ATTN #delhi- Public Hearing on Women in the Unorganised (Unprotected) Sector in the Era of Globalization #Vaw #Justice


All Are Welcome !

Shahari Mahila Kaamgaar Union

(affiliated to National Alliance of People’s Movements)

Invites you to

Public Hearing  

on

Women in the Unorganised (Unprotected) Sector

in the Era of Globalization

Date: 11th February, 2013, Monday

Time: 11 AM – 5 PM

Venue : Indian Social Institute (ISI), Lodhi Road, Behind Saibaba Mandir, New Delhi

Dear Friends,

 

The harsh truth is that globalisation, liberalization, privatization and increased mechanization has further deprived a big section of the already marginalised population from access to land, water, forests, dignified livelhood and sources of energy. A powerful minority, old and emergent elite, has further established their empire on the land snatched from the large number of population. Indigenous communities are losing their rights on natural resources. Farm labour is losing out on work due to the extensive use of tractors, harvester and thresher. In this manner people living in rural areas are facing the crisis of livelihood. Henceforth, they are left with no other option than to leave their homes and migrate. It is earn their dignified livelihood, even if meagre, it is only the ‘city’ that they can look to. This city could be any city- Metros such as Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Delhi or smaller cities like Patna, Indore, Nagpur.

Most of the women migrating from rural to urban, end up as domestic workers in the urban middle class families. Some of them take up work as construction labourers, hawkers – vendors etc. considered as ‘unskilled work‘. It’s not only matter of their livelihood but also their right to shelter is under stake when they migrate from their ‘home’ land to a foreign land – cities.

 

Women working in the unroganiser and unprotected sector face numerous assaults, violence, marginalisation and difficultis and often it is difficult to estaimate the numbers. Like any other work categories it is always difficult to organise them and put up a resistance.  It is evident that to fight these atrocities, women domestic workers need to be unioninsed and put up a fight to protect their interest. The ‘Shahri Mahila Kaamgaar Union’ is a step in this direction for several years for the workers in Delhi. The key demands made by the women are the following:

  • A uniform law needs to be made for the welfare of domestic workers. Untill then Minimum Wages Act and other Labour laws must be applied to this category of workers too.
  • A body comprising of representatives from the government and domestic workers needs to be set up to monitor their real situation.
  • The minimum wages, working hours and time of remuneration should be fixed for Domestic Workers. Strict measures should be taken against those who flaunt it.
  • Complete profiles of all urban workers, their employers and all organizations linked to them should be done. A government agency should be set up for this purpose.
  • Other than weekly, monthly, yearly and sick leave, provisions should be made for emergency leave also for domestic workers. Pregnant workers should be given special leave of three months. All these leaves should be paid.
  • Strict punishment should be given to all those employers, placement agents and police personnel who subject domestic workers to physical, sexual and other kinds of abuse.
  • Other than financial aid, the government should provide other kinds of human support to those domestic workers who are crisis-struck.
  • All kind of middlemen and contractors should be removed between domestic workers and their employers.
  • To ensure security of livelihood, domestic workers and their families should be given insurance by the government
  • Along with an annual bonus and future investment options, annual wage increase adjusted with inflation should be given to these workers.

 

It is in this Context that, we are organizing the Public Hearing  on “Women in the Unorganised (Unprotected) Sector in the Era of Globalization”Expected panel for this Hearing includes – Kalyani Menon Sen, Jaya Srivastava, Kalpana Mehta, Subhash Lomte etc.  We would welcome your participation in this so that you can not only get involved in their issues but also provide support and strengthen the voices that are raising these demands. And to carry this initiative forward.

 

Zindabad!

 

 

Anita Kapoor,                        Poonam,                         Madeena Begum,

 

 

Mudra,                                   Lakshmi,                         Asha

 

 

 

Contact- Anita Kapoor – 09810787686

 

 

===============================================

National Alliance of People’s Movements
National Office: Room No. 29-30, 1st floor, ‘A’ Wing, Haji Habib Bldg, Naigaon Cross Road, Dadar (E), Mumbai – 400 014;
Ph: 022-24150529

6/6, Jangpura B, Mathura Road, New Delhi 110014
Phone : 011 26241167 / 24354737 Mobile : 09818905316
Web : www.napm-india.org

Twitter : @napmindia

 

Germany marks 80 years since Adolf Hitler rose to power


The rise of the Nazis was made possible because the elite of German society worked with them, but also, above all else, because most in Germany at least tolerated this rise,” Merkel said.
After winning about a third of the vote in Germany’s 1932 election, Hitler convinced ailing President Paul von Hindenburg to appoint him chancellor on Jan. 30, 1933 — setting Germany on a course to war and genocide.
“This path ended in Auschwitz,” said Andreas Nachama, the director of the Topography of Terror.
Hitler anniversaryA poster, front center, showing Adolf Hitler, right, and Reich Chancellor Paul von Hindenburg, left, is pictured at the ‘Berlin 1933 – the way to despotism’ exhibition at the Topography of Terror museum in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

David Rising, The Associated Press
Published Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013 6:57AM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013 11:18AM EST

BERLIN — On the 80th anniversary of Adolf Hitler’s rise to power, Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Germans to always fight for their principles and not fall into the complacency that enabled the Nazi dictator to seize control.

Speaking Wednesday at the opening of a new exhibit at the Topography of Terror memorial documenting Hitler’s election, Merkel noted that German academics and students at the time happily joined the Nazis only a few months later in burning books deemed subversive.

“The rise of the Nazis was made possible because the elite of German society worked with them, but also, above all else, because most in Germany at least tolerated this rise,” Merkel said.

After winning about a third of the vote in Germany’s 1932 election, Hitler convinced ailing President Paul von Hindenburg to appoint him chancellor on Jan. 30, 1933 — setting Germany on a course to war and genocide.

