Dalit ladies stand out in statute storm – The Telegraph
– Selja caste finger & Maya case attack dominate House debate
Dalit community centre attacked in land-grab bid – The Times Of India
Police inspector accused of assaulting three Dalit youths – The Hindu
Concern over rising atrocities against women, Dalits – The Hindu
Fishermen, Valmikis may get quota of their choice – The Times Of India
Mahapanchayat in Kalia’s native village on Dec 6 – The Tribune
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Dalit ladies stand out in statute storm
– Selja caste finger & Maya case attack dominate House debate
Our Special Correspondent
New Delhi, Nov. 30: Former Union minister Kumari Selja today triggered a parliamentary fracas by complaining about being asked her caste at a Gujarat temple and tying this to then chief minister Narendra Modi’s governance model.
Several BJP members contested the claim by the Dalit MP from the Congress, who took offence to what she construed as an attack on her integrity.
“I’m a Dalit but a Hindu. As cabinet minister, I had gone to Gujarat. When I visited Bet Dwarka temple for offering prayers, a priest there asked me my caste. This is the Gujarat model of development,” Selja said during the Rajya Sabha discussion on “Commitment to the Constitution”.
“I have visited other temples elsewhere in the country as minister but was never asked this question. I’m not saying all Dalits get entry into all temples elsewhere, but as minister I did.”
The dig at the “Gujarat model of development” had not just BJP members from the state protesting but also the Union law minister.
“I have visited the Dwarka temple several times but was never asked this question,” Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
A Congress member countered: “Who will ask you that question – you are not a Dalit.”
As the two sides shouted at each other and Selja contended that her integrity had been questioned, leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad intervened.
“The minister says no one enquired about his caste at Dwarka. She says she was (asked). It is more objectionable why this question was even posed to her.”
BJP members kept heckling her but Selja refused to yield, adding in a quivering voice that she was being humiliated in the House.
Azad again intervened by suggesting there was no harm in the BJP members apologising to her since she felt humiliated.
While junior parliamentary affairs minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said there was no intent to humiliate Selja, his senior M. Venkaiah Naidu said that if the Chair found anything wrong in the records, the party would take action.
Through the din, Selja could be heard saying: “If you had objected to what happened to me, I would have been happy; but instead you questioned me.”
As the heckling subsided and she resumed, Union finance minister Arun Jaitley stepped in.
“It is a serious matter that a cabinet minister should be treated like this,” he said. “I would like to know what you did afterwards. Did you write to the chief minister or decide to swallow it and do nothing about it?”
Selja shot back: “I choose not to answer that.”
She added that four ministers had interrupted her today.
“This is an example of their dual face. If you truly believed in B.R. Ambedkar (in whose honour the discussion was being held), then you would not talk like this. Why are you so defensive and why is the leader of the House behaving like a lawyer here?” she said.
“You should have criticised the fact that such a question was asked instead of criticising me. This shows your mindset; it shows that you just wanted to score political points by calling this special session on Ambedkar.”
She listed the recent attacks on Dalits but clarified that this had happened under the watch of other governments too.
As she signed off, minister Thaawar Chand Gehlot, a Dalit, said he had never been asked his caste at the temple.
Earlier, another Dalit, Mayawati, had accused both the BJP and the Congress of framing her in false cases to either remove her from power or keep her away from it.
Mayawati too questioned the Modi government’s commitment to the Constitution, citing its failure to act against Assam governor P.B. Acharya for his recent statement about Hindustan being for Hindus or against Union minister V.K. Singh.
After the murder of the two Dalit children in Haryana, Singh had said: “If someone throws stones at a dog, the government is not responsible.”
The Times Of India
Dalit community centre attacked in land-grab bid
Sanjay Yadav,TNN | Dec 1, 2015, 02.01 AM IST
GURGAON: Tension gripped Amanpura colony in Gurgaon on Sunday when a group of men attacked a community centre set up by Dalit residents of the village, demanding that the centre and the land on which it stands be handed over to them.
An FIR has been registered against 10 people but no arrests have been made yet.
Police said the men, from another caste, broke into the Dr B R Ambedkar Bhawan Samiti in an attempt to demolish the centre and acquire the plot illegally. The attackers belong to the same village and even pulled down the inauguration stone bearing Ambedkar’s name.
The plot of land is registered under the Ambedkar Samiti’s name. The centre, which is over 10 years old, has been hosting functions and even sewing classes for villagers. However, the group of attackers fled when Bheem Singh, the president of the centre, informed police. Singh alleged that the group had come to take over the centre illegally. He added that the same people had attacked the centre on October 8, but despite informing police, no action had been taken.
“A complaint was registered with Sector 5 police station on October 8 and a complaint was also sent to the CM window but police did not take any action against the culprits, who again tried to grab the land, which is around 1500 square yards. The accused not only abused the president using caste words, but also threatened to kill him,” said Samiti member Jai Bhagwan, along with Ran Singh and Mukesh. They claimed the miscreants were aiming to scare the committee members by threatening them and demanding that they clear out the building and hand over the plot to them.
