2008 august « samatha india

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2008 august « samatha india

  1. 1. 12/20/13 2008 August « Samatha India Samatha India An online community of dalits. A place for dalit news, articles, issues and links. Archive for August, 2008 THORAT COMMITTEE REPORT on Caste Discrimination in AIIMS Posted by samathain on August 27, 2008 (Siddhartha Kumar) Source: endcampuscasteism.wordpress.com (http://endcampuscasteism.wordpress.com/2008/08/24/thorat-committee-report-caste-discrimination-in-aiims/) THORAT COMMITTEE REPORT Caste Discrimination in AIIMS Published August 24, 2008 Caste Discrimination at AIIMS Economic and Political Weekly June 2, 2007 Thorat Committee Report The country’s premier medical college, the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi was and continues to be the centre of aggressive anti-reservation agitations that began in early 2006. Following harassment from upper caste student groups, the scheduled caste/scheduled tribe (SC/ST) students moved out of their randomly allotted hostel rooms to live in clusters among themselves. When the complaints by these students were reported in the media, the government appointed a committee headed by University Grants Commission chairperson, Sukhdeo Thorat to investigate and report on the matter. The struggle that SC/ST students face to enter premier institutions of higher learning seems mild compared to what they have to put up with later. On top of coping with academic challenges (especially if they are the first among their families to make it to these higher echelons of learning) and a totally unfamiliar environment, many dalit students have to deal with the hostility that comes with being a “reserved category student”. At present there are 55 undergraduate medical students in the reserved category out of a total of 250 undergraduate students and the committee interacted with 25 of them. It began with a very telling experience. Despite requests to display notices about the committee’s meetings, no notices were displayed at prominent places. As a grant-in-aid institution, the AIIMS is expected to comply with all the directives of the government and provide for the constitutionally guaranteed safeguards to the weaker sections. Despite this, there is no grievance redressal mechanism to deal with complaints of non-compliance of constitutional protection or a special cell to help SC/ST students cope with academic, financial and language difficulties. Educational institutions, notes the committee, are required to undertake remedial coaching for the SC/ST students for enhancement of their language skills and also other “catching up programmes”. AIIMS has not done so despite 84 per cent of the SC/ST students saying they need such coaching. Again, the faculty here would have a dominant role to play in the students’ progress, not merely via classroom teaching but also through personal interaction. The examination system in AIIMS has a 50 per cent internal assessment component. Most of the students complained that teachers were inaccessible and plain indifferent towards them. About 85 per cent of them said they samathain.wordpress.com/2008/08/page/6/ 1/88
  2. 2. 12/20/13 2008 August « Samatha India do not get as much time with the examiners as their highercaste counterparts do. Nearly 76 per cent reported that the examiner wanted to know their caste background; about 84 per cent said their caste background was solicited either directly or indirectly. The committee found that over a period of time around 29 SC/ST students have moved from their allotted rooms to be closer to other SC/ST students. The one-month of ragging to which the authorities turn a blind eye is sheer hell for these students since they are publicly subjected to caste-based questions, taunts and jeering. Many of the students said they moved because their rooms would be locked from outside repeatedly while they were in, vulgar abuse would be scrawled on the doors and it would be made clear that this would stop only if they moved to floors where other SC/ST students stayed. They also faced social isolation, refusal to share books and notes and objections to sharing seats in class. While the general messes are open to them, they find it difficult to access the private messes. Again, “casteist” attitudes lead to low participation of these students in cultural events like ‘Pulse’ and sports activities. In short, every aspect of academic life that makes it an enjoyable experience and helps to balance the stress of rigorous studies is fraught with more stress and conflict for the SC/ST students. Nor is the situation better as far as the junior residents (postgraduate students) are concerned. The committee has quoted case histories to show that those who supported the pro-quota movement actively had to suffer for it. It also notes that the AIIMS follows a reservation policy in the selection of junior residents, which is unique, not sanctioned by the constitution or the directives of the central government. As far as the SC/ST faculty are concerned, their written complaints to the committee are of a serious nature, ranging from non-filling of reserved posts to denial of opportunities to develop better skills and gain further experience. In the selection of senior residents and faculty, the post-based roster system is not followed, the liaison office does not deal with their appointments and has not submitted any reports to the government about the institute’s compliance with reservation policy/rules regarding such appointments, as is required by law. Consequently, the reservation policy for students, resident doctors and faculty is dealt with by the administration in an ad hoc manner. The committee has recommended that AIIMS should initiate a dialogue between the faculty and the SC/ST students, take steps to ensure greater interaction between all categories of students, undertake remedial coaching and also deal with the complaints of the faculty. It has also suggested that the AIIMS set up a joint committee of students, residents and faculty to study the social divide on campus. According to the committee, “the AIIMS authority has not recognised the gravity of the social divide that has emerged over a period of time. Neither did it develop any mechanism to check this tendency of caste divide.” Even more serious, a number of representations from the SC/ST students were simply ignored by the authorities. Ensuring admission to institutions of higher learning for the socially discriminated is meaningless if even premier colleges funded by the government do not take even the most basic steps to make this access meaningful (http://www.facebook.com/sharer.php?u=http://samatha.in/2008/08/27/thorat-committee-report-on-caste-discrimination-in-aiims) (http://www.newsvine.com/_wine/save?u=http%3A%2F%2Fsamatha.in%2F2008%2F08%2F27%2Fthorat-committee-report-on-caste-discrimination-inaiims&h=THORAT%20COMMITTEE%20REPORT%20on%20Caste%20Discrimination%20in%20AIIMS) (http://digg.com/submit? phase=2&url=http%3A%2F%2Fsamatha.in%2F2008%2F08%2F27%2Fthorat-committee-report-on-caste-discrimination-inaiims&title=THORAT%20COMMITTEE%20REPORT%20on%20Caste%20Discrimination%20in%20AIIMS) (http://del.icio.us/post? url=http%3A%2F%2Fsamatha.in%2F2008%2F08%2F27%2Fthorat-committee-report-on-caste-discrimination-inaiims&title=THORAT%20COMMITTEE%20REPORT%20on%20Caste%20Discrimination%20in%20AIIMS) (http://www.stumbleupon.com/submit? url=http%3A%2F%2Fsamatha.in%2F2008%2F08%2F27%2Fthorat-committee-report-on-caste-discrimination-inaiims&title=THORAT%20COMMITTEE%20REPORT%20on%20Caste%20Discrimination%20in%20AIIMS) (http://reddit.com/submit? url=http%3A%2F%2Fsamatha.in%2F2008%2F08%2F27%2Fthorat-committee-report-on-caste-discrimination-inaiims&title=THORAT%20COMMITTEE%20REPORT%20on%20Caste%20Discrimination%20in%20AIIMS) samathain.wordpress.com/2008/08/page/6/ (http://www.blinklist.com/index.php? 2/88
  3. 3. 12/20/13 2008 August « Samatha India Action=Blink/addblink.php&Description=&Url=http%3A%2F%2Fsamatha.in%2F2008%2F08%2F27%2Fthorat-committee-report-on-caste-discrimination-inaiims&Title=THORAT%20COMMITTEE%20REPORT%20on%20Caste%20Discrimination%20in%20AIIMS) (http://ma.gnolia.com/bookmarklet/add? url=http%3A%2F%2Fsamatha.in%2F2008%2F08%2F27%2Fthorat-committee-report-on-caste-discrimination-inaiims&title=THORAT%20COMMITTEE%20REPORT%20on%20Caste%20Discrimination%20in%20AIIMS) (http://www.technorati.com/faves? add=http%3A%2F%2Fsamatha.in%2F2008%2F08%2F27%2Fthorat-committee-report-on-caste-discrimination-in-aiims) u=http%3A%2F%2Fsamatha.in%2F2008%2F08%2F27%2Fthorat-committee-report-on-caste-discrimination-inaiims&t=THORAT%20COMMITTEE%20REPORT%20on%20Caste%20Discrimination%20in%20AIIMS) (http://www.furl.net/storeIt.jsp? Posted in Caste Discrimination, Education Issues, Recent News | Tagged: Caste Discrimination, Dalit, Dalit News, india, news | 3 Comments » Karat meets Maya to discuss Third Front Posted by samathain on August 27, 2008 (Siddhartha Kumar) Source: www.deccanherald.com (http://www.deccanherald.com/Content/Aug252008/national2008082586452.asp) Karat meets Maya to discuss Third Front DH News Service, New Delhi: The fact that the CPM has not given up its idea of the Third Front was once again proved on Sunday as Party General Secretary Prakash Karat had a three-hour-long meeting with the BSP supremo Mayawati. Karat avoided the reporters, who were waiting outside Mayawati’s residence. However sources said that the two leaders had discussed the formation of a “national alternative” to the two main parties Congress and BJP. The meeting assumes significance in the wake of Mayawati unilaterally announcing that her party would contest all the 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh. Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief Chandrababu Naidu on Saturday met both Karat and Mayawati to discuss ways to evolve the Third Front. Karat’s meeting with Mayawati on Sunday comes three days after he met Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) leader and former prime minister H D Deve Gowda. In Thursday’s meeting with Gowda, Karat along with Communist Party of India (CPI) leaders A B Bardhan and D Raja discussed the latest political developments in the country and spoke about forming a strong Third front. Absentees However, Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) leader Ajit Singh and Mayawati were absent at that meeting. Om Prakash Chauthala of the Indian National Lok Dal and Naidu of the TDP – two other major constituents of the proposed Third Front – were also not present at the luncheon meeting. (http://www.facebook.com/sharer.php?u=http://samatha.in/2008/08/27/karat-meets-maya-to-discuss-third-front) u=http%3A%2F%2Fsamatha.in%2F2008%2F08%2F27%2Fkarat-meets-maya-to-discuss-third- (http://www.newsvine.com/_wine/save? front&h=Karat%20meets%20Maya%20to%20discuss%20Third%20Front) (http://digg.com/submit? phase=2&url=http%3A%2F%2Fsamatha.in%2F2008%2F08%2F27%2Fkarat-meets-maya-to-discuss-thirdfront&title=Karat%20meets%20Maya%20to%20discuss%20Third%20Front) (http://del.icio.us/post? url=http%3A%2F%2Fsamatha.in%2F2008%2F08%2F27%2Fkarat-meets-maya-to-discuss-thirdfront&title=Karat%20meets%20Maya%20to%20discuss%20Third%20Front) (http://www.stumbleupon.com/submit? url=http%3A%2F%2Fsamatha.in%2F2008%2F08%2F27%2Fkarat-meets-maya-to-discuss-thirdfront&title=Karat%20meets%20Maya%20to%20discuss%20Third%20Front) (http://reddit.com/submit? url=http%3A%2F%2Fsamatha.in%2F2008%2F08%2F27%2Fkarat-meets-maya-to-discuss-thirdfront&title=Karat%20meets%20Maya%20to%20discuss%20Third%20Front) (http://www.blinklist.com/index.php? Action=Blink/addblink.php&Description=&Url=http%3A%2F%2Fsamatha.in%2F2008%2F08%2F27%2Fkarat-meets-maya-to-discuss-thirdfront&Title=Karat%20meets%20Maya%20to%20discuss%20Third%20Front) (http://ma.gnolia.com/bookmarklet/add? url=http%3A%2F%2Fsamatha.in%2F2008%2F08%2F27%2Fkarat-meets-maya-to-discuss-thirdfront&title=Karat%20meets%20Maya%20to%20discuss%20Third%20Front) (http://www.technorati.com/faves? add=http%3A%2F%2Fsamatha.in%2F2008%2F08%2F27%2Fkarat-meets-maya-to-discuss-third-front) u=http%3A%2F%2Fsamatha.in%2F2008%2F08%2F27%2Fkarat-meets-maya-to-discuss-thirdfront&t=Karat%20meets%20Maya%20to%20discuss%20Third%20Front) samathain.wordpress.com/2008/08/page/6/ (http://www.furl.net/storeIt.jsp? 3/88
