Dalits Media Watch
News Updates 11.10.15
Police behaved inhumanly with Dalit family, says SC/ST panel - The Hindustan Times
Census counts just 4% SC, ST families with a member in a govt job - The Indian Express
Elangovan seeks White Paper on Dalits in prisons - The Hindu
The Times Of India
Inter-caste couples get aid from govt. - The Hindu
Note: Please find attachment for DMW Hindi (PDF)
The Indian Express
The silenced letter: 60-year-old Dalit rape victim fights to restore her SC name
In Tirunelveli, the Tamil Nadu district infamous for its cases of atrocities against lower castes, a 60-year-old rape victim fights, starting with the bid to restore her SC name
In Tirunelveli's caste maze, all it took was an 'a' to change the course of this 60-year-old's case. With the dropping of that letter from her name, the Dalit rape victim was passed off as a Christian, and the assault on her managed to escape the stringent SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act. Eighteen months later, she is still waiting for even a chargesheet to be filed against her alleged assailant, 27-year-old Chinna Durai, who belongs to an upper caste. While her medical examination confirmed rape and revealed serious injuries, she has not received any compensation. She doesn't remember the exact date of the rape, only that "it was the day after I had voted in the elections that brought (Narendra) Modi to power (April 25, 2014)". The 27-year-old, an alleged local sand mafia leader, reportedly entered her house in the Dalit hamlet of Alangulam, about 20 km from Tirunelveli town, dragged her out, and raped and beat her up. Alangulam is a village of dilapidated old homes, located down a road that branches off the four-lane Tirunelveli-Nagercoil road. The lush Western Ghats hang over the horizon. The 60-year-old lives alone in her single-room thatched house, which is located a little distance from the others. Her husband died long ago, while her son lives in Tirunelveli town with his family.
Only a few homes have power in the village, and hers is not one of them. OnApril 24 night, Durai allegedly entered through the backdoor. "The door is nothing but a tin sheet propped up against the opening," she says. "For the first few minutes, I was too dazed to know what was happening. When he began beating me, I tried to resist. I remember grabbing his cellphone and throwing it away. I also bit his hand hard," she says. "Then he threw me outside the house and stripped me." She claims Durai raped her over the next half an hour, before throwing her on some thorny bushes nearby and shouting, "Why are you not dead yet?" As he walked away to a bike parked nearby, the 60-year-old claims, Durai declared he was from Singikulam, a village dominated by upper castes. She somehow dragged herself to a house in the neighbourhood, she says, and lay there in a pool of blood till morning. Her son, a 30-year-old coolie worker, says he rushed home as soon as the neighbours called. It was he who found Durai's phone inside their home. "There were only three numbers saved in it. I dialled the first one," he says. According to him, the person who received the call identified himself as "the inspector" and asked: "Where are the sand lorries? Where are they? Not coming today?" They believe the person at the other end was Mohammad Iqbal, the Special Sub-Inspector at the Muneerpallam police station, whom they would approach soon after to get their rape complaint registered.
The son says when they went to the police station, Iqbal registered the case under the Tamil Nadu Protection of Women Harassment Act instead of the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, 1989. The SC/ST Act provides for enhanced punishment for atrocities committed on SCs, STs. "Iqbal also refused to give a receipt of the complaint and said I may be lying. 'Who will rape you at this age?' one officer asked me. When we handed over the evidence (the phone), Iqbal said he knew the accused and asked us to settle the matter. When we refused, he alleged I must have stolen the phone," the woman says. The 60-year-old spent the next four days at Tirunelveli general hospital. According to her, "The nurses too refused to believe I was raped. They ridiculed me, although I stood there bleeding till someone helped us get admission." After medical reports confirmed rape, a minor alteration was made in the case category and it was filed as an unnatural offence under Section 377 of the IPC. The woman says she then approached the district superintendent of police, who intervened to register it as a rape case. Her lawyer R Krishnan says, "That was the stage police altered her name, removing a letter in the FIR and cooking up a forged community certificate to project her as from a backward Christian community.
After I showed the alterations to the district collector, he ordered a probe by the revenue divisional officer. They found that she belongs to the Scheduled Caste Pallar community," he says. It was then that a case was finally registered under the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act. However, while rules say that in SC/ST Act cases, a chargesheet should be filed within 30 days, it is yet to be done in the case of the 60-year-old. Tirunelveli district is known for cases of violence against lower castes by Thevars, a politically powerful community. Over a hundred caste-related murders have been recorded in the recent past, with the victims mostly Dalits. Asked about the 60-year-old's case, Tirunelveli District Collector M Karunakaran expresses surprise, adding he would take immediate steps for a chargesheet to be filed. Muneerpallam police station officers deny trying to stall registration of a rape complaint while Iqbal, who continues to be a special sub-inspector, says he doesn't know the accused. Inspector Chandra Sekar claims it was the Revenue Department that "misguided" them with a false community certificate. "The case was handed over to the DSP at Cheranmahadevi after the SC/ST Act was invoked," he adds. "We have been waiting for lab reports from Madurai, which has delayed the chargesheet
The Hindustan Times
Police behaved inhumanly with Dalit family, says SC/ST panel
Updated: Oct 11, 2015 00:22 IST
The National SC/ST commission team that visited Dankaur on Friday for a fact-finding mission said that the local police behaved 'inhumanly' with the Dalit family.
"I have summoned the district police chief and the district magistrate onOctober 13 to inquire into the matter. I have written to Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, questioning the inhuman treatment meted out to the Dalit family whose land dispute stands unresolved for the past six years. Condition of Dalits in the state is deplorable as seen in this case," said PL Punia, chairman of national SC/ST commission.
The commission questioned why women constables or women officials were not deployed when the Dalit women were sitting on dharna against police inaction.
"The team in their report stated that male police constables were seen dragging the women. The police dealt with this case in an utterly insensitive manner. I will strongly take up the case with the UP chief minister," said Punia.
Meanwhile, the Dalit family from Dankaur in Greater Noida is yet to get bail after they were sent to judicial custody on Wednesday. Also, three minor children, who are too young to fend for themselves, were sent to jail along with their mothers.
"We met the senior superintendent of police, Gautam Budh Nagar and sent a letter to the district magistrate seeking the release of our family, including three young children. We also tried to take help from advocates but no one has been able to ensure the release of the family so far," the brother of the accused said.
Six other children of the two accused brothers are presently staying in their house at Atta Gujran village.
"For the past four days since they were sent to jail, nobody is home to feed and take care of the six children.
Three of them have fallen ill. We hope their parents are released at the earliest," said the 19-year-old nephew of the prime accused in the case.
The family, including three women and two men, had allegedly stripped naked in public on Wednesday.
They had alleged that one Mahavir Nagar had encroached upon a 2,000 square yard of their land located along Yamuna Expressway and the police had failed to act on their complaint. Nagar, however, said that he had not encroached upon the Dalit family's land.
The Indian Express
Census counts just 4% SC, ST families with a member in a govt job
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North has the highest share among ST households with a government-salaried member, at 16 per cent.
Only about 4 per cent each of rural Scheduled Tribe and Scheduled Caste households have a member in a government job, according to the findings of the Socio Economic and Caste Census 2011 released earlier this month.
Of the country's rural ST population of 1.96 crore households, 8.60 lakh — or 4.37% — are in government jobs, as compared to 3.96 per cent (13 lakh of 3.3 crore) among the SCs. The STs represent 11 per cent of the base rural population of 17.91 crore households, the SCs 18 per cent.
Zonewise, North has the highest share among ST households with a government-salaried member, at 16 per cent. North Zone comprises J&K, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab.
North is followed by the Union Territories at 14.97 per cent, the Northeast at 11 per cent, and West at 3.79 per cent. East has 2.80 per cent and South is at the bottom with 2.58 per cent. Surprisingly low in the list is Central Zone, which comprises states such as Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh with a substantial tribal population. In this zone, only 3.12 per cent ST households have someone in a government job.
Among the Scheduled Castes, the zone with the highest proportion of households with a government employee is the Union Territories, which comprise the National Capital Territory of Delhi, Chandigarh, Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Lakshadweep, Puducherry, Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
The UTs with 10.68 per cent are followed by North Zone, Northeast, West, South and East (see graphic).
Dalits and tribals in Rajasthan's villages follow a trend in keeping with the national one, despite over six decades of caste-based reservations. Rajasthan's 17.99 lakh ST households account for 17.64 per cent of the state's 1.02 crore households, and its 18.91 lakh rural SC households 18.51 per cent. A total 79,516 rural ST households, or 4.41 per cent, have a member in a government job. Among rural SC households, the count is 74,408, for 3.93 per cent.
As a proportion of the entire rural population in the state, ST households with a member in a government job account for only 0.78 per cent, while such SC households account for 0.73 per cent. The fact that the STs have a slightly higher representation could be attributed to the large number of Meena (ST) households sending members to government jobs.
Elangovan seeks White Paper on Dalits in prisons
Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president E.V.K.S. Elangovan on Saturdaydemanded a White Paper on the status of Dalits detained in Tamil Nadu prisons.
In a statement here, he said the White Paper must also have details of the attacks on Dalits in the State.
Quoting a recently released National Crime Records Bureau data on Prison Statistics, he said that of the 3,237 detenues (those arrested under preventive detention laws) in the country at the end of 2014, a total of 1,892, including 37 women, were in prisons in Tamil Nadu.
"The statistics show an increase in numbers from the previous yeas. This is a worrisome trend. If the truth is not presented, Dalits in the State would only throw out the Jayalalithaa-led government," he said.
The Times Of India
Inter-caste couples get aid from govt.
The scheme to provide financial assistance to those who have married across caste barriers has helped many families in Hassan.
Couples where one spouse belongs to the Scheduled Caste (SC) community get benefits under the untouchability eradication programme. The Social Welfare Department handed over cheques to 48 couple in a programme organised in Hassan on Thursday.
Last year, as many 96 couple benefited from the scheme. The couples get the benefit in two instalments: the first in cash and the second in the form of national savings certificate.
K.R. Devaraju and Sowmya of Hassan got married despite opposition from both families in July 2013. That year, the scheme included Rs. 50,000 of financial assistance for the couple when the husband belongs to SC community.
"We got the first instalment of Rs. 25,000 in 2014. That was helpful for us those days when we had no support. Now both of us are working on contract basis in different firms. We are expecting the government to release the second instalment," Devaraju said. The financial assistance was enhanced with effect from July 29, 2015. Inter-caste couples can now get Rs. 3 lakh, in case the wife is from the Scheduled Caste community and Rs. 2 lakh if the husband belonged to Scheduled Caste.
In 2014, the Social Welfare Department distributed Rs. 29 lakh to 96 couples. This year, Rs. 16 lakh was provided for 48 couples.
"The amount varies depending on the date they got married. The cash component has been revised twice in the last two years. Those who got married before 2013 get a maximum of Rs. 1 lakh, while those got married after July 2015 get up to Rs. 3 lakh," N.R. Purushottama, District Social Welfare Officer, toldThe Hindu on Saturday.
Among the 48 couples, 15 women belonging to Scheduled Castes had married men from other castes . "The applicants have to produce marriage certificate, income certificates, besides caste certificates to claim the benefit. The annual income of the couple should not exceed Rs. 50,000," Mr. Purushottam added.
News monitored by AMRESH & AJEET