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The Ramabai Killings

 

Fifty years of independence. The salute of fifty bullets. Ten Dalits murdered. This is our independence.

~ Poster in Ramabai colony135

(Excerpt from the Human Rights Watch (HRW) report Broken People: Caste Violence Against India's 'Untouchables')

Excessive use of force by members of the police is not limited to the rural areas that are largely the focus of previous chapters in this report. Police abuse against the urban poor, slum dwellers, Dalits, and other minorities has included arbitrary detention, torture, extrajudicial executions, and forced evictions.136 Because they cannot afford to bribe the police, Dalits and other poor minorities are disproportionately represented among those detained and tortured in police custody. Although the acute social discrimination characteristic of rural areas is less pronounced in cities, Dalits in urban areas, who make up the majority of bonded laborers and street cleaners, do not escape it altogether. Many live in segregated colonies which have been targets of police raids.

This chapter describes a July 1997 incident in Bombay in which police opened fire on a crowd of Dalits protesting the desecration of a statue of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar in their settlement. The firing, which killed ten and injured twenty-six, was in direct violation of international standards on the use of firearms by law enforcement officials and of Bombay Police Manual guidelines. According to human rights groups and colony residents, the firing was unprovoked and caste-motivated.

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Sunita Babu's Suicide: Driven to Death by Police Harassment

 

'Suicide of Sunita Babu – Due to Police Harassment'
A fact-finding report on a Dalit woman's suicide in Kerala by Sthreekoottayma (A women's collective)

The suicide of Sunita Babu, a Dalit woman, in Eroor, Thrippunithara of Ernakulum District appeared and was discussed in the media, but not with the seriousness that it deserved. The media portrayed it as a case of suicide driven by the weight of having divulged to the police the whereabouts of her criminal husband. The society saw nothing amiss in this incident. However, the fact of the matter is that Sunita took her own life, having been driven to it by two weeks of harassment by the police hunting for the accused Babu. For two weeks, the police frequented the house of the accused in uniform and civilian clothes, and constantly harassed the women and the children in the guise of trying to get information about the absconding accused, resulting in a tragic end for Sunita who was neither involved in, nor was a witness to the incident. Below is an account of facts of this incident that has not come to light.

Sunita Babu

April 30, 2013

Chandran is a daily-wage employee working in Vimal Bazaar, owned by T.V. Ramachandran near Mathoor gate in Eroor, Thrippunithura. On the said day, he borrowed a bicycle (that belonged to Ramachandran's uncle) from this shop, to go home for his breakfast. While he was having food at home, Chandran's nephews took the bicycle to visit the temple. While the children were inside the temple, the bicycle was left outside, where it was spotted by its owner, Ramachandran's uncle who was walking along the road. He took the bicycle. When the children came out of the temple, they didn't see the cycle and went around searching for it. When they were certain that they had lost it, they informed Chandran, their uncle and all of them together started searching for it. Having lost hope of finding it, they went to Ramachandran's shop, where they saw the cycle in front of the shop. When the children tried to get inside the shop to ask what had happened, Ramachandran said 'Get out, pulayadimakkale' (this is considered an expletive in Kerala and is a casteist abuse .). Ramachandran abused the children calling caste names.

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Brief Report Of The Killing of Adivasis by CRPF at Edesmeta, Chattisgarh

 

Brief Report Of The Killing of Adivasi Civilians by CRPF at Edesmeta in Bijapur district, Chattisgarh, on May 17, 2013

[Via Karthik Navayan]

Following media reports that eight adivasis and a CRPF constable had died in an alleged encounter on the night of May 17, 2013 at Edesmeta village in Bijapur district of Chattisgarh, a team of the Human Rights Forum (HRF) from Andhra Pradesh visited the area on May 25, 26 to elicit facts. The team spoke with residents of Edesmeta as well as police officers at Gangulur. There are 67 households in Edesmeta located in six paras (hamlets). The village is in Burgil panchayat of Bijapur block and falls in the jurisdiction of Gangalur police station.

The following is a brief report of the fact-finding team. A more detailed report will be put out in due course:

It is the HRF's view that contrary to the police version of an encounter with Maoists, there was no exchange of fire at Edesmeta on the night of May 17. Eight adivasis, including four minors, all of them male, and the CRPF constable died as a result of indiscriminate and unilateral firing by the CRPF. None of the deceased eight adivasis are Maoists as the police initially claimed. The eight did not die because the Maoists used them as human shields as an improvised police version put out a day later stated. They were killed in gunfire unleashed by a specialized anti-naxalite unit of the CRPF. There was no provocation whatsoever for the firing. Four more adivasis including a minor were injured. This callous brutality is chillingly similar to the slaughter of 17 adivasi civilians (including six minors) at Sarkeguda, also in Bijapur district, on the night of June 28, 2012.

