Mohd Afzal Guru A life rendered ‘extinct’


 

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  • Outside Tihar Jail No. 3 in New Delhi soon after Afzal Guru was hanged on February 9.
  • Afzal Guru being taken to court on December 17, 2002, a day before he was awarded the death sentence.

The right to counsel begins from the moment of arrest. From the time Afzal Guru was arrested in 2001 to the filing of a charge sheet in court, he had no lawyer—a fact that goes against the Supreme Court’s own observation on the need for defence counsel. By A.G. NOORANI in Frontline

DRAVINDER SINGH, Deputy Superintendent of Police, exposed himself in an interview in 2006. It merits quotation in extenso. Afzal Guru yielded nothing on interrogation by Vinay Gupta of the dreaded Special Operations Group (SOG). “But I requested Vinay not to release him and send him to my camp Humhama (Budgam district). That is how I know Afzal. I did interrogate and torture him at my camp for several days. And we never recorded his arrest in the books anywhereHis [Afzal’s] description of torture at my camp is true. That was the procedure those days and we did pour petrol in his arse and gave him electric shocks. But I could not break him. He did not reveal anything to me despite our hardest possible interrogation. We tortured him enough for Gazi Baba but he did not break. He looked like a ‘bhondu’ those days, what you call a ‘_______’ [an Urdu swear word for naive or easily duped persons] type. And I had a reputation for torture, interrogation and breaking suspects. If anybody came out of my interrogation clean, nobody would ever touch him again. He would be considered clean for good by the whole department.

“Q. In the light of allegations by Afzal, do you think that you may have been used?

“It is a difficult time for me. I would expect my superiors to clear my name. But it is so that nobody from my department has come forward so far….

“Q. Then why is your name figuring in Afzal’s letter and his wife’s accounts?

“I am being victimised for having worked in SOG, for being very nationalistic. What am I getting in return? Bad name as a conspirator.… It’s really unfortunate.… Also, to be candid with you, nobody would ever forget having been interrogated by me.”

This “torture specialist’s” admission must be read with his revealing use of a swear word for a naive, gullible man. Afzal Guru was not called a crook, which he would have been if he was really guilty, and he would not break under torture. He had to be killed. This interview will be published in the next edition of Penguin’s 13 December.

As for the other two police officers: “In 2008, on March 20, ACP [Assistant Commissioner of Police] Rajbeer Singh was shot dead by his friend and partner, Vijay Bhardwaj, a property dealer of Gurgaon, over a dispute on ‘investments’ he made with the realtor. In his statement, the accused, Bhardwaj, confessed, among other things, that he was unable to repay Rajbeer the money invested in shoddy land deals and the gun used in the killing, with apparent marking ‘E-8256’, was given to him by Rajbeer Singh to help recover money from his business clients. During the media trial of the Parliament case held at Lodhi Road, he snubbed Afzal Guru for speaking something contrary to what he had been directed to. This was noted by Shams Tahir Khan, reporter of Aaj Tak who later testified to it before the court. The most unfortunate thing is that the trial court believed Rajbeer’s version when many details of his dubious and illegal dealings were already in public domain” (Abdur Majid Zargar, Kashmir Times, March 5, 2013).

Citing first information reports, Sama Bhat reported “Shanti Singh is in jail” on charges of custodial killing (Kashmir Life, a Srinagar weekly, February 24, 2013). It is such men who created the “circumstantial evidence”. Afzal Guru was sent around and the people he met testified against him—they were themselves in police custody.

Only a skilled and courageous lawyer could have exposed the forces that organised such a prosecution. The right to counsel begins from the moment of arrest. From the time of his arrest by the police on December 14, 2001, until their filing of a charge sheet in court, Afzal Guru had no lawyer. On January 19, 2002, when he was produced before the designated judge S.N. Dhingra under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) who was to try him, he was asked whether he would be engaging a lawyer. He gave the only answer a financially ruined man could—No. It was the court’s duty to name one for him.

