Melavalavu Murders

[Today marks the 15th anniversary of the brutal Melavalavu massacre. Read about it in this excerpt from the chapter 'The Pattern of Abuse: Southern District Clashes in Tamil Nadu and the State's Response' from the report 'Broken People: Caste Violence Against India's Untouchables' published by Human Rights Watch (HRW) in 1999.]

In September 1996, the village of Melavalavu, in Madurai district, was declared a reserved constituency under Article 243D of the Indian constitution.[256] The declaration signaled that the Melavalavu panchayat (village council), which covers eight villages with approximately 1,000 Dalit families,[257] would have seats reserved for scheduled-caste candidates.[258] In June 1997, a group murder of elected Dalits by neighboring Thevars signaled that constitutionally mandated shifts in legal power to scheduled castes would not be tolerated by caste Hindus displaced from their once secure elected positions.

Several observers have attributed the violence in the village and the resulting tensions to a shift in power relations brought on by the government's mandate of reservation of panchayat seats for Dalits. Dr. George Mathew of the New Delhi Institute of Social Sciences visited the area along with two other researchers soon after the murders. He published his conclusions in an article in The Hindu:

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Please save the life of Ambedkarite Journalist Satyendra Murli

Please copy and mail the letter published below to the various authorities listed at the bottom (with email ids) to protest the detention of Satyendra Murli, Ambedkarite journalist, by Jaipur police 

~~~

Date : June 27, 2012

To,

The Commissioner of Police,

Jaipur Police,

Rajesthan.

Sub: information regarding illegal detention/ arrest of Journalist Satyendra Murli for offences under IPC and IT Act.

Sir,

I am a human rights activist who became aware through the internet and media that Mr. Satyendra Murli, who is a Journalist by profession, has been arrested by Jaipur police due to the violation of Indian Penal Code, 1860, and Information Technology Act, 2005. As per this information, the allegation made against Mr. Satyender Murli was that he shared or circulated the photo of Mr. Mahatma Gandhi, which was already available on Facebook.

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Terrible attack on Irular people in Thenneri village

Terrible attack on Irular people in Thenneri village - urgent support action required

Message from Makkal Mandram

Dear Friends,

A terrible atrocity is unfolding against the Irula people in Thenneri village at the hands of the dominant Mudaliar caste. There are 10 Irula families living in Thenneri Village, Walajabad Taluk, Kancheepuram District. Irulars are an adivasi community (listed as scheduled tribe) mainly living in Northern districts of Tamil Nadu. In this village, they are living on government land (Natham Porambokku) for the past 15 years. Two Irula families are living on a piece of land which is close to the property owned by one Ekambaram Mudaliar. He has encroached around an acre of porambokku land including the piece of land on which these two Irula families live. This Ekambaram Mudaliar is a landlord who is running several businesses.

In the past few months, these 10 families had applied for caste certificate and title deed (patta) for the land on which they live, with the help of Makkal Mandram. Karthi, an Irula youth from Thenneri village, is very active in Makkal Mandram for several years. As a result of the initiative taken by the people and regular follow up, the 10 families managed to get their caste certificates during the last week. The Revenue District Officer (RDO) of Kancheepuram, who gave these certificates, had also conducted an enquiry about the ownership of land and had assured these people that they will be given title deed (pattas) for the porambokku land on which they have their homesteads.

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Discrimination against Dalits in admissions to Delhi University

All India Confederation of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Organizations' Press Note

Dr. Udit Raj, National President of the AICOSCSTO , has unveiled the discrimination against Dalit students in admissions to the DU. The procedure for admissions to the first year commenced on 4th June. For SC/ST students, it turned out to be an ordeal as they had to face discrimination even in a mundane endeavor like securing admission. The General category students have the facility to apply online, but the admission procedure has not been computerized for SC/ST students.

Over the first 4 days, about 50,000 applications were filed online by general category candidates. The authorities have made applying for admissions an onerous task for the SC/ST candidates by excluding them from the online application facility. In contrast, the General category students may file their applications at any of the centres - Miranda House College, Facility of Arts (North Campus), Swami Shradhanad College, Dy. Dean Office (South Campus), Atmaram Sanatan Dharm College, P.G.D.A.V. College, Gargi College, Shyam Lal College, Rajdhani College, Bhagini Nevidita College. They can also file their applications at any one of the 12 allocated Post Offices.

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Attacks on Dalits in Koothirambakkam near Chennai

(Fact finding report first published in April 2003 by PUCL)

Team members

1. Sheelu, President, Tamil Nadu Women's Collective

2. T.S.S. Mani PUCL, Chennai - Chengai District Committee.

3. Ponnuthai, Women's Forum Against Violence on Women, South Tamil Nadu.

4. W.G.Latha - Tamil Nadu Resource Team.

5. Jessy , Kanchi People's Forum

6. Mahesh, Kanchi People's Forum

7. Kannan, human Rights - Tamil Nadu Initiative

8. Pasarai Selvaraj, Dalith Activist, Kancheepuram

9. Mahandran, Kanchi People's Forum

The above team from different parts of Tamil Nadu concerned about social harmony and human rights are pained by the communal clash at Koothirambakkam, in Kancheepuram District on 29th March 2003. Hearing about the incident on the same night, human rights activists from Kancheepuram rushed to the village on 30th March 2003 in the early hours. The team has met both sides of the community. It has met with the daliths as well as the vanniar representatives, particularly the village Panchayath President Ms.Kasthuri.

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‘The very right of living in this country has been snatched from me’

Linga Ram Kodopi, a trained journalist and Soni Sori's nephew, who is accused of having Naxal connections has been in prison since 10 September 2011. He writes an open letter to fellow Indians.

