Dalits Media Watch – News Updates 06.05.16

Dalit student at CU attempts ‘suicide’ – The times of india


Kerala Dalit student rape case: A pattern of chronic systemic apathy – Dna


Punjab and Haryana HC dismisses appeal for suspension of sentence for parading woman naked – The Indian express


Kerala Dalit rape-murder case: Union minister visits victim’s mother; probe team head changed – Dna


12 people held for Dalit woman’s murder in Kerala – Mid day


#JusticeForJisha: Why Jisha’s Dalit Identity Matters – The Citizen


Central team to UP to probe Dalit’s death due to hunger – Zee News


All According to Plan: Amit Shah’s ‘Dip of Harmony’ With Dalits – News 18


Amit Shah forms Panel to Look into Atrocities on Dalit Women – The New Indian Express


The times of india

 Dalit student at CU attempts ‘suicide’


Ajmer: A PhD scholar at the Central University of Rajasthan (CURAJ) at Bandrasindri was rushed to a hospital after he jumped from the first floor of his hostel on Wednesday night.

On one hand the university authorities claim that scholar Rajendra Kumar, who was caught drinking in his room, jumped in an attempt to avoid the hostel guards, Kumar on the other claimed that he jumped to end his life as he was being targeted because he was a Dalit.

student sui side

Kumar alleged that night warden and security persons came to his room and slapped him on Wednesday. “They wanted to beat me and to save my life I jumped from the balcony. I fell to the ground and lost conscious,” said Kumar.

While Kumar said he would register a case of atrocity against the hostel authorities, the police and doctors have confirmed presence of alcohol in his blood. The university has set up a committee to look into the incident.

Kumar, a scholar of PhD in English, was taken to Yagnarayan Hospital last night but later shifted to JLN Hospital in Ajmer. The medical report stated that Kumar had fallen from a height. After regaining consciousness on Thursday evening, Kumar said, “The problem started last month when I went to the office of my warden S Kandaswami.” He abused me because of my caste saying why did I enter his office?” alleged Rajender. “He discriminated against me just because I belong to Dalit community. I will lodge a

complaint with the police and also bring the matter to the notice of Human Rights Commission,” said Kumar, who hails from Ghaziabad.

Chief warden S Kanadswami said that he had gone to Kumar’s room after receiving complaints from other students that latter was creating nuisance in the hostel after consuming alcohol.

“When I reached Kumar’s room I found him under the influence of liquor. He was hurling abuses at university officials,” said Kandaswami. He further said the guards were directed to take Kumar for a medical test and in an attempt to free himself from their hold, Kumar jumped from the first floor.

We came to know that a drunk student jumped from the balcony. We have not registered any case because no complaint has been registered so far. We went to the hospital but the student was unconscious. The doctors confirmed presence of liquor in his blood,” said Narender Singh of Bandrasindri police station.

Vice chancellor Arun K Pujari when contacted said that he was out of town and could not talk while public relations officer Anuradha Mittal did not respond. Official sources in the campus said that there was a complaint that Rajender Kumar was drinking in his room and that was a regular complaint.


 Kerala Dalit student rape case: A pattern of chronic systemic apathy


The brutal rape and murder of a 30-year-old law student in Kerala’s Ernakulam district has been met with shocked disbelief and anger in the state. Political parties have hit the streets and social media has resounded with a hashtag that has gone viral demanding justice for the woman. The manner in which the woman’s body and genitals were mutilated has evoked memories of the December 16 gang-rape incident. The matter has also been raised in Parliament but the challenge will be to sustain the tempo of the protests.

For a while after the December 16 incident, there was renewed and invigorated discourse on gender violence and women’s safety. In Kerala, the organised Left parties have already seized the initiative and launched street protests. But the danger inherent in politicians hijacking the forum is that it inhibits a spontaneous and organic response from women groups and civil society. Along with gender, another issue that is now emerging is the other aspect of the victim’s identity: she was a landless Dalit.

In a state that boasts of impressive developmental indices, the Dalit question has remained largely unaddressed and the CPI(M), Congress and much of civil society, that has woken up to the barbarity inflicted on the woman, are equally at fault for this deliberate neglect. The victim lived on an isolated patch of revenue land, in a hut that did not have a strong door or a toilet, because she could not afford either, and with a mother who suffered from mental ailments. Despite generous state and central government schemes that offer land to landless, homes for homeless, and toilets for those without them, the victim lived outside the social security net. In her life, the issues of women’s safety and social isolation brought about by lower caste status coalesced.

