Vedanta not ” Creating Happiness ” but pollution causing diseases in Niyamgiri Hills

Dear friends,“I went to the Niyamgiri  Hills   in Odisha , after a gap, and people drew my attention to the growing skin disease on children adults, men and women.” says Girdhari Patra. The villagers say that this is happening because of the pollution from the smoke from Vedantafactory. Giridhari Patra requests the govenrment to set up a camp, and arrange for medicines, and investigate the possibility of this being a cancerous disease. Problems inside the mouth are also showing up and this could be due to polluted water. For more Patra ji maybe contacted at 9583022500
Listen to him at CGNET SWARA –

UPA Minister demands to abolish death penalty- Watch NewsX Interview

March 23, 2012- Union Cabinet Minister Dr Manohar Singh Gill has demanded to abolish the death penalty from Indian judicial system with immediate affect.

Congress party Rajya Sabha MP Dr Manohar Singh Gill’s these remarks coming at a time when BKI militant Balwant Singh Rajoana is facing death penalty, assume lot of significance.

However, without referring to Rajoana, Dr Gill in an exclusive talk with Jago Punjab Jago India, said, “In fact India has abolished death penalty quite a long time back, but, judiciary has revived this process of awarding death sentence in some of the cases categorized as rare of rarest”.

A bureaucrat-turned-politician Dr Manohar Singh Gill said that Indian legislature must reaffirm its position on abolishing the death penalty through Parliament. “In rare of rarest crime cases the accused could be put into jails for a very long time on lines of United States,” he said.

Meanwhile, Dr Gill fully supported the idea mooted by noted Pakistani lawyer and human rights activist Asma Jehangir for forging a bilateral treaty between India and Pakistan to facilitate the unhindered exchange of prisoners who have served their jail term in the two countries but are still languishing in jails.

Dr Gill said that the treaty must serve the humanitarian purpose to instantly repatriate the prisoners as soon as they complete their sentence. He said that those, who inadvertently cross the border must immediately be handed over to their respective countries authorities.

Union Minister also sought to instantly release all those fishermen, who are caught while fishing. He also advocated to simultaneously return the seized boats of fishermen pleading that otherwise released fishermen would end up loosing their livelihood.

Dr Gill also showered praise on Asma Jehangir for being visionary and bold human rights activist. It may be mentioned here that Asma is part of the 205-member delegation of Pak’s Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) that on Wednesday crossed over via Attari-Wagah land route for their India visit during which they will participate in various seminars on legal issues.

JPJI Bureau

Original Article here

Budgetary allocation for Aadhar project is in contempt of Parliament

Civil society groups welcome the submission of a memorandum opposing Aadhaar and other anti-people policies to the prime minister along with a big truckload of signatures numbering 3.57 crore on March 14, says Gopal Krishna 

The Union Budget’s allocation of Rs 1758 crore, after it having spent Rs 14,232 crore, for Aadhar-UID demonstrates a contempt of Parliament as it seems to ignore the recommendations of the report of parliamentary standing committee on finance on the National Identification Authority of India  Bill 2010. This was presented to Parliament on December 13, 2011, and questioned the legality of collection of biometric data for Aadhaar and National Population Register without legislative mandate.

While presenting the Union Budget 2009-10, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee  had announced the setting up of the Unique Identification Authority of India by the government to “establish an online data base with identity and biometric details of Indian residence and provide enrolment and verification services across the country”. He had allocated Rs 120 crore for this project as “a major step in improving governance with regard to delivery of public services”.

The minister did not inform Parliament that the UIDAI “was created during 2009-10 and a modest start with an expenditure of Rs 30.92 crore was made.” Parliament has been kept in dark about how Unique Identification/Aadhaar numbers to every resident in India started unfolding without sharing “the linkages of various welfare schemes steered by different ministries/departments of the Government of India“. Not only that, the “reports of the Demographic Data Standards and Field Verification Committee and Biometrics Committee were completed” without any legislative approval. 

