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Ten Point demands to Ensure Representation & space for Dalits in the mainstream Media

Ten Point demands to Ensure Representation & space for Dalits in the mainstream Media

 Sri Narender Modi Ji

 Hon’ble Prime Minister

Govt Of India

New Delhi

Shri Arun  Jaitley ji ,

Hon’ble Union Minister of Finance,

Ministry of Finance,

Government of India,

Subject: Ten Point demands for Dalits Media : Ensure Representation & space for Dalits in the mainstream media


Respected Sir,

The debate & discussion on the role of mainstream media is highly under criticism and it is general feeling that mainstream media has been drastically shifted from its role from social obligation to commercial market profit making industry. This situation has alienated major section of the society from the developmental process. 

Participation, representation and proper space in the mainstream media for vulnerable sections of the society is very much important for the democracy based on value of equality. 17 million people of the country known as Dalits are suffering inhuman practice of untouchability due to the Hindu caste mind set. Now the time has come that we need to debate, discuss on such discriminative attitude and mind set where mainstream media may play a vital role.

Therefore we demand you to please consider some important suggestion from our side for your consideration for Budget 2014:

Every Dalit Have to support and demand for inclusive Media

  1. Affirmative policy for media industries to ensure Dalits representation and space of Dalit issues in the mainstream media.

  1. 10,000 Media fellowships per year for Dalits.

  1. An independent channel and news paper (Similar like Loksabha/ Rajyasabha  TV channel) on national level to address / focus the issues and concerns of Dalits particular untouchability practice.

  1. Minimum 25% government advertisement / sponsorship to the Dalit Media.

  1. Special subsidy and low interest long term loan fromnationalize

    Bank for setting up a newspaper/ magazine ofnews


  1. Special provision from Special Component Plan – SCP for Dalit entrepreneur to   setting up media institute, newspaper/ magazine, news channel and to make documentary films on Dalit issues.

  1.  “100 Excellency Award On Dalit Stories / Reporting”for media houses and journalists/ reporters.

  1. Sensitization & orientation course on Dalit issues tobe introduce and it shell be essential for every journalists and reporters of the mainstream media.

  2. Every channel/ newspaper/ magazine must reserve 20% space on social issue.

  1. A media center in each state capital to facilitate mainstream media on Dalit issues and to the journalist/ reporters from Dalit background.


REMINDER-1 : Urgent Appeal ! Please Contribute to PMARC !

REMINDER-1 : Urgent Appeal !

Please Contribute to PMARC !

Dear Friends,

Greetings from PMARC!

Our daily new update program is essentially a cooperative effort. It is only your contribution that has sustained the program for past decade.

There indeed have been bottlenecks throughout the journey. But we kept moving ahead in pursuit of shared goals with sheer regularity and steadfastness of purpose.

Unfortunately, our Hindi news monitoring and update were set down due to lack of resources. Also work related to analysis, data segregation has been also stopped as we are not able to bear basics of our long term professional volunteers.

Now, again on our collective strength, we are all set to launch a 24×7 news portal with the basic idea of generating and disseminating information on topical issues being  emanated from the political dispensation, besides those of human rights violations involving Dalits, minorities and other marginalized communities. This is an area where PMARC is playing a key role by informing the struggling groups/organizations and catalyzing their efforts by mobilizing support from all quarters.

Friends, we are, therefore, once again before you and soliciting your financial support. Please contribute generously to carry forward the unfinished agenda of making our contribution to the process of social justice and democracy.

Our bank details are:



A/C NO. 0302010179713

United Bank of India

IFSC code: UTBI0HZG509



Alternate Bank Account :


Account No. : 20269139618

State Bank Of India,

Patrkar Puram Branch, Gomti Nagar, Lucknow (UP)

IFSC Code  : SBIN0016728 (5th character is zero)


Our Address:

Arun Khote


4A / 98 , VISHAL KHAND- 4,( Near Siyaram Sweets)

GOMTI NAGAR , LUCKNOW – 226010 (UP) India

Mobile No. 91 # 7388729502


Urgent Appeal ! Please Contribute to PMARC !

Urgent Appeal !

Please Contribute to PMARC !

Dear Friends,

Greetings from PMARC!

Our daily new update program is essentially a cooperative effort. It is only your contribution that has sustained the program for past decade.

There indeed have been bottlenecks throughout the journey. But we kept moving ahead in pursuit of shared goals with sheer regularity and steadfastness of purpose.

Now, again on our collective strength, we are all set to launch a 24×7 news portal with the basic idea of generating and disseminating information on topical issues being  emanated from the political dispensation, besides those of human rights violations involving Dalits, minorities and other marginalized communities. This is an area where PMARC is playing a key role by informing the struggling groups/organizations and catalyzing their efforts by mobilizing support from all quarters.

Friends, we are, therefore, once again before you and soliciting your financial support. Please contribute generously to carry forward the unfinished agenda of making our contribution to the process of social justice and democracy.

Our bank details are:



A/C NO. 0302010179713

United Bank of India

IFSC code: UTBI0HZG509



Alternate-Bank Account :


Account No. : 20269139618

State Bank Of India,

Patrkar Puram Branch, Gomti Nagar, Lucknow (UP)

IFSC Code  : SBIN0016728 (5th character is zero)



Dalits Media Watch – News Updates 01.06.16

Dalits, labourers assured land work will be expeditedThe Tribune


Academics support Kancha Ilaiah – The Hindu


Rs. 196 Crore Scholarship Released For Scheduled Caste Students: Centre – NDTV


Ministers meet governor over quota for SC/ST contractors – Deccan Herald


200 hostels for SC/ST students – The New Indian Express


Honour and shame – Front Line


In unequal measure – Front Line


The Tribune

Dalits, labourers assured land workwill be expedited


 Jalandhar, May 31

Officials of the Panchayat Department have been directed to speed up the work to provide Dalits and landless labourers their rights in panchayat land. The instructions to this effect were issued by ADC (General) Girish Dayalan in a meeting with block development and panchayat officers and members of Pendu Mazdoor Union (PMU).

The ADC (General) also instructed the officials to submit a report by June 3 after providing the plots to the Dalits and landless labourers. The plots have already been allotted by the Gram Sabhas.

At the meeting, representatives of the Pendu Mazdoor Union said the earlier directions issued by the ADC (G) on May 23 had been violated and auctions were being held without fulfilling the legal requirements.

The union also warned of stir if the auction of panchayat land was not held as per the legal parameters.

The ADC (G) also directed the officials to conduct a general meeting in villages under the Gram Sabhas to pass a resolution for providing residential plots to the landless labourers and Dalits.

The members of the union had disrupted the auction of panachayat land in many villages earlier as part of their stir. Recently, landless labourers and Dalit had occupied the panchayat land in Dyalpur village in a protest against the alleged illegalities adopted by the department concerned. — TNS

The Hindu

 Academics support Kancha Ilaiah



Sixty-seven eminent personalities and academics from across various universities and institutions in the country and outside have issued a statement declaring solidarity with writer and academic Kancha Ilaiah against whom a case was filed by the Saroornagar police station, allegedly for hurting religious sentiments.

Intimidation of Prof. Ilaiah should be seen as part of the ongoing process of criminalisation of dissent and suppression of freedom of expression, the statement said, and noted that the law is repeatedly being turned into a surrogate for Hindutva politics.


“It is shocking that the Telangana government too has fallen prey to the majoritarian ambience and that its state’s institutions are backing Hindutva violence,” the statement said, after recalling the line of events that have unfolded post his comments at the CITU meeting at Vijayawada.

It may be recalled that Prof. Ilaiah was visited by a group from a Brahmin-based organisation, after a newspaper reported that he called Brahmins “lazy” and “gluttons” at a meeting, which he vehemently denied. Instead, he claimed that he was talking only about Brahmins as a community keeping away from production-related work for centuries.

Later, however, he allegedly began to receive threats from the community.

A case has recently been filed against him after the Ranga Reddy district court issued directions for the same.

Commending Prof. Ilaiah’s scholarship as visible through his “iconoclastic” works, which radically denounced the caste system in India, the statement called it “deeply disturbing” that a scholar of international repute who has inspired scholars and activists to look at one’s own history critically, and who relentlessly challenged dominant orthodoxies in the academia, is being targeted by state agencies “acting in tandem with Hindutva organisations”.

“The politics of Hindutva, while hurting every living being’s dignity and sentiments, continuously claims to be the perpetual and universal victim. Dalits today cannot speak of the indignities and oppression they have suffered at the hands of Hindus — even that has become a matter of ‘hurt sentiments’ of dominant groups and castes,” it read.

The scholars have demanded that the intimidation be stopped and the police cases against Prof. Ilaiah be immediately withdrawn.

Signatories to the statement included noted Leftist historians Tanika Sarkar and Sumit Sarkar, and economists Prabhat Patnaik, Utsa Patnaik, and C.P.Chandrasekhar, Sociologist Satish Deshpande, writer and academic from Johannesberg Dilip Menon, feminist scholar and historian Uma Chakravarti, subaltern theorist Partha Chatterjee, and many others.


 Rs. 196 Crore Scholarship Released For Scheduled Caste Students: Centre


All India | Press Trust of India | Updated: June 01, 2016 01:23 IST

JALANDHAR:  Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Vijay Sampla today said that Rs. 196 crore has been released for scholarships of Scheduled Castes students in the state, days after Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had claimed that the Centre was not releasing the amount.

Mr Sampla said Mr Badal had been misinformed about the issue, adding he himself had apprised him of the situation.

Mr Badal had reportedly said that the Centre was not releasing the amount under post-matriculation scholarship scheme for SC students while the state government had paid its share.

“The post-matriculation scholarship amount of Rs. 196 crore for Dalit students has been released in two installments,” he said.

Mr Sampla, who was in Jalandhar for a meeting with Union minister JP Nadda and local BJP workers, said government had released the amount for the previous financial year.

“The first installment of Rs. 90 crore has been distributed, while arrangements are being made to distribute the second installment of Rs. 106 crore,” he said.

“The Punjab Chief Minister has also created a reserve of Rs. 100 crore which will be used for distributing the scholarship amount as and when required,” he said.

