India’s shame: mother demanding justice for dead daughter beaten #Vaw


Reported by Anant Zanane, Edited by Mala Das | Updated: April 18, 2013 23:28 IST

PLAYClick to Expand & Play

AligarhOn camera, a group of policemen are seen manhandling a woman in a pink salwar kameez and a man near her.

One cop then drags the woman along the ground.

This is how the police in Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh responded to a distraught couple whose six-year-old daughter had been found dead this morning in a garbage dump.

Aligarh is 330 kms from Lucknow, the state capital of Uttar Pradesh.

The child’s body was found this morning and in a few hours, nearly a hundred protestors gathered in the neighbourhood shouting slogans against the police. Officers used batons on the crowd, and attacked the girl’s parents.

The policeman who dragged the mother on the ground has been transferred while two others, who manhandled the protesters, have been suspended. Deputy Inspector General of Aligarh Division, D Prakash, acknowledged that “unnecessary force was used on protesters”.

The police have said an enquiry will be completed in three days.

Meanwhile, medical tests have confirmed the girl was sexually assaulted.

 

Delhi – Nepalese woman gang-raped #Vaw


STAFF REPORTER, The Hindu

 #India- Chastity, Virginity, Marriageability, and Rape Sentencing #Vaw  #Justice #mustread

A young Nepalese woman was allegedly drugged, gang-raped by three young men in a car and then dumped in a jungle in South Delhi on Wednesday. The victim has been admitted to Safdarjung Hospital and is stated to be out of danger.

The 20-year-old woman was found in a semi-conscious state near Nanakpura Gurdwara in Moti Bagh around 7-30 a.m. on Thursday by a passerby. She had scribbled some words on the ground, including her name, indicating that she was raped and that she was a Nepalese living at Kotla (Mubarakpur) in South Delhi.

The passerby called up the Police Control Room at 7-40 a.m. The victim was then taken to Safdarjung Hospital in a police vehicle. “Her medical examination revealed no external or internal injuries,” said a police officer.

The woman is not yet fit for recording her statement, but she has been able to disclose her identity to the police. She got married a couple of months ago to a Nepalese living in Kotla Mubarakpur but had herself been living in a house at Defence Colony where she works as a domestic help. Her husband works at a restaurant in Greater Kailash.

The woman told the police that on Wednesday night she had gone to Chirag Dilli to meet her brother.

“She is unable to recall her brother’s name. She says that she went to his residence around 11 p.m. and found it locked from outside,” said the officer. The woman then went to a nearby bus queue shelter where she was waiting for a public transport vehicle when a car stopped close to her.

Car driver

The car driver offered her a lift and oblivious of what lay ahead, she got into the vehicle.

On the way, two more young men, got into the vehicle.

“The woman told us that they first went to Vasant Kunj and then drove to neighbouring Gurgaon. She alleges that while travelling, the three youth offered her two glasses of cold drinks. Soon after she consumed the cold drinks, she fell unconscious and does not remember what happened thereafter,” said the officer.

The victim told the police that when she regained consciousness, she found herself lying in a jungle. She somehow walked some distance where an auto-rickshaw driver spotted her and finding her in that condition offered help. The driver then dropped the woman near Nanakpura Gurdwara.

“She has so far not accused anyone of having raped her. She does not remember the make of the vehicle in which she had taken lift and cannot also give the description of the persons involved. At this stage, she cannot recall whether she was raped or not. Therefore, on the basis of the PCR call we have registered a case of gang-rape and intoxication at the South Campus police station and are trying to reconstruct the sequence of events leading up to the incident. We have also contacted the victim’s husband,” the officer added.

Keywords: Safdarjung Hospit

 

INDIA: A Republic of the rapists, by the rapists, for the rapists? #Vaw


rapepublic1

Avinash Pandey

The news had sprung up from nowhere. All that I had picked up the newspaper for, was to kill some time on that long flight and here it was, tucked away in a small box, staring at me. Reading it had sent a shiver down my spine. No, it was not about some unseen horrors. It was not about gruesome murders, kidnappings or even collapse of yet another state exposing its citizenry, or at least minority section of that, to grave human rights violations.

The news was just about another advisory issued by United Kingdom for a section of its citizens travelling in India. But it was not the advisory that has made me this uneasy.  As it is, western countries are quite used to issuing advisories to their citizenry travelling in the underdeveloped countries warning them about everything from food to fanaticism. Many of us, in fact, have often scoffed at these advisories located in the racist past of these countries that treated the natives as nothing more than barbarians unable to govern themselves.

Not this one, though. It was an advisory that the government of United Kingdom had issued for its women, yeah, not all UK citizens but just its women travelling in India. It has advised them to remain alert even when travelling in groups for saving themselves from getting violated, sexually and otherwise. I tried stealing a glance at my co- passenger , stuck in the economy class seat as cramped as mine and wished that she had not read this piece while aboard a flight to Delhi, the capital of the country at the receiving end of this advisory.  To the very same Delhi which has earned the dubious distinction of being the rape capital of the country as well.

The news had opened floodgates of unsavory memories of similar horror stories told to me by my female, non-Indian colleagues, strangers and acquaintances alike. I remembered the very friendly owner of the wine shop I frequent on Fridays almost without fail. He had had heard about the Delhi Gang rape and was shocked. Knowing people like me, he had added, did not make him think that my country is home to such sexual predators. No, he was not being sarcastic; he was very genuinely sad and angry. There I was, thinking of all those ‘proud to be an Indian’ campaigns I had grown up on.

The advisory reminded me of a beautiful evening of partying around in Hong Kong with colleagues, a rarity in our line of work that begins with extrajudicial killings and ends with starvation deaths, with all other horrors stuck in between. It was after ages that we had let ourselves loose on that non-touristy beach we had discovered on one of our regular hikes. It was an evening of getting nostalgia fits and missing our countries, our homelands, with all the pains and agonies that the expats stuck up in foreign cultures live with.

I missed mine and recounted all that was great about it. India is not merely about Maharajas, magicians, snake charmers and Sadhus, I had told my friends. Of course, it is not, quipped Sofie, a Danish friend, cutting me short. It is also about sexually frustrated men thinking all white women are always available and can be taken against their will, she added. We were stunned, all of us, more on the matter of fact way she had said that than the comment itself. She, like the wine shop owner, was not angry. She could not be as she had lived in India for long stretches and had many good friends here, including me. She loved India and still does. Yet, her idea of Indian males was definitive and her friends, like me, came as aberrations and not rule.

