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Dalits In News, Dec.21

by udaya — last modified 2007-12-22 16:38

Dalit woman attacked , Phool Kumari sits on dharna at Vidhan Sabha....

The Hindu
Dalit woman attacked
Staff Reporter
ELURU: Tension prevailed in the Kamavarapukota area in West Godavari district on Thursday following an attack on a Dalit woman allegedly made by the sub-inspector of Tadikalapudi. A large number of villagers staged a protest at Kamavarapukota demanding action against the SI.
According to information, the SI Ravi Kumarallegedly assaulted a Dalit woman P. Varalakshmi on Wednesday night on frivolous grounds at her residence. While passing through a road adjacent to the victim's house, the SI reportedly held her responsible for some road blockades and assaulted her. Meanwhile, Superintendent of Police B. Balakrishna ordered an inquiry into a case of assault on an ASI by a sub-inspector at Kovvuru on Wednesday. The SI Rajasekhar reportedly thrashed the assistant sub-inspector T.V.D.P. Narasimha Rao in public. After a heated discussion between the duo over a CD file in old bus stand area, the SI allegedly beat him severely.
Express India
Phool Kumari sits on dharna at Vidhan Sabha
Express news service
Lucknow, December 20 Phool Kumari Rawat, the Dalit woman at the centre of the mid-day meal controversy in Bibipur Primary and Junior High School, came to Lucknow today and sat on a dharna in front of the Vidhan Sabha.
Ever since her appointment on December 11, the students had refused to eat meals cooked by her. Some alleged that it was unhygienic, others said it was because she was a Dalit.
Phool Kumari today alleged she was being discriminated against and had been forced to leave the school.
Officials of the Education department and the district administration have refuted her allegations and said they had only abolished the village education committee that had appointed her, on grounds of corruption, but never asked her to move out.
"Ram Babu Chaurasia, the gram pradhan, was responsible for various anomalies in the formation of the village education committee. He had formed three committees for three schools in one village. Moreover, he did not distribute scholarships to students. Because of these anomalies, committees he had formed had to be abolished," said Rakesh Srivastava, the basic education officer.
He added: "It's true that Phool Kumari's appointment was automatically cancelled when the committee that had appointed her was abolished. But no official or teacher asked her to leave. She could have gone on cooking till a new committee was formed, as we still plan to give her preference once the new appointments are made in the next few days."
When The Indian Express visited the Bibipur school today, another woman, Bitaula, was found cooking mid-day meals and the children ate the food. Education officers said she is also a Dalit. But it appeared that the students were not aware of that.
Lalta Prasad, a resident, however, said Bitaula was not a Dalit as claimed by the officials but an OBC, which was why the children ate the food cooked by her. "Someone has misinformed you," said he added.
In Lucknow, Phool Kumari herself had yet another story to tell.
"Controversy began the day I started cooking at the school. When I went there to serve food on December 11, principal V D Dixit told me that his students would not eat meals cooked by a Dalit woman," said Phool Kumari.
She added: "The children would come to me each day and tell me that I cooked unhygienically, even though all outsiders — officials and members of social organisations — didn't find anything wrong with the meal."
She also alleged that she was asked not to come to school by the locals, who said a case had been lodged against the gram pradhan and there was, thus, no need for her to come. "Humne kuch galat nahi kiya, isliye hame insaf chahiye," she added.
 India Edu News
Degrees invalid if SC, ST certificates are bogus - HC
December 20, 2007 
Mumbai: All college students who have taken admission on the basis of fake Scheduled Caste and Schedule Tribe (SC/ST) certificates are heading for trouble. The Bombay High Court (HC) on Wednesday has categorically held that not only should the admission of such students be cancelled, but those who get a degree based on such admissions will also lose their degrees.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice D Y Chadrachud held that the cancellation of a degree, diploma or other educational qualification follows as a matter of law upon invalidation of a caste certificate.
The judgment is significant as it puts to rest the legal tangle on the fate of students, who had taken admission on false claims of belonging to a scheduled caste or scheduled tribe.
The HC, has, in the last decade, faced a number of petitions from students who sought relief from the court after taking provisional admission, especially to engineering and medical colleges, on the grounds that they belonged to the backward castes.
