The wrongful arrest of Naveen Soorinje #VAW reporting


 

The Kasturi TV reporter was named in the chargesheet that identified 43 others who attacked a birthday party in Padil. Strangely, Soorinje was amongst the first few to report the assault

G Vishnu
New Delhi,  08 November 2012


In a brazen attack on journalists’ freedom in Karnataka, Mangalore police have arrested Naveen Soorinje, a journalist with Kasturi TV, a kannada news channel. The 28-year-old scribe was arrested at 10.30 in the night when he was returning from a reporting assignment.

As absurd as it can get, Naveen was named in the chargesheet that identified 43 others from the Hindu Jagarana Vedike (a right-wing Hindutva group) who attacked a birthday party at a home-stay in Padil. The attackers, just like the Shri Rama Sene’s pub attack in Mangalore in 2008, beat up and molested young girls stating that they were indulging in a rave party and that it was against Indian culture.

Strangely, the chargesheet of the case names Naveen, amongst the first reporters to have reached the spot of the attack and covered it, with the same charges as those who beat up and molested the girls present there. Naveen is the 44th accused and has been booked under 120 (b); conspiracy, 143; unlawful assembly, 147; rioting, 148; rioting with deadly weapons, 447; criminal trespassing, 325; causing grievous hurt, 354; assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty, 504, 506, 509, 358 to be read with IPC 149, 448, 114, 341, 323, 324. Ironically, the 43 other accused were identified with the help of the footage shot by Naveen’s cameraman. Naveen, who had got tipped off by a local source — call records of Naveen from the day available with TEHELKA shows that it was not one of the attackers — turned up at the spot with a cameraman merely to do his job of reporting the incident.

The police had initially charged that Naveen did not inform the police about the attack while he covered. The dubiousness of the charge notwithstanding – the CDR records of Naveen from that day show that he not only made repeated calls to the Mangalore Police Commissioner (who was out of town at the time), as well as Ravish Nayak, inspector of the nearby police station, but never got a call back from the local cop. Little surprise, that it was the same cop who arrested Naveen.

Accustomed to harassment of all kinds, as other reporters in Mangalore testify, Naveen has been an intrepid reporter for a decade. He has been reporting with rigour, the unlawful activities of Sangh Parivar goons, police harassment of Malekudia tribals in the name of Anti-Naxal Operation and the land mafias. Hence, this case hardly intimidated Naveen, who after getting the warrant two weeks earlier had applied for an anticipatory bail, which never came along because of court holidays.

“Last night, after covering a JD(S) rally that Kumaraswamy attended, we were returning when Inspector Ravish Nayak of Kankanady police station stopped us near Padil. They claimed it was a police check but the personnel left soon after taking Naveen into custody,” says Shiva, cameraman with the same channel Naveen works for. “They took him to a magistrate and was sent to Mangalore Sub-jail within 20 minutes, which gave us no time to react,” he added.

Curiously, the arrest came right after JD(S) Kumaraswamy’s provocative statement in his speech that he would have the mighty RSS leader Kalladka Prabhakar Bhat. Reporters who have faced harassment in the hands of the local administration and Sangh Parivar goons are convinced that Naveen’s arrest was a simple case of political vendetta as Kasturi channel (where Naveen works) is owned by none other than Kumaraswamy.

Vendetta or not, the arrest of Naveen only goes on to further assert the idea that Karnataka is being run by a communal and an authoritarian regime that has no respect for freedom of expression or other basic rights.

G Vishnu is a Correspondent with Tehelka.
vishnu@tehelka.com 

Mangled Lore- Would our culture saviours revive the attire of the Chola bronzes? #VAW #Moralpolicing


 

MEENA KANDASAMY, in Outlook

Marriage took me to Mangalore. Living in Attavar, I saw the city as a sister/lover: a feisty woman caught in the grip of a violent, disapproving man, she’d be rid of him if she found her strength. So, when I first heard of the recent assault by Hindutva vigilantes at a resort in Padil, I was relieved that Mangalore’s everyday fate was finally gaining national attention.

