Urgent Action Alert: stop brutal demolition of houses in Mumbai


Stop Brutal Demolition of Houses of poor in Mumbai

The monsoon is on the doorstep ready to make the situation a little worrisome in Mumbai but the authorities, as it seems, has decided to bring the worst for Ganpat Patil Nagar through their reckless planned decision to demolish it today. While 25000 families in GP Nagar have a sword hanging on their heads over last 4 months and while six deaths had occurred during brutal demolition in January, once again Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai is ready with the police force, this morning under disguised reason of ‘Mangrove protection’.  Adarsh Nagar and Indira Nagar in Govandi, Mumbai are also given a notice to vacate altogether 600-700 houses by June 4th tomorrow, in the name of naala building, drainage.

The local leaders of GP Nagar and activists have taken all pains to find out the documents and from discussions with the authorities that

  • The forest department has given in writing that it has nothing to do with the demolition and there is no plan for Mangrove protection.
  • There are no more than 10 houses within 50 meters from Mangrove.
  • No judgment (in BEAG vs State of Maharashtra & others) has ever directed demolition of slums or any building but only directed protection of Mangrove since 2005.

GP Nagar slum was fully exiting in 2005as per Google maps. High pakka buildings are under construction since last few years, but no demolition of those is planned. The GP Nagar slum on one hand provided water supply and other basic amenities yet on the other hand, tried to be demolished.

The poor toiling their family belongings are unprotected workers, women, and children face atrocities whenever they lose their shelter. The NHRC has been appealed to intervene and so is the National Commission on Children. Yet they have neither indicated any identification nor has written to the state government.

The Govt. of Maharashtra promised in 2011 & even thereafter that slums will be declared as per section 4 of the Slums Act, 1971 and all amenities will be provided as per section 5 (A), yet without taking that process forward, poor people are being dishoused while whatever reserved for “Housing to the Dishoused” is being de-reserved and being diverted to non-justifiable purpose & to the elites, may it be for a judges cooperative or a shopping mall.

Including Ganpat Patil Nagar, all slums have applied for Rajiv Awas Yojana & are ready to take up self-development with 2009 as the cutoff date for RAY, as is being expected in Delhi. As regards to Adarsh Nagar and Indira Nagar, a very elaborate dialogue with the Assistant Commissioner, Mumbai, Eastward  Mr. Kishore Gandhi brought out that there was no map or plan prepared neither for required naala building nor of demolition. During the joint site visit by the Jr. Engineers and one representative on June 1st, it came out that not more than 4-8 houses were obstructing drainage and yet Jr. Engineer was adamant on demolition. All this indicates that the real purpose in each slum demolition seems to be not drainage or natural conservation but land grab.

Ghar Bachao- Ghar Banao Andolan, NAPM demands from both the State Govt. of Maharashtra and Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai that:

1.      Stop eviction of poor communities, including Ganpat Patil Nagar.

2.      Enquire into the Mangroves protection & encroachment in the framework of the judgments.

3.      Implement RAY with the funds and facilitation beginning with the pilot project proposed for Mandala community, Mankhurd.

GBGB, NAPM appeals to all sensitive supporters to write to the Municipal Commissioner, Shri Sitaram Kunte & C.M. of Maharashtrato stop brutal demolition today and not to make the poor shelterless, which is impingement to their right to life and not to commit atrocities against dalits in GP nagar and other communities.

Act before it’s late….

Shri Prithviraj Chavan,Chief Minister,

Government of Maharashtra,

Mantrayala, Mumbai

Ph: 022-23634950

E-mail: chiefminister@maharashtra.gov.in ,

ashish.valsa@gmail.com

Sitaram Kunte, IASMunicipal Commissioner

Office Address:

Municipal Commissioner

Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai

Municipal Head Office

Mahapalika Marg

Mumbai-400 001. 

