#Gujarat- NHRC irked over denial of scholarships to dalit students


TNN Jun 14, 2013

AHMEDABAD: The National Human Rights Commission has taken suo motu cognizance of the TOI report alleging denial of scholarships to 3,125 dalit students in Ahmedabad district. Out of this, applications of 1,613 students for scholarship are pending, whereas, 1,512 have been denied due to lack of funds. Allegedly, the state government had no answer for the Rs 3 crore that was to be spent on scholarships for dalit students.

The commission, shot off notices on Thursday to state chief secretary, Varesh Sinha and has sought a reply within four weeks. The commission also observed that, “the contents of the newspaper report, if true, paints a worrisome picture and constitute a gross violation of human rights of the dalit students. In view of their socio-economic backwardness, they deserve to be given special care and that is why such special provisions for scholarships to them have been made. Any failure in their implementation would defeat the whole purpose.”

The data was procured from the department of social justice after an RTI application was filed by dalit rights activist of Navsarjan Trust Kirit Rathod. It took Rathod three years before he could land on this basic information from the department.TNN “This is the level of transparency that the Gujarat government shows when it comes to the rights of the common man and the downtrodden classes. It took me three years to access information which should ideally should have been on the government website.”

The data in the RTI comprises only of ITI, science, arts, engineering and medical colleges. The information commission failed to provide the information for the dalit kids studying in schools

 

#India -Police action traumatised anti-dam tribals in MP #Stateoppression #humanrights


Chaukhand village, Khargone (MP), May 30, 2013

Pheroze L. Vincent

  • Villagers staging indefinite dharna at Kharak Dam at Chaukhand village in Khargone district in Madhya Pradesh on Thursday demanding proper compensation. Photo: A.M. Faruqui
    The Hindu Villagers staging indefinite dharna at Kharak Dam at Chaukhand village in Khargone district in Madhya Pradesh on Thursday demanding proper compensation. Photo: A.M. Faruqui
  • Villagers including children staging indefinite dharna at Kharak Dam at Chaukhand village in Khargone disstrict in Madhya Pradesh on Thursday, demanding proper compensation. Photo: A.M. Faruqui.
    The Hindu Villagers including children staging indefinite dharna at Kharak Dam at Chaukhand village in Khargone disstrict in Madhya Pradesh on Thursday, demanding proper compensation. Photo: A.M. Faruqui.
  • Villagers staging indefinite dharna at Kharak Dam at Chaukhand village in Khargone disstrict in Madhya Pradesh on Thursday, demanding proper compensation. Photo: A.M.Faruqui
    The Hindu Villagers staging indefinite dharna at Kharak Dam at Chaukhand village in Khargone disstrict in Madhya Pradesh on Thursday, demanding proper compensation. Photo: A.M.Faruqui

Sisters Kalibai and Phulbai are in a state of shock after they were caned by the police on May 25. Aged 8 and 6, they rushed towards their father Tudpiabai Gangaram on seeing him being caned by the police during a protest against the Kharak Reservoir being built beside their village.

“I said don’t hit my father. My father asked us to run away. Before we could run the policeman hit us also,” said Kali, struggling to talk with her swollen mouth. Phul asked her to open her mouth. “Her tooth broke as the cane hit her mouth,” she said pointing at a missing tooth.

Chaukhand has been resisting the construction of the dam, a minor irrigation project in Khargone and Barwani districts, roughly 350 km south west of Bhopal. Inhabited by the Barela tribe, the village grows wheat, jowar, soya, groundnuts and other traditional millets, beside River Kharak. Most residents do not have documents for the land they cultivate. The reservoir will submerge parts of seven villages.

Work on the project, which had started less than a year ago, has stopped for the last two months due to protests by locals. There are daily dharnas under the village peepul tree demanding a comprehensive rehabilitation policy, before the dam comes up.

“We had started work only on the 55 hectares for which claims were settled at roughly Rs. 3 lakhs per acre according to the collector’s guidelines. The problem is with those who don’t have documents. The principal secretary has decided to give them a relief amount of Rs. 4 lakhs per hectare. On Saturday we went to talk with the villagers when the situation deteriorated,” said Executive Engineer SS Raghuvanshi of the Water Resources Department.

