Press Release–In the name of sovereignty: APDP

25th January 2012:


On 17th October 2011, Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) submitted an application for information under Right to Information Act 2009 to the office of the Public Information Officer of State Department of Home. The application was regarding unmarked graves and mass graves in all the districts of Jammu and Kashmir. The State Home Department vide its letter no: Home/RTI/2011/1659 dated: 24th October 2011, transferred the application to the office of Director General of Police, Jammu & Kashmir. Later Director General of Police, Mr. Kuldeep Khoda sent communiqué vide no. legal/RTI/III/98/2011-5590-91 dated 10th December 2011 to the SSP CID Headquarters, asking him to furnish a detailed report on this issue.

Today, on 25th January 2012, we have received a response from the SSP CID Headquarters vide letter no: CID/GB/RTI/2011/8756-58, in which the CID Department has informed us that the information regarding the unmarked graves and mass graves in all the districts of Jammu and Kashmir cannot be shared as the disclosure of the information, according to Jammu and Kashmir Police would be “prejudicial to the maintenance of public peace and tranquility, as the anti-national elements may use the same for incitement of commission of offence in the state”. The SSP CID Headquarters further states, “In the present security scenario it is quite imminent that consequences of such a situation would be highly prejudicial to the sovereignty, integrity and security of the state”.

We fail to understand how information regarding the unmarked graves and mass graves would become threat for the security and sovereignty of the state, when even the State Human Rights Commission has recently endorsed our findings regarding the existence of unmarked graves and mass graves in North Kashmir. This denial comes after the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir repeatedly promised that thorough investigations would be carried out regarding unmarked graves and mass graves.

Every time state is afraid of truth and every time state shows reluctance in promoting the processes of justice. People of Jammu and Kashmir and particularly the family members of more than 8000 disappeared persons have the right to know how many unmarked graves and mass graves exist in Jammu and Kashmir and also people want to know who are the ones buried in these graves.

It has now become routine for the state to use the pretext of the security to cover up human rights crimes and thus deny justice. Crimes cannot be hidden to protect the sovereignty, integrity, security, peace and tranquility.

APDP has already filed the first appeal under section 16 (1) of the J&K RTI Act 2009 at the first Appellate authority of the Police Headquarters.

Yaseen Hassan Malik

Vigil-aunties – Bina Shah

The writer is an author, most recently of Slum Child (2010). She has written for numerous publications including Dawn, The Friday Times and Chowk

The writer is an author, most recently of Slum Child (2010). She has written for numerous publications including Dawn, The Friday Times and Chowk

Imagine this: you are a young Pakistani woman walking in a Karachi park with a young man. He could be your brother, cousin, university friend, fiance, or husband. You are wearing a full burqa, and your companion is walking beside you, carrying on a conversation. You are a middle to lower-middle-class girl, with a lot of restrictions on your life, and this time in this public space, where you are modestly dressed and doing no harm, give you a bit of respite in a life that carries a lot of expectations about how you conduct yourself and what weight that places on your family’s respectability.

Suddenly, from out of nowhere, a group of fifteen upper-class women descend upon you. One of them has a microphone which she thrusts into your companion’s face, and there is a camera crew behind her, filming every moment. She claims to be doing a survey on mobile phone crime, but the questions she poses become more and more intrusive. “Are you college students? Yes? Then why aren’t you in class? It’s morning time.” The woman with the microphone assures you the camera is not recording, but the accusations become more pointed. “Are you on a date? Are you married? Where’s your nikahnama?”

You become afraid, because you know that if anyone from your family sees this spectacle, there will be no mercy for you. They will believe that you are an immoral girl: maybe you’ll be taken out of college. Maybe you’ll be beaten. Married off to someone you don’t know as a way of forcing you to behave. If you’re very unlucky, you might even be killed as a way of avenging the family honour. You hide behind your companion, but the microphone is thrust in your face. You scream out that you don’t want to be harassed like this, that you don’t want to answer any questions. Finally, you flee, while the group of women and camera crew chase after you, screaming “Bhago bhago bhago!” They are laughing and giggling hysterically, because to them, this is a fun game, while you are crying with fear and anxiety.

And then, the entire clip is shown on a morning breakfast show on a local television channel.

The television anchor who conceived of this segment for her television show thought she was doing a great service to society. “We need to make this park safe for families!” is her justification as the segment begins. But safety and families are not the words that come to mind when watching this clip. Instead, witch-hunt is one of them. Zia is another. Hudood Ordinance is a third. And privacy, hypocrisy, and ethics soon follow.

