PRESS RELEASE-‘Better Policing- Safer City: How to make it Happen


 
MUMBAI CONSULTATION ON POLICE REFORMS: ‘BETTER POLICING -SAFER CITY: HOW TO MAKE IT HAPPEN

Date: Friday, 22 February, 2013

Venue: USTAV BANQUET HALL, JAMSHEDJI TATA ROAD CHURCHGATE

 

 

PRESS STATEMENT ON THE DELIBERATIONS AT THE ABOVE MEETING: 22/02/13

 

The COMMONWEALTH HUMAN RIGHTS INITIATIVE [ CHRI] Delhi in association with Citizen Initiative for Peace (CIP), Praja, PCGT, M R. Pai Foundation. Akshara, Forum against Oppression of Women and Forum of Free Enterprise organized this event.

 

A meeting of over 80 of the leading activists representing over 30 organisations / civil society in Mumbai voiced deep concern about the state of women’s safety and indeed the safety of all mumbaikars.

 

Attended by no less personage as Shri Julio Rebeiro, [ Former Mumbai Police Commissioner], Dr. Shri A.N Roy [Former Director General of Police, Maharashtra ], Shri Shailesh Gandhi [ former Central Information Commissioner ]. Mr. Satish Sahney [Former Mumbai Police Commissioner], leading Advocates, Women and Rights Activists and concerned Citizens.

 

The discussions pointed out that despite the bitter complaints against the inefficiencies of policing in Mumbai, its bias’s and violence, police performance was failing the public. Bandage remedies such as transfers or punishment postings will not do. There is a need for root and branch improvement. The constabulary have to be better equipped not with arms and ammunition but with a better value system that ensures that there will be more responsive and less illegal policing and better all round every day performance.

 

The leadership must ensure that the ordinary constable has good working conditions decent wages and better hours of work. Training must be imparted to the police personnel in educating on high standards to human rights, gender sensitivity and respecting multi-religious diversity. At the same time they must take responsibility for lapses in policing and be completely accountable.

 

The political administration is responsible for delivering better policing that has the confidence of the public in Maharastra.

 

The meeting also called the State Government to implement the Police Reforms as outlined in the Supreme Court Judgement of 2006. The Supreme Court had given certain directions in view of the urgent need for preservation and strengthening of the Rule of Law. It had prescribed the setting up of three institutions in the state: A State Security Commission, Police Establishment Board and Police Complaints Authority, in other words calling for a systemic changes into the functioning of the PoliceDepartment.

 

It must lay down policing policies and targets to be achieved in the year after creating a political plan. This plan must be made in consultation with local communities and be a public document against which police performance can be evaluated and judged. It is only when communities are engaged with policing that the police will gain public confidence.

 

The meeting called for the State Security Commission to put in place a credible planning process in which enhanced safety of women and vulnerable groups such as children, migrants and minorities is specially addressed.

 

The meeting also agreed to a plan of action to make this an election issue for the forthcoming 2014 elections and demand from the Political parties to not only include this in their manifesto but ensure that the Police Reforms are implemented thereafter .

 

Hence it becomes necessary for the incumbent Government to bring in the police reforms without any further delay during their current tenure.

 

The meeting agreed to work together with police and administration in creating better policing outcomes for the city and asked all Mumbaikars to join in this effort.

 

Issued by Dolphy D’souza, Citizens Initiative for Peace [CIP] & Ms Maja Daruwalla , Director CHRI, Organising Committee and the participants of the meeting .

 

Cell: 9820226227 Email: dolphydolphy13@gmail.com

 

 

Dolphy Dsouza – 9820226227

Citizens Initiative for Peace [CIP]
43, Kalina, Santacruz East,
Mumbai 400 029.
Email: dolphydolphy13@gmail.com

 

PRESS RELEASE–When criminal negligence passes for ‘Industrial Accident’


3 February 2013

 

PRESS STATEMENT

 

