Bridge the Gap , Bring the Change
26 May 2013 Leave a comment
in Advocacy, Announcements, Human Rights, Justice, Kractivism, Law, Minority Rights, Political Prisoners, Prison Tags: Bombay High Court, Gulail, India, Maharashtra, Mumbai, Mumbai Police, Muslim, National Human Rights Commission, Vile Parle
03 Apr 2013 1 Comment
in Advocacy, Announcements, Censorship, Human Rights, Justice, Kractivism, Law, Minority Rights, Violence against Women, Women Rights Tags: Denial-of-service attack, Government of India, Home Secretary, India, Information Technology Act 2000, Internet service provider, Mumbai Police, Telephone tapping
Copyright owners have, in the past, got websites blocked, hired people to conduct likely-to-be-illegal DDoS attacks, and got all-encompassing John Doe Orders to get anything they want blocked.
While it quotes a “cyber security expert” who says that the Copyright Act, the IPC or section 66 of India’s IT Act can be used in this case, it doesn’t question why the person was let off with a warning. That seems rather arbitrary, because if a complaint has been filed, surely the decision on whether to let the person go or not should be left to the Judiciary, not the Police. Or does the Police usually go warning people and letting them go after copyright owners file a complaint? The report doesn’t mention the complainant, the user, the company involved, the content being downloaded or the torrent site.
Is this tapping of citizens’ Internet connections legal? If you look at the 1996 PUCL judgment on (phone) tapping, it clearly points out:
Telephone – Tapping is a serious invasion of an individual’s privacy. With the growth of highly sophisticated
communication technology, the right to sold telephone conversation, in the privacy of one’s home or office without interference, is increasingly susceptible to abuse. It is no doubt correct that every Government, howsoever democratic, exercises some degree of subrosa operation as a part of its intelligence outfit but at the same time citizen’s right to privacy has to be protected from being abused by she authorities of the day.
The judgment states:
1. An order for telephone-tapping in terms of Section 5(2) of the Act shall not be issued except by the Home Secretary, Government of India (Central Government) and Home Secretaries of the State Governments. In an urgent case the power may be delegated to an officer of the Home Department the Government of India and the State Governments not below the rank of Joint Secretary. Copy of the order shall be sent to the Review Committee concerned with one week of the passing of the order-.2. The order shall require the person to whom it is addressed to intercept in the course of their transmission by means a public telecommunication system, such communications as are described in the order. The order may also require the person to whom it is addressed to disclose the intercepted material to such persons and in such manner as are described in the order.
The Police and their CyberCrime cells proactively scanning Internet connections certainly amounts to invasion of privacy.
Readers should also be aware that India doesn’t have a privacy law, as was pointed out by the Standing Committee that criticised the Indian government’s Unique Identity project, saying that
“In the absence of data protection legislation, it would be difficult to deal with the issues like access and misuse of personal information, surveillance, profiling, linking and matching of data bases and securing confidentiality of information etc.”
Maybe it’s time someone filed a case to prevent government organizations from snooping on its citizens, ad-hoc. If you’re not worried yet, take a look at the Home Ministry’s snooping tender that we’d written about.
03 Apr 2013 4 Comments
Mumbai, April 2 (IANS) An artiste-activist couple from a Pune-based theatre group, accused of having Maoist links, court arrested outside the high-security precincts of Maharashtra legislature here Tuesday.
The duo, Sachin Mali and Sheetal Sathe of the Kabir Kala Manch, have been charged under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for having Maoist links.
“We wish to come clean of all allegations slapped against us mentioning us as providing aid to and assisting the Naxal (Maoist) movement. We wish to co-operate with the agencies and wish to have our names cleared,” Mali said as he was being escorted away by police under tight security.
The couple, which had gone underground and remained wanted for several years, have contended that their surrender is like a “revolution” and that they expected restraint from torture or being implicated in false cases by the authorities.
However, it was not clear why they chose to surrender in a public place in south Mumbai which is under a high security cover in view of the ongoing legislature session.
