Obama in Occupied Palestine #mustread


MAR 23, 2013

Obama

 
Sign: US leads terrorism (Raad Adayleh)
I am a Palestinian from the Bethlehem area but who also happens to hold a US passport.  The latter does not allow me to enter Jerusalem and the US government will not protect this or other rights I have (including family reunification). Meanwhile, any Jewish American can come and get automatic citizenship and live on stolen Palestinian land in our city. It is hard to describe the level of frustration that I had watching the theater of media frenzy (devoid of any real substance) about Obama’s visit.  Obama gave a new lifeline to war and conflict by avoiding human rights and international law.  It is the missing ingredient that for the past 65 years precluded peaceful resolution. It is the twisted logic that says the insecurity of the thief must be the only thing to be dealt with by ensuring the victims first recognize the legitimacy of the theft and the legitimacy of the need for the thief to first have full security and immunity from accountability for the theft before the victim is put in the room with the armed thief so that they can work out something (vague and without reference to International law). That formula has been shown to be a disaster and has kept Apartheid and colonization going.   Israel has no incentive to allow a Palestinian sovereign state let alone redress the injustice (e.g. refugees, theft of land and resources etc) as long as it continues to get unconditional check from our tax money and guaranteed veto of the US at the UN protecting it from International law.  This plus over $12 billion in profits from the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza (captive market, natural resources etc.) ensures the occupation continues.  But Israeli and American governments are thinking short term.  Long term, the changing reality (in the Arab world) and demographics in Palestine will ensure change. Obama alluded to this when he told Israelis that no wall will be tall enough and no iron dome will be strong enough and that peace is imperative.  The problem is he failed to follow his own logic and press Israel to change and instead repeated the same failed logic that “bilateral” negotiations between a strong occupier/colonizer and a weak leadership of colonized/occupied people is the way to go.
Below are some of the things that happened during Obama’s short visit.  You be the judge of their value or relevance to bringing peace.
Palestinian and American security coordinate to clean streets of any thing that might allude to Palestinain rights (refugee signs, maps of historic Palestine etc).  They change all manholes in targeted areas spending millions for excessive “security” for the unwanted visitor to Bethlehem and Ramallah. Palestinian security preemptively arrest dozens and suppress peaceful demonstrations succeeding in isolating Obama from seeing Palestinian anger.
Massive traffic jams, and on days of visits an essential siege and curfew on Ramallah area (Thursday) near Al-Muqata and Bethlehem (Friday).  The preparations create significant damage to economy and livelihood of tens of thousands of Palestinians.
Selected choreographed visits by Obama to Hertzl’s and Rabin’s tombs (the former who called for ethnic cleansing, the latter who executed it) but not to Yasser Arafat’s tomb.
American flags placed by the Palestinian Authority (PA) along the streets removed by Palestinian activists. PA security officials suppress demonstrations and prevent activists from getting near Obama. At Ramallah demonstration, PA security dressed in civilian cloths attack demonstrators.
Obama calls on Palestinian officials­­ to resume bilateral negotiations that led to nowhere in the past 20 years, to accept Israel as a “Jewish state”, and not to seek implementation of International law via International bodies like the UN or the International Court of Justice.  Perhaps not coincidentally, the Palestinian mission in Geneva has put out mild drafts that do not take advantage of the strong  findings of the UN Human Rights Council (see item link below).
Obama brokers a deal by pressuring Turkey to accept a tepid Israeli statement of regret for the deaths of Turkish citizens with some compensation for families and restoring Turkish-Israeli strategic relations (presumably including military cooperation). Turkish demands for lifting the siege on Gaza is dropped.
Obama, like his predecessors, identified Hizballah, Syria, and Iran as a dark axis of evil while Israel as a perfect model of democracy and beauty.
Obama in his speeches adopts the Zionist myths that Apartheid Israel is redemptive and that it is the guarantee against another holocaust (it is actually the reverse). Obama fails to mention that this “great and technologically advanced country” is actually built on top of Palestine and by destroying 530 villages and towns and by looting property and patrimony of millions of Palestinians.
Obama will send John Kerry to try and restart the “Palestinian-Israeli negotiations.”
Obama defines what we Palestinians want (supposedly a vague “viable state”) even though for most of us, we want return to our homes and lands and freedom from racism and apartheid.
Obama will give Jordan $200 million to help Syrian Refugees.
Obama reminds the Israelis that his administration developed unprecedented support to the apartheid state of Israel especially in the field of security.
Obama highlighted the Iron Dome system and praised it but now documented data show that they are less than 30% effective as opposed to the government insistence that they had 90% success).
Obama claimed the West Bank is in good shape because of Abbas and Fayyad and compared to Gaza which he claimed is miserable under rejectionist Hamas.
What Obama and his large entourage fail to mention during this supposed “historic visit”: human rights, international law, the tenth anniversary of the murder of US Citizen Rachel Corrie, Palestinian rights and security, justice, land confiscation, apartheid laws, illegality of settlements, US opposition to Palestine joining the UN, applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention, how much taxpayer money is given to Israel, the siege on Gaza, the freedom of movement, the attack on US citizens’ rights by Israel….
While Obama meets Israeli children, Israeli soldiers arresting Palestinian Children
Amira Hass writes on Humanitarian hush money: The generous aid given to the Palestinians through various channels is the reward offered by Western states in exchange for the tolerance they show toward Israeli apartheid.http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/humanitarian-hush-money.premium-1.501672
A brave Palestinian confronts Obama asking if he had come here to bring peace or to continue arming Israel for war instead of dealing with the substance Obama claims this “heckler” proves democracyhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kiPH-olTfuA
Palestinians build another tent village on our lands while Netanyahu and Obama speak about Iran and continue colonial settlement expansion on natve Palestinian lands. Video with message to Obama
Netanyahu: Leaked video shows how he lied to the US and the world
A short documentary on the relevant issues of the peace process (From the PLO Negotiations Affairs Department) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R94Ss8hRqhk
and here is from Jewish Voices for Peace a short course on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
A young Jewish American makes a lot more sense than Obama
Goldstone again? Source: rights groups fear Palestinian cave-in at UN could scuttle action on settlements
Mazin Qumsiyeh

