Attacks on Dalits in Kalappatti

Findings of the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) Team that visited Kalapatti village, Tamil Nadu, in May 2004 

1. Caste Discrimination and Untouchability practices

Kalapatti is a village which is located in the Coimbatore district under the Kovilpalayam police station limits. It is 14 km from the Coimbatore-Avinashi road. This village consists of nearly 2000 families belonging to the Gounder Community, the Dominant caste in this locality, 250 families of Arunthathiyar community, 10 families belonging to the Parayar community, 150 Boyar families all belonging to the Dalit community are residing here. Other than this there are 100 Nayakar families and 100 Valayar families. In this particular village the Dominant caste is the Gounder community and they specifically hold all powers, economically, socially and politically and have an upper hand in decision making and policy building at all levels.

kalappatti_3_copyThere are various forms of caste based discrimination that exists in this village even today. The dalits are not allowed to walk in the streets of the caste Hindus, not allowed to enter the village Mariamman temple for worship, in the tea shops there are separate glasses or tumblers for the dalits and the caste Hindus, Dalits are neither allowed to walk on the streets freely discussing or talking among themselves, the Dalits are forced to bend their heads portraying their inferiority complex, caste based abusive language colored by sexual remarks are often passed against the Dalits, especially, the Dalits women undergo sexual harassment and assault, the Dalits are intimidated and criticized for nothing at all. All the above mentioned forms of discrimination still exist in this particular village of Kalapatti.

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Soni Sori: Human Rights Watch writes to Prime Minister

Letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh regarding Sexual Assault Case in Police Custody

Dr. Manmohan Singh

Honorable Prime Minister of India

South Block, Raisina Hill

New Delhi 110011

India

Dear Prime Minister Manmohan Singh:

I am writing on behalf of Human Rights Watch to draw your attention to the case of Soni Sori, a tribal woman accused by the Chhattisgarh police of being a supporter of the Maoist "Naxalites." She alleges that she has been subjected to sexual assault, electric shocks, and beatings while in custody and denied necessary medical treatment, which the Chhattisgarh state government has not adequately addressed.

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Another Gohana: Dalit Bastis ransacked in Salwan village of Karnal

(Based on a Fact Finding report first posted in the Google group NCDHR, in March 2007)

A Fact Finding Team of Human Rights Defenders and Social Activists from National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights was formed with a mandate to Investigate into the reports of Salwan village of Karnal district, carried in several news papers and electronic Media and to find out the extent of truth behind the reports. Fact Finding Team visited Salwan Village, Karnal on 2nd March 2007 and met Victims. The FF team found that 200 houses were burnt and destroyed.

The situation of the village is so tense with the threat of further attacks seeming possible any time. Due to this fear 75% of Dalit families have fled the village. According to some unconfirmed sources, the FF team got information today that one Dalit youth was murdered in Salwan village in the continuation of attack last night.

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How to stop another Gujarat?

Karthik Navayan

[Karthik Navayan wrote this article ten years ago, in 2002, after visiting Gujarat as a relief volunteer seeking to offer aid to the victims of the 2002 carnage. The one persistent thought on his mind after the experience was: how to stop Andhra Pradesh from becoming Gujarat? How to stop any other state from becoming another Gujarat? We think that question is still very relevant-- Round Table India]

gujarat_2002_copy

'Adivasis, or indigenous people, are not Hindus; they have their own culture and customs as well as festivals and gods. Organizations like Rastriya Swayamsevak Sangh and Vishwa Hindu Parishad are working on a mission to convert them into Hinduism since decades. They are using these innocent Adivasis in murders by luring them into Hinduism. These Adivasis did not participate in any earlier incidents of communal violence; in fact, communal violence is experienced only through the RSS and VHP'

 Champak, Coordinator, 'SAARTHI' (An NGO which is working for the rehabilitation of Adivasis since last 20 years).

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Gohana Atrocity: Caste Terror in Haryana

[A fact-finding team of the Forum for Democratic Initiatives* visited Gohana on 4th September 2005 to enquire into the gruesome torching of houses belonging to the Balmiki community on the day of 1st September 2005. The team met the victims and their relatives; local college lecturers and primary school teachers who were conducting a survey to assess the amount of loss; shopkeepers close to the site of the incident and other citizens of the town.]

Recalling Gujarat

While the Balmiki population in Gohana town is primarily concentrated in the Balmiki basti, which lies in the heart of the town, there are a few Balmiki households in mixed settlements too. Contrary to the callous statement of the local BJP MP Kishen Singh Sangwan that only a few hutments had been torched, we discovered that in fact over 60 pucca houses had been completely destroyed; houses that escaped arson had been ransacked and looted. As we walked through the Balmiki Basti, we saw house after house with their roofs caved in, large cracks in the walls, burnt motorcycles and scooters. Television sets had been smashed, cupboards and almirahs broken into, annual stores of grains reduced to cinder, tin trunks commonly used to store everything from steel utensils and jewellery to quilts had their lids propped up by bamboo poles in order to ensure that all valuables perished in the fire.

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Dalit Houses Burnt Down at Gohana in Haryana

(First published in September 2005)

A Preliminary Fact Finding Report

By

N. Paul Divakar, National Convenor, NCDHR, Dr. Vimal Thorat, National Co-Convenor, NCDHR, Ms. Shabnam Hashmi, ANHAD, Dr. Umakant, Secretary-Advocacy, NCDHR And Others

~~~~

Dalit Houses Burnt Down at Gohana in Haryana

Gohana is a small Tehsil, a local administrative unit, in Sonepat District in the State of Haryana. It is situated about 60 kilometers away from the National Capital, New Delhi. It witnessed a caste rivalry between Dalits and the dominant caste 'Jats', culminating into mass exodus of Dalits and finally burning down of about 55 to 60 Dalit houses with full support of local Police from 27 August 2005 upto 31 August 2005. A violent mob of about 1500 to 2000 Jats armed with spears, batons, petrol and kerosene oil went on a maddening spree burning down hoses belonging to a particular Dalit caste 'Balmikis', who are other wise called 'Bhangis', the manual scavengers.

This is a preliminary report as full report after assessing the damages would be prepared very soon.

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Mirchpur Carnage Against Dalits

Fact-Finding Report Of Mirchpur Carnage Against Dalits On 21 April 2010

That the Hindus most often succeed in pulling down Untouchables is largely due to many causes. The Hindu has the Police and the Magistracy on his side. In a quarrel between the Untouchables and the Hindus the Untouchables will never get protection from the Police or justice from the Magistrate. The Police and the Magistracy are Hindus, and they love their class more than their duty. But the chief weapon in the armoury of the Hindus is economic power they possess over the poor Untouchables living in the village. 

Dr. B.R. Ambedkar in 1943.

On 24 April 2010, the National Dalit Movement for Justice (NDMJ) of National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR) – and Anhad facilitated a fact-finding visit to Mirchpur in Haryana's Hisar district where 17-year-old girl Suman and her 60-year-old father Tara Chand were burnt alive on 21 April by a Jat mob from the village that also set fire to and looted 18 Balmiki houses and looted 18 houses.

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