When criminal negligence passes for ‘Industrial Accident

PUDR expresses grave shock and demands action against those responsible for the industrial accident at the Ambuja-Holcim cement plant near Raipur, Chhattisgarh, on 31 January 2013, in which 5 workers have been killed. The names of the workers who died are Roshan Verma and Poshan Verma, apprentice (both apprentices from village Arjuni), Suresh Shukla and Kamleshwar Singh (both permanent workers, from Ambuja Colony and village Bhadrapaali respectively), and Durgesh (a contract worker from village Saiha). The accident which occurred between 10.30 a.m. and11a.m., took place when the fly-ash hopper situated on the fifth floor collapsed, and crashed through four floors below. Eyewitnesses report that the air was thick with dust for hours. According to reports the cause of the accident was that the hopper was overloaded beyond capacity – while the capacity of the hopper was 170 tonnes it had been loaded with a weight of 300 tonnes. Moreover, the hopper was in a rundown condition and known to be unsafe. Despite this it appears that the management not only continued to operate the hopper, but overloaded it, and did not have any safety measures to deal with fire or officials equipped or trained to carry out rescue after the accident. Trained personnel had to be called from the nearby cement plant of Ultratech to carry out rescue operations.  The Ambuja-Holcim company officials had in fact compounded the problem by pouring water on the fly ash making it set and making it difficult to remove the dead and injured from under the debris. The workers who had rushed to help were all ordered to go away. Moreover the family members of those killed were not permitted to go to the spot, nor were they shown the bodies of the deceased. Journalists were also not permitted inside the plant after the accident. The Collector and the Superintendent of Police who had reached the plant after the accident, also refused to answer calls or throw light on the matter. Agitated villagers of Arjuni and Bhadrapaali who had gathered at the gates were lathi-charged and dispersed. It is a matter of concern that the entire effort of the management and local civil and police administration appears to be to hush up the incident and not affix responsibility for it. As even the broad details of this case and PUDR’s recent investigation and report on the conditions of cement workers in Chattisgarh (Working Against Odds: Conditions of Workers in the Cement Industry in Chattisgarh, 2012) shows this accident was a direct consequence of the complete absence of safety measures in the plant, the lack of maintenance and the common practice of exposing workers to extremely hazardous work without any protection, preparation or rescue plan amounts to criminal neglect. This ‘accident’ was thus waiting to happen, and the culpability of the company Ambuja-Holcim, which has a 9.44% of the market share in the industry and ranks third amongst the top 10 cement manufacturers in India, is clearly indicated.

PUDR demands immediate independent investigation into this industrial accident at the Ambuja Holcim plant, indictment and criminal prosecution of the guilty including the company for its criminal neglect of safety measures. PUDR also demands that adequate and appropriate compensation be paid to the family members of all the workers killed in the accident or adversely affected by it in any manner.

Asish Gupta,D Manjit

SecretariesPUDR

 

PRESS RELEASE-NCW shamed into reopening the #SoniSori Case- After Protest #mustshare


Press Release

 

Justice for Soni Sori Campaign

 

10/10/2012

NCW Shamed into Reopening the Soni Sori Case After Gherao!


Today afternoon, activists from women’s groups and several peoples’ organisations stormed the National Commission for Women (NCW), protesting against the continued inaction for an year in the Soni Sori case. It has been one year since the arrest of 36-year old Soni Sori, an adivasi school warden from Dantewada, Chhattisgarh, and her custodial torture at the behest of the then SP of Dantewada, Ankit Garg. Soni Sori’s right to life and dignity have been violated by various jail and police authorities several times over – from foisting false cases against her, sexually torturing and humiliating her in the police station, denying her medical attention, and most recently, humiliating her by publicly stripping her in prison in the name of conducting physical search. It is also one year since women’s groups first met the NCW to seek their intervention.

Since the first meeting last year, these organizations have approached the NCW on several occasions to take steps against Soni Sori’s custodial torture and continuing ill treatment.  Every single instance of illegality by police and jail authorities was brought to the attention of the NCW. Soni Sori herself wrote to the NCW seeking their help. But all this has fallen on deaf ears.

