The Indian government should prevent and prosecute mob violence by vigilante groups targeting minorities in the name of so-called cow protection, Human Rights Watch said in a report released in March. The 104-page report, “Violent Cow Protection in India: Vigilante Groups Attack Minorities,” describes the use of communal rhetoric to spur a violent vigilante campaign against consumption of beef and those engaged in the cattle trade. The victims are predominantly Muslims and Dalits.
In IDSN’s 10th December statement on the occasion of the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we share our dream that one day love and respect for human rights will prevail over brutal caste oppression and injustice.
The New York Times reports on how caste still rules in India and how violence against Dalits is rising in tandem with Dalits trying to claim their rights.
UN side-event hears cases of caste-based violence against Dalit women in India where UN and legal experts respond with calls for action. The report ‘Voices Against Caste Impunity: Narratives of Dalit Women in India’, was also released at the event and an outcome document with recommendations from the event has been produced.
The EU High Representative on Foreign Affairs has reiterated the EU’s commitment to fighting caste-based discrimination and gender-based violence, following the rape of five female anti-trafficking activists in India, earlier this summer. The women were performing a play against human trafficking in Jharkhand state when they were abducted and gang-raped.
The newly released Human Rights Watch World Report 2018, Amnesty International Report 2018 and the US State Department reports on India and Nepal, find that caste-based discrimination and violence remain a serious threat as hate crimes against Dalits are widespread. Some of the other themes raised in the reports include discrimination in accessing services, ´manual scavenging´ and bonded labour. Read the IDSN summary of these reports
Arrested during nationwide protests in April, called by Dalit organisations, the juveniles' families have stated that the boys were picked up by police only because they were Dalits standing up for their rights. “My son’s only crime is that he is a Dalit,” says the father of one of the boys. “We thought that if our son studied well, the family’s fortune would change for the better. But now they have pressed so many charges against him that his whole life will become embroiled in it.” News site The Wire has covered this story and IDSN members in India are currently conducting fact-finding in relation to this case.
A 30-year-old Dalit ragpicker was beaten to death over suspicion of theft from a factory in Shapar industrial area on the outskirts of Rajkot on Sunday. Four persons were arrested and a 17-yearold boy held on Monday for beating Mukesh Vaniya (30) to death and assaulting his wife Jaya and aunt Savita. While police said that the accused suspected Vaniya and his family members to be thieves, Vaniya’s wife Jaya alleged that the accused had first inquired about their caste, hurled casteist abuses, and then began thrashing them when they refused to clean up filth near their factory.
A ruling by the Supreme Court of India, diluting the provisions related to anticipatory bail and immediate arrest under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (PoA) Act, has sparked mass protest. The protesters have been met with police brutality leading to injuries and the death of several protesters. IDSN is greatly concerned over the rulings weakening of the SC/ST Act, which are meant to protect victims of caste atrocities, and strongly condemns any use of force against peaceful protesters.
Amnesty India has launched a new online tool on haltthehate.amnesty.org.in aimed at collecting documentation for hate crimes from across India. Many of the crimes already documented on the tool are atrocities committed against Dalits. Everyone working on Dalit rights in India are invited to contribute to the database of cases on the site.
Al Jazeera has released a documentary video tracking the fatal outcome of a relationship across caste lines between a young non-Dalit woman and a Dalit man in India. The young man was killed by the woman’s relatives and the video shows how deeply ingrained caste discrimination remains in the country. Watch the video here.
Human Rights Defenders’ Alert India have issued the following urgent appeal: Dalit activists brutally assaulted, arrested and detained by police for seeking action on encroachment of public property in Kochi, Kerala.
The actions of the police and the media during the April 2 bandh against changes in the Atrocity Act demonstrates that prejudice runs deep.
The HRDA-India, a forum for the protection of human rights defenders, has issued an urgent appeal for action to protect Dalit human rights defender Mr. Rajat Kalsan. Mr Kalsan is working to help Dalits gain justice and protection from abuses as a lawyer and activist in Haryana state. He has worked on gang-rape cases and cases of attack and arson committed by dominant castes against Dalits and a host of other cases involving serious violations of human rights. The appeal states that due to this work, dominant caste leaders are colluding with local police to file false charges against Mr. Rajat and cause him serious harm.
A person from the Dalit community was thrashed mercilessly in Bode Barsain Municipality, Saptari, yesterday for entering a temple to perform puja. Liladhar Das (Tatma) of Bode Barasain Municipality was beaten black and blue by the local non-Dalits. According to eye-witness Laxmi Ram, locals Raj Kumar Yadav, Kasindra Yadav, Ramchandra Yadav and Sakaldev Yadav, among others, had attacked Das when he reached the local temple to perform Asare Puja.
Human Rights Watch has released a report on the issue of violence against Dalits and Muslims in India, being carried out by so called ‘cow protection’ extremist Hindu groups. The organisation demands that the Government act to bring justice to the victims and curb this disturbing trend.
A five-month pregnant Dalit woman was beaten up by a group of upper caste men for refusing to dispose of the carcass of a cow in a village in North Gujarat. The incident occurred late on September 23 night.
Discrimination and violence based on gender and caste remains pervasive in India, Amnesty International says in its recently published annual report on the state of the world’s human rights in 2015-16. In a chapter on caste-based discrimination and violence, the organisation notes that 47,000 crimes against members of Scheduled Castes (Dalits) were reported in 2014. The report also mentions the important amendments to the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act. In Nepal, caste discrimination remains rife, and marginalised groups were affected by discriminatory relief distribution following the earthquake in May, the report says.