Against the backdrop of the alleged poisoning of three minor Dalit girls in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao, the Dalit Shoshan Mukti Manch (DSMM) held a protest in Delhi on Saturday saying there were rising atrocities against Dalits in the country, and especially in Uttar Pradesh.
The protest gathering discussed how Uttar Pradesh has become an unsafe place for the deprived sections of the society, especially the Dalits. The protesters pointed out that the Unnao case is yet another incident of caste atrocity that has made headlines within months of the Hathras gangrape case, in which the Dalit victim had died. In the latest case in Unnao, two Dalit girls have been murdered by poison, according to police, and a third girl has been hospitalised in a critical condition.
“The Uttar Pradesh government and its administration true to its colours, once again, has resorted to cooking up stories instead of finding the actual culprits,” Nathu Prasad, Secretary, DSMM Delhi-NCR said in a press release.
Speaking on the actions of the UP administration, Bramhjeet Singh, President of DSMM Delhi-NCR, said, “In Unnao, the people along with the family had to sit on a dharna for the whole night to just register an FIR. Now you all can understand what is the situation of Dalits in such a scenario. Even in Hathras, it was the same situation.” He further said that at present, the police are not expected to carry out the investigation and find out the truth, but the onus is on the complainants to prove the said crime.
Addressing the protest gathering, Kamla from the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), said, “The atrocities are increasing because of the impunity that is given to the perpetrators by the government.”
Uttar Pradesh has been in the news since last year for cases of violence against Dalit women. In November last year, a 15-year-old Dalit girl, who was a rape victim, was set on fire and killed allegedly by kin of the rape accused. In October, a 22-year-old Dalit woman was gang-raped and murdered in Balrampur.
The protest also condemned the incarceration of Dalit labour rights activist Nodeep Kaur in Haryana’s Karnal jail, where she allegedly faced custodial violence and sexual assault. DSMM demanded her immediate release and strict action against the police personnel who were allegedly involved in the assault on her in custody.
The protest also extended solidarity to the farmers who are demanding the repeal of the three farm laws. Hannan Mollah, General Secretary of All India Kisan Sabha, delivered a speech on the detrimental effects of the ‘black laws’ on the farming community and the rest of the country.
Stressing that the laws were going to exploit farmers who are already struggling, Mollah said, “In the last few years, around 4 lakh farmers have died by suicide. If an IAS officer or someone big dies by suicide, there will be much hullabaloo about it. But we do not have any information of the 4 lakh deaths of farmers who give us food.”He added, “In India, two farmers die by suicide every hour because he does not get remunerative prices for his crops, leading to loss and debt.”