Open letter to Delhi Police for action against the police for sexual abuse, violence and initimidation #Vaw


Dated: February 9, 2013

 

 

OPEN LETTER TO DELHI POLICE AND OTHER AUTHORITIES

DEMANDING ACTION AGAINST THE POLICE

FOR SEXUAL ABUSE, VIOLENCE AND INTIMIDATION

 

Shri Neeraj Kumarji,

 

We, the undersigned individuals and organizations, are shocked by the reports of sexual harassment and sexual violence perpetrated by the police (in tacit association with some supporters of Narendra Modi), through its words, gestures and actions, on students who were protesting outside Shri Ram College of Commerce and at Maurice Nagar Police Station on February 6, 2013.

 

We are also dismayed by the vindictive, undemocratic and preemptive manner in which the police have filed ‘rioting’ and other criminal cases on February 7, 2013, against the protestors and victims of sexual harassment after they had filed FIRs against police harassment, while allowing the errant police personnel and others involved in taunting and beating up the protesting students to go free. The FIR is clearly meant to intimidate the students and frighten them into silence so that they do not file any further complaints against the criminal conduct of the police and Modi supporters. With the threat of criminal charges over their heads, if they so much as admit to being present at the protest to exercise their democratic rights, and especially when they are not guilty of any wrongdoing, students will be scared to complain against the ghastly sexual harassment.

 

On 6th of February, there was a large protest outside SRCC, Delhi University, against the invitation of and talk by Mr Modi by SRCC Students Union. The protest was organised by various students’ groups and individuals. The road in front of SRCC had 3 rows of barricades on each side, some of which were subsequently broken. Not only was the Delhi police  extremely vicious in their handling of the situation, their actions  were also  highly sexist and communal. They passed lewd remarks about women standing near the barricade. Some made kissing gestures and noises, asked women to come closer and talk to them. They also very openly stared and laughed at women in a way that was clearly sexist and disgusting, whistling and winking at and even groping the female students and beating them (and the boys) up sadistically with lathis. In addition water cannons were also used against them. They used the choicest abuses, with ‘kuttia’ (bitch) being among the mildest. When a woman student demanded that women police officers be present at the barricade as well to confront women students, she was told ‘aap aurat kahaan se hain’ (in what way are you a woman?). Women were also told repeatedly to give up as they were too weak to break barricades.

In all this harassment, students supporting Mr Modi and the police seemed to be  in connivance with each other, and literally amusing themselves in their harassment of the female protestors Some students (apparently from the ABVP) who were supporting Mr. Modi seemed to have the approval and indulgence of the police. They were allowed on the other side of the barricade. A few even climbed on to the police water cannons and danced on them as they were aimed at the protestors. Some openly threatened female students with Gujarat-like consequences – “Jo Gujarat mein huya vaise tujh me ghusa doonga” (Will thrust into you, as was  done in Gujarat), while brandishing a lathi and similar objects.  But none of these people was picked up by the police or detained. Instead, after lathi charging students, laughing and joking as they did so, the police engaged in picking up some of the anti-Modi protestors (including young women) and pushing them into a crowd of pro-Modi youth who then beat them in full view of the police. Some anti-Modi protestors were picked up and taken to the police station, and beaten up on the way (including on the head and groin with lathis). These included some students who had not crossed any barricades and were only shouting slogans and then protesting at the police behaviour. At the police station, women students who had come to enquire about others who had been picked up by the police were groped and felt up by the police when they tried to enter. (See a few eyewitness accounts in reference cited below)   

We are outraged by the sexually abusive and violent behaviour of men in uniform, behavior that has no place in discharge of the ‘law and order’ duties of police. This behaviour is offensive and unacceptable, especially coming from those entrusted with the task of protecting the citizenry, and is compounded manifold by the police actually aiding lumpen elements in sexual harassment of young women.

 

Coming in the wake of the recent horrific gang rape in Delhi, this raises huge questions and concerns about the safety of women in Delhi. How can young students ever have the confidence to approach the police to register complaints about sexual violence when policemen themselves indulge in this kind of sexual abuse and permit sexual intimidation in their very presence?

 

In the evening, when some of us learnt these details, we called up Ms. Sindhu Pillai DCP/North and spoke to her on the phone. She was in complete denial, extremely hostile and blamed the students themselves.  Our concerns were simply dismissed with a response that we should “file a complaint,” with justification of the actions of the police. However, in the light of subsequent events, the real intent behind this advice was possibly to identify more protestors so that the police could file criminal cases against the students. Whom should victims of police sexual violence turn to when even senior women officers of DCP rank harbour notions that girls should be “controlled” and should not be out protesting on the streets?  What is it if not a reflection of the mindset that girls invite trouble upon themselves by simply being out?

 

It is an extremely grave and worrisome reflection on the administration of the police force that nothing seems to have changed on the ground, even after tens of thousands protested on the streets of Delhi barely a month ago. How many more crimes will it take, how many more women will have to suffer harassment and violence, and die gruesome deaths, before the police reforms itself, and imbibes gender sensitivity, discipline and a sense of duty and responsibility towards the common citizens of this country? How can we ensure that the police just does its job?

 

The lack of accountability of the police is one of the significant reasons for the rampant sexual violence in the city and country. If there is any political will to stop this, it must manifest itself through :

  • ·        an immediate withdrawal of the vindictive and intimidatory police FIR which will deter any student from coming forward to complain against sexual harassment;
  • ·        suspension of errant officers (the concerned SHOs, ACP and DCP) pending a transparent, and public, inquiry by officers who inspire public confidence.

