So what’s new about Mumbai burning? Our response


14 August 2012 , By Jyoti Punwani, The Hindu
MOB FURY: Police failure to anticipate and prevent Saturday’s violence is blameworthy. Photo: Vivek Bendre

MOB FURY: Police failure to anticipate and prevent Saturday’s violence is blameworthy. Photo: Vivek Bendre
Every time the Shiv Sena and the MNS have gone on the rampage in the city, the State government, police and even media have been mute bystanders

Saturday’s violence by Muslim youth has shaken Mumbai. This is probably the first time that policemen have borne the brunt of the violence — of the 63 injured, 58 are policemen. What kind of mob has the guts to attack the police and think it can get away with it? A Muslim social worker has filed a complaint with the police against the organisers for instigating the public; a Muslim lawyer has gone to the High Court with the same demand. The police have so far arrested 23, charged them with murder and other offences, and set up a Special Investigation team (SIT) to probe the sudden outburst of violence. With tons of visual evidence, it won’t be difficult to identify the rioters.

The questions

Despite all these steps, some questions remain. Is it not the organisers’ responsibility to control the crowd they mobilise and ensure that no inflammatory speeches are made? Why aren’t they being arrested, specially since one of the organisers has a record of instigating violence? Why has the man who made the inflammatory speech not been arrested?

Second: why has this flurry of activity not been seen on all the other occasions that mobs have “burnt Mumbai”? While this may be the first time that the police has been targeted, it’s not the first time the media or BEST buses or cars have been vandalised. Indeed, in the last two months, Mumbai has seen frequent displays of such hooliganism. On May 31, observing the National Democratic Alliance-called Bharat Bandh, Shiv Sainiks damaged 42 BEST buses. This despite the chairman and seven of the 17 BEST Committee members being Shiv Sainiks. The chairman explained away the vandalism by saying that “protesters become uncontrollable” on such occasions, and demurred when asked if his party would pay for the damage.

Mid-June saw the new saviour of the Marathi Manoos “kick-off” a campaign against the payment of toll tax. Within 72 hours, three toll nakas were vandalised. Visuals of those actions are pretty similar to videos of Saturday’s violence — the same iron rods, the same smashing of glass. But there was one important difference. After the violence, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) MLA Shishir Shinde declared in audibly slurred tones, his party’s intention to destroy toll nakas. The police obligingly waited till he finished addressing TV cameras before taking him away in their van. Saturday’s videos had no such bravado — after smashing everything in sight, the topi-clad youth could be seen fleeing for dear life from police lathis. Two youngsters died in the ensuing firing.

The fallout of the two incidents however, may not be too different. Today, an MNS sticker on your car can exempt you from paying toll. And last week, the Maharashtra Chief Minister gave an audience to the man behind the violent anti-toll agitation. Accompanying Raj Thackeray at the meeting with the CM was Shishir Shinde. Two days after Saturday’s violence, Maharashtra’s Home Minister gave a clean chit to one of the organisers of Saturday’s rally, the Raza Academy. Don’t be surprised if the outfit’s chief, Maulana Saeed Noorie, is soon seen sharing the stage with R.R. Patil, Congress Minister Naseem Khan and other influential members of our government. After all, Eid is just round the corner. Had the violence not taken place, the rally’s leading lights would have attended the CM’s iftaar scheduled for Saturday evening.

However, those who rioted aren’t getting the same treatment that Shiv Sainiks and MNS rioters do. It can be argued that attacking the police is more serious than attacking public property. But attacking unarmed citizens only because they belong to a particular faith or region — is that less serious? The MNS’s attacks on North Indians, all televised, are just four years old. Two innocents were killed then. When the National Human Rights Commission directed the State to pay compensation of Rs.5 lakh each to the victims’ families, the government spoke of financial problems. Incidentally, the MNS’s unique way of protecting Marathi pride in 2008 cost the State a loss of Rs.500 crore. As for the Shiv Sena’s record of targeting, often fatally, unarmed South Indians, Muslims, mediapersons, Valentine’s Day lovers, rickshaw drivers — it would be insulting the readers’ intelligence to list the details.

