#India – 14-year-old returning from school gang-raped, strangulated to death #Vaw #WTFnews


 

Dailybhaskar.com | Jun 12, 2013,

Nadia (west Bengal): If you think we have learned a lesson from the Delhi-gang rape of a student in moving bus, then think again. Crime against girls has shown no sign of abetting. Now, a 14-year-old girl was allegedly gang-raped and strangulated to death while she was returning home from school in Nadia district, police said on Tuesday.

 

According to police, the Class VII student had on Monday taken shelter under a railway shed in Gede area as it was raining. Her neighbour, Bimal Sardar, offered to share his umbrella to walk back home.

 

Police said Sardar accompanied by two other associates took her behind a turmeric bush and gang-raped her. They then strangulated her to death. Her body was recovered by the police on Tuesday morning, the officials said. Locals, who had seen the girl with Sardar, handed him over to the police after beating him up.

 

DSP (HQ) Dibyajyoti Das said, “The accused Bimal is now in police custody. He confessed his fault in the interrogation. He also told the names two of his associates, but they are absconding. Police will arrest them soon”. In a separate case in Nadia’s Shantipur area, a woman’s body buried under the ground was spotted by locals on Tuesday. Police said it is being suspected that the woman was raped and then killed.

 (with inputs from PTI)

 

International shooter Varsha Tomar’s husband held for dowry harassment #Vaw


Suraj Chaudhary, husband of international shooter Varsha Tomar, was arrested here for dowry harassment, police said Thursday

May 31, 2013
GURGAON

He was presented in the court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (ACJM) Rajesh Sharma.

He was sent to police custody for one day.

“We are interrogating accused for recovery of jewellry and other valuables given at the time of marriage by victim’s parents,” investigation officer Balwan Singh Gulia told IANS.

A case of dowry harassment, criminal intimidation and criminal breach of trust was registered against Tomar’s husband, Suraj Chaudhary and her mother-in-law, Tushtata Chaudhary, was registered Wednesday at DLF City Phase I police station.

Tomar, won several gold and silver medals in national and international shooting events, said in her complaint that she was not allowed to go for practice sessions

Tomar married Chaudhary, a native of Uttar Pradesh and a Noida-based lawyer, in December 2011.

At the time of marriage, the first information report FIR said, Tomar’s in-laws promised her that she could pursue her shooting career but they stopped her from stepping out of the house.

Suraj lives with his brother in Noida and his accused mother is living at their ancestral village in Shyamli district of Uttar Pradesh.

According to police, complainant Varsha Tomar is living in Value Estate here on Gurgaon-Faridabad road.

 

Mumbai- A Forum to Hear complaint against Cops #Goodnews


Authority to be set up at state, district level; recommendations to be binding on force

Sayli Udas Mankikar

MUMBAI: Citizens who have complaints about the high-handedness of policemen, unnecessary detention, physical abuse in custody, rape or sexual harassment or corruption will now have a forum where they can direct their grievances and get their complaints addressed.

To keep a check on severe abuse of authority by the police and secure the rights of citizens under the rule of law, the state has initiated the process of forming a police complaints authority.

“The formation of this authority will lead to a tectonic change in the functioning of the state’s police system. What is important is that the complaints authority can take suo-moto cognisance of the case and even forward a case directly to the DGP for action,” a senior government official said. MUMBAI: Citizens who have complaints about the high-handedness of policemen, unnecessary detention, physical abuse in custody, rape or sexual harassment or corruption will now have a forum where they can direct their grievances and get their complaints addressed.

In a bid to keep a check on severe abuse of authority by the police and secure the rights of citizens under the rule of law, the state government has initiated the process of forming a police complaints authority. This authority will also help release pressure off courts that are burdened by numerous litigations related to police issues.

Formed six years after the Supreme Court’s directive on police reforms in September 2006, the authority will deal with complaints against officers of all ranks. Further, it comes with teeth, as its recommendations against police officials will be binding on the agencies.

The complaints handled by the authority will be of specific in nature and include deaths in police custody, grievous hurt or injuries, rape or attempt to rape, arrest or detention without law and allegations of corruption.

The court has directed the state to form the authority by June 20, 2013.

“The formation of this authority will lead to a tectonic change in the functioning of the state’s police system. What is important is that the complaints authority can take suo-moto cognisance of the case and even forward a case directly to the DGP for action,” a senior government official said.

The state will be setting up a police complaints authority at the state level and the district level. While the state-level authority will look into complaints against officers of the rank of superintendent of police (SP) and above, the district authority will look into those against police officers up to the rank of deputy superintendent of police (DYSP).

A retired judge of the high court or Supreme Court will head the state-level authority and a district judge will chair the district panel. Both judges will be assisted by about three to five full-time members who will be retired civil servants, retired police officers or from the civil society.

 

#Mumbai -Spot boy poses as film financier, promises jr artiste roles, rapes her #Vaw #Wtfnews


RAPE

Nitasha Natu TNN

Mumbai: The Goregaon police arrested spot boy Mustafa Khan (23), who posed as a film financier and conned a junior artiste into having a physical relationship with him by promising her movie roles and money.
Khan, who was at large for since more than a month, was arrested on Sunday and booked for rape.
The victim (22), who lives in Vashi, has a two-year-old daughter. Her husband, a driver, is bedridden for the last six months after he was injured in an accident.
As the victim was looking for work, a fellow artiste, Kundan Singh, told her about an audition at Motilal Nagar in Goregaon (W) on December 10, 2012. The duo went there and met Khan. “He introduced himself as the film financier. When the victim told Khan about her domestic problems, and he promised to cast her in his film and lend her Rs 50,000,” said inspector G Rekulwad.
As they weren’t called in for the audition, Singh left, but Khan kept the victim engaged in a conversation and later forced her to get intimate with him.
The victim claimed Khan got intimate with her on five different occasions in Motilal Nagar. Thereafter, whenever she called Khan for work and the money, he made excuses. On realizing that she was used, the victim lodged a first information report against Khan on January 16, 2013.
“Khan had no fixed residence and his mobile number was registered on a bogus address. Khan was nabbed from Wadala on the basis of his mobile phone location,” Rekulwad said. The police found that the room in Motilal Nagar belongs to a tailor.
The police will make an application to the Borivli court, requesting Khan’s police custody. He is currently in judicial custody.

 

#India- “Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression” to the Justice Verma Commission #Vaw #Justice


(Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS) is a non funded grassroots effort initiated in November 2009, to challenge the violence being perpetrated upon women’s bodies and societies. We are a nationwide network of women from diverse political and social movements comprising women’s organizations, mass organizations, civil liberties, student and youth organizations, mass movements and individuals. We unequivocally condemn state repression and sexual violence on women and girls by any perpetrator(s). We have conducted fact findings and brought out several reports of cases of sexual violence in conflict areas, notably in Jharkhand, Odisha, and Chhattisgarh; and have collaborated with women’s organizations in Kashmir and the North East in their struggles in such situations. We attempt to support women victims, approach courts and human rights institutions for redressal, and conduct awareness campaigns.)

