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Sunday, 4 March 2012

Minor girl gang-raped in Betul, 3 held



Dalits Media Watch
News Updates 03.03.12
 
Minor girl gang-raped in Betul, 3 held - The Times Of India
Complaint lodged against VC - IBN Live
Youth stabs sisters killer near court premises - IBN Live
Devoid of facilities, Dalits decide to boycott polls - Deccan Herald
Demand for aid to inter-caste couples in distress mounts - The Hindu
Idol Worship Sparks Buddhist Fury - Tehelka
A topper's murder throws light on caste in Haryana classroom - Financial Express
 
The Times Of India
 
Minor girl gang-raped in Betul, 3 held
 
TNN | Mar 3, 2012, 07.40AM IST
BHOPAL: In another incident of crime against women in Betul district in the state, a minor dalit girl, a middle school student, was gang-raped. Betul, the tribal dominated district, has been in the news owing to recent sudden spurt of crimes against women that is causing tremendous worry to the BJP government in the state. Police said the incident took place at Kalyanpur village, about 10 kms from district headquarters of Betul when three accused caught the 15-year-old girl as she stepped out of her house to go to the fields at around 9 pm and dragged her to the nearby fields and gang raped her.
 
After the girl returned home, her parents reached the district headquarters and reported the matter to the special police station meant for dealing with the crimes against scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. Police swung into action and arrested three youth -- Deepak, Dilip and Nandu. All the accused were produced before a local court, which remanded them to judicial custody.

Police said the accused have been charged under the Section 376 of the IPC and under the provisions of the Schedule Castes and the Schedule Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities Act).
 
The deputy inspector general of police (Hoshangabad range) Anil Gupta and Betul district superintendent of police Bhagwant Singh Chouhan interrogated the accused.
 
After a recent incident of gang rape near Indore, involving 18 accused, similar incidents of sexual crimes against women are being reported from across the state.
 
The opposition Congress has been alleging that the law and order situation was deteriorating in the state.
 
IBN Live
 
Complaint lodged against VC
 
BANGALORE: Bangalore University Vice-Chancellor Dr N Prabhu Dev has probably become the first VC of a public university in the state to be accused of atrocities against SC/ST communities. On Friday, a formal complaint was lodged in the Jnana Bharathi police station against Prabhu Dev by the Bangalore University Non-Teaching Staff SC/ST Association.
 
The decision comes in the backdrop of University Engineer (UE) N Putta Swamy suffering a heart attack after he was accused by the VC for delaying the issue of work order to the contractor for the construction of the remaining buildings at the Kolar PG Centre.
 
Sources said that Jnana Bharathi police would visit Putta Swamy for an official statement on the matter to proceed further. When contacted, VC Prabhu Dev maintained that he knew nothing about the complaint or Putta Swamy's heart attack. When asked whether the University's plan to inaugurate the Kolar PG Centre on March 15 would get delayed because of Swamy's ill-health, he said, "I can comment after I get more information."
 
IBN Live
 
Youth stabs sisters killer near court premises
 
KHAMMAM: In an act of revenge, a 17-year-old youth tried to kill his sister's killer near the special court for SC, ST cases here on Thursday. Chinthapally Rajesh stabbed Vennam Srinivas, who is accused of murdering the former's sister. The condition of Srinivas is said to be critical and he is referred to MGM Hospital in Warangal.
 
According to circle inspector Naresh Kumar, Srinivas (28) allegedly killed his lover Srilatha (23) by slashing her throat in broad daylight here in June last year for allegedly refusing to marry him. He was later arrested by the police and the case is under trial in the SC, ST court. Rajesh, Srilatha's brother, nursed a grudge against Srinivas ever since the incident.
 
Srinivas, who is now out on conditional bail, was attacked by Rajesh when he came to the court to attend the trial. Rajesh reportedly threw distilled water used in batteries on Srinivas taking it to be acid. He also stabbed him with a knife. Later, he surrendered before the police. CI Naresh Kumar said Srinivas received serious injuries and his lungs were reportedly damaged due to the stabbing. He was referred to MGM hospital in Warangal. "As Rajesh is only 17, he will be treated as juvenile and will be produced before the juvenile court on Friday," he said.
It is said Srinivas and Srilatha were in love with each other, but the latter's parents objected to their marriage. Later, Srinivas murdered Srilatha and attempted to commit suicide. However, he survived the attempt.
 