Tel:0091-22-22620525

e-mail:mc@mcgm.gov.in

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

National Alliance of People’s Movements
National Office : 6/6, Jangpura B, Mathura Road, New Delhi 110014
Phone : 011 26241167 / 24354737 Mobile : 09818905316
Web : www.napm-india.org

Twitter : @napmindia

 

Medha Patkar and Madhuri Shivkar call off their indefnite fast on Golibar demolitions


GHAR BACHAO – GHAR BANAO ANDOLAN

Affiliated with

NATIONAL ALLIANCE OF PEOPLE’S MOVEMENTS

National Office : A Wing First Floor, Haji Habib Building, Naigaon Cross Road, Dadar (E), Mumbai – 400 014.

E-mail: gbgbandolan@gmail.com | Web : www.napm-india.org

———————————————————————————————————————————-

April 13, 2013, Mumbai                               

We shall Fight!! We Shall Win!!!

No demolitions of the 6 projects untill the enquiry is complete

GaneshKrupa Society land belongs to the residents : decision of the joint meeting

Mandala to be the pilot project of Rajiv Awas Yojana of Mumbai

Process of slum declaration and providing civic amenities will happen according to the earlier agreement between Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan and Govt. of Maharashtra

All conditions of the LOI to be complied with and in cases of fraud documents it will be withdrawn

On the 9th day of Medha Patkar and Madhuri Shivkar’s fast at Golibar, Mumbai, Sh. Pritviraj Chavan, Chief Minister, Maharashtra intervened. After a meaningful meeting and written assurances by the Principal Secretary(Housing) and CEO, SRA followed by a meeting and agreement to the demands by the Chief Minister, Medha patkar and Madhuri Shivkar call off the fast at 1 AM on 13thApril, 2013, but the struggle will continue to ensure proper implementation of the decisions.

Earlier in the day on April 12, thousands of supporters and Slum Dwellers reached to the door step of Chief Minister Bunglow and protested there the whole day, which forced the Chief Minister to agree on the demands on the 9th day of the fast.

A delegation consisted of Sh. ChandraShekhar, Architect, Vidya Bal, Editor, Miloon Saryajani (a Marathi Magazine), Pushpa Dave, Writer, Anjali Damania, Sumit Wajale, Prerna Gaikwad, Ajit Gavkhedkar and residents of Golibar and other slums in Mumbai met the Chief Minister.

The fast started on 4th April, 2013 after demolition of 70+ houses of GaneshKrupa Society, Golibar with the following demands:-

1.       The enquiry in respect of 6 S.R.A. Projects, under the chairmanship of Principal secretary, Housing, is in progress since 13th January, 2013. We demand that the work in all these projects should be stopped untill the report of the enquiry is completed and actions taken on the recommendations.

2.       If demolitions are being carried out in accordance with court rulings but the preconditions put forth are not met, main issues and allegations of corruption through forgery, fraudulent consent are not resolved etc., then in such cases project work should be stopped and no further demolitions be carried.

3.       In cases where the residents have submitted self development projects or wish to submit the same, they should be sanctioned and encourgaed and started immediately.

4.       S.R.A. Should ensure that in case of ongoing S.R.A. Projects all conditions in L.O.I. should be complied with.

5.       The L.O.I. of the developer should be withdrawn wherever the developers have submitted forged / false documents or wrong information in violation of the L.O.I – as in case of Shivalik builders.

6.       The Chief Minister of Maharashtra has agreed to implement ‘Rajeev Awas Yojana’ in the slums of Mumbai instead of S.R.A., on 2nd January, 2013. However these very slums are being buldozed even today. So, the displacement of these slums should be stopped till R.A.Y. is implemented. The same was conveyed to the State Government by the Union Minister Ajay maken on April 2, 2013.

7.       Pilot projects in respect of slum at Mandala, Mankhurd under the R.A.Y. Have already been submiited to the state as well as Central Governments. That should be approved and implemented at the earliest.

8.       Civic amenities (like water, toilets, nallahs, roads ) should be provided to all the slums immediately as per the written assurance given by the Municipal Commissioner.

9.       The Chief Secretary had given a written assurance on 25th May, 2011 that 19 bastis as agreed in the list, after 9 day fast by Medha Patkar, will be decalred slums within 3 months. There is no action on this assurance till date. The same should be done. The Chief Minister, and the Principal Secretary, Ministry of Housing had premised again in January, 2013 to complete this action during discussions held with them. They also gave a written assurance to that effect. The displacements that are being carried out at present are, therefore, grossly unjust and hence should be stopped forthwith.