The Dalit disenchantment with mainstream Kerala society had erupted repeatedly in the past decade as land agitations. Once solidly allied with the Left, in the 1990s Dalit groups woke up to the realisation that the Left’s much-hyped land reforms had only benefitted sharecroppers, while the Dalits, who were landless labourers, were left in the lurch. This disillusionment found voice in literature too through novels like Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things. From the early years of this millennium, in a desperate attempt to solve their grouse at landlessness, Dalit and Adivasi, groups encroached on forest and revenue land and estates leased to big corporates, to pressure the state government. The alternating CPI(M) and Congress led governments have largely treated these agitations with antipathy and succeeded in sowing dissensions among the agitators with promises of land, which often turned out to be minuscule plots in barren and rocky terrains, that were unfit for cultivation or habitation.

Pointers to the marginalisation of the Dalit community are evident from the 2011 Census, which indicates that the percentage of Dalits in the total population fell from 9.8 per cent in 2001 to 9.1 per cent in 2011. In absolute numbers, their population declined from 31.2 lakh in 2001 to 30.4 lakh in 2011, even as the state’s population grew by 4.9 per cent in this period. Just 18 per cent of Kerala Dalits are matriculates and only two per cent are graduates. Only 1.7 per cent Dalits are cultivators, while 33 per cent are agricultural labourers, 2.8 per cent are household workers, while an 61 per cent are engaged in casual and unskilled labour. An overwhelming 81 per cent of Kerala’s Dalits live in rural areas, which along with lower socio-economic indices, has throttled their visibility in the state’s highly urbanised social life. With Kerala in the grip of elections, political parties have rushed to commiserate with the victim’s family. But none of them are talking about the vulnerabilities of the community she hails from, and therein lies a pattern of chronic systemic apathy.

The Indian express

 Punjab and Haryana HC dismisses appeal for suspension of sentence for parading woman naked


The Punjab and Haryana High Court Thursday dismissed a petition for suspension of a four-year-long sentence of a convict who had cut hair of a Dalit woman with a pair of scissors, blackened her face with burnt oil, stripped her naked and paraded on a ‘Rehri’ in Kamrewala village, Fazilka district, in May 2013.

Justice Rajan Gupta while taking note of the heinous crime said, “Mere long incarceration cannot be a ground to suspend the sentence. The judge, while admitting the petition filed by accused Dayal Singh, said, “In view of the gruesome crime and allegations of outraging the modesty of a woman in full public view, prayer for suspension of the sentence is hereby rejected.”

The victim’s husband was also assaulted by the accused and no villager had came forward to rescue them. Later, an FIR was filed by the victim’s son. The trial court had initially sentenced the accused to one year of imprisonment but later the appellate court had enhanced the sentence to four years on the ground that a heinous crime had been committed.


Kerala Dalit rape-murder case: Union minister visits victim’s mother; probe team head changed


Amid growing cries seeking justice for the victim of Kerala’s sensational rape and murder, the state government on Thursday asserted the culprits would be brought to justice even as the chief investigating officer in the case was removed.

“It is a serious case. It is a time taking investigation. Scientific evidences are required. There are no lapses and efforts are being done to nab the real culprits through a scientific probe,” Home Minister Chennithala told a meet-the- press.

In a related development, Chief Investigating officer DySP Anil Kumar was removed and A B Jijimon appointed to head the team probing the rape and brutal murder of the 30-year-old Dalit law student at her home in Perumbavoor on April 28. Chennithala said the shake-up was done as Jijimon has a better understanding of Perumbavoor area.

As the incident is becoming a campaign material for the May 16 assembly polls with both ruling UDF and rival LDF trading charges over ensuring safety of women, police said Kumar would continue in the probe team, which is under supervision of ADGP Padmakumar and IG Ernakulam Mahipal Yadav.

Union Social Justice Minister Thawarchand Gehlot visited Perumbavoor and held discussions with officials. Gehlot visited the victim’s mother at the Taluk hospital in Perumbavoor where she is undergoing treatment and assured her that the government would ensure that the family gets justice. He kept the media at bay, saying as the Model Code of Conduct was in place due to the May 16 Assembly elections in Kerala, he would not make any statement.