The government has ensured that the legislative wing remains unaware about how UIDAI selected the “managed service provider” for the Central Identity Data Repository of Aadhaar numbers. For this a budget of Rs 1900 crores was allocated in the Union Budget 2010-11 by the finance minister. It is admitted that the “CIDR will be handed over to the managed service provider on a long-term contract basis”. The UIDA was given Rs 3,000 crore for fiscal 2011-12. Its details are missing from the public domain. The shifting national identities of MSP and their relationship with external and internal intelligence agencies merit a parliamentary probe.

The explosive and revealing report of parliamentary standing committee on finance specifically raises questions about the legality of the collection of biometrics while creating a citizen / resident database. The report reads (in the section on ‘Observations/ Recommendations): ‘The collection of biometric information and its linkage with personal information without amendment to the Citizenship Act 1955 as well as the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules 2003, appears to be beyond the scope of subordinate legislation, which needs to be examined in detail by Parliament.’ This reveals that the allocation in the Union Budget was illegitimate and beyond its legislative mandate. 

Unmindful of such a categorical observation of the PSC on finance, the National Population Register project — a comprehensive identity database to be maintained by the Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India, Union ministry of home affairs — is being continued. It is claimed that the objective of creating this identity database is to help in better utilisation and implementation of the benefits and services under government schemes, improve planning and improve security.

The Union Budget speech 2012-13 under the heading ‘Growth, Fiscal Consolidation and Subsidies’ reads: ’23. The recommendations of the taskforce headed by Shri Nandan Nilekani on IT strategy for direct transfer of subsidy have been accepted…This step will benefit 12 crore farmer families, while reducing expenditure on subsidies by curtailing misuse of fertilisers.” Such claims of benefits from direct transfer of subsidy has been debunked in the past, but the government remains adamant to pursue this path under the influence of vested interests.

The Economic Survey 2011-12 reveals: ‘The Aadhaar project is set to become the largest biometric capture and identification project in the world.’ It does not acknowledge that such projects have been abandoned in several countries, a fact which has been recorded in the report of PSC on finance.   

It is admitted by the UIDAI that there are “ownership risks (Ownership of the project by stakeholders), technology risks (nowhere in the world has a project of this size been implemented) and privacy concerns (there may be groups raising privacy issues — many ID projects in Western countries have been stalled due to the opposition of privacy groups).” The UIDAI claims that it is “putting into place risk mitigation strategies to minimise some of these risks” but this has never been shared with the Parliament and the citizens. 

While all this has happened, the PSC report on finance has concluded that Aadhaar platform has been “conceptualised with no clarity of purpose” and is “directionless” in its implementation, leading to “a lot of confusion”. Under the existing legal framework, biometric data is collected only under the Identification of Prisoner Act, that too for a temporary period. In the case of Aadhaar and NPR, biometric data is being collected for permanent safekeeping without any constitutional or legal approval. Aadhaar-related NPR project is being spearheaded by the ministry of home affairs is aimed at the creation of this comprehensive identity database. 

The NPR project consists of two components: demographic data digitisation of all the usual residents and biometric enrolment of all such residents who are aged five and above. The demographic data — refers to the personal information collected during Census 2011 by the census enumerators based on the data fields prescribed by the Registrar General of India for the NPR schedules and by following the process laid down for the purpose and biometric data — refers to the facial image, iris scan of both eyes and ten fingerprints of enrollees collected by the enrolment agency.

The fact is that these actions of the Union home ministry are “beyond the scope of subordinate legislation” but instead, it has issued only guidelines for collection of biometric data under the Citizenship Act 1955 and Citizenship Rules. It states that it is compulsory for every citizen of the country to register in the NRIC. The creation of the NPR is the first step towards preparation of the NRIC. It contends that out of the universal dataset of residents, the subset of citizens would be derived after due verification of the citizenship status. In the absence of any legislative mandate for such far-reaching efforts, it cites to a recommendation of group of ministers on the National Security System for Multipurpose National Identity Card in 2001 for all citizens. This is hardly convincing.

