Dalits Media Watch
News Updates 11.08.15
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The Times Of India
Haryana: Either let us protest peacefully or send us to Pakistan, says dalits - DNA
Quota sought for Dalit Christians - The Hindu
SC/ST PANEL ORDERS FIR AGAINST AI EXECUTIVE - Mumbai Mirror
'Missing' manual scavengers - The Hindu
Karamchari andolan cries foul - The Hindu
NHRC notice to State on denial of Hudhud relief - The Hindu
Sort out SC staff promotion issue, panel tells RINL - The Hindu
Note: Please find attachment for DMW Hindi (PDF)
The Times Of India
SANGRUR: Stalked by four upper caste youths for over a fortnight, a 16-year-old dalit girl set herself afire at a village in Punjab's Sangrur district. The girl, with 75% burns, is battling for life at Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh.
The minor girl, a class X student, had attempted immolation on August 5 but the incident came to light on Monday, when her brother approached the media.
In a video clip, recorded by her brother in the hospital, the girl revealed that she had taken the extreme step following harassment by four youths daily on way to the bus stand from where she boarded the bus to her school.
"They had been harassing me for the past 15-20 days. They would pass comments, chase me and then circle me in group. Such were their remarks and comments that I can't even tell you," she said.
She revealed that three of the four youths belonged to her village while one was from a neighbouring village. "I didn't tell this to my parents as I feared they would stop me from going to school. I wished to become a doctor and never wanted to discontinue my studies," she said.
Her elder brother, who is on her bedside at PGIMER, alleged that his sister set herself ablaze on August 5, when one of the youths grabbed her hand while returning from school.
"She studies in a school located 9 km away. The four youths used to stalk her on the road and even on the bus. She was depressed for the past two weeks. We had asked her what was bothering her but she never disclosed anything. On August 5, she was alone at home when she poured kerosene and set herself afire. She did not utter a word for the next three days. Later, she disclosed her ordeal to me," her brother told TOI.
He also alleged that the police were reluctant to record his sister's statement in the hospital. He said as his sister was not able to speak till Saturday night, they were not certain what happened to her. When she gathered courage to speak about the incident on Sunday, he called up Sangrur police. "However, they said they were busy with the chief minister's visit to Dhadogal village in Sangrur district. On Monday, I again called up the cop who is investigating the case. Then he said he was busy in a court case. Nobody turned up till Monday evening," the youth told TOI.
Police, however, said they immediately responded to the call from the girl's brother. A DSP-level officer said, "Police visited the family earlier, but they were not clear what happened. The girl was not able to speak then. However, we again received a call on Monday and our officer immediately informed a magistrate, who recorded her statement in the evening."
Haryana: Either let us protest peacefully or send us to Pakistan, says dalits
Tuesday, 11 August 2015 - 7:20am IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: dna | From the print edition
Two of the demonstrators received serious head injuries but are said to be out of danger.
Dalits from Haryana, who had converted to Islam, were allegedly attacked on Sunday, with two of them receiving serious head injuries Manit dna
Dalits from Haryana's Bhagana village, who are currently camping here at Jantar Mantar, were allegedly assaulted by some miscreants late on Sunday night, a day after they converted to Islam during a demonstration against alleged persecution by upper caste Jat community.
Two of the demonstrators received serious head injuries but are said to be out of danger. According to officials, six others also received minor injuries and were immediately taken to a local hospital. A couple of volunteers belonging to AAP's rebel faction also got injured in the midnight drama after they protested against the alleged attack.
The volunteers, who setting up a stage for a farmer's rally on Monday morning, called Swaraj Abhiyan leader Yogendra Yadav, to the spot at around 11.30am. Yadav said the police instead of protecting the demonstrators, resorted to violence against Swaraj Abhiyan workers.
"I do not wish to make an issue between police and our workers. But the fact is our workers were setting up the stage when they saw some men armed with lathis intimidating demonstrators from Bhagana. Naturally they told them to stop but instead of that, the attackers chased us and brutally beat the demonstrators. All this happened in front of the police," Yadav said adding that the workers had recorded the incident on their mobile phones.
Demonstrators told dna that 10-15 people in plain clothes, carrying batons arrived at the site at around 11 pm on Sunday. Satish Kalja was among the demonstrators who was by then had slept in the makeshift tent which established. Kalja converted to Islam on Saturday along with other members of his community.
