PRESS RELEASE-‘Better Policing- Safer City: How to make it Happen


 
MUMBAI CONSULTATION ON POLICE REFORMS: ‘BETTER POLICING -SAFER CITY: HOW TO MAKE IT HAPPEN

Date: Friday, 22 February, 2013

Venue: USTAV BANQUET HALL, JAMSHEDJI TATA ROAD CHURCHGATE

 

 

PRESS STATEMENT ON THE DELIBERATIONS AT THE ABOVE MEETING: 22/02/13

 

The COMMONWEALTH HUMAN RIGHTS INITIATIVE [ CHRI] Delhi in association with Citizen Initiative for Peace (CIP), Praja, PCGT, M R. Pai Foundation. Akshara, Forum against Oppression of Women and Forum of Free Enterprise organized this event.

 

A meeting of over 80 of the leading activists representing over 30 organisations / civil society in Mumbai voiced deep concern about the state of women’s safety and indeed the safety of all mumbaikars.

 

Attended by no less personage as Shri Julio Rebeiro, [ Former Mumbai Police Commissioner], Dr. Shri A.N Roy [Former Director General of Police, Maharashtra ], Shri Shailesh Gandhi [ former Central Information Commissioner ]. Mr. Satish Sahney [Former Mumbai Police Commissioner], leading Advocates, Women and Rights Activists and concerned Citizens.

 

The discussions pointed out that despite the bitter complaints against the inefficiencies of policing in Mumbai, its bias’s and violence, police performance was failing the public. Bandage remedies such as transfers or punishment postings will not do. There is a need for root and branch improvement. The constabulary have to be better equipped not with arms and ammunition but with a better value system that ensures that there will be more responsive and less illegal policing and better all round every day performance.

 

The leadership must ensure that the ordinary constable has good working conditions decent wages and better hours of work. Training must be imparted to the police personnel in educating on high standards to human rights, gender sensitivity and respecting multi-religious diversity. At the same time they must take responsibility for lapses in policing and be completely accountable.

 

The political administration is responsible for delivering better policing that has the confidence of the public in Maharastra.

 

The meeting also called the State Government to implement the Police Reforms as outlined in the Supreme Court Judgement of 2006. The Supreme Court had given certain directions in view of the urgent need for preservation and strengthening of the Rule of Law. It had prescribed the setting up of three institutions in the state: A State Security Commission, Police Establishment Board and Police Complaints Authority, in other words calling for a systemic changes into the functioning of the PoliceDepartment.

 

It must lay down policing policies and targets to be achieved in the year after creating a political plan. This plan must be made in consultation with local communities and be a public document against which police performance can be evaluated and judged. It is only when communities are engaged with policing that the police will gain public confidence.

 

The meeting called for the State Security Commission to put in place a credible planning process in which enhanced safety of women and vulnerable groups such as children, migrants and minorities is specially addressed.

 

The meeting also agreed to a plan of action to make this an election issue for the forthcoming 2014 elections and demand from the Political parties to not only include this in their manifesto but ensure that the Police Reforms are implemented thereafter .

 

Hence it becomes necessary for the incumbent Government to bring in the police reforms without any further delay during their current tenure.

 

The meeting agreed to work together with police and administration in creating better policing outcomes for the city and asked all Mumbaikars to join in this effort.

 

Issued by Dolphy D’souza, Citizens Initiative for Peace [CIP] & Ms Maja Daruwalla , Director CHRI, Organising Committee and the participants of the meeting .

 

Cell: 9820226227 Email: dolphydolphy13@gmail.com

 

 

Dolphy Dsouza – 9820226227

Citizens Initiative for Peace [CIP]
43, Kalina, Santacruz East,
Mumbai 400 029.
Email: dolphydolphy13@gmail.com

 

Does Facebook have a problem with women? #Vaw #WTFnews


Facebook insists there’s no place on its site for hate speech or content that is threatening or incites violence. So why do images that seem to glorify rape and domestic violence keep appearing?

Facebook

Does Facebook have a problem with women? The question has been around since 2011 when Eve Ensler and Ms Magazine drew attention to the social networking site’s failure to remove misogynistic images that seemed to glorify rape and domestic violence.

Then the issue came back again with users taking to Twitter in recent weeks to express their anger at Facebook’s refusal to remove images that tried to make a joke of rape. Two in particular were widely circulated. One showed a woman bound and gagged on a sofa and a caption that read: “It’s not rape. If she really didn’t want to, she’d have said something.” The second showed a condom, beneath the words “Plan A”; an emergency contraceptive pill, “Plan B“; and then “Plan C”, a man pushing a woman with a bloodied face down the stairs.

