Dalits Media Watch
News Updates 07.09.15
Cops blame RSS man for clashes - The Times Of India
Baghpat khap row: 2 months after HC orders his bail, Dalit man still in jail - The Times Of India
Cops pick dalit youths, villagers protest - The Times Of India
PU, two other institutes to study caste-based conflict in Haryana - The Hindustan Times
Amnesty plea on khap rape diktat gets over 2.6 lakh signatures - The Times Of India
Congress top leadership divided over caste reservation - The Eco Of India
The Stream - India's 'untouchables' reclaim the past with #DalitHistoryMonth
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Dalits fume over fine on their women for entering temple in Karnataka
Upper caste people have restricted entry of Dalits into Sri Basaveshwara Temple at Sigaranahalli in Holenarasipur taluk. Photo by Special Arrangement.
The Scheduled Castes community at Sigaranahalli in Holenarsipur taluk is furious after the 'upper caste' people of the village imposed a penalty on four Dalit women for entering a temple.
The women have refused to pay the penalty arguing that they too have rights to enter the temple as they contribute money to organise its festival.
When The Hindu visited the village on Sunday, Thayamma, in her late 50s, came down heavily on the 'upper castes' for questioning her entry into the Sri Basaveshwara Temple, constructed in 2001. It was on August 31 that the four women entered the temple for a special puja held on behalf of Sri Basaveshwara Stree Shakti Sangha, a self-help group consisting of 20 members.
"There were about nine women from the Vokkaliga community and four from Dalit families. Devaraja, a Vokkaliga, raised his voice opposing our entry into the temple. He said SCs are not allowed in the temple. I questioned him. He attempted to beat one of us," said Thayamma, a former member of the Hariharpur Gram Panchayat. The next day, the 'upper caste' people held a meeting and resolved to impose a penalty of Rs. 1,000 on the self-help group, besides insisting that the sangha hold rituals meant for 'purification' of the temple, arguing that it had lost its 'sanctity' with the entry of the SC women.
Sigaranahalli is about 2-km away from Haradanahalli, the native place of the former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda. A few years ago, a community hall was built here by the Hassan Zilla Panchayat.
Mr. Deve Gowda also contributed funds from his MP Local Area Development Fund. But now, the community hall has been converted into Vokkaliga Bhavan, restricting the entry of Dalits.
Thayamma recalled that she was denied permission to organise her daughter's marriage in the community hall in 2001. "They did not handover the keys of the hall, though they had earlier agreed to rent it out. It was a tough time for me. I had to organise the marriage outside my house," she said.
Padmamma, another woman in the Scheduled Castes colony, said last year a teenage boy, who had gone inside the community hall to have food at a function organised by the 'upper caste' people, was driven out mercilessly. "The hall was built using government funds. We Dalits do not have an alternative place to hold our programmes. We need the right to enter community hall," she added.
When The Hindu brought the issue to the notice of N.R. Purushottam, district social welfare officer, said restricting the entry of Dalits into a temple or a community hall amounts to violation of laws. "I will get details from the people concerned and take appropriate action," he said.
The Times Of India
Cops blame RSS man for clashes
Uday Rana,TNN | Sep 6, 2015, 11.00 PM IST
MEERUT: Police say they suspect Arun Jindal, an RSS pracharak hurt inSaturday's clashes at Haathikhana area of Lalkurti, to be the man behind the violence that broke out as Janmashtami was celebrated. Policemen are now on alert and taking no chances as WhatsApp messages have been circulating, calling people to join a "mahaarti" at the very site of the violence.
Two platoons of the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) have been deployed in the area. Four police pickets have been set up.
"There was disagreement over where idols would be placed for Janmashthami aarti. One side wanted to place them at Haathikhana Crossing. Only two families in the area are from the majority community. Most of the shops and houses near the crossing belong to people from the other community. The disagreement snowballed into a clash," SP (City) Om Prakash told TOI.
He said Meerut had been roiled by clashes at this time last year too. "Last year there was violence over the same issue in this area. It was decided that idols would not be placed near the communally sensitive Haathikhana Crossing. We have a document signed by local residents from both communities, agreeing that they would not place idols there. However, we got information that preparations were being made for aarti this year. We sent senior police officers, including assistant superintendent of police (ASP) Sankalp Sharma, to the spot to dissuade people from fomenting trouble. However, Arun Jindal defied the police and chose that very spot for the aarti. He does not even live near the crossing. We anticipated that there would be some trouble, so we posted two constables and a sub-inspector there. We were proved right, and we needed to rush a force to the area once clashes erupted."
