Judicial Discourse and Caste Violence

 

Aditya

Reading Bathani Tola and Laxmanpur Bathe Judgment* 

aditya 1“Everyone strives to attain the law...how does it come about, then, that in all these years no one has come seeking admittance but me?....The doorkeeper replies.......

No one but you could gain admittance through this door, since this door was intended only for you. I am now going to shut it.”[1]

The situation in which people of Bathani Tola and Laxmanpur Bathe are is much like the situation of the man who received this reply from the doorkeeper. Acquittal of all the accused and rejection of every witnesses account led to massive critique from the academic, activist, victims and survivor’s side of the judgment. The following paper is an attempt to sift through this situation of legal justice that was named as normalising injustice in legal way by many. The paper is an attempt to understand the judgment to reflect on judicial discourse emerging from the judgments in Bathani Tola and Laxmanpur Bathe. The discourse is set out in relation with citizenship and constitutionalism, with special emphasis on working of courts. The paper is divided in three sections. The first section shall attempt to unravel and make clear the relation between citizenship, marginalised communities (Dalits and Muslims), constitution and courts. This will be followed by brief explanation of judicial discourse and the discourse which appears in the judgments on Bathani Tola and Laxmanpur bathe. The final section shall attempt to explore the judgment and develop a critique based on caste with a brief input from constitutionalism. This shall strive to understand essences of caste, and its manifestation in instances of Narsamhar and Judgment. 

 Unintended Making Base for the Intended: Clarifying the Course of Action

This paper does not intend to provide a critique of state. It is more about engaging with the state in Bihar that is contextualized[2] in case of caste violence in central region of Bihar. It is further narrowed down to two judgments on cases of caste violence, that is, Bathani Tola and Laxmanpur (Lakshmanpur) Bathe[3]. The question then emerges is; can we not by engaging in this manner are capable of providing a critique of the State.

Second, it is not aimed at providing an adamant critique of the judgment as unjust[4]. It is an attempt to understand Judicial Discourse in general and in particular via these two judgments. It is about understanding how judiciary makes sense of violence. Why does it has such an understanding and what is left out in this understanding? It is more about asking why judgment came in this particular form, not in the form that we all had expected. The question that perhaps emerges is that can we not in this manner provide a critique of the judgment?

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Atrocities & other offences committed by Justice C.V. Nagarjuna Reddy of A.P. High Court against a Dalit Judicial Magistrate

 

Kula Nirmulana Porata Samiti (KNPS)

I) a) Mr. S. Ramakrishna was born in a poor Dalit family in a remote village of Chittoor District, A.P. and with his hard work he could get his Law degree and was selected as a Junior Civil Judge in A.P. State Judicial Service in 2003. He consciously discharged judicial and administrative functions without any blemish at Gadwal, Nandyal, Dharmavaram and Ponnur until 2012 when he was transferred to Rayachoti of Kadapa District, the native area of Mr. Justice C.V. Nagarjuna Reddy. It is at Rayachoti he has to taste all sorts of atrocities which a common Dalit is facing in this area dominated by upper caste Reddy's.

b) Mr. C.V. Nagarjuna Reddy belongs to Rayachoti of Kadapa District where he had lot of relatives and friends in Public Life and legal profession. At the cost of deserving persons he had inducted his relatives and henchmen in the Judiciary of Kadapa District, particularly at Rayachoti. His brother by name Mr. Pavan Kumar Reddy is Additional Public Prosecutor & Govt. Pleader for over a decade and no other competent person could venture to replace him from these posts, due to muscle and financial power of these brothers. Pavan Kumar Reddy, who had lot of followers in forest & police departments, is a successful Red-Sanders Smuggler and does not hesitate to go to any extent to commit offences for his selfish-ends. (See dying declaration of his servant quoted hereunder)

c) After C.V. Nagarjuna Reddy became Judge of High Court, virtually these brothers became the de facto rulers of Kadapa Judiciary, particularly the Courts at Rayachoti

& Lakkireddypalli. In order to get their writ prevailed, these brothers commit all sorts of illegalities either by murders or threats or by tampering, or causing disappearance, of court records/documents etc. Justice c.v. Nagarjuna reddy frequently visits Rayachoti at the cost of the Sate and make Police, Revenue and judicial officers go round him hinting threats to those who do not dance to his and his brother's tunes.

