Bhagana Dalits convert to Islam for 'dignified life' - The tribune
Naxals kill father, son now fighting to get irri in village - The times of india
Never met Saibaba, only heard his seminars: Hem Mishra- The times of india
Bihar polls: Jitan Ram Manjhi versus Ram Vilas Paswan over who is the bigger Dalit leader - The Indian express
Sonia on two-day visit to Rae Bareli - The times of india
NHRC will probe medical negligence complaints in Mumbai - The times of india
Bhagana Dalits convert to Islam for 'dignified life'
Tribune News Service
Hisar, August 8
A day after meeting with Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, nearly 100 Dalit families of the district's Bhagana village claimed to have converted to Islam in a ceremony at Jantar Mantar in Delhi today.
Dalit leaders alleged that incessant persecution and harassment at the hands of the upper-castes and failure of the authorities to address their concerns drove them to take the step.
Bhagana Kand Sangharsh Samiti president Virender Bagoria told The Tribune over phone Dalits were feeling disenchanted and thus embraced Islam. "Our four-year-old struggle to get justice failed to bear any result. The administration and society have let us down," he said, adding Dalits did not hope for a solution after meeting Khattar yesterday in Delhi.
His aide Satish Kajla, who is named Abul Kalam after conversion, said Maulvi Abdul Hanif from Jharna Masjid near Qutbu Minar completed the formalities in a ceremony. "We read 'kalma' and 'namaz'. We will not re-convert," he said.
Kajla, who was part of the delegation that met the CM, said Dalits would launch a campaign in Haryana, urging other members of the community to convert to Islam so that they could lead a dignified life.
Bhagana village had, in April 2012, witnessed tension between Jats and Dalits after the panchayat constructed a wall, blocking access to some Dalit houses.
The times of india
Naxals kill father, son now fighting to get irri in village
The Naxals brutally killed a man five months back, because he was fighting to bring lift irrigation facility to their nondescript village Damrancha in Aheri town of Gadchiroli district. The project would have changed the economy of the Maoist-hit area situated on the confluence of two rivers — Bandiya and Indravati — by irrigating around 1,000 hectares. Today, the man's son is working hard to complete his father's dream project, despite facing threats from Naxals.
Located near the Chhattisgarh border, Damrancha village is usually cut off from the rest of Aheri town due to a lack of roads. It even lacks basic amenities like a school, primary health care centre and bus service, with the only access being by private taxi or on foot. Patru Durge, deputy sarpanch and prominent Dalit leader in the area, wanted to change this with the lift irrigation scheme.
Now, his son Prithviraj has stepped into his shoes. "Despite having studied till just standard IV, my father took efforts to study the geographical situation and prepared maps and documents required for the irrigation project. It's ironic that we could manage to get only one crop in a year in spite of being at the confluence of two rivers. The project can usher in a new era of development in our region, as we can get four crops in a year with water availability," he says.
The Nagpur-based Bhumkal Sanghatan is helping Prithviraj realize his father's dream project. He also plans to meet chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and other ministers to follow up on the issue. His father had taken the pains to travel all the way to Mumbai on March 16, with the designs and maps he had prepared with his little knowledge, to try and convince the government to implement the irrigation project. Besides the CM, he met finance and planning minister Sudhir Mungantiwar and water resources minister Girish Mahajan.
It had not been easy for his father to prepare the documents that would pass scrutiny for the government's scheme of providing lift irrigation facility. When he had raised the demand with Gadchiroli officials, he came to know that they needed a minimum 1,000 hectares for implementation. He had then convinced farmers from adjoining villages, and even made them pass a resolution in this regard at their Gram Sabha. However, his brutal killing was a big setback for the project, whose prospects now looked dim.
"My father was working on this project since 2011. But the Maoists didn't want development in the area as it would affect their cadre base. OnApril 19, about 10-12 of them came to our home and told him to come out as they wanted to talk about something important. We were told to stay inside. Naturally, all family members were frightened. Suddenly, we heard gun shots. They then smashed his head with a boulder. When we came out, the Naxals warned against lodging a police complaint," Prithviraj recalls with moist eyes.
Ironically, the police station is just a few meters away, but the cops didn't dare to come out at night fearing an ambush by the rebels, who usually attack at this time. The family members could see his body only in the morning when the police arrived. "They killed him as they suspected he was a police informer. In the past too, they had butchered many people fighting for development of their areas in this backward district. They deliberately make these killings look brutal to create terror among poor villagers. They have realized that their movement is fading away as people are fed up of violence and want development," says Bhumkal general secretary Datta Shirke.
The times of india
Never met Saibaba, only heard his seminars: Hem Mishra
Alleged Naxal 'courier' Hem Mishra, a student of Chinese language at JNU, said on Tuesday that he has never met former Delhi University English professor Saibaba, except hearing him on a couple of occasions at seminars. Mishra was speaking after his release on bail granted by the high court last week, after spending two years and 19 days in jail. His statement is in stark contradiction to the police charge that he was working as a courier for Saibaba, taking information to the Naxals.
Mishra, whose father KD Mishra and brother G Mishra along with a legal team were waiting outside the jail, said he had never personally interacted with Saibaba, who had a sound reputation in not only academic circles but in the society also. "The police version is a figment of their imagination to frame me. I did not have any pen drive or microchip on me when arrested, which my legal team is also highlighting repeatedly before the judiciary," he said. Mishra's counsel Surendra Gadling said that the legal team would fight to prove his innocence. Advocate Anil Kale and others were also present when Mishra interacted with the media after his release.
