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Dalit boy found dead in Haryana after ‘stealing pigeon’

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New Delhi: Days after two Dalit children were burnt alive allegedly by members of an upper caste community in Haryana’s Sun Perh village, a 14-year-old Dalit boy was found hanging near his house with wounds all over his body in the state on Thursday after being detained by police over the alleged theft of a pigeon.

Demanding action against the accused policemen and a compensation of Rs 10 lakh, Govind’s family and several others are sitting with his body on a road near their village in Sonepat district.

“Govind was charged with the theft of a pigeon by local people and then brutally thrashed by police for being a Dalit,” a member of his family reportedly said.

The police, however, claim Govind ran away and committed suicide, but a post mortem has confirmed injuries.

Govind was allegedly questioned by police on Wednesday and when his mother went to the police station to inquire about him, the policemen allegedly sought bribes. However, when she returned with the money, she was allegedly told that Govind had escaped.

“My son went to the police station himself, nothing was proved against him. The policemen asked for Rs. 5,000 from my son. He agreed but then they made a demand of 10,000 rupees,” Govind’s mother said on Friday.

While speaking to media persons, Govind’s brother said: “If someone runs away from police custody, what is the point of the police being there? In the morning, we found his dead body. They took our money and killed him.”

This comes two days after two Dalit children, two-year-old Vaibhav and nine-month-old Divya, were allegedly burnt alive by members of an upper caste community in Haryana’s Sun Perh village.

A police spokesman said, “Some criminals burnt a Jatav family of village Sun Perh, police station Sadar Ballabhgarh of Faridabad district when they were sleeping inside their house. Four members including Jitender, his wife Rekha and two small children namely Vaibhav (son) aged 2 years and Divya (daughter) aged 9 months were inside the room. Subsequently, the fire spread inside the room and both the children expired. Jitender and his wife Rekha also sustained burn injuries.”

Union Minister V K Singh on Thursday stoked a controversy while blaming a family feud for the burning alive of two Dalit children in Haryana and drew an analogy that if someone throws stones at a dog, the government is not responsible.

“If someone throws stones at a dog, the government is not responsible. It was a feud between two families, the matter is under inquiry,” Singh told reporters.

Singh’s statement was widely condemned, forcing him to offer a clarification that he was ‘misquoted’ by media.

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The major Challenge is to make the Youth of the Country Entrepreneurial and not Job Seekers : Venkaiah Naidu

"The challenge for us is to make the youth entrepreneurial, and not become job seekers," Venkaiah Naidu said pointing to the NDA government's various initiatives.

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Venkaiah Naidu
Venkaiah Naidu. Wikimedia Commons
  • At a time of tepid job growth and continuing income disparities, the major challenge is to make the youth of the country entrepreneurial and not job seekers, Vice President  Venkaiah Naidu said on Thursday.

“Disparities continue to remain in India and so there is a need for inclusive growth… there is the need to take care of the suppressed, oppressed and depressed,” Venkaiah Naidu said at the Bharatiya Yuva Shakti Trust’s (BYST) silver jubilee celebrations here with Britain’s Prince Charles as the chief guest.

“The challenge for us is to make the youth entrepreneurial, and not become job seekers,” Venkaiah Naidu said pointing to the NDA government’s various initiatives to encourage youth enterprises like Startup India, Standup India and the Mudra financing scheme for underprivileged sections.

Modelled on Prince Charles’ Trust for business startups, BYST, founded by Lakshmi Venkatesan, daughter of former President R. Venkatraman, is engaged in building rural entrepreneurship — “grampreneurs” — as also enterprise among under-privileged sections, which includes business mentoring. The current BYST chairman is Bajaj Group chief, Rahul Bajaj.

“Without mentoring, it would be very difficult to set up startups, with all the business, marketing and other vital issues involved in the first two-three years,” Prince Charles said in his address at the International Mentoring Summit organized by BYST to mark its 25 years.

“What amazes me are the sheer number of jobs these young entrepreneurs had created. The aim of such a project should be to create a virtual cycle of creating entrepreneurs who can then invest in the future of business,” Charles said referring to his trust.

BYST was officially launched in 1992 by Prince Charles and expanded its operations to six major regions of India.

Out of these six regions, four — Delhi, Chennai, Pune and Hyderabad — run the urban programme while two regions — Haryana and Maharashtra — run the rural programme.(IANS)

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Why Dera Sacha Sauda Followers Ready To Die For Rapist Ram Rahim Singh?

After the judgement on Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh's case was passed, his followers initiated violence in few cities of Haryana and Punjab

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DSS followers
Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh's followers were ready to die and fight for him. Wikimedia
  • The head of the Dera Sacha Sauda, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh recently had a trial and after the judgement was passed, his followers initiated violence in Haryana and Punjab
  • The surprising fact was not the sexual exploitation and other criminal cases against him, but the way his followers were willing to die and fight for him
  • The deras provided economic support, free medicine along with human dignity and self-respect to people who had to hear their caste names being used as abuses

New Delhi, August 28, 2017: The head of the Dera Sacha Sauda, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh recently had a trial and after the judgement was passed, his followers initiated violence in few cities of Haryana and Punjab. The government of Haryana failed to control the gathering of DSS followers in the place of the trial, Panchkula despite repeated advance warnings given by different security agencies.

The surprising fact was not the sexual exploitation and other criminal cases against him, but the way DSS followers were willing to die and fight for him.

The history of such Sufi cults or babas inspiring thousands of followers has been a part of north-western India for a long time. The question that arises is what is so distinctive about the structures of socio-political belonging to the society in that area which makes it possible for such centres of power to emerge?

For answering this question, a look at the region’s historical trajectory and the present day’s social and political structures. Punjab and Haryana, both have been through various foreign invasions which have caused a lot of chaos. The invasions did not allow the formation of socio-political structures for people to arrange their lives around. The people were deprived of stable socio-religious or political institutions. this was accompanied by the frequent destruction caused by the armies, which built a ground for Sufi cults or spiritual gurus to emerge. This gave people’s lives a direction as well as a stable institution of support and social security.

ALSO READNorthern Railways Suspend Services Ahead of Verdict of Rape Case Against Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh

The second reason which prompted the emergence of Sufi cults is the huge Dalit population and other minority castes present in that region. the comprise of a major portion of their followers. Haryana’s neighbouring areas and Punjab, both have a huge population of Dalits, with their population touching 30% in Punjab, the highest in India. However, the Dalit population in the society’s power structures is weak. This is due to highly skewed ownership of land in this region, wherein the power rests with the controllers of land. The caste system has played a huge part in depriving Dalits of the ownership of land. The Act of Alienation of Land enacted in 1990 created agricultural castes, including Muslims and Jat Sikhs mostly and they were made land allotments’ sole beneficiaries under the widening of canal-colonies and agriculture. They were given preference during the selling of land and put restrictions on the selling of land to others, which included rural Dalits and upper-caste urban Hindus.

This further excluded them weaker artisans and Dalit from the platforms of decision-making. The Jat Sikhs started gaining dominance in Sikh institutions and other castes such as khatris started getting displaced. The conflicts of land owners with the agricultural labourers gave rise to religious fights. Dalits were not welcomed in Sikh temples or gurudwara, which made them take up an alternative, in which they not only comprised a huge proportion of the crowd but they were also represented in decision-making and management structure.

The development of deras gave rise to an alternative institution for various cultures. The most appealing aspect of these deras was their promise of treating all DSS followers equally irrespective of the caste. They provided economic support, free medicine along with human dignity and self-respect to people who had to hear their caste names being used as abuses in the society. An example of this would be DSS’ local unit’s head being called as “Bhangi Das”. In a society where the word “Bhangi” is used to insult or abuse someone, this represents an act of pride, protest and the reclamation of the dignity of many broken people.

