Dalits Media Watch
News Updates 27.02.12
At condolence meet, Dalits put up a show of strength - Indian Express
Dalits flay cops for inordinate delay in solving cases - Deccan Herald
Fee for food coupons stirs protest - Daily Bhaskar
SC/ST staff to 'retaliate' if interests are hurt - Daily Bhaskar
SC panel reviews working conditions in public sector insurance firms - The Hindu
At condolence meet, Dalits put up a show of strength
Express news service : Ahmedabad, Mon Feb 27 2012, 04:37 hrs
In a show of strength, hundreds of Dalits from different villages of Ahmedabad district gathered at Rethal village here on Sunday in a condolence meeting for a youth who was killed a month ago by a group of people from the same village.
On January 25, Atul Khodabhai Rathod was thrashed to death by fellow villagers over a petty issue. Following the incident, the Dalits had camped at the Sanand police station with the body of the victim demanding immediate arrest of the accused. Later, the police restored to lathicharge to disperse the crowd.
In the meeting, a large number of Dalits from Sanand, Viramgan, Dholka, Bavla, Kheda and Khambat had arrived at the village.They expressed their condolence to the grieved family. The meeting was called to showcase the strength and unity among Dalits so that the repeated cases of atrocities do not occur, the organisers said.
However, the speakers were warned not to indulge in any sort of blame-game and were restricted to raise issue pertaining to dalit communities alone. A couple of local Congress leaders were also remain present in the meeting.
During the meet various speakers including Renu Gurjar, chairperson of Rasthtriya Safai Karmchari Ayog, appealed the gathering to eliminate the caste system within the dalits and said that they all should become schedule caste based on the principals of Baba Saheb Bhimrao Ambedkar.
The organisers prevented many speakers to say anything beyond the condolence which irked various leaders who had come from different places. They said such a meet which doesn't happen frequently should have addressed the issues related to dalits. They said that even among the Dalits there are discriminations and the meet should have addressed those issues.
"Dalits themselves are divided in sub-castes. The communities are suffering from various issues such as alcohol and gambling apart from illiteracy and poverty. The organisers should have addressed such things to change mindset of the people," said Dayabhai Sonara of Triratna Bodh Mahasangh.
According to police records obtained by an NGO, in Ahmedabad district more than 250 dalits sustained injuries while more than 100 were severely injured in different incidents over the last six years. Besides, two dalit women were raped, four women were raped and murdered, and there were 11 cases of rapes with abduction in the last six years. This grim picture of atrocities against dalits was distributed among the the villagers during the meet.
Dalits flay cops for inordinate delay in solving cases
Mangalore, Feb 26, 2012, DHNS:
A few stage stir at SC/ST monthly meet
Flaying the City police for the inordinate delay in solving several cases and problems pertaining to Dalit community members, the members of the community protested at the SC / ST monthly grievance meet at Police Commissioner's office on Sunday.
Raising one such issue, wherein Dalit woman Sunitha from Harekala has gone missing since five months, Dalita Hakkugala Horata Samiti Secretary Lingappa Nanthoor alleged the police of not probing the case.
"We come with several complaints and problems, but you (police) do not solve them. You are not interested in organising SC / ST meetings and listening to our grievances. The meetings were not arranged during last two months and it shows your negligence," he alleged.
Dalit Sangharsha Simiti leader S P Anand too joined him and accused that the police are arranging the meet just for namesake. "Every time we get assurances, but the cases remain unsolved. If this is the case, why do you arrange the meeting," he questioned. A portion of the community members belonging to one sect of DSS woke up from their chairs and sat on the conference hall floor, protesting against the police.
Calming the crowd, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime) Dharmaiah said that it was not justifiable to blame the police for everything. "We are doing our best to solve the cases and meeting is arranged with a good intention. As far as missing woman's case is concerned, the police are not inactive. "We have tracked over 50,000 phone calls so far and have examined several unidentified dead bodies across the State. The investigation is in progress and we would catch the culprit soon," he assured.
Further, he said that the Commissionerate could not organise meetings during the last two months due to hectic schedule. When S P Anand raised the issue of Sub Inspector Bharati harassing Dalit youth months ago, Dharmaiah assured that he would get the detailed report about the incident within 15 days and there would not be further delay.
When a woman complained of being harassed by loan lenders, the DCP said that police were not responsible for everything. "You people should be careful enough in the matters pertaining to money. Ensure that all papers are maintained properly while lending and receiving loans."
Dalit youth Nirmal Kumar complained that police were not going for rounds in Dalit colonies on night beat, for which the DCP said that he would ensure that the police would go on rounds regularly from Monday.
A few Dalit members also alleged that the police in the City and the district were puppet in the hands of politicians which is the reason for dealy in solving the cases. Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Mutthuraya was present.
DCP appreciates boy's courage
Mahanthesh, a Dalit student was appreciated by DCP Dharmaiah when he narrated an incident of ACP smoking in public place on Sunday morning. Mahanthesh said that ACP was puffing outside Swagath hotel in State Bank area.
"When I questioned him, he turned arrogant and asked me who am I to question him and even insulted me. Isn't it wrong?" he asked. In response, the DCP appreciated the boy for his alert attitude and courage.