Civil society groups welcome the submission of a memorandum opposing Aadhaar and other anti-people policies to the prime minister along with a big truckload of signatures numbering 3.57 crore on March 14. Against such a backdrop, these signatures seeking the scrapping of Aadhaar underline the illegality and illegitimacy of the entire surveillance project.

JOINT STATEMENT of Srilankan Human Rights Defenders

සිංහල: ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ ජාතික කොඩිය தமிழ்: இலங்கைய...

සිංහල: ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ ජාතික කොඩිය தமிழ்: இலங்கையின் தேசியக்கொடி English: Flag of Sri Lanka Deutsch: Flagge Sri Lankas Esperanto: Flago de Sri-Lanko Italiano: Bandiera dello Sri Lanka Polski: Flaga Sri Lanki Română: Steagul Sri Lanki Русский: Флаг Шри-Ланки संस्कृत: श्रीलङ्का ध्वज Volapük: Stän Sri-Lankäna (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dear Friends,


Greetings from HRDA!


We would like to share with you the Joint Statement of three Sri Lankan human rights defenders Messrs. Sunila Abeysekara, Nimalka Fernando and Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, who have come most under attack by the state media in Sri Lanka in the past week, because of their active involvement with the on-going session of the UN Human rights Council in Geneva.

Kindly see the attachment herewith.


Thanks & Regards,


Secretariat – HRDA-India


JOINT STATEMENT – Srilankan Human Rights Defenders – Messers. Sunila , Nimalka and Dr. Saravanamuttu


A brave chronicler of Kashmir’s militancy- George Joseph

George Joseph’s determined reportage from J&K is testimony to the importance of a journalist’s role in a conflict situation.

Aasha Khosa  writes

My dearest husband, friend and colleague George Joseph passed away on February 27. While our daughter and I are in deep mourning, I feel compelled to narrate the story of an extraordinary journalist, with whom I shared my life with for 21 years. George had risked his life to uphold professional values. His reporting from Kashmir during the most turbulent years of militancy gave glory to the the profession of journalism; even today it is testimony to the importance of a journalist’s role in a conflict situation.

George Joseph arrived in Srinagar in the autumn of 1989 to the deathly sound of Kalashnikovs in a situation that was to soon to turn into a full-fledged insurgency. The pro-Pakistan Hizbul Mujahideen was rising as a gang of ruthless killers. The Hizb had nearly wiped out the ideologically moderate Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF). In Srinagar, the word “India” was anathema to the proponents of the so-called (freedom) movement. “Hindustanikutta”(Indian dog) was the choicest abuse. However, in surcharged and communally polarised Kashmir, George’s religion and his South Indian ethnicity were seen as a neutral factor by militant supporters.

George reported extensively on the dramatic news events of that time. Be it Rubaiya Sayeed’s abduction or the Gaw Kadal massacre, he was out there covering it. In February, Lassa Kaul, Director, Doordarshan Kendra, was killed. George was shocked to realise the complicity of the people around him. “There is treachery in everything around us,” he would say later. He was aghast that no Kashmiri priest came forward to perform Kaul’s last rites. It was eventually done by an army priest. A month later, militants had killed P.L. Handoo, an assistant director in the Information Department.

That was when Governor Jagmohan advised three journalists working for national dailies — Hindustan TimesIndian Express and Times of India — to leave the Valley as he feared they would be the next targets. Overnight they had to leave for Jammu. However, George defied Jagmohan’s diktat. He returned to Srinagar, much to the dislike of those in power and even some of his colleagues.

