Sorake orders survey of reserved land – The Hindu
Trial in Priest Case Now In Dindigul Court – The New Indian Express
Failed by the justice system, how will the Dalits of Laxmanpur Bathe vote? – The Catch
Do not delay appointments of SC, ST candidates seeking caste certificates: DoPT – The Economic Times
Release of Dalits: PT to organise demo in Chennai – One India
Kerala Couple to Marry So Woman Can Contest Local Polls – The Quint
Untouchable Country – The Black “Dalits” of India (Full Documentary)
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Sorake orders survey of reserved land
, Urban Development Minister Vinay Kumar Sorake on Tuesday directed the District Administration to carry out a survey of the land reserved for backward classes, called the “DC manna bhoomi” in Kannada.
He was chairing a district-level Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes meeting at the District Offices Complex auditorium, here.
Responding to complaints of Dalit leaders that the reserved lands were being encroached, Mr. Sorake said the survey would reveal the extent of the land reserved and how much had been encroached.
Efforts would be made to provide land to the landless Dalits. The problems of the SC/ST communities would be solved on a priority, he said.
To a query, the Food and Civil Supplies officer said he would inspect the location of a gas godown in the SC Colony at Padebettu in Padubidri.
To another query, Mr. Sorake said a few petty shops would be provided to members of Dalit communities at the Malpe beach.
Deputy Commissioner R. Vishal said title deeds had been provided to members of the Koraga community to construct houses in 50 cents of land at Padubidri. The remaining members of the community would be provided land around Padubidri, if they were ready to stay there, he said.
Zilla panchayat member Gopi Naik said ST community members were facing problems due to stone quarrying at Karje village. Mr. Sorake directed Department of Mines and Geology officials to review the quarry order and conduct an inquiry into the matter.
Dr. Vishal said Rs. 14 lakh had been allotted for re-installation of the Ambedkar statue in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s Office.
Earlier, the Dalit Sangharsha Samiti leaders demanded that the fishermen community should not be included in the Scheduled Tribes list.
They demanded the renovation of Ambedkar Bhavan in Udupi at a cost of Rs. 1 crore, filling the backlog posts in the district, regularisation of Dalit civic workers employed in the Udupi municipality, and construction of an ‘open cross road’ instead of underpass on National Highway 66 at Kirimanjeshwara village.
The New Indian Express
Trial in Priest Case Now In Dindigul Court
By Express News Service Published: 14th October 2015 05:34 AM Last Updated: 14th October 2015 05:34 AM
MADURAI: The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Tuesday ordered to transfer the trial proceedings of Dalit priest suicide case from the sessions court in Theni to the principal district and sessions court, Dindigul.
Raja, chairman of Periyakulam municipality, and a few others were booked under the provision of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act for allegedly abetting the suicide of Dalit priest S Nagamuthu.
Meanwhile, the victim’s father N Subburaj filed a petition before the bench, seeking the transfer of the trial to the district session’s court, Erode, or any other competent court. Petitioner’s counsel T Lajapathi Roy told the court that the atmosphere prevailing in Theni was not conducive to conduct the trial, as the main accused was the chairman of Periyakulam Municipality. Raja’s counsel R Gandhi contended that the petition did not submit any valid reason for seeking transfer of the trial.
After listening to the argument, judge R Mala directed the trial to be transferred to the principal district and sessions judge, Dindigul. She also stated that the case should be disposed of within the next four months.
EX-CPI Man SEEKs CourT REPRIEVE
Madurai: Former CPI district secretary of Sivaganga and six others have approached the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court seeking setting aside the lower court order convicting and sentencing them to triple life sentence for allegedly murdering an AIADMK functionary and two others at Ochaikulam in 2012. The former secretary V Arjunan, his son Suresh and five others submitted that the prosecution case was full of contradictions. They said the case was transferred to CB-CID to mislead the investigation.
Failed by the justice system, how will the Dalits of Laxmanpur Bathe vote?
|14 October 2015
- On 1 December, 1997, 58 Dalits were massacred, allegedly by the Ranvir Sena
- All the accused were acquitted in 2013
- Dalits of Laxmanpur Bathe still wait for justice
- No political party is willing to raise the massacre as a political issue
- Even the families of the victims don’t think it’s a political issue
- The village still awaits electricity and irrigation
More in the story
- Why didn’t the Dalits of Laxmanpur Bathe join the Naxalite movement?