Available! The word was haunting me on my way back to home that night. It reminded me of all those questions whispered into ears of any ‘foreign-returned’ Indian.  Have we not been used to questions like ‘wahan to free sex hai na’? Did you do it? How many times?  There were other words ringing in my ears too. They were the hymns celebrating goddess, or the feminine, as source of all power that had been drilled into our psyche since childhood.

One would try to wish away this sexual frustration, our national sickness, as something reserved for the ‘other’, white women. Can one? Not really, for even a cursory glance at public spaces would bring the truth that this national sickness is all pervasive. If white women are ‘available’ for Indian males, okay, most of them, then Indian women are either achievable or violable. This is the continuum they locate all women into, from being available to violable.

The violability, in turn, is reserved for the women from weaker sections of the society despite them having to bear the brunt of most brutal forms of violability. But then, it does not save the rest of them, Indian women, from getting violated. The thing is that the Indian male psyche fed on axioms like ‘ladki hansi to fansi’ (if a girl smiles, she is all yours) and ‘na bole to haan hai’ (rejection is in fact acceptance) does not differentiate much between achievability and violability. Any retaliation to their sexual advances, thus, makes them tread the thin line between the two.

This is why, for every Khairlanji that fails to stir the society, urban feminists and media included, one can easily find a Hotel Taj in Bombay seeing two of its women patrons sexually assaulted by a mob on the New Year eve. For every Bhanwari Devi in the feudal fiefdoms of Rajasthan there would be a Naina Sahni being burnt in a Tandoor, or a Jessica Lal getting killed in a posh South Delhi private party. And if the horror is not enough for you, for every woman being paraded naked in Uttar Pradesh, there would be one molested by a mob on national television in Guwahati.

Talk of these cases as a comment on our ‘national character’, and self appointed moral brigades would pounce on you while blaming the victims. They have, in fact, quite an expertise on pouncing on the victims, literally, as well. These self-designated ‘keepers of the sacred feminine’ (a friend coined this term though she uses a much more hard-hitting and little unprintable word for the feminine) would sexually assault women in Bangalore for the crime of going to a pub and the police would arrest and imprison the journalist recording the attack instead of the perpetrators. They, in the form of a senior Congress leader, sermonize the women not to wear indecent clothes and venture out at night instead of ensuring their safety and security.  They, in the form of a senior BJP leader, would rubbish the outrage such attacks cause as a drama of lipstick wearing women. Quite understandable, as they would be watching porn clips on their mobile phones amidst an ongoing assembly session as well.

This is why the advisory should not have shocked me.  I know, and have known, my country way too well to get shocked. It was not for nothing that the advisory had come before the gruesome gang rape of a foreign national in front of her husband in Datia district of Madhya Pradesh. It was not for nothing that the advisory had come before another foreign national was forced to jump out of her hotel room to thwart a rape attempt by none other than the hotel owner.

And it was not for nothing that the advisory had come after Delhi Gangrape but before Bhandara killings and suspected gang rape of three minor sisters which did not find even as much as a mention in national outraged-at-everything media. The girls, hailing from dispossessed background, did not mean much to it. The girls, hailing from the hinterlands, did not mean much to the urbane and suave feminists as well. But then, there rests the root cause of the problem.

If Bhandara girls are violable, no women of the country, or outside, can be safe.  If the men out on prowl do not find such ‘easily violable’ preys, they are going to pounce at any other woman in sight irrespective of her status of being available, achievable or violable in their eyes.  Yes, I know how painful it is to refer to a section of our own women as ‘easily violable preys’ but then wishing the reality away does not help much, does it? The reality is that we are ‘proud’ citizens of a country that lets deeply entrenched casteist and communal forces commit gory crimes against the marginalized sections of its population with impunity. We can either stand up and fight or hide in our cocoons tucked inside the gated communities, looking away is not an option available to us.

It is also high time for rewriting the grammar of shame and social stigma attached to such crimes against women. The perpetrators do it with impunity for they know that the shame of getting violated would be written on the bodies of these women and not over their own persons. Till then, we can hang our heads in shame and hide after every such advisory issued by any country.

I am afraid, in fact, of the day they would issue an advisory telling women to get alert as soon as they see an Indian man anywhere in the world. And if you find this fear unfounded, or farfetched, remember the acts of the Indian youth leaders’ delegation that visited China earlier this year. If you don’t, know that many of them sexually harassed every women in sight, Chinese as well as female members of their own delegation. The only way authorities could devise for stopping them for bringing more shame to the country was restraining a large section of them from going out and forcing them to remain in their hotel rooms for the rest of the visit.

The youth leaders are back with their honours intact. They would grow into the future leaders of the country. Need one say more about the exigency of an advisory warning against the presence of any Indian male anywhere in the world?

About the Author: Mr. Pandey, alias Samar is Programme Coordinator, Right to Food Programme, He can be contacted atsamar@ahrc.asia

That Narendra Modi joke you’ve never heard


In the whole vast limitless universe of the World Wide Web, there is not a single joke about Narendra Modi
G. Sampath , liveminit.com
   
