Dalits Media Watch – English News Updates 30.10.15

4 get death in triple murder case – Business Standard




Dalit Sena activists begin fast – The Hindu


Dalit priests presiding over UP temple for past 200 years – The Times Of India


CBI files case against 11 for killing two Dalit children in Faridabad – The Hindu


Promotion of general caste employees suffered after SC/ST employees’ demotion: UPSRTC workers – The Times Of India




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Dastak: Violence Against Dalits On The Rise


Business Standard

 4 get death in triple murder case


Press Trust of India  |  Ghaziabad October 29, 2015 Last Updated at 18:57 IST

A special fast track SC/ST court here sentenced four persons to death in a case of triple murder that took place over a property dispute in Sahibabad 11 years ago. 

Additional District and Sessions judge Arun Chandra Shrivastava (special judge) pronounced on Wednesday the death sentence against Arun, Pawan, Chandradev and Dwarika for killing Kaila Devi (50), her son Keshav (25) and their relative Hari (24) on February 10, 2004, said Additional district government counsel (ADGC) Rajiv Kumar. 

Sahibabad police was informed on February 11, 2004 by a passerby Vikas Bajaj who noticed cloth-wrapped three beheaded bodies in a garbage dump in Shalimar Garden area. 

Kumar said that after examining 12 witnesses, judge Srivastava termed the triple-murder as the “rarest of the rare” case in his 32-page ruling while pronouncing death penalty for the four killers convicting them under Section 302 (murder) and Section 201 (destruction of evidence) of Indian Penal Code. The judge also imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh on all of them. 

Kaila Devi and her son Keshav, who belonged to Giridih district of Jharkhand, ran a roadside eatery in Sahibabad and were in possession of a flat built on a plot in Shalimar Garden extension area. 

According to the prosecution, Pawan and Vinod also laid their claim on the same flat and to settle their dispute they planned to eliminate the mother-son duo. 

Pawan and Vinod, along with their accomplices Chandra Dev and Dwarka, barged inside the flat and killed Kaila Devi, her son Keshav and Hari, the prosecution had argued.

Ahmadabad Mirror



By Roxy Gagdekar, Ahmedabad Mirror | Oct 30, 2015, 02.00 AM IST

Alleging atrocity by members of a society, a Buddhist family has vacated their house on New CG Road in Chandkheda and shifted to a relative’s place. However, society members have denied the allegations. Despite a police complaint, Amrutbhadra Maurya is not confident of returning to his C-505 flat at Utsav Residency on New CG Road in Chandkheda. Things have not been the same for the Maurya family since October 9 when he was allegedly punched and beaten with sticks in the parking lot of Block C in his society. “I want the cops to see the CCTV footage to know who started the scuffle. I had injuries to my legs, hands and had to be rushed to Civil Hospital by 108 ambulance,” he claimed.

Maurya, a wedding photographer, had purchased the flat in 2010 through a bank loan. He lives with his wife Suman Maurya,an assistant nursing superintendent at Sola Civil Hospital. They have two sons — the elder one who is a TYBCom student at Navgujarat College, while the younger one is a class 3 student at a private English medium school. After the incident, he filed a police complaint under the Prevention of Atrocities on Scheduled Caste Act at Chandkheda police station the same day against Paresh Shah and others living in the same society.

Shah lives in block C. “I wanted to add three more names living in the same block, but the police did not allow me to do so,” he claimed. There are three blocks – A, B and C – at Utsav Residency. Maurya alleges that only members of block C are discriminatory, while it is not the case with members of block A and B. “If I would have been living in A or B, I would not have faced the same problem,” he claimed.

“A and B blocks are dominated by people from other states, while C has majority of residents from Gujarat.” This is not the first time that he has filed a complaint. He first filed a complaint on June 27, 2013, demanding police protection. Subsequently, two more were filed in 2014 and one in 2015. He is yet to hear from police. Maurya told Mirror that he tried to submit a written complaint to the society chairman Mangal Prajapati, about the discriminatory behavior. But they are not willing to give me a signed copy of my application. However, Mangal Prajapati denied that Maurya had ever come to submit an application. “He feels insecure, fights with everyone and abuses everybody in the society,” Prajapati said.

