India -No food in Anganwadi for months,Patwari asking Rs 100 for forest land deed, No doctor appointed since 2001 in a hospital #indiashining

My name is Son Singh Dhurve. I am calling from Pandaria block in
Kawardha district in Chhattisgarh. Up in the hills there is a Baiga
village called Bahpani (Kandavani gram panchayat). No food has reached
the anganvadi center there from 2 and half months. The in charge says
she fed 25 Baiga children with her personal food for 2 months but
there is no food from last 2 weeks. In the same village Patwari (
07898677604) is asking Rs 100 each for giving land rights deed under
forest rights act. For more Dhurve Ji can be reached at 08720822286

My name is Jagdish. I am calling from Rewa district in Madhya Pradesh.
Today I am standing in front of a health center building which was
completed in 2001-02. But since then no doctor has been appointed to
this 10 bed hospital. The hospital has no bed, no machines. No child
has been born in this hospital. Today on the occassion of Gandhi
jayanti villagers organised a one day dharna demanding appointment of
doctors. Many have died in the region in need of treatment. For more
Jagdish Ji can be reached at 09893905883

Man convicted within 29 days of rape,murder of 7-year-old girl #vaw #justice

, October 02, 2012, 14:52

: Odisha, Sambalpur, , Convict, 7-year-old girl, driver, rape
Sambalpur: A court in Odisha has convicted a driver for rape and murder of a seven-year-old daughter of a wage-earner, within 29 days of occurrence of the crime.

District and Sessions Judge, Sambalpur, Bibhu Prasad Routray yesterday convicted Pradip Dalai of Balibhanga area under town police limits here for committing the crime on September 2.

The court reserved till tomorrow the order for pronouncing the quantum of punishment.

The prosecution said, the girl, a class II student of an upper primary school in Jhaduapura, was playing with her friends on the day when she was lured away by the man, who was known to her, on the promise of chowmein treat.

When the girl did not return home at night, her body was found after a search by her parents and relatives from a bush near Ring Road.


The girl, daughter of daily wage earner, was found to have been raped and strangulated.

Pradip was arrested and chargesheeted within seven days.

Altogether 12 persons including her mother, medical officer of VSS Medical College Hospital who had conducted the post-mortem, an officer of Town police station and a woman sub- inspector had deposed in the course of the trial.

Pradip was convicted under different sections of IPC for kidnapping, rape, murder and tampering with the evidences based on the circumstantial evidence, seizures and deposition by witnesses, Public Prosecutor (PP) Artatrana Mishra said.

Claiming that the court order had set a record of sorts in the Odisha judiciary, Mishra said, “It’s for the first time in the history of state’s judiciary that a judgement was delivered within only 29 days of the occurrence of a crime.”



India- Officials suspect accuracy of census data ? #WTFnews #aadhaar #Nandanilekani

Discrepancies in issue of Aadhaar cards

SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT,  Hyderabad,The Hindu, Oct 2, 2012

Enrolment and the cards generated are more than the population

Hyderabad seems to have achieved a dubious distinction as far as the all important Aadhaar cards are concerned.

Against the population of 40.10 lakh as per the 2011 census, the enrolment so far is 47.98 lakh. And if this surprises you, hold on – the actual number of cards generated are even higher – 49.93 lakh.

No explanation

Civil Supplies authorities do not have a plausible explanation for this strange phenomenon. They think Hyderabadis working in different parts of the country might have indicated their residential address as Hyderabad resulting in the enrolment and Aadhaar card generation figure exceeding the population.

However, they refuse to part with the district wise enrolment figures and instead give the combined enrolment figures for Hyderabad and the neighbouring Ranga Reddy district.

Accuracy of data

Some officials also suspect the accuracy of the census data since the number of people who came out for enrolment are far more.

As of now, 18 lakh persons in Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy districts remain to be enrolled. Authorities hope to cover them by March 31. So far a total of 74.92 lakh Aadhaar cards have been generated and delivered out of the enrolled 85.45 lakh. The State capital and the adjoining Ranga Reddy district has combined population of 93.07 lakh.