 

Prompt and strict action alone can end this impunity. We demand that the state and central governments demonstrate their intent and sincerity to make Delhi a safe place. 

 

  1. Prof. Malini Bhattacharya, Ex Chairperson, NCW
  2. Prof Uma Chakravarti (Retd), Delhi University
  3. Brinda Karat, Former MP, Rajya Sabha
  4. Prof Nandini Sundar, Delhi University
  5. Prof Utsa Patnaik (Retd),, JNU
  6. Prof.Vimal Thorat
  7. Githa Hariharan, Author
  8. Prof Zoya Hasan, JNU
  9. Prof Mary E John, Centre for Women’s Studies and Development
  10. Seema Mustafa, Centre for Policy Analysis
  11. Shabnam Hashmi, Anhad
  12. Sehba Faruqui, AIDWA
  13. Annie Raja, NFIW
  14. Kalpana Mehta, SAHELI
  15. Kavita Shrivastava, PUCL
  16. Vrinda Grover, Advocate
  17. Prof Satish Deshpande, Delhi University
  18. Prof Prabhat Patnaik (Retd), JNU
  19. Prof. Amiya Bagchi, Institute of Development Studies Kolkata
  20. Prof Kamal Mitra Chenoy, JNU
  21. Prof Anand Chakravarti (Retd), Delhi University
  22. Prof. Mukul Priyadarshini, Delhi University
  23. Prof. Rajni Palriwala, Delhi University
  24. Prof Dwijendra Nath Kalia, Delhi University
  25. Prof Sumangala Damodaran, Delhi University
  26. Prof Saumyajit Bhattacharya, Delhi University
  27. Prof Pragati Mahapatra, Delhi University
  28. Prof Ashwini Deshpande, Delhi University
  29. Prof Lata Singh, Delhi University
  30. Prof Shamsul Islam, Delhi University
  31. Prof Mona Das, Delhi University
  32. Prof Shashishekhar Singh, Delhi University
  33. Prof Inder Dutt, Delhi University
  34. Prof Tara Negi, Delhi University
  35. Prof Reyaz Ahmad, Delhi University
  36. Prof. Ravinder Jha, Delhi University
  37. Prof Rajiv Jha, Delhi University
  38. Jagmati Sangwan, AIDWA
  39. Prof Jayati Ghosh, JNU
  40. Prof Anuradha Chenoy, JNU
  41. Prof. Janaki Nair, JNU
  42. Prof Kumkum Roy, JNU
  43. Ranjana Nirula, CITU
  44. AR Sindhu, AIFAWH
  45. Prof SS Jodhka, JNU
  46. Prof. CP Chandrashekar, JNU
  47. Surajit Mazumdar, Ambedkar University, Delhi
  48. Prof Mritiunjoy Mohanty, IIM, Kolkata
  49. Ram Rahman, SAHMAT
  50. Prof. K J Mukherjee, JNU
  51. Prof. Praveen Jha, JNU
  52. Prof Mohan Rao, JNU
  53. Prof Girish Aggarwal, IIT, Delhi
  54. Arindam Banerjee, Ambedkar University, Delhi
  55. Nandini Rao
  56. Prof Ayesha Kidwai, JNU
  57. Prof Rohit, South Asian University (SAU)
  58. Smita Gupta, AIDWA
  59. Akhila Singh, Indian School of Women’s Studies and Development
  60. Prof. G Arunima, JNU
  61. Sadhna Arya
  62. Harsh Kapoor, South Asia Citizens Web
  63. Indira Chakravarthi, Women Against Sexual Violence & State Repression
  64. Prof. Archana Prasad, Jamia Millia Islamia
  65. Prof Vamsi Vakulabharanam, University of Hyderabad
  66. Shalini Gera, DU
  67. Prof Shamim Modi, TISS
  68. Justin Burrett (BCL)
  69. Mamata Dash, WSS, Delhi
  70. Komita Dhanda, JANAM
  71. Anurag Modi, Shramik Adivasi Sangthan
  72. Prof G Omkarnath, University of Hyderabad
  73. Asha Mishra (BGVS)
  74. Manoj Kulkarni (Tulika Samwad)
  75. Prof Anoop Saraya (AIIMS)
  76. Neelima Sharma (Artist)
  77. Sameer Dossani (Journalist)
  78. Dr Rahul Singh (Delhi)
  79. Dipa Sinha, JNU
  80. Shweta, JNU
  81. Sanjay Basu Mullick, All India Forum of Forest Movements (AIFFM)
  82. Zakia Soman, Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan
  83. Suneeta Dhar
  84. Madhu Bala
  85. Rahul Roy
  86. Kamayani Bali Mahabal ( Human rights lawyer and activist )
  87. Uma V. Chandru, WSS Karnataka
  88. Shraddha Chickeru
  89. Geetha Nambisan
  90. Elisabeth Armstrong
  91. Madhurima Nundy
  92. Prof. N. Raghuram, President, IPU Teachers Association
  93. Prof Vijita S Aggarwal, IP University
  94. Bhargavi Dilipkumar, Delhi Forum
  95. Prof Shalini Arora, IGIT
  96. Annie Jangam
  97. Sarvesh Tripathi USMC, IP University
  98. Prof. Chhaya Ravi Kant, IP University
  99. Nakul Sawhney
  100.   Prof Ritoo Jerath, JNU
  101.  Vimal Bhai, NAPM
  102.   Kiran Shaheen, Women for Water Democracy
  103.    Anurag Modi, Shramik Adivasi Sangathan
  104.   Warisha Farasat, Lawyer
  105. Anjali Sinha
  106.  Nalini Vishwanathan

 

#India- wake up—World’s biggest nuke plant may shut: Japan report


by Staff Writers
Tokyo (AFP) Jan 25, 2013

The largest nuclear power plant in the world may be forced to shut down under tightened rules proposed by Japan’s new nuclear watchdog aimed at safeguarding against earthquakes, a report said Friday.

