PRESS RELEASE-Hubli-Dharwad Police terrorize human rights activist on #HumanRightsDay


We condemn the blatantly communal actions and harassment of human rights activists by B. A. Padmanayan (Police Commissioner, Hubli-Dharwad), S. M. Pratapan (DCP – Law & Order, Hubli-Dharwad) and Sachin Chalawadi (Police Inspector, Old Hubli Police Station)

 

We demand immediate suspension of these 3 police officers and their prosecution.

 

Praja Rajakiya Vedike applied for police permission on 3rd December, 2012 to hold a rally and public meeting in Hubli on 11th December 2012 along with other human rights organizations. The purpose of the rally is to press for an end to the human rights violations of ordinary people with a focus on the arrest of innocent Muslim youth and fabrication of false evidence against them.

 

The Old Hubli police station had given us permission in writing on 7th December 2012. When we approached Town Police Station on 7th December 2012, we were told to collect the permission letter from Police Commissioner’s office on 8th December 2012. When we contacted the Police Commissioner’s office on 8th December 2012, Mr. Ullikashi, the in-charge officer told us that the Commissioner was not in the office on 8th and 9th (9th being a Sunday (holiday)), and requested us to collect the permission letter on 10th December, Monday. On Sunday evening we visited Old Hubli Police Station on their request.

 

During our meeting with Mr. Sachin Chalawadi, Police Inspector told us that there is a leaflet being circulated in the area about this planned protest and that banned organizations such as SIMI are taking part in our rally, when we questioned him about these statements and clarified that Students Islamic Organization (SIO) which is one of organisation involved in this protest is not SIMI, (and has no links with SIMI) he took back his statement. But he continued to say that we can’t question police actions through public rally and the only way to question police actions is through the court of law. We stated that freedom of speech and expression is guaranteed by the constitution of India and that the citizens of India have rights to question police actions publicly.

 

On Monday morning we visited Mr. G. M. Desur (ACP, South, Hubli) after getting a phone call from him. He also stated that he can’t permit our rally as it will create a law and order problem in the area. He also stated that we can’t question police actions through public rally and the only way to question police actions is through court of law. He also stated that they can’t permit a public meeting near Ambedkar Statue, near Hubli Railway station except on Ambedkar Jayanthi day.

 

On Monday afternoon we went to the office of Police Commissioner of Hubli-Dharwad. After waiting for more than 2 hours, only one of us, Mr. Mallappa Kumbar was permitted to meet him, which is discriminatory as we have seen teams of multiple people meeting the Police Commissioner. Mr. B. A. Padmanayan (Police Commissioner, Hubli-Dharwad) and Mr. S. M. Pratapan (DCP – Law & Order, Hubli-Dharwad) harassed and terrorized Mr. Kumbar. They threatened to arrest him under charges of terrorism if he doesn’t stop working for the rights of Muslims. They told him that terrorists are using him. Their behavior was similar to that of goondas – using vulgar and abusive language, threatening to physically beat him. He was coerced into giving a letter stating that he came to know after interacting with Police that the purpose of our rally was not related to that organizations that are co-organizing this and hence he was taking back the request letter to hold the rally and public meeting. He was able to get of this ordeal only after the intervention of the media representatives.

 

What has happened is nothing but torture of a young activist in the office of Police Commissioner by highest ranking police officials. It is ironic that this happened on the International Human Rights Day. The Hubli police have acted at the behest of communal forces to suppress the legitimate dissent by the religious minorities and secular activists to end communal-bias by police. Hubli-Dharwad police is misusing their power to isolate Muslim community from dalit, backward class, progressive, sexual minority and other marginalized sections of society and break the unity of secular forces.

 

We demand immediate suspension of all 3 police officers and their prosecution for their communal and illegal actions.

 

Yours faithfully

 

Elavarthi Manohar

Convenor, Praja Rajakiya Vedike

Phone: 96322234609483950202

 

Press Release- Serial Hunger strike by 50 tribals of Gadchiroli district incarcerated at the Nagpur Central Prison. #Humanrightsday


( ABOVE IS THE POSTER MADE BY INMATES

Around 50 tribals of Gadchiroli district incarcerated at the Nagpur Central Prison as political prisoners have commenced a serial hunger strike from 10thDecember, International Human Rights Day to 21st December 2012 

These tribal prisoners have consistently protested since the last 2 years against the failure of the judicial process and high handedness of the local district police. It is not a coincidence that Shri. R.R. Patil, the State home Minister is also the guardian minister of Gadchiroli district and all such violations of Human Rights are happening under his very own patronage. In April 2011, Shri. Patil while replying to a question raised by Ms. Shobatai Fadnavis had promised the State Legislative Council that he would review all cases of tribals arrested under charges of naxalism in Gadchiroli. However, there has been no intent to fulfill this promise in the past 21 months.