Representation by  “Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression” to the Justice Verma Commission.

(Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS) is a non funded grassroots effort initiated in November 2009, to challenge the violence being perpetrated upon women’s bodies and societies. We are a nationwide network of women from diverse political and social movements comprising women’s organizations, mass organizations, civil liberties, student and youth organizations, mass movements and individuals. We unequivocally condemn state repression and sexual violence on women and girls by any perpetrator(s). We have conducted fact findings and brought out several reports of cases of sexual violence in conflict areas, notably in Jharkhand, Odisha, and Chhattisgarh; and have collaborated with women’s organizations in Kashmir and the North East in their struggles in such situations. We attempt to support women survivors of such violence, approach courts and human rights institutions for redressal, and conduct awareness campaigns.)

WSS notes with concern that the entire public debate arising out of the recent Delhi gang rape incident has centered round the issues of “enacting a strong law” and “prescribing harsher sentences”. It has failed to recognize more basic issues – the enormous social obstacles encountered in registering complaints, in the conduct of thorough investigation, in the protection of witnesses, in fast and efficacious prosecution and in unbiased adjudication – in other words, the issues of implementation of the law, and the functioning of the police and judicial machinery – which necessarily precede sentencing. The debate has also largely failed to take into account the deeply patriarchal character of our social institutions, and law enforcement machinery which render women vulnerable to violence in the family, in the larger community, in their work places and public places.

In particular, in this representation, WSS would like to focus on the even more serious situation that arises when patriarchal attitudes are reinforced by caste, communal and class inequalities or perpetrated by the state, that is, when sexual violence is inflicted as a part of an assault by a dominant community as in a caste attack or communal riot; or when sexual violence is inflicted on women in custody in a police lock-up or jail or state institution; and when sexual violence is perpetrated by the police, security forces or army. Rapes occur daily in this country and adivasi, dalit, working class women, women with disability, hijras, kothis and sex workers are especially targeted based on the knowledge that the system will not support them when they file complaints of rape. We also note with concern that our suggestions are limited to what will affect women and our suggestions on sentencing must be also interpreted to mean that at least equivalent sentences should be imposed on perpetrators of the same crimes upon children. The current sentencing laws on those are woefully inadequate.

However, our reach in terms of getting input directly from these communities is still limited by the people we know and have worked with, and we hope that our submissions do not contribute to limiting the discussion to those groups and people who have access to information via the internet and English newsmedia, and we hope the Justice Verma Commission carries out wide ranging consultations with women in every locality, with dalit groups, rural groups, labor groups, and groups working on communal sexual violence and sexual violence against adivasi women, groups working in areas in conflict with the state, and groups working on disability and transgender issues.

Here are our suggestions:

A. In regard to Sexual Violence by Police and Security Forces

Defining custodial violence: Any incident of sexual assault by police/ security forces or SPOs accompanying them, irrespective of where it occurs, should be treated as custodial violence since the perpetrators exercise power and control over the people of that area owing to their position of authority. Such sexual assault should be considered to be a case of aggravated assault.

Security of women detainees:  The lack, especially in remote/ small police stations, of women constables (in whose presence women under-trials and prisoners are more likely to be safe), is a serious issue. If there is no woman constable on duty, that particular police station must not be allowed to detain women. Women constables must be present throughout any interrogation of women detainees. Arbitrary or proxy arrests and illegal detention of women and children during search operations in conflict areas, which render women extremely vulnerable, have to stop.

Rule of law:  There must be strict adherence to the procedures and safeguards for protecting women in custody and women should be produced before the court at the earliest opportunity, even before the mandatory 24 hours, to be able to disclose original violations as well as further ill-treatment (if any) while in custody of police or jail authorities. Their families also must be intimated within this time period of their whereabouts.

Detention of women: The rules about arresting and detaining women at night should strictly apply to all women and transgender people, including sex workers. Transgender people must be handled only by women police officers and not male police officers, given the history of custodial violence against them.

Judicial recognition:  The judiciary must take suo moto cognizance of any irregularity in the arresting procedure and delays in presenting the accused before the magistrate. Any non-compliance of the D.K. Basu guidelines and other provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code should attract strict action and accountability from the Court. Once the woman has been presented before the magistrate, it is the responsibility of the judiciary, to ensure that her dignity and safety are ensured and her complaints of violations of her rights addressed. If any violation of the rights of a woman takes place in police or judicial custody, the judiciary should take the strictest action against the perpetrators in a time bound manner, and she must immediately be given the option of being transferred to custody outside the state.

Investigation and registration in cases of custodial or state violence: It cannot be expected that an aggrieved person/family who has been violated by personnel of the police station of her/their area, will go back to report the violation to that very same police station. She should have the option of registering cases in another district or state, and the case must be investigated by an authority not involving local police if they are the perpetrators. Special guidelines must be evolved for such cases along the lines of the NHRC guidelines for encounter killings.

Vulnerability in conflict situations:  There must be a quick and effective response from the district and state administration when a woman shows the courage to make a complaint of sexual violence. Instead, the rape survivor, her family and other witnesses are only further terrorised by the people in authority. The administration should take suo moto cognisance of such complaints, whether they come directly, through the media or any other source. Third-party complaints of custodial sexual violence should also be allowed to initiate the process of safeguarding the survivor behind bars from further assault in custody.

All state-supported private militias and vigilante groups, such as Salwa Judum and others in the conflict areas of Central India, Manipur and Kashmir must be disbanded. Action must be taken against the members of these groups accused of sexual violence and other human rights violations as it would apply to the police and security forces, i.e., treating their cases as aggravated sexual assault.

Registering cases:  The FIR of all victims should be registered, even where the perpetrators are from the Central Armed Police Forces or the Army, and refuge must not be taken under impunity provided under unjust laws such as the Armed Forces Special Powers Act. In particular if a Superintendent of Police receives a complaint that a particular police station has refused to register an FIR, he must be made personally liable to get the FIR registered immediately and to conduct an enquiry against his erring subordinate, with legally enforceable consequences for not doing so within 48 hours of being informed. .

Criminal prosecution: Sexual assault by the Central Armed Police Forces or the Army must be brought under criminal law. In cases of sexual offences, the law should clearly state that the Army has no jurisdiction to prosecute the accused member of the armed forces. The accused must be handed over and all investigation must be done by the police strictly in accordance with the law, and supervised by a senior police officer. The requirement of sanction for prosecution under Sec. 197 of the Criminal Procedure Code should be done away with in cases of custodial sexual violence and other human rights violations.

Facilitating investigation:  Immediate arrest of the accused and suspension of all accused from their posts, once the FIR is registered or suo moto cognizance of the crime is taken, is essential. The accused should not be allowed to exercise any authority in the area where the complaint of sexual violence is made, till the final determination of the complaint. Armed forces personnel and public servants against whom there are serious charges of violence against women, or who have been named in FIRs alleging violence, should not be considered for national awards and military honours or promotions until their names are cleared.