The site’s community standards state: “Facebook does not permit hate speech, but distinguishes between serious and humorous speech.” What is not clear, in spite of several high-profile campaigns and a Change.org petition that garnered more than 200,000 signatures, is how it makes that distinction. Over the past few years, women say they have been banned from the site and seen their pages removed for posting images of cupcakes iced like labia, pictures of breastfeeding mothers and photographs of women post-mastectomy.

Yet images currently appearing on the site include a joke about raping a disabled child, a joke about sex with an underage girl and image after image after image of women beaten, bloodied and black-eyed in graphic domestic violence “jokes”. There are countless groups with names such as “Sum sluts need their throats slit” and “Its Not ‘rape’ If They’re Dead And If They’re Alive Its Surprise Sex”. One of the worst images I came across in a brief search shows a woman’s flesh, with the words “Daddy f*cked me and I loved it” carved into it in freshly bleeding wounds.

A Facebook spokesperson insisted: “There is no place on Facebook for hate speech or content that is threatening or incites violence.”

Jules Hillier, executive director of policy and communications at Brook, the young people’s sexual health charity, says: “Social media can be brilliant, giving young women and young men a space for debate and discussion and giving organisations such as ours a route to provide information and advice. But it’s a double-edged sword. I only wish that facts and support circulated half as fast as myths, misinformation, bullying and abuse, all of which social media also opens up opportunities for.”

When I contacted Facebook to get a comment on the two images circulating on Twitter, the entire page (charmingly named “Butthurt? well. GET the FUCK OUT”) had been removed by the time they rang back. A spokesperson said it was not because the images contravened its terms, but because the administrator had failed to publicly associate his or her profile with the page. I can find no mention of this requirement in Facebook’s community standards, and it hardly mitigates the publication of such material anyway.

When I asked if the banned cupcake images could have been removed in error by an automated image scanner, the spokesperson said it was very unlikely. So it was a human decision to ban the image of a cupcake. Just as it is a human decision to allow pages such as “Teen SLUT pics” to continue to publish images of very young-looking girls, with no evidence they gave consent for their photographs to be used.

“We take reports of questionable and offensive content very seriously,” said the Facebook spokesperson. “However, we also want Facebook to be a place where people can openly discuss issues and express their views, while respecting the rights and feelings of others. Groups or pages that express an opinion on a state, institution, or set of beliefs – even if that opinion is outrageous or offensive to some – do not by themselves violate our policies.”

There is a common argument that these pages are “harmless”, and those who do not like them should simply not look at them. But anyone whose friend “likes” one of these images can find it popping up without warning in their newsfeed timeline. Each image normalises gender-based violence, sending the message to both victims and perpetrators that ours is a culture that doesn’t take it seriously.

Feminist writer and activist Soraya Chemaly says: “It’s not about censorship in the end. It’s about choosing to define what is acceptable. Facebook clearly accepts representations of some forms of violence, namely violence against women, as qualitatively different from others.”

The Facebook spokesperson said: “It’s not Facebook’s job to define what is acceptable. We work hard to keep our users from direct harm, but in the end, censorship is not the solution to bad online behaviour or offensive beliefs. Having the freedom to debate serious issues like this is how we fight prejudice.”

For those who believe there is no relation between the treatment and perception of women in the real world and the cultural norms promoted by the most used social networking site on the planet, here is a selection of comments. Some are from those “harmless” Facebook pages. Some are from real women’s experiences, reported to the Everyday Sexism Project. And some are examples of the abuse that I have received, as a woman daring to write about women online.

“You have a choice to have sex, I have the choice to rape you.”

“If you don’t stop giving me shit I’ll pay four of my friends to gang rape you.”

“Go ahead, call the cops – they can’t un-rape you.”

“The only reason you have been put on this planet is so we can fuck you. Please die.”

Can you tell the difference?

 

• Laura Bates is the founder of the Everyday Sexism Project

 

Journalist Shahina, media person intimidated outside court #Vaw


By Newzfirst Correspondent2/22/13

Coorg – Alleging that Journalist Shahina and a media person – present at the spot – were intimidated by a group of right-wing activists outside the Sessions Court in Coorg district of Karnataka, an activist present at the spot said that the Police is doing nothing to stop their bullying.

