Dalits Media Watch – English News Updates 05.08.15

Lok Sabha passes SC/ST amendment bill – Economic Times


Quota in Promotion Policy: Allahabad High Court stays demotion of SC, ST staff – The Indian Express


Pappu Yadav Meets with Parbatta Rape, Assault Victims – Patna Daily


Four injured in group clash – The Hindu


‘Benefits of reservation to be given on basis of Presidential Order’ – The Hindu


No proposal for granting constitutional status to National Commision for Backward Class: Government IBN Live


Custodial brutality: assistance to be divided among relatives – The Hindu


4-year jail term to 3 under SC/ST Act – The Hindu


Official visits drive out fear among Pathapally dalits – The Hindu


Forget the Raj. Who’ll say sorry for millennia of abuse of dalits? – Asia Age


Please Watch:

Dr Ambedkar India’s Buddhist Revival


Economic Times

Lok Sabha passes SC/ST amendment bill 


NEW DELHI: Amid a boycott by most opposition parties, Lok Sabha today passed a bill which provides for stringent action against those compelling any member of SC or ST communities to carry human or animal carcasses or do manual scavenging. 

The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2014 aims to prohibit the commission of offences against members of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (SCs and STs) and provides for establishing special courts for the trial of such offences and the rehabilitation of victims. 

It makes garlanding with footwear, compelling to dispose or carry human or animal carcasses, or do manual scavenging, abusing SCs or STs by caste name in public, attempting to promote feelings of ill-will against SCs or STs or disrespecting any deceased person held in high esteem, and imposing or threatening a social or economic boycott as an offence. 

It specifies that a non SC or ST public servant who neglects his duties relating to SCs or STs shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term of six months to one year. 

The Bill, which seeks to amend the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act of 1989, also has certain new categories of actions to be treated as offences like forcing an SC or ST individual to vote or not vote for a particular candidate in a manner that is against the law is an offence under the Act. 

Wrongfully occupying land belonging to SCs or STs is an offence under the bill which was passed by a voice vote in the absence of Congress and most other opposition parties which boycotted the House to express solidarity with the suspended 25 Congress MPs. 

Assaulting or sexual exploiting an SC or ST woman is an offence under the bill which states that any intentional touching of an SC or ST woman in a sexual manner without her consent, using words, acts or gestures of a sexual nature, dedicating an SC or ST women as a devadasi to a temple, or any similar practice will also be considered an offence. 

The Indian Express

Quota in Promotion Policy: Allahabad High Court stays demotion of SC, ST staff


The high court has fixed September 7 as the next date for hearing in the case.

The Allahabad High Court has, until further hearing, stayed the demotion of SC/ST employees who were promoted under the ‘reservation in promotion policy’ during the Mayawati regime, while entertaining a plea challenging the proposed move of the state government in this regard.

The high court has fixed September 7 as the next date for hearing in the case.

A division bench of Justices Rakesh Tiwari and Mukhtar Ahmad passed the order on July 31 on a petition filed by Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes and OBCs Welfare Association and others, through their counsel Nikhil Kumar.

The court said: “Learned Standing Counsel prays for and is granted three weeks and no more time to file counter affidavit. Rejoinder affidavit, if any, may be filed within two weeks thereafter; till the next date of listing no demotion of employees belonging to the SC/ST category shall take place.”

Kumar said: “Our contention is that the state government form a commission or a committee ti look into the aspects of adequacy of representation of SC/ST employees in the government services, before deciding whether reservation in promotion should be given or not.”

Explaining further, Kumar said that, according to the M Nagaraja case decided by the Supreme Court in 2006, it was held that reservation in promotion could be granted to the SC/ST employees by a state government. “But the Supreme Court also held that for this to be done, the state will have to work out a quantifiable data on the adequacy of representation of these categories in the government services, besides looking into the aspects of administrative efficiency.”

During the Mayawati regime, the SC/ST employees were promoted through reservation. However, the policy was challenged in the Supreme Court, which held that the promotion was not as per norms in 2012.

