Dalits Media Watch – News Updates 10.03.16

60-year-old Dalit man beaten to death in UP – F.india


Thirsty dalit boy drowns in well after denied water from school hand pump – The times of india


Dalit temple pujari suicide case adjourned – The hindu


Relatives refuse to accept headless body – The hindu


Dalit villagers ask Collector to honour court order – The hindu


Class, caste politics finally coming together in campus politics – The economic times


Samiti protests against assault on youths by police – The hindu


A remarkable turnaround – The hindu


Intolerance has increased after Modi took over as PM, alleges Omar – Web india


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60-year-old Dalit man beaten to death in UP


Muzaffarnagar: A 60-year-old Dalit man was beaten to death allegedly by two persons over a dispute in
Shamli district, police said today.

File image of Uttar Pradesh police. AFP

According to the complaint lodged by deceased Mangey Ram’s brother Ramnivas, the victim was beaten to death by two persons identified as Roshan and Shekhar last night at Silawer village, under the jurisdiction of the Adersh mandi police station.

The body has been sent for post-mortem, police said. A case has been registered and efforts are on to nab the absconding accused.

The times of india

Thirsty dalit boy drowns in well after denied water from school hand pump


Bhopal: A Dalit boy in Damoh district of Madhya Pradesh was drowned in a well while trying to fetch water after he was denied access to school hand pump to quench thirst on Tuesday.

Five teachers of the primary school, including the principal have been suspended for discrimination on caste grounds. An inquiry has been ordered, said CEO of Janpad panchayat Manish Bagri. The incident took place in in Khamariakalan village in Damoh’s Tendukheda tehsil on Tuesday afternoon.

When Veeran Ahirwar, student of class 3 finished his midday meal, he went to the hand pump on the campus to drink water, but he was turned away by teachers. This was confirmed by his brother, Sevak, a class 5 student of the same school.

Talking to reporters, Veeran’s brother Sevak alleged teachers had on several occasions ordered them not to touch the hand pump and were forced to use the well to draw water. Earlier, several students had complained to Janpad CEO about discrimination against low-caste students.

Refuting allegations, collector Damoh Shriniwas Sharma said, “For past one week, there has been a water crisis. Villagers also come to fetch water from the school hand pump.” On Tuesday, a crowd had gathered at the hand pump and students also joined the queue. When Veeran went to the well, there was a crowd there too. Veeran lost balance and fell into the well, said the collector.

A thirsty Veeran then carried a water bottle and reached the well. He tied the bottle to a rope to fetch water, but lost balance and fell inside and died.

The hindu

Dalit temple pujari suicide case adjourned


Principal District Judge R. Poornima adjourned the temple pujari suicide case till March 14 as the newly appointed public prosecutor, sought by the petitioner, did not appear before the court on Wednesday.

However, all the seven accused, including O. Raja, brother of Finance Minister O. Paneerselvam, appeared before the court in the morning.

PP’s presence stressed

In the absence of new public prosecutor, the defence counsel M. Kannappan said that it would be difficult to proceed the case without the presence of the public prosecutor. On hearing the case, the judge adjourned the case and directed the new public prosecutor to appear for next hearing.

On Tuesday, the district administration had submitted the order appointing High Court lawyer Mohan of Erode as public prosecutor to argue the case on behalf of the petitioner, Subbu Raj, father of the deceased.

Charges were framed against O. Raja and others in the case on December 15.

Theni District Court had transferred the case to Dindigul District Court on November 25 on the direction of the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court.

The case pertains to the suicide of S. Nagamuthu (22) of T. Kallupatti village, a Dalit, who worked as pujari at Sri Kailasanathar Hill Temple in Periyakulam, on December 8, 2012, after he was allegedly subjected to harassment.

The hindu

Relatives refuse to accept headless body


Tension prevailed at Idaiyarthavanai near Surandai in the district on Wednesday evening after the relatives of a slain youth refused to accept his headless body.