Deccan Herald
 
Devoid of facilities, Dalits decide to boycott polls
 
Ravi Kelangadi, Kalasa, Mar 2, 2012, DHNS:
Pathetic condition of the Harijan colony frustrates Dalits
 
The plight of Sampigekatte Harijan colony is rather pathetic. The residents feel that  alasa Panchayat has forgotten that the colony belongs to them.
 
The acute condition of neglect has saddened the residents to the extent that they say they have nobody coming to their rescue.
 
The problems existing in the colony are so acute that when one speaks of problems, there are many more joining to make their voice heard.
 
Subbaiah, a resident of this colony says that they have been let down by the elected representatives.

"If there is no one to listen to our problems then why should we elect a representative? We have decided to boycott Udupi-Chikmagalur Lok Sabha polls," says Subbaiah.
 
There are nine houses in the Colony, of which not even one can be called a complete house. While some houses do not have walls, some have dry leaves and other materials from areca trees for roof. Doors and windows too are symbolic. Even as these families are living amidst squalor, the Panchayat has not done anything to solve the problems of the residents.
 
"We have been living here since 35 years. The Panchayat has not given any funds for either repair or reconstruction of any house here. We have put up with several monsoons fearing mishap. This year too we will spend the monsoon under this fear," says Venkatesh pointing at his dilapidated house.
 
The main problem in the colony is drinking water crisis. There is only one motor to fill water into tanks in the colony and Halasikatte. This old motor cannot be put to continuous use for more than half an hour. Hence collecting water is the most tedious job in the routine of the dalit women in this colony.
 
When this motor was spoilt, the Dalit came forth to repair it by contributing Rs 50 per house. "If a bore well is dug, then the problem of water supply can be solved," suggests a housewife Lakshmi as she waits for water near the tank.
 
Though there are people eligible to get benefits from Sandhya Suraksha and Widow Pension schemes, they are not aware of the same. The demand to have good roads laid in the colony too has not been met yet.
 
Being daily wage labourers, getting ownership rights over the land on which they have been living too has become a distant dream.
 
Balachandra, a youth from the colony who had struggled to get electricity connection to the colony says that it is not enough if people sit and crib over problems. What is required is to wage a fight to get those demands fulfilled. Balachandra and many like him have taken a stern decision of boycotting the elections this time.
 
The Hindu
 
Demand for aid to inter-caste couples in distress mounts
 
G. Krishnakumar
M. P. Praveen
Assistance amount has been enhanced to Rs.50,000
 
Claims for funds given by the Scheduled Caste Development Department to inter-caste married couples in distress have more than doubled in the district this financial year, indicating either a renewed interest in the assistance or deteriorating condition of such marriages.
 
While only 99 couples sought the assistance in 2010-11, the number rose to 306 till date during this fiscal.
 
The department has distributed Rs.1.14 crore and had to approach the government twice for extra funds over the original allocation of Rs.85 lakh.
 
During the 2008-09 fiscal, 122 couples had benefitted from the assistance, whereas the number was 103 for 2009-10.
 
Increase in aid
Sources said that enhancing the assistance from the previous Rs.20,000 to Rs.50,000 may be a reason for the surge in the number of claimants. Earlier, no one bothered to comply with the formalities for just Rs.20,000. Now the efforts are seen worth it considered the amount at stake.
 
To be eligible for the aid, one of the spouses should belong to Scheduled Castes and they should have been legally married and staying together for at least a year. The annual income of the couple should be below Rs.22,000, qualifying them as Below Poverty Line.
 
Along with certificates proving their marriage, caste, nativity, and income, they should also produce a certificate issue by a gazetted officer vouching for their distress in the inter-caste marriage.
 
There is no monitoring mechanism to ensure that the funds are received by genuine couples except for the certificates that they are required to produce.
 
Initially, the funds given were meant as contributions towards buying land or constructing houses. This is now out of question considering the escalating land and construction cost.
 
The assistance is now aimed mainly at enabling the couple in distress to find a means of income, including self-employment.
 
