Gujarat- Demolition drive horror: one dies as 5 people set themselves on fire

PTI : Rajkot, Thu Apr 04 2013, 


Five persons, including three women, today set themselves ablaze in Rajkot Municipal Corporation office to protest the civic body’s alleged demolition drive, police said.

The five, identified as Rekha, Asha, Vasumati, Bharat and Girish from Chhotu Nagar area near Raiya Dhar of the city, today poured kerosene and set themselves on fire in RMC’s central zone office, police said.

They were rushed to Rajkot civil hospital where condition of two of them was stated to be critical.

When contacted, Mayor Janak Kotak said that RMC has nothing to do with the incident as the civic body had no plan to carry out demolition in the area.

The five might have had a dispute with a member of their society because of which they took the extreme step, Kotak said.

The RMC has decided to initiate a probe in the incident and appropriate action would be taken against those found guilty, he added.

He extended all possible support to the victims and said they would be shifted to private hospital soon

#Mumbai-Your face does not merit a rape FIR #Vaw #WTFnews

Your face does not merit a rape FIR , says lady cop to victim

The bizarre reason a lady cop gave the victim before refusing to lodge FIR against her former live-in partner

December 29, 2012
Akela, Mid day

“Tumhara chehra rape ka FIR karne layak nahin hain.” A woman who turned to the cops to lodge an FIR against a man who had duped her into a live-in relationship was turned away by a female police officer on the pretext of this bizarre rationale.


The cop went on to sanctimoniously tell her that if she had truly loved the man who wronged her, she wouldn’t lodge a complaint against him, but would marry another man and live happily ever after.

Santosh Sharma
Victim and accused: Rekha (Top) and Santosh Sharma. Pics/Nimesh Dave

Before receiving such pearls of wisdom from the female cop, the complainant had even been told by a senior inspector that there was “no point” in lodging a rape case.

Rekha, (name changed) a 28-year-old resident of Malad, had moved in with her boyfriend after he promised he would marry her.

After he dumped her unceremoniously and married another woman years later, she turned to the police. For four consecutive days, police officers refused to register an FIR, saying ‘saheb chhutti par hain.”

She then met Senior Inspector Subhash Dafle, who also refused to register an FIR and assured her that all would be fine in a few days.

“Dafle told me, ‘Rape ka FIR karne me koi fayda nahin hai. Char din me sab theek ho jayega. Rapist to Goregaon– Malad me chhipa nahin hai ki use pakad layein (There is no use filing an FIR for rape. Everything will be fine in four days. It’s not like the rapist is lurking in Goregaon or Malad that we can catch him),” said Rekha.

Faced with the blunt refusal of cops, Rekha approached the Borivli Magistrate Court on December 15 with the help of lawyer Ashok Yadav.

The court then passed an order asking that an FIR be registered against Santosh Sharma under Sections 376, 406, 420 and 498 (A) of the IPC for dowry, rape, cheating and breach of trust.

But even the court’s order couldn’t convince the cops to take action.

The honourable court passed an order asking the police to register an FIR on the same day, but Kurar police turned a deaf ear. They aren’t even obeying