part of cross-checking.While the fewer numbers in socio-economic survey could be owing to migration or absence of the household at the time of enumeration, the RD ministry has urged the states that a revision be undertaken to ensure that not a single family of the poorest section is left out.As the easiest way out, states have been asked to ensure that all SC/ST households participate in the gram sabha meetings to cross-check the findings of the survey so that those left out can file objections.

Minor Dalit girl shot dead in Muzaffarnagar

Muzaffarnagar: A 15-year-old Dalit girl was shot dead allegedly by some unidentified men at Harjmajpur village in Shamli district, police said on Sunday.

The girl had last evening gone to a hand pump near her house in Harjmajpur village to fetch water when some unidentified men shot her dead, Additional SP Atul Saxena said. 

http://zeenews.india.com/news/uttar-pradesh/minor-dalit-girl-shot-dead-in-muzaffarnagar_878384.html

Dalit woman blames cop for suicide bid

A 28-year-old dalit woman attempted suicide by consuming sleeping tablets as she was upset over alleged derogatory words used against her by a woman inspector of All Women Police Station in Cuddalore. She is undergoing treatment at the government hospital.

S Pramila, of Koothapakkam in Cuddalore, married Sriram, a brahmin and native of K K Nagar in Chennai in December, 2011. It was an arranged marriage. 

The suicide note said, “My husband is a drug-addict and he always drinks alcohol. I came to know about this after one month of our married life. He has illicit relationships with many women. Yet I lived with him for one year in Chennai.”

The note alleged that her in-laws and her husband’s aunt tortured her for dowry and used derogatory language citing her caste.

Pramila complained about the same to the AWPS in Cuddalore a few months ago. She blamed inspector Amudha for not conducting a fair investigation and using derogatory words and intimidating her. The matter was forwarded to district social welfare officers. The social welfare officers said that there was not any dowry problem.

When contacted, Inspector Amudha said, “At first, she gave the complaint to me. Since it was a dowry case, social welfare officers investigated. Again, she lodged a complaint. I tried to reconcile the couple but failed. Sriram’s family approached IG Kannappan with a petition. Then the matter went to the DSP.”

http://newindianexpress.com/states/tamil_nadu/Dalit-woman-blames-cop-for-suicide-bid/2013/09/21/article1795350.ece

Four Booked for Raping Dalit Woman

Four persons have been booked on charges of rape and criminal intimidation on a complaint lodged by a Dalit woman, police said today.

The 27-year-old victim in her complaint lodged with the police alleged that she had been repeatedly raped over last several months by three brothers – Daljit Singh, John and Rishi – all residents of Chachoki village.

She alleged that her 5-year-old daughter was also made captive by Kamaljit Kaur who forced her to have physical relations with the three accused, who were Kaur’s sons.

The victim alleged that the accused wanted to push her into flesh trade. The accused were absconding, police said.

http://news.outlookindia.com/items.aspx?artid=810900

Violence on against Haryana Dalit women

This is what a week in Haryana for a Dalit looks like — gang-rape of a Dalit woman at Luhari Ragho village in Hisar; gang-rape of Dalit girl at Gamra village in Hisar; attack on a Dalit basti at Talwandi village in Hisar where 10 people were injured; suicide by Dalit minor girl at village Kalayat in Kaithal district; caste-based atrocity with a Dalit boy in Hisar city; rape of Dalit girl at Pillukhera village in Jind and attack on a Dalit basti at Ballabhgarh in Faridabad district.

As atrocities against Dalit women in Haryana continue unceasingly, there is a demand to review crimes committed against them and declare atrocity-prone areas in the State under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

It has also been over three weeks since the alleged abduction, rape and murder of the 20-year-old Dalit girl from Jind and her autopsy report from the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences is yet to be given to her family by the police.

“What is so secretive about the report that the police cannot share it with her family? Or are they waiting for orders from above to guide them in the matter?” asked a woman’s rights activist at the demonstration for justice outside Haryana Bhavan here.

“This is ridiculous. What is the understanding of governance in this country? All the governments should resign if they cannot provide security to their women. Daughters in Haryana have stopped going to school because of this incident. Where are we headed?” asked historian Uma Chakravarti.

