#India -Daughters, wives sold to repay debt; NHRC notice to U.P. #WTFnews #Vaw


J. BALAJI, The Hindu

Incident allegedly took place in State’s Lalitpur district

A social activist Lenin Raghuvanshi has claimed that women and daughters were sold off to repay debts in Uttar Pradesh’s Lalitpur district in Bundelkhand region.

Mr. Raghuvanshi said that caste discrimination is so intense in some villages of Bundlekhand that a Dalit has to take off his chappal and hold it in his/her hand if a person belonging to the Thakur caste is approaching.

Taking a serious view of such incidents, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued notices to the Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police calling for reports on the complaint within four weeks.

Fact-finding team

It also directed the NHRC Director General (Investigation) to send a fact-finding team to study and file a report about such discrimination against the oppressed class.

Mr. Raghuvanshi also alleged that a Dalit cannot wear chappal or shoes and must walk barefoot if he/she wants to visit the area dominated by people belonging to the upper caste.

 

Sati deaths

Women belonging to the Balmiki community manually dispose off night soil and carcass. Violence against women is rampant and a number of S ati deaths have been reported from the region during the last few years. Even the sex-ratio is very adverse in the area, Mr. Raghuvanshi added.

 


  • ‘In some Bundlekhand villages, a Dalit has to take off his/her chappal if a Thakur is approaching’
  • Balmiki women dispose off night soil, carcass manually: Activist

 

Violence in Dalit hostel: NHRC issues notice to HRD Ministry


BS|  New Delhi  June 5, 2013

The National Human Rights Commission today issued a notice to the Union HRD Ministry over alleged caste-based discrimination and violence in a hostel of Dalit students in Patna University.

According to an NHRC statement, the Commission issued notice to the Secretary of the ministry and has given him four weeks time to respond.

The notice was issued after the rights panel took cognisance of a media report alleging fierce caste-based discrimination and violence in the PU hostel accommodating Dalit students.

The panel has also received a complaint from an NGO, Navsarjan Trust of Ahmedabad, quoting media reports that 18 Dalit students committed suicides during the last four years in premier educational institutions including IIT-Mumbai, IIScBengaluru, IIT-Kanpur, AIIMS, the statement said.

It has observed that the news report, if true, reflects widespread prevalence of discrimination towards Dalits in the educational institutions driving them to take extreme steps.

“The state has the responsibility and duty to ensure that an atmosphere is created in educational institutions wherein everyone, irrespective of caste, creed or religion, can pursue studies. The Constitution has also elaborate provisions to stop discrimination against the Dalits,” the statement said.

 

Gulail Expose – The Squad’s Fall Guys


The Maharashtra ATS persists with the prosecution of 13 innocent Muslims by keeping the evidence of their innocence from the court. Ashish Khetan exposes a sinister conspiracy of the men in uniform.Additional reporting by Thufail PT
Not one but two acts of terror visited us on July 11th 2006. The first was inflicted by those who planted seven deadly bombs on suburban trains in Mumbai, snuffing out 188 innocent lives. The second, invisible but equally insidious, was unleashed in its aftermath. It was those sworn to uphold the rule of law, to be fair and just who launched a systematic programme of Muslim persecution.In the name of combating terror, the Mumbai police and its specialized anti-terror squad (the ATS), tortured, humiliated and stripped at least twenty innocent Muslims of all their basic human rights. Their right to live with dignity, their right to be a Muslim, their right to earn an honest living—was mercilessly taken away in one fell swoop.

Waterboarding, administration of chemicals through veins and anus, giving electric shock to their private parts, sleep deprivation, threat of raping family members were among some of the techniques of coercion that were applied to extract false confessions.

In the course of its investigations Gulail is putting out internal documents running into hundreds of pages that exposes how the anti-terror agencies deliberately misled the Indian Courts, how material facts are being concealed from both the public and the judiciary and how different versions of the same terror plot are touted before different courts. Our expose establishes how the Maharashtra ATS selectively picked and chose from the revelations made in a subsequent terror investigation. This was done to retrospectively validate the bogus 7/11 train blasts investigation. These documents reveal how one version of a terror conspiracy was circulated for the internal consumption of the agencies and another for the judiciary.