10.    Shri Ajay Maken, Minister for Housing and Urban poverty alleviation, Government of India has written a letter to the Chief Minister, Maharashtra state on 2nd April, 2013. The Chief Minister should declare his stand on the letter in writing.

11.    The land of Sathe Nagar should be given for R.A.Y. . This land is currently under the hold of Bombay Soap company.

 

Chief Minister Agreed to the Following :-

1.      On the issue of Ganesh Krupa Society’s Land: The residents of the Society has paid the amount towards the cost of the land to the government which they agreed. Without the consent of the residents the land cannot be developed. A Joint Meeting within a week will decide about the development of the land.

2.      Rehabilitation building has been constructed on the Defence land which is under court process. No one at the rehabilitation site will be homeless even if defence wins the case. MHADA and Government of Maharashtra will look into the matter. 

3.      No demolition untill the enquiry is complete :- Chief Minister agreed to halt on demolitions of the 6 SRA projects by the Principal Secretary (housing) till the enquiry report comes and action taken. They will take action on the fraudulent cases related to SRA. The enquiry has been promised to be completed by 15th May, 2013.

4.      Mandala will be declared as the Pilot Project of Rajiv Awas Yojana in Mumbai. Chief Minister will talk to the Central Govt. to implement Rajiv Awas Yojana in Mumbai.

5.      Slum declaration process will be according to the earlier agreement between the Andolan and Government of Maharashtra in May, 2011.

6.      Chief Minister agreed to take Mandala as the Pilot Project of Rajiv Awas Yojana and to talk to the Central Government on RAY.

7.      They  ensured all ongoing SRA projects will be complied with all conditions of LOI and in cases of Fraud documents, LOI will be withdrawn.

 

After the agreement between Chief Minister and the delegation from the Movement, Medha Patkar and Madhuri Shivkar call off the fast by Vidya Tai Bal and Pushpa Tai Dave.

Prerna Gaikwad, Aba Tandel, Ajit Gavkhedkar, Alex, Sumit Wajale, Sandeep Yeole, Rajkumar, Santosh Thorat, Shriram Bhardwaj, Ajay Palande, Sangeeta, Jameel Bhai, Imtiaz Sheikh, Poonam Kanaujia, Uday Mohite, Seela Manaswinee

 

Contact : 09892727063 | 09212587159 | napmindia@gmail.com

#Mumbai- The polio-afflicted, mentally disabled boy no-one wants #mentalhealth #WTFnews