“Our grievance is that the state government, making use of the said Supreme Court judgement, simply revoked the policy. The employees were not agitated on this either. But then the government decided to demote them on the excuse that the said policy was not upheld by the Supreme Court.

“Our contention is that the government should have gone for an exercise to work out a quantifiable data by constituting a commission or a committee to see whether the SC/ST category was adequately represented in state government services,” Kumar said.

The counsel added that, while revoking of a policy meant that there would be no further promotion on the basis of reservation, it would be against the norms of natural justice to demote employees who were duly promoted as per policy existing at a certain point in time.

Patna Daily

Pappu Yadav Meets with Parbatta Rape, Assault Victims


05 AUGUST 2015

Patna: Former Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader now with his own party, Pappu Yadav on Tuesday met with the women of Parbatta in Khagaria district who were allegedly beaten up, molested, and raped by dozens of goons after a dalit man eloped with a girl belonging to an upper caste last June.

“What did these people did to us is too shameful to put in words. Our homes were ransacked; our men were beaten up and our women and young daughters were sexually assaulted by hundreds of men who had the backing of the local police. They also told us to leave the village or we will be killed,” said the women whose faces were covered with their saris to maintain their anonymity.


Talking to the reporters, Yadav said that he was horrified to hear the accounts of the victims and would take up the issue with the state government and the local body in Khagaria.

The Jan Adhikar Party chief will hold a public meeting in Parbatta on Wednesday.

Yadav also condemned Patna Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Vikas Vaibhav’s threat to cancel his bail and dig up old cases against him “only because I have dared to challenge the government on various issues being faced by the people of Bihar”.

“As the representative of the people, it is my right to raise issues that affect the people of our state. I am continuing to do it and no one can stop me from doing so,” the Madhepura MP who spent several years in the Tihar Jail for his role in the killing of a CPI-M legislator before being exonerated by the Patna High Court, said adding he would soon meet with Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to lodge a complaint against the Patna SSP and the state government.

Yadav further alleged that the SSP was acting at the behest of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav who have issued a fatwa against him for being the voice of the poor and helpless.

The Hindu

Four injured in group clash



Four persons sustained injuries in a clash between Dalits and caste Hindus at Ariyur near Lalgudi on Monday following an altercation during the Aadi Perukku procession taken out in the village.

The altercation is said to have broken out when caste Hindus were taking out a procession to the Cauvery.

Dalits alleged that some of the caste Hindus had abused them while the procession was passing through their residential area.

Following this, the rival groups were said to have attacked one another with logs and aruvals. Three Dalits and a caste Hindu were injured.

The injured have been admitted to the government hospitals in Tiruchi, Lalgudi and Srirangam.

On a complaint from a Dalit resident, A.Saivaraj, the Lalgudi police booked a case against seven members of the rival group under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and under the SC /ST Prevention of Atrocities Amendment Act – 2014.

Another case was booked against eight Dalits under various IPC sections including 307 (attempt to murder) based on a complaint from P.Palaniappan from the rival group. Police sources said 11 persons from both groups were arrested following the clash.

The case is being probed by the Deputy Superintendent of Police, Lalgudi. Meanwhile, a group of Dalits, including some women of the village, came to the Collectorate on Tuesday and submitted a petition to the officials seeking action against those who attacked their community members.

An official who received the petition told the group that it would be forwarded to the Lalgudi Revenue Divisional Officer.

The members later met the Lalgudi RDO and held talks with them and dispersed on being told that appropriate action would be taken.

Police sources said there was previous enmity between the two community and separate cases had been booked against members of both communities last month following a quarrel between them.

Police pickets have been posted at the village to prevent any further incident.

The Hindu

‘Benefits of reservation to be given on basis of Presidential Order’



All caste certificates and benefits of reservation will continue to be given on the basis of Presidential Order issued in 1964 which means the members of 15 notified castes be deemed to be scheduled castes who are the ‘residents’ of Union Territory alone can enjoy the benefits.