This investigation by Gulail exposes the false implication of innocent and disempowered Muslims in crimes they never committed. It lays bare the sinister and elaborate conspiracy of the Maharashtra ATS of manufacturing bogus evidence, planting explosives in the houses of innocent accused and dressing up stoolpigeons as eyewitnesses.

It shows that the Maharashtra ATS’s investigation was guided by a deep rooted and extreme prejudice against the Muslims. Anyone with a past association with the student organization¬¬¬¬– Students Islamic Movement of India was automatically deemed a terror suspect. The act of publishing Islamic books was equated with sedition. To be a devout Muslim was seen as a sure sign of extremism. Gulail’sexpose shows that the ATS instead of carrying out a methodical, in-depth or scientific investigation opted for the easiest route. They went after the usual suspects. Anyone with a past, formal or informal, association with SIMI was hauled up to the police station and tortured. And as days went by without any leads or break-through and public pressure to show results grew, the ATS implicated a set of former SIMI members who had been kept in illegal detention since the blasts. This story lays bare the absolute farcical method of ATS investigation and utter contempt for the due process of law.

More significantly, Gulail puts the spotlight on a deep crisis brewing in our democracy. It is a crisis of a loss of faith in the ideals of justice and perhaps the very idea of a secular India. Every act of police brutality and false implication not just strikes at the rule of law. It also erodes the faith of our minorities in the capacity of this nation to dispense equal justice and to live by the promise made by our founding fathers. This story exposes the deep rot that has set in in our system, one that first condones and then resolutely fails to take any kind of corrective action.

For the last seven years thirteen innocent Muslims are facing a farcical trial in the Mumbai train bombings. A good portion of their life has been spent behind the bars, their families have been forced to live a life of deprivation and hardships and their future and the future of their children has been cast with a permanent shadow.

Gulail is putting out in the public domain the testimonies of unspeakable torture and humiliation of members of the minority community at the hands of the ATS. These Muslims were tortured to extract false confessions of their involvement in the train blast case. Under the draconian law of MCOCA, confessions made before the police are admissible in court. As soon as these accused were sent to judicial custody, they all retracted their confessions, exposing the coercive tactics of the ATS.

All this material amounts to compelling evidence of the deliberate faking of evidence as well as the most inhuman torture of innocent Muslims in police custody to pervert the course of justice.  We hope that these revelations would shock the conscience of those occupying the highest echelons in the judiciary and the government.

In keeping with its promise of fighting against injustice and inequities not only in the public space but also in the courts, Gulail has filed a letter petition in the Bombay High Court and before statutory bodies like the National Human Rights Commission and the National Minorities Commission.

The Usual Suspects
The July 2006 train blasts were the biggest terror strikes in India after the 1993 Bombay blasts. Seven synchronized bombs claimed around 190 lives—an indication of an extremely sophisticated and elaborate conspiracy. So how did the Mumbai police go about the investigation? Did they turn to sophisticated investigative techniques. No, what they did do was haul up the usual suspects, that is, the ex-members or sympathizers of the SIMI to the police station and began interrogating them. These were the same people whom the police had been surveilling for the last 5 years since the ban on the SIMI. They became a familiar sight, hauled into the police station every time there was a bomb explosion in the city. In other words a lazy and malicious police machinery presumed those constantly under their radar to be suspects.Eventually 13 innocent Muslims were oimplicated in the blasts case on the basis of confessions made before police officers.