- How caste inequality is embedded in the very geography of Bihar
The brutal killing of 58 Dalits in Bihar’s Laxmanpur Bathe in on 1 December, 1997 left an indelible scar on the conscience of the nation. However 18 years later, the massacre seems to have lost its political relevance.
Not only the Laxmanpur Bathe massacre, but similar killings at Shankar Bigha and Bathani Tola have also receded into oblivion in the political landscape of Bihar.
The courts have subsequently released all the accused for lack of evidence. Yet, no party wants to make it an election issue.
These three villages – Laxmanpur Bathe, Shankar Bigha and Bathani Tola – are situated within a radius of 60-70 kilometres.
When the massacres took place, every leader in Bihar tried to take up the cause of the victims and project himself as a champions of social justice. But when the accused were acquitted, no leader of any significance felt the need to visit the area, even during elections.
Why open up old wounds?
Even the locals want to bury their painful past.
“What is the point in opening up old wounds? Our village still has no electricity, no irrigation facilities, the paddy crop gets destroyed almost every year,” says 21-years-old Mahesh Rajbanshi, whose five family members were killed by the Ranvir Sena.
65-years old Chameli Rajbanshi narrates how six of his family members were murdered that night. He points towards a pit and recalls how he saved himself by jumping into it.
So who killed his family? Nobody, if one goes by the court verdict.
“People from the village were involved in the massacre. But the accused Bhumihars gathered an army of lawyers against us,” answers Chameli.
The wait for justice is still not over for many like Chameli. They have placed their hopes in the Supreme Court.
Situated on the banks of the Son river, Laxmanpur Bathe is a Dalit majority village, as are Shankar Bigha and Bathani Tola.. On the other side of the river lies the Arrah region, the stronghold of the Ranvir Sena.
The assailants knew the village’s geography on the back of their hands. They came from the side of the river and got away with ease after killing 58 Dalits, many of them infants.
Geography of marginalisation
The geography of Bathe also seems to be mocking all the claims of social justice in Bihar. Dalits were traditionally made to stay on the southern side of villages in Bihar. The idea was that the wind touching Dalit households should not pass through upper caste settlements. To this day, Dalits continue to live on the southern side in Bathe. The Dalits here are from different sub-castes – Chamars, Pasis, Dusadhs, and Mallahs.
Even the approach road towards the Dalit section of the village shows no signs of progress. One has to walk through a narrow alley, which later becomes little more than a muddy trail.
Compare this to the northern side of the village, where a broad metalled road takes you to the Bhumihar and Rajput settlements.
No party wants to speak about Laxmanpur Bathe massacre. Even the victims’ families have lost hope
Even though the muddy path and the metalled road converge at the village’s backyard, the hearts of the Dalits and the upper castes have never reconciled.
Unlike many other parts of Bihar, land has never been the cause of the schism between upper and lower castes in Laxmanpur Bathe. The Dalits of the village never became part of Naxal outfits which took over the fields belonging to the upper castes. Then why were they targeted so brutally by the Ranvir Sena?
“The lower caste people were always dependent on our lands. Why would they try to occupy it? The only reason for the incident was that some youth of the village were radicalised by the Ranvir Sena,” says 35-year old Nripendra Kumar, a Bhumihar. His uncle was among those accused of being involved in the massacre.
Ram Bihari, confirms Nripendra’s version.
“Some villagers gave information to the Ranvir Sena. The killings would not have been possible without their help,” he explains.
The Patna High Court acquitted all the 26 accused for lack of evidence on 1 October, 2013. Out of these, 15 were from Laxmanpur Bathe itself.
22-year-old Mahesh Rajbanshi was barely 5 when the massacre took place. Five of his relatives were killed that night. He was shot in the foot, but survived the wounds. After the High Court verdict, Rajbanshi has lost all hope of justice.
“They are powerful people. They hired a battery of 20 lawyers to plead their case in court. We relied solely on the public prosecutor. They either bought witnesses or threatened them,” he says.
So did he ever think of taking revenge on his own?
“They are powerful people. How can poor people like us stand in front of them,” answers Mahesh.
“We are a downtrodden lot. Our only hope lies with the Supreme Court,” he adds.
This will be the first Assembly election after the High Court’s verdict. But even then no political party is taking up cudgels on behalf of the victims.
RJD president Lalu Prasad has openly said that these elections are a battle between upper and lower castes. Yet even he doesn’t mention Laxmanpur Bathe.
Incidentally, he was the chief minister when the massacre took place.