 

On 27September 2012, when the NCW was once again approached regarding this case by representatives of some women’s organisations, Hemlata Kheria, the Member-in-Charge of Chhattisgarh was not even aware of Soni Sori’s case.  It took two hours for her file to be dug out, and it was then discovered that a reply of the Chhattisgarh police had been lying in the NCW office since 17 February. The NCW has neither taken cognizance of this reply, nor forwarded it to the complainants.

 

Today, to the shock and consternation of the protesting organizations, they were informed by another member secretary Charu Walikhanna that the Soni Sori case had been closed on 4 Oct 2012, that too once more without informing the complainants! Clearly, the NCW had satisfied itself by reading a “report” by the accused in the case, the Chhattisgarh Police. The closure report says, “at  our end, nothing seems more to be done”. Various members of the NCW came up with frivolous excuses of not having the “power” to take up a case which is pending before a court. The activists were then forced to read out the provisions of the NCW Act, which give the commission the power to intervene or/and assist in any pending case.

 

After prolonged discussion, the NCW finally relented and has reopened the case. Also, the NCW has given in writing that within a week it will “consider intervention in the Supreme Court case” and carry out a fact-finding.

 

NCW has frequently denied reports of sexual violence by security forces in several parts of the country, instead of seeking to investigate and end impunity granted in such crimes. It’s apathy has been criminal – it refused to get involved in the Shopian case where Nilofer and Aasiya Jan were sexually assaulted and killed; it remained a mute spectator when the Chhattisgarh police whisked away Sodi Shambho, the crucial witness to Gompad massacre, from right under its nose in New Delhi to some place where she still remains untraced three years later; it is still to take any action on a 15-month old petition asking the NCW to investigate the human rights violation of Irom Sharmila, who is being illegally detained by the Government.

 

The protesting groups today also pointed out that Members and Chairpersons of the NCW are chosen not by virtue of their involvement in and championship of women’s rights and struggles, but by their participation in and patronage by the ruling political parties.

Press Release

 

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Immediate Release- Evicting the Poor at EWS Quarters, Ejipura, Bangalore


Press Release

 

Evicting the Poor at EWS Quarters, Ejipura, Bangalore

 

PUCL-Bangalore strongly condemns the illegitimate move by BBMP to

forcefully evict residents of the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) slum in Ejipura, Koramangala by switching off their water supply, blocking their common toilet facilities and  not collecting garbage – which is now piling up there.

 

In a Public Private Partnership (PPP) with Maverick Holdings Ltd, BBMP exchanged eight of the fifteen acres of the original EWS land, for construction of 1640 quarters for the community. What makes this deal unacceptable to the current residents is that these are for allotment only to the original residents of the BBMP quarters, which were razed to ground by the authorities when one of the buildings collapsed.

 

Most of the beneficiaries under the current scheme no longer reside in the EWS slums; the poorest and needy, who currently live there, do not qualify for any benefits from the state, even when evicted and their homes razed.


In the context of forceful evictions of slum dwellers, Supreme Court has ruled that right to shelter is a part of right to life, enshrined by Article 21 of our constitution. PUCL demands that state run organisations, like BBMP, not resort to draconian means to render our poorest shelter-less. PUCL further demands that BBMP exhibit some constitutional responsibility and make immediate provisions, within the current plan, to also house all those whom it desires it evict – namely, all the current dwellers of EWS quarters.

Arati Chokshi
General Secretary,
PUCL-BLR

Immediate Release–A day of fasting and prayers- Koodankulam


Internationally recognized symbol. Deutsch: Ge...

Internationally recognized symbol. Deutsch: Gefahrensymbol für Radioaktivität. Image:Radioactive.svg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)                              May 10, 2012

