#RIP-Lotika Sarkar- Champion of #Womenrights #Vaw


 

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Feb 23, 2013- Professor Lotika Sarkar  passed away this evening at around 8.30pm at home. The funeral will be held tomorrow, Sunday 24th at 1:00 pm, at the Electric Crematorium, Lodi Road, New Delhi.

She was   India‘s first woman to graduate from Cambridge and a champion of women’s rights,

Professor Lotika Sarkar was widely-known pioneer in the fields of law, women’s studies and human rights. She taught criminal law and conflict of laws at the Faculty of Law, University of Delhi and has been an active member of the Indian Law Institute. She was a member of the Government of India‘s Committee on the Status of Women in India and has been a founding member of several institutions—the Indian Association for Women Studies and the Centre for Women‘s Development Studies.

Lotika Sarkar played a crucial role in several path-breaking legislations for gender justice. A Cambridge-educated lawyer by training, she was the first woman teacher of law at the University of Delhi.

Lotika Sarkar, RIP. One of the original Painted and Dented Ladies, she and three other professors of law wrote the landmark Open Letter to the Chief Justice of India in 1979, which sharply criticised the Supreme Court’s judgement in what has come to be known as the Mathura rape case and thereby catalysed the first major campaign for changes in the laws relating to rape back in 1980. It’s so important to remember and honour pioneers like her.

Read here Writing the Women’s Movement: A Reader

 

 

#Aadhaar cards dumped in a drain, check if its yours :-) #UID #WTFnews


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SATURDAY, 23 FEBRUARY  Pioneer| FARIDABAD

 

 

In an apparent case of administration’s negligence, over thousands Aadhaar Card (Aam Admi ka Adhikaar) were found dumped in a drain near a graveyard in Sector -22 of Faridabad.

 

 

The cards were found scattered by some children who were playing near the drain on Thursday, some elderly people of the locality informed the police.

 

 

During investigation, police found that all the Aadhaar cards belonged to Ward number-6 of Sanjay Colony at Sector-22, 23. Some local residents also alleged that a local resident was involved in buying the Aadhaar cards. When the local residents heard the news of Aadhaar card lying in an abandoned position, they gathered there and started looking for their cards.

 

 

“We have found about thousands number of Aadhaar cards in a drain. We are investigating the matter and are inquiring with the local postman of the area as to how these cards reached the spot. Earlier the postman of Sector-22 had registered a complaint that a packet containing Aadhaar cards was stolen from the post office. All the cards have been collected and submitted at the area post office” the officer said.

 

 

Police registered a case against unidentified persons in this connection and are investigating the matter.

 

 

#India- Pre-exam helpline for students-011-65978181.


STAFF REPORTER, The Hindu, Feb 15, 2013

The Board exams come around every year and so do a host of issues like lack of concentration, loss of appetite, permanent headache, restlessness, lack of confidence and, in many cases, extreme depression.

A pre-exam helpline to help students deal with all these exam-related issues, “Disha”, operated by trained counsellors and mental health professionals, opened earlier this month. It is accessible to students daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. up to March 2 on 011-65978181. Students in distress will be helped through telephonic and face-to-face counselling.

The helpline has been reaching out to students in times of distress since 1999.

The organisation receives distress calls from Delhi, the National Capital Region and many other parts of the country from students of Class X, XI and XII — and sometimes even Class IV students and scholars preparing for competitive exams.

While many of the calls from students, parents and teachers relate to mental imbalances, many calls are also from students who want specific information about the exams.

Disha also says that the stress from the Board exams is mostly because it is so important for the academic future of every child.

Moreover, the system hardly provides any leverage to the student for exploring his likes or dislikes which only increases stress levels . Parents and teachers are also affected. Many students find pre-exam holidays more stressful since the pressure starts to build during this time.

Disha is an effort by Snehi, a non-government organisation, which works for the mental health needs of the community. It has been helping people in mental distress through counselling and other specific programmes for prevention of mental illness, with focus on children and young people. Disha’s counselling services are confidential and free of cost.

 

 

NHRC moved over chaining of mentally-ill woman #Vaw


J. BALAJI, The Hindu, Feb 15,2013

In a most heart-rending situation, a poor family (parents) in Odisha’s Balasore district has chained their 30-year-old mentally challenged daughter in a bamboo grove just because she behaves violently and they do not have money for her treatment.

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), which has taken suo motu cognisance of the incident based on a media report, issued notices to the Odisha Chief Secretary and Balasore District Collector seeking reports about the girl and the steps taken by the government for her medical treatment within two weeks.

