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Dalit Atrocities

Maharishi Shambook
Burnaby :( News Bureau):- The Maharishi Shambook Memorial Day was observed on Sunday, November 11, 2007 by Chetna Association of Canada. The function was held at the Dr. Ambedkar Memorial Hall Gilley AVE Burnaby. The painting (by Artist Shital Anmol) depicting Rama in anger at Maharishi Shambook just prior tp killing him was unveiled by Chanchal Mall of Golden, BC. After viewing the film Teesari Azadi, several participants discussed the importance of hosting events with the ultimate goal of creating caste-free societies. Participants also appreciated Maharishi Valmiki Ji for giving a granth that gives a true picture of the Ram Raj- a raj that served imnterests of only the upper classes.
Posted on November 15, 2007


The oldest mention of Shambuka occurs in the Ramayana of Valmiki. It is found in the last book of the epic Uttara Kanda which is believed a later addition to Ramayana as it contains many later social issues like casteism, Sita's abandonment etc. After Lord Rama returns to Ayodhya and is crowned the king of Ayodhya.

One citizen of the Republic of Kosalas, an old Brahmin, is waiting in front of the gate of the Rama's palace cuddling the dead body of his fourteen-year-old only son. He is cursing Rama and Rama-Rajya and threatening to kill himself if Rama did not bring back to life his son, and thus emburden Rama with the sin of 'brahma-hatya'.

        (सीता-परित्याग के बाद एक दिन, एक वृद्ध ब्राह्मण एक मृत बालक को ले आता है। श्रीराम के प्रासाद के सामने वह बहुत विलाप करता है। अपने बेटे की अकाल मृत्यु का कारण राजा का ही कोई दोष बताता है )

नेदृशं दृष्टपूर्वं मे श्रुतं वा घोरदर्शनम्।
मृत्युरप्राप्तकालानां रामस्य विषये यथा।।
रामस्य दृष्कृतं किंचिन्महदस्ति न संशय:।
राजद्वारि मरिष्यामि पत्न्या सार्धमनाथवत्।
ब्राह्महत्यां ततो राम समुपेत्यु सुखी भव।।
राजदोषैर्विपद्यन्ते प्रजा ह्यविधिपालिता:।
असद्वृत्ते तु नृपतावकाले म्रियते जन:।।

श्रीराम मन्त्रिपरिषद् बुलाकर ब्राह्मण के लगाये अपराध के बारे में प्रश्न करते हैं। नारद एक भाषण देकर यह सिद्ध करते हैं कि शूद्र के तपस्या करने से ही ब्राह्मण की अकाल मृत्यु हुई है।
"Rajan, during the Krita yuga only the Brahmins used to do 'tapa'. During Treta yuga the Ksatriyas started doing it along with the Brahmins. In the present Dwapar yuga even the Vaishyas are also doing the 'tapascharya'. But it is great 'adharma' - sacrilege - when the Shudras start doing it. In your kingdom some unwise Shudra is doing 'tapascharya'. That is the reason of this 'baal-vadha'. You remove this misdeed. Then the religion and the 'dwija--varna' would progress, and this Brahmin child will become alive again". [Uttar-kand, sarga 74]
Thus the maha-brahmanas in Rama's court, like Vashishtha etc. indicted the Shudra 'tapaswi' - very much .

   Rama calls the "Pushpak viman, who comes, salutes and stands aside. Rama rides on his shoulder and goes alone in search of the Shudra Tapas. He goes towards the South, the direction of death or of Shudras, who are called as 'cremation ground' by the Dharma-shastras. To the south, on the bank of a lake on the mount of 'Shaivala', there was found a Tapasi hanging himself up side down and performing deep 'tapascharya'.

Rama got down from Pushpaka and went near him. He praised the 'tapashya' of the Tapas and asked him his 'varna'. The Tapas replied that to obtain god-hood and enter heaven with the body, he is doing the tapascharya and that he was a Shudra and his name was Shambuka. That was enough inquiry for Rama. He removed his 'Vimal' sword from the scabbard and separated the hanging head of the Tapas from his body. All the devas in the heaven applauded with cheers and flowers. Why were the gods happy? They said to Rama, "Raghunandana, it is because of you that this Shudra who was entitled for heaven, is prevented from coming here." [7.76.8] The rebel Shudra was unwanted even for the devas, who themselves had the system of 'chaurvarna' among them.

Rama asks a boon from the devas to make alive the son of the Brahmin. They tell him that the moment you killed the Shudra Tapas, the boy has become alive. Ramayana does not say whether actually the son of the Brahmin became alive or not. It also does not mention the names of the Brahmin son and father for whom all these events took place

The Imperial Gazetteer emphasizes the religious influence of the two great epics; in addition, the Imperial Gazetteer provides a summary discussion of the Ramayana's plot.

Ralph Griffith's translation (1870-74) of the Valmiki Ramayana is now available online, but it doesn't include the final book that contains the story of the killing of Shambuka. The killing of Shambuka appears in the Valmiki Ramayana, Book 7, the 'Uttarakanda' [Final Chapter], sargas 73-76. Three scene-setting sargas are paraphrased, and then the crucial one is presented in full: (73) When Rama is reigning as a virtuous king, a humble aged Brahmin comes to him, weeping, with his dead son in his arms. He says that Rama must have committed some sin, or else his son would not have died.(74)

The sage Narada explains to Rama that a Shudra is practicing penances, and this is the cause of the child's death. (75) Rama goes on a tour of inspection in his flying chariot, and finds an ascetic doing austerities, and asks who he is. "(76) Hearing the [inquiring] words of Rama of imperishable exploits, that ascetic, his head still hanging downwards [as part of his austerities] answered:— 'O Rama, I was born of a Shudra alliance and I am performing this rigorous penance in order to acquire the status of a God in this body. I am not telling a lie, O Rama, I wish to attain the Celestial Region. Know that I am a Shudra and my name is Shambuka.' As he was yet speaking, Raghava [Rama], drawing his brilliant and stainless sword from its scabbard, cut off his head. The Shudra being slain, all the Gods and their leaders with Agni's followers, cried out, 'Well done! Well done!' overwhelming Rama with praise, and a rain of celestial flowers of divine fragrance fell on all sides, scattered by Vayu. In their supreme satisfaction, the Gods said to that hero, Rama:— 'Thou hast protected the interests of the Gods, O Highly Intelligent Prince, now ask a boon, O beloved Offspring of Raghu, Destroyer of Thy Foes. By thy grace, this Shudra will not be able to attain heaven!'" (583-84) The Ramayana of Valmiki trans.
The place where Shambuka was beheaded is identified as the hill of Ramtek, near Nagpur in Maharashtra.

Guruvayur temple stops a Dalit musician from performing on its premises
2BY Shahina KK 
Guruvayur temple

PROTESTING DISCRIMINATION Kallur Babu has complained to the chairman of the Guruvayur board

PROTESTING DISCRIMINATION Kallur Babu has complained to the chairman of the Guruvayur board
Kerala seldom hits the headlines for caste discrimination, but that does not mean its social fabric has been cleansed of the evil. Recently, administrators of the state’s most popular temple, Guruvayur, proved that by not allowing a Dalit musician to perform there. Kallur Babu, a taxi driver by profession, has been a percussion artiste for more than fifteen years. He was part of thePanchavadyam team that had a performance slated for 5 January in the temple. Panchavadyam is a traditional orchestra of Kerala with an ensemble of one wind and five percussion instruments.
“We had one performance during the day, and I played for about an hour and a half. We were supposed to perform again in the evening after a break. But in between, I was informed that I would not be allowed to perform inside the temple as I was from a lower caste,” says Babu, a Dalit.
Temple authorities say they are following tradition, because only members of the Marar community (relatively high up in the caste hierarchy) are permitted to perform percussion instruments in the temple. “It is an age-old tradition. We cannot change it arbitrarily on our own,” says Vijayan Nambiar, deputy administrator of the temple. “It is the temple thanthri(priest) who is authorised to decide whether to change a custom or not.”
Babu has lodged a complaint about the matter with the chairman of the Guruvayur Devaswom Board, the trust that oversees the temple. TV Chandra- mohan, the Board chairman who is also a Congress leader, says that they have decided to hold an inquiry by a retired judge.
This is not the first time that Babu is being discriminated against. A few years ago, he had performed at the famous Thrissur Pooram as part of thePanchavadyam team of another temple, Thriuvambadi Devaswom. “They did not include me the next year. I was told that Dalits are not permitted to perform on the temple premises,” he says

Dalit groom, on horseback, pulled down, beaten up

CHHATTARPUR: A dalit groom was allegedly beaten and forced to get down from the horse he was riding as part of a pre-wedding ritual, by upper caste men at Sadwa village in the district, the police said here on Sunday. 

The incident took place two days ago, when as part of a pre-wedding ritual, the Dalit groom Manoj Ahirwar (21) went around the village on horseback, seeking blessings of village elders, when upper caste members objected to it, Chhattarpur's additional superintendent of police (ASP) Neeraj Pandey said. 

He said that the police arrested seven people identified as Ladle Yadav, Khadia Yadav, Ammu Yadav, Mitthu Yadav, Jaahar Yadav, Ram Singh and Pavrat Pal, while six other accused are absconding. 

As per village "tradition", only upper caste grooms are "allowed" to ride on horseback, while lower castes have to walk on foot to seek blessings of elders. 

However, when the dalit groom was on his procession along with others on a horseback, a few among them allegedly commented something about upper caste women, which led to a scuffle and they strongly objected to the lower caste groom "violating" village "tradition". 

Upper caste men including village headman Khuman Singh, allegedly attacked the Dalit groom, who was pulled down and beaten mercilessly. Allegedly, they also attacked women members of the procession and later escaped the spot. 

The dalit groom and others went to the Badamalhera police station and lodged a complaint, after which a case was registered against 13 people including Khuman Singh and his two sons under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and the SC/ST Act.

Politics of Atrocity: Towards UnderstandingCaste Violence
Dr.P.Kesava Kumar
The word ‘atrocious’ is an adjective form, meaning very wicked or cruel or shocking. The noun form of it is atrocity, meaning wicked or cruel act. Atrocity is an act. Legislation preventing it is confining to the limited objective of avoiding such act. Legislation is intended at prevent of cruel act because it is unbearably inhuman, appealing to our realist aesthetic. The statist use of a term atrocity does not go beyond its apparent inhumanity and explore into socially constituted intersubjective meanings of the atrocity. The state already assumes a sanitized picture of society as consisting of simple individuals located outside caste bound cultural contexts. At least it intends to build such a society, completely ignoring the intersubjective nature of social meaning.
Atrocity annihilates all attempts to give life meaning and destroys forever a subject’s possibility of seeking justice as well as the individual’s relation with the world. The idea of atrocity is associated with acts of assaults and violence against an individual or group which are illegitimate, inhuman and cruel. It has different contextual and structural meanings. Genocide, caste violence, gendered violence, rape, ethnic cleansing, mass murder, war, slavery and torture are some examples of atrocity. The terms atrocity and violence are often used as synonymously. But these are two distinctive categories and are invariably related to each other. Violence is a sociological and cultural category .It is mostly descriptive in nature. Atrocity is a moral and political category. It is evaluative in nature.

I believe the philosophical discourse on atrocity may be providing a new meaning in freedom of the self in a caste society. The idea of atrocity had different dimensions in case of caste violence. Caste violence could not be reduced either to physical or psychological phenomenon. More than physical and psychological, it is a social, cultural and religious phenomenon. The phenomenological method may provide link to connect the victim, perpetuator, state, social structure and social agencies involved in the phenomenon of caste violence. The purpose is not to identify or describe different political positions in the phenomenon of atrocity. But it is to strengthen or justify the moral and political position of victim of atrocity in relation to other positions. This phenomenological method may help in grounding the possibility of communication by negotiating with other.

