satnaaimayaaoM pr hue Anyaaya A%yaacaaraoM pr najar DalaoM tao– kosatra kaMDÊ paMDatra[- kaMDÊ iSavarInaarayaNa kaNDÊ kaOAatala kaNDÊ dovapurI rayapur ko pasaÊ gaMgaap`saad itvaarI Wara sarpMca kao KaT maoM baaMQa kr ]sakI pi%na ka ]sako saamanao balaa%kar ikyaa. hrdI kaNDÊ iBalaa[- ko pasa $AabaaMQaa ABaI hala janavarI 2004 sao kuC mahaInaa phlao ek satnaamaI maihlaa kao naMgaa krko Gaumaayaa. [sako Alaavaa CuAaCut ko saOkD,aoM maamalao Aayao idna Aapkao saunanao kao imala jaayaogaa.
Anyaaya A%yaacaar ka Barmaar :
bahucaica-t mauMgaolaI kaND sana\ 1968 sao 1970 tk : baOgaakapa maoM 5 satnaaimayaaoM kao k%lao Aama ikyaa AaOr gau$Aa[naDbarI maoM satnaaimayaaoM Wara ramacairt maanasa paz ikyao jaanao pr savaNaao- Wara saamaUihk nar saMhar ikyaa gayaa.
24 janavarI 1982 kosatra ko kodar satnaamaI jaao iBalaa[- maoM naaOkrI krta qaa. ]nako pirvaar ko 14 laaogaaoM kao savaNaao- Wara ijanda jalaa idyaa gayaa. ijasamaoM nanho maunnao baccao BaI qao.
kaOAatala maoM ek satnaamaI yauvak kao idna maoM dsa bajao KMBao maoM baaMQakr ]sako saamanao ]sakI pi%na ka balaa%kar ikyaa gayaa.
paMDatra[- maoM satnaaimayaaoM kao maindr maoM p`vaoSa nahIM krnao idyaa gayaa.
Aklatra kaND : ijasamaoM zakur nao gau$ GaasaIdasa ko baaro maoM AnaapSanaap ilaKa qaa jana p`dSa-na maoM dsa hjaar kI BaID, maoM laazT DNDa calavaakr satnaaimayaaoM kao KdoD,a gayaa.
iSavarInaarayaNa balaa%kar kaND : sana\ 1982 mao iSavarInaarayaNa maolaa ko daOrana ek satnaamaI maihlaa ko saaqa caar savaNaao-M Wara saamaUihk balaa%kar ikyaa gayaa.hala hI maoM $AabaaMQaa iBalaa[- maoM ek satnaamaI maihlaa kao naMgaa GaUmaayaa gayaa.
KD,vaa gaaMva maoM 2002 maoM puilasa Wara maolaa maoM Aayao AaOrtaoM ko saaqa CoD,CaD, ikyaa gayaa. p`itraoQa krnao pr k[- laaogaaoM kao jaola maoM band krvaa idyaa gayaa. A%yaacaar ko ivaraoQakta-AaoM ko iva$w kaya-vaahI kI ga[- AaOr A%yaacaarI maaOja sao GaUmato rho.
duga- ijalaa baalaaod blaak ko pasa GaUmaka kaND 16Agast 2004 kaoÊ ijasakI ivastRt jaanakarI p`stut hO.
VISIT OF SWAGAT TEAM AT GHUMKA ON 4TH SEPTEMBER 2004
Chairman along with Prof H.C.Joshi and Mrs Kamala Manahar Member of Parliament (RS) met National Human right Commission New Delhi during 2nd week of Sept 2004 with following letters addressed to NHRC
1) The Chairman Date : 10 Sept' 2004
National Human Right Commission of India
Sardar Patel Bhavan , Sansad Marg
New Delhi -110001
2) The Member Kind attention to Justice Bhaskar Rao
National Human Right Commission of India
Sardar Patel Bhavan , Sansad Marg
New Delhi -110001
Subject : Appeal for justice and protection of Human Right in the land of disparity.
We on behalf of SWAGAT Trust prey a humble request to your good office working for protection of human right, for justice, protection of life and prestige in the land of disparity. The incident which took place on next to independence day i.e. 16th August 2004 at Village Ghumaka near Balod sub-division of District Durg in the State of Chhattisgarh on Satnami the Scheduled caste community as group attack Torture, Dacoits, Harassment and attempt of Rape by Communal forces behind the scene. The detail is put up below for your kind information and appropriate action in your prescribed format along with newspaper cutting please.
A. COMPLAINANT'S DETAILS
1. Name : T.R.KHUNTE, Chairman of Satnam welfare and Guru Ghansidas Awakening Trust (SWAGAT) registered at Delhi . This Trust is working on All India basis, for the welfare, humanity and justice to the downtrodden people of India. The author of the complaint also originally belongs to Satnami community of Chhattisgarh State, Professionally Master of Engg. Graduate of 1978 from MONRECO under Allahabad University.
2. Sex : Male
3. State : Originally belongs Chhattisgarh State working at Noida
4. Full Address : (Present) G-234A, Sector -22 Noida
5. District : Gautam Buddha Nagar (UP)
6. Pin code : 201301 Phone No. : 0120-2413655
B INCIDENT DETAILS
1. Incident Place (Village /Town/City) : Village - Ghumka, (Balod Sub-Division )
2. State : Chhattisgarh
3. District : Durg
4. Date of incident : 16th August 2004 morning in between 6 am to 11 am
C VICTIM'S DETAILS ( Statement recorded in CD)
1. Name of victims : Ambikadas Bakshi seriously injured with other 13 male members and Ushabai miserably beaten with other 15 female members, some of them in nude condition, Children beaten with sticks and young girls tried to rape (detail given in news paper) Total 36 nos. affected in group massacre.