The Civil Supplies Department is operating 29 centres with 61 kits in both the districts.

Aadhaar card registration centres are also being operated in Adilabad, Srikakulam, East Godavari and municipal areas of Kurnool, Mahabubnagar, Nalgonda, Nizamabad, Karimnagar, Khammam, Warangal and Medak.

Statistics show that 5.05 crore persons have been enrolled in the State out of the population of 8.47 crore.

Of this 4.62 crore cards were generated while 4.45 crore delivered through post offices.

One can check up the status of one’s Aadhaar card by logging on to the website and entering the 14 digit enrolment ID.

TVNL gets land for developing Badam coal blocks in Hazaribag #Jharkhand


State owned power generating company Tenughat Vidyut Nigam Limited (TVNL) that is into a joint venture with EMTA has been allotted land for developing Badam coal blocks in Hazaribag district.


About 11.92 acre of GM land would be given to the company at `40.13 lakh on renewable lease of 30 years. The Cabinet also released 19.59 acres of land at Noamundi for railway siding at West Singhbum district.

Informing about the decision taken by the Cabinet on Monday, Cabinet Secretary NN Pandey said that Value Added Tax (VAT) on PDS kerosene had been lowered form presently 5 per cent to 2 per cent. “Besides this the Cabinet also decided to up VAT from present 14 per cent to 20 per cent on tobacco products,” he said.

To deal with shortage of doctors in the State, the Government has raised retirement age of the medicos working in ESIC hospitals in Jharkhand. Now onwards, the doctors would attain retirement at the age of 65 years instead of 60 years. The Cabinet also approved Jharkhand Municipal Election guideline. It would set rules for election, provisions of operation and polling booths for the urban local bodies.

453 villages left out of the electrification by the RITES and also under RGGVY scheme would be electrified through the JSEB. The Cabinet has approved `91.58 crore for the purpose. 72 gazetted and non- gazetted posts have been created in the Jharkhand High Court besides few others to take forward the e-court project, emphasised by the Supreme Court and the Center for computerisation exercise. It will cost `12.53 lakh annually.

Dalit woman sarpanch assaulted in Haryana #vaw


TNN | Oct 2, 2012, 04.22AM IST

CHANDIGARH: A 37-year-old dalit woman sarpanch was assaulted on Sunday when she was presiding over a meeting to broker peace between two groups fighting over distribution of land for poor families at Aambwalan village in Haryana‘s Yamunanagar district.

The sarpanch, Rajrani, and two other villagers were seriously injured in the attack and were admitted to a government hospital.

Yamunanagar SP Mitesh Jain said the injured were not in a position to give a statement in this regard. “The police will take further action once the injured people give their statements,” Jain added.

Investigation officer Satpal Singh, who had visited the spot, said the sarpanch was assaulted after arguments over the land distribution.

The sarpanch’s husband, Sandeep Singh, who also received injuries in the attack, said around 20 dalits attacked the sarpanch and others present in the panchayat.

The dispute began at a meeting called on September 27 to remove encroachments on a 7.5-acre plot so that it could be distributed among poor families to build houses as part of Haryana’s government ‘Mahatma Gandhi Gramin Basti Yojna’. It was launched in 2008 to allot 100 square yard residential plots to below poverty line families, Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes.

“Two villagers — Pala Ram and Krishan Kumar — picked up a fight at the meet,” said Sandeep. “To resolve the matter, a panchayat was called in the village on Sunday. When the panchayat was going on, a group got angry and started pelting stones at people present in the panchayat. They were also carrying swords and iron rods.”


Why do India and Pakistan treat their fishermen like fish?

Last updated on: October 01, 2012 ,


*When a security force finds the vessel of another country within its maritime borders — with no “objectionable materials apart from a large cache of fish” — why can’t they simply ask the vessel to return, asks Shivam Vij

The insensitive governments of India and Pakistan are not moved even when one of their citizens dies in the other country, especially if the citizen was a poor fisherman arrested for the crime of inadvertently crossing a maritime boundary.