Public intellectuals tend to either subjectivise or objectivise the social world. Poets/writers tend to  subjectivise the meaning of social act like atrocity while academics tend to see this as end product of play of objective forces like class. Public movements-when they attempt to remedy atrocity, they do so by trying to mobilize people by conscientizing them throughteaching the objective picture of the world and thereby making them consumers and carriers of that picture.insightful analyst could gives us some kind of intersubjectivity intrinsic to social world. Either subjectivist or objectivist description deny the possibility of accessibility to intersubjectively constituted social world. Invoking phenomenology cautions us about impossibility of making social world according to our wishes. Social worlds can be understood culturally constituted intersubjective social meanings. Atrocity occurs and it is an instance of crises of normative hindu social order due to alteration in the internal perspective of the actor. However, the norm remains to be hindu social order. Reconciliation takes place through readjusting each other’s perspective according to that norm. Atrocity also happens in the context of invoking objectivist just conceptions of the world into the village social world or also in the process of negotiating intersubjective veracity of objectively just norms.
‘Dalita Rananinadam’(2005), a compilation of analytical essays on atrocities against dalits , that took place between 1985-2005 provides an understanding of atrocity viewed by dalit intellectuals who are actively involved dalit movement of this period.  Chunduru Nethuti Charitra (2008) is about Chunduru massacre, contains the testimonies/witnesses of dalit victims of that massacre produced in SC/ST special court, published by Kulanirmulana Porata Samithi. Kathi Padma Rao, the dalit leader emerged from the struggle against Karamchedu massacre argues that Upper caste (kammas) are targeted dalits of Karamchedu by consolidating their energies all possible way (kamma manpower of nearby seven village, tractors, weapons and by keeping police under their control).When the dalits are not organized, they used to attack individual dalits in their cattle sheds. Now they changed their strategies by understanding the collective strength of dalits. He illustrates that the perpetuators of Karamchedu massacre and the dalit victims have different philosophical background. Whenever dalit castes are resisting the feudal caste hegemony, the upper caste are killing, raping and massacring dalits by consolidating their political, Social (caste), economic power. In establishing their caste hegemony, they are unifying their social force. This atrocity has to simply understand as an issue of economic or political oppression but as an hegemonic caste massacre. This has to be resisted through the weapons of philosophy of annihilation of caste.[i]K.G.Satyamurthy, another dalit leader commenting on Chunduru massacre, though there is significant economic change in agrarian society of coastal Andhra, but in corresponding to this, there was no change in social and cultural life. If that change took place, upper caste would not respond in such atrocious way against the idea of self-respect of dalits .[ii] Another Dalit writer Ravi Kumar in his foreword to S. Viswanathan’s Dalits in Dravidian Land expresses that caste violence has not only changed its pattern and also changed its geography. Even when a small development or incident leading to the empowerment of dalits takes place, casteist forces are at the forefront of efforts to quash it. The instruments of the state cooperate with these forces. The judiciary too plays its part. And further adds that the important aspect of recent caste clashes was the fact that the dalits had begun to retaliate. It is more explicit in most of the caste atrocities.[iii]
Caste violence is socially located and had an historical continuity. It manifests in many forms. It is constituted and a cognitive act. It is relational and intentional. The perpetuator, caste hindu and the victim, dalit makes sense of their acts and came up with different meaning to the same act. Dalit victim articulates the caste violence as an atrocity committing against him. The perpetuator, the caste hindu justifies his act of violence by pointing out the violation of social norm by the dalits. The perpetuator projects the targeted dalit as violent, anti-social and potential threat to ‘public’. Rather observing the caste violence as an emotional act took place between individuals or a group, we have to take note of social structure and institutions that are undercurrent of this phenomenon. The social merit of these structures has to be evaluated in terms of social justice and common good. As dalit leader Kathi Padma Rao observed, the perpetuator and the victim have two different world views. It is the clash of brahminical world view of upper caste hindu and the world view of annihilation of caste represented by dalit. As it is observed, for dalit leaders understood atrocity as a reaction to retaliation of dalits against caste hegemony for the sake of self-respect. For caste hindu , his act of violence is to maintain his status and control over dalits, which he has foreseen as losing with the assertion of dalits. State has seen the atrocity as the breaking of law but in practice unable to implement it due to its social character. As a result state limiting to itself as a dealer of compensation for victims rather intervening in the social process to minimize the social inequalities. The academic understanding on atrocity is a reflection of this process and ultimately ends in reproducing the knowledge, which is mostly empirical in nature. It lacks proper theoretical direction and obviously keeps in status quo of society. The social scientists are limiting themselves in explaining the social conditions that leads to violence rather providing normative and political understanding of the issue. At most the theoretical understanding is confines to liberal humanistic or Gandhian in case of understanding caste violence. In this context, dalit literary writing to certain extent captured the idea of atrocity and provides the normative meaning to atrocity by locating it socially and historically. Though it was a cultural construction of dalit writer that reflects his subjective position, but to a possible extent they opened up the diverse subjective positions. In Bojja Tarakam’s Nela, Nagali and Mudeddulu, we may find how dalit subjectivity got erased by the caste hindu, who happened to have control over the land and resources. The power denies the identity of dalit as a human being and reduced him to a third bull. An attempt to live as human being leads to knowing about oneself and questioning the power that obviously leads to violence. The author    has not only depicts the conditions that leads to violence and explains the functioning of the social structure as a whole against the labourer, subordinate, dalit. To overcome this atrocity of slavery, he suggests that dalits should have land, education and political power. To transform the society requires courage to fight against this inhuman and oppressed society. Kolakaluri Enoch’s Oorabhavi provides the multiple meanings of atrocity by capturing the complexity involved in the society and explaining the caste violence. It also provides the strategies adopted by the dalits in resisting the everyday caste violence. In our philosophical understanding of atrocity we have to take note of these dimensions of caste violence in order to change the inhuman, oppressive and exploitative social system. Rather describing the phenomenon of caste violence, our understanding of atrocity has to acknowledge the politics of resisting the caste violence.

End Notes

[i] Padma Rao, Katthi Karamchedu O Charitrika Malupu, Dalita Rananinadam, Hyderabad: Yedureetha Publications, 2005,p.6

[ii] Satyamurthy.K.G.quoted in Dalita Rana Ninadam, p.55

[iii] Ravi Kumar, (2005) Waiting to lose their Patience, In:  Viswanathan,S. Dalits in Dravidian Land, Chennai: Navayana, , p.xxvii

Criticism and apologetics

In the modern context, this incident is quoted often to condemn Rama, the varna system, or both. E.V. Ramasami used this episode to argue that Rama as depicted in the Ramayana was clearly not the benevolent king devotees claimed him to be, and often used depictions of the scene of Shambuka's beheading at rallies.Ambedkar, in contrast, said that to condemn Rama based on this incident was to miss the point. The true point of the story of Shambuka was that it demonstrated the unsustainability of the varna system, and the extent to which its existence depended on the harsh punishment of those who sought to transgress it.
The story of Shambuka was problematic for early Hindu authors. Bhavabhuti (c. 7th century) is clearly uncomfortable with the story in his Uttara Rama Charita,while Kalidasa (c. 4th century) mentions the incident of Shambuka without any comment in his Raghuvamsa.
Later Hindu authors adopt various means to explain the reason behind Rama's killing of Shambuka. The Pushtimarg Vaishnavite tradition of Gujarat points out that the Ramayana refers to other Shudras, such as Shabari, who were dear to Rama and meditated without incurring any penalty. It explains Shambuka's death through a backstory, which states that Shamba was an asura in a previous birth, and did penance with the view of attempting to seduce Parvati, the wife of Shiva. He was cursed to be born as Shambuka, a Shudra, and remain so until he was redeemed by Rama. Shambuka therefore deliberately violated dharma in order to get Rama's attention, and attained salvation when he was beheaded.The celebrated Kannada poet Kuvempu, in his play Shudra Tapasvi shows Rama as having to both carry out his duty by punishing Shambuka, and simultaneously protect Shambuka, as a pious and devout sage, from persecution, and thereby turns the story into a critique of Brahminical attitudes and a defence of Rama.

Later propaganda insertion

Many scholars believe that this story was made up to eliminate any threats to the upper-castes.
Some authors also argue that this story of Shamnuka seems false as Lord Rama cared for all human beings and was around peoples from all castes. For example, Maharishi Valmiki, the composer of the original Ramayana is a Bhil Adivasi.Lord Rama with his brother Laxmana also visits Maharishi Matanga's Ashram - an ashram of the Harijan Matanga, a Mang outcaste that became a Brahmana. Also, Lord Rama, while searching for Sita Devi together with His brother Laxmana was offered half-eaten 'ber' from a Bhil tribal devotee - Rama and Laxmana gladly accepted and ate her remnants. Maharishi Narada was a great devotee of Shri Rama and came from a Shudra caste and himself taught Ratnakar or Vailya (yet to become Valmiki) to meditate on the mantra "Rama Rama". Maharishi Vashista was reborn of Urvasi, an Apsara. He was a guru of Lord Rama. Maharishi Parashara, son of a fisherwoman (Matsyakanya-Satyavathi Devi) and narrated the stories of the 10 avatars of Vishnu. Shri Rama and Shri Laxmana also . Lord Rama after all was the "noble that cared for the equality of all."
Scholar Purushottama Candra Jaina writes that this story "is of late origin".
Even many Harijans themselves reject the claim that Rama ever killed any Shambuka. For example, Harijan members of the Ramnami Vaishnava sect claim that this was a later insertion for the upper-castes to assert their superiority. After all, Rama Himself slayed Ravana (a Brahmin). However, Dravidian movements hold the position that Lord Rama murdered shambuka to reinstate the apartheid varna system, which is an important feature of Hindu Dharma.

  1.  Government of  (in Gujarati) (Ahmedabad, 1961).
  2. 'M. Raghava, "The king and the protector of the devout" The Hindu (October 26, 2004). Maharishi Vashista
  3. P. 16 Labour in Ancient India By Purushottama Candra Jaina
  4. Maharashtra, Nasik District Gazeteer: History - Ancient Period [4] (text credited to Mahamahopadhyaya Dr. V. V. Mirashi)
  5. Countercurrents, "Periyar's movement" (June 28, 2003).
  6. David Shulman, "Bhavabhuti on Cruelty and Compassion" in Questioning Ramayanas: A South Asian Tradition (edited by Paula Richman). University of California Press. 2001. ISBN 0520220749. pp. 49-82.
  7.  Motiramji Sastri, Ramayan  P. 196 Rapt in the Name By Ramdas Lamb

Asserting that “in spite of my constitutional position, I have been denied fair opportunity to defend myself and my reputation by the Judges Inquiry Committee”, Sikkim High Court Chief Justice P D Dinakaran, who is facing False probe on charges of corruption and misconduct, today resigned from his post.
In a two-page resignation letter to Chief Justice of India S H Kapadia “sneaking suspicion that my misfortune was because of circumstances of my birth in the socially oppressed (Dalit family) and underprivileged section of the society”.
He said that he was resigning “in order to maintain the dignity of the office” and “to prove that I do not have any lust for the office, position and the power and to prove that I do not want to adopt any dilatory tactics”.
On March 16, a three-member committee of jurists comprising Supreme Court Judge Aftab Alam, Karnataka High Court CJ J S Khehar and eminent jurist P P Rao had issued a chargesheet levelling 16 charges of corruption and irregularities against Dinakaran.
Later, based on Dinakaran’s appeal, Hindutva Terrorist minded jurist P P  Rao was replaced by jurist Mohan Gopal in the panel.
I could not accommodate undesirable politically motivated requests/ demands while upholding my oath of office to render justice without fear or favour in the course of administration of justice, I have been very calculatively targeted at the instance of the vested interests (of Hindutva Terror minded),” his letter says.
Saying he had no faith in the panel, Dinakaran says, “..It is also obvious that hearing before the committee is just an empty formality. Hence, I have lost confidence of getting fair hearing and justice even before the reconstituted committee. In above factual background I am unable to repose any faith and confidence in the committee and in the procedure being adopted by them. I am, therefore, of the firm view that there would not be any gainful purpose in appearing before the committee in spite of my innocence.”
Views of Readers:-


It is unfortunate that echelons of high profile also do not escape from the clutches of the discrimination based on caste and creed. In the above context, a common man’s fate from the so called under privileged communities in India hangs in balance. It is a deep rooted conspiracy to target dalit judges who by a chance occupy the highest position, take the case of Justice K G Balakrishnan, it is portrayed as if he is the only chief justice who brought disrepute to the system, in such a case does it mean the chief justices who occupied the apex court since independence have an unimpeachable integrity, let the assets of the former judges be thoroughly investigated by the investigative agencies then the world will know who is what. At this juncture I want to thighlight an observation made by additional solicitor general of india during the course of argument in the case challenging the removal of Mr.Thomas wherein he said if integrity factor is taken an absolute criteria for selection no judges can be appointe in high court and supreme court.I do not say that corruption should be tolerated but in eradicating the same therse should not be even the slightest doubt that judges from particular class undergo the acid test whil others dont. Further media should understand that they are not from celestial bodies and their judgement wont go wrong. The privilege given to the media is at its maximum exploitation , they conduct a parallel trial and punish an individual even before he is adjudged by a system based on rule of law. If press can do that why should there be courts.If only when things go wrong because of a system failure they have a role to play not before that.
Vatti in trouble for ‘abusing’ dalit IAS officer
TNN Apr 5, 2012, 01.51AM IST
VISAKHAPATNAM: District in-charge minister Vatti Vasantha Kumar found himself in trouble for allegedly abusing a dalit IAS officer here on Wednesday. Dalit students demanded that the police register a case under the SC/ST Atrocity Act against the minister. However, Vasantha Kumar denied using abusive language against the IAS officer.
Students burnt an effigy of the minister protesting his treatment of Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation commissioner B Ramanjaneyulu at a meeting at the circuit house here two days back. The minister allegedly shouted at the officer and both of them later exchanged harsh words while discussing demolition of illegal structures on the beach road on Monday. The dalit students warned the police that they would go ahead with their plan for indefinite hunger strike if they failed to register a case against the minister within 2 24 hours.
It all started when Ramanjaneyulu ordered the town planning officials to demolish 10 structures on the beach road for violating the CRZ regulations. The structures were coming in the way of beautification of the beach road. A businessman, Satish Chandra Joshi, who runs an eatery on the beach road, approached the AP high court against the demolition and got a stay order. His contention was that the officials had no right to take up demolition since the court had given a stay order. He rushed to the minister and complained. It was then the minister lost his cool and allegedly flared up at the commissioner. Sources said Ramanjaneyulu tried to explain but the minister shouted at him even as a couple of other ministers, collector Luv Agarwal and officials looked on.

