Talk show panelists are involved in pornography: Mamata Banerjee #Vaw #WTFnews


By PTI | 20 Jun, 2013,
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READ MORE ON » Women | West Bengal | talk shows | Talk show | Rape | Pornography | Mamata Banerjee
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today alleged that panelists of some local tv news channels critical of her were involved in pornography.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today alleged that panelists of some local tv news channels critical of her were involved in pornography.
GALSI (WB): Under attack from opposition and a section of intellectuals over the recent incident of rape and murder of a college student, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjeetoday alleged that panelists of some local tv news channels critical of her were involved inpornography.”Two or three incidents (of rape) have taken place. But every evening this people have salacious discussion disrespecting our mothers and sisters day after day. Some channels which are bankrupt are insulting the people of Bengal,” she alleged, referring to talk-shows on a section of local tv channels.

“They are not doing the right thing. What children did not know, they are getting to know about. Who are being called (to the panel discussion)? Many of them are involved in pornography. They claim to be social workers but are actually working for money. Talk showsare nothing but money shows,” she said.

She promised to file charge sheet against the accused in the Barasat incident within one month seeking death penalty.

Accusing a section of the media of blowing up rape cases, she said, “One or two TV channels under the influence of CPI(M) are projecting them in such a way as if the people are not able to walk on the streets freely.”

“One or two cases had indeed taken place and we do not support them, but that does not mean that everything has turned bad in this state,” she said addressing a panchayat election meeting here.

She claimed that “CPI(M) knows that they will be defeated in the panchayat election and that is why they are constantly making false accusation against us with the help of some tv channels.”

Referring to the NCRB figures showing West Bengal having the highest number of crimes against women, Banerjee said, “It has been prepared without informing the state.”

Unlike in the previous Left Front regime, now FIRs were registered against the crimes against women, she said. “Crimes against women were the regular feature during the Left Front regime. FIRs were not allowed to be filed at that time.”

“At Keshpur in West Midnapur district there was series of crimes against women but police diary (complaints) were not allowed to be lodged during the Left Front rule,” she said.

During her speech, Banerjee also turned her ire against the Centre for seeking huge interest on loans taken by the previous Left Front government.

“I wish people from Bengal to go to Delhi and gherao the Prime Minister demanding to know from him why should the West Bengal government pay interest for huge loans taken by the previous Left Front government,” she said.

 

#India – Mumbai is 2nd-most crime-prone city, despite drop in cases in 2012 #Vaw


142.3% Rise In Robberies In City, 63.5% Spike In State

V Narayan TNN

Mumbai has gained the dubious distinction of being the secondmost crime-prone city in India, if one goes by the number of cases registered under the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The data, recently released by the National Crime Records Bureau, shows that 30,508 cases were registered under the IPC in 2012, making Mumbai second only to Delhi, which had 47,982 cases.
In 2011, Mumbai actually saw more cases registered, 32,647. But the city had ranked third then behind Delhi and Kochi, which saw 47,212 and 34,658 cases, respectively.
The 6.5% drop in cases registered in Mumbai in 2012 can be mainly attributed to fewer cases filed for theft, burglary, dacoity, hurt, death by negligence, attempted murder, kidnap, abduction, cruelty by husband and relative, cheating, rioting and counterfeiting.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra continues to remain the second-most crime-prone state in the nation, even though it saw fewer cases registered in 2012. The figure dropped from 2.05 lakh in 2011 to 2.03 lakh. Madhya Pradesh, which has topped the chart since 2010, saw 2.2 lakh cases in 2012. Tamil Nadu was third with 2 lakh cases.
Several crimes saw a spike in Mumbai as well as Maharashtra, but none more so than robbery, which went up by a huge 142.3% in Mumbai and 63.5% in Maharashtra. There were 467 robberies in Mumbai in 2011, which went up to 1,131 the next year. In Maharashtra, the number rose from 4,249 to 6,949.
Other crimes that saw a rise in Mumbai included crimes against women (rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment), as reported by TOI on June 15, and also murder, culpable homicide, dowry deaths, breach of trust and arson. Maharashtra saw more crimes against women, dacoity, death by negligence, culpable homicide, attempted murder, cruelty by husband and relatives, cheating, breach of trust and riots.
Experts and police said higher awareness in Maharashtra leads to more crimes being reported and higher statistics. Deputy commissioner of police (Zone V) Dhananjay Kulkarni said a developed state sees more reporting of crime and better response by the police. Former IPS officer-turned-lawyer YP Singh said, “In Maharashtra, there is less refusal to register a crime. That is why even though Maharashtra may be a more peaceful state than Bihar or UP, or even West Bengal, it would have more cases.” Joint commissioner of police (crime) Himanshu Roy echoed such views.
Both Kulkarni and Singh also cited rapid urbanization and population density in cities as causes of crime. “For semi-urban and rural India, cities have gradually come to signify prosperity, a better quality of life, higher income, a modern lifestyle and facilities. In their quest for the seemingly ideal life, people are increasingly migrating to cities, leading to an imbalance in supply and demand and basic resources,” Kulkarni said.

 

#India – Assam tops 2012 list of custodial deaths in India #Prisonerights


, TNN | Jun 15, 2013,

Assam tops 2012 list of custodial deaths in India

Surprisingly, the NCRB did not record a single case of police custodial death in Assam in 2011.
GUWAHATI: In a major embarrassment for the state, the National Crime Records Bureau(NCRB) figures for last year have listed Assamas having the highest numbers of police custodial deaths. “Last year, 11 persons who were in police remand died in lock-ups in Assam. Though autopsy, case registration and magisterial enquiries were conducted in all the cases, no policemen were chargesheeted or convicted in these cases in 2012,” said the NCRB report.Andhra Pradesh came second in the category with five such cases, followed by Maharashtra with four deaths, as recorded by the national agency. A total of 38 such deaths were recorded in the country last year.

Surprisingly, the NCRB did not record a single case of police custodial death in Assam in 2011. Andhra Pradesh was in first position in 2011 with 11 cases and Madhya Pradesh second. Maharastra stood in the third in 2011 as well.

Assam Police, who are embarrassed and under fire because of the report, have demanded a rechecking of the figure published in the NCRB report. “We are concerned, but we first need to go through the details of every case thoroughly,” said Assam Police chief J N Choudhury.

Concerned about the matter, former police chief Hare Krishna Deka said that Assam Police should take the matter seriously and act promptly. “There should be a thorough study of the cases by the CID, which should prepare a detailed report citing reasons behind the incidents and measures to prevent it. Besides, the top brass of the state police should also make surprise visits to police stations to check any wrong action by police officers on lock-up inmates,” Deka said.

The former DGP added, “Moreover, we need to find out whether or not the magisterial inquiries were completed. These probes and their follow-up actions should be very prompt.”

Earlier this month, the Assam Human Rights Commission (AHRC) ordered a magisterial enquiry into the custodial death of one Palash Baruah at Jorhat Medical College Hospital while he was in judicial custody. Palash was lodged in the Jorhat District Jail.

As per an Asian Centre for Human Rights report, ‘Torture in India 2011′, stated that a total of 14,231 persons, or an average of more than four persons per day, died in police and judicial custody in India between 2001 and 2010
.

 

#India – More rapes in Delhi in 2012 than 4 other metros , Mumbai child rapes spike by 20% #Vaw


, TNN | Jun 14, 2013, 01.39 AM IST

More rapes in Delhi in 2012 than 4 other metros put together
The number of rapes in the capital last year (706) was more than those reported in four other metros – Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Chennai (484) – put together.
  • NEW DELHI: Delhi‘s shame continues. The National Crime Records Bureau’s report for 2012, released on Wednesday, iterates through statistics what every woman in the city knows by experience – that it remains the most unsafe for women among 88 important cities of India.

With 5,959 cases of crime against women registered last year, Delhi accounted for a staggering 14.88% of all women-related crimes reported from these 88 cities. No other city even came close to matching Delhi’s notorious record.

Bangalore was a distant second, with a share of 6.18% of all crimes against women in urban India. Next came Kolkata (5.66%) and then Mumbai (4.86%).

No crime reveals Delhi’s violence towards women better than rape. The number of rapes in the capital last year (706) was more than those reported in four other metros — Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Chennai (484) — put together. The staggeringly high figure can’t be explained by the capital’s sprawl. For, the female population of Delhi is 75.76 lakh, lower than Mumbai (85.20 lakh) and not much higher than Kolkata (67.93 lakh).

2,160 kidnap cases of girls registeredAccording to the NCRB figures, Delhi’s share of all crimes committed in the country was 2.83%. Among states and UTs, Bengal leads the pack with a share of 12.67%.

As many as 2,160 kidnapping cases in which women or minor girls were the victims, were registered last year in Delhi. There were 134 dowry deaths and 1,985 cases of cruelty to women by husbands or relatives.

Seeking to downplay the numbers, Delhi Police said statistics did not reveal the actual picture. Senior cops said gave a number of reasons for the rise in crime in Delhi over the past decade. They said rapid growth in the city’s population, socio-economic imbalances and urban anonymity were encouraging deviant behaviour. They said the city’s adverse sex ratio (866/1000) and loosening of social structures were also playing a part in rise of crime.

Among the new initiatives for controlling crimes, the cops said 255 city routes had been identified as being the most frequented by women late in the evening. More than 400 women sub-inspectors and 2,088 women constables were being deployed on these stretches.

Earlier, a document submitted by a Delhi ministry in the assembly had criticized a few rape victims themselves for inadvertently contributing to the low conviction rate in such cases. “Victims sometimes do not support prosecution during trial. At other times, there are compromises made between both parties,” the ministry stated.

45% rise in sexual harassment cases in Mumbai, rapes up by 5%

V Narayan & Sumitra Deb Roy, TNN | Jun 15, 2013, 1

MUMBAI: The city saw a huge 45% rise in sexual harassment cases in 2012, even as incidents of rape and sexual assault also grew, according to data from the National Crime Records Bureaureleased this week. There were 235 cases of sexual harassment in 2012 as compared to 162 in 2011. The rise from 2010 to 2011 was much lower at 17.4%.While rape cases in Mumbai rose at a slower rate of 5% in 2012, the 232 cases put the city second nationally, behind only Delhi, which saw 585 cases. In Maharashtra, Pune also made its way into the hall of shame, recording the sixth most rapes among cities nationally.

Worryingly, both at the Mumbai and state level, most rape victims were aged 14 to 18. Of the 232 victims in Mumbai, around 105 (45%) were from this age group, while at the state level the figure was 609 of 1,294 victims (47%). Shockingly, 11 victims in Mumbai were under 10.

The all-India data released this week showed a 11% rise in sexual assault cases in Mumbai, going from 553 in 2011 to 614 in 2012.

Like in Mumbai, in Maharashtra too there was a huge jump in sexual harassment cases, from 1,071 in 2011 to 1,294 in 2012. This 21% increase contrasted with the 9.2% drop there was in 2011. There were also 8.1% more rapes and 3.6% more sexual assaults in 2012 in the state.

Law enforcers, however, claimed the city was behaving itself, at least when compared to previous years. In their defence, they said the rise in rapes and sexual assaults the previous year was higher, 14% and 16.4% respectively.

The rise in sexual harassment comes as no surprise in a city that saw the deaths of Reuben Fernandez and Keenan Santos, who were stabbed in 2011 in Amboli for protesting against the sexual harassment of women. Beyond city limits, Santosh Vichivara, 19, was stabbed by five boys, including four minors, in December 2012 for protesting against lewd comments passed against a girl.

While former IPS officer-turned-lawyer Y P Singh said increasing urbanization in Maharashtra was to blame for the rise in crime against women, additional commissioner of police (crime) Niket Kaushik said that at least some of the increase was due to more people coming forward to lodge complaints. He also credited prompt registration of FIRs. “Crime is on the rise, but special teams are also being formed to tackle crime,” he said.

Nandita Shah, co-director of NGO Akshara, said more women are shedding inhibitions and coming forward to complain. “Delhi’s Nirbhaya incident took away some element of shame and guilt that women always found themselves surrounded with whenever faced with assault or harassment. But there is no denying that crime is on the rise,” she said. She echoed Singh’s view that rapid urbanization can lead to unfulfilled aspirations.

After 2011 drop, child rapes spike by 20%

V Narayan & Sumitra Deb Roy | TNN

Mumbai: The National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) 2012 report reveals an increase in the number of cases of infanticide, sex selection, abandoning of newborns, rape and murder of children (below 16 years) in Mumbai and Maharashtra. The report shows a 20.5% and 13.3% rise in children raped and murdered in the city over 2011, though rape cases in 2011 dipped by 16.4% against 2010.
The report lists Maharashtra after Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh in crimes against children and says children raped in the state increased by 9.5% in 2011 and 2.9% in 2012. A senior cop said murders of children were mostly kidnappings for ransom that went awry. “Extramarital affairs also account for murders. In rare cases, mentally ill people kill their children. To take the life of a child even in rage requires emotional detachment and a deranged mind,” said the officer.
Former IPS officer-turnedlawyer Y P Singh blamed the increase in population, rapid urbanisation and economic growth for the rising crime graph. “The passion of the youth for sex, money and power makes them mostly vulnerable to crime. Most crimes are registered against youths aged between 18 to 35,” he said.
“Infanticide and foeticide are deep-rooted social evils somewhere related to rapid urbanization and growing aspirations,” said Dr A L Sharda, director of NGO Population First. The NGO’s girl child campaign, Laadli, has been working to address the disparity in the sex ratio. “Even people in rural areas prefer smaller families. But the desire for a male child is so dominant even
among the educated that couples could resort to extreme measures,” she said. Sharda said the ratio of the female child per 1,000 population is 62, for the male child it is 72. “By nature, the survival rate of a girl child should be 10 points more than a male child. So, essentially we are talking about missing 20 points,” she said.
Pooja Taparia, founder and CEO of Arpan, an NGO working on child sexual abuse, said, “We are talking about kinds of punishment for rape when we don’t find offenders guilty.”
Elderly admit to abuse by kin N early one in 10 senior citizens in Mumbaiadmitted to being abused, said asurvey released by voluntary organisation HelpAge India on Friday. The survey, which covered 6,748 elders across 24 cities from April 27 to May 17, found nearly four out of 10 admitted that their own sons and daughters-in-law were the perpetrators

One of 10 senior citizens in city abused: Survey

TIMES NEWS NETWORK

Mumbai: Octogenarian and Vile Parle resident Anandibai Bendar has no roof over her head in her sunset years, despite owning a house in the western suburbs. She says she has been thrown out by her grandson, who allegedly transferred her home in his name, promising to look after her. She is now pursuing legal options.
Just last week, 93-year-old Anantaiah Shetty from Bangalore was found on the terrace of his building chained by his sons. Nearly one in five senior citizens in urban India admitted to being abused, according to a survey released by voluntary organization HelpAge India on Friday. In the city, one in 10 elders faced such abuse, but nearly 46% did not report it.
The NGO surveyed 6,748 elders over 60 years of age across 24 cities and found that nearly a fifth faced abuse, some as often as daily. Much of the suffering was at the hands of loved ones, with nearly four out of 10 admitting that their sons and daughters-in-law were perpetrators. The actual magnitude of cruelty is likely to be much higher given that seven out of 10 of those interviewed across cities said they did not report the abuse. In metros, 72% of those surveyed said abuse of the elderly was prevalent in society.
“We encourage elders facing abuse to report it,” says Prakash Borgaonkar of Help-Age India, explaining that the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007, has criminalized abuse of the elderly and made children liable to look after elderly parents.
Senior citizens in the city can dial 1090, a police helpline. While nearly one in two elderly Mumbaikars had heard of the police helpline, just two in 100 knew about the protective law.
Abuse in tier-II cities was higher; over 60% of elders in places like Madurai and Kanpur faced ill-treatment. It ranged from disrespect and oral abuse to neglect and violence

 

#India – The Gender Terrorists #Vaw


Vol – XLVIII No. 13, March 30, 2013 | Vasundhara Sirnate

  • “Just being a woman is an act of courage”, said the tagline to the 1979 film adaptation of Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar. One can modify that somewhat to suit the Indian situation – just being born a woman in India is an act of courage.

Vasundhara Sirnate (vsirnate@berkeley.edu) is a doctoral candidate at the Travers Department of Political Science, University of California, Berkeley.

In 2010 a fellow researcher from Stanford University and I compiled a dataset from the Asian Recorder on insurgent attacks in India which occurred between the years 1955 and 2008. The Reed-Sirnate dataset recorded a total of 10,013 people killed over this period in insurgent attacks1. We also recognised that this was not the complete picture and that we could, with ease, probably double this statistic. This number included security forces, civilians (men, women and children) and insurgents killed in terror attacks across the country where the aggressors were insurgent groups.

Academics from across the world have spent much time compiling statistics recording the number of people killed in caste and communal violence in India. For instance, the Varshney-Wilkinson dataset on post-Partition communal violence reports 7,173 deaths in all riots that took place between 1950 and 1995 (Varshney 2001). Similarly, the number of people killed in caste violence in 2011 was 673 and the number of dalit women raped was 1,557. Since 2006, 3,840 scheduled caste people have been killed in caste violence2.

Now let us look at another set of figures. In 2011 alone, the number of women and girls killed in dowry related cases was 8,618. This number almost rivals the number we got from our insurgency dataset spanning 53 years and beats the number presented in the dataset on communal violence. Further, the number of dowry deaths in 2011 were far more than the total number of people killed in caste violence since 2006. Finally, the number of women (47,022) who died in 2011alone outstripped the combined statistics of all kinds of violent deaths occurring in that year due to insurgency, caste and religious violence.

We are then left with a shocking finding: routine Indian male violence against women resulting in female deaths exceeds those that are caused by other kinds of community-based violence, including caste, communal and insurgent violence.

Now these female deaths in 2011 were not accidental ones. The accidental deaths are recorded in a completely separate section in the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) publications. Combining the figures for dowry deaths in 2010 (8,391) and 2011 (8,618) reveals that crimes reported under this section of the Indian Penal Code alone far exceeds the the number of other violent crimes in society. We are looking at 17,009 women killed in two years for not providing a sufficient dowry in spite of several laws that legislate precisely against this practice.

According to the NCRB, a total of 24,596 housewives committed suicide by various means in 2011. This partial figure (some data is missing from the NCRB) shows that the majority of female suicide cases were women/housewives aged 15 to 29 years. The fact that younger housewives are more likely to kill themselves makes perfect sense given the harassment and bullying they face in their marital homes.

Table 1: How women and girls died in India in 2011

Dowry Deaths 8618
Murder/homicide : Ages 0-10 362
Murder/homicide: Ages 10-15 128
Murder/homicide : Ages 15-18 228
Suicide: Ages 0-14 1461
Suicide: Ages 15-29 21410
Suicide: Ages 30-44 14815
Suicide: Ages 44- and above 0 data missing
All India Total 47022

Source: Crime in India, 2011, National Crime Records Bureau.

Table 2: How Indian women were routinely terrorised in 2011

Rape 24206
Kidnapping and abduction 35565
Molestation 42968
Sexual Harassment 8570
Cruelty by husbands and relatives 99135
Importation of girls 80
All India Total 210524

Source: Crime in India, 2011, National Crime Records Bureau.

Random homicidal killing of women is not that common. What we see is the targeted killing of women and abetment to suicide through harassment within the confines of the family structure. Again, this is only a fraction of the actual number of crimes against women since most cases of sexual violence, partner violence, domestic abuse and harassment go largely unreported because women are scared or ashamed, or both, to report them. Indian women know that they are fighting a losing battle since going to the state for redressal of grievances seldom results in actual justice for them.

A few years ago the NCRB reported that there had been a 700 per cent increase in cases of everyday rape since 1971. In the NCRB’s 2011 report 24,206 cases of rape in India were reported. Out of these 93.8 per cent resulted in a chargesheet with a pathetic conviction rate of 26.4 per cent. There were 42,968 cases of reported molestation (27 per cent conviction rate), 99,136 cases of cruelty by husbands and relatives (20.2 per cent conviction rate) and 35,565 cases of kidnapping and abduction of women and girls.

Our child sex-ratio stands at 914 girls per 1000 men, with the ratio in the states of Punjab and Haryana being the worst. An estimated 20 million females are missing in India since 1950 because of practices that include abortion, or killing a girl at birth.

What is Gender Terrorism?

The largest chunk of people in India permanently living in a ‘state of exception’ are not always persecuted minority groups living in communally tense areas or people in insurgency affected areas. The people living under a constant regime of terror are the 58,64,69,174 Indian women (more than the total population of the United States). And there is a clear group of aggressors in this equation – Indian males and the women who aid and abet them. I call these individuals gender terrorists. By using the vocabulary of terrorism, I hope to draw attention to these patterns of violence against women as an internal security problem.

Indian women live in a continuous, terrorised ‘state of exception’ each and every day, where their legal rights, equality and human rights are suspended as a matter of course. Laws, codes and norms that are imposed on women by long-standing traditions have no relevance to life in the contemporary world, yet they endure because they are designed to keep them in check. Judgments on rape have used the problematic phrase of a victim being “habituated to sex”3, which means that women who have had sexual intercourse before cannot be raped. The perverted morality of our sociological conditioning preaches that ‘good’ girls do not get attacked, raped or harassed. And if our religious leaders are to be believed, some ethereal deity if prayed to can stop a woman from being gang-raped. All violence happens to ‘loose girls’ and many, including some women, believe that they either put themselves at risk knowingly, or they ‘had it coming’.

There is a tendency to treat gender violence as a law and order problem, and as incidents that occur at random. In fact, statistics clearly point to patterns of violence, and clearly identify the likelihood of who can be a perpetrator. Treating incidents of gender terrorism as random acts of crazy or disturbed individuals is misguided because it misses the crucial point that gender terrorism is organised, structured and systematic. That it is backed by the state when it chooses not to act on behalf of women, by extra-legal organisations like the khap panchayats, by patriarchal families, by school systems and by individual men and sadly, also many women.

That Indian women are the terrorised gender is well known. However, if there is a terrorised group, it stands to reason that someone must be terrorising them. We can clearly say that many Indian men terrorise Indian women in some form or the other.

Terrorism in the security studies literature refers specifically to some kind of violent action taken by an armed group that has a perceived grievance against the structures of power that exist. It deals with ideologically motivated killing of innocent people. Terrorism implies organised, or even a collection of individual acts directed against one community, territory or a group of people. It implies an ideology and a manifesto, and justifies why violence should be used.

Traditional definitions of terrorism cannot be fully applied to the concept of gender terrorism. Hence, I make a distinction between a political terrorist and a social terrorist. Political terrorism incorporates and encourages gender terrorism. A political terrorist typically attacks institutions of power as he has a bone to pick with those power structures. However, part of being a terrorist is to gain legitimacy through forced compliance. This a terrorist does bybeing a social terrorist as well. Think about the Taliban imposing moral and dress codes on society, and Punjabi and Kashmiri extremists imposing dress codes on women. Interestingly, political terrorists often start their local campaigns by policing what women can and cannot do and how they can and cannot dress. The reason why Taliban style political terrorism works is because the followed ideology is not just political, it also encourages a private individual’s capacity to use violence against a woman he knows or sees.

The manner in which gender terrorism as social terrorism routinely operates is not very different from political terrorism. The only thing absent is grievance against a power structure. If anything, gender terrorism is more like terrorism by the mighty and their handmaidens.

Gender terrorists are men (and women) who routinely enforce norms of behavior for women and girls that are meant to curtail their freedom, choice, rights, and impede the exercise of their capabilities. These social terrorists also work to restrict women’s access to political and legal institutions, nutrition, education, property, and economic opportunities. They use violence as a matter of course to enforce their agenda. In keeping with the accepted characteristics of terrorism, gender terrorists also create widespread psychological trauma for the targeted group (women), which endures over time and is handed down from one generation to the other.

In Haryana, eleven cases of rape, reported over 30 days, were followed with some of the most idiotic rationalisations by the illegal, unconstitutional, informal and self-styled law-making tribunals called khap panchayats. Several explanations were offered by men in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh for beating up their wives, or raping women. They said, men get jealous if their wives talk on the phone. The phones were blamed for women eloping with other men. Therefore, a khap decreed that women should not use cell phones. Men cannot help being lascivious and violent if women wear tight ‘western’ clothing. So, women should be fully covered in clothes that do not reveal their form or body type. Since men do not have access to sex in their youth they find themselves raping women. Therefore, the marriageable age of women should be reduced to sixteen so that more girls can be sexually available to men legally, and this can- according to khaps- reduce rape. Marrying outside the gotra and/or caste, and marrying by choice is an assault on the dignity and honor of the family, the head of which is a man. Consequently, to restore and reconstitute this honour a woman must be brutally murdered, or in some cases publically punished and humiliated along with her chosen partner.

These pronouncements are classic acts of gender terrorism. This is not law-making; this is rule by diktat. Organisations like khaps enable and actively encourage acts of terrorism against women and the men who support these women. The judgments of these extra-legal bodies are not unlike the pronouncements of insurgent groups like the Tehrik-e-Taliban of Pakistan.

In political terrorism there is a deep-seated ideology (religious or political) that provides motivation for acts of terror. Call it patriarchy or misogyny, gender terrorists are bound by a code, and a majority of men agree on the rules of that code. This code shapes the gender terrorist to see women in a particular way- as a body to be possessed on the slightest of pretexts, which could be a short dress or a revealing blouse. There is no respect for a woman. She is treated like an animal, and is sometimes less beloved than a cow. She can be bought, sold, traded, collectively used for sex, pinched, prodded, branded, defiled, mutilated, experimented with, burnt, bullied, financially coerced, insulted, verbally abused, underfed, economically exploited and emotionally abused.

Gender terrorism can be found in legislations like the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, which allows for armed state actors to get away without any public accountability and scrutiny for their policing actions in conflict zones. These actions have often included rape of women in northeast India and Kashmir. These offences have remained largely uninvestigated because of the shroud of secrecy that surrounds the actions of state actors.

Gender terrorism relies on the willingness of the terrorised to view abuse as normal, to be shamed by it and not report it. It uses an increased threat of terror in case a victim reports initial acts of terrorism. There are consequences to being a tattletale, and she is made well aware of what will happen to her or her family if she resists. It is also unpredictable. Any woman, at any time of day, wearing any kind of clothing, in any public or private space, is likely to be a victim of gender terrorism. In this manner, the gender terrorists are able to coerce a woman or a girl into complying with their agenda.

Ripples of Vengeance

On the heels of the Delhi gang-rape incident, a 19 year old dancer was gang-raped in Orissa, a three year old was raped at a day care center and an actress in Manipur (who bravely refused to hide her identity) was dragged off the stage to be raped by a militant. All these incidents happened within 72 hours of the Delhi incident. Many other incidents also happened in 2012. A minor girl was publicly lynched while coming out of a club in Guwahati and this was filmed and broadcast across the nation in absolute violation of media ethics. A girl in south India was molested and thrown off a moving train for refusing the advances of a group of men, and a 16 year old was raped in Silchar by her local guardian.

The anti-rape protests in New Delhi in December 2012 called for revenge in the form of castration and the death penalty for rapists in the glaring absence of justice for crimes against women. Now judicial inquiry commissions are advocating that women be allowed to kill rapists in self-defense, and right-wing organisations like the Shiv Sena are distributing knives to women for self-defense. In 2004, fourteen women in Nagpur stabbed a known rapist, Appu Yadav, to death in a courtroom. In the last decade in at least two instances, women in Bihar and UP have beheaded their rapists. When the 2012 anti-rape protests occurred in New Delhi, the Indian government instead of backing the supporters on an issue where there cannot, ethically speaking, be two sides, famously fumbled as it water cannoned and tear-gassed thousands of well-heeled protestors and tried to stop them from reaching protest points by shutting down key subway stations.

In the absence of justice, Indian women are indicating that they will settle for revenge. These women who are ‘recovering subversion’, as Nivedita Menon once articulated, often take the law into their own hands. The Gulabi Gang bullies its way into police thanas and offices of bureaucrats for better treatment of women, and bashes up husbands known to be wife-beaters. And let us not forget the increasing number of tribal women that join the Maoists every year to flee persecution and abuse by the state and its commercial handmaidens.

This is not an endorsement of the vengeance harboured by women. This is instead a recognition of a systemic problem in the capacity and willingness of the state to react and respond to gender terrorism. It indicates the failure of the political process to secure rights for half the citizens of the country. Women are forced into being radicals to secure their personal safety because they are painfully aware that no one else will secure it for them.

Bharat Versus India – A False Dichotomy

In India, state actors mirror the anti-woman ideas that govern social behavior. Our police and paramilitary personnel are drawn from households that have seen violence within the family. Our constabulary comes from semi-urban and/or rural areas where their mothers waited on them hand and foot, and now their wives and daughters wait on them. For our police, who are supposed to be the first responders in a case of gender terrorism, a beaten up housewife is something familiar. They have seen their mothers get beaten up at home. A girl with her boyfriend who got raped is also familiar. They probably agree that women with boyfriends are “habituated to sex” and so their rape is not a big deal.

This sounds very much like an argument that pitches rural India (Bharat) versus cosmopolitan India where women are supposedly treated better. But this is not the case. If anything, Bharat and India agree on how women are perceived and how they should behave. Bharat and India agree on dowry practices. Bharat and India agree on the impossible attractions of short skirts that ‘allow’ men to rape women. Bharat and India both believe rape can be conducted with impunity. Bharat and India both have women that are victims of domestic violence and spousal abuse.

The arguments that construe metropolitan India as a socially evolved space are quite misleading and dangerous because they lull us into thinking that rape culture and gender terrorism are products of economic and societal backwardness. If this were the case we would not see gender terrorism in countries like the USA or a host of European nations. That we still see incidents of rape in developed countries, is an indicator of the global scale of gender terrorism.

The Bromance of the State

The people who staff the state shape state apathy towards gender terrorism. We have elected representatives who openly dislike women, openly buy women for sex and make them disappear when things get uncomfortable. Our representatives have repeatedly scuttled the tabling of the Women’s Reservation Bill since the late 1990’s. Many representatives have chargesheets pending against them on various counts of sexual violence, including rape. These charges have not impeded their rise in politics and have not stopped them from representing us.

Our military and paramilitary personnel have been accused of rape in conflict zones. A few years ago an army soldier was filmed sexually harassing a young girl in Assam in full view of other soldiers. No one stopped the soldier, and no one helped the girl. She retaliated by pelting him with stones. The rape and murder of Thangjam Manorama by soldiers of the Assam Rifles in Manipur gave rise to forms of protest that included a mob of naked Manipuri women marching to the Assam Rifles headquarters demanding justice with signs that said “Indian Army Rape Us”.

During my fieldwork on counter-insurgency in India, I was told a story about a counterinsurgency operation in a northeastern state. In this operation army men- recruited from central India- who were part of a regiment stationed in Assam and the state police of an adjoining state conducted a combined operation against a newly discovered camp of the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA). The raid was successful. However, they found three female ULFA members in the camp. Tense bargaining took place that night between the northeastern cops, who were operating out of their jurisdiction in an adjoining state, and the Indian army soldiers who wanted the women released to them. The northeastern cops resisted releasing the women to the army. They saw the women as fellow northeasterners.

The cop I interviewed said, “you can guess what would have happened to them”. After half an hour or so of bargaining, one of the cops from the northeast picked up his rifle and shot the three women dead. It was to send a signal to the army men. The cops and soldiers went their separate ways, and no one was ever the wiser publically about what had transpired that night, how many rules of engagement had been broken, and how many men got away with multiple murders.

Such incidents are clear violations of all laws that globally govern our existence. However, these are men and state actors drawn from a society where women are ‘taught lessons’ through sexual assault and are beaten up and insulted for the slightest of transgressions. The standards of male behavior and the attitude towards women that exist in Indian society find their way into the actions of our military, paramilitary and police personnel. The institutions of the state don’t break down gender terrorism; they reinforce it.

It is hard to spell out the consequences for perpetrators of gender terrorism when state actors themselves are deeply misogynistic. The laws protecting women in the Indian legal system are far ahead of their times in many cases. However, they are sporadically and clumsily implemented. We as a polity need to define consequences for gender terrorists. Impunity exists in the absence of consequences.

“Just being a woman is an act of courage”, said the tagline to the 1979 film adaptation of Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar. I modify that somewhat to suit the Indian situation – just being born a woman in India is an act of courage.

References

Varshney, A (2001), Ethnic conflict and civil society. World Politics, 53, 362-398.

1 Source: Reed-Sirnate dataset

2 Source :Crime in India’ National Crime Records Bureau publication, under Chapter 7, “Crime Against Persons Belonging to SCs/STs, 2010

3 The term ‘habituated to sex’ became controversial when it was used in 1974 in the judgment of the Mathura Rape Case. In this case a sixteen year old tribal girl was raped in Maharashtra’s Chandrapur district inside a police thana. The judgment ruled that rape could not be proved; only intercourse could be proved because the victim was determined to have been ‘habituated to sex’.

 

#India-27 steps to prevent crime against women ? #Vaw #Womenrights


TNN | Feb 5, 2013, 01.14 AM IST

NEW DELHI: Sensing that the Ordinance prescribing harsher punishment for offenders is not enough to prevent crime against women, the government on Monday unveiled 27 measures like setting up crisis response centres in 100 districts, introducing ‘Women Only’ buses in cities and removing jurisdiction boundaries for police in registering criminal cases.It also issued instructions to initiate strict action against police personnel found to be either displaying bias against women or neglecting their supervisory responsibilities while registering complaints of sexual offences.

Putting in place a nationwide three-digit number (such as 100) to respond to all emergency situations on the lines of 911 or 990Emergency Management Systems in vogue in several developed countries and launching a sustained media campaign to stop negative/indecent portrayal of women in movies, TV shows and advertisements are also part of the comprehensive plan comprising 27 different measures to prevent crime against women.

“Government enlisted these suggestions after several round of discussion over the issue under the Union cabinet secretary Ajit K Seth in the past one month,” said a home ministry official.

The measures outlined changes in the police system, a review of theMotor Vehicles Act, measures to make responses to crimes against women in efficient and sensitive manner and greater accountability of enforcement agencies.

The department of women and child development will implement a scheme to provide compensation to victims of sexual assault and also a scheme for setting up Crisis Response Centres in select hospitals to provide psychological and other assistance to sexual assault victims. The proposed scheme will be implemented in a pilot phase in 100 districts from 2013-14.

The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) will compile a database of persons convicted of criminal offences. Details of persons convicted of crimes against women will be displayed on their website. The existing Motor Vehicle Regulations will be reviewed, prescribing for increasing the quantum of fines imposed on violation of permit conditions and to bar compounding of offences beyond a certain number.

It will be made mandatory for a reporting officer to comment upon on the gender sensitivity of the police personnel in the Annual Performance Appraisal Report. Besides, plans are afoot to further develop and promote community policing.

Teachers will be given training in value education. Sustained awareness campaigns on gender equality will be undertaken in all schools and colleges and gender modules to be integrated in the curriculum at every level.

Girls students will also be trained in self defence/martial arts.

 

#India-126753 stood trial for #Rape in 2011, 5724 were convicted #Vaw


INDIA, Posted on Dec 19, 2012

New Delhi: Women’s rights activists and judicial experts have long demanded fast-track court processes and quick convictions in cases of rape to tackle the problem. Their demand seems justified in the light of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data for the year 2011.

The total number of persons under arrest including those from previous year in 2011 were 37929 of whom, 2050 people or 5.4 per cent were released before trial. In all, 26436 persons were chargesheeted, a 69.7 per cent figure against the total number of arrests. About 9443 persons were still under investigation at the end of the year, i.e 24.9 per cent.

In the same year, the total number of persons under trial including those from previous year stood at 126753 but only 21489 trials were completed (a one-sixth conversion rate). In all, 5724 people were convicted which stood at 26.6 per cent when weighed against those who stood trial. The total number of pending cases stood at 104997, 82.8 per cent of those which went to trial.

This surely paints a bleak picture about our slow judicial processed and also indicts the police for shoddy investigation which is evident from the dismal conviction rate.

Fast track courts which can convene for daily hearings and exemplary punishment are urgently required to tackle both the mountain of pending cases and to get a grip on the rising number of instances of crime against women.

 

#India- #Maharashtra – 46,000 crimes on women in three years #Vaw #Shame


‘46K crimes on women in three years’

Vaibhav Ganjapure TNN

 

rape

Nagpur: The issue of crimes against women was raised in the state legislature on Wednesday. Asking a questions in the council, MLC Mohan Joshi said Maharashtra witnessed 46,513 crimes against women from 2009 to 2011, including rape. He added that 40,516 kids went missing in the same period, claiming that the figure was the highest in India.

Earlier, female legislators from several parties submitted a representation to the government, seeking strict laws to curb rising crime.

Asian Human Rights Commission INDIA: Despicable policing


November 12, 2012

AHRC-STM-226-2012-01Once again, the country’s judiciary has underlined the fact that there is something fundamentally wrong with the police in India. On 7 November, the Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court, Justice Vikramajit Sen, while hearing a case said, “I never understand why the police always take the side of villains. Whether it is Haryana or Karnataka, it is the same.” Justice Sen, chairing the Division Bench of the court was hearing a criminal case. Expressing concern about the conduct of police with regard to women, Justice Sen said, ” … the police have no sympathy over the plight of the [rape] victim … Until it happens to their families, they cannot understand”, concluded the court.

The courts in India, including the Supreme Court, on several occasions have lashed out at the police and other law enforcement agencies in the country, each time expressing concern of the fact that these agencies are professionally unfit to undertake their mandate. For instance the Kerala High Court while hearing a case relating to crimes committed by the state’s police officers expressed serious concern over the high number of police officers, ranking from constable to the Inspector General of Police, who have criminal cases against them, and are still in active service.

The report submitted by the Director General of Police in Kerala to the High Court on 8 August 2011, reveals the names of 533 police officers that fall into this category. The state government however has tried to dismiss the seriousness of the issue and no action whatsoever has been taken against these officers so far.

One of the most notorious cases in the list is that of an officer of the rank of the Inspector General of Police, accused of charges including corruption, smuggling, and threatening and intimidating witnesses. The fact that these officers are not only responsible for formulating policies for the department, but are also directly involved in criminal investigation, challenges the capacity of the Indian police to undertake criminal investigation, one of the foundation stones of criminal justice delivery in the country.

In fact the Government of India does not have a real picture of the state of affairs concerning the alarming internal wilt that has occurred in the police. The record available with the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) is an example of this. The NCRB report claims that out of the 61786 complaints made against the police in 2011 in the whole of the country, only 916 were charge-sheeted.

Human rights organisations like the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) and other civil society organisations have been calling upon the Government of India to take immediate action to deal with this serious absence of professionalism and morale within the police and other law enforcement agencies in the country. Cases documented from India, including that of corruption, the widespread practice of torture and other forms of custodial violence substantiate this concern. The AHRC has been calling upon the Indian authorities to address with immediate effect the resultant moral wilt within the police as well as other law enforcement agencies, which has led to the breakdown of the day-to-day administration of criminal justice in India.

Just as it is in the case of any other disciplined force suffering from lack of morale and professionalism, the despicable conduct of the police is not limited to cases involving private complaints. The lack of an enforceable disciplinary and accountability framework has resulted in the police treating crimes committed against their own rank and file with the same temperament as it is in the case of private complaints. Criminal investigations in the country resemble in fact a marketplace, where negotiations are made in the open and deals sealed under the table.

The internal investigation report filed by the Director of Police Intelligence, Mr. T. P. Senkumar, to the Director General of Police, Mr. K. S. Balasubramaniyam, concerning the case of assault and death of a Sub Inspector of Police (SI), Mr. Thankaraj, in Kerala speaks about the alarming fact that police officers even compromise with criminals, crimes committed against fellow police officers by local thugs, after demanding and accepting bribes from these criminal elements.

The intelligence report prepared by Senkumar alleges that the Superintendent of Police, Mr. K. B. Balachandran and other police officers have accepted bribes from a local thug, Mr. Sebastian, so that Sebastian’s name is dropped from the list of suspects accused of assaulting the SI, that resulted in his death. That such demeaning and corrupt practices are highly prevalent among the rank and file of the state police department, not only negates every legitimate purpose of criminal investigation, but also encourages all officers to be corrupt within the force.

In this case too, unfortunately the Government of Kerala is reportedly refusing to take action against the errant police officers due to illegal and political considerations. These incidents are not rare in India, but rather the standard conduct of police officers, that the entire force does not enjoy an iota of trust among the population, and unfortunately the country’s judiciary subscribes to this general perception.

The AHRC is of the opinion that the single largest impediment to police reforms in India is the police force itself. Police force in India, which by now has reduced to a mere uniformed criminal gang that brokers with authority, enjoy absolute impunity in return to the role of middlemen they play in power brokering.

Officers agree to do the cleanup jobs for the powerful and the rich with the least amount of persuasion and they are willing to illegally manipulate investigations into corruption and other crimes. While high-ranking police officers often sell their uniforms to the country’s corrupt political and financial elite, the lower-ranking officers extort money from the ordinary people, by engaging in crimes like extortion, fabrication of charges or even undertaking smuggling activities.

The police and all law enforcement agencies to extort bribe from detainees and suspects use threat of torture. Some police officers engage in supporting anti-national and terror syndicates after accepting money and other favours from these gangs. In that, the single largest threat to national security in India is its own police force. Unfortunately this is an issue that the country’s administration is yet to admit to and to remedy.

The continuance of such a state of affairs in police and other law enforcement agencies not only impedes the overall framework of the rule of law in India but also absolutely negates the country’s capacity to fulfil the constitutionally mandated domestic human rights standards. Such faulty institutions that are incapable of discharging everything that is expected to be undertaken within the framework of the rule of law, is exploited further by the government to implement draconian legislations like The National Security Act 1980, The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967 and their state variants like The Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act, 1999; The Karnataka Control of Organised Crimes Act, 2000; The Uttar Pradesh Control of Goondas Act, 1970; The Assam Preventive Detention Act, 1980; The Armed Forces (Assam and Manipur) Special Powers Act, 1958; and The Madhya Pradesh Rajya Suraksha Adhiniyam, 1990. There are at least 44 such legislations in India, which allows the police to arbitrarily take action against innocent members of the public.

The police to sidestep the rule of law guarantees use all the above legislation, without exception, that other procedural restrictions built in into the Criminal Procedure Code, 1974, to prevent misuse of authority is today meaningless. Today the police could illegally detain, keep in prolonged custody and even murder people with absolute impunity. This negates the fundamental premise of fair trial.

All these legislations however are implemented in the guise of empowering law enforcement agencies to control and prevent crime. Yet the most simple and elementary step, to discipline the police, is yet to be implemented in India.

The basic flaw in this mindset of the government is that the law enforcement agencies are conceived as organs to maintain order at the expense of awarding arbitrary authorities to the state agencies, who subject these laws to wanton misuse since the agencies implementing these legislations themselves act with the same mindset of organised criminal syndicates. Today if anyone refers the law enforcement agencies in India as organised criminals in uniform, such a reference is not untrue.

It is not that exceptions to this general perception do not exist in the rank and file in the law enforcement agencies. It is only that the number of such officers is far too low, that they alone cannot improve the image or performance of the rest of the force. It is a sad truth that both the government and the law enforcement officers know that for the conditions to improve, the change has to come from within, yet both choose to do nothing about it.

# # #
For information and comments: Bijo Francis, AHRC. Telephone: + 852 – 26986 339, Email: india@ahrc.asia

Cartoon provided by Mr. Satish Acharya
. The cartoonist’s page could be viewed at http://cartoonistsatish.blogspot.com/

 

#India-Where women fear to tread #MP #VAW #Indiashining


MAHIM PRATAP SINGH, The Hindu

In the State that leads in incidents of rape, the shame-inducing statistics are pushing the administration into action

Time was when Payal (name changed to protect her identity), a standard VII student from Madhya Pradesh’s tribal dominated Betul district, had only school, friends and family on her mind. But her little world changed dramatically in March this year.

The 15-year-old, a resident of Betul’s Majhinagar slum, was abducted in public by a gangster, Rajesh Harore.

Rajesh (32) then took the tribal girl to a shanty and raped her. But that was not all. Two weeks later Rajesh, along with two other men, came to her house. As the helpless teenager watched, they shot her mother dead for having approaching the police.

Payal’s story is just one of the several thousand stories of rape that get scripted in Madhya Pradesh every year.

Away from the kind of media glare that Haryana found itself facing after a string of rapes committed recently, in Madhya Pradesh the crime continues unabated and with impunity.

Over the last two decades, the State has led the country in the number of rapes committed, according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data (1991-2011).

Only last year, it recorded 3,406 cases of rape, which means nine women were raped here every 24 hours.

In the first six months of this year (January-July 2012), there were 1,927 cases of rape — an increase of 6.11 per cent over the number of rapes committed during the same period in 2010 and 2011. Overall, the State accounted for 14 per cent of the rapes committed across the country in 2011.

Among cities, the State capital, Bhopal, with 100 rapes, was second only to the metropolises Delhi (453) and Mumbai (221), while the State’s industrial capital, Indore, stood fifth, registering 91 rapes.

Floating population a reason

The statistics tell a horrifying story. But why are so many women raped in Madhya Pradesh every year?

According to the police, the State’s huge floating population is one reason. Also, they say, unlike in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan or Haryana, they never turn away a complainant. Every rape complaint is registered.

Perhaps, another more important reason is the conservative attitude of people in M.P., as in certain other States, towards women.

“In most parts of these States, the girl child is still considered a liability. Women are perceived to be good for only two things — sex and giving birth to a boy. It is almost like they need the women, but not the girls,” says Anuradha Shankar, Inspector-General of Police, Indore.

Not surprisingly, the top five States in terms of the number of rapes — Madhya Pradesh (3,406), West Bengal (2,363), Uttar Pradesh (2,042), Rajasthan (1,800) and Maharashtra (1,701) — also have dismal sex ratios.

While Madhya Pradesh (930), Rajasthan (926) and Uttar Pradesh (908) have sex ratios below the national average of 940, West Bengal (947) and Maharashtra (946) are just on the threshold.

Attitudes within the government too are a cause for concern. At least two ministers of the Shivraj Singh Chauhan cabinet have publicly blamed victims for bringing rape upon themselves by dressing provocatively.

In April, the Urban Development Minister, Babulal Gaur, blamed short dresses of girls for the rising number of sexual harassment cases. Three months later, the Industries Minister, Kailash Vijayvargiya, while commenting on the Guwahati molestation case, advised girls to dress in sync with Indian culture.

He went a step ahead and said that members of the National Commission for Women team who went to probe the Guwahati incident looked like participants of a fashion show.

Low conviction rates

But if provocative dressing by young girls was indeed the reason for rape, more revealing are the statistics that show that rapists have no age preference when it came to choosing targets.

According to the NCRB, Madhya Pradesh registered the highest number of rapes of women above 50 years of age, along with the maximum number of minor adolescent rapes — 1,195 cases.

Of these, 886 girls were between 14-18 years while 309 were between 10-14 years.

Earlier this year, the State Home Minister, Umashankar Gupta, admitted in the Vidhan Sabha that 3,176 minor girls were raped in the State over the last two years. That’s four minor girls a day.

At 6,665 cases, M.P. also had the highest number of molestation cases during 2011. Even as rapes have been rising, conviction rates have remained low with Madhya Pradesh recording an abysmal rate of 23.6 per cent during 2011.

Police say rape is a complicated crime and is difficult to stop since “about 65 per cent cases involve people known to the victim.”

New department

“Earlier this year, when a lot of rapes were being reported from Indore, we did a survey and found that 22 out of the 25 rapes reported were committed by relatives, family members or persons known to the victim,” says Ms Shankar.

The State has been trying hard to get rid of the shame-inducing statistics. A step in that direction is the setting up of the Crime against Women (CaW) branch. Headed by ADG Aruna Mohan Rao, it was set up this June. The unit has four Inspectors-General of Police functioning under the ADG. The IGs, one each in Bhopal, Indore, Gwalior and Jabalpur, are tasked with monitoring cases of crime against women on a daily basis.

Besides, there are four deputy-directors of prosecution (DDP) who monitor all cases in the courts during the trial stage in order to check the abysmal conviction rate.

The new department has also undertaken a ground level study in order to analyse all rape cases, follow-up on pending investigation and identify reasons for low conviction rates. CaW is still in its infancy, but Ms Rao claims it has started showing results.

“There has been an increased level of sensitisation within the police force. Only the constables are yet to be adequately sensitised but we are working towards that. We will assess the results once the specialised branch completes six months of operations,” she says. Even then, only an assessment of how safe women in Madhya Pradesh feel, will provide the true measure of CaW’s success or otherwise. Right now, they live in an atmosphere of fear and insecurity.