Deccan Herald

 Ministers meet governor over quota for SC/ST contractors


June 01, 2016, Bengaluru, DHNS

 Social Welfare Minister H Anjaneya and Law Minister T B Jayachandra on Tuesday met Governor Vajubhai Vala and urged him to promulgate an ordinance on providing reservation to contractors who fall under the SC/ST category.

Points clarified

Speaking to reporters after meeting the Governor, Anjaneya said he had explained the Governor the need to provide reservation to the SC/ST communities in government contracts. All the points raised by the Governor have been clarified, he said.

“The Governor replied saying that the government’s move should be debated in both Houses of the Legislature before its implementation. But we hope the Governor is convinced with our explanation and will soon promulgate the ordinance,” the minister said.

The Governor had recently returned the ordinance bill to the government.

The New Indian Express

 200 hostels for SC/ST students


By Express News Service Published: 01st June 2016 04:13 AM Last Updated: 01st June 2016 04:13 AM

BHUBANESWAR: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik dedicated 200 news hostels for dalit and tribal students here on Tuesday. He also launched a programme for distribution of 20,000 forest land documents among the beneficiaries.

Stating that education is the only means by which tribals and dalits can join the mainstream of society, the Chief Minister said and added that Odisha is the leading State in the country for providing education to students of backward communities.

Naveen said the State Government has set up more than 1,600 schools and constructed more than 5,000 hostels for students belonging to tribal and dalit communities. The Government has also implemented Akankhya and Anwesha schemes to provide opportunity to about 26,000 SC, ST and dalit students to study in public schools in urban areas, he said.

The Government has set up 10 Kalinga Model Residential Schools for students from poor and backward communities in the State. “Classes would begin in these schools from 2018,” he said.

Launching the forest land patta distribution, the Chief Minister announced that the beneficiaries will be included in all social security programmes.

Front Line

 Honour and shame


May 28, 2016 at 08:32 IST

 State Crime Records Bureau statistics show that Karnataka has had 13 “honour killings” since 2011, an indication of hardening social identities. There has yet to be a conviction in an honour killing case. By VIKHAR AHMED SAYEED in Nanjangud, Mysuru

 ON April 11, Madhu Kumari, a 21-year-old resident of Chandravadi village in Nanjangud taluk of Mysuru district, was given a mango drink laced with pesticide by her elder brother Guruprasad. The unsuspecting girl drank the juice and was soon writhing in agony. Within a short time, she was dead. Her parents, Manjula and Gurumallappa, were present through her excruciating ordeal and hastily cremated her the same evening. The fact that Madhu’s body was cremated and not buried, as is the tradition of her caste, aroused suspicion. News that the girl had met with an unnatural death filtered through, and the local police’s investigation led to the arrest of Madhu’s family members, who confessed to the crime. It was a case of “honour killing”, and the Lingayat young woman was killed because she had been in love with Jayaram T.C., a young man from a lower caste, for the past two years.


Chandravadi village is 30 kilometres from the town of Nanjangud. It has around 300 households that mainly depend on agriculture. The land is irrigated by water from the Kabini river, and paddy and sugarcane are the main crops. Chandravadi is largely inhabited by members of only one caste, the Lingayats. There are around 20 houses belonging to the “Oshtama Shetty” group, which is classified as a backward caste. In the caste hierarchy of the region, the Oshtama Shettys are perceived to be lower than the Lingayats. There is no caste-based spatial segregation in the village, and members of both communities eat at each other’s houses, but inter-caste marriages have not taken place in the village as they are tabooed.


Jayaram, 31, has been missing from the village since the day of Madhu’s death because he fears for his life. He is a motor mechanic, the only one in the village. On the dayFrontline visited his house, his mother, Nagamma, was the only person at home. Her husband, Thimma Shetty, was away tilling his fields while her daughter, Jayaram’s sister, was at her in-laws’ home. Jayaram’s house seems like it belongs to a fairly prosperous farmer. There are separate bedrooms, a kitchen and a spacious drawing room. Thimma Shetty owns more than five acres (one acre is 0.4 hectare) of land, more than Madhu Kumari’s family, a point Nagamma made, perhaps to show that while they belonged to a lower caste, they were economically more prosperous than the girl’s family. Madhu’s house is just two minutes away on the main street of the village but bore a forlorn look with no one at home. Nagamma said that she was aware that her son and Madhu wanted to get married and that she and her husband did not have any problems with that decision. “Madhu never used to come home, but I used to see her in the village. Once the men agree, what problem will I have with the decision?” she said. “What they [Madhu’s parents] did was wrong. They killed their own daughter for their ‘honour’. Now what ‘honour’ do they have in jail?” she asked.

State Crime Records Bureau statistics show that Karnataka has had 13 honour killings since 2011. Apart from one case that took place in north Karnataka, all the other cases were reported from the region of Old Mysore in south Karnataka. Three incidents were reported from the adjoining district of Mandya alone while other cases were recorded from districts spread across the region. In all these cases, the young men usually belong to a lower caste (in most cases Dalits). The case in Nanjangud was the latest in this line of gruesome honour killings.


A few days before this, on April 3, Monica, 19, a girl belonging to a caste Hindu family, was killed allegedly by her father in Mandya for eloping with a Dalit boy. Her murder was made to look like a suicide, but when family members were questioned, the truth emerged and a case of murder was booked against her father and two of her uncles. On April 17, Mandya also saw protests and threats of disruption by Hindu right-wing organisations when a Muslim boy and a Hindu girl belonging to the Vokkaliga community tied the knot with their parents’ support. All these incidents are worrying as they point to parochialism and a hardening of social identities in recent years.

Mallige, who works with the Karnataka Jana Shakti, a human rights group that is active in the area, said that the honour killings in Old Mysore region were a manifestation of the changing social equations in the region. Dalits and other backward castes are challenging the dominance of the Vokkaligas, the dominant caste in the region, particularly in Mandya. It is intriguing that this area should be witness to a social churn as the Old Mysore region was part of the princely state of Mysore, which had reservation for backward castes almost a hundred years ago. Hostels were built for Dalits and other members of backward castes at the university, and education was encouraged.

Lakshminarayana, president of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties, is a long-time resident of Mysuru. He said that the honour killings were “a sign of the painful transition, both socially and economically, that these areas are undergoing. The feudal mindsets of the dominant castes in the region are still closed.” There are two main divisions among Dalits in Karnataka: the Madigas and the

The Dalits in the Old Mysore region are mainly

Their socio-economic condition is relatively better than that of the Madigas, and since the community is cohesive, it has a certain heft in its day-to-day dealings with the dominant castes. Also, it is significant to note that the Dalits here are not landless labourers like their counterparts in north Karnataka.

“The landholding pattern, relative education [levels] among Dalits and lower castes, social consciousness and migration to cities like Bengaluru and Mysuru are reasons why the lower castes in the area are far more confident and assertive,” said Lakshminarayana. Hulkere Mahadeva, an executive committee member of the Dalit Sangharsha Samithi (DSS), told Frontline that the increase in honour killings was not sudden. “Honour killings have been there, but it is only now that we have alert and sensitive media that are bringing these issues to light. It is not like these things were not happening before.” He went on to add that “casteism is also increasing”. His colleague, Guruprasad Keregodu, who is the State convener of the DSS, said that the increasing caste consciousness could be directly linked to the growth in the number of Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sanghshakhas in the region. “Every village in the Old Mysore region has an RSS shakha now. The number of these shakhas has increased from the time the National Democratic Alliance government led by [A.B.] Vajpayee came to power in 1999. This has led to the growth of communalism and casteism in the region, and it is very easy to provoke dominant caste members against Muslims and Dalits,” he said.

From the crime records, it is evident that only women are the targets of honour killings, which shows how patriarchy operates in this crime. “Women are soft targets. The men in these relationships are usually not targeted,” Mallige said. If the lower-caste men were targeted, it could lead to inter-caste violence as Dalit and progressive organisations are strong in the region.

At a recent interaction with the media, Manjula Manasa, the Chairperson of the Karnataka State Commission for Women, said that establishing fast-track courts or special courts was the need of the hour as cases of honour killing were on the rise. It is pertinent to note that there have been no convictions so far in honour killing cases.

Front Line

 In unequal measure


 As Karnataka reels under a severe drought, social and economic divides undermine the little relief that the government has provided. By V. SRIDHAR

 A DROUGHT, or any other natural calamity for that matter, is a good time to test whether social and economic inequities are worsening or not. What is happening in Karnataka, which is reeling under a drought for the third successive year and which has suffered an unprecedented shortfall in rainfall since January, appears to indicate that the grave social and economic inequalities have further shrunk the already limited access that marginalised communities have to water during this period of acute scarcity.


The government’s relief effort, especially in the form of the supply of water for domestic use to households, has been patchy. The effort, it appears, ignores the underlying social structures in rural Karnataka that deny especially marginalised social communities such as Dalits, tribal people and other backward castes access to relief. The social geography in rural society determines who lives in which part of the village, and social hierarchy determines where “public” water sources will be installed. To make matters worse, other relief measures such as the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), which might have helped in the creation and maintenance of assets that could provide some insurance against similar episodes of acute scarcity in the future, shut the door on those who are at the margins.

Between January and April 30, the State received just 10 mm of rainfall, which left a 71 per cent deficit compared with the normal of 34.8 mm. However, even this average, like all averages, hides the true extent of the crisis. In the coastal districts, the deficit was close to 90 per cent, and, in the hilly terrain of the Malnad region, which is home to plantation crops such as coffee, the deficit was almost 75 per cent. Although by May 10 the situation had moderated, the average deficit in the State was still 50 per cent. By May 16, although the rainfall deficit had narrowed down to 33 per cent, the 13 major reservoirs in the State held just 16 per cent of their combined storage capacity of 860 thousand million cubic feet (tmc ft). The extensive depletion of groundwater in many parts of the State has shut the option of using water from under the ground to compensate for the shortfall in rainfall.

A uniquely shaped well in Chitta village in Bidar district, of medieval vintage and built by a Sufi saint, captures poignantly the story of how segregation prevents Dalits and other marginal groups from accessing water. The well consists of four squares within a square-shaped well, each reserved for a section of society. Although local folklore has it that Multani Baba Shaheed never intended to divide society on caste lines, he was forced to design it thus. “It is known as Chuachuth ki bawdi [well of untouchability],” said Mohammad Jaffer, a farmer in Chitta.

