Six encounter cases in Manipur not genuine: Panel to SC

New Delhi, April 4, 2013, Agencies


A Supreme Court-appointed committee probing six cases of alleged extra-judicial killings in Manipur informed the court on Thursday that these were not genuine encounters and the victims, including a 12-year-old boy, did not have any criminal records.

A bench comprising Justices Aftab Alam and Ranjana Prakash Desai perused the committee’s report which said none of the six cases qualify as encounters and they are fake.

The committee, comprising of former Supreme Court judge Santosh Hegde, ex-CEC J.M. Lyngdoh and a senior police officer, has said in its report that the probe showed that none of the victims had any criminal records.

The bench said the report makes it clear that the guidelines on encounters laid down by the apex court in the Naga People’s Movement case was not followed.

Appropriate directions will be passed on the basis of the panel’s report on April 9, it said.

The Supreme Court on January 4, had decided to appoint the committee to hold an inquiry into the alleged fake encounter killings in Manipur.

The panel was set up to probe six cases of alleged extra- judicial killings in the Northeast State where a magisterial inquiry had raised questions on genuineness of the encounters.

The apex court had appointed the panel on a PIL filed by an association of the families of the alleged victims, seeking setting up of a special investigation team and direct inquiry into around 1,528 such cases.

The association had alleged in its plea that over 2,000 odd extra-judicial killings have taken place in the State, but no one has been held guilty till date.

It had alleged that innocent people with no criminal records have been killed by security forces and no proper investigation has been done in such cases.

The apex court while deciding to form the panel had said, “Magisterial inquiry does not inspire confidence as it is not satisfactory and none, including the Army personnel, appeared before it.”

It had, however, turned down the plea for SIT probe and also refused to go into the legality of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act which grants special powers to the security personnel in disturbed areas.

On July 4, 2012, the apex court had agreed to hear a similar plea for probe into alleged extra-judicial killings by BSF in the border area of West Bengal.

In that case, petitioner Bangla Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha, a Kolkata-based NGO, had alleged that there are more than 200 cases where BSF personnel indulged in extra-judicial killings and torture in the border area and those cases were never probed by the state police.

The NGO had alleged that instead of registering FIRs against the BSF personnel, these were registered against the deceased and the cases were closed on that basis.

SFI activist’s death in Kolkata : Protests break out in Chennai, New Delhi

POLITICS NEWS, Posted on Apr 03, 2013 a

New Delhi: Protesters took to the streets in New Delhi and Chennai after a Students Federation of India activist Sudipto Gupta was killed in Kolkata allegedly by the police during a crackdown in the city on Wednesday. The police tried to stop the demonstrators as they chanted slogans and marched with Gupta’s posters.

21 protestors were arrested in Chennai while police deployment was increased outside Banga Bhawan in New Delhi. Meanwhile, under pressure from opposition, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee termed the episode as “unfortunate”, but evaded a question on whether a judicial probe would be ordered as demanded by the CPI-M.

Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Derek O’Brien added a tragedy should not be politicised. “We should not politicise a tragedy. Chief Minister visited the family of the deceased and offered her condolences. It shows what she is made up of,” O’Brien said.

Gupta, a student of MA at Rabindra Bharati University, was admitted to a hospital with severe internal hemorrhage but later succumbed to his injuries. The activist was beaten up while he was being taken to the Presidency Jail, sources sai


