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Harassment and Torture of Dalits for Access to Public Resources

  • Posted by: Centre for Dalit Rights
  • Date of incident: 14-12-2001
  • State:: Rajasthan
  • District:: JAIPUR (R)
  • Police station:: Phagi
  • Chargesheet:: Chargesheet Filed
  • Summary::

    The Chakwara Panchayat has a small public pond, which is used by people of all communities. The Dalits could use only their community Ghats. The Ganesh Ghat was made only for members of the Upper Caste; the said Ghat has deep water. The water level in Dalit community is very low. On 14/12/2001, Babulal Bairwa took bath in the Ganesh Ghat. The villagers and persons who advocated Manu system and Brahmin system along with five patels on behalf of all the three Upper Caste people have punished Babulal Bairwa and Bairwa Community as a whole by imposing a fine of Rs. 51000/-. Members of the Dominant Caste threatened Bairwa with social boycott if he defaults in paying the fine amount. Bairawa was making enormous efforts to weaken the traditional system. On hearing from Bairawa, the Phagi Police registered an FIR, however, even after 6 months; the people of Bairawa community received no communication. As a greater impact, human excreta were thrown into the Dalits\\\' well five times in the Village Kansel that comes under Fagi Police Station by members of the Dominant Caste. The local police submitted the final report before the Court. The Special SC/ ST Court Jaipur also acquitted all the perpetrators. Currently a Criminal Revision Petition is pending before the Rajasthan High Court, Jaipur.  

     

    People of the Bairwa community approached the Dalit Human Rights Centre at Jaipur. It was decided to take a walking procession under the title \\\"Sadbhavna Yatra\\\" (Community Harmony) from the place Chakus to Chakwara (Roughly 60 Km.) on 20th and 21st September 2002. People of all communities and religions participated in the yatra. However, when the procession went through the localities inhabited by the Jats and other dominant caste people, they avoided it. In Chakwada and neighboring places members of the three Dominant Castes of Jaipur District labeled the Sadbavana Yatra as Dalit Rally. To disturb the procession, people of non-Dalit communities were called to strike. On 20th September 2002, the yatra was given reception at only one village. However on 21st September 2002, some 15-20 thousand people had assembled in a crowd, who were anti-yatra people. The protest rally was about 6Km. with slogans against Dalit communities. They were having weapons of all kinds and the situation was bad till 10 O\\\'clock in the morning. The yatra was called off by 10 or 11 O\\\'clock. The Police announced that the yatra has come to end; they ordered the crowd to disperse. On account of their disobedience, to scatter the crowd the Police applied mild force with blank fires. This incident happened in presence of police force as well as all important government officials including District Collector, Superintendent of Police. Some Police personnel were injured during the incident. On account of the procession, members of the Dominant Caste instructed members of the Bairawa community not to use public water places.

     

    On hearing from Babulal Bairwa, Phagi Police registered an F.I.R. accusing 17 members of the three higher communities. Even after 6 months, the people of Bairwa community did not receive any kind of communication from the police authorities. The authorities tried to settle the matter outside court. Members of the Bairwa community at Chakwada approached the Dalit Human Rights Centre at Jaipur. It was decided to take a walking procession under the title \\\"Sadbhavna Yatra\\\" (Community Harmony) from the place Chakus to Chakwada (Roughly 60 Km.) on 20th and 21st September 2002. Members of the Dominant Caste have taken it for granted that the Dalit has disgraced the pond. Everyone in the village uses the pond, excluding members of the Dominant Caste. It is alleged that, some people throw human excreta into the pond. A permanent police post has been established in the village but the situation has not yet changed. The Rajasthan High Court dismissed the Criminal Revision Petition against the acquittal order of the perpetrators.

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A Dalit Tortured to Death on Theft Allegation

  • Posted by: Dalit Sthree Sakthi (DSS)
  • Date of incident: 31-10-2001
  • State:: Andhra Pradesh
  • District:: KHAMMAM
  • Police station:: Khammam
  • Chargesheet:: F.I.R registered, No Chargesheet
  • Summary::

    Tagaram Jayaram is resident of Papatapalli village, Khammam urban mandal. He had no criminal record. A gold chain of Gudi Srinivasa Rao’s (reporter in a daily newspaper) wife was stolen on 23.10.2001 while she was travelling on Vijayawada-Dornakal passenger train and the police filed a case.  When Srinivasa Rao pressurised the police for arrest of thieve, the police arrested Jayaram, beat him up severely and forced him to confess the theft.  Jayaram died in the lockup due to the police beatings. Police later confessed that a press reporter’s hand was behind the illegal confinement of Jayaram. A murder case was registered against the police, who were involved in the crime. Government gave compensation to the victim’s family. Police who were responsible for death were arrested.

