Narendra Modi – Caesar can do no wrong


 Narandra Modi's Vibrant Gujarat Story: Propaganda vs Fact #mustread


By Badri Raina

 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

 

 

After his triumph in Karnataka where he thundered in four electoral constituencies, losing all four to the Congress whom it seems his fulminations did not persuade the crowds to “hate” enough, Narendra Damodar Modi found more  accolades  awaiting him at home in Gandhinagar,  where he is used to being  Caesar,  for his customary good governance.  Good governance that began in early  2002 with the decisive quelling of the uppity Gujarati Muslims, yielding a decade of funereal  peace and quiet conducive to profit maximization.

A Division Bench of the Gujarat High Court has had the gumption to accuse his government of “shielding, protecting, and siding with police officials” arraigned in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter killing.

At a time when stories of  executive interference in the investigative workings of the  Central Bureau of Investigation are the flavour of the electronic channels, justices Jayant Patel and Abhilasha Kumari observed  how the Special Investigation Team had earlier alleged interference on the part of the State, while the CBI report left no doubt that the State government was shielding the accused cops  (see The Hindu, May 11).  Just to remind ourselves that, apart from being Caesar, Modi is also the Home minister of the state, and has been so from day one.

Poor CBI has recently been driven to issuing  an arrest warrant against Additional Director General of Police, P.P. Pandey—no less—who seems to have gone missing with the benign connivance of the government in Gujarat, a circumstance rather reminiscent of the many months through which the convicted and sentenced Babu Bajrangi was shielded and hidden away  under the aegis of Caesar himself as per Bajrangi’s confessions  on the Tehelka  Sting tapes.  One has of course lost count of the number of similarly high-ranking police officers similarly accused in other fake encounter killings  who are cooling their heels in the slammer—all, no doubt,  testimony to the proverbial good governance of Narendra Modi.  Ask an Adani, or an Ambani, or a Tata, and they would tell you how all these underside happenings are of little account so long as good   governance keeps extending to unimpeded freebies and bonanzaz for them in the supreme  “national interest.”  Indeed the latest to join that chorus is the redoubtable  icon of entrepreneurial success and probity, Shri  Narayanmurthi. It seems the shining roads of Ahmedabad have done it for him.

Then there is the case of the senior IPS officer, Satish Verma, who was a member of the SIT in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter  case,  and the first to call the killing a cold blooded murder.  While the Court had instructed the CBI to continue to avail of the services of Satish Verma inorder to nab the other accused, the State government sought his services elsewhere in  habitual deflection of Court  orders.

In the meanwhile, news comes that the judicial magistrate who had been hearing Zakia Jaffri’s  Protest Petition on a day to day basis has been transferred after a week or so into the hearings. Just to recall that the Protest Petition challenges the conclusions drawn by the Raghavan-led  SIT whom the Supreme Court had appointed to enquire into the Gulberg massacre case.     The challenge, which is based on hitherto concealed evidence comprising call records and case diaries pertaining to the fateful days—Feb.,27 to March 1, 2002—demonstrates, for those who care to see, both the complicity of the Gujarat government at the highest level in the killings, and the failure or unwillingness of the SIT to admit such evidence and draw the inferences it should have drawn, although the amicus curiae in the case, also appointed by the Supreme Court,  was to independently hold that the evidence already recorded by the SIT was sufficient to warrant the filing of charges against Modi. Indeed the Supreme Court itself had been askance at the inexplicable divergence between the SIT’s  recorded evidence and its exoneratory  conclusions with respect to Modi.

It is not clear at the time of writing as to who might have been the authority that has  ordered the transfer of the magistrate in the case, the Hight Court or the Government.  If the former, it is regrettable that the honourable court should not have considered  the delay, perhaps an inordinate one, that will not but be caused in the disposal of the Petition, since a new incumbent cannot but take a great deal of time to master the details of the SIT report, and the more than a thousand pages of text and audio-visual evidence annexed thereof  challenging the exonerative conclusions by the SIT.  If, on the other hand, the transferring authority in the case has been the Gujarat government, what could be a greater giveaway of how, true to pattern,  it intends to thwart consideration  of the Protest Petition, since its admittance would lead directly to the filing of charges against  the accused listed by  the Petitioner, at the head of which list happens to be Narendra Modi.

A further piece of news concerns Shri Gulab Chand Kataria, an erstwhile minister and bigwig in the Rajasthan BJP, who has been now charge -sheeted for complicity in the Sohrabuddin  fake encounter murder.  The  BJP top brass sees this to be a sinister conspiracy on behalf of the Congress party which it accuses of using the CBI in the matter with the ulterior purpose of going after Modi.  Poor CBI, it can do nothing right, except when it aids and abets the BJP in its difficult times.  Sterling example:  the murder of Modi’s  cabinet colleague, the late Haren Pandya was generally recognized for what it was—a supari killing to eliminate the prospect of Pandya  testifying openly  to what had transpired at the meeting Modi held with his sartraps on the late evening of February, 27, 2002.  Recall that he had actually confided to the Citizens’s Enquiry Panel that Modi had issued instructions to his police not to thwart the vendetta on behalf of Hindus that was sure to happen the next day during the VHP  bandh call which was supported by the BJP. The investigation in the matter was passed on to the CBI by the then Home Minister of India, L.K. Advani, and, lo and behold, the CBI quickly concluded the murder to have been the work of “jehadi elements”.  Interestingly, all the accused were  freed as innocent victims by the Court, and the real killers were never investigated or caught.  The BJP and the then NDA government at the centre tom -tommed this finding of the CBI as exemplary proof of the disinformation against Modi.  And yet, the same CBI’s  case against Gulab Chand Kataria is a priori being propagandized by the BJP top brass as a case of proven vendetta.  Just to note: from all available independent sources that have thus far gone into the Sohrabuddin killing, as well as the subsequent murders of his wife, Kausar Bi, and the only witness to the events, Tulsi Ram Prajapati, the CBI may indeed have an open and shut case against both Kataria and Amit Shah, the latter  erstwhile Minister of State for Home affairs under Modi at the time, and already charged.

However you look at it,  there continues to be an exonerative Teflon all over Narendra Modi; no matter what sorts of facts keep emerging about his reign in Gujarat, no screaming, holier-than-everybody  television anchor, not to speak of his own party people who never fail to point fingers every second of every day, and may I add with dismay, some noted mainline Dailies, may persuade  themselves   to think one bad thought about Modi.

The fact may be that, notwithstanding their  routine imprecations on behalf of democracy and the rule of law, most corporates who own these channels, and who fund the print media,  and the elites who cotton to them with gusto are all at bottom looking for the great dictator to arrive in  the blazing purity of saffron, willing to set the country right through  edicts in the  superman style.

When the American Constitutional regime was being considered, one of the central contentions was whether the new world should opt for a government of men or  laws.  As is well known, the chips fell in favour of laws, since the good book taught, and teaches, that all  humankind is depraved because of the “original” transgression of Adam and Eve.

It seems that here in India where in Hindu thought depravity is never a serious matter, and never  unmanageable at any rate, our forward-looking generation now pines for the  rule by one man who may, if he so wishes, be a law unto himself.

Currently, no Indian demogauge fits that requirement more than Modi.  Thus the Teflon and the immunity in elite perception.

___________________________________________________________________

Badri Raina,

 

Mohd Afzal Guru A life rendered ‘extinct’


 

Show Caption
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  • Outside Tihar Jail No. 3 in New Delhi soon after Afzal Guru was hanged on February 9.
  • Afzal Guru being taken to court on December 17, 2002, a day before he was awarded the death sentence.

The right to counsel begins from the moment of arrest. From the time Afzal Guru was arrested in 2001 to the filing of a charge sheet in court, he had no lawyer—a fact that goes against the Supreme Court’s own observation on the need for defence counsel. By A.G. NOORANI in Frontline

DRAVINDER SINGH, Deputy Superintendent of Police, exposed himself in an interview in 2006. It merits quotation in extenso. Afzal Guru yielded nothing on interrogation by Vinay Gupta of the dreaded Special Operations Group (SOG). “But I requested Vinay not to release him and send him to my camp Humhama (Budgam district). That is how I know Afzal. I did interrogate and torture him at my camp for several days. And we never recorded his arrest in the books anywhereHis [Afzal’s] description of torture at my camp is true. That was the procedure those days and we did pour petrol in his arse and gave him electric shocks. But I could not break him. He did not reveal anything to me despite our hardest possible interrogation. We tortured him enough for Gazi Baba but he did not break. He looked like a ‘bhondu’ those days, what you call a ‘_______’ [an Urdu swear word for naive or easily duped persons] type. And I had a reputation for torture, interrogation and breaking suspects. If anybody came out of my interrogation clean, nobody would ever touch him again. He would be considered clean for good by the whole department.

“Q. In the light of allegations by Afzal, do you think that you may have been used?

“It is a difficult time for me. I would expect my superiors to clear my name. But it is so that nobody from my department has come forward so far….

“Q. Then why is your name figuring in Afzal’s letter and his wife’s accounts?

“I am being victimised for having worked in SOG, for being very nationalistic. What am I getting in return? Bad name as a conspirator.… It’s really unfortunate.… Also, to be candid with you, nobody would ever forget having been interrogated by me.”

This “torture specialist’s” admission must be read with his revealing use of a swear word for a naive, gullible man. Afzal Guru was not called a crook, which he would have been if he was really guilty, and he would not break under torture. He had to be killed. This interview will be published in the next edition of Penguin’s 13 December.

As for the other two police officers: “In 2008, on March 20, ACP [Assistant Commissioner of Police] Rajbeer Singh was shot dead by his friend and partner, Vijay Bhardwaj, a property dealer of Gurgaon, over a dispute on ‘investments’ he made with the realtor. In his statement, the accused, Bhardwaj, confessed, among other things, that he was unable to repay Rajbeer the money invested in shoddy land deals and the gun used in the killing, with apparent marking ‘E-8256’, was given to him by Rajbeer Singh to help recover money from his business clients. During the media trial of the Parliament case held at Lodhi Road, he snubbed Afzal Guru for speaking something contrary to what he had been directed to. This was noted by Shams Tahir Khan, reporter of Aaj Tak who later testified to it before the court. The most unfortunate thing is that the trial court believed Rajbeer’s version when many details of his dubious and illegal dealings were already in public domain” (Abdur Majid Zargar, Kashmir Times, March 5, 2013).

Citing first information reports, Sama Bhat reported “Shanti Singh is in jail” on charges of custodial killing (Kashmir Life, a Srinagar weekly, February 24, 2013). It is such men who created the “circumstantial evidence”. Afzal Guru was sent around and the people he met testified against him—they were themselves in police custody.

Only a skilled and courageous lawyer could have exposed the forces that organised such a prosecution. The right to counsel begins from the moment of arrest. From the time of his arrest by the police on December 14, 2001, until their filing of a charge sheet in court, Afzal Guru had no lawyer. On January 19, 2002, when he was produced before the designated judge S.N. Dhingra under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) who was to try him, he was asked whether he would be engaging a lawyer. He gave the only answer a financially ruined man could—No. It was the court’s duty to name one for him.

Dhingra, who was also an Additional Sessions Judge, Delhi, appointed, on May 17, a lawyer, Seema Gulati, as amicus for him. This was a wrong step.Amicus curiae are appointed to assist the court, especially when rival sides will not bring out the whole truth. On May 17, 2002, Seema Gulati “appeared on behalf of Afzal. She conceded that a prima facie charge was made out against him even though she could have challenged the charges. The court records of 5 June 2002 show when charges were framed she made vital concessions and admitted certain documents so that those documents were taken into evidence without formal proof. These concessions resulted in dropping of several important prosecution witnesses which meant Afzal could not undo the damage of these concessions made on his behalf but without his instructions and without thought to the consequences to him. And then Seema Gulati gave an application stating that she does not want to defend Afzal. That was on 2 July 2002—barely a week before the trial was to begin. She took up [S.A.R.] Geelani’s defence for a professional fee” (Nandita Haksar, pages 184-85).

One Attar Alam was appointed but he “was not willing to act as amicus”. The Supreme Court conceded that Afzal Guru “was without counsel till 17 May 2002”, but it said nothing important had happened until then. But this was during the crucial stage of investigation, torture and confessions. On July 1, 2002, Seema Gulati sought her discharge from the case “citing the curious reason” that she had been engaged by another accused, Geelani, to appear on his behalf, for a fee, of course. One Neeraj Bansal, her junior, was thrust on Afzal Guru.

Afzal Guru objected on July 8 and sought the services of a Senior Advocate. But counsel he named were unwilling. “Neeraj Bhansal was therefore continued in view of the fact that he had experience in dealing with TADA [Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, POTA’s predecessor].” Thus did the Supreme Court brush aside its own observations on the need for defence counsel and acquiesced in a brazen wrong. It is for the accused to select his counsel, not for the court to impose one on him because it considers him an expert. Afzal Guru objected to Bansal the very day he was appointed, July 12, 2002. He continued all the same thanks to Judge Dhingra though Bansal himself wanted to quit. He never met Afzal Guru, never asked to meet him. Of the 80 prosecution witnesses, only 22 were cross-examined, mostly inadequately. Judge Dhingra evidently was not concerned about hearing the defence. That the Supreme Court ignored a monstrous wrong in the one case of Afzal Guru speaks for the justice he received. It can be confidently asserted that no other court in any other democracy in the world would have acquiesced in such a wrong. This is exactly what the Magistrate trying Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt did, that is, imposed on them a lawyer they did not want.

Anthony Lewis, who died on March 25, wrote in his classic Gideon’s Trumpet that Gideon had pencilled his petition “in the form of a pauper; as a poor man”. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously, speaking through Justice Hugo Black, that “in our adversary system of criminal justice, any person hailed into court who is too poor to hire a lawyer cannot be assured a fair trial unless counsel is provided for him”, counsel he approves (Gideon vs Wainwright 372 U.S. 335 (1963)). The Indian Supreme Court has followed this ruling, but in the one case of Mohammad Afzal Guru, it denied that right. It is an absolute right that no court can deny on the specious ground that no harm was done after all. The test laid down in the leading case Powell vs Alabama (287 U.S. 45) was “effective aid in the preparation and trial of the case”. It concerned a black charged with rape (1932).

Police officer’s grave lapse 

Two oddities reflect the farce. On December 19, 2001, Assistant Commissioner of Police Rajbeer Singh took over the investigation. On the same date, the draconian POTA was applied to the case. The next day, Afzal Guru was interrogated. Three accused—Afzal Guru, his cousin Shaukat, and Geelani—were said to have desired to confess. He informed Deputy Commissioner of Police Ashok Chand of this and was asked to produce them on the following day, December 21. Geelani refused to confess. Afzal Guru was produced; a “confession” was recorded after formal cautions. The confessions were sent to the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate on December 22. But alone among the four accused, Afzal Guru was paraded before TV channels in the very office of the Special Cell at Lodhi Road, New Delhi. Rajbeer Singh was present and intervened at one stage. Shams Tahir Khan, principal correspondent of Aaj Tak, one of the TV channels summoned to interview Afzal Guru, bravely deposed as defence witness on October 10, 2002.

Afzal Guru had said that Geelani was not involved. The witness said: “It is correct that accused was told by ACP Rajbeer Singh not to say anything about S.A.R. Geelani. By that time my interview had already been concluded and NDTV persons were interviewing. Rajbeer had requested not to telecast the line stated by accused about Geelani. So when this interview was telecast on 20th December 5 p.m. that line was removed but when this was rebroadcast in our programme 100 days after attack this line has not been removed and is in the interview.

“Question by Afzal: I put it to you that Rajbeer had not simply told me but shouted at me not to say anything about Geelani? Ans.: It is correct.” The Supreme Court merely expressed surprise at Rajbeer Singh’s profession of “ignorance about the media interview”. But in the very next sentence the court explained it away: “We think that the wrong step taken by the police should not enure to the benefit or detriment of either the prosecution or the accused.” Why not? This is of a piece with the Supreme Court’s approach to the case. Rajbeer Singh’s gross lapse exposed him completely.

There was another factor—the Ministry of External Affairs gave evidence behind the accused’s back that the trial court readily accepted. Nandita Haksar records: “The proceedings of 14 January 2002 show that the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) filed an application asking permission to file ‘secret and other documents for keeping in sealed envelope’. The learned judge ordered: ‘Ahmad is directed to place the documents in sealed envelope and keep the same in safe custody under his lock.’” Was this the secret source of the learned judge’s information that he could confidently accuse Pakistan of involvement in the attack without any evidence on record? (page 71).

Each of the three courts made its own distinctive contribution to emotive rhetoric that should be out of place in judicial reason. The trial judge Dhingra said of the defence’s criticism of a prosecution witness who was “Only 5th/ 6th Standard pass for translating Kashmiri conversation to Hindi. Language is not monopoly of educated and elite class. A child starts learning mother tongue while sucking milk of her mother. A person educated up to 5th or 6th standard may be knowing his mother tongue much better than a graduate or postgraduate, who after acquiring knowledge of English starts forgetting his mother tongue and can speak only in Hinghlish, Chinglish or Kashinglish. Tulsidas, Kabir, and several other contemporary personalities had no little formal education but had command over language and produced great ‘works’. Being a fruit seller is no sin. Today we do not understand the dignity of labour and look upon persons earning livelihood by labour as low class. If India is 10th among the most corrupt countries, it is not because of these poor people but because of some other class of people. The witness could not understand English words in the conversation because of lack of knowledge of English language but he understood Kashmiri and Hindi well and translated the conversation to Hindi properly.”

The 392-page judgment of the Delhi High Court, delivered by Justices Usha Mehra and Pradeep Nawajog on October 29, 2003, has the same patriotic fervour. “After the unfortunate incident, this country had to station its troops at the border and large scale mobilisation of the armed forces took place. The clouds of war with our neighbour loomed large for a long period of time. The nation suffered not only an economic strain but even the trauma of an imminent war.”

In the Supreme Court, Justice P. Venkatarama Reddi said on behalf of himself and Justice P.P. Naolekar. “The gravity of the crime conceived by the conspirators with the potential of causing enormous casualties and dislocating the functioning of the government as well as disrupting the normal life of the people of India is something which cannot be described in words. The incident, which resulted in heavy casualties, had shaken the entire nation,and the collective conscience of the society will only be satisfied if capital punishment is awarded to the offender. The challenge to the unity, integrity and sovereignty of India by these acts of terrorists and conspirators can only be compensated by giving maximum punishment to the person who is proved to be the conspirator in this treacherous act. The Appellant (Afzal Guru) who is a surrendered militant and who was bent upon repeating the acts of treason against the nation is a menace to the society and his life should become extinct. Accordingly, we uphold the death sentence” ((2005) 11 SCC 760). Even the prosecution did not allege that Afzal Guru was “bent upon repeating” what was alleged against him. There was not a tittle of evidence to that effect. Why did the Supreme Court jump to this conclusion?

Emperors and dictators of the lower breed have proclaimed that a particular person’s life be rendered “extinct”. In all history no judge has ever used such language. In civilised countries judges pronounce the death sentence with great reluctance, regret and, in extreme cases, controlled indignation. Never exultantly, in a spirit of vindication or in brazen populism. This passage has been widely criticised, but the question it squarely raises is overlooked. How fair and detached in their evaluation of the complex facts and the law can be judges who are capable of using such language as this? The least which the Supreme Court ought to have done was to order a retrial.

Contrast all this with these words by another judge of the Supreme Court, Justice Radhakrishnan: “A criminal court while deciding criminal cases shall not be guided or influenced by the views or opinions expressed by judges on academic platforms. The views or opinions expressed by judges, jurists, academicians, law teachers may be food for thought. Even the discussions or deliberations made at the State Judicial Academies or the National Judicial Academy at Bhopal, only update or open new vistas or knowledge for judicial officers. Criminal courts have to decide the cases before them examining the relevant facts and evidence placed before them, applying binding precedents” (OMA vs State of T.N., (2013) 3 SCC 440 para 22). Popular feelings stand on a lower footing than academic writings. How did their Lordships discern the people’s “collective conscience”? It is a purely subjective appraisal influenced by their own feelings.

The immortal classic on the point is Lord Mansfield’s pronouncement in the celebrated case of John Wilkes in 1770. “I wish popularity; but it is popularity which follows, not that which is run after; it is that popularity which sooner or later, never fails to do justice to the pursuit of noble ends by noble means. I will not do that which my conscience tells me is wrong upon this occasion, to gain the huzzas which come from the press. I will not avoid doing what I think is right, though it should draw on me the whole artillery of libels; all that falsehood and malice can invent, or the credulity of deluded people can swallow” (4 Burrow 2527 at page 2562; 98 Eng. Rep. 327 at page 347; 19 St. Tr. 1075 at Col. 1112-3).

He said also: “The Constitution does not allow reasons of state to influence our judgments… we are bound to say ‘fiat justitia, ruat caelum’ [let justice be done though the heavens fall].” When did an Indian judge in the Mansfield mould last sit on the Bench?

Press Release- Narendra Modi what about actual policy about Farmers and Workers of Gujarat


ts
PRESS RELEASE
DATE: 20 May 2013

     During ninth ‘Krishi Mahotsav of Gujarat’, Government of Gujarat, tried to fool farmers with false promises while during ‘Vibrant Gujarat’ they insulted Farm, Farming, Farmers, and Workers of Gujarat.

We want clarification from “only and only one working man” Mr. CM of Gujarat’ about his actual policy about Farm, Farming, Farmers, and Workers of Gujarat.

During ninth ‘Krishi Mahotsav of Gujarat’, Government of Gujarat, is trying to fool farmers by showing with promises but when Mr. Narendra Modi’s Government of Gujarat organised the Vibrant Gujarat they have no problem in insulting Farm, Farming, Farmers and Workers of Gujarat.
The then Finance Minister of Gujarat Mr. Vajubhai Vala on 11th January 2011 while addressing a day-long pre-Vibrant Gujarat Summit seminar at Ahmedabad Management Association on ‘Industry Responsive Skill Development: The Emerging Trends in Gujarat’ said, “A farmer engaged in agriculture on a five acre plot will earn enough only for his family. But if an industry is set up on that land, it will provide sustenance to families of 25-30 thousand workers.” I would like to inform small and marginal farmers of Gujarat that the real agenda of Mr. Modi is to pursue corporate farming; his vision about the growth of agricultural sector of Gujarat is at the cost of livelihood of small and marginal farmers and food security.

The capital investment mania does not stop here but also insults the workers of Gujarat. Mr. Vala further instructed local industrialists not to spoil workers by giving them more than what is rightfully due to them. Government of Gujarat has converted worker of Gujarat from ‘workers to shramyogi’ and later on from ‘shramyogi to sahyak’.
At present, in “Vibrant” Gujarat, new employees in government are not recruited but sahyak are appointed in all the government department, who are low-paid temporary contract worker lured with a permanent job in future. In private industry, you may get job that will be low-paid as casual or contract worker and working hours varies from 10-12-14 hours.

Because of the commitment for capital to achieve two-digit growth, Gujarat is number 11 (two-digit figure) in Human Development Index among Indian states.
Let Mr. Modi clarify his real policy about Farm, Farming, Farmers and Workers of Gujarat.

Rohit Prajapati
Social Activist of Gujarat.

 

Press Release- Is organising for proper health services for a poor a `criminal activity’ ? #Vaw #Stateoppression


Release Madhuri immediately

 

New Delhi, May 20th , New Delhi

National Alliance for Maternal Health and Human Rights (NAMHHR), a group of civil society organisations from across the country have come together as a broad alliance, that strongly condemn the use of court proceedings against maternal health activist, Ms Madhuri working in Jagrit Adivasi Dalit Sangathan(JADS1) who has been arrested on 16th of May 2013. She has been arrested for forcing a pregnant woman i.e. Baniya Bai who was in a critical condition and was in labour to deliver in full public view just outside the Menimata PHC. The case was filed against Madhuri, Baniya Bai’s Husband, Basant and others by the compounder and was registered as FIR No 93 of 2008. This case of Baniya Bai is also part of the writ petition filed in the High Court of MP, Indore Bench in which the status of maternal health services was raised in light of 29 maternal deaths recorded in a span of 9 months in Barwani DH.

Madhuri appeared in the court on 16th May at Shri D.P. Singh Sewach, JMFC and informed, that the police had filed a closure report (khatma) but had not stated clear reasons for the closure and therefore the report was refused. Madhuri was arrested from the court complex and has been remanded in JC till 30th May 2013 and will be placed in Khargone women’s Jail.

As social health activists, many of us are witness to the fact that the area has a history of organised action and peaceful protests for improvement of rural health services, specifically for maternal health services. The details of the case clearly show that Madhuri informed the police officials and helped the pregnant women and newborn to get emergency obstetric care after delivery. However, instead the administration who should have taken a stringent action against the hospital staff (the compounder and the nurse) who forced Baniya to leave the hospital and asked for informal fees from the family members have arrested Madhuri.

We, the civil society groups are extremely disturbed by it and need an answer from the administration as why helping and organising for proper health services for a poor vulnerable family can be construed as a `criminal activity’.

Details of the case are as follows:

A ST resident of of village Sukhpuri, Barwani. Baniya Bai was taken to the Menimata PHC for delivery by her father-in-law, Dalsingh, on the night of 11 November 2008.  They made the 15 km journey on a bullock cart because no other transport was available.  After admitting and taking a cursory look at her, the compounder, V.K. Chauhan, and nurse, Nirmala, left the PHC and went home.

The next morning, Baniya was forced by the compounder and the nurse to leave the hospital.  Her family was asked for Rs. 100, which they did not have and so Dalsing immediately went to get money from their village.  Despite attempts to re-admit Baniya Bai to the PHC, the compounder flatly refused saying that they could not manage the delivery so she would have to go to Barwani DH or Silawad Hospital.

Baniya’s relatives tried to get the Menimata hospital compounder, nurse and staff to call for the Janani Express, but were unsuccessful. The family was told to make its own arrangements to refer to a higher hospital.  When forced to leave the PHC Baniya Bai crawled out of the labour room, on to the road outside the PHC, where she lay down in severe pain.

Eventually, Baniya’s mother-in-law, Suvali Bai, went looking for a Dai in the marketplace and found Jambai Nana, who had come to market collect her wages. After hearing about Baniya Bai’s situation, Jambai agreed to assist her, and at around 12PM, conducted a normal delivery on the road outside the hospital. The father-in-law gave his dhoti (loin cloth) to provide cover for Baniya Bai during delivery. Following this incident, a crowd gathered outside the health centre.

Madhuri was passing by, inquired about what was happening. She then called up the Silawad CHC, the Silawad Police Station as well as health officials from Barwani. Upon being informed, senior officials from the health department ordered for a vehicle to be sent immediately to the Menimata PHC. After being denied emergency obstetric care and being forced to deliver in public view, Baniya Bai’s and her child were taken to the Silawad Hospital for admission. The compounder was suspended after repeated demands for action from JADS, but was soon reinstated.

1 JADS is a membership- based mass organisation of several thousand families, has been campaigning for over 14 years for the realisation of the constitutional and legal rights of adivasis in Barwani, Madhya Pradesh, one of the most backward districts of the country.

contact us —http://namhhr.blogspot.in/

SIGN PETITION FOR MADHURI HERE —http://petitions.halabol.com/2013/05/17/release-maternal-health-activist-madhuri-immediately

 

#India – Govt paid lawyer Rs 1.44 cr to fight Maruti Suzuki case #WTFnews


BT Online Bureau    Gurgaon   May 16, 2013
File photo of Maruti Suzuki's Manesar unit after the violence

File photo of Maruti Suzuki‘s Manesar unit after the violence. PHOTO: AP

The Haryana government paid Rs 1.44 crore as fees to Special public prosecutor K.T.S. Tulsi in the past six months for fighting the case against workers involved in the violence at Maruti Suzuki’s Manesar unit last year.

In reply to a Right to Information application, Rajendra Pathak of All India Lawyers’ Union has said Tulsi was appointed by the Haryana government to fight the case against 147 workers prosecuted by the police for their involvement in the violence at the passenger car maker’s plant on July 18 last year. “He has been paid Rs 1,43,96,750”.

SPECIAL: Aroon Purie and Chaitanya Kalbag speak to Osamu Suzuki after Manesar violence

Tulsi was appointed by the state government in August last year. The violence at the Maruti Suzuki unit had claimed the life of a senior company official while about hundred others were left injured.

 

France becomes the 14th country to legalize same-sex marriage


French President Francois Hollande signs gay marriage into law

samesex
AFP May 18, 2013, 10.01AM IST

PARIS: France became the 14th country to legalize same-sex marriage on Saturday after President Francois Hollande signed it into law following months of bitter political debate.

Hollande acted a day after the Constitutional Council threw out a legal challenge by the right-wing opposition, which had been the last obstacle to passing the bill into law. The legislation also legalizes gay adoption.

French justice minister Christiane Taubira, who steered the legislation through parliament, has said the first gay marriages could be celebrated as early as June.

But opponents of the measures have vowed to continue their campaign, with a major protest rally scheduled for May 26 in Paris.

The issue has provoked months of acrimonious debate and hundreds of protests that have occasionally spilled over into violence.

Hollande made “marriage for all” a central plank of his presidential election campaign last year.

On Friday, in the wake of the Constitutional Council ruling, he warned that he would tolerate no resistance.

“I will ensure that the law applies across the whole territory, in full, and I will not accept any disruption of these marriages,” said the president.

It was “time to respect the law and the Republic”, he added.

 

Green energy from blue sea


Tiruvananthapuram, May 18, 2013

T. Nandakumar

File photo of Donghai Bridge Offshore Wind Farm, Shangai, China. Agency for Non-conventional Energy and Rural Technology (ANERT) is preparing to take up a wind monitoring study to identify potential offshore sites in Kerala.
AP File photo of Donghai Bridge Offshore Wind Farm, Shangai, China. Agency for Non-conventional Energy and Rural Technology (ANERT) is preparing to take up a wind monitoring study to identify potential offshore sites in Kerala.

Offshore wind farms to produce power for Kerala

A few years from now, wind farms located at sea could be churning out clean energy to feed the starved power grid in Kerala.

The Agency for Non-conventional Energy and Rural Technology (ANERT) is preparing to take up a wind monitoring study to identify potential offshore sites. The project is to be launched with the assistance of the Dutch government.

The Netherlands has made significant progress in harnessing wind as a renewable energy source. The country has set a target to build 6,000 MW of offshore wind power by 2020, mostly from the North Sea. During a recent discussion held with officials in Kerala, representatives of the Dutch government offered to collaborate in developing offshore wind farms.

ANERT director M. Jayaraju told The Hindu that the study would be followed by a pilot project, subject to a policy decision by the government. The project, he said, would be launched with the necessary safeguards to ensure that the offshore platforms did not interfere with fishing activities. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has identified the Kerala-Konkan coast as one of the potential sites for offshore wind farms in India.

Offshore wind farms are preferred because of the non-availability of land in densely populated coastal areas with high wind potential. The added efficiency of offshore wind power is another advantage over onshore wind turbines.

ANERT is also preparing to take up a wind-monitoring study to assess the potential for land-based wind farms in the coastal regions of the State. The study would be carried out at four locations with the help of the Centre for Wind Energy Technology (C-WET), a Chennai-based autonomous research and development institution under MNRE.

C.K. Chandrabose, Joint Technical Director, Wind Energy project, ANERT, said the year-long studies would generate real-time, on-site data on the wind potential of offshore and coastal regions in Kerala. The base data would be a crucial factor in attracting independent power producers to set up wind farms, he said.

ANERT is also gearing up to update the available wind monitoring data at potential sites on land. The total technically-feasible onshore wind potential of the State is estimated to be around 800 MW, limited to 17 locations in Palakkad, Idukki, and Thiruvananthapuram, where the wind speed is above 15 km/hr.

The main windy areas in the State are the eastern mountainous regions of Idukki district bordering Tamil Nadu and the elevated areas in the Palakkad gap. Ponmudi in Thiruvananthapuram is another potential site.

