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Tuesday 6 March 2012

Dalit women of Jharkhand being forced into false marriages

Dalits Media Watch
News Updates 04.03.12

Dalit women of Jharkhand being forced into false marriages - Deccan Chronicle

Driver alleges MLA Makkar thrashed him, seeks security - Indian Express
Court fixes March 16 to give verdict on case against Rahul - The Times Of India
Former UP minister booked for beating Dalit - The Times Of India
Deccan Chronicle


Dalit women of Jharkhand being forced into false marriages

March 4, 2012 , ANI
Sunita Kumari, a twelve year old Dalit girl from Balthar Mod, Jharkhand, a student of class seven, was forced into marriage not once but twice. Her first tie-up was at the age of seven with a mentally challenged person residing in the nearby Siktia village.
Soon after the marriage Sunita escaped from the trap and the first thing she did after coming back was to request her mother to let her study and not tie her up again with some stranger. But to her penniless mother, her cries did not make the impact.
Kamal Mahto, a middle man and the conspirator behind the plot, with the help of one Baby Devi, arranged for Sunita's marriage with Danshram of Rath village of Hameed Pur district in Uttar Pradesh against a'small amount' of Rs. 50,000. Sunita overheard the conversation and with the help of her friend alerted the villagers who informed the police and raided Mahto's house. All those involved were arrested and Sunita could be saved.
But not everyone will be as lucky as Sunita as there are many more Kamal Mahto's roaming freely in the rural hamlets of the state.
Jharkhand is one of the worst affected states in India and the fact is confirmed by the governmental agencies, the National Commission for Women, the National Human Rights Commission, and various reputed NGOs. When it comes to women and child trafficking, it has become one of the fastest growing forms of criminal activity in the region.
In the villages of Santal, the most vulnerable victims are the teenage daughters of destitute Dalits and Santal Adiwasi community. In the guise of marriage, the middle- men sell these girls to aged men who take them to states of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab and Delhi. To hide it from the villagers, fake ceremonies are carried out and innocent girls are compelled to move to the other states, never to come back again.
This infamous phenomenon of coerced marriages has spread its roots in the region over a decade and at present has affected each and every district, block of Santal Paragana Division. With no voice being raised at the social or administrative level, the innocent girls continue to suffer.
Two girls from Dhajapada village, Masanjor Thana, Dumka disappeared two years ago and so far, there have been no news related to them. Similarly, four girls disappeared from Dhowandgal village. In Ranishwar Thana region, parents of about 15-20 girls are waiting for their daughters to come back.
For Shambhu Kapri of Jama Dharmpur the wait is of several years now. A labourer by profession, Shambhu after the death of his wife was worried how to bring up four small kids. The eldest daughter was 14 years old. One day, one of his relatives proposed to marry off his daughter to a 'good' man. The man was of Shambhu's age but helplessness got its way and the eldest girl was married.
While narrating this unfortunate incident, Shambhu had tears in his eyes - "I overlooked everything. The happiness of seeing my daughter in good clothes and jewellery was the only emotion I could feel. Unknowingly, I sold my daughter to that cruel man. Today, I am clueless, helpless – please bring my daughter back."
The disappearance of over 200 girls from various villages of Santal indicates the gravity of the issue whose network spans from Uttar Pradesh to Punjab and Haryana. The agents keep a track of the impoverished families and a whole web is created to trap the females of such families. They give money to the families in pretext of arranging the marriage and give them only a day or two so that the parents don't even get time to ponder upon the fact that they actually are selling their daughters.
According to the dwellers, police do not take any initiative on their own and wait for the victim's family to lodge an F.I.R. When an F.I.R. is lodged, police quickly nabs the culprit, but very few dare to file a report at the police station.
It is evident and known to all that for last one and a half decade, there has been an upsurge in the rate of human trafficking, more so in women and children in Jharkhand. It intensely affected the areas of Santal Pargana. Every year, about 100-150 girls are being sold in Delhi, Haryana and Panjab.
It is a tragedy that the local women, who mostly belong to poor families and caste, are victims. The voice raised by the non-government organizations against this human trafficking fall on deaf ears as there is rarely any solid social, political and administrative initiative taken in this regard.
If this goes on, the Charkha Development Communication Network feels, Santal Pargana will soon become a hub of false marriages and the daughters of poor Dalits and Adiwasis will be trapped in this inhuman life forever; bound to live every moment of it.
Indian Express
Driver alleges MLA Makkar thrashed him, seeks security
Jalandhar, Sun Mar 04 2012, 01:54 hrs

Sitting Shiromani Akali Dal legislator from Adampur and party candidate from Kapurthala constituency, Sarabjit Singh Makkar, foundf himself mired in another controversy after a security personnel assigned to him alleged that the leader thrashed him publicly and abused him using casteist remarks at his residence in Udham Singh Nagar on March 2.
Head Constable (HC) Gurdev Singh also filed written complaints with the ADGP (security), SC/ST Commission, Punjab State Human Rights panel and Police Commissioner, Jalandhar.
Gurdev, who is deployed as a driver in the escort vehicle for Makkar, alleged that on Friday when he reached the MLA's residence at 9am, he was summoned. Makkar asked him about his whereabouts on the previous day (March 1). "I told him that I was at his residence as Makkar was away in Gurdaspur," Gurdev said, adding that after this "Makkar started abusing me and thrashed me."
"When I asked for the reason, he thrashed me more and used caste-related derogatory words," Gurdev alleged, adding that more than 20-25 person present at the MLA's residence witnessed the incident.
"I even called up ADGP (security), SR Reddy, and even went to Police commissioner's office where I submitted my complaint with SP (headquarters) Navjot Singh Mahal," he added.
Mahala confirmed receiving the complaint and said Gurdev has sought security fearing threat to his life.
Makkar, on his part, claimed that Gurdev was trying to falsely implicate him. He claimed that Gurdev had reported for duty after remaining absent for about two-and-a-half months. "On March 2 when he came, I told him to go back. Nothing else happened," Makkar said, adding that he had also called up state Transport Commissioner to assign him a new driver for the escort vehicle.
The Times Of India
Court fixes March 16 to give verdict on case against Rahul
TNN | Mar 4, 2012, 04.16AM IST
KANPUR: The chief metropolitan magistrate (CMM), on Saturday, received the police report in a complaint against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and fixed March 16 for the order.
The Chakeri police submitted its report in the court of CMM Peeyush Pandey. The court ordered to keep the file and fixed the date for the order. According to sources, the police had stated in its report that a case against Rahul Gandhi and others had already been registered.
Hearing adjourned: The specially constituted SC/ST Act court of Kanpur, on Saturday, adjourned the hearing and ordered the DIG to appear in person before the court on March 13 in connection with arrest of Surendra Bhukya, a student of IIT-Delhi.
Bhukya was arrested by the Kalyanpur police despite a direction to DIG from Allahabad High Court that police had been restrained from arresting him till further orders.
The Times Of India
Former UP minister booked for beating Dalit
PTI | Mar 3, 2012, 06.35PM IST
ORAI (Uttar Pradesh): A case has been registered against BSP MLA and former Uttar Pradesh minister Hariom Upadhyay and two others for allegedly beating a Dalit man.
The former minister of state for home guards and his two associates, Yogesh Dwivediand Arun Dixit, were booked after one Phool Singh lodged a complaint at Rampur police station alleging that they beat him and made casteist remarks against him last night, police said.
Police are conducting an investigation into the allegations.
Upadhyay was removed from the state cabinet last year for his alleged involvement in criminal activities.

.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. 

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