Rescued from Mumbai brothels, 18 escape from Bengal shelter #Vaw

Nine were caught trying to catch city-bound Gitanjali Express

Jayatri Nag

As many as 18 girls, including two minors, ran away from a shelter home in Kolkata on Friday. These women, rescued from various brothels in KamathipuraareaofMumbai,weresenttoWestBengal for rehabilitation. Being Bangladeshi nationals, they were to be deported soon. While nine of them were caught trying to board Mumbaibound Gitanjali Express at Howrah station last night, others are still missing.
On Friday morning at 6 am, security guards attheAllBengalWomen’sUniononEliotRoad first noticed that the girls had escaped through a second-floor window of the home. They immediately informed the Park Street police. Police stations near the Indo-Bangladesh border and the GRP at Sealdah and Howrah stations were also alerted. After being caught, the nine women were produced in the court on Saturday.
“We have informed the sub-divisional police officers (SDPO) of the bordering districts about the matter. They, in turn, have informed the BSF,” said Pallab Kanti Ghosh, joint CP, Crime.
The girls reportedly told police that they escaped because they were being tortured at the rehabilitation home. One Sobha Seth said, “We were not given food. We had no other way but to flee.” Another girl, Sapna Singh, said, “Wewerebeatenupregularlyandtortured.We could not bear it anymore.”
State police, meanwhile rued that hundreds of Bangladeshi women and children trafficked to cities such as Mumbai and Bangalore were sent to West Bengal for rehabilitation just because they spoke Bengali. Last year in December alone, 350 Bangladeshis were sent to Bengal from Mumbai.
“We have repatriated more than 450 women and children to Bangladesh and sent back more than 100 to Mumbai. The Maharashtra police sent them to West Bengal without verifyingtheircitizenship.Thisisnotafairpractice because such a move puts huge pressure on 18 shelter homes run by the West Bengal government and 28 run by NGOs,” said an official of the Women and Child Development Department.


Sun TV Sexual Harassment Case- Response from Women Journalists #Vaw


The Board of Directors,

Sun TV Network Limited Corporate Office

Murasoli Maran Towers
73, MRC Nagar Main Road,  MRC Nagar,
Chennai – 600 028


*Sub: Response to Mr J.Ravindran re. Sexual Harassment Case at Sun TV*

Dear Board of Directors,

This is in response to the e-mail dated 28.03.2013 sent to us by Mr. J.
Ravindran, counsel for Sun TV, in which he claims that the allegations
against the company in our press statement, *Eclipsing Women’s Rights:
Sexual Harassment at Sun TV –  NWMI demands immediate reinstatement of
Woman Journalist* dated 28.30.13, are “totally false and baseless”.

We would like to bring to your notice the following:

1.      The “Code of Conduct” of the Company demands “Strict compliance
with applicable laws, rules and regulations. The Board and the senior
management are expected to comply with all applicable laws, rules and
regulations in letter and spirit.” However, Sun TV Ltd. appears to have
blatantly flouted the orders of the highest court of the land, namely
the “Vishaka
Guidelines  against Sexual Harassment at Workplace Guidelines and norms
laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Vishaka and Ors Vs. State of
Rajasthan and Others (JT 1997 (7) SC 384) (hereinafter the ‘Vishaka

2.      According to the Vishaka Guidelines, which is the prevailing law of
the land, “Sexual Harassment” is defined as the following:

“ Sexual harassment includes such unwelcome sexually determined behaviour
(whether directly or by implication) as: a) Physical contact and advances;
b) A demand or request for sexual favours; c) Sexually coloured remarks; d)
Showing pornography; e) Any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal
conduct of sexual nature.

Where any of these acts is committed in circumstances where-under the
victim of such conduct has a reasonable apprehension that in relation to
the victim’s employment or work whether she is drawing salary, or
honorarium or voluntary, whether in government, public or private
enterprise, such conduct can be humiliating and may constitute a health and
safety problem. It is discriminatory, for instance, when the woman has
reasonable grounds to believe that her objection would disadvantage her in
connection with her employment or work, including recruiting or promotion,
or when it creates a hostile work environment. Adverse consequences might
be visited if the victim does not consent to the conduct in question or
raises any objection thereto.”

3.      The Vishaka Guidelines further state: “It shall be the duty of the
employer or other responsible persons in work places or other institutions
to prevent or deter the commission of acts of sexual harassment and to
provide the procedures for the resolution, settlement or prosecution of
acts, of sexual harassment by taking all steps required.”

