Saturday, August 31, 2013

Fwd: [pmarc] Dalits Media Watch - News Updates 31.08.13

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Dalits Media Watch

News Updates 31.08.13



Dalit girl gang-raped brutally in Pratapgarh- The Times Of India

Two women gangraped in Bihar- PTI

Dalit worker dies in farm, Dharmapauri tense- The New Indian Express

Dalit youth stabbed to death cremated- Zee News

Cases registered against Law College students- The Hindu

State not keen on lowering land ceiling limit- The Hindu

India needs to integrate against caste prejudice- GulfNews

NHRC notice to Bihar government over I-Day attack on Dalits - Jagran Post

Justice demanded for dead Dalit girl from Haryana- The Hindu

 'Follow A.P. model of SC, ST sub-plan Act'­- The Hindu

GPs told to bear land conversion fees for SC/ST beneficiaries- The Hindu

It rains misery on Dalit colony- The Hindu



The Times Of India

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


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.



Two women gangraped in Bihar


Begusarai, Aug 30 (PTI) In a shocking incident, two women, including a Dalit, were gangraped today in Bihar's Begusarai district, police sources said.

A 30-year-old Dalit woman lodged an FIR under sections of the SC/ST Act and other provisions of the law alleging that she was gangraped by three persons in Mushari tola this morning when she had gone in field to attend to nature's call, the sources said.


The New Indian Express

Dalit worker dies in farm, Dharmapauri tense


Tension gripped the district on Friday after the suspicious death of a Dalit agricultural labourer at a farm owned by a Caste Hindu.


Jayaraman (43), son of Thantchan alais Thertha, a resident of Kondampatti, a locality close to the place where caste clashes occurred on November 7 last year, reportedly died after suffering an electric shock around 3 pm.


According to a source, Jayaraman worked at a farm owned by four Caste Hindu brothers - Ravi, Palani, Mathu and Subramani. Electricity supply to the area was reportedly being suspended between noon and 3 pm for the past one week. On Friday, Jayaraman was removing the bushes on the land when his weeder came in contact with a live wire just when the power supply resumed. In the impact of the shock Jayaraman collapsed in the same spot. The owners of the farm immediately called for a 108 ambulance, which reached the spot around 3.15 pm. The ambulance staff, however, found Jayaraman dead.


News of the worker's death spread quickly and in a few hours a huge crowd gathered at the spot. Police personnel from the Krishnapuram station too reached the farm. When they tried to remove the body, villagers opposed suspecting foul play in Jayaraman's death.


"We have many doubts regarding my husband's death. The police should file a murder case against the land owners," said Jayaraman's wife Palaniammal.


Police officials allegedly thrashed Jayaraman's brother Mathan, who works in the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), when he stopped cops from removing the body. Other villagers, who tried to intervene, were also allegedly beaten up. Nearly, ten people, including five women were injured, a villager said.


When contacted, Superintendent of Police Asra Garg said, "The police are registering the case now (10.30 pm). Palaniammal has lodged two complaints. However, I have directed the officials to file a case according to the first complaint."


Zee News

Dalit youth stabbed to death cremated


Ludhiana: A Dalit youth, who was allegedly stabbed to death on Thursday, sparking protests and arson, was on Friday cremated here, police said. 

Shammi Kumar, 23, was stabbed to death in the Jawahar Nagar locality here yesterday and was cremated at the Model town cremation ground here, they said. 

A large number of police personnel were deployed at the ground to meet any eventuality after the protestors went on a rampage yesterday, damaging several buses, cars, shops and two-wheelers. 


The protestors, including women and children, gathered on Ludhiana-Ferozepur road at Bharat Nagar chowk with sticks and swords and blocked traffic, demanding immediate arrest of the accused killer, they said. 

A case has been registered against the accused Arun Kumar, who is on the run, police said, adding that efforts are on to nab him.

The motive behind the killing is yet to be ascertained. 

The post-mortem of the deceased was performed today by a team of doctors in the civil hospital, police said. 



The Hindu

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.


The Hindu

State not keen on lowering land ceiling limit


National Land Reforms draft policy suggests land ceiling of 4 to 10 acres for irrigated and 10 to 15 acres for rain-fed lands


The State government has differed with the proposal made in the National Land Reforms draft policy to lower the existing land ceiling limit in the State.


