International shooter Varsha Tomar’s husband held for dowry harassment #Vaw

Suraj Chaudhary, husband of international shooter Varsha Tomar, was arrested here for dowry harassment, police said Thursday

May 31, 2013

He was presented in the court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (ACJM) Rajesh Sharma.

He was sent to police custody for one day.

“We are interrogating accused for recovery of jewellry and other valuables given at the time of marriage by victim’s parents,” investigation officer Balwan Singh Gulia told IANS.

A case of dowry harassment, criminal intimidation and criminal breach of trust was registered against Tomar’s husband, Suraj Chaudhary and her mother-in-law, Tushtata Chaudhary, was registered Wednesday at DLF City Phase I police station.

Tomar, won several gold and silver medals in national and international shooting events, said in her complaint that she was not allowed to go for practice sessions

Tomar married Chaudhary, a native of Uttar Pradesh and a Noida-based lawyer, in December 2011.

At the time of marriage, the first information report FIR said, Tomar’s in-laws promised her that she could pursue her shooting career but they stopped her from stepping out of the house.

Suraj lives with his brother in Noida and his accused mother is living at their ancestral village in Shyamli district of Uttar Pradesh.

According to police, complainant Varsha Tomar is living in Value Estate here on Gurgaon-Faridabad road.


Dowry Death: Body of 25 year old Jamila Khatun with several cut marks found on her body and neck found near a pond.

Dec 28, 2012   Madhubani


Action Taken: Alam was arrested on Thursday afternoon. His family members have fled the village.

The body of a 25-year-old woman was found on Thursday near a pond at Sapta village under the jurisdiction of Rahika police station, sparking speculations of murder prompted by demands for dowry.

The deceased has been identified as Jamila Khatun. She was married to Sapta resident Mohammed Alam. Sources said her husband and in-laws had been allegedly putting pressure on her to cough up a dowry of Rs 2 lakh.

Police said several cut marks were found on her body and neck. “The body has been sent for post-mortem to Madhubani Sadar Hospital,” said superintendent of police Ranjit Mishra, adding that a case of dowry death has been lodged under IPC Section 304(B) and Section 302.

He said: “No arrest has been made yet. It is too early to comment on the cause of death.”

Source: The Telegraph Dec. 27 2012


#India- Girl honoured for stand on dowry #goodnews

DEHRA DUN, December 19, 2012

The Uttarakhand Police on Tuesday honoured a girl for her refusal to marry a man whose family was demanding dowry from her parents.

Kavita was to tie the knot with Mukesh on November 29 but in the course of a pre-wedding ritual on November 25 the man’s family demanded a dowry of Rs. 1 lakh from the girl’s parents, who expressed their inability to pay the amount.

This angered Kavita’s prospective in-laws who threatened to snap the marriage deal if they did not receive the amount, the police said. Kavita then broke her silence and refused to marry into a “greedy” family, they said.

‘Bold step’

Praising the girl for her bold step, I-G (Law & Order) Ram Singh Meena offered her a cheque for Rs. 5,100, a shawl and a bouquet as a token of appreciation at a function here in the presence of senior police officers.

“Kavita’s brave act of refusal to marry a man from a greedy family is exemplary and should inspire other girls caught in similar situations,” Mr. Meena said addressing the gathering. – PTI


I am Sumita from Chennai. My husband and in laws harass me for dowry. He refuses to live with me… #Vaw

I am Sumita from Chennai. My husband and in laws harass me for dowry. He refuses to live with me…

Dec 04, 2012   Chennai,

Action Taken: Sumita has been advised to immediately get in touch with legal aid center in Chennai. The details have been email to her.

My name is Sumita (Name Changed). i got married nearly three years back to an IRS officer who is currently posted in chennai.

From the day one i am facing mental harassment from my husband and in laws since i refused to transfer my property to his name. He bad mouth about me and my family to his colleagues and relatives. he sends messages which are in very derogatory manner. He’s been refusing to live with me. I waited with patience and tried all means for a reunion. but nothing turned out to be positive. i’ve been facing all these problems only since i refused to transfer my property. Till date he has not paid even a single penny for me. We both are now staying in the same station,that is in chennai, but he’s refusing to take house for me. i am suffering mentally.

Source: Direct Report from Victim

#India-Illegal ads on #Google in contravention PCPNDT ACT


Corporate communication

Google, India

2 November 2012

Complaint—Regarding illegal ads on Google in contravention PCPNDT ACT

The Pre-Conception Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act has banned the promotion or advertisement of services that allows one to choose the sex of one’s baby. Yet, Google is carrying advertisements of  the link of IVF that leads to websites that offer these services. Each time a person clicks on the ad, these companies makes money.