Bidar, one of the most backward districts in the country, has not fared too badly this season; in fact, the district received “excess” rainfall during the January-May 2016 period. But the statistics from this perennially dry district in northern Karnataka hide the extent of the ongoing distress, which is worsened by the social geography in its villages. The public access points for water are mainly located in the central part of the village, which, not surprisingly, is where those at the top of the social and economic hierarchy live.

A recent survey undertaken by the Welfare Party of India (WPI) lists some villages in Bidar district where it noted caste discrimination in water supply. Residents of villages or of areas where the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and Muslims form the majority suffer owing to neglect. “We have seen several villages where the distribution is lopsided. These villages have enough water, but water supply is better in upper-caste areas and not in those where the lower-caste people live,” said Mujahid Pasha Qureshi, district president of the WPI. He also observed that upper-caste areas tended to have a denser network of water sources such as borewells compared with areas where Dalits or people from the minority communities lived.

Although the State government has released Rs.50 lakh to each taluk-level task force to take up new work like drilling of borewells or open wells, the decisions are often arbitrary because caste and economic clout play an important role in determining what gets done where. “The task force is headed by the local MLA, and political affiliation or caste determines the location where a borewell is dug,” a senior Zilla Parishad officer toldFrontline. “It is very difficult to find out what they are doing, let alone monitor their work,’’ he remarked. Villagers contest the official claim that they are receiving a minimum quantum of 20 litres of water per day per capita.

Suryakanth Singe, a Dalit writer of Aurad, said that in villages like Kherda, each family hardly got around three pots (15 litres each) of water a day. “How can a family of five or six live off 70-80 litres of water a day?” he asks. He pointed out that while rich, upper-caste families bought water ferried by tankers plying from the towns near by, the poor could not afford this luxury. “I have cousins in nearby villages who are taking a bath just once in a week or so,” Singe told Frontline.

Vaijanth Wadde of Aurad has even more fundamental questions about the normative standards for the quantity of water supplied. “Why does the water used by people in cities need to be three times more than those in the villages?” he asks. “Have these officers ever tried to live off 20 litres of water per capita a day?” Many village residents say they do not get more than two or three pots of water a day for the entire family.

In Lanjawad in Bhalki taluk, which has a population of 2,000, a tanker fills the open well once every morning. The trick is to reach early with as many members of the family as possible. S.R. Chauhan, whose wife is a member of the Zilla Panchayat, supplies the tanker and gets paid for it by the Zilla Parishad.

Most parts of Aurad town have no provision for piped water supply. The government has put up cisterns at street corners for people to collect water. These are connected to either a borewell or an open well, but most of these sources have dried up and people are forced to buy water. Now water comes in tankers. “Whenever a tanker appears on the street, people rush towards it as if they are attacking the enemy. It is a frightening sight,” said Manmathappa Swamy, a resident of Aurad.

Rural Social Geography

In the Malnad region, rich planters living in bungalows get tanker-tractors carrying water on a phone call, whereas the poor go in search of private borewells or handpumps. Proximity to power and socio-economic status are among the factors that work in the process of providing relief. Facilities to access the scarce resource are distributed unevenly, reflecting the social chasm. Bandihalli is a predominantly Dalit village of about 130 families in Hassan district. It has one overhead tank with a capacity of 12,000 litres, which gets filled from a borewell. Neighbouring Jammanahalli, a village with just 40 houses, has a tank of the same capacity. “Our village is bigger than Jammanahalli, but they get more water,” said Keshava, a resident of Bandihalli. He said that the disparity arose from the fact that Jammanahalli had more upper-caste residents who had considerable influence with the people’s representatives. “If the overhead tank in Jammanahalli is connected to at least 30 to 40 houses of Bandihalli, the problem will be solved, but that will not happen,” rued Keshava.

The social geography of village life comes into play in determining who gets access to the limited water that is distributed. For instance, Dalit “colonies” are most often at the tail ends of water supply networks. Even in the distribution of water through overhead pipes, cisterns and tanker-tractors, the socially backward classes are the losers. In most villages, Dalit colonies are separated from the core areas, which is where overhead tanks are located. “While the residents at the core of the village get water taps running at full blast, taps in the distant colonies run slow, if at all they do,” said Kamalamma of Bandihalli village. Water supplied by tankers also does not reach the most vulnerable. “As soon as a tanker-tractor enters a habitation, people stop it at the entrance and those residing nearby surround the tractor to fetch water. There are situations when people in remote corners of the village go without water,” said Kamalamma.

Two women, Eeramma and Dyammavva, belonging to the Holeya community (Scheduled Caste), were seen fetching water from a drain in an agricultural land at Iguru, about 30 kilometres from Sakaleshpur town, when Frontline visited the village. The village had received pre-monsoon showers, and some drains in the area were filled with rainwater. “It is true the water is not suitable for drinking. But what to do, we don’t have other sources,” said Eeramma. She uses a piece of cloth to strain the water.

Two years ago, the Zilla Panchayat provided funds for an open well in Iguru, a village with 70 households. The yield in the well was insufficient from the day it was commissioned. “Now, a four-year-old borewell is the only source of water. Water in the borewell is also insufficient,” said I.M. Paramesh, former vice president of Iguru Gram Panchayat. Paramesh and his family have dug an open well, anticipating financial assistance under the MGNREGS. He is spending about Rs.2 lakh and expects to get around Rs.70,000 under the scheme.

The irony of caste discrimination is that in the rare instance when Dalits have access to a water source, upper-caste folk have no qualms in queueing up for the scarce resource. Residents of Yaragalale, Kuregal and Kittageri, three habitations in Mallapura Gram Panchayat in Alur taluk, have been depending on two private borewells for the last two years for drinking water. One of the borewells was drilled by a Dalit under the Ganga Kalyana Scheme, meant for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe people. People of all castes use it. “Last year, we drilled five borewells to provide water for these three habitations with over 150 houses. Surprisingly, all five borewells failed. We had no option but to depend on private borewells. We are providing a nominal fee of Rs.800 a month to the borewell owners,” said K. Harish, Panchayat Development Officer.

Unfortunately, programmes such as the MGNREGS, which could offer some relief in times such as these, are also proving ineffective in providing relief. The case of Shaila, a landless Dalit in Dhannura village in Bidar district, is an example of the ironies of schemes that target “beneficiaries”. She does not have the prized job card, but the local “zamindar” whom she works for, and who owns 16 hectares of land, has one and a BLP (below poverty line) card, too. Recently, Munish Moudgil, MNREGA Commissioner for Karnataka, stayed overnight in the village and conducted a work order Abhiyana (campaign) and found that in a village of 1,600 families, only 600 had job cards.

With inputs from Rishikesh Bahadur Desai in Bidar and G.T. Sathish in Hassan/Chikkamagaluru.

News monitored by AMRESH & AJEET





Dalits Media Watch – News Updates 30.05.16

OBC, gen students clash with Dalits on BBAU campus again – The Times Of India


Oppressive caste system snuffs out a helpless teenager’s life – The Indian Express


Family of upper caste man forces dalit wife out of home, goes into hiding – The Times Of India


JAC members stitching tent with Rohith’s clothes – The New Indian Express


Include Dalit Christians, fishermen in SC/ST list: Karunanidhi – Deccan Chronicle


Land row: Civil rights activists meet agitating Dalits in Sangrur – The Tribune


Parents approach SC Commission, say state government violating PSEB ActThe Tribune


Persecuted by caste, Kaliappafoundenpudur village helps lovers unite – The New Indian Express




The Times Of India

 OBC, gen students clash with Dalits on

BBAU campus again


TNN | May 30, 2016, 01.33 AM IST

Lucknow: There seems to be no end to caste-based politics at Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University (BBAU).

Ambedkar University Dalit Student Union (AUDSU) and Ambedkar Vishwavidyalaya Chhatra Sangathan (AVCS), which have been at loggerheads over the reservation issue, clashed again on Sunday. This time, over university registrar Sunita Chandra, who tendered her resignation late on Friday. Her resignation is, however, yet to be accepted by the vice-chancellor.

In retaliation to the sit-in being staged by the Dalit students against Chandra’s resignation since Saturday, OBC and general students took out a march, raised slogans and burnt an effigy of Chandra on Sunday. While the Dalit students’ alleged misbehavior and passing of ‘derogatory’ remarks by OBC and general students, the latter alleged that Dalit students, who are instigated by Chandra, are staging protests and vitiating the academic atmosphere of the campus.

The clash intensified when the general and OBC students started shouting ‘Bharat mata ki jai‘. They were countered with ‘Jai Bhim, Jai Bhim’, raised by the Dalit students. Later, AUDSU members burnt an effigy of the vice-chancellor RC Sobti and Kamal Jaiswal, who was nominated as the member of varsity’s board of management (BoM). Police was called to disperse the crowd.

“Chandra has been favouring students from Dalit community since the day she took charge. During convocation, two Dalit students created unruly scenes by shouting anti-Modi slogans in front of the Prime Minister. Is this a way to behave with guests?” said AVCS president Ratnesh Chaudhary.

Another AVCS member Gaurav Tiwari said, “Dalits didn’t even spare our vice-chancellor. On May 3, they staged day-long protest where they held him (VC) captive.”

Leading the Dalit protest, Shreyat Bouddh from AUDSU alleged that the general and OBC students burnt an effigy of honest and an innocent office-bearer on the provocation of Jaiswal and dean, student welfare, Ripu Sudan Singh. “We were protesting peacefully and were burning copies of Manu Smriti, when they (OBC, general students) came and passed ‘casteist’ remarks,” said Bouddh, AUDSU’s spokesperson.

Anil Kumar , AUDSU member said, “OBC and general students even misbehaved with girl students. Even police is hand in gloves with them because they picked two AVCS students and freed them as soon as they stepped outside the campus.”

Station officer of Ashiana police station, Santosh Tiwari, said, “Some students assembled at the university compound to burn effigy of the registrar Two students’ group have remained at loggerheads and have clashed in the past as well. We are called when situation turns violent. We have not received any complaint from university administration so far and have not made any arrests.”

The Indian Express

 Oppressive caste system snuffs out a

helpless teenager’s life


By Ratan K Pani Published: 30th May 2016 03:33 AM Last Updated: 30th May 2016 06:52 AM

SAMBALPUR: The killing of pregnant minor girl, Gita Tanla, by her father Kailash for eloping with a boy outside their caste in Balangir reflects the oppressive caste system still prevalent in rural Western Odisha.