There is no evidence that this requirement has been complied with at the
Sun TV. Neither were preventive steps taken to ensure a conducive
workplace, nor were procedures in place for the resolution and settlement
of acts of sexual harassment at the workplace. This is illegal and in
contempt of the Hon’ble Supreme Court.

4.      The Vishaka Guidelines require that “an appropriate complaint
mechanism should be created in the employer’s organisation for redress of
the complaint made by the victim. Such complaint mechanism should ensure
time bound treatment of complaints.”

According to our information, such a complaints mechanism is not in place
at Sun TV Network.

5.      According to the Vishaka Guidelines, “The said complaints mechanism
should provide, where necessary, a Complaints Committee, a special
counsellor or other  support service, including the maintenance of
confidentiality. It must be noted that the Complaints Committee should be
headed by a woman and not less than half of its member should be women.
Further, to prevent the possibility of any undue pressure or influence from
senior levels, such Complaints Committee should involve a third party,
either NGO or other body who is familiar with the issue of sexual

6.      The Hon’ble Supreme Court is fully cognisant of the vulnerable
position of complainants and witnesses in complaints of sexual harassment
filed against superiors, and therefore lays down that, “In particular, it
should ensure that victims or witnesses are not victimized or discriminated
against while dealing with complaints of sexual harassment.”

We find that this principle has not been complied with in the present case
involving Ms Akila, the complainant. Far from a fair redressal of her
complaint, she has been further victimised by placing her under suspension
on grounds of complaints from other women employees, which strains
credulity in a workplace which is reportedly hostile to women employees due
to the actions of senior management.

7.      In compliance with the law of the land, we demand that an
Independent Inquiry be constituted. Since there was no existing Complaints
Committee, the Independent Inquiry Committee must be set up on the
guidelines under Vishakha mentioned in Point 5 above.

8.      Ms. Akila should be reinstated and allowed to perform her duties in
a conducive work environment. Mr V. Raja and Mr Vetrivendan should remain
under suspension pending the Independent Inquiry to ensure that the Inquiry
is genuinely unbiased and conducted without undue pressure.

We believe that these steps, while compliant with the prevailing law,
might also contribute to the adherence of the Sun TV Code of Conduct to
“conduct the business of the Company in accordance with applicable laws,
rules, regulations, highest standards of business ethics and to detect and
prevent unethical conduct of business.”

Sincerely yours,

The Working Council,

On Behalf of the Network of Women in Media, India

1.      Ammu Joseph, Bangalore

2.      Kalpana Sharma, Mumbai

3.      Laxmi Murthy, Bangalore

4.      Rajashri Dasgupta, Kolkata

5.      Sandhya Taksale, Pune

6.      Sameera Khan, Mumbai

7.      Sharmila Joshi, Mumbai

8.      Ranjita Biswas, Kolkata

9.      Malti Mehta, Ahmedabad

10.  K.A. Beena, Thiruvananthapuram

11.  Sonal Kellogg, Delhi

12.  Parul Sharma, Delhi

13.  Padmalatha Ravi, Bangalore

14.  Melanie Priya Kumar, Bangalore

15.  Chitra Ahanthem, Imphal

16.  Manjira Mojumdar, Kolkata

17. Kamayani Bali Mahabal, Mumbai


IMMEDIATE RELEASE- Eclipsing Women’s Rights: Sexual Harassment at Sun TV # Vaw

PRESS STATEMENT: 28 March 2013

NWMI demands immediate reinstatement of Woman Journalist

The Network of Women in Media, India, an independent forum of media
professionals across the country condemns the continued victimisation of a
complainant of sexual harassment, and demands her immediate reinstatement.
We also demand an independent inquiry into the case and the setting up -as
required by law- of formal mechanisms to redress sexual harassment at the
Chennai-based Sun TV.