Villagers narrated a different story. “At 10.30 a.m. we were on dharna as usual when four police vans came with around 150 male and female officers. The Sub Divisional Magistrate Jitendra Singh Chouhan was in front. They formed a line. We went to the SDM and asked when we will get compensation. He said that everyone with documents will get compensation but first we must clear the area,” said Shivram Kanase an activist of the Jagrit Adivasi Dalit Sangathan (JADS) which works in the area.

The villagers asked them to pay the compensation before starting work. Police then forcibly evicted them from the site. “They chased me and snatched my child from my arms and threw him on the ground. That policeman’s breathe smelt of liquor. He beat me with his cane,” said Samranabai, a local resident.

Collector Navneet Kothari is on leave and Superintendent of Police R. P. Singh refused to answer queries. He said, “You do your job. If I say there was no lathi charge, will you believe me?”

Another lady named Banchibai Ningole, with an infant at her breast, was arrested from her house, said villagers. Totally seven men and twenty women are in judicial custody. They were denied bail on Wednesday. The police have told the court that they are on the look out for others and that if released, the 27 would rejoin the protests.

“I asked the SDM why his men were beating women and children. He said that we were stopping government work and we would be locked up. Inspector T. C. Usre caught my hand and hit me. The women constables didn’t do anything. Maybe they felt bad for us,” said Gyanibai Jadav.

SDM Chouhan denied the occurrence of a lathi charge. “Villagers attacked the workers at the site. I told them that we won’t tolerate violence. We can convey their objections to the government. Police only removed them from the machines. There was no lathi charge,” he told The Hindu.

Many men and women showed the cane scars on their backs and legs. Four children with bruises claimed they had either been hit or had fallen while running from the police. The counsel for the arrested, C. K. Pathak said that he wasn’t pressing charges on the police as he first wants his clients to be released.

Bail was denied on a day when CM Shivraj Chauhan visited the district to conduct a mass marriage. On May 28 the government announced a Rs. 212 crore package for oustees of the Omkareshwar Dam, which will be given on condition that they vacate their homes by July 15. The evictees in neighbouring Khandwa had gained international prominence when they went on jal satyagraha by indefinitely immersing sitting in the River Narmada last year.

Here in Chaukhand, an uneasy peace prevails with villagers unsure of whose lands will be occupied and how much money they will get. Many fields have already been filled with rocks by the construction contractors. They are also under pressure from panchayat leaders not to obstruct the construction. Both the dharna continues and construction work has stopped.

Villager Sakaram accompanied this reporter on the way out of the village, which is connected to Dhulkot Panchayat by a long un-metallled road filled with stones. Ambulances don’t come here, he said, and many women have complicated pregnancies due to the journey on bullock cart to the hospital.

On Thurday a Barwani court granted bail to JADS leader Madhuri Krishnaswamy, who was arrested a fortnight back for a 2008 case of rioting. Ms. Krishnaswamy took up the case of a tribal woman giving birth on the street after being evicted from a primary health centre. The suspended pharmacist had filed the case on her.

“Last time we all voted for BJP as they promised us land pattas. This time we are going to meet (Congress state president) Kantilal Bhuria ji when he visits Khargone of June 4,” Mr. Sakaram added. He goes to public meetings of both the Congress and the BJP. “One day they will listen to us,” he explained.

 

Kalpakkam must be made a case study: Medha Patkar


24 May

  • Addressing the people, social activist Medha Patkar said, “Going to the seashore was once tourism and an entertainment. But now, the ‘man-made tsunami’ has changed that pleasure. (File/PTI)
    Addressing the people, social activist Medha Patkar said, “Going to the seashore was once tourism and an entertainment. But now, the ‘man-made tsunami’ has changed that pleasure. (File/PTI)

On the second day of her visit to the State, social activist Medha Patkar visited Kalpakkam. While she was interacting with the people from the fishing community, she said, “More and more scientific data over the effects of radiation must be coming from Kalpakkam, and thereby, it should be made a ‘case study’ for other nuclear reactors.”

