Dalits Media Watch – News Updates 14.05.16

Dalit woman killed after her brother elopes with girl – The Hindu

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/dalit-woman-killed-after-her-brother-elopes-with-girl/article8596907.ece

10-year-old dalit body sodomised by teenager in AgraThe times of india

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/agra/10-year-old-dalit-body-sodomised-by-teenager-in-Agra/articleshow/52255026.cms

Villagers stage protest seeking land for graveyard – The Hindu

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-karnataka/villagers-stage-protest-seeking-land-for-graveyard/article8598914.ece

Maharashtra bans ‘social boycotts’ that often shun women, lower castes – India Today

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/maharashtra-bans-social-boycotts-that-often-shun-women-lower-castes/1/667988.html

In Kumbh, Bhagwat lunches with sanitary worker – The statesman

http://www.thestatesman.com/news/india/in-kumbh-mohan-bhagwat-lunches-with-sanitary-workers/142181.html#D2jUTtfEsgXZOzGg.99

Parents sit by fasting JNU girl in solidarity – The Telegraph India

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1160514/jsp/nation/story_85632.jsp#.VzabLjV95kg

BJP seeks probe into funding for UoH protests, says students hold ‘lavish parties’ everyday – The News minute

 http://www.thenewsminute.com/article/bjp-seeks-probe-funding-uoh-protests-says-students-hold-lavish-parties-everyday-43217

Odisha reservation row: Agitating MLAs prostrate before CM in Assembly, Naveen walks awayThe Indian express

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/odisha-reservation-row-agitating-mlas-prostrate-before-cm-in-assembly-naveen-walks-away-2799682/

Only losers, no winners in Uttar Pradesh – Deccan Chronicle

http://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/politics/140516/only-losers-no-winners-in-uttar-pradesh.html

Dalits enfeebled even in reserved Puducherry segmentsThe Hindu

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/dalits-enfeebled-even-in-reserved-puducherry-segments/article8597896.ece

The Hindu

 Dalit woman killed after her brother elopes with girl

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/dalit-woman-killed-after-her-brother-elopes-with-girl/article8596907.ece

In a case of suspected ‘honour’ killing, a caste Hindu hacked to death a Dalit woman on Friday after her brother married and eloped with his daughter.

Police said S. Viswanathan (29), a Dalit from Elango Nagar in Vannarpet under Palayamkottai police station limits, was in love with S. Kaveri (23), a caste Hindu engineering student from Thatchanallur. He married the girl four months ago and got the marriage registered.

Relatives protest

After Kaveri’s last semester examination got over recently, she eloped with Viswanathan on May 3. Agitated over this, the girl’s relatives started looking for the couple.

The girl’s father Sankar also visited Viswanathan’s house and allegedly threatened the youth’s parents to locate the couple.

Viswanathan’s father Shanmugavel filed a complaint with the Palayamkottai police seeking protection for his family.

On Friday afternoon, Sankar went to Shanmugavel’s house again and hacked Viswanathan’s sister S. Kalpana (27) with a sickle after a heated argument.

Though people in the vicinity rushed her to the nearby hospital and then to the Tirunelveli Medical College Hospital, she succumbed to her injuries.

The post-mortem could not be conducted as her relatives refused to give their consent, demanding the arrest of the culprit.

The times of india

10-year-old dalit body sodomised by teenager in Agra

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/agra/10-year-old-dalit-body-sodomised-by-teenager-in-Agra/articleshow/52255026.cms

In a shocking incident, a10-year-old dalit boy was allegedly sodomised by a youth of minority community, who also attempted to smother him, in Agra. The incident which took place near Yamuna river bank in Tajganj area enraged the locals who demanded harsh punishment for the accused.

Speaking to TOI, sub-inspector Jitendar Kumar Dubey of Tajganj station said, “As per victim’s father, on Thursday evening, when the minor was playing outside his home, he was allured with a chocolate by 19-year-old Chotu, who is the neighbour of the victim. When the victim refused to accept the chocolate in a bid to accompany the accused, Chotu took away the footwear of the minor boy and walk towards Yamuna river bank coercing the victim to follow him.”

“When the victim followed the accused towards the river bank to take back his footwear, the accused grabbed him from behind and tied his mouth with a cloth before having unnatural act with the boy. Somehow, the boy managed to remove the cloth and screamed for help. After which a woman of the village, passing by the river bank, came to rescue the kid and informed his parents about the act,” he said.

On the written complaint of the victim’s father, an FIR was lodged against accused Chotu and he was later arrested. The victim was sent for medical examination.

