#India – The Bastar Land Grab #tribalrights #indigenousrights


 An Interview with Sudha Bharadwaj

April 20, 2013

This intervew with SUDHA BHARADWAJ of Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha was conducted by JUSTIN PODUR in Raipur on 5 March 2013

JP: As a lawyer and an activist, how do you see the relationship between legal work and activism?

SB: I see myself primarily as a trade unionist. I joined the union movement over twenty years ago, and it was the union that made me a lawyer. They felt that workers needed a good lawyer in their fight with the corporations. Our union is one of contract workers and has been striving to overcome divisions in the working class. Here, workers have a close connection with the peasants. So, we believe that working with the peasants is part of unionism.

When I got to the High Court, I found that all the people’s organizations were in a similar situation. The laws that give you rights are poorly implemented. When you fight, the status quo has many legal weapons, launches malicious litigation, etc. So we have a group of lawyers now (Janhit), and we work on group legal aid, not individual legal aid. The idea is that if you help a group, that can bring about some kind of change, create some space. I’ve also gotten involved with the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), for which I am the General Secretary in Chhattisgarh.

JP: Can you give examples of some of these struggles?

SB: We organize in the cement industry. One major corporation is Holcim, a Swiss multinational, that has taken over ACC and Ambuja, though these Indian corporations continue to retain their brand names. Holcim  has closed down its Spanish and American plants and has come here. Why? If you look at  returns on investment in this industry globally, they are 1.3%. In India, they are 13%. These multinationals have come here with deep pockets, and they have gotten a stranglehold over local administration – the ministers, the officers  of the forest, labor, mining and pollution departments – they have that capacity.

In the cement industry, there is a Wage Board Agreement that says no contract labor can be employed in the cement industry except in loading/unloading and packing, and even then they have to paid at the same rate as regular workers. But actually these multinational plants are using contract labor for all processes of cement production and paying paltry minimum wages, ignoring the law. When we take the struggle to the streets, they use the law against our workers. Ambuja in particular has been very vindictive. One of the leaders in the struggle spent 13 months in jail on a trumped charge of looting a mobile and Rs. 3500 from a Security Officer.

Look at the level of extraction. Contract workers at Ambuja get 180 Rs per day (less then $4), at ACC 200 Rs per day ($4). A permanent worker would get 700 Rs per day ($14). The Swiss worker gets 2500 Rs ($50), and the CEO gets 2.2 lakhs per day ($4400). The largest share holder Thomas Schmidheinney gets 2 crore per day ($400,000). Even getting basic labor rights is very, very tough and workers realize that the corporations are in an even more intense fight with the peasants and adivasis.

JP: And there are attempts at common struggles between workers and adivasis and peasants?

SB: There are. Our union is  a member of a platform called Chhattisgarh Bachao Andolan which has  mass organisations like the Adivasi Mahasabha, Bharat Jan Andolan, Gondwana Gantantra Party etc., and most importantly many small village community organisations which are fighting displacement and trying to enforce the PESA act and Forest Rights Acts because individual struggles are just being crushed. This is an election year, so we might see some gestures from Congress, to cash in on the simmering discontent, but usually the political representatives of all parties have been trying to buy off opposition. The CBA may have critical mass one day. That’s what we hoped when it was  founded  2-3 years ago.

JP: I’ve been trying to understand what is happening in the forest, in Bastar.

SB: Take a look at a map of the periphery of Chhattisgarh. If you overlay maps of forests, of adivasi villages, of minerals you’ll find almost perfect overlap. When Chhattisgarh was created in 2000, carved out of Madhya Pradesh, the first Chief Minister coined a phrase, he said it was “rich land, poor people ”. In the 12 years since its creation, the people have become poorer, and more riches have been discovered in the land. This state is full of minerals – 19% of India’s iron ore, 11% of the coal, bauxite, limestone, all kinds of priceless minerals.

Paradoxically to understand Bastar, that is South Chhattisgarh, the place to start is north Chhattisgarh. In the north, in Raigarh, you will enter Jindal country, you’ll see Jindal everywhere. In 12 years, in Raigarh alone, 26,000 acres of agricultural land have gone for mining and plants. Where are the people supposed to go? Inequalities have intensified.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s the Maoists came into the northern district of Sarguja and were crushed. They came from Jharkhand. They redistributed some land. There were 20-25 encounter killings of their leaders, and many adivasi people are still in jail. Surguja has bauxite. It is densely forested. The forest ministry said it was pristine jungle,  a ‘no-go’ area for mining. The Chhattisgarh government made it a ‘go’ zone, with a rail corridor and power plants. In one village, Premnagar, the Gram Sabha (village-level government) voted 12-15 times, saying they didn’t want a power plant, they argued it out in a reasoned manner. That is because in a Scheduled Area (tribal dominated) the Gram Sabha has sweeping powers. So the State government, by a notification, changed the Gram Panchayat into a Nagar Panchayat  (municipal council) and took away its powers! This is unconstitutional, of course, but the final judgment  never seems to happen and there’s no interim relief – so the land grab can proceed in the meantime. Every possible protest is thrown to the winds.

JP: What is the role of privatization in this process?

SB: Mining for companies is based on leases with land owners, not by land acquisition. Earlier  leases used to only be given to the public sector, and you could not mine unless you built a plant. Now, with Public Private Partnerships (PPP), private companies can just mine, and even if it is not for captive use. This leads to ‘dig-and-sell’, a robber-baron kind of situation.

Kosampali village in Raigarh is surrounded by a 150ft deep Jindal mine on two sides. On the third side is the river. The people of the village have only one way out, and that land is scheduled for mining too. They are doomed  to become an island.

What does the law say about this? When the mining company applies for the lease, the application asks: does the applicant have surface rights? If not, has the consent of the owner/occupier been obtained? If the answer to these questions is no, then the application should be sent back immediately to obtain those consents. But instead, the mining company writes: “consent will be obtained”, and gets through this giant loophole that says “consent may be given after lease, but before entry”. So the government comes to the rescue of the mining company. The Tehsildar (a revenue official lower in rank to the District Collector) posts notice listing out all the plots in the lease, saying – come and collect your compensation as per the Land Acquisition Act. They don’t tell people that they have a choice not to consent. Normally people take it as a fait accompli. They come and take the compensation, and their consent is then assumed. In cases where villagers take the compensation, they try to buy land in other villages, and often the local people there see them as outsiders and don’t let them settle But the people of Kosampalli are saying, “No amount of money can compensate us if you take away these last lands for mining, because we won’t be able to live here any more.”  Our legal office managed to get a stay on the mining, and it’s fixed for final hearing. Jindal’s lawyer is the son of a Supreme Court judge. He is a Member of Parliament fom the town of Puri. Once the Jindal Company, at its own expense, took all the  judges of district Raigarh on a pilgrimage.