Mr. Chandrabose said monitoring stations equipped to generate wind data at a height of 80 metres had been installed at Kanjikode in Palakkad, Chelamala in Malappuram, and Pullikanam, Vandiperiyar and Kulathumedu in Idukki.

Meanwhile, two new wind farms, slated to come up soon at Kanjikode and Ramakkalmedu in Idukki will augment the State’s total installed capacity of wind energy. While the farm at the Kinfra Park in Kanjikode will add 22 MW, the one at Ramakkalmedu being set up by NTPC will add another 20 MW to the current installed capacity of 34 MW generated by KSEB at Kanjikode and independent power producers at Attappady and Ramakkalmedu.

 

Joint Statement – Stop the Police Brutality Against Maruti Suzuki Workers


Joint Press Statement

Kaithal

19 May 2013:

 

                   

Stop the Police Brutality Against Maruti Suzuki Workers

The Haryana Government yet again in a brazen and outright cowardly manner has sought to protect the interest of capital and particularly the management of Maruti Suzuki India Ltd by refusing to allow the victimised workers and their families to undertake a peaceful demonstration planned for today which was expected to draw in ten thousand people from across the state.

A short while ago, police lathicharged a peaceful demonstration of workers families outside the residence of State Industry Minister Randeep Singh Surjewala. Scores have been hurt in the lathicharge and the demonstrators are being arrested.

The Haryana Government, on the eve of this peaceful protest at Kaithal, imposed IPC Section 144 in the town and arrested close to 100 workers and their family members from the dharna site at the Kaithal Mini Secretariat at 11:30 pm last night. Several more were picked up from the entry points to the town including the bus terminus this morning. The workers and their family members have been sitting on an entirely peaceful dharna at the Mini Secretariat from 28 April 2013 demanding release of the 147 workers in Gurgaon Jail and reinstatement of the workers, both permanent and contract, terminated without enquiry following the 18 July incident. Despite the heavy police mobilisation and barricades at entry points of the town, thousands of people from across Haryana have been pouring into the city to gherao the State Industries Minister, Randeep Singh Surjewala at his residence. Wives, mothers and sisters of workers are present in large numbers at this demonstration demanding a just inquiry and an end to the state effort at criminalisation of the workers.

Officers at Kaithal Civil Lines Police Station and at the Office of the Superintendent of Police refused to provide copy of the FIR or even provide details about the arrests since last night to us or even to the advocate of the workers and their families. They even refused to mention under what charges the arrests had been made and where the workers and others who were arrested were detained.

There were two other large demonstrations in Kaithal today – one to celebrate Parshuram Jayanti organised by the Brahmin Samaj addressed by the Haryana Industries Minister, Surjewala and another of the Haryana Janhit Congress. So, the imposition of Section 144 IPC was clearly aimed at denying the Maruti Suzuki workers and their families their democratic right to peaceful protest. The large police mobilisation with tear gas and water cannons was only aimed at the Maruti Suzuki workers.

84 Sarpanches from across Haryana had extended their support to the Maruti Suzuki workers struggle at the last demonstration of the workers at Kaithal on 8 May 2013. The Haryana Government has stopped the funds to these Panchayats. Thus it is using both brute force and its fiscal powers to obliterate the struggle of the workers and put down the solidarity and support mobilised by the Sarpanches across the state.  Elected representatives of the people are refusing to talk to citizens in their attempt to protect the interest of capital.

We continue to stand in solidarity with the struggle of the members of Maruti Suzuki Workers Union and their demand for a fair inquiry, release of the arrested workers and reinstatement of the workers terminated after the 18 July 2012 incident. This struggle against capital and the complicit state is a critical turning point in upholding democratic rights of the working class.
We support the demands of the Maruti Suzuki Workers Union:

1. The Haryana Government must immediately stop the assault on the workers of Maruti -Suzuki.

2. The Haryana Government must immediately order an enquiry into the events at Kaithal in the last 24 hours.

3. Government of Haryana should withdraw all charges and release all Maruti Suzuki workers and their family members arrested at Kaithal in the last 24 hours.

4. Government of Haryana should not oppose the bail application of the 147 workers in Gurgaon jail following the 18 July incident.

5.  MSIL must reinstate all permanent workers who were summarily dismissed after the 18 July incident and regularise all contract workers who were on the rolls of the Company on 18 July 2012.

6. MSIL must negotiate in good faith with the MSWU.
Pritpal
Association for Democratic Rights (AFDR), Punjab

Ramesh
People’s Union of Civil Rights (PUCR), Kaithal, Haryana

Kulbir Singh and Ranjana Padhi

Peoples Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR), Delhi

Gautam Mody

New Trade Union Initiative

 

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