Devotees offered ‘caste-based prasad’ at Rajasthan temple – Hindustan Times
Locals protest police inaction in rape case in Odisha’sAstaranga – Odisha Sun Times
Married woman files rape plaint against 6 men – Times of India
Honour killings, a non issue in polls – Deccan Cronical
HC nixes charge of Goondas Act in dalit murder – Nyoooz
Cutoff Marks Scares SC/ST IIT Aspirants – New Indian Express
Group-wise reservation for HSC classes only in letter, not in spirit – The Hindu
Devotees offered ‘caste-based prasad’ at Rajasthan temple
Dalit rights campaigners alleged that signboards were placed at the temple directing people to different counters based on their caste to pick up prasad and food. (HT Photo)
Allegations of caste-based segregation have engulfed a temple in Rajasthan’s Pali district, where Dalits were reportedly offered prasad at separate counters and food in a tent pitched only for them during a ceremony this April.
Dalit rights campaigners have taken to social media to protest the alleged humiliating treatment during the four-day ceremony at NeelkanthMahadev temple in Sojat city.
They alleged that signboards were placed at the temple on April 22, directing people to different counters based on their castes to pick up prasad and food. As the villagers protested, the organisers quickly removed the signs. But pictures of the alleged segregation already found their way into social media.
“After the religious ceremony ended, people were asked to sit according to their caste in different tents to collect prasad. The savarnas (upper castes) were given a separate tent, whereas Dalits were asked to move to a tent far away from the masses,” said KishanKhuriwal, the state vice-president of the Left-leaning SFI. “Even temples have not been spared from castesim.”
As the villagers protested, the organisers quickly removed the signs. (HT Photo)
Dalit leaders say a similar incident will happen on April 29 in Jalore district’s Khetlaji temple, where separate tents have been erected on caste lines.
Social activist Tilaram said a complaint was sent to the sub-divisional magistrate (SDM), demanding action against the temple trust. The SDM was not available for comments.
Pali is studded with temples and thousands of devotees flock Sojat’s popular Shiv temple every year.
DSP BhanwarLal confirmed that “community-wise” segregation is a norm at religious ceremonies in Pali and adjoining areas of Marwar.
“No complaint was lodged. So, we couldn’t take action. However, community-based segregation is more of a cultural practice in ceremonies in Pali and Marwar,” he said.
Such discrimination at social gatherings is an offence under the scheduled caste and scheduled tribe atrocities act.
Advocate PL Mimroth, a member of the Centre for Dalit Rights, said caste-based discrimination runs deep in rural areas under the guise of tradition and culture.
“Such cases are often brushed under the carpet, saying it’s a norm or a cultural practice in that particular area … the fact remains that such incidents violate the civil rights granted in our Constitution,” he said.
But many people dismissed the allegation, saying such false reports will harm the holy city’s reputation.
“This case does not fall under caste atrocity. The temple is renowned and people of all castes visit it. There might be cases of atrocities in other parts of Rajasthan but not in Pali,” said a resident who runs an NGO but didn’t wish to be named.
Odisha Sun Times
Locals protest police inaction in rape case in Odisha’sAstaranga
Alleging police inaction against the accused person in the rape of a minor from the Dalit community which had taken place on April 5, angry locals today pelted stones at the police and attempted to barge in into the police station at Astaranga in Odisha’sPuri district.
Several Dalit organizations took to the street today protesting against the tardy progress made in the investigations in a rape case in which a minor from the Dalit community was allegedly raped on April 5.
While tension is palpable in the area following the incident four policemen including Nimapara DSP have been injured in the stone pelting by the locals. Several persons have been also injured in the scuffle between locals and policemen.
Protestors demanded stringent action against the IIC of Astaranga police station and Nimapara DSP for their failure to nab the culprits in the case.
“We demand the arrest of the culprit involved in the rape. We demand the arrest of Astaranga IIC Rabi Bhanja and the DSP under the provisions of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act for facilitating the escape of the accused and failure to conduct the medical examination at the proper time,” said Litu Das a protestor.
Notably, a minor girl of Patalada village under Astaranga police station limits was allegedly raped in broad daylight by a youth ManojMallick of the same village on April 5 last. The matter was reported to the police the next day.
However, the situation was under control at the filing of this report.
Times of India
Married woman files rape plaint against 6 men
Jaipur: A 35-year-old married woman was allegedly raped by six men here on the pretext of resolving a family dispute on Wednesday. She was allured by the accused in 2014 and was invited to Jaipur and since then she was allegedly raped many a times on gunpoint. Breaking her silence the woman lodged an FIR on Tuesday.
The woman, a resident of Hanumangarh, in a police complaint alleged that she was offered help to resolve a family dispute and brought to Jaipur in 2014. “In her complaint she has stated that her son was also beaten and the accused identified as Sukhdev Singh, Vikram Singh, Shyopal Singh, Bahadur Singh, and one more person raped her many times during this period. She further stated that she was kept hostage at various places in the city for one year and was raped on gunpoint. The accused had also threatened her to keep mum.
