Tag Archive for Dalit rape victims

British Indians write to Modi, demand justice for Dalit rape victims

women-protest- India

Women, Dalit and community organisations write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure speedy justice in Badaun and Bhagana sexual violence cases and remove the Muzaffarnagar riot accused Sanjeev Baliyan from his ministerial post

By Team FI

An open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi was submitted to the Indian High Commission by several women, Dalit and South Asian community organisations from London protesting against the attacks and sexual violence against the Dalit community in India. The letter urged the Prime Minister to meet the demands of the Bhagana villagers and stop their forcible eviction from Jantar Mantar. The letter asked that the government do the needful to ensure justice in the Badaun case. Pointing out that the one of the main accused in the Muzaffarnagar riots in Uttar Pradesh, Sanjeev Baliyan is a part of the Modi ministry, the letter asked the government to remove him from his Ministerial post immediately.

The full text of the letter is given below:

Shri Narendra Modi
Prime Minister of India
4th June 2014

Dear Prime Minister

We the undersigned women’s organizations, South Asian community organizations and Dalit and anti-caste discrimination organizations in Britain are writing to you to express our acute concern about the ongoing horrific attacks on Dalit and oppressed caste women and children across India, including most recently, the appalling gang-rape and lynching of two girls aged 14 and 15 in Badaun, Uttar Pradesh, on Wednesday 28th May. Only two months earlier, four teenage Dalit girls aged 13-18 were raped by ‘higher caste’ landowners in Bhagana in Haryana, and the survivors are still fighting for the arrest of the rapists.

We note that:
• These caste/gender atrocities are not confined to one state but have been occurring across the country – from Bathani Tola and Bathe in Bihar to Khairlanji and Khadra in Maharashtra.

• These are taking place with the collusion of the police as recently highlighted by the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women. In many cases the police themselves are the perpetrators.

• There has also been collusion by public prosecutors and the judiciary, which has led to acquittals of the guilty.

• Public figures who have been responsible for rapes and murders of minority, Dalit and Adivasi women have been rewarded and promoted – two of many examples are Muzaffarnagar-accused Sanjeev Baliyan, now made a central government Minister, and Police Superintendent Ankit Garg awarded for gallantry after supervising the rape and torture of Soni Sori.

We urge you therefore to ensure that

1. In the Badaun case: The police involved in the rape-murders must be prosecuted: In the FIR lodged by the police, the culprit policemen have been charged only with abettment (120B) whereas they should be named as the accused and Section 166A (which refers to police and other public servants refusing to do their duties) also should be invoked in the case. The government must take measures to guarantee the security of the families of the victims since police are among the accused.

2. In the Bhagana case: The eviction today from Jantar Mantar of the rape survivors and their families who have been forced to protest in Delhi for many weeks must be stopped. Their demands must immediately be met: all those named by the survivors must be arrested; the Dalit community in Bhagana must be given land and guaranteed security as is their right; full compensation must be provided to the Bhagana rape survivors.

3. In the cases of the Bathani Tola and Bathe massacres and mass rapes carried out by the Ranvir Sena in Bihar: all those convicted on the evidence of eyewitness survivors have been subsequently acquitted by the Patna High Court. These acquittals must be overturned. The Amir Das Commission investigating the Ranveer Sena which was hastily disbanded before it could make its findings public, must be reinstated.

4. Sanjeev Baliyan who is a main accused in the Muzaffarnagar riots and mass rapes of Muslim women in U.P. (and has continued to break the law, taking out inflammatory victory processions against Prohibitory Orders) must be removed from his post as Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Processing in the central government immediately.

5. The Atrocities Act which is specifically designed to address caste violence must be applied in all cases of caste/gender violence against SCs and STs.

Yours sincerely
Sarbjit Johal, FreedomWithout Fear Platform
Amrit Wilson, South Asia Solidarity Group
Santosh Dass, Federation of Ambedkarite and Buddhist Organisations (UK)
Ravi Kumar, Anti Caste Discrimination Alliance
Davinder Prasad, British Organisation of People of Asian Origin
Bholi Randhawa, Shri Guru Ravi Dass Mission International (Kanshi TV)
Desraj Bunger, Sri Guru Ravidass Sabha, UK, Europe and Abroad
Satpal Muman, CasteWatch UK
Faquir Chand Sahota, Central Valmik Sabha (UK)
Eugene Culas, Voice of Dalit International
Pastor Raj, Minority Christian International Federation
Baljit Banga, Newham Asian Women’s Project
Pragna Patel, Southall Black Sisters
Sumanta Roy, Imkaan
Anjum Mouj, Rape Crisis England and Wales
Balvinder Saund, Sikh Women’s Alliance UK
Shahida Choudhury,Women’s Networking Hub

Police evict Dalit rape survivors from Jantar Mantar

Jantar-mantar-protest

Delhi police evict Dalit rape survivors and supporters from Jantar Mantar without notice, molest women at protest rally against eviction

By Team FI

The day that the 16th Loksabha would begin its democratic process dawned with the Delhi police forcibly evicting Dalit protestors from Jantar Mantar, and molesting women demonstrators at a rally organised to protest against the eviction.

