A CRIME COMMITTED AGAINST A DALIT EVERY 18 MINUTE | 6 DALITS KIDNAPPED OR ABDUCTED EVERY WEEK | 3 DALIT WOMEN RAPED EVERY DAY | 13 DALITS MURDERED EVERY WEEK | 27 ATROCITIES AGAINST DALITS EVERY DAY
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Dalits In News -Jan.11,2008

by udaya — last modified 2008-01-15 14:22

Retrenchment of SC/ST staff challenged,SC/ST body stages demo against Kandhmal violence...

 

The Hindu

 

Retrenchment of SC/ST staff challenged http://www.indiapress.org/gen/news.php/The_Hindu/400x60/0

Legal Correspondent

Employee performance wrongly evaluated
 

 

"Management not following the social obligation"

VSNL pursuing an arbitrary policy: samiti

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday issued notice to the Centre and Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd. on a petition challenging retrenchment of a large number of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes employees after the Union government divested 25 per cent stake in the VSNL, when it was a public sector undertaking.

A Bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justice R.V. Raveendran also issued notice to the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes on the petition seeking a direction to the authorities to stop further retrenchment of SC/ST employees.

The petitioner, Videsh Sanchar Nigam SC/ST Welfare Samiti, alleged that company's staff members belonging to SCs/STs were under threat of termination as the performance of 75 per cent of them had been wrongly evaluated as unsatisfactory or marginal. It said: "The evaluation did not follow scientific criteria, but have been mala fide designed to retrench the services of majority of the existing employees, who have been inherited by a strategic partner along with a 25 per cent stake."

It submitted that after the divestment, the company management was not following the social obligation of providing sufficient job opportunities to SCs/STs. It pointed out that the VSNL had given an undertaking to the Centre that the safeguard for SC/ST employees would continue after the disinvestment, but it was now following an arbitrary and discriminatory policy."

The petitioner alleged that the decision to retrench the employees belonging to weaker sections of society was informal and due to this, the company had retained only 194 old employees who were either employees at the time of the Overseas Communication Service, Government of India or at the time when the VSNL was a public sector company. The government was still holding majority stake.

"Safeguard rights"

It said that the company had recruited a large number of new employees and there was no representation for members of the SC/ST categories, and the percentage of such employees had come down to 4.2 per cent. It sought a direction to safeguard the fundamental rights of the SC/ST employees as per the undertakings given in 2001 and 2002.

The Pioneer

 

SC/ST body stages demo against Kandhmal violence

http://www.indiapress.org/gen/news.php/The_Pioneer/400x60/0

 

Pioneer News Service | Bhubaneswar


The All India Confederation of SC/ST Organisations on Thursday held a demonstration in front of the State Assembly here in protest against the Kandhamal violence.


Confederation chairman Udit Raj said attacks on dalits by RSS, Bajrang Dal and VHP due to their interaction with Christian missionaries have become a common phenomenon. "If the upper caste people are so concerned about the welfare of the dalits and tribals, then why don't they provide them with school facilities and other benefits," he asked.

The Confederation and All India Christian Council jointly demanded adequate security for Kandhamal victims. They asked the Government to pay Rs 10 lakh each as compensation to the families of the dead, Rs 5 lakh to the families of the injured, besides paying compensation for 730 Christian homes that were vandalised and 95 churches that were destroyed.

They also demanded constitution of a judicial committee to settle the problem of the Kui tribe and conduct an impartial inquiry against Government officials and law enforcing agencies involved in the incidents.

Zee News

 

NHRC team to visit riot-hit Orissa`s Kandhamal District

http://www.zeenews.com/articles.asp?aid=417306&sid=NAT&sname=INDIA-NATIONAL-NEWS

 

Bhubaneswar, Jan 09: A team of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) is scheduled to visit riot-hit areas of Orissa's Kandhamal District on Wednesday.

 

The team will discuss the situation with the district administration. They will also have a meeting with the state officials regarding the relief and rehabilitation measures. 

 

A two-member team of National Commission for Minorities visited Kandhamal district on Tuesday and had a discussion with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. 

 

Earlier, the Commission members comprising of eminent journalist Dillip Padgaonkar and Professor Zoya Hasan visited Phulbani, the district headquarters of Kandhamal and had discussions with people from different communities. 

 

The State Government has set up a judicial commission, headed by Judge (retired) Basudev Panigrahi to probe the communal violence in the district.

 

Many people have gone missing since the violence broke out on December 24, 2007.

At least three people were killed in the violence that was sparked off on December 24, 2007 when Vishwa Hindu Parishad activists led mobs burnt down churches.

 

INDIA TODAY

'I am a hard-working girl'

January 10, 2008

INTERVIEW WITH MAYAWATI

Dressed in a simple yellow salwar kameez, the glow on Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati's face reflects her electoral high. Fresh from her rallies in the faraway south, she spoke to India Today Editor Prabhu Chawla and Assistant Editor Priya Sahgal about her plans. Excerpts:

Q. Why are you going beyond UP and touring different parts of the country as well?
A. Apart from being a chief minister, I am also the national president of my party. So I have to take care of the party in other states as well as in UP.

Q. But Uttar Pradesh is such a backward state. Shouldn't you concentrate more on it?
A. I have no hassles handling UP. For 57 years, the state has been ruled by non-BSP parties which is why it is so backward. In my first term as the chief minister, in four months I did the work of four years.

Q. Is the next prime minister going to be from the state?
A. (laughs) I will change the face of Uttar Pradesh first.

 

Mayawati: 'What's the blackmail in asking for SPG cover?'

