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Sunday, 11 March 2012

After peaceful polls, 8 die in UP violence


Dalits Media Watch
News Updates 10.03.12
 
After peaceful polls, 8 die in UP violence - The Hindustan Times
UP:Trouble for Akhilesh & Mayawati;1 dead over SP,BSP clash - One India
A Dalit's murder in wake of SP victory - Indian Express
HC declines CBI probe into dalit boy's death - The Times Of India
Farmers See True Colours of Dalit Minister - Tehelka
NCSC demands arrest of ex-minister in Pipili rape - Zee News
A Road Less Paved - Out Look India
 
The Hindustan Times
 
After peaceful polls, 8 die in UP violence
 
Rajesh Kumar Singh, Hindustan Times
Lucknow, March 09, 2012
Last Updated: 23:48 IST(9/3/2012)
 
After the peaceful polls in UP comes the bloody disquiet following the announcement of the election results on Tuesday, with there being no government worth the name in Lucknow. Since March 6, eight people have died in 17 cases of violence. Most of these have been clashes between supporters of the SP, which will form the next government, and those of the BSP.
 
In the Reusha area of Sitapur district, 80 km north of Lucknow, the house of a Dalit was set on fire by supporters of an SP MLA on Thursday. The district police, however, said the incident arose over a dispute on lifting cowdung cakes.
 
In another incident, Munna Rajbhar, son of transport minister and senior BSP leader Ramachal Rajbhar, shot at Anil Verma, an SP supporter, in Basauli village in Ambedkar Nagar district. SP supporters retaliated by torching a rice mill, hutments, tractors and motorcycles belonging Rajbhar's relatives.
 
As the Samajwadi Party surged ahead of the rival parties on Tuesday during the counting of votes, SP workers broke the barricade and tried to barge into a counting centre in Jhansi. Media persons covering the event were beaten up and supporters of the SP candidate broke the cameras of the photographers.
 
The administration, it seems, expected this. Fearing untoward incidents after the announcement of the results, director general of police Atul on Tuesday directed the superintendents of police of all the districts to take preventive measures. But it had little impact.
 
One India
 
UP:Trouble for Akhilesh & Mayawati;1 dead over SP,BSP clash
 
Saturday, March 10, 2012, 10:39 [IST]
Lucknow, Mar 10: One person died and five people critically injured following a fresh clash between the party workers of Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP). The man died when the two party workers reportedly attacked each other in Hardoi, Uttar Pradesh on Saturday, Mar 10.
 
The fight might be proved as a fatal for Akhilesh Yadav who is all set to become the next Chief Minister of the state. However, it may also bring more trouble for Mayawati who recently lost her power following the defeat in assembly election 2012.
 
This was not the first time that Samajwadi Party workers' names surfaced in such brutal activities. The incidents of violence has only shown a spike since the SP won it big in UP.
 
The day SP was crowned as the single largest party in Uttar Pradesh after the election results were declared on Mar 6, many incidents of violence started to stream in from various parts of the state. After the first such incident, Akhilesh commented, "We will deal with an iron hand with SP workers who indulge in goondaism and violence."
 
Looks like the party workers have taken little head to this strong message by the SP chief. On Mar 8, a BSP village pradhan, who is also a Dalit, Munna Lal was stabbed to death allegedly by SP party workers with a spear. He was attacked in his house Mansukhpura Agra, after he was dragged out and attacked. No arrests have been made on the case yet.
 
The fact that Dalits have been targeted the most is also a disturbing trend emerging in the state. Dalit villagers in Hardoi and Sitapur are mute victims to this atrocity. The houses of Dalit villagers in Sitapur was burnt down allegedly by SP supporters for supporting the independent candidate in the polls. Also, in Balia five women and children were beaten up by SP workers because the villagers there voted for the JDU candidate.
 
With the SP desperately trying to shake off the "party of goons" tag, looks like the top leaders will have to flex their muscles a little more to rein in the unruly elements in the party.
 
Indian Express
 
A Dalit's murder in wake of SP victory
 
Lucknow, Sat Mar 10 2012, 04:59 hrs
 
The newly elected Samajwadi Party MLA from Bah, Aridaman Singh, and nine supporters were today booked for the murder of the husband of a Dalit village pradhan.
 
Munna Lal — who virtually ran the show in the name of his wife Guddi Devi, the actual pradhan of Parvati Purva village — was beaten to death in Agra on Thursday reportedly for refusing to vote for the Samajwadi Party candidate during the elections.
 
This is the latest in a series of incidents of violence, allegedly by SP men, since the announcement of Assembly poll results on March 6. SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav today called a meeting of police officers to direct them to check the violence while son Akhilesh Singh saw a conspiracy to defame the party.
 
