SOS e Clarion Of Dalit

November 15, 2007

dalit clarion issue.8

Filed under: dalit human rights — Tags: , , — Nagaraja M R @ 2:06 pm

DALIT’S CLARION – VOICE OF THE OPPRESSED
MONTHLY NEWSPAPER ON WEB

Editor : NAGARAJ.M.R…………….. VOL.1 ISSUE.8
………………………………..23rd october 2006

editorial :PRACTICE OF UNTOUCHABILITY BY EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS IN INDIA
– VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS OF DALITS

In india , rich people belonging to forward castes
form educational trusts , proclaiming that they want to serve the
society by providing education to all irrespective of caste or creed.
By this declaration they get Civic Amenity sites from government
authorities at concessional rates. Further they get tax , duty
exemptions on materials , machines they import for the educational
institution. However , while admitting students they are purely
commercial minded , the highest bidder gets the seats.
IF AT ALL THE SOLE AIM OF THESE INSTITUTIONS IS
COMMERCIAL – LET THEM BE REGISTERED AS COMMERCIAL BODIES , ASK THEM TO
GET SITES AT COMMERCIAL MARKET RATES , ASK THEM TO PAY TAXES ON
MATERIALS , MACHINES & THEIR YEARLY INCOME. ENFORCE MINIMUM WAGES ACT
, GRATUITIES ACT , P.F & ESI ACT TO THESE INSTITUTIONS WHO ARE PAYING
A PITTANCE TO THEIR STAFF.
Some institutions like industrial training
institutes ( I.T.I) , polytechnics , engineering colleges & medical
colleges run by trusts floated by forward castes lack basic
infrastructure , to teach students properly , they only appoint staff
belonging to thier castes. Dalits , minorities , weaker section
people are not at all selected. They don’t publicly advertise for
vacancies. They fill all posts with thier own caste people & finally
even get government grant in aid. How ? These institutions are getting
affiliations , yearly approvals form the government , how ? actually
they should have been shut.
These trusts want government backing for tax
exemptions , lands at concessional rates ,monetary benefits , etc ,
however the same trusts are not willing to implement the social
welfare objectives of the government , by providing seats to weaker
sections , by providing appointments to dalits few posts in all
category of positions ( not just group D – dalits are also brilliant
& capable of performing all jobs, they have proved it ).
Hereby , we urge honourable prime minister of india ,
government of india & honourable chief minister of karnataka ,
government of karnataka to :

1. before giving lands at concessional rate , tax exemptions , to any
educational trusts the government must ensure that the trust must
adhere to the social welfare norms of the government from day one.
2. Before giving affiliations to educational institutions the govt
must ensure , are the institutions are providing sufficient
infrastructure to students ?
3. Before giving grant in aid to any institution , the government must
ensure have the management provided jobs to dalits , minorities , etc
as per norms from the day one . if not grant in aid should be
rejected. Here there is no meaning in giving reservation of jobs in
future appointments in those institutions , as all the posts are
presently filled with forward castes , there is no expansion projects.
So , dalits have to wait for another 30-40 years to get the vacancies
in those institutions after the retirement of forward caste employees
, which is not at all practical or realistic .
4. In karnataka state , numerous Industrial Training Institutes ( ITI)
have mushroomed , some don’t even have basic infrastructure. Still
they are running the show , how ? these ITIs run by forward caste
people have appointed only their caste people to all posts , not even
a single dalit is there. Still they have got government grant in aid ,
how ? we urge honourable chief minister of karnataka , to look into
this & in future to provide grant in aid in aid to only those I.T.Is
which have proper infrastructure & dalits , weaker section employees
on their pay-rolls.
5. To order all educational institutions to make public announcement
of vacancies in their institutions even though not covered under
grant in aid , as they have already taken sufficient monetary
benefits from the government.
6. To order all educational institutions , to admit students as per
government rates of fees. Some institutions are fleecing higher fees
from the students , but are giving receipts for lesser amount only.
7. If any educational institutions don’t agree with the government
norms , those institutions must be asked to be registered as
commercial bodies , no tax exemptions , lands at concessional rates ,
allotment of CA sites should be given to them by the government.

By these measures alone poor & weaker
section people will get justice . you are aware of merited but poor
students committing suicides year after year , CET fiasco – due to
their financial inability to join medical or engineering colleges.
Numerous similar cases are there with regard to admission to ITIs .
polytechnics. The greed & casteism of these educational institutions
is reigning high. In the positive hope that you will be kind enough to
put an end to this menace. Jai hind. Vande mataram. Thanking you.

