Dalits Media Watch – English News Updates 15.12.15


Have direct Punjab Govt. to show no mercy to guilty in Dalit case: Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi – The free press


Caste Bias in Giving Away Aid to Flood-hit, Says TN Dalit Forum – The new Indian express


From Abohar to Shakur Basti: Whom are you going to hold responsible? – Merinews


Poet pens thumping poll win – The lelegraph


Punjab Dalit ‘atrocities’ echo in RS, Oppn flays Badal govt – The tribune


Petition seeks to trace ‘missing’ toilets – The siasat daily


The free press

Have direct Punjab Govt. to show no mercy to guilty in Dalit case: Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi


New Delhi : Amid the furore over the Punjab Dalit brutality issue, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Tuesday said that politicizing this issue was pointless and assured that the state government had been directed to show no mercy to the guilty.

“The accused in the Punjab case will be punished. The state government is taking action, people are also getting arrested and FIR’s are being lodged.

We strongly condemn what happened in Punjab and have told the state government that no one should be spared,” Naqvi told ANI.

He asserted that politicizing the incident was futile as the Punjab government was working effectively and swiftly in the case.

The Congress has been vehemently protesting in the Rajya Sabha against the Dalit killings in Punjab and is demanding the dismissal of the Punjab government.

Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said these incidents showed the prevalence of “jungle raaj” in Punjab. He said what was happening was worse than terrorism and there was no law and order in the state.

The new Indian express

Caste Bias in Giving Away Aid to Flood-hit, Says TN Dalit Forum


CUDDALORE: The Intellectual Circle for Dalit Action (ICDA) alleged there was discrimination in relief to dalits in flood-hit Cuddalore district and demanded the Adi Dravidar Welfare Department included in disaster management.

The ICDA did field inquiries in 18 villages and found that dalits were most affected but had not received adequate assistance.

Anbu Selvam, who was in the field inquiry, said, “Just as the caste-based discrimination during relief distribution after disasters like the tsunami (2004) and Cyclone Thane (2011), this time too dalits and Irula tribes faced discrimination. We did not find a single relief camp where both dalits and non-dalits were sheltered and it was discrimination.”

The team had visited villages like Pudhuchathiram, Mission Street in Parangipettai, Thondamanatham, Onankuppam, Boothampadi, Pottaveli, Kalkunam, Karunguzhi and some other villages in Cuddalore district. The team had also visited some of the areas in towns.

“In most villages, relief materials could reach dalit villages only after overcoming the hurdles created by the dominant castes and local powerful politicians as both prevented or delayed the distribution. Moreover, unaffected dominant caste villagers cornered all the materials,” Selvam added.

ICDA also made suggestions in its report. It said “Landless farm labourers have not got any work for almost 40 days and they also do not foresee regular work for the next 6 months, so the government should fix a minimum relief amount and distribute it properly to them. Workers were brought to flood-hit areas from all over the state to remove garbage and clear the mess. Instead the government should encourage the affected citizens, irrespective of caste, to come out and involve in cleaning.”

ICDA also demanded the Centre-sponsored district level untouchability-removal programmes be conducted and schemes should be implemented strictly.


From Abohar to Shakur Basti: Whom are you going to hold responsible?


I often make notes and keep the snippets that I hear or read in private gathering, from newspapers and magazines. Following is one such from that stock and it is not my own work:

“Dalits are the Untouchables of India. They have been discriminated since the process of Sanskritization started around 3500 years ago after the defeat of the Indus Valley people against the Aryan invaders.

These Aryans had a belief system, which was based on naturalistic gods of the Central Asian steppes. They ate beef, sacrified horses and drank Soma. These Aryans tried to impose their belief system on the Harappan people, which they largely resisted. During the next 1500 years the Aryans mixed with the local Indians and they assimilated to the local cultures and traditions. Some elements of the Aryans survived though, like the Indo-Aryan speech and the caste system. The caste system was developed to establish an apartheid regime over the Indian people and 2000 years ago this system has been formally written down in several religious text. These texts spread all over India and became popular among the ruling clans to cement their powers. They conspired with the Indo-Aryans to enslave the entire Indian population and they succeeded.”

And the reason I’ve reproduced it is the following tragedy that is fresh as the wounds of victims. The news has appeared on all new news channels.

In the Abohar region of Punjab, the limbs of two Dalit men were chopped off on Saturday at a farmhouse allegedly owned by a leader of the ruling Akali Dal. Bhim Tank’s hands and legs were cut off and he died on the way to the hospital while another man named Gurjant Singh lost his one hand and was admitted in a serious condition in Amritsar.

The Akali Dal leader has allegedly called him to his farmhouse in order to make a deal in the issue, but some people attacked both of them and cut off their hands and feet. They were accused of rape. The Punjab Police have registered a case against 11 people including Akali Dal leader Shiv Lal Doda and his nephew. There has been the uproar in the Rajya Sabha over the incident. According to Ghulam Nabi Azab, the leader of Congress Party in Rajya Sabha, “The Punjab coalition government is the government of drug and alcohol mafia. There is no law and order.”