The media report was forwarded by NHRC’s Special Rapporteur (East Zone-I) Damodar Sarangi seeking intervention of the commission.

The woman, belonging to the Below Poverty Line (BPL), is residing with her parents in village Jirtala or Kasba Jaypur G.P. in Balasore district. She has been suffering from mental illness for the last over six years. She has been resorting to violence and assaulting people quite often. To ward off further trouble, the villagers along with her family members have chained her to a bamboo grove.

 

Bangalore terror case: Court orders immediate release of Journalist, one other


 

By Newzfirst Bureau2/23/13

 

Bangalore –  A special NIA court on Saturday ordered the immediate release of journalist Muthiur Rahman Siddiqi and Yusuf Nalband, who were arrested on charges of hatching a conspiracy to kill prominent personalities and having links with banned terrorist groups.

 

The two are likely to be released by Saturday evening or by latest on Monday.

Muthiur Rahman Siddiqi a journalist working with a leading English daily and Yusuf Nalband were among the 15 accused arrested last year in the controversial Karnataka terror plot. Many media houses had projected Muthiur Rahman as the ‘Mastermind’ of this conspiracy.

National Investigation Agency (NIA), while submitting the charge sheet, dropped all charges against him on 21st of this month.

 

PUCL Statement on Hyderabad Bombings


People’s Union for Civil Liberties

National Office Delhi
 
 
For Favour of Press Coverage
Delhi / 23rd  February, 2013
To
The Chief Reporter / Editor
PUCL strongly condemns the serial  blasts in Hyderabad on 21.02.2013 which has resulted in loss of life and grievous injuries to many. PUCL extends its sympathies to the families of all those who lost relatives and hopes that the injured recover speedily.
PUCL  re-iterates its stand that all organizations – whether State or non- state players – functioning for the people and in the public arena are accountable and answerable for their acts. PUCL appeals to all organizations to refrain from acts of mindless violence, especially when they endanger innocent persons.  Violence can never offer a solution to any issue however genuine it may be.
In the past such blasts have invariably been followed by motivated targeting and illegal detention by the police of scores of educated and young members of the minority community, physical and mental torture, prosecution under as many draconian sections and laws as possible and repeated implication of the same persons in multiple cases thereby stigmatising a section of the population of the minority community who live for years with the shame of being a “terrorist”. The stigma is never erased even when prolonged trials end in acquittal the acquitted persons and their families forever live devastated lives, ostracized and feared by their own community. Such unlawful motivated police action has ended up in immense alienation and disaffection of an already traumatized community.
PUCL reiterates that the State and Central police and various intelligence agencies inquiring into the incidents should uphold the principles of fair, independent and unbiased investigation. This will strengthen rule of law and ensure investigations and interrogations in a civilized manner. Only such conduct of investigating agencies will reinforce established and accepted norms of fair and lawful investigation. We caution the police not to indulge in baselessly targeting of persons belonging to any particular community, especially those from the minority communities.
PUCL is apprehensive that the current events provide fodder for partisan politics and use of the tragedy to score political points. It is crucial that political parties respond with sensitivity and work to create a sense of confidence and amity amongst different social sections.
PUCL is concerned over some sections of the media indulging in speculative reporting and alluding to the alleged involvement of some groups, even when investigation is still underway. Such competitive posturing and motivated reporting fans communal hatred, creates mass paranoia and vitiates communal harmony.
In this time of tragedy and disturbance PUCL appeals to citizens, be they in media, political parties or state agencies, not to fall prey to rumours inciting reprisal by fanning enmity between communities.
Those guilty of this ghastly incident should be expeditiously brought to book. The situation demands that we, as a nation, should remain calm, restrained and peaceful.
(Dr. V. Suresh)
National General Secretary, PUCL

Contact No.: V. Suresh,  +91-9444231497

 

#Censorship is alive and well in Canada – just ask government scientists


Canada

Elizabeth Renzetti The Globe and Mail

Published Friday, Feb. 22 2013, 8:27 PM EST Freedom to Read Week begins on Feb. 24, bringing with it the perfect opportunity to kick the tires of democracy and make sure the old jalopy’s still running as she should.

