#Delhigangrape: Justice Mehra Commission of inquiry starts functioning #Vaw


Published: Friday, Dec 28, 2012, 19:12 IST | Updated: Friday, Dec 28, 2012, 19:14 IST
Place: New Delhi | Agency: ANI
Women protests at India Gate
Reuters

The Commission of Inquiry under the Chairmanship of Justice (Retd.) Usha Mehra has requested the members of public to provide any information about the shocking incident of rape and brutal assault on a young woman in New Delhi on December 16.

“Any information, suggestions and responses may be sent through email at usha.mehracommission@nic.in or through Fax at 011-23093750 latest by January 10, 2013,” said a Home Ministry release.

All the members of the public including jurists, legal professionals, NGOs, media persons/ journalists, women groups are requested to suggest measures to improve the safety and security of women particularly in the National Capital Territory of Delhi and National Capital Region (NCR).

The commission will suggest measures to make Delhi and NCR safer for women. It will submit its report within three months, which will be tabled in Parliament along with action taken by the government.

Meanwhile, the 23-year-old Delhi gang-rape victim has significant brain injury, infection in lungs and abdomen and she is currently struggling against all odds at Singapore’s Mount Elizabeth Hospital where her condition continues to be ‘extremely critical’.

Dowry Death: Body of 25 year old Jamila Khatun with several cut marks found on her body and neck found near a pond.


Dec 28, 2012   Madhubani

Crime/MurderDowry, maps4aid.com

Action Taken: Alam was arrested on Thursday afternoon. His family members have fled the village.
Description:

The body of a 25-year-old woman was found on Thursday near a pond at Sapta village under the jurisdiction of Rahika police station, sparking speculations of murder prompted by demands for dowry.

The deceased has been identified as Jamila Khatun. She was married to Sapta resident Mohammed Alam. Sources said her husband and in-laws had been allegedly putting pressure on her to cough up a dowry of Rs 2 lakh.

Police said several cut marks were found on her body and neck. “The body has been sent for post-mortem to Madhubani Sadar Hospital,” said superintendent of police Ranjit Mishra, adding that a case of dowry death has been lodged under IPC Section 304(B) and Section 302.

He said: “No arrest has been made yet. It is too early to comment on the cause of death.”

Source: The Telegraph Dec. 27 2012

 

Billionaire Communists–Defying Mao, Rich Chinese Crash the Communist Party


By JAMES T. AREDDY in Shanghai and JAMES V. GRIMALDI in Washington

Wall Street Journal

[image] Xinhua/Associated PressSeven of China’s richest were part of the Communist Party elite gathered to anoint new leaders last month in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People.

When the Communist Party elite gathered last month to anoint China’s new leaders, seven of the nation’s richest people occupied coveted seats in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People.

Wang Jianlin of Dalian Wanda Group, worth an estimated $10.3 billion and the recent buyer of U.S. cinema chain AMC Entertainment Holdings, took one of the chairs. So did Liang Wengen, with an estimated fortune of $7.3 billion, whose construction-equipment maker Sany Heavy Industry Co.600031.SH -0.19% competes with Caterpillar Inc. CAT -0.75% Zhou Haijiang, a clothing mogul with an estimated $1.3 billion family fortune, also had a seat. As members of the Communist Party Congress, all three had helped endorse the new leadership.

Political Fortunes

Explore an interactive database on the political ties of China’s business leaders.

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For years the Communist Party in China filled key political and state bodies with loyal servants: proletarian workers, pliant scholars and military officers. Now the door is wide open to another group: millionaires and billionaires.

An analysis by The Wall Street Journal, using data from Shanghai research firm Hurun Report, identified 160 of China’s 1,024 richest people, with a collective family net worth of $221 billion, who were seated in the Communist Party Congress, the legislature and a prominent advisory group called the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.

[image] Bloomberg NewsGuo Guangchang, Fosun Group

China’s legislature, called the National People’s Congress, may boast more very rich members than any other such body on earth. Seventy-five people with seats on the 3,000 member congress appear on Hurun Report’s 2012 list of the richest 1,024, which Hurun says it calculates using public disclosures and estimates of asset values. The average net worth of those 75 people is more than $1 billion.

