R.I.P – Radical Feminist and author of ‘Dialectic of Sex,’ dies in NYC at 67


Shulamith FirestoneFeminist author Shulamith Firestone whose work radicalized second wave feminist thinking passes away at homeBorn in Ottawa on January 7, 1945, Firestone was raised in an Orthodox Jewish family in St. Louis, Missouri. During the 1960s she studied fine arts at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and moved to New York City in 1967 where she co-founded New York Radical Women, the Redstockings group, and New York Radical Feminists.In 1970, at the age of 25, Firestone wroteThe Dialectic of Sex: The Case for Feminist Revolution — a book that effectively kickstarted the cyberfeminist movement, influencing later thinkers like Joanna Russ(author of “The Female Man“), sci-fi author Joan Slonczweski, and of course, Donna “I’d rather be a cyborg than a goddess” Harraway, author of “The Cyborg Manifesto.” To come up with her unique feminist philosophy, Firestone took 19th and 20th century socialist thinking and fused it with Freudian psychoanalysis and the existentialist perspectives of Simone de Beauvoir.

Seeing how the civil rights and antiwar movements treated women as second-class citizens, she co-founded three feminist organizations: New York Radical Women, the Redstockings and New York Radical Feminists. She also edited three important collections of feminist writing, beginning in 1968 with “Notes from the First Year.”

Essentially, Firestone argued that gender inequality was the result of a patriarchal social structure that had been imposed upon women on account of their necessary role as incubators. She argued that pregnancy, childbirth, and child-rearing imposed physical, social, and psychological disadvantages upon women. Firestone believed that the only way for women to free themselves from these biological impositions would be to seize control of reproduction.

To that end, she advocated for the development of cybernetic and assistive reproductive technologies, including artificial wombs, gender selection, and in vitro fertilization (the latter two now being in existence). In addition, she also advocated for the dissemination of contraception, abortion, and state support for child-rearing. It would be through these “revolts” and transformations that women could eliminate the presence of sexual classes. Firestone wrote:

[The] end goal of feminist revolution must be, unlike that of the first feminist movement, not just the elimination of male privilege but of the sex distinction itself: genital differences between human beings would no longer matter culturally. (A reversion to an unobstructed pansexuality Freud’s ‘polymorphous perversity’ – would probably supersede hetero/homo/bi-sexuality.) The reproduction of the species by one sex for the benefit of both would be replaced by (at least the option of) artificial reproduction: children would born to both sexes equally, or independently of. either, however one chooses to look at it; the dependence of the child on the mother (and vice versa) would give way to a greatly shortened dependence on a small group of others in general, and any remaining inferiority to adults in physical strength would be compensated for culturally.

“A revolutionary in every bedroom cannot fail to shake up the status quo,” Firestone wrote. “And if it is your wife that is revolting, you can’t just split to the suburbs. Feminism, when it truly achieves its goals, will crack through the most basic structures of our society.”

Subtitled “The Case for Feminist Revolution,” Firestone’s book was considered essential reading for feminists and in college courses on women’s studies.

“No one can understand how feminism has evolved without reading this radical … second-wave landmark,” feminist writer Naomi Wolf wrote when the book was reissued in 2003.

Firestone emerged as a radical voice during a fertile era for feminist theory. Her “Dialectic” became a bestseller the same year as Kate Millett’s “Sexual Politics,” a feminist critique of works by D.H. Lawrence, Henry Miller and Norman Mailer; and Germaine Greer’s “The Female Eunuch,” which examined history, literature, biology and popular culture.

Some feminists believed that Firestone “had found the solution” to sexual inequality, according to Ruth Rosen in “The World Split Open” (2000), a history of the modern women’s movement. But other feminists were incensed by her ideas, particularly because, Rosen wrote, “Firestone seemed to accept men as the normative human being, rather than demanding that society accommodate — and honor — women’s important biological contribution as the bearers and rearers of children.”

The division of labor (and labor altogether) would be ended through cybernetics, she argued, so that the “tyranny of the biological family would be broken.”

