Roselyn: Idinthakarai activist, anti nuke protester – a victim of Neglect #RIP


A photograph of Roselyn taken on the day of her arrest by Amirtharaj Stephen photograph.

63-year old J. Roselyn, a mother of three from Idinthakarai, was among the 7 women randomly picked up from the Idinthakarai beach on the police crackdown of 10 September 2012. She was jailed in Trichy Women’s prison along with Xavier Ammal, Sundari and Selvi. Even at the time of arrest, she had complained that she was extremely unwell and had been suffering frequent bouts of vomitting, and needed medical attention and diagnosis. These facts were even registered in her records prior to her detention in Trichy prison.

She was not given adequate treatment in the prison hospital, and her requests for medical attention went unheeded.  When bail was granted for the case she was arrested under, the police filed two more cases and prolonged her stay in prison. She was finally released from prison on 30 October, 2012, on condition that she signs her presence at a police station in Madurai. As her condition worsened, it became impossible for her to visit the police station, and she was hospitalised in the Madurai General Hospital.

About 10 days ago, she was moved to Idinthakarai where she died early this morning on Dec 21, 2012 . Mugilan, who informed me about Roslin Amma’s demise said she had a cancer-like ailment, which had already manifested itself before the 10 September protests.

Roslin is a victim of neglect, and the vengeance of a state that views the very holding of a contrary opinion on nuclear power as a crime warranting imprisonment under harsh sections. 63-year old Roslin was accused and jailed under the following sections, including of “Waging War against the Government of India.”

1. Crl OP 15368, Crime No. 70/2012. Offence date: 16.2.2012
Charges: 121 — Waging War. 142, 163,152(a), 241, 242, 500, 508

2. Crl OP 15385, Crime No. 300/2012. Date of Offence: 11.6.2012
Charges: 124A — Sedition. 142, 168, 291

3. Crl OP 15389/2012, Crime No. 349/2012.. Date of Offence: 10.9.2012
147, 145, 163 r/w 144, 222, 252, 255, 294(b), 207, 427 r/w 149

What ails India’s democracy – THE SILENT EMERGENCY


Over two weeks ago, many of you – in fact a group of a hundred women – signed on to an appeal letter addressed to Selvi Jayalalitha, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, and the Chairperson of the National Commission on Women, asking that immediate action be taken to release Selvi, Sundari and Xavier Ammal – the three women activists and leaders from Idinthakarai who had been arrested on Sept 10 while carrying out a totally peaceful protest on the beaches near the KKNPP.Press releases were sent out to several newspapers and news channels carrying the names of several eminent women who had added their names to the petition, in addition to scores of other academics, writers, housewives, students and activists from across the country. With the exception of one or two newspapers, the news was ignored/blanked out by media.

Worse still, there has been no acknowledgement of receipt of the letters, let alone the courtesy of a reply, to date.

And just today, when I spoke to Uday Kumar in Idinthakarai – to tell him of our round of visits to party leaders and MPs in Delhi on the issue of Koodankulam and Nuclear Energy, he gave us the shocking news below:

“Four more cases against Xavier Ammal and Sundari slapped today by police.Yesterday morning, bail was ordered by the Madurai High Court on 6 cases against Xavier and Selvi, and 8 cases against Sundari. Evidently, the police filed fresh cases to prevent their release and suppress the Koodankulam movement.

Organise, Agitate. Demand release of the ~100 prisoners, revocation of the thousands of cases, and immediate moratorium on the reactor.”

This is both shocking and frightening. for the last three days a group of us has been doing the rounds in Delhi, meeting MPs from many political parties to raise concerns on Koodankulam, why nuclear energy , and demanding action against the

repression let loose on peaceful protest against KKNPP.Many of them have expressed themselves personally against nuclear Energy. Without exception they have condemned the action as undemocratic, but then hide behind the fact that this is a state subject about which they are helpless to take any action! Unbelievable and shameful.

What recourse do we have as citizens when even Parliament is unable or unwilling to take action on such blatant trampling of a peaceful, totally non violent campaign with all the might of the law against unarmed citizens who were only carrying out their democratic right to raise their concerns against the imposition of a dangerous plant in their midst?