The Indian law against sex selection is comprehensive.   Section 22 defines advertisement and Section 26 states the penalties for violation by Companies.  They are given below:

Section 22:  Prohibition of advertisement relating to pre-natal determination of sex and punishment for contravention.

1.    No person, organization, Genetic Counseling Centre, Genetic Laboratory or Genetic Clinic, including clinic, laboratory or centre having ultrasound machine or imaging machine or scanner or any other technology capable of undertaking determination of sex of foetus or sex selection shall issue, publish, distribute, communicate or cause to be issued, published, distributed or communicated any advertisement, in any form, including Internet, regarding facilities of pre-natal determination of sex or sex selection before conception available at such centre, laboratory, clinic or at any other place.
2.    No person or organization including Genetic Counselling Centre, Genetic Laboratory or Genetic Clinic shall issue, publish, distribute, communicate or cause to be issued, published, distributed or communicated any advertisement in any manner regarding pre-natal determination or preconception selection of sex by any means whatsoever, scientific or otherwise.
3.    Any person who contravenes the provisions of sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and with fine which may extend to ten thousand rupees.

Explanation.—For the purposes of this section, “advertisement” includes any notice, circular, label, wrapper or any other document including advertisement through Internet or any other media in electronic or print form and also includes any visible representation made by means of any hoarding, wall-painting, signal, light, sound, smoke or gas.

26. Offences by companies.

(1) Where any offence, punishable under this Act has been committed  by a company, every person who, at the time the offence was committed was in charge of, and was responsible to, the company for the conduct of the business of the company, as well as the company, shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly: Provided that nothing contained in this sub-section shall render any such person liable to any punishment, if he proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge or that he had exercised all due diligence to prevent the commission of such offence. (2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), where any offence punishable under this Act has been committed by a company and it is proved that the offence has been committed with the consent or connivance of, or is attributable to any neglect on the part of, any director, manager, secretary or other officer of the company, such director, manager, secretary or other officer shall also be deemed to be guilty of that offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly. Explanation.–For the purposes of this section,– (a) “company” means anybody corporate and includes a firm or other association of individuals, and

(b) “director”, in relation to a firm, means a partner in the firm.

The Indian Parliament enacted a special law because the medical community was not self-regulating these serious violations of medical ethics. The practice of sex selection is prohibited while foetal sex determination is regulated.

The PCPNDT Act applies to advertisements and content that advertises sex selection or foetal sex determination  methods/procedures/techniques.  Any form of advertising in India that promotes techniques, products or procedures of sex selection, sex determination is a violation of the law.

In 2008, theSupreme Court of India had served notices to you,  yet  violations of the law continue with impunity and  in response Google had issued a statement saying  “The Google advertising program is managed by a set of policies which we develop based on several factors, including legal requirements and user experience. In India, we do not allow ads for the promotion of prenatal gender determination or preconception sex selection. We take local laws extremely seriously and will review the petition carefully.”

But once again sex selection ads are mushrooming in your search engine in India  and the   continued violation in the Indian Internet space by  your company is  shocking.

Although the google policy when you click here


Product Allowed? Details
Dowry requests  Not allowed Google doesn’t allow ads or landing pages that promote dowry requests or the offering or sale of dowry. “Dowry” means any property or valuable security given by the bride to the groom for marriage.
Doctor, lawyer, or accountant services  Not allowed Google doesn’t allow ads for services offered by doctors, lawyers, or accountants.
Gender or sex selection  Not allowed Google doesn’t allow ads or landing pages that promote the pre-natal determination of the gender of a child, or pre-conception selection of sex.
Infant food, milk substitutes, feeding bottles  Not allowed Google doesn’t allow ads or landing pages that promote or encourage the use of infant food, milk substitutes, or feeding bottles.

When  you  search of gender selection or sex selection on your search engine  you  get a sponsored ad

and when you  click the link you get
and further page says
There are more sites on google search as well violating the law like
wherein you can also order the gender selection kit online

I demand you immediately remove gender /sex selection ads from  google search engine in India

Adv Kamayani Bali Mahabal, for Forum against Sex Selection (FASS) Mumbai


cc-  1) Director, PNDT Division, New Delhi

2) Cybercrime cell,  Mumbai


Jayalalitha Achievements- Promoting and Validating Dowry

Dear all

A Full page ad in Times of India glared us today , larger than life Jayalalitha‘s Portrait and telling us her one year of achievements.

1. Rice at no cost

2. 4 grams of Gold for Thirumangalayam and Fianncial Assistance for women of marriageable age.  