First Published: Thu, Apr 18 2013.
Today, when Narendra Modi is only a PM aspirant, and that too notionally, and not officially, his acolytes can barely stand jokes about him. Photo: Mint
Today, when Narendra Modi is only a PM aspirant, and that too notionally, and not officially, his acolytes can barely stand jokes about him. Photo: Mint
Updated: Thu, Apr 18 2013.
There is a famous scene in the Coen brothers’ film adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men, where Llewelyn Moss (played by Josh Brolin) is recovering in a hospital after being seriously wounded in a gun fight with the hitman, Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem in the role of a life time).
A bed-ridden Moss is visited by another hitman, Carson Wells (Woody Harrelson), who is surprised to find Moss alive after his encounter with Chigurh.
“What’s this guy supposed to be, the ultimate badass?” asks an irritated Moss.
“No, I wouldn’t describe him as that,” says Wells.
“How would you describe him?” Moss wants to know.
Chigurh is a remorseless killer, the most dangerous man imaginable. But Wells doesn’t say any of that. Instead, this is how he describes Chigurh: “I guess I would say he doesn’t have a sense of humour.”
Like lightning that illuminates an entire landscape in a single flash, this one line is all we need to see Chigurh for the kind of man he is. He sounds more terrifying in this sentence spoken by a fictional character than in all those other scenes where he actually goes around killing people. And we find it chilling precisely because McCarthy here hints at the Chigurh lurking in each one of us, waiting to be summoned by the right cause, the right ideology, or the right man on a white horse.
Narendra Modi is scary for the same reason that Chigurh is scary: on publicly available evidence, he does not have a sense of humour. And neither do his legion of fans, who are less his fans than aspirational clones, as attested by the popularity of the Modi mask.
As Sandipan Deb observed in an article hereNo one jokes about Narendra Modi. In the whole vast limitless universe of the World Wide Web, there is not a single joke about Modi—at least none that are searchable. But there are tons of gags about Rahul GandhiManmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi; entire websites and facebook pages dedicated to having a laugh at their expense. Is it because the latter three are inherently funny people while there is nothing at all funny about Modi? Or is it that there are only two kinds of people in the world: those who worship Modi, and those afraid to joke about him?
Humour, like some chemical elements do when brought near a white flame, acquires a strange new property when brought into the force field of power: it turns subversive. If you’re not living in an oppressive or totalitarian state, humour flows freely around the nodes of power and public discourse retains its civility under pressure. The moment the weight of power falls heavily upon those governed by it, humour disappears. And when it reappears, as it eventually will, it does so as a weapon that punctures the self-righteous piety which envelops power; it deflates the puffed-up sanctimoniousness that tyranny wears to shield itself from being interrogated by the kind of free and fearless speech that makes any democracy worthy of being called one.
Therefore, a sense of humour, defined as a willingness to laugh at oneself, is a fundamental value in a democracy and a non-negotiable quality for anyone who would aspire to a leadership position in politics. That people are not comfortable cracking jokes about Modi is a big minus for the PM wannabe. However, it is consistent with his history of bigotry, and fully in keeping with the allegations of his political opponents, who accuse him of possessing a fascist mindset. Indeed, humour does not mix with extremism, and if Modi wants to leave his extremist past behind, he must learn to lighten up—and that doesn’t mean joking about other people. For instance, if only he’d had a sense of humour, he would have done better than to run away from hard questions like he did in his interview with Karan Thapar.
Of course, one can argue that Modi’s public persona of a humourless authoritarian is just an act. But it is that act which wields power and takes decisions as well, and it is the nature of such power to seek control. And because humour cannot be controlled, power hates it. To take a recent example, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, another humourless authoritarian, arrested a Jadavpur University professor last year just for sharing an email that poked fun at her.
Today, when Modi is only a PM aspirant, and that too notionally, and not officially, his acolytes can barely stand jokes about him. I honestly would like to know if there’s anybody out there who believes that in a scenario where Modi is PM, Modi jokes would be tolerated in public discourse the way Manmohan or Rahul jokes are today. If you are that anybody, let’s see if you can walk your talk by sharing a joke about Modi (not by him) in the Comment section below.
Modi and his followers are too much in love with the image of the grim visionary who will lead India from the chaos of adolescence to the macho-rity of adulthood—obviously, for when you fall in love, you always do so with an image. What distinguishes an authentic individual (more commonly known as a human being) from an image is vulnerability. In so far as Modi is a human being just like the rest of us, just like Rahul Gandhi or Manmohan Singh or even Arnab Goswami, he is vulnerable.
But the hard visage of Modi’s leadership persona has no room for anything as ‘soft’ as vulnerability, which is why he is a dangerous man for democracy. There are no jokes about Modi because Modi is first and foremost an image, and images are too worried about cracking up to crack up themselves. Modi’s India is no country for irreverent men—and that’s no laughing matter.
  
First Published: Thu, Apr 18 2013

 

#India- continuous attack on Human Rights Defenders , MASUM activists targetted


 

18 April 2013

 

To

The Chairman

National Human Rights Commission

Faridkot House

Copernicus Marg

New delhi-110001

Respected Sir,

The Declaration on Human Rights Defenders reiterates that States have a prime responsibility to promote, protect, and implement human rights and fundamental freedoms. To this end, State has responsibility to take all necessary measures, including adopting legal guarantees, to ensure that everyone can enjoy these rights in practice, individually and in association with others. In addition to this general obligation to promote and protect human rights; State should take all necessary steps to ensure that the particular rights and freedoms of human rights defenders are effectively guaranteed further and their activities get encouraged. I am referring here an incident where police; an active arm of the state not only violated this well accepted premise of protection of human rights of a defender but infringed fundamental freedom of a human rights defender. This is not an isolated incident, rather the local police- administration- BSF- anti- socials of the area are continuously trying to create hurdles to the activities on protection and promotion of human rights. In this regard I have made complaints to you whenever such attacks were perpetrated on our activists, but till date no visible actions have been taken, which in other hand encouraged the errant. Recently, I had a discussion with the officials over the issue at your office.

 

I want to draw your kind attention regarding the false implication, illegal detention and physical torture committed upon Mr. Mahiruddin Seikh and Mr. Safikul Islam by the police personnel of Raninagar police station, Murshidabad. Both of them are working as a Human Rights Defenders and attached with our organization i.e. Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM) in Murshidabad district for a long time.

 

On the date of the incident they went to Raninagar police station along with Ms. Kanchan Bibi who happens to be a victim of physical torture at her in- laws house and they wanted to lodge a complaint in this regard. But the perpetrator police personnel did not agree to register the complaint. The victims were brutally assaulted by the police personnel of Raninagar Police Station while they requested them to register the complaint. After that the victim Mr. Safikul Islam was falsely implicated, illegally detained and brutally tortured in the police station by the perpetrator police personnel while they came to know that the victim is a Human Rights Defender and attached with our organization.

 

Mr. Mahiruddin Seikh lodged a written complaint before the District Magistrate, Murshidabad and the Superintendent of Police, Murshidabad informing the whole incident of brutal torture and humiliation committed upon him in the hands of the perpetrator police personnel of Raninagar Police Station; he also stated on that application regarding the matter of illegal detention, false implication and brutal torture committed upon Mr. Safikul Islam by the police personnel of Raninagar Police Station. But till date no action has been taken by the higher authorities.

