Dalits Media Watch – English News Updates 02.02.16

 

No Republic Day for Dalits in this MP village – Hindustan times

http://www.hindustantimes.com/bhopal/no-republic-day-for-dalits-in-this-mp-village/story-9LdsqgylkWkAxR7TEqhEkK.html

60 dalit students from Bihar threaten suicide – The times of india

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/patna/60-dalit-students-from-Bihar-threaten-suicide/articleshow/50816052.cms

Shocking video of Indian police brutality against students sparks anger – Press tv

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/02/01/448288/India-Dalit-Vikas-Kumar-Rajan-Bhagat-Rohit-Vemula-Delhi-Hyderabad

Rautahat Dalit woman survives gang rape The himalayan

https://thehimalayantimes.com/nepal/rautahat-dalit-woman-survives-gang-rape/

Debate over why Tamil Nadu never had a Dalit CM – Nyoooz

http://www.nyoooz.com/chennai/341338/debate-over-why-tamil-nadu-never-had-a-dalit-cm

Ban on Thangadh Dalits’ killing inquiry report – The times of india

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ahmedabad/Ban-on-Thangadh-Dalits-killing-inquiry-report/articleshow/50814179.cms

 

Hindustan times

No Republic Day for Dalits in this MP village

http://www.hindustantimes.com/bhopal/no-republic-day-for-dalits-in-this-mp-village/story-9LdsqgylkWkAxR7TEqhEkK.html

A 20-year-old Dalit man was allegedly discriminated against by two persons for making a packet of sweet ‘impure’ during the Republic Day celebrations in MP’s Sehore district.

According to sources, the incident happened on January 26, during the Republic Day celebration at government primary school at Akola village. A teacher Raghuvir Gaur asked a Sumant Ahirwar to distribute sweets to the people of the village gathered at the school premises, when the two — Gaurishankar Gaur, 50, and Ghanshyam Patel, 52 — refused to take sweets from him. The two allegedly said they would not take sweets from Ahirwar as he is a Dalit and his touch made the packet of sweets ‘impure’.

People present at the function protested and Ahirwar lodged a complaint against them at Shahganj police station. Police registered a case against them under the SC/ST Act.

“Police immediately registered a case under SC/ST Act. The accused were arrested and presented before a special court on Saturday morning, after which they were sent to jail. The case is now being investigated by Anusuchit Jaati Kalyan (AJK) police, Sehore,” said town inspector, Shahganj, CS Rathore.

The incident sparked anger among Dalits of the village who said that it was sad that after so many years of the country’s independence, discrimination against them still happens.

“One can imagine the state of the Dalits in the village in other days, if such an incident can happen on Republic Day, when the constitution was presented to the country by Dr Ambedkar urging equality among all sections of society,” said district in-charge (rural) of Communist Party of India, Maakhan Singh Solanki while talking to HT.

Collector of Sehore, Sudam Khade, while talking to HT denied that such incidents happen in the region. He said that administration always takes stringent action against the accused if such incidents of discrimination against Dalits happen.

“We always take such cases seriously and in this case, the sub divisional officer of police (SDOP) was immediately rushed to the village for investigation. Also regular campaigns are organised by the district administration to create awareness to abolish this social menace,” he said.

The times of india

60 dalit students from Bihar threaten suicide

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/patna/60-dalit-students-from-Bihar-threaten-suicide/articleshow/50816052.cms

Motihari: Sixty dalit students from Bihar studying at Rajdhani Engineering College (REC), Bhubaneswar, were forced to leave the college and their respective hostels on January 8 after the Bihar government allegedly failed to pay their stipend despite repeated requests by the college administration.

These second year students have threatened to commit suicide if the government failed to come to their rescue.

The 60 dalit students — 18 from East Champaran and 42 from West Champaran — secured admission in the college in 2014 under the state government’s Dalit Stipend Scheme. They alleged that the Bihar government had last paid the stipend to the college one-and-a-half-year ago.

“We have decided to commit suicide because our future is at stake due to negligence of SC/ST welfare department of the Bihar government,” said one of the students, adding that the college principal has asked them to return only when all their dues are cleared. According to a joint press release signed by four students of REC — Loknath Kumar, Gajendra Kumar, Mukesh Kumar and Ujjawal Kumar — the college that falls under under Biju Patnaik Technical University provided them free education, boarding and lodging for more than a year. “In 2015, Bihar government did not send stipend to the college,” said the joint press release.

