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Formed in 2000, the IDSN is a network of international organisations, national solidarity networks and affected country groups, campaigning against caste-based discrimination throughout the world, from the dalits of South Asia to the Osu of Nigeria and the Burakumin of Japan. Visit our website International Dalit Solidarity Network for more information. SUBMIT DALIT NEWS HERE

Wednesday, February 11, 2004  
The Hindu
10 February 2004

Dalit woman 'raped, set on fire'
A Dalit woman was allegedly raped and then set on fire by her landlord and his friend in Tulsi Nagar colony of the district, police said today.

The house owner and his friend locked the woman in a room and then allegedly raped her on Sunday night, police said adding the duo set her on fire after pouring kerosene when she threatened to complain about it.

The woman sustained 90 per cent burn injuries and has been admitted to the district hospital here, where her condition is reported to be critical.

Both the accused are absconding and a search to nab them is on, police said adding cases have been registered against them for attempt to murder and rape.


10:11 AM

Kashmir Images Online
Conversion is not mere name change'

Sadhumal Surendar Valasai is the President of the Karachi-based Scheduled Castes Federation of Pakistan. In an online interview with Yoginder Sikand, he discusses the work of his organisation and the problems of the Pakistani Dalits.

Q: Could you briefly introduce yourself and the work that you have been engaged in? A: I am a journalist by profession, and probably the only accredited Dalit journalist all over Pakistan. (...) I took up the profession of journalism in order to serve the cause of Pakistani Dalits who have no voice to raise their concerns and problems with the government and the wider society.

Q: What are the aims and objectives of the Scheduled Castes Federation of Pakistan (SCFP)?A:
The SCFP is a non-political organisation which works as a forum to raise issues concerning the Scheduled Castes of Pakistan. Its steering committee comprises of Bherulal Balani, a politician and ex-member of Provincial Assembly of Sindh (1997-99), Arjundas, a senior Dalit lawyer, and myself. We see the SCFP as working to address the manifold problems of the Pakistani Dalits in accordance with the vision of Qaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of nation, who had appointed a Scheduled Castes politician from East Pakistan as Pakistan's first Minister of Law and Parliamentary Affairs in Pakistan.
On August 15, 1944, the Qaid-e-Azam held a Press Conference in which he declared: "I wish to say a word to make the position of the Muslim League clear. As far as the Scheduled Castes and other minorities are concerned their just claims will have to be met before any complete settlement is achieved. I can tell my friends of the Scheduled Castes that at no time have I overlooked their interests and position and I may claim that in the past I have done all I could to help them, and I shall always stand for their protection and safeguard in any future scheme of constitution for I think that the wrongs and injustices inflicted on them for centuries should not be allowed to continue under any civilised form of government."
The SCFP is working to realise that aim of the Qaid-e-Azam.

For the full interview, please go to

10:09 AM

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