Such simple people’s faith becomes vulnerable to dera heads and their machinations, who quickly develop an unholy connection with mafia and politicians. No wonder politicians have been courting such deras actively! This occurrence is attributed to two reasons- the first being the transformation of Dalits from landlords’ dependents to wage labourers due to the fall of old feudal order and the Green Revolution. This provided the Dalits with an escape route to urban-industrial areas.

This loosened the control over Dalits by land owners and they had to look for alternatives to influence the votes of artisans castes and Dalits. Along with this, the democracy started deepening from the 1980s and the marginalised communities started gaining importance in politics. The politicians started approaching deras in order to win their votes as the obligation of democracy, “one man, one vote” policy and reservations made it impossible to ignore these castes in the process of elections.

The politicians never wanted to give a real say and stake to Dalits, therefore the only way to make them vote in their favour was to extend impunity and political patronage to the heads of deras.

However, the High Court asking to seize dera’s properties and remove all its dependents is in one way, a misinterpretation of justice. The recently witnessed Jat agitation destroyed a lot more property but the judiciary didn’t give an order to confiscate all Jat properties, or those belonging to the organisers or any other case for that matter. It is essential to investigate and punish the ones who are guilty.

We see various liberals and media houses are slamming the government that shooting more people will not have an impact on them as long as it is giving them additional talking points. A right mixture of statesmanship and state power is required if we want tp prevent long-run effects of destabilising and chaos.

-prepared by Harsimran Kaur of NewsGram. Twitter Hkaur1025

NewsGram is a Chicago-based non-profit media organization. We depend upon support from our readers to maintain our objective reporting. Show your support by Donating to NewsGram. Donations to NewsGram are tax-exempt. 

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Quick View on Dera Chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Case: 20 Years of Imprisonment enough for a Rapist in India?

15 point guide to know about the latest developments in Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s case

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Dera Chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim got a jail sentence of 20 years
Dera Chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim got a jail sentence of 20 years. Twitter

New Delhi, August 28, 2017: A special CBI court gave jail sentence of 20 years (for a 15-year-old case) to rape convict Gurmeet Ram Rahim today.

Here’s a 15 point guide about the Gurmeet Ram Rahim  case:

  • Jagdeep Singh, CBI Judge declared 2 sentences of 10 years imprisonment for the 2 rape cases that happened in 2002.
  • Dera chief was also fined by the court for the 2 cases amounting to a total of Rs 30 lakh (Rs 14 lakh each would go to the 2 rape victims).
  • The Dera chief allegedly cried in the courtroom and also begged for sympathy and forgiveness.
  • The defense requested the Judge to be lenient as the Dera chief has worked for the welfare of people in the past.
  • Apart from the rape cases, Gurmeet Ram Rahim is also facing trial in 2 separate murder cases- Dera follower Ranjit Singh and journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati.
  • Protests by Dera followers (after his conviction) in Haryana and Punjab have led to the death of 38 people and crores of damage to public property.
  • A special court was set up in the Sunaria Jail premises in order to avoid any further damage caused by the violent mob. For this Jagdeep Singh, CBI special court judge flew to Rohtak today.
  • Talking about safety measures, Atul Kumar, District Collector of Rohtak said that shoot at sight orders will be issued if any anti-social elements occur which tries to harm the police force or innocent public.
  • Security was increased outside Manohar Lal Khattar, Haryana chief minister’s official residence in Chandigarh before Ram Rahim’s sentencing.
  • There was high security around the Rohtak district jail with paramilitary forces and Haryana Police covering the area. The Army was on standby.
  • No movement of people (other than the authorized ones) was allowed within 10 km distance from the jail premises.
  • Panchkula, Sirsa, Uttar Pradesh, neighboring areas were on high alert and to ensure the safety of citizens Paramilitary forces were placed in various areas. There is a curfew in Sirsa and Section 144 is enforced in Rohtak. Sensitive areas of Punjab are being patrolled by security forces.
  • Locals have been asked to stay indoors as a preventive measure.
  • Mobile internet services will remain suspended in Haryana, Punjab and also Internet lease lines in Dera Sacha Sauda headquarters, Sirsa till tomorrow 11:30 a.m.

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