Looking back

Police failure to anticipate and prevent Saturday’s violence is indeed blameworthy. But what’s new? When the Mumbai police has had indications of Sena-led violence, has it ever tried to prevent it? Forget the 1992-93 riots. In December 2010, the Pune police, apprehending violence at a protest called by the Sena, tapped Sena leaders’ phones and heard Milind Narvekar, Uddhav Thackeray’s PA, instruct Sena MLC Neelam Gorhe (a former Socialist) to gather a mob, burn buses and inform TV channels. Everything went according to plan; 54 buses were burnt. Pune’s Police Commissioner repeated the Maharashtra police’s time-honoured motto: “Preventive arrests would have aggravated the situation” and R.R. Patil supported her, saying the police’s priority was to “safeguard law and order and protect the public.”

When Meenatai Thackeray’s statue was desecrated on a Sunday in July 2006, the Sena ran amok. The same man produced another gem: “If the violence continues on Monday, the police will take action.”

After the Sena attacked the IBN Lokmat office in 2009, senior journalist Kumar Ketkar, whose house had been earlier attacked by Nationalist Congress Party supporters because he had dared criticise the plan to set up a Shivaji statue in the middle of the Arabian Sea, told a news channel: “Mumbai has not become feeble, Mumbai has become used to [such violence]. It was in 1966 when the Shiv Sena was born and ever since Maharashtra has been used to this culture. The Shiv Sena worship and encourage violence. So Mumbai’s youth become more and more involved in this and this is a very dangerous trend.”

The Muslim youth who went on a rampage on Saturday are also part of Mumbai. Maybe they felt they would be treated like their Hindutva counterparts.

Their leaders, knowing that’s not possible, have tendered cringing apologies on TV and asked the culprits to turn themselves in. Imagine any of the Thackerays or Togadias doing that. On the contrary, the celebrity columnists and indignant TV anchors now foaming at the mouth at “Mumbai burning” see nothing wrong in conducting long interviews with the Thackerays, where the latter brazenly defend their tactics.

(The author is a freelance journalist based in Mumbai.)

India- Why #Independence is #blackday15august – Killing Kashmir


Thousands of Kashmiris have allegedly been forcibly disappeared during two decades of conflict in the region, their whereabouts unknown. A police investigation in 2011 by the Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) found 2,730 bodies dumped into unmarked graves at 38 sites in north Kashmir. At least 574 were identified as the bodies of local Kashmiris. The government had previously said that the graves held unidentified militants, most of them Pakistanis whose bodies had been handed over to village authorities for burial. Many Kashmiris believe that some graves contain the bodies of victims of enforced disappearances.

The government of Jammu and Kashmir has promised an investigation, but the identification and prosecution of perpetrators will require the cooperation of army and federal paramilitary forces. These forces in the past, have resisted fair investigations and prosecutions, claiming immunity under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and section 197 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

Free Waqar Campaign

While we all are happy the Free Waqar campaign worked online and after 277 days of illegal detention , waqar was released but Waqar’s case is representative of the youth who are detained under the garb of PSA to suppress the genuine voice of the people of Kashmir.His release does not signify an end to the campaign but is a part of the continuum of the long and relentless struggle against the illegal detention of many kashmiri youths under the garb of draconian laws .

 Just after Waqar was released a, teenager Mushtaq Saleem Beigh has been detained without trial in Jammu & Kashmir, northern India, following a grenade attack on the town police station on 19 May.

Mushtaq Saleem Beigh’s family claims that he is 17 years old, but does not have any proof of his age. They say they are trying to get proof from his school records. According to the family, he stopped going to school a few years ago, and has since been working as a mason to support his family.

According to Mushtaq Saleem Beigh’s family, the state police’s Special Operations Group (SOG) took him and his uncle to an SOG camp for interrogation following a grenade attack on 19 May on a local police station in Sopore town, Jammu & Kashmir, in which nine people were injured. They released his uncle the next morning, but held Mushtaq Saleem Beigh for 12 days. They later moved him to Sopore police station where he was detained for a further 15 days. He was later produced in a local court and transferred to Baramulla sub-jail.

On 2 June, police announced that Mushtaq Saleem Beigh, along with Ishfaq Shafi Kana, another resident of Sopore, were arrested for their alleged involvement in the grenade attack. However, Mushtaq Saleem Beigh’s family has not been allowed to see the first information report or formal charge-sheet. Fearing that he may have been detained illegally, on 28 June, the family entered a petition in the Sopore court seeking his release on bail. Following this, the court ordered the police to file a report stating the reasons for his arrest. However, no such report has been filed so far.