The minister, who held meetings with investigating officials, said he had been deputed by the Rajya Sabha and the report he prepared about the incident would be tabled in the the Upper House tomorrow.

National Women’s Commission chairperson Lalitha Kumaramangalam also visited the victim’s mother and said, “The whole country is shocked that such a brutality has taken place.”

Chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes P L Punia expressed concern over the delay in arresting culprits and said if family wants, he will push for a CBI probe into the gruesome incident.

“This is highly shocking,” Punia told PTI after visiting the victim’s mother and her house in Perumbavoor and asked the Kerala police to immediately arrest the culprits who committed the heinous murder.

Noting that “Kerala has never been known for this kind of brutality as we see in North India including New Delhi”, Punia said there has been “some flaw” in implementing the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013 enacted against the backdrop of Delhi gangrape incident in Kerala in its letter and spirit.

“…It is a matter of concern that the culprits have not been arrested so far. Whatever efforts have been taken, that has not reflected in the arrest of the culprits,” said Punia.

He said police have informed him they have interrogated a number of people in connection with the incident.

“About 125 people have been interrogated, questioned, and 10 very intensely questioned and they are hopeful that something would come out and the culprit would be arrested within next one or two days,” he said.

Mid day

 12 people held for Dalit woman’s murder in Kerala


Perambavoor (Kerala): The police has so far arrested about a dozen people in connection with the murder last week of Dalit law student Jisha in Perambavoor in Ernakulam district, a case that has become a cause célèbre in the noisy election season in the state. The latest two suspects to be nabbed includes a neighbour of the victim’s family, a police official said on Friday. Among others taken into custody are two migrant labourers, the official said, suggesting that the investigation was progressing well. In a review meeting with the 30-member probe team late on Thursday night, Director General of Police T.P. Senkumar also expressed satisfaction over the progress of the investigation. The official said that the police has ascertained that the murder took place around 5.45 p.m on April 28 when Jisha’s mutilated body was found by her mother Rajeshwari. The police believe that the 27-year-old Dalit woman was sexually assaulted before being killed. Meanwhile, the case continues to be a subject of political theatre in Kerala where voting for the assembly election is scheduled on May 16. State Congress president V.M. Sudheeran was the first high profile visitor on Friday to visit Jisha’s mother Rajeshwari at a hospital where she has been admitted following the trauma caused by her daughter’s murder. “This should never ever happen to any mother. The need of the hour is that as and when the police track down the person responsible for this heinous crime, maximum punishment should be handed out to the accused,” said Sudheeran after meeting Rajeshwari.

“What I could find out from her was that this situation could have been avoided had the people’s representatives at all levels discharged their responsibility. The only way Kerala can get away from these sorts of incidents is handing out maximum punishments at a quick pace to people who do such things,” added Sudheeran. Meanwhile, the case continues to be a subject of political theatre in Kerala where voting for the assembly election is scheduled on May 16. State Congress president V.M. Sudheeran was the first high profile visitor on Friday to visit Jisha’s mother Rajeshwari at a hospital where she has been admitted following the trauma caused by her daughter’s murder. “This should never ever happen to any mother. The need of the hour is that as and when the police track down the person responsible for this heinous crime, maximum punishment should be handed out to the accused,” said Sudheeran after meeting Rajeshwari. “What I could find out from her was that this situation could have been avoided had the people’s representatives at all levels discharged their responsibility. The only way Kerala can get away from these sorts of incidents is handing out maximum punishments at a quick pace to people who do such things,” added Sudheeran.

The Citizen

 #JusticeForJisha: Why Jisha’s Dalit Identity Matters


 THE CITIZEN BUREAU Friday, May 06,2016

NEW DELHI: It took the media an entire week to get hold of the news that a 30 year old law student had been brutally raped and murdered in Perumbavoor, Kerala. Jisha — as she is being called — was stabbed thirty times. Part of her intestines had been removed using a sharp object. Her lifeless body showed signs of severe torture and abuse — she had been strangled and sexually assaulted before she died. Her body was discovered by her mother in their small family home on Thursday, an entire week ago. 

In the week since her death made it to the news, there was no statement from the police or the government. Why wasn’t Jisha’s death reported sooner? Why has the government not acted? Why has the police not said anything? 

More so, why has Jisha’s murder — eerily similar to the December 2012 Delhi gang rape in its brutality — not led to widespread protests? The December gang rape made it to front page headlines. Thousands of people came out on the streets, across different cities in India, in protest. The public pressure prompted swift action. Arrests were made. Punishments were meted out. 

