NORTH-EAST- URGENT APPEAL


An Urgent Appeal

North East Support Centre and Helpline Team has been receiving calls from
different people in Delhi  that some North East people were killed in
different part of Delhi last night. NE Helpline Team has checked with Delhi
Police, Media and friends and none of them is confirmed.

Now invisible communal forces are once again trying to mislead the nation by
such rumour again and it must be stopped immediately.

We appeal to all sections of society, particularly to the people from North
East India that any information that may be passed to you by any means, ,
please confirmed it first by calling Police Helpline No 100, from your
community and student leaders. Unconfirmed information will fuel the rumour.

We appeal to Delhi Police to arrange special patrolling in North East Indian
dominated areas like Murnika, Mukherjee Nagar, Moti Bagh, Khanpur,
Safdarjung Enclave, Defence Colony, Gandhi Vihar, Nehru Vihar, Vijay Nagar,
Double Storey, Delhi University Campus, JNU Campus and Sikanderpur in
Gurgaon.

For further clarification, the North East Support Centre and Helpline Team
can be contacted at 9774303076, 9968291645,  9811535563

Madhu Chandra

Spokesperson, NESC&H

 

IMMEDIATE RELEASE–People’s Movements demand UPA not to proceed with the undemocratic Land Acquisition Bill in Parliament


Please find the english and hindi press release from today’s SANGARSH Janmorcha at Jantar Mantar opposing the land bill being introduced by the government in the parliament. 

Press Release                                                                                            21st August 2012

 
Sangharsh demands UPA not to proceed with the undemocratic
Land Acquisition Bill in Parliament
 
Thousands gather in Delhi for three days (21-23 August) in Jan Morcha against land grab and the anti-people ‘Right to Fair Compensation, R&R Bill 2012’
 
Jantar Mantar, New Delhi – “The UPA Government is trying to fool both the parliament and the people of India, by bringing on the “Right to fair compensation, R&R and transparency in Land Acquisition Bill, 2012”, stated Dr. Sunilam of Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, Madhya Pradesh. Dr. Sunilam was speaking at the opening of the three day Jan Morcha in Delhi, organised by Sangharsh collective, against land grab, corporate exploitation and corruption. 
 
“The government not only has betrayed the Aam Admi’s will, but also has effectively rejected the consultations and recommendations of the two Parliamentary Standing Committees on the subject”, added Roma of National Forum of Forest People and Forest Workers (NFFPFW, Kaimur region, UP).
 
The public meeting and dharna organised at Jantar Mantar on the occasion of the Monsoon session of the Parliament challenged the government to try and pass the Bill in the current form. “The bill will face the same fate as that of the LAA Amendments Bill that UPA-1 tried to pass in Rajya Sabha in 2009”, remarked Madhuresh Kumar, National Organiser of National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM). “The Ministry of Rural Development is ridiculing the lives and struggles of people of this country whose fight has been to protect their precious land and resources and not for ‘better compensation’, he added.
 
Martyrs from several anti-displacement struggles, from Assam to Gujarat and Punjab to Muthanga, in Kerala were remembered by the Jan Morcha. At the event at Jantar Mantar, tombstones were erected with the names of valiant fighters who lost their lives to the brutal violence of the state police or corporate goons. Families of some of the Martyrs were present at the Dharna at Sansad Marg.  “We demand that the government has to first declare about the land already acquired, used and the fate of those who lost their livelihood. There can be no talk about new land acquisitions unless we talk of the historical injustices” (poorana hisaf saaf karo phir naye kee baat karo), added Shanta Bhattacharya, of Kaimur Kshetra Mahila Mazdoor Kisan Morcha.
 
The new draft bill, in its current form has gone against many reccommendations of people’s movements as well as the Parliamentary Standing Committee (PSC). Some of the key issues raised by the dharna are as following:
The centralised planning process for development projects must give way to participatory and consent based planning, whereby the Gram Sabhas and Basti Sabhas should have the primary say in deciding what kind of development is required for the area and what constitutes public purpose The current bill legitimises land acquisition of most kinds and by anyone even for private profit, and is only trying to play with language of transparency and fair compensation Agricultural lands of all kinds need to be excluded from acquisition. It is not a question of multi-crop or single-crop, nor is it an issue of amount of compensation The government should not use the ‘principle of eminent domain’ and land acquisition powers to acquire land for Private projects of all kinds and Public Private Partnership projects (PPP) All the 16 central acts, as suggested by the PSC, should be brought under the purview of the new comprehensive legislation The present Bill is strictly a rural displacement related bill, since it completely overlooks the millions of urban working people impacted by urban projects and displacement. This needs to be urgently rectified before the Bill is placed in Parliament.  
“It needs to be noted that nearly 100 million people have been displaced since independence and with a dismal 17-20 percent rate of rehabilitation, we had suggested that not only the retrospective application of the provisions of the new act but a National Resettlement & Rehabilitation Commission be established to deal with the claims of the projected affected people from various projects, stated Vimalbhai of MATU Jan Sanghattan, Uttarakhand.
 