This clip brings to mind the tales of countless couples harassed by the police to prove they’re married in order to extort money out of them. It makes one wonder what drives a group of educated, affluent women to embarrass a young couple from a lower socioeconomic class, harass them to the point of hysteria, and then drive them out from a public space which is paid for by government taxes which that same socioeconomic class is more likely to pay than the class the affluent women come from. It makes one wonder whether Pakistanis have the right to privacy, and question the need to browbeat young adults about their presence in a public park, engaged in nothing more harmful than a walk on a beautiful winter’s day. It makes one wonder about how Talibanisation has invaded our mindset, when we can see something obscene in a normal act which people engage in all over the world.

Time and again the ethics of our media have been called into question, as channels embrace sensationalism in order to achieve the highest ratings. The television channel in question will find themselves open to legal action by victims of their harassment who are being portrayed on television without their consent. Airing this segment also appeals to the worst instincts in our hypocritical society by passing moral judgment in the name of family values upon two innocent people, which makes for some of the most irresponsible broadcast journalism found in Pakistan today. At the very least, the channel and the anchorperson owe an apology, if not compensation, to those two individuals who had hurt nobody on that day when they were ambushed and harassed by the television anchor and her Moral Aunty Brigade. The irony is that she describes herself on her Facebook page as “very fair and honest in her dealings”. I think that girl in the niqab, crying in the park, and her blameless friend, as well as any sane person with a conscience and a respect for other people’s privacy, would beg to differ.

(The headline for this article is courtesy of Anthony Permal.)

Published in The Express Tribune, January 24th, 2012.

ACHR urge GoI to pledge for abolition of death penalty

SHILLONG, JAN :Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) while making its submission urged the Government of India (GoI) t to pledge for the abolition of the death penalty before the UN Human Rights Council when it comes for examination under the Universal Periodic Review in May 2012. ACHR stated that inviting comments from the civil society organisations through email or fax is highly inadequate and the government of India (GOI ) must organise a national consultation with the civil society organisations, the National Human Rights institutions and parliamentarians before it submits the National Report to the UN Human Rights Council.

“In 2010 alone, death penalty was given to 137 convicts which exposes the hollowness of government of India’s claim for application of the “rarest of the rare” as the justification for retention of the death penalty. The assurance given by the Government of India to the Government of Portugal for not imposing death penalty to gangster Abu Salem under the ‘Rule of Speciality’ underlines that death penalty is no longer acceptable as punishment by any civilized society,” stated Suhas Chakma, Director of Asian Centre for Human Rights.

In its submission, ACHR stated that human rights situations in India have deteriorated since 2008 when India’s human rights record was examined by the UN Human Rights Council under its Universal Periodic Review in April 2008. A total of 4,034 custodial deaths and 1,836 cases of torture in police custody during 2008-09 to 2010-11 were recorded by the National. Human Rights Commission while a total of 740 civilians were killed in disproportionate use of fire-arms by the police from 2008 to 2010 according to the National Crime Records Bureau. A total of 309 cases of extrajudicial killings were recorded by the NHRC during 2007 to 2009.

“These figures do not reflect the actual number as both the National Human rights Commission and National Crime Records Bureau exclude human rights violations committed by the armed forces and the army. The Assam Police in its website claimed that they have killed 129 persons in encounters during January July 2010.” further stated Mr Chakma. On denial of personal liberty, ACHR stated that 2,232 persons were detained under preventive detention laws in 2009 including 835 in Tamil Nadu, 356 in Gujarat, 294 in Uttar Pradesh, 182 in J&K and 143 in Manipur. These figures are miniscule of the actual detention under the preventive detention laws.

The Uttar Pradesh Government recently claimed that 1,797 notorious criminals were detained under the National Security Act in the state. ACHR said India’s National Report provides only generic information about the legal framework and not the human rights situations and challenges. It fails to state that Jammu and Kashmir does not even a single home for juvenile girls who are detained in the police lock ups and prisons in clear violations of national and international human rights standards.

The UN Human Rights Council in its session in April 2008 made 18 recommendations to the Government of India (GoI). The only recommendation that has been implemented is extending standing invitation to the UN Special Rapporteurs in September 2011 which binds India to allow the Rapporteurs to visit India. While the GoI has recently extended invitations to a number of Special Rapporteurs to visit India prior to the UPR examination in May 2012, it excluded the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture whose request to visit India has been pending since 1993. ACHR alleged that the government of India has failed to ratify the UN Convention.