In Jisha’s case, the silence is deafening. In addition to the fact that the media, government and police ignored the brutal crime for over a week, the only progress the police have made in the case is that since Tuesday, they have been interviewing two people, with no comment on whether or not they are suspects. 

The silence surrounding Jisha’s murder, according to many, is linked to another evil deeply ingrained in Indian society — that of caste. Unlike Jyoti Singh (known in the media as Nirbhaya), Jisha belongs to the dalit community. Atrocities against dalits are hardly accorded comparable media real estate. 

In modern India, violence against women and discrimination against dalits continue to remain pervasive. Worst, statistics against both social evils are on the rise. 

According to the National Crime Records Bureau of India, reported incidents of crime against women increased 6.4% during 2012, and a crime against a woman is committed every three minutes. To provide further context, 65% of Indian men believe women should tolerate violence in order to keep the family together, and women sometimes deserve to be beaten. From 2008 to 2012, reports of rape have increased from 21,467 to 24,923. It is worth noting that a large number of rapes and sexual assaults still go unreported, meaning that the real numbers are much higher. According to the reported statistics, in India, a woman is raped every 29 minutes. It is no surprise, therefore, that in 2012, India was as the worst G20 country in which to be a woman. 

This generalisation, however, requires further context. Oppression in India is not uniform — it is disproportionately concentrated against the lower classes and the lower castes. At the extreme end of this are the Dalits. According to official crime statistics, 27 atrocities against Dalits are committed every day. 13 Dalits are murdered every week. 3 Dalit women are raped every day. A crime is committed against a Dalit every 18 minutes. This, despite the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. Worse, these crimes are on the rise. According to data released by NACDOR, a total of 3,198 cases related to atrocities on dalits have been registered between 2004 and 2013 as against 1,305 from 1994 to 2003. These crimes rose by another 19 percent in 2014. According to statistics compiled by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), crimes against SCs rose to 47,064 in 2014 from 39,408 in 2013. In 2012 there were 33,655 crimes against dalits. 

Jisha’s tragic story is proof that even in modern India, the media, government, police and even the public factor in identity in their selective outrage. In this case, Jisha’s dalit identity is the differentiator. 

Zee News

 Central team to UP to probe Dalit’s death due to hunger


Last Updated: Friday, May 6, 2016 – 13:33

New Delhi: Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Friday said a team will be sent toBundelkhand to look into the alleged death of a dalit due to hunger in Banda district in Uttar Pradesh.

Responding to the issue of the alleged death raised by Prabhat Jha (BJP) during Zero Hour in Rajya Sabha, Paswan said Food Security Act has been implemented in the country, except two poll-bound states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

He expressed surprise that when 100 percent foodgrains are lifted for distribution at subsidised rates, how can a person die of hunger.

“We will send a team (Bundelkhand),” he said, adding that earlier a team was also sent to Bihar.

The team, Paswan said, will also find out since when foodgrains were not being given to the affected family.

Earlier, Jha said Kanhaiya, a dalit, had died of hunger in Banda district and police was trying to hush up the case. “Why is no one shedding tears on his death,” he said.

Jha said Muni Devi, widow of the victim, has given a statement that her husband died of hunger. She also alleged that there was pressure on the family to complete the last rites of the victim.

Kumari Mayawati (BSP) said Kanhaiya’s case was not an isolated incident. According to her, there have been murders in Bundelkhand and several others too have died of hunger. She also demanded that Centre should send a team there.   PTI

News 18

 All According to Plan: Amit Shah’s ‘Dip of Harmony’ With Dalits


Sumit Pande

 First published: May 6, 2016, 7:58 AM IST | Updated: 6 hours 3 mins ago

 As is their wont, after an early breakfast, the pracharaks filed in into the mammoth marquee under the watchful gaze of a life-size portrait of Dr Ambedkar. Even the portal to the main pavilion emblazon the effort and thought at an image-makeover: Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar Mandap, it said.

While it celebrated the birth centenary of its third sarsanghchalak — Balasaheb Deoras — the emphasis on the Dalit icon at the RSS general body meeting at Nagaur in Rajasthan earlier in 2016 was evident.

The shift from Balasaheb to Babasaheb for the RSS seemed both an ineluctable necessity and a tactical manoeuvre.