“This path ended in Auschwitz,” said Andreas Nachama, the director of the Topography of Terror.

The Topography memorial is built around the ruins of buildings where the Gestapo secret police, the SS and the Reich Security Main Office ran Hitler’s police state from 1933 to 1945. A stretch of the Berlin Wall along the edge serves as a reminder of Germany’s second dictatorship under the Communists in the 20th century.

Once chancellor, Hitler was able to use his position to consolidate absolute control over the country in the months to follow.

About a month after being appointed chancellor, Hitler used the torching of the Reichstag parliament building — blamed on a Dutch communist — to strengthen his grip on power. He suspended civil liberties and cracked down on opposition parties, paving the way for the police state.

By midsummer 1933, he had declared the Nazi Party to be the only political party in Germany. He later named himself “Fuehrer” or “Leader” of the country.

The fact that Hitler was able to destroy German democracy in only six months serves as a warning today of what can happen if the public is apathetic, Merkel said.

“Human rights do not assert themselves on their own; freedom does not emerge on its own; and democracy does not succeed on its own,” Merkel said. “No, a dynamic society … needs people who have regard and respect for one another, who take responsibility for themselves and others, where people take courageous and open decisions and who are prepared to accept criticism and opposition.”

Following the morning ceremony, Germany’s Parliament held a special session in tribute to those who died under the Nazi dictatorship.

Inge Deutschkron, a 90-year-old Jewish Berliner and writer, recalled Germans celebrating Hitler’s rise to power as she addressed lawmakers.

She remembered her family growing more tense over the subsequent weeks amid worries about Hitler’s paramilitary SA thugs who roamed the streets.

“Often, I couldn’t get to sleep in the evenings and listened for footsteps in the staircase,” she said. “If they were boots, I became afraid they could be SA men coming to arrest my father.”

Deutschkron’s father managed to escape to England shortly before World War II, while she and her mother were hidden by friends in Berlin for the final years of the war.

She recalled most ordinary Germans’ indifference to the fate of Jews, who were forced to wear yellow stars.

“The majority of Germans I met in the streets looked away when they saw this star on me — or looked straight through me,” she said.

And when she visited West Germany’s capital of Bonn after the war, she recalled that most “had simply erased from their memory the crimes for which the German state had set up its own machinery of murder.”

Deutschkron remembered West Germany’s first postwar chancellor, Konrad Adenauer, saying that most Germans opposed the Nazis’ crimes against Jews and that many had helped Jews to escape.

“If only that had been the truth,” she said.

Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/world/germany-marks-80-years-since-adolf-hitler-rose-to-power-1.1135535#ixzz2Jdcot88x

 

#India -Illegal eviction of Five Thousand People at EWS Quarters, Ejipura, Bangalore #NHRC


 

 

Justice K.G.Balakrishnan,

Hon’ble Chairperson,

National Human Right Commission.

 

Date : January 31, 2012

 

Dear Sir,

 

            Sub : Illegal eviction of Five Thousand People at EWS Quarters, Ejipura, Bangalore

 

Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), Bangalore’s local government along with the police demolished around 1200 tin-sheds , evicting 5000 slum dwellers  at the economically weaker sections (EWS) quarters in Ejipura from 18-21 January, 2013. About 1200 women and 2000 children were affected by this action. The four-day demolition drive razed around 900 tin-sheds that were erected at the quarters more than 11 years ago. No written notice was served to the residents. The demolition was accompanied by violent police action which included pulling people out of their homes when they pleaded for the house not to be destroyed ; lathi-charge of women and elders who resisted the demolition and the arrest of twenty one women[1] [1].

 

Since the night of 18th January, hundreds of families have been living out in the open, braving the cold. Toilets in the area have been demolished, water supply has been cut and there is absolutely no shelter provided. Senior citizens, children and pregnant women in the area  have been living in the open with serious risk to their health. Rosemary (60) one of the thousands rendered homeless by the eviction , died on the evening of January 22, after spending nearly three days out in the open. Her daughter says the death was a direct consequence of the demolition stating that she had barely eaten anything in the last few days[2].

 

People have been promised houses in Sulekunte village along Sarjapur Road. Sulekunte village is on the outskirts of Bangalore some 15 kms away from EWS quarters. The long distance means that residents would have to spend a lot for their commute to the city daily, for work. Karnataka Slum Development Board (KSDB) is supposed to build apartments for the 900 families in a 5-acre plot there. This may take any time between 1-3 years. Until then the government has failed to provide any alternative arrangements, even temporary, for the evicted people. BBMP claims that it is not responsible in providing interim relief to only 1512 original allottees and not the tenants and sub-tenants living at the quarters.

 

These actions are infringement of fundamental rights of the residents of Ejipura as the government has failed to abide by its constitutional obligations to guarantee the ‘Right to shelter’ and ‘Right to life and livelihood’ to its citizens.

 

Background:

In 1992, the Ejipura Quarters were built for policemen but were rejected by them as the quality of construction was very poor and even basic facilities like water and sanitation were not provided. The civic agency then allotted the quarters to the EWS. Many allottees continued to live in those poor conditions while some of the allottees rented it out to others who were in a worse off position than them. Thus, these buildings housed a number of poor people who were allotted the house and some very poor families, who stayed on rent in these blocks. Due to poor quality of construction of the EWS quarters, some of the blocks started cracking and collapsed in 2002, killing 3 people. Later, all the blocks even though experts ruled that with repairs, theywould be safe for living. Since then, many have been living in common tin sheds by the side of the demolished quarters.

 

Earlier in 2005, the BBMP passed a resolution to provide housing on the same land for all residents, including those it now dismisses as “illegal occupants” or “squatters”. In 2006, the BBMP had issued guritina cheetis/hakku patras (rights/identification certificates) to the people who were on rent from the original allotttees. These are the people whoim the BBMP now terms as encroachers.

