People denounce Maharashtra Essential Services Maintenance Act 2011 (MESMA)


We denounce the Maharashtra government which is pushing to promulgate draconian MESMA” , “We pledge to unitedly oppose MESMA and fight for it’s withdrawl”, so declared representatives of more than 18 organizations of working people in a meeting in Mumbai on 21stJuly. As was reported in MEL earlier, in the last week of April ’12 the Maharashtra Legislative Council passed the Maharashtra Essential Services Maintenance Act 2011 (MESMA) and sent it to Governor of Maharashtra for his signature.

Lok Raj Sangathan Maharashtra committee took initiative and formed an organizing committee which organized this meeting which was presided over by Lok Raj Sangathan Honorary President  Justice Hosbet Suresh. Renowned Human Rights & Labour lawyer of Mumbai Advocate Mihir Desai highlighted main features of MESMA. He explained that under this draconian Act, any employees working in an enterprise which is declared by Government of Maharashtra as an ‘Essential Service’ can be punished if he/she participates in a strike action. Under this Act without any warrant police can arrest any such person and he/she can get punishment of 6 months imprisonment. He clarified that such a draconian provision of arrest is not there in Industrial Disputes act. He further explained that if employer feels that refusal to work on over time, work to rule etc. is affecting the productivity of the enterprise, then even such actions will be declared as strike and participants punished under this act! Just to make it appear that government is maintaining a balance between working people and employers, there is a provision to punish employers for a lockout. He clarified that though strike has been defined in such a way that any protest by employees can be termed as strike, definition of Lock out is kept completely vague thus ensuring that employers would never be punished. This real intention becomes clear from the fact so far not even one employer all over India in last more than 3 decades have been punished under such act, whereas a large number of employees struggles have been crushed using such acts. He clarified that working people should not look at courts for justice since they will never get justice from Indian courts, but instead working people have to unite and fight as they have done in the past and defeated such draconian acts. His presentation was received with applause.

Lok Raj Sangathan speaker explained as to how the struggles of teachers, doctors, municipal workers, Railway drivers, Air India pilots and other employees, bank and telecom workers etc. are very just struggles. He explained that all of them are fighting for improvement in their inhuman working conditions and a life of dignity. But the government is wanting to crush these struggles thus clearly indicating whom does this government represent in reality. He clarified that government is wanting to withdraw from the responsibility of providing services and instead wanting to hand them over to private capitalists. Lok Raj Sangathan has been opposing such privatization of p ublic assets right from the beginning with a principled stand that nobody has a right to sell of public property under any pretext. Employees in these sectors are also opposing privatization and that is another reason for bringing law like MESMA to crush this dissent. Who should have the right to make such laws in a genuine democracy he asked. In our country such laws are passed without seeking people’s opinion and not even their elected representatives opinion. Such laws are passed on the instructions of the rich of our country he clarified.

Speaker of Communist Ghadar Party of India congratulated various unions and organizations who have decided to unitedly oppose the draconian MESMA. Ruling classes and their political parties treat Fundamental rights as “rights which can be given or taken away under some pretext or other”. But all democratic people should refute this logic he said. Fundamental rights and Human rights belong to each human being by dint of their being Human . It is on the basis of this principle that all democratic minded people , whether they are communists or not , whether they belong to this party or that party , hence must denounce MESMA as an attack on Fundamental right to protest , the speaker declared. One of the spokesman of the ruling classes of India , PM , has made it clear what ruling classes want when he declared  ” animal spirit ” must be revived in the Indian economy. What this means is that attacks on our livelihood are going to intensify. More public sector enterprises are going to be sold to private capitalists. Capitalists know that working people , be them white collared or blue collared , be them flying aircrafts / running trains / treating patiens / teaching students / operating banks / or doing hard manual labour as permanent or contract workers , will be opposing such attacks. They also know that working people in big enterprises have the maximum capability to resist these attacks. This is the main reason as to why capitalists want draconian acts like MESMA to stiffle working people. He called upon the organized sector employees to take a lead in developing an independent program of working class as opposed to the capitalist program of liberalization and privatization, since it is only such program can take India out of the present crisis.

Western Railway Motormen’s Association representative in his address thanked Lok Raj Sangathan for educating them about the new Act. He declared that just as all the policies of government are as per the instructions of rich minority of the country, so is this decision of MESMA will be for the benefit of the rich employers of our country. He then explained why on 20th July’12 the Western Railway motormen had to go on flash strike. He explained that their organization has been persuing their demands mainly of improving their working conditions with various officials of Indian railways but the administration is not paying any heed. Hence they were forced to go on flash strike.Then management immediately started discussions. This is how when working people are not left with any other alternative that they resort to strike actions, which is what MESMA seeks to prevent. He declared his organizations full support to the fight against MESMA.

Veteran Trade union leader of Hind Mazdoor Sabha ( HMS ) Comrade Shankar Salvi declared that his organization is actively opposing MESMA and has petitioned the governor that he should not sign on the bill. He clarified that the bill was tabled on the last but one day of the summer session of Vidhan sabha and hurriedly passed in the presence of only 15 legislators without proper debate. He also denounced various legislators who call themselves as labour leaders but did not oppose the passage of MESMA. We can only rely on our united efforts and strength he declared.

On behalf of Voltas Employees Union their representative declared full support to the agitation.

Mumbai Electric Employees representative explained how they were targeted by Government of Maharashtra at the behest of Reliance Energy Ltd. of Anil Ambani group and their committee members were sacked using MESMA 2005. They were demanding equal pay for equal work as per the Contract worker’s Act rule 25 and were demanding wages equal to the lowest level worker category of Reliance energy. When Reliance management refused to accede to this just demand they resorted to strike. Reliance immediately asked Government of Maharashtra to apply MESMA , and the government promptly complied and arrested 12 workers in 2007. Those workers have not been taken back till date. But they have resolutely continued their struggle and pledged to be part of this struggle against new avatar of MESMA.

Then the representatives of All India Railway Employees Confederation, AIUTUC ( Lenin Sarini), Airport employees Union, All India aircraft engineers association also expressed their full support to the movement against MESMA.

IFTU representative reminded everybody as to how inspite of earlier MESMA more than 1000 badali workers in various hospitals of Maharashtra fought and won permanent employee status even though government GR said that badali workers can not be made permanent. And similarly 1800 loaders of Air India & CPWD employees bravely fought and won inspite of ESMA. Workers of Maharashtra will definitely defeat this MESMA he declared.

