Himanshu Kumar on Indefinite fast at Jantar Mantar on Adivasi issues


 सभी जुड़े 
 करोड़ो आदिवासियों के जीवन एवं सम्मान के प्रश्न पर 
 
देश भर में आत्म चिंतन को बढ़ावा देने के लिए 
 
जन्तर मंतर, नई दिल्ली पर आज 1 जून 2013 से सुबह
 
 अनिश्चितकालीन उपवास
 
उपवासकर्ता हिमांशु कुमार
 
जिन्होंने लगभग  दो दशक तक छत्तीसगढ़ के दंतेवाडा क्षेत्र  में काम किया 
 
हिमांशु कुमार की हम सब से अपील 
 
 
आदिवासियों के संसाधनों पर पैसे वाली कंपनियों के कब्जा कर लेने और आदिवासियों को उनके अपने ही घर से भगा देने का मुद्दा इस देश के लिये कोई बड़ी समस्या नहीं बन पा रहा है 
 
यह बात सच है कि हम तभी चेतते हैं जब समाज में किसी मुद्दे पर कहीं हिंसा होती है . विनोबा का भूदान आन्दोलन भी भूमि को लेकर फैले हुए अन्याय और उससे उत्पन्न होने वाली हिंसा में से ही  निकला था .

अभी आदिवासी इलाकों में अमीर कंपनियों के लोभ के लिये करोड़ों आदिवासियों के जीवन , आजीविका और सम्मान पर हमला जारी है ,
 
भारत को एक राष्ट्र के रूप में सोचना पड़ेगा कि यह देश अपने मूल निवासियों के साथ क्या सुलूक करेगा ?
 
क्या हम आदिवासियों की ज़मीनों पर पुलिस की बंदूकों के दम पर कब्ज़ा जायज़ मानते हैं ? क्या हम मानते हैं कि आदिवासियों की बस्तियों में आग लगा कर उन्हें उनके गाँव से भगा कर उनकी ज़मीनों पर कब्ज़ा करने के बाद हम इस देश में शांति ला सकते हैं ?
 
एक बार हमें अगर अपने ही देशवासियों के साथ अन्याय करने की आदत पड़ गई तो क्या यह आदत हमें किस किस के साथ अन्याय करने का नहीं खोल देगी ?
 
आज हम आदिवासी पर हमला करेंगे ,फिर हम दलितों को मारेंगे, फिर हम गाँव वालों को मारेंगे . और एक दिन हम चारों तरफ से दुश्मनों से अपने ही बनाये गये दुश्मनों से घिर जायेंगे . 
 
इसलिये आज ही हमें आदिवासियों के साथ हमारे सुलूक की समीक्षा करनी चाहिये .
 
मेरी विनम्र कोशिश है कि इसी मौके को हम आदिवासियों के साथ इस देश को कैसा सुलूक करना चाहिये इस मुद्दे पर सोचने के रूप में सदुपयोग करें .
 
इस मुद्दे पर आत्म चिंतन करने के लिये मैं एक जून से जंतर मंतर पर एक उपवास शुरू करने का प्रस्ताव करता हूं
 
इस दौरान सामान मन के साथी अपने अपने क्षेत्र में इस विषय में कार्यक्रम और चर्चा करेगे तो हम देश भर में न्याय के पक्ष में और अन्याय के विपक्ष में एक माहौल तैयार कर पायेंगे .
 
आपके सुझाव का स्वागत है .
 
 
हिमांशु कुमार 

#India – Gang rape survivor, a Dalit, sentenced to ten days imprisonment #Vaw #WTFnews


A Rape  Story

In a country where a gangraped woman is sent to jail for going back on her statement in court, justice for sexual assault survivors is still a far cry
BY Neha Dixit EMAIL AUTHOR(S), Open Magazine, June 8, 2013
A VICTIM TWICE OVER Kiran (indoor) with her mother-in-law (Photo: ASHISH SHARMA)

A VICTIM TWICE OVER Kiran (indoor) with her mother-in-law (Photo: ASHISH SHARMA)

Sitting on a cot on the semi-terrace outside her room, 20-year-old Kiran (name changed) pulls the strings of the jute chaarpai, murmuring in rage. It is anger tempered by the presence of her mother-in-law in the courtyard downstairs. It has been five months since Kiran has gone out to answer nature’s call alone. Women like her are not trusted to be allowed out alone even for that. Kiran was raped by four men repeatedly over four days in different parts of Haryana like Panipat, Sonepat and Kurukshetra before being dumped at the Panipat Railway Station. That was on 28 September 2012. Last month, on 24 April, she was sentenced to a ten-day imprisonment. “The judge, my father, my brother, my husband, my mother-in-law and thebiraadari—they are collectively raping my head. Still,” says Kiran.

The month she was raped, 12 more gangrapes were reported. Yet, in many quarters, her case has become a cautionary tale—the risks of a woman, especially one of a ‘lower caste’ landless community, exerting her free will and demanding justice.

In caste terms, Kiran is a Dhanuk.

Banwasa village is in Gohana town of Sonepat district. It is crisscrossed by paddy and vegetable fields. The Dhanuks who live here, like in other North Indian villages, are considered untouchable. Their houses are on the outskirts of the village. Their traditional job was to remove night soil from ‘upper caste’ houses, but they have long switched to working as agricultural hands, basket weavers, midwives and construction labourers. Landless and ostracised, their only sense of security is their biraadari, which acts as a tool of social control and an informal welfare association.

As she talks about the rape for the first time in many months without the fear of being judged, Kiran starts crying.

“Don’t cry, they want to break you down through character assassination,” I tell her. “Can you tell that to my father and my husband?” she says.

+++

On 28 September 2012, Kiran was at her parent’s place in Banwasa, when Sunita, a neighbourhood housewife, gave her a message that her husband Sudeep had come to meet her near a local railway crossing.

