Dalits Media Watch
News Updates 29.03.12
HC for quota in local body posts - The Times Of India
Vijayawada MLA booked under SC/ST Act - IBN Live
'I was charged with murder for standing up against the wrong' - The Times Of India
SC/ST demand separate burial ground - Deccan Herald
Bigotry forcing Gujarat dalits to leave villages: Report - DNA
'Conversion' row hits Khambhat, NGO files plaint - The Times Of India
The Times Of India
HC for quota in local body posts
TNN | Mar 29, 2012, 04.51AM IST
CHENNAI: The Madras high court has suggested that the Tamil Nadu government bring a legislation reserving posts/offices of vice-chairmen or vice-presidents in local bodies to dalits and women.
A division bench comprising Justice D Murugesan and Justice P P S Janarthana Raja came out with the suggestion, while passing orders on a writ petition filed by advocate M Palanimuthu. The advocate had sought a direction to the state government to reserve 33% of all vice-chairmen and vice-president posts in local bodies and municipalities, besides 22.5% reservation for dalits.
In this regard, he pointed out that already such reservation had been provided for dalits and women as heads of various local bodies. He wanted the similar benefits to be extended to deputy chiefs of such civic bodies.
The judges, conceding that reservation was an affirmative action designed to improve well being of under-represented communities, pointed out that the state had restricted such reservation to persons directly elected to posts in civic bodies, such as chairmen, presidents, members and councillors. The law has not extended the quota to vice-chairmen and vice-presidents.
Noting that such direction cannot be issued by the court to the government in the absence of statutory provisions, the judges said: "It is for the state to consider for inclusion of a provision extending the same reservation to the posts/offices of vice-chairmen and vice-presidents, identifying constitutes for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and women candidates."
Vijayawada MLA booked under SC/ST Act
HYDERABAD: The Narayanaguda police on Wednesday registered a case against Vijayawada Central MLA Malladi Vishnu under the SC/ST Atrocity Act for allegedly using objectionable language against another legislator who also hails from Krishna district.
Vishnu also allegedly tried to attack his colleague with a water bottle.
According to the police, during a review meeting on housing held here, Vishnu tried to throw a water bottle and used objectionable language against Nandigama MLA Tangirala Prabhakar Rao.
Vishnu belongs to the Congress and Prabhakar Rao to the TDP.
Narayanaguda police inspector G Girish Rao said that the review meeting on housing in Krishna district was held at the State Housing Corporation office in Urdu Lane at Himayatnagar here.
It was presided over by Housing minister Uttam Kumar Reddy and attended by MLAs from Krishna district.
As soon as the meeting began around 2 pm, Nuzividu MLA Chinnam Ramakotaiah, while asking the minister and officials on issues pertaining to the housing sector, strongly denied allegations levelled against Krishna district TDP president and Mylavaram MLA Devineni Umamaheswara Rao that he was involved in selling 5,000 houses illegally.
"When Prabhakar Rao was asking the officials to serve notices to all MLA to know the statistics on various issues, Vishnu came down on Prabhakar Rao and used objectionable language against him.
He also tried to throw a water bottle at Prabhakar,'' the inspector said.
In the evening, Prabhakar, along with Umamaheswara Rao, approached the Narayanaguda police and lodged a complaint against Vishnu, following which police registered SC/ ST atrocity case against Vishnu.
The Times Of India
'I was charged with murder for standing up against the wrong'
TNN | Mar 29, 2012, 01.53AM IST
AJMER: There was complete silence at a women's tribunal organized on Wednesday at the Laxmi Narain palace here when a 35-year-old dalit woman, Roopa Bagri of nearbyKotra village, narrated her experience. She said when she dared to stand against the member of a high caste community eight years ago, she was charged with murder.
The Christian Ganj police arrested and stripped her in the lock up. She remained naked in the custody for two days. Though the court later acquitted her, she said the terror of atrocity refuses to leave her.
Women activists in the tribunal elaborated on the provisions of women's rights and laws defending dalits. Hundreds of women, mostly from rural regions, shared their experiences and grievances most of which focussed on sexual abuses. The story of Roopa stunned all those who were present, especially when she showed the scars from the atrocity afflicted on her in police custody.
Talking to TOI, Roopa said, "Our community in the village lives in pathetic conditions. We are not allowed to get water from the village tubewell and powerful people use our places as dumping ground. "I stood up against them and protested," she added. She said, "It was in 2004 when some powerful people of the village got me booked in amurder case and police took me in custody."