As the assailants had chopped off the head of Arumugasamy, one of the two persons killed in the gruesome murder at Pazhayakaayal near Thoothukudi on Tuesday and put it under the board carrying the picture of slain Dalit leader Pasupathi Pandian at Deivaseyalpuram as a show of revenge for his murder, the police recovered the severed part and sent it to Chennai for superimposing.

Hence, the police could hand over only the trunk to the relatives following the post-mortem done at Thoothukudi Medical College Hospital on Wednesday. Though they received the corpse at TMC, problem started when other family members refused to receive it as it reached Idaiyarthavanai, his birthplace near Surandai in Tirunelveli district in the evening.

The agitated crowd said that they would accept the body only when the head was also handed over to them and started staging a road blockade around 5.30 p.m., ignoring repeated pleas by the police to give up the protest and accept the body.

It would take a minimum of two weeks to complete the superimposing procedure in Chennai, the police said. Hence the stalemate continued even after 7 p.m.

“It will take a minimum of two weeks to complete the superimposing procedure in Chennai”

The hindu

Dalit villagers ask Collector to honour court order


Sixty eight Dalit families from Kuravakudi near Usilampatti, who have been fighting for more than 16 years to get the land allocated to them, sent a petition to Madurai Collector on Wednesday urging him to honour the order of Madurai Bench of Madras High Court.

The HC Bench on January 29, 2016, had ordered the Collector to either sort out the issues regarding the land already acquired by Adi Dravidar Welfare Department (ADWD) for the 68 families or provide alternative land to them within eight weeks. “Six weeks are already over but the district administration has not taken any steps so far in this regard,” said V. Sasikala, an activist, who accompanied the Dalit families.

The land, measuring 1.26 hectares, was acquired in Kuravakudi by the ADWD way back in 1998 under Tamil Nadu Acquisition of Land for Harijan Welfare Schemes Act. It was later measured and allocated to 68 landless families in the village.

However, the trouble started when a non-Dalit family in the village approached the court alleging that a portion of the acquired land was theirs and the ADWD acquired it without following the due process.

Though the family obtained an order in 2007 quashing the land acquisition notification, a police case was registered later December 2015 as the family allegedly tried to get back the land by forging documents.

Meanwhile, the Dalits filed a writ petition in the HC Bench in which the recent ruling in January 2016 was made.

When contacted, a senior official from the district administration said that it will not be possible to allocate land to them as the Model Code of Conduct had come into force with the announcement of elections. “Unfortunately, they need to wait till elections. We will make the arrangements as soon as the elections are over,” the official said.

The economic times

Class, caste politics finally coming together in campus politics


Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Mayawati rarely speaks out on any topic other than those directly concerning her own party, the Dalit community or her home state of Uttar Pradesh. So, last month, when the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) president Kanhaiya Kumar was arrested by the Delhi Police on the charges of sedition, it was most unusual for Behenji to go ballistic.

Describing the arrest as a “political conspiracy”, she accused the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) of trying to impose “its fascist agenda on a reputable national university” like JNU. “It seems that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is now starting to use the sedition law as a tool to attack people who are opposed to him and his government,” Mayawati fumed in a detailed press statement within 48 hours of Kumar’s arrest.

So what has made Mayawati so concerned about the incarceration of a student’s union president in Delhi considering that she, when chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, had banned students’ union elections on the grounds that they led to needless campus violence and disrupted studies? There is little doubt that Mayawati has been influenced by the nationwide controversy about the suicide of Dalit student Rohith Vemula in Hyderabad University. Vemula was reportedly being persecuted after coming under pressure from central BJP ministers accusing him of being ‘antinational’, just like Kanhaiya.

Mayawati could not care less about Kanhaiya being a Bhumihar Brahmin and belonging to the All India Student’s Federation (AISF), the student faction of the Communist Party of India (CPI). Campus politics had never been her concern.

Mayawati’s political radar had accurately picked up the connection between the two parallel developments in Hyderabad University and JNU and its potential impact on mainstream Dalit politics.