In fact, both Gita and Naresh Tandi, with whom she had eloped, are Dalits but belong to different professions. Discrimination among same caste exists in terms of ‘Jatis’ – derived from occupations.


Gita hailed from a traditional cobbler family and Naresh was not from their ‘Jati’. Gita fell in love with Naresh while working in a brick kiln in Vijayawada. Later, they left the brick kiln and worked in a poultry farm. Things took a turn after Gita became pregnant and came back home with Naresh.

But Naresh’s family members did not accept their relationship. Gita was driven out of Naresh’s house which further fuelled Kailash’s anger.

Such is the hierarchy within the Dalits that most villages are characterised by a multiplicity of economic, caste, kinship, occupational and even religious groups linked vertically within each settlement.

Fellow villagers include representatives of various service and artisan castes to supply the needs of the villagers __ priests, carpenters, blacksmiths, barbers, weavers, potters, cobblers, sweepers, water bearers and so on and there is a thin line which acts as a barrier to their entry and exit to various rural institutions.

In Jatla Sirgida village of Bargarh district, Dalits rue that though they carried sand and mortar for construction of Jagannath temple in the village, they are denied entry after idols were installed. This is not a solitary instance. In several villages across western Odisha, Dalits continue to be deprived of entry to religious places.

The discrimination has been noticed at water bodies as well. There are  separate bathing ghats for Dalits in villages. They are given raw items to cook their own food and eat at their place during marriages and other community feasts.

Even to this day, in Brahmin-dominated villages, they are not expected wear slippers and cross a Brahmin. They have to hold it in their hands.

The fact remains that silence of police and administration in caste related matters and social insecurity of those who dare to protest has strengthened the feudal mindset.

The Times Of India

Family of upper caste man forces dalit wife out of home, goes into hiding


TNN | May 30, 2016, 07.41 AM IST

Coimbatore: A family residing in Palapatty in Mettupalayam has thrown out the newly-wedded wife of the son from their home after they found out that she was a dalit. The woman, identified as Revathy, 23, was to leave for Jaipur with her husband P Rajiv, 25, on Sunday when her in-laws became aware of her caste identity.

Revathy lodged a complaint with the Thudiyalur all-women police station, stating that her husband’s entire family has gone into hiding. 

Police on the case said Revathy and Rajiv worked together in a private company at Kalapatty, where they fell in love. Rajiv was aware that Revathy was a dalit and had met her family too. The duo got married with the help of their cousins and friends on March 11, following which Rajiv’s parents accepted the couple into their home. Rajiv had not told his parents that Revathy was a dalit.

The couple was to leave for Jaipur on Sunday as Rajiv had secured a job with a private company there. But on Monday (May 23), when the couple had gone out shopping, Rajiv’s mother, P Malathy, 43, father, Palanichamy, 60, and sister, Vidhya, 27, came across Revathy’s certificates. “When we returned home, they abused and harassed me using my caste name, and asked me to get out of the house. I was taken aback because I had repeatedly told Rajiv to inform his parents that I was a dalit,” said Revathy. “They took my mobile phone and there was no way I could communicate with Rajiv. So, I approached the police,” she added.

Investigating officer Inspector Amutha said Rajiv’s family was summoned to the police station on Thursday (May 26).

Police have registered a case under various Sections of SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and also under Sections of IPC. “We will arrest her husband’s family soon,” the investigating officer said.

The New Indian Express

 JAC members stitching tent with Rohith’s clothes


By Express News Service Published: 30th May 2016 05:18 AM Last Updated: 30th May 2016 05:19 AM

HYDERABAD: While tents have been removed from the protest site at University of Hyderabad, the students are not yet ready to give up the cause. In a fresh turn of events, the JAC for social justice has made an appeal to the students and faculty on campus to donate clothes. A new tent will be stitched this time and it would include the clothes of the deceased Rohith Vemula as well.

“As the administration has stolen our tents and Babasaheb Ambedkar’s banners, we have decided to stitch our own tent with old clothes that will also include Rohith’s clothes,” said a message being reportedly circulated by the JAC members. JAC called for a meeting on Monday evening at the shopcom (protest site) to rebuild the Velivada.

To prevent the tents from being removed again, the members have decided to stay put at the site.

“It was an unauthorised structure and no permission was taken. We are not denying students their rights, we gave them prior notice and asked them to remove the tents within 48 hours. However, they did not comply. We waited for a week before taking it down.

We directed the security to remove the tent, and they might have selected the night time to avoid tension,” varsity spokesperson Vipin Srivastava said.

Deccan Chronicle

 Include Dalit Christians, fishermen in SC/ST list: Karunanidhi



PublishedMay 30, 2016, 6:18 am IST

DMK chief also said the fishermen community should be included in the ST category as marine tribes.

Chennai: DMK president M. Karunanidhi on Sunday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take steps to provide Schedule Caste status to Dalit Christians and to include the fishing community in Scheduled Tribes list as it would benefit several lakh downtrodden people.

Thanking Modi for the Cabinet decision to include Narikuravars in the list of Scheduled Tribes, he said it was a demand made by DMK for a very long time and expressed satisfaction that it had been fulfilled.

On his demand for including Dalit Christians in the SC/ST category, Mr Karunanidhi said, “when SC/STs convert themselves to Christianity, they are deprived of all the privileges and concessions hitherto enjoyed by them.

DMK has been demanding that the SC/STs after conversion to Christianity should be treated as SC/STs and allowed all concessions and privileges,” he said, adding there were precedents such as recognition of Sikh Christians and Buddhist Christians.

DMK chief also said the fishermen community should be included in the ST category as marine tribes.

“The fishermen community, by their very geographical nature, is socially and educationally akin to the Scheduled Tribes.” Their inclusion in ST list, which they “deserve in all respects”, would enable them to climb up the ladder of life, he said.

Karunanidhi requested Modi to “consider the two demands and sought an early action by the government.”

Last week, the Union Cabinet gave its nod for inclusion of three communities, including Narikuravar, from the state under the ST category.

The Tribune

 Land row: Civil rights activists meet agitating Dalits in Sangrur


 Sushil Goyal Tribune News Service Sangrur, May 29

A large number of agitating Dalits, seeking one-third share of panchayat land (reserved for SCs) at low rates for joint farming in villages, have termed their fight for panchayat land as a struggle for self-respect than for economic prosperity.

This came to the notice of a four-member team of a Delhi-based civil rights organisation “Janhastakshep” when it visited 2-3 villages, including Balad Kalan (near Bhawanigarh), yesterday to take stock of the sufferings being faced by the Dalits agitating to get panchayat land.


The team members were: Dr Vikas Bajpai from JNU, Delhi; Prof Ish Mishra from Hindu College, Delhi University, Delhi; Anil Dubey and Rajesh Kumar, both senior journalists from Delhi.

Disclosing some parts of their inquiry report here today, Dr Vikas Bajpai said that agitating Dalits from the villages had told the team that after getting reserved land for joint farming in the past 1-2 years, their dependence on landlords had reduced from cent per cent to nil.

Dr Bajpai said that initially, the Dalit farmers were united by the Zamin Prapti Sangharsh Committee (ZPSC), but now, the farmers were playing the role of leaders.

The team members said that in Kherri village (near Sangrur), Dalits had been putting up a united face these days by occupying panchayat land allotted to them 40 years ago for constructing houses.

The team members also lashed out at the role of all major political parties, especially the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). They said the AAP supremo recently visited a saint in Patiala district, bordering Sangrur district, but he did not visit the Dalits.

Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann had also not bothered about the Dalits of Balad Kalan village who had sustained injuries during police lathicharge, the team added.

The team demanded release of Dalits lodged in jails, allotment of panchayat land to Dalits at nominal rates, possession of land to Kherri village’s Dalits for constructing houses and action against “erring policemen” who resorted to lathicharge at Balad Kalan on Dalits on May 24.

The Tribune

 Parents approach SC Commission,

say state government violating PSEB Act


 Neeraj Bagga Tribune News Service Amritsar, May 29

A section of parents of children studying in different private schools in the city has alleged that the state government failed to comply with the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) Act, 1969, known as the Punjab School Education Board regulation for affiliation of Institution, 1988. As per its regulations, the fee charged from students should be approved by the board from time to time. However, an institution providing extra facilities which augments the cause of education may charge extra fee with the permission of the board.


The regulation further provides that the institution must have sufficient resources to run itself efficiently. The entire income from the institution shall be utilised only for the welfare of the students, teachers and the institution. The board can inspect the account of the institution from time to time.

The major areas where private schools are allegedly doing illegal practices include, charging admission fee from students every year at the time of admission to the higher class even though the student is of the same school, charging various funds twice over, like building fund and dilapidated funds are collected even though the building is already complete whereas only fund for maintenance could be charged. Advance fee is charged invariably for three months whereas fee should be collected every month. Further, either the schools are having their own shops or tie ups with shops for the sale of schoolbooks, stationary, school bags and uniforms. The parents are coerced to purchase these items from these shops whereas schools are earning huge profits either by direct sale or by getting commission.

A section of parents has requested in writing to National SC Commission vice-chairman Raj Kumar Verka to issue directions to Deputy Commissioner Varun Roojam to implement his orders issued to the schools on April 28 and May 16.

A parent, Dharambir Singh Mahiya, said they were filing this petition on behalf of aggrieved parents against the private schools of Punjab, especially of Amritsar district, for their illegal practices and intentional disobedience of various important decisions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and the Supreme Court of India.

They brought to his notice that the students belonging to Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes from rural areas were harassed and humiliated by private schools of the district as their parents were involved in the agitation. They said the schools had become vindictive towards children and threatening them by targeting them individually in front of other students.

They stated that laws were not being implemented by private schools and through the petition, they request the commission to take action and give directions to the administration for the implementation of its orders so that the private schools be restrained from harassing students. They said private schools did not comply with the various orders and directions of the courts, the Deputy Commissioner and the District Education Officer.

The New Indian Express

 Persecuted by caste, Kaliappafoundenpudur village helps lovers unite


By Express News Service Published: 30th May 2016 05:09 AM Last Updated: 30th May 2016 06:07 AM

 COIMBATORE: Members of an organisation inspired by the ideals of EVR Periyar, conducted the marriage of an young inter-caste couple in Kaliappafoundenpudur in Pollachi on Sunday.