Fukushima operator Tokyo Electric Power‘s vast Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant in central Japan could be on the chopping block if the Nuclear Regulation Authority expands the definition of an active fault.

The movement of a fault — a crack in the earth’s crust — can generate massive earthquakes like the one that sparked a tsunami that slammed into the Fukushima Daiichi plant in March 2011, setting off the worst atomic crisis in a generation.

The watchdog is planning to define an active fault as one that moved any time within the past 400,000 years, rather than the current 120,000 to 130,000-year limit, an official told AFP, which could spell the end of the TEPCO plant.

“The new guidelines will be put into effect in July, and then we will re-evaluate the safety of each of Japan’s nuclear plants,” said the NRA official, adding no decisions would be made until the new rules were in place.

At least two “non-active” faults underneath the site’s reactors could be ensnared by the new definition, forcing its closure, according to a report in the mass-circulation Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper on Friday.

Other Japanese media have carried similar reports.

A company spokesman said TEPCO was conducting more tests on the faults underneath the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant, the world’s biggest by generating capacity.

The NRA is conducting or planning to conduct investigations into six other nuclear plants in Japan.

At present only two of the country’s 50 reactors are operational, after the entire stable was shuttered over several months for scheduled safety checks. Public resistance has meant the government has been reluctant to give the go-ahead for their re-starting.

The two reactors that are working are both being investigated by seismologists.

In 2007, the government ordered the temporary closure of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake destroyed hundreds of homes in the area and jolted the sprawling plant, which was close to the quake’s epicentre, leading to a small radiation leak.

The 9.0-magnitude earthquake that struck off Japan’s northeastern coast in 2011 triggered the tsunami that left about 19,000 dead and set off the emergency at Fukushima.

No one is officially recorded as having died as a direct result of the nuclear catastrophe, but radiation leaks forced tens of thousands of people from their homes and left swathes of agricultural land unfarmabl

 

Karnataka High court orders notice to planningcommission, UIDAI chairperson #aadhaar #UID


200 px

200 px (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

TNN | Feb 9, 2013, 07.21 AM IST

 

 

 

BANGALORE: The Karnataka high court on Friday admitted a regular first appeal (RFA) on the Aadhaar issue. The petition is against the dismissal of a suit by a city civil court in Bangalore wherein Aadhaar, the mega UID project of the central government, was sought to be declared as illegal.

 

 

Justice Jawad Rahim admitted the RFA filed by VK Somashekar, a social activist, and ordered notice to the chairperson of Unique Identification Authority of India ( UIDAI) and the chairperson of the Planning Commission of India in addition to Mathew Thomas, a missile scientist and a co-plaintiff in the suit.

 

 

The appellant has challenged the July 3, 2012 verdict of the XVI additional city civil and sessions court dismissing their suit by imposing a cost of Rs 25,000 each.

 

 

On July 3, the lower court had dismissed the plea terming it as not maintainable and asked the plaintiffs to pay the cost to the central government.

 

 

“Aadhaar is essential to Indian citizens for their welfare and also for security reasons in order to safeguard our citizens from terrorists and for identifying terrorists. Further, it is not compulsory. The government of India and government of Karnataka are there to look after the genuine utilization of the tax money for the welfare of the society,” the civil court had observed in its judgment.

 

 

The plaintiffs have contended that the scheme was designed for the benefit of a few private companies and without any serious study. “There are complaints of large-scale violations. Aadhaar scheme has been illegally designed without any semblance of a statutory right,” the petitioners had claimed.

 

 

A Collaborator in Kashmir #Afzalguru #mustread


  • By: Amitava Kumar
  • PUBLISHED ON MARCH 23, 2010,

“A Collaborator in Kashmir” appears in PEN America 10: Fear Itself.

After flights from Delhi to Jammu and then on to Srinagar, I rode north in a taxi to Sopore, closer to the Pakistan border. I’d come to Kashmir to meet Tabassum Guru, whose husband is on death row in Delhi. But when I stood before her, Tabassum waved me away. She had no desire to meet with journalists.

For his role in the 2001 attack on the Indian Parliament, Mohammad Afzal Guru was sentenced to death by hanging. Another defendant was condemned to ten years in prison; two others were acquitted. Afzal Guru’s hanging, scheduled for October 20, 2006, was stayed after a mercy petition was filed with the President. In its judgment on his appeal, the Supreme Court had recognized that the evidence against Afzal was circumstantial and that the police had not followed legal procedures. Nevertheless, the judgment stated, the attack on the Indian Parliament had “shaken the entire nation, and the collective conscience of the society will only be satisfied if capital punishment is awarded to the offender.”

In response, a group of Kashmiri leaders passed a resolution that read, in part, “We the people of Kashmir ask why the collective conscience of the Indians is not shaken by the fact that a Kashmiri has been sentenced to death without a fair trial, without a chance to represent himself?”

Afzal’s family could not afford a lawyer, and the court-appointed lawyer never appeared. A second lawyer was appointed, but she wouldn’t take instructions from her client and agreed to the admission of documents without proof. Afzal then gave the court four names of senior advocates, but they refused to represent him. The court chose another lawyer; this one said he did not want to appear for Afzal, and Afzal expressed a lack of confidence in him. But the court insisted—which is why the Kashmiri leaders asked whether it was Afzal’s fault that Indian lawyers thought it “more patriotic” to allow a Kashmiri to die than to ensure that he received a fair trial.