 

Later, a Public Private Partnership (PPP) between BBMP and Maverick Holdings was signed to develop the land. As part of the joint development agreement half of the land is to be used for the construction of 1,512 EWS apartments. The other half will be used by Maverick Holdings to construct the mall. Eviction of residents for the project has been stalled several times since its inception with residents and rights groups staging protests, alleging that it smacks of a land scam.Incidentally Maverick Holdings are also the beneficiaries of another Joint Venture Programme on Magrath Road, which was initiated as multiple car park but instead got developed into the Garuda Shopping Mall. Complaints have been lodged against the said project and the said company before the Lokayukta that is seized of the matter presently (Case no.426/2008 with Karnataka Lokayukta).

 

Pursuant to this, the original allottees filed a case in High Court which ruled last August that BBMP and Maverick should go ahead with the project and that only original allottees should be given the new flats. Court also ordered Maverick Holdings to pay Rs. 30,000 to the original allottees still staying in the quarters, as compensation and ordered BBMP to provide rehabilitation for 1512 original allottees, except those who have accepted compensation, at Iglur on Hosur Road. It authorised BBMP to evict/eject all occupants from the site and if necessary taking aid/assistance of police force. Unfortunately, the order did not hear the people who were on rent and disregarded that those who are staying on rent for more than 15 years and, in turn, disregarding their right to housing on basis of perpetuity. (Writ Petition 45915/2011)

Later the people who were on rent, approached the Karnataka High Court(Writ Petition 42743/12) asking that the order in (Writ Petition 45915/2011) be stayed. The Karnataka High Court is still hearing the matter and even as it is doing so, BBMP and the police carried out these demolitions.

It is unfortunate that in a country where the housing rights of millions are not met, land m,eant for housing for the economically weaker sections is being used to build a mall. Utilization of public lands by the Government is controlled by the Public Doctrine and the Joint Venture defeats the public trust doctrine inasmuch as it allows the Private third party to extract profit from the public land which was meant for the housing of poor and vulnerable sections of society. It is pertinent to note that the land has been earmarked for the construction of houses for economically weaker section, and it was for this purpose that the EWS quarters was constructed, and the present Joint Venture takes away from the sanctioned character of the land.

BBMP’s Agreement with the Private builder is unreasonable, arbitrary, unfair and opposed to public policy, public interest and the public trust doctrine.

 

 

When on the one hand the efforts of the Hon’ble Supreme Court is to respect and realise the constitutional rights of the urban homeless, this demolition of the EWS slum, stands at cross-purposes with these efforts. It is just and necessary that immediate steps be taken to ensure that the displaced families have proper shelter, access to basic and other services.

 

Action Requested

We request the National Human Rights Commission to immediately look into this issue and ensure that the rights of the affected people are restored. We requerst the commission to direct the Government of Karnataka to –

1.       Conduct a an enquiry on the gross human rights violations  by the state  authorities during the demolition and eviction drive and

conduct a public hearing on the whole issue.

2.       Provide immediate housing or basic shelter in the same spot or at least in the same area.

3.       Grant compensation to all victims for injuries caused to them and damaging their belongings.

4.       Scrap the current PPP project and houses for all the original allottees and current residents to be provided in the same spot.

 

We request your urgent action in this matter to address the mammoth humanitarian crisis .

 

Yours Sincerely,

Isaac Arul Selva

Karnataka Slum Janandolana

 

Prabahakar R

Dalit and Minorities Land Protecttion Forum

 

Medha Patkar

National Alliance of People’s Movements

 

Information that cannot be denied to Parliament cannot be denied to you and me… but does it happen? #RTI


 

VINITA DESHMUKH | 31/01/2013 12:15 PM |  , Moneylife.com

Does this provision in Section 8 wherein, despite exemptions you have the right to information if it is of larger public interest being correctly interpreted by Courts? A study thinks otherwise

Notwithstanding Section 8 of the Right to Information (RTI) Act under which you are denied the right to certain information, there is a provision which states that, every citizen has the right to get that information which our elected representatives, have access to. It reads thus, “Provided that the information which cannot be denied to the Parliament or a State Legislature shall not be denied to any person.”

 

However, it has been observed in an expert study, conducted by the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) that the judiciary has been inconsistent in application of this provision and therefore “does not provide clarity of interpretation of this crucial provision of the RTI Act.’’

 

Sometimes, the judiciary applies it to the entire Section 8 (1) which should be the case according to the CHRI’s analysis but many a time in its judgment, the judiciary restricts this provision only to Section 8 (1)(j) which relates to protection of personal information. Such varied interpretation which is diluting the power of this provision says the study, would have adverse repercussions for citizens, if this trend continues in the court of law.

 

Interestingly, even the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), Government of India in its guidelines to public authorities, Public Information Officers (PIOs) and First Appellate Authorities (FAAs) at the Central and State level for implementing the RTI Act, directed them to follow this provision by stating that:  “The Act gives the citizens a right to information at par with the Members of Parliament (MPs) and the Members of the State Legislatures (MLAs). According to the Act, information which cannot be denied to Parliament or a State Legislature shall not be denied to any person.’’

 

However, many PIOs and FAAs continue to decline information and the matter goes to information commissioners who often order disclosure of information. However, petitioners seek legal intervention and it is here that the provision is not used in its true spirit, as per the study.

 

Venkatesh Nayak, Programme Coordinator, Access to Information programme, Commonwealth Human Rights Imitative (CHRI) conducted the study to highlight how the provision is being narrowly used. States Nayak, “In 18 judgments interpreting the provision, this is far from convincing. We have chosen one such issue for analysis where despite the existence of more than 15 judgments, the jurisprudence does not provide clarity of interpretation of this crucial provision of the RTI Act.  Settlement of access disputes in the High Courts has not always conformed to the doctrine of precedent.”