Dhingra, who was also an Additional Sessions Judge, Delhi, appointed, on May 17, a lawyer, Seema Gulati, as amicus for him. This was a wrong step.Amicus curiae are appointed to assist the court, especially when rival sides will not bring out the whole truth. On May 17, 2002, Seema Gulati “appeared on behalf of Afzal. She conceded that a prima facie charge was made out against him even though she could have challenged the charges. The court records of 5 June 2002 show when charges were framed she made vital concessions and admitted certain documents so that those documents were taken into evidence without formal proof. These concessions resulted in dropping of several important prosecution witnesses which meant Afzal could not undo the damage of these concessions made on his behalf but without his instructions and without thought to the consequences to him. And then Seema Gulati gave an application stating that she does not want to defend Afzal. That was on 2 July 2002—barely a week before the trial was to begin. She took up [S.A.R.] Geelani’s defence for a professional fee” (Nandita Haksar, pages 184-85).

One Attar Alam was appointed but he “was not willing to act as amicus”. The Supreme Court conceded that Afzal Guru “was without counsel till 17 May 2002”, but it said nothing important had happened until then. But this was during the crucial stage of investigation, torture and confessions. On July 1, 2002, Seema Gulati sought her discharge from the case “citing the curious reason” that she had been engaged by another accused, Geelani, to appear on his behalf, for a fee, of course. One Neeraj Bansal, her junior, was thrust on Afzal Guru.

Afzal Guru objected on July 8 and sought the services of a Senior Advocate. But counsel he named were unwilling. “Neeraj Bhansal was therefore continued in view of the fact that he had experience in dealing with TADA [Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, POTA’s predecessor].” Thus did the Supreme Court brush aside its own observations on the need for defence counsel and acquiesced in a brazen wrong. It is for the accused to select his counsel, not for the court to impose one on him because it considers him an expert. Afzal Guru objected to Bansal the very day he was appointed, July 12, 2002. He continued all the same thanks to Judge Dhingra though Bansal himself wanted to quit. He never met Afzal Guru, never asked to meet him. Of the 80 prosecution witnesses, only 22 were cross-examined, mostly inadequately. Judge Dhingra evidently was not concerned about hearing the defence. That the Supreme Court ignored a monstrous wrong in the one case of Afzal Guru speaks for the justice he received. It can be confidently asserted that no other court in any other democracy in the world would have acquiesced in such a wrong. This is exactly what the Magistrate trying Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt did, that is, imposed on them a lawyer they did not want.

Anthony Lewis, who died on March 25, wrote in his classic Gideon’s Trumpet that Gideon had pencilled his petition “in the form of a pauper; as a poor man”. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously, speaking through Justice Hugo Black, that “in our adversary system of criminal justice, any person hailed into court who is too poor to hire a lawyer cannot be assured a fair trial unless counsel is provided for him”, counsel he approves (Gideon vs Wainwright 372 U.S. 335 (1963)). The Indian Supreme Court has followed this ruling, but in the one case of Mohammad Afzal Guru, it denied that right. It is an absolute right that no court can deny on the specious ground that no harm was done after all. The test laid down in the leading case Powell vs Alabama (287 U.S. 45) was “effective aid in the preparation and trial of the case”. It concerned a black charged with rape (1932).

Police officer’s grave lapse 

Two oddities reflect the farce. On December 19, 2001, Assistant Commissioner of Police Rajbeer Singh took over the investigation. On the same date, the draconian POTA was applied to the case. The next day, Afzal Guru was interrogated. Three accused—Afzal Guru, his cousin Shaukat, and Geelani—were said to have desired to confess. He informed Deputy Commissioner of Police Ashok Chand of this and was asked to produce them on the following day, December 21. Geelani refused to confess. Afzal Guru was produced; a “confession” was recorded after formal cautions. The confessions were sent to the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate on December 22. But alone among the four accused, Afzal Guru was paraded before TV channels in the very office of the Special Cell at Lodhi Road, New Delhi. Rajbeer Singh was present and intervened at one stage. Shams Tahir Khan, principal correspondent of Aaj Tak, one of the TV channels summoned to interview Afzal Guru, bravely deposed as defence witness on October 10, 2002.

Afzal Guru had said that Geelani was not involved. The witness said: “It is correct that accused was told by ACP Rajbeer Singh not to say anything about S.A.R. Geelani. By that time my interview had already been concluded and NDTV persons were interviewing. Rajbeer had requested not to telecast the line stated by accused about Geelani. So when this interview was telecast on 20th December 5 p.m. that line was removed but when this was rebroadcast in our programme 100 days after attack this line has not been removed and is in the interview.

