PRESS RELEASE-JIGNA VORA WALKS FREE – So now, who are the main killers? #Jdeymurder


 

 

MUMBAI PRESS CLUB’S STATEMENT ON JIGNA VORA


The Press Club, Mumbai welcomes the order passed by a Special Sessions MCOCA Court allowing bail to journalist Jigna Vora. The order vindicates the stand taken by the Press Club that crime reporter Vora had become a victim of the machinations of the Mumbai Police in ‘Operation Cover Up‘ after the slaying of senior journalist J.Dey.

After Jigna’s arrest on 25 November, last year, a delegation from the Press Club had met Home Minister R.R.Patil to request a review of her case. At the meeting Joint Commissioner of Police Himanshu Roy had tried to justify the arrest with a presentation of the ‘evidence’ the police had gathered against Vora. When the delegation pointed out that there was little evidence, and the case was bound to fall, the objections were brushed aside. Thereafter, not only did the Police press its charge-sheet against Jigna Vora, but it went ahead to make her the prime accused.

the Mumbai Police’s hypothesis that though Chota Rajan and his henchmen carried out the killing, it was ‘prime accused’ Jigna Vora who had whipped up Chota Rajan’s hatred against J Dey by pointing to the articles the latter had written against Rajan. Thereafter, she plotted the murder by supplying the motorcycle registration number and locations of J Dey to Chota Rajan. Her motive, according to the police: ‘professional rivalry’. At that time, the Press Club had pointed out that mercenary gangsters don’t kill journalists for ‘insulting’ articles written against them. They kill for higher stakes.

By arresting Jigna Vora, the Mumbai Police was thumbing its nose at the city’s media. Immediately after J Dey’s death on 11th June 2011, press persons carried out an agitation against police inaction. Simultaneously, television and print media exposed the ham-handed investigation and the culpability of some senior police officers. By arresting Vora, the police seemed to be saying: “See, it was one of you. Don’t blame us.” Now the wheel has turned a full circle, and ultimately Jigna Vora is likely to walk free.

Unfortunately in the reporting of the case, a section of the crime media sang the police tune without a critical eye! Even in the current reporting on the bail order, wrong emphasis has been given to the issue of Jigna Vora being a single mother; and that she suffers from asthma. The truth is: the application for bail was granted by the Court because the police could not provide an iota of evidence linking Jigna to the murder of J.Dey. It needs to be underlined that she was given bail on merit and not on ‘humanitarian grounds’ as has been made out by a section of crime writers.

Finally, if Jigna Vora is not the ‘main accused’ as the Sessions Court order seems to indicate, then who is? The mercenaries are behind bars, but who planned and paid for the operation? The jury is still out, and the Mumbai Police is in the dock again.

The life of our friend and fellow journalist J.Dey is too precious to let the his principal killers go unpunished. The hunt for J.Dey’s killers is still on.

 

Press Release-PMANE Condemns the Irresponsible Behavior of Minister Narayanaswamy


 

