#West Bengal : HC orders CBI probe death of 3 women in gurap shelter home #Vaw #Rape #Murder

Blood lust mars India’s Tiananmen moment #Vaw #delhigangrape

Kanchan Chakrabarty : Kolkata, Tue Feb 19 2013,

Dissatisfied with the CID investigation into the deaths of two women of a welfare home in Gurap in Hooghly district, the Calcutta High Court today handed over the probe to the CBI.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Joymalya Bagchi directed the CID to hand over documents related to the case immediately to the central investigating agency.

The order comes as a blow to the Trinamool Congress government — this is the first time during its tenure that the high court has ordered a CBI probe on a state matter.

In July last year, the body of 30-year-old Guria was found buried in the backyard of Rehabilitation Centre for Mentally Ill Persons (Women) run by NGO Dulal Smriti Samsad. Police initially took up the investigation, which was then handed over to the CID. The CID found that two other women had also died in the home earlier. The bodies were found beside the Damodar river in Jamalpur in Burdwan district.

The CID filed a chargesheet against 11 persons in connection with the killing of Guria, but remained silent on the death of the other two women — Ranjana Devi and Sunita Paswan. A PIL was filed by advocate Basabi Roychoudhury in the Calcutta High Court last year demanding a CBI probe and compensation for the family members of the victims.

During the previous hearing about a week ago, the division bench questioned the state’s counsel on the findings of the CID in connection with the death of Ranjana and Sunita and asked the agency to file a report and case diary in court.

Today public prosecutor Manjit Singh placed the CID report, which did not give any details about the probe into the two deaths. After going through the report, the bench questioned Singh about several aspects of the investigation but Singh failed to reply. Singh said the investigating officer was busy dealing with some important case and he was not in Kolkata now.

At this, the division bench pulled up the CID for not giving due importance to the probe and transferred the probe to the CBI.

Advocate Subrata Mukhopadhyay, counsel of the petitioner, said the women had been tortured and raped in the home. Those who had raised their voice had been killed. The few women of the home who had given statements to the CID said that they had been raped there. But the CID did not investigate this properly, Mukhopadhyay said.

On the plea for compensation, the division bench said it would hear the matter after four weeks. Meanwhile it asked the state to explain its stand on compensation.


Bombay HC-slams cops for insensitive report- Shelter Home Horror #Rape #Vaw

Mankhurd shelter home horror

Appoints a three-member committee for a fresh probe into allegations of negligence, sexual abuse and torture

Yogesh Sadhwani

Posted On Tuesday, November 06, 2012

A week after Mumbai Mirror reported on allegations of rape, negligence and torture at the state-run shelter for women, Navjeevan Mahila Vasti Gruh, Bombay High Court disapproved the probe report submitted by deputy commissioner of police, Crime Branch, on grounds that it lacked sensitivity.

DCP Ambadas Pote, in his report, denied allegations made by an inmate of the Mankhurd home, in the interview carried by Mumbai Mirror on October 29.

Expressing surprise at the report, HC has now appointed a three-member panel to probe the allegations afresh.

The panel comprises Dr Asha Bajpai from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, renowned counsellor Dr Harish Shetty, and Rashmi Karandikar, superintendent of police.

In his report, Pote stated that his Special Investigating Team recorded statements of around 100 persons, including staff, inmates, social workers who routinely visit the home, and police personnel, and that none of them mentioned sexual abuse. He also stated that the inmates were given adequate food and were well taken care of.

Pote’s report was filed in HC, which is hearing a suo moto PIL after receiving an email from activist Purnima Upadhyay, who feared for the safety of women after reading the interview of an inmate who had escaped on October 27.

While government pleader Dhairyasheel Nalavade claimed that no such incidents occurred at the home, advocate Shubhada Khot, the amicus curie, pointed out several flaws in investigation.

The division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Nitin Jamdar said that the investigation was carried out in an insensitive manner. “Where are the women now? Are they still under the same caretakers?” asked HC. When informed that the women were indeed under the same caretakers, HC said, “Tell us, what action are you taking against the caretakers referred to by the woman?”

The bench stated that the police officer merely looked at the specific allegation of “armed men barging into the home, randomly picking up girls and raping them at knife-point”. The court pointed out that the video-taped interview revealed that rowdy elements would visit the premises and on their request woman caretakers would ask inmates to go out with them. Those who dared refuse, were tortured.

“What does this mean, what more you want?” the judges asked Nalavade, expressing surprise that no FIR was registered. “One statement of one witness is sufficient to lodge an FIR, this statement contains more than sufficient material.”

Further pointing out that “apparently many wrong things are going on there” HC stated that the “State authority should have appointed a sensitive person to investigate such a case”.