RAISE YOUR VOICES, ORGANISE, AGITATE, DEMAND THE RELEASE OF ALL THOSE ARRESTED. AND YES, AN IMMEDIATE MORATORIUM ON THE REACTOR.

In closing, may I add that it this point it does not matter if you personally believe or dont believe in the value or inevitability of Nuclear energy for India. Personally I oppose it totally, but right now we are protesting the sheer brutality , as also the arbitrary and authoritarian manner in which the State has chosen to put down peaceful dissent.

Please raise your voices in and from every forum to which you belong. Write, speak, send messages to the leadership – both national and especially in Tamil Nadu.

I can do no better than to leave you with this inspirational message from Dr Helen Caldicott which I am copying below. Hard hitting and direct. Can she be more clear?!

Greetings to all – in solidarity – and requesting you to pass this on widely – take action as you think fit, we need to be heard.\Lalita Ramdas

Demand Release of PMANE Women activists from Trichy Jail #mustshare


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ACTION ALERT TO DEMAND RELEASE OF XAVIER AMMAL, SELVI AND SUNDARI OF  PEOPLE’S MOVEMENT AGAINST NUCLEAR ENERGY
On 18 October, 2012, the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court heard  the bail appeals of 50 villagers from villages around Koodankulam. The  court released 47 villagers, but denied bail to three women — Xavier  Ammal, Selvi and Sundari. The women have already spent nearly two  months in jail, and given the High Court’s rejection, they are  unlikely to return to their families anytime soon. . .unless, we can  prevail on the Government to release them.
All 50 villagers had been arrested on the days following the September  10, 2012, police crackdown. Many of those arrested were not even part  of the protests. Those who were part of the protests were unarmed and  engaged in legitimate, non-violent demonstrations. Charges against  them vary from illegal assembly to shouting obscene slogans, sedition  and waging war against the state.

Send in your endorsement of the below letter to:
lalitagpi@gmail.com or geethv@gmail.com

***************************************************************************

To: Kum Jayalalitha,

Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
Fort St. George, Chennai 600 009

To: Ms Mamta Sharma

National Commission on Women
No. 4, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Marg
New Delhi-110 002.

Date: Nov 8 2012

Dear Sisters:
We are writing to urge you to facilitate the speedy release of three courageous women — Xavier Ammal, Selvi and Sundari — of Idinthakarai who are currently in the Trichy Women’s Prison. Their alleged crime was an act that most women would commit intuitively, namely acting to  protect their families, their communities and their future generations. Xavier Amma, Selvi and Sundari are strong, though gentle, women who have worked hard to keep their families together by rolling beedis, and selling fish. When the occasion demanded, as it did with the impending  commissioning of the Koodankulam reactors in the face of unanswered questions about its safety post-Fukushima, the women from villages around Koodankulam were galvanised into action. Among those thousands of women, these three have clearly stood out as leaders.

Following the September 10 police crackdown on the dharna by villagers opposed to nuclear energy, the police have arrested many villagers, including those who were in no way part of the protests. Across the board, the FIRs record that the villagers were armed with deadly weapons like “aruval (machetes), knives, sticks and crowbars.” Television footage of the September protests and police action bear testimony to the fact that the protestors were unarmed. Xavier Amma injured her hand after she ran and fell into the sea to escape the baton-wielding police. Both Selvi and Sundari have children that need taking care of. Selvi’s son is epileptic. It is indeed absurd that such women have been arbitrarily accused of sedition and waging war against the state. While releasing tens of others on bail at the same hearing of the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court, it is unclear as to why only these three have been denied bail.

We, the under-signed, are women from different walks of life who are very concerned at the increasing hostility of the various agencies of the State to democratic dissent, and the particular viciousness with which non-violent protests are being addressed. We are writing to urge  you to kindly act to restore justice by releasing these three women so that they can join their families, and by facilitating the return of a sense of normalcy in the villages around Koodankulam.

Sincerely

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