. . . . . . "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

Tuesday, August 29, 2006  
Atrocities against Dalits on the rise in Bihar

India eNews.com
August 29th, 2006

Patna - Atrocities against Dalits are on the rise across Bihar. In the latest case, three Dalits, including a woman, were beaten and then branded with hot iron by assailants said to be upper caste men.

The incident took place in Mahuar village in Bhojpur district early this month.
‘We were victims of inhuman torture by upper-caste people. They fractured our arms and demolished our homes,’ said Gupteshwar Shankar. He and his wife, Shanti Devi, both in the 50s, belong to the Lohar caste (traditional iron smiths).

They claim they filed a police complaint but the police have not bothered to take any action. They allege the upper caste men wanted to evict them from their land on which they were staying for long.

Last week, some people gouged out the eyes of Bhola Choudhary, a poor and elderly Dalit man, in Maner near Patna. He was taken to hospital only after some villagers collected money for his transportation.

These cases only add up to the numerous such incidents reportedly taking place across Bihar.
This month, over a dozen cases of atrocities against Dalits have been reported, including those of rape and beating them to death. There are other cases that go unreported involving harassment and humiliation.

And the atrocities are perpetrated generally by the powerful landed people in rural Bihar.
Also this month, the eye of a 10-year-old boy was gouged out in Dhabouli village in Begusarai district.

According to police sources, some rich people used a gardening implement to commit the crime while the boy was playing in the fields. They were apparently enraged over his parents’ alleged refusal to vote for a particular candidate in the village council elections in June.
Two Dalit minors in a village in Madhubani district were raped Aug 7 by upper caste youths.
Four Dalit women from Ramnagar-Gopalpur village in Lakhisarai district were raped Aug 6 at gunpoint by a landowner and his accomplices. The police refused to file a complaint.
The police swung into action 15 days later after the rape victims sought an audience with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. Four people were arrested in connection with the incident but released on bail.

In another barbaric act, four youths belonging to the Nut caste (very poor Dalits) were beaten in view of hundreds till they died.

The Dalits, from Bhojpur district, were accused of stealing a buffalo by the powerful landowners. Their family members were threatened with dire consequences if they highlighted the matter.
According to Dalit activist Manoj, only a handful of the crimes against Dalits get reported to the authorities. This, he said, was due to the nexus between the landed people and policemen who generally view Dalits as ‘untouchables’.

Link to the article

11:26 AM

Monday, August 28, 2006  
Tamil Nadu not to de-reserve village bodies

August 26, 2006

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi Saturday announced that his government would not de-reserve four southern village bodies where Dalit leaders face great difficulty in contesting polls.

In the four village bodies - Pappapatti, Keeripatti, Nattarmangalam and Kottakatchiyendal - attempts to conduct elections have failed for 10 years due to opposition from upper caste groups.

Even when the Dalit leaders have gone through the process of elections, they were forced to resign from their posts following threats.

'The decision was taken to allow status quo in these bodies where election procedures could not be completed,' Karunanidhi told reporters.

On Friday, leaders of several parties, including the Congress, the Dalit Panthers of India and the Left had urged the government to exempt these four village bodies from the seat-rotation system and allow Dalit leaders to complete at least one full term in office.
Congress leader D. Yasodha said de-reserving these bodies panchayats would 'set a bad precedent'.

On the quota issue, Karunanidhi said, 'all possible steps will be taken to speed up the implementation of reservation', especially the 27 percent quota for the OBC category that Tamil Nadu parties are demanding.

His comments come a day after alliance partner S. Ramadoss of the PMK criticised him in public saying, 'he was not showing enough interest in the OBC quota issue'.
© 2006 Indo-Asian News Service

Link to the article

8:51 AM

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