PRESS RELEASE- Four anti nuke activists booked under Goondas Act, exonerated by Madras HC


Four persons belonging to Idinthakarai and Koodankulam villages, who had been booked under Goondas Act since September 2012, have been exonerated by the Madras High Court (Madurai bench). In all, six men ranging in age from 23 to 68, were charged under Goodas as part of the State Government’s harassment campaign against the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy. All six have served between three and five months in jail on trumped up charges.

 

The Madras High Court’s decision to lift charges under Goondas Act further proves the long-standing allegation that the Tamil Nadu Government has abused the Indian Penal Code to stifle democratic dissent and crush the movement against the nuclear power plant.

 

In all, the Koodankulam Police Station has filed at least 325 cases against more than 200,000 people, including cases involving sedition and waging war against the state against nearly 10,000 people. Since most of the cases are against unnamed persons, it has been convenient for the Police to arrest randomly and then link the arrested persons to any one of the 325 cases.

Yesterday, the Madras High Court’s Madurai bench exonerated the following persons based on an appeal filed against the confirmations of Goondas Act by the NSA and Goondas Board.
Lourdusamy, age 68, Idinthakarai. Arrested 10.9.12. Crime Nos. 349/12, 300/12, 70/12 — Vellore prison (Sedition and Waging War)
Nazraen, age 41, Idinthakarai. Arrested 10.9.12. Crime Nos. 349/12, 300/12, 70/12 — Vellore prison (Sedition and Waging War)
Thavasi Kumar aka Kumar, age 33, Vairavikinaru. Arrested 9.10.12. Crime Nos. 348/12, 350/12, 346/12 — Palayamkottai prison (Sedition and Waging War)
Jesurajan, age 38, Koodankulam. Arrested end October, 2012. Crime Nos. 341/12. 342/12, 345/12, 352/12 — Palayamkottai prison (Sedition and Waging War)

The appeal against the Goondas Board confirmation for Sindhu Bharat is coming up for hearing today. Details of Sindhu Bharat are as follows:
Sindhu Bharat, age 23, Koodankulam. Arrested 9.10.12. Crime Nos. 349/12, 350/12, 70/12 — Palayamkottai prison (Waging war)

The appeal against the Goondas Board confirmation for Santiahu Rayappan (details below) is expected to come up for hearing later this month.
Santiahu Rayappan, age 33, Idinthakarai. Arrested November 2012. Crime Nos. 349/12, 304/12, 397/12.

The rules governing the draconian Goondas Act require that named persons should be produced before the Goondas Board and the Board’s report confirming or rejecting the invocation be submitted to the Government within 7 weeks (50 days) of invocation of the Act. However, it is now more than 7 weeks since the appearance of the named persons before the Board. The Board is yet to submit a report on four out of six persons.

Of the six, four people were represented by Adv. Lajapatarai and his team in Madurai on behalf of the PMANE. Two others arranged their own counsels.

by-nityanand jayaraman

In Tihar, officials feel ‘tinge of sorrow’ #Afzalguru #deathpenalty


10 February 2013 , By Gaurav Vivek Bhatnagar , tehelka

‘Al vida’, said Afzal Guru to his executioner, who had himself bid him good bye with the same words a few seconds earlier. And then as the executioner pulled a lever, Afzal’s frame hung from the gallows.

“He was dead in a minute, though”, as per the jail norms, the body was kept hanging for a full half hour, said an official who witnessed the hanging. Thereafter Afzal’s body was taken down from the gallows and buried with full religious rites near Jail No. 3, right next to the grave of Kashmiri separatist Maqbool Butt who too was hanged in Tihar.

“But there is a difference between the two. While Butt was a separatist leader, Afzal never spoke about secession of Kashmir from India. In fact, he used to tell us that he had been unnecessarily dragged into this. In fact, he actually believed in ridding India of corruption,” the official added. He spoke to The Hindu on condition he not be identified because he was not authorised to speak to the press.

