Dalits Media Watch – English News Updates 02.09.15

Dalit woman stripped, forced to consume urine in Chhatarpur – The Hindustan Times


Another Dalit-Vanniyar couple face community ire – The Hindu


Love affairs, illicit relations claimed 50 lives in Raj in 2014: NCRB- The Times Of India


Weeks After, Seshasamudram Village Tense Again as 2 Dalits’ Houses Burnt – The New Indian Express


Did India village council really order rape of two sisters? – BBC India


Family on Toilet Posters Says ‘Humiliated’ by Government in Tamil Nadu – NDTV


Parents keep wards away from a school – The Hindu


Rethinking reservations: Hardik Patel has reopened the debate – The Hindustan Times


Better infrastructure sought for institutions of SCs, STs – The Hindu



The Untouchables – 57 minute documentary – trailer


 The Hindustan Times

 Dalit woman stripped, forced to consume urine in Chhatarpur


 HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Sagar

Updated: Sep 01, 2015 23:24 IST

A 45-year-old Dalit woman was allegedly stripped and forced to consume urine by a couple belonging to the upper caste in Chhatarpur district.

The victim along with a group of people belong to her caste on Tuesday met additional superintendent of police (ASP) Chhatarpur, Neeraj Pandey and lodged a complaint, accusing local police station of not taking action against the accused couple.

The incident occurred at village Mudwara under Nowgong police station of the district on August 24. The Nowgong police had registered a case under section 394, 323, 506 and 34 of IPC and relevant sections of SC/ST Act against Vijay Yadav and his wife Vimla Yadav.

In her complaint to ASP, victim said that few months ago she was given a ‘patta’ of a piece of government land, which was earlier in Vijay Yadav’s possession. This angered Vijay Yadav so that he started harassing her, said victim in her complaint.

She further said that Yadav, on August 24, got her crops damaged by releasing his cattle in the field. When she went to Yadav’s house to lodge protest, Yadav’s wife Vimla beat her up with lathis.

Later, Yadav came and stripped the victim and also forced her to consume his urine. The accused also threatened the victim with dire consequence if they would lodge complaint to police.

Superintendent of police (SP), Chhatarpur, Lalit Shakyawar said that a case was registered by local police station on complaint of the victim but she didn’t inform police about any such incident.

“I have instructed the sub-divisional officer of police to conduct a probe and take action against accused couple,” Shakyawar told HT over phone. He further said that the accused couple went missing from village after police registered case against them.

The Hindu

 Another Dalit-Vanniyar couple face community ire



Facing strong opposition for her marriage with a Dalit man, a Vanniyar woman has moved the Madras High Court seeking protection for her in-laws from individuals from her community in Cuddalore district. When her plea came up for hearing on Tuesday, Justice P.N. Prakash said, “It is the duty of the instrumentalities of the State including this Court to encourage inter-caste marriages and afford protection to couples of such marriage” and further directed the Deputy Superintendent of Police of Neyveli to investigate all the four FIRs registered in connection with the issue.

The 28-year-old Vijayalakshmi, who has sought the support of All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) to approach the High Court, married Sivaramakrishnan in 2013. But they did not disclose their marriage to their parents.

Later, when her father was looking for an alliance, she sought AIDWA’s assistance to convince him about her marriage with the Dalit man. Since all efforts, including attempts by legislator K. Balakrishnan of Chidambaram constituency, went in vain, the couple married as per Hindu rituals on March 2 this year.

Since May this year, AIDWA functionaries have been receiving threats from the petitioner’s relatives demanding to know her whereabouts. An FIR was also registered against a complaint filed by AIDWA General Secretary Suganthi.

Though the Inspector General (North Zone) had promised action on the issue, the man’s relatives have been continuously receiving threats. Justice Prakash directed police to immediately afford protection to the family of Sivaramakrishnan “so that no harm befalls them”. He also said that the parties shall immediately lodge a complaint with the Superintendent of Police in case of specific incident of intimidation.

The Times Of India

 Love affairs, illicit relations claimed 50 lives in Raj in 2014: NCRB


TNN | Sep 2, 2015, 11.57 AM IST

 JAIPUR: The incident of a 25-year-old man beaten to death by the family members of his girlfriend in Sriganganagar two days ago shocked many, but the murders over love affairs and illicit relationships seem to be a regular occurrence in the state. They were the motive behind as many as 50 of the total murder cases reported in Rajasthan in 2014, according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) figures released recently.

The latest case was related to 27-year-old woman Poonam’s murder in Jalore last month.

Everybody was surprised when the police arrested Chunni Devi – the mother of Poonam’s paramour – for the crime. Five-month pregnant Poonam was living with the family of her paramour Devendra Jangu as his widow. In May, her husband Prakash Bishnoi was arrested for murdering Devendra. Prakash and his armed men had abducted Poonam and Devendra from their rented house in New Bhupalpura area in Jalore.