“A formal arrest has been registered with the Marine Drive Police Station and later they were handed over to the ATS for further investigation. The case is now being probed by the ATS, as it has the primary charge of investigating Maoist activities in the state,” Deputy Commissioner of Police Ravindra Shishwe told media persons after the developments.
Asked for his reaction, Home Minister R.R. Patil said his department was investigating the matter and he would not be able to comment on it till detailed information is received.
31 Mar 2013 2 Comments
The Special Branch has put city police on alert about a “women terrorist group” being trained in Kerala. The group’s spokespersons have threatened to sue the cops stating they are social reformers
March 31, 2013
Vinay Dalvi, Mid Day
The Mumbai Police Special Branch(SB)— has issued a circular, alerting the city’s police force about the possibility of highly-trained women militants posing a threat to the city.
The group, identified in the circular as Girls’ Islamic Organisation (GIO), is a part of the 65-year-old Jamaat-e -Islami Hind and is said to be currently undergoing training in Kerala. “The group is being instructed mostly in the Quran and Hadis under their commanders,” the notice states, adding that the main purpose of the organisation is to tap extremist elements in schools and colleges in India.
However, when SUNDAY MiD DAY contacted the Jamat office, an official spokesperson vehemently denied the allegations and said they were planning to sue the Mumbai police for making defamatory statements against them. The SB circular actually names Sahela Baji as the head of the group’s Maharashtra unit. Another woman, Sumaiyya Muslim, is said to be readying the group for Jihad.
The group has a Facebook page with 3,177 likes and is regularly updated. “This is a one-of-a-kind group, which involves women. We have alerted all the police stations and the units across the state,” said a senior officer from the Special Branch on condition of anonymity. When contacted Additional commissioner of police Naval Bajaj refused to comment on the issue stating that they had no information on such an alert. However Mumbai Police’s official spokesperson Satyanarayan Chaudhary said, “The circulars issued by Special Branch are confidential.”
Jamat-e-Islami Hind angry at accusations
“We are not a violent organisation. Our job is to connect with Muslims across the country and do good work. We work for social reforms and fight for women’s rights too. We do believe in Jihad, but in non-violent, spiritual Jihad. We are considering legal action against the Mumbai police,” said Tauffiq Aslam Khan, president of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, the parent body of GIO
17 Mar 2013 Leave a comment
in Advocacy, Announcements, Human Rights, Justice, Kractivism, Law, Minority Rights, Violence against Women, Women Rights Tags: Complaint, Delhi, FIR, Harassment, law, Mumbai, Mumbai Police, Police officer, Police station
A police woman reaches out to women in one of the ads created by the ad agency
Kainaz Karmakar and Harshad Rajadhyaksha of ad agency O&M have launched this special ad campaign, which puts the focus on the Mumbai Police. Karmakar said, “After the Delhi gang-rape incident in December, Mumbai’s Joint CP Himanshu Roy published a statement in the newspaper saying that the force had undertaken initiatives to train them to deal with sensitive cases. He added that perhaps they needed to publicise them better. That’s where we got this idea.” The duo approached Roy, who put them in touch with Joint CP Sadanand Date, Law and Order. “We deliberately chose ordinary officers with whom the public would interact at police stations,” said Date.
“Namaste, ladies. Do you know who my father is? You can’t even imagine what I’m capable of. You don’t know how well connected I am. Don’t be afraid of anyone who uses such phrases and misbehaves with you. Come to the police. No matter how well connected they are. We’ll connect them to jail…” says a silver mustachioed police officer in one of the advertisements.
In another ad, PSI Vidya Kaldate addresses Mumbai’s women. “I know that you often tolerate harassment from men. You do not even complain against them, worrying how you will tell a male officer what someone said to you, or what a man did to you. That’s precisely why many women police officers like me are present at police stations, for your help and support. So don’t tolerate any harassment…”
Date also suggested shooting similar campaigns to create awareness within the force as well. These internal ad campaigns are played at over 150 city police stations every morning during roll call. They feature ordinary women, reminding cops that they depend on them for safety. “It will help our officers realise that merely registering an FIR is a great help,” said Date.