He condemned the charges of discrimination by any member. “Maurya is lying,” he said. Paresh Shah, named as accused in the FIR, said “Maurya always thinks that people are waiting to beat him. The allegation against me and my family is biased. There are other members of Dalit community in A and B blocks but they have never faced any problem. Why is that only he is targeted?” ACP L Division Arpita Patel who is investigating the case said, “We have served the notice on the accused. We are waiting for the complainant’s medical certificate after which we will file a charge sheet.”

The Hindu

 Dalit Sena activists begin fast



The Dalit Sena began an indefinite relay hunger strike outside the Deputy Commissioner’s office here on Thursday demanding filling of backlog vacancies reserved for people with disabilities in government departments.

It was led by sena’s State general secretary Hanumanth Yelsangi. Their other demands are free bus passes for people with disabilities to travel anywhere in the State.

The sena also demanded pension a hike in the pension for people with disabilities to Rs. 4,000.

The sena sought a hike in the marriage allowance of Rs. 50,000 provided to people with disabilities to Rs. 1 lakh.

The Times Of India

 Dalit priests presiding over UP temple for past 200 years


Faiz Rahman Siddiqui,TNN | Oct 30, 2015, 12.54 AM IST

KANPUR: Amid reports of atrocities against dalits from some parts of the country, a nondescript temple on the banks of the Yamuna in Lakhna town in Etawah district stands out as a ray of hope with its unique 200-year-old tradition. Here, devotees — be they brahmin, thakur, vaishya or from any other caste — bow in front of dalit priests and perform puja and other rituals with their help.

“Since the past 200 years, only dalits have been priests at Kali Mata temple,” said priest Akhilesh Kumar and his brother Ashok Kumar. One of their ancestors, Chotey Lal, was the temple’s first priest.

Brahmins, thakurs and vaishyas in and around Etawah and from as far as neighbouring Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan visit the temple through the year.

“The priests of the temple are revered by all upper-caste people, who offer them garlands and offerings of fruits during rituals,” said Tribhuvan Singh, former block pramukh of the area. “The dalit priest, who sits at the ‘hawan kund’, prays and blesses people by offering ‘prasad’.”

Legend has it that in 1820, local ruler Jaswant Rao built the temple and appointed Chotey Lal as the first dalit priest to show respect towards lower-caste people. “King Jaswant Rao, who got the temple constructed, made it mandatory that the temple priest would only be a dalit,” said Dashrath Singh, a grocery shop owner in Lakhna.

Ram Sumer, a resident, told another tale associated with the custom. “Our ancestors used to tell us that during construction of the temple, King Jaswant Rao had got angry when he saw a group of upper-caste men beat up a dalit labourer, Chotey Lal, for touching the idol that was to be installed in the temple,” he said. “He issued a diktat that only Chotey Lal and his future generations would take care of the temple.”

Residents of Lakhna seek out dalit priests even for weddings, ‘mundan’ (tonsure ceremony) or other rituals. “During these disturbing times, one only needs to look to this 200-year-old place — where priests belonging to the dalit community are held in high esteem — for inspiration,” said Ram Das, another local of Lakhna.

The Hindu

 CBI files case against 11 for killing two Dalit children in Faridabad



A family of four was set afire allegedly by some members of Rajput community

 The Central Bureau of Investigation has registered a murder case against 11 persons accused of burning to death two Dalit children in an arson attack at Sun Perh village in the Faridabad district of Haryana on October 20.

“On the request of the Haryana government, the case has been registered under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code and the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes [Prevention of Atrocities] Act, on the basis of an FIR registered by the local police,” said a CBI official.

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Among those named in the case are Balwant, his son Dharm Singh and nine others from the same community. The local police have already arrested seven accused persons.

On Thursday, a CBI team comprising Central Forensic Science Laboratory officials visited the scene of crime and collected some exhibits for investigations. The team led by a Deputy Inspector-General also took over the case records from the local police.