Justice Suresh in his address denounced MESMA as a draconian attack on fundamental right of working people. If working people are demanding a life of dignity, if they are demanding human working conditions, if they are demanding a decent livelihood then how can anybody declare this as a crime and illegal he thundered! The proposed act talks about maintenance of essential services , but it does not have any proposals of “maintenance” of the services but only has draconian provisions to attack workers , clearly showing that government’s real intention is far from improving essential services. He declared that there are many provisions in the present Indian constitution which the proposed act violates like Article 19/1 A , Articles 1C , 23 & Article 21. Right to strike involves three rights he declared namely Freedom of association, freedom from forced labour & Freedom of expression and hence is very much a part of right to life and liberty. He declared that not only the workers but all the democratic minded people of our society must oppose this law tooth and nail. He also declared that not the courts and ruling class politicians but only fighting people can save our country from disaster. He pledged his unequivocal support to this fight against MESMA.

Kamgar Ekta Chalwal representative declared that need of the hour is to build the unity of all the working people irrespective of whether they are blue collared or white collared, permanent or contract workers, whether they are working in same sector or different sectors of economy, whether they believe in this ideology or that ideology. This unity needs to be built cutting across party lines he said. Only such unity can ensure defeat of capitalist program he declared.

At the end of the meeting 4 resolutions were passed unanimously in which representatives of other organizations present i.e. Purogami Mahila Sangathan, Hind Naujawan Ekta Sabha,Republican Panthers, CPI, CPI ( ML ),Mumbai Labour Union, Ladaku Garment Mazdoor Sangh also participated. First resolution denounced MESMA as an attack on fundamental right to strike and called upon all democratic minded people to demand immediate withdrawl of the Act. Second resolution called upon the government to provide all the necessary funds and ensure that all working in Essential services should be immediately made permanent and all of them be given decent working conditions so that they can provide best service to society. The third resolution called upon the government to institute necessary mechanism to ensure that the employees grievances are settled urgently so that they donot have to resort to strike actions. The last resolution expressed full support to heroic Maruti Suzuki workers and denounced the capitalist owners of Maruti Suzuki and Government of Harayana and Government of India.

The meeting ended with a declaration that various organizations will plan out various joint actions against MESMA.


Why is India so bad for women?


Helen Pidd

Monday 23 July 2012, The Guardian

Of all the rich G20 nations, India has been labelled the worst place to be a woman. But how is this possible in a country that prides itself on being the world’s largest democracy?

In an ashram perched high on a hill above the noisy city of Guwahati in north-east India is a small exhibit commemorating the life of India’s most famous son. Alongside an uncomfortable-looking divan where Mahatma Gandhi once slept is a display reminding visitors of something the man himself said in 1921: “Of all the evils for which man has made himself responsible, none is so degrading, so shocking or so brutal as his abuse of the better half of humanity; the female sex (not the weaker sex).”

One evening two weeks ago, just a few miles downhill, a young student left a bar and was set upon by a gang of at least 18 men. They dragged her into the road by her hair, tried to rip off her clothes and smiled at the cameras that filmed it all. It was around 9.30pm on one of Guwahati’s busiest streets – a chaotic three-lane thoroughfare soundtracked by constantly beeping horns and chugging tuk-tuks. But for at least 20 minutes, no one called the police. They easily could have. Many of those present had phones: they were using them to film the scene as the men yanked up the girl’s vest and tugged at her bra and groped her breasts as she begged for help from passing cars. We know this because a cameraman from the local TV channel was there too, capturing the attack for his viewers’ enjoyment. The woman was abused for 45 minutes before the police arrived.

Within half an hour, clips were broadcast on Assam’s NewsLive channel. Watching across town, Sheetal Sharma and Bitopi Dutta were horrified. “I was fuming like anything. There was this horrible, brutal assault being shown on screen – and the most disturbing thing was, the blame was being put on the woman, who, the report emphasised, was drunk,” says Sharma, a 29-year-old feminist activist from the North-East Network, a women’s rights organisation in Guwahati. “The way it was filmed, the camera was panning up and down her body, focusing on her breasts, her thighs,” says Dutta, her 22-year-old colleague.

When the police eventually turned up, they took away the woman, who is 20 or 21 (oddly, Guwahati police claimed not to know exactly). While NewsLive re-played pixellated footage of her attack throughout the night, she was questioned and given a medical examination. No attempt was made to arrest the men whose faces could clearly be seen laughing and jeering on camera. Soon afterwards, the editor-in-chief of NewsLive (who has since resigned) remarked on Twitter that “prostitutes form a major chunk of girls who visit bars and night clubs”.

It was only a few days later, when the clip had gone viral and had been picked up by the national channels in Delhi, that the police were shamed into action. By then, Guwahati residents had taken matters into their own hands, producing an enormous banner that they strung up alongside one of the city’s arterial roads featuring screen grabs of the main suspects. Six days after the attack, the chief minister of Assam, the state where Guwahati is located, ordered the police to arrest a dozen key suspects. He met the victim and promised her 50,000 rupees (£580) compensation.

The damage was already irreversible. Most Indians know full well how tough life as a woman can be in the world’s biggest democracy, even 46 years after Indira Gandhi made history as the country’s first female prime minister in 1966. But here, caught on camera, was proof. And in Assam – a state long romanticised as the most female-friendly corner of the country, largely thanks to the matrilineal Khasi tribe in Meghalaya. The nation was outraged.

“We have a woman president, we’ve had a woman prime minister. Yet in 2012, one of the greatest tragedies in our country is that women are on their own when it comes to their own safety,” said a female newsreader on NDTV. She went on to outline another incident in India last week: a group of village elders in Baghpat, Uttar Pradesh, central India, who banned women from carrying mobile phones, choosing their own husbands or leaving the house unaccompanied or with their heads uncovered. “The story is the same,” said the news anchor. “No respect for women. No respect for our culture. And as far as the law is concerned: who cares?”

There is currently no special law in India against sexual assault or harassment, and only vaginal penetration by a penis counts as rape. Those who molested the woman in Guwahati would be booked for “insulting or outraging the modesty of a woman” or “intruding upon her privacy”. The maximum punishment is a year’s imprisonment, or a fine, or both.