The Background
S. Akila joined Sun TV Chennai in December 2011 as a news anchor/news
producer. Ever since she joined, V. Raja, the Chief Editor and Vetrivendhan,
the Reporters’ Co-ordinator indicated that the confirmation of her job and
subsequent pay rise depended on the ‘compromises’ she was willing to make.
This was apparently not the first time they had made such demands, but due
to the hostile and intimidating atmosphere at the office, few women had been
able to resist. As a result of her refusal to concede to their demands of
sexual favours in return for job security and pay hikes, her confirmation
remained pending even after completing the six-month probationary period.

Meanwhile, in November 2012, Ms Akila’s Diwali bonus was withheld. When she
raised the issue with Mr Raja, he asked her to get in touch with him over
the phone after reaching home. Upon phoning him, he told her that she had
been confirmed and that she should “take care of him” for the favour. Ms
Akila terminated the call, but managed to record the conversation.

When Mr Raja realised that she was not coming around, he kept harassing her
in different ways, including verbally abusing her in front of her
colleagues. On January 21st, he summoned her to his cabin and threatened her
with dire consequences if she went public with a complaint of harassment.
Soon thereafter, in contravention of the norm of assigning shifts, he put
her on morning shifts for several weeks, which required her to leave her
residence at 3.30 am in order to be at office at 5 am, since the office did
not arrange for morning pick-up. Questioning the unusual assigning of a
continuous morning shift, she confronted Mr Raja on February 26th. He
informed her that she was continuously on the gruelling morning shift
because she was not “adjusting” to him. After serving the morning shift for
another few weeks while struggling with domestic responsibilities, things
became unbearable. Ms Akila then approached the police on March 19th and
filed a complaint of sexual harassment. On the same day, Mr Raja was
arrested under Section 4 of the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Harassment of
Women Act. Two days later, Mr Vetrivendhan was also arrested on the same

Continued Harassment
However, the arrest of the harassers was only a continuation of the
nightmare. Soon after Mr. Raja’s arrest, Ms Akila received an anonymous
phone call by someone threatening to kill her. In a move to isolate her at
the workplace, her friend Mr Kannan who was aware of the harassment and was
supportive of her, was suspended on grounds of a complaint filed by
colleagues who refused to work with him or Ms Akila. When Ms Akila reported
to the office on March 25th, she was not assigned any work. As per schedule,
she was to anchor the 12.00 noon news bulletin, but she was not allowed to
go on air. In a complete travesty of justice, on March 26th, Mr Raja who was
by then out on bail, joined work, and the next day, Ms Akila was handed a
suspension order. Thus, a woman who resisted sexual harassment and stood up
to demands for sexual favours has been further victimised.

It must be noted that there is no redressal mechanism at Sun TV for
complaints of sexual harassment. This is in contempt of the Guidelines
issued in 1997 by the Honourable 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. These principles of gender equity and labour rights are also
enshrined in the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention,
Prohibition and Redressal) Bill, 2012 which was passed by both houses of
Parliament and is only awaiting the President’s assent.

Our demands:
1) Immediate reinstatement of S. Akila
2) Payment of damages for mental trauma
3) Immediate suspension of V. Raja pending an independent inquiry as
well as the police investigation into the case
4) Independent inquiry into the case, by a team that includes
independent, third-party lawyers, journalists and women’s rights activists
5) As a longer-term measure, setting up of an Internal Complaints
Committee as per the Vishaka Guidelines.
6) Establishment of Complaints Committees in all media houses as per
the Vishakha Guidelines and the new law once it comes into force.
The Network of Women in Media, Working Council