Command responsibility:  In cases of sexual assault committed by State personnel, the authorities higher up in the hierarchy (SP and the Collector or any other senior officer in the chain of command of the Central Armed Police Forces) should be held criminally liable for crimes committed by those under their command or within their control. Ignorance or lack of information about sexual violence committed in his/her jurisdiction cannot be an excuse for inaction.

Sentencing: The sentences for custodial rape and sexual assault must be enhanced compared to the sentences for civilian rape and sexual assault, to act as a deterrent for security officers misusing the power they have derived from being officers of the state.

Speedy investigation: The responsibility of a proper investigation falls on the investigating agency. Any delay, shoddiness, partisanship and inefficiency in collection of evidence, and lack or delay in medical examination etc should be seen as a criminal offence and negligence of duty, and the concerned officers or personnel should be penalised for negligence or dereliction of duty and/or charged with complicity in the crime.

Protection of victims and witnesses:  Protection of victims and witnesses has to be ensured, from the pre-trial to post-conviction stages, in accordance with the recent jurisprudential developments, the Law Commission’s 198th Report of August 2006, and decisions of the Supreme Court.

Liability and damages:  It is the government’s responsibility and duty to protect the rights of women, the responsibility grows manifold when the woman is in the custody of the State. Considering the gravity of the crime, the rape survivor has a right to reparation for all the costs incurred in fighting for justice legally, to recover medically, and to recover loss of livelihood or shelter or even ability to stay in the same area as before, as a consequence of fighting a case against the perpetrator.

Reparative Justice:  The State must be obliged by law to make provisions for free and high quality medical treatment, psychological care, shelter and livelihood in order to overcome possible destitution and social ostracism. This should be done through effective implementation and budgetary support of existing legal provisions and schemes for compensation/ rehabilitation for sexual assault. Such compensation should not be linked to the criminal trial and prosecution. Schemes include, but are not limited to, the Victims Compensation Scheme (brought about through a 2008 amendment to section 357A of the Cr PC) as well as the National Commission for Women’s scheme for assistance and support services to victims of rape.

B.  In regard to sexual violence against marginalized groups or by dominant  groups.

  1. While dealing with the violence against women belonging to marginalised groups like Dalits, Adivasis, denotified groups, religious, gender, sexuality and other Minorities, the dominant position of the perpetrators must be kept in mind and such cases should be probed under the specific laws applicable to these atrocities. Sexual assault in situations of conflict based on community, ethnicity, caste, religion, gender, sexuality and language, ought to be treated as specific circumstances of aggravated sexual assault.
  2. Since there are specific kinds of sexual violence documented to be specifically perpetrated against dalit women, such as parading naked, groping, tonsuring of hair and mutilation; against minority community women during communal riots such as mutilation the genitals and womb, cutting breasts; against transgender women like stripping, burning or mutilating the genitals, forcibly cutting hair, stripping and/or redressing in clothes to fit assigned gender, confinement, rape by insertion of objects – all of which are intended to sexually assault, degrade or humiliate women who are so targeted, these specific offenses should be defined along the scale of aggravation with specific punishments which are not dependent on the discretion of the judge.
  3. Meeting the burden of proof that an offence was committed with an intent to humiliate and intimidate a member of the Scheduled Caste/Tribe in the Prevention of Atrocities Act has been made impossibly difficult leading to low rates of conviction. When the perpetrator is of a dominant caste/class/religious/gender/sexuality group and the survivor of assault is of an oppressed group, the power difference will always mean that the police, criminal justice system, media, and public will be fearful of taking the side of an oppressed community. This means that dalit, adivasi, religious and gender/sexuality minority community women, and women with disabilities are routinely targeted for the reason that it is harder for them to fight a legal case against the perpetrator. Thus when the perpetrator is of a dominant caste/class/religious/gender/sexuality group and the survivor of assault is of an oppressed group, these acts should be defined to automatically be in place and the burden of proof that such targeting did not take place should be on the perpetrator.
  4. Refusal to file an FIR based on caste, class, gender identity, profession, or disability of the survivor must be legally punishable through reporting to superior police officers or officers at other police stations. Once such a complaint is made, the  officer who hears it must be legally liable to file an FIR immediately and conduct an enquiry against the police officers who refused to file the FIR. Likewise refusal to provide medical care on these grounds should be prosecutable by law.
  5. Acts like the Karnataka Police Act and the Hyderabad Eunuch Act that place the entire transgender community under suspicion like the colonial Criminal Tribes Act, and demand their routine reporting to the police act as a vehicle for police harassment and sexual violence against transgender women. These should be immediately repealed.
  6. Khap Panchayats, casteist-communal organizations and other kinds of vigilante groups are responsible for spreading and normalizing misogyny. The perpetrators of honour killings, honour-related crimes and other moral policing, including those who abet this brutal crime, must be promptly prosecuted and awarded severest punishment. Specific legislation must also be introduced to punish the full range of violent and abusive acts that attempt to restrict the choices of women including socio economic boycott, expulsion from the home or community, etc.

C. In regard to the definition of sexual assault.

Expansion of definition of sexual assault: The expansion of the definition of penetrative sexual assault under Sec. 375 IPC, beyond peno-vaginal penetration (rape) as proposed in the Criminal Law Amendment Act is a step in the right direction.  It is imperative that the definition of sexual assault is broad enough to include anal, oral rape, digital rape, rape with objects etc. and also includes sexual assault against transgender people. Section 377 should be repealed as it criminalizes consensual same-sex relations and all its provisions for punishing

Gap in law of sexual offences: However, there continue to be serious gaps in the codification of crimes of non-penetrative sexual assault. The gap between ‘outrage of modesty’ (S. 354 IPC) and ‘penetrative sexual assault’ remains large. We believe that sexual crimes form a continuum, and that the graded nature of sexual assault should be recognized, based on concepts of harm, injury, humiliation and degradation, and by using the well-established categories of sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, and sexual offences.

‘Outraging modesty of a woman’ to be replaced with ‘violation of bodily integrity:  S.354 and S. 509 IPC, which contain archaic notions of ‘outrage of modesty’, ought to be repealed, and a clear gradation of offences and punishment as mentioned above should be inserted. We believe that ‘sexual assault’ should rest firmly on the concept of violation of bodily integrity and dignity, and sexual harassment should be defined as it is in the Vishaka Guidelines.

New sexual offences to be defined: New crimes need to be formulated to punish acts of attempt to rape, stripping, parading naked, groping, tonsuring of hair and mutilation which are intended to sexually assault, degrade or humiliate women who are so targeted. Further stalking, flashing, gesturing, blackmailing as well as sexual harassment must be codified as crimes under the rubric of sexual offences. These should include any electronic and other forms of technology which promote rape as a game, promote electronic stalking or forced viewing of pornography, etc.. We welcome the introduction of a specific offence for acid attack.