By comparison, the collective wealth of all 535 members of the U.S. Congress was between $1.8 billion and $6.5 billion in 2010, according to the most recent analysis of lawmakers’ asset disclosures by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

China has been grappling of late with political and social tension over its murky policy-making process and its growing income disparity. The party has been especially sensitive this year during the leadership change about revelations about fortunes amassed by the offspring of political leaders, known as “princelings,” by leaders of state businesses and by other politically connected people. Many ordinary Chinese blame high prices, poor quality food and pollution on guanshang guojie—meaning, roughly, officials in bed with businessmen.

As political families move into business, private tycoons are entering the political sphere—although precisely what is driving that isn’t clear. Other Chinese business leaders have cultivated relationships with party chiefs without entering politics themselves. But the Journal’s analysis showed that people appearing on Hurun’s rich list who also served in the legislature increased their wealth more quickly than the average member of the list.

[image] Bloomberg NewsGao Dekang, Bosideng Intl.

Seventy-five people who appeared on the rich list from 2007 to 2012 served in China’s legislature during that period. Their fortunes grew by 81%, on average, during that period, according to Hurun. The 324 list members with no national political positions over that period saw their wealth grow by 47%, on average, according to an analysis the firm ran for the Journal.

It is difficult to pinpoint precisely how holding political positions advances the business interests of the wealthy, if at all. They may do better because of their political positions, or, conversely, they may owe their positions to their business success. There are a multitude of reasons for Chinese companies to be on good terms with political leaders. Chinese companies routinely do business with the government, borrow money from state banks, even negotiate their tax bills with local authorities.

The business card of Mr. Zhou, the 46-year-old president of family owned Hongdou Group Co., lists 10 political positions. The clothing magnate said in an interview that his political positions give him opportunities to mix with “diverse elites”—businessmen, politicians and military officers.

[image] Xinhua/Zuma PressZhou Haijiang, Hongdou Group

“It makes me feel good to participate in this kind of exclusive group,” he said. Every time he gets a chance, he said, he prods state leaders to cut taxes, noting that he personally pressed Premier Wen Jiabao to extend technology tax breaks to firms building brands. It is unclear whether such tax breaks were extended.

In the days of Chairman Mao Zedong, capitalists were considered enemies of the state. Some business owners were persecuted and most enterprises became government property.

That changed in the 1980s and in the early 1990s when paramount leader Deng Xiaoping was said to have declared that “to get rich is glorious.” A 2002 constitutional amendment established that the Communist Party henceforth would consider valid the contributions of private enterprise, therefore providing a place for private entrepreneurs in the party system.

These days even lesser-known multimillionaires such as property developer Shi Yingwen of Guangxi Ronghe Co., shirt magnate Li Rucheng of Youngor Group Co. and wig queen Zheng Youquan of Henan Rebecca Hair Products Inc. 600439.SH -3.36% match Chinese mayors and generals in political rank. Self-made men and women serve in the legislature alongside party-appointed chairmen of state oil companies and banks.

China’s National People’s Congress bears little resemblance to its U.S. counterpart. Legislators aren’t popularly elected but are nominated by party institutions, which sometimes vote internally on nominees. Small groups of legislators write laws in consultation with top party officials. The broader legislature invariably passes them.

[image]

Political analysts sometimes describe China’s legislative seats as ceremonial because of the limited power of officeholders. Nevertheless, Dow Jones Watchlist, a sister publication of the Journal that provides financial institutions with a global database of government officials, characterizes more than 150 people on Hurun’s Rich List as “politically exposed persons” under international standards. Global anti-money-laundering conventions call on international banks to scrutinize transactions involving such individuals, their families and close associates.

Hongdou Group’s Mr. Zhou was invited into the party congress before his father retired from the legislature in 2008. Over the past 30 years, his family has gobbled up farmland near Wuxi to expand the company. The facilities now include more than 100 Hongdou-owned factories, including one of Asia’s biggest suit factories—and a hall honoring Communist leaders.

Hongdou was the first private company in China to win approval to launch a financing arm, and top party officials have supported its industrial push into Cambodia. Party leaders have adorned Zhongnanhai, the party’s Beijing leadership compound, with trees from Hongdou’s horticultural division, bolstering its claims that the plants provide therapeutic benefits.

In conversation, Mr. Zhou drops the names of top leaders, including Premier Wen, incoming president Xi Jinping and current President Hu Jintao. A quote from Mr. Wen adorns a full wall of Hongdou’s headquarters. Mr. Zhou says of his political activity: “I’m just trying to act as a representative for private entrepreneurs.”

