Tag Archives: commission

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

Dalits Media Watch -News Updates 27.05.16

Two manual scavengers dead, another critical at Cuddalore after entering drainage pipe – The New Indian Express




Jobs cleaning human excreta are illegal, why do they still continue? –The News Minutes


Appointment process of BDCC bank anti dalit, OBC- JD(S) – The Times Of India


Conditional bail for caste outfit leader held for murder of Dalit youth –The Times Of India


PM reviews disbursal of scholarships – The Asian Age


The Third Gender: through lenses of Harikrishnan – The New Indian Express


The New Indian Express

 Two manual scavengers dead, another critical at Cuddalore after entering drainage pipe


By K Ezhilarasan | Express News Service, Published: 27th May 2016 04:41 AM, Last Updated: 27th May 2016 04:41 AM

CUDDALORE : Two manual scavengers who were clearing blockages in the drainage system at CISF quarters in Block 15 of the Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC), died after being suffocated by toxic gases. Another scavenger is undergoing treatment at PIMS in Puducherry. The deceased were identified as Thangarasu (45) and Chinnadurai (37). David (35) is undergoing medical treatment.

Chinnadurai (L) and ThangarasuPolice said, “Following repeated complaints from the CISF quarters, the Office of Water Supply and Drainage Maintenance (OWSDM) sent three workers to clear the drainage system. They opened two manholes in the drainage system and cleaned them. When they opened the third manhole, Thangarasu was knocked unconscious by the toxic gases. Chinnadurai, who tried to rescue him, also fell unconscious. The third worker, David, who was witness to this, called the Fire department and NLC officials for help.”

Sources said, “The Fire Department, with the help of David, rescued the two unconscious workers. David entered the manhole to take his fellow workers out of the pit. and also fell unconscious. All three workers were rushed to the NLC General Hospital. Doctors declared Thangarasu and Chinnadurai as  brought dead. David has been referred to PIMS in Puducherry for better treatment.”

Following repeated complaints from the CISF quarters, the OWSDM sent 3 workers to clear the drainage system. When they opened the third manhole two workers fell unconscious

The Pioneer



Friday, 27 May 2016 | Staff Reporter | Bhopal | in Bhopal

A 35-year-old man was nabbed for sexually assaulting a Dalit girl in Shahpura on May 21; a case was registered after the victim lodged a complaint at Shahpura police station on Wednesday.

According to the police, the accused Vikram Singh accompanied the 18-year-old victim to his house for cleaning the house and later sexually assaulted her.

The victim, shocked of the incident did not report the incident to family members on the day of the incident but later when she reported illness after two days of the incident and was taken for treatment where the incident came to light after which family members took her to Shahpura police station and lodged a complaint. 

In her complaint the victim claimed that after her work at the site on May 21 when she was on her way home the accused offered her to drop but later took her to his house for cleaning purpose and raped her.

SHO of Shahpura police station said that the accused was arrested after the complaint was lodged. The accused helps his father in his construction business and was looking after the construction work at Shahpura. The victim used to work as labour at the construction site and was accompanied by the accused to drop her safely at her home.

Based on the complaint after the preliminary investigation the police have registered a case under section 376 and section 3(2) (5) of SC and ST Prevention of Atrocities Act. Accused was nabbed and later the case has been transferred to SC/ST police where the further investigations would be conducted.

The News Minutes

 Jobs cleaning human excreta are illegal, why do they still continue?


Thousands across India continue to die in sewers and remove human excreta with bare hands

Friday, May 27, 2016 – 09:36

By Chaitanya Mallapur, IndiaSpend 

It is a criminal, non-bailable act, but “manual scavenging” continues unhindered, as this video of three men—all Valmikis, or Dalits, lowest of Hindu castes—working with no protective gear in a sewer in a Gujarat town reveals.

“We do not have any illegal forms of work,” Charu Mori, chief executive officer of Dhangadra town in Surendranagar district, told Video Volunteeers, a global advocacy that provides disadvantaged communities with story and data-gathering skills. “Manual scavenging (cleaning sewers and clearing human excreta from open-pit toilets) is a prohibited act.”

So what are these workers doing? They are employed by contractors, whose responsibility they are, said Mori. The situation in Dhangadra illustrates why thousands across India, almost all Dalits, continue to die in sewers and remove human excreta with bare hands, even in cities with sewer-cleaning machines.

As many as 12,226 manual scavengers were identified across India—82% of these are in Uttar Pradesh—according to a reply to the Rajya Sabha (Parliament’s upper house) on May 5, 2016, by Minister of State for Social Justice Vijay Sampla. These are clearly under-stated official figures. Gujarat, for instance, admits to having no more than two manual scavengers, according to government data.

The persistence of manual scavenging is linked to the Hindu caste system, with about 1.3 million Dalits, mostly women, make a living as manual scavengers across India.

Primitive latrines—where excreta is physically cleared—prime reason for manual scavenging

As many as 167,487 households reported a member of the household as a manual scavenger, according to an earlier reply in the Lok Sabha (Parliament’s lower house) by the Ministry of Rural Development on February 25, 2016, based on the Socio Economic and Caste Census 2011.

Manual scavenging is prohibited under the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013, a law promulgated on December 6, 2013, nationwide, except Jammu and Kashmir.

The prime reason why manual scavenging continues, according to the government, is the existence of primitive “insanitary latrines”, meaning those without water, where the excreta must be physically removed.

Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Jammu and Kashmir, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal accounted for more than 72% of insanitary latrines in India, according to a United Nations report, quoting the House Listing and Housing Census 2011.

There are more than 2.6 million dry latrines in India, according to Census 2011. In addition, there are 1,314,652 toilets where excreta are flushed into open drains and 794,390 dry latrines where human excreta are cleaned manually.

About 12.6% urban households and as many as 55% rural households in India defecate in the open, IndiaSpend had reported earlier. Around 1.7% households across India defecate in the open despite having toilets as sanitation remains a major challenge across the country.

1.3 million Dalits make living as manual scavengers, most are women

Manual scavenging is the practice of manually cleaning, carrying, disposing or handling in any manner human excreta from dry latrines and sewers. Manual scavengers are from India’s poorest and most disadvantaged communities.

The practice of manual scavenging in India is linked to the caste system where so-called lower castes are expected to perform the job, according to this UN report.

An estimated 1.3 million Dalits in India, mostly women, make their living through manual scavenging.

UP, the state with the most officially acknowledged manual scavengers (10,016), admits to 2,404 in urban areas and 7,612 in rural parts.

UP’s Badaun district reported various health and hygiene issues in 2009 because of the widespread presence of dry toilets. The district reported the highest infant mortality rate (110 deaths of infants per 1,000 births) in the state and frequent outbreaks of epidemics like diarrhoea, dysentery, intestinal worms and typhoid. It also reported more cases of wild polio virus than anywhere else in India.

In 2010, the UP State government launched the Daliya Jalao (Burn the Basket) initiative, a reference to the basket in which excreta are carried.

As many as 2,750 manual scavengers were freed within a year by converting nearly 80,000 dry latrines into pour flush latrines. No new polio cases were reported since 2010. Diarrhoea cases declined by 30% in one year from 18,216 in 2009-10 to 12,675 in 2010-11.

Manual scavengers are given one-time cash assistance of Rs 40,000 each.

Maharashtra reported the most–68,016–manual scavenger households, accounting for 41% of such households nationwide.

Madhya Pradesh (23,105) is next, followed by Uttar Pradesh (17,390), Karnataka (15,375) and Punjab (11,951). These five states account for 81% of India’s manual scavenger households.

The government aims to make India scavenging-free by 2019.

The Indian Railways are the largest employer of manual scavengers, with an unknown number on their rolls, IndiaSpend reported.

(This story is the result of a collaboration between Video Volunteers, a global initiative that provides disadvantaged communities with story and data-gathering skills, and IndiaSpend.)

The Times Of India

 Appointment process of BDCC bank anti dalit, OBC- JD(S)


Ravindra Uppar| TNN | May 26, 2016, 01.12 PM IST

BELAGAVI: Belagavi District Central Cooperative (BDCC) bank is carrying the appointment process of 100-second division clerk posts. JD(S) has alleged the board of management of the bank headed by former MP Ramesh Katti has deliberately subverted the reservation related guidelines, taking anti dalit and OBC stand.

Addressing the press conference here on Thursday, party’s district spokesperson Channappa Vaggannavar said party will approach high court questioning the irregularities in the appointment process. Bank had invited applications for the appointment of 100 SDC posts on October 28, 2015 and examination is scheduled on May 29.

Waggannavar alleged, the bank has called applications according to reservation but not applying the same in appointment. According to rule, if the candidates belonging to SC/ST or OBC received more marks than general category candidates in the examinations, they must be considered in general category for appointment. But here that rule is subverted.

Besides, in order to appoint the candidates of their wish, board of management has increased the marks of Viva examinations to 25 from 15, which is against the Cooperative Act. Waggannavar demanded chairman of the bank Ramesh Katti and chief manager Suresh Alagundi to withdraw the appointment related notification immediately cancelling the examinations.

The Times Of India

 Conditional bail for caste outfit leader held for murder of Dalit youth


A Subramani| TNN | May 26, 2016, 03.52 PM IST

CHENNAI: More than seven months after his surrender, Yuvaraj, a caste outfit leader suspected to be involved in the murder of Dalit youth V Gokulraj, was grantedconditional bail by Madras high court on Thursday. Yuvaraj was heading a caste outfit, Dheeran Chinnamalai Gounder Peravai, in the Gounder-rich western Tamil Nadu.

Vacation judge B Gokuldas, granting bail to Yuvaraj, directed him to stay at Tirunelveli untill further orders, and sign at the Town police station twice a day daily. He must sign at 10am and 5pm daily, the judge said, adding that he should execute a personal bond for Rs 10,000 and furnish two sureties for a like sum each.

Gokulraj, a Dalit engineering student, was found murdered on June 24, 2015 after his relationship with a non-Dalit girl was objected to by the latter’s family. Since then Yuvaraj had gone underground, triggering widespread condemnation from political parties and social organisations. While he was underground, Yuvaraj released audio tapes blaming senior police officials of planning to foist the case on him. This put additional.

The tale witnessed yet another twist, when a woman deputy superintendent of police R Vishnupriya, who herself was a Dalit, was found dead on September 15. While police sought to close her death as suicide, her father raised doubts about the death and said the officer had been pressured by her seniors to handle the Gokulraj murder in a particular manner. He also moved the high court for CBI probe.

In the end, Yuvaraj surrendered with a lot of fanfare on October 11, 2015, exposing police inefficiency to track him down.

The Asian Age

 PM reviews disbursal of scholarships


May 27, 2016 – Animesh Singh | 

Expressing concern over the incessant delay in disbursal of scholarships to students, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urgently sought reasons for the delay and has directed the concerned officials to expedite distribution of the much-needed scholarship funds to needy students, especially those from economically weaker sections of society.

According to official sources, the Prime Minister reviewed the handling of grievances related to long-pending disbursal of scholarships to students at a high-level meeting on May 25.

This newspaper had on May 23 reported how a cash-strapped social justice ministry was unable to disburse funds to states for providing post-matric scholarships to Scheduled Caste (SC) students. Owing to lack of funds, the Central ministry is battling a two-year backlog of funds (2014-15 and 2015-16) to distribute the scholarship money to the states.