Q. Why are you now talking about your security? Are you scared?

A. I am not scared while I am in Uttar Pradesh. But after BSP got an absolute majority there and began making inroads in other states, the other parties got unhappy. That's why they keep telling me to stay in UP where I have my own Government and I can be safe. But if I don't go out of UP how will my party increase its base? The Uttar Pradesh Government wrote to the Central Government on the basis of intelligence reports and asked for SPG (Special Protection Group) cover for me. The Centre in turn asked why does she need the cover? She is the chief minister and should stay in the state. Why do they forget that I am the national president of a party as well?

 

Q. So you are saying your enemies want to limit you to UP?

A. Yes, but they will soon themselves be limited to a few states. When I ask the Centre for security they say yes, there is a need but we can't give it as it's a rule that SPG can only be given to PMs, ex-PMs and their families.

Q. Have you asked for the SPG Act to be amended?

A. I am not a PM or an ex-PM or the child of an ex-PM. If they can make an amendment for an ex-PM's family, then why not for a Dalit's daughter? I am a hard-working girl.

Q. You talked about the danger from a Congress leader. Who is he?

A. There is one Atiq Ahmad who is being protected by a Congress leader in Delhi. I will reveal his name when the time is right. When there is a warrant against Ahmad and we want to arrest him, why are they hiding him?

Q. You are a popular Dalit leader. Why should anyone harm you?

A. It's to do with the way BSP is racing ahead. Obviously, when BSP rushes ahead, other parties will be hurt. First the Congress, then BJP.

Q. Should Narendra Modi be given SPG cover too? You do concede he is more in danger than you are.

A. That is for the Gujarat state intelligence and the Central Government to decide.

Q. In 2004, before the elections, Sonia Gandhi did come and ask you for seat adjustments.
A. Yes, they wanted a seat adjustment. That is correct. Sonia did come and ask for a national-level alliance but we were not ready. I said my people do not want it. She was very samajhdaar (understanding), she did not grumble. She understood.

Q. What is your relationship with the Congress?

A. I don't need anything from the Congress or BJP. My party fights alone. In 1996 with the Congress, it was they who needed us when we had an alliance. Our votes were transferred to them but their votes were not transferred to us. That is when we decided that if we don't gain anything out of this, then why should we go in for an alliance? Everyone gains from us but we gain from none.

Q. But Rahul feels that the 1996 alliance harmed the Congress. Do you feel that the Congress has become more anti-BSP under Rahul?

A. What difference does that make? Let it be. We all saw what happened back in May 2004.

 

Mayawati: 'Sonia asked for a national level alliance in 2004, but we were not ready'

Q. Some people accuse you of practising the politics of blackmail.

A. Where is the blackmail in asking for SPG for my security? I am not asking for money for myself, for a house or a bungalow. I have only raised issues that are for the good of the people of UP. You call that blackmail?

Financial aid is not blackmail. What reply will I give to the people of my state who will ask us why are we supporting the Centre that is not giving us any aid?

BJP told me in 2003 that it wanted to see me as CM forever. I understood that they wanted me to remain in UP while they ruled at the Centre. They wanted me to support them in 60 out of 80 seats in the state in the event of a mid-term poll. I said no. They put political pressure on me and embroiled me in the Taj Corridor case.

They also lodged a disproportionate assets case against me. Then BJP went out and the Congress came to power. You know income tax appellate had given me a clean chit one-and-half years ago. What has happened now is only the confirmation of the tribunal's order. Why was the clean chit being held over since 2004?

Q. In 1998, you promised Vajpayee your support and then changed your mind during the vote of confidence.

A. They cheated me in 1997, when BSP and BJP had a power-sharing arrangement in UP. They are dhokebaaz (not to be trusted) and jhoote (liars). When I was CM, I did not try to break their party and even gave them the post of the speaker. But six months later, they tried to break my MLAs. Just as they cheated me, I cheated them. I said in Parliament that I will abstain and then the next day voted against them (NDA government in 1998). I said to myself, I will destroy you in the entire country. If Vajpayeeji can do it, so can I saam daam dand bhed ke saath (with affection, money, punishment and divide). Just as he did to me.

Q. Others states are improving, but UP stays where it is.

A. Look at UP's size and the population of other states. Himachal's is only 55 lakh, while UP's is 17 crore.

Q. So do you think UP should be divided into smaller states?

A. I have no objections. If the Centre is ready, we will make western UP, Poorvanchal, Bundelkhand. Our party favours small states, we supported Uttarakhand. Let the Central Government be ready, we will quickly pass it in the state Assembly. When we form the government at the Centre, we will make small states.

Q. So who is your biggest enemy— Mulayam, BJP or the Congress?

A. All of them and their allies.

Q. Will you not compromise with any of them?

A. The question does not arise. We don't need an alliance with any party.

Q. Tomorrow, to become PM you may need allies. But here you are fighting with everyone.
A. BSP has no enemies.

Q. Who are your friends ?

A. Desh ki aam junta (the public).

Q. Will you withdraw support from the Congress?

A. We have put our demands in front of them. First, I will celebrate my birthday, cut my cake, accept the wishes of the people and then decide.

Q. Don't you think your birthday parties are rather extravagant?

A. My birthday is celebrated in a way that no other leader's is. People donate money in my name. My birthday will be celebrated all over India, in each state. And on this day, we will help widows, the handicapped and the poor.

Q. They also collect money in your name for the party.

A. Other parties ask big industrialists for help, I take help from my workers. That's the difference. I say openly I collect from our membership drive.

Q. Even big industrialists don't spend so much on their birthdays.

A. I don't spend. It's the party that does all the celebrations.

Q. Is Sonia Gandhi invited?

A. Does anyone send out invitations? People come on their own.

 

 

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