Your’s sincerely,
Nagaraj.M.R.

eitorial :

DALITS, LIKE FLIES TO FEUDAL LORDS

A Maharashtra village serves up `moral justice’ by gang raping and
lynching a dalit family. That didn’t merit front page news in
21st-century-10-percent-growth-rate India. Shivam Vij reports

On September 3, Siddharth Gajbhiye finally paid the price for helping
dalits in a clutch of villages in Bhandara district near Nagpur in
Maharashtra. A dalit himself, Gajbhiye is a police patil, an associate
of the police hired on an honorarium, and has political connections in
the Congress. This gave him some leverage to be of help to the
sprinkling of dalit households who lived in constant fear of the upper
castes. One such family was that of Surekha Bhotmange, 45, who tilled
her five-acre plot in Kherlanji village, along with her husband
Bhaiyyalal, growing cotton and rice. In 1996, two acres had been taken
away as `easement area’ to build a road, so that neighbouring farmers,
who belong to the Powar and Kalar upper castes, could take their
tractors across to other villages. Now they wanted more of their land
for a water pathway, and Gajbhiye was helping Surekha resist that,
despite allegations that he was doing so because he had sexual
relations with her. Gajbhiye and Bhotmange were in fact cousins,
belonging to the Mahar caste, the same as Ambedkar’s, and were
practising Buddhists in the Ambedkerite tradition.

On September 3, a mob beat up Gajbhiye, the ostensible reason being
his alleged illicit relationship with Surekha Bhotmange. Gajbhiye
filed a police complaint against 15 men from Kherlanji village, 12 of
whom were arrested. Surekha signed on the FIR as one of the witnesses
and identified the 12 in a police parade.

Twenty-six days later, on September 29, as soon as the 12 men were
released on bail, they were taken away in a tractor by their
relatives. They got drunk and went to the Bhotmanges’ hut threatening
to finish off the entire family. Then they went looking for Gajbhiye
and his brother Rajan, an engineering student. On not being able to
find them, the drunken group returned to the Bhotmanges’ hut and broke
down the door. It was 5.40pm, Surekha was preparing the evening meal
and the head of the family, Bhaiyyalal, was not at home. They dragged
out Surekha, their 17-year-old daughter Priyanka, and two sons,
23-year-old Roshan and 21-year-old Sudhir. Although Roshan was blind
and Sudhir a graduate, they not only helped with the farming but also
brought home extra money by working as labourers. Priyanka was more
ambitious — a Class xii topper and an ncc cadet, she wanted to join
the Army. Her mother had recently bought her a bicycle. But all dreams
came to an end in a few harrowing hours.

The mob didn’t realise that Bhaiyyalal Bhotmagne and Siddharth’s
brother Rajan were just a stone’s throw from their hut and had seen
the four victims being dragged away to the village chaupal, Priyanka
strapped to a bullock cart. By now, men allegedly from the entire
village of about 150 Powar and Kalar families had collected. Some
shouted to the sarpanch to allow them to sexually assault the women.
They raped the women and killed all four, even as their womenfolk
looked on, mute spectators to a form of justice reserved for castes
lower than theirs. One woman, Sudha Dhenge, reportedly did protest but
was slapped into silence. She now says she was never there.

Surekha and Priyanka were stripped, paraded naked, beaten black and
blue with bicycle chains, axes and bullock cart pokers. They were
publicly gang raped until they died. Some raped them even after that,
and finally, sticks and rods were shoved into their genitals. In the
meantime, Sudhir managed to contact the police from his mobile phone,
but his phone had been smashed. Its pieces are now circumstantial
evidence. Roshan and Sudhir were beaten up, their genitals mutilated,
faces disfigured and their bodies tossed in the air, before they lay
dead on the ground. Hiding behind a hut, Bhaiyyalal helplessly watched
his family’s gruesome end. There was no one to call for help.
Kherlanji had only two Mahar families; the rest were either
perpetrators or spectators. An hour later, a village meeting was
called and a diktat issued: no one was to say a word about the massacre.

