Unions, left-wing outfits demand release of Maruti workers


BS Reporter  |  New Delhi  May 20, 2013 Last Updated at 12:28 IST

Slam Police lathi-charge on demonstration by families of 147 workers arrested last July for Gurgaon violence

Police action against protesting workers of Maruti Suzuki in Kaithal in Haryana during the weekend has drawn criticism from trade unions and some left wing organisations, who have renewed demands to free the 147 workers arrested in July last year after the violence in the Gurgaon plant.

Police lathi-charged a demonstration of workers’ families outside the residence of Haryana Industry Minister Randeep Singh Surjewala and arrested about 100 workers and their family members from the dharna site at the Kaithal mini secretariat on the night of May 18. Workers had given an ultimatum on may 8 to release all 147 Maruti workers arrested after the July violence. They had threatened to demonstrate outside the house of Surjewala on May 18.

The workers and their family members have been sitting on a dharna at the Mini Secretariat from 28 April demanding release of the 147 workers in Gurgaon Jail and reinstatement of the workers, both permanent and contract, terminated without enquiry following the 18 July incident.

Said a senior trade union leader from All India Trade Union Congress: AITUC has expressed solidarity with the protesting workers.

He said that the unions formed at these factories are not affiliated with any central union and have been supported by various organisations including local political parties.

According to the New Trade Union Initiative a workers organisation that weaves together small groups and unions,  84 Sarpanches from across Haryana had extended their support to the Maruti Suzuki workers struggle at the last demonstration of the workers at Kaithal on 8 May, The Haryana Government has stopped the funds to these Panchayats. Thus it is using both brute force and its fiscal powers to obliterate the struggle of the workers and put down the solidarity and support mobilised by the Sarpanches across the state, NTUI said.

“We continue to stand in solidarity with the struggle of the members of Maruti Suzuki Workers Union and their demand for a fair inquiry, release of the arrested workers and reinstatement of the workers terminated after the 18 July 2012 incident. This struggle against capital and the complicit state is a critical turning point in upholding democratic rights of the working class,” a joint statement by four different organizations supporting Kaithal workers said. These are NTUI, Peoples Union for Democratic Rights, Association for Democratic Rights and People’s Union of Civil Rights.

 

Gujarat – Death threat to RTI activist: Police get no lead yet


Express news service : Rajkot, Mon May 20 2013, 04:06 hrs

THREE days after RTI activist Nathalal Sukhadia of Amreli was allegedly threatened by an anonymous caller after he declared to expose the alleged corruption in the administration of Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC), Amreli taluka police has not achieved any breakthrough in the case.

“We are seeking the call details of Sukhadia and trying to identify the person who made the phone call,” an officer of Amreli taluka police said on Sunday. Sukhadia hit the headlines last year after he alleged the then state Agriculture Minister Dilip Sanghani and his family members of irregularities in the affairs of Amreli District Cooperative Bank on the basis of information he obtained under RTI. The activist’s campaign had dented the reputation of Sanghani and had contributed to his defeat in state Assembly elections in December last year.

But Sukhadia had filed a complaint with Amreli taluka police on Friday, stating that a man called him at 9.56 on Thursday and threatened to kill him if the activist called a public meeting on Monday.

The activist is fighting election as a director of the APMC. The election will be held on May 23. He had announced to hold a public meeting to “expose corruption” of the outgoing BJP-backed APMC board. “The board had indulged in corrupt practices in auctioning 400 shops . I suspect the caller was an aide of one of the outgoing office-bearers,” Sukhadia said.

– See more at: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/death-threat-to-activist-police-get-no-lead-yet/1118127/#sthash.yz8pMe2a.dpuf

 

Rights rap on West Bengal Government #FOE #FOS


– Strongest charge against Ambikesh was an ‘afterthought’MONALISA CHAUDHURI, Telegraph

 

The state human rights commission has refused to accept the Mamata Banerjee government’s justification for the arrest of Jadavpur University professor Ambikesh Mahapatra, citing depositions by top police officers to surmise that the strongest charge against him was an “afterthought”.

“The commission is constrained to put it on record that it finds it difficult to accept the reasons given in the letter of the additional chief secretary for non-acceptance of the commission’s recommendations,” it said in a communiqué to the state government on Tuesday.

The rights commission cited two reasons for not accepting the state’s argument that there was no violation of human rights in the arrest of Mahapatra, who had been first charged with outraging the modesty of a woman for circulating an Internet joke on Mamata Banerjee.

“Senior police officers, including the city police commissioner, had deposed before the commission that Mahapatra was arrested after being charged with a cognisable offence under Section 509 of the IPC. The fact that he was not arrested under Section 66A(b) of the Information Technology Act proves that this stringent section was included as an afterthought,” an official of the commission said.

“It appears that his arrest came first and then the charges were slapped to put him behind bars without considering whether the alleged offence merited these charges,” he added.

Justice Ashok Ganguly, the chairman of the rights commission, said circulating an Internet joke was in no way an offence that called for penal charges of the kind slapped on the chemistry professor. “It was an innocuous mail, based on characters from a movie for children (Satyajit Ray’s Sonar Kella). How could the police slap such stringent charges for circulating a mail like that?” he said.

Legal experts said invoking Section 509 (intending to insult the modesty of a woman by words and gestures) was “inappropriate” in Mahapatra’s case because the presumed victim never filed a complaint against him.

“According to the rule book, only a complaint in writing from the victim — in this case the chief minister — about outrage of modesty would have made him liable to be charged under Section 509. Circulation of an Internet joke with apparently nothing in it that can be construed as outraging someone’s modesty is, in common knowledge, out of the purview of Section 509,” a veteran lawyer said.

Sections 509 and 500 (defamation) were ultimately omitted from the police chargesheet against Mahapatra. The only charge retained against the professor was under Section 66A(b) of the Information Technology Act (electronic circulation of objectionable content).

The rights commission not only declined to accept the premise under which Mahapatra had been arrested, it also picked holes in the state’s contention that the professor and his neighbour Subrata Sengupta were “rescued from an agitated mob”.

Police officers during their deposition admitted that the arrestees had been wrongfully restrained before being rescued and taken to the police station. Then why was no action taken against the people who had wrongfully restrained the duo? Instead, the victims were treated as accused and charges were drawn up against them,” the commission official said.

Mahapatra said he would write to the Prime Minister’s Office again about the state’s attempt to justify the harassment he had to endure. “The government has made a mockery of its assurance of ‘immediate redressive action’ to the PMO. I will let Prime Minister Manmohan Singh know about it.”

Responding to Mahapatra’s previous letter, the PMO had prodded the Bengal government last December to “take necessary action” in the case. The state rejected all the recommendations of the rights commission last week.

The rights body had recommended departmental action against two police officers — Milan Kanti Das and Sanjay Biswas — for allegedly harassing Mahapatra and slapped a fine of Rs 50,000 each.

Mahapatra has pinned his hopes on Calcutta High Court, where a PIL filed by lawyer and former mayor Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharyya is scheduled for hearing in June.

The chemistry professor will not be moving court individually because he doesn’t want to be away from the classroom for long. “Over the past year, I could not attend many classes because of court hearings. I don’t want to miss classes anymore. Otherwise, my students will suffer,” he said.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY SUBHANKAR CHOWDHUR

 

 

#India – ‘Development at Gunpoint’ in Odisha – Ground Report #Video


 

 

Apr 30, 2013

The vegetable garden of Odisha is going to be submerged and more than 50 villages displaced; and the name of the game is ‘Development at Gunpoint’ — meaning ‘peaceful industrialization’ as the chief minister claims! Thousands of farmers of the Lower Suktel plateau in Balangir are protesting against this upcoming dam for more than a decade now. After many a round of brutal repression and forceful land acquisition, the State has now declared the ‘final war’ against its own people.

On 29 April 2013, more than 2000 people were holding ground in opposition to the dam project. Early in the morning, 10 platoons of police force cracked down on the peaceful protesters. They started beating people mercilessly, without any provocation. They dragged women, clamped their feet with heavy boots, and tried to lynch Amitabh Patra, a filmmaker, who was filming the excesses first hand. The policemen, who appeared to be drunk, behaved like hired goons of some mafia outfit.

The police arrested 16 people, including Amitabh Patra and Lenin Kumar, editor of Nisan. Amitabh is still struggling for life with severe head injuries.

As the police unleashed this terror, they did not allow any media persons in, expect one channel — their chosen one. While they smashed Amitabh’s head and camera, they forcibly blocked our camera so that we could not shoot further.

 

 

 

#India -SC slams cops for assault on women, says police have gone berserk #Vaw


, TNN | Apr 25, 2013, 12.57 PM

0
SC slams cops for assault on women, says police have gone berserk
A file photo of cops manhandling protesters, including women, during an anti-rape demonstration in Aligarh.
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has taken suo motu cognizance of police assault on unarmed women in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh and has sought action taken report against the errant cops in both the cases.Slamming the action of cops, the apex court said the police in India have gone berserk and asked UP chief secretary and Delhi Police to explain how they think women should be treated by the police force.

The way a 65-year-old lady was pushed to the ground with brute force by a DSP in UP and the way another cop slapped a young girl in Delhi making her bleed from ears shows their mindset towards women, the court said.

The apex court has asked the UP chief secretary and Delhi Police commissioner to file the action taken report against the erring cops in both the cases.

A woman protester was slapped by a policeman during protests outside a hospital in northeast Delhi against the brutal rape of a 5-year-old girl.

The cop involved in the incident was suspened after the ‘slap’ footage was aired by the TV channels.

In another case, women protesting against cops refusal to file an FIR on a missing six-year-old girl were beaten up mercilessly by policemen in Aligarh on Thursday, with TV cameras recording visuals of several activists being brutalized by men in uniform.

 

Mumbai – Two held for allegedly raping bar dancer #Vaw


rape11

, TNN | Apr 22, 2013,

MUMBAI: The Pant Nagar police recently arrested two people allegedly for gang raping and robbing a 21-year old bargirl after spiking her drink. A bargirl was also arrested for aiding the accused in committing the crime. The accused picked up the victim girl from Pantnagar locality in Ghatkopar (East) on March 18 on pretext of attending a party and took her to a hotel in Thane where she offered drinks which was spike before raping her and made away with her jewelleries.

Police arrested Ali Shah (30), Tariq Ansari and Ruksana Shah alias Priyanka (21) based on the vicitm’s complaint. “The victim and Shah works as bar dancers in Sandeep Bar located in Kurla (West). Few days ago Shah told the victim that March 18 is her birthday and she has organized a party in a Hotel in Thane. She lured Asha that many rich people will attend the party and she can make good use of the opportunity. Shah also told Asha to wear expensive clothes and jewelleries to attract customers. The victim agreed to go with her,” said a police officer.

On March 18, Shah along with her boyfriend and his friend, picked up the victim Asha from Ghatkopar (west) bus depot and took her to a hotel at Thane-Ghodbuner road. In the hotel room, accused discretely laced the victim’s drink with sedatives and after she loses conscious in the night they raped her. Accused then took all the jewelleries.

Investigators said later in the night accused dropped victim to her resident at Parksite. Asha was sleeping the whole day of March 19, but when she did not awake next day her uncle suspect something fishy and rushed her to a private hospital. When she gained conscious she experienced severe pain in her private parts and narrated entire incident to her uncle.

 

DELHI – Protest by women’s groups at Jantar Mantar @April22 #Vaw #Rape


 

Since the December 2012 gang rape case in Delhi, many cases of violence against women and girl are being reported with frightening regularity. The shocking incident of sexual assault and brutalization of the 5 year old girl in Delhi and that of the 6 year old girl raped and murdered in Aligarh are the two recent ones that have been reported. Over and over again, the police has failed to discharge its duties and has proved itself to be corrupt, ineffective and often violent.

In case after case, women, their relatives and supporters continue to be harassed and those protesting inaction of the police are being thrashed. In the Delhi case, we protest the calculated delay in filing an FIR, attempt at bribing the family and the audacity in assaulting the woman protester. We also protest the physical violence perpetrated by the police in Aligarh on women protestors, as well as the insensitive remarks of the SSP (Aligarh), Amit Pathak about the little girl who was murdered. Suspending police personnel is mere eyewash and NOT enough! We have to make sure that all those who have attempted at subverting justice are chargesheeted and dismissed. We have to hold police personnel accountable under the various provision of the newly promulgated Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2013. We also demand that police reforms be initiated and put in place.

Friends, comrades join the protest organised by women’s groups and progressive groups on Monday 22nd April 2013 at 12.30 pm at Jantar Mantar.

Mobilise and come in large numbers. Bring your banners and placards.

In solidarity,

HUMANS

 

Delhi refuses to Learn – 13-yr-old gangraped by eight men in Delhi, 393 rape cases in first 3 months 2013


IANS  New Delhi, April 20, 2013

 A

 13-year-old girl was allegedly gangraped by eight men, four of whom were known to her, police said on Saturday. The incident comes even as the capital is witnessing outrage over the horrific rape of a five-year-old girl.

Three of the eight men have been arrested.

The victim and her 12-year-old brother were abducted by two men known to her on March 15 from outside her house at Farsh Bazar area in east Delhi and taken to Loni in the city outskirts, where she was gangraped by the eight, a police officer said.

 Four of the eight accused were known to the girl, the officer added.

Police arrested three accused – Deepak, 21, Ranjeet (20) and Sohan Lal (24) – Saturday, following medical examination of the victim April 15.

The victim is undergoing treatment at the Hedgewar Hospital in east Delhi.

According to a police officer, the father approached police after she went missing, but did not file a rape complaint after she returned home.

A search is on to nab the other accused, the officer added.

Meanwhile, the girl’s family alleged that police had refused to lodge their complaint.

On March 24, the girl returned home and the family approached the police, the mother said.

Failing to get any response from police, the family approached the local court April 9 which then ordered police to lodge a rape case.

The five-year-old girl was brutally raped for two days and kept without food and water in a room in which the accused, her neighbour, lived. She was rescued Wednesday when her family heard her screams. The accused has been arrested from Bihar.

Delhi has seen 393 rapes in the first three months of the year.

 

Delhi minor Rape –Time to teach Delhi Police a Lesson ? #Vaw


APRIL 20, 2013
by , kafila.org
CHILDRAPE

A five year old girl is now in a critical condition in a Delhi hospital after being brutalized and raped by a neighbour. The Delhi police, which has dealt with the situation with its characteristic incompetence, first refused to file an FIR when her parents went to the police station, and then, tried to bribe the girls parents with two thousand rupees so as to ‘hush them up’. Subsequently,a young woman who tried to protest against the behaviour of the police at the Dayanand Hospital were the girl was initially taken for treatment was slapped by a policeman, an Assistant Commissioner of Police, in full public view. His actions have been recorded on video. It is believed that the policemen who tried to bribe the victim’s parents and the policeman who slapped the young woman have been suspended.

But can the suspension of a few individuals address what is obviously a deep rooted culture of misogyny within the Delhi Police? Is more severe and strict action that goes right to the top and to the source, not necessary in order to send a signal that this kind of behaviour within the police force cannot be tolerated? Must Delhi’s police commissioner not be compelled to resign, for his abysmal failure in terms of dealing with sexism and for failing to address the contempt for citizens that is now clearly endemic to the Delhi Police’s work culture?

Can we take this daily routine of insults lying down? How long can this continue?

The young women and men of Delhi displayed exemplary fortitude and courage in the days following the tragic events of December last year when they took on the full might of the administrative, police and political apparatus in solidarity with the suffering that one of their own had to undergo. Clearly their coming out on to the streets has not changed anything insofar as the conduct of those in power is concerned. There has to be a change of plan.

A protest is planned today in the morning at 11 am in front of the Police Headquarters at ITO in Delhi. It would be good to see a lot of people turn up and say to the police that they have just had enough now.

Perhaps it is time to hand out an ultimatum. Either those at the helm of the Delhi Police offer time bound, concrete plans for how they intend to take steps that will ensure that policemen behave themselves while dealing with citizens, especially young woman, either the police commissioner resigns, or is hounded out of office, or the young people of this city take it upon itself to teach these hooligans in uniform, regardless of their rank, a lesson that they will not forget, in a manner, and at a time of their choosing. Care must be taken to ensure that protests do not turn violent, for that would be pointless. But there are many other ways, besides violence, of turning this city ungovernable, if the police and the administration once again demonstrate that they don’t really care about our lives, our rights, our dignity.

We have had a winter of discontent. Could this now be the beginning of a summer of open, outright rebellion? Only the coming days can tell.

 

Petition- Odisha -Unjustified police action in violation of women’s dignity by the BDO


 

To

The Home Secretary,

Odisha,

 

Sir,

We are disturbed and outraged at an incident in Odisha’s Kendrapada district, where the BDO of Rajakanika Block made a sexist and derogatory comment against women, and the instead of acting on the women’s complaint, the police force has instead admitted an FIR against a woman activist and is conducting raids to arrest her.
The sequence of events is as follows:

On 8th April, AIPWA’s Odisha Secretary Sabita Baraj along with 60 women activists of Rajkanika block, went to the local block office to protest regarding several local issues on the ‘grievance day’ declared by the local administration and Government. When they reached the Block office they found the gate closed, forcing them to wait outside in the severe heat. After two hours, the Block gate was opened by a peon and all the activists asked the BDO (block development officer) why the gate was closed on ‘grievance day’? The BDO told them, “Being women how can you dare to ask this question?” The women strongly protested this sexist comment by the BDO, and Sabita Baraj filed an FIR against the BDO.

After four hours the BDO filed cases against all the women activists, naming Sabita Baraj and charging them under Sections 506, 142, 148, 149, and 34A. But the police took no action against the BDO, and instead attempted to arrest Sabita Baraj and the other women activists based on the delayed FIR filed by the BDO. The police continues to conduct raids on the homes of CPI(ML) and AIPWA activists, searching for Sabita Baraj, with the SP of Kendrapada taking a special interest in doing so . 

 

We would like to ask:
1) On an officially designated day for local people to raise grievances, why did the BDO keep the Block office gate shut for hours? Why have FIRs been registered against women for having defended their right as citizens to question the BDO about the gate being shut, defeating the purpose of grievance day?

2) What action has been taken against the BDO for insulting women and being derelict in his constitutional obligations to uphold citizens’ and women’s rights?

 

It is shocking and outrageous that a woman activist and rural women protestors are being persecuted with FIRs and threats of arrest, only because they asserted their rights and equality, and confronted the BDO for his shockingly anti-women remarks.

We demand:

1)      The FIR against Sabita Baraj and other women must be withdrawn with immediate effect.
2)      Action must be taken against the BDO without further delay and he should be removed from the post pending enquiry.
3)      The SP of Kendrapada must face disciplinary action for having colluded in pursuing false and fabricated complaints against women and trying to intimidate and terrorise women by seeking to arrest and jail them.
Ranjana, Kavita ,Kalpana, and Kamayani

for
Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression

 

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