“I had told him once that I want to meet him outside the house like they do in Dilwale Dulhaniya le Jayenge. When the boy comes to get the girl? I thought that’s why he had come to meet me,” says Kiran.

As soon as she reached the outskirts of the village, two men of Khandrai village— Sunil and Sanjay—kidnapped her and took her to a rice field on the Gohana-Kakrohi road. They were later joined by Anil of Ahmedpur Majra village and Sarvan of Hadtari village. Two of them pinned her hands down while the third and fourth raped her. “They laughed as they ripped my clothes with a blade and described my body parts to each other. I was a toy they were trying out.”

From the paddy field to a mini-van to the Brahmsarovar in Kurukshetra to a small room next to railway tracks in Panipat, the ordeal continued. “I begged them to let me go.” They didn’t. She was asked to discard her clothes and change into an old salwar kameez. She remembers waking up the fifth day and fleeing.

Kiran registered a case with the Sonepat police. It took over a week to arrest the four rapists and Sunita, who had allegedly helped them.

According to Yashpal Singh, DSP, Gohana, “We registered Kiran’s statement under Section 164. Once a statement is recorded under this section, rape is confirmed. During the interrogation, the rapists confirmed Kiran’s accusations.” A medical examination conducted at Gohana civil hospital also indicated rape.

Over the next three months, however, Kiran was labelled a prostitute, a thief, a serial offender and a Dalit nymphomaniac. Her in-laws threatened to abandon her, the parents wanted to get rid of her.

“They kept saying, ‘Why did you leave the house? Why didn’t you tell your parents [where you were going]?’” she says. When she was 17, Kiran had eloped with a lover. That episode was cited as justification of her rape, as if her past record had called it upon her. “She ran away with a mechanic from a nearby village,” says a relative of hers who does not wish to be identified, “Her brother Gurmeet brought her back and tried to hang her. We intervened and saved her life. She has always been like this.”

Kiran is the second of five children born to a beldar and his daily-wage labourer wife. They share a two-room hut made of corrugated tin and decaying wood, and led a simple life until what happened to Kiran. “We suddenly did not deserve to be talked to because our daughter was raped and she filed a case. She did not know that poor people do not fight cases in courts,” says the mother. The family’s primary source of income is the daily wage of Rs 250 she earns. She also looks after a couple of buffaloes owned by land-owning Jats who have promised her 30 per cent of the proceeds once they are sold.

+++

Pressure on Kiran’s family and in-laws started mounting as soon as the four men were arrested. “We had anyway started losing days of work: to submit papers in court, to get medical reports, to visit the police station, to attend the court hearings,” says the father.

Various biraadari panchayats from Attadi, Ahmedpur Majra, Hadtari and Banwasa, the five villages the accused belonged to, came together to forge a decision on the matter. The arrest of Sunita, the woman who Kiran says misled her into the paddy field trap, was considered an attack on the pride of the village. “They said that since Kiran is now Ikdaana village’s daughter-in-law, it is Sunita and not she who deserves their support,” says the mother, “They pressured us into asking Kiran to change her statement.”

Kiran has no idea why Sunita misled her that day. “She was one person I used to spend a lot of time with. Though, I now know that she is friends with Anil.” Sunita’s husband Deepak did not let us speak to her. “Why are you questioning my family for a whore like Kiran? Ask her, why did she go?” he asked.

Kiran’s parents were told that they would not be granted work on any farm until Kiran signed a reconciliation letter.

“It’s the harvesting season and this is the time we get maximum work. How will we feed the buffaloes and kids?” asks the mother.

Kiran’s father-in-law, who sells kulfi for a living, and her husband, who sells steel utensils on his bicycle in nearby villages, were also pressured to get the case dropped. “There was a threat to my son’s life. We were anyway ready to take her back even after such a big blot on her character. Tell me, who accepts such a girl back into the family? And then you want us to help her fight the case too?” asks her mother-in-law.

Kiran is schooled only till class five. With few skills to make an independent living and no money to pursue court proceedings, she surrendered. “I thought of committing suicide,” says Kiran, “but they don’t let me out alone.” She was not just forced to change her statement, but also falsely explain her medical reports. “I was forced to say that I left my parents’ house on 28 September and stayed at my in-laws for the next four days. And that my medical reports were positive because I had sex with my husband.”

What added to Kiran’s sense of helplessness was the gap of six months from the rape to the court. Raj Kumari Dahiya, an activist of the Mahila Samiti, Sonepat, says, “This puts in perspective the demand of the women’s rights movement to try rape cases in fast-track courts and deliver verdicts within three months.”

When Gohana DSP Yashpal Singh was asked about the pressure on the family to drop charges, he said, “Who knows what compromise was made? We received no such complaint in this regard.”

On the day of the hearing on 24 April, Additional District and Sessions Judge Manisha Batra sentenced her to 10 days imprisonment for backtracking on her statement and imposed a fine of Rs 500. She had committed perjury.

“Didn’t you tell the judge what happened?” I asked her.

“How could I?” she replied, “The biraadari panchayat people were present.”

+++

If Kiran was a victim twice over, it was plainly because the Indian Judiciary—represented in this case by a woman judge—failed to take into account the power equations at play. It ignored how her voice was stifled by her social conditions, how her vulnerability within a caste-and-gender hierarchy had weakened her will to get justice.

“Did the judge talk about the lack of rehabilitative measures in her court order while charging the girl with perjury? Why could the girl not muster the courage to approach the state machinery and police following threats?” asks Senior Supreme Court lawyer Vrinda Grover.

In January this year, a 600-page report of the Justice Verma Committee following the Delhi gangrape case documented how women face intense insecurity because of dominant caste hostility or threats of communal violence. But it made no mention of a mandatory rehabilitation package for survivors.

In 1993, the Supreme Court, in a writ petition, Delhi Domestic Working Women’s Forum vs Union of India and Others, had directed the National Commission for Women (NCW) to evolve a ‘scheme so as to wipe out the tears of unfortunate victims of rape’. It observed that it was necessary to set up a Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, and demanded that compensation be awarded to rape victims for the pain, suffering, shock and loss of earnings as a result of such an assault.

The NCW sent a draft to the Central Government in 1995. After lying in the freezer for over a decade, the Commission came up with a ‘Scheme for Relief and Rehabilitation of Victims of Rape, 2005’. It proposed that the Ministry of Home Affairs issue directives to state governments for aid to rape survivors.

After the Delhi protests, activists revived demands to implement the scheme, but neither the state nor the Centre earmarked a budget for it. Charu Walikhanna, an NCW member, says, “We have proposed the scheme, but its implementation lies with the Ministry of Women and Child Welfare.” In the words of Krishna Tirath, India’s minister of women and child welfare, “It is the state’s responsibility to implement it, the Centre cannot intervene.” And so it gets buried in bureaucracy.

In Kiran’s context, her social status makes the need of a rehabilitation package all the more important. Jagmati, vice-president, All India Democratic Women’s Association, has long been pushing for compensation for rape survivors in Haryana. “Some people laugh at it by calling it ‘compensation for getting raped’,” she says, “They do not realise that Kiran and her parents cannot bear the expenses of a legal process. It is not enough for the State to provide a lawyer. Public prosecutors don’t take these cases seriously and private practitioners ask for upto Rs 70,000 per hearing. It places justice completely out of reach for such women. The question of loss of work, of sometimes having to shift residence, of frequent consultations with lawyers and trips to the court, incurring expenses and losing a day’sincome are all critical issues in the [victim’s] decision of whether or not to fight for justice.”

As proposed by the NCW’s original draft, the National Mission for Empowerment of Women has the funds. However, what is missing is the political will to implement it. Laughably, a circular issued on 3 April by the Ministry of Home Affairs states that financial help for rehabilitation of rape survivors should be taken care of by NGOs. Says Jagmati, “It’s unfortunate that the State has vested [donors with] the responsibility of ensuring justice for rape survivors.”

Kiran was released on bail on 25 April. The rest of her life is likely to be one of drudgery and keeping her mouth shut. Her brother-in-law, who is as old as her, studies in class ten. When she asked him what he was studying in school these days, he replied, “Nothing that you do. You focus on dancing and sleeping with people.” When I asked him, “Why don’t you learn cooking?” he roared in laughter, “For that, I will get a wife. If she doesn’t, I will beat her up with batons!”

Kiran is right. It’s unpardonable, what everyone is doing to her head.

+++

Some other names have also been changed to protect their identities

Maoists in the jungle, Bhagat Singh in the fields—welcome to India Burning


Spotlight | Sting operation

 via ‘Red Ant Dream’
Nandini Ramnath, Live mint 

A still from ‘Red Ant Dream’
A few days after a Maoist attack on a Congress party convoy killed at least 27 people, including the founder of the erstwhile militia Salwa Judum, a poll on the website of the television channel CNN-IBN asked: “Bloodbath in Chhattisgarh: Have human rights groups failed to strongly condemn Naxal violence?”
The options were yes or no, the assumption being that civil liberty activists are more worried about armed insurgents than civilians. That assumption is a familiar one for film-maker Sanjay Kak, whose documentaries Words on Water, on the struggle against the Narmada dam, and Jashn-e-Azadi, on the Kashmiri pro-independence movement, dispense with objectivity and take an explicit and vocal stand against the Indian state.
He has encountered his fair share of dissenters to his brand of dissent, but he sees the debate deepening over such prickly issues as the Maoist insurgency, with which he deals in his new documentary Red Ant Dream. “I don’t get asked any more if I am a Naxalite,” he says in a phone interview from Delhi, where he lives and works. “We have gotten past that one.”
Sanjay Kak at his Delhi residence. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint

After screenings in Delhi and Punjab, the film will travel to Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad in the coming weeks.

Although Kak makes the case that tribal resistance goes back several decades, and that governments in states like Chhattisgarh are only new manifestations of systemic oppression, the recent killings makeRed Ant Dream a red-hot documentary. The film maps three troubled zones—apart from the Maoists in Bastar in Chhattisgarh, there are tribals battling industrialists in Niyamgiri in Orissa, and a culture of protest built around the memory of Leftist revolutionary Bhagat Singh in Punjab. Seen together with Words on Water (2002) and Jashn-e-Azadi (2007), Red Ant Dream is about India Burning, as it were. The three films are about “the idea of resistance”, Kak says, but he traces this resistance through its foot soldiers rather than its generals and ideologues.
“I am not interested in fundamental questions of power relationships,” Kak says. “The film does not try to be a Naxalism 101, just likeJashn-e-Azadi was not trying to be a Kashmir 101.” His films are about ideology, he says, but “not terribly concerned with party formations” or a “party line”. Words on Water inaugurated his attempt to move beyond being a visual stenographer of movements. “Words on Waterbegan as a campaign film and I tried to make it something else, but it eventually is neither,” Kak says. “In the Kashmir film, I was not particularly interested in what X or Y or Z was saying but in evoking another kind of space.”
Red Ant Dream is three films rolled into one. It is in the mould of documentaries like Amar Kanwar’s A Night of Prophecy (2002), which examines protest music, theatre and literature across India, and Anand Patwardhan’s Jai Bhim Comrade (2011), whose examination of caste taps a rich vein of Dalit protest music. The Punjab segment in Red Ant Dream, which follows groups inspired by Bhagat Singh’s pre-independence Marxist critique of colonialism and inequality, intermingles with on-ground footage of rallies against mining in Niyamgiri and a clandestine encounter with Maoist groups in Bastar.
Kak could have focused on the Maoists, but he chose not to. “The core material came from Bastar, but that’s not the film I wanted to make,” he says. “The most urgent thing was to say something that would start a conversation about the idea of revolution. There has been an effacement, an invisibilization of radical politics. But I don’t have an abstract nostalgia—there are real engagements and these are about real things.”
The Punjab chapter too could have been its own film. Kak first went there trailing the revolutionary poet Avtar Singh Sandhu, who wrote under the pseudonym Pash. “I asked a professor what remains of Naxalism in Punjab today, and he said culture and poetry. Of course, the connection between Pash and Bhagat Singh emerged, and I could see the mobilization around this constellation.” Some viewers have embraced the seeming digressions into Punjab, while others have been “baffled and annoyed” by it, Kak says.
The most talked about section, at least for the moment, is likely to be the one that gives the documentary its name. Kak travelled to Bastar with writer and activist Arundhati Roy for two weeks in February 2010. He shot Maoists speaking about their motivation to engage the government in battle and sharing a dietary secret—a paste of the eggs of red ants.
Although Kak spent a little over six weeks in Bastar, Orissa and Punjab, it took two years to sculpt a 120-minute film out of the footage. The documentary is packed with crisp, terse images of dissent that aim to provoke thought rather than emotion. “What you don’t want to show is long, vérité sequences of affect and consequence,” Kak says about editor Tarun Bhartiya’s approach. “You don’t want people to say, I loved that girl in the forest. But you do want people to see somebody for 20 seconds and never forget them. It’s a rhetorical or didactic assemblage of images—the idea is to engage people on a continuous basis. You are never trying to seduce them into a state of relaxation.”
The approach to editing pretty much sums up Kak’s larger perspective on the role of the documentary. He belongs to the strain of independent documentary film-making that developed in the 1970s in stark opposition to the broadly propagandist Films Division vision of an India on the up. The country spotlighted by these film-makers is an unequal and unjust place in which tribals are being kicked off their land, women abused by population control policies and slum-dwellers ignored by urban policies. The documentaries are diverse in style and ideology, but they are bound together by disagreement with the way things were.
Kak’s own practice has crystallized in recent years into tracking down ordinary practitioners of radical ideas. He didn’t formally study film-making, but learnt on the job while assisting on documentaries and on Pradip Krishen’s feature Massey Sahib. “It’s about footage and how you view footage—it’s why I am never interested in following a set of characters, or one family or one squad,” he says. “The examination of what is going on is an endless process. These three films are an exposition of a certain idea, formally too. One has tried to fashion for oneself, in the way the three films are edited, a language that is appropriate for one’s politics.”
However, even radical film-makers must make “pitches” at fund-raising conferences and festival marketplaces these days to get their films off the ground. Red Ant Dream was financed by funds given by an IDFA Fund grant and a prize from the Busan International Film Festival, South Korea. “I didn’t pitch for the film, we raised the money based on a trailer,” says Kak, who has strong views on the pitching process. “We are in the process of recouping not inconsequential sums of money from DVD sales—there is solid potential there.”
Part of the thrill, and stress, of making political-minded documentaries comes from raising money, ensuring distribution (usually free screenings at friendly venues) and the odd festival exposure. “You compensate for the fact that you don’t have a budget by doing everything yourself,” Kak observes. “Everything is done with people’s pyaar-mohabbat (love and affection). The economics are always exhausting, but this too shall pass.”
Red Ant Dream will be screened in Mumbai at the Alliance Française on 14 June, 7pm, and at the Films Division auditorium on 15 June, 4pm. Click here for details about screenings in other cities.

Jairam Ramesh: Don’t turn Aadhar card into an instrument of exclusion #Aadhaar #UID


English: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodha...

Press Trust of India Posted online: Fri May 31 2013, 16:05 hrs
New Delhi : Amid concerns that sticking to Aadhaar card criteria could deprive many people especially in remote areas of benefits of UPA’s ambitious cash transfer scheme, Union Minster Jairam Ramesh today cautioned against a situation when Aadhaar becomes “an instrument of exclusion”.
“Unfortunately many of the beneficiaries of government programmes are outside the network of Aadhaar numbers’ network. So you find that in a very large number of the districts… the Aadhaar coverage is much much below the critical threshold of 75 to 80 per cent,” Ramesh said addressing a conference here.
He said that there is a need to be “very, very careful” to ensure that “lack of an Aadhaar number does not become an alibi of exclusion of the beneficiary. We do not want to to be in a situation, when Aadhaar becomes an instrument of exclusion. That if you do not have the Aadhaar number, you will not get the benefits. We do not want this situation and this situation is very, very probable. One should never discount the probability of a local level functionary saying that since you do not have a Aadhaar number, you are not eligible,” he said.
There have been reports that Centre may bypass Aadhaar to accomplish the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) before the scheme is launched on July 1.
The Union Minster also rued that the public sector banks are not responding adequately to the Banking Correspondents (BCs) model, which is absolutely critical for delivering benefits directly into the hands of beneficiaries.
“Private banks have been far more innovative than public banks regarding the use of BCs. To get public sector banks in the framework of BCs has been a challenge. Banks are simply not on board as far as this crucial thing of BCs is concerned,” Ramesh said.
The minister also favoured relying more on post offices to reach out to people in the remote tribal areas than banks, widening and strengthening the network of BCs to include self help groups, Asha workers and other such agencies and moving away from BPL/APL issue while deciding on beneficiaries.

Press Release- AID Condemns the Violent Attack in Chhattisgarh


June 1, 2013

Demands Peaceful Solution

Association for India’s Development (AID) unequivocally condemns the brutal murder of 24 people on May 25th by the Maoists in Bastar, Chhattisgarh. We condemn the killing of any human beings and send our condolences to their families. Any escalation of violence by the state or the Maoists will lead us further away from a peaceful and lasting solution to the conflict in Chhattisgarh.

The Government of India has been swift in dispatching additional security personnel to supplement the 30,000 forces already deployed in Chhattisgarh. Given the history of such military operations in the area we are fearful that this will cause even more human rights violations of the Adivasi communities. Human rights violation cannot be committed by the state in response to the violations by the Maoists because the major brunt of the violence is borne by the Adivasis who are already amongst the most marginalized. Human rights violations of these communities have to end.

As many concerned citizens, including former security heads have stressed, a chiefly military response to Maoist violence cannot secure peace in Chhattisgarh. In a judgement addressing the core of the problem, the Supreme Court in July 2011, while ordering the disbanding of Salwa Judum, commented: “Tax breaks for the rich, and guns for the youngsters amongst poor, so that they keep fighting amongst themselves, seems to be the new mantra from the mandarins of security and high economic policy of the State. This, apparently, is to be the grand vision for the development of a nation that has constituted itself as a sovereign, secular, socialist and democratic republic.” In the same order the Supreme Court directed the  state of Chhattisgarh to file FIRs and diligently prosecute all unconstitutional activities of Salwa Judum. To this day the state has not filed a single FIR. We urge the government to implement the Supreme Court orders in letter and spirit.

We are also seriously concerned by an incident that has attracted less attention: On the night of May 17-18, 8 villagers, including 3 children, and a member of the CRPF were killed in a gun-battle near Edasmeta village in Bijapur district. We appreciate the government’s decision to grant compensation to the families of those killed and to order a judicial inquiry into the incident by the Justice V K Agrawal Commission, constituted to investigate a disturbingly similar incident that occurred in Bijapur last June, when 17 Adivasis, including 7 minors were killed by CRPF personnel. At the same time, we strongly urge that these investigations be concluded in a timely manner and that those responsible be held accountable. The adivasis of Chhattisgarh have long been caught in the armed conflict between state and non-state actors in the region, with village after village being subjected to indiscriminate violence, deprivation and displacement. The lives of these communities cannot be treated as expendable.

The state should ensure the immediate implementation of Panchyat (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 and Forest Rights Act, 2006. The rights of the Adivasis to the land and forests are protected under Schedule V of the Indian Constitution and any violation of it is unconstitutional and illegal.

At the end of 2011, close to 60% of the prisoners in jails in Chhattisgarh were undertrials. A recent Right To Information (RTI) application also revealed that in south Chhattisgarh alone over 95% of the 1067 undertrials were tribals, a majority of whom only speak Gondi. They have little or no money to appoint a lawyer or even find out about their own case details. According to the recently released Nirmala Buch Committee report, there are 990 adivasis lodged in the Chhattisgarh jails without a trial for 2 or more years. We request the committee to release the names and details of all 235 such cases so far reviewed by them. The fundamental right to personal liberty of all citizens, guaranteed by Article 21 of the constitution, should not be violated. We urge the state to expedite the review of all cases where people are held for such long periods without being produced in court.

We advocate for the cessation of violence and the demilitarisation of the region, with dialogue and meaningful engagement between State and non-State actors.  As Gandhi said, “An eye for an eye only makes the whole world blind.”  Violence brings only further suffering and injustice. We appeal to both parties to sit down for dialogue, to find a non-violent resolution to the conflict and a lasting political solution for peace.

Shehla Masood Case- Saba’s counsel to file contempt case against jail staff


My Friend Shehla Masood

My Friend Shehla Masood

TNN | Jun 1, 2013, 

INDORE: A representative of Reliance Communication, Santosh Jadhav appreared before the special CBI court on Friday and got his statements recorded during the hearing on RTI activist Shehla Masood murder case on Friday. Two other witnesses namely, Anil Saini and Badre Aalam could not appear for family and personal reasons.Next hearing of case is schedule for July 3.

Defense counsel Mahendra Morya said that Santosh Jadhav gave details about six mobile numbers including a cell phone number related to main accused Zahida Pervez and Irfan.

Anil Kumar, counsel of Zahida Pervez, told media that she was innocent and was being falsely implicated. He alleged that CBI has trained witnesses about what to speak before presenting them before court.

Sunil Shrivastav, counsel of another accused and friend of Zahida, Saba Faoorqui said they are contemplating to file a case of contempt of court against jail authorities. He said Saba is suffering from some medical complication and her health is deteriorating. They had filed a petition in this regard with the court in March on which court had ordered to submit medical report in two weeks time, but jail authorities has yet not submitted the report.

Shehla Masood was killed in August 2011 in front of her house when she was about to leave for office in her car. Police arrested Zahida Pervez, Saba Farooqui, Saqib Danger, Irfan and Tabish in connection of the murder and all the accused are right now in jail in Indore as under trial.

 

CBI shocker to intel officer who holds key to 4 fake encounters


Gujarat EDN

AM  30MAY2013

Summons to IB officer Rajinder Kumar not only gives a spin to state’s fake encounter cases but also the unsolved Haren Pandya murder case

Ahmedabad Mirror Bureau amfeedback@timesgroup.in

The summons issued by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to Intelligence Bureau chief Rajinder Kumar will not only give a spin to fake enounters in the state but may shed light on the controversial and unsolved Haren Pandya murder case. Kumar was the only person that time with the Central IB to give to Gujarat cops in-puts of possible terror attacks.
Kumar, who was posted in Gujarat in the past, is believed to have played a dubious role during Godhra riots and even in the assassination case of former minister Haren Pandya by providing misleading and, at times, fabricated intelligence inputs. Mirror reported last year that the CBI was keen to investigate if IB inputs were specially generated at the Centre for Gujarat and if they were fabricated to assist Gujarat cops in their fake encounter mission. Incidentally,
it was Kumar who passed the leads
from central IB to state police for
almost all the encounters that took place between 2002 and 2007 in the state. At least four of them have proved to be staged killings.
After a lull following prolonged legal battles, the CBI is back to rat-tle Narendra Modi government over the several fake encounters that were staged by the trigger-happy Gujarat police to please their political bosses. The state government was initially rattled with the CBI failing to file a charge sheet in Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case against suspended IPS officer G L Singhal and others and now the agency has issued summons to Kumar who gave constant inputs from the central IB to Gujarat cops.
EX-DGP SREEKUMAR ON IB OFFICER
On March 26, 2003, Pandya was assassinated and his father Vithalbhai Pandya said that it was a “a political murder”. Incidentally, Modi had ordered tapping of Pandya’s telephone, sources said. Subsequent development showed that it was not the only time that the CM had ordered tapping of senior politicians’ phone, they added. At a meeting on April 16, 2002, Modi told retired DGP R B Sreekumar that Congress leaders, in particular Shankersinh Vaghela, were responsible for the continuing communal violence in the state. Sreekumar told Modi that he had no information on their involvement in the communal violence. At this, Modi asked him to tap Vaghela’s phone but Sreekumar refused, saying he had no information on the basis of which he could order surveillance.
Interestingly, two days later, Kumar, then posted in Ahmedabad as IB joint director, sold the same line to Sreekumar. When Sreekumar sought specific information, the IB man said he had none. The IB had been one of the few claiming the Godhra incident was a ‘pre-planned conspiracy’. It is still not clear how the IB was able to reach this conclusion within hours of the incident and questions have been raised on Kumar’s proximity to Modi.
Kumar also floated the theory that theGodhracarnagewasanISIconspiracy. This was done within hours of S-6 coach of Sabarmati Express catching fire near Godhra station killing 59 passengers on February 27, 2002. This has also been told to the Supreme Courtmandated SIT on may 9, 2008 by retired DGP R B Sreekumar.
Sources said as the chief of central IB in a state, he was expected to share his actionable intelligence with the DGPoratbestwiththecommissioners ofpolice.But,Kumarusedtofrequently visit Ahmedabad Crime Branch office at Gaekwad Haveli to meet D G Vanzara, who was its then chief.
MODI AND KUMAR
It is said that Kumar became close to Modi when the former was posted in Chandigarh. Modi at that time was BJP’s Punjab in-charge.
Sources said the modus operandi of Gujarat police was to first detain a person illegally and then get inputs from the central IB of a likely terror attack.
A selected coterie of Gujarat police officers close to those in power would bump off “dreaded terrorists on a mission to assassinate top BJP leaders, mainly Chief Minister Narendra Modi”. Investigations later proved that those eliminated were either petty criminals or innocent people labelled as terrorists by Gujarat police.
Interestingly, intelligence inputs givenbyKumartothestatepolicecontradicted the two previous IB inputs issued in the same case. Not just that, a charge sheet filed by Gujarat police in a lesser-known case of gambling against Sadiq Jamal also exposed the lie of Gujarat police and provided evidence that the encounter was staged. Forensic reports and the testimony of an IB officer substantiated the claim that Sadiq was killed in a fake encounter.
15 DAYS TO RETIRE
Reliable sources in Delhi said that Kumar was highly influential in IB and the summons have been issued as he could be a part of the conspiracy. Kumar has been asked to remain present on Friday at 11 am at CBI headquarters in New Delhi. CBI Director Ranjit Sinha and Special Director Salim Ali will interrogate him. The summons have been issued when only 15 days are left for his retirement.
NOT A TERRORIST ATTACK
Sources said if a terrorist attack happens or is about to happen, the Army personnel in that particular region investigateontheirown.InPandyacase, Army did not go ahead with the investigationwhenitrealisedthatitwasnot aterrorist attack but a political matter. Also, the Army, state IB and central IB work parallel and share information. However, in Pandya’s case, that did not happen.
A source said, “After the investigation of Pandya’s murder was transferredtoCBI,ateamwasconstitutedin the crime branch to assist in arresting the accused in cohesion with Kumar. ItwasthenrevealedthatIPSofficerAbhay Chudasama was specially inducted in the team. A series of happenings in Gujarat in the last few years has revealed the involvement of former minister Amit Shah, Vanzara and Chudasama in foisting false cases and propagatingatheoryconducivetothe powers-that-be. The Sohrabuddin case has shown the extent to which a minister in Modi government, with the help of two police officers, can go to eliminate innocent woman Kauserbi and liquidated prime witness Tulsi Prajapati. These happenings cannot be ignored.”
SADIQ JAMAL ENCOUNTER CASE
The killing of Sadiq Jamal is one of the caseswhichwillbrewtroubleforGujarat police. Jamal was killed in a police encounter on January 13 in 2003 near Galaxy Cinema in Naroda. As many as 17policeofficersarefacingallegations of hatching the conspiracy to eliminate Jamal.
Interestingly, Gujarat police cited a similar reason for eliminating Samir Khan Pathan, Ishrat Jahan, Javed Sheikh and Sohrabuddin Sheikh. The CBI investigations have found serious lacunae in Gujarat CID (crime) probe in this case. Intelligence inputs given at that time by Kumar also bear discrepancies.
Incidentally, Kumar’s name is also mentioned in the FIR filed by Sadik’s brother Shabbir Jamal. Kumar’s name has also been referred to in the statement of Anupamsingh Gehlot, the then Bhavnagar district superintendent of police who said that Kumar had informed him about Jamal.
ISHRAT ENCOUNTER
Ishrat Jahan, a college student from Mumbra along with Javed alias Pranesh Pillai and two Pakistanis Amjad AliRanaandZeeshanJoharwerekilled in a fake encounter at Hansol on June 15, 2004. Over 21 police officers, including K R Kaushik, P P Pandey, D G Vanzara, G L Singhal, N K Amin, K M Vaghela, J G Parmar, V D Vanar, S B Agravat, D H Goswami, R I Patel, D A Chavda, Tarun Barot, K S Desai, Ibrahim Kalubhai Chauhan, Mohanbhai Lalubhai Kalasva, Mukesh Vyas, Nizamuddin Barhanmiya, Anaju Ziman ChaudharyanddriversBhalabhaiand Mohanbhai Nanjirao have been named in the case. But CBI investigations now may lead to some more names. Gujarat cops killed 19-yearold Ishrat saying she was an LeT terrorist on a mission to kill Modi along with other BJP and VHP leaders. They said they killed her on basis on intelligence received from the Centre. The CBI has not only found discrepancies in versionsofallstateofficersinvolvedbutit is even examining the role played by a senior central IB officer in this case.
FALSE ALERT?
JUNE 15, 2004
Ishrat Jahan fake encounter. Kumar gave an input that two Pakistanis along with Ishrat and Pranesh Pillai planned to kill Chief Minister Narendra Modi and other politicians.
JANUARY 13, 2003
Sadiq Jamal encounter. Kumar gave an input that Sadiq travelling from Dubai had planned to kill Modi and VHP leader Pravin Togadia
JUNE 23, 2003
Ganesh Khute encounter. Kumar gave an input that two people coming to Mumbai plan to kill BJP minister Ashok Bhatt and others.
MARCH 17, 2006
Vatva Ganga row house. Kumar gave an input that a few people are into illegal activities and plan to kill top politician of Gujarat (four people were shot in encounter).

Bombay High Court- Liability of employee is on principal employer #Goodnews


Employment

A ruling by Bombay High Court that should interest labor activists and leftists in general. The court recently ruled that in case an employee faces an accident, it will be the liability of the principal employer, and not the contract employer. The case involved the Bombay High Court deciding that Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd (M&M) would have to pay monetary compensation on the death of a worker who was working for M GM Motors, which in turn was under Mahindra and Mahindra’s contract.

The driver Sureshkumar Parasnath Singh died in accident while working for M G M Motors on behalf of Mahindra. The case, related to the  The Employees’ Compensation Act, should serve as an important milestone for those fighting against the anti worker policies under the neo liberal regime of the Indian state. Recently, there has been a growing trend of hiring contract workers/casual workers, because this allows the corporations to avoid ensuring all worker safety and security regulations. There is a growing buzz that worker laws need to be diluted because it is these “stringent” laws that allegedly are the reason behind India’s lackluster economic performance.

Of course, we cannot forget that despite this Bombay High Court ruling, other courts or even this same court will not think twice about going against this judgment at a later date. That is after all the nature of the sham democracy that corporatized, neo liberal India is. Why, how can we forget that the same Supreme Court which ruled in favor of the gram sabhas (village councils) in their power to decide about mining projects in the Niyamgiri hills region [concerning the preposterous Vedanta project], struck down the opposition voiced against Posco steel project in Odisha?

Even so, the left must use every tool available within the system as long as it is available to increase pressure on corporations like Maruti Suzuki which is going out of its way to penalize workers who were demanding their legitimate right of unionizing and regularization of the large number of casual workers in the Manesar factory. The present ruling may be seen as a milestone in the fight against the dangerous trend of increasing ratio of contract to permanent workers in India.

 

#India – Whistleblower Dr K V Babu’s 5-yr battle for #medicalethics drags on #Publichealth #IMA


WHISTLEBLOWER Dr KV Babu has risked his medical career to expose a gross violation of law by India’s largest body of medical practitioners (Photo: MADHURAJ)

Rema Nagarajan
30 May 2013, TNN

May 30, 2013: It is exactly five years since Dr K V Babu took up the issue of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) endorsing the products of various companies in violation of the medical code of ethics. The case continues to drag on as the Medical Council of India (MCI) gave one more chance for Dr Rajagopalan Nair, Kerala state secretary of the IMA to appear before it after he failed to do so on two previous dates given to him.

On May 30, 2008, Dr Babu complained to the IMA national president about IMAs endorsement of products of various companies like Pepsico and Dabur. Instead of being lauded for having prevented the association from violating the code of ethics, Dr Babu has been harassed by the IMA, which had to forego crores of rupees that it used to earn from endorsement of products.

Even the MCI which is supposed to regulate the medical profession has been dragging its feet in helping an individual doctor’s efforts to ensure compliance of the ethics code. The battle goes on  relentlessly as IMA continues to harass Dr Babu for standing up against the system, while Dr Babu persists in fighting his lone battle against the largest and most powerful association of doctors in the country.

The saga of endorsement and harassment: 

April 2008– IMA Central Working Committee met and decided to endorse Pepsico products -Tropicana and Quaker

May 2008– Dr Babu K V complained to IMA national president that endorsement was unethical according to the Medical Council of India’s (MCI) code of ethics for doctors

June 2008– Complaint was filed against IMA endorsement to MCI.

August 2008-MCI sent show-cause notice to IMA on endorsement issue

November 2008– IMA ratified minutes of the meeting regarding endorsement

May, June 2009– MCI sent several notices to IMA

July 2009– Ethics committee of MCI took up the issue and decided that IMA was not under the jurisdiction of MCI

July 2009– Dr Babu approached the health ministry to take action against MCI for not upholding the code of ethics.

-Health ministry asked MCI to take up the issue again

August/September 2009– MCI sought legal opinion on whether endorsement by IMA was unethical and whether IMA was within the jurisdiction of MCI

November 2009-Dr Babu approached Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) as no reply was coming from MCI on RTI application on whether endorsement by medical associations was unethical or not. CIC directed MCI to reply by December 31, 2009.

November 30,2009– IMA decided to stop all endorsements in future but would continue already signed MoUs for endorsement

December 2009– MCI clarified that IMA was within the jurisdiction of the code of ethics and that code of ethics was applicable not only to individual doctors but also to professional associations of doctors

March 2010– MCI ethics committee again decided IMA not within jurisdiction on basis of legal opinion of an outdated legal opinion prior to the clarification

April 2010– Dr Babu complained again to the ethics committee of the MCI

May 2010– Dr Babu wrote to MCI seeking information on why no action was taken against office bearers of IMA for violating the code of ethics or MCI regulations 2002 which prohibits endorsement of any commercial product by a physician or group of physicians.