Take the case of 30-year old (age at the time of his arrest) Abdul Wahid Sheikh who was a teacher at Anjuman Islam AbdusSattarSaheb High School, MaulanaShaukat Ali Road, Mumbai. In 2001 when the SIMI was banned, the Mumbai police had registered a case against Wahid and dozens of other Muslim youth from Mumbai for being members of the banned organization.  Since 2001 the Mumbai police had been following the policy of hauling SIMI members to the police station every time there was a bomb explosion in the city. Since 2001 like other alleged SIMI members Wahid was permanently on the police radar. He was interrogated on multiple occasions after a series of blasts at Ghatkopar, Mulund and Vile Parle in 2002-2003 and the Gateway of India Blasts, 2003. Similarly, after the 7/11 blasts Wahid was detained at the ATS police stations. The ATS finally arrested him under the claim that he had been absconding since the train blasts.  During the trial evidence has now emerged of police station diary entries showing his presence on multiple occasions at different police stations after the train blasts.

Similarly,Dr Tanveer Ansari, a BUMS doctor was working as a specialist in emergency procedures at Fauzia Nursing Home in Nagpada, Mumbai. In 2001, Tanveer had participated in the medical relief work carried out by the SIMI in Bhuj in the aftermath of the 2001 earthquake.  In 2001, when the SIMI was banned, Tanveer was also arrested, accused of being a member of the SIMI. Like other associates of the SIMI, Tanveer too became a usual suspect, questioned multiple times in the aftermath of the bomb explosions. Post 7/11, after some rounds of questioning, Tanveer was illegally detained and finally arrested.
The story of the other eleven accused is more or less similar, except that some of them had absolutely no linkage with the SIMI. Still they were implicated since the ATS needed an array of characters for the fanciful story they had scripted.
The Call Data Records of the cell phones owned by these men have now revealed that they were not even present at the blast site.

Torture and Coercion 
Out of the nine 7/11 accused who were interviewed by Gulail, eight gave a detailed description of the unspeakable torture they were subjected to in police custody (all 13 accused have been behind bars for the past seven years, these interviews were obtained by Gulail with great difficulty in court corridors. Gulail couldn’t speak with the ninth accused MuzammilShaikh in detail as the police escort stopped us from interacting with him).
1
Kala Chowki branch of the ATS was the designated torture chamber. Besides inspectors and constables, senior IPS officers like AN Roy, Naval Bajaj and Jaijeet Singh also participated in torturing these men.

Waterboarding.
The extremely barbaric technique of torture used by the CIA on Guantanamo Bay detainees was used by the ATS on these 13 innocent Muslims. The accused used to be tied to a handcart with their feet up. Their faces were then covered with a piece of cloth and water was poured onto their faces so that they felt like they were drowning.

Narco-analysis in police custody
Many of these men while they were in police custody were also administered chemicals through their veins that was meant to make them unconscious and was supposedly meant to extract information. These narco-analysis tests were carried out in police custody without any medical supervision or court permission. These illegal narco tests were done in addition to the narco-analysis that was done on many of these men with court permission at the FSL, Bangalore facility.

Some of the other techniques of torture that were used:

  1. 180 degree stretching of legs
  2. Electric shock to private parts
  3. Beating with shoes and belts
  4. Chinese water torture: Victims head was fixed to a spot

 

Manufacturing bogus Evidence

The evidence lead in the charge-sheet was of three kinds:-11 MCOCA confessions made to police officers; recoveries of explosives and detonators from some of the accused and  so-called public witnesses (well known stool pigeons or those  under the thumb of the police)  who claimed the unlikely feat of recognising the faces of some of the  accused while getting in and out from the local train though they were strangers to them. However, against most of the accused, the case is based on confessions and recoveries.

Gulail’s investigation reveals the circumstances under which these accused were compelled to sign onto pre-drafted confessions. Some accused agreed to sign under extreme physical pain. But there were some who refused to give in. These men were then told that their wives, sisters and mothers would be raped in front of their eyes and their brothers and father would also be implicated. Faisal Shaikh’s 70-year old father was made to march naked in front of his son. The ATS finally got what they wanted. These men too gave in.
The ATS extracted 11 confessions on the strength of which they filed the chargesheet in the first week of December 2006.  Since then all 13 men have been in jail.