1. Ammu Joseph, Bangalore
2. Kalpana Sharma, Mumbai
3. Laxmi Murthy, Bangalore
4. Rajashri Dasgupta, Kolkata
5. Sandhya Taksale, Pune
6. Sameera Khan, Mumbai
7. Ranjita Biswas, Kolkata
8. Malti Mehta, Ahmedabad
9. K.A. Beena, Thiruvananthapuram
10. Sonal Kellogg, Delhi
11. Parul Sharma, Delhi
12. Padmalatha Ravi, Bangalore
13. Melanie Priya Kumar, Bangalore
14. Chitra Ahanthem, Imphal
15. Manjira Mojumdar, Kolkata
16. Sharmila Joshi, Mumbai

17. Kamayani Bali Mahabal, Mumbai



The harm that sensational headlines can do, even if the story is OK- Deepti Naval #mediaethics #mumbaimirror

Deepti Naval, March 27, Facebook

I’ve been pretty upset the last few days over something that the print media has been distorting hugely . . . each one of you on Facebook has been totally silent about it – no comment whatsoever – and I appreciate that – and since I know you people care, I’d like to, to explain what has really happened –

Just before the release of ‘Listen Amaya‘ me and Farooque Shaikh were doing an interview for Rajiv Masand in my Versova terrace flat. I had been keeping unwell those days and had requested Rajiv’s camera team to cover over to my house instead of me having to go to his studio. Rajiv came over with his three camera setup and we were in the middle of this interview when three members from the Society barged into the flat and demanded that we stop this activity – they thought we were making a movie – I explained to them that they can sit here and watch – we are not making a movie, we are doing an interview – but they threatened to call the police on me. Rajiv, Farooque and my director Avinash Singh and his wife Geeta were all very embarrassed hearing this sort of conversation. We tried to wind up fast. Then one neighbor Mr Rajan Khurana was sent up to convey to me that the Society has threatened to call the police if we don’t stop ‘this activity’ right away. I explained again but to no avail. After that I got a call from the Secy of the building who was very irked and repeated that ‘We’ll have to call the police on you’. We cancelled all other interviews after that.
I was hugely embarrassed; I apologized to my colleagues and they quietly left.

I felt so humiliated and felt my rights as a resident were violated. I decided to pack my stuff from the Oceanic residence and come and stay at my Madh Island house.

I am an artist and have always given interviews in my own home – all artists do that all the time – there is nothing illegal about it – it is their right.

Never mine, now this is what follows the incident.

A week / eight days ago a journalist friend asked me what I was doing sitting in Madh – and I gave vent to my frustration. I told him over the phone that –

‘The Society treated me so badly and kept threatening me with “WE’LL CALL THE POLICE, WE’LL CALL THE POLICE”, as if I’m running a racket here!’

Next day it was out in print – in Mumbai Mirror – the sensational headline –
‘I’M NOT RUNNING A PROSTITUTION RACKET” – and the story about the society fiasco, stating how badly insulted I was by the members of my building. Nothing wrong with the contents of the article. But this is what follows . . .

Other papers have picked up the SENSATIONAL HEADLINE and implied as if the Society has ACCUSED me of running a prostitution racket. I’ve neen appalled! I will post those articles so you all can see how the press distorts everything to make eye-catching news! One of the tabloids has said –


A dear friend, she called me – appalled at reading the contents in a Calcutta tabloid – ‘What is all this? Who has been accusing of running a racket?’
I explained to her that no one is ACCUSING me of running anything like that – it is the PRESS that is IMPLYING . . .

Of course I’ve been back at Oceanic in the last days and have conducted my meeting there as well – I’m a little confused – should I take action against the print media or should I let it go. If I let this go, then there are people who’ve said –
Friends from the industry feel ‘let dogs bark . . . you carry on’

I was sitting there at my terrace flat – after Farooque and I had spent a whole day going to various radio stations giving fresh round of interviews before the re-release of the old Chashmebaddoore on April 5th – and I was looking around at my beautiful spacious home where I sit and dream, do all my writing work, invite friends, spend quality time with myself – and I was in tears . . . this sanctuary of mine to be called a ‘PROSTITUTIO DEN’ – in my heart, I apologized to my father who is no more in this world, and quietly prayed, –
‘I’m sorry, Piti, see what all this has catapulted into? Please help me learn to ignore it and move on – but I will not disappoint you – I will fight for my right!’