Called me a Pallachi
I am a twenty‑six-year‑old Dalit agricultural laborer.  I earn Rs. 20 [US$0.50] a day for a full day's work. In December 1997, the police raided my village...  The superintendent of police [SP] called me a pallachi, which is a caste name for prostitute.  He then opened his pant zip...  At 11:00 a.m. the sub-collector came.  I told the collector that the SP had opened his zip and used a vulgar word.  I also told him that they had broken my silver pot.  The SP was angry I had pointed him out... 
The next morning the police broke all the doors and arrested all the men in the village...  The SP came looking for me.  My husband hid under the cot.  My mother was with me at the time.  I was in my night clothes.  The police started calling me a prostitute and started beating me.  The SP dragged me naked on the road for one hundred feet.  I was four months pregnant at the time...  A sixty-year-old woman asked them to stop.  They beat her too and fractured her hands...  They brought me to the police station naked...  Fifty-three men had been arrested.  One of them took off his lungi [wrap-around cloth] and gave it to me to cover myself.                 
I begged the police officers at the jail to help me.  I even told them I was pregnant. They mocked me for making such bold statements to the police the day before.  I spent twenty-five days in jail.  I miscarried my baby after ten days.  Nothing has happened to the officers who did this to me....
-Guruswamy Guruammal, Madurai, Tamil Nadu
Limitless cruality: Nepal Hindu Army & Dalit women

According to the fact finding report of INSEC, the clothes of deceased women and girl including their private clothes were found scattered in the spot where incident took place. One cave with 10 persons staying capacity is located in the incident spot. Kaulo herbs were found in the large bag with soaking of the blood, in the cave. The fact finding team also observed that in the 50 meter distance of east-west part from the spot, around two quintal of the herbs were kept for drying. It was also found that there beds and other arrangements were destroyed by fire in the north-west part from the spot. Tul Bahadur B.K. who was hiding  himself into the bush nearby  from the spot for around half an hour and returned back to the incident spot after hearing of his daughter’s crying. He had immediately been arrested by the army patrolling group when he returned back. The two women, who were killed, were his wife and sister-in-law while the 12 year-old girl was his daughter.

Uttar Pradesh - PUDR Statement regarding atrocities on Dalits in Ramgarh village

July 25, 2012
What Price Protest?
Dalit activist tied to train tracks loses legs
In the past few months, parts of north-western India have witnessed incidents of outright Dalit assertion of their rights related to access to resources and to a life of dignity. This has, in all cases, met with retaliation by the dominant upper or intermediary castes. After the Hisar incident, where hundreds of Dalits from Bhagana village had to come all the way up to Delhi on foot to voice the suppression of their rights to land and an equal life, similar acts of oppression have been witnessed in Ramgarh village of Dadri Tehsil, Gautam Buddh Nagar district, Uttar Pradesh.
As the youth of this village had begun organizing themselves, the Gujjars retaliated by making 22-year old Tika Ram their target. Tika Ram had spoken at a convention held on the 15 July at New Delhi about the ongoing suppression of Jatavs in Ramgarh. After this he was beaten up by 4 Gujjar youth and ruthlessly tied to the railway tracks to die. Somehow he managed to free himself but not enough to save his legs which have had to be amputated after the incident. Tika Ram is battling for life today at the AIIMS Trauma Centre in New Delhi.
According to reports, it all began with the dominant Gujjar community in Ramgarh village forcefully acquiring 4.75 acres of land belonging to 60 Jatav families in December last year. The Gujjars created a 7 feet long wall around this land under the aegis of the Gram Pradhan Kuldeep Bhati. Title deeds to this land (which was originally Panchayat land distributed to the Jatavs under a government scheme) were given to the Dalits in the year 1982 itself as a constitutional guarantee.
The Jatavs filed a complaint with the Sub Divisional Magistrate of Dadri on January 24 2012, after which they were continually threatened and abused. This was followed by another complaint by the Jatavs in February. On March 14, the Gujjars retaliated with violence leaving the Jatavs with fractured limbs and skulls. Women, children and old people were targeted too. A case of attempt to murder has been registered against the 4 Gujjar youth after pressure groups actively demanded for it. Meanwhile, the Gujjars have registered a false case on Tika Ram for attempt to murder of a Gujjar girl.
What the Jatavs of Ramgarh are currently facing has roots in two processes that are taking place in our society. First is the ongoing historical exploitation of the lower castes, but this time by the intermediary castes, with the latter having grown in power over time due to a number of factors like money-lending capacity, land ownership, and increased social mobility, among others. This exploitation, as always, has taken the form of violence to suppress the growing Dalit assertion.
The second process at work is the upper class elements; in this case the Real Estate builders and construction companies and their drive for profit. The incident is another example of how the increasing demand for land has resulted in heightened caste consciousness and contestation. The whole of north western Uttar Pradesh, due to its proximity to Delhi NCR, is a hotbed for property deals today. The builders, who have an eye on the land in this area, are playing on the existing power relations between caste communities to extract maximum profit for themselves. According to one report, the Jats(upper caste) have already sold their land to a company called Sushant Megapolis while the Gujjars might now be acting as agents of the company for acquiring land from the Jatavs.
To add to this the Gujjars are getting indirect support from the State agencies as well. Police was deployed in the village after the 14 March incident, but has been of no great help to the Jatavs. As mentioned above, a false case has been registered against Tika Ram, and other active youth from the Jatav community. Also, complaints filed against the Gujjars in January and February have heeded no response yet. So, along with an unresponsive State, what we see here is a nexus between the dominant caste and upper class working towards the exploitation of the Dalits and violence being used to ‘keep the Dalits in their place’. Yet again, we rest our hope in the State in order to bring about the following:
1. FIRs against the Gujjars be registered for the events of abuse in January and February, and then the March 14th incidents of violence, and the injured compensated.
2. Compensation to Tika Ram’s family for the loss they are suffering.
3. Ensure return of falsely acquired and sealed off land to the Dalits.
4. Booking responsible members from the Gujjar community(also including Gram Pradhan Kuldeep Bhati) under the SC &ST(Prevention of Attrocities) Act 1989.
5. Regulations be imposed on the construction companies operating in the area.
Preeti Chauhan and Paramjeet Singh
Secretaries, PUDR

U.P. Tops In Atrocities Against Dalits
By S.R.Darapuri
10 February, 2011
Uttar Pradesh (U.P.) has earned the dubious distinction of being a state where the highest numbers of atrocities have been committed against the Dalits (Scheduled Castes) for the last many years. It is in spite of the fact that this state is being ruled by a Dalit Chief Minister for the fourth time who is going to complete her fourth year in office. U.P. has the largest Dalit population in India numbering about 35.1 million and nearly 21.5% of total state population.
In a state being ruled by a Dalit Chief Minister the general expectation is that the Dalit population might be getting full protection of law and the number of atrocities against them should be much lower than in other states. But the ground reality is quite different.
The number of atrocities against Dalits in U.P. has been the highest for the last many years. The state government has recently claimed that crimes against Scheduled Castes/ Scheduled Tribes (SC/ST) have come down in U.P. considerably if compared to other states. The latest crime figures released by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) under "Crime In India - 2009" again show that U.P. still tops in crime against Dalits. This picture emerges from the figures of crime given out by NCRB as shown below:
Incidence of Crime:
The report states that during the year 2009 the number of crimes against Dalits at national level was 33,594. In this figure the share of Uttar Pradesh was 22.4% followed by Rajasthan (14.8%). Thus U.P. tops in total incidence of crime against Dalits.
A total of 624 cases were reported in the country during 2009. U.P. has accounted for 37.7% of the total Murder cases reported in the country i.e. 235 out of 624. Here also U.P. is on the top.
A total of 1, 346 cases of Rape of women belonging to SC/ST were reported in the country during 2009. Madhya Pradesh has reported 321 cases accounting for 23.8% of total cases. U.P. stands just slightly behind with a figure of 317 cases i.e. 23.6% of total Rape cases.
Kidnapping and Abduction:
A total of 512 cases of Kidnapping and Abduction of SC/STs were reported during the year 2009 showing an increase of 6.2% over 2008. U.P. alone has reported 254 (49.6%) during 2009 i.e. nearly half of the crime figure at the national level. Here again U.P. is on the top.
At the national level 195 cases of Arson were reported. Bihar has reported the highest 40 number of cases followed by Rajasthan (39) and U.P.( 38) and Madhya Pradesh (31). Here also U.P. is just a little behind other states.
Protection Civil Rights Act:
A total of 168 cases were reported in 2009. U.P. has reported the highest 61 number of cases followed by Andhra Pradesh (39). These two states accounted for 59.5% of total cases reported in the country.

SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act:
A total of 11,143 cases were reported under this Act in 2009. U.P. has reported 2,554 cases accounting for 22.9% of the total cases in the country followed by Bihar (22.7%).
Now it becomes imperative to find out the reasons for the high incidence of crime against Dalits in U.P. The first reason is that unfortunately the implementation of the laws relating to registration and investigation of cases relating to atrocities on Dalits are not being implemented properly. The obsession of the present Chief Minister to show a decrease in crime against Dalits is giving leverage to the police for non registration of cases. This leads to burking of atrocity crimes which can be seen from the frequent complaints of non registration of cases appearing in the daily news papers. The crime review based on crime statistics forces the police to keep the crime figures low to put up a crime control picture. The result is that the statistics given out by the police are only a fraction of the actual incidence of crime. Thus the Dalit atrocities remain unaccounted and uncared for making the victims to suffer haplessly.
The second reason is non application of the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocity Act-1989 to the crimes committed against Dalits. It is well-known that Mayawati had stopped the application of this Act in 1997 under the pretext of checking its misuse. Actually it was a ploy to please her high caste followers who frequently resort to such atrocities. She had issued arbitrarily a government order to this effect. She directed the police to apply this Act in murder and rape cases only and that too after medical examination and preliminary enquiry. All other atrocity cases were ordered to be registered under normal laws i.e. Indian Penal Code and other Acts. Although this order was withdrawn in 2003 but the practice continues unabated. The victims have to approach the court frequently to get their cases registered. Only a few victims are able to take help from the court and majority fails to get this relief. Thus a very large number of atrocity cases go unregistered under this Act. The result is that the culprits go scot free and the victims get no help from police. The non registration of atrocity cases results in double loss to the victims. Firstly the culprits are not punished and secondly Dalits get no monetary compensation as admissible under the rules for the loss suffered by them. Thus Dalits suffer a double jeopardy.
Thirdly the policy of pleasing the Sarvjan (high castes) followed by Mayawati makes her lenient towards them. It is true that a large number of persons with criminal records have joined Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and have become MLAs and MPs. At present about a dozen MPs and MLAs of the ruling party (BSP) are involved in rape and abduction cases which mostly concern Dalit women and girls. Police is generally afraid of touching these influential persons. Only such cases get registered which get exposed in media and the government has to yield to public pressure.
From the above brief discussion it transpires that U.P. tops in atrocities against Dalits notwithstanding the fact that it is being ruled by a Dalit Chief Minister for the fourth term and she is about to complete her fourth year in chair. But the atrocities against Dalits are going on unabated. The out burst of women and Dalits against Mayawati during her recent field visits is an indicator that Maywaati has failed to bring relief to Dalits and common citizens. It may lead to a back lash during the coming Assembly elections in 2012.

Bihar: Dalit woman burnt alive for demanding her due
HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Gaya, October 08, 2012
A demand for the money allotted to her under Indira Vikas Yojana cost a mahadalit woman her life in Bihar's Gaya district. The former block pramukh, who had siphoned off the funds, allegedly sprinkled kerosene on Putukwa Devi and set her on fire. Putukwa Devi died in hospital on Sunday.
The 35-year-old woman was a member of the poorest of dalits. The category was created by chief minister Nitish Kumar to provide them with special benefits.
An FIR has been lodged and accused Subedar Yadav is on the run. Indira Awas Yojana is a Centrally-sponsored housing scheme for the poor.
“In 2008, the money had been sanctioned in Putukwa Devi's name for the construction of her house, but Yadav had kept it,” said Pitamber Roy, station house officer, Mohanpur.
She had been repeatedly demanding for the return of the money, said Roy. On Saturday, he barged into her house in an inebriated state along with a few other men.
“The woman's husband Barhan Manjhi works in Bhutan and neighbours allege that she had illicit relations with the ex-pramukh. But that day, heated exchanges followed when she objected to the entry of his associates,” the SHO said.
Then Yadav, who was already peeved over her demands for money, sprinkled kerosene on her and set her on fire.
“Then they left, but Putukwa Devi, despite her condition, followed Yadav to his home. He took her to the hospital where she died a day later,” said Rajesh Kumar, deputy superintendent of police, Sherghati.