In another ad, Senior police inspector AR Shaikh of Malwani police station addresses the camera in four languages. “This is meant to counter the impression that police only pay heed to complainants who speak Marathi,” explains Karmakar. Shaikh was delighted to star in the ad. “It was a unique experience and I’m glad I did the advertisement. The message has gone out to women that we are here and ready to help them.”
In fact, it was Shaikh’s co-star senior police inspector (traffic), Rajendra Chauhan’s idea to feature traffic police as they end up being the first point of contact for victims of harassment. As you cross the shopping district of SV Road Bandra, Deputy Commissioner of Police Harvinder Kaur Waraich, armed with a baton is seen on a billboard. “Ladies should never hesitate to approach the police. The main purpose of the campaign is public awareness. Working women know about policewomen, but housewives may be unaware.”
The ads clear another myth that the police are reluctant to take complaints. “Complaints do get registered and we wanted to bring that out. Every piece is simple and tackles a real fear in the quiet victim’s mind,” concludes Karmakar
17 Mar 2013 2 Comments
in Advocacy, Announcements, Human Rights, Justice, Kractivism, Law, Minority Rights Tags: Abhishek Bachchan, Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Facebook, India Gate, Mumbai, Mumbai Police, NASSCOM, YouTube
The Hindu, March 17
Bid to understand pulse of citizenry
The police have termed this an important step which will help them keep an eye on issues being discussed among youth on the Internet and to bridge the gap between the expectations of the public and delivery of police services.
Inaugurating the 24X7 lab, Commissioner of Police Satyapal Singh said its purpose was not to invoke censorship on discussions of various subjects, but only to analyse them.
“The youth protest at India Gate after the [December 2012] gang rape in Delhi was mainly fuelled by discussions on social networking sites. Taking a clue from that, we thought that the traditional sources of information do not sometimes give the correct picture of societal needs and misgivings and hence we decided to set up the country’s first social media lab.”
Dr. Singh said the lab’s primary work would be to understand the pulse of the citizenry and to prepare “ourselves for it.” “Till now, we haven’t ever tried to understand what is happening on the Internet, but now is the time to change that.” The lab would assimilate relevant information from all open sources in the public domain and 20 specially trained officers would work in shifts.
The project is supported by the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) and is funded by Reliance Foundation. Actor Abhishek Bachchan, who was present, called the formation of the lab a proactive step from the police.
08 Mar 2013 3 Comments
in Advocacy, Announcements, Human Rights, Justice, Kractivism, Law, Minority Rights, Violence against Women, Women Rights Tags: Ahmed Ali, Inspector-General of Police, January, law, Mumbai, Mumbai Police, Police, Superintendent (police)
Mumbai: The Mumbai police’s crime against women cell (CAWC) will start functioning from Friday. The special cell will probe cases of rape, molestation, dowry and other atrocities against women. TOI was the first to report on the state’s initiative to start a separate investigation wing to probe cases of crimes against women.
While the state government had decided to set up the cell in January, the idea remained only on paper. On Wednesday, TOI reported that the cell had not been set up even 40 days after the proposal was cleared.
Home minister R R Patil will officially announce the formation of the cell at a function at the Gateway on Friday. The first-ofits-kind crime detection cell for women will be headed by a DCP.
“DCP Sharda Raut, who currently holds the charge of the police HQ, will hold the additional charge of this cell till we find an appropriate officer to lead it,” said a source.
The cell will be monitored by the joint commissioner of police (crime). It will have one DCP, two assistant commissioners of police, six police inspectors andtwo dozen police constables. The total strength of the CAWC will be 65. Police inspectors Sangita Patil and Neeta Phadke are the women officers selected to the cell. “The officers of this cell will be specially trained to tackle crime against women,” said Addl CP (crime) Niket Kaushik.
The functioning of the CAWC, which will have two units, will be similar to that of other crime branch units, which conduct parallel probes into major crimes in the city. “While one unit will probe cases of rape, kidnapping, molestation and harassment, the other unit will investigate cases like dowry and harassment by in-laws,” said JCP (crime) Himanshu Roy.
The CAWC will have its office in the upcoming building at the police HQ. Till then, it will operate out of the old administrative building.
