Complaint to NHRC on arrest of Maitree women activists in Kolkata #Vaw


To
The Chairman
National Human Rights Commission
Faridkot House
Copernicus Marg
New Delhi – 1

Respected Sir

I want to inform you that this morning members of a Kolkata based network of women’s group; Maitree, assembled peacefully outside the residence of Chief Minister; Ms. Mamata Bannerjee to submit memoranda on recent incidents of gang rapes on two students at Barasat and Krishnaganj; Nadia. The activists were assembled with few placards on their hands and clarified their intention to the police personnel; guarding the residence of the Chief Minister. The activist also tried to hand over the same on 10th of June at Writers Buildings, when the Chief Minister refused to met the delegation. This time the activists wanted to draw personal attention of the Chief Minister but instead of making the arrangements for the same and receiving the memoranda, the posted police authority arrested 13 women activists having ample social reputation. The arrestees were Ms. Anuradha Kapoor, Ms. Swapna, Ms. Kakoli Bhattacharya, Ms. Anchita GHatak, Ms. Shyamali Das, Ms. Ratnaboli Roy, Ms. Sharmistha Dutta Gupta, Ms. Shreya Sanghari, Ms. Madhura Chakroborty, Ms. Shreya Chakroborty, Ms. Sudeshna Basu and Ms. Aditi Basu. All the arrestees were whisked to Lalbazar Central Lock Up.

The act of the police having clear instances from the state government is not only infringement of article 19 (a) and (b) of Indian Constitution which clearly sated that – All citizens shall have the right to freedom of speech and expression; and to assemble peaceably and without arms; but again during the arrest the police violated the mandatory 11 point guidelines on arrest as directed by the honourable Supreme Court in the case of DK Basu versus State of West Bengal; while arresting not furnished the arrest memos at the time of arrest. Later, the arrestees and other civil society organisations came to know that the police arrested the persons for violating section 151 of Criminal Procedure Code. Again, section 151 of CR. P.C (Arrest to prevent the commission of cognizable offences) clearly stated that ‘A police officer knowing of a design to commit any cognizable offence may arrest….’ the question is whether these persons were assembled there to commit any cognizable offence? The answer is no. Further, the Supreme Court in his judgement defined that in case of bailable offences, making an arrest is illegal. The said assemble of women activists was peaceful and they wish to met the Chief Minister and handed over her a memoranda, which was not an offence itself and otherwise well inside the domain of rights of the people.

While MASUM contacted the Lalbazar Central Lock Up at around 11.30 am and asked for the information of arrestees, the attending police officer only said that ‘yes there are few women activists inside the lock up but other relevant information is with Kalighat police station, we contacted the Kalighat police station just after, the attendant, one ASI, who was the duty officer at that time said the Officer in Charge only can put light on the arrest and subsequent detention and he has gone to Arambagh and will be back after an hour. The intention of police was evident that they don’t want to disseminate any information. When the last information came the bonds for release of the arrestees were getting ready at the Central Lock Up.

UN Declaration on HRD (2nd December 1998) states –
“Article 1
Everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to promote and to strive for the protection and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels.
Article 2
1. Each State has a prime responsibility and duty to protect, promote and implement all human rights and fundamental freedoms, inter alia by adopting such steps as may be necessary to create all conditions necessary in the social, economic, political as well as other fields and the legal guarantees required to ensure that all persons under its jurisdiction, individually and in association with others, are able to enjoy all these rights and freedoms in practice.”
In this regard I want to recall you about your primary responsibility of promotion and expansion of human rights for the people and demand for:-

1. The Commission must take cognizance against the police and start a case on their own
2. Commission must inquire and investigate the incident on their own
3. The errant police must be booked under the law and be prosecuted
4. The arrestees must be compensated for their loss
Sincerely Yours

(Kirity Roy)
Secretary, MASUM
National Convenor, PACTI

 

NTUI condemns the arrest women activists protesting against rape and murder of students #Vaw


An impatient administration that tries to stifle the voice of protests, unmasks itself much more than critics can possibly do. This morning, members of Maitree, a Kolkata based network of women’s group, assembled peacefully outside Mamta Banerjees residence asking for an appointment to submit a letter of protest to the Chief Minister against the two recent cases of gang rape and murder. They had earlier tried to hand over the same at the Writers building on Monday but she had refused to meet the delegation. The grotesque rape,murder and violence against two students in Barasat and KrishnaganjNadia, in the last few days is an ampleindication of the appaling law and order sitution in the state and the administration’s dismal failure to ensure safety and security of women. The members of Maitree wanted to draw the Chief Minister’s personal attentionto this in a bid to ensure her personal intervention in this issue.

