Telegram. Stop. To die. Stop. On July 15. STOP.


By ANAND HOLLA, Mumbai Mirror | Jun 13, 2013,
Telegram. Stop. To die. Stop. On July 15. STOP.
What was once the fastest mode of conveying information – usually terrible news of death and loss- will soon be a nostalgic thing of bygone years. The death of the telegram has been signalled by BSNL which has announced that it will be curtains down on its 160-year old telegraph service from July 15.

The organisation is unable to sustain what it feels is an unviable service in these days of instant communication. The telegram has been roundly upstaged by smartphones and the easily accessible Internet. But apart from fans of nostalgia, it is the BSNL Employees Union that is up in arms at the announcement.

In its circular issued by Shameem Akhtar, Senior General Manager, Telegraph Services, BSNL has asked all telegraph offices under BSNL to stop booking telegrams from July 15 onwards.

On Wednesday evening, the Central Telegraph Office at Fountain in Mumbai, which also doubles up as a customer service centre for BSNL, wore a forlorn look. Its staff, who are part of BSNL Employees Union, Mumbai Division, said none of them was consulted by the management.

One of them said: “Rural India still uses telegram services to a great extent, and so do government offices. Why kill a legacy when it still has its own demand base?”

The union says it is “seriously concerned” about the abrupt termination notice. “No doubt we have entered the age of internet and 4G services, but still telegraph services are being used by the public and government departments,” says their letter to the BSNL management.

The union also reasons that the telegram is the only legal document accepted in a court of law as documentary evidence.

“E-mail, fax, SMS or any other means of communication are not accepted as valid proof. Daily working of medical representatives is based on telegram messages throughout the country. Defence services like Army, Air Force and Navy send a large number of telegrams all over the country regarding tenders, leave of defence personnel, etc. Many other departments like FCI, Banks and state governments are also using the telegraph services,” their letter says.

In May 2011, the government had revised telegram charges for the first time in 60 years – to Rs 27/50 from Rs 4/50 for inland services. If that wasn’t a bad sign enough, it withdrew overseas telegram services two months ago. But the employees still harbour hopes of changing the management’s mind, as it has sought “detailed discussions” with it over the issue.

 

FB’s confession pages become a headache for colleges and cops


Two days after the Fort-based Government Dental College approached the cops against an anonymously uploaded Facebook page, the Cyber Crime Cell said on Saturday that it receives at least three such complaints every day

Jyoti.Shelar @timesgroup.com , Mumbai Mirror

TwodaysaftertheGovernment Dental College (GDC) dean filed a police complaint regarding an anonymously uploaded Facebook page, ‘GDC Mumbai Confessions’, that contained obscene comments on female students and criticism of the teachers, the Cyber Crime Cell said on Saturday that at least five more colleges have been at the receiving end of abusive online ‘confessions’.
The college ‘confessions pages’ have become a raging trend online over the past three months, and the anonymous revelations discuss substance abuse, love affairs on the campuses, disinterest in academics, difficultyinapproachingtheoppositesex andderogatoryremarksontheteachers and the college management.
Mumbai Mirror had reported on Saturday the complaint filed by Dr Mansing Pawar, dean of the Fortbased Government Dental College (Abusive,sexistFBpageondentalcollege leads to police complaint).
While the page largely contained obscene comments on the female students, it also made fun of some of theteachersandthedeanaswell.One comment mentioned how a particular teacher couldn’t speak English, while another post said the dean was only interested in installing tiles on the campus and ignored problems such as staff shortage.
In a first-ever crackdown on the abusive confession pages, the Cyber Crime Cell issued notices to the administrators of confession pages of five colleges over the past week, asking them to remove the objectionable content. Sources said the confession pages of Mulund-based Holy Angels High School and Junior College, and Jai Hind College, Churchgate were amongst those that are being monitored by the cops.
Senior Inspector Nandkishore More from the Cyber Crime Cell said, “We have been getting at least three complaints daily against these confession pages for the past several months. The local police stations are flooded with complaints as well. Notices have been sent to five administrators.”
Moresaidtheadministratorswere beingpulledupfornotbeingvigilant. “The investigations have revealed that each post is uploaded through a particular link generated on the page. Each confession has to be approved by the administrator/moderator before it goes online. It is the administrators’jobtoensuredefamatorycontent doesn’t get uploaded,” he said.
While the cops said no abusive content will be allowed on the confession pages, the concept has divided the netizens and experts in human behaviour.
Psychiatrist Dr Harish Shetty said suchforums,whicharesoeasytomisuse,candamagethesociety.“Itcanbe a torture for those named, especially women who are easy targets on such forums,” he said.
Dr Akash Akinwar, a gum surgeon from Government Dental College, who was maligned on the ‘GDC MumbaiConfessions’page,calledfor aban on anonymous posts. “Nobody has the right to insult or abuse anyone,” he said.
On the other hand, Sonali Patankar from Responsible Netism, a movement initiated by Ahaan Foundation, said banning confession pages would ‘never work’. She said, “Banning such pages will give rise to other platforms.However,peoplecertainly need to know the consequences of irresponsible online behaviour.”
Rupa Roy, principal of a wellknown school in central Mumbai, said confession pages should be supervised better instead of being banned.
She said, “My school has a confession page which my colleagues and I scan through regularly. In fact, one of the teachers is also on the group. The aim is to maintain a page that is funny, but not derogatory or abusive.” WHAT ARE COLLEGE ‘CONFESSION’ PAGES 
Confessional pages have become a trend on Facebook and other social network sites. Most colleges have confession pages that are administered by students themselves. Normally, Facebook requires users to provide their names or handles, but a confession may be posted anonymously and only the administrator of the page will know the identity of the person uploading the post.
Besides the common problems faced by the students, confession pages talk about substance abuse, disinterest in academics, placements, and difficulty in approaching the opposite sex. Often, the ‘confessions’ brag about love affairs or indulge in abusing women students and teachers.THE CONFESSIONS 
Indian Education Society ‘Confessions’
#379: Bhai style marnaa band kar! tu hero nahi hai! and nobody even luks at you! tujhe lagta hai all girls look at you only kya re! u dnt look gud! thank god that pretty girl left you! hope u get who i am tlkng abt!
Balmohan Vidyamandit (BMVM) ‘Confessions’
#78: Our School Wastes Paper By Making Sooo Many Notices Telling To Save Water This Year..! :| :\
Jai Hind College Confessions #825: Roll no[xx] of fybfm i love you:* I WOULD LIKE TO TAKE YOU ON A DATE