The leaders and representatives of mass organisations who spoke at the Janmorcha included: Shanta Bhatacharjee (NFFPFW, UP), Jagdish Purohit, (Mansi Vakal Band Vistapith Sangarsh Samithi, Rajasthan), Mansaram Bhai (Narmada Bachao Andolan), Kalu Bhai (Chittorgarh, KKMS, Rajasthan), Bhupendra Singh Rawat (Jan Sangharsh Vahini, Delhi & NCR), Aradhana Bhargava (Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, MP), Vijay Sharma, National Hawkers’ Federation, Kolkatta), Devjit Dutt (NAPM, West Bengal), Ganesh (Mansiwakad Dam, Rajasthan), Ranjan Singh (Sita Marhi, Bihar), Ghasi Bhai (Adivasi Kranti Sangattan, Odisha), Rajnish Gambhir (NFFPFW, Khiri, UP), Hansraj Pradhan (Fatehabad anti-nuclear struggle, Haryana), Maharaja Sangram Singh (Kisan Sangharsh Samiti & NAPM), Mangu Singh (Kisan Sangharsh Samiti), Raj Singh Dawas (Bhoomi Bachao Andolan), Rajpal Sewali (Sonipat), Babu Singh Patel (Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, UP), Mohan (Odisha Chas Parivesh Suraksha Parishad) and many Delhi based intellectuals and supporters.
 
Vijoo Krishnan of All India Kisan Sabha spoke at the gathering in support of demand for a comprehensive bill. The Janmorcha also witnessed a powerful cultural performance by the Delhi based theatre group, Asmita.
 
For details contact Sangharsh Media team:
Sanjeev – 99958797409 | Shweta – 9911528696 |Vijayan – 9582862682
 
 
कंपनियों की ज़ागीर नहीं, ये देश हमारा है !
जंतर मंतर, दिल्ली में संघर्ष का जनमोर्चा
प्रेस विज्ञप्ति
ज़मीन की लूट और जन –विरोधी  विधेयक नुकसान की उचित भरपाई, विधेयक 2011 के खिलाफ जन मोर्चा (21-23 अगस्त) को आयोजित धरने में जन्तर –मंतर पर हज़ारों लोग जुटे.
जंतर मंतर, नई दिल्ली  – “ संप्रग सरकार, उचित मुआवज़े, पुनर्वास और पुनर्स्थापन का अधिकार, अधिनियम 2011  लाकर  देश की संसद और लोगों को वेबकूफ बनाने की कोशिश कर रही है. यह वक्तव्य किसान संघर्ष  समिति के डॉ. सुनीलम ने, ज़मीन की लूट और कार्पोरेट्स के भ्रटाचार व शोषण के खिलाफ संघर्ष द्वारा आयोजित तीन दिवसीय धरने ‘जन मोर्चा’ की शुरुआत में दिया.
राष्ट्रीय वन श्रम जीवी मंच, उ.प्र से रोमा मालिक ने कहा कि  ‘इस सरकार ने न केवल आम जनता की इच्छाओं को नज़रंदाज़ किया है बल्कि संसदीय स्थायी समिति के सुझावों व सिफारिशों को भी धता बताया है’.
एनएपीएम के संयोजक मधुरेश ने सरकार को चुनौती देते हुए कहा कि “अगर इस मानसून सत्र में इस विधेयक को इसी रूप में पेश करने की कोशिश करती है तब उसी तरह का हश्र होगा जैसा संप्रग -1के दौरान जिस तरह से भूमि-अधिग्रहण संशोधन विधेयक का राज्य सभा में हुआ था.” ग्रामीण विकास मंत्रालय लोगों के जीवन और जीविका के साथ खिलवाड़ कर रहा है है वर्षों से अपनी ज़मीन और आजीविका को बचाने के लिए संघर्ष कर रहे हैं और जो अपने इन   अमूल्य संसाधनों के लिए कोई मुआवजा नहीं चाहते. मधुरेश ने कहा –  कि आजादी के बाद भूमि-अधिग्रहण के मामलों आज तक सरकार ने विस्थापितों की कोई सुध नहीं ली है अब इस अधिनियम के माध्यम से वही इतिहास दोहराने की कोशिश हो रही है. ग्राम सभा जैसी स्थानीय संस्था की कोई विशिष्ट भूमिका इस कानून में नहीं देना इसे दमन का कानून बनाता है. इसके अलावा ग्रामीण विकास के लिए बने मंत्रालय को शहरों और उद्योगों की ही चिंता है और सरकार जन आकांक्षाओं को पूरी तरह नज़रंदाज़ कर रही है. दुबारा यह इतिहास न दोहराया जाए इसके लिए एक नारा दिया गया- पुराण हिसाब साफ करो, फिर आगे की बात करो…
    आसाम से लेकर गुजरात और पंजाब से लेकर केरल में मुथंगा में विभिन्न विस्थापन-विरोधी संघर्षों में जो लोग सरकार और कार्पोरेट के गुंडों के दमन का शिकार हुए हैं और जिन्होंने अपनी शहादत दी है, जन मोर्चा ने उनकी शहादत को याद किया और धरना स्थल पर उनकी प्रतीकात्मक समाधियाँ भी बनाईं गयीं. शहीदों के परिवार भी इस धरने में शामिल होने आये हैं.