"In a vibrant campus like JNU, activism and movements are common, with students drawn into different fights for rights and justice. The government is inclined to label anyone who wants to express his or her dissent against the establishment as a Naxal," said Mishra.
Regarding his arrest, Mishra said he was picked up from Ballarshah railway station while on the way to meet Dr Prakash Amte on August 20 in 2013. He wanted to meet the philanthropist not only to discuss a congenital problem in his left hand, but also seek inspiration for social work. "I had complained about ill-treatment, illegal confinement and inhuman behaviour of police before the magistrate at the Aheri court, but he preferred to send me to 10-day custody remand. It was in the remand that I met Prashant Rahi, who had been placed in a cell opposite mine at the police camp at Aheri," he said.
Recalling the plight of other inmates, Mishra said that several youngsters from tribal, Dalit and other backward classes are languishing in jail with a number of fabricated cases of carrying out antinational activities thrust upon them. "The youngsters, who should have been in colleges and other institutions, are rotting behind bars. Several inmates are facing up to 50-55 cases, leaving one surprised," he said.
Mishra, who aims to continue his education and also keep fighting for different causes, said he had participated in a nine-day hunger strike to fight for the rights of inmates not being produced before courts or not being granted bail even when they have such a right. "The hunger strike yielded some positive result as inmates are being taken to court more regularly and many of them also got bail," he said. Mishra had been dumped into the 'anda cell' to stay in isolation along with 20 others on the first day of the hunger strike, which had taken place in February last year.
The Indian express
Bihar polls: Jitan Ram Manjhi versus Ram Vilas Paswan over who is the bigger Dalit leader
Two major NDA partners in Bihar, Ram Vilas Paswan and Jitan Ram Manjhi, are flexing their muscles over whose party represents the state's Dalits better and deserves a higher share. Paswan (LJP) has already called himself a national leader of Dalits and described former Bihar CM Manjhi as a "state leader". Manjhi, who has launched a party called HAM, has responded with a series of attacks, culminating Tuesday with "Paswan is not a leader of Dalits". On Monday, Manjhi had accused Paswan of nepotism and promoting only members of his family in politics over the years, an allegation he repeated Tuesday. "I am saying with due respect that Paswan has been unable to raise himself and his party above his son and brothers. His entire politics revolves around them," Manjhi said.
The times of india
Sonia on two-day visit to Rae Bareli
LUCKNOW: After an explosive meeting of the Congress Working Committee in New Delhi, Congress president Sonia Gandhi will be on a two-day tour of her parliamentary constituency Rae Bareli. Sonia will arrive in Rae Bareli on Wednesday morning and unveil a statue of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi at the district's Tehsil Bhavan. She will also chair the meeting of the district vigilance monitoring committee, following which she will meet people from the constituency at the Bhuvemau guest house.
Day two of her visit, will see Sonia undertaking surprise visits to blocks in the constituency to inspect development work carried out with her local area development funds.
On Wednesday, Congress' scheduled caste department toured Rae Bareli before completing the first phase of its Bhim Jyoti Yatra across 19 districts, an initiative by the SC cell to create awareness about Congress' contribution to promoting Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar in his political career. The exercise, first-of-its-kind initiative to build Congress' base among the Dalit community, was aimed at cadre building, communication and creating awareness about the party's Dalit strategy, said AICC SC department programme convener Christopher Tilak. Congress UP SC cell chairman Bhagwati Chaudhary said the party will start the next phase of the Bhim Jyoti Yatra after the completion of UP's panchayat polls.
The times of india
NHRC will probe medical negligence complaints in Mumbai
MUMBAI: In a major breakthrough for the patient rights movement, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) will conduct a national-level probe into complaints of medical negligence in the public and private health sectors. The first public hearing for the western region will be held at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Deonar, on November 18 and 19.
The six hearings, which will be completed by March 2016, have been organized by the Jan Swasthya Abhiyan (JSA), a national network of civil society organizations. Members of the NHRC, the Union ministry of health & family welfare, state health officials and municipal corporations will attend the hearings.
"The main objective will be to review human rights violations in healthcare services. The NHRC will take steps to ensure action on serious cases, and recommend ways to protect health rights of patients," said JSA's Kamayani Mahabal.
Dr Abhijeet More of JSA said, "In times of sickness, people don't go to public hospitals as they are poorly equipped. But in private hospitals, there is little transparency, people are overcharged and forced to buy medicines from their own pharmacy or undergo tests at their diagnostic laboratories."
At a briefing on Tuesday, JSA members invited people to write or email their complaints along with relevant papers. "We hope the hearings will lead to recognition of patient rights and the setting up of a special redressal system that will offer time-bound solutions instead," said More.
Dr Noorjehan Niaz of the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan said, "Muslim ghettos have fewer healthcare posts and almost no anganwadis. At public hospitals, Muslim women face neglect, denial, abuse and even violence."
The NHRC hearings will focus on issues related to women, Dalits, Adivasis and workers. Denial of benefits under the Rajiv Gandhi Jeevandayee Arogya Yojana will also be probed.
News monitored by AMRESH & AJEET