Dalits Media Watch
News Updates 17.04.12
All accused in 1996 Bihar Dalit carnage acquitted - The Hindu
Rajasthan: 4 dalits hacked to pieces - Daily Bhaskar
CPM's Indianization plan fails to amuse Dalits - The Pioneer
Pipili rape: HC seeks report on role of cops, docs - Zee News
Clash in Hyderabad over Dalits' right to eat beef - The Hindustan Times
All accused in 1996 Bihar Dalit carnage acquitted
Sessions court in Ara district had sentenced them in May 2010
The Patna High Court has acquitted all the 23 persons accused of perpetrating the massacre of 21 Dalits at Bathani Tola in Bhojpur in 1996.
The accused were convicted by the sessions court in Ara district and sentenced in May 2010. While three persons were awarded capital punishment, the remaining twenty were handed life imprisonment.
A Division Bench of judges Navneeti Prasad Singh and Ashwani Kumar Singh cited "defective evidence" to acquit all of them.
The carnage took place on the afternoon of July 11, 1996. Upper caste (Rajput and Bhumihar) landowners of the Ranvir Sena — a private militia of the landlords — stormed Bathani Tola in Bhojpur district's Sahar block in Central Bihar and ruthlessly hacked the Dalits, among them women, teenage girls and babies less than 10 months old.
Ajay Singh was charged with brutally killing 10-year-old Phool Kumari, Manoj Singh was charged with the murder of the three-month-old daughter of Naimuddin (one of the prime eyewitnesses) and Nagender alias Narendra Singh was charged with slaughtering two women, Sanjharu and Ramratiya Devi. They were awarded the death sentence by the sessions court
Bathani Tola, along with Laxmanpur-Bathe (where more than 60 Dalit men, women and children were slaughtered by the Ranvir Sena), have since become bywords for caste massacres that engulfed central Bihar from the mid-1990s onwards.
An FIR was lodged against 33 people the day after the massacre. In all, the Bhojpur police framed charges against 63 persons in October 1996.
"I am shocked by the High Court verdict," said Anand Vatsyayan, counsel for the witnesses in the Bathani Tola case. "The evidence at hand was more than sufficient to uphold the judgement passed by the Ara sessions court.
"The Supreme Court guidelines in the event of a massacre are quite clear. The eyewitnesses need not remember all the names. And, of the six prime witnesses questioned in this case, all had conclusively pointed fingers at the persons convicted by the lower court."
In July last year, the supremo of the Ranvir Sena, Brahmeshwar Singh "Mukhiya," known as the 'Butcher of Bathani Tola,' walked out of Ara Jail.
Mr. Vatsyayan, however, said a case (no. 37/10) was on against the Mukhiya in the Ara sessions court and the evidence of official witnesses was being awaited.
Rajasthan: 4 dalits hacked to pieces
Source: DNA | Last Updated 03:54(17/04/12)
Jaipur: It was cold blooded murder. Four of a dalit family, including three children and an elderly woman, were hacked to pieces by unidentified miscreant(s) in Mahadevpura village of Chaksu late on Sunday night.
The deceased have been identifies as Sangari Devi Bairwa, 65, her grandchildren, Ramji Lal, 20, Kesanta, 12, and Kavita, 7. The local police and an FSL team reached the spot for investigation on Monday morning and gathered evidence. An FIR has been registered against unknown assailants.
Sangari Devi used to live with her daughter, Chhota Devi, son-in-law, Prabhat Lal and their three children in Mahadevpura. The couple work at a brick kiln in Kanota and had not returned home from the kiln on Sunday.
The elderly lady and her grandchildren were sleeping in the open outside the house when they were attacked with sharp weapons around midnight, police said.
On Monday morning, a villager saw blood in the porch and informed the couple about the incident following which they rushed home only to find mutilated body parts of their family scattered all over the place. Sangari Devi's body was found lying in the house, Kavita and Kesanta were found in a hut adjacent to the house and Ramji Lal was found in a field few meters from the house.
According to locals, the brutal murder could have been an act of revenge. A few days earlier, their neighbour had fought with Chhota Devi's in-laws. Locals suspect that Chhota Devi's in-laws may have sent the miscreant(s) to take revenge and mistook the old lady for the neighbour.
The police is also exploring if a property feud led to the crime as Sangari Devi is known to own the land holding. Talking to the media, police commisioner BL Soni said, "The police are investigating the matter from all possibles angles. It is too early to say what could have caused such a heinous act."
Monday, 16 April 2012 20:30
VR Jayaraj | Kochi
The recent 20th congress of the CPI(M) had decided to seek an Indian path instead of the Western, Chinese and other models to develop a socialist alternative and to take a fresh look at identity politics as seen among the backward classes people, Dalits and Adivasis but these sections do not seem to have been amused by the Marxist move.
