Dalit woman gang-raped, body torn to pieces, burnt – The Times Of India
14-yr-old Dalit girl gang-raped – The Times Of India
Here’s proof that poor get gallows, rich mostly escape – The Times Of India
Athawale for smooth passage of atrocities bill in Parl session – Business Standard
Now, displacement is just months away – The Hindu
Activists groups plan protest rally on July 27 – The Hindu
Dalits stage demonstration over land issue – The Hindu
Seminar On “ Dalits & Media :
Concerns and Lacuna
The Times Of India
Dalit woman gang-raped, body torn to pieces, burnt
Ishita Mishra,TNN | Jul 20, 2015, 10.49 PM IST
AGRA: In one of the most horrific cases of sexual assault and murder in recent times, a Dalit woman was gang-raped and murdered by local hoodlums allegedly associated with the family of a village headman in Malpura, Agra. The site of the crime was just 200 metres from the police post. A fact-finding team set up by DIG Agra Lakshmi Singh found parts of the woman’s body, partially burnt. A number of condoms were also recovered from the spot.
The crime occurred in Kakua village on the Gwalior Highway. Police have still to estimate when the crime occurred. Local people said the police team arrived while it was raining heavily on Sunday and found partially burnt parts of the woman’s body. Witnesses said the body was burnt along with strips of leather. Kerosene appeared to have been poured on the body.
The victim is identified as Hema, a woman in her 40s, originally from Jhansi district. She had been living in the village, in an under-construction colony, ‘Om Garden’. Her husband Hemraj and 12-year-old daughter lived with her. The family had been engaged as guards at the site by the owners of the colony, Vikram Singh and Rajendra Singh, four years back. The victim, her husband and daughter had gone to Jhansi, local people said, adding that the woman also had a son who lived with her husband’s parents there.
The woman had returned alone some days ago. Her husband and daughter returned on Saturday to find the door locked from outside.
Villagers said Hemraj had climbed the roof of the house, to find his wife’s mutilated boy on the cot there. The rain had spoiled the body. Villagers told the DIG that Hemraj, in shock and run out to tell the others about the death. As news spread, the village headman and others attempted to prevent the guard from taking the matter to police. The men gathered up the body parts and set it afire, and forced the man and his daughter to return to Jhansi, villagers said. Lakshmi Singh DIG Agra range told TOI that she had visited the site of the crime and signs of the brutality could be seen. “Blood stains were seen far from spot of the crime, indicating that the woman had struggled. Condoms were recovered, so there is reason to suspect she was raped before being killed. Villagers told us the woman was a Dalit. Forensic reports and post-mortem examinations will throw light on how long ago the murder occurred,” the DIG said.
An FIR was lodged by police in the absence of a complainant in this case.
Ten people were named in the FIR, including the owners of the colony, Vikram Singh and Rajendra Singh and village headman Sukhpal, for murder and hiding evidence.
The Times Of India
14-yr-old Dalit girl gang-raped
TNN | Jul 20, 2015, 09.37 PM IST
BAREILLY: A 14-year-old Dalit girl was allegedly abducted and gang-raped on Saturday night in Nurpur village, Badaun district. A case was lodged by police against three men. One of the accused, Omendra Pal, is the son of Tekchand Pal, Badaun district president of Samajwadi Party Pichra Varg Prakosht.BAREILLY
It was reported that the girl was attacked as she had gone to answer nature’s call in the fields on Saturday evening. The three men, who arrived on a motorbike, took her to a nearby mango orchard and allegedly raped her there. The men then fled the scene, leaving the girl alone in the orchard. The girl managed to drag herself to the nearby Ramzanpur village, where she narrated her experience to her aunt. The aunt in turn informed the girl’s brother, who took the matter to police on Sunday.
Police have lodged a complaint against Omendra Pal, Surendra Pal and Narendra Pal under Section 376 (rape) of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and relevant sections of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and SC/ST Act.
The girl is under treatment at the district hospital.
SP (Badaun city) Anil Yadav said, “We arrested Surendra Pal today. A search is on to nab the other accused. A report of the girl’s medical examination is awaited.”
In another incident, a 32-year-old woman was allegedly raped in a village falling under the jurisdiction of Faizganj Behta police station in Badaun district. She too was attacked while was had stepped out of her house to relieve herself in the fields on Saturday night. Police said the woman had named Chaman, a resident of the same village, as her attacker.
Narendra Singh, station officer, Faizganj Behta police station, said, “The woman’s husband was out of station and she did not approach police until today. An FIR has now been filed and we are investigating.”
A case was lodged by police against three men. One of the accused, Omendra Pal, is the son of Tekchand
The Times Of India
Here’s proof that poor get gallows, rich mostly escape
Himanshi Dhawan & Pradeep Thakur,TNN | Jul 21, 2015, 01.44 AM IST
NEW DELHI: The fact that our legal system is skewed against the poor and marginalized is well-known. And to that extent, it’s only expected that they get harsher punishment than the rich. But here are figures that tell the full story.
A first of its kind study, which has analyzed data from interviews with 373 death row convicts over a 15-year period, has found three-fourths of those given the death penalty belonged to backward classes, religious minorities and 75% were from economically weaker sections.
The reason why the poor, Dalits and those from the backward castes get a rougher treatment from our courts is more often than not their inability to find a competent lawyer to contest their conviction. As many as 93.5% of those sentenced to death for terror offences are Dalits or religious minorities.
The findings are part of a study conducted by the National Law University students with the help of the Law Commission that is currently engaged in a wider consultation with different stakeholders on the issue of death penalty and whether it should be abolished.
Law panel chairman Justice A P Shah, himself a strong proponent of abolition of death penalty, is to submit a final report to the Supreme Court by next month.
Senior advocate Prashant Bhushan said: “It is true that there is a class bias, otherwise why would we have so many people languishing in jail because they cannot afford a lawyer to get bail?” He said only 1% of the people can afford a competent lawyer. Afzal Guru hardly had any legal representation at the trial court stage, he added.
Founder of Human Rights Law Network and senior advocate Colin Gonsalves holds similar views. “I think the finding that 75% of the death row convicts are poor is the absolute minimum. The rich mostly get away while the very poor, especially Dalits and tribals, get the short shrift.”
The NLU students have interviewed all the death sentence convicts and have documented their socio-economic background. The psychological torture these prisoners face before they are hanged are some of the observations in the study. Prisoners on death row are not allowed to attend court proceedings most of the time. In many cases, those interviewed revealed they were unable to understand proceedings even when they got an opportunity to be in the court as there was not much interaction with their lawyers.
“Gallows are only for the marginalized. The first thing when a person is arrested is his access to a lawyer. The poor don’t get that access while the well-off do and that completely changes their case,” said Suhas Chakma of Asian Centre for Human Rights. For the economically weak, legal aid or advice comes at the trial stage by which time it is too late, he added.
Within the prison, death row convicts are put in separate barracks and kept in solitary confinement. They are not allowed to work unlike other prisoners or mingle with anyone else, leading to many psychological disorders. The result is startling. Many prisoners interviewed said they wanted to die and should be hanged without delay. A few mentally strong ones said if represented well they could escape the gallows.
Between 2000 and 2015, 1,617 were sentenced to death by the trial courts – 42% of them from UP and Bihar. The conviction rate, however, at the stage of high courts and the SC was much lower at 17.5% and 4.9% respectively. Most death sentences were commuted to life imprisonment or acquitted.
Athawale for smooth passage of atrocities bill in Parl session
Press Trust of India | New Delhi
July 20, 2015 Last Updated at 19:57 IST
Claiming atrocities on Dalits have increased in the recent past, RPI (A), a NDA constituent, today asked the Centre to ensure smooth passage of Prevention of Atrocities Amendment Bill, 2014 during the Monsoon Session of Parliament beginning tomorrow.
“Atrocities against Dalits have increased. A draft (Prevention of Atrocities Amendment bill) was prepared to amend Prevention of Atrocities Act, 1989 in 2014.
“It has to be passed on priority basis when it is tabled during the upcoming session. I made a demand for its smooth passage during the all-party meeting today,” RPI (A) chief Ramdas Athawale said.
On the issue of offering reservation for the financially weaker section among the upper castes, Athawale said, his party was not opposed to the idea until quota given to SC, ST and OBC community members is “untouched”.
The Rajya Sabha member sought framing ‘Reservation Act’ to see interests of SC, ST and OBC communities are protected.
“I have demanded framing Reservation Act to protect reservations given to SC, ST and OBCs community members. Also, the reservation should be put in the Ninth Schedule of Constitution so that if anyone doesn’t implement the provision, action can be taken against him/her,” he said.
Athawale insisted the government to hold a four-day special session of Parliament to discuss issues relating to backward class members on the occasion of the 125th birth anniversary of Constitution’s architect B R Ambedkar.
The Parliamentarian further informed to have received a letter from Maharashtra Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar that the state government has approved Rs 125 crore for celebrating Ambedkar’s birth anniversary in a big way.
“Plus, the letter mentions the government has approved Rs 40 crore for purchasing Ambedkar’s London home,” he added.
On Land Acquisition bill, Athawale said his party wants the legislation be cleared by Parliament with consensus.
“The Prime Minister too has appealed so during the all-party meeting,” he added.
Athawale added that work of constructing Ambedkar’s memorial on Mumbai’s Indu Mill plot is expected to begin in the presence of Modi towards the end of this year.
Now, displacement is just months away
An uncertain future awaits most of the landowners in the tiny hamlet of Uddandarayunipalem , which will be one of the villages that will soon be engulfed in the seed capital of Amaravati. People in the riverfront village, which hosts some of the most fertile lands in the capital region, had once fiercely resisted moves to acquire their lands but later fell in line.
Now with the Amaravati project’s Singapore consultants choosing to locate the seed capital bang in their midst, displacement is no longer a long-term possibility for these villagers, mostly belonging to Scheduled Caste communities, but just months away on the event horizon.
The lack of clarity on ownership of lanka lands is adding to their worries. “We have about 400 acres of lanka lands on which close to 250 families depend,” Puli Lazar, the village welfare cooperative society president told The Hindu on Monday. “We have been cultivating banana and yam on these riverbed lands for the last 50 years, even securing agricultural loans from bank on the basis of pattadar passbooks. But since the Land Pooling Scheme began, the government has refused to heed to our pleas to notify our lands and accept our consent letters.’’
Mr. Lazar said a meeting of villagers would be held in a day or two to decide the future course of action. “We have many issues. A lot of people have built their own houses here. There are family issues as well, daughters to get married, study loans to repay. The future looks hazy and uncertain,’’ Mr. Lazar said.
The village harbours a chunk of 300 acres of assigned land and the government has refused to agree to giving them ownership of lands since they are not registered.
The future looks hazy and uncertain., Puli Lazar –Villager of Uddandaruynipalem
Activists groups plan protest
rally on July 27
Condemn delay in implementing A.J. Sadashiva panel report
Members of various Scheduled Caste (SC) organisations in the State, under the leadership of Basavamurthy Madar Chennaiah Swami, Chitradurga, and Shadakshari Swami of Adi Jambava Peetha, Hiriyur, would be staging a ‘semi-nude’ procession in Bengaluru on July 27 to protest against the inordinate delay on the part of the State government in implementing the Justice A.J. Sadashiva Commission report on providing internal reservation among SCs.
Addressing a joint press conference here on Monday, L. Marenna, senior leader, H. Thippeswamy, president of Dr. Ambedkar Sangha, Ballari, Girimallappa, Mundargi Nagaraj, T. Pompapati, Venkatesh Murthy, and J. Jagannath, among other leaders, criticised the State government for not initiating any steps to implement the Commission’s report that would benefit the oppressed communities.
They said Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who as the Opposition leader had announced that the report would be implemented if Congress came to power, was not initiating any steps in this regard. “It is unfortunate that five years have passed after the Commission submitted its report and the State government was dilly-dallying over taking a decision on adopting a resolution accepting the report and forward it to the Union government recommending its implementation”, the leaders regretted.
The semi-nude protest would be part of the ‘Bengaluru chalo’ programme, in which dalits from all the districts would participate, they said adding that all the dalit leaders and organisations had forged unity to pressure the government to implement the Commission report.
“If the Siddaramaiah government failed to take a decision during the ongoing session of the legislature, we will have to construe that his government’s concern was only ‘fake’ and the dalit communities will be forced to intensify the agitation”, Mr. Marenna said.
Dalits stage demonstration
over land issue
Dalit people staged a day-long demonstration here on Monday asking the State Government to take back around 1,000 acres in the district given during the British regime to them which were allegedly in possession of other communities.
Tamilvendhan, district secretary of Viduthalai Chirutahigal Katchi, who coordinated the agitation, told reporters that the lands were given during the pre-Independence era to Dalits since 1920 with the sole purpose of encouraging them to take up agricultural activities and thereby, help them improve their livelihood.
“Over the years, the lands were either sold or been encroached upon. According to the rules, the sale of land even if done by a few Dalits under economically crunch situations are not valid.
“Hence, the State Government should take back all lands either sold or encroached upon and issue free house site pattas to presently landless Dalit people residing in the district on the recovered plots,” he said.
Mr. Tamilvendhan blamed the revenue administration for not taking any steps till now to initiate the proceedings of recovering the lands despite repeated pleas made by the Dalit community on the issue.