Only the naïve assume that the conflict in Kashmir is between fanatical militants and valiant soldiers. The real picture is darker and more complicated. In a system where the conventional economic nodes no longer function, and all resource lines intersect at some level with the security-state, there is a sense of enormous, often inescapable, dependency on those who are clearly seen as oppressors. This has bred complex schizophrenia. The writer Arundhati Roy has written, “Kashmir is a valley awash with militants, renegades, security forces, double-crossers, informers, spooks, blackmailers, blackmailees, extortionists, spies, both Indian and Pakistani intelligence agencies, human rights activists, NGOs, and unimaginable amounts of unaccounted-for money and weapons….It’s not easy to tell who is working for whom.”

Tabassum Guru illuminated this murky landscape in the night-flare of a statement she wrote for The Kashmir Times in 1994. “A Wife’s Appeal for Justice” is anguished and unafraid. It tells the story of how the police and the armed forces have turned Kashmiris into collaborators; although the statement is no more than fifteen hundred words long, it starkly demonstrates the costs of military occupation. She begins with her husband’s story.

In 1990, like thousands of other Kashmiri youths, Afzal Guru joined the movement for liberation. He had been studying to be a doctor, but instead went to Pakistan for training. He returned three months later, disillusioned. The Border Security Force gave him a certificate stating that he was a surrendered militant. His dream of becoming a doctor was now lost; instead, he started a small business dealing in medical supplies and surgical instruments. The following year, in 1997, he got married. Afzal was twenty-eight, and Tabassum eighteen.

After his surrender, Afzal was often harassed and asked to spy on other Kashmiris suspected of being militants. (Sartre, writing more than fifty years ago: “The purpose of torture is not only to make a person talk, but to make him betray others. The victim must turn himself by his screams and by his submission into a lower animal, in the eyes of all and in his own eyes.”) One night, members of a counterinsurgency unit, the Special Task Force, took Afzal away. He was tortured at an STF camp.

Dravinder Singh, one of the officers mentioned in Tabassum’s appeal, has been frank about the necessity of torture in his line of work. He has stated that torture is the only deterrent to terrorism. Singh spoke to a journalist about Afzal Guru in a recorded interview: “I did interrogate and torture him at my camp. And we never recorded his arrest in the books anywhere. His description of torture at my camp is true. That was the procedure those days and we did pour petrol in his arse and gave him electric shocks. But I could not break him. He did not reveal anything to me despite our hardest possible interrogation.” Azfal’s torturers demanded that he pay one lakh rupees, and Tabassum sold everything she had, including the little gold she had received when she married.

In the statement she wrote in 2004, Tabassum Guru sees her suffering in the light of what other Kashmiris have experienced: “You will think that Afzal must be involved in some militant activities that is why the security forces were torturing him to extract information. But you must understand the situation in Kashmir, every man, woman and child has some information on the movement even if they are not involved. By making people into informers they turn brother against brother, wife against husband and children against parents.”

After his release from the camp, where his interrogators had attached electrodes to his penis, Afzal needed medical treatment. Six months later, he moved to Delhi. He had decided that he would soon bring Tabassum and their little son, Ghalib, to a place he had rented. But while in Delhi, Afzal received a call from STF’s Dravinder Singh, his former torturer. Singh said that he needed Afzal to do a small job for him. He was to take a man named Mohammad from Kashmir to Delhi, which he did, and he also accompanied the same Mohammad to a shop where he bought a car. The car was used in the attack on the Parliament, and Mohammad was identified as one of the attackers.

As Afzal waited in Srinagar for a bus to Sopore, he was arrested and brought to the STF headquarters and then to Delhi. There he identified the slain terrorist Mohammad as someone whom he knew. This part of his statement was accepted by the court, but not the part where he said he was acting under the direction of the STF. Tabassum wrote, “In the High Court one human rights lawyer offered to represent Afzal and my husband accepted. But instead of defending Afzal the lawyer began by asking the court not to hang Afzal but to kill him by a lethal injection. My husband never expressed any desire to die. He has maintained that he has been entrapped by the STF.”

When I arrived in Sopore in my hired car, I noticed soldiers on the streets and on rooftops. There had been soldiers in Srinagar, too, but it was different here. We had left behind the painted roadside signs put up by the army and paramilitary units with messages like “Kashmir to Kanyakumari India is One.” In this town, there were only small, often half-finished houses and grimy stores. I got out of the car to ask about the hospital where Tabassum Guru worked.

She was at the cashier’s desk in the Inpatient Block, a tall woman in green shalwar-kameez, her head covered with a dupatta. She said she didn’t want to talk to me. I went outside to call friends in Srinagar, and learned that a week or two earlier two journalists from Delhi had done a sting. Afzal’s brothers had been collecting money for his defense but using the cash to buy property instead. The journalists had brought a spy camera and asked Tabassum if she felt that she had been betrayed by the Kashmiri leadership.

I decided to wait. I had come too far. Patients kept walking up to the entrance of the hospital, and a pony cart dropped off a sick woman. My driver, Shafi, having learned that I was visiting from New York, wanted to know where in America were the World Wrestling Federation’s matches held. We talked for a while, and then went inside the hospital again. A large crowd waited in the area marked Outpatient Block. Most people stood in the corridor, jostling against each other with a feverish energy that required good health. The few chairs were occupied and those who were sitting had adopted postures that suggested they’d been waiting for days. A sign on the wall said: UTILIZE YOUR WAITING TIME EFFECTIVELY—PLAN THINGS TO DO—MEDITATE—DO BREATHING EXERCISES—CHANT A HOLY NAME—READ BOOKS. I studied that sign for a while but felt agitated and decided to tell Tabassum that I was leaving. She nodded and half-smiled, then said goodbye.