Journalist Shahina K K, who previously worked with Tehelka, had come to the Sessions Court in Coorg to seek bail. She was accompanied by media persons from the Media One Kerala media channel.

“Although Shahina has been granted bail in her case, about 8 to 10 right-wing activists are intimidating the Media One channel persons here. They asked them to show the visuals recorded in their camera after which they demanded that the visuals be deleted,” Jisha, an activist who is present at the spot, told Newzfirst.

“The police, which is present here, is doing nothing to stop the bullies” added Jisha.

Shahina, in her article written while she was still working with Tehelka, had showed that witnesses in the Bangalore serial blasts case were fragile, false and forced. Following the publication of this article, she was implicated under charges of section 506 of Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The accusation of Karnataka Police is that she ‘intimidated the key witnesses’ in the blasts case during the course of her interviews taken for the article.

 

Sale of stake to Vedanta opposed


SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT\

,The Hindu

Seeking Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s intervention, Union Minister of State for Commerce & Industry D. Purandeswari on Tuesday said the government should not allow sale of residual stake in Hindustan Zinc Limited (HZL) to Vedanta Group.

Stating that during NDA regime, under the garb of disinvestment, 71 per cent of stake was divested to Vedanta Group. Now the group was trying to buy the remaining stake and indulge in real estate business by jeopardising the interest of employees and contact workers engaged at Zinc Smelter in the city.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, she referred to the statement made by Vedanta Group chairman Anil Agarwal on plans to purchase residual stake in HZL and pleaded that at any cost the interest of people depending on Zinc Smelter for direct and indirect employment should be protected. She also regretted denial of salaries to the employees for past two months.

 

US: A nation of inmates? #prison


We examine the impact of America’s high incarceration rate on its penal system and on poor and minority communities.
 Last Modified: 20 Feb 2013 09:52

There are more prisoners in the US than any other nation in the world.

The country makes up five percent of the world’s population, but accounts for 25 percent of its prison population. And over the last three decades the number held in US federal prisons has jumped by nearly 80 percent.

There has been in this country over the last 30 years a relentless upward climb in the incarcerated population and disturbing as the situation is with the federal prison system, that is really only the tip of the iceberg because the federal prison system is only about 10 percent of the total number of people incarcerated in this country. On any given day, we have about 2.3 million people behind bars in federal, state and local facilities.

– David Fathi, ACLU National Prison Project

The number of inmates in US federal prisons has increased from about 25,000 in 1980 to 219,000 in 2012, according to a report by the US Congressional Research Service.

The report says the federal prison system was 39 percent over its capacity in 2011. And the situation is worse for high and medium security male facilities.

High-security prisons were overcrowded by 51 percent, while medium security prisons were overcrowded by 55 percent in 2011.

According to a report by the Government Accountability Office, overcrowding has contributed to worse safety and security conditions for both inmates and staff.

The overcrowded facilities have contributed to a multibillion dollar demand for private prisons. The industry argues it is helping the government save money. But others argue that for-profit prisons only increase the incentive to incarcerate more people.

Almost half of those incarcerated in federal prisons are drug offenders. Another 16 percent of inmates are in prison for offences related to weapons, explosives and arson. Those convicted of immigration violations make up 12 percent of the federal prison population.

Policy makers have come to the realisation, on a state and federal level, that you can’t necessarily build yourself out of a crime situation, that we just can’t continue at these numbers to incarcerate people, and the impact on state budgets and the money spent on a federal level to deal with mass incarceration has just left us in a lot of ways unprotected in other areas.

– Matthew Mangino, a former DA in Pennsylvania

And the impact of mass imprisonment spreads far beyond the prison walls.

Sociologists have found that the rise in incarceration rates reduce social mobility and ensure both prisoners and their families remain trapped in a cycle of poverty.

In the US, minorities make up over 70 percent of the federal prison population.

Demographically, African-Americans – who represent 12 percent of the US population – make up 37 percent of federal prisoners.

And Latinos – who are 16 percent of the population – make up 35 percent of prisoners.

So, what is the impact of the high incarceration rate on the US penal system and on poor communities?

To discuss this, Inside Story Americas with presenter Shihab Rattansi is joined by guests: David Fathi, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union National Prison Project; Matthew Mangino, a former district attorney in Pennsylvania; and Marc Mauer, the executive director of The Sentencing Project, and author of the book Race to Incarcerate.