Sources said the PM, during the meeting where all the secretaries of Union ministries were present, also enquired about the progress of Aadhaar linkage to disbursal of benefits to students. He is learnt to have urged the concerned officials to increase the speed of addressing students’ grievances.

Sources privy to the development informed this newspaper that the social justice ministry’s backlog runs into thousands of crores of rupees.

While states like UP, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and Bihar have the highest density of SC students, sources revealed that almost all the states across the country, where these scholarships are disbursed, are unanimous in their demand for arrears.

So severe is the cash crunch that the social justice and empowerment ministry has already used up almost 90 per cent of the funds allocated for the scheme in the Budget for 2016-17 for meeting the arrears of various states. The revised estimates for the head titled “Welfare of SC/ST/OBCs” was Rs 708 crore in 2015-16.

The budgetary allocation for this head in 2016-17 came down to 591 crore.

The objective of the post-matric scholarship scheme for SC students is to provide financial assistance to SC students at the post-matriculation or post-secondary stage to enable them to complete their education.

Scholarships are paid to students whose parents’/guardians’ income from all sources does not exceed Rs 2,50,000 per annum.

The scheme is implemented by the states, which receive 100 per cent central assistance from government of India for the total expenditure under the scheme, over and above their respective committed liability.

The New Indian Express

The Third Gender: through lenses of Harikrishnan


By Shevlin Sebastian | Express News Service, Published: 24th May 2016 02:49 AM , Last Updated: 24th May 2016 02:49 AM

KOCHI: Three years ago, magazine photographer Harikrishnan G had gone to Chennai to take photos of a disabled doctor by the name of Aishwarya Rao who had done a lot of work to rescue sex workers. One day, Aishwarya took Harikrishnan to a locality where sex workers and transgenders lived. “That was the first time I had been to a place like that,” he says. “The memory stayed with me.” Recently, while Harikrishnan was recuperating at home, following a surgery, the images of the transgender colony came up in his mind. That was when he got the idea to do an exhibition on them.

Through his media contacts, he got in touch with Sheetal in Thrissur. And after long discussions on the phone and a hour-long meeting, Sheetal and her friends Deepthi and Sonu agreed to do a photo shoot. The fruit of that work can be seen in the exhibition, ‘Trans – A Transition For life’. Eight photos, 6’ x 4’ each, have been put up. Printed on archive paper, each costs Rs 75,000. “It is a labour of love,” he says. “I have spent my own money.”

The photos are striking. In one Sheetal (a man who has become a woman) stands, her face turned sideways to the camera, and eyes closed, because coloured powder has been thrown at her. “This is the powder that is used during the Holi festival,” says Harikrishnan. “And it signifies a celebration of transgenders.” In the next photo, Sheetal is wearing a white frock, with long black hair cascading towards her shoulders, kaajal-rimmed eyes and red lipstick. She is standing behind an open bird cage while paper birds hang on thin strings from the ceiling. Nearly all the birds are outside the cage. Is freedom is coming for transgenders seems to the silent query?

The third photo is stunning. Deepthi has posed half-nude, with her breasts covered by her two hands. There is a tattoo of a heart being pierced by an arrow over her left breast, a shining gold necklace around her neck and plastic flowers in her hair.

But the striking feature is her eyes: it has a mix of defiance and excitement. This is Deepthi’s first opportunity to express herself as a transgender in a society that has all but made them invisible. In another heart-warming picture, Sonu and Deepthi sit next to each other and hold hands.

Harikrishnan has also taken a photo of Sonu, as a nude man, but, at his hips, he has placed a triangular mirror. When you stand in front of the photo, you end up seeing your own face. “What I wanted to tell the visitors was that we have both male and feminine traits within us,” he says. “So we should learn to accept those who are different from the normal.”

Unfortunately, in Kerala society, there has been a marked lack of acceptance. As a result, transgenders have a difficult time. “They find it hard to get a job or rent a house,” says Harikrishnan. “They get no support from their families. When they walk on the streets, people pass cruel comments. So, many have been forced to leave the state.”

Harikrishnan is hoping that his show will cause a change in the mind-set. “I want to make people aware that transgenders are normal people, just like you and me,” he says.

The exhibition, at the Durbar Hall gallery, concludes on May 27.

News monitored by AMRESH & AJEET

Dalits Media Watch – News Updates 26.05.16

Dalit girl kidnapped, raped for two days in Chikkaballapur – The Times Of India


Muzaffarnagar: 9 injured in clash between two communities over land dispute – The Hindustan Times


Chargesheet filed against 11 in dalit murder case – The Times Of India


ADGP Sandhya to head Dalit student murder probe – The Hindu


Students harassed as institutes ask to renew caste certificates annuallyThe Tribune


SC/ST Colony languishes in darkness – The Hans India


Centre not releasing grants for SC, ST scholarships: Badal – The Hindustan Times


PU exam results: Girls share all top ranks in Dharwad district – The Times Of India


The Times Of India

Dalit girl kidnapped, raped for two days in Chikkaballapur


TNN | May 26, 2016, 06.10 AM IST

Chikkaballapur: A 21-year-old dalit girl was kidnapped and gang-raped by three autorickshaw drivers for two days at Dinne Hosahalli in Chikkaballapur Rural police limits.

According to police, the final-year degree student was kidnapped from a bus stand at Dinne Hosahalli on May 20 when she was waiting for a bus to return home after meeting Girish, whom she had befriended recently.

Three autorickshaw drivers approached the girl and offered to take her to her village, Kornahalli of Dodderi Hobli in Madhugiri taluk of Tumakuru district. However, they allegedly took her to a desolate house and raped her for two days.

The incident came to light on Tuesday when police found her roaming in the area and took her to Santhvana Kendra, an NGO working for the welfare of women.

Police have arrested three autorickshaw drivers, Shivu, Shashidhar and Ramesh Babu, and Girish for the rape. Police suspect Girish’s involvement also in the crime. According to police, the girl and Girish, a casual labourer at Bengaluru airport, became friends recently after she inadvertently called his mobile number from an abandoned SIM card.

The four suspects were produced before a court on Wednesday, police sources said. Narayanappa of Santhvana Kendra said when police brought her to the kendra, the girl was little hesitant in the beginning, but narrated the entire incident later.

She was sent to the government hospital for medical examination.

The Hindustan Times

Muzaffarnagar: 9 injured in clash between two communities over land dispute


 PTI, Muzaffarnagar

Updated: May 26, 2016 12:22 IST

Nine persons were injured in a clash between Dalit groups and another community over a land-related dispute at Mataali village in Shamli district in Muzaffarnagar, police said .

The groups clashed on Wednesday when members of one community tried to prevent another from taking possession of a disputed piece of land, circle inspector Nishank Sharma said.

Both the groups used sharp-edged weapons and firearms during the clash in which nine persons were injured, he said.

On receiving information, police rushed to the spot and brought the situation under control, Sharma said.

Six persons were arrested in connection with the case, the CO added.

The Times Of India

Chargesheet filed against 11 in dalit murder case


TNN | May 26, 2016, 07.24 AM IST

Coimbatore: More than two months after dalit youth Shankar was murdered by a three member gang for marrying a Hindu girl, 11 people have been charge-sheeted in the case. The case has been transferred from the Udumalpet district court to the Tirupur district court. The next hearing has been scheduled on June 8.

The names of people included in the chargesheet are M Manikandan, 25, a construction worker from Ramar Kovil Street in Palani, P Jagadeeshan, 31, a car driver, M Michael alias Madhan, a load man, P Selvakumar, 25, a load man, all hailing from Dindigul and M Manikandan, 39, from Anna Nagar in Pattiveeranpatti, Dindigul district. Manikandan was arrested for harbouring the accused in his house.The above people were arrested by the police under charges of murder.

Kousalya’s maternal uncle, Pandidhurai, and a student who was the family’s informer, Prasanna have also been named. Kowsalya’s father, Chinnasamy, 39, hailing from Palini in Dindigul district, mother, Annalakshmi, their friends Dhanraj and Tamil Kalaivanan, who were among the planners, have been named as well. Police officials said the accused met at several temple functions to plot the murder.

The Hindu

 ADGP Sandhya to head Dalit student murder probe



At its maiden meeting after being sworn in, the newly formed Left Democratic Front (LDF) Cabinet has decided to constitute a new investigation team headed by Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) B. Sandhya to investigate the gruesome rape and murder of a Dalit law student at Perumbavoor last month.

Briefing reporters after the Cabinet meeting, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the decision has been taken in the light of widespread complaints that the ongoing investigation into the sensational murder case has been faulty from the beginning. The Government would pay a monthly pension of Rs. 5,000 to the mother of the deceased girl. Construction of the girl’s house would be completed in 45 days, he said.

The Cabinet, he said, has asked all heads of departments to immediately submit list of vacancies in their departments. The lists would be reviewed at the level of Chief Secretary on a weekly basis to address the complaint of youth organisations that there is an unannounced recruitment freeze in the State.

He also announced that the government would double the allocation for the Kerala State Civil Supplies Corporation (Supplyco) from the present Rs. 75 crore. Steps would also be taken to clear all the social welfare pension arrears, Mr. Vijayan said.

The Tribune

 Students harassed as institutes ask to renew caste certificates annually


Deepkamal Kaur Tribune News Service Jalandhar, May 25

Even as there are guidelines that there is no need to renew caste certificates issued to the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Backward Castes, many institutes in the region have been asking the students to furnish fresh certificates annually at the time of applying for SC scholarships and even while applying for jobs.

As a result, almost every tehsil in the SC-dominated Doaba region issues nearly 10,000 caste certificates with the peak season being this time of the year. The Suwidha Centre in Jalandhar is getting as many as 600 applications each day since the past nearly a month and the number of counters for the work have been increased from two to five today to clear the backlog and expedite the work.

The timings of the Suwidha Centre have been increased from 8 to 12 hours and Saturdays and Sundays too have been kept open, primarily keeping their demand in view.

BSP leader Balwinder Kumar termed it a sheer harassment of the SC students and parents by the institutes as their two days get wasted in the process. 

Deputy Commissioner Jalandhar KK Yadav said, “It is completely wrong to ask for caste certificates every year as its validity is life-long.”

“The caste of a person does not change in his lifetime and certificate once issued need not be renewed at all. Last year, we took up the case with the Deputy Commissioner in the matter and urged him to get directions issued to the schools and colleges. But the problem continues to persist and we recently got a complaint from Adampur-based institute.” Balwinder Kumar, BSP leader 

“We recently took up the matter against a Nakodar-based institute with the District Welfare Office. Demand for a fresh income certificate for SC Post Matric Scholarship is fine but we fail to understand the need for a fresh Scheduled Caste certificate.” Mangaljit Singh, representative of Punjab Student Union

“It is a completely wrong practice to ask for a new caste certificate annually, especially since it is issued after due verification by patwari, kanungu, tehsildar and SDM. The institutes have to do away with this demand.” Jagdish Samrai, Dalit activist

 The Hans India

SC/ST Colony languishes in darkness


THE HANS INDIA |    May 26,2016 , 05:35 AM IST

Gannavaram (Krishna): The SC/ST Colony located within the vicinity of airport reflects the apathy of the district administration in provision of basic amenities to people. It does not have electricity and drinking water supply. The colony situated adjacent to Gannavaram – Manikonda road near Buddhavaram is not a newly-developed one to cite a lame excuse for non-provision of basic amenities. 


