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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

Why are we afraid of the caste census?

 

Bhanwar Meghwanshi

The entire debate is centred on removing the caste column in the census questionnaire while the real problem is caste itself. Why is no one talking about annihilating caste?

caste census bhanwar meghwanshi

Caste census:Crucial for identification of weakers sections of society. Photo: AP

In rural India, even today, the first words uttered by way of introduction when two persons meet are — "what is your caste....?"; a piece of information people seem most enthusiastic to elicit from each other before anything else. Political parties have caste-based cells and caste arithmetic becomes the basis on which tickets are allotted. Every caste recognises jati panchayats, has its mahasabhas and often, caste-based armed forces (senas) are constituted. Thousands of publications are brought out across the country to invoke caste sentiments in people. Whether Haridwar or Pushkar, the bathing ghats are segregated on the lines of caste. Who can offer archana in temples, bridegrooms of which caste can sit on the horse — caste governs even such specifics practised till date in our country. Even today, khap panchayats based on castes, sub-castes and further, gotras,flourish and decree inhuman decisions.

Read more...

The representation gap

 

Christophe Jaffrelot, Gilles Verniers

Decline in number of OBC MPs shows that the classic tropes of backward class politics — quotas and simple descriptive representation — no longer work.

The 2014 Lok Sabha elections produced an assembly where many voices can hardly be heard. The representation of Muslims, for instance, is at a historical low, with less than 4 per cent of the seats. But there are other groups that have also suffered a sharp decline in representation. OBCs, who over the last 25 years have dominated the political scene in the Hindi-speaking belt, are a case in point.

Since the late 1980s, one of the most significant trends in Indian politics has been the gradual decline of upper-caste representation in the Lok Sabha, and the concomitant rise of OBCs. This phenomenon was essentially due to the decline of the Congress — a party dominated by upper castes — and to the rise of regional parties, primarily supported by large, dominant OBC groups. In 1989, the proportion of OBCs in the Lok Sabha had jumped from 11 per cent to 21 per cent, and continued to grow in the post-Mandal phase until 2004, when it peaked at 26 per cent. In parallel, the representation of upper castes persistently fell, from 49 per cent in 1984 to 37 per cent in 1989 and 34 per cent in 2004. The gap between OBCs and upper caste MPs returned from the Hindi-speaking belt had never been so small. The 2009 general elections marked a reversal of that trend, as upper caste representation shot up to 43 per cent, and the share of OBCs fell to 18 per cent.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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...

Preliminary fact finding report on the inhuman murder of Dalits in Ahmednagar

 

Dalit Atyachar Virodhi Kruti Samiti

(Report released on 30th October 2014, at a press conference in Mumbai)

 Preliminary fact finding report on the inhuman murders of Dalits on 20 October 2014 at Jawakhede (Khalsa), Taluka Pathardi, District Ahmednagar.

javkhede massacre

 On 20th October 2014, in Jawakhede (Khalsa), Taluka Pathardi, District Ahmednagar, the entire family comprising the father, mother and a son, of Buddhist faith, was killed brutally.

On 27th October 2014, the Dalit Atyachar Virodhi Kruti Samiti sent a committee to Jawakhede village on a fact-finding mission to probe these murders. The said committee comprised of Subodh More (social activist and freelance journalist), Jatin Desai (senior journalist), Feroze Mithiborwala (social activist), Uttam Jagirdar (social activist), Sudhakar Kashyap (correspondent of IBN Lokmat), Anjan Veldurkar (activist), Vinod Shinde (activist), Professor Ranganath Pathare (senior literary person from Ahmednagar), Bela Sakhare (Nagpur), Keshav Waghmare (social activist from Pune).

Jawakhede village is at a distance of 62 kms from Ahmednagar, with a population of about 3000 people. A majority of the population belongs to Maratha and Vanjari caste; while the Dalit, Muslim and Christians live in minority. About 30 households belong to the Buddhist community.

Read more...

Other Related Articles

Call for Papers: “Doing Ambedkarism Today: Issues of Caste, Gender and Community”
Monday, 11 December 2017
  Call for papers for workshop on: “Doing Ambedkarism Today: Issues of Caste, Gender, and Community” Dates – 19th to 22nd February 2018 Deadline for Proposals – 31st December... Read More...
An Open Letter to the IIM Leadership
Tuesday, 29 August 2017
  IIM Directors Meeting, 28th August 2017: An Open Letter to the IIM Leadership Dear IIM Directors: RE: IIM Directors Meeting, 28th August 2017: An Open Letter We would like to introduce... Read More...
The Hollowness of Noisy Bodies and a misplaced sense of student politics
Wednesday, 26 July 2017
  Nasima Islam Through this brief venture of mine, I would like to address a crucial issue that covers one of the most significant problems of contemporary student politics in India. Given the... Read More...
Babasaheb’s Statue Vandalized: Bengal’s Realm of Caste maliciousness
Wednesday, 14 June 2017
   Pinak Banik On the midnight of 29th May, a marble bust of Babasaheb Ambedkar was found disfigured. This statue was installed 17 years ago inside the Dr. B. R. Ambedkar Sishu Uddyan... Read More...
Kabali: From caste to consciousness
Sunday, 07 August 2016
B. Prabakaran Last month, before Kabali was released, some Dalits in Tamil Nadu posted a merged picture on Facebook, which had Dr. Ambedkar, in his usual pride and impressive posture, on the one side... Read More...

Recent Popular Articles

The Hollowness of Noisy Bodies and a misplaced sense of student politics
Wednesday, 26 July 2017
  Nasima Islam Through this brief venture of mine, I would like to address a crucial issue that covers one of the most significant problems of contemporary student politics in India. Given the... Read More...