While 41 people were killed over love affairs, nine were murdered over illicit relationships. The other prominent motives behind murders are personal vendetta, enmity and property disputes. As many as 89 murder cases were reported in the state over personal enmity. Property dispute was the motive behind 65 murder cases.

One of the most shocking cases of murders over property dispute and communal animosity was reported in Nagaur’s Dangawas area in May this year. Hundreds of Dalits from Nagaur district’s Dangawas and surrounding villages had fled for their lives after the region’s dominant upper caste, the Jats, allegedly mowed down Dalits under tractors, and grievously wounded many others following the flaring up of a decades’ old land dispute. The Jat violence followed firing by Dalits in which one dominant caste member was killed. Nearly six people were killed and over a dozen were injured in the violence.

A total of 1,637 murder cases took place in Rajasthan in 2014, claiming lives of 1,688 people.

“It’s true that most of the murder cases in Rajasthan are related to property disputes and personal enmity. The good thing is that not many cases occurred as organized crimes. Most of the murders were spur-of-the moment cases,” said a police officer.

The officer said that love affairs are still considered a taboo in rural and many urban areas in the state. “The society is yet to accept a relationship between two adults. In many cases, the family members protest because the couple are from same gotra or from different castes. In some cases, violence is caused where the love affairs are triangular. These are common phenomena across the country,” the officer added.

The New Indian Express

 Weeks After, Seshasamudram Village Tense Again as 2 Dalits’ Houses Burnt


By Karal Marx L Published: 02nd September 2015 03:24 AM Last Updated: 02nd September 2015 03:24 AM

VILLUPURAM: Tension continued to prevail at Seshasamudram village, which was rocked by a caste clash a fortnight ago, with two more thatched roofed houses, belonging to two Dalit siblings, gutted after petrol bombs were hurled by miscreants on Monday night. So far, that is, since the weeks-old clash, 10 houses have been reduced to ashes.

Victims claims their house were burned down as they had given interviews to the  TV channels and other mediapersons regarding the caste clash that had broken out between the Dalits and Vanniyars over the temple car procession on August 15.

According to Karuppan (55), one of the victims, he and his two sons Govindhaswami (35) and Chandran (29), along with their wives and children, were living in the two thatched roofed houses located near the lake at Seshasamudram village.

When the riots broke out, the family members moved to their relative’s house at Nedumanur village, about 2 km away from Seshasamudram.

The next day when mediapersons rushed to the village, Chandran and Govindhasami, who witnessed the clash, had given interviews on the atrocities of the Vanniyar community on the policemen and Dalits.

Sources said around 8.30 pm on Monday, some unidentified men hurled petrol bombs on the two houses and a cow-shed apparently to avenge those who had given media interviews, and fled the spot.

Fortunately, none of the family members sustained injuries as they had been to Nedumanur village, apprehending danger in Seshasamudram village.

Household goods, including `10,000 in cash, two television sets, mixers, grinders and important documents such as land pattas, ration cards were reportedly destroyed in the fire.

Sasikela (27), wife of Chandran, said, “After my husband gave an interview to TV channels, some of the Vanniyars stopped my husband on the way to his farm and issued death threats to him. If anything happens to my husband or my family, the Vanniyars are to blame.”

When contacted, personnel, attached to the Sankarapuram Police Station, said, “We are not sure how this incident occurred when security was tightened in the village.” They further said  those involved in the attack would be arrested soon.

General secretary of VCK Sinthani Selvam condemned the continuous attacks on Dalits and requested the district police to give additional protection to them.

Sugarcane Field Gutted

Minutes after the two more Dalit houses were set ablaze, a nearby sugarcane grove belonging to M Venkatesan (41) a Vanniyar, was reported gutted in fire.

While Vanniyars alleged Dalits had torched the grove in order take revenge, police suspect the fire might have spread from the torched houses.

BBC India

 Did India village council really order rape of two sisters?


1 September 2015

From the section India

 More than 100,000 people have signed a petition by Amnesty International after allegations that a village council in India ordered that two women be raped as punishment because their brother eloped with an upper caste woman. It has even led to calls by British MPs for action. But local police and officials say no such order was given. The BBC’s Sanjoy Majumder travelled to Baghpat in northern India to investigate.

The village of Sankraud is just an hour’s drive from Delhi.

The narrow dusty lanes with mostly male residents milling around are typical of the area. The few women who can be seen have their faces covered.

But Sankraud has now achieved a level of notoriety. It’s here that an all-male village council is alleged to have ordered the rape of two sisters because their brother eloped with a woman from a higher caste.