FAIR PLAY FOR FAIR PROBE
The first-of-its-kind crime detection cell for women will be headed by a deputy commissioner of police. It will have two units
The functioning of the cell will be monitored by the joint commissioner of police (crime)
It will have one DCP, two assistant commissioners of police, six police inspectors and two dozen police constables
The total strength of the special unit, which will comprise mostly women, will be 65
22 Feb 2013 1 Comment
MUMBAI CONSULTATION ON POLICE REFORMS: ‘BETTER POLICING -SAFER CITY: HOW TO MAKE IT HAPPEN
Date: Friday, 22 February, 2013
Venue: USTAV BANQUET HALL, JAMSHEDJI TATA ROAD CHURCHGATE
PRESS STATEMENT ON THE DELIBERATIONS AT THE ABOVE MEETING: 22/02/13
The COMMONWEALTH HUMAN RIGHTS INITIATIVE [ CHRI] Delhi in association with Citizen Initiative for Peace (CIP), Praja, PCGT, M R. Pai Foundation. Akshara, Forum against Oppression of Women and Forum of Free Enterprise organized this event.
A meeting of over 80 of the leading activists representing over 30 organisations / civil society in Mumbai voiced deep concern about the state of women’s safety and indeed the safety of all mumbaikars.
Attended by no less personage as Shri Julio Rebeiro, [ Former Mumbai Police Commissioner], Dr. Shri A.N Roy [Former Director General of Police, Maharashtra ], Shri Shailesh Gandhi [ former Central Information Commissioner ]. Mr. Satish Sahney [Former Mumbai Police Commissioner], leading Advocates, Women and Rights Activists and concerned Citizens.
The discussions pointed out that despite the bitter complaints against the inefficiencies of policing in Mumbai, its bias’s and violence, police performance was failing the public. Bandage remedies such as transfers or punishment postings will not do. There is a need for root and branch improvement. The constabulary have to be better equipped not with arms and ammunition but with a better value system that ensures that there will be more responsive and less illegal policing and better all round every day performance.
The leadership must ensure that the ordinary constable has good working conditions decent wages and better hours of work. Training must be imparted to the police personnel in educating on high standards to human rights, gender sensitivity and respecting multi-religious diversity. At the same time they must take responsibility for lapses in policing and be completely accountable.
The political administration is responsible for delivering better policing that has the confidence of the public in Maharastra.
The meeting also called the State Government to implement the Police Reforms as outlined in the Supreme Court Judgement of 2006. The Supreme Court had given certain directions in view of the urgent need for preservation and strengthening of the Rule of Law. It had prescribed the setting up of three institutions in the state: A State Security Commission, Police Establishment Board and Police Complaints Authority, in other words calling for a systemic changes into the functioning of the PoliceDepartment.
It must lay down policing policies and targets to be achieved in the year after creating a political plan. This plan must be made in consultation with local communities and be a public document against which police performance can be evaluated and judged. It is only when communities are engaged with policing that the police will gain public confidence.
The meeting called for the State Security Commission to put in place a credible planning process in which enhanced safety of women and vulnerable groups such as children, migrants and minorities is specially addressed.
The meeting also agreed to a plan of action to make this an election issue for the forthcoming 2014 elections and demand from the Political parties to not only include this in their manifesto but ensure that the Police Reforms are implemented thereafter .
Hence it becomes necessary for the incumbent Government to bring in the police reforms without any further delay during their current tenure.
The meeting agreed to work together with police and administration in creating better policing outcomes for the city and asked all Mumbaikars to join in this effort.
Issued by Dolphy D’souza, Citizens Initiative for Peace [CIP] & Ms Maja Daruwalla , Director CHRI, Organising Committee and the participants of the meeting .
Cell: 9820226227 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dolphy Dsouza – 9820226227
Citizens Initiative for Peace [CIP]
43, Kalina, Santacruz East,
Mumbai 400 029.
18 Feb 2013 3 Comments
Ex-encounter cop planned builder’s murder
Pranab Jyoti Bhuyan l @pranabbhuyan, DNA
Vashi: A retired state police encounter specialist and a shooter were arrested between Saturday late night and Sunday morning in connection with the murder of Navi Mumbai builder Sunil Kumar Loharia.