Against Torture a commitment made in 2008. Though the Parliamentary Select Committee of the Rajya Sabha adopted the Prevention of Torture Bill on December 6, 2010, the government failed to introduce the Bill in the last winter session of Parliament. India further failed to adopt the National Action Plan for Human Rights despite starting the process in 10 July 1998, it added. Newmai News Network

SIT Should Prosecute Modi for Complicity in Riots: Bhatt

PTI | Ahmedabad | Jan 25, 2012

Ahead of the Special Investigation Team probing the 2002 riots finalising its report, Suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt today again demanded that it should seek to prosecute Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi for his ‘complicity’ in the Gulburg society riot case.

In a letter written to SIT Chairman R K Raghvan, Bhatt advised to the SIT that acts of commission and omission on part of the Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in Gulberg Society case tantamount to abetment of gruesome carnage, thereby he should be charged under provisions of Section 107 (abetment to crime) of IPC.

In the Gulberg society incident in 2002, 69 persons including former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, were killed.

The Supreme Court has directed the SIT to file its final report in the Gulburg society riot case on complaint of Zakia Jafri, wife of the Ex-MP where she had accused Modi and 61 others for riots. The SIT is likely to file its report soon.

Bhatt also suggested that Modi would be liable to be charged under sections 109, 112, 115, 117, 118 and 119 of the Indian Penal Code(IPC), 1860.

Reiterating what he had already told to SIT and the Amicus Curiae Raju Ramachandran, Bhatt stated in his letter, by the time of second meeting that he claimed to have had with the Chief Minister on February 28, 2002, the carnage at Gulbarg Society had begun in full view of the police personnel who were deployed there for bandobust duties.

“The Gujarat CM was accordingly briefed about the police inaction and complicity. He was informed about the threat to the life of ex-MP Ehsan Jafri and his family,” Bhatt said in the letter.

“Surprisingly, on conclusion of second meeting, the Chief Minister instructed me to find out details regarding the past instances wherein Ehsan Jafri had supposedly opened fire on Hindus, during earlier communal riots in Ahmedabad City,” Bhatt claimed in the letter.

“I was informed by control room and other State Intelligence Bureau sources stationed at Gulbarg Society, that a few minutes ago Ehsan Jafri had opened fire on a riotous mobs,” Bhatt stated.

“This makes it clear that the Chief Minister was fully aware of the on-going carnage and was independently getting real-time information updates on the developments taking place at Gulbarg Society”, he stated.

“Later, I was told to collect details regarding past offences registered against Ehsan Jafri, which was followed by a similar telephonic request from cabinet minister Ashok Bhatt who was stationed at Ahmedabad City Control Room, by the Chief Minister,” Bhatt stated.

“All this, absolutely makes it clear that the Chief Minister Narendra Modi was not interested in directing the police to act with firmness to protect the life and property of helpless citizens. Instead, at the time of gory carnage, he (CM) sought to condone the police inaction,” he stated.

Having, a clairvoyant foresight to collect information which could be used to build up a case that then on-going carnage at Gulbarg Society was triggered by the act of unprovoked firing on the riotous mobs by Ehsan Jafri, Bhatt stated.

These acts of commission and omission on the part of the Chief Minister Narendra Modi, on February 28, 2002, amounted to facilitation and abetment of the gruesome carnage at Gulbarg Society, he claimed.

Cameroon Rape Victims Confront Legal Gauntlet

By Irene Zih Fon, January 25, 2012

Rape victims in Cameroon can get medical treatment at hospitals and file a police report to set a case in motion, but providing evidence to prove that rape occurred can be difficult. Others don’t report incidents at all because of poverty or shame.

DOUALA, Cameroon (WOMENSENEWS)–Sophie Mixte, who is in her 30s, says she was raped three times growing up. But it wasn’t until the third incident that her parents found out and reported it to the police.

When her mother turned to authorities for help though, it didn’t do her any good, she says.

“The police started to play around the case with my mother, persuading her to drop the case,” she says.

Instead of going to court, the case was settled privately. The family of her rapist paid her mother $200, the equivalent of Mixte’s hospital bill after the rape.

In Cameroon, rape victims can obtain medical treatment in hospitals. Doctors test for pregnancy, HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases and make HIV-prevention drugs and emergency contraceptives available. They also administer a physical examination that can provide evidence in court that the rape occurred, as well as be used to obtain an abortion, which is otherwise illegal.