“Question by Afzal: I put it to you that Rajbeer had not simply told me but shouted at me not to say anything about Geelani? Ans.: It is correct.” The Supreme Court merely expressed surprise at Rajbeer Singh’s profession of “ignorance about the media interview”. But in the very next sentence the court explained it away: “We think that the wrong step taken by the police should not enure to the benefit or detriment of either the prosecution or the accused.” Why not? This is of a piece with the Supreme Court’s approach to the case. Rajbeer Singh’s gross lapse exposed him completely.

There was another factor—the Ministry of External Affairs gave evidence behind the accused’s back that the trial court readily accepted. Nandita Haksar records: “The proceedings of 14 January 2002 show that the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) filed an application asking permission to file ‘secret and other documents for keeping in sealed envelope’. The learned judge ordered: ‘Ahmad is directed to place the documents in sealed envelope and keep the same in safe custody under his lock.’” Was this the secret source of the learned judge’s information that he could confidently accuse Pakistan of involvement in the attack without any evidence on record? (page 71).

Each of the three courts made its own distinctive contribution to emotive rhetoric that should be out of place in judicial reason. The trial judge Dhingra said of the defence’s criticism of a prosecution witness who was “Only 5th/ 6th Standard pass for translating Kashmiri conversation to Hindi. Language is not monopoly of educated and elite class. A child starts learning mother tongue while sucking milk of her mother. A person educated up to 5th or 6th standard may be knowing his mother tongue much better than a graduate or postgraduate, who after acquiring knowledge of English starts forgetting his mother tongue and can speak only in Hinghlish, Chinglish or Kashinglish. Tulsidas, Kabir, and several other contemporary personalities had no little formal education but had command over language and produced great ‘works’. Being a fruit seller is no sin. Today we do not understand the dignity of labour and look upon persons earning livelihood by labour as low class. If India is 10th among the most corrupt countries, it is not because of these poor people but because of some other class of people. The witness could not understand English words in the conversation because of lack of knowledge of English language but he understood Kashmiri and Hindi well and translated the conversation to Hindi properly.”

The 392-page judgment of the Delhi High Court, delivered by Justices Usha Mehra and Pradeep Nawajog on October 29, 2003, has the same patriotic fervour. “After the unfortunate incident, this country had to station its troops at the border and large scale mobilisation of the armed forces took place. The clouds of war with our neighbour loomed large for a long period of time. The nation suffered not only an economic strain but even the trauma of an imminent war.”

In the Supreme Court, Justice P. Venkatarama Reddi said on behalf of himself and Justice P.P. Naolekar. “The gravity of the crime conceived by the conspirators with the potential of causing enormous casualties and dislocating the functioning of the government as well as disrupting the normal life of the people of India is something which cannot be described in words. The incident, which resulted in heavy casualties, had shaken the entire nation,and the collective conscience of the society will only be satisfied if capital punishment is awarded to the offender. The challenge to the unity, integrity and sovereignty of India by these acts of terrorists and conspirators can only be compensated by giving maximum punishment to the person who is proved to be the conspirator in this treacherous act. The Appellant (Afzal Guru) who is a surrendered militant and who was bent upon repeating the acts of treason against the nation is a menace to the society and his life should become extinct. Accordingly, we uphold the death sentence” ((2005) 11 SCC 760). Even the prosecution did not allege that Afzal Guru was “bent upon repeating” what was alleged against him. There was not a tittle of evidence to that effect. Why did the Supreme Court jump to this conclusion?

Emperors and dictators of the lower breed have proclaimed that a particular person’s life be rendered “extinct”. In all history no judge has ever used such language. In civilised countries judges pronounce the death sentence with great reluctance, regret and, in extreme cases, controlled indignation. Never exultantly, in a spirit of vindication or in brazen populism. This passage has been widely criticised, but the question it squarely raises is overlooked. How fair and detached in their evaluation of the complex facts and the law can be judges who are capable of using such language as this? The least which the Supreme Court ought to have done was to order a retrial.

Contrast all this with these words by another judge of the Supreme Court, Justice Radhakrishnan: “A criminal court while deciding criminal cases shall not be guided or influenced by the views or opinions expressed by judges on academic platforms. The views or opinions expressed by judges, jurists, academicians, law teachers may be food for thought. Even the discussions or deliberations made at the State Judicial Academies or the National Judicial Academy at Bhopal, only update or open new vistas or knowledge for judicial officers. Criminal courts have to decide the cases before them examining the relevant facts and evidence placed before them, applying binding precedents” (OMA vs State of T.N., (2013) 3 SCC 440 para 22). Popular feelings stand on a lower footing than academic writings. How did their Lordships discern the people’s “collective conscience”? It is a purely subjective appraisal influenced by their own feelings.