Mangalore’s story has its twisted echo in Subash Padil, a right-wing criminal of the Hindu Jagaran Vedike with an astounding record: participation in the pub attacks in 2009 to real estate-related violence to masterminding the July 28 assault at Morning Mist Home Stay.

Mangalore’s story also shows how Hindutva seeks to regulate social life; how dress becomes a component of identity construction to define the Other. RSS leader Kalladka Prabhakar Bhat had wanted the veils of Muslim women to be lifted so he could glimpse what they had to offer. Even ex-women and child development minister C.C. Patil, with a weakness for pornography, had exhorted women to dress decently. Here, Muslim women are blamed for covering up, Christian women are blamed for showing skin and Hindu women are blamed for aping them.

Capitalising on conservative tendencies, Hindutva has managed to turn everyone in the city into an informer. Bus conductors send SMSes to reactionary outfits when they see an inter-religious couple socialise. Mobilisation, like justice, is instant. Recruiting its rank and file from the backward castes like Billavas and Mogaweeras, Hindutva has indoctrinated them and created vigilantes. So, they break into private property to deliver justice. Under the BJP government, they have immunity from prosecution. To keep its loyalty intact, the police arrive late, chat with the assailants and question the “morality/necessity” of partying. Cases are filed against TV journalist Naveen Soorinje under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, though without his footage, this incident would have been buried in the hundreds of cultural policing episodes that hold Mangalore ransom.

Today, a friend tells me that in response to spontaneous protests by students, Kadri police station inspector Venkatesh Prasanna—infamous for inflicting violence on inter-religious couples—has vowed to make life miserable for students of St Agnes College.

The reaction of the state machinery is as much revealing as it is outrageous: Padil, July 28, is not viewed by the state machinery as sustained, majoritarian, hypermasculine Hindu terror in a multi-religious society; or as molestation, sexual harassment or non-penetrative rape enacted on the female body in order to punish and discipline it; or as a total sellout of the police to fanatical forces. Things that are normal almost everywhere else in the world—young people wearing stylish clothes, sitting next to each other in a bus, having a drink, partying—are identified as problem elements by Hindutva hooliganism that legitimises itself under the guise of protecting ‘Indian culture’.

This Indian culture is the most radical idea in recent years to have simultaneously entered the minds of Hindu fundamentalist groups and self-proclaimed feminists like National Commission for Women chairperson Mamta Sharma. In keeping with the patriotic spirit of the season, I call upon these outfits to revive the said culture by promoting the elegant style of clothing showcased by Chola bronzes. Desi Designer Wear. Since it’s always summer in south India, there’s no need to bother about a Fall/Winter collection.

Moving from apparel to food, I want to remind the right-wing outfits that Sangam-era warriors enjoyed their booze after a delicious meal cooked to such perfection that distinguishing meat from rice was like picking silt from river sand. That’s a couple of thousand years ago, but country booze can be brought back into fashion. In Tamil, there is documented evidence of toddy from the root of the fig tree, toddy from the bark of the usilam (sirisa) tree, toddy from the flowers of iluppai (mahua) tree, palmyra toddy, peepal toddy, coconut toddy and even paddy toddy. We Tamils were known to dig our drinks in its highly fermented form, so sour you would make a face just sipping it. My personal pick would be the mattu, distilled liquor from the sugarcane, a recommended aphrodisiac. Or, it would be the undaattu, an eponymous spirit that required you to drink, then dance. Ideally, I would buy it from a patuvi, a lady who sells liquor. Sorry for making references to my mother-tongue alone, but since you have Indian culture in mind, don’t forget that there are at least a thousand different languages here and 10 times as many drinks. Each of them is as Indian as the other. Dear Protector of Indian Culture, doesn’t this bubbly idea intoxicate you? Bring it back, bring it on, we’ll get drunk on this delight. Let us hit the dance floor, now.