Interestingly, the traditional dichotomy between caste and class politics has been rapidly diminishing, at least among students in the face of the Sangh Parivar’s concerted campaign to thrust its student wing, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), on campuses across the country after the BJP came to power two years ago.

Shared Icons

Radical Ambedkarite student groups have increasingly looked to embrace ‘Left-liberal’ causes even as Leftist student leaders like Kanhaiya have started invoking B R Ambedkar, seeking to engage with the politics of identity that earlier the communists had failed to do in India.

It is significant that in January this year, for the first time, a Dalit was elected as the national joint secretary of the Students’ Federation of India (SFI) affiliated to the Communist Party of India (Marxist).

In a relatively brief period, the national outcry about Vemula’s suicide and the dramatic assault soon after on JNU, a citadel of left-wing student politics, has propelled a coalition of interests between Dalit and left-wing politics on the campus. These trends may have already been there.

In a telling coincidence, several months before he took his life, Vemula had posted on his Facebook page the speech of Kanhaiya after he was elected president of JNUSU who now sees the Dalit research scholar as his own inspiration.

But what was before a tenuous Rohith-Kanhaiya link has become a potent symbol synchronising caste and class politics among student activists — an unprecedented development that can hardly be ignored by regional as well as national parties.

The emerging alliance between left-wing student politics and that of Dalit identity has also incorporated two other issues of the day: the plight of the adivasis, and the fear of persecution among religious minorities in the country. Brutalised adivasi leader Soni Sori, who was arrested in 2011for her ‘Maoist connections’, got a rapturous welcome when she visited JNU this week.

It is also significant that both Vemula and Kanhaiya have earned the wrath of the authorities, for ‘supporting’ two people, Yaqub Memon and Afzal Guru, executed on charges of terrorist acts against India.

Strong-arm tactics by Sangh groups and leaders to impose a Hindutva agenda across universities and colleges may well have boomeranged, resulting in a broad alliance seeking to speak on behalf of an array of variegated politically under-represented groups: Dalits, adivasis, religious minorities and the poor cutting across caste and religion.

Amainstream Dalit political leader like Mayawati, who has so far not dabbled much in student politics, would be nevertheless acutely aware of the changing mood among the youth of this country, particularly those belonging to constituencies of the oppressed and marginalised who have traditionally voted for her.

Students as a Catalyst

At the moment, as campuses brace themselves for more confrontations with the BJP establishment, the unfolding scenario presents a political googly for Mayawati. She will be tempted to tap into student power and yet avoid diluting her image of a Dalit leader at a time when the BJP is trying to snatch away both Ambedkar as an icon as well as her Dalit constituency. So far, she has played it well in Parliament, neatly sidestepping the debate on nationalism by demanding a separate discussion on Vemula and Kanhaiya, cornering HRD minister Smriti Irani in a one-on-one duel by tagging her as ‘anti-Dalit’. This, even as she lent her voice to the Opposition chorus that the government was against the poor, oppressed and the young.

The hindu

Samiti protests against assault on youths by police


Members of the Dalit Hitarakshana Samiti staged a dharna in front of the Clock Tower here on Wednesday demanding suspension of the sub-inspector attached to Hiriyadka police station for assaulting two youths.

Addressing the protesters, Dejappa Karkera, convener of the samiti, said that on February 20, when the zilla panchayat elections were going on, the sub-inspector attached to Hiriyadka police station, M. Rafik, resorted to a lathi-charge to disperse a mob near Munduje Government Higher Primary School.

Kiran, belonging to the Koraga community, a Scheduled Tribe, was working in the house of Sadananda Shetty. He was just watching the events from within Mr. Shetty’s compound. But Mr. Rafik dragged him out and thrashed him. As a result of the thrashing, Kiran’s hand was fractured and he was admitted to the district government hospital. Though Mr. Karkera complained to Superintendent of Police K. Annamalai about Mr. Rafik’s behaviour, Mr. Annamalai defended Mr. Rafik.