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Cops watch as Dalits are attacked by organized mob in Keesara, near Hyderabad

 

Sub-Inspector of Keesara police station, Mr Venkat, was an eye witness to the brutal assault on Dalits in Rampally Dayara: Human Rights Forum

~

To

The District Collector and Magistrate

Ranga Reddy district, Hyderabad

Dear Madam

Sub: Attack on dalits (Madigas) of Rampally Dayara JNNURM Colony- assistance to victims of attack-regarding.

You are aware that more than 10 dalits of JNNURM Colony of Rampally Dayara in Keesara mandal of Ranga Reddy district were injured in an attack on them by persons belonging to non-dalit castes of Ramapally Dayara village on May 1 and 2, 2013.

In the JNNURM Colony, Ms. Balamma of Rampally Dayara runs a belt shop which is located very close to the houses of the dalits. Inebriated customers have been creating nuisance for the past one year to which the family of Mr. Indrala Kalyan,a dalit resident of the colony belonging to the Madiga caste, have been objecting. The dalits had even a lodged a complaint in the matter at the local Kesara police station exactly a year ago on 4 May 2012. The owners of the shops have the support of Mr. Kandadi Anji Reddy and Mr Kandadi Srinivas Reddy of Rampally Dayara, the main accused in the attack of last week. While Mr. Angi Reddy is the mandal president of TDP, Mr Srinivas Reddy is the former upa-sarpanch.

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Fact finding team's report on Dharmapuri caste pillage

 

[Report translated from Tamil by Ratna Mala]

Dharmapuri violence: Caste rage, devastation and looting

Report of the Fact Finding team - consisting of Gambeeran, Yakkan, Yazhan Aadhi, K. Umadevi, Sridhar Kannan and Neerai Mahendran - on Dharmapuri caste pillage.

"My friends' mothers scolded in foul language and provoked them to set ablaze the cheri people's houses; my school mates burnt my house. The prize certificate which I got for the oratory competition was burnt. I witnessed the whole mess from that backyard. Now, how can I go to the same school"
-Vishali (name changed), ninth standard student, Anna Nagar, a survivor.


On November 7, 2012, the Dalit colonies of Natham, Anna Nagar and Kondampatti in Dharmapuri Panchayat were looted and burnt by a mob of casteist Vanniyars (an OBC caste). More than 250 houses were destroyed badly and and made unfit for living. The newspapers have reported this incident as a caste conflict with the burning of two or three huts. This is entirely absurd. This is not a caste conflict. But it is a planned attack of the dominant caste. A mob of 1000 Vanniyar casteists entered the villages with heavy weapons and petrol bombs when there were none to challenge them. They chased away the innocent women and children and looted and burnt their houses.

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Fresh Bout of Caste Violence within Muslims in Allahpur

 

(This is the English version of the press-note circulated by the All India Pasmanda Muslim Mahaz (AIPMM). Translated by Khalid Anis Ansari)

apur 1

In a village in Bihar's East Champaran district the lives of the poor Muslims belonging to backward castes has been under continuous threat from the dominant caste Muslims for the last seven years. The recent incident happened on the night of December 7 2012 when a handicapped and poor person named Akbar Ali was brutally attacked and his limbs broken by the henchmen of the dominant Muslim castes. After having assumed that he was dead they subsequently threw him on the roadside and left the site. Akbar Ali has been hospitalized in a private hospital in Motihari where his life now hangs in the balance.

~

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Second phase of violence in Assam: Update from NCHRO

 

Press Release

Guwahati, 30-11-2012.

Following the news reports about the second phase of violence and the continuance of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps for over five months in the Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD) areas, a team of National Confederation of Human Rights Organisations (NCHRO) visited the places and met the affected people, some authorities and concerned citizens with a view to collect the facts regarding. The team, consisting of NCHRO National Secretary Reny Aline, Executive Members Prof. A. Marx, G.Sugumaran And Assam State Committee Member Ansari visited at least 14 camps in Kokrajhar and Chirang districts in BTAD areas. The team met the IDPs there, took stock of the real conditions of the camps, both recognized and unrecognized. The team also met the Gossaigaon SDO Vinod Seshan IAS, the Bijni Police Station OC Aditya Deori, Goalpara MLA Monowar Hussain and some Intellectuals, academicians and HR activists from various social groups.

The team is moved at the sub human conditions in which the IDPs are now kept in the temporary shelters without any basic amenities necessary for a human being to survive. Most of the camps are situated in godowns, school buildings, river banks, paddy fields and drainage areas. In the winter season they are living without clothes suited to endure the cold and chilly climate. Most of them are farmers and they already lost one crop. Due to the lack of trauma counseling and proper medical assistance people are suffering from diseases and dying here and there. We have collected information about at least four deaths in the camps. The team is much worried to see hundreds of children loosing their education and playing and helping their parents in their daily works. We emphatically state that such a situation is a violation of Article 15 and 21 of the constitution which guarantees right to life and protection against discrimination on the basis of caste, religion etc. The IDPs are entitled according to UN guiding principles to proper security, food, shelter, medical aid etc.

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