Mysterious Deaths & Rapes of Dalits in Modi’s Brahmanical Hindutva India.

Rejaz M Sydeek

She was not raped, she had an affair with her rapists, her family got Naxal background, she killed herself, why are Islamic Organisations visiting her family? It’s a conspiracy to instigate violence against the state in name of caste. These are the cliche findings, justifications, arguments put forward by the Upper Caste right-wing groups, Hindutva State, State Police and State licking media when a Dalit girl got raped by Upper-caste men in the state of Uttar Pradesh which is governed by the Hindutva Terror Organisation, Hindu Yuva Vahini’s founder Yogi Adithyanath, who is a Thakur himself. The perfect hashtag for their theory would be #NoOneRapedDalits against #DalitLivesMatters in this country in which 10 Cases of Dalit Women’s Rapes were reported on daily in 2019 according to the National Crime Records Bureau.

5 days after the 19-year-old Dalit girl (Hathras Rape Victim) died in hospital, a 17-year-old Dalit girl of Nishad Community hailing from Uttar Pradesh was allegedly raped and murdered on October-4 -2020 at her Employer’s Old aged Mother’s House which is located at Model Town area of North Delhi. The employer, who is a lady belongs to the Upper caste, Bania and incidentally, Nishad Community is closely related to Phoolan Devi’s Caste. There are a few similarities between this case and Hathras. Since there is an order from Supreme Court regarding the privacy of the victim’s name, Arora Online would like to call the 17-year-old girl as Phoolan for this writing.

Picture Source: the wire.

Phoolan was working there as domestic help and caretaker of the old aged lady from September-26-2020. She was found hanging in the room of the Driver on October-8-2020, I.e, after 8th day of being employed. Family members and Student leaders who took up the issue accuse the employer’s son and the driver for raping & murdering the girl. They have strong reasons to prove this allegation. The girl whose family is from Uttar Pradesh is doing manual jobs in Delhi after she was adopted by her deceased mother’s sister and her relatives are also migrant workers in Delhi doing domestic works and manual jobs. She got an elder sister and younger brother who is also adopted by relatives after their alcoholic father left them. When her same-aged upper caste girls are attending classes through online learning, this Dalit girl was forced to work as a maid. When the lockdown and the pandemic hit the lives of migrant workers, employment for Phoolan would have brought happiness and gave them hopes of financial stability. It’s not her family which forced her to work, but the society, system and the Government which failed Dalits forced her to work.

Phoolan tried to communicate with her aunt about the physical and mental torture she was going through in that house. The old aged lady only allowed Phoolan to talk to her aunt in her presence, she feared that phoolan might spill out something. She was prevented & interrupted by the lady when she attempted to reach out her aunt on phone to talk in private on the afternoon of October 4th. Her aunty understood that something was wrong and Phoolan was not ok. The aunt told that her niece called her later and told that Phoolan was forced by the lady to sleep in the driver’s room with him on the night of October 3rd. Aunt added that phoolan was caught red-handed while speaking to her secretly and she heard the voice of the lady scolding Phoolan after which the phone call was disconnected abruptly. This revelation by Phoolan spoonfeeds us that she was sexually exploited there in that house. The aunt said from October 1st to October 3rd, there were no calls from her. If so, what happened on those days? What happened to Phoolan after she was caught by the lady? Phoolan must be probably killed between 3.15 pm when she made her last phone call to her aunt and 5.30 pm when her aunt received the information that Phoolan locked herself in the room. The lady who employed phoolan for her ailing mother advised Phoolan’s aunt to lie about Phoolan’s age by making it 19 years since there would be police in the house. This is definitely to hide that Phoolan is a minor so that if in case anything goes against the employer, the minor age issue doesn’t come up. The kins of Phoolan along with students activists from BSCEM (Bhagat Singh Chaatr Ekta Morcha), DSU-DU, Pinjra Tod, Disha, KYS and SFI also accuses the employer’s son of the rape and murder. They believe Phoolan’s employer was also fully aware of the attack on Phoolan and her phone call to aunt.