 

What’s that you say? The bumper fell off when you touched it? The engine won’t turn over? That’s not so good. Better look under the hood. We like to think of censorship as something that happens over there, in the faraway places where men break into houses at night to smash computers, or arrive in classrooms to remove books they don’t like. Not in lovely, calm, respectful Canada. Here we don’t necessarily notice freedoms being eroded slowly, grain by grain, “like sands through the hourglass,” if you’ll allow me to quote from Days of Our Lives. Just ask Canada’s government scientists. Oh wait, you can’t ask them, because they’ve got duct tape over their mouths (metaphorical duct tape, but hey – it’s still painful). This week the University of Victoria’s Environmental Law Clinic and Democracy Watch asked federal Information Commissioner Suzanne Legault to investigate claims that scientists are being prohibited from speaking freely with journalists – and through them, the public. In a report called Muzzling Civil Servants: A Threat to Democracy, the UVic researchers present some chilling findings: Scientists are either told not to speak to journalists or to spout a chewed-over party line, rubber-stamped by their PR masters; the restrictions are particularly tight when a journalist is seeking information about research relating to climate change or the tar sands; Environment Canada scientists require approval from the Privy Council Office before speaking publicly on sensitive topics “such as climate change or protection of polar bear and caribou.” You wouldn’t want the average citizen to learn too much about caribou, now. Who knows how crazy he could get with that kind of information? It could lead to panel discussions about Arctic hares, town halls on ptarmigans. The report states that government scientists are “frustrated,” which is hardly surprising. It’s like hiring Sandy Koufax and never letting him pitch. The other thing that the report makes clear is how deliberate this strategy is: “The federal government has recently made concerted efforts to prevent the media – and through them, the general public – from speaking to government scientists, and this, in turn, impoverishes the public debate on issues of significant national concern.” This is not an issue that’s going away. The Harper government’s heavy-handed control of scientists’ research has raised concerns across the world for a few years, including condemnation from such bastions of Marxism as Nature magazine. A couple thousand scientists from across the country marched on Parliament Hill last July to protest cuts in research (many in the highly sensitive area of environment and climate change) and restrictions on their ability to speak freely about their work. They created what might be the best chant in the history of political protest: “What do we want? Science! When do we want it? After peer review!” Last week, Margaret Munro of Postmedia News reported that a University of Delaware scientist was up in arms over a new confidentiality agreement brought in by Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans. “I’m not signing it,” Andreas Muenchow told the reporter. What does this mean for bilateral co-operation on research? Nothing good, that’s for sure. The Vise-Grip on information is tightening and Ottawa is the muscle. Last month, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression released a report about the dire state of freedom of information requests: “Canada’s access to information system is in a deep crisis and without urgent reform could soon become dysfunctional,” the report noted. That means fewer requests being processed, at a more glacial pace, with more of the juicy bits blacked out by the government censor’s pen. This is the good stuff, people. The stuff the government doesn’t want you to know about. The stuff that’s kept in a filing cabinet in Gatineau under a sign that says, “Nothing here. Nope. Just a three-week-old tuna sandwich. And it’s radioactive.” This is the information we need to keep an eye on the government’s internal gears – and it’s being withheld. Canada recently plummeted 10 places to No. 20 in the World Press Freedom Index, which measures how unfettered a country’s media is. Reporters Without Borders, which compiles the index, is concerned about the access-to-information issue and about the protection of journalists’ sources. The beacon we should now follow is Jamaica, whose press freedoms rank highest in the region. It’s the perfect time to welcome Freedom to Read Week. There are events all over Canada and countless ways to celebrate our precious liberties. Bring your kids to the library. Read something you shouldn’t. Even better, write something you shouldn’t. A letter to your MP, perhaps?

 

 

 

In India’s remote northeast, civilians challenge rape, killing by security forces #Vaw #AFSPA


Simon Denyer/The Washington Post – Irom Sharmila arrives for a fortnightly court appearance, flanked by two police officers, in the northeastern Indian city of Imphal on Feb. 7, 2013. Sharmila began a hunger strike in 2000 to protest against a controversial law that grants the Indian army virtual impunity from prosecution.

By Published: February 19

IMPHAL, India

Manipur, with a population of little more than 2 million, is tiny by Indian standards, and the country’s economic development of the past two decades has largely passed it by. Most of its residents are Hindus but are of Tibet-Burman origin and are thought to look more Burmese than Indian; they feel their countrymen look down on them. An armed separatist rebellion began here in the 1960s and has led to about 20,000 deaths.

For 12 years, a Manipuri woman, Irom Sharmila, has been on a hunger strike against the armed forces act. Having been convicted in court of intent to take her own life, she is under police guard in a hospital and force-fed through her nose.