From the road outside the hospital, lined with walnut and willow trees, I could see the snow-covered mountains. Shafi was full of ideas about how I might have persuaded Tabassum to talk to me. He said I should have told her that what I wrote would help her husband. But I had seen pictures of mobs in Delhi and elsewhere burning effigies of Mohammad Afzal; activists for the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party had exploded firecrackers on the streets outside the courthouse when he was first condemned to death; the print and television media had repeatedly described him as a terrorist mastermind. How could I have assured Tabassum that what I wrote would help?

When the journalists had interviewed her about Afzal’s brothers, Tabassum had said that she had never asked anyone for money to help in her husband’s legal case. She had said, “Mera zamir nahin kehta” (“My conscience doesn’t allow it”). I thought of that statement again when, in Delhi a week later, I watched Sanjay Kak’s filmJashn-e-Azadi (How We Celebrate Freedom), which documents the cost of violence in Kashmir. An indigent woman in a hamlet is asked whether she has received the promised financial compensation from the armed forces for the wrongful death in her family. The woman, her hands beating her breast, replies, “They have snatched my child from my bosom. I’ll eat pig’s meat but not accept compensation from the army.”

Soon after my return from Kashmir to upstate New York, where I work, I read Orhan Pamuk’s memoir, Istanbul. In his youth, Pamuk wanted to be a painter, and he still saw his city with the eyes of an artist. “To see the city in black and white,” Pamuk writes, “to see the haze that sits over it and breathe in the melancholy its inhabitants have embraced as their common fate, you need only to fly in from a rich western city and head straight to the crowded streets; if it’s winter, every man on the Galata bridge will be wearing the same pale, drab, shadowy clothes.”

Reading those words, I thought again of Srinagar. I had flown in from “a rich Western city,” and everything there looked drab to me, draped in a dirty military green. Every house that was new looked gaudy and vulgar or curiously incomplete. Many structures were shuttered, or burnt black, or simply falling down due to disrepair. Pamuk writes that those who live in Istanbul shun color because they are grieving for a city whose past aura has been tarnished by more than a hundred and fifty years of decline. I believe Pamuk was also describing plain poverty.

Jashn-e-Azadi had shown me another Srinagar. The film’s richness lay in the space it created, in the viewer’s mind, despite the violence, for thought and for color. The filmmaker had discovered again and again in the drabness of the melancholy the gleam of memory: the memory of blood on the ground, of the beauty of the hills and red poppies, of the keening voices of mothers and painted faces of village performers. Also the memory of the dead, of falling snow, of new graves everywhere, and the shining faces crying for freedom.

In a travelogue written more than four decades ago, V.S. Naipaul described how out of the “cramped yards, glimpsed through filth-runnelled alleyways, came bright colors in glorious patterns on rugs and carpets and soft shawls, patterns and colors derived from Persia, in Kashmir grown automatic, even in all their rightness and variety…” In Kak’s film, riotous color is glimpsed only when we see tourists donning traditional Kashmiri costumes for photographs, holding pots filled with plastic flowers.

When I think of the melancholy of Afzal and Tabassum Guru, it isn’t color that I seek, but a narrative to give sustenance to their lives. That is what was powerful about the story that Tabassum told: She gave coherence to what had been their experience and the ways it resonated with the experiences of other young Kashmiri couples.

As with Pamuk’s Istanbul, I found traces of Srinagar in a film about another distant place. Paradise Now, directed by Hany Abu-Assad, tells the story of two friends on the West Bank, Said and Khaled, who are recruited to carry out a terrorist attack in Tel Aviv. The two young men are disguised as settlers going to a wedding. The would-be bombers get separated at the border, and the plan is called off, instigating some reflection and doubt on Khaled’s part. But Said is determined. We learn about his motivation when, in the company of Suha, a young woman who has just returned to Palestine, he goes into a watch shop, and Suha notices that videos are also available at the shop. These videos show the execution of collaborators, and Suha is shocked. She asks, “Do you think it’s normal that those videos are for sale?” Said replies, “What is normal around here?” Then he tells Suha, quietly, that his father was a collaborator. He was executed.

In Nablus, cars keep breaking down. Nothing works. The houses look either bombed or unfinished. In all of this, Nablus resembles Srinagar. Nablus is also like Srinagar in the ways in which its children are scarred by violence. I’m thinking of Ghalib, Afzal and Tabassum’s son, as well as thousands of other Kashmiris. It is horrifying but not difficult to imagine that many of them will find words to offer as testimony which are similar to those Said, sitting in an empty room, speaks to the camera just before he leaves on his suicide mission:

The crimes of occupation are endless. The worst crime of all is to exploit the people’s weaknesses and turn them into collaborators. By doing that, they not only kill the resistance, they also ruin their families, ruin their dignity and ruin an entire people. When my father was executed, I was ten years old. He was a good person. But he grew weak. For that, I hold the occupation responsible. They must understand that if they recruit collaborators they must pay the price for it. A life without dignity is worthless. Especially when it reminds you day after day of humiliation and weakness. And the world watches, cowardly and indifferent.

