Dalits Media Watch – English News Updates 07.02.16


13-year-old Dalit girl gangraped in Badaun – The times of inida


Dalit girl dragged by group of youths in UP; incident sparks tensions – Hindustan times


PhD scholar’s family files FIR against research guide, HoD and Dean, alleges harassment – The Indian express


MLA harassing me as I’m a dalit, says Ambala mayor – The times of india


University classes resume after suicide-linked protests University word news


No reservation please – Kathmandu post



The times of inida

13-year-old Dalit girl gangraped in Badaun


Bareilly: A 13-year-old Dalit girl was allegedly gangraped by two youth at a village in Badaun district. The accused also forced the family of the survivor to stay in the village for four days to prevent them from filing a police complaint. However, the family somehow managed to reach the police station on Friday evening and lodged an FIR into the incident. The accused are absconding.

As per the reports, a 13-year-old girl in Khitabnagar village, under Musajhag police station, in Badaun was allegedly abducted by two youth, Amit Jatav (20) and Krishna Yadav (20), on Monday. They took her to a secluded spot where they gangraped her. Listening to the cries of the girl, few villagers gathered at the scene. However, the youth reportedly threatened the girl and villagers of dire consequences and managed to flee from the spot.

The villagers took the girl to her house, where she narrated the whole incident to her family members. The kin of the girl alleged that when they went out of their home to register a police complaint, the accused stopped them mid-way and issued threats. The family members of the survivor claimed that they were compelled to stay in the village for four days because of the threats issued by the youth.

The girl, along with her family, finally reached police station on Friday evening to register a police complaint.

An FIR has been lodged against Amit Jatav and Krishna Yadav under section 376 (D) (gangrape) of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and relevant sections of SC/ST Act and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. “The girl has been sent for medical examination. The accused are absconding but we will nab them soon,” said Ravindra Verma, station officer, Musajhag police station.

He denied that the accused forced the family of the survivor to stay in the village for four days to prevent them from filing a police complaint.

“The family members could have contacted police by calling on our mobile numbers if they wanted to lodge an FIR on Monday. They could also have taken help of village pradhan in approaching police if the accused stopped them from making police complaint,” Verma added.

Hindustan times

Dalit girl dragged by group of youths in UP; incident sparks tensions


A Dalit girl was allegedly dragged from a rickshaw by a group of four youths and took her to a secluded spot before the locals rescued the girl as the incident sparked communal tension in the area.

The girl was returning home Friday evening when four youths belonging to another community dragged her from a rickshaw and tried to take her to a secluded spot, which was opposed by the locals, police said.

One of the accused was overpowered by the locals and handed over to the police but he was let off after being charged under minor sections.

The locals then resorted to brick batting a religious place in the area.

Senior officials, including the DIG rushed to the spot and brought the situation under control, police said, adding that cross FIRs have been registered in the case.

A person was arrested in this connection on Saturday, police said.

The Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) has been deployed in the area where the situation was tense but under control, they added.

The Indian express

PhD scholar’s family files FIR against research guide, HoD and Dean, alleges harassment


The parents of the PhD scholar who allegedly committed suicide at the Central University of Rajasthan on Friday registered an FIR against three faculty members including his research guide even as students on the campus led a demonstration demanding that his body be brought to the university from the hospital. Mohit Kumar Chauhan was found hanging from the ceiling of his hostel room on CUR campus on Friday evening, shortly after a meeting of research scholars with the vice-chancellor. “The parents have filed an FIR against the research guide, saying she had been harassing him, which led him to take the extreme step,” Ajmer SP Nitin Deep Blaggan told The Indian Express.

The family said the FIR named the research guide Vidyottama Jain, Head of Department of Mathematics D C Sharma and Dean (research) Aditya Gupta. It also alleges inaction on the part of V-C A K Pujari. This is the second FIR against faculty members at CUR in less than a month. Earlier in January, Dalit PhD scholar Umesh Kumar had filed an FIR-through a court order-against the V-C and seven other faculty members. In the recent case, the scholar’s family claimed the research guide had been harassing him. Mohit had even submitted an application to his HoD asking to be assigned another guide. “He was very bright but had been really depressed lately. He had been calling his father and telling him about the guide’s harassment for a few months now. The guide also delayed signing his scholarship papers which upset him further since he was not from a financially sound family,” his cousin Sanjeev Chauhan told The Indian Express. While the police did not find a suicide note, Mohit’s friends said he was “depressed and upset” over not getting his scholarship and contingency grant. “The university administration wants to send the body back to his hometown Bijnor straight from the hospital while the students are demanding that the body be brought to the university,” a university source said. While V-C A K Pujari said Mohit was not present at Friday’s meeting, his senior in the mathematics department indicated otherwise. “The meeting about pending scholarships was long due and Mohit being from a financially poor background was really upset about that since he used to save from his scholarship amount to send some money back home,” PhD student Purushottam said. “At Friday’s meeting, he was present but since it was a meeting of 200 scholars scheduled in a hall that could seat only 80, he was standing outside the hall. We had even exchanged text messages over WhatsApp about the V-C’s unhelpful attitude during the meeting after the issue of scholarships was dismissed without any concrete action,” he said. That purportedly upset the 24-year-old PhD student, who then left the meeting. An hour later, his friends found him hanging inside his hostel room. Another PhD student from the Hindi department and a resident of the same hostel building, said Mohit used to complain about his research guide. “He used to tell me that his research guide did not like his face and used to trouble him. Research scholars are dependant on the guide for their scholarships and the contingency grant. As far as the V-C meeting with scholars is concerned, Mohit did go for it but didn’t stay long and left midway. The meeting itself was quite positive,” said Sarvesh Mishra, the scholar. Vice-chancellor A K Pujari said he would talk to the student’s parents to find out more about the incident.

The times of india

MLA harassing me as I’m a dalit, says Ambala mayor


Chandigarh: Ambala mayor Ramesh Mal has alleged that he is being targeted by the state government for being a dalit. Mal not only alleged having being stripped off of his security cover and sanitation staff by local authorities, but also accused Ambala Municipal Commissioner Ajay Singh Tomar of harassing him at the behest of BJP MLA from Ambala City Aseem Goyal.

Mal has now lodged a complaint before the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC). “My first fault is that I am a dalit. Secondly, I had criticized local MLA Aseem Goyal for having failed to bring any major project in the municipal areas of Ambala. Since, I belong to an anti-BJP group of the Congress and Haryana Janchetna Party (HJCP), it is another reason for my persecution,” said Mal here on Saturday.

Ambala Municipal Corporation has 20 corporators. One of member had resigned two years ago. The mayor came to Chandigarh with 12 members to levelled allegations against the MLA and municipal commissioner.

Referring to Tomar, the mayor accused him of spying on him. “Recently, the municipal commissioner had a CCTV camera installed in my room, which was focused on me. Since this was done without taking approval from the House, we objected to it. We got the camera removed, now the commissioner has sent me a notice under Section 34C of the Haryana Municipal Act, while blaming me for damaging civic body’s property,” said Mal.

Despite repeated attempts, municipal commissioner Tomar was inaccessible for comments. Goel dismissed the allegations levelled by the mayor. “Mal is frustrated as he and his team are not able to accept the defeat of their political guru HJCP chief Venod Sharma during the 2014 assembly elections. Since our government is working on the principles of zero tolerance to corruption in the civic body, he and other corporators are not able to work at their will. Hence they resorted to such allegations,” he said.

The MLA said, “You give me one instance wherein I have made castiest remarks against Mal. Or anybody in the government has done so. Please ask him to count the number of development works he has got done before we took over.”

Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar’s officer on special duty (grievances) Bhupeshwar Dayal also supported Goel’s viewpoint. “All we can say is that Ramesh Mal is resorting to low-level of politics by playing caste card. He is the first citizen of the city and we give regard to everyone because of their stature not due to their party affiliations. His allegations are a non-issue.

University word news

University classes resume after suicide-linked protests


After two weeks of massive protests over the suicide of Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula, classes resumed at the University of Hyderabad last Monday.

Normalcy returned to the campus of the central university after protesting students allowed the administration to conduct classes and lifted the siege of the administrative block.

The Joint Action Committee, or JAC, for Social Justice, an umbrella grouping of student bodies, however, continued its peaceful protest and relay hunger strike on the campus to press its demands, including the sacking of Vice-chancellor P Appa Rao.

The JAC, which submitted its demands to interim vice-chancellor M Periasamy last Sunday, gave a 10-day ultimatum to the administration to fulfil them. The JAC also said that Vipin Srivastava should not return as interim vice-chancellor after his four-day leave. Srivatsava, who went on leave the previous Friday, is unacceptable to the JAC as he headed the committee which suspended five Dalit students, including Rohith Vemula who eventually committed suicide.

Kathmandu post

No reservation please


Feb 7, 2016- Whenever I go for an interview, the very first thing I do is go through the list of candidates. Not because I doubt my capabilities, but I fear that my “surname” might turn out to be a bane for me. Had I been a Brahmin almost a hundred years ago, the situation might have been completely different.

But alas, belonging to the so-called privileged caste has become a tragedy for me and to all those Brahmin and Chhetri men and women who are systematically denied opportunities just because of their caste.
It might seem queer that a woman who is highly benefited by a 33 percent reservation is writing this, but the provision itself seems and sounds like a fabricated favour to minorities (either women or men belonging to different ethnic groups) in which they are deemed to be less capable. Well, the concept of reservation was introduced for a noble cause. But has it actually been empowering people?

The system of reservation is not fair to Brahmins or Chhetris, as they have to work harder than the ones with reservation. I am not downplaying the efforts of those individuals belonging to minority groups, but I know the pain when your efforts do not yield results because of your caste. Even the INGOs that are guided by the principle that all are born equal drastically change their philosophies and give special preferences to minorities.

Until and unless you get to the root of the problem, the situation will persist. Had my mother not treated me and my sister equally, we might have had a rivalry. Similarly, the quota system will only create differences and gaps between people belonging to different ethnic groups, which will be very difficult to bridge in the future.

Moreover, the son/daughter of a Madhesi, Janajati or Dalit doctor, industrialist or business tycoon has an equal opportunity as the son/daughter of Brahmins and Chhetris. But rather than the financially weak and uneducated, rich minorities benefit from the reservations. I have seen people who went to private schools until grade nine but finished their tenth grade from a government school to be eligible for the quota system. But a child whose family cannot even offer him/her two square meals a day has to sacrifice his/her aspirations because s/he was born a Brahmin.

The perception that only the people in the Tarai are marginalised is also not true. There are many Brahmins in the far western and mid western development regions who have to live with harsher realities. It is not fair that they are punished because some Brahmins have reached high posts in the government. The government has equal responsibility towards them as well. The reservation for the differently able people can be justifiable as their bodies prevent them from performing certain tasks. But others can gain success if they work hard.

You can take the example of the recent results of Tribhuvan University as well where many people were agitated as the toppers were Brahmins. Does the government need to start a new system now of a non-Dalit topper and a Dalit topper? Or should people be judged by their capabilities?

Martin Luther King once said in a famous speech that he envisioned a world that did not judge his children by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character. I too envision a Nepal where people become successful by dint of hard work rather than because of their surnames. I know very well how much people from marginalised groups had to suffer due to social ills like untouchability and how hard is it for them to emerge out of their past. But I also know that injustice cannot be the solution for injustice. The government needs to ensure equal opportunities for all, regardless of their caste. Just because someone is a Brahmin or a Chhetri does not necessarily mean they are more privileged than people from minority groups.

News monitored by AMRESH & AJEET


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