The court in the present case, was dealing with a petition filed by Priyanka Panwar, a 21 year old student from Kurla (east), who had appeared for the CET conducted by the state government for admission to the medical colleges in Maharashtra in 2002.
She claimed belonging to a scheduled caste - the Katik community. She was granted admission in the Gandhi medical college in Navi Mumbai, in 2002 on a reserved seat. But in 2004, her claim for SC was invalidated through a divisional caste certificate scrutiny. She challenged the decision but the HC upheld it in 2005.
A benefit secured on the basis of a false caste claim has to be invalidated. The court said it could not go contrary to the law, especially because the constitutional validity of the state act had been upheld.
Indian Express
Haryana says it doesn't need a rights commission
Maneesh Chhibber
Chief Secretary says small state, no violations; last year Govt told court 'adequate mechanism' exists to handle people's grievances
CHANDIGARH , DEC 20: •On October 15, 2002, five Dalits were lynched by police in Jhajjar district. It was only after it hit national headlines that the Haryana government ordered an inquiry.
•On October 10, 2004, a married couple, Sonia and Rampal, were ordered by a khap panchayat of Asanda village in Jhajjar district to dissolve their marriage and treat each other as brother-sister. They were forced to seek protection from Punjab & Haryana High Court as the district police and administration failed to act.
• On February 22, 2006, over 50 Dalit families of Farmana village in Sonepat district were forced to flee their village following an attack by upper-caste villagers.
• And figures compiled by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) for 2005-06 say 288 cases of atrocities against the Dalits took place in Haryana. These include 10 murders, 35 rape cases, and 15 kidnappings.
BUT despite all this, and against pressure from the National Human Rights Commission and rights groups, successive governments in Haryana have refused to set up a state human rights commission.
Earlier this year, Chief Secretary Prem Prashant asserted that "Haryana is a small state and no violation of human rights has been made here." And on January 18, 2006, the government had told the Punjab & Haryana High Court that it had no intention of setting up a state human rights commission.
The same stand was repeated in November this year during the hearing of a public interest litigation filed by the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) asking the high court to direct the government to set up a commission.
This time the government counsel also told the court that an "adequate mechanism" existed for dealing with people's grievances and, therefore, the government had decided "there is no need to set up a separate state human rights commission."
The previous government of Om Prakash Chautala, too, had refused to set up such a commission. It is learnt that when Chautala was advised by senior officials to agree to the formation of a rights commission, he said no.
But critical observations from the high court may force the current Congress government to do a rethink. A division bench headed by Chief Justice Vijender Kumar Jain has asked the state to "place on record an affidavit as to what is the meaning of adequate mechanism to deal with the grievance of the people."
The bench observed in its order that "although, it is the domain of the state to say that for certain reasons at a particular stage, it is not in a position to have a state human rights commission, but to say that there is an adequate mechanism available to deal with the grievances of the people under the existing administrative hierarchy is against the spirit of the international treaties and covenants, which stress upon the protection of the human rights."
It also noted that "in our considered opinion, the mechanism involving the officials and other persons who are associated with the administration of the state, may not provide a sound system for redressal of grievances of citizens of that state."
Says senior advocate R.L. Batta, who is arguing the matter for the petitioners, "The argument advanced by the Haryana government is ridiculous, to say the least. Tell me, if a state like Haryana doesn't require a human rights commission, which state does?"
While senior government functionaries refused to say anything, a senior officer who is part of the team handling the matter confirmed that the government was doing a rethink of "all aspects connected with the demand" and a final decision would be taken in a few days.
The hearing resumes in the high court on January 15.
SC, ST Commission's visit from Dec. 27
Eluru, December 20: The SC and ST Commission will pay a three-day visit in West Godavari district from Dec 27.
The Commission, comprising its Chairman M. Nagarjuna, and members G. Sandhya Rani, A Pratap, K. Srinivasulu, Rajavarapu Prasad and C. Kishan Singh Naik will receive petitions from SC and ST people and take stock of the quality of welfare programmes taken up for the benefit of SCs and STs at Kovvuru, Kota Ramachandrapuram in the agency and Eluru during the visit.







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