2. No. of victims : 36 actualy
3. State : Chhattisgarh
4. Full address : Village - Ghumaka, Thana- Balod, Sub-division - Balod
5. District : Durg
6. Pin Code : …..
7. Religion : Hindu (Satnami)
8. Caste : Scheduled Caste
9. Sex : Male aand Female both, out of which females were targeted
10. Age : Children, young girls, adult women and men, 65 years old men
11. Whether disabled person : Some old aged persons are disabled also
D Brief Summary of facts/ allegations of human rights involve :
Guru Ghansidas a renowned Saint of Chhattisgarh who spread the mission of SATNAM (The TRUTH) as true love and peace to the human beings and established casteless society in the region during 1820 to 1860. The Followers of Satnam were later on called as Satnami in the Castist society and placed on Scheduled Caste category after Independence. 18th December is being celebrated as his birth day and in his honor that day has been declared as "GURU PARVA" of Chhatisgarh State as a State Holiday.
Four years before Satnami people of Ghumaka Village proposed this auspicious day as Holiday in Village Panchayat and proposal was accepted by all the villagers during that time. On 18th December 2001 the castist (Hindu) people of the village did not participate and continued their work as usual. The cross section of the village Ghumka is out of 100 houses 40 houses belongs to Satnami community and rest 60 houses are caste Hindu. Next year during month of March 2002 in the Holi Festival, Satnami people did not participate in protest of 18th December and remain in their house. Next to Holi festival a meeting was called and caste Hindu asked for fine of Rs,5000/- from each family for not participating in 'HOLI'. Members of Satnami declined to pay the amount, giving plea of 18th December 'GURU PARVA' where they did not participate. The Caste Hindu people socially boycotted all the Satnami the Scheduled caste.
Thereafter tension prevailed in the village and caste Hindu people started pressurizing Satnami communities by prohibiting drinking water from common tube- well as well irrigation water, blocking of roads etc. A complaint was lodged to police and ultimately Police Choukee formed with deputation of few constables. These continue for last two years. Recently after assembly election new BJP Govt. took over the charge of Chhattisgarh the Police Choukee was removed from that village for unknown reason.
It is also gathered from reliable sources that Shri Bisraram Yadav the District Chief of RSS hold several meetings in that village and caste Hindus were mobilized. Shri Bhuvanlal Sahu who belongs to this village is an active member of RSS who played the main role on 16th August 2004 Ghumaka carnage.
Start of Episode: On 15th August 2004 one of Satnami member went Maleriya Doctor for medicine due to ill health of her wife. He was denied on the plea that the Satnami communities have been socially boycotted. Shri Bhuvan Sahu who was present of the spot threatens the Satnami member abusing their caste for any consequences and also told that they will be beaten. After this some active members of RSS were called in the village and a secret meeting was held at night of 15th August 2004 in the 'Sahu Form House.' On 16th August 2004 early in the morning at about 6 a.m. Hundreds of Caste Hindu people gathered and attacked the houses of Satnami members in a planned manner with Lathis and Dandas. Women and children were miserably beaten and they tried to rape young girls.
Mrs Ushabai was pulled out from her house, catching her hair in nude condition, brought in to the road and beaten. She tried to run away to field to save her life was again cot and the mob tried to kill her there. She got a big head injury and other injury in internal part of body. Many other ladies (21 nos.) were targeted and beaten besides children. The leady village Sarpanch Pawavbai was also beaten for supporting Satnami communities. 15 male members got serious injury. The Caste Hindu Gang killed one young and innocent buffalo. The ornament and other house hold items have been looted. Three houses and one shop near Shatabdi Smarak has been totally destroyed. The way they tried to harass the Satnami community in a planned manner is highly inhuman nature cannot be expressed in words. A copy of CD duly recorded by Aaj- Kal TV is put up for your kind information.
The role of IG Police shri Awasthi is highly doubtful probably connived, as such instead of recording FIR and booking the culprit he acted as Party leader and spread the 'Gulal' on fag compromise. He tried to suppress the victims and wipe out the witnesses in planned manner. Complaint has been taken on plane paper instead of writing FIR in the register individually. The state police also threatening the victims when they approached for individual FIR against the culprits. The victims are finding helpless. Instead of assurance by State authorities no aid has been provided so far.
Though the magistrate enquiry has been ordered to eyewash, as such culprits are moving Scot-free. Out of 22 persons arrested on 24th August 2004 all of them have been bailed on 4th Sept 2004 and now the victims are being threatened further for any consequences incase approaching for justice. Their condition is highly helpless and hopeless and finding unsafe to stay in the village under prevailing situation.
Thus it is an open case of violation of human right and under the prevailing situation their lives are in danger. Therefore your kind intervention is necessary for justice and humanity to the helpless and hopeless downtrodden people of Chhatisgarh to avoid repetition of Gujrat.
E: Whether complaint is against member of Armed forces / Para-Military : No
F: Whether similar complaint has been filed before any court /
State Human Rights Commission : No
G: Name designation and address of public servant against whom complaint is being made :
1) The RSS activist who planned and instigated the mass massacres of Satnami the SC community.
2) Shri Awasthi IG Police and other related officials who are trying to cover up / wipe out the witnesses and did not record FIR.
H: Name designation & address of the authority / officials to whom the public servant is answerable : DM Durg , CM Chhattisgarh and other associates.
