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Dalit youth shot dead in Sarfabad near Noida – The Times Of India
Mahadalit children driven out of school in Biharsharif – The Times Of India
Two minor Dalit girls allegedly gang raped in Bihar – ANI News
Dalit girl molested in Etah – Business Standard
‘Dalit officers confined to insignificant postings’ – The Hindu
“Let Dalits have arms” – The Hindu
Attack on Gujarat RTI activist sign of land mafia going berserk – Business Standard
Key panels in Rajasthan headless for a year – The Indian Express
Dalits in Bangladesh
The Times Of India
Dalit youth shot dead in Sarfabad near Noida
TNN | Jul 16, 2015, 05.06 AM IST
NOIDA: Tension erupted in Sarfabad near Sector 73 after a 22-year-old Dalit youth was allegedly shot dead by his neighbours after he responded to their casteist remarks. An FIR has been registered. The three accused are on the run.
A senior police officer said the shooting took place around 1am on Wednesday when the deceased, identified as Sohit Jatav, was sleeping on the roof of his rented house in Sarfabad. Sources said Sohit used to work with a private firm and was living in the house for the past 2-3 years. The accused, brothers Munish, Kale and Umesh Yadav, were making noise when Sohit asked them to lower their volumes. In response, they started abusing him and passed some casteist remarks, which angered Sohit. The argument escalated and Kale brought a country-made pistol from his home downstairs. Before Sohit could see the pistol, Kale shot him in the chest from a close range, killing him immediately.
On hearing the ruckus, a few neighbours called police but the accused had fled. The neighbours said the accused used to bully Sohit and had passed castiest remarks several times before.
A case of murder has been registered against the trio with Phase 3 police station. “An FIR was lodged on the complaint of Sohit’s brother Suraj. The body has been sent for autopsy,” said Arvind Yadav, circle officer III, Gautam Budh Nagar.
The Times Of India
Mahadalit children driven out of school in Biharsharif
Farrukh Nadim, TNN | Jul 14, 2015, 11.09PM IST
BIHARSHARIF: In a shocking incident, a village panchayat in the neighbouring Sheikhpura district not only socially ostracized members of Mahadalit community but also driven out their children from a government school after they refused to remove a dead calf from the village a week ago.
The matter came to light only on Monday evening when the hapless residents from Pind Sharif village, around six km from the Sheikhpura district headquarters, narrated their ordeal to Sheikhpura SP Dheeraj Kumar and demanded justice.
The villagers said in their petition that persons belonging to a dominant caste of their village disallowed them from moving in the village and buying anything from the local grocery shops about a week ago. Not only that, their children were also driven out of school after they had refused to dispose a dead calf, the petition said, adding the Mahadalit community members were also restricted from defecating in nearby fields.
The villagers claimed that the matter was reported to the Sisari outpost (OP) under whose jurisdiction their village falls but even after a week no police officer took any notice of the incident, the petition said.
When asked about the action being taken by the police against the culprits on Tuesday, Sheikhpura DSP Naresh Prasad Sharma, who was entrusted by the SP to look into the issue and ensure action, called it “a minor issue being blown out of proportion” and said “any stern police action against the alleged culprits would further aggravate the situation and it will make things more difficult for the poor folk and thus an amicable and long-lasting solution is being worked out.”
Two minor Dalit girls allegedly gang raped in Bihar
Jul 15, 11:12 pm
Around 15 boys chained the girls’ brother before taking turns to rape them.
Both girls, who are students of Class 7 in a boarding school in Ara, are currently undergoing treatment. (ANI)
Dalit girl molested in Etah
Press Trust of India | Etah (UP)
July 15, 2015 Last Updated at 15:32 IST
A Dalit girl was allegedly molested by three youths who also beat her up when she offered resistance in Allepur village under Bagwala Wasin police station area here.
The incident happened on Monday when the youths entered the girl’s house and molested her, police said today.
One of the accused has been identified as Nirdosh while the other two was yet to be identified, they said, adding, an FIR has been registered in this connection.
In another incident, a girl was allegedly molested by some youths in Kyar village under Jalesar police station area here yesterday when she was going to a field.
In a third such incident, a girl was beaten by a youth, Omprakash, when she resisted his molestation bid at Mubarikpur village under Mirehachi police station yesterday, police said.
FIRs have been filed in both the cases, they said, adding, no arrests have been made so far.
‘Dalit officers confined to insignificant postings’
An event where a retired senior Railway official released his book on Wednesday, became the forum for a passionate discussion on the discrimination faced by Dalit civil servants in the country’s bureaucracy.
