Dalits Media Watch – News Updates 05.05.16

38 Wounds on Jisha’s Body: Postmortem Report – The New Indian Express


Rape-murder of Dalit in Kerala: MPs express concern in RS, minister to visit victim’s home – The Indian express


Dalit gang-rape victim dies – Free press


Police at sixes and sevens in murder case – The hindu


Man dies of ‘starvation’; UP CM grants compensation – The hindu


Dalit girl murder: On defensive, Kerala Government gives Rs 10 lakh to family – The economic times


SC/ST, OBC reservation tussle reaches court – The Times Of India


Rohith Vemula’s family mirrors a trend: Dalits are rushing to embrace Buddhism – The Indian express


Protest outside Kerala House – The hindu


Human rights edu is antidote to untouchability: Henri Tiphagn – Deccan Chronicle


The New Indian Express

 38 Wounds on Jisha’s Body: Postmortem Report


By Express News Service Published: 05th May 2016 06:48 AM Last Updated: 05th May 2016 08:23 AM

ALAPPUZHA:  The postmortem report of Jisha, the LLB student, who was found murdered on April 28 at her house, submitted to the police by the Alappuzha Medical College authorities, reveals that the girl had suffered 38 wounds. The Medical College authorities have also initiated a probe into the alleged issues related to the autopsy of Jisha. The five-page report was handed over to the Perumbavoor police by the  Forensic Department of the MCH.

It was at 3 pm on Friday that the body of Jisha was brought to the MCH for post-mortem examination. The autopsy was conducted by medical officer (a final year PG student) Amjith E Kutty under the supervision of a deputy police surgeon, said MCH authorities. It took three hours to complete the medical examination. The internal organs and blood samples of Jisha were sent to Chemical Examiner’s Laboratory and Forensic Science Laboratory in Thiruvananthapuram for detailed examination and DNA test, the authorities said.

In the examination, it was found that there were 38 injuries, including some deep wounds in her vagina. Scratch marks of fingers were found on both her shoulders. It can be suspected as a sign of rape. Her vagina had suffered deep injuries and blood was found clotted in her internal organs. But reports of the lab are required to confirm rape, the report says.

Meanwhile, an MCH doctor on condition of anonymity said there was nothing wrong in the postmortem carried out at the MCH. In medical colleges, even major surgeries are being handled by PG students under the supervision of senior doctors. In the Forensic Department, the PG students are doing the autopsies under the supervision of a police surgeon.

The Indian express

 Rape-murder of Dalit in Kerala: MPs express concern in RS, minister to visit victim’s home


As Rajya Sabha members raised the issue of rape and murder of a Dalit woman in Kerala, Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thaawar Chand Gehlot Wednesday said he will visit the victim’s village Thursday and meet her family. The matter was raised by MPs from Kerala in both Houses of Parliament. While the matter was raised in Lok Sabha by nominated Anglo-Indian MP Richard Hay, CPM’s C P Narayanan raised it in the Upper House.

Speaking during the Zero Hour, Narayanan said the incident was a “dastardly attack” similar to the December 16 gangrape. He drew the House’s attention to similar incidents occured in Kasargod last week and in Thiruvananthapuram Wednesday. “Police are not very active in apprehending the culprits,” he added. Deputy Chairman P J Kurien said: “It is a very, very heinous crime. Most shameful for every Keralite.” Several members demanded strict action, with BJP’s Tarun Vijay demanding that a team should visit the state. CPI’s D Raja drew attention of the government towards the atrocities against Dalits, adding that legislations have proved to be of no help. Responding to the members, Gehlot said: “I will go to Kerala tomorrow and meet the family of the girl. I will help them in getting justice,” he added. “The House is concerned. Stringent action should be taken and exemplary punishment given. Do everything possible so that such incidents do not happen,” Kurien said. In Lok Sabha, Hay attacked the state government for its “laxity” in pursuing the case. “I strongly urge upon the Government of India to intervene and look into this heinous and barbaric crime that occurred in Kerala, a 100 per cent literate state, in daylight. Kerala is described as ‘God’s Own Country’… I call it a ‘Devil’s Own Country’ now.” Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said: “We should not look at it from any political angle, particularly when elections are taking place there. I will be conveying to the hon. Home Minister to find out from the Government of Kerala the factual situation. I would also urge upon him to advise them to take the strongest possible action.

Free press

 Dalit gang-rape victim dies


BHOPAL: A dalit gang-rape victim succumbed to burns in village Manjhla, under the Sanodha police station in Sagar district on Wednesday.

The superintendent of police Sachin Atulkar informed that the 35-year-old woman of Ahirwar community was gang-raped four persons, when she was returning from a religious programme.  On Tuesday, she tried to self-immolate herself.  She was admitted to the district hospital in a critical condition. (FPNS)

On Wednesday she gave a dying declaration to the tehsildar and narrated the incident.

The hindu

 Police at sixes and sevens in murder case


Six days after the gruesome murder of the Dalit law student at her house at Perumbavoor, the police continue to grope in the dark.

The interrogation of a neighbour of the victim, who was detained in Kannur on Tuesday, revealed precious little. The suspect was brought to Kochi early on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the police filed an additional interim report at the Judicial First Class Magistrate court at Kuruppumpady confirming rape of the victim. The finding was based on the post-mortem examination report. As per the report, the body had 38 injuries, of which fewer than ten were caused by stabs.

 Interrogation going on

The police continued to interrogate over ten suspects at various locations. Officers privy to the investigation attributed the stalemate to the lack of a solid witness statement even as relatives and those in the neighbourhood continued to be non-cooperative.

The police are awaiting a report from the Forensic Science Laboratory in Thiruvananthapuram where the fingerprint and viscera samples had been sent for forensic analysis.

On their failure to file a report with the District Collector, as is mandatory in the event of the death of a Dalit, the police said such a report could be filed only after the accused was nabbed.

The official said the criticism of the police over the cremation of the body was misdirected since the police hardly had any role in the decision.

The body was handed over to the relatives as per norms after post-mortem examination and the decision on cremation was taken by them.

The Hindu

 Man dies of ‘starvation’; UP CM grants compensation


Pushed on the back foot after a Dalit man died of alleged starvation in drought-hit Bundelkhand, Uttar Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on late Wednesday evening announced Rs 5 lakh as in gratia compensation to the deceased’s kin.

The State government also ordered an inquiry into the reported starvation death of Nathu Prasad (40), a resident of Aila village in Naraini tehsil of Banda on Wednesday.

Mr. Yadav’s action came after heavy criticism from opposition parties who accused the government of failing to provide proper relief to drought-affected persons. Fifty districts of Uttar Pradesh, including all seven of Bundelkhand, currently reel under drought.

While not terming it a case of starvation, Mr. Yadav expressed his grief at Nathu Prasad’s death under “unusual circumstances.” Nathu Prasad’s family claimed he had not eaten for four days. A probe is on to obtain the full details of the case and Chief Secretary Alok Ranjan has given District Magistrate Banda Yogesh Kumar 24 hours to submit his report.

Coming down heavily on officials for laxity in drought relief measures, Mr. Ranjan has warned them to ensure that are no starvation deaths. In case such incidents are reported, the concerned district magistrate would be held responsible, a government spokesperson said.

The government had so far been patting its own back for drought relief measures but the incident has pushed it on the defensive. As news of the alleged starvation death broke, the BJP had launched an attack on the SP government saying that it had failed to provide relief to drought-hit people in Bundelkhand. BJP state president Keshav Prasad Maurya described the “starvation death” sad and shameful. He said the State government was not serious in getting the relief sent by the Centre to the deserved beneficiaries in Bundelkhand.

In a meeting with officials of various drought-affected districts, Mr. Ranjan also expressed his displeasure at the slow rate of distribution of funds—out of the Rs 867 crore allotted as relief only Rs 52 crore had been so far distributed in the affected districts. Mr. Ranjan has given the district magistrates of the affected districts 10 days to ensure the distribution of the rest of the funds to farmers. He also urged officials to ensure that at least one pond was kept alive in all villages so that animals did not die of thirst.

The SP government said it was providing Samajwadi Drought Relief food packets to 2.30 lakh Antodyaya families. Also, under the Food Security Act, which was implemented last month, the beneficiaries would get free food for four months. The government said that to resolve the drinking water crisis in the parched region, it had announced installation of 3226 India Mark-2 handpumps in the seven districts. More than 400 water tankers have also been set in motion, a government spokesperson said. Last week, the government also released Rs 102 as relief to farmers in 12 districts where crops were damaged due to hailstorm. The list includes some districts of Bundelkhand. While farmers in Banda would get Rs. 3.28 crore, Mahoba will get Rs. 4.28 crore, Hamirpur Rs. 7.87 crore and Jalaun Rs. 38.57 crore as compensation.

The economic times

 Dalit girl murder: On defensive, Kerala Government gives Rs 10 lakh to family


KOCHI: Caught on the wrong foot over the delay in arresting the culprits of the rape and murder of the 29-year-old Jisha near Perumbavoor, the Kerala government on Wednesday announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to her family. 

The government has also decided to give government job to the sister of Jisha in Ernakulam, though both the decisions are subject to the approval of the Election Commission. 

The government has also clarified that it had given financial assistance of Rs 3.75 lakh to Jisha’s family to buy land and sanctioned another Rs 3 lakh to construct a house. 

Meanwhile, the state has been witnessing unprecedented scenes of protest and anger by students, women activists , Kudumbasree workers and political parties demanding justice to Jisha. DYFI activists waved black flags at the CM Oommen Chandy as he came to visit Jisha’s mother at a hospital in Kuruppampady. 

The CM said the culprit would be arrested and brought before law at the earliest. Earlier on Tuesday the Home Minster Ramesh Chennithala bore the brunt of people’s ire. He could not visit Jisha’s mother at the hospital due to the protest of the DYFI and SDPI workers. 

Jisha was found murdered in her house in Perumbavoor on April 28 with 38 stab wounds. The incident has been compared to the “Nirbhaya” murder case. 

 The Times Of India

 SC/ST, OBC reservation tussle reaches court


Isha Jain | TNN | May 5, 2016, 06.01 AM IST

Lucknow: Two days after Pichda Jan Kalyan Samiti (comprising of OBC teachers, employees and students) of Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University moved a petition claiming 50% SC/ST reservation should be done away with and OBC should be accommodated, the SC/ST students on Wednesday moved an application in the high court through their advocate SK Kalia requesting that they be made a party in the petition.

The BBAU has 50% reservation for Dalits in admissions. OBC students, however, want university to implement 27% reservation for them.

In the petition, the Samiti sought 27% reservation for OBC students. Petitioner’s counsel Amit Bose told the court that 50% reservation for dalits in BBAU violates Article 15 of the Constitution.

BBAU’s counsel Rajesh Tiwari, however, argued that the university has been created with the objective to uplift the economically and socially backward by giving weightage to SC/ST students. Further, he said, since the petitioner has not challenged the provision by which 50% seats are reserved for SC/ST students, the petition is not maintainable.

The court deferred the matter till May 10 and gave opportunity to the petitioner to challenge the constitutionality of the provision which provides 50% reservation to Dalits.

BBAU campus has been witnessing protests by Dalit and OBC students over reservation since January.

 The Indian express

 Rohith Vemula’s family mirrors a trend: Dalits are rushing to embrace Buddhism


The conversion of the family of Dalit student Rohith Vemula to Buddhism on the 125th birth anniversary of Dr B R Ambedkar has underscored the way in which the faith has been used as the moral armament of the Dalit movement in India.

According to data released by the central government last month, Buddhism is the fastest growing religion among the Scheduled Castes (SCs) in the country.

University of Hyderabad PhD scholar Rohith committed suicide in January, allegedly after being targeted by the university, which suspended him from the hostel and stopped his scholarship as ‘punishment’ for allegedly clashing with leaders of the BJP’s student wing, the ABVP. His death triggered a firestorm of protests on campus which spread across the country, and still continue.

In a statement issued in Mumbai after their conversion, Rohith’s brother Raja Vemula said that Rohith “was extremely keen that our family should follow the path of Buddha”. Rohith had come to their home in Guntur in November 2015 wearing the white clothes of a follower of The Buddha, and had spoken “a lot about why Ambedkar had chosen to convert to Buddhism in 1956”, Raja said in the statement.

Rohith’s mother Radhika and Raja were given deeksha by Buddhist monks at a ceremony at Mumbai’s Ambedkar Bhawan on April 14.

Government data show the numbers of Scheduled Caste Buddhists have grown at a rate of 38% from 41.59 lakh in 2001 to 57.56 lakh in 2011. During the same period, the total Scheduled Caste population of the country grew by 21.3% from 16.6 crore to 20.14 crore. However, the share of Buddhists in the overall Dalit population still remains very small — only 2.83%. The numbers of Scheduled Caste individuals who profess the Hindu faith had a comparatively slow rate of growth — increasing by 19.6% from 15.8 crore to 18.9 crore over the period 2001 to 2011. Sikh SCs grew 27% from 46.85 lakh in 2001 to 59.52 lakh in 2011.

Over 90% of the Buddhist SC population is concentrated in Maharashtra, which has 52.04 lakh Buddhists. In Maharashtra, their numbers have grown by close to 60% from 32.51 lakh in 2001. Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar had first spoken about conversion in 1927 during the Mahad conference where he demanded equal rights. In 1935, he publicly announced his plans of giving up Hinduism at the Yeola Conference. “I solemnly assure you that I will not die a Hindu,” Dr Ambedkar had said in his speech at Mahad. In 1956, a few weeks before his death, Dr Ambedkar converted to Buddhism at Deekshabhoomi, Nagpur. “By discarding my ancient religion which stood for inequality and oppression, today I am reborn,” Ambedkar had said during his conversion. Hundreds of thousands of Dalits — mostly Mahars — converted to Buddhism along with Ambedkar. Buddhism was not only meant to serve as an escape from the tyranny of Hinduism, but also as a religion that would provide a new identity and a sense of dignity to the community.

A large chunk of those who converted with Ambedkar belonged to Maharashtra. Soon after his conversion, Ambedkar formed the Bharatiya Bouddha Mahasabha (BBM) to manage the integrity of the neo-Buddhist community, and to take the work of conversion further. He spoke about working towards making India a Buddhist country. Despite the small numbers of Dalit Buddhists, their rapid growth indicates increased assertion among Dalit youth and an enthusiasm to identify themselves as Buddhist. “There is an increasing understanding about Buddhism amongst SC youth in the country. The reporting of the ideas of Dr Ambedkar and the numerous discussions that are taking place have sensitised youth, who are today proud to identify themselves as Buddhist,” said Rahul Sapkal, a Buddhist Dalit social activist.

The hindu

 Protest outside Kerala House


Women’s organisations and citizens joined a protest outside Kerala House here on Wednesday to raise their voice against the gruesome rape and murder of Dalit law student Jisha on April 28 in Ernakulam.

The demonstration was addressed by AIDWA general secretary Jagmati Sangwan who said that Jisha’s mother told the AIDWA delegation in Kerala that her daughter could have been saved had the police taken timely action against the miscreants. She denounced the callousness of the Kerala government and the police.

Others who spoke were Maimoona Mollah (AIDWA), Shabnam Hashmi (ANHAD) and Vrishali (Stree Mukti Sangathana). Organisations like Stree Mukti Sangathana and Dalit Mahila Suraksha Samiti were also present.

The case is being compared to the December 16 gang-rape. According to the autopsy, Jisha’s intestines had come out in the attack with a sharp object. There were 30 wounds on her body, including two stab wounds on the chest.

Deccan Chronicle

 Human rights edu is antidote to untouchability

: Henri Tiphagn



PublishedMay 5, 2016, 6:04 am IST

Human rights activist and lawyer Henri Tiphagne received the Amnesty International’s Human Rights Award on April 25 in Berlin.

pic 6

Human rights activist and lawyer Henri Tiphagne received the Amnesty  International’s Human Rights Award on April 25 in Berlin. Tiphagne of People’s Watch is the first Indian to receive this award. After returning to Chennai on Wednesday, he spoke to A.Ragu Raman of Deccan Chronicle. Excerpts:

 Q Who do you want to dedicate this award ?

I received this award on behalf of all women and men human rights defenders in India whose names and faces are not known to the outside world. This award is for those working in the shrinking civil society space in India.

Q Will this award serve as an inspiration to other human rights activists in the country?

Generally, awards like this have never been received by human rights activists. None of us is working for awards. However, this award is only a political recognition.

Q Is the space for civil society shrinking in India?

People working in civil society organisations are suffering from shrinking space in relation to their right to association, right to assembly and right to freedom of expression. All forms of controls have been brought unto us. Controls on voluntary force affect genuineness of the work.

Q Is the state machinery seeing human rights activists as a nuisance?

It is our duty to be a nuisance. We have to be critical of policies, of persons and of programmes only because we want to uphold the Constitution. So, we have to rub shoulders with people while they are in position. It embarrasses them. But usually once people are out of office, they recall and appreciate our work.

Q How has human rights scenario changed in our country over the last few decades?

Thirty years ago human rights was a bad word. Today human rights is not a bad word. Unfortunately, today those who are responsible for human rights violations are the ones who are talking about human rights. The victims and people who suffer from violations of civil, political and socio-economic nature have to benefit by human rights  For this to happen our courts have to deliver, our Commissions have to deliver and deliver it with quality.

Q Recently journalists and social activists were put behind bars in Chhattisgarh for being critical of security forces. What have human rights organisations done about this?

At least six journalists had been jailed in Chattisgarh. We are taking up their cases. The Press Guild of India has categorically said press freedom in Chattishgarh is affected.  We are sending a fact-finding team to  Chhattisgarh tomorrow. The team, headed by Justice Suresh, will investigate these cases.  

Q How do you see the recent campus unrests related to the suicide of Rohith Vemula and sedition case against Kanhaiya Kumar?

This is a common phenomenon in all institutes of higher learning in the country. There is untouchability in institutions of higher learning. There are various forms of sophisticated untouchability. It is not like in villages. In these institutions,  professors cannot bear Dalit students sitting alongside other students.  Wherever teachers have discretion,  they mark the Dalit students poor.  There is no counselling and they are left between devil and deep sea. They are resorting to various measures. Rohit’s case is just a tip of the iceberg.

Q Can you tell us about your human rights education programme?   

We prepare teachers to teach values of human rights inside the classrooms of Standard VI to VIII. It has knowledge, skill and action aspect. We started human rights education from Tamil Nadu. I believe that human rights education is the antidote to various forms of inequality, including caste system. Unless we teach students at an young age the values of equality, untouchability will continue.

Q Any words for aspiring human rights activists?

I dedicate this award to the young people in the country and they may rededicate themselves for a change in this country by working in the area of human rights.

News monitored by AMRESH & AJEET

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