Jharkhand:Police officials accused of rape,murder of minor girls arrested #Vaw


 

Ushinor Majumdar,Tehelka

June 7, 2013

 

 

Amidst a clamour for police reforms while the nation focuses on rapes of minors in metro cities, two police officers have been accused of raping minors in two separate incidents in district of .

In one incident, which took place in Deoghar town on 25 May, two teenage daughters of a policeman were kidnapped, raped and murdered when they were on their way to a friend’s house. The bodies were found a day later. Police officer Sudhir Das, who was accused in the case, was arrested last week.

A police official told Tehelka that the post mortem report confirmed rape but the FIR did not contain a charge of rape but was later amended after public protests were held in Deoghar demanding a proper investigation while the victims’ father, also a policeman, said that the crime was committed by more than one person. Reportedly, he also fears the collusion of other policemen in destroying evidence. The FIR mentions destruction of evidence as a charge.

“The post mortem report revealed that the victim’s hymen was ruptured but did not confirm rape. Though no rape charge was made in the original chargesheet, we have now amended it adding rape under section 376 (b) of the Indian Penal Code after a direction from the inspector general of police,” Deputy Inspector General (DIG), Santhal Parganas, Dadanji Sharma told TEHELKA.

Sharma said that the public outrage and the resultant protests were understandable but the police were probing every conceivable angle. “The accused did not give up any information or tell us about any other persons he acted with or their whereabouts and we have arrested him on the basis of circumstantial evidence. We have started DNA profiling and are using other forensic tools in our investigations,” he added. The accused was remanded to police custody but after interrogation failed to adduce a statement or any fresh evidence, he has been remanded to judicial custody.

This incident has drawn the attention of political parties as well. CPM politburo member Brinda Karat protested along with Deogarh locals for several days. Former Jharkhand chief minister and Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) chief Babulal Marandi has announced an indefinite fast from 9 June claiming police inaction.

In the other incident, which was reported a few days earlier, the victim knew the accused. Radhe Shyam Das, the Station House Officer (SHO) of Jarmundi police station in neighbouring Dumka district, surrendered after an FIR was lodged against him. In the FIR, he was accused of raping his minor domestic help.

A local said that the victim was about the age of four when she started working as a domestic help in the accused Das’ house. Das has allegedly been sexually abusing the minor victim since his wife passed away last year.

After the victim filed a complaint, Das went absconding and surrendered on 4 June after he was suspended from service and the Jharkhand Director General of Police (DGP) ordered swift action to apprehend him.
DIG Sharma said that in such cases the matters come to light only when the victim finds courage to complain since it happens in the confines of homes. “The accused police officer was suspended and he went absconding but later surrendered in court,” he added.

As per the National Crime Records Bureau report of 2011, 85 crimes against children were reported from Jharkhand. Of these, the rate of accused being chargesheeted was 97.3% in rape cases and 70.8% in cases of kidnapping. Of a total 784 rape cases reported from Jharkhand across all age groups, seven of the victims were in the age bracket of 10-14 years, same as that of the victims in these cases.

 

 

#RIP- The Grand Old Lady of Indian Womens Movement, Vina Mazumdar – No More #Womenrights


vina

 

Noted academic and a leading figure of India’s women’s movement, Dr Vina Mazumdar, died early today after a brief illness.

86-year old Mazumdar was suffering from a tumour in her lungs, her family said. She is survived by three daughters and a son. A strong votary of increased women’s representation in Parliament and legislature, Mazumdar was the secretary of the Committee on the Status of Women in India that brought out the first report on the condition of women in the country, ‘Towards Equality’, in 1974. The report became a turning point both for women’s studies and the women’s movement in India.

She was the founding Director of the Centre for Women’s Development Studies (CWDS), an autonomous organisation under the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), where she remained a National Research Professor till the end. Born in 1927 in a middle-class Bengali household in Kolkata, she did her schooling in the city and studied in Banaras Hindu University and Calcutta University, before going to Oxford in 1947, soon after independence. She went back to Oxford University later and received her D.Phil in 1962. She taught in Patna and Berhampur Universities, joined the University Grants Commission Secretariat and also remained a Fellow of the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, Shimla.

Later she became Director, Programme of Women’s Studies, Indian Council of Social Science Research from 1975 to 1980.

Her memoir, Memories of a Rolling Stone, speaks of her liberal upbringing, Kolkata of 1940s, activism and policy making of 60s and 70s, her rebellious daughters and singer- husband Shankar.

Among her known students in Patna University are BJP leader Yashwant Sinha and former Foreign Secretary Muchkund Dubey, while CPI(M) leaders, Prakash Karat, Brinda Karat and Sitaram Yechury were very close to her.

 

#India – Tribal rally in Delhi protests land grab


New Delhi

Posted 30 Apr 2013

Dressed in their traditional attire, thousands of tribals, including women, from 10 states staged a joint rally here Tuesday to protest what they called loot of natural resources.

Carrying bows and arrows and flags signifying each tribal community, thousands of them marched from Jantar Mantar on Parliament Street and raised their voice against how lakhs of hectares of land and forest lands have been “stolen” from this country’s poorest people.

“The debate on the coal scam has focused only on the government’s exchequer. Today’s rally showed that the scam extends to more than just money – lakhs of hectares of land and forests have been stolen from this country’s poorest people,” said Bijaybhai, convenor of the Joint Morcha of Tribal Organisations, in Delhi.

“This protest is to showcase that the loot of natural resources is growing and the government ignores it at its own peril,” Bijaybhai said.

“Tomorrow (Wednesday) a delegation of tribal leaders will meet the president and will submit a memorandum against the violations of the PESA Act (Panchayat (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996), the Forest Rights Act, among other issues,” Bijaybhai said.

Participating in the rally, Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Brinda Karat said: “The state machinery has betrayed the rights of adivasis at every turn. The Congress and the Bharatiya Janta Party are crushing tribal rights in the Land Acquisition Bill and the Mining Bill.” She argued that the way forward would only emerge from an alternative politics and the struggle for it.

The tribals, who constitute eight percent of India’s population, came from states like Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Jharkhand.

“The only way to stop this loot of the natural resources is to respect democracy and the rights of local communities as provided in law, in particular in the PESA Act and Forest Rights Act. At present the rule of bureaucracy is riding roughshod over law, national interest and people’s rights,” Bijaybhai added. – IANS

 

#India- Budgeting Out Adivasis #Tribals #Indigenous


The finance minister’s package falls far too short of the basic needs of tribals

Brinda Karat

It is budget time once again. Far away from the talk of lakhs and crores of rupees echoing from Parliament to television studios, a thin adivasi teenage girl stands in a queue at her hostel, her plate in her hand, waiting for her share of the gruel that she is given for lunch every day. Her family depends on the money from the minor forest produce her mother gathers from the forest. Her father has lost the money invested to till the two acres of land they own. The family is now in debt. When the child looks around she sees girls who tell the same stories.
What does the budget have for her? She is a beneficiary of a scheme called the pre-matric scholarship scheme. Run by the central government and followed by most state governments the scheme is to fund an adivasi child living in a hostel, her food and other expenses. The money goes directly into the hostel fund. Pre-budget, the amount paid per child was Rs 525. This works out to around Rs 17 a day or, if the child is fed three times a day, less than Rs 6 a meal. That is, assuming that the entire amount is honestly used for the child’s food.
With food inflation relentlessly increasing, the child makes do with a gruel in the morning, a mixture of very watery dal and rice for lunch and dinner, sometimes with vegetables or an occasional egg – which has stopped in many hostels for the last several months. Sadly for this child, P Chidambaram’s budget does not envisage any stipend increase. The increase in the midday meal scheme will not help her as it is mainly for day schools. Since substantial numbers of adivasi children have to live in hostels as there are few secondary schools near their villages, they do not benefit.
The child’s father was at the moneylender’s when the finance minister enhanced the target for agricultural credit to Rs 7 lakh crore. Her father had heard of farmers’ loan waiver schemes. But every time he had been
turned away from the bank. For generations his family has lived on the land, and there was never a question of ownership. But following colonial British policies, the newly independent Indian state had declared itself owner of all forest land, turning adivasis overnight into encroachers. Without the ownership papers he was not eligible for the loan waiver. So he was forced to go to the moneylender for loans with a high interest rate. The loan waiver scheme means little to him or millions of adivasi farmers unless moneylender loans are included.
Near the child’s village, about 20 km away from the hostel, her mother stops in the forest, just as the finance minister is announcing how his heart beats for her community. In this season she and all those able to work are out in the forest, the men climbing the trees to shake and cut while the women wait below to collect the tamarind. She will spend the next day processing it. It takes four people a day to collect about 50 kg of tamarind. The trader will give her Rs 15 for her two days’ labour of collection and processing, and sell it in the market for Rs 80 a kg. She knows the tendu season is going to start soon. For every 50 leaves she collects, she can hope to receive between 50p and 65p (this varies from state to state and can be as low as 40p) though the trader who buys it from her will get not less than between Rs 1.20 and Rs 2 depending on the quality. Does the budget help her?
The Haque committee set up by the panchayati raj ministry, estimated in its May 2011 report that 275 million adivasi women and men depend on minor forest produce (MFP). The report detailed the rampant exploitation in MFP trade and strongly recommended that the government set up a commission to ensure a minimum support price (MSP) for MFP on the lines of MSP for foodgrains. The estimated cost of procurement according to the committee was between Rs 4,000 and Rs 5,000 crore a year.
The Planning Commission in its 12th five-year plan brought down the cost to Rs 2,000 crore for the entire Plan period, or just Rs 400 crore a year. But in this budget, the second year of the Plan, not a single paisa is allocated for MSP for minor forest produce. Nor is there even a mention of setting up a commission.
The finance minister’s claims sound hollow, judged against the needs of adivasi communities – a decent scholarship programme for adivasi children, special credit for adivasi farmers and minimum support price for minor forest produce.
Statistics of increased expenditure bandied about need to factor in not just the almost 8% inflation rate, but also compare the expenditure as a proportion of the GDP. The expenditure on the Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP) is 0.22% of GDP this year, which is exactly the proportion it was last year.
Even taking the ST population as 8.2%, which is on the lower side, the allocations for the TSP are short by Rs 20,938 crore. Even today only one-third of the 21 central ministries and departments charged to allocate funds for the TSP are doing so. But the trimurti of the prime minister, the finance minister and the Planning Commission chairman, keen to cut expenditures in order to manage the deficit created because of their own flawed policies, think it better to ignore this violation.
The writer is a member of the CPM politburo.

Falling through the cracks

 

Hand over child to grandmother in West Bengal: U.S. Court #Goodnews


SHIV SAHAY SINGH

Indrashish was taken away by U.S. Child Welfare services after he fell from bed and got injured

A court in New Jersey, U.S. has ordered that the 18-month-old Indrashish, son of Indian couple living in the city, be handed over to his maternal grandmother Pragati Basak of Gangarampur in Dakshin Dinajpur district in West Bengal. The child was taken away by the U.S. Child Welfare services from his parents after he fell from his bed and was seriously injured at his home at Parsippany Township in New Jersey on August 9, 2012.

The child is expected to be brought back to India later this week. Speaking to The Hindu over telephone from his residence in Balurghat in Dakshin Dinajpur, the child’s paternal grandfather Nirmal Krishna Saha said the release order had been signed by the court on February 14.

He said the court had earlier sought the names of relatives to whom the child could be handed over.

Indrashish, who fell from his bed, was admitted to a local hospital. His parents, Debashish and Pamela Saha, faced criminal charges and the U.S. court directed the New Jersey Department of Children and Families that the child be immediately made a ward of the court and be placed in its immediate custody, care and supervision.

 

Activists booked for clashing with police during protest against rapes in Haryana #Vaw


Deepender Deswal, TNN Oct 16, 2012, 11.06AM IST

ROHTAK: The Rohtak police have registered a case against CPM politburo member Brinda Karat and several other activists in connection with a violent clash with police during a march in Rohtak on Monday to protest the spate of rape incidents in Haryana.

The protest, organized by All-India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) – the women frontal organisation of CPM, was led by Karat and attended by around 400 activists.

They staged a demonstration at the HUDA ground and then were marching towards the mini-secretariat to submit a memorandum of their demands to the deputy commissioner.

The police, however erected barricades at some distance from the DC office and stopped them from moving ahead. When the protesters tried to force their way, the police resorted to cane charging resulting in injuries to five protesters. The Rohtak SP Vivek Sharma however stated that protesters had attacked the police in which several cops including women police personnels suffered injuries. The injured cops are admitted in the civil hospital, he said.

However, around midnight, the police registered a case under sections 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 332, 333 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 283 (danger or obstruction in public way or line of navigation), 427 (mischief), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 149 (unlawful assembly) against protests on the complaint of women cell incharge of Rohtak police Sunita Devi.

The police FIR named 12 persons including Karat, AIDWA activists Jagmati Sangwan, Iti Chaudhary, Dimpal, Shahnawaj, Prem Rani and male activists Satvir Singh, Ramesh Laura, Inderjit Singh, Preet Singh, Naresh and Ramniwas as accused besides a number of unidentified accused. The Rohtak police spokesperson Ved Singh Nain said that no arrests could be made so far.

Chidambaram promises action in Soni Sori case


By Sify News Desk,  March 30,2012

New Delhi: Home Minister P Chidambaram has agreed to take up the case of Soni Sori, the school teacher who was arrested for alleged links with Maoists, after human rights activists met the Minister this week and handed over a 3700-strong petition.

The Change.org petition and an accompanying letter call for Soni Sori to be given prompt and due medical care and treatment, and to be moved to a safe place where police cannot interfere with the course of justice.

Sori, who was arrested for her role in an alleged pay off by Essar group to Maoists, is said to have been tortured and sexual assaulted by Chhattisgarh police while in custody last October. She remains behind bars.

Campaigners who attended the meeting say the Home Minister promised to write to the Chhattisgarh government raising the issues related to human rights violations.

“We discussed issues related to Soni Sori and delivered the voices of nearly 4000 people from all over India,” said Kalpana Mehta, of Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression.


Others at the meeting with the Home Minister included Brinda Karat (Ex-Rajya Sabha MP), Sudha Sundararaman (All India Democratic Women’s Association), Indira Chakraborty (Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression) and writer Kiran Shaheen.

Brinda Karat demanded that Soni Sori be given adequate constitutional safeguards as a prisoner facing trial and sought the Home Minister’s intervention for prompt action to be taken against Superintendent of Police Ankit Garg and other officials said to be involved in the custodial and sexual violence inflicted upon Soni Sori in the Dantewada police station.

The campaigners expressed concern that they were not being allowed to meet Soni Sori.

The campaign was started by human rights lawyer Kamayani Bali Mahabal and has attracted more than 3700 signatures from all over India, including leading human rights organisations such as Amnesty, who have described Soni Sori as a “prisoner of conscience”.

The petition can be found here

Eminent citizens and groups write an open letter to the Honourable Chief Justice of India


 

 

Dear friends,
As you are aware, Soni Sori, an adivasi school teacher and warden from Chhattisgarh, is currently facing trial in Chhattisgarh. Accused as a Maoist supporter, despite evidence of her having being framed as one in several cases, she has been in custody in Chhattisgarh for about three and a half months.

What has been terribly shocking and perturbing is the fact that while in custody she has been subjected to gross sexual torture, evidence of which has come to light following a Supreme Court directive for medical examination in a government hospital in Kolkata. Compounding her crisis is the fact that despite this damning evidence, Soni Sori has remained in the custody of the Chhattisgarh police for all this while.

As the Supreme Court starts its hearing on her case on Monday 25th January, nearly 200 citizens including eminent citizens such as Professor (Retd) Uma Chakravarti, Ms Brinda Karat, Politburo Member CPI(M) and former MP Rajya Sabha, Ms Romila Thapar, Professor Emeritus, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, Ms Aruna Roy, MKSS, Rajasthan, Ms Madhu Bhaduri, former Ambassador of India, Prof. Veena Shatrugna, retired Deputy Director, National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, Dr Imrana Qadeer, Retd Professor, Ms Farah Naqvi, Activist, Ms Vasanth Kannabiran, Hyderabad, Ms Lalita Ramdas, Ms Githa
Hariharan, Writer, Prof. Jayati Ghosh, Dr Amit Bhaduri, Professor Emeritus, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, Dr Anand Phadke, Prof (Retd) Anand Chakravarti, along with scores of other doctors,educationists, academicians, students and individuals.

Also joining the appeal are 69 civil society groups and organisations working on women’s issues, health issues, civil and democratic rights, and worker’s issues from across the country, such as Saheli, WSS, AIDWA, AIPWA, NFIW, NAPM, NTUI, PUCL, FAOW, SAFHR, SAHAJ, SAHAYOG-UP, Zubaan Books, JADS, Nari Nirjatan Pratirodh Mancha and RTF-Rajasthan.

Together they are urging the Supreme Court `to insulate this victim of custodial sexual assault from her oppressors, ensure her protection after she has spoken out about this torture despite threats to her person and family’, and send out a clear signal that `the rights of citizens will be protected, and that when the police abuses its powers, the judiciary will not stand by in silence’.
This appeal goes out with deep regard and faith that the Constitutional safeguards will be upheld and that justice will
prevail.

 Open Letter To The Honourable Chief Justice Of India And Honourable Judges Of The Supreme Court Of India.

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