Saharanpur Violence: Dalit Manch submits memorandum to NHRC

DALIT   SHOSHAN   MUKTI   MANCH

44  ASHOKA ROAD, DELHI 110001 
 
A deputation consisting of 3 members of the Dalit Shoshan Mukti Manch – Nathu Prasad, Surinder and Subhashini Ali (ex MP) met the Chairperson, NHRC and gave him the following memorandum.  He went through it carefully and marked it for action to the Registrar.  He said that this was to be done URGENTLY.
Subhashini Ali    
 
Hon’ble Chairperson, National Human Rights Commission,
Maanav Adhikar Bhavan, Block C, GPO Complex, INA.
Delhi 110023
 
 
19TH May, 2017.
 
 
Respected Shri Dattuji,

Thank you very much for giving us the opportunity to meet you.

We wish to place before you a report of the brutal attack on dalit families in Shabbirpur village, District Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh on the 5th May, 2017.  Members of our organization have been visiting the village and also the injured in the District Hospital several times since the 9th May. 
 
The dalits of Shabbirpur had taken a decision that this year on April 14th, they would install a statue of Dr. Ambedkar in the Ravidas temple in their village.  The upper-caste Thakurs of the village objected to this and complained to the local BJP MLA who, in turn, complained to the police.  On the 14th, the police came to the village and asked the dalits to stop the construction work which they did.
 
On the 5th May, the thakurs of the area were planning to celebrate Maharana Pratap Jayanti by installing his statue in the neighbouring village of Shimlana.  From the morning of that day, the thakurs of Shabbirpur went around the village waving swords and country-made weapons, shouting objectionable slogans.  They were to go to Shimlana accompanied by loud music.  The pradhan of the village, Shivkumar, made several complaints to the district administration and police and the police personnel of the local thana were sent to the village but they remained mute spectators.  Soon, the thakurs, joined by hundreds of their caste brethren, launched a full-scale attack on the dalits.  They were shouting ‘Rana Pratap zindabad, Dr. Ambedkar murdabad’ as they set fire to homes and attacked many, including women and children.  More than 58 houses were burnt along with 4 shops, motorcycles, vans, provisions etc.  Jewellery was looted.  14-15 dalits were injured.
 
A list of those whose homes were burned is attached as are photographs of the injured and the damages inflicted to homes and property.
 
Those who received injuries are as follows:
 
  1.  Dal Singh, s/o Kantu, Age 53
  2. Smt. Kamla w/o Dal Singh,  Age 51
  3. Naresh (Former Pradhan) s/o Kantu, Age 42
  4. Shyam Singh s/o Kantu, Age 48
  5. Agni Bhaskar s/o Dileram, Age 41
  6. Smt. Rina, w/o Agni Bhaskar, Age 39
  7. Smt. Shimla, w/o Dharmpal, Age 62
  8. Smt. Roshan w/o Lilla, Age 36;
  9. Smt. Pradip Kaur, w/o Bablu, Age 35
  10. Ashik s/o Bablu, Age 14
  11. Bablu s/o Karam Singh, Age 35
  12. Sant Kumar s/o Shivkumar (Present Pradhan), Age 26.  His condition is serious and he has been referred to the Dehra Dun hospital;
  13. Govinda s/o Jasbir, Age 18;
  14. Harish s/o Naathi Ram, Age 32
 
During the attack, the Thakurs did not allow two fire engines and a PAC truck to enter the village.
 
A tragic incident that occurred was the death of a young Thakur, Sumit, who belonged to Rasoolpur a village 20 kilometers away.  His post-mortem report says that he died of asphyxiation and his family has been given 15 lakhs compensation by the administration.
 
The dalits, however, have received neither compensation nor any assurances.  On the contrary, relief material that was being brought to the village was stopped by the administration.  Also, false cases have been registered against them and dozens are said to have been arrested.
 
We would like to bring to your attention the fact that since the formation of the new Government in the State, people belonging to the ruling party and groups supporting them have become very aggressive and have been violently attacking others with impunity.  In Shabbirpur too, the perpetrators of violence were sporting saffron headbands and shawls and they were raising provocative slogans.
 
We would like to request you:

A  Kindly ask the State Government of UP and the district administration of Saharanpur why the attacks on dalits took place despite the fact that the village Pradhan made repeated efforts to inform the administration of the threat posed by thakur aggression and in view of the fact that after April 14, the atmosphere in the village was tense.

B  Please ensure that all false cases are withdrawn and innocent dalits released.  The real culprits must be proceeded against.

C  Those who have suffered grievous hurt and great economic losses must be compensated fairly. 

D  The Government of UP must be given instructions that no group or organization be allowed to take the law in its hands and perform vigilante attacks.  If they do not desist, they must be given salutary punishment.

E   The Government of UT must be instructed to pay special attention to the safety and security of dalits, women and other weaker sections.
 
We are, gratefully yours,
 
NATHU  PRASAD, Member Central Executive, Dalit Shoshit Mukti Manch and General Secretary, Dalit Shoshit Mukti Manch, Delhi
 
SURINDER KUMAR, Convenor, Dalit Shoshit Mukti Manch, Saharanpur
 
SUBHASHINI   ALI,  Ex MP, Member, Central Executive, Dalit Shoshit Mukti Manch.