According to the Times of India, a mob in Guwahati, India, chased an adivasi woman and ripped her clothes off. She was part of a group of adivasis from India’s north-eastern tea gardens demanding inclusion into the scheduled list of backward classes, which would allow them to benefit from the positive affirmation program of the state. As reported by the newspaper:
Ducking from prying eyes and TV cameras and terrified by screams of a mob chasing her, the woman ran until some other residents rescued her on Saturday and gave her clothes and cover both from the lathi-wielding police and the assailants.
The Times of India quoted dalit politician Sibu Soren:
I have also led many agitations, but never had we targeted women. Adivasis across the country are always looked down upon and do not get the respect they deserve from people and the government as a whole.
So far, at least six people have been killed in clashes between adivasi activists and local people. About 250 people have been injured in police action or clashes. Read report here.
Dalit woman raped twice, driven to suicide
In another instance, a dalit woman who raised her voice against the village sarpanch ended her life in full public view in Betul. The Hindustan Times reported:
Urmila Bai, a former panch in her 30s, had told the police on October 9 that she would take the extreme step if they failed to act against Kale, the sarpanch’s son, for raping her. Frustrated over police inaction, she carried out her threat by consuming sulphose in front of the collector’s office on Wednesday. She was immediately rushed to the district hospital, where in her dying declaration to the sub-divisional magistrate she said Kale had raped her twice because she had complained against his father. She also spoke of how she had suffered the barbs of villagers and the indifference of the police for years.
Read report here.
Indian chief minister calls scavenging a spiritual experience
Meanwhile, the chief minister of the state of Gujarat, Narendra Singh Modi, has described scavenging (a job normally done by the dalits in India) as a spiritual experience. According to CNN-IBN, this most humiliating and degrading statement is in a book, published by the government Karmayogi.
In a recent book written by him and published by the state information department Modi says, “Scavenging must have been a spiritual experience for the Valmiki caste”.
Read report here