US geologist speaks of earthquake risk in Jaitapur


Press release – January 12, 2012

Mumbai, January 12, 2012: According to a paper co-authored by Professor Dr. Roger Bilham of University of Colarado and Professor Dr. Vinod Gaur of Indian Institute of Astrophysics, an earthquake, the magnitude of 6 plus on the Richter scale, can occur in Jaitapur. The paper was published in Current Science, a prestigious Indian journal published by Current Science Association and the Indian Academy of Sciences.

While briefing the audience at a conference organized by the environmental organisation Greenpeace, Dr. Bilham said, “Since Jaitapur lies in the same compressional stress regime that has been responsible for generating both the Mw=6.3 Latur and the Mw=6.4 Koyna earthquakes in the past five decades it can be argued that a similar sized could possibly occur directly beneath the power plant. The probability of this earthquake occurring is low but it is nevertheless possible, and is an important consideration in the design of a safe power plant.”

He added that it was not possible to confidently say that an earthquake of a high magnitude would not occur in Jaitpur as one needs to examine reliable data spanning many centuries in order to do so. This is due to the long gaps between earthquakes. With regard to Jaitapur, the available data that can be relied upon only extends to last 200 years – a small time in geological history”.

The Jaitapur area comes under Ratnagiri district which falls in the seismic zone 4 (High damage) category with zone 5 being the highest (2). The area has witnessed 92 earthquakes within 1985 to 2005 (3).

According to Pradeep Indulkar, “the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) prepared by NEERI does not address the true seismicity of the region by claiming it to be zone 3 as opposed to being zone 4. To build a nuclear plant in a seismic zone 4 according to the specifications of zone 3 would be disastrous not just for the people living in the vicinity of the nuclear plant but also for the country. It would be a disaster waiting to happen”.

Pravin Gavankar of Janhit Sew Samiti, Madban and Dr. Milind Desai , Madban have filed an application calling for the cancelation of environmental clearance in the National Green Tribunal. The next hearing would be on the 24th of January.

End —

Notes to Editor

1- Historical and future seismicity near Jaitapur, India by Dr. Roger Bilham and Dr. Vinod Gaur
http://www.greenpeace.org/india/Global/india/Historical%20and%20future%20seismicity%20near%20Jaitapur,%20India.pdf

2- National Disaster Management Authority, Government of India: Ratnagiri Earthquake zone 4
http://ndma.gov.in/ndma/eqmeasurement.html

3- 92 earthquakes in 20 years (Times of India report)
http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-03-16/india/28699015_1_jaitapur-nuclear-power-plant-earthquake

Profile:

Dr. Roger Bilham:

Professor of Geological Sciences at University of Colorado and has extensively studied the seismicity of the Indian sub-continent. He has co-authored about 60 papers on earthquake and seismicity.
http://www.colorado.edu/GeolSci/faculty/bilham.html

Dr. Vinod Gaur:

Distinguished Professor Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore. Also Adjunct Professor Indian Institute of Science, Education and Research (IISER), Kolkata. He studied Geophysics at Banaras University and at Imperial College where he discovered the hitherto unsuspected ‘host rock effect’ in geo-electromagnetics. For this discovery in 1959, he earned the degree of Doctor of Philosophy from the University of London. His academic career began, immediately thereafter, as a Scientist at the National Physical Laboratory, UK.

http://www.ngri.org.in/htmlfiles/aboutngri/previousdirectors/previousdirector.html

Pradeep Indulkar:

Pradeep has worked in Bhabha Atomic Research Centre from 1983 to 1994. Resigned as Scientific Officer and presently working in environment education. Designing environment education centre, nature interpretation centre is his focus area. He is an antinuclear activist and has been working in people’s movement against Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant for last 5 years.

For more information contact:

Karuna Raina, Nuclear Campaigner, Greenpeace India +91 9650111955, karuna.raina@greenpeace.org

Hozefa Merchant, Media Officer, Greenpeace India +91 9819592410, hozefa.merchant@greenpeace.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE–National Youth Day- dedicated to Girl Child


 National Youth  Day– dedicated to Girl Child

 Jan 12, Mumbai-“ Is there equality among boys and girls in our society ?- NO,  why are girls and boys treated  differently  ?, what can you as students do to curb the menace of missing girls ?, these are some of questions Rahul Bose, film actor and social activist  bombarded to the packed crowd  of  more than 500 NSS students of Mumbai University  at  Chetna College, on the occasion of National Youth day dedicated to celebrate girl child by Forum against Sex selection,a   network of  20 Ngos and CBOS working on gender issues  in Maharashtra .

