Tuesday March 19, 2019
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Rajasthan: Jats mow down three dalits under tractors

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

The residents of Nagaur district’s Dangawas, in Rajasthan, witnessed a gruesome incident in which some members of the dominant upper castes, the jats, crushed three dalits under tractors. Several other people including women were also seriously injured in the spine-chilling act of violence. The brutal incident picked fire when the dalit community fired shots, killing one dominant caste member.

This disturbing incident was caused by a dispute over a 20ha farm land, claimed by dalit members Ratnaram Meghwal, Gutaram Meghwal and Khemaral Meghwal. However, the upper caste family of Chimnaram Jat contended the claim. This dispute has been lying unresolved for several years in court.

The issue reached at a crescendo on Thursday when the upper caste jat family arranged a panchayat and summoned the Meghwals. The dalit families, thinking that the jats were gathering to attack them, fired two men who were sent to summon them.

One of the two men died on the spot, which infuriated the jats and they perpetrated violence on the dalits, bulldozing their houses, molesting the women, mowing the men under their tractors.

Moreover, several armed upper assailants reached the hospital at Merta city and prevented the doctors to give medical treatment to the dalits. Police force had to be called to make sure that the injured are being treated properly.

One of the injured woman told Times of India, “Four attackers tried to remove my ‘ghaghra’ (skirt) and tried to thrust a stick inside.”

Another woman said, “They pulled me by my hair for about 50 meters, tore off my clothes and hit my legs with iron-rods.”

The newspaper reported that the chief functionary of Jaipur-based Centre for Dalit Rights, P.L. Mimroth demanded police security for the dalits in and around Dangawas.

“The government must ensure medical treatment of the injured and arrest the accused immediately, booking them under the SC/ST Act. Law and order in the region has completely failed,” said Mimroth.

“The government should compensate the victims who were abiding by court orders on the disputed land,” he added.

As per the report, SP Nagaur, HGR Suhasaa thinks otherwise and does not perceive this incident as a Dalit versus upper caste violence.

“The accused include the Meghwals as well, and not just the Jats. The village has a population of around 15,000 including 2,000 dalits. Complaints have been lodged by the two disputing parties and in both the FIRs, the accused include Meghwals,” Suhasaa told the newspaper.

The SP added that the accused will be arrested soon.

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“Violence Against Women And Girls Is The Most Widespread Human Rights Violation on Earth” Activists Campaign to End Violence Against Women

"The largest obstacle I see is to fight the apathy," she said. "When you're asking for global systems change and genuine commitments, even people who are pro-women's rights will question whether or not it's needed, will say it's unnecessary — and this is something the tobacco and land mines and disabilities treaties faced."

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Women
An Indian participant in the 'Dignity March' looks on as she attends the culmination of the march at Ramleela Ground in New Delhi, Feb. 22, 2019. VOA

Women’s rights activists from 128 nations are launching a public campaign Tuesday for an international treaty to end violence against women and girls, a global scourge estimated by the United Nations to affect 35 percent of females worldwide.

The campaign led by the Seattle-based nonprofit organization Every Woman Treaty aims to have the U.N. World Health Organization adopt the treaty with the goal of getting all 193 U.N. member states to ratify it.

“Violence against women and girls is the most widespread human rights violation on Earth,” the organization’s co-founder and chief executive, Lisa Shannon, told The Associated Press in an interview Monday ahead of the official launch.

“All the efforts that people put into development, education, women’s empowerment, economic opportunity are being squashed when women are not physically safe,” she said. “It’s a global pandemic. … We cannot make progress as a species without addressing violence against women and girls.”

FILE - A woman, with her daughter, writes a message of support during the first Egyptian womens' race, to raise awareness about violence against women, in Cairo, Egypt, Nov. 30, 2018.
A woman, with her daughter, writes a message of support during the first Egyptian womens’ race, to raise awareness about violence against women, in Cairo, Egypt, Nov. 30, 2018. VOA

The activists want the treaty to require countries to take four actions that have proven to lower rates of violence against women:

  • Adopt laws punishing domestic violence, which lower mortality rates for women.
  • Train police, judges, nurses, doctors and other professionals about such violence, which leads to increased prosecution of perpetrators and better treatment for survivors.
  • Provide education on preventing violence against women and girls, which research shows has an influence on boys’ and men’s attitudes and actions, and encourages women and girls to demand their rights.
  • Provide hotlines, shelters, legal advice, treatment and other services for survivors.

Eleanor Eleanor Nwadinobi of Nigeria, a member of Every Woman Treaty’s steering committee, said the other critical issue is funding, which “is absolutely essential” to enable governments, especially in developing countries, to carry out this essential work to combat violence against women and girls.

Shannon said the activists are modeling their campaign after the efforts that led to the successful treaty on eliminating land mines, which took force in 1999, and the treaty aimed at limiting the use of tobacco, which was the first pact negotiated under WHO auspices and entered into force in 2005.

In the first 36 hours of the mine ban treaty, nations pledged $500 million toward its implementation, Shannon said.

She expressed hope that a treaty tackling violence against women and girls would lead to a $4 billion-a-year fund for financing global action, “which would be about a dollar per female on Earth.”

Every Woman Treaty was started in 2013 and Shannon said it has been working behind the scenes to build support and come up with recommendations and a rough draft of a treaty.

More than 4,000 individuals and organizations have signed what she called “a one-page people’s treaty” that condemns all forms of violence against women and girls, outlines the actions sought in a treaty, and urges nations to adopt it. Among the signatories are Nobel Peace Prize winners Shirin Ebadi of Iran, Tawakol Karman of Yemen and Jody Williams of the United States.

FILE - Nobel Peace laureates, from left, Yemen's Tawakkol Karman, Iran's Shirin Ebadi and Ireland's Mairead Maguire address a press conference after their visit to the Rohingya refugee camps in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Feb. 28, 2018.
Nobel Peace laureates, from left, Yemen’s Tawakkol Karman, Iran’s Shirin Ebadi and Ireland’s Mairead Maguire address a press conference after their visit to the Rohingya refugee camps in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Feb. 28, 2018. VOA

Shannon said the activists are seeking 20 countries to lead the campaign for the new treaty.

First, she said, they need the World Health Organization to approve a resolution seeking a report on the role a treaty would play. “Our goal is to have the resolution introduced at the 2020 World Health Assembly,” which she called very ambitious.

Once a report is written, Shannon said, the World Health Assembly would have to approve the process for drafting a treaty.

Also Read: High Time To Worry! Burning Crops Not Just Causes Respiratory Diseases But Also Economic Loss of $ 30 Billion

“The largest obstacle I see is to fight the apathy,” she said. “When you’re asking for global systems change and genuine commitments, even people who are pro-women’s rights will question whether or not it’s needed, will say it’s unnecessary — and this is something the tobacco and land mines and disabilities treaties faced.”

Shannon said the biggest immediate challenge is finding countries willing to take on a leadership role and getting people to understand this is “an opportunity that we have to take right now” because “we are not going to advance” unless violence against women and girls is addressed. (VOA)