Dalit Mahila Sarpanch beaten up in day light, Castevirus004MH2016
In 2012, Gram Panchayat elections were held across the state of Maharashtra. Bankaranja village in Kaij taluka of Beed district had a 9-member Panchayat. In the elections of 2012, the people voted in 8 members belonging to the major front (BJP) and 1 member (Aruna Dahire)from the opposing front (NCP). As the post of Sarpanch in 2012 was reserved for a woman of Scheduled Caste (SC), Aruna Dahire the only elected SC female member of Bankaranja Gram Panchayat, became the Sarpanch against the wishes of the winning group which had no SC woman elected member.
Following Aruna’s election, on 16 January, 2013, Gram Sevak Balaji Rakh passed a proposal for approving the signature of Sarpanch Aruna Dahire for the Gram Panchayat’s transactions. The rest of the members took objection to this and passed a resolutionrejecting the Sarpanch’s signatory rights by majority vote. Aruna Dahire complained against
the same to the BDO (Gatvikas Adhikari), Panchayat Samiti- Kaij, and in panchayat meeting of 16/01/2013 gramsevak mentioned its legally required sarpanch to authorize financial transactions.
On 26 January, 2013, after the Gram Sabha meeting ended, at the Gram Panchayat office, Sudhakar Lamb and 10 others hurled casteist abuses like “हे महारीन तू सरपचं झ्हाल्यानेकाय होते?” (Oh Maharin, so what if you’ve become Sarpanch) at Aruna and her husb and Shrimant Dahire and roughed them up. The police did not register the Dahires’ complaint for 7-8 days. Following which the couple approached local activists Ashok Tangde and Manisha
Tokale of Dalit Adivasi Adhikar Abhiyan (DA3) who reside in Beed. The activists following a dharna and morcha, conducted a meeting with the Collector. On the Collector’s intervention, an FIR was finally registered on 6 February, 2013 against 11 people including gram panchayat members under the Prevention of Atrocities Act.
Following this, a compromise was arrived at a village meeting, where Aruna and her husband were ‘requested’ to take back the FIR on the promise of the cooperation of other Gram Panchayat members to Aruna’s leadership as Sarpanch. On 12 February, 2013, following the compromise, Shrimant Dahire signed a bond taking back his complaint, which was then forwarded to the Police. The police abandoned the investigation on Aruna’s FIR on the basis of the affidavit by Aruna and her husband Shrimant.
Following the compromise, Aruna tried to initiate several development initiatives for the village (2 road construction projects, etc.) However, she was obstructed in one way or the other due to non-cooperation of other Panchayat Samiti members. Until date, the only work she has been able to complete, that too only due to her grit and courage has been a road built in the main village. Development works for the Dalit colony in the village were not even allowed to be spoken of in the Gram Panchayat meetings. Moreover, the Gram Sevak on more than one occasion got her to sign blank cheques. Everytime she protested they would intimidate her and ask her to remain within limits. Each time this occurred, Aruna has submitted written complaints to the BDO apprising him of the situation. The BDO never initiated any action against the accused; however, Aruna continued to register complaints to him.
Finally, seeing the insubordination of Aruna Dahire and assertion of her own power, the major front instigated the resignation of one of its own upper caste female members and got a Scheduled Caste woman, Maya Dahire, re-elected in the vacant place through by-elections. Following her election, the members of the Panchayat Samiti passed a no-confidence motion against Aruna Dahire seeking to elect Maya Dahire in her place, and during the meeting on 22 June, 2016, Aruna and her husband were beaten up by Madhukar Lamb and 9 others.
Filed under: dalit atrocity | 2 Comments
Tags: Aruna Dahire, Bankaranja, Beed Atrocity, Caste Atrocity, Dalit Sarpanch, Dr. Ambedkar, Madhukar Lamb, Mahila Sarpanch