Yogesh.Sadhwani @timesgroup.com

Mumbai Mirror, March 8, 2013
A16-year-old mentally and physically disabled boy has been unable to find a home for the past three days, a month after he was found near Mumbai Central station by volunteers from the NGO Childline.
The severely malnourished, polio-afflicted, mentally disabled, deaf-and-mute boy had been abandoned by his family, the social workers who found him believe. He was admitted to Nair Hospital on February 3, and spent a month recuperating there.
Since March 4, social workers have taken him to five different homes, but have been turned away from each one. All five homes shielded themselves with their own interpretations of a Bombay High Court order that states that mentally disabled children should be kept in special homes. At the time of going to press, he was returning to Childline’s call centre at Nair Hospital, where he would spend another day.
After he was treated at Nair for a month, the hospital discharged him and asked Childline – which works with children and coordinates with various homes – to have him sent to a welfare home. On March 4, he was taken to Child Welfare Committee, a quasi-judicial authority that is supposed to look after children in need. Ideally, CWC is supposed to issue an order and find the child a place in one of the city’s many welfare homes. However, the boy, whose name is unknown, was turned down by CWC.
Usually, children found in such circumstances are first first to the Dongri children’s home and then to a home for children with special needs. CWC, however, refused to get him admitted to the Dongri home and told Childline to take him to a home for mentally disabled children instead. The reason CWC cited for this was their interpretation of a high court order, which states that mentally disabled children need to be put in special homes, and that such homes had been transferred from the state’s Women and Child Welfare Department to the Social Justice Department. Officials at CWC simply handed over a copy of the government resolution ordering the transfer, and asked the volunteers and the boy to leave.
Their next stop was at state-run home for the mentally disabled at Mankhurd. Here, too, the superintendent refused to take the child, again quoting the high court order. His interpretation of the order was that the home should not be overcrowded, and since it already over capacity, he could not take on one more child.
The boy was then brought back to Nair Hospital, where he was admitted for two days after Childline volunteers pleaded with hospital authorities. Two days later, Childline volunteers took him to Nagapad police station. Here, too, authorities refused to help. After spending five hours at the police station, where the child was pushed around by cops for ‘misbehaving’, he was taken back to Childline’s 10-ft x 10-ft call centre.
OnThursday,hewastakentoMissionaries of Charity, a home for mentally disabled children in Gorai. Here, hewasturneddownforwantofspace.
Mumbai Mirror contacted Dr Shaila Mhatre, chairperson of CWC, who said: “There is a high court order that such children should be kept in special homes. The court does not want them in ordinary homes, so we could not keep him at Umerkhadi (Dongri). Moreover, most homes for the mentally disable are full.” She added that most special homes refuse to take such children even if CWC orders them to do so. “We at CWC have now become strict about taking such children in homes for ordinary children. What do you expect CWC to do in such a case?”
Anil Gite, superintendent of the Mankhurd home, said, “I have been given orders that our home should notbeovercrowded.RightnowIhave twice the number of children than I ideally should.”
RD Shinde, secretary of the social justice department, was appalled on hearing about the case. “How does it matter which state department runs the home? The CWC and home superintendent should have admited the child immediately. I will see to it that such things are not repeated.”
Dr Harish Shetty, a member of a high-court-appointed committee for the welfare of mentally diabled children, said that the court’s order is being misunderstood. “The order does not say that CWC should reject kids or homes should turn them away just because they are overcrowded. The state has failed miserably in taking care of mentally disabled children. They are India’s unwanted children,” he said.
“The challenged 17-year-old, who is nobody’s child and whom no one wants to take care of, is representative of the situation of challenged, especially mentally challenged, children in India,” said Childline spokesperson Nishit Kumar.
“Childline is increasingly asked by young Indians to rescue/assist the extremely marginalised. However Childline is an emergency response service currently servicing over 4 million calls a year — we do not run shelters and after providing SOS attention, we link children to institutions that can rehabilitate them,” he said.

 

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


Mankhurd shelter home horror

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

Yogesh Sadhwani

Posted On Tuesday, November 06, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The next hearing is on November 26.

 

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


Hours after Mumbai Mirror report…

CM, High Court order probe into horror ‘shelter’

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

 Yogesh Sadhwani, Mumbai Mirror

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#India #Mumbai- Armed men would come, pick women and rape them #VAW


Starved, herded and assaulted at State-run ‘shelter’
‘Armed men would come, pick women and rape them…’
BY- Yogesh Sadhwani @timesgroup.com,  MM, Oct 29,2012