But the combination of an intrusive medical exam and an intrusive legal system–as well as strong cultural beliefs about rape victims–seem to discourage many rape victims from seeking justice.

The National Network of Associations of Aunties, a coalition of groups working to combat rape in Cameroon, estimates that 500,000 rapes occur every year in the country. But many are never documented because of underreporting.

Dr. Jean Pierre Koubitim of the St. Padre Pio Hospital in Douala agrees. He says rape incidents are a daily occurrence, with victims ranging from children to adults, attacks occurring inside and outside the home, and perpetrators being strangers or relatives. Yet because of underreporting, the hospital receives just 15 to 20 reports of sexual violence per year, mostly of attempted rape, he says.

“The youngest victim is about 4 years old and was raped by a cousin in their home,” he says.

One Rape Report

Epossi Adeline is the director of the Association for the Fight Against Violence Toward Women, a nongovernmental group that operates a center for victims of gender violence. She says the center has received 70 cases of violence against women since it began operations in 2010. Fifty of these were reports of domestic violence; just one was a rape report.

She also attributes this to underreporting, not to low prevalence.

According to the Cameroon Penal Code, the penalty for rape is five to 10 years in prison when victims are 16 and older and 15 to 25 years in prison when victims are under 16. Prison time may be doubled or for life when offenders have authority over or custody of the victims, are public servants or religious ministers, or are assisted by one or more people.

Convicted rapists rarely receive long prison terms though, says Esther Ngale, president of the Cameroon Association of Female Jurists. She says that, in general, those proven guilty of rape may receive sentences ranging from six months to five years.

Jacob Angoh Angoh, a member of Legal Power Law Firm, made up of barristers and solicitors in Cameroon and Nigeria, says a rape victim must file a formal complaint at a police unit in order to start a case.

The Cameroon Penal Code defines rape as any female compelled to have sexual intercourse with a man “by force or moral ascendancy.”

Angoh Angoh says that the victim should be able to prove that the sexual relationship was not consensual.

“Hence, she must prove that she shouted or she complained to the first person she met at the given opportunity,” he says.

Police’s Decision

Once a complaint is made, the police usually arrest the suspect immediately, he says. It is up to the police to decide whether to pursue the case. If police decide the case has sufficient evidence, they forward it to the state counsel.

Ngale says the victim can choose to use the state prosecutor or hire a private lawyer.

Angoh Angoh encourages rape victims not to be afraid to report incidents because rape cases are not tried in an open court in Cameroon. He says the state maintains victims’ reputation by hearing cases in the chamber of the magistrate in the presence of the two parties, the lawyers, the magistrate and any witnesses.

“Because if the public knows that a girl is a victim of rape, how many men would dare approach her?” he asks.

During the trial, Angoh Angoh says the victim must establish evidence that she resisted or was subdued by the person who allegedly raped her.

“This can be proven by circumstantial evidence, such as wounds on her body,” he says. “If she shouted and people heard her, those people would support her evidence.”

Otherwise, he says, the court may assume “that some girls just make up such stories to make money.”

Angoh Angoh says the law also provides for a defense of provocation, in which case the court presumes that the woman contributed to the act. For instance, taking into consideration whether the woman dressed a certain way, invited the perpetrator into her room or worked as a prostitute.

He says the law also takes into account whether they’d been in a relationship before or if the woman had been giving the impression that they were in a relationship by accepting gifts from him.

NHRC plans draft legislation on rights of patients

New Delhi: The National Human Rights Commission is mulling to come out with a draft legislation that seeks to protect the rights of patients and ensure that standard treatment is made available to everyone.

The Commission has also written to the Centre and state governments with regard to the rise in the number of people inflicted by silicosis, a respiratory disease caused by breathing in silica dust, asking them to take steps to give priority to such patients in all hospitals.

PC Sharma, member, NHRC, said the trend of patients “surrendering themselves before doctors” should end and every patient should have the right to know what kind of disease he has been inflicted with and the kind of treatment needed.

“We have asked the Government for the need (for a legislation). We are trying to make a draft with the help of NGOs. We are of the opinion that at least there should be a draft. Just as you can demand the right to education and equality, one should get the right to health also,” he told reporters here.

“We want a legislation which says that the doctor should tell the patient about his disease and other details. Now the patient goes and surrenders himself before the doctor. There are instances where doctors don’t listen to patients and just give them some medicines,” he said.