Guo Guangchang, another member of the National People’s Congress, spent 20 years building China’s biggest private financial conglomerate, Shanghai-based Fosun Group. His fortune is estimated at $2 billion.

In March, he met with Mr. Xi, who was named China’s next leader last month. He pressed for expanded protection in China’s courts for insurers, more government investments into private-equity firms and increasing the scope of lending by nonbanks, according to a summary of his presentation on the company’s website. “Guo Guangchang expressed hope for more substantive initiatives in the liberalization of financial services and in reducing the tax burden of enterprises and individuals,” the website said.

Although it isn’t clear whether Mr. Guo’s efforts led to official changes, the fact that state media reported him airing views directly to Mr. Xi suggests that officials looked upon them favorably.

Mr. Guo and more than a dozen politically connected business leaders contacted by the Journal, including those mentioned in this story, either declined to comment on their government posts or didn’t respond to requests for comment. Questions about the political activities of the wealthy sent by the Journal to the National People’s Congress and other Chinese government and party organizations elicited no response.

Beginning as a tailor’s apprentice for his father in the 1970s, Gao Dekang built an apparel business and an estimated net worth of $2.2 billion. He joined the National People’s Congress in 2003. A year later, China’s foreign ministry certified jackets made by his company, Bosideng International Holdings Ltd., 3998.HK +0.85% as “national diplomatic gifts.” Russia’s Vladimir Putin was one of the foreign dignitaries to receive one.

Mr. Gao has hosted President Hu at his home, according to his authorized biography. Bosideng’s latest annual report says the company received “unconditional government grants” of about $3.9 million in the year ended March 31, which it said reflected its contributions to the development of local economies.

Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, or CPPCC, is an advisory council to the Communist Party and the legislature. With about 2,200 members, it is intended to be representative of China’s overall population, including those who don’t belong to the party. In practice, its function is to support government initiatives.

The CPPCC is becoming more like a Chinese version the U.K.’s House of Lords—weaker than the British version but richer. Seventy-four members appeared on Hurun’s rich list in 2012. The average wealth of those 74 was about $1.45 billion.

In a recent interview with the Journal, one CPPCC member criticized the influx of business people, saying she had witnessed “shameless” appeals by CPPCC members to Mr. Xi, China’s incoming president. At a small gathering in March, she said, a media tycoon and an infrastructure developer had pressed Mr. Xi to use his muscle to fix their business problems.

Member Chen Siqiang is the chief executive and controlling shareholder of New Oriental Energy & Chemical Corp., NOEC 0.00% a fertilizer company based in Henan. In late 2010, the company, whose shares were then listed in the U.S. on the Nasdaq Stock Market, faced a cash squeeze, according to a filing made to the Securities and Exchange Commission at that time. In the filing, Mr. Chen asserted: “I will also use my political influence as a member of the National Committee of CPPCC to coordinate with government agencies and financial institutions to enforce government support.”

About three months later, New Oriental announced the government in its home region had arranged $3.3 million in new loans. Nasdaq delisted New Oriental in 2011 after its capital fell below required thresholds.

The way political appointments are made is a murky business in China, and the process can involve currying favor with more-senior officials. In recent years, prosecutors in China have accused various officials of bribing their way into government positions and have jailed some of them for such activity. None of the wealthy individuals named in this story has been accused of such activities.

A Shanghai-based consultant said in recent interviews with the Journal that securing an appointment can involve a sophisticated campaign. He said he had devised and executed a “five-year plan” to try to gain political positions for an Internet-game tycoon. “Most people think you just have to bribe them, but it is actually quite subtle,” he said about efforts to persuade government officials.

In 2007, the consultant prepared a 14-page political primer for his client and mapped alliances between certain Beijing officials and the provincial government. The consultant said he added evidence to the company’s website that it was a “good citizen” that paid taxes and donated money. He said he staged a fake Communist Party meeting at the company in order to take photos.

The consultant hosted a dinner for the assistant to a senior Beijing official. During a foot massage, he said, the secretary hinted that a modest Chinese painting in traditional style might make an acceptable gift to the boss. The consultant said he bought one for around $3,000 and sent it anonymously to the official’s assistant in Beijing. He mailed the certificate of authenticity separately to make it clear the gift was from his client.

