. . . . . . "Dalit Solidarity News" is an information project run by the International Dalit Solidarity Network. News stories are extracts from online newsservices. Link to the full story is found at the end of each blog. Visit the International Dalit Solidarity Network at www.idsn.org

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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

Friday, October 29, 2004  
V-C under fire for alleged 'anti-Dalit stand'

OCTOBER 28, 2004

PUNE: Vice-chancellor Ashok Kolaskar came under fire for his alleged "anti-Dalit" stance at the University of Pune (UoP) senate meeting.

Associations of the backward class teachers, like the Babasaheb Ambedkar teachers federation and the Bahujan Shikshak Va Shikshaketar Karmachari Sanghatana, have launched a dharna outside the university main building. They alleged that Kolaskar had an "anti-Dalit" bias, and was dithering on filling up the posts meant for backward castes in the varsity. They also opposed the revised PhD guidelines, saying it had no concessions for the Dalits.

Senate member Venkatesh Holehonnur moved a stay motion on the issue of Kolaskar not holding talks with the agitators. The proposal was withdrawn after discussion on the issue in the council. Some members challenged Kolaskar's contention that he had not held talks with the agitators as he had not received any official request to that effect till 11:30 am on Tuesday. Alleging that Kolaskar was misleading the house, they said that the agitators had sent a memorandum and six reminders to him.

The members urged Kolaskar to hold talks with the agitators "as soon as possible" as the issue had immense social importance. Kolaskar said the talks would be held after the senate meeting.

Read the article

7:57 AM

Monday, October 25, 2004  
NHRC exposes two faces of the police:

22 October

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has accused the police of discriminating against people from the socially underprivileged classes, bordering on sabotaging justice.An NHRC report on prevention of atrocities against the Scheduled Castes (Dalits) has found that the police went out of their way to protect members of high caste Hindus who perpetrate violence against Dalits seeking justice."The problem starts with registration of the case itself. Police resort to various machinations to discourage Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes from registering a case, to dilute the seriousness of the violence and shield the real accused (who may be caste Hindus)," it said.

If at all the police register a case, they refuse to file cases under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, so as to avoid punitive measures against the accused, the report claimed.The only register the cases under the Protection of Civil Rights Act, a much leaner act.The failure results in the perpetrators being punished with a lesser sentence, rejection of claims for compensation by the victims, and release of the accused on bail.

But the most obvious form of state violence against Dalits was the treatment meted out to them in police custody in connection with criminal case, petty cases of theft and minor offences, the report said. It claimed that police reserved barbaric interrogation methods for their Dalit subjects, inflicting serious injuries on them that often end in their deaths. "The custodial deaths are covered up usually," it said, adding that killing of Dalits in gun battles was the next best favourite means of elimination used by the police. Police also act with vengeance against Dalit activists fighting for their rights, by invoking harsh provisions of the law including the National Security Act, it said.

Though the report did not cite examples of individual case studies, it said that Dalits and Scheduled Tribes in Maoist strongholds face dual violence - from the caste Hindu landlords and from the state (police). Usually Dalit women bear the brunt of such police violence, which the report said was "offensive and humiliating". The NHRC study said the apathy and bias was not confined to police personnel alone, but extends to other agencies of the government, including the district civil administration.

Link to the article

7:30 AM

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