Dalits Media Watch – English News Updates 05.12.15


Dalit youth found murdered in Rajasthan, cops suspect honour killing – One india


Special Act to Recover Encroached Temple Lands – The New Indian Express


Top IFS posts still out of bounds for SCs, STs – The Hindu


No Permission for Osmania Beef Fest: Hyderabad DCP – The Indian express


Dalit groups oppose beef, pork festivals on campus – the hindu


70% of farm households own less than a hectare – The Hindu


Kerala HC: Detailed Probe Needed in Kottakambur Land Grab – The New Indian Express


Samiti to take out rally against untouchability – The Hindu


Ahead of Dec 6, Mohan Bhagwat’s comments fuel Opposition tirade on Ram temple – Dna


Salt River to build $60 million auto mall; first on tribal land in U.S. – Azcentrel


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One india

Dalit youth found murdered in Rajasthan, cops suspect honour killing


Jaipur, Dec 4: A 20-year-old Dalit youth was found murdered in Barmer district of Rajasthan with police suspecting it to be a case of honour killing. The body of Ajay Valmiki, a sweeper, was found in a mutilated state behind a government school building on November 28, police said today.

The youth allegedly had an affair with a girl from another caste but he was not in contact with her for the last 2-3 months, they said. The call records of both the victim and the girl are being scrutinised An FIR has been lodged against unidentified persons and few suspects were questioned but no one has been arrested, police said, adding the matter is under investigation. Meanwhile, People’s Union for Civil Liberties state President Kavita Srivastava also alleged it to be a case of “honour killing” and demanded arrest of the accused. “The boy was in relation with a girl of upper caste so he was brutally murdered. It is a case of honour killing. It should be referred to CB-CID and accused should be arrested,” Srivastava said in a statement here.

The New Indian Express

Special Act to Recover Encroached Temple Lands


By Express News Service Published: 05th December 2015 05:54 AM Last Updated: 05th December 2015 06:15 AM

KADAPA:  Endowments minister P Manikyala Rao has informed that as many as 20,000 acres of temple land was encroached by the land grabbers. Their names and details of the land would be displayed at the concerned temples from January 14, onwards, he added.

Speaking to the newsmen, the minister, who participated in various programmes at Proddutur town in the district Friday, asserted that the encroached temple lands would be recovered at any cost.

Similar to RR Act, a special Act would be enacted by revising the existing Endowments Act to recover the encroached temple lands from the grabbers.

As part of government’s initiation on transparency, the names of the temple land grabbers and the land details would also be displayed on the government website, he added.

The tender process for auctioning of shops located on the premises of temples would be completed within two months and the suggestions, guidelines made by seers and pontiffs, during the Dharma Sadas held in Tirumala recently, will be implemented, he said.

“Special groups will be formed for implementation of Hindu rituals. These groups will perform rituals, starting from birth to death, from Ugadi next year. Temples will be constructed in the SC, ST, BC colonies in the villages and people belonging to the concerned communities will be given training in the temple traditions and rituals,” he added.

Rao opined that though there was no dearth of funds for the Vedapatashalas while the problem of shortage of priests was arising due to minimal enrollment of students.

“The endowments department is making arrangements to install a special counter at Sabarimala. In this regard, we have sent a proposal to Kerala government for purchasing 5 acres of land at Sabarimala,” he revealed.

Later, he offered special prayers at Siva temple and inaugurated BJP regional office at Andhra Kesari Road. Ex-minister Katasani Rambhupal Reddy, district BJP president V Sashibhushan Reddy, party senior leaders Harinath Reddy, K Balachandra Reddy, O Srinivasulu Reddy and others accompanied the minister.

The Hindu

Top IFS posts still out of bounds for SCs, STs



Over a third of India’s prestigious foreign service officers are from backward communities, but at the top of the service, officers from these communities are under-represented, new official data shows.


In his written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha from Congress MP from Karnataka B. V. Naik, Minister of State for External Affairs V. K. Singh said on December 2 that of the 718 IFS officers posted in the Ministry’s headquarters and at various missions overseas, 107 were OBCs, 96 were SCs and 54 STs. Nearly 65 per cent, or 461 officers in all, belonged to the “general” category.

At the top end of the service, Ambassadors and High Commissioners from Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Other Backward Classes (OBC) were posted to 26 countries over the last three years, Mr. Singh’s reply said.

In a reply to the Lok Sabha last year, Mr. Singh had said that there were 127 ambassadors, high commissioners and permanent representatives with the rank of ambassador across the world. SC, ST and OBC officers, then, accounted for fewer than one in five of those at the top of the service.