Not a fan of traditional biological human reproduction, Firestone described pregnancy as “barbaric,” and noted how a friend of hers described labor to “shitting a pumpkin.”

Modern feminists have largely turned a blind eye to Firestone and the role of technology in feminist discourse, but her influence can still be seen today in such things as transhumanism and the rise of postgenderist theory.

Soon after the publication of Dialectics, Firestone excused herself from public life and largely disappeared from the scene. In 1998 she published her book, Airless Spaces, in which she detailed her struggles with schizophrenia. Firestone became reclusive in her later years, dying alone in her apartment. She is survived by her mother, two brothers, and two sisters.

Have censored websites broken any law? #FOE


 

Agency: DNA | Sunday, September 2, 2012

Bigmother has not been around for 28 years now. But she sure is watching over us. She died before the internet happened, yet her devotees celebrate her by blocking websites.

That is some legacy. Seminars about the contemporary relevance of India’s holiest cows are rampant. Banalities are timeless, and hence ever relevant. When a pre-internet disease infects the web, it is a sure sign of a living ideology. In a throwback to times when Bigmother would lock some of us up and tell the world that this is for our own good, her devotees in charge of the Government of India have tried the same. But they lack Bigmother’s courage — she used to be rather public about her harsh dealing and silencing of her wayward children. They have secretly blocked certain webpages. The irony is that the ‘blocked’ website list stands ‘leaked’. Does right to information extend to right to information that the state wants to hide but has been leaked? Let’s not go there.

Transparency and freedom are fundamental to the health of this democratic organism. Without them, it is like a life-size sex doll, which can be inflated, paraded and used at will, only to be deflated till next time. This is why we need to look very seriously at the quivering wizards of Oz at the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology who blocked internet content without explanation.

Altogether, 309 items are known to have been targeted. Many of these websites ostensibly could have fanned the flames of communal hatred. That the flame-carriers of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots or hyenas of Gujarat 2002 have not been banned from the grand old party and the saffron sangh is another matter. Websites are apparently more damaging than kerosene.

No reason has been given why a certain website or webpage or Twitter/Facebook account has been blocked. That explanation is important because that potentially opens up such unilateral silencing to legal challenge. How so? Incitement to violence, communal or otherwise, is an offence under the Indian Penal code. If the government thought that it had a legally tenable basis of pre-emptively blocking a website for that reason, it could have said so. Its secrecy and subsequent silence is akin to the hubris of the policeman who is seen taking a bribe but looks on nonchalantly as he knows that the onlooker is powerless. It also signifies a distinct brand of shamelessness that only the powerful have. If the Government of Indian Union thinks that these contents in the web would indeed incite violence, has it proceeded to press charges against the banned websites in Indian and foreign courts? Does it fear that whim of the powerful is at times not a good legal defence?

A summary look at the blocked list is important. Twocircles.net, an Indian Muslim news portal, has been targeted. Its reports of a fatal communal flare-up in Mathura have been blocked. Incidentally, this website, which has received several accolades, did sterling service in trying to check rumours by publishing in toto, the Myanmar government’s response to doctored images claiming to show massacred Muslims in the Arakan province. Did the government media, the Doordarshan do its part is checking rumours that this news portal did? Pages from prestigious news sources like Al Jazeera, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Dainik Bhaskar and others have been blocked. Prestige is immaterial here, but I still list these to make a point. It is sad that one has to use this ploy and possibly tells us about the thick skin we have developed to censorship. But what really is at stake is the voice of the frail dissenter, the small fish, us. If a website is lying or is inciting violence, they can be taken to court. But to cede the state the right to indiscriminate, unilateral pre-emption without explanation is to give up our liberties. Does the internet even matter in the Indian Union? It increasingly does, the state knows it and you should too. For, if we think that there are ‘legitimate’ reasons for shutting out certain unsavoury words, then we all risk being shut off, piecemeal, at a time that suits the incumbent power of the day. The BJP has cried censorship and they are right. But I also have three words for them – Maqbul Fida Hussain.