On silicosis, the NHRC member said all states have been asked to take precautions under the Industries Act and make sure that employees undergo periodic health check-up.

“We have also told the states that they should instruct hospitals that such patients should be treated immediately. Many hospitals don’t treat them by giving some reasons. This should be stopped,” he said.
Sharma said urgent attention has to be given for development of infrastructure in hospitals in the country and also expressed concerned over the “widespread” racket in sub- standard medicine.

He also said the NHRC wants the Centre to come out with an Act on prevention of silicosis as the disease affects mostly the poorer sections of the society.

Notices were sent to a number of states where deaths have occurred due to the disease and only Rajasthan responded positively by giving Rs three lakh to the families of the victims of silicosis.

“Silicosis, hitherto, remains a neglected area. This is a disease which is irreversible. Victims of this disease are mostly migrants who are in search of jobs. Protection to them is granted under labour laws, but these things are not followed,” he said.

He also claimed that in some cases state government authorities refused to look into complaints of people afflicted with the diseases because they were from the unorganised sector.

“This is the most serious grievous violation of human rights,” he said.

Sharma said the NHRC is also concerned about the lack of doctors in the field of mental health and asked the MCI to add mental health as part of curriculum for MBBS students.

He also said this disease cannot be cured only medically but also needed proper care by families.

Source- NHRC Release

Kashmir Christians voice Islamic court fear

Cathnews, January 23, 2012

Christian leaders in Kashmir say they are worried following recent directives from an Islamic court ordering the expulsion of four missioners and demanding Christian schools provide Islamic studies for all students.

Catholic Bishop Peter Celestine Elampassery of JammuSrinagar said Monday that Christians in Kashmir are uneasy as they all see themselves as being targeted by the state’s Shariat court.

In recent rulings, the court found Church of North India (CNI) pastor Reverend C M Khanna and his associate Gayoor Masih guilty of “luring” and “forcing” Muslims to Christianity, and ordered their expulsion.

It also ordered the wives of the two Protestant pastors to leave.

A similar conversion charge has been laid against Catholic missioner Mill Hill Father Jim Borst.  

“The Church cannot do anything since we are minority in the state,” the Capuchin bishop said Monday.

His diocese covers the entire state.

Bishop Elampassery said he is meeting the federal Minority Commission tomorrow to urge it to take up Christian concerns with the state government.“Our institutions are serving Muslim people. We have never been involved in forced conversions or proselytizing,” he asserted.He said Islamic courts have no jurisdiction or power over Christians in the state and expressed little hope the government would take action against them.

Kashmir is the only Muslim-majority state in India.

Reverend Khanna, who has moved to the state’s winter capital Jammu, said the court order has put his life and those of the other three missioners in peril.

“The government has not done anything to protect us,” he said.

Kashmir comes under the CNI’s Amritsar diocese and its prelate, Bishop P K Samantaroy said the court’s order put Christians on edge and disturbed peace in the state.

“Nobody has the right to expel us from the state or country,” he asserted.

It is “unfair” to question the integrity of Christians who “have played a major role in building peace and harmony in the state,” he
said, calling on all people with goodwill to protest discriminatory actions.

Music and Mental Health

Music has the power to influence people’s emotions; it can make them happy,sad, or angry. Music can also aid in the recovery of mental illnesses.

The Geriatric Mental Health Department of the Chhatarati Shahuju Maharaj Medical University in India is starting a music therapy clinic to treat elderly patients with mental disorders (like dementia). Nearly 5% of elderly people older than 60 suffer from dementia.

S.C. Tiwari, the head of the Geriatric Mental Health Department, said that music is found to have a positive impact on patients suffering from mental tension. Slow and melodious music soothes tension; rock, pop, and fast music should be avoided because of the negative emotions it can draw out, and it also raises blood pressure. So, soft, melodious, and soothing music is the way to go if you want to relieve your mental tension.

Not only can music therapy help people with mental illnesses, but playing an instrument and being a part of an ensemble can help, too.

Tunefoolery Concert Ensembles is a group of 50 musicians from Cambridge,Massachusetts, who are all living with a mental illness. The group helps musicians move away from the mental patient role into a new identity as a professional musician and performer.

“Tunefoolery is a great example of how non-traditional mental health treatment truly can change people’s lives,” said one of the band members.“Music is powerful medicine! I have a tremendous feeling of belonging with Tunefoolery. I have found great friends here. It’s a job and a creative outlet at the same time.