Idinthakarai & P. O. 627 104
Tirunelveli District, Tamil Nadu
Phone:             98656 83735      ; 98421 54073
koodankulam@yahoo.com
pushparayan@gmail.com
Press Release
The People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) calls off the planned event at Idinthakarai on May 10, 2012 as the District authorities have clamped down prohibitory orders such as 144 in and around Koodankulam area. The citizens’ right to assemble cannot and must not be construed as a siege and this fundamental right must be respected and honored. We would also like to record the fact that we have not inflicted any violence on anybody in any of our protests or agitations for the past nine months. So the authorities have nothing to fear or worry. In the light of the recent development, however, we have requested the people from all the coastal and interior villages to organize “a day of prayer and fasting” today in their respective churches and temples.
There has been an error in the count of Voter ID Cards that have been submitted by people. Cards are still pouring in from all different villages in Tirunelveli district and other places in Tamil Nadu. We are yet to take the final count of the cards and submit them to the authorities when the tense situation in our area subsides.
Most of the men and women participating in the indefinite hunger strike are very weak and losing weight. Some of them are suffering from heat stroke and dehydration. We take them to the local hospital as the government medical team does not come anymore. Instead of taking the lives of these people seriously, the local Radhapuram Tahsildar is throwing bureaucratic hurdles such as asking us to call the District Collector for continued medical assistance. We have a group of volunteers to help the strikers and a team of local reporters to monitor and report the developments on a continuous basis. The PMANE would like to record here that the central and state governments will be held responsible if anything happens to any of the indefinite hunger strikers.
We have always been ready and willing to talk to the authorities as we believe in democracy and dialogue. In that spirit, we have given our list of demands to them. But the state government officials are interested only to talk about the false cases they have foisted on us and not about other substantive Koodankulam plant-related issues. The state authorities claim that those issues are in the realm of the central government. On the contrary, the issue of organizing disaster management trainings and evacuation exercises, passing resolution to safeguard the local water resources, respecting the people’s right to protest peacefully and nonviolently can all be addressed by the state government.
The central and state governments have not invited us for any talks so far and they are keen to get us arrested and abort the entire struggle. The Indian democracy and the fundamental freedoms of our people are all at stake here. The spirit of India is being systematically stifled by the nuclear Merchants of Venice.
And finally, the PMANE would also like to demand an independent enquiry on the blast that had occurred at the Koodankulam nuclear power plant on May 4, 2012 in which a few men were badly injured.
The Struggle Committee
People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)

Immediate Release-STOP work at SHAI, SUSARI and KONDHANE DAMS


Press Release

 

IMMEDIATELY STOP WORK ON SHAI, SUSARI AND KONDHANE DAMS

 

We welcome the announcement of the Chief Minister that a White Paper will be prepared on the construction of Dams during the past ten years in Maharashtra.  We hope that this White Paper will assess the extent of corruption and diversion of public money that has plagued the Irrigation department. We also hope that the White Paper will look into the alleged nexus between the politicians, officials and contractors who have been awarded contracts in violation of the norms.  The White Paper needs to also examine whether the required permissions were obtained prior to construction, whether the stated objectives are being achieved and the status of rehabilitation of the project affected.

However, pending the release of the White Paper we demand an immediate stoppage of work on all dams (including Shai and Susari dams in Thane district and Kondhane dam in Raigad district) that are being illegally constructed without the required permissions.   Most of the dams ( more than 10 )  within the jurisdiction of the Konkan Irrigation Development Corporation have been awarded to a single firm, viz. F.A. Enterprises,  which is in violation of the Department’s own guidelines and conditions, thus exposing a strong nexus between the politicians, officials and the contractor.  Work has begun in violation of laws including the Forest Rights Act, The Forest Conservation Act, the Land Acquisiton Act, the Panchayats Extension to the Scheduled Areas Act etc. The Mumbai High Court has already stayed work on the Kalu Dam as it had started without clearance from  MoEF.

We therefore additionally demand that a High Level Inquiry Committee ( headed by a Retired High Court Judge ) be immediately appointed to inquire into the allegations of corruption and violation of laws and procedures into all the dams in the KIDC region, and more specifically those that have been awarded to F.A. Enterprises.

 

 

We reiterate our strong opposition to the Shai, Susari, Kalu, Balganga and Kondhane dams and demand that the police protection that has been provided to the contractor for constructing an illegal dam be immediately removed.