#India – Young Love, old moralities #moralpolicing #ageofconsent #adolescentsex


Kamayani Bali Mahabal | March 23, 2013, Times Crest

The whole debate around the age of consent is clouded by foolish misconceptions, some of them legal and many of them cultural.

Do Baba Ramdev and others know what the implications of reducing the age of consent are? They have been crying themselves hoarse that the move will lead to a rise in the incidents of rape.
‘Age of consent’ does not imply the age at which you are allowed to consent for sex. It is a legal concept which means that this will be the age below which ‘consent’ will not be considered a valid defence against a rape charge. So if a 16-to-18-year-old boy is charged with rape, he will be convicted even if the girl tells the court she had consented.

There is also another misconception at work in this debate. The age of consent is not being reduced – in India, the age of consensual consent has always been 16. Consensual intercourse with a girl under this age was construed as “statutory rape”. The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, enacted in 2012, increased the age of consent to sexual intercourse from 16 to 18. The Verma Committee recommended that the age of consent in the Indian Penal Code should revert to 16.

Where does the age of consent stand in other countries? Britain, 16, France, 15, and in Spain, 13. In the United States, the age ranges from 16 to 18 years, depending on the state in the question. People need to understand that it is quite normal for people to have sexual relationship at 16 or 17.

The reason feminists are asking age of consent to be kept at 16 years is that we do not want to criminalise and send off young boys to prison when they are in a consensual sexual relationship. As Judge Kamini Lau in her judgment last year said in the absence of what she called a “close-in-age reprieve, ” the increase in the age of consent “would become regressive and draconian as it tends to criminalise adolescent sex. ” If the age of consent is raised to 18, any sexual contact between teenagers will be considered rape, period. And all big brothers who want to control their sisters’ freedom will use it to accuse any boy/male classmate/friend who befriends their sisters, strengthening the patriarchal stereotypes which the women’s movement has been fighting to eliminate for decades.