The government, with the heritage of Emergency, has learned from the past. Now it wants to build an atmosphere where Emergency need not even be declared. It is important that it is resisted. For an unaccountable state approximates Coco Chanel who said “I don’t care what you think about me. I don’t think about you at all.” And that stinks.

Garga Chatterjee is a postdoctoral scholar, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

 

Indian Cartoonist Aseem Trivedi to be tried For Treason #sedition #WTFnews


Indian cartoonist Aseem Trivedi, this year’s Courage in Editorial Cartooning Award winner (along with Syrian cartoonist Ali Ferzat) plans on turning himself over to the police in Mumbai in the next couple of days over controversial cartoons he posted on his web site that parody India’s national symbols.

Trivedi was charged in January with treason and insulting India’s national symbols, and if found guilty, he could face up to two years in prison and a fine of up to 5,000 rupees (about $100).

In the cartoon below, Trivedi took India’s national emblem of the Four Sarnath Lions of King Asoka that sit above the motto “Satyamev Jayate” (truth alone shall triumph) and re-drew them as bloodthirsty wolves on the re-worded motto “Bhrashtamev Jayate” (long live corruption):

In another offending cartoon, Trivedi drew the Indian parliament building as a toilet:

There is a long tradition of editorial cartoonists using symbols of states to express opinions about governments. Drawing a legislature or parliament building as a toilet is common.  I recently drew our Capitol building in Washington as a toilet:

The offending cartoon below by Trivedi shows the “Mother of India” being held down by politicians and bureaucrats, about to be raped by corruption:

The Indian Constitution allows for “the right to freedom of speech and expression.” Trivedi’s critics argue that while he is allowed to mock and poke fun at politicans, it is a crime to mock the national emblem, the parliament and the Indian flag.

Read an interview that Trivedi gave to Cartoonist Rights Network International, here’s a quote:

“I am democratic. I am patriotic. I have a twenty-four year life without any charges of corruption. I am only making cartoons. … I am talking about nationalism. I love my country. I am reacting [to the corruption] in my own way. Someone is protesting. Somebody is a doing hunger strike in India. [As for me,] I am a cartoonist.”

There is a lot of sensitivity in India about cartoons that offend religious sensitivities, but cartoons that bash the state must be fair game. I would argue that editorial cartoonists must disrespect governments and symbols of governments as a professional obligation.

Palestine -Imminent Danger to Hunger Strikers


 

Al-Barq, (104th day) & Safadi (74th day)
Ramallah-Jaffa2 September 2012 — Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, Al-Haq and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-IL) fear for the lives of the three remaining Palestinian hunger strikers held by Israel. Of utmost concern are the health conditions of administrative detainees Samer Al-Barq, today on his 104th day of renewed hunger strike following his previous 30-day hunger strike, and Hassan Safadi, today on his 74th day of renewed hunger strike following his previous 71-day hunger strike.

According to Addameer lawyer Fares Ziad following his visit to Ramleh prison medical clinic on 30 August, Samer was too weak to meet with him and could not get out of bed. Mr. Ziad met with Hassan and fellow hunger striker Ayman Sharawna, who is on his 64thday of hunger strike today. During their visit, Hassan told Mr. Ziad that both he and Samer had recently been taken to Assaf Harofeh hospital for a few days due to the further deterioration of their conditions and doctors informed them that their lives were under immediate threat.

Hassan was taken to Assaf Harofeh for testing from 27-29 August. Troublingly, Hassan was told by the doctors in the hospital that the tests revealed that his immunity level has fallen dangerously low; there is fluid in his lungs; and he has developed problems in his liver and kidneys including  kidney stones.

During his visit with Ayman Sharawna, Mr. Ziad learned that prison doctors informed Ayman that his life is also at risk. Ayman noted that in addition to very low immunity levels and cirrhosis in his liver, he suffers from terrible joint pain and back pain from previous chronic conditions, and that the IPS doctors refuse to give him pain medication until he stops his hunger strike.