I: Prayer / Relief if any sought:
i) FIR shall be recorded on individual victim basis and culprits shall be booked under SC atrocities act besides Loot, Docoity, murder, attempt to rape etc.
ii) IG Police Shri Awasthi must be removed immediately for proper justice to the victims and exposure of culprits.
iii) Proper protection shall be given to the victims to safeguard their life and prestige. Loss/ damage of properties shall be recovered immediately.
iv) The RSS and real culprit should be exposed through independent CBI/ Judicial enquiry.
v) Legal aid shall be provided to the victims.
vi) Supply of arms on free of cost to the victims to protect and safeguard their life.
Kindly spare a few moments by giving an appointment to explain the detail
Satnam Welfare And Guru Ghasidas Awakening Trust
G-234A, Sector-22, Noida - 201301
NHRC passed on order vide letter no. 147/33/2004-2005/UC on 22 Sept 2004 to Sr. Supdt of Police Distt. - Durg and The Director General of Police, Govt of Chhattisgarh Raipur
NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHT COMMISSION
SARDAR PATEL BHAVAN
SANSAD MARG, NEW DELHI
(1) The Senior Superintendent of Police DURG Chhattisgarh
(2)The Director General of Police, Govt of Chhattisgarh, Raipur
"whereas the complaint / information dated 13/09/2004 received from T.R.Khunte in respect of 36 persons was placed before the Commission on 22/09/2004. AND Whereas upon pursuing the complaint the commission has passed the following order.
Seek factual report from DGP Chhattisgarh and SSP Distt. Durg Chhattisgarh within two weeks.
Now therefore TAKE NOTICE that you are required to submit the requisite information/report within two weeks from the date of receipt of this notice.
TAKE FURTHER NOTICE that in default commission may proceed to take such action as it deems proper.
Given under my hand and seal of the Commission, this the day of 24th september 2004.
ASSISTANT REGISTRAR (LAW) NHRC
No assistance was Provided to the victimes till 4th Sept 2004, when SWAGAT TEAM visited with help for the first time and distributed RATION AND CLOTHES to victims
An other letter Received from National Human Right Commission dated 17th Sept.2004 which says like this
NATIIONAL HUMAN RIGHT COMMISSION
COPERNICUS MARG, NEW DELHI- 110001
Case No. 147/33/2004-2005, Dated 12/03/2005 / 17 Mar 2005
G-234A , SECTOR - 22, NOIDA,
GAUTAM BUDDHA NAGAR, UTTAR PRADESH
With reference to your complaint dated 13/09/2004, I am directed to say that the matter was considered by the Commission on 10/03/2005. T Commission has made the following directions.
Complaint, Chairman Satnam Welfare and Guru Ghasidas Awekening Trust in his complaint dated 13th September,2004 has stated that on 16th August, 2004 early in the morning at about 6.00 AM hundreds of Caste Hindu people gathered and attacked the houses of Satnami members in a planned manner with lathis and dandas, They Beat up women and children mercilessly and had tried to rape young girls. He further stated that one Ambikadas Satnami was seriously injured with 13 other male members, Mrs. Ushabai was beaten with 15 other female members and children were also beaten up with sticks.
Upon perusal, the commission vide proceedings dated 22nd September 2004 directed DGP, Chhattisgarh and SSP Durg, Chhattisgarh to submit factual report within two weeks.
Pursuant to the direction of the Commission SSP Durg, Chhattisgarh has submitted report dated 23rd October, 2004. According to his report, Crime No. 199/04 u/s 147(148(149(294(452(323(427/506 IPC was registered at Thana Balod on the basis of information provided by one Ambikadas Satnami on 16th August, 2004. During investigation, section 3(1)(10) SC/ST (PA) Act was also added, During investigation, crime under the above named sections of IPC and SC/ST Act was established. Accordingly all hte named accused were arrested and chargesheet had been submitted to the Court. On an application received from the 36 victims in the present case, Asstt. Commissioner Adivasi Development Branch Durg had sanctioned Rs. 25000/- to each one of the victims.Necessary efforts are being made to maintain peace in the area. The allegations with regards to committance of atrocities on women could not be established during investigation.
It is seen from the report, that a copy of the report had been endorsed to the State Human Right Commission, Raipur also which had taken cognizance of he complaint on 2nd September, 2004.
As the case is sub judice and financial assistance to the victims has been provided, no further action by the Commission is called for. That apart the State Human Right Commission, Chhattisgarh had taken cognizance of the complaint earlier than the National Commission. Therefore u/s 36(1) of the protection of Human Right Act 1993, the NHRC cannot proceed further in the matter.
The file is therefore closed. The complainant may pursue the case with the SHRC, if so advised.
This is for information
ASSISTANT REGISTRAR (LAW)
A Report on Ghumka Carnage By Tamaskar Tandon and Goldy M. George 23 August, 2004
On 16th August 2004, the next day of Independence Day, nearly 250 Dalits were attacked by caste Hindus numbering about 800 at the village of Gumka, in the Chattisgarh state of India. More than 150 people including 35-40 women are injuried in this gruesome attack. The police and local administration is taking a lethargic attitude towards the culprits. Here is a fact finding report prepared by Adv. Tamaskar Tandon and Goldy M. George of Dalit Study circle.
On 17th August 2004, front-page news appeared in Nav Bharat with a heading "Ghumka mei Maarpeet Ke Baad Jatiya Tanav ". While reading the details in the news, I found that it was a case of atrocities and violence on none others, but Dalits. From Raipur we tried to get in touch with out Dalit friends across the state and even in Nagpur Maharastra in order to communicate about the incident.