Series of abductions

After our marriage in February 1991, I shifted to Srinagar, from where I worked for the Tribune. During our first summer, there were a number of abductions: Indian Oil executive K. Doraiswamy, Bihar MLA S.P. Sinha, REC Principal R.L. Wakhloo are some of those that I remember spent months as captives of militants. One day, militants deposited a human finger in the PTI office, which was next to George’s. That day we could feel the danger around us. If it was a finger today, tomorrow it could be a severed head.

A year later, on a cold March afternoon, we received a call from the Hizbul Mujahideen spokesperson. The caller told George that the Hizb had split. The Hizb leader, Master Ahsan Dar, had been charged with embezzlement of funds and expelled after a brief imprisonment by his own cronies. George asked him to provide proof. The caller told us that the Hizb had issued a formal press release to the local media about it a day before. However, on the advice of their Pakistani handlers, they had instructed the media to black out the news. The caller arranged to drop the original handout in our letter box. The Hizbul Mujahideen split was the turning point in the history of the insurgency, and George and I were the only ones to report it.

Read The Hindu article here


Last Letter of Mantany Saldanha to Prime Minister of India

Dear Friends,

Kindly find attached (pdf) the National Fishworkers’ Forum’s (NFF) open letter to the Prime Minister on the Kudamkulam situation. This is also a response to Dr. Manmohan Singh‘s statement on Kudamkulam – what fish workers’ consider to be an attack on the dignity of Indian fisherpeople.

Shri. Matanhy Saldanha co-drafted & endorsed this open letter as on 15th March 2012 and since then the statement has been taking rounds among state unions of fishers for endorsements. This is being sent to the Prime Minister’s office & released to the National Media on the 23rd March 2012. 

People of Goa are joined by the entire India’s fisherpeople and other struggle groups in mourning the great leader’s death, which occurred on the 21st March 2012, due to a massive heart attack. Our Chairperson, Matanhy Saldanha was sworn in as Goa’s Cabinet Minister on the 9th march 2012, in charge of Tourism, Environment & Forests. 
Matanhy Saldanha died after a massive attack at around 3.30 am on Wednesday, 21st March 2012
The attached is his last letter/statement, in his official capacty as Chairperson, NFF. 

On Behalf of NFF Executive Committee
NFF open Letter to PM on Kudamkulam

Open Letter to Naveen Patnaik from Korean Human rights groups

The Chief Minister of Odisha State, Naveen Pat

Teheranro (Teheran Avenue) area in Seoul, Korea

Teheranro (Teheran Avenue) area in Seoul, Korea (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



Odisha, India

March 23, 2012

 We -human rights, labor, and civic organizations in Korea– are writing to you with our deep concern regarding the current attacks continuously made to villagers who are opposing the construction of POSCO steel plant.

Even 6 years have been passed since the project in Odisha State had begun, POSCO could never have had approval from the villagers. And conflicts surrounding the construction of ironworks are continued.

The villagers made their peaceful resistance lying down on the roads while the government of Odisha State mobilizing the police to take their lands by force. This was on the rise to international community, including Korea, as a human rights issue.

Recent few months, however, the villagers and Anti-POSCO activists are being attacked by anonymous groups of armed men. On December 14, one person was killed and many were injured by a group of armed mafias while protesting. Bapi Sharkel is suspected to be the leader of this attack, however, Odisha police had not made proper investigation on this. Rather, questions are suggested that Odisha State is securing him.

Odisha State had not made fair work on Bapi Sarkhel, principal offender of the violence on December 14, and even had released him on February 29. And after 2 days from his release, another villager was attacked by an unidentified armed man.

A group of armed men came around 1PM on March 2, 2012 and took away Umakant Biswal, a known activist of the Anti-POSCO struggle. We got reports that he has been kept in Paradip police station and is being physically and mentally tortured. We do not know whether the attackers were the police, or the group of Bapi Sarkhel. What is certain, however, is that Umakant Biswal, who was injured, could not exercise his legal rights. We are aware of the fact that, as per the Indian Criminal code, the police are supposed to produce him before the magistrate within 24 hours of arrest. However, more than 24 hours have passed but he has not been produced before the magistrate. No one including the villagers, lawyer or even the parents is allowed to meet him in the police station.