Wrong number call rings social boycott of 50 dalit families #WTFnews


 

Parvesh Kumar Sharma, TNN Aug 19, 2012, 
(A minor issue of a dalit boy…)

SADARPUR (PATIALA): A minor issue of a dalit boy dialling a cellphone number by mistake has snowballed into a major row and resulted in 50 dalit families of Sadarpur village facing a social boycott.

The boycott started from August 16 – a day after India celebrated its 65th Independence Day – but cops are yet to take any action against the landlords, who have announced that any person violating this dictate will have to pay a penalty of Rs 50,000. On August 14, a dalit boy of the village happened to dial the number of an upper caste youth from the landlord community, and both had a heated arguments over it. Initially, the matter was sorted out by some village elders. But on August 15, youths from the landlord community attacked a group of dalit boys returning home from Gajju Majra village after attending an Independence Day function at a government school, and left them seriously injured.

Forbesganj Struggle Continues: People Construct Bhajanpur-Sheetalpur Road


 

 Thousands of villagers armed with traditional weapons offered ‘shramdaan’ and volunteered as labourers in order to construct the Bhajanpur-Sheetalpur road at Forbesganj, Bihar, on 16 August. This is a victory for the people’s struggle, which has braved the severest repression and communal encirclement.

This public road, which has been in existence for the past 60 years or so, connects the Bhajanpur village (mainly inhabited by 1000 families of the minority community), to the Karbala, Idgah, hospital and local bazaar. Last year, on June 3, police fired on a demonstration by local people protesting against this same public road being blocked off for a private factory owned by the BJP MLC’s son. The factory itself was being constructed on BIADA land that had been illegally allotted. Police not only fired on unarmed protestors, they also jumped viciously on fallen bodies, displaying communal hatred. Four people – Mustafa Ansari, Mukhtar Ansari, Sajmin Khatoon and 8-month old Naushad – were killed in the police brutality.

A whole year has passed – but the people of Forbesganj are yet to get justice. The one-man enquiry commission has barely taken off the ground. Following the firing, the villagers had already constructed the road once last year at the time of Ramzan. But under pressure from above, the road was again destroyed. And the road continued to remain destroyed in spite of repeated appeals to the local administration. Recently, even the Home Secretary was approached, but the Government and administration did not act. Faced with a Government that obstinately closed its ears to pleas for restoration of the road, the villagers decided to construct the road on their own.

Id was approaching, and this road was needed for the villagers to approach the Idgah. Because of the condition of the road, they were even unable to reach the Masjid, though it was the month of Ramzan.

The construction of the road took place in the presence of the large gathering of adivasis and minorities, as well as CPI(ML) central committee member and former MP Rameshwar Prasad, State Committee member and former MLA Mahboob Alam, State Committee member Pankaj Singh, as well as other CPI(ML) leaders and activists.