~~~

Respected intellectuals,

I am writing this letter in the hope that you all will do justice to the torture and injustices being inflicted upon me and my fellow Adivasis.

Lingaram_KodopiI have passed through three pillars of the Indian democracy—the Executive, the Judiciary and the media—I do not have hope any more that these three pillars will bring justice to me or to other Adivasis. Because, when I came back after studying journalism in Delhi and met with the administration officials and told them that I had no connection with the Naxals—I was asked to not go to Delhi and to cut off all links [with people in Delhi]. On being told this by District Collector OP Chaudhary, Bastar Division Commissioner K Srinivasalu and police officer Anshuman Sisodia, I broke off all contact with the intellectuals in Delhi. I did not know that on breaking links with Delhi, I would be charged with taking money from Essar for supporting the Naxals and sent to jail. I was brought to the Palnar weekly market on the pretext of being questioned by plainclothes policemen. I didn't even know that Essar gives money to Naxals. The next day when I read about the 'notes incident' in the newspaper and saw Soni Sori and my name, I felt the ground slip beneath my feet.

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NHRC seeks report on extra-judicial killings in Manipur

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) issued notices to the secretary, ministry of home affairs of the government of India, district magistrate and district superintendent of police of Ukhrul district of North East Indian state Manipur asking for a report on the alleged torture and the extrajudicial killing of three indigenous Meitei people in a staged encounter by the personnel belonging to 23rd Assam Rifles (AR) under the command of Major Hanuman near Maphou Dam, Nongdam village of Ukhrul.

After registering a case on a complaint filed by the Barak Human Rights Protection Committee based on the information received from Manipur based human rights organization Centre for Organisation Research & Education (CORE), the NHRC issued the notice.

The information provided by the CORE reveals that on 8 May 2012, Major Hanuman (then Captain) of 23rd Assam Rifles, a aramilitary force of the central government of India, approached and requested Mr Laishram Shyamkishore, 70 years old village elder of Tunukhong Awang Leikai, Imphal East District, Manipur, to persuade his son, Mr Laishram Nobin (alias Khuman) and his son's friends to surrender themselves and live in peace. Shyamkishore considered the possibility and secretly made arrangements for his son to surrender himself before the state authorities. It was reported that, at the instruction and arrangement of Maj. Hanuman, Shyamkishore accompanied his son to the meeting place where Nobin was supposed to surrender himself. This meeting did not materialise.

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