Siddharth Gajbhiye called the Andhalgaon police station, some six kms
away, at 6.15pm, asking for help. As a frightened Bhaiyyalal escaped
to another village to save his life, the four bodies were thrown at
different places in the periphery of the village. Head Constable Baban
Mesharam reached Kherlanji at 8:30pm and got wind of the incident, but
did not follow official police protocol to register the report. The
next day, when Bhaiyyalal Bhotmange went to the police station and
filed an FIR, sho Siddheshwar Bharne did not believe him. It was only
when the police patrol started flashing reports of the discovery of
mutilated dead bodies on the wireless the next day that he filed an
FIR. Constable Meshram and sho Bharne both stand suspended.

Photographs of the bodies of Surekha and Priyanka taken by the police
showed sticks and rods in their genitals. By the time they reached the
post-mortem table, the sticks had disappeared. A gruesome photograph
of Priyanka Bhotmange’s body, with just a piece of cloth covering her
genitals, is not being printed by Tehelka.

The post-mortem report by Dr AJ Shende on September 30 said that there
had been no rape. “Doctors were managed and the police bribed,”
Rashtrapal Narnaware, Surekha’s nephew, alleged in a statement to the
fact-finding committee of the Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS), a
regional farmers’ organisation. The bodies were later exhumed and the
report of a second post-mortem is awaited. Bhandara’s police
superintendent Suresh Sagar says that only if the post-mortem
establishes rape can he include the charge in his investigation. The
VJAS is pushing for a third post-mortem as the due procedure specified
by the nhrc has not been followed, and medical evidence of rape may
never be established.

Thirty-eight Kherlanji men are in jail as accused, but Kishore Tiwari,
president of the VJAS, says that some of the main perpetrators are
still free due to political pressure. Apart from various sections of
the ipc, the sc/st Prevention of Atrocities Act, 1989, has also been
applied by the police. “In cases where a mob is involved, the
Atrocities Act has it that the entire village could be fined to the
tune of Rs 10-20 lakh,” says civil rights lawyer Colin Gonsalves. The
VJAS claims that there is an attempt to cover up the incident, and has
filed a case in the Bombay High Court against the state police. “For
years, Surekha had been trying to file a case against the grabbing of
the two acres of land,” says VJAS lawyer Vinod Tiwari, “but the police
never filed the FIR.”

VJAS president Kishore Tiwari first read about the incident in the
rural Vidarbha supplements of the Marathi press, which blamed it on
Surekha’s `illicit relationship’ with Siddharth. Tiwari e-mailed
journalists all over India and managed to get some Mumbai newspapers
to report the massacre, but his e-mails to Delhi-based journalists
were ignored.

On October 2, when lakhs of Buddhists from all over the world had
converged in Nagpur to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of
Dhammakranti — Ambedkar’s conversion to Buddhism — the organisers kept
quiet about the massacre lest the issue go out of hand in such a large
gathering. The Maharashtra government has paid Bhaiyyalal Bhotmange a
compensation of Rs 4.5 lakhs, although according to the Atrocities Act
the compensation should be Rs 2 lakh for every member of the family
killed. All Bhaiyyalal wants is for the perpetrators to be hanged.

ATROCITY ON DALITS
BBC world interview snapshots

A team from BBC, UK visited Bhandara to take the stock of the
situlation. The co-producer when met Mr Bhotmange and interviewd him,
she could not stop her emotions and broke . Such was ugly portrayal
of inhumanity! The team is in a postion to cover the massacre and
details in few days. The documentry is said to be hosted on BBC world
service soon. We will try to put the exerpts of an interview with Mr
Bhotmange on this site.We will also try to keep you informed about
the BBC news coverage here as soon as it is ready! Latest from BBC
>>It is learnt BBC is going to air complete documentary on the event
on 14th Nov 2006. The timings will be communicated to you thru this
blog. Till then keep writting>>

———————————————Interview—Exerpts———————————-
Mr Bhotmange , the only survivor from the deceased family, is admitted
to Bhandara Civil Hospital . He is a broken father whose children
Roshan, Sudhir and Priyanka were tortured to death while wife Surekha
was brutally raped and killed. When BBC correspondent visited him,
he was looking into deep agony and mental stress.

BBC correspondent: We can not imagine the situation you are going
through, can you please tell us something about the whole tragedy!

Mr Bhotmange: Sir, I am not in a condition to tell you, Sorry! The
whole incidence comes again and again in front of my eyes and I get
pained.

BBC correspondent: Ok, we do not wish to trouble you more. Then Mr.
Bhotmange was well advised if he opens his voice, it will be heard by
the world. So this is right time to speak out! He was told that whole
world is with him. Then he got up and said loudly…..