  4. 4. 12/20/13 2008 August « Samatha India Posted in Mayawati, Recent News | Tagged: Dalit News, india, Mayawati, news | Leave a Comment » No SC/STs in six new IITs this year Posted by samathain on August 26, 2008 (Siddhartha Kumar) Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/No_SCSTs_in_six_new_IITs_this_year/articleshow/3362438.cms) No SC/STs in six new IITs this year 14 Aug 2008, 0138 hrs IST,TNN NEW DELHI/MUMBAI: The six new IITs will not have any SC/ST student this year. The 66 vacancies for them (19 for SCs and 47 for STs) will now be filled next year, over and above the prescribed quota. No decision, however, has been taken on the 68 vacant seats in the Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad and 14 empty slots in IT-BHU (IT school in the Benaras Hindu University). Meanwhile, preparatory classes in the old IITs will be larger than previous years. The number of students admitted to the year-long preparatory course is based on the vacancy of reserved category seats in each discipline in each IIT. As three of the total four seats reserved for Scheduled Tribe students in the chemical engineering stream at IIT-Delhi fell vacant, three ST students will be admitted to the preparatory course. Taking that logic forward, the seven old IITs will admit 163 SC students and 216 ST students to the preparatory course, according to information put out by the joint admission board, and those seats will be considered as filled seats. Dhande and M S Ananth, director of IIT-Madras, hence said, all the reserved seats in the old IITs have been occupied. The preparatory course is a feeder class; it trains quota students for a year to equip them to qualify for the IITs. After a year, these students need to take a test and they are admitted to the IIT only if they clear the test. But the preparatory course will not run in the new institutions which have 66 vacant seats. Recreating the Nehruvian style of institution building, the IITs have also decided to reach out to Indian researchers and engineers abroad to come back and join the new IITs. “In the 1950s, jobs were offered in canteens and offices. We have a goal of hiring 3,000 teachers over the next three years. We have decided to reach out to 50,000 engineers/researche rs all over the world. Even if 500 come, it would be fine,” Sanjay Dhande, director of IIT, Kanpur, said after a meeting of the IIT heads here on Wednesday. He also said it was payback time for the seven old IITs by mentoring the six new ones. Dhande said the vacancies of SC/STs of JEE 2008 in the six new IITs would be made available for the admission exercise of 2009 as a one-time measure. This year, 3.11 lakh students took the JEE for 6,992 seats in 13 IITs. Of these, 414 seats were reserved for ST candidates, but only 159 were shortlisted. Similarly, only 690 were shortlisted for the 832 SC seats. The OBC figures were 1,099 out of 1,134. The IIT directors also said all attempts are being made to ensure the brand equity of the institutes does not get diluted. Dhande said the new IITs had some of the best teachers. “When the existing IITs started in the 1950s, they were mentored by foreign countries. Now we are in a position to mentor the new IITs. We are not cutting corners in ensuring quality. The best existing teachers are going to these institutes,” Dhande said. Ashok Misra, director of IIT, Mumbai, said the 40 shortlisted candidates for faculty positions in IIT, Ahmedabad, were among the best. However, the IIT directors refused to say anything about OBC reservation in the faculty. They said their proposal has been sent to the government. (http://www.facebook.com/sharer.php?u=http://samatha.in/2008/08/26/no-scsts-in-six-new-iits-this-year) (http://www.newsvine.com/_wine/save? u=http%3A%2F%2Fsamatha.in%2F2008%2F08%2F26%2Fno-scsts-in-six-new-iits-this-year&h=No%20SC%2FSTs%20in%20six%20new%20IITs%20this%20year) (http://digg.com/submit?phase=2&url=http%3A%2F%2Fsamatha.in%2F2008%2F08%2F26%2Fno-scsts-in-six-new-iits-thisyear&title=No%20SC%2FSTs%20in%20six%20new%20IITs%20this%20year) samathain.wordpress.com/2008/08/page/6/ (http://del.icio.us/post? 4/88
  5. 5. 12/20/13 2008 August « Samatha India url=http%3A%2F%2Fsamatha.in%2F2008%2F08%2F26%2Fno-scsts-in-six-new-iits-thisyear&title=No%20SC%2FSTs%20in%20six%20new%20IITs%20this%20year) (http://www.stumbleupon.com/submit? url=http%3A%2F%2Fsamatha.in%2F2008%2F08%2F26%2Fno-scsts-in-six-new-iits-thisyear&title=No%20SC%2FSTs%20in%20six%20new%20IITs%20this%20year) (http://reddit.com/submit? url=http%3A%2F%2Fsamatha.in%2F2008%2F08%2F26%2Fno-scsts-in-six-new-iits-thisyear&title=No%20SC%2FSTs%20in%20six%20new%20IITs%20this%20year) (http://www.blinklist.com/index.php? Action=Blink/addblink.php&Description=&Url=http%3A%2F%2Fsamatha.in%2F2008%2F08%2F26%2Fno-scsts-in-six-new-iits-thisyear&Title=No%20SC%2FSTs%20in%20six%20new%20IITs%20this%20year) (http://ma.gnolia.com/bookmarklet/add? url=http%3A%2F%2Fsamatha.in%2F2008%2F08%2F26%2Fno-scsts-in-six-new-iits-thisyear&title=No%20SC%2FSTs%20in%20six%20new%20IITs%20this%20year) (http://www.technorati.com/faves? add=http%3A%2F%2Fsamatha.in%2F2008%2F08%2F26%2Fno-scsts-in-six-new-iits-this-year) (http://www.furl.net/storeIt.jsp? u=http%3A%2F%2Fsamatha.in%2F2008%2F08%2F26%2Fno-scsts-in-six-new-iits-this-year&t=No%20SC%2FSTs%20in%20six%20new%20IITs%20this%20year) Posted in Education Issues, Recent News, Reservations | Tagged: Dalit, Dalit News, IIT, india, news, reservation | Leave a Comment » IITs to ‘carry forward’ vacant SC/ST seats Posted by samathain on August 26, 2008 (Siddhartha Kumar) Source: www.indianexpress.com (http://www.indianexpress.com) JAB we met: IITs to ‘carry forward’ vacant SC/ST seats Express news service Posted online: Thursday, August 14, 2008 at 0112 hrs IST New Delhi, August 13 The IIT Joint Admission Board (JAB), after a marathon meeting in New Delhi on Wednesday on the issue of vacant SC/ST seats, refused to compromise on merit despite pressure from the Human Resource Development Ministry (HRD) and announced that it would not hold preparatory classes for the six new IITs as had been ‘advised’ by the Ministry last week . The JAB has ruled against this re-allocation of seats despite ministry pressure citing logistics-related problems and has said that it will instead ‘carry forward’ the 66 vacant SC/ST seats in new IITs on to the next academic session. The ministry, according to JAB members, is said to have arrived at a consensus with the IIT directors on the issue considering serious infrastructure problems this would entail. “Taking into account various factors like infrastructure, classrooms, faculty and implementation problems, the JAB decided that the preparatory courses for the new IITs will start with Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) 2009. Furthermore, the vacancies of SC/STs of JEE 2008 in the six new IITs shall be made available for the admission exercise of 2009 in the six new IITs as one-time measure,” said the JAB official statement. “The same philosophy shall be applicable to IT-BHU and ISM, Dhanbad. The policy for JAB 2009 shall be finalised in the JAB meeting scheduled to be held at IIT Kharagpur on August 24, 2008,” it added. Prof S G Dhande, Director of IIT Kanpur and acting director of under mentoring IIT Rajasthan, said that with the 66 vacant seats being ‘carried forward’ there would be no net wastage of seats. “While 100 per cent seats have been filled in the existing seven IITs, in the six new IITs, 66 of the 700 seats are vacant this year. Rather than preparatory courses this year for them, we will do it next year when the new IITs are better placed in terms of faculty and infrastructure, ” said Prof S G Dhande. While all IIT directors and directors of IT-BHU and ISM Dhanbad were present at the JAB meeting, the ministry was represented by Additional Secretary Ashok Thakur and Director Seema Raj. While the ministry is said to have expressed concern about seats falling vacant, the IIT directors explained to them how filling these seats and conducting preparatory courses at this stage would cause major infrastructure and seat allocation issues. “The ministry had concerns about these coveted seats going vacant and samathain.wordpress.com/2008/08/page/6/ 5/88
  6. 6. 12/20/13 2008 August « Samatha India we understand that fully. However, we explained to them how we had already started preparatory classes for the existing seven IITs and were just about managing the six new IITs — some functioning jointly with older IITs on their campus and others on temporary campuses elsewhere. So to start preparatory courses for new IITs would mean that JEE would have to put out notices, reallocate these 66 seats to students for all IITs. Some would also have to shift from one campus to another.When the ministry officials were told what the move would entail, they agreed that it should be rolled out next year instead,” said Gautam Barua, director of IIT Guwahati who is the acting director of the under mentoring IIT Patna. (http://www.facebook.com/sharer.php?u=http://samatha.in/2008/08/26/iits-to-carry-forward-vacant-scst-seats-2) u=http%3A%2F%2Fsamatha.in%2F2008%2F08%2F26%2Fiits-to-carry-forward-vacant-scst-seats- (http://www.newsvine.com/_wine/save? 2&h=IITs%20to%20%26lsquo%3Bcarry%20forward%26rsquo%3B%20vacant%20SC%2FST%20seats) (http://digg.com/submit? phase=2&url=http%3A%2F%2Fsamatha.in%2F2008%2F08%2F26%2Fiits-to-carry-forward-vacant-scst-seats2&title=IITs%20to%20%26lsquo%3Bcarry%20forward%26rsquo%3B%20vacant%20SC%2FST%20seats) url=http%3A%2F%2Fsamatha.in%2F2008%2F08%2F26%2Fiits-to-carry-forward-vacant-scst-seats- (http://del.icio.us/post? 2&title=IITs%20to%20%26lsquo%3Bcarry%20forward%26rsquo%3B%20vacant%20SC%2FST%20seats) url=http%3A%2F%2Fsamatha.in%2F2008%2F08%2F26%2Fiits-to-carry-forward-vacant-scst-seats- (http://www.stumbleupon.com/submit? 2&title=IITs%20to%20%26lsquo%3Bcarry%20forward%26rsquo%3B%20vacant%20SC%2FST%20seats) url=http%3A%2F%2Fsamatha.in%2F2008%2F08%2F26%2Fiits-to-carry-forward-vacant-scst-seats- (http://reddit.com/submit? 2&title=IITs%20to%20%26lsquo%3Bcarry%20forward%26rsquo%3B%20vacant%20SC%2FST%20seats) (http://www.blinklist.com/index.php? Action=Blink/addblink.php&Description=&Url=http%3A%2F%2Fsamatha.in%2F2008%2F08%2F26%2Fiits-to-carry-forward-vacant-scst-seats2&Title=IITs%20to%20%26lsquo%3Bcarry%20forward%26rsquo%3B%20vacant%20SC%2FST%20seats) url=http%3A%2F%2Fsamatha.in%2F2008%2F08%2F26%2Fiits-to-carry-forward-vacant-scst-seats- (http://ma.gnolia.com/bookmarklet/add? 2&title=IITs%20to%20%26lsquo%3Bcarry%20forward%26rsquo%3B%20vacant%20SC%2FST%20seats) (http://www.technorati.com/faves? add=http%3A%2F%2Fsamatha.in%2F2008%2F08%2F26%2Fiits-to-carry-forward-vacant-scst-seats-2) u=http%3A%2F%2Fsamatha.in%2F2008%2F08%2F26%2Fiits-to-carry-forward-vacant-scst-seats2&t=IITs%20to%20%26lsquo%3Bcarry%20forward%26rsquo%3B%20vacant%20SC%2FST%20seats) (http://www.furl.net/storeIt.jsp? Posted in Education Issues, Recent News, Reservations | Tagged: Dalit, Dalit News, IIT, india, Reservations | Leave a Comment » Being a Dalit in India: Facts and Figures Posted by samathain on August 26, 2008 Source: RupeeNews (http://rupeenews.com/2008/07/27/dalit-in-india-facts-and-figures/) Dalits live inhumanely, face torture, arbitrary arrest and extra-judicial execution every day in India. Below are some of the reports on their plight. Human Rights Watch Report: http://reddit.com/goto?id=1ngkj (http://reddit.com/goto?id=1ngkj) US Congress resolution: http://www.rediff.com/news/2007/may/03touch.htm (http://www.rediff.com/news/2007/may/03touch.htm) Saxena report on Dalit Situation: http://www.nhrc.nic.in/Publications/reportKBSaxena.pdf (http://www.nhrc.nic.in/Publications/reportKBSaxena.pdf) Click this URL to learn about what you can do (http://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?formkey=dDhwV2o4SWdhWFpISGhQTnFYRHNRU3c6MA). Every 18 minutes: A crime is committed against a Dalit Every day: 3 Dalit women are raped 2 Dalits are murdered & 2 Dalits Houses are burnt in India 11 Dalits are beaten Every week: 13 Dalits are murdered samathain.wordpress.com/2008/08/page/6/ 6/88