WHAT ???

This adds legitimacy to Dowry, which is illegal and falls within , r Article 4-A- of the Dowry Prohibition Act , 1961

4-A. BAN ON ADVERTISEMENT-If any person,-

(a) offers, through any advertisement in any newspaper, periodical, journal or through any other media, any share in his property or if any money or both as a share in any business or other interest as consideration for the marriage of his son or daughter or any other relative.

(b) prints or publishes or circulates any advertisement referred to Cl. (a), he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months, but which may extend to five years, or with fine which may extend to fifteen thousand rupees:

Provided that the Court may, for adequate and special reasons to be recorded in the judgment, impose a sentence of imprisonment for a term of less than six months.

How India Turned Me Into a Feminist- aussiegirlinindia


I have a confession to make, I am a feminist. Nine months traveling through India has made me a feminist and this is me coming out of the closet.

I have always considered myself to be egalitarian, striving for equality rather than subjugation of one gender over another. Then I spent 9 months backpacking across India and I now believe equality is not possible nor something that women should strive for in India.  To be equal to a man here is asking too little, and the women of India deserve so much more.

In my observations here in India rapists, murderers, paedophiles and child traffickers are quietly (and sometimes not so quietly) condoned to ensure that women are kept in their place and made to feel guilty for trying to say or do otherwise. Its not the same as it is in the comfort of a western country like Australia (yes there are rapists, murderers and misogynists there too though), but the scale and indifference here in India is at a level that has made me sometimes feel physically ill. I can no longer fight for equality, women need to fight for so much more here because the cultural change required needs to permeate through over 1.2 billion people. No easy task.

I am not a man-hater, quite to the contrary I enjoy and seek out the company of men, but I do find the Indian man a peculiar one to understand as I discussed in my rather contentious blog post Decoding the Indian Man. So now I think its time to say what I have observed of the Indian woman.

She is in danger.

She is in grave danger because behaviour that puts her at risk is practised everyday and readily accepted under the name of culture.

I picked up the paper the other day, on one page was a story of a woman who had been gang raped but the police didn’t accept her statement because she was in a pub and somehow that means she “asked for it”. The next page had a story about a woman who had died from burns to her body but the court wasn’t sure whether to accept her police statement that alleged her husband had inflicted the burns because she had previously told them (whilst her husband was in the room) that the burns were a result of her spilling a cup of tea on herself (she died from these wounds so I want to know just how big that cup of tea was). Then the next page had another story about a woman who was brain damaged because her husband had allegedly rammed a screwdriver up her nose because he didn’t think he got a big enough dowry from her family (dowries are outlawed in India).  This a normal day in India. I now think twice before even picking up a newspaper because it is just too upsetting.

Women of the Village (taken near Jaisalmer, Rajasthan)

The violence and maltreatment of women begins long before they are even born.  Female foeticide is  believed to be rife despite pre-natal sex determination being a criminal offence.  According to the 2011 Census there are 940 females for every 1000 males, up from 933 in 2001, but this number was 972 in 1901. When you consider it is well below in some populous states Uttar Pradesh (908) and Delhi (866) and a horrifying 618 in Daman and Diu, only two states buck the trend; Kerala (1084) and Pondicherry (1038). More disturbing, the overall gender ratio of 940 is actually lower when you look at children between 0-6 years of age at 914.  The girls are being murdered early in life and whilst pre-natal sex determination is illegal in India it is believed  to still be heavily practised.

Why are the girls being killed? Because they are considered to be a burden  in the form of dowries and potential shame on the family. It is apparently less shameful to murder a girl than to have one who may possibly grow up and disappoint your morals sometime in the future.

Unfortunately, the murder of women doesn’t stop in their youth, women are still killed in the name of “honour” (where it is believed they have bought shame on their family) or for providing insufficient dowries (once again something that is banned). The statistics are mind-boggling, quoting a Reuters article :

“According to the U.N. Population Fund, around 5,000 women are victims of “honour” killings worldwide every year, while India’s National Crimes Record Bureau says 8,391 brides – one every hour – were murdered over dowry-related issues in 2010.”

So about 13 women a day are killed in the name of “honour” and one an hour because her family did not provide enough money and gifts to take her “off their hands” in marriage.  It is believed that in many of these cases they are sanctioned by the police, and not generally considered as murders or serious crimes.  This is how little a woman’s life is valued in the heartland of India.
Even if the girl is “taken” in marriage and survives, what kind of life is there for her in many parts of India?