 

Nayak observes that, “Eight High Courts have interpreted the scope and application of the proviso under Section 8(1) varyingly. Starting with the Bombay High Court, in 2007, five High Courts (Bombay, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Madras and Patna) have interpreted this proviso in six cases as being applicable only to clause (j) of Section 8(1), namely, the exemption protecting personal information of an individual from disclosure. Three High Courts (Calcutta, Kerala and Punjab and Haryana) have in ten cases interpreted this proviso as applying to all exemption clauses listed in Section 8(1). In at least two High Courts (Bombay and Delhi) single‐judge and Division Benches have held contrary views indicating the lack of crystallisation of judicial precedent, regarding the interpretation of the scope and application of this proviso.’’

 

Section 8 (of the RTI Act) deals with exemptions to the right to information.  Nayak points out that:

•  Sub‐Section (1) lists out the specific exemptions to disclosure –namely, information that an applicant may not claim as a matter of right

•  Sub‐Section (2) provides for the disclosure of even exempt information when public interest in disclosure outweighs the harm to the protected interests.

• Sub‐Section (3) limits the operation of seven out of the ten exemptions up to 20 years for a given set of records. The exemptions relating to national security, foreign relations with foreign Governments, Parliamentary and Legislative privilege and Cabinet documents apply for an indefinite period of time.

•  A proviso is inscribed at the bottom of Section 8(1) which states that… Provided that the information which cannot be denied to the Parliament or a State Legislature shall not be denied to any person.”

 

The study highlights several judgments which have interpreted Section 8 (1) in different modes. In most of these cases, the High Courts have upheld the orders of information commissioners but the judgment is not based on a comprehensive look at this provision.  This study aims to provide insight into this discrepancy. Concludes Nayak, “We hope that in an appropriate case the true meaning of the proviso underlying Section 8(1) is interpreted by the courts with due regard to legislative intent and the drafting history of the RTI Act.’’

 

Following are a few examples:

 

Case 1: A member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) was sentenced to a month’s imprisonment for committing contempt of Supreme Court’s orders during his tenure as Minister in the Government of Maharashtra. He spent 21 days of his jail term in a hospital in Mumbai under the pretext of being treated for various illnesses.

 

A citizen sought medical reports of his treatment, under RTI, in order to ascertain why the MLA had spent most of the duration of his sentence in an air‐conditioned hospital. The Petitioner objected to the disclosure of his medical records claiming that such action would cause invasion of his right to privacy. The matter escalated to the State Information Commission which ordered disclosure in the larger public interest.

 

The Petitioner (the MLA) challenged the order of disclosure on various grounds includingthe right to privacy and the requirement of confidentiality of patient‐related information under the Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulations 2002.

 

A two‐judge Bench of the Bombay High Court upheld the order of disclosure of the Petitioner’s medical records in the larger public interest. (Mr Surupsingh Hrya Naik v/s State of Maharashtra Through Additional Secretary, General Administration Deptt. And Others, Bombay High Court [Writ Petition No. 1750 of 2007] decision date: 23/03/2007)

 

CHRI’s analysis: “The Court relied upon the judgement of a single‐judge Bench in an earlier dispute relating to access to information under the Goa Right to Information Act, 1997 (Goa RTI Act) to hold that the proviso underlying Section 8(1) applied only to clause (j)… The main cause in the Surupsingh Naik case was about an individual’s right to privacy in relation to his medical records. In our opinion inquiring into Parliament’s intent behind placing the proviso under Section 8(1) in the light of the Court’s earlier pronouncement was necessary before determining its scope and application. Instead the ratio of the Court in the Panaji Municipal Council case was applied mechanically without regard to the reasoning that informed it. In view of this glaring contradiction the Court’s reading of the import and application of the proviso underlying Section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act, deserves to be reviewed.’’

 

Case 2: An Applicant sought information about the appointment, posting, transfer and promotion of clerical staff employed by the Canara Bank (the Bank) in Ernakulam district of Kerala during the period 2002‐2006. The Bank denied access on various grounds. When the matter escalated to the Central Information Commission (CIC), it ordered that the information be disclosed. The Bank challenged this order before the Kerala High Court claiming the protection of Section 8(1)(e)‐ when information is available to a person in his fiduciary relationship‐ and Section 8(1)(j)‐ when disclosure of personal information has no relationship to any public activity or interest or if disclosure would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the individual. A single‐judge Bench of the Court rejected both contentions and upheld the order of the Central Information Commission. (Canara Bank vs the Central Information Commissioner and Another, Kerala High Court [Writ Petition (Civil) 9988 of 2007, decision date: 11/07/2007]7 2.1)

 

CHRI’s analysis: The Court independently held that the proviso applied to the whole of Section 8(1) and not merely to clause (j) of that Section. More importantly, the proviso to the section qualifies the section by stating that information which cannot be denied to the Parliament or a State Legislature shall not be denied to any person.

 

Case 3: A student sought access to his answer sheets in a Bachelor’s Degree examination conducted by the University of Calcutta. The PIO rejected the request without invoking any of the exemptions provided in Section 8 of the RTI Act. He merely stated, in an undated letter, that the University had taken a decision not to permit inspection of evaluated answer scripts under the RTI Act.

 

The matter escalated to the High Court where the University cited a decision of the CIC which had ruled in an earlier case that where Boards and Universities conducting public examinations had evolved a robust system of evaluation and, if, by their own rules, prohibited disclosure of evaluated answer‐sheets or where such disclosure would result in rendering the system unworkable in practice, a citizen could not seek disclosure of the answer‐sheets. The University also contended that answer scripts did not fall within the definition of information under Section 2(f) of the RTI Act and that disclosure of the evaluated answer scripts would endanger the lives of the examiners. The University contended further that the Supreme Court had in earlier decisions refused to order disclosure of such documents, so Section 8(1)(b) of the RTI Act would apply. A single‐judge Bench of the Court rejected these contentions in a well reasoned judgement and ordered the evaluated answer sheets to be disclosed. (Pritam Rooj vs University of Calcutta, Calcutta High Court [Writ Petition No. 22176 of 2007], decision date: 28/03/2008.)