Instead of receiving their protest letter, the police arrested 13 women instantly. Anuradha Kapoor, Swapna, Kakali Bhattacharya, Anchita Ghatak, Shyamali Das, Ratnaboli Roy Sharmishtha Dutta Gupta, Shreya Sanghari, Madhura Chakraborty, Shreya Chakraborty, Sudeshna Basu, & Aditi Basu were whisked away to Lalbazar where they are currently detained at the Labazar central lock up. Abir Niyogy who was earlier taken away to Kalighat police station and has been currently transfered to Labazar central lock.

NTUI strongly condems this arrest by the police and demands an immediate and unconditional release of the members of Maitree. We strongly uphold the peoples’ right to dissent and protest. We also call upon theGovernment, judiciary and law enforcing agencies for an immediate arrest of culprits, a proper investigation and a fair and unbiased trial which would enable victims and their families in accessing justice and lead culprits towards due punishment; otherwise this wave of brutality against women would remain endless and unabated.

June 13, 2013

Court Officer Sexually Assaults Woman in Court, Arrests Her #Vaw #WTfnews


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When Everyone in Court Ignores Her Pleas for Help

The Clark County family court is under heavy scrutiny after a video showed a woman who said she was sexually assaulted being arrested.
June 11, 2013  |
 Employees from Clark County family court in Nevada are under investigation for covering up an alleged sexual assault by a court officer,according to KLAS-TV, a CBS affiliate.

An internal affairs investigation has also revealed larger problems at the court, like more allegations of sexual assault and violence.

The story KLAS-TV focuses in on is what happened to Monica Contreras. The mother of a two-year-old daughter went to family court in August 2011 on a routine divorce case. Her husband didn’t show up, and so his request for a temporary restraining order was denied.

Things went downhill for Contreras from there, and there’s video to prove it. Court officer Ron Fox told Contreras she needed to be searched for drugs. According to Contreras and an internal investigation that verified her story, Fox touched her breasts and ordered her shirt to be lifted up. Contreras then went to the hearing master, Patricia Donninger, to tell her that Contreras’ requests for a female officer to conduct the search were ignored.

A second officer then begins to arrest Contreras. Fox says that it was because Contreras made “false allegations.” The news outlet notes that they could not find a “law that would support the arrest. It is also highly unlikely a sexual assault victim would be placed under arrest by the alleged assaulter.”

Meanwhile, the hearing master was looking away while Contreras was pleading with her to pay attention to what was happening to her. “How can you do this to me? How can you watch?” she asks.

The court lieutenant did not inform anyone about the alleged sexual assault.

Two months after the arrest, Contreras filed a complaint, and an internal affairs investigation got underway. But eventually, Fox was fired, though he maintains his innocence. His attorney said the arrest of Contreras was legal because nobody in the court tried to halt his actions.

But nobody informed Contreras about the investigation, Fox’s firing or that her claims were verified. The news outlet had to do that.

The internal investigation isn’t over yet. KLAS-TV reports: “Clark County courts are widening their investigation into why this incident, and a growing number of assault allegations, were never reported by family court management to internal affairs.”

Alex Kane is AlterNet‘s New York-based World editor, and an assistant editor forMondoweiss. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

 

#India – Does law do justice to the poor & hapless?


draconianlaw

June 9, 2013, The Hindu

MATTHEW ADUKANIL

The powerful are presumed innocent until proved guilty but the indigent citizen under arrest is considered guilty until he is proved innocent

Learned judges toast the majesty of the law. Politicians swear by its sanctity asserting that it will take its due course. But seasoned criminals are thoroughly familiar with its loopholes. They know how to flout the law and yet how to survive by it. But those who have felt the slings and arrows of misapplied law unhesitatingly subscribe to the Dickensian dictum ‘The Law is an ass’. Probably, the highest tribute ever paid to the ass! Law commands respect only from the law-abiding.