Confession pages of two city based colleges that have come up on the cops’ radar

 

 

I&B Ministry calls for truce between filmmakers and the CBFC #censorship #bollywood


VICKEY LALWANI, Mumbai MirrorMar 29, 2013, 11.54AM IST
(A still from Dabangg )

I&B Ministry calls for truce between filmmakers and the CBFC over censorship issues

At a time when Hindi films have come under criticism for disrespectful portrayal of women, and Censor Board decisions are increasingly being viewed as arbitrary, the Information & Broadcasting Ministry has stepped in to broker peace between the warring parties – the producers and the Board.

The bone of contention being the Cinematograph Act 1952 that the film industry thinks is outdated. The I&B Ministry has called for a meeting with all parties concerned between April 3 and April 5, though the venue hasn’t been decided yet. Representing the film industry will be Farhan Akhtar, Ramesh Sippy, President of the Producers’ Guild Mukesh Bhatt, President of the Association of Motion Pictures and TV Programme Producers (AMTPP) Sajid Nadiadwala and Indian Motion Picture Producers’ Association Chief TP Agarwal.

Censor Board of Film Certification (CBFC) Chief Leela Samson and CBFC CEO Pankaja Thakur will represent the censors. Also present will be senior members from the special panel that was instituted under the chairmanship of judicial expert Mukul Mudgal to review the functioning of the Censor Board.

The meeting will set the pace for the necessary amendments to the Cinematograph Act 1952, after taking into consideration suggestions by all concerned. Special song and dance numbers, foul language, and scenes portraying actors and actresses smoking and drinking are likely to be discussed during the meet.

Agarwal confirmed the news and said: “The very fact that the meeting spans three days indicates we are going to have a very long discussion. I am very optimistic about the outcome.” Said Mukesh Bhatt: “Today, there is a lot of ambiguity about what will be cut and what will go through. As things stand, there are no guidelines.”

Meanwhile, a filmmaker on the condition of anonymity, said censors seem to have turned a bit too prudish. “Recently, Leela Samson assured there is a wrong impression within the film industry that the Censor Board has adopted a rule to certify all special numbers with an ‘A’ (adults only) certificate. Despite the assurance, filmmakers are extremely cagey. The meeting on April 3 is very good news for the films being made,” the source said.

On the subject of special numbers – particularly Fevicol Se from Dabangg 2 and Sheila Ki Jawaani from Tees Maar Khan - having faced a lot of flak, a leading producer (on request of anonymity), said: “It isn’t now that special numbers have come into existence. One can think of many actresses in the past who have done such numbers. Is it that the censors turned a blind eye to them simply because they weren’t lead actresses? Moreover, cuss words are chopped in one film while they are retained in another film. What are the rules? Who draws the line, and where?”

Writer-director Rensil D’Silva said: “Too much money rides on movies. If there is clarity, there will be no jolts at the time we submit our films to the censors.”

When contacted, I&B Minister Manish Tewari said: “We already have a panel headed by judicial expert Mukul Mudgal to look into certain issues which the film industry has. But if they still have some issues, we are ready to walk the extra mile.

 

The harm that sensational headlines can do, even if the story is OK- Deepti Naval #mediaethics #mumbaimirror


Deepti Naval, March 27, Facebook

I’ve been pretty upset the last few days over something that the print media has been distorting hugely . . . each one of you on Facebook has been totally silent about it – no comment whatsoever – and I appreciate that – and since I know you people care, I’d like to, to explain what has really happened -

Just before the release of ‘Listen Amaya‘ me and Farooque Shaikh were doing an interview for Rajiv Masand in my Versova terrace flat. I had been keeping unwell those days and had requested Rajiv’s camera team to cover over to my house instead of me having to go to his studio. Rajiv came over with his three camera setup and we were in the middle of this interview when three members from the Society barged into the flat and demanded that we stop this activity – they thought we were making a movie – I explained to them that they can sit here and watch – we are not making a movie, we are doing an interview – but they threatened to call the police on me. Rajiv, Farooque and my director Avinash Singh and his wife Geeta were all very embarrassed hearing this sort of conversation. We tried to wind up fast. Then one neighbor Mr Rajan Khurana was sent up to convey to me that the Society has threatened to call the police if we don’t stop ‘this activity’ right away. I explained again but to no avail. After that I got a call from the Secy of the building who was very irked and repeated that ‘We’ll have to call the police on you’. We cancelled all other interviews after that.
I was hugely embarrassed; I apologized to my colleagues and they quietly left.

I felt so humiliated and felt my rights as a resident were violated. I decided to pack my stuff from the Oceanic residence and come and stay at my Madh Island house.