According to the apex body of child rights in the country, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, children’s homes are full of boys who have eloped or had consensual sex with young girls whose disapproving parents have filed cases of kidnapping and rape against them. This means that a later age of consent is widely used as a weapon by protective parents.

Then there is the other question: Would pegging the age of consent at 16 encourage trafficking and rape? How can it? Trafficking and rape are a crime, no matter what the age. If it is raised to 18, young boys, especially from Dalit and tribal communities, will face rape convictions for consensual relationships with upper caste/class girl.

We need to amend the law whereby a man who is 4-5 years or more older than a 16-to-18-year-old girl can be convicted of statutory rape, irrespective of the consent of the girl, as he can sexually exploit a young girl.

The issue here is not if teenage sex is good or bad but if consensual sex between teenagers is to be defined as rape or not. We are drafting a criminal law, not a moral or a social code like the Manu Smriti.
The various babas, religious groups and the khap panchayats believe that young persons, particularly girls, should not exercise any sexual freedom. They view marriage, as determined by their families, as the only destiny for young women. The decision to have sex or not is personal. The law cannot decide when and where a person should have sex, it can only frame laws to prevent crimes.

We should understand the difference between consensual sex and marriage. A marriage is not all about sexual gratification. It is a big social responsibility, which ties a person not only to his or her partner but also to the family and kids. So the age for marriage and consensual sex should be looked at differently. Are child marriages held with the consent of children? No, they are thrust upon them. The argument for keeping the age of consent at 16 years is to prevent the criminal law from interfering in the rights of young people to exercise sexual autonomy and agency. This will curb societal control along conservative lines of caste, class and religion.

While drafting the new law, there are some contemporary realities that government appears to have forgotten. It is medically accepted fact that the age of puberty has been coming down across populations around the world. Biologically, therefore, youngsters are starting to feel the effects of sex hormones raging around their bodies much earlier. According to the third National Health Survey, 2005-06 nearly 43 per cent of women aged between 20-24 had engaged in intercourse before they were 18.

Do we have anything close to sex education in India to allow young people to make informed choices? We need to equip teenagers so they can understand their bodies, and respect sexual attraction, not despise it, and deal responsibly with it. We should not criminalise that attraction. If we do, young men will only end up fearing and hating women, and developing a distorted perception of sexuality and women. This will only make them more violent towards women.

Is this the way we want to deal with violence against women? The criminal law should take into account a teenager’s ability and maturity to make decisions about sex. It should help them deal with their sexuality in an informed and responsible way. Law should strengthen our rights and freedoms and not be an instrument of social control or moral policing.

Now that the government has passed the Bill with the age of consent at 18, we have opened avenues for the prosecution of young boys and girls. We have acknowledged that the Indian society wishes to treat its young boys and girls as immature individuals incapable of making a responsible decision about their sexual lives. Now let us think, is this one step forward or four backwards?

The writer is a lawyer and human rights activist.

 

Kudankulam nuclear power project cost up 14%


Construction began in Sept 2001 with estimated cost at Rs 13,600 cr; expenditure on the project at Rs 15,454 cr till Jan 2013

 Economy & Policy » News » News

BS Reporter  |  Chennai  March 21, 2013

The delay in commissioning of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP) has pushed the project cost up around 14 per cent. When construction began in September 2001, the government had joined hands with Russia for the project, which was then expected to cost Rs 13,600 crore. But according to the government, till January 2013, expenditure on KNPP was Rs 15,454 crore.

Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office V Narayanasamy said, the expenditure on Kudankulam Project (KKNPP Units 1&2 – 2 x 1000 Mw) till January 2013 had been Rs 15,454 crore and efforts were being made to commission the first unit in May this year. It may be noted that the project was supposed to go on stream in Sept 2007.

KNPP is in the coastal village of Kudankulam in Tirunelveli district, 650 km south of Chennai. An inter-governmental agreement for the project was signed in Nov 1988 by then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and erstwhile Soviet Union’s President Mikhail Gorbachev, for construction of two reactors.

However, the project was in a limbo for a decade due to the political and economic upheaval in Russia after the post-1991 breakup of the Soviet Union. There were also objections from the United States on the grounds that the agreement does not meet the 1992 terms of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

Then, the construction began only in September 2001 and the cost was estimated to be $3 billion (around Rs 13,600 crore).

In a statement to the Lok Sabha on Thursday, the minister, said in nuclear power plants, a series of activities including integrated system tests, first criticality, subsequent performance tests, synchronisation of the unit with the grid and raising of power in steps take place.

The nuclear power reactors at Kudankulam employ several safety features to ensure protection of people and the environment even under most stressful situation like extreme natural events leading to a loss of power and cooling water supply, the minister said.

 

Bangladesh -Jamat-e-Islami misguiding international human rights bodies


Thursday, 07 March 2013 20:28by Farooq Sulehria , viewpointonline.com

The Communist Party of Bangladesh or Bangladesh Samajtantrik Dol (Socialist Party) have been unwavering in their commitment to the war criminal trials

‘Sadly, the Awami League has not fully restored the 1972 constitution – the present constitution is a strange chimera – it has Islam as state religion and also says that that the republic is secular, at the same time !,’ says Garga Chatterjee.

He is a political commentator on the sub-continental issues. His articles are regularly published from newspapers and magazines in Lahore, Mumbai, Kolkata, Dhaka, Sri Nagar, Delhi, and Kathmandu. By profession, he is a brain scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Read on:

You were recently in Dhaka. Tell us about the unrest that has gripped the country of late.

I was in Dhaka recently when the protests at Shahbag were going on in full swing. The protests started when one of the war criminals of 1971, a Bengali killer-collaborator called Kader Mollah, was handed down a life sentence. The initial protest organizers, sort of an informal alliance between a network of bloggers and certain secular and left student organizations, snowballed into a continuous protest against the verdict. People from many walks of life, especially women and youth, joined in. People who have seen protests in Dhaka before told me that they have not seen anything this big since the pro-democracy protests against General Ershad. Some say this even dwarfs that. Soon enough, the demands on the protesters went beyond asking for death penalty for Kader Mollah. This finally coalesced in to the 6-point demand from the ‘Projonmo Chottor’, which is the informal name for the Shahbag demonstration – which roughly translates as the Generation Campus/Square.

The 6-points are:

1. Maximum penalty for all war criminals including Kader Molla.
2. Ensuring equal legal rights of both defendant and prosecution, ensuring 3-month time limit on all trials, abolishing clemency power of the state for these trials.
3. Banning Pakistani aggressor force’s allies Jamat-Shibir and all communal parties for resisting Bangladesh liberation and committing war crimes. Immediate arrest and justice for activists of Jamat-Shibir for threatening a civil war by identifying through television and print media pictures.
4.  Bring all the political parties, forces, individuals and organizations who are trying to safeguard these war criminals, resisting the trials and conspiring with them to justice.
5. Arrest and bring under ICT Trials all the war criminals who were either convicted or undergoing trial till their release on December 31, 1975
6.  Ban all the business, social and cultural organizations like Islami Bank, Ibn Sina, Focus, Retina Coaching, etc. Block all the local and foreign sources of income of Jamat-Shibir. Shut down war criminal owned media organizations like Diganta TV, Daily Naya Diganta, Daily Amar Desh, Daily Sangram, blogsite SonarBangladesh.com , etc.

The last point is significant because Jamaat and its cohorts run one of the largest business networks in Bangladesh.

Also, solidarity protests have been held beyond Dhaka in almost all parts of Bangladesh. I myself saw protests in Barisal being held in front of the Ashwini Dutta Town Hall. Certain progressive-left cultural troupes like Udichi are taking a very active role in organizing these- through singing songs of Liberation war and also Bangla songs of Robindronath, Dwinjendro Lal Ray and other stalwarts.