Addressing the mass meeting following the construction of the road, CPI(ML) leaders observed that the Bhajanpur-Sheetalpur road was not part of BIADA land, and had been forcibly grabbed by the local MLC Ashok Agrawal from the BJP. Yet, the Government had taken no action against the MLC and had instead unleashed repression on the villagers protesting the grabbing of a public road. Keeping a public road in a deliberate state of disrepair and destruction is in itself illegal, since the Government has not acquired the land on which the road stands. There is nothing illegal, in such circumstances, in constructing a public road. It is the Government which is upholding an illegal act of encroachment and land grab, under pressure from corrupt, communal, and powerful local politicians. The CPI(ML) leaders demanded that in public interest, the Government ought, in fact, to make the newly constructed road pucca without delay. Following the mass meeting, a victory procession marched from Bhajanpur through the main road of Forbesganj up to the railway station. 

 

The BJP and Sangh Parivar are making all efforts to incite communal frenzy in the Araria district, in the name of preparing for ‘Mahaviri Jhanda’ to coincide with Id on 19 August. Local BJP and JD(U) leaders like Ashok Agrawal and Moolchand Golccha are terrorising the witnesses of the Forbesganj firing. 12-year-old Talmun Khatun, who got a bullet in her back in the firing, was due to stand witness before the enquiry commission on 18 July. But the BJP-JD(U) leaders threatened her father Mohd.Zaheer Ansari, warning against her giving evidence. Though Talmun Khatun did reach Araria, intending to give evidence, Ashok Agrawal and his goons chased her away. The Government, instead of ensuring protection for the witnesses, is protecting Ashok Agrawal and Moolchand Golccha. Ashok Agrawal has been arrested on charges of murdering his employee, but he is yet to be prosecuted on the murder charges relating to the Forbesganj firing, which took place at his instigation. The Court is yet to take cognisance of the case.     

The CPI(ML) has demanded that the judicial enquiry commission should hold hearings in Bhajanpur rather than Araria, so as to ensure greater security for the witnesses. 

- A report by CPI(ML)’s Bihar Secretary Comrade Kunal 

 

Don’t Fear All Islamists, Fear Salafis


 

By ROBIN WRIGHT
Published: August 19, 2012

For Op-Ed, follow@nytopinion and to hear from the editorial page editor, Andrew Rosenthal, follow@andyrNYT.

THIS spring, I traveled to the cradle of the Arab uprisings — a forlorn street corner in Sidi Bouzid, Tunisia, where a street vendor, drenched in paint thinner, struck a match in December 2010 that ignited the entire Middle East. “We have far more freedoms,” one peddler hawking fruit in the same square lamented, “but far fewer jobs.” Another noted that Mohamed Bouazizi, the vendor who set himself on fire, did so not to vote in a democratic election but because harassment by local officials had cost him his livelihood.

As the peddlers vented, prayers ended at the whitewashed mosque across the street. Among the faithful were Salafis, ultraconservative Sunni Muslims vying to define the new order according to seventh-century religious traditions rather than earthly realities. For years, many Salafis — “salaf” means predecessors — had avoided politics and embraced autocrats as long as they were Muslims. But over the past eight months, clusters of worshipers across the Middle East have morphed into powerful Salafi movements that are tapping into the disillusionment and disorder of transitions.

A new Salafi Crescent, radiating from the Persian Gulf sheikdoms into the Levant and North Africa, is one of the most underappreciated and disturbing byproducts of the Arab revolts. In varying degrees, these populist puritans are moving into the political space once occupied by jihadi militants, who are now less in vogue. Both are fundamentalists who favor a new order modeled on early Islam. Salafis are not necessarily fighters, however. Many disavow violence.

In Tunisia, Salafis started the Reform Front party in May and led protests, including in Sidi Bouzid. This summer, they’ve repeatedly attacked symbols of the new freedom of speech, ransacking an art gallery and blocking Sufi musicians and political comedians from performing. In Egypt, Salafis emerged last year from obscurity, hastily formed parties, and in January won 25 percent of the seats in parliament — second only to the 84-year-old Muslim Brotherhood. Salafis are a growing influence in Syria’s rebellion. And they have parties or factions in Algeria, Bahrain, Kuwait, Libya, Yemen and amongPalestinians.