It has been there for the past three-and-a-half decades. Initially, 10 SC and ST families started living in the colony by erecting huts. The number of huts in the colony increased to 35 with the passage of time. About 50 families are living in the colony now. 

Most of them are agricultural workers and daily wagers. Though the residents got voter ID, ration, job and Aadhaar cards, they are deprived of basic amenities. Political leaders and contestants used to visit the colony only during elections. Its poor state of affairs highlights the fact that no people’s representative fulfilled his election promise of providing basic amenities there. The colony continues to languish without electricity and drinking water. The residents fetch drinking water from nearby irrigation canals. Though they are somehow meeting their drinking water needs, lack of electricity has left them in the ‘dark age’.

Speaking to ‘The Hans India’, some residents of the colony said, “Despite several representations to the officials concerned, no steps have been taken to provide us basic amenities. The election promises of people’s representatives remain unfulfilled. The schemes initiated by the successive governments to develop basic amenities in SC, ST colonies do not reach us.”

The Hindustan Times

 Centre not releasing grants for SC, ST scholarships: Badal


 Ravinder Vasudeva and Dilbag Singh, Hindustan Times, Uggi (Jalandhar)

Updated: May 26, 2016 11:46 IST

Chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Wednesday accused the Centre of not releasing the funds for scholarships to students who belong to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

“We have released our share of funds. But the Centre has not issued grants from the past two years due to which the students are suffering,” said Badal, who was here for a sangat darshan.

When asked was the Centre discriminating against Punjab, he said: “You can’t call it a discrimination. I have taken up the issue with the Centre and I hope it will release funds soon.”

According to allegations of Congress leader Sunil Jakhar, the Centre has withheld the money for scholarship schemes as the state government has failed to submit the utilisation certificates for the same. “The government has used the scholarship grant for some other work,” Jakhar had alleged in a press conference in Jalandhar on May 9 while showing the letters to the state in this regard by Union social justice and empowerment ministry officials.

Ducks queries on Dhumma

The chief minister ducked all queries on the alleged involvement of Damdami Takshal head Harnam Singh Dhumma in murderous attack on Sikh preacher Ranjit Singh Dhadarianwale.

Water war: CM says be ready for struggle

On the SYL Canal issue, Badal reiterated his party would never ever allow water to flow through it (the SYL canal) as “we don’t have a single drop of spare water to share with anyone”. He said he is ready to sacrifice even his government ten times in defence of the “state’s legitimate rights over its share of river waters”. He also asked the people to be ready for struggle to safeguard “our river waters”.

Sampla defends his ministry

State BJP chief Vijay Sampla, who is a minister of state in the Union social justice and empowerment ministry said his department has released `106 crore for scholarships to students. “There were some issues related to the submission of utilisation certificates by the Punjab government. Dues of many other states are also pending for the same reason. We are releasing the money as we are getting the certificates,” Sampla told HT.

The Times Of India

 PU exam results: Girls share all top ranks in Dharwad district


TNN | May 26, 2016, 05.57 AM IST

Dharwad: Keeping with the trend at the state level, girls have bagged all the top ranks in the II PU results in the district. Neha Hubballi of Vidyaniketan PU College and Krupa Jain of KLE Prerana PU College, Hubballi stood first in the district in the science stream.

Both have scored 587 marks out of 600. R Bhagyashree of Oxford PU College, Hubballi, and Prateek Barge of Aryabhata PU College, Dharwad, shared the second rank with 585 marks. Jyothi Managundi of PC Jabin PU College and Ahish of Budarsingi PU College got the third rank with 579 marks each.

The first three ranks in the Arts stream have been bagged by Gouramma Haliyal (568) of Government PU College, Deverahubballi, Akshata (563) of JSS PU College, Dharwad, and Sarvan Sheikh (556) of SJMV Women’s PU College, Hubballi, respectively. In Commerce, Akanksha Janaki (583) of JSS College, Dharwad, Tejas Bode (582) of J G Commerce College, Hubballi and Veena Solanki (577) of SJMV PU College, Hubballi have got the first three places respectively.

News monitored by AMRESH & AJEET


Dalits Media Watch – News Updates 25.05.16

Panchayat land row: Police, Dalits clash at Sangrur villageThe Tribune


Three Dalits hacked following clash over flag hoisting – The Hindu


K’taka: Dalits in this village face humiliation from upper castes for drawing water – The news Minutes


Candle-light protest against probe delay- The Hindu


Police security at nine places near Tiruchi – The Hindu


Yashica Dutt’s book ‘Coming Out as Dalit’ to be released in 2017 – Two Circle Net


Clashes in Khurja after Rajput men ‘eve-tease’ Dalit girl – The Times Of India


Transgenders want to be recognised as a ‘class minority’ – The Hindu




 ‘Honour killing’: parents not allowed to attend girl’s last rites – The Hindu


Attack on Dalit sarpanch: Police urged to actThe Tribune


The Tribune

 Panchayat land row: Police, Dalits clash at Sangrur village


 Tribune News Service Sangrur, May 24

A clash took place on Tuesday at Balad Kalan village near Bhawanigarh between police and Dalits, who were opposing the auction of panchayat land (reserved for Scheduled Castes) terming it as “dummy” and seeking the land on lease at low rates for joint farming.

A few people, including policemen, suffered injuries in the clash. The police resorted to lathicharge on the protesting Dalits as they blocked the Sangrur-Patiala road outside the village while the Dalits pelted the police with bricks and stones. A leader of Zamin Prapati Sanghrash Committee claimed that the police also opened fire in the air, but the police refuted the charge.

Earlier, Dalits gheraoed the BDPO office at Bhawanigarh, where the auction of the land took place. Terming it as a “dummy” auction, they demanded its cancellation and raised slogans in support of their demand. Later, the protesting Dalits moved towards Balad Kalan village where the clash took place.

The Hindu

 Three Dalits hacked following clash over flag hoisting



Even as the district police restored normalcy at Madhagupatti after villagers attacked the police and indulged in violence, tension broke out here on Tuesday evening after three Dalits were hacked following a clash between two communities over flag hoisting for a temple festival.

The police said that tension prevailed between two communities after people from a particular community tried to hoist ‘Velu Nachiyar flag’ at the local temple ahead of kumbabhishekam recently.

As this was objected by one Dubai Gandhi, a group of people waylaid and assaulted him on May 20.

The police filed a first information report against one Nagumuthu and others, but did not arrest the accused.

Meanwhile, Pandi, a friend of Gandhi, organised annadhanam when Nagamuthu and his associates hacked three people protesting against Gandhi lodging a police complaint against them.

The victims were admitted to Government Rajaji Hospital in Madurai. A special team headed by local Deputy Superintendent of Police P. Purushothaman launched a dragnet for the accused. Superintendent of Police Ziaul Haque visited the area and reviewed the situation. ADSP S. Vellaidurai, who was deputed to the trouble-torn area, told The Hindu that the situation was under control.

The news Minutes

K’taka: Dalits in this village face humiliation from upper castes for drawing water


In addition to water woes, Dalits at Kadoli village, 9km from Belagavi city, face ill treatment at the hands of the upper caste community.

As borewells in the Dalit colony have dried up and tap water for 2 hours supplied by the gram panchayat has failed to suffice, over 70 Dalit families on Ambedkar lane are forced to get water from public taps, reported The Times of India.

However, as the public taps are fitted in areas where upper castes reside, the Dalits who come to fetch water are allegedly made to wait for hours until others fill their pots. They are also humiliated and sometimes their pots are thrown out.

It all began after the two borewells in their colony dried up and tap water supplied by the local gram panchayat for two hours failed to meet their basic requirements.

Borewells in agricultural farms belonging to upper caste people have enough water, but they refuse to give water to Dalits.

According to Nanda Chandrakant Kamble, a resident of Ambedkar Galli, about 70 Dalit families depend on a single tap.

Demanna Kallappa Metri, a Dalit, said: “Borewells in the colony have dried up and water flow to public taps has become less after a diversion valve was fixed. It’s common that upper class people deny water because our leaders are not raising their voice against the practice.”

According to local panchayat development officer Ashwini Kundal, there has been no such discrimination that has come to her notice.

“Had the community complained to the gram panchayat or the ward member, the problem would have been solved,” she said.

Gram panchayat president Raju Mayanna attributed the issue to severe water shortage but they are ready to provide tanker water to the Dalit colony in addition to two hours of tap water.

The Hindu

 Candle-light protest against probe delay


A candle-light protest will be held at Marine Drive here on Thursday in protest against the alleged delay in finding those responsible for the rape and murder of the Dalit law student in Perumbavoor. About 3,000 candles will be lit on the occasion against what the organisers termed as the laxity on the part of the police in cracking the case. A release issued by the action council for justice for the Dalit student urged society to wake up against the attacks on women.

Representatives of the council accused the police of not conducting a proper investigation. Those responsible for the lapses in the initial round of investigation should be punished, they said.

The Hindu

 Police security at nine places near Tiruchi



Even as the situation at L. Abishekapuram village which witnessed violent incidents involving Mutherayars and Dalits on Monday evening is said to be under control, police presence at the village and its nearby areas close to Lalgudi continued on Tuesday as a precautionary measure.

Split into different teams, police personnel were deployed in nine villages to check any fresh outbreak of clash between the two groups.

The untoward incident broke out at L. Abishekapuram on Monday evening during the Perumpidugu Mutherayar birth anniversary celebrations on Monday.

Police sources said personnel from the Armed Reserve, Tamil Nadu Special Police and those from the Striking Force have also been deployed to beef up security measures. Strength has been deployed at L.Abishekapuram, Nannimangalam, Thaneerpandal, Lalgudi four –road, Kookur, Thirumanamedu and Pokkatakudi villages.

The heavy posse of police personnel is being headed by a senior police officer in the rank of Additional Deputy Superintendent of Police to keep a constant tab round-the-clock.

Pickets have been posted in those villages.

The strength includes two Deputy Superintendents of Police, three Inspectors, 31 Armed Reserve personnel, 21 Tamil Nadu Special Police personnel and 10 Striking Force personnel.

Superintendent of Police, Tiruchi Nisha Parthiban said the situation was under control and cases had been booked on separate complaints lodged by both groups.

Few persons from both sides have been detained in the wake of the untoward incidents.

The Lalgudi police booked a case against eight persons on a complaint lodged by R. Rajiv Gandhi (36) – the state secretary of Perarasar Mutherayar Peravai residing at Vasanth Nagar near L.Abhishekapuram.

According to police, a group trespassed into the house of Rajiv Gandhi and assaulted him besides damaging his car and a couple of two-wheelers.

The case has been booked under various IPC sections including 148 (rioting armed with deadly weapons), 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons and 448 (house trespass).

Police sources said all the eight persons have been detained. The police detained four persons on a complaint lodged by the other group.

Two Circle Net

 Yashica Dutt’s book ‘Coming Out as Dalit’ to be released in 2017


Submitted by TwoCircles.net on 24 May 2016 – 8:03pm

By TCN News,

A book written by Yashica Dutt, a journalist living in New York, who concealed her identity of being a dalit for a decade and came out openly after the dalit student Rohith Vemula’s tragic suicide on January 18, 2016, is set to be released next year.

