#India – Sexual harassment claim rocks National University of Juridical Sciences #Vaw


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, TNN | Jun 20, 2013,

KOLKATA: The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences (NUJS), one of the country’s top law schools, has been rocked by a complaint of sexual harassment a week ahead of admission season.

A member of the vice-chancellor’s secretariat has brought charges of sexual harassment against a senior employee in the registrar’s department. The victim has alleged in written complaints to the VC and registrar that she has been receiving lewd e-mails and objectionable proposals from the accused. The harassment had allegedly been going on for over a year and the young woman had earlier verbally complained to the administration, but no action was taken. When she brought up the matter again with the registrar last week, he advised her to submit a written complaint.

Acting on the complaint, the university has set up a committee to investigate the case. The accused has been sent on leave. Two senior faculty members, a senior non-teaching staff and a teacher of Jadavpur University English department are members of the committee.

The accused, who has been with the NUJS for over a decade, called up TOI on Wednesday to say he had already resigned. “I have been framed. There is no truth in the accusation. There is a huge communication gap. In any case, I have resigned,” he said.

Registrar Surajit Mukhopadhyay, however, said he is yet to receive any such resignation.

“We have received a written complaint of sexual harassment and stalking from the victim and it has been forwarded to the committee for investigation. This is the first time that such a controversy has happened in the university and we have taken very serious note of the matter. If the accused is proved guilty, strictest action according to the law of the land will be taken,” Mukhopadhyay said.

Vice-chancellor Ishwar Bhatt assured that NUJS would do everything “to uphold the dignity” of the lady. “We are dealing with the complaint in the strictest terms. The accused is on leave andyes, he called me up to say he will resign,” he said.

Even as the NUJS campus was abuzz with the sexual harassment complaint, another controversy erupted when a final-year student was slapped in full view of others by a lady teacher. The student, who reached late for an exam, was stopped from entering the hall and asked by the teacher to first take permission from the VC. She argued that since she was just 15 minutes late she should be let in. This led to a heated exchange and the angry teacher slapped her.

Later, the VC intervened and the girl was taken to another room and given half an hour extra to write her test.

A committee set up to investigate the matter sent its report to the executive council which ruled that the faculty member be reprimanded for losing her temper. “We have tried to handle the incident in a very sensitive way, with full sympathies for the girl,” registrar Surajit Mukhopadhyay said.

 

Mumbai- A Forum to Hear complaint against Cops #Goodnews


Authority to be set up at state, district level; recommendations to be binding on force

Sayli Udas Mankikar

MUMBAI: Citizens who have complaints about the high-handedness of policemen, unnecessary detention, physical abuse in custody, rape or sexual harassment or corruption will now have a forum where they can direct their grievances and get their complaints addressed.

To keep a check on severe abuse of authority by the police and secure the rights of citizens under the rule of law, the state has initiated the process of forming a police complaints authority.

“The formation of this authority will lead to a tectonic change in the functioning of the state’s police system. What is important is that the complaints authority can take suo-moto cognisance of the case and even forward a case directly to the DGP for action,” a senior government official said. MUMBAI: Citizens who have complaints about the high-handedness of policemen, unnecessary detention, physical abuse in custody, rape or sexual harassment or corruption will now have a forum where they can direct their grievances and get their complaints addressed.

In a bid to keep a check on severe abuse of authority by the police and secure the rights of citizens under the rule of law, the state government has initiated the process of forming a police complaints authority. This authority will also help release pressure off courts that are burdened by numerous litigations related to police issues.

Formed six years after the Supreme Court’s directive on police reforms in September 2006, the authority will deal with complaints against officers of all ranks. Further, it comes with teeth, as its recommendations against police officials will be binding on the agencies.

The complaints handled by the authority will be of specific in nature and include deaths in police custody, grievous hurt or injuries, rape or attempt to rape, arrest or detention without law and allegations of corruption.

The court has directed the state to form the authority by June 20, 2013.

“The formation of this authority will lead to a tectonic change in the functioning of the state’s police system. What is important is that the complaints authority can take suo-moto cognisance of the case and even forward a case directly to the DGP for action,” a senior government official said.

The state will be setting up a police complaints authority at the state level and the district level. While the state-level authority will look into complaints against officers of the rank of superintendent of police (SP) and above, the district authority will look into those against police officers up to the rank of deputy superintendent of police (DYSP).

A retired judge of the high court or Supreme Court will head the state-level authority and a district judge will chair the district panel. Both judges will be assisted by about three to five full-time members who will be retired civil servants, retired police officers or from the civil society.

 

Casteist remarks: Assistant professor booked



Tribune News Service

Patiala, April 30
The police today booked an assistant professor of Rajindra Medical College for allegedly making cast-based remarks against an MBBS student. The FIR comes ten days after Raj Kumar Verka, vice chairman, National Commission for Scheduled Castes, visited Patiala, met the aggrieved student and directed the Patiala police to register a case.

