#India -GALLANTRY AWARD FOR SEXUAL TORTURE – #WTF #Republicday #Vaw


JAN 26,2013

KALLURI

I AM ASHAMED TO BE AN INDIAN

I AM  ASHAMED OF THE DEATH OF DEMOCRACY OF OUR COUNTRY

I AM ASHAMED OF  THE POLICE FORCE OF OUR COUNTRY

While, we women groups are still fighting for more than a year to strip S P  Ankit garg, of gallantry award given to him on Jan 26,2012,  as no one heard including NHRC, NCW, we started again the  pettion online to  President of India  with more than 500 signatures http://petitions.halabol.com/2013/01/21/take-back-president%E2%80%99s-police-medal-gallantry-awarded-ankit-garg. Here comes the news,  S R P Kalluri , INSPECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE, RAIPUR,CHHATTISGARH  , another rapist cop, whose reputation surpases that of S P Ankit Garg has been decorated with a gallantry award  for Jan 26, 2013, the 64th Republic day of India.

In  July 2012, Kalluri named one Lingaram Kopodi as the mastermind of a Maoist attack. Kopodi turned out to be a journalism student in Noida Kalluri’s tenure in Dantewada has coincided with a string of horror stories. In  February 2011, Kalmu, an 18-year-old insurance agent with Bajaj Allianz, was picked up, beaten, locked up for 21 days and accused of being the mastermind of the killing in the murga bazaar kaand. The “kaand” is how villagers around Sukma remember the events of January 24, when Ismail Khan, the leader of a group of SPOs, was shot dead.All hell broke loose after the killing. “The SPOs began to indiscriminately round up and beat the adivasis. The entire market downed shutters and rushed home.

This notorious police officer  has been  intimidating and torturing innocent tribals and ultimately pushing them to the fold of the Maoists.
S.R.P. Kalluri,  has been implicated in Custodial rape of Ledha Bai and murder of her husband, Police beatings in Ambikapur,  Lathicharge of Rozgar Adhikar Yatra (March for Right to Employment), custodial torture, fake encounters and Intimidation of Lawyers. Kalluri has been promoted regularly , promptly , now he has been given Presiendents Gallantry  Award, for these meritious services ? Mr President ??

 

PLEASE SIGN PETITION  AGAINST MEDLA FOR KALLURI HERE

http://petitions.halabol.com/2013/01/26/president-india-withdraw-gallantry-award-srp-kalluri

 S R P KALLURI AND custodial death and rape of tribal woman in Sarguja dist of Chattisgarh

The incident: Ledha a tribal woman was married to Ramesh Nageshia, who was a member of a Maoist party. Some time back she was arrested on the charge of being a squad member and having participated in a land mine blast that killed three CRPF personnel. After spending one and a half years in jail and having delivered a child in this period, she was finally acquitted from the case.

After the acquittal she was advised by her advocate to show her acquittal order to the police to prevent harassment in future. When she went to the police for this, she was pressurized to make her husband surrender. She was offered money and job if she did that. She was told that her husband at the most would face imprisonment.

The S.P of Sarguja District, S.R.P.Kalluri arranged for the surrender on 28th May 2006. As per his plans, the police force from Shankergarh, led by Mr. Kalluri himself, started off on the task. An additional force joined them in Kusmi. Ledha accompanied them. They got down from the vehicles in Kasmaar and went up to Civildagh village on foot. Ramesh Nageshia was waiting there. The police beat him up black and blue. Then S.P. Kalluri asked both of them to sit in the Gram Panchayat secretary’s house. As the two were sitting there, the Assistant Platoon Commander Brijesh Tiwari of the Special Armed Forces came into the house. He suddenly shot Ramesh at point blank range. Ramesh died on the spot.

Ledha was then brought to S.P Kalluri. He ordered the policemen to kill her also. But someone said why kill her, she was after all a woman. Everyone laughed at this. She was taken to Shankergarh Police station and let off from there after thoroughly terrorizing her of dire consequences if she revealed the killing of her husband outside.

The news papers reported the incident as killing of a naxalite in Shankergarh Police Station limits in an encounter.

Ledha went back to her relatives’ place and did not dare to come out for some days. On going back to her village on 30th September 2006, she came to know that the police were searching for her. She was picked up by the police on Dusserah. In the police station she was asked to remove her clothes. On refusing, her parents were also brought there and her father was severely beaten up. S.P Kalluri came and slapped her on her face. Ledha fell on the ground along with her child; she was then raped by S.P. Kulluri in front of her child who was crying uncontrollably and the old parents begging him to leave her. The SP also inserted green chillies into to her vagina. She was kept in the lock up and the next day Dheeraj Jaiswal, the S.P.O came to her along with four other constables in a drunken state. They all gang raped her. This went on for ten days. All this happened in front of her child. Finally she was let off. Ledha met the lawyer with great difficulty in January 2007. She filed a case against S.P. Kalluri and others in the Chhattisgarh High Court.

IN HER STATEMNET SHE SAYS

They completely stripped me. They stripped me. My child was wailing uncontrollably on the ground. Then Kalluri said, “Take her inside the room, I will interrogate her.” In my nude condition, they took me inside the room in the police station. Then Kalluri raped me inside the police station.  He brought me outside after an hour and got green chillies shoved into my vagina. Before leaving the police station, Kalluritold the policemen to rape me everyday. In the Shankargarh police station, the policemen used to rape me everyday. Dhiraj Jaiswal came with the policemen three times to rape me and once Brijesh Tiwari raped me.

Complaint (Parivaad) C.A. No. 624/09

Witness no. …1… for (panjiyan poorva saakshya) Deposition taken on the …..27-6-07……. day of ……. Witness’s apparent age …..22…… States on affirmation ……………. My name is ……….Mrs. Leda…….wife of Ramesh…… Occupation ….housewife… address …..Village Tarangava, Police Station Shankargarh, Distt. Sarguja Chhattisgarh……..

  1. This happened around one year ago. I am illiterate. I do not know the date. Israel used to come to our village. His mother also belonged to our Oraon tribe. His mother was from our village. Israel loved me and I became pregnant from him. The foetus got aborted after I was beaten in the village. He always promised to marry me in one or two months. Thus I became pregnant again. He got that pregnancy terminated also. When he did not meet for one month, I enquired about him and came to know that he had married a girl from his own tribe.
  1. When I called Israel and talked to him, Israel assured me that in his tribe, one can have a junior wife and a senior wife (chotki-badki) and that he will me after five months. I kept quiet for five months. After five months, I called Israel again. He told me that he would not keep me and I could go wherever I wanted. I returned to my father and told him that Israel would not marry me now. Then I went with my father to Shankargarh police station where Nasar Siddiqui was the thana-in-charge. Israel had already met him because of which Nasar Siddiqui did not register my report and threw us out of the thana. We returned to our home. A boy named Ramesh used to come to our village. He asked my father what Israel had done to his daughter (me). My father told him to inquire from his daughter (me) instead. Later my father arranged my meeting with Ramesh. Ramesh asked me about everything. So I had told Ramesh whatever Israel had said and done. Ramesh told me that he was in touch with the Naxalites and after talking to them, he would get me married to Israel. After this, Ramesh started coming to my home quite often. In the meantime, one day Ramesh asked my father why we were so keen on my marriage with Israel while Ramesh himself was also a tribal and my father should get his daughter (me) married to Ramesh. When Ramesh talked to me about marriage, I agreed to marry him. Then during sarnapuja, Vikram baba of the village got me and Ramesh married.
  2. After the wedding, Ramesh came with us to my parents’ home and stayed there for two-three days. Then he said that he was going in search of some employment and that when he found some work, he would come and take me with him. One month later, Brijesh Tiwari from Shankargarh police station came to our house and asked him to accompany him as sahib had called me to the police station. In the Shankargarh police station, the thana-in-charge Nasar Siddiqui said about me that I was a Naxalite and if I were not sent to jail, then I would surely file a case against Israel.
  3. Thereafter I was sent to jail. At that time, I was pregnant. My child is very weak. After eight months, when my delivery was due, I was granted bail. I delivered my child at home. After my delivery, when I appeared in the court for hearing, I was again sent to jail. After six months, the judgment was delivered in my case and the court acquitted me. When I released from the jail, my lawyer advised me that I should inform the Shankargarh police station about my release. After three days, I went to the Shankargarh police station with my father. When I went there, I met thana-in-charge Sapan Choudhary who asked me if I knew Ramesh. I said yes, he was my husband. He asked me what sort of work he was engaged in. I told him that he said that he worked as a labourer and did some farming also.
  4. Shankargarh thana-in-charge Sapan Choudhary told me that Ramesh was a Naxalite. Before this, I did not know that Ramesh was a Naxalite. Sapan Choudhary advised me that I should make Ramesh surrender before the police and that if he surrendered before them, the police would help him and the government will also give him some money. Otherwise, one day he would come and kill Ramesh in front of me in my house.
  5. After one month, Ramesh came to our home. I asked him if he was a Naxalite. He said yes. I told him that the thana-in-charge had suggested that I should ask him to surrender. If he was made to surrender then the government will give us money for our living expenses. Ramesh said that he would be coming next month on leave and then he would tell me about his decision. Next month, Ramesh came to Sivildag and informed me through the secretary that he had arrived. After receiving the information from the secretary that Ramesh had come to Sivildag, my father and I went to Shankargarh police station to inform them that Ramesh had come to surrender. At that time, Sapan Chaudhary, thana-in-charge, was not present at the police station; the other policemen were there. We told the police men that Ramesh had come to surrender. The policemen told us to sit, the senior officer will talk to the SP and tell us. Then the policemen told us to go back home and return to the police station at the crack of dawn the next day. Next morning, I went to the Shankargarh police station where I met Mr. Kalluri who told me that I was lying that Ramesh would surrender. I told him with folded hands that I was telling him the truth and that Ramesh had come to Sivildag for surrendering.
  6. Then I was taken in a police van from police station Shankargarh to police station Kusumi. More policemen joined us at police station Kusumi and from there all of us when to Kasamaar. At Kasamaar, all of us alighted from the van and walked on foot. From Kasamaar, we reached Sivildag on foot. On reaching Sivildag, Kalluri sahib asked that Ramesh be brought. Then Ramesh was brought. Then the policemen beat Ramesh with lathis (sticks). After beating Ramesh, Kalluri sahib interrogated Ramesh and after interrogation, he told Ramesh and me that we should go to the house of the secretary and discuss with each other. We were talking in the room. At that time Ramesh told me that “the bag hung on the peg contained (saade lakh) rupees. These police men are going to take me to jail, you should use that money for my bail etc.” (The witness starts crying at this point.) Brijesh Tiwari came in the meantime and shot at my husband Ramesh three times. When Brijesh Tiwari shot at my husband, I started crying loudly. Then the policemen dragged me out of the room. (The witness is crying.) The policemen told Kalluri sahib that they should kill me also. Then Kalluri said yes, kill her. Then the villagers present there opposed it. Then they took me to police station Shankargarh in a police van. I was imprisoned in police station Shankargarh. At night, Kalluri sahib came to police station Shankargarh and warned me not to speak about this to anyone. “We took pity on you because of your child and let you go. If you complain anywhere, we will shoot you.” They let me out at noon on the next day. It was Monday. It was the day of the weekly market in Shankargarh. When they let me out of of the police station then I wondered where to go. Thinking this, I went to Shankargarh market. There I met Shankar. He told me that the policemen had shot Ramesh dead. I already knew about.  I went crying to my home in village Sarangava. After reaching home, I told my parents about the incident. My father asked me to stay at home for ten days and not go anywhere, because in our community (after a death in the family) no one goes out anywhere for ten days.
  7. After ten days, I came to Ambikapur and told my lawyer about the entire incident relating to my husband’s murder. Then my lawyer prepared a petition on my behalf and sent it to the Chief Minister. After filing the complaint, I started living in Ambikapur. I used to work in Suresh’s house as a house maid. When I returned to my village around the time of panchpujai dussehra, my parents informed me that the police was looking for me. After consulting my parents, I went to Chainpur to stay with my sister. The next day, policemen from the Shankargarh police station arrested my father and brought him to the police station. My aya (mother) sent a message to my sister’s house that the Shankargarh police had taken my father into custody. Then I returned home. I reached my home in the evening. Soon after, the policemen from Shankargarh police station came in three vans and took me to the Shankargarh police station. When I reached Shankargarh police station, I saw Kalluri sahib who, upon seeing me, asked if I knew who he was. Then I said, “You are Kalluri Sahib. I made my husband surrender before you and you got him shot.” Then Kalluri slapped me twice. I was carrying my daughter. I fell on the ground with my daughter. Kalluri asked me to take off my clothes. When I refused, two policemen twisted my father’s arms and made him stand up, and started beating him. They beat my father mercilessly. Then Brijesh Tiwari unfastened my saree and took off all the other garments. When I was resisting the taking off of my clothes, they started hitting my father forcefully. I took off my clothes. They completely stripped me. They stripped me. My child was wailing uncontrollably on the ground. Then Kalluri said, “Take her inside the room, I will interrogate her.” In my nude condition, they took me inside the room in the police station. Then Kalluri raped me inside the police station.  He brought me outside after an hour and got green chillies shoved into my vagina. Before leaving the police station, Kalluri told the policemen to rape me everyday. In the Shankargarh police station, the policemen used to rape me everyday. Dhiraj Jaiswal came with the policemen three times to rape me and once Brijesh Tiwari raped me.
  8. For ten days, my father, my mother and I were detained in the police station. My mother was also taken to the Shankargarh police station the same day when I was also taken there. After ten days, they took us to Ramanujganj police station. In the Ramanujganj police station, they made us sign some papers on the threat of shooting us. After releasing us, they put four policemen on duty to keep a watch on me. Even when I went for relieving myself or taking a bath, the policemen would accompany me. On the occasion of Chherta, the said policemen went away to celebrate Chherta. They started drinking liquor. Then I ran away on foot and reached Rajpur. From there, I caught a bus to Ambikapur. As I reached Ambikapur at night, I stayed in a dharmshala (resthouse). In the morning, I went to my lawyer’s place. When I reached my lawyer’s place in the morning, his wife informed me that he had gone to Bilaspur. The lawyer’s wife told me that he would return after two days, so I waited for two days for him. I had no money, so I went to Suresh’s house where I used to work earlier and took Rs 200 from him to go to Bilaspur. When I was in jail, a lady had visited me who had given me her contact number to me. I searched for her in Bilaspur. I looked for her in the Bilaspur high court and I asked about her from a male lawyer. When he enquired, I told him about the whole incident. That lawyer said he will take up my case, so I got him to prepare my case and file it in the Honourable High Court.
  9. One week ago, some people from Delhi had come to ask me some questions, so I told them about the incident. I told the people from Delhi that I had not visited my village since I had filed the case. I want to go to my village. Please arrange for me to go to my village. They assured me that they will make arrangements for sending me to my village in one week. I have presented papers in this case.

AND YES I WANNA SAY FUCK THE REPUBLIC DAY AND THE GALLANTRY AWARDS !!

 

#India -Republic Day tableau calls disabled ‘powerless’ #WTFnews #disability


By , TNN | Jan 23, 2013,

Republic Day tableau calls disabled ‘powerless’
A tableau at the Republic Day rehearsal on Tuesday
NEW DELHI: It’s supposed to empower the disabled, but if the newly formed department of disability affairs has its way, it would call itself the ‘department of the powerless’. At least that’s the name it has given itself in Hindi — nishaktata karya vibhag. Now, to the anger of activists, even a tableau for people with disabilities that will be part of this year’s Republic Day parade has the same inscription in Hindi.The activists, who noticed the name on the tableau three days ago, want it changed immediately. But that is easier demanded than done.

“With difficulty we had managed to convince the government to have a tableau on the disabled. When we finally have one, the inscription on it is so offensive that it has ruined all the work we had done on the issue. To add further insult, the commentator will repeat the word nishakt constantly and the entire country will listen to it. It’s an abusive word,” said Javed Abidi, convener of Disability Rights Group.

The defence ministry has agreed to change the word on the tableau but says it needs a written request from the department of disability affairs. Stuti Kacker, secretary, ministry of social justice and empowerment, said the department was trying its best to change the name. “I can only refer the matter. We hope a decision will be taken quickly,” she said.

Activists say it’s derogatory, demand change of name

Even if the inscription on the tableau is changed, the name of the department will remain till a change is approved by the Cabinet. Poonam Natarajan, chairwoman of National Trust, agreed that nishaktata is an inappropriate term. “Of course, it has to be changed. I think they are trying to change it to viklang jan karyashala. But the change has to be made at the Cabinet level,” she said.

“We noticed the word a few days ago while rehearsing. It’s very derogatory. In fact, state governments such as Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh still use the word apang (crippled), which is also demeaning. There is very little awareness about disability righ8ts,” said Pradeep Raj, a disability rights activist who is rehearsing for the Republic Day with 22 other youths with disabilities. Pradeep’s group first noticed the inscription on the tableau.

Abidi felt ‘nishaktata’ reminded him of the word ‘handicapped’, which was also considered offensive by disability rights activists. “We have moved on. No one uses the word handicapped anymore. It originated after the world war when disabled soldiers used to beg on the streets of Europe with a cap in their hands. In the 1990s, the term was phased out as it was considered offensive. Now even United Nations uses the word ‘disability’. In Hindi it should be viklang and definitely not nishakt,” he said.

 

Indian State honours monster – Justice for #SoniSori #Vaw


Friday, January 4, 2013

There was a recent gathering at Jantar Mantar to protest against the gruesome sexual violence committed on Soni Sori while in custody in Chhattisgarh under the supervision of Ankit Garg.

Superintendent of Police, Dantewada. Ankit Garg was awarded with a presidential police medal on Republic Day (January 26) in 2012.
Soni Sori’s petition at the Supreme Court is due to be heard .
While politicians from many parties in parliament have demanded fast track courts to deal with the Delhi Gang Rape case, there has been no clear response so far to the demand made by several women’s organisations for fast-track proceedings with regard to the 100,000 cases of sexual assault pending within the judicial system.
Amongst these are numerous cases of sexual assault conducted by members of the Armed Forces, Paramilitary Forces and other Police Forces, especially, but not only in states governed by the draconian Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act.
Soni Sori’s case, where, armed policemen use sexual torture and humiliation on a woman in custody has been repeatedly invoked in demonstrations and gatherings in Delhi to protest against the gang-rape of the 23 year old paramedical student which resulted in her death.
Justice for the unknown citizen can only be done when Soni Sori and many others like her also get justice.

 

Thinking about Rape from India Gate #Vaw #Delhigangrape #mustread


( pic courtesy hindu )
December 23, 2012

Dear young women and men of Delhi,

Thank you for the courage and the honour you have brought to Rajpath, the most dishonorable street in our city. You changed Delhi yesterday, and you are changing it today. Your presence, of all twelve thousand of you, yesterday, on Rajpath, that street that climbs down from the presidential palace on Raisina Hill to India Gate, getting soiled by the excreta of the tanks and missiles on Republic Day each year, was for me a kind of purificatory ritual. It made a claim to the central vista of ‘Lutyen’s Delhi’ as a space for democratic assertion in contravention of the completely draconian, elitist and undemocratic prohibitory orders that make the heart of this republic, a zone of the death, not the life and sustenance, of democracy.

From now onwards, consider the heart of Delhi to be a space that belongs, first of all, to its citizens. Yesterday, when thousands of you gathered peacefully, intending to march up Raisina Hill to the president’s palace, you were charged with batons, tear gas and subjected to jets from water cannons. The violence began, not when protestors threw stones, but when the police started attacking people. Stones were thrown in retaliation. The television cameras that recorded what happened show us the exact chronology. The police were clearly under orders not to let people up Raisina Hill. Why? What is so sacred about Raisina Hill? Why can a group of unarmed, peaceful young people not walk to the gates of the president’s palace? So, lets be clear. Violence began when the state acted. Of course, the protest got hijacked by hooligans. But of course it had to be. When hooligans in uniform are let loose on an unarmed crowed, there can be no possibility of averting the possibility that hooligans out of uniform will respond in kind.

But do not let this stop you, or distract you. Do not be scared away from the heart of the city by this violence. Prevent the hijackers from taking over your anger and twisting it to their purposes. But most importantly, never, ever be scared again. You have all given us the gift of a fearlessness. This city is no longer what it used to be, and it is so because of you. Rajpath is yours. This city is yours. its days and nights are yours. Do not let anyone take this back from you. Keep the city. Keep the city safe, make it safe. Make it yours and mine again.

Thank you for doing this in the name of an anonymous 23 year old woman. She is someone like you, like millions of others who wants to lay claim to this city, by day and by night. You demonstrated that the presence of women and men, out on the streets, in public, is the only guarantee by which everyone can feel safe in this city, or in an city for that matter. It is not by making pubs close early that this city will be made safe. It is by ensuring that as many women can be out and about in any place in the city, at any time of day and night, in buses, on the metro, in public spaces, in work spaces, cinemas, theaters, at home, and even in pubs, that this city will be safe for all of its citizens. By being together, in public, as free and equal men and women, in the place where prohibitory orders and Section 144 forbid you from being, you made sure that this city belonged to the 23 old woman who was asked by the men who raped her (Sharma, Sharma, Thakur, Gupta and Singh) what she was doing out and about at nine at night. You were together, as young women and men, safe, secure in each others company, drawn together by friendship and solidarity, and by your friendship and solidarity with the 23 year old woman who is fighting so bravely for her life. She could have been one of you. Any one of you could have been her, or her injured and brave friend.The young men amongst you demonstrated that you were not there to assert your control over women. The young women amongst you demonstrated that you could hold your own with young men, and feel the opposite of being threatened and insecure.  Our city, so ashamed of its reputation for misogyny, can only be grateful for this organic, spontaneous and public demonstration of the solidarity between the bodies of young women and men.

You made me proud of Delhi again, just as much as the men named Sharma, Sharma, Thakur, Gupta and Singh had made me ashamed a few days ago by the way in which they brutally raped and nearly killed that anonymous young woman, and assaulted her companion.They cannot be called beasts, because no animals behave as terribly as these men did. They make us ashamed to be human, and make me ashamed to be a man. I am ashamed by them just as much as I was ashamed by the bystanders on a busy street who pulled down the windows of their cars to gape at a nearly naked and clearly injured woman and man, or just stood around, staring, but could not find enough humanity within themselves to come up and offer help,  or comfort, or even cover the two young people on a cold December night.

But yesterday, you, the twelve thousand mostly young men and women who came to Rajpath to express your anger showed the world that Delhi has a different face as well.  Thank you for restoring humanity to this city.Today, the several more than yesterday’s twelve thousand have been joined by a fringe consisting of the storm troopers of some political parties, especially the BJP, and the agent-provocateurs of the Congress, neither of whom have any hesitation in fielding people with accusations of rape against them for elections. Here, in this fringe, you will find the ABVP, the Bajrang Dal, the NSUI, the Ramdev Wallas, the hooligans of the unfortunately named Bhagat Singh Kranti Sena,  the anti-corruption brigade, all manner of busy-bodies, goondas and do-gooders, and some goondas who are do gooders. Do not let them distract you. Overwhelm them with your numbers, make your protests decentralized, and impossible for them or the police to direct and control. Do not, under any circumstances let them speak for you, or tell you what to do, or dictate the agenda. Take back the protest by making it go viral all over the city.

Do not forget that when Sushma Swaraj, the BJP leader made the disgusting comment ‘ uski zindagi maut se badtar ho chuki hai’ (‘her life is now worse than death’), in Parliament, she was actually endorsing the Patriarchal value system that produces rape. It is your responsibility, and the responsibility of all of us, to ensure that Sushma Swaraj’s political career dies it’s deserved and timely death just for that one remark. Let us make sure that she can never be elected to any office again, that she can never insult and humiliate the young women of this country with her patronizing platitudes. She, and other politicians like Mamata Bannerjee, who have questioned rape victims testimonies in recent times, do not deserve our confidence, they deserve an eternal political exile. Just as brutal rapists only deserve an eternity of imprisonment and confinement in solitude in order to reflect on the violence that they have committed.

Remember, the rapist’s intention is not sexual pleasure (because the ONLY way in which pleasure can be had is through the reciprocity of desire, through love, through erotic engagement, not through taking away someone’s agency by force and without consent). Rape is not about sex, it is about humiliation, its intention is precisely to make the raped person think that now that they have been subjected to sexual violence, their life will no longer be worth living. The rapist and Sushma Swaraj are in perfect agreement about the worth of the life of a rape victim.The reason why some men rape women or others who are in their power is because they believe that some lives are more important, worth more, than others. That is the key to patriarchy.

Dear young women and men of Delhi, I am writing this to you so that in the middle of all your anger you can find a space to reflect on the force that patriarchy has over all our lives, and I hope that you will find the means, burnished by your anger to dethrone it from its underserved position of power in this city. I want yours to be the generation that changed Delhi forever. And i know you can make that happen, and that is why I am writing to you.

Let us think about patriarchy together. Patriarchy is what makes you ashamed, not delighted when you have a period, because your traditions teach you that a menstruating body is a polluting body. Patriarchy is what tells you that there are things you cannot or should not do because of the way your body or your desires are shaped. Patriarchy is the secret to your nightmares, the reason for your deepest, most personal fears and anxieties. It seeks control of your body, your mind, your speech, your behavior, even the ways in which you raise and lower your eyes. Behind this lies a clear identification between property and the sexual body that patriarchy tries to perpetuate at any cost. When anyone says that a raped person, say a woman, is defiled, what they mean is that the violence done to her sexually is identical to the violation of their personhood, which ‘properly’ understood, is the property of someone who can legitimately ‘husband’ her body and being. Any woman, according to this view, either is, or will eventually become some man’s property. If she is ‘defiled’ she will become ‘broken goods’, the legitimate claimant to the property which her body constitutes will no longer have any interest in ‘husbanding’ her. That is why they say that her life, laid fallow and waste by rape, will no longer be worth living.