 

CHRI’s Analysis: …The Court also took notice of the need for protecting the privacy of individuals. However the Court held that the proviso underlying Section 8(1) applied to the whole of that Section…The proviso at the foot of Clause (j) appears to cover the entirety of Section 8(1), notwithstanding the view taken by the Division Bench of the Bombay High Court. The manner in which the exceptions to the rule have been carved out in Section 8 and the proviso which appears to govern all the cases covered by Section 8(1) of the said Act, makes the exemption section exhaustive. [emphasis supplied]…That the Court rejected the finding of a larger Bench of another High Court without supplying a reasoned justification is problematic, particularly when both parties had used the ratio to support their contention..

 

 

Jan Swasthya Abhiyan (JSA) campaigns against outsourcing of diagnostic centres #Chhattisgarh


TNN | Feb 1, 2013, 03.04 AM IST

RAIPUR: Jan Swasthya Abhiyan,  today started a campaign against the proposed move of the government to outsource diagnostic centres at 379 public health facilities in the state. A public meeting was also held to show discontent with the decision.Talking to TOI, Sulakshna, member of JSA, said that instead of improving and expanding services in the existing system, the government is replacing it with private service providers. “What is disheartening is that the Raman Singh government has taken no lessons from other states where privatisation in this sector flopped,” she added.

Some senior officials in the state also agree that the government seems to be in a haste to privatise the service. They admit that flaws do exist in the system, the biggest being that privatisation would not solve the problem of understaffing. “How will the private sector get qualified staff in Bastar when the government cannot get it on their own,” one of them said.Experts say that unless and until checks and balances are put in place and they are implemented in letter and spirit, the move is bound to backfire. Moreover quality and not the quantity of the tests conducted should be the criteria and the same has to be monitored on day to day basis, a difficult proposition in the present scenario.A senior official commented that merely putting tough conditions on the contract paper will not resolve the problem. “What is required is monitoring, which is a difficult task”, he said.

 

Invitation- #Mumbai- Theatre of the oppressed- ‘ Tapori” @2Feb


TAPORI

Theatre-Art Performance Open for Rahiwasi Interaction

      • The Theatre of Oppressed

Zindabad!

Umang theater group and YUVA (Youth for Unity and Voluntary Action) are proud to present before you the first performance on stage of TAPORI which has been performing street theatre in various parts of the city.

TAPORI, an acronym for Theatre- Art Performance open for Rahiwasi (Residents) Interaction’ is a group of youth from Bandra who through theatre highlight the issues of their community and their daily struggles.

Munna Bhai Basti Chale’ is a satire on the lack of basic services such as water and sanitation in urban slums while ‘Kaam Karane ka Doosra Option’ is a humourous take on corruption.  Both these plays will be performed on the 2nd of February 2013 at 7:30pm.

 

Where: PL Deshpande Auditorium Maharashtra Kale

Academy, Near Siddhivinayak Temple, Sayani

Road, PrabhadeviMumbai – 400025

+(91)-(22)-24365990 | 24312956 | 24365997

Date: 02/02/2013 Time: 7:30 pm

We look forward to your presence at the performance.

In Solidarity

Contact : Aquila Khan 0929597546 Shabana Ansari 09594234789 Dinesh Mishra 09029956626

 

#India- Three dalits cut into pieces in Maharashtra #Vaw #Honourkilling


 

 

To

National Human Rights Commission, New Delhi.

A. COMPLAINANT’S DETAILS

1. Name: Manuski Trust
State: Maharashtra – 411006

B. Incident Details

1. Incident Place: Kharwandi, Ganeshwadi, Taluka: Newasa
2. State: Maharashtra
3. District: Ahmednagar
4. 1st January, 2013 C. Victim Details

1. Name of Victim
a. Sandeep Thanwar Male 26 Yrs Kinhi, Bhusawal, Jalgaon
b. Sachin Gharu Male 22 Yrs Erandol, Jalgaon
c. Rahul Kandare Male 20 Yrs Malkapur, Buldhana

2. No. of Victims: 3

3. State: Maharashtra

4. Religion: Hindu

5. Caste: SC

D. Brief Summary of facts allegations of human rights involved (Please see Appendix attached as Facts and Observation)

E. Whether complaint is against Members of Armed Forces/ Para-Military

F. We request the Chairperson, to

a. The matter should be given to CID for further investigation b. Immediate Relief and Compensation to be given to victims family c. The matter should be referred to special court and expedite the matter in 120 days..

*

 

After interviewing with the relatives of the deceased victims, villagers and police officials we are forwarding herewith the following observations of the fact finding committee.

1. The three deceased

1. Sandeep Raju Thanwar ( Age : 26, Resident of Village Kinhi, Taluka Bhusawal, District Jalgaon),
2. Sachin Sohanlal Gharu (Age: 22, Resident of Erandol , Jalgaon),
3. Rahul Kandare (Age: 20, Resident of Malkapur, District Buldhana) were working as Manual Scavengers at Trimurti Education society, Nevasa phata, District Ahmednagar. All of them belong to Mehter community (Scheduled Caste). All the three victims are migrated to the said village and stayed on the campus in the Trimurty School.

2. On 1st January 2013 Sandeep Thanwar received a phone call from one Mr Ashok Navgire informing him to reach the residence of Mr. Popat Vishwanath Darandale at Ganeshwadi Nevasa to clean the septic tank. Sandeep Thanwar along with Sachin Gharu and Rahul Kandale left for the residence of Poapt Darandale at around 11:00 am.

