Dalits Media Watch – English News Updates 18.08.15

Killings of Dalits in Bihar Ex-PM, ex-FM aided Ranveer Sena: Cobrapost film  – The Indian Express


Temple procession row: TN police nab 75 for torching Dalit houses – The Indian Express


Petty quarrel led to Dalit youth’s murder, say police – The Hindu


Non-utilisation of grants irks Dalit organisations – The Hindu


National SC panel vice-chairman directs police to arrest sarpanch – The Times Of India


Dalits Banish Family in Sivaganga village – The New Indian Express


HC sets aside COMEDK’s English entrance test rule for MBBS course – The Hindu


Irony of rural education leads to suicide, not ‘shiksha’! – Nagpur Today


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 The Indian Express

Killings of Dalits in Bihar Ex-PM, ex-FM aided Ranveer Sena: Cobrapost film


By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Published:August 18, 2015 5:00 am

The film purportedly shows six Ranveer Sena commanders admitting their complicity in six major killings of Dalits in central Bihar between 1995 and 1997, which left 144 dead.

A former Prime Minister and a former Finance Minister allegedly helped the Ranveer Sena to acquire weapons and finances, according to a documentary film screened by investigative news portal Cobrapost.

The film purportedly shows six Ranveer Sena commanders admitting their complicity in six major killings of Dalits in central Bihar between 1995 and 1997, which left 144 dead. Two of these commanders were reportedly set free by the Patna High Court due to lack of evidence.

“While a former Prime Minister purportedly helped them get modern lethal weapons such as LMGs, SLRs and semi-automatic rifles the Indian Army rejects and sells as scrap, a former Finance Minister apparently helped the outfit with finances,” said Cobrapost.

The Cobrapost investigation ‘Operation Black Rain’ lists the killings in Sarthua (1995), Bathani Tola (1996), Laxmanpur Bathe (1997), Shankar Bigha (1999), Miyanpur (2000) and Ikwari (1997).

The documentary purportedly shows Siddhnath, reported to be an aide of Ranveer Sena chief Brahmeshwar Singh Mukhiya, admitting his involvement in the killings and alleging the support of a former PM. “…(Laxmanpur) Bathe, Shankar Bigha, third was Narayanpur, fourth Miyanpur, fifth Hyderpur and sixth Jalpura,” he purportedly says in the film, listing the sites of the killings.

According to Cobrapost, Ranveer Sena commander Chandkeshwar Singh was sentenced to life by the lower courts in the Laxmanpur Bathe case, but let off by the High Court in October 2013. In the documentary, he purportedly admits his involvement in the Bathani Tola case. “Teen baja aur humara Sena goli chalana chaloo kar di. Teen baje din mein, narsanghar kar diya… wahan police chowki bhi tha (As the clock struck 3, the Sena began firing. It was 3 pm… the massacre was carried out… there was a police chowki too),” he purportedly says.

Another commander, Pramod Singh, reportedly admitted his involvement in the Miyanpur incident in which 32 were killed, “It was a pro-Naxal village and was thus a Ranveer Sena target. We executed that massacre,” he purportedly says, adding that a former finance minister provided political support.

“We had worked out a strategy to execute massacres across 50 villages in a single day to wake up the government… Otherwise, the government would always think that there are only minorities, most backward and backwards in this country… no other castes other than them,” Ravindra Chaudhury purportedly claims.

Arvind Singh, a former Ranveer Sena strongman from Ikwari, purportedly says: “Yes, there were two massacres in Ikwari in which seven people and nine people were killed.” He claims that both the killings were carried out by local Bhumihar villagers. “We killed about 50-60 people in Laxmanpur Bathe,” Bhola Rai, who lives incognito with his family in Tata Nagar, purportedly says.

The Indian Express

 Temple procession row: TN police nab 75 for torching Dalit houses


The attack was over a long-pending dispute over the right of Dalits to take out a temple car procession on the main road of the village dominated by caste Hindu families.

Written by Arun Janardhanan | Chennai | Published:August 18, 2015 3:28 am

“Burn them! No Parayas (Dalits) should be let off,” a mob of over 500 shouted on Saturday night while torching a dozen Dalit houses in Seshasamudram village in Tamil Nadu’s Villupuram district. The mob belonged to the politically-powerful Vanniyar community in the state.

The attack was over a long-pending dispute over the right of Dalits to take out a temple car procession on the main road of the village dominated by caste Hindu families.

District Superintendent of Police K.S. Narendran Nayar, who was among the injured policemen who had gone to the village after the attack, said the police have arrested 75 people, besides seven juvenile boys and 11 women for taking part in the attack. “More people will be taken into custody. We have apprehended some juveniles and arrested women, as we have strong evidence against them,” the SP told The Indian Express.