This was announced recently by Aleph Book Company, an independent Indian publishing firm. It is presently entitled as ‘Coming Out as Dalit’.

Dutt is a New York-based journalist who writes on gender, identity and culture. She was previously a principal correspondent with Brunch and Hindustan Times and is the founder of dalitdiscrimination.tumblr.com Death of Vemula was the moment for Dutt to stop living a lie, and admit something that she had hidden from friends and colleagues for over a decade—that she was Dalit.

“I was born in a Dalit family in Ajmer, Rajasthan. And I grew up learning to hide it…”, she wrote at  alitdiscrimination.tumblr.com soon after Vemula’s death at Hyderabad Central University.

In Coming Out as Dalit, Dutt recounts the exhausting burden of living with the secret, terrified of being found out, and dealing with the crushing guilt of denying her history. In this personal memoir that is at the same time a history of the Dalit people, she writes about the journey of coming to terms with her identity and chronicles the Dalit movement.

She writes about the consequences of the lack of access to education and culture; the paucity of Dalit voices in mainstream media; and attempts to answer crucial questions about caste and privilege. Woven from personal narratives from her life as well as that of other Dalits, this book forces us to confront the injustices of caste and also serves as a call to action.

The Times Of India

 Clashes in Khurja after Rajput men ‘eve-tease’ Dalit girl


Uday Rana| TNN | May 23, 2016, 10.53 PM IST

MEERUT: Clashes broke out between Dalits and Rajputs near Bulandshahr district’s Khurja city after a Dalit teen was eve-teased and a statue of Dalit icon B R Ambedkar was vandalized on late on Sunday night. Trouble began after a group of drunk Rajput men visited a fair organized by Dalits of Sultanpur village and indulged in rowdy behaviour. Incidents of violence were also reported on Monday morning. Meanwhile, police and provincial armed constabulary (PAC) personnel have been deployed to maintain law and order situation in the area. Police said 12 people have been arrested.

The incident was reminiscent of the Kawal eve-teasing incident of 2013, which sparked the Muzaffarnagar riots.

“The incident took place on Sunday evening during a fair organized by the Dalit community. Around 10-15 drunk Rajput men arrived at the fair on their motorcycles and started abusing the Dalits. They also indulged in eve-teasing. Soon, an altercation took place between the Dalits and the Rajput men, which snowballed into a major fight. Men of both the castes came to blows with each other. About six people were injured in the scuffle. We have arrested 12 people from both the sides,” said R K Sharma, station officer at Khurja (city) police station.

Sharma said, “Local police and PAC personnel have been deployed in the village, and the situation is under control. We have booked the accused under various sections, including sections 147 (rioting) and 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon) of the Indian Penal Code.”

Anil (name changed), a local resident, told TOI, “Drunk Rajput men teased a 16-year-old Dalit girl. When the Dalits objected, the Rajput men became violent and even vandalized a statue of B R Ambedkar nearby, prompting the Dalits to fight back.”

Incidents of violence were also reported on Monday morning. A Dalit youth from the village was attacked by a group of Rajputs when he was on his way to work. Later in the day, protesting Dalits blocked railway tracks in Khurja.

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) workers also protested against what they called “police inaction”.

The Hindu

 Transgenders want to be recognised as a ‘class minority’



 Refuse to be divided along religion or caste to avail govt. benefits

 In a major decision, the transgender community in the State has resolved to demand that government recognise them as a ‘class minority’ and refused to allow caste or religious identity to creep into the community while accessing benefits from the government.



The decision was taken on Monday at a consultative meet that saw participation from various transgender organisations and over 100 members of the community.

“The government officials were confused as to under which scheme to provide us benefits. In the housing scheme, they suggested that only SC/ST transgenders could be given benefits, which triggered the debate,” explained Akkai Padmashali, co-founder of Ondede, one of the organisations working for sexual minorities. The transgenders have decided to call themselves a class minority and wish to be recognised as a backward class instead of being divided on religious or caste lines.

 Fundamental identity

“The community of transgenders has been fighting for a more fundamental gender identity and there has never been any place for caste or religion. We don’t wish to be divided on community lines now,” Akkai said, adding that with the community being socio-economically backward, it was apt to be recognised as a class minority.

Karnataka Transgender Samithi and other organisations working in the space will now meet the chief minister and governor to place their demand.

 Welfare board

However, the community does not wish to be brought under the umbrella of the Karnataka Backward Classes Commission.

They want the State government to form a Transgender Commission and a Transgender Welfare Board to work for the betterment of the community.

Bangalore Mirror



Bangalore Mirror Bureau | May 25, 2016, 04.00 AM IST

Social welfare minister H Anjaneya has come under fire from fellow legislators for failing to utilise funds meant for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. Heated arguments broke out between the minister and the legislators at a meeting convened here on Tueaday to discuss the roadmap for development of these communities. The 40-plus legislators from these communities alleged that the minister was ineffective and the bureaucrats working in his department were highly corrupt. Though the department has funds to the tune of Rs 20,000 crore, no work is happening on the ground. Files pertaining to different schemes and projects are gathering dust for want of bribes, the legislators alleged. What is the point in keeping so much money when nothing is being done for the welfare of the SCs and STs, they asked. 

MLA PM Narendraswamy slammed the minister for failing to launch development programmes and for being complacent. The legislator and the minister had a heated exchange of words, sources said, and added that the situation was diffused following the intervention of Kolar MP KH Muniyappa. 

Speaking to reporters later, the minister maintained that there was no major verbal duel at the meeting and said he will implement the suggestions given by the legislators.

The Hindu

 ‘Honour killing’: parents not allowed to attend girl’s last rites



Priya Reddy, who was allegedly killed by her father for falling in love with a boy from Bhovi community (Dalit), was buried at her native village Tamatamapalli in Srinivaspur taluk on Monday.

The relatives of the girl performed the last rites. Though her parents, Byra Reddy and Padmamma, and their minor son — all of whom have been arrested — had expressed their wish to attend the last rites, the police did not allow them taking into account the gravity of the crime. Priya was strangled on Sunday night by her father. The minor, who reportedly helped his father in committing the crime, will be sent to the juvenile home in Kolar Gold Fields, Circle Inspector of Police H.N. Chandrappa told The Hindu on Tuesday. The police are yet to approach Harish (20), Priya’s friend. “Though Harish is a major, summoning him now might cause him further stress,” sources said.

Priya was killed on Sunday allegedly by her father for falling in love with a boy from a ‘lower’ caste

The Tribune

 Attack on Dalit sarpanch: Police urged to act


Even after 37 days of the attack on the house of Mothada Kalan’s Dalit sarpanch Kanti Mohan, the Phillaur Police could not nab the accused involved in the midnight firing. The sarpanch managed to escape unhurt but over 12 armed miscreants fled away after firing on the intervening night of April18-19, Now, after knocking the doors of various officers and SC Commission National Commission For Scheduled Castes, Punjab, the complaint of the victim Sarpanch Kanti Mohan written Deputy Commissioner Jalandhar and SSP (Rural) Jalandhar have shown results as they have been asked to send detailed report and action taken against the accused. Notably, the victim has alleged that these armed accused were being patronised by the senior Akali leaders, including former minister Sarwan Singh Phillaur and Chief Parliamentary Secretary Avinash Chander and their family members. Sarpanch alleged that the police was working under pressure of ruling politicians as only two out of total 23 accused could be nabbed in 37 days and one accused NRI succeeded to fly abroad. He even demanded security cover for his family.

Sampla visits Phagwara

Vijay Sampla arrived in Phagwara for the first time after taking charge as Punjab BJP president and the supporters of the party were seen welcoming him. He paid obeisance at Gurdwara Sukhchain Sahib,  ishwkarma Mandir, Balmiki Mandir, Hanuman Garrhi and Guru Ravi Dass Mandir after passing through Banga Road, Bazar Bansan Wala, Mahabir Bazar, Mandi Road, Hargobind Nagar and GT road. —OC

News monitored by AMRESH & AJEET


Dalits Media Watch – News Updates 24.05.16

Brothers hold Dalit girl captive, rape her – The Times Of India


 ‘Caste riots’ in Bulandshahr after Dalit teen harassed, Ambedkar statue vandalized- The Times Of India


Dalit autodriver alleges more harrying by CPM workers – The Times Of India


Drought hurts women, low-caste Dalits more – The Nation


An SC or ST ceases to be so after conversion to other religion: Hyderabad HC – The New Indian Express


Tension over attempt to ‘purify’ Uttarakhand temple after Dalit entry – The Hindustan Times


Dalit couple visits temples under police protectionThe Tribune


NCSC team meets dalit groom stopped from riding mare – India Today


Dalits protest outside Doon Hospital – The Times Of India


Revenue adalats to address land issues of SC/ST communities, says tahsildar – Deccan Herald


The Times Of India

 Brothers hold Dalit girl captive, rape her


TNN | May 24, 2016, 06.11 AM IST

Kanpur: A minor Dalit girl was allegedly held captive and raped for three days by two brothers at an animal pound in Fatehpur district. The brothers, who are absconding, have been booked under POCSO Act and other sections of Indian Penal Code.

The police have launched an investigation after the parents of the 16-year-old girl approached on Monday and lodged a complaint against Sonu Yadav and his brother Juggi Lal.

“The two lured the girl to a deserted animal pound on the outskirts of the village. They held her captive and allegedly sexually assaulted her for three days,” police officer Arvind Singh Gaur said.

The police said that the girl went missing while she had gone to collect fodder from the nearby jungles on May 20. On Sunday evening, the villagers saw the girl crying for help at the animal pound. They informed her parents. The girl had injury marks on her body. She was sent for medical examination. The police have questioned the family members of the accused for clues.

The Times Of India

 ‘Caste riots’ in Bulandshahr after Dalit teen harassed, Ambedkar statue vandalized


Uday Rana| TNN | May 23, 2016, 06.17 PM IST

MEERUT: Riots broke out between Dalits and Rajputs near Bulandshahr district’s Khurja city after a Dalit teen was harassed and a statue of Dalit icon BR Ambedkar was vandalized on late Sunday night. A group of Rajput men visited a fair organized by Dalits of Sultanpur village. Incidents of violence were also reported on Monday morning. Meanwhile, police and provincial armed constabulary (PAC) have been deployed to avert tension. Cops have also arrested 12 people in connection with the case. The incident was reminiscent of the Kawal eve-teasing incident of 2013, which sparked the Muzaffarnagar riots.

“The incident took place on Sunday evening during a fair organized by the Dalit community. Around 10-15 Rajput men came drunk to the fair on their motorcycles. There was an altercation which snowballed into a major fight. Men of both castes came to blows with each other. Over half a dozen people were injured and we sent them all to the hospital. We also arrested 12 people in connection with the clashes. People from both sides have been arrested,” said RK Sharma, station officer at Khurja (city) police station.

He added saying, “Local police, along with one and a half section of the PAC, has been deployed in the village and the situation is under control. We have booked the accused under serious sections, including sections 147 (rioting) and 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).”