3. At around 8:30 pm Kapil Raju Thanwar, younger brother of Sandeep, received a phone call from Sonaii Police Station that dead body of Sandeep Thanwar in found in the Septic tank of Mr. Popat Dharandale. Kapil Thanwar rushed towards the residence of Mr Popat Thanwar. Kapil inquired with Mr Paraksh Dahrandale and Popat Dharandale about Sachin Gharu and Rahul Kandlae. He was informed that both of them left the place of incidence.

4. On 1st January 2013 at around 10:40 pm one Mr. Mukesh Changre, a relative of Sachin Thanwar filed a complaint in the Sonaii Police station. The dead body of Sandeep was thereafter send for postmortem.

5. On 2nd January 2013 the relatives of Sandeep received a phone call from the Sonaii police station that dead body of the other two members was found in the agricultural land of Mr Ramesh Darandale at Ganeshwadi, Nevasa. After visiting the spot where the dead bodies were found, people witnessing were shocked to see the dead body of Sachin Gharu. Both of his lower limbs were amputed from the knees and both the upper limbs were amputed from the shoulder. Also his head was chopped from the body. There were marks of injury on the head of Rahul Kandare. His dead body was also found near to the dead body of Sachin Gharu. Dead body of Sachin Gharu and Rahul Kandale were sent for Postmortem.

6. F.I.R was filed at Sonaii Police Station on 2nd January 2013 at 9”00 p.m. The Police arrested Mr. Ramesh Darandale, Prakash Darandale, Sandeep Kure Ashok Navgire and Popat Darandale. They were charged under section 302, 201 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code. On 5 th January 2013 after a representation made by the some social activists to the District Collector Ahmednagar the Accused s were charged with section 120(b) of Indian Penal Code and Section 3(2)(5) of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Caste (Prevention of Atrocities Act) 1989.

7. The fact finding committee also perused the postmortem report of all the three victims. In the report of Sandeep Thanwar the Doctor made an opinion that the death is due to cardio respiratory arrest due to asphyxia due to drowning. The body was stained with fecal matter. But it is pertinent to note that no faecal matter was found in the mouth or lungs of the dead body. The stomach was empty. Neither water, nor faecal matter nor food material is found in the stomach. This creates a strong suspicion that Sandeep Thanwar might have been killed by strangulation and then thrown in the septic tank. In case of the postmortem report of Sachin Gharu, the report do mention about the amputed limbs and head of Sachin, but what is surprising is that the report mention that the dead body was found wearing a jeans pant and a baniyan. If his lower limbs are amputed from the keens then in such a case jeans pant should have been torn. But the Postmortem report doesn’t mention the same. On the contrary it does mention that mud is stuck to all over the body, clothes wet with water. Thus it is possible that Sachin was made naked, killed, and then clothes were put on his body.

All the three victims belong to scheduled caste community. There is a whisper amongst the villagers that there was a love affair between Sachin and a girl from the Darandale family. This love affair was not appreciated by the family members of Darandale. This seems to be a case of Honour killing. The Police are investigating the case but has not yet been able to find out the motive behind this heinous murder.

There is no further development in the investigation. The accused are upper caste Hindus having a strong political influence in the locality. There is a sense of fear in the minds of the members of Scheduled Caste Community in the locality.

Members of Fact Finding Team:

Dr. Nitish Nawsagary, LLB LLM Ph D
Dr. Sidhartha Dhende
Adv. Sidhartha Shinde
Adv. Arun Jadhav, Member NHRC
Ms. Manisha Tokale
Mr. Sunil Chavan
Adv. Priyadarshi Telang
Mr. Rajendra Kale

 

source-http://atrocitynews.com

 

#Meghalayagangrape- 16 men raped an 18 year old , Yet No Outrage in the Hills #Vaw #India


Gangraped by 16 Men. Yet No Outrage in the Hills

Women are not safe from sexual predators even in Meghalaya’s matrilineal society. And it’s not a poll issue either, says Ratnadip Choudhury
Ratnadip Choudhury

Ratnadip Choudhury

January 31, 2013, Issue 6 Volume 10

Survivor The William Nagar gangrape victim with her parents, Photo: Ujjal Deb

ON THE night of 13 December last year, an 18-year-old girl was gangraped by 16 boys in William Nagar, the headquarters of the East Garo Hills district in Meghalaya, 240 km from Shillong. She was returning from the winter festival in the town along with two friends when the incident happened. “While my friends managed to escape, the boys hit me with stones and I lost consciousness,” says the victim. When she came to her senses, she found that her clothes were torn and the boys were raping her. Nine of the rapists were juveniles, and one a distant relative.

In the past decade, Meghalaya has seen over 800 rape cases, 500 of which are still pending trial in various courts. Contrary to the popular belief that women have greater control over their lives in matrilineal societies such as in Meghalaya, the condition of women seems to be no different here from the rest of the country.

“Our matrilineal society has become mere words on a placard, while the factors contributing to crimes against women in Meghalaya remain the same as in Delhi or Assam,” says Patricia Mukhim, editor of The Shillong Times. “There is little political will to change the situation.” In fact, there was a six-fold rise in cases of rape registered annually in the state between 2001 (26 cases) and 2010 (149 cases). In a state that boasts of women’s empowerment — where women inherit property and are seen at the forefront of domestic and public life — 830 rape cases between 2002 and 2012 should have shaken the conscience of the political parties and the administration, and forced them to act. Instead, the conviction rate remains awfully low, compensation is hardly awarded and there are only three fast track courts dealing with rape cases — one each in the Jaintia Hills, West Khasi Hills and East Khasi Hills districts. In the Garo Hills alone, which does not have a single fast track court, 23 rape cases, including two gangrape cases, have been pending for over a decade.