The draft policy suggested the land ceiling of five to 10 acres for irrigated lands and 10 to 15 acres for rain-fed lands.

In the State, the ceiling is in the range of 10 acres to 54 acres depending on irrigation facilities and local conditions and varied from district to district.


However, the State resolved not to lower the ceiling because small holdings will not be economical with increasing labour wages and farm mechanisation would not be viable for small holdings.


Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy held a meeting with Revenue Minister N. Raghuveera Reddy and senior officials here on Friday to discuss the Centre's draft policy related to agricultural lands in rural areas, land reforms and management. The State would be sending a report with its views.


A proposal in the draft policy for giving a house and 10 cents of land to the landless poor was, however, welcomed with an amendment to increase the amount sanctioned for house under IAY from Rs.70,000 to Rs.2 lakh to Rs.3 lakh.


Speaking to media persons, Mr. Raghuveera Reddy said that several provisions included in the draft policy were already in force in the State. Be it computerisation of land records, focus on tenant farmers' welfare, protection of government lands, endowment lands, distribution of government land to poor for agriculture or norms for allotting government land to non-government organisations.


The Koneru Rangarao Committee's recommendations on land reforms were already in implementation in the State, he said.


Andhra Pradesh was leading in the country in distribution of land to poor farmers and it had distributed 78 lakh acres so far.


Another 1.3 lakh acres of government agricultural land would be distributed. Laws were in force to prevent transfer of Dalits' lands to others and two lakh acres of illegally transferred lands had been restored to Dalits.



India needs to integrate against caste prejudice


Surprisingly, the government does not realise the effect the introduction of quota in promotions will have on the bureaucracy


By Kuldip Nayar

A dalit (untouchable) was killed. His house was destroyed and his family, including a 10-year-old, was thrown out. The upper caste members did not like his audacity to hoist the national flag on the Independence Day at a disputed property, which they had appropriated forcibly.


The discrimination is the bane of India where the caste prejudiced Hindus constitute 80 per cent of the population. The story of this dalit came to light because one TV channel highlighted it. Otherwise, thousands of dalits undergo similar rigours every day. They face the arrogance and zulum (tyranny) of upper castes. And there is no light at the end of the tunnel.


More than 60 years ago, the constitution banned untouchability. The freedom struggle had promised to break the shackles of the caste system after independence. First prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru even deleted the column of caste from applications, registers and forms for admission to schools and entrance examinations.


Yet, the caste considerations have not lessened. Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation, named the dalit, Harijan (bearing a sacred status). But the dalits found the nomenclature too patronising and preferred to be called dalits.


A social evil or whatever the explanation, the feeling of discrimination in the Hindu society has not abated.


Even today a dalit bridegroom cannot ride a horse while taking the barat (wedding procession) to the bride's place. Roads at many places are closed to the dalits. As for their habitation, they continue to live in slums in the urban areas and on the outskirts of villages in the rural areas.


Some who claim to speak on behalf of Hindus seldom endeavour to eliminate the discrimination against the dalits who are also Hindus. I have not seen the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) criticising the caste system although the party is all for the Hindu Rashtra (state). The party's attention is focused on politics, not on social reforms. Its problem may well be the dictation by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a group of Brahmins, the uppermost caste.


Unfortunately, the caste has penetrated the thinking of Muslims and Christians. The religion of both the communities forbids discrimination. They preach equality, but when it comes to practice, they are not different from Hindus. Both of them treat with contempt the dalits, who embrace Islam or Christianity to escape the caste hatred of Hindus.


However, there is a case for concessions to such dalits which former UP chief minister Mayawati, a dalit has suggested. But her fault is that she has gone beyond. She wants a quota in promotion of public servants. The demand has justifiably raised an uproar in India.

I think that whatever reservations, they should be given at the time of recruitment. Any reservation during the career will affect the morale of civil servants of other castes, who have come through a tough competitive examination. The dalitswanting to join civil services also take the examination, but the reservations give them an edge.


The two main political parties, Congress and BJP, are supporting Mayawati's amendment because they have their eyes set on votes in the 2014 elections. The quantum of reservations has gone up because the quota has been extended to the Other Backward Classes (OBC). They too want reservation in promotions. Many others also want reservations. This is not possible because of a Supreme Court judgement. It has fixed 49.5 per cent as the maximum limit for reservations. Even if Mayawati's amendment is passed by parliament, the court may consider it unconstitutional.


