Skip to main content

NHRC asks Gujarat authorities to submit action taken report on social boycott of Dalits in four weeks

NHRC chairman KG Balakrishnan
By Our Representative
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), taking cognisance of the social boycott of Dalits of Dagavadia village in Mehsana district of North Gujarat, has sought a complete action taken report (ATR) by the state authorities of the Gujarat government on what has been done to assuage feelings of caste discrimination in the village. The report, the NHRC has insisted, should reach its office “within four weeks” on receipt its notice. The NHRC, which sent its notice to the district magistrate, Mehsana, on December 20, said action taken by the state authorities should be “appropriate.”
The NHRC has based its inquiry on a complaint filed by Dalit rights NGO Navsarjan Trust’s Kantibhai Parmar to its chairman, KG Balakrishanan, which said “immediate action” was needed in the case of “human rights violation of the scheduled caste people of Dagavadia village.” It added, the social boycott has been forced upon the Dalits of the village following a minor dispute between two youths of the village, which led to clash between Dalits and locally dominant and influential Chaudhary community in late October.
This led to “tension” in the village, the complaint said, adding, “The Dalits, who are in minority, began being ostracised by the dominant Chaudhary community. The ostracisation reached such a level that the Dalits are refused work on the nearby farms, nor can they buy foodgrains and other essential items from the local ration shop.” Tension was allowed to raise its head despite the fact that the fathers of the two youths, who were involved in a dispute on a “minor issue”, had sorted out and settled things.
Setting aside the compromise, Kantibhai Makwana, the Dalit boy's father, who is also a former sarpanch, was attacked. “A mob of around 100-150 people of the Chaudhary community gathered in front of his house and started pelting stones. He was badly injured and had to be rushed to hospital in an ambulance. An FIR was registered with the Vasai police station against five Chaudharys and several others, including deputy sarpanch Ketan Chaudhary. The five were arrested and are currently in jail”, the complaint to Balakrishnan said.
Meanwhile, the complaint said, one Ashwin, a Chaudhary, also lodged a complaint with the police against the Dalits for attacking his community on October 24. “Ashwin's FIR names five Dalits, including Kantibhai, his two sons and two others. While Kantibhai got anticipatory bail, the four Dalit youths have gone underground. Dagavadia is a village with a population of around 3,000, dominated by Chaudharys. Dalits are in thin minority, comprising only around 30-35 homes”, it added.
Things began further worsened when, on November 8, the Chaudharys held a community meeting in the village, in which they decided to ostracize the Dalits in their village and impose a fine of Rs 5,001 on any Chaudhary who violated this decision. The Dalits are not getting work in farms, owned by them (Chaudharys). When some of us went to farms in nearby villages in search of work, the Chaudharys here wielded their influence to stonewall our chances of getting work.
The complaint quotes several Dalits complaining about social boycott. Hansaben Makwana, a former sarpanch of the village, said, "We (Dalits) are not even allowed to enter the village temple. Following the decision, taken orally by the Chaudharys, none of the owners of the provision stores, barring a few, give us daily ration. Those who do, do so secretly. Even the local barbers here refuse to cut the hair of a dalit man." Jagdishkumar Parmar, another Dalit, said, "I was a witness in the complaint lodged by Kantibhai's son. When they found out, they threatened me. I am a school teacher, but my family members are no longer getting farm labour-work."

Comments

TRENDING

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Critics of your government should not be in jail: PUCL shoots open letter to Modi

Counterview Desk In an open letter, Ravikiran Jain, national president, and Dr V Suresh, general secretary, People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) have taken strong exception to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s view that raising human rights issues can ‘tarnish’ the country’s reputation, stating, those who raise human rights concerns do it “through established United Nations mechanisms such as the UN Human Rights Council, the Office of the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights.”

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

When judges behave more like priests, delivering sermons from high podium...

By Ajit Singh*  The theory of separation of power found its origins in ancient Greece but with the passage of time it became widespread in other parts of Europe. Early proponent of the theory Greek philosopher Aristotle in “Politics” argued that implementation of constitution in letter and spirit can only be possible if the three elements among whom the power has been distributed are well arranged.

Covid appropriate behaviour? Why masks can't be suitable in hot, humid climate

By Dr Amitav Banerjee* Appearances can be deceptive. So can be Covid Appropriate Behaviour (CAB). An anecdote illustrates this well known cliché. A man who is very particular about hygiene decides to eat out. After a rather long search, he spots a restaurant which has a spotlessly clean exterior and he walks in.

Muck being thrown in Uttarakhand rivers: Villagers face 'existential' crisis

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  The Uttarakhand government must act fast to clear the path of Dhauli Ganga river about two kilometres ahead of village Neeti and about one kilometre from Ghamsali village, which is about 90 kilometer from Joshi Math town in district Chamoli. The creation of an artificial lake due to throwing of muck and mud can create a catastrophic situation like what happened on February 7, 2021-- the Rishi Ganga-Dhauli Ganga tragedy at Tapovan and Raini village in which over 200 people lost their life.

How Indore turned into water minus city after authorities 'managed' Water Plus title

Water harvester cleaning up hyacinth from an Indore river By Rahul Banerjee*  Recently, the city of Indore was declared the first Water Plus city in India under the Swachh Sarvekshan programme of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development for its ostensibly exemplary waste water management. However, the reality is quite different as a detailed study of the prevailing wastewater management situation in the city shows.

UP govt 'ignoring' demand to fill up teachers' posts despite unemployment: Rights groups

Sandeep Pandey with Shikha Pal Counterview Desk  Commenting on the unique protest undertaken by Shikha Pal atop an overhead water tank for nearly four months, the Socialist Party (India), in association with several civil rights group, Yuva Shakti Sangathan, Socialist Yuvjan Sabha and Rihai Manch, have wondered why has the Yogi Adityanath government is so “insensitive” towards her demands and is looking the “other way.”

Restricting use of public places for religious purpose: Will Gehlot govt respect HC order?

By Kavita Srivastava*  The People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), Rajasthan, has welcomed the judgment of the Rajasthan High Court dismissing the petition by Pooja Gurnani which challenged a circular of the Rajasthan government which restrained the construction of a ‘Pooja Sthal’ in the premises of a police station.

Rehabilitation site 'offered' to 6000 displaced Khori villagers not livable: Team Saathi

By Our Representative  Second round of the Chitthi Andolan (letter movement) of the Khori village residents, whose more than 6,000 houses were demolished as they were allegedly built on forest land, has begun, with hundreds of them telling the authorities of the Municipal Corporation, Faridabad, that no one has received the promised financial assistance of meagre Rs 2,000.