According to locals and founder of the Periyar Dravida Kazhagam, K S Nagarajan, the village has become a bulwark in the fight against caste discrimination. “Currently, 20 of the 300 families residing in the village got married outside their caste groups. Even now, couples sometimes flee and seek refuge in our village because of its pluralistic nature,” he said.

The Periyar Dravida Kazhagam, along with 400 other guests were in attendance as the couple Stalin and Krithika got married on Saturday. The parents of the couple had been approached by Nagarajan and his fellow social workers with a request, urging them to marry outside their caste.

“Krithika and Stalin’s parents were looking for a prospective bride and groom when we approached them, and asked them to consider allowing their son and daughter to marry outside their caste,” said Nagarajan.

Nagarajan and his fellow workers have been conducting awareness campaigns promoting inter-caste marriages and advocating against caste discrimination for the last 15 years. “We run a social welfare organisation called ‘Pooncholai’ which promotes education among girls and impoverished youth, which has resulted in a more inclusive atmosphere among people belonging to all castes in the village,” he said.

Breaking barriers

According to locals and founder of the Periyar Dravida Kazhagam, K S Nagarajan, the village has become a bulwark in the fight against caste discrimination. “Currently, 20 of the 300 families residing in the village got married outside their caste groups,” he said.

The Pioneer



Monday, 30 May 2016 | PNS | New Delhi

The Union Government has included welfare of transgender persons in charter of work to be handled by Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, following demands from civil society and transgenders to check incidents of social harassment and crime against them.

Besides, the Social Justice Ministry is finalising a Bill for formulation and implementation of a comprehensive national policy for ensuring overall development of the transgender persons.

President Pranab Mukherjee has approved changes in Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961, which describe the functioning of Central Government departments, in this regard.

The amended rules were notified recently by the Cabinet Secretariat.

There are about 4.88 lakh transgenders in India, as per 2011 census, officials said.

“Transgender should be declared as the third gender, and a transgender person should have the option to identify as ‘man’, ‘woman’ or ‘transgender’ as well as have the right to choose any of the options independent of surgery/hormones. “Only the nomenclature ‘transgender’ should be used and nomenclatures like ‘other’ or ‘others’ should not be used,” as per the draft ‘The Rights of Transgender Persons Bill, 2015’.

News monitored by AMRESH & AJEET


Dalits Media Watch – News Updates 29.05.16

Fresh protests erupt at Hyderabad varsity – The Times Of India


Minor gang rape survivor goes missing before first trial in Madhya Pradesh – The Times Of India


3-year-old rape survivor identifies rapist – The Times Of India


Family abandons diabetic daughter in Tikamgarh district – The Times Of India


Sewer man suffocates to death, contractor bookedThe Tribune


Devadasi’ system continues to exist despite ban: Book – The Times Of India


Govt considers revising scholarship norms for SC students – The Business Standard




Marriage within clan: Dalit family forced out of village – The Times Of India


Changing surname does not change caste of person: HCThe Tribune


87-year-old monk on a journey with a message – DNA


Please Watch:

International Conference on Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar’s Thoughts -Shri K S Ingole


The Times Of India

 Fresh protests erupt at Hyderabad varsity


TNN | May 29, 2016, 05.44 AM IST

HYDERABAD: Fresh protests erupted at the University of Hyderabad (UoH) on Saturday after security officials allegedly removed tents erected around dalit student Rohith Vemula’s memorial and the place where he had spent his last days before his suicide in January.

Joint Action Committee for Social Justice (JAC) members said the officials removed tents besides “dishonouring” Babasaheb Ambedkar’s banner at 2am. This comes days after UoH vice-chancellor Appa Rao Podile issued a notice on May 20 asking the JAC to remove unauthorised tents from the campus.

Angry students blocked the university’s main gate and shouted slogans against Podile amid heavy security. Later, the students tried to file a case against Podile and the security officials for curbing their right to hold democratic protests. They were told contents of their complaint would not allow registration of a case.

“A person (Podile) who has been known for copying and got selected after lobbying does not know the value of education and the importance of Ambedkar,” said Prashanth Dontha, a friend of Vemula, whose suicide had sparked protests against discrimination against dalits. “It is his casteist attitude that led to Rohith’s death.”

JAC members claimed protocol was not followed for removal of the tents and that security officials resorted to vandalism to forcefully remove banners, one of which had the Constitution’s Preamble.

“Though students witnessed the security staff pulling down the tents, the security-in charge later claimed they knew nothing about the theft of the tent and the loot of JAC material, including Babasaheb’s banners and flexes,” said JAC member Arpita Jaya. “The vice chancellor has insulted our protest and struggle for Rohith by taking this step.”

The Times Of India

Minor gang rape survivor goes missing before first trial in Madhya Pradesh


Amarjeet Singh| TNN | May 28, 2016, 09.16 PM IST

BHOPAL: A 15-yr-old dalit girl who was gang raped by 12 people, has mysteriously gone missing just four days before the first trial in the case. Her ailing mother has requested director-general of police to rescue the girl after local police refused the act.

While eight accused are behind bars, four are on the run. The girl was abducted, kept captive for two days and gang-raped by 12 people in Jabalpur between February 28 and March 1, last year. But it was after a year that police filed the charge-sheet and the first hearing was scheduled on May 31. 

“I suspect that four accused on the run have abducted my daughter ahead of the trial. They would call from different numbers and pressurize me for compromise and as I did not do that I suspect they have abducted her,” she said.

“She is missing since May 16 and it’s already 11 days. Since then I have been going to police stations, but to no avail. I first approached the local police station in charge; they registered a missing person report and then an FIR for kidnapping. I tried to contact senior officials in the district, but was not allowed. I have apprised the DGP. I have also approached the commission for protection of child rights and women commission,” she said.

“She would work at a local garment manufacturing unit and went to work on May 16, but when she did not return, we began looking for her. On May 17, I approached local police,” she said.

Senior superintendent of police, Jabalpur, Dr Asish said, “It is a serious issue and considering the gravity of the situation we have constituted a team to inquire into the matter. A hunt has been launched to find and rescue the girl. All aspects of the case, including alleged involvement of the absconding accused are being investigated.

The Times Of India

 3-year-old rape survivor identifies rapist


Uday Rana| TNN | May 28, 2016, 08.29 PM IST

MEERUT: In what has been called the ‘Little Nirbhaya’ case in Meerut, a three-year-old girl has identified her rapist, whom the police have now arrested and sent to jail. The girl told cops that the man, an electrician, had abducted and raped her. Cops said that the accused was working at an under-construction house in Lohia Nagar when the incident took place on Thursday afternoon.

“We had detained two persons on the basis of suspicion and the girl identified one of them as the rapist. The 24-year-old electrician was taken to court on Saturday afternoon and sent to jail. We ordered a medical test to be conducted on him and a sample has been sent to a lab in Agra. Soon, we will have the report and the case will be solved,” said SK Rana, station officer at Civil Lines police station.

Superintendent of police (city) Om Prakash said that since the girl belongs to a Dalit family, the accused has also been booked under sections of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

Outraged over the horrific incident in the heart of the city, Meerut residents on Friday had taken out a huge candle-light march from Bachcha Park Crossing to the city’s Chaudhary Charan Singh Park demanding justice for ‘Little Nirbhaya’. Workers of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) also took part in the march in solidarity with the residents.

“It is not like this has happened in a far-flung village or a forest somewhere. A child was raped in the heart of the city. Sanjay Nagar falls under Civil Lines police station, which caters to the VIP area as well. The fact that such an incident has taken place in such a high-security area is a blot on the law and order situation. This needs to stop. The December 2012 case, which was dubbed the ‘Nirbhaya’ rape case, shook the conscience of Delhi. This incident has shaken the conscience of the people of Meerut. That is why we are demanding justice for Little Nirbhaya,” said Manoj Hans, district secretary of AAP.

The Times Of India

 Family abandons diabetic daughter in Tikamgarh district


Desh Deep| TNN | May 29, 2016, 09.00 AM IST

Bhopal: When the world was observing International Day of Action for Women’s Health on May 28, a 14-year-old girl was abandoned by her family in a remote village of Tikamgarh in Madhya Pradesh. Her fault: She suffers from diabetes. Parents of the girl, who belongs to scheduled caste community, work as labourers and the minor is eldest of four siblings.

As her family left her high and dry for the past few months, Arti Ahirwar, a student of Class 9, has been living in a small hut on the outskirts of Jawaharpura village in Palera block of Tikamgarh.

“My family was not treating me well and abandoned me as they thought I am suffering from a disease that could infect other family members”, she told doctors during a medical camp on May 18.

Dr Feroza Bano, a government doctor who had first spotted her in a similar medical camp last year told TOI, “Last year we diagnosed diabetes and told her parents to take care of her. This time I was again looking for her. Then I spotted a very weak and frail girl and realized she was Arti .I could not recognise her as she was in pathetic state of health .”

Dr Rajesh Kumar, medical officer Palera said, “She is suffering from juvenile diabetes type I. As her family stopped providing her medical care, her condition deteriorated. Because of foul smell emanating from the girl, the ignorant family persons abandoned her fearing she was suffering from some incurable deadly disease.”

He said that her medical treatment was started again and she was referred to district hospital of Tikamgarh.

For the past few months, her family would occasionally provide her food. And when they don’t do this, she would go around the village as beggar looking for food, said Sita Devi an elderly woman whom Arti calls dadi.

After repeated efforts when her family refused to accept her, Dr Feroza contacted Childline, an NGO, to look after the girl.

Arti is a bright student and expressed her desir to study. ” She requested us to admit her in some school as she wants to continue her studies”, Dr Rajesh said.

The Tribune

 Sewer man suffocates to death, contractor booked


 Tribune News Service Chandigarh, May 28

A 25-year-old sewer worker was asphyxiated while another was injured after they were trapped in a manhole near Behlana here this morning.

The local police have registered a case against RR Builder contractor Prithvi Raj Sharma and foreman Kishori Lal under Section 304-A (causing death by negligence) of the IPC. Lal has been arrested while the contractor is absconding.