The crackdown on the ‘Indian Mujahideen’ and arrest of Sadiq Sheikh.

In August and September 2008, there were serial blasts in Delhi, Ahmedabad and Surat.  Following some leads in these blasts, the Mumbai Crime Branch arrested one Sadiq Sheikh along with 20 other accused from Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra.

Subsequent to the arrests, the Mumbai Crime Branch claimed to have recorded confessions of more than 10-12 persons including SadiqShaikh, as this was also a MCOCA investigation.
This was a crucial juncture in the terror investigations in India. In a span of a little over one year between August 2007 and September 2008, there were terror bombings in Bangalore (seven serial blasts of July 2008), Hyderabad (Lumbini Park and GokulChaat Blasts of August 2007), UP (triple blasts at Court premises in Lucknow, Varanasi and Faizabad, November 2007), Jaipur (serial blasts of May 2008), Ahmedabad (21 serial blasts in July 2008) and Surat  (aborted attempt as eighteen bombs malfunctioned) and Delhi (five synchronized bomb blasts in market places of Delhi in September 2008). The series of bombings across India hinted at a single, integral terror conspiracy and brought several investigating agencies of different states together and consequent pooling of information.

Evidence emerges that 7/11 was not done by the 13 men originally arrested

Thus, the confessions of Sadiq Sheikh and others as recorded by the Mumbai Crime Branch, are significant, because they clearly point to the fact that even the July Mumbai local train bombings of 2006 were done by this set of people newly arrested and without any reference or link to those prosecuted by the ATS from 2006 onwards!

In other words the set of men arrested following the 2007 and 2008 set of bombings across the country were interrogated by Ahmedabad, Delhi, UP, Karnataka and other police teams and were subsequently made common accused in all these 2007-2008 blasts.
Sadiq Sheikh and his alleged ‘Indian Mujahideen’ accomplices were interrogated by different police agencies on different dates. Each agency prepared detailed Interrogation Reports (IRs). Common to all is the view or conclusion that it is this set of men that were behind even the July 2006 Mumbai local train bombings.

Gulail obtains internal documents of over half a dozen agencies that show the 13 train blast accused are innocent.

Our sources in the Mumbai police and state police agencies of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka who were involved in investigating ‘Indian Mujahideen’ and its alleged involvement in the 2007 and 2008 blasts provided us the Interrogation Reports of Sadiq Sheikh and others prepared by each of these agencies (All these interrogation reports are uploaded on the website). These Interrogation Reports show the dates on which they were prepared and the computers on which they were prepared.

All these Interrogation Reports (IRs) based on ‘confessions’ record a massive and integral conspiracy. These IRs contain a meticulously detailed description of more than eight terror strikes that Sadiq Sheikh and his accomplices had plotted and executed since 2003:These are
1. DashashwamedhGhat, Varanasi, 2004 (the bomb packed in a container had failed to explode. The local police dismissed it as an accident. But Sadiq told the police that it was actually a terror plot)
2. Shramjeevi Express Blast,Jaunpur, UP, 2005
3. Diwali Blasts, Delhi, 2005
4. Varanasi Blasts, 2006
5. Mumbai Train Blasts, 2006
6. Hyderabad Twin Blasts (Gokul Chat and Lumbini Park), 2007
7. Ahmedabad Serial Blasts and the failed Surat Blasts.


Agencies accept Sadiq’s revelations in cases that were yet to be solved

The agencies have themselves claimed (both in court and in public) that Sadiq’s interrogation led to the arrest of over 70 terror suspects by UP ATS, Hyderabad CIC, Ahmedabad Crime Branch, Rajasthan ATS and Delhi Special Cell.