Addressing the people, she said, “Going to the seashore was once tourism and an entertainment. But now, the ‘man-made tsunami’ has changed that pleasure. The struggle of the fishing community against nuclear plants either in Kalpakkam or in Koodankulam, has turned a service to the environment and to the whole of mankind.”

“During the Narmada Valley protests, we had said it was in the quake-prone zone. But officials denied it. Later, there was a quake at Latur, where the place has been pointed as not in the quake-prone zone. It clearly shows that we cannot estimate the possibility of a quake at any given region. When there are scientific reports that showcases Kalpakkam is under such a hazard, why should we want to take the risk?,” she asked. She further said, “In the past, there were judges like V R Krishna Iyer and P N Bhagwati who ordered investigation committees to go to the ground and inspect. Such practices are not followed in today’s judiciary.”

Meet cancelled

Meanwhile, the proposed meeting with Chief Secretary Sheela Balakrishnan IAS by social activist Medha Patkar was cancelled on Thursday evening.

According to members of NAPM, Medha Patkar had written to the Chief Secretary and got an appointment for around 5.30 pm on Thursday. But due to work exigencies, it is said the chief secretary cancelled the meeting.

 

SC – No arrest for posts on social sites without permission #ITact #Censorship


PTI

In view of public outrage over people being arrested for making comments or liking posts on Facebook, Centre had issued advisory not to arrest a person in such cases without prior approval of a senior official.
In view of public outrage over people being arrested for making comments or liking posts on Facebook, Centre had issued advisory not to arrest a person in such cases without prior approval of a senior official.

The Supreme Court on Thursday said that no person should be arrested for posting objectionable comments on social networking sites without taking prior permission from senior police officials.

The apex court, which refused to pass an order for a blanket ban on the arrest of a person for making objectionable comments on websites, said state governments should ensure strict compliance of the Centre’s January 9 advisory which said that a person should not be arrested without taking permission from senior police officials.

“We direct the state governments to ensure compliance with the guidelines (issued by Centre) before making any arrest,” a bench of justices B.S.Chauhan and Dipak Misra said.

It said the court cannot pass an order for banning all arrest in such cases as operation of section 66A (pertaining to objectionable comments) of the Information Technology Act has not been stayed by the apex court which is examining its constitutional validity.

In view of public outrage over people being arrested for making comments or liking posts on Facebook, Centre had on January 9 issued advisory to all states and UTs asking them not to arrest a person in such cases without prior approval of a senior police officer.

The advisory issued by the Centre says that, “State governments are advised that as regard to arrest of any person in complaint registered under section 66A of the Information Technology Act, the concerned police officer of a police station may not arrest any person until she/he has obtained prior approval of such arrest from an officer, not below the rank of Inspector General of Police (IGP) in metropolitan cities or of an officer not below the rank of Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) or Superintendent of Police (SP) at district level, as the case may be.”

The apex court was hearing an application seeking its direction to the authorities not to take action for posting objectionable comments during the pendency of a case before it pertaining to constitutional validity of section 66A of the Information Technology (IT) Act.

The section states that any person who sends, by means of a computer resource or communication device, any information that was grossly offensive or has a menacing character could be punished with imprisonment for a maximum term of three years, besides imposition of appropriate fine.

The petition was also filed regarding the arrest of a Hyderabad-based woman activist, who was sent to jail over her Facebook post in which certain “objectionable” comments were made against Tamil Nadu Governor K.Rosaiah and Congress MLA Amanchi Krishna Mohan. After filing of the petition, she was released by a district court at Hyderabad.

Jaya Vindhayal, the state general secretary of People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), was arrested on May 12 under section 66A of the IT Act for the “objectionable” post.

According to the police, she had also allegedly distributed pamphlets making objectionable allegations against Rosaiah and Mohan before posting the comments online.

The matter was mentioned before the bench by law student Shreya Singhal, seeking an urgent hearing in the case, saying the police is taking action in such matters even though a PIL challenging validity of section 66A is pending before the apex court.