 

Akram Rikhawi ended his hunger strike on 22 July after 102 days, upon reaching an agreement with the IPS to be released in January 2013. Following a visit to Akram on 25 July, the PHR-IL doctor recommended Akram’s immediate referral to a public hospital and to be immediately examined by a lung specialist. To date, this recommendation has not been implemented.

 

Samer is now the longest hunger striker in Palestinian history. He and Hassan have reached very critical stages in their prolonged hunger strikes, with doctors noting that they are at immediate risk of death. Nonetheless, Israel not only insists on the injustice of depriving them of their right to fair trial, but also continues to severely mistreat them, in the forms of physical brutality and psychological torture that is employed by the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) to get them to break their strikes.

Despite their severe medical conditions, both Samer and Hassan are still denied family visits and access to independent physicians and independent medical care. Addameer, Al-Haq and PHR-IL are outraged by the IPS’ practice of approving visits by independent doctors only after court orders are issued.

In light of the severe deterioration of the health conditions of the remaining Palestinian detainees on hunger strike, Addameer, Al-Haq and PHR-IL urge the international community to immediately intervene on their behalf and demand:
·         That the agreements reached on 14 and 15 May 2012 be respected, including the release of administrative detainees who were promised release at the end of their current orders;
·         Unrestricted access for independent physicians to all hunger strikers;
·         The immediate transfer of Samer Al-Barq and Hassan Safadi, as well as all other hunger strikers, to public hospitals;
·         That no hunger striker be shackled while hospitalized;
·         That all hunger strikers be allowed family visits, while they are still lucid;
·         That Hassan Safadi and Samer Al-Barq, along with all other administrative detainees, in addition to Ayman Sharawna and other detainees that were released as part of the prisoner exchange deal in October 2011 be immediately and unconditionally released.

 

Murder joins the long list of cases against Jagannath temple of Puri priests


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PRATIHARI (LEFT), MOHAPATRA (RIGHT)

Debabrata Mohanty : Bhubaneswar, Tue Sep 04 2012,IE

It is one of the most renowned and biggest temples of Orissa. Since last week, however, the Jagannath Temple of Puri has acquired another distinction. On August 29, one of its sevaks and a member of the temple managing committee was held for planning and carrying out the murder of a fellow panel member over property.

If Krushna Pratihari now finds himself bars, the murdered priest, Taluccha Bhagaban Mohapatra, was as well known for activities outside the holy sphere. Police records show around a dozen cases against him as well as conviction on a murder charge. Mohapatra was also the local municipality councillor of the ruling Biju Janata Dal.

However, Mohapatra was not the only Jagannath Temple “sevak (servitor)” to figure in police records, accessed by The Indian Express. At least 60-odd sevaks are named in the records for 2011 and 2012, charge-sheeted in criminal cases ranging from theft, extortion, murder, criminal intimidation and molestation to wrongful restraint.

“We have just checked cases of Singhadwar and Puri town police stations. If we take into account the cases of the last five years of all the police stations in and around Puri, the numbers will run into several hundreds. Most of them are essentially goons who terrorise people,” said a home department official. Currently, the temple has over 5,500 sevaks.

Pratihari allegedly planned Mohapatra’s murder from the precincts of the Jagannath temple itself. Men allegedly hired by him accosted Mohapatra in a community hall and pumped bullets into his head. While Mohapatra looked after decoration of the deities at the temple, Pratihari’s divine duties included looking after preparation of abhada, the meal served to the Lord.

After his arrest from Koraput, Pratihari told the police that his rivalry with Mohapatra stemmed from a piece of prime land in Puri which both of them wanted. Mohapatra had allegedly used his political links to scare away Pratihari.

While Mohapatra’s murder conviction was stayed by the high court, a temple sevak said: “He was essentially a landgrabber who must have amassed properties worth Rs 200 crore. Recently he had set his eyes on Emar mutt, a 300-year-old mutt in front of the Puri temple… Using his proximity with high court judges, he could browbeat officials and locals into submission. That he could get into the temple managing committee despite being convicted in a murder case shows his influence.”