“We even met Ashok Kumar Nagbansi, the district welfare officer of East Champaran, and urged him to send the stipend to the college, but to no avail,” they said.

Nagbansi, on his part, said he had sent the list of 18 dalit students of East Champaran who are studying at REC, Bhubaneswar, to the SC/ST welfare department on June 6, 2015, urging it to transfer the stipend to the college. He said the SC/ST welfare department is authorized to send the stipend of dalit students to their respective colleges. “The district welfare department only examines the college records and documents of the students,” Nagbansi added.

Principal secretary of SC/ST welfare department SM Raju said the government usually makes no delay in sending the stipend of dalit students to their respective colleges in other states. “If REC, Bhubaneswar, has forced the students to leave college, we will look into the matter,” he added.

Basudeo Ram, father of Loknath Kumar, met Raju in Patna on January 11 with the help of Manju Devi, chairperson of East Champaran Zila Parishad, and requested him to send the stipend. “The principal secretary has assured us that the money would be sent soon,” a visibly concerned Ram said.

Press tv

Shocking video of Indian police brutality against students sparks anger

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/02/01/448288/India-Dalit-Vikas-Kumar-Rajan-Bhagat-Rohit-Vemula-Delhi-Hyderabad

A shocking video of student protesters at a peaceful demonstration against a caste-related death of a scholar being thrashed by Indian police in the capital New Delhi has sparked outrage across India.

New Delhi police become under fire after the footage of them beating peaceful university students the demonstration the death of a young scholar from the Dalit community, formerly known as untouchables, went viral.

The video, which was being played repeatedly on India’s TV news channels, shows police grabbing protesters by the hair and pinning them to the ground. The students are also heard screaming and running away as police chase them.

Vikas Kumar, an Indian photographer who covered the protest, said police attacked the protesters without any provocation.

“There was no provocation from the side of the protesters. It was a small group, non-violent and unarmed. The police could have easily managed such a small crowd without using brute force,” media outlets quoted Kumar as saying.

Reacting to the developments, Rajan Bhagat, a police spokesman, said he had ordered an inquiry into the violence which sparked outrage on social media. “We have ordered an inquiry into the incident and are analyzing the video.”

Delhi University students held a protest outside the office of Indian Minister of Human Resource Development Smriti Irani in the Indian capital last weekend over the death of a Dalit scholar who allegedly committed suicide after he was suspended from a university in the country’s south.

Some Indian officials and the university’s vice-chancellor Appa Rao could face charges under a prevention of atrocities act that is designed to protect low-caste Hindus who are said to have faced historic abuse and discrimination.

On January 17, Rohit Vemula, a 26-year-old doctoral student, was found hanged in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad.

Vemula’s death, a highly emotional case that some have blamed on caste discrimination, has triggered protests in New Delhi, Hyderabad and several other major cities across India over the past hours.

Vemula along with his four comrades, all from India’s lowest Dalit social caste, were suspended by Hyderabad Central University (HCU) after allegedly getting involved in a tiff between two student groups in August last year.

Dalits frequently fall victim to acts of violence and prejudice across the region.

In an arson attack on the outskirts of New Delhi , a nine-month-old boy and his toddler sister belonging to Dalit community were burnt alive in October last year. The attackers set fire to the house with petrol in Faridabad, located about 40 kilometers (25 miles) outside the capital.

The low-caste status of Dalits means that investigations into attacks on the community are often treated as a low-priority case by police.

There are approximately 180 million Dalits in India’s 1.25 billion population.

Caste-related violence has claimed several lives across India in recent years. According to a report by Human Rights Watch, indigenous peoples and Dalits continue to face discrimination, exclusion, and acts of communal violence.

The himalayan

Rautahat Dalit woman survives gang rape

https://thehimalayantimes.com/nepal/rautahat-dalit-woman-survives-gang-rape/

RAUTAHAT: A Dalit woman has been subjected to gang rape in Bishrampur VDC-4 of Rautahat district in the wee hours on Monday.

A group of five people had raped the 45-year-old woman after taking her away from her house at around 1 am today, police said.

The gang had left the victim’s husband and son with their hands tied and mouths choked so as to escape any report, police said.

However, the husband managed to report the case to the police and invited the security personnel.

An early intervention from police, then, made four of the suspects flee from the incident site. One, however, was arrested.

The Rautahat District Police Office said they are searching the wrongdoers on the basis of the woman’s statement.

A medical check-up on the woman at a government hospital in Chandrnigahapur also confirmed the rape, police said.