II) JUSTICE NAGARJUNA REDDY'S ATTROCITIES AGAINST THE DALIT MAGISTRATE TO REMOVE THE NAME OF HIS BROTHER FROM THE DYING DELARATON OF A VICTIM

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'They couldn’t stand us!': Fact Finding Report On Dalit Family set afire in Haryana village

 

They couldn't stand us!1

sunpedh 1

Fact Finding Report On Dalit Family set afire in Village Sunpedh, Ballabgarh, District Faridabad, Haryana

 Written by

 NDMJ-NCDHR

Fact Finding Team

 Adv. Mangla Verma - HRLN

 Ms.Tanvi, Programme Officer– HRLN

 Mr. Rajesh KumarHaryana State Coordinator NDMJ - NCDHR

 Adv. Balwant Singh NDMJ-NCDHR

 Ms. AbiramiNational Programme Coordinator, NDMJ NCDHR

~

Introduction

Background

The immediate background of this fact finding is the deadly attack on a Dalit family in Sunpedh (village), Faridabad (district), Haryana (State). This family of four was set on fire while they were asleep2. On 19th October 2015 a Jagran3 was held in Sunpedh. Jitender S/o Dalchand, Rekha w/o Jitender and their two children attended the Jagran and went back home early. They were fast asleep on their bed, next to the window. The window was open. At around 2.30 am, Jitender woke up, after he sensed a strong stench of petrol. The men standing at the window poured petrol on the family. By the time, Jitender could wake up his wife, flames had engulfed the bed. The two doors to the room were locked from outside in order to prevent the family members from escaping the fire. Divya D/o Jitender and Rekha and Vaibhav S/o Jitender and Rekha; ten months and one and a half years old respectively, succumbed to the burns and died. Certain media reports state that the children suffered more than 70% thermal burns. Rekha, their mother is hospitalized in Safdarjung, Delhi and continues to remain critical. Jitender, their father suffered burns on his hands. He has been discharged and is back in Sunpedh, Faridabad.

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Forceful Eviction of a Dalit Community in Indore

 

Issues of Land Grab and Forceful Eviction of Dalit Community and Consequent Death of a Young Dalit

A Fact Finding Mission on Chander Prabha Shekhar Nagar, Indore

25-26 September, 2015

Written and Compiled by

Judith Anne
Kamalchand Kispotta

~

Fact Finding Team

Anjali
Anand Lakhan
Kamalchand Kispotta
Judith Anne

National Dalit Movement for Justice -
National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights

~

Fact Finding Mission

Introduction

Acts of violence against Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes have been officially recognised as atrocities under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. To deter the occurrence of such crimes, higher penalties are awarded. These crimes occur on account of the ascribed caste in case of Dalits and ethnic identity in case of Adivasis and because, inter alia, they are minorities. Women and children from these two communities are particularly vulnerable to violence. In this process strengthening of the SC/ST PoA Act becomes crucial to curtail atrocities subjected on Dalit and Adivasi communities. However, in cases where the higher rungs of the state machinery itself is involved in acts of discrimination and violence the task for accessing justice becomes much more challenging.

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What happened in Dankaur?

 

Dankaur incident: Fact Finding Report

The Fact Finding team of NDMJ-NCDHR condemns in the strongest possible terms the recent incident of atrocity and public indignity concerning a Dalit family in Dankaur, Uttar Pradesh. The Fact finding team visited the place of incident on 10th October 2015 and met the relatives of the victims (who are in remand now), police officials and shop-owners in Dankaur Market. We also met around 50 members of victim's community to understand the facts of the case.

Members of the Fact Finding Team : Kamal Kispotta, Keshav Jaliya, Vineet Jingala, Nidhin Shobhana, Bhanu Pratap Singh (UP).