“We have tried everything in this case with no results. What else should we do for justice and to make the authorities more accountable?” asked Asha Kowtal of the All-India Dalit Mahila Adhikar Manch.

Students from universities and representatives from civil society organisations handed over a memorandum to the Chief Minister’s Office. They demanded the activation of the defunct State Commission for Women in Haryana and ensuring that the Haryana State Legal Services Authority provides legal aid to survivors and families.

Brothers hang to death 17-year-old girl for eloping with dalit youth

In a cold-blooded murder, a 17-year-old girl was hanged to death by her brothers in Tirunelveli on Friday for eloping with a dalit youth.

Police have arrested the two brothers — M Murugan (24) and M Sodalaimuthu (20) — who allegedly hanged her to death at their house. “The two have admitted to have committed the murder,” a police officer said.

Police said that Gomathi, daughter of Mayandi, a farmer from Seevalaperi in Tirunelveli district, was working in a seafood company in Tuticorin where she fell in love with a dalit youth named Murugan. When Gomathi’s family members learnt about the affair, they warned her to snap the relationship with Murugan. The girl belonged to an intermediate caste and her family’s grouse was that the Murugan is a dalit. However, Gomathi continued her relationship with Murugan, a resident of Tuticorin. Irked by her attitude, Mayandi started making arrangements for her marriage with another person.

“Learning about the marriage plans of her family, Gomathi eloped with Murugan two days back. However, Mayandi and his sons, Murugan and Sodalaimuthu, traced the girl and convinced her to return home, promising to get her married with her lover,” police said.

But once the girl was brought home, they started beating her and urged her to forget Murugan. “Around 3pm on Friday, Murugan and Sodalaimuthu tied a rope around her neck and hanged her inside the house. They attempted to project it as a suicide. But some of the villagers informed us about the incident. When we visited the spot and conducted inquiries, it was evident that the death of Gomathi was a clear case of murder,” police said.

Police immediately secured the two brothers and brought them to the police station. After initial denial, the two admitted to have committed the murder, police claimed.

Police suspect that the girl might have been poisoned before she was hung. The body has been sent for post mortem and the results are awaited to ascertain if she was poisoned.

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-09-14/madurai/42061848_1_dalit-youth-girl-two-brothers

Dalit girl raped, murdered near Bellary

BELLARY: A minor dalit girl was allegedly kidnapped, raped and murdered on Saturday by an unidentified person near Hagaribomanahalli, some 60 km from Bellary, police said.

The 15-year-old girl went missing in the morning, according to a complaint filed by her father, Bellary superintendent of police Chetan Kumar Rathore said.

The girl, a ninth standard student of a government school, was not going to school for the last one month.

Today she went missing and her father went in search of her. Later, the girl’s body was found in an agricultural field, Rathore said.

However, the body had no injury marks, he said, adding, doctors are conducting medical examination to confirm rape.

Police are searching for the culprit, Rathore said.

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-09-14/mangalore/42061990_1_dalit-girl-bellary-15-year-old-girl

1 arrested for driving minor dalit girl to immolate self in Haryana

KAITHAL: A youth has been arrested on Monday for allegedly driving a 14-year-old dalit girl to immolate herself in Haryana’s Kaithal district.
The Girl immolated herself in Kalayat on Sunday. A case has been registered against Amit Kumar (19) and Vikram (17) for allegedly harassing the victim. Both the accused are also from the Dalit community.

The girl set herself on fire after pouring kerosene over her on Sunday evening. She died on way to hospital.

A team from the National Commission for the Scheduled Castes (NCSC) visited Kalayat on Monday accompanied by the Kaithal superintendent of police, to look into the details of the incident and seek quick action against those responsible for it. Assuring support to the family members of the victim, NCSC team also demanded compensation for them.

The scheduled commission director Raj Kumar Channena, who visited the girl’s family, said, “We met the family members and assured them of proper action the accused. We also promised to provide them police protection for their safety. I have asked the Kaithal SP to ensure arrest of the accused and also give security cover to the victim’s family.”