Gender neutral sexual assault: The formulation of the crime of sexual assault as gender neutral in all circumstances, as proposed in the Criminal Law Amendment Act, makes the perpetrator/ accused also gender neutral, i.e a woman or man can be accused of sexual assault. We believe that the perpetrator has to remain gender-specific and limited to men as perpetrators, as there is no empirical evidence to support a finding to the contrary, and in light of this gender neutrality of perpetrator can be used to file false cases against women who complain of rape. Hence we strongly oppose the gender-neutrality clause in relation to perpetrators under Sec. 375 IPC.

Gender neutrality of the victim: The survivor of sexual assault should be treated as gender neutral with respect to the law, even if the perpetrator is still defined as male. With respect to all forms of violence, the victims/survivors should not be described just as women, but as ‘person’, as transgender people face immense targeted sexual assault and in some cases of state and custodial violence the victims can also include men. In cases of abuse of children also children of all genders are targeted.

“Purpose”: We also express a deep problem with the expression ‘penetrate for a sexual purpose’ in Sec 375(a) of the proposed Criminal Law Amendment Bill 2012. We maintain that any contact without consent is what must be punished and the intent of the perpetrator is both irrelevant, and impossible to prove.

Consent:  Consent must be clearly defined as verbal agreement which can be withdrawn at any point during sexual activity. Initiation of sexual activity or sex work is not an invitation to rape or sexual assault and battery. The lack of marks on the body can not be used as evidence of consent (as in the Suryanelli case) because sedation, rape based on threats of retaliatory violence, and rape where the perpetrator holds economic, caste, communal, custodial or state power over the survivor can all be perpetrated without leaving signs of force.

No exception to consent rule for marital Rape: Rape within marriage should be recognized and should be strictly penalized.  The punishment for rape should be the same irrespective of whether the perpetrator is married to the survivor of rape or not.

No exception to consent during medical procedures: Consent should be required even when penetration/genital exam of a patient by a doctor occurs for “proper hygienic or medical purposes” which is currently a defined exception for rape under the Criminal Amendment Bill 2012. Unless the patient is unconscious, doctors must have the consent of a patient for any form of penetrative or genital physical exam, and punishment for doctors abusing their privilege as doctors should be higher than for civilians.

No exclusion of prosecution of Public Servants: We suggest an exclusion of the application of S. 45 and S. 197 Cr PC to the provisions of sexual assault, in order that the existing widespread impunity for sexual assault where it is committed by public servants, is ended.  We believe that no sexual assault can ever be construed as being perpetrated “in discharge of official duty” and therefore the statutory requirement of prior sanction from the government for prosecution of public servants ought not to be extended to the crime of sexual assault;

Age of consent: The age of consent should be kept at 16 years of age since the reality of caste, communal and moral policing particularly when it comes to young people from different religions and castes falling in love and running away, makes misuse of the age of consent law possible to  prosecute young lovers who go against parental dictates of ‘arranged marriage within the fold of one caste/religion’.

Consent during sex work: Rape during sex work must be recognized explicitly as a sexual offence.  Sex work should be decriminalized so that what takes place without consent can be clearly distinguished from the specific acts the sex worker is paid for and has consented to.

Inclusion of women in drafting process: Local womens’ groups in India, including those of adivasi, dalit, religious minority women, transgender women, self help groups  and woman panchayat representatives must be consulted in drafting laws upholding women’s rights at home and in public.

D. In regard to pre-trial, trial and evidence procedures.

  1. SOPs like those of Delhi police should be reviewed to ensure that they reflect a gender sensitive and meticulous approach to investigation and officially adopted by all police departments in states and UTs, and should be made publicly accessible. Violation of the SOP by police should be made punishable by law, especially with respect to refusing to file FIRs.
  2. The two finger test and checking of old tears hymen which are widely used during medical examination of the rape victims to determine whether they are ‘habituated to sexual intercourse’ or not, must be explicitly barred and only fresh damage relevant to the sexual assault in question should be recorded. Likewise build and health of the survivor of rape and presence of marks on her body to determine whether she had or could have “resisted the assault” is irrelevant as mentioned above – use of threats, weapons, sedation, etc can all be forms of coercion that do not leave marks or allow the survivor to fight back. Testing should be done by women doctors if possible, and if not by any doctor the survivor is comfortable with –no survivor should be turned away for lack of a female doctor, and the survivor should be able to be accompanied by a chosen family member at all times during medical tests. Hospitals turning away survivors of sexual assault should be punishable by law. Victims should not be subjected to lie detection tests as is done in some parts of the country, and forensic tests must include DNA tests for which central laboratories and a DNA database must be set up to which samples can be mailed.
  3. Police personnel and all state officers who deal cases of sexual assault must undergo compulsory sensitization about handling these cases, so that they do not traumatize the survivor of assault with irrelevant and traumatic questions or statements of judgement or dismissal. They must also be sensitized specifically to deal sensitively with survivors of sexual assault who are dalit, adivasi, religious minority, transgender women, sex workers, and women with disabilities. Each complaint of sexual harassment and molestation must be taken seriously and failure to file an FIR must be punishable by law.
  4. Women police officers should be available and visible at a women’s help desk in every police precinct for each step of processing a sexual assault or harassment complaint, although no survivor should be turned away for lack of a female police officer. The number of women at all levels of the police force must increase to 50%, and within this dalit, adivasi, religious, gender and other minority women police officers should be represented according to their proportion of the local population. For their retention, proper housing, women’s toilet, and training facilities as well as a cell to address sexual harassment complaints within the police force must be made available. A minority of policewomen deployed to ensure safety for women prisoners are not able to be effective if they are pressured by a male majority in their workplaces.
  5. Trials in rape cases should be concluded within a 90 day period, with trials postponed only to the next working day and without any unnecessary delays. All pending cases of rape (all India-100,000, Delhi 1000) should be dealt with by specially constituted courts with both rural and urban accessibility within 90 days.
  6. Trials pertaining to sexual offences should be conducted as far as possible by women judges, and in cases of SC/ST or communal violence, by women members of the minority community. The number of judges, especially women judges, must also be increased in lower level courts and vacancies in these courts must be filled up. A special cadre of Public Prosecutors must be trained to prosecute cases of sexual assault. The trainings should include understanding of the crimes of sexual assault, gender sensitivity in the conduct of the trial and a comprehensive understanding of the laws relating to sexual assault.
  7. There should be specific provisions for recording the testimony of disabled survivors of assault or witnesses. Cases involving sexual assault against disabled women often end in acquittal as their testimony is either not recorded at all, or is recorded without the help of independent interpreters.
  8. Guidelines for victim and witness protection should be available for victims of violation of bodily integrity (outraging the modesty in the current law) as well as all forms of sexual assault, and bail should be canceled for cases where intimidation can be shown.
  9. In trials of sexual offences, the victim/survivor, her family members or members of women’s organizations representing the complainant should ordinarily be permitted to engage a counsel of her choice to assist the prosecution. In addition free legal, medical, psychological and rehabilitative services should be made available to enable working class women to pursue legal justice.
  10. Even in an in-camera trial, on the request of the victim/survivor, her representatives should be permitted to remain present.
  11. Guidelines must be laid down for the cross examination of a survivor of sexual violence, particularly highlighting the changes in the CrPC sections which now do not allow character assassination or looking at past history of the survivor.
  12. There should be a strict code of conduct and binding jail-time punishment for officials holding public office, including ministers etc while commenting on cases pertaining to sexual assault or rape. Judges who deal with sexual assault/ rape cases should be sensitized and held accountable with legally enforceable punishments for dismissing rape cases based on violating the constitutional right of every person to a fair hearing – by disbelieving the rape of a dalit woman as in the Bhanwari Devi case, or for suggesting extra-legal remedies or marriage to the accused instead of strictly pursuing legal justice for the crime.
  13. The pending cases against security forces, police and wardens of Nari Niketans and other protective homes for girls and women must be dealt with on a priority basis so that instead of inflicting further violence these institutions play their role of providing thorough investigation and appropriate support.
  14. The chosen gender of a transgender or intersex person should be respected during trial.  Transgender people are often punitively raped for crossing the boundaries of assigned gender and the rape trauma is compounded by their bodies and minds being handled in ways to remind them of their assigned gender. The trial should not further increase that aspect of the trauma.
  15. A date base of cases of sexual assault be maintained online and be publicly accessible, to track the implementation and performance of the law in each registered case, to help identify weak links. The name of the survivor must not be mentioned, but the neighborhood where the assault took place, and the progress on the case must be made publicly known on the internet and must be available at each local police station.
  16. Any media establishment that publishes the name or contact information of a survivor of rape should be routinely punished. Likewise there should be punishment for media reports that witness and broadcast images of sexual violence without having first immediately contacted law enforcement authorities. There should be publicly available letter boxes and an online site where reports on such media misuse can be directly sent.

E. In regard to punishment for rape.

In cases of aggravated sexual assault, punishment should be for life imprisonment with no remission or parole.

Sentences should run consecutively instead of concurrently in sexual crimes.

Sentencing should be spelt out as much as possible for different extents of punishment, degradation, harm and repetition of the act of sexual violation, so that judicial discretion is limited to small difference in the nature of the crime rather than focusing on the socioeconomic standing of the survivor and perpetrator.

WSS does not support death penalty or chemical castration as a punishment for rape. We need to evolve punishments that act as true deterrents to the very large number of men who commit these crimes. Cases of rape have a conviction rate of as low as 26% showing that perpetrators of sexual violence enjoy a high degree of impunity, including being freed of charges.  Our vision of justice does not include death penalty, which is neither a deterrent nor an effective or ethical response to acts of sexual violence. We are opposed to it for the following reasons:

  1. We recognise that every human being has a right to life. We refuse to deem ‘legitimate’ any act of violence that would give the State the right to take life in our names. Justice meted by the State cannot bypass complex socio-political questions of violence against women by punishing rapists by death. Death penalty is often used to distract attention away from the real issue – it changes nothing but becomes a tool in the hands of the State to further exert its power over its citizens. A huge set of changes are required in the system to end the widespread and daily culture of rape.
  2. There is no evidence to suggest that the death penalty acts as a deterrent to rape. Available data shows that there is a low rate of conviction in rape cases and there is a strong possibility that the death penalty would lower this conviction rate even further as it is awarded only under the ‘rarest of rare’ circumstances. The most important factor that can act as a deterrent is the certainty of punishment, rather than the severity of its form.
  3. As seen in countries like the US, men from minority communities and economically weaker sections make up a disproportionate number of death row inmates. In the context of India, a review of crimes that warrant capital punishment reveals the discriminatory way in which such laws are selectively and arbitrarily applied to disadvantaged communities, religious and ethnic minorities. This is a real and major concern, as the possibility of differential consequences for the same crime is injustice in itself.
  4. The logic of awarding death penalty to rapists is based on the belief that rape is a fate worse than death. Patriarchal notions of ‘honour’ lead us to believe that rape is the worst thing that can happen to a woman. There is a need to strongly challenge this stereotype of the ‘destroyed’ woman who loses her honour and who has no place in society after she’s been sexually assaulted. We believe that rape is a tool of patriarchy, an act of violence, and has nothing to do with morality, character or behaviour.
  5. We also believe the law should punish rape with murder more strongly than rape without murder, so that the law does not provide an incentive for the perpetrator to kill the survivor of rape.
  6. An overwhelming number of women are sexually assaulted by people known to them, and often include near or distant family, friends, husbands, workplace superiors and partners. The awarding of death penalty rests on the logic that rape and battery are rare events. Awarding equal punishment for the same crime would lead to a large portion of the male population being awarded death penalty and any penalty has to be feasibly equally applied to the entire population of perpetrators.
  7. With death penalty at stake, the ‘guardians of the law’ and the perpetrators will make sure that no complaints against them get registered and they will go to any length to make sure that justice does not see the light of day. Who will be able to face the psychological and social consequences of having reported against their own relatives when the penalty is death? In cases of sexual assault where the perpetrator is in a position of power (such as in cases of custodial rape or marital rape or caste and religious violence), conviction is notoriously difficult. The death, penalty, for reasons that have already been mentioned, would make conviction next to impossible.

Chemical castration is also a problematic sentence since

1. It violates the fundamental right to bodily integrity and this can not be violated by the State.

2. It misrecognises much of the violence in rape. Assault and battery are carried out with fists/rods/acid and other weapons and chemical castration may not prevent a perpetrator from using these

3. We feel that this penalty would also, like death penalty, not be awarded equally to all perpetrators irrespective of class, caste, religion and socioeconomic background, but be used selectively in some cases.