Salafis are only one slice of a rapidly evolving Islamist spectrum. The variety of Islamists in the early 21st century recalls socialism’s many shades in the 20th. Now, as then, some Islamists are more hazardous to Western interests and values than others. The Salafis are most averse to minority and women’s rights.

A common denominator among disparate Salafi groups is inspiration and support from Wahhabis, a puritanical strain of Sunni Islam from Saudi Arabia. Not all Saudis are Wahhabis. Not all Salafis are Wahhabis, either. But Wahhabis are basically all Salafis. And many Arabs, particularly outside the sparsely populated Gulf, suspect that Wahhabis are trying to seize the future by aiding and abetting the region’s newly politicized Salafis — as they did 30 years ago by funding the South Asian madrassas that produced Afghanistan’s Taliban.

Salafis go much further in restricting political and personal life than the larger and more modern Islamist parties that have won electoral pluralities in Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco since October. For most Arabs, the rallying cry is justice, both economic and political. For Salafis, it is also about a virtue that is inflexible and enforceable.

“You have two choices: heaven or hellfire,” Sheikh Muhammad el-Kurdi instructed me after his election to Egypt’s parliament as a member of Al Nour, a Salafi party. It favors gender segregation in schools and offices, he told me, so that men can concentrate. “It’s O.K. for you to be in the room,” he explained. “You are our guest, and we know why you’re here. But you are one woman and we are three men — and we all want to marry you.” Marriage may have been a euphemism.

Other more modern Islamists fear the Salafi factor. “The Salafis try to push us,” said Rachid al-Ghannouchi, founder of Ennahda, the ruling Islamist party in Tunisia. The two Islamist groups there are now rivals. “Salafis are against drafting a constitution. They think it is the Koran,” grumbled Merhézia Labidi, the vice chairwoman of Tunisia’s Constituent Assembly and a member of Ennahda.

Salafis are deepening the divide between Sunni and Shiite Muslims and challenging the “Shiite Crescent,” a term coined by Jordan’s King Abdullah in 2004, during the Iraq war, to describe an arc of influence from Shiite-dominated Iran to its allies in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. Today, these rival crescents risk turning countries in transition into battlefields over the region’s future.

The Salafis represent a painful long-term conundrum for the West. Their goals are the most anti-Western of any Islamist parties. They are trying to push both secularists and other Islamists into the not-always-virtuous past.

American policy recently had its own awakening after 60 years of support for autocratic rulers. The United States opted to embrace people power and electoral change in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Yemen. Yet Washington still embraces authoritarian Gulf monarchies like Saudi Arabia, tolerating their vague promises of reform and even pledging the United States’ might to protect them.

Foreign policy should be nuanced, whether because of oil needs or to counter threats from Iran. But there is something dreadfully wrong with tying America’s future position in the region to the birthplace and bastion of Salafism and its warped vision of a new order.

Robin Wright, the author of “Rock the Casbah: Rage and Rebellion Across the Islamic World,” is a fellow at the United States Institute of Peace and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

 

PRESS RELEASE-Condemn summary dismissal of Maruti workers without proper investigation and trial and militarisation of workplace.


People’s Union of Democratic Rights.

Press Statement

20 August, 2012

 

Condemn summary dismissal of Maruti workers without proper investigation and trial and militarisation of workplace.

PUDR is deeply concerned at the new turn in the saga of Maruti-Suzuki workers struggle against the management and owners of the company.  The company has announced that it will set up a special force of security personnel comprising 100 ex-servicemen inside its Manesar plant. By doing so Maruti Suzuki Ltd. is declaring its intention of militarising the workplace. The Haryana Government’s intention of deploying 500-600 Rapid Action Force personnel inside the plant in Manesar shows that the state government is abetting the company in this move. The move is clearly intended to intimidate the workers and, in the name of ‘maintaining discipline’, submitting them completely to the diktat of the management and owners by clamping down on their basic right to resist unfair and illegal labour practices of the owners.  This measure will have disastrous consequences for workers’ basic and legitimate rights guaranteed by the law, and it is outrageous that the state should assist the company in curbing workers’ rights in this manner. What aggravates our outrage is the fact that the company has gone ahead and sacked 500 permanent workers for their alleged involvement in the recent violence, a charge yet to be proven in a court of law.