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A Dalit Died Due to Police Torture on Allegation of Gambling

  • Posted by: Dalit Sthree Sakthi (DSS)
  • Date of incident: 12-10-2001
  • State:: Andhra Pradesh
  • District:: KURNOOL
  • Police station:: Bandi Atmakur
  • Chargesheet:: F.I.R- u/s 174 Cr.P.C. & 4 SC/ST (PoA) Act., No Chargesheet
  • Summary::

    Balanna and Nagamma, parents of Peddinti Thirupal and his friends say that Thirupal died on 12.10.2001 due to police torture.  Even though the police say he committed suicide, the villagers and the parents of the deceased say it is a lock-up murder. Poosuri Ramchandra Ramachandra Reddy, Khaja Hussein, Vadde Subba Rayudu, Evuri Subramanyam and Thirupal were arrested by the police on 10.0.2001 on the charges of gambling. They were told to come back with Rs. 200/- as a self-bail bond and were thus released. When they did not come back to the police station, police constables Ramudu and Subbanna came and took them to the police station. There they were made to work in the police station premises on 11.10.2001.  Local people say that someone was beaten with lathis (batons) during that night.  The next morning, when Thirupal was found dead in the harvesting plot which is next to the station, the relatives of Thirupal argue that it was Thirupal who was beaten by the police during that night.  Khaja Hussein, one of the people whom police took away, said Thirupal died because of the police beating him to death. The police had come to him and asked him to come to police station, where they threatened him. When he reached police station the police were beating someone and Khaja Hussein heard someone crying /shouting from the police cell in pain. Thirupal’s dead body was discovered the next morning. Sub-Inspector Venkateswarlu was also in the police station. Blood-filled dragging marks from the police station to the harvesting place, signs of recent removal of fencing surrounding the harvesting ground,  and blood marks from thorn cuts on the legs of the deceased  confirm that Thrirupal’s death was a lock-up death.  

     

    The Sub-Inspector’s version is that Thirupal was not taken to the police station and that he committed suicide, fearing being produced before a court.  After the post mortem, the body was sent to Anantapur for a forensic report.

     

    Various people’s organisations insist that a thorough enquiry on the murder be conducted as Superintendent of Police Seetharamanjaneyulu is saying that police are not connected to this death, despite sufficient evidence to show that Thirupal was murdered by the police. The Nandyal RDO was appointed as an enquiry officer in this case. The case was booked under sec. 174 Cr.P.C. one year (sec. 4 SC/ST (POA) Act).

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Police Abused by a Dalit Rights Activist for Follow up of Cases

  • Posted by: Dalit Sthree Sakthi (DSS)
  • Date of incident: 18-09-2001
  • State:: Andhra Pradesh
  • District:: MAHABUBNAGAR
  • Police station:: Shadnagar
  • Chargesheet:: F.I.R registered, No Chargesheet
  • Summary::

    On 18 September 2000, dominant caste Police Sub-Inspector Sivakumar, without provocation, publicly humiliated, insulted and repeatedly abused by caste name Dalit activist Mallesh Madiga at Shadnagar police station. Humiliated, Mallesh Madiga attempted to commit suicide by consuming pesticide the next day. Mallesh Madiga, belonging to Madiga (SC) is an activist of the Madiga Dandora Movement with a good reputation as a Dalit leader in Shadnagar mandal.  He is a member of one of the government-organised ‘maithri sanghams’ (friendship committees) consisting of police and civilians, intended to foster harmony and peace in the villages.