"Now, he (ACP) does not need any punishment, for I have appreciated you in public in itself is his punishment," said the DCP. The ACP who too was present at the meet apologised for his behaviour.
Fee for food coupons stirs protest
Source: DNA | Last Updated 05:14(27/02/12)
Bhopal: Tribals affiliated to Jagrit Adivasi Dalit Sangathan (JADS) in Barwani have protested against a fee of `275.75 being charged from non-BPL cardholders by HCL-led consortium contracted to provide biometric cards and food coupons in the state.
In a letter written to chief minister on February 25, tribals and dalits have claimed they have been categorised as APL and are now being forced to sell grain, poultry and goats to pay the fee.
They allege they are being threatened that unless they register for the survey, they will be denied rations.
Food and civil supplies commissioner Dipali Rastogi in letters (dated February 10 and 14) to collectors of Jhabua and Barwani districts has authorised collection of this fee. Virgo Softech Ltd, a member of the HCL consortium is currently conducting surveys and data entry camps.
Tribals have protested that `225 crore is being levied on the state's approximately 80 lakh APL card holders most of whom are poor in need of subsidised rations and this is more than half the total projected cost of the project.
They have demanded a halt to fee collection and a comprehensive review of the whole project. "The project is a drain on the exchequer. In fact, the money would have been more usefully spent on ensuring provision of full 35 kgs of grain to cardholders, according to national norms," the tribals have claimed in the letter. Currently only 20 kgs are being provided with the state government pleading lack of funds to provide the full quota.
Seeking immediate clarification on this matter, advisor to the commissioners of the Supreme Court in the Right to Food case Sachin Jain has written to Rastogi stating, "I would like to share with you that UID can also not be made compulsory for providing food entitlements under targeted public distribution system for any of its categories because it has not been made an eligibility or entitlement criteria by the government of India...You might be aware that any changes in the schemes (which are covered under the Writ-petition 196/ 2001 - PUCL Vs Union of India and others) can only be done after taking approval of Supreme Court."
SC/ST staff to 'retaliate' if interests are hurt
Source: DNA | Last Updated 05:14(27/02/12)
Jaipur: Ahead of the Supreme Court hearing on state government's appeal against Rajasthan high court's contempt order, ST/SC Arakshan Manch - the umbrella organisation of the employees from reserved categories - on Sunday passed a resolution on tendering mass resignation in the event the government struck down their quota in promotions.
"The situation will be clear by Monday afternoon. If the state government, in whatever circumstances, tries to tamper with our constitutional rights, we will submit our mass resignation on Monday," Rajpal Meena, district president, STSC Arakshan Manch said. Meena said they were waiting for the decision of Supreme Court following which the ambiguity over reservation in promotions was expected to become clear.
Hundreds of officials from reserved segments converged for a formal meeting under the banner of ST/SC Arakshan Manch and unanimously decided to hand over mass resignation to the president of the association.
"Reservation is our constitutional right and it cannot be withdrawn without making an amendment in constitution. The communities would retaliate if the state government in any circumstance tries to axe our reservation benefits," Meena said.
The employees from reserved categories have also put up new demand before the government - representation in the judiciary. Members of the organisation were of the opinion that under the existing system their community has no representation in the judicial system. After Sunday's meeting they demanded judicial appointments according to the rules under Indian Judicial services.
"Due to collegiums' system of appointment we are not getting any representation in judicial system. Out next protest would be to push our demand to make judicial appointments according to the rules under Indian Judicial Services," Meena said.
The state government's SLP on Rajasthan high court's contempt proceedings against chief secy and DoP principal secy would be heard by Supreme Court on Monday.
SC panel reviews working conditions in public sector insurance firms
The National Commission for Scheduled Castes has conducted a review of the working conditions, and related grievances, of employees belonging to the Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribe communities in public sector insurance companies.
Headed by commission member M. Shivanna, the team visited offices and spoke with welfare associations and managements of four insurance companies — United India Insurance, New India Assurance, National Insurance Company and Oriental Insurance Company. Mr. Shivanna said that he heard out various cases that were presented to him, some involving delay in promotions and transfers that were deemed "unfair", and others involving "targeting employees in a discriminatory manner."
"I have been doing a recue of several public sector units, and some private companies, to talk to employees and learn about their grievances. In some cases, I am also sending notices to the management or seeking explanations on specific cases," he told presspersons here on Friday. For instance, in the case of an employee of National Insurance Company, S. Mahendra, the management had denied him benefits and promotions for years. Despite several court rulings in the favour of the employee, including a Supreme Court directive to confer all benefits denied to him in a retrospective manner, the management had failed to fulfil its commitments. On behalf of the commission, Mr. Shivanna said, he had given the management 15 days' time to enforce the court orders, or else face further action.
Mr. Shivanna said that other issues that had come to his notice included unfair transfers and delay in conferring benefits. "Managements have to be sensitive towards issues faced by Dalits. This is a general issue that came up during my visits to all these companies," he said.
Even in the case of the honour killing in Mandya, he said the police were simply reluctant to file an FIR and see it as a "caste killing". It took great interventions to convince the Government that this was no suicide, but a brutal crime, he said. He also said that the funds allocated from the Union Government for SC, ST schemes were not being utilised by several governments.
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.