A constitutional amendment to introduce reservations in promotions is sought to be passed in the Lok Sabha. The Rajya Sabha has already passed it despite the opposition by Mulayam Singh Yadav's Samajwadi Party from the OBC.


It appears that the political parties in the opposition had their way when the ruling Congress party, after putting up a brave fight against the quota in promotions, caved in. True, the Congress did not have a majority in the Lok Sabha, but it could have mustered the numbers if it had stood firm.


The reservations have been spelled out in the constitution for the dalits and the tribals. But as the Supreme Court has pointed out that the benefits have been cornered by the creamy layer among the dalits.


So is in the case of OBC. The dalits and the OBC members should allow the advantage from reservations to go below. The problem is that the leaders, vocal as they are, manipulate to appropriate the maximum concessions.


My knowledge of law, however limited, tells me that the column of caste in the form that the census enumerators ask violates the basic structure of the constitution. They inquire about caste. On the basis of such information the economic benefits are distributed. This makes a mockery of the constitution. Its preamble says that the people resolve to constitute India into a "sovereign socialist democratic republic". Democracy and discrimination do not go together.


My objection is also on another point. In the Keshvanand Bharti case, the Supreme Court has said that the objectives in the Preamble constitute the basic structure of the constitution. It means that parliament, although elected directly by the people, cannot alter the basic structure.


Surprisingly, the government does not realise the effect the introduction of quota in promotions will have on the bureaucracy, the sheet anchor of the administration. Divide and rule was the dictum of the British who held India in bondage for more than 150 years. The nation needs to be integrated, however strong are the forces to stratify it.


The introduction of quota in services is an important policy decision.


The government should have called a meeting of the National Integration Council, which is meant to discuss such problems. Caste is something that affects the nation on the whole. The country cannot be pushed back to the dark ages. Affirmative action, which America follows to give benefits to the black, is far better than the reservations which see no end of expiry. However, that is a different story, although Dr B.R. Ambedkar, a dalit, who outlined the constitution, agreed unwillingly to reservation for 10 years only.


Kuldip Nayar is a former Indian high commissioner to the United Kingdom and a former Rajya Sabha member.


Jagran Post

NHRC notice to Bihar government over I-Day attack on Dalits


New Delhi: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Friday issued notice to the Bihar government over an assault by upper caste men on Dalits for unfurling the national flag on Independence Day.


The attack left one dead.Taking suo motu cognizance of a media report, the commission has sought a reply from the state's chief secretary and director general of police within four weeks.

Citing the report, NHRC said, "On August 15, a Dalit man was stoned to death and at least 40 others, including women and children, were seriously injured when they tried to unfurl the national flag at the site of a temple against the alleged diktat by upper caste men in Dandwa Baddi village, district Rohtas, Bihar."

"The media report, if true, raises a serious issue of violation of human rights of the weaker sections of the society," it added.


The Hindu

Justice demanded for dead Dalit girl from Haryana


"They brought the body to the morgue and asked the women to take a look. Her body was lying sprawled on the stretcher and her neck seemed broken. Her arm was twisted inwards at the wrist as if by force. Her feet seemed to have been tied with a strong rope and her salwar was drenched in blood. There were round burn marks around her neck and chest where the skin had turned white as if cigarette or bidi had been stubbed out on it. Blood was also flowing from scratch marks at her chest and legs. Only her face was clean and untouched."


This is how the women of Baniyakheda in district Jind, Haryana, who saw the body of the 20-year-old Dalit girl, described its state to The Hindu.


Meanwhile, the authorities have given out contradictory statements that her death was due to suicide, poisoning and mosquito bites.


The story of her alleged abduction, rape and murder is playing out like a strange and dark tragedy for her family.


'Alleged' because almost a week after her mutilated body was found thrown next to an isolated canal near secluded fields in Jind, there is no news on the perpetrators of the crime.


According to a fact finding team that visited Jind on Thursday, there is no attempt being made by the local police to find or punish the perpetrators.


"The local administration and police want to hush up the case," says a member of the fact finding team.