Tehelka
 
Idol Worship Sparks Buddhist Fury
 
Dalit organisations and monks claim that Hindu groups are trying to appropriate a historical Buddhist site in Gulbarga. Imran Khan reports
 

A HISTORICAL Buddhist site near Gulbarga, 584 km from Bengaluru, where the first inscribed image of Ashoka was discovered, has become the latest communal flashpoint in Karnataka. For the past two weeks, Dalit organisations and a Buddhist monk have been protesting against what they claim is an attempt by Hindus to appropriate the monument by placing a Durga idol.
 
Four Dalits and a Buddhist monk have been arrested for removing the idol. However, the protesters claim that they had removed the idol only to take it to the deputy commissioner's office when they were arrested.
 
In 1986, a Buddhist stupa dating back to 1st century BC was discovered in Sannati, around 70 km from Gulbarga. It is believed that Ashoka sent his son Mahindra and daughter Sanghamitra as emissaries to spread Buddhism in this region, which is now considered the most backward district in Karnataka. Subsequent excavations by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) have established Sannati as an important historical site.
 
"On 5 February, a group of Dalits led by a Buddhist monk tried to forcibly take away the Durga idol," says R Vishal, deputy commissioner of Gulbarga city. "The area is a protected monument and ASI is conducting excavations there. When ASI men tried to stop them, they pushed them and ran away. Before the situation could get out of control and communal tension could be created, we caught them. A case has been lodged."
 
Buddhist monk Bodhidhamma Banteji, who is in judicial custody, says, "A sinister plan has been carried out all over India. Look at the cases of Khaneri, Elephanta and Mahalakshmi in Mumbai and Karla and Mansari in Nasik and Nagpur. Efforts have been made to ascribe a Hindu connection to Buddhist places of worship."
 
"I have been coming to this place for the past 10 years as part of my dissertation on Sannati. I never found this idol or any Hindu relic at this place. Suddenly we saw rituals taking place and this idol sprouting up," says Banteji.
 
Banteji and four Dalit leaders have been booked under various IPC sections for promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace, unlawful assembly intended to outrage religious feelings. Surprisingly none of the accused have been booked for trespassing, theft or damaging a historical site.
 
When contacted, DK Ravi, assistant commissioner of Sedam taluk (where the complaint has been lodged) and administrator of Sannati Budhha Stupa Development Authority, refused to comment. The accused allege that the complaint was filed based on Ravi's insistence.
 
'I couldn't have just sat back and seen Buddhist heritage being destroyed,' says monk Banteji
"When I saw this idol, I immediately informed the local authorities and the district administration. Even after my constant reminders, they didn't take any action. I couldn't have just sat back and watched the cultural heritage of Buddhism being destroyed," says Banteji.
 
"Look at the absurdity of this case. The complaint has been lodged by a Muslim (ASI worker Azeem) against Buddhists and Dalits for hurting his religious sentiments. Whereas the deity in question is a Hindu idol," says the defendants' lawyer Mazhar Hussain. He claims Banteji has been targeted specifically as he's been instrumental in converting over 15,000 Dalits to Buddhism since 1995.
 
ASI Deputy Superintendent Dr JK Patnaik rubbishes the claims. He cites a study conducted by ASI in 1989 to prove that the practice of Durga worship was prevalent at the time when the government acquired the place in 2002, and subsequently declared a protected site in 2003. "The idol dates back to the 9th century AD — Rashtrakutas period — and had not been installed there," he says. He admits that ASI is allowing rituals to take place as discontinuing the practice would incur "the wrath of locals".
 
Local Hindu groups led by BJP MLA Valmiki Nayak have been demanding puja to be allowed at the site. "Twenty years ago, the site belonged to a villager who used to worship Durga. Hence we demanded that puja should be allowed. Those who say that the place only belongs to Buddhists and that this place is only Buddha Vihar are troublemakers," he says.
 
Financial Express
 
A topper's murder throws light on caste in Haryana classroom
 
Deepu Sebastian Edmond, Financial Express
Posted: Friday, Mar 02, 2012 at 0251 hrs IST
 
Hisar: When they planned the murder of a classmate in broad daylight, Kalyan Singh and Raj Kumar were probably counting on the Omerta their brazen act would induce among their college mates. They were not far off the mark. But they discounted the presence of the victim's father, the only eyewitness who has turned up so far.
 
On Monday morning, Kalyan, 19, reportedly approached his classmate Pradeep Kumar, 24, who had just alighted from a bus on his way to college. Without a word, Kalyan allegedly drew out a revolver and shot Pradeep in his chest. The impact of the bullet made Pradeep spin around; he fell on his knees, facing away from his killer.
 