On Saturday, around 60 women housed in the Navjeevan Mahila Vastigruh in Mankhurd, a staterun shelter for women rescued under the Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act, tried to escape after a fight with the caretakers. Of the 36 who scaled the compound wall, 13 were caught while 23 are still at large.
One of them is a 24-year-old from Kolkata (who is not being named to protect her identity) who came to Mumbai four years ago to earn a living. She has a six-yearold son who stays with her parents back home. She was working as a waitress at a city orchestra bar when the police nabbed her in a raid in May this year after which she was sent to the protective home. Mumbai Mirror traced her through a friend who gave her shelter immediately after her escape. In this meeting at a restaurant in a central suburb on Saturday, she spoke about the horrors she lived through at the home.
Iused to work as a waitress in a bar. In May, the police raided the place and nabbed three of us. They took us to the Navjeevan Mahila Vastigruh from the police station. On the very first day we realised that the place was hell on earth. Living conditions were pathetic, food was never enough, and the place was overcrowded.
But all that seemed trivial in front of what we witnessed next. Late one night, a group of six to seven drunken men armed with knivesandchoppersbargedintothehome. They randomly picked up a few girls who were sleeping and started kicking them. They then raped the girls. We were all too scared to intervene.
When the girls who were raped told the caretakers the next day, they just shrugged it off like nothing had happened. In the past four months, I have personally witnessed at least half-a-dozen such incidents. Those who are picked have to suffer while the rest just huddle up in one corner and dare not create a fuss.
The boundary wall of the home is porous and men walk inside as they please. The woman constables and a lone male guard posted at the home sit near the main gate. Even if the girls who get picked up in the night cry for help nobody comes to their rescue.
Most nights, we would stay awake through the night fearing that men would walk in and pick us. Not long ago one such group assaulted two girls. When the girls protested they were brutally beaten and then raped. One of the girls was so disturbed after the incident that she started wandering around the house naked. A couple of weeks later, the authorities called her parents and let her go as she had become a liability.
There are over 350 girls in the home at any given time. Recently a large group of girls rescued from a brothel in Grant Road (Simplex)werebroughthere.Theplacewas swarming with women. Of the two toilets in the home, only one is open. The other has been locked ever since a girl committed suicide in it a couple of months ago. Just one toilet for more than 350 women…
The food was equally pathetic. They gave us small portions of dried and stale vegetables for breakfast. Lunch was unheard of. For dinner we got watery dal and rice. If we asked for chapattis we were abused. The ‘kitchen mummy’ would often force us to work for hours without a break. Those who refused to work were beaten with pans.
After a few weeks of torture I realised that there was no point complaining. I just continued to suffer. In the meanwhile, two ofmyfriendswhowererescuedwithmedeveloped severe medical complications — one of them was bedridden and could barely swallow any food or water. Despite repeated pleas for medical help, the authorities never called a doctor or shifted my friends to a hospital.
On Friday night, another group of men armed with knives barged in as usual. They picked up four women and raped them. On Saturday morning, some of the girls decidedenoughwasenoughanddemandedthat the authorities increase security at the home. We told the chief caretaker about the incident. Instead of giving us a patient hearing she said there was little she could do. One thing led to another and in no time we started complaining about food and living conditions. After a while the argument got out of hand.
Just then we realised that the women constables and the lone male guard had come over to the caretaker’s office to check onthecommotion.Wespottedanopening in the fencing above the compound wall and made a run for it. I just ran out on to the main road and got into an auto-rickshaw. Only when I was far away did I ask the autodriver for a phone to call a friend for help.
I will never ever go back to that place. I would rather die than go back there.
This interview was conducted in Hindi

‘We’ve heard about these incidents, but there’s little we can do’

Members of State’s committee to look into conditions at welfare homes say they’ve got little power, no directions

Members of a recently formed special committee to look into conditions at the staterun shelters admitted that though they often hear about inmates being sexually abused and forced to live in sub-human living conditions, there is nothing they can do to address the problem.
There are around 30 such homes in the state that come under the Women and Child Development Department. Living conditions and security in these homes are largely sub-standard and the state has been struggling to address the issue.
Vidya Chavan, Member of Legislative Council and state president, women’s wing, NCP, who is a member of the special committee formed by the Women and Child Development Department to look into the conditions in these homes, said the department doesn’t act despite the repeated occurrence of such incidents.
Aides of Varsha Gaikwad, Minister for Women and Child Development, said the minister was on a break with her family. Repeated calls and text messages to Dr GD Pawar, officer on special duty to the minister, too went unanswered.
When we tried contacting the superintendent of the Mankhurd home, Ashwini Dighe, we were denied entry by policemen outside the home. Repeated calls to the landline numbers of the superintendent’s office went unanswered.
“The department, especially the minister, doesn’t seem to take the issue seriously,” said Chavan. “In the past, we inspected some homes and even gave recommendations to the department. But nothing has changed. I will now take up the issue with Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan.”
Neelam Gorhe, Shiv Sena MLC, who is also a member of the special committee, said the committee has not been given a clear idea about its mandate.
“The recently formed special committee is expected to inspect each and every home in the state and suggest measures to improve them,” she said. “The sad part is that we are yet to get a clear idea as to what our role is and how muchwecanintervene.Despiterepeated letters to the Women and Child Development Department, I am yet to get anyclarityontheissue.Iwillraisetheissue in the Legislature.”
Qaiser Khalid, additional commissioner of police, central region, said the scope of the police investigation is limited to the complaint filed by the officials at the home.
“The complaint says some women escaped and assaulted their staff,” he said “The home is maintained by the Women and Child Welfare Department and they have to look into any issue pertaining to the running of the home. However, if during the course of our investigation we find that there are certain problems because of which the women ran away we will certainly initiate action.”

