Kerala – Fishermen bodies plan ‘jalayatra’ ahead of agitation


By Express News Service – THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

26th April 2013 10:53 AM

The Kerala Swathanthra Matsya Thozhilali Federation (KSMTF) and
National Fishworkers Forum (NFF) have decided to launch mass
agitations against the anti-fishermen policies of the State
Government. As part of the protest, they will organise a ‘proclamation
rally’ -jalayatra – from May 2 ahead of the agitations, KSMTF state
president P P John and NFF national secretary T Peter said.

The leaders said that they would organise a ‘jalayatra’ from Kochi to
Shangumugham here as part of the proclamation rally.

Among the demands of the fishworkers is that the movement of cargo
vessels should not be permitted along the coastal waters as it has
caused serious concern among fishermen who used gillnets along the
coast from Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod.

They also demanded stopping of illegal constructions violating the
Coastal Area Regulatory Zone and laws to be enacted for the security
of fishermen who venture into the sea. They also wanted the seaplane
project to be abandoned as it could affect the inland fishing.

The ‘jalayatra’ will start from Chellanam fishing harbour on May 2
and reach Arthungal fishing harbour in Alappuzha in the evening. The
next day, it will pass through Chulatheruvu in Kayamkulam, Chavara
fish landing centre and Astamudi Fish Landing Centre. On May 4, the
proclamation rally will have meetings at Sakthikulangara and
Neendakara and Thangassery fishing harbours in Kollam.

The rally will start from Thangassery on May 5 in the morning and
conclude at Shangumugham in the evening.

 

Probe into custodial death of Bihari youth who attacked Amritandamayi Devi


By Ashraf Padanna/Thiruvananthapuram

 

Satnam Singh
The Kerala police have begun a probe into the ‘unnatural death’ of a Bihari youth charged with attempt to murder Mata Amritandamayi Devi, the hugging saint who has millions of devotees across the world.

 

Mystery over the death of 23-year old Satnam Singh Mann from Gaya in Bihar lodged at the Peroorkada mental health centre here continues.

Relatives of Satnam, who was arrested by the police four days ago after he advanced menacingly towards Matha Amrithananda Mayi in Vallikavu, allege he was beaten up while in custody. Police denied the allegation.

The postmortem of the body would be conducted at the medical college hospital here on Monday. During the inquest, several bruises were found on the body, said Satnam’s cousin Vimal Kishore. It is known, however, that a scuffle, or more, had taken place between Satnam and another patient(s) at the mental health centre on Saturday.

In Vallikavu, the Matha Amrithanandamayi Mutt organised a special prayer session condoling the death of Satnam. Mutt vice-chairman Amritha Swaroopanananda said that the Mutt was shocked at the incidents. “The mutt joins the family in their grief,” he said.

District collector in-charge P.K. Girija started a preliminary inquiry, while the Peroorkada police registered a case of unnatural death.Satnam’s father, Harendra Kumar Singh, is expected here by Monday.

Satnam’s other relatives who have reached here confirmed to the police that he was earlier under treatment for depression and was missing from his home since May.

Satnam was arrested on August 1 when he angrily pushed his way in the direction of Mata Amritanandamayi during her darshan programme. He was remanded to judicial custody on August 2 and sent to the Kollam district jail.

Prison superintendent Vinod Kumar said that during the late hour of August 2, Satnam took cleaning lotion kept at the toilet in the prison and poured it on eight other prisoners in his cell. As he behaved strangely, he was taken to the Kollam district hospital. As advised by doctors, he was shifted to the mental health centre here.
He was given sedation as he behaved violently.

Hospital sources said Satnam was admitted to the hospital by around 3am on August 3. After he was found to be stable, he was kept in a cell with another patient. However, following a scuffle between the two, they were kept in separate cells. By around 6.30pm on August 4, he was found in a collapsed state in the toilet area of the cell.

Subsequently, he was rushed to the medical college hospital where he died by around 8.15pm.
Satnam, reportedly doing his LLB course at Dr Ram Manohar Lohia National Law University in Lucknow, was reported missing for sometime.

Marks on Satnam’s body shock cousin

The death of Satnam Singh Mann has come as a rude shock to his cousin Vimal Kishore. “I had met him while in police custody the other day. He did not have any physical problem. However, now there are several marks on his body,” said Vimal.

Vimal, who sought a detailed probe into the incident, also said that though he had handed over a pair of clothes to Satnam before being remanded, he was found to be wearing a different dress when he died. “While in the police custody, he was allowed to wear only under garments,” said Vimal who came down to the state after being informed of Satnam’s arrest.

Satnam, son of businessman Harendra Kumar Singh, went missing from Bihar in May. “He was too much into spirituality and was highly informed. Finally he suffered some sort of depression,” recalls Vimal, who works with a national media in New Delhi.

Satnam’s family had even given ‘man missing’ advertisements in the local media in Bihar. Vimal, who was close to Satnam since his childhood, said Satnam was repeatedly telling a couple of words including ‘magnetic field,’ while he met him in police custody.