The content of these reports, and  ‘confessions’ etc is part of the charge-sheetSadiq and his accomplices in the alleged oufitnamed Indian Mujahideen were charge-sheeted in all those blast cases in which the investigation was still not completed. Hyderabad Blasts (Gokul Chat and Lumbini Park) of 2007, Ahmedabad and Surat (aborted) Blasts of 2008, Delhi Blasts of 2008 were some of the cases in which the alleged Indian Mujahideen members including SadiqShaikh were charge-sheeted.
At the same time all of them were equally aware that an entirely different set of persons had been put on trial for the same by the Maharashtra ATS.

But those parts of Sadiq’s revelations that go contrary to previous investigations are brushed under the carpet.

Now either Sadiq and his accomplices were responsible for 7/11 bombings or those 13 men who were originally arrested. But the agencies accepted and further corroborated only those of Sadiq’s revelations that related to the investigations in which the accused had still not been identified and arrested by the respective agencies. But revelations pertaining to blasts like 7/11 that went contrary to the police theory were conveniently ignored.

Can in a country governed by rule of law this policy of pick and choose followed by the agencies in the offences punishable with death penalty be condoned?

Thus at least after 2008 September, all the said agencies including ATS Maharashtra were privy to the nature of evidence and revelations pertaining to the July 11, 2006 train bombings and they relied heavily on these revelations in the investigations pertaining to the 2007-2008 bombings. But those revelations that related to the 7/11 Mumbai train blasts were conveniently brushed under the carpet.

The lack of bonafides is evident from the fact that no attempt was made to arrive at the truth or exonerate one set of obviously innocent persons.

But none of these agencies placed the entire relevant material before the MCOCA court trying an entirely unconnected set of 13 men for this very act. Why?

Our intent is not to pass a verdict of guilt against certain accused. But it is only to highlight the blatant discrepancies and contradictions in terror investigations. Evidence that suits a police case is considered credible and evidence that debunks bogus investigations is hidden both from the courts and public view.

HOW THE ATS MISLEAD THE 7/11 MUMBAI COURT

More here- http://www.gulail.com/squads-fall-story.html

 

More than 200 Lathore arson victims return home after 1 year


TNN | Apr 1, 2013, 02.06 AM IST

BHUBANESWAR: It was homecoming for the 218 Dalit arson victims of Lathore in Balangir district as they returned to their colony from the relief camp on Sunday. They moved to the newly-constructed houses, built under the Indira Awas Yojana (IAY), in presence of chairman of National Commission for Scheduled Castes P L Punia.

Official sources said 40 houses in the Dalit colony were allegedly torched by upper caste people following a scuffle between the two communities on January 23, 2012. While 21 houses, which were completely gutted, were replaced by IAY houses, constructed at a cost of Rs 2.10 lakh each, the remaining 19 were repaired to ensure early return of the affected families.

Punia, who was here to unveil a statue of B R Ambedkar at the colony, said the state government is yet to provide basic facilities to victims. “Along with the houses, we had appealed to the government to provide electricity, water connection, roads and toilets in the colony. I will take up the issue with the authorities concerned to ensure proper facilities at the earliest,” he said.

During his visit to Lathore last year, Punia had accused the district police of not restraining the perpetrators from causing damage to property of the Dalits. National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had also served notice on the state government seeking a report on the incident within four weeks.

Sisters of Kasagod write on indefinite fast by the Endosulphan victims


Third Letter From Endosulfan Victims

By Sisters Of Kasargod

30 March, 2013
Countercurrents.org

Dear Friends

This is the third letter that we are writing to you in the past month.We know that many of you got together in your areas in support of our struggle for justice and life, wrote letters, signed memorandums and thought and prayed for us. At this important juncture in our life, we need all of you with us as we are attempting to get back to Life.