  7. 7. 12/20/13 2008 August « Samatha India 5 Dalits home or possessions are burnt 6 Dalits are kidnapped or abducted (http://moinansari.files.wordpress.com/2008/06/dalit-discrimination-in-india.gif)Social and Economic condition of Dalits: 37 percent of Dalits living below poverty in India More than half (54%) of their children are undernourished in India 83 per 1000 live birth children born in Dalit community are probability of dying before the first birthday 45 percent of Dalits do not know read and write in India Dalits women burden double discrimination (gender and caste) in India Only 27 percent of Dalits women give institutional deliveries in India About one third of Dalit households do not have basic facilities Public health workers refused to visit Dalit homes in 33% of villages Dalits were prevented from entering police station in 27.6% of villages Dalit children had to sit separately while eating in 37.8% of Govt. schools Dalits didn’t get mail delivered to their homes in 23.5% of villages Dalits were denied access to water sources in 48.4% of villages because of segregation & untouchabilty practices Half of India’s Dalit children are undernourished, 21% are severely underweight & 12% DIE before their 5th birthday Literacy rates for Dalit women are as low as 37.8% In Rural India (http://moinansari.files.wordpress.com/2007/12/dalits-in-india-4.jpg) Status of Prevention of Atrocities Act: The conviction rate under SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act is 15.71% and pendency is as high as 85.37%. This when the Act has strict provisions aimed as a deterrent. By contrast, conviction rate under IPC is over 40% On actual crime committed against Dalits (http://moinansari.files.wordpress.com/2008/06/caste-discriminaiton-in-india6.jpg) “Even the reports prepared by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and placed before Parliament contain merely factual information received from States about registration and disposal of cases; various administrative arrangements made for the function of the Act and funds spent, without any meaningful analysis of the performance of the States which could form the basis for making corrective interventions.” ”Under-reporting of Atrocities Act cases is a very common phenomenon and therefore the decline in the number of registered cases does not provide a true picture of the incidence of atrocities.” (http://moinansari.files.wordpress.com/2008/06/dalit-discrimination-in-india-3.gif) “A large number of cases which deserve to be registered under Protection of Civil Rights Act or the SCs & STs (Prevention of Atrocities) Act are not actually registered under these Acts, either due to ignorance of law or under pressure from the interested parties. Investigations in even those limited number of cases is often earned out in a slipshod manner and with considerable delay.” samathain.wordpress.com/2008/08/page/6/ 7/88
  8. 8. 12/20/13 2008 August « Samatha India (http://moinansari.files.wordpress.com/2008/06/dalit-discrimination-in-india-2.gif) Source: National Human Rights Commission Report on the Prevention and Atrocities against Scheduled Castes f (http://www.nhrc.nic.in/Publications/reportKBSaxena.pdf)http://www.nhrc.nic.in/Publications/reportKBSaxena.pd (http://www.nhrc.nic.in/Publications/reportKBSaxena.pdf) Posted by Isha Khan, bdmailer@gmail.com (mailto:bdmailer@gmail.com) Click this URL to learn about what you can do (http://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?formkey=dDhwV2o4SWdhWFpISGhQTnFYRHNRU3c6MA). (http://www.facebook.com/sharer.php?u=http://samathain.wordpress.com/2008/08/26/being-a-dalit-in-india-facts-and-figures) (http://www.newsvine.com/_wine/save?u=http%3A%2F%2Fsamathain.wordpress.com%2F2008%2F08%2F26%2Fbeing-a-dalit-in-india-facts-andfigures&h=Being%20a%20Dalit%20in%20India%3A%20Facts%20and%20Figures) (http://digg.com/submit? phase=2&url=http%3A%2F%2Fsamathain.wordpress.com%2F2008%2F08%2F26%2Fbeing-a-dalit-in-india-facts-andfigures&title=Being%20a%20Dalit%20in%20India%3A%20Facts%20and%20Figures) (http://del.icio.us/post? url=http%3A%2F%2Fsamathain.wordpress.com%2F2008%2F08%2F26%2Fbeing-a-dalit-in-india-facts-andfigures&title=Being%20a%20Dalit%20in%20India%3A%20Facts%20and%20Figures) (http://www.stumbleupon.com/submit? url=http%3A%2F%2Fsamathain.wordpress.com%2F2008%2F08%2F26%2Fbeing-a-dalit-in-india-facts-andfigures&title=Being%20a%20Dalit%20in%20India%3A%20Facts%20and%20Figures) (http://reddit.com/submit? url=http%3A%2F%2Fsamathain.wordpress.com%2F2008%2F08%2F26%2Fbeing-a-dalit-in-india-facts-andfigures&title=Being%20a%20Dalit%20in%20India%3A%20Facts%20and%20Figures) (http://www.blinklist.com/index.php? Action=Blink/addblink.php&Description=&Url=http%3A%2F%2Fsamathain.wordpress.com%2F2008%2F08%2F26%2Fbeing-a-dalit-in-india-facts-andfigures&Title=Being%20a%20Dalit%20in%20India%3A%20Facts%20and%20Figures) (http://ma.gnolia.com/bookmarklet/add? url=http%3A%2F%2Fsamathain.wordpress.com%2F2008%2F08%2F26%2Fbeing-a-dalit-in-india-facts-andfigures&title=Being%20a%20Dalit%20in%20India%3A%20Facts%20and%20Figures) (http://www.technorati.com/faves? add=http%3A%2F%2Fsamathain.wordpress.com%2F2008%2F08%2F26%2Fbeing-a-dalit-in-india-facts-and-figures) u=http%3A%2F%2Fsamathain.wordpress.com%2F2008%2F08%2F26%2Fbeing-a-dalit-in-india-facts-andfigures&t=Being%20a%20Dalit%20in%20India%3A%20Facts%20and%20Figures) (http://www.furl.net/storeIt.jsp? Posted in Dalit Issues | Tagged: Dalit, Dalit Issues | 18 Comments » Tribal India News – a compilation Posted by samathain on August 25, 2008 [ Jharkhand yahoo group (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Jharkhand)] TRIBALS – 2007 (Updated Upto October – 2007) Compiled by K. Samu, Human Rights Documentation, Indian Social Institute, Lodi Road, New Delhi samathain.wordpress.com/2008/08/page/6/ 8/88
  9. 9. 12/20/13 2008 August « Samatha India Tribals to leave for Kalinganagar rally (6) BERHAMPUR: Tribals and peasants from districts of South Orissa have started arriving in the city to get united to start their journey to attend the rally at Kalinganagar on January 2 to commemorate the first anniversary of the death of tribals opposed to displacement in police firing there last year..The All India Kisan Mazdoor Sabha (AIKMS) andLok Sangram Manch are organising these rural activists in Berhampur so that they can reach Kalinganagar in an organised manner. According to B.C.Sadangi, the national commitee member of the AIKMS, around 1500 activists from districts of south Orissa would gather in Berhampur by Sunday night to start for Kalinganagar on Monday. (The Hindu 1/1/07) Tribute paid to victims at Kalinga Nagar (6) Kalinga Nagar (Orissa), Jan. 2: Thousands of tribal people, nearly half of them women, on Tuesday gathered at Ambagadia village near here, to pay tribute to 13 of their fellowmen who were gunned down by the police during a displacement protest rally on this day last year. The congregation included over 5,000 delegates from neighbouring Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal and Bihar. The tribals were killed as the police opened fire on them when they opposed the construction of boundary walls for Tata Steel’s proposed six million tonne steel plant. Thirteen stone pillars erected at Ambagadia in memory of the dead were formally unveiled. Although a year has elapsed since the incident, normalcy is yet to return here. Chief minister Navin Patnaik has not yet visited Kalinga Nagar. The chief minister apprehends his trip to the area might create anger among the affected tribals and result in widespread agitations in the area. Interestingly, the Patnaik government has been projecting Kalinga Nagar as the steel hub. “The government has stopped all dialogue with us after we had one with the chief minister six months ago. All promises including withdrawal of cases against the tribals are forgotten. It’s the government and not us who created this situation in Kalinga Nagar and people anywhere will rise in revolt whenever the government behaves in such fashion,” leader of Bisthapan Virodhi Janmanch Ravi Jarika said. (Asian Age 3/1/07) Tribals vow to oppose displacement (6) KALINGA NAGAR: Thousands of tribals who attended a public meeting here on Tuesday to pay tributes to the 13 persons killed in police firing in this industrial township in Orissa’s Jajpur district on January 2 last year announced that they would oppose displacement across the country. No cultivable or forest land should be handed over to private companies to set up industries or special economic zones either in Orissa or any other part of the country, the tribals said. Alleging that the existing resettlement and rehabilitation policies were `pro-industry,’ those present at the meeting vowed to continue their struggle against displacement that was making people sacrifice their land and livelihood sources. More than 10,000 tribals and members of pro-tribal mass organisations and political outfits from Orissa, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra attended the meeting. They demanded that all States and the Centre stop transfer of tribal land in scheduled areas and other areas to non-tribals and restore all unlawful alienation of land. To ensure this, stringent provisions should be incorporated into the State and Central regulations. The meeting was organised by the Bisthapan Virodhi Janmanch, which has been spearheading the anti-displacement agitation in Kalinga Nagar since the police firing. The police opened fire when the tribals were agitating against the construction of a boundary wall for a Tata Steel project. About the ongoing agitation by the tribals against the project, the meeting decided no to allow the plant to come up in the area. (The Hindu 3/1/07) Workshop for tribal youths held (6) BERHAMPUR: To save the tribals from the corrupt practices during coming panchayat polls, a workshop for tribal youths was organised at Paralakhemundi in Gajapati district on Monday by the organisation, Mahila Vikas Samity. Sub-divisional panchayat officer of paralakhemundi, Chandrasekhar Moharana, director of the Orissa Tribal Empowerment Project, Gopabandhu Das and others addressed the workshop. (The Hindu 9/1/07) Tribals oppose steel projects (6) JAMSHEDPUR: Expressing their opposition to greenfield steel plants proposed to be set up by two industrial groups in Jharkhand’s East Singhbhum district, tribal groups staged a protest here on Tuesday and resolved they would not allow “a repeat of Nandigram” in the State. Led by heads of about 30 villages in Potaka block, the tribals, including children and women, brandished bows and arrows and shouted slogans during the protest outside the Deputy Commissioner’s office hereThe tribals are opposed to the proposed projects of Jindal and Bhusan business groups. (The Hindu 10/1/07) CM for Rs 30 cr sops to MP tribals (6) Bhopal, Jan. 11: Having already given government employees a new year windfall and lakhs of pensioners a reason to smile, Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan offered a slew of sops worth Rs 30 crore annually for the state’s sizeable tribal populace. The announcements were made at an “adivasi panchayat” organised at Mr Chauhan’s residence earlier this week. Provision for the funding, he said, would be made in the next Budget. The panchayat was attended by over 2,000 tribal representatives and leaders from all parts of the state. Among the sops announced was provision of TV sets with direct-to-home (DTH) broadcast facility to all tribal student hostels in the state, hike in scholarship, free toiletries, uniforms, bags and books for school going children, gift of at least three milk-giving livestock to all families in 11 tribal-dominated districts under the Kaamdhenu project, housing facilities under the Mukhya Mantri Awaas Yojana for those living below the poverty line and those staying in the state capital, kisan credit cards for farmers, conversion of all forest villages into revenue villages and undertaking of samathain.wordpress.com/2008/08/page/6/ 9/88