Provoking the  girl students Bose, asked the girls if they will marry without taking dowry and  if they do not get any boy would they consider to stay unmarried.   He pointed out that need of the hour is students to sit with their parents together and make them understand that they are not burden and  they would rather be alone than in a violent and unhappy relationship with a man who was just greedy.

The Forum Against Sex Selection (FASS) was formed in May 2011 in Mumbai to renew the campaign against sex selection  which is responsible for the countrys appallingly skewed sex ratio and in particular, Maharashtra state.  Jyoti Mhapsekar of Stree Mukti Sangathana, who has been working more than two decades on gender issues , with her team performed a scene from her new Marathi play “  Mulgi Zali ho ” and sang protest songs  highlighting discrimination against Girl child. She also informed that not many knew the fact that Savitiribai Phule , who was the first female  teacher  of first women’s school in India lit  the pyre of her parents.

Noted  Theatre  Artiste of  “Experimental Theatre Foundation”, Manjul Bhardwaj, had a fiery  interactive session students on the issue, highlighting the social, economic,  and political factors of sex selection. The students resolved to take up the issue of gender discrimination and the join the campaign against sex selection.

FASS in collaboration with Mumbai University,  National Social Service (NSS) and Chetana College organised the event ” Tumchya Aamchya Lekin Sathee – Sangharsh Samatesathee” at Chetana College, Bandra East, Mumbai. 

Photographs of the Event

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‘Free political prisoners’


Arun Fererreira talk about Sudhir Dhawale

In his first public appearance after getting bail, Arun Ferreira, alleged Naxalite, spoke about the plight of political prisoners in India, at an event held by the Committee For Release of Political Prisoners in Mumbai yesterday.

Amidst a jam-packed hall swarming with journalists and activists, Mumbai-based Arun Ferreira, alleged Naxalite, made his first public appearance after he was released on bail from Nagpur jail recently. Ferreira, after returning to Mumbai, had refused to speak to the media. This much-awaited press conference came almost a week after his release. The event was organised by the Committee For Release of Political Prisoners at the Press Club in South Mumbai, yesterday. While shutterbugs clicked away, Ferreira took his position on the dais along with other members of the committee. Dressed in a blue jeans and a blue shirt, a small card dangling from his shirt pocket read ”FREE SUDHIR DHAWALE. The purpose of the event was to inform the media about the plight of political prisoners and eventually call for their release. “I have come here to highlight the plight of political prisoners in our country. Who are these political prisoners? Sudhir Dhawale is one of them. He was arrested in Gondia because the police claimed that he supports Naxalism. The evidence against him was a book, which he had written some six years ago. This book was used as evidence against him. Is this democracy?” asked Ferreira.

He further added. “Since 2011, none of us have been produced before the Sessions court in Gadchiroli. This is unacceptable.” Talking of another incident, Ferreira said, “In Nagpur, you have privatised bus service. The employees from the public transport department demanded that they wanted permanent jobs. They started protesting for the same. Without giving any explanation, the government jailed them for 15 days. Jailed for what? Jailed for demanding their rights. Can you call these people criminals?” Ferreira, who completed his master’s thesis on ‘political prisoners in India’, pledged to fight for their cause till the end. He said, “I also wanted to address the issue, where people are being re-arrested, time and again. After acquittal, the police slap some more charges against them. Then you are again arrested, and this is an endless cycle. It goes on and on. In 2007 when I was arrested there was no chargesheet or FIR against me. I was in jail and suddenly my name started cropping up in a few cases, where the police stated that I was absconding. Finally when I was acquitted, the police slapped two more cases against me and I was re-arrested. Data obtained from the police department might state that the number of so-called Naxals arrested has increased over a period of time, but most of the arrests being made are not new. A large number of people have been re-arrested again and again. In fact the former Principle district judge of Gadchiroli SS Ahmed had commented on this modus operandi of the police and the way they deal with political prisoners.”