     

    As an activist, Mallesh Madiga regularly visits local police stations to represent the grievances of Dalits, and also to check up on pending cases.  On the evening of 17.9.2000 he went to the Shadnagar police station to enquire as to the status of a Dalit case he had represented to the police some time earlier.  Instead of giving him the details he requested, Sub-Inspector Sivakumar abused Mallesh Madiga in front of all the police and other gathered people present, shouting, “you Madiga bastard, get out.”  Sivakumar repeatedly cursed him using his caste name until Mallesh Madiga left the station. The next day, on 18.9.2001, Mallesh Madiga consumed a quantity of pesticide on the main road, attempting suicide. He was immediately rushed to the hospital.  Also on the same day, World Bank President Mr. Woolfenson happened to be visiting Mahabubnagar District.  Some newspapers reported that Mallesh Madiga had attempted suicide as a protest against the visit of the World Bank President.  Upon recovering one week later, however, Mallesh Madiga clarified that his humiliation at the hands of police SI Sivakumar had led him to attempt suicide.  He registered a complaint regarding the humiliation and abuse by caste name. But only after a great deal of agitation by Dalit activists was the offending SI was transferred to a different police station. Officials, however, refused to register a case against Sivakumar, though his action constitutes an offence under both the IPC and the SC/ST (POA) Act.

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A Dalit Distressed Woman for Refusing to Continue Relationship

  • Posted by: Dalit Sthree Sakthi (DSS)
  • Date of incident: 12-09-2001
  • State:: Andhra Pradesh
  • District:: GUNTUR RURAL
  • Police station:: Machavaram
  • Chargesheet:: F.I.R registered , No Chargesheet
  • Summary::

    Vattipogu Poornamma (25 years), belonging to Madiga (SC) was murdered in the Dalit colony of Gangireddy palem village, Machavaram mandal of Guntur district, allegedly for refusing to continue a relationship with a dominant caste man. Boodala Yesu and Kamalamma have two sons and one daughter, Poornamma.  Poornamma was married to her maternal uncle when she was just 15 years. Poornamma was living in Brahmanapalli and had a 12-year old son.  She separated from her husband three years ago and was living in Gangireddy palem. She used to go for tractor work and other works to feed her son and parents.  She had an extra-marital affair with Gandham Ram Murthy Venkateswarlu for some time and used to work with his tractor. As some misunderstanding arose, she stopped working with the tractor for some time. On 12.9.2001, Ram Murthy came to her house at around 8:00 p.m. and woke her up from her rest. When Poornamma got up and asked Ram Murthy what he wanted, Poornamma’s mother, Kamalamma, also got up from the place where she was working and enquired about the commotion.  Poornamma told her mother to go to sleep, saying that Ram Murthy wanted to talk to her.  Kamalamma noticed her daughter walking with Ram Murthy towards the opposite agriculture lands and two or three people sitting on a stone wall adjacent to the fields and smoking beedis. She came back and slipped into sleep.  

     

    Kamalamma suddenly woke up to the sound of somebody talking and asked them what was going on. They described how they had heard a woman’s voice crying out “amma, amma (mother, mother).” She came back and found that Poornamma was not on her cot.  Suspecting some harm, she took the help of the neighbours and searched in the fields but could not find anyone in the pitch darkness. Poornamma’s dead body was found in the irrigation well of Sivarathri Venkateswar Rao’s cotton fields.  Her slippers, broken pieces of bangles and blood stains were found near the well.  Village elders went to Sarpanch Yarasi Venkatrao and from there they went to the police station and filed a complaint.  The police told them that they would come and instructed them to confirm whether there was a dead body or not and if it was there in the well, to pull it out.  The village youth pulled out the dead body and went to the police again. But the police told them to watch over the dead body for the night and that they would come the next morning. When the youth were watching over the body during the night, somebody came in a jeep and pelted stones at them and ran away.

     

    The SI came on 14.9.2000 at around 10:00 a.m. and shifted the dead body to the government hospital at Gurajala.  The post mortem was conducted the next day and then the body was handed over the relatives.   The dead body started emitting a rotten smell and became bloated as already three days were passed.  Hence, except for some, men nobody went near the dead body and looked for any signs of wounds or injuries. The parents strongly state that Gandham Ram Murthy is responsible for the murder because Poornamma rejected her relationship with him, but whether she was sexually assaulted before she was murdered or not has not established, However, some people gathered near the scene when they heard Poornamma’s shouts they believe that Poornamma was tortured based on the broken pieces of bangles and blood stains near the well.  The police filed a case quoting Ram Murthy as the accused, but neither was he arrested, nor was an enquiry conducted.  The case was not filed under SC/ST (POA) Act. In addition, it is clear that the police neglected the case for three days.

     

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