She said, "I was stripped completely by the police and they kept me naked for two days. They abused me and made nasty comments." She added, "It was like dying every minute with pain, shame and horror." After getting bail, she made the complaint against the atrocity, "But no action was taken against the police while I became a laughing stock for administration," said Roopa. The court acquitted her of all charges but she is now terrified of standing against wrong.
Roopa said that things in her village have now changed but her scars never let her forget the barbarity she was put through. "Now, I never ask any woman to stand up against what's wrong."
SC/ST demand separate burial ground
Chamarajanagar, March 28 2012, DHNS:
Misappropriation of 22.75 per cent funds comes to light at meeting
The taluk-level SC/ST meeting held in Chamarajanagar urged for a separate burial grounds for the community due to the difficulties faced by them. They also demanded that government allot the available land. Along with this, stress should be laid on upgradation of existing burial and cremation grounds.
The community leaders who participated in the meeting held at taluk panchayat office explained the miseries faced by the people of the community. They said that the government lands are available at some places but the government is hesitating to allot the land to the SC/ST community. Though some private parties are ready to sell their lands the officials are showing negligence over allotting the land for burial grounds. With the rising population level the existing grounds are not sufficient and also lack facilities. The elected representatives are responsible for the negligence, they alleged.
Tahsildar R Rangaswamy said there is no shortage of funds for the development of burial ground. If a proposal of available land is submitted by the respective gram panchayats, it would be sanctioned. It is mandatory to provide complete details on the available land. The lands would be allotted after spot inspection, he stated. Social welfare officer Jagadish, taluk panchayat executive officer Jaikrishna, taluk panchayat member Padmachandra and others were present.
Allegations of misappropriation of 22.75 per cent funds earmarked for the SC/ST and 25 per cent of funds for gram panchayats has come to light in the meeting. But the funds have not been utilised for the purpose and have been allegedly misused, it is alleged.
Leader C M Krishnamurthy alleged that majority of the funds have been used for laying roads and the educational development for SC/ST and drinking water have been sidelined.
Bigotry forcing Gujarat dalits to leave villages: Report
Published: Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012, 17:07 IST
By Roxy Gagdekar | Place: Ahmedabad | Agency: DNA
A report sent to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) by the NGO, Navsarjan, has revealed that dalits in Gujarat are frequently forced to leave their native villages because of clashes with members of forward castes. Denial of entry into temples is another reason for dalit migration in the state, the report states.
The NHRC has taken serious note of the allegations made in the report. Earlier this month, it issued a notice to the state government asking it to file its reply by April 3, 2012. The commission has threatened to take action if the state government fails to reply to its notice.
The report was prepared on the basis of a public hearing of atrocities on dalits organised by Navsarjan and Gujarat Human Rights Committee in January this year. The minutes of the public hearing reveal that a large number of dalits and tribals, who comprise 7 and 15 per cent of Gujarat's population respectively, are victims of social boycott by powerful sections of the rural population.
Of the 20 different cases from as many as seven districts of the state that were attended to at the public hearing, six were cases of social boycott and forced migration after the murder of a dalit or tribal by powerful sections of society. In two cases, dalits had resisted attempts by forward castes to deny them entry into temples. This had led to a social boycott of the dalits which had forced them to migrate to other areas of the state.
Rape of dalit girls is another reason cited in the report for the migration of the members of the depressed community from villages to cities. Disputes due to untouchability that is still rampant in many villages is another reason for dalits leaving their native villages and moving to other areas of the state, the report says.
Dalit activist Kirit Rathod told DNA that discrimination because of caste is at its worst in rural areas of Gujarat. "Many dalits and tribals have no option but to migrate to other villages for safety or live in make-shift colonies as officialdom does not care to provide them with even basic amenities," Rathod said.
The Times Of India
'Conversion' row hits Khambhat, NGO files plaint
TNN Mar 28, 2012, 04.51AM IST
VADODARA/ANAND: Anand district collector has constituted an inquiry after receiving a complaint from a Petlad-based forum which has alleged that around 32 dalit children - all of them minors - were converted to Christianity in Khambhat taluka.
The forum claims that it is the first such complaint against any church in Gujarat after the rules framed under the Gujarat Freedom of Religion Act in 2008. The Khambhat-based church has, however, rubbished these allegations stating that they are baseless.
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.