June 2010– NHRC in response to Babu’s complaint directed Health Ministry to take appropriate action on complaint against IMA

July 2010– MCI claimed that IMA was not under its jurisdiction and that action could only be taken on complaints against individual doctors

August 2010– Dr Babu sent a complaint to MCI again, naming individual doctors, 187 members of the Central Working Committee of IMA who decided on the endorsement

MCI declared that IMA was under its jurisdiction and sent show cause notice to IMA

November 2010– Board of governors of the MCI declared IMA endorsement unethical and asked for it to be stopped immediately. Penal action, if any, was to be decided on November 9, 2010

Health minister informed Parliament that MCI had decided to remove the names of the national president of IMA Dr G. Samaram and secretary Dr Dharam Praksh, for 6 months and censure 61 members of the IMA executive.

January 2011– Dr Babu filed a complaint filed to Delhi Medical Council pointing out that the endorsement had not been stopped despite MCI directions

February 2011– PepsiCo stopped using logo and health message of IMA on Quaker oats and Tropicana

IMA Kerala branch decided to expel Dr Babu from IMA for bringing disrepute to the association by complaining to MCI and going to the media

Dr Babu complained to MCI, DMC and Kerala state medical council regarding threat of expulsion and harassment

March 2011-Pepsico officially withdrew IMA endorsement nine months before MoU was supposed to run out.

April 2011– IMA CWC rejects request of MA Kerala to expel Dr Babu since it was not as per IMA bye laws. Request for expulsion was sent back to IMA Kerala

May 2011– MCI and DMC refuse to intervene saying it is a dispute between a member and an association

August 2012– Notice issued from IMA Kerala to Dr Babu appear in person for being instrumental in the publication of an article on the endorsement issue in the press.

Dr Babu complained to the MCI to intervene in the matter

October 2012-Dr Babu appealed to the Health Ministry as MCI was not taking any action on his complaint of IMA’s harassment

November 22, 2012– Health Ministry sought comments from MCI on Dr Babu’s appeal

Jan 22, 2013: MCI ethics committee examined the complaint and discussed the issue

March 22, 2013: Summoned Dr Babu and Dr Rajagopalan Nair, former IMA state secretary. Both parties could not attend

April 26, 2013: Dr Babu and Dr Rajagopalan summoned again. Dr Babu appeared before the MCI ethics committee and presented his case and submitted relevant documents. Dr Rajagopalan failed to appear

May 24, 2013– Dr Rajagopalan was summoned again. He did not appear and the ethics committee has decided to give him one more chance to appear next month.

And so the quest for justice drags on beyond five years.

 

#India- Warning – UID will create a digital caste System #Aadhaar #Aadhar


Biometric scanning of fingerprints during the launch of UID enrolment at the General Post Office in Bangalore

Biometric scanning of fingerprints during the launch of UID enrolment at the General Post Office in Bangalore

Interview with WikiLeaks activist, BS

Read more on:    UID | WikiLeaks | Jacob Appelbaum | Julian Assange | Digital caste system

Jacob Appelbaum, WikiLeaks spokesperson

He prefers that the audio recorder is not switched on during the interview because “whenever there’s an audio recording, there’s a file to be subpoena-ed”. And, he’s stuck a band-aid over the camera of the laptop he’s been working on. All these precautions are not without reason – Jacob Appelbaum, computer security researcher, hacker, activist, and a spokesperson for WikiLeaks, who also co-authored Cypherphunks: Freedom and Future of the Internet with WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange, talks to Indulekha Aravind about the potential pitfalls of India’s ambitious UID project. Excerpts:

What is your view of India’s UID/Aadhaar programme?
UID will create a digital caste system because going by the way it is now being implemented, if you choose not to be part of the system, you will be the modern-day equivalent of an outcast. In theory, you are supposed to have the freedom to choose but in reality, the choice will only be whether to be left out and left behind.

What about the benefits it is supposed to offer, such as tackling corruption and protection against terrorism?
I don’t dispute that there will be benefits but I dispute whether UID will end corruption and whether one will be able to opt out of the system with dignity. Criminals will be able to subvert this system easily. In Germany, for example, a group of hackers were able to duplicate the fingerprint of Schauble (Germany’s finance minister, a proponent of collecting biometric data). And, it now costs less than a dollar to get a transferable fingerprint. About the question of containing terrorism, imagine a situation where a terrorist gets access to the central UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) database — he will be able to get all the details of every individual he wishes to target.

Considering that the programme has already been rolled out, what can the government now do to safeguard individual privacy?
First of all, there should be no centralised database. The information should be just on the cards. This can easily be done with smartcards. If you link all the information, that amounts to surveillance. There should also be legislation to prevent discrimination against people who have not registered with UIDAI.

What is your current involvement with WikiLeaks?
I like that to remain ambiguous (smiles). I’ve given talks on behalf of Julian (Assange) when he was unable to. After one particular talk I gave in 2010, my life changed. I was repeatedly harassed by US authorities.

What are the other projects you’re currently involved with?
I do computer security-related research, I work with human rights activists, and work with open software. I’m also involved with the Tor project, which aims at improving users’ privacy and security on the internet. If an Indian businessman goes to China, for example, and does not want his internet usage to be monitored, he can do that with Tor. (The Wall Street Journal termed Tor “an anonymous, and controversial, way to surf the Net”).

You have been dubbed a “hacktivist”…
I started working with open software and hacking before I was 15, after I realised I wanted to live in a world free from state surveillance. I’m a human being who does investigative journalism, research, and even works on international policy – I prefer not to be pigeon-holed.

 

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