F. In regard to the urgent need for making workplaces and homes of women more safe.

  1. The Committees against Sexual Harassment which are to be constituted in various state and private establishments, including informal sector worksites, houses where domestic workers work, construction sites, homes where women gather to do piece-work or beedi/agarbati rolling, sex work sites, and NGOs, should be constituted with priority and urgency as per the Vishakha judgment. Renewal of formal workplace licences to employ workers should be made contingent on this. The said Committees should function independently and effectively and not be nominated by the employer to avoid conflict of interest, and they should create an atmosphere of no tolerance to sexual harassment. This would go a long way in ensuring dignity and empowering women at their workplace.
  2. Section 14 of the proposed 2012 amendment to the sexual harassment bill which punishes a woman for a so-called false complaint must be scrapped, as must clause 10 suggesting a conciliation as the first step – this would amount to covering up sexual harassment which is a criminal offence. The Bill should also take the caste, class and religious dimensions of the perpetrator and the victim into account, and mandate that women should not be forced to comply with gender specific dress codes and women employees should be able to able to choose their dress code.
  3. It is a common observation that the Domestic Violence Act is poorly implemented in most States with government servants being given additional charge of Protection Officer, lack of proper Shelter Homes for women victims of domestic violence, abuse within those shelter homes and on the streets for those rendered homeless by domestic violence, and poor understanding of judicial officers of the powers of civil injunctions and specific reliefs available to them
  4. Women employees working in night and early morning shifts should be
    provided safe public transport facilities by the employer, and both public and private forms of transport must be effectively regulated and monitored for safety by the government. The routes from public transport sites to housing areas must be well-lit and tinted window vehicles should be strictly monitored.
  5. There should be an expansion of the public transport system and the government should bring a public-transport-for-women-on-demand facility for any neighborhood with a number of working women coping without public transport, including dispersed adivasi settlements and urban slums, functioning in the same manner of response to demand as anganwadi-on-demand. Strict implementation of women’s general compartment in all trains and women’s seats in all inter-city buses is necessary.
  6. The number of affordable working-women’s hostels to ensure safe accommodation for single working women must be increased. All out-station girl students studying in colleges must be provided cheap and safe accommodation by their respective institutions.
  7. Due to its impact on physical and mental health and a high degree of mortality, rape is also a public health issue. The public health workforce (ASHA and ANM workers) need to be trained in sensitizing at the family and community level in destigmatizing rape-survivors, enabling them to file FIRs and access legal provisions, providing medical care and counseling, and encouraging women to speak out and seek justice. The ASHA workforce should also have dalit, adivasi, religious, gender and other minority women represented among them according to their presence in the local population to enable local women to feel comfortable reporting sexual assault. All public hospitals must be trained and equipped to immediately file an FIR and conduct a proper preliminary medical exam on behalf of patients who have survived rape For this the budget allocation of the government to the women and child, health and public transport departments must be accordingly increased by the next Budget.
  8. Effective and 24 hour functional women helpline and other emergency services should be provided around the clock and should be well advertised by video and audio messages in rural and urban areas. Emergency telephones to this helpline must also be available at all bus and train stations. Calls should be addressed around the clock by enough specially trained staff to meet the demand, and calls should be automatically recorded for later review, and the staff should be able to dispatch immediate vehicles to assist women facing an emergency. Disciplinary action must be taken against staff for inappropriate or inadequate responses.
  9. The state should take over agencies that provide women domestic workers, the conditions of service of domestic workers must be laid down and effectively implemented, and complaints of sexual violence made by them promptly redressed.
  10. Institutions such as the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), National Commission for Schedule Castes (NCSC), National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST), National Commission for Minorities (NCM), National Commission for Women (NCW) and the corresponding State Commissions, created for safeguarding constitutional provisions and protection of vulnerable groups must be more proactive. They should be made to respond to all complaints lodged with them in a time-bound manner. There should be systematic and regular review processes by independent bodies involving women’s groups, put into place to audit the work of these institutions
  11. The system of shelters for women should be greatly expanded, and every state-based shelter home for women, nari niketans, remand homes, juvenile delinquent homes, shelters for disabled children, orphanages, as well as schools, prisons and areas under army patrolling or combing operations should have a schedule of inspections to probe for ongoing sexual harassment or assault by committees whose members are independent of the government. The people confined within should have the right to insist on 1 person whom they trust outside jail to accompany the team when it does these surprise checks
  12. The current policy of clearing the streets of vendors, closing shops by a specific hour of night and chasing away other people who occupy public space at night makes the street more unsafe for women. This policy should be stopped as a greater presence of people and well-lit public areas at night are essential in reducing the danger to women traveling to and from work as well as homeless women.  Women should be given priority in being given vendor licenses and employment in public transport.

G. In regard to Discouraging Patriarchal Culture.

  1. All those persons against whom charge sheets have been filed for rape cases must be tried and either cleared of those charges, or sentenced and barred from contesting elections for public bodies by the Election Commission.
  2. Advertisements, movies and public materials that condone, trivialize or misrepresent violence against women and sexual harassment should be banned.
  3. Women have been carrying out powerful movements against liquor which is found to be connected to increase in domestic violence and incidents of sexual assault. The demands made by women in their local areas must be responded to by local authorities, who must act against the liquor mafia.
  4. Restrictions on movements and intimidation of women’s groups and democratic rights groups, while conducting fact-findings of incidents of sexual and other forms violence in conflict areas, have to stop. Repression, labelling and intimidation of women activists and human rights defenders must end.
  5. Mass visible and audio messages on what constitutes sexual offenses and what are the facilities available to address it and punishment for the same, should be displayed in all public vehicles and public places such as markets, bus stands, train stations, etc. These areas should be accessible by people with disabilities to reduce their vulnerability due to being confined at homes or shelters.
  6. School curricula should include basic information on how stalking, harassment, and touching another person without consent constitute unacceptable and illegal behavior, and the government should set up a training module for at least 2 staff members from each school to help children to report cases of domestic sexual assault. Such teaching should also happen in prisons. Caste, communal, gender identity and disability based discrimination against dalit, adivasi, religious minorities, gender and sexuality minorities, people with disabilities, homeless and working class people, etc. should be clearly and unequivocally taught to be unacceptable. This will greatly decrease their vulnerability to sexual assault.
  7. All departments that deal with disability pension administration should have a clearly marked desk where people can go to report sexual harassment and assault. They as well as police stations should carry information for complaints procedure and all awareness material in accessible formats to cater to people with disabilities  (Braille, audio, audio-video with same language sub-titling, large print, easy to read and pictorial guidance and availability of sign language interpreters). The inaccessibility of police stations and their present lack of capacity to interpret complaints from women with disabilities must be addressed in the long run.
  8. The legal age for young girls, transgenders, and boys to legally leave their biological homes and exercise autonomy as individuals, due to abusive situations at home should be lowered to 16 to give them enhanced protection against false cases filed by families and family violence. They should be able to chose a guardian instead of having to go to a juvenile detention home.
  9. Implement 50% reservation for women in elections at all levels, with reservation for minority communities in proportion to their presence in the local population.
  10. Create a National Commission to monitor implementation of the CEDAW.

Mumbai-35-yr-old dies in police custody #Torture


Family, lawyer allege he was tortured

Rafiq Shaikh was arrested on Thursday in a fake currency case, died on Sunday afternoon; police deny allegations of torture, say he could’ve died of cardiac arrest

Divyesh Singh and Jyoti Shelar mirrorfeedback@indiatimes.com , Dec 3, 2012

A35-year-old man, arrested on Thursday in a fake currency case, died in police custody on Sundayafternoon.Whilepolice officers suggested he died of a heart attack, and a post-mortem was yet to be conducted, the deceased’s brother and his lawyer have alleged that he was tortured.
Police have denied the allegations, but said they would wait for the postmortem report before investigating further.TheCrimeBranchhasbeenaskedto look into the case.
Rafiq Shaikh was among two people arrested by the Dharavi police on ThursdayafterfakecurrencyworthRs1,20,000 was found on them in denominations of Rs500andRs1000.Shaikhwasproduced in court on Friday and was sent to police custody till December 4.
Shaikh was taken to Sion Hospital on Sunday afternoon, where he was declared dead at around 3.45 pm. His familymembers,andhislegalcounselAbhay Bhoir,allegetheyweregivennoinformationaboutShaikh’sdeath,andthatitwas only when they went to the police station in the evening to check on him that they were told he had died in custody.
“Wekeptaskingcopsatthepolicestation about my brother but no one was ready to tell us what happened to him,” Shaikh’s brother Majid told Mumbai Mirror.“ItwasonlywhenadvocateBhoir asked them, at around 7 pm, that they said he had died in custody.”
Bhoir added, “I had met him on Friday evening at the police station and he toldmethatthatthepolicehadassaulted him while trying to get information about the source of the fake notes.”
Bhoir also said that when he and Majid saw the body on Sunday evening at Sion Hospital, there were injury marks on his jaw, hands and legs that suggested assault. However, there was no confirmation from the hospital about the injury marks.
According to Majid, Shaikh worked for a private cosmetics company and stayed alone in Mumbai. His wife and five kids are in West Bengal, and he was sole bread winner of the family.
Deputy Commissioner of Police, Dhananjay Kulkarni, said, “The accused Shaikh died while in custody at the Dharavi police station but the cause of death will only be known once the post mortem is completed”.
The body will be sent to JJ Hospital and the post-mortem will be conducted on Monday. Depending on the cause of death, further inquiries will be initiated, apolice officer said.