As a columnist in the national Hindustan Times said of the attack: “This is a story of a dangerous decline in Indians and India itself, of not just failing morality but disintegrating public governance when it comes to women.” Samar Halarnkar added: “Men abuse women in every society, but few males do it with as much impunity, violence and regularity as the Indian male.”

Halarnkar then offered as proof a survey that caused indignation in India last month: a poll of 370 gender specialists around the world that voted India the worst place to be a woman out of all the G20 countries. It stung – especially as Saudi Arabia was at the second-worst. But the experts were resolute in their choice. “In India, women and girls continue to be sold as chattels, married off as young as 10, burned alive as a result of dowry-related disputes and young girls exploited and abused as domestic slave labour,” said Gulshun Rehman, health programme development adviser at Save the Children UK, who was one of those polled.

Look at some statistics and suddenly the survey isn’t so surprising. Sure, India might not be the worst place to be a woman on the planet – its rape record isn’t nearly as bad as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, for instance, where more than 400,000 women are raped each year, and female genital mutilation is not widespread, as it is in Somali. But 45% of Indian girls are married before the age of 18, according to the International Centre for Research on Women (2010); 56,000 maternal deaths were recorded in 2010 (UN Population Fund) and research from Unicef in 2012 found that 52% of adolescent girls (and 57% of adolescent boys) think it is justifiable for a man to beat his wife. Plus crimes against women are on the increase: according to the National Crime Records Bureau in India, there was a 7.1% hike in recorded crimes against women between 2010 and 2011 (when there were 228,650 in total). The biggest leap was in cases under the “dowry prohibition act” (up 27.7%), of kidnapping and abduction (up 19.4% year on year) and rape (up 9.2%).

A preference for sons and fear of having to pay a dowry has resulted in 12 million girls being aborted over the past three decades, according to a 2011 study by the Lancet.

A glance at the Indian media reveals the range of abuse suffered by the nation’s women on a daily basis. Today it was reported that a woman had been stripped and had her head shaved by villagers near Udaipur as punishment for an extramarital affair. Villagers stoned the police when they came to the rescue. In Uttar Pradesh, a woman alleged she was gang raped at a police station – she claimed she was set on by officers after being lured to the Kushinagar station with the promise of a job.

Last Wednesday, a man in Indore was arrested for keeping his wife’s genitals locked. Sohanlal Chouhan, 38, “drilled holes” on her body and, before he went to work each day, would insert a small lock, tucking the keys under his socks. Earlier this month, children were discovered near Bhopal playing with a female foetus they had mistaken for a doll in a bin. In the southern state of Karnataka, a dentist was arrested after his wife accused him of forcing her to drink his urine because she refused to meet dowry demands.

In June, a father beheaded his 20-year-old daughter with a sword in a village in Rajasthan, western India, parading her bleeding head around as a warning to other young women who might fall in love with a lower-caste boy.

This July, the state government in Delhi was summoned to the national high court after failing to amend an outdated law that exempts women (and turban-wearing Sikh men) from wearing helmets on motorcycles – an exemption campaigners argue is indicative of the lack of respect for female life.

But the story that outraged most women in India last week was an interview given to the Indian Express by Mamta Sharma, chairwoman of the National Commission of Women (NCW), a government body tasked with protecting and promoting the interests of Indian women. Asked by the reporter if there should be a dress code for women “to ensure their safety”, Sharma allegedly replied: “After 64 years of freedom, it is not right to give blanket directions … and say don’t wear this or don’t wear that. Be comfortable, but at the same time, be careful about how you dress … Aping the west blindly is eroding our culture and causing such crimes to happen.”

She added: “Westernisation has afflicted our cities the worst. There are no values left. In places like Delhi there is no culture of giving up seats for women. It is unfortunate that while the west is learning from our culture, we are giving ourselves up completely to western ways.”

Her remarks caused a storm. As Sagarika Ghose put it in the online magazine First Post: “It’s not just about blindly aping the west, Ms Sharma. It’s also about the vacuum in the law, lack of security at leisure spots, lack of gender justice, lack of fear of the law, police and judicial apathy and the complete lack of awareness that men and women have the right to enjoy exactly the same kind of leisure activities.”

The Guardian asked Sharma for an interview to clarify her remarks but our requests were ignored.

Maini Mahanta, the editor of the Assamese women’s magazine Nandini (“Daughter”), believes the NCW chair’s remarks are indicative of what she calls the “Taliban-plus” mentality that is creeping into Indian society. “In this part of the world, it’s worse than the Taliban,” she insists in her Guwahati office. “At least the Taliban are open about what they like and dislike. Here, society is so hypocritical. We worship female goddesses and yet fail to protect women from these crimes and then blame them too.”

Mahanta explains how traditions still cast women as helpless victims rather than free-thinking individuals in control of their own destiny. Girls still tie Raksha bandhan or “safety ties” around their brothers’ wrists as a symbol of their duty to protect them, she says. She complains, too, about the Manu Sanghita, an ancient Indian book that she claims preaches: “When a girl is young, she is guided by her father; when she is older, she is guided by her husband; when she is very old, she is guided by her son.” She despairs of the cult of the “good girl, who is taught to walk slowly ‘like an elephant’ and not laugh too loud”.

Even in Mumbai, India’s most cosmopolitan city, women have been arrested and accused of being prostitutes when drinking in the city’s bars.

Sheetal Sharma and Bitopi Dutta, the young feminists from the North East Network, complain that modern women are divided into “bad” and “good” according to what they wear, whether they go out after dark and whether they drink alcohol. “We are seeing a rise of moral policing, which blames those women who are not seen as being ‘good’,” says Sharma. “So if they are abused in a pub, for example, it’s OK – they have to learn their lesson,” adds Dutta, 22, who grumbles that young women such as herself cannot now hold hands with a boyfriend in a Guwahati park, let alone kiss, without getting into trouble with the moral police, if not the real police.

Many women agree the response from the Guwahati authorities shows they are blind to the root cause: a society that does not truly respect women. Instead, a knee-jerk reaction was taken to force all bars and off-licences to shut by 9.30pm. Club Mint, the bar outside which the young woman was molested, had its licence revoked. Parents were urged to keep a close eye on their daughters.

Zabeen Ahmed, the 50-year-old librarian at Cotton College in Guwahati, tells how she was out for an evening walk not long ago when she was stopped by the police. “They asked me what I was doing out at that at that time – it was 10.30pm or so – and they asked me where my husband was.”

