. . . . . . "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, September 22, 2006  
More Than 50 Arrested in Nepal

Nepal Human Rights News
21 September 2006

More than 50 people from Dalit community were arrested when they staged protests near the official residence of Prime Minister in the Nepalese capital Kathmandu on Wednesday.The Dalit protestors were marching towards the Prime Ministerial residence, carrying lit candles, to submit a memorandum on their behalf. Those arrested were detained at Armed Police Force Academy at Maharajgunj.

The joint Dalit Struggle Committee was planning to submit a memorandum to PM demanding action against the "upper-caste" people who beat up members of the Dalit community while trying to enter a temple in Doti recently.They said Home Minister on Tuesday refused to receive their memorandum.At least 50 people were injured when a group of ‘upper caste’ people attacked Dalits when the latter tried to enter a temple in Silgadhi, the district headquarters of Doti on Sunday.

The Dalit have demanded a high-level committee to probe the Doti incident, action against the culprits immediately, compensation and treatment facilities to the injured people, immediate implementation of the historic proclamation of the Parliament and communal security to them.

Link to the article

7:57 AM

Wednesday, September 20, 2006  
Journalists attacked by mob, their lives threatened, while covering activism by "untouchables"

International Freedom of Expression Exchange
18 September 2006

Country/Topic: Nepal
Date: 18 September 2006
Source: Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ)
Person(s): Ganesh Joshi, Dil Bahadur Singh, Min Bahadur Bam, Shankar Thapa, Tekendra Deuba, Siddha Raj Upadhyaya, Rana Bahadur Bohara
Target(s): journalist(s)
Type(s) of violation(s): assaulted , death threat Urgency: Flash

(FNJ/IFEX) - On 17 September 2006, journalists, a group of Dalits (untouchables), and human rights activists from an organization that advocates for the rights of Dalits were all attacked by a mob.

The victims had gone to a Saileshwori temple in Doti, a western region of Nepal, to investigate the alleged mistreatment of Dalit women by the temple priest on 26 August, during Teej, a Hindu women's festival. On 17 September the team reached the temple and admitted the local Dalit women so that they could perform their rites of worship.

According to a press release issued by the FNJ-Doti Chapter, a mob of people, encouraged by the temple priest and officials of the Saileshwori Development Committee, then attacked the visiting group of Dalits, journalists, and rights activists. The mob seized the cameras of, and issued death threats to, local journalists Ganesh Joshi, Dil Bahadur Singh, Min Bahadur Bam, Shankar Thapa, Tekendra Deuba, Siddha Raj Upadhyaya and Rana Bahadur Bohara. The journalists have gone into hiding for fear of their lives.

The FNJ strongly condemns the incident and urges the government to take action against such groups that seek to disrupt social harmony, and to guarantee the security of the threatened journalists.

For further information contact Mr. R. B. Khatry, Executive Director at FNJ, Media Village, Tilganga, Kathmandu, Nepal, tel: +977 1 449 0063, or +977 1 449 3873, fax: +977 1 449 0085, e-mail: fnjnepal@mail.com.np, Internet: http://www.fnjnepal.org

Link to the article

9:43 AM

MPs draw govt attention to Shaileshwori temple incident, demand action against guilty

Kantipur Online
19 September 2006

Drawing the government attention to the ill-treatment of dalits in a Hindu temple in Doti district, members of parliament on Tuesday urged the government to take action against the guilty individuals.

Speaking at today's sitting of the House of Representatives (HoR), MPs demanded that the government bring all the perpetrators to justice, while Khemraj Bhatta Mayalu of the Nepali Congress-Democratic regretted the incident.

Over four dozen dalits were injured, at least 15 seriously, Sunday when a group of non-dalits attacked them as they entered the Shaileshwori temple in Doti district. Even dalit women were injured in the attack.

Raghuji Pant of the CPN-UML demanded the resignation of the Home Minister regarding the incident.