We are concerning on the reason that why Bapi Sarkhel didn’t went through appropriate investigation and the testimony that he had received all kind of conveniences. Also, we strongly question the correlation between his release and the violence 2 days after that. If POSCO and the Odisha State government who wants to push ahead the construction are behind this series of incidents, this is gross abuse of human rights as well as significant part that damages the legitimacy of POSCO project.

There are many cases in korea which government and corporations oppressed the resistance of civilians by mobilizing gangsters over developments. The development project that does not protect right to life and right to live could never be successful.

We request Naveen Pattnaik, the Chief Minister of Odisha State

– To make thorough investigation into Bapi Sarkhel, including the criminals of the violence on December 14, 2011.

– To punish the offenders who had attacked Umakant Biswal and the police who had violated the article 57 of the code of criminal procedure and had refused to hospitalizing and conference with attorney.

– To stop the suppression on the villagers who oppose the construction of POSCO.

– Not to push ahead the construction without the consent of villagers.


Sincerely yours,


1.      Advocates Public Interests Lawyers

2.      Corporation For All

3.      International Solidarity Committee of Minbyun

4.      Korean House for International Solidarity

5.      Korean Lawyers for Public Interest and Human Rights

6.      Network for Glocal Activism

7.      People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy

8.      Public Interest Lawyers’ Group Gonggam

9.      SARANGBANG group for human rights


Mr. Hyun Phil NA

Vice Executive Director

 Korean House for International Solidarity

 Telephone: (+82)-2-736-5808, (+82)10-5574-8925

 Fax 😦 +82)-2-736-5810



Letter by Maharashtra Prisoners going on Hunger Strike ( English Translation )

Today, 23rd March, day of hanging of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukdev were hanged in jail by the British, is being observed by a day-long hunger strike by over 200 `political prisoners‘ in various jails in Maharashtra, including the Angela Sontakkey and four women prisoners in Byculla women’s jail and Sidharth Bhosale and Deepak Dengle of Kabir Kala Manch who are lodged at Arthur Road jail.

The English Translation of the letter- thanks to Neeta Kolhatkar 🙂

On ‘Shahid day’ commemorating Bhagat Singh, Political prisoners to go on fast in jails

Commemorating the martyrs day of Shahid-e-azam Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev & Rajguru, political prisoner in Nagpur jail have gone on fast since last night.
March 23 , The martyrs day is a important  day for all political prisoners.All the political prisoners have to be released without any conditions.and the system followed for all those political prisoners who have been granted bail, have been released by the courts, but are re-arrested at the gates of the prison, has to be stopped henceforth. These are our 2 demands that we want implemented and hence we are on a one-day token fast for it. 
Bhagat Singh & his aides were responsible in helping to chase away the British Colonial rule and helped to establish the state of the deprived, labourers. Bhagat Singh and his supporters put up and inspiring fight for this mission. Forget fulfilling Bhagat Singh’s dream, that remotely isn’t possible. However those milking the people in the name of Bhagat singh are political leaders who have established a rule of dalals, traders, businessmen, mafia and goondas. Earlier we had one East India company ruling over us, today there are innumerable foreign MNCs who are ruling our country invisibly, from behind the curtains. Our country is truly not free in the real sense. And it is very imp to free the country once more & give freedom in its true sense.
Our call to fast is also a way to remind the public of the true spirit of Bhagat Singh’s fight for freedom. We have been inspired to take his message to the people of India & the youth regarding Bhagat Singh’s true legacy & we believe the current leaders, rulers are anti-nationals. As a result all the activists, workers and supporters of Bhagat Singh have been dumped in various jails across the state. Because we are fighting for the true freedom of this country, taking inspiration from Bhagat Singh, we are political rebels, we are ideological prisoners, but we are NOT criminals. therefor the political prisoners have to be released without any condition and this is our main reason to sit on a fast today. We will continue to keep alive the spirit & memories of Shahid Bhagat Singh, is the message that a political prisoner has circulated in a release.
date – 21-3-2012
venue – Nagpur Madhyvarti jail, Nagpur
1. Shridhar Shrinivasan
2. Bhimrao Bhopte