While the first information report filed in the matter mentions sections 376 and 302 of the Indian Penal Code, indicating rape and murder, a local newspaper quoted the Superintendent of Police, Mr Balwant Singh Rana as saying that the girl seemed to have committed suicide. Mr Rana later said that he could easily have been misquoted.


The villagers, most of them from backward castes and scheduled castes, have united over the issue. They have formed a committee and are holding onto the body of the girl, camping in the Civil Hospital of Jind, demanding justice.


"It is the sixth day and they have not yet cremated the body. They know that it is the only thing they have. Once they cremate the body, no one will heed their cries of justice," says Rajat Kansal, advocate. District officials and others are pressurising the committee to cremate the body.


The Girl

Going by the villagers' accounts, the 20-year-old girl, daughter of a poor Dalit mason, was frail and simple and only wanted to study. She rarely went out. Last Saturday, she left home at 11am to appear for a compartment exam in Junior Basic Training course at the Jind district headquarters. She took a local vehicle to reach the bus stop, from where she boarded a bus to Jind. Another woman from the village, who was travelling to Jind on the same bus, saw the girl get off at the Jind bus stop. From there, she would have to take an auto-rickshaw to reach the school for the exam. She never reached the school and later somebody called to say they had found a polythene bag containing her papers lying near a canal. The next morning, her body was found thrown at an isolated spot along the canal close to secluded fields in Jind.


The family accompanied by villagers and relatives reached the hospital where the women were shocked to see the condition of the body. They carried it out to the bus stop and sat on a dharna. Before long, a huge police contingent arrived and started lathi-charging the protestors including women and family members. "A policeman kicked the dead body and slapped the father on the head saying go away, you won't get anything here," a villager present at the spot said. The act of alleged kicking was captured by a local television channel and flashed repeatedly before being taken off air. The Deputy Commissioner of Police Jind, Mr Rajiv Ratan, when asked about the incident said, "How do you know? Were you present there?"


After two post mortems, one in the civil hospital and the other in Rohtak PGIMS, human rights activists and organisations pushed for a third one at All India Institute of Medical Sciences, the report of which has been submitted to the police in Jind but not handed over to the family yet. Moreover, the SP and DC of Jind came out with a statement saying it was death by poisoning. The doctor at AIIMS, Mr Sudhir Gupta, denied it, without revealing further information.


Meanwhile, a delegation including Vimal Thorat, Convenor-All India Dalit Mahila Adhikar Manch, Vijay Bauddh, Founder Hans Do India and other activists from Delhi and Haryana visited Ms Selja Kumari, Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment and PL Punia, Chairman, National SC Commission. The Minister and Chairman promised to take action. A candle light vigil is being held in Jantar Mantar on Saturday to protest the "gross apathy and negligence in the investigation of rape and murder."


(The writer accompanied the fact finding team to Jind)


The Hindu

'Follow A.P. model of SC, ST sub-plan Act'


Base it on Andhra Pradesh model, say Dalit leaders

Several Dalit leaders on Wednesday criticised the State government for diverting funds earmarked under Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan and Tribal Sub-Plan for other purposes. They urged Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to bring about a law on the lines of the Andhra Pradesh Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan and Tribal Sub-Plan (Planning, Allocation and Utilisation of Financial Resources) Act, 2013 to stop this grave injustice to Dalits.


They were speaking at a dialogue on Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan (SCSP) and Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP) with the media, organised by the Centre for Dalit Studies (CDS) and Karnataka Dalit Bahujan Movement (KDBM). The CDS founder-president Mallepalli Laxmaiah, who presided over the dialogue, said more than Rs.13,000 crore earmarked under these two plans in Karnataka was diverted in the last 20 years.


He was supported by CDS director M. Anjaneyulu, who said in 2013-14 alone Rs.1,751 crore under SC Sub-Plan and Rs. 221 crore under Tribal Sub-Plan were diverted in the State. The two leaders alleged that the State government violated the Government of India guidelines despite directions by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Planning Commission.


Punitive measures

Asked whether there was any punitive measures against officials concerned for their failure to spend the funds under the sub-plans, Mr. Lakshmaiah said there was a provision in the Andhra Pradesh Act for initiating disciplinary action. But, he urged Mr. Siddaramaiah to insert a clause in the Bill when his government tables it in the legislature to ensure speedy development of the Dalits. Mr. Laxmaiah said Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who declared her commitment to enact a national legislation on the lines of the Andhra Pradesh model in the Jaipur AICC session, had also written to Dr. Singh to do so.


