Soni Sori and Gautam Navlakha Vs. State of Chhattisgarh W.P. (CRL.) 206/2011


Human Rights Law Network

 

 

The petition was filed the Supreme Court of India because the Chhattisgarh police have made an attempt on the life of Petitioner, Soni Sori – a tribal woman from village Sameli in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh. The petitioner also seeks a direction from the Court for the setting up of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) of police officers from outside the state of Chhattisgarh, to investigate the criminal prosecutions against her as well as her allegation made in her complaint sent to the Delhi Police regarding the Chhattisgarh police attempting to murder her on September 11, 2011.

The third reason is that witness in FIR 26/11 relating to Soni Sori is the Sarpanch of a village from Orissa who was arrested by the Orissa police and handed over to the Chhattisgarh police, allegedly signed a statement to the effect that he was an eye witness to the alleged exchange of money between Essar corporation and the Naxalites.

At the very onset, it is stated that the Petitioner fled from Dantewada, Chhattisgarh in the second week of September 2011, in fear for her life. She came to Delhi and gave instructions and on the basis of these instructions this petition was filed.  She fears that the Chhattisgarh police who are expected to follow her to Delhi will extra-judicially execute her as she has in her possession evidence to show that false cases have been registered against her nephew, Mr. Lingaram Kodopi, and herself. These false cases have been registered because the two of them refused demands made by the Chhattisgarh police that they act as intermediaries between certain corporations and the Naxalites. The Chhattisgarh police also wanted the petitioner to give evidence against her fellow villagers and to make false statements to the effect that they were Maoists.

As a result of their not giving in to the demands of the police, the police have filed a series of false cases against Mr. Lingaram and the petitioner. The casual way in which these false cases are prepared is set out in charts at pages …… and …… of this petition. The charts show that for different instances taking place at different points in time, the statements of the so-called witnesses have been prepared by cutting and pasting from what appears to be a template, even though the statements are supposed to have been made in entirely different contexts at different points of time.

It is also obvious from the tape recording done in a sting operation by Tehelka, where the policeman speaking on the phone admits their case to be a false one.   According to the prosecution case an Essar contractor was carrying money to allegedly pay the Naxalites, and approached the petitioner and Mr. Lingaram who were allegedly acting as intermediaries, and that the contractor and Mr. Lingaram were arrested near a market where the transaction was taking place and that the petitioner fled from the place.  The truth is, and this is confirmed by the policeman during the sting operation, that Mr. Lingaram was at his grandfather’s home when he was arrested. This single fact alone shows that the prosecution story is false.

Mr. Lingaram is particularly targeted because he came to Delhi at the end of 2009 and gave evidence at a public hearing organized by human rights organizations in Delhi on the atrocities against adivasis in Dantewada. While in Delhi, he completed a course in journalism and this apparently annoyed the Chhattisgarh police even further and made them apprehensive that he will use his recent training to report on police atrocities in Chhattisgarh. The police are clearly very apprehensive about the documentary evidence that Mr. Lingaram had obtained of the carnage in the three villages of Tarmetla, Morpalli and Timmapuram, where hundreds of houses were burnt, people were killed and women raped by the police and other armed security forces, and into which this Honourable Court has since ordered a CBI enquiry. The Chhattisgarh police arrested him to prevent him from handing over the evidence that he had collected including video testimonies and photographs of the victims including the rape victims to the CBI.

While in Delhi, Mr. Lingaram also appeared on several television programmes where he recounted very passionately the pathetic situation in which tribals like himself found themselves. The police are constantly after the petitioner and Mr. Lingaram to turn against their fellow tribals and collaborate with the police on pain of victimization and having false cases registered against them. Both the petitioner and Mr. Lingaram resisted these efforts of the police to draw them into acting as police informers. Hence the filing of the false cases.

On 31.08.2009, the Petitioner’s nephew, Lingaram Kodopi was forcibly picked up from his house in Sameli village, district Dantewada, locked up, and physically and mentally tortured in order to pressure him to become a Special Police Officer (SPO).  When the members of Mr. Kodopi’s family and other villagers went to the police station, the police refused to accept that Mr. Kodopi was in their detention, but after the villagers persisted in their enquiries, the police stated that Mr. Kodopi had come of his own accord to become an SPO.  On 18.9.2009, Mr. Kodopi’s brother, Masaram Kodopi filed a Writ petition (habeas corpus) No. 5469/2009, in the High Court of Chhattisgarh at Bilaspur, alleging forcible detention of Mr. Kodopi by the Chhattisgarh police. On 06.10.2009, the Hon’ble High Court of Chhattisgarh at Bilaspur directed that Mr. Kodopi be allowed to return to his family.

