Jacqueline is conscious today but still not out of danger

[Update on the state of health of Jacqueline, the nurse who attempted suicide in CSI Hospital, Kancheepuram, due to casteist harassment by the hospital director, and other developments -- Round Table India]

Geeta Charusivam

There have been further developments in the CSI hospital struggle in Kancheepuram. Some friends visited Jacqueline in hospital today and have informed that she is conscious today but unable to speak. The doctors have said that she is still not out of danger. They are keeping a close watch on her today and hope that her condition remains stable. They would be able to give a further opinion only by tomorrow.

As informed yesterday, one case under Crime No. 946/2012 was booked on 44 persons (including staff, a few lawyers and some Makkal Mandram activists) under - Section 143 (punishment for unlawful assembly), Section 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint) and Section 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of IPC for holding a protest demonstration in front of the hospital.

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Attempted suicide by nurse at CSI Hospital, Kancheepuram, due to casteist harassment

Attempted suicide by nurse at CSI Hospital, Kancheepuram, due to harassment of the casteist hospital director

(Message from Makkal Mandram)

Dear Friends,

An incident has happened in CSI Hospital Kancheepuram. Jacqueline, a nurse working in the hospital for more than 15 years, swallowed a lot of pills yesterday while on duty and is in a critical condition. She has left a behind a note naming the Director of CSI Hospital, Dr. Brinda Nirmal as the person responsible for her taking this extreme step. Dr. Brinda Nirmal abused both Jacqueline and her husband Soloman (who is also a staff at the hospital) yesterday before the whole hospital. She abused them calling them caste names and threatened to sack them.The staff say that this is routine for the director (abusing and shouting at staff, throwing them out of hospital physically and resorting to a lot more discriminatory and arbitrary practices) but Jacqeline was unable to take this mental torture any more.

Dr. Brinda Nirmal is the Director of CSI Hospital Kancheepuram since last two years and has been accused of harassing the staff of the hospital including nurses, drivers, ward boys, gardeners etc earlier also. Around 90% of the staff are Dalits and have faced constant harassment at the hands of this director who belongs to a dominant caste. Apart from verbal abuse, she has imposed arbitrary fines and penalties and deducted it from the salaries of the staff. Further, she has transferred and terminated the services of several members of the staff on her whims and fancies, without following properly laid down procedures. The staff have complained that she is casteist and vindictive towards them.

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The blood drenched land in Lakshimpeta questions the State

Fact Finding Report of Andhra Pradesh Dalit Mahasabha on the Lakshimpeta Massacre

ch_1

Three women whose husbands were alive on June 11th became widows on the 12th. One lost a father, and another woman also lost a husband a few days later. 20 victims suffer and grieve in a hospital, nursing seriously injured limbs and heads, fighting for their lives. This is the scenario I witnessed with my own eyes in Lakshimpeta, on July 3rd.

They still do not understand why the Toorpu Kapus had launched such a brutal attack on them, armed with spears, axes, bill hooks and bombs, wounded and killed so many when the day had not fully dawned and most of the villagers had not woken up. Nor do they understand why the fact that tilling the 45 cents of land legally allotted to each of them by the Collector should have caused so much caste hatred.

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District Magistrate: Remove untouchability from Karauli (Rajasthan) #Dignity4All

Stalin K

Last weekend, I was a guest on Satyamev Jayate with Aamir Khan where we discussed the issue of untouchability and how this illegal practice is still shockingly a part of Indian tradition.

In Dangariya village of Rajasthan, "lower caste" women are asked to remove their footwear as they pass "upper caste" neighbourhoods. This has been happening for several years, in spite of untouchability having been declared illegal by the Constitution of India.


If these women wore slippers in front of the so called 'upper caste neighbourhoods' they would be abused and their husbands would be troubled for days.

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Asthan Violence: Conspiracy to divide Dalits and Pasmanda

Pasmanda Muslim Mahaz

asthan_01_copyShri Ali Anwar Ansari, MP and National President, Pasmanda Muslim Mahaz, has described the incident of setting ablaze the houses of the pasmanda muslims of the Asthan village of the Kunda teshil, Pratapgarh, as preplanned and an instance of political conspiracy. He has alleged that the main perpetrators of this violence enjoy protection from top brass of the ruling party and hence are still roaming free.

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Brief report on the killing of Adivasis by CRPF forces in Bijapur district

Coordination of Democratic Rights Organisations

An All India Fact Finding team of rights activists belonging to the Coordination of Democratic Rights Organisations (CDRO) visited the area in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh where 17 adivasis died as a result of firing by CRPF forces on the night of June 28, 2012. The team visited the villages of Sarkeguda, Kottaguda and Rajpenta on July 6th and 7th and elicited information about the events. The following is a brief report of the team. A more detailed report will follow in due course.

All three villages are small settlements located close to each other and in the jurisdiction of the Basaguda police station which is located about a km away. There is a CRPF camp at about three km from the three villages. While Sarkeguda with 25 households and Rajpenta (12 households) are in Korsagudem panchayat, Kottaguda with 30 households is in Cheepurupatti panchayat. Most residents of the three villages belong to the Dorla Koya tribe.

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Melavalavu Murders

[Today marks the 15th anniversary of the brutal Melavalavu massacre. Read about it in this excerpt from the chapter 'The Pattern of Abuse: Southern District Clashes in Tamil Nadu and the State's Response' from the report 'Broken People: Caste Violence Against India's Untouchables' published by Human Rights Watch (HRW) in 1999.]

In September 1996, the village of Melavalavu, in Madurai district, was declared a reserved constituency under Article 243D of the Indian constitution.[256] The declaration signaled that the Melavalavu panchayat (village council), which covers eight villages with approximately 1,000 Dalit families,[257] would have seats reserved for scheduled-caste candidates.[258] In June 1997, a group murder of elected Dalits by neighboring Thevars signaled that constitutionally mandated shifts in legal power to scheduled castes would not be tolerated by caste Hindus displaced from their once secure elected positions.

Several observers have attributed the violence in the village and the resulting tensions to a shift in power relations brought on by the government's mandate of reservation of panchayat seats for Dalits. Dr. George Mathew of the New Delhi Institute of Social Sciences visited the area along with two other researchers soon after the murders. He published his conclusions in an article in The Hindu:

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