Thank you for bearing with me – I can’t go around explaining to the whole world but I can . . . to a few of you who I know, care . . .



Below is the MUMBAI Mirror story deepti is referring to

I am not running a prostitution racket

Deepti Naval lashes out at her housing society for humiliating her and Farooq Shaikh


Ali Peter John, Mumbai Mirror

Posted On Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at 02:04:30 AM


Veteran actors Deepti Naval and Farooq Shaikh, who had formed a very successful romantic team in the eighties with classics like Saath Saath, Katha and Chashme Buddoor among others, were harassed and hounded out of Deepti’s apartment by members of her housing society.

Last Friday, Deepti and Farooq were speaking to a prominent TV journalists about the remake of Chashme Buddoor at the actress’s spacious terrace apartment where she has been living since the last 30 years. This is also where she has hosted high-profile parties and conducted many press meets and does all her writing and painting.

The two actors were in the midst of the interview when office bearers of the society in the building ‘Oceanic 1′ at Seven Bungalows, barged into her apartment and took strong objections to her conducting work in her residential space. They asked her and Farooq to stop “all this naatak” and they threatened to call in the police. They argued: conducting interviews in one’s home was against the rules of the society. The two actors who had never faced such an embarrassing situation did not want to create a scene or get into any argument with those who were determined to stop them from completing the interview.

A pained Deepti profusely apologised to Farooque and the TV crew, and was so humiliated that she immediately left for her apartment in Harmony in Madh Island from where she has yet to return.

Speaking to Mirror she could not hide her despair: “I was the first occupant of the building when no one dared to buy an apartment here. I have had many parties and the press has always found it very pleasant to meet me in my house. This is the first time that I was made to feel as if I was running a prostitution den. I have never felt so humiliated in my entire life. My only crime is that I don’t mix around with the people in the building because I have nothing in common with them. I don’t know what rules they are talking about when most of my friends have their meetings with the media in their own homes. I feel so terrible that I don’t feel like going back to my own house.”

Farooq felt bad for his colleague and said that he was unaware of any such law that prevented artistes from giving interviews at home.



Give Maoists political prisoner status as stated by Calcutta High Court

March 22, Kolkata– “The state government must immediately withdraw the petition challenging the Calcutta High Court’s decision. Political prisoner status is a democratic right and the government cannot take away this right,” said Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR) secretary Dhiral Sengupta.

The Calcutta High Court August 2012 had granted political prisoner status to seven Maoists including Gaur Narayan Chakraborty and tribal leader Chhatradhar Mahato, spokesperson of Maoist backed Peoples’ Committee Against Police Atrocities.

The state government subsequently filed a special leave petition before the Supreme Court challenging the order. The apex court stayed the order.

The APDR also urged the Mamata Banerjee government in the state not to amend the law granting political prisoner status.

“The government should desist from lowering the dignity of the state assembly by trying to amend a law and deny a basic democratic right of people who fight for political justice. This government is behaving like the British rulers,” added Sengupta.

Following the Calcutta High Court order, the union home ministry had written to the state government seeking an amendment in the West Bengal Correctional Services Act, 1992, to prevent Maoists and other militants from getting status of political prisoners.


Mamata Banerjee links rise in rape cases to population increase #Vaw #WTFnews

PTI/ IANS  : Kolkata, Fri Mar 22 2013, 17:43 hrs
Mamata Banerjee


West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today linked rising cases of rapes to increase in the population, while claiming that there were only 45 such cases till November 2012 in Kolkata in comparison to 621 in Delhi in the same year.

“The population is increasing. Is the population in West Bengal the same as it was during the time of Bidhan Chandra Roy? You have raised many questions on law order. You are saying that rapes are increasing,” Banerjee told the Assembly.