Kaithal SP Kuldeep Yadav said, “A case against the accused has been registered and Amit has been arrested. We hope to nab Vikram soon. As told by NCSC director, police protection will be given to the family of the girl on priority.”

The girl’s father has mentioned in his complaint to the police that both the accused used to harass his daughter. “On being pressured by the villagers, the boys stopped teasing her for a while. But they again started tormenting her due to which my daughter got depressed and killed herself as she was not able to bear the humiliation at being molested everyday,” he alleged.

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-09-17/india/42147372_1_dalit-girl-police-protection-kaithal-sp-kuldeep-yadav

Dalit Sangharsh Samiti to stage protest today

The Dalit Sangharsh Samiti has decided to stage a protest here on September 18 against alleged illegal land dealing by a person.

Malleshi Sajjan and other leaders of DSS told presspersons here on Saturday that 209 residential sites had been marked in a 7.12-acre land in survey number 23/1 at Sharanasirasagi, a village on the outskirts of Gulbarga, and sold to individuals in 1998. A majority of the purchasers had constructed houses and were living there till recently, when attempts were made to evict them by some persons at the behest of a person, who had purchased the land illegally from the original owner, they said.

Following a complaint filed by the residents of the layout, the Deputy Commissioner directed the Land Survey Department to conduct a survey and file a report to him. However, no such report had been filed, so far. Subsequently, a person who had illegally purchased the controversial land in 2009, sold the same to a zilla panchayat member belonging to the Congress in September 2012, and another attempt was made by the supporters of the ZP member to evict the residents through violence. Taking exception to the alleged illegal action of the original land-owner and two persons who had subsequently purchased the land, the DSS would be staging a protest in Gulbarga on September 18, seeking stringent action in this regard.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-karnataka/dss-to-stage-protest-today/article5140035.ece

16-year-old athlete raped

A 16-year-old Dalit athlete was allegedly raped by a youth of his neighbouring village while she was exercising with her younger sister.

The accused Charnpreet Singh has been arrested, SSP (Khanna) Sushil Kumar said.

The girl was forcibly taken to a secluded place in Palmajra village, some 45 kms from here, yesterday by the 22-year-old accused, who then sexually assaulted her, he said.

Her younger sister, who was with the athlete, informed the matter to her parents, who then rushed to the spot.

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/1890288/report-16-year-old-athlete-raped

Dalit girls in Jind scared to go to school

The immediate casualty of the alleged abduction, rape and murder of a 20-year-old Dalit girl from Baniyakheda in Jind district of Haryana is that girls from the village are refusing to go to school. The mutilated body of the girl was found more than a week ago, after she had gone missing while on her way to write a compartment exam in Basic Teacher Training.

“My daughter and other girls are just refusing to attend school,” said a villager, who was beaten up by the police while participating in a silent protest against police negligence in Jind. Perpetrators of the crime are still at large and Dalit girls are scared to step out of their homes.

“Will Dalit girls stop studying now?” said Vimal Thorat, national convenor for the All India Dalit Mahila Adhikar Manch (AIDMAM) at a conference to release the report of a fact finding team from Delhi that visited Jind on August 29. The girl’s father, who was in the Capital to collect the third post-mortem report from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, addressed journalists and said: “Half the village has suffered injuries from police lathi charge. We want justice.”

It is the fifth day and the family has not received a copy of the report yet.

“AIIMS told us to collect the report from Jind police,” said advocate Rajat Kalsan, counsel for the girl’s family.

“When the family first went to the police, they did not register a missing person’s case, nor did they send out a search party. They told the family to go looking for the girl on their own. An entire night passed before they did anything. And this happened because she was a poor Dalit’s daughter. Had she been the daughter of a Superintendent of Police an or a politician, the entire Jind would have been cordoned off at that very instant,” he said.

The fact finding team, comprising Asha Kowtal of AIDMAM; Kalyani Menon Sen of Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression; Nisha Kumari of Action Aid; Jenny Rowena of Savari and others, is demanding the transfer of the case to the CBI or an independent inquiry into the matter.

Pointing to subversion of facts and misleading of public opinion, advocate Vrinda Grover said the police must make the post-mortem and viscera reports public as soon as possible.