Anil (name changed), a local resident, told TOI, “The drunk Rajput men sexually harassed the 16-year-old Dalit girl. When the Dalits objected, they became violent. They even vandalized a statue of BR Ambedkar nearby, which prompted the Dalits to fight back.”

Incidents of violence were also reported on Monday morning. A Dalit youth from the village was attacked by a group of Rajputs when he was on his way to work. Later in the day, Dalits protested by blocking railway tracks in Khurja. Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) workers protested against what they called “police inaction”.

The Times Of India

 Dalit autodriver alleges more harrying by CPM workers


May 23, 2016, 11.46 PM IST

Kannur: Eramangalath Chitralekha, a dalit autorickshaw driver from Edat near Payyannur, who had to relocate from her native place reportedly following constant harassment by CPM workers after she started plying an autorickshaw for a living, has alleged that the party is not allowing her to live in her new locality.

“It was with great difficulty that I got the title deed of the new plot near Kattambally, where I now live in a rented house with government support. The other day, when I went there to clean the plot, local CPM leaders threatened me saying that I wouldn’t be allowed to build a house at the spot,” she said.

Though the UDF government had promised her aid to build the house, the fund is yet to be released.

With the LDF now in power, she has lost all hope of getting it.

“I doubt if I’d be able to survive here. Every morning I wake up with the fear that something untoward might happen,” said Chitralekha, adding that she would approach local MLA K M Shaji and the new chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan once he assumes office. She has filed a police complaint, besides submitting a complaint to the district collector. “Though the fund hasn’t been released, I was planning to somehow begin work to build the house and thought of clearing the undergrowth, but I’m facing the same situation here as in my native place and I don’t know how to survive,” said Chitralekha, whose autorickshaws were set ablaze and attacked several times, allegedly by CPM workers.

In 2014, she had resorted to a sit-in agitation at the collectorate seeking government protection, and was given a new autorickshaw and rented accommodation till her new house is built on government-allotted land.

Meanwhile, district collector P Balakiran said he received her complaint on Monday and said he would take steps to ensure her safety.

The Nation

 Drought hurts women, low-caste Dalits more


May 24, 2016

Rina Chandran – India’s worst drought in decades is hurting women and lower-caste Dalits disproportionately, with impacts ranging from malnutrition to early marriage to prostitution, activists say.

The government estimates the drought has affected more than 330 million people – almost a quarter of India’s population – across 13 of the country’s 29 states.

“Women are the most vulnerable during drought because it is their duty to fetch water and provide food for the family,” said Varsha Deshpande, a lawyer and women’s rights activist in Maharashtra state, one of the worst hit by the drought.

“She is the first to wake up, she walks the farthest to fetch water, she eats last – and probably the least, and she sleeps last.

This takes a toll on her health, her menstrual cycle, and affects her reproductive cycle,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

As crops wither and livestock perish, tens of thousands of people are migrating in search of food, water and jobs, leaving behind women, children and older family members who are vulnerable to human traffickers.

Girls are being pulled from school to help fetch water or to take care of younger siblings while the mother gets water.

Men are abandoning their families to search for jobs, and some men are marrying multiple times just so there is someone can fetch water.

Polygamy is illegal in India, and these “water wives” – or ‘paaniwaali bai’ in the local language – have few rights.

“Abuses against women increase during drought – women forced to become prostitutes, men demanding more dowry to compensate for lower farm incomes, and more dowry deaths if the women cannot conceive because they are malnourished,” said Deshpande.

“We are also seeing an increase in child marriage, as parents try to ensure the safety of girls.

And a big increase in child labour because they need the extra money,” she said.


Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi has asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to declare the drought a national emergency, saying that the lives of more than 160 million children are at stake.

India’s top court recently criticised authorities for delays in responding to the drought, saying that some states had an “ostrich-like attitude” towards the calamity.

State Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has urged banks to lend to small farmers, and asked state officials to step up relief measures to ensure no one is left out.

However, relief measures are not reaching some of the most marginalised people in the country: landless low-caste Dalits.

Dalits are more vulnerable to disasters because of their marginal social standing and discrimination.

They also tend to live in settlements segregated from mainstream society, according to National Dalit Watch.

“Most Dalits are sharecroppers whose names are not in the records of the landowners, so they miss out on government relief,” said Rajesh Singh of National Dalit Watch.

The lobby group has tracked discrimination against low-caste villagers after disasters since the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004, and including the December floods in Chennai.

“They are neglected by default and by design, as they are not countted in the census and they are denied coping mechanisms such as government jobs and subsidised rations by high-caste villagers and local officials,” Singh said. –Reuters

The New Indian Express

 An SC or ST ceases to be so after conversion to other religion: Hyderabad HC


By R Rajashekar Rao | Express News Service Published: 23rd May 2016 06:37 AM Last Updated: 23rd May 2016 06:37 AM

HYDERABAD: The Hyderabad High Court has made it clear that once a member of Schedule Caste or Scheduled Tribe converts to Christianity or some other religion, such a person ceases to be a member of SC or ST and is no longer covered under the provisions of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

Rao, his wife and their son moved the High Court seeking quashing of proceedings against them in a case before the second additional judicial first class magistrate, Anakapalli, Visakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh.

The case was registered against them for offences punishable under various sections of IPC and Section 3(1)(x) of SC/ST (POA) Act, basing on a complaint lodged by their neighbour (de facto complainant) Srinivas who claimed that he had been abused in the name of his caste.

He said he belonged to the SC Mala community and was pastor at a church. Police said in their report after investigation that his wife and others categorically deposed that Srinivas was professing Christianity. It is clear that they converted to Christianity and were running a church and Srinivas was serving as pastor by professing Christianity though he was basically a Hindu SC by caste.

Further, the caste certificate issued in favour of Srinivas as ‘SC Mala’ had been cancelled, the police said.

Rao and his family urged the High Court to quash the case against them pending before the lower court, saying that Srinivas had made false allegations to implicate them by abusing the SC/ST Act.

They contended that there were no worthy ingredients of the case to attract other sections of IPC either against them. They relied upon a judgment of the Supreme Court in the case of Chatturbhuj Vithaladas Jasani vs Moreshwar Parashram and others to buttress their argument.

On the other hand, Srinivas submitted that mere conversion to Christianity or professing Christianity in no way nullified his original caste by birth and the proceedings against Rao and his family were therefore not liable to be quashed.

After hearing both sides and perusing the material on record and various court judgments, justice B Siva Sankara Rao  said, “The disabilities and handicaps do not continue after conversion. Thus, if a  Scheduled Caste Hindu converts to another religion, except Sikh and Buddhist, that person ceases to be a member of the Scheduled Caste and cannot invoke the provisions of SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.”

The Hindustan Times

Tension over attempt to ‘purify’ Uttarakhand temple after Dalit entry


 Anupam Trivedi, Dehradun

Updated: May 24, 2016 12:53 ISTUttarakhand’s Chakrata region bristled with tension on Tuesday amid fears of a possible attempt by upper caste villagers to purify a temple visited by Dalit activists and a BJP parliamentarian leading to violence in the Himalayan state last week.

Rajya Sabha member Tarun Vijay and Dalit activist Daulat Kunwar were injured in stone pelting, allegedly by upper caste villagers outside the Silgur Devta temple in Punah village, around 180 km from state capital Dehradun on May 20.

Dalit activists said the entry into the Silgur Devta temple was the start of a campaign against a centuries-old caste bias that forbids them from entering and worshipping at 349 temples of the hill state’s Jaunsar-Bhabar region.

Revered as the holiest land for Hindus, the Himalayan state is home to thousands of temples but most of them are off-limits for people from the lower strata of the social order.

Sources said that upper caste villagers were planning to carry out a ritual “cleansing” of the Silgur Devta temple which they say have become impure after the entry of the Dalit activists.

Police, however, said they were determined to foil any such move.

“Police personnel are deployed in the village where the temple is located. We will not allow anyone to add poison to the air,” said Sadanand Date, Dehradun senior superintendent of police (SSP).

The state government has already ordered two probes — one by CB-CID (state’s investigation wing) and other under the commissioner of Garhwal region.

On Monday, home minister Pritam Singh and forest minister Dinesh Agarwal visited the village on Monday. Singh represents the Chakrata area.

People’s representatives and locals are divided over the issue of Dalit entry into the temple with some questioning Tarun Vijay for not taking locals into the confidence before leading the Dalits into temple.

The injured MP is admitted in a hospital in Dehradun. After chief minister Harish Rawat and governor KK Paul, two Congress rebel leaders — now in BJP – Vijay Bahuguna and Harak Singh also called on parliamentarian.

The Tribune

 Dalit couple visits temples under police protection


 Vishal Joshi Tribune News Service

Bhushtla (K’shetra), May 23

Amid threats by a dominant caste, a newlywed Dalit couple today paid obeisance at village temples under police protection. Sandeep (24) and his wife Meena visited shrines with family without any reaction from the Rajput community. It is alleged some Rajput youths had made public announcements on their wedding on Saturday night from village temples to gather in large numbers to oppose the Balmiki family’s plan to take out ‘barat’ on a horse.

Member of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes Ishwar Singh summoned the district authorities here today and directed them to initiate legal action against the culprits. He asked the SP to establish a police post at the village on temporary basis.

Sandeep and his relatives were allegedly stopped by members of the Rajput community from carrying out a marriage ritual of ‘ghurchari’ at Bhushtla village here.

As per the ritual, the groom pays obeisance at religious places riding a horse. About 20 Rajput youths from Busthala and adjoining villages allegedly threatened the Dalits from against riding a horse on Sandeep’s marriage.

Ishwar Singh said it was unfortunate that caste biases were still prevalent in society.

Meanwhile, Sandeep told The Tribune that the Rajput youths had threatened to eliminate him over the issue. Kurukshetra SP Simardeep Singh said efforts were on arrest the accused.

India Today

 NCSC team meets dalit groom stopped from riding mare


TNN | May 23, 2016, 11.42 PM IST

Chandigarh: A team of National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) visited Bhusthala village in Kurukshetra district on Monday to meet the family of a dalit bridegroom who was stopped from riding a mare as part of his wedding procession by the upper caste men of the village.

The team, accompanied by Kurukshetra superintendent of police (SP) Simardeep Singh, held a closed-door meeting with the aggrieved groom and his family. The family told the visiting team that the upper caste men of the village had warned the groom against riding the mare by making an announcement in the village temple. Scared, the family has not taken the newly-wed couple to the temple to complete the rituals performed during marriage, they said.

Slamming the local administration and police over the incident, NCSC member Ishwar directed the SP to ensure the arrest of 20 accused named in the FIR at the earliest. “We are living in a free country. Those who are violating the fundamental rights of downtrodden are nothing less than a bunch of mentally sick persons. Law enforcement agency needs to take stringent action against them,” said Ishwar.

“The SP has been told to arrest the accused and the deputy commissioner asked to submit a detailed action taken report, including compensation given to the victim family in the next three working days,” he said.

Meanwhile, opposition parties have also flayed the administration and police for delayed action in the case. “This is the third such incident related to atrocity on dalits,” said Congress spokesperson Ran Singh Mann. Rajiv Godara, secretary of Swaraj Abhiyan, termed the incident as an outcome of BJP’s agenda of divisive politics.