Meanwhile, in his affidavit, Ujjwal Uke, principal secretary, Women and Child Development Department, admitted that with a capacity for 100, the home which had 298 inmates, was overcrowded. He admitted that around 100 women continue to languish there despite release orders, due to lack of escorts to send them home.

The next hearing is on November 26.


#Mumbai High Court orders probe – Armed men would come, pick women and rape them #VAW

Hours after Mumbai Mirror report…

CM, High Court order probe into horror ‘shelter’

Crime Branch to investigate allegations of rape at Mankhurd women’s home, HC serves notices to state welfare department, police chief

 Yogesh Sadhwani, Mumbai Mirror

Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Tuesday ordered the Mumbai Crime Branch to probe allegations of rape at the state-run protective shelter in Mankhurd following a Mumbai Mirror report. The Bombay High Court, too, took suo motu notice of the issue and directed various state agencies to respond by November 5.

A Mumbai Mirror report on Monday quoted an inmate of the Navjeevan Mahila Vastigruh, a protective shelter for women rescued under the Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act, as saying that the women at the home were starved and often raped by outsiders.

The 24-year-old was one of the 23 women who escaped from the home on Saturday. “The chief minister has ordered a Crime Branch inquiry,” said Amitabh Rajan, additional chief secretary, home department. “I have asked Commissioner Satyapal Singh to investigate and get to the bottom of the case.

Another issue that has come up is the lack of proper supervision at the home.” Rajan said he has also asked Ujwal Uke, principal secretary, Women and Child Development Department, to conduct a thorough departmental inquiry.

The Crime Branch will handle the investigation in a sensitive manner so that the women at the home are encouraged to speak up fearlessly, Rajan assured.

Following the chief minister’s instructions, the Crime Branch has formed a special team, which has been asked to investigate the matter and report to Joint Commissioner (Crime) Himanshu Roy within a week. “We have formed a special investigation team headed by the DCP, detection,” said Roy. “He will be assisted by a team that will include women police officers. They will begin their inquiry immediately and submit a report to me in a week’s time.”

By Monday afternoon, the Bombay High Court had taken suo motu cognisance of the case. Court officials told Mumbai Mirror that notices were sent to the Women and Child Welfare Department, city police commissioner, the Mankhurd home’s superintendent and also a High Court-appointed committee.

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Mohit Shah will hear the Public Interest Litigation on November 5.

The Women and Child Welfare Department, which did not respond for the report on Sunday night despite repeated attempts, claimed on Monday that the woman quoted by Mumbai Mirror was lying about the conditions at the home.

“The Mumbai Mirror report about the state of the women’s home is based on lies,” a district women and child welfare officer said in a statement. “The report has mentioned that armed men often barge into the home and rape the women. No such incident has happened.

Regarding the conditions, the women in the home get food and tea twice a day, which is in accordance with government norms.”

The inmate, however, said any girl in the home would say the same thing she said as that was the reality. She said she was glad that her revelations led the chief minister and the High Court’s intervention.

“I am glad I was of some help to the other girls,” she said. “I was lucky to have escaped from that hell hole. I only hope that those who are still there get a better life and do not suffer any more.”

#India-Police harassment and slow judicial proceedings leading to suicidal tendency among terror accused


By Tariq Abdul Muhaimin10/20/12


Two different cases of alleged police harassment in relation to terror accused, one languishing in jail and another released on bail, have sparked a sense of frustration and distrust in the Muslim community.

The Jamia Teacher’s Solidarity Association (JTSA) recently released a report ‘Framed, Damned, Acquitted: Dossiers of a Very Special Cell’ highlighting the plight of 16 Muslim youth who were arrested on various terror charges by the Delhi Special Cell and later acquitted by the court due to lack of evidence. Simultaneously, the tales of two other terror accused have aggravated this sense of anxiety within the community.

The tale of Abdul Razzaq alias Masood:

Abdul Razzaq alias Masood, one of the accused in Dilsukhnagar Sai Baba temple blast case, committed suicide at his house in Mehdipatnam on 10th October 2012. Being a native of Malapally, Nizamabad district, he was residing at Mehdipatnam in Hyderabad after being released on bail in 2007. In the suicide note which was found at the spot, he cited police harassment and slow proceedings as the reason behind his decision.

Speaking to Newzfirst, Khalid Saifullah, one of the defence counsels in the Sai Baba temple blast case said “I reached the spot immediately after the suicide took place. Although I did not get a chance to read the suicide note myself, the person (neighbour) who read the note to the police spoke to me and told me what was written in it”.