Last week, Sharmila, 40, emerged from the hospital for a biweekly appearance in court, and, in an interview outside the courtroom, while being flanked by two female police officers, Sharmila said she was not optimistic that the government would relent any time soon.

The formation of committees is a tactic to deflect public anger, she said in halting English, and the people of Manipur are not given the respect accorded to other Indians.

“They treat us like stepchildren,” she said before police whisked her away.

Across town, 37-year-old Neena Ningombam has cared for her two children alone since her husband was taken away by police in November 2008. A few hours later his body, with a hand grenade planted next to it, was shown on television, supposedly that of a rebel killed after attacking the police.

In one sense, Ningombam is lucky. Witnesses saw her husband being arrested, and they have not been intimidated into silence. A local magistrate who investigated the case found that her husband had never been involved in a militant group and that he was killed in what is known here as a “fake encounter.”

Babloo Loitongbam of Human Rights Alert, a local rights group that has documented the alleged rapes and extrajudicial executions, said members of the security forces who kill militants are rewarded with cash, medals and promotions.

“An incentive structure has created vested interests in the army and police just to kill people on the flimsiest charges,” he said, “while the judicial process has completely failed.”

With Loitongbam’s help, the widows of Manipur are fighting back. Responding to a petitionthey have filed, the Supreme Court appointed a respected three-
person team last month to look into the alleged extrajudicial executions. Yet another committee of inquiry, it could nevertheless put more pressure on the government to roll back what residents describe as a cloak of impunity shrouding events in Manipur.

Like the other widows of Manipur, Ningombam continues her legal battle to clear her husband’s name.

In an opinion piece last week, Hazarika, the member of the 2005 commission and an expert on northeastern India, called the law an “abomination.”

“How many more deaths, how many more naked protests, how many more hunger strikes, how many more committees, how many more editorials and articles and broadcasts before AFSPA goes?” he asked.

 

Surfing Sisters in Gaza Hit Waves of Disapproval #womenrights


By Eman Mohammed

WeNews correspondent

Friday, February 22, 2013

Sisters Sabah and Shrouq Abu Gunaim are trying to carry their childhood passion for surfing into adolescence. The sport is a rarity in the Gaza Strip, and almost forbidden for young women in this conservative society.

Sisters Sabah and Shrouq Abu Gunaim surfing in the Gaza Strip
Sisters Sabah and Shrouq Abu Gunaim surfing in the Gaza Strip

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(WOMENSENEWS)–Two Palestinian sisters, Sabah and Shrouq Abu Gunaim, are struggling to hang on to their identities as active surfers despite cultural opposition to body-baring sports for girls and women.

When they were little girls they could surf with relative freedom. But now that they are teens, it’s different.

“My family encourages me, although the community thinks it’s shameful to do so,” says Sabah, age 14, as her mother braids her long ponytail.

For her older sister Shrouq, 17, the pressure is now particularly intense.

The Abu Gunaim family lives in a modest, thatched-roof house just across the street from the beach, in the windswept spot of Sheikh Ejleen.

For a while Sabah, as a younger girl, surfed openly on the beach. But now she avoids broad daylight. “Once I got older and became more of a woman, as they say, I had to surf when no one is looking, in the early morning and sometimes late at night,” she says.

Both sisters are careful not to go out alone anymore.

“I always surf with my father and brothers around now,” says Sabah. “I enjoy it; but not as much. But do I have any other choice?”

If their father is nearby, men on the beach are less likely to harass and scold them for flouting constraints on girls’ sports. But sometimes even if their father is there, a male passerby will threaten and harass him to get his daughters out of the water.

Still, Sabah remains committed to the sport. “The community might say it is ‘aib,’ a disgrace, for a girl to surf, but it doesn’t feel this way. I want to go to the Olympics with Shrouq and prove them wrong.”

Hurting Marriage Prospects

Their mother, a 35-year-old full-time homemaker who asked not to be named, worries that surfing could hurt her daughters’ chances at marriage.

“My daughters can’t draw attention to themselves anymore,” she says. “It will hurt them and ruin their small dreams. I only hope they don’t get hurt; it’s what they love to do and that’s all I care about.”

The sisters’ surf boards–one black and white and one blue–have been featured in a number of stories in the foreign press in recent years. But here at home the attention is beginning to work against them in a community where young women are expected to stay largely inside and wear modest attire.

Whether they will be knocked off balance by waves of public disapproval is a question as they are getting older.

The girls’ father, Rajab Abu Gunaim, helped pioneer the sport in the Gaza Strip and passed on his passion to his two daughters, the oldest of six children. Sabah and Shrouq in turn taught their younger brothers.