So much has happened in the past few days. The indefinite fast and strike in support of the Endosulfan victims by the Endosulfan Victims Janakekya Munnani (EPJM) crossed a month the other day. Fortunately, the discussions by the Government about our fate which took place on March 25th in Trivandrum yielded some positive results that led to the withdrawal of the fast. But we understand that we have to remain alert and our representatives and each one of us have to be on the guard, demanding and insistent. We cannot let the authorities and Government relax in any way and we have to be acutely aware of where all the offers made can be thwarted.
As you know we had submitted a detailed memorandum to the Government on 21st March when we were called for discussion. The major issues in focus were :

1.To review the decision to give aid and help for just 5 years by the Government
2.To include all deserving people in the list which is now incomplete
3. Implement all the recommendations of the National Human Rights Commission
4.Constitute a Tribunal for Compensation and Identification of the Real culprits
5.The debt load of the affected people be taken by the Government
6. To design a scientific rehabilitation program for the affected region
7To remove and detoxify the endosulfan reserves still remaining in the godowns.

The answers given to us by the Government are the following:
1To appoint a Committee to examine the question of a Tribunal to provide compensation for the victims, taking into consideration the liability of the pesticide companies also.

2. Setting up a 3 member Committee ( Kasargod District Collector, Joint Registrar of Cooperatives, Kasargod, and Special Officer in charge of Remediation of Endodulfan victims) to study the demand of waiver of bank loans by victims or their families.

3 Renewal and addition of list of beneficiaries identified by the National Human Rights Commission through new medical camps and examination by an expert team of doctors. In this the number of persons with cancer would be included making the list a total of 2295. The examining of the persons to know if they fulfilled the criteria for compensation recommended by NHRC would not exempt others from receiving the State Government assistance, the number being 5500.

4.The order that indicated that victims would get an assistance for only 5 years would be cancelled. The compensation amount of Rs 5 lakh each to the next of kin of dead victims ( 600 persons paid so far) would be reached to the remaining 134 once the succession certificates are produced.

5.The victims are now getting free rations, free treatment and a monthly pension which would be enhanced from Rs 400- Rs 700 a month.

6.To the newly added list of fresh victims identified as Endosulfan affected last year ( 1318) a fresh medical examination would be conducted by a team of doctors soon.

7. The 11 panchayats identified as Endosulfan affected will be reviewed and more Panchayats and areas outside this will be included where there has been impact of the pesticide.

8. 12 more hospitals will be added to the list of hospitals in Mangalore, Manipal and other parts of Kerala where victims can get free medical care.

9.The Social Welfare Department would pay an additional amount of Rs 1500 per month as compensation to the staff of seven Buds school caring for the mentally challenged children in the region. Ambulances will be provided in all the 11 panchayats.

Though it is a relief that the Government has considered the gamut of issues and concerns of us living in the affected area with our poisoned bodies, we are anxious about the implementation part, the delays and loopholes, the snags and pitfalls.

We request each one of you to stay alert and follow up in your own capacity each of the above promises. We need to build up all pressure so that we can avail of all assistance possible.We want to get out of the victim mode and reinstate a semblance of normalcy in our lives..so our children start smiling, walking, holding and feeling human inspite of all their challenges and incapacities.

In anticipation
Sisters of Kasargod
March 28th, 2013

Anitha.S ( catastrophe64@gmail.com) in conversation with the people of Kasargod.
For details contact : Ambalathara Kunhikrishnan: 08547654654.
M.A.Rahman : 09048576384.
For updates in English contact Amruth : 09400930968

 

NHRC moved over chaining of mentally-ill woman #Vaw


J. BALAJI, The Hindu, Feb 15,2013

In a most heart-rending situation, a poor family (parents) in Odisha’s Balasore district has chained their 30-year-old mentally challenged daughter in a bamboo grove just because she behaves violently and they do not have money for her treatment.

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), which has taken suo motu cognisance of the incident based on a media report, issued notices to the Odisha Chief Secretary and Balasore District Collector seeking reports about the girl and the steps taken by the government for her medical treatment within two weeks.

The media report was forwarded by NHRC’s Special Rapporteur (East Zone-I) Damodar Sarangi seeking intervention of the commission.