Mushtaq Saleem Beigh’s father, Mushtaq Ahmad Beigh, has said that when he went to Sopore police station and sought documents including a copy of the report, he was detained there for two days and physically assaulted. The family was able to meet with Mushtaq Saleem Beigh at the police station and at the Baramulla sub-jail. They have said that he was tortured at the police station and the SOG camp in an attempt to force him to confess to his involvement in the grenade attack, and hence he was unable to walk when they met him.

There are are many such cases, which need proper judicial intervention . Indian authorities need to stop killing kashmir.

#India- Why Independence is # Blackday15august #Irom Sharmila


Full text: Irom Sharmila's heartfelt letter to Anna Hazare

 

Last year  In  April, While Indians seem to be exulting  when Anna Hazare‘s  started successful fast, far away in Manipur, there was a voice that  was going unheard. Irom Sharmila has been on fast for  11 years. Called the ‘Iron lady of Manipur,’ she is fasting to demand the repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, which gives the armed forces wide ranging powers to shoot, arrest and search civilians.

From her hospital bed in Imphal, thousands of kilometers from New Delhi, Irom Sharmila  followed the Anna Hazare agitation closely. She  found   Anna movement inspiring  at that time but somewhat unrealistic. She said  “Our purpose is very different. It’s somewhat artificial, how can we eradicate corruption?”She added, “Also he is a seasoned social activist. I am a simple woman. I wanted to reform society. I had no idea about social activist or social workers.”

Irom Sharmila was invited by Team Anna to join Anna Hazare’s fast at Ramlila grounds in Delhi. But she was not able to go because she is in judicial custody. In an interview to NDTV she hoped Anna  wholeheartedly supported her cause. “I hope Anna is able to come down to Manipur but I cannot press him to do so,” Irom Sharmila said.
Irom Sharmila also expressed her disappointment with the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for failing to keep his promise of amending the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). “I don’t like his (the Prime Minister’s) leadership. When he couldn’t keep his promise, it is a shame”. Singh had made the promise in 2004.

Sharmila response to Anna’s invitation

23 August 2011, Tuesday

10.27am, Security Ward, JN Hospital

Respected Anna,

I whole heartedly welcome your invitation to join the anti corruption rally you are crusading. And yet I would like you to be convinced of the reality of my situation, that I cannot get the advantage of exercising my non-violent protest for justice against my concerned authority as a democratic citizen of a democratic country, unlike your environment. This is the problem I cannot understand.

My humble suggestion is if you feel seriously; please try to reach the concerned legislators (read authorities) to let me get free, like yours, to join your amazing crusade to root out corruption – which is the root of all evils. Or you can come to Manipur, the most corruption affected region in the world.

With full solidarity and best wishes.

Yours,

Sd/-

Irom Sharmila

 

Anna when he was afstings aid the very first thing he will do is visit Irom , he never ever did in last one year. TODAY,  I remember IROM SHARMILA, as Anna’s movement fizzles out and the IRON LADY still going strong against the drconian alw AFSPA

 

Sharing the poem I wrote last august after ANNA fasted for the first time :-) he has done many times since then

Irom Sharmila and Anna Hazare

9 April 2011, 7:00 am

By Kamayani BaliMahabal

(English translation by Kamayani follows her Hindi Original)

© 2011 Kamayani BaliMahabal

आज मेरा रोम रोम चीख रहा है
एरोम तुम्हारे लिए
चीख पुकार तो कब से दबी थी
गुस्सा भी चीख चीख के निकला था
vt स्टेशन पे तुम्हारी रिहाई की गुहार लगाकर
मानों तन और मनं ऐसा थरका था
लोगों को तुम्हारे बारे में बताना
लोगों को अफ्प्सा काले कानून के बारे में बता कर
मानो मनं कुछ तो हल्का हुआ था

लेकिन कुछ दिन से इस देश की गुहार देखकर
अन्ना हजारे पर प्यार देख कर
देश के कोने कोने से भर्ष्टाचार के यह एक आवाज़ सुनकर
खुश तो हूँ,
पर मेरा दिल चीख चीख के रो रहा है
मेरा दिमाग, मेरा तन…. इस क्रांति पे खुश है
पर मेरा दिल मेरा साथ नहीं है
मेरा दिल तम्हारे पास है इरोम
वोह तुम्हारे लिए रो रहा है
वोह इस देश को समझ नहीं पा रहा है
आखिर एक दिल है……