 

It is important here to mention that it is not the solitary incident that the human rights activists like Mr. Safikul Islam who is attached with our organization has been implicated in a false and concocted criminal case by the police in the district. Recently Mr. Gopen Chandra Sharma who is a noted human right activist and attached with our organization was also implicated in false criminal cases initiated by police. It is to be noted that our organization with active participation and work of the human rights activists attached with our organization brought numerous incidents of human rights violations cases in the district-Murshidabad to the notice of the Commission and the Commission intervened into those cases.

 

It is clear that the human rights activists attached with our organization are under attack in the hands of the police as police and the administration want to throttle the voice of the victims of torture and on human rights violations which are raised through the human rights activists. The higher authorities of police and administration know such conspiracy of police against the human rights activists working in the district as several complaints have been lodged before them informing them on the incidents of attack upon the human rights activists by the police but they are sitting silent on the matter.

 

Hence we seek your urgent intervention regarding the following matters: –

·       The whole investigation should be investigated by the Commission’s own investigating agency.

·       The concerned authorities in the district-Murshidabad must be directed to immediately stop harassment and attack upon the human rights activists working in the district and give them proper protection.

·       Mr. Safikul Islam should be released from all false charges immediately and the perpetrator police personnel of Raninagar police station must be booked under the law immediately for their unlawful acts and must be prosecuted under the criminal law.

·       The victims must be given adequate compensation and protection,so that they do not come under threat or inducement.

Thanking You

Yours truly

 

 

Kirity Roy

Secretary, MASUM

&

National Convener, PACTI

 

 

Name of the victims: – 1) Mr. Safikul Islam, son of- Mr. Majibur Raheman, by faith- Muslim, residing at Village- Char- Shibnagar, Police Station- Raninagar, District- Murshidabad, West Bengal. 2) Mr. Mahiruddin Seikh, son of- Mr. Panjatan Seikh, by faith- Muslim residing at Village- Khedurpara, Post Office- Harudanga, Police Station- Raninagar, District- Murshidabad, West Bengal.

 

Name of the perpetrators: – 1) Mr. Swarup Biswas (Sub-Inspector of Raninagar Police Station), 2) Mr. Ajay Paul (Sub-Inspector of Raninagar Police Station), 3) Mr. Anil Biswas (Sub-Inspector of Raninagar Police Station) 4) Mr. Abdul Kalam (Home Guard of Raninagar Police Station) of Raninagar Police Station, Murshidabad, West Bengal.

 

Date and time of incident: – On 28.03.2013 at about 6 pm.

 

Place of occurrence: – Inside Raninagar Police Station under Domkal Sub-Division, District- Murshidabad, West Bengal.

 

Case details: –

 

It is revealed during fact finding that Ms. Kanchan Bibi, the sister of the victim named Mr. Mahiruddin Seikh, spent her married life for two years and from the very beginning of her marriage her husband and other members of her in law’s house started to demand money from her paternal house. This situation became more serious when they did not get money from her paternal house and they started to torture her for that reasons.

 

On 25.03.2013 at 2.30 pm Mrs. Kanchan Bibi, was brutally assaulted by her husband namely Mr. Sentu Seikh, Ms. Sabiya Bewa (mother-in-law of Ms. Kanchan Bibi), Mr. Akkassh Seikh (brother-in-law of Mrs. Kanchan Bibi), Mrs. Beauty Bibi (sister-in-law of Ms. Kanchan Bibi) and Mr. Jamrul Seikh (son of Mr. Akkash Seikh and Ms. Beauty Bibi). They forcibly hit Mrs. Kanchan Bibi with some heavy weapon on her head. They wanted to try to kill her when they realized that they would not get money from her paternal house. She shouted after receiving brutal torture by them and she had to lay down on the floor with severe pain. The neighbors of Ms. Kanchan Bibi rashly came to her in law’s house to rescue her from the hands of the members of her in laws house. After that she was taken to the house of Mr. Jahadi by her neighbors and she got primary medical treatment in his house. After that the neighbors of Ms. Kanchan Bibi informed her father named Mr. Panjatan Seikh about the whole incident committed upon her by the members of her in law’s house and later the victim named Mr. Mahiruddin Seikh took his sister to his house and she was also medically treated in Raninagar Hospital after that.

 