Questions about the representation of people from marginalised communities in the Foreign Service are frequently asked in Parliament. As in the past, the Minister’s reply to a sub-question on the norms for selection to the top posts stated that “Ambassadors and High Commissioners are selected in keeping with the requirements in a particular Diplomatic Mission, and their overall suitability including experience, seniority and regional and professional experience.” However young IFS officers from disadvantaged backgrounds say that they start off with a substantial handicap. “Our English is much worse, we have to do a lot of work on our etiquette and we don’t have the networks and connections that those who come from elite families have,” a young OBC IFS officer said, asking that he not be named.

This glass ceiling exists across India’s administrative services. SCs form fewer than two per cent of secretaries and additional secretaries.

The Indian express

No Permission for Osmania Beef Fest: Hyderabad DCP


HYDERABAD: With the move of some Leftist students’ organisations to hold a beef festival on Osmania University campus triggering tension, the Hyderabad police have decided to act tough against anyone trying to incite trouble.

On Friday, East Zone deputy police commissioner A Ravinder said any events that could disrupt the peace on university campus will not be allowed.

In a statement on Friday, the DCP said, “In order to maintain peace and tranquility on the campus, we have decided not to permit any festivities on the campus. The members of the student community and others are requested to cooperate in this regard.” The statement further added that all possible steps shall be taken to maintain peace and tranquility on the Osmania University campus.

The State Human Rights Commission (SHRC)’s has also directed the city police to submit a detailed report on the matter.

Earlier, on Thursday, the organisers of beef festival had approached the SHRC and sought action against Goshamahal MLA T Raja Singh for threatening to stop the proposed event.

However, the organisers of the beef festivals were in no mood to relent. Despite warning from the university administration and police, they decided to continue with their plans to host the festival. In fact they have even invited chief ministers of Karnataka and Bihar to take part in the event.

Meanwhile, the beef festival has received a mixed response from the other student groups on the campus.

While All India Students Federation (AISF), Progressive Democrative Students Union (PDSU), Students Federation of India (SFI) and Bahujan Students Federation (BSF) extended support to the festival, some Dalit students’ groups and scholars opposed it.

On Friday, some students, representing the Dalita Aikya Karyacharana Samiti, held a press meet to announce that they would stay away from these festivals. They also opposed the idea of celebrating food  festivals on university campus. They felt that universities should not be made venue of political fights.

Jayaram, spokesperson of the Telangana Dalitha Samskhema Sangham, said, “We are here to educate ourselves, not to waste time on political slugfest. Everyone has the right to eat whatever they want. But academic institutes should not be made a political battlefield.”

He claimed that this view were supported by various Dalit groups and scholars who believe in educating the community.

the hindu

Dalit groups oppose beef, pork festivals on campus


In a twist to the ongoing controversy over the competing beef and pork festivals on the Osmania University campus, several Dalit groups and scholars have come out against the conduct of such festivals on the campus, charging that the effort was to defame Dalits.

Dr. Jayaram, spokesperson of the Telangana Dalita Samskhema Sangham said a message was being sent to the outside world through these festivals and the controversies surrounding it that Dalit students were fighting over these issues rather than educating themselves. He said varsities were not restaurants or hotels to conduct such festivals and such events should not find place on the campus.

“We are here to get educated and not find ourselves in such controversies wasting our time and talent,” he told a press conference at the Osmania University on Friday. He said there is a need to respect all the animals and they just can’t be seen as source of food only.

Dr. Jayaram said several Dalit groups have extended their support to their view apart from scholars of various sections. Representatives of other Dalit associations said there were several pressing issues of students on the campus but the intellectuals supporting the beef and pork festivals were silent on them.

Dr. Medi Ramana and Dr. Tirupati were among those present while Dr. Itikyala Purushotham, Assistant Professor in OU extended his support through a letter.

The State Minorities Commission has taken a serious view of the inflammatory comments by BJP legislator Raja Singh on the proposed beef festival in Osmania University, and said they had the potential to create communal disturbances.

The Hindu

70% of farm households own less than a hectare



The average agricultural household in India earns just Rs 6400 a month and owns less than 1 hectare of land, new official data shows.

The National Sample Survey Office on Friday released data from its 2013 sample survey of 35,200 households in 4,529 villages across the country. India had over 90 million agricultural households — households which owned, leased or operated land and made at least Rs 3,000 per year from agricultural activities — with over 460 million persons in all, the survey found, making up 58 per cent of all rural households. Uttar Pradesh alone had a fifth of India’s agricultural households, while the southern states had the smallest shares. The survey found that OBCs constitute over 45 per cent of all agricultural households.

About 70 per cent of agricultural households owned less than one hectare of land, and just 13 per cent owned more than two hectares. Most Scheduled Caste households had very small land holdings. “These results underline the fact that India is a land of marginal and small agricultural households,” the report said. Farmers in West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar and Kerala were most likely to have very small land holdings, with around 90 per cent of households in these States owning less than one hectare.