His client was hoping to be appointed to the Communist Party Congress. In the end, he got a lesser post: a seat in a provincial CPPCC. But in the process, the consultant said, he got potentially valuable information about provincial government plans for an economic zone and technology subsidies, which the consultant claimed were worth more than the campaign’s $320,000 cost.

Mr. Zhou, the clothing magnate, concedes that some people buy their way into power but calls such episodes “isolated incidents.” He says his fellow entrepreneurs are joining political bodies “to keep pace with the direction for the country’s development. If what I’m doing complies with the government principles, then every government official will support me.”

Write to James T. Areddy at james.areddy@wsj.com

 

Utah teachers get free gun training in response to Newtown shooting #WTFnews #guncontrol


Official photographic portrait of US President...

Official photographic portrait of US President Barack Obama (born 4 August 1961; assumed office 20 January 2009) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

By Laura Zuckerman

Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:52pm EST

 

(Reuters) – Kasey Hansen, a special education teacher from Salt Lake City, Utah, says she would take a bullet for any of her students, but if faced with a gunman threatening her class, she would rather be able to shoot back.

 

On Thursday, she was one of 200 Utah teachers who flocked to an indoor sports arena for free instruction in the handling of firearms by gun activists who say armed educators might have a chance at thwarting deadly shooting rampages in their schools.

 

The event was organized by the Utah Shooting Sports Council in response to the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, this month that killed 20 children and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

 

The council said it has typically attracted about 16 teachers each year to its concealed carry training courses. But Thursday’s event near Salt Lake City, organized especially for educators in the aftermath of Newtown, drew interest from hundreds, and the class was capped at 200 for space limitations.

 

“I feel like I would take a bullet for any student in the school district,” Hansen, a special education teacher in a Salt Lake City school district, told Reuters after the training session.

 

“If we should ever face a shooter like the one in Connecticut, I’m fully prepared to respond with my firearm,” she said, adding that she planned to buy a weapon soon and take it to work.

 

The Newtown massacre reignited a national debate over gun safety. President Barack Obama signaled his support for reinstating a national ban on assault-style rifles and urged Congress to act. The National Rifle Association has called for posting armed guards at schools and rejected new gun-control measures.

 

‘HOW DO I KEEP A GUN SAFE?’

 

The National Education Association and a number of school officials criticized the NRA’s stance, but it got a warmer reception in some parts of the West, where hunting and guns are prevalent.

 

Utah is one of a handful of states that allows people with concealed-carry licenses to take their weapons onto school property, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

 

In Arizona, Attorney General Tom Horne on Wednesday jumped into the debate over school security with a proposal to allow any school to train and arm its principal or another staff member.

 

The plan, which was backed by at least three sheriffs, would require approval by the legislature and the state’s Republican governor, Jan Brewer.

 

Clark Aposhian, head of the Utah Shooting Sports Council and a certified firearms instructor, organized the event on Thursday to provide teachers with permits to allow them to carry concealed handguns in the classroom. He waived the usual $50 fee for the course.

 

“I genuinely felt depressed at how helpless those teachers were and those children were in Newtown,” Aposhian said. “It doesn’t have to be that way.”

 

Utah teacher Kerrie Anderson was not about to participate. She is a choir and math instructor at a junior high school near Salt Lake City, and said her family is “pro-gun” and uses firearms for sports such as target shooting. But she balks at the notion of carrying a weapon into her classroom.

 

“How would I keep that gun safe?” she said. “I wouldn’t carry (it) on my person while teaching, where a disgruntled student could overpower me and take it. And if I have it secured in my office, it might not be a viable form of protection.”

 

Gun-control activists have decried moves to arm teachers and said efforts at curbing gun violence in schools should be tied to tightening firearms laws.

 

“We think it makes a lot more sense to prevent a school shooter from getting the gun in the first place,” said Kristen Rand, legislative director for the Violence Policy Center in Washington, D.C.

 

The shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary ranks as the second most deadly school shooting in U.S. history. Police say Adam Lanza, 20, killed his mother before going to the school, where he committed the massacre and shot himself to death.