Om Prakash said he suspected that Jindal was behind the WhatsApp messages that invite people to gather for a mahaarti at the very site of the violence. "We have not booked him yet but we may do so after a meeting of top police officers," he said.
Speaking to TOI, Jindal said "religious freedom" was his right. "In a free country like India, do we need permission to pray to the gods we believe in? This is not Pakistan. This is India. It is a free country. When we were organizing the 'aarti', some people from another community came and told us that we could not do so since they were in a majority in the area. That is not logic that works in a secular country." He also denied having anything to do with the WhatsApp messages about the "mahaarti".
Meanwhile, the man accused of beating Jindal has been taken into custody.
Pradeep Kumar Tripathi, station officer at Lalkurti police station, said, "Jindal was attacked by about 30 people. We booked the accused under Sections 147 (punishment for rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object) and 153 (wantonly provoking riot) of the IPC and Section 310 of the SC/ST Act."
The Times Of India
Baghpat khap row: 2 months after HC orders his bail, Dalit man still in jail
Pankul Sharma,TNN | Sep 6, 2015, 11.02 PM IST
MEERUT: The Dalit man who allegedly eloped with a married Jat woman from Sankrod village of Baghpat district is still behind bars even after the Allahabad high court issued his bail orders on June 25. According to sources, his family couldn't arrange the two guarantors that were needed for him to be freed. Besides, he also fears a threat to his life and feels safer in prison, sources said.
The matter has gained international attention with Amnesty International publishing an online petition to save the man's sisters who were allegedly sentenced to be raped and paraded naked in the village by a khap panchayat. Villagers as well as the district administration have denied that such a panchayat took place or such an order was ever passed.
According to the man's father, "My son eloped with the girl on April 10, but when he phoned me on April 22 and asked for money, I informed the police, who traced them and brought them back to the village. They eloped again on May 19 and on May 27 my son called me from Meerut. This time again I informed the police, who brought the couple to Baghpat. However, my son was booked under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act and sent to jail."
The father claimed that people from the Jat community are threatening to kill the Dalit man as soon as he comes out of jail. He also said that although the HC had ordered him to be bailed, due to fear of jats, no one was ready to be a guarantor, so he was still behind bars. "Last week, when we asked two villagers to be guarantors, they had agreed, but did not reach the court on time, so my son could not be released. I have asked some other people to help," the father added.
Talking to TOI over the phone, the man's elder brother said that the family would try to bail him out on Monday and hoped the guarantors they had arranged would accompany them without fear.
The Times Of India
Cops pick dalit youths, villagers protest
Amaninder Sharma,TNN | Sep 7, 2015, 11.54 AM IST
SANGRUR: A day after dalits in a Sangrur village made upper caste farmers tender an apology for allegedly passing vulgar comments against them and threatening them, sleuths from crime investigation agency (CIA) staff of Sangrur Police picked two dalit youths, one of whom was leading the agitation against members of the upper caste.
Lachhman Singh and Raju Singh from Namol village were picked by the police on Sunday and released after a few hours following dharna and blocking of traffic outside the office of Sunam deputy superintendent (DSP).
"Three members of upper caste community had openly threatened dalit families around four days ago after the latter objected to their frequent visits to a dalit locality in the village. A day later, an Akali leader visited home of Lachhman Singh and threatened his parents with dire consequences. On Sunday, he was picked up by police without any reason," said Jagseer Singh Namol, who ledSunday's protest.
Although the police maintained that they had rounded up the youths after receiving inputs of their involvement in a crime, villagers allege they were targeted as they were leading the agitation against rich peasants, who were led by a senior Akali leader from Sangrur district.
DSP Sunam Jagatpreet Singh, said, "The youth were picked up by CIA sleuths as they were suspecting their involvement in some crime. But now they have informed us that the youths are innocent and are being released."
Eighteen-year-old Raju Singh told TOI, "We had a scuffle with a boy around a month ago. He told the police that I possessed a pistol. CIA had picked me and tortured me to recover the pistol. However, they had released me after finding that I was innocent. Later, it had come to light that one of the boys in our group had a toy pistol, which the police assumed to be a real one. Despite this, cops picked us again to interrogate about it."
The Hindustan Times
PU, two other institutes to study caste-based conflict in Haryana
HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh Updated: Sep 07, 2015 09:52 IST
The Haryana government has requested Chandigarh-based Panjab University, the Centre for Research in Rural Development (CRRID) and Kurukshetra University to conduct sample surveys on the issue of caste-based conflicts in the state. The three institutions have been asked to send their recommendations to the state government.