If you’re in Chhattisgarh, you should visit Jashpur district. It’s pristine forest at the moment, but the prospecting licenses cover the whole district. A whole hill and plateau atop it called Pandrapat where the Pahadi Korva primitive tribes reside is covered by bauxite mining leases. After the elections are over, mining will start, and the forest will be devastated.

JP: Talk a bit about the politics of power in this region.

SB: Janjgir-Champa, another district in the north, is a drought-prone area. The government invested in irrigation, and got 78% of the district irrigated. But now there are plans for 34 power plants using that water. There are plans for 70 plants in Chhattisgarh, to produce 60,000 MW. The peak electricity requirement in the state is 2500 MW, and we already have 5000 MW capacity. So are we selling it to our neighbours? Well, Andhra Pradesh is planning for capacity of 45000 MW, Gujarat 45000 MW, Madhya Pradesh the same. So what is going on? I think it is not about power. It is for the mining. There are 200,000 acres of land allocated for these plants, 100,000 acres for mining. The water required for these plants is more than all the surface water we have, so we’re going to dip deep into the ground water.

This is a net transfer of land and minerals to the private sector. When the global financial crisis set in, multinationals have begun to come here and continue to make huge profits by collaborating with Indian corporations. So Tata will be the Indian face of Corus when it needs iron ore. Foreign mining might face trouble – but if you have a great Indian company mining, no trouble.

Once you understand this pressure for mining, this pressure for land – then you can understand South Chhattisgarh, that is, Bastar.

JP: Bastar, where the Maoists are.

SB: The Naxals came to Bastar in the 1980s. The area was totally neglected. It was considered a “punishment posting” for the government officials who got posted there. Exploitation was blatant and brutal, of the forest peoples and adivasis. Many of the adivasis made their living collecting tendu leaves (used for rolling bidi cigarettes). There were huge movements to get the adivasis better prices for their tendu leaves, and the Naxals built a solid base with these movements.

By 2005, according to the Director General of Police (DGP) at the time, there were 50,000 Sangham members (unarmed members of the front organisations of  the Maoists). That might even have been an  underestimate. Thus there was this a huge area where the Forest Department and police couldn’t go, but teachers, doctors, were allowed. It was after  Salwa Judum), that violence greatly increased.. And the period of Salwa Judum correlates with the MOUs and the land grab some 2200 ha were granted to Tataand a similar amount to Essar, for iron ore prospecting.

So in  Bastar the state has this predicament. They want the minerals, they even want the forests a little bit for carbon credits, but they don’t want the people. In 2005, Salwa Judum starts. It’s typical strategic hamleting, moving people out of the villages and into camps. A similar approach was taken to insurgencies in the Northeast, in Mizoram and Tripura, for example. Here, they emptied 644 villages, by the government’s admission, 350,000 people. About 50,000 were brought to the camps, and today these camps still have about 10,000 people. Some fled to neighbouring states particularly Andhra Pradesh.Where are the rest? They seem to have gone even deeper into the forest, probably 200,000 people. . They try to cultivate and live in the forest, but they are being treated as outlaws.This displacement has been  a very violent process. There are  affidavits, evidence in the  “Salwa Judum” cases filed in the Supreme Court (Nandini Sundar’s case and Kartam Joga’s case). In one block alone, the Konta block, there were 500 deaths, 99 rapes, 2000 houses burned. This was a violent, state-backed vigilante movement, and was also essentially pushed back militarily by the Maoists.

The notion  of a few Maoists manipulating people is a bit simplistic. Even in the newspapers , when they describe ambushes, they describe 700, or 1000 attackers at times. Getting 700 people to a rally is difficult for us in the democratic movement. If 700 people are going to war, they must be looking upon it like an adivasi or national liberation struggle. And it is the State that has forced them to choose one side or the other.

JP: I’d never heard it characterized that way.

SB: Yes, you could say it’s a tribal rebellion, backed by the Maoists, who are ideological. But many  ordinary people who join it see it as the only way they can save their land.

Those of us in the democratic movement, in the PUCL, we say to the state: de-escalate the violence. Let people  come back to their villages. Let there be civilian administration. Let the teachers go back. The state has moved the schools, the ration shops, even the voting machines, to the Salwa Judum camps. How can you not have rigged voting in that context?

If you, as the State, think of these people in the jungle as outlaws, you’re ultimately behaving like an occupying army. The Indian army is also here, they came a year ago. There was a rally, of 700 elected representatives, sarpanches, panches, who went to the Collector and said, we don’t want army bases here, but no action seems to have been taken on their demands.

According to international law, indigenous people have the right to say no to projects on their land. In Indian law, inherited from the British, the tribal dominated areas are called  Scheduled Areas. Under the British, they were called Excluded and Partially Excluded areas. They were administered directly by the Union Government, through the Governor, not by the State Legislature. So, it was understood that these areas were a special case. According to the Panchayat Extension to Scheduled Areas (PESA) Act, the Gram Sabha is supposed to make the decisions, it is to be consulted for all developmental projects. Even under the Forest Rights Area, it is the Gram Sabha which declares and verifies rights both individual and collective. It’s supposed to be direct democracy in the tribal areas.

So we say, let it be implemented. If the adivasis, through the Gram Sabhas, say they want a freeze on MOUs, because their experience is terrible, with iron ore going to Japan for 400 Rs/ton ($8) while locals get no benefit, not to mention all the ecological damage, then you have to convince them. If it isn’t implemented, this will get worse and worse.

The government, internationally, says there is no internal armed conflict, because it doesn’t want any international involvement, no UN, no MSF, no Amnesty International eyes here. But internally, it labels the Maoists as the ‘greatest internal security threat’.

JP: Would international attention on this conflict be positive?

SB: It would be good. The Government would  have to then worry about civilian casualties. They ought to have nothing to lose. Why not allow the international community to monitor the situation? If you don’t, you are all but admitting that what you want to really want to do is a massive ground clearing operation. When there is a virtual war going on, recognition that it is going on would be better.