"They told us that they were cops and ordered us to leave the area immediately. I told them that either let us protest peacefully or send us to Pakistan," said 34-year-old Kajla who now prefers to be called Abdul Kalam.
According to other demonstrators, it was at this moment when one of the attackers used his baton to hit Kajla. Jagdish, who is now Omar Abdullah, said, "They didn't leave the women. Abhiyan people came to rescue but they were also hit. Police did intervene after some time but only to hit us."
A senior police officer posted in the New Delhi district rubbished the allegations. "Our officers were on duty all night and when they heard the commotion they quickly took action. The miscreants ran away using the cover of the night. We are looking into the matter," said the officer. The officer said so far no FIR had been registered into the case.
The demonstrators have been camping at after the brutal gang rape of four Dalit girls in Bhagana village in 2014. At the heart of the conflict lies the struggle over the land and it's use and ownership by the poor which has been grabbed by the dominant castes. In 2012, Dalit families were forced to leave their village and move to Hisar district of Haryana after an alleged attack by upper caste groups.
Quota sought for Dalit Christians
Members of All India Christian Council led by Bishop Udumula Bala took out a rally and staged a demonstration at Ambedkar statue to observe 'Black Day'.
They demanded reservations for Dalit Christians which they say were denied by the 1950 Presidential Order.
The Dalits, who were converted into other religions were denied privileges and rights guaranteed by the Constitution. Public interest litigation was filed in the Supreme Court, which was pending.
Meanwhile, the successive governments agreed to extend reservations to Dalits, who were converted into other religions, but it remained a mere promise over the decades, said council secretary Franklin Sudhakar.
SC/ST PANEL ORDERS FIR AGAINST AI EXECUTIVE
The Parliamentary Committee on the Welfare of Scheduled Caste and Schedule Tribes has ordered the police to register a case against the national carriers' executive director, in-flight services, for alleged harassment of a cabin crew member.
Om Prabha Salhotra, an airhostess with Air India, had in 2014 filed a fatigue report alleging that Flight Duty Time Limits (FDTL) laid down by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) were not followed and horizontal rest was not provided.
The airhostess alleged that filing of the fatigue report did not go well with the management and executive director Harpreet Singh, who pressured her to withdraw the report, failing which they derostered (took her off) her from all flight duties.
Alleging that this amounted to illegally depriving an individual of her right to earn an living and fundamental right to earn, Salhotra in her complaint to the parliamentary committee claimed that she spent a year trying to reason with the airline before moving the committee as Air India's action against her was also against the dignity of women, especially scheduled caste women.
An Air India spokesperson sought adequate time to get the facts before responding. Salhotra was unavailable for comment. Delhi police commissioner Bhim Sain Bassi confirmed the developments. "We have received directives of the parliamentary committee and a case has been registered accordingly," he said.
Airline sources said that Singh along with the airline chairman-and managing-director Rohit Nandan had been summoned by the parliamentary committee and that they had both had appeared before it.
"We are however given to understand that they were unsatisfied by the airline's submissions leading to its order for a police complaint," an airline official said.
This is not the first time that the cabin crew under the aegis of the All India Cabin Crew Association has complained against Harpreet Singh to forums including the DGCA.
A senior management official said, "It is evident that complaints have been filed maliciously, to sabotage the image of the airline. These are elements affected by the management's efforts to enforce discipline." Singh was earlier in the scanner for partying while a flight was delayed and when her daughter occupied the pilot's bunker on a flight from Newark in early 2015.
'Missing' manual scavengers
The bulk of manual scavengers who are engaged in cleaning night soil in rural pockets of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are found missing in the recently released Socio Economic Caste Census-2011 data.
In an irony of sorts, the SECC has enumerated just 356 manual scavengers in the two States that as per census-2011, have 2.28 lakh insanitary latrines out of which 10,357 are serviced manually.
In contrast, records with the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (as quoted by a research document prepared by the Lok Sabha Secretariat Research unit in 2013), reveal that a total of 45,822 people who clean the night soil in AP and Telangana are beneficiaries of various welfare schemes that are applicable for manual scavengers. The figures were drawn from survey done during the implementation of the National Scheme for Liberation and Rehabilitation of Scavengers from 1992 to 2005 during which 7.70 lakh such workers and their dependents were identified.
The disparity in figures has come as a shock for social scientists and Planning Commission experts as census 2011 ranked the two States high among others that have insanitary latrines. AP and Telangana are just behind West Bengal that has 2.81 lakh insanitary latrines and Jammu and Kashmir with 2.56 lakh such latrines.