Along with this demand the protesting tribals have also raised the following grievances:

  1. The practice of the Gadchiroli police to re-arrest tribals immediately after their release from prison still continues (See attachment No.2). Despite numerous petitions from prisoners and civil rights organizations this violation of Human rights goes on unabated.
  2. Inability of the State administration to inaugurate the Gadchiroli prison (See attachment No.3). Although this prison has been completed since the past 2 years, the government has still not started it. Hence tribals of Gadchiroli are incarcerated in the prisons of Nagpur, Amravati and Chandrapur– prisons which are more than 150 to 300 kms from the trial courts. Resultantly, these tribals are not being produced before the trial courts for the past 23 months. This distance has also caused their family links to be severed.
  3. The practice of handcuffing undertrials on their way to court also still continues, despite the Supreme Court directives against its use (See attachment No.4). Recently, due to this illegal practice four undertrials were severely injured in a road accident. However the responsible police officials are yet to be punished.
  4. A two year old boy born in prison to a tribal couple has been compelled to be separated from his father. While father was transferred to Nagpur prison, his mother remains at Amravati prison despite numerous requests pending in the trial court and jail authorities (See attachment No.5).
  5. The atrocities of the district police and especially the notorious anti-naxal C-60 commandoes go on unimpeded. A undertrial, Ramesh Naitam seeks justice in the custodial death case of his mother (See attachment No.6).

The protesting tribals have requested the State legislative bodies in session at Nagpur to look into the above issues on the occasion of International Human rights day.

On behalf of the protesting tribals,

Adv. Surendra Gadling- gsurendra12@yahoo.co.in

( attchments are in marathi if you need pl email )

Nagpur

 

We are WOMEN and Our VOICES COUNT!- #HumanRights Day-2012


Dear Friends,

Greetings from IWRAW Asia Pacific!

It is the 10th of December once again and we would like to wish you all a Happy Human Rights Day!

The theme this year – My Voice Counts –reminds us about the guarantees in the UDHR on freedom of speech, thought, belief and the right to participate in public life and impact policy and decision making.  It acknowledges and respects each individual’s voice and helps us to remember that it is about the person no matter our differences and that there are those of us whose voices are silenced or ignored because we lack the political power to make ourselves heard.

Yet it implies so much more in terms of vision:  it speaks towards a world of inclusion, diversity, respect for difference of opinion, free and open social debates, right to collective action and the recognition of the legitimate role of CSOs and NGOs in public policy and social change towards equality, non-discrimination, justice and peace, the right to take part in politics and hold office.

In the past year, we have seen numerous attempts to silence women’s voices, including the heartbreaking but ultimately inspiring story of Malala, a young girl nearly killed for expressing her right and the rights of young girls to education. For women, marginalisation and exclusion from representation and decision-making, spells danger and risk to their individual freedoms and collective rights. Examples have shown that exclusion of gender perspectives and obstacles to women’s participation in public and civic roles negatively impact democratic principles, good governance and rule of law. Women’s demands for equality in the family and in the workplace, and struggles to end domestic violence and sexual harassment at the workplace, recognition of the separate reality of women, need to be heard and acted upon by governments, society and private actors.

To pursue gender equality, it is important to ground and socialise the culture of international human rights norms, including an appreciation for the principles of substantive equality and non-discrimination established by the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). The ability to articulate these will strengthen their demands for equality, justice and recognition as a cohesive, political constituency; grounded ideologically in principles of democracy, peace, respect for rights and being knowledgeable in the practice of citizen governance.

We can celebrate the fact that CEDAW nears universal ratification with 187 ratifications, and further ratifications of its optional protocol (OPCEDAW).  The CEDAW state dialogue process and the OPCEDAW mechanism is a way for women’s voices to be heard by their states and supported by the global standards practices of the member states of CEDAW articulated by the recommendations of the CEDAW Committee and challenges states to prioritise and act in compliance with international law to address violations to women’s human rights.

64 years ago, this day would have been celebrated very differently. But today, we are lucky to have successes that we can commemorate. It is a good time for all of us to reflect on the good and the bad and continuously challenge ourselves to think of creative and innovative rights-based approaches to achieve our human rights goals to have a better future together.

In the coming year IWRAW Asia Pacific will undertake efforts to strengthen women’s voices in public policy and decision making through  specific projects including one to strengthen the voices of young feminists in Asia Pacific, supported by the UN Women Gender Equality Fund.

There is still a lot of work to be done so let’s continue as a global women’s movement, seeking to make governments, families, business more accountable in ensuring promotion, protection and realisation of human rights
On this day, IWRAW Asia Pacific congratulates and thanks courageous men and women who have fought and are still fighting for the right to express our thoughts and feelings about the world and who fight for the rights and freedoms inherent in our shared humanity. We raise our voices in support of this struggle – We are WOMEN and Our VOICES COUNT!

Warm wishes,

The IWRAW Asia Pacific team

10 December 2012

 

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