The members perform as solo acts or small ensembles; they play 75 to 90 gigs every year at mental health treatment programs, hospitals, nursing homes, and other locations. You can visit their website at

WHO adopts India’s resolution on mental health


World Mental Health week celebrated at Kilpauk Mental Hospital in Chennai, to mark the "World Mental Health Day". A file photo: K.V. Srinivasan

World Mental Health week celebrated at Kilpauk Mental Hospital in Chennai, to mark the "World Mental Health Day". A file photo: K.V. Srinivasan

Aarti Dhar, Jan 23, 2012

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has adopted a resolution moved by India that focuses on the global burden of mental disorders and the need for a comprehensive, coordinated response from health and social sectors at the country level.

The just-concluded 130th executive board meeting of the WHO adopted the resolution, moved by India and supported by the United States of America and Switzerland. This marks the first time in over a decade that WHO has, at its highest levels, taken note of this very major public health concern.

Mental disorders account for 13 per cent of the global burden of the diseases and, in keeping with latest thinking, the resolution recognizes the importance of early identification, care and recovery, the problems of stigma, poverty and homelessness and the need for community based intervention including de-institutionalised care. It is clearly recognized that all countries must take steps to promote mental health and empower persons with mental disorders to lead a full and productive life in the community.

India had played a key role in getting mental disorders included in the non-communicable diseases (NCDs) list at the first Ministerial Conference on Healthy Lifestyles and Non-communicable Disease Control in Moscow last year. Pleading for its case, India had argued that “like all non-communicable diseases, mental disorders required long term treatment and affected the quality of life.”

The principal non-communicable diseases are cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancers and chronic respiratory diseases, which are the leading causes of preventable morbidity and disability, and currently cause over 60 per cent of global deaths, 80 per cent of which occur in developing countries. By 2030, the NCDs are estimated to contribute to 75 per cent of global deaths.

India is already working towards framing a mental health policy based on internationally-accepted guidelines. It will also keep in mind the specific context of mental illness in the country and take into account the draft Mental Health Care Bill, 2010.

A 12-member policy group entrusted to frame the National Mental Health Care Policy and Plan will prepare a situational analysis of the need for mental health care in the country, taking into account the issues of human resources, essential drug procurement and distribution, advocacy, prevention, and rehabilitation of mental health patients.

Major loopholes in UID system mean unverified documents could slip through net

The UPA government’s prestigious initiative to provide a unique identification number to every Indian resident was meant to be robust enough to eliminate duplicate and fake identities in government and private databases.

It has, however, come to light that the system does not have proper checks and balances.

An undercover investigation conducted by Delhi Aaj Tak has exposed chinks in the UID system (also called the Aadhar scheme), which render it susceptible to manipulation and rigging with the active support of elected representatives.

Arvinder Singh Lovely

To expose the inherent loopholes in the system, Aaj Tak’s undercover reporters approached various MPs, MLAs and councillors to get an endorsement that is crucial to get an ID made.

The reporters went to the offices of MP Mahabal Mishra, MLA Jaikishan, Delhi education minister Arvinder Singh Lovely and councillor Surender Prakash Sharma (all of the Congress), among many others, who gave endorsements without verification.

Investigations revealed that Jaikishan’s staff endorsed unchecked address forms and Mishra made available recommendations on his letterhead for UID cards – all for a small fee.

Armed with recommendations or endorsed proofs from them, the undercover reporters were able to procure three UID cards at UID centres in the National Capital, no questions asked.
The undercover reporters first approached Mishra’s staff who have been randomly signing away recommendations on the MP’s letterhead.

The only prerequisite was a photograph. When reached for his comments, Mishra said he was not responsible for verifying the antecedents of people.

The scene was similar at Jaikishan’s house. What was more shocking was that the MLA’s letterhead with a format for endorsement

MP Mahabal Mishra

MP Mahabal Mishra

printed over it could be bought for Rs 2 at the nearby sweet shop.

It didn’t matter if the MLA was present or not. One of his associates signed the form. At the UID centre in Sultanpuri, this form with a fake address was accepted as a valid ID proof.

Ironically, the undercover reporters managed to get similar ID proofs on letterheads of Lovely and Sharma as well.

The only exception was Burari MLA Krishna Tyagi’s office, where his staff asked a few inquisitive questions.

If these elected representatives were careless, the story at other UID centres in Delhi was even scarier.

Outside one such facility, a man who claimed to be a doctor was giving away certificates for just Rs 50 rupees.

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