‘untouchable’ Indian dog
Police in India are investigating claims that a Dalit woman has been ordered to pay compensation to the high-caste owners of a dog she fed.
Sunita Jatav with Sheru
Sunita Jatav fed Sheru some leftover bread
The woman says the village council wants her to pay a fine of 15,000 rupees ($330) for feeding the dog, which the owners have now kicked out. They are reported to have said the dog is “untouchable”, but deny being motivated by caste considerations. Although widespread, discrimination against Dalits is an offence in India. Dalits, who make up nearly 20% of the Indian population, say little has changed despite the government enacting various laws banning caste-based discrimination. ‘He got very angry’ The incident took place in Malikpur village in Morena district in central Madhya Pradesh state. “I made some roti [Indian bread] and took it to my husband who works in a farm. After I had fed him, we had some leftovers which I gave to the dog,” the Dalit woman, Sunita Jatav, said. She said the owner of the dog, Amrutlal Kirari, saw her feeding him. “He got very angry and said ‘You’ve fed my dog, it has become an untouchable now’.” Mrs Jatav said Mr Kirari left the dog, a black mongrel called Sheru, tied to a pole outside her house. On Monday, the village council met and decided that Sheru had been defiled and hence Mr Kirari should be paid 15,000 rupees as compensation, Mrs Jatav alleged.
On Tuesday, she approached the district collector of Morena who ordered an inquiry into the incident. Senior police officer in the area, Baldev Singh, told the BBC that he was investigating the matter. He said Mr Kirari had alleged that after eating the bread, Sheru fell ill. Mr Kirari said he abandoned the dog at Mrs Jatav’s house so she could look after it and nurse it back to health, Mr Singh added. Dalits – formerly untouchables – are considered at the bottom of the Hindu caste system. Any discrimination against them is an offence and punishable by law.

Dalits prevented from performing religious rituals in temple

A dispute over stopping Dalit devotees from performing some religious rituals in a Shiva temple in a remote village in Odisha's Kendrapara district has triggered a controversy.
Upper caste residents allegedly stopped Dalit devotees from entering the sanctum sanctorum for pouring holy water on the deity, fuelling tension at Gopei village.
“A few upper caste devotees had stopped some devotees belonging to lower caste from offering puja. It led to resentment among the Dalits. It was fallout of past dispute between a section of people,” Kendrapara sub divisional police officer Nrusingha Charan Swain said.
A case under sections of the Prevention of Atrocity against Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes Act was registered, he said.
The village, under Karilopatana gram panchayat, is home to about 500 residents.
While it is predominantly inhabited by upper caste people, about 100 Dalits reside in the village.
The Dalits registered their protest against the discrimination by bringing the matter to the notice of civil and police administration.
“The differences have been amicably settled,” official sources said.
Rituals and puja at the temple resumed after a compromise between the conflicting groups, the sources said.
Following the incident, the police stepped up security in and around the seaside village.
The administration was keeping a close watch on the situation, Kendrapara collector Pradipta Kishore Pattnaik said.

Miscreants set ablaze five dalit houses in Nawada
Posted on: 15 Oct 2012
Five dalit houses set ablaze in Bihar
Nawada: The miscreants on Sunday set on fire five dalit houses in Pipra village in Bihar's Nawada district, police sources said.
The miscreants torched the five dalit houses after the family members refused to pay them extortion money, the sources said. The Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Akhtar Sahriyar rushed to the village with police force to probe the matter, they said.
The aggrieved dalit families have lodged a FIR against eight persons for torching their houses, the sources said, adding all accused persons were absconding.

“An increasing number of Dalit women in Banke district are attracted towardsan annual labour contract called Balighare Partha locally under which so-called high caste people give food in return to their hard work and service.
“Until recently the age-old Balighare occupation was dominated by Dalit men. Prem Kala BK of Chisapani-9 is an example of increasing number of women taking up this profession mainly by women from Bishwokarma community among other Dalit castes.
“Lately she has started working in her forge, where only her husband used to work till some time ago. She melts metal in the forage and crafts kitchen utensils and sickles, knives, hoes and other traditional weapons of neighbours. In return, she gets rice, maize or millets (as per her choice) for her whole year’s works from them.
“Sewing clothes as well making hand drums and other musical instruments are also part of Balighare system in existence in the district from ages taken up by Dalit people as their one of the major sources of livelihood.”
anti-caste: In the balighare partha system, one of several traditional forms of caste-based labor extraction in Nepal, members of (low-ranking) artisan castes provide services to upper-caste landholders in exchange for one meager allotment (perhaps ten, fifteen, or twenty-five kilograms) of inferior food grain annually at harvest time.

Dalits continue to be exploited in Nepal (Frontlines of Revolutionary Struggle, October 24, 2010):
“Dal Man Bishwokarma, a resident of Rautaha village in Udayapur, not only manufactures domestic weapons and equipments used in farming but also repairs them. He provides his service to 21 Bishta families. However, he gets only 10 pathis [about 50 kilograms] of maize once a year from each of them.
“During festivals like Dashain and Tihar, Bishta families provide Dal Man with a mana (one mana is roughly equal to half a kilogram) of rice and Rs 20 each. His family has to survive on this meager income for the whole year. ‘With this income, I find it difficult to make ends meet even for six months,’ he said. ‘For the rest of the year, I have to go somewhere else to work as a laborer.’
“The tradition, which exploits Dalits’ labor, is still in fashion mainly in Bhutar, Nametar, Bhalayodada, Panchawoti, Dumre, Barre, Iname, Jante, Thanagau and Laphagau villages. Harka Bahadur Pariyar, a resident of Jaate village where 24 Dalit families are stuck in this tradition, said, ‘We have been surviving like this for generations.’”  

Attacks against Dalit women in Haryana spark action in the fight for equal treatment

Dalit activists and intellectuals who gathered at Panipat on Sunday to take stock of the atrocities against Dalit women in Haryana have decided to spread awareness in the community about the need to fight for rights.
The activists, who gathered under the aegis of National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, said they will visit villages in nine state districts and hold the awareness campaign.
"We have decided to organise a mobile counselling-cum-awareness campaign across Haryana from October 27 to November 8.
The activists, who met in Panipat on Sunday, will visit villages in nine Haryana districts
The activists, who met in Panipat on Sunday, will visit villages in nine Haryana districts
"Twenty-five Dalit boys and girls, accompanied by a team to hold cultural programmes, will set out in vehicles and set up camp in Dalit localities," said Savita Singh, advocate and state coordinator of the All India Dalit Mahila Adhikar Manch(AIDMAM).
She will lead the campaign. She said the organisation had already planned meetings with Dalit men and women with an aim to provide them basic knowledge of the law.
"We will also provide them phone numbers of police and other government officials whom they can contact in case of an emergency. We will encourage them to stand up against anyone disgracing them in any manner," Savita added.
Asha Kotwal, general secretary of the AIDMAM, said the programme for a national-level rally had been finalised for November 23 in New Delhi.
More than 3,000 Dalit men and women from Haryana will visit the Capital to participate in the event.
The rally will also aim to spread awareness among the Dalits about their rights and try to wake up the administration from its slumber so it can act against people involved in crimes against the community.
The organisation has planned a public hearing in Chandigarh in November as well, Asha said. She pointed out that the recent atrocities in Haryana against the Dalits were a cause for alarm.
"The police and government took crimes against the community casually," she said. "It should stop now," she asserted.
Manjula Pradeep, director of NGO Navsarjan Trust, which works on the issues of social justice and human rights violations, revealed they were trying to rope in advocates and other educated members of the community to fight for justice for Dalit women.
"We look forward to setting up a strong network of people who would help Dalit women and other people in need or in trouble," she said.

Phoolan Devi Murder
Phoolan Devi (1963 – 2001) was an Indian dacoit (bandit), who later turned politician. Born in a lower-caste Mallaah family, she was kidnapped by a gang of dacoits. The upper-caste Thakur leader of the gang tried to rape her, but she was protected by the deputy leader Vikram, who belonged to her caste. Later, an upper-caste Thakur friend of Vikram killed him, abducted Phoolan, and locked her up in the Behmai village. Phoolan was raped in the village by Thakur men, until she managed to escape after three weeks.
Phoolan Devi then formed a gang of Mallahs, which carried out a series of violent robberies in north and central India, mainly targeting upper-caste people. Some say that Phoolan Devi targeted only the upper-caste people and shared the loot with the lower-caste people, but the Indian authorities insist this is a myth. Seventeen months after her escape from Behmai, Phoolan returned to the village, to take her revenge. On February 14, 1981, her gang massacred twenty-two Thakur men in the village, only two of which were involved in her kidnapping or rape. Phoolan Devi later surrendered and served eleven years in prison, after which she became a politician. During her election campaign, she was criticized by the women widowed in the Behmai massacre. Kshatriya Swabhimaan Andolan Samanvay Committee (KSASC), a Kshatriya organization, held a statewide campaign to protest against her. She was elected a Member of Parliament twice.
On July 25, 2001, Phoolan Devi was shot dead by unknown assassins. Later, a man called Sher Singh Rana confessed to the murder, saying he was avenging the deaths of 22 Kshatriyas at Behmai. Although the police were skeptical of his claims, he was arrested. Rana escaped from Tihar Jail in 2004. In 2006, KSASC decided to honor Rana for "upholding the dignity of the Thakur community" and "drying the tears of the widows of Behmai."

Kilvenmani massacre

The Kilvenmani massacre was an incident in Tamil Nadu in 1969 in which a group of c.42 striking Dalit (untouchable) village labourers were murdered by a gang, allegedly sent by their landlords. It became a notable event in left wing political campaigns of the time and in Dravidianist ideology.
The incident occurred when the landless peasants were influenced by the Communist Party of India to organise themselves into a campaign for higher wages following the boom in agricultural production created by the Green Revolution. Following this, a gang arrived at the Kilvenmani village in Eastern Thanjavur, herded a group of c.42 villagers into a hut and burned them to death.
In the subsequent trial, the landlords could not be convicted of involvement in the event.

Melavalavu Massacre, Tamil Nadu
In the village of Melavalavu, in Tamil Nadu's Madurai district, following the election of a Dalit to the village council presidency, members of a higher-caste group murdered six Dalits in June 1997, including the elected council president, whom they beheaded.
Melavalavu panchayat, which was a general constituency, was declared a reserved constituency in 1996. This had caused resentment between Scheduled Caste people and Ambalakarar community. In the 1996 panchayat elections, Murugesan was elected president.In June 1997, a group of persons attacked Murugesan, vice-president Mookan and others with deadly weapons, resulting in the death of six persons and injuries to many others. A total of 40 persons were cited as accused in the case. The trial court convicted Alagarsamy and 16 others and sentenced them to undergo life imprisonment. On appeal, the High Court by its judgment dated April 19, 2006, confirmed the trial court’s order. Alagarsamy and others filed appeals against this judgment

1999 Bant Singh case, Punjab
In January 1999 four members of the village panchayat of Bhungar Khera village in Abohar paraded a handicapped Dalit woman, Ramvati devi naked through the village. No action was taken by the police, despite local Dalit protests. It was only on July 20 that the four panchayat members and the head Ramesh lal were arrested, after the State Home Department was compelled to order an inquiry into the incident
On the evening of January 5, 2006 Bant Singh, a poor Mazhabi, Dalit Sikh, was attacked by unknown assailants. His injuries necessitated medical amputation. He alleges that this was in retaliation for actively working to secure justice for his daughter, who was gang raped by upper caste members of his village in Punjab five years earlier.
A 55-year-old Dalit Sikh woman, Sawinder Kaur has been tortured, stripped and tied to a tree in Ram Duali village of Punjab because her nephew eloped with a girl from the same community. The police arrested four persons for allegedly committing the crime on 9 September 2007.

