#India – Former Army Sepoy to get disability pension after 50 years


Thanks to an order of the Armed Forces Tribunal, Regional Bench

Fifty-years after he was discharged from the Army, a former sepoy is set to get disability pension, thanks to an order of the Armed Forces Tribunal, Regional Bench.

disability-discrimination1

Chennai, April 25,2013

Hailing from Virudhunagar, M. Sundaram was enrolled as sepoy in the Madras Regiment in 1958. He was invalidated from service after being diagnosed with psychosis. As he was exposed to a hostile work environment, he was discharged after five years and four months of service at the age of 25.

He contended that he was not suffering from any ailment and had no history of any constitutional disease at the time of joining the Army. He said the subsequent medical examinations conducted were found that he was fit in all mandatory requirements till he was invalidated.

Even though, he was entitled to disability pension, it was rejected by the authorities.

A Review Medical Board was constituted in 2011 and he subjected himself to examination to assess the disability after a long spell of 47 years. The Medical Board had opined that the disability of psychosis was due to non-service conditions.

The Board said since there was no disability attributable to service, he was not entitled to any disability pension.

The counsel for forces said that as per the Guide for Medical Officers (Military Pension) 2008, psychosis was considered a genetic biological disorder and it was not connected with military service.

The opinion of the Review Medical Board was final. The disability of the applicant was constitutional in nature.

Disposing the application, the AFT Bench, comprising its judicial member Justice V.Periya Karuppiah and its administrative member Lt. Gen (Retd) Anand Mohan Verma, found that there was vast contradiction in the opinion of the president of Medical Board in the proceedings and the opinion of the psychiatrist.

Concluding that the Board had erred in its decision, the Bench noted that the psychiatrist had noted that the disability persisted owing to past illness, as he was invalidated from service for it.

However, the board’s president had given an opinion that his 40 per cent disability would have arisen due to non-service factors.

Stating that opinion of psychiatrist should prevail, the AFT set aside the orders of the Army rejecting the former sepoy’s plea and held that Mr. Sundaram was entitled to disability pension from 2007.

 

#India #1billionrising in vain -A woman who thrashed eve-teasers faces police charges #Vaw #WTFnews


One Billion Rising in Vain

A woman who thrashed eve-teasers on V-day faces police charges in Thiruvananthapuram

BY Shahina KK Open Magazine
TAGGED UNDER | women | eve-teasers | Thiruvananthpuram
IT HAPPENS
IN HER DEFENCE: Amrita Mohan believes the police action against her will deter other women from fighting back

IN HER DEFENCE: Amrita Mohan believes the police action against her will deter other women from fighting back

On 14 February, Amrita Mohan, a BA student of All Saints College, attended a One Billion Rising rally in Thiruvananthapuram, a global campaign to end violence against women. Later that night, she was having dinner at a roadside eatery at the venue, Shangumugham beach, with her family and friends. That’s when three men in a vehicle marked ‘Government of Kerala’ started making filthy comments about Amrita and her friend. Amrita ignored them for a while, but when they kept at it, she lost her cool. “There was an argument. There were several men eating at that outlet, but nobody supported us. When my father tried to intervene, one man in the group pushed him. That’s when I lost control,” she says.

What the eve-teasers didn’t know was that Amrita was an expert in martial arts. She first pulled the man on the driver’s seat out of the car and beat him up. When two others tried to attack her, she thrashed them too. By then, the crowd, too, had joined her and somebody called the police.

Amrita’s action was widely hailed by women’s organisations, individuals and the media as an example for other girls. But there has been a twist in the case. Two of three eve-teasers were contract drivers at the Income Tax Department. So, Amrita has now been booked, on directions of the judicial first class magistrate, under Sections 323,325 and 335 and 332 of the IPC for voluntarily causing hurt and deterring a public servant from discharging his ‘lawful duty’. This invites imprisonment for up to seven years and is a non-bailable offence. The eve-teasers have been charged with lighter, bailable offences.