  10. 10. 12/20/13 2008 August « Samatha India timely land surveys in rural areas, grant of land-owning pattas to all tribals staying in forest areas, adivasis living in Dindori an Umaria were promised a polytechnic each in their district. Mr Chauhan also promised to initiate development projects worth Rs 250 crore in adivasi areas. This would include opening of 25 new health centres and 50 sub-health centres and alternative drinking water facilities in over 3,000 habitats. State government sources said, the key to winning the confidence of tribals lay in granting land lease rights to those who were tilling the land till as late as 2005. Linked to it was the conversion of forest villages into revenue villages. This would give them the privilege of land ownership and inoculate them against the danger of being driven out of their holdings. Presidential assent to the amendments made in the Forest Conservation Act, 1980, recently passed by the Parliament was awaited. The sources argued that though there was a lurking fear in many quarters that forest areas could be effectively denuded of their green cover (which was not entirely unjustified), granting tribals land-holding rights on the soil they laboured was overdue. The process of the above “conversion” had been begun by former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee. The good thing was that since Assembly polls were still two years away, nobody could claim that the sops had an electoral motive. (Asian Age 12/1/07) Tribals in no mood to end blockade (6) BHUBANESWAR: Despite High Court’s directive to the State Government to remove the blockade from National Highway No. 200 at Kalinga Nagar, the Jajpur district administration has not been able to implement the order so far. With the administration failing to convince the agitating tribals to end their agitation, the deadlock continues. The tribals who have been spearheading the agitation since the police firing on January 2 last year are in no mood to remove the blockade. The office-bearers of Visthapan Virodhi Janmanch, the organisation which has been spearheading the agitation, are of the view that they would not lift the blockade till the Government fulfilled their demands. In its order passed on January 5, a division bench of the High Court had directed the State Government “to take effective steps for removal of the blockade over the said highway immediately”. In their efforts to pacify the tribals, the district authorities had held a meeting with some representatives of the Janmanch on Wednesday. However, the Janmanch people sought time for a full-fledged meeting at a later date. “We are trying our best to implement the High Court by persuading the tribals to remove the blockade,” Jajpur Superintendent of Police Asit Panigrahi said. Mr. Panigrahi said the next meeting with the tribals was likely to take place on January 17 or 18 to sort out the matter. “We are hopeful that the tribals would agree for removal of the blockade in view of the High Court order,” he said. Although the High Court has made it clear in its order that the district administration was at liberty to take appropriate measures under the law to remove the blockade, the authorities are so far restraining themselves from using force to clear the blockade as the same may aggravate the situation. The tribals have been blocking the highway since last year demanding action against the officials who were present during the police firing in which 13 tribal men and women were killed while opposing construction of the boundary wall for a proposed steel project of Tata Steel. (The Hindu 13/1/07) Lower castes are genetically closer (6) Hyderabad, Jan. 14: People belonging to lower castes are genetically closer to tribal groups then they are to upper castes, a study conducted by the Hyderabad-based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) has discovered. Experts from the CCMB believe that this adds credence to the theory that lower castes emerged from tribal populations. A senior scientist at the centre, Dr Kumarasamy Thangaraj, said the origin of the caste system in India has been the subject of heated debate among anthropologists and historians. Many of them had suggested that the caste system began with the arrival of speakers of Indo European languages from Central Asia about 3,500 years ago. “However, there has been no consensus on this so far,” he added. In the latest study, CCMB scientists analysed the Y-chromosome and mitochondrial DNA of three tribal populations of southern India and compared the results with the available data from across the Indian subcontinent. They did not find any significant difference in mitochondrial DNA among Indian tribal and caste populations. On the other hand, the study of the Y-chromosome lineage revealed distinct distribution patterns among caste and tribal populations. “The paternal lineage of Indian lower castes shows closer affinity to the tribal populations than to upper castes,” said Dr Thangaraj. A significant aspect of the study is that its Y-SNP data provides compelling genetic evidence for the tribal origin of the lower caste populations. It gives substance to the theory that lower caste groups may have emerged from hierarchical divisions existing within the tribal groups much before the arrival of the Aryans. Indo-Europeans may have established themselves as upper castes over this already developed caste-like class structure within the tribes. Indian society has been subject to multiple waves of migration in historic and prehistoric times. The first was the ancient Palaeolithic migration by early humans. This was followed by the early Neolithic migration, probably of proto-Dravidian speakers. About 3,500 years ago, the Indo-European speakers arrived. “Indian tribal and caste populations emerge from the genetic heritage of Pleistocene southern and western Asians,” said Dr Thangaraj. “At the same time, the paternal lineage of Indian castes is more closely related to the Central Asians.” (Asian Age 15/1/07) K Nagar solution not likely before April (6) Bhubaneswar : Even though the Visthapan Virodhi Jan Manch has expressed its keenness to hold talks with the State Government in the wake of the recent Orissa High Court direction for withdrawal of the yearlong road blockade at Kalinga Nagar, there seems to be a remote possibility of the blockade on National Highway-200 coming to an end before April. This is indicated in a letter sent by the Jan Manch to the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. The tribal leaders have apparently given a veiled message to the State administration that they would not lift the road blockade unless their three-point charter of demands are fulfilled. But the question is that whether the Government could meet the demands to pave the way of samathain.wordpress.com/2008/08/page/6/ 10/88
  11. 11. 12/20/13 2008 August « Samatha India lifting of the blockade. The tribals’ demands are: (1) the then District Collector Saswat Mishra and SP Binaytosh Mishra must be prosecuted. The Government must initiate criminal proceedings against the officers under Section 302 (murder) of IPC for the killing of 13 tribals. (2) All types of cases against tribals, including those on murder charges, must be withdrawn. The criminal cases have been filed against more than 100 people in the wake of the January 2, 2006 police-firing incident, in which the tribals were killed. (3) The Government at the “highest level” must declare that there should be no more displacement in the Kalinga Nagar area. However, sources said that the Government is in no mood to fulfil the demands. “This is because it is impossible to withdraw charges like murder, arson and rioting,” said a senior official. This apart, the Government also cannot initiate proceedings against the then SP and Collector due to the simple reason that they were asked to ensure the land acquisition and also because a judicial commission is inquiring into the incident. If the Government starts a dialogue with the agitating tribals in January itself, it will automatically take some time, at least 15 days, to persuade them not to press for their demands. This may linger the road blockade lifting process till February. Thereafter, a senior officer pointed out, the Government cannot spare time because it would remain busy in panchayat polls till March-end. (Pioneer 16/1/07) ST woman’s poll papers ‘torn by BJD supporters’ (6) Kendrapara : Some BJD supporters on Monday allegedly tore the nomination paper of a Scheduled Tribe woman, Uma Pata, who was filing her nomination on behalf of the Congress for the post of Panchayat Samiti member for Chandiagadia Gram Panchayat at Aul block office. The BJD supporters also allegedly attacked her supporters. According to police sources, as Patra was about to file her candidature, BJD supporters, allegedly led by Bhisma Mohanty, came to the block office and forcibly took the nomination paper from her and tore it. District Congress president Debendra Sharma said the post of the Panchayat Samiti member is reserved for ST women at Chandiagadi GP and Patra was the only candidate. Official sources, however, said Patra was not allowed to file her paper by the BDO because she arrived late for filing the nomination. Tension prevailed in the bock office premises as supporters of both parties attacked each other. Police force was deployed there to avert any untoward incident. Patra, along with Sharma and her supporters, lodged an FIR at Aul Police Station against the BJD supporters. The police were conducting an inquiry into matter, but no arrest has been made so far, informed OIC of Aul PS Subash Panda. The matter has also been brought to the notice of the District Magistrate, SP, the State Election Commission and the State Government. (Pioneer 16/1/07) Jharkhand Ministers patronise tradition of cock fights (6) Ranchi : Cockfight is inextricably associated with the tribal tradition of Jharkhand and even these days it is a big medium of entertainment. On Sunday two Jharkhand Ministers were busy in cockfight in the steel city of Jamshedpur. Jharkhand Deputy Chief Minister Sudhir Mahto and Land and Revenue Minister Dulal Bhuiya were encouraging their fowl to dominate on other and hurt them. They were not cockfight watchers. Rather they were keeping the cock and pushing them to fight. Mahto was attired in a typical India politician Dhoti and Kurta and Bhuiya was in trousers and coat. It seems that both the Ministers who belong to Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) were easing their tension as their chief Shibu Soren is cooling his heels in a murder cases. They declined to comment about their interest when media persons queried about the fight. Cockfighting is a tradition of tribal society for times immemorial. It is popular in many parts of the State and people take the fight as a big medium of entertainment. They like to watch the method of attack of the fowl on each other and love and enjoy the injuries caused to the rival fowls. The game ends when a fowl dies or sustains serious injuries in the fight. In Ramgarh the fight is still part and parcel of tribal people. Before the final fight the cocks are prepared for it. “Before the scheduled fight we keep the cock in a dark room for one week. Cocks are kept in dark to ignite their anger. And on the day of fight no food is served to them so that their anger goes on its peak,” said Shivanandan, owner of a cock. He said “cloves are given to cocks keep them