On 28.03.2013 at 4 pm, the victim Mr. Mahiruddin Seikh and Mr. Safikul Islam who known as social activists in the locality went to Raninagar police station along with his sister Ms. Kanchan Bibi to lodge a written complaint regarding the brutal torture committed upon his sister by her husband and other members of her in law’s house. But they waited in the police station for over 2 hours but the police personal showed no mood to lodge a complaint. After that the victims along with Ms. Kanchan Bibi requested Mr. Swarup Biswas, the Sub-Inspector of Police of the said police station, to lodge a complaint after spending 2 hours over there but he started to harass them by saying that they could not lodge a complaint on the basis of that written application as they did not mention proper details to make the application as complaint. After that the victims and Mrs. Kanchan Bibi tried to convince the perpetrator police personal and told that they could show all documents which he wanted to register a complaint. Then the perpetrator police personal ordered the victims to furnish the certificate in connection with the marriage of Ms. Kanchan Bibi. But even after furnishing documents, the perpetrator police personal refused to lodge a complaint. The perpetrator police personal told them to change the complaint as per their demand and if they could to do that then he could lodge complaint on basis of that. After that the victims told the perpetrator police personal that they have sufficient document to lodge a complaint but the perpetrator police personal did not agree with them. The victims after that request the police personal to return the application on which basis they tried to lodge a complaint against the members of Ms. Kanchan Bibi‘s in law’s house. But the perpetrator police personal did not agree to return the complaint to them. Later the victim Mr. Mahiruddin Seikh tried to protest against such illicit behavior of police upon them and told that he did not know the reasons about such harassment upon his sister by the perpetrator police personal after knowing that his sister was going on severe pain due to the brutal torture committed upon her by the members of her in law’s house. The perpetrator police personal started to use abusive words to them and ordered Mr. Abdul Kalam to drive out the victims from the police station. Mean while the victim Mr. Safikul Islam prevented Mr. Abdul Kalam and requested him not to do that to him while the perpetrator police personal caught hold the victim Mr. Mahiruddin Seikh’s neck and drove out from the police station. After that the perpetrator police personnel outburst with anger and started to brutally assault the victims i.e. Mr. Mahiruddin Seikh and Mr. Safikul Islam by saying that they would teach him a proper lesson to them so that they could not able to do work with MASUM (Banglar Manabadikar Suraksha Mancha- A Human Rights Activist Organization) again and also stated that they would teach all of them who have an involvement withMASUM (Banglar Manabadikar Suraksha Mancha- A Human Rights Activist Organization). After that the victims were forcibly driven out by the perpetrator police personnel from the said police station after they got brutal physical torture and humiliation by the perpetrator police personnel. Mean while Mrs. Mamta Begam (informer of police personnel) and Mr. Amzad Husen (informer of police personnel) suddenly came to the said police station while the victims were moving out from the said police station towards their house. They provoked the perpetrator police personnel mentioning Mr. Safikul Islam and told that the victim has connection with every commotions throughout whole Char Area as well as he wanted to spread terror throughout the whole Char Area by using the name ofMASUM (Banglar Manabadikar Suraksha Mancha- A Human Rights Activist Organization) and they also said that the victim has an involvement with those persons who always tried to make conspiracy against the police personnel. The victim always intimated the people at Char Area against the government. Mr. Anil Biswas and other perpetrator police personnel namely Mr. Abdul Kalam and Mr. Ajay Paul rashly run towards the victims after listening to all this from their informers. They caught the victim Mr. Safikul Islam’s shirt from behind. He was brutally assaulted by the perpetrator police personnel of Raninagar police station while the perpetrator police personnel started to forcibly drag him to the same police station and illegally detained him in the same police lock up without giving him any explanation regarding the illegal detention after that. He was illegally detained in the police lock up of Raninagar police station for several hours. After that the perpetrator police personal Mr. Abdul Kalam took the victim to Ghodhonpara Health Centre for medical treatment and the victim got preliminary medical treatment in the said Health Centre by Dr. Tanmay Sarkar. After that the perpetrator police personal Mr. Swarup Biswas willfully influenced Dr. Rama Prasad Majumder (Medical Health officer of Ghodhonpara Health Centre) and requested him not to furnish those type of prescription which proved that the victim was tortured by them and also requested him to admit Mr. Abdul Kalam to his health centre so that they could prove that Mr. Abdul Kalam was brutally tortured in the hands of the victim and they could falsely implicate the victim in a criminal charge.  After that Mr. Abul Kalam lodged a written complaint before the Officer-In-Charge of Raninagar Police Station informing that the victim came to Raninagar police station to lodge a complaint regarding the torture committed upon Ms. Kanchan Bibi and mean while suddenly a controversy was started between the victim and Mr. Abdul Kalam regarding that matter. After that suddenly the victim started to assault him without any reasons. He was seriously injured by the assault. After that a First Information Report was lodged on the basis of that complainy by the perpetrator police personnel and the victim was implicated vide Raninagar Police Station Case No- 212/2013 dated 28.03.2013 under sections 186/353/333/307 of Indian Penal Code. On 29.03.2013, the victim named Mr. Safikul Islam was produced before in the court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Lalbagh but the court rejected his bail application.

 

On the same day, another victim named Mr. Mahiruddin Seikh was medically treated by Dr. Nishir Kumar Sarkar. On 01.04.2013, he lodged a written complaint before the District Magistrate, Murshidabad and the Superintendent of Police, Murshidabad informing the whole incident of brutal torture and humiliation committed upon him in the hands of the perpetrator police personnel of Raninagar Police Station as well as he also stated on that application regarding the matter of illegal detention, false implication and brutal torture committed upon Mr. Safikul Islam by the perpetrator police personnel of Raninagar Police Station. But till date no action has been taken by the higher authorities.  On 06.04.2013, the victim Mr. Safikul Islam was produced in the court again and the court released the victim on the basis of allowing his bail application.

Inline images 1

Safikul, HRD attached to MASUM 

Inline images 2

Inline images 3

COMPLAINT SUBMITTED TO SP ON 8.4.2013

 

 

Asian Centre for Human Rights cites Mahendra case, seeks mercy for Bhullar #deathpenalty


bhullar

TNN | Apr 19, 2013,

GUWAHATI: The Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) on Thursday submitted a fresh mercy plea to President PranabMukherjee seeking commutation of the death sentence of condemned prisoner Devender Singh Bhullar to life imprisonment. The rights body argued that since another prisoner on death row, MahendranathDas of Assam, had his mercy plea considered by two Presidents, Bhullar should also be given the same benefit.”There is already a precedent for the President of India to reconsider a mercy plea twice. The mercy plea of death row convict Mahendra Nath Das of Assam was considered twice as shown from the minutes of the Rashtrapati Bhawan supplied under the RTI Act,” ACHR director Suhas Chakma said.

Das committed the first murder in 1990 and while he was out on bail in 1996, he committed the second murder. In 1997, a trial court sentenced him to death for the two counts of murder. Das’s appeal was rejected by the high court in 1998 and by the Supreme Court in 1999. He is still waiting for the execution of his death sentence as his petition questioning the delay in his hanging for 16 years is pending in Supreme Court.

The RTI document states that former President Abdul Kalam on September 30, 2005, had accepted Das’s mercy plea and had advised the home ministry to consider extending clemency to him. Kalam had sent a communication to the home minister noting that the conduct of Das did not show trace of pre-meditated murder and that the crime might have been committed due to lack of mental equanimity and advised the home minister to consider extending the benefit of clemency to Das and added that during his incarceration in prison, he may receive periodic counselling to reform his personal and mental psyche.

However, the same recommendation was recalled by Kalam on October 5, 2005 and when he demitted office on July 24, 2007, Kalam noted that the case may be put up to his successorPratibha Patil, who subsequently rejected the mercy petition.

Das had earlier submitted his mercy petition to former President K R Narayanan in 1999 and the then home minister L K Advani had recommended rejection of the petition. Narayanan did not take any decision on the petition during his tenure and the same was put up to his successor, Kalam.

“If Das’s mercy plea could be reviewed twice, there is no reason as to why Bhullar’s mercy plea cannot be considered afresh.” Chakma said.

Giving 10 grounds for the consideration, the AHRC called upon the Centre India to commute Bhullar’s death sentence to life imprisonment, declare a moratorium on death penalty and set up an expert committee to consider ways and means for final abolition of death penalty.

