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Thursday 10 January 2013

Assault on Dalit youth creates flutter

Dalits Media Watch
News Updates 10.01.13
Assault on Dalit youth creates flutter - The Hindu
Rape victim aims to become a social worker - The Times Of India
Dalit award winner denied passport to visit Netherlands - The Times Of India
The Hindu
Assault on Dalit youth creates flutter
Staff Reporter
Tension prevailed at a village in Ammapet block of Erode district on Monday night after a group of caste Hindus allegedly beat up a Dalit youth.
Police sources said the youth, R. Sathishkumar (20), a resident of Poonatchi village, allegedly teased a caste Hindu girl, an undergraduate student studying in a private college. The incident took place when the girl was returning home from the college. On learning about it, a group of caste Hindus reportedly beat up the Dalit youth.
Sathishkumar received serious injuries and rushed to the Anthiyur government hospital, where he was given first aid. He was later admitted to the government hospital here.
More than 100 police personnel and a striking force were deployed in the village and its surroundings to prevent any untoward incident. Two Deputy Superintendents of Police and five Inspectors were deputed to monitor the situation.
"We have registered complaints and asked both the communities to remain calm. The situation is under control," a senior police official said.
Meanwhile, more than 100 cadre of Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi and relatives of Sathishkumar resorted to a road blockade in front of the government hospital urging police to initiate action against those who assaulted the Dalit youth. Later, they took out a procession to the Collectorate complex, where they met senior revenue officials and submitted a petition. Traffic at the GH junction was affected for more than an hour.
The Times Of India
Rape victim aims to become a social worker
By Radha Sharma, TNN | Jan 10, 2013, 04.31 AM IST
AHMEDABAD: "Only the wearer knows where the shoe pinches," goes an old saying. Probably that is why Meena chose to pursue a master's degree in social management to become a social worker.

Meena (name changed) wants to specialize in giving a helping hand to rape victims to pass through the ordeal for justice and social acceptance without being scarred for life. For, she knows how violated it feels to be raped as she was gang-raped by men of her town.

"Not just the body, even the soul hurts. I felt so humiliated; I had lost touch with reality. I want to pursue a career in social work so that I can heal the battered, tormented souls. I would know where they hurt the most," says the 20-year old who was the only bright light in her poor household with an alcoholic father at the helm. One of the five sons and daughters, she was the only child who had fought her way to school and got admitted in XII general stream.
This spunky girl was interrupted three years ago when the boy who had confessed love to her breached trust and set a honey trap for her to be gang-raped by four men, all notorious anti-socials in Limdi town. One woman, who was into women trafficking, was also involved.
Meena was hospitalized with heavy bleeding. "When I first went to meet this girl, she was being given electric shots for psychiatric fallouts. She was a frail girl who needed support to walk," says Manjula Pradeep of Navsarjan Trust who took over the case and helped the girl legally and socially at her centre.
There was tremendous pressure on the dalit girl's family as well as the NGO to drop the police case and agree for a settlement as all the accused were dalits. The family decided not to crumble under pressure which gave the girl strength to fight it out.
The court case is pending but the girl slowly gathered herself and appeared for HSC exams which she cleared with 76% marks last year. Three months ago, she took admission in MA in social management.
"I could come out of the trauma because there was somebody to hold my hand. I want to become that hand for victims like me," Meena says.
The Times Of India
Dalit award winner denied passport to visit Netherlands
TNN | Jan 10, 2013, 04.57 AM IST
CHENNAI: A dalit activist from Tamil Nadu, who won the Dutch Human Rights Tulip 2012 award, was denied passport by the Union government to travel to the Netherlands, apparently due to an objection by the state police. In his absence, the Dutch foreign minister Frans Timmermans gave away the award at a ceremony in The Hague.
The 52-year-old M Bharathan, a native of Tirunelveli district, was recognized by an independent award jury for his "tireless championing of better living and working conditions for his country's Dalits." Bharathan is the director of Human Rights Education and Protection Council, a non-government organization based in Tirunelveli and has been working for the welfare of Dalits, especially against caste discrimination and human rights violations for more than three decades. As he could not participate in the award ceremony, Bharathan's speech was read out.
"My passport was not renewed because of a false murder charge," Bharathan told TOI over telephone from Tirunelveli. "By denying me visa, the Indian government has failed to protect human rights and human rights defenders," he said, adding that his case should have been treated as "special" and he should have been issued a passport and visa. The passport office in Madurai, on advice from the Palayamkottai police station, refused to renew his passport on December 18. The police cited a triple murder case pending since 2009, in which Bharathan is accused number 25, as grounds to deny him a passport.
Bharathan, who claims to be a victim of caste discrimination when he was young, said he had been campaigning vigorously in several villages of Tuticorin and Tirunelveli districts against the "double tumbler" system, restricted temple entry, custodial deaths, and reforms in police system. "The Goondas Act is being misused in the state. The country has several laws to protect human rights, but they are not implemented in letter and spirit," said Bharathan, who waged a long battle for the rehabilitation of Dalits, who suffered human rights violations.
Nearly 450 types of caste discriminations take place against Dalits in the two districts, he said. "There are still practices of discrimination in schools, leading to huge drop-outs." Bharathan claimed he had organized several picketing programmes in police stations and district collectorates, and faced nearly 20 cases, which was why the enforcement agencies were acting against him. Chinese activist Ni Yulan too could not attend the ceremony last year, as he is in custody and awaiting trial in a case.

.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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