On Saturday night, the entire Dalit portion of the village was plunged into darkness first — an eerily similar incident had happened in 2012 when 148 Dalit houses were torched in Dharmapuri following the suicide of a Vanniyar man after his daughter eloped with a Dalit boy — and then followed the petrol bombs and stones.

The mob also torched vehicles belonging to Dalit families. They didn’t even spare the livestock; the police found half a dozen goats had been slaughtered. Police said many in the mob, including at least 20 juveniles, were in an inebriated state. Several women were also reportedly seen collecting stones and bricks for their men to launch an attack on the Dalits.

The SP said at least a 100-strong mob also pelted the police team with stones, besides stopping them from entering the village. He said the police had to eventually fire in the air and then resort to lathicharge.

It all started with the building of Mariamman temple in the village by the Dalits after they were denied access to at least five temples in the village that are run by the Vanniyars.

“Taking the temple car procession of the Dalits along a 200-metre stretch of main road, which divides the houses of Dalits and Vanniyar families, started the dispute. After denying permission for almost four years, a decision to allow them (Dalits) the procession made the majority Vanniyars angry,” said a police officer.

Meanwhile, Kathir, the managing director of a Madurai-based human rights organisation called Evidence, visited Seshasamudram on Monday and said several Dalit women were abused in the attack.

“They were stripped and asked to run, leaving their children at home. The riot that started at 8.30pm went on till early morning, as the police failed to deploy enough force despite receiving information that there was communal tension,” he said.

The police are now searching for Subramanian, the village head who belongs to the Vanniyar community and is a functionary of Vijayakanth’s DMDK.

The Hindu

Petty quarrel led to Dalit youth’s murder, say police



Three persons have been picked up

 Police have picked up three persons for allegedly murdering a Dalit youth at Suththamalli on Thursday last following a petty quarrel at an eatery.

After A. Durai Eswaran (37) of Indira Colony in Suththamalli was murdered by an armed gang, the police found that an altercation that broke out for omelette at an eatery was the reason behind the murder. During investigation, the police found that C. Mahesh, A. Mariappan and B. Ayyappan, all from nearby Kondaanagaram, murdered Durai Eswaran following a heated argument.

Subsequently, the police nabbed the trio on Monday, and are on the lookout for their associate Ravi of the same area in this connection.

A police officer, who was privy to the investigation, said: “Durai Eswaran, who was eating parota in the eatery, had ordered for an omelette. Even as he was waiting for it, the trio, who were enjoying parotas in the same eatery, also ordered for omelettes. Immediately, Durai Eswaran, while starring at the trio, asked the waiter to supply the omelette first to him, which set the base for the quarrel. When the waiter brought the omelette, it triggered a heated argument between the trio and Durai Eswaran, who was beaten up at the end of the quarrel. The victim, who was thrashed by the trio, warned them of intense retaliation within one hour. However, even before he could reach Indira Colony, they waylaid and hacked him to death.”

Congress man’s murder

In connection with the murder of Congress functionary Rajagopal of Sivagamipuram near Achchanputhur, the police have nabbed one Samidurai of Thalaivankottai and his associate for interrogation. The police said that Rajagopal had developed enmity with Samidurai as the former had helped a finance company to seize a hypothecated vehicle after the latter failed to repay the loan.

When the enmity worsened, Samidurai and his associate kidnapped and beheaded Rajagopal, the police said.

The Hindu

 Non-utilisation of grants irks Dalit organisations



 Members stage protest, submit memorandum to DC

Many Dalit organisations staged a protest outside the Deputy Commissioner’s office here on Monday against the alleged non-utilisation of grants released under the Scheduled Castes sub-plan and Tribal sub-plan (SCP & TSP) in the district. Over Rs. 44 crore released during 2014-15 had remained unutilised in the district, they claimed. Members of the Adivasi Soligara Sangha, Hassan district unit of the Samata Sainik Dal, Forum for Dalits’ Rights and other organisations participated in the protest.

The protesters alleged that the officials had failed to spend the grants meant for the welfare of the most backward classes of society. “This shows the officialdom is not concerned with the plight of the downtrodden. We are demanding the State government to take legal action against erring officials, make it mandatory to utilise the funds allocated under sub-plans,” said Mari Joseph of the Forum for Dalits’ Rights.

