Dalits Media Watch -News Updates 04.05.16

Kerala horror: 19-year-old nursing student gangraped in auto – The Hindustan times


3 detained after Dalit law student raped, murdered in India – Daily times


Seeking Justice for Jisha – The Indian Express


Two workers die cleaning manhole in Hyderabad – Mushlim mirror


“DMK, AIADMK insensitive to the plight of Dalits” – The hindu


Dalit students protesting OBC reservation lathicharged – The times of india


SC/ST MLAs’ Fast Illegal: Speaker – The New Indian Express


Members of Dalit samaj observe hunger strike – The tribune


High-spirited women protest Odisha’s liberalised liquor policy – Hindustan times




Brandeis University’s conference on Caste discussed contemporary issues – Two Circles


Please Watch:

Discrimination at School – Chanda reports for India Unheard

The Hindustan times

 Kerala horror:

19-year-old nursing student gangraped in auto


A Dalit nursing student was allegedly raped at Ayanthi in Varkala, an incident which comes close on the heels of the brutal rape and murder of a law student in Kerala.

A case has been registered against three persons on the basis of the girl’s complaint and investigations are on,police said on Tuesday night.

The incident occurred on Monday near Ayanthi bridge in Varkala.

The 19-year-old second year BSC nursing student had gone with an autorickshaw driver, who was known to her, in his vehicle. Two of his friends also got into the vehicle later. They then took the autorickshaw to a deserted spot and allegedly raped her.

The girl was in a state of shock and suffered from fits when she was found by some people who rushed to the vehicle on hearing her cries for help.

She has been admitted to the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College Hospital.

The incident comes days after a Dalit law student was raped and murdered in Ernakulam district.

Daily times

 3 detained after Dalit law student raped,

murdered in India


NEW DELHI: Police detained three men for questioning Tuesday in the rape and murder of a law student whose body was found mutilated in southern India, officials said. The case has drawn comparisons to the deadly 2012 gang rape of a woman on a New Delhi bus that sparked widespread outrage and nationwide protests demanding an end to the widespread sexual assault and abuse of women across India. The autopsy on the 30-year-old victim in Kerala state revealed she had been sexually penetrated by sharp objects before being murdered in her home on Thursday in Perumbavoor, a city on the outskirts of the major city of Kochi, according to Press Trust of India news agency, citing police sources. Home Minister Ramesh Chennitala said, however, that the full autopsy report was not yet complete, and so he was unable to confirm that a rape had happened. “Police are working very hard on solving this case,” Chennitala told reporters. On Tuesday, police arrested three men for questioning, but could not immediately say if they were suspected of taking part in the crime. The family is from the Dalit community, considered the lowest caste in India’s centuries-old social hierarchy. PTI reported that the victim’s body was discovered by her mother. The state’s chief minister, Oommen Chandy, has described the crime as “shocking.” Women outraged over the case have staged protests. Taboos against speaking about sexual assault are believed to make India’s women and children more vulnerable to sexual violence and harassment. Experts say that has started to change since the fatal gang rape of the 23-year-old woman in 2012, after which the government rushed through legislation to double prison terms for rape, and to criminalize voyeurism, stalking and the trafficking of women. But activists say more action is needed, including better educating youths and adding basic safety infrastructure such as street lights and public bathrooms.

The Indian Express

 Seeking Justice for Jisha


By Express News Service Published: 04th May 2016 04:09 AM Last Updated: 04th May 2016 04:19 AM

The Janadhipatya Mahila Association, dalit organisations, SFI, social activists and women journalists attended the protests. P K Sreemathy and T N Seema, leading the Janadhipatya Mahila Association protest, alleged that the the government and the police are dithering in taking the investigation forward. Seema said that she will fight till the end to ensure that justice is provided to the victim’s family. “According to the Justice Verma Committee any non-consensual penetration of a sexual nature and assault marks in the genital areas are included in the definition of rape. Still, the government and the police are reluctant to confirm it as rape,” Sreemathy said. The ministers are caught up in election campaigns and they have not even found time to visit the victim’s home, she alleged. Justice remains elusive despite the existence of laws, she said.


