Skip to main content

Gujarat Congress MLA 'siding with attackers' of Dalit RTI activist: Civil society team

A fact-finding team member with Amit Parmar
By Our Representative
A civil society fact-finding team has taken strong exception to a Dalit MLA belonging to the Congress, Pravin Maru, for pressurizing the local administration in Botad district to take back the police complaint concerning brutal attack on Dalit rights and Right to Information (RTI) activist Amit Parmar, belonging to Khopala village. Instead of helping Parmar, the Congress MLA is siding of the attackers, Parmar’s family members alleged while talking with the team.
The attack on Parmar took place following he made an RTI plea on details of budgeted allocation and expenditure made over the last three years from the grant received by the village panchayat for developmental work. The plea insisted, the panchayat give him the name of the agencies to whom the contract was given and the work done.
Consisting of RTI activist Bharatsinh Zala, also a labour rights leader; Minaxiben Joshi of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL); Kantiblal Parmar and Yash Makwana, Dalit rights activists; Pratik Rupala, a Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) advocate; and Noorjaha Diwan of the human rights organization Anhad, the fact-finding team quotes the victim, Amit Parmar, as saying that he was attacked on November 24, 2019, almost a month after he made the plea on funds details.
Pravin Maru
Recuperating from his injury, Parmar told the team that though the village has a woman sarpanch, her husband and their son with the help of “some anti-social elements” were ruling the roost in the village. They had occupied a common grazing land and were using it for their personal gain by doing farming on it. The attack took place after he and his brother, Vinodbhai Jerambhai Parmar, proceeded towards Gadhda town on bike.
At about time 2.30 pm, between villages Lakhanka and Adtala, four persons riding a Hero Honda bike and an Activa scooter, reached up to them. Their mouths were covered with handkerchief, the team was told. They were armed with iron pipes and other weapons. They stopped Parmar’s bike. After abusing him, they began hitting him brutally, asking him to withdraw his RTI plea, otherwise they would kill him.
Injured, Parmar’s brother called for the 108 ambulance, which carried him to the Umrada government hospital for treatment, from where he was shifted to a Bhavnagar hospital. Under treatment, the report prepared by the team says, Parmar’s is not an isolated incident. In all, 14 murders and over 240 attacks on RTI applicants have taken place in Gujarat, even as the RTI Act completes 14 years of its existence.
The fact-finding team report said, Parmar was threatened several times earlier also after he made applications to the district and taluka officials for get the common village land rid of illegal occupation by dominant persons in the village. Copies of the application were sent to the state revenue minister and leader of the opposition in the Gujarat state assembly. He had also made complaints against caste discrimination of Dalits in the village, stating, they were not allowed to enter into the village temple.

Comments

TRENDING

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

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".

India sees 62 journo deaths, 4th highest, amidst pandemic: Swiss media rights body

By Our Representative The Switzerland-based media rights body Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) has noted that India is the fourth most affected country as far as mediapersons’ death on account of Covid-19 is concerned. According to Blaise Lempen, secretary-general of PEC, the global tally of casualties among media persons in the Covid-19 pandemic has reached 1,036 journalists in 73 countries till date.

Liberating Bengal Hindus? Worst flames of communal division, lessons from the past

By Shamsul Islam*  The whole thrust of the RSS-BJP election campaign for 2021 state assembly elections in West Bengal has been to save Bengal from the rule of Mamata Bannerjee who is allegedly not a ‘Hindu’. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a self-proclaimed Hindu nationalist, as usual set the polarizing agenda. While addressing the first election rally, he called upon the electorate to overthrow the ‘nirmam’ (cruel) rule of Mamata by showing a ‘Ram Card’. He did not name Hindus directly but there was no confusion about the religious identity of the electorate Indian PM was addressing to.

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.

Rs 5 crore 'demand' for India Today anchor: What about 52 lesser souls who died in April?

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  A well known Hindutva protagonist masquerading as journalist passed away recently resulting in messages of condolences and tribute right from the Prime Minister and the Home Minister to progressive liberals expressing grief of his untimely death. It is said that he passed away due to cardiac arrest, though the fact is, he was also Covid infected. The Prime Minister and the Home Minister termed him a ‘brave’ journalist, insisting, his passing away has left a big ‘vacuum’.

Modi's Hindutva 'ensuring' empowerment of rich, disenfranchisement of poor

Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  The Hindutva socio-psychopaths are neither nationalists nor patriotic people. These medieval reactionary forces don’t understand the idea of citizenship, justice, liberty, equality and humanism. Indian democracy is merely an electoral transaction for the Hindutva forces. Hindutva forces neither follow science nor understand the sufferings of fellow human beings. These core qualities are common among the Hindutva forces in India.

Pradeep Bhattacharya, who spent his life for the cause of working masses, rational thinking

By YS Gill*  At 11:30 pm on May 3, 2021, I lost my best friend and comrade Pradeep Bhattacharya. He spent his life dedicated to the cause of the working masses and rational thinking. A person of thorough scientific outlook and a well-read student of Marxian thought, he was a walking encyclopedia and could speak on a wide variety of topics from art and culture to science, philosophy, history and politics.

Communal rhetoric? Hindutva preached by RSS-BJP is 'monolithic', not Hinduism

By Prem Verma*  I am a devout Hindu but not a believer of RSS Hindutva form of Hinduism which brings about hatred of other religions. My Hindu religion has not taught me to look down on other religions and neither has it instilled in me to go about converting others to my religion because my religion is superior.

India's Covid-19 'nightmare': A product of majoritarian Hindutva ideological praxis?

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  Indians struggle to find place and time to bury their dead due to the devastating effects of the second wave of Covid-19 in India. The crematoriums in the capital cities are overflowing with dead bodies. People are dying without oxygen and basic medical support. The cities like Delhi and Mumbai are struggling to cope with the rising number of infections and COVID-19 led deaths. The deaths and destitutions are products of a defunct BJP government led by Narendra Modi.

Indian media persons collapsing to Covid disease as fast as 3 per day, third highest

Yogesh Sharma, Shailesh Rawal  By Our Representative  The Switzerland based media rights and safety body, Press Emblem Campaign ( PEC ) has said that it is “alarming for Indian journalists”, who have lost at least 107 colleagues to Covid-19”, noting, Indian “journo-colleagues” have been collapsing to the Covid-19 complications now as fast as three scribes per day. In a statement, PEC said, “India with 107 media corona-casualties has already placed itself on the third position just below Brazil (181 dead) and Peru (140) in the list of Covid-19 victims among journalist.”