They submitted a memorandum to Deputy Commissioner Umesh H. Kubusad. When the protesters appealed to him to take action against erring officials concerned, Mr. Kubusad said he had no such authority. The protesters had to remind the official about the new law that entrusted the district-level committee, headed by the Deputy Commissioner, with the power to book cases against the officials who fail to spend the grants allocated.

The Times Of India

 National SC panel vice-chairman directs police to arrest sarpanch


TNN | Aug 18, 2015, 03.45 AM IST

 MOGA: The vice-chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC), Raj Kumar Verka, visited Moga on Monday and met three Dalits who were allegedly beaten up by woman sarpanch of Dhurkot village. Verka inquired about the incident from the victims and directed district police to arrest sarpanch Sarabjit Kaur, her son Vikramjit Singh and others involved in the incident within three days. Verka said, “Nobody has the right to take law in their hands and victimize Dalits. The incident of a sarpanch beating up three persons is inhuman and this mentality cannot be tolerated.”

Accusing village resident Manpreet Kaur of running a sex racket, Dhurkot sarpanch Sarabjit had allegedly beaten her up and Geeta and Suresh Kumar who had gone to meet the former. Manpreet told Verka that she had a property dispute with her brother-in-law and he instigated the sarpanch to assault them without any reason on the accusation of running a sex racket.

Moga senior superintendent of police Charanjit Singh said, “A case under of causing hurt, wrongful confinement and unlawful assembly has already been registered against seven persons. We are trying to arrest the accused, including the sarpanch.”

The New Indian Express

 Dalits Banish Family in Sivaganga village


By Vignesh V Published: 18th August 2015 03:55 AM Last Updated: 18th August 2015 03:55 AM

SIVAGANGA:The practice of ostracization is not confined to caste Hindus alone in the countryside. It has its tentacles spread among Dalits too. The sleepy Dalit-dominant Bethanendhal in the district is proof to Dalits banishing members of a family belonging to their own sub-sect. The hamlet with a population of 260 of which only five are non-Dalits has ostracized a Dalit family for seven years now.


None of the dalits in the area falling under the Munaivendi panchayat have any kind of rapport with Perumal’s family. Except Perumal’s elderly mother Chinnakaruppi, the remaining 14 in the family have moved to neighbouring villages to educate their kids.

While his community members accuse him of having swindled `3 lakh mobilised for village development in 2006, Perumal (50) says three influential members of his caste – two auditors and one a policeman, in his village are behind the ‘extrajudicial’ punishment awarded to his family for refusing to sell a piece of their land to them.

“The government had issued a patta for an acre land to me in 1998 with a condition that it should be used only for agriculture. Since then, I have been using it for farming. But the trio demanded that I sell the land to them. When I refused, they picked up a quarrel, charged me with misusing the community funds and excommunicated my family,” he alleged.

His mother Chinnakaruppi, who lost her husband last year, yearns to see her family being accepted by the community at least before she breathes her last. “It is depressing to see even the younger generation ignoring us,” she sobbed.

The aged woman travels 5-6 km to the nearby Mulivendhan village to buy groceries. That even the flow of water to their land was restricted and their cattle not allowed to graze, Perumal sold his land, said his wife Murugamma. “All the 80 families are either close or distant relatives. But they do not talk to us,” she said.

Admitting, a villager requesting anonymity said their kin paid a fine of `500 to a “stooge” of the trio for speaking to Perumal’s family. “Hence, we prefer to remain silent,” he said.

As the villagers did not let him enrol his kids in the local school, he had put them at schools in Paramakudi and Mulivendhan.

Panchayat President Cauvery Nathan, who hails from a non-Dalit caste, admits to Perumal’s family being ostracised but seeks to distance himself from the issue.

“It is their internal matter. Neither the family nor their caste members approached me to solve the issue. Hence, I cannot interfere,” he said.

The Hindu

 HC sets aside COMEDK’s English entrance test rule for MBBS course



The Karnataka High Court on Monday set aside the rule stating that securing 50 per cent marks in the English paper in the entrance test is compulsory to become eligible for admission to MBBS course under the management quota seats for 2015-16.

The court had directed the Consortium of Medical, Engineering and Dental Colleges of Karnataka (COMEDK) and other authorities to consider the case of four students, who had moved the court, for admission to the MBBS course solely based on their marks secured in Physics, Chemistry and Biology (PCB).

A Division Bench, comprising Justice N. Kumar and Justice G. Narendar, passed the order while allowing petitions filed by Sahana R, Karthikeyan and Kevin Germanus K., all from Tamil Nadu, and Madala Venkata Akshay of Andhra Pradesh.