While right-wing activists across the country celebrated Afzal’s execution, in the jail itself there was no celebration. Rather, the staff appeared glum. “He was a pious soul and was extremely well behaved. Even as he was being taken to the gallows, he greeted the jail staff he knew by their first names. The only thing he requested before the hanging was that ‘mujhay ummeed hai aap mujhay dard nahin karaogay’ (I hope you will not cause me pain). And he was assured by the executioner, who himself was overcome with emotion as he kept looking into his eyes as the black cloth was drawn over them, that it would be a smooth journey. And so it was.”

Contrary to some media reports, Afzal was told of his impending execution on the actual morning and not the previous evening.

“The only thing he had in the morning was a cup of tea. But that is because he was not offered any food. Otherwise, he was so normal that he would have had that too.” Initially Afzal was wearing a pheran, or Kashmiri gown. He later took bath and changed into a white kurta-pyjama and offered namaz.

“There have been about 25 executions in Tihar and senior officials [here] have witnessed the last 10, but never have they seen a man so calm and composed on learning the news of his impending death.”

In the last couple of hours of his life, Afzal had the company of some jail officials. And he narrated to them his thoughts about life and death. “He spoke of universal brotherhood and oneness of the mankind; how no human being is bad and how the soul in each one was a creation of the same God. He believed that if you moved on the path of truth, that was the biggest achievement.”

In fact, Afzal was so calm in the morning that he even penned down some of his thoughts, put the date and time on the paper and signed it.

When asked by the jail staff about his last thoughts of his family, on who would take care of them, Afzal said “it was God who looks after each one of us and so would be the case now”.

“His strength came from his spirituality. He was a learned man; as well versed in Islam as with Hinduism. Often, he would tell us about the similarities in the two religions. Some time ago he had read all the four Vedas. How many Hindus have actually done that? You normally rejoice at the end of evil, [but] when a pious soul goes away, it leaves behind a tinge of sorrow,” the official said.

Recalling, how all through Afzal was “joyful” as also “cool and calm”, the officials said in the past they have seen people shiver at being told about their being taken to the gallows. “But here it was just like what we had heard about people going to the gallows smiling.”

Another difference between Afzal and others who were executed for terrorist crimes terrorists, the official said, was that while almost all others had made religious or political cries before being hanged, Afzal just walked the last 100 steps from his cell to the gallows as he normally would and went away wishing those around him.

 

SC aguished over plight of undertrials, fundamental rights violation #prison


New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday expressed its anguish over the plight of undertrials and violation of their fundamental rights after they are thrown into prisons that are already “bursting at their seams”.

“The laxity with which we throw citizens into prison reflects our lack of appreciation for the tribulations of incarceration; the callousness with which we leave them there reflects our lack of deference for humanity,” said the apex court bench of Justice D.K. Jain and Justice JS Khehar.

Reuters

Reuters

“It also reflects our imprudence when our prisons are bursting at their seams,” the judges said.

“For the prisoner himself, imprisonment for the purposes of trial is as ignoble as imprisonment on conviction for an offence, since the damning finger and opprobrious eyes of society draw no difference between the two.”

Taking a dig at the insensitive attitude of the instrumentalities of the state, the court said, “The plight of the undertrials seems to gain focus only on a solicitous inquiry by this court, and soon after, quickly fades into the backdrop.”

The damning observation on the prevailing state of affairs in the justice delivery system in the country came in the course of the court’s inquiry into the trials in cases under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, pending in all the states.

The court had embarked on its inquiry after it granted bail to Thana Singh who had been languishing in prison for more than 12 years, awaiting the commencement of his trial for an offence under the narcotics law.

IANS

 

#India- In Custody: Five Years in Jail and Innocent #sedition #dissent #Prison #Justice


  • January 15, 2013, 

    By Michael Edison Hayden, Wall street journal, India 

Roberto Schmidt/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
A man peeked through an opening of a door to a prison ward at the Tihar jail, New Delhi, April 26, 2012.

This week, India Real Time presents an in-depth look at the country’s prison and custody system.

It is a system that still carries many attributes of its origins in British-run colonial India, and gives a high degree of discretion to how state governments apply the penal code — and who ends up behind bars, whether serving prison sentences, or in temporary army or police custody.