Those politicians aka politicians who were callingBihar a Bimaru State and claimed that Jungle Raj was prevailing they are ruling the State of Punjab.

On 13th Dec, 2015, in Chandigarh, a 14-year-old school girl was crushed to death by a speeding bus in Punjab’s Muktsar. And the police, when they came to take the body for postmortem, dragged away the body instead of carrying it off in a stretcher, the villagers have alleged.

The bus, which belonged to a transport company allegedly owned by Akali leader Hardeep Singh, popularly known as Dimpy Dhillon, was set on fire. The girl Arshdeep Kaur was returning home from school when the bus hit her near Channu village on Giddarbaha-Lambi road. After the incident, the family and the villagers had refused to cremate the body, blocked the road and sat on dharna, demanding the police lodge a case against the bus owner.

But instead, the police cracked down on the protesters. They opened fired at the crowd, which resisted police action. The girl’s body, the villagers said, was later dragged away by the policemen as they forcibly took it for postmortem. They also alleged that it was the police and not locals who set fire to the bus. “First they tried to snatch the body and dragged it for about 150 meters and when we resisted, the police opened fire,” said one of the villagers, Gurshiminder Singh.

The police have denied the charge. “The allegations of police excesses are baseless. We didn’t use force on the villagers, the driver has been booked… we are investigating the matter,” said KS Chahal, a senior officer of Muktsar.

From Mumbai, another state ruled by BJP / Shiva Sena, we are watching on TV the brutal murder of famous female artist and her lawyer.

The bodies of Hema (43) and Bhambhani (65) were recovered from a drain in suburban Kandivali on Saturday night. The bodies were stuffed in two cardboard boxes. Their hands and feet tied with ropes. Hema and Bhambhani were missing since Friday evening.

And if that was not enough, in Delhi, the Railways authorities who follow the orders of Central Government that is run by RSS / BJP, razed around 500 jhuggis at Shakur Basti. It was done when the darkness had descended over the poor neighbourhood and night temperature had dropped to 14 degrees.

The denizens of the unfortunate basti were wondering – “There is nowhere we can go. Can they at least tell us where to go? Most of us work in the cement factories. We have lived here for 15 years and they suddenly tell us to gather all we’ve got and leave in half a day; in this weather too.”

A six month old Ruqqaya or Rukhsana, unaware of what the hell is going to let loose upon her family, got killed of suffocation as the bale of clothes fell over her in the mayhem. The authorities razed the shanty town. The father of the toddler who died told a PTI reporter that his child would have been alive had officials been generous and given them some time to leave.

According to the mother of the dead baby – “When officials came knocking, we quickly began to pack our belongings. In the confusion, we did not realize that a heap of clothes had fallen on her.”

These tragedies are too heart-rending and too bestial, cruel and inhuman! And all in BJP ruled domains! It has nothing to do with ‘Bullet Trains’ between Ahmedabad toMumbai or the pledge of Prime Minister to protect the lowest strata of Society. It has nothing to do with Carbon Emission in the atmosphere.

It is the negation of every value of Human Existence in a Society that stores so much for Animals in the name of Astha. It has everything to do with the poison and arrogance in the hearts of callous elites of politics and bureaucracy. Modiji, whom are you going to hold responsible?

The lelegraph

Poet pens thumping poll win


Ranchi, Dec. 14: Well-known tribal poet Nirmala Putul (44), whose poem in the NCERT Hindi textbook has made her a household name among plus two students in the state, now has another identity.

Putul won the mukhiya elections from Kurwa panchayat in Dumka block, 10km from district headquarters, with a thumping majority last evening.

The woman, who writes poetry and prose in Hindi and Santhali on various issues including those close to her heart like empowerment of tribal and Dalit women, rights of forest dwellers, trafficking and the plight of women branded witches by their villages, polled 1,495 votes, leaving her nearest rival Sonika Tudu trailing with just 476 votes.

It is sweet vindication for Nirmala, who has a diploma in nursing but runs an NGO, Jeevan Rekha, since 2004, taking up issues such as rights of forest dwellers, women’s empowerment, health, livelihood and others.

She had contested the panchayat elections in 2010 but lost.

But, this time, she was certain of her victory.

“I got so much love and trust from people in the days leading up to the elections (November 28) that this verdict did not surprise me,” she said today over phone from Dumka, her voice almost drowning in the celebratory vijay julus (victory rally) taken out by her supporters. “They are all taking out victory rallies for me, they have showered me with so much love, that I have to attend them,” she told The Telegraph.

Apart from Nirmala’s poem ” Aao mil kar bachaye” that is part of the Class XI NCERT textbook, her prolific and published writings in Hindi and Santhali on the causes she believes in, her NGO work and her fellowships over the years, she has other claims to fame.