Satnam has three brothers, two of them studying for engineering and the other doing his CA in Delhi. His sister is in the US.

 

Obituary: Remembering queer activist Sweet Maria


May 14, 2012 News at http://feministsindia.com
Queer Activist Sweet MariaRemembering queer activist Sweet Maria/Anil Sadanandan who was murdered at his/her quarters in Kerala, last week

By Anil. A

My friend and queer activist, Sweet Maria/Anil Sadanandan was brutally murdered on 10th May 2012, at his quarters in Kollam, Kerala. I cannot comprehend that such a crime was committed against a person who was so loving and lovable.

S/he was a vibrant, pleasant, courageous person, spreading a lot of positive energy around. A companion to many in all social classes. Bold enough to express and establish his/her marginalized and stigmatized identity in every space s/he traversed.

S/he was very active in the fight for the rights of sexual minorities. S/he worked hard to form community based organizations for sexual minorities in Kerala. S/he was the former General Secretary of Loveland Arts Society (LAS), Kollam, a community based organization for queer people. S/he was one of the advisory board members ofPEHCHAN project for Kerala, initiated by Sangama, Bangalore. The warm relationship and friendship s/he nurtured and maintained with community members was indeed the lifeline of these groups.

Anil’s intervention and focus to prevent and control the spread of HIV/AIDS among sexual minorities is commendable. S/he was very concerned about the health issues of those who have multi-partner sexual behavior. His/her unparalleled rapport with community members was very important in the effective implementation of HIV/AIDS prevention programmes, among this high risk group in Kerala.

Sweet Maria proudly revealed his/her identity in his/her family, workplace, every public space and media. To do this s/he had to encounter innumerable problems and had to fight consistently to establish his/her rightful social space. S/he incessantly fought against the injustice of mainstream society towards queer people.

Born on 5th May, 1973, in a lower middle class Malayalee family, Anil struggled hard to become a Govt. employee (Department of Harbor Engineering, Government of Kerala).

Sweet Maria / Anil Sadanandan lived his/her life fully, enjoyed the beauty of his queer nature, displayed it proudly and demonstrated its vibrance. In the queer pride march and in every queer cultural event, her pleasure in dance and the joy she was filled with, still reverberates in those who knew her. It’s still hard to absorb that we can’t rock in laughter at the queer jokes that s/he laid out at every turn, and that we will not be able to see and hear from her any more. S/he will not be there in any more festivals…and the void is unbearable.

S/he dared to face the challenges posed by an intolerant society which normally pushes gays, lesbians or anybody, who even slightly differs from the mainstream, to the limit of committing suicide. S/he faced such a society holding his head high, living his life fully, and standing out for the rights of the fellow queer. And he fell victim to that…

Anil’s murder is a brutal signal from the murdering homophobic patriarchy. We have to gather strength together to fight for the right of all trans/queer/nonconforming people to live with dignity and equality.

Anil.A is a human rights activist living with sex workers’ childrenfor the last 12 years in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. He is also the Vice-president of Sangama, Banglore.

Read original Post here

Harassment of mentally ill patients: Court orders high-level probe


Jan 17, 2012 (Thrissur )-Chief Judicial Magistrate P.S. Anthony on Monday directed the City Police Commissioner to investigate into the alleged harassment of inmates at the illegal mental health centre at Avanur, near here. The court directive was on the basis of a detailed report submitted by District Medical Officer V.V. Venus at the court on the issue.

The Health Department had recently rescued 41 mentally-ill patients from the Santhi Bhavan Sarvodhaya Pankuvakal Charitable Trust, functioning for the last 28 months at Avanur, during a raid. According to the health officials, the patients were kept in chains in dilapidated, roof-less sheds without proper care or treatment. An inspection conducted by Mental Health Authority Secretary D. Raju at the Centre revealed that the Centre had sold body of an inmate, who died at the centre, to a private medial college in Kollam. The Centre, registered as a charitable institution, did not hold licence to keep mentally-ill patients. Though the register kept at the institution showed 78 patients, only 41 were found at the time of raid. Many patients, including women, were missing. When asked about the missing patients, Thalikkulam Veetil Joshi, 50, secretary of the centre, told Dr. Raju that 11 patients had escaped from the centre at various occasions and five had succumbed to illnesses. One patient was killed during a fight between the inmates.

No documents available

According to the health officials, except for the murder case and another death, no documents were available at the centre about the missing persons. The deaths were not registered at the panchayat. The illegal sale of corpse was revealed when the driver of the ambulance in which the body was transported from the centre to a Kollam-based private medical college was interrogated by the authorities. “The procedural complications to get bodies for academic purposes often encourage private medical colleges to acquire bodies from such illegal institutions,” said a health department official. And for such centres, it was a lucrative business to make easy money.

The DMO’s report has recommended a high-level investigation into the functioning of a large number of orphanages, old-age homes and de-addiction centres in the State.

 

Directive on the basis of a detailed report submitted by District Medical Officer V.V. Venus

The Health Department had recently rescued 41 mentally-ill patients from a Charitable Trust