There was this village, Sarkeguda. It was very strong. The villagers refused to leave when the Salwa Judum started. Finally some people were killed by the Salwa Judum, some arrested and houses burnt, so in 2006 they fled to Andhra. NGOs like Himanshu Kumar’s Vanvasi Chetna Ashram, and the Agricultural and Social Development Society (ASDS), Khamam tried to rehabilitate some of these villages as had been recommended by the NHRC. They came back in 2009 and look again at what happened on 28-29 June 2012 – another fake encounter, 17 killed, 7 of them children. Eight years after their displacement, Sarkeguda is still trying to get re-established. They are feeling like the state doesn’t want them to live there.

Young men and women fear arrest when they go to the ration shop. When they go, their rations are carefully measured so they don’t have any extra, supposedly because it would go to the Maoists. There’s this total denial of basic human needs. They justify killings with this twisted logic. Earlier 17 people were killed in a faked encounter in Singavaram. The Superintendent of Police, Rahul Sharma, was sure that  someone “was or was close to Naxals” because  tablets of  chloroquine and a bottle of dettol were found on her person!

The government shows no interest in stopping the war through negotiation. A Maoist spokesperson who was coming forward for talks, Azad, was killed. A West Bengal Maoist leader who was in negotiation with the State Government, Kishenji, was killed. They state continues their military buildup and labels all the adivasis as Maoists. There are thousands of adivasis in jail, awaiting trial. When the police go into the jungle, they go in their hundreds, they pick up all those of  a  village who have not been able to run away, and bring everyone to jail. Most of these people, who speak adivasi languages and don’t speak Hindi,  have no interpreters, so they lie in jail and wait for acquittal – which will come, because there is no evidence against them. But they are waiting in a Central Jail, their family can’t see them, the lawyers don’t want to, because they get their photos taken and become known as “Naxal lawyers”.

The government has this Special Public Safety Act (SPSA), which means any “aid” to the Naxals is illegal irrespective of their knowledge, or intention that they are aiding.. In Bilaspur, tradespeople who sell olive green cloth are being prosecuted for  “supplying Naxal uniform”. There’s a military phrase for the action of security forces in that area – “Area domination” which means “Squash them all”. It doesn’t work, What happened in Kashmir? They “rooted out the militants”, now they have boys throwing stones. There’s huge anger, and the government is  not willing to come to terms with it.

In other areas, like the POSCO affected area in Odisha, people are struggling in different ways. The entire adivasi belt from North Bengal to Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh extending upto Vidharbha  is seeing huge struggles for land and forests, not just Bastar. And, unless the state decides to commit genocide, which is possible, this is not going to go away.

I think it’s time to rethink “rich land, poor people”. We allow private parties to dig up  the minerals, then what? Smart people don’t use up their own resources. The US still has oil, even though it was discovered hundreds of years ago. We in India are going to sell away  everything we have and cry afterwards, and we are going to violate all of our principles and the rights of our peoples to do it.

JP: How to resist this?

SB: As Marxists we have a notion of the State, of a system. Today the prospect of people getting their rights within  the system – through the executive, judiciary, or legislature – has shrunk. The system is not working. It has to change. Now, the Maoists have a strategy, they believe in the overthrow of that system. But democrats like us, we are confused. Some of us believe that we can transform the system through elections. The Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha has a flexible approach to elections. We’re not against elections and use different methods of contesting or opposing a particular candidate or supporting a particular candidate depending on what strengthens our organisation, but we don’t believe that they will change the system. In these elections where lakhs of rupees are spent even on village-level elections, and crores on MP or MLA elections, ordinary people trying to get heard among all this money is like giving a philosophy lecture in a disco. It’s ridiculous. The media is corporatized. While the media covered Anna Hazare, he had a huge movement. Then they just turned it off.

I watched how they dealt with the Occupy movement in the UK. They were frozen out, shut out of the conversation, isolated, and after some time, their tents were removed. It was a smart strategy. And the Indian state is no less smart. It’s very clever. Look in the Northeast, in Kashmir, in Bastar, in Gujarat. People are excluded, compartmentalized. We can’t get our act together.

As CMM, we refuse to remain silent on events in Bastar like the fake encounters or the adivasis languishing in jails,  just to be in the good books of the State. Some people say, armed movements invite repression. But all movements invite repression. They killed our leader Comrade Shankar Guha Niyogi in 1991, and workers have died in police firings in 1977, 1984 and 1991. Today our activists face the risk of being booked under the Chhattisgarh Special Security Act for this eminently democratic work. (http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/article2497776.ece). Still, we keep trying to work legally, democratically, and do mass mobilization, express solidarities, try to widen the circle.

Justin Podur is a Toronto-based writer and professor at York University, currently a visiting professor at Jamia Millia Islamia in Delhi. His blog is www.killingtrain.com and twitter is www.twitter.com/justinpodur

 

Delhi refuses to Learn – 13-yr-old gangraped by eight men in Delhi, 393 rape cases in first 3 months 2013


IANS  New Delhi, April 20, 2013

 A

 13-year-old girl was allegedly gangraped by eight men, four of whom were known to her, police said on Saturday. The incident comes even as the capital is witnessing outrage over the horrific rape of a five-year-old girl.

Three of the eight men have been arrested.

The victim and her 12-year-old brother were abducted by two men known to her on March 15 from outside her house at Farsh Bazar area in east Delhi and taken to Loni in the city outskirts, where she was gangraped by the eight, a police officer said.

 Four of the eight accused were known to the girl, the officer added.

Police arrested three accused – Deepak, 21, Ranjeet (20) and Sohan Lal (24) – Saturday, following medical examination of the victim April 15.

The victim is undergoing treatment at the Hedgewar Hospital in east Delhi.

According to a police officer, the father approached police after she went missing, but did not file a rape complaint after she returned home.

A search is on to nab the other accused, the officer added.

Meanwhile, the girl’s family alleged that police had refused to lodge their complaint.

On March 24, the girl returned home and the family approached the police, the mother said.

Failing to get any response from police, the family approached the local court April 9 which then ordered police to lodge a rape case.

The five-year-old girl was brutally raped for two days and kept without food and water in a room in which the accused, her neighbour, lived. She was rescued Wednesday when her family heard her screams. The accused has been arrested from Bihar.