Referring to the intense clashes between dalits and non-dalits, Janak Raj Giri of the Nepali Congress asked the government to bring the "immoral people" to justice.
While Lekhanth Neupane of the Nepali Congress spoke about the increasing levels of anarchy created by a number of protests staged by women, teaching professionals, Narayan Prakash Saud of the NC-D also spoke about the need to bring the dalits into mainstream politics.
Dalits had entered the temple following an agreement last week between representatives of the seven parties, Maoists, civil society, and district administration allowing dalits to enter the temple under the supervision of the district police office. The district administration had reached an agreement with the temple's priest as well.

Speaking during special time at the House, Pradeep Nepal of the CPN-UML questioned the silence of the Home Ministry regarding the delay in making public the whereabouts of the child abducted by two Indian nationals Wokil Ansari and Bhikari Khan, even after they were arrested.

Accusing that Palten Sherpa, who was giving shelter to the child, was released upon phone calls from the Private Secretary of the Home Ministry Prem Prasad Bhattarai, he claimed that the government is not in a mood to bring in the interim statute and hold constituent assembly elections and demanded the prime minister to give up the Defence Ministry portfolio.

Dalit Federation denounces incident
Meanwhile, the National Dalit Federation (NDF) has strongly denounced the Shaileshwori temple incident.

The NDF has also condemned incidents of vandalism in different organizations including the Dalit Women Association, Work Development Centre and the Federation of the Users of Community Forest and the assault on journalists by some rowdy people.

The NDF has demanded that the government investigate the incident thoroughly.
Issuing a press statement, president of NDFD, Satya Narayan Bishwokarma on Tuesday called on the government not to repeat such cases and severely punish those found guilty while providing compensation to the victims.

Link to the article

9:38 AM

Monday, September 18, 2006  
Doti tensed as Dalits entered temple, series of attacks by Hindu Extremists, 60 Dalits and 5 policemen injured

Jagaran Media Center, 18 September 2006

Link to article

As per the understanding of last week in District Administration Office (DAO) of Doti district, between Seven Party Alliance, CPN (Maoists), Civil Society and Dalits, today morning in the direct supervision of DAO and District Police Office (DPO) of Doti, Dalits entered the local Saileswori Temple of Dipayal, Silgadhi. Just after Dalits entered the temple, Hindu Extremists protested this move as slogans against Dalits, vandalizing organizations and attacking them. As a result, almost 60 Dalits have been injured and 2 are in serious condition.

During the protest, Hindu Extremists have shown the extreme form of cruelty and inhumane behaviors. The aggressive mass also vandalized and put fire on EDC and FEDO office accusing them leading this movement. And the same mass also vandalized DAO of Doti. 5 policemen including DSP Moti Singh Dhami have also been injured.

At present, Dipayal – Silgadhi is completely tensed. Dalits are escaping out of the town and have gathered in one safe place. We strongly appeal for their protection and to save their lives.

Despite declaration of House of Representatives (HoR), which was reinstated from the Peoples’ Movement 2006, Nepal as untouchablity free country and the constitution of Nepal, has already defined caste based discrimination as a crime, the violation of national law and declaration of HoR is not at all acceptable to Jagaran Media Center and we highly condemn such activities. Having seeing and analyzing the previous attitude, action and indirect support to the Hindu Extremists by the state in such cases, we have the conclusion that this incident has been repeated.

In 26 August 2006, the priest of Shivalaya temple located at Ward No.: 1 of Dipayal Silgadhi municipality along with few locals misbehaved with Dalit women who were there to worship at the temple in occasion of Teej (a Hindu Festival). And they were not allowed to worship the temple. In the 7th of September 2006, the local non-Dalits protested the same incident and demonstrated in market against Dalits, Dalit organizations, Human Rights Organizations and Defenders and the like. The local administrators were mum when such activity took place.

As a result of discriminating Dalits in the public place and demonstrating promoting caste based discrimination which was against the law, local Dalits organized various programs at local level and submitted a memorandum at DAO demanding action against the perpetrators and assurance that such discriminatory practice will not take place in future. Thereafter, in 17th September 2006, District Administrative Officer coordinating with all concerned parties committed that Dalits are respectfully allowed to enter temple and those practicing discrimination against caste will be prosecuted.

In the days to come, to not repeat such incidents again, state must assure that Dalits will not be discriminated in the basis of their caste in any places. And in the meantime, victims also have to be compensated.

1:18 PM

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