A Dalit family of four, including two children, was set afire inside its house allegedly by some members of the Rajput community in the early hours of October 20.

Vaibhav (2 years) and Divya (10 months) were declared brought dead at the Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi, while their mother Rekha (22) was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit with serious burns.

Rekha’s husband, Jitender (26), a medical attendant at a hospital, sustained injuries in the hands.

The attack on the Dalit family is being linked to the murder of three members of the Rajput community on October 5 last year. Twelve members of Jitender’s family were named in that case and they are currently in jail.

It has been alleged that Jitender’s family was threatened with dire consequences if it did not leave the village. Jitender, who has been given police security after the last year’s incident, accused the local police of not taking any action on his complaint.

Jitender told the media that he, his wife and two children were sleeping near a window when some persons threw petrol at them from outside and put in a burning matchstick.

The Times Of India

 Promotion of general caste employees suffered after SC/ST employees’ demotion: UPSRTC workers


Ishita Bhatia,TNN | Oct 29, 2015, 11.04 PM IST

Meerut: Over 600 workers of Uttar Pradesh State Road and Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) protested outside the UPSRTC regional manager’s office on Wednesday against the effect that the demotion of a person from the reserved category had on the position that someone from the general category held. 

They handed over their memorandum to UPSRTC regional manager, SK Banerjee. The demands included regularization of 35% contract workers in UPSRTC. Banerjee assured the workers that he would forward it to the concerned authorities for proper action. 

The protestors stated an order by the Supreme Court which was passed in 2012 which said that all SC/ST employees who got promotion on the basis of their caste between 1997 and 2012 were to be demoted. The workers, who protested under Shramik Samaaj Kalyaan Sangh, claimed that the demotions had to be made in such a way that the promotion of general caste officials did not suffer. They alleged that this was ignored, and hence was against the SC order. 

“Soon after the Supreme Court order, various demotions were made but sadly if someone from the other category was holding that position already, the latter was also demoted or his seniority affected. This is against the SC order. The demotions should have been done keeping in mind that the promotion of someone else was not affected,” said Bharat Bhushan, regional president, Shramik Samaaj Kalyaan Sangh, a welfare association of UPSRTC workers. 

The Supreme Court in 2012 had upheld the Allahabad high court’s decision to scrap the policy of reservations in promotions introduced by the government under Mayawati. The Allahabad high court on January 4, 2011 had dubbed it “unconstitutional” and struck it down following at least 50 petitions by employees associations from across the state. Following this, a special leave petition was filed in the Supreme Court against the order by the Bahujan Samaj Party government and some organisations. 

“Due to this demotion process, regional secretary of Bareilly region, Prahlad Singh was also demoted and died due to heart attack. His family should be given a compensation of Rs 5 lakh. In fact, compensation should be given to anyone who’s been demoted in such a way,” said Anil Kumar, regional secretary, Shramik Samaaj Kalyaan Sangh. 




 In a remote corner of Uttar Pradesh, Adivasis and Dalits are standing up against great odds to fight starvation by reclaiming forestland for collective farming

 Sometime in the middle of June this year, journalists from two prominent Hindi dailies went to meet a Dalit marginal farmer, Rama Shanker, in the remote village of Basauli in the south-eastern corner of Uttar Pradesh. As a native of the mineralrich Kaimur region in Sonbhadra, the most ‘backward’ district of India’s most populous state, Shanker is no stranger to rampant corporate, feudal and State violence against Adivasis and Dalits. So, he was not as surprised as an urban middle-class professional would have been when the journalists, who like the majority of Indian journalists were uppercaste men from traditionally landowning families, showed up at his door with an officer of the intelligence wing of the UP Police.

Shanker had just returned from an agitation against Narendra Modi’s controversial Land Acquisition Bill in Lucknow and the journalists were there to threaten him. The police officer was there to add to the seriousness of the threat by his very presence. “Why are you risking your life by fighting the State?” the journalist duo told Shanker. “How dare you challenge the Forest Department and police officials? Do you imagine that by doing all this, Adivasis like you will get to cultivate the forest land you have encroached upon? If you continue with your campaign of encroaching upon forest land, we will make sure that you land in trouble. We can easily slap a number of criminal and forest cases on you. You will spend the rest of your life fighting those cases.”