The fact that India has a female president – Pratibha Patil – and Sonia Gandhi in control of the ruling Congress party means very little, insists Monisha Behal, “chairperson” of the North East Network. “In the UK, you have had Margaret Thatcher – if you are being harassed by a hoodlum in the street there, do ask: ‘How can this be when we have had a woman prime minister?'” she says.

Every Indian woman the Guardian spoke to for this article agreed that harassment was part of their everyday lives. Mahanta revealed that she always carries chilli powder in her handbag if she ever has to take public transport and needed to throw it in the face of anyone with wandering hands. Deepika Patar, 24, a journalist at the Seven Sisters newspaper in Assam, says city buses were notorious for gropers. “If women are standing up because there are no seats, men often press up against them, or touch their breasts or bottom,” she explains.

In June, an anonymous Delhi woman wrote a powerful blog post detailing what happened when she dared not to travel in the “ladies carriage” of Delhi’s modern metro. After asking a man not to stand too close to her, things turned nasty. Another man intervened and told the first to back off, but soon the two were having a bloody fight in the train carriage. Rather than break up the brawl, the other passengers turned on the woman, shouting: “This is all your fault. You started this fight. This is all because you came into this coach!” and “You women always do this. You started this fight!” and “Why are you even here? Go to the women’s coach.”

Speaking under condition of anonymity, the 35-year-old blogger says she had experienced sexual harassment “tonnes of times”. “I hate to use the word, but I’m afraid it has become ‘normal’,” she says. “Like if you’re in a lift, men will press up against you or grab you or make a comment about your appearance. It’s because of this that I stopped travelling by buses and started travelling by auto rickshaws, and eventually got a car myself – to avoid this ordeal. When the metro was launched I loved it – it’s an improvement in public transport, very well maintained, you feel safe. Then this happened and I was blamed.”

By Thursday last week, the Guwahati molestation case had become even murkier. Police had arrested and charged 12 men with “outraging the public decency of a woman”, and on Friday they charged journalist Gaurav Jyoti Neog of NewsLive with instigating the attack he filmed. Neog denies orchestrating the attack or taking any part in it, apart from filming it “so that the perpetrators can be nabbed”. But police have forced him to give a voice sample, which has been sent to a forensic laboratory for analysis, to compare with the footage. The verdict is out on that case, but one thing is clear: 91 years after Gandhi urged Indian men to treat their women with respect, the lesson has yet to be learned.



July 25, 2012


Shri Tarun Gogoi
Hon’ble Chief Minister of Assam



Dear Sir,

We, citizens of India committed to its deep secular and peace loving ethos appeal to you as head of the government in Assam to take all steps to ensure that violence stops, security is given to all displaced and dishoused by the violence so that they may return to their homes forthwith; adequate reparation for the lives lost and homes and other properties destroyed is paid and more than anything else a Fair and Time Bound Judicial Investigation by a Sitting HC Judge is conducted into the build up and fallout of the violence.

What concerns us deeply is the divisive discourse that seeks to create legitimacy for the violence by words and phrases like “infiltrators.” Since the mid 1990s tensions have simmered between the majority Bodo Councils and Muslim settlers despite the fact that the latter status was recognised in the Assam accord. Yet under the guise of discriminating between the two a small skirmish blew into a full blown communal conflagration; while the ethnicity of the 32 persons who lost their lives does not matter, the fact that the five persons who lost their lives to police bullets are from the minority has generated fear. There are already 1,70,000 persons in relief camps and they must be assisted with due security to return to their homes immediately. Dialogue must begin between the majority Bodo villages and the Muslim settlers for integrated rehabilitation.

Respecting your commitment to intra community peace we appeal to you to respond to this anguished appeal.
Teesta Setalvad, Mumbai
Javed Anand, Mumbai

Dr Asghar Ali Engineer, Mumbai
Ram Puniyani , Mumbai

Irfan Engineer, Mumbai
Hasan Kamal, Mumbai

Zafar Agha, Mumbai

Kamayani Bali Mahabal, Mumbai

MM Tirmizi, Ahmedabad

Rupa @Tanaz Mody, Ahmedabad
Sairabehn Salimbhai Sandhi, Ahmedabad

Salimbhai Noormohammed Sandhi, Ahmedabad
Tanveer Jafri, Surat

Rajendra Prasad, SAHMAT, Delhi

Ram Rahman, Delhi

M K Raina, Delhi

Greenland ice sheet melted at unprecedented rate during July #Wakeupcall

Scientists at Nasa admitted they thought satellite readings were a mistake after images showed 97% surface melt over four days

  • Greenland ice sheet composite.View larger picture

    The Greenland ice sheet on July 8, left, and four days later on the right. An estimated 97% of the ice sheet surface had thawed by July 12. Photograph: Nasa

The Greenland ice sheet melted at a faster rate this month than at any other time in recorded history, with virtually the entire ice sheet showing signs of thaw.

The rapid melting over just four days was captured by three satellites. It has stunned and alarmed scientists, and deepened fears about the pace and future consequences of climate change.

In a statement posted on Nasa‘s website on Tuesday, scientists admitted the satellite data was so striking they thought at first there had to be a mistake.

“This was so extraordinary that at first I questioned the result: was this real or was it due to a data error?” Son Nghiem of Nasa’s jet propulsion laboratory in Pasadena said in the release.

He consulted with several colleagues, who confirmed his findings. Dorothy Hall, who studies the surface temperature of Greenland at Nasa’s space flight centre in Greenbelt, Maryland, confirmed that the area experienced unusually high temperatures in mid-July, and that there was widespread melting over the surface of the ice sheet.

Climatologists Thomas Mote, at the University of Georgia, and Marco Tedesco, of the City University of New York, also confirmed the melt recorded by the satellites.

However, scientists were still coming to grips with the shocking images on Tuesday. “I think it’s fair to say that this is unprecedented,” Jay Zwally, a glaciologist at Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Center, told the Guardian.

The set of images released by Nasa on Tuesday show a rapid thaw between 8 July and 12 July. Within that four-day period, measurements from three satellites showed a swift expansion of the area of melting ice, from about 40% of the ice sheet surface to 97%.

Zwally, who has made almost yearly trips to the Greenland ice sheet for more than three decades, said he had never seen such a rapid melt.