 

(Reporting and writing by Laura Zuckerman; Additional reporting by Tim Gaynor; Editing by Alex Dobuzinskis and Steve Gorman)

 

#India- Teacher Raped #WTFnews #Nocountryforwomen


enuf

Teacher raped in UP

Published: Friday, Dec 28, 2012, 21:52 IST Place: Moradabad (UP) | Agency: PTI

A woman teacher was allegedly raped on Friday by two youths in Said Nangli area of the district.

The teacher and her sister were going to college this morning when the two youths forcibly dragged them in a cane field near Dehpa village, said Jitendrea Singh, Circle Officer of Dehpa area.

While they allegedly raped the teacher, her sister managed to escape and raised an alarm, he said.

The accused has been arrested and will be produced before court after medical examination, Singh said.

 

#India- Class VIII student raped and murdered #Vaw #WTFnews


13 policemen will face trial for charges of gang rape in the case of Vakapalli tribal women  #Rape #Vaw
PTI : Aligarh, Fri Dec 28 2012, 14:59 hrs

A minor girl was allegedly gangraped and later murdered by some unidentified men by slitting her throat in Pali Muqimpure area, about 40 kms from here, police said today.

The incident took place last evening in Raja Tau village when the 15-year-old victim had gone outside of his house for some work.

The girl, who was a student of class VIII, was raped and later killed by the miscreants by slitting her throat, they said.

According to the complaint filed by the father of the victim, she was being stalked by three youth for the past several days.

Meanwhile, a hunt has been launched for the youths while further probes are on, they added.

Govt drops land acquisition plan for #Vedanta steel project #goodnews


BS Reporter / Kolkata/ Bhubaneswar Dec 27, 2012, 00:07 IST

The Odisha government has approved a proposal for withdrawal of land acquisition process for Sterlite Iron and Steel Company, a Vedanta group firm, which proposed to set up of a 5 million tonne steel plant in Keonjhar district.

The government has directed the revenue department to take appropriate action in this regard. “The government, after careful consideration, has been pleased to accept the land surrender proposal. You are therefore, requested to take action as per rules/act in vogue,” the state steel and mines department wrote to the deputy revenue secretary.

The decision of not to go ahead with the land acquisition process for the project was taken in October this year, following state water department’s objection to the sale of land.

The water resource department said, since more than 90 per cent of the 1,872 acre area required for the project came under the category of irrigated farm land, it should not be given to an industrial unit.

The villages, where notification for land acquisition was issued, included Danardanpur, Gopinathpur, Narasingpur, Singraisuan, Tikarpada, Mahadeijoda and Kadagarh in Keonjhar district. Out of the total area to be acquired, 1,805 acres were privately held.

The state government has offered an alternative site to the company in Sundergarh district. However, the company has been non-commital over establishment of the project.

Sterlite Iron and Steel Company had signed a MoU with the state government for the project in 2004. The proposed five million tonne per annum steel plant was to be set up at a cost of Rs 12,500 crore. However, the project hardly showed any sign of progress since.

Later, Vedanta wanted the project to be implemented by its group firm Sesa Goaand wrote to the state government to replace Sterlite Iron and Steel Company with Sesa Goa as the promoter in the MoU. It had also changed the scope of the project expressing its intention to set up a 1.5 million tonne steel plant initially instead of 5 million tonne mentioned in the MoU.

The company was also in the process of scouting for a steel company as an equity partner for the project who could take charge of the steel making operation of the plant.

Now, the withdrawal of the land acquisition process for the steel project comes as another blow to the industrial group which is reeling under the closure of alumina refinery of Vedanta Aluminium at Lanjigarh in the state for want of bauxite.

The state government is yet to come out with a solution on supplying bauxite to the plant. Though the state government had committed to provide bauxite from Niyamgiri mines, it could do not do so because of non-availability of clearances from union ministry of environment and forest (MoEF).

 

#India- Why subsidise the rape capital? #Vaw


Garga Chatterjee | Agency: DNA | Sunday, December 23, 2012

There should be no doubt at this point — Delhi is the rape capital of South Asia. No amount of regular manicuring of Lutyens lawns and NewDelhi-Gurgaon-style faux ‘cosmopolitanism’ can take away that fact. The rape capital epithet comes from simple numbers. Delhi is comparable in population size to Kolkata and Mumbai. If rape were to be considered a ‘natural’ human pathology, the number of rapes would be proportional to the number of humans. The thing is, when it comes to cities within the territory of the Indian Union, it is not.