This verdict could impact admissions made to the MBBS course under management quota as the court has held as “arbitrary” the rule related to English language entrance test of the COMEDK, which had conducted the entrance test for management quota seats. As per the rule, the marks secured in the English test were not considered for determination of candidates’ rank, and was only based on the marks secured in the PCB subjects. However, the general merit candidates should have secured not less than 50 per cent marks in the English language entrance test to become eligible for allotment of a rank based on their marks secured in the PCB subjects. Similarly, the SC, ST and OBC candidates of Karnataka were required to secure 40 per cent marks in English test for allotment of rank.

The court upheld the contentions of the petitioner-candidates that COMEDK’s English language rule was discriminatory as it was applicable only for the 40 per cent of the MBBS seats for which the candidates were admitted. The petitioners had pointed out that there was no English language entrance test for candidates who were selected for the remaining 60 per cent of seats, which were filled through the government quota, the institutional preference and the NRI quotas.

Nagpur Today

 Irony of rural education leads to suicide, not ‘shiksha’!


– By Kanchan Srivastava (Sourced from DNA India)

The irony about Independence Day is that every year it gets us into deep thinking that what as a free nation should drive us out of the miseries that entire nation is plagued with. Specially in the rural areas where the students have to attempt suicide just for the lack of facilities in school! The Independence Day in Chandrapur turned traumatic after four students from a remote residential school in Jivti tehsil of the district attempted suicide soon after the flag-hoisting ceremony on Saturday morning. The students have cited lack of food, other facilities and maths teacher as the reason for taking the extreme step.

Krishna Rathore (19), Premdas Rathore (18), Prafulla Rathore (17) and Pravin Jadhao (18) consumed insecticide at their school Vitthalrao Jadhav Kanishtha Mahavidyalaya from bottles that they were carrying in their pockets. The school authorities rushed them to Rajura, the public healthcare centre in the tehsil from where they were transferred to Chandrapur government hospital. They are now stated to be out of danger.

“They have complained about lack of food and other facilities at their school, including the lack of teachers,” said Sandip Diwan, superintendent of police, Chandrapur. He also said that the students are out of danger and could be discharged from the hospital on Monday. Diwan said that conducting a probe into these allegations against the school is the job of relevant authorities — the social justice department and the school education department.

While lack of facilities and teachers is very common across the government-aided residential schools, this is perhaps the first incident of students attempting to take their life because of these issues. The social justice department offers food-grants to this residential school which is nearly 65 km interior from Chandrapur city. The school mainly caters to VJNT, also known as Banjaras. The aid given to the school by the department is Rs900 per student per month, dna has learnt. The school has a total 205 students in class 11 and 12, of which over 80 are hostellers.

While there is no confirmation whether the school education department initiated any inquiry, the social justice department launched its probe on Sunday and appeared to be in the process of giving “clean chit” to the school. Prasad Kulkarni, assistant commissioner of social justice department, who spearheaded the inquiry, told dna: “We have initiated the probe and have noted down the statements of all hostel students in writing. Except these four pupils, no one complained about food. However, there is no mathematics teacher. But we can’t do anything in this regard as we don’t offer salary grants to them. We just give financial aid for food for students who stay in hostel.”

The president of the school Motiram Pawar and director Panchkala Jadhav couldn’t be contacted. There are over two dozen such residential schools in Chandrapur district and over 200 across the state. They mainly cater to SC and VJNT students and most have same story — lack of infrastructure, facilities and teachers. Activists blame it on “systemic failure” and accuse school education, social justice and tribal welfare departments for apathy towards Dalit kids and spoiling their career.

“Neither social justice department nor the school education department keep a tab on happening in the school. As per the rules, there must be a school management committee in every village, in which representation of panchayat members, parents and school trustees is must to look into issues related to students. Most villages don’t have functional SMCs and that’s why children in these institutes face severe problems,” says Paromita Goswami, a social activist who visited the four students in the hospital.

“Politicians are minting crores in the name of rural and tribal boarding schools, while the children get nothing,” says Kishore Tiwari of the Nagpur-based Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti. Even the Vitthalrao Jadhav College is run by the Congress leader of the same name, claims Tiwari.

Given the deplorable state of the residential schools and also ashramshalas (under tribal welfare department), activists demand that they should be closed down.

“These schools should be closed down and the government should instead invest in opening hostels for poor SC/ST students at the taluka and city levels. They should be enrolled in regular schools so that they can study with children from other background and can be mainstreamed,” added Tiwari.

Efforts to contact school education minister Vinod Tawde, social justice minister Rajkumar Badole and guardian minister of Chandrapur Sudhir Mungantiwar turned futile.

News monitored by AMRESH & AJEET


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