Teaching staff of the college is up in arms against the “one-sided act” of the police.

The police said the FIR was registered against Rajindra Medical College assistant professor Dr Harsimran Singh on the complaint filed by MBBS student Anmolpreet Singh. In his complaint to the police, Anmolpreet stated that the accused professor had passed caste-based remarks against him in front of the entire class.

Following the complaint and a preliminary probe, the police registered a case under Sections 3 (1), (10) of the SC, ST Act 1989 against the accused at the civil lines police station.

Sources said it was only after the chairman of National Commission for Scheduled Castes asked the district police chief to register a case that the accused was booked. They said the accused could be arrested anytime as the sections were non-bailable. However, with over 100 students as witnesses and many of them willing to give their statement in the case, the police might take more time to investigate the matter. “While some students have backed the victim, others have told us a different story,” said a police source.

Patiala SSP Gurpreet Singh Gill said they were investigating the matter and statements of witnesses would be recorded. “It is too early to say anything but we are sure the investigation will be done in an impartial manner,” Gill said.

Teachers from the general category are opposing the registration of the case, claiming that the student was under the influence of a senior professor, who was known for using such tactics to settle personal scores.

Seven similar complaints had been received — three at the medical college and four at Rajindra Hospital. In August 2012, three such complaints were filed by Class IV employees of the hospital. However, following investigations, it was found that none of the complaints were genuine.

“We are for strict punishment against anyone using caste remarks against anyone but it is hard to believe that an assistant professor would use such words in a classroom without a valid reason,” said a senior doctor. “Such cases will cause a rift instead of bridging it and we demand an impartial probe. Till then, those involved in the case should be shifted from their positions so that students are under no pressure,” he said.

 

Delhi shamed again: 22-year-old gangraped by 5, including brothers-in-law #Vaw #WTFnews


May2, 2013

 A 22-year-old woman accused five people, including two of her brothers-in-law, of raping her in south Delhi, police said on Wednesday.

In her complaint to police, the young woman alleged that she was gangraped by the five men late Tuesday night. The three others involved in the crime were friends of her brothers-in-laws, police said. The accused have all been arrested.

According to the woman, a resident of RK Puram, the men came to meet her husband for some personal work on Tuesday night. The woman said her husband was not at home at the time, but when she returned to her house, she found the men drinking alcohol there.

AP

Women protest the 16 December Delhi gangrape. AP

“She left to go elsewhere, but the men overpowered her and took her to an empty plot,” a police official said, quoting victim’s complaint.

“They snatched her bag and took turns to rape her. The woman somehow fled and sought help from a passerby who made a call to the police control room,” the official said.

“She was rushed to AIIMS Trauma Centre for medical examination. Her medical examination confirmed gangrape,” the officer said, quoting the woman’s complaint. On the basis of her statement, the police officer said, a case of gangrape was registered.

The accused were arrested after late-night raids, and presented before a magistrate who sent the five to judicial custody for 14 days, the officer said.

PTI

 

#India- Rape at Home #Vaw #Incest


4 May 2013, Open Magazine

Rape at Home

The trial of a French Consulate employee, accused of raping his minor daughter, has begun in Bangalore. His wife Suja Jones speaks to Open on her battle for justice and why is it important to listen carefully to your child
T
TRAUMA
COMING TO TERMS Suja Jones says she feels completely awake for the  first time in her life (Photos: RITESH UTTAMCHANDANI)

COMING TO TERMS Suja Jones says she feels completely awake for the first time in her life (Photos: RITESH UTTAMCHANDANI)

After Suja Jones filed a complaint against her French husband Pascal Mazurier for the rape and other forms of sexual abuse of their three-year-old daughter, one of the police officers, a woman, at the Bangalore High Grounds Police station gave her some advice. “She said ‘In our families, we don’t take this kind of thing outside,’” recalls Jones. “She said I should have found a way to ‘help him’ myself.” The trial against Mazurier, an employee of the French Foreign Ministry stationed in Bangalore, has finally begun. Mazurier, who is accused of rape and paedophilia, was arrested on 19 June 2012 but has been out on bail since last October. On 28 June 2012, Jones wrote a letter to Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde describing the aggressive and humiliating interrogation she was subjected to after filing her complaint. Shinde agreed to meet Jones’ lawyers to hear their case, but no further action has been taken.

This week, angry groups protested in front of Shinde’s residence in Delhi, raging at the inefficiency, the apathy, the callousness of the authorities in dealing with the rape of the five-year-old girl found crying and mutilated in a locked room in the capital. It is a mass outrage that Jones understands. Jones holds her three small children close. “I never feel completely safe anymore,” she says. Over the past ten months, since filing the complaint, Jones has learnt that the Home Ministry and law enforcement system are only two of the problems a woman has to overcome when looking for justice for her abused child. Jones has faced vicious insults by men’s rights activists, fought off official complaints by Mazurier’s parents that she is neglecting, perhaps even drugging the children, and faced landlords who have refused to rent out their flats to her. And despite their official declarations of neutrality, the loyalty of the French administration seems to lie more with the accused than with the four-year-old child, though she too is a French citizen. Jones has even received an online death threat: ‘I don’t know you,’ wrote one commenter, ‘but when I do, you are as good as dead.’

In the din, it is easy to forget the hero of this story—a little girl called Isabel (name changed to protect identity). Faced with a painful reality she would not accept, Isabel did not give up, naming her ongoing ordeal with her three-year-old voice, trusting someone would finally hear her:

He made bobo on my zheezhee (hurt my genitals).”

He put something filthy in my mouth.”

This is a nice uncle” (looking at a photo of a movie star) “Will he do bobo to me too?”

“I should have heard, I should have known,” says her mother, “…the fog of denial was just so strong.” In June last year, undeterred, Isabel managed at last to break through the fog. According to the results of official medical examinations, she had been a victim of ongoing sexual abuse, rape, sodomy. According to the chargesheet prepared by the Bangalore police, the perpetrator is Isabel’s father, Pascal Mazurier, who is an employee (now suspended) of the French consulate in Bangalore. Mazurier and his lawyers deny the charges. “I would have given anything, anything, for it not to be true,” says Jones. “I let my love for my husband and my own self-doubt keep me blind for far too long.”

+++

“When a woman is raped,” says 38-year-old Jones, who was born and raised in Calcutta, “it is her own fault. When a little girl is raped, it is the mother’s fault.”

We are sharing a simple lunch in the modest living room of her new rented flat, homey and warm but nothing like the more luxurious space she lived in with her husband and their three children while living on his French salary (this salary, since the time of Mazurier’s arrest, is being deposited by his French employers into a new bank account, one Jones has no access to). A single mom now, and in constant financial struggle, Jones says she feels completely awake for the first time in her life. Of slight frame with a dignified bearing, beautiful in the turquoise sari she had worn to the morning court session, she sits with a mountain of papers piled before her, cross-coded with different coloured Post-its. As she speaks, she expertly flips through them to find the documents relevant to the points she is making, analysing the details with perfect clarity and confidence. “I was not always this way,” she says, “I used to be just a silly girl. I’m all grown up now. Better late than never.”

Suja Jones and Pascal Mazurier met in Calcutta 13 years ago. Jones, the daughter of Kerala Christians, an English honours graduate with a diploma in Travel and Tourism studies, was working in a travel agency. Mazurier was in town doing his French National Service in the French consulate. They fell in love. Jones visited Paris and met his family. Later he returned to Calcutta to ask her parents for her hand. “My mom did not mind much that he was not an Indian,” she says, “…the fact that he was a fellow Christian was good enough.” The couple married in Paris in 2001, and Mazurier joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He served, with Jones at his side, in Bangladesh, Chad and from 2010, in Bangalore. “We loved each other so much,” says Jones, “we were so proud of our love, proud that we were able to manage so well across the national divide.” They were a good looking couple, and enjoyed time in nature as well as partying with friends (she loved to dance). Jones says her husband was charming, good looking, funny, a devoted dad and often the life of parties. “I made myself quite small in our marriage,” she says, “I thought he was amazing and I was nobody. I let him decide things, even things like who the children could or could not play with. It was subtle, but he was the boss.”

But there was something shadowy about their world, she believes, which she could sense but did everything in her power to ignore. According to Jones, sometime after the birth of Isabel her husband turned violent. She says he hit their oldest son and he hit her twice during a pregnancy. Mazurier needed hospital treatment after hurting his own hand by pounding on a door she was hiding behind with the children. “Somehow,” she says, “he didn’t fit my image of an abusive husband. He always used to say he was so sorry, and otherwise he was wonderful.” In 2010, after her husband pushed her violently against a wall during her next pregnancy, her doctor advised Jones in strong words to seek professional counselling for her husband and herself. Jones had a long conversation with him and he apologised. “It was maybe three months later,” she says, “that he started on Isabel.”

Isabel, then three and very close to her father, began to speak of what was happening to her; Jones began noticing disturbing physical signs. “He had explanations for everything,” she says, “it was only the soap in the shower; it was only sliding too much on the slide. He used to say I was jealous of his great relationship with Isabel. I wanted to believe in the happy story that my daughter is well bonded with her father and I was just a jealous mom, a pregnant, then breastfeeding, hormonal, silly housewife imagining all kinds of things about the man I loved, who was a good husband in a respectable position, held by many in such high regard. I thought ‘if he says it was the soap that hurt her, then of course it was the soap that hurt her and how wrong of me to pay attention to what Isabel was saying’.”

In June last year, Isabel spoke more clearly than ever, and her mother, unable to ignore it any longer, took her for professional and medical testing, at a children’s health NGO and at a hospital. On 14 June 2012, armed with the results of those examinations (genital lacerations, rectal gaping, an absent hymen, and sperm in her vagina), Jones went to the police. “Until the very end I resisted,” she says, trying to smile, shaking her head, calling herself stupid, then breathing deeply to regain her composure, “I was saying… no, I will only take the kids to my parents’ for some time; he will get some help, it will all be OK. I could not bear to do it. I loved him. I was a mess.” Mazurier was picked up for questioning and released the next day. He was not arrested until five days later, on 19 June, as French Consul General Eric Lavertu told the police there was some doubt about whether Mazurier has diplomatic immunity (there was no doubt; he does not).

On 25 June, Jones herself was interrogated for four hours by six police officers, one of them a woman. She says she was asked about her sex life with her husband before and after marriage (what she ‘did’ with him), and about her supposed lovers. They questioned her family’s ethics and morality, accused her of media hunger and racism against the French, and demanded she reveal if she had been abused as a child. “I can’t decide if the police are antagonistic or only insensitive,” she says, “…whether they have been bribed, or if this is just the way they are with everyone.” To add to the victim’s ordeal, the police ordered Isabel be taken for another internal examination. This one had the little girl on a bed in the delivery ward, with women screaming and blood on the floor. Later, the police admitted this examination was not required as the results of the previous one were irrefutable. NGO Human Right Watch has included this incident in its recent report on the sexual abuse of children in India.

After his arrest, Mazurier was let out on bail and will remain on bail during the trial. The children’s passports (they are French nationals and the passports are their only official documents) are being held by the French consulate. The French embassy told Open that “according to French law, in case of a disagreement between the parents, the decision to hand over their children’s passports to one of them cannot be taken by the consulate authority but the ‘competent jurisdiction’”. But the court in Bangalore has given (temporary) full custody of the children to their mother. Does the French government doubt that the Bangalore court is indeed the ‘competent jurisdiction’? Besides, this is not a dispute between two parents; the Government of India has put Mazurier on trial for raping his daughter. The only ‘disagreement between the parents’ is the injunction Jones has received from the civil court granting her custody while the father is on trial.

The French consulate also told Open: “Before anything else, we should all think of the suffering of a little girl who has been brutalised in an inhuman way. And we must do everything we can to help her recover and build her future.” Asked for an example of how they have or would like to offer Isabel help, the consulate had nothing to say. While still in police custody, Mazurier wrote several cheques, amounting to Rs 4.3 lakh, to the Deputy Consul of France in Bangalore, Vincent Caumontat, practically emptying the joint account from which Jones would have managed her household expenses. “Why did the Deputy Consul agree to receive this money and what did he do with it?” asks Jones. (According to the French embassy: “This money was used to pay [Mazurier’s] lawyers’ fees, which are very high in India, and to meet various expenses related to this”). During the High Court bail hearings, Caumontat was present at Mazurier’s side, as Lavertu has been during the court hearings (“The Consulate employees have always attended court hearings in complete neutrality,” the French embassy told Open. “They have been present not alongside Mr Pascal Mazurier, but in the back rows as observers.” In an act that angered feminists and some of the press in France, the ‘office of President Hollande’ received the lawyers of Mazurier for a meeting in Paris. Only after the outcry and Jones’ requests did the office of the President at last agree to see the lawyers representing Isabel and Jones, as well.

Mazurier’s parents, with the assistance of the French Consul in Bangalore, registered a complaint of concern against Jones with Bangalore’s Child Welfare Committee, saying the children were dirty, appeared to be drugged and that one of the children was obese. (Lavertu did not file a complaint but did make a personal visit on the matter to the CWC). The officials who visited the house filed a report in which they found the children to be alert, doing well, with plenty of books and toys. Mazurier himself, through his lawyers, has claimed that Jones is “a party animal”, that she never really wanted to care for the children, and that this is all a ruse because she did not want to move with him to Cape Town where he was supposed to be posted next. “I had no problem with the move to Cape Town,” says Jones, “…and besides, if I didn’t want to have children, if all I wanted to do was party, can you imagine a more complicated way to go about it?”

Several men’s rights groups in India, among them one called CRISP, have taken up Mazurier’s cause. These activists not only appear in court to show their support but leave hateful comments against Jones at the end of most online news reports. Someone opened a well-viewed fake Facebook page in her name, which said: ‘Hello, my name is Suja, professional call girl, I am a liar, I need help, I manipulated all of this because I do not want to go to South Africa.’

“It is now easy for me to understand why women do not come out when such things happen in their homes,” says Jones, “why women in these situations are driven to take their own lives.”

+++

It is early afternoon. We are again in Jones’ flat, the children are soon to come home from school, but for now all is quiet, the toys and books still tidy in their shelves. “People confront me all the time: ‘How could you not know, what kind of a mother are you?’” Jones speaks without flinching, not outwardly. “I have no words to express my regret. Now all I can do is continue this fight for justice and hope that many others learn from my stupidity. Moms, dads: be attuned to your girls and boys; if something is wrong, they will try to reveal it. There are things that children say and things that children don’t say—learn to tell the difference. Incest is a very careful form of rape, the perpetrators are very careful to hide their actions. If you have any suspicion, you must make sure the child is examined thoroughly. I can now say that I always got a kind of inner jolt every time Isabel said something and I immediately pushed it away, put my mind somewhere else. You must fight the fog of denial with all your might.”

Isabel, now four, is doing better. According to the professionals working with her, and because her mother finally listened, removed the perpetrator, and sought treatment, there is a good chance Isabel will grow and thrive; but of the scars, we cannot know. She still talks about ‘zheezhee’ ‘bobo’, and sometimes shares new details of things that happened and how they made her feel. “She is making new friends, doing more at school,” says Jones. “She loves to swim and play basketball. I have started taking them to church, too—not for the rituals but as a source of comfort. We never used to do that but they seem to really like it. And I make sure we dance and sing together, act silly, have fun; sometimes at the end of the day I am so exhausted, or discouraged, and I look up at them, their sweet faces looking back at me, and I feel my courage return. Sometimes the kids say they love and miss their father. I tell them I love him and miss him too. Fourteen years of loving cannot disappear overnight.”

“My oldest used to say, ‘Mama, you will not survive, you are small, and you have cried so much.’ He hasn’t said that in a while. The other day I took Isabel to my room and picked her up in front of the mirror and showed her: Isabel Mama, Mama Isabel… we are together, I am your amma, I am strong, you are safe in my arms. I saw something in her face relax. She is my hero, my tender lioness. I love her so much.”

 

#India – Download the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act #Vaw


Ink pink... Bullies stink!

 

The New Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act   came into effect on April 23, 2013.

 

Under the Act, employers’ organisations must have mechanisms to address complaints of sexual harassment, and deal with such complaints within 90 days. Non-compliance of the law is punishable by a fine, and repeated non-compliance can lead to higher penalties and cancellation of the employer’s licence to conduct business.

 

The law comes 15 years after the Supreme Court’s historic Vishakha judgment in 1997.

 

The Vishakha judgment was incorporated into the Central Civil Services(Conduct) Rules, 1964 and the The Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Rules, following the 1999 order on the Medha Kotwal case.

 

Download the Act here

 

 

 

#India-10-year-old rape survivor put behind bars #Vaw #WTFnews


The victim spent several hours behind the bars after her mother brought her to a women’s police station to lodge a complaint against a local goon for allegedly raping her
Illustration: Anand Naorem

Bulandshahr (UP), Apr 8 (PTI): The callous response of police came to fore when a 10-year-old girl, who was allegedly raped, was put behind bars by women cops after she approached them to file a complaint along with her mother.

Two women constables have been suspended while two sub-inspectors including the station-in-charge have been sent to police lines following the incident, SSP Gulab Singh said.

The victim spent several hours behind the bars after her mother brought her to a women’s police station to lodge a complaint against a local goon for allegedly raping her. She was rescued only after locals protested over the matter.

According to Singh, the minor from Meerpur village here was found lying unconscious in a field by her parents last night where she had been dumped after being allegedly raped.

An FIR was lodged with the police by victims’ parents but shockingly the staff of the women’s police station detained the victim in lock-up. The girl’s medical examination will be conducted to confirm rape and investigations are on, Singh said. The local goon accused of raping the minor is absconding, he added.

 

Sun news reader suspended after sexual harassment plaint #Vaw #WTFnews


By Express News Service – CHENNAI

30 March 2013

A woman news reader, who recently filed a sexual harassment complaint with police against the news editor of a private television channel, has been suspended from service along with her fiance.

Sources said the news reader and her fiance were suspended from work at Sun TV pending an inquiry into another complaint filed by her colleagues against her.

Speaking to Express, the victim said the complaint against her was a “fabricated one” to shield news editor Raja and his associate Vetrivendan so as to sabotage the sexual harassment complaint filed by her.

The 28-year-old news reader filed a complaint with the police on March 19 against the duo alleging that she faced harassment at work after she refused to concede their demands for sexual favours.

The duo had also allegedly threatened her with dire consequences if she complained about their moves.

Subsequently, a case was registered under section 506(ii) of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and section 4 of the Tamil Prohibition of Harassment of Women Act. Raja was arrested and was remanded to Judicial Custody while Vetrivendan went missing. The latter had moved the Madras High Court for advance bail on Thursday and the matter was pending. Raja is now out on conditional bail.

Meanwhile, an forum of woman journalists on Thursday sought immediate reinstatement of the woman news reader and her fiance. Network of Women in Media, which is an independent forum of media professionals across the country, also demanded an inquiry into the case and sought setting up of a formal mechanism to redress sexual harassment cases at the Chennai-based channel.

The forum noted that there is no redressal mechanism at the channel for complaints of sexual harassment. This is in contempt of the guidelines issued in 1997 by the Supreme Court in the Vishakha case, which places an obligation on every establishment in the country to ensure the rights of women workers by creating a conducive workplace free from sexual harassment.

On the same day, a group of women journalists in the city separately come out with a statement in support of the victim and condemned the practice of targeting women for lodging complaint of sexual harassment at workplace. Sun TV officials were not immediately available for comment.

 

Mumbai: Cops face camera for #Vaw awareness campaign to encourage women to lodge harassment complaints


Kainaz Karmakar and Harshad Rajadhyaksha of O&M shot a five-part TVC campaign with city cops to encourage women to lodge harassment complaints

March 17, 2013
MUMBAI
Samarth Moray, Sunday Midday
Have you ever been threatened by a man, deterring you to lodge a police complaint? Have you clenched your fist in helplessness, rolled your eyes but decided to let it go? No more. Starting Thursday, five advertisements starring real cops are being aired on a television channel, urging women not to be afraid of approaching the police to lodge harassment complaints against men.


A police woman reaches out to women in one of the ads created by the ad agency

Kainaz Karmakar and Harshad Rajadhyaksha of ad agency O&M have launched this special ad campaign, which puts the focus on the Mumbai Police. Karmakar said, “After the Delhi gang-rape incident in December, Mumbai’s Joint CP Himanshu Roy published a statement in the newspaper saying that the force had undertaken initiatives to train them to deal with sensitive cases. He added that perhaps they needed to publicise them better. That’s where we got this idea.” The duo approached Roy, who put them in touch with Joint CP Sadanand Date, Law and Order. “We deliberately chose ordinary officers with whom the public would interact at police stations,” said Date.

The ads 
“Namaste, ladies. Do you know who my father is? You can’t even imagine what I’m capable of. You don’t know how well connected I am. Don’t be afraid of anyone who uses such phrases and misbehaves with you. Come to the police. No matter how well connected they are. We’ll connect them to jail…” says a silver mustachioed police officer in one of the  advertisements.

In another ad, PSI Vidya Kaldate addresses Mumbai’s women. “I know that you often tolerate harassment from men. You do not even complain against them, worrying how you will tell a male officer what someone said to you, or what a man did to you. That’s precisely why many women police officers like me are present at police stations, for your help and support. So don’t tolerate any harassment…”

Date also suggested shooting similar campaigns to create awareness within the force as well. These internal ad campaigns are played at over 150 city police stations every morning during roll call. They feature ordinary women, reminding cops that they depend on them for safety. “It will help our officers realise that merely registering an FIR is a great help,” said Date.

In another ad, Senior police inspector AR Shaikh of Malwani police station addresses the camera in four languages. “This is meant to counter the impression that police only pay heed to complainants who speak Marathi,” explains Karmakar. Shaikh was delighted to star in the ad. “It was a unique experience and I’m glad I did the advertisement. The message has gone out to women that we are here and ready to help them.”

In fact, it was Shaikh’s co-star senior police inspector (traffic), Rajendra Chauhan’s idea to feature traffic police as they end up being the first point of contact for victims of harassment.  As you cross the shopping district of SV Road Bandra, Deputy Commissioner of Police Harvinder Kaur Waraich, armed with a baton is seen on a billboard. “Ladies should never hesitate to approach the police. The main purpose of the campaign is public awareness. Working women know about policewomen, but housewives may be unaware.”

The ads clear another myth that the police are reluctant to take complaints. “Complaints do get registered and we wanted to bring that out. Every piece is simple and tackles a real fear in the quiet victim’s mind,” concludes Karmakar

 

Is Police Officer Sandip Sen, of Murshidabad district is above the law?


12 March 2013

 

To

The Chairman

Faridkot House

Copernicus Murg

New Delhi-110001

 

Respected Sir,

 

 

I want to draw your kind attention regarding the unchecked torturous acts by Mr. Sandip Sen, presently Officer-in-Charge of Islampur Police Station, Murshidabad, though we have made consecutive complaints to your Commission and other governmental authorities but with our utter shock and disguise we found that his unbridled acts of torture upon the marginalized populace of the area under his jurisdiction has increased leaps and bounds. This present incident of physical torture and threats upon the victim; Mr. Mijanur Rahman by Mr. Sandip Sen was in continuation of that. Our fact finding report gives the details of the incident.

 

 

The incident was in continuation of brutal police torture upon  (1) Mr. Mahammad Seikh, son of- Late Khokan Seikh, aged about- 65 years; (2) Mr. Pintu Seikh, aged about- 35 years; (3) Mr. Kader Seikh, aged about- 39 years; (4) Mr. Mukul Seikh, Son of- Mr. Sakatulla Seikh, aged about- 18 years; (5) Mr. Sentu Seikh, son of- Mr. Kurman Seikh; (6) Mr. Tufani Seikh, Son of- Mr. Sentu Seikh, aged about- 17 years, all are residing at village- Darakati Barbona, Post Office- Maricha, Police Station- Islampur, District- Murshidabad on 12.11.2012 by the police personnel of Raningar and Domkal police stations, led by the officers in charge of the said police stations and circle inspector of Domkal. Mr. Pintu Seikh has been illegally detained at Domkal police station from 12.11.2012 to 15.11.2012. Mr. Pintu Seikh was later sent to prison in connection with Islampur Police Station Case No. 299/12 dated 12.11.2012 under sections 147/ 148/ 149/ 326/ 353/ 307 Indian Penal Code; sections 25 &27 of Arms Act and sections 3 & 4 of Explosive Substances Act. The victim, Pintu, made a prayer before the court on his illegal detention and torture committed upon him. It made the Officer in Charge of Domkal Police Station furious. The Officer in Charge of Islampur police station raided the house of Mr. Pintu Seikh, out of utter vengeance, on the midnight of 16.2.2013. He was brought into the police station and severely tortured by the said Officer in Charge and allegedly forced him to withdraw his complaint against Mr. Sandip Sen; the Officer in Charge of Islampur Police Station by obtaining his signature in a blank paper. While, his brother in law; Mr. Mijanur Rahman came to know the incident, he rushed to Islampur and after consulting few activists, was writing a complaint for the Superintendent of Police- Murshidabad. Mr. Mijanur Rahman assisted our activists in previous occasions on the issues of torture at the area. 

 

On the date of incident Mr. Mijanur Rahman tried to meet his Brother-In-Law; Mr. Pintu Seikh at Islampur police station, where he was illegally detained and tortured. But the perpetrator police personnel did not allow Mr. Mijanur Rahman to meet his brother-in- law. Then the victim tried to send a written complaint to the Superintendent of Police, Murshidabad to reveal the illegal detention and physical torture to his brother in law by Mr. Sandip Sen; Officer in Charge of Islampur Police Station, while he was writing the complaint at nearby tea stall, he was forcibly lifted and brought to Islampur police station by the police personnel of Islampur PS on the direction of Mr. Sandip Sen. He was not only resisted to meet Mr. Pintu Seikh but was brought to Islampur police station and brutally thrashed.  After that the victim was illegally detained in the police lock up of Islampur Police Station and was beaten in the lock up again and later released without any prescribed precudure, during his detention, he was forced to accompany the police personnel in raids at Bahrampur in search of Mr. Gopen Chandra Sharma; our activist. The brother of the victim lodged a written complaint to the Superintendent of Police, Murshidabad on 19.2.2013. But till date no actions has been taken by the higher authority of the police. We made medical treatment available to Mr. Mijanur Rahman at our end. Now, he is under tremendous psychological distress and due to threats not in a position to make a complaint.

 

I am appending a detail of the incident herewith, as well want to remind you that the previous case study regarding the illegal detention and physical torture on Mr. Pintu Seikh is with you.

 

Hence I seek an urgent intervention regarding this matter in the following manner: –

 

  • ·       The whole incident must be investigated by an independent agency
  • ·       Mr. Sandip Sen; the Officer in Charge of Islampur Police Station must be booked under the provisions of law for his acts which has crossed every proportion of misdemeanor 
  • ·       The victims must be provided with ultimate safety and security
  • ·       The other police personnel must be booked under the law and must be booked for threatening and abusing the victims.

 

Thanking You

 Yours truly,

 

 

 (Kirity Roy)

Secretary, MASUM

&

National Convener, PACTI

 

 

Name of the victim: – Mr. Pintu Seikh and Mr. Mijanur Rahman, Son of- Mr. Aktar Seikh, Age- about 38 years, residing at Village- Sahebnagar, Police Station- Jalangi, District- Murshidabad, West Bengal.

Name of the perpetrator: –

  • ·       Mr. Sandip Sen (Officer-In-Charge of Islampur Police Station)
  • ·       Mr. Tushar Babu (Sub-Inspector of Islampur Police Station)
  • ·       6/7 other involved police constables of Islampur Police Station, Murshidabad

Date and time of incident: – On 16.02.2013 at 1 PM and thereafter.

Place of the incident: – In a tea shop near Raj Hotel under Islampur Police Station, Murshidabad

 

Case details:

The victim in this report was the brother-in-law of Mr. Pintu Seikh. Mr. Pintu Seikh was tortured by the police of Islampur on 12.11.2012 and illegally detained till 15.1.2012. On that incident Mr. Pintu Seikha and his four companions were brutally assaulted by Mr. Sumit Talukdar (Officer-in-Charge of Raninagar Police Station), Mr. Sandip Sen (Officer-in-Charge of Islampur Police Station), Mr. Swapan Poddar (Assistant Sub-Inspector of Islampur Police Station) and about 29/34 police constables of both Raninagar and Islampur police stations. After that Mr. Pintu Seikh’s four companions were produced before the Lalbagh court on 13.11.2012. But Mr. Pintu Seikh was not produced before the court on that day. He was illegally detained at Islampur police station. One written petition was moved in the Lalbagh court describing the incident of illegal detention of the Mr. Pintu Seikh. The court directed the Investigating Officer to submit a report regarding the matter of the incident of illegal detention. But the report by the Investigating Officer clearly mentioned that Mr. Pintu Seikh was arrested on 14.11.2012, which was false and fabricated. So the allegation of illegal detention of Mr. Pintu Seikh in the Islampur police station came as counterfeit. Mr. Pintu Seikh was produced before the court on 15.11.2012. After that Mr. Pintu Seikh filed an affidavit through his advocate regarding his allegged illegal detention vide General Records 3202/12 in the Lalbagh Court, Murshidabad. On 29.01.2013, he filed a complaint under section 156(3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure before the Lalbagh court praying punishment for the perpetrator police personnel.

 

On 16.02.2013 at 1 am, the perpetrator police personnel came to the village of Mr. Pintu Seikh by a police van and surrounded his house. After that Mr. Sandip Sen illegally trespassed into his house without taking any lady police constables with him at the wee hours. Mr. Sandip Sen awaken Pintu Seikh and his wife from sleep and threatened Pintu Seikh to withdraw the complaint which he filed before the Lalbagh Court regarding previous incident of illegal detention and police torture meted upon him . But Pintu Seikh refused to do so. The perpetrator police personal tied his hands on his back with a piece of cloth and verbally abused and dragged him to their car and threatened him by saying that he would be falsely implicated in a ‘Ganja’ (narcotic) case. The perpetrator police personnel took him to the Islampur police station and detained him at the said police station.

 

On the same day; Mr. Mijanur Rahman went to the Islampur police station taking his sister, the wife of Mr. Pintu Seikh to meet with the victim, but the police personnel of the said police station did not allow them to meet with Mr. Pintu Seikh. After that in an adjoining tea shop of Raj Hotel, Mr. Mijanur Rahman was trying to make a written complaint to the Superintendent of Police; Murshidabad revealing the incident of harassment and threats upon Mr. Pintu Seikh by the perpetrator police personnel of the Islampur police station. Suddenly Mr. Tushar Babu accompanied with six or seven other police constables of Islampur Police Station came to that tea shop after getting the information from an unknown person that the victim was trying to write a complaint to the Superintendent of Police, Murshidabad. The police personnel caught the victim by his clothe and started beating him and dragged the victim to their parked vehicle. The police personnel took the victim to the Islampur police station and detained him in the lock up of the said police station. The witnesses of the incident were; Mr. Linton Seikh, Mainul Seikh, Abdul Kadir and Babu Seikh, who were present in the said police station at that time to see Mr. Pintu Seikh. The police personnel threatened the victim that he would be implicated into false cases. Mr. Sandip Sen threatened the victim and other witnesses; Mr. Linton Seikh, Mainul Seikh, Abdul Kadir and Babu Seikh that all would be implicated into false charges. Mr. Mijanur Rahman later released from the Islampur police station on 17.2.2013.

 

On 18.02.2013, the perpetrator police personal Mr. Sandip Sen, allegedly compelled Mr. Pintu Seikh to withdraw his complaint by obtaining false and fabricated documents from him. Mr. Sandip Sen even threatened Mr. Pintu Seikh and his family by saying that they would be finished if they further try to lodge a complaint against him.

 

On 19.02.2013, Mr. Mainul Seikh, the brother of the victim, on behalf of the victim lodged a written complaint before the Superintendent of Police, Murshidabad informing the incident of physical torture and threats upon the victim by the perpetrator police of Islampur police station. 

 Inline images 1

 Mr. Mijanur at MASUM office
Inline images 2
 
    Mr. Pintu 

 

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