On its lanes and inside its tea-shops, people are outraged at the focus on an event they say didn’t happen.

“We’ve read in the newspapers that a British MP has expressed concern over the so called shameful treatment of women in our village,” one elderly man tells me.

“The reports are completely false.”

“We are so ashamed that our village is in the news for something that did not even happen,” one young man shouts.

“We feel dishonoured.”

It’s a theme that recurs throughout. Honour and dishonour.

‘No love affair’

At a lawyer’s office in Delhi, one of the sisters allegedly threatened seeks legal help.

She’s petitioned the Supreme Court to order the police to protect her. Since the incident, she says her family’s been abused and threatened by the girl’s relatives and upper caste villagers forcing them to leave the village.

“The whole village knew that my brother and that woman were in love,” she says.

“But her family disapproved. They said ‘you’ve dishonoured us and now we’ll dishonour you’. They’re upper caste, they’re capable of anything.”

They are also concerned for the woman’s safety, since she’s now been sent back to her family.

So back in the village, I visit her home.

Her relatives and village elders are seated inside, some of them smoking.

A large crowd gathers outside as well, curious but also, it feels, in a show of strength.

“It’s all lies,” the woman’s male cousin tells me. “She never went willingly. There was no love affair.”

Eventually I’m finally allowed to meet and speak to her on the roof – but only under the watchful eyes of two of her male relatives.

Just two doors away, I can see the roof of the house belonging to the man she is said to have eloped with. It’s easy to imagine how they met and decided to run away.

But when she speaks to me, I get a completely different version.

“I barely knew the man,” she says her eyes fixed on the ground.

“I didn’t even know his name. He tricked me into going with him saying he’ll get me a job. Then he kept me against my will.”

It’s difficult to judge whether she’s speaking of her own free will but her answers appear a bit rehearsed.

of Sankraud are outraged at the focus on an event they say didn’t happen officer Vidyasagar Misra says the woman went with the man ‘willingly’

But after the global reaction and the Amnesty International petition, extra police have been deployed to avoid any tension.

But they say that the matter has been misrepresented.

Social pressure

“We believe that the woman went with the man willingly,” says Additional Superintendent of Police, Vidyasagar Misra.

“But in our investigations we didn’t find any evidence that a village council meeting took place and order passed against anyone as reported.”

We put this to Amnesty who said they had based their information on the sister’s petition to the Supreme Court.

“We have not been on the ground, we have not visited the village,” Amnesty spokesperson Gopika Bashi told us.

“We still believe that whatever has occurred, regardless of allegations being thrown back and forth that it’s very important that the family is safe and the girls are safe.”

The controversy has shifted the focus, perhaps unnecessarily, on whether the village council passed a brutal order rather than on a young couple facing social pressure because they belong to different castes.

It’s a reality prevailing across rural India and perhaps best expressed in what one village elder in Sankraud told me.

“You people in the city may inter-marry, it’s your custom,” he said, slowly pulling on a hand-rolled cigarette.

“Not here, not in our village. We have our customs and our traditions and we will preserve them, at any cost.”


 Family on Toilet Posters Says ‘Humiliated’ by Government in Tamil Nadu


Tamil Nadu | Reported by J Sam Daniel Stalin, Edited by Sanjeev Singh | Updated: September 01, 2015 16:06 IST

COIMBATORE, TAMIL NADU:  On public facilities in parts of Tamil Nadu, a family radiates happiness from a poster that advertises “Namma Toilets” or Toilets For All.

In reality, what the family feels is closer to shame and humiliation.


The family stays at a slum dwelling in Coimbatore, and its members say they were never asked before their photo was used on the toilet campaign, which talks about a “universal design approach to eradicate open defecation in urban Tamil Nadu.”

The pictures, they say, were taken for a census photograph by civic officials last year.

“We feel ashamed… posters have been put up in Chennai, Ooty, Kunoor, Andhra… all over the place…our children are not able to go to school, my daughter is feeling ashamed because everyone ask her about the posters,” said the woman who is a part of the family. She alleged that their images were used only because they belong to the Dalit or underprivileged caste.

“There should be immediate action…or we will have to go to court against the government,” she said.

The family, and its neighbours in the slum, today went around tearing down the posters put up on civic body-run public toilets in Coimbatore.

They later walked to the district collector’s office with a petition demanding the removal of the posters.

A young girl whose face is also on the poster, alleged discrimination, saying, “These photos of Namma Toilets have been circulated on Facebook and social media…we feel humiliated. Despite the law saying discrimination against Dalits is a crime, the government itself is discriminating.”

The Tamil Nadu government recently launched hundreds of public toilets across the state and the “offending” poster is displayed on most of them.

Ms Gandhimathi, Deputy Commissioner of the Coimbatore Corporation said “We received these seventeen toilets from Chennai through the Deparatment of Municipal Administration. We have informed them. Very soon we would remove those pictures after we get a nod from them”.