Sector 5 police have lodged an FIR against 10 people identified as Raju, Sanjay alias Ganja, Zile, Samya, Ajeet, Raj Singh, Jassu cable operator, Jashmer and Bablu under sections 147-149 (rioting), 427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of Rs 50), 506 (threatened to kill) of the IPC and Section 3 of SC/ST act of 1989. “The case has been registered and is specially being investigated by ACP (Udyog) Inderjeet Singh. The accused will be arrested after cops verify their involvement,” said Hawa Singh, ACP (crime), Gurgaon.
Police inspector accused of assaulting three Dalit youths
Alleging that Police Inspector R. Venkatesh of Belur assaulted Dalit youths, members of the Dalit Sangharsh Samiti and Pragatipara Sanghatanegala Okkoota staged a protest outside the Deputy Commissioner’s office here on Monday. The protesters said that Mr. Venkatesh assaulted three persons for complaining against him with A. Manju, Minister in-charge of Hassan district, during a meeting at Belur.
Mr. Manju had convened a meeting at Belur on November 8, when Chikka Medur Gram Panchayat member Babu, Dalit Sangharsh Samiti leader B.L. Theertha Kumar and Bantenahalli Gram Panchayat member D.P. Anand had alleged that Mr. Venkatesh was indulging in corruption and collecting bribes from poor people, who were procuring sand for construction purposes.
“When we were returning to our villages after meeting the Minister, Mr. Venkatesh and his staff stopped us near Veerashaiva Kalyana Mantap and assaulted us. They followed us, when we reached the hospital for medical attention,” said Mr. Kumar.
The protesters said that the official had demanded residents of Govindahalli Rs. 1 lakh for releasing a tractor seized by the police for transporting sand, illegally. The matter was settled for Rs. 56,000. “We had brought this incident to the notice of the Minister. The official abused us in foul language and took the names of our castes,” said Mr. Kumar.
Meanwhile, they have filed a complaint with the Belur police against Mr. Venkatesh. However, the complaint had not been registered. The protesters urged the district administration to suspend the police officer and initiate appropriate action against him.
Deputy Commissioner Umesh H. Kusugal received their memorandum and assured proper action in the matter.
Concern over rising atrocities against women, Dalits
Both Union and State governments have failed to check the menace: CPI(M)
Leader of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) G.V. Srirama Reddy on Monday emphasised the need for initiating measures to prevent the incidence of atrocities against women and Dalits.
He was speaking after inaugurating a seminar on Dalits’ Rights, at Silver Jubilee park on Bengaluru-Mysuru highway here.
“Every day, we hear reports of attacks on women and Dalits from different parts of the country. The Union and State Governments have completely failed to check such atrocities against the exploited and weaker sections of society,” Mr. Reddy said. According to him, the BJP government at the Centre had failed to ensure action in such cases.Mr. Reddy, a former MLA from Bagepalli, urged Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to initiate steps to ensure protection of women, Dalits and other deprived communities.
Convention from Dec. 5
Dalit leader B.S. Chandrashekar said that a convention on Dalits’ Rights would be held at Bengaluru on December 5 and 6. CPI (M) members and Dalit activities from across the district attended the programme, which had been organised by the Dalits’ Rights Committee.
Krishna, Gopalakrishna and others were present.
The Times Of India
Fishermen, Valmikis may get quota of their choice
TNN | Dec 1, 2015, 10.37 AM IST
VIJAYAWADA: With a tentative decision being taken recently to include Kapus in the list of backward classes, the state government seems to be inclined to heed similar demands. Fishermen have been clamouring for inclusion among the scheduled castes and Valmiki community for conversion to scheduled tribe status.
The cabinet meeting on Monday resolved to consider different social groups including BCs and take another look at their need for fresh reservations, said finance minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu at a media briefing. He explained that some sections had lost out on quota benefit over the course of time despite being at the receiving end of inequality.
The government has received requests from the sub-groups within the BCs for a re-categorisation so that certain backward sub-castes would receive their due in the quota, he said.
Now that a Kapu corporation is on the anvil after the BC commission first looks into the community’s concerns, the cabinet decided to appoint a retired high court judge as chairman of the commission apart from chairman and directors of the corporation at the earliest. The government would frame the terms of references for the BC Commission with a deadline to accomplish its task within nine months. Stating that a corporation has been established for the welfare of Bramhins too with a corpus of Rs 50 crore, the minister said the government was committed to create a level playing field for all the economically backward people and take all of them on board in pursuit of development.
The Kapu corporation would receive an initial grant of Rs 100 crore to take up welfare activities. Ramakrishnudu said the government would let the BC commission decide on the extent of reservations to be set apart for Kapus in education and jobs after examining the issue in-depth. He exuded confidence that the government would overcome all the legal hurdles in implementing reservations for the Kapus.
To a query about the objections raised by the TDP Telangana unit leader R Krishnaiah over the move for BC status for Kapus, Ramakrishnudu replied: “I belong to the backward classes. Interests of all BCs will be safeguarded while accommodating the Kapus and there should not be scope for misgivings in any quarter.”
When he was reminded of the Supreme Court ruling against exceeding the reservation limit, he said the government would take steps to let the job quota for Kapus overcome all the legal hurdles. ” Reservations in Tamil Naidu is much above the 50 per cent mark. A Rajasthan assembly resolution which seeks to take the quota for all the deserved communities beyond the stipulated limit has been sent to the Centre for approval,” he recalled.
Ramakrishnudu asserted that the Andhra Pradesh government was empowered to take a call on the demands relating to reservations within its ambit.