Though the William Nagar rape victim received a compensation of Rs 25,000 after human rights groups took up her case with the government, she asks, “What will I do with the money when I can no longer lead a normal life?” Her mother alleges that the doctors at the William Nagar Hospital refused to get her daughter admitted even though she was bleeding profusely. “Not only had the boys raped her, they had also mutilated her private parts and perhaps tried to kill her.”

The victim’s father thinks that the alarm bells are ringing for the community to wake up. “Earlier, there was no ‘culture’ of harassing women, but now the youngsters from the community — most of them school dropouts — are becoming violent and girls like my daughter become their victims.”

However, local community leaders and the political parties do not seem to care. “When we organised a public meeting after the William Nagar gangrape, none of them turned up. They only talk about the insurgency,” says Jaynie N Sangma of the Peoples’ Movement for Democratic Rights.

Even as Meghalaya goes to polls on 23 February, no party has raised the issue of sexual violence despite at least 13 women candidates expected to join the fray, including the lone woman in the Meghalaya Assembly, Urban Affairs Minister Ampareen Lyndoh. Also, of the total 14.8 lakh voters, 7.49 lakh are women, clearly outnumbering the 7.32 lakh male voters.

Deborah C Marak, one of the most prominent Congress leaders in William Nagar and the working president of the party in the state, did not even visit the rape victim. She did not respond to TEHELKA’s repeated attempts to contact her. “When she was attacked by militants in November last year, we took out protest rallies. She should also show the political will to fight for women,” says a woman Congress supporter on the condition of anonymity. The MP from Tura constituency in Garo Hills, Agatha Sangma from the NCP, also never took up this issue.

Jaynie has an explanation for this pervasive apathy. “Why would the politicians take up the William Nagar rape victim’s case and risk the wrath of the families of the 16 accused? In Meghalaya, each vote counts. As the community itself is least bothered about the issue, the political parties can afford not to speak out,” she says. Another factor is that women politicians have never had a strong voice in any political party in Meghalaya, as Mukhim points out.

WOMEN ARE unsafe not only in the underdeveloped Garo Hills, but also in the coal-rich Jaintia Hills and the relatively more developed Khasi Hills. In 2007, a 16- year-old girl was raped by her boyfriend and her throat slashed in Nongstoin in West Khasi Hills district. Though the girl survived after a month in hospital, the police passed it off as a “family matter” and the magistrate suggested a “compromise”.

“The entire system is indifferent towards rape victims. And if the accused are related to the powerful coal lobbies, there is huge pressure on the victim’s family to withdraw the case,” says Agnes Kharshiing, president of the Civil Society Women’s Organisation, which has been agitating against improper handling of rape cases.

The report of a committee on crime against women formed by the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly showed gross delays in the investigation of rape cases, but there is little pressure on the candidates of the 23 February poll to raise their voice for the rape victims. As the William Nagar rape victim puts it: “Women voters in the area should collectively decide not to support any political party unless they make crime against women a poll issue, but I guess women in Meghalaya are too weak to take such a bold step.”

ratnadip@tehelka.com

*NAMES WITHHELD TO PROTECT IDENTITIES

 

Death has gone visiting at the EWS Quarters, Bangalore #Vaw


MAULED

BY BASAVARAJ ITNAL , http://www.talkmag.in

Bangalore is losing prime public land to a builder with a track record of contract deviation. The crisis at the EWS Quarters site in Koramangala shows yet again how politicians and officials readily sacrifice citizens’ interests to favour themselves and their friends

You could see it as a dark joke. Or as a poignant drama in which the rich and the powerful, hungry for profits, drive out thousands of poor people from their ramshackle dwellings. It is all this, and more.

 

Death has gone visiting at the EWS Quarters, built by the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike in Ejipura, adjoining Koramangala, many times. In 2004, one of the 42 blocks collapsed, killing three residents. When the monsoons arrived in 2007- 08, another block collapsed, claiming three people, including a child. The latest casualty is a woman who reportedly died of shock after the eviction on Wednesday.

 

In the last 10 years, BBMP could have built new houses for the poor on the same expanse, but it dragged its feet, with the sole intention of evicting residents and handing over the land to a private developer. The company that has benefited from the BBMP’s delay tactics is Maverick Holdings and Investment Pvt Ltd, the same company that built the Garuda Mall in the upmarket MG Road-Brigade Road area.

 

Everyone who matters in the BBMP, the police department and the Vidhana Soudha knows Maverick Holdings has hoodwinked the government by grabbing four acres, which it got for free to build a public car park, to build Garuda Mall.

 

While at it, Maverick broke a few building bylaws, evaded stamp duty, and faced a Lokayukta inquiry. A more upright administration would have blacklisted them from future projects. But, even as citizens watched in disbelief, the BBMP has again entrusted 15 acres of prime land in Koramangala to this company with an untrustworthy track record.

 

The Garuda Mall story

 

In 2000, when the SM Krishna government convened its Global Investor Summit, the concept of public-private partnership (PPP) was mooted in the infrastructure sector. The BBMP invited tenders to build a multi-level public car park on a four-acre plot. The land, in the heart of the city, was being used as a lorry workshop by the municipal corporation.

 

The BBMP gave the land to Maverick for free, on the grounds that they were participating in a public infrastructure project. The developer was to build a car park and collect user fees for 30 years to recover their investment. Amidst reports of manipulation in bidding, Maverick won the contract and promised to build the car park according to the contractual terms.

 

But from 2000 to 2004, BBMP modified the terms of contract at the behest of Maverick, permitting them to create commercial space alongside the car park, and also to build a multiplex (now functional) and a business class hotel (yet to come up). In December 2004, the then Chief Minister N Dharam Singh inaugurated a swanky mall, which The Week magazine ranked as No 1 in the country. The public purpose behind the project had been completely defeated. It had now become a fully commercial project.