Kherlanji massacre Maharashtra
On September 29, 2006, four members of the Bhotmange family belonging to the Mahar Dalit underclass were slaughtered in Kherlanji, a small village in Bhandara district of Maharashtra. The women of the family, Surekha and Priyanka, were paraded naked in public, then allegedly gang-raped before being murdered .Although initially ascribed by the media and by the Human Rights Watch to upper castes, the criminal act was actually carried out by Kunbi caste  by Government of India) farmers for having opposed the requisition of the Dalit land to have a road built over it.
On November 23, 2006, some members of the Dalit community in the nearby district of Chandrapur staged a protest regarding this incident. The protesters allegedly turned violent and threw stones. The police resorted to baton-charging the protestors to control the situation. Dalit leaders, however, denied that they had first resorted to violence and stated that they had been "protesting in peace

[Act No. 33 of 1989 dated 11th September, 1989]

1. Short title, extent and commencement
2. Definitions


3. Punishments for offences of atrocities
4. Punishment for neglect of duties
5. Enhanced punishment for subsequent conviction
6. Application of certain provisions of the Indian Penal Code
7. Forfeiture of property of certain persons
8. Presumption as to offences
9. Conferment of powers


10. Removal of person likely to commit offence
11. Procedure on failure of person to remove himself from area and enter thereon after removal
12. Taking measurements and photographs, etc., of persons against whom order under section 10 is made
13. Penalty for non-compliance of order under section 10


14. Special Court
15. Special Public Prosecutor


16. Power of State Government to impose collective fine
17. Preventive action to be taken by the law and order machinery
18. Section 438 of the Code not to apply to persons committing an offence under the Act
19. Section 360 of the Code or the provisions of the Probation of Offenders Act not to apply to persons guilty of an offence under the Act
20. Act to override other laws
21. Duty of Government to ensure effective implementation of the Act
22. Protection of action taken in good faith
23. Power to make rules

Foot Notes

An Act to prevent the commission of offences of atrocities against the members of the
Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, to provide for Special Courts for the trial of
such offences and for the relief and rehabilitation of the victims of the such offences and
for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
Be it enacted by Parliament in the Fortieth Year of the Republic of India as follows: -
Collected by the All India Christian Council, Page 2 of 10


1. Short title, extent and commencement
(1) This Act may be called the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
(2) It extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
(3) It shall come into force on such date1 as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint.

2. Definitions

(1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,-

(a) "atrocity" means an offence punishable under section 3;
(b) "Code" means the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974);
(c) "Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes" shall have the meanings assigned to them respectively under clause (24) and clause (25) of article 366 of the Constitution;
(d) "Special Court" means a Court of Session specified as a Special Court in section 14;
(e) "Special public Prosecutor" means a Public Prosecutor specified as a Special Public Prosecutor or an advocate referred to in section 15;
(f) words and expressions used but not defined in this Act and defined in the Code or the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860) shall have the meanings assigned to them respectively in the Code, or as the case may be, in the Indian Penal Code.

(2) Any reference in this Act to any enactment or any provision thereof shall, in relation to an area in which such enactment or such provision is not in force, be construed as a reference to the corresponding law, if any, in force in that area.


3. Punishments for offences of atrocities

(1) Whoever, not being a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe,-

(i) forces a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe to drink or eat any inedible or obnoxious substance;
(ii) acts with intent to cause injury, insult or annoyance to any member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe by dumping excreta, waste matter, carcasses or any other obnoxious substance in his promises or neighbourhood; Collected by the All India Christian Council, Page 3 of 10
(iii) forcibly removes clothes from the person of a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe or parades him naked or with painted face or body or commits any similar act which is derogatory to human dignity;
(iv) wrongfully occupies or cultivates any land owned by, or allotted to, or notified by any competent authority to be allotted to, a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe or gets the land allotted to him transferred;
(v) wrongfully dispossesses a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe from his land or premises or interferes with the enjoyment of his rights over any land, premises or water;
(vi) compels or entices a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe to do 'begar' or other similar forms of forced or bonded labour other than any compulsory service for public purposes imposed by Government;
(vii) forces or intimidates a member. of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe not to vote or to vote to a particular candidate or to vote in a manner other than that provided by law;
(viii) institutes false, malicious or vexatious suit or criminal or other legal proceedings against a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe;
(ix) gives, any false or frivolous information to any public servant and thereby causes such public servant to use his lawful power to the injury or annoyance of a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe;
(x) intentionally insults or intimidates with intent to humiliate a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe in any place within public view;
(xi) assaults or uses force to any woman belonging to a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe with intent to dishonour or outrage her modesty;
(xii) being in a position to dominate the will of a woman belonging to a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe and uses that position to exploit her sexually to which she would not have otherwise agreed;
(xiii) corrupts or fouls the water of any spring, reservoir or any other source ordinarily used by members of the Scheduled Castes or the Scheduled Tribes so as to render it less fit for the purpose for which it is ordinarily used;
(xiv) denies a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe any customary right of passage to a place of public resort or obstructs such member so as to prevent hint from using or having access to a place of public resort to which other members of public or any section thereof have a right to use or access to;
(xv) forces or causes a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe to leave his house, village or other place of residence, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to five years and with fine.

(2) Whoever, not being a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe,- Collected by the All India Christian Council, Page 4 of 10

(i) gives or fabricates false evidence intending thereby to cause, or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby cause, any member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe to be convicted of an offence which is capital by the law for the time being in force shall be punished with imprisonment for life and with fine; and if an innocent member of a
Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe be convicted and executed in consequence of such false or fabricated evidence, the person who gives or fabricates such false evidence, shall be punished with death;
(ii) gives or fabricates false evidence intending thereby to cause, or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby cause, any member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe to be convicted of an offence which is not capital but punishable with imprisonment for a term of seven years or upwards, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to seven years or upwards and with fine;
(iii) commits mischief by fire or any explosive substance intending to cause or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby cause damage to any property belonging to a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to seven years and with fine;
(iv) commits mischief by fire or any explosive substance intending to cause or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby cause destruction of any building which is ordinarily used as a place of worship or as a place for human dwelling or as a place for custody of the property by a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe, shall
be punishable with imprisonment for life and with fine;
(v) commits any offence under the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860) punishable with imprisonment for a term of ten years or more against a person or property on the ground that such person is a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe or such property belongs to such member, shall be punishable with imprisonment for life and
with fine;
(vi) knowingly or having reason to believe that an offence has been committed under this Chapter, causes any evidence of the commission of that offence to disappear with the intention of screening the offender from legal punishment, or with that intention gives any information respecting the offence which he knows or believes to be false, shall be punishable with the punishment provided for that offence; or
(vii) being a public servant, commits any offence under this section, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than one year but which may extend to the punishment provided for that offence.

4. Punishment for neglect of duties

Whoever, being a public servant but not being a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe, wilfully neglects his duties required to be performed by him under this Act, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term shall not be than six months but which may extend to one year.

5. Enhanced punishment for subsequent conviction

Whoever, having already been convicted of an offence under this Chapter is convicted for the second offence or any offence subsequent to second offence, shall be punishable Collected by the All India Christian Council, Page 5 of 10 with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than one year but which may extend to the punishment provided for that offence.

6. Application of certain provisions of the Indian Penal Code

Subject to the other provisions of this Act, the provisions of section 34, Chapter III, Chapter IV, Chapter V, Chapter VA, section 149 and Chapter XXIII of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860), shall, so far as may be, apply for the purposes of this Act as they apply for the purposes of the Indian Penal Cede.

7. Forfeiture of property of certain persons

(1) Where a person has been convicted of any offence punishable under this Chapter, the Special Court may, in addition to awarding any punishment, by order in writing, declare that any property, movable or immovable or both, belonging to the person, which has been used for the commission of that offence, shall stand forfeited to

(2) Where any person is accused of any offence under this Chapter, it shall be open to the Special Court trying him to pass an order that all or any of the properties, movable or immovable or both, belonging to him, shall, during the period of such trial, be attached , and where such trial ends in conviction, the property so attached shall be liable to the extent it is required for the purpose of realisation of any fine imposed under
this chapter.

8. Presumption as to offences In a prosecution for an offence under this Chapter, if it is proved that-

(a) the accused rendered any financial assistance to a person accused of, or reasonably suspected of committing, an offence under this Chapter, the Special Court shall presume, unless the contrary is proved, that such person had abetted the offence;

(b) a group of persons committed an offend under this Chapter and if it is proved that the offence committed was a sequel to any existing dispute regarding land or any other matter, it shall be presumed that the offence was committed in furtherance of the common intention or in prosecution of the common object.

9. Conferment of powers

(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code or in any other provision of this Act, the State Government may, if it considers it necessary or expedient so to do,-

(a) for the prevention of and for coping with any offence under this Act, or (b) for any case or class or group of cases under this Act, in any district or part thereof, confer, by notification in the Official Gazette, on any officer of the State Government, the powers exercisable by a police officer under the Code in such district or part thereof or, as the case may be, for such case or class or group of cases, and in particular the powers of arrest, investigation and prosecution of persons before any Special Court.Collected by the All India Christian Council, Page 6 of 10
(2) All officers of police and all other officers of Government shall assist the officer referred to in sub-section (1) in the execution of the provisions of this Act or any rule, scheme or order made thereunder.
(3) The provisions of the Code shall, so far as may be, apply to the exercise of the powers by an officer under sub-section (1).


10. Removal of person likely to commit offence

(1) Where the Special Court is satisfied, upon a complaint or a police report that a person is likely to commit an offence under Chapter II of this Act in any area included in ‘Scheduled Area’ or ‘tribal areas’, as referred to in article 244 of the Constitution, it may, by order in writing, direct such person to remove himself beyond the limits of such area, by such route and within such time as may be specified in the order, and not to return to that area from which he was directed to remove himself for such period, not exceeding two years, as may he specified in the order.

(2) The Special Court shall, along with the order under sub-section (1), communicate to the person directed under that sub-section the grounds on which such order has been made.
(3) The Special Court may revoke or modify the order made under sub-section (1), for the reasons to be recorded in writing, on the representation made by the person against whom such order has been made or by any other person on his behalf within thirty days from the date of the order.

11. Procedure on failure of person to remove himself from area and enter thereon after removal

(1) If a person to whom a direction has been issued under section 10 to remove himself from any area-

(a) fails to remove himself as directed; or
(b) having so removed himself enters such area within the period specified in the order, otherwise than with the permission in writing of the Special Court under sub-section (2), the Special Court may cause him to be arrested and removed in police custody to such place outside such area as the Special Court may specify.
(2) The Special Court may, by order in writing, permit any person in respect of whom an order under section 10 has been made, to return to the area from which he was directed to remove himself for such conditions as may be specified in such order and may required him to execute a bond with or without surety for the due observation of
the conditions imposed.
(3) The Special Court may at any time revoke any such permission. Collected by the All India Christian Council, Page 7 of 10
(4) Any person who, with such permission, returns to the area from which he was directed to remove himself shall observe the conditions imposed, and at the expiry of the temporary period for which he was permitted to return, or on the revocation of such permission before the expiry of such temporary period, shall remove himself outside
such area and shall not return thereto within the unexpired portion specified under section 10 without a fresh permission.
(5) If a person fails to observe any of the conditions imposed or to remove himself accordingly or having so removed himself enters or returns to such area without fresh permission the Special Court may cause him to be arrested and removed in police custody to such place outside such area as the Special Court may specify.

12. Taking measurements and photographs, etc., of persons against whom order under section 10 is made

(1) Every person against whom an order has been made under section 10 shall, if so required by the Special Court, allow his measurements and photographs to be taken by a police officer.

(2) If any person referred to in sub-section (1), when required to allow his measurements or photographs to be taken resists or refuses to allow his taking of such measurements or photographs, it shall be lawful to use all necessary means to secure the taking thereof.
(3) Resistance to or refusal to allow the taking of measurements or photographs under sub-section (2) shall be deemed to be an offence under section 186 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860).
(4) Where an order under section 10 is revoked, all measurements and photographs (including negatives) taken under sub-section (2) shall be destroyed or made over to the person against whom such order is made.

13. Penalty for non-compliance of order under section 10 

Any person contravening an order of the Special Court made under section 10 shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year and with fine.


14. Special Court

For the purpose of providing for speedy trial, the State Government shall, with the

concurrence of the Chief Justice of the High Court, by notification in the Official Gazette,
specify for each district a Court of Session to be a Special Court to try the offences under
this Act.

15. Special Public Prosecutor

For every Special Court, the State Government shall, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify a Public Prosecutor or appoint an advocate who has been in practice as an advocate for not less than seven years, as a Special Public Prosecutor for the purpose of conducting cases in that Court. Collected by the All India Christian Council, Page 8 of 10


16. Power of State Government to impose collective fine

The provisions of section 10A of the Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955 (22 of 1955) shall, so far as may be, apply for the purposes of imposition and realisation of collective fine and for all other matters connected therewith under this Act.

17. Preventive action to be taken by the law and order machinery

(1) A District Magistrate or a Sub-divisional Magistrate or any other Executive Magistrate or any police officer not below the rank of a Deputy Superintendent of Police may, on receiving information and after such inquiry as he may think necessary, has reason to believe that a person or a group of persons not belonging to the Scheduled

Castes or the Scheduled Tribes, residing in or frequenting any place within the local limits of his jurisdiction is likely to commit an offence or has threatened to commit any offence under this Act and is of the opinion that there is sufficient ground for proceeding, declare such an area to be an area prone to atrocities and take necessary action for keeping the peace and good behaviour and maintenance of public order and tranquillity and may take preventive action.
(2) The provisions of Chapters VIII, X and XI of the Code shall, so far as may be, apply for the purposes of sub-section (1).
(3) The State Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, make one or more schemes specifying the manner in which the officers referred to in sub-section (1) shall take appropriate action specified in such scheme or schemes to prevent atrocities and to restore the feeling of security amongst the members of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes.

18. Section 438 of the Code not to apply to persons committing an offence under the Act

Nothing in section 438 of the Code shall apply in relation to any case involving the arrest of any person on an accusation of having committed an offence under this Act. 

19. Section 360 of the Code or the provisions of the Probation of Offenders 

Act not to apply to persons guilty of an offence under the Act The provisions of section 360 of the Code and the provisions of the Probation of Offenders Act, 1958 (20 of 1958) shall not apply to any person above the age of eighteen years who is found guilty of having committed an offence under this Act.

20. Act to override other laws

21. Duty of Government to ensure effective implementation of the Act

(1) Subject to such rules as the Central Government may make in this behalf, the State Government shall take such measures as may be necessary for the effective implementation of this Act.

(2) In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing provisions, such measures may include,-

(i) the provision for adequate facilities, including legal aid, to the persons subjected to enable them to avail themselves of justice;
(ii) the provision for travelling and maintenance expenses to witnesses, including the victims of atrocities, during investigation and trial of offence under this Act;
(iii) the provision for the economic and social rehabilitation of the victims of the atrocities;
(iv) the appointment of officers for initiating or exercising supervision over prosecutions for the contravention of the provisions of this Act;
(v) the setting up of committees at such appropriate levels as the State Government may think fit to assist that Government in formulation or implementation of such measures;
(vi) provision for a periodic survey of the working of the provisions of this Act with a view to suggesting measures for the better implementation of the provisions of this Act;
(vii) the identification of the areas where the members of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes are likely to be subjected to atrocities and adoption of such measures so as to ensure safety for such members.

(3) The Central Government shall take such steps as may be necessary to co-ordinate the measures taken by the State Governments under sub-section (1).

(4) The Central Government shall, every year, place on the table of each House of Parliament a report on the measures taken by itself and by the State Governments in pursuance of the provisions of this section.

22. Protection of action taken in good faith

No suit, prosecution or other legal proceedings shall lie against the Central Government or against the State Government or any officer or authority of Government or any other person for anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done under this Act.

23. Power to make rules

(1) The Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, make rules for carrying out the purposes of this Act.

(2) Every rule made under this Act shall be laid, as soon as may be after it is made, before each House of Parliament, while it is in session for a total period of thirty days Collected by the All India Christian Council, Page 10 of 10 which may be comprised in one session or in two or more successive sessions, and if, before the expiry of the session immediately following the session or the successive sessions aforesaid, both Houses agree in making any modification in the rule or both Houses agree that the rule should not be made, the rule shall thereafter have effect only in such modified form or be of no effect, as the case may be; so , however, that any such modification or annulment shall be without prejudice to the validity of anything
previously done under that rule.

Foot Notes

1. The appointed date is 30th. January, 1990 vide Notification No. S.O. 106(E), dated
29th. January, 1990.
Download date: July 20, 2006

We must respect dalits so that they do not leave Hinduism and become Christians or Muslims
by SatbirSinghBedi, January 23, 2010 15:39
Kind attention is invited to the following news item in the Times of India dated 23.1.2010:
JAIPUR: "Being called a Hindu is like a gaali (abuse) to me. I use Valmiki as a surname because having one is almost a necessity these days. If you
just say Omprakash, it’s not enough. People demand a surname as they come from a certain mindset. Caste envelops every aspect of life in India," said Omprakash Valmiki, leading Dalit writer in Hindi, at the fifth Jaipur literature festival on Friday.
Valmiki was one of three speakers at the session, Outcasts: The Search for Public Conscience with P Sivakami, Dalit novelist and political activist from Chennai. Kancha Ilaiah, political science professor in Osmania University, Hyderabad and author of the bestseller ‘Why I am Not a Hindu’, was the third speaker. Ilaiah is an OBC by caste.
Sivakami maintained that upper-caste Hindus only have a caste conscience and no public conscience. "They lack human conscience," she said. Sivakami resigned from civil services after 29 years of service to join the Bahujan Samaj Party in 2008.
Valmiki, author of celebrated autobiography Joothan (1997), maintained that Dalits continue to be shunned in the realms of culture, literature and the arts. "And that is despite 60 years of independence and numerous laws guaranteeing their fundamental rights," he said. His other works include three collections of poetry: Sadiyon ka santap (The centuries-old anguish, 1989), Bas! bahut ho chuka (Stop it! That’s enough, 1997) and Ab aur nahin (Not any more, 2009).
Valmiki is currently working on two novels. One is based in Bihar and the other on the Gohana episode in Haryana (2005) where homes of Dalits were burnt. He is also working on a compilation of Dalit poetry from across India.
"A casteist person cannot write Dalit literature. He will first have to ‘de-caste’ himself, only then can he give the right picture. A good Dalit writer hardly gets any visibility. In literature, Dalit consciousness is not visible even in the writings of Ismat Chugtai, Nagarjun or Premchand," said Valmiki.
While sharing their angst at the way Dalits remain marginalised, the writers maintained that a
collective Dalit consciousness is the need of the hour. Valmiki said that there’s segregation in every village in India and that Dalits are forced into ghettoes, to the western side of the village where the sun’s rays won’t touch them. "Their homes are mostly near drains or at the end of a river which is likely to swell during floods hence making their homes the first to get washed away," he said.

Rights, rituals: Dalits recite Vedas
Rupashree NandaRupashree Nanda, CNN-IBN
Updated Jan 01, 2006 at 03:42pm IST
New Delhi: While yet another case of Dalit atrocity in Bihar is making the news, in Dedhiya, a conservative village in Haryana, young Dalit girls are being taught the Vedas (Hindu scriptures).
Shewta, daughter of a Dalit parents, is reciting the Vedas breaking the caste barrier.
Not many years back, only the privileged male Bramhin had the right to read the Vedas. Even today the Vedas, the sacred text of Manu, remains largely the preserve of the male Bramhin.
The Shankaracharya of Puri still objects to women being taught the Vedas.
This gurukul has girls from all over the country. They learn Sanskrit, Hindi, English and Mathematics.
For the villagers in Dedhiya, the gurukul is an inalienable part of their lives. They are both participants and witnesses of a social revolution of sorts.
In a bid to escape the prison of their caste, they have adopted the surname Arya.

Gautam (name changed) is a police constable in Satara’s Man taluka, but even he could not save his brother-in-law Madhukar Ghatge. Ghatge (48), a Dalit farmer and a father of three, retired from the Railways a few years ago and moved home from Mumbai to farm on his family’s 5-acre plot
here. He was murdered last week by upper-caste villagers who did not want him to dig a well on his own property.
It would have been the first well in Kulakjai village on land owned by a Dalit.
The police said Ghatge was hacked so violently that even the earth-moving machine he was using at the time was damaged.
‘They left him to die’
"They were armed with axes and iron rods. They attacked him and left him to bleed to death," said Ghatge’s 21-year-old son Tushar, a law student at a local college.
Ten people have been arrested and charged under the Atrocities Act and special police teams deployed. "They said his well would mean less water for the common well in the village," said Tushar.
Ghatge tried to reason, saying he had acquired permission from the zilla parishad and panchayat samiti and had promised to share the water in times of scarcity, but the crowd grew menacing.

"Rs 60,000 was granted in funds through a scheme," he added

Dalit principal attacked inside chamber
Saturday, 21 July 2012

MADURAI: A dalit principal at a government college in Sivaganga was allegedly attacked inside his chamber.

Even though the accused claimed he attacked the principal as he denied his ward a seat in the institution, the principal said some professors whom he asked to report for duty on time were behind the incident. On June 6, Jagannathan, then heading the physics department of Mannar Duraisingam Government Arts College, Sivaganga, was made acting principal. Talking to TOI, he said he was being targeted by non-dalit professors. "Some of the disciplinary actions introduced by me, according to them, were unacceptable. Some professors were regularly coming late. Even though I raised this issue in meetings, they didn't listen to me. They were angry with me due to this. On July 13, an outsider walked into my room and attacked me with a knife. When I fell down, he attacked me on my left leg. Some attenders soon came to my rescue," said Jagannathan.

S Shankar, the inspector investigating the case, told TOI the police had arrested the accused. "Muthukumar, the accused, is a habitual drunkard. He told us the principal demanded Rs 2,000 from him as bribe for getting a seat for his daughter in the college. When we asked the principal about this, he flatly denied the allegation. He even told us he had no enemies in the college. I don't know why he now comes up with strange reasons like professional enmity," said Shankar.
However, C J Rajan, of People's Watch, a Madurai-based NGO, said the fact-finding team, led by him, found that it was a clear case of atrocity against the dalit.
"The police is supporting the accused and by doing that they are protecting the professors who were involved in the incident. We have clear evidence that Muthukumar was sent to the college by some non-dalit professor to attack the principal," he said.
.Dalit Killed For Attempting Puja 
By Alok ChamariaTimes Of India09 October, 2003SASARAM: 

A Dalit of Bahera village under the Karam Chat police station of Kaimur district was killed on Saturday evening when Dalits  of the village tried to offer prayers and prasad to Goddess Durga, defying the long-standing ban imposed on them by upper caste villagers. The Dalits, including children and women, were assaulted mercilessly by the upper caste people. Even the Dalits’ cattle were not spared. Kaimur SP G S Gangwar confirmed the incident.
An FIR against 17 named accused, including three police personnel posted in other districts of Bihar and Jharkhand, was lodged with the police station. Additional police force has been deployed in the village where tension still prevails and the possibility of further violence in near future cannot be ruled out, said a police officer of the area. Even 48 hours after the incident, the DM and the SP had not visited the spot.
Sources said in the village dominated by upper castes, entry of Dalits into its lone Shiv temple is banned. Durga Puja has been organised in the village for the last five years by a committee in which all castes, including Dalits, have their representation. The Dalits also give money for organising the festival. But except for Dalits, all other castes are allowed to offer puja. When five Dalits, including Khelaw Ram, son of the deceased Ramlal Ram, reached near the pandal and tried to offer prayers and prasad on Saturday, the upper caste people prevented them from doing so. The Dalits’ repeated requests to allow them to offer prayers irked the upper caste people who turned violent and started beating them. The head of Sipahi Ram was hit against a wall and he was thrown on the ground. When Dalit community elders tried to intervene, the upper caste people attacked their houses and pelted them with stones, the sources maintained.
Kaushalya Devi, daughter-in-law of Ramlal, said the upper caste people stormed into her house and started beating them severely, adding that Ramlal was shot dead when Dalits resisted. She alleged that even minor children were not spared. An elderly villager said he had never seen any Dalit offering
prayers in the temple which is situated in front of the deceased’s house in Dalit Tola. Muneshwar Chamar said the idol of Durga is made by Dalits of the village every year, but they are not allowed to touch it for offering prayers.The district administration gave Rs 10,000 as ex-gratia payment to the deceased’s family and promised to give it a house under the Indira Awas Yojana.

Girl pushed into burning embers
Dalits, or "untouchables," are victims of discrimination in India despite laws aimed at eliminating prejudice.
A man, incensed that a 6-year-old girl chose to walk through a path reserved for upper caste villagers, pushed her into burning embers, police in north India said Wednesday. She was seriously burned. The girl is a Dalit, or an "untouchable," according to India’s traditional caste system.India’s constitution outlaws caste-based discrimination, and barriers have broken down in large cities. Prejudice, however, persists in some rural areas of the country. The girl was walking with her mother down a path in the city of Mathura when she was accosted by a man in his late teens, said police superintendent R.K. Chaturvedi. "He scolded them both and pushed her," Chaturvedi said. The girl fell about 3 to 4 feet into pile of burning embers by the side of the road.

The man confessed to the crime and was charged with attempted murder, Chaturvedi said. The assault took place in India’s Uttar Pradesh state, about 150 km (93 miles) south of Delhi. The state is governed by Mayawati, a woman who goes by one name and is India’s most powerful Dalit politician.Her Bahujan Samaj Party seeks to get more political representation for Dalits, who are considered so low in the social order that they don’t even rank among the four classes that make up the caste system.

Hindus believe there are five main groups of people, four of which sprang from the body of the first man. The Brahmin class comes from the mouth. They are the priests and holy men, the most elevated of the castes. Next is the Ksatriyas, the kings, warriors and soldiers created from the arms. The Vaisyas come from the thighs. They are the merchants and traders of society. And the Sudras, or laborers, come from the feet. The last group is the Dalits, or the "untouchables." They’re considered too impure to have come from the primordial being. Untouchables are often forced to work in menial jobs. They drink from separate wells. They use different entry ways, coming and going from buildings.

They number about 250 million in India, about 25 percent of the population, according to the Colorado, U.S.-based Dalit Freedom Network. "Dalits are seen to pollute higher caste people if they come in touch with them, hence the ‘untouchables,’" the group says on its Web site. "If a higher caste Hindu is touched by, or even had a Dalit’s shadow fall across them, they consider themselves to be polluted and have to go through a rigorous series of rituals to be cleansed."
Posted on: May 1, 2008

Dalit officer's room 'cleansed' after retirement
April 07, 2011 15:30 IST

Tags: State Human Rights Commission, K Ramakrishnan, Dhinakar
Users Write a CommentIn a shocking incident, the office room and furniture used by a senior government official belonging to a Sheduled Caste community were 'cleansed' by sprinkling cowdung water, allegedly by some employees shortly after his retirement from service.

A K Ramakrishnan, who retired as inspector general of registration on March 31, has moved the State Human Rights Commission seeking an inquiry into the incident. He said in his complaint that he had reliable information that some employees in the office sprinkled 'cowdung water' over the tables, chairs and even inside the office car used by him while in service.

He said he believed that the 'cleansing' was performed since he belonged to an SC community and it amounted to violation of his human rights and civil liberties. After registering a case based on the petition, SHRC Chairman Justice N Dhinakar sent a notice to the secretary taxes, seeking a report on the allegation by May 7, an SHRC source said.

Asked about the incident, Ramakrishnan said he would vigorously pursue the case as he considered it as an insult to the socially depressed class. "I take this not just as a personal insult. This is a humiliation heaped on the socially depressed classes as a whole.

If this is the experience of a person who had held the topmost post in a government department, what would be the situation of ordinary people belonging to the lower rungs of social strata?" Ramakrishnan asked mediapersons.

"All these five years when I worked as IG of registration I had bitter experiences. But I have suffered them without getting worked up. But what has happened even after my retirement is really painful," he said.

Dalit officer’s car ‘cleansed’ with cow dung on retirement

55-year-old A V Ramakrishnan has petitioned the Kerala Human Rights Commission. In his complaint, he said the ‘cleansing’ was done as he was a Dalit and demanded strict action against the perpetrators. The officer said a section of the employees were behind the incident as they bore a grudge against him for his uncompromising stand.

"This is not only an offence against an individual like me but also the community which I belong, I will not leave things half way, I will pursue it to the end," Ramakrishnan said. The human rights commission has now asked the Secretary of Taxes to submit a detailed report on the incident by May 7.
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Retired Dalit officer’s car and furniture ‘cleansed’Shaju PhilipThiruvananthapuram

Former Inspector General of Registration A K Ramakrishnan, who retired on March 31, petitioned the rights panel, saying the "inhumane behaviour" had insulted him and all backward communities. The panel has sought a report by May 7.
Ramakrishnan said the incident took place on April 1, after the new IG assumed office. On the first day, a section of officials reportedly sprayed cowdung-mixed water on the office furniture, the threshold and the official vehicle. Ramakrishnan claimed that in order to refute allegations that this was done because he was a Dalit, cowdung-water was sprayed in the entire office the next day.
Ramakrishnan said a section of officials had borne a grudge against him since he took over five years ago, and cracked down on some of them. "That might have provoked a section in the office. On the day I retired, there had been celebrations by bursting crackers," he said.
Calling it an insult to the SC community and a violation of their human rights, Ramakrishnan said if a senior officer could be treated like this, one could well imagine what officials at junior levels might be facing.
In a similar incident in November 2010, the chamber of the panchayat president at Elanthur had been found cleansed with cowdung-water after the president belonging to the SC community demitted office.

Car of Retired Dalit Officer Washed With Cow’s Urine For Purity

 India is a place where Minorities and people of low Castes are suffering badly in several States. Minorities and Low Castes are always treated unequally. Earlier this week a incident taken place in Indian State Karela which exposed real face of Indian Democracy and Equality with Minorities. A Dalit Officer A K Ramakrishnan who was Former Inspector General of Registration retired on 31st March and after his retirement other Officers and Workers of his department Washed Car, Furniture and other things used by that officer with Urine of Cow for Purity.
Dalit is considered the lowest Caste In Hindu religion and people of above castes don’t even touch the Dalits. On other hand Cow is given great respect in Hinduism and its Urine is also considered Pure. This is why Car and Furniture of this Dalit Officer where Washed with Cow’s Urine. Kerala Human Rights Commission has announced to register the case of this Incident.
The Kerala Human Rights Commission has registered a case and sought an explanation from the secretary, taxes department, after the office and car used by a Scheduled Caste state government officer was allegedly cleansed with cowdung after his retirement from service. Kerala is a state that is known for its high literacy rate and social awareness and so when a senior Dalit government officer found cow-dung sprinkled over his furniture and even inside his car, reportedly as a part of ‘cleansing ritual’ on retirement, it was shocking for many.

Dalit Killed for Digging Well
PUCL Bulletin, October 1993

Atrocities on dalits, A plea for remedial actionJustice A. Varadarajan (retd.) and Prakash Ambedkar, MP
According to the report of the Ministry of Welfare of the government of India for the year 1992-93, in the year 1991 the total number of criminal cases registered (for crimes committed against Scheduled Castes and Tribes) by the Government is 21,362. In the same year 1,067 Dalit women were raped, 731 Dalits were murdered, 645 incidents of arson took place, 1,890 Dalits were grievously hurt. Another 17,029 cases of offenses against Dalits were registered. In other words it amounts to this: every hour two Dalits are assaulted, every day three Dalit women are raped. Two Dalits are murdered, two Dalit houses are burnt. These figures refer only to the limited number of cases registered by the vulnerable people belonging to the SC and ST community who are bold to risk their lives to complain to the police. This number will be much higher if we include the crimes which are unreported because of fear and oppression of feudalistic forces operating in rural areas.
The crimes of rape were phenomenally high in 1992. The Criminal cases date from 1986 to 1991 and 1992 in part increasing to greater number. The nature of atrocities indicates the trend more toward group violence rather than individual hurt. The police seems to have acted than individual hurt. The police seems to have acted only on small number of incidents. There is significant "under-reporting" of crimes against SC and ST people. Police seems to be unaware of or not willing to enforce the provisions of special enactment's such as SC, ST prevention Atrocities Act. The percentage of acquittals is very high indicating the indifference of the prosecuting officials often because of the political factors of either understanding or misunderstanding between the Centre and the State Government. These crimes go unnoticed and unchecked while people suffer anguish and paid due to increasing violence on them, while politicians seem to ignore these issues.
On the development side we observe many rural areas where SC people are living. There is no facility for drinking water. In a few villages where there are some pumps for drinking water, more often they are not working. Scheduled Caste people are not allowed in several places to take drinking water from the common taps provided by the government in towns and villages, and they are assaulted and injured when they protest against the denial. They result in serious communal violence. When such incidents of violence are reported to the authorities, instead of taking action against the guilty, separate taps are provided for the Scheduled Castes, resulting in segregation. Lack of access to roads, street lights, are common scenario in rural Dalit colonies. The existence of separate colonies for the Scheduled Castes is perpetuation of the segregation of the people belonging to those Castes. This kind of segregation is perpetuated even by governments who build hutment's (houses) for the Scheduled Castes in separate places which are far removed from the other residential areas where other caste people reside, and there are no proper facilities like drinking water and sanitation in such segregated colonies. The hutment's are small and not suitable for convenient living and expanding needs of the Scheduled Caste families. The provision of separate schools for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes boys and girls instead of making them study in common institutions also leads to segregation of these classes of people which should be discouraged.
Social discrimination exists in rural areas where SC people do not have burial and cremation grounds. If there are specific cremation grounds, then they are not accessible by road and are more often reached through private lands, leading to communal violence. Urgent action is required by Departments concerned on these needs of the Dalit people.
Reservations: The short fall in reservations, as reported in the press, giving answers by the Ministers to the questions raised by Members of Parliament show the gap between the rules and the implementation of them. In order to find a remedy for these discriminatory issues we put forth the following proposals: 1. The Government shall appoint special tribunals to try the cases within the stipulated period of 3 months. These tribunals should have powers to punish the erring officials for the failure to implement the Government laws and rules. The statements made recently by the Welfare Minister in Parliament show that the officials are not favourably inclined to implement measures beneficial to the SC and ST people and that while they are slow or not inclined to implement the Mandal Commission recommendation accepted by the Government and held valid by the Supreme Court. They are anxious and quick to deny to the SC and ST people reservation in promotions taking umbrage under some observation made by the Supreme Court in the Mandal Case though that case relates only to reservation for Backward classes and any observation made regarding SC and ST people could only be obiter dicta, not enforceable in law against the SC and ST people. Immediate steps are required to be taken to remedy the situation. 2. Education on Human rights to remove deep rooted prejudices and to end discrimination and atrocities on the Dalit people as a preventive measure is urgently required.
In order to support the Governmental measures. We urge the Government to encourage voluntary bodies working for and with the Dalits to make representations to the State and Central Governments, which may set up a special cell for this purpose for taking remedial action.

(The above is a slightly abridged version of a memorandum submitted to the President of India).

Satyajit Joshi

Atrocities and Interventions

3000 years of caste oppression have left the Dalit community socially, economically and psychologically marginalized. Dalits are constantly subjected to egregious violence, dehumanizing labor (such as manual scavenging), and a pervasive system of social exclusion. Though protections exist in Indian law, they are seldom enforced as caste hierarchy is mirrored in the bureaucratic, police and court systems.
Acts of atrocity against Dalits, particularly when they begin to assert their rights, are commonplace. Practices of untouchability are rampant, both between non-Dalits and Dalits, and amongst Dalit sub-castes. The poor rarely unite due to caste and community divisions, making the achievement of laborer unity, and therefore the implementation of minimum wages, extremely challenging. Land redistribution laws have been passed, but the government and the dominant caste landlords fight unceasingly to prevent Dalits from actually gaining control over land that is legally theirs. Caste practices are even replicated within the education system, preventing Dalit children from full participation in their classrooms, thereby barring them from accessing the most important tool for social mobility. Moreover, violence against women is on the rise and patriarchal attitudes toward the role of women prevail.
Violence is frequently what describes best the nature of interactions between the Dalits and the non-Dalits in India. Untouchability, for a fact, is such an acute expression of psychological violence that right from childhood, a Dalit is made to feel that he or she is an inferior being, a person of low intelligence and a person whose life is worth only the service and the betterment of the dominant caste men and women.

Physical violence and atrocities unleashed on the Dalits are the logical and cruel outcome of the caste system. The magnitude and the depth of these atrocities are horrifying. Between 1990 and 1993, over 4,300 cases of atrocities committed against Dalits were reported in Gujarat, and this in only 14 Districts. During that same period, atrocities increased by an astonishing 90%. This increase is, nevertheless, indicative of the Dalits’ assertion and reaction to injustice. While traditional caste-based practices still constitute the major cause of atrocities, a growing number of atrocities are triggered by the protest and the political organising of the Dalits. Refusing to accept any challenge to their hegemony, non-Dalits engage in violent repressive measures to silence any form of dissent among the Dalits. These measures range from brutal murders, such as burning individuals alive or stabbing them to death, to gang rape, arson, and grievous injuries. Significantly it is not upper castes alone who abuse the Dalits, but the Other Backward Castes (OBCs) too engage in oppression and physical violence. On a sample of 3083 offences in 13 Districts of Gujarat, it came out that Patels (Patidar and Koli Patels) were the accused in 34% of the cases, the Kshatriyas in 32%, and the Brahmins only in 7% of the cases.

Violence is further aggravated as guilty persons are rarely immediately arrested, and by the time they are punished people generally have forgotten the crime. The unbearably slow legal procedures and the lengthy and costly processes only add insult to injury; victims and their relatives often live in proximity to the culprits, who often threaten them further. Despite the 1989 Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, which provides for appointments of Special Courts and Government Prosecutors for expediting proceedings, these situations have not changed. In practice, the Act is often not properly implemented by the Police. In 11 surveyed Districts of Gujarat, it was found that the percentage of application of the Atrocity Act by the Police was only slightly more than 60%. Moreover, because the Police often “prefer” certain sections of the Act to others, and because, at other times, only a very vague reference to the Act is made, there has been a growing general impression that Dalits have been abusing this Act. The truth is that the Police constables are generally not familiar with the provisions of the Atrocity Act, and are also susceptible to both caste allegiance and bribery.

Types of Atrocities Cases 

The term "atrocity" is a legal one.  Atrocity cases against Dalits vary in severity and form, including the following:
1. Causing injury, insult, or annoynance to a Dalit;
2. Assaulting, raping, or using force of any kind against a Dalit woman or a Dalit girl;
3. Physically injuring or murdering a Dalit;
4. Occupying or cultivating any land owned by or alloted to a Dalit;
5. Forcing a Dalit to leave his/her house, village, or other place of residence;
6. Interfering with a Dalit’s legal rights to land, premises, or water;
7. Compelling or enticing a Dalit to do ‘begar’ or similar forms of forced or bonded labour;
8. Intentionally insulting or intimidating a Dalit with the intent to humiliate him. 

Acts of atrocity against Dalits continue to occur at alarming rates in Gujarat.  In 1998, Gujarat ranked second highest among all Indian states in the volume of crimes committed against the Scheduled Castes, at 62 cases per one lakh of population.  While this is high, it is important to note that underreporting is very common; thus this number conceals the extent to which these atrocities occur.  A recent study conducted by Navsarjan demonstrated that of all of the atrocity cases that occurred across four districts in Gujarat, 36.6% were not registered under the Atrocity Act and that of the cases where the Act was applied, 84.4% were registered under the wrong provisions, thus concealing the intensity of the violence in the cases. 

The police and the legal system are also often very slow in responding to cases filed under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act: 1989.  In 2000, in Gujarat, there were 13,293 cases registered in courts under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act: 1989, all of which remained pending at the courts at the end of the year; none of them ended in convictions or in acquittals.  In terms of police response to registered cases, in cases of murder, an average of 121.2 hours lapsed between the registration of the case and police action, while for cases of rape, the gap was at 532.9 hours. 

Drug testig India’s poor

India has been the focus on medical research since the time when sunburned men with pith helmets and degrees from prestigious European medical schools came to catalog tropical illness. http:/
The days of the Raj are long gone, but multinational corporations are riding high on the trend toward globalization by taking advantage of India’s educated work force and deep poverty to turn South Asia into the world’s largest clinical-testing Petri dish. The sudden influx of drug companies to India resembles the gold rush frontier, according to Sean Philpott, managing editor of The American Journal of Bioethics. "Not only are research costs low, but there is a skilled work force to conduct the trials", he said. In the rush to reap profits, Philpott cautions that drug companies may not be sensitive to how poverty can undermine the spirit of informed consent.
"Individuals who participate in Indian clinical trials usually won’t be educated. Offering $100 maybe undue enticement; they may not even realize that they are being coerced", he said.
For decades, pharmaceutical research in India didn’t rely on clinical testing. Scientists mostly reverse-engineered drugs already developed in other countries. But in March 2005 everything changed when India submitted to pressure from the World Trade Organization to stop the practice and implement rules that prohibit local companies from creating generic versions of patented drugs. Now, pharmaceutical companies can rest assured they won’t lose profits to a domestic market, and India is suddenly a profitable location for performing the expensive tests required for Food and Drug Administration clearance of any drug. Though it is still too soon to tell how much the legislative change has boosted drug development, observers say the number of studies conducted by multinational drug companies has sharply increased since March.
Given the rising cost of drug research in the US and Europe, more and more drug companies are conducting clinical trials in developing countries where government oversight is more lax and research can be done for a fraction of the cost. According to a 2004 study by Rabo India Finance, a subsidiary of the Netherlands-based Robo Bank, clinical trials account for more than 40% of drug-development costs. The study also found that performing the studies in India can bring the price down by about 60%.
By 2010, total spending on outsourcing clinical trials to India could top $2 billion, according to Ashish Singh, vice president of Bain & Co.,a consulting firm that reports on the healthcare industry.
Regardless of where clinical trials are performed, the FDA requires the same evidence showing that a drug is safe and effective before it will approve any drug, according to a written comment from Ken Johnson, senior vice president of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America Foundation. And it’s the responsibility of the institutional review boards at the medical institutions where the studies take place to "actively pursue issues of informed consent", according to another written comment from Jeff Trewhitt, a spokesman for the pharmaceutical industry trade group.
Nevertheless, even before the anti-generic rules were enacted, companies performing clinical trials in India saw their share of problems.
In 2004, two India-based pharmaceutical companies, Shantha Biotech in Hyderabad and Biocon in Bangalore, came under scrutiny for conducting illegal clinical trials that led to eight deaths. Shantha Biotech failed to obtain proper consent from patients while testing a drug meant to treat heart attacks. Biocon tested a genetically modified form of insulin without the proper approval from the Drug Controller General of India or the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee.
In another incident, Sun Pharmaceuticals convinced doctors to prescribe Letrozole, a breast cancer drug to over 400 women as a fertility treatment in a covert clinical trial and used the results to promote the drug for the unapproved use.

The field where Ghatge was digging his well is about 5 km away from the ‘Harijan basti (settlement)’ where the village’s lower castes live.
As word of Ghatge being hacked to death last week at around 9 pm spread, his son Tushar told his mother and two younger sisters to bolt the doors and windows and dashed to the field.
"He was lying in a pool of blood," he told HT. "No one came forward to help." Tushar carried his father to the nearest hospital 2 km away. He died on the way.
Ten people were arrested and two others listed as absconding. Local officials declined comment.
Even Ghatge’s younger brother Sudhakar, the deputy sarpanch, would only confirm that the gramsabha had sanctioned the well.

Cops strip Dalit woman in Sikar, thrash family
5 Jul 2009, 0452 hrs IST, TNN

JAIPUR: Tension prevailed in Khandela area of Sikar district after a Dalit woman alleged that four policemen, including an ASI, posted at Khandela police station thrashed her whole family, tore off her clothes and chased her late on Friday night. A case has been registered against all the four policemen and they have been sent to police lines.
Hundreds of villagers blocked the road and gathered outside the police station, demanding strict action and removal of the guilty policemen. Additional forces have been deployed in the area to prevent any untoward incident.
According to reports, Kamla Meena of Kalikheda village had come to Jaipur to buy a buffalo. After that she was returning to her village on Friday night. As soon as she reached the point where the road takes a turn to her village, her vehicle was stopped by ASI Kajodmal and three constables, who wanted to conduct a check.
When the policemen did not allow them to go, Kamla called her husband Kailash and informed him about the development. Kailash along with his two sons reached the spot and resolved the issue and moved ahead. However, after driving for nearly a kilometre, Kailash found two police jeeps following them after which they were again stopped.
This time, policemen allegedly dragged all of them out and thrashed them badly. When Kailash tried to resist, policemen beat him so hard that he suffered a fracture in the leg. The policemen then allegedly tore off Kamla's clothes and forced her to run on the road. Even his two minor children, Chotu and Vikas, were not spared: policemen reportedly slapped them.
Khandela police said there have been several incidents of cattle theft in the past few months, so a police post has been created to check the movement of vehicles carrying cattle. The policemen have been sent for medical examination to confirm whether they were under influence of alcohol.
Sikar SP Santosh Kumar said a case has been registered against the policemen and their role in the incident is under investigation. He also said that the policemen named have been removed from their duty after the victim and villagers gathered at the police station.

PL PUNIA Denied from entry into Puri Temple

Puri: The chairman of the National Commission for Schedule Castes was denied entry at a temple in Puri. PL Punia, who is a Dalit himself, was allowed entry just till the compound, but found the main temple doors shut.
The Congress MP has said that he will take up the matter.
It seemed more like a police raid than a temple worship escorted by a police force and Dalits from a nearby village. Punia was there to look into complaints that he received from Dalits over the issue."I will summon the Chief Secretary of Orissa within 15 days and seek explanation from him over the matter. After that I will take action against this illegal practice which is very much within the jurisdiction of my commission," Punia said.
Dalits have been denied entry to the Kali temple for the past 80 years, but protests began when last year, few Dalit school girls dared to cross the boundary to offer prayers. They were dragged out by higher caste villagers and insulted, which led to a series of violent clashes.
However, the humiliation did not end there. The Dalits who are basically sharecroppers were denied cultivation from the upper cast land owners.
"Now that we are also denied cultivation, we have not much to eat. We will be forced to leave the village and migrate as labourers," said a Dalit farmer.
This is not the only temple in Orissa where entry of the Dalits is restricted. There have been several such controversies in the past. But due to lack of political will, the age old practice still continues though it's illegal and unconstitutional.

Dalit MPs oppose Dinakaran impeachment

Zeenews Bureau 

New Delhi: A section of Dalit MPs belonging to the Congress party have decided to oppose the impeachment motion moved against Karnataka High Court Chief Justice PD Dinakaran, who is facing allegations of misappropriation of assets. 

Alleging ‘caste bias’ as the reason behind the move, the Congress MPs are planning to mobilise Dalit MPs belonging to other parties to oppose the motion in Parliament. 
The MPs have also sought an audience with party president Sonia Gandhi on this issue. 

Praveen Rashtrapal, along with another Congress MP JD Seelam, had raised the Dinakaran issue in the Rajya Sabha on Friday, to which Opposition benches registered strong protests. 

Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari had earlier this week admitted the impeachment notice given by 75 members against Justice Dinakaran over land-grabbing allegations. 

Dalit (SC) women of village Dahi (Dist: Dhar, MP) has been struggling for right toemployment and Minimum wages in the Panchayat’s work. 

The whole issue began when SPANDAN began to work among the resident Dalit community in 2002. A women’s literacy class was begun which provided an opportunity to have a deeper insight into their problems and issues. One of the major problems besides the lack of basic amenities was the fact that the Dalit
women were neglected in panchayat’s works. They ware facilitated to submit an application on 10/06/02 to the CEO, Dahi and Janpad President demanding the provision of drinking water in their colony[ construction of toilets, provision On 6/07/02 panchayat began a dam Next couple of months did not fetch any work for the Dalit women wage-earners. After quite some efforts they could get about a week’s work of 16/11/02. Once again the Panchayat offered to underpay @Rs35/- but the Dalit wage-earners declined to accept the lesser wages in face of prevailing during and the lack of foodgraiins at their homes. The Panchayat did not pay for about two months. During this period the women wage-earners met the Dy. Chief Minister Ms. Jamuna Devi and sent a written complaint on Hard pressed by poverty and not being paid for about two months, many women agreed to accept the lesser wage-rates. They were also informed by certain panchayat representatives that they will lose the payments as the New Year has begun. However 5 Dalit wage-earners (including 4 women) did not agree to accept the lesser wager. On 6/02/03 the matter was brought to notice of the collector through the Jan Samsya Nivaran camp. On In June 2003, one of the women (branded complainant) managed to get the work. But on the second day, the Sarpanch having learnt ordered her to be removed and asked her to collect her wages from his home. She continued visiting his house for three consecutive days. On 21/07/03 When she went to enquire when will she receive her due wages, the enraged Sarpanch not only abused her wit foul language but hurled her down by catching hold of her by neck. Frightened she returned back home and shared the incident with other Dalit women. They all decided to report the matter to the police, while they were on the way, the local police-station in charge and the Sarpanch intercepted on the way and threatened them with dire consequ The Dalit delegation comprising of men, women and youth met SP Dhar, Labor Commissioner,
State women’s Commission, IG, Director General of Police, State Human Rights Commission and the media. The dalit representation also held discussions with partner NGOs of Right to Food Campaign, MP. It was felt appropriate to take the matter with Commissioner of Supreme Court at Delhi, Dr. N.C. Saxena and Mr. S.R. Sankaran. A written petition containing all the documents was submitted to the Commissioners of the Supreme
The commissioners responded with a letter on 25 August 03, asking the State Government to investigate the matter and pay entitlements to all concerned. The CEO Janpad Panchayat, Dhar issued a letter dated 19the September 2003 mentioning that the investigations found that the complaint is true and accepted the fact that the wage-earners of Dahi region were paid less than the stipulated Minimum wages. The Panchayat immediately acted with paying the unpaid amount @17/- (Balance of Rs. 52/-). However there remains a confusion over the claims of the Administration that all the payments have been made because the wage- earners of one colony (most of the dalit women who raised the hand)
This has built up the confidence of the Dalits and SPANDAN. We were subjected to terrific oppositions when we began working with Dalits (the untouchables). Twice there were life-taking attempts on SPANDAN workers. There were stiff challenges from the politicians and higher caste communities. But we held out and are inspired to further our Mission of empowering Dalits in a manner that they regain their dignity along with their Constitutional and Human Rights.
A Block wise campaign is planned with the Right to Food Campaign MP Support Group to collect information on the cases where the lesser wages have been paid. The challenges are touth. Local media doesn’t publish our news, the women who emerged in leadership rope while raising the issue are still denied work in panchayat, the resource constraint is there and the entire nexus of exploiters and pitted against us. We are assured of one fact that we are not alone in this struggle and friends who stood by us will still be around .


Friday, 12 October 2012
ImageBhopal: A dalit girl who was allegedly gang raped committed suicide by setting herself on fire in Gwalior on Thursday. 

According to the police, the deceased, a resident of Utila police station area was gang raped by three men in the village. The girl had gone to attend nature's call on Tuesday night when the men kidnapped her and took herinto the forest where they raped her. Police said that the girl returned to her home on Wednesday morning. Though she narrated her ordeal to her family members, the matter was not reported to the police. 

Later, when the girl was alone at home, she doused herself with kerosene and set herself on fire. Hearing her screams, the family members came to her rescue and rushed her to a hospital in Gwalior where she succumbed to her burns on Thursday.

Daily Bhaskar, 12 Oct, 2012


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