The order was issued by the Puducherry Government in pursuance of a direction of the Madras High Court last June 11 on a petition filed by Pondicherry Scheduled Caste Peoples’ Welfare Association. The division bench also had directed the Chief Secretary of Puducherry to consider the association’s representation dated February 5. In the representation, they pointed out that the reservation benefits available to the ‘migrant’ Scheduled Caste people have been denied. The court had directed authorities to consider the representation and pass appropriate orders as expeditiously as possible.

Originally, the Supreme Court in last August struck down orders of Puducherry Government extending reservation benefits only to those who settled on or before 1964. In 2005, the government issued two orders extending reservation benefits only to the scheduled community people who settled on or before 1964 while others were excluded to enjoy those benefits. From 2005, the authorities insisted on applicants furnishing a proof of origin. Those who submitted such proof were given SC certificates and allowed to enjoy reservation benefits while others were categorised as ‘SC Migrants’ and denied such benefits.

Quashing the Puducherry Government’s orders, the apex court pointed out that orders were not being in conformity and consonance with Presidential order issued in 1964. The Bench also said “the interpretation of ‘resident’ in the Presidential Order as ‘of origin’ amounts to altering it.”

Following recent order of the Madras High Court, the Chief Secretary Manoj Kumar Parida gave a personal hearing on June 16 to the members of the association. Subsequently the government has passed a detailed order. “To conclude in simple words, the Supreme Court has categorically affirmed that only 15 castes mentioned in the Presidential Order 1964 will be treated as SC in respect of Union Territory of Puducherry provided they are residents of this UT,” Mr. Parida stated in his order.

IBN Live

No proposal for granting constitutional status to National Commision for Backward Class: Government


Posted on: 12:31 AM IST Aug 05, 2015


New Delhi: The Government today said that it has no proposal for granting constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) on par with the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) and National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST).

In his reply in Lok Sabha, Union Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thaawar Chand Gehlot said “no” to a question on whether the Government has any proposal to grant constitutional status for the NCBC at par with the NCSC and NCST.

The Minister further said that the NCBC has achieved its objectives to a great extent since it has been functioning as per its mandate laid down in the NCBC Act, 1993.

As per NCBC Act 1993, Section 9(1), the Commission shall examine requests for inclusion of any class of citizens as a backward class in the lists and hear complaints of over-inclusion or under-inclusion of any backward class in such lists and tender such advice to the Centre as it deems appropriate.

The Hindu

Custodial brutality: assistance to be divided among relatives



 The Legislative Committee on SC/ST Welfare has directed that the Rs. 5 lakh succour granted to the family of Siby, the Dalit who died at Kottayam Government Medical College following alleged custodial torture, be divided equally among his relatives. The delay in handing over the financial assistance to the family had raised criticism and the issue had come up before the committee during its sitting here on Tuesday.

The committee has also directed the authorities to complete the work on the students’ hostel at the Model Residential School, Ettumanur, within a month. The committee asked the authorities to ensure that the students were given admission to the hostel during the period. It has also asked the district authorities to complete the distribution of land and construction of houses for the deserving SC/ST beneficiaries, this year itself.

They have also directed the Block-level SC/ST Development Officers to visit the SC/ST hostels twice a month and ensure that the inmates were provided with all their legitimate demands. The officers should also ensure that the inmates were provided their quota of food and had tuition facilities. A medical camp should be conducted every six months.

The Hindu

4-year jail term to 3 under SC/ST Act


Staff Reporter

Nine years after the Theni district court was formed, the first conviction came on Tuesday when the Principal District and Sessions Court awarded four-year imprisonment to three persons under the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, 1989.

Judge V. Sivagnanam awarded the imprisonment to All India Forward Block party district treasurer U. Mayi alias Mayandi (50), M. Muruga Pandi (37) and Baskaran (35), all of T. Kallupatti village – under section 3-1 (10) of SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, 1989 and slapped a fine of Rs.1,000 on them under section 294 B of IPC. If they failed to pay the fine, they will have to undergo an imprisonment of one more month.