Gumka is at a distance of 6 km from Balod block; Balod is at a distance of 56 km from the district headquarter Durg. The next day morning I along with Adv. Tamaskar Tandon from Durg visited the spot. While the facts unfolded one after another, it was just trembling. Here is a concise of the different dimensions of our findings.
Facts of the Incident:
On the morning of 16th August around 7 am, the whole village of Ghumka encircled the two Satnami bastis holding lathis . Among the besiegers there were young and old, men and women, boys and girls, who were nearly countless according to Dalits. According to Guman, "the population of the non-Satnamis is about 800 in the village and we couldn't distinguish anyone who was not there in the heinous act".
The attackers belonged to different communities viz. Kalar, Teli, Yadav, Thetwar, Kewat, and Muslim. Also there were Gonds, Halbas, Ganda and Mahar who succumbed to the pressure of the majority.
While the mob neared the houses with doors open, the people entered their houses and closed them for safety. Most of the doors and thresholds were smashed off and they entered the houses and dragged people out of the house. The throng of people also demolished one house completely in the basti. SWAGAT Team visited site after the Kand and inspected the houses.
The non-Dalits dispersed into smaller groups of 6 or 7 or 8 so that they could handle each person very appropriately . The mob didn't spare even a single person including women, senile, or even small children. They lashed them blue and black causing severe injuries to them. They were lashed like a flock of sheep.
"Mrs Ushabai a worst women victim is being given clothes on 4th Sept 2004 by SWAGAT TEAM."
Women were dragged out while their cloths were either torn or disrobed off. According to Godawari who had survived with severe injuries on thigh and back, "it was an attack all of a sudden. We couldn't even realise that what is happening to us. While I was dragged I saw my mother-in-law and my daughter also being pulled out in the same way. And they beat us. They had torn all our cloths and began molestation with all using abusive language against our caste and women. Our naked body was like a toy for them. They were enjoying it every moment. They kept on calling us 'Chup Saali Chamri' and so on". They did not leave out even old women.
"The woman Sarpanch was one the victims of this deplorable act. Her cloths were torn and she was expose naked before everyone. She then ran here and there to hide her body searching for some resort", informed one of the villager during the investigation meeting.
Even they attacked them on their private areas. Both men and women were not left in this process. Couple of them are in critical condition.
The encirclement was in such a manner that they couldn't run off to save from the attackers. This was the same with women and elderly persons.
Even the cattle were not bereft off the attack. Balchand's bull is almost dead, unable to stand or walk, since two of the back legs were broken during the lashing. "We bought it with great difficulty by paying Rs. 20000/- for a pair. Now if one of the bull can't stand then what are we going to do with just one?" notified Balchand's father.
Most of them complained that they were robbed off valuable belongings like wall clocks, audio cassette players, ornaments, money and so on. During the torture of women, even the small earrings were snatched away.
Since most of them were injured they couldn't go to the nearby Police Station at Balod till someone from the next village in vicinity went and informed the police about the happenings. Police got the information about the whole episode that was executed between 7-9 am in the morning at about 2 pm in the afternoon. Interestingly Balod Police Station is hardly at a distance of 5-6 kms. After the arrival of police only they were taken to the Public Health Centre in Balod.
How the Tension Groomed?
According to people's estimation there are around 300 households in the whole of Gumka village, out of which 41 belongs to Satnamis. The total population of the village is estimated to be around 1800, whereas the Satnami population is hardly 250 out of this. However the attack was on 27 families since 14 of the Satnami families had yielded to the pressure of the caste masters.
Tension between Dalits and non-Dalits has a longish history of conspiring against the Dalits under the aegis of caste oppression and its strings and flaws. In recent years the aggression against the Dalits began with the Panchayat election of 2000, when a Dalit woman was elected as the Sarpanch . This was against the customary law of caste and therefore not acceptable to others in the villages that a Dalit, that too a Dalit woman to be their Sarpanch. How could a woman from the malign caste become a leader of those communities who have a higher social stature?
The same year there was another tension on Ghasidas Jayanti when the Satnamis demanded that on the conclusion day of the celebration, i.e. on 18th December the whole village should consider it as a social holiday. This means that all others should not work on that day in their fields or other work place expressing a social solidarity and unity within the diversity. The argument of the Satnami community was that we have been observing all other rituals and festivals of Hindus and adopted social holiday on all these days. But the non-Satnamis said that we have no such plans to observe a social holiday for Ghasidas Jayanti. The pretext was that this year there is famine and hence if we don't work we will be out of resources for our family. Satnamis were of the opinion that famine is a common problem for all and it was more severe for them since they had lesser land and resources. The Satnamis tried to make the non-Dalits understand even when there is famine they have been joining the Hindus in their festivals and celebrations. But the Hindus didn't agree to that. How could the upper caste approve the God of a lower caste community? Isn't it against the rule of caste and social obligations?
Tension still existed and the police intervened and took action against 7-8 persons each from both the Satnamis and non-Satnamis.
This was soon followed by an imposition of social boycott on all the 41 Satnami households in Gumka. Later 14 households were freed from the sanctions, when they agreed to succumb to the pressure of their caste lords. The implication of this was severe to unpredictable magnitude. There was one RMP in this village, who used to provide emergency first aid to the villagers was prevented from treating the Satnamis. Groceries from the shops were abandoned. Walking through the streets of Kalars, Telis and others were restricted. Dalit women were eve-teased using derogatory and undignified language like 'Chamri' every now and then. It was the same with the Dalit men in the village. A fine of Rs. 551/- was imposed if anyone dares to cooperate, help, assist or oblige to the Satnamis. If the person continues then he/she would also be excommunicated from the community as per the new social set-up.