Experts note that the national government, over decades, hasn’t funded the expansion of the prison system to meet the increasing ranks of prisoners. In part, those ranks have increased because India’s court system is backlogged with 65% of India’s 240,000 people in jail yet to face a verdict in court, according to government data. They also point to allegations of abuse in army custody, which the army denies. 

In four chapters this week, India Real Time will examine different aspects of life under custody, as well as attempts to improve it. They include the experience of those facing trial as well as efforts being made to promote rehabilitation over punishment.

Arun Ferreira
Pictured, Arun Ferreira.

MUMBAI, India – When Arun Ferreira went to prison in 2007, his son was only two. Today, they are reunited, and a tide of private anguish has at last begun to roll back and wash away.

“My family didn’t tell him that I was in jail, they told him I was away on business for five years,” Mr. Ferreira says.

“Today, my son still doesn’t believe it. Recently, he saw a picture of Nelson Mandela somewhere. I explained who he was, and then I mentioned [what happened to me], and he thought I was fibbing.”

On an unusually sunny afternoon during monsoon season in the residential neighborhood of Bandra, Mr. Ferreira is gracious and funny as we sit in a local coffee shop to discuss his experience in jail. Mr. Ferreira was arrested under the auspices that he was a Maoist rebel, planning to blow up the Deekshabhoomi Complex, a monument in the town of Nagpur, where the Dalit icon Ambedkar is believed to have embraced Buddhism for the first time. Mr. Ferreira spent most of the following roughly four years and a half years in Nagpur’s Central Jail.

The Communist Party of India (Maoist), are also known as Naxalites, a reference to the West Bengal town of Naxalbari, where their movement began. Started as a left wing political group in the 1940s, in the 1960s they launched an armed struggle against the Indian government, which they have been violently opposing ever since.

Their largest support base comes from local tribes who seek to retain their land resisting industrial interests. In 2006, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh famously described Naxalism as “the single biggest internal security challenge ever faced by our country.” Members of the group could not be reached.

Mr. Ferreira was charged with attacking a police station, firing on police, and booked under the Unlawful Activities Act of 2004, a law created to bolster security against possible terrorist attacks.

Mr. Ferreira claims he was held for organizing slum-dwellers to unite in protest against the demolition of their homes. Such demolitions are a frequent source of strife here in Mumbai, often pitting poorer locals against police and property developers. Mr. Ferreira is currently out on bail and contesting two additional charges – allegations that he illicitly possessed arms and fired on police – that were leveled against him by plain-clothes officers during his time of awaiting trial in Nagpur. Mr. Ferreira denies any wrongdoing.

The Wall Street Journal
Source: National Crime Records Bureau

In Sept. 2011, a court ruled that Mr. Ferreira was innocent of all eight of the charges that were placed against him, over four years and eight months after his initial arrest.

Justice Hosbet Suresh, 83, is a former judge of the Mumbai High Court whose experience working inside the system has driven him, during his retirement years, to become an advocate for prisoners’ rights. He says that India’s slow trials are being made even slower by a lack of judicial manpower.

“There are simply not enough judges to handle all of the cases,” says Mr. Suresh. “We just have too few of them relative to the population here.”

According to the Indian Bar Association, as of 2010, there were over 30 million cases pending in courts across India due in large part to a ratio of 11 judges per million people. This leaves India with a persistent backlog of cases waiting to be heard.

As a result, “more than half of the prison population here is under trial,” Mr. Suresh estimates.

The Wall Street Journal
A graphic showing total inmates segregated by convicts, detainees and undertrial.

It’s a lot more than half: The most recent survey conducted by the National Crimes Record Bureau, a government agency, found that as many as 64.7% of Indian prisoners have not yet been convicted. And while prisoners who are ultimately convicted will see their time spent in jail while waiting for trial reduced from their sentence, such provisions provide very little consolation to the innocent, like Mr. Ferreira.

For some it’s even worse: According to the study, 1,486 under trial prisoners, or 0.6% % of the total, had been jailed for five years without having had a single day in court.

Another reason prisoners sometimes wait years for their trial is that, according to government data, the majority of those arrested are too poor to afford bail and legal counsel.