Special Pubic Prosecutor A. Vellaisamy said the trio had insulted Scheduled Tribe farm workers Sokkiammal (53), Kumar, Parasakthi and Neelavathi of Kadaparai Kuzhi village in Kodaikanal, and abused them on caste lines, when they demanded wage revision for farm work.

The Hindu

Official visits drive out fear among Pathapally dalits



Successive visits by district officials to Pathapally in Pebbair mandal of Mahabubnagar appears to have instilled a sense of confidence, or at least reduced the fear among dalit community members. The problem here is that there are only 45 dalit families, while the dominant Boya families number over 400 in this village, just 11 km away from the mandal headquarters of Pebbair, on the road leading to Kollapur. From the turn off, the village is slightly over a kilometre inside and the dalits have to pass by the houses of Boya families to reach the ‘Dalitwada’.

“We have been constantly insulted, taunted and sometimes even beaten up. We do not get drinking water from the overhead service reservoir. Some of them who were allocated land by the roadside were not allowed to live there,” rue the minority families. Some dwellings were pulled down or set on fire, while on land measuring 1 acre and 13 guntas, belonging to late Narayana, bodies of those Boyas who had died over a period of time, were buried.

The Hindu ‘Impact’ story that was published on July 20, narrating the visit of Anand Teltumbde, a social activist and grandson of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar to Pathapally, led to district Collector T.K. Sreedevi, Superintendent of Police P. Viswa Prasad scrambling to the village themselves and trying to ensure justice. Three cases under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act were registered, a number that went up to six on Monday after Additional Superintendent of Police D.V. Srinivasa Rao visited on Monday. A surveyor was asked to survey the land while officials of other related department went about job, like checking the water supply, even as a police picket was posted.

Meanwhile, a ‘Chalo Pathapally’ call was given and members of the ‘Kula Nirmoolana Porata Samithi’ (Struggle Committee for Caste Annihilation) pitched a dharna tent for the same.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, the Collector, accompanied by Achampet TRS MLA Guvvala Balaraju, Congress MLA from Alampur S.A. Sampath Kumar, TRS leader and Zilla Parishad chairman Bandaru Bhaskar visited the village and promised justice to the ‘dalits’, who however refused to talk to ‘political leaders’.

However, Ms. Sreedevi said she would ensure that the 45 ‘dalit’ families get land near the main road, together with the 2-BHK houses promised by Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao and all the other civic amenities required.

I will ensure that the dalit families get land near the main road; together with the

2-BHK houses and all the other civic amenities


Mahabubnagar Collector.

 Asia Age

Forget the Raj. Who’ll say sorry for millennia of abuse of dalits?


Aug 05, 2015 – Surendra Kumar

With his rousing speech at Oxford Union, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor has silenced his detractors. Ironically, his own party seeks his silence. Obviously, they don’t take his gift of gab and exceptional oratorical skills seriously. What a pity.

What a huge difference a single speech can make! Shashi Tharoor’s 15-minute stirring intervention at Oxford Union on July 14 was by far the most passionate, incisive and scathing critique in recent times of 200 years of British colonial rule in India. It has touched the right chord, both in India and abroad, cutting across generations. So, Tharoor, who has been in the headlines for the wrong reasons for the last two years, has suddenly become the darling of Indians, especially the Twitterati. Nearly a million Netizens “liked” his speech in less than 48 hours.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi publicly applauded his oratory, as did many MPs from different political parties. With a huge sixer, Shashi has silenced his detractors. Ironically, his own party seeks his silence. Obviously they don’t take his exceptional oratorical skills seriously. What a pity.

He contended that the British should own up the wrong done in India during the colonial period and seek atonement by saying sorry, if not by paying reparation. Well, if the British government were to take his advice to its logical conclusion, it would take them quite a while to say sorry to three fourths of the world where the sun never set at the height of Empire.