According to the police, the incident happened at around 11.40 am. Jitender, a resident of Sector 25, became unconscious after inhaling poisonous gas in the sewer hole. Another worker, Ramesh, who entered the manhole, with a rope tied around his waist to save him, got injured. He was later pulled out by another worker using a rope in a similar way.

Meanwhile, the police, fire and emergency wing of the Municipal Corporation were informed about the incident. Two fire tenders were rushed to the spot.

Meanwhile, the police shifted the duo to Government Medial College and Hospital, Sector 32, where Jitender was declared brought dead by the doctors on duty. Ramesh is under treatment at the hospital.

Jaspal Singh, Station House Officer, Sector 31 police station, said a case had been registered and they were trying to trace the contractor.

UT officials visit site

After the incident, senior officials of the UT Engineering Department also visited the site. Sources said a report in this regard had been prepared by the officials. 

Sewer men demand action against UT officials 

Sewer men  staged a protest at the roundabout of GMCH-32 on Saturday evening and demanded action against the contractor and senior officials of the UT Engineering Department. Traffic was also disrupted for nearly 15 minutes at the roundabout. They were demanding a compensation of Rs 10 lakh for the family of the deceased Jitender and adequate compensation for Ramesh, who is injured. 

MC gave relief to kin of 3 sewer men last year 

Last year, the MC had provided a compensation of Rs 2 lakh each to the families of the three sewer men, who lost their lives during work on May 30 last year in Industrial Area, Phase II.

Six sewer men have died in last 5 years

In the last five years, six sewer men have died while cleaning the sewer lines. They include Prempal, Asrafi, Dhan Singh, Happy, Jaipal and Satbir.

The Times Of India

 Devadasi’ system continues to exist despite ban: Book


PTI | May 29, 2016, 09.47 AM IST

Thiruvananthapuram, May 29 () The banned ‘devadasi’ system, in which women are dedicated in local temples for the service of the deity and later allegedly forced into sex trade, still exists in many parts of India, according to a new book. “Visudha Papangalude India” (India:The Land of Holy Sins), a Malayalam book which will hit the bookstores soon, says many of the ‘devadasis’ are forced into flesh trade to earn their daily bread as they are denied a normal family life.

Journalist-turned-writer Arun Ezhuthachan unveils in the book, the plight and painful struggle of marginalised women, including ‘devadasis’, who are subjected to various kinds of exploitation in the name of rituals and religious practices. “We talk about various kinds of exploitation and harassment against women. But the problems of marginalised groups like devadasis are different,” Arun said. “It is really shocking to know that women are exploited in the name of centuries-old rituals and religious customs even now, in this 21st century. The painful saga of widows of Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh, who are destined to live as Lord Krishna’s beloved Radha, is also not different,” he said. The book, published by DC books, also throws light into the life and problems faced by sex workers in redlight areas in the country, including Kamathipura and Sonagachi. The interview with some of the widows of Vrindavan, who reach the temple town after being ostracised by their families and society, gives a grim picture about the life of marginalised women in the modern India. “As per law books, the devadasi system is not in practice anywhere in the country and it was banned by law in all states in different periods. But I met a number of young women who had been dedicated to deities in recent times in rural villages of states like Karnataka,” Arun, a reporter with Malayala Manorama daily, said.

As they were not allowed to marry anybody or led a normal family life, many of them were forced to turn to flesh trade either in their own villages or in red light areas in cities, he said.

According to the book, as per official figures, as many as 46,000 former devadasis have been identified in Karnataka alone, adding, they are getting a meagre pension of Rs 500 per month.

The Business Standard

 Govt considers revising scholarship norms for SC students


Move comes in backdrop of unearthing of corruption in implementation of centrally-sponsored ‘post-matric scholarship and freeship’

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi May 29, 2016 Last Updated at 11:48 IST

In order to prevent duplication of applications and bring in greater transparency, the government is mulling revising the existing scheme of post-matric scholarship forScheduled Caste students.

The move comes in the backdrop of unearthing of corruption in implementation of centrally-sponsored ‘post-matric scholarship and freeship’ in six most backward districts of Maharastra recently.

As per the revised guidelines, the uniqueness of the student will be ensured through the SSC Roll number and month and year of passing through ID of State Education Board or other Boards and making it mandatory for the beneficiaries to enroll with Aadhaar.

It also proposes seeding of Aadhaar with the bank accounts of beneficiaries, said a senior official from the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

Also strict time lines for submission and processing of the applications have been proposed.

For normal courses like BA, BSc, MA, MSc etc the last date for submission of applications by the institutions to the sanctioning authority should not go beyond August 31.

For professional courses, the last date should be November 30, according to the new guidelines proposed, the official said.

The guidelines also stress on institutional mapping so that only the institutions recognised by the appropriate body of the State and Centre will be eligible for the scheme.

“Also, there is a need to cap the number of beneficiaries. The system has to ensure that the number of beneficiaries enrolling in the courses at Post-Senior Secondary level at any time does not exceed the number that availed the PMS in the 12th standard,” the official said.

The scholarships enable SC students to pursue post-matric education including engineering and medical courses.
The scheme is implemented by the states, which receive 100 per cent central assistance from government of India.
Scholarships are paid to students whose parents’ income from all sources does not exceed Rs 2,50,000 per annum.

While the tuition fee of the candidates is reimbursed to the colleges, the scholarship is deposited in the students’ accounts.

The Pioneer



Sunday, 29 May 2016 | PNS | BHUBANESWAR | in Bhubaneswar

Under the Odisha Dalit Adhikar Manch (ODAM) banner, social activists, intellectuals and supporters of reservation from across the State organised a meet here on Saturday.

Odisha has a major proportion of SC and ST population, said ODAM president Manas Jena. He also said there should be laws for reservation for the backward classes in the private sector jobs as it would help in the development of backward classes, SCs and STs.

The ODAM has demanded reservation for Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) in private sector jobs and resolved to launch a campaign to bring pressure on the State Government from next month Jena added.

Attending as chief guest, former Chief Secretary Sahadev Sahoo said that with development SC, ST and OBC people and women, an overall development of the country would materialise. Many facilities are yet to reach some of them, he observed. Reservation in private sector jobs should be made, he added.

Even after 68 years of Independence, the State Government has not implemented the Constitutional rights of SC and ST people, resented Manch State coordinator Prashant Mallick.

Former IAS officer Kalyan Ray said, “We want that the private sector should realise the importance of the issues. They should give opportunity to the backward class people with reservation.” The reservation should not be limited in the Government sector only, he added. The speakers said that if reservations are made in private sector jobs then there will be no place for casteism in the society. 

Santosh Das from the CPI(M), Prof Basant Kumar Mallick, ODAM adviser Madhusudan Yadav, Samajwadi Party State president Rabi Behera and writer Husain Rabi Gandhi also spoke, among others.

The Times Of India

 Marriage within clan: Dalit family forced out of village


Sukhbir Siwach| TNN | May 29, 2016, 03.07 AM IST

CHANDIGARH: A panchayat of dalits at a village in Haryana’s Karnal district has forced a family from the community to leave home after its son married a girl from the same gotra (caste clan).

The panchyat was called at Pyont village on May 19, and it asked the family to leave on the same day. The boy, Bunty Kumar alias Vikas (22), and the girl, Komal (18), tied the knot at a temple in Panchkula on May 12 and belong to the Dulgach gotra of Valmiki community.

On Saturday, Vikas’s father, Karam Singh, wrote to Haryana State Human Rights Commission and sought hep in the matter.

The villagers have accused the couple of violating social norms. At present, the couple is living in a protection home of the police.

Vikas recently passed Class X, while Komal has studied up to Class XII. They had been in a relationship for the past couple of months. Karam Singh told TOI that they had no objection to the marriage, but the girl’s family was opposing the couple’s plan from the start.

After Komal approached the Punjab and Haryana high court, it asked the police on May 18 to take suitable action in case of any threat to the two. 

Of the 4,000 families in the village, 100 are from the Valmiki community. According to the complaint to the commission, the panchayat on the same day reached Karam’s house and asked him to leave the village along with his three minor daughters. “They did not even allow me to take along articles from the home,” said Singh, a junior employee of the state public health department. “These days, I am hiding at one place or another along with my wife and daughters,” Karam added.

According to the panchayat’s resolution, which has been accessed by TOI, the family has been punished for the “anti-social act” of Vikas.

“By doing this marriage against social norms, Vikas has let the entire community down. Anyone who invites Karam Singh to his home will meet the same fate – expulsion from the village,” warned the panchayat. Karam alleged that the panchayat members also forced him to sign the resolution.

Karnal superintendent of police (SP) Pankaj Nain said the matter was not in their knowledge. “We will check the matter and will take action as per law,” Nain added.

The Tribune

 Changing surname does not change caste of person: HC


 Mumbai, May 29

The Bombay High Court has provided relief to a medical graduate who was denied admission in a post-graduate course in the Scheduled Tribe category despite possessing valid caste certificate on the ground that he had changed his surname.

The petitioner contended that though he had a Caste Validity Certificate and belonged to Scheduled Tribe, his claim to post graduate admission was not being considered on the ground that he has changed his surname.

“If the surname is changed, that does not change caste of a person. It is specific contention of the petitioner that the change in his surname is duly notified in the Government Gazette,” observed the court.

“By way of ad-interim relief, we direct the respondents to consider the claim of petitioner from reserved category if the petitioner possesses validity certificate and a Government Notification notifying the change in his name,” the court said.

The vacation bench of justices Shalini Phansalkar-Joshi and BR Gavai, in their order on May 23, asked the government pleader to communicate the order passed by the high Court to the college authority concerned.

The petitioner, Shantunu Hari Bhardwaj, submitted that after completion of his MBBS Degree, he had sought admission to Post Graduate Course under the reserved quota for ST community. However, he was denied admission by the respondents arbitrarily and illegally.

The petitioner submitted that his caste and sub-caste is Hindu-Tokre Koli which falls under the category of Scheduled Tribes as per the Schedule annexed to Constitution of India.

It was contended that his original surname is ‘Sapkale’.

However, he and his brother have changed their surname from Sapkale to ‘Bhardwaj’ from the year 1999 by effect of an official publication in Maharashtra Government Gazette, dated May 20, 1999.