India lacks a federal department of prisons, like that of the United States. Instead, prisons are a responsibility of individual states, although the ministry of law lays out broad guidelines on how to administer them.

Mr. Ferreira believes his politics may have played a role in his prolonged detention. He says he was shuffled between several different facilities during his time at Nagpur Central. He spent his first year in the high security Anda barrack, and his final two years were spent in what’s known as the Gunah Khana, or punishment cells.

In between that time, Mr. Ferreira says he was placed with convicts in the Phasi yard. The Phasi yard is the gallows; it’s where death row inmates are kept. Mr. Ferreira says that guards told him that he was placed there for being a security threat.

When I reached out to Nagpur Central Jail, a senior official said the prison does not comment on the cases of specific inmates. The official added that it is the policy of the prison to keep convicts and prisoners who are under trials separated in adherence with the law. According to Mr. Ferreira’s account, he found himself rubbing shoulders with those convicted of the 1993 bomb blasts that rocked Mumbai, and with the perpetrators of the Kherlanji massacre of 2006, where Dalit men and women were slaughtered by upper caste Hindus.  He had little choice but to remain calm and do his best not to draw attention to himself for that entire year. A spokesman for Nagpur Central Jail declined to comment on Mr. Ferreira’s allegations.

 

– Vibhuti Agarwal contributed to this post.

Michael Edison Hayden is an American writer currently living in Mumbai. 

 

Supreme Court relief for #Chhattisgarh activist accused of helping Naxals #Vaw #Sonisori


Edited by Surabhi Malik | Updated: January 08, 2013 13:05 IST, NDTV

Supreme Court relief for Chhattisgarh activist accused of helping Naxals

New DelhiThe Supreme Court today accepted a plea filed by tribal activist Soni Sori and directed the Chhattisgarh government to shift her from a jail in Raipur to the Central Jail in Jagadalpur.

The tribal teacher has been jailed on charges of being a Naxal. But she claims she has been falsely implicated in a number of cases linking her to Naxal activities.

Ms Sori has been lodged at the Raipur Central Jail since October 2011. She had sought her transfer claiming that she was being tortured by the Chhattisgarh Police. The Chhattisgarh government told the court today that it had no objection in moving her to another prison.

The activist has also alleged that she was raped at the Dantewada police station in 2011 and has filed another plea in the Supreme Court seeking that her case be shifted to Delhi. The Supreme Court is expected to hear this plea in March.

A suspected Naxal conduit accused of receiving “protection money” from the Essar group for the rebels, Ms Sori was arrested on October 4, 2011 in south Delhi by a Chhattisgarh police team. She was then taken to Dantewada for interrogation but was not produced before court. The Chhattisgarh Police claimed she fell in a bathroom. The medical report too said there was no torture. But Ms Sori has alleged that she was being treated like a thief and a dacoit by the police.

Ms Sori also wants a Special Investigating Team (SIT) to be appointed to investigate her case.

 

#India- State Throttling the voice, banning the thought of innocent people #draconianlaws #prisoners


draconianlaw

Jan 6, 2013, Deccan Herald 

 The rage of the ‘invisible masses,’ is a thread binding all democratic protests and people’s movements across the state. Be it in Konkan or Vidarbha or the deep dry jungles of Gadchiroli, the cries of ‘rights’ and ‘freedom’ has faded in majority of cases into the darkness of the shadows of the prison cells. Throttling the voice and banning the thought has turned these regions into police state, where in the name of law shackles are clamped on every dissenting voice.


In Konkan, since 2006, the undulating hills dotting Maharashtra coastline has been echoing and roiling with angry voices questioning the nuclear and open cast mining projects pock-marking the green ribbon stretching along the seashore.

The movement, despite running on peaceful strategy, has seen incidents of violence from the police side; in April 2011, police in order to quell a protesting mob, opened fire killing one person.

Last June, when villagers protested against Jaitapur nuclear power project, armed police clamped Section 144.

Vidarbha farmers’ fault?

The region everyday witnesses a funeral of a farmer committing suicide, deaths due to malnutrition and starvation in tribal areas.

The story is not new; in 2001, thousands of tribal women ‘Tendu’ workers were just hauled up in police vans and bundled off to prisons, charged with various draconian sections. Their fault: they were  demanding basic food security.

