Dalits Media Watch
News Updates 21.02.12
Dalit votes helped Sena, BJP in civic polls: Ram Naik - The Hindu
9 months on, Dalits yet to return home - IBN Live
Missing Trivedi & family puzzle cops - DNA
Dalit victim's village wants issue forgotten - The Tribune
Dalit votes helped Sena, BJP in civic polls: Ram Naik
But it is doubtful whether RPI received any quid pro quo, he says
In the recently concluded Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections, the Shiv Sena and Bharatiya Janata Party benefited from the Dalit vote, but it was doubtful if their alliance partner, Republican Party of India (Athavale), received support from the Sangh Parivar vote base, BJP leader Ram Naik remarked on Monday.
RPI leader Ramdas Athavale had said while Dalit voters helped the saffron parties win, aquid pro quo from the Sena-BJP voters was absent. As a result, the Dalit party won only one seat in Mumbai.
'Athavale is right'
"What Ramdas Athavale says is true, but in the long term he will benefit from the alliance," Mr. Naik told a press conference.
He said the Sena and the BJP had also benefited from the rebellion in the Congress.
Mr. Naik on Monday said the voting percentage in the BMC polls was higher than the estimate given by the State Election Commission owing to duplicate entries in electoral rolls. He said the percentage was in fact 57 and not 46 as per official estimates.
"The residential mobility of Mumbai citizens is very high. However, neither the shifting [of residence], nor deaths are accounted automatically in the electoral rolls. Even after shifting, new names are added on the basis of applications, but proper care is not being taken to delete those names from the old rolls," Mr. Naik said.
The BJP leader cited an example of the three Assembly constituencies, namely in the suburbs of Malad, Kandivali and Borivili. Mr. Naik said after the rolls were published in 2008, he observed several "duplicate names." Out of 18,02,877 voters, 3,57,520 names or 20 per cent names were duplicate.
9 months on, Dalits yet to return home
MADURAI: Nine months after 35 Dalit families fled from their native Vembathur village of Sivagangai district fearing for their lives after the murder of two persons, fear still stalks the community as they are yet to return home. Even a police post in the area has failed to instil confidence among the Dalits.
It all began on January 29 last year when S Muthukrishnan (28), a Dalit youth from Vembathur, was murdered in the same village. The alleged motive was revenge as two caste Hindus from the nearby V Pudukulam village had been arrested following a complaint from Muthukrishnan's brother S Murugan.
Three months after Muthukrishnan's murder, one of the accused, Karuppusamy, a caste Hindu from V Pudukulam, was murdered on May 4, for which 11 Dalits from Vembathur were arrested. Fearing retaliation, all 35 Dalit families of Vembathur deserted the village on May 4.
Despite two rounds of peace meetings held by revenue authorities, normality is yet to be restored.
The Dalit families are living scattered in various towns, including Sivaganga, Thirumancheri and Melur.
Deprived of their livelihood as small farmers and agricultural workers, members of the families are working as construction workers and daily wage workers in nearby towns and Madurai city. The schooling of about 20 children too has been affected.
The latest peace meeting held at Sivaganga on Saturday was inconclusive.
Those who represented the caste Hindus of V Pudukulam village said since the Dalits were divided into three groups after the local body elections, the other two groups should be taken on board.
They promised peace and requested the revenue administration to convince the other two groups to participate in a future peace meeting.
Durga Murthy, the Revenue Divisional Officer of Sivaganga, who presided over the peace meeting, told Express, "We will hold another peace meeting soon. Revenue officials visited the village. Police post is there."
A team from Evidence, an NGO, visited the affected village and the people. A Kathir, director of the NGO, said: "Chief Secretary and Director General of Police should ensure the security for the Dalit people of Vembathur. Those threatening the Dalits should be apprehended. And `3 lakh should be given as compensation to each family who were forced to desert their villages."
Missing Trivedi & family puzzle cops
Published: Tuesday, Feb 21, 2012, 13:52 IST
By DNA Correspondent | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA
Parimal Trivedi is still missing and so is his family - this is what cops reported after their last attempt to arrest the vice-chancellor of Gujarat University before the time limit set by the Gujarat high court on Monday, went in vain. Police once again visited Trivedi's official residence, but there was no one to greet the cops.
According to the Assistant Commissioner of Police and incharge officer of SC/ST cell, KR Bhuva, Trivedi along with his family have disappeared after locking up their house.
"We went to his house near PRL, but we found that the house is locked since Sunday and no one is there to answer us," said Bhuva, who is given charge to probe the atrocity case filed against Trivedi by Pankaj Shrimali, a professor of GLS Arts College in 2008.