The petitioner submitted that after the said official change in his surname as ‘Bhardwaj’, he had applied to the Education Officer for changing his surname from Sapkale to ‘Bhardwaj’ by an application dated August 29, 1999.

The Education Officer by his order dated January 20, 2000, changed his surname from Sapkale to Bhardwaj in all school records.

The petitioner submitted that he had passed MBBS course in December, 2014 from Pravara Institute of Medical Sciences, Deemed University at Loni in Ahmednagar district. In the said certificate as well as mark list, his surname appears as ‘Bhardwaj’.

He said that after passing his MBBS degree course, he had applied for admission to Post Graduate Course with the State Common Entrance Test Cell in accordance with the admission rules for the course in 2016.

The petitioner said he had appeared for Common Entrance Test and secured 167 marks out of 300. In the Hall Ticket and Mark List for the exam, his surname appeared as ‘Bhardwaj’.

In the selection list for admission to the PG Course for 2016, his name appeared with ‘Bhardwaj’ surname and he was directed to take admission in the course at Dr Punjabrao Bauchand Deshmuk Memorial Medical College, Amravati.

The petitioner informed the court that he had completed all the formalities required for his admission to PG Course as per the select list, however, the college authorities denied him admission in a letter dated April 20, 2016, on the ground that his name appearing in Caste Validity Certificate is different from what had appeared in the select list.

Being aggrieved, he moved the Bombay High Court which has now directed the college authorities to consider his claim for admission. — PTI


 87-year-old monk on a journey with a message


 The Dhamma Chetna Yatra will conclude in October

 BJP hopes to reach out to lakhs of Dalit followers of Buddhism in UP through the Dhamma Chetna Yatra

An 87-year-old monk is on a journey through the Bodh viharas of Uttar Pradesh with a message for the Dalit followers of Buddhism to support Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Dhamma Viriyo, the Akhil Bharatiya Sangha Nayak of the Bharatiya Bhikku Maha Sangha, is telling the people that while BSP supremo Mayawati refused to give him time, Modi went out of his way to honour him at Mhow, the birth place of Dalit icon BR Ambedkar. Traveling in a bus, which has Modi’s images on it, Viriyo is his devoted emissary describing the Prime Minister as the messiah for the poor.

Accompanied by around 50 Bhikkus (Buddhist monastics), he holds between ten to 60 meetings in a district, reaching out to nearly 5000-7000 people each day. At the BJP headquarters, detailed reports of the Dhamma Chetna Yatra are received on a daily basis.

BJP leaders deny the party’s involvement in the programme, being held under the banner of the Akhil Bhikku Sangha. However, eight meetings were held between party leaders and Viriyo before the yatra was flagged off in April at Varanasi, Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency, by home minister Rajnath Singh, according to sources.

“BJP workers welcome anyone who is working for manav kalyan (wellbeing of people). We have a lot of respect for Dr Viriyo,” said BJP general secretary Arun Singh.

During his yatra, which ends in October, Viriyo is likely to cross around 1400-1500 Bodh Viharas, which fall in the midst of Dalit-dominated areas. According to sources, there are nearly 40-50 lakh followers of Buddhism, most of whom are Dalits and some are OBCs like Mauryas, in the state. The yatra is expected to cover Purvanchal, the OBC-dominated politically crucial region in UP.

The BJP is trying to wean away the Dalit vote from Mayawati and targeting the non-Yadav OBC vote in UP. Several Dalits and other backward caste people in the state have adopted Buddhism, freeing themselves from the clutches of caste-based discrimination like untouchability. Dalit icons like Ambedkar and Kanshi Ram, Mayawati’s mentor, have shown the way. While Ambedkar converted to Buddhism, Kanshi Ram died just a week before he was to convert to the religion from Hinduism. Mauryan emperor Ashoka had converted to Buddhism after the Kalinga war.

The home minister, while flagging off the yatra, promised a statue of Buddha taller than the ones in Bamiyan in Afghanistan if BJP came to power in UP. Modi has invoked Buddhism in foreign policy, particularly in East Asia, and indicated his regard for it as a religion propagating peace.

News monitored by AMRESH & AJEET


Dalits Media Watch – News Updates 28.05.16

Hyd Uni erupts again as protest tents pulled down, students block varsity gate – The News Minute


Hyderabad police book Kancha Ilaiah for ‘hurting religious sentiments’ in speech – The News Minute


In Ambedkar’s birthplace, a tale of two crematoriums – The Hindustan Times


Dalits seek CBI probe into desecration of Dr B R Ambedkar’s photo at Honganuru village – The Times Of India


After samrasta snan, BJP plans to train dalits as priests – The Times Of India


Abohar dalit’s murder: Bail for two accused – The Times Of India


Villages with common cremation grounds to get 5L – The Times Of India


7 Dalits sent to judicial custodyThe Tribune


The News Minute

 Hyd Uni erupts again as protest tents pulled down, students block varsity gate


The incident allegedly took place in the middle of the night, and students gathered at the gate by 2 am

TNM Staff| Saturday, May 28, 2016 – 09:23

Students of the University of Hyderabad (UoH) on Saturday morning decried the functioning of the varsity, alleging that the authorities removed the tents put up at the protest venue following Rohith Vemula’s suicide.

The students also alleged that the university “desecrated” a banner of Babasaheb Ambedkar. Angry students stated that they would not let the university function on Saturday.

JAC Protest_1

“Though students have seen the security staff cutting down the tent with their own eyes, the security in-charge claims that he knows nothing about the theft of the tent and the loot of JAC material including Babasaheb’s banner and flexes,” the Joint Action Committee for Social Justice said in a Facebook post.

The incident allegedly took place in the middle of the night between 12 am and 1 am, with students gathering at the gate at 2 am.

This comes a week after the Vice-Chancellor, Appa Rao Podile, sent a notice to the student union president asking them to remove all the tents at the shopping complex in the campus which were put up following Rohith Vemula’s death.

Though these tents were put after Rohith’s suicide on January 17, the ‘Velivada’ enclosure, or Dalit colony, was put up in the shopping complex by the five Dalit students, including Rohith Vemula, who were protesting their earlier suspension.

Following Rohith’s death, the other students continued to stay in the Velivada as a mark of protest.

The students also went on to burn the VC’s notice and alleged that they were being forcefully evicted from their hostels and that the administration had removed all graffiti and posters put up by students in the name of maintenance and renovation.

At the time of writing, students alleged that the security was forcefully trying to disperse the crowd that gathered at the gate and refused to hold talks with the JAC.

They also said that they plan to file a police complaint later in the day under a section of the SC/ST Atrocities Act.

The News Minute

 Hyderabad police book Kancha Ilaiah for ‘hurting religious sentiments’ in speech


Ilaiah is no stranger to controversy, and has had earlier police complaints filed against him

TNM Staff| Friday, May 27, 2016 – 07:55

The Saroornagar police in Hyderabad on Wednesday booked a case against writer and Manuu professor Kancha Ilaiah for allegedly hurting Hindu sentiments.

The police was acting on the directions of a district court in Ranga Reddy.

The Times of India reported:

Ilaiah on May 14 gave a lecture in Vijayawada in a programme titled `Nationalism and Divergent Views’ organised by CITU where he reportedly criticized Hindu gods and scriptures.

Following this, the report adds that an advocate filed a private petition in the court, requesting to register an FIR. 

Ilaiah is no stranger to controversy and was issued a notice by another police station in Hyderabad last year, after a VHP activist filed a complaint against him for writing an article in a newspaper, titled ‘Devudu Prajasamya Vaadi Kaada,’ which translates to “Is God not a democrat?”

However, after a writ petition filed by Ilaiah, the Hyderabad High Court stayed all further proceedings in the criminal case that was registered against him for the article.

The Hindustan Times

 In Ambedkar’s birthplace, a tale of two crematoriums


 Prashant Jha

MHOW: Mohan Rao Wakode is pleased. On April 14, he took Prime Minister Narendra Modi around Bhim Janmabhoomi.

This is the birthplace of BR Ambedkar, Dalit icon and father of the Constitution. An Ambedkar statute marks its entrance, rare images give a flavour of his life, his ashes are kept here.

The government has invested greatly in remembering him over the past year. Modi became the first sitting PM to visit Mhow to mark his 125th birth anniversary. Five places — his birthplace, the house in London where he lived, Deekshabhoomi in Nagpur where he converted to Buddhism, Alipur Road in Delhi where he spent his final years, Chaityabhumi in Mumbai where he was cremated — are being developed as a pilgrim circuit.

“There is nothing more important for a Dalit than samman (honour) for Babasaheb. And this government has done it,” says Wakode, secretary of the Ambedkar Memorial society.

But while the honour is appreciated, several Dalits say the government is “high on symbolism, low on substance”. In nearby Harsola village is a stark symbol of the caste hierarchy they face. Off the main road is a small field — grass uncut, ground littered. In the middle is a small open structure. If you are born a Dalit, this is where you leave the world.

And down the main road is a ‘savarna samaj dharamshala’ for those within the caste fold. A gate with Hindi iconography announces entry to Mukti Dham. There is a neatly constructed spot for cremation, benches, a platform where people can sit and grieve.

Last year, Shiv Prasad, a Dalit worker at IIM-Indore, died. He was brought back to Harsola. But the rains made the Dalit crematorium inaccessible and he was cremated in the general crematorium, causing consternation. After HT reported this, local officials came to take written commitments from all caste members that there would be no discrimination in using the crematorium.

But the gap remains. Villager Vishnu Malviya, whose wife is the sarpanch, says, “After that, we built a proper access road to our crematorium. My own (Dalit) community wanted it.” He says they plan to use the general crematorium too, but this hasn’t happened yet. Malviya, 53, says there’s been a change for the better in his lifetime. “But the mindset is still an issue. Behind us, they speak of us with contempt… We call them ‘bhaiya’, they call us ‘tu’.”

The Times Of India

 Dalits seek CBI probe into desecration of Dr B R Ambedkar’s photo at Honganuru village


TNN | May 28, 2016, 07.00 AM IST

Mysuru: Activists of Dalit associations and fora staged a protest in front of the regional commissioner’s (RC) office, demanding CBI inquiry into the desecration of Dr B R Ambedkar’s photo at Honganuru village in Kollegal taluk recently.