“The population is increasing, cars are increasing, infrastructure is increasing, shopping malls are increasing. Inoxes (multiplex) are coming up. Young people are becoming modern. Don’t you welcome it?” she asked while winding up the debate on the Governor’s address.

Alleging that newspapers were deliberately exaggerating rape cases, she said earlier women felt shy of reporting such cases.

“There has been an increase in social consciousness. Now they are registering complaints. This is a good sign. Earlier complaints were not even registered,” the chief minister said.

Stating that there should not be even one case of rape, she cited statistics for Kolkata saying that there were 44 rape cases in 2007, 35 in 2008, 42 in 2009, 32 in 2010, 38 in 2011 and 45 in 2012.

In the state there were 1,673 rape cases in 2005, 1,693 in 2006, 2,062 in 2007, 2,228 in 2008, 2,292 in 2009, 2,279 in 2010, 1,650 in 2011 and 1,836 up to November in 2012.

In 2011 there were 453 rape cases in Delhi, 221 in Mumbai, 97 in Bangalore, and 76 in Chennai, she said adding that in 2012, there were 621 rapes in Delhi.

The opposition has been accusing the state government of its incapability in controlling atrocities like rape against women.

In October 2012, while speaking at a programme in the city, Banerjee had accused the media of glorifying rape and pointed to the more permissive society.

“Earlier, if men and women held hands, parents would reprimand them. Now everything is done openly. It’s like an open market with open options,” Banerjee had said.

The chief minister had also courted a controversy in February 2012 when she termed the allegation of an Anglo-Indian woman that she was raped inside a moving car in the posh Park Street area as “cooked up to malign her government”.

Painter Samir Aich lashed out against Banerjee.

“Only political leaders can give such logic. It defies common sense. Going by the same logic, murders and other crimes should also go up if population increases. We know such crimes can increase even if the population decreases if there is administrative laxity,” Aich told IANS.


#India – Fact Finding team including scientists, activists assaulted in Odisha #WTFnews

The PPSS condemns in unequivocal terms the assault on the  Civil Liberty Fact Finding Team ( Add MediaCLFFT) consisting of  Meher Engineer (Scientist, Kolkata),      Sumit Chakravartty( Editor, Mainstream Weekly), Manoranjan Mohanty (Former  Prof. Delhi University),Kamal Nayan Choubey (PUDR), Ranjana (PUDR), Pramodini   (PUCL, Odihsa), Mathew Jacob (Human Rights Law Network), Partha Ray, Sanhati, Sanjeev Kumar (Delhi Forum)when they were returning from  visit to our villages on March 9, 2013. We feel sad because they had come all the way from Delhi and Kolkota to find out truth relating to bombing and lathicharge that resulted in the killing of three of our men on March 2 and severe injuries of several women on March 7.

When the world was preparing to celebrates Women’s day, the village women of Govindpur , Dhinkia, Patanahat got brutally beaten up by police and goons close to armed police camp in Govindapur as they had gone there to demand withdrawal of police camp from the area and to allow them to live in peace on March 7 as continuous deployment of five platoons of police at Govindpur village has made life miserable for everybody. Police presence is also a major reason why bombing has taken place and we have lost 3 important lives. The presence of police is only encouraging the criminal elements to unleash a region of terror which was also experienced by the fact finding team on March 9, 2013.

Perhaps it does not require any emphasis that women are the worst hit in today’s situation. Our women don’t at all feel safe and the administration is fully aware of this fact. Despite that they are not doing anything which prompts us to say that they might be behind all these acts of violence. Everything could have come out in open by independent fact finding teams but now even such teams are attacked.