 

तुम दस सालसे भी ज्यादा से भूख हड़ताल पे हो
तुम्हारे साथ एक भी भारतवासी नहीं आया
तुम AFSPA के काले कानून के खिलाफ हो
तुम्हें किसी ने नहीं अपनाया

किसी को मत बताना इरोम
यह एक ऐसी पहेली है
जिसका जवाब इंसानों के साथ बदलता हैं
हम अन्ना हजारे के साथ है
यह हमारी देश भक्ति है
हम अन्ना हजरे के साथ है
हम आम जनता के साथ है

जब हम तुम्हारे साथ है
हम देशद्रोही है
जब तुम्हारे साथ हैं
हम फ़ौज और जवानों के खिलाफ है
हम इस देश की सुरक्षा के खिलाफ है

भ्रष्टाचार तो बचपन से हमें
हमारी किताबों में भी एक गलत चीज़ है बताया गया है
पर इरोम, देश भक्ति हमें
केवल अपने देश को बचाना ही सिखाएगी

देश, फ़ौज , पोलिस—देश भक्ति का अटूट अंग बन गए हैं
वह मेरी तुम्हरी लड़ाई में हमारे दुश्मन बन गए हैं
भ्रष्टाचार में लाखों करोड़ों के घपले हैं
पर अफ्प्सा , जैसे काले कानून के कारण
इस देश भक्ति के कारण
लाखों करोड़ों देशवासी मौत की नीद सो गए गए है
उनके मरने से उनके परिवार भी मर गए हैं
और हम सब उनको आतंकवादी के नाम देकर….
देशभक्ति का प्रमाण देकर कहीं सो गए

इरोम, हम सरकार की इस बर्बरता को
देशभक्ति के परदे में देख नहीं पाते
कब हमारे देश वासी जागेंगे
और हम देश वासी बाद में , पहले इंसान है
इस एहसास को जान पायेंगे

कब इरोम कब
कब हजारों लाखों तुम्हारे साथ भी
भूख हड़ताल पे जायेंगे
कब इरोम कब
हमारे देशवासी
इस देशभक्ति का
मुखोटा हटाएँगे

अन्ना हजारे तुम्हारी जीत हो गयी है
तुम्हारे ८५ घंटों के अनशन से
लोकपाल बिल आएगा…….
इरोम शर्मीला के दशक के अनशन पे
AFPSA हटा नहीं है
अन्ना क्या आप इरोम के साथ बैठोगे ?
क्या आप कानून के नाम पर जो लहू बह रहा है ?
उसको रोक पाओगे ?

Today every pore of my body is screaming
For you Irom
The screams were suppressed since when…
Anger was coming out in my screams and protests
As I was screaming and shouting for your release at VT station
My being had shaken within
To tell people about you, what you stand for
To tell people about draconian law AFPSA
I felt lighter

For the past few days the country has been screaming
I am happy to see
All the love being doled out to Anna Hazare
To hear voice against corruption
From nook and corner of each city
I am happy to see
But my heart is crying
My brain is happy thinking about this Anna revolution
But my heart is not with me
My heart is with you Irom
It is crying for you
And it is unable to understand the sentiments of this country

After all it’s a HEART
You have been on hunger strike for more than a decade
But not a single Indian came with you
You were against the black law of AFPSA
But no one owned you

Do not tell anyone Irom
This is a riddle
Whose answer changes with people?
If we are with Anna Hazare
We are true patriots
If we are with Anna Hazare
We are with the common people

When we are with you
We are traitors
When we are with you
We are against our army, our soldiers
We are against the national security
Corruption has been embedded as a bad trait
Since our childhood in our text books

But Irom, patriotism
Only teaches us to defend our country
Nation, army, police are inherent features of patriotism
They have become enemies in our fight for freedom

There have been many scams of crores under the banner of corruption
Because of AFPSA, BECAUSE OF THS PATRIOTISM
Lakhs and crores of Indians have been killed
Their families have also died eventually
And we have given them the certificate of terrorists
Very conveniently and gone to sleep in the bed of patriotism

Irom, we are unable to see the human rights violation of government
Under the garb of patriotism
When will my countrymen awaken, to the fact that
We are humans first, and Indians later

When Irom, when
Lakhs of people will join you in your hunger strike?
When Irom, when
Will our people remove the
Mask of patriotism?