 

Protests against Afzal Guru’s hanging at Jantar Mantar, 21 detained


|

GAUTAM NAVLAKHAS FACE SMEARED BLACK BY BAJRANG DAL GOONS

 

Muhammad Zulqarnain Zulfi : New Delhi, Sat Feb 09 2013, 1

Delhi police lathicharge protestors at Jantar Mantar, demonstrating against the hanging of Afzal Guru and detained at least 21 Kashmiri students. Female students were also assaulted.

The Kashmiri students were protesting against the ‘hanging’ of Afzal Guru when RSSBJP activists attacked them, witnesses say.

All the detained kashmiri students including girls were taken to Mandir Marg police station. Girls were threatened by the RSS activists.

Social activist Gautam Navlakha was also beaten up during the protest.

Senior journalist Iftikhar Geelani has also been put under house arrest since early morning today.

Media persons also faced the wrath of the RSS who also threatened dire consequences and barred them from doing their professional duties, witness say.

Mudasir, Jamia, Athar Rather Jamia, Umair Gul, Jamia, Umar Bashir, DU, Najeeb Hussain JNU, Fayaz Dar, Jamia, Aymon Majid, Jamia, Bhat Iqbal JNU, Shahid JNU, Insha Malik, Souzina Mushtaq, Samia Latief, Mustafa, Bhawneet, Shivani, Sabika, Umar, Aniben, Zamrooda Habib, Sanjay Kak and other detained Kashmiri students are perusing higher education in various universities in Delhi.

 

PUCL statement on execution of Afzal Guru #deathpenalty



PEOPLE’S UNION FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES

 

270-A, Patpar Ganj, Opposite Anand Lok Apartments (Gate No. 2), Mayur Vihar-I, Delhi 110 091

Phone: (011) 2275 0014                 PP FAX: (011) 4215 1459

 

Founder: Jayaprakash Narayan; Founding President: V M Tarkunde

PresidentPrabhakar Sinha (Bihar); General SecretaryV Suresh (TN & Puducherry); Treasurer: Ritu Priya, Delhi.
Vice-Presidents: (all names in alphabetic order) Binayak Sen (Chhattisgarh); P. B. D’Sa (Karnataka); Ravi Kiran Jain (U.P.); Sanjay Parikh (Delhi). Secretaries:Chitaranjan Singh (U.P.); Kavita Srivastava (Ms) (Rajasthan); Mahi Pal Singh (Delhi)

 E.mails: <puclnat@gmail.com> & <puclnat@yahoo.com>       Please visit PUCL website at <www.pucl.org>

 D: \Emta                                                                                                                                            Please always use Pin Code

 

PUCL Statement on the Hanging of Afzal Guru

N. Delhi, 09.02.2013

 

The PUCL condemns the hanging of Afzal Guru in Tihar Jail early in the morning (9.2.2013) today.

 

The tearing hurry with  which Afzal Guru was hanged, accompanied by the flouting of all established norms by not giving his family their legal right to meet him before taking him to the gallows, clearly indicates that there were political considerations behind taking this step. More shameful is the explanation of the Home department that the wife and family of Afzal Guru were intimated of the hanging by a mail sent by Speed Post and Registered Post. Decency and humanity demanded that the Union Government give prior intimation to the family and an opportunity to meet him. Such a surreptitious action of the government also deprives the family of Afzal Guru to right to seek legal remedy.

 

PUCL also condemns the repressive stand of the Delhi police in not allowing a group of people who were protesting against the hanging and detaining them in police stations. We are equally concerned by reports that right-wing goons were permitted by the police to use violence against the protestors. PUCL asserts the right of citizens to dissent and express their opposition to capital punishment in a peaceful manner.

 

PUCL reiterates its demand for the abolition of the death penalty. PUCL is of the view that India must not retain in its statute book something so abhorrent to human rights as the death penalty. More especially, when more than one hundred and fifty countries have banned or put a moratorium on it.  PUCL feels that as the land of Buddha and Gandhi, death penalty has no place.

 

PUCL feels that starting with Kasab, now with Afzal Guru, the country is going to witness a spate of executions. We give a call to the nation to break this spiral of executions.

 

 

Prabhakar Sinha (President)                 V Suresh (General Secretary)

 

Press Release-Statement on execution of Afzal Guru


COMMITTEE FOR THE RELEASE OF POLITICAL PRISONERS

185/3, FOURTH FLOOR, ZAKIR NAGAR, NEW DELHI-110025

 

09/02/13

Condemn strongly the illegal act of executing Mohd. Afzal Guru!

Condemn and expose the violation of all procedures and law of the land!

Release SAR Geelani the working president of CRPP immediately and unconditionally!

 

The CRPP condemns strongly the illegal execution of Mohd. Afzal Guru. The central home minister and the home secretary have gone on record saying that every procedure has been followed in the case of Afzal Guru. None of his family members are aware of this decision of the Government of India. Nor do the lawyers of Afzal Guru. It is mandatory on the side of the government to inform the petitioners who had filed the clemency petition. Afzal’s wife Tabassum had filed a clemency petition demanding justice for her husband who never throughout the trial got an opportunity to defend himself and demand justice. She had in that petition even traced his early days in Kashmir and how he was continually being harassed and tortured by the notorious STF of J&K to act as an informer for the state. She showed in that petition how the ordeal has still been continuing in the life of her husband and their family in their quest for justice. The fact remains that neither Tabassum nor any of her family members have been informed about the rejection of this petition.

 

It is absolutely necessary that once a clemency petition is rejected the petitioner should be informed so that s/he can take recourse to other provisions that are guaranteed by the judiciary of India. There are provisions for judicial review which are quite exhaustive. But Afzal Guru was denied once again his last chance to represent himself and get relief from the gallows.