That is why courts in India are so reluctant to admit marital rape. They are bewildered by the reality of marital rape because they cannot understand how someone can ‘violate’ their own property. To understand clearly this you have to think about kinds of injury other than rape.

How is it that violent attacks, or injuries that are non-sexual in nature, do not lead anyone to say that their ‘life is now worse than death’. Imagine an injured soldier, a war veteran whose legs have been blown off, being told by a mainstream politician his ‘life is now worse than death’, and you will immediately see how ridiculous the identification between the destiny of your sexual being and the worth of life is. The injured soldier is feted, decorated, celebrated. The rape survivor is made to feel something quite different. An episode of rape is horrible, but it is not necessarily always more physically painful than a blown off limb. The only reason why women are disciplined and made to fall in line with the threat of rape dangling over them (either by their rapists, or by their would be ‘protectors’) is because rape is seen as a crime against property. And the property in question is inevitably patriarchy’s right over the woman’s body, over the body of any person that patriarchy deems to be without agency. The woman who is raped is made to feel ashamed because she was not vigilant enough to safeguard the orifices of her body from being accessed by an inappropriate other, or a stranger against her will (not that her will counts, necessarily). Had it been an ‘appropriate’ other, say a husband, or a boy-friend, she could be made to feel equally ashamed for the revulsion she might feel in submitting to his sexual will, on occasion, or at any time at all, against her own wishes and desires.

The reason why Sushma Swaraj and others like her hyper-ventilate in this way is because they are the architects of the patriarchal order that produces rape. If Thakur, Sharma, Sharma, Singh and Gupta have committed the rape that needs to be condemned by everyone, than Swaraj needs to be held accountable for perpetuating the value system that leads Thakur, Sharma, Sharma, Singh and Gupta to think that rape is the natural and normal thing for them to do. After all a vast number of men in India, routinely rape their wives. And Sushma Swaraj throws Karwa Chaut parties to celebrate the thrall which patriarchy allows husbands to hold over their wives. No young self respecting woman in Delhi should ever take anything that someone like Sushma Swaraj ever says seriously.

Dear young men and women of Delhi, When you see your legitimate protest contaminated by the BJP cadre, ask them about how they are going to deal with their misogynist leadership. How are they going to deal with those who justified the rape and murder of Muslim women in Gujarat? Ask them about how they intend to deal with the fact that even in the recent Gujarat elections, one of the victorious MLAs (the sitting MLA for Dhari) Mansukh Bhuva, has  a charge of leading and participating in the gang-rape of the wife of a panchayat member of Amreli district by seven people.

Investigation in this case is currently in progress, and while the MLA has said that the charges are false and politically motivated, does it not indicate that a party like the BJP is actually not committed in any way to taking the rights of women seriously when it gives a ticket to a man who stands accused of gang rape. Should it not have waited for this man’s innocence to be proven before blessing him with an election ticket? Ask Sushma Swaraj, ask Narendra Modi, dreaming of Raisina Hill and Lutyens Delhi, what they have to say about Mansukh Bhuva.

Even as I write this, some people are expressing their concern at the way in which your protest is getting out of hand. They are saying that you should not be indulging in violence. On Facebook, I see young Kashmiri men and women ask whether or not the authorities in Delhi will now begin to say that you have been paid to throw stones at the buses of the Delhi police by the Pakistani ISI (after all, that is what was said when young people in Kashmir throw stones at the forces of law and order after the administrations insensitivity in rape cases forced young people to take to the streets, so it is quite natural that they should ask this question when you throw stones in Delhi.)

Learning from your peers in the frontiers of this unfortunate union (governed in part by an unwieldy, creaking but sort-of-working constitution and in part by the precise and lethally efficient Armed Forces Special Powers Act), to throw stones at the force that needs stones thrown at them is not something I feel you need necessarily to be ashamed of. A Tehelka investigation (‘The Rapes Will Go On’) by G. Vishnu and Abhishek Bhalla pointed out in April 2012, that several police officers in positions of responsibility in this city and in the National Capital Region (Gurgaon, Noida, Ghaziabad and Faridabad) think that when women get attacked it is their fault. While writing this, I checked with one of the correspondents who had filed this story. He told me what I had suspected. The Delhi police did order a departmental enquiry, and the concerned officer was ‘transferred’. Not suspended, demoted, punished or reprimanded. No disciplinary action of any consequence was taken. The Gurgaon, Ghaziabad, Faridabad and Noida police were even more ‘sensitive’ to the morale of men in uniform. They did nothing at all. A force that does not punish those amongst its ranks guilty of making such statements, and thereby perpetuates a naked sexism, deserves all the stones that get thrown at it in retaliation for its egregious use of batons, tear gas and water cannons against a peaceful gathering.

But throwing stones at policemen is one thing, and having your protest hijacked by the storm troopers of political parties like the BJP and the Congress is quite another. I think you need to think carefully about how you can prevent your anger from being abused by political opportunists of all stripes for their own ends. Do not lose your resolve. Do not let lumpen political mercenaries ride the wave in the the upsurge that is your anger.

Many of you carried banners that asked men to think, with which I whole heartedly agree (and I am writing this in order to do this thinking with you, and as the mark of my gratitude to you) and some of you asked for capital punishment for the rapists, a demand that i cannot agree to, but am willing to argue with you about, in friendship and in solidarity. The rapists should in my view, spend their entire lives in prison, in isolation, considering what made them do what they did. Hanging, (which one of the accused has even demanded for himself) is the easiest way out for them. It will be the least severe punishment that we can imagine for these horrible and violent men. Moreover, if would-be rapists think they might be hanged, they will go the extra mile to kill their victims, in order to destroy the possibility that someone may testify against them. Under no circumstances has the death penalty ever been known to reduce any crime. It is not the death penalty that will stop rape. To stop rape we have to think about the attitudes that make rape imaginable, that normalize rape. But we can debate this question in depth at another time (and I will be thinking with you a little bit about what these attitudes might be and where they come from later in this piece). Right now I want to think about what your presence on Raisina Hill means to me.

The water cannons that dowsed all of you on today and yesterday’s cold december mornings were cleansing – not you, but this filthy, disgusting state, that can guarantee only the insecurity of its citizens. Remember, that this is not the only rape and murder that has shocked our conscience in recent years. Remember, Manorama, a woman in Manipur who was allegedly raped and then murdered by soldiers of the 17th Assam Rifles Regiment. This happened in 2004, a full eight years ago. Eight years have passed and the rapists and murderers of Manorama have not even been produced in court. They have not been produced in court because they are not civilians like Sharma, Sharma, Thakur, Gupta and Singh. They are men in uniform, not bus drivers, fruit juice vendors, cleaners and gym instructors. An enquiry was ordered and conducted, and its contents still remain secret.

Here is a link on NDTV’s youtube channel to a report on the Guwahati high court’s decision on August 2010 to open the Upendra Commission of enquiry report.

But immediately afterwards, the defense authorities, petitioned the Supreme Court with a ‘Special Leave Petition’ against further proceedings in this case. Here was the state, and the army, doing the opposite of what needed to be done to speed up the course of justice in a matter that had to do with rape and murder. In the summer of this year, eight years after Manorama was raped and murdered, the Supreme Court permitted the special leave petition to be heard, and the proceedings in the Imphal bench of the Guwahati High Court, and the opening of the Upendra Commission enquiry had to be suspended. This enquiry into her rape and murder remains, as far as I know, suspended and wrapped within secrecy. Manorama’s family are exactly where they were eight years ago, as far from justice as it is possible for anyone to be. I do not know what progress there has been on the hearing of the Special Leave Petition in the Supreme Court. There seems to be little information available on the matter apart from stray reports that the Supreme Court was hearing the SLP. I would be curious to know what the apex court decided. Whatever be the outcome, we can say this much for certain -  the Manorama case did not get ‘fast track treatment’.

So when Sushma Swaraj demands ‘fast track courts’ to treat cases of rape and sexual violence, ask her why she is so disinterested in making sure that ‘fast track courts’ can track Manorama’s rape and murder. Is it because the fact that when rape and murder are deployed as instruments of national security policy in order to contain insurgency, different standards are automatically assumed to apply? Is it because the BJP thinks that rape is ok as long as it is done in the interests of national security (as in Manipur and Kashmir)  and in order to uphold the honour of Hindutva (as in Gujarat)?

Remember the Kunan-Pushpora rapes in Kashmir, which occurred on February 23, 1991, twenty one years ago? You probably don’t, because Sushma Swaraj, nor any other prominent politician for that matter, has never thought it necessary to demand ‘fast track courts’ to try the guilty rapists of Kunan Poshpora. At least fifty three women were raped on that night by soldiers of the Fourth Rajputana Rifles. No police investigation was conducted, despite a complaint by the villagers. A district magistrate and a sitting chief justice of the Jammu and Kashmir high court conducted their own enquiries and found that the soldiers of the 4th Rajputana Rifles had ‘acted like beasts that night’. But no cognizance of their reports was taken by the civil or military authorities in Jammu and Kashmir, or at the centre.

The charges were dismissed as ‘baseless’. Three months after that incident, the Press Council of India was invited by the Army to conduct an enquiry, and the Press Council of India found that the charges were baseless. Not a single soldier of the Indian army has ever been booked for Kunan Poshpora for all of these twenty one years. Now imagine that the Delhi police and administration invite the Press Council of India, or let us say, the Metereological Survey of India to determine whether or not the unnamed 23 year paramedic was raped on a Delhi bus. How can a mass rape by soldiers be investigated and judged by a body designed to look into complaints regarding the running of newspapers and media organizations? This is what ‘justice’ in cases of rape has by and large meant in the outlying territories where the writ of the Indian Union runs. Now, we are facing a situation that alarms us in the very heart of the republic. Perhaps it is time we learnt that we cannot have different standards at play in Delhi and Kunan Poshpora. And that if that is how they do play out, then it is time to admit that those who run this country run large parts of it as if they were colonies. If you, the young women and men of Delhi can begin to understand this, as a result of what you have been experiencing today and yesterday, then all the tear gas and water cannon jets that you faced may well have been worth the while.

Granted, public memory is short, but how short? Remember the rape and murder of Nilofer Jaan and Aasiya Jaan in Shopian, Kashmir, as recently as May 2009, which saw a cover up and reversal of forensic findings at the highest level, with the connivance of the highest levels of the security forces, bureaucracy and the political establishment, so that two raped, killed women could be shown to have ‘drowned in ankle deep water’ in an apparent ‘accident’. You can read the entire contents of a carefully written ‘citizens’ report on the Shopian Rape and Murder case here

Remember how the enquiry report on Nilofer and Aasiya Jan’s rape and death was tampered with so that suspicions about the women’s ‘character’ could be inserted to make it appear that any evidence of sexual abuse could be wished away as the natural consequences of the ‘waywardness’ of young women? Remember, that Omar Abdullah, Rahul Gandhi’s dear friend, who sanctioned and endorsed these lies, continues to be in office, presiding over the violent occupation of Kashmir. Remember that the denial of rape and murder is a key element in his strategy of governance. Remember all of this when politicians and the media praise you for your idealism, and condemn you for throwing stones. Remember that when your peers in Kashmir or Manipur throw stones out of the same anger that motivates you today, their stone throwing is met not with water cannons and tear gas but with bullets and condemnation, but their ‘idealism’ never finds praise in the salons and studios of New Delhi. Remember now that here, now, this winter of 2012, is the time for you, in the streets of Delhi to find a kinship with your friends, your peers, in Srinagar and Imphal. Remember that the safety and freedom of a young woman is always more important than the safety and security of the abstraction that you have been taught to think of as a nation. Remember that a raped woman is deserving of your friendship, your solidarity, you courage and love, wherever she may be, in Delhi, Srinagar or Imphal.

For the last few days, I have been wondering how I can even begin to think about the rape and assault that the brave twenty three year old paramedic (who is now fighting to live, and to live well in a Delhi hospital) and her friend had to undergo. You have asked all men to think. I am a man. I am not a celibate man who can wish away his sexuality. And so I am trying to think this through with you. I hope that all men in Delhi join me in this exercise.

As a man, I have looked at myself in the mirror, each of the past days, and thought about whether, ever, under any circumstances, in any condition of sobriety or intoxication, I have ever entertained even the thought of compelling a woman, a man, a boy or a girl – a lover, a friend, an acquaintance, a colleague, a neighbor, a relative, a stranger to act against her  (or his) consent. I think every man should look at himself and think hard. All of us men have to think because only men rape. Only men entertain the thought of rape. They (we) rape mostly women, and girls, but they (we) also rape other men, and boys, and those of indeterminate gender.

They (we) rape, not because rape has anything to do, as I have said already, with sexual relations, but because rape has to do with the assertion of power, of the compelling power that can make one body do what another body wants against its will. And just as only upper caste men and women can insult and commit violence on to those they consider lower than themselves in a specifically ‘castiest’ way, so too only men can rape, because they (we) think of themselves as occupying the summit of a sexual pyramid.

This pyramid, which we could call patriarchy, is built out of the sexual equivalent of slavery. The protocols of slavery indicate that some bodies be seen as being bereft of agency. Sometimes these bodies are marked by racial difference, at other times by gender, or by other markers. What is understood is that these agency-less bodies (howsoever their agency-lessness is constituted) can be transacted at will by other bodies that are deemed worthy of agency.

Wherever and whenever a certain kind of body (a woman’s body, a child’s body, a prisoner or captive’s body, a slave’s body, a ‘junior’s’ of ‘freshet’s’ body in the ritual of ragging or hazing on campus, a gay man’s body, the body of a caste or race ‘other’) can be thought of automatically as an object that one can bend or break or punish at will, just because of what it is, there and then lie the foundations of rape. The reason why an upper caste landlord can demand his ‘right’ over a lower caste woman’s body and simultaneously insist that she is ‘untouchable’ has to do with how he understands the difference between his body and hers. He rapes her to punish her husband for trying to assert his rights as a tiller over the land he thinks he owns. Or he rapes her because the thinks he can, and because she is there. Thakur, Singh, Sharma, Sharma and Gupta, the men who raped the unnamed paramedic, did not do anything that has not been done before. Men like them did it in cities and in villages, in fields, warehouses, plantations and factories, under trees, beside wells and rivers, in thickets and in clearings, in public and in private, in ruins and bedrooms, even in temples and kitchens, for thousands of years. They did it, not only to strangers and captives, but to their wives and their sisters and their daughters too.

This understanding has nothing biological about it. It is hard-coded into the cultural protocols that teach a man, even as a young boy, which kind of body has agency, and which kind of body is there for the taking.

Our dominant traditions denigrate a character like Ravana who would not touch the abducted Sita without her consent. At the same time it valorizes the Rama who exiles the same Sita when his advisers suggest that the population is not convinced of her ‘purity’ because she had spent such a long time in the home of her abductor, the same Ravana. Here, Rama is the one who underlies the code of rape. He cannot understand that a man can actually not rape a woman within his ‘power’. His decision to abandon Sita is based on the idea that she cannot not have been in sexual contact with Ravana. Ergo, either she willingly had sex with her captor, or if she did not, she must have been raped. In either case, being thus defiled, and broken, she is no longer fit to be his ‘property’. In other words, just as Sushma Swaraj said, her life, either is, or must be made, worse than death.

The assumption that women are automatically available for sex at the appropriate ‘clean’ time is hard-coded into the Hindu tradition. Rama as an upholder of that tradition, cannot act outside its dictates in the way in which women’s agency is viewed.  Remember that the Brhadarankya Upanishad says – “..surely a woman who has changed her clothes at the end of her menstrual period is the most auspicious of women. When she has changed her clothes at the end of her menstrual period, therefore one should approach that splendid woman and invite her to have sex. Should she refuse to consent, he should bribe her, if she still still refuses, he should beat her with a stick or with his fists and overpower her, saying – ‘I take away the splendour from you with my virility and splendor’

(Bradaranyaka Upanishad, Chapter 6.4.6 -  see especially pages 88 and 89 of the Patrick Olivelle translation of the Upanishads published by the Oxford University Press, 1996)

When one thinks this passage through, it is not difficult to understand why rape should be such an endemic practice within our society.  Marital rape is the original, scripturally sanctioned template on which all rape is founded.  The fear of death penalty can never be a deterrent when you have scriptural and cultural sanction for the codes of property and agency that underlie the control that some bodies are armed with over and above others.  In our society, this includes the sanction for the control that men have over women, adults have over children, and that dominant castes have over others. This normalization of domination and control is the key to the phenomenon of rape and humiliation. In such a situation, carrying placards that demand death penalty for rapists is the easiest thing to do. The difficult, challenging and interesting thing to do, the real thing to do, is to try and understand what are the cultural factors that actually go into the making of a rapists mind. Thakur, Sharma, Sharma, Singh and Gupta were not eccentric, abnormal characters. They were normal young men. One of them even functioned as an occasional priest in a neighborhood temple. Think carefully of the traditions that he would have imbibed that would have helped, not hindered him in doing what he did.

On the very day after Thakur, Singh, Sharma, Sharma and Gupta did what they felt like doing. We had reports of a Mohammad Rashid who raped a six year old in Turkman Gate in Delhi. A father was found to have raped his daughter in Kerala for over a year. All of these men had found ways of telling themselves that whatever they were doing could be done. A few days ago, a garment trader in Metiabruz, Kolkata, cut off his sister’s head because he suspected her of having an affair with someone he did not approve of and walked with her decapitated head, sword in hand, to the police station, in defense of his family’s honour. There are people who have praised him for his commitment to his family’s honor. None of these men were deranged, or otherwise criminally inclined. They were all, all honorable men. We need to figure out what gives them this idea of honor. We need to understand and confront the ways in which men read codes of tradition and honor and translate them into the grossest forms of misogyny and the generalized hatred of women.

Dear young women and men of Delhi, if you want rape to end, you will have to confront those traditions. Confronting those traditions, confronting the known history of patriarchy is not the same thing as demanding capital punishment. In fact, they can be the opposites of each other. By demanding ‘death’ for the rapist, you are tacitly entering into a compact with those who see rape not necessarily as a crime against a free agent, but also as a property crime, as an assault on honor and dignity. My understanding is, and my appeal to all of you is -  stop treating rape as a matter of honor and dishonor altogether, and expose and boycott those who would insist it is a matter of honor and dishonour. Treat it as ordinary, disgusting, evil violence, as the naked expression of power, and you will see that the expression of power is never challenged by the demand for death. It is easy for those who think of women as property to demand death for those who violate their property rights over women. That is why many men who will demand death penalty for rapists will happily go home and rape their wives. (Because in their understanding they cannot ‘rape’ their wives, only strangers can rape ‘their’ wives.)If you want to end rape, to end the forced sexual subjugation of one human being by another. You will have to look elsewhere than the gallows for comfort.

Rape and sexual assault, and other kinds of violence centered on the enjoyment of humiliation are different from other kinds of violence. You could be in the company of violent men, as a man, in a bus, and they would not necessarily slap you around just for the heck of it (unless you ‘looked’ racially different, or were different because of the way you expressed your sexual orientation). But imagine or remember what it is to be a woman on that bus, or to be the ‘wrong’ kind of male – queer, child, racially other, submissive because you are held captive – and things can suddenly go wrong. This is what happened on that bus that the 23 year old paramedic and her friend had boarded. This is what happened when Sharma, Sharma, Singh, Gupta and Thakur and their unnamed juvenile accomplice, decided to assert their position as bipedal upper primates on top of their imagined sexual pyramid. Let us not forget that the matter spiraled when one of the assaulters taunted the woman and her friend for being together at night in Delhi. In their eyes, she had broken the code of sexual slavery, by being a person who had acted as a free agent, as someone who could choose to enjoy her claim to the city, its entertainments, with a companion who happened to be male.

Of course she need not have acted as this free agent for this horrible event to happen. She could have been at home, confined within narrow domestic walls where most rapes in Delhi, and India occur. (I have yet to hear of policemen and politicians advocate the abolition of marriage in the same breath as the closure of pubs, although more rapes happen within marriage than do at or around pubs, clearly neither marriage nor pubs are in themselves the causes of rape, but it is always curious that one should be asked to be banned, though sometimes judges do ask rapists to marry their victims, though no one has yet asked a woman who was attacked or molested at a pub to return to the place where she was assaulted). In this instance, were we to go by the law of statistical averages, the brave 23 year old paramedic was not, but could easily have been the sister, niece, daughter, daughter-in-law or wife of one of the accused. Because the majority of those who get raped in our society are sisters, daughters, daughters-in-law, nieces and wives – and they are raped by brothers, fathers, uncles, fathers-in-law and husbands. Or she could have been a worker raped by her boss, or her colleague. She could have been a student raped by a teacher, a patient raped by a doctor or a warden in a hospital or clinic, an undertrial raped by a policeman, an insurgent or suspect raped by a soldier. She could have been dressed in clothes that she felt helped her enjoy and assert her sexuality, or she could have been dressed in work clothes, she could have been dressed in a burqa, a sari, salwar kameez or in a nun’s habit. She could have been a three year old infant, a teenager, a young woman, a post menopausal woman, even a grandmother.

Anybody at all, other than a man in a position of real or imagined power, can be raped by a man in  a position of real or imagined power. We might as well call this the first and most important law of rape.

This means that you can be raped in order to punish you for having broken the code of sexual slavery (patriarchy) – which is what happens when you are ‘accused’ of being up and about in the night in the city with a man who is not related to you. Or, on the other hand, you can be raped, in order to enforce it, maintain it, irrigate it,  generally show the world – how it works, who’s on top – which is what happens when rapes happen within the four walls of homes, work places, institutions and prisons.

Where does this sense of impunity that seems to govern the actions of so many men come from? It cannot come from biology alone. Because, thankfully, not all men, not even all men in positions of real or imagined power, are rapists. Rapists choose to access a cultural code of permission. There is something in the cultural baggage or vocabulary available to us all that normalizes sexual violence, even renders it trivial, as a bit of horseplay at worst, or the hallowed order sanctified by tradition, at best.

Dear young men and women of Delhi. There are things you can do to stop rape.

  • Shame any man who casually passes misogynist, sexist, remarks.  Shame all those cowards who try to humiliate anyone because of the way their bodies or desires are. Shame them in public.
  • Young women, do not retreat from public space. Take back the night. Insist on being out and about. Insist on the conditions that enable your safety. Ask why there are no women bus drivers, women cab drivers. Ask what the Delhi police is doing to punish misogynist officers and constables.
  • Young women, please understand that when you hear songs that are violent and misogynist, you can choose to boycott the radio stations and recording companies that put them out. Leave a party or a celebration that plays a Honey Singh song. If you are young man who is a friend of a young woman at any such gathering, leave the celebration with your friend. Call the radio stations, phone in and demand that they stop playing misogynist songs.
  • Demand more public transport. Demand a thousand more buses that ply all night. Demand a metro system that stays open late into the night. Demand street lighting. Ask why the car lobby in Delhi can systematically stymie the expansion of public transport in Delhi. If there are not more public buses and metro trains, understand that those who run this city are responsible for rape and assault.
  • Take your traditions seriously, and recognize that every religion teaches the subjugation and humiliation of women. Ask men and women of religion what they are going to do to recognize the misogyny in their traditions, to confront and challenge them. Insist that under no conditions can any woman pollute anything around her. insist that women are not property. Not of their fathers, brothers, boy-friends or husbands. Not of the state. Not of God. Understand that people can never be property and must never be viewed as such.Combat and confront anyone who says they can be.
  • Shame and expose those politicians and police or army officers who try to cover up cases of sexual assault and rape in Kashmir and the North East and elsewhere. Do not create a hierarchy of more and less important victims.
  • Young men, decide now, and for all time, that you will treat the women you encounter first of all as friends, as equals, as people who have as much right to your city as you. Learn to respect a woman’s right to pleasure. To her right to say yes and no. Do not think that ‘no’ means ‘yes’.
  • Young men, if you confront a situation in which any man harasses another woman, or any other person, make sure that you will stand up and protest, call attention to what is going on,  and make sure that this stops.
  • Young men, and young women, do not reduce the matter of confronting rape and molestation to one of asking the attacker whether or not he has ‘sisters and daughters’ at home. Rapists prey on their sisters and daughters just as easily as they do on strangers.
  • Young men and young women, do not ever let anyone tell you that under any circumstances, that your life is not worth living.

I hope you change Delhi forever. I hope that the rest of the country follows your example.

I remain hopeful because of what you did yesterday and today. Do not disappoint me, do not disappoint yourselves. Make your protest viral. Take it everywhere, to workplaces, schools, streets, parks, the metro, to dark and unlit streets, to lit streets and corners. Take over the city. Make it a city that belongs to you and me and the brave 23 year old paramedic still fighting for her life.

SP Ankit Garg , Do you have the Balls ? #SoniSori #Rape #Prison


 

I Dare you

 S.P .Ankit Garg,

Rape Me

Do you have the Balls ?

 

Stripping   Soni  Sori in  Prison.

Inserting stones in her vagina and rectum

Showing off your  Manhood in a  Prison

You called her  a  whore, a bitch,

Torturing her with electric currents

In your Torture Haven,

 

I Dare you ,

S.P .Ankit Garg

Rape Me,

Do you have the Balls ?

 

You told  Soni Sori

You are administration, authority and  the Government. 

You  run the government from the  Prison

 

You told  Soni Sori

You  have the magic wand for all operations

 Slap false  cases,  and  arrest adivasis in the name of  ‘  Maoism

You told Soni Sori

Who will believe an adivasi teacher as against an IPS officer  ?

You told Soni Sori

To sign on a blank paper and name human rights activists as  Maoists

You told Soni Sori

 If she did not listen to you,

she would die beating her head against the prison  walls  with  shame

 

 

I Dare you ,

 S.P. Ankit Garg

Rape Me,

Do you have the Balls ?

 

You are a  Sadistic Bastard

You made  Soni Sori stand naked in front of  you

 You are a  Sadistic Bastard

 You verbally abused  her and tortured  her  psychologically.

You are   a Sadistic Bastard

You made three men insert stones in her vagina and rectum

You are a Sadistic Bastard

You have risen to the  Ranks so fast on the blood and bones of tribals

 

 

I Dare you ,

 S.P .Ankit Garg

Rape Me,

Do you have the Balls ?

 

On the 63rd Republic Day on 26th Jan 2012 ,

 You were conferred with President’s Police Medal for Gallantry 

A Gallantry award for Sexual Violence ?

The Darkest day for the  Indian Democracy

I will not rest till the medal is recalled

I will not rest till you are behind bars

I will not rest till  women scream in pain from  prisons  

I will  only  rest when   there is an end to custodial  torture and sexual violence 

 

 

I Dare you ,

 S.P .Ankit Garg

Rape Me,

Do you have the Balls ?

By- Kamayani Bali Mahabal- for Justice for Soni Sori Campaign

 

( 1000 th  post on my blog for Soni Sori and many other Women Prisoners behind bars facing sexual violence )

 

Awards for alleged killers


Ugly mechanism that feeds into a vicious cycle of Human Rights  abuse

30/1/2012
Kashmir Times, Editorial
It can’t be a case of setting a bad precedent. That was already set when Mumma Kana, an unknown informer of the security agencies made it to the list of the officially prestigious Padma awards, two years ago, for what was described as his ‘service in the social sector.’ So when cops known for having unleashed a rein of terror in their areas and of having engaged in brutal actions, not legitimised by the law of the country, get prestigious national honours for the contributions, it is already a case of well accepted norm. Much before Mumma Kana was conferred with the Padma award, who finally still got it despite much outcry against it, officers known for their brutalities and poor human rights track record have known to be decorated, promoted and given undue benefits. Two cops accused of killing of a youth in Sopore, investigation of which never reached its logical conclusion, have made it to the list of gallantry awards this Republic Day. So did the Chhattisgarh cadre police officer who allegedly supervised the torture of Soni Sori, a school teacher accused of assisting the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist). Soni Sori was stripped naked, administered electric shocks and assaulted in police custody under this very officer. According to her lawyers, a medical examination found two stones in Soni’s genital tract and another in her rectum. While her legal battle goes on in court, her tormentors have been rewarded for the kind of gallantry which should hang in shame the head of any Indian who has some respect for basic civil liberties.

In conflict areas, it is already a norm that promotions and awards are doled out on the basis of number of kills and arrests, irrespective of whether the slain, detained or tortured were innocent and whether the actions were taken as prescribed by the law. The history of conflict areas – from Kashmir and north-east to the Maoist hit areas – is replete with incidents of accused men in uniform not just escaping prosecution and punishment but instead getting rewarded with honours and promotions. The Brigadier accused in Pathribal fake encounter case, which is one of the most publicised cases from Kashmir, rose to become a Major General. The General slated to become the next army chief too has been accused of having stains on his hands of innocent blood. There is enough evidence and statistics to prove that men in uniform guilty of crimes of humanity do not only get protection from the government but many of them are also rewarded, demonstrating the ugly institutionalised mechanism that feeds into a vicious cycle of abuse, encouraging a rising graph of atrocities against the citizens.

It is therefore, not surprising that Human Rights Watch has found India’s track record of human rights very disappointing. It has especially maintained that 2011 has been a dismal year as far as human rights in the country are concerned, while stating that there has been a continuum of custodial killings, police abuses as well as failure to implement policies to protect vulnerable communities. It is nobody’s case that the head of the government in India, or people at the helm of affairs, direct their security agencies to perpetuate a cycle of human rights abuse and engage in atrocities and brutalities against their own citizens. But what adds to the dismay is the fact that beyond the criminal silence that the top helm of affairs maintains over human rights abuse by its security personnel, the government bends out of its way to honour and benefit those accused of the same atrocities. It is a shame that every year the Republic Day should become an occasion of controversy that stirs up over the announcement of national awards. Instead of turning a day, whose sanctity is further eroded by such insensitive distribution of honours, into a controversial one and betraying its patronage to violators of human rights, Republic Day should have been an occasion to pledge, in keeping with the fundamental rights enshrined in the constitution, for investigating fairly allegations of abuse and taking action against men guilty of such crimes.

वीरता पदक देकर अंकित गर्ग को… कलंकित किया है हर एक मर्द को-


सोनी सोरी की कहानी सुनो   

सोनी सोरी की ज़ुबानी सुनो

पढ़ी है लिखी है पढ़ाती भी है

एक माँ है, पत्नी है, साथी भी है

भारत की नारी है, वासी भी है

अधिकार से आदिवासी भी है

तिरंगे का इतना उसे मान है

लड़कर के लहराया पहचान है

भले ही अभी लोग अनजान हैं

मगर ये भारत की असल शान है

लिंगा कोडोपी की हैं ये बुआ

सुनो के इक दिन कुछ ऐसा हुआ

गाँव में तीन सौ घर जल उठा

हुए बालात्कार और सबकुछ लुटा

हत्यारा पुलिस बल था पता जो चला

लिंगा ने जाकर के सब सच लिखा

सबूतों से लिंगा के रमण सिंह हिला

यहीं से शुरू हुआ नया सिलसिला

पहले तो लिंगा को दोषी कहा

नहीं बस चला तो उसे अगवा किया

प्रताड़ित किया और भूखा रखा

फिर सोनी सोरी पर इलज़ाम गढ़ा

पैसों के लालच से बिक न सकी

तो सोनी भी बलि की बकरी बनी

उठा लाए दिल्ली से सोनी को वो

फिर सुन न सकोगे आगे है जो

अंकित गर्ग नामक एस पी है एक

वहशी दरिंदा है इन्सां के भेस

अकेली नारी को बंदी बना कर

अपने कमीनो की टोली बुला कर

सोनी सोरी को नंगा किया

माता को गाली देता गया

जब बिजली के झटकों से दिल न भरा

तो सोनी की इज्ज़त पर वो टूट पड़ा

पीड़ा से सोनी बेहोश हो गई

अत्याचार इसपर भी न रुक सका

सोनी की कोख में पत्थर भरा

सुबह को सोनी थी आधी मरी

दर्द से कराहती वो चल न सकी

चक्कर जो आया तो फिर गिर पड़ी

शरीर से निर्बल थी, मगर वाह रे वाह

टूटा न मर्दानी का हौसला

उच्चतम न्यायलय में अर्ज़ी लिखी

रमण सिंह की सरकार हिलने लगी

सीबीआई तक बातें पहुँचने लगी

हर एक अत्याचार सबूत बन गए

आईपीएस के अफसर कपूत बन गए

वीरता पदक देकर अंकित गर्ग को

कलंकित किया है हर एक मर्द को

धिक्कार है ऐसी सरकार पर

फिटकार है ऐसी सरकार पर

जिस कोख से जन्मे हैं सब के सब

उस कोख के लाज की बात है

लड़ेंगे, क़सम से हम मर जायेंगे

इन्साफ़ माता को दिलवाएंगे——– by  Rizvi Amir Abbas Syed

Letter to Editor- Gallantry Award to mr Ankit Garg


To,
The Letter Section
The Hindu

Dear Sir/Madam,
In his article (article2834675.ece) on the Republic Day gallantry award given to Chhattisgarh police officer Ankit Garg who reportedly tormented, tortured and raped school teacher Soni Sori, Aman Sethi quotes Vishwa Ranjan, Director-General of Police (Home Guards), as follows:

“The Police Medal for Gallantry is for a specific instance … it is not like the award for Meritorious Service … Ankit Garg led one of the teams in the Mahasamund [encounter].” Vishwa Ranjan also added that “the Soni Sori case was a separate issue that was now sub judice.” Apart from Mr Vishwa Ranjan’s bizarre reasoning that it is legitimate to give a gallantry award to a rapist and torturer, as long as the awardee has shown his mettle in a separate incident, what is the real truth behind the Mahasamund ‘encounter’ where his supposed ‘acts of bravery’ have earned Mr Garg the award? The murky details of this ‘encounter’ were scrupulously laid out in the report Just a little collateral damage (Just_a_little_collateral_damage.pdf) by an All India Fact Finding team.

According to the report, “On 9th October, 2010, Saturday, various evening newspapers carried reports of a fierce encounter that happened on the same day, between the Naxals and the state police force at Padakipali [in the Mahasamund district], near the Orissa border, in which it was claimed that 8 Naxals were killed and 2 police injured. Later, it was admitted that 2 of the persons killed were actually villagers of Ledgidipa, who were said to have been caught in the crossfire. Inspector General of Police RK Vij told PTI that the two villagers were used as a shield by the Maoists in the gunfight (chhattisgarh-6-naxals-killed-in-encounter-58547). Reports also carried news of a large quantity of arms and ammunitions having been recovered after the encounter, including a ―huge cache of explosives (six-maoists-killed-in-chhattisgarh-encounter_100443592.html). The entire episode was hailed as a great achievement by Director General of Police (DGP), Vishwa Ranjan. chhattisgarh_police_kill_eight_maoits_in_encounter_N98249.htm.