One can understand what might have happened to our women protesters on March 7. Around 2.30 p.m. on 7th March 2013, hundreds of men and women of PPSS came in procession and staged a peaceful demonstration near the Mangalapada police camp at the entry point of Gobindpur village demanding withdrawal of armed police from their locality. The police fired teargas shells and made a lathi-charge on the peaceful protestors as a result more than 40 persons have sustained injury. Women activists were cornered and beaten up by plain-clothed policewomen. Bilochan Khatua, Sulochana barik, Solia mallick, Sati Barik, Nayana Dash, Tulashi Dash, Basanti Mandal, Satya Mallick, Pravati Swain, Taaopi Samal , Lopa Samal and many more of Govindpur village were injured.

Women claimed that their eyes burned when the police fired teargas shells. This shows the government’s double standards. On one hand, the government is claiming that it was acquiring land peacefully while on the other hand it is using police force which is contradictory.

Meanwhile the South Korea’s Ambassador Kim Joong Keun visited Odisha on 6th march 2013. When people in the proposed POSCO project site are mourning the killing of 3 activists of the movement who were killed in a bomb attack on March 2, the Ambassador did not say anything to express his grief. He was obsessed with the progress of POSCO project.

We also condemn in strongest terms POSCO’s attempt to take Odisha Scribes for pleasure trip to outside. We also appeal friends from media please not to fall in the trap as people will lose complete faith in them.

Meanwhile , the CPI (ML) leader K N Ramachandran and Sarmistha Choudhury, who attended an anti-Posco meeting have announced a ’Jana Sansad’ at Jantarmantar in New Delhi on March 15 to protest ‘forcible’ land acquisition for POSCO.

Different social action groups organized a protest meeting over the  killing of Anti-POSCO Protesters and Forcible Acquisition of Land in Odisha, at Odisha Bhawan, 1 Niti Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi, on 9th March (Saturday), 2013.

I am attaching herewith the statement of various social action groups on the murder of PPSS leader, Complaint to NHRC by Center for Legal Awareness and Human Rights (CLAR)  and the  latest interview of our activists Mr. Debendra Swain prepared by Video Volunteers. This is the link


We express our gratitude to all our friends for their support and circulating their statements.

We call on all democratic and progressive organizations and individuals to  condemn the blatant use of brute force through police as well as goons to brutally crush our democratic movement.

Kindly forward this mail widely.

Hoping for Solidarity.

Prashant Paikaray

Spokesperson, POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti.

Mobile no – 09437571547

E- mail-


Download Judgement- Rina Mukherjee vs The Statesman #sexualharassment #Vaw


The Bengal Network and the Network of Women in Media, India scored a great victory when the labour suit filed by Rina Mukherji against the management of The Statesman, Kolkata, in the Industrial Tribunal was delivered in her favour on February 6, 2013. The Tribunal awarded her reinstatement with full back wages from the time of her termination in October 2002.

Ananya Chatterjee and Rajashri Dasgupta had taken up Rina’s case of sexual harassment at the workplace way back in 2002-03. Rina, who was a senior reporter with The Statesman, Kolkata, faced sexual harassment at the hands of the news co-ordinator of the newspaper. Her services were terminated on flimsy grounds when she dared to protest. Although the efforts of BengalNet and the West Bengal Commission for Women could not get her justice in the sexual harassment case, The Statesman was compelled to set up a sexual harassment complaints committee and institutionalise complaint mechanisms.

Unstoppable Rina has just won the Laadli Media Award (Eastern region) in the web category for her article: ‘Taboos take their toll on women’ written for Just Femme ( ), a website that is incidentally run by another NWMI member, Padmalatha Ravi.

Rina Mukherjee vs The Statesman: In 2002, Dr Rina Mukherji, then a senior reporter working for The Statesman complained of sexual harassment. Soon she was fired from her job. Statesman refused conciliation proceedings and the labour suit moved to the Industrial Tribunal. In a landmark judgment, the Tribunal awarded her reinstatement with full back wages from the time of her termination in October 2002.

Full text of the judgment


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June 2021
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