 Torture
P A Sebastian, President of the Committee For Release of Political Prisoners, said, “Many like Arun, who are languishing in jails, are not criminals, but political prisoners. Their views and the states’ views are not similar and this is the reason they are confined in jails and tortured for years together.” Out on bail after four years and eight months, Ferreira has filed a criminal writ petition against the state and others before the Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court, demanding compensation of Rs 25 lakh. Ferreira had been acquitted in 11 different cases and one case is still pending before the court. When asked if he sympathised with the Naxals , Ferreira refused to elaborate. Instead, Maharukh Adenwalla, spokeswoman , Committee For Release of Political Prisoners, answered, “If somebody’s opinion or views happens to be different from the state’s he/she is made out to be a Naxal. This is in order to fit into their scheme if things.” Ferreira later explained, “Whenever the state sees red, it retaliates. Any ideology that is different than the state’s ideology is perceived as a threat. Nowadays you see any sort of movement that questions the policy of the state has been suppressed.” When a member of the audience asked, if he was in favour of violence, Ferreira replied, “There are movements, which were meant to be non violent. Due to circumstances, violence creeps in. In such a scenario, it is not right for one to back out from the movement. At least, I wouldn’t do that.” Ferreira admits that life in prison has taken a toll on his health. “The police has mastered a technique where a person will be tortured, but there will be no visible marks on his body. I too faced that. A doctor is supposed to check our heath after every 14 hours. The doctor will ask us if there is pain in any part of our body, but he/she will not take note of what we say. One of my co-accused was tortured. Police put petrol in his rectum, but when the doctor gave his report, he said that the person had piles.” He added that the prison manual too needs to be changed. “The prison manual is archaic and there are no rules or regulations in a jail. Everything is decided by the jailor. From how much food you eat to how many letters you can write or receive. If you have enough money you will have a better place to sleep, if you don’t then you are miserable. Even in jails, money is everything. Caste, creed and everything else is very much prevalent in jails too. It is not an equaliser.”

Statement
When asked about his alleged statement about Maoists and Shiv Sena, Ferreira clarified, “There were reports that during narco analysis, I had said that many political parties, including Shiv Sena and its chief Bal Thackeray, have been funding Maoist activities in Mumbai. But this is false. One Dr Malini, who was in charge of the narco analysis, which was conducted in Bangalore, asked me a lot of questions. She asked me for which organizations I had worked, to which I told her about various activist groups I have been associated with. I also told her that various political parties like the Congress and the Shiv Sena have youth wings. The doctor did not know anything about the Shiv Sena. Hence, I had to explain to her that the Shiv Sena is a party and Bal Thackarey is its chief. This was then edited and put together and reports claimed that I had made that statement.”

While Ferreira spoke on various issues, he refused to answer any question related to his family. At the end of the event, when somebody asked him how he survived all these years, Ferreira tersely replied, “I too am surprised, how I survived all these years.”

Who is Sudhir Dhawale?
A resident of Byculla, Sudhir Dhawale, an activist was arrested from Wardha railway station by a team of Gondia police and a team from the Nagpur division of ATS, while trying to board a train to Mumbai. He was taken to Gondia and produced before a local court which awarded police his custody until January 12, 2011. He was also booked for waging war against the state and charged with sedition

Midday- Sudheshna Chowdhury

Demanding a ban on visit of Salman Rushdie to India is outrageous: PUCL


Salman Rushdie

Image via Wikipedia

Press Release

The People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) views it with deep concern that some organizations have demanded ban on entry of Salman Rushdie in the country. The present call is illogical, preposterous and untenable as the writer has visited the country for several times after the Satanic Verses book controversy.

Those who have called for banning his entry must know that Rushdie being person of Indian origin does not need permission from the government – a visa – to visit his home country. To demand an unconstitutional measure to be invoked against some one, one might not agree with is as condemnable as when some lunatic groups would demand that certain book be taken off the shelf or some painting exhibition be not held or that the majortarian way of life should be standard for all in the country.

PUCL believes that the present demand is self defeating and is against the interest of the community in the name of which such demands are made. Above all demands such as these run counter to the values of a democratic society that the India is. Those who are misguiding gullible people are indulging in politics of symbolism based on emotional exploitation of the people thereby damaging our shared constitutional values. PUCL appeals to people to see through such moves and ignore such calls.

 

Sd./- Pushkar Raj General Secretary

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