The immortal classic on the point is Lord Mansfield’s pronouncement in the celebrated case of John Wilkes in 1770. “I wish popularity; but it is popularity which follows, not that which is run after; it is that popularity which sooner or later, never fails to do justice to the pursuit of noble ends by noble means. I will not do that which my conscience tells me is wrong upon this occasion, to gain the huzzas which come from the press. I will not avoid doing what I think is right, though it should draw on me the whole artillery of libels; all that falsehood and malice can invent, or the credulity of deluded people can swallow” (4 Burrow 2527 at page 2562; 98 Eng. Rep. 327 at page 347; 19 St. Tr. 1075 at Col. 1112-3).

He said also: “The Constitution does not allow reasons of state to influence our judgments… we are bound to say ‘fiat justitia, ruat caelum’ [let justice be done though the heavens fall].” When did an Indian judge in the Mansfield mould last sit on the Bench?

Condolence Meeting- Young revolutionary and cultural organiser Shalini passes away #RIP



Announcements – 4 April 2013

Condolence meeting in memory of Shalini, president of Janchetna Books Society, 5 PM, Janchetna, D-68, Nirala Nagar, Lucknow. Organised by: Janchetna and Rahul Foundation. 

Delhi. Shalini, a young revolutionary and a strong piller of several
important projects of publication and distribution of progressive, left and
revolutionary literature, passed away yesterday here at late night. She was
admitted to Delhi’s Dharmshila hospital on the evening of 27 March where
she was being treated since last January. On the morning of 28 March, as
her blood pressure dipped very low, she was shifted to ICU where she
breathed her last on the 29 March at around 11:25 pm.

Apart from being an enthusiastic social organiser, Shalini was also the
president of the society of the ‘Janchetna’ Bookshop, member of the Board
of Trustees of ‘Anurag Trust’, executive member of ‘ Rahul Foundation’ and
director of Parikalpna publication. Shalini’s 18 years of revolutionary
life was an example of a life full of sacrifices, combativeness,
uncompromising and principled attitude.

Her comrade and famous poetess Katyayani said that like a true communist,
Shalini faced all the pain valiantly till her last breath and was committed
to her life goal and communist values till the end. She wanted to donate
her body for the medical reusearch but could not get opportunity to
complete the legal formalities for this. As per her wish, her body was
wrapped with the red flag and and in the presence of her fellow travellers
of struggle, she was cremated in the electric crematorium at Lodhi Road on
the evening of 30th March.

A Revolutionary Life

Comrade Shalini’s political life began in her teens. She devoted her life
for revolution since 1995. She was active on student, woman and cultual
front in this duration. She was a strong piller of several important
projects of publication and distribution of progressive, left and
revolutionary literature.

Apart from participating in the publication of Marxist literature and
other activities in Rahul Foundation, Shalini took up the responsibility of
being the incharge of the Janchetna centre in Gorakhpur and Allahabad.
Since 2004, she had been looking after the responsibilities of the central
office and book shop of Janchetna in Lucknow. Apart from this, she had also
been assisting in the publication activities of Parikalpana, Rahul
Foundation and Anurag Trust. She also looked after the activities at the
main offices of Anurag Trust (library, reading room, children’s workshops
etc.). Shalini also took up the responsibility of the management of the
central library of ‘Arvind Memorial Trust’.

Shalini was a hard-working, young communist organiser with a rich
experience of eighteen years of difficult and turbulent political life full
of ups and downs. With an unwavering faith in communism, she did political
work like a labourer. She never looked back or compromised once she decided
her goal in life. Even when her father degenerated due to his vested
interests and class arrogance and started a campaign of slandering and
character-assassination, Shalini completely broke her relations with him
without a second’s delay.

It was in the second week of January that she was diagnosed with cancer in
Lucknow after which her treatment began in Delhi’s Dharmshila Hospital
Delhi. During the last three months, despite unbearable pain,she never lost
her morale and till the end she was hopeful of rejoining her front of the
people’s emancipation after getting well. She was a foundation stone of the
attempts of the revolutionary social change in India in the true sense of
the term and her life will continue to be an eternal source of inspiration
for her fellow travellers.