About half of Greenland’s surface ice sheet melts during a typical summer, but Zwally said he and other scientists had been recording an acceleration of that melting process over the last few decades. This year his team had to rebuild their camp, at Swiss Station, when the snow and ice supports melted.

He said he was most surprised to see indications in the images of melting even around the area of Summit Station, which is about two miles above sea level.

It was the second unusual event in Greenland in a matter of days, after an iceberg the size of Manhattan broke off from the Petermann Glacier. But the rapid melt was viewed as more serious.

“If you look at the 8 July image that might be the maximum extent of warming you would see in the summer,” Zwally noted. “There have been periods when melting might have occurred at higher elevations briefly – maybe for a day or so – but to have it cover the whole of Greenland like this is unknown, certainly in the time of satellite records.”

Lora Koenig, another Goddard glaciologist, told Nasa similar rapid melting occurs about every 150 years. But she warned there were wide-ranging potential implications from this year’s thaw.

“If we continue to observe melting events like this in upcoming years, it will be worrisome.” she told Nasa.

The most immediate consequences are sea level rise and a further warming of the Arctic. In the centre of Greenland, the ice remains up to 3,000 metres deep. On the edges, however, the ice is much, much thinner and has been melting into the sea.

The melting ice sheet is a significant factor in sea level rise. Scientists attribute about one-fifth of the annual sea level rise, which is about 3mm every year, to the melting of the Greenland ice sheet.

In this instance of this month’s extreme melting, Mote said there was evidence of a heat dome over Greenland: or an unusually strong ridge of warm air.

The dome is believed to have moved over Greenland on 8 July, lingering until 16 July.

After Caste panchayat strips, thrashes woman, lover- 8 arrested in Jaipur


Eight held for stripping of woman, CM orders probe

TNN | Jul 24, 2012, 04.18AM IST

JAIPUR: A day after a married woman and her paramour were tied to a tree, stripped and severely beaten for nearly three hours before a crowd of 1,000 people under orders of a caste panchayat at Sarada area in Udaipur district, the police arrested eight men including the woman’s husband on Monday. The two were ‘punished’ for having an illicit affair by the panchayat, said police.

Chief minister Ashok Gehlot directed Udaipur divisional commissioner to probe the matter and prepare a report in a week.

SP, Udaipur Hari Prasad Sharma told TOI that the woman’s husband Hamji Meena had stripped her half naked in front of villagers. “The woman had registered an FIR against 12 identified and several others unidentified people with the Sarada police station on Sunday evening. Of them eight have been arrested while the search is on for others,” Sharma said.

The officer said, “The eight men including Hamji, a former sarpanch Nandlal and five others were booked under Sections 147 (rioting), 149 (unlawful assembly), 365 (kidnapping), 323 (causing hurt), 342 (wrongful confinement), 354 (assaulting a woman to outrage her modesty) and 504 (breach of peace). A separate FIR has been lodged for attacking policemen who had gone there to rescue the couple.”

Police said 27-year-old Prakash Meena was having an affair with the 22-year-old woman living in the neighbourhood Limbat Falan near Kolan village in the area. Prakash and the woman had fled the village a fortnight ago. The villagers were looking for the couple and they found them near Keshiriyaji area in Udaipur.

The villagers brought them back and kept them confined throughout the night. “A panchayat was called on Sunday morning in which the woman’s husband and her in-laws were present. They demanded action against the two,” the officer said.

The villagers and half-a-dozen panchayat leaders gathered around 9.30 am. Soon, Prakash and the woman were tied to a tree.

Her husband stripped her and the youth in front of the crowd, and then cut their hair. The police came to know about the incident around 11.30 am and a team was rushed.

“When the cops reached the spot, the villagers surrounded them and started hurling stones. Some vehicles were damaged and two policemen sustained minor injuries,” he added.

The cops managed to untie the couple from the tree but could not take them out of the area. Later, they were taken to a government school around 4 pm and then to the police station.

Chief minister Gehlot called the incident unfortunate. “No one has the right to take the law into their hands. The divisional commissioner has been asked to carry out a thorough enquiry into the incident,” said Gehlot.

Caste panchayat strips, thrashes woman, lover

TNN | Jul 23, 2012,

JAIPUR: A married woman and her paramour were tied to a tree, stripped half-naked and severely beaten up for nearly three hours before a crowd of 1,000 people under orders of a caste panchayat at Sarada area in Udaipur district on Sunday. The two were ‘punished’ for having illicit relations, said sources.

The woman’s husband himself stripped the woman and the youth. Later their hair was cut. When a police team tried to intervene, the villagers hurled stones at them, injuring two cops. Acting fearlessly, the panchayat continued to discuss other penalties on the couple till late evening. Later the police rescued them and took them to Sarada police station.

Sensing the seriousness of the matter, National Commission for Women chairperson Mamta Sharma said that she would send a team to the village on Monday to look into the incident.

According to the police, 27-year-old Prakash Meena had an illicit relationship with a 22-year-old woman living in the neighbourhood. “She is a distant relative of his. While Prakash works as a labourer in the village, the woman’s husband was staying in Ahmedabad for the past few years. The woman has a three-year old daughter,” said SP, Udaipur, Hari Prasad Sharma.

The officer said that Prakash and the woman had fled from the village a fortnight ago. “The villagers were looking for the couple and they found them near Keshiriyaji area in Udaipur on Saturday evening,” said the officer.

The villagers brought them back and kept them confined throughout the night. “A panchayat was called on Sunday morning in which the woman’s husband and her in-laws were present. They were demanding action against the couple,” said the officer.

The villagers and half-a-dozen panchayat leaders gathered around 9.30 am. Soon, Prakash and woman were tied to a tree.

Woman’s husband Hamji Meena stripped her and the youth in front of the crowd. They then cut off their hair. The police came to know about the incident about 11.30 am and a team was rushed there.

“When policemen reached there, the villagers surrounded them and started hurling stones. Some vehicles were damaged and at least two policemen sustained minor injuries,” said an officer.

Though the police managed to free the couple they could not take them out from the spot. Later the couple was taken to first a government school around 4 pm and then to the police station.

“We have registered two cases against the woman’s husband, about six members of the panchayat and hundreds of villagers for attacking police team and outraging the modesty of the woman,” said the officer.

