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People's Watch's interim report from Paramakudi

Paramakudi: a police engineered violence and firing

[ An interim report from People's Watch since police and District Magistrates have not been personally met, circulated in public interest by Henri Tiphagne, Executive Director, People's Watch]

September 11th, the 54th death anniversary of the dalit leader Immanuel Sekaran has not only been a day observed to pay homage to the one who initiated the challenge against caste oppression in the then undivided Ramnad district but also has served as a 'cultural expression' of the Dalit communities' aspirations to pay respect to their leader 'on par with' what the dominant castes of the region do to their revered leader, Muthuramalinga Thevar. It is precisely this that has been the 'trigger off' to what has resulted today in the demise of 6 dalits in Paramakudi town as a result of a police firing on Sunday the 11th.

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PUDR condemns the arrest of Lingaram Kodopi by the Chhattisgarh police: Statement

PUDR condemns in the strongest terms the arrest of Lingaram Kodopi by the Chhattisgarh police from his village in Dantewada district

People's Union for Democratic Rights, Delhi (PUDR) condemns in the strongest terms the arrest of Lingaram Kodopi on 9 September 2011 by the Chhattisgarh police from his village Sameli in Dantewada district. The police team continues to be present in the village since then and there is fear that the police intends to arrest his aunt Soni Sori too. This arrest comes immediately on the heels of the Chhattisgarh government's attempt to undermine the Supreme Court order disbanding the practice of exploiting SPOs to fight the Maoists.

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Untouchability Declassified

by Pallavi Polanki,

Discrimination is a dynamic industry in India. A survey recorded an astonishing 80-odd practices of untouchability—new, bizarre, vintage. 

Two thousand years and counting. We must hold the record for perpetuating one of the worst crimes on humanity for the longest time running. The practice of untouchability has an unbroken history. A record the Indian state, in violation of its own Constitution, has become a collaborator to. Not hesitating to lie, even denying it at times, the state machinery stands guilty of turning a blind eye to this inhuman practice.

A grave failure, seen most recently in Haryana, where the Supreme Court had to warn the government with “serious consequences” if it further delayed justice to the Dalit community in Mirchpur, where two citizens were burned to death and houses of 150 others reduced to ashes by the upper caste Jat community.

To call the bluff on sanitised official reports that feign ignorance about an ugly social truth, the Tamil Nadu Untouchability Eradication Front, an umbrella group comprising nearly 150 labour, Dalit and human rights movements, set off on a comprehensive survey three years ago. They started documenting all manifestations of untouchability, circa 2010. They visited 1,845 villages in 22 (of 32) districts in the state. 

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Irom Sharmila's heartfelt letter to Anna Hazare

Irom Sharmila, the Iron Lady of Manipur as she is often called, has been on a fast for the last ten years protesting against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act that is in place in parts of Manipur and the north east and gives the Army and the paramilitary forces the power to shoot or arrest on mere suspicion.

The Indian state has kept her alive on a cocktail of vitamins and nutrients. She is force-fed twice a day through her nose.

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Honamma's murder

report translated by Cynthia Stephen

On June 30th 2010, Karnataka woke up to hear the news of Honamma's horrific murder, killed with stone slabs by an upper caste mob of men. A year since, there seems to be no substantial progress in this case. We hope more awareness about it might expand and strengthen the struggle for justice for Honamma and also help us understand why assertive dalit women continue to be brutally attacked and murdered in modern India -Round Table India.

The study of the status of Dalit women in Karnataka has been difficult. There are very few success stories of Dalit women. Where they have been successful, they have also been difficult to pin down, as they are very busy with their day-to-day work. But there are many stories of women who were brave, assertive, and fearless in the public sphere, but they are also dead.

Honnamma (40), a Madiga dalit woman lived in Gopalpura village, Huliyur Hobli, Chikkanayakanahalli Taluk of Tumkur district of Karnataka. It is located about 3 kms from Hobli and about 25 km from the taluk centre. In falls under the Handikeri police station. The village is a small one, with just 4 Madiga households. The other residents include Madivalas – 20 houses, Eediga – 40 households (local dominant caste), Kuruba -10, Koracha – 10, Gangamathasthas – 10, Rayaru – 10, Upparas – 10, and Vaddas – 10. Other than the Madigas, most other households are OBC caste houses.

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The 'Death of Merit' and a debate on caste discrimination in educational institutions

[ A Round Table India report ]

Hyderabad, Aug, 07, 2011: The National Dalit Forum organized a screening of the 'Death of Merit' documentaries by the Insight Foundation, followed by a discussion on the suicides of Dalit students in institutions of higher education and on caste discrimination in campuses, today in the morning at Dr. Ambedkar Convention Centre, Samrat Complex, Hyderabad. Three documentaries, incorporating the testimonies of the parents, families etc of Bal Mukund Bharti of AIIIMS, Jaspreet Singh of Government Medical College, Chandigarh and Manish Kumar Guddolian of IIT-Roorkee were shown to a sizeable gathering which included many Dalit and human rights activists and students among others. [ Please watch the documentaries here ].

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Rise in Atocities on Scs

As per statistics provided by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), Ministry of Home Affairs, total number of cases relating to offences of atrocities against Scheduled Castes, registered by Police in the country during the calendar years 2007, 2008 & 2009, under the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, were 29,825, 33,367 and 33,426, respectively.

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