The only party that talks about the massacre is the CPI(ML), but its presence is limited.
Driven to hopelessness, even the Dalits of Bathe no longer see it as a major political issue. Like lakhs of people in Bihar, they are waiting for electricity to reach their village. Even though many villages have been electrified under Nitish Kumar, Bathe continues to remain deprived.
After the massacre, Lalu had promised to provide 5 diesel generators to the village. The generators never arrived.
Even though there are many canals nearby, the village has no irrigation facilities.
There are no medical facilities either and the villagers have to go to Kaler block even for the treatment of minor ailments.
Laxmanpur Bathe may have been betrayed in its pursuit of justice till now. But at least it deserves the basic amenities that have eluded the village since independence.
The Economic Times
Do not delay appointments of SC, ST candidates seeking caste certificates: DoPT
By PTI | 13 Oct, 2015, 06.24PM IST
NEW DELHI: The appointment of candidates of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in central government departments should not be delayed for want of caste certificates and appointing ministry should seek report in this regard directly from the concerned District Magistrates.
The move comes after instances were noticed by the Centre where the appointments of the candidates belonging to Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Other Backward Classes (OBC) communities are with-held or delayed due to pending caste certificates verification.
Therefore, in the situation where a candidate belonging to a SC, ST and OBC is unable to produce a certificate from any of the prescribed authorities, he or she may be appointed provisionally on the basis of whatever prima-facie proof he or subject to his or her furnishing the prescribed certificate within a reasonable time, an order issued by Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said reiterating its earlier directive.
If there is genuine difficulty in his or her obtaining a certificate, the appointing authority should itself verify his or her claim through the District Magistrate concerned, it said.
The DoPT had earlier written to Chief Secretaries of all states and union territories for streamlining the system of verification of caste certificates so that unscrupulous non-SC, ST or OBC persons are prevented from securing jobs meant for SCs, STs or OBCs by producing false certificates.
“Timely and effective verification of caste status is necessary so that the benefit of reservation and other scheme of concessions etc. go only to the rightful claimants,” the DoPT said.
Release of Dalits: PT to organise demo in Chennai
on Oct 17 Updated: Tuesday, October 13, 2015, 15:35 [IST]
Coimbatore, Oct 13: Seeking release of over 60 Dalit activists lodged various jails in Tamil Nadu on ‘false and foisted charges’, Puthiya Tamizhakam on Tuesday said it would organise demonstration in Chennai on October 17. A decision to this effect was taken at A meeting of PT’s district, zonal and Urban secretaries here today, Puthiya Tamizhakam founder president and MLA, Dr K Krishnasamy said. The meeting condemned the detention of party organisor in Ramanathapuram District S Kathiresan under National Security Act on October 9, Krishnasamy said. The reason was he had questioned police removing a poster of Immanuel Sekar on Sep 10 and also seeking alternate place for those who were evicted from an encroachment. Alleging that there has been an increase in violence against Dalits and downtrodden, particularly in southern districts of Tamil Nadu,Krishnasamy demanded to know if police were trying to ‘satisify and appease’ a certain community by unleashing atrocities against the downtrodden, based on caste and community. The demonstration is being organised to condemn police action against Dalit community, against whom false charges are being framed, he said. The PT also plans to stage a demonstration in Delhi, the date of which yet to be fixed, to draw the attention of Union home minister to these atrocities, Krishnasamy said. PTI
Bihar polls: Once locked in bloody feud, upper castes, Dalits sail same boat
Posted on: 06:49 PM IST Oct 13, 2015 IST
Jehanabad: Having been locked in a bloody conflict in the 1990s, which saw a string of massacres in Bihar’s Jehanabad district, the landed forward castes and deprived Dalits appear to be sailing on the same boat in the state assembly polls.
The coming together of BJP, largely considered a party of upper castes and baniyas, which are OBCs in the state, and former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular), has made possible what was unthinkable a few years ago.
Politically more conscious and well-off Bhumihars, staunch supporters of BJP, are taking a lead in rallying around those from the Scheduled Castes, particularly the Mahadalits owing allegiance to Manjhi, as they work together to ward off a spirited challenge from the alliance led by OBC satraps Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and RJD’s Lalu Prasad.
HAM(S) is contesting two of the three constituencies in the district, while another NDA partner RLSP is fighting the third. Manjhi is in the fray from his traditional seat of Makhdumpur in the district.
