Rajasthan: Student gangraped by sacked cops #Vaw


PTI
Jaipur, March 11, 2013

RAPE

A 20-year-old girl was allegedly gangraped by two sacked jawans of Rajasthan Police Constabulary, police said in Jaipur.

“The girl was with her friend on a motorbike on March 7 when the accused, also on motorcycle, chased and stopped them near Rawatbhata road. The accused

identified as Mohan Singh and Jai Kumar, posing as policemen, sought papers of the motorbike and asked the couple to come to a police outpost with them saying that they were roaming in suspicious circumstances,” SHO Dadabadi police station-Kota, Dharmendra Kumar said on Monday.

“The couple was forced to sit on Jai Kumar’s motorcycle, while Mohan Singh drove the boy’s bike to an isolated area where they beat the boy and took turns to rape the girl,” he said.

After the incident, the couple reported the matter to the police and an FIR was lodged.

Mohan Singh was arrested on Saturday, he said, adding he was sent to judicial custody till March 16.

Another accused Jai Kumar is still absconding and a hunt is on to arrest him, he said.

The girl was living in a rented accommodation in Kota city and attending medical coaching classes.

Both the accused, who are local residents, were the RAC jawans and they were terminated from the services in 2006 for their involvement in a robbery case, the SHO, who is the investigating officer, sai

 

Activists cast doubts over IAEA review of Rajasthan atomic power plant


JAIPUR, November 11, 2012

MOHAMMED IQBAL, The Hindu

 
“The inspection team must look into tritium leak at Rawatbhata earlier this year and occurrence of diseases in the plant’s vicinity”
 

Expressing doubts over the ongoing operational safety review by an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team at Rawatbhata Atomic Power Station in Rajasthan, anti-nuclear activists here have demanded “transparent and independent” inspection which can address the issues of vulnerability, unaccountability and secrecy plaguing the Indian nuclear industry.

Activists said at a Press conference here over the weekend that they had received information about the 12-member IAEA team raising serious safety issues, particularly non-availability of crucial auxiliary generators and use of obsolete equipment in the health physics unit to check radiation exposure to workers in the reactors. The team’s final report is not likely to be made public.

Those who addressed the Press conference included senior journalist Praful Bidwai, who writes on environmental and nuclear issues, scientist Sowmya Dutta, activist Kumar Sundaram and People’s Union for Civil Liberties general secretary Kavita Srivastava. The PUCL and the Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament & Peace (CNDP) jointly organised the Press meet.

Raising the larger issues of nuclear safety vulnerabilities and lack of independent regulation of atomic power production in the country, the activists said the first-of-its-kind inspection must look into the tritium leak at Rawatbhata earlier this year, high occurrence of diseases in the power plant’s vicinity and lack of published data about radiation releases.

Mr. Bidwai pointed out that the IAEA team is visiting the Rawatbhata plant’s Units 3 and 4, whereas the tritium leaks took place in Unit 5 in June this year, in which 34 casual workers were exposed to high doses of tritium: “These casual workers, not given any health benefits, are the most vulnerable part of the nuclear industry.”

Independent observers have documented the facts about the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) seniors forcing the workers to operate in unsafe zones and intimidating them to hide radiation exposures from the media and the society at large, said the activists.

“In Rawatbhata, we have come to know that the contractual workers have been asked to take leave for next 15 days or work only in night shifts until the IAEA team is there. The Rawatbhata contractual workers have been struggling for [proper] wages, health benefits and independent radiation check-ups,” said Ms. Srivastava. Rawatbhata is situated in Chittorgarh district, 322 km from here.

Noted experts Sanghamitra Gadekar and Surendra Gadekar have carried out an independent health survey around Rawatbhata reactors revealing high occurrence of cancer, leukaemia and other diseases. “This study was published in a reputed and peer-reviewed medical journal but the NPCIL has callously ignored it,” said a statement issued by activists.

Besides, the Union Government has not done any independent safety review of its atomic power facilities after the nuclear accident at Fukushima in Japan following the massive earthquake and tsunami on March 11 last year. Concerns have been expressed at the top level about the safety of nuclear plants in the country in the wake of the damage caused in Fukushima.

The NPCIL hastily carried out an internal safety review last year within three months and gave a “clean chit to itself”, alleged the activists. The Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB), which has no independence and is due to be replaced by a new regulatory body currently under discussion in Parliament, has in the meanwhile given only very general recommendations on safety, they said.

Calling for a thorough safety review under independent experts, the activists requested the IAEA team to ask for a moratorium on new constructions and commissioning of nuclear reactors until such an independent review takes place. They said the people at the grassroots have raised serious safety issues in Koodankulam, Jaitapur, Mithivirdi, Chutka, Fatehabad, Kovvada, etc., where intense mass struggles are under way to oppose nuclear projects.

Charges denied

Rawatbhata atomic power station spokesperson D. Chanda, contacted by The Hindu , denied all the allegations and said the IAEA team, comprising experts from eight countries, was working in an “absolutely independent” manner and would submit its report to the international body which would share it with the NPCIL.

“The people who are out to defame the nuclear regulatory institutions are probably unaware that the IAEA mission is visiting India on the Union Government’s request. This is not a suo motu inspection. It will [just] look into our proven good practices and our adherence to safety standards,” said Mr. Chanda, adding that the plant is working within the limits laid down for it.

The IAEA team, comprising experts from the nuclear power plants of Canada, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Sweden, will stay at Rawatbhata till November 15. The experts have conducted plant tours and interacted with the personnel.

However, activists said the nuclear industry in India does not publish data about radiation releases in its nuclear facilities, nor does it carry out any periodic health survey of the population around its facilities. Despite the Government officially asking people living near Hyderabad’s Nuclear Fuel Complex not to drink ground water, no proper mechanism to ensure transparency on radiation health has been put in place and the establishment lives in complete denial of health hazards caused by radiation.

The Rawatbhata atomic power station — comprising eight units, including two units of 700 MW each under construction — is at present generating 1,140 MW power. The two units selected for the IAEA mission had earlier undergone peer review by the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) in 2003 and 2009.

 

“Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant will be more destructive than the Bhopal gas tragedy of 1984″


 

COIMBATORE: A disaster at Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant will be more destructive than the Bhopal gas tragedy of 1984, saidSatinath Sarangi, one of the leaders of the movement seeking justice for victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy. He was speaking to TOI after interacting with students at the Park Group of Institutions on Wednesday.

Sarangi claimed that power plants in India including those in Tarapur in Maharashtra and Rawatbhata in Rajasthan were among the worst in the world with respect to safety measures. Researchers from other countries visit these plants to study how not to run them, he said. He added that in the case of the proposed Kudankulam power plant, the nuclear establishment was still to reveal safety measures.

Various government agencies have been suppressing problems they have created in areas surrounding the nuclear power plants, he said. Radiation leaks are common in the plants but the government has not yet conducted a study on the health issues caused by power plants. Getting even basic information on the number of people affected by radiation in areas near nuclear power plants is close to impossible, he added. Hospitals do not give information and even conducting surveys in villages in the vicinity are not allowed. Therefore, the hazardous effects that the power plants can cause are not yet known, he said.

Sarangi also spoke about the plight of the victims of Bhopal tragedy. He said the government has completely neglected the needs of thousands of people who were affected by the gas leak from the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal three decades ago.

Thousands of kilo grams of chemical waste have been buried in and around the areas, contaminating underground water sources and creating serious health problems. Birth defects, cancers and diseases affecting the liver and kidneys are common in Bhopal, Sarangi said. To avoid similar situations the Kudankulam plant must be stopped, he said.

Actor Rahul Bose also interacted with the students and spoke about youth movements that target corruption and other pressing issues.

Greenpeace Launches A Unique #antinuclear Campaign


 

Greenpeace India has launched a unique campaign to create awareness about the dilution of the Nuclear Liability Act and how the government of India is planning to surreptiously  allow foreign companies to get away scot free in case of any nuclear accident in India.

Readers would remember that the government has hinted that “foreign funded hands and NGO’s” were behind the anti nuclear movement in Koodankulam. However, it failed to provide any proof of the same.

On the contrary, the government is now faced with mounting anti nuclear agitations not only in Tamil Nadu, but also at Jaitapur in Maharashtra, Rawatbhata in Rajasthan and Gorakhpur in Haryana to name just a few.

The Greenpeace advertisement informs the citizens about the true “foreign hands” who will benefit from the dilution of the Liability Act and allow these suppliers to supply shoddy reactors knowing fully well that they will not have to pay for any damages in case of accident.

The ad requests readers to give a missed call on 08049311734 and register their protest (or help contribute small amounts to sponsor the ad)which Greenpeace will collate and forward as online votes to the government of India

You Can Read the Advert Here