For many they are “married off” long before they are ready, for those women between the age of 20-24, 43% were married before they were 18 years of age.   It is estimated that 40% of all child brides in the world are in India, that is 4,000,000 girls married before the age of 18 this year. These are just statistics but I have seen it first hand whilst visiting a small village outside of Jaisalmer only a few weeks ago.  A young girl was working with her father making carpets, she couldn’t have been older than 15 years yet she had the customary bindi and nose rings to indicate marriage.  As we were leaving our guide told us that she had given birth to a child only 20 days earlier.

So why are girls married so young, Put simplistically it seems to be partly due to cultural norms and partly due to education.  Changing cultural norms is very difficult in any culture or environment, but education is something that could be improved upon.  However in a country so wide and dispersed as India, reaching the population to be educated is a challenge, and encouraging them to actually send their girls to school is another cultural norm to be overcome.

According to the 2011 Census in India, 74% of the population is literate but only 65% of women are. At its best, in Kerala nearly 92% of women are literate. At its worst in Rajasthan less than 53% of women are literate (yet over 80% of men are).  There is a clear disparity between valuing the education of men above women.  Where education is concerned I don’t believe equality is enough to seek out, the entire population needs to be educated for there to be a chance of anything changing quickly for the girls and women.

Whilst much of these issues are more prevalent in rural areas, there are still dangers for women in the more progressive urban areas.  Sexual harassment and abuse is also rife something that is not always taken seriously.  The media has developed language that belittles the crimes to minor issues and essentially removes the victim from the crime.  There is no sexual harassment, molestation or other assaults in India, it is simply “Eve Teasing”.  It is not harmless teasing, it is condescending, degrading and illegal harassment.

Some efforts have been made to alleviate the harassment, for example women’s only carriages in trains, but that is just masking the problem.  When men are not made accountable for their actions and the crimes are not viewed and reported seriously, I can’t see how the harassment will end.  Whilst I have fortunately not encountered any serious physical harassment in my travels, I have certainly experienced very uncomfortable staring and I am always covered from neck to ankle, particularly in smaller towns.

To make matters worse, in many cases it is the women who are blamed not the perpetrators of the crimes. In a recent case in Gurgaon (near Delhi), a woman was abducted on her way home from work and gang-raped by 7 men.  The police reaction was to announce that all women in Gurgaon should not leave their house after 8pm at night.  It would seem to me to be much safer for the women to require all men to be locked indoors by nightfall instead, but somehow the victim has become the one to blame and be punished.

Once again the media also denies its responsibility in reporting these cases accurately and with the seriousness they deserve, as the Times of India notes in itsarticle on this rape case:

“In recent times, TOI has tried to avoid carrying disturbing reports of rape and suicide, especially of minors, on front page (even today we have put one such report inside). While our primary duty is to report news without attaching any value judgment, we also believe it is our responsibility to spare our readers the trauma such reports cause (to the extent possible).”

A widely read newspaper wouldn’t want to disturb its readers with the truth!

In another recent case in Kolkata police actively tried to avoid registering a complaint of gang rape because the victim had been in a pub when she was abducted and raped by 6 men, and then delayed making a complaint for four days because she was so traumatised by the event.  It is alleged that the police actually mocked her. I would like to see how they would feel immediately after 6 men had abducted them at gunpoint and raped them.

The cases go on and on, apparently in India rape is not rape if she wore a skirt, bared her arms, had a bra strap showing, was not a virgin, had been married, attended a bar, was out after dark…the list goes on and on. In my opinion, and from what I remember of law school, if a man (or multiple men) penetrate a woman with any part of their body against her will then they have raped her. If they can’t “control” themselves then this is their problem that requires psychiatric treatment and not the “fault” of the person they have harmed. Yet in India, this concept seems just too difficult for those in authority to understand or take seriously.

Even in Parliament nothing is sacred.  Three ministers in Karnataka (the state that includes Bangalore) were allegedly seen to be watching pornography on a mobile phone during a sitting. They did all resign and were considered to be “responsible’ for doing so. More disturbingly, one of the ministers was responsible for the portfolio of Women and Child Development. With this level of responsibility allocated to them, may God help the women and children of Karnataka.

I don’t offer any solutions, once again here I am sitting in India wondering where on earth one can begin to help or make a change for the women.  The women of India certainly look miserable, in all my travels seeing mostly women from villages or poorer backgrounds, it was so rare to see a woman with a smile on her face. The reasons above are probably only scratching the surface as to why, but this is what I have observed and read.

In my opinion, the women of India deserve so much more then the lot they have been given, they work hard and are beautiful.  If only they were valued, appreciated and taken seriously.

So for these reasons I am now a feminist, loud and proud for beautiful women of India.



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