In December 2012, the government refused permission for staging any kind of demonstration to over a thousand widows of farmers, who took their lives to escape the sharp economic claws, under the pretext that it ‘is being spearheaded by Naxalites.’

Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti leader Kishore Tiwari says: “Raise your voice and you find yourself facing a non-bailable warrant. Since 2001 I have been charged with over 231 criminal cases…”

Gadchiroli’s eternal prisoners

It is the border tribal district and the news that filter out from this region focusses only on ‘violent clashes between the police and militant outfits’; the peaceful demonstrations of tribals asserting their democratic rights and ending up in prisons where sun rarely peeps in, never sees light.

On December 10, 2012, 50 tribal women languishing in Nagpur Central Prison for the past several years, under the charges of being “Naxal‘ sympathisers, went on a 11-day hunger strike demanding immediate opening up of the Gadchiroli Prison and an inquiry into ‘illegal re-arrests.’

Human rights lawyer Surendra Gadling said: “Using the 170-km stretch between Nagpur and Gadchiroli court as an excuse, the police deliberately delay the proceedings. What these women undertrials want is a speedy trial which is their Constitutional right.”

The hunger-strike once again brought to fore the brazen violation of human rights and Constitutional rights by the police and other para-military forces who clandestinely re-arrest political prisoners who have been acquitted or granted bail as soon as they emerge from the prison gate.

In 2007, human rights activist Arun Ferriera, was picked up along with one Arun Satya Reddy while he was distributing pamphlets to Dalits in Dikshabhoomi near Nagpur. In 2011, despite being cleared of all charges by a lower court, the police clandestinely whisked him from the exit door of the jail. In jail, he saw the re-arrest of tribal men and women in violation of laws and undertook a fast lasting 27 days, demanding an inquiry into ‘illegal re-arrests’.

#India-The burden of being a dissent in democracy -Story of J Roslin #RIP


By Tariq Abdul Muhaimin12/27/12, Newzfirst

 

In an age where the State defines its role as ‘emancipating’ and ‘empowering’, the plight of several oppressed individuals, some of whom have even succumbed to injuries obtained in the course of their struggle, remind us of the increasing exercise of authority and power by the State with an effort to contain the rising trend of ‘hitting the street’ or ‘raising a question’ over the efficient functioning of public institutions by concerned civil society members and groups.

Through a series of articles to be published over a period of time, NEWZFIRST will highlight the plight of many such activists and rights’ campaigners by speaking to the ones closest to them.

Starting from the most recent death of an anti-nuke activist who succumbed to health issues which only exacerbated during the period she spent in jail after she was arrested on charges of ‘waging war against the state’ and ‘sedition’, we go on to explore the stories of many others who experienced a similar – if not such dreadful – fate.

Story of J Roslin

As the anti-nuke struggle at Koodankulam enters the 500th day, we revisit the heart-wrenching tale of J Roslin, a 63-year old woman and mother of three, who died on 21 December at Idinthikarai, the nucleus of anti-nuke struggle against Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP).

J Roslin was among the 7 women who were randomly picked up from Idinthakarai beach during the police crackdown on anti-nuke activists, who were protesting the coming up of KNPP, on 10 September 2012.

She was put in Trichy women’s prison along with three other women – Xavier Ammal, Sundari and Selvi.

She was charged under sections 147 – Rioting, 145 – continuing in unlawful assembly, 163 r/w 144, 222, 252, 255, 294(b), 207 and 427 r/w 149 of Indian Penal Code (IPC), in the case for which she was arrested (Crl OP 15389/2012, Crime No. 349/2012, Offence date: 10.9.2012).

At the time of arrest, she complained about her ailing health. She said that she was extremely unwell and had been suffering with frequent bouts of vomiting, and needed urgent medical attention and diagnosis. These facts were also registered in the records, prior to her detention in Trichy prison.

However, she was not given adequate treatment in the prison and her requests for medical attention went unheeded.

“The very first day after she was arrested, she was vomiting and could not eat. During her stay in the prison, doctors visited her and prescribed some medicines, but her health continued to worsen”, Pushparayan Victoria, leader of Peoples Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), told Newzfirst.