There are extempore paintings being done by local artists. In Shahbag, at any point, 2-3 film screenings, 4-5 street theatres and numerous small gatherings (jotlas) were happening side by side with the central assembly. The atmosphere was electric – nothing like what I have ever seen before, and being from Calcutta, I have been to many protests, including the much talked about Delhi rape protests.

It is being commented that people are asserting the secular identity of their country. Why this stress on war crimes. What is the link between the secular identity and the war crimes?

People in Shahbag are indeed asserting the importance of secular politics. This is evident in their slogans and in the absence of informal obeisance to this religion or the other, which take place in many other ‘secular’ scenarios. Apart from brief Namaj [prayer] breaks, I noticed nothing that had any particular stamp. What was interesting that most of the assemblies were not talking of ‘true Islam’ or ‘true Hinduism’ but of a politics bereft of the use of religion. I am not sure whether Shahbag’s strand of hard secularism is representative of Bangladesh as a whole, but Shahbag is a political act and in that, it aims for a change, rather than simply reflect what is. So Shahbag’s secularism is derived partly from the present polity but also is trying to project a political programme. Interestingly, this separation of religion from politics is something that is enshrined in the 1972 constitution, which the military rulers removed. Sadly, the Awami League has not fully restored the 1972 constitution – the present constitution is a strange chimera – it has Islam as state religion and also says that that the republic is secular, at the same time!

The question of war crimes is central to this movement. The 1971 Liberation war is the central defining event that resulted in the nation-state of the people’s republic of Bangladesh. That central fissure, of those for and those against the idea of Bangladesh, remains unresolved – as those against the idea have retained considerable clout in politics. They have tried to systematically distort history. The War crimes are important because in spite of all the distortion, except a few religious cranks, no one really disputes that they really happened. The war criminals represent a festering wound – of the kind few nation-states have. Imagine having the butcher of Jallianwalabagh being a minister in post-British Punjab! Then you start getting an idea of what we are talking about. The war crimes trials are a short-hand for historical justice, but also for many, something that needs to be resolved so that those who opposed independence violently can be delegitimized in politics.

The link between secular identity and war crimes is important. The war crimes happened in the name of preserving the unity of the Islamic state, Pakistan. The Hindus of East Bengal were victims of war crimes in disproportionately high numbers. Even in 1971, the pro Liberation forces were touted to be anti-Islam for being pro-Bengali. In this nation-state, Muslims form a progressively stupendous majority. So, the demand for war crimes trial, also is part of the demand the calls for a return to the ‘ideals of 71’ – which, in theory, is not communal.

Do you think there are lessons for other Muslim countries, especially Pakistan, in this movement?

There are important lessons for other countries with large Muslims majority populations. The Shahbag protests are quite different from the other iconic protest of recent times- the Tahrir Square. Unlike Tahrir, in Shahbag Islamists were not part of the protests. So beyond superficial comparisons, Shahbag is quite different – in composition, in political direction, in participation and leadership of women ( leading some pro-Jamaat groups and clerics to call Shahbag a den of vice and prostitution!). Shahbag also underlines the role of long-term political organizing in Muslim-majority societies that may be missed in the ‘spontaneity’. Make no mistake about it, without the student and youth organizations of the political left, there would be no Shahbag. I remember a cartoon by Sabir Nazar that was printed in The Friday Times, where he shows the successive destruction of ‘minorities’ in Pakistan – Hindus, Ahmadis, Sunnis and then a bullet coming towards the Sunnis. In Bangladesh, this politics of ‘purification’ is something that was countered, albeit incompletely, during 71. Given the devastating effects of finding the one pure faithful befitting Pakistan, Shahbag, in its prioritizing the issue of genocide and war crimes of 71, brings to front, what solution such ‘purifying’ politics leads to. In all places, where minorities are living a threatened existence, Shahbag should act as a political message. From Shahbag, there have been slogans that venerate Surya Sen and Pritilata Waddeddar. These ‘Hindu’ freedom fighters from 80 years ago were centre of mass slogans by an assembly that was largely Muslim. Can Pakistan conceive of a politics where Bhagat Singh can have a similar status? These are issues that need to be reflected upon.