For the homeless Dalit families from Bhagana, Haryana camping out at Jantar Mantar in protest against the usurpation of their homes by upper caste villagers, the day of the first session of the 16th Loksabha began by their forcible eviction by the Delhi police without any prior notice.

On Wednesday, June 4, 2014, early morning at 6 am, nearly 1000 policemen descended on the Dalit villagers camp at Jantar Mantar and evicted them using force. “The police men dismantled the tents, picked the belongings of the protesters including the Bhagana rape survivors and their families and warned them to vacate the whole area by noon. Almost more than 600 protesters, rallying for their demands since long time, were put on the roadside without anything at hand. No water, not even a mat to sit or shed to face the scorching sun,” stated the press release issued by activists.

The villagers had been camping at Jantar Mantar, which has been a permanent protest site, officially granted by the Delhi police and administration. The site was also witness to the protest against the rape of four minor Dalit girls from Bhagana, Haryana and the rape and murder of the two minor Dalit girls from Badaun, Uttar Pradesh.

By 8.30 am, reports came from Hisar, that the local police have also evicted the 200 Bhagana families living outside Hisar’s mini secretariat since last 2 years. The homeless villagers are now without any shelter as the state government has yet to grant them their land rights.

By 11 am, students, activists and concerned citizens had swung into action and the decision to hold a rally at the Parliament Police Station to protest against the eviction was taken. By 2 pm, the rally was on with hundreds of protesters converging on Parliament Street. Activists have accused Delhi police of molesting women demonstrators in the rally. Some of the activists have been reportedly detained at the police station.

Badaun gang rape and murder: Dalit villagers, citizens protest in Delhi

Badaun- rape-murder

Candlelight vigil held in capital even as a shocked nation reacts to the rape and murder of two minor Dalit girls in Uttar Pradesh

By FI Network

Over 150 people gathered in the country’s capital yesterday to protest against the gruesome rape and murder of two minor Dalit girls in Badaun district in Uttar Pradesh. The two girls, cousins, who were 14 and 15 years of age respectively, were kidnapped at night outside their home on May 27. Their bodies were found the next day hanging from a mango tree in the village.

The Delhi protest – a candle light vigil- was organised by Reclaim the Night, Delhi, a collective that works to make Delhi a safe city for women. The vigil was held at Jantar Mantar where the Dalits from the Bhagana village in Haryana have been camping to protest against the usurpation of their land by the upper castes in the village and the rape of four minor Dalit girls in April 2014 under the banner of Bhagana Sangharsh Samiti.

Participants shared their grief and anguish over the Badaun violence, and many expressed their disillusionment with the authorities concerned for explicitly or implicitly supporting the accused instead of the girls. Speakers at the gathering recognised the need to fully acknowledge the intersection of caste discrimination with gender-based violence, which repeatedly leads to public, brazen – and often fatal – attacks on the most vulnerable Dalit bodies, that of women and girls.

The members of the Bhagana Sangharsh Samiti participated in the vigil, and their representatives spoke out against the caste-motivated gender violence faced by women and girls from their community. Protest songs were sung and slogans were chanted to show solidarity with the families of the victims at Badaun.

Dalit women in India are frequent victims of sexual violence. Photos by: Reclaim the Night Campaign

Dalit women in India are frequent victims of sexual violence. Photos by: Reclaim the Night Campaign

According to the victim’s relatives and the villagers, the local Badaun police not only ignored the missing report that the girls’ parents had tried to file but also had roughed them up. The villagers then gheraoed the tree and refused to allow authorities to remove the bodies till the attackers were arrested. As the photographs of the dead bodies of young girls dangling from a tree spread across the nation, the police arrested all the five accused named in the FIR, including two police constables.

Three brothers, Pappu Yadav, Awadhesh Yadav and Urvesh Yadav have been booked under sections 302 (murder) and 376 (rape) of IPC while constables Sarvesh Yadav and Chhatrapal Yadav have been booked under Section 120B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC. With protests breaking out across the nation, the Uttar Pradesh government on 30th May has decided to recommend a CBI investigation into the rape and murder.