warm. The fight continues till one cock sustains serious injuries or dies.” Owners of these cocks say that the foul which are used for fighting are kept away from the groups. They are prepared to gain stamina and strength to defeat the opponent. During a fight the sharp knives are fitted on the legs of the cocks to hurt the opponent. They are taught the ways to attack and to defend during fight. “I regularly watch cockfights. It gives us immense pleasure and we enjoy the fight. This is our medium of entertainment,” said Ganesh Kumar, a resident of Ramgarh. Animal lovers oppose such fights but when lawmakers are involved in such fights then who will dare to prevent the game. (Pioneer 16/1/07) Jharkhand to take up tribal seats issue with PM, President (6) Ranchi ; The Jharkhand Government has decided to approach Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President APJ Abdul Kalam over recommendation of the delimitation commission to reduce the number of tribal seats in the Assembly. The Delimitation Commission in its recommendation has said that the reserved tribal seats in Jharkhand Assembly should be reduced to 21 from the existing 28. Leaders across party lines have agreed to approach the PM and President over the issue and request them not to implement the recommendation. The leaders of all the political parties are unanimous about the number of seats but mudslinging has also started on the issue. “Former Chief Minister Arjun Munda had not taken the issue seriously and he did not feel right to approach the Prime Minister and President over the issue,” said Chief Minister Madhu Koda. The Tribal Advisory Committee (TAC) meeting held in Ranchi on Tuesday authorised the Chief Minister to take up the issue with the PM and President. The meeting expressed concern over the recommendation and demanded that Jharkhand should be given status like Tripura where the number of reserved seats did not change even if the tribal population goes down. “In 1951 the number of reserved seats in the Assembly was 32, which was reduced to 28 in 1971 and now it is to be reduce to 21. If this trend continues then in future there will be no reserved seats for the tribal people,” said Koda. The TAC members wanted the same number of reserved seats even if the population declines. “The recommendation of the Delimitation Commission is a matter of serious concern. A law samathain.wordpress.com/2008/08/page/6/ 11/88
  12. 12. 12/20/13 2008 August « Samatha India should be framed to protect the reserved seats for the tribal people,” said former Chief Minister Babulal Marandi. Taking a dig at his own Government, senior BJP leader Karia Munda said, “I was never consulted on the issue. A team of Ministers was formed during the NDA regime but what they did I could not tell.” Even BJP tribal legislators are unhappy with their previous Government. “The silence of our two Chief Ministers caused the problem,” said Ramchandra Baitha, a BJP legislator. (Pioneer 18/1/07) Report recommends withdrawal of Salwa Judum (6) NEW DELHI: Attributing the significant increase in incidence of violence against women in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewara district to Salwa Judum, the Committee Against Violence On Women (CAVOW) has called for a review of the Government’s counter-insurgency strategy. Salwa Judum was initiated by the Government in June 2005 as a people’s movement against terrorism and naxalism. In a report `Salwa Judum and Violence on Women in Dantewara’, the group has documented cases of violence and abuse against women in the State. The report, submitted to the National Commission for Women, highlights the atrocities perpetrated by the Salwa Judum activists. Released here on Thursday by writer-activist Arundhati Roy, the report points out the absence of health and education facilities in the district. Speaking at the release function, Ms. Roy said, “This is a disturbing document and the business of setting up vigilante groups is infusing the country with violence.” She criticised the Government’s policies and said, “We are entering an era where we have to become a police or an army state and they will become the implementers of the great Indian growth rate dream.” Ms. Roy was also critical of the Special Economic Zones being set up and agricultural land being given to corporates at subsidised rates. Referring to the report, convenor of CAVOW Shoma Sen said, “At the initiation of CAVOW, a team visited the area between September 30 and November 18, 2006, to investigate the conditions of safety, security, life and livelihood of tribal women.” Claiming that Salwa Judum, which was built for restoring peace in the area has instead proved to be a violent institution, CAVOW member and researcher Ilina Sen said, “Women have been raped and molested, dole being given out to people is insufficient, ration does not last for the whole week, international organisations working out of the area have documented that there is malnutrition and hunger, minors are being recruited as Special Police Officers and under-trial women in jails are victims of sexual abuse.” Echoing the view that Salwa Judum has failed to deliver, NCW Chairperson Prof. Malini Bhattacharya said: “Strange things are happening there in the wake of Salwa Judum. Villages are deserted and whatever little civic amenities are available are in the relief camps, SPOs are underage and have been alienated from normal life. Though we have no direct evidence of violence against women, our team met women lodged in prisons who have been abused. These village women claim they have been accused of having links with naxals.” (The Hindu 19/1/07) Tribals attack two surveyors (6) Bhubaneswar, Jan. 18: Orissa’s steel hub Kalinga Nagar is once again in tur moil. Two people, who reportedly claimed to be land surveyors appointed by a leading steel firm, were injured as tribals attacked them on , Wednesday evening. The district administration was not aware of the pres ence of any survey team in the volatile area. “No prior intimation was given to us. This is a troubled area and the industrial house concerned is .responsible for such recklessness,” said a harried senior district offi cer. There was utter confu sion over who had engaged the Geo Designers, a survey organisation, to work on land that had been allotted to Maharashtra Seamless. However, Maharashtra Seamless had abandoned the area after persistent law and order problems and the same plot was to be allotted to the Tatas. While agitated locals and the district authorities said the survey ors were working for the Tatas, the company sources insisted that they too were unaware of the team’s pres ence on the spot on Wednes day. The fresh incident, ironically, comes within 24 hours of a high-level meet ing held on Tuesday in Bhubaneswar where Kalinga Nagar industrialists had raised issues of law and order and the Orissa govern ment had assured them of a proper working atmosphere. The Wednesday incident took place when five people reached Kalamatia village in the Kalinga Nager Industrial Complex area on Wednes day afternoon and started some work, including alleged blasting of a broken abandoned structure. Hearing noise, people rushed to the spot and assaulted the survey team. While two of the team sus tained injuries, three others, including driver of the vehi cle, fled from the spot. (Asian Age 19/1/07) Naveen calls tribals for dialogue (6) BHUBANESWAR: Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday offered to hold talks with the agitating tribals of Kalinga Nagar, the upcoming industrial hub in Jajpur district of the State. The dialogue between the Chief Minister and representatives of the Visthapan Virodhi Janmanch will take place on January 31 “without any pre-condition.” The talks will be held at the State Secretariat. The Janmanch has been continuing with its road blockade agitation on the Daitari-Paradip national highway at Kalinga Nagar since January 2 last year when 13 tribals were killed in police firing while opposing construction of the boundary wall for the proposed steel plant of Tata Steel. A letter about Mr. Patnaik’s readiness to hold talks with the Kalinga Nagar tribals was sent from the Chief Minister’s Office to Jajpur district Collector Arabinda Kumar Padhee on Wednesday. Mr. Padhee has been asked to inform about Mr. Patnaik’s decision to the Janmanch leaders. “The Visthapan Virodhi Janmanch is welcome to have discussion on any issue without any pre-condition,” the letter from the Chief Minister’s Office said. Secretary of the Janmanch Rabindra Jarika had earlier written a letter to Mr. Patnaik expressing the organisation’s readiness for a meaningful and sincere discussion that could lead to an “appropriate settlement of the issue.” Expressing apprehension that the district administration may resort to use of force for lifting the road blockade in view of the recent High Court order asking the government to put an end to the roadblock agitation, Mr. Jarika had warned that the authorities should not take any step that would make the people lose their faith in the government. (The Hindu 25/1/07) samathain.wordpress.com/2008/08/page/6/ 12/88
  13. 13. 12/20/13 2008 August « Samatha India Jailed tribal leader’s wife cries foul (6) Koraput: “My husband is not a naxalite,” says Nachika Tikai, wife of Nachika Linga. Leader of Chasi Muli, an organisation fighting for the land rights of tribals at Podapadar panchayat in Narayanapatna block of Koraput district, Nachika Linga was arrested by the police on the charge of having connections with naxalites, she told a team of journalists at Podapadar. “Being a leader of the masses, landlords perceived threat from him,” she said, and added that he was only part of the movement creating awareness among people on land rights. Rabindra Linga, the 10-year-old son of Nachika Linga, pleaded for release of his father. (The Hindu 25/1/07) Panel frowns at neglect of tribals (6) THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Scheduled Tribes Commission chairperson Kunwar Singh has taken exception to what he terms relative neglect of Scheduled Tribes by the State Government. Mr. Singh, who visited tribal hamlets in different parts of Kerala, told a news conference here on Wednesday that the benefits of various welfare schemes meant for Scheduled Tribes were not reaching the target group. He had visited Kerala under the impression that being highly literate, the State might be providing better protection to the tribal population as compared to other parts of India, but he had found the situation in the hamlets deplorable, Mr. Kunwar Singh said. He said the tribal hamlets were lacking in proper medical facilities, drinking water supply, power and roads. Many of the tribes were finding it difficult to cultivate in their lands as the land they had in possession was not cultivable. There was also large-scale alienation of tribal lands. On top of all this, the Government had imposed taxes on them. The Government should devise schemes for better land utilisation by the tribal population and to provide more credit to them from the cooperative sector, he said. Mr. Kunwar Singh pointed out that even students from Scheduled Tribes with high marks in the qualifying examinations were not getting adequate number of seats for MBBS courses as the cut-off marks of entrance examinations had been fixed at a higher level. The Madhya Pradesh Government had lowered the cut-off mark of entrance examinations in the case of Scheduled Tribes. Kerala could also examine whether this could be done, he added. He regretted the failure of representatives of several State departments to attend the review meeting he had convened to discuss the problems faced by the Scheduled Tribes. Although all the departments were supposed to send their representatives to the meeting, only Tribal, Health and Excise Departments were represented at the meeting. This showed the attitude of the bureaucracy towards the problems of the Scheduled