 

It should be noted that Mr. Bhullar who is also under death row in Tihar Jail had moved a petition in the Supreme Court to look into the matter of the delay in the execution of death sentence. There are case laws in the apex court wherein pronounced delay in the execution of death sentence is in itself grounds for converting the same into life. The court had appointed Mr. Ram Jethmalani as the amicus curiae in this case and was hearing the petition. That the Government of India under the Congress government has even subverted the Supreme Court in clandestinely executing the death sentence bemoans the real, fascist nature of this government which has scant regards for its own judiciary and law.

 

The clandestine execution of the death sentence of Mr. Afzal Guru violating all procedures and even the law of the land is nothing but desperate attempts of the ruling class parties like the Congress and the BJP to bet for votes appealing to the frenzy of jingoism. After having alienated the masses of the people and even the middle class through their anti-people, pro-market policies resulting in widespread miseries for the working people these parties have lost their faces and credibility and hence this desperate, brazen display of competitive jingoism on the life of someone who from the day one had never a chance to defend himself properly.

 

We at the CRPP appeal to all the democratic and progressive sections of the subcontinent to see through these devious designs of the ruling classes and forge a mass movement to abolish the evil of death penalty from the subcontinent.

 

The CRPP protests against the arrest of Prof.SAR Geelani who is our Working President while on his way to Malviya Nagar by the notorious Special Cell of the Delhi Police. The Special Cell as usual is browbeating in every possible way to terrorise the people from expressing their dissent against the clandestine execution of Mr. Afzal Guru. We demand his immediate and unconditional release. We call upon all progressive and democratic sections to protest against such fascist designs of the Indian state.

 

In Solidarity,

 

Amit Bhattacharyya

Secretary General

 

PA Sebastian

Vice President

 

MN Ravunni

Vice president

 

Rona Wilson

Secretary Public Relations

Press Release- #India- Legal challenge threatens the release of journalist , Naveen Soorinje


February 8, 2013

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is concerned to learn of a
legal challenge to the decision to drop charges against
http://asiapacific.ifj.org/en/articles/ifj-condemns-continuing-detention-of
-indian-journalist-naveen-soorinje> Naveen Soorinje, now under arrest for
over three months on charges of involvement in a July 2012 vigilante attack
on a group of partying teenagers in the city of Mangalore, in the southern
Indian state of Karnataka.

Soorinje, who is a reporter for the Kasturi TV channel based in Mangalore,
was alerted to the possibility of an attack by local witnesses and arrived
at the site soon after activists of a group that styles itself as the Hindu
Jagaran Vedike began assembling. According to the testimony he has filed
both before the police investigators and a civil rights organisation based
in Karnataka, he was unsure initially about the intentions of the group that
had gathered. As soon as the attack began, he made efforts to inform local
police authorities, while a cameraman who accompanied him recorded the
violent events – footage that was later used by police to identify the
perpetrators.

Soorinje pleas for bail were rejected and his arrest resulted in widespread
protests in November 2012. In a review of Soorinje’s case on January 31,
the cabinet in Karnataka state decided to drop all charges. But with the
cabinet decision awaiting the signature of the chief minister of Karnataka,
a lawyer based in the state capital of Bengaluru made a plea to the high
court that the decision to drop the charges was illegal.

The high court has since, issued notice to the state government and
suggested that if charges against Soorinje are dropped, the court may order
their reinstatement.

“We are seriously concerned at this move to further detain Soorinje” said
the IFJ Asia-Pacific.

“Journalists cannot be held responsible to stop civil unrest or illegal
activities. To pursue the case against him any further would be a serious
deterrent to journalists in conscientiously carry out their professional
responsibility to report cases of civil unrest or illegal activities.”

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on  +612 9333 0950

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries

Find the IFJ on Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/ifjasiapacific>
@ifjasiapacific

Find the IFJ on Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/IFJAsiaPacific>
www.facebook.com/IFJAsiaPacific

 

BMC refuses safai karamchari study leave for TISS course #WTFnews


Sukanya Shantha : Mumbai, Sat Feb 09 2013, , IE
FP

For nearly a year, Sunil Yadav has been trying to take study leave from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), where he works as a safai karamchari, to complete his Masters at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences. It was only through RTI that he got to know the reason for the delay. A “safai karamchari is not qualified to avail the leave”, as what he will learn is not connected to his duties, the RTI reply told him, a stipulation that is incidentally missing from the BMC rule book.

The first person from his family to have gone to college, the 33-year-old has been working as a conservancy worker with the BMC. It was on his third attempt that he managed to get enrolled into TISS’s Masters (Globalisation and Labour) course of two years.

When Yadav’s applications for a study leave received no reply, his course mates swung into action and sought a reply under the RTI seeking the definition of the term “employee” and asking who were eligible for a study sabbatical. In a reply in Marathi, the Public Information Officer of the D Ward of BMC said, “an academic course which is connected with his duty as a corporation employee or is in public interest then the employee may be permitted to attend such a course or a study tour. However, taking this into account, a conservancy worker is not entitled to such study leave.”

Recently, Yadav, who holds a double Masters degree and diploma in social work, was shortlisted for a student exchange programme at the University of Witwatersrand, in Johannesburg. But the recommendation can be processed only after BMC agrees to allow him to travel to South Africa and to continue with his education.

The BMC has even overlooked orders by the National Commission of Safai Karamcharis to expedite Yadav’s application. “Denying/any delay in grant of study leave… may lead to refusal of admission by TISS,” reads the Commission’s letter to the BMC, which had on two occasions sought action taken report.