It all started in the run-up to the Bihar assembly polls in 2015. All was well, till then. BJP had won a resounding victory in 2014 general elections, and had followed it up with a reasonably satisfactory performance in all state elections. Delhi, though, was the only exception.

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s observations to the Sangh mouthpiece ‘Organiser’ on the ever-raging reservation debate in the country was the turning point which, some even within the BJP feel, took the game away from the party in Bihar.

‘Organiser’ editor Prafulla Ketkar, who conducted the interview, rubbishes conspiracy theories behind the timing of its publication and instead blames the mainstream media for having distorted Bhagwat’s point of view.

That notwithstanding, the damage was done.

For the BJP, it is easier to tide over a random remark by a junior minister like General VK Singh, but there is no escape when the sarganghchalak speaketh.

The Bihar debacle was soon followed by the events in Hyderabad Central University triggered by the suicide of research scholar Rohith Vemula. The inept handling of the situation by the government, if anything, exacerbated the matter.

The Congress was quick to latch on to this opportunity. The Indian Left rushed in to bridge the perennial ideological paradox between class and caste to label both the RSS and the BJP as anti-dalit. The saffron brigade was fast losing the perception war.

RSS can contest the intolerance debate with its idea of nationalism. The problem comes when it has to wade through the caste quagmire within the larger Hindu monolith it expounds.

So, when the RSS general body met under that marquee in Nagaur in Rajasthan in March, its top brass was a worried lot. In that meeting, also attended by BJP President Amit Shah, a long-term plan at image makeover was drawn. The vehicle of course would be Ambedkar’s 125th birth anniversary celebrations.

Since then, RSS has been organising functions at the grassroots to reach out to the socially marginalised sections, especially Dalits and tribals. Both BJP and government have worked overtime to appropriate Ambedkar’s legacy. Organiser has brought out a special edition on Ambedkar. Amit Shah has appointed a Dalit as Punjab state president.

In poll-bound Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka, the reins of the party have been handed over to Keshav Prasad Maurya and BS Yeddyurappa – both OBC leaders. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has spelled out in unequivocal terms that his government is committed to the policy of reservation in government jobs and education. Professor Narendra Jadhav has been nominated to the Rajya Sabha. One can simply go on and on.

Come next week, BJP president Amit Shah will do his bit to add to the narrative being so skilfully crafted. He will take a holy dip into this litany of efforts by participating in a samrasta snan (dip of harmony) at the ongoing Simhasth Mahakumbh in Ujjain. Especially invited for the event are leaders from Dalit and schedule tribe communities. This will be followed by a community meal at the venue.

The top RSS leadership will also be at Kumbh over the next two days. This crescendo on the banks of river Kshipra will culminate with Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Ujjain on May 14.

Almost six decades after his death, everybody wants a bit of Ambedkar in their politics.

The New Indian Express

 Amit Shah forms Panel

to Look into Atrocities on Dalit Women


By Express News Service Published: 06th May 2016 04:34 AM Last Updated: 06th May 2016 10:01 AM

NEW DELHI:  With election season in full swing, BJP on Thursday not only constituted a three member committee to look into growing atrocities against dalits, following gruesome murder and rape of a law student, the saffron party also complained to the election commission on deteriorating law and order situation in the poll bound state.

BJP chief Amit Shah  also visited family of the girl. He asked committee to look into “growing atrocities” against Dalit women in Kerala. The team would visit the state on May 7, 8 and 9.

“Concerned with growing atrocities against Dalit women in Kerala, BJP President Amit Shah has constituted a committee,” a party statement said. The panel includes  BJP’s Lok Sabha MPs — Meenakshi Lekhi, Udit Raj and Arjun Ram Meghwal.

The party also took the issue and another case of the rape of a nurse two days ago in the state to the Election Commission on Thursday and demanded that it should press all resources to carry out free and fair polls in Kerala. The delegation of the party leaders which visited the EC included Union ministers J P Nadda and Rajiv Pratap Rudy, besides Anurag Thakur, Udit Raj, Heena Gavit, Meenakshi Lekhi, Krishna Raj, Anju Balam and Neelam Sonker and Richard Hay, all Lok Sabha MPs.

Kerala is going to the polls on May 16 and BJP is looking at consolidation of a section of Hindu votes to emerge as a force in the state.

News monitored by AMRESH & AJEET


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