Jamaat was feared in Bangladesh. It seems that fear is disappearing. Your comments.

This is something I heard at many places. Many said, if Shahbag has done one thing, it is this – earlier, in many places, the ‘commoner’ would criticize Jamaat in a low voice. Now they swear openly at it.

The Jamaat and its associates are a marginal but significant political force in Bangladesh. The silence was due to their terror techniques. Especially notorious is their student wing, the Islami Chhatra Shibir. The similarity with the IJT’s terrorizing of campuses in Pakistan is striking.

Has Jamaat-e-Islami been on the defensive? Is it true that JI members have been killed by Awami League? Or is it the case that Jamaat has been targeting opponents. In Pakistan, Jamaat is propagating that their members have been killed by Awami League activists?

If the 6 demands of Shahbag are fulfilled, then Jamaat will be severely compromised politically – though their strand of politics will find other outlets. So for JI, this is a battle for political survival. They are fighting back on all fronts. In any case JI cadres are brain-washed to believe that they are perennially besieged. They are doing online propaganda, trying to misguide international human rights organizations, and on the streets, they are doing looting, killing and arson. Very recently, they have been targeting Hindu and Buddhist temples, homes and businesses to create a riot-like situation. The state forces of Bangladesh have come down in a heavy handed manner – so it is incorrect to say that Awami League (AL) is killing them now. It is true that AL, BNP and Jamaat have been involved in murderous clashes. The student and youth wing of the Awami League has been particularly violent in the last 2 years – but most of it has been feuds between AL factions. The student wing of the Jamaat however is the most notorious, having earned the terrifying epithet of ‘rog-kata’ or ‘muscle/tendon cutters’.

What has been the role of Awami League and other mainstream parties during these trial? Also, what about the left: its stand and level of participation?

The AL has been formally supportive of the trial. This was one of their elections manifesto pledges. They have however mismanaged the trial but nominating a bunch of loyal but worthless lawyers in the prosecution side. Also the tribunal does not have much resources. This has led many to question whether AL really wants the trial and prosecution of war criminals. AL has earlier made underhand deals with many powers, including the Jamaat. However, this time, the tenor of the struggle on the ground is different.

The left organizations, like the Communist Party of Bangladesh or Bangladesh Samajtantrik Dol (Socialist Party) have been unwavering in their commitment to the war criminal trials. They have been trying to follow a line of tactically criticizing the AL to keep it in line with its election manifesto commitments on the war trial issue. The AL smells election benefits of Shahbag, if it can channelize the youth vote, which is an increasingly large part of the electorate. At the same time, AL knows that the widespread support and participation in Shahbag has happened as it was no explicitly partisan. It is a case of the goose that lays the golden eggs. AL wants to steal the eggs – however, it also knows that trying to do that too brashly, will kill the goose.

Farooq Sulehria is currently pursuing his media studies. Previously, he has worked with Stockholm-based Weekly Internationalen. In Pakistan, he has worked with The Nation, The Frontier Post, The News, and the Pakistan. He has MA in Mass Communication from the University of Punjab, Lahore. He also contributes for Znet and various left publications internationally.

Ration Dealers Given Target for Sterilization Cases in Rajasthan #populationcontrol #coercion #WTFnews


kota

 

 Kota Rajatshan, March 22, 2013 –  . Now the ration dealers  in rajasthan are going to motivate men and women who come to their shop for  Sterlization. This March and the state health departed is searching frantically for sterilization cases to meet the targets, As a result, even the ration dealers are  given targets in Bundi ,to bring 2 cases of sterilization each , by  March 30th 2013  to  the department

 

 

Give Maoists political prisoner status as stated by Calcutta High Court


March 22, Kolkata– “The state government must immediately withdraw the petition challenging the Calcutta High Court’s decision. Political prisoner status is a democratic right and the government cannot take away this right,” said Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR) secretary Dhiral Sengupta.

The Calcutta High Court August 2012 had granted political prisoner status to seven Maoists including Gaur Narayan Chakraborty and tribal leader Chhatradhar Mahato, spokesperson of Maoist backed Peoples’ Committee Against Police Atrocities.