Munna Lal, 40, was attacked by more than 20 men while sitting at the panchayat ghar. MLA Singh has been booked on the charge of hatching a conspiracy for murder.
 
Munna Lal's nephew Daya Shankar claimed the murder was the fallout of a dispute during Singh's visit to the village seeking votes. He was accompanied by the Thakurs of the village.
 
"The Thakurs asked the pradhan to ensure that the people of his community cast vote in favour of Singh. Munna Lal refused. Aridaman and others threatened to deal with him after the election," said Shankar. Circle officer Siddharth said the postmortem report was awaited.
 
The Times Of India
 
HC declines CBI probe into dalit boy's death
 
TNN | Mar 10, 2012, 05.18AM IST
MADURAI: Declining to order a CBI probe into the murder of a dalit boy, the Madurai bench of the Madras high court, on Friday directed the state police to expedite investigation relating to the killing of Palanikumar, which occurred prior to the death anniversary of dalit leader Immanuel Sekaran, and file the final report expeditiously.
 
Disposing the petition filed by Thangavel, the father of Palanikumar, the bench comprising Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar and Justice P Devadass said, "Unless it is established in a given case that the local police is not conducting investigation in a proper manner, probe cannot be transferred merely on the request made by the complainant."
 
According to Thangavel, his son Palanikumar was residing in Pallapaacheri, near Kamudhi where about 600 dalit families are living along with other caste Hindus.
 
The dalit people from M Pallapacheri village have to cross the Mandalamanickam main street to reach their village as the said street is the only option available to them.
 
The petitioner alleged that there used to be friction between the dalits and the Maravar community, which was the majority in Mandalamanickam main street.
 
Several times the dalits were humiliated and they approached the district collector and SP to provide an alternative pathway to their village. Since no action was taken, the Pallapacheri village people boycotted the recent local body elections.
 
On September 9, 2011, Palanikumar was murdered by some persons allegedly belonging to the Maravar community while he was returning home after watching a play, which was performed in a nearby village.
 
Tehelka
 
Farmers See True Colours of Dalit Minister
 
Minister of State for Railways KH Muniyappa joins the land-grab hall of shame in Karnataka. Imran Khan reports
 
IT DOESN'T matter if they belong to the BJP or the Congress; politicians of all hues seem to be landing in trouble in Karnataka. The latest to join the hall of shame is Congress leader and Minister of State for Railways KH Muniyappa, who has been accused of willful non-declaration of assets and grabbing land worth more than Rs 200 crore from Dalit farmers using fraudulent means.
 

On 19 April 2011, a criminal complaint under Section 33(1) of the Representation of People Act and Rule (4) of the Conduct of Election Rules was filed against Muniyappa, 63, a six-time Congress MP from Kolar district. The complainant, BSP leader Marasandra Muniyappa, has accused his namesake of not declaring four acres in Survey No. 164 of Goramillahalli, Shidlaghatta taluk, Chikkaballapur district, in his nomination papers filed in 2009. Marasandra contends that the land was allotted to Muniyappa in 1972 and an order copy (No. LNDSR2115) was issued in his name in 1973.
 
Marasandra also alleges that nine acres in the name of Muniyappa's wife Nagarathnamma (Survey No. 35/p13, 35/p1 and 35/p6 of Goramillahalli) has not been declared, leading to culpability and punishment under Section 125(A) of the Representation of People Act, which includes imprisonment for a term that may extend to six months or with fine or both.
 
According to his asset declaration in 2009, Muniyappa had moveable assets worth Rs 1.42 crore, immovable assets worth Rs 3.7 crore, and liabilities amounting to Rs 2.1 crore. A copy of the asset declaration available with TEHELKA finds no mention of the land in Chikkaballapur.
 
Muniyappa, a Madiga Dalit, has also been accused of trying to forcibly usurp land belonging to Dalits worth more than Rs 200 crore on the outskirts of Bengaluru.
 
"We were tricked by Muniyappa, who took 20 acres of our land for a paltry sum, promising that an educational institution will be built there, which will allow our children to get proper education, and our men to get government jobs. But no such thing happened," says Lakshamma, 70, who, along with 33 other Dalit families, owns this land.
 
Around 50 acres was allotted to 33 Dalit families by the government in 1948. Five decades later, builders Dayananda Pai and Satish Pai claimed ownership of the land. The Dalit farmers pursued the case in the district courts and finally in 2005, the land was restored to them.
 
"In 2005, Muniyappa registered 20 acres in his aide Ramprasad's name by giving Rs 25 lakh for 10 acres and another Rs 45 lakh for the other 10 acres, when the going rate was Rs 1 crore per acre," says Manupoojappa, 50, a Dalit farmer. "We thought we will get Central government jobs and our children will have a great future if an educational institution for the upliftment of Madiga Dalits comes up. Our foolishness led us to believe him."
 