When asked why the panchayat continued till late evening, SP Sharma said that they were trying to restore law and order. “We will soon arrest the accused villagers,” he said.

Times View

There are legal ways to settle matrimonial disputes, but the dominance of caste panchayats and their diktats are turning out to be a major bane for the society at large. In the age of caste-driven politics, no party has shown the willingness to come out openly and minimise the role of such panchayats, whose principles are not only archaic but devastating for the society. The government should launch campaigns on the redundancy of such panchayats and urge people to seek the administration’s help in case someone violates norms. Bureaucrats must also take initiatives instead of toying the political line.


Girl molested, thrown out of train in Karnataka


, TNN | Jul 25, 2012, 03.57AM IST

MADDUR: A 19-year-old girl who resisted a molestation attempt by a group of youths was kicked out of a moving train by them near Maddur on Tuesday afternoon. She survived miraculously, but suffered grievous injuries.

Kavya (name changed) was pushed out of the Yeshwantpur-Mysore Express when it was travelling over the Kolli bridge, on the Shimsha river. She fell onto the dry river bed 25 feet below.

A passenger who saw the girl being thrown out called Maddur police. She was taken to the Mandya Institute of Medical Sciences, where she is being treated for injuries to the head, backbone and legs.

Scores of passengers who remained mute spectators to the molestation attempt later thrashed the culprits. Two youths were taken into custody at the Mandya station. Two others were picked up at Pandavapura later on suspicion of accompanying those caught earlier.

Kavya said from her hospital bed: “When the train was approaching Maddur station, four youths began teasing me and sexually harassing me. They passed lewd remarks and tried to molest me. When I said I would inform police, they pushed me out.”

An employee of a garment factory in Bangalore, Kavya was on leave. She was heading back to her home in Vidyaranyapuram, Mysore. An orphan, she stays with her grandmother in Mysore.

Kavya boarded the general compartment at Kengeri. The four youths, who are believed to have entered the coach at Ramanagaram, began teasing her.

When Kavya rebuked them, one of the youths tried to molest her.

She got up from her seat and went near the door. The youths followed her and continued to misbehave. They pushed her out when she said she would inform police.

As the train had just left Maddur, it was moving at a slow speed on the bridge.

Police said Kavya might not have survived if she had hit a rock on the river bank. Luckily, she fell on the dry river bed.

A passenger said the youths literally kicked her out. Another passenger claimed: “If she had brought it to our notice, we could have done something.”

The miscreants were identified as Akbar, 24, Imran, 21, Shuban and Ahmed — all from Kalyanagiri locality in Mysore.


I am a tailor at the Hinduja Garments factory in Bangalore. I was going to my home town, Mysore. When the train was approaching Maddur station, four youths began teasing me and sexually harassing me. They passed lewd remarks and tried to molest me. When I protested and threatened that I would inform police about their misbehaviour, they pushed me out of the moving train. I fell on the rocky ground and lost consciousness. When I regained my consciousness, I was under medical care. I was in acute pain and there was blood all over my body.

Kavya | Garment worker


We need no gender assessment study to state that women find life outside their homes increasingly unsafe. Commuting on buses and trains is fraught with risks too, not to talk of general discomfort, thanks to overcrowding and lack of facilities. This case is more shocking because it brings to light the deteriorating social climate in Karnataka where hooligans can dare commit such heinous acts. What’s worrisome for citizens is the government — whose members are constantly squabbling over positions of power — seems to be in no hurry to wake up to realities. Along with policy-makers, law-enforcers too have a big job on their hands in creating a citizenfriendly society.


‘Sponsored’ doctors under scanner’ #Goodnews :-)


English: Shivraj Singh Chauhan, Chief Minister...

English: Shivraj Singh Chauhan, Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, India. Français : Shivraj Singh Chauhan, chef de l’exécutif (Chief Minister) du Madhya Pradesh, Inde. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



By Express News Service – NEW DELHI

11th July 2012 10:18 AM

Eleven doctors from Madhya Pradesh, who allegedly went with their families to England and Scotland, are facing a probe, with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare suspecting that a pharmaceutical company could have sponsored their trip.

Speaking to Express, Medical Council of India (MCI) Secretary, Dr Sanjay

Shrivastava, said he is yet to receive a formal order from the Health Ministry for a probe against the doctors.

“Our ethics committee, which has eminent members on the board, will examine the matter after receiving the complaint and only after getting the report we will decide the next course of action,” Shrivastava said.

However, the doctors who figured in the list sent to the PMO denied taking a sponsored trip and said the group of doctors paid for the entire travel. One of the doctors, Srikant Rege of Indore told Express that he never accepted any free tickets from any drug  company and that the allegation was a farce. Another medical practitioner from Jabalpur, Dr Harsh Saxena, said somebody with ulterior motives had complained to Member of Parliament Dr Jyoti Mirdha about the group travel and there seemed to be some misunderstanding as it was a self-financed tour. He also refuted the genuineness of evidence submitted to the Prime Minister’s Office by the Mirdha.

MP Jyoti Mirdha, along with her letter, had enclosed the ticket and PNR numbers, as well as the itinerary prepared by drug manufacturing company for the travel to England and Scotland.

“As I’m writing this letter a total of 11 doctors along with their families are holidaying in England and Scotland on a trip financed by Intas Pharmaceuticals Ltd. Details including names of passengers along with their addresses, ticket numbers, hotels and itinerary are attached for your perusal. Needless to say, acceptance of such trips is in violation of MCI rules,” Mirdha’s communiqué to PM stated.

She has also raised the issue of dichotomy in rules set up to govern the sponsorship issues. “While the MCI rules bar doctors from accepting gifts, tickets, hospitality from healthcare industry, there are no corresponding obligations on the part of the drug industry not to offer such freebies and face penal action in case of violations,” the letter dated June 1, 2012, said.

After some multinational companies were fined by regulating authorities for inducing doctors through unethical means, the MCI notified a mandatory code of ethics to be followed by all medical practitioners. The gazette notification dated December 10, 2009, prohibits the acceptance of gifts, hospitality, travel grants, funds and endorsement of commercial products by doctors.


Intas.Doctors on holiday




CBI closes assets case against ex-MCI chief #WTFnews

It is very unfortunate that a most corrupt person like Ketan Desai who has amassed wealth illegally is escaping from the CBI net.


