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Dalit Diaspora UK, condemns Kherlanji (India) Dalit rapes and Massacre
(Report –L.M.Doss, Hon. Coordinator, IFPAD c/o Bhagwan Valmiki Trust UK)
Dalit individuals and organizations under the newly formed International Forum for Prevention of Atrocities Against Dalits, protested against and condemned the September brutal rape and massacre of Dalit family in Kherlanji village, Maharashtra, India, in front of the Indian Embassy, London on December 12, 2006 from 11.00 am to 3.00 pm. This peaceful protest was to convey our anguish over the increasing and continuing violence and atrocities against Dalits every day and appeal to these western democratic international communities to intervene more positively and affirmatively for the emancipation of Dalits both socially and economically.
The successful demonstration included many inspiring speeches and expression of solidarity from eminent activists and Dalit leaders like Mr.Dharam Paul, Convener – IFPAD & Chairman, Bhagwan Valmiki Trust UK, Mr.Eugene Culas, Director, Voice of Dalit International, Mr.Satpal, Caster WatchUK, Mr.Balram, Kofi Mauli klu, Community Advocate and social Activist for Global Justice (Anti Slavery International), Esther Stanford, Executive Secretary, The Black Front Parliament in Europe, and many others. The event was made livelier with slogans from Mr. Raj Mohan Thampi and solidarity music from Mr. Andy Iverson & Co Church Music Band
The representatives of the Forum handed over a Memorandum to the Indian High Commission which was received by the coordination Officer Mr.Sharma who assured that the anguish, anger, expectations and solidarity expressed by the Dalits in the UK will be communicated to the Indian Government.
While acknowledging the measures taken by both the Central and State governments, the Team demanded that the Indian Government has to initiate many proactive, preventive actions and programmes to protect Dalits from such ongoing violence and atrocities. The International Forum also informed him that it will be monitoring, investigating, disseminating and campaigning against all forms of atrocities committed against Dalits in India. The Forum also assured support for all the pro-active measures taken to prevent atrocities against Dalits especially in the rural India.
The programme enabled hundreds of British citizens to come to know of the plight of the Dalits through the leaflets and interaction with the protesters and organisers. The programme ended with participants taking pledge to be united in all our future initiatives to promote and protect the rights Dalits everywhere by affirmative and proactive intervention at different levels internationally.