PUDR wishes to draw attention to the long struggle of the workers of Maruti-Suzuki starting in 2000-2001, through the period between 2001 and2007, in 2011 and now in 2012. In all previous struggles what led to conflict was the non-fulfilment of legitimate demands regarding wages, conditions on the shop floor and the right of workers to be represented by a trade union of their choice. These struggles are rendered increasingly difficult because of growing contractualisation of the workforce. Today 82% of the workforce at Maruti is contractual and considerably more vulnerable. Despite these odds, the workers union had been trying to raise their demands on a range of issues in the Manesar plant uptil July 2012. Some of these issues revolved around the conditions of work. The plant at Manesar operated on two shifts, the first from 7.30 am uptil 3.45 pm, and the second from 3.45 pm to 12.30 am. Every worker had to report 15 minutes before work commenced to be present at the meeting. If a worker was late by one minute it was treated as a half-day leave and wages were deducted. Workers got 30 minutes for lunch and two breaks of seven minutes each for tea, smoke and toilet. They had in addition to sign a ‘Good Conduct’ document which contained 6 points asking the individual workers not to indulge in any ‘go-slow’, ‘tool down’ or ‘stay on’ strike– a clear violation of the legitimate rights of workers guaranteed by the Industrial Disputes Act.

Apart from the struggle to mitigate these conditions of work, the workers in Manesar had also been struggling for their right to fight for their basic rights, i.e., to organise themselves and raise their demands.

In the present situation, once the plant reopens, the presence of the company’s private force as well as state forces are essentially aimed to ensure that the workers remain silent, and do not raise their basic demands. PUDR reiterates its concern and condemns this dangerous precedent that is being set with the state and the company Maruti Suzuki Ltd. openly collaborating to create a work force that would be intimidated into compliance with the company’s unfair labour practices and producing a militarised shop floor at the plant that would be hostile to workers and their attempt to demand their legitimate rights.

Paramjeet Singh and Preeti Chauhan

(Secretaries)

pudrdelhi@gmail.compudr@pudr.org

 

angdya-singer-and

After six years on death row, spared for being a juvenile #deathpenalty


 Manoj Mitta , Aug 21, 2012

NEW DELHI: Capital punishment for a juvenile offender – that’s inconceivable in law. Yet, after being on death row for six years, a dalit convicted in a multiple-murder-and-rape case has been found by a Maharashtra court to have been a juvenile at the time of the crime. 

The implication of this order passed last month is unprecedented: although his death sentence was confirmed by the Supreme Court in 2009,Ankush Maruti Shinde is entitled to be released at the earliest as the maximum penalty under the juvenile justice law for any crime is three years. 

Besides, the order passed on July 6 by an additional sessions judge of Nashik, R N Joshi, has rendered redundant Shinde’s mercy petition pending before the President. 

The dramatic change in his fortunes is thanks to an application filed last year on his behalf by human rights advocate Vijay Hiremath seeking an inquiry into his age so that he could get the benefit of the juvenile justice law. 

If this age factor had not been taken into account before Shinde was tried and convicted along with five others, it conforms to the general pattern that people of lower castes and classes, for lack of proper legal representation, are more susceptible to arbitrariness in the award of death penalty. 

For, Shinde got the death sentence evidently because his counsels in the trial court, high court and Supreme Court had failed to point out the elementary but crucial detail that he was below 18 when he had participated in the massacre of five members of a family on June 5, 2003. 

It was only after he spent nine years in jail (first as an undertrial prisoner and then as a death row convict) has the injustice suffered by Shinde been redressed. And even this is because of the fortuitous circumstance of his cause being espoused by a human rights lawyer and his case going before a sessions judge who dared to get in the way of a sentence upheld by the apex court.

In his 34-page order, Joshi declared that Shinde was a “juvenile in conflict with law” on the date of the crime as his age then was found to be 17 year, nine months and fifteen days. 

The basis of the declaration was eminently routine: the date of birth mentioned in the school admission register and school leaving certificate, which are accepted in law as conclusive proof of age. 

This means that instead of being sent to jail and tried along with co-accused before a regular court, Shinde’s case should have been placed before a juvenile justice board and he should have been sent to a reformatory. 

In keeping with this strange background, Joshi directed that Shinde, who is “awaiting death sentence”, be taken out of Nagpur’s central prison and produced before Nashik’s juvenile justice board. Since he has already been behind bars for thrice the maximum term he could have got under the juvenile justice law, the only thing that the board is expected to do now is to release him, with immediate effect.