On average, agricultural households earn just Rs 6,400 per month from all sources. Over 60 per cent of their income comes from cultivation, 22 per cent from wage employment and the rest from livestock and other sources. While all agricultural households derived part of their income from other sources, households with the smallest landholdings were most dependent on wage employment.

The average agricultural household from Punjab earned over five times its counterpart in Bihar.

Agricultural households make just Rs 6,400 per month from all sources

The New Indian Express

Kerala HC: Detailed Probe Needed in Kottakambur Land Grab


By Express News Service Published: 05th December 2015 04:27 AM Last Updated: 05th December 2015 04:45 AM

KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Friday held that a fruitful investigation was needed in the case related to illegal possession of land  by private individuals, including Idukki MP Joice George, in the Kottakambur village.

The court observed that in the case under reference, poor persons belong to the lower strata of society and members of the scheduled caste community were deliberately defrauded.

Justice B Kemal Pasha issued the order on a petition filed by Mukesh of Udumbanchola in Idukki, seeking a CBI probe into the case. The petitioner pointed out that the lands were grabbed from members of the scheduled caste community in the Kottakambur and Vattavada villages in the Devilkulam taluk by certain persons.According to the petitioner, no impartial investigation was conducted as the persons involved in the crime were having political clout, especially because one of the accused is a sitting MP.

Director General of Prosecution T Asaf Ali submitted that the case was being probed by the Munnar Assistant Superintendent of police. The court suggested that the ASP be allowed to continue with the investigation in a fruitful manner.

“Things should be done not in paper alone, but the investigating officer should see that the culprits are booked. The Idukki District police chief shall supervise the investigation,” held the court.

The court also directed the investigating officer to file monthly status reports before it. The first report should be filed on January, 5, 2015, explaining what has been done on the matter and the action taken by the police.

The investigating officer should look into the report by the District Collector.  The report clearly reveals that the lands were shown as properties in the possession of members of the schedule caste community, even in the name of persons aged five and six. Applications were clandestinely filed for obtaining ‘patta’, and within no time final decision was taken and ‘pattas’ were issued. Immediately after availing the pattas, the agents who had grabbed land obtained ‘power of attorneys’ from the illiterate persons.

On the basis of such power of attorneys, the officials concerned managed to execute sale deeds in favour of the persons who had  grabbed the lands, on completion of the third year of the assignment.The court observed that even a person of commonsense could not rule out exploitation and fraud in the matter.  The petitioner pointed out that no proper investigation was happening in the case. The DGP submitted that he himself was not satisfied with the status report of the investigation team.  The complaint filed by the petitioner stated that Joice George and his family members, with a dishonest intention, deceived persons belonging to the scheduled caste community and grabbed large parcels of land by executing sale deeds.


Ahead of Dec 6, Mohan Bhagwat’s comments fuel Opposition tirade on Ram temple


Two days before the Babri Masjid demolition anniversary, the ritualistic annual rhetoric was chanted in Parliament. The comments of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on building Ram Temple at Ayodhya fueled the attempts of the Samajwadi Party and BSP to corner the government.

Opposition parties, with an apparent eye on Uttar Pradesh assembly elections due in 2017, played the minority and dalit cards.

While Samajwadi Party sought a clarification from the government in Rajya Sabha on its stand on constructing the temple, for the BSP, which is trying to consolidate the Muslim and Dalit votes, union minister VK Singh’s comments about dalit children who had died have given ammunition to target the BJP.

The strategy of Mayawati’s BSP on Singh has forced other parties to toe a similar line in the House. Congress is considering boycotting whenever Singh participates in the House till he apologises, according to party sources. The BSP has gone a step further by saying it will not settle for anything less than his resignation.

The House witnessed the competitive politics between the two UP parties– SP and BSP– while the BJP-led government just said it would abide by the court decision on Ram Temple.

“Bhagwat has been saying that Ram Temple will be built. He is appealing people to get ready to sacrifice their lives. The issue is creating communal tension in the country,”SP’s Naresh Agarwal said. He demanded a response from the prime minister on the issue. Members of SP also trooped in the well of the house.

Alleging collusion between government and RSS and seeking action against Bhagwat Ram Gopal Yadav said,”While the matter was for the court to consider, the RSS chief is trying to create communal disharmony which is very dangerous for the country.”

Minister of state for parliamentary affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi assured the house that the government respected court’s decision on the Ayodhya issue, but people had the fundamental right” to iterate commitment for construction of a temple. However, he said, the construction would be according to the court’s decision.

The government, aware that its options were limited, was awaiting the court verdict, sources said. While BJP leaders openly admit that it was on the agenda, there is acknowledgement that the government cannot go ahead with options like a parliamentary resolution or out of court settlement.

Besides, the issue had the potential to derail the government’s agenda, the sources said.