The Times Of India

 Dalits protest outside Doon Hospital


Yeshika Budhwar| TNN | May 23, 2016, 10.12 PM IST

DEHRADUN: Sealing their mouths with duct tape, Dalits from Jaunsar Bawar region on Monday sat on a silent protest outside the intensive care unit (ICU) of Doon Hospital, where their leader Daulat Kunwar is admitted after he was attacked for leading a group of Dalits into the Silgur Devta temple premises last week.

On Sunday, a number of Dalits from Pokhri village — where Rajya Sabha MP Tarun Vijay, Kunwar and his wife were attacked — had reached Doon Hospital and burnt an effigy of state home minister Pritam Singh, who hails from the region. The protesting Dalits claimed that the home minister was apathetic to their plight, and said that they will not return to their village unless an assurance in writing was given by the minister that they would be given protection. The protesters feared that upper caste men in the village would attack them if they returned.

Saraswati Kunwar, wife of Daulat Kunwar, told TOI, “It is a conspiracy and a planned attack. Those responsible should be punished. Officials posted in the village should be suspended for letting such an attack happen in front of their eyes.” Saraswati Kunwar is also the secretary of Aradhana Gramin Vikas Kendra Samiti, an organization that works for Dalits’ rights.

A temple official had told TOI earlier that they would now conduct a “nine-day-long purification ritual” after Dalits entered the temple premises.

The protesting Dalits also demanded that the culprits should be prosecuted under the Scheduled Caste/ Scheduled Tribe (SC/ST) Act. “We want the regular police to handle this case and the culprits be tried under the SC/ST Act. We don’t trust the revenue police in our area as upper caste men are among the ranks. Political leaders are also ignoring the situation. We will keep protesting until we get justice,” said Anand Singh, a protester from Chakrata.

Deccan Herald

 Revenue adalats to address land issues of SC/ST communities, says tahsildar


UDUPI, May 23, 2016, DHNS:

The issue of illegal encroachment of DC Manna land dominated the taluk-level SC/ST grievances meet held here under the chairmanship of Tahsildar Guruprasad.

Raising the issue, dalit leaders Vishwanath Petri and Ramesh Kotian demanded clarifications over actions taken by the administration to clear the encroached DC Manna land in the taluk. Stating that there is massive encroachment of DC Manna land, Petri said the administration has been mum over the developments while real beneficiaries have been suffering. He said DC Manna land is the right of the scheduled caste beneficiaries. The land is sold by people who are not the owners, added Kotian.

The tahsildar said the district administration is authorised to take the land back. The transfer of land to any third party is an offence and action would be initiated. He said nearly 60% of DC Manna land has been encroached for government-owned structures like schools and anganawadis. He said the other beneficiaries who have encroached the land have applied under 50/53 to legalise their hold on the land. However, the applications of the beneficiaries belonging to other castes are withheld against clearing. The already legalised four cases would be called off as there is no such provision, he said.

He said that five acres of land in Havanje and six acres in Bommarabettu has been reserved for housing sites to be given to SC/ST beneficiaries. Around 1,824 people have been offered land for cultivation since 1970 to till date, of which 824 are utilising the land for the said purpose. Around 4.5 acres of land in Kota and Kutyaru have been left barren and there is no trace of the possessors. He said that Revenue Adalats would be held exclusively to sort out the land issues of SC/ST community people in the months of June and July. The DC Manna land has been identified in four villages and the land will be used to offer housing sites to SC/ST beneficiaries in future.

He said nine cents of land has been ensured for SC/ST beneficiaries under 94 C and 94 CC programme and the applicants should approach Nada Kacheri immediately to register their names.

The tahsildar said that 82 houses were partially damaged and five houses were completely damaged in the taluk due to rains that hit the district in the past few days. There are also cases reported over the loss of horticultural growths. He said there are 12 houses belonging to SC/ST communities have been partially damaged. They are given Rs 5,200 as temporary compensation package. The victim whose house which was completely damaged will  be given Rs one lakh and a house by the government. 

Guruparsad assured to survey the land in Nadsalu, Padubidri, where many SC/ST families are struggling without proper connective stretch and Rs 50 lakh has been released for the purpose.

News monitored by AMRESH & AJEET


Under Modi government, foreign funding of NGOs has come down / News Laundry

 Under Modi government, foreign funding of NGOs has come down


Information obtained under RTI from the Home Ministry suggests NGOs have had to take a serious hit in the last 2 years

 Himadri Ghosh

 | May 20, 2016 in Articles 

It was in 2015 that reports started coming in of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) being targeted by the Indian government. However, according to data from the Ministry of Home Affairs, the state’s crackdown onNGOs’ foreign funding appears to have started within weeks of Prime Minister Narendra Modi taking charge in 2014.

During 2014-15, foreign contributions to NGOs in India came down by more than 30 per cent compared to the previous year. The number of organisations receiving foreign funding too declined. Foreign contributions came down from Rs 13,115 crore in 2013-14 to Rs 8,756  crore in 2014-15, according to information obtained under the Right to Information Act by 101reporters for Newslaundry.

pic 1

In 2013-14, Delhi had received the highest amount of funding from the foreign donors, but in 2014-15, it registered a dramatic decline by almost 50 per cent in 2014-15. Other states that registered massive declines include Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

“The cutting down on funding for NGOs are mostly a political step to shut up the voice of certain section in the society,” a senior official at Indian Audits and Accounts Service, with the Comptroller and Auditor General of India’s office. “But sometimes irregularities are found in NGOs working and violate certain rules prescribed by the law.” The official shared this view on condition of anonymity.

pic 2

While the newly-installed government led by Modi has clamped down on foreign funding to NGOs, it wasn’t acting any differently than other governments. The Economist wrote on Sept 13, 2014, soon after the Modi government took charge, “Indian NGOs have needed government approval for foreign donations since 1976, in response to what Indira Gandhi, then prime minister, thought was the “foreign hand” of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of US meddling in her country’s affairs.” Anxieties about the role of foreign donors is evidently an Indian tradition. The Economist further wrote, “Recent reports of an intelligence dossier claiming that the activities of foreign-funded NGOs had cut India’s growth rate have sparked fears that Narendra Modi, the nationalistic new prime minister, will tighten the rules further.” It did however note that these restrictions “sit alongside a thriving civil society”.

In the second half of 2015, the Indian government cancelled registrations of more than 10,117 NGOs across the country.

The union government alleged that due to not filing of annual returns for the financial years 2009-2010, 2010-11 and 2011-12, the government had cancelled the registration of these NGOs in 2015. Most number of registrations were cancelled from state of Andhra Pradesh (1,420), followed by Uttar Pradesh (1,147) and Tamil Nadu (10,068).

The most prominent of the cancellations was Greenpeace, an organisation that campaigns to protect the environment, whose licence was cancelled by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on September 3, 2015.

Following the clampdown on NGOs, the global charity the Ford Foundation, which is based in America, froze $4 million of funding to India. The US Ambassador to India Richard Verma said that the tougher approach may have a “chilling effect” on civil society and democratic traditions.

pic 3

The Ford Foundation has donated more than $500 million to India since opening its first overseas office in Delhi in 1952. It has also funded a number of NGOs and institutions across the country, including Bengaluru-based National Law School of India University (NLSIU) and Centre for Internet and Society.

Executive director of Centre for Internet and Society (CIS), Sunil Abraham, explained that unconventional intuitions — which work in fields other than health, education and social security — like CIS are mostly funded by foreign philanthropy entities. “Foreign funding cut on NGOs is a step to restrain institutions from debating and questioning government policies,” said Abraham.

An Indian Express report from this time stated that the National Democratic Alliance government had proposed a series of amendments to the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) in order to strengthen its scrutiny of financial transactions involving NGOs. The most important change was that government would equate “economic security” for NGOs under the FCRA with the definition provided in Section 2 of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

An analysis of data for the past eight years shows that the number of organisations receiving foreign funding is on decline. In 2006-07, the total number of NGOs that received foreign funding was 22,261. By 2014-15, the number had declined to 12,014 across the country.

However, in terms of amounts, there has been an overall increase in funding. In the fiscal year of 2006-07, foreign contributions to NGOs in India amounted to Rs 11, 260 crore, which went up to Rs 13,115 crore by 2013-14.

Both the amount of funding received and the number of NGOs have no schematic patterns that establish how funding went down or that NGO registrations were revoked during any particular government until 2014-15, but the considerable decline in funding for NGOs since 2014-15 has raised concern.

In the last nine years, Delhi (Rs 20,033 crore) received the highest foreign funding, followed by Tamil Nadu (Rs 15,589 crore), Karnataka (Rs 10,110 crore) and Maharashtra (Rs 9,952 crore). This figure clearly shows that funding for NGOs has nothing to do with political parties, as the above states have been governed by different governments at different time periods.

However, the data does suggest that states run by BJP have fewer NGO registrations compared to NGO registrations in non-BJP ruled states. Barring Maharashtra, BJP-ruled states such as Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Gujarat have small numbers of registered NGOs in comparison to those ruled by either Congress or regional parties. Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka have more registered NGOs.

And among them Tamil Nadu with 4,938 has the highest number of registered NGOs. In Tamil Nadu, during the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam reign from 2006-2011, foreign funding to NGOs declined drastically, rising again after 2012-13, only to decline substantially in 2014-15.

Fearing harassment, most of the NGOs contacted declined to comment on the reduced funding.  And those who did speak sought anonymity.

A director of a Mumbai-based educational welfare society, working in the field of education said, “I didn’t understand the reason for reducing our foreign funding. We were receiving foreign funding for the last four years, but received the least in 2014-15, over 32% less than from the previous year.” The society received Rs 8 crore as foreign funding in 2012-13, which was cut down to Rs 5 crore in 2014-15.

A senior member of the Yesuraja Trust in Dharmapuri, which works in the fields of health and education in Tamil Nadu, at first declined to comment but later declared, “We’re a private entity and not an NGO.” The FCRA website reveal that the trust has zero funding in financial year in 2013-14 and 2014-15.

The unprecedented crackdown was not peculiar to India alone. Human rights  organisations have been facing restrictions in a number of countries, which have passed or were in the process of passing laws to curtail NGO activities. A Guardian report stated that over the past three years, more than 60 countries have passed or drafted laws that curtail the activity of non-governmental and civil society organisations. India is on this list along with countries like China, Russia and Egypt. It’s not a particularly august list of which to be part.

James Savage of Amnesty International said, “This global wave of restrictions has rapidity and breadth to its spread we’ve not seen before, that arguably represents a seismic shift and closing down of human rights space not seen in a generation.” Onno Ruhl, country director for World Bank, India, agreed with Savage and said toIndian Express, “NGOs are quite inconvenient at times. But I would still rather have an inconvenient NGO than people not having the right to speak.”

The serious question that these numbers raise is the effect that the reduced foreign funding will have on philanthropic work and social welfare in India. NGOs have a long history of being development partners of the state and the government’s decision to restrict their finances could have a serious impact upon the work done as well as increase their dependence upon the state. Is that what the country needs?