Delhi has seen 393 rapes in the first three months of the year.

 

Inter-caste marriages taking toll in jatland #Vaw


khap

, TNN | Apr 20, 2013,

ROHTAKInter-caste marriages, along with those of same gotra, are taking a toll on young couples and further deepening the rift between different castes in Haryana. In the last six days alone, three youths have lost their lives over relationships not given social sanction.

While an inter-caste marriage triggered an attack on dalits at Pabnama village in Kaithal district, a young dalit was brutally murdered for opposing his sister’s relationship with an upper caste youth in a Bhiwani village. In Rohtak, an upper caste girl student of Maharshi Dayanand University and her dalit friend of the same university committed suicide after their families opposed their relationship.

According to D R Chaudhary, the founder of Haryana Parivartan Manch, an NGO, the problem lies with the upper castes. “The caste bias is prevalent across social, political and administrative systems in Haryana. A girl from upper caste marrying into a low caste is strictlytaboo, while it is accepted if the boy is from upper caste,” said Chaudhary.

“This is especially common among Jats and Rod ahirs. These communities have muscle power, political power and are land owners. They can approve of their men having relations with dalit women, but go mad if a dalit man has a relationship with their women,” Chaudhary added.

According to him, absence of a powerful social reform movement against caste system in India, especially in Haryana, has been mainly responsible for this deep-rooted problem. “The new generation seems quite liberal in mixing up with cross communities but the elders still reign supreme in families when it comes to taking a decision about marriages,” he said.

Sube Singh Samain, a Haryana khap leader, said although khaps have decided to keep away from inter-caste marriage rows, young couples tying the nuptial knot need to have the approval of their families. “The opinion of families matters a lot. If they are against a relationship, then these couples should understand it and heed by the advice of their parents. Problems begin only when they don’t (go with the family’s wishes),” said Samain.

One week’s toll

April 14: Dalit boy Surya Kant marries upper caste girl Meena at Panbama village of Kaithal district, triggering an upper-caste backlash. While the couple managed to flee the village, lower caste villagers bear the brunt

April 16: Jaimal Kumar, a dalit, brutally murdered by an upper caste youth of Devsar village in Bhiwani district, for objecting to the advances made by the accused, from the upper caste, towards his sister

April 17: An upper caste girl student of MA economics in Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak, commits suicide after her family disapproved of her plans to marry a dalit youth. Her boyfriend commits suicide a day later

 

Professor’s casteist remark invites SC panel wrath


, TNN | Apr 20, 2013,

AMRITSAR: An assistant professor of Patiala‘s government medical college (GMC) is in the soup for allegedly passing casteist remarks against an MBBS student in a classroom.Turning the heat on the professor, the SC/ST commission on Friday asked the Patiala police to register a case against him.

Commission vice-chairman Raj Kumar, who belongs to Amritsar, said that he ordered an FIR after an inquiry report held the professor guilty of the charges.

The probe was conducted by a three-member committee comprising Dr H S Sandhu, Dr Manjit Singh Bal and Dr Anita Gupta.

According to the inquiry report, the incident happened on April 9 during a class of Harsimran Singh, an assistant professor in the ophthalmology department of GMC, Patiala.

Harsimran passed the casteist remarks against Amolpreet Singh after the student fumbled while answering the roll call.

The report states that Harsimran was taking attendance when he called for roll number 18

and Amolpreet whose roll number was 80 answered it which enraged the professor who remarked, “You bespectacled chap, stand up and get out. I am sure that only you are capable of this nonsense.”

The report says that the professor had

denied making any casteist remarks against

the student.

Raj Kumar said as many as 26 students, belonging to different castes, of the class had filed a complaint against the professor alleging that he had also asked Amolpreet about his category, PMT rank etc.

The students’ complaint quotes professor telling Amolpreet that “I have recognized you. Only an SC can do something like this.”

The commission VC said that he has also directed the Patiala police to hold an independent inquiry into the incident.

When contacted, Patiala SSP Gurmeet Singh Gill said that he has marked the inquiry to a committee headed by a police officer of the rank of DSP.

“We will take action after receiving the report,” said the SSP.

 

Another closure report, another cover-up ? #Narendramodi


MODI1

Javed Anand, Asian Age, april 20, 2013

SIT’s closure report into the Godhra riots has left far too many questions unasked, and provided answers that are highly questionable

On April 10, a Delhi court rejected, for the second time, the closure report filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in 2009, claiming it could not find any credible evidence to chargesheet Congress leader Jagdish Tytler for his role in the massacre of innocent Sikhs in the nation’s capital in 1984. The CBI has been ordered to reinvestigate yet again.