Tribes, Mr. Kunwar Singh said. (The Hindu 25/1/07) Tribals agree to come for talks (6) BHUBANESWAR: The agitating tribals of Kalinga Nagar on Saturday decided to hold a formal dialogue with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on January 31. The decision was taken at a meeting of the Visthapan Virodhi Janmanch, the organisation that has been spearheading the agitation since January 2 last year. However, sources in official circles said the Janmanch leaders might take a rigid stand on their demands when they finally come for discussion and the dialogue may not achieve the expected results. But Jajpur district Collector Arabinda Kumar Padhee said the administration was hopeful of a peaceful resolution of the issue. “We are expecting a positive outcome,” he said. The Janmanch had earlier written a letter to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik expressing its willingness to hold talks with the government at the highest political level in the wake of a High Court order directing the government to remove the road blockade on Daitari-Paradip highway near Kalinga Nagar. Responding to the Janmanch offer, the Chief Minister’s Office had written a letter through the district Collector that Mr. Patnaik was ready to hold dialogue to put an end to the agitation. The Janmanch had been continuing with the road blockade agitation since 13 tribals were killed in police firing last year while opposing construction of a boundary wall for a proposed steel of Tata Steel. (The Hindu 28/1/07) Minister visits Adivasi Mela (6) Bhubaneswar : Good sense at last prevails on SC and ST Minister Chaitanyaa Prasad Majhi. On Monday, he visited the all the stalls at the Adivasi Mela. Majhi went there at afternoon and moved around all the stalls for around one and half hour. Sources said as Majhi did not go the stall on the inaugural day on the Republic Day, tribals expressed their resentment. It is a customary that the SC and ST Minister should visit all the stalls and encourage the tribals, who have come form far-flung areas to the State Capital to show case their rich culture and tradition. The tribals also gifted some items to the ministers. Majhi also purchased some items from the Adivasi Mela. (Pioneer 30/1/07) Miscarriage, stillbirths after uranium mining (6) Jadugoda (Jharkhand), Jan. 29: Several hundred adivasis in Jharkhand are reportedly paying an extremely heavy price for India’s nuclear ambitions. A visit to Jadugoda village, 35 km from the steel city of Jamshedpur, in Jharkhand’s East Singhbhum district makes that evident. In Jadugoda, home of the country’s first uranium mine, where the Uranium Corporation of India Ltd (UCIL) started mining in 1967, almost each and every family is suffering from mental and physical disorders of one or the other kind. Women over 30 are about to turn barren. An extensive study conducted by the Jharkhand Organisation Against Radiation (JOAR) a few years back, one of the few such exercises to be conducted in the tribal heartland, threw up hair-raising figures. Some 47 per cent of women living close to the uranium mines reported disruptions in their menstrual cycle while another 18 per cent adivasi women had sudden miscarriages and stillbirths. It was also reported that around 30 per cent of adivasis reported some sort of problem in conception, while a majority of local women complained of fatigue, weakness and depression. Children are next. Five-year-old Gudiya is one of the “victims” of radiation. Managing to come out of her mother’s womb alive, after her mother had five miscarriages, Gudiya now cannot walk and cannot talk. Her limbs are distorted and she is mentally challenged. “This is not just the tale of my daughter, there are samathain.wordpress.com/2008/08/page/6/ 13/88
  14. 14. 12/20/13 2008 August « Samatha India many children in the village who have met the same fate,” says Mangal, the girl’s father. Subsequent surveys by a few other NGOs also claim that children living in more than two dozen villages surrounding the uranium mines have also shown signs of mutation. While walking through the narrow lanes in this tribal-dominated village, one can easily spot children with twisted limbs and mutilated body parts sitting on the lap of their mother, quietly and curiously looking at every stranger passing by. Even the adults are hesitant to mix freely with “outsiders”, specially when someone asks what had happened to their child. According to a rough estimate, UCIL, which is under the department of atomic energy, acquired 2,000 acres of land at Jadugoda and established a township, displacing five villages. According to the 1961 census, the total population of these villages was 2,047, of whom 47.1 per cent were tribals. Many indigenous tribal families have also been displaced from their ancestral land owing to the construction of mines and mills in nearby Bhatin, Turamdih and Narwapahar. Bapi Da, a local activist leading the campaign against health hazards, says: “Not only women and children, but the workers who get into the mines to dig out uranium ore and man the tailing ponds where the waste generated from the mills is dumped suffer from serious ailments like bone, blood and kidney disorders, brain damage and nausea.” According to him, the kit to measure the effect of radiation on the bodies of workers, which UCIL used to be provide to every worker earlier, was later taken away; and the medical records of workers who fall ill and get admitted to the hospital run by the corporation are kept secret. (Asian Age 30/1/07) 180 people reconverted to Hinduism (6) Bhubaneswar : Keeping an eye on the third World Hindu Religious Conference, which will begin on February 11 in Allahabad, the State unit of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad on Monday reconverted at least 180 people from 50 families to Hinduism under the Bonai Police Station area in Sundargarh district. According to VHP sources here, all the families were reconverted amidst performing of traditional Hindu rituals at the Jagyan site, where several VHP leaders were present. Early in January 2006, nearly 136 tribals were reconverted to Hinduism at a function organised by the local unit of the VHP and the Bajarang Dal at a remote village in Tumbei under Gurundia police station in Sundargarh. It was again followed by reconverting at least 336 persons of 80 tribal families in 11 villages under Sundargarh district at a special function in Baridia last October. Similarly, at least 73 persons from 17 families in Rourkela on the occasion of Kartik Purnima were reconverted into Hinduism. On October 24, 2004, 300 Tribal Christians were reconverted to Hinduism in Sundargarh district. According to a statistics, more than 8,000 people were reconverted in 2006 while Parishad has planned to strengthen its women wing Durga Bahini and youth wing Bajarang Dal. Besides it has also decided to carry out more reconversion activities in the tribal dominated regions of the State, where conversion is a war between the Christian Missionaries and Sangha Pariwar. Meanwhile VHP sources admitted that the reconversion is on the active agenda in Sundergarh district. “We are planning to do it more intensively and in a well-coordinated manner,” VHP insiders said. In the past four years, more than 2,000 tribals have gone through the process of “home coming”. “They are not Christians but they are Hindus in fact and don’t call it conversion as we are just bringing them back to the fold of their ancestors’ religion,” argued VHP activists. (Pioneer 30/1/07) Kalinga tribals to meet CM to end stalemate today (6) Jajpur : A 17-member team of the Visthapan Virodhi Janmanch will meet Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday at the State Secretariat to discuss the Kalinga Nagar issue. The rift among the activists of the Visthapan Virodhi Janmanch, on Tuesday was amicably settled after a long meeting at Ambagadia. An emergency meeting was called to discuss the issue over the Chief Minister’s invitation to end the stalemate in Kalinga Nagar that has been continuing over the last one year. In the meeting, there was an angry exchange of words between two factions after Janmanch Secretary, Rabindra Jarika said he had not given any statement on the action of political parties who stood by the tribals during the agitation. He also said that his signature on the Press release issued by the CPI (ML), New Democratic leaders, was false. Responding to the Chief Minister’s invitation, Janmanch submitted a list of 17 members to the Jajpur collector for tomorrow’s meeting at the State Secretariat. However, five members out of the list under the leadership of the president of the outfit were threatening to boycott the meeting. Janmanch president, Chakradhar Haiburu (senior) said that he and many of its members have decided to boycott the meeting over the alleged remarks on political parties who stood by the tribals during the agitation. In an exclusive interview, Janmanch President, Haiburu (senior) said, “Janmanch has been formed for the interest of the agitating tribals fighting against industrialisation. We are leading the outfit on behalf of them. The innocent tribals have reposed faith in us. Without consulting them we must not say any thing publicly.”He further said “As I am ill following a minor operation, names of all office bearers and executive members of the Janmanch except me are included in the 17 member list”. It may be noted that only few days ago Janmanch secretary, Rabindra Jarika in association with CPI (ML) and New Democracy leaders had termed the Congress as well as Left parties as enemies and equating them with the ruling BJD-BJP coalition. (Pioneer 31/1/07) TRIBALS Allot pattas to tribals, demands Jamuna Devi (6) Bhopal : Leader of Opposition Jamuna Devi said on Monday that the Madhya Pradesh Government would no longer displace the tribals after the passing of the Tribal Bill, 2006. She urged the Chief Minister to allot patta to the displaced people from the forestlands. She also informed that the Central Government would soon issue an Ordinance in this respect. Jamuna Devi also congratulated Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi for constituting the Act in favour of the tribals. In a letter to the CM, she also asked the State Government to allot pattas to those tribals who were displaced after 1980. She asked the CM to take back the cases pending in the High Court against the tribals for unlawfully capturing the forestlands.She sent the document of the Act to the party presidents of district samathain.wordpress.com/2008/08/page/6/ 14/88