After 23 days of lying in the morgue of Ahmedabad’s Civil Hospital, the body of 32 year old Nawaz Ali Jat will finally reach Karachi on Monday by a Pakistan International Airlines flight. His family waited 14 years for his return, but they didn’t even get to know when he
died of kidney failure on September 8.

In May 1999, a cyclone hit the Karachi coast, pushing Nawaz’s boat across Indian maritime borders. Along with his relatives, Usman Sachu, Zaman Jat and Usman Jat, Nawaz was arrested. India and Pakistan were fighting a war in the treacherous mountains of Kargil, a war that these fishermen had nothing to do with. But since they were Pakistanis who had committed the crime of being hit by a cyclone, they were charged with more than just trespass. Nawaz was accused and convicted of anti-State activities. Their families thought they had died, until they got a letter from them from inside Sabarmati Jail.

The spying charges meant that even though hundreds of fishermen have been arrested and released by India and Pakistan since then, Nawaz and his relatives were not. When Mumbai-based journalist and peace activist Jatin Desai asked the Indian government about his case in 2007, the government replied that India has no Pakistani fisherman arrested before 2000.

Desai has met Nawaz’s family in Karachi and he says he wouldn’t know how to face them the next time he goes there. Nawaz Ali Jat died after a long illness on September 8. The Gujarat government informed the ministries of home and external affairs on September 10. On receiving no response they wrote to the two ministries again on September 15 and then again on September 21. The MEA finally woke up from its slumber and informed the
Pakistan high commission on September 26. That’s when Nawaz’s family in Karachi got to know.

As if this wasn’t insensitivity enough, it’s been five days since then and there is no news when the body could be sent to Karachi. The Gujarat government is yet to hear from the MHA or MEA.

This indifference cannot be explained merely by Nawaz Ali Jat’s nationality, because India clearly doesn’t care much about Indian fishermen in Pakistani jails either. Rambhai, an Indian fisherman, died in Karachi on May 28 this year, and it took over 40 days for his body to reach Mumbai, India and Pakistan’s reaction, as also of the media in both countries, would have been very different had these people been middle class city folk rather than poor coastal fishermen.

Indian and Pakistani fishermen are regularly arrested in the Arabian Sea between Gujarat and Sind. These are fishermen who have been fishing in these waters for generations. They did not ask for these maritime boundaries. More Indian fishermen than Pakistani ones get arrested, becausesome of the Indian fishermen deliberately take risk and cross the maritime boundary because there’s more fish there. This is partly because industrial
pollution has destroyed the ecology of the Gujarat coast. But often, it is bad weather or dysfunctional GPS that makes them cross that invisible border in the sea.

Another reason for such regular arrests is the Sir Creek dispute, where India and Pakistan disagree on what the maritime boundary is. On September 29, for instance, the Border Security Force arrested 9 Pakistani fishermen near Sir Creek in Bhuj. ‘The intruders were not found in possession of any objectionable materials apart from a large cache of fish stored in their boat,’* noted without irony.

Apart from Sir Creek area and the island of Diu (a Union territory), the affected Gujarat districts are Porbandar, Junagadh and Jamnagar in theSaurashtra region. The fishermen are from the Koli and Kharwa communities, though there are some tribals too. On the Pakistani side the fishermen are Muslim Kolis. These fishermen use not small boats but large trawlers.

They’re at sea for days. One trawler costs as much as Rs 50 lakh and up to
a hundred people are dependent on it for their livelihood. When a trawler
is caught by the Pakistanis, the Gujarat government gives each prisoner’s
family a princely sum of Rs 175 a day.

