Violence on Dalits in Dadri

Dalits in Chamravli Ramgarh village of Dadri (Distt. Gautambuddh Nagar) in UP, not far from the national capital, were brutally assaulted by the dominant sections, in order to punish them for refusing to cooperate with attempts to alienate dalits from their rightful land and sell to real estate lobbies and builders.

On March 14, the Gram Pradhan of Ramgarh, Kuldeep Bhati and his goons attacked the dalit settlement of the village, entering homes and beating up men, women, and elderly alike with sticks and iron rods. Several were injured, and three of those severely injured by sharp weapons had to be hospitalised in intensive care. More than 10 men and women had broken limbs. A few narrowly escaped bullets. A large number of women were badly injured. The police, when it finally arrived on the scene, did nothing to arrest the assailants who brazenly remained at the spot. More than a month after the incident, no one hasyet been arrested for this criminal assault in broad daylight. The dalit youth are being threatened, the perpetrators roam free, and the entire dalit community lives in fear.

At the bottom of this attack is piece of gram panchayat land of about 5 bighas, which is part of the panchayati land reserved for the use of dalits, which Gram Pradhan Kuldeep Bhati has illegally grabbed by force. The dalit homes which for years have been on this land, have been surrounded by a 7 foot-high wall. Virtually imprisoned, they have to scale that wall every time they want to go out of their homes. Every day, every time.

Ever since a written complaint about this encirclement and attempted land grab was submitted to the SDM on 24 January, the offensive on the dalit families, especially on youth, has intensified. There have been attempts on the life of Brahm Jatav, the youth who made the complaint.

Quite a while ago, many Valmiki (dalit) families have already been beaten up and forced to leave the village, and their land has been occupied by the dominant sections. In neighbouring Bironda village, too, there have been attacks on dalilts by the dominant sections, over land. The dalits and the poor are the softest target of the drive by corporate houses like JP and Ansals to corner land for huge apartment complexes, malls, elite cities, and so on. The spreading real estate bazaar has, on the ground, created a dangerous nexus of feudal criminals, local authorities, elected representatives, and land mafia.In the entire Gautam Buddha Nagar district, this nexus is conspiring to encircle dalits and forcibly make them give up their rightfully allotted land. And all this is well known to the authorities, and both in the earlier Mayawati regime and now in the SP regime, the nexus is actually being encouraged to alienate dalits from their land by hook or crook.

CPI(ML)’s Noida city activist Comrade Chandrabhan Singh got to know of the incident and made contact with the affected people. A CPI(ML) fact-finding team CPI(ML)’s Gautam Buddh Nagar In-charge Comrade Shyam Kishore; Noida City CPI(ML) leaders Comrades Chandrabhan Singh and Shivji Singh; AISA National President Sandeep Singh, JNUSU General Secretary Ravi Prakash, RYA leader Aslam Khan; and AISA activists Anubhuti, Anmol and Harsh visited the village on 27 March 2012. On 29 March, the villagers under the banner of CPI(ML) demonstrated at the DM’s office, and a delegation including Brahm Jatav, some of the injured women, and CPI(ML) leaders, met the DM, who assured them that action would be taken. But instead of arresting the perpetrators, the latter have been let off on bail one by one on some pretext or the other.

And the district administration is yet to do anything to remove that 7-foot-high wall that stands as a demeaning warning to the whole village of the consequences of daring to protest against injustice.

The village youth, determined not to take things lying down, have formed a unit of the Revolutionary Youth Association (RYA), and have called for a protest meeting in the Ramgarh village itself on 25 April.

All over UP, there have been several instances of attacks on Dalits after the SP victory. In the Noida-NCR region, however, the main factor behind the attacks and harassment of Dalits is the agenda of forcing Dalits to vacate their rightful land which will then be sold by dominant sections to real estate builders – and this agenda carries over from the previous regime to the new one.

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