Police officials said they were getting an increasing number of cases involving temple officials. “During the rath yatra, it depresses us to see women devotees being manhandled or at times molested by these people. When someone goes to the temple, some of these priests accost them and demand to be paid at least Rs 500. If they are paid less, they start abusing the devotee and often manhandle them,” said an official.

“This January, a temple priest threw a bottle at a middle-aged woman when she protested against his fleecing tourists. The bottle hit her head, causing deep injuries. Though a case was lodged, the assailant is yet to be identified,” said a police officer.

Chief administrator of Jagannath temple Arvind Padhee admitted that people with criminal cases should not be a part of the temple. “It’s true that people with impeccable backgrounds should be there. But it is difficult to change things in an orthodox temple. Still, in the last two months, we have managed to bring some discipline by getting the servitors to behave well with the tourists and to get the rituals done on time. We would call an emergency meeting of the temple managing committee in a fortnight to discuss these issues,” he said.

Senior sevak Rabindra Pratihari added that not all servitors were bad. “There may be some bad apples, but servitors are part of our society. When the society is facing moral degradation, why blame servitors alone?”

Press release of protest by families and relatives of Maruti Suzuki workers


Press Release 

On 2nd September 2012, over 400 relatives and families of workers of Maruti Suzuki protested against the arrests, torture and termination of workers, and demanded immediate release and work for all workers. The families and relatives who came from all across Harayana– Hisar, Rohtak, Jind, Kaithal, Narwana, Gurgaon, Yamunanagar, Kurukshetra, Karnal, as well as from U.P., Punjab, Himachal, Rajasthan wanted to meet Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, but were dissapointed when the Police Commissioner and a huge contingent of Haryana Police blocked and disallowed us our right to do so. It became clear to all that the government and police is continuing to act against the interests of common people and workers and their families, and acting in complete favour of the Suzuki management. The families gave a memorandum to the Chief Minister through the D.C. Rohtak after demonstrating in front of his office.

In the meeting, workers relatives put across their view. Suresh’s brother said that police torture was meted out to the workers on direction of the management, and asked why the government is acting in the management’s favour. Ramvilas’s uncle Ramesh said even the family members were not spared. Sushma said proper investigation should be done about the management’s role in the incident. Jagbir said how his son was awarded ‘best worker’ twice by the company itself, and now has put him in jail and all workers are being called criminals even when investigation has not taken place. That the government is not giving any respect to workers or their families came out of all the protestors.

In the demonstration, banners of ‘Maruti Suzuki workers Union’’s families and solidarity committee were there. Posters and slogans like ‘All workers are innocent, immediately release all workers’, ‘Company-Government-police stop harassment of workers’, ‘Hooda government answer us, respect workers families’, ‘punish the guilty managament of maruti suzuki’ were made.

The demands put forward are-
1. Immediately release all workers arrested from the night of 18th July on.
2. Register cases of conspiracy and death on the management of Maruti Suzuki.
3. Take back to work all 546 terminated workers.
4. Punish the police officials who are harassing and torturing workers and their families.
5. Take action against factory management who are fluting labour laws.

Signed/- Avtar Singh, Kurukshetra and Pramod kr, Sonepat, Haryana

1. Press Release from relatives of Maruti workers (in Hindi)
2. Memorandum submitted by relatives of workers (in Hindi)

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Buses carrying Lankan pilgrims attacked near Trichy


 

Agencies
New Delhi, September 04, 2012

Five buses carrying Sri Lankan pilgrims to the Trichy airport were attacked on Tuesday, according to media reports. Pilgrims were injured by broken glasses inside one of the buses, reports said.

Earlier on Tuesday, a batch of 178 Sri Lankan pilgrims faced protests, with a
pro-Tamil outfit trying to block their vehicles when they were returning after offering worship at the famous Velankanni Christain shrine near Nagapattinam.

The Sri Lankan government issued a travel warning to Sri Lankans visiting southern India following a spate of incidents targeting Sri Lankan nationals, the external affairs ministry said.