Jatin Desai, who is also joint secretary of the Pakistan-India People’s Forum for Peace and Democracy, has been following the issue for years. He tells me that until 1996, Pakistan used to release the fishermen with the trawlers on the same sea. But to discourage them they started retaining the trawlers and sending the fishermen via Wagah. This cripples them financially even after they return. As part of the ongoing India-Pakistan peace process the two countries have released hundreds of imprisoned fishermen in batches this year. But they still have the trawlers. Pakistan has some 600 of them, whereas India has 120.

There are around 45 Indian fishermen in Karachi’s Malir jail, of whom 11 were arrested last month. The number of Pakistani fishermen in Indian jails at present is 60, in various jails in Gujarat. Desai tells me that this is the lowest figure of Indian fishermen in Pakistani jails since 1999. Until last year, the number of Indian fishermen in Pakistani jails was invariably
over 300, and that of Pakistani fishermen in India was never below 100.

When a security force finds the vessel of another country within its maritime borders — with no “objectionable materials apart from a large cache of fish” — why can’t they simply ask the vessel to return? What purpose is served by the arrests, keeping in jail (on tax-payers’ money!) for years and then releasing them like doves as some meaningless
‘confidence building measure’?

Saadat Hasan Manto‘s *Toba Tek Singh*, the no man’s land where his protagonist Bishan Singh dies because he refuses to choose between India and Pakistan, was still a piece of land. What did Manto know that the men who rule India and Pakistan extend their territorial madness even to the high seas, arresting each other’s Bishan Singhs daily, drilling into them that they aren’t simply the fishermen of the Arabian Sea but of India and Pakistan and they better know how to recognise which droplet of the sea belongs to which country

Shivam Vij


Extrajudicial killings: SC issues notice to Centre, Manipur government

By Abu Zafar10/1/12, Abu Zafar, Newzfirst






Supreme Court of India Monday admitted a petition filed by the family members of the victims of extra-judicial killing in Manipur and issued the notices to the Central and Manipur Governments.

The Extrajudicial Executions Victims’ Families Association (EEVFA) had filed the petition before the apex court seeking the constitution of a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the extra judicial killings in the state since 1978.

Appointing Menaka Guruswamy, a Supreme Court lawyer, as the amicus curiae into the matter, the bench consisting Justice Aftab Alam and Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai set 4 November as the next date of hearing.

Colin Gonsalves, appearing for the petitioner, told the Supreme Court that more than 1,528 people have been killed by security forces since 1978.

The petition also claimed that the killings took place when the victims were in the custody of police or other security forces.

The petition also stated that neither departmental enquiries were conducted into such killings nor the criminal investigations.

“Magisterial inquiries that took place sometimes were conducted by the executive magistrates under the cover of secrecy and most often without intimation to the eyewitnesses and the members of the families. They were conducted as an eyewash.” the petition said.

Families of victims see a ray of hope:

Responding to the developments, Neena Ningombam, secretary of Extrajudicial Executions Victims’ Families Association (EEVFA), said, “There is a hope of justice, that’s why we moved apex court.”

According to Neena she has knocked every possible door in pursuit of justice, but futile.

Neena, 33, is mother of two sons of age 10 and 5 years. Her husband Nongmaithem Michael was killed on 4 November 2008, by the security forces branding him as the terrorist.

(A group photo of victims’ families during a meet in last March. Courtesy-

#Blasphemy in #Islam: The #Quran does not prescribe punishment for abusing the Prophet #mustread


Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | Oct 2, 2012,

Blasphemy in Islam: The Quran does not prescribe punishment for abusing the Prophet
In Islam, blasphemy is a subject of intellectual discussion rather than a subject of physical punishment. This concept is very clear in the Quran.

In Islam, blasphemy is a subject of intellectual discussion rather than a subject of physical punishment. This concept is very clear in the Quran.

The Quran tells us that since ancient times God has sent prophets in succession to every town and every community. It says, moreover, that the contemporaries of all of these prophets adopted a negative attitude towards them.

