“Speak! The Truth Is Still Alive” is an effort to expose and analyse the continuing onslaught of sexual violence against the Dalit girls and women in the state of Haryana in North India. This report i s based on a series of visits by WSS members to villages in the districts of Rohtak, Hisar, Jind, Karnal and Kurukshetra, and interviews with some survivors and their families. WSS holds that it is incumbent on feminists, women’s movements and democratic rights movements to join Dalit movements and Dalit feminists in confronting and questioning the apathy and silence that shrouds the issue of sexual violence against Dalit women in Haryana. This report seeks to bring some of the most recent of these violations under scrutiny, to expose the institutional mechanisms that provide immunity and impunity to perpetrators, and collude with them to attack and intimidate those who are struggling for justice. Click here to read the report.
On this day, 10 years after her brutal murder, let us remember Manorama who was raped and killed by the Indian Army. As people of a country that claims to be free, let us resolve to unite across all states and demand:
• Action in pending cases of sexual violence perpetrated by state forces in the Northeast, Kashmir, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and other situations of conflict.
• Withdrawal of armed forces from civilian areas.
• Repeal of AFSPA and other laws that provide impunity to armed forces.
• Justice for women as citizens of this country and not as subjects under martial law.
• Implementation of the Verma Commission guidelines relating to sexual offences in conflict areas.
Join the campaign to repeal AFSPA. Distribute this pamphlet freely.
A joint team comprising Association for Democratic Rights (AFDR) from Punjab, People’s Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR) and Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS) from Delhi visited Bhagana village of Hisar district on May 13, 2014. The main purpose of this visit was to meet the villagers after the gruesome gang rape incident of the four Dalit girls earlier on March 23 by five men of the Jat community and to understand its links with the ongoing struggle that the Dalit community has been waging since May 2012 for access to common land. You can access the report here.
New Delhi, APRIL 24, 2014
In the continuing backlash against Dalit assertion, four young girls of Dalit families (two of whom are minor) from Bhagana village (Hisar district, Haryana) were abducted on 23rd March 2014 and gangraped by 5 Jat boys (3 from Bhagana and 2 from outside of whom one was from Bhiwani). All four girls were then abandoned in the Bhatinda railway station on 23rd March itself. The sarpanch along with the girls’ fathers and brothers reached Bhatinda to bring them back. They were threatened by the head of the village sarpanch who is also the cousin of one of the accused to remain quiet, otherwise they along with their families would suffer dire consequences, even murder.
Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS) condemns the attacks upon chithralekha, a dalit woman auto driver from Payannu, Kerala. WSS urges the local administration, in particular the collector, to take immediate action for justice for chithralekha. chithralekha has been repeatedly attacked by CITU/DYFI autodrivers since 2005. This group of Savarna and obc men have tried to run her over with an auto in 2005 and burnt her auto later in the year; attacked her husband with a knife in 2006; and beaten her as well as her husband, daughter and brother-in-law in three separate attacks in 2010. In 2013 her husband was almost run over by a bus; later in the year a group of 30 men attacked her and her family at home; and in another attack in 2013 her husband was beaten and implicated in a legal case.
“To the living we owe respect, but to the dead we owe only the truth.”
Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS) would like to place on record its views on the recent suicide of Dr. Khurshid Anwar, Director Institute for Social Democracy, a Delhi-based NGO. Dr Anwar had been accused of rape by a 25-year old woman in September 2013. He committed suicide on 18 December 2013, following a campaign against him on social media and TV channels and the lodging of an FIR just a day before his death.
We are dismayed and deeply concerned at the content and tone of the discussions on Dr Anwar’s death in social media and in various public forums, where aspersions have been cast on the complainant. Questions have also been raised about the role of feminists who have stood by the complainant and upheld the feminist principles evolved in the course of the long and ongoing struggle against sexual violence in our patriarchal and misogynistic society.
Addressing the Chief Minister of Delhi, Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS), strongly condemned the racial profiling, sexual violence and vigilantism by AAP against the Ugandan women and have demanded Somnath Bharti’s resignation; judicial probe to identify the perpetrators of the violence & punitive, lawful action against them; and compensation for the Ugandian women among other demands.
Shri Arvind Kejriwal
Chief Minister, Govt. of Delhi
Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression strongly condemns the illegal raid conducted by the AAP cabinet law minister, Somnath Bharti and his mob of supporters, on the premises of the Ugandan women on 17th January 2014 residing in Khidki village, New Delhi.