With this the Satnamis in the village also boycotted any participation and cooperation during the Hindu festivals and they strictly stuck to it. From thereon there was a clear demarcation between the Satnamis and Hindus in Gumka.
In between during the summers, when one Dalit woman requested for water from the hand pump of the other communities, she was not only denied to fetch water but also called like "Are Chamri Tu Chuyegi To Paani Bhi Ashudh Ho Jayega" . This became another problem in the village with the upper caste virtually practising untouchability in its crude form.
Apart from this the cattle of the Dalits were not allowed to graze with the cattle of others in the village. The cattle were driven away if they mingle with the cattle of the non-Dalits in the village. Even the penalty of Rs. 551/- was applicable to the boy rearing the cattle too. Hence even he didn't dare to combine the cattle of the Satnami community along with that of the others. So untouchability and discrimination continued in full swing.
The government appointed health worker also denied to provide health facilities to the Dalits due to the fear that he too will be excommunicated, as he was a local man from Gumka itself very similar to the RMP. Whenever the sick Dalits reach them in need, the response was "Abe Chamar Tereko Dava Dekar Danda Bharna Hai Kya" .
The Satnamis filed a case against the upper caste exposing the caste demeanour in which it was clearly mentioned different forms of caste discrimination, usage of derogatory language like 'Saala Chamar' , and practising untouchability in this village. They lost the case in the Durg court, however the Dalits have appealed in the High Court of Bilaspur. This is awaited for its final hearing.
Since 2000 December, there was continuous presence of police in the village till 2003 November, when the Assembly elections were declared only indicating the fact that there was a growing tension between the two sects.
Recently some space was allotted in favour of a Dalit to run a thela . This was again not tolerable to the non-Dalits, since they didn't want any Dalit to run a shop before them. This irked them and they opposed the move of the Panchayat and didn't allow the shop to run. But the Panchayat members including the Sarpanch retaliated satting that it is none of their business to tell them whom to allot the space and whom not to allot.
On the day of independence it was again the Dalit woman who was to host the flag, which was not really a pleasant sight for the non-Dalits.
The same day Guman, one of the Satnamis, was in severe fever and he went to the government health worker and asked him for some medicines. He denied using abusive language and further when Guman responded, he called others from his community to beat him. There was a tussle when other Dalits also reached to Guman's rescue. Somehow the instant conflict was averted.
That night all the non-Dalits had a meeting and this was where they really conspired and designed the wholesome plot. No one knows about what actually happened in the meeting, what was the matter of discussion till late night? This was the concoction of the action plan, which gave delivery to the odious, indefensible and unpardonable event.
In the Hospital:
According to newspaper reports the number of injured were 27, but when we visited the village and took a count of all those who were injured it was as much as 120 men and 35 women. People begged them not to lash them like cattle. According to Dr. G. D. Baghel of Balod PHC, "on 16th by 2 pm we came across the incident when the local police informed us about it and we were asked to reach the place for treating the people. We found about 45 people who were injured. Some of them were minor and some were badly wounded. The police brought about 28 people by vehicle out of which there were 15 women and 13 men".
On 17th August when we visited the hospital, we found 3 patients sitting on the corridor but Dr. Baghel clearly denied that any patients are admitted in the hospital. On enquiring with the nurse she immediately brought the hospital records to us showing that some patients were still admitted. Instantly the SDM arrived and he also confirmed that all the injured patients are back to their village or they have been referred to the district hospital in Durg. He appeared to be more confused. Interestingly we visited the district hospital and enquired about anyone being brought from Balod PHC, but it was a blank sheet on the hospital records. The SDM also confirmed that the doctors have referred 6 patients for X-ray. Dr. Baghel authenticated that none of them had reported back from Durg.
Godavari said that, "no doctor had yet attended us properly. All we have been given is just one injection and couple of tablets. We don't know what they are giving us. We haven't eaten anything since yesterday morning onwards. Even there is no one to cook for us and bring in the village since all the women are badly injured in some way or other. We are not sure if we are admitted as patients or not". They also showed us their injuries on legs, thighs and back. She is one among the women who were manhandled during the attack.
When we went to the village people revealed about the treatment process. Police didn't consider many as injured and therefore they left them in the village itself. Some of them remained unattended since they were unable to move out of their houses. Many women remained introvert since they felt that exposing such wounds would be gross humiliation of their modesty. Women with severe injuries and with exposable body portion went to the doctors. Many of them desisted from going to doctors as they had injuries on chest, breasts, thigh and private areas. Others were taken to the PHC on police vehicles.
"Some of those who were taken to the doctor with serious injuries on head, hands and legs needed X-ray to start proper treatment. The X-ray was more comical than medical. If someone had a broken hand then the X-ray was taken of his chest. If someone had his fingers broken then the X-ray was taken of the head. In a similar manner all the severe injuries were made to be none-injures", revealed Jageshwar. He continues, "what is the use of such treatments? Are we just fools? Or animals? It is just to dupe us".
The SP had instructed the local RMP to treat the injured and continue his injections, painkillers, and bandage. The RMP who belong to Teli (Sahu) community is also one of those who had denied the Dalits of any sort of treatment in fear of Rs. 551/- as penalty. Paradoxically he is treating them after about 4 years and this time he enters each house to check if anyone is in pain or not. However this won't continue for long
Why the Police Continued Silence?