Key findings

1. Media reports have reduced the issue, quite viciously, to the question of 'who stripped whom'. Such reduction has distorted the issue at multiple levels:

• It completely displaced the fact that a Dalit family was publicly humiliated by the police machinery, in the midst of an indifferent crowd.
• A forged case of public obscenity has been charged against Sunil Gautam's family.
• The family has been booked (2men, 3 women, 3 children aged between 7 months to 2 years) under IPC sections 504, 341, 175, 148, 323, 332, 335, 394, 307, 324, 294 and 7 Criminal Law Amendment Act 1932.
• These sections have been invoked in two FIRs (FIR No 556/15 and 557/15). While FIR no.556/15 was registered by the police, FIR 557/15 was registered by few shopkeepers influenced by the police.
• None of the sections invoked are relevant to the incident. In fact these sections were deliberately used to criminalize the family. The invoked sections cover a wide range of crimes such a rioting with dangerous, deadly weapons; hurt caused during robbery; attempt to murder so on and so forth.
• The media reports and the false complaint lodged against the family has overshadowed the fact that the family was robbed and dispossessed. The dominant caste Gujjars in the area had grabbed their land.
• The family was staging a peaceful democratic protest in front of their rented shop against police laxity in filing their complaint and taking necessary actions against the accused.
• Presently the Dalit family is in Surajkund Jail and their relatives are trying for their bail.

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Another Khairlanji: Rajasthan's Nagaur district is the new dalit slaughterhouse

 

Bhanwar Meghwanshi and Janani Sridharan

The following is a detailed account of the happenings leading to and on the 14th of May 2015 at village Dangawas, describing an attack by the powerful Jats on dalits – murdering 4 of them by the use of tractors, molesting their women, seriously injuring several others and setting to fire their homes. This report has been prepared after intensive fact finding exercises. Currently Rajasthan is seeing several protests and demands of an independent CBI inquiry and compensation for the affected dalits families of what is perhaps the most serious and massive attack on Dalits in recent history, reminding one of the Khairlanji massacre.

nagaur 3

Less than 250 km away from the capital city of Jaipur, the Jat - dominated Nagaur is home to several recent Dalit atrocities. If one were to examine the kind of atrocities perpetrated in the last year alone, one's heart would scream out. It is hard to believe that independent India is host to such crimes today. Such brutality and cruelty of unimaginable proportions inflicted by one community on another might even put terrorist groups to shame! Is this even possible in a democratic state? Apparently yes, with the political and administrative system that initially refused to even take notice of the happenings.

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Fact Finding Report on Javkhede Khalsa

 

Sujit Nikalje

History of Ahmednagar

Ahmednagar district is in Maharashtra, about 120 km northeast of Pune and 120 km from Aurangabad. Ahmednagar gets its name from Ahmed Nizam Shah, who founded the town in 1494 on the site of a more ancient city, Bhingar. The district was created after the defeat of the Maratha Confederacy in the Third Anglo-Maratha War in 1818 when most of the Peshwa's domains were annexed to British India. The district remained part of the Central division of Bombay Presidency until India's independence in 1947, when it became part of Bombay State, and in 1960 the new state of Maharashtra.

Ahmednagar is a relatively small town and lacks the development witnessed in nearby cities of western Maharashtra such as Mumbai, Pune and Aurangabad. Ahmednagar is home to 19 sugar factories and is also the birthplace of the cooperative movement. Due to scarce rainfall, Ahmednagar often suffers from drought. Marathi is the primary language for daily-life communication. 

The total population of the District as per the 2011 census is 45,43,080. The Scheduled Caste Population as per the 2001 Census Data is 4,85,000 which is 12% of the total population, and as per 2011 census it has increased by 1%.

Atrocity Cases in Ahmednagar district

There has been a steep rise in the number of atrocity cases in Maharashtra. The brutal massacres in Khairlanji in 2006 and in Sonai village of Ahmednagar district in January 2013, where three Dalit boys were hacked to death by members of dominant castes, are indicators of the increased intensity. In the triple murder of Dalit youths in Sonai, one of them was supposed to have had a love affair with a Maratha girl. Then recently, in Kharda on 28th April 2014, again in Ahmednagar district, a Dalit boy named Nitin Aage (17) was killed by members of dominant castes, just on the suspicion of a love affair. The dominant caste people pulled him out from his school in broad daylight, beat him up brutally and then lynched him.

There are other recent cases like that of Manoj Kasab, a Sarpanch from the Matang community (the third largest in population among the Scheduled Castes in the state), who was killed by members of the dominant castes. Apart from these killings, many Dalits also face incidents of ostracization to the detriment of their livelihoods, physical assaults and humiliation on an almost daily basis from the dominant castes.

Read more...

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