(Katyayani)

Secretary, Janchetna

(Rambabu)

President,AnuragTrust Secretary,

(Satyam)

Rahul Foundation

 

Press Release- Letter to MoEF Immediately cancel the Environmental Public Hearing #mustshare


Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti

c/o 37 Patrakar Colony, Tandalja, Vadodara 390 020, Phone/Fax: 0265-2320399

Email: tokrishnakant@gmail.comrohit.prajapati@gmailc.om

BY Email & FAX

Most Urgent – Most Urgent – Most Urgent

27 February 2013

To,

Smt. Jayanthi Natarajan

Minister of State for Environment and Forests

Paryavaran Bhavan, CGO Complex, Lodhi Road, New Delhi – 110 003

 

The Secretary

Ministry of Environment & Forests, Government of India
Paryavaran Bhavan, CGO Complex,  Lodhi Road, New Delhi – 110 003.

 

The Chairman

Central Pollution Control Board

Parivesh Bhawan, CBD-cum-Office Complex, East Arjun Nagar, DELHI – 110 032

 

The Member Secretary

Central Pollution Control Board

Parivesh Bhawan, CBD-cum-Office Complex, East Arjun Nagar, DELHI – 110 032

 

The Zonal Officer

Central Pollution Control Board

Parivesh Bhawan, Opp. VMC Ward Office No. 10, Subhanpura,

Vadodara – 390 023

 

The Chairman

Gujarat Pollution Control Board

“Paryavaran Bhavan” Sector 10-A, Gandhinagar – 382 010

 

The Member Secretary

Gujarat Pollution Control Board

“Paryavaran Bhavan” Sector 10-A, Gandhinagar – 382 010

 

The Regional Officer

Gujarat Pollution Control Board

Plot No. 1154/2, B, Ghogha Circle,

Pattani Road, Bhavnagar – 364 002

 

The Chairman / The Collector

Environment Public Hearing Committee of Bhavnagar

 

Subject: Following serious anomalies in the EIA report for the Mithi Virdi Nuclear Power Plant prepared by Engineers India Limited, request to immediately cancel the Environmental Public Hearing.

 

Reference: Our letter dated 22 February 2013 – Demand to cancel the scheduled Environmental Public Hearing as well as rejection of the EIA report of the Mithi Virdi Nuclear Power Plant prepared by ‘Engineers India Limited’ consultants for ‘Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited.’ Engineers India Limited do not have necessary accreditation.

Madam/ Sirs,

This follows our earlier representation dated February 22, 2013 pointing out how an un-accredited consultant, Engineers India Limited(EIL) was appointed by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited to prepare the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report for proposed 6000 MW Nuclear Power Plant at Mithi Virdi area of Bhavnagar district, Gujarat.  While we seek the cancellation of the public hearing for the plant, we bring to your notice serious anomalies which have come to fore.

First, the Terms of Reference for the MoEF at point no. 7 clearly mention that The study area should cover an area of 10 km radius around the proposed site for conventional pollutants and 30 km radius for radiological parameters.” Instead the EIA report categorically mentions that 30 Kms for radiological areas of the study will be undertaken in future, the radiological survey is yet to be carried out for 30 Kms area and have not been carried out as stipulated by MoEF in the Terms Of Reference (TOR).

But this has been clearly violated. No villager/village panchayat in the 10-30 kms radius has been informed or served notice for the public hearing as the rules stipulate by the concerned authorities.

The EIA report clearly states that the study has been done only within 10 km radius and it is in future further studies will be conducted. The report itself mentions:

Page 283

“Areas Surveyed

Radiological survey will be done up to a radial distance of 30 km around the plant. Generally, samples from various environmental matrices will be collected from the survey area. The indicator organism like goat thyroid will be collected from selected area (as per the requirements of AERB). Different types of samples will be collected from the terrestrial and aquatic environs of the 30km study area covering, soil, cereals, pulses and vegetation samples. Typically around 1000 samples will be collected and analysed every year. List of sampling locations, frequency of sampling and different types of samples to be monitored during post project period in different area will be worked out as per the requirements of AERB.