There are more than 200 verses in the Quran, which reveal that the contemporaries of the prophets repeatedly perpetrated the same act, which is now called ‘blasphemy or abuse of the Prophet’ or ‘using abusive language about the Prophet’. Prophets, down the ages, have been mocked and abused by their contemporaries (36:30); some of the epithets cited in the Quran include “a liar” (40:24), “possessed” (15:6), “a fabricator” (16:101), “a foolish man” (7:66). The Quran mentions these words of abuse used by prophets’ contemporaries but nowhere does the Quran prescribe the punishment of lashes, or death, or any other physical punishment.

This clearly shows that ‘abuse of the Prophet’ is not a subject of punishment, but is rather a subject of peaceful admonishment. That is, one who is guilty of abusing the Prophet should not have corporal punishment meted out to him: he should rather be given sound arguments in order to address his mind. In other words, peaceful persuasion should be used to reform the person concerned rather than trying to punish him.

Those who adopt a negative stance towards the Prophet will be judged by God, who knows the innermost recesses of their hearts. The responsibility of the believers is to observe the policy of avoidance and, wishing well, convey the message of God to them in such a manner that their minds might be properly addressed.

Another important aspect of this matter is that at no point in the Quran is it stated that anyone who uses abusive language about the Prophet should be stopped from doing so, and that in case he continues to do so he should be awarded severe punishment. On the contrary, the Quran commands the believer not to use abusive language directed against opponents: “But do not revile those [beings] whom they invoke instead of God, lest they, in their hostility, revile God and out of ignorance” (6:108).

This verse of the Quran makes it plain that it is not the task of the believers to establish “media watch” offices and hunt for anyone involved in acts of defamation of the Prophet, and then plan for their killing, whatever the cost. On the contrary, the Quran enjoins believers to sedulously refrain from indulging in such acts as may provoke people to retaliate by abusing Islam and the Prophet. This injunction of the Quran makes it clear that this responsibility devolves upon the believers, rather than holding others responsible and demanding that they be punished.

Looked at from this angle, the stance of present-day Muslims goes totally against the teachings of the Quran. Whenever anyone – in their judgment – commits an act of ‘abuse of the Prophet’, in speech or in writing, they instantly get provoked and respond by leading processions through the streets, which often turn violent. And then they demand that all those who insult the Prophet be beheaded.

Muslims generally advocate the theory that freedom of expression is good, but that no one has the right to hurt the religious sentiments of others. This theory is quite illogical. Freedom is not a self-acquired right. It is God, who, because of His scheme of putting man to the test, has given man total freedom. Then the modern secular concept of freedom is that everyone is free provided he does not inflict physical harm upon others. In such a situation, the above kind of demand is tantamount to abo-lishing two things: firstly, to abolishing the divine scheme, and secondly, to abolishing the modern secular norm. Neither goal is achievable.

So the hue and cry against the so-called abuse of the Prophet is simply untenable. By adopting this policy, Muslims can make themselves permanently negative but they cannot change the system of the world.

There is a relevant Hadith in which the Prophet of Islam has said: ”Min husn Islam al-mar tarkahu ma la yanih” (A good Muslim is one who refrains from indulging in a practice that is not going to yield any positive result). This Hadith applies very aptly to the present situation of Muslims. They have been making noise for a very long time against blasphemy, but it has been in vain. Muslims must know that they are not in a position to change the world, so they must change themselves. There will be two instant advantages of adopting this policy: they will save themselves from becoming victim of negative sentiments and will be able to devote their energies to constructive work.

The writer is an Islamic scholar and founder of the Centre for Peace and Spirituality International.


Letter to Gujarat CM #Narendramodi on #SoniaGandhi #mustread

  • Letter to the Chief Minister of Gujarat by Social Activist Trupti Shah
  • Government of India should not hide the information about personal foreign trip expenses incurred by Central Government if any for Ms. Sonia Gandhi.

  • Information regarding travelling expenses of the Chief Minister of Gujarat and State Ministers during “Women Empowerment Sammelans” of 2007 under sought vide RTI application dated 18-07-2007 not provided and my Complaint No. 74/2008-2009 is pending before the Chief Information Commissioner of

    English: Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Guja...