This move comes in the wake of recommendations made by Justice (retd) Iqbal Singh Commission of Inquiry (CoI) in its report on Mirchpur violence in April 2010, tabled in the state assembly on September 4.
An elderly dalit Tara Chand and his teenaged handicapped daughter Suman were killed as their house was set ablaze in caste-related violence.
Several persons were also injured in the violent clashes between Balmikis and Jats communities.
The episode originated as a result of a petty altercation in village on April 19, 2010, when some upper caste youth passing through a Balimiki basti threw stones at a barking dog. This incident took an ugly turn on April 21 morning, when the two communities indulged in violent clashes with each other.
In its recommendations, the report said while research was essential for guiding policy-making and having action plans to effectively deal with such problem, there has been very little research on the issue of caste-based conflict in Haryana.
The report added that sample surveys should be held at regular intervals and data made available for analysis.
"Besides, the police and the court records should contain information on victims and the relationship of victims and offenders. A better understanding of victimisation — including the dynamics of the victim-offender relationship — and polarisation of the community will help in support services and providing justice,'' the commission
Recognise social boycotts as atrocity
The report said that officials should recognise social boycotts as a grave form of economic and social violence and a violation of livelihood rights, and was therefore, an atrocity under the SC &ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
The district collector should visit the village promptly and provide compensation, relief and a comprehensive rehabilitation packages. as provided under the SC and the ST Act.
The state government in its ATR said that all the deputy commissioners have been directed to recognise social boycotts as an atrocity under the SC and ST Act.
Doctors not trained in preparing MLRs
The inquiry report said that medical evidence recorded by the commission showed doctors were not well-trained with regards to medical examinations. "They have not shown the seat of injuries in the diagrams in the medico legal report (MLR) which is a major default on their part. There is a need to make them aware of this important aspect of medico-legal examination,'' the report said.
It also said that it was necessary to videograph the post mortem examination in cases of SC &ST Act.
With this collaborative medical evidence the case can be strengthened and it should be ensured that it is effectively produced. The licence of medical practitioner should be taken away in case of medical negligence, malpractice and destruction of evidence in the case of atrocities against dalit women, it recommendedx.
The state government in its ATR said that a manual had been prepared on post-mortem and medico-legal examination and all concerned have been instructed to prepare MLRs in a computerised formats.
Teachers asked to spot any caste unease
The state government also said that all educational institutions have been asked to be display notices regarding zero-tolerance on the issue of caste based division and discourage practice of disparity based on caste. Besides, teachers would be instructed to communicate with students during lectures to find out any anticipated situation where students from scheduled castes would feel caste based uneasiness.
'No atrocity-prone areas in state'
Responding to the Commission of Inquiry's (CoI's) recommendations, the state government in its action-taken report tabled in the state assembly said while the district magistrates had been directed to analyse the records of the cases registered under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act for the last five years and identify atrocity prone areas in the state but as per the information available no area in the state can be termed as atrocity prone area.
The CoI had recommended that in view of the increase in crime against dalits the state government was required to declare atrocity prone areas after conducting a survey.
The Times Of India
Amnesty plea on khap rape diktat gets over 2.6 lakh signatures
Pankul Sharma,TNN | Sep 6, 2015, 06.07 PM IST
MEERUT: An online petition to Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav by human rights group Amnesty International, seeking protection and justice for two Dalit sisters allegedly threatened with rape by a khap panchayat in Sankraund village of Baghpat district has so far gathered over 2.60 lakh signatures, mostly on its British website since the petition was launched last week. Meanwhile, from the vernacular press to the national media and even British public broadcaster BBC have reported that no such kangaroo court was held in Sankraund.
The story of ordering the rape of two Dalit sisters because their brother eloped with a Jat woman gained international attention after Amnesty International published a petition to save the girls. Meanwhile, the villagers of Sankraund village, across all the castes including Dalits reportedly said that no such panchayat had been held at the village.
Amnesty International launched its petition on August 24, in which it says: "Two Dalit sisters were ordered to be raped and paraded naked by an unelected all-male village council in Baghpat, Uttar Pradesh. Their house was ransacked and they are now in New Delhi, too scared to go home. Why are they being punished? Because their brother eloped with a married woman from a Jat (dominant caste) family."
Himanshi Matta from Amnesty International India told agencies that the petition called on the government to take all steps to ensure the safety of the family so they can return home and for an investigation into the rape order and prosecution if necessary.
According to Amnesty International, the petition to CM Akhilesh Yadav has so far attracted the attention of over 2,60,000 people. Only 17 people had signed the petition on Amnesty's India site till September 3, said Matta.