 

PRESS RELEASE- Jharkhandi Organisation against Radiation , Jadugoda


 Press release – JOAR (Jharkhandi Organisation against Radiation, Jadugoda) 

“ A person standing on tailing dam for a period of one year would still not be affected by any radiation” (Translated from hindi)

 Mr. S. K. Malhotra (Head of Public awareness, Department of Atomic Energy (13th April, 2013, Dainik Bhaskar)

This remark came on the concluding day of the much hyped International seminar, first of its kind hosted by UCIL in its long history of its operation in Jadugoda and surrounding areas.

In  Collaboration with International Atomic Energy Agency **(1), UCIL held a  hyped five day Seminar cum Training so called “ Uranium Exploration Strategy, Mining and Processing Techniques in India ” in a Posh hotel in Jamshedpur between 8-12 April. According to Media coverage, this Seminar saw attendance of close to 50 delegates from 25 countries and also 9 scientists from India. 

This Seminar was quite contrary to the way it was promoted as it turned out to be a covert event conducted under high security and no one was allowed to enter the premises without the pass. When students and members of the JOAR tried to attend the seminar, they were prohibited and even became target of threat by the Intelligence Officials. This raises question on choosing a posh hotel in Jamshedpur, when this could have been conducted in their own compound in Jadugoda. This programme actually turned nothing but just a propaganda to counter JOAR’s claim of severe health and environment catastrophe due to uranium mining in the region based on community experience, supported by studies conducted by reputed International organization and Universities** (2). U.C.I.L reiterated the old rhetoric that Jadugoda had low radiation, it had low grade ore here, no harmful impact of radiation, and radiation level was similar in Jaduoda and Jamshedpur…! U.C.I.L once again came aggressively that myths regarding radiation were part of an International conspiracy which was creating those misconceptions among the local People through their agents working in this region. These agents lifestyle has suddenly improved during the last few years and they even go for a foreign trip once a year. In fact CMD of U.C.I.L even said that PMO was aware of the protest happening here and other parts of country and it was keeping a close eye on it. UCIL believes unemployment is one of the main reasons for the protest and not impact of uranium mining on culture and environment.

This high voltage drama took place for five days.  On one of the days, all the delegates were taken for a visit to the Jadugoda Mines. A Foreign delegate was so overwhelmed by the visit to the mines that he later spoke to the media that this was the first time any country had given such open access to the mines. This raises a big question when the UCIL didn’t allow even media enter the public hearing in Bhatin (May 26, 2011), forget about  members and activists of JOAR and others.

.  Why this kindness and whole heartedness of the government has come up after 40 years?  On one hand, UCIL uses crores of taxpayers money to host this lavish seminar inviting foreign delegates whose credibility is unknown, but had it announced an independent study done by independent experts who have good acceptance among the all,  this would have gained  trust of the people and it could have washed some of its old sins.

What seems bizarre is UCIL blowing the same tune regarding health in this  so called International seminar which It has been doing for the last few years. It once again rejected any claim of health hazard prevalent in the region and  said that it had done health check up of 3000 people during the last one year and still no cases of female sterility or cancer was detected in anyone and there were few  cases only related to malnutrition and Malaria ( Weekly test are done and sent to environment ministry), on the other hand  IDPD studies have clearly shown that these health hazards have increased in the area compared to distant villages. (ippnw.org/pdf/jadugoda-health-survey.pdf)   U.C.I.L claimed that there is increase in the number of children in schools every year, that Jadugoda had one of the lowest drop out rate of students and that U.C.I.L has even built four marriage halls in the past one year.

In the seminar, a statement by a UCIL official which has raised alarm bell is that there are plans to not have a separate tailing pond and looking for solution to store the radioactive waste in the mines itself. They will be cautious about the amount of acid leaching and alkali leaching being used, proper care would be taken to  ensure that the rocks beneath don’t melt. With no current remedy for the three tailing dams which will have radioactive waste for thousands of years, this plan may be disastrous for the  entire ecology as the dangerous toxic chemicals may  pollute the underground aquifers, affecting ground water which will impact the entire region. In fact in newspapers(Prabhat Khabar and Hindustan dated 12th April , 2013 ), It has been reported by one of the  Expert who participated in the conference that they are ready with a technology where the uranium tailings can be mixed with sand and chemicals which would be ready for cultivation of diverse plants  and  also an already mentioned remark that even if a person stood on tailing dam for a period of one year,  one would still be not  affected by radiation, on the other hand  the research by Kyoto university professor Koide (http://www.jca.apc.org/~misatoya/jadugoda/english/koide.html ) says that the bank of tailing pond contains 10 to 100 times higher amount of  gamma radiation above normal  permissible levels.

All throughout  the seminar when U.C.I.L repeatedly said that Uranium mining is safe and there is no harm due to radiation, why couldn’t it proceed with mining in Nalgonda ( Andhra Pradesh ) in the recent past  . Why couldn’t they convince the educated people of Hyderabad who have immense pride for the nation compared to Jaduogoda ? These well- off people may not have any vested interest in going for foreign trip once a year. U.C.I.L would not have to invest on building public schools or four marriage halls in the region.

 In a democratic country like ours, U.C.I.L and DAE can’t just ignore the long suppressed voices calling them anti-national, backward etc. The children in Jadugoda will one day raise these questions and the nation have to answer those queries and it can’t  just pull things under the carpet as it did in the just concluded so called international seminar. We want to say that truth can’t be hidden for long especially during these times when people can access information from any part of the world  and know  the truth. U.C.I.L can do a concrete programme showing concern and being  accountable to the people rather than wasting common man’s tax to do these kind of event which is just to boast about its achievements

 JOAR has the following demands :

1. UCIL should follow the international safety standards like  other countries like USA (Like Church Rock clean up –( health, soil and water), Wismut Uranium mine clean up ( Former East Germany Uranium mine)

2. Stop  Uranium mining in new regions and in the existing mines. Follow the latest regulations and safety standards of health and environment.

3. A new law should be passed in the Indian parliament to compensate the workers and community members affected by uranium mining (similar to one like RECA of USA.) Form a high level constitutional committee to investigate the death/sickness of the people in the region.

4. Do base line studies in the recently opened uranium mine sites and comprehensive health and environment study by independent groups of specialist.