The police have kept sheer silence in this matter to the best possible extent. From the beginning of tension itself there was no concrete action against the culprits in this case. Looking at the elongated background of discrimination police could have avoided the vicious attack but that was perhaps not in their encyclopaedia of problems. What all the police had done is only an eye washing in real terms.
Three-year presence of a police guard in Gumka village proves that there was a caste tension existing and the police took it quite lightly. This leads to the logical conclusion that they had pushed the Dalits into a conflict like situation.
"No police had come to our rescue. Even the police had stationed themselves in the upper caste basti" says Ubalchand. This again draws another rationale that the police had arrived to provide protection to the upper caste people not the Dalits. Perhaps there could be an underlying argument that the Dalits could go for revenge, but it is irrational and unscientific by all means to thing about it when most of them are severely injured and living under fear and terror. Dalits are not yet out off the shocking incident.
The process of framing of cases, in the past and the recent case, is absolutely ambiguous. Formerly when the despicable crime was done by the caste Hindus on Dalits, both the parties were made accused in the cases. The question is why? Only to point the finger on Dalits that they also have an equal share in such nefarious act? Maybe Yes! by doing so this could be utmost framed as a criminal charge not as a caste conflict.
Literally the people were unable to file FIR against the culprit, since they were busy with the hospital. The one being filed by the police is not done in the right manner. "Even in the past when we tried to file FIR the police had file it in an averse manner and the case automatically became quite weak and we could easily loose the fight against the real forms of casteism", revealed Jagesjwar. He continues, "the police here had never acted in our favour and only tried to support those who are powerful by all means". Adding to this Guman one of the community elders said, "it is because of the falsified means of filing our case by the police that we had lost the case in the past".
We went to the police station to know the sections under which the case had been filed and also to enquire in detail about the case from the police. Quite interestingly the police had filed the recent case under section 147 , 148 , 149 , 249 , 323 , 427 , 452 , and 506 of Indian Penal Code against 14 persons. The fact that an outrageous act against the most oppressed social strata of India - that too in large number - being restrained to ordinary sections of the IPC is again an attempt to weaken the case lawfully. Tactful omission of section 120-A , 120-B , 307 , 338, 354 , 355 , 356 , 357 , 378 , 503 , 504 , 505 (1) b , c , 505 (2) , 508 , 509 , various articles of the Constitution of India, other sections of CrPC as well as provisions of SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act all speaks clearly the intentional ploy behind the plot.
Even when we enquired about the course of action being taken by the police we were not able to draw a satisfactory conclusion. Constable Rajendra Singh Thakur informed us that none had been yet arrest in connection with the case. Again he is sure that the police is searching for the offenders.
The Drama of Compromise:
While we were taking information from the injured people in hospital, one lady named Manju Sharma appeared who claimed to be a correspondent of Samachar Lok, a news magazine being published from Raipur. Later we came to know that she holding certain key post with the Congress party in Balod block. She tried to convince us that everything is fine and a compromise has been established between the two parties. She also tried to obstruct people from speaking to us. She was trying to tell them not to speak the truth since that would draw worse consequences. But this indeed revealed us of the piece of information that there was something called compromise established in the village.
At once the SDM arrived and he too confirmed that people had compromised within themselves. The SDM Mr. S.C. Banjare also told us that this was done in the presence of the DIG .
The local police provided a similar picture that the tension is over. Rajendra Singh Thakur rhetorically illustrated that a peace compromise had been created and that we are told to maintain peace and order. That is why we didn't arrest anyone.
In the village we tried to get an impression about the peace compromise and found that it was done under tremendous pressure on Dalits. Guman and Rajesh said, "most of the community leaders or elders were injured. Hence they were either taken to the hospital. Others who were not injured went to know the howabout of those who were injured. A few elders who are the most aged among us were left in the village. The Sarpanch was pressurised by the police to accept the compromise and the police brought the aged ones in the village. She couldn't resist the pressure of the police and administration, particularly when higher officials like DGP, SP, etc. were present. She also realised that her modesty was insulted and she was made a showpiece before the other men. So some fear that if she doesn't give way to the compromise then her modesty will be again challenged. So this was the circumstance under which the compromise was forced and gulal was exchanged between the two parties as a symbol of compromise".
Jivrakhan took the strings from Rajesh and said, "they had announced in front of the police that the compromise will be effective only after we get those five chaps whom we missed to handle, i.e. Guman, Jageshwar, Rajesh, Amman and Chandra Kumar. How could you expect us to accept the compromise of such nature even if we wish to accept? Are we just a herd of cattle for their lashes? We don't recognise this as a compromise in any case. Moreover it was done all without the presence of the community leaders and by pressurising a few present in the village".
The first and the foremost concern out of this whole incident is that the monster of caste is back with its dreadful venom. Though its venom of bitterness and hatred was never dead but it was out of action in Chhattisgarh. This time it has convinced its dreadful resurgence.
People of Gumka are living in terror. The fear psychology designed by the upper caste had properly worked in this case of proving that anyone who would try to break the shackles of caste will be defeated without any response. In this the social system is crucially assimilated into the political, administrative and psychological frameworks.
India's caste system is perhaps the world's longest surviving social hierarchy. A defining feature of Hinduism, caste encompasses a complex ordering of social groups on the basis of ritual purity. This question of pure and impure, sane and insane, holy and unholy, sanctified and unsanctified, sacred and sacrilege are decided on the basis of the caste to which one is born. Here the Satnamis are the impure, insane, unholy, unsanctified and sacrilege as per the caste rule. How could the caste Hindus allow such things to happen that easily? How could they be allowed to rule the non-Dalits in a political way? As per their caste ladder they required to retaliate and that is what they did.