The woman, belonging to the Below Poverty Line (BPL), is residing with her parents in village Jirtala or Kasba Jaypur G.P. in Balasore district. She has been suffering from mental illness for the last over six years. She has been resorting to violence and assaulting people quite often. To ward off further trouble, the villagers along with her family members have chained her to a bamboo grove.

 

NHRC issues notice to the Centre on allegations of illegal clinical trials on 3479 children in Delhi hospital


 

Ramesh Shankar, Mumbai
Friday, February 15, 2013, 08:00 Hrs [IST]

Close on the heels of the scathing criticism by the Supreme Court of India  for its alleged negligence in regulating the clinical trials in the  country, the Union health ministry has been given yet another dressing down, this time from an unexpected quarters – the National Human Rights  Commission (NHRC).

According to sources, the NHRC has issued a notice to the Union health  secretary on February 7 on a complaint that illegal drug trials are being  conducted on children without prior consent from the parents of these  children. The Commission has sought a reply from the health ministry within  four weeks’ time.

The human rights watchdog’s notice to the health ministry follows a  complaint by a Delhi-based social activist RH Bansal in which the activist  has alleged that the clinical drug trials violated the human rights of the  innocent children. In his complaint to the NHRC, Bansal alleged that  parents’ approval was not taken for subjecting their children to clinical  trials, which is an illegal and punishable act in the law.

It is learnt that the social activist has demanded to the government to  register criminal cases against doctors and pharmaceutical companies  involved in these clinical trials. He is reported to have asked the  Commission to direct the government to duly compensate the aggrieved  families, as the doctors in the hospital had forced the children into  clinical drug trials.

In his complaint to the NHRC, he alleged that three government hospitals  used 3,479 children in past five years as guinea pigs for clinical drug  trials without seeking the consent of the families. According to reports, Bansal had filed an RTI plea seeking details of the drug trials on children  since 2008. According to the replies from the three hospitals, the number  of such children was 2,056 in Safdarjung Hospital, 1,023 in Kalawati Saran  Children’s Hospital and 400 in Lok Nayak Hospital in Delhi.

Recently, the union health ministry had come under severe criticisms from  the Supreme Court for the alleged negligence in regulating clinical trials  in the country. Hearing a public interest litigation filed by Swasthya  Adhikar Manch, an NGO working in the health sector, the apex court had  remarked that the Centre had slipped into a “deep slumber” even as illegal  drug trials on human beings by multinational companies were wreaking  “havoc” in the country.

In its petition to the Supreme Court, Swasthya Adhikar Manch had alleged  that large-scale clinical drug trials are conducted wherein Indians are  being used as guinea pigs by various pharmaceutical firms.

New Delhi, 7th February, 2013

The National Human Rights Commission today issued a notice to the  Secretary, Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, returnable in four  weeks, on a complaint alleging that three big government hospitals in Delhi . conducted illegal clinical drug trials on 3479 children during the last  five years. These include 2056 children at Safdarjung Hospital, 1023  children in Kalawati Saran Children Hospital and 400 children at Lok Nayak  Jai Prakash Hospital.

The complainant Mr. R.H. Bansal, a representative of an NGO, in his  petition to the NHRC has claimed that he got the information about the  number of children subjected to clinical trials under RTI. He also alleged  that parents’ approval was not taken for subjecting their children to  clinical trials which is an illegal and punishable act. The clinical drug  trials also violated the human rights of the innocent children.

 

#India-NHRC questions sterlising women unhygenically #vaw #womenrights #reproductive rights


Kolkata, Feb 11 : Days after over 100 women were sterilised in a single day at a health camp under unhygienic conditions, the NHRC Monday issued a notice to the West Bengal government.

On the basis of a media report and a complaint, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) issued notice to the principal secretary, health, West Bengal, and to the district magistrate of Malda, returnable in six weeks.

The complainant said that over 100 women were sterilised by two doctors in a day without ensuring basic healthcare facilities.