On February 22, Mr. Rafik stopped K. Sudarshan, another youth belonging to the Scheduled Castes, who was riding his motorcycle near Guddeangady and assaulted him for not wearing his helmet. Here too, Mr. Sudarshan could have been warned. Later, Mr. Sudarshan too was admitted to the government hospital for treatment.

The samiti had also not been given permission to stage a protest outside the SP office on Wednesday. “The government should not only suspend both Mr. Rafik and Mr. Annamalai, but also provide adequate compensation to both Mr. Kiran and Mr. Sudarshan.

“If no action is taken in 10 days, we will intensify our agitation,” Mr. Karkera said.

Meanwhile, in a press release issued here, Mr. Annamalai denied the charges made by Mr. Karkera. Mr. Rafik had to disperse the crowd as they were within 100 metres of the polling station. He had visited Mr. Kiran in the hospital. A case had been registered against Mr. Rafik and was being enquired by Kundapur Circle Police Inspector.

Mr. Sudarshan was driving recklessly on his motorcycle and speaking on a mobile telephone. The issue related to Mr. Sudarshan was being enquired by Udupi Circle Police Inspector.

There was a case against Mr. Karkera at Hiriyadka police station being probed by Mr. Rafik. Mr. Karkera was trying to mislead the people. He was protesting against him [Mr. Annamalai] because he had not been given permission to stage dharna in front of the SP office, the release added.

The hindu

A remarkable turnaround


n spite of intensive campaign against the practice of open defecation, it is still miles away to bring an end to the practice.

However, a Dalit colony at Alagarai near Musiri in Tiruchi shows the way in promotion of total sanitation by constructing toilets in all houses much before the ongoing initiative to make open-defecation free villages.

Cauvery Nagar, the Dalit colony, in Alagarai may not be the only village in the district to achieve the target of covering toilets in all houses. However, it is the determination of the residents of the Dalit hamlet in avoiding open defecation that differentiates it from other villages. It is the public board that welcomes outside people to the village. It describes the details of participation of various stakeholders in achieving the target of open defecation free village. Interaction with the residents of the hamlet revealed that most of them had given up the practice of open defecation about four years ago itself thanks to the intensive campaign of a group of volunteers belonging to Non Governmental Organisations assisted by the District Rural Development Agency.

A board had been put up after the hectic efforts had ensured construction of toilets in all 50 houses. Though a few old age people found it difficult to shun their age old practice of open defecation in the beginning, the sustained efforts have brought a change in their mindset.

Though the hamlet had achieved the distinction about four years ago, some of the residents have reconstructed the toilets by utilising the subsidy of Rs.12,000 under the Individual Household Latrine scheme of the State and Central Governments.

“We are the proud residents of our village as we have latrine facility in all houses. We have forgotten the practice of open defecation,” says S. Gokila of Cauvery Nagar in Alakarai village.

We are proud residents of our village. We have forgotten the practice of open defecation.

  1. Gokila,Cauvery Nagar.

Web india

Intolerance has increased after Modi took over as PM, alleges Omar


Alleging that intolerance has increased after Narendra Modi took over as Prime Minister of the country, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah said the JNU fiasco in Delhi and the suicide by a Dalit scholar in Hyderabad University were examples of it. There is no doubt that intolerance has witnessed an increase, the working president of the National Conference (NC) told UNI in an interview.At Udhampur in Jammu region, a Kashmiri truck driver was burnt alive when Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and BJP coalition was in power in the state, he said and questioned if that was not intolerance what was it?He questioned the incident in Uttar Pradesh where a man was allegedly killed on suspicion that he was storing beef in the house. What happened in JNU and a Dalit student in Hyderabad university was forced to commit suicide which too was intolerance, he said.Unfortunately some people are not ready to accept the reality that there is intolerance in the country, Mr Abdullah added.UNI BAS SB 0945

News monitored by AMRESH & AJEET


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