The door was bolted from inside the room and was broken by Fire & Rescue Officers in presence of Local Police and Police Control Room Staff. The aunt was only allowed to see her niece after giving details about Phoolan. Though she sensed wrong by seeing the huge number of Police, she believed Phoolan would be alive. Unfortunately, she saw Phoolan hanging from a T-iron ceiling using a bedsheet. Her body was taken away quickly in a strange manner even without allowing her aunt to see her body properly. After the relatives went to Model Town Police station to give their statements, they found the employer’s family members and the driver was not summoned to the station for questioning. In Hathras case it was only after 6 days a formal complaint was registered by Police, in this case even after 2 weeks no FIR is registered on basis of accusations by Phoolan’s relatives. This is from where we can find similarities in the role of Police in Hathras Case. The relatives had verbal arguments regarding the claim over the body of Phoolan with the Police. After being frustrated with inefficiency, negligence, handling and biased actions of Police in investigating the case, on 7th October, relatives of Phoolan staged a protest in front of the house where she was employed. Police beat them using lathis brutally including the aged ones mercilessly. Male cops physically attacked female protestors and in total 8 women and 4 men were detained. The relatives accused the police of threatening them to leave Delhi. Police are doing exactly what the Hindutva groups want, which is the eviction of Dalits, Adivasis and Muslims from India by scaring and unleashing violence on them.

Picture Source: the wire.

The postmortem was only done after 4th day of her death at Safdarjung hospital where Hathras victim died. Postmortem report says Phoolan’s death occurred due to Asphyxia as a result of antemortem hanging by ligature material and is suicidal. Even if it’s suicide according to the version of Delhi Police of Model Town Police Station and her Employer, isn’t it a crime when someone especially a Dalit commits suicide when social injustice is prevailing in this exploiting society which is stinking with Brahmanism? Was not Rohith Vemula’s suicide a murder Committed by the Brahmanic administration of his University? Was not Payal Tadvi’s suicide a Murder committed by her upper-caste seniors? As long as there is exploitation in the society, the suicide of marginalised people will always be a murder committed by the ruling class and its stooges.

On 8th October itself, Phoolan’s body was forcibly cremated by Police who were more than 300 in number at Wazirpur cremation ground. Police only gave 5 minutes to her family for seeing her body for the last time. Why was police hurrying? Why didn’t police allow the relatives to take the body inside the house for paying last respect? Why did police forcibly speeded the cremation just like Hathras victim was cremated? Why was whereabouts of the body not informed to the relatives before the postmortem was conducted?

The continuous injustice and being hurt emotionally, mentally and physically from the side of Police, Phoolan’s relatives and students activists were forced to stage protest in front of the Model Town Police Station on October-16- 2020. Around 45 people gathered in front of the station and demanded the: Registration of their complaint, assurance of fair and impartial investigation, initiating action against the officers who led the forcible cremation and the officers who assaulted the protestors on October 7th. Instead of listening to the protestors, The Police team led by Assistant Commissioner of Police, Ajay Kumar unleashed violence on the protestors by forcibly taking them into the station. Delhi University Unit Secretary of BSCEM, Comrade Nishanth spoke to Arora and said 10 people were detained, out of which 6 were students. Day by Day Indian Police are proving that whichever the Government is, from Parliamentary left to Right to Centre, the khaki of Police will be always saffronised. Walayar, Kathua, Hathras Rape Murder cases are few examples of it and these incidents show us that the Suppressing tool of the state always stands for the exploiters instead of the marginalised. The words, Polite-Obedient – Loyal-Intelligence-Courageous-Efficient, which are the abbreviation of the word “POLICE” is exclusively moulded for the ruling class.

protest in front of the Model Town Police Station on October-16- 2020.

From the so-called Press Note Released by DCP of North West Delhi on 17th October 2020 which don’t have any designated officer’s sign & date says that protestors tried to put undue pressure on local police and tried to give a different narrative of the incident. When the Doctors confirmed raped in Hathras case, State Police was adamant that she was not raped. It’s the police who are infamous in giving different narratives after extra-judicial encounters are reported. The press note further says though the facts of the case were explained and the warning was given to disperse, the protestors didn’t go back. Though the note doesn’t mention anything about the physical attack on the protestors, it says that the protestors were detained and charged under relevant charges of IPC, Epidemic Act and DDMA guidelines.

The police registered FIR under Sections 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 120B (criminal conspiracy), 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) and 270 (malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) of the Indian Penal Code, and Section 3 of the Epidemic Act. The detention and release of Journalist Ahan Penkar were also mentioned in the last part in which the police justified his detention.