Speaking on the occasion, Karnataka Dalit Vedike president M Narashima murthy said that police have falsely framed and arrested eight persons, including Honganuru taluk Ambedkar Sangha president Kemparaju, who are not connected to the incident. Kemparaju was beaten up badly by police to force him to admit to committing the crime, he added.

“We wanted to stage a protest at Honganuru taluk against the arrest of innocent persons. But as the deputy commissioner has imposed Section 144, we were forced to protest near the regional commissioner’s office in Mysuru,” he said.

The protesters demanded that RC Kunjappa arrest the real culprits and provide justice to Dalit leaders. The protesters later submitted a memorandum to Kunjappa.

The Times Of India

 After samrasta snan, BJP plans to train dalits as priests


TNN | May 28, 2016, 05.00 AM IST

BHOPAL: A large number of Brahmins across the state are on the warpath against the state government’s move to train people from scheduled caste community to perform religious rituals. After protests across the state in past one week, priests have called a convention in Guna on June 5 to take a stand on the issue.

Scheduled caste and scheduled tribe minister Gyan Singh said, “The file related to the issue has not yet reached my office. Let it come and then I will consider.”

Scheduled caste welfare department principal secretary Ashok Shah said, “A proposal is under consideration, it has not yet finalised.”

For past one week, Brahmins held demonstrations in Rewa, Guna, Ashoknagar and Bhopal among other places.

In Ashoknagar, 500 Brahmins took out a rally on Friday blowing conch, beating drums and ringing brass bells, warning the government not to go ahead with its plans.

Mahesh Sharma, district president of Sarva Brahmin Samaj, told TOI, “See we are already victim of reservation, but the government must understand that we are not weak. We are united on the issue. We will intensify our agitation if the government goes ahead with its plan.”

Highly placed sources said, “Government got this idea from Gayatri Pariwar where there is a system of Yug Purohit. People from any community, Hindu or Muslim- can be imparted training of performing puja with chanting of mantras.” 

“After consultation from the Pariwar, the government decided to do something to create social harmony and equality,” sources said.

Sources also said, “Look at the situation in Gwalior-Chambal or Vindhya Pradesh regions. Here, Brahmin priests either hesitate or simply refuse to perform rituals required in marriages or in other ceremonies. Now what should they do, if there are trained priests from their community, they can perform the job.”

Political observers said ahead of elections in Uttar Pradesh, BJP had played ” dalit politics” in the recently concluded Simhastha in Ujjain. Party chief Amit Shah took a holy dip with some dalit sadhus in the Kshipra river.

Incidentally, samrasta snan and samrasta bhoj (social harmony feast) are followed by a latest move of the government to train members of SC community as priests and is seen as yet another attempt to woo voters in neighbouring UP, political observers said.

The Times Of India

 Abohar dalit’s murder: Bail for two accused


TNN | May 28, 2016, 04.01 AM IST

Fazilka: A court in Fazilka on Friday granted bail to two men who are accused of the December 2015 murder of dalit youth Bhim Tank in Abohar.

Additional sessions judge Lakshman Singh granted bail to Ashwini Kumar alias Happy and Vivek Kumar alias Vicky. Bhim had died after his limbs were chopped off by men said to be on the rolls of liquor contractor and Shiromani Akal Dal (Badal) leader Shiv Lal Doda at his farmhouse in Ramsar village near Abohar on December 11, 2015. Bhim’s friend Gurjant Singh alias Janta also lost his leg and an arm in the attack.

The police had arrested all 26 accused named in the case, including Doda and his nephew Amit Doda. On Thursday, all accused were produced in a court in Abohar which directed the police to produce them in the court of additional sessions judge in Fazilka on Friday where the bail application of Happy and Vicky was taken up. Tnn

The Times Of India

 Villages with common cremation grounds to get 5L


TNN | May 28, 2016, 03.28 AM IST

Chandigarh: To ensure unification of cremation grounds and to do away with the practice of untouchability in rural areas, the Punjab government would provide a special grant of Rs 5 lakh to each village panchayat that would have a common place for the last rites for people of all castes. 

A statement in this regard was submitted by the state government before the Punjab State Commission for Scheduled Castes in response to a petition filed by advocate H C Arora, seeking unification of cremation grounds in villages to abolish untouchability.

Responding to the petition, the deputy director of Punjab panchyat department submitted before the commission that a new scheme had been prepared by the state government in this regard.

According to the scheme, if a gram panchayat with more than one cremation ground decides to utilize only one of the grounds, it would be given a grant of Rs 5 lakh. It was further stated that a Rs.36.75-crore provision had also been made for this purpose in the budget 2016-17.

The finance department has also been requested to release the amount, the deputy director submitted. The state government also stated that the scheme would operate in a phased manner. Initially, five villages from each block would be covered under the scheme. In all, 735 villages (from 147 blocks) in the state would be covered under the scheme every year. The new scheme is likely to get rolling before the end of this financial year. Casteism has always been a touchy issue in the rural areas of Punjab, where even the localities of the socially underprivileged sections of society are located in the outskirts of the village. Crimes committed against Dality too have made the headlines several times in the past, especially the Moga bus case in which a 13-year-old girl and her mother were allegedly thrown out of a moving private bus.

The Tribune

 7 Dalits sent to judicial custody


 Tribune News Service Sangrur, May 27

Seven Dalits arrested by the Bhawanigarh police on May 24 following a clash with the police at Balad Kalan village (near Bhawanigarh) were today remanded in judicial custody by a local court till June 7. On May 25, they were remanded in police custody for two days.

Bhawanigarh SHO Baljinder Singh Pannu said all seven accused, including Lakhwinder Singh, Harbhinder Singh, Ranjit Singh, Paramjit Singh, Sardip Singh and Satpal Singh, had been sent to jail.

In fact, the police had registered a case against 70 Dalits and others, including Mukesh Malaud, district president of the Zamin Prapati Sanghrash Committee (ZPSC), under various sections of the IPC. They were booked for allegedly hurling stones at policemen, while blocking the Sangrur-Patiala main road at Balad Kalan village.

Earlier, the Dalits, led by members of the Zamin Prapati Sanghrash Committee (ZPSC), had boycotted the auction of panchayat land reserved for SCs calling it “dummy”.

The Tribune

 Dalits protest police ‘inaction’


New Delhi, May 27

Activists of the Dalit Soshit Mukti Manch (DSMM) today held a demonstration outside the Haryana Bhawan here in protest against the alleged failure of the police in arresting the accused in the Kurukshetra incident.

A group of the upper caste stopped a Dalit bridegroom from riding a customary horse-driven chariot and later, indulged in violence at Bhusthala village in Kurukshetra district recently.

The activists raised slogans against the Haryana Government and the police. — TNS

The Indian Express

 Dalit group seeks changes in state’s Panchayats Act


Alleges discrimination against Dalit sarpanches by upper-caste members, govt says their ‘harassment’ not community-specific.

By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad | Published:May 28, 2016 3:31 am

Alleging discrimination by upper caste members against Dalit sarpanches in various Gram Panchayats of Gujarat, Ahmedabad-based Dalit Adhikar Manch Friday demanded amendments to the Panchayats Act to protect the rights of Dalit sarpanches in the state. At a press conference here, the group presented around six Dalits who allegedly faced discrimination at the hands of upper-caste members of their gram panchayats during their tenure as sarpanches.

According to Kaushik Parmar of Dalit Adhikar Manch, “There are a number of cases in Gujarat where Dalit sarpanches are being harassed by upper-caste members of the panchayat by bringing no-confidence motion against them without any reason or by getting the elected body superseded by the state machinery by not allowing the sarpanch to pass the annual budget. The only reason for this is that these sarpanches are Dalits.”

Kaushik has also written a letter to Chief Minister Anandiben Patel to take urgent cognizance of the matter and take corrective measures. One of the six Dalit sarpanches who addressed the press conference was Sanjay Parmar, who comes from Heduva-Hanumant village of Mehsana district. Sanjay said that his village had total population of around 4,200 and he was elected as sarpanch on a reserved seat.

“However, after I was elected as sarpanch, other upper-caste members of the panchayat started harassing me. Recently, they did not allow me to pass annual budget of the panchayat without giving any substantial reason. And under the statutory provisions, if a sarpanch does not pass budget within stipulated time, the panchayat gets superseded which eventually necessitates fresh elections within three months,” Sanjay said.

“My predecessor sarpanch of the village was also a Dalit and he was also removed in a similar fashion. The thing is that due to statutory provisions they (upper castes) cannot stop Dalits becoming sarpanch, but they make sure that only those Dalits who become their rubber stamps stay,” he added.

Sanjay demanded that there should be an amendment to the Panchayats Act, giving powers to dethrone a sarpanch only to Gram Sabha and not to the elected body.

Bhikhabhai Rathod, another such Dalit Sarpanch from Jalundara-Mota village of Gandhinagar district, faced a no-confidence motion and was removed from the post in June last year. Rathod said, “In our village, there is a common crematorium. Once, there were two deaths in the village. And Dalits reached first to complete the rituals of their dead and the upper castes had to wait. Keeping this episode in mind, they started conspiring against me and eventually got me removed by passing a no-confidence motion.”

Two Dalit women who allegedly faced similar discrimination by upper-caste members also presented their cases during the press conference.

Joseph Pateliya, an expert on Panchayati Raj system and an ex-sarpanch who works with Behavioural Science Centre, said that there were provisions under the Panchayats Act that no-confidence motion against a sarpanch could be moved only on the ground of financial irregularities. “But this provision is hardly being followed in Gujarat. There should be amendment to the Panchayats Act by giving powers to remove a sarpanch to the Gram Sabha,” Joseph said.

Social Justice & Empowerment Minister Ramanlal Vora said, “It is true that in many cases people intentionally move no-confidence motion against sarpanches. But that is not any community-specific. I don’t think that only Dalit sarpanches are facing such issues. And giving protection to sarpanches against such intentional harassment is a subject of the panchayat department. I feel that something should be done on this.”

Panchayat Minister Jayanti Kavadiya said, “I have not come across any case where Dalit sarpanches are being discriminated against due to their caste. There could be around one per cent such cases. Sarpanches face no-confidence motion under statutory provisions. Sarpanches of other communities also face similar situation.”

Kavadiya added that the government would not be able to bring any community-specific change to the law.

News monitored by AMRESH & AJEET