It is the duty of Mr. Siddaramaiah to implement the Assembly election manifesto which contained this promise, which he had announced in July in the legislature also. They also suggested a nodal agency should be set up for implementing the programmes.


KDBM president M. Venkatesh alleged that the MPs and MLAs in the city had failed to utilise the Area Development Funds for the SCs and STs.



Quoting the guidelines, he said 50 per cent of the funds under the sub-plans should be spent for providing drinking water to Dalits, but not a single rupee had been utilised for the purpose in the city.


The Hindu

GPs told to bear land conversion fees for SC/ST beneficiaries


Additional Deputy Commissioner J. Siddappa has directed officials of the Revenue Department to issue title deeds to the SC/ST beneficiaries who have got land under B.R. Ambedkar Development Corporation by ensuring the land conversion fee is paid by the Gram Panchayats.


Chairing the district level vigilance committee meeting here on Friday, he said that despite the SC/ST beneficiaries receiving land from the government, around 77 people could not own the plots as they could not pay the land conversion fee. He said the gram panchayats have been asked to take up all such cases and pay the fee from their coffers.


Zilla Panchayat Chief Executive Officer K.B. Shivakumar directed the district officer of the Corporation Renuka Satre to contact the respective Panchayat Development Officers to ensure the direction is followed.


On the complaints of many villages having no separate graveyard for SC/ST people, Mr. Siddappa said many Dalits were facing the problem in several villages of the district due to shortage of land.


The official directed Tahsildars to identify the villages with no graveyards and start the process of finding suitable land, and instructed the officials of Social Welfare Department (SWD) to coordinate with the Tahsildar on this.


In order to prevent the entry of outsiders in SC/ST hostels, he said notices should be placed outside all hostels, and police patrol should be increased in the vicinity of the hostels, mainly at night.


Mr. Siddappa directed officials of SWD to meet with the elected representatives of the SC/ST community to organise regular awareness camps on the government schemes launched for SC/STs.


He said that since the government has waived off the unpaid bill of Bhagya Jyoti beneficiaries, the social welfare department should ensure the resumption of power supply to around 4,500 beneficiaries of the district.


The Hindu

It rains misery on Dalit colony


Residents angry with officials for not taking pre-emptive steps before onset of monsoon

While the downpour of the last few days brought cheer to most residents in Madurai, those living in Valayankulam panchayat's Dalit colony, located off the four-lane highway leading to Aruppukottai, are enraged.


The people are not angry with the monsoon but with officials indifferent to their repeated pleas to construct a storm water drain in the locality. The colony turned into a low-lying area ever since the highway was laid by raising the ground level. The absence of a storm water outlet has resulted in water entering homes in the village.


"We submitted a representation to the Collector during the last monsoon season. Later, we gave two more petitions. But nothing happened. Nobody cares about us. It has been raining here for the last four days and we have been trying every trick in the book to keep the rainwater out of our homes," lamented 55 year-old-old Dhanam.


Some people have piled sand bags at the entrance, others have built clay mounds and a few have vacated the colony and moved in with relatives. "Since most of the houses are constructed with mud, rainwater around the colony has moistened their basements and made them precarious. Living here has become a nightmare," he added.


R. Balachandran, an advocate from the locality, said the residents, especially children and the elderly, faced the risk of picking up diseases such as malaria owing to stagnant puddles.


"On the one hand, the government is asking us to keep our surroundings clean and on the other hand we are forced to live in such unhygienic conditions," he observed wryly.


Another resident, B. Savari, pointed to sagging overhead electricity cables and feared that loose soil could topple the poles. "Our children play in the area. With stagnant water on the ground and electric cables overhead, living here has become risky," she said.


Valayankulam panchayat president V. Pitchai said the matter had been taken up with officials of the National Highways Authority of India, who have agreed to construct a storm water drain in the next two weeks.


"It is their duty to lay the drain. They could not take up the work so far owing to land acquisition disputes. But now they have agreed to do a survey and start the work," he says with a note of optimism.


Meanwhile, the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation has sanctioned five more power poles for the village. "I was told that the poles have to be brought from Tirupalai. That work will also begin soon," he pointed out.




News Monitor by Girish Pant


.Arun Khote
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.

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