Dalits Media Watch
News Updates 30.07.13
Ex-Doon MLA charged with girl's murder- The New Indian Express
Nobody wants to help us because we are dalits: acid attack survivor Chanchal Kumari- Hindustan Times
Court frame charges against MLA in murder case- Business Standard
'Will act against illegal occupation of Dalit land'- The New Indian Express
Provide protection to Dalit family, police told- The Hindu
Give Dalit farmers title deeds: DSS- The Hindu
NOTE : Please find attachment for HINDI NEWS UPDATES (PDF)
The New Indian Express
Ex-Doon MLA charged with girl's murder
A Panchkula court on Monday framed charges against Ram Kumar Chaudhary, the suspended Congress MLA from Himachal Pradesh's Doon constituency, for the murder of a Dalit girl from Hoshiarpur in Punjab.
The charges are under IPC Sections 302 (murder), 420 (cheating), 467 (forgery), 471 (using forged document), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information) and the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
The court rejected the bail plea of Chaudhary, who pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Chaudhary contended that the Panchkula police had not corroborated the evidence against him. The court said the trial against Chaudhary would begin on August 22.
Jyoti Kumari, a former employee of Chaudhary, was found dead with her head smashed on a road in sector 21, Panchkula on November 22,2012.
As per the post-mortem report, Jyoti had had an abortion before dying of head injuries.
Chaudhary, who is also general secretary of the Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee, had been absconding but later surrendered before the court which remanded him in judicial custody. Chaudhary is the son of Lajja Ram, a four-time Congress MLA.
Nobody wants to help us because we are dalits: acid attack survivor Chanchal Kumari
It is never easy for a dalit girl in Bihar to dream big. Caste roles remain well defined in our state and it's not often someone breaks free from the mould.
Yet, I dreamt of becoming a computer engineer. I was encouraged to pursue my dream by my father, Sailesh Paswan. A daily wage construction worker who barely earns enough to make the ends meet for our family of four, he wanted me — the elder of his two daughters — to be one up on all the boys of our community.
So, unmindful of his meagre earnings, my father did the seemingly impossible: he put me in a Plus-2 college and was making me undergo coaching at Danapur, near Patna, to take the engineering entrance examination.
Life was never easy but the hope of a rewarding future kept me going. Trips from my native Chitnawan village, under Maner police station of Patna district, to my college and coaching institute in Danapur were endless.
But I thought nothing of my daily grind that the 22-km trip entailed.
Then, late in the night of October 21, 2012, my whole world came crashing around me.
A few minutes short of midnight, four youth from my village climbed onto the roof of our single-storeyed Indira Awas Yojana house at Chitnawan, as I slept there with my younger sister, Sonam.
Two of them held my hands and the other two intruders poured almost a litre of acid on my face. As I writhed in agony, they laughed at me. One of them said: "Now you see we do whatever we say."
Some of the acid fell on Sonam as she tried to save me. My shrieks brought my mother Sunaina rushing to the roof. But the assailants deliberately stood there for a while before leaving, as if to enjoy the moment.
These boys had been harassing me for months. They used to pass vulgar remarks, pull my chunni and follow me on their motorcycles when I went to Danapur for my Plus-2 classes and coaching.
When I did not respond to their overtures, they turned abusive and threatened to teach me a lesson I would never forget. Focused as I was on my career goal, I thought nothing of it. How wrong I was.
For months after the incident, nobody came to help us. Even the local mukhia (village headman) and the area MLA avoided visiting us, let alone helping us, as the culprits are from a dominant community.
Since then, internet campaigns by several NGOs and a Maner-based social activist have had many people pledging their support for my treatment and rehabilitation. A Ranchi-based plastic surgeon has even promised to reconstruct my face.
When the acid attack was reported in the media, the Scheduled Castes commission stepped in and we, the two sisters, got a compensation of R2.42 lakh between us. The money, which was not enough to begin with, is long gone.
I have been told that the badi adalat (Supreme Court) has ordered compensation and free medical treatment for acid victims like me. This has rekindled the hope in my heart.
If my face can be restored, this dalit ki beti still has it in her to make something of her shattered life. Jab tak saans hai, tab tak aas hai (Till there's life, there's hope).
But the sarkar (government) has not done much for me so far. We have just returned from Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital after receiving treatment for some complications in my neck. The doctors there told me I have 90 per cent burns on my face. But we are left with no money for further treatment.
Those who ruined my life are in jail. But no progress has been made in the case as my statement under Section 164 of the CrPC has not been recorded even almost nine months after the incident.
We met IG saheb (Arvind Pandey, IG, CID – weaker sections) on December 31 last year and he had promised early action in this regard. Then my father met the Patna district magistrate in April this year. But my statement has still not been recorded.
Earlier, the excuse given for the delay was that I was not fit to speak owing to the severe burns on my face.