Politics of caste identity, which had weakened over the last 10 years of Kumar’s rule, is back with a vengeance in the area with the rival alliances striving to get their caste equations right.
“BJP’s agenda of development is only a mask. Its real intention is to reverse the gains made by the poor and bring back the same Bihar where a small minority lorded over the deprived majority. We are warning people against its agenda,” former MLA Munilal Yadav of RJD says, as he harks back to pre-90 era of ‘upper caste’ domination.
His argument does not seem to be cutting much ice with the very same people who were the worst victims of this domination.
“Hum sab Manjhi ji ke saath hain, (we are all with Manjhi),” say Dinesh Manjhi and Dharmendra Manjhi in Purna Vihar village, sitting bare-chested by the roadside and trying to catch fish from a small pool.
Yadavs, the bedrock of Lalu’s support base, constitute the largest voting bloc in the district followed by Bhumihars. “We are with development as well as our casteman,” says Ashok Yadav in Ghoshi, minutes after Lalu addressed a public meeting. “Nitish Kumar is for development and Lalu is our leader,” he says.
RSS trying to take the country back to Chaturvarnya: CPI
The Sangh Parivar and other communal organisations are trying to take back the country to the age of Chaturvarnya, Communist Party of India (CPI) State secretary Kanam Rajendran has alleged.
The CPI leader was addressing a public function held in connection with the first death anniversary of former Janaseva Dal district captain A.M. Aji at Elanthoor, near here, on Tuesday.
Kerala had witnessed a mass movement seeking temple entry for Dalits and other backward communities. Many reformation leaders and politicians, too, supported that popular movement, he said.
Mr Rajendran said social reformers like Chattambi Swami, Sree Narayana Guru, and Ayyankali were among those who have played key roles in Kerala’s social reformation movement.
It was Communist leader P. Krishna Pillai who played a key role in the historic Vaikom Satyagraha.
Mr. Pillai, along with the Communist leader A.K. Gopalan, led the Guruvayur temple entry movement, he said.
Mr Rajendran said it was an irony that the Gujarat government had decided not to teach the biography of B.R. Ambedkar who wrote the Constitution of India.
The CPI leader said the Sangh Parivar was of the view that reservation benefits of the Dalits and other deprived sections of the society should be stopped.
Mr Rajendran alleged that those Dalit-backward community leaders, who joined hands with the BJP and the Sangh Parivar, were trying to protect their business interests.
The CPI district secretary, A.P. Jayan, presided over the meeting. K.R. Chandramohan, CPI State committee member; Mundappally Thomas, State control commission member; and M.V. Vidyadharan, State council member; also spoke.
Kerala Couple to Marry So Woman Can Contest Local Polls
The News Minute
First Published: Today, 3 hours ago
A gram panchayat election in Kerala is a classic case of just how many centuries India lives in simultaneously.
Sample this — the Communist Party of India (CPI) is supposed to be anti-feudal. In a decision that flies in the face of anything ‘anti-feudal,’ it has told a young man to get married, in order to fulfill a promise made to his father about giving the young man a party ticket for the panchayat elections.
Gram panchayat elections in Kerala are to be held in November and VR Rajesh of Neduvathoor village is busy killing two birds with one stone – inviting people for his wedding, while simultaneously canvassing for votes.
Killing Two Birds With One Stone
Neduvathoor gram panchayat is a CPI stronghold and the party appears to be of the view that it will win regardless of who the candidate is.
The party had promised Rajendran, a local farmers’ leader, that his son Rajesh would be given the party ticket – unofficially of course – in the seat reserved for Scheduled Castes.
But when elections were announced, the party was in for a shock: the ward had been reserved for Scheduled Caste women.
The CPI then had a brainwave: Rajesh’s wife could contest the election. But the bright idea immediaely hit a roadblock: Rajesh is a bachelor. So, the logical conclusion was for Rajesh to find a wife.
Loyal footsoldier of the party, Rajesh bent backwards to comply with the party’s diktat.
The party asked me to get married. My only condition to the prospective bride’s parents was that she should be willing to contest elections. —Rajesh
He soon zeroed in on a woman named Mahija. The pair is now going door-to-door to invite people for their wedding on October 19. They are also, of course, canvassing for votes for the bride-to-be.
Rajesh and Mahija are not marrying for love or respect, nor is she contesting the elections to increase women’s representation in politics. The whole thing has come about because of a feudal promise made by a patriarchal party to the family patriarch.
News monitored by AMRESH & AJEET