Recollecting the exact words told by the neighbour, he said “In the suicide note it was written – ‘I am undergoing intense police harassment since I have been released on bail… For more than 3 years I was in jail and since the last 4 years I am outside with many restrictions imposed, but my case is not moving towards any conclusion… The state police and the intelligence agencies are all harassing me; I want to make this known to everyone… I am innocent and have stayed in Jail; I don’t want to go again… I am also being implicated for Mumbai blasts… I advise all the youths who are booked under false cases to never surrender to the police… I want to make this known to everyone, so I am committing suicide…”

While his father said “My son can never commit suicide”, the post-mortem report is eagerly awaited.

“There is no question of him committing suicide. Only the police knows how he died, but he cannot commit suicide; this much I know and I can say,” said Muqeet (brother of Abdul Razzaq) who is also a corporator in Nizamabad, while speaking to Newzfirst.

“The police have carried out many fake encounters till now. The Batla house encounter is the best example for you; it not difficult for them to finish him off in this manner,” Muqeet said in frustration.

“It is not the question of one person committing suicide, there may be many others in peril. The question is – why does a person end up taking this decision even when his religion strictly prohibits it. It is a strategy of the police to implicate one person with so many cases that even if he is acquitted in one of them, he is still under immense pressure because of the other pending cases. The law and order situation in this country continues to fail us,” said Khalid Saifullah.

Abdul Razzaq’s case 835/2002 was registered at Saroor Nagar police station and investigation was carried out by Criminal Investigation Department (CID). Dated 21 November 2002, the charge sheet filed against him includes charges under sections 302, 307, 153A and 120B of Indian Penal Code (IPC), sections 3, 4 and 5 of Explosive Substances Act (ESA) and section 3 (3) of Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA).

“During the blast in 2002, my brother was in Dubai. He did not even know that he was accused in the case. When he went to renew his passport in Dubai, they said that there is a case against his name and he will have to go to the Indian Embassy in Delhi. So he came here to surrender and get his passport renewed. When he arrived here, the police arrested him from the airport but they said that he was found with explosives at a house in Delhi,” Muqeet said.

“Out of the ten accused in this case, two have died in alleged fake encounters by the police,” said advocate Khalid.

Disheartened over the slow and unresponsive criminal justice system in India, when asked whether the family was planning any further legal action, Muqeet said “We are planning to take a legal action but I am not too hopeful. Even if we go to court and demand an investigation into the matter, the court will hand over the charge to police which will never probe impartially against itself”.

The tale of Tariq Qasmi:

On 1st October, Tariq Qasmi, a terror accused languishing in Lucknow jail, had written a letter to his counsel saying that he and other inmates have no option other than committing suicide.

“I am also a human and an innocent patriotic citizen, who has been falsely accused of terrorism under some nefarious conspiracies. Frustrated with unspeakable torture, at times we even mull committing suicide. After inhuman atrocities that we have been subjected to by jail officials, suicide appears as the only way out,” Qasmiwrote in the letter.

Tariq Qasmi is implicated in three different cases – one in Barabanki (crime no. 1891/2007), another in Lucknow (crime no. 547/2007) and a third one in Faizabad (crime no. 3398/2007). In all the three cases, apart from charges under different sections of IPC, he has been charged under sections 16, 18, 20 and 23 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and sections 3, 4, 5 and 6 of Explosive Substances Act (ESA).

“On 17th Dec 2007, reports in the media claimed that he was picked up from Rani Ki Sarai in Azamgarh on 12th December. However, his arrest was shown on 22nd December after Chowdhary Chand Pal Singh, a National Loktantrik Party (NLP) leader, threatened to immolate himself if Qasmi is not produced before 22nd Dec,” saidMohammad Shoaib, Qasmi’s advocate, while speaking to Newzfirst.

“When he went missing for 2 days, Qasmi’s grandfather Azhar Ali, filed a missing complaint on 14th Dec at the Rani Ki Sarai police station. He had also sent applications to the NHRC, state government, CM and Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court on the same day,” Shoaib added.

Due to massive protests by the people of Uttar Pradesh against his arrest, the then Mayawati government had formed a Commission to probe the arrests. Though the Commission has submitted its report to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on 3rd September 2012, the Government is yet to make the findings public.

“In a high security jail of Lucknow, they only get to see sunlight for 1 hour out of the 24 hours. In the night, the Jailer and deputy jailer come in a drunken state and hurl all kinds of abuses against the prisoners. It is a joke towards the Jail Manual. The letter which Qasmi wrote was on behalf of the other prisoners who asked him if there is a provision in Islam for committing suicide in such cases, and if there is why don’t we embrace it,” said Shoaib in disappointment.

Abdul Razzaq’s suicide note and Tariq Qasmi’s letter are indicative to the torture and mental pressure which most of the accused, especially in terror cases, are experiencing. It is a sad reflection on the Criminal Justice system that prevails.