 

In effect, the citizens of Bangalore lost prime land to a builder, while parking continued to be a problem. During the construction, Maverick also encroached on 3,465 sq ft of public land. When the BBMP council raised the issue, Maverick said it would pay a penalty and regularise the deviations when the Akrama Sakrama scheme came into force. The scheme, which seeks to collect fines and legitimise violations, has encouraged large-scale deviations and turned urban planning into a farce.

 

Maverick and the BBMP signed their joint venture agreement on a Rs 200 stamp paper, while the stamp duty they owed the government exceeded Rs 1 crore. The Inspector-General of Registrations impounded the document in 2008

 

 

The EWS Quarters story

 

One of the mandates for the BBMP is to provide housing for the urban poor. In 1992, the BBMP said it would build flats for the economically weaker sections. It borrowed money from HUDCO, identified 15 acres it owned opposite the National Games Village in Koramangala, and drew up a plan. Forty-two blocks with 36 flats in each were built and went into the hands of beneficiaries identified by the BBMP. The police department, for whom it was first offered,turned it down, saying the construction was substandard. The final buyers paid a subsidised price, and the municipal authorities facilitated soft loans.

 

But within a year, the buildings developed cracks and looked run-down. The BBMP paid Rs 5,000 to each flat owner towards repairs. After a year, part of a block collapsed and the government constituted an expert committee to look into the quality of construction. The committee reported that the quality was dismal, and the blocks might collapse any moment. Clearly, people were risking life and limb by staying there. A callous BBMP did not initiate any action against engineers and contractors responsible for the poor quality of the construction.

 

Instead, incredibly, the BBMP decided to demolish all the blocks and build new flats. The government objected, asking how the new blocks would be funded. In reply, the BBMP said it would adopt the PPP route! The BBMP was entitled to recover the full cost from the contractor in addition to a penalty. It was dutybound to punish the engineer who allowed the contractor to get away with sub-standard work. But no, the BBMP was in a hurry to strike a deal with the private sector.

 

Maverick makes an entry

 

In 2004, the BBMP invited bids for the reconstruction of the EWS Quarters. The developer was to build single-room flats for the poor on five acres. To recover his costs, he would be allowed to build a mall in rest of the land, stretching to about 10 acres.

 

More than 30 bidders participated in the tender process, and three were shortlisted— Maverick Holdings, Akruthi Builders and IDEB. The Mumbai-based Akruthi Builders was the preferred bidder, according to an evaluation made by the Infrastructure Development Corporation of Karnataka (IDeCK). The BBMP opened the bids, but allowed Maverick to make a handwritten alteration to claim it was better than Akruthi. A dispute arose, and the BBMP referred the bids to three consultants. Maverick was favoured by two.

 

Eventually, in October 2006, the BBMP council passed a resolution favouring Maverick. Akruthi Builders challenged it in the Karnataka High Court, which stayed the project. In 2008, during President’s rule, the Karnataka government appealed to the High Court, promising it would act fairly if the court vacated the stay. The court obliged. Subsequently, the project was cancelled by the Governor’s executive committee.

 

Akruthi Builders continued to contest the case. After two years of litigation, the High Court ruled in favour of Maverick not after hearing the case, but on technical grounds. By then, BS Yeddyurappa had become the chief minister, and his first cabinet meeting approved the project in favour of Maverick.

 

Akruthi Builders filed a writ appeal only to withdraw it a few days later.

 

Who is Maverick?

 

Maverick Holdings and Investments Pvt Ltd is a company headed by former Karnataka Director-General of Police B N Garudachar. His son Uday Garudachar is its Managing Director. Other directors include family. Its office is on KR Road in Basavangudi.

 

The loose ends

 

  • The BBMP has entered into a joint venture with Maverick without the consent of the owners of the flats
  • The BBMP has not penalised or recovered costs from the contractors who first built sub-standard quarters.
  • The municipal authorities have not explored the possibility of building flats on their own.
  • The BBMP has not taken into account the poor track record of Maverick while awarding the project.

I sympathise with the poor families. We are aware of what Mavreick Holdings has done in the case of Garuda Mall. The EWS project has seen a six-year legal battle. It may be difficult to change or cancel the deal as many governments have approved it. I appeal to Bangalore citizens to give us suggestions on what we can do in this matter.

 

           

                                                                                                                                                                                           D Venkatesha Murthy,  Mayor

                                                                                                                                                                               

 

We are simply following a High Court order, which asks us to vacate the land so that Maverick Holdings can start construction. As far as their track record on Garuda Mall is concerned, we cannot comment. Both the government and the High Court have allowed them to participate in the EWS Quarters joint venture.

 

                                                   

                                                                                                                                                    H Siddaiah,  BBMP Commissioner

                                                                                                                                              

 

                                                                                                                        

 

 

 

State cabinet withdraws criminal cases against scribe Soorinje #goodnews


SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT, The Hindu

Mariam Alexander Baby, Polit Bureau Member of CPI(M), with Naveen Soorinje, at Wenlock Hospital in Mangalore. Photo: H.S.Manjunath
The HinduMariam Alexander Baby, Polit Bureau Member of CPI(M), with Naveen Soorinje, at Wenlock Hospital in Mangalore. Photo: H.S.Manjunath

 

The State Cabinet which met here on Thursday has approved the withdrawal of criminal cases registered against a television journalist-Naveen Soorinje , the minister for law and parliamentary affairs, Suresh Kumar told presspersons.

Mr. Soorinje covering Mangalore district for the channel, was instrumental in exposing the July 28 attack by activists of the Hindu Jagarana Vedike on a group of innocent boys and girls who were celebrating a birthday party at a homestay in Mangalore.

He was arrested on November 7 by the Mangalore police on charges ranging from “rioting with deadly weapons,” criminal conspiracy, unlawful assembly, and using criminal force on a woman with the intention of outraging her modesty. The police also invoked Sections 3 and 4 of The Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act 1986.

 

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