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...Mayawati did not take the Bhim Army’s name during her visit to Saharanpur last week, but she did so in Lucknow on May 25. Dismissing the intelligence report that linked her brother Anand Kumar with the Bhim Sena, she instead accused the BJP of trying to politically neutralize her. She argued that leaders of the Bhim Army engaged in violence but were still not being arrested by the police, thereby indicating the ruling party’s tacit support for the group. It is unfortunate that instead of lending moral support to this promising outfit of Dalit youths brave enough to take on casteist mobs emboldened by the fact that a Thakur has become Uttar Pradesh’s chief minister, Mayawati is condemning it as a tool in the hands of the enemy. She, who has been the recipient of a huge mobilization of Dalits to celebrate her birthdays could have easily organised a massive demonstration in Lucknow against the atrocities in Saharanpur. ...Indian Express on May 29, 2017, 5 p.m.
... The form and content of the Maratha agitation sparked off by the rape and murder of a 14-year old school girl in Kopardi village in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra, notorious for its record of caste atrocities, has stunned observers. The form of muk morcha (silent rally) adopted by the protesters is novel and puzzling since the community is not known for such patience, individually or collectively. The content is confusing since all the culprits were arrested within a week of the crime and the chief minister himself promised that they would be hanged to death. The original demand — justice to the victim — has been overshadowed by the plea to introduce reservations for the Maratha community and repeal of the SC and the ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. The call for capital punishment to the culprits of the Kopardi incident — they belong to a Dalit caste — was supported by all, including the Dalits. But the protests took a distinct caste turn after it was raised in the state assembly by NCP leaders, Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil and Ajit Pawar. ...Indian Express on Oct. 10, 2016, 12:04 a.m.