Read their letter in Marathi sent from the jail

Sikh community in India & Pak to protest against death sentence of Balwant Singh

NEW DELHI,South Asian News Agency  (SANA): Punjab and Haryana High Court has dismissed the plea of Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking stay order against the death penalty to Balwant Singh an accused of the Beant Singh murder case. Meanwhile Sikh community in Pakistan and India has announced to stage protests against the death sentence.

There were allegations on Sadar Balwant Singh that he killed the chief minister of East Punjab Sadar Beant Singh accusing him as killer of Sikh youth.

PIL filed application to get stay order against additional session judge orders who announced the death sentence on Mach 05, 2012 and ordered to hang Balwant on March 31.

PIL stated in plea before the high court that court may issue stay order against additional court decision till the decision of appeal in Supreme Court.

The advocate of PIL stated that they would challenge the HC orders in Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, Sikh community in Pakistan and India has announced to stage protests against the death sentence, stating that discrimination is being committed against Sikh community.

Sardar Beant Singh was involved in the killing of Sikh youths on the directions of government, who committed ethnic cleansing of Sikh youths. Prior to this Balwant Singh had said while giving statement in court that the bad treatment was being done with the minorities in India.

He further informed the court that he had no need of attorney because he knew what he has done, adding that they want to end the slavery of the Hindus and Burhamans, adding that the security of the Sikhs was the birth right which should be protected.

On this statement the court of Chandigarh had announced death sentence; upon which the Balwant Singh has recorded his last desire saying that he want to donate the eyes after death, adding that the eyes should be given to the his sister Kamal Deep Singh.

On the other hand the Sikh community in Pakistan has announced protest on 10:00 AM today (Friday). In this connection the rally would be taken out in Nankana Sahib District from Janam Asthan Temple to Tanbu Sahib Temple. On the other hand protest has been announced in India at large scale on the death sentence of Balwant Singh.

URGENT-Call for Participation: A joint march from Nagarcoil to Koodankulam on March 26th

Dear All,

Situation in Koodankulam has precipitated to an unthinkable repression.  More than 6000 police personnel and paramilitary forces have been deployed around Idinthakarai village where about 20,000 people from surrounding villages have gathered to protest. While 16 people have started a fast unto death at Idinthakarai, the police have cut down all essential supplies including food, water and electricity. They are demanding surrender of leading activists like S P Udayakumar, Pushparayan and others. Section 144 has been imposed on the majority of coastal villages in Radhapuram block. Media entry has also been denied in Idinthakarai.

A major intervention from the democratic sections of Indian society is required at this juncture. We have planned a joint march from Nagarcoil to Koodankulam on March 26th (Monday). Different activists groups and organizations in Kerala are supporting this initiative and we hope to ensure participation of around 500 people here. Kerala groups have always participated in the Koodankulam struggle in large numbers. However, without participation of some eminent people, this march would just not create that impact that is required this time.

We are writing to you with a sense of desperation and hope. It is important that you make some extra effort and join us. We will start from Nagarcoil and peacefully begin hunger-strike/sit-in protest where we are stopped by the forces.

We sincerely hope you would be able to join us and support the Koodankulam movement at this crucial hour.

Looking forward to your positive response,

With best regards,

In Solidarity





Fr.Augustin Vattoli



Kractivism-Gonaimate Videos

Protest to Arrest

Faking Democracy- Free Irom Sharmila Now

Faking Democracy- Repression Anti- Nuke activists


Kamayaninumerouno – Youtube Channel


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