On April 15, Zakia Jafri, a survivor of the February 28, 2002, carnage at Gulberg Society, filed a 514-page Protest Petition (along with an annexure of 983 pages and nine CDs) before a magistrate’s court in Ahmedabad challenging the closure report filed by the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT). The closure report absolves Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi and 58 top politicians, BJP and VHP leaders, and IAS and IPS officials of criminal offences that Mrs Jafri alleged in her complaint dated June 8, 2006, were committed by them. Read the petition (www.cjponline.org) to see why it’s more than likely that the SIT’s clean chit is headed for a similar fate.
Mrs Zakia Jafri, now around 75 years of age, was an eyewitness to the gruesome killing of her husband, former Congress parliamentarian Ehsan Jafri, and 68 others at Gulberg Society, Meghaninagar, Ahmedabad, on February 28, 2002. When Jafri finally surrendered to the mob — after six long hours of nearly a hundred desperate phone calls, including to chief minister Mr Modi, drew a blank — he was dragged, paraded around with his limbs chopped, one at a time, before being flung into the raging flame. Mrs Jafri, who has since been living with her son in Surat, says that her fight for justice will continue till her last breath.
Mrs Jafri’s protest petition (backed as it is by official investigation records and documents that SIT made available to her under Supreme Court orders) not only reinforces her earlier allegations, but also accuses the SIT of a blatant cover up job — “SIT has taken great pains to disbelieve and discredit any witnesses who have spoken against the Accused No. 1 or for that matter against any accused” — and prays that all 59 accused be chargesheeted on the basis of already available evidence and that further investigations be ordered.
SIT’s closure report, which comes four years after it began investigations as ordered by the Supreme Court into the incidents following the inferno in the Sabarmati Express near Godhra train station on the morning of February 27, 2002, (in which 59 kar sevaks and others died), has left far too many questions unasked, and provided answers that are highly questionable.
Mobile phone call records establish that on receiving the news of the Godhra tragedy, the first person Mr Modi, then Gujarat chief minister and home minister (Accused No. 1 in Mrs. Jafri’s complaint and Protest Petition), got in touch with was the state’s VHP general secretary, Jaideep Patel (Accused No. 21), even before he spoke with anyone from his home department or police officials. The petition sees this communication as a link in the conspiracy chain, but SIT ignores it.
By evening Mr Modi, health minister Ashok Bhatt (Accused No. 2, now deceased), and minister of state for home, Gordhan Zadaphia (Accused No. 5), reached Godhra. VHP’s Mr Patel too was there. In Godhra, post-mortems of the dead bodies were conducted in the railway yard by a team of doctors not trained for the job, even as Sangh Parivar activists screamed retaliatory murder. Gory photographs were permitted to be taken and later widely circulated (via VHP’s pamphlets, Gujarati newspapers) to inflame passions across the state. The post-mortems were conducted in the presence of ministers, Godhra’s district magistrate and police superintendent. Under whose directions and what was the motive behind such illegal, indecent haste? The SIT closure report does not ask these questions.
Despite the then Godhra district collector Mrs Jayanti Ravi’s deposition before SIT confirming Mr Jaideep Patel’s unusual presence at a mini-Cabinet meeting in Godhra, its closure report insists that Mr Modi never met the rabble-rousing VHP leader in Godhra.
Next, a top-level decision was taken to transport the dead bodies by road to Ahmedabad in the custody of VHP leaders, Jaideep Patel and Hasmukh Patel. SIT admits that this was in violation of existing regulations, particularly Rule 223 (10-b) of Gujarat Police Manual, but the blame for this is placed on a relatively junior revenue officer in Godhra district collector’s office (Mamlatdar), M.L. Nalvaya, ignoring his deposition before SIT that he did so only under instructions from his seniors.
Earlier, at different times — late afternoon and evening — of the Godhra tragedy, mobile phone records show the location of several top officers from the chief minister’s office (CMO) in Meghaninagar. What were these officers doing in Meghaninagar, far away from the CMO in Gandhinagar, in an area where the very next day Ehsan Jafri and 68 others were mercilessly killed in Gulberg Society? The question is left unasked by SIT.
SIT buys the claim of Ahmedabad police commissioner, P.C. Pande (Accused No. 29), that the funeral procession of the dead bodies to Ahmedabad was peaceful. But police control room (PCR) records show repeated frantic messages from the police posted at Sola Civil Hospital from 3 am in the morning of February 28 onwards about violent mobs endangering the lives of hospital staff, blocking traffic, and attacking a high court
judge who happens to be a Muslim.
Around the same time, murderous mobs led by VHP, RSS, Bajrang Dal leaders begin their day-long massacre of Muslims in Gulberg Society and Naroda Patia, Naroda Gaon and elsewhere, claiming nearly 300 lives in Ahmedabad in a single day. Of the 40 persons killed in police firing that day, 36 were Muslims. PCR records also show that on February 28, while Muslim property was set flame across Ahmedabad, the Fire Brigade Department in the city seemed to be on mass leave. Repeated calls by policemen on the ground went answered by Fire Brigade stations.
From the afternoon of February 27 itself, there was a flurry of urgent “alerts” by ground-level state intelligence bureau (SIB) personnel, warning that mobs are assembling in different places in Ahmedabad and other cities. “So communal violence will occur in the city of Ahmedabad; so take preventive action,” reads one such SIB alert.
No such preventive action was taken till noon on February 28 when curfew was finally declared. By that time, however, the carnage was at its height in Gulberg Society, Naroda Gaon and Naroda Patia.
IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt has deposed before SIT that he was present at the meeting called by Mr Modi late evening of February 27, where the chief minister told the assembled IAS-IPS top brass that “Hindus must be allowed to vent their anger”. Amicus curiae Ramachandran has held this to be sufficient prima facie evidence for the prosecution of Mr Modi, adding that it’s for the court to determine the veracity of Mr Bhatt’s claim.
But, perhaps, India’s top investigating agencies are simply incapable of probing into incidents of heinous mass crimes. Or do their failures suggest something more sinister?

The writer is founder trustee, Citizens for Justice and Peace, whose team of lawyers assisted Mrs Zakia Jafri in filing her protest petition

 

Narendra Modi visits drought-affected Amreli, but no word on relief


Gujarat EDN

DNA  20APR2013

dna correspondent @dnaahmedabad

Ahmedabad: It was Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi’s first visit to Amreli district after the state government declared it drought-affected, but the people heard little about the government’s initiatives on relief. Instead, the CM linked unseasonal rain in Amreli on Thursday and Friday with divine intervention.
Modi was in Amreli on Friday to attend the annual function of Shantaben Haribhai Gajera Education Complex and to dedicate MCA College for Women to the society. His talks encompassed everything, including good wishes on Ram Navami, Gujarat’s progress in the last 12 years and development in education sector. He urged women to join Mission Mangalam project and take up sea-weed farming on the coast.
Protesting against the government’s alleged apathy towards farmers and scarcity of water, Congress workers staged a demonstration. They were led by former Amreli MP Virji Thumar and MLA Paresh Dhanani.
Initially, the opposition party had chosen a different venue for the protest, but opted for Nagnath Circle in the town at the last minute to avoid police and security forces. Protesters waved black flags and shouted slogans against Modi while marching for a few hundred metres, where they were detained by police. Their leaders, however, presented a memorandum to the mamlatdar on farmers’ plight, not getting relief on crop insurance, water scarcity and other issues.
“We had gone to give a memorandum to the CM about the scarcity situation in the district and request him for aid but we were detained by the police and not allowed to meet him,” said Dhanani. “Being in opposition, we are not bothered much about such practice, but it was a pity that CM didn’t utter a word about drought or announce any relief for Amreli district,” the MLA added.
“If he would have announced some relief, we would have welcomed him. But it has not happened. Today, Amreli district, which also has two MLAs from BJP, is facing acute shortage of water, fodder and financial aid to farmers,” said Dhanani.