I am an artist and have always given interviews in my own home – all artists do that all the time – there is nothing illegal about it – it is their right.

Never mine, now this is what follows the incident.

A week / eight days ago a journalist friend asked me what I was doing sitting in Madh – and I gave vent to my frustration. I told him over the phone that -

‘The Society treated me so badly and kept threatening me with “WE’LL CALL THE POLICE, WE’LL CALL THE POLICE”, as if I’m running a racket here!’

Next day it was out in print – in Mumbai Mirror – the sensational headline -
‘I’M NOT RUNNING A PROSTITUTION RACKET” – and the story about the society fiasco, stating how badly insulted I was by the members of my building. Nothing wrong with the contents of the article. But this is what follows . . .

Other papers have picked up the SENSATIONAL HEADLINE and implied as if the Society has ACCUSED me of running a prostitution racket. I’ve neen appalled! I will post those articles so you all can see how the press distorts everything to make eye-catching news! One of the tabloids has said -

DEEPTI NAVAL OUSTED OUT OF HER ‘PROSTITUTION DEN’

A dear friend, she called me – appalled at reading the contents in a Calcutta tabloid – ‘What is all this? Who has been accusing of running a racket?’
I explained to her that no one is ACCUSING me of running anything like that – it is the PRESS that is IMPLYING . . .

Of course I’ve been back at Oceanic in the last days and have conducted my meeting there as well – I’m a little confused – should I take action against the print media or should I let it go. If I let this go, then there are people who’ve said -
‘KUCH TO HOGA NA . . . AISE HIS TO NAHIN SOCIETY ITNA OBJECT KAR RAHI’ – Imagine?
Friends from the industry feel ‘let dogs bark . . . you carry on’

I was sitting there at my terrace flat – after Farooque and I had spent a whole day going to various radio stations giving fresh round of interviews before the re-release of the old Chashmebaddoore on April 5th – and I was looking around at my beautiful spacious home where I sit and dream, do all my writing work, invite friends, spend quality time with myself – and I was in tears . . . this sanctuary of mine to be called a ‘PROSTITUTIO DEN’ – in my heart, I apologized to my father who is no more in this world, and quietly prayed, -
‘I’m sorry, Piti, see what all this has catapulted into? Please help me learn to ignore it and move on – but I will not disappoint you – I will fight for my right!’

Thank you for bearing with me – I can’t go around explaining to the whole world but I can . . . to a few of you who I know, care . . .

Deepti

 

Below is the MUMBAI Mirror story deepti is referring to

I am not running a prostitution racket

Deepti Naval lashes out at her housing society for humiliating her and Farooq Shaikh

 

Ali Peter John, Mumbai Mirror

Posted On Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at 02:04:30 AM

 

Veteran actors Deepti Naval and Farooq Shaikh, who had formed a very successful romantic team in the eighties with classics like Saath Saath, Katha and Chashme Buddoor among others, were harassed and hounded out of Deepti’s apartment by members of her housing society.

Last Friday, Deepti and Farooq were speaking to a prominent TV journalists about the remake of Chashme Buddoor at the actress’s spacious terrace apartment where she has been living since the last 30 years. This is also where she has hosted high-profile parties and conducted many press meets and does all her writing and painting.

The two actors were in the midst of the interview when office bearers of the society in the building ‘Oceanic 1′ at Seven Bungalows, barged into her apartment and took strong objections to her conducting work in her residential space. They asked her and Farooq to stop “all this naatak” and they threatened to call in the police. They argued: conducting interviews in one’s home was against the rules of the society. The two actors who had never faced such an embarrassing situation did not want to create a scene or get into any argument with those who were determined to stop them from completing the interview.

A pained Deepti profusely apologised to Farooque and the TV crew, and was so humiliated that she immediately left for her apartment in Harmony in Madh Island from where she has yet to return.

Speaking to Mirror she could not hide her despair: “I was the first occupant of the building when no one dared to buy an apartment here. I have had many parties and the press has always found it very pleasant to meet me in my house. This is the first time that I was made to feel as if I was running a prostitution den. I have never felt so humiliated in my entire life. My only crime is that I don’t mix around with the people in the building because I have nothing in common with them. I don’t know what rules they are talking about when most of my friends have their meetings with the media in their own homes. I feel so terrible that I don’t feel like going back to my own house.”

Farooq felt bad for his colleague and said that he was unaware of any such law that prevented artistes from giving interviews at home.

 

 

Bombay High Court upholds death sentence for Sangli rapist


Posted On Saturday, March 09, 2013 , Mumbai Mirror

The Bombay High Court on Friday upheld the death sentence awarded to a 22-year-old for raping and killing a 9-yearold girl.

“The accused is a menace to society and will continue to be so, and there is no possibility of him being reformed,” the division bench of Justice P V Hardas and Justice A M Thipsay observed while pronouncing the verdict on Friday.

Raju Paswan, originally from Muzzapur in Bihar, was convicted by an additional sessions judge in Sangli in November last year.

The high court upheld the verdict of the lower court, which said the crime was premeditated, and not committed on impulse.

The court also observed he chose a girl of that age as she could be overpowered easily.

“The victim, by virtue of her age, was in a situation where she could have offered little or no resistance at all. The accused has committed an offence of rape on a defenceless child, which is the ultimate insult to womanhood. The entire gory and grisly incident had shocked the collective conscience of the village,” observed the high court.

The court also rejected advocate Niteen Pradhan’s plea for mercy on account of Paswan’s age. The bench noted that an accused who has shown remorse and genuine regret at having committed an offence is someone who can be reformed.

It added, “An offender who remains a nonchalant offender throughout and does not show any regret or repentance at having committed the offence, cannot be said to be aperson who can be reformed.”

Rejecting all the contentions raised against the prosecution’s case, the court accepted all the arguments made by chief public prosecutor Revati Mohite Dere.

The incident dates back to June 21, 2010, when the victim went missing from her home in Bedag village, Sangli district. Her father, a farm labourer, lodged a missing person complaint.

During their investigation the police learnt that the victim was last seen with Paswan, who used to live in the neighbouring house.

One of the main witnesses in the case was a 10-year-old child who, while playing with his friends, had seen Paswan dragging the girl to a secluded place.

 

 

A rare interview of Afzal Guru in Tihar Jail – And I was condemned to death #deathpenalty #Kashmir


The media constantly played the tape.The police officers received awards.

Hear the other side too. In 2006, Vinod K. Jose met Afzal Guru inside Tihar jail for a rare interview. These are the edited excerpts…

Posted On Sunday, February 10, 2013 , Mumbai Mirror cover story

A rusted table, and behind it, a well-built man in uniform holding a spoon in his hand. Visitors, all of them looked habituated to the procedure, queued up to open their plastic bags containing food, allowing it to be smelled, sometimes even tasted. The security man’s spoon swam through curries thick with floating grease - malai kofta, shahi paneer, aalu baingan, and mixed vegetables.

As the visitors opened tiny bags of curries, the spoon separated each piece of vegetable from the other mechanically. After ‘frisking’ the food of a middle-aged woman, the spoon was dipped in water in a steel bowl nearby. It then moved to the plastic bags of the next person in the queue, a boy in his early teens.

By this time, the water in the steel bowl had acquired all kinds of colours, the floating oil setting off rainbow hues in the light of the winter afternoon.

Around 4.30 pm, it was my turn. The man left the spoon on the table and frisked my body, top to bottom, thrice, thoroughly. When the metal detector made a noise, I had to remove my belt, steel watch, and keys.

The man on duty bearing the badge of the Tamil Nadu Special Police (TSP) looked satisfied. I was allowed to enter now. This was the fourth security drill I had to go through to get into the High Risk Ward of Prison No. 3 in Tihar Central Prison. I was on my way to meet Mohammad Afzal, one of the most talked about men in contemporary times.

I entered a room with many tiny cubicles. Visitors and inmates were separated by a thick glass and iron grills. They were connected through microphones and speakers fixed on the wall. But the audibility was poor, and people on either sides of the glass strained their ears, touching them to the wall to listen to each other. Mohammad Afzal was already at the other side of the cubicle.

His face gave me an impression of unfathomable dignity and calmness. He was a slight, short man in his mid-thirties, wearing a white kurta-pyjama, with a Reynolds pen in his pocket. A very clear voice welcomed me with the utmost politeness.

“How are you, sir?”

I said I was fine. Was I to return the same question to a man on deathrow? I was apprehensive for a second, but I did. “Very fine. Thank you sir,” he answered with warmth. The conversation went on for close to an hour, and continued a fortnight later with a second mulakat. Both of us were in a hurry to answer and ask whatever we could in the time we had. I continuously scribbled in my tiny pocket book. He seemed to be a person who wanted to say a lot of things to the world. But he often reiterated his helplessness to reach people from the current stature of ‘condemned for life’. Excerpts of the interview.

There are so many contradicting images of Afzal. Which Afzal am I meeting? Is it? But as far as I’m concerned there is only one Afzal. That is me. Who is that Afzal?

(A moment’s silence.)

Afzal is a young, enthusiastic, intelligent, idealistic young man. Afzal, a Kashmiri influenced, like many thousands in the Kashmir Valley, in the political climate of early 1990s.

Who was a JKLF member and crossed over to the other side of Kashmir, but in a matter of weeks got disillusioned and came back and tried to live a normal life, but was never allowed to do so by the security agencies, who inordinate times picked me up, tortured the pulp out of me, electrocuted me, dipped in petrol, smoked in chillies you name it.

And falsely implicated in a case, with no lawyer, no fair trial, finally condemned to death. The lies the police told was propagated by you in the media. And that perhaps created what the Supreme Court referred to as “collective conscience of the nation”. And to satisfy that “collective conscience”, I’m condemned to death. That is the Mohammad Afzal you are meeting.

(After a moment’s silence, he continued.)

But I wonder whether the outside world knows anything about this.

Can we begin with your life? Your life before the case…

It was a turbulent political period in Kashmir when I was growing up. Maqbool Bhatt was hanged. The situation was volatile. The people of Kashmir decided to fight an electoral battle once again to resolve the Kashmir issue through peaceful means. Muslim United Front (MUF) was formed to represent the sentiments of Kashmiri Muslims for the final settlement of the Kashmir issue.

Administration at Delhi was alarmed by the kind of support that MUF was gaining, and in the consequence, we saw rigging in the election on an unprecedented scale.

And the leaders who took part in the election and won by a huge majority were arrested, humiliated and put behind bars. It is only after this that the same leaders gave the call for armed resistance. In response, thousands of youth took to armed revolt. I dropped out from my MBBS studies in Jhelum Valley Medical College, Srinagar.

I was also one of those who crossed to the other side of Kashmir as a JKLF member, but was disillusioned after seeing Pakistani politicians acting the same as the Indian politicians in dealing with Kashmiris.

I returned after few weeks. I surrendered to the security forces, and you know, I was even given a BSF certificate as a surrendered militant. I began to start life anew. I could not become a doctor but I became a dealer of medicines and surgical instruments on commission basis. (Laughs.)

With the meagre income, I even bought a scooter and also got married. But never a day passed by without the scare of Rashtriya Rifles and STF men harassing me. If there was a militant attack somewhere in Kashmir, they would round up civilians, torture them to pulp. The situation was even worse for a surrendered militant like me. They detained us for several weeks, and threatened to implicate us in false cases and we were let free only if we paid huge bribes…

Once, I had to bribe the security men with all that I had to escape from the Humhama STF torture camp. DSP Vinay Gupta and DSP Davinder Singh supervised the torture. One of their torture experts, Inspector Shanti Singh, electrocuted me for three hours until I agreed to pay Rs 1 lakh as bribe. My wife sold her jewelry and for the remaining amount, they sold my scooter.

I left the camp broken, both financially and mentally. For six months I could not go outside home because my body was in such a bad shape. I could not even share the bed with my wife as my penile organ had been electrocuted. I had to take medical treatment to regain potency…

If you could come to the case, what were the incidents that led to the Parliament attack case?

After all the lessons I learned in STF camps, which is either you and your family members get harassed constantly for resisting, or cooperate with the STF blindly, I had hardly any options left, when DSP Davinder Singh asked me to do a small job for him. That is what he told, “a small job”. He told me that I had to take one man to Delhi.

I was supposed to find a rented house for him in Delhi. I was seeing the man first time, but since he did not speak Kashmiri, I suspected he was an outsider. He told his name was Mohammad (Mohammad is identified by the police as the man who led the five gunmen who attacked Parliament. All of them were killed by the security men in the attack).

When we were in Delhi, Mohammad and I used to get phone calls from Davinder Singh. I had also noticed that Mohammad used to visit many people in Delhi. After he purchased a car, he told me now I could go back and gave me Rs 35,000 saying it was a gift. And I left for Kashmir for Eid.

When I was about to leave to Sopore from Srinagar bus stand, I was arrested and taken to Parimpora police station. They tortured me and took me to STF headquarters, and from there brought me to Delhi.

In the torture chamber of the Delhi Police Special Cell, I told them everything I knew about Mohammad. But they insisted that I should say that my cousin Showkat, his wife Navjot, S A R Geelani and I were the people behind the Parliament attack.

They wanted me to say this convincingly in front of the media. I resisted. But I had no option than to yield when they told me my family was in their custody and threatened to kill them. I was made to sign many blank pages and was forced to talk to the media and claim responsibility for the attack by repeating what the police told me to say…

Rajbeer Singh allowed me to talk to my wife the next day. After the call, he told me if I wanted to see them alive I had to cooperate. Accepting the charges was the only option in front of me if I wanted to see my family alive, and the Special Cell officers promised they would make my case weak so I would be released after sometime. Then they took me to various places and showed me the markets where Mohammad had purchased different things. Thus they made the evidence for the case.

The police made me a scapegoat in order to mask their failure to find the mastermind of the Parliament attack. They have fooled the people. People still don’t know whose idea it was to attack Parliament. I was entrapped into the case by Special Task Force (STF) of Kashmir and implicated by the Delhi Police Special Cell.

The media constantly played the tape. The police officers received awards. And I was condemned to death.

Why didn’t you find legal defence?

I had no one to turn to. I did not even see my family until six months into the trial. And when I saw them, it was only for a short time in the Patiala House Court. There was no one to arrange a lawyer for me. As legal aid is a fundamental right in this country, I named four lawyers whom I wished to have defended me. But the judge, SN Dhingra, said all four refused to do the case.

The lawyer whom the court chose for me began by admitting some of the most crucial documents without even asking me what the truth of the matter was. She was not doing the job properly, and finally she moved to defend another fellow accused. Then the Court appointed an amicus curie, not to defend me, but to assist court in the matter. He never met me. And he was very hostile and communal. That is my case, completely unrepresented at the crucial trial stage.

What is the condition in jail?

I’m lodged in solitary confinement in the high risk cell. I’m taken out from my cell only for a short period during noon. No radio, no television. Even the newspaper I subscribe to reaches me torn. If there is a news item about me, they tear that portion apart and give me the rest.

Apart from the uncertainty about your future, what else concerns you the most?

…Global developments. I took to the news of the execution of Saddam Hussain with utmost sadness. Injustice, so openly and shamelessly done. Iraq, the land of Mesopotamia, the world’s richest civilisation, that taught us mathematics, to use a 60-minute clock, 24-hour day, 360-degree circle, is thrashed to dust by the Americans…

Which books are you reading now?

I finished reading Arundhati Roy. Now I’m reading Sartre’s work on existentialism. You see, it is a poor library in the jail. So I will have to request the visiting Society for the Protection of Detainees and Prisoners Rights (SPDPR) members for books.

There is a campaign in defence for you…

I am really moved and obliged by the thousands of people who came forward saying injustice is done to me. The lawyers, students, writers, intellectuals, and all those people are doing something great by speaking against injustice. The situation was such at the beginning, in 2001, and initial days of the case that it was impossible for justice-loving people to come forward.

When the High Court acquitted SAR Geelani, people started questioning the police theory. And when more and more people became aware of the case details and facts and started seeing things beyond the lies, they began speaking up.

Members of your family have conflicting opinions on your case?

My wife has been consistently saying that I was wrongly framed. She has seen how the STF tortured me and did not allow me to live a normal life. She also knew how they implicated me in the case. She wants me to see our son, Ghalib, growing up. I have also an elder brother who apparently is speaking against me under duress from the STF. It is unfortunate what he does, that’s what I can say.

See, it is a reality in Kashmir now, what you call the counter insurgency operations take any dirty shape - that they field brother against brother, neighbour against neighbour. You are breaking a society with your dirty tricks.

What comes to your mind when you think of your wife, Tabassum, and son, Ghalib?

This year is the tenth anniversary of our wedding. Over half that period I spent in jail. And prior to that, many a time I was detained and tortured by Indian security forces in Kashmir. Tabassum witnessed both my physical and mental wounds. Many times I returned from the torture camp, unable to stand, all kinds of torture… She gave me hope to live. We did not have a day of peaceful living. It is the story of many Kashmiri couples…

What do you want him to grow up as?

Professionally, if you are asking, a doctor. Because that is my incomplete dream. But most importantly, I want  him to grow without fear. I want him to speak against injustice. That I am sure he will be. Who else knows the story of injustice better than my wife and son?

(While Afzal continued talking about his wife and son, I could not help but recollect what Tabassum told me when I met her outside the Supreme Court in 2005, during the case’s appeal stage. While Afzal’s family members remained in Kashmir, Tabassum dared to come to Delhi with her son, Ghalib, to organise defence for Afzal.

Outside the Supreme Court New Lawyers chamber, at the tiny tea stall on the roadside, she chatted in detail about Afzal. While sipping and complaining about the excess sugar in the tea, she talked about how Afzal enjoyed cooking.

One picture she painted struck me. It was one of the few precious private moments in their lives: when Afzal would not allow her to enter the kitchen, but would make her sit on the chair nearby and he would cook, holding a book in one hand, a ladle in the other and read out stories for her.)

If I may ask you about the Kashmir issue, how do you think it can be solved?

First, let the government be sincere to the people of Kashmir. And let them initiate talk with the real representatives of Kashmir. Trust me, the real representatives of Kashmir can solve the problem. But if the government considers the peace process as a tactic of counter insurgency, then the issue is not going to be solved. It is time some sincerity is shown.

Who are the real people?

Find out from the sentiments of the people of Kashmir. I am not going to name x, y or z. And I have an appeal to the Indian media; stop acting as a propaganda tool. Let them report the truth. With their smartly worded and politically loaded news reports, they distort facts, make incomplete reports, build hardliners, terrorists et al. They easily fall for the games of the intelligence agencies…

Also, you tell me how are you going to develop real trust among Kashmiris when you send out the message that India has a justice system that hangs people without giving them a lawyer, without a fair trial?

Nine security men were killed in the Parliament attack. What is it that you have to tell their relatives?

In fact, I share the pain of the family members who lost their dear ones in the attack. But I feel sad that they are misled to believe that hanging an innocent person like me would satisfy them. They are used as pawns in a completely distorted cause of nationalism…

(An ear-splitting electric bell rang. I could hear hurried conversations from the neighbouring cubicles. This was my last question to Afzal.)

What do you want to be known as?

(He thought for a minute, and answered)

As Afzal, as Mohammad Afzal. I am Afzal for Kashmiris, and I am Afzal for Indians as well, but the two groups have an entirely conflicting perception of my being. I would naturally trust the judgment of Kashmiri people, not only because I am one among them, but also because they are well aware of the reality I have been through, and they cannot be misled into believing any distorted version of either a history or an incident.

I was confused by this last statement of Mohammad Afzal, but on further reflection, I began to understand what he meant. This was a time before clear accounts of the strife had begun to emerge from Kashmiri voices; the source of knowledge on Kashmir for most Indians were textbooks and media reports. To hear about the history of Kashmir and incidents in the state from a Kashmiri was usually a shock to most Indians - as it was to me as I listened to Afzal.

Two more bells. It was time to end the mulakat. But people were still busy conversing. The microphone was put off. The sounds from the speaker stopped. But if you strained your ear, and watched his lip movements, you could still hear him. The guards made rough round-ups, asking everyone to leave. As they found visitors reluctant to leave, they put the lights off. The mulakat room turned dark.

In the long walk out from Jail No 3 of the Tihar jail compound to the main road, I found myself in the company of people in clusters of twos and threes, moving out silently - mother, wife and daughter; or brother, sister and wife; or friend and brother; or someone else. Every cluster had two things in common.

They carried an empty cotton bag back with them. Those bags had stains of malai kofta, shahi paneer and mixed vegetables, many caused by the spills from the rash frisking of the TSP man’s spoon. The second thing in common, I observed, was that they all wore inexpensive winter clothes, torn shoes, and outside Gate No 3 they waited for Bus No 588, the Tilak Nagar-Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium bus, that perhaps took them to Dhaula Kuan main junction - they were the poor citizens of this country.

I remembered former president Abdul Kalam’s musing on how poor people were the awardees of capital punishments. My interviewee was also one. When I had asked him how many ‘tokens’ (the form of currency allowed in the jail) he had, he said “enough to survive”.

The writer, now the Executive Editor of The Caravan magazine conducted this interview when he was the India reporter for the US public radio, Pacifica

► DSP Davinder Singh asked me to do a small job for him. I had to take one man to Delhi, rent a house for him

► I am Afzal for Kashmiris, and I am Afzal for Indians as well, but both have an entirely conflicting perception of my being

 

 

#Mumbai- Inquiry indicts Hinduja’s Dr Jnanesh Thacker for removing organs from corpse


Probe was initiated after Mirror reported that Hinduja’s Dr Jnanesh Thacker had removed the heart and lung of a cadaver at KEM on the pretext that he was teaching students
By Lata Mishra
Posted On Thursday, December 06, 2012, Mumbai Mirror

 

An internal inquiry launched following a Mumbai Mirror report has indicted a senior cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon and transplant expert of trespassing and illegally removing organs from a corpse at the government-run KEM Hospital.

On November 12, Mirror reported how Dr Jnanesh Thacker, a consultant with Hinduja Hospital, entered the KEM mortuary, where government doctors were performing a post-mortem on a 40-year-old accident victim, and removed the heart and lung. When the government doctors protested, he told them he was there in his capacity as an honorary doctor with another government-run hospital and that he had taken authorisation from their superiors. Unconvinced, the doctors lodged aprotest and an inquiry was commissioned.

Dr Shubhangi Parkar, academic dean, KEM, who conducted the inquiry has now said in her report that had Dr Thacker had no business being in the mortuary, and that his claim that he was teaching students was a lie. Dr Parkar said Dr Thacker’s claim that he was passing by and some student had called him to demonstrate some procedure was not true. Her report said not a single under-graduate student was there as claimed by Dr Thacker.

While resident doctors from the pathology department were around, none of them asked Dr Thacker to teach them anything, the report added. However, it is still not clear why Dr Thacker removed the organs. While Dr Parkar said it was not in her brief to find that out, Dr Thacker did not answer his phone despite repeated calls. In the report submitted to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and Hinduja Hospital, Dr Parkar rejected Dr Thacker’s claim that he had authorisation to enter the mortuary.

The report also said no student has come forward to testify that Dr Thacker was teaching them that day and eyewitnesses have corroborated that there were no students with Dr Thacker. “I have forwarded Dr Parkar’s inquiry report to Additional Municipal Commissioner Manisha Mhaiskar for further action,” said Dr Sandhya Kamat, dean, KEM. “Our enquiry finds Dr Thacker guilty. Eyewitnesses have stated that Dr Thacker was inside the mortuary and removed organs from a body on which a post-mortem was being conducted in a medico-legal case.”

Dr Kamat said the report also debunks Dr Thacker’s claim that Dr Amita Joshi, professor, pathology department, KEM, had given him oral permission to visit the mortuary. “In her statement, Dr Joshi has said that she asked Dr Thacker to approach me for permission and that she never authorised him to go and dissect the body,” said Dr Kamat. “Our report concluded that Dr Thacker entered the mortuary room without any permission when a medico-legal post-mortem was going on.

As per government rules, nobody apart from forensic doctors can enter the mortuary when a post-mortem is going on. And it is clear that he was there, without any permission.” Dr Parkar, in her report, also said that the two doctors conducting the post-mortem, Drs. Ravindra Devkar and Poonam Verma, have confirmed in their statements that he removed organs. Finally, the report said that while Dr Thacker claimed he was an honorary doctor at the Sewri tuberculosis hospital, his stint had in fact ended in September.

 

Top surgeon accused of illegal autopsy, he says he was ‘teaching’

Dr Jnanesh Thacker from Hinduja allegedly removed a lung and heart from the body of an accident victim at KEM; hospital authorities said he wasn’t even authorised to enter the mortuary

 

Posted On Tuesday, November 13, 2012  Mumbai Mirror

 

Monday afternoon saw plenty of drama at Parel’s KEM Hospital, where one of the city’s top surgeons has been accused of illegally entering the mortuary and removing organs from a corpse.

Dr Jnanesh Thacker, consulting cardio thoracic surgeon at Hinduja Hospital, has been accused of opening up the body of a 40-year-old accident victim, and removing a lung and the heart, before he was ‘caught’ around 2.30 pm.

The hospital has submitted a complaint against Thacker to the dean, Dr Sandhya Kamat, but there has been no police complaint. The hospital also said Thacker may have opened up the body for “personal research”.

In his defence, Thacker said he had a meeting with a friend working at the KEM mortuary, and a few students there requested him to teach them some aspects of human anatomy dissection. “I wasn’t aware that the body was of an accident victim and a medicolegal case. I was merely trying to help the students,” he told this newspaper.

The KEM officials, including the dean, said no permissions were granted to Thacker to enter the mortuary, leave alone access the body which is classified as a medico-legal case.

Dr Ravindra Devkar, assistant professor, KEM Forensic Department, said he and his colleague were scheduled to conduct the autopsy on the body. “I was shocked when I saw Thacker inside the room. He had already removed a lung and the heart, and had begun dissecting the body,” he said. Devkar asked the hospital security to ensure Thacker was not allowed to leave the premises, and alerted other officials. “He didn’t have a piece of paper on him to prove that he was authorised to touch the body, leave alone opening it up,” Devkar said, “The equipment he used to open up the body didn’t belong to KEM.” Thacker said he was authorised to enter the mortuary by Dr Amita Joshi, head of the hospital’s Pathology Department. However, Joshi denied having issuing any permission, saying she didn’t have the authority to issue such sanctions.

“It’s a clear case of trespass,” said the KEM Forensic Department head, Dr Harish Pathak, “Thacker is a senior doctor who is well aware that no-one can enter the mortuary without permissions. We all are deeply offended by his actions, and have urged the dean to take action.”

Kamat said she would speak to the Hinduja Hospital director before deciding on action against Thacker.

“Even if he had approached me, I wouldn’t have allowed him inside the mortuary,” she said. “We are recording the statements of the eyewitnesses, and those who granted him access to the mortuary will not be spared either.”

Regarding Thacker’s claim that the students at KEM had requested him to help with dissection, Pathak said Thacker was “lying”. He said, “The students learn at the anatomy department, not in the mortuary. Besides, why would they learn about dissection from a cardiovascular thoracic surgeon?“

 

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

 

 

Jerrit G John , you are Scum Bag #acidattack #Vaw #justice


By- Kamayani Bali Mahabal  , Nov 12, 2012 

Jerrit G  John,  you are  Scum Bag

Throwing  acid to disfigure a woman’s  face

‘ How dare a woman rejects you” ?

 Isn’t, this behind your shameful Act  ?

A man of your caliber, A creative Genius

How can a physiotherapist ,a Doctor

say ‘  No to you’

Well, obviously you are  a MAN, A Mard

How can you a take a  ” NO”,?

You told the Police

‘ You  Wanted to disfigure her face not kill her “

Come on, No- Nonsense production Guy

Don’t give us this Nonsense,

You told the Police

‘ You were counselled by a woman to divorce your wife “

” You had sacrificed everything for a woman’

‘ When she closed doors  on you , you lost it  “

Are you a five year old Kid ?

Blaming others for your acts

Grow up Jerrit John,  and accept

You are a scum Bag

 That’s the mentality of all acid attackers

To  disfigure, the face, the beauty.

The worst part is that

you are not repentant

You are the same,

You are like  Tapas Mitra and Sanjay Paswan of Dhanbad

 The acid attackers of Sonali Mukherji

They threw acid  as she also said ‘ NO ‘ to them

It’s a living death for an acid survivor

Ask  Sonali  Mukherji and you will know

She gave a call for euthanasia

and suddenly the country woke up,

to support her  through and through

You wanted to disfigure, Not one face but two,

 The intention was clear,

 A woman  cannot look at her reflection

 A woman is marked for her life as an ugly duckling

A  woman cannot be married,

or if married her life is totally tarnished

How hollow are the social  perceptions of beauty ,

This is what all acid attackers do

So is there any difference between  you and  a murderer

Nah,  but look how society is reacting

How  can a creative genius be a criminal ?

Everyone is talking

There must be something wrong some where ?

Poor guy must have been pushed to the brink ?

You are a  Page 3 criminal

Maybe already a film is being scripted on your heinous act

Maybe your friends from bollywood  are still in disbelief

 and they are looking at some excuses and angles

Instead of apologizing

You are putting the blame on  the  woman

You petty man, you are such a scumbag

With no respect for  any woman in your Life

You  even discriminated against your Wife

You are a such a selfish douche bag

 Words are not enough to  explain

By saying you did not intent to kill

You think you will get away

Wishful thinking….

Maybe your lawyer has not tutored you well

 Section  326 IPC  is  so clear

Intention of grievous hurt which you have stated yourself

extends to ten years imprisonment

The fact remains, your act proves

Education,  has nothing to do with

Violence against Women,

Education has failed to fight patriarchy

Education has  failed to break the gender stereotypes

Creative Genius is not equal to law abiding citizen

The cool calm composed facade

is finally in open with your true intentions !!

Don’ t worry, we  all are here

 to see you  behind bars

We all are here to see

the  survivor  gets Justice  !

Bombay HC-slams cops for insensitive report- Shelter Home Horror #Rape #Vaw


Mankhurd shelter home horror

Appoints a three-member committee for a fresh probe into allegations of negligence, sexual abuse and torture

Yogesh Sadhwani

Posted On Tuesday, November 06, 2012

A week after Mumbai Mirror reported on allegations of rape, negligence and torture at the state-run shelter for women, Navjeevan Mahila Vasti Gruh, Bombay High Court disapproved the probe report submitted by deputy commissioner of police, Crime Branch, on grounds that it lacked sensitivity.

DCP Ambadas Pote, in his report, denied allegations made by an inmate of the Mankhurd home, in the interview carried by Mumbai Mirror on October 29.

Expressing surprise at the report, HC has now appointed a three-member panel to probe the allegations afresh.

The panel comprises Dr Asha Bajpai from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, renowned counsellor Dr Harish Shetty, and Rashmi Karandikar, superintendent of police.

In his report, Pote stated that his Special Investigating Team recorded statements of around 100 persons, including staff, inmates, social workers who routinely visit the home, and police personnel, and that none of them mentioned sexual abuse. He also stated that the inmates were given adequate food and were well taken care of.

Pote’s report was filed in HC, which is hearing a suo moto PIL after receiving an email from activist Purnima Upadhyay, who feared for the safety of women after reading the interview of an inmate who had escaped on October 27.

While government pleader Dhairyasheel Nalavade claimed that no such incidents occurred at the home, advocate Shubhada Khot, the amicus curie, pointed out several flaws in investigation.

The division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Nitin Jamdar said that the investigation was carried out in an insensitive manner. “Where are the women now? Are they still under the same caretakers?” asked HC. When informed that the women were indeed under the same caretakers, HC said, “Tell us, what action are you taking against the caretakers referred to by the woman?”

The bench stated that the police officer merely looked at the specific allegation of “armed men barging into the home, randomly picking up girls and raping them at knife-point”. The court pointed out that the video-taped interview revealed that rowdy elements would visit the premises and on their request woman caretakers would ask inmates to go out with them. Those who dared refuse, were tortured.

“What does this mean, what more you want?” the judges asked Nalavade, expressing surprise that no FIR was registered. “One statement of one witness is sufficient to lodge an FIR, this statement contains more than sufficient material.”

Further pointing out that “apparently many wrong things are going on there” HC stated that the “State authority should have appointed a sensitive person to investigate such a case”.

Meanwhile, in his affidavit, Ujjwal Uke, principal secretary, Women and Child Development Department, admitted that with a capacity for 100, the home which had 298 inmates, was overcrowded. He admitted that around 100 women continue to languish there despite release orders, due to lack of escorts to send them home.

The next hearing is on November 26.