  15. 15. 12/20/13 2008 August « Samatha India and block levels asking them to generate awareness among the tribals regarding the ‘historical’ act for them so that the State Government can’t mislead them any more. (Pioneer 6/2/07) Tribals protest against SC order Jaipur, Feb. 7: Tension prevailed in Rishabdeo town of Udaipur district on Wednesday when tribals assembled to claim Risabdeo temple. The police resorted to lathicharge and lobbed teargas shells to disperse the mob. Over 20 people, most of them policemen, were injured in stone-pelting. The tribals agitated when they heard that the temple would be handed over to the Jain community following a court order, though the Jain community clarified that it would maintain the existing management system and tribals would be free to offer prayers the way they used to in the past. According to sources, the tribals on Wednesday used the traditional system of beating drums, also considered an emergency call for assembling for action. The tribals, armed with arrows and stones, then descended over the town and clashed with the police. The violent mob went on the rampage and three vehicles, including a car, were put on fire. The police opened fire in the air to control the mob and staged a flag march in the town. “The situation is under control and an additional police force has been deployed in the area,” said Mr Rajiv Dasot, inspector-general of police, Udaipur. (Asian Age 8/2/07) Five injured in police firing in Udaipur (6) JAIPUR: Five persons were injured on Thursday in police firing as tribals continued their protest against the handing over of its principle temple to the Jain community in Rishabhdeo town in Udaipur district. Police had to open fire when over 5,000 tribals tried to enter the Kesariaji temple. The situation has been tense since Wednesday when a `mahapadav’ was organised by the tribals. Over 30 people, mostly policemen, including the Udaipur SP M.N. Dinesh were injured on Wednesday when the protesters pelted stones, torched two-wheelers and cars parked in the temple area and held up traffic for several hours. Two Rajasthan Armed Constable companies and two Rajasthan Police companies have been deployed in the area to maintain law and order, Mr. Dinesh told PTI over phone. Police used teargas to disperse the tribals who pelted stones at them. So far 26 people have been detained by the police, Mr. Dinesh said. The tribals, who worship the temple’s presiding deity as “Kala Baba,” are irked over a Supreme Court ruling last month transferring the ownership rights of the ancient temple to the Jain community. (The Hindu 9/2/07) Rajasthan town tense after 1 killed in temple violence (6) Jaipur, February 9: A day after one person was killed and seven injured in clashes between tribals and the police over the Supreme Court’s granting of an ancient temple to the Jain community, the town of Rishabdeo was tense for a third consecutive day on Friday with stone-pelting protestors torching a shop in the nearby village of Kalyanpur. Tribals in Rishabdeo in Udaipur district had yesterday tried to forcibly enter the 15th century Kesariaji temple, a popular Jain pilgrimage site, saying the Supreme Court’s order in January to hand over the temple administration to the Jain community would restrict their access to the temple whose deity they worship as ‘Kala Baba’. As hundreds of tribals tried to force their way into the temple, police opened fire, killing one person and leaving seven injured. On Wednesday, the tribals held a ‘mahapadav’ and went on to torch vehicles parked outside the temple, pelting stones at the police. Over 30 people, mainly policemen, were injured in the melee. Rajiv Dasot, IG Udaipur Range, said a peace-committee of Jain and tribal representatives along with political leaders and local administrative and police officers met on Thursday midnight and agreed to maintain peace. District Collector Shikhar Agarwal said the situation is now under control. “Tension prevailed on Friday but there has not been any major incidence of violence since Thursday evening. Most tribals, who had gathered here from nearby villages, have returned to their homes. The army remains on a stand by while extra police force has been deployed,” Agarwal said. (Indian Express 10/2/07) Security personnel charged with rape in C’garh; probe on (6) Raipur, February 10 : A trbal woman was allegedly gangraped by India Reserve Battalion personnel from Mizoram deployed in the Naxal-affected Dantewada area of Chhattisgarh. This comes within weeks of the National Commission for Women expressing concern at the increase in atrocities against tribals caught between Naxalites and security forces. The incident allegedly occurred on February 3 but it was brought to light only after tribal rights activists made representations before Dantewada Collector K R Pisda and Superintendent of Police O P Pal on Friday. Pisda said an SP level inquiry had been ordered into the incident. “A medical test of the victim will be conducted soon,” he added. According to the complaint, the incident occurred on the evening of February 3 when the victim was on her way home from a shop in Nakulnaar village. “Three or four jawans of the Mizo battalion caught her and took her to a desolate place where they raped her,” it says. The victim was gagged and beaten unconscious, sources said, leading to severe back and abdominal injuries. Adivasi Mahasabha Mahila Morcha secretary Bimla Sori, who filed a complaint with the police, said: “The police refused to register a case when the family members of the victim went to lodge a complaint. They even suggested that the family opt for a compromise,” Morcha vice-president Kusum Naam said. Dantewada SP Pal claimed that it was a case of altercation being distorted by local leaders for political mileage. “The victim was selling liquor in the weekly haat. The Mizo police personnel had an altercation with her as she wanted more money for the liquor. How is it possible to rape someone on the day of the haat when hundreds of people are present in the village?” he said. (Indian Express 11/2/07) Tribals indifferent to campaigning (6) MEDINIPUR SQUARE (Ganjam district): Manifestoes and promises are just eyewash. This seems to be the strong belief of even inhabitants of rural pockets. The Medinipur Square is the connecting point for samathain.wordpress.com/2008/08/page/6/ 15/88
  16. 16. 12/20/13 2008 August « Samatha India tribal villages Tamana, Medinipur, Singabadi, Sihala and Scheduled Caste dominated village Jugudi. The high-decibel campaign with catchy slogans and racy numbers seems to have not evoked any interest in the region. “We will exercise our franchise. But, we know for sure that the candidates will not take up the issues they are raking up now for the sake of votes,” say several persons while enjoying a meal at a roadside shop. Bijay Pradhan of Tamana cites the case of Ghatakeswar small-irrigation project, which is a long-standing demand. “Foundation stone for the project was laid three times by leaders with much fanfare. But it is yet to materialise,” he says. Jagannath Behera, who contested on BJP ticket in the last elections and campaigning for the BJD now, intervenes saying: “We will submit a memorandum to the Chief Minister over the matter when he comes to Lathi village.” Panchayat elections are won through personal relations rather than tall promises, says the driver of a Congress campaign vehicle. While campaigning was on at this square, tribals of Tamana village just a few km away were busy with their day-to-day chores. (The Hindu 11/2/07) Gehlot blames Raje for Rishabdev violence (6) JAIPUR: Congress general secretary Ashok Gehlot has held Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje “directly” responsible for the developments that led to violence and the death of a tribal in police firing in Rishabdev town last week. “If the Chief Minister had timely monitored the implementation of the Supreme Court order on the management of the Rishabdev temple, the unfortunate situation would not have arisen,” he said. Mr.Gehlot, who visited the affected areas on Monday, said the situation there was indicative of the prevailing anarchy in Rajasthan during the past three weeks in which the State Cabinet had been fighting the Chief Minister singularly and in groups. “The Ministers are openly levelling charges of corruption, deceit and moral turpitude against one another. They have no time to govern after their preoccupations. The people are paying a heavy price for their squabbles,” he said. Mr.Gehlot said the BJP-led Government, with a bloody track record of 10 instances of police firing in three years in which 17 persons were killed, had breached the age-old harmony among the tribals, the members of the Jain community and the rest of the Hindus in Rishabdev area. “The BJP rule has fragmented the social fabric of Rajasthan,” he charged. (The Hindu 15/2/07) Panel to frame rules for Forest Rights Bill implementation (6) NEW DELHI: The Union Tribal Affairs Ministry has set up a committee to frame rules for the implementation of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006. The 19-member committee, headed by retired bureaucrat S.R. Sankaran, has been asked to submit its draft report within three months. The finalisation of the report would take another month before it was actually implemented, Union Tribal Affairs Secretary Meena Gupta told reporters here on Monday. The committee members include officials from the Ministries of Tribal Affairs, Forests and Environment, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj besides representatives of some State Governments and experts. The Forest Rights Bill was passed in the winter session of Parliament and received the President’s assent on December 29, 2006. The Act recognises and vests the forest rights and occupation in forest land in forest dwelling Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest dwellers who have been residing in such forests for generations but whose rights could not be recorded. In this context, the Ministry has convened a meeting of the State Ministers in charge of tribal affairs on Wednesday. Also, the Ministry is finalising the National Tribal Policy and it is shortly expected to go to the Cabinet for approval. The Ministry has revived its Tribal Sub-Plan that had fallen into disuse over the years due to lack of implementation by the State Governments. The States have been asked to create a separate head for the Tribal Sub-Plan — first started in 1974 — so that funds under this cannot be diverted. According to Ms. Gupta the Ministry will also develop over 2,700 forest villages and an amount of Rs. 15 lakh per village has been earmarked for the purpose. As many as 13 States will be covered under this scheme that seeks to provide roads, electricity and water for these villages. .Further, the Ministry has also decided to involve banks in disbursing loans to the tribals for income generation under the National Scheduled Tribes Finance and Development Corporation which was earlier done only through the State Scheduled Tribe Finances Corporation, and often faced blockages due to shortage of funds. (The Hindu 14/2/07) Anantapur tribals decry felling of trees (6) Bhubaneswar : Tribals at the Anantapur forest reserve in Dhenkanal district are taking up arms against forest officials for the felling of 800 young and healthy trees. The tribals from Khajurinali and Chauliajharan hamlets have decided not to allow any logs to be removed till a proper inquiry is ordered into what they allege is illegal felling. They say the forest officials have threatened them with dire consequences. “The officials told us that there’s no proof that we are legal settlers. They said they will carry the logs and then file cases and send us all to jail,” said Ramchandra Murmu, a local. The tribals also say that in the past they have been jailed for crimes committed by the timber mafia. “A similar thing happened years ago when the officials felled trees but filed cases for illegal felling against us,” said Fagu Soren. A strict ban has been imposed on felling of trees in the State’s forests for the past 16 years. The forest department was given a temporary permission in 2005-06 to cut a limited number of damaged and diseased trees and working plans were drawn up for 11 Forest Divisions. However, activists say the working plans were completely ignored. “The Government spends so much money on forest conservation and takes huge loans from the World Bank,” said Akshay Pani, Coordinator, Adivasi Kranti Sangathan. “In principle, a forest so well protected by local tribals should not have been touched. Secondly, the norms for felling have been violated by the forest department.” Despite repeated attempts, the Dhenkanal District Forest Officer and Manager of the Forest Development Corporation refused to give their reaction on the matter. But it’s clear that as the tribals wait for the State Government to institute an inquiry, their anger is rising with each passing day. Pioneer 14/2/07) samathain.wordpress.com/2008/08/page/6/ 16/88