That the harassment of Lingaram Kodopi by the police continued even after they had to release him because of the above-mentioned order of the Court of Chhattisgarh.  Immediately after Mr. Kodopi’s release, his elder brother, Masaram Kodopi, was picked up by the police and detained for a day and accused of securing the release of a “Naxalite.” The police continued to threaten Lingaram with dire consequences and harass his family members, due to which, Mr. Kodopi decided to migrate to New Delhi, and further undertook the study of journalism at the International Media Institute of India, at NOIDA in the state of Uttar Pradesh.  An affidavit prepared by Lingaram Kodopi on 22.10.2009, describing the pernicious harassment by Chhattisgarh police, which had forced him to come to Delhi. Lingaram Kodopi also participated in a public meeting, titled the Independent People’s Tribunal on Land Acquisition, Resource Grab and Operation Green Hunt, where he described his own experiences of being detained and tortured by the police, and answered questions from journalists, jury members and audience about the situation of adivasis in the conflict-torn region of Dantewada in Chhattisgarh. While in Delhi, Mr. Kodopi also appeared on several television programmes where he recounted very passionately the pathetic situation in which tribals like himself found themselves.

That these cases are false can also be seen from the fact that the petitioner is a government servant and is the Residential School’s warden at Jabeli Ashram in Dantewada. She has been attending her duties every day and there are many witnesses to this. Yet in the charge sheets that have been filed, she is shown as an absconder. Things came to a head when she received a call from an unknown person that she should hide in the forests because the police were going to “encounter” her. She fled and a while later the police opened fire on her and tried to kill her. She managed to escape and came to Delhi for filing this petition before the Supreme Court of India.

Soni’s case is a typical case of tribal being caught in the cross fire between the Maoists and the security forces. Her father was shot at by the Maoists and his entire house looted on 14.6.11.  He is currently in the hospital and lodged an FIR.

So the petition was filed for an order or direction to the state of Chhattisgarh to produce all the FIRs and charge sheets with respect to Soni Sori and her nephew Lingaram Kodopi. Also to setup a Special Investigation Team (SIT) comprising of officers from outside the state of Chhattisgarh to investigate and prosecute in respect of the FIRs and charge sheets. The petition also asks for staying the arrest of the Petitioner, who undertakes to cooperate with the investigation and an order or direction directing transfer of all the cases pending against Petitioner and Lingaram before any court in the State of Chhattisgarh to any competent court in Delhi.

No Gramsabha,compensation or environment clearance but dam work on! #Indigenous


9th august 2012,

Today on UN Indigenous Day…Sriram Sen from Tahsil Silvani in District Raisen in Madhya Pradesh is telling us that there is an adivasi village called Sendhakhar where govt is making a dam but have not done any legal work before.

They have not taken Gram Sabha permission.

They have not done any environment assessment.

They have not given any compensation to the people.

The adivasis are frightened and went to some forest land from where forest people threw him out.

There is no one to help them. This project must stop immediately. For more Mr Sen can be reached at 08889989551

http://www.cgnetswara.org/index.php?id=12965

Delhi High Court issues notice to Private Hospitals #Patientrights


Aug 09, 2012 |

A bench of Acting Chief Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw issued notices to 12 hospitals, including the Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Hospital and St. Stephen’s Hospital, and sought their replies by August 30 on a plea seeking initiation of contempt of court proceedings against them for their failure to comply with the court’s March 22, 2007 order.
While dealing with a PIL, the high court had in 2007 ordered that “all private hospitals to whom public land has been allotted on concessional rates are obliged to provide free treatment to the extent of 25 per cent OPD and 10 per cent IPD to patients belonging to EWS category”.
The petitioner Social Jurist, an NGO, had filed the plea through counsel Ashok Aggarwal and sought a direction to hospitals to follow the lease deed conditions of reserving 25 per cent beds for patients from the economically weaker section (EWS) of the society.
Meanwhile, the Delhi HC asked the government to ensure that all government and recognised private schools have a doctor and a compounder during school hours to meet any emergency.
A division bench of Acting Chief Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw referred to the city government’s Delhi School Education Rule and said, “The Delhi government will ensure that all government and recognised private schools should have a doctor and compounder/dispenser on whole-time or part-time basis within eight weeks.”