Bhagwat, while addressing a programme in Kolkata to pay tributes to Ram and Sharad Kothari, who were killed in police firing while performing kar seva at Ayodhya in 1990, had said the temple will be built in his lifetime.

The Hindu

Samiti to take out rally against untouchability



The Karnataka Dalit Hakkugala Samiti will take out a rally to register their protest against the practice of untouchability and caste discrimination during its State-level conference to be held in Bengaluru on Saturday.

District convener of the samiti Sunil Manpade addressing presspersons in Kalaburagi on Friday said that the members of the samiti across the state would participate in the rally urging the State government to initiate action against those indulging in such practice.

Survey needed

Mr. Manpade demanded the government conduct a survey of areas where untouchability was still being practised and understand the problems confronting the oppressed sections of society. The government should organise public awareness programmes at regular intervals to abolish untouchability, he said.Even though the Karnataka Scheduled Castes Sub-plan and Tribal –Plan Act were passed in 2013, the government had not yet framed the rules for utilisation of funds released under the programme, he added.

Taking exception to the alleged diversion of funds allocated under the Special Component Plan and the Tribal Sub-plan, Mr. Manpade said that funds should be utilised for the welfare of the downtrodden .


Salt River to build $60 million auto mall; first on tribal land in U.S.


Located next to the towering concrete of a massive aquarium, the lush fields of a gleaming baseball complex and a 15-story resort hotel, the Salt River Reservation’s latest big-ticket development is less glamorous but likely to be just as lucrative.

A $60 million auto mall planned along Indian School Road west of Loop 101 could bring millions in tax revenue to the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community while providing south Scottsdale auto dealers a location upgrade next to one of the region’s busiest traffic corridors.

Tribal leaders joined with national developer Jim Mullin on Friday morning to announce the project, which they said will be the first auto mall on native land in the United States.

The complex, called Scottsdale AutoShow, will cover about 70 acres just east of Scottsdale. Several dealerships are expected to relocate from the McDowell Road corridor in south Scottsdale, an area that has struggled in recent years.

The auto mall is expected to open in January 2017.

Tapping into a bustling traffic corridor

Roughly 247,000 drivers pass through the area at Indian School Road and Loop 101 Pima Freeway each day, making it one of the most visible locations in the Phoenix metro area, said Mullin, who has developed several auto malls in the Valley and across the country.

Of 13 auto-dealer clusters across metro Phoenix, Mullin said his research indicates the new Scottsdale AutoShow should rank in the top three for sales. The relatively close McDowell Road cluster, on the other hand, ranks near the bottom, he said.

“You have proximity to excellent demographics and a freeway that carries that much traffic,” Mullin said. “Then you have Indian School Road, which is a gateway into downtown Scottsdale.”

An auto park is more than a just cluster of dealerships, Mullin said. It’s designed to give customers a sense of place while employing a few key tricks to boost business. New streets at the Scottsdale AutoShow will be graded to climb 34 inches in some places to give drivers a better view of the merchandise beyond the first row of cars, he said.

“Research says you will drive on average 10 to 12 miles to shop for your car,” Mullin said. “But if I put Kia, Nissan, Honda and Ford — all of those into one place, research says you’ll drive twice as far. It provides that regional pull.”

Chapman dealerships the first to commit

Chapman Automotive Group, which operates multiple dealerships near 68th Street and McDowell Road in Scottsdale, plans to move its Ford, Volkswagen, Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep brands to the new park on the

Salt River Reservation.

The company will move about 250 employees and expects to gradually expand in the new location, CEO Eddie Davault said.

“We project an increase in both sales and parts-and-service volume,” Davault said. “Some of our projections show up to a 50 to 60 percent increase.”

Sales tax rates won’t change on tribal lands, meaning the relocation shouldn’t have any impact on vehicle prices, Davault said. The dealerships will pay sales tax to the state and the Indian Community while operating on tribal land, Mullin said.

Courtesy Volvo, a new dealership that is not relocating, also has committed to open in the park, Mullin announced Friday. With Chapman and Courtesy, the auto mall is already half full before construction has begun, he said.

A windfall for the tribal community

Auto malls are some of the most coveted development projects for local governments due to the significant source of sales-tax revenue they provide. For the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, that means more money for infrastructure, children’s programs and medical care.

Delbert W. Ray, Sr., president of the tribal community, said its council remains committed to a long-term diversification of revenue streams, something the auto mall should help achieve.

“We are confident that the Scottsdale AutoShow at Salt River will provide an exciting new reason to come to the East Valley,” Ray said. “This project enhances the vision we had when it came to smart economic development along the (Loop) 101 Pima Freeway.”

Other projects along the Loop 101 corridor on the Salt River Reservation include OdySea in the Desert, TopGolf, Talking Stick Resort and Salt River Fields, spring training home of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies

News monitored by Ajeet and Amresh.


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