Noted film-maker Shriprakash has made a documentary on the various facets of this unique lady in the hinterland.

But, Nirmala wears her achievements lightly.

“I have been working with and for people since my youth. Through my NGO, I could have a platform to spread my activities. But, now I wanted to be in a position to make decisions that benefit people. That’s why I am grateful I was elected this time and I want to prove that I can make a difference.”

Does she have any specific agenda? “Yes, I want to make Kurwa a model panchayat,” she said. ” Bohut kaam karna hai shashaktikarn ke liye (I have to do a lot of work for empowerment),” she told the scribe. “Hum saath saath badhenge aur vikas kya hoti hai kar ke dikhayenge (We will walk hand-in-hand and prove how development can happen),” she said.

The tribune

Punjab Dalit ‘atrocities’ echo in RS, Oppn flays Badal govt


Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 14

The two recent incidents of alleged attacks on Dalits in Punjab today reverberated in Parliament with the Congress and BSP demanding the dismissal of the SAD-BJP government.

Edit: Heavy handed, indeed

The heinous incident of chopping off arms and feet of a Dalit worker at a farmhouse of an Akali Dal leader in Abohar and crushing of a young girl under a SAD leader’s bus at Lambi, led to repeated adjournments of the House through the day.

Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said these incidents showed the prevalence of “jungle raaj” in Punjab. He said what was happening was worse than terrorism and there was no law and order in the state. “The state government should be dismissed…we are not just demanding action (against the accused), we are talking about dismissal of the government,” he said.

BSP chief Mayawati criticised the SAD-BJP coalition government for its “inability” to prevent atrocities on Dalits. The incidents were both “painful and shameful”, she said blaming the liquor mafia for the Abohar incident where the limbs of a Dalit worker were chopped off “as part of a conspiracy”.

“The Union Government should intervene. The state government should be dismissed,” she said. Raising slogans “Dalit virodhi sarkar nahin chalegi”, BSP members continued the protest and amid the din, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj made her statement on her recent visit to Pakistan.

The government attempt to seek cooperation for the passage of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill was not conceded by agitated members with Azad stating that while the party supported the Bill and its passage in this session, it could not be done when the House was not in order.

On his part, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the government condemned the incident in the strongest possible terms and supported strict action against the accused. 

Law and order, he said, was a state subject and could not be discussed in Parliament. The state government was entrusted with the task and it was taking steps.

Denying SAD role in the incident, party MP Balwinder Singh Bhunder alleged politics was being done on the issue. He said anti-poor and anti-Dalit incidents were taking place in many states, including those ruled by the Congress.

“The state government is taking strict action. Punjab is a state where there is no caste bias and issues. Yeh Guru Nanak ka suba hai,” Bhunder said. Outside Parliament, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi said in Punjab, innocent people were being butchered. “This is out of order, out of line.”

Anand Sharma, Congress Deputy Leader in the Rajya Sabha, alleged a Valmiki was brutally killed in Ferozepur at the behest of an Akali leader who ran a liquor mafia in which several top Akali leaders had stakes. His limbs were dismembered. He was killed and then a false charge of rape was pressed in the matter.

“The Centre should dismiss the Akali-BJP government given the complete breakdown of law and order and direct the involvement of the ruling class in a range of businesses including liquor, transport and sand. Another girl was crushed under a Deep Roadways bus owned by an Akali leader in Bathinda. No arrests have been made. Instead, the police lathi-charged protesters in the area,” he said.

Speaking to the media, Azad alleged: “There is a parallel economy and mafia running in Punjab. Liquor barons and drug mafia are running government and unfortunately ministers are hand in glove with this mafia.” 

“Even the IS does not cut off limbs of people,” he added.

The siasat daily

Petition seeks to trace ‘missing’ toilets


Coimbatore: A resident of Kendayur near Mettupalayam in the district today sought intervention of the administration to trace toilets said to have been constructed for the benefit of public in 2011.

In a petition on behalf of the residents, Bhadran of the village said nearly 200 Dalit families were residing in Kendayur for the last 100 years and resorted to various agitations for constructing public toilets from 1996.

As per available documents, the toilets, built at a cost of Rs 1.90 lakh, were in operation since July 2001 in the area, which however, were missing now, he said in a petition to the Collector, submitted today on ‘griecances day.’

The petition sought collector’s intervention to trace the toilets.

After long struggle, government had sanctioned toilets in 2011 and as the work eached about a level of eight feet, some persons obtained a stay and work was stopped, he said.

Another stay was obtained by some people, when the Mettupalayam administration decided to construct biotoilets in 2013 and the administration has to be blamed for this.

Considering the plight of the residents, particularly women, administration should immediately take steps to construct new toilets, Bhadran said.

News monitored by AMRESH & AJEET


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