THE US PRISON INDUSTRY

  • It is increasingly more expensive to maintain the federal prison system
  • Per capita prisoner costs rose from $19,571 in 2000 to $26,094 in 2011
  • Bureau of prisons has backlog of 154 modernisation and repair projects
  • More offences subject to mandatory minimum sentences since the 1980s
  • Mandatory sentences have pushed up inmate numbers for drug offences
  • More crimes have been made federal offences since early 1980s
  • Crime rates in the US have been falling since the early 1990s
  • Sentencing project: prisoners in US declined by about 1.5 percent in 2011
  • Some US states have moved to reduce overcrowding in prisons
  • Supreme court ordered California to reduce prison overcrowding in 2011
  • Budget crises have prompted states to reduce overcrowding in prisons
  • For-profit companies control 18 percent of US federal prisoners
  • For-profit companies control 6.7 percent of all US state prisoners
  • Most new prisons built between 2000 and 2005 are privately run
  • Corrections corporation of America is largest private prison operator

 

#India- Ordinance on checking crime against women tabled in Rajya Sabha #Vaw


TNN | Feb 22, 2013,T

Ordinance on checking crime against women tabled in Rajya Sabha
The Bill to replace the Ordinance will be brought during the first half of the Budget Session (February 21 – March 22) as the government is mandated to do it within six week (42 days) of convening Parliament.
NEW DELHI: The government on Thursday placed the Ordinance, promulgated by the President on February 3 bringing provisions of stringent punishment for offenders of sexual crimes, in the Rajya Sabha. A Bill to replace theOrdinance will be brought in Parliament soon.

It is learnt that the government will bring a comprehensive legislation, incorporating provisions of the Ordinance and the pending Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2012, that is being examined by a Parliament standing committee on the ministry home affairs.

A copy of the Ordinance, which provides for death penalty in cases of rape that leads to death of the victim or leaving her in a vegetative state, was tabled in the Upper House by the minister of state for parliamentary affairs Rajiv Shukla, when the Rajya Sabhaassembled after President’s address to both the Houses of Parliament on the opening day of the Budget Session.

The Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance has incorporated a number of recommendations of the Justice (retired) J S Verma Committee which was constituted by the government in the wake of public outrage over the December 16 gang-rape incident.

Shukla also placed the House the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Amendment) Ordinance, 2013, promulgated by the President on January 21 and the Readjustment of Representation of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies Ordinance, 2013, promulgated on January 30.

The Bill to replace the Ordinance will be brought during the first half of the Budget Session (February 21 – March 22) as the government is mandated to do it within six week (42 days) of convening Parliament. The House will adjourn on March 22, and then meet again on April 22 after the month-long recess.

 

 

#India -Arrests at Mavelikkara: Against UAPA, For the right to dissent #blacklaws


by Gilbert Sebastian , Facebook

There is a saying in Malayalam, ‘Kaaryam paranjaal Communistaayi!’ meaning, you will be labelled a Communist if you tell the truth. This used to be a saying during the decades when the Communist party in the state used to wage land struggles and uphold the rights of the deprived. Today, the saying could be modified as, Kaaryamparanjaal Maoistaayi!’ meaning, you will be labelled a Maoist if you tell the truth.

 

On 29 December 2012, seven persons persons, including two girl children and human rights activists were arrested at Mavelikkara in Kerala state. The other five are being detained under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA): Gopal, Shiaz, Rajesh Madhavan, Bahuleyan and Devarajan. As was reported in the social media and mainstream media, they had assembled peacefully for sharing their experiences. The two girls were Ami aged 16 and Savera aged 10 who have been harassed by the police several times even before for the mere reason that they are children of a Maoist couple. After night-long interrogation using even sexually insulting language, the two girls were let off. The other five are still in custody. Rajesh Madhavan was personally known to me for some years now as a socially concerned person, hailing from a humble background. As I have gathered from friends, they were meeting to share experiences, including those on the education front. None of the persons arrested had any previous history of offences against them. One of them, Gopal, is a scientist who was working with Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and is a human rights activist  who has been involved in the protest against Koodankulam nuclear project.