The Hindu

 Parents keep wards away from a school



 Row over use of de-silted soil for levelling playground

 People of Pallappaseri, a Dalit village near Thirupullani, refused to send their wards to the local panchayat union elementary school on Monday, protesting against the neighbouring panchayat of caste Hindus objecting to levelling a playground after removing earth from an ‘oorani’ (waterbody) under its jurisdiction.

Though the sprawling oorani, located in front of the school, comes under Utharavai panchayat, it was being used by Devendrakula Vellalar people of Pallappaseri and the problem arose when they de-silted it and used the removed earth for levelling a playground in the school.

As the Utharavai panchayat had obtained a stay order, restraining the people of Pallappaseri from removing earth from the ‘oorani,’ the villagers, on Monday, stopped their wards from attending the school and resolved not to send them till a solution was found. “We have decided not to send our children to the school till the problem was resolved,” V Rajendran, the village leader told The Hindu .

He said that the villagers de-silted the ‘oorani’ using their own money after obtaining permission from the Collector. When they wanted to create a playground for the benefit of the school children, the Utharavai panchayat has stopped the work with an ulterior motive, he alleged.

He said that when school students in others schools wore wrist bands indicating their castes, they imposed strict restrictions and banned students from wearing wrist bands and T- shirts displaying their caste lines. The school, with a Headmaster and two teachers, had a total strength of 34 students and none turned up on Monday.

Ramanathan, Additional Assistant Educational Officer, visited Pallappaseri on Monday and took stock of the situation.

He advised the villagers to allow the students to attend classes from Tuesday. It was not fair to spoil the education of the children when the matter was pending before court, he told them.

The Hindustan Times

 Rethinking reservations: Hardik Patel has reopened the debate


 Hindustan Times  Updated: Sep 02, 2015 01:39 IST

Hardik Patel’s outing in Delhi over the weekend generated tremendous attention. The 22-year-old has been able to muster half a million people in Ahmedabad.

His arrest paralysed the state and led to violence, prompting an appeal for calm from Prime Minister Narendra Modi. While his demand was for including Patels in the OBC category to make them eligible for quotas, Mr Patel made it clear that he was against the reservation regime as a whole.

If it had to exist at all, it should be on economic grounds solely. And if that did not happen, all citizens of the country should be given their share of the reservation. The demand for Patels was only a first step. In this quest, Mr Patel sought to ally with other groups agitating for OBC status, especially the Gujjars and Jats.

He also reached out to groups he considers to be a part of the wider Patel umbrella — especially the Kurmis of Bihar and UP.

Three features of the current political agitation are striking. Irrespective of one’s views on reservation, Mr Patel has struck a chord among young people of ‘general castes’ in and outside of Gujarat.

Sixty-five years after the Constitution enshrined reservations for Dalits and tribals and 25 years after the Mandal report was implemented, a strong and vocal constituency wants a relook at reservations.

Many personally dislike the policy, for having lost out on opportunities. But others still ask: Has it worked? Should it be a permanent feature or should there be a sunset clause? Do OBCs, who exercise political power, really need these provisions?

The second is that Mr Patel’s agitation will give a fresh lease of life to the Gujjar and Jat demand for OBC status. At the same time, Mr Patel’s quest to carve out a national alliance is not going be a smooth ride.

There are conflicts between the Gujjars and Jats. The Kurmis in Bihar already have OBC status. In fact, after some initial bonhomie, Nitish Kumar, a Kurmi, has distanced himself from Mr Patel when the movement’s anti-reservation strain became apparent.

And finally, it is clear that some of Mr Patel’s political positions are dangerous. He has spoken in favour of citizens carrying guns and swords and of aggression as a medium to bring about political change.

Mr Patel’s views on issues that are important even for the politics of identity — for instance, the place of minorities — are not clear. It is time for Mr Patel to think harder and develop his political views in line with the Constitution.

The Hindu

 Better infrastructure sought for institutions of SCs, STs



The activists took out a procession from Rani Channamma Circle to the Deputy Commissioner’s Office, where they staged a demonstration and submitted a memorandum in support of their demands.

They sought release of additional grants to improve infrastructure in all the hostels run by the departments of Social Welfare and Backward Classes & Minorities in the State, improvement of hygiene and cleanliness, clean drinking water facilities, and opening of more hostels to accommodate the students belonging to the economically weaker sections of society.

The activists also demanded subsidies in tuition fees for all the students belonging to poor families, and proper infrastructure in all government colleges.

Drawing attention towards the lack of lecturers in government pre-university colleges, the ABVP urged that all the vacant posts were filled up at the earliest.

News monitored By AMRESH & AJEET

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