Various dalit organisations also organised a protest separately in front of the Secretariat. They alleged that the voice of dalits is being stifled, and nobody paid heed to their grievances.

Drawing parallels with the Nirbhaya incident, the SFI, which led a march to the Secretariat, demanded immediate arrest of the culprits. “The Delhi incident occurred in a bus, but this happened in the victim’s home, which means girls now are not even safe in their homes,” SFI district president Rahil R Nath said.

“Government always talks about the rights of the marginalised. But why are they quite now? A girl has again been brutally raped which is a shameful thing for the nation,” he said. “This case again proves that it is not about dress, it is not about night-outs, but about the mentality of the people,” Sreena, a student of Government Law College, Thiruvananthapuram. The incident has created fear among students as well as parents, the protestors said.

‘It’s Time to React’

Kerala University students lodged their protest by breaking earthen pots and making a call for ‘Pride, Equality and Freedom.’ The protest was organised at the Kariavattom campus. The students also condoled Jisha’s death by exchanging black ribbons. “With danger lurking around women, one cannot just be alert! It’s time to react,” the students said in a statement. The right to live with pride is enshrined in the Constitution and nobody has the right to snatch it from an individual, the students said.

Mushlim mirror

 Two workers die cleaning manhole in Hyderabad


Hyderabad, May 2: In a tragedy on May Day, two workers died while cleaning a manhole here, police said.

The sanitation workers died of suffocation in the manhole in Koti area of the city.

Police retrieved the bodies and took them to government-run Osmania Hospital for autopsy.

The deceased, identified as Veeraswamy and Kotaiah, both in their early 40s, were engaged to clean the manhole as it was a holiday for regular sanitation staff of Hyderabad Metropolitan Supply and Sewerage Board.

The families of the workers alleged that authorities failed to act swiftly to rescue them which led to their death.

This is not the first incident. Similar incidents happened in the past. Workers say no safety precautions are being taken, resulting in such tragedies.

The hindu

 “DMK, AIADMK insensitive to the plight of Dalits”


Tamizhaga Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (TMMK) founder-leader P. John Pandian, seeking election from Tiruvadanai Assembly constituency, has said that the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam governments remained insensitive to the plight of Dalits and exploited them only as their vote bank.

The two Dravidian parties which had been ruling the State alternatively since 1967 had done very little for the uplift of society and failed to provide even basic facilities in Dalit villages, if the conditions prevailing in Tiruvadanai constituency were any indication, he told reporters here on Tuesday.

During his extensive electioneering tour of the constituency, he found to his dismay that ‘Pallars’ lived in abject poverty and fought for basic needs. It would not be an exaggeration if he said “they live like stone age people”, Mr. Pandian said.

In every election, the two Dravidian parties vied with each other in garnering their votes after making false promises to improve their standard of living and provide job opportunities, but they ignored them after the election, he charged. His party had decided to contest from more than 50 seats mainly to serve the suppressed section of society, he said.

He criticised Sivaganga Diocese for discriminating Dalit Christians and denying priesthood to one from the community. There were 1.10 lakh Pallar Hindus and Christians in Tiruvadanai constituency and he was confident of winning, he noted.

Answering a question, he said that he walked out of the AIADMK-led front as it offered only one seat (Vasudevanallur) to his party against its demand for five seats.

The AIADMK had failed to recognise the strength of the party and their party had decided to prove its strength, Mr. Pandian’s wife and party general secretary Pricilla Pandian said.

Mr. Pandian denied that his party had fielded candidates to indirectly help the AIADMK by eating into Dalit votes, which might otherwise go to the DMK. “This is absolutely false and this is not our intention,” he said.

The times of india

 Dalit students protesting OBC reservation lathicharged


LUCKNOW: A day after students, teaching and non-teaching staff of BBAU under the aegis of Pichda Jan kalyan Samiti (PJKS) moved a writ petition claiming 50% reservation should be done away with and that Other Backward Class (OBC) should be accommodated, Dalit students under the banner of Ambedkar University Dalit Student Union (AUDSU) staged day long protest on Tuesday demanding action against the petitioners. Later, police chased the students and used mild force in which some students were injured.