“The sterilisation operations were performed at a camp at Manikchak village health centre, Malda district. After the surgeries, women were left in the open outside the health centre for recuperation. Some of them were sent to their homes in rickshaws without keeping them under observation for a mandatory period post surgery,” the NHRC said in a statement.

The complainant has demanded a high-level inquiry, action against the erring doctors and monetary relief to the victims.

Due to lack of space in the health centre, some women were dumped unconscious in a field after the mass sterilisation.

The state government has ordered a probe into the incident.

Source: IANS

 

Santosh Hegde panel to probe #Manipur encounter deaths


LEGAL CORRESPONDENT, The Hindu, Jan 9,2013

Former Lokayukta N Santosh Hegde. File photo

The HinduFormer Lokayukta N Santosh Hegde. File photo

Supreme Court rejects State’s demand to entrust job to NHRC

A high-power commission headed by the retired Supreme Court judge, Santosh Hegde, will probe six encounter deaths in Manipur.

A Bench of Justices Aftab Alam and Ms. Ranjana Desai passed this order on a writ petition by the Extra Judicial Execution Victim Families Association, which complained that over 1,500 fake encounter deaths had occurred in the State in the last 10 years.

The Bench said: “This matter requires a further careful and deeper consideration.” It rejected Manipur’s contention that “the occasion for this court to examine those cases would arise only if it holds that the NHRC had failed to perform its statutory functions in safeguarding human rights of the people in the State.”

The Bench said entrusting the probe to the National Human Rights Commission “will completely dissipate the vigour and vitality of Article 32 of the Constitution.”

The Bench said “Article 21 coupled with 32 provides the finest guarantee and most effective protection of the most precious of all rights — the right to life and personal liberty. Any indication of violation of this right would put all the faculties of this court on high alert to find out the truth. In case the court finds that there has, in fact, been violation of the right, it would be the court’s bounden duty to step in to protect those rights against the unlawful onslaught by the state. We, therefore, see no reason not to examine the matter directly but only vicariously and second-hand, through the agency of the NHRC.”

The Supreme Court said: “It is true that Manipur is a disturbed area, that there appears to be a good amount of terrorist activity affecting the public order and, maybe, even security of that State. If the police version of the incidents in question were true, there could have been no question of any interference by the court. Nobody can say the police should wait till they are shot at. It is for the force on the spot to decide when to act, how to act and where to act. It is not for the court to say how the terrorists should be fought. We cannot be blind to the fact that even after 50 years of our independence, our territorial integrity is not fully secure. We request the commission to make a thorough enquiry in the first six cases.”

The commission, which includes the former Chief Election Commissioner, J.M. Lyngdoh, and the former DGP, Karnataka, Ajay Kumar Singh, would also address the larger question of the role of the State police and the security forces and make a report on their functioning within 12 weeks. If it was found that they violated legal bounds, the commission should make its recommendations for keeping the police and security forces within the legal limits without compromising on the fight against insurgency, the Bench said.

 

Firing at Maoist camp: #NHRC seeks reply from #Chhattisgarh govt


Official seal of Chhattisgarh

Official seal of Chhattisgarh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Published: Thursday, Dec 27, 2012,
Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTIThe National Human Rights Commission on Thursday sought a reply from Chhattisgarh government on reports of alleged firing by para-military personnel on a Maoist camp in which a teenager was killed about a fortnight ago.The commission, taking suo motu cognizance of reports of the death of the teenager and arrest of nine others, issued notices to Chhattisgarh’s chief secretary and director general of police and sought a reply in four weeks, a statement from the rights’ body said.

According to reports, on December 12 about 240 CRPF men raided a day-long camp being held by Maoists near villages Sitram and Bala in Paralkot reserve forest area which 20 tribal children were attending.

The CRPF personnel rounded up the villages and allegedly fired at the children, in which a teenager Chainu Mandawi, was killed while nine others were arrested.

A few armed Maoist cadre, who were present in the camp, managed to escape. Police had rounded up the children and sent them to a remand home, the NHRC said.

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