People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)                                                                July 30, 2012
Idinthakarai & P. O. 627 104
Tirunelveli District, Tamil Nadu
Phone: 98656 83735; 98421 54073
koodankulam@yahoo.com
pushparayan@gmail.com
Press Release
PMANE Condemns the Irresponsible Behavior of Minister Narayanaswamy
In spite of the fact that the Madras High Court has been hearing a batch of petitions on the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) for the past few months, Hon’ble Minister Narayanaswamy at the PMO has been continuously speaking non-truth about its commissioning in an irresponsible manner. He has been mindlessly parroting the same childish announcement every weekend at the Chennai airport that the KKNPP would be commissioned in the next ten days. Every Indian citizen must be wondering if this stage-managed weekend comedy is part of the Indian nuclear program.
As a Central Minister, Hon’ble Minister Narayanaswamy must be aware of the simple fact that it is unbecoming of a responsible person to keep commenting on the ongoing cases and the Court proceedings. The Minister must be held contemptuous of the Madras High Court as he has been commenting continuously on an ongoing case and he should be punished for the same offence.
Interestingly enough, nobody in India challenges Hon’ble Minister Narayanaswamy over this irresponsible behavior and the reckless attempt to misinform and mislead the people of India time and again. May someone remind him of the fact that he is a Central Minister and that too at the prestigious PM’s Office and hence he should not perjure himself in his weekend confessions at the Chennai airport.
The PMANE condemns Hon’ble Minister Narayanaswamy for this irresponsible and reckless behavior. The only consolation we feel is that the people of India have to put up with Hon’ble Minister Narayanaswamy only for a little more than a year. And this misleading political leader who seriously thinks that the people of India are all idiots and can be constantly lied to may never be reelected by the people again.
If there is so much confusion and chaos in announcing the very date of commissioning of the “best” nuclear power plant in the world, how can the people of India trust the officials’ empty rhetoric on the safety and efficiency of the Russian-made reactors.
The PMANE also demands a White Paper from the Prime Minister, as the Minister for Atomic Energy, that details all the expenses, amount of Russian loan, the interest rate, and the overall loss that has been accrued by the Indian taxpayers for the repeated and recurrent delay of the KKNPP since the original plan of commissioning in the year 2007.
The PMANE would like to request the beloved Anna Hazareji, the Anna Team, and the “India Against Corruption” activists and supporters to consider the massive amount of corruption, wastefulness, theft and loss that occur at the nuclear installations, institutions and the entire atomic energy department all over the country. In our humble opinion, any fight against corruption in India must start with this department that does not share any truthful information with anyone in India. When the ruthless and profiteering American, Russian and French governments and corporations join hands with the corrupt Indian politicians and officials, we have so much to worry about our country’s future and our people’s wellbeing. God save India!
The Struggle Committee
People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)

 

#Olympics: NBC Gives a Big Middle Finger to Over 100 Million Americans Without Cable TV


 

People all over the world are watching the Olympics online, but a lot of Americans are just out of luck.
July 29, 2012  |  Alternet.org

Comcast and NBC logos.

Comcast and NBC logos. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Every four years, much of the world comes together to compete in – and watch — the Olympic games. Everyone on earth can catch this year’s games online, with the exception of one group: Americans who don’t have a subscription to cable TV.

NBC, which holds the U.S. rights to the games, is giving an Olympic-sized middle finger to a lot of households by offering the games online, but only to those with cable. I am one among a growing number of Americans who have given up their boxy television and watch content on their computers using services like Netflix streaming, Hulu and Amazon Instant Video. According to Nielson, about 48 million households don’t have cable TV – that represents around 37 percent of the population. (This figure includes satellite TV subscribers, who are also out of luck when it comes to streaming the games. But it doesn’t factor in people with, say, both sattelite and an old-fashioned TV with an antenna laying around – that group can catch games on NBC, but not those carried on MSNBC.)

I would gladly pay for the privelege of watching the Olympics online. $9.95 would be a no-brainer, I’d almost certainly go $14.95, and might have even pulled the trigger at $19.95. So NBC isn’t just depriving a third of the population an opportunity to watch the games, it’s not only getting a lot of criticism – the hashtag #NBCFail is all over Twitter – but the company is also leaving tens of millions in revenues on the table.

According to TorrentFreak – a bit-torrent site – while limited access to the games is only going to send people looking for illegal streamers, “NBC and the IOC are fully prepared to act against Olympic pirates to protect their commercial interests.” It’s a bit odd when you think about it, given that NBC isn’t offering the service itself, other than to cable TV subscribers who would be crazy to choose a shaky Chinese mirror site over their cable TV. Again, like many, I’d pay for the service if I could.

What is NBC thinking? On its face, their strategy appears to be in keeping with a lot of content-providers’ apparent preference to treat their potential customers like thieves – fiercely “protecting” their intellectual property — rather than coming up with innovative ways to offer their stuff to the growing audience of online-only media consumers at a reasonable price. Corporate culture is weighed down heavily by short-term thinking.

