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Saturday 12 January 2013

16-year-old rape victim sets herself afire Admitted to PGIMS in critical condition

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From: Peoples Media Advocacy & Resource Centre-PMARC <>
To: Dalits Media Watch <>
Sent: Saturday, 12 January 2013 3:57 PM
Subject: [pmarc] Dalits Media Watch - News Updates 12.01.13

Dalits Media Watch
News Updates 12.01.13
16-year-old rape victim sets herself afire - The Tribune
Admitted to PGIMS in critical condition
Dalit leader walks out of PMK, quits politics - The Hindu
Dalit crusader forced to sign bank papers - The Hindustan Times
Dalit hero runs into caste barrier - The Hindustan Times
The Tribune
16-year-old rape victim sets herself afire
Admitted to PGIMS in critical condition
Our Correspondent
Sonepat, January 11
A Class 10 student of Kharkhoda town in the district belonging to Scheduled Caste, attempted suicide today at her home, five days after she was allegedly raped by her young neighbour.
The 16-year-old girl sprinkled kerosene and set herself ablaze when she was alone at her house. The girl is admitted to the PGIMS in Rohtak in a critical condition.
The district police has, meanwhile, arrested the accused identified as Rakesh, also belonging to the SC, within hours of the registration of case on the complaint of victim's mother.
The girl revealed the incident to her mother on being asked for her disappearance on Sunday. She alleged that Rakesh who is a taxi driver, abducted her and raped her before dropping her back the same day.
The mother decided to file a complaint about the incident against the youth.
When she went out of the house for some work in the afternoon, the girl set herself afire. The Sonepat DSP who accompanied the victim to the PGIMS at Rohtak said her condition was critical as she had suffered about 90 per cent burn injuries. 
The Hindu
Dalit leader walks out of PMK, quits politics
Special Correspondent
Former Pattali Makkal Katchi general secretary and former Union Minister of State, E. Ponnusamy, announced on Friday that he was quitting politics, as he could not agree with the leadership's stand on social issues such as the Scheduled Caste/ Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and inter-caste marriages.
"I cannot continue in the party when I don't agree with its stand on these issues. I explained my position at a party forum platform and the leadership gave a clarification. But, I respect my friendship with Dr. Ramadoss and others and decided to quit politics," he told reporters here.
At a time when the PMK is campaigning against inter-caste marriages and making a demand for amendments to the Act to ensure that it is not "misused", Mr. Ponnusamy's decision makes a further dent on the image of the party, once considered a bridge between intermediate communities and Dalits.
PMK founder S. Ramadoss, keen on bringing together the Vanniyars and Dalits, had always appointed a Dalit as the party's general secretary. When the PMK was offered a berth in the Union Cabinet in 1998, he made Dalit Ezhilmalai Minister of State for Health. However, differences of opinion led to Mr. Ezhilmalai leaving the party.
Mr. Ponnusamy, twice elected from Chidambaram Lok Sabha Constituency, replaced Mr. Ezhilmalai both in the party and the Union Cabinet. The party did not nominate any Dalit to the Cabinet in 2004.
The Hindustan Times
Dalit crusader forced to sign bank papers
Prasun K Mishra, Hindustan Times
Ramgarh (Bihar), January 12, 2013
A day after HT wrote about how a Dalit man, who brought literacy to his impoverished locality, was facing caste bias at the hands of a bank manager, Banwasi Musahar was Friday allegedly forced into signing some papers by the bank officials. The 58-year-old brick-kiln worker, who for 20 years has been working to educate children of Akorhi Mahadalit basti here, was on Friday whisked away from the settlement as he was preparing for his sister's funeral who died earlier in the day.
At around 9am, some men came in a white luxury car and took him to a nearby brick kiln. "I went with them thinking they wanted me to complete some brick-casting work. But four persons from the bank came there and made me sign some papers," Banwasi told HT.
He was not allowed to read the papers.
The bank Banwasi talked about is the Ramgarh branch of the Bank of India, which is yet to honour a cheque of Rs. 1 lakh that HT presented to him in October for outstanding community service.
HT wrote on Friday how the bank manager allegedly insulted Banwasi's caste and told him off when he went to deposit the cheque, which was finally accepted on December 12.
When contacted Friday afternoon, branch manager Vinay Shekhar Das denied forcing Banwasi into signing papers and said he was trying to settle the issue at the earliest. He said Banwasi's cheque, which was misplaced, had been found and would be credited to his account within three days.
"However, we are arranging for Rs. 1 lakh to be credited to his account from some private source today itself," he said. The money had not been credited till the closing of banking hours.
Kaimur SP Uma Shankar Sudhanshu said he had asked the local sub-divisional police officer (SDPO) to look into the matter. When contacted, SDPO Suresh Kumar said he was on way to the basti. "I'll be able to say something only after I've spoken to Banwasi", he told HT. Kumar couldn't be contacted again.
Banwasi' sister died of a gall bladder ailment and suspected heart attack at the local hospital. He didn't have the money to take her to Patna for better treatment, Buxar MP Jagadanand Singh said.
The Hindustan Times
Dalit hero runs into caste barrier
Prasun K Mishra , Hindustan Times
Ramgarh (Bihar), January 11, 2013
For 20 years he has worked relentlessly to bring education to Dalit children, but brick kiln labourer Banwasi Musahar finds himself up against the caste barrier again. Honoured by HT with a cheque for Rs. 1 lakh last October for outstanding community service and being a change-maker for the residents of the impoverished Akorhi Mahadalit basti, Banwasi is yet to get his money.
Located in the Ramgarh block of Kaimur district, the basti is home to 70 families who make a living from farming and brick-making.

When the 58-year-old went to the Ramgarh branch of the Bank of India, the manager not only refused to accept the cheque but also insulted his caste.

He claimed to be a Mahadalit and held a zero-balance account (for below-poverty line families), so where did he get Rs. 1 lakh from, the banker allegedly asked Banwasi. "Ek lakh ka cheque kahan se aa gaya (Where have you got this Rs. 1 lakh cheque from)?" he allegedly said, telling off Banwasi.
A local photo journalist, Sanjay Kumar Jaiswal, intervened and the cheque was finally deposited on December 12.
The bank asked for his permanent account number (PAN) to credit the money into his account.
On January 7, Banwasi returned with the PAN card but the manager asked him for a photocopy of the cheque. Jaiswal had to step in again. He told the manager the cheque was deposited December 12 and Banwasi had a pay-in receipt for it.
"Till Thursday evening, the money had not been credited to my account," Banwasi told HT.
When reached for comments, there was no response from the office of the bank's CMD.
.Arun Khote
On behalf of
Dalits Media Watch Team
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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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