Manupoojappa accused the minister of trying to forcibly grab the other 30 acres while his relative Hanumaiah claims that the minister intimidated the farmers to part with their land, whose value has skyrocketed due to its proximity to the newly opened Bengaluru International Airport.
 
"Even though we have submitted the relevant documents supporting our claim, the district administration has failed to pass an order against him," adds Marasandra. "And it is not a single case: there are several more Dalit lands usurped by the minister through benami names of his family members, including his brother Doddamuniyappa, son Narasimharaju, and daughter Lakshmi." According to Marasandra, the minister holds more than 84 acres under benami names.
 
Despite repeated attempts, the minister was unavailable for comment.
 
When contacted, Kolar Deputy Commissioner Manoj Kumar Meena said that the case of non-declaration of assets was filed a year ago, and it has come to its final stages after hearing both sides' arguments. An order will be duly issued, he added without further divulging any details.
 
Zee News
 
NCSC demands arrest of ex-minister in Pipili rape
 
Last Updated: Monday, March 05, 2012, 20:19
Bhubaneswar: The National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) on Monday demanded arrest of Pipili MLA and former minister Pradip Maharathy accusing him of harbouring the accused in the Pipili rape and attempt to murder case.
"Maharathy's role in the entire episode should be probed and legal proceedings initiated against him. He has been accused of providing protection to the four accused persons," NCSC chairman PL Punia told reporters here.
 
Maharathy, a ruling BJD leader who had resigned as agriculture minister over the incident on January 19, however, said, "I welcome Dr Punia's investigation into the matter.
 
But, he needs to justify his claims."
 
"As a judicial inquiry is being conducted into the matter, I will not like to comment more," Maharathy told PTI.
 
Punia, who earlier in the day visited SCB Medical College Hospital in Cuttack and enquired about the condition of the 19-year-old victim, alleged that the local MLA had provided shelter to the four accused involved in the rape and attempt to murder of the girl.
 
"According to our information, Maharathy had given shelter to the four accused at his farm house at Pipili," Punia alleged and claimed the local police did not accept FIR from the victim's family due to pressure from him.
 
Stating that resigning from the ministry was not a punishment for Maharathy, Punia said he should be booked for "putting pressure on the police and doctors to suppress facts".
 
Neither the doctors treated her well nor they conducted medical examination on her even as the girl was found unconscious and nude, Punia said.
 
Though the state government had ordered a judicial probe into the incident and dismissed a police inspector of Pipili police station, no action had been taken against the doctors who neglected in performing their duties, he said.
 
"The local MLA, the then inspector-in-charge of Pipili police station and doctors who neglected the victim need to be booked under section 4 of the Prevention of Atrocity Act," Punia said. 

Asserting that no one would be spared the Pipili incident, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said: "The government will certainly take action on the basis of the recommendations made by the NCSC." 

Alleging atrocities on dalits in the state, Punia said while the Pipili girl was raped and an attempt to kill her was made on November 29, upper caste Mehers set fire on houses of dalits at Lathore village in Bolangir district on January 22 followed by arson in dalit house at Kamadhenukote in Dhenkanal district on February 12.
 
He criticised the feudalistic attitude of the people in certain areas of the state.
 
"Though dalits comprise over 16 per cent of Odisha's population, their representation in government service is less than 10 per cent," Punia said.  PTI
 
Out Look India
 
A Road Less Paved
 
Both sides talk on why the BSP's Brahmin-Dalit vote bloc broke
 
 
 
For the first time in 10 years, the Kumar household in Machipur saw a shift in voting patterns this time. Youngest son Lalit, 23, and his brother, Ved Prakash, voted Congress this time. The elders, the boys' father and their tauji (father's older brother), still can't believe this rebellion. They, of course, like every other time in the last decade, pressed the haathi (elephant) button. Why did Lalit and Ved move away from the BSP this year, and why is it that their parents never can? To understand this is to come to grips with the aspirations of the young and the old in this Ambedkar village which is barely a 100 kilometres from Delhi. Machipur now has toilets in its houses, solar lamps light up the streets, there is an anganwadi and a school up to the eight standard. Till four years ago, the school had classes only till fourth standard and the fields outside is where everyone went for their ablutions. It was especially difficult for the women, as they could use the fields only at the crack of dawn or after dusk when it was dark enough.
 
As the UP election results start streaming in, the family shows up the fissures and cracks, evident when the two generations come face to face with each other. "I don't care whether the BSP wins or loses. I know in my mind that it is a winner. Before the party, who cared for us? There was no road in the village. We used to vote for the Congress before the BSP came on the political scene offering a platform for us Dalits. The Congress did nothing for 40 years. At least some things have changed for us with the BSP...we voted for a party which counted us in," says the 64-year-old father Murari Lal. It is this core constituency, about 22 per cent in voteshare, that the BSP always marched with in any political equation. And it is this bloc that has now developed cracks, as epitomised in the Kumar family.
 