24-year-old Ahan Penkar who is a Journalist with The Caravan was among the 5 youngsters who were beaten inside the station by ACP Ajay Kumar and his colleagues despite of disclosing his media identity. Ahan was kicked and slapped by the ACP and he suffered injuries on the nose, shoulder, back and ankle. The police also seized his phone and erased his recordings of videos and photos which he took while reporting the protest. The other 4 youngsters who were students of Delhi University were also brutally assaulted and abused by the ACP and his co-workers. Ahan filed a complaint with Commissioner of Police and the press note says his complaint was fake.

Like Ahan, a journalist was recently targeted by Uttar Pradesh Police when he was on his way to report the news. Ahan is lucky when compared with the above mentioned Malayali Journalist of Azhimukham, Sidheeq Kappan. Kappan was charged under UAPA and Sedition act after being arrested on October 5, 2020, when he was on his way to report the Hathras Rape & Murder case. What was Sidheeq’s crime? Reporting the truth and speaking for the victims of Hindutva is a crime in Hindutva India and that’s why most media prefer to lick state. This is the state of “Freedom of Journalism” in Hindutva India. His name matters and that was the reason he was detained. His persecution & incarceration by UP State & Police is an attempt to Suppress Journalism. Since Sidheeq Kappan is a Muslim, UP State has linked religious terror stories on him. Sangh Parivar has only seen Modi media and lapdogs like Arnab Goswami, we have people’s journalists like Kappan who got a pen with dissent against Hindutva Fascism. Kappan is also secretary of Kerala Union of Working Journalists’ Delhi unit.

The Delay in Registration of FIR, lack of interest in taking actions against the accuseds, forcible cremation of the victim, threatening the kins of the victim, attack on freedom of Journalism are the common links of the Hathras and Model Town case apart from the victim being from Dalit Community and Accused people from an upper caste. Apart from caste exploitation, there is also a class factor. Phoolan came from a working-class family, the angle of workers being exploited by the employers should also be analysed. Delhi Chief Minister Aravind Kejriwal who wanted the execution of Hathras Rapists is a mute spectator on this case. What has Delhi learned after the 2012 Delhi Gang Rape Case? It’s a wrong belief that stringent laws will only reduce the rate of crimes. Days after Rapists of Delhi case was executed, Hyderabad Rape case shocked India. The views shared by the ruling class on women should be smashed first.

Let’s look at the statistics shared by National Crime Records Bureau and other reports on “Rape on Women from Scheduled Caste” from 2014 onwards when the World’s Largest Political Party came to power in the world’s largest soo called Pseudo-Democratic country. 2,233 Dalit women were raped in 2014; 2,326 in 2015; 2,541 in 2016; 2,714 in 2019; 2,957 in 2018 and 3,500 in 2019. This is not a surprise because Manusmriti tells it’s right to Beat and attack Dalit women. These figures and the present political scenario teaches us that the Betti Bachao Betti Padao Party has only instigated Cow Vigilantism, Caste-based discrimination/rape/murder, lynching on Muslims, Fake Encounters, Enforced disappearances& murder/rape of Kashmiris, Islamophobic attacks, detention/usage of UAPA, other Draconian laws on Students and Zero Tolerance against Dissent on Hindutva. State fears if Dalits get organised in a non-parliamentary way against Hindutva. The state will do everything to Suppress it, the Crackdown on Urban Naxals, incarceration of Bhima Koregaon Prisoners is an example of it.

