Published: 06th October 2020
Ambedkarite student bodies from IIT Bombay, TISS and 32 institutes across country unite for a justice in Hathras case, plan protest on Oct 10
A total of 32 organisations have come together with a set of ten demands with regard to the alleged gangrape as well as other issues of discrimination and violence perpetuated on SC and ST communit
Several Ambedkarite student organisations from campuses across the country have come together to form the Joint Action Council (JAC) of Ambedkarite Student Organizations against Caste Violence on Dalits in the aftermath of the Hathras gangrape incident. The organisations want to present a united front to demand justice for the victim and coordinate their efforts in the ‘struggle against the caste violence perpetuated by Savarnas on Dalit bodies.’ The JAC has also called for a nationwide peaceful protest on October 10.
A total of 32 organisations have come together with a set of ten demands with regard to the alleged gangrape as well as other issues of discrimination and violence that members of the SC, ST communities face. The organisations included Ambedkar Students’ Association from CUK, Kerala, HCU, Telangana. Maharashtra, Pondicherry University, Punjab University, TISS, IIT Bombay, FC Pune, the Bahujan Collective from TISS, Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students’ Association from Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, JNU and West Bengal. North East Collective, IIT Bombay, North East Forum from JNU among several others.
In a statement that the JAC released today, the students spoke at length about the crimes against Dalit women and the systems that enable it. “An atrocity against a Dalit woman does not elicit similar kind of outrage by both the Savarna Brahmanical media and the Savarna activists, as that of the violation of Savarna women. According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, out of the total 32,033 reported rape cases in the year 2019, 11% i.e., 3524 rapes were that of Dalit women. On a daily basis, around 10 Dalit women get raped in India! The data also states that the rape vulnerability of women has increased by 44%, and more so for Dalit women, in the last decade, “ the students pointed out in their statement.
They condemned the state for not doing enough to protect the victim’s family even after she was killed, “The police manhandled and arrested the angry protestors and secretly took her body out of the hospital and brought her body to her village in Hathras in the middle of the night. When the body reached her village, the victim’s mother cried and wailed on the bonnet of the ambulance, begging that her daughter’s body be handed over to the family so that they could take her home for one last time. But the police and the administration did not listen.” They also criticised the inefficiency of the government and the police, “After this tragedy that was unleashed upon the family, first by the rapist-murderers, and then by the state machinery, the forensic report has now declared that the victim was not raped. Instead of ensuring justice to Manisha and her family, the Ajay Singh Bisht government has put a price on her body and life — Rs 25 lakh, a house, and a government job; and is systematically putting the family members of the victim through humiliation, by announcing that they would be put through a lie detection test!”
They also pointed out that the silence of the Prime Minister and his cabinet ministers, the Home Minister and the Minister for Women and Child Development was in itself ‘caste violence’. “According to the National Crime Records Bureau, a total of 45,935 cases were registered under atrocities against Scheduled Castes, amounting to roughly 126 atrocity cases every single day, with Uttar Pradesh recording the highest incidence of crimes against Dalits,” the students stated.
The JAC made the following demands of the government — resignation of the CM, termination of service of the District Magistrate and SP, Hathras, SC/ST Atrocities Act to be pressed on the same people, withdrawal of NARCO test on the victim’s family members, Supreme Court monitored investigation with majority of representatives from SC community should be conducted and so on, “Complete protection and security should be ensured by the government until the time the family is no longer susceptible to threats by the Thakurs of the village, or for lifetime, whichever comes first,” they added.
“We appeal to the various anti-caste organisations and like-minded individuals, to join us for a nationwide peaceful protest on October 10 to register our dissent against the caste based sexual violence on Dalit women,” the JAC said in its statement.