The state government subsequently filed a special leave petition before the Supreme Court challenging the order. The apex court stayed the order.

The APDR also urged the Mamata Banerjee government in the state not to amend the law granting political prisoner status.

“The government should desist from lowering the dignity of the state assembly by trying to amend a law and deny a basic democratic right of people who fight for political justice. This government is behaving like the British rulers,” added Sengupta.

Following the Calcutta High Court order, the union home ministry had written to the state government seeking an amendment in the West Bengal Correctional Services Act, 1992, to prevent Maoists and other militants from getting status of political prisoners.

IANS

Mamata Banerjee links rise in rape cases to population increase #Vaw #WTFnews


PTI/ IANS  : Kolkata, Fri Mar 22 2013, 17:43 hrs
Mamata Banerjee

 

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today linked rising cases of rapes to increase in the population, while claiming that there were only 45 such cases till November 2012 in Kolkata in comparison to 621 in Delhi in the same year.

“The population is increasing. Is the population in West Bengal the same as it was during the time of Bidhan Chandra Roy? You have raised many questions on law order. You are saying that rapes are increasing,” Banerjee told the Assembly.

“The population is increasing, cars are increasing, infrastructure is increasing, shopping malls are increasing. Inoxes (multiplex) are coming up. Young people are becoming modern. Don’t you welcome it?” she asked while winding up the debate on the Governor’s address.

Alleging that newspapers were deliberately exaggerating rape cases, she said earlier women felt shy of reporting such cases.

“There has been an increase in social consciousness. Now they are registering complaints. This is a good sign. Earlier complaints were not even registered,” the chief minister said.

Stating that there should not be even one case of rape, she cited statistics for Kolkata saying that there were 44 rape cases in 2007, 35 in 2008, 42 in 2009, 32 in 2010, 38 in 2011 and 45 in 2012.

In the state there were 1,673 rape cases in 2005, 1,693 in 2006, 2,062 in 2007, 2,228 in 2008, 2,292 in 2009, 2,279 in 2010, 1,650 in 2011 and 1,836 up to November in 2012.

In 2011 there were 453 rape cases in Delhi, 221 in Mumbai, 97 in Bangalore, and 76 in Chennai, she said adding that in 2012, there were 621 rapes in Delhi.

The opposition has been accusing the state government of its incapability in controlling atrocities like rape against women.

In October 2012, while speaking at a programme in the city, Banerjee had accused the media of glorifying rape and pointed to the more permissive society.

“Earlier, if men and women held hands, parents would reprimand them. Now everything is done openly. It’s like an open market with open options,” Banerjee had said.

The chief minister had also courted a controversy in February 2012 when she termed the allegation of an Anglo-Indian woman that she was raped inside a moving car in the posh Park Street area as “cooked up to malign her government”.

Painter Samir Aich lashed out against Banerjee.

“Only political leaders can give such logic. It defies common sense. Going by the same logic, murders and other crimes should also go up if population increases. We know such crimes can increase even if the population decreases if there is administrative laxity,” Aich told IANS.

 

#India- Cop to woman: Who will rape you at your age? #Vaw #WTFnews


, TNN | Mar 23, 2013, 03.47 AM IST

A Dalit woman, who petitioned a senior Uttar Pradesh Police officer seeking registration of her rape complaint, was told that her’s was not an age to be raped.

Caught on camera: UP cop insults rape victim

Caught on camera: UP cop insults rape victim
LUCKNOW: An additional superintendent of police (ASP) in Deoria district refused to entertain the rape complaint of a housewife merely because she was over 35 years of age. To add to the insensitivity, the officer said: “Who would rape such an old woman?”

Coming at a time when Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav is struggling to counter mounting pressure from all quarters over the deteriorating crime scene in the state, the incident has touched a new low. DGP A C Sharma expressed regret over the conduct of his subordinate and IG (crime) RK Vishwakarma said an explanation had been sought from the officer within 48 hours. “Action will be initiated for making such unwanted and ridiculous comments,” said Vishwakarma.