Then they offered him a monthly “salary” if he “mends his ways and stops mobilising Adivasis and Dalits for land rights”. To drive the point home, the police officer “advised” Shanker to listen to the “learned journalists”.

“Our experience with journalists is no fairy tale,” says Shanker. “Most of them shoot vicious words at us while others who share their feudal moorings threaten us with guns and even kill us.”

Why this fury from the merchants of news? Are they just zealous journalists going out of their way to help the State protect the environment from “encroachers” like Shanker?

“They are threatening me because I have been actively participating in the forest rights movement under the banner of the All India Union of Forest Working People (aiufwp) and the Kaimur Khetra Mahila Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Samiti (kkmkmss), an organisation of Adivasi and Dalit women,” says Shanker. “We are not encroachers. As the Indian State is not keen to implement the Forest Rights Act and protect the rights of the traditional forest-dwelling communities, we have reclaimed around 20,000 hectares of land in the Kaimur belt and have initiated collective or cooperative farming. This has infuriated the dominant classes and the State.”

Thousands of Adivasi and Dalit families have organised themselves into agrarian collectives and are cultivating several varieties of food crops on this reclaimed land. After keeping a part of the produce for self-consumption, the rest is sold in the market and the earnings distributed among the cultivators.

The story of this grassroots experiment opens a window to a world where the battle for survival of the poorest of the poor pits them against a repressive State.

The Kaimur belt is spread across the inter-state border areas of UP, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. Some social scientists have argued that this mineral-rich region was divided among various states so that all of them have a stake in the revenue it generates, and this was done in total disregard of its possible consequences for Adivasi livelihood and identity.

The 29th sc/st Commission report, authored by the then commissioner BD Sharma, acknowledges that the Kaimur belt in UP comprising the districts of Sonbhadra, Mirzapur and Chandauli demonstrates the duplicity of Indian ruling classes when it comes to the question of redistribution of land. The Sharma report documents how feudal landlords and the forest department appropriated Adivasi and other common land by fraudulent practices.

According to the report, the Zamindari Abolition (ZA) Act was violated in every possible manner. For instance, the very notification of the za Act was delayed for several years in Sonbhadra district, benefiting the upper-caste landlords who wielded tremendous influence on political parties and the media. Moreover, conniving with the revenue and forest departments, the landed aristocracy got them to invoke certain draconian provisions of the colonial Indian Forest Act of 1927 to alienate the Adivasis and other traditional forest-dwellers from their land. With shrewd clerical work and brute force, the Forest Department succeeded in turning the dispossessed Adivasis into landless bonded labourers for the landlords.

The appropriated Adivasi land was given to big business groups that invested in such as mining, power generation and cement manufacturing. Apart from cheap land, big business also benefited from cheap Adivasi labour. No wonder the conditions were apt for political mobilisation by the Maoists. However, the State turned the fledgling Maoist presence, too, into another excuse to crack down on all forms of resistance by the Adivasis.

As the Adivasi elders say, Sonbhadra saw Adivasis dying of starvation as well as in fake encounters. Besides the brute force of the State, World Bank-funded programmes such as Joint Forest Management projects were brought in to whittle down the sharp edges of Adivasi assertion.

“The State and its agents are furious that traditional forest-dwellers opted for militant democratic struggles such as reclaiming traditional land in the spirit of the Forest Rights Act (FRA),” says Roma, deputy general secretary of the AIUFWP and a trade unionist who played a major role in mobilising Adivasi women. “Cooperative farming is the Adivasis’ response to the forgotten promise of land reforms and the zeal now being shown by the government to give away land to the corporates. The upper-caste journalists in this belt have always opposed the political assertion of the subaltern Dalits and Adivasis. That is why they are trying to brand them as encroachers.”

News monitored by AMRESH & AJEET


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