“She was given I.V fluids once after which she felt little better. She complained to the Magistrate, who released her on conditional bail after 50 days”, Pushparayan added.

After she was granted bail in the case for which she was arrested, the police filed two more cases and prolonged her stay in prison.

She was charged under sections 121 (Waging war against the State), 124A (Sedition) and 142 (Unlawful assembly) of IPC in two different cases (Crl OP 15368, Crime No. 70/2012, Offence date: 16.2.2012 and Crl OP 15385, Crime No. 300/2012, Offence date: 11.6.2012).

“The police had kept several blank spaces in the list of accused for different cases, so her name was added there”, Pushparayan said.

She was finally released from prison on 30 October 2012, on the condition that she should sign her presence at a police station in Madurai.

As her condition worsened, it became impossible for her to visit the police station, and she was hospitalized in the Madurai General hospital. The doctors said that she had a serious illness. After staying there for about 10 days, she was moved to Idinthakarai where she died during the early hours of Friday, 21 December.

“She was a woman in her 60’s and was fighting for her livelihood; fighting for her children. She had no grudge against the nation. She was accused and arrested on false grounds. She was ill and could not even speak properly. She only came to the protest site to sit and watch. It is very unfortunate that the government is acting in such a ruthless way”, Pushparayan said in a tone of disappointment.

The protesters experienced police crackdown twice this year – once on 19 March and again on 10 September. Although there has been no crackdown since then, the villagers of Idinthikarai and Koodankulam have experienced restrictions in terms of mobility – both in and out of the area.

The police also detained several activists and foreign nationals in the last 2 months for trying to visit the protest site.

“The anti-nuclear struggle has been completely peaceful. There has been complete failure on behalf of the administration and judiciary. Here the people are trying to secure their livelihood and land, whereas the government is bent on helping the MNCs who are coming from other countries”, said Pushparayan.

Roslin, a victim of neglect and vengeance of the State, reminds us that having an opinion contrary to that held by the Govt., is a crime warranting imprisonment under harsh sections of IPC.

 

Roselyn: Idinthakarai activist, anti nuke protester – a victim of Neglect #RIP


A photograph of Roselyn taken on the day of her arrest by Amirtharaj Stephen photograph.

63-year old J. Roselyn, a mother of three from Idinthakarai, was among the 7 women randomly picked up from the Idinthakarai beach on the police crackdown of 10 September 2012. She was jailed in Trichy Women’s prison along with Xavier Ammal, Sundari and Selvi. Even at the time of arrest, she had complained that she was extremely unwell and had been suffering frequent bouts of vomitting, and needed medical attention and diagnosis. These facts were even registered in her records prior to her detention in Trichy prison.

She was not given adequate treatment in the prison hospital, and her requests for medical attention went unheeded.  When bail was granted for the case she was arrested under, the police filed two more cases and prolonged her stay in prison. She was finally released from prison on 30 October, 2012, on condition that she signs her presence at a police station in Madurai. As her condition worsened, it became impossible for her to visit the police station, and she was hospitalised in the Madurai General Hospital.

About 10 days ago, she was moved to Idinthakarai where she died early this morning on Dec 21, 2012 . Mugilan, who informed me about Roslin Amma’s demise said she had a cancer-like ailment, which had already manifested itself before the 10 September protests.

Roslin is a victim of neglect, and the vengeance of a state that views the very holding of a contrary opinion on nuclear power as a crime warranting imprisonment under harsh sections. 63-year old Roslin was accused and jailed under the following sections, including of “Waging War against the Government of India.”

