PMARC : Dalits Media Watch - News Updates 05.12.12
Dalits Media Watch
News Updates 05.12.12
Dalit protest shifts to Salem hospital after 20-yr-old dies - The Times Of India
Dalit outfits refuse to accept girl’s body - The Hindu
Dalit organizations condemn cops' transfer - The Times If India
Dalit women pledge to snatch their rights from oppressive social structures - The Hindu
Indu Mill decision today: Prithviraj Chavan - DNA
The Times Of India
Dalit protest shifts to Salem hospital after 20-yr-old dies
By V Senthil Kumaran, TNN | Dec 5, 2012, 07.13 AM IST
SALEM: Angered by the refusal of the government to respond to their demands, at least 500 dalits began a sit-in outside the mortuary of the Salem Government Hospital on Tuesday and refused to let hospital officials do a post-mortem on a 20-year-old girl, who died on Monday, while participating in the mass hunger strike. The strike was to protest against anti-dalit violence in three colonies in Dharmapuri district.
A Mangai alias Mangammal was in Salem GH for four days after her health deteriorated. Doctors said she succumbed to viral brain fever, which she may have contacted due to prolonged exposure to the cold weather. The mob that attacked her village had burned down her house and she had no option but to sleep in the open. Lack of proper medication soon after she developed fever and the hunger strike could have worsened her situation, doctors had said on Monday.
Her relatives were adamant that they would not let hospital authorities do a post-mortem unless the government heard them out. "The government should listen to our demands at least after my daughter's death," said C Anbu, Mangai's father.
Dalit outfits refuse to accept girl’s body
Dalit outfits, including Viduthalai Chiruthaigali Katchi, staged a demonstration near Salem Government Medical College Hospital here on Tuesday refusing to accept the body of Mangammal, a Dalit girl from Natham colony at Naikkankottai in Dharmapuri district, who died on Monday night.
Natham was one of the three colonies that were attacked by a mob on November 7, following the suicide of a caste Hindu who was upset over his daughter marrying a Dalit youth from the colony.
Mangammal was among the Dalits who were on a fast last week to demand action against the perpetrators of the violence and a higher compensation. She was removed to the hospital after she fell sick. Since her admission to the hospital, her family and other residents claimed that she had been traumatised by the violence and her health had deteriorated since then. A senior doctor who attended on her, however, told The Hindu that the girl could have died of viral infection.
Demanding a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into the mob fury and a compensation of Rs.10 lakh for each affected family, besides government jobs for the family members of Mangammal (20), the members of the outfits along with the relatives of the girl staged a demonstration here on Tuesday and asked the girl’s relatives not to sign documents for post-mortem.
Senior police and revenue officials were engaging them in talks. Police also stepped up security in and around the hospital.
Staff Reporter adds from Dharmapuri:
P. Palanisamy, a former naxalite who was heading the fast, said over 30 Dalits and the family members of the girl were at the hospital, but they would not receive the body until the government ordered a CBI inquiry into the violence and arrested the main persons behind it. They were also seeking action against Pattali Makkal Katchi founder leader S. Ramadoss and the party’s senior leader J. Guru, for making anti-Dalit remarks. Meanwhile, due to their persistent demand, the Krishnapuram police registered a case under section 174 Cr.Pc (suspicious death) on Monday night.
The Times If India
Dalit organizations condemn cops' transfer
TNN | Oct 29, 2012, 07.53 AM IST
Hubli: Members of the Karnataka Dalit Rakshana Vedike and Akhila Karnataka Dr Ambedkar Mahasabha Minority Backward Dalit District unit staged a protest at the Indi pump circle on Sunday, against the alleged transfer of two police inspectors in connection with assault on activists of the Vishwa Hindu Parisha.
Protestors said that CPI's Sachin Chalawadi and Mohan Prasad were transferred after the pro-Hindu organizations demanded action against policemen involved in Friday's incident in which VHP activists stopped some people who were allegedly shifting cattle to slaughterhouse. Protestors claimed the cops are innocent and suspected the handiwork of some vested interest in the transfer. They demanded the police commissioner to cancel the transfers.