5. Give justice to the demands all displaced people by UCIL mining in East Singbhum and West Singhbhum

6. UCIL should declare the future plans, as after few years when mining will cease, People would be left to face the hazardous radioactive waste.  How does it  plan to clean up the waste and reclaim it to same condition as it existed before mining. What about the Plans regarding economy as prior to mines there was an agrarian economy where people were dependent on land, water for survival. Will it abandon the mines? In that situation people would be left with no choice of livelihood .

Ghanshaym Birulee,

Dumka Murmu,

Tikaram Soren

JOAR

Tilai Tand, Jadugoda Jharkhand (India)

 

 

Delhi – 200 ml bottle and pieces of candle were inserted into the private parts, of 5 year old #Vaw #WTF


Another rape: Anger rises, protests spread in Delhi as 5-year-old victim battles for life

IANS | Apr 19, 2013,

Delhi: Minor raped, kin asked not to raise voice

Delhi: Minor raped, kin asked not to raise voice
NEW DELHI: A 200 ml bottle and pieces of candle were inserted into the private parts of the five-year-old rape victim, a doctor said on Friday, adding that he had “never seen such a case”.

“Upon examination, we found a 200 ml bottle and two or three pieces of candle inserted into her private parts. This is the first time that I have seen such barbarism with a five-year-old,” RK Bansal, medical superintendent, Swami Dayanand Hospital, told reporters.

“There were injuries on her lips and cheeks and bruise marks on her neck, suggesting that attempts were made to strangle her. The blood pressure was way below normal, and she had fever when she was admitted,” the doctor said.

“The child’s condition is very critical. She is in ICU right now and will be under observation for the next 24-48 hours,” he said.

The girl was abducted on April 15 and kept hostage for two days without food and water in a flat owned by the attacker, said to be in his 30s. He lived on the ground floor of the building in east Delhi’s Gandhi Nagar, in which the victim’s family also stayed, police said.

The girl, who was raped repeatedly, was rescued when members of her family heard her screams on Wednesday evening, police said.

Meanwhile, family, neighbours and activists of the Aam Aadmi Party(AAP) on Friday protested outside the hospital where she was admitted in a serious condition.

Protestors gathered outside the Swami Dayanand Hospital in Shahdara, east Delhi and raised slogans against Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit and Delhi Police.

They demanded immediate arrest of the accused in the case and said the girl should be shifted to a better hospital like the All India Institute of Medical SciencesAIIMS).

“The police tried to suppress the matter and even offered Rs 2,000 to the family to keep quiet. On top of that, the child was admitted to a hospital which does not even have proper facilities and equipment,” AAP spokesperson Aswathi Muralidharan said.

“We want a better hospital and immediate arrest of the accused,” she said.

The girl’s father told reporters that he had earlier approached the police with a complaint that his daughter was missing, but they failed to register his complaint.

Vedanta HQ in London mobbed by Protesters, as SC gives Gramsabha Powers to decide


Header image alt text

Protest at Vedanta HQ as Supreme Court decision announced

Indian Supreme Court judges today handed the final decision on Vedanta’s Niyamgiri mine to the Dongria Kond tribe and farmers living around the mountain. Two Gram Sabha’s (village councils) or local self-government within 10km of the proposed mine should announce their decision to the Ministry of Environment and Forests within three months1. The decision will have a major financial and reputational impact on Vedanta and may force them to close their Lanjigarh refinery, costing them billions.

In London, activists from Foil Vedanta and other grassroots groups descended on Vedanta’s nominal Mayfair headquarters later today celebrating what they see as a victory for local self-determination, but calling for thorough independent oversight of the decision making process which they say is wide open to abuse by Vedanta officials and state police. They held a loud noise demonstration, and held a banner stating ‘MoEF: No u-turn on Niyamgiri’ while shouting slogans with a large megaphone. The protesters again called for Vedanta to be de-listed from the London Stock Exchange for poor corporate governance and human rights crimes.

Protesters in London today staged a loud protest at Vedanta’s headquarters in reaction to the Supreme Court’s judgement to leave the final decision on Niyamgiri to the people affected, which they see as a victory for self-determination and tribal rights. They again added their voice to demands by parliamentarians and financiers that Vedanta is de-listed from the London Stock Exchange for its poor corporate governance, illegal operations and major human rights violations such as those committed at Niyamgiri.(1)(2) In January Foil Vedanta handed documentation on a variety of abuses to the Financial Services Authority who are now investigating the company’s abuses and the case for de-listing2. In February David Cameron again used his India visit to pressure Indian PM Manmohan Singh to allow Vedanta’s Niyamgiri mine.

Foil Vedanta’s Samarendra Das says:

For ten years Vedanta has harassed local people and committed major abuses and illegalities in its attempt to push this flagship project through. For ten years farmers, Dalits and Adivasis living around Niyamgiri have fought to save their traditional communities and their sacred mountain, from a mine which would give just four and half years worth of bauxite for the 6 million ton per year refinery as planned by Vedanta Aluminium.

The Supreme Court is right that decision on the mine should be with those affected by it – the ancient inhabitants of the mountain. But the Dongria and others have stated their disagreement over and over again through Gram Sabha’s and mass rallies. We know that Vedanta officials have been very active in lobbying the judges leading up to this decision, and are concerned that the villagers will be under heavy harassment from Orissa state and Vedanta officials. We call for many independent observers to oversee this crucial process.

We demand that Vedanta is now de-listed from the London Stock Exchange in recognition of it’s proven abuses of law and Human Rights.”

The judgement states that the decision making process at local councils will be overseen by a judge appointed by the Orissa High Court. Vedanta officials and police have been repeatedly accused of trying to force villagers not to oppose the project in the past. As Dongria Kond activist Lado Sikaka states:

“We will continue our fight even if Vedanta gets permission. Are these Judges above the Law? In effect, they act as if they are. Niyamgiri belongs to us. We are fighting because We are part of it. Our women are harassed and we are called by the police and threatened not to go to rallies. Last month they have been working like Vedanta’s servants.3

The ultimate decision will now rest with the Ministry of Environment and Forests who will accept the local council’s decision within three months(3). The Ministry banned the mine in 2010 after the N.C. Saxena committee warned that mining in Niyamgiri will severely affect the ecology and the habitat of the primitive Dongria Kondh tribe that lived on the mountain slopes. In February the Ministry again stated that they would not allow the Niyamgiri mine as Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran told the Supreme Court “We are completely against the mining operations.4

Senior Counsel, Sanjay Parikh, who has fought the case for the Dongria Kond said today:

“The historic judgement delivered by the Supreme Court today recognises the community, cultural and religious rights of tribals. The Dongria Konds can now establish the abode of their Niyam Raja. The Supreme Court verdict is significant as it recognises the rights of tribals against mighty mutlinational corporations”.