During the course, the accused also made her have liquor forcibly,” said a senior officer of Sanjay Circle police station.The matter is under investigation by the KarniVihar police station in the city. “We have registered a case under sections 344 (wrongful confinement for 10 or more days), 376 (rape) and 376 D (rape by one or more persons) of IPC. The woman has further stated that she was also given life threat. wherein the accused threatened her that if she told anyone about this it would prove costly to her son and herself. “We will record the statements of the woman and she would be taken for medical examination,” said a senior police officer.As the woman has filed complaint against Sukhdhev Singh, who is the president of KarniSena, a Rajput Sena, the latter was suspended by the organisation.
Honour killings, a non issue in polls
The CCTV visuals of gruesome murder was telecast on news channels. But the issue lost its relevance soon.
Chennai: A spate of honour killings in the state has become a non-issue in the Assembly elections. thanks to major Dravidian parties silence. Days after the Election Commission notified the election schedule, Shankar, a dalit youth, was murdered at Udumalpet on March 14 for marrying a Thevar community girl.The CCTV visuals of gruesome murder was telecast on news channels. But the issue lost its relevance soon. Except for People’s Welfare Alliance (PWA), no other party referred to honour killing incidents in their election campaign as they don’t want to antagonise powerful middle castes, political observers say.PWA not only condemned the brutal murder in the name of protecting honour, but it also promised to enact a legislation to prevent honour killings if voted to power.Now, caste groups are turning the heat on PWA with political parties justifying their ‘honour protest’ and a section of media highlighting the caste groups version.Vaiko, coordinator, PWA, and general secretary of MDMK, announced his decision not to contest in Kovilpatti constituency following a protest by fringe group called “Akila India Thevar Ina MakkalKootamaipu” which opposed referring Dalit youth Shankar’s murder as honourkilling.Vaiko accused DMK of planning to incite caste clash between Thevars and Nayakars who were living peacefully for centuries as a reason for his decision.
Human rights activist G. Sugumaran said without condemning the castiest forces that protested against Vaiko for taking a stand against Shankar’s honour killing and criticisingVaiko alone for his decision to not contest the election, is nothing but supporting castiest elements.“Vaiko has taken a decision against contesting election fearing it may lead to caste clash. It is a good decision,” he wrote in his Facebook page.
When asked why Dravidian parties are maintaining silence on honour killing incidents, political commentator Gnani said they were more worried about non-Dalit upper caste votes.“They don’t want to antagonise middle upper caste,” he told Deccan Chronicle.
State Platform for Common School System (SPCSS), a body of educationists and educational activists, has written to the Chief Election Commissioner urging him to issue a stern warning to political parties, groups and candidates from making any caste-based appeals to voters.Recalling Vaiko’s statement explaining his decision to withdraw from contesting the polls, P.B. Prince GajendraBabu, general secretary, SPCSS, said there was a series of “honour killings” in the state and major political parties remain silent on the issue.
HC nixes charge of Goondas Act in dalit murder
Summary: His supporters, most of them belonging to the Gounder community, welcomed him at the gate of the CB-CID office. From the gate, Yuvaraj and his supporters moved in a procession, and he entered the CB-CID office at 11.10am.The CB-CID police arrested him and filed a chargesheet. Chennai: The Madras high court on Wednesday quashed the detention of Yuvaraj, the prime suspect in the sensational murder of dalit youth Gokulraj, under the Goondas Act.A division bench of Justice M Jaichandren and Justice S Nagamuthu quashed the preventive detention order under the Goondas Act, passed by Namakkal district collector on December 2, 2015.In an another order, Justice K Kalyanasundaram adjourned the hearing on the bail application filed by Yuvraj to Thursday to let the CB-CID file a counter affidavit.Gokulraj was allegedly taken away by Yuvaraj’s men while he was with his girlfriend – who belonged to another caste – in Arthanareeshwarar temple in Thiruchengode on June 23, 2015.The next day, his headless body was found on railway tracks, triggering outrage among activists and family members who alleged it was a case of murder of a youth involved in inter-caste love relationship.Though identified as prime suspect, Yuvaraj, who headed a caste outfit called DheeranChinnamalaiPeravai, could not be arrested by police for months.It was during the frustrating search for the accused that a woman deputy superintendent of police, Vishnupriya, committed suicide, triggering another round of outrage among activists that she had killed herself due to harassment from police top brass.Yuvaraj went on the run on June 23 after Gokulraj was found dead.The state government handed over the investigation of the case to the CB-CID.Yuvaraj finally surrendered on October 11, after being on the loose for almost four months.Yuvaraj arrived at the CB-CID office in Namakkal on a motorbike at 11am on October 11.