Anna Hazare, you have won
After 85 hours of your FAST
The Lokpal Bill will be implemented
After a decade of your fast
Still the AFPSA has not been repealed
Anna will you sit with Irom?
Will you be able to stop the bloodshed
In the name of law?

I have recited the poem here–You can listen here

# India- Why Independence Day is a #BlackDay15august


 

 The UPA government considers Indian life worthless and dispensable by freeing Russia from liability commitment for Koodankulam reactors 1 & 2.
The UPA government signs secret agreements with foreign governments and does not disclose the content to its own citizens and law makers.
The UPA government and its atomic energy department disrespect the Indian Judiciary and act with complete disregard for its opinions and decisions.
The UPA government puts the interests of the United States, Russia, France and Australia ahead of the Indian citizens’ own interests.
The UPA government is trying to prop up foreign economies at the cost of our citizens’ health, wellbeing, food security, natural resources and our progeny.
The UPA government is selling our natural resources to foreigners and turning a blind eye to the rich and powerful people’s plundering of our resources all over the country.
The UPA government uses money power to manipulate the MPs and others as it was demonstrated during the passage of the India-US nuclear deal.
The UPA government does not allow openness, transparency, accountability and popular participation in the decision making processes on crucial national issues.
The UPA government stifles political dissent by maligning dissenters and opposition leaders, undermining their movements and damaging their reputation.
The UPA government is not at all serious about passing anti-corruption legislations or bringing back the black money from abroad.
The UPA government does not respect our rich tradition of democracy, nonviolence and the Gandhian ethos in public life.
The corruption-ridden, anti-Indian, pro-foreign, pro-MNC government of the UPA does not enjoy absolute majority in the Parliament and hence should not be allowed to take crucial national decisions at the fag end of their tenure in power.
The UPA government has lost its credibility, legitimacy, respect and trust among the people of India and it is compromising our independence, sovereignty and the fundamental freedoms.
So the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) commemorates August 15, 2012 as a Black Day. We will hoist black flags on our homes and public places. Please join us in this campaign!
And let us together take our India back!
People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)
Idinthakarai & P. O. 627 104
Tamil Nadu

 

India – School children raise voice against nuke plant #Blackday15aug


 

The Hindu, Staff Reporter

 Submit petition to Collector demanding its closure

Around 250 children from the coastal hamlets in Tirunelveli district submitted a petition to Collector R. Selvaraj during the weekly grievance day meeting held at the Collectorate on Monday demanding the trashing of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP).

The children, accompanied by a few ladies from their hamlets — Idinthakarai, Koodankulam, Koottapuli, Perumanal and Kooththenkuzhi — said in the petition that the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited, after ignoring the year-long protest by their parents and elders of their villages, was establishing nuclear reactors near their hamlets without conducting the mandatory disaster management exercise and eliciting public opinion.

Moreover, the Indian Government’s agreement with Russia on KKNPP did not pave the way for getting any compensation in case of accidents in the nuclear installation, “which would certainly have adverse impact on the lives and livelihood of the people living in the nearby villages”. Against this backdrop, the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, “contrary to its assurance in the Madras High Court,” had given its nod for loading enriched uranium fuel in the first reactor of the KKNPP even as the cases challenging the commissioning of the upcoming nuclear installation were pending before the court.

“The Indian Government and its AERB which function overtime against the welfare of its citizens and their anti-judiciary attitude are teaching us wrong lessons. As we firmly believe that the KKNPP will undermine our peaceful living in our birthplaces, we appeal to the Chief Minister and the Prime Minister not to go ahead with this nuclear programme,” the petitioner children said.

As the schoolchildren were brought to the Collectorate by a group of women in a bid to highlight the ongoing anti-KKNPP protest, additional police forces were deployed.

Probe held

Official sources here said the presence of schoolchildren on the Collectorate premises to highlight an ongoing struggle had prompted the Department of Social Defence and the District Child Welfare Committee office-bearers to conduct an enquiry.

‘Action expected’

“We’ve forwarded to the Department of Social Defence the information we have and the video footage showing the children and those who accompanied them to the Collectorate. The information provided by the police and revenue officials was cross-checked with the Collector. We anticipate some action against the school authorities who failed to stop the children from being used for a protest,” said a senior revenue official