Home » General » Press Note – CANDLE VIGIL & PEACEFUL SIT-IN AT UNITED NATIONS, NY on Saturday, 15th November 2014

Press Note – CANDLE VIGIL & PEACEFUL SIT-IN AT UNITED NATIONS, NY on Saturday, 15th November 2014

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In today’s modern and civilized society, it is fair to assume that human beings are able to live a

life of dignity, freedom and free of any form of discrimination including racial or caste based

discrimination. But as is well known, unfortunately racial discriminations continue to happen

across the world. Some do get noticed and come to the attention of global community, while

others, sometimes more serious in nature, go un-noticed.

Through this press release, we would like to invite the global community’s attention to a

thousands of years old practice of utter inhuman discrimination against a specific section in

Indian society, known as the ‘Dalits or Untouchables’.

In the graded Hindu society, a value of a human is determined by his/her birth in a particular

caste. The above mentioned ‘Dalits’, unfortunately find themselves at the lowest rung of this

graded society, by virtue of their birth and not their merit or deeds. What makes their misery even

worse is the fact that there is no escape from this status in one’s lifetime as it is connected with

one’s birth. Since this minority is in abject poverty, completely subjugated and consistently

persecuted, their helplessness, plight and life in squalor is never exposed to the global media. The

mainstream media and mainstream society in India, always eager and vigilant to uphold this

system of caste based discrimination, completely stifles any news or protests against atrocities

that are perpetrated on the ‘Dalits’.

Recent statistics indicate that every week in Dalit communities across India there are:

• 6 Dalit people kidnapped or abducted

• 21 Dalit women raped

It should be noted that this statistics is based on the reported incidents of atrocities which are

really a fraction of the total number of incidents.

This inhuman side of Indian Society has once again reared its ugly head. In the morning of

October 21, 2014, village Javakhede in the district of Ahmednagar, Maharashtra, woke up to one

of the most heinous crimes on the Dalit family of Jadhavs. Sanjay Jadhav (42 years), his wife

Jayshri Jadhav (38 years) and their son Sunil Jadhav (19 years), a Bombay based Dairy Science

student, were murdered in cold blood. The cruelty and heinousness of this crime shakes the very

core of humanity as the body parts of the young lad Sunil were severed into pieces and dumped

into the dry wells 500 feet away from the deceased house. This crime by the Caste Hindus over a

Dalit family indicates the deep rooted caste prejudices and hatred. The police administration in

Pathardi Taluka (block) have registered the crime under the IPC (Indian Penal Code) and also

under the SC/ST POA Act (Protection of Atrocities) clearly indicating that it was indeed a cruel

Through this press release the sad and shameful (to the entire humanity) information about the

brutal killing of three Dalits is being brought to the notice of the world. More so three weeks have

already passed but the concerned Police Authorities have not nabbed the culprits. The police

administration appears to be clueless about this village based horrendous crime or most likely

they are under peer pressure, which is the case in most of the caste atrocities against the Dalits.

We demand engaging a more skilled and neutral organization like CBI (Central Bureau of India)

so that the justice is done to the bereaved Dalit family of Javakhede. We also demand that the

culprits be arrested at the earliest, tried in the Fast Track Courts so that the case is settled within

Keeping track of the atrocities cases on Dalits in India, justice is generally denied to the Dalit

victims. First of all, there is a deliberate delay or even refusal at times in registering cases under

Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Act 1989. Even after the cases are registered, in spite of

the promises by the Home Ministers of the State to run the case in the Fast Track Courts, the

cases are never heard in the Fast Track Courts.

Those cases which go to Fast Track Court or Special Courts, statistics is dismal in terms of

delivering justice to the victims. The rate of conviction even in special cases has been a low 20%.

That means 80% cases in fast track courts result in acquittal as if crime never happened which is

So there does exist a lot of loopholes in conducting the trials in Fast Track Courts, which must be

sealed. Percent of conviction must be improved by delivering justice to the Dalits.

The cases which are not tried in special courts take a good 10-20 years. In the end, cases to the

extent of 89-97% result in the acquittal of the perpetrator; a saga of complete denial of justice to

In a nutshell, it can be easily said that the justice to the Dalit victims of the atrocities is always

denied barring in 3% cases. This is as per the report “Hidden Apartheid” by Centre for Human

Rights & Globle Justice (CHR&GJ, page 55). This report is considered as a shadow report to the

UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD).

We further demand that since the legal justice system in India is totally ineffective as far as the

Caste based discrimination/atrocities are concerned, United Nations’ Human Rights Commission

must intervene and take the matter with Govt. of India and emphasis to Govt of India to do justice

to the three victims of the Jadhav family of Javkhede village, Pathardi Taluk and Ahmedanagar,

In the last one and half year, there have been three incidences of brutal gory killings of Dalits in

the district of Ahmednagar itself:

 In the village Kharda, a Dalit College student, Nitin Aage was killed in the beginning of the year

 In January 2013, in the village Sonai, three Dalit youth were murdered and their mutilated bodies

were found in the septic tanks in Sonai village. The Home Ministry of Maharashtra promised that

this case will be dealt in Mumbai court on a fast track basis. Almost two years have passed and

case never was moved to Mumbai. Law and order situation in Ahmednagar district particularly

with regard to the safety of Dalits must be scrutinized and Ahmednagar district administration

must be declared, “Atrocity-prone area”.

United Nations must also record Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra, India as a Dalit Atrocity

In conclusion, we petition the following from the concerned authorities in India, especially from

the Government of Maharashtra:

1. To include Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra, India as a Dalit Atrocity Prone Area.

2. Immediate suspension of the local District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police

3. Authorities must arrest the culprits (there should be more than one to kill 3 people

brutally) immediately.