But there’s more to it than that. Comcast, the country’s leading cable provider, is the majority shareholder in NBC Universal, NBC’s parent company. And Comcast has a problem: it’s hemorrhaging cable subscribers. According to Nielson, between 2010 and 2011, cable subscriptions declined by almost 8 percent, while households that get their video via satellite, online, or from their telco increased by about 7 percent. (Actually, Comcast has two problems, the other being that people hate the company – it consistently scores terribly on consumer satisfaction surveys.)

Despite the fact that NBC enjoys the use of airwaves that belong to the American people, Comcast fears that those 37 percent of households who don’t feel the need for company’s boxes anymore are a harbinger of the future, and it seems to be willing to cut us off from the Olympic games to protect its core business (which is extra annoying for those of us who still fork over money for its broadband services). Comcast has long viewed the Olympics as a means of making cable more attractive – in 2009, before it bought a majority share in NBC

 

People all over the world are watching the Olympics online, but a lot of Americans are just out of luck.Universal, Comcast upset the International Olympic Committee by announcing plans to launch a cable channel dedicated to the games (including off-year trials and world championship events). NBC also squawked, and it may be that holding the rights to the Olympics through 2012 was part of the broadcasters appeal for Comcast.

 

The irony is that Americans jonesing for this year’s games can get around Comcast’s blackout by doing what people in repressive countries whose governments censor the internet have long done: set up a mirroring service that makes it look as if their computer is located somewhere else, like London. These services cost $5-$10 per month, and allow users to catch all the games, in high definition and without tape-delay, on BBC.com.

An extra bonus is that the BBC apparently thinks that the games are dramatic enough on their own merit, and don’t go in for the cheap, contrived melodrama that NBC’s producers seem to adore. #NBCFail, indeed.

 

Joshua Holland is an editor and senior writer at AlterNet. He’s the author of The 15 Biggest Lies About the Economy. Drop him an email or follow him on Twitter.

 

 

U.S. Health Law May Curb Rising Maternal Deaths


 

By Malena Amusa

WeNews correspondent

Monday, July 30, 2012

As the U.S. maternal mortality rate continues to increase, the new health care law could offer improvements in preventative care for women. Yet, definitive answers to why more American mothers are dying remain scarce

Credit: Celine Vignal on Flickr, under Creative Commons 2.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

(WOMENSENEWS)–The future of pregnant women in the United States will significantly change Aug. 1.

That is when the new health care law, the Affordable Care Act, will require insurance providers and Medicaid to cover clinical preventative services for women, including pre-natal care, all without charging a co-pay, co-insurance or a deductible.

Under the new guidelines, millions of women will gain access to health care services for free, including well-woman preventative care visits and screenings for gestational diabetes and sexually transmitted infections. These guidelines do not include maternity care or simply any service the doctor orders. However, starting in 2014, all maternity care will be covered by all new individual, small business and government exchange plans.

“This will provide an extraordinary opportunity to improve women’s health not only during pregnancy but before, between and beyond pregnancy, and across the life course,” said Dr. Michael C. Lu, the associate administrator of the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the Health Resources and Services Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Not only will preventative care be provided next year without cost to women, under the new health care law, $125 million will go this year to the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program to expand maternal and newborn support for mothers at home.

The changes are being introduced amid a wealth of data indicating that the number of mothers dying in America during or shortly after pregnancy is consistently growing. The rate of maternal mortality in the United States has more than doubled, rising from 6.6 deaths per 100,000 live births in 1987 to 16. 1 per 100,000 live births in 2009 – the highest among developed nations, Lu’s agency reports.

Various studies have attributed higher risk of maternal death to race, income, region, C-section rates, obesity-related problems and chronic disease. States where poverty exceeded 18 percent, the immigrant population exceeded 15 percent and the C-section rate exceeded 33 percent had 77 percent, 33 percent and 21 percent higher risks of maternal mortality, respectively, a 2007 report by Gopal K. Singh of the Health Resources and Services Administration indicated.