Though I am now able to speak easily, my statement has still not been recorded for reasons unknown.
I want exemplary punishment to be handed out to the culprits so that it dissuades others like them from ruining the lives of innocent girls, who are pursuing their dreams under trying circumstances.
But neither the police nor the government seems serious in pushing my case. Perhaps, they think I am a poor, helpless dalit girl, not worth bothering about. Or, this is the situation maybe because the culprits belong to a dominant group.
But I will pursue the matter till my last breath. My father tells me I am a brave girl, full of fight. I will prove him right. I won't give up till the end.
Court frame charges against MLA in murder case
The charges framed against the MLA are under section 302 (murder), sections 420 (cheating), 467 (forgery), 471 (using forged document), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information) and the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
After the district and sessions judge Ravi Kumar Sondhi ordered that charges be framed against him, the MLA pleaded not guilty.
In his bail application, which was rejected by the court, Chaudhary had stated that Panchkula Police had not corroborated evidence against him and whole case was based on suspicion.
Elected from the Doon Assembly seat Chaudhary, general secretary of Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee, went missing since his name figured in the murder of Jyoti, but later surrendered before the court and was remanded to judicial custody. He is the son of four-time Congress MLA, Lajja Ram.
Earlier the victim's father Butti Ram, had filed a complaint with Haryana Police alleging that Chaudhary had close links with his daughter and could be involved in the murder.
The New Indian Express
'Will act against illegal occupation of Dalit land'
Revenue Minister V Srinivas Prasad said the government will take action against those in illegal possession of government land allotted to landless dalits in Shanathapura village in Hoskote taluk.
Replying to Congress member M B T Nagaraj in the Council on Monday, Prasad said about 200 acres was granted by the government to 50 landless dalits in 1969.
Though a few beneficiaries had disposed of the properties, after the introduction of the Karnataka Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes Prohibition of Transfer of Certain Land Act-1978 (PTCL Act), the land was returned to them.
Prasad said the Bangalore Rural Deputy Commissioner had conducted an inquiry and the Regional Commissioner had visited Hoskote and seized all documents. "The government will act based on the report of the Regional Commissioner," he added.
Nagaraj contended that six people have taken over the property worth `500 crore and have put up compound walls and grown plantations.
He said the government would evict these people and ensure that genuine landless families get the land.
To a question from M Krishnappa on irregularities in the allotment of sites in a housing society at Begur in Bangalore South taluk, Prasad said the government will take action against the officials based on the inquiry report.
On charges that a majority of the candidates who got 903 Ashraya sites were ineligible, he said that the government has planned to assign the Rajiv Gandhi Housing Corporation with the job of allotting sites in 36 acres to landless families.
Krishnappa and other legislators urged him to ensure that locals get sites.
Provide protection to Dalit family, police told
Karnataka Lokayukta Y. Bhaskar Rao directed the police to provide protection to a Dalit family that approached him during the grievances redressal meeting in Kolar on Monday.
T. Bhagyamma, a Dalit, and her family members hailing from Cholaghatta in Kolar taluk pleaded for protection. She said that her family was being harassed by upper caste people in their village to sell their land measuring 3 acres and 8 guntas. The family was in tears when they put their case before Mr. Rao.
"A number of people belonging to upper caste are pressuring us to sell out land measuring 3 acres and 8 guntas against our wishes", Ms. Bhagyamma said. Mr. Bhaskar Rao told the Deputy Superintendent of Police to provide protection to the family.
Earlier, the Lokayukta took to task the Joint Director of Agriculture when K. Srinivasa Gowda, leader of a farmers' organisation, brought to his notice that fake pesticides were being sold. Mr. Rao directed the Joint Director to visit the Lokayukta office in Bangalore within a fortnight to participate in the investigation in this connection.
Lokayukta Y. Bhaskar Rao paid a surprise visit to the District Sri Narasimha Raja Hospital on Monday. He pulled up the officials there for not keeping the hospital premises clean.
When he visited the Government College for Boys, he found that four of the 79 faculty members were present at 10.15 a.m. He asked the Deputy Commissioner to inquire into the matter.
Give Dalit farmers title deeds: DSS
Members of the Karnataka Dalit Sangharsh Samiti staged a protest here on Monday, seeking title deeds for land being cultivated by Dalits at Jothanapura village in K.R. Pet taluk.
The protest was led by DSS leader M.B. Srinivas. The protest began at the Visvesvaraya statue off the Bangalore–Mysore Highway and ended outside the Deputy Commissioner's office. Many farmers belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the village were cultivating government land for several years, but were yet to receive title deeds, the protesters said.
The farmers were poor and uneducated, and completely dependent on agriculture. Keeping this in mind, the district administration should give them title deeds to the land, they said. In a memorandum submitted to the State government through the district administration here, the DSS urged the government to immediately give the title deeds to the farmers.
News Monitor by Girish Pant
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.