Intellectuals and activists advocating and working for the rights and uplift of Dalits and Adivasis in Kerala, the State with the strongest CPI(M) unit in the country, point out that the Marxists are still not prepared to grant political validity to identity politics though they are ready to recognize it as a reality out of compulsions.
They say that even after taking the decision to "Indianize" its ideology, the CPI(M) is not serious about working for the Dalits and Adivasis though the congress had passed a resolution calling for legal protection of their interests. This call itself shows that they are seeing the Dalit-Adivasi question as a Constitutional problem and not as a socio-political issue, they argue.
According to Dalit-Adivasi activists, the CPI(M) itself has proved that it is not serious or sincere about its publicized programme of working in their area by failing to induct even a single Dalit leader into the central committee from Kerala. "The disregard seems to be worse than that shown to the area of women's rights," said a Dalit CPI(M) leader from Kerala's Wayanad district.
Till the last day of the congress held in Kozhikode, there were rumours that former Kerala minister AK Balan, a Dalit, could be inducted into the central committee but the leadership failed to do it in the last moment. Another favourite was former Speaker K Radhakrishnan, but the party did not consider his name too.
Leaders from backward sections in the party said there was no justification – other than certain technical explanations – for not making Balan (or Radhakrishnan) a member of the central committee especially when the party wanted to adopt a new approach towards the Dalits and Adivasis.
The very refusal of the CPI(M) to grant validity to identity politics is causing problems to the party's own feeder outfit working among the Adivasis, Adivasi Kshema Samithi (AKS), which has staged several land-related agitations in Wayanad district in the past three years. However, all these stirs were seen as the CPI(M)'s efforts to settle scores with political enemies.
"I now feel that the party has been using us as weapons against our own brothers and sisters who have been waging their wars based on identity politics for land and livelihood," said a Dalit leader from the party. "The party seems to be using us to defeat those struggles so that it can safeguard the interests of rich planters who had plundered our lands," he added.
The Kerala CPI(M) has been accused of betraying the Adivasis of Muthanga in Wayanad district who had faced one of the fiercest police actions of the State's history when AK Antony was chief minister and the Dailts of the entire State who had held a four-year-long struggle for land and livelihood in the hills of Chengara in Pathanamthitta district.
"I don't know much about how they are viewing the Adivasis of West Bengal, Jharkhand or Orissa. But I am certain that the Kerala CPI(M), which is eager to safeguard the interests of the middle and upper classes, does not care much about us. The refusal to induct Balan into the CC proved it further," said a former AKS activist from Aaralam in Kannur district.
Pipili rape: HC seeks report on role of cops, docs
Last Updated: Tuesday, April 17, 2012, 15:48
Cuttack: Odisha High Court has directed the state crime branch to submit a report within two weeks on the criminal liability of local police and doctors for the plight of the Pipili rape victim, who is in a coma for over four and half months.
The directive followed a petition yesterday of the crime branch seeking three more weeks for investigation as an expert committee is looking into the alleged criminal negligence of doctors who treated the 19-year-old victim from November 29, 2011 to January 11, 2012.
The girl was admitted to the SCB Medical College and Hospital on January 11 this year following a direction from the HC as it was alleged that she was grossly neglected by the doctors at Pipili Hospital, Capital Hospital in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack Hospital for which her condition deteriorated.
Civil rights activist Prabir Das, who filed a PIL in this connection, told the court that the crime branch had till date maintained a silence to ascertain the criminal liability of local police and had not yet registered any case against police inspector Amulya Kumar Champatray dismissed from service for trying to suppress the incident occurred last year.
The Superintendent of SCB Medical College and Hospital submitted a status report to the court on the girl's present health condition.
The Hindustan Times
Clash in Hyderabad over Dalits' right to eat beef
Ashok Das, Hindustan Times
Hyderabad, April 17, 2012
First Published: 01:46 IST(17/4/2012)
Last Updated: 01:49 IST(17/4/2012)
Dalit students' assertion of the right to eat beef — a tradition in Andhra Pradesh — triggered a riot with the right wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad activists at Osmania University in Hyderabad on Sunday. Even after the overnight clash that left five persons injured and two vehicles torched was brought under control, the campus — a hotbed of the Telangana statehood movement — remained tense on Monday.
The Praswamya Samskrutika Vedika, an umbrella organisation of Dalit groups supported by the Left parties, organised a beef festival on Sunday, at the Narmada Research Scholars Hostel and nearly 200 people, including half-a-dozen professors, attended the event.
Research scholar and festival organiser B Sudarshan said, "We can't allow others to look down on our food habits or our culture."
PL Visweswar Rao, head of the department of communications at the Maulana Azad National Urdu University, who attended the festival, said students had the right to seek a particular food.
The organisers initially planned to cook beef on the hostel campus because for years, Dalit students had been unsuccessfully demanding that beef be included in the hostel menu.
But the police persuaded them to get beef biryani from outside. Last year, ABVP prevented some students of the English and Foreign Languages University from organising a beef festival on their campus, which is adjacent to the Osmania campus.
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.