Women’s eNews has also reported previously that African American women’s maternal mortality rates are higher than those of other American women. African American women, regardless of levels of income and education, are three to four times more likely to die as a result of pregnancy. Yet conclusive data answering the question of why are scarce.

Government Funding

Ahead of the federal health insurance reform, several states have already been using funds provided by the federal government’s Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant Program to improve pregnancy care.

For example, the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative develops toolkits, protocols and recommendations for hospitals to tackle the leading causes of maternal death and morbidity, including hemorrhage (excessive bleeding) and preeclampsia (extreme high blood pressure).

At least two-thirds of California hospitals have adopted the toolkits. At the same time, the collaborative is devising a program to reduce first-birth C-sections, which range from 15 percent to 45 percent of births in California.

“The challenge is getting hospitals to adopt recommendations and change, but this is an area that we are making real progress in,” said Dr. Elliot Main, medical director of the collaborative. “It’s a shame mothers are still bleeding to death in the United States.”

In addition to the block grant, the Maternal and Child Health Bureau has developed intervention programs for low-income women at risk of having a low-birth weight baby, including the Home Visiting program and Healthy Start.

In 2009, 685 U.S. mothers – up from 548 in 2007 – died of pregnancy-related complications during or within 42 days of the end of their pregnancy, according to unpublished data provided by the Health Resources and Services Administration.

As a result, the United States is one of 23 countries – including Zimbabwe and Costa Rica – where maternal mortality rates have increased, according to a 2010 World Health Organization report “Trends in Maternal Mortality: 1990- 2008.”

Many pregnant mothers go into labor with chronic health problems, the top being diabetes, hypertension, obesity and cardiovascular disease. The federal maternal health agency reports that these contribute to poor maternal outcomes, but these studies are not conclusive and do not explain the maternal mortality difference between white, African American and Hispanic mothers.

Higher rates of health disorders are reported during pregnancy as well. In 2008, among the 27 states that collect this information, gestational diabetes and pregnancy-related hypertension were reported in 40.6 mothers per 1,000 live births and 38.7 mothers per 1,000 live births, respectively.

Clear Backsliding Trend

Final maternal mortality and morbidity data for 2010 are not yet available but the trend is clear. While developing countries are lowering their maternal mortality rates, the United States is backsliding.

The problem here does not correlate to monetary expenditure. The United States spends more on health care than any other country and more on maternal health than any other type of hospital care, according to a 2010 report by the London-based human rights group Amnesty International.

Lu, at the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, has been researching maternal distress for years.

“To improve maternal mortality in America, there are two things we must do,” he said in an e-mail interview. “First, we need to improve women’s health before they get pregnant. Second, we need to improve the quality of care that women receive during pregnancy.”

That echoes an international consensus that maternal deaths are preventable in most cases and that maternal morbidity can be foreseen and addressed long before the mother gives birth.

Improving women’s health before pregnancy involves what Lu has described as a “life course model” that begins in early life and extends to checkups for teens and access to contraceptives, all of which are covered by the health reforms about to take effect.

“Programs and policies that improve women’s health before they get pregnant, including those that address social determinants of health over the life course, as well as those that improve the quality of care women receive during pregnancy, will be critical for offsetting the risks which contribute to increased maternal deaths,” Lu said.

Malena Amusa is a freelance reporter based in St. Louis.

 

Statement by Pakistani civil society on Human Rights violation in Myanmar


Myanmar

Myanmar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Recent weeks have witnessed horrific events in Myanmar. Mobs have targeted the Rohingya population, resulting in the brutal murder of scores of Rohingya and displacement of tens of thousands of children, women, and men. Appallingly, the Myanmar military leadership has labelled Rohingyas as an ethnic and religious minority not deserving of full protection as citizens. Neighbouring Bangladesh behaves most callously, forcing thousands to live in hiding or squalid refugee settlements along the border.