Appikatla Bharat Bhushan, an Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS) officer, who retired in 2014, dedicated three chapters of his autobiography ‘Memoirs of a Dalit Civil Servant’ to Dalit officials in the Railways. Dalit officers being confined to insignificant postings, devious attempts by forward caste colleagues to malign them, resultant delay in promotions, and widespread caste discrimination in various departments have been elaborated upon in these chapters.
Mr. Bharat Bhushan’s own experiences of being circumvented for promotions despite his performance appraisals as consistently ‘outstanding’ were detailed in the book.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Bhushan, who has also helped many young students financially, urged the young Dalit civil servants to think twice before signing on any paper, as they could be presented before them with the intention of bringing infamy.
Secretary, Social Welfare Residential Schools, R.S. Praveen Kumar, termed the discrimination against Dalit officers as a ‘psychological warfare’ unleashed to demoralise them. They are constantly bypassed for promotions despite putting in good performance. Mr. Praveen Kumar lauded Mr. Bhushan as ‘a very honest officer’ who could not even buy a house for himself in the city, but helped many students pursue their education.
Academician Kancha Ilaiah urged Dalit civil servants to take up writing so as to debunk scriptures promoting untouchability and casteism. Retired bureaucrat Kaki Madhava Rao presided over the event, while Principal Secretary, AP Home Ministry, B. Prasada Rao, released the book.
“Let Dalits have arms”
The Republican Party of India (Athawale) president and Rajya Sabha MP Ramadas Athawale on Wednesday said Dalits should be permitted to have arms in Tamil Nadu.
He was to here to participate in a meeting of office-bearers. Later talking to press persons, he said atrocities against Dalits had been increasing in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.
“If the government and police are not able to give protection to Dalits, they should permission to Dalits to have arms. If such permission is given to them, the atrocities against them will be less,” Mr. Athawale said.
He also said a separate police officer in the level of Senior Superintendent of Police should be appointed in each district to deal the cases of atrocities against the Dalits.
In Villupuram, Mr. Athawale also visited the house of Senthil, 27-year-old Dalit youth, whose limbs was allegedly chopped off by members of an upper caste as he fell in love with a girl of that caste.
Attack on Gujarat RTI activist sign of land mafia going berserk
July 16, 2015 Last Updated at 13:08 IST
On July 16, a group of around a dozen persons kidnapped 36-year-old school teacher and RTI activist, Babu Ram Chauhan, beat him brutally, shaved his head and forced him to drink urine before attempting to throw him in the Indira Gandhi canal. Chauhan is currently recuperating at a hospital in Gujarat.
A report by Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative says that in the last ten years, 39 RTI users have been killed and 275 assaulted in India.
I hope Chauhan, whom I met three years ago as part of research on victimisation of RTI users, does not end up as just another number in that tally.
Chauhan’s village lies over 60 km from Jaisalmer near Longewala, the famous post of the 1971 Indo-Pak war. Ramgarh is also the last settlement where the water from Indira Gandhi canal irrigates fields.
The land around the canal is meant to be allocated to landless farmers at subsidised rates. However, the land mafia has gained a foothold there, encroaching upon the area and depriving many deserving farmers of their titles.
In 2008, Chauhan, fresh from his successful use of RTI to get salary of local government teachers disbursed on time, decided to take on the land mafia. But it was a different ball game. Besides, being financially strong, the encroachers were from the traditionally dominant Rajput community while the landless farmers mostly belonged to Scheduled Caste Meghwal community. Since Chauhan is also a Meghwal, he knew that using RTI against encroachers would also disturb local power equations
To deal with this, he involved the community in his work from the very first day. Since he was not the one to personally benefit from land allotments, his credibility rose. Around 200 villagers, who were awaiting land allotment, contributed money to support Chauhan’s effort, who also trained them in filing of RTIs and scrutinising the government records. Villagers filed around 60 per cent of all RTIs to access land records, another departure from most RTI activists who prefer to be in the limelight themselves. Chauhan also kept an account of the donated money, which is open to scrutiny by anyone
When I had asked what made him focus on the land grab issue, he had said: “My father was able to support my education because he had a piece of land to cultivate. Imagine how many poor families will be able to improve their lot if land is allotted according to rules.”
The information accessed through four years of consistent efforts found that around 17,380 hectares were under encroachment. Instead of 30 per cent quota fixed for those belonging to scheduled castes (SC) and scheduled tribes (ST), only 18 per cent of the land was allotted to them.
The efforts also alerted the culprits who started issuing threats. An anonymous complaint was sent to the local administration in 2010 accusing Chauhan of being a Pakistani spy helping the neighbouring country procure maps of the canal area through the RTI Act.
Separate inquiries were initiated into the allegations by the CB-CID and the education department, but the allegations were found to be baseless. During these inquiries, villagers came out in full support of Chauhan. The movement got further strengthened in 2010 when 30 of the deserving were allotted land due to the community effort in using RTI.
The Colonisation Commissioner (Bikaner) also admitted that 17,380 hectare was under encroachment and could be allocated to the SC/ST applicants who have not been given their due share. This further irritated the land mafia which finally caught up with him last weekend while he was returning from his school at desert village of Ranau, 32 km from Ramgarh.
That the attack included humiliating acts of shorning his head and forcing urine down his throat signifies that the assailants wanted to reassert the caste supremacy as well. Even as the police looks for eight absconding accused, Ramgarh continues to see local protests by Meghwals. A parallel protest by Rajputs, on the other hand, tries to counter them claiming innocents from their community were being framed.
I am sure Babu Ram will return stronger. He has that thing in him. But will this nation also stand up in his support or betray him like it has so many others?
(Manu Moudgil is a Chandigarh-based freelance journalist.who was granted a DoPT fellowship in 2012 to research on victimisation of RTI users in Rajasthan and Gujarat.)
The Indian Express
Key panels in Rajasthan headless for a year
State Commission for the Protection of Child Rights has been headless since November 2013, the Women’s Commission and Commission for Scheduled Castes have not had a chairperson since last year.
Written by Mahim Pratap Singh | Jaipur | Published:July 16, 2015 1:22 pm
Rajasthan ranks second in terms of the number of crimes against Scheduled Castes in the country, records the maximum number of rapes in the country after Madhya Pradesh and stands fifth in terms of incidents of crimes against children, latest official data shows. Yet, the three key panels in the state in charge of looking after the rights of these groups have been functioning without a chairperson for over a year.
While the State Commission for the Protection of Child Rights has been headless since November 2013, the Women’s Commission and Commission for Scheduled Castes have not had a chairperson since last year.
The appointments to these commissions are usually political, and a change of government usually means a change in composition of the panels concerned.
According to former chairpersons, this is the longest the commissions have functioned without anyone at the helm.
Commission for Women
Statistics from the National Crime Records Bureau paint a dismal picture of women’s safety in the state. Rajasthan ranks third in terms of rate of crimes (84 per cent) against women in the country. It recorded 3,285 incidents of rapes (second in the country), 15,094 incidents of domestic abuse (second) and 4,047 incidents of kidnapping and abductions (fourth).
“Forget the chairperson, there is not even a single board member on the women’s commission now. There have been no hearings since February,” Laad Kumari Jain, the last serving chairperson of the Rajasthan Women’s Commission, told The Indian Express. “The role of the commission is very important. In many cases, we did not even wait for the police but acted suo motu on the basis of media reports. We were most effective in domestic abuse cases, where arbitration can resolve most issues. We even summoned a former cabinet minister in such a case involving his wife,” Jain said.
Commission for Scheduled Castes
The Rajasthan Commission for Scheduled Castes, set up by Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje during her previous term, has had no one at the helm since last year.
The state is a hotbed of caste conflicts and ranks third in crimes against Dalits (6,475 counts), after Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, and has recently seen a spate of violent crimes against persons from the SC community.
The alleged inaction by authorities during the recent Dangawas caste violence, which left at least six people dead, was one instance where the need for an independent body was felt. The police and administrative apparatus in the district acted only after the visit of P L Poonia, chairperson of the National Commission of Scheduled Castes.
Commission for Child Rights
The State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, responsible for monitoring “laws, policies, programmes, and administrative mechanisms” to ensure protection of child rights as enshrined in the Constitution, as well as the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, has been without a chairperson since last year.
“The SCPCR is so crucial in terms of monitoring flagship child rights acts like the Right to Education and Protection Of Children against Sexual Offences. Its neglect shows how much the government cares for children,” a former SCPCR member said.
Rajasthan recorded 2,888 incidents of crimes against children — the fifth highest in the country — according to the latest NCRB Crime in India report.
In February this year, the Rajasthan High Court directed the state government to appoint an SCPCR chairperson in a month. Also in February, the Supreme Court directed the Centre to appoint a full-time chairperson for the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights. Yet, action on the part of the government is awaited.
The state government said it was serious about the matter and the process to appoint chairpersons was under way. “I can’t give a precise time frame but the government has begun the process of the finalising the chairpersons. The appointments will be made soon,” Rajasthan Chief Secretary C S Rajan told The Indian Express.
News monitored by Girish Pant & AJEET