On Tuesday morning, the student protesters gathered outside the administrative block. Holding placards, they raised slogans demanding termination of those protesting against the 50% SC/ST reservation. The protester burnt an effigy of the vice-chancellor RC Sobti and proctor Kamal Jaiswal who they claimed of being biased towards them. The students also demanded resignation of the proctor and dean, student welfare. This university is not like any other Central University. The very purpose of this university to uplift the economically and socially backward will be defeated if the 50% SC/ST reservation will be done away with,” said Shreyat Buddha core member of AUDSU.

After submitting a memorandum to the V-C in the morning, students, instigated by a section of teachers intensified their protest in the evening. They barged inside the V-C’s office demanding immediate action against the petitioners. Sensing trouble, university administration called the police. Though the police denied use of any force, students claimed that they were cane charged which left few students injured.

Officer-in-charge of Ashiana police station, sub-inspector Santosh Kumar Tiwari said that the university vice- chancellor made an SOS call and a team was deputed to bring him out of his chamber. Students were protesting outside his office over some demands. We brought him out safely. No force was used by police and nobody was injured,”” said Tiwari.

University spokesperson Kamal Jaiswal said that varsity has accepted the students demand of removing the proctor. A committee has been constituted to find out whether or not action can be taken against the petitioners. The matter is sub juidice. In Tuesday’s incident, no force was used. Not a single student is injured. Police broke the glass door to chase the students.”

The New Indian Express

SC/ST MLAs’ Fast Illegal: Speaker


By Express News Service Published: 04th May 2016 05:51 AM Last Updated: 04th May 2016 05:51 AM

BHUBANESWAR: Even as Speaker Niranjan Pujari on Tuesday declared the hunger strike launched by a group of Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Scheduled Caste (SC) MLAs in front of Chief Minister’s chamber on Assembly premises here as ‘illegal’ and ‘unconstitutional’, he assured the MLAs to give a ruling on their demands on Wednesday.

The agitating MLAs from opposition Congress and BJP called off the strike after Pujari held discussion and assured them of looking into their demands.

The Dalit and tribal MLAs sat on a hunger strike in front of the Chief Minister’s chamber demanding proper implementation of Odisha Reservation of Vacancies (ORV) Act.

Though SC and ST MLAs belonging to BJD had signed the letter supporting the agitation, they did not join the hunger strike.

The Scheduled Categories MLAs have been demanding reservation of 38 per cent of seats in medical and engineering colleges and institutes of higher education. The other demands include job reservation in private sectors.

“The State Government has been apathetic to our demands. The orders of the Chief Minister are not followed properly by the officers at district level,” said Congress MLAs Prafulla Majhi and Bhujabal Majhi.

The issue was raised by Leader of Opposition Narasingh Mishra in the Assembly. Mishra said the agitation by the MLAs is justified.

Mishra said though the Government had promised to implement their demands, none has been fulfilled. He requested the Speaker to persuade the agitating MLAs to call off the strike.

Ruling BJD member Sashibhusan Behera also requested the Speaker to ensure that an unprecedented incident like MLAs staging hunger strike in front of Chief Minister’s chamber does not take place.

Speaker Pujari adjourned the House for more than two hours and convened an all party meeting with the agitating lawmakers. However, the effort did not yield result as the SC and ST MLAs refused to call off agitation.

The tribune

 Members of Dalit samaj observe hunger strike


The activists of Vishav Valmiki Kaumi Ekta Dharam Samaj observed a hunger strike on Bhandari Bridge here today, demanding an end to the exploitation of Scheduled Castes. The organiser of the protest, Balbir Singh Gumtala, said members of the community were being exploited as instead of regular jobs, the government had initiated contractual employment for safai sevaks and drivers.

He said deprived of educational facilities, the members of the community cannot compete for highly paid jobs in other categories. He said most of the Class IV posts had been filled under the contractual- employment schemes.

State president of the samaj Sukhwinder Singh Raju said most of the members of the community do not have ownership deeds of their homes because they cannot afford to pay the government fee for these.

