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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A gangrape, an MMS, a father's suicide: A village waits for justice

Dalits Media Watch

News Updates 24.09.12


3 killed in police firing in Gujarat - The Hindustan Times

A gangrape, an MMS, a father's suicide: A village waits for justice - NDTV

Probe finds discrimination against SC/ST students in Delhi medical college - The Times of India

J&K Dalits demand justice - Kashmir Watch

Income limit for scholarships to SCs hiked - The Tribune

Dalits demonstrate against denial of water - Business Standard


The Hindustan Times


3 killed in police firing in Gujarat


HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Ahmedabad, September 24, 2012


In a clash between Dalit and Bharwad communities, three persons of Dalit community were killed in police firing in Surendranagar district, Gujarat. The killing of three persons of which two were minors has generated a huge controversy as the Dalit leaders have accused the police of firing at them without any provocation.


Bharwads and Dalits had clashed on Saturday evening regarding putting up a stall at public fair near Thangadh. The clash led to a major fight as members of both communities started using sticks, iron pipes and sharp weapons against each other, forcing police intervention.


"There was a huge crowed which had turned violent. They were holding iron pipes and sticks so first the police lobbed tear gas shells to disperse the mob, which refused to calm down so the police had to resort to firing to bring the situation under control," a police official from Surendranagar said.


However, locals have questioned the police claim on the ground that only Bharwad members were armed while police launched firing at unarmed and innocent Dalit members, who had gathered there following the clash.


"Our persons were not armed and yet police killed our men, who were minors. Everybody knows that Bharwads are powerful and have high handed approach," a local Dalit activist Babulal Solanki told local media.


Meanwhile, Rajkot range IG Pravin Sinha said a magisterial inquiry will be conducted into the incident which led to police firing and killings of three persons.




A gangrape, an MMS, a father's suicide: A village waits for justice


Edited by Shamik Ghosh | Updated: September 24, 2012 19:24 IST


Dabra, Hisar: On Sunday evening, a process of villagers in Hisar moves, holding candles, towards the local police station. A group of Dalits at Dabra village in Haryana's Hisar district are fighting on behalf of one family dealt two tragedies in the last few days.


First, a teen, a Class 12 student, was gang-raped. 11 days later her father committed suicide. The attack on his daughter had been filmed on cellphone. The MMS was doing the rounds. He couldn't cope.


For five days, his dead body has been at the mortuary at a local hospital. The victim and her mother say they will not claim it till they get justice. The fact that it took his death to propel the police into registering a case of rape is a grim reflection of the treatment given to Dalits here. (Vote now - Is justice still out of reach for Dalits in India?)


The teen has told the police that of the 12 men who raped her, eight were upper-caste Jats. They all live in or near her village, she says she can identify them all, but only two men have been arrested so far.


The specter of tension between the Jats and the Dalits rarely dissipates. Two years ago, a Dalit girl, differently abled, and her father were burnt alive by a mob of nearly 100 upper caste villagers in nearby Mirchpur. Dalit homes were set on fire. Worried about their safety, Dalit families fled the area. The Supreme Court then transferred the case out of Haryana to Delhi to ensure a trial that would not be influenced by political connections or local standing. In its verdict last year, 15 people were convicted, and nearly 80 were acquitted.

So far, neither the chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, his son Deepinder who is an MP, or the parliamentary representative of this part of Haryana have visited the village of Dabra.


But the district police chief says the case has been filed under the Scheduled Caste and Tribe Act to ensure the trial is a swift one.


The Times of India


Probe finds discrimination against SC/ST students in Delhi medical college


Akshaya Mukul, TNN | Sep 24, 2012, 02.12AM IST


NEW DELHI: A comprehensive enquiry by Bhalchandra Mungekar, Rajya Sabha MP, has found blatant caste-based discrimination against SC/ST students in Vardhaman Mahavir Medical College affiliated to Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Delhi.


Mungekar, who was appointed commissioner of enquiry by the National Commission for Scheduled Castes, apart from making wide-ranging recommendations, has suggested that Rs 10 lakh be paid as compensation to student Manish and others towards court and other expenses. "The mental trauma that they were/are made to undergo is not measurable in terms of money," Mungekar said in his report.


He also demanded legal action under Prevention of Atrocities against SCs/STs Act against former principal V K Sharma, head of physiology department Shobha Das, principal Jayashree Bhattacharjee and Raj Kapoor, professor of physiology and a liaison officer for "resorting to caste-based discrimination and neglecting the duties assigned to them, not by omissions, but by commissions".

The case relates to 35 SC students who appeared for the first professional examination in July 2010 and failed in the subject of physiology. Twenty-five of them failed again in the same subject despite the fact that many passed in other subjects. Mungekar said when students tried to meet college authorities, they were not entertained and had to resort to RTI to get information.

It was found that one student's marks in physiology was shown lesser in the marksheet than what he had actually got. But, he said, no action was taken against the head of the department Shobha Das who said it was a typographical error. Even liaison officer Raj Kapoor refused to entertain them.

Students who failed in physiology requested the then principal V K Sharma to allow them to attend classes for the second year but were refused. The students went to Delhi High Court which allowed them to attend classes but the college took a long time to implement the order. As a result, most of them did not have requisite attendance. Students again approached the HC requesting that they be allowed to take supplementary examination.


They were allowed and most of them passed as the examination was conducted in the Army College of Medical Sciences under close supervision of the court. But it was a short reprieve as Sharma forced them to attend classes with the fresh batch. "They were again to lose one more year," Mungekar said.


Students were not permitted to appear for the examination to be held in November 2011. Again, Delhi HC intervened and asked the college to take students who had cleared supplementary in second year and factor in their attendance. But the college did not relent. More shocking was the revelation that four students of general category, detained for inadequate attendance, were allowed to take the examination. Mungekar met the vice-chancellor and requested him to explore all possibilities but a decision is awaited.


Kashmir Watch


J&K Dalits demand justice


Date: 24 Sep 2012


JAMMU, Sept 24: Demanding justice, All J&K Dalit Mandal today held demonstration against harassment of Dalit families in Hatli village in Kathua district, who are being denied water from the well.


Mandal president, Pankaj Sangral, who led protest said that local administration in Kathua is not taking any action against the 'Goondaism' of some upper caste people in the village, who are threatening the families regularly.


Sangral said that some people, who are being shielded by some local politicians, are constantly bullying Dalit families.


"SCs remain waterless for many days together. Despite our pleas to the local police and district administration, no action has been taken against this goondaism. In May this year, a dozen members of Dalit community were injured in clash after denying drinking water by upper cast people in Hatli village", he said.


Sangral said that there were three separate wells in the village where the community had divided their wells on caste basis. This practice is going on for the last many decades. Some Dalit families approached other two wells to fetch drinking water, which is being denied.


Though the village's informed the police about the issue and the issue was sorted out, but this is not the first time such incident has happened. Even the issue was raised in Legislative Council in March this year.


It is pertinent to mention here that the issue is about one year old, when some members of SC families approached another well located near the houses of Thakur families to fetch water, but were denied. Later when the SCs objected the ways the upper cast people are treating them, they were attacked by the Thakurs.


"We are now afraid and living under fear, if they can destroy the well, what guarantee is there that they will not harm us", said Mahinder Singh, general secretary of the Mandal.


He said that though a case FIR No. 68/2012 u/s 341/506 RPC, 3/7 Protection of Civil Rights Act was registered at Police Station Lakhanpur on 20-01-2012. However without taking any action, all the accused were bailed out.


On January 20, 2012, a written report was produced by the members of the schedule caste community of village Rasoo, tehsil and district Kathua through Sarpanch Panchyat Halqa Hatli that when the members of schedule caste community had proceeded to fetch water from the another well.


Prominent among those who were present on the protest included Maninder Singh General Secretary, Janak Raj, K K Rao, Ravi, Ramesh, Sardari Lal, Ashok Kumar, Manohar, S Deep Singh, Seva Dass Digra, Mohan Lal besides others.


The Tribune


Income limit for scholarships to SCs hiked


Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 23


The government has decided to increase the income limit of parents and guardians for the Anusuchit Jati Chhattra Ucch Shiksha Protsahan Yojna, from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 3 lakh, allow self-declared certificates by girls to avail benefit under the Indira Gandhi Priyadarshini Viwah Shagun Yojna and develop settlement colonies for Gadiya Lohars.


This was decided at a meeting held under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.


Hooda issued directions to the officials concerned that 'Kanyadan Rashi' being given under the Indira Gandhi Priyadarshini Viwah Shagun Yojna should reach the beneficiary families at the time of marriage.


Hooda ordered the inclusion of art subjects under the Anusuchit Jati Chhattra Ucch Shiksha Protsahan Yojana. So far under this scheme annual scholarship between Rs 5,000 and Rs 14,000 was given to the girl students studying science, commerce and other professional courses.


Business Standard


Dalits demonstrate against denial of water


Press Trust of India / Jammu September 24, 2012, 18:05

An organisation of Dalits today held a demonstration here protesting against alleged harassment being meted out to them by some upper caste people in Hatli village of Kathua district.

Led by president of All J and K Dalit Mandal, Pankaj Sangral, over 200 members of the community, including women and children, sat on a dharna at the press club here against denial of water from the local pond by upper caste people.


"Despite repeated complaints by our community members, local administration, particularly police in Kathua is not taking any action against some upper caste people in the village, who are threatening the families regularly", Sangral told reporters here today.


"We demand justice-- we are being subjected to casteism in this century", he said.



.Arun Khote
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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