    English: Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Gujarat, India, speaks during the welcome lunch at the World Economic Forum’s India Economic Summit 2008 in New Delhi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Dr. Trupti Shah,
37 Patrakar Colony,
Tandalja Road, Post: Akota,
Vadodara 390 020, Gujarat
Phone/Fax No: +91-265-2320399,

By Email & FAX
2 October 2012

Shri Narendrabhai Modi
The Chief Minister of Gujarat
Government of Gujarat
1st Block, 5th Floor, New Sachivalaya,
Gandhinagar – 382 010.

Subject: Government of India should not hide the information about the personal foreign trip expenses if any for Ms. Sonia Gandhi incurred by Central Government. Information regarding travelling expenses of the Chief Minister of Gujarat and State Ministers during “Women Empowerment Sammelans” of 2007 under sought vide RTI application dated 18-07-2007 not provided and my Complaint No. 74/2008-2009 is pending before the Chief Information Commissioner of Gujarat.

Dear Mr. Modi,

I agree with you that Government of India should not hide the information about personal foreign trip expenses incurred by Central Government if any for Ms. Sonia Gandhi. I believe you have no choice but to agree with me that this is equally applicable to you and the Government of Gujarat also.

An RTI application dated 18-07-2007 was filed by me to your office asking the details about expenses of Government of Gujarat for organizing “Women’s Empowerment Sammelans” in 27 places of Gujarat, just before 2007 State Assembly election. Till today I have not received the information about travelling expenses incurred by you and other ministers for travelling to 27 places for these sammelans.

Even after my repeated letters asking for the details about travelling expenses made by you, the Chief Minister and the other Ministers, it was practically denied to me by forwarding these letters not only from one department to another but also several times between the departments. My RTI application was not only forwarded to all the districts but even up to the block level in some cases.

At last I got the letter dated 01-11-2007 by General Administrative Department (GAD) which provided list of 27 places visited by you, the Chief Minister for “Women’s Empowerment Sammelans” between 10-03-2007 to 20-09-2007 but about travelling expenses the letter states that “As per the information provided by the office of the honorable Chief Minister, honorable Chief Minister do not mention the travelling expenses, so as far as travelling expense of the Chief Minister is concern, considered that as Nil.”

This was ridiculous and unbelievable as it is known that you have travelled to most of these places by helicopter.

The GAD’s letter dated 01-11-2007 was replied by me vide letter dated 20-11-2007 stating that since the list mentions the 27 places the Chief Minister had visited it follows that the expenditure on your travel  to these 27 places would have been borne either by some department of the Government of Gujarat and/or sponsored by some private parties and therefore it is incumbent upon you to provide me the names of persons/agencies who had spent/sponsored the travelling expenses and details of the expenses made by them. Then, since there was no response from your General Administrative Department, a reminder dated 18-01-2008 was sent to the department and your office, the CMO. Further reminder dated 17-04-2008 was sent to the General Administrative Department and the Chief Minister office. Your office always forwarded my all letters to other departments and surprisingly kept silence on my RTI application.

As a result of the silence of your office, I was forced to file a complaint under section 18(1) of the Right to Information Act, 2005 before the Chief Information Commissioner of Gujarat. On 03-05-2008 Complaint No. 74/2008-2009 was filed by me requesting the concerned authorities to provide me the information about the travelling expenses made by you, the Chief Minister and other Ministers who participated in the Sammelans. To date, I have not been provided this information.

In the last hearing dated 26-09-2012 of my Complaint No. 74/2008-2009, the Chief Information Commission orally directed the General Administrative Department (GAD) to collect the information demanded by me from the concerned departments and pass on this information to me before next hearing which may take place in October 2012. During the discussion of the hearing of the case the concerned officer of General Administrative Department (GAD) expressed helplessness by stating that such information is not available with them because though they have requested the office of the Chief Minister and office of the other Ministers for the information, it has not been provided to them. However, they stated that they will once again try to collect this information if available. Looking at discussion before the Chief Information Commissioner and after the hearing of case outside the office, I have a strong feeling that GAD will not be able to collect and send the information to me if the Chief Minister office does not co-operate.