Meanwhile, BBC expressed its disappointment over the issue stating that the world is concentrating on something that did not happen instead of young people who cannot choose who they marry. The BBC reached out to Amnesty International only to discover the human rights organization did not confirm the story before they set up a petition.
"We have not been on the ground, we have not visited the village," explained spokesperson Gopika Bashi to BBC. Amnesty, however, stated that it has no plans to withdraw the petition. "We will continue to push for protection for the family," Bashi said.
The Eco Of India
Congress top leadership divided over caste reservation
Author: Nora Chopra , Sunday, 6 September, 2015
The Congress party is divided over the issue of reservations. As the RSS-backed anti-reservation movement of Hardik Patel is gaining momentum, it has the tacit support of a large section of the upper caste particularly, the Brahmin lobby in the Congress The over 130 year old Congress party has always been known to be an upper caste party with a brahmanical mind set. It was because of this mind set Ambedkar formed his own party. it was the Congress who stalled Jagjivan Ram from becoming prime minister of India forcing the dalit leader to walk out of the Congress and form his own party the CFD. The last time the country witnessed the anti-reservation movement when V P Singh implemented Mandal panel recommendations and the then Congress PM Rajiv Gandhi surrounded by upper caste leaders like Arun Nehru and Arun Singh unleashed a violent anti-Mandal movement. The BJP also known for its upper caste ideology realising the need of the hour tried to counter the Mandal uprising by the temple movement. But at the same time it started to promote OBC leaders. Kalyan Singh, Uma Bharati and even Narendra Modi were born in post mandal era. It was only after Sonia Gandhi took over as the Congress president that some realization dawned upon the leadership who fielded a whole lot of backward candidates in UP. But it was too late by then as there was total polarization of the OBC and the dalits behind Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mayawati. Recently the flag of revolt hoisted was by Janardhan Dwivedi who opposed the caste reservation. He favours economic reservation for all. This triggered a furore within the party forcing the Congress president snubbing him. But poor Dwivedi is not the only one in the party who is a votary of economic reservation. The party's Brahmin lobby is also supporting it. Anand Sharma in his off the record briefing recently came out openly in support of Hardik Patel. Manish Tewari too has come out openly opposing caste reservation.
L C GOYAL ACTED AT THE INSTANCE OF DOVAL
The so called Naga accord is just an MoU. It does not have either cabinet approval or the signature of the home minister. Sources in the home ministry claim that it was when the home minister Rajnath Singh raised the issue with the PM in the cabinet, it led to the sacking of the home secretary LC Goyal. LC Goyal's exit from the home ministry is said to be the result of the tussle between Rajnath and NSA Ajit Doval. Rajnath has won the first round by ensuring that Goyal who was working on behest of Doval and was keeping the minister in dark about the decisions that were taken by the ministry, should go. The final breaking point came when Rajnath was not informed of the so called Naga accord. He raised the issue with the PM in the cabinet and demanded the resignation of Goyal.
CONGRESS ORGANISATIONAL ELECTIONS POSTPONED
Rahul Gandhi's anointment to the top Congress post has been deferred to early next year. The organizational elections which were to be held in September this year are likely to get an extension and may now be held sometime next year. The membership drive has been suspended and so the status quo remains. Sonia Gandhi will continue to be the Congress president. The thinking in the party is that when the next round of elections take place in West Bengal, Kerala, Assam, Tamil Nadu and Punjab, Sonia should lead the party.
SHAKEEL AHMAD WORKING TO NEUTRALISE OWAISI IN BIHAR ELECTIONS
Shakeel Ahmad, Congress general secretary in charge of Punjab and the party spokesperson, is the man to watch. Though he is looking after Punjab he is totally focussed on Bihar. Shakeel Ahmad has always been famous as a Lalu man but in the last Lok Sabha elections when he was denied a ticket by Lalu from Madhubani, he had turned against Lalu and had been advocating for an alliance with Nitish Kumar. But now he has again changed track and is again back to Lalu court. He has predicted a total sweep for BJP and defeat for the Congress-JD-U and -RJD alliance. Meanwhile, he is also engaged in a badminton diplomacy with Asaduddin Owaisi. Owaisi is planning to field candidates in Bihar. His move, if translated into action, may cut into the Muslim votes, thus damaging the Nitish-led alliance. It is alleged that Owaisi is being funded by the BJP to damage Nitish. But for the last several months Congress has put Shakeel Ahmad to work on him. Shakeel plays badminton with Owaisi and perhaps is brainwashing him against putting up more Muslim candidates in Bihar.(IPA)
News monitored by AMRESH & AJEET
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.
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