The external affairs ministry said that it was compelled to issue the travel advisory after 184 Sri Lankan pilgrims visiting a church in Tamil Nadu became the latest victims of intimidation.

As a result Sri Lankan nationals have been told by the government to desist from undertaking visits to Tamil Nadu until further notice.

The ministry said that in the event there is a compelling reason to visit Tamil Nadu, such a visit should take place following prior timely intimation to the Sri Lanka deputy high commission in Chennai.

Travel to all other states in India are safe for Sri Lanka nationals, the external affairs ministry said.

The Lankan nationals were meted out similar treatment during their pilgrimage to the Poondi Madha Christian shrine near Thanjavur on Monday.

The pilgrims, including 75 women and 36 children, had arrived at Velankanni on Tuesday morning to offer worship at the Shrine Basilica, police said.

As the activists protested, police personnel on security duty for the ongoing annual festival rushed to the spot, arrested them and brought the situation under control within a few minutes, sources said.

The pilgrims later proceeded to Tiruchirappalli safely from where they are expected to leave for Sri Lanka.

The Sri Lankan nationals had worshipped at the Poondi Matha shrine on Monday evening as part of their annual pilgrimage when activists of Naam Tamizhar Iyakkam headed by film director Seeman, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi and P Nedumaran-led Tamizhar Desiya Poduvudamai Katchi, staged a demonstration asking them to go back.

Tamil Nadu politicians have been agitating over the past several weeks against Sri Lanka over allegations of human rights abuses committed during and after the war targeting Tamils.

The Tamil Nadu government had recently also objected to India providing military training to Sri Lanka after the Indian government had insisted that it will continue with the training.

Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa had also this week ordered a football team from a leading Sri Lankan school who were in Tamil Nadu to be sent back.

Tamil political parties in Tamil Nadu are also opposing an upcoming visit to India by Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The Sri Lankan external affairs ministry on Monday night said that 184 Sri Lankan pilgrims visiting a church in Tamil Nadu were mobbed forcing them to take refuge inside the church.

Sri Lanka says it regrets the increasing number of instances of intimidation of Sri Lankan nationals visiting Tamil Nadu for the purposes of tourism, religious pilgrimages, sporting and cultural activities and professional training.

These visits are a reflection of people to people contact between the polity of two countries which are bound by age-old friendly ties and traditions, the external affairs ministry said.

(With IANS and PTI inputs)

 

PRESS CONFERENCE- Facts of ‘police raid ” on Nazrul Islam’s book #Kolkata #censorship


What's Mamata's communal harmony?

Mamata Banerjee has done it again, this time against an IPS officer. The cop, Nazrul Islam, published a book titled Mushalmander Ki Karaniya (What Muslims Should Do) where he spoke about the alleged plight of the Muslims in West Bengal and how the Trinamool Congress-led state government was resorting to double standards in the name of ‘improving’ their condition.

A 102-page book written by senior police official Nazrul Islam seems to have ruffled a few feathers in the state administration. The police, on Friday, allegedly raided the College Street shop of Mitra Ghosh, the publisher of the book — Musalman der Koroniyo — written by the senior IPS officer and additional director general of police (training).

The present owner of the publishing house Sabitendranath Roy alleged that a huge force of police reached the College Street premises of his shop, locked the sale counters and searched for the book. He also complained that police had asked him to discontinue its circulation a day before.

The book was released a week back and got good response. On Thursday night, an 80-year-old Roy received a call from the deputy commissioner of police (enforcement branch) asking him to stop selling the book.In the book, Nazrul has advocated the need for secular education and criticized the state government for not doing much to help spread education among the Muslims. “Though a lot has been said about the new government being an agent of change, nothing much has changed,” Nazrul said in the book. He has criticized the leaders in the new government for attending Iftaarparties without keeping the mandatory daytime fast. “The words inshallah and khuda hafiz cannot be said in the same sentence, but our leaders are doing so, without knowing that they are actually hurting Islam,” the book reads.The police had no search warrant with them. We had already stopped the book’s circulation and removed the copies from our College Street shop. We told them that the complimentary copies would be sent to them soon,” said Indrani Roy, director of Mitra Ghosh.