One is reminded of two amusing constables in a Shakespearean play. Enforcing the king’s midnight curfew on tramps, they ordered two ruffians, ‘ In the name of His Majesty go home’. Upon their insolent reply that they did not recognise His Majesty, the policemen duly apologised and went their way. Successful execution of the time-tested strategy of questioning law enforcers’ jurisdiction, and going scot-free riding piggyback on technicalities.

Love is not Time’s fool, as Shakespeare said but Law is. The dictum ‘Art is long but life is short’ has its parallel also in law and it would be equally correct to say ‘Law is long but life is short.’ A shrewd and high profile offender of the law can have a long-drawn battle with it and keep it at bay practically all his life. Law is definitely on the side of the powerful criminal since he is presumed innocent until proved guilty but the indigent citizen under arrest is considered guilty until he is proved innocent.

A criminal can keep out of reach of the long arm of the law until he is finally convicted and a series of legal procedures is exhausted. A lawsuit starts in the lowest sessions court, winds its way through the maze of higher level courts and finally reaches the Supreme Court creeping at snail’s pace through numerous speed humps of adjournments, court vacations, appeals, revision hearings, single-judge hearings, Full Bench hearings, presidential pardons, etc.

Meanwhile, criminals who are MPs can contest elections, serve multiple five-year terms and amass colossal fortunes through corrupt practices. The money thus illegally made will more than cover the lawyer’s fees, bribes to those who can help, huge election expenses and still leave behind a tidy fortune. Meanwhile, as the plea for justice is on its pilgrim’s progress to the courts, crucial files disappear from offices, inconvenient witnesses meet with mysterious ends and unsympathetic law enforcers or judges just vanish.

But what happens to the poor villager or tribal who is picked up on trumped up charges at the instance of the well-heeled? It takes months and sometimes years for him to be taken to the magistrate to be enlightened on his crimes, verification of identity, etc.

When some political or business bigwigs are arrested for serious crimes and put behind bars, at once a host of ailments like high BP and kidney and heart problems visit them calling for immediate hospitalisation and quality treatment. The wonder is that with all these ailments they were able to go about their daily business. These health problems seem to be ‘bar-coded’ since they crop up only behind bars. It is a brave new world, indeed!

Crimes taking place in full public glare, caught on cameras and repeatedly beamed by the media for days and weeks need elaborate and long court procedures to establish their veracity and the identity of the perpetrators. We may recall the prolonged trials of Kasab or recently the members of the gang rape of Nirbhaya in a Delhi bus. Or take the case of the seven-year jail term serving Bitty Mohanty who jumped parole, studied for MBA degree and got employed in a bank in a new avatar. A criminal who does not know to exploit to the full the niceties of court procedures had better hang up his boots.

A huge number of police personnel are engaged in VIP security, for Ministers and MPs and, in some cases, even extended family members of MPs. Allegedly about one-third of the MPs in Parliament have criminal backgrounds and several have murder, rape and other serious cases pending against them. Upon seeing this posse of security personnel around them amid crowds, one may be excused if he/she gets a nagging doubt: who is the potential target and who is the perceived threat?

What about protection for women riding alone in buses to their homes at night after work, and farmers exposed daily to the attacks of marauding elephants in forest areas?

(The writer is an assistant college professor. Email: adukanildb@gmail.com)

 

#India – Murder and Gang Rape of School Girls in Jharkhand #Vaw #WTFnews


Jharkhand: No arrest yet after murder and gang rape of two school girls, people launch agitation, block highway

Bhaskar News   |  May 31, 2013,
Jharkhand: No arrest yet after murder and gang rape of two school girls, people launch agitation, block highway

Deoghar: These agitating people are demanding arrest of those responsible for the rape and murder to two girl students in the police-lines. They are demanding that postmortem report should be made public, and the Station House Officer of Jasidih police station should be suspended. Girls went missing near the area on last Saturday, and their bodies were found near a pond behind police line on Monday.

The mob managed to close most of the shops in the local market. Some people even pelted stones at a public transport bus. Jasidih Deoghar and Rohini road remained closed for nearly eight hours.

SDM, and CO of the area reached the spot to pacify the people, but no one was willing to hear them.

People had got agitated earlier also on Monday when dead bodies were found. That time police managed to calm down people after giving an assurance to arrest the culprits within 24-hours. But when police failed to live up to the promise, people decided to hit the road again.

CPI (M) leader Birinda Karat met the family members of the victims. She also met agitating people and extended her support to them. She threatened to launch agitation if culprits were not arrested immediately. She claimed that this case is as tragic as Delhi gang rape in which a medical student died after being gang raped in a moving bus.

 

SC – No arrest for posts on social sites without permission #ITact #Censorship


PTI

In view of public outrage over people being arrested for making comments or liking posts on Facebook, Centre had issued advisory not to arrest a person in such cases without prior approval of a senior official.
In view of public outrage over people being arrested for making comments or liking posts on Facebook, Centre had issued advisory not to arrest a person in such cases without prior approval of a senior official.

The Supreme Court on Thursday said that no person should be arrested for posting objectionable comments on social networking sites without taking prior permission from senior police officials.

The apex court, which refused to pass an order for a blanket ban on the arrest of a person for making objectionable comments on websites, said state governments should ensure strict compliance of the Centre’s January 9 advisory which said that a person should not be arrested without taking permission from senior police officials.

“We direct the state governments to ensure compliance with the guidelines (issued by Centre) before making any arrest,” a bench of justices B.S.Chauhan and Dipak Misra said.

It said the court cannot pass an order for banning all arrest in such cases as operation of section 66A (pertaining to objectionable comments) of the Information Technology Act has not been stayed by the apex court which is examining its constitutional validity.

In view of public outrage over people being arrested for making comments or liking posts on Facebook, Centre had on January 9 issued advisory to all states and UTs asking them not to arrest a person in such cases without prior approval of a senior police officer.

The advisory issued by the Centre says that, “State governments are advised that as regard to arrest of any person in complaint registered under section 66A of the Information Technology Act, the concerned police officer of a police station may not arrest any person until she/he has obtained prior approval of such arrest from an officer, not below the rank of Inspector General of Police (IGP) in metropolitan cities or of an officer not below the rank of Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) or Superintendent of Police (SP) at district level, as the case may be.”

The apex court was hearing an application seeking its direction to the authorities not to take action for posting objectionable comments during the pendency of a case before it pertaining to constitutional validity of section 66A of the Information Technology (IT) Act.

The section states that any person who sends, by means of a computer resource or communication device, any information that was grossly offensive or has a menacing character could be punished with imprisonment for a maximum term of three years, besides imposition of appropriate fine.

The petition was also filed regarding the arrest of a Hyderabad-based woman activist, who was sent to jail over her Facebook post in which certain “objectionable” comments were made against Tamil Nadu Governor K.Rosaiah and Congress MLA Amanchi Krishna Mohan. After filing of the petition, she was released by a district court at Hyderabad.

Jaya Vindhayal, the state general secretary of People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), was arrested on May 12 under section 66A of the IT Act for the “objectionable” post.

According to the police, she had also allegedly distributed pamphlets making objectionable allegations against Rosaiah and Mohan before posting the comments online.

The matter was mentioned before the bench by law student Shreya Singhal, seeking an urgent hearing in the case, saying the police is taking action in such matters even though a PIL challenging validity of section 66A is pending before the apex court.

She had filed the PIL after two girls–Shaheen Dhada and Rinu Shrinivasan–were arrested in Palghar in Thane district under section 66A of IT Act after one of them posted a comment against the shutdown in Mumbai following Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray’s death and the other ‘liked’ it.

On November 30, 2012, the apex court had sought response from the Centre on the amendment and misuse of section 66A of IT Act and had also directed the Maharashtra government to explain the circumstances under which the 21-year-old girls were arrested.

Pursuant to the notice issued by the apex court, the Centre had informed it that the controversial provision in the cyber law under which two girls were arrested for Facebook comments did not curb freedom of speech and alleged “high handedness” of certain authorities did not mean that it was bad in law.

The Ministry of Communication and Information Technology in its affidavit had said that an advisory had been issued to all the state governments, saying that due diligence and care may be exercised while dealing with cases arising out of the alleged misuse of cyberspace.

The Maharashtra Government in its reply had said the arrests of girls in Thane district were “unwarranted” and “hasty”, which “cannot be justified“.

The state government had also submitted an affidavit stating that the Thane police SP (Rural) had been suspended for arresting the two girls despite the instruction by the IGP not to take such action.

The court had earlier issued notices and sought responses from governments of Delhi, West Bengal and Puducherry where a professor and a businessman were arrested under section 66A of the Act for a political cartoon and tweeting against a politician respectively.

 

#Chattisgarh policeman arrested for allegedly trying to marry minor girl in UP #Vaw #WTFnews


 

Press Trust of India | Updated: April 15, 2013 

 

Senior UP policeman arrested for allegedly trying to marry minor girl

Chandauli (Uttar Pradesh): A senior police official was today arrested for allegedly trying to marry a minor girl in Balua area of Chandauli in Uttar Pradesh, police said.

Pradyumn Kumar Yadav (45), posted as DSP in Raipur (Chhattisgarh), was arrested during his bid to tie the knot with a 13-year-old girl at a temple in Uttarigaon village in the district, Superintendent of Police Sharad Sachan said.

The arrest was made after villagers informed the police about the act of Mr Yadav.

Punjabshame – 11 men forcibly enter house, beat girl, family in Amritsar #Vaw #WTFnews


Five men arrested for assault on girl, her family in Amritsar

rape

Press Trust of India | Updated: March 29, 2013 01:12 IST

 Five of the eleven men, who had allegedly thrashed a girl and her family members after barging into their house in Sadar area in Amritsar, were arrested on Friday.

“The five arrested persons are auto rickshaw drivers and rest of the accused, who are yet to be nabbed, are also in the same profession,” Deputy Police Commissioner (DCP) Amritsar Koustab Sharma said.

On Thursday night, in a shameful act, a group of eleven men allegedly were harassing the 21-year-old girl, who was returning from a tuition class, and followed her to Batala Road area where she lived with her parents.

When the girl’s father objected to their behaviour, they forcibly entered into the house and thrashed him and other family members.

Before leaving the house, they threatened them of dire consequences if the matter was reported, police said.

The DCP said,” there were eleven accused who trespassed in the house of the girl and five have been identified, arrested and booked.”

Rest of the accused will be arrested shortly, the officer said.

According to the family members of the girl, her right leg was fractured in the assault and she was admitted to a hospital where she is undergoing treatment.

 

#Mumbai- Locals catch 17-yr-old molesting 2-yr-old girl #Vaw #WTFnews


CHILDRAPE

The teenager lured the child with a chocolate into a dark alley, where he started undressing her, only to be spotted by a kin and nabbed by locals

January 21, 2013
MUMBAI
Sagar Rajput and Karishni Khanna, Midday

Tragedy was averted in the dark alleys of Shivaji Nagar on Saturday evening, thanks to the united efforts of locals to protect one of their own. A two-year-old narrowly escaped being sexually abused by a 17-year-old boy around 6.30 pm at Shivaji Nagar.

The victim and the accused are both residents of the same locality. As the girl played near her house in the evening, the teenager lured her with a chocolate and took her to a deserted area nearby.

He then allegedly started undressing her, when the child’s relative who lives in the locality spotted him, and approached him to find out what he was up to. Scared, the boy got fled from the spot.

The relative then raised the alarm, and with help from other locals, caught the teenaged offender, hauling him to the Shivaji Nagar police station thereafter.

The accused has been arrested under Section 354 of the IPC (assault or criminal force to women with intent to outrage her modesty). “The accused was brought to the police station by the locals,” said investigating officer Ajit Sawale.

According to the police officials, documents submitted by his parents suggests that the accused is a minor, but medical tests will be conducted to verify the same.

Only after the confirmation will it be decided whether to produce the accused in a juvenile court or not. Meanwhile, the 17-year-old has been denying all the allegations levelled against him by the victim.

 

#India- Legal rights every woman must know #Vaw #justice #womenrights #mustshare


RIGHT TO PRIVACY WHILE RECORDING STATEMENT
Under section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code, a woman who has been raped can record her statement before the district magistrate when the case is under trial, and no one else needs to be present. Alternatively, she can record the statement with only one police officer and woman constable in a convenient place that is not crowded and does not provide any possibility of the statement being overheard by a fourth person. The police have to, by law, protect the woman’s right to privacy. It’s important for the person to feel comfortable and not be under any kind of stress while narrating the incident.

TIME DOESN’T MATTER
The police cannot refuse to register an FIR even if a considerable period of time has elapsed since the incident of rape or molestation took place. If the police tells you that they can’t lodge your FIR since you didn’t report it earlier, do not concede. “Rape is a horrifying incident for any woman, so it’s natural for her to go into shock and not want to report it immediately. She may also fear for her safety and the reputation and dignity of her family. For this reason, the Supreme Court has ruled that the police must register an FIR even if there has been a gap between the report and the occurrence of the incident,” says Tariq Abeed, advocate, Supreme Court.

POLICE CAN’T SAY NO
A rape victim can register her police complaint from any police station under the Zero FIR ruling by Supreme Court. “Sometimes, the police station under which the incident occurs refuses to register the victim’s complaint in order to keep clear of responsibility, and tries sending the victim to another police station. In such cases, she has the right to lodge an FIR at any police station in the city under the Zero FIR ruling. The senior officer will then direct the SHO of the police station concerned to lodge the FIR,” says Abeed. This is a Supreme Court ruling that not many women are aware of, so don’t let the SHO of a police station send you away saying it “doesn’t come under his area”.

NO ARRESTS AFTER SUNSET
According to a Supreme Court ruling, a woman cannot be arrested after sunset and before sunrise. There are many cases of women being harassed by the police in the wee hours, but all this can be avoided if you exercise the right of being present in the police station only during daytime. “Even if there is a woman constable accompanying the officers, the police can’t arrest a woman at night. In case the woman has committed a serious crime, the police has to get it in writing from the magistrate explaining why the arrest is necessary during the night,” says Bhaumik.

YOU CAN’T BE CALLED TO THE POLICE STATION
Women cannot be called to the police station for interrogation under Section 160 of the Criminal Procedure Code. This law provides Indian women the right of not being physically present at the police station for interrogation. “The police can interrogate a woman at her residence in the presence of a woman constable and family members or friends,” says Abeed. So the next time you’re called to the police station for queries or interrogation when you have faced any kind of harassment, quote this guideline of the Supreme Court to exercise your right and remind the cops about it.

THE DOCTOR CAN’T DECIDE
A case of rape can’t be dismissed even if the doctor says rape had not taken place. A victim of rape needs to be medically examined as per Section 164 A of the Criminal Procedure Code, and only the report can act as proof. “A woman has the right to have a copy of the medical report from the doctor. Rape is a crime, not a medical condition. It is a legal term and not a diagnosis to be made by the medical officer treating the victim. The only statement that can be made by the medical officer is that there is evidence of recent sexual activity. Whether the rape has occurred or not is a legal conclusion and the doctor can’t decide on this,” explains Bhaumik.

PROTECT YOUR IDENTITY
Under no circumstances can the identity of a rape victim be revealed. Neither the police nor media can make known the name of the victim in public. Section 228-A of the Indian Penal Code makes the disclosure of a victim’s identity a punishable offense. Printing or publishing the name or any matter which may make known the identity of a woman against whom an offence has been committed is punishable. This is done to prevent social victimisation or ostracism of the victim of a sexual offence. Even while a judgment is in progress at the high court or a lower court, the name of the victim is not indicated, she is only described as ‘victim’ in the judgement.

EMPLOYERS MUST PROTECT
It is the duty of every employer to create a Sexual Harassment Complaints Committee within the organisation for redressal of such complaints. According to a guideline issued by the Supreme Court, it is mandatory for all firms, public and private, to set up these committees to resolve matters of sexual harassment. It is also necessary that the committee be headed by a woman and include 50 per cent women as members. Also, one of the members should be from a women’s welfare group.

Sources: Saumya Bhaumik (women’s right lawyer, Tariq Abeed (advocate, Supreme court)