DSP Rajendra Pokharel informed that she is kept at the Women and Children Service Centre in Garuda of the district currently.

Nyoooz

Debate over why Tamil Nadu never had a Dalit CM

http://www.nyoooz.com/chennai/341338/debate-over-why-tamil-nadu-never-had-a-dalit-cm

Summary: Political parties and civil society must debate this point,” Mr. Ravi Kumar said in a post on his Facebook page. Venkatachalapathy of the Madras Institute of Development Studies, adding that such a scenario is impossible without the Dalit parties politically mobilising the masses for the Dalit cause throughout the State. ‘An idealistic question’Political commentators and intellectuals familiar with the Dalit movement in Tamil Nadu contend that political empowerment cannot be fully achieved without social equality. She spoke of the broad coalitions with other communities, while the Dalit community in Tamil Nadu hasn’t managed to project a cohesive political project,” he said. “While it is true that so far it has not been possible for a Dalit leader to be seen as a representative of people from all castes, this will change.

Commentators contend that political empowerment cannot be fully achieved without social equality. With Dalits getting only a token representation in successive Cabinets in Tamil Nadu, and parties representing the marginalised community not able to play a decisive role in electoral alliances, former VCK MLA D Ravi Kumar has triggered a debate by asking why no Dalit has been able to become a Chief Minister in the State. “I am not saying that the VCK leader Thol. Thirumavalavan must be announced as the Chief Ministerial candidate, but why a Dalit has not been able to become a Chief Minister (in a State) where the Dalit population is close to 21 per cent, while Bihar (with a Dalit population of 16 per cent) has already had a (Mahadalit) Dalit CM? Political parties and civil society must debate this point,” Mr. Ravi Kumar said in a post on his Facebook page. Significantly, even the Left parties are yet to moot such a proposal.

When asked about this, Mutharsan, CPI State secretary, which has joined hands with the VCK (a Dalit party), the CPM and the MDMK to form the People’s Welfare Front, said caste alone could not be a deciding factor in projecting a Chief Ministerial candidate. “While it is true that so far it has not been possible for a Dalit leader to be seen as a representative of people from all castes, this will change. There needs to be a social change first,” he said. ‘An idealistic question’ Political commentators and intellectuals familiar with the Dalit movement in Tamil Nadu contend that political empowerment cannot be fully achieved without social equality. “It is an idealistic question,” said professor A.R.

The times of india

Ban on Thangadh Dalits’ killing inquiry report

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ahmedabad/Ban-on-Thangadh-Dalits-killing-inquiry-report/articleshow/50814179.cms

RAJKOT: The state government feels that the disclosure of an inquiry report into killing of three Dalit youths in police firing in Thangadh town of Surendranagar in 2012 may harm sovereignty and integrity of the country and incite hatred among sections of the society.

This was the reason given by the state home department while rejecting a Right to Information (RTI) application to provide inquiry report prepared by principal secretary, social justi ce and empowerment department Sanjay Prasad, with regard to the incidents.

The report has not been made public even after three-years of horrifying incident.

On intervening night of September 22 and 23, in 2012, three Dalit youths Pankaj Sumra (16), Mehul Rathod (17) and Prakash Parmar (26) were killed in police firing in Thangadh town.The police had fired while trying to control a clash between people of two communities. After the incident, state government had asked Prasad to conduct an inquiry . He had submitted the report to government on May 1, 2013. RTI and Dalit rights activist Kirit Rathod had filed an RTI application in January 2013 seeking copy of Prasad’s inquiry report but was denied. He then approached the Gujarat Information Commission (GIC) demanding copy of Prasad’s report last year. The GIC had directed the home department to provide details of the report except for those that are exempted under RTI Act.

However, home department invoked section 8 (1) (a) and (c) of RTI Act to deny the inquiry report under RTI plea. Under these sections, the government shall be under no obligation to give any information that would prejudicially affect the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security , strategic, scientific or economic interests of the State, relation with foreign State or lead to incitement of an offence. And disclosure of which would cause a breach of privilege of Parliament or the State Legislature.

“Government is trying to shield accused involved in the killing of dalit youth by not making this inquiry report public. Dalits have always kept their faith in constitution and never resorted to violence,” Rathod said. “Moreover, three FIRs were filled by kin of three dalit youths but chargesheet has been filed in only one case. This shows lax attitude of police in probing the murders,” Rathod added.

News monitored by AMRESH & AJEET

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