Dalits Media Watch – English News Updates 16.02.16

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Dalit teenager thrashed, paraded with garland of slippers in UP – The Hindu


Rohith Vemula suicide: Acting Vice-Chancellor, top officers appear before panel – The Indian Express


TN Dalit boys murder: Madras HC sends notice to TN govt for CBI enquiry – The News Minute


Threatens SC judges with FIR – The free Press Journal


Ravidas Jayanti: Union Minister meets BHU teachers and students who are protesting PM Modi’s visit – The Indian Express


Give equal education rights to Dalits: Sukhdeo Thorat – The Indian Express


Improve infra in SC, ST colonies – The Hans India


Relief still elusive for Kalliyampara residents – The Hindu


H’bad varsity students demand ‘Rohith Act’ – The Tribune


Please Watch:

JNUSU Vice President Shehla Rashid addressing students on 14th Feb 2016


Media, JNU faculty assaulted: Anti-national vs hyper-national?-NDTV


The Hindu

 Dalit teenager thrashed, paraded with garland of slippers in UP



A brick kiln owner and his two employees allegedly thrashed a Dalit teenager, tonsured his head and paraded him with a garland of slippers in Dabauli village.

The incident took place yesterday following which the victim’s father lodged a complaint saying that the family owns ancestral land adjacent to a brick kiln, which its owner allegedly wanted to grab.

Circle Officer Safipur said a named FIR had been lodged against the brick kiln owner Virender Kumar Mishra and two of his employees.

The Indian Express

Rohith Vemula suicide: Acting Vice-Chancellor, top officers appear before panel


All three top Telangana officers and acting vice-chancellor of Hyderabad University appeared before the National Commission for Scheduled Castes Commission on Monday and submitted reports on action they have taken following the suicide of Rohith Vemula.

By: Express News Service | Updated: February 16, 2016 4:02 am

Commission for Scheduled Castes Commission on Monday and submitted reports on action they have taken following the suicide of Rohith Vemula.

Days after National Commission for Scheduled Castes summoned officials in the case of suicide of Rohith Vemula, Chief Secretary of Telangana; officiating Vice-Chancellor of University of Hyderabad, Principal Secretary Social Welfare Department, Telangana; Police Commissioner of Cyberabad; Deputy Commissioner of Police and investigating officer in the case, all three top Telangana officers and the officiating vice-chancellor of Hyderabad Central University (HCU) appeared before the National Commission for Scheduled Castes Commission in Delhi on Monday and submitted reports on action they have taken following the suicide of PhD scholar Rohith Vemula.

Commission chairman P L Punia said the officers were told about the way they are conducting the investigation. “They have not taken the statement of Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya, who was named in the FIR. They informed me that besides releasing Rs 1.77 lakh of Vemula’s pending scholarship, his family has also been given Rs 8 lakh as financial assistance and another Rs 2.58 lakh under SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act,” Punia said.

With the Guntur DM seeking 15 more days to submit report on Vemula’s caste, the next hearing has been scheduled for March 11.

Karnataka colleges to remain shut today

More than 40 student organisations have come together under the banner “Justice for Rohith Vemula” to call for a shut down of classes in universities and colleges across Karnataka on Tuesday. The call has been given by SFI, Ambedkar Students’ Association, the NSUI and several Dalit bodies. “More than 5,000 people will gather at Town Hall in Bengaluru and we will take out a procession to Freedom Park around 11.30 am,” said a student leader.

The News Minute

TN Dalit boys murder: Madras HC sends notice to TN govt for CBI enquiry


PTI| Tuesday, February 16, 2016 – 08:31

The petitioner alleged that the police had conducted a partial investigation

The Madras High Court on Monday issued a notice to the Tamil Nadu government on a PIL filed by Puthiya Tamizhagam party leader K Krishnaswamy, seeking transfer of a murder probe of two Dalit boys in Tirunelveli to the CBI.

The division bench comprising justices S Manikumar and C T Selvam, ordered notice to the Home Secretary and Director General of Police, among others, returnable within two weeks.

The petitioner submitted that Mariselvam and Murugan, both aged 15, had gone missing on February 1,2015 and were found dead near Pavoorchattiram village on February 5.

Mariselvam’s mother had lodged a police complaint, but the Sub-Inspector refused to take it. Subsequently, the Inspector registered a murder case, but there was no progress in the probe, Krishnaswamy alleged.

The petitioner pointed out that already a case seeking transfer of murder cases of 12 Dalits in Tuticorin and Tirunelveli districts was pending in the court.

He alleged that police had not conducted an impartial investigation, which would have led to the arrest of the culprits.

Neither were incoming and outgoing calls of one of the murdered boys examined, nor the post-mortem videographed by the Investigating Officer, the petitioner alleged.

Krishnaswamy also sought relief for the families of the two boys by providing compensation to them as per the SC/ST (prevention of atrocities) Act within the time limit.

The free Press Journal

Threatens SC judges with FIR


— By FPJ Bureau | Feb 16, 2016 02:31 am

Chennai : Shortly after staying his own transfer order to the Calcutta High Court on Monday, Justice C Karnan of the Madras High Court told journalists that he would order registration of an FIR against two apex court judges under the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. The Supreme Court judges had earlier in the day restrained the Madras High Court Registry from allocating any work to Justice Karnan.

Claiming that he was being transferred on account of being a Dalit, he said, “I will direct the Chennai Commissioner of Police to register cases against the two apex court judges under the SC/ ST (Prevention of Atrocities Act). This is a country of discriminations, particularly on the basis of caste. I am ashamed that I am born in this country. I will give away all my birth rights and migrate to a country where such discriminations do not exist.”  Justice Karnan levelled serious allegations against the Chief Justice and claimed that one of the sitting Madras High Court judges had raped a law intern (he named the victim too) in his chambers and that another judge had obtained a dubious law degree while working in the Post and Telegraph office.

When a journalist questioned him, if reporting his allegations would attract the provision of contempt of judiciary, he said, “I am hereby passing a judicial order restraining the Supreme Court and the Madras High Court from initiating contempt proceedings against the media.”

Asked how he could stay his transfer order, he shot back, “Only allocation of judicial work has been stopped. My judicial powers are still with me.” He threatened to drag all judges concerned to Parliament for a debate. “Let Parliament decide. I am innocent. When I have raised doubts and allegations against some judges, they are passing orders against me, instead of addressing them,” he charged.

 Questioned why he had sent a copy of his order staying his transfer to political party leaders as well, he said he hoped leaders like Sonia Gandhi would raise their voice and support him.

The Indian Express

Ravidas Jayanti: Union Minister meets BHU teachers and students who are protesting PM Modi’s visit


Modi will visit the temple in Ravidas’ birth place in Seer Govardhanpur area on Ravidas Jayanti on February 22 and will also address a rally there.

Written by Lalmani Verma | Lucknow | Published:February 16, 2016 3:00 am 

With the SC and ST Teachers Welfare Society of BHU raising a banner of protest against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s proposed visit to Ravidas temple in Varanasi, Union Minister Vijay Sampla Monday met members of the society at BHU campus seeking to know their grievances and reason for opposing PM’s visit.

Modi will visit the temple in Ravidas’ birth place in Seer Govardhanpur area on Ravidas Jayanti on February 22 and will also address a rally there. The Society had recently written to a trust managing the temple to “review” their decision of inviting PM. The society is of the view that PM’s visit is aimed at political gains.

Society’s patron Prof Lalchand Nishad and general secretary Prof Mahesh Prasad Ahirwar alongwith SC/ST Chattra Samiti president Kunal Kishore and general secretary Sunil Kumar met Sampla at LD guest house on BHU campus.

Ahirwar said he told the minister that their symbolic protest will continue because PM’s visit was political. He claimed to have submitted a memorandum seeking Centre’s intervention in various Dalit related issues.