He fell facing his father, Ram Pal.
 
"He did not want to go to college that morning. They had told him on Saturday that a pistol would be waiting for him. Finally, I said I would go with him to resolve the issue with those two. We took the bus. He got down first, I was about ten paces behind him," recounted Ram Pal, sitting amidst mourners outside his Shyamlal Bagh residence.
 
Unaware of Ram Pal's presence, Kalyan allegedly shot Pradeep at least twice more — this time in the back — before firing about two more shots in the air. He then ran across the road, where Raj Kumar, 18, was reportedly waiting on a motorcycle. The two fled.
 
The Hisar Police arrested both Kalyan and Raj Kumar yesterday. They also recovered the gun used for the murder, along with seven shells of cartridges and the getaway motorcycle.
Kalyan had signed off a three-month-old grouse in blood. "It began about three months back, with Pradeep complaining that two of his classmates were threatening him. He refused to go to college," said Mahendra Singh, Pradeep's uncle.
 
Pradeep was in his fourth semester of a six-semester Diploma in Mechanical Engineering at the Kalpana Chawla Institute of Engineering and Technology at Chikanwas, about 15 km from Hisar town, on the Sirsa road.
 
According to Mahendra, the accused were angry that Pradeep would not cooperate in their "mass bunks". "There was a group of four or five students who were really interested in studies. The others — led by Kalyan and Raj Kumar — wanted everybody to remain absent from classes so that the classes would be cancelled. Pradeep would not oblige," he said.
Ram Pal agreed that the anger against his son may have had its origins in caste, probably explaining why the accused picked on Pradeep more than the others. "Here, in Haryana, caste plays an important part in our lives. My son used to tell me that they used to taunt him using my name," he said. That is an oblique reference to Ram Pal's occupation, handed down to him through generations, thanks to his caste.
 
Ram Pal is a Jangra Brahmin, a Backward Class in Haryana whose members are carpenters. His son's alleged killers are Jats, higher in the caste hierarchy.
 
Concerned about the threats, Mahendra had attempted a truce once. "I went to the college in December, sat down with Pradeep and the two boys in their canteen and talked about the issue. Both Kalyan and Raj Kumar were polite; they said that it would not happen again," he said.
 
The announcement of the third semester results last week seems to have acted as a catalyst. "Pradeep came back from college on Saturday, happy but scared. He had scored 79 per cent, and his classmates had threatened to kill him. They told him they had obtained a gun," claimed Ram Pal.
 
It is not hard to see why tempers would have frayed. The third semester results, as available with the college authorities, indicate that Pradeep was among the eight to clear all six papers in a class of 57.
 
"Pradeep stood second in his class," said Pankaj Chaudhary, Training & Placement Officer at the college. Both Kalyan and Raj Kumar failed in five of the six papers. They both scored 59 per cent in the remaining paper.
 
Pradeep, probably the oldest in his class, had not failed in any paper during his course. "He lost almost three years after his Class 12, because I could not afford to send him to college. He did odd jobs, helped me in my work to save money," said Ram Pal. Yogita, Pradeep's sister, is doing her B.Sc. from a government college in Hisar.
 
Both Pradeep and Yogita used to give tuitions to children in their locality. Ram Pal could not secure an education loan for his children, so he relied on moneylenders.
 
"Pradeep was always studying. When not studying, he was working. I remember he once went to Gurgaon to work as a labourer so that he could save money for his semester fees," said Mohan Bhardwaj, a neighbour.
 
The SHO of Agroha Police Station, Lal Chand, who is also the investigating officer in the case, said three bullets were recovered from Pradeep's body. Ram Lal claimed Kalyan fired four times at his son. Both agree on one thing — that Kalyan fired seven times, and that at least one bullet is unaccounted for. This is because the revolver recovered from the accused at the time of his arrest had only one bullet inside — it can hold eight.
 
"We don't have a TV, we don't have a bike, we don't have a washing machine. But none of us complained. I just wanted him to study. He wanted to (take lateral entry and) join B. Tech, and then do M. Tech," said Ram Pal.
 
"On Saturday, when Pradeep told me about his good results, he hinted that he wanted something. A gift, but he didn't say what," said the father.
 
Now, he will never know.
 
 
 

-- 
.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.