PUNE: During the Maharashtra Bandh on January 3rd, the Pune Rural Police gathered over 2,000 video recordings revealing incidents of vandalism in the district. Bharip Bahujan Mahasangh President and Dalit leader, Prakash Ambedkar, called for a state-wide shut-down. The order was declared by Ambedkar two days after the violence against the Dalits, visiting the war memorial at Bhima Koregaon in Pune, commenced.
According to The New Indian Express, vandalism and arson incidents transpiring during the Bandh were not just restricted to Pune. Several areas in the state, including Mumbai, felt the brunt of the violent conditions. The Pune Rural Police confirmed that they have successfully obtained over 2,000 videos, captured by police personnel on duty on their mobile phones or CCTV cameras in areas of tension. A police officer affiliated to the headquarters of the Pune Rural Police stated, “People from various communities are helping us identify these hooligans.”
The officer also mentioned that forty-three individuals have been arrested and taken into custody so far throughout different parts of the district. As per India Today, the state government, in the meanwhile, has offered the family members of Rahul Phatangale a cheque of Rupees ten lakh in compensation. Phatangale was a victim of the violence that occurred at Bhima Koregaon on January 1.
Twelve more people including three minors were arrested by district police in connection with the Koregaon Bhima Violence on January 1. The violence broke out due to caste clashes in which one person was killed.
Seventeen people were earlier arrested by the police in connection with the incident. The violence took place during the bicentennial event to memorialize the Koregaon-Bhima battle in which Peshwas lost to the British imperial army comprising of Dalits.
On January 1, numerous vehicles, shops, houses were vandalized by mobs in areas near Koregaon Bhima. Several Dalits visit the Koregaon Ranstambh (victory pillar) every year to commemorate the Koregaon Bhima battle.
Pune district SP Suvez Haque said that those who were arrested on Monday were from the Maratha and Dalit communities. The police are trying to analyse CCTV footages and video recordings to see and identify the anti-social elements in the violence on January 1.
The police also booked six members of the Kabir Kala Manch, a radical cultural group for making provocative remarks during the Elgaar Parishad held on December 31, a day before the violence broke out.
JNU leader Umar Khalid, Dalit MLA from Gujarat Jignesh Mevani,Bharip Bahujan Mahasangh President Prakash Ambedkar and Late Rohit Vemula’s mother Radhika Vemula attended the Elgaar Parishad.
Mevani and Khalid have already been charged by the police for making provocative remarks to create rifts between the Dalits and the Marathas.
New Delhi, January 09: Newly elected Gujarat legislator and Dalit leader, Jignesh Mevani called out the ‘Yuva Hunkaar Rally’ along with Assam peasant leader Akhil Gogoi to address Dalit activists on January 09, 2017, even when the Delhi Police denied permission citing an National Green Tribunal (NGT) order that had disallowed protests at Jantar Mantar.
Around 1500 police and paramilitary personnel, armed with tear gas and 10 water cannons, have been deployed at the venue. In spite of that, a large number of students from universities in New Delhi, women’s groups, teachers’ associations and activists associated with Mevani from across the country are expected to attend the rally.
On Monday, a tweet by the office of Deputy Commissioner of Police said, “No permission granted so far by Delhi Police to hold proposed protest at Parliament Street in view of NGT orders.” However, the organisers have claimed that their protest is on Parliament Street and not Jantar Mantar.
The purpose behind the rally is to demand the release of Chandrashekhar Azad, the Dalit leader arrested last June over caste clashes in Saharanpur.
The 37-year-old Mevani is accused in the case of violence in the recent clashes at Bhima-Koregaon near Pune, that eventually spread across Maharashtra.
On the eve of 71st Independence Day, the newly elected President of India Ram Nath Kovind addressed the nation for the first time. The vision for creating a “New India” by 2022 and an egalitarian society that does not discriminate based on gender or religious background formed the crux of Kovind’s maiden speech to the country. Maintaining an optimistic tone, Kovind backed government’s demonetization act and appreciated people’s support for the recent Good and Services Tax scheme.