Earlier, unhappy with the police's inability to track down and arrest the V-C, complainant Shrimali is awaiting the next hearing for high court to give a stricter order. According to Shrimali, the delay in Trivedi's arrest might be a well organised game. "He might have been advised to hide till the next HC order comes after February 21, when the police will file an action taken report in the court," Shrimali alleged. He is now waiting for the court's stand against the officials who were supposed to take action before February 21.
According to sources close to the development, Trivedi, on his part too, has consulted some government lawyers of the session's court to find a solution to the matter. Since he cannot get an anticipatory bail in the matter, Trivedi must be arrested by police, which has, however, not yet happened.
Trivedi is facing investigation in a case in which he is accused of making abusive casteist remarks on Shrimali, allegedly in the presence of Pradeep Prajapati, former senate member of the varsity. A complaint was lodged with the Gujarat University police station on May 3, 2008 under the Prevention of Atrocities Act.
After no headway was made in the case, Shrimali moved the HC two months ago by filing a petition. The HC has ordered city police to conclude the probe and submit the report on February 21.
Discontented with the tardy pace of progress Shrimali issued a statutory notice to SK Saikia, commissioner of police on February 13.
According to Shrimali, the probe has been deliberately delayed, as the former in-charge ACP of SC-ST cell has gone on sudden medical leave from February 9, without handing over the probe to another officer. In his notice, Shrimali alleged negligence of duty on part of ACP, DD Chaudhari.
In his notice, Shrimali cited section 4 of Atrocity Act, under which it is stated that any officer found guilty of not doing a probe in a proper manner can be made a co-accused in the case for indirectly helping the main accused.
After the notice, commissioner Saikia appointed ACP KR Bhuva as the in-charge of SC/ST cell, who too has finally given up saying that he couldn't find Trivedi even after two days of search. Now, all eyes are on the high court and the stand it will take in this regard on Tuesday.
Dalit victim's village wants issue forgotten
Raman Mohan, Tribune News Service
Daulatpur (Hisar), February 20
This prosperous village, which was the scene of a vicious attack on Rajesh, a Dalit farmhand, for allegedly daring to drink water from a pitcher in a field owned by an upper-caste farmer last week, is engulfed by an all-pervasive silence. Yet, it is the silence that is an admission of a shame that the incident has brought on the village.
The friendly ties between different communities and the ages-old rural tradition of not damning one of its own, howsoever wrong, prevent its inhabitants from speaking on the issue. So, while no one is condemning the attack in so many words, and yet, everybody is sorry for what happened without admitting as much.
Daulatpur is a village where prosperous Jat families own large tracts of land. Most of these families are well-educated. The village has produced farm scientists who did Haryana proud. Dotted by lush green fields and orchards, it has thrown up progressive farmers who changed the face of their village by adopting newer farm technology. Many of its sons run successful businesses elsewhere but are still rooted to it. This makes Daulatpur a village unlike other Jat- dominated villages.
And this is not without a reason. Consider this. "Would you like your glass of milk with or without sugar?" This was the response of one of the well-heeled farmers in the village Raj Lamba (not his real name) to a query about the incident. When you persist using all your diplomatic skills, he says:"Did I ask you about your caste? And I am still offering you milk. This is our tradition. Now you tell me how long will the winter last? It's unusually cold for this time of the year".
This says it all. No wonder, ties among communities in the village remain unaffected by the incident. Urchins continue to play on the village streets. Dalit farmhands continue working in the fields without a trace of fear. Peace and harmony are intact for anyone who cares to see.
This attitude is not restricted to upper castes alone. Dalits echo similar sentiments too. Asked by TNS how the incident had affected their community, a Dalit youth, Pawan (not his real name), said: "What has happened has happened. It was an aberration. It won't happen again. We have lived together peacefully for ages and we will live so. It would help if mediapersons do not blow it up".
Discreet enquiries by TNS revealed that the village elders from all communities met on the day of the incident and resolved not to let the incident spoil harmony in the village. They also swore to a silence. The matter ended there. And there has been silence all around since.
But, one can hear murmurs in neighbouring villages. Most believe that there was more to it than meets the eye. "Have you seen a pitcher in any of the fields? Do you get thirsty riding a tractor trolley on a cold winter morning? Such queries from villagers are a pointer to the possibility of a personal dispute, rather than hatred, being behind this incident. But, nobody knows for sure and nobody wants to probe it further. They all want it buried forever.
On behalf of
Dalits Media Watch Team
(An initiative of "Peoples Media Advocacy & Resource Centre-PMARC")
Peoples Media Advocacy & Resource Centre- PMARC has been initiated with the support from group of senior journalists, social activists, academics and intellectuals from Dalit and civil society to advocate and facilitate Dalits issues in the mainstream media. To create proper & adequate space with the Dalit perspective in the mainstream media national/ International on Dalit issues is primary objective of the PMARC.