4. Provide adequate protection to the family of the deceased (Jadhav family) as well as to all

the Dalits in this village of Javakhede in the district of Ahmednagar,

5. Establish Special Fast Track Courts in the Ahmednagar District for the speedy trial of this

case under SC/ST POA Act 1989 and ensuring complete trial within 180 days.

6. Immediate compensation of Rs.10 Lakhs to be paid to the dependents of the deceased.

7. United Nations to take up the matter of gross ongoing violations of human rights of

Dalits in India with Government of India. On an average close to 40,000 cases of

atrocities against Dalits are registered with Police every year. There must be a stop to

these human rights violations.

8. International Human Rights standards be used to review and monitor the gross ongoing

violations of human rights of Dalits in India.

9. Special Projects sponsored and funded by the United Nations to protect the human rights

In protest against the failure to arrest the accused for the brutal murder of three members of a

Dalit family in Ahmednagar, Maharashtra, India, several Dalit Human Rights organizations and

individuals staged a public protest and candle light vigil in front of the UN Headquarters in New

The activists demanded immediate implementation of the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled

Tribe Prevention of Atrocities Act in Maharashtra, setting up of seven special courts in the state

with one special court in Ahmednagar, and declaring the district as atrocity prone area.

“We are here to condemn the barbaric triple murder of our people and we demand immediate

justice to the bereaved family members. We demand protection and security to lead our lives as

citizens of the country. All we seek is our constitutional right!” said Raj Kamble(Texas)

“We are utterly shocked with the brutality of this murder and strongly condemn the

administration that has failed to protect the lives of the most deprived people of India. Every day,

caste crimes are reported from various part of the country and yet they are always shrouded in

silence. We have gathered here to bring this to the notice of international human rights and

media fraternity. It is high time that the world stands up in solidarity to end caste based

violence”, expressed Sanjay Bhagat (Massachusetts).

Milind Awasarmol(New Jersey) stated that “I’m utterly aghast at the extent of brutality involved

in this triple murder. The mindset which perpetrates this kind of horrendous crime is difficult to

fathom and is not consonant with modern civil society. Such mindset is a challenge to humanity!

This protest is to ensure that justice is delivered to the victims and the criminals punished

More than three weeks have already passed but the concerned Police Authorities have not

nabbed the culprits. The police administration appears to be clueless while all political parties

also remain silent. Thousands of people have been protesting every day in major towns of

Maharashtra and yet, mainstream media in India has remained aloof!

Vivek Chavan(Michigan) said “This is a most heinous crime to humanity.  Why there is so much

animosity towards another human being, is a matter of introspection.  It is a time for people of all

aspects of lives to come together & fight this menace so people can live in Harmony.  Our

request is to Indian Government to create an Independent court and punish the perpetrator of this

“There is absolutely no place for caste atrocities in a country like India. How can India project a

global development model while such human rights violations continue unabated? We are here

to call out this impunity that infests all levels of the criminal justice system in India. We will

continue this fight for justice and stand in solidarity with the victims and survivors of caste

violence in India”, said Satyajit Somvanshi(Pennsylvania).

As responsible Indians, we the Indian diaspora organized a peaceful candle vigil and peaceful sit-in in

front of UN headquarters in NY.

The Silent Candle Vigil and Sit-in protest starts at 11.30 AM at Katharine Hepburn Garden,E 47th St,

PROGRAM SHEET FOR PEACEFUL SILENT CANDLE VIGIL & SIT-IN OPPOSTE UN

ON NOVEMBER 15th 2014

Time                         Activity

11:30 AM                  Congregate at Katharine Hepburn Garden, E 47th

St, New York, NY 10017

11:30 to 11:45 AM     Welcome address by Organizers

11:45 to 01:15 PM     Protest – Sit-in

01:15 to 01:30 PM     Clean-up and park handover

Rest of the day  Social congregation in New Jersey, follow-up on Javkheda

atrocity, intellectual brain storming, discussions on

future directions, Dinner, etc.

With Metta

Organizing Committee

DIRECTIVES FOR PARTICIPANTS

We the Dalits residing in the US are coming together to protest against a gross human right

violation perpetuated against an entire family in India from our community. It is

understandable that we all are very aggravated and furious over the incident and the delay in

meeting justice. We as educated and emancipated people should conduct our protest

peacefully and gracefully. Of course we have to make sure that the purpose of our protest

should not be diluted in any way. With that in mind, we humbly request you to adhere by the

following guidelines.

1. It would be desirable that all the delegates dress uniformly as far as possible. Since this

is a protest, dark color like black/blue/brown is suggested. Suit/Blazer should be given

preference.

2. NO SLOGANEERING WHATSOEVER. WE HAVE PERMISSION ONLY FOR A PEACEFUL

PROTEST

3. Designated Volunteers (DVs) to wear bright golden arm band for easy identification

4. Congregation to be held within defined perimeter of the park. DVs will assist members

with this

5. Lunch (pizza) will be served during the event

6. Please be careful to avoid littering during the entire outdoor event.

7. Since this is a Pan America Dalit representation, individual Organizational banners or

placards should NOT be carried.

8. It is also advised not to have gory pictures/images/graphics on display in public as it is a

violation. It is requested to share the banner/placard contents with the organizers,

preferably in advance.

9. Designated spokesperson/s to interact with Media

10. Donations to be given only to designated DVs. A minimum donation of $50 is

encouraged. Of course, more is always welcome as it will help meet the expenditure

for this event. Payment through check is accepted.

11. All are requested to maintain the decorum of this protest.

12. Protest will include Candle vigil. Battery operated candles will be provided.

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