This situation is intolerable for all those committed to universal human rights, including secure lives and prosperous livelihoods.

We demand of the people and government of Myanmar to abide by the international consensus on the rights of people. Having suffered under oppressive, military rule for decades, the people of Myanmar well know of the terror afflicted by the absence of democracy. Only through full and sincere protection of all residents as equal citizens would Myanmar commit adherence to desperately sought democracy.

We urge the winner of a Noble Peace Prize, the venerated Aung San Suu Ski to assume leadership of moves towards an end of violence, and to create conditions for a safe return of refugees to their homes in Myanmar. Her voice is heard around the world, and hence compels her to take bold steps immediately, which must include indiscriminating state and social protection of the Rohingya community.

We urge the Buddhist community around the world to remind the people of Myanmar of the priority given to peace and respect of all nature in the exemplary teachings of Buddha.

We demand of Pakistan as well as other SAARC and ASEAN governments to forcefully remind the government of Myanmar that the inhuman violence sharply retards the progress towards democracy for its people and is therefore unacceptable for full inclusion in regional cooperation.

We demand of the people and government of Bangladesh to provide full refugee status to those compelled to flee Myanmar. Security of adequate food and humane shelter must be the first priority in sincere protection of refugees. SAARC and ASEAN countries must consider their obligation to assist Bangladesh in supporting refugees.

Endorsed by:
Human Rights Commission of Pakistan
Pakistan Peace Coalition
Karamat Ali, Executive Director, Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER)
B. M. Kutty
Aly Ercelan
Adam Malik
Qamrul Hasan
Lala Hasan Pathan
Iqbal Alv;
Mahnaz Rahman (Aurat Foundation and Women Action Forum)
Latif Mughal
Ziaur Rahman (journalist)
Syed Moazzam Ali
Muneer Memon
Jawaid Ashraf Hussain, former Chief Secretary of Sindh;
Shaheen Salahuddin (TV anchorperson, Indus TV)
Qazi Javed

Released by:
Shujauddin Qureshi
Senior Research Associate
Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER)
Gulshan-e-Maymar, Karachi-75340
Ph: +(92-21) 36351145-7
Fax: +(92-21) 36350345
Cell: +(92)300-3929788
URL: www.piler.org.pk

Mangalore attackers behaved like animals: victim #Moralpolicing #VAW


 

Mangalore Bureau, The Hindu

SThe last building inside this gate is Morning Mist, a homestay at Padil. Photo: R.Eswarraj
The last building inside this gate is Morning Mist, a homestay at Padil. Photo: R.Eswarraj

Hindu Jagaran Vedike responsible, says ADGP Bipin Gopalakrishna

“I saw the men coming and jumped from the balcony, but they chased me and touched me in [inappropriate] places and dragged me back into the room,” Namitha (name changed) said, as she narrated her ordeal at the Morning Mist Homestay (a house rented out for parties) at Padil on the outskirts of the city on Saturday evening.

She told The Hindu that the attackers behaved like “animals”. When another girl asked the men why they were being targeted, the assaulters reportedly abused her and “one of them slapped me”.

The attackers, said a victim, removed the shirt of a man who was made to sit on a bed along with other women, apparently to project them in a poor light. Women said the attackers took away some of their valuables.

Defended

The Hindu Jagaran Vedike’s State convener Jagadish Karanth said at a press conference that his organisation was not behind the attack, nevertheless, defended it. Admitting that city coordinator of the vedike Subhash Padil was in the raiding party, he said this was the reaction by society against “immoral activities”.

He threatened that a ‘Janandolan’ (mass campaign) against activities opposed to Hindutva traditions would be launched. To begin with some pubs, spas, resorts, home stays and discotheques would be targeted as they “harboured prostitution and drugs”.

Bipin Gopalakrishna, ADGP Law and Order, said the vedike was responsible for the attack and that the eight persons arrested were its members. Amongst them was Mr. Padil.