 

Expose- Loksatta Party Anti -Women, Anti- SC/ST shaking hands with Hindutva forces #Vaw


Kamayani Bali Mahabal, Mumbai, April 20th 2013, Kractivism

Lok Satta is a political party in India, founded by Jayaprakash Narayan. Since 1996, the Lok Satta Movement functioned as a non-governmental organization, but on 2 October 2006, the movement was reorganized into a formal political party. The party intends to further the causes of the Lok Satta Movement, including a reduction in the size of the cabinet, promotion of the Right to Information Act, and disclosure of criminal records and assets by political candidates. Beginning with the 2009 elections the party has adopted a whistle as their official symbol.

The aims and objectives of Lok Satta Party are:

  • To establish a new political culture which will place the citizen at the centre of governance;
  • To protect the unity and integrity of India at all times and create a secular and just republic in which the citizen will be the true sovereign;
  • To nurture, protect and promote the constitutional values of liberty, justice and equality for all;
  • To create a political, economic and social environment which will ensure equal opportunities for vertical mobility to all sections of society, irrespective of caste, ethnicity, religion, or gender.
  • To eliminate all forms of discrimination by birth and guarantee dignity and opportunity to every citizen irrespective of origin and status; and to promote social equality and justice and fully integrate all disadvantaged sections including dalits, adivasis and socially and economically backward classes; 
  • To ensure that every child, irrespective of her origins and socio-economic position, has reasonable access to quality education which will provide an opportunity to fulfill her true potential.
  • To build a viable and effective healthcare system which reaches every man, woman and child and guarantees good health to all, irrespective of economic status or birth;
  • To promote and implement policies aimed at rejuvenation of Indian agriculture, and substantial enhancement of rural incomes and improvement of quality of life;
  • To ensure that every young person acquires adequate knowledge and skills to make her a productive partner in wealth creation and thereby promote gainful employment and economic opportunities;
  • To ensure that every family,, rural or urban,, gets access to basic amenities of life including housing, sanitation and transport and opportunity for earning a decent livelihood;
  • To provide social security to the vast, underpaid, dispossessed and unorganized sector workers;
  • To empower women and provide opportunities for their economic, social and political advancement; 

  • To promote public awareness about democratic functioning of all institutions of governance and encourage reasoned debate and healthy public discourse.
  • To establish a people-centric democratic polity based on liberty, self-governance, empowerment of citizens, rule of law and self-correcting institutional mechanisms.
  • To work for fundamental political, electoral and governance reforms listed below:
    • Effective separation of legislature, executive and judiciary at all levels with appropriate checks and balances;
    • Political reforms which make elections truly democratic, representative and transparent; facilitate and promote the participation of men and women of integrity in the political process and curb electoral malpractices;
    • Effective empowerment of local governments at all levels in all respects as participative tiers of constitutional, democratic governance with their own legislature and executive, in a manner that authority and accountability fuse, and the link between vote and public good and taxes and services is fully established;
    • Speedy, accessible, effective and affordable justice at all levels to all citizens, irrespective of means and station at birth;
    • Insulate crime investigation from the vagaries of partisan politics and to make police effective, citizen friendly, accountable and just in all respects;
    • Combat corruption and mis-governance through an institutional framework which will enhance transparency and accountability at all levels of administration.
    • http://www.loksatta.org/

Loksatta Party of Karnataka candidates, Rupa Rani, a pharmacist from Rajajinagar, Sumitra Iyengar, Entrepreneur from Padmanabha Nagar, Shanthala Damle, software professional from Basavangudi, Sridhar Pabbisetty, COO, IIM-B from Hebbal and Dr Meenakshi Bharth, Fertility expert from Malleswaram addressing press conference announcing contesting the ensuing state assembly  elections at Press Club in Bengaluru on March 28, 2013

What is LOKSATTA PARTY’s STAND ON WOMEN’S RIGHTS and RESERVATION FOR SC/ST in education-employment?

Phanisai Bharadwaj, their CANDIDATE for Bangalore South Assembly Constituency is ANTI-WOMEN and against SC/ ST reservation.

He is part of women-hating, so-called men’s rights groups that seem to believe they’re the oppressed sex and constantly spread mis/disinformation about women and laws meant to protect women (E.g. DV Act) from abuse of various kinds. He seems to be a contact person for the Centre for Men’s Rights (http://menrights.org/).

And please do check out the MENRIGHTS CHARTER

Charter
Aims and Objectives

Our aims and objectives are to promote men’s welfare and their human rights and prevent abuse of men’s rights. We aim to reduce suicide rate of men and create more acceptability and choices for men in society. Therefore, we aim to work towards:

Promoting laws which do not marginalize men or undermine their role in families and society.
Creating genuine implementation of the Indian constitution’s goal for equality for both sexes by way of judicial and executive reforms
Forming support groups for men facing abuse of their rights simply because they happen to be of male gender.
Reject all attempts to dilute men’s fundamental rights in the name of women empowerment or any other social engineering goals.
Focus on children welfare being important and reduce attempts to remove fathers and reduce their role in lives of their children
Create awareness about adverse effects of father-child separation following divorce or separation under “sole custody” arrangements and the need for allowing meaningful parenting role to fathers.
In order to fulfil the objectives of this organization we will

Provide counselling to men facing any violation of their fundamental or human rights mainly because of their male gender
Strive for gender equality in laws related to marriage, divorce, child custody and domestic abuse.
Conduct public awareness events, workshops, seminars, and press conferences on issues of men’s rights and welfare
Make representations and disseminate information to lawmakers, judiciary, and various authorities of the Government and Semi-government organizations, Not-for-profit organizations and other national and international agencies and promote discussion on issues related to men’s rights and welfare
Conduct and promote research on issues related to men’s health and well-being in all areas of life, and promote the same to government and other agencies.
PHANI

loksaata3

Dr. Meenakshi Bharath, a long time social & civic activist, is now a Loksatta Candidate for MLA Malleswaram.

Dr Meenakshi Bharath is a Gynaecologist and Fertility specialist at Centre for Assisted Reproductive Techniques (CART), a green campaigner, an advocate for Clean Bangalore, a strident voice for garbage segregation and recycling and a relentless fighter to create visibility for the problems of voiceless people.

Dr Meenakshi believes that children and youth have the power to impact
India’s future positively and works a lot with them. After so many years in public service, working on different domains such as voter list correction, solid waste management and health awareness campaigns, Dr Meenakshi feels privileged to have gained so many friends and well wishers, who have now become an invaluable part of her life.

Below is her wish for India ?  The Indiashe wants to see … rose petals being showered on RSS guys ??  WAH she shared on Facebook

loksatta

Similarly for Rupa Rani , joins hand with all hindutva forces for holy cow. Rupa Rani is a pharmacy professional and passionate about governance and politics. As a member of Loksatta party, she believes that true change is possible when we change the political culture and the players.

Her website says as follows – http://www.shetrusts.org/

” Life without liberty is like a body without spirit ” !

Instead of giving a politician the keys to the city, it might be better to change the locks. We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office. No real social change has ever been brought about without a revolution… revolution is but thought carried into action.  My hope is that 10 years from now, after I’ve been across the street at work for a while, they’ll all be glad they gave me that wonderful vote.

loksatta1

 She is running for
Office: MLA – Rajajinagar assembly constituency
County: KARNATAKA
District: rajaji nagar assembly constituency
Party: Loksatta

 

AERB’s sloppy sarkari reply on Koodankulam


People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)
Idinthakarai & P. O. 627 104
Tirunelveli District, Tamil Nadu
Phone: 98656 83735; 98421 54073
April 19, 2013
koodankulam@yahoo.com

Untrustworthy AERB and Its Sloppy Sarkari Reply for the Koodankulam Fiasco

The Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) has finally woken up, it
seems. They have just acknowledged with great awkwardness: “…during
testing of thousands of valves installed in the plant, the
performances of four valves of a particular type were found deficient.
As corrective measures, the valve components are being replaced by
NPCIL and their performance is further being subjected to regulatory
review. Subsequent clearances will be granted by AERB only after a
satisfactory review.”

So, according to the AERB, it is a simple problem of just four valves
malfunctioning in the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP). What
an irresponsible and disingenuous explanation to a very complex and
dangerous problem that is deeply mired in corruption, theft,
wastefulness, shoddiness and sheer inefficiency.

No one in India can have any kind of trust and confidence in the AERB
anymore. We would bring the attention of the Indian citizens to the
Comptroller and Auditor General’s Report No. 9/2012-13 on the
“Activities of Atomic Energy Regulatory Board” published in August
2012. It pointed out so many flaws and problems in the regulatory
mechanism of the atomic energy establishment in India.

This discredited agency’s sloppy sarkari reply begs many more
important questions:

[1] Were the first and the second “hydro tests” at KKNPP complete
failures then? Why doesn’t the AERB say anything about these tests?

[2] How did the AERB give clearance to the “initial fuel loading”
(IFL) with all these four valves malfunctioning?

[3] The PMANE posed the following question to AERB on January 28, 2013:
“Zio-Podolsk, owned by the Russian company Rosatom, is under
investigation in Russia for shoddy equipment it produced for several
nuclear plants in that country and abroad since 2007. It is suspected
that Zio-Podolsk used wrong type of steel (cheaper than the one
originally required) to produce equipment for nuclear plants, such as
steam generators. This company is said to have supplied several
equipment and parts to the KKNPP. Please give a list of those
equipment and parts that have been supplied by Zio-Podolsk to the
KKNPP units.”

The AERB replied on February 12, 2013 (No. AERB/RSD/RTI/Appl. No.
329/2013/2421) very evasively: “Selection of a company for supplying
any equipment to NPCIL, is not under the purview of AERB. However,
with respect to Quality Assurance (QA) during design, construction,
commissioning and operation, a set of well established AERB documents
on QA Codes and Guides are published and they were followed during the
safety review of KKNPP.”

If the “well established AERB documents on QA Codes and Guides … were
followed during the safety review of KKNPP,” how did the AERB team
fail to find out about these four valves earlier? Which AERB officials
are responsible for this valve malfunctioning oversight? Why did the
AERB have to wait until the former AERB chief, Dr. Gopalakrishnan,
spoke about the Koodankaulam project?

[4] Mr. R. S. Sundar, the site director of the KKNPP, has claimed that
“the NPCIL had placed orders for obtaining a range of components for
KKNPP from LG Electronics, South Korea, Alstom and VA Tech, France and
Siemens, Germany, apart from getting components from Russia” (P.
Sudhakar, “Kudankulam plant Director denies allegation,” The Hindu,
April 4, 2013). Although he lists all these foreign companies and
their host countries, Mr. Sundar carefully avoids the names of
Zio-Podolsk and Informteck from Russia. Does the AERB consider the
KKNPP as a Russian project or an international collaboration project?
Does the AERB have the complete list of all these various parts and
equipment? How were the “well established AERB documents on QA Codes
and Guides” followed during the safety review of all these various
parts and equipment from all different sources?

[5] Dr. M. R. Srinivasan, the former chief of the Atomic Energy
Commission, has publicly acknowledged now: “We sought an additional
safety mechanism well before the Fukushima disaster. The safety
mechanism consists of valves. The original reactor design had to be
altered and I feel this is the basic cause for delay.” According to
him, the valves were designed partially in India and Russia and
compatibility with the reactor led to some hiccups
(http://newindianexpress.com/states/tamil_nadu/article1517314.ece).
Did the AERB authorize the alteration of the “original reactor
design”? If so, when did the AERB authorize it? What authorization
procedure was followed? And who in the AERB authorized the later
“refit” in the reactor? What was this “refit” all about?

[6] Izhorskiye Zavody, which is part of United Machinery Plants (OMZ)
holding, signed a contract with India for the construction of two
nuclear reactor bodies for Kudankulam’s station in 2002. They shipped
a new nuclear reactor body that would be the first power unit of
India’s Kudankulam nuclear power plant to the city’s sea port. Yevgeny
Sergeyev, general director of Izhorskiye Zavody, said at a ceremony
sending off the reactor: “We were so sure of our partners that we
started to produce the first reactor bodies four months before the
official contract was signed.” Sergeyev said the reactor was completed
six months before deadline (The St Petersburg Times, 19 November 2004,
http://sptimes.ru/index.php?action_id=2&story_id=2135). How were the
“well established AERB documents on QA Codes and Guides” followed
during the safety review of the reactor bodies? Is that why we found
belt-line welds much later in the RPVs in sharp contrast to the
original
design?

The Federal Service for Ecological, Technological and Nuclear
Supervision, Rostekhnadzor, claimed in 2009: “The main causes of
violations in the NPP construction works are insufficient
qualifications, and the personnel’s meagre knowledge of federal norms
and rules, design documentation, and of the technological processes of
equipment manufacturing. In particular, the top management of
Izhorskiye Zavody [supplier of RPV] have been advised of the low
quality of the enterprise’s products and have been warned that
sanctions might be enforced, up to suspending the enterprise’s
equipment production licence”
(http://www.gosnadzor.ru/osnovnaya_deyatelnost_slujby/otcheti-o-deyatelnosti-sluzhbi-godovie/).

As Dr. A. Gopalakrishnan has pointed out in response to the AERB’s
sloppy sarkari reply, “the AERB comes up with a very minimal and
partial admission. Their clarification has left out many other flaws,
including potential corrupt practices, lack of adequate quality
assurance, and total & unnecessary secrecy in safety regulation of
civilian nuclear plants.”

To sum up tersely, the AERB has no integrity or credibility and should
call off the Koodankulam project completely instead of explaining away
the dangerous issues involved in the project and making us all guinea
pigs to test the Indian nuclear establishment’s corruption,
inefficiency and black market procurement practices.

The Struggle Committee
The People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)

 

Taiwan compensates trio after 11 years on death row


Taiwan will pay a total of Tw$15 million compensation to three men who spent more than 11 years on death row before their acquittal in one of the island’s most controversial murder trials, a court said Wednesday.

Su Chien-ho (C), Chuang Lin-hsun (2R) and Liu Bin-lang (2L) outside a court room in Taipei on November 12, 2010 after they were acquitted in the murder of a couple in 1991. (AFP/PATRICK LIN)

TAIPEI: Taiwan will pay a total of Tw$15 million compensation to three men who spent more than 11 years on death row before their acquittal in one of the island’s most controversial murder trials, a court said Wednesday.

Su Chien-ho, Liu Bin-lang and Chuang Lin-hsun will each receive about Tw$5 million for wrongful imprisonment, the High Court said.

The trio, who said they were tortured into making confessions, were first sentenced to death 21 years ago for the murder of a couple in Taipei.

Their legal plight began after a soldier who confessed in 1991 to killing the couple claimed that they were his accomplices. The soldier was executed the following year after a trial by a military tribunal.

They had since faced a series of trials and retrials that saw their death sentences being lifted and then reimposed until the High Court made a final ruling in their favour last year.

Taiwan’s human rights groups have seized on the case to call on the government to abolish capital punishment.

Like many Asian countries, Taiwan maintains the death penalty, reserving it for serious crimes including aggravated murder, kidnapping and robbery.

Last year, Taiwan executed six death row inmates, the largest number to be put to death in one day in recent years.

– AFP/gn

 

Out of shadow, PPPs at last come under RTI ambit


DoPT issues guidelines providing for suo motu disclosure of all information relating to PPPs under RTI Act

 
Prasanna Mohanty | New Delhi | April 17 2013, Governance Now
In a dramatic turnaround, the union government has now opened up public-private partnership (PPP) projects to public scrutiny.
The move comes in the wake of a fresh set of guidelines issued by the department of personnel and training (DoPT) on April 15. Till now any information sought through the RTI Act was stonewalled not only by the union government but also the state governments.
DoPT guidelines make it clear that “all information relating to PPPs must be disclosed in the public domain” henceforth suo motu, as per provisions of section 4 of the RTI Act.
This will gladden the hearts of all those fighting for accountability and transparency in the way PPP projects are being implemented in the country. Most big-ticket projects in the infrastructure sector, like roads, ports, airports, power, water supply, irrigation and telecommunication are being carried out under the PPP model. And for a while PPP projects are being seen as “public money for private profit”.
Social activists have been fighting for years to get information about PPP projects in vain. The fight that started in January 2011, with RTI activist Venkatesh Nayak approaching the CIC to get information about PPP projects, has succeeded in breaking down the wall.
DoPT’s guideline of April 15 says: “If public services are proposed to be provided through a public private partnership (PPP), all information relating to the PPPs must be disclosed in the public domain by the public authority entering into the PPP contract/concession agreement. This may include details of the special purpose vehicle (SPV), if any set up, detailed project reports, concession agreements, operation and maintenance manuals and other documents generated as part of the implementation of the PPP project.”
It adds: “Further, information about fees, tolls, or other kinds of revenue that may be collected under authorization from the government, information in respect of outputs and outcomes, process of selection of the private sector party may also be proactively disclosed. All payments made under the PPP project may also be disclosed in a periodic manner along with the purpose of making such payments”.
The stumbling block
In issuing guidelines for suo motu disclosures, the guideline admits that “the quality and quantity of proactive disclosure is not up to the desired level” and a part of the problem is that certain provisions of the RTI Act “have not been fully detailed”, and that in case of some “there is need for laying down detailed guidelines”.
Seen as the biggest stumbling block, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, deputy chairman of the planning commission, has publicly opposed every attempt to throw PPPs open to RTI by stating that it would inhibit private investment. He also contended that since PPPs are contracts with private entities they don’t come under the purview of the RTI Act.
The planning commission is the nodal body for PPPs.
Things took a turn for better when CIC wrote to the planning commission in January 2011 and sought modifications within PPP agreements to ensure public disclosure of details related to infrastructure projects being funded by the public exchequer. The DoPT supported CIC, but instead of legal changes suggested that the planning commission should draft the PPP agreement in a way that allows the government agency to disclose information on behalf of the private entity.
The planning commission opposed this and referred the matter to the law ministry.
In March 2011, Ahluwalia issued a statement clarifying his position. The statement said: “It is further clarified that concession agreements are executed by the respective ministries and not by the planning commission. So far as the planning commission is concerned, it has published several model concession agreements (MCAs) for PPP projects. These MCAs provide for full disclosure of the concession agreement, the maintenance manual, the maintenance programme and maintenance requirements in respect of each project.
“Where an MCA is followed, any person can obtain certified copies of these documents from the respective concessionaires.” (emphasis added)
But even after this statement, Ahluwalia publicly opposed throwing open PPPs to provisions of the RTI Act.
But DoPT set up a task force to look into the issue. In August 2011, the task force, which included civil society activists, favoured suo motu disclosure. The report was then referred to the PMO.
Apparently, after the PMO’s clearance, DoPT issued the guidelines on April 15.

 

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