Another ploy to make caste hierarchy acceptable to all was the strategy of introducing an extensive system of 'graded inferiority', providing everyone with an inferior grade immediately beneath them. How could the Gods and Goddesses of the Dalits be worships by the non-Dalits? Is it not against their caste rule?
People have got less faith in the police and administration, since caste had gone deep into the blood and nerves of it. Yet people are unable to speak about it, due to horror looming on their head. The present status of accepting whatever is done to them is taken as a part of their fate as it was in the past. How could the Dalits recognise such a brutish system of administration based on caste?
The fact that police is acting in a disreputable casteious manner is clear from the fact that they haven't yet arrested any of the culprits in this case. Even the SDM's view that everything is all right state that everything done to the Dalits is nothing wrong. Where is justice to Dalits in such a system of unequal human relationship?
The controversial statements by doctor and SDM vis-à-vis that of the hospital staff proves that how little are they concerned the Dalit communities. Even when there are clear evidences of an attack based on caste conflict, it is justified in all possible ways and means that there are less number of people injured. Perchance the SDM and doctors are also under certain pressure from higher authorities. However this could easily produce falise reports.
After this incident there are news of setting up of magisterial enquiry into the matter. The investigation yet to be fully undertaken is yet to trace its tracks. Undoubtedly in a caste-based social system such investigations will always have its limitations and lacunas. The police had already played its part by weakening the case as of now.
The present concern shown by the RMP is only a timely one due to the pressure of the police and administration. Once the pressure off, the former system will be reinstated and yet again the Dalits will be left out without much of choice.
The drama of compromise is an eye washer, since the community was not consulted properly for its consent. Nor justice had been done to the people in terms of bringing the culprits under the grip of law. This is an effortless means to protect the culprits under the pretext of upholding peace. But there are no peace talks between the two sections nor there is justice done, how could a compromise take place under these circumstances?
Amusingly many of the Satnamis are marginal farmers or landless, and resourcesless but not in BPL as per the official records. Ubalchand hardly has got 3 and half acres of land, out of which 1 acre is irrigated and the rest is non-irrigated. Out of the non-irrigated land half is just barren with almost nil production. Yet he is not in the BPL list. This puts an array of questions on the process of the BPL survey particularly among the lower strata of social fabric, which already had victimised them.
Under the above mentioned circumstances we demand for an impartial investigation into the whole incident of Gumka.
We also insist to instruct the police to take essential steps to reframe the case in a proper manner mentioning all appropriate sections and clauses in this matter so that justice is done to the Dalits and no one again dares to do the same in future.
We demand to immediately arrest all the culprits in this case who had committed the heinous crime not only against Dalits but also against womanhood and motherhood.
All forces with the intention of political gain and drawing political mileage should be kept away from the investigation process. However the Dalit organisations engaged in this process should be involved in this case in view of holding a fair and just investigation.
Proper direction should be given to the state to ensure the safety and security of Dalits living under utter terror and fear.
The state government should also be directed to take precautionary measure of preventing such atrocious incidences on Dalits and Dalit women in particular in future.
The victims should be properly compensated so that they re-start their lives anew with afresh sense of freedom and liberty. In reality no compensation could fill their psychological and cerebral wound that is still grey and fresh, but efforts should be made to ensure their space and dignity.
For the last 4-5 years the Dalits in this village have been struggling for their right to live with dignity. All efforts to cause indignity and insult Dalits through means and deeds should be outlawed completely and legal action should be taken strictly against those who practice such things.
Using of derogatory language should be banned and considered to be a heinous crime by all sections of law.
We appeal to all progressive and democratic forces to understand the gravity of this issue and support the cause of Dalits in Chhattisgarh. Or otherwise the Brahministic casteism will once again surface in new forms and manifestations with its fangs and teeth.
Creation of a casteless and classless society is de facto the step of just, egalitarian, peaceful, fraternal and harmonious society. A society of equals, neither unequal nor more-equals, beyond the strings of caste, class, gender, race, etc. that often leads to social oppression, political exploitation, economic deprivation, cultural domination, gender discrimination, class isolation, deliberate exclusion, etc. Lets' believe in a society beyond this.
Unless this campaign is strengthened one cannot challenge the social system from its edifice, which de facto is the real challenge to the political, economic and cultural systems.
On behalf of Dalit Study Circle
Goldy M. George
ConvenerDalit Study Circle
MD-45, Veer Savarkar Nagar,
Hirapur Colony,Tatibandh, Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India
CHHATTISGARH UNDER BJP RULE
And Now A Harijan Is Killed In Police Custody by S Kumar
ON October 5, a 36 years old young man was called to Pipariya police station in Raipur district. But, then, he did not return to his village; only his dead body was brought there next day.
Bannu Satnami, a resident of village Sora, used to work as helper in a minibus but afterwards left the job and began to work as daily paid worker in the village. On October 5, a policemen form Pipariya police station came to his house at about 3 p m, told him that he was called to the police station for some interrogation and asked him to accompany him. Bannu Satnami then told the policeman that his wife had given birth to a girl child and that there was a function in his house, so it is not be possible to go to the police station. When told that a man named Bhagwat was waiting at the police station and wanted to talk to him, Bannu told the policeman that he did not know anybody called Bhagwat. Yet the policeman forced him to go to the police station. There was no case against Bannu Satnami.
Bhagwat was kept in the police lockup in Pipariya on a complaint that he had got a country-made revolver and had shown it to a person. But, strangely, while Bhagwat was relesed, Bannu Satnami was detained in the police station. This news of his detention was conveyed to Bannu's sister who lives in a nearby village.