Rafiq Shaikh’s (L) family members allege they were given no information about his death, and that it was only when they went to the police station that they were told he had died

 

 

Custodial death of an Undertral Prisoner – non compliance of procedure #Westbengal


Inline images 1

3 October 2012

To
The Chairman
West Bengal Human Rights Commission
Bhabani Bhaban
Alipur
Kolkata – 27

Respected Sir,

We conducted fact finding on the custodial death of a prisoner (Under Trial Prisoner) at Calcutta national Medical College & Hospital, Kolkata when he in judicial custody of Alipore Central Correctional Home, Kolkata. It is also revealed during the fact finding that the victim was subjected to torture in police custody Lalgola Police Station, Murshidabad soon he was arrested. On 10.8.2012 the victim was sent to Lalbagh Sub-Divisional Correctional Home, Murshidabad by order of the ACJM Court, Lalbagh but his family members had no idea/information about his detention at Alipore Central Correctional Home, Kolkata. Though post mortem examination of the victim was held but there was no enquiry by any judicial magistrate on the custodial death of the victim in compliance of Section 176(1-A) of Criminal Procedure Code. Therefore the incident of the victim again proved that the law is incapable of granting succor to the victims of custodial violence/death and the entire exercise on the part of the government officials and judicial authorities in this case proves the arrogance of the entire system in refuting to implement the legal procedure and abide by the rule of law with which they are not comfortable.

Hence we demand your urgent action in this matter in the following manner:-
• The whole matter must be investigated by one neutral investigating agency
• The provisions of Section 176(1-A) of Criminal Procedure Code must be implemented in this case.
• The perpetrator police personnel of Lalgola Police Station must be booked under the law immediately for perpetrating custodial torture upon the victim and they must be punished in accordance with law.
• The concerned perpetrator jail authorities must be reprimanded for causing the death of the victim in custody and be punished accordingly.
• The victim’s family must be compensated adequately.

Thanking you,
Yours truly,

Kirity Roy
Secretary, MASUM
&
National Convener, PACTI

Particulars of the victim: – Mr. Ketabul Seikh (deceased), son of Late Rustam Ali, aged about – 24 years, by faith-Muslim, by occupation- car driver, residence at village – Natatala, Post Office – Paharpur, Police Station-Lalgola, District-Murshidabad, West Bengal, India.

Particulars of the perpetrators: – (1) Mr. Debasish Sarkar, Mr. Debabrata Sarkar, Mr. Kajal Babu, Mr. Rontu Babu (Constable), Subhasis Ghosh and the other involved police personnel of Lalgola Police Station; (2) The Superintendent of Labagh Sub-Divisional Correctional Home, Lalbagh; (3) The Superintendent of Berhampore Central Correctional Home, Murshidabad and (4) The Superintendent of Alipore Central Correctional Home, Kolkata.

Date & time of incident: – On 09.08.2012 and subsequent thereafter.

Case Details:-

It is revealed during the fact finding that the victim belonged from a poor family. He was a part time truck driver. On 09.08.2012 he was arrested by the police personnel of Lalgola Police Station from Lalgola Bus Stand with other three men who were also come there for finding a suitable job for them. Thereafter all of them were taken to police station. Reportedly he was tortured in the police custody as well as by the police personnel led by Mr. Debasish Sarkar (Officer-in-Charge). He was implicated Lalgola Police Station Case No. 407/2012 dated 09/08/2012 under sections 397/411/413/ 414 of Indian Penal Code. On the same date the victim’s family members came to the police station but they were also threatened by the police personal. The police personnel physically tortured the victim in front of his family members and moreover the torture continued upon him whole night on that day.

On 10.8.2012 he was sent to Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Lalbagh Court with the other accused persons. His application for bail was rejected and he was sent to judicial custody at Lalbag Sub – Divisional Correctional Home fixing 18.8.2012 for his further production before the court. In the mean time the victim’s wife went to the said Correctional Home but she was informed that the victim was shifted to Beharampur Central Correctional Home. When the victim’s wife went to Beharampur Correctional Home with the help of her relatives she was informed that there was no such person in the victim’s name detained there. The victim’s wife was allowed to search the victim inside the said correctional home but she could not found her husband there. On 18.08.2012 the victim was not produced before the court.

On 19.08.2012 the victim’s family received information that he died at National Medical College & Hospital, Kolkata. On 20.8.2012 the family members of the victim went to the said hospital and received the body of the victim. The disposal certificate of the victim disclosed that the victim was detained at Alipore Central Correctional Home, Kolkata before his admission to the hospital. Beniapukur Police Station registered one unnatural death case vide Beniapukur Police Station Inquest no. 547/2012 dated 20.8.2012. The post mortem examination of the victim was held at the Police Morgue at N.R.S Medical College & Hospital, Kolkata. Though the victim died when he was still under judicial custody at Alipore Central Correctional Home, Alipore, Kolkata but no enquiry by any judicial magistrate was held on the custodial death of the victim in compliance of provisions of Section 176(1-A) of the Criminal Procedure Code. Our fact finding revealed that Mr. Amiya Kumar Lahiri, Assistant Commissioner of Police, ACP-1 of Kolkata Police was entrusted with inquest, which was against the law. The victim’s family did not get the post mortem examination report of the victim till date. On 31.8.2012 the victim’s family lodged written complaint before the Superintendent of Police, Murshidabad for enquiry into the custodial death of the victim but till date there has been no action.

Kannada actor Arjun arrested for harassing wife #VAW


 

 

BANGALORE: Kannada film actor Arjun was today arrested for allegedly harassing his wife both physically and mentally for the past several months, police said.

34 year-old Arjun, married to Latashri for the past 11 years and has two daughters, was arrested on a complaint from his wife, they said.

Arjun had been allegedly harassing his wife both physically and mentally for the past several months under the influence of alcohol and unable to bear his torture, she had been staying with her parents for the past three months.

Last night, Arjun came to his father-in-law’s house allegedly in a drunken state and had a quarrel with the security guard, verbally abusing him and also Latashri.