 

#Mangalore Mob attack- TV reporter’s version #VAW #Moralpolicing


The shameful news of Mangalore is very well known to you all. It is a good sign that eight assailants have been arrested in relation to this case. Along with the eight of the assailants the reporter Naveen Soorinje who reported the incident first has also been booked under section unlawful activities prevention act along with the eight assailants.  A friend in mail sent the account of the shameful event and him being framed in the case.
Here is what Naveen Soorinje has to say, A TRANSLATION….
At 6.45 in the evening on July 28, one of my news sources from Padil (in Mangalore) called me. This was all he told me: “Naveen, around 30 men have gathered near the Timber Yard in Padil Junction and I overheard them talking to someone trying to coax them to gather some more people. They were instructing someone to be prepared with their motorbikes. It looks like they are planning to attack the guest house in Padil. I overheard them saying something like Muslim boys and Hindu girls.”
I asked him to find out which organization the men belonged to. All he could gather was that they were from some Hindutva organization, though he could not find out the name of the exact organization they belonged to.
The immediate thought that crossed my mind was this: “Should I inform the police right away or should I not?” The dilemma was because there was no accurate information as to who belonging to which organization was to attack whom and where. I just had very rudimentary information on hand. If the members of the organization had called me themselves, I could have indeed informed the police instantly. As the news came from a my source, I thought I should inform the police only after confirming the news. Having come to this decision, I set out on my bike to Padil along with my cameraman.
In a while, my cameraman and I were outside the guest house/ home stay named Morning Mist located on the hill in Padil. None of the attackers who eventually turned up were present at the spot then.We stood there for five minutes unable to understand why anyone would plan to attack that particular home stay which is located half a kilometer away from the highway cutting through Padil. The home stay is surrounded by a tall compound wall on all four sides. There is only one gate and 60 meters from the gate is the home stay. I stood near the gate and watched. There was nothing happening inside that could conceivably provoke an attack. A girl was sitting outside on a chair and two boys in another corner of the bungalow were absorbed in their mobile games. They were not indulging in any activity which can be considered illegal. That is the reason why I did not inform the police at that point of time. If my information turned out to be wrong, it would be an unnecessary anxiety for the entire police department.
While I was making all these calculations in my mind, I saw a group of over 30 people marching towards the home stay. Out of curiosity I asked them in Tulu: “Do you know what the matter is? What is happening here?” Some boys in the group pointed to the girl sitting outside saying: “Look, there is the girl and there are the guys…” They ran towards them, all set for attack. The girl, who realized that the group was there to attack, ran inside the bungalow and tried to close the door unsuccessfully. The group of 30 managed to run to the door and open it before the girl could close it completely.
Only at that point was I completely aware of what was happening and my conscience was also awakened. I immediately called Ravish Nayak, Inspector, Mangalore (Rural) (+91-948085330) from my official number (+91-9972570044). That must have been around 7.15 p.m. Ravish Nayaka did not receive my call. On the other hand, the assault had just begun. The girls started running helterskelter failing to understand what was happening. The police personnel were not receiving the calls being made. I asked my friend Rajesh Rao of TV-9 to call the police and Ravish Nayak did not receive the call made by Rajesh Rao either.
While I was trying to get in touch with the police inspector, the cameraman ran behind the attackers and got started on his duty of recording the action. Till then only my cameraman and I were present at the spot but were soon joined by the cameraman of Sahaya TV, Sharan, and a photographer, Vinay Krishna. I was a mute witness to all that was happening there, with the guilt of not being able to do anything. More than half the attackers had consumed alcohol and were not in a position to listen to anything. I have been witness to violent incidents in my life, but never before violence of this scale and nature. Our cameraman was running wherever the group was attacking individuals. I was watching it and screaming and requesting, “Don’t hit the girls.” My request reached the camera sound recorder but did not reach the attackers.The boys who were attacked were pleading, “Please leave us. We are having a birthday party here. Please…” and were falling at the feet of the attackers. But nothing moved the attackers. If it were to be just this, probably I could have forgotten the incident. But I saw something much more terrible and shocking.
The girls who saw the boys being trashed were shocked at the sight and ran in all directions only to be followed by the attackers. Believe it or not, one of the girls jumped down from the first floor but was caught by nearly 20 attackers who began to pull out her clothes. They slapped her and pushed her to the wall. By then the girl in pink clothes managed to run away. When the attackers caught her, she was literally stripped naked. Leaving her with only one piece of cloth the assailants molested her. This sight sent a chill down my spine. Never in my life had I seen something as horrific as this, though I had heard of such things. These were the scenes which could not become visuals for the news. Only a portion of the incident was shot. Later on, all the boys and girls partying there were locked inside a room. All this happened in a matter of 15 minutes.
When the attackers were done with one round of their planned action, Inspector Ravish along with Police S.I. Manikantha Neelaswamy and others arrived at the spot. It appeared as though the police had a tie-up with the attackers. For over half an hour the police were in conversation with the attackers. I was utterly shocked by the scene of police conversing with the them. While they were conversing, one boy who was in the partying group tried to escape, but was caught by the police. When in the custody of the police, the attackers trashed him.
By then many media persons had arrived at the spot. My cameraman and I returned to the office and uplinked all the visuals to the Bangalore office. At 8:45 p.m. the news was aired. Within no time the visuals of our channel was used by national channels and thus the incident became national news. This angered city police Commissioner Seemanth Kumar who called my friend Rajesh Rao of TV-9 who then was with me. Rajesh put the call on loud speaker while Seemanth Kumar was saying: “Why should Naveen have reported the incident? I will teach him a lesson. He not only compared this incident to the Assam incident, but also said that Mangalore is being Talibanized. This time he will be taught a lesson. We will fix him in this case and none of his contacts at any level will be of any help.” It is crystal clear from the words of Seemanth Kumar that his concern was not the attack itself, but the fact of the attack being reported.
This morning I received yet another shock. The attacked boys and girls had given statements against me at the Mangalore Rural Police Station. I was sure that those statements were given under pressure. I guess the boys and girls had heard me requesting the assailants not to trash them. By evening my doubt was cleared. Speaking to the media the attacked boys and girls said: “We haven’t complained against the media. They have stood in our support.”
Mangalore (Rural) police have filed a case against me under the Indian Penal Code and Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. The police have arrested eight of the assailants with the help of our visuals. The incident we have reported is shameful, not the visuals we have shown. The 28 July incident at Mangalore is neither a stray incident nor are such attacks in Mangalore a new phenomenon. Every week such incidents take place. Fundamentalists not only attack boys and girls mixing with the boys and girls of another religions but also take them to the police station. This incident would have taken place even if I had not shot it. Our recording has revealed the inhuman face of the fascists and has led to the arrest of eight attackers. No matter what is said and what cases are booked against me, I believe I have done my duty as a reporter and that is the only satisfaction to my hurt self.
It doesn’t matter to me that there are complaints filed against me and an FIR has been lodged. I will be happy if the attackers are punished because of the FIR lodged against me. If I am to be freed of these charges because of some pressure and if that is going to benefit the the attackers in any way, then I do not need such freedom. No matter what punishment is given to the attackers, it will never do justice to those girls who were assaulted right in front of my eyes. Yet they need to be punished.
There is more to write, but time does not permit. If any individual or association needs more information to fight the cause or if any investigation team needs more information, I can be contacted at any time of the day.
My address:
Naveen Soorinje
Reporter
Kasturi News 24
Mangalore
Mobile: +91-9972570044. +91-8971987904

Mangalore attackers behaved like animals: victim #Moralpolicing #VAW


 

Mangalore Bureau, The Hindu

SThe last building inside this gate is Morning Mist, a homestay at Padil. Photo: R.Eswarraj
The last building inside this gate is Morning Mist, a homestay at Padil. Photo: R.Eswarraj

Hindu Jagaran Vedike responsible, says ADGP Bipin Gopalakrishna

“I saw the men coming and jumped from the balcony, but they chased me and touched me in [inappropriate] places and dragged me back into the room,” Namitha (name changed) said, as she narrated her ordeal at the Morning Mist Homestay (a house rented out for parties) at Padil on the outskirts of the city on Saturday evening.

She told The Hindu that the attackers behaved like “animals”. When another girl asked the men why they were being targeted, the assaulters reportedly abused her and “one of them slapped me”.

The attackers, said a victim, removed the shirt of a man who was made to sit on a bed along with other women, apparently to project them in a poor light. Women said the attackers took away some of their valuables.

Defended

The Hindu Jagaran Vedike’s State convener Jagadish Karanth said at a press conference that his organisation was not behind the attack, nevertheless, defended it. Admitting that city coordinator of the vedike Subhash Padil was in the raiding party, he said this was the reaction by society against “immoral activities”.

He threatened that a ‘Janandolan’ (mass campaign) against activities opposed to Hindutva traditions would be launched. To begin with some pubs, spas, resorts, home stays and discotheques would be targeted as they “harboured prostitution and drugs”.

Bipin Gopalakrishna, ADGP Law and Order, said the vedike was responsible for the attack and that the eight persons arrested were its members. Amongst them was Mr. Padil.

The police booked cases under Section 18 1(a)(b) of unlawful activities prevention act, 1967 and IPC Sections for unlawful assembly, rioting, molestation, assault and dacoity against 27 persons, including the reporter and cameraman who were present and filmed the attack.

Ban orders

The police imposed prohibitory orders in the city under Section 144 of Cr.PC. as a preventive measure, but it was seen by groups such as the Democratic Youth Federation of India as an attempt to scuttle the voices protest.

The All-College Students’ Union called for a college bandh in Mangalore taluk on Monday, condemning Saturday’s attack saying it had created an atmosphere of fear among students which could affect their future adversely.

State women’s Commission Chairperson C. Manjula said in Bangalore that she had sought a report on the incident from the Deputy Director of Women and Child Development.

The officer had been asked to speak to the victims and include their version in the report.

They want to shoot the messenger:

Mangalore journalist

Sudipto Mondal

Saturday night’s vigilante attack on a group of young girls and boys, and which was caught on tape by a television crew, has revived the debate about what journalists are supposed to do in situations like this. The Mangalore police have charged Naveen Soorinje, a reporter, and Shiva Kumar, camera person, as well as the attackers under the same sections of the Indian Penal Code and Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. Seeking to put his side of the story in the public domain Mr. Soorinje spoke to The Hindu.

Q: Why did you not inform the police?

A: I called the [jurisdictional] police inspector and he did not pick his calls. I called a reporter from another channel and asked him to call the police. That reporter too could not get through to the police inspector.

But the police allege that you made that call after the attack, and after you had shot the scenes.

That is not true; my phone records are proof.

It is being alleged that the attackers informed you in advance.

I was informed by a mechanic who has a shop in the same area. Again, my phone records should be enough to prove this.

Why did you not inform the Police Commissioner?

He was not in Mangalore. His flight landed in the city around about the time the attack was taking place.

The Home Minister has alleged that you or your cameraman was holding up a girl’s face for the camera.

That is not true to the best of my knowledge. The Home Minister might have confused the attackers with us.

Why did you not help the girls?

There were at least 70 attackers from the Hindu Jagarana Vedike; we were just two. If you watch the video, there is a male voice asking the attackers to spare the girls. That voice was mine. That is all I could do at the time.

What if one of the victims was your relative? Would you still have done nothing?

Firstly, that is not a fair question. And there have been cases where women have been molested and humiliated by vigilante groups in front of their families in Mangalore. The fathers, brothers and lovers were forced to watch helplessly.

There are some who say that you were more interested in TRP ratings than helping the girls.

If I was interested in TRPs, I would not have passed on the exclusive video footage to every Kannada, Hindi and English channel in the country. I wanted to help the girls, but more importantly I wanted the world to see what happens here almost every day and how the police deal with such crimes.

How do the police deal with such crimes?

If you see Saturday night’s footage, you will notice that even after the police arrived on the spot, no action was taken against the attackers. They continued to attack the girls as the police were trying to take them to safety and the police did not retaliate. If I had not shot the entire shocking episode, no action would have been taken against the vigilantes. What few people see is that there has been a rise in such incidents in Dakshina Kannada over the last few months. Every time the police has booked cases of obscenity against the victims and allowed the vigilantes to walk free. If the police were doing their job, these groups would not have dared to carry out such attacks. And now that we have exposed the administration’s failing, they want to shoot the messenger.

The attackers seemed to be encouraged by the fact that you were shooting the scene.

What we have shown is only some of the more decent shots. What we saw through own eyes and chose not to shoot, was nothing short of rape.

There are some who say that the victims were further shamed by the filming.

Why should they be ashamed? They did nothing wrong. They were not doing the molesting and beating.

How do you respond to the police filing a case against you and your cameraman?

I have no problem with the fact that they have booked us. But I am happy that our visuals helped identify eight of the people they have arrested.

 

Mangalore Mob attack-History repeats, they say #VAW


 

History repeats, they say.

– Samvartha sahil

From the moment the news channels started telecasting the news of the attack in Padil, Mangalore the memories of the infamous 2009 Mangalore pub attack was invoked.

A few youngsters were partying at a resort in Padil, Mangalore and 50 members of the vigilante group Hindu Jagarana Vedike have attacked the boys and girls at the private party. The girls were manhandled assaulted and so were the boys.

The private party was called “rave party” by the media and was believed to be one by the vigilante group for which the private party was attacked. The problem the vigilante group had with ‘rave party’ was not legal but cultural, which is an insight to the fact that these groups are not concerned about law. In 2009 the attack on women in a pub in Mangalore was also for “cultural” reasons. In both cases law was taken into hand by the vigilante group and law was broken.

There are more similarities between the two incidents that have occurred in a gap of three and a half years. In the infamous attack of 2009 the media was informed beforehand. The cameramen from various channel had assembled at the to be attacked pub even before all of the attackers arrived! The coverage of the Padil attack makes us believe that the media here too were informed beforehand. Padil is not two meters away from the news channel offices for the camerapersons to reach there on time for the action had they not received information beforehand. But the media did not care to inform the police.

Like always, in Mangalore, the attackers have claimed, proudly, that the members of their group have attacked. Like always, questions have been raised about the victim to justify the acts of violence.

History repeats. Yes. But with some difference.

The 2009 attack made national news within no time. The 2012 one too did. But the 2009 images were censored the faces blurred. The images aired were not even censored. The faces not blurred.

In 2009 there was one brave Pavan who fought the vigilante groups, all alone, though with less success. But in 2012 there was no one like Pavan.

In 2009 there were mute spectators for the violence. In 2012 after the attack when the police arrived, the common men and women of Padil staged protest against the victims and not against the attackers or the attack. If being a silent spectator is also considered as being party to the acts of violence here in Padil the most common men and women extended their support openly to the attack and also welcomed it.

Saffronization and Talibanization of the collective consciousness. Legitimization of violence.

History repeats with some difference. But, as Gandhi said, if we want to change the course of history we should not repeat history.

 

 

Archives

Kractivism-Gonaimate Videos

Protest to Arrest

Faking Democracy- Free Irom Sharmila Now

Faking Democracy- Repression Anti- Nuke activists

JAPA- MUSICAL ACTIVISM

Kamayaninumerouno – Youtube Channel

UID-UNIQUE ?

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 6,232 other followers

Top Rated

Blog Stats

  • 1,791,743 hits

Archives

July 2020
M T W T F S S
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  
%d bloggers like this: