Five dalits, water, kabaddi, and a well of death- The Times Of India
Caste-based UP school: where section A is Upper Caste, B is OBC, C is SC – Catch News
75% of all children out of school are Dalits, Adivasis and Muslims – Two Circle.Net
Pay now, get fee reimbursed later: Edu Dept to SC students – The Tribune India
Dalits who took on liquor mafia receive death threats – The Times Of India
Uttarakhand Dalits demand entry into temples, spark fears of conflict – The Hindustan Times
Kerala rape: Crime scene was compromised, says Maneka Gandhi – DNA
National SC panel for CBI probe into Dalit woman’s rape-murder– DNA
Man gets RI for abusing and beating shop owner – The Times Of India
Youth Congress leader arrested for attacking Dalits – The Hindu
The Times Of India
Five dalits, water, kabaddi, and a well of death
Avijit Ghosh| TNN | May 18, 2016, 12.35 AM IST
NIDANA, JIND DISTRICT: It’s been 24 hours since the tragedy and the dalit basti in this dustcake village in northern Haryana is still in mourning. Sisters, mothers and wives wail aloud. And old men huddle together, hoping to find consolation in silence and comfort in physical proximity of each other.
But for those, who saw the horror unfold before their eyes, the overwhelming feeling is one of disbelief. They are still trying to come to terms with the fact that an abandoned well, barely 25 feet deep, had turned into a terrifying abyss, a nightmarish hollow that swallowed five of their friends, relatives and fellow kabaddi players.
Karmpal is the lone survivor of the six who went to the bottom of the monster well on Monday. On Tuesday afternoon, he appeared totally dazed and confused. The 20-year-old student arrived on the scene after the other five had already been lowered below, each hoping to save the other. When he looked inside the well, he could see that one of them, Mahipal Singh, the eldest of the lot, was still alive.
Karmpal took rudimentary protection by covering his face with a piece of kerchief, tied a piece of rope firmly around his waist and got himself lowered into the pit. He picked up Mahipal but then the poison fumes hit him hard. He lost consciousness himself and had to be hauled back. “The stench in the air was unbearable. Baas aa rahi thi. My head started swirling. My throat was choking,” recalls Karmpal.
“Another 10 seconds down there and probably he would have been gone,” says Sonu, eyewitness to the entire incident.
Sources say lethal gases like methane, carbon monoxide and ammonia, which have a proclivity to accumulate in unused wells, caused the deaths in all probability. Exposure to such fumes even for a few seconds can be fatal, they say. Witnesses said those who were lowered down ceased to be active within seconds. Only Sukhchain, number 3 in the order, was able to shout. “There’s poisonous gas inside. Don’t come here. Pull us out.”
Doctors are yet to offer a final opinion on what caused the sudden deaths. “The viscera has been sent for chemical examination to forensic laboratory in Rohtak to officially confirm the cause,” says Sanjay Dahiya, civil surgeon, Jind. The result could take a month or more.
The tragedy has left the families of the victims in chaos. The dead were daily wagers, either part-time or full-time. They were either the financial spine of their families or hoping to take on that role in near future.
Sanjay leaves behind a pregnant wife. Sukhchain was a rare graduate in the locality and aiming for a better life. Dinesh’s father has been ailing for weeks now. He doesn’t know yet that his son is gone. Mahipal had four kids, the eldest Naseeb just a teenager.
The district administration on Monday had announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh each for the family of the deceased. But locals feel the amount is inadequate. More so, because the Haryana government had granted a compensation of Rs 10 lakh each to the family of those killed during the Jat agitation in February.
“We demand at least Rs 10 lakh for each family. We also want one government job per family. It was the duty of the local administration to have the well covered,” says dalit activist Swadesh Kabir.
Now, the well, located barely 20 yards from a filthy pond, has been filled and covered with soil. Friends and relatives of the deceased say the idea of cleaning the well came after chronic water shortage in the basti. “Those who had taken a dip in the pond developed itchy skin. The idea was to have a fresh-water well which could be at least used for bathing,” says Sonu.
There’s always a major drinking water shortage in Nidana, says Pinki, the village’s dalit woman sarpanch. Few in the dalit basti in this Jat-majority village can afford the expensive potable water. Women, she says, trudge for a kilometer to fetch drinking water. Others point out that some villagers shell out Rs 450 by turns to use water for their daily needs. “If there was no water crisis, this ghastly incident wouldn’t have happened,” she says.
The young dalits of Nidana love kabaddi. They often watch the game on TV. And the idea to revive the well came from the need to have a bath after strenuous practice sessions. The basti was in the process of putting up a team for the coming village tournament. Now some of their best players are gone. Mohan, only 17, was a smart defence player. Their deaths have created a huge hole in the team, even larger in their hearts. “They are gone. I don’t feel like playing kabaddi anymore,” says Sonu.
Caste-based UP school: where section A is Upper Caste, B is OBC, C is SC
A intermediate college principal in the Hathras district wrote a new chapter on casteism by segregating Class IX students on caste lines and allotting each caste a separate classroom.
The principal, Radhey Shyam Varshney, of Seth Phulchand Bagla Inter College did not stop there. He extended his caste discrimination in appointing teachers. He appointed three teachers – a Dalit for Scheduled Caste students, one general category person to teach upper caste students and a backward caste person to teach OBC students.
Based on complaints that the principal of the government-aided college was indulging in such blatant casteism, the Hathras district magistrate AK Singh ordered an inquiry by the district inspector of schools.
“Prima facie the complaint was found to be true and the principal has been suspended,” the district magistrate said. Further action against the principal will be taken after the completion of inquiry, he added. The three teachers appointed on caste lines also have been removed pending the completion of inquiry.
Varshney introduced his caste segregation policy from 1 April, when the new session began. The practice came to light when students complained of discrimination in seating arrangements in classrooms.
Initial inquiry confirmed that Section A of Class IX had comparatively more number of general category students compared to those from OBC and SC categories. Similarly, Section B had more OBC students while most of the students in Section C belonged to the SC category.
Meanwhile, the college administration has been advised to end the caste-based discrimination and distribute students evenly in all the classes.
While Dalits continue to face social boycott in several parts of Uttar Pradesh this kind of segregation was so far unheard of and reflects the medieval mindset of a section of people in the state. As elections approach the political parties have started making moves to keep the divide firmly in place. – Edited by Aditya Menon
75% of all children out of school
are Dalits, Adivasis and Muslims
Submitted by TwoCircles.net on 17 May 2016 – 8:00pm
By Afroz Alam Sahil, Twocircles.net
New Delhi: A reply to a questioned asked in the Rajya Sabha has brought forth alarming statistics in terms of education in India: despite the Right to Education and Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, about 60.64 lakh children remain out of school across the country.
In response to a question asked by KK Ragesh, Member of Parliament from CPI, Minister for Human Resources Smriti Irani replied that of the 60 lakh children between the age of 6 and 13 who were out of school, most belonged to marginalised communities like Dalits, Adivasis and Muslim
A detailed analysis of the numbers presented by Irani shows that the total number of children out of school from these three communities was nearly three times higher than that of the other communities. In other words, 75% of the children out of school are from Dalit, Adivasi and Muslim communities.
If one were to split the numbers in each category, of the total of 60 lakh, 32.4% children belong to the Schedule Caste while 25.7% children are from the Muslim community. The corresponding number for Schedule Tribes stands at 16.6%.
However, these numbers should not come as much of a surprise. In 2014, an organisation called IMRB, in a survey, had shown that the most number of children out of school are from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. In UP, the total number of children outside school stands at about 16.12 lakh, of which 5.6 lakh children belong to the Schedule Castes, 5.57 lakh belong to the Muslim community while 1.08 lakh children are from the Schedule Tribes. Similarly, in Bihar, the number of children outside school stands at 11.69 lakh, of which 5.24 lakh children belong to the Schedule Caste Community, 2.46 children are Muslim and about 31,000 children are from the Schedule Tribes.
Goa, on the other hand, stands at the other end of the spectrum with no children in the age group of 6-13 outside school. Goa is followed by Lakshwadeep and Puducherry, with 267 and 285 children out of school respectively.
In Dadra and Nagar Haveli, there are 745 children out of school with 172 of these students belonging to the Schedule Castes.
The only silver lining is that the Ministry of Human Resources has taken an initiative to calculate the total number of children outside school and take steps to address the issue. Towards this end, a meeting was organised between National Commission for Protection of Child Rights and the MHRD which included members of National Advisory Board and members of Education ministries of all the state and Union Territories.
The Tribune India
Pay now, get fee reimbursed later
: Edu Dept to SC students
Reason: Delay in getting scholarship funds from Union Govt
Balwant Garg, Tribune News Service, Faridkot, May 17
The Education Department’s decision to collect fees from all categories of students, including SC/ST and OBC, of Classes XI and XII in government schools has stirred a controversy.
While the reserved category students claimed that they were entitled to free education under the post-matric scholarship scheme, the department has issued instructions to circle and district education officers vide letter dated May 12 to collect fees from all students.
As per the directions, the students have to pay the entire fee which will be reimbursed to them after funds under the scheme are received from the Centre.
The centrally-sponsored scheme was launched in 2007 under which SC/BC and OBC students whose parents’ annual income is less than Rs 2.5 lakh are eligible to avail the benefit of free education post-matric across all educational institutions.
Official sources said the Punjab Government had not received scholarship funds from the Centre for 2015-16. Even 20 per cent of the funds for 2014-15 were yet to be released.
In many parts of Punjab, including Faridkot, the students were on a protest recently as their respective schools had refused to accept their examination form for non-payment of fees.
“The department has conveyed to the schools that all students have to pay fees. But it will be reimbursed once funds from the Centre are received,” writes Davinder Pal Singh, under secretary, School Education Department, to the education officers.
The students said once these instructions were implemented, other educational institutions would also follow the same path forcing them to pay fees.
“The development exhibits anti-poor policies of the state government. It is not possible for the students from poor sections to pay the fee of private schools and colleges,” said Rajinder Singh, general secretary, Punjab Students Union.
The Times Of India
Dalits who took on liquor mafia receive death threats
Uday Rana| TNN | May 17, 2016, 10.25 PM IST
MEERUT: Tense moments prevailed in Saharanpur district’s Malipur village as some Dalit villagers — who had ‘raided’ illegal liquor vends on Sunday and recovered 50 drums filled with country-made liquor — received death threats on Monday night.
The villagers alleged that a few local goons entered the house of Dalit anti-liquor crusader Sachin Kumar and threatened him and his friends with ‘dire consequences’.
Following the incident, locals gathered at the local police check post and demanded strict action against the local liquor mafia.
Malipur-based Anoop Kumar, who was part of the raid, alleged, “On Monday night, one Bharat Saini barged into my friend Sachin Kumar’ house. Saini works for the local liquor mafia. On the intervening night of Sunday and Monday, 200 villagers had conducted an all-night raid and busted several illegal liquor vends. This seems to have enraged the mafia.” Kumar alleged that Saini threatened Sachin that if he continued such raids, they would eliminate all of us.
He further added, “On Tuesday morning, all of us marched to the local police post and demanded strict action against the accused. Such threats will not deter us.”
Meanwhile, Anil Kumar Tyagi, station officer at Rampur Maniharan police station, said, “I’m aware of the death threats issued to some villagers of Malipur. I’ve asked the in-charge at Malipur police post to ensure that the accused is arrested and peace prevails in the village.”
Close to 200 Dalits from Malipur village had taken on the liquor mafia operating out of the village late on Sunday night. The raid, which continued till Monday morning, included over 80 women.
The villagers had raided illegal liquor vends and recovered 50 drums of country-made liquor. Locals claimed that the police and excise department had done little to control Saharanpur’s liquor mafia.
The Hindustan Times
Uttarakhand Dalits demand entry into temples, spark fears of conflict
Prithviraj Singh, Hindustan Times, Dehradun
Updated: May 18, 2016 10:48 IST
Dalits in Uttarakhand are preparing to fight a centuries-old tradition that forbids them from entering and worshipping at 349 temples of the hill state’s Jaunsar-Bhabar region, which might ignite a volatile face-off with upper-caste communities.
Dubbed the holiest land for Hindus, the Himalayan state is studded with thousands of temples, many of which have been off-limits for low-caste people.
Dalit leaders said they would forcibly enter the temples, especially five popular ones in the Jaunsar-Bhabar region of Dehradun district, constituting the Chakrata hill block.
The campaign will begin at Sindhugur Maharaj temple at Pokhari village of Chakrata on May 20, where a religious function to mark its Rs 2.5-crore renovation is expected to attract about 10,000 people, they said. The shrine, like many others in the area, is reserved for upper castes.
“The temple committee engaged Dalit labourer for the renovation. It sought donation from members of the community but won’t allow them to worship in the temple now. It plans to drive away Dalits visiting the temple on May 20,” said Daulat Kunwar, who will lead a march along with BJP leader Tarun Vijay.
He said such discrimination and subjugation won’t be tolerated. “We will enter the temple, come what may.”
The Dalits plan on entering the Khatwa Dev and Regyo temples, both in Chakrata, and the Bisoi shrine in Kalsi.
“Similar efforts were made at Kukurshi Maharaj temple at Gabela village but the temple committee washed the floor with Ganga water later, saying it was desecrated by Dalits,” Kunwar said on Tuesday.
Caste-based temple controversies are nothing new. Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was stopped at the gates of the Jagannath temple in Puri as she was deemed an outcast for marrying a non-Hindu.
In 2014, a temple in Bihar’s Madhubani district was “purified” — the shrine cleaned and its idols washed — after a visit by then chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, a member of the Musahar community.
Caste-centric discrimination, or untouchability, was banned in India in 1955, but centuries-old feudal attitudes persist in many parts of the country and Dalits, who represent 16% of the country’s population, still face prejudice in every sector.
They are sometimes beaten or killed for using a well or worshipping at a temple. The fear of a backlash was palpable among the poor Dalits in Jaunsar-Bhabar region too.
“We want to worship at the temple where we worked as labourers and donated money. But cannot say if it’s going to happen,” said Kripal, a Dalit resident.
Kerala rape: Crime scene was compromised, says Maneka Gandhi
AMRITA MADHUKALYA | Wed, 18 May 2016-08:15am , New Delhi , dna
The report said that the crime scene was “deliberately compromised”, the forensic team failed to take necessary action in the investigations, there was no video recording of the proceedings.
An inquiry committee set up by the National Commission of Women (NCW) to look into the horrific rape and murder of a law student from Perumbavoor in Ernakulam district in Kerala on April 28, has stated in its report that the Kerala police has not picked up an accused that the traumatised mother of the victim had repeatedly pointed out to.
Reading from the report at a press conference at the Indian Women Press Corps (IWPC) in Delhi following a question from a scribe, Union Minister of Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi said that investigations had revealed that the mother and the victim, along with the sister had informed the police that they will be harmed. And yet, the police failed to act on the complaint.
“During the investigations, the NCW team found that the mother had repeatedly pointed out to one of the accused, and he is yet to be picked up by the police. They had reported earlier about the same person. They were told that they will be raped,” said Maneka.
Maneka then said that the sister of the victim corroborated the same, and that one of the accused is the brother-in-law of a Left politician. She said that the police seemed to have ignored that because the person seemed to be one with resources, and is well-connected.
The report, submitted on May 13 to Maneka by the NCW, was prepared by the team which was sent to the crime spot on May 4. The team, headed by NCW chief Lalitha Kumaramangalam, had NCW member Rekha Sharma, advocate P Krishnadas, legal technical expert Geeta Rathee Singh, and V Raman, PS to Kumaramangalam.
The report says that the team found the mother and the sister in a traumatised state, and found that “proper psychological counselling was not provided” to the mother, even four days after the incident. The team found that the victim and her family were very poor, belonged to the Scheduled Caste community, and lived in a small, improvised hut. The team also found that they were routinely harassed by their neighbours.
The report further alleges that it appears that the Kerala Police was abetting to the crime. The police tried to ignore several leads, and also did not help the NCW team in their investigations.
The report further states that the crime scene was “deliberately compromised”, and the forensic team failed to take necessary action in the investigations, and that there was no video recording of the proceedings. “The police instead of sending the weapon used in the crime scene for chemical examination directly submitted it to the court,” read the report. “The forensic science laboratory has failed miserably in providing services to the investigation team to identify the real culprit in the murder of the Dalit woman as the DNA division of the lab has been lying idle for the past several months on account of repair,” it read.
The team also found that the inspection of the crime spot was carried out by a postgraduate student of medical science, and the Associate Professor did not visit the place. “The sniffer dog was attached to the investigation by police on May 5, nearly one week after the occurrence of the crime,” said the report.
“The Revenue Divisional Officer (RDO) as per the provision of section 174 of the CrPC was not present at the time of inquest,” said the report, which led to technical irregularities.
The inquiry officer Anil Kumar, who was investigating the case, was transferred before the investigations ended, and the new officer did not appear before the NCW team despite being repeatedly asked, said the report.
The report also stated that the ongoing elections could be a reason for the indifference, and that the team has communicated the matter to Home Minister Rajnath Singh, and the Election Commissioner. It also stated that despite being told that they will be updated of the case, no communication has come to them. “One of the reasons for such lackadaisical and apathetic behaviour of the police could be that the victim belonged to a vulnerable section of the society,” the report said.
National SC panel for CBI probe into Dalit woman’s rape-murder
National Commission for Scheduled Castes Chairman PL Punia said that it is a matter of concern that the culprits have not been arrested so far.
Expressing concern over the delay in arresting culprits in the brutal rape and murder of a Dalit woman in Perumbavoor near Kochi, the National Commission for Scheduled Castes has asked the Kerala government to hand over the investigation in the case to CBI.
“I have asked the state government to recommend a CBI probe into the rape and murder. It is a matter of concern that the culprits have not been arrested so far,” Commission’s Chairman P L Punia told PTI over phone from New Delhi.
Punia, who had visited the victim’s mother in hospital and her house in Perumbavoor earlier this month, said the state police had told him that the culprits involved in the crime would be arrested soon.
“But they have failed to nab the culprits even two weeks after the murder. I feel that the state police investigation is not going in the right direction. So I have strongly asked the state government to recommend a CBI probe into the case,” he said.
Punia said he had on Friday last written to the state government seeking CBI probe into the rape and murder of the 30-year-old law student on April 28 in her house.
“I have also sought an Action Taken Report on the steps taken by the state government in giving Rs 10 lakh compensation it announced for the victim’s family and providing a government job for the victim’s sister,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kerala State Police Complaints Authority Chairman, Justice K NarayanaKurup, today criticised the way the police handled the investigation in the initial stage.
The authority had sent showcause notices to five senior officers related to the complaints about “lapses” in the investigation, he said. The rape and brutal murder of the woman became an issue in the just concluded assembly elections in the state with the opposition attacking the UDF government over the handling of the case.
The Times Of India
Man gets RI for abusing and beating shop owner
TNN | May 18, 2016, 08.19 AM IST
Kolhapur: A local court on Monday sentenced a man to one year of rigourous imprisonment for abusing and beating a footwear shop owner. Sessions judge S R Salunkhe also slapped a fine of Rs 10,000 on the convict Vilas Pandurang Patil (46), a resident of Kotoli village in Panhala taluka).
According to the prosecution, the victim, identified as Sarjerao Maruti Satpute, runs a footwear shop on bus stand road in Kotoli vollage. On April 20 last year, when Satpute was busy with a customer, Patil entered the shop and started abusing the customer.
Satpute intervened and requested Patil to not to abuse the customer in his shop. He requested Patil to wait outside and not to disturb his customer. Angered by this, Patil abused Satpute and beat him with bricks. Satpute was injured in the attack and was taken to a local hospital. Later, he lodged a complaint against Patil at Panhala police station.
Police booked Patil under section 3 of the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act and other relevant sections of the IPC. Then deputy superintendent of police Kisan Gawali investigated the case and filed chargesheet against Patil.
Eleven witnesses were examined by the prosecution. Based on the statements of witnesses and investigation, the court convicted Patil.
Youth Congress leader arrested for attacking Dalits
Youth Congress leader Murali Yadav and his associate, Ramesh Yadav, key accused in the case of attacking three Dalit youths on Friday afternoon in Raichur, were arrested in Bengaluru on Tuesday morning and produced before the jurisdictional court in Raichur. Since the police did not seek police custody, they were taken into judicial custody.
Following a complaint lodged by Timmayya, one of the victims, a first information report (FIR) was registered at Netajinagar police station under various sections of Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. After large number of youth from Harijanwada locality took to the streets demanding that the police book the accused on attempt to murder charges, the police incorporated Section 307 of the Indian Penal Code after obtaining fresh statements of victims and permission from the magistrate on Monday.
The attack on the dalit youth had triggered a group clash forcing the police to resort to laticharging and bursting teargas shells. Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code were also imposed in disturbed localities on Saturday and Sunday.
Harish Yadav and Siddu Yadav, two more accused in the case, are yet to be nabbed. “Our team is after them,” Chetan Singh Rathod, Superintendent of Police, told The Hindu.
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