“I consider myself a self-taught surfer, a lucky one,” says Rajab Abu Gunaim “What I have learnt represents my heritage, one that I’m working on passing on to my children, both boys and girls.”

When the novelty of two surfing sisters in the Gaza Strip began to attract the media, their father worried the exposure might bring negative attention. At the same time, however, he thought it could also work to foster their talent and help the local community adjust to the idea of female surfing.

The sisters are breaking no laws in surfing, but girls and women are by custom expected to be accompanied by a male in public, to dress in modest attire and to exercise and participate in sports indoors. Outdoor sports, with body-revealing attire, are borderline taboo.

TV-Taught Skills

Rajab Abu Gunaim works as a full-time life guard during the summer and as a fisherman throughout the year. Much of his surfing skills, he says, came from watching the sport on TV. He learned how to swim at age 8 and at 17 began training others to surf.

Now about a dozen male surfers–ranging from 14 to 35 in age–are a common feature on the beach, all of them trained by him.

His daughters ride on boards donated by a cross-border cooperation organization, Surfing 4 Peace, which encourages surfers in Gaza and Israel.

Gazans’ use of the sea was limited to three nautical miles after the 2008-2009 war imposed a blockade that has made fishing and sailing nearly impossible. Israel says the blockade is necessary to stop the infiltration of militants into Israel and arms importation to Gaza.

Rajab Abu Gunaim, who says he has come under fire many times while fishing, condemns the blockade as a form of “collective punishment” that has hurt his livelihood and blocked the import of surf boards to the Gaza Strip.

“No surf boards are allowed to come in and of course none of us are allowed to get to the boarders to bring them in. It is hopeless. Although surfing is a joyful and challenging sport all over the world, apparently in Gaza it threatens Israeli security,” he fumed.

Sabah recounts the astonishment of her classmates the first time they saw her surf. “I once came back from school with some of my classmates and they saw my board. I tried to explain to them about surfing and my dad took us all on his boat into the sea. I dived into the water and when I looked back, they were all astonished.”

Eman Mohammed is a 25-year-old Palestinian photojournalist and reporter based in the Gaza Strip.

 

 

#Mumbai- Brokers offer to show flats to 17-year-old girl, rape her #Vaw #WTFnews


RAPE

Duo spiked her cold drink, took her to a hotel in Virar, violated her and then dumped her on the highway

February 23, 2013
MUMBAI
Shiva Devnath

Two real estate agents raped a 17-year-old minor in a hotel on the pretext of showing her property in Kandivli late on Thursday. After receiving a tip-off about their location, the police arrested the duo from Virar yesterday.

The victim has been living alone in a rented apartment on Kandarpada, Dahisar (East), ever since her family returned to their hometown. Since she wanted to purchase a flat, she contacted two real estate agents operating in Kandivli on Wednesday morning. She got their numbers from a common friend Mohammad Saddam (22) who lives in the same colony as the victim.

Of the two agents, one has been identified as Krishna Mastud (25). Promising to show her some apartments in Kandivli Complex, they asked her to meet them near a mall on Akurli Road in Kandivli (East) on Thursday evening. The three met and went to a restaurant in Kandivli to talk. The accused then spiked the cold drink that the victim was sipping on. She lost consciousness. She regained her senses around 1.30 am yesterday, to find herself lying on the WEH in Kandivli (East).

She told the police that her clothes were torn and there were nail marks on her body. She felt pain in her private parts. She called one of her friends and went to Bhagwati hospital where she sought treatment. According to police sources, the accused confessed that they had raped her in a hotel in Virar when she was unconscious. Pravin Tiwari, assistant commissioner (Samta Nagar division), said, “We registered a rape case against the duo and sent them to Nagpada hospital for medical examination.

We arrested Krishna Mastud and his accomplice. They work as real estate agents.” The two have been booked under Sections 328 (poison), 376 (rape) and 34 (common intention) of the IPC. They were produced at Borivli court and remanded in police custody.

Recent cases

Jan 29: The Oshiwara police arrested a 25-year-old man for allegedly raping his five-year-old niece. The man had raped his niece when her mother had stepped out for work

Jan 18: The Juhu police arrested Ramesh Rajput, a school bus driver-cum-cleaner, for molesting a four-year-old girl inside the bus while dropping her home from school

Jan 10: 70-yr-old Niyaz Ahmad Hasan Raza was arrested by Shivaji Nagar police for sodomising a 13-year-old girl and recording an MMS of the act, which he then circulated

 

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