Bannu's sister Sand in the morning and sent her father to Pipariya to inquire about her brother. She also met a close relation of a sarpanch of the area and requested him to take her to the police station so that she could meet her brother there. Till then she did not know that he brother was no more alive. When she reached the police station, she found her brother's dead body lying beside the nearby transformer.
Having seen the dead body near the police station, the people of the area began seething with resentment and a large number of people from surrounding areas started assembling in front of the police station, asking for punishment to the culprits. Bannu Satnami's sister and father also joined the demand and opposed the removal of the dead body from there. The police resorted to lathicharge, then to firing in the air and also lobbed teargas shells on the people. They also entered the nearby houses to beat the people. Even the cyclists and two-wheeler riders were not spared. Section 144 was imposed. The younger brother of the diseased was also beaten and ill-treatment meted out to his sister.
In the afternoon itself, a CPI(M) consisting of S Kumar, Dharmaraj Mahapatra, A K Shukla and Sheetal Prasad went to Bannu Satnami's village and met his sister and father. His sister told the delegation that Bannu Satnami was not only beaten but also given electric shock in the police station. His left eye was damaged, testicles and both the knees were also damaged, there was blood in the ear and there were black spots on the right hand side of the chest.
The lady also told us that Bannu Satnami had applied for lone for a tubewell under the Indira Ganga Yojana but the sarpanch of the village, who is close to the BJP, has asked her to give him a 50 per cent share to him if the loan was granted. But Bannu was not ready to pay that amount. This is what led the sarpanch to hatch a plan against Bannu in connivance with the police. It is also said that the said sarpanch was already present in the police station when Bannu Satnami was called there and was also present there on the 6th when the dead body was seen. We were also told that previously also there were custodial deaths in Pipariya police station.
Later a CPI(M) delegation met the governor and gave him a memorandum, demanding (1) judicial inquiries into the death or Bannu Satnami, and also into the police lathicharge and firing; (2) immediate suspension of the responsible police and administrative officials; (3) Rs 10 lakh compensation and 5 acres of land to the wife of Bannu Satnami; and (4) steps for improving the law an order situation in the state.
As usual, after the incident, the state's home minister gave the statement that it was a case of suicide as the victim had touched the transformer and was electrocuted. The CPI(M) has asked for the minister's resignation.
In Chhattisgarh, lockup deaths are gradually becoming a regular feature under the BJP dispensation. Following are some more cases of death (read: murder) in police custody this year: (1) June 6: Rajendra Yadav, Arang, Raipur district; (2) August 13: Ram Kumar Dhruv, Suhala, Raipur district; (3) September 2: Sukhpal Lodhi, Shardepara, Durg district; (2) September 4: Chandra Prakash, Ogre, Jangier district; (5) October 14: Santoshi Sahu, Pallari, Raipur district.
There were cases of custodial death at Kanker and Bastar also. This is the picture of the BJP rule in Chhattisgarh and the common refrain among the people is that if somebody is called to a police station she/he must first get her/his life insured.
Identifying the Satnam: Hindu Satnamis, Indian Christians, and Dalit Religion in Colonial Chhattisgarh, India, 1868-1947
© Chad Bauman
The dissertation, an historical ethnography, critically assesses the encounter of a sectarian dalit (untouchable) Hindu community, the Satnamis, with evangelical Christianity in the late colonial period, and puts forth the argument that in this dialogic interaction a Satnami-Christian identity emerged, distinct from both that of the Satnamis and their evangelical interlocutors. On the one hand, the transformations wrought in the Satnami-Christian community were overwhelmingly the result of contact with a heterogenetic religion (Christianity), a religion made attractive by, among other things, its putative association with colonial structures of power and wealth, and with the aura of novel and potent sources of authority (e.g., "reason," science, and literacy). On the other hand, the trajectory of these transformations was orthogenetically altered; that is, the transformations were conditioned in appreciable and significant ways by pre-existing Satnami structures of thought, belief, and behavior, by the community's unique set of hopes and dreams, by its methods of determining "truth" and "falsity," and by its "history" and "tradition."
The interdisciplinary study relies most heavily on the methods and theories of anthropology, history, postcolonial studies, and subaltern studies. It also builds upon emerging scholarship on identity, power, and gender. In order to analyze and describe the development of a distinct Satnami-Christian communal consciousness, the dissertation draws from British and missionary sources (both published and archival), texts translated from Hindi and Chhattisgarhi, and oral histories collected from residents of the region during an intense period of fieldwork. The study attempts to honor all perspectives by focusing not on history, but on the perception of history, and strives to hear the voices of the subaltern above the din of western voices which framed, filtered, and interpreted them. A defense of the dissertation is currently scheduled for December 2004.
"The central argument of the book concerns the formation of the Satnami sect, the transformation of the sect into a caste, the internal organization of the Satnami caste, and its relationships with other castes.
"This study primarily focuses on the structural changes leading to social separatism. The approach adopted is a historical-cultural-structural approach, and a satisfactory conceptual process is found in the notion of 'caste substantialization' for the study and analysis of caste dynamism. Caste substantialization is a process by which castes separate, distinguish and isolate themselves from each other and from the caste structure. Castes whose definition and identity depended on their relationships with other castes within a structural whole take on substance, i.e., independence and individuality by becoming discrete entities of a substantial whole. Building on Dumont's structural scheme, the author proposes an alternative conceptualization of the caste system, in contemporary India, as a substantial whole.