She had filed the PIL after two girls–Shaheen Dhada and Rinu Shrinivasan–were arrested in Palghar in Thane district under section 66A of IT Act after one of them posted a comment against the shutdown in Mumbai following Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray’s death and the other ‘liked’ it.

On November 30, 2012, the apex court had sought response from the Centre on the amendment and misuse of section 66A of IT Act and had also directed the Maharashtra government to explain the circumstances under which the 21-year-old girls were arrested.

Pursuant to the notice issued by the apex court, the Centre had informed it that the controversial provision in the cyber law under which two girls were arrested for Facebook comments did not curb freedom of speech and alleged “high handedness” of certain authorities did not mean that it was bad in law.

The Ministry of Communication and Information Technology in its affidavit had said that an advisory had been issued to all the state governments, saying that due diligence and care may be exercised while dealing with cases arising out of the alleged misuse of cyberspace.

The Maharashtra Government in its reply had said the arrests of girls in Thane district were “unwarranted” and “hasty”, which “cannot be justified“.

The state government had also submitted an affidavit stating that the Thane police SP (Rural) had been suspended for arresting the two girls despite the instruction by the IGP not to take such action.

The court had earlier issued notices and sought responses from governments of Delhi, West Bengal and Puducherry where a professor and a businessman were arrested under section 66A of the Act for a political cartoon and tweeting against a politician respectively.

 

Uttar Pradesh IAS officer faces arrest in NRHM scam


, TNN | Mar 30, 2013, 01.23 AM IST

LUCKNOW: Senior IAS officer Pradeep Shukla faces arrest as a CBI court in Ghaziabad on Thursday dismissed his appeal against a non-bailable arrest warrant issued against him in connection with his alleged role in the Rs 5,700-crore National Rural Health Mission (NHRM) scam.

The politically influential bureaucrat, who would have to appear before the court on April 5, had moved an application before the court through his counsel seeking to quash the warrant issued on March 22 on medical grounds.

Special CBI additional district judge Shyam Lal had issued the warrant after Shukla failed to appear before the court till March 19. The Allahabad high court had set the deadline for him to appear before the CBI court a month earlier.

The high court directives came after it dismissed Shukla’s petition challenging a chargesheet filed against him before the special CBI court in Ghaziabad, saying it was filed on the basis of the statements of his co-accused. He had pleaded for the quashing of the chargesheet as statements of the co-accused were not admissible under the Evidence Act.

The CBI opposed the petition, insisting the statements of the co-accused could not be ignored as they were involved as agents. It sought the petition’s rejection, saying the statements of the agents “cannot be overlooked”, as they are admissible evidence.

The agency had arrested Shukla in May 2012 for his alleged role in the scam after the Allahabad high court admonished the agency “for not touching the big guns” named in the scam.

He was granted bail three months later after the CBI failed to submit a chargesheet against him.

A 1981 batch officer, Shukla was principal secretary, health and family welfare, and NRHM director between 2009 and 2011 when the scam took place. He is accused of bungling upgradation of 89 district hospitals, causing a loss of over Rs 18 crore to the exchequer.

Shukla was a powerful bureaucrat during previous CM Mayawati’s government.

Senior minister in CM Akhilesh Yadav‘s cabinet Shiv Pal Yadav had met Shukla in Jail in July 2012. Shukla’s wife, also an IAS officer, comes from a politically influential family.

The scam came to light after the murder of two chief medical officers in Lucknow.

The CBI had arrested former family welfare minister Babu Singh Kushwaha in the same case. He had accused Shukla of signing forged documents to make fictitious payments.

 

Punjabshame – 11 men forcibly enter house, beat girl, family in Amritsar #Vaw #WTFnews


Five men arrested for assault on girl, her family in Amritsar

rape

Press Trust of India | Updated: March 29, 2013 01:12 IST

 Five of the eleven men, who had allegedly thrashed a girl and her family members after barging into their house in Sadar area in Amritsar, were arrested on Friday.

“The five arrested persons are auto rickshaw drivers and rest of the accused, who are yet to be nabbed, are also in the same profession,” Deputy Police Commissioner (DCP) Amritsar Koustab Sharma said.