Page 383

“11.1.3 MONITORING RADIOLOGICAL PARAMETERS AROUND MITHIVIRDI

Comprehensive radiological survey will be conducted by Health Physics Division (HPD) of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in the zone of radial distance of 30 km and the same will be continued till the life of Mithivirdi NPP for monitoring of radiation impacts and to establish that the radiation dose, in the public domain are within the prescribed limits of AERB.

Thirdly, the EIA report mentions that a detail of the de-commissioning of the plant is explained in the section 4.3.11 of Chapter 4, as stipulated.

But there is no section 4.3.11 in the Chapter 4 of the EIA report and the sections are only upto section 4.3.10. We understand that the said details have not been gathered and the study remains incomplete as there is no mention of that in the EIA report.

Sr. No. TOR of MoEF TOR Compliance Our contention
7 The study area should cover an area of 10 km radius around the proposed site for conventional pollutants and 30 km radius for radiological parameters Study on conventional pollutants  covered in  Section 3.4 of Chapter – 3 & Study on radiological parameters covered in  Section 3.5.11  of Chapter – 3 of EIA report The study is incomplete, villages in the area 10-30 kms not notified about public hearing.
35 Issues relating to de-commissioning of the plant and the related environmental issues should be discussed De-commissioning of the plant is explained in  Section 4.3.11 of Chapter – 4 The study is incomplete, section mentioned is not in the report.

 

We demand that:

  1. The concerned authority should immediately cancel the EPH as EIA is incomplete.
  2. The concerned authority should immediately reject the EIA of Mithi Virdi Nuclear Power Plant of NPCIL prepared by EIL as EIA is incomplete.
  3. The concerned authority should apologise to the people of Gujarat for such a grave mistake allowing EPH on an illegal and incomplete EIA.
  4. The concerned authority should pass stricture against NPCIL and consultant EIL for such an illegal action on their part.

 

Expecting your positive and prompt response.

Krishnakant        Rohit Prajapati          Swati Desai
Activists
Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti

 

 

ATTN #delhi- Public Hearing on Women in the Unorganised (Unprotected) Sector in the Era of Globalization #Vaw #Justice


All Are Welcome !

Shahari Mahila Kaamgaar Union

(affiliated to National Alliance of People’s Movements)

Invites you to

Public Hearing  

on

Women in the Unorganised (Unprotected) Sector

in the Era of Globalization

Date: 11th February, 2013, Monday

Time: 11 AM – 5 PM

Venue : Indian Social Institute (ISI), Lodhi Road, Behind Saibaba Mandir, New Delhi

Dear Friends,

 

The harsh truth is that globalisation, liberalization, privatization and increased mechanization has further deprived a big section of the already marginalised population from access to land, water, forests, dignified livelhood and sources of energy. A powerful minority, old and emergent elite, has further established their empire on the land snatched from the large number of population. Indigenous communities are losing their rights on natural resources. Farm labour is losing out on work due to the extensive use of tractors, harvester and thresher. In this manner people living in rural areas are facing the crisis of livelihood. Henceforth, they are left with no other option than to leave their homes and migrate. It is earn their dignified livelihood, even if meagre, it is only the ‘city’ that they can look to. This city could be any city- Metros such as Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Delhi or smaller cities like Patna, Indore, Nagpur.

Most of the women migrating from rural to urban, end up as domestic workers in the urban middle class families. Some of them take up work as construction labourers, hawkers – vendors etc. considered as ‘unskilled work‘. It’s not only matter of their livelihood but also their right to shelter is under stake when they migrate from their ‘home’ land to a foreign land – cities.

 

Women working in the unroganiser and unprotected sector face numerous assaults, violence, marginalisation and difficultis and often it is difficult to estaimate the numbers. Like any other work categories it is always difficult to organise them and put up a resistance.  It is evident that to fight these atrocities, women domestic workers need to be unioninsed and put up a fight to protect their interest. The ‘Shahri Mahila Kaamgaar Union’ is a step in this direction for several years for the workers in Delhi. The key demands made by the women are the following:

  • A uniform law needs to be made for the welfare of domestic workers. Untill then Minimum Wages Act and other Labour laws must be applied to this category of workers too.
  • A body comprising of representatives from the government and domestic workers needs to be set up to monitor their real situation.
  • The minimum wages, working hours and time of remuneration should be fixed for Domestic Workers. Strict measures should be taken against those who flaunt it.
  • Complete profiles of all urban workers, their employers and all organizations linked to them should be done. A government agency should be set up for this purpose.
  • Other than weekly, monthly, yearly and sick leave, provisions should be made for emergency leave also for domestic workers. Pregnant workers should be given special leave of three months. All these leaves should be paid.
  • Strict punishment should be given to all those employers, placement agents and police personnel who subject domestic workers to physical, sexual and other kinds of abuse.
  • Other than financial aid, the government should provide other kinds of human support to those domestic workers who are crisis-struck.
  • All kind of middlemen and contractors should be removed between domestic workers and their employers.
  • To ensure security of livelihood, domestic workers and their families should be given insurance by the government
  • Along with an annual bonus and future investment options, annual wage increase adjusted with inflation should be given to these workers.

 

It is in this Context that, we are organizing the Public Hearing  on “Women in the Unorganised (Unprotected) Sector in the Era of Globalization”Expected panel for this Hearing includes – Kalyani Menon Sen, Jaya Srivastava, Kalpana Mehta, Subhash Lomte etc.  We would welcome your participation in this so that you can not only get involved in their issues but also provide support and strengthen the voices that are raising these demands. And to carry this initiative forward.

 

Zindabad!

 

 

Anita Kapoor,                        Poonam,                         Madeena Begum,

 

 

Mudra,                                   Lakshmi,                         Asha

 

 

 

Contact- Anita Kapoor – 09810787686

 

 

===============================================

National Alliance of People’s Movements
National Office: Room No. 29-30, 1st floor, ‘A’ Wing, Haji Habib Bldg, Naigaon Cross Road, Dadar (E), Mumbai – 400 014;
Ph: 022-24150529

6/6, Jangpura B, Mathura Road, New Delhi 110014
Phone : 011 26241167 / 24354737 Mobile : 09818905316
Web : www.napm-india.org

Twitter : @napmindia

 

Join Convention- intensified assault on Maruti workers: 7 Sept, ISI, Delhi


 
Invitation 
Convention 
INTENSIFIED ASSAULT ON WORKING CLASS:
CHALLENGES FOR DEMOCRACY


7 SEPTEMBER 2012
Indian Social Institute (Lodhi Road, Near Sai Temple)

2 pm – 5 pm

to be addressed by

Maruti workers
S Kumarasami, President of the Pricol Auto Factory Union (Coimbatore), and All-India President, AICCTU,

 Workers and Labour Organisers of Delhi-NCR

Prabhu Mahapatra
Vrinda Grover

Rakhi Sehgal
Neelabh, Editor, Outlook

Colin Gonsalves
ND Pancholi, PUCL
And Other Concerned Citizens

Dear friends,
We are all aware that the recent events in the Maruti’s Manesar factory are in no way an isolated occurrence. In fact, in recent years, there have been several similar incidents in factories all over the country. The incidents at Maruti, Graziano, Rico, Pricol, etc point to a disturbing situation in which industrial democracy is being eroded and even ruthlessly crushed.
The fallout in the Maruti case is especially disturbing. We find that police and paramilitary battalions and ‘ex-Army’ forces are being deployed on the shop floor and around the factory. There is a deliberate attempt at political mobilisation in villages against the workers: village ‘leaders’ are holding meetings in Haryana accusing Maruti workers and unionised workers in general of being ‘anti-development’ and ‘anti-Haryana.’
We feel there is a need to discuss the implications of these developments for our democracy, and to discuss how to break the encirclement in which the working class is increasingly finding itself, in spite of very remarkable trade union struggles.
Towards this, a Convention will be held on 7 September, at ISI, 2 pm-5 pm. At this Convention, Maruti workers will share their own experiences and facts regarding the incident of July 18. S Kumarasami, President of the Pricol Workers’ Union, (also National President of the AICCTU), who is himself facing cooked-up charges of attempt to murder in the 2009 Pricol case, will speak about the Pricol workers’ struggle. Workers and labour organisers working in the Delhi-NCR region will also speak.
We very much hope you can join us in this Convention, and help the workers’ voices to be heard above the shrill cries for ‘reform’ of labour laws and ‘discipline’ for the workers…
In solidarity,

Santosh Roy, Secretary, AICCTU, 7838497013
Sandeep Singh, President, AISA, 9868033425
Kavita Krishnan, 9560756628

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