 

Shai Dharan Virodhi Sangharsh Samiti

Susari Dharan Virodhi Sangharsh Samiti

Kalu Dharan Virodhi Samiti

Shramik Mukti Sanghatna

Kashtakari Sanghatna

Shoshit Jan Andolan

Samajwadi Jan Parishad

Jagatikikaran Virodhi Kruti Samiti

 

 

Date : 9.5.2012

Immediate Release- Police atrocities on Farmers on Rise in M.P


PRESS STATEMENT

  • Police Atrocities on the Farmers and Nature Based Communities on the Rise in Madhya Pradesh

  • One Killed in Police Firing in Raisen; and 53 Arrested in Anuppur while protesting Land Acquisition

New Delhi, May 8th : Farmers and those dependent on the land and other natural resources are constantly at the receiving end of the police violence these days. Land conflicts are the order of the day and it seems they are here to stay given the corporates hunger for the land, water and forests for commercial exploitation and profit. We strongly oppose and condemn any such forceful acquisition of these scarce resources from people by the government and corporations. NAPM has demanded and continues to struggle for the repeal of the Land Acquisition Act and enactment of a national Development Planning Act. The proposed Bill which is now with the Parliamentary Standing Committee doesn’t address all the concerns raised by us, hope the Committee will take note of the suggestions given by us. India as a nation can only have a healthy growth and development if we look after the interests of the farmers, peasants, landless workers, dalits, divasis and those living on the margins of the society.

Police Firing in Raisen

We strongly condemn the death of Harisingh, 35-year-old former sarpanch, yesterday while a group of farmers blocked traffic in Raisen protesting the suicide by another farmer a day before and shortage of gunny bags. Bhagwan Singh Rajput, a farmer who was not able to sell his wheat for past several days, committed suicide in Barni Jagir village of Raisen on Sunday. It is ironic that while the farmers continue to die the state and central governments rather than providing relief and taking action are blaming each other. Farmers have been agitating since April 16th on this issue but finally it is the death of farmers which has nudged the governments to act. It is extremely unfortunate that the dead body of Mr. Harisingh was not handed over to the relatives after post mortem and police in their presence burnt it on their own. The situation is tense in the villages since police is making arrests and has imposed curfew in the region.

Police Action in Jaithari, Anuppur

In another instance on May 5th, farmers protesting against the forceful land acquisition and demanding higher compensation and jobs for the land acquired for the 1200 MW Moser Baer Thermal Power Plant in Jaithari Tehsil were lathi charged and arrested. Nearly 27 people have received serious injuries and many more are injured. Farmers here have been agitating against the land acquisition for a long time under the banner of Bhartiya Kisan Union. The land was acquired from the farmers at the rate of Rs. 65,000 per acre, whereas, the farmers have been demanding a much higher compensation rate. There have been ongoing negotiations but the company has failed to keep the agreement. Jagdish Singh, Rampal Singh and 16 more have been slapped with serious charges under Section 307 and others, while more than 150 people have been arrested.

Mose Baer is currently developing the first phase of 1200 MW (2X600 MW) for which it has acquired 996 acres of land including 93.6 acre of forest land. In the second phase they intend to add 1320 MW additional capacity. It needs to be noted that Anuppur district has a high tribal population (36.4%) and as per the clearance given they need to seek forest clearance under EPA, settle the rights if any under FRA. The Environmental Clearance was also challenged in the High Court citing irregularities and non-compliance with the PESA provisions since the land is in 5thSchedule. Anuppur is a water stress region but even then a thermal power plant of this magnitude has been sanctioned. The EIA report mentions that the 290 families will be displaced by the project but the status of Resettlement and Rehabilitation is also not known till date.

We believe there is a need to do a thorough review of the project, resettlement and rehabilitation, settlement of rights of the adivasis, if any, and pay adequate compensation to the farmers and others who have lost their livelihood due to the project.

Even as we denounce the heavy handedness and the police action against protesters we demand action and a judicial enquiry in both the instances and adequate compensation to the victims and stop harassing the farmers and unconditionally release all those in jail. It is unfortunate that while MP Government claims to be bringing in prosperity for all but the farmers and nature based communities continue to suffer due to large number of thermal power plants coming in Chhindwara, Singrauli, Jhansi and the dams on the Narmada and other rivers. It is high time that Chief Minster, Shivraj Singh Chauhan listened to the people and not sacrificed their lives for the needs of ‘development’ of the other regions. The attack on farmers and commons, and pursuit of neo-liberal policies will only severely impact the food security of the nation and also is a worrying sign for the shrinking democratic spaces for those protesting these.

 

Medha Patkar, Dr. Sunilam, Prafulla Samantara, Dr. Sandeep Pandey, Gautam Bandopadhyay, Anand Mazgaonkar, Bhupendera Singh Rawat, Rajendra Ravi, Vimal Bhai, Madhuresh Kumar

NAPM – National Alliance of People’s Movements
Tel: 91 11 2437 4535
napmindia@gmail.com | http://www.napm-india.org/

Immediate Release- Indefinite Hunger Strike on May Day at Idinthakarai


People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)                                     April 23, 2012
Idinthakarai & P. O. 627 104
Phone: 98656 83735; 98421 54073
PMANE Announces Indefinite Hunger Strike from May 1, 2012 at Idinthakarai
 
The People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) plans to resume indefinite hunger strike from May 1, 2012, International Workers’ Day. When we concluded our earlier hunger strike on March 27, 2012 at the behest of the Madurai Archbishop Most Rev. Peter Fernando and Mr. Arimavalavan’s negotiations with the Tirunelveli district officials at Radhapuram, the authorities had agreed to
·       <> release all our comrades from prisons unconditionally;
·       <> withdraw all the false and foisted cases against tens of thousands of our people including sedition charges;
·       <>  institute an independent national committee to study the hydrology, geology and oceanography issues;
·       <> conduct disaster management and evacuation exercises to all the people in 30 km radius from the KKNPP;
·       <>  share a copy of the secret IGA between the governments of India and Russia in 2008 on liability;
·       <> divulge all the relevant info about the KKNPP nuclear waste and their management; and
·       <>  respect the democratic rights of our people to continue to oppose the KKNPP peacefully and nonviolently.
Almost a month has passed after this negotiation, but no promise has been fulfilled so far. Mugilan and Sathish are still languishing in prison and more cases are said to have been filed against them. More than 56,000 people have been charged with false cases until December 31, 2011 including some 6,000 sedition cases. If we tally the cases that have been filed in the first quarter of 2012, the number must be way too high. This only proves how big our struggle is and how undemocratic and anti-people our governments are.
Even those who have been released on bail are made to sign every day at distant police stations like dangerous criminals and are prevented from going to work. They are all living in poverty and misery.
No step has been taken to withdraw all the false cases that are foisted on us; instead, fresh murder charges are framed against the leaders of the PMANE falsely.
Besides the hydrology, geology, oceanography issues of the KKNPP, we have now to deal with the seismology issue also as the entire state of Tamil Nadu and the eastern coast of India were rocked by powerful tremors and temblors on April 11, 2012. Following the massive earthquake and the aftershocks on that day, there has been another major earthquake in Indonesia on April 20, 2012 night. These issues have to be researched thoroughly and truthfully before opening a major and controversial nuclear project such as the KKNPP in the affected area.
The government authorities and the KKNPP officials are trying to scuttle the whole process of disaster training and evacuation exercises by roping in the cooperation of the local Panchayat presidents and by creating falsified records that such exercises had been done in these Panchayats. The KKNPP administration that never respected the local people and their leaders before are now trying to please these Panchayat presidents with the promised Rs. 500-crore package. Given the recent repeated earthquakes in Indonesia, even people beyond 30-km radius must be given disaster training.
We hear recurrent rumors that there are serious problems in the reactor pressure vessel, and that there is a perennial water spring near the reactor building that plague the KKNPP project and that is why some 18 Russian scientists have been invited urgently to work on the project. The KKNPP officials must tell the people the whole truth about the problems involved in the delay of the project, present a White Paper on the total cost of the project and explain how much public money has been spent on all these recent visits of Russians and other PR exercises.
We earnestly hope that the Government of India and the Government of Tamil Nadu will resume the negotiations with us, fulfill their commitments and avoid the planned indefinite hunger strike. We still hope that these governments work not just for the rich and powerful but are also interested in the wellbeing of the ordinary and unlettered citizens of India.
The Struggle Committee
People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)

