Dalits Media Watch
News Updates 20.08.15
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· Khap panchayat's diktat: Rape sisters to avenge their brother's action - Zee News
· Two suffocate to death in Bengaluru manhole - Zee News
· Karnataka records highest rate of atrocity cases - The Hindu
· Steep rise in Dalit murders in 2014 - The Hindu
· In Seshasamudram, perpetrators cut across party lines - The Hindu
· The Times Of India
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Khap panchayat's diktat: Rape sisters to avenge their brother's action
Last Updated: Wednesday, August 19, 2015 - 17:04
Zee Media Bureau
Ghaziabad: Khap Panchayat is once again in news for wrong reasons. A young Dalit womanhas moved the Supreme Court against a Khap Panchayat in Uttar Pradesh for issuing diktat that she and her sister be raped and paraded naked in their village as revenge for their brother's action of eloping with a married girl from the Jat community.
The 23-year-old Dalit girl from Bhagpat district in her petition to the SC has sought protection for her and her family.
According to the girl, her brother Ravi and a Jat girl were in love but were forcefully separated after the girl's family married her off to someone else in February. The girl later escaped from in-laws home and eloped with Ravi onMarch 22. Though the boy and the girl had surrendered after Ravi's family was allegedly tortured by police and members of the Jat community, the Khap panchayat decided that the boy's family should be dishonoured to avenge the brother's deed.
The girl in her complaint to the Apex court has also mentioned that their family home in the village was ransacked and taken over by the Jat community members following which they escaped to Delhi.
According to reports, the court has now issued notice to UP government seeking its response in the matter within two weeks.
Two suffocate to death in Bengaluru manhole
Last Updated: Tuesday, August 18, 2015 - 23:42
"The incident occurred when one of the victims -- Prasanna and Sethu -- entered to clean the clogged manhole but fell into the slush and got stuck. The second victim climbed down to rescue the other but also got buried," the official told IANS.
Though the city fire brigade lifted the two from the manhole and rushed them to a private hospital, doctors declared them dead.
The manhole is located behind the official residence of Health Minister UT Khader in Jayamahal area across the sprawling Bangalore Palace grounds.
The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), which hired the two workers to clean the overflowing manhole, ordered an inquiry into the incident.
The civic corporation`s sanitation workers association blamed the BBMP contractor for the tragic death of its members.
Elections to 198 wards of the BBMP are due on August 22.
Karnataka records highest rate of atrocity cases
Karnataka recorded the highest rate of cases under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act in the country during 2014.
Though the State stands third in terms of the number of atrocity cases registered, preceded by Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, the rate of atrocity cases — number of cases per one lakh population of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes people — has given Karnataka the dubious distinction. The State stood third in terms of the rate of atrocity cases and fourth in terms of the number of cases during 2013.
This indicates the dual process of increasing number of caste conflict cases in the State and also increased awareness and resistance by Dalits, argued Indhudhar Honnapura, a Dalit activist and editor of Samvada, a monthly magazine.
Officials in the Social Welfare Department and the Police Department, however, said greater awareness among these sections of society had led to increased reporting of atrocity cases in the last few years.
"Not that these atrocities were not committed earlier. But incidents like denial of haircut in Koppal, Ballari and Tumakuru districts, and stigma towards Dalit cooks in a school in Mysuru district were confronted with resistance from Dalits and these cases were widely reported," an official said.
However, Mr. Honnapura said, "Caste conflict cases in the State are on the rise and so is the apathy of the State machinery. Recently, two Dalits were allegedly sacrificed in Chamarajanagar district. But till now no action has followed," he said, and added that accused in atrocity cases were easily getting bail of late and the conviction rate in such cases was the lowest, and this had made the law ineffective and those with such a bent of mind to act with impunity.
He, however, agreed that reporting of atrocity cases in Hyderabad Karnataka districts and other backward districts of north Karnataka had steadily increased over the recent years as the communities have become organised and more aware.
Steep rise in Dalit murders in 2014
Tamil Nadu saw a disconcerting rise in the number of Dalits murdered in 2014, even though the overall incidence of crime against the Scheduled Caste (SC) community has dropped.
The latest crime figures released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) reveal that the situation in Tamil Nadu is as bad as it is in several Northern States with respect to murder of Dalits, with 72 such cases recorded in 2014. This is higher than Bihar, which registered 56 murders, and just below Madhya Pradesh with 80 cases under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code.
In 2013, 28 Dalits were murdered in Tamil Nadu. There were also 52 SC victims of attempt-to-murder cases in the State.
The data says the 72 murder victims came from 43 incidents, indicating prevalence of mob attacks or clashes. Bihar, for example, had 56 victims from the same number incidents.
Thirty-three Dalit women were raped in Tamil Nadu in 2014, compared to 28 in 2013. There was a lone attempt-to-rape case.
The overall picture though provided a positive trend, with the incidence of crimes against Dalits dropping from 1,845 in 2013 to 1,546 in 2014. The NCRB data used the Census 2011 figures for population of Dalits, which was pegged at 1.4 crore for Tamil Nadu.
Calling the increase in murders of Dalits a "disturbing trend", Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi leader D. Ravikumar said Dalits faced huge hardship in getting cases registered.
At a recent public hearing conducted by the National Scheduled Caste Commission, many pointed to a high rate of acquittals in cases registered under the Prevention of Atrocities Act.
"There have already been questions raised on the number of farmer suicides the NCRB reported. I feel there is a clear case of underreporting," he said.
In Seshasamudram, perpetrators cut across party lines
The Independence Day attack on houses of Dalits in Seshasamudram village has reiterated a growing trend in which perpetrators of caste violence seem to transcend political affiliations.
Police officials handling the case, in which houses of Dalits were burnt, said the seventy and odd persons held for the clash included sympathisers of most major political parties, including DMK, AIADMK and PMK.
"We are in the process of ascertaining the exact background of these people. Initially, we have found that there are persons from a number of parties," a senior Villupuram police officer said. Experts point out that even during the Dharmapuri clashes in 2012, a similar trend was observed. "In our experience in fact finding, we observe that in caste violence, mobilisation cuts across party lines. The idea is to cause maximum damage," said writer Stalin Rajangam.
In fact, the absconding mastermind of the Seshasamudram clash, who happens to be a Panchayat president, is a DMDK member.
Interestingly, the attacks on Dalits are yet to be condemned officially by the AIADMK and the DMK, the two major offshoots of the Dravidian movement.
While DMK treasurer M.K. Stalin chose to highlight the data relating to murders of Dalits in a statement on Wednesday, there had been no remark on the Villupuram incident.
"The problem now is electoral politics. The parties have reaped the benefits of using caste as a mobilising tool at the local level. This type of politics results in the crude silence you witness to caste clashes," says C. Lakshmanan, professor at the Madras Institute of Development Studies. He points out that even during the murder of Dalit youth Gokulraj in Salem, no strong direct action or protests were undertaken by the Dravidian parties.
The Times Of India