In the memorandum, Ahirwar has stated that harassment of Dalit students has increased in the universities across the country and they were either being killed through conspiracy or were being forced to commit suicide. “In the case pertaining to suicide of Rohith Vemula (of Hyderabad University), ABVP’s role has surfaced but the central government is not taking action,” Ahirwar said in the memorandum.

He also said that BHU has become “a laboratory of harassment of Dalits” and teachers were avoiding to become guide of SC/ST research scholars. He also said that interviews for filling the teachers’ vacant posts -reserved for SC/ST- were being delayed deliberately.

“We also demanded to erect a statue of Bhimrao Ambedkar on campus and establish a research centre on Ambedkar,” Ahirwar said.

Sampla’s meeting with the teachers and Dalit students is being seen as an attempt to avoid any untoward incident during PM’s BHU visit on February 22 when Modi will be chief guest in university’s convocation. Modi had faced protest last month during convocation of Babsaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University (BBAU) in Lucknow.

The Indian Express

Give equal education rights to Dalits: Sukhdeo Thorat


Thorat was speaking at the national seminar at Savitribai Phule Pune University on the 125th birth anniversary of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar organised by Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Studies Centre.

By: Express News Service | Pune | Updated: February 16, 2016 4:14 am

CONSIDERED AS one of the most accomplished Dalit voices in the country, economist Sukhdeo Thorat said that the problem of inequality in access to education as well as failure in implementing remedial education in most varsities is leading to isolation of marginalised student population, especially Dalits, which is leading to incidents such as suicides.

Thorat was speaking at the national seminar at Savitribai Phule Pune University on the 125th birth anniversary of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar organised by Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Studies Centre.

The chairman of the Indian Council of Social Science Research, who was former chairman of the University Grants Commission, had been approached by five Dalit students, including Rohith Vemula, after their expulsion from the University of Hyderabad.

“Besides Rohith, there were two other cases of suicide by Dalit students at the same time. In 2013, during a spate of such suicides, a committee of academicians was formed to investigate the cases, which said that while discrimination was the main reason, fear of failure among students and administrative indifference were also responsible for the incident. In such situations, I feel remedial education centres in varsities need be to taken up seriously to ease psychological pressure on students,” said Thorat.

He added that while remedial education centres exist in varsities but there is no will to implement it fully . “Marginalised students from rural or Dalit backgrounds need more support in language improvement and core subjects. Most students drop out or face depression as they can’t cope with English or their core subject is not as strong as that of students from cities,” said Thorat.

The Hans India

Improve infra in SC, ST colonies


THE HANS INDIA |    Feb 16,2016 , 04:07 AM IST

Amaravati: Minister for social welfare Ravela Kishore Babu today instructed the officials to utilize funds allotted for under the SC,ST  Sub-plans to improve infrastructure in SC, ST Colonies. He reviewed steps taken by the municipal engineers in 13- districts to spend funds allotted under the SC, ST Sub-plans over video conference from Guntur city. 

Speaking on this occasion, he reminded that the government has allotted Rs.1200 crore for the development of internal roads in SC colonies and Rs.200 crore for S.T.Colonies in the state. 

Similarly, the government allotted Rs.600 crore for the development of internal roads in the SC Colonies and ST Colonies in the municipalities and municipal corporations.

He instructed the officials first identify the works to be taken up for the development of roads immediately. He  directed the officials to provide necessary infrastructure in SC,ST Colonies and construct hospitals, schools and community halls.

The minister further instructed to provide electricity and drinking water immediately. He directed the officials to identify colonies where SC,STs population is more to improve infrastructure before March 30 to take up development works. 

He instructed the municipal officials to identify the slums where SC,ST population is more to develop infra with the SC,ST Sub-plan funds and added that the government will take steps quality control checks with the third party to check the quality of the works. 

The Hindu

Relief still elusive for Kalliyampara residents



A month after the tribespeople of Kalliyampara rose in revolt against the indiscriminate dumping of toxic and biomedical waste in the village, the issue continues to remain unresolved despite assurances by authorities that quick remedial measures would be initiated.