Calling the BMC’s reply a product of highly casteist mentality, chairperson of the commission Kamlaben Gujjar said, “It is unconstitutional to deny anyone a right to study. Officers of higher grades can any way educate themselves, it is the Class IV employees who need support and affirmative atmosphere to grow.”

While Additional Municipal Commissioner Mohun Adhtani was not available for a comment, BMC commissioner Sitaram Kunthe said he could’t reply. “I have not seen the reply and hence it will not be appropriate to comment on it.”

Conservancy workers, who predominantly come from the Scheduled Castes, have a very low literacy rate. Given the nature of work and lack of any civic measures, life expectancy is very low.

Yadav has been working at night and attending lectures during the day to complete his studies. He is now in his second semester. “I have worked for over seven years with the BMC. In the past nine months I tried several times to find out why I have not been granted leave. But no one cared to respond. Now I understand. The system wants a safai karamchari to remain one forever.”

 

#MUMBAI- One billion Rising for freedom from fear #1billionrising #reasontorise #vaw #menrise


meeta

By Kamayani Bali Mahabal, 13TH fEB 2013

tOMMORROW is   Februray  14  what does it stand stand for? Valentine day, right ?, no there is  another connotation attached to it, this year globallY it will be the  Violence free- day. The movement is aptly named ‘One Billion  Rising’, and it has been started by feminist writer, Eve Ensler, who
wrote and performed ‘The Vagina Monologues‘, 15 years ago.
The figure of one billion has been worked out on the basis of  available statistics that one out of three women on this earth will
experience violence in her lifetime, which means a staggering one  billion women on this planet would be impacted by violence. “Rise and  dance” is the vociferous message of One Billion Rising – a global campaign demanding the end of violence against women.On February 14, there will be 13, 000 organizations in  192 countries around the world  holding noisy, energetic events encouraging “activists, writers, thinkers, celebrities, women and men” to “strike, dance and rise”. In > India many cities and  groups are part of OBR both from urban and  rural areas

Women are not a homogenous group, The majority of the world’s poorest > people are women, who are further affected by discrimination if they  belong to minority groups. Women suffer disproportionately from  discriminatory labour practices and are frequently forced into  underground or informal sectors. Women who are discriminated against  on the basis of both gender and caste  are frequently subject to  violence. In armed conflicts, women are sometimes explicitly targeted  because of their ethnic background. Rape and other forms of violence  against women have been used as weapons of war in conflicts throughout history. Violence against women has been a major trope of the women’s > movement in India, right from the incidents of rape against women like  Mathura and Rameeza Bee in the 1970s. Over the last few months, especially after the Delhi Gang Rape , One Billion Rising campaign, we  have  revisited this theme , coming together to recommend to Justice  verma committee,. In  Mumbai  what t is unique about this is event  is  being ‘ most diverse and inclusive”, we have women representing variosy  marginalized sections of our society- the disabled, dalit, sexual > minorities, muslims ,participating to say  no to violence, and to also give a message that women with different needs have different rights

In  Mumbai , several woman organizations, youth groups and Bollywood  celebrities have come together to show  Mumbai’s ‘ solidarity towards  a violence-free city. The campaign one billion rising- Freedom from  fear, on 14th February will be the beginning of
These one billion rising- Freedom from fear is calling  all Mumbaikars  to join the mass event, which has rainbow hues of music, dance, poetry, and Rap.  Farhan Akhtar will be singing  and  reciting his  poem penned after the Delhi Gang Rape incident. Meeta
Vashisht will do an excerpt from the renowned performance of ‘ lal  dedh,   Young rappers including women rapper will showcase their talent on the  issue. and Swanmg group will perfomr. Maa ni main nahi darna .  Rahul Bose  would recite Man prayer.

Swaang cultural group will for the first time perform live tehir protest song maa ni meri which they wrote after delhi Gang Rape

The program  will end with the  flash dance Indian National anthem of ‘ break the  chains” adapted in Hindi. and we will dance on it

NOT TO MISS COME JOIN US ENTRY FREE

Youc an find video here

and the mP3 youc an find here

https://soundcloud.com/kractivist/one-billion-rising-indian

 In a patriarchal society like ours, the demands for a  non-discriminatory mindset and a gender sensitive society are not  going to be achieved in day or a month or even a year. It needs  consistent and self-directed actions by all of us without delaying or deferring the responsibility on each other, and one billion rising Freedom from fear is one such attempt towards a continuous process of changing mind sets . Let us make it a great event highlighting women’s rights and equality in the city, all are invited and entry is free

CALLING MUMBAI JOIN US

BANDRA AMPHITHEATRE, BANDSTAND, NEAR TAJ LANDSEND  5.30PM ONWARDS

for mroe information contact kamayani 9820749204

PL JOIN US ON FACEBOOK- https://www.facebook.com/OneBillionRisingMumbai

PL RSVP EVENT-https://www.facebook.com/events/158240337660310/

 

Previous Older Entries

Archives

Kractivism-Gonaimate Videos

Protest to Arrest

Faking Democracy- Free Irom Sharmila Now

Faking Democracy- Repression Anti- Nuke activists

JAPA- MUSICAL ACTIVISM

Kamayaninumerouno – Youtube Channel

UID-UNIQUE ?

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 6,234 other followers

Top Rated

Blog Stats

  • 1,760,147 hits

Archives

February 2013
M T W T F S S
« Jan   Mar »
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728  
%d bloggers like this: