Ishrat Encounter case: CBI court orders arrest warrant against Gujarat top cop


Business Standard
Ahmedabad May 2, 2013 Last Updated at 20:14 IST

Special CBI Judge asked for the issuance of an arrest warrant for Pande, who has gone underground and is allegedly being protected by the state government

A special CBI court in Ahmedabad on Thursday ordered that an arrest warrant be issued against Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) P P Pande, who according to the central agency was involved in 2004 alleged fake encounter case of Ishrat Jahan and three others.

Special CBI Judge Gita Gopi agreeing with the demand of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), directed the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate to issue an arrest warrant for Pande, who as per the central agency had gone underground and was being protected by the state government.

Last week CBI DySP and investigating officer of the encounter case G Kalaimani had filed a revision application challenging the order, dated April 25, of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (ACJM) of the CBI court which had rejected CBI’s demand for the issuance of arrest warrant for Additional DGP (Crime) Pande.

CBI, in its revision application had sought issuance of arrest warrant for Pande under section 73 of the CrPC (criminal Procedure Code), and claimed that the senior IPS officer was evading CBI and it has become necessary for the agency to seek court’s help.

Counsel for the CBI had told the court during arguments on the application that they had issued two summons, on April 22 and 24 respectively to Pande, but he had not responded to it.

When CBI went to his residence at Ahmedabad, his son refused to give information about Pande’s whereabouts and his official mobile phone was also not reachable, he had added.

CBI wants to interrogate Pande in connection with the Ishrat Jahan encounter case, but was not able to do so because the officer was not traceable. Therefore, it had approached the court seeking issuance of arrest warrant for Pande.

Pande, a 1980 batch IPS officer of Gujarat cadre, was Joint Police Commissioner of Ahmedabad crime branch, when on June 15, 2004, Ishrat Jahan along with Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjadali Akbarali Rana and Zeeshan Johar were killed in a police encounter on the outskirts of the city. After the encounter the crime branch officials had claimed that the four were terrorists and had come to Gujarat with a plan to assassinate Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

In December 2011 the Gujarat High Court handed over the investigation in the encounter to CBI after a special investigation team appointed by it concluded that the killing of Ishrat and three others was stage managed by Gujarat police. As many as five cops have been arrested so far in the case by the CBI.

 

#India – Press freedom on shaky ground #FOE #FOS


Since January, media has been under attack a number of times, with police failing to protect its rights. GEETA SESHU says all this forms a grim backdrop to World Press Freedom Day on May 3.
Posted/Updated Thursday, May 02 18:45:32, 2013, Thehoot.org

One death, one instance of arson, seven attacks on journalists and an equal number of instances of censorship in the first four months of this year in India – that’s the tally from the free speech tracker of the Hoot’s Free Speech Hub. Add this to the loss of jobs in media funded by ponzi schemes like the Saradha group (1,400) or in other newspaper groups struggling to stay afloat.

Barely four days before World Press Freedom Day on May 3, a Kannada newspaper Karavali Ale was the target of an attack by the BJP MLA from Surathkal in South Karnataka, Krishna Palemar. Copies of the newspapers were torched at the local bus station. Subsequently, the distribution of copies was disrupted.

According to a complaint filed before the Election Commission by Rohini S, Managing Director of Chitra Publications, which brings out Karavali Ale, the ‘criminal actions’ of Palemar sought to frighten the management and staff against publishing reports adverse to him. Earlier, the newspaper had carried a detailed report about the ‘hollow’ claims of the political leader about development in the area.

The complaint added that Palemar had committed a violation of the poll codes (Karnataka goes to the polls on May 5) and has demanded action for his criminal destruction of property. Despite requests to local police for protection , this was not forthcoming, the newspaper management said

While the current tussle between the newspaper and local politicians owing allegiance to the Hindu right is clearly poll-related, it is by no means the only one. On February 6, a staffer of the newspaper, Harish Puthran, was attacked by elements supported by Hindu Vedike leader Satyajit Surathkal for his news reports that investigated the links between the Hindu fundamentalist group and the local drug mafia.

Earlier, in 2010, Palemar succeeded in obtaining a High Court injunction against the newspaper from publishing adverse reports against him, after an earlier attempt to secure an injunction from the Bangalore City and Civil Sessions court failed.

Press Freedom in India: January-April 2013

A quick glance at the list of attacks and censorship of the media in just these four months reveals the range of issues journalists are routinely confronted with. The killings, the attacks, threats and the censorship can originate from any quarter – Maoists in Chhattisgarh, Hindu fundamentalist groups in Mangalore, police and security forces in Odisha and Kashmir or even the gutka don who organised an acid attack against a journalist in Parbhani.

The censorship can range from police clamping down on coverage of the case of the Delhi gang-rape victim, elected representatives of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly who beat up a police inspector in the house but issued contempt notices against television channels for reporting the attack, defamation blocks on online media coverage of the Indian Institute of Planning and Management (IIPM) or the gag on the media of an entire state following the hanging of Afzal Guru.

In February, Nemichand Jain, a Hindi journalist working in Bastar, Chhattisgarh, was killed and a local committee of the Maoists left a pamphlet at the site taking responsibility for the killing. The incident, which sent shock waves amongst journalists in the area, again underlined the precarious nature of media work in a zone of conflict.

Jain worked both as a journalist as well as a distributor for several newspapers and the Maoists claimed he was a police informer. Journalists decided to boycott all information about Maoists following the death. The boycott was lifted after Maoists reportedly apologised, in yet another pamphlet, for the killing.

Needless to say, amidst this exchange of pamphlets, police are still ‘investigating’ the case.

Police are still also investigating the acid attack on Dinesh Chaudhary, reporter for Solapur Tarun Bharat, and his wife and teenaged daughter in Parbhani, Maharashtra in March this year. Chaudhary wrote about gutka don Syed Ali, who allegedly got two accomplices to throw acid on him. The duo managed to escape. The state home minister promised to take serious note of the incident and directed police to do their job. Till date, says the editor of the newspaper, Narayan Karanjkar, Ali is still ‘absconding’, though he has been spotted in the area on several occasions!

Odisha manages to be in the news for attacks on the media. In 2012, the Free Speech Hub conducted a special report on this state but when impunity rules, the journalist has no protection at work. Subhakant Padhihary discovered this when he was beaten mercilessly while covering an agitation in Bhubaneshwar on April 1. “When I was being caned mercilessly by the cops, Bhubaneswar DCP Nitinjit Singh was present, but he walked away,” Padhihary said.

Only yesterday, another journalist Amitabha Patra, and an editor of the magazine Nissan Lenin Ray, were arrested while covering a protest by villagers against the Lower Suktel Dam in Dunguripali of Balangiri district, Odisha.

The ‘Hindu taliban’ is what local journalists call attackers of Harish Putran, reporter for Karavali Ale, a newspaper from Mangalore, who was beaten up for a series of articles he did claiming that the Hindu Jagran Vedike had close links with a drug mafia.

The organisation became infamous for the pub-attacks and the raid on a homestay, which had led to the arrest of Kasturi television reporter Naveen Soorinje last November. After spending around four months in jail, Soorinje was granted bail by the Karnataka High Court and released in March 2013.

Sure, the media in turn has a lot to answer for. As the Hoot’s reports show, the media routinely forgets the North-east, invades the privacy of partying students in Hyderabad or when journalists fail to ask the right questions of their media owners. And these are just a few examples.

But as Camus said: A free press can be good or bad, but, most certainly, without freedom a press will never be anything but bad.

 

#India – Confidential Report raised fears about proximity of Kalpsar dam & Mithivirdi N-project


Express news service : Ahmedabad, Fri May 03 2013, 04:06 hrs

A confidential report by the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) expressed concerns about possible calamities due to the proximity of the proposed  Kalpsar dam and the Mithivirdi Nuclear Power Project (NPP), including flooding of the power plant in case an earthquake breaks the 65-km-long dam that will run across the northern edge of the Gulf of Khambat.

The DAE’s site selection report was obtained by the Vadodara-based Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti through RTI. The outfit has attached it with a letter it sent to the Union Environment Ministry’s nuclear projects division on Wednesday, alleging the report’s observations had not been incorporated into the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited‘s (NPCIL) environment impact assessment (EIA) for the proposed project.

The site selection report, dated June 28, 2007, says, “It is recommended that a detailed study be conducted to examine the effect of Kalpasar dam in the upstream of NPP site on the flooding of the proposed site due to breaking of dam in the event of an earthquake of very high magnitude as the Kalpasar dam is located over deep silted fault.”

“Kalpsar project authorities propose a dam of 65 km in length and top width of 35 m across Gulf of Khambat at a distance of 18 kms north of the Chhaya (Mithi Virdi) site. This will have following effects on the nuclear power llant – sedimentation and effect on intake and outfall of the plant, flooding due to dam break and aspects of reservoir induced seismicity,” the report notes.

In another section, the report recommends a 300-km radius seismotectonic study should take into account reservoir-induced seismicity, a phenomenon in which large man-made water bodies cause earthquakes, such as at Koyna dam in Maharashtra, which caused a 6.3 magnitude earthquake in 1967.

(At least three other earthquakes of a magnitude above 6 have been caused by such water bodies worldwide, including in China (Xinfengjiang dam), Zambia (Kariba dam) and Greece (Kremasta dam).

P M Shah, chief engineer for the Mithivirdi project, told The Indian Express the EIA report did not incorporate Kalpsar because it was a study on how the project would affect the environment.

“A detailed seismotectonic study covering a radius of 300 kms is being done by the National Geophysical Research Institute, Hyderabad, while oceanography studies are being done by the Goa-headquartered National Institute of Oceanography (NIO),” Shah said.
– See more at: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/-report-raised-fears-about-proximity-of-kalpsar-dam—mithivirdi-nproject-/1110913/0#sthash.tH5wZQg6.dpuf

 

Tribal affairs ministry gets cracking on apex court’s order on Vedanta #goodnews


Author(s):
Kumar Sambhav S…
Issue Date:
2013-5-2

Odisha government gets a slew of orders to ensure the order is properly implemented

The ministry of tribal affairs seems to have pulled up its socks to ensure the Supreme Court’s order in the Vedanta case is properly implemented on ground. In a letter to the Odisha government on May 2, the ministry directed the state to facilitate the gram sabhas affected by the proposed bauxite mining project on Niyamgiri hills to decide—independently and in a transparent manner—the veracity of religious and cultural rights claimed by the tribal people on Niyamgiri hill. It has issued several legally binding directions under the Forest Rights Act (FRA) to the Odisha government and has prescribed a timeframe for the entire process.

On April 18, the Supreme Court ordered [1] that village councils in Odisha’s Rayagada and Kalahandi districts would decide if projects of the metals and mining giant,Vedanta, have infringed the tribal communities’ right to worship. The court made it clear that the religious rights of the tribals must be protected. It also asked the gram sabhas to consider afresh—under FRA—all other individual and community claims of the tribals.

The ministry has now asked the Odisha government to issue advertisements in newspapers, including those in vernacular languages, asking all the tribals and traditional forest dwellers in Kalahandi and Raygada districts to file claims of religious and cultural rights, along with the individual and community rights under the FRA. The ministry has also asked the state to display this notification along with the details of the SC order in all villages in the two districts irrespective of their proximity from the mining site. “This will ensure that there is no allegation of subjectivity in the selection of palli sabhas (gram sabhas) where the meeting will be finally held as per the direction of the Supreme Court,” the letter says.

The ministry has asked the state to prepare a list of all the villages near the mining site and on the Niyamgiri hills where tribal people have made claims of traditional rights. It has given the state government 20 days to prepare the list.

The selected gram sabhas will then have to be sensitised by the state with the help of independent experts working on tribal rights as guaranteed by the FRA as well as by the SC judgement. The decision on the claim will be taken by the gram sabha in presence of a judicial officer, as per the court’s directions.

The ministry has directed the state to involve non-profits in the process to make it transparent. It has also asked the state to submit the audio and video recordings of the gram sabha meetings—replete with all the resolutions passed by the village body—to it right after the meetings. A Bhubaneswar-based analyst said the ministry’s move was welcome because the company has started dividing the community. “A few people who have got some benefits from the project might try to manipulate the whole community. Rights activists are already facing problems in having access to the affected villages. The ministry’s action is certainly timely. Now it it needs proper follow-up,” he said.

Source URL: http://www.downtoearth.org.in/content/tribal-affairs-ministry-gets-cracking-apex-court-s-order-vedanta

 

Mumbai – Demolition of a dream house


Alok Deshpande , The Hindu, may 1,2013

_
Campa Cola residents on protest against demolition notice (Source:- Facebook Community ‘Save Campa Cola Compound’)
Mumbai is rapidly becoming a place for chosen few. Chosen, on the basis of money.
The rich, famous and self-proclaimed law abiding citizens of Mumbai were first shocked and then laughed at the misery of families of 75 innocent lives that were lost in a tragic building collapse in Mumbra, near Mumbai, last month.

“How ignorant can one be? Buggers should’ve checked whether the building is authorized or not. Illiterate people, I tell you,” said one of my friends on Facebook chat. He sent laughing smiley (:D) at the end of the chat.

He perhaps didn’t know that, these slum dwellers were purposely told to move inside building, to avoid demolition from civic body. It’s a win-win situation for both builder and a slum dweller. The former gets his construction legalized on humanitarian ground and the latter gets a ‘pukka’ house.

A few weeks after the Mumbra incident, came one of the ‘never heard before’ and ‘never seen before’ housing tragedies (?) of Mumbai. (The media which is usually not bothered about the demolition drives in slums, found its ‘news peg’ among the rich and upper middle class victims of Campa Cola Compound. But that we will save for later discussion.)

Following the Supreme Court verdict, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) slapped the notice of demolition on 35 floors of seven buildings of upper middle class, upmarket locality. The demolition means that 140 families will have no roof from May 2. As you must have predicted, none of them is illiterate or ignorant or poor.

They were not given water connection for past 25 years by BMC, mainly because the structures were unauthorized and that was enough for them to know that builder has cheated on them. Yet, they continued to live in those unauthorized buildings for 25 years. Ignorant, aren’t they? My friend on Facebook, please answer.

When I went for one of the press conferences arranged by these 140 families at the Campa Cola Compound, I was (and still I am) sympathetic to them. (Yeah, despite being a reporter. I do have my opinions). Then I heard one lady shouting. “Do you think we are slum dwellers? How can they throw us out like them?”

Them, I thought. Them?

Why do you think you are different? Don’t you understand that you too were as cheated and fooled by builder as those homeless families by some other builder, when he convinced them to construct slums on open plot? Just to claim that land under Slum Rehabilitation Scheme, few years later. You both wanted a house. The only difference was your class. You managed a house on 17th floor, while the homeless managed a slum besides a dumping ground. Neither his slum’s nor your flat’s plans were approved by authorities. You are no different than him. Remember that! You are all the victims of land sharks, corrupt system and the nexus between builder-authorities and politicians.

Buying a house has become almost impossible in Mumbai, for someone from middle and lower middle class background. A 2 BHK (they don’t construct 1 BHK anymore, it seems) flat will cost you, more than a crore. You need either the money or high ranked contacts. Majority of us have neither of this. (Just some extra information from unverified sources -A woman who purchased flat in a scam tainted Adarsh CHS in Mumbai, was given a loan worth Rs 80 lakh by a respected bank. Well, her salary was less than Rs 20,000. How did she manage that? Interesting, isn’t it?)

After all everyone dreams about a house. Builders, politicians and authorities have used the situation wonderfully in their favour and have kept the housing prices away from the common man’s range. It is the desperation of people that is forcing them to live in worst of the conditions, many a time in unauthorized buildings.

Mumbai is rapidly becoming a place for chosen few. Chosen, on the basis of money.

After the incident in Mumbra, the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) took a decision to demolish ‘dangerous’ and ‘unauthorised’ buildings. All the political parties in the state, except for Mahrashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) and Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), called for a bandh. “It will make people homeless and they are not guilty,” they said.

You are right! But don’t you think you should have also asked for action against builders and officials who constructed these unauthorized structures? Congress, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Shiv Sena, who had supported the bandh, did not bother to utter a single word against the builders. So obliged they are to the builders, it seems, for reasons best known to them.

Mumbai’s Golibar slum redevelopment is also one of the examples of utter disrespect to law by builders. Forged documents, threats, hooliganism and even an alleged kidnapping, tells the sad story of legitimate slum dwellers here. Alleged involvement of big politicians in the redevelopment has forced ‘independent’ media houses ignore the misery of these people. Then there are examples of Sion-Koliwada redevelopment, Ganpat Patil nagar redevelopment and the list goes on. The builder lobby has gained upper hand everywhere with the help of police, politicians and officials.

So, my dear lady from ‘n’th unauthorized floor, my humble request to you is, don’t say you are different, just because you are rich. You both are the victims. Criticise the system, which has put you in this condition, not the slum dweller.

 

Teen Rapper Arrested on Terrorism Charges for Rap on Boston Marathon Bombing #WTFnews #FOE #FOS


The suburban teenager is being held on $1 million bail, and faces possibly 20 years.

May 2, 2013  |

A Massachusetts high school student faces felony charges for allegedly posting on social media rap lyrics that police say amount to terrorist threats, the Valley Patriot reports.

“He posted a threat in the form of rap where he mentioned the White House, the Boston Marathon bombing, and said ‘everybody you will see what I am going to do, kill people,” said Joe Solomon, who is police chief of Methuen, a city in north Massachusetts.

According to a press release from the Methuen Police Department, 18-year-old Cameron D’Ambrosio posted the alleged threatening rap on Facebook. Police investigated the teenager after one of D’Ambrosio’s classmates reported to Methuen High School authorities the “disturbing verbiage” on his Facebook page. The press release notes that the alleged threats “were in general and not directed towards another person or the school.”

According to the Eagle Tribune, D’Ambrosio was charged with communicating a terrorist threat and faces up to 20 years in jail. He is being held on $1 million bail. All this, for writing some scary rap lyrics on Facebook.

In addition to arresting D’Amrbosio, police searched the teenager’s home and confiscated a computer and Xbox. They searched the Facebook page for additional clues to the amateur rapper’s activities. The Valley Patriot has their findigs:

D’Ambrosio also had disturbing photos and posts on his Facebook page including  “Fuck politics, Fuck Obama and Fuck the government!!”

He also had a “disturbing satanic photo posted as well as a photo of himself on a “Wanted Poster” that reads “Wanted Dead or Alive” a quick perusal of his Facebook page shows D’Ambrosio’s unusual interest in gangs, violence and a criminal lifestyle.

The 18-year-old alleged “terrorist,” whose only crime in this case appears to be posting rap lyrics on Facebook, will be arraigned Thursday.

 

 

#India – Tales told by the anti-terrorism squad, signifying nothing #humanrights


 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013, 9:00 IST | Agency: DNA
Jyoti Punwani
It’s tough to deny facts brought to light by modern technology. 
It’s tough to deny facts brought to light by modern technology. The Dhule police were felled by mobile phone cameras showing them destroying unattended stalls belonging to Muslims during the riot that broke out in January. There really was no choice but to take action against them. Now, mobile call records show that the phones of three Muslims accused of having planted bombs in suburban trains on July 11, 2006, were far away from the sites of the bombings.

That wouldn’t mean much if the agency investigating the case hadn’t done its best to prevent this coming out. The conduct of the ATS has been strange indeed. First, it kept on citing the need to go through these call records to get police custody of the accused. But its charge sheet made no mention of the records. Yet, when the accused wanted to have a look at them, the ATS refused, citing a variety of reasons. It was only when the high court dug its heels in on the issue that the prosecution threw in the towel, saying the accused could get the records from the mobile companies, since it had deleted the copies in its possession. No wonder cops hate judges and lawyers!

The mobile companies were also reluctant, first saying it would take months, then asking for Rs34 lakh as costs. Again it was left to the court to put its foot down.

The records corroborate what the three alleged bombers have been saying about where they were when the bombs were placed on the trains. They also seriously dent the credibility of the investigation — for the fourth time since the blasts.

Soon after the blasts, the ATS had gone on an arresting spree, describing every arrest as a “major breakthrough’’, and the man arrested as the “mastermind’’. But within three months, it applied for discharge of three such “masterminds’’, saying they had nothing to do with the blasts.

From Day One, the ATS had blamed Pakistan. But when it came to confronting Pakistan with the evidence, it played coy.

The real shocker came in the charge sheet — not a word about pressure cookers, after describing to a salivating media how the bombs had been assembled in pressure cookers, their make, from where they had been bought…

But even this wasn’t as shocking as the sudden emergence of an alternate narrative two years after the blasts. At a specially convened press conference, the then crime branch chief Rakesh Maria announced that the culprits were another set of boys belonging to the Indian Mujahideen; its co-founder Sadiq Shaikh, had himself confessed to this. The bombs weren’t assembled in a hut in Govandi as the ATS alleged, but in a Sewri flat.

But the ATS, then headed by KP Raghuvanshi, stuck to its story, and three months after his “confession’’, Sadiq Shaikh was discharged from this case at the behest of the ATS itself. Earlier this month, he told the court that the crime branch had tortured him to “confess’’ to the train blasts.

Allegations of torture have dogged this case right from the start, and no less than the PMO had to intervene. Family members of those arrested as well as those wanted, filed affidavits describing their alleged torture at the hands of the ATS, and were taken to meet the PM by Samajwadi Party chief Abu Asim Azmi.

209 innocents died in the serial train blasts. What must their families be thinking every time the investigating agency comes out looking foolish in these last seven years?

The author is a Mumbai-based freelance journalist.

 

Joint Statement Condemn Police Excesses in Lower Suktel Project area in Balangir, Odisha


Warning sign for police brutality.

Warning sign for police brutality. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

Scrap the Lower Suktel Dam project immediately

 

 

 

We, the undersigned, are anguished and appalled by the brutality and excesses of Orissa Police on peaceful demonstrators and concerned citizens near Magurbeda village of Balangir District in Orissa on 29 April 2013. At least 40 persons received severe injuries in this unprovoked lathi-charge and police brutality. We strongly condemn such police action and demand that responsible policemen be brought to book immediately!

 

Shockingly, during this standoff police dramatically turned into a confrontation, women were pulled by their hair, thrown on ground with policemen deliberately trampled over their feet and private parts as if they were trying to get confessions out of hardened criminals – all this under the supervision of the Sub-Divisional Police Officer and the Sub-Collector of Balangir, the latter with magisterial power.

 

It is absolutely unacceptable that state police in tacit approval of the state government engage in such brutality on peaceful protesters. The Odisha government needs to explain to its people as why Lower Sukhtel area has virtually become a war-zone, when people are democratically pressing for their demands.

 

Notably, Amitabh Patra, a journalist-filmmaker, who was shooting the confrontation, was purposefully targeted and rounded up by about a dozen policemen who beat him and kicked him ceaselessly on his head and face. Policemen seized his two cameras and broke both even as he lay unconscious for several hours. We would want an explanation from the government as what authority the Odisha Police has got to stop filmmakers from shooting such stand-offs? Under which rule of law, the Odisha Police has the power to strike at a journalist or a filmmaker with such brutality with intention to damage his head, when he was only a witness to what was going on? More shockingly, under pressure from the police and administration, the doctor at the government district hospital was refusing to admit Amitabh despite visible head injuries until a few local activists and journalists made a noise and forced him to do so!

 

At least 16 persons (including 9 women) were arrested from the site including Lenin Kumar, writer and editor of Odia literary journal – Nisan – and Amitabh Patra himself. We also strongly condemn the unilateral fatwa of Balangir Bar Council not to take up any cases in favour of any ‘outsiders’, as Lenin Kumar and Amitabh Patra are not from Balangir! Only after much deliberation, a lawyer friend from Titlagarh came forward to move the bail. Confrontation between police and a determined people has almost become routine since 8 April 2013 in the area; and on several occasions, the peaceful protestors are lathi-charged, foul-mouthed, and physically abused. In these last four weeks, more than 100 persons have endured massive blows of lathi and beatings in hands of an armed state. About two weeks back, 80 protesters were arrested and later released on bail. The demonstrators have been peacefully opposing the Lower Sukhtel project over concerns of loss of livelihoods and displacement for over 10 years. The project will submerge more than 56 villages, pushing the displaced and affected to precarious futures.

 

The project was seemingly abandoned by the state for a long time since originally conceived in 1979 following the rout of BALCO from the Gandhamardan Mountains (for bauxite mining). Water from Lower Suktel will be purportedly diverted to the mining company. The project has been variously criticized by several research and human rights groups since its inception. Most notably an authoritative study by Anita Agnihotri for UNDP (2008), only stops short of quashing the project calling it ‘prima facie unjustifiable in terms of anticipated benefits’ and in suggesting that ‘it will be worthwhile to explore an alternative to this costly undertaking’ and the government has viciously responded by refusing to make both the DPR (Detailed Public Report) as well as the Environmental Assessment Report public.

 

The present haste to start work on the project need to be seen in conjunction with the applications by a number of mining companies to mine the mountain. This renewed interest also needs to be located in the electoral dynamics of the state, which is going to face elections in 2014.

 

The trampling of peoples’ right to peaceful protests cannot be tolerated in a democratic polity! The Odisha government must answer some compelling questions. What calls for such mindless police brutality when people were peacefully raising slogans and organizing? Why concerned citizens and activists are repeatedly targeted, as is in Magurbeda at the moment?

 

The state government needs to remember always that people have constitutional right to protest and register their grievances. No state government, not even the Indian state can abrogate that right! It’s time that state governments, and police, are made accountable for their unjustifiable actions!!

 

We demand:

 

  1. Immediate and unconditional withdrawal of cases lodged against the people arrested on 29 April 2013
  2. The state must ensure proper treatments to all those who were injured in police brutalities on 29 April 2013
  3. The Superintendent of Police and the sub-Collector, Balangir, and all those police personnel who were engaged in the act must be put on trial immediately.
  4. Police force must be withdrawn immediately from the lower Suktel area.
  5. The Odisha government and the state police must apologize to those injured and / or arrested on 29 April 2013.
  6. Trumped-up cases against all those part of the Lower Suktel resistance since 2005 must be withdrawn immediately.
  7. Land acquisition on the Lower Suktel Project site must be stopped immediately.
  8. The government must immediately set up an independent judicial inquiry into the more-than-100-crore-rupee scam involving land-acquisition and compensation for the Lower Suktel Project, which even the CAG has pointed out. The inquiry must also look into all illegal land dealings done in the area by urban vested interests – with full knowledge and direct compliances of the district administration – in the submergence area even after land-acquisition notifications were made.
  9. The Lower Suktel Project must be scrapped immediately, and the suggestion by the Lower Suktel Budi Anchal Sangram Samiti to construct series of small barrages in lieu of a big dam be considered in all sincerity

 

 

 

In solidarity,

 

PUCL, Delhi; WSS; Socialist Front; Krantikari Yuvak Sangh; Inquilabi Mazdoor Kendra; People’s Democratic Front of India; Left Collective; Jan Morcha; New Socialist Initiative (NSI); National Alliance for People’s Movements (NAPM ); Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF); Students For Resistance; Gandhi Peace Foundation; POSCO Pratirodh Sabha; SANHATI; and many more individual, students of Delhi, and social organizations; All India Forum of Forest Movements (AIFFM);Jharkhand Jangal Bachao Andolan (JJBA);North Bengal Forum of Forest People and Forest Movement

 

 

 

KKNPP: Shoddy Parts and Shabby Leaders


People’s Movemenmt Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)

Idinthakarai 627 104
Tirunelveli District
Mobile: 9842154073, 9865683735
Email: koodankulam@yahoo.com                                                      For Immediate Release
May 3, 2013
Shoddy Parts, Shabby Leaders, and Shaky Indian Lives!
The People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) accuses that the corrupt Congress Party and government in India, the Indian nuclear establishment and the Russian nuclear establishment consider Indian lives base and valueless and prepare to put our lives in danger for their own profits, commissions, power and prominence.
The Koodankulam reactors present a clear and present danger to the safety and well-being of Indian citizens with many substandard equipment and parts supplied by discredited Russian companies such as ZiO-Podolsk, Informtekh and Izhorskiye Zavody. The NPCIL has just confirmed officially (in its letter No. NPCIL/VSB/CPIO/2574/KKNPP/2013/737 dated April 29, 2013) that the controversial and corruption-ridden M/S ZiO Podolsk has supplied the following equipment and parts to the KKNPP: “Steam Generators, Cation and anion filters, Mechanical Filter, Moisture Separator and Reheater, Boric solution storage tanks, Regenerative blow down heat exchanger, Pipelines and fittings of different systems, Insulation materials, PHRS Heat exchanger.” In other words, the Koodankulam project in its entirety is unsafe and dangerous.
In February 2012, the procurement director, Mr. Sergei Shutov of Zio-Podolsk was arrested for buying low quality and cheap raw material, passing it off as more expensive grade and pocketing the difference. Another Russian court has convicted one Mr. Alexander Murach, Director of another notorious Russian company, Informtekh, for fraud and sentenced him to three years in prison for selling counterfeit measuring equipment for the Russian nuclear power plants’ turbines.
This technological horror is compounded by the moronic and imbecilic attitude and announcements of people from the Indian nuclear establishment and the Congress government in Delhi. The Indian nuclear industry’s gruesome Goebbels and Minister of State at the PMO, Mr. V. Narayanasamy, leads this pack with little understanding of how dangerous the Koodankulam project is and what is at stake for all Indians. The basic premise underneath all this recklessness is the little value they all attach to Indian lives.
Our friends have just filed an affidavit/application in the Indian Supreme Court about corruption and substandard reactor and equipment in KKNPP in connection with a pending case. But Mr. Narayanasamy has told the Rajya Sabha that the External Affairs Minister Mr. Salman Khurshid has conveyed to the Russian side that the first unit of the Kudankulam power project is at sub-critical stage and is expected to be commissioned “any day” in May.
Do these Congress Ministers in New Delhi know that reputed car companies, pet food manufacturers, tooth paste producers and toy makers have recalled their products just to respect human safety and well-being?

In October 2012 Toyota company recalled 7.4 million cars after discovering faulty window switches in 12 of its world-famous models. It was the biggest single recall since Ford had taken 8 million vehicles off the road in 1996 for a faulty ignition module. In November 2012 Toyota called back 2.8 million cars to fix faulty steering columns and water pumps.

On March 16, 2007, popular brands of pet food were withdrawn across the United States because of the presence of ‘melamine,’ an industrial chemical found in plastics and resins. In July 2007, the European Union’s RAPEX (rapid alert system) had alerted the member states’ governments to pull two brands of Chinese-made toothpaste, Spearmint and Trileaf Spearmint, from the European shelves because they contained ‘diethylene glycol,’ a constituent of anti-freeze. In August 2007, the world’s biggest toy company, Mattel, recalled millions of toys modeled on Sesame Street’s Big Bird and Elmo, and Nickelodeon’s Dora the Explorer because of high lead levels in the paint used.

Mr. Narayanasamy and his ilk should understand that bad luck and harsh justice befall those who put innocent people’s lives on harm’s way. On August 11, 2007, Zhang Shuhong, co-owner of the Lee Der Toy Company, that was a major supplier to Mattel, committed suicide at one of his factories. On July 10, 2007, China executed the former head of its food and drug administration, Zheng Xiaoyu, for dereliction of duty and taking 6.5 million Yuan (about US $ 850,000) in bribes from the manufacturers of substandard medicines that had been blamed for several deaths. The blabbering mouths should learn a few things from these incidents.

The PMANE demands a comprehensive, complete, independent inquiry into the financial and technical scams of the Koodankulam project, and the closure of the KKNPP in the larger interests of the people of India.
The Struggle Committee
PMANE

 

Australia – The identity of Indian student who fell to his death revealed


Indian student identified in Pelham St death

Posted by Karen Poh on April 24, 2013

THE man who fell to his death from the balcony of a Pelham St accommodation in Carlton has been identified as 20-year-old international student from India Anubhav Singh Gahlot. Karen Poh reports. 

Anubhav-Singh-Gahlot

Anubhav Singh Gahlot. Source: Facebook

The dead body found outside a Pelham St student accommodation in Carlton last Saturday April 20 has been identified as Indian international student Anubhav Singh Gahlot.

While police have not released any details, it is believed the 20-year-old from RMIT University fell from the balcony of his Micasa8 apartment and died on the spot.

A reader, Ben, who left a comment on Meld’s websiteafter the news first broke, said he was there when the incident happened.

“The fall happened around 1:28 pm unfortunately. I was hoping the guy made it because I couldn’t stay back for long,” he wrote.

According to the Hindustan Times, the Bachelor of Business Studies student is the son of reputed developer Dayanand Singh Gahlot in Gurgaon, India. The Gahlot family owns Ambience Mall and Ambience Lagoon Apartments in Gurgaon.

RMIT University Dean of Students Professor Owen Hughes said the university was “giving authorities every assistance with their enquiries into this incident”.

“The RMIT University community is shocked and saddened by the death of Anubhav Singh Gahlot. We extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends,” Prof Hughes said.

“Students and staff members affected by the tragedy are being offered counselling.”

source- http://www.meldmagazine.com.au/2013/04/indian-student-identified-pelham-st-death/

 

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