Though the district administration has directed the Pollution Control Board, the Agriculture Department and the local panchayats to collect samples of the waste and conduct laboratory tests, the initiative is yet to make headway. The Pollution Control Board has been maintaining that the waste contains neither toxic nor biomedical substances.

The local community has alleged that the Board officials are under the influence of powerful lobbies that hitherto used the village as a dumping ground. The police are yet to initiate criminal proceedings against the land owner who leased out the plot for dumping waste under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act as directed by the District Collector.

“The Pollution Control Board and the land owner claimed earlier that the huge pile contained no harmful substance and it could be treated as organic fertiliser. Now the land owner has employed workers to dig huge pits to bury the waste without waiting for lab reports. Every day, they are burying huge quantities of waste to escape legal action,” said K.G. Kannadas, a local social worker who helped the tribal community to organise the protest.

The villagers demand the removal of the waste material from the locality without allowing it to contaminate water resources and the soil.

“The District Collector had to plug her nose tightly when she visited our houses. Now there is an organised attempt to dilute the gravity of the issue. Government agencies have started claiming that the waste dumped by Nita Gelatin Company of Chalakkudy in the village was not toxic but harmless sludge. Officials are totally insensitive to our grievances,” said Lakshmy, a resident of the locality.

“Almost all families here suffer from respiratory ailments. Kidney problems, psoriasis, and diarrhoea visit households at frequent intervals to claim precious lives. We need justice and lasting solution. Mighty private institutions dumped waste illegally in our locality with the tacit support of the district administration and the Pollution Control Board. Even now, there is no difference in their attitude,” said another resident Murugarajan.

The Tribune

H’bad varsity students demand ‘Rohith Act’


Want an end tocaste discrimination

Suresh Dharur Tribune News Service Hyderabad, February 15

The agitating students at the University of Hyderabad (UoH) will soon launch a nationwide movement demanding the enactment of “Rohith Act”, on the lines of “Nirbhaya Act”, to end caste discrimination in colleges and universities across the country.

The agitation will be spearheaded by the colleagues of Rohith Vemula, a Dalit research scholar who committed suicide in the university hostel on January 17 following his suspension over an alleged scuffle with a rival student leader. The suicide had triggered a nationwide outrage with the Opposition blaming the NDA government for growing instances of harassment and discrimination against Dalits.

“There is an urgent need for enactment of a separate law to tackle caste discrimination in educational institutions,” said P Vijay Kumar, one of the five Dalit students who was suspended along with Rohith.

The university authorities have since revoked the suspensions following a huge outcry. A campaign will be launched in New Delhi on February 23 to mobilize support for formulation of a Central act to end caste discrimination, exclusion and humiliation of Dalits in higher educational institutions. “We are in touch with Sukhadeo Thorat, Professor Emeritus, Jawaharlal Nehru University, and Chairman, Indian Council of Social Science Research, and other academicians sympathetic to our cause for preparing a draft Bill in this regard,” Vijay Kumar said.

As part of the movement, efforts would be made to enlist the support of all political parties to put in place a legislative mechanism for protection of Dalit rights in educational institutions.

Meanwhile, UoH students have embarked on a ‘bus yatra’ to Andhra University in Visakhapatnam to drum up support from fellow students for the “Rohith Act”, which will act as deterrence against ill-treatment of students from marginalised sections. The students are also demanding implementation of ‘Thorat Committee’ report on ending caste discrimination in universities.

“Rohit’s death symbolises his struggle for the rights of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Backward Classes and minorities. He was a rationalist, anti-caste and a nationalist. We all demand enactment of a law in his name, similar to the Nirbhaya Act. The new Act should safeguard SC/ST’s, OBCs, minorities and women from institutional discrimination in the universities,” said a spokesman of Ambedkar Students Association (ASA) at UoH.

Rohith, a 26-year-old science research scholar, was found hanging in his friend’s room in the university hostel on January 17. He was among the five students, all members of ASA suspended following their scuffle with an ABVP leader.

News monitored by AMRESH & AJEET


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