Let me remind you the background of my RTI application as this was not asked just for curiosity by me. These sammelans were organized by you spending crores of rupees in one day programmes in the name of ‘Women’s Empowerment’ when the demand by the women of Gujarat for providing implementation machinery for the Domestic Violence Act, 2005 and the PCPNDT Act 1994 was denied by your Government in the name of lack of funds. Till today there are not enough full time ‘Protection Officers’ with effective infrastructure to implement these laws. Yet, the State Government was able to raise and spend more than 5 crores rupees on one day Sammelans across the state. I would also like to remind you that the partial information that I have gathered from various departments through my above mentioned RTI, this 5+ crores does not include the travelling expenses by you, the Chief Minister and other Ministers.

You are conveniently talking about the delay of Central Government for providing the information about travelling expenses for personal foreign trips of Ms. Sonia Gandhi that are incurred by the Central Government, if any. I agree that Central Government should not hide the information. The same should be applicable to you also. Please note, in your case the information was asked in the year 2007 and  5 years have elapsed and till today information about travelling expenses to 27 places for the Government’s specially announced “Women’s Empowerment Sammelans” by you, the Chief Minister and other Minister is not provided to me.

In this context I would also like to mention that no information has been provided to me regarding the expenses incurred by you and your ministers for the Government program called ‘Sadbhavana Mission’ dated 17-18-19 September 2011 for which an RTI application has been filed by me and fellow activist Rohit Prajapati. Since information was not provided to us, we were forced to file a complaint on 20-12-2011 and now our Complaint No. 610/2011-2012 is pending for hearing because of lack of staff and number of information commissioners in the state.

I hope that at least now you will direct your office to collect the information from the concerned Government Departments and provide to me after 5 years, in response to my RTI Application dated 18-07-2007.

Expecting positive response.

                                    Trupti Shah
                        [Dr. Trupti Shah]
Social Activist of Gujarat

Terror Without a Clue- Peoples Hearing Court #Fabricated

The Indian Police has been methodically harassing those protesting the State’s atrocities by framing false charges against activists and citizens concerned, finds a People’s Hearing Court

Shazia Nigar
New Delhi, Oct 2, 2012

The People’s Hearing on Fabricated Cases, organised by academicians, civil society groups and concerned citizens, was held in the capital on 28 and 29 September. Even though those who deposed before the court came from places as varied as Jammu & Kashmir, Odisha, Jaitapur (Maharashtra) and the Northeast, but their stories were uncannily similar: fabricated cases, harassment and the use of the legal machinery to shrink the democratic space that is enshrined in the Constitution.

Abhay Sahoo, leader of Posco Protirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS), from Paradip in Odisha, is a case in point. PPSS has been actively resisting the establishment of an integrated steel plant and a captive port by POSCO, a South Korean company, for the last seven years. The reason behind the sustained struggle is that more than 22,000 people belonging to Paradip will lose their land, livelihood and a sense of identity if the project goes ahead. Despite the peaceful and democratic form of protest employed by the locals, the government has strategically employed every means – democratic and undemocratic – to hand over the land to POSCO.

One of the strategies employed by the government, as Sahoo explains, is, “False cases. It is a weapon in the hands of the state governments to stop popular mass movements that demoralises activists and creates an atmosphere of fear. Almost 10,000 people involved with PPSS have not been able to come out of their villages for the last seven years. Isn’t this a lot more than a silent emergency?”