“Due to lack of ownership deeds, they cannot even pledge their properties for bank loans. Even if a member of a family is entangled in a legal case, they do not have anything to attach with a bail bond,” said Sukhwinder Singh. He said the government should create more jobs in various departments to provide employment to members of the community.

Hindustan times

 High-spirited women protest Odisha’s liberalised liquor policy


Hundreds of women marched under a baking April sun last week in Salepur, a town 50km from the Odisha capital, demanding immediate closure of liquor shops in the locality.

The protest underscores a rising tide against alcohol in the state where the government is encouraging sales to rake in more revenue.

Women are at the forefront of this spirited fight, trying to save their families from the rampant liquor scourge. Anti-alcohol campaigners say most of these protesters are wives of daily wage workers, marginal farmers and village artisans who spend a substantial amount of their income on liquor.

Besides getting addicted, the men’s indulgence is ruining families — especially poor households.

There are other reasons too for the protests. Parbati Maharana, a middle-aged Salepur housewife, was furious that the men outside liquor vends passed lewd remarks.

We would not budge till the liquor shops are closed. The shops are breaking our family life,” she said, marching under the banner of Gramanchal Mahila Nisha Nibarana Committee. “The liquor shops should not be allowed near temples and schools.”

The rally forced the district administration to close five shops for a few days.

The state has recorded at least half-a-dozen protests in the past month since the government announced a liberalised liquor policy, which contrasts neighbouring Bihar’s alcohol ban from April 1.

With more than 4,200 shops, Odisha’s excise revenue went up from Rs 306.61 crore in 2004-05 to Rs 2,557 crore in 2015-16. It aims to mop up Rs 2,800 crore from liquor sales this fiscal.

Beer has become cheaper while the licence fee to set up a brewery, distillery or micro-brewery has reduced under the policy that kicked in on April 1.

Excise minister Damodar Rout says his government can’t ban alcohol as its consumption is a “private affair”. But his logic didn’t pass the test in the growing chorus against alcohol.

A mob torched a shop in Koraput district in March. On April 1, women of a village in Deogarh district ransacked a shop. In coastal Kendrapada, hundreds of campaigners ransacked a country-liquor shop and set it on fire in March.

Police rushed to the village but watched the crowd from a distance. They didn’t want to repeat the March 2015 incident when 16 villagers, mostly women, were wounded in police firing after a mob burned down a village liquor shop in the same district. These were poor Dalit women, frustrated by their husbands and sons spending their wages on liquor.

“These women are suffering every day and they have realised that they can’t sit silent any longer,” said Pramila Swain of Odisha Mada Mukti Abhiyan, an anti-alcohol group.

Excise commissioner PK Senapati says not all protests against liquor shops are related to rising alcoholism. “There are vested interests that encourage women to protest against an old shop so that another shop can come up,” he said.

But anti-liquor activists point to other interests. “Politicians know that it’s easier to hoodwink people if they can keep them intoxicated. But the women will fight back,” said Malay Tripathy of Milita Odisha Nisha Nibaran Abhijana, an NGO.

The Odisha Prohibition Act 1956 was not enforced till 1994 when former chief minister Biju Patnaik banned alcohol — two years after spurious liquor killed 300 people in Cuttack. The JB Patnaik-led Congress came to power in 1995 and lifted the ban.

After chief minister Naveen Patnaik took over in 2000, the state government began retailing liquor through its Odisha State Beverages Corporation.

The pioneer



Members of the Dalit community here on Tuesday demanded strict action against unidentified miscreants who burnt the posters of Bhimrao Ambedkar and former Chief Minister Mayawati in Murad Nagar, near Ghaziabad.

Uttar Pradesh Shoshit Morcha’s youth wing leader Rahul Kumar Jatav and his supporters submitted a memorandum to District Magistrate Vimal Kumar Sharma on the matter and accused the police of inaction in the case. The posters were burnt by miscrants on April 28.

The posters were made by District Panchayat member and BSP leader Rajni Jatav whose husband is a local village head.

In the memorandum Rahul Jatav stated that Dr Ambedkar and Mayawati are two crusaders of Dalits for their dignified life in the society.