 A press conference has been called by publishers  to  voice their grievances against police ‘raid’

Kolkata Press Club on

Wednesday, September 5,

Time- 5 pm

PL SHARE WITH MEDIA IN KOLKATA 

FOR MORE INFOMATION CONTACT INDRANI ROY- royindrani71@gmail.com,ph-9830668337

India should accept UN recommendation to repeal AFSPA: Human Rights Watch


NEW YORK: A leading human rights group today asked India to repeal the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, impose a moratorium on the death penalty and accept other recommendations of UN member states to address the country’s “most serious human rights problems”.It also asked Indian government to respond to concerns that the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act can be abused to restrict civil society organisations from promoting human rights by limiting their access to foreign.

The UN member states at the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in May this year had made wide-ranging recommendations calling upon India to ratify multinational treaties against torture and enforced disappearances, repeal AFSPA, introduce an anti-discrimination law and protect the rights of women, children, dalits, tribal groups, religious minorities, and other groups at risk.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) said the Indian government has promised a “comprehensive response” to the UPR’s 169 recommendations and will submit its responses during the current session of the UN Human Rights Council.

It said there are expectations that the Indian government will make serious efforts and not mere “lame” assertions to address its human rights problems.

“The Indian government should make a serious effort to carry out these recommendations instead of simply pointing to existing legislation or policies,” South Asia director at Human Rights Watch Meenakshi Ganguly said.

“What is needed is a strong commitment to transparency and accountability to protect human rights, not more lame assertions of good intentions,” she said.

“India should accept the recommendations by United Nations member states at the UPR to address the country’s most serious human rights problems,” the group said in a statement.

During its 2012 review, the Indian government set out the fundamental rights provided by the constitution, judicial pronouncements, the Right to Information Act, the Right to Education Act of 2009 and the NationalFood Security Bill to demonstrate the government’s commitment to protect human rights.

The government however “downplayed” abuses by security forces and the role of AFSPA in facilitating these abuses, HRW claimed.

The government asserted that most complaints of army and paramilitary abuses were found to be false, and said the Act had been upheld by the Supreme Court.

“But the government failed to note that it has ignored measures to prevent abuses outlined in the Supreme Court ruling,” the rights group said.

The UPR is the mechanism to examine the human rights records of all 192 UN member states and provides an opportunity for each state, every four years, to explain what actions it has taken to improve respect for human rights in its own country.

Police Inspector KK Mysorewala did not take preventive steps #Narodapatiya #Narendramodi


 

DNA Correspondent l Ahmedabad

The special judge, who conducted the trial in the Naroda Patia massacre case, criticised the initial investigation in the case that was done by the Naroda police, and also pulled up the then police inspector, KK Mysorewala.
In her 2000-page-long verdict, the judge has said that statements of witnesses recorded by the previous investigator were unreliable as the investigator’s propriety in recording the statements had itself been rebutted.
“This court believes and has held that the previous investigation is not reliable mainly as far as recording the statements is concerned,” the judge has stated in her verdict.
Regarding Mysorewala, the court said the police officer had not paid due attention to the guidance and oral instructions given on February 27, 2002 by higher officers regarding preventive steps to be taken. “Not a single such step was taken,” the court said.
“Two incidents of burning Muslim shops on that day should have been taken as signals of the series of horrifying and terrifying incidents to occur, but nothing was noted by him. Even no police point was arranged at the place near the wall of Jawan Nagar and where the Muslim chawls known as Jawan Nagar begin,” the court said. The judge further said that complaints were registered after the two shops of Muslims were burnt but no proper and detailed investigation was done and no one was arrested.
“This job could also have been assigned to some subordinate by KK Mysorewala but he remained inactive as emerges on record,” the judge said.
In her 2000-page verdict, the judge said that statements of witnesses recorded by the previous investigator were unreliable as the investigator’s propriety in recording the statements had itself been rebutted

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