E newsletter No: 002
10 Indian states identify 40% of districts 'atrocity prone' towards Dalits: Report (The New Indian Express) “There were multiple instances of murder, attempt to murder, attack on human rights defenders, police brutality, sexual violence with the coalition of Dalits documenting at least 100 such cases between April to June”
“the State must acknowledge the crimes as caste atrocities and not as law and order issues.”
“Maria Arena, the chief of the panel, said that protests over the Citizenship Amendment Act have led to “arbitrary detentions and an unnecessary loss of life”. She said that journalists and peaceful critics were being arrested under “draconian counter-terrorism and sedition laws”
"oppression and discrimination experienced by members of the community have been multidimensional – from brutal physical, emotional, psychological and sexual abuse to everyday microaggressions, leaving a haunting imprint on the psyches of the people."
"the very police administration and judicial system that Dalit women approach to seek justice works against their interests ... how long will this keep happening to our Dalit women and children and for how long must they be deprived of justice?"
Collection of press clippings on rape cases in India and Nepal in September 2020.
This report looks at the trends with regards to the atrocities on Dalit's and Adivasis, gaps in the enforcement of the provisions of the Act at each and every stage of justice administrative systems since 2009, and provides recommendations, where state and civil society organizations can intervene.
IDSN strongly condemns the rapes and murders of Dalit girls and women in South Asia. The recent case of gang rape and murder of a 19-year old Dalit woman in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh, has highlighted the ongoing brutality against Dalit women and the impunity with which it is administered. We stand in solidarity with Dalit women, their families and human rights defenders taking action on the ground to ensure that justice is served.
Thought provoking photo feature depicting some of the reasons Dalits have been killed in India.
DSN members and affiliates in Nepal are raising awareness and demanding justice in a case of caste-based murder in the country that is still under Covid-19 lockdown. What started as a love story between two young people in Nepal ended in tragedy. The young man was a low caste Dalit and the woman was from a dominant caste group. It is alleged that the woman’s family did not approve of the relationship due to the man being a Dalit. As the couple wished to elope, the young man and several of his friends were attacked, beaten and chased into a river where three of them died, and another three are still missing ,according to news reports.
“Nepal has laws against caste-based crimes but they are rarely applied, and often the police refuse to even register cases – such as rape – when the victim is a Dalit … The alleged role of local politicians in these cases can lead to obstruction of justice, which means that an independent investigation is essential.” - Statement by Human Rights Watch
“It is distressing that caste-based prejudices remain deeply entrenched in our world in the 21st century, and I am filled with sadness for these two young people who held high hopes of building a life together despite the obstacles presented by their accident of birth … Caste-based discrimination remains widespread, not only in Nepal but other countries, and often leads to serious harm and, as in this case, even loss of life. Ending caste-based discrimination is fundamental to the sustainable development vision of leaving no one behind.” Read the full statement from UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet. The United Nations Resident Coordinator, in Nepal, Valerie Julliand, also made several statements on Twitter on the killings.
A joint statement by the EU Delegation and EU Member States represented in Kathmandu was issued on 3 June deploring the tragic loss of life in Rukum, condemning violence based on caste and other grounds and expressing the EU’s support to efforts undertaken to conduct a fair investigation leading to action to ensure justice and reparations for the victims and their families. The EU Ambassador to Nepal, Veronica Cody, also tweeted on the killings in Rukum on 30 May expressing the EU’s heartfelt condolences to the families and love ones of those killed , condemning such caste-based acts of violence and standing together with all those calling for justice for the victims.
IDSN member the National Dalit Movement for Justice (NDMJ-NCDHR) has issued a press release detailing a wide range of atrocities against Dalits over the past months under the Covid-19 lockdown. NDMJ highlights that the lockdown has led to a surge in caste-based violence and atrocities and that access to justice for Dalits remains deeply flawed. The organisation has collected a wide range of case reports and has made interventions in these. NDMJ has also collated media reports documenting examples of the violations.
National Dalit Movement for Justice (NDMJ), headquartered in New Delhi, has released a detailed report on increasing human rights violation cases against Dalits, Adivasis and other marginalized communities of India during COVID-19 lockdown.
Asha Kowtal, General Secretary of the Dalit Women’s Movement AIDMAM-NCDHR, an IDSN member talks about the Dalit Women Fight movement in this 5-minute video made by UN Women and Google. “We are not silent. You are not silent. You are fighting. We are also fighting. We need to connect together because injustice is injustice, whether it’s your class, your caste, your sexuality or your ethnic identity.” Says Asha Kowtal in the video.
“Criminal Justice in the Shadow of Caste” is a pioneering report looking at the administration of criminal justice in India through a caste lens. The findings reveal discrimination at all levels, including within prisons. The report has been released by IDSN member, the National Dalit Movement for Justice (NDMJ-NCDHR), in collaboration with the National Centre for Dalit Human Rights.
A disturbing number of alleged hate crimes – including assault, rape and murder – were reported in 2018 against people from marginalized groups, especially Dalits and Muslims, said Amnesty India, as it released data recorded on its interactive website, ‘Halt the Hate’. “The first step to ensuring justice and ending impunity for hate crimes – where people are targeted because they belong to a particular group – is to highlight their occurrence,” said Aakar Patel of Amnesty India.