Texas Execution Prompts EU To Call For Moratorium On #DeathPenalty


 

 

8/8/2012

(RTTNews) – European Union Foreign Policy chief Catherine Ashton has expressed deep regret at the execution of a US citizen who has significant intellectual disabilities, and called for a global moratorium on capital punishment.

The US state of Texas on Tuesday executed Marvin Lee Wilson, a man who has significant intellectual disabilities, ignoring calls by human rights organizations.

The 54-year-old African American, who was sentenced to death for the abduction and murder of a police drug informant in 1992, was killed by a lethal dose of the sedative pentobarbital injected into his veins by prison authorities.

A statement issued by the spokesperson of Catherine Ashton on Wednesday said “The High Representative recognizes the serious nature of the crime involved and expresses her sincere sympathy to the surviving family and friends of the victim. However, she does not believe that their loss has been mitigated by Wilson’s death.”

Ashton said “The EU opposes the use of capital punishment in all cases and under all circumstances,” and called for “a global moratorium as a first step towards its universal abolition.

“With capital punishment any miscarriage of justice, from which no legal system is immune, represents an irreversible loss of human life,” she added.

After exhausting appeals in the Texas court system, Wilson’s attorneys had applied to the U.S. Supreme Court to delay the execution and review the case under precedence. But the US top court refused to stay the execution, ruling less than two hours before his lethal injection was scheduled.

During the appeals process, a clinical neuropsychologist had concluded that he has “mental retardation.” Tests revealed that Wilson has an IQ of 61, which is well under the legal standard and diagnostic range of 70 considered in Atkins.

Human rights watchdogs – The Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International – had appealed to Texan authorities to halt Wilson’s execution.

Wilson was the second mentally disabled death row prisoner to be executed by the state of Texas in less than three weeks. On July 19, Yokamon Hearn was subjected to capital punishment, the first Texas prisoner to be executed utilizing the new one-drug protocol.

This was the seventh execution in Texas this year, where judicial killing resumed 30 years ago.

Nationwide, 1,302 people have been executed in the United States since death penalty was reinstated in 1977, including 25 this year. Since resuming executions in December 1982, Texas accounts for 484, or more than a third, of the total.

Woman lawyer found with throat slit in Mumbai flat #VAW


 

Edited by Surabhi Malik | NDTV  Updated: August 09, 2012 16:26 IST

MumbaiA 25-year-old woman lawyer was found murdered in her flat in Wadala in central Mumbai today.

Pallavi Yadav, daughter of a serving IAS officer in Delhi, was found with her throat slit by her boyfriend when he returned home at 5 this morning. He then informed the police.

Police say the motive behind the murder is still not clear but have ruled out robbery. They are interrogating her boyfriend and neighbours.

 

Bringing Bangladeshi Angle to Assamese Ethnic Conflict is Disservice to the Nation


 

Countryside in the Bodo area of Assam "Ud...

Countryside in the Bodo area of Assam “Udalguri and Kokrajhar are considered the center of the Bodo area.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

V.K. Tripathi, IIT Delhi

 

 

           The ethnic violence between Bodos and Muslims in Bodo territorial region of Assam is a national calamity. It has taken a toll of 65 innocent lives (besides the scores of people missing) and rendered 4 lakh homeless. The first priority of sane polity and responsible government is to restore the trust between the warring groups, Bodos and Muslims, without the slightest of ill will against any of the communities and isolate miscreants from the masses. Muslims are poorer, have lost more lives and fled in larger numbers (up to 80%) but Bodos are no economic elite. The creation of Bodo Territorial Council (covering 4 districts – Kokrajhar, Chirang, Baxa and Udalguri) by the Center in 2003, has given a section of them an upper hand but masses of both the communities are in hardships.

 

 

            I spent three days (August 3 to 5) in the area, visited relief camps – 2 Bodo camps in Kokrajhar (with 560 and 1500 people) , 1 Muslim camp in Kashipara (960 people), 1 Muslim camp in Dhubri (360 people) and 3 Muslim camps in Bilasipara (2000, 2500 and 3500 people), visited a Muslim village Bhadyagudi, a mixed Bodo-Muslim village Bhatipara and met a cross-section of people. I also met Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Kokrajhar Mr.  Jayant Narlikar, DC of Dhubri Mr. Kumud Kalita and Principal, Vice Principal and Librarian of Bhola Nath College, Dhubri.

 

 

            I saw no trace of Bangladeshi offensive in the conflict, so systematically and vigorously orchestrated by BJP and VHP, led by L.K. Advani, Tarun Vijay and Praveen Togadia. They are playing with the lives of people and poisoning atmosphere for future. Bangladeshi is more of an abuse to humiliate Muslims who are native Indians. There may be a few percent Bangladeshis (as a Rajvanshi ex-serviceman in rural Kokrajhar put it at 10%), but even these, in all likelihood are labourers and labourers are no exploiters but an exploited lot.  They need to be treated with dignity. All countries have legal and illegal migrants. USA has a very significant percentage of illegal Mexicans. But who engages them and benefits from their hard work?”- the business class, for cheap labour. USA is immensely more powerful than us but it could not force the Mexicans out. India has limited resources and can’t afford to sustain work force from neighbouring countries, hence legal ways, commensurate with workers’ dignity, must be employed to identify and deport them and to stop their migration (if at all there is any loop hole). As far as the language of Muslims in the area is concerned, there is strong historical reason for it.  Kokrajhar district borders with West Bengal and Dhubri with Bangladesh. 100-150 years ago British tea planters brought labourers from Bengal where Muslims were a predominant landless work force. Thus they speak Bengali. One more observation. In 1971 India welcomed lakhs of Hindu-Muslim refugees as a part of strategy on Bangladesh. Many of them overstayed.

 

 

            The current conflict developed as a chain event. Miscreants killed two Muslims on July 6. On July 19, a prominent Muslim suffered bullet injuries and a mob killed 4 Bodos, Subsequently sporadic killings of Muslims and display of fire power by Bodo elements, created a frightening atmosphere, forcing people to flee their homes. In Muslim dominated areas Bodos were made to flee. Once people fled, many of their homes were looted and put on fire.  Most camps, having over 2.5 lakh Muslim refugees, are located in Dhubri district.  This district with 80% Muslim population suffered no loss of life  Bodos from six villages had to flee to Kokrajhar.

 

 

            Bodo insurgents have carried a long drawn violent struggle for separate Bodoland. In 2003 Center created BTAD (Bodoland Territorial Autonomous Districts) giving substantial authority to Bodos (about 35 seats in the 40 member BTC Council). This created a wedge between them and other communities (Muslims, Santhals and Rajvanshis) who have a much larger share in population. Many insurgent groups surrendered their arms but some still have them.  Disarming them is a major responsibility of the state.

 

 

            All relief camps are facing severe hardships. The Muslim camps look even more dejected and worried, besides being poorer.  On August 5 as I was sitting with people in a camp in Bilasipara when Roja Aftar time arrived, I noted that they had only one bucket of dates and biscuit packets for aftaar for 2000 people. On behalf of Sadbhav Mission I offered them 1000 rupees to purchase additional dates. Same was the scene in another camp. At night often there is load shedding for several hours and these camps plunge into darkness besides exposing them to mosquito bite. People cook their own food from the ration (rice, pulses and oil) provided by the government and vegetables provided by local support or NGOs. In most places people of all the communities are coming forward to extend support. Despite heavy odds people are at peace. I wish they had a creative engagement. They could be given some training or exposure in relevant trades. Students can be given tutorial sessions, game sessions or could go for jogging.

 

 

            Mine was a short visit that began with my arrival in Guwahati at 7 AM. From the airport I took bus to train station. At 9:45 I took North East Express and got down at Kokrajhar at 1:20 PM. I walked through the city and then took a tempo to Kashipara (8 km away). I visited a Muslim camp and walked 3 km to visit two villages. At 8 PM I met the DC. By that time curfew had started hence I stayed in the circuit house in a awesome room for Rs. 130. Next morning (August 4) at 7 AM, I walked to Bodo camp Swrang M.E. High School. People were nice. Some got annoyed when I mentioned Nellie massacre. From there I took tempo, minibus and bus to reach Dhubri by 12 noon. I walked to a relief camp and talked to people for one hour. This interaction was heartening. From there I went to Bholanath college. At 3:15 PM I met the DC and then left for Bilasipara. During 5 to 8:15 PM I visited 3 camps. Then took shelter in ABI hotel (for Rs. 250). It gave me the feeling of hardships faced by camp people as there was no light and mosquitoes were in abundance.

 

            At 6 AM on August 5 I left for Kashipara and from there to Kokrajhar. I visted the Commerce College Bodo camp. People treated me with warmth and showed appreciation for peace efforts. At 12 noon I took Kamrup express to Guwahati. After reaching there I called some friends and left for the airport en route to Delhi.

 

 

 

 

 

Stop the 2012 AGM! Stop #Vedanta’s Profit from Death and Destruction!


 

 

Join us at the eighth annual AGM protest:

28 August 2012 2.00 pm
Lincoln Centre, 18 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A 3ED

Nearest tube Holborn (Piccadilly & Central lines) or Chancery Lane (Central).

Vedanta Resources plc is a London listed FTSE100 company which has brought death and destruction to thousands. 63% of it is owned by billionaire Anil Agarwal and his family through companies in various tax havens. It has been consistently fought by people’s movements but it is being helped by the British government to evolve into a multi-headed monster and spread across India and round the world, diversifying into iron ore in Goa, Karnataka and Liberia, Zinc in Rajasthan, Namibia, South Africa and Ireland,

 copper in Zambia and most recently oil in the ecologically fragile Mannar region in Sri Lanka.

WHO FUNDS VEDANTA’S 93 THOUSAND CRORE DEBT:

More than 30 major banks and financial agencies including ICICI, Standard Chartered Bank,HSBC,Deutsche Bank, Axa, Royal Bank of Canada, Credit Suisse, J P Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs,Llyods Banking Group,Nordea Bank, HSBC, ICICI, Citigroup, National Bank of Kuwait, ANZ andMerrill Lynch. The University Superannuations Scheme (USS) pension fund, the Royal Bank ofScotland (RBS) and Cheshire, Suffolk, Wolverhampton and Leicestershire county council’s pensionschemes hold large investments. But the Norwegian Government Pension Fund, Martin CurrieInvestments, the Church of England, the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust and the Dutch PensionFund PGGM have divested because of Vedanta’s ecological, and human rights crimes.

PEOPLE’S MOVEMENTS AND INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY ARE A POWERFULCOMBINATION! People are fighting Vedanta in Asia and Africa. They have succeeded inweakening Vedanta. Join us in fighting them in London!

BRING ANIL AGARWAL TO JUSTICE

Vedanta’s CEO, Anil Agarwal one of the richest people in Britain, whose personal wealth hasgrown even in the recession by 583%. Agarwal and Vedanta have close links with the SanghParivar, the umbrella group of Hindu right-wing organizations in India responsible forgenocidal attacks on India’s minority Muslim and Christian communities, in Orissa, Gujaratand elsewhere.

Vedanta’s Record in India:

In Odisha, India:

Vedanta’s bauxite mining and aluminium smelters have left more than tenthousand displaced people landless, contaminated drinking water sources with ‘red mud’ and fly ash,and devastated vast tracts of fertile land in an area which has seen famine every year since 2007.Vedanta’s mine on the sacred Niyamgiri hills has been fought by Adivasi (indigenous)-led people’smovements for seven long years and has so far been stopped. This has rendered their subsidiaryVedanta Aluminium (VAL) a loss making company, starving it’s refineries at Jharsuguda and Lanjigarhof local bauxite.

In Goa:

Vedanta’s Sesa Goa subsidiary has been accused of large scale fraud and illegal mining.In June 2009 following a pit wall collapse which drowned Advalpal village in toxic mine waste, a 9year old local boy Akaash Naik filed a petition to stop the mine and mass protests later that yearhalted mining at one of Sesa Goa’s sites. In 2011 there were more major mine waste floods. In SouthGoa a 90 day road blockade by 400 villagers succeeded in stopping another iron ore mine. Sesa Goaare paying ‘silence funds’ to try and prevent similar action at their South Goa mine.

In Tamil Nadu, Tuticorin:

Vedanta subsidiary Sterlite has flouted laws without remorse, operatingand expanding without consent, violating environmental conditions, and illegally dumping toxiceffluents and waste. In 1997 a toxic gas leak hospitalised 100 people sparking an indefinite hungerstrike by a local politician and a ‘siege on Sterlite’ that led to 1643 arrests. Later that year a kilnexplosion killed two. An estimated 16 workers died between 2007 and 2011. Police recorded mostworkers deaths as suicides. Pollution Control Boards, judges and expert teams have on severaloccasions reversed damning judgements of the company, demonstrating large scale corruption andbribery. Activists are waging a court battle which has stopped operations for several short periods.

In Tamil Nadu, Mettur:

Vedanta bought MALCO ‘s aluminium complex at Mettur 2 yearsbefore permission for their Kolli Hills bauxite mines expired but continued to mine illegally for 10years. Five adivasi villages were disturbed and a sacred grove destroyed before activist’s petitionsstopped mining in 2008. Without local bauxite and with protests preventing bauxite coming fromNiyamgiri in Orissa the factory at Mettur was also forced to close. However, the abandoned andunreclaimed mines continue to pollute the mountains and a huge red mud dump by the Stanleyreservoir pollutes drinking water and blows toxic dust into the village.

In Chhattisgarh, Korba:

Vedanta bought the state owned BALCO’s alumina refinery, smelter andbauxite mines for ten times less than its estimated value in 2001 despite a landmark 61 day strike byworkers. Since then wages have been slashed and unionised workers are losing jobs. In 2009 afactory chimney collapsed, BALCO claimed 42 were killed, but in fact 60 – 100 people are stillmissing. Witnesses claim these workers from poor families in neighbouring states are buriedunderground in the rubble, which was bulldozed over immediately after the collapse

British Government’s special relationship with Vedanta

• The UK’s Department for International Development (DfID) and Department of Tradeand Industry (DTI) helped launch Vedanta on the London Stock Exchange andcontinues to support the company.
• Through the World Bank funded NGO Business Partners for Development, it hashelped Vedanta take over copper mines in Zambia . Although Vedanta has been finedfor poisoning the Kafue river and faced workers protests, the UK is helpingestablish it in Zambia by securing in the words of local NGOs “ a ‘champion’ withincentral government to further the ‘enabling environment’”.
• Meanwhile in Liberia in what has been described as one of the worst recordedconcession agreements in the country’s history Sesa Goa is accused of breach ofcontract and may have to pay damages of US$10 billion.
• Most recently when the Indian government held up Vedanta’s deal with EdinburghbasedCairn Energy by investigating Vedanta’s ability to manage strategic oil fields, UKgovernment officials, briefed “over dinner” by Cairn Energy, offered to “polish” and senda letter drafted by the company to the Indian Prime Minister to force the deal through.David Cameron even personally intervened, urging India to speed up’unnecessary delays’. As a result the Indian government caved in and allowed a dealwhich handed some 30% of India’s crude oil for a fraction of its worth to this notoriouscorporate.
• Vedanta’s Cairn India is now drilling for oil in the ecologically fragile off-shoreregion around Mannar in Sri Lanka – an area controlled by the Sri Lankan military.

For more details: www.foilvedanta.org

 

INDIA -How power, metal sectors are in quagmire of indebtedness


Banking District

Banking District (Photo credit: bsterling)

 

Most loans under stress are largely in the two sectors

Shishir Asthana / Mumbai Aug 06, 2012,  BS

Moneycontrol report says Essar Steel is under stress for servicing its Rs 23,000-crore loan from banks. The company is 30 days behind schedule to make its interest payment. The report says that around 18-20 banks have provided the amount to the company, with one state-owned bank having an exposure of Rs 9,000 crore.

With over Rs 2 lakh crore of loans up for restructuring, market has been either focusing on high debts of individual companies or the entire sector, which is causing a lot of stress on banks’ financials. However, a recent report by Credit Suisse points out to the rising risk in the banking circle on account of concentration of loans to business houses.

In a report titled House of Debt, Credit Suisse points out that over the past five years while bank loan growth has been 20%, loans to 10 business groups have increased by five times. Their loan currently is equivalent to 13% of bank loans and more importantly it is 98% of banking system’s collective net worth. In terms of concentration risk, Indian banks are more risky than their Asian and BRIC counterparts. Concentration of top 10 groups to bank loans in China is 1% as compared to 13% in India.

The table shows the exposure of banks to various corporate groups. While average group debt to operating profit (EBITDA – earnings before interest tax depreciation and amortization) is 7.6 times, four of the 10 groups have an interest coverage ratio of less than one. In other words four of these groups are barely making enough profit to meet their interest payment.

Worst is that loans which are under stress are in largely the same sector (power and metals) across groups and in some cases to various companies within the same group.

Recognising their high leverage and poor profitability, these groups are looking at bringing to at asset sales under pressure from their lenders. Unfortunately the assets are all from the same sectors (cement plants/infrastructure/power) which are finding fewer buyers. In power sector each of these groups has 2,000-4,500 MW of capacities being commissioned over the next three years. These account for 70% of power plant to be commissioned by the private players and all of them face the same issues of gas/coal supplies and power purchase agreements (PPA) signed at much lower tariffs.

While market has factored in most of the issues of individual company and sectoral debt issues, inter-dependence of companies within the group, pledging of group company shares and guarantees of group companies make the issue trickier.

Lalgarh will rise again, warns freed rebel leader- West Bengal #Mamata


English: The adivasi women of Lalgarh village ...

English: The adivasi women of Lalgarh village attending a meeting. Ever since the commencement of the movement from 5th November 2008, there has been a spurt in the adivasi women actively participating in politics and democratic meetings. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Caesar Mandal, TNN Aug 8, 2012

After the encounter death of Kishanji, the Maoists have apparently lost their power to challenge the Bengal government. The cadres are demoralized and it is reflected in the series of recent surrenders. At a time like this, one of the most senior Maoist leaders, Ashok alias Chandi Sarkar, has been released from prison. The rebel party is looking up to this veteran leader for its revival in Bengal. The 67-year-old former state committee member speaks to Caesar Mandal…

Has Lalgarh failed to advance the Maoist movement in the state?

I don’t think that Lalgarh upsurge has failed. It’s true that we are on the back-foot. Many of our party workers and leaders are behind bars or martyred. We even lost a leader like Kishanji. His death is undoubtedly a major jolt to the organization across the country. But despite these severe losses, we will be able to recover, since a large section of the masses is still with us. The people of Lalgarh and the entire Jangalmahal are waiting for another spontaneous movement.

Is the bonhomie with mainstream political parties, especially Trinamool Congress in Nandigram and Lalgarh, a key reason for the failure of the Maoists in Bengal?

No. It was never against our party line. We have a specific direction that for the sake of revolutionary movement, the party may join hands with the grassroots level workers of other political parties who are in distress. It was a strategic alliance in Nandigram and Lalgarh, where a large section of people from the Trinamool grassroots joined the resistance. The same question was raised after the Garbeta episode, where the former ruling party, CPM, took our help. But we knew that soon after getting their domain back, CPM would make an all-out effort to wipe us out.

If you were aware of this, how did the Trinamool-led government inflict such heavy damage on your party soon after being sworn in?

It’s true that we have suffered more organisational losses during the new regime than in previous years. Such strategic alliances need to be planned very carefully after identifying the real friend or the right person for the organization. In Lalgarh, the party definitely made mistakes.

Do you think that the reins of the Lalgarh movement went out of the hands of your party leadership?

The Lalgarh upsurge was a spontaneous flare-up of the grievances of Jangalmahal people. In the field, it is difficult to bridle all the acts. It’s true that more control was needed, but I am not the right person to comment as I was not in Lalgarh. There were definitely some faults and my party leadership is probing them. But I would again say that the apparent crushing of Lalgarh’s upsurge is temporary, since the government could not solve the basic problems that gave rise to the movement. The land will raise the voice of protest once again.

Your comrades are under pressure across the country. Even your party headquarters Abujmad is under attack. You have lost a number of senior leaders…

Temporary setback is a part of revolutionary movement. Since 2005 we have lost important leaders like Kishanji and Azad. Unlike revolutionary organizations in other countries, since the spring thunder – the Naxalbari upsurge – Indian revolutionary parties have always lost their leadership.

It’s a mad trend of Indian movement that despite such serious losses, the mass support helps us survive. No one can say that we have lost control over our domain. In other states like Chhattishgarh, Orissa and Jharkhand, my party comrades are brilliantly taking on the tremendous state repression and advancing the organization. We are getting stronger. New leaders are emerging and the resistance will get more intense.

Our party will soon reply to the state forces with a major blow. Wait and see.

Do you think it will be easy to revive the Bengal unit when most of the senior leadership is in jail or killed?

At present our organization in Bengal is far behind other states. It’s not easy to recover from such losses, but not too difficult either. I am not saying that in a few months we will be able to reconstruct the state committee and other area committees, which have suffered major damages. I can’t even say that we will soon be able to counter the state forces. The situation is not easy to regroup and plan a fresh stir. But I can assure that we will be back with a stronger organization. Because there are millions of victims of oppression and it’s our job to spearhead their grievances towards a movement.

What’s your immediate plan to rebuild the party in Bengal?

At present, mass movement is very important. We would inspire people to build up a strong mass resistance to release the political prisoners. It’s now our immediate goal.

We have to keep in mind that with the time, the nature of the class struggle is changing. Problems are changing and accordingly party will have to act.

What’s your view about the recent split in Nepal Maoist party?

The only thing I can say that if the leaders of the new party had split a year ago, then there would have been less loss in the organization. It should have been done long before when the party adopted Prachanda’s parliamentary politics line. I congratulate the new party for going back to revolutionary line leaving parliamentary politics.

Can you rule out a party insider’s hand behind Kishanji’s death?

Some mistakes were definitely committed that led to the death of Kishanji. For long, the party was worried about his security. The party alerted him and he had the expertise to handle such hazards. Perhaps, for some practical reasons, he could not follow all the security directiveslaid down by the party. Your hint is very clear – whether party workers present there had betrayed or not. I would say it was not easy for the persons you hint at to trap him. We are probing what had happened. The truth will come out soon.

Karnataka Women Commission -Blames Boys Entirely, No Mention of HJV #Moralpolicing #Mangalore #WTFnews


 

Manjula Submits Report

Special Correspondent
Daijiworld Media Network – Bangalore
Bangalore, Aug 9 : After what could be termed as a one-sided and highly biased ‘investigation’, Karnataka state Women’s Commission chief Manjula submitted the report to home minister R Ashok on Wednesday August 8, placing the entire blame and fault on the boys who were partying at the Morning Mist Home Stay, in Padil, Mangaloreon July 28 evening.The assault on the young boys and girls by alleged Hindu Janajagarana Vedike (HJV) activists has received wide and intense criticism from people in India and abroad.

Strangely, instead of finding fault with the perpetrators of the Morning Mist Home Stay attack, Manjula alleged in her report that the boys were under the influence of drugs, and that the police let them off easily without subjecting them to medical tests.

Surprisingly, nowhere in the report was HJV’s name mentioned!

Though police, including the ADGP had given clean chit to the boys, the focus will now once again shift on the revellers, if the state government asks for an enquiry against the boys.

As she had said during her press conference in Mangalore last week, Manjula in her report has questioned, “Did the boys who arrange the birthday party try to mislead the girls? Investigation and action is essential.”

What is even more shocking, Manjula has even recommended the transfer of the Lokayukta police official whose daughter was one of the victims of the attack, for allowing her to attend the party!

She also took care to recommend action against the owner of Morning Mist Home Stay also.

Speaking to daijiworld.com, a senior and well-known lady social activist in Mangalore , who was shocked to learn about Manjula’s report, said  “After viewing the entire video clip, if responsible citizens like C Manjula shift the entire blame on the boys and the girls, without a mention of the organization that openly claimed responsibility intitially and later denied on realizing the wide coverage and possible impact of the incident, it would be a dangerous development for humanity, as an open truth is being hidden with fabricated facts

Homestay attack: Report speaks of ‘saving the youth’

The Karnataka State Women’s Commission report on the attack on a group of youngsters at Morning Mist Homestay at Padil on the outskirts of Mangalore, submitted to Home Minister R. Ashok on Wednesday, speaks of “saving youth from forces that lead them astray”, even as it demands action against the police for failing to prevent the attack.

In the five-page report, the commission has demanded a comprehensive investigation of the incident by a police officer of the rank of Director-General of Police, the arrest of all the people named in the first information report (FIR) and action against the local Police Inspector who failed to reach the spot on time.

“There should be an investigation as to why there was no vigil on Subhash [Padil] and his men even though they were involved in attacks earlier as part of the Sri Rama Sene,” says the report. It does not, however, invoke the name of the Hindu Jagaran Vedike, which is allegedly responsible for the attack on July 28, anywhere.

Questioning motives

After these recommendations in the first two pages that are directly related to the police, the report moves on to raise questions about the owner of the ‘homestay’ and the organisers of the party.

The report recommends an investigation into the activities of the owner of the ‘homestay’ and asks why those who were at the party were let off by the police without confirming through a medical examination if they had smoked ganja.

“There should be an investigation as to whether those who had organised the party were leading the boys and girls astray,” says the report.

Going a step further, it says that the father of one of the girls at the party, who is a police official, should be transferred out of the district.

‘Exercise self-restraint’

The report says that the images of the young women being attacked were repeatedly beamed on television, which had caused much mental trauma to them and their families.

It has said that the media should exercise “self-restraint” and the government should call a meeting of editors in this regard.

In a comment that seems to hold no direct bearing to the incident in question, the commission recommends that a separate cell be set up in the Police Department to deal with cases of missing women who are trafficked, especially in border districts such as Dakshina Kannada.

The report says the police should keep watch on homestays and clubs that indulge in illegal activities and on individuals who lure women into illegal activities.

The commission’s report recommends that the educational curriculum should have a focus on creating awareness on these issues.

Chairperson of the women’s commission C. Manjula and member V.M. Maithili visited Mangalore on August 1 to look into the attack.

Ms. Manjula’s earlier statements questioning the motive of the party organisers had attracted flak for being a “diversion” from the issue of women’s rights.

‘Comprehensive view’

Speaking to The Hindu after filing the report, Ms. Manjula defended her approach saying that there was a need to take a “comprehensive view” of the situation and the report had tried to do that.