Mr Bhotmange: Siddharth Gajbhiye is our relative. He used to visit us
and support us in our fight for land. Recently not quite long, he was
manhandled by the caste assailants from our village, which my wife and
daughter witnessed. They testified in front of police. It infuriated
the assailants and they threatened us. I thought it’s not that
serious. But they were! They killed my family. They killed all! Mr
Bhotmange closed his eyes and uttered “my wish – hang them to
death!” Seeing his distressed face, BBC team left the room (ICCU)
with wet eyes.

`Forensic’ Angle
01Nov06

As reported earlier our panel of doctors met Dr. Shende who did
postmortem of Priyanka, her brothers and mother. Their conversation
with Dr Shende is already available on this blog for your reading.
Today same panel of doctors is with us to share the conversation they
had with a forensic expert from Govt. Medical College Nagpur. This is
the best medical college in central India. Forensic experts here
conduct on an average 15 to 20 postmortems a day. They know law and
other guidelines concerned to postmortem, nay, many of them are LLB!
The panel met one of the senior forensic experts here and briefed him
on Kherlanji incidence. They also narrated the conversation they had
with Dr Shende. ( refer item: Meeting with Dr who did postmortem)

Panel: Seeing the case, what is the procedure a Medical Officer has to
follow ,in short, when Police brings an unclaimed and unidentified
body of a young female for postmortem?
Forensic Expert: Apart from documentation, he should look for injuries
all over the body. He should preserve the viscera, vaginal swab and
pubic hair for forensic examination.
Panel: Can he preserve the vaginal swab and pubic hairs even if police
are not suspecting rape and they did not mention about it in their
Inquest Report?
Forensic Expert: Off course he can! I would say he should! Inquest
report is usually prepared by a constable who has little medical
knowledge. So it is a duty of a Medical officer not only to assist the
Police but at times guide them. Also, if a medical officer has not
preserved these samples, he can not shield himself under the pretext
that rape was not suspected by the police.
Panel: Dr Shende informed us that he too did not suspect rape because
there were injury marks only outer sides of thighs and not on inner
sides (talking bout Priyanka)?
Forensic Expert: (laughs) That sounds ridiculous, if you imagine
someone biting you on thighs your natural reaction would be to
approximate your thighs to each other. That means there would be
minimum injuries on inner side.
Panel: Taking different angle, let’s assume that Dr Shende was under
external pressure during the postmortem, what worst he can do with the
body?
Forensic Expert: In such situations doctor can be pressurized to wipe
the vagina clean so that no sperm parts are found even if through
vaginal swab is taken for subsequent postmortems.
Panel: If police suspects rape under section 376 of CRPC, is it
essential that the body should be sent to district hospital for
postmortem?
Forensic Expert: If the medical officer is an MBBS doctor then its
not. But if he is BAMS doctor then he has to.
Panel: And is it essential that during postmortem a lady medical
officer should be present?
Forensic Expert: No its not! If rape is suspected and victim is alive
only then a lady medical officer is required during examination
otherwise not.
Panel: Considering the sensitive nature of this incidence are there
any special precautions which should have been taken by the team of
doctors who conducted the second postmortem?
Forensic Expert: Yes! They could have asked for the presence of a
forensic expert from forensic medicine department.
Panel: Can it be done?
Forensic Expert: Yes, the civil surgeon has all powers to ask the
Superintendent of Police (SP) for the same.
Panel: And SP has to oblige?
Forensic Expert: If he doesn’t, the civil surgeon can refuse to do the
second postmortem. Panel: Thanks Doctor for your time. We will come
back to if need comes!

Panel can further put questions to which the expert can answer, so if
you have any please put it now and here>>>

(Actually second postemortem was conducted beofre 15 th Oct. and Civil
Surgeon,Bhandara, Mr Ramteke, was one among the team who did not care
to invite any forensic expert from Govt Medical College Nagpur ! Pathetic

edited , printed , published & owned by NAGARAJ.M.R. @ : LIG-2 / 761 ,
HUDCO FIRST STAGE , OPP WATER WORKS OFFICE , LAKSHMIKANTANAGAR ,
HEBBAL , MYSORE – 570017 INDIA
cell : 9341820313 e-mail : nagarajhrw@hotmail.com , naghrw@yahoo.com
a member of AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL INDIA

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