Press Release–In the name of sovereignty: APDP


25th January 2012:

 

On 17th October 2011, Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) submitted an application for information under Right to Information Act 2009 to the office of the Public Information Officer of State Department of Home. The application was regarding unmarked graves and mass graves in all the districts of Jammu and Kashmir. The State Home Department vide its letter no: Home/RTI/2011/1659 dated: 24th October 2011, transferred the application to the office of Director General of Police, Jammu & Kashmir. Later Director General of Police, Mr. Kuldeep Khoda sent communiqué vide no. legal/RTI/III/98/2011-5590-91 dated 10th December 2011 to the SSP CID Headquarters, asking him to furnish a detailed report on this issue.

Today, on 25th January 2012, we have received a response from the SSP CID Headquarters vide letter no: CID/GB/RTI/2011/8756-58, in which the CID Department has informed us that the information regarding the unmarked graves and mass graves in all the districts of Jammu and Kashmir cannot be shared as the disclosure of the information, according to Jammu and Kashmir Police would be “prejudicial to the maintenance of public peace and tranquility, as the anti-national elements may use the same for incitement of commission of offence in the state”. The SSP CID Headquarters further states, “In the present security scenario it is quite imminent that consequences of such a situation would be highly prejudicial to the sovereignty, integrity and security of the state”.

We fail to understand how information regarding the unmarked graves and mass graves would become threat for the security and sovereignty of the state, when even the State Human Rights Commission has recently endorsed our findings regarding the existence of unmarked graves and mass graves in North Kashmir. This denial comes after the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir repeatedly promised that thorough investigations would be carried out regarding unmarked graves and mass graves.

Every time state is afraid of truth and every time state shows reluctance in promoting the processes of justice. People of Jammu and Kashmir and particularly the family members of more than 8000 disappeared persons have the right to know how many unmarked graves and mass graves exist in Jammu and Kashmir and also people want to know who are the ones buried in these graves.

It has now become routine for the state to use the pretext of the security to cover up human rights crimes and thus deny justice. Crimes cannot be hidden to protect the sovereignty, integrity, security, peace and tranquility.

APDP has already filed the first appeal under section 16 (1) of the J&K RTI Act 2009 at the first Appellate authority of the Police Headquarters.

Spokesperson
Yaseen Hassan Malik

Shabnam Hashmi detained and released in Gujarat, Citizens demand intervention


GODHRA: Shabnam Hashmi, the founder of NGO Anhad and five other activists were detained by Gujarat police today when they tried to enter Godhra, where Chief Minister Narendra Modi is camping for his 23rd Sadbhavana fast.

Hashmi’s NGO had organised a programme ‘In Search Of Justice’, parallel to Modi’s show in Godhra, the ground zero of Gujarat riots of 2002. Hashmi had organised the programme to protest Sadbhavana fast.

Even as Modi’s sat on the day-long fast, Hashmi’s vehicle was intercepted on Ahmedabad-Godhra highway about eight kilometres from Godhra. The six activists were then taken to Kheda police station.

Hashmi was supposed to address a gathering in Mohammedi Colony in Saatpool area on Friday morning. Her supporters had expected that the cops would detain her. But they had gathered near the spot of the programme. A large presence of policemen in Mohammedi Colony on Friday morning ensured that the protestors were detained.

Speaking to newzfirst Shabnam Hashmi said that more than fifty activists were detained and taken to different districts.

She said that this convention mobilized lot of people in Godhra and its surrounding fearing this Modi didnot wanted it to happen as large chunk of minority would attend this convention

This is the question of democracy not to allow any form of dissent, she added

Concerned citizens have lodged a protest against and condemned the arrest of Shabnam Hashmi, and other Anhad Activists by Gujarat Police. In a Press Release issued by concerned citizens, the incident has been called a ‘yet another fascistic act of Mr Narandra Modi.’

They have further condemned the blatant use of Gujarat police force to spread fear and gather crowd for Modi’s programme and demanded that Home Minister, P Chidambaram should immediately intervene and ensure that democracy is restored in Gujarat.

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