A.P. and Telangana together have 1.65 lakh insanitary latrines in which night soil is disposed into open drains and 10,357 that are cleaned by those employed for the work, census-2011 data reveals. The States also have 52,767 latrines that are kept clean using scavenging animals even as some of these are cleaned manually from time to time.
Former member of the Planning Commission and former secretary, Government of India, N.C. Saxena noted, "Disparity in figures could be the result of poorly done enumeration. Enumerators could have collected data through indirect sources instead of direct enumeration. A large chunk of the population has gone missing as per the preliminary look of it," Mr. Saxena, quoting from his research article about the disparity, said. As per a frugal estimate, if at least one person is engaged in servicing 10 of the dry latrines that are to be manually cleaned the count of manual scavengers would have been at 1,035. Fissures in the data could adversely affect the missing members of the community who could have fallen under the SECC's category of "automatic inclusion" if they were enumerated.
No of Manual Scavengers
As per Ministry of justice and empowerment
As per SECC
Jammu and Kashmir
Karamchari andolan cries foul
Is the figure of 1.8 lakh for manual scavengers in India, as revealed by the Socio Economic and Caste Census, an accurate estimation?
Perhaps not, as the omission of urban manual scavengers in the survey design stage itself may have potentially brought down the overall numbers of manual scavengers.
After the 2013 law on rehabilitation of manual scavengers was passed, the new definition of manual scavengers, included the categories -- septic tank cleaners, sewerage cleaners and railway track cleaners.
Urban local bodies across the country can be seen employing men to enter sewer holes to remove blocks in them, especially after the rains, as these tasks have not been mechanised by most municipalities.
Further, sewerage infrastructure in urban areas is poorly maintained. Many persons entering sewer holes to clean them have been found to die from asphyxiation or contract serious illnesses such as leptospirosis.
"Leaving out urban and semi-urban areas from the ambit of the SECC while enumerating manual scavengers is a deliberate effort to erase them from official statistics,"says Bezwada Wilson, national convenor of the Safai Karamchari Andolan, who fought a Supreme Court case to eradicate the practice.
NHRC notice to State on denial of Hudhud relief
Based on a complaint filed alleging that social exclusion occurred in providing relief and rehabilitation to the Hudhud-affected in the north coastal districts, the National Human Rights Commission has issued a notice to the State Government.
According to Dalit Bahujan Sramik Union general secretary P Chittibabu, some NGOs had carried out a survey and brought it to the notice of the commission that 2020 families, most of them belonging to Dalit and BC categories, did not get relief. It also mentioned some common issues.
The commission in its notice dated June 20 asked the Chief Secretary to submit an action taken report within four weeks.
Meanwhile, the State Government on Monday issued a revalidation order for disbursal of Rs.10.46 crore to Visakhapatnam district towards distribution of relief towards damage caused to houses, household articles, pushcarts and other assets due to Cyclone Hudhud.
Sort out SC staff promotion issue, panel tells RINL
The RINL, corporate entity of the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, was given one month to sort out the decade-old issue of promotions of 284 SC employees.
National Commission for Scheduled Castes member P.M. Kamalamma told the media here on Monday that in case the RINL was not able to find an amicable settlement for the issue, the commission would constitute a committee to suggest a solution.
The member gave the direction after a detailed discussion with the steel plant management and failed to get any solution to the issue concerning the SC employees who were not given promotions even after the law was passed on the Rule of Reservation in promotions. Also the SC promotees were denied new scales and were not given pay protection in promotion, she noted with dismay.
The SC Commission member interacted with some 30 SC associations from a number of organisations. She took representations from them on the implementation of the Rule of Reservation for SCs in the organisations and said that the commission would study them and take it up with respective managements.
She faulted the Government for discontinuing scholarships to SC students studying in distance mode. She also criticised the colleges for asking SC students to pay the fee upfront and take reimbursement from the Government.
In many colleges the managements were taking an additional amount up to Rs 10,000 from SC students despite the fact that the Government was paying the entire fee of SC students. In Andhra University no SC person was appointed to a focal post since its inception, she said.
In the district there was no SC tahsildar or SHO, she noted and expressed displeasure over the poor implementation of SC (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. She also said that SCs were not getting priority in award of contracts for scavenging work. EPDCL was not following the Rule of Reservation and roster system.
News monitored by AMRESH & AJEET