On Thursday night, in a shameful act, a group of eleven men allegedly were harassing the 21-year-old girl, who was returning from a tuition class, and followed her to Batala Road area where she lived with her parents.

When the girl’s father objected to their behaviour, they forcibly entered into the house and thrashed him and other family members.

Before leaving the house, they threatened them of dire consequences if the matter was reported, police said.

The DCP said,” there were eleven accused who trespassed in the house of the girl and five have been identified, arrested and booked.”

Rest of the accused will be arrested shortly, the officer said.

According to the family members of the girl, her right leg was fractured in the assault and she was admitted to a hospital where she is undergoing treatment.

 

Haryana – Ex-Armyman kills daughter for ‘honour’ #Vaw #honourkilling


TNN | Mar 30, 2013, 02.02 AM IST

ROHTAK: In a case of honour killing, a retired Army man allegedly strangulated his married daughter to death in Sherla village of Bhiwani district on Thursday, for tying the knot against his wishes.

The family cremated the body without informing the police in an attempt to destroy the evidence. The police, however, rushed to the village late Thursday after getting tipped off by some villager and started investigation. The police also contacted the victim’s husband, who lodged a complaint suspecting that she had been killed by her father.

The police registered a case under Section 302 (murder) and 201 (destruction of evidence) against Satpal, the accused father, and arrested him on Friday. According to police, the victim, identified as Shashi Rani, 21, was a student of BA final year in Hisar. She was having an affair with a youth Gautam Singh Khapadwas, 23, from a village in Bhiwani, who was also a student in the same college.

Police officers said the victim approached her family revealing about their relationship and expressed willingness to her. Though both did belonged to different castes, her father still objected to it and rejected the marriage proposal.

However, they eloped from their houses on February 28 and tied the knot at an Arya Samaj temple in Bahadurgarh of Jhajjar district the same day. The couple started living at a rented accommodation in Hisar after the marriage. However, the victim’s husband alleged that her father took her back to their village about a week back on the pretext that they had accepted the marriage.

Behal police SHO Ashok Sharma informed TOI that police rushed to the cremation ground on Thursday evening after some village informed about unnatural death of a young woman. The deceased’s father stated that she had died of electrocution during ironing clothes but failed to provide convincing replies to police questioning and finally confessed to have killed her on Thursday.

 

 

Mumbai – Eunuch sexually assaulted in car #Vaw #Gender


By, TNN | Mar 15, 2013,

MUMBAI: A eunuch was picked up by his neighbour and three others who bundled him into a vehicle, took turns to allegedly sodomise him for over three hours, singed him with cigarettes and then doused him in kerosene before throwing him out of the car early on Thursday.

The main accused, Mubarrak, has been arrested and the police suspect that a property dispute could be the motive.

Around 11.30pm on Wednesday, the 20-year-old victim and his two roommates-also eunuchs-left their Ghatkopar chawl and went to Naaz Hotel in Kurla (W) to pick up food. As they were returning, they were accosted by the accused and his three aides who were in a Maruti van. “I asked my roommates to go home. As I got into the car, the four threatened to kill our leaders. Then they took turns to have unnatural sex with me. They also burnt me all over my body with cigarettes. Before throwing me out of the van, they poured kerosene on me,” the victim said in the complaint.

After being thrown out on LBS Marg in Ghatkopar around 2.30am on Thursday, the victim took an auto to Rajawadi Hospital. The Vinoba Bhave Nagar police have detained a Ghatkopar resident for picking a 20-year-old eunuch from Kurla (West) at midnight on Wednesday and then he and his three friends gang-raped him for three hours and burnt him with cigarette all over the body. After committing the offence the accused poured highly inflammable chemical on the victim and throw him out of the moving Maruti Van on LBS Marg in Ghatkopar (West) at 2.30am on Thursday.

Hospital officials called the Park Site police who recorded his statements. The case has been transferred to the VB Nagar police who arrested Mubarrak.