The police booked cases under Section 18 1(a)(b) of unlawful activities prevention act, 1967 and IPC Sections for unlawful assembly, rioting, molestation, assault and dacoity against 27 persons, including the reporter and cameraman who were present and filmed the attack.

Ban orders

The police imposed prohibitory orders in the city under Section 144 of Cr.PC. as a preventive measure, but it was seen by groups such as the Democratic Youth Federation of India as an attempt to scuttle the voices protest.

The All-College Students’ Union called for a college bandh in Mangalore taluk on Monday, condemning Saturday’s attack saying it had created an atmosphere of fear among students which could affect their future adversely.

State women’s Commission Chairperson C. Manjula said in Bangalore that she had sought a report on the incident from the Deputy Director of Women and Child Development.

The officer had been asked to speak to the victims and include their version in the report.

They want to shoot the messenger:

Mangalore journalist

Sudipto Mondal

Saturday night’s vigilante attack on a group of young girls and boys, and which was caught on tape by a television crew, has revived the debate about what journalists are supposed to do in situations like this. The Mangalore police have charged Naveen Soorinje, a reporter, and Shiva Kumar, camera person, as well as the attackers under the same sections of the Indian Penal Code and Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. Seeking to put his side of the story in the public domain Mr. Soorinje spoke to The Hindu.

Q: Why did you not inform the police?

A: I called the [jurisdictional] police inspector and he did not pick his calls. I called a reporter from another channel and asked him to call the police. That reporter too could not get through to the police inspector.

But the police allege that you made that call after the attack, and after you had shot the scenes.

That is not true; my phone records are proof.

It is being alleged that the attackers informed you in advance.

I was informed by a mechanic who has a shop in the same area. Again, my phone records should be enough to prove this.

Why did you not inform the Police Commissioner?

He was not in Mangalore. His flight landed in the city around about the time the attack was taking place.

The Home Minister has alleged that you or your cameraman was holding up a girl’s face for the camera.

That is not true to the best of my knowledge. The Home Minister might have confused the attackers with us.

Why did you not help the girls?

There were at least 70 attackers from the Hindu Jagarana Vedike; we were just two. If you watch the video, there is a male voice asking the attackers to spare the girls. That voice was mine. That is all I could do at the time.

What if one of the victims was your relative? Would you still have done nothing?

Firstly, that is not a fair question. And there have been cases where women have been molested and humiliated by vigilante groups in front of their families in Mangalore. The fathers, brothers and lovers were forced to watch helplessly.

There are some who say that you were more interested in TRP ratings than helping the girls.

If I was interested in TRPs, I would not have passed on the exclusive video footage to every Kannada, Hindi and English channel in the country. I wanted to help the girls, but more importantly I wanted the world to see what happens here almost every day and how the police deal with such crimes.

How do the police deal with such crimes?

If you see Saturday night’s footage, you will notice that even after the police arrived on the spot, no action was taken against the attackers. They continued to attack the girls as the police were trying to take them to safety and the police did not retaliate. If I had not shot the entire shocking episode, no action would have been taken against the vigilantes. What few people see is that there has been a rise in such incidents in Dakshina Kannada over the last few months. Every time the police has booked cases of obscenity against the victims and allowed the vigilantes to walk free. If the police were doing their job, these groups would not have dared to carry out such attacks. And now that we have exposed the administration’s failing, they want to shoot the messenger.

The attackers seemed to be encouraged by the fact that you were shooting the scene.

What we have shown is only some of the more decent shots. What we saw through own eyes and chose not to shoot, was nothing short of rape.

There are some who say that the victims were further shamed by the filming.

Why should they be ashamed? They did nothing wrong. They were not doing the molesting and beating.

How do you respond to the police filing a case against you and your cameraman?

I have no problem with the fact that they have booked us. But I am happy that our visuals helped identify eight of the people they have arrested.

 

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