Two men on a motorcycle had gunned down the 50-year-old builder in front of his office in Vashi’s sector 28 on Saturday morning, moments after he got off his white BMW. Local people had caught one of the shooters, Venkatesh Shettiyer, 35, from the spot while the other, Wazid Qureshi, 28, managed to flee.
Qureshi was arrested from his home in Mumbra. And Emmanuel Amolik, the 62-year-old retired police officer, was arrested from Naigaon in Dadar late on Saturday night. Police said Amolik had paid a “supari” to Qureshi and Shettiyer to kill Loharia.
Navi Mumbai police commissioner AK Sharma said Shettiyer had spilled the beans during interrogation. “We arrested both based on what he told us. Investigations are on to find out if someone else is involved,” he said.
Amolik, an encounter specialist with the Maharashtra police, served at Thane, Solapur, Nagpur, and Mumbai before retiring as an inspector in 2011. He was an inspector in Navi Mumbai in 2004 and the CID had arrested him in 2003 in connection with a fake encounter.
“Qureshi has several cases registered against him in Mumbai,” Sharma said. “Qureshi and Amolik know each other for the past several years.”
All three have been booked. A Belapur court on Sunday sent Shettiyer and Amolik to police custody till February 22. Qureshi will be produced in court on Monday.
Additional commissioner Fateh Singh Patel said Amolik told them that he had a fight with Loharia more than a month ago over parking at Sanpada’s Moraj Circle on Palm Beach Road.
“He told us that Loharia had flashed his gun and threatened to kill him. He said he wanted to avenge his insult,” the officer said. “In fact, Amolik told us that he would have killed Loharia that same day if he had a gun. We are trying to find out how much he paid Qureshi and Shettiyer.”
Another officer from the Vashi police station said Shettiyer had told them on Saturday that they killed Lohariya over some property dispute in Kharghar. “After Qureshi and Amolik were arrested he, however, told us that he lied to mislead the investigators. We are questioning many people and trying to find out the real reason behind the murder.”
Loharia’s family conducted his last rites on Sunday evening. One of the family members said they were unhappy with the way the police were investigating the matter. Loharia’s son Sunny Kumar said the crime branch of the Mumbai police should investigate. He has written a letter to the chief minister as well, he said.
“We have given the names of a couple of builders and architects who we feel could be involved,” he said. “On Saturday, I got a call on my mobile phone asking me not to name a particular builder. I have told this to the police, but they seem very casual about it.”
Published Date: Feb 18, 2013
24 Jan 2013 Leave a comment
in Advocacy, Announcements, Human Rights, Justice, Kractivism, Law, Minority Rights, Violence against Women, Women Rights Tags: Indian Penal Code, Mumbai, Mumbai Police, Navi Mumbai, Rape, Sharma, Tuesday, Vashi
In an incident that sent shockwaves across Navi Mumbai, a five-year-old girl, who had gone missing on Tuesday evening, was found dead outside her residence in Vashi in the early hours of Wednesday. Medical reports say the child was raped. The police are interrogating the building watchman where the child used to stay with her parents.
The police said the girl�s parents returned home from work on Tuesday evening to find their child missing. Her two brothers were playing with their friends some distance away from the residence and didn�t know where she was. The parents lodged a complaint with the APMC police late on Tuesday night.
�They returned home at around 2:30 am on Wednesday and found her dead body near their house. They rushed back to the police station to inform us and we sent a team with them. The victim�s body was taken to the Navi Mumbai municipal hospital for autopsy,� said a police officer.
The police began the probe working on the assumption that the accused could be a resident of the same locality and would have known when the victim would be alone in the house.
Meanwhile, the hospital sent its preliminary medical report to the police late on Wednesday night. �The reports have confirmed that the victim was raped. We have registered a complaint of murder and rape under the Indian Penal Code and relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act,� said Navi Mumbai Police Commissioner A K Sharma.
Opinion on cause of death has been withheld pending further examination.
�We suspect that she was strangled to death. Apart from the injuries to the victim�s private parts and some bruises near the mouth, there were no other external injuries,� Sharma said.