1. Crl OP 15368, Crime No. 70/2012. Offence date: 16.2.2012
Charges: 121 — Waging War. 142, 163,152(a), 241, 242, 500, 508

2. Crl OP 15385, Crime No. 300/2012. Date of Offence: 11.6.2012
Charges: 124A — Sedition. 142, 168, 291

3. Crl OP 15389/2012, Crime No. 349/2012.. Date of Offence: 10.9.2012
147, 145, 163 r/w 144, 222, 252, 255, 294(b), 207, 427 r/w 149

Press Release- Serial Hunger strike by 50 tribals of Gadchiroli district incarcerated at the Nagpur Central Prison. #Humanrightsday


( ABOVE IS THE POSTER MADE BY INMATES

Around 50 tribals of Gadchiroli district incarcerated at the Nagpur Central Prison as political prisoners have commenced a serial hunger strike from 10thDecember, International Human Rights Day to 21st December 2012 

These tribal prisoners have consistently protested since the last 2 years against the failure of the judicial process and high handedness of the local district police. It is not a coincidence that Shri. R.R. Patil, the State home Minister is also the guardian minister of Gadchiroli district and all such violations of Human Rights are happening under his very own patronage. In April 2011, Shri. Patil while replying to a question raised by Ms. Shobatai Fadnavis had promised the State Legislative Council that he would review all cases of tribals arrested under charges of naxalism in Gadchiroli. However, there has been no intent to fulfill this promise in the past 21 months.

Along with this demand the protesting tribals have also raised the following grievances:

  1. The practice of the Gadchiroli police to re-arrest tribals immediately after their release from prison still continues (See attachment No.2). Despite numerous petitions from prisoners and civil rights organizations this violation of Human rights goes on unabated.
  2. Inability of the State administration to inaugurate the Gadchiroli prison (See attachment No.3). Although this prison has been completed since the past 2 years, the government has still not started it. Hence tribals of Gadchiroli are incarcerated in the prisons of Nagpur, Amravati and Chandrapur– prisons which are more than 150 to 300 kms from the trial courts. Resultantly, these tribals are not being produced before the trial courts for the past 23 months. This distance has also caused their family links to be severed.
  3. The practice of handcuffing undertrials on their way to court also still continues, despite the Supreme Court directives against its use (See attachment No.4). Recently, due to this illegal practice four undertrials were severely injured in a road accident. However the responsible police officials are yet to be punished.
  4. A two year old boy born in prison to a tribal couple has been compelled to be separated from his father. While father was transferred to Nagpur prison, his mother remains at Amravati prison despite numerous requests pending in the trial court and jail authorities (See attachment No.5).
  5. The atrocities of the district police and especially the notorious anti-naxal C-60 commandoes go on unimpeded. A undertrial, Ramesh Naitam seeks justice in the custodial death case of his mother (See attachment No.6).

The protesting tribals have requested the State legislative bodies in session at Nagpur to look into the above issues on the occasion of International Human rights day.

On behalf of the protesting tribals,

Adv. Surendra Gadling- gsurendra12@yahoo.co.in

( attchments are in marathi if you need pl email )

Nagpur

 

Odisha jail warders’ fast unto-death stir enters fourth day


Published: Thursday, Dec 6, 2012, 16:20 IST
Place: Cuttack | Agency: PTI

The fast-onto-death stir by jail wardens in Odisha entered the fourth day today even as over 50 striking warders were shifted to hospitals after falling ill during their hunger strike. The state government appealed to striking warders to call off their agitation saying the Chief secretary will hold a discussion with the State Anomaly Committee on December 15 vis-à-vis with the pay parity demand by them.

IG Jail S S Hansda also made a similar appeal on Wednesday saying the government is actively considering the demands of the striking warders and they should immediately call off their strike and join duties. He, however, maintained that jails across the state have made alternative arrangements to man the cells while the warders are on strike.

Nearly 1,500 warders in about 91 jails of the state launched indefinite hunger strike on Monday demanding better pay and cadre recognition. For over a decade now, the jail warders are demanding pay parity with police constables and status of class IV employees of state government. Warders pointed out that the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) in 2003 had ordered for pay parity of the jail warders with that of police constables immediately.

While 92 warders of Choudwar circle jail are on fast-onto-death strike, two of them were rushed to SCB medical college and hospital here on Tuesday night after they were taken ill. However on Tuesday, at least 16 other striking warders were shifted to various hospitals. Reports reaching here said that ailing warders from Berhampur, Bhubaneswar, Dhenkanal, Sambalpur, Kendrapara, Balaswar and many other places were shifted to hospitals as their condition deteriorated.

 

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