As per police, the accused has been booked under section 377 (Unnatural offences) of the IPC, POSCO Act and ST/SC act.

In the month of March, a 5-year-old boy was sodomised and later smothered by his elder cousin brother in Nichkhera village of Nibohra

The Hindu

 Villagers stage protest seeking land for graveyard

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-karnataka/villagers-stage-protest-seeking-land-for-graveyard/article8598914.ece

STAFF CORRESPONDENT

A section of residents of Thagachagere in Channapatna, Ramanagaram district, staged a protest during which they placed a dead body outside the taluk office in Channapatna on Friday, demanding land for a graveyard for dalits.

Tension prevailed for a while after the protesters tried to dig the ground near the entrance of the office to bury the body. On Saturday morning, Kenchaiah (60), a dalit, died in their village. Because of the absence of a graveyard there, the villagers brought the body to Channapatna to stage a protest.

The villagers placed the body outside the office, squatted on the ground for a long time and raised slogans against the revenue officials. They said they have been fighting with the authorities to sanction land for a graveyard for several years now.

The police and revenue department officials met the protesters and held discussions with them, promising to sanction land for the graveyard soon. Subsequently, the villagers dispersed.

India Today

 Maharashtra bans ‘social boycotts’ that often shun women, lower castes

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/maharashtra-bans-social-boycotts-that-often-shun-women-lower-castes/1/667988.html

The western state last month passed the law against a decades-old practice of village panchayats, or councils, ordering social boycotts.

IndiaToday.in  | Posted by Bihu

Mumbai, May 14, 2016 | UPDATED 11:08 IST

Maharashtra has become the first in the country to ban village councils from imposing “social boycotts” that ostracise individuals or families for defying tradition.

Women and lower caste Dalits often bear the brunt of such judgments, passed as punishment for perceived misdeeds such as marrying between castes or dressing immodestly.

khap

Decade-old practice

Maharashtra last month passed the law against a decades-old practice of village panchayats, or councils, ordering social boycotts. “The Act was required against the backdrop of atrocities inflicted on people in the name of tradition, caste and community,” said Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

“It is necessary to prohibit social boycotts as a matter of social reform in the interest of public welfare,” he said.

Under village council orders, individuals and families have been banished from the community, and denied access to temples, wells, markets and celebrations. In some cases, panchayats have even branded women as witches, and ordered gang rapes or killings as punishment.

New Law

Maharashtra’s new law declares social boycotts a crime punishable by up to seven years in prison, a fine of Rs 500,000 ($7,500), or both. Human rights campaigners called for other Indian states to follow Maharashtra’s example.

“The law will help check caste crimes to some extent. It empowers lower-caste people and it empowers human rights organisations, as it gives us a tool with which to fight against village panchayats,” said Irfan Engineer, director of the Centre for Study of Society and Secularism in Mumbai.

Role of Khap panchayats

Khap panchayats are unelected village councils comprising men of a particular clan or caste. While their power has diminished since 1992, when elected village councils were made mandatory, they remain powerful in socially conservative states including Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and parts of Uttar Pradesh.

India’s top court in 2011 described khap panchayats as “kangaroo courts” that are entirely illegal.

Maharashtra, home to several social reformers including B.R. Ambedkar who fought against caste discrimination, in 2013 passed legislation criminalising practices related to black magic, human sacrifices, and other superstitious beliefs.

The social boycott act is another step toward ending outdated customs, said Avinash Patil, executive president of Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti, which had campaigned for the bill, as well as the 2013 law. “We are demanding that the central government enact similar laws in all states, so we can end this brutal practice,” he said.

The statesman

 In Kumbh, Bhagwat lunches with sanitary worker

http://www.thestatesman.com/news/india/in-kumbh-mohan-bhagwat-lunches-with-sanitary-workers/142181.html#D2jUTtfEsgXZOzGg.99

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat on Friday had lunch with sanitary workers, many of them Dalits, engaged to keep clean the site of the ongoing ‘Simhastha Kumbh’, a massive congregation of Hindus, at Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh.

Bhagwat squatted and ate meal with the sanitary workers (safai karamcharis) at Shri Guru Karshanaik ashWhen the victim followed the accused towards the river bank to take back his footwear, the accused grabbed him from behind and tied his mouth with a cloth before having unnatural act with the boy. Somehow, the boy managed to remove the cloth and screamed for help. After which a woman of the village, passing by the river bank, came to rescue the kid and informed his parents about the act,” he said.

On the written complaint of the victim’s father, an FIR was lodged against accused Chotu and he was later arrested. The victim was sent for medical examination.

In the month of March, a 5-year-old boy was sodomised and later smothered by his elder cousin brother in Nichkhera village of Nibohra police jurisdiction. ram here.

The ashram management has invited 1,200 sanitary workers.

Men were given shirts and trousers while the women workers were gifted Rs.100 and sarees,” ashram’s pontiff Swami Omkaranandji said.

On Thursday, Bhagwat had taken a holy dip with members of tribal communities in the Kshipra river here.

He had also addressed a ‘Janjati Sammelan’, a gathering of members of tribal communities from Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and other places, organised by the VKP in Ujjain.

Bhagwat had then said that the Hindu culture has its genesis in the tribal society.”The sense of belongingness and sharing are the tenets of Hindu religion. Time has come that the tribal representatives stood up for them and demand their rights,” he had said.

“God helps those who help themselves,” Bhagwat said yesterday.

Bhagwat’s move is being seen as a step aimed at striking a chord with the tribals.

Notably, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah on Wednesday had participated in ‘samrasata snaan‘ (bath for social harmony) and ‘samrasta bhoj‘ (social harmony feast) with Dalit saints at the Kumbh Mela.

Shah had joined the Dalit sadhus and other saints in the holy bath billed by the BJP as the ‘Samrasta Snan‘ with an eye on the Assembly elections in the politically sensitive Uttar Pradesh next year.

Sangh Parivar head Mohan Bhagwat had stirred a controversy by calling for a review of reservation policy during the run-up to the Bihar Assembly polls last year.

RSS is running a nation-wide campaign this year to promote “social harmony” among Hindus to woo tribals and Dalits which are key to BJP’s hopes of wresting power in Uttar Pradesh, going to polls next year.

The RSS has already held discussions on ‘samajik samrasta‘ (social harmony) in its shakhas (morning get together classes) from January 3-10 in Madhya Pradesh.

The Telegraph India

 Parents sit by fasting JNU girl in solidarity

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1160514/jsp/nation/story_85632.jsp#.VzabLjV95kg

Pheroze L. Vincent

New Delhi, May 13: Sarojini Devi and Ramlakhan Ram looked different from the 12 hunger strikers at JNU today.

Ram had a frayed gamchha across his torn shirt collar and Sarojini her head covered by a sari. They sat in solidarity with their fasting daughter Chintu Kumari – till the 16-day-old hunger strike was called off around 10pm on a prod from Delhi High Court.

Just two of the 20 students who had begun the fast on April 28 had continued till today; the remaining 10 had joined in over the past fortnight.

The two were Chintu, former general secretary of the students’ union, and Anant Narayan, its former vice-president. Both are from the CPIML Liberation-backed All India Students Association; both are Dalits.

“When newspapers printed her picture after she became a student leader here, people in Arrah couldn’t believe that a Dalit’s daughter was in JNU and had won an election,” Ram said. “People from all classes celebrated in our district.”

Ram worked in thread factories at Delhi’s Okhla industrial area in the 1990s before joining Liberation. He moved back home to Kaulodihri in Arrah in 2007 to work as a party whole-timer.

Ram and Sarojini, both day labourers, ensured that Chintu studied in Delhi throughout. She graduated in political science from Delhi University in 2011 and is now doing her PhD on a Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship.

The hunger strike, probably JNU’s longest, ended after the high court granted interim relief to the 19 students punished for a February 9 campus protest against the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.

Examining a batch of eight petitions, Justice Manmohan ordered that no punishments would be carried out until vice-chancellor M. Jagadesh Kumar had acted on students’ appeals against the action.

If Kumar rejects their petitions, the students will have two weeks to appeal to the court – provided they withdrew the strike today and engaged in no further “strike or dharna or agitation or coercive action” on the issue before the court decided it.

After almost two hours of discussions between students’ groups on campus, the protesters ended the fast with mango juice and coconut water. They have been advised to eat soft food for the next few days.

“JNU should be a normal place with no journalists hanging around there,” Justice Manmohan had said. It’s unclear whether reporters would be stopped at the gates.

The university had rusticated three students, expelled two from their hostels and fined 14 others. Chintu had been fined Rs 20,000.

Chintu said feebly this afternoon: “My parents haven’t even asked me to end my strike. They’re just here to give me strength but from their faces I know they’re worried and scared.”

Sarojini said: “We’ve fought for our rights for years in Bhojpur. Chintu and her friends will defend their rights too. I’m here because I couldn’t sit quietly when my daughter was starving.”

The News minute

 BJP seeks probe into funding for UoH protests,

says students hold ‘lavish parties’ everyday

http://www.thenewsminute.com/article/bjp-seeks-probe-funding-uoh-protests-says-students-hold-lavish-parties-everyday-43217

The party also wondered if there was a pattern

behind agitations in FTII, JNU and UoH

PTI| Saturday, May 14, 2016 – 07:02

The BJP on Friday asked the government to probe the source of funding behind the ongoing agitation of student groups in the University of Hyderabad following Rohith Vemula’s suicide and questioned how they were able to pay for the tent and “lavish parties” every day.

It continued to target Congress and the Left parties for “politicising” the Dalit scholar’s death, attacking the former’s Vice President Rahul Gandhi for not visiting Kerala where a Dalit girl was raped and murdered and the latter for “never” putting a Dalit in the leadership position.

Party spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi told a press conference that the Joint Action Committee of 14 student groups were paying Rs 5,000 per day for the tent and having lavish parties.

Their protests have been going on since January 17 when Vemula ended his life.

“I will definitely seek intelligence report and ask the government to probe the funding pattern and see if there are any external influences because this Congress-Communist network has conducted its business in academics in this fashion and manner,” Lekhi said.

She took a dig at CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury over his demand that Dalits be given quota in private sector jobs, saying his party never put a Dalit in its Politburo in the last 51 years.

She quoted reports to allege that the Left parties were responsible for 51,000 political murders in West Bengal.

“Dalits were always used as foot soldiers but never given leadership,” she said.

She wondered if there was a pattern behind agitations in a number of institutions like FTII, JNU and University of Hyderabad.

She blamed those, including faculty members, close to Vemula for not “understanding” or “treating” his depression.

Before Rohith joined the Ambedkar Students’ Association (ASA), he was a leader of SFI, affiliated to the CPI(M), and his disillusionment began when he found that the organisation might have given up its faith in god but not in the caste system, Lekhi alleged.

“He quit SFI after he was discriminated for his caste by the so-called comrades who he hoped would deliver him and his people from this wretched social order,” she said.

“The upper-caste domination of the Left has severely undermined the Indian Left politics as a whole. The veil of hypocrisy has lifted now from those who have in recent times projected themselves as the champions of tolerance, debate, liberalism,” she said later in a statement.

“The BJP is determined to expose the anti-national brigade operating in our educational institutions and bring them to justice. The country demands a high-level probe in their activities and a white paper on their motivations and source of funding,” she said.

The Indian express

 Odisha reservation row: Agitating MLAs prostrate before CM in Assembly, Naveen walks away

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/odisha-reservation-row-agitating-mlas-prostrate-before-cm-in-assembly-naveen-walks-away-2799682/

Dalit and tribal MLAs of Odisha Friday prostrated before Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on the floor of the Assembly after failing to convince him over the pending amendment to Odisha Reservation of Vacancies in Posts and Services for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Act, 1975.

Patnaik did not bat an eyelid as the legislators begged and fell at his feet. The chief minister then turned around and walked away as BJD legislators formed a protective ring around him.

The Dalit and tribal MLAs have been sitting in the well of the House since Thursday night, demanding amendment and implementation of the Odisha Reservation of Vacancies (ORV) Act. They are also demanding more reservation for SC/ST students in medical, engineering and other professional colleges on the lines of general colleges, where reservation was enhanced to 22.5 per cent for ST and 16.25 per cent for SC candidates in the academic session of 2015-16.

The legislators shifted the venue of their dharna to the well of the House after being allegedly evicted by security personnel from outside the CM’s chamber in the Assembly on Thursday. “There is nothing wrong in prostrating before the Leader of the House in the interest of 38 per cent of the state’s population. We followed the Odia culture to put forth our demands. But the honourable Chief Minister, who has an unkind heart, ignored us,” said Congress MLA Prafulla Majhi, adding that he has sought support from all the lawmakers, irrespective of their political parties, to fight for the downtrodden. BJP MLA Rabi Naik said the protesting MLAs have not brought any disrepute to the sanctity of the Assembly.

Deccan Chronicle

 Only losers, no winners in Uttar Pradesh

http://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/politics/140516/only-losers-no-winners-in-uttar-pradesh.html

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | AMITA VERMA

PublishedMay 14, 2016, 1:43 am IST

No party is capable of forming a government.Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh may end up as a hung house with no winners and only losers if the assembly elections were to be held on Friday.

Contrary to the general perception that has been fuelled by some pre-poll surveys, no party, at present, is in a position to form the next government on its own.

The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), which is being termed as a front runner for the next assembly elections, is yet to consolidate its position among the 22 per cent Dalits that it had lost out to the BJP in the last Lok Sabha elections.