Dalit women pledge to snatch their rights from oppressive social structures
Sunita Devi couldn’t take her Class IX final exams because the date clashed with the day of her marriage. Nine years on, she has not only completed her BA, but also teaches other Dalit women who couldn’t continue their studies after marriage. The resident of Baghpat in western Uttar Pradesh was recounting her story to a large number of Dalit women who had gathered here on Tuesday as part of the first national conference of Dalit women to debate and outline a National Dalit Development Agenda. The agenda is to focus on the access of Dalits to essential services like Integrated Child Development Schemes (ICDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme (MDM) and the Public Distribution Scheme (PDS).
“After marriage I told my husband that at any cost I would continue my studies. I challenged the social norms prevailing in Baghpat because somebody has to take the courage to break the social structures. If you won’t then nobody will,” Sunita told the cheering crowd.
Sunita was joined by Laxmi Bagri, a field worker on Dalit issues in Haryana. She narrated her story of fighting against a casteist and patriarchal society. “I raised my voice against sexual violence on fellow Dalit women and took the matter up with the police. The victims got justice because of the solidarity shown by the Dalit rights activists and groups,” she said.
“The bottom line is that it is high time we say no to all kinds of violence by any body and every body,” Laxmi , adding, “We need to take our every legitimate right from the self appointed guardians of the society.”
The occasion saw eminent feminist and women’s leader Kamla Bhasin singing empowering songs about not getting bogged down by patriarchal dictates and fulfilling one’s every wish and aspiration.
“Let’s take a pledge not to be defeated by patriarchal onslaught. All that it takes is courage on our part,” said Ms. Bhasin.
During the public hearing, the Dalit women talked about how they faced discrimination while accessing food programmes like PDS, ICDS and MDM and demanded that ICDS centres and PDS shops be opened in Dalit villages. They also demanded that the cooking staff should be appointed from among the SC/ST to “eliminate the notions of purity, pollution and untouchability.”
On this occasion, Ashok Bharti from the National Confederation of Dalit Organisation, a coalition of several Dalit rights groups, underscored that at present the PDS, ICDS, and the MDM were arguably the strongest available tools with which the poor and marginalised could actualise their Right to Food.
“But the biggest roadblock is the considerable disadvantage faced by Dalits while accessing these schemes which has finally resulted in poor nutritional indicators of the majority of the SC/ST communities,” he added.
A recent UNICEF study showed that 37 per cent of reported maternal deaths were from the Scheduled Castes, said Mr. Bharti, adding that children from SC/ST communities were more likely to be underweight and malnourished.
“It shows that there is some thing seriously wrong with our nutritional policies,” he said, demanding the National Nutrition Policy be redesigned and a National Nutrition Authority be established with substantial presence from the SC/ST communities. He also asked the Government to make the social audit of all food and nutritional schemes mandatory.
Indu Mill decision today: Prithviraj Chavan
Published: Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012, 10:00 IST
By Shubhangi Khapre | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA
Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan on Tuesday said that a decision regarding handing over of Indu Mills land to set up a memorial for Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar will be taken on Wednesday. Dalit outfits have set December 6 as the deadline for the state to decide on the issue, failing which they have threatened to barge into the mill premises.
The announcement date is strategically timed to serve a two-fold purpose – to diffuse unrest and to score brownie points to win Dalits over to the Congress fold. Constituting more than 11% of its vote bank in the state, they have always remained the party’s main vote bank.
Thursday will see several supporters of Dr Ambedkar converge to pay respects to their leader at the place where his last rites were performed. This spot is located a stone’s throw away from the Indu mill premises.
Chavan was in Delhi on Monday and Tuesday, trying to stop the Centre from delaying the process of handing over the mill land for the memorial. Sources said Chavan has cautioned the Centre about the growing unrest among Dalit organations and insisted on a decision by December 6.
Union commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma said, “An official announcement will be made on December 6.”
The CM on Tuesday roped in senior Congress leaders representing Dalits to negotiate with the RPI to convey the decision taken by the state and Centre and to coax the party not to take law and order into its hands.
He also urged central leaders to expedite the process of transfer. The mill land, which is owned by the Centre, has to be first transferred to the state.
Congress sources said the National Textile Corporation, which owns the land, wants the state to offer adequate financial compensation for the transfer.
“Instead of financial compensation, the state is considering other options... The modalities are still being worked out,” said a source.