 

 

The Congress candidate's better education credentials too swung votes in his favour. BSP man Ho Ramji "is just eighth pass", say Ved.

 

 
Lalit and his brother Ved Prakash, an assistant manager in a private company, voted for the Congress candidate because of his credentials. They felt the Congress candidate Bansi Singh Paharia was clean, a man who was making promises of bringing in change. "We felt the BSP candidate, Ho Ram Singh, had little to offer us," they say. For the brothers, it is about seeking new job opportunities and a better life. They feel the party their parents associate with Dalit assertion and political empowerment has to offer more. "Our father comes from a generation which had nothing at all—not even a political platform though they have voted all their adult life," says Ved Prakash. Also, the Congress candidate's better education credentials swung the votes in his favour. "Ho Ramji is just eighth pass," says Ved Prakash. His wife too has voted for the Congress. But if she has any hopes and dreams, she keeps them hidden behind her veil. The brothers voted for the BSP in 2007 (Lalit a first-timer then) when Mayawati's 'inclusive' Dalit-Brahmin strategy crafted a major victory. "We were less aware at the time. I think caste will cease to play a role in the next 10 years as people become better educated," says Lalit.
 
But were these fissures in her hitherto rock-solid Jatav votebank enough to turn the tide against Mayawati (psephologists say she may have lost 15 per cent of their votes)? Well, just as opinion gets cemented, one bumps into Baljeet Kaur just a few kilometres away from Lalit's village. The young Baljeet dreams of becoming an air-hostess when she is not busy sewing or cooking for her family. She studies at the Nathumal Ram Sahay Edward Coronation College and has just voted BSP while her father plumped for the Congress candidate.
 
Baljeet considers Mayawati a role model worth emulating. "She shows what you can achieve if you are determined...and for me and others it is inspiring that a Dalit woman could come this far," she says. She will vote for Mayawati again next time and the time after that, till the time, as she puts it, "women like me too can rise". Living in the Ambedkar Nagar colony of Khurja, Baljeet says the BSP gives her a sense of identity. For her friends and herself, the many statues of Mayawati and other leaders offer a lasting symbol of identity. "Does anyone ever bother to ask why New Delhi has no statues of Dalit leaders?" she asks. Mother Kamlesh Kaur says Mayawati has given them streets, homes, power. So why then did Baljeet's father, a retired government employee, vote Congress? The answer is simple: he knows the candidate personally.
 
So then, it's no easy job to decipher why people vote the way they do. Of course, everyone wants development, schools, colleges and jobs, but the standout factor is still caste—a highly emotive issue, especially if you come from a community that's been denied public space for years. That said, there are more surprises in store as we edge towards Hathras.

On the congested Lohat street of Hathras, dominated by the Brahmin-Bania communities, a majority of the voters went with Mayawati last time when she had fielded a Brahmin candidate. Logic says this time almost all of them would have turned away as the constituency became a reserved one. But it is not as simple as that. Sixty-eight-year-old Shanti Kumar, who runs a photo studio, says he voted for the "cycle" this time. "Last time, everything appeared different. The candidate was a Brahmin who promised development. We realised too late that all he was interested in was developing himself. This time we have a very bad Jatav candidate from the BSP whom we have not voted for." Other Brahmins are far less charitable in their choice of words. Sixty per cent of them voted against Mayawati in 2012; almost all of them had voted for her last time when her slogan was "sarvajan hitay (everyone's welfare)".
 
Lohat street is littered with Sarma and Upadhyay nameplates—all signposts of Brahmins—along with the Guptas. For most residents, water comes from a pump close by. The municipal water supply is practically non-existent. The streets are cobbled and potholed—Lohat is famed for its strong, pungent heeng (asafoetida). Shanti Kumar says it will take time for everyone to get talking of development and progress. "First everyone has to be included and counted for," he declares. Much against his wishes, the BSP candidate has won and he says "caste politics will continue for a few more years". For the others, it is a series of factors that appear to have led to the desertion. The elephant in the room, though, was the rampant corruption. But at the back of their minds, it was the old ghost, the rise of the lower castes, that filled them most with dread.
 
Postscript: Till the evening of March 6, Murari Lal and his brother Rajinder Singh kept insisting that Mayawati would be back in a last, big wave. And an SMS from son Lalit after the last vote was counted was simple: "Hamari vote bekaar nahin gayi." It had been in favour of the progressive-looking Congress candidate.
 

-- 
.Arun Khote
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.