 

The arrests are clearly in violation of the Fundamental Right “to assemble peaceably and without arms” under Article 19 (1) (b). There is no reason why one should be paranoid about such get-togethers to discuss contemporary political issues that they could cause a threat. Why shouldn’t we think that they could only strengthen democracy? (The latest news is that the Additional Sub-Inspector, K.Y. Damian who had carried out the arrests, apparently, hanged himself to death near his home.) Going by UAPA, the State can arbitrarily arrest and detain anyone on the basis of mere suspicion. UAPA which is the UPA version of the now-defunct Acts, POTA and TADA, is used to track down people labeling them as Maoists and as Dalit and Muslim extremists. Those who oppose State terror and those involved in rights-based struggles are tormented and unjustly detained under this Act. It has draco­nian provisions such as non-bailable incarceration for 180 days. The onus of proof lies on the accused. Section 15 of the act defines ‘terrorist act’ quite vaguely. Section 39 makes “support given to a terrorist organization” an offence and criminalises normal activities like ‘arranging, managing or addressing’ public meetings. Hardly any distinction per se is drawn between anti-State militancy and terrorism as indiscriminate killing of innocent people.

 

On the other hand, one cannot forget to mention that the Indian State is ‘selectively repressive’ against adversaries who violate its canons. Those who create communal and regional divisions among people like the Sangh Parivar, Shiv Sena, MNS and the high profile instigators of riots in Delhi, 1984; Gujarat 2002 and Kandhamal, 2008  are granted impunity. The arrests at Mavelikkara is a good example to illustrate how our political system faces the real danger of degeneration into an ‘illiberal democracy’/a police State. Recent empowering judgements by the Supreme Court in cases involving Binayak Sen and Narayan Sanyal indicate how the apex court views such arrests unjustified under the law.

 

As Prof. Haragopal rightly used to say, the vibrancy of democracy can be demonstrated when the State is able to democratically reckon with even armed protests against it. Constitutional morality is the minimum that the State needs to uphold since the Constitution is the document that the rulers of India have given unto themselves and swear by. On the other hand, the rebels need to be true to their own ideology. People should be the arbiters in the contention between Constitutional morality and an ideology of rebellion, he says. It is necessary that all democratically minded persons and groups should come forward to oppose UAPA, a draconian, fascistic Act and the arrest of these activists under it, towards the protection of the democratic freedoms guaranteed under the Fundamental Rights of the Constitution of India. On 7 January 2013, some concerned individuals called a gathering at the martyrs column in Thiruvananthapuram, the state capital to protest these arrests under UAPA. The message is: Uphold the right to dissent! Protest the arrests! Oppose UAPA!

#India – It’s time to give women more tax sops #budget


Women & The Budget

It’s time to give women more tax sops

Prabhakar Sinha TNN

New Delhi: It isn’t just foreign investors who would have remembered the last Budget as a tough one. Even women lost out as the government withdrew tax benefits that were introduced in the form of higher tax exemption limit in 2000-2001.
In 2000-01, Yashwant Sinha, the then finance minister, had introduced a special provision under which the basic tax exemption limit for women was pegged higher than that for men. This resulted in lower tax liability of up to Rs 5,000.
While P Chidambaram retained the provision in 2004-05, his first budget of his second term in North Block, in 2005-06, he reduced the benefit to a maximum of Rs 3,927, including surcharge and cess. Chidambaram reduced the differential benefit further before Pranab Mukherjee finally withdrew it.
While introducing the provision, Sinha had said that the additional rebate of Rs 5,000 for women tax-payers “is equivalent to increase in the exemption limit by Rs 50,000 over that of men”. However, tax experts say that a preferential treatment for women is needed to encourage them.
Kuldeep Kumar, executive director (tax and regulatory practices) PWC India, said a preferential tax treatment to women is highly desirable as it helps in empowering them. At a time when government is giving financial help to girl child, a preferential tax treatment to them will not be off the mark. When the government has given reservations to women in Panchayats and is trying to extend the same in
Parliament, why is it shying away in giving special treatment in taxes to them, he added. In fact, the government should increase the exemption limit for women. This will certainly help women in acquiring productive assets. In fact, if the differential tax benefit is increased substantially, say up to Rs 20,000, a number of families will like to transfer fixed assets on their women members’ name to bring down their tax liability on their income.
A senior tax consultant, who do not wanted to be quoted, said even if such provision might lead to misuse to save taxes, it’s worth trying. She said in the short term, the misuse of the provision would be more pronounced than its benefit, but in the long term it will certainly help women empowerment. Another tax consultant said any move to give special treatment to women in taxing their income would be welcomed as it will ultimately help society. Kumar pointed out that such special treatment should be increased for single woman parent as a separate category. As it has become an accepted norms in cities, the government must give them concession to enable them to meet various challenges which they face as single parent.

