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Dalit kids made to eat last, Muslims insulted in schools: Report

April 23, 2014 at 10:25 am

Children from Dalit, tribal and Muslim communities are being blatantly discriminated against in schools in rural areas in several states of the country, says a shocking report released by an international rights group on Tuesday.

The discrimination, the Human Rights Watch report titled ‘They Say We’re Dirty’ says, includes “teachers asking Dalit children to sit separately, making insulting remarks about Muslims and tribal students and village authorities not responding when girls are kept from the classroom”.

The report also says “teachers and other students often address these children using derogatory terms for their caste, community, tribe, or religion”.

“In some schools, children from vulnerable communities are not ever considered for leadership roles such as class monitor because of their caste or community. Many are expected to perform unpleasant jobs such as cleaning toilets. Schools in marginalised neighborhoods often have the poorest infrastructure and least well-trained teachers; many have fewer teachers than required,” the report said.

School boys eat their free mid-day meal, distributed by a government-run primary school, inside their classroom. Picture for representation

The report was prepared with interviews with more than 160 people, including 85 children, to examine obstacles to implementation of the Right to Education Act, said Human Rights Watch.

Here are some of the instances of bias the children face on the basis of caste and religion, as cited in the report:

1. This is what a student from the Ghasiya tribal community studying at a school in Sonbhadra district in UP was quoted as saying: “The teacher tells us to sit on the other side. If we sit with others, she scolds us and asks us to sit separately … The teacher doesn’t sit with us because she says we ‘are dirty.’ The other children also call us dirty everyday so sometimes we get angry and hit them.”

2. The principal of the same school in Sonbhadra said this about the tribal children: “These Ghasiya children come to school late, come when they want to come, no matter how much we tell them to come on time. Their main aim is to come and eat, not to study. Just see how dirty they are.”

3. A 14-year-old boy, working at a brick kiln, recounted: “The teacher always made us sit in a corner of the room, and would throw keys at us [when she was angry]. We only got food if anything was left after other children were served… [G]radually [we] stopped going to school.”

4. A dalit girl from Bihar said this: “Other children don’t let us sit with them. Some of the girls say, ‘Yuck, you people are Dom [street sweepers] – a dirty caste….’ The teachers never say anything even when we complain.”

5. A 12-year-old boy, from the Muslim community in Delhi, said this: “The teachers don’t let us participate in any sports. Class monitors are always chosen from among Hindu boys and they always complain about us Muslim boys.”

6. Sharda, a Dalit girl, said she was withdrawn from school by her parents because they were worried about her safety. She was married at age 14 against her will. Before her wedding, when she went to school despite her parents’ refusal, she found that her name was no longer in the school register. While some villagers cautioned her father against marrying her at such a young age, no local authorities or members of the gram panchayat intervened.

Read the full report here

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Bail for men accused of raping dalit woman

April 17, 2014 at 9:14 am

KOCHI: The high court of Kerala has granted bail to two men, who were accused of raping a woman after the police reported that the alleged victim has been suffering from schizophrenia. The woman had later accused two others of violating her, the police said.

Justice N K Balakrishnan granted bail to Kakkadampoyil, Kozhikode natives Roy T M (33) and Anil C S (19). The woman, belonging to a scheduled caste, complained to police on April 5, 2013, that the duo trespassed into her house and raped her on two-three occasions.

Advocate S Nirmal, who appeared for the accused, submitted that the woman was mentally ill and had been inconsistent in her statement.

Following a petition by Roy and his advocate’s argument, the high court sought a report from the sub-inspector of Thiruvambady police station. The officer reported that the woman has been under treatment for schizophrenia, and lacked normal intelligence.

The police also stated that the woman had retracted her initial statement and named two others as her alleged tormentors.

The petitioners’ counsel submitted that as the accused were booked under Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and rape, it was not possible to get bail from the magistrate or sessions court.

Granting bail to the duo, the court, referring to the police report, held that the complainant was not consistent regarding those who had raped her. The court also expressed doubt whether she had been really raped or if it was just some sort of hallucination.

The accused were granted bail on conditions of executing a bond of Rs 25,000 each with two solvent sureties. They were also ordered to surrender their passports.

[Courtesy: TOI, April 14. 2014]

Dalit procession attacked at Washim

April 17, 2014 at 9:13 am

(Round Table India report)

Washim, Maharashtra.

Around 19 Dalits, including three children, were seriously injured in an attack on a procession marking Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar’s birth anniversary on Monday at Adoli village of Washim district in Vidarbha.

The peaceful rally took a violent turn after the dominant Kunbi Maratha community allegedly attacked Dalits unprovoked. According to the police, this is the second such attack since 2013.

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“It was a routine annual procession. We reached near a Mahadev temple inside the village and suddenly saw a pile of stones blocking our way. Suddenly a group of over 100 men, all from Kunbi community started pelting stones. Some hit us with boulders,” said Rajkumar Padghan, one of the victims, recupertating in a civic hospital in Washim. Most injured in the attack have suffered severe head injuries, the police said.

“Like any other village, our Basti, too, is outside the village limits. It upsets the dominant caste, when we assert ourselves and enter spaces dominated by them,” said Shahu Ghughe, a villager, who was a part of the procession.

Following the attack, the Washim police has arrested 34 persons. “We have named 88 persons in the FIR on the basis of descriptions and names gathered by the victims. Soon after the incident 32 persons were arrested and a court remanded them to police custody till April 18. The other two will be produced before a court on Wednesday,” said Washim Superindent of Police Sudhir Hiremath.

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All the accused have been booked under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of atrocities) Act along with sections of the Indian Penal Code for attempt to murder and rioting.

According to the locals, last year on April 28, a similar incident had occurred in the village. “In last years clash, too, the police had booked people from both communities. The Kunbis are against these processions. They had opposed the procession last year. However, when Dalits still went ahead with it, the Kunbis attacked the procession,” said Pappu Ghuge, a local.

The case registered last year is still pending in the court.

“Most accused are repeat offenders and had participated in the clash last year, too,” said a senior police officer. Further adding that they are collecting more statements to build a strong case.

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However, Dalits in the village claim that the police did not provide enough security to the community, even when they were aware of the problem. “Only four police constables were deployed for a procession of over 1,000 persons,” said Padghan.

Hiremath, however, said, “We had requested the community to not have this procession following last year’s attack. But they went ahead with it. We did not anticipate any problem to beef up security in the area.”

Vinod Tayde, a local reporter from Washim said, the village Sarpanch, tanta mukti samiti (dispute redressal committee) and the police had called for a meeting and had given into the community’s demand to carry out a peaceful rally. “How could the police assume that four constables would be able to take care?” asked Tayde.

Hiremath, said that due to a man power crunch, they were not able to deploy a lot of police. “The situation turned awry, but we managed to bring it under control immediately,” Hiremath said.

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Officials from the State Social Justice department visited the village on Tuesday. “We met the victims at the hospital and took a stock of the situation. Decision on compensation to the victims will be taken soon,” said an official from the State Social Justice department.

Employees Association RCF Kapurthala: 123rd Birth Anniversary of Bharat Rattan Baba sahib Dr. Bheem Rao Ambedkar

April 17, 2014 at 8:56 am

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123rd Birth Anniversary of Bharat Rattan Baba sahib Dr. Bheem Rao Ambedkar was celebrated by All India SC/ST Railway Employees Association RCF Kapurthala (Punjab) on 14th April, 2014 at Rail Coach Factory Auditorium, (Waris Shah Hall) Kapurthala. Dr. Raj Kumar Verka (Dy. Chairman, SC/ST Commission, Delhi) was the Chief Guest and Shri L.R. Balley ( Renowned Ambedkarite and Editor Bheem Patrika, Jalandhar) was the Main Speaker. However, Dr. Raj Kumar Verka could not come due to his urgent unavoidable engagements. Mr. Pooran Singh, President of the Association welcomed all the guests and the participants and presented his views about mission of Baba Saheb Dr. Ambedkar. The General Secretary of the Association performed the stage duty in a very systematic manner. The office bearers of the Association honored Shri L.R. Balley with a Shawl and a Memento. Food was served to all after the function was over.

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Mass essay writing competition on 123rd birthday of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar

April 17, 2014 at 8:54 am

Leh: A peace rally and a mass essay writing competition among students of different schools of Leh demanding inclusion of Bhoti in 8th Schedule of Indian Constitution on the 123rd Birth Anniversary of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar held at Polo Ground Leh on 14th April organized by Ladakh Buddhist Association Leh.

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Unlike the colorful celebration of Dr. Ambedkar’s birthday every year with traditional songs and dances, this year the celebration was all different and was celebrated focusing on the importance of including Bhoti in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution.

Thousands of Students from various schools of Leh participated in the peace rally that began from Chowkhang Vihara and culminated at Polo Ground Leh. The students also participated in an on-spot essay writing on the topic ‘Life of Dr. Ambedkar and why Bhoti Language is not included in the 8th Schedule yet.’

LBA President Dr. Tundup Tsewang emphasized the need to maintain equality and unity among all religions and urged upon all the communities and also the administration to support and cooperate to make the Kalachakra event successful so that outsiders would go back to their respective places with a message of Ladakh being the most peaceful region.

LBA Youth President Rinchen Namgial said that our language reflects our identity and Bhoti is the language that we all speak irrespective of our religious background. He expressed grief that out of 358 posts meant for Bhoti Teachers at different levels only 33 posts have been created so far. These include14 Bhoti teachers for Higher secondary schools, 32 for High schools, 124 for Middle schools, 184 for Primary schools and 4 for Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas (KGBV) and few others in different government departments. He further appealed all the political parties to include the demand of UT as the top priority followed by inclusion of Bhoti in the 8th Schedule in their election manifestos.

Tsewang Thinles, Vice President LBA said that many other languages that don’t have a proper script made their place in the schedule whereas Bhoti language which is spoken across the Himalayan region and in some parts of PoK is still not recognized. He also briefed about the progress in arrangements of Kalachakra event scheduled to be held in July this year and appealed all the shopkeepers, guest house owners, hoteliers and taxi drivers to charge reasonable rates and keep the tradition of being honest and trustworthy for which Ladakhis are well known.

It was informed that the result of the essay competition would be declared later on the occasion of ‘Buddha Purnima’ and cash amount of Rs. 1 Lakh would be distributed among the winners divided into different groups as class 5th to 7th as Junior, class 8th to 10th as sub-junior and 11th and 12th as the senior category.

 

Gujarat: Dalit woman burnt alive in gujarat.

April 17, 2014 at 8:47 am

अहमदाबाद (ब्यूरो)। गुजरात के मोडासा जिले में एक दलित महिला को 14 युवकों ने सोमवार को बीच चौराहे पर जिंदा जला दिया। घटना मालपुर तहसील के हेलोदर गांव की है। घटना के बाद गांव में आक्रोश फैल गया। उग्र लोगों ने दो मोटरसाइकल को आग लगा दी। पुलिस के अनुसार, हेलोदर गांव में कालाभाई मानाभाई की बेटी ने कोकीलाबेन के जेठ के बेटे के साथ प्रेम विवाह कर लिया था। इससे दोनों परिवारों के बीच झगड़ा चल रहा था।

burned-alive

सोमवार शाम को कोकीलाबेन घर में अकेली थी। इस दौरान गांव के ही कालाभाई, मुलाभाई, डाहाभाई, भावेश भाई सहित 14 युवक घर में घुस गए और कोकीलाबेन को घसीटकर चौराहे पर लेकर आए। वहां महिला के हाथ-पैर बांध दिए और केरोसिन छिड़ककर उसे जिंदा जला दिया। वारदात के बाद आरोपी फरार हो गए। महिला को अहमदाबाद सिविल अस्पताल ले जाया गया, जहां उसकी मौत हो गई। पुलिस ने आरोपियों के खिलाफ हत्या का प्रकरण दर्ज कर लिया है।