Women’s organisations wonder how harassing women at night could be ‘lawful duty’. “The police are clearly biased. Though Amrita told them that the men were drunk, they were not taken to a hospital for a medical examination,” says Mercy Alexander, director of Saki Women’s Resource Centre in the city.

Amrita is determined to go ahead with her case against the men. “My only concern is that this action against me by the police and court will deter women. They will hesitate to resist when confronted with a similar situation,” she says.

#India – teacher rapes a minor girl, Class VIII student at Punjab village #Vaw #WTFnews


 Adrienne Rich`s #Rape- but the hysteria in your voice pleases him best #poem #Vaw

SANGRUR: Scarring the sacred relationship between a teacher and a student, a government school teacher has been booked for raping a dalit minor girl.

A teacher of mathematics of village Namol, Gurjant Singh has been booked for raping a class VIII student. The agitated villagers have demanded stern action against the teacher, who is presently absconding. The education department has placed the teacher Gurjant Singh under suspension and a charge sheet is being prepared against him.
As the incident came to light on Wednesday, the angry villagers protested at the school and headed towards Sangrur civil hospital to get the girl medically examined. Subsequently a medical board of three doctors conducted the medical examination on Wednesday afternoon.

“The teacher on the pretext of teaching had called the minor girl at his place on December 31 when the school was closed during winter vacations. Alone at his place at that time, the teacher had raped the girl and threatened of her dire consequences if she told anyone about it”, told villager Sarabjit Singh. He said the incident came to light when the teacher a couple of days ago again molested the girl in the school and some other students saw the teacher indulging in indecent behavior.

Police on the complaint of the father, a brick kiln labourer has registered a case of rape against the teacher .

District education officer(Secondary), Nirmal Singh Sohi said “as per the directions of director general school education, teacher Gurjant Singh has been suspended and a charge sheet is being prepared against him”.

Sangrur SSP Harcharan Singh Bhullar said that the police has registered a case against Gurjant Singh and efforts are being made to arrest him.
-TOI

 

#India- New guidelines for handling sexual assault cases in hospitals #Vaw #womenrights


GAURAV VIVEK BHATNAGAR

A new set of guidelines have been recently issued by the Department of Health and Family Welfare for “rapid response by hospitals in case of medico legal case (MLC) examination of sexual assault victims’’. These instructions have come in the wake of the December 16 gang-rape case in which the preparedness at a city hospital was found allegedly somewhat lacking while handling the victim.

As per these new guidelines, sent by the Department to all the directors and medical superintendents of Delhi Government hospitals on January 28, when the victims of sexual assault are brought to the hospitals by the police or otherwise for MLC and treatment then as per the provisions of Section 164 A (2) of the Criminal Procedure Code it should be done “promptly and without delay’’.

“As the victims of sexual assault are traumatised and their physical condition and state of mind are unstable, handling of their case required sensitivity, empathy and compassion,’’ the order noted adding that “therefore, the examining doctor must throughout remain re-assuring, empathetic and sensitive to the victim and should also provide due privacy.’’

Further, the order has noted that in consonance with the directions of the Delhi High Court on performing MLC, “in order to provide privacy to the victim, a separate room should be identified by the director/medical superintendent and marked in all hospitals where the victims can be examined by the attending doctor’’.

Stating that “the room number should be known to the doctors in emergency duty’’, the guidelines further state that “the room should have proper furniture required for medical examination’’ and “the basic equipments, adequate stock of sexual assault forensic evidence (SAFE) kit etc., should be kept available in the room for collection of the forensic evidence.’’

The guidelines also lay down that “the hospital should also provide clothing to the victim in case the victim’s clothes are taken as evidence or action otherwise required fresh clothes to be given’’.

“The hospital should also provide toiletries to the victim after the MLC examination has been concluded,’’ the guidelines note.

For better preparedness to deal with such cases, it has been stated that the director or medical superintendent will arrange periodic training sessions to the doctors on the protocols and guidelines on the MLC examinations/reporting in case of sexual assault victims.’’

These officials are now also required to “organise sensitisation workshop for hospital staff, and medical and paramedical staff in collaboration with the Delhi Commission for Women.’’

Further, it has been stated that “in case where counselling of the victim is required, the same should be provided by the hospital’s own pool of doctors and if that is not available, then the Crisis Intervention Centre, which provides counsellor should be informed’’.

 

#India- #Haryana launches women helpline 81466-93100 #vaw #mustshare


 

 

Fatehabad: In another addition to the spiralling cases of rapes in Haryana, a 13-year-old girl was allegedly raped by an elderly fruit seller in Ratia area in Fatehabad. Police have arrested the vendor Sohan Lal. According to the complaint lodged by mother of the girl, the accused had been raping her daughter during the school hours, police said.

The girl, a student of class six in a government school, was lured by the elderly man on the pretext of giving her fruits, police said. The girl narrated the incident to her father on Friday. The police have brought the victim and the accused to Fatehabad for medical examination. The state has witnessed a spurt in cases of rapes during the last two months.

The government on Friday announced several steps to tackle the crime against woman, including a round-the-clock help line and increased patrolling by the police in rural areas. On Saturday, the special women helpline number 81466-93100 was installed in Police Control Room, Panchkula.

 

Kolkata Cop rapes a poor woman threatening dire consequences against her husband


COMPLAINT OF-  rape of a poor woman by Sub Inspector Mithun Banerjee, officer-in charge, bhadreswar ps

in his official quarter  –an  Association for Protedtion of Democratic Rights (APDR)  fact finding report.

            On 23 April, 2012, at about 8-30 PM, APDR came to learn that a young woman was raped by SI Mithun Banerjee, Officer-in Charge, Bhadreswar PS. We were informed that the young couple is seeking justice, but are too afraid to move alone and lodge a complaint. We asked them, whether they can go to the nearest Government Hospital and get medically examined first. They were even reluctant fearing that the Hospital authorities will refuse. Finally they agreed to come the nearest Government Hospital, the Chandernagore Sub-Divisional Hospital. We assured them that we will intervene if the Hospital authorities refuse.

            They reached the Hospital by 8-45 PM, and requested for medical check up against their complaint of rape. As they feared, the Emergency Medical Officer on duty refused to entertain them and get the woman medically examined.. In about 15 minutes an APDR team also reached the Hospital and tried to reason with the MO for arranging medical check up. Finally after an official request on behalf of APDR, an outdoor ticket was prepared and after getting instruction from the Superintendent of the Hospital, necessary papers were being readied for her admission.

            While all these were taking place, an well-built person was frequently coming in and going out of the emergency room and making calls with his cell phone. The Hospital staff revealed that he was a police personnel in plain dress.

            In the meantime APDR also contacted the Chairperson, West Bengal Women’s Commission (WBWC) and also met the Superintendent of the Hospital in his quarters. The Chairperson, WBWC also called the Superintendent of Police, Hooghly. While the APDR team was discussing the matter with the  Superintendent of the Hospital, he received a phone call and informed us that a police team is coming to the Hospital and if they make a formal requisition, necessary medical examination to ascertain the truth of allegation of rape will be conducted.

            Within a few minutes, a large contingent of police appeared, first led by the SDPO, Chandernagore, followed by IPS Amitabha Verma, ASP. They interrogated the victim woman and    her husband for about an hour and in another hour the woman’s handwritten complaint was received by the Officer-in Charge, Chandernagore PS, in which the victim categorically stated that she was raped by the Officer-in Charge, Bhadreswar PS in a room of the OC’s quarter..

The Incident: according to the victim and her husband

1. The husband was arrested in a dacoity case and after 45 days in custody was released on 21/04/12. On the very night, two policemen from Bhadreswar P.S. chanced on him and asked him to come to the P.S. Accordingly the husband visited Bhadreswar P.S. on 22/4/12. As asked by O.C., Bhadreswar P.S. the husband summoned his wife to the P.S. over phone. At that time the O.C. took the mobile no. of the victim and her husband.

2. On 23/04/12, at about 3-30 PM, the O.C. asked the victim to visit the P.S. immediately in connection with her husband’s case.

3. She proceeded to the P.S. in an Auto (According to media reports a police vehicle was sent to the victim’s house to fetch her to the P.S.)

4. When the victim reached the P.S. the O.C. took her to his quarter. There was nobody in the quarter at that time. The O.C. took the victim to a room of the quarter and closed the windows. He threatened that if she did not obey her husband would be in grave danger. After that he pounced on her. According to the victim she tried to resist but did not shout out of fear that she might be killed. She was raped forcibly.

5. She reported the whole episode to her husband and the husband tried to contact some media from the numbers scrolled below the channel programmes.

6. After that he also contacted APDR.

Medical Examination and aftermath:

1. After receiving the formal complaint from the victim, the O.C., Chandernagore P.S. made a formal requisition for medical examination on her for alleged rape. The examination was done at Chandernagore Sub Divisional Hospital. at around 12 P.M. Interestingly, the Emergency Medical Officer noted the allegation of rape “as per statements of the victim’s husband’, but the victim herself narrated her plight and categorically stated in presence of the APDR team that she had been raped by the O.C. Bhadreswar P.S The discrepancy was pointed to the Emergency Medical Officer immediately thereafter. He admitted his mistake. The matter was also communicated to the superintendents of the Hospital at 11.30 P. M.

2. On 24/04/12 morning the victim was discharged from the Chandernagore Hospital. The husband along with her 5-6 years old son was waiting for whole night at the hospital, hungry and unfed. When the family was emerging from the hospital, they were forcibly placed in a police vehicle.

3. They were taken to Imambara Sadar Hospital. Sri Tanmoy Roy Chowdhury. IPS, SP Hooghly, Basab  Talukdar, Special IG and other officials were present at the Imambara Sadar Hospital. There was another round of grilling of the victim and her husband at the hospital. The victim was also subjected to a fresh medical examination.

4. Though the victim made a formal complaint of rape against the O.C., Bhadreswar, P.S. , no action was taken against the O.C. was taken till then. Only towards the afternoon the media reported the O.C. is ‘closed’.

5. After medical examination, the whole family was again put on a police vehicle at about 2 P.M. and was taken to the District Women P.S. situated  at the Chinsurah PS premises. At 3 P.M. they were again taken to the Imambarah Sadar Hospital and after about half an hour taken back to the District Women P. S.

6. At 5 P.M. we learnt that the whole family was then at Bhadreswar P.S.

7. At about 9 P.M., after the whole day’s ordeal without sleep or rest accompanied by continuous grilling by a top brass of the police hierarchy, they probably left the PS. But they could not be found in their home and remained incommunicado for the next 36 hours.

8. According to media reports, on 25.04.2012 they were taken to the CID Headquarters at Bhawani Bhawan, the accused O.C. was also asked to report there. Another round of grilling followed.

9. Towards the afternoon of 25.04.2012, the media quoting police sources reported that the accuse O.C. has been suspended. About three hours later, the media, again quoting police sources, further reported that the victim ‘retracted’ her allegation against the O.C.

OUR OBSERVATIONS :

1. The initial reluctance of both the hospital and police administration to entertain and act on the complaint of rape and subsequent warlike activities­–both were aimed at suppressing the allegation and fact of the rape and deprive the woman of justice.

2. The couple is in their twenties and the husband returned home after 45 days in custody barely 40 hours prior to the incident of rape. In this situation vaginal rupture during rape is quite unlikely. The only substantive medical evidence will be cross matching of the vaginal swab of the victim with the accused’s semen. It is not known, whether such medical examination was conducted. So far as we know the victim’s clothing at the time of rape were not seized and not examined forensically for evidences of rape which is a must in such cases.

3. Like other such incidents of gross human rights violation, the police fed the media with misinformation at regular intervals like ‘no evidence of rape in medical examination’, ‘the woman has two marriages and is of bad character’, ‘ the woman admits she is mentally disbalanced’ so on and so forth.

4. It is not known whether the following bits of vital investigation were conducted by the police :

(a) Why the accused Bhadreswar PS O.C. was using an unregistered SIM for communicating with the woman, if such contacts were necessary as part of his official duty.

(b) The examination of Bhadreswar PS personnel to verify the victim’s presence in the PS at the time of alleged crime.

(c) Cross checking the description of the room of alleged crime at OC’s quarter as given by the victim and as it actually is.

(d) Cross matching of vaginal swab of the victim with the accused’s semen and forensic examination of victim’s clothes at the time of alleged rape as mentioned before are absolutely necessary to rule out the allegation of rape.

4. The police tried to break the moral of the victim and subjected her to tremendous mental and physical stress from 4 pm, 23 April to 25 April afternoon– almost for 48 hours at a stretch. The resulting trauma made her ill–she felt acute pain in the head  and felt mentally agonized to such an extent that she could not remember what she said earlier to the police. The victim is a patient of Thyroid disorder. Two days without necessary essential medication invariably disturbs the physical and mental equilibrium of the patient. This was the opportunity the police was looking for and without wasting a moment she was taken to a magistrate to record an statement extracted in the face of severe trauma.

5. Media reports suggest that the  victim made a statement u/s  164 of CrPC retracting the allegation of rape, which was also repeated by the Hon’ble CM, during her press meet on 27/0/4/12  The sub section 6 of section 164 states that  The Magistrate recording a confession or statement under this section shall forward it to the Magistrate by whom the case is to be inquired into or tried.

The following questions need to be answered.

(a)   How the police/media knew the contents of her sec 164 statement, when the law specifically meant it for the judicial magistrate.

(b)   Whether the victim was provided with legal advice/opinion on  the concequences before she was forced to make a statement u/s 164 CrPC.

(c)    Even if the victim retracts her complaint can the accused absolved  before getting the forensic test reports and till then shall the accused not to be dealt with as per law.

(d)   Why the victim was taken to a magistrate to record a statement before the completion of the investigation based on her already registered complaint. Can this be explained without questioning the motive- was police anxious to give justice to the victim or they were hell-bent in rescuing their collegue from the long hand of law?

6. The whole chain of events does not suggest that the victim’s allegation was untrue. It rather points out how far and further the police can traumatise a victim of rape to get her retract her allegation. The treatment meted out to the victim is in blatant disregard of all human right standards. The traumatisation was aimed towards the whole family including the victim’s 5/6 year child, to subjugate the victim.

OUR DEMANDS TO THE POLICE and THE STATE AUTHRITIES :

1. The allegation should be investigated by an agency which is not under the influence of the state police. The state Women’s Commission may initiate such a process. The statement u/s 164 Cr.P.C. obtained under duress from a traumatised victim must be kept in abeyance.

3. The allegation is of a non bailable offence and the accused must be dealt with as per provisions of the law.

 

WE APPEAL TO  statutory HumanRights Bodies including Women’s Commission and Human Rights Commissions and the Judiciary to step in to help the victim get justice.

 

WE ALSO APPEAL TO  different rights organisations, women’s organisations and all democratic individuas and organisations to voice their dissent to this sinister design to deprive a rape victim of justice

Fact finding Team :

Bapi Dasgupta, Amit Gosh, Gautam Munshi, Saibal Das

Amitadyuti Kumar, Sumanta Ghosh, Kamal Datta,                                                      (Amitadyuti Kumar)

Debashish Gupta                                                                                                President, APDR, Hooghly Dist Committee

On behalf of the fact finding Team

28 April 2012

Association for Protedtion of Democratic Rights (APDR)

HOOGHLY DISTRICT COMMITTEE

Senpara P.O.Burashibtala, Chinsurah, Dist. Hooghly, W.B., PIN 712105

Phone 033/26801439 (M)       9433346109

apdrhoog@gmail.com

Amitadyuti Kumar,

Vice President, APDR

18 Madan Boral Lane, Kolkata 700012

Phone 033 22376459

President, Hooghly District APDR

Senpara, PO BUrashibtal, Chinsurah

Dist Hooghly, West Bengal  PIN 712105

Ph 03326891439   (M)  9433346109

Gallantry Award for Sexual Torture


Gallantry Award Winner ANKIT GARG

 The Victim of Sexual Torture

Soni Sori, an adivasi school teacher and warden from Chhattisgarh, is currently facing trial in Chhattisgarh. Accused as a
Maoist supporter, despite evidence of her having being framed as one in several cases, she has been in custody in Chhattisgarh for about three and a half months.

The Perptrator of Sexual  Torture 

S P Ankit Garg, a 2003 batch  IPS Officer, who holds degree in  ( ME Env Bot  B.E.D, was the investigating officer in Dantewada in 2007 , was promoted to the Rank of Superintendent of Police in 2008, as Bijapur S.P  and he was S P intellegence Dantewada in 201oand took over as S.P Dantewada on 30th March 2011, in his tenurehe had initaited many anti naxal operations .  On   Dec 28 , 2011 a  day after cadres of the CPI-Maoist blasted Geedam Police Station in Dantewada District, SP of the District, Ankit Garg, has been removed and attached with the PHQ.

GALLANTARY AWARD FOR  THE PERPETRATOR OF SEXUAL TORTURE  

What has been terribly shocking and perturbing is the fact that while in custody she has been subjected to gross sexual torture, by S. P Ankit garg  evidence of  which has come to light following a Supreme Court directive for medical examination in a government hospital in Kolkata. Compounding her crisis is the fact that despite this damning evidence, Soni Sori has remained in the custody of the Chhattisgarh police for all this while.

It is shocking to note that in spite of wide publicity and protests over SP Ankit Garg’s inhuman conduct by a large number of women’s and civil liberties groups, nationally and internationally, the government has deemed it fit to confer him with a gallantry award. It is even more baffling to note that this has occurred at a time when the Honourable Supreme Court itself has expressed anguish at the happenings and is still looking into these violations. Compounding the very serious charges of a heinous crime of sexual violence against Ms. Soni Sori that SP Ankit Garg faces, is that fact that this crime happened when she had been entrusted into his custody as a senior police officer. After the report from the Kolkata NRS Medical College and Hospital, this is no longer a case of mere allegations against the police, but there is also solid evidence by a government medical team to support her charges. However, none of this appears to have placed even a shadow of doubt on the gallantry of this Officer as far as the government is concerned. By giving an award in the face of these complaints which have not even received a cursory investigation, both the Central and State governments are condoning this sexual violence which is being perpetrated in the name of anti-Naxal operations.

26th Januray, 63rd independe day is the darkest day of the  Indian democracy . While Ms. Soni Sori, the victim of this heinous torture languishes in the Raipur Central Jail, with a deteriorating health condition, and waits for her case to be listed in the Supreme Court, women’s teams who have been taking up the case of her torture have been refused permission to meet her. She is still under the custody of the same state police has that inflicted this torture on her.

Soni Sori wrote a letter from the Raipur Central Jail to her Lawyer Colin Gonsalves fighting her case. I read that letter for you,  in Hindi and English, listen  here

Soni Sori letter- Hindi

Soni Sori Letter- English Translation

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