  17. 17. 12/20/13 2008 August « Samatha India Tribal land grab cases on rise in Jharkhand (6) Ranchi : Jharkhand tribals are facing challenges from different corners. Their problem is evident from the fact that their population is declining in the State while their land is grabbed in their homeland. Anthropologists and social scientists are concerned about the declining population of tribals in general and primitive tribes in particular. The tribal population has declined to 27 per cent in the State from 42 per cent in 1951. The impact of the declining population trend is seen on the reserved seats of Assembly constituencies. The Delimitation Commission has recommended decrease the reserved tribal seats in Assembly from 28 to 21. The number of cases lodged by tribal people indicates that land grabbing by non-tribals increased manifolds after creation of the State. The cases lodged under Special Area Regulation Court (SPRC) have increased. In 2003-2004 a total of 2,608 cases were registered which went up to 2,657 cases in 2004-2005. A total of 3,230 cases were registered in 2005-2006 and in 2006-2007 till January this year the figure is 3,789. Tribal people lodge their cases under SPRC. The SPR court hears the cases and fines people who are found guilty of land grabbing. If anyone has made construction on the tribal plot then the court slaps a fine, which is given to the original owner (tribal). Two laws are in force to protect the land rights of tribal people in the State -Chotanagpur Tenancy Act and Santhal Parangan Tenancy Act. Both Acts prevent sale of tribal land to non-tribals. “It is a game of money. Those who are poor have no say in politics and they remain neglected and downtrodden and same is the case with tribal people. Heavens were promised to tribal people before creation of the State and now their voices have been crushed. Those who never participated in the Jharkhand movement are the ones who rule the State now. And the poor (tribal) never figured in their agenda,” said father Benni Ekka, director of St Xavier Institute of Social Service. (Pioneer 14/2/07) Minister seeks quota for tribals in jobs (6) New Delhi : The Minister for Tribal Welfare Kunwar Vijay Shah put forward a demand of reservation in jobs for the tribals of Madhya Pradesh in proportion to their population in central services in the ‘Conference of States Ministers incharge of Tribal Welfare Development’ at New Delhi on Wednesday. He also made a fervent plea for early approval of the proposed projects pending before the Union Government as well as release of maximum funds for the welfare of tribals of the State. The schemes being implemented by the State Government for the welfare of the tribals were lauded in the meeting. The ministers of tribal welfare of various States attended the meeting presided over by the Union Minister for Tribal Affairs PR Kindiya. Drawing attention of the Union Minister towards the fact that Madhya Pradesh has a very little representation in the central services despite 20 per cent of the population is covered by the tribals, Kunwar Shah stressed that Madhya Pradesh tribals should get proper representation in the central services. He further mentioned that special focus should be laid while posting tribal officers in Madhya Pradesh under the administrative services and Indian Police Services. There is no tribal battalion under the defence department, although tribal population constitutes 8.2 per cent of the total population of the country. Several tribal freedom fighters have sacrificed their lives in the freedom struggle. (Pioneer 15/2/07) Tata gets additional 1,079 acres of land at K Nagar (6) Bhubaneswar : Tata Steel, which had asked for an additional 1,079 acres in Kalinga Nagar, is now happy with the State Government’s decision to meet its requirement. For the last three years, the country’s largest private sector steel producer had been trying to set up its six-million-tonne-per-annum (MTPA) steel plant in the face of the tribal resistance. The company had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the State Government on November 17, 2004 to set up the greenfield project. On January 2, 2006, 13 tribals opposing the land acquisition were killed in police firing. Since then, the company has not been able to take up any major construction job in the area. Even though the company has not been able to bring under its control the 2,400 acres for its original steel facility, it in the meanwhile, asked the Government to allot an additional 1,079 acres to facilitate downstream industries, which are likely to come up at an investment of Rs 3,300 crore. The downstream industries include cold-rolled products, colour coated sheets and spiral welded pipes. The proposal was okayed at the recent meeting of the State Level Single Window Clearance Authority (SLSWCA), said official sources. Sources said that there was a hitch over the allotment of land because Jindal Stainless Limited has also asked for an additional 400 acres adjacent to its project to upgrade the 1.6-MTPA stainless steel plant to a 3.2-MTPA integrated steel project at Kalinga Nagar. The SLSWA, however, decided to allot additional land to both the companies to meet their requirements. Over and above the request for the additional land, Tata Steel has also requested the Government to modify the MoU, which earlier envisaged an investment of Rs 15,400 crore in the steel project. According to sources, the Government has given the green signal in this regard and the MoU would be modified soon. With this modification, an investment to the tune of Rs 18,700 crore by Tata Steel in Kalinga Nagar gets the nod from the Government, admitted sources. (Pioneer 20/2/07) Koraput tribal group receives national award for plant protection (6) Bhubaneswar : Panchavati Gramya Unnayana Samiti, an organisation of the tribal farming communities of Koraput district has been selected for the Genome Saviour Award for the protection of plant variety and Farmers Rights Authority (PP&FR) of the Government of India. The Award is instituted under the PPV&FR Act to recognise and reward communities and farmers for their contribution to genetic resources samathain.wordpress.com/2008/08/page/6/ 17/88
  18. 18. 12/20/13 2008 August « Samatha India conservation and improvement. The tribal community of Koraput has been elected for this recognition for their outstanding and seminal contribution to conservation of plant genetic resources particularly rice, in the biodiversity rich centres of South Orissa. The Community representative of Koraput will receive the Award from the Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar at a glittering function in New Delhi on February 20. Chennai based MS Swaminathan Research Foundation has been assisting the tribal communities of Koraput for undertaking conservation of traditional rice . (Pioneer 20/2/07) Rajasthan to create separate cadre for tribal development (6) JAIPUR: The Rajasthan Government is considering establishing a separate departmental cadre in the Tribal Area Development (TAD) Department to ensure effective implementation of various projects and their completion on time. This will also solve the problem of vacant posts in the department without fresh recruitments for long. TAD Minister Kanakmal Katara, stating this while addressing a meeting of the Scheduled Tribes Consultative Council in Udaipur on Monday, said attempts were being made to utilise entire funds received in the Scheduled Tribes welfare head. He said the works in the tribal areas were executed this year by using 15 per cent more funds in comparison with last year. Mr. Katara said the works in the tribal areas were presently being implemented through other departments in the absence of an executing agency of the TAD Department. The method of execution will change with the creation of a departmental cadre. The Minister, who released a booklet titled “Janjati Vikas” (development of tribes) on the occasion, said the State Government had taken steps to speed up development of the tribal-dominated regions by constructing roads, installing hand pumps, reviving irrigation schemes and opening more schools. Mr. Katara said the quality of education in residential schools would be improved to benefit the tribal children and tribal fishermen of Jaisamand and Kadana areas would be provided assistance. (The Hindu 21/2/07) Bihar tribal women allegedly raped in UP village, nine arrested (6) LUCKNOW, BALLIA, FEBRUARY 23 : Thirteen tribal women, including three minors, were allegedly gang-raped late Wednesday night by a group of unidentified youths at a brick kiln in eastern UP’s Ballia district. The incident came to light on Thursday when BJP MLA Ram Iqbal Singh informed the police of it. The Bhimpur circle police have arrested nine persons, including the kiln’s owner and a clerk, and recovered a large quantity of country-made liquor from the spot. An illegal distillery of country-made liquor was being run from the kiln premises. “We had sent the women for medical examination and the report is awaited,” said Aqramul Haq, the SP of Ballia. Dr Yog Maya Trivedi, the chief medical superintendent of local Mahila Hospital, said the medical examination had been completed and confirmed that “some women were found to have been raped”. She did not say how many. “Medical examinations on the minors were also conducted,” she said. “We are making arrangements to send these tribal women to their native places in Bihar once the examination are over,” said Haq. According to one of the victims, about 20 drunk youths came to the brick kiln — run by a local businessman Guddu Singh — around 11.20 pm on Wednesday night wearing masks and started molesting the women sleeping in their mud houses. When the women’s relatives objected, a brawl broke out ending in the alleged rape of the 13 women. “They threw our belongings and children out of the houses, beat up our men and raped me and other women,” one of the victims told the The Indian Express. “When we came to know about the incident Thursday afternoon, we immediately sent a team to the site,” said SP Haq. This morning, clerk Arun Kumar Singh lodged an FIR. (Indian Express 24/2/07) ‘Tribals are aware of traditions’ (6) Udaipur : The historic Lake City of Udaipur on Sunday witnessed one of the biggest congregations of Adivasis, who gathered here to assert that they were very much a part of Hindus and all attempts to divide them would be foiled. Organised by Rajasthan Vanvasi Kalayan Parishad of Sangh Parivar, the congregation named as Rashtra Shakti Sammelan, was attended by about a lakh Adivasis of this tribal-dominated southern part of Rajasthan. The venue, Maharana Bhopal Stadium was packed with Advasis who had come in their colourful best costumes from the districts like Banswara, Dungarpur, Chittorgarh, Slumber and Rajasamand. RSS Sarsanghchalak KC Sudarshan, as main speaker, said that some Christian organisations are engaged in misleading the innocent tribals that they are not the part of Hinduism and are trying to persuade them to convert to Christianity. “But they would not succeed in the nefarious designs as there was now awareness among the tribals about their religion and traditions,” he said. The Rashtra Shakti Sammelan was organised as a part of birth centenary celebration of RSS Sarsanghchalal MS Golwalkar affectionately called Shri Guruji. The Parishad was preparing for the congregation for the past many months. Sudarshan lauded the work of Parishad in this tribal populated part of the State, which, he says, is the next target of missionary organisations, who are trying their best to get their foothold here. (Pioneer 26/2/07) Jharsuguda: Tribal families lose land without getting any compensation (6) Jharsuguda : For the people of Jharsuguda, displacement has been a part of life. It started with the first post-Independence multi-crore project, the Hirakud Dam in 1947 and continues till date. This has pushed the people not only to a future of uncertainty but has forced upon them untold sufferings, with the landless people (Sukhbasis), who have been enjoying Government land, having to part with the land with no benefits samathain.wordpress.com/2008/08/page/6/ 18/88

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