The numbers speak for themselves. Let us take the National Crime Records Bureau figures for 2011. The number of registered cases of rape were as follows — Mumbai (221), Kolkata (46), Chennai (76), Bangalore (97) and Hyderabad (59). If one adds them up, the number comes to 499. Add Lucknow (38), Patna (27) and Coimbatore (9). The total comes to 573. This is one more than 572, the number of rapes reported in Delhi in 2011. This is not to say that the 46 rapes in Kolkata are somehow ‘normal’. But number and scale matters. There is clearly something wrong about Delhi and we can ignore that at our own peril.

From bus drivers to poor male labourers, the middle-class/upper-middle-class of Delhi has willy-nilly implicated all but itself. It is important to note the nature of prescriptions of rape prevention. These include profiling people who drive buses and the sort — a veiled reference to some imagined class bias in rapes. That gives away the underlying assumption — poor men rape not-so-poor women. There is no evidence to show that this is indeed the case, but the high decibel propaganda war in the elite-controlled media could care less about evidence, especially when it imagines itself to be the victim, as a class.

Rape is as much about power and impunity as it is about sexual violence. Nowhere in the subcontinent are power and impunity engaged in an embrace as tightly as they are in Delhi. There is empirical evidence from various parts of the world that affluent people are more likely to rape with impunity than those less so. Nowhere in the subcontinent is affluence so closely related with power than in Delhi. What are the implications of this for the rest of us?

Since 1990 and especially so in the previous decade, the central government has built up Delhi, showering it with goods, subsidies and helping make it an employment destination for the rest of the Indian Union. Other cities haven’t received this help — cities where women are less likely to be raped. Delhi and its surrounds are showered with money that Delhi does not produce. It is peppered with infrastructure that India’s provinces have toiled hard to pay for.

It is lavished with highly funded universities, art and cultural centres, museums that are designed to sap talent from India’s provinces and handicap the development of autonomous trajectories of excellence beyond Delhi. Revenues extracted from India’s provinces are lavished in and around Delhi by making good roads, snazzy flyovers, water supply infrastructure, urban beautification projects, new institutes and universities, big budget rapid transport systems like the metro and numerous other things that India’s impoverished wastelands as well as other towns and cities can only dream of.

All this results in investment and employment opportunities — it is not the other way around. Most people from other states are in Delhi not because they necessarily love it, but because the artificial imbalance that central policies have created between Delhi and other cities makes this an inevitable aspiration destination. This has resulted in a staggering internal drain of young people to Delhi — not by choice as in the case of Mumbai, but largely by braving potential adversities for women.

The elite of Delhi and the regional elites who wish to see their children in Delhi in perpetuity have, by dint of their grip on the central government, made a ‘world-class city’ for themselves. By choosing to do this at a location where power, impunity and rape-rates are the highest among cities, it has conspired against the rest of the Union, specifically against women.

Women should not have to choose between a lesser likelihood of being raped and creating a better life from themselves. The inordinate subsidisation of the rape capital by the central government has to stop. Women then will not have to come to Delhi to further their aspirations and dreams. They can then choose to boycott Delhi and still have a life that they aspire to. This requires a cutting down to size of the imperious rape capital. Cutting down to size should not raise eyebrows in a nation-state that vows by democracy. It is called distributive justice.

Garga Chatterjee is a postdoctoral scholar, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

 

#India- Deconstructing elite ‘concern’ and ‘action’ on rape #Vaw


rape

Published: Monday, Dec 24, 2012, 5:21 IST | Updated: Monday, Dec 24, 2012, 23:02 IST
By Garga Chatterjee