Reports from the ground zero say that Dalit are still upset with Ms Mayawati over the continuing dominance of upper caste leaders, particularly Brahmins in the party.

“Since the time of late Kanshi Ram, every Dalit government employee has been making financial contribution to the Bahujan Samaj movement but we are disappointed that our notes (money) and votes are actually benefitting upper castes instead of Dalits. Why should a Dalit now support the BSP?” asked Ram Kumar Gautam, a retired government employee and questioned the re-nomination of BSP MP Satish Chandra Misra to the Rajya Sabha.

Moreover, Ms Mayawati’s refusal to reach out to Dalits on a personal level is also damaging the party, particularly, at a time when other politicians are closely interacting with members of the community.

The BSP is also unable to enlist the support of Muslims who feel that the party may finally end up in an alliance with the BJP.

“Muslims, who constitute about 20 per cent of the population, are upset with the Samajwadi Party but cannot trust the BSP because it has formed government thrice with the BJP. If the BSP enters into an alliance with the Congress, we can support this secular formation but on its own, the BSP remains untrustworthy”, said Mohd Khaliq, a small time businessman in Muzaffarnagar.

The Samajwadi Party, on the other hand, is facing a high degree of anti-incumbency factor, with the deteriorating law and order situation and the increasing power crisis as additional factors.

To add to its OBC vote bank, the Samajwadi Party has now brought in former union minister Beni Varma who could swing the 8.5 per cent Kurmi votes within the OBCs.

The Hindu

 Dalits enfeebled even in reserved Puducherry segments

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/dalits-enfeebled-even-in-reserved-puducherry-segments/article8597896.ece

While the Scheduled Caste population is numerically insignificant to elect a representative of their choice even in reserved constituencies in Puducherry, their social and economic backwardness further limits their capacity to make a choice.

The spatial segregation of Dalits is a reality in these constituencies. Localities with names that end with “pet” are predominantly Dalit areas. As in any other rural areas in the Union Territory, they are not allowed into village temples.

“Though this kind of discrimination continues, no one raises his or her voice as many are economically backward and still dependent on the dominant caste landlords,” says a schoolteacher at Ossudu.

The candidates who win the elections in these constituencies are either rich or enjoy the clout of a political party. The total assets of the sitting MLAs in the four constituencies come to not less than a crore each. The election in reserved constituencies has become an act of tokenism, he says.

Economic dependence

Puducherry VCK leader Pozhilan says that while agriculture remains the main occupation and Dalits form a majority of the landless labourers, their economic dependence on the dominant caste landlords influences their voting.

  1. Jerome Samraj, Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, School of Management, Pondicherry University, says Dalits in Puducherry have become an insignificant political force. Political parties are more careful not to displease the dominant castes.

“Hence, no party really cares to address the Dalit issues even in their campaign. It is the caste factor that clearly decides who will gain support, who will contest and campaign where and whose vote will have more value. Given the numerical composition of voters, Dalits can hardly be a decisive factor here,” he says.

He underlines that these perennial issues of caste bring forth the debate on separate electorates, an idea backed by B.R. Ambedkar.

These concerns remain relevant even to this day, he added.

The state of the tribal population in Puducherry is worse. The tribespeople have not yet been recognised as Scheduled Tribes. The 2011 census data shows a blank against the ST population column for the Union Territory.

“The tribes here are only recognised as backward tribes, and we have been fighting to get the Scheduled Tribes status for the past three decades. Hence, they do not have any representation as no tribes are recognised as ST,” says K. Ramkumar, president of Puducherry Scheduled Tribes People’s Federation. He said that many of these tribes living in South India were recognised as STs except in Puducherry.

The segregation of Dalits is a reality here, and they are not allowed into temples

Deccan Herald

 Guv returns file on work quota for SC/ST contractors

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/546325/guv-returns-file-work-quota.html

May 14, 2016, Bengaluru, DHNS

Governor Vajubhai Vala has sent back the proposed ordinance seeking reservation for SC/STs contractors in awarding government works up to Rs 50 lakh.

Sources said Vala had returned the file to the Law and Parliamentary Affairs department on Friday, seeking further clarification on the matter.
The state Cabinet had on April 20 taken a decision to accord 18% reservation to SC contractors and 7% reservation to ST contractors.

Proposing an ordinance, the Finance department had sent the file to the Law and Parliamentary Affairs department, which in turn had forwarded it to Raj Bhavan around 10 days ago, sources said. However, there is no clarity on why the governor returned the file to the government.

News monitored by AMRESH & AJEET

 

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