The actor was produced before a local court and has been remanded to judicial custody.

 

Kolkata Park Street rape witness “thrashed” and ‘molested’


Jun 12, 2012 – RAJIB CHOWDHURI|

  • Age Correspondent

A former BPO professional, who is said to be a key witness in the Park Street gangrape case, was allegedly molested at a night club in New Market.

On Sunday night, the 24-year-old woman had gone to the resto-bar and lounge with her two female friends. When they hit the dance floor, Harpreet Singh Chadda, 46, of Tiljala requested her to join him. His two friends Manwinder, 34, and Kamal Sabriwal, 31, tried to do the same with her two friends. But the other two women refused them. However, getting close to her amidst the loud music, Harpreet allegedly molested her. Immediately, a fight began and the window panes of the night club broke in the process. One of the women received injuries. The incident took place at around 11.30 pm.

Desperate to save her life, the victim tried to get on to a bus. But the trio stopped the bus and pulled her out of it. The men then beat her up even as the bus passengers remained mute spectators.The men thrashed the girl until she started bleeding following which they got nervous and fled.The three fled and the night club was closed.
Acting on the women’s complaint, the police lodged a case under Sections 354, for molestation, and 307 for attempt to murder, of the IPC.
On Monday, Harpreet, Manwinder and Kamal were arrested by the police. Later in the day, the Bankshall court remanded them to police custody till June 15. According to police sources, the 24-year-old woman had quit her job at a call centre in Sector V in Salt Lake worrying about her safety after she identified the original culprits in the Park Street gangrape case. She was partying with her colleagues on February 5 night at a hotel at Park Street.

 

Kolkata‘s Park Street rape case: 10 big facts

Monideepa Banerjie | Updated: February 20, 2012

Kolkata's Park Street rape case: 10 big facts

Kolkata: Mamata Banerjee has been caught in a controversy of her own making in West Bengal over a rape that left Kolkata cold. The city is usually considered safe for women, especially when compared to other metros like Delhi or Mumbai. Remarkably, Ms Banerjee had dismissed first reports of the case as an attempt to defame her government. Here are 10 big facts on the case:

  1. The chief minister met this morning with the city’s senior-most police officials, reportedly to discuss their progress in investigations.
  2. Three men were arrested on Saturday; two others are missing.
  3. At a rally in Kolkata yesterday, the CPM, which was defeated by Ms Banerjee in elections last year, targeted the chief minister for her insensitive handling of the case.
  4. On the night of February 5, the victim was at a pub at Kolkata’s famous Park Street. A man who befriended her at the pub offered her a ride home in his Honda City. When she climbed in, there were two men in the car. But soon, another three entered the vehicle. She was raped at gunpoint.
  5. The victim filed her police case a few days later, on February 9. She says she had been traumatised by the event and needed some time to recover before going to the police with her story.
  6. The victim, who is 37-years-old, alleges that the police mocked her when she tried to get a case registered. Officers allegedly used the fact that she had been at a pub to judge her character.
  7. The media began reporting on the story last week. As the police announced that it was searching for the rapists, the Chief Minister said the case had been fabricated to malign the government, triggering a debate about her perceived insensitivity.
  8. The investigation was complicated by the fact that the men involved assumed other people’s names when introducing themselves to the victim. When the police searched Facebook for their photos, the images did not match the men who the victim had met.
  9. Footage from security cameras installed near the pub that the woman visited helped the police identify the men who drove away with her.
  10. Medical tests on the victim were conducted on February 14. Sources say that the reports do not confirm rape, but doctors attribute this to the delay between her assault and her medical check-up.

Urgent Appeal : Condemn Continued Detention in Police Custody even after Granting Bail


English: Medha Patkar in Sasthamkotta

English: Medha Patkar in Sasthamkotta (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Condemn Continued Detention in Police Custody even after Granting Bail of Residents of Sion Koliwada since 31st May

Write to Chief Minister Demand Immediate Release and Justice for the Fisherfolk and Original Dwellers of the Land

Mumbai, June 9th 2012: On May 31st, 25 (24 women and one man) residents of Sion Koliwada including activists Jameel Bhai and Madhuri Shivkar of Ghar Bachao and Ghar Banao Andolan were arrested while resisting the illegal demolition of their homes by the BMC in collusion with Builders. As we have reported in past these demolitions are illegal and fraught with fraud in the name of the redevelopment. The arrests and illegality have been reported widely in the mainstream dailies but even then the threat of demolitions continues and the Police has helped proactively and tried to break the morales of the movement. These dwellings are of the original inhabitants of Mumbai, Koliwada – fishing communities living in these houses for nearly seven decades now. See the story in the Hindu http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article3506205.ece

Yesterday, those in jail were granted bail in the afternoon itself but then a senior advocate on behalf of th Builder in collusion with the police intervened and then demanded extsnion of their police custody. They interevened and delayed the proceeedings. Finally, the activists were granted bail after the dharna by the Basti Residents outside the court. However, by then police officials made sure that it is too late for the bail orders to reach to the jail. It is extremely unfortunate and condemnable. It further exposes and reconfirms the nexus between the BMC, Builder and the police.

It is shocking to note that the police has not yet registered cases filed by the people over the past few days as FIRs, ever since the eviction drive began. Moreover, despite the people pointing out specifically as to how certain police officials / personnel are siding with the builders and have demanded suspension of such officers, no action has been taken in this regard. The only ‘assurance’ that the police has given so far is to protect the municipal officials who may face any ‘harm’, during the demolition process. We express our deep disdain towards this approach of the State and seek to challenge the illegal arrests and detentions being made by the police for questioning the unlawful demolitions.

Please do condemn the atrocities against the original inhabitants of Mumbai.

Do Fax your letters ofprotest to the Chief Minister and Home Minister, demanding them to:

  • Immediately release arrested activists unconditionally and stop harassing the residents of the Si Koliwada

  • Halt demolitions in the basti of Sio Koliwada in the name of slum redevelopment.

  • Suspend the police officials, especially male police, who have used unjust force against the people and have abused the women and men in the name of ‘protesting the BMC officials’.

  • Lodge FIRs on the basis of complaints filed at various levels by Medha Patkar and others and initiate action against the erring officials and the builder lobby.

Shri Prithviraj Chavan, Chief Minister

Fax: +91-22-22029214

E-mail: chiefminister@maharashtra.gov.in

Shri R.R. Patil, Home Minister

Fax: 91 22 22027174 / 22 22029742

E-mail: Min_Home@maharashtra.gov.in

For details and update call: Madhuri Variyath 0982061917 / Madhuresh 9818905316

National Alliance of People’s Movements

 

National Office : 29-30, A Wing, First Floor, Haji Habib Building, Naigaon Cross Road Dadar (E), Mumbai – 400 014. Phone – 022 2415 0529 | 9969363065;

 

Delhi Office : 6/6 Jangpura B, New Delhi – 110 014 . Phone : 011 2437 4535 | 9818905316

email : napmindia@gmail.com | Web : www.napm-india.org