 

Two Muslims who took on the Azad Maidan rioters- #mustread


 

HAVE FAITH, WILL NOT FIGHT

While last Saturday’s riots stoked resentment against Muslim leaders, two members of the community taught a few others that Islam is about humanity

Jyoti Punwani , Mumbai Mirroe, August19,2012

Even as the leaders of Saturday’s rally shrug off any responsibility for the violence, two ordinary Muslims, Shadab Siddiqui and Farooq Mapkar stood up to a number of vandals in their community and took them on single-handedly and unarmed. Both say they could not watch as the youngsters sullied the name of Islam through their misconduct.
Thirty six-year-old poetess and social activist Shadab Siddiqui was on her way to work on Saturday afternoon when she saw around 40 Muslim boys with flags, travelling on the roof of the same Harbour line train as she was on.
They were all headed to the Azad Maidan rally, and were shouting religious slogans, clambering down into compartments, leaning out and clinging on to windows.
“Other commuters were not only getting annoyed with the noise they were making, but were also worried that they could lose their limbs, or even their lives,” she said. However, every time a commuter told them to get down, the commuter ended up getting shouted at.
Shadab, who works in the office of the Avami Vikas Party (recently founded by ex-ACP Shamsher Khan Pathan), had herself sent out press releases for the rally. “We made sure to describe it as a peaceful protest, but these boys were anything but quiet. It really bothered me,” she said. She immediately called an Urdu journalist and asked him to alert the police, but nothing happened.
When the train halted at Wadala, Shadab got off and requested the railway police to take action, but they said they were helpless. Then, she marched straight to the motorman who also said he didn’t dare intervene. Feeling she had had enough, Shadab jumped onto the tracks in front of the train, sat down there, and shouted that she would not move till the boys came down. If they didn’t, she told the motorman, he could start the train and run her over. “I thought that if the boys saw a Muslim standing up against them, they would be very ashamed,” she said.
It worked. And Shadab only got up when the last boy got off the roof and into the compartment.
“Earlier, I didn’t want to go to this allmale rally,” she said. “But now I was so furious that I decided I would go to Azad Maidan, get onto the stage and tell the organisers that they had failed in their responsibility to ensure a peaceful rally.”
However, when she reached CST, Shadab found vehicles burning, and volunteers asking everyone to go home. As she entered the station, she saw that a bus had been set on fire.
“Many women and children were huddled inside the police cabin on Platform 1 for a very long time. Non-Muslims kept asking me what was going on, and I felt so ashamed. If I could, I’d talk to those boys and tell them that inconveniencing others is not Islam.”
For Farooq Mapkar, a victim of the Hari Masjid firing during the 92-93 riots, it would have been easy to join the mob of youngsters he saw misbehaving with a Hindu at Wadala station on the way back from the rally. Especially since Mapkar has been fighting for 14 years to get the policeman (a Hindu) who shot him inside Hari Masjid punished. Instead, when the youngsters got on the train, Farooq reprimanded them all the way from Wadala to Mankhurd.
The youngsters shot back, saying that Hindus had killed Muslims in Assam. “That doesn’t justify your behaviour here with innocent Hindus,” Farooq told them. “I told them my story, and also that those who have helped me the most have been non-Muslims. I explained to them that their misconduct would make it very difficult for any Muslim to expect non-Muslims to help them in future.”
Farooq said he felt that his patience had paid off when the group of once-incensed youngsters turned around and apologised to him as they got off the train.

Shadab Siddiqui said she wishes she could tell the rioters that inconveniencing others is not Islam
Farooq Mapkar spent a long time convincing a group of Muslim boys that hurting innocent Hindus in Mumbai was not the answer to their problems

 

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