“It is a strategy of the police that they implicate a person in so many cases that all your life you end up in jail because you are tried for different cases one after the other, which in turn go on for several years because the prosecution keeps extending the trial citing more time to produce witnesses,” a human rights activist belonging to the Forum advocating the release of innocents arrested in the name of terror, told Newzfirst on Anonymity.


13 policemen will face trial for charges of gang rape in the case of Vakapalli tribal women #Rape #Vaw

 AP High Court orders that 13 policemen will face trial for charges of gang rape in the case of Vakapalli tribal women.

The Vakapalli rape case has been coming up for hearing in the Andhra Pradesh High Court since the last three weeks.

Justice Seshasayana Reddy of the AP High Court on Thursday directed a lower court to conduct the trial against 13 cops for allegedly raping 11 tribal women in Vakapalli village of Visakhapatnam district in August 2007. The judge told the judicial first class magistrate of Paderu to conduct an identification parade of the accused and then proceed against them. The judge gave the verdict after hearing the plea of 21 policemen who sought quashing of proceedings against them in the crime.

Justice Seshasayana Reddy ruled that eight policemen who were part of a Contour Party were outside the village at the time of the offence and could not have committed the crime. It was alleged that the 11 tribal women were raped by the armed cops when they visited the place during combing operations against Naxalites on August 8, 2007. Earlier, the Crime Investigation Department had investigated the case and closed it citing lack of evidence. The victims challenged it before the magistrate and he ordered an investigation. The HC stayed the probe and the victims then approached the Supreme Court. The apex court in November 2010 asked the High Court to hear the case within six months.
While discharging the eight constables P. Ravi Kumar, K. Purnachander Rao, P. Pavan Kumar, B. Gangadhara Rao, K. Ram Babu, Ch. Suresh Babu, G. Muthyala Raju and S. Venkata Rao from the case, the judge directed judicial first class magistrate of Paderu to conduct proceedings against A. Ravi Kumar, D. Ravi, B. Ravi Kumar, D.V.R. Suresh, R. Srinu, K. Devullu, T. Prasad, Ch. Vijaya Kumar, S. Tata Babu, D. Simhachalam, R. Chandrasekhar, R. Devanadh and S. Srinivasa Rao.

Contempt case on CID chief

The High Court will hear an appeal on Friday by the CID challenging an order of a single judge directing the Registry to issue suo motu contempt proceedings against the CID chief S.V. Ramana Murthy. Earlier, Justice Ramesh Ranganathan granted an order by directing the registry to issue contempt proceedings against the DGP V. Dinesh Reddy and Ramana Murthy for suppressing facts before the court in a plea filed by senior IPS officer Umesh Kumar.

It may be recalled that in August 2007 eleven tribal women belonging to the tribal hamlet Vakapalli, Paderu Mandal, Visakhapatnam district were raped by twenty one police men who had come to the village as part of combing operations. The local police station and several functionaries of the government denied the charges of rape. Large scale mobilization by tribal and women’s groups forced the state to order an investigation by the CB-CID. However, the CBCID conducted a lackluster investigation and filed a report that it was a false case. Its main contention was that there were no injuries on the women, no semen stains and that the women were unable to identify the accused. Despite the negative report of the police, a junior woman magistrate of Paderu believed the tribal women and took cognizance of the case. The Magistrate wrote that rape can be perpetrated without leaving physical injuries and semen stains.   Within a week of the cognizance taken by the Magistrate, the accused police men petitioned the AP High Court and obtained a stay of proceedings. This stay came in 2008 and all proceedings came to a halt. After four years, the case has now come up for final hearing before Justice Seshasayana Reddy. Both the public prosecutor as well as the counsel for the policemen repeated in unison the same arguments about absence of injuries and medical evidence of sexual intercourse.

Senior Counsel Tarakam who appeared for the tribal women vehemently contended that absence of injuries and semen stains can be no bar for prosecution. How can eye witness evidence be disbelieved just because there was no medical evidence? He insisted that the court should believe the statements of the women in toto. He also argued that the victim women should not be made to bear the brunt of a deliberately defective investigation. One was not sure about the outcome of the case. Clearly, except oral testimonies, there was no other evidence.

What little evidence that was available was wiped out by the investigation. Against all these odds, Justice Seshasayana Reddy ordered in the women’s favour. Of the 21 policemen, he held that the trial will continue against 13 policemen and acquitted eight others. The eight were acquitted on the ground that they were part of a contour party and outside the village.

The 13 policemen will now have to face trial for charges of gang rape and atrocities under the SC ST Atrocities Act. The trial will not start immediately. The policemen will surely move the Supreme Court for another round of litigation.   But, as of today, there is the satisfaction of having convinced one judge that such stuff happens and that a ‘judicial decision’ has to be rendered with minimal evidence.


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