If the British should own up to all the wrongs they committed during their 200-year-long rule, say sorry and seek atonement, what about the inhuman indignities, injustices and cruelties inflicted on the so-called low castes by the so-called higher castes of Hindu society for 2,000 years? Shouldn’t they own up to the social, economic, political, physical and psychological deprivation they deliberately and systematically caused to them? In fact, the wrongs committed by them were far graver and sinister. Their wrongs were similar, or a shade lighter than the wrongs of other colonisers, like the Portuguese and the Spanish. The white Americans treated the blacks unjustly and cruelly.

The high castes of Hindu society, on the other hand, treated their own brethren, their own countrymen, so inhumanely and for so long for no fault of theirs. Over the years they created numerous political, social and religious dictums to perpetuate the slavery and subjugation of the low castes forever. To tell a whole section of society that they had no right to property, no right to education, that their sole purpose in life was to serve the higher castes without protest, was to shut the door on any possible redemption.

Even at the peak of their hold in India, did the British colonial rulers of India tell the low castes (shudras) that molten lead would be poured in their ears if they ever tried to listen to anything akin to knowledge, aka Manu Smriti? Did they ever order that when the low caste Indians walked through streets they must use bamboo sticks with tiny bells tied to them so that the higher castes would be forewarned and lest they be polluted by the shadow of the lower caste, as was the strict law during the otherwise enlightened Gupta period?

The low castes were condemned to live on the outskirts of villages and cities; they were not allowed to draw water from common wells nor pray in the temples built by the higher castes. Some Hindu priests even ordained that when a low-caste man got married, the first right to have sex with the bride was that of the priest. Worse still, this exploitative system was made hereditary; generation after generation lives in these humiliating conditions on account of their birth in low-caste families. What kind of debilitating and degrading psychological inferiority complex might have been caused in the low castes by this? How can one forget the ruler of Travancore who imposed a barbaric and sadistic law by which low-caste women had to pay tax to cover their breasts and even to breast-feed their own children?

One shudders with shame at the treatment meted out to Dr B.R. Ambedkar on his return from Columbia University after obtaining a doctorate in law. Contrary to expectation, these injustices and cruelties, regrettably, didn’t cease after India became independent. Low-caste people have been killed at the slightest pretext, like a demand for higher wages by landless labourers in Bihar. Burning of their hutments, rape of their womenfolk and molestation of young girls has been known to occur with frightening frequency in the oppression of the low castes in independent India.

After the much publicised Nirbhaya rape case, the CJI had remarked that hundreds of dalit women were routinely raped daily across India but no demonstration were organised for them. Several dalit girls were raped and hanged from mango trees in UP last year.Affirmative action and various developmental schemes in rural India by successive governments have resulted in some improvement in economic and social conditions of the low castes, but a lot remains to be done. In flagrant violation of the law, untouchability is still alive and kicking in hundreds of villages; there are more than five million (unofficial figure) bonded labourers and child labour is used extensively.

Former home minister P. Chidambaram had once told Parliament that there were more than 13,500 registered cases of physical assault on dalits in India in a single year. As out of four cases hardly one gets registered, the actual number of assaults might be as high as 50,000. There has been a trail of brutal murders of low castes as in Dehuli, Sadupur, Belchi and others places with high-caste perpetrators seldom being punished.

Just a week ago some TV channels had shown some young low caste girls who were made to clean toilets in their schools in Delhi. It wasn’t an isolated case, it happens in many schools. So, who should say sorry for what has been done in India to the low castes in the last 2,000 years? Shouldn’t someone own the wrongs? Shouldn’t it be a 10 times louder “SORRY” than what Mr Tharoor was demanding of the British at Oxford University? Realistically, none will own up nor say sorry for what happened in India for centuries. Shouldn’t Parliament, which represents the whole country, pass a resolution offering an unconditional apology for all the injustices perpetrated on the low castes? That will at least be symbolic atonement.

(Surendra Kumar is a former ambassador)

News monitored by AMRESH & AJEET


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