Rahul Tripathi : New Delhi, Sat Jul 21 2012, New Indian Express

The CBI on Friday closed the disproportionate assets case against former Medical Council of India (MCI) chairman Ketan Desai and his family, saying it did not have enough evidence to prosecute them.

This is the second high-profile case the CBI has closed in recent days, the first one being the disproportionate assets case against former Dental Council of India chief Anil Kohli.

The CBI raided Desai in April 2010 and allegedly caught him taking a Rs 2-crore bribe to grant recognition to a private medical college in Punjab. Desai’s arrest, along with that of J P Singh and Kanwaljit Singh of the medical college, and the subsequent probe highlighted deep-rooted corruption in MCI. The CBI received as many as 160 complaints of alleged violations by medical colleges that were overlooked by MCI.

The CBI then probed about two dozen colleges across India and chargesheeted former health minister Anbumani Ramadoss for granting illegal favours to a college in Indore.

In its closure report, filed in a Delhi court, the CBI claimed there was “insufficient evidence” to prosecute Desai, his wife and mother as it had not been able to link his assets to unknown sources of income.

The CBI had booked Desai after allegedly finding “illegal assets” worth Rs 24 crore during raids at his properties in Delhi and Ahmedabad.

The agency claimed Desai and his family had Rs 1.8 crore in bank deposits and owned several properties in Mumbai and Gujarat, five vehicles and gold and diamonds worth Rs 38 lakh.

The CBI then summoned Desai to explain the sources of income and assets owned by him and his family. But after a two-year-long probe, the agency concluded that “the allegations could not be substantiated”

Generic drug stores fleecing poor people: BJP MLA

Bangalore, July 24, 2012

Special Correspondent

It was a bad day for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, which faced embarrassing situation when its member Sarbhouma Bagli from Indi demanded resignation of Medical Education Minister S.A. Ramdas alleging that he and his three officials were selling generic drugs to poor patients in Victoria Hospital here, fleecing exorbitant rate from them than what was charged by pharmaceutical company in the open market.

Participating in the debate on drought situation, Dr. Bagli, a retired district health officer, who also runs a hospital and medical shop in Indi, said that Citrigen, which was sold at Rs. 2.30 for 10 tablets by the company was sold at Rs. 25 at Victoria Hospital.

Similarly, Pantoprazole, 40 mg, which was available at Rs. 7.70 for 10 tablets was sold at Rs. 57.66 and fluconazole, 150 mg to treat fungal infection charged at Rs. 2.75 by the company was sold at Rs. 29 and ceftriaxone, one gm injection available at Rs. 19 was sold at Rs. 57. Dr. Bagli said that he personally purchased these drugs at Victoria Hospital Generic Drug stores, claimed by the Minister to be a great service to the poor was actually cheating patients.

Quoting from records, Dr. Bagli said that the most regrettable thing was that the Minister used the government-controlled Karnataka Cooperative Consumer Federation to indulge in such an anti-poor activity and demanded an inquiry. Till then the Minister should resign, he added.

Janata Dal (Secular) Deputy Leader Bandeppa Kashempur supported him and demanded that it be referred to the house committee.

Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah and Janata Dal (Secular) H.D. Revanna demanded the Minister’s resignation and an inquiry by a competent authority. They said that the allegation was made by a doctor by profession and it was prima facie proved that the minister had indulged in irregularities.

  • ‘Generic drugs sold at rates higher than market price’
  • Opposition seeks Minister’s resignation

Pathetic condition of Pardhi victims – an update


Present Status of the case

After the filing of the part charge-sheet by CBI at CBI court Jabalpur, we have filed a detailed petition at Jabalpur High Court to demand further investigation,   to implicate the leaders of BJP and Congress in rape case and murder case, and officers of dist admin in the case of loot and arson.

 History of mob lynching in Betul

आपको हम यह बता दे, की 2007  का पारधीकांड अपनेआप में कोई इस तरह की  अकेली घटना नहीं  है. सारी बात इस परिपेक्ष्य में देखना होगी , की पूरे म. प्र. में बैतूल जिला  ही एक एसा जिला है,  जहाँ,  2003 से 2007 के बीच, पारधी जैसी जाती के 13 महिला -पुरुषो को भीड़ द्वारा मार  डाला गया(either stoned or charred ). Before 2004 and 2008 assembly elections the anger against Pardhies was fueled by political parties and in both the elections MLA from Congress Sukhdev Panse won the election; first from Masod and later shifted to Sunilam’s constituency, i. e. , Multai . And the proposed Jusunwai in 2012 at Multai would have further fuelled the atmosphere against Pardhis before 2013 assembly election. यह पहली बार है की हमारे द्वारा इस मामले को उठाये जाने से इस पर रोक लगी वरना न जाने कितनी घटनाए और होती.

Not Targeting Dr. Sunilam

दूसरा  हम इस पत्र के शुरुवात में ही यह स्पष्ट कर दे की हमारा उद्देश्य पारधी जैसी देश की 150 denotified tribe (criminal tribe; fed up of their rebel Brtish notified them as a criminal tribes. Though, it was denotified in 1954, the attitude towards them never changed)  के प्रति हर जगह व्याप्त  biases  को उठाना है. हम   पारधीकांड, मुलताई मामले में डॉ सुनीलम को टार्गेट नहीं कर रहे है, हाँ यह जुरूर है की इस मामले में हमे उनका  व्यवहार एक प्रगतिशील आन्दोलनकारी  के विपरीत लगा, हमे  इससे व्यथित है,  हमने अपनी इस व्यथा को आन्दोलन के साथियो के बीच उठाने की लगातार कोशिश की है. विशेषकर जब उन्हें इंडिया अगेंस्ट करप्शन में और एन ए पी म में ख़ास भूमिका दी गई , तो हमे लगा की इस बात का इन आंदोलनों तक पहुचना जरुरी है.

This shows important of this case.