In his talk, the Dalit president emphasized that India must be an empathetic society where socially backward classes like SC, ST and OBC constitute a major part in India’s development. Focussing on the “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” campaign, Kovind said that it is every individual’s duty to ensure that best education is provided to girls. In addition to this, he also highlighted the people’s role in the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
Highlighting the cooperation between government and the citizens, President Kovind said, “The stress on the moral basis of policy and action, belief in unity and discipline, faith in a synthesis of heritage and science, and promotion of the rule of law and of education – all of it was located in a partnership between citizen and government.”
Kovind concluded his speech with Buddha’s quote of “Being your own light”, and appealed everyone to contribute their share in taking India to greater heights.
Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati has resigned from the Rajya Sabha after she was not allowed to speak on atrocities towards Dalits and other minorities. Mayawati had threatened about the decision just hours before handing her resignation letter.
“I was speaking about the atrocities against Dalits since I belong to that community. But treasury benches did not allow me to speak about that. How can I continue in such an environment?”, Mayawati quoted as she handed over her resignation letter to the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.
Speaking on the recent anti-Dalit violence in Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur, Mayawati was asked by Deputy Chairman P J Kurien to stop her speech when she exceeded the three-minute time limit. Angered by this, Mayawati blamed PJ Kurien for asking her to ‘sit down’ instead of asking the ruling party MPs who were interrupting her. Following which she threatened to resign and ultimately did so.
In her letter, Mayawati said that her reason was similar to that of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, when he resigned from the Nehru cabinet in 1951 over differences on Hindu Code Bill.
The BJP however, dismissed the resignation letter, with senior Dalit leader Bizay Sonkar Shastri claiming it as a desperate move to grab attention and support. The decision to accept the resignation lies with the Chairman and states that the letter should be brief and not have any reason of resignation, which Mayawati’s does not comply with.
Recently retired Calcutta High Court Judge, Justice CS Karnan, was arrested in Coimbatore late on Tuesday by the West Bengal Police in contempt of the Supreme Court (SC) of India. Justice Karnan had given controversial rulings against the Chief Justice of India (CJI) and other judges, becoming the first sitting judge to rule against a Supreme Court Justice.
Karnan had been evading the West Bengal (WB) Police ever since the seven-judge bench headed by CJI JS Khehar had sentenced him to six-month imprisonment. West Bengal Police, under the orders of SC to arrest Karnan “forthwith,” at last got the better of the eluding judge who has been on the run since May 9. He was taken into custody by WB and Tamil Nadu cops in the outskirts of Coimbatore city.
Justice Karnan had found Khehar and seven other SC judges “guilty” of breaching the “Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes Atrocities Act, 1989, 2015,” and had sentenced them to 5 years of imprisonment along with a fine of Rs 1 lakh. He had also directed the Delhi Police commissioner to execute the order. Although being stripped of his judicial rights since February 8, Karnan had been holding court hearings at his residential place, and had even refused to undergo mental health test as directed by the SC. He has repeatedly stated that he has been victimized because of his Dalit status.
CS Karnan officially retired on June 12. He was subsequently taken to Chennai by the authorities after his arrest.
Jatin Goraya – Vice President of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad’s Jawaharlal National University unit resigned stating the reason, he was ‘tired’ of ABVP’s attitude on the attacks against Dalits.
He’s fourth such member from the BJP wing to drop his position from the party this year due to various discrepencies. Pradeep Narwal who was the ABVP’s JNU unit joint secretary and two other members had submitted their resignations in February earlier this year, succeeding disputes in the university campus regarding the 9th February incident where ‘anti- national’ slogans were being chanted.
“I resign from the post of vice-president of ABVP, and disassociate myself from the casteist, farcical and patriarchal organisation. The conduct of ABVP has explicitly revealed their manipulative fascist and conservative face,” wrote Jatin Goraya in his resignation letter.
Moreover in his resignation letter he communicated that regressive stands on various issues ranging from the Rohit Vermula case to the JNU incident and the Dalit uprising for social justice and dignity in Una. It is quite predictable to see that the ABVP has been stigmatizing our own institution upon the fake premise of nationalism, anti-nationalism and forcing down their rather ruptured and obnoxious ideology of” nationalism” on us, wrote Jatin Goraya in his resignation letter.
He further added that the institutionalised murder of Rohit Vermula was being illustrated as a suicide and the people involved were being defended, revealing that social justice was never their forte.