“It is unclear as to whether inquest proceedings were held at all in this case,” she said. As per Section 166 (A) of the Indian Penal Code, action can be taken against any police personnel found to be delaying or subverting the investigation of a case.

“It is an open challenge to the Haryana Government to show that they have taken action against a single police person under 166 (A).”

Giving a call for a separate Dalitstan in Haryana, Ms. Thorat said: “From Gohana to Mirchpur to Kaithal, it seems like a conspiracy to drive Dalits out of Haryana. Should we ask for a separate State for Dalits where our girls will be safe and attend school?”

According to the National Crime Records Bureau, more than four Dalit women are raped everyday and this figure is under reported. Compiling data from news reports, People’s Media Advocacy and Resources Centre states that 101 heinous crimes were committed against Dalit women from the December 16 gang-rape case to the self-styled godman Asaram Bapu’s case.

“Where is the public outcry when a Dalit girl is raped?” said Asha.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-newdelhi/dalit-girls-in-jind-scared-to-go-to-school/article5091211.ece

Dalit boy’s killing: NHRC issues notice to Akhilesh govt

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Tuesday issued notice to the Uttar Pradesh government over a Dalit boy’s killing for refusing to clean plates at an eatery. The commission has taken suo motu cognisance of a media report that a customer shot dead the 11-year-old boy working at an eatery in Shamli district for refusing to clean his plate. “The accused had come to the eatery on the night of August 28 and ordered food. Inebriated, he hurled abuses and asked the boy to clean his plate. Upon being refused, he lost his cool and shot the boy dead,” said the commission.

Read more at: http://ibnlive.in.com/news/dalit-boys-killing-nhrc-issues-notice-to-akhilesh-govt/419440-3-242.html?utm_source=ref_article

Dalit employee commits suicide due to harassment by colleagues

PTI [ Updated 05 Sep 2013, 09:13:55 ]
Dalit employee commits suicide due to harassment by colleagues
 
 
Ahmedabad: A dalit government employee in Ahmedabad allegedly committed suicide due to harassment and humiliation by his colleagues, police said here yesterday.
Naresh Chavda, a clerk in the Industries Commissionerate at Udyog Bhavan in Gandhinagar, consumed pesticide yesterday.His family members rushed him to Gandhinagar Civil Hospital where he was declared brought dead, they said.His family members protested outside the hospital after the postmortem and refused to take his body until police registered a case of abetment of suicide against three Udyog Bhavan employees.The DySP of the SC-ST cell, which was handed over the probe in the case, today questioned the general manager of the division and two other employees.Police said family members of the deceased had accused them of harassing and insulting Chavda to such an extent that he had thought about quitting his job.“We are probing the case from all angles.We went to the office to question the general manager and two other employees to gather clues. We have taken their statements and are conducting a detailed probe,” DySP M B Joshi said. 

Dalit woman found murdered, husband blames victim’s cousin

CHANDIGARH: A dalit woman, who was in her mid-20s, was found murdered at her house in a residential colony of Julana town of Jind district on Wednesday afternoon.

With the blood oozing out of her throat, alleged slit by a sharp-edged weapon, Manju’s dead body was lying on the bed. Manju’s one-and-half year-old son was sleeping nearby.

The incident came to light when her husband Ajit, who works as mason reached home in the lunch time. He informed the landlord who further informed the police control room.

Meanwhile, senior officials of the police department including the Jind SP B S Rana and crime team were rushed to the spot. Manju’s body was sent to the Jind hospital for autopsy.

In his complaint to police, Ajit suspected the involvement of Manju’s cousin Sonu into the incident. In his complaint to the police, Ajit informed that the family did not had good relation with Sonu as he had been opposing the marriage.

Police has also not ruled out the possibility of honour killing into the incident. We are verifying the contents of complaint lodged by Ajit. We are waiting for the postmortem report as well as reports of scene of crime team and forensic examination unit. Meanwhile, we have send police parties to round up Sonu for the further investigations,” police officials said.

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-09-04/chandigarh/41764149_1_dalit-woman-manju-ajit

Body of Dalit girl cremated

Body of the 20-year-old Dalit girl who was allegedly abducted, raped and murdered in Jind, Haryana, was cremated by family members in her village Baniyakheda on Saturday morning. The decision to cremate the body was taken after the third autopsy was performed on the body at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences here

The family members along with villagers had been sitting on a week-long agitation at the Jind civil hospital with the body and refused to cremate it till justice was done. A committee comprising of villagers, who are mostly from the backward castes and scheduled castes, had been formed to look into the matter.

Though the report of the autopsy had been handed over to Jind police late on Thursday evening but till Saturday night it was not handed over to the family despite continued attempts.

The first two autopsies that were performed, one at Civil Hospital Jind and the other at Rohtak PGIMS ruled out rape but the family and women from the village who had seen the body refused to believe it.

“It is definitely a rape case, I can testify. The body and private parts were mutilated badly, we have seen it with our own eyes,” said a woman from the village to The Hindu .

Last Saturday, the girl had gone missing after she headed to the district headquarters in Jind to appear for a Junior Basic Training exam. The next morning her body with grievous injuries and burn marks was found thrown next to a canal.

The police have not reported any headway in catching the culprits but they beat up the villagers when they were protesting with the body. On Saturday evening, a candle light protest was organised by All India Dalit Mahila Adhikar Manch and other human rights activists in Delhi.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/body-of-dalit-girl-cremated/article5081084.ece

Dalit men allege beating by police, activists lodge complaint

AHMEDABAD: Three men belonging to the Dalit community were allegedly beaten up by the Ahmedabad rural police during Janmashtami festivities near Detroj. Social activists have given applications of complaint to Ahmedabad rural superintendent of police, district collector and state human rights commission on Saturday.

According to members of Navsarjan, Ramesh Parmar, 45, Rajnikant Parmar, 30, and Suhag Chavda, 28, residents of Dusana village in Mehsana district had been to Shobhasan village near Detroj on August 27 to visit a funfair during Janmashtami. They had parked their vehicle near a stall and had visited the fare.\

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-08-31/ahmedabad/41641342_1_police-station-detroj-dalit

Dalit : Cases registered against Law College students

The Coimbatore District Rural Police registered cases against several students of Government Law College here over incidences of ragging and assault on Thursday.

According to police sources, a second year law college student belonging to a Scheduled Caste had lodged a complaint at the Vadavalli Police Station alleging that he was assaulted and abused by his caste name by a group of ten students belonging to fourth and five years at the same college.

A case was registered and Sections 147 (rioting), 148 (Rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 294 (obscene acts) and 324 (Voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) were invoked along with sections of the Prevention of Atrocities on SC/ST Act.

Separately, another second year student filed a complaint at Vadavalli Police Station against six people who he alleged had indulged in ragging and had assaulted him.

A case was registered and sections 294 (obscene acts), 341 (wrongful restraint) and 324 (Voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means) of the IPC were invoked along with sections of Tamil Nadu Prevention of Ragging Act of 1997. No arrests have been made so far.

 

Dalit girl gang-raped brutally in Pratapgarh

ALLAHABAD: A 17-year-old dalit girl was allegedly gang-raped by seven people in Uttar Pradesh’s Pratapgarh district.

After raping the girl on Monday, the accused took the profusely bleeding survivor to a local quack and threatened her family. Her condition deteriorated on Thursday and she was shifted to Allahabad.

The girl was staying with her parents at a makeshift one-room hut as their house in the village was in danger of collapsing due to floods. At 10.30 pm on Monday the accused abducted her from outside her house and forcibly took her away to a desolate spot where they gang-raped her.

The culprits then took the unconscious girl back and threatened her parents of serious consequences if they opened their mouth. They later took her to a quack with her mother where the girl was administered injections.

On Tuesday the girl and her parents told her brother who lodged an FIR. A medical examination confirmed rape.

Her brother said that the girl had identified three of the seven accused. No arrests were made so far.

“A case has been registered against the accused and efforts are on to arrest them,” a police officer said.

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-08-30/allahabad/41617606_1_dalit-girl-pratapgarh-quack

 

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