जब २००७ के गोलीकांड में अचनक उनकी भूमिका के बारे में स्थानीय पत्रकारों, व्हीडियो रिकार्डिंग और national dentotified tribe  commmssion की रिपोर्ट से मालूम पड़ा तो हम काफी दुविधा में थे, की PIL में उनका नाम डाले या नहीं. लेकिन कई लोगो से चर्चा के बाद हम इस निष्कर्ष पर पहुंचे की हम इस मामले पक्षपात नहीं कर सकते. हमे कोर्ट के सामने सारे तथ्य ज्यो के त्यों रखना चहिये. और हमने वैसा ही किया. 2007 से 2009 के बीच यह petition है कोर्ट में सूनी गई, प्रसिद्ध वरिष्ठ वकील एन एस काले इस केस को लड़ रहे थे. उनकी अचनाक मौत हो जाने से, २४ जुलाई 2009 को final argument मैंने किया, आपको शायद याद होगा की २३ जुलाई २००९ को शमीम पर मुंबई में जान लेवा हमला हुआ था, लेकिन इसके बावजूद मै जबलपुर में  24 July को इस केस की final argument कबाद ही मुंबई रवाना हुआ.


Our campaign  against CBI’ effort to save the leader  of Congress & BJP and Officers of Local Administration

इस मामले में अगस्त २००९ में है कोर्ट के आदेश पर सी बी आई ने investigatin शुरू किया. हमे थोड़े  दिनों में जब यह समझ आने के लगा की सी बी आई इस मामले में राजनैतिक दबाव में कांग्रेस और बीजेपी के नेताओ और अधिकारियों को बचने का प्रयास कर रहे है. तो हमने इसे लेकर ना सिर्फ जबलपुर हाई कोर्ट में एक और याचिका लगाई बल्कि सी  बी आई director को शिकयत कर, व्यक्तिगत मुलाकात भी की.

इन सारे पत्रों, शिकयतो में हमने सिर्फ कांग्रेस , भाजप और अधिकारियों के मिलीभगत की ही बात की है:

Intro of the first letter to director CBI dated 22/9/10

The CBI may be creating ripples in the political and administrative circles of Gujarat but in MP it is proving otherwise.  A case of rape, murder, loot, and arson on 10th and 11th September 2007 involving marginalised Pardhi community is under investigation by CBI’s Bhopal office for a year now and yet no one has been named in the FIR. The investigation officer of CBI additional S.P. M. S. Khan has been pressurising Pardhi witnesses into altering their statements as leader of Congress and BJP and higher officers are involved.

Minutes of the meeting with CBI director on 1/11/10 ; Dr. Premsingh of SJP had accompanied me

First of all I would like to begin with thanking you for giving us patient hearing and being cordial. Further to the discussion I am mentioning some of the following points of impropriety on the Part of your I.O. Mr. Khan –

  1. After having recorded  eye witness account of  Rishu Naidu (stringer with ETV)    (in third case of loot and arson)  I got a call from him ( IO)   for deleting Collector Arun Bhat’s name from the statement. He said “ usne kafi bade logo ka nam le diya hai aur uski jan ko khatra ho sakta hai, and on my asking he said he has named Collector”

Intro of the third  letter to director CBI dated 6/2/12

There has been continuous effort by successive investigation officers of CBI to ill-influence the investigation in the above mentioned cases, so as to save the main accused MLA of Congress from Multai, Sukhdev Panse, BJP’s vice-chairman of Betul Zila Panchayat, Raja Pawar, SDO of Police, Multai  D. K. Sakkle,  some of the key persons responsible for; the rape of 11 Pardhi women on the intervening night of 10th September 2007;  rape and subsequent murder of Dodebai Pardhi  along with her husband Bondru on the morning of 11th September 2007, followed by  instigation of mob into loot and arson of entire Pardhi settlement of Chotuiya village under Multai Police station. (Detailed letter attached).

Intro of the third letter to director CBI dated 20/9/12

Investigation by Central bureau of Investigation (CBI) into all the three incidents of rape, murder, and arson, occurred within the span of 24 hours from 10.9.07 evening to 11.9.07 at village Chotiya, district Betul, suffers from; favours, manipulation; concealing and misrepresentation of material facts, to save the influential politicians and officers of police and revenue in the district administration, which reflects very badly on premier investigation agency like CBI. CBI is acting under pressure in order to save the MLA of Congress Party from Multai, Sukhdev Panse; Betul Zila Panchayat Vice Chairman and leader of BJP, Raja Pawar , SDO of Police D. S. Sakkale in the case of rape and subsequent murder. CBI is also trying to save then D.M., S.P., and other officers of Police and Administration of Betul district of M.P. Moreover, in last two years none of the main accused name in the charge-sheet has been arrested, nor there any inclination shown by the CBI to apprehend them.

Dr. Suinlam’ Video Recording.

Etv Journalist Rishu Naidu has recorded the interview of Dr. Sunilam ; it can be seen in the video clipping. In his affidavit at the HC he has said that when he reached the spot around 11 am, along with the ladders of political party, Dr. Sunilam was also there and they all were instigating the mob.

U Tube link of Dr Sunilam Video

he is also referring to the Khapakhateda Knd in which 8 people of Hnagari Lohar community were killed.


Other video linkages

NCDNT Report

National Commission for Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic TribesReport on the incident involving Pardhis, Madhya Pradesh,9-11 September 2007. The Commission represented by Sh. Balakrishna Renke (Chairman), Sh. Laxmibhai Patni  (Member) and Dr. Meena Radhakrishna (Director Research) visited Betul district in Madhya Pradesh on September 29-30, 2007 to investigate an incident involving Pardhis on September 9-11, 2007, and its aftermath.

DM, Betul’ Rehab Plan

The rehab plan proposed and submitted to the state government and Jabalpur High Court by then Collector of Betul,  for the victims rehabilitation shows the height of apathy:

It says that, the Pardhi Reahb-Camp will be fenced with barbed wire and enter and exit to the camp will be regulated and recoded for initial 5 years and extended accordingly if so needeed.


                 जहां हम system के खिलाफ विद्रोह करने वालो का सम्मान करते है, आज भी पारधी और उनके जैसी १५० चिर विद्रोही (born rebel ) जातियां , जिन्हें अंग्रेजों ने अपराधिक घोषित कर दिया था , आज भी इस दंश को झेल रही है. हम सबको इस मुद्दे पर कुछ करना ही होगा. इन जातियों के पास जो born -talent है उसके सही उपयोग करने से यह देश कही का कही पहुँच सकता है. लेकिन जहा हम एक तरफ स्कूल कालेज में talent हंट करते है, वाहे यह  born -talent बर्बाद जा रहा है. आज इन जातियों के पास जीवन का संकट है. We got to act.

Anurag /Shamim

Pardhi Camp Betul

Raja Pawar with the gun, in his victory procession as a Zila Panchyat VC



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