Dalits Media Watch
News Updates 13.07.15
Dalit's 'custodial death' turning into political issue - Business Standard
Gokulraj Was Strangulated, Stabbed on Neck - The New Indian Express
The Times Of India
State SC-ST commission summons PCMC chief - Pune Mirror
SC Christians Allege Caste Discrimination - The New Indian Express
The Times Of India
Note : Please find attachment for DMW Hindi (PDF)
Dalit's 'custodial death' turning into political issue
KOCHI, JULY 12:
The death of a Dalit youth, allegedly due to custodial torture, is threatening to snowball into a political issue in view of the upcoming panchayat-municipal elections in Kerala.
While all political parties have come out to condemn the death of 40-year-old Sibi of Marangttupilly in Kottayam district, the Left Democratic Front has called for a hartal on Monday.
Sibi, arrested on June 29 evening by the Marangattupailly police for a drunken brawl, had allegedly been tortured in police custody.
He died in the medical college hospital at Kottayam after being in intensive care for days. He had suffered fatal injuries to the brain.
The police had got Sibi, who had collapsed unconscious, admitted to a government hospital. As his condition turned worse, he was taken to the medical college hospital. The police, who initially claimed that Sibi had collapsed because of high blood pressure, later alleged that the death was due to an injury caused in a brawl with a teenager.
A 16-year-old boy was booked for attempted murder, which drew sharp ridicule from child welfare organisations and political parties.
Following the death, the station house officer has been suspended, a crime branch investigation is on and the Kerala State Human Rights Commission has filed a suo motu case of custodial torture.
Sibi's death, along with the attempt to pass the blame to a teenager, has put the police, Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala and the Oommen Chandy Government on the defensive, particularly with local body elections just three months away.
The New Indian Express
Gokulraj Was Strangulated, Stabbed on Neck
Published: 13th July 2015 04:08 AM Last Updated: 13th July 2015 04:08 AM
NAMAKKAL: Investigations have been brought to light that the Dalit youth, Gokulraj, was strangulated and stabbed on the neck before his body was left on the railway track by a gang of four led by Yuvaraj, the founder of Dheeran Chinnamalai Gounder Peravai, a fringe caste outfit.
During interrogations, two of the main accused -- Sankar, a resident of Konganapuram in Salem district, and Kumar Aka Sivakumar, who was taken into police custody after surrendering before a court in Srivaikundam -- were stated to have confessed to the police how the gang had finished off the young Dalit engineer hailing from Omalur in Salem.
Yuvaraj, accompanied by Arun, Namakkal district president of the outfit, and Kumar, Salem district president, abducted Gokulraj who was spotted with a caste Hindu girl at Sri Arthanareewarar Temple atop the hillock in Thiruchengode on June 23. They separated the girl and sent her back to her house with the help some other acquaintances, who were later nabbed by police, before taking him blindfolded to the foot hills, a police official said.
Narrating the incidents leading to the murder, he said, "Later, they were joined by Shankar, Arulsenthil and Selvakumar when Gokulraj was taken to Sankagiri in Yuvaraj's car."
They shifted Gokulraj to a jeep whose number plates were duplicated before taking him to the Orukamalai hill temple. There he was forced to write a suicide note and recorded his voice stating that he was going to end his life as he was frustrated over love and betraying girls".
Both the key accused stated that Gokulraj was boarded on the jeep and was taken to a secluded place along the railway track near SPB Colony in Pallipalayam.
While Arulsenthil and Selvakumar were guarding the jeep, Yuvaraj strangulated Gokulraj with a string of cloth while Kumar, Arun and Sankar overpowered him by holding his limbs together before taking him to the railway track, the official stated. Subsequently, Yuvaraj, Sivakumar and Arun stabbed the young Dalit's neck one after another while Sankar was keeping vigil in the place. Ensuring the young engineer was dead, they fled the scene and went on hiding.
The incident came to light only after a rag picker sighted the body on June 24 and informed a railway worker. Although the police initially presumed Gokulraj could have died after being run over by a train, the postmortem report stated that he died of multiple injuries, strongly indicating murder.
The police altered the case to murder (Section 302 of IPC) from 174 suspicious death under CrPC following the postmortem report.
The murder of Gokulraj evoked widespread outrage and condemnation from certain political parties and Dalit organisations and human rights groups. They called for enacting a special law to strongly deal with such honour killing perpetrated by chauvinistic caste-groups.
The Times Of India
JAISALMER: A day after a Dalit RTI activist-cum-school teacher, Baburam, was kidnapped, assaulted and dumped near Indira Gandhi Canal by a few youths in Ranau area of Jaisalmer, the police struggled to make any headway in the investigation. As all the suspected men behind the incident who even shaved the victim's head and forced him to drink urine continue to remain elusive, RTI activists in the area alleged that it will further embolden the mafia and corrupt people who are exposed by the activists.
People from Meghwal community from Ramgarh and nearby villages gathered at the Ramgarh police station and protested. Heavy police force was deployed to control the situation. Police officials said around half a dozen teams have been sent to canal area and other deserted areas to track the culprits and till now no arrests have been made.
Baburam is currently admitted in a hospital in Jodhpur and his condition is stated to be critical. The victim got mass support as the markets in Jaisalmer's Ramgarh town remained closed for half a day as a mark of protest against the incident.
One Aduram filed a complaint in the police station saying that his brother Baburam was returning from school to home. He was near Ranau village when about a dozen men, some of them identified as Bhoor Singh, Madan Singh, Kump Singh, Ganga Singh, Ganga Singh, Diwan Singh, Sumerpal, Gambhir Singh, Hokum Singh, Ganga Singh and Ram Singh, came in an SUV and kidnapped Baburam. They took him to a deserted area, broke his hands and legs and later shaved his head and forced him to drink urine.
Based on the report, the police lodged a case against the named culprits. The town was closed for half a day to protest against Baburam's assault on the request of Meghwal community. Meanwhile, social activist Kishan Giri, sarpanch Govind Bhargava, Mathradas Khatri, Kundan Lal Soni and others met SP and demanded for an impartial probe and early arrest of culprits. In the report, it was said that the teacher and RTI activist Baburam had raised issues, which had affected many people and these people were involved in the case. Baburam had raised 24 cases of water theft and 40 cases related to real estate frauds.
SP Pachar said police are making all possible efforts to arrest the culprits and special teams have been sent to different places. At present no arrests have been made and soon culprits will be caught, the SP added.
Around 300 people of Rajput community took out a procession asking the police to not arrest innocent Rajput people in this case, do an impartial probe, immediately release those Rajputs who have been called for inquiry and submitted a memorandum to the SP. SP Rajjiv Pachar and other senior police and district administration officers camped at Ramgarh from Saturday.
In the memorandum, the people of Rajput community condemned the incident and said that action should be taken against the culprits. They said the activist had enmity with many people and in such a situation, there is a possibility that people who had beaten Baburam did this to malign the Rajput community. They said police should conduct impartial probe and arrest the culprits.
State SC-ST commission summons PCMC chief
By Vijay Chavan, Pune Mirror | Jul 13, 2015, 02.30 AM IST
Civic body has failed to give its sanitary staff basic equipment, which leads them to scavenge manually
Cracking the whip on Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) commissioner Rajeev Jadhav, the state commission for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes (SCST commission) has summoned him to appear at a hearing for not addressing the issues affecting sanitary staff.
The notice was served on Saturday after municipal authorities failed to submit a report on action taken to meet the staff's demands, even after four reminder letters were sent.
According to the notice sent by C L Thul, chairman of the SC-ST commission, Jadhav has been asked to attend a hearing on Thursday. Many sanitary staffers have resorted to manual scavenging in the absence of basic equipment (gumboots, hand gloves, soap, masks, sweaters) to clean drainage, manholes and nullahs. They also claim deprivation from welfare schemes meant for communities attached to the profession.
After there was no response from the PCMC's health department, Sagar Charan, president of the Safai Karmchari Tarkrar Niwaran Samiti of PCMC, wrote to the commission, complaining about the apathy. Later, the commission asked PCMC to submit a status report in this regard.
"The notice speaks for PCMC's approach towards its sanitatary staff, who are still engaged in scavenging. Issues like health insurance and rest rooms for women staffers have also been neglected," said Charan.
Meanwhile, Jadhav said, "I will look into the issue seriously and comply with the instructions."
The New Indian Express
SC Christians Allege Caste Discrimination
Published: 13th July 2015 04:09 AM Last Updated: 13th July 2015 04:09 AM
COIMBATORE: Alleging caste discrimination and untouchability by the bishop, dioceses, churches and Christian institutions, a group of people belonging to the Scheduled Caste Christian community staged a protest at St Michael's Cathedral in Coimbatore, where 21 Bishops from 18 Dioceses were participating in the council meeting on Sunday.
They also alleged that Bishop Jebamalai Susaimanickam deliberately blocked Michael Raj from being appointed as deacon, thus blocking his chances of becoming a priest. The deacon is the position below the priest. The protesters demanded that Michael Raj be appointed as priest of the Sivagangai constituency.
They also alleged that, even though the scheduled caste Christian community constitutes 75 per cent of the total Christian population, they have been discriminated against and have not been allowed to participate in the decision making process in the church and dioceses.
"Michael Raj underwent training at a seminary for 12 years and was on the verge of being appointed deacon, which will make him eligible to become a priest soon. It would have been a proud moment for us, but he was sacked from the seminary without any reason," said PJ Xavier, one of the protestors.
Explaining the developments that led to his ouster, Michael Raj told Express, "There was a function at the seminary in Tiruchy to welcome the novices. The very next day, six mikes that were used for the function went missing. Later, the mikes were found in a well inside the seminary. I and five others were blamed for it and all six persons were sacked from the seminary. A few days later the culprits confessed and the authorities were forced to take back all the six." However, Michael Raj was asked to go abroad to practice as a priest and the other five were appointed as priests elsewhere, said Michael Raj.
He raised the question that if he could be a priest abroad, why shouldn't he get the opportunity here. "The dioceses and Bishop always discriminate us and it is the reason why 13 people who finished their training in various seminaries have not become priests," he added.
Staff from the Bishop's office told Express that there was no logic behind the allegations. They said the Bishop would convene a press conference on Wednesday to clear all concerns.
The Times Of India
On behalf of
Dalits Media Watch Team
(An initiative of "Peoples Media Advocacy & Resource Centre-PMARC")
Peoples Media Advocacy & Resource Centre- PMARC has been initiated with the support from group of senior journalists, social activists, academics and intellectuals from Dalit and civil society to advocate and facilitate Dalits issues in the mainstream media. To create proper & adequate space with the Dalit perspective in the mainstream media national/ International on Dalit issues is primary objective of the PMARC.