“The dalits in Murad Nagar are angered over the mass burning of Dalit posters,” it said.  He alleged that the police are apathetic towards the burning of the posters therefore he was forced to submit the memorandum to the head of the district magistracy.

Two Circles

 Brandeis University’s conference on Caste discussed contemporary issues


Submitted by TwoCircles.net on 4 May 2016 – 8:09am

The three-day conference on Caste, Inequality and Economic Growth in South-Asia: Challenges of Tradition and Modernity was organized at Brandeis University from April 29t to May 1, 2016 chaired by professors Rajesh Sampath, Laurence Simon and Sukhadeo Thorat.

The conference attracted participation from academics and activists from different parts of India, Sri Lanka and Scotland apart from the US and brought scholarship and perspectives from across disciplines. Prof. Sukhadeo Thorat, who joined via Skype presented the keynote address at the beginning highlighting the dual need of addressing exclusion while also taking up measures for inclusion. In this direction, he mentioned the ongoing attempts to do so, among which has been the setting up of Centres for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy across universities in India. He further highlighted the importance of access to education and employment besides the focus on redistribution of resources such as land.

One of the key debates in the conference was around the current Ambedkarite student movements and agitations in higher educational institutions in India that caught public attention triggered by the institutional murder of Dalit PhD Scholar Rohith Vemula in Hyderabad Central University. Prof. Sujatha Surepally pointed out the need for anti-caste discrimination committees on campuses similar to anti-ragging and GSCASH, with proper implementation. These movements were further contextualized as a response to the growth of the Brahminical right while also highlighting the role of the Congress and Left political parties historically in saffronizing education.

The role of different ideologies and religion was highlighted by Tanoj Meshram and Pradeep Jayanak to better organize the anti-caste struggle and take it with full force among the youth. They further noted that political parties across the spectrum are currently embracing Dr.Babasaheb Ambedkar but their attempts have been mostly limited to symbolic appropriation rather than substantially engaging with his ideas and vision.

Going back further into history, Prof J. Balasubramaniam spoke about Dalit Ambedkarite journals in Colonial Madras to highlight the rise of Dalit political consciousness outside and apart from the nationalist movements during the colonial times, also as a result of education. Prof Anbuselvam raised an important point on the relation between the Panchayat Raj Act and the rise of caste based atrocities in southern districts of India, while also highlighting the importance of Dalit leadership in anti-caste movements.

Another important debate that the conference made space for was the comparative study of casteism and racism. Prof. Samuel Myers spoke about the constitutions of India and the US, highlighting the vision of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar in precisely yet inclusively framing the constitution of India unlike Thomas Jefferson, a slave owner who framed the constitution of the US where the lack of such precision resulted in defeating the purpose of social justice. Raju Kamble from Dr.Ambedkar International Mission spoke in detail about caste discrimination in the UK, US and Canada among the “Indian” diaspora highlighting the seriousness of the issue thus emphasizing the need to recognize it as a form of racial discrimination. Father Gideon Jebamani spoke about caste discrimination in Churches and Hindu temples in the US since the 1940s when Indian diaspora started entering the US.

Pushpa Iyer spoke about the Hardik Patel agitation. She contextualized it showing the reactionary nature of the demand for reservations for Patels, pointing out that Hardik Patel’s father was a former BJP worker and one of the accused of Gujarat genocide of 2002 Babu Bajrangi is one of Hardik Patel’s heroes. Arjun Kumar and Vibhor Saxena spoke about the supply side constraints faced by people from Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and minorities in accessing basic amenities such as LPG and schemes for housing and sanitation based on quantitative analysis of census and NSSO data.

The last day saw a vibrant debate on Ambedkar and nationalism which then opened discussions on what should be the vision of organizing and taking the anti-caste movement forward. The wide spectrum of perspectives with those closely and passionately engaged with Ambedkarite politics only emphasized the need to continue to have these discussions, thus closing the conference with the announcement of the next conference to be held in 2017 under the theme of the Unfinished Legacy of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar.

News monitored by AMRESH & AJEET


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