On Wednesday night, a housewife was allegedly assaulted and knocked unconscious by a local villager while she was going to the farm fields to relieve herself. When she regained her senses, she found that she had been raped. She reached home and informed her husband about it.

Early next morning, the couple when to the local Bankata police station in Deoria district to register a complaint against a local youth Santosh Singh. Allegations are that the couple returned home after being informed that the senior officers will contact them once the preliminary inquiry into her complaint was completed. “When no one came, we decided to approach the cops at the police station once again because I wanted them to get my wife medically examined to secure any possible evidence of crime. We were shown the door at the police station,” said the victim’s husband.

The couple then approached Deoria ASP Keshav Chandra Goswami at his office. They were made to wait for more than three hours before the officer finally agreed to meet them while he was walking out of his office. The victim’s husband tried to brief the ASP about his complaint when he was interrupted by the office: “How many children does she have?” he questioned her husband. When he said that they had three children, the officer asked him “What is the age of her eldest child?”

“Her eldest child—a daughter—is around 15 years of age,” the victim’s husband said. “Now, who will rape such an old woman? There must have been some other dispute behind the whole story…we will get it inquired,” the ASP said and instead of directing the Bankata police to register a case on the victim’s complaint and initiate action against the accused, got into his official vehicle and left, apparently unaware that the entire conversation had been recorded by somebody standing nearby.

Once the incident was aired by a local news channel, the police top brass in Lucknow took note of it. On the directions of the DGP, the IG (crime) directed the Deoria police to register a rape case while the ASP was asked to explain his conduct.

#India – Bombay High Court raps Maharshtra for custodial deaths #torture #humanrights


, TNN | Mar 23, 2013, 03.32 AM IST

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Friday pulled up the state government for repeated instances of custodial deaths and asked what it was doing to prevent them.

A division bench of Justice A M Khanwilkar and Justice A P Bhangale was hearing a public interest litigation filed in 2008 by the India Centre for Human Rights and Law ( ICHRL).

ICHRL’s advocate Rebecca Gonsalves told the court that there were 250 custodial deaths between 2001 and 2011. “Maharashtra leads with the highest number. Three days ago, there was a custodial death in Mumbai,” she said, referring to the case of a suspected thief who died in the lock-up ofChembur police station after allegedly banging his head against the wall.

The judges asked additional public prosecutor Aruna Pai what precautions the government had taken and whether it had issued any directives to avoid such deaths. “What change had been brought in the administration to prevent such incidents from happening again and again,” asked Justice Khanwilkar.

The judges have directed the secretary (special) of the home department to file a personal affidavit disclosing the “precautionary measures and preventive mechanisms” introduced by the government since the court took cognizance of the issue in 2008.

The judges also directed that in case no credible steps have been taken by the government, it must define an action plan and place it before the court at the next hearing on April 4.

#Mumbai Court rejects Jerrit John’s bail application #Vaw #Acidattack


Rebecca Samervel, TNN | Mar 23, 2013, 03.40 AM IST

JERRIT11
MUMBAI: A Sewri sessions court on Friday rejected the bail plea of film professional Jerrit John, arrested on the charge of attempting to murder his former lover.

“The court read out the operative part of the order and said that the bail plea was rejected,” the victim’s lawyer, Faiz Merchant, said.

On November 7, John allegedly hurled a chemical on his 26-year-old former girlfriend, physiotherapist Aryanka Hosbetkar, at her residence in Worli.

John is also facing charges of wrongful confinement and theft. He was arrested from Nalasopara on November 10.

The police said John planned the attack after Hosbetkar refused to marry him despite his promise to divorce his wife, with who he has a five-year-old son.

Opposing John’s bail application, the police said in court that if released on bail, he was likely to harm the witnesses, including the victim, and jumping bail.

John had applied for bail in December as well, but withdrawn it later.

Merchant too had filed an intervention application opposing the bail plea. “Allowing the accused to go on bail at such a premature stage would set a bad precedent in society where acid attacks are becoming more common than otherwise,” Merchant had said.

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