However it did not take long before cracks started appearing in the official version of the story. According to the report
“Two villagers had died in this encounter. Confusing and contradictory reports were presented in the media on the circumstances surrounding these deaths – from the initial allegations of the villagers being Naxals, to their being unfortunate victims caught in crossfire, to their being used as human shields by the alleged Maoists. By and large, most of the media reported the official version of what occurred during the encounter. However, around 12th October, different reports began to appear in which the responsibility of civilian death began to be laid on the security personnel.”

The Fact Finding Mission was easily able to track down the family of one of the victims, Gautam Patel. According to the family, “Gautam was eating his lunch in the aangan, being served by his wife Himadri [when] they saw Dau [a deaf and mute helper of Gautam] run inside the kitchen in a state of fear, and a huge commotion and sounds of firing from outside. Gautam reacted in fear by following Dau into the dark kitchen and hiding underneath the kitchen shelf. Meanwhile 50-60 police had entered the home following Dau. They accosted Uttam, the youngest brother, and asked him where they were hiding the Naxalites. Uttam pleaded with them that there were no Naxals inside the house; only Gautam, his brother, and their servant Dau….Despite Himadri‟s pleading and crying that there were no Naxals in their home, only her husband and Dau, four of the security personnel forcibly entered the kitchen and started shooting in the dark, killing both Gautam and Dau.”
The security personnel later told other members of the security force and the gathered villagers that “both Gautam and Dau had been killed by Naxals, but the family loudly refuted this, pointing to the particular force members who had entered the kitchen and killed Gautam and Dau.”

One might naturally ask what the much feted Mr Ankit Garg had to say about this horror show, and for which he has won the much coveted gallantry award. According to the Fact Finding report, the authors tried to “meet the Superintendent of Police Ankit Garg, DSP DK Sharma and Collector (Ms) D. Alarmelmangai. However, none of them were available at Mahasamund on the day of our visit. We could only meet Shri Bipin Manjhi, Additional Collector, in charge of the magisterial enquiry, who did not share any information with us, claiming that he knew only as much as we did from media reports!”

If Mr Garg deserves the gallantry award for raping and torturing a hapless woman in his custody, and for supervising the killing of innocent people, the BSF soldiers who tortured an emaciated and helpless man, at the same time videotaping their enviable act of bravery (http://youtu.be/e5kBqutAcio) also deserve a medal for their extreme sadism, and for ensuring that the poor and the indigent of this great democratic country do not become too uppity and demand that they be allowed to live with dignity.

Sincerely,
Sanjeev Mahajan
365 Walker Drive A
Mountain View
CA 94043
USA

contact at – veejnasnajaham@gmail.com

Dalit panchayat chief prevented from hoisting the tricolour


A. Kalaimani, Dalit village panchayat president addresses presspersons at Pudukottai.

PUDUKOTTAI, January 29, 2012

M. Balaganessin

A. Kalaimani, a Dalit woman village panchayat president of Karu Vadatheru village panchayat near Vadakadu, was allegedly prevented from hoisting the tricolour on the Republic Day by a group of caste Hindus.

The group belonging to the Kallar community, led by Kumar, son of Rangammal, who is the vice-president of the village panchayat, allegedly pushed aside Ms. Kalaimani when she was about to hoist the national flag on the village panchayat office campus.

The village panchayat president told The Hindu on Saturday that she planned to hoist the tricolour at three places – the village panchayat office campus; Raja Kudiyiruppu, a residential colony; and the panchayat union primary school at Kanniyankollai.

But, in view of the problem at the village panchayat office, she allowed the group to hoist the flag at the school and cancelled her programme at the residential colony.

She has lodged a complaint with the Vadakadu police and submitted petitions to District Collector B. Maheswari and Superintendent of Police R. Tamil Chandran.

…….

Read more here

 

Video of Republic Day protest against Gallantry awards in San Francisco


Concerned citizens and friends of India organized a peaceful protest in San Francisco outside the venue of the official Republic Day function hosted by the Indian Consulate which was expected to be attended by around 400 invitees – the movers and shakers of the Indian community as well as local politicians. Much to our satisfaction, we were able to engage in one-on-one conversations with many of the attendees outside the venue and distribute flyers. Many of them signed our petition and many more were sympathetic.

The petition is as follows

Every year on the 26th of January, we celebrate the Constitution of India [1]. Every 30th of January, we remember the martyrdom of Mahatma Gandhi, who led India to freedom. However, for the vast majority of the people of India, even the most basic of the rights guaranteed by the Constitution – the right to life and personal liberty and due legal process if these rights are to be abridged – remain unrealized promises. And the ideals of the independence struggle, as articulated by Gandhi, stand indelibly tarnished.

One of the most shocking recent instances of this trampling upon the Indian constitution is the torture and sexual abuse of prisoner Soni Sori [2,3]. An adivasi school teacher from the Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh, Sori had exposed evidence of police misconduct in the framing of several cases against her [4]. Police intimidation forced her to flee, and she reached Delhi seeking legal assistance, but was arrested before she could file a petition in the Supreme Court. Fearing for her life in Chhattisgarh, she asked to be held in custody in Delhi, despite which she was handed over to the Chhattisgarh police [5]. In custody, Soni Sori was brutally tortured by the Chhattisgarh police, because of her refusal to corroborate their false statements. A subsequent independent medical examination found sizable stones lodged in her vagina and her rectum and severe damage to her spinal cord [6].

Another instance is the case of Lingaram Kodopi. In 2009, Kodopi was locked up by the police in Dantewada, Chhattisgarh for 40 days, tortured and pressured to join a vigilante force [7]. After the High Court ordered his release, Lingaram went on to complete a course in journalism, and later documented villagers’ accounts of arson, murder and rape during a three-day police operation in March 2011. In September 2011, Lingaram was arrested on charges of collecting ‘protection’ money for the Maoists from Essar, a large business conglomerate. Sori, his aunt, came under pressure from the police to persuade Lingaram to accept the charges. She refused, saying the charges were false and ended up being an accused herself. Amnesty International has pronounced both Sori and Kodopi, Prisoners of Conscience [8].

Sori’s and Kodopi’s are not isolated cases. Authorities in various parts of India have a record of imprisoning innocent people, including human rights workers, on false charges, the most notable case being that of Dr. Binayak Sen. Dr. Sen was convicted of ‘sedition’, and sentenced to life imprisonment, but released by the Supreme Court on bail, pending appeal [9]. Many other innocent people, mostly from marginalized sections of the society, continue to languish in India’s jails; Adivasi activist Kartam Joga [10] and labor leaders, Bhagwati Sahu [11] and Abhay Sahoo [12], are just some of them. Others like Kopa Kunjam [13] and documentarian Ajay TG [14] were released on bail and are awaiting trial. Arun Ferreira, a social and human rights activist, was acquitted in 11 different cases for lack of evidence, but re-arrested each time on a fresh set of charges, until he was finally released on bail on the 4th January [15].

In custody, Soni Sori was pressured by the police to implicate many prominent human rights activists as Maoists [16]. Though Sori resisted the pressure, other news reports indicate a concerted attempt on the part of the state to stigmatize human rights defenders [17]. This was a serious concern placed on record by Margaret Sekaggya, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, after the completion of a mission to India a year ago [18].

The gross misconduct of the police is enabled by several draconian laws of questionable Constitutional validity, such as the law against sedition in the Indian Penal Code [19], the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act [20], the Armed Forces Special Powers Act [21] and state-specific laws such as the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act (CSPSA) [22]. These laws are intended to help the police to bring charges against anyone on no or the flimsiest of evidence or to arrest and detain people for extended periods without charges or evidence. This process of filing false charges and detention based on them, is being used as a punitive tool in itself.

Where there are credible reports of torture or of other grave misconduct by the police, rarely have the police authorities been investigated, or the democratically elected representatives sanctioning systemic abuses held accountable [23].

Therefore, we demand that:

Torture and other prisoner abuses must stop

Intimidation of Human Rights Defenders must end

The practice of filing false charges, extended detentions without trial, and “arrest, detention and trial” as punishment must end

The law against sedition (Section 124A of Indian Penal Code) be abolished

Laws which give unconditional and unchecked power to the authorities, such as UAPA, AFSPA and CSPSA, be abolished

Soni Sori and Lingaram Kodopi be released immediately and unconditionally

Police and higher level government officials responsible for torturing and pressuring Soni Sori be prosecuted

Pl sign petition here

Below is a short  video (3 min) of the  Republic Day protest against Gallantry awards in San Francisco