Chennai: The Madras high court on Wednesday quashed the detention of Yuvaraj, the prime suspect in the sensational murder of dalit youth Gokulraj, under the Goondas Act.A division bench of Justice M Jaichandren and Justice S Nagamuthu quashed the preventive detention order under the Goondas Act, passed by Namakkal district collector on December 2, 2015.In an another order, Justice K Kalyanasundaram adjourned the hearing on the bail application filed by Yuvraj to Thursday to let the CB-CID file a counter affidavit.Gokulraj was allegedly taken away by Yuvaraj’s men while he was with his girlfriend – who belonged to another caste – in Arthanareeshwarar temple in Thiruchengode on June 23, 2015.The next day, his headless body was found on railway tracks, triggering outrage among activists and family members who alleged it was a case of murder of a youth involved in inter-caste love relationship.Though identified as prime suspect, Yuvaraj, who headed a caste outfit called DheeranChinnamalaiPeravai, could not be arrested by police for months.It was during the frustrating search for the accused that a woman deputy superintendent of police, Vishnupriya, committed suicide, triggering another round of outrage among activists that she had killed herself due to harassment from police top brass.Yuvaraj went on the run on June 23 after Gokulraj was found dead.The state government handed over the investigation of the case to the CB-CID.Yuvaraj finally surrendered on October 11, after being on the loose for almost four months.Yuvaraj arrived at the CB-CID office in Namakkal on a motorbike at 11am on October 11. His supporters, most of them belonging to the Gounder community, welcomed him at the gate of the CB-CID office. From the gate, Yuvaraj and his supporters moved in a procession, and he entered the CB-CID office at 11.10am.The CB-CID police arrested him and filed a chargesheet..
New Indian Express
Cutoff Marks Scares SC/ST IIT Aspirants
CHENNAI: The much awaited JEE 2016 (Main) examination result declared on Wednesday saw increased cut-off marks for the SC and ST community, traditionally least represented in the country’s premier technical institutes, in comparison with last year’s score.
Nearly two lakh students, out of a total of 11,94,938, have qualified for JEE (Advanced). This year, the cut-off for general category students is 100, for OBC (non creamy layer) is 70, for SC (52) and ST (48).
Commenting on the cut-off marks, K Radhakrishnan of TIME Institute (Chennai), said that while the cut-offs for general and OBC categories have been along expected lines, the cut-ff for SC and ST students has seen an increase over the last year. “The cutoff score for SC has increased by two marks (50 in 2015) while for ST, it has shot up by four marks (44),” he said. Incidentally, the cutoff score for general category has reduced from 105 in 2015 to 100 this year.
This comes in the backdrop of the Education Ministry restricting fee waiver for those SC/ST students only to families below the prescribed annual income ceiling (`5 lakh pa). This had created a stir among SC/ST students as many among them wouldn’t be eligible for this tuition fee waiver under the revised terms. Now with the cut-off scores for SC/ST students increasing this year, it is feared that this further reduces the chance of more of them entering the premium technical institutes in the country
Students who have cleared JEE main will be eligible to get admission into the various undergraduate engineering programme available in NITs and other Centrally funded technical institutes in India.
Group-wise reservation for HSC classes only in letter, not in spirit
A nuanced government order issued by the Education Department in 1994 mandating reservations in admission to higher secondary courses (HSC) is yet to be implemented in the State.
The G.O. includes an instruction to all Chief Educational Officers to ensure ‘group-wise’ reservation of admission by ‘all kinds of managements’, allotting 18 per cent to SC, 1 per cent to ST, 20 per cent to MBC and Denotified Communities and 30 per cent to BC, with the remaining 31 per cent going to students in the OC category. This was aimed at providing equal opportunities to all students across the streams, and particularly to ensure that the most-sought-after Group I and Group II jobs had a fair representation. The 1994 G.O. cites the contents of a letter from the Director of AdiDravidar and Tribal Welfare, explaining that over 60 per cent are being forced to join the humanities group, and that the chances of poor SC/ST students getting into various professional courses are reduced to a great extent. Further, the official called for group-wise reservation in the higher secondary entry level.
“The original reservation for HSC courses, provided in a G.O. dated 22.3.1978, envisaged 18 per cent for SC/ST and 31 per cent for BC students,” explains noted educationist Kalyani. “It is unfortunate that no government has even bothered to implement it.”
It was in the quest for this 1978 G.O. that the 1994 G.O., mandating group-based reservation, was discovered, says Devaneyan A. of Thozhamai, an NGO
“It was a struggle to even get hold of the order. No one in the school department was able to help me, and finally, after years of hunting for it, I managed to get it through an RTI petition.” D. Ravikumar, ex-MLA and the VCK’s nominee for the Vanurconstitunecy, also recollects raising the issue in the Assembly in 2006. “I wanted it to be implemented so that poor, rural students are not continually pushed to vocational streams and humanities subjects. Not all these students go only to government colleges. In many instances, parents struggle to put them into private schools for a ‘better education’. The good thing is that the G.O. asked for group-wise reservation in private institutions also, giving those students a true chance.”
As much as educationists concurred that the G.O.s were progressive , they remained perplexed that they were never implemented in a State that claimed to look at social equity seriously. “This is a social protection scheme that was multi-dimensional and covered several vulnerabilities,” points out ArunaRathnam of UNICEF.
Some educationists claim that there is not even a semblance of representation of Dalits in the science streams of many private schools.
News monitored by AMRESH & AJEET