Vedanta is currently at a shareholder confidence low, as Societe General downgraded their shares to BB- or ‘sell’ status several weeks ago and suggested that they are unlikely to get permission to mine Niyamgiri5while Standard and Poor have also downgraded Vedanta’s shares to BB6. Societe General’s recent report states:

‘Niyamgiri bauxite reserves were central to Vedanta’s aggressive expansion plans in aluminum…Vedanta’s management was overly confident and committed too much capital without getting all the relevant clearances7.’

Vedanta are also in more trouble as a major acid gas leak earlier this month led to mass protests at Vedanta’s copper plant in Tamil Nadu, India, which have forced the plant to close until the National Green Tribunal has made a recommendation on whether it should be allowed to re-open at all. Their report is expected on 29thApril8.

The Niyamgiri project has been racked with controversy from the start, as a spate of recent coverage points out: The Lanjigarh refinery built to process the bauxite from the hills was illegally constructed, the court case presided over by a judge with shares in the company, and the refinery should never have been given permission without including the associated mega mine in impact assessments9. A cover story in major Indian glossy Open Magazine in December details evidence of corruption and collusion between Vedanta and the Odisha state government, local officials, judges and the police to force the project through10.

See the video of today’s demo here, and another short clip here.

More photos on demotix here.

See video of celebrations on Niyamgiri mountain as the verdict was delivered and an interview with Kumuti Majhi here.

Press Coverage:

SC grants Gram Sabha power to decide the fate of Vedanta refinery

 

Medha Patkar exposes 70,000 crore Maharashtra Irrigation Scam #Ajitpawar #Nitingadkari #Video


TNN | Apr 19, 2013, 03.11 AM IST

Top netas deny Medha Patkar's bribery charges
Patkar released a December 2011 Income-Tax (I-T) assessment report, which said that firms paid unexplained “overheads” totalling nearly Rs 44 crore to facilitate building of the Ghodzari branch canal, which is a part of the controversial project.
MUMBAI: Social activist Medha Patkar of theNational Alliance of People’s Movement on Thursday alleged that a dam contractor bribed top NCP, BJP and Congress leaders as well as state irrigation department officials for the Gosikhurd national project in Vidarbha.Patkar released a December 2011 Income-Tax (I-T) assessment report, which said that firms paid unexplained “overheads” totalling nearly Rs 44 crore to facilitate building of the Ghodzari branch canal, which is a part of the controversial project.The I-T order for assessment year 2008-09 showed payments to ‘Dada, ‘AP’, ‘GAD’, ‘SD’ and ‘MG’. Patkar alleged that ‘Dada’ and ‘AP’ are deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar (then water resources minister), while the others are BJP leaders Nitin Gadkari and Gopinath Munde, and former Congress MLA Sunil Deshmukh, respectively.

The payments, which were also made to senior engineers, continued till February 2009. Dada and AP received the largest chunk, Rs 27.5 crore, Gad and SD got Rs 50 lakh each and MG received Rs 20 lakh, said the I-T order.

Pawar, Munde and Deshmukh have denied the allegations, while a BJP spokesperson denied Gadkari was involved.

Patkar’s allegations come in the wake of a series of exposes by TOI over the past year on a Rs 70,000 crore irrigation scam in Maharashtra. The I-T order was prepared by A S Marathe, deputy commissioner of I-T, central circle, Kolhapur, following a search operation at the residence of a technical director of Mahalaxmi Infraprojects Ltd (MIL) in September 2009. MIL (earlier Mahalakshmi Construction Company Ltd) is in a joint venture with M/s B T Patil and Sons Belgaum Construction company Ltd to build the Rs 287-crore Ghodzari branch canal. An appeal against the I-T order is pending before the appellate tribunal, Pune.

The I-T report said it had found evidence of “speed money payments” at the residence of Dhirendra Anant Bhat, MIL technical director. “Bundle No 1 containing 40 loose sheets has comprehensive evidences of speed money depicting the name of the project, amount, date of payment, name of payer, name of recipient, designation of bribe recipient, sharing of such unexplained expenditure between Mahalaxmi and its JV partner, M/s B T Patil & Sons Belgaum Construction Company etc,” the report said.

Both the joint-venture partners admitted that Rs 43.84 crore is the total unexplained expenditure related to the Ghodzari project and their 50% share is around Rs 21.91 crore. “The claim of the assessee company (Mahalaxmi) and its JV partner is that the unexplained payments mentioned in the documents seized from Shri Bhat are only projected payments and not payments actually made. Thus, the only dispute in respect of unexplained payments related to the Ghodzari project is year of taxation and nature of payments,” said the IT report. The report attached scanned copies of loose sheets found at Bhat’s house. They show payments to Dada and AP, SD, GAD and MG.

Pawar refuted the allegations. “She (Patkar) is a renowned activist. I am too small a person to comment in comparison to her,” he said sarcastically, but added, “There is no truth in the allegations. The government has set up an SIT to probe the financial irregularities in irrigation projects. Once the probe is over, one will come to know about the reality of the allegations and status of irrigation projects.” A source close to Pawar said he might take legal recourse if Patkar’s information is false.

Munde described the allegations as “baseless”. “I don’t know any contractor called Bhat. I have never met him,” said a statement issued by Munde. BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari, speaking on behalf of Gadkari and Munde, dismissed Patkar’s charges as “baseless and without truth”.

Deshmukh, the former minister of state (MoS) for water resources, said he did not hold the portfolio during the period Patkar was referring to. He said he held the portfolio from 2004 to 2008. “In any case none of the tenders are approved by the MoS, as the decisions were directly taken by the executive director of Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation and the cabinet minister,” he said.

Patkar has demanded an independent commission of inquiry chaired by a judge with integrity to probe the corruption charges. She said the state government-appointed Chitale committee had no power to delve deep enough into the irrigation scam.

 

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