On December 22, Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde tried his best to appear statesmanlike at the press-conference. Flanked by a couple of other ministers and a smattering of bureaucrats, he announced that the government had heard the rape-protesters of New Delhi. The poor should learn something – it is not enough to be displaced, raped, maimed, killed, brutalised for years. It is also important to know how to chant slogans in English and write them in chart paper. The star-studded press conference was not so much about firefighting – after all, youths holding placards written in English are not a major electoral constituency.It was more about appearing sensitive to a larger populace. Shinde even tried the ‘common man’ approach.
He said he understood the outrage — for, he too was a father. Lesser mortals are lesser in more ways than one. Rare are the moments when people in power include themselves in ‘everyone of us’, as if we are one community. When the ‘common bond of humanity’ ploy is used, those in the charmed circle of Lutyen’s Delhi and its South Delhi spill-over nod liberally in agreement. One would almost want to believe that Shinde’s daughter would buy a Rs 10 ticket on a green Delhi Transport Corporation bus and travel from Daryaganj to Kapashera border after a hard day’s work like many, many others. No such luck. Shinde has Z plus security. One of his daughters, Praniti, is an MLA. With more police force out to protect his powerful daughter than what would be deployed to protect an average neighbourhood, it is hard to imagine an anxious father of a commoner here.
After all, in the last five years, Maharashtra, Shinde’s home state, has had the largest number of candidates with declared cases of crimes against women, including rape. At least 26 Congress candidates to different legislatures had such cases against them (source: Association for Democratic Reforms). Shinde may say these cases are politically motivated or ‘law will take its own course’, but surely, as a father, would he take chances? If not, what have the people done to deserve these candidates from his party? That the BJP, the Samajwadi Party and the BSP also have numerous such candidates does not help matters? What do Smriti Irani and Sushma Swaraj think about the ‘jewels’ that their party has been nominating? Why is the tirade against the bad guy always directed towards an inchoate other or society at large, when there are more tangible alleged-rascals inside the party? There have been calls to ‘fast-track’ legal procedures for such cases. Ostensibly, this fast tracking should also apply to the alleged crime committed against women by Tricolour and saffron ‘social workers’. Shouldn’t it?

In a statement after meeting prime minister Manmohan Singh, Shinde said, “The government will take immediate steps for the amendment of the Criminal Law for enhanced and more effective punishment in the rarest of the rare cases of sexual assault such as this.” This is something that has a resonance with a significant section of the protesters where public hanging and castration have been demanded. But there is rape and there is rape. The state has hinted that it might toy with the idea of death penalty or something more severe than the present punishment for ‘rarest of the rare cases’. Is the alleged rape of a 56-year-old woman in Gujarat by a Central Industrial Security Force personnel a ‘rarest of rare case’? Does the alleged repeated sexual brutalization of Soni Soriin the custody of Chhattisgarh police qualify as a ‘rarest of rare case’? Was the alleged gang-rape of a 12-year-old mentally challenged deaf and mute girl by three CRPF personnel near their Warangal area camp a ‘ rarest of rare case’? Is the alleged rape of a Congolese child by an Indian Army jawan posted as ‘peace-keeper’ a ‘rarest of rare case’?Did the forensic evidence of DNA match matter in that case? Did anything matter? Did anything get fast-tracked, or was a clean-chit thrown back on the face of the victim?

What about the Kunan Poshpora tragedy of 1991 – the alleged gang rape of more than 50 Kashmiri women by army jawans? It has been 22 years. Does ‘morale’ come before justice or does ‘honour’ look different when viewed through Tricolour blinders? Or are these ‘rarest of rare cases’ not ‘rarest of rare’ precisely because they are not rare? I sincerely hope the Delhi youngsters who besieged the Raisina Hills only to be lathi-charged back have all this in mind, when they chant ‘We-want-justice’.

The author a postdoctoral scholarat Massachusetts Institute of Technology @gargac on Twitter, inbox@dnaindia.net

Dalit teenager gang-raped for over a week; seven arrested #Vaw #Justice


CHILDRAPE

By PTI – HASSAN (Karnataka)

28th December 2012 05:30 PM

A 17-year-old Dalit girl was allegedly raped by 10 persons for nine days in Karnataka’s Hassan district.

Seven of the accused have been arrested.

The girl was allegedly raped at various places in the district by the accused, who brought her to the town from Magge village in Alur taluk promising her employment, Superintendent of Police Amith Singh told PTI over phone.

The ten sexually exploited the girl in turns from December 19 to December 27. The gang then dumped her in Hassan yesterday after which she approached an NGO for women, which immediately alerted police.

Singh said the police constituted three teams to trace the accused and seven have been held.

“We are looking for more suspects. They will also be arrested soon. All the arrested have been subjected to medical examination,” he said.

The seven arrested, including an auto rickshaw driver, would be produced before a local court tomorrow, he said.

Meanwhile, former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda, who is a Lok Sabha member from Hassan, has demanded exemplary punishment to the accused.