Implicated in fifty cases, ranging from murder, sexual assault, atrocities against Dalits and wrongful confinement, Sahoo spent fourteen months in jail in 2008-09 and another five months in 2011-12. Sahoo is not alone. There is Manorama, a young woman leader of PPSS implicated in 38 cases, including, bizarrely, charges of rape. Then there is Kamlesh who was implicated in a case that took place while he was still in custody. Besides these, 208 cases have been registered against 1,400 men and women who have dared to exercise their democratic rights. Fear of arrest makes it impossible for people to step out of their villages for basic needs such as medical treatment, education and even daily rations. The police are unable to pick them up from within the villages because of the strong resistance in the form of gheraos.

“Until now, I had been speaking about only others being implicated in fabricated cases,” said Seema Azad, a member of People’s Union of Civil Liberties and a journalist withDastak Ki Nai Awaaz in Lucknow. Today, she needs to defend her own case in a people’s court. She was arrested and spent a year-and-a-half in jail on charges of sedition and being a Maoist.

“Like in most fabricated cases, in my case, too, the place and time of my arrest in the police records are wrong. I was picked up in the morning, but the chargesheet says I was picked up at night. That day, I was carrying books with me, but they weren’t Maoist literature. The police planted these books. It’s not that I don’t read Maoist books, but on that particular day I didn’t have any on me.”

Throwing light on the dubious investigations carried out by the police, she recounted being asked whether she had visited Vishwanath temple. When she responded in the affirmative, the police said it was impossible because Maoists don’t visit temples. Then she was asked if she exercised, and on answering in the negative, she was told, “You must be exercising, as all Maoists do.”

“We should not call ourselves victims, we are the agents of change” said Shahina KK, a journalist and recipient of the Chameli Devi Award. She has been falsely implicated for ‘intimidating’ witnesses in the Muslim political leader Abdul Nasir Madani case. While at TEHELKA, Shahina had written an investigative piece on the fabricated case against Madani. But in an attempt to silence her, she was implicated in one.

Shahina says when she gathered some concrete evidence on how the false case against Madani had been built up, she received a call from the police, asking, “ Madam, everybody here says you are a terrorist. Are you?” Presently out on bail, she has to show up at the Bangalore High Court every month. For how long she might have to do that she doesn’t know, as the chargesheet has not yet been filed.

The others deposing at the hearing on day one were Shauzab Kazmi, son of Urdu journalist Syed Ahmed Kazmi who has been arrested allegedly in the Israeli embassy car blast case, and activists from Koodankulam and Jaitapur.

“Chaman Mein Har Taraf Bikhri Hui Hai Dastan Meri, Khamoshi Guftugu Hai, Be-Zubani Hai Zuban Meri”. Anjum Zamrud Habib from Kashmir described the situation in the valley by borrowing these words from Iqbal. A member of Muslim Women’s Organisation, she shared her experience of having to spend five years in Tihar Jail on being falsely implicated under POTA, and used the platform to talk about the clampdown of the State on anyone daring to stand for their rights in Kashmir. Babloo Loitongbam spoke on the extra-judicial killing of 1,500 people in Manipur; Omar Mukhtar and former MP Sabastian Paul spoke on behalf of Maulana Abdul Maudany.

Emphasising the need for documentation of such cases, Sajeed K, one of the organisers, said, “Until 2008, there did not exist any discourse on how the police was systemically targeting Muslims. It was then that we published a series on fabricated cases in TEHELKA, with relation to SIMI. Of course, the fabrication of the cases is not just against Muslims. Over the years, we have seen how the Indian police has systemically implicated human rights activists and community leaders who are leading campaigns against state terrorism. We need to keep up the pressure.”

The jury, consisting of Justice Rajinder Sachar, Saba Naqvi, Binayak Sen, Ajit Sahi and Ram Puniyani pronounced its verdict in favour of the people questioning the systemic and deliberate attempt to shrink democratic space for any dissent. It stated, “The role of the Indian state in fabricating cases of sedition and terrorism to implicate tens of thousands of innocent citizens across India has been thoroughly exposed in testimony after testimony presented at the People’s Hearing on Fabricated Cases.”

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October 2012
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