The police suspect that property dispute was behind the offence. The victim stays on the ground floor of a chawl at Amrut Nagar in Ghatkopar (W), while Mubarrak stays on the mezzanine floor. “The victim and Mubarrak had fights over rooms and had also filed a case. We have registered a case of unnatural offences and are awaiting the medical report,” DCP Dhananjay Kulkarni told TOI. The accused have also been booked under sections 34 (common intention), 324 (causing hurt using dangerous weapon or means) and 506 (II) (criminal intimidation) of the IPC.

On Wednesday night, the victim and his two roommates (all eunuchs) had gone to Naaz Hotel in Kurla (west) and was returning back home at 11.30am with food parcel when she was stopped by Mubarrak and his three friends whom the victim claimed were in a Maruti van. “I asked my two roommates to go to home after Mubarrak asked me to sit in the van. For three hours they threatened of killing our leader and repeatedly had unnatural sex with me. They also used cigarette to burn all over my body. Before throwing me out of the moving van they poured kerosene on me,” the victim mentioned in the complaint.

 

 

#Mumbai- Shot in the arm for autistic pupils #goodnews #disability


Shreya Bhandari, TNN

Mumbai: Two years ago, the state board allowed autistic students to appear for Class X and XII board exams.
After granting various concessions to students with learning disabilities (LD), the state board has decided to permit students to opt for an exam centre closer to their residence. “Our aim has always been to ensure that students’ stress is reduced. We started this option last year where students with autism or learning disabilities could apply to us and ask for an exam centre close to their homes,” said Krishnarao Patil, state board secretary.
“Last year, few parents knew about this measure, but now more students have approached the state board,” he said. He also added that the state board has recently released a circular making it clear that students with autism and LD will be allowed to use calculators in their maths and science board papers (Class X and XII).
The option of changing centres has come in handy for students who need a writer for their exams. “There was some confusion if all students had to take this option but the board has made it clear that only those students who are interested can apply to the board and avail of the facility,” said Fr Francis Swamy, principal of Holy Family High School.
Students appear for SSC English paper
Mumbai:Nearly 3.82 lakh SSC students in Mumbai division appeared for their English paper on Thursday. “Students are slowly settling down well so the number of calls to the helpline has reduced. Very few students call with queries these days,” said Balasaheb Hyalij, a state board helpline counsellor. TNN

 

Pakistan releases 10 indian prisoners inlcuding 7 Fiishermen #goodnews


Yudhvir Rana, TNN
AMRITSAR: Pakistan government has released 10 Indian prisoners including 7 fishermen from Karachi‘s Landhi jail and from other jails of Punjab on Thursday. The released prisoners would reach Wagah(Pakistan) border on Friday from where they will be handed over to Indian authorities, informed Pakistan’s former federal minister for human rights Ansar Burney on Thursday.

Providing details, vice chairman of the Ansar Burney International Trust, Syed Fahad Burney said that they would receive the Indian prisoners from jail and would take them to Wagah(Pakistan) border in the trusts’ vehicles and handover them to Pakistan Rangers.

Indian fishermen who are being released by Pakistan are Mansingh Bhagwan , Khema , Shivdas, Manno, Bharat Dheeru, Govind Bamaniya and Lala Pansa Pansa Bhika Belu. The trust had taken up the cases of these 7 Indian fishermen with Pakistan government . “Still there are around 100 Indian fisherman are lodged in jails and the trust would also take up their case and appeal for their early release on humanitarian grounds” said Burney.

Burney informed that Ansar Burney International Trust had also planned to initiate a movement for the release of Indian condemned prisoners Sarabjit Singh and Kirpal Singh seeking their release on technical and humanitarian grounds.

The Trust would begin a nation wide movement for the release of Indian prisoners on death row Sarabjit Singh and Kirpal Singh. “Both of them have spend more than two decades in jail waiting to be hanged every day even as living a in the death cell is horrible” he said.

“Their release from Pakistan jail will help to ease tension between two nations and bring trust” he said. He said he had convened a meeting of Trust office bearers and other like minded associations to chalk out their future course of action for the release of Sarabjit and KirpalSingh.