 

#Srilanka -Without truth, there can be no justice or peace


Callum Macrae’s documentary No Fire Zone: Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields is making waves, showing war crimes during the LTTE-government conflict. Speaking with Manoj Ramachandran, Macrae discussed his views on the Sri Lankan government, why accountability is crucial – and how India can help:

Why is your film significant?
What’s significant is the shocking scale of war crimes committed by a government which claims democratic legitimacy and adherence to international humanitarian law. The crimes we’re talking about aren’t executions of prisoners and sexual violence against fighters – we’re talking about the deliberate targeting of civilians in the No Fire Zone, which the government itself encouraged them to gather in.
A UN panel concluded that most who died did so as a result of government shelling – we’re talking about tens of thousands dead.
Have there been serious attempts to get victims justice?
The people who stand accused are at the highest levels of the Sri Lankan government. They’re unlikely to investigate themselves – and if they do, i fear they will simply find themselves innocent.
At the end of the war, many hoped the government would hold out a hand of friendship and reconciliation to Tamil citizens. They did the opposite. Their behaviour seems to suggest they regard all Tamils in the north as indistinguishable from the Tigers, that they’re in effect an enemy within which must be thoroughly repressed – that’s a recipe for more conflict and tragic bloodshed.
You claim to have footage of LTTE supremo Prabhakaran’sson,Balachandran,alive in a bunker, apparently held by Lankan troops, later showing the 12-year-old shot two or three feet from his chest. Would you tell us more?
The new photographs of Balachandran alive are not just distressing and disturbing – they are also enormously important evidentially because they appear to rule out any suggestion that he was killed in cross-fire or during battle or that he was executed by some maverick band of paramilitaries.
They show he was held – even given a snack – before being taken and executed in cold blood. There was time to take photographs. It is difficult to imagine the psychology of an army in which the calculated execution of a child can be allowed with apparent impunity.
Against this backdrop, can a film make a difference?
Without justice, there can be no peace – and without truth, there can be no justice. We hope we can be an important part of that truth-telling. Our job is to present the evidence to the world. I think there are enough people who care about the rule of law, human rights and the need for reconciliation to take up the campaign for justice.
Forthcoming events, starting with the UN Human Rights Council meeting in March, going on to the Commonwealth heads of government meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka in November, will focus attention on this.
Many people are already asking whether their governments should be attending that CHOGM meeting unless the government shows significant progress on accountability. Also, human rights defenders argue for a credible independent international inquiry. If India was to declare its support, it could mark the start of the movement towards peace and justice in Sri Lanka. India has a huge responsibility in the forthcoming UN meeting.
Finally, is your film absolving the LTTE?
The LTTE were a brutal army, guilty of appalling crimes. There should be no doubt about that – we make that point very clearly in our film. But the Sri Lankan government needs to understand that the crimes of one side do not justify the crimes of another.

NHRC pulls up Maharashtra for Bhandara sisters rape & murder #Vaw


CHILDRAPE

Wants Report On Bhandara Atrocity Within Four Weeks

Sanjeev Shivadekar TNN

Mumbai: The National Human Rights Commission on Thursday directed the Maharashtra government to submit a detailed report on the death of three girls in Bhandara district. The commission has asked the chief secretary to file a reply within four weeks on the entire incident.
According to police reports, the bodies of the three sisters were found in a farm well on Saturday near Murmadi village of Bhandara district in Maharashtra. The police initially claimed it was a murder case. Following pressure from local villagers and after getting the post mortem report, they confirmed that the girls, aged 6, 9, and 11, were also sexually abused.
They had gone missing from the village on February 14. The NHRC, on its website, stated that the commission has taken suo motu cognizance of media reports about the three minors being raped and killed. The chief secretary’s office confirmed the development. However, despite repeated attempts, chief secretaryJayant Kumar Banthia was not available for comments.
Meanwhile, the situation on the ground remained tense as the police have not arrested any culprit in the case till date. “Police and local administration have failed to trace the culprits. Locals have lost their faith in the state machinery and have stopped sending their kids to the school. This is a serious crime. The Maharashtra government should hand over the investigations to the CBI,” Nana Patole (BJP), local MLA told TOI.
PM condemns sisters’ killing
New Delhi:PM Manmohan Singh “expressed serious condemnation” of the rape and murder of three minor girls in Maharashtra. At aCabinet meeting on Thursday, he also announced Rs 10 lakh ex gratia to the family. TNN

 

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