Dalits Media Watch -English News Updates 04.06.15

Dalits Media Watch

News Updates 04.06.15


28-year-old acid attack victim struggles for justice- The Hindu


Man abducts nine-year-old girl to ”marry” her – Zee News


Dangawas clash: 25-member CBI team lands in village – The Hindustan Times


Atrocity cases rise, conviction rate remains low in Marathwada – The Times Of India


Ex-Harvard professor criticizes IIT-Madras ban on Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle – The Economic Times


IIT: A campus divided on political lines – The Times Of India




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Will the Indian outcasts ever break the vicious system?



The Hindu


28-year-old acid attack victim struggles for justice



A 28-year-old Dalit woman who was subjected to acid attack by four men in the remote Mogallur village in Prakasam district four years ago is still knocking on the doors of courts at different levels including the Supreme Court. After surviving the ordeal, she was given a permanent job as Junior Assistant in the Revenue Department, thanks to the intervention of Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu after the AP Dalit Mahasabha Chirala unit general secretary N. Babu Rao took up her cause. But she wants more than a job.

“I want justice,” said P. Asha Jyothi after she received her appointment order from Prakasam District Collector Sujatha Sharma.

Daughter of a postman, Asha Jyothi was a contract physical education teacher in the Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya at Veligandla. After her father passed away, her mother Vijayamma was given the job of a postwoman. The mother and daughter were hoping to lead a quiet life when fate intervened cruelly.

On her daily journey to her college and back, four men had taken to sexually harassing her. She put up with it. Then her marriage was fixed, and her piqued tormentors decided to go a step ahead. On September 6, 2011, they threw acid on her.

Badly burnt, she was referred to the Kilpauk Medical College Hospital in Chennai, where doctors took it as a medical challenge to save her.

“I returned from the jaws of death after battling for life for several months,” says Asha Jyothi.

In the years since her ordeal, the woman experienced severe bouts of depression and needed treatment by a psychotherapist. The scars remain, however.

She has been pursuing justice for 45 months. Dissatisfied with the probe conducted by the local police, she moved first the Andhra Pradesh High Court and then the Supreme Court. She wants a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The courts, however, turned down her plea on grounds that it was the State Government which should recommend a CBI probe to the Centre and asked her to approach the district-level court dealing with SC/ST atrocities cases.

Vexed with frequent adjournments at the instance of the defence counsel, the woman wants the State government to ensure justice for her.

Even the job came to her after a lot of trouble. Asha Jyothi was forced to run from pillar to post before getting a permanent government job as rules relating to acid attack cases made it difficult.

AP Dalit Mahasabha leader Babu Rao says that government compensation rules define acid atrocities in such a manner as to make it difficult for victims to get the benefits if the percentage of burns is not high. But they do take note of the fact that unlike burn victims, acid attack victims can die even if the burns are 35 per cent.

It was because of then chief secretary Minnie Mathew, who took a liberal view, that Asha Jyothi got the government job at last.

Mr. Babu Rao says the government should constitute an expert committee to evolve guidelines on providing compensation to acid attack victims. The government should also regulate the sale of acid, which is easily available in every street corner now as toilet cleaner, says Andhra Pradesh Mahila Abhudaya Samiti State president T. Aruna.

Zee News


Man abducts nine-year-old girl to ”marry” her


Last Updated: Monday, June 1, 2015 – 23:44

Gurgaon: A nine-year-old girl has been abducted by a middle aged man to `marry` her. Her parents, who met the Gurgaon police commissioner on Monday to seek help, are spending sleepless nights fearing he may push her into prostitution.

The class four student of Manesar government school was abducted allegedly by 40-year-old Pradeep Kumar on May 11. Her father works as a sweeper at a car manufacturing plant in Manesar area.

“We registered an F.I.R. at Manesar police station on May 12 against Pradeep Kumar under sections 363 (kidnapping) and 366 (inducing woman to compel her marriage) of Indian Penal Code. But police took no action,” Ram Darshan, the girl`s relative, told IANS.

Kumar, a father of three children, also works as a sweeper at another factory in the same area. Both the families hail from Uttar Pradesh`s Mirzapur area and are residing in Aliyar villge here in rented accommodation. The accused knew the girl`s parents.

After abducting the girl, he informed the family that he had married her and now she was his wife. `Don`t waste your money and time in search of us`, he said.

“We want that IPC sections of rape and POCSO Act should be added to the F.I.R. We are afraid the accused will sell the child or will push her into prostitution.

“We are visiting the police station everyday for justice but the police say they are helpless,” the relative added.

The Hindustan Times


Dangawas clash: 25-member CBI team lands in village



HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Ajmer

Updated: Jun 04, 2015 10:46 IST

A day after the CBI took over the two cases related to caste clash in Dangawas village of Nagaur district, a 25-member team, including two superintendents of police (SP) and four deputy SPs reached the village on Wednesday evening. Earlier in the morning, a five-member forensic team reached the incident site to collect evidences.

Dangawas was rocked by a bloody clash between Dalits and Jats on May 14 resulting in the death of four persons.

The state’s CID-CB officials, who had been handling the case until now after it was taken from the local police, handed over all related papers to the CBI officials.

Sources said the CBI team held discussions with the director general of police (DGP) Manoj Bhatt and home secretary Ashok Sampatram in Jaipur earlier in the morning. CBI has taken over two cases for murder, rioting, criminal trespass, atrocities against SC/ST etc.

CBI Team Inspects Incident Site

Sources said the CBI probe will hover around three main points: 1 – What transpired at the Jat meeting that was held on the fateful day leading to the carnage; 2 –  Where was the weapon which was allegedly use to kill Gosai, the first casualty of the incident; and 3 – Call details of the Merta police officials to ascertain their locations when the incident took place.

Meanwhile, the injured recuperating at Jawahar Lal Nehru hospital in Ajmer have demanded that the CBI officials visit them to record their statement. A team led by Parbatsar sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) left for Ajmer earlier in the day to bring back the victims but the latter refused to come from the hospital.

“We came here after doctors informed us that these persons were fit to be discharged from hospital,” said Rajendra Singh, SDM, Parbatsar.

However, MunnaLal Meghwal, a victim, said they would not return to Dangawas unless they have fully recovered.

Death toll in the incident touched 6 after two persons succumbed to their injuries at the Ajmer hospital.

The Times Of India


Atrocity cases rise, conviction rate remains low in Marathwada


TNN | Jun 4, 2015, 05.26 AM IST

AURANGABAD: The National Commission for Scheduled Castes on Wednesday expressed serious concern over the growing incidents of atrocities against Dalits in Marathwada and the low conviction rate. District police and revenue officials have been asked to reasons for acquittals and submit a report in a month.

Commission chairman P L Punia pointed out that Marathwada had reported 135 atrocity cases in 2011, which jumped to 771 cases in 2014. This startling rise was a cause of serious concern and special efforts are required to check the growing incidents, he said.
Marathwada’s Beed, Latur, Osmanabad and Hingoli districts were leading the region in terms of atrocities against Dalits. The region had reported 135 cases in 2011 and the number has steadily increased over the past four years. Marathwada reported 534 atrocity cases 2012 and the number reached 759 in 2013. The region registered 771 cases in 2014.
Punia had called a meeting of top police and revenue department officials from eight districts of Marathwada to review the situation. During the meeting, Punia reviewed 22 pending cases of atrocities against Dalits and disposed of 15 of them.
He said he has decided to take regionwise meetings of the officials concerned to review the situation. As a part of the decision, the first meeting was convened in Aurangabad. He would soon visit Pune and Nagpur to review the atrocity-related cases.
Punia said lack of proper investigation was responsible for the poor conviction rate. Though special courts have been appointed for an early disposal of atrocity cases, but they could not deliver judgments or focus fully on such cases as they were occupied with other cases.
The chairman also expressed concern over the right rate of pendency of cases in courts. In 2014, 1,483 cases were pending in courts across eight districts of the region. Till now, 173 of these cases have been disposed of. The offenders in 168 cases were acquitted, while the conviction came only in five offences.
“This is a cause of concern. I’ve directed the top police and revenue officials to assess the acquittal cases, draw out reasons, including whether prosecution failed to prove the case, whether the police filed a weak chargesheet. They have been asked to submit a report to the commission within one month,” he said.
The commission has also directed the officials concerned to convene the meeting of district vigilance monitoring committee every three months and discuss the pending cases.
He added that those who file false cases under the atrocity act should also be discouraged and dealt with sternly. “For this purpose, we need to speed up the investigation and subsequent court proceedings. But, they get delayed and complainant and even the witnesses eventually lose interest,” he said.
The commissioner said that their findings and suggestions are recommendations. “We cannot enforce our decisions like the courts. We take cognizance of the complaints and grievances and issue directions to the concerned authorities”.
The commission has written to the Centre to ensure appointment of special courts to try cases involving atrocities against SC, exclusively. But, no steps have been taken in this direction so far, he said.

The Economic Times


Ex-Harvard professor criticizes IIT-Madras ban on Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle



By TNN | 4 Jun, 2015, 11.25AM IST

2 comments |Post a Comment
CHENNAI: Distinguished American mathematician David Mumford has expressed “deep shock” over the IIT-Madras’s derecognition of student group Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle.

In a letter to IIT-M director Bhaskar Ramamurthi, which was leaked to the media, Mumford said, “I believe campuses must allow open discussion of divisive issues even when it offends some people so that all its aspects are out in the open. Today’s youth are tomorrow’s leaders and one wants them to think deeply about the direction to which we are headed.” Mumford, president of the International Mathematical Union and a former Harvard University professor, is also a Fields Medal winner ((top mathematics prize).
The study circle was reportedly derecognized following an anonymous complaint that it was spreading hatred against PM Narendra Modi, which triggered protests.

The study circle was reportedly derecognized following an anonymous complaint that it was spreading hatred against PM Narendra Modi, which triggered protests.

“I have strong ideas about the importance of free speech and especially the importance of allowing students to discuss vital and difficult issues that confront society today ,” he said, adding, “I have also become aware, during my nearly 50 years of visiting India, of the deep social struggles that quite possibly are coming to a head as India takes a central role in the world.”

Acknowledging that it was difficult to understand complexities of local disputes as a foreigner, Mumford said he writes as a long term friend of many Indian academicians. Mumford added that said he saw many similarities between India’s Dalit problems and the African-American problems that have rocked the US since the beginning. “For this reason, I take Dr Ambedkar as one of my heroes,” he said.

The Times Of India


IIT: A campus divided on political lines


Pushkal Shivam | Jun 4, 2015, 06.53 AM IST


CHENNAI: A study circle at IIT-Madras with just about six active members is at the centre of public attention today. Paradoxically enough, this has happened because the dean of students who is against the politicization of student life took an explicitly political decision. He chose to derecognize the Ambedkar-Periyar Study Circle (APSC) soon after the director’s office received a ‘complaint’ from the ministry of human resource development.

While outside of the campus, APSC members are being celebrated for offering dissent to the dominant narratives prevailing in the country, inside they are perceived as a fringe group. For many students, APSC approaching the press seems to be a more serious issue than the administration’s decision to de-recognize the group. This is evident from an internal survey by the students’ affairs council that seeks to “gauge student perception”.
Two questions that figure prominently in the survey are: “Do you think the APSC should have approached the student representatives before talking to the media? Do you think the media misrepresented the issue?” The survey seems to assume that the whole issue is one of guidelines and their observance. The political consequences are almost entirely attributed to media coverage.
However, the APSC issue ought to be seen in the context of the change in the nature of political discourse in the institute and in the country at large. Lately, we have witnessed a sharp polarization within campus into `left’ and ‘right’. While APSC would be clubbed into the former, groups such as the Vivekananda Study Circle would appear to fall in the latter camp.
As a result of this polarization, seen in the context of a shift in public discourse leading up to and post 2014 general elections, genuine issues such as caste, equity and social justice are lost to political cliches. The discussion of these issues on campus inevitably leads to ideological bracketing. It allows one to brush aside some inconvenient truths as the agenda of one group or another. For many , as an example, it is hard to accept the fact that higher education in India (and at IITM in particular) is largely a preserve of the upper castes. Attempts to discuss issues concerning social justice are met with accusations that it amounts to divisive politics and “spreading hatred”. Similarly, any genuine discussion of growth and development is labelled right-wing.
It is important to understand the nature of the space in which groups like APSC operate. The critique of IITM’s portrayal in the national press has tended to take the view that the institute is more liberal (or less restrictive) than other universities in India. While it would be inaccurate to say that `liberal spaces’ do not exist in the campus, such spaces are interstitial in nature.They exist because they are not policed. It’s up to the powers-that-be to decide which spaces to police. In a politically charged atmosphere, this is a problem as it doesn’t allow for dissent.
The lack of policing in some cases could be an advantage for groups that actively avoid a direct confrontation with the administration. I would put the campus news body The Fifth Estate in this latter category. APSC, however, seems to have suffered policing for its dissenting views.
The polarization of political views in the IIT-M campus is an indication of what has happened in the country in the wake of the 2014 general elections. `Development’ dominates and has captured the national imagination. And IITs, as an institution churning out graduates who are supposed to contribute to development, has a crucial role in this. It is no surprise then that for many IIT students and alumni APSC’s actions are a betrayal of the goal of the institute.
However, one would do well to remember that the contribution of IIT graduates to our society is far more varied and diverse to be captured by such sweeping ideas. The so-called `brand IIT’ is not the hegemony of one particular group. APSC is as much a part of `brand IIT’ as, say , the number of start-ups that the institute hosts at its research park. Those who do not agree with their views cannot wish away this fact.
The author is a student at IIT-Madras. Views expressed here are personal.

News monitored by Girish Pant & AJEET


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