Dalits Media Watch – News Updates 23.05.16

Dalit teen raped, mutilated, murdered – The Times Of India


Six-month-old raped in Morena district – The Times Of India


Dehradun Temple To Hold 9-Day ‘Cleaning’ Ritual After BJP MP Leads Dalits Inside- Huffington Post


Dalit groom stopped from paying obeisance at village templesThe Tribune


500 dalits, OBCs embrace Buddhism – The Times Of India


I still haven’t found a house owner who doesn’t ask your caste: Dalit man looking for rented house – The News Minute


How central  funds for SCs  spent by  flying  clubs: CIC asks DGCA – Kashmir Image


Simhastha: Ram temple, Dalit votes back on agenda – The Hindustan Times



The Times Of India

Dalit teen raped, mutilated, murdered


Arvind Chauhan| TNN | May 22, 2016, 10.41 PM IST


Agra: In a gory reminder of the recent rape and murder of a Dalit law student in Kerala, a 17-year-old Dalit girl was allegedly raped, mutilated and murdered in Kasganj district near here.

The incident took place in Bahorahanpur village of Ganjdundwara area late on Friday night, when the teenager was returning home from a local flour mill after handing over a dinner tiffin to her father, who works there. Her family found her body in a nearby field on Saturday afternoon, with her private parts severely mutilated.

The victim’s father said, “On Friday night, after bringing dinner to me, my daughter went back home. She never reached home, but since we do not have a phone, my family thought she had stayed at the mill with me for the night. The next morning, when I reached home and we realised she was missing, we searched everywhere and found her body.”

Speaking to TOI, deputy superintendent of police for Ganjdundwara, Amrit Lal said, “Looking at the body, prima facie it seems the girl was brutally raped and murdered. Till now no one has been arrested. The family members have no suspects in mind either.”

As per station officer Suresh Chandra, an FIR has been lodged in the matter against unknown persons under IPC section 376 (rape), 302 (murder) and POCSO Act.

“We have received the postmortem report and we are yet to confirm rape, as the slide in which samples of blood and fluid were sent is yet to be examined. However, the girl’s body had been mutilated and she was killed with a blow by a blunt object to the side of the head,” said SO Chandra, adding that investigation is currently in progress.

The Times Of India

Six-month-old raped in Morena district


TNN | May 23, 2016, 09.33 AM IST

Bhopal: A 35-year-old man was arrested for raping a six-month-old in Morena district on Sunday morning. The dastardly act was committed in Battokhar village of Morena’s Sabalgarh tehsil.

Police said that the kid was lying on a cot under the shed of a tree while her parents were working in a nearby onion field.

Laakhan Rawat alias Gore reached there and taking advantage of the fact that the baby was alone, he committed the crime. Upon returning, parents found that the child was bleeding. Subsequently, they lodged a complaint with the police. They suspected Laakhan because they had seen him loitering around in a field. Investigating officer told TOI that Laakhan was also drunk.He was booked under section 376 (rape) of IPC, POCSO and The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

 Huffington Post

 Dehradun Temple To Hold

 9-Day ‘Cleaning’ Ritual After BJP MP Leads Dalits Inside


 HuffPost India  |  By Rituparna Chatterjee

Temple authorities in Dehradun will allegedly conduct a nine-day ‘purification’ ceremony to cleanse the place after Rajya Sabha MP Tarun Vijay led a group of Dalits inside, according to the Times of India. Vijay was attacked by a local mob, enraged at the entry of Dalits inside the temple on Friday. Vijay suffered minor injuries in the attack.

An official from the temple trust, who was not named, told the paper that the Silgur devta temple in Pokhri village of the Jaunsar Bawar region in Dehradun will conduct a “long purification ritual” because it was supposedly defiled by the entry of Dalits.

“The dev doli of Silgur Devta that was brought after a gap of 36 years to our village was defiled. The devta is upset,” the official told TOI. The paper also reported that the Dalits in the area have allegedly started fleeing from their homes fearing backlash from members of the upper castes.

Vijay, a Rajya Sabha member, was attacked by the mob and his car vandalized after he came out of a temple with Dalit leaders in Chakrata.

Although caste-based discrimination was outlawed in 1955, but deeply-entrenched prejudices still exist and people from lower castes still face injustices in many sectors. The polarisation is particularly evident in community places of worship.

The police team present at the spot rescued the Uttarakhand MP and the Dalit leaders who sustained minor injuries. Condemning the attack, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat ordered Garhwal Commissioner to look into the incident.

The caste discrimination isn’t only restricted to the economically backward. In 2009, priests in Odisha’s Akhandalamani Shiva temple performed a ‘purification’ after the visit of women and child development minister Pramilla Mallick, a Dalit.

The Tribune

 Dalit groom stopped from paying obeisance

at village temples


 Vishal Joshi, Tribune News Service,  Bhusthla (Kurukshetra), May 22

A Dalit groom was allegedly stopped by dominant caste men from carrying out the marriage ritual of “ghurchari” at Bhusthla village in the district last night.

A mob of Rajput youths from Busthala, about 25 km from Kurukshetra, and adjoining villages allegedly threatened Sandeep (24) for breaking traditions.

The groom was also not allowed to pay obeisance in six different temples on the eve of the marriage as the family refused to move without a horse in the village.

However, the barat left for Yamunanagar at around 11 am under police protection.

“As we were preparing for Sandeep’s “ghurchari” last night, a group of Rajput youths came in the basti and threatened us to stay away from using horse-driven chariot. They said the tradition was not meant for the lower castes and its violation would be violently answered,” Mithu, groom’s uncle, said at the groom’s one-room house.

As the family stepped out of the basti in a flower-decked “rath”, the youths started pelting it with stones.

Police was called by the panicked Dalits as members of Rajput community gathered in a large number outside the basti

According to the villagers at least three police personnel sustained injuries in the melee but the district police authorities deny the reports. 

“It was only after some Dalit youths started filming the violent behavior of the Rajput youth, they started moving away,” said Kulwinder Kaur, sister-in-law of Sandeep.

Kurukshetra SP Simardeep Singh said 20 persons had been booked under various sections of the IPC and The SC and The ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. No arrest had been made till Sunday evening.

“Ample police force has been deployed since last night to ensure order in the village. Strict action will be initiated against the identified culprits,” said the SP.

However, Krishna Devi is worried if her daughter-in-law Meena would be allowed to visit the village temples.

“The way Rajput reacted to “ghurchari”, I am concerned about the newly-wed couple’s safety. During the recent elections of panchayats, members of Rajput community did visit Balmiki Basti and even ate food at our homes. But when it came to “ghurchari”, they were after our lives,” she said.

Villagers said in 2007 also, another Dalit youth was forced not to use a horse in his marriage but the matter was resolved by the village elders.

The Hindu

 ‘Honour’ killing in Kolar



Suspecting ‘honour’ killing, police have arrested a father from stangulating his teenaged daughter in Kolar on Monday.

Byra Reddy, belonging to a dominant caste, allegedly strangulated his daughter to death at his residence in Tamatampalli on Sunday night.

His daughter Priya Reddy (17), a first PU student, was reportedly in love with a boy belonging to another caste. Byra Reddy to the extreme step upon on learning her love affair.

The Gownipalli police, who have registered an FIR, took Byra Reddy into custody. SP Divya Gopinath has visited the spot on Monday morning.

Further details are awaited.

The horrific killing has sent shock waves as this is for the first time a case of ‘honour’ killing is being reported in Kolar.

The Times Of India

 500 dalits, OBCs embrace Buddhism


Abdul Qadir| May 22, 2016, 11.14 PM IST

Gaya: About 500 Dalits and OBCs from different states including Bihar, UP, Maharashtra and Chattisgarh, embraced Buddhism on Saturday evening apparently to denounce the varna system and opt for a casteless social order.

The baptisation ceremony called ‘deeksha‘ was performed at the Kalchakra Maidan in Bodh Gaya, about 200 meters north west of Mahabodhi temple. The baptisation took place on the eve of Buddha Jayanti symbolising Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and salvation .

According to Bhadant Pragyasheel, former chief priest of Mahabodhi temple, “Those embracing Buddhism also took 22 vows. The vows were originally authored by Bhimrao Ambedkar, the architect of Indian Constitution, who embraced Buddhism to register protest against the caste order and alleged discrimination.”

The vows, according to Pragyasheel included the resolve not to believe in Hindu gods and goddesses, particularly the divinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh, not to perform Hindu rituals, not to engage brahmins for any ritual and strive for the creation of an egalitarian society based on humanitarian considerations and deed (not birth) to become the basis of social order.

Bhadant Pragyasheel made it clear that in true Buddhist spirit, the neo Buddhists do not nurture any ill will towards the followers of their former faith (Hinduism). Playing down the event, VHP state patron Udai Kumar said it was not a conversion as VHP regards Buddhism as another sect of Hinduism. Hinduism, according to Kumar is a broad umbrella open to the followers of all belief systems.

“Lord Buddha was a Hindu reformist,” said Udai Kumar and Hindus regard him (Buddha) as the ninth ‘avatar’ (incarnation) of Lord Vishnu, the creator.

Unlike many other religions, Hinduism is flexible enough to accommodate divergent views. Hinduism is much more than only ‘karm kand‘ (rituals) and the faith even accommodate non-believers, said Kumar.

lieved in promoting harmony between different members of the extra large Hindu family.

The News Minute

I still haven’t found a house owner who doesn’t ask your caste: Dalit man looking for rented house


What’s your caste, he asked me bluntly. SC, I replied

TNM Staff| Sunday, May 22, 2016 – 16:40

By Nagaraj Hettur

I’ve been looking for a house on rent in the Shantinagar and Hemavati Nagar areas of Hassan city for the past 15 days. Yesterday, I saw a house I liked which was near my daughter’s school. They asked me to come the next day, so I called the Hassan district president of the ABC Shivlingegowda, who called up the owner and spoke to him.

‘Please give him the house, he is the vice president of the ABC’ Shivlingegowda said.

‘Oh, since you have recommended this person, it’s now only a formality. I will give the house, just come tomorrow morning,’ the owner said.

I was happy beyond words at the prospect of getting the house for certain as Shivlingegowda had recommended it. I had already looked over around 50 houses and was quite dejected by then.

In the morning, I drove to Shivlingegowda’s house and woke him up. ‘Come sir, let’s go’, I said to a bleary-eyed Shivlingegowda.

I was confident I should get the house at least today as Shivlingegowda was with me and the house belonged to a Gowda family.

I saw the house, and everything was fine.

I offered to pay the advance.

‘What is your caste, sir,’ the owner asked directly in Shivlingegowda’s presence.

For a moment I looked at Shivlingegowda.

He looked back at me.

Lying is not my thing because for the kind of social work I do, I appear on television or in newspapers from time to time. One day or the other the truth would be out.

SC (Scheduled Caste), I said.

The house owner’s face fell…

‘Sir, don’t be offended but, I don’t rent out to an SC,’ he said.

‘Why?,’ I asked.

‘My wife doesn’t like it,’ he replied.

Shivlingegowda was dumbstruck. Words failed me.

I felt insulted, angry and impatient all at once.

‘Everyone is like us, give him the house, boss,’ Shivlingegowda said.

In a stern voice, the man said: ‘Sorry Shivlingegowdre.’

Which D$%**, $%^** created caste, I cursed silently. In mental agony, I thought ‘We fight for so many people, but is this out lot as well?’

I was curious to know how the president of the ABC would react to this ‘Practice of Untouchability Against Dalits over Rented Houses’. I waited.

Some distance away, he tried to console me: ‘Sir, there are people like this, too. Let it be. Don’t take it to heart. If not this one, you will get another house.’

I called up my uncle, Subbu Holeyar.

‘I’ve been insulted. Can I file an atrocity case to teach these people a lesson?’ I asked in anger.

All he said was: ‘Without a change in mindset, nothing can be done. It is their house, they can give it to anyone they like.’

I tried to calm myself, and let it drop.

Who will change their hearts? When will that time come?…

I have seen nearly 50 houses. I am ready to pay the advance and rent, but I just haven’t found a house where the owner doesn’t ask about caste.

Let’s see…

(Nagaraj Hettur is a Hassan-based Dalit activist and writer. This post first appeared on his Facebook page on May 12, and has been reproduced with permission. The names of Shivlingegowda and the organization he represents have been changed.)

Kashmir Image

How central  funds for SCs  spent by  flying  clubs: CIC asks DGCA


Published on May 23, 2016

New Delhi, May 22 (PTI) Expressing concern over operations of flying clubs in the country, the CIC has ordered Director General of Civil Aviation to furnish records of funds received by Bombay Flying Club for Scheduled Caste students and their disbursement among other details.

The Bombay Flying Club had refused to part with the information about scholarship funds received from the Centre for SC students saying this does not come under the RTI Act.   

It said that the club is governed by the rules and regulations under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 and it was complying with the relevant provisions of the Societies Act.

The case relates to information sought by a man named Jai Bhagwan Jatav about total funds received by the club from Centre for SC students who got admission there and who were found eligible to get financial support as scholarship for covering various expenses.

Jatav had also sought to know how many SC students were given financial support/scholarship, details of SC students who were on roll in commercial pilot licence training final class and have passed out and left, whether they were charged full fee or whether they were not given any benefit of this scholarship among other queries.

Information Commissioner Bimal Julka said after detailed study of the activities undertaken by such flying clubs and the regulations governing them, it is seen that all these clubs perform certain critical functions in the larger public interest.

“On perusal of the Civil Aviation Requirements, Section 7 Series ‘D’ Part I have laid down the procedure and the minimum requirements relating to infrastructure, manpower and procedure for grant of approval for undertaking flying training activities,” he said.

Julka said DGCA grants flying clubs licences to impart training and they have to seek ‘No Objection Certificate’ from it at the initial stages subject to its satisfaction with respect to infrastructure, manpower and compliance.

He said though the information sought relates to only SC/ST category, it is of vital national importance as it involves technical competence, security of the airfield, life risk posed to the flyer and also public in general.

“Flying clubs have been in operation for several years now, Bombay Flying Club, established in 1928, being the oldest. Keeping in view the expertise, the inherent risks in flying exercises and all unfortunate incidents resulting in loss of life during flying training in the past, the Commission is sensitised towards the operation, management and monitoring of such flying schools.

“The Commission is indeed deeply concerned about the role performed by all such flying clubs in the county and is of the view that certain public disclosures are essential for the general public,” he said.

The Commissioner directed DGCA, which is the controlling body for the operations of flying clubs, to gather information from Bombay Flying Club and provide to the applicant as directly the club could not be held answerable.

“As a proactive step towards greater public interest, the Commission, therefore, directs DGCA, being the licensing authority, to coordinate and provide information within 30 days from the date of receipt of this order as requested in the RTI application under consideration, which can be accessed from Bombay Flying Club under…the RTI Act,” he said. 

The Hindustan Times

Simhastha: Ram temple, Dalit votes back on agenda


 Punya Priya Mitra, Hindustan Times, Ujjain

Updated: May 22, 2016 16:51 ISTThe month-long Simhastha Kumbh, a once in 12-year congregation of lakhs of pilgrims on the banks of Kshipra river, appears to have fulfilled its political objective of giving a date for start of construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has announced that the work will start by December 31, a few months before the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections.

Ayodhya is in Uttar Pradesh and the construction of Ram Temple could be a sensitive issue in the polls considering that it can polarise voters on religious lines. Around 18% of voters in UP are Muslims. “We will keenly watch the Supreme Court which will hear the Ram Janam Bhoomi case after the vacation,” a VHP functionary said.

The Kumbh, where the attendance was less than expected, saw the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) trying to extend its influence on Dalits with its president Amit Shah taking a holy dip with Dalit saints. Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with Sri Lanka’s president Maithripala Srisena also participated in an event organised by the state government. In addition, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat was one of the speakers at a three-day ideological mahakumbh.

The participation of many dignitaries turned into a saving grace for the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government, which had invested Rs 4,000 crore to showcase the event. In the beginning, the attendance was much less than expected but it improved a bit on most days in May after Shah and PM’s visits to the Kumbh. But, still it was less than what the state government had estimated.

Simhastha in-charge minister Bhupendra Singh claimed that over eight crore pilgrims had visited the Simhastha during the one-month period, and over 1.5 crore people had visited Ujjain on the last day. There are, however, doubts over the figure of eight crore people visiting the Kumbh.

The Simhastha Kumbh, however, had its share of criticism with opposition Congress party accusing the government of indulging in massive corruption, especially in making of temporary toilets. “Mismanagement and corruption were the hallmarks of the Simhastha and instead of the event being a glorification of Lord Shiva, the chief minister tried to brand himself,” alleged party spokesperson K K Mishra.

Pt Anand Shankar Vyas of Ujjain said he had been seeing the Simhastha Kumbh since 1945 but earlier there was no attempt on the part of political parties to draw a political mileage from the religious event as they were doing it now.

The Pioneer


 Saturday, 21 May 2016 | MANAS JENA

It’s a matter of concern that there has been constant increase in atrocities against the marginalised sections, women, Dalits and Adivasies of Odisha. It is revealed from the recent White Paper of 2015 by the Home Department presented in State Assembly.

 The cases of violence against women have increased and the most striking is the figure of rape has been more than double during last five years. It was 1,025 in 2010 and rose to 2,286 in 2015. 

The cases of atrocities against SCs and STs have also substantially increased during last five years. The atrocity cases against SCs and STs recorded in 2010 was 1,589 where as in 2015 it was 2,504 out of which 1,816 are against SCs and 688 are against STs. It was 2,266 in 2014, 2,298 in 2013, 2,522 in 2012, and 1,662 in 2011 which shows a consistent increase. The SCs are relatively more prone to heinous forms of atrocities than the STs. The nature of atrocities are manifold that include rape, murder, house burning, destroying produces, mass attack, physical and mental assault and torture etc.

The Home Department White Paper has not made available data on many other areas of atrocity and violence such as trafficking, domestic violence, distress migration, caste-based discrimination, institutional violence against girl child and women in public as well as private institutions, besides discrimination in village level community institutions. It is reflected that the situation of the poor rural women getting worst with increasing distress migration and trafficking from the most backward parts of the State. Along with continued poverty, the increasing social violence is making their social condition more vulnerable. There are a number of rape victims, mostly migrant workers of brick kilns, from western part of Odisha who are still fighting to get justice.

Why such increase in the cases of atrocities against the poor and marginalised, mostly the working class, of a backward State? It is being argued by social activists and researchers that this reported data by the Home Department are cases registered in different police stations of the State but there were equal number of cases being under reported due to a number of reasons as it is not easy to get the cases registered due to non-cooperation by police and many cases are being settled under pressure by influential people in police stations. Poverty, illiteracy and economic dependency of the marginalised on powerful rich and dominant social groups makes them more prone to atrocities.

On the other side, lack of organisation in the grassroots as self-defence mechanism has been largely absent to provide security against the organised atrocities. The rise in economic distress, landlessness, unemployment and low income along with social discrimination make their life miserable and defenceless. There are also false cases against the poor and the marginalised SCs and STs to harass them and also to force the victims for compromise of the atrocity cases.

The National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) in its Prison statistics India 2014 reports that the percentage of Dalits, Adivasies, Muslims and Christians inmates is higher than their national population percentage. It shows the vulnerability of the marginalised groups in criminal justice administration and their access to justice. A study on women prisoners by State Commission for Women, Odisha, revealed that about 63 per cent of women belong to SC, ST and OBC communities and a majority of them are economically poor and illiterate. The present scenario of criminal justice administration is most discouraging without a timely and fair trial to ensure justice.

The provisions of legal aid have not served much to the marginalised section. Many of the innocent SCs and STs in south western parts are being jailed with accusation of left extremist involvement without a scope of representation to prove their innocence. The legal aid authority and prisoners welfare fund failed to cover major prisoners to ensure minimum humanitarian aid to the poor victims. Their sufferings have been manifold with damaging impact on their family life. The long delayed process of judicial trial for illiterate poor has been most painful experience.

The Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment report in 2013 says there are about 9,000 atrocity cases against SCs and STs pending in different courts of Odisha. The State Government has not set up any special court for speedy trial for justice to victims under the provision of SCs/STs (POA) Act, 1989 and Rules, 1995.

The Central Government has enacted laws for the protection of human rights of the marginalized, especially women, Dalits and Adivasies considering their historical marginalisation and continued gender, caste and ethnic-based discrimination, exploitation and violence against them in our social life but the implementation of protective laws need political and administrative will and above all legal awareness among public and especially among the marginalised communities. It is also said that along with enforcement of protective laws, the spread of human rights education and legal awareness can contribute to change the mindset of the people involved in violence against the poor. Our existing hegemonic social structure, resource ownership and unequal power relation are contributing to the violence, which can be arrested through changing social policies in favour of the excluded and discriminated social groups of our society. The State has an important role to play for the enforcement of constitutional governance as protector of justice.

In this context, in order to establish peace, non -violence and tolerance in the State by protecting the women and the marginalised, the role of dedicated departments especially Home, Women and Child Development and STs and SCs Development, Law, Director Public Prosecution, and Commissions such as NCW, SCW, NCSC and NCST is very important to intervene in controlling the violence but unfortunately such bodies have shown non-serious attitude to atrocity issues and manage with routine works without any proactive role. There are thousands of cases pending for investigation and trial. Many of the victims suffer due to the callousness of the departmental authorities in delivering timely actions to ameliorate the distress such as payment of compensation, legal aid and rehabilitation measures. There must be fixed accountability of these institutions to the marginalised communities. The active involvement of women and the marginalised sections in political and administrative decisions will have empowering impact in building political and administrative will in favour of the marginalised. The statutory bodies of legislators and House committees are not regularly meeting to review the issues. 

The political parties are not addressing these issues; rather they are cornered within cells headed by people from respective communities specially made for women, SC and ST within the parties. This has been downsizing the general concern and social importance of the issues. In a backward State like Odisha with a sizable marginalised population, the mindset of the opinion makers, media, CSOs and academics in building support around the issues is more important to influence political and administrative will of the State. Women, Dalit and Adivasi organisations should work together with common strategy to improve the effective implementation of protective laws which will have wider impact on Government and public. In order to implement the provisions, financial allocation is most important and in this regard, the State Government should implement gender, Dalit and tribal budgeting formula to ensure proper allocation of financial resources for the protection and developmental activities for women, SCs and STs. Consumption of liquor and all other intoxicants should be banned in the State. Along with enforcement of existing protective laws, development programmes, Odisha needs new social legislation to address varieties of social issues which are not being included under the existing protective laws and to bring radical a social change.

News monitored by AMRESH & AJEET