Dalits Media Watch
News Updates 24.04.12
High Court Bench restrains police from arresting lawyer- The Hindu
DU to decentralise SC/ST admissions - The Hindu
Socio-Economic Caste Census begins- The Hindu
Facilities for Uthapuram Dalits welcomed- The Hindu
High Court Bench restrains police from arresting lawyer
He was accused of abusing Dalits by their caste name
The Madras High Court Bench here on Monday restrained the police from arresting or harassing P. Rathinam, a 66-year-old lawyer, in connection with a criminal case registered against him by the Othakadai police near here on charges of abusing some Dalits by their caste name.
Justice D. Hariparanthaman passed the interim order pursuant to a writ petition filed and argued by the lawyer on the ground that a false complaint had been lodged against him though in reality he had been working to uplift the Dalits by fighting for their cause legally in courts.
According to the petitioner, he was whitewashing a wall outside the High Court premises on September 1, 2010 along with a Dalit lawyer named V. Murugan.
A few people belonging to the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) objected to it. It led to a clash between them.
Mr. Murugan lodged a police complaint with regard to the incident.
Later, a case was filed in the High Court Bench seeking a direction to register a case on the basis of the complaint. Disposing it of last month, Justice K.K. Sasidharan directed the police to register the case.
Subsequently, the police registered a case on the basis of Murugan's complaint as well as counter case against him and Mr. Rathinam on the basis of a complaint lodged by the VCK cadres who alleged that the latter had abused them by their caste name.
Alleging that the complaint lodged against him was nothing but a bundle of lies, the petitioner sought for a direction to quash the FIR registered against him and Murugan besides an order to the State Government to pay adequate compensation to the Dalit lawyer.
DU to decentralise SC/ST admissions
Delhi University will be decentralising its admission process for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes candidates for the upcoming academic year, making each college responsible for allotment of seats to SC/ST students instead of one centre at the University.
"The whole process used to be very unfair to these students; there was no question of choice regarding their course or college. It was decided instead by the central cell in the University which randomly allotted students to whichever course or college it felt like," said Academic Council member Sanjay Kumar. "More often than not, the SC/ST students were usually allotted a course he or she did not want and it had become predictable for them to fare badly and eventually give up the course."
According to the new set-up, each college will be required to set up a special centre to deal with allotment of seats for the SC/ST students. These centres will then be overseen by a central monitoring committee made up of the Executive Council and Academic Council members.
Several members from the two Councils had earlier recommended decentralisation to the Vice-Chancellor who had agreed in-principle to the idea, but a positive decision sealing the issue is yet to be made. "The V-C said that we had his complete support and that great injustice had been done to the SC/ST candidates. He also said that the decentralisation was an attempt by the university to rectify past mistakes and that these poor students had suffered greatly only because of the rigid structure of the university's admission process," said another Academic Council member, adding that helplines, facilitation centres and other methods of keeping a check on the issue were still being chalked out.
"There is a provision that unfilled SC/ST and OBC seats can be converted into general seats if they remain vacant. Several colleges were alleged to have been taking advantage of this by not allotting the reserved seats and then converting them into the general category. There were also allegations of foul play by some colleges which said that there was no basis for the allotment of seats and that there could be some understanding between the central cell and the colleges….these are all allegations but they have to be taken seriously," he added.
The University is also expected to overhaul other admission procedures like re-introducing centralised application forms which were done away with last year.
Socio-Economic Caste Census begins
The socio-economic and caste census (SECC), aimed at among other things ranking the households based on socio-economic status and education status of various castes, commenced in the district on Monday.
Official sources told The Hindu that a total of 7,28,157 households (based on 2011 census) in the district were to be covered during the SECC in which each of the enumerators, accompanied by a data entry operator, would enter the requisite data collected from the households directly into the hand-held computer on the spot itself making it a paperless exercise.
Of the households, 2,42,096 comes under Tirupur city limits, 68,703 under five municipalities of Vellakoil, Kangayam, Dharapuram, Palladam and Udumalpet, 63,860 under 16 town panchayat limits and 3,53,498 under 13 panchayat union limits.
For easy collection of data and to avoid omission, the district had been divided into 5,279 enumeration blocks as per the census department data. Each of the enumeration blocks have about 150 households drawn into it.
A total of 1,248 enumerators (584 for rural areas and 664 for urban localities) and 220 supervisors (97 for rural areas and 123 for urban areas) had been deployed for the census. This apart, 127 persons (58 for rural areas and 69 for urban areas) were kept as reserve enumerators and 29 officials (10 for rural areas and 19 for urban areas) as reserve supervisors.
On the day, the census exercise began with the enumerators first obtaining the details from Collector M. Mathivanan's household.
The Socio, Economic and Caste Census began on Monday. Enumerators collected data from District Collector M. Karunagaran at Race Course. The details are recorded in a laptop. Mr. Karunagaran said that census exercise is carried out once in ten years and this time caste is also verified.
There are 27 computer centres for uploading the data generated by the enumerators. The entire exercise would be completed in 40 days.The questions are very easy and the answers have to be either yes or no.
The Collector said the enumerators should pay a visit to the houses instead of asking people to come to a common place. The enumerators have been asked to carry their order of appointment with them and to show it to the people before commencing the enumeration work.
Facilities for Uthapuram Dalits welcomed
The Tamil Nadu Untouchability Eradication Front (TUEF) on Sunday welcomed the Madurai district administration's efforts to provide basic amenities, including bus shelter to Dalits of Uthapuram. Works for diverting the sewage flowing through the area have also started.
P. Sampath, president of the TUEF, in a statement said, works for constructing a bus shelter had begun after CPI (M) MLA Annadurai made a representation to the Chief Secretary, urging the government to take steps to implement various schemes for the people of Uthapuram. CPI (M) MP T.K. Rangarajan had allotted Rs 50 lakh from his MPs constituency development fund for constructing the bus shelter.
"Amity between Dalits and other communities prevails there after four years of discord. It is the duty of the government to protect the peaceful environment," Mr. Sampath said.
On behalf of
Dalits Media Watch Team
(An initiative of "Peoples Media Advocacy & Resource Centre-PMARC")
Peoples Media Advocacy & Resource Centre- PMARC has been initiated with the support from group of senior journalists, social activists, academics and intellectuals from Dalit and civil society to advocate and facilitate Dalits issues in the mainstream media. To create proper & adequate space with the Dalit perspective in the mainstream media national/ International on Dalit issues is primary objective of the PMARC.