Some liberals ask where are Dalit activists when a Dalit&Muslim rapes? They are equating the Rape Committed by Dalit/Muslim with rape Committed by Upper Caste. No Dalit/Muslim Organisations or their Community members will organise rallies in support of the rapists like RSS, Thakur Men organised Solidarity Rallies for Rapists of Kathua and Rapists of Hathras. It was Sangh Parivar who published Solidarity statements when BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar raped girl in Unnao. Liberals should understand that Police, Judicial system, State and Pro-State Medias won’t cry for the accused if they are not upper caste and pro-Hindutvaadis. The caste hegemony and privileges of being Upper Caste and Pro Hindutva Brahmanical will save the lives of Rapists from Extra Judicial Encounters but not of minorities like Hyderabad Encounter in which they were only “accused”. There is a huge difference when an Upper caste person who believes that it’s their right to rape the lower caste women. They enjoy the support from society and cannot be rectified since they won’t have any regret or remorse. Before addressing Sex Education, the rape culture and patriarchy which is present in Brahmanism should be smashed. Even Golwalkar has justified rape and the patriarchy and rape culture which is present in all religions and caste in “India” are injected by this Brahmanical Hindutva which sees rape as a political tool. Rape is not always about lust, its also about forcibly showcasing the power/superiority of men on women. So when it comes to the case of Casteist Men, they will be under the influence of their upper-caste status when they dominate women from a lower caste. Literally, it’s upper-caste which is part of Brahmanical Patriarchy raping lower caste. The interrelation of Caste, Class and Gender is often neglected by State when a Dalit is attacked by Upper Caste. Why were the two minor Dalit girls who were cousins kidnapped, gang-raped and hanged from a tree in Katra back in 2014? Rape was the Punishment given by their upper caste employer when girls protested for a 3 rupee raise in their wage.

Only Convicts from a lower caste, minority Community are getting hanged to death for the crimes they have done. Most of them may not even know the consequences of the crime they committed and most of them don’t even know what was their mistake. Their thoughts on women are formed by the society which is dominated by Brahmanical Patriarchy ideas. After the Delhi Gang rape case, sex education & rape culture was the most discussed topic, but we cannot say the same is the key problem in Kathua Rape & Murder Case. Kathua case is a Pre Planned Political Crime Committed by “Hindutva” Fascists who used “Rape” as a “Political Tool” on a “Muslim” “Girl” to scare away their community from the area. What punishment did the convicts including the Police officer get? They were fully aware of their actions, they had state support, support from Police and Community and cannot be rectified. But were they not treated differently by Society, State and media from the Rapists of Delhi Case?

“We kill children because they will grow up to become Naxalites. We kill women because they will give birth to Naxalites”. This was what Ranvir Sena gave in an interview with a Human Rights group in 1998. Upper Caste Militia like Ranvir Sena and Police raped Adivasi and Dalit women in name of punishing Maoists. If a Dalit woman’s husband is Maoist, she will be taken into custody and raped. This is to make the Maoists surrender and also used to control them politically. Even Non-Hindutva Religions and Parliamentary parties don’t uplift women in the fight against Fascism. CPI Maoist Leader Anuradha Ghandy has told that by propagating women’s nature as non-violent they are discouraging women from becoming fighters in the struggle for their liberation and that of society. The Resistance of the exploited against the violent exploiters cannot be labelled as Terrorism. Confused people think that patriarchy can be smashed by joining the system, by participating in elections. Recently Rajeshwari Saravana Kumar, A Female Dalit Panchayat President of Tamil Nadu was made to sit on the floor during Panchayat meetings by a Male Upper Caste Vice President, while others were seated on chairs. The surprising fact is that the Panchayat is reserved for Scheduled community. “Power” or “Political Position” earned in Hindutva India doesn’t matter, in short, it’s powerless like drawing a line on water or going around a circle repeatedly because you come back to the same problem (caste discrimination, which you wanted to eradicate by participating in elections). It won’t make any difference or any improvement in the lives of them. Ram Nath Kovind who is a Dalit and the present Indian President is a puppet and a parrot of this Hindutva Nation. He’s privileged and will never speak against the atrocities unleashed by Sangh Parivar on Dalits. Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims joining and getting along with the Ruling class is fooling yourself and betraying your Community. Karl Marx has said that the ideas of the ruling class will be the ideas of the society. So without smashing the ruling class, what’s the point in joining with them in the system?

To protect oneself from and to fight this Patriarchial Brahmanical System, Women should organise themselves and come forward. Initially, they will have to struggle against a majority of Women itself because a large section of women compromises on gender equality themselves by advocating Patriarchy. Knowingly or Unknowingly their conscience is allowed to be altered by Male Chauvinist. They should be educated politically and recruited for waging a protracted war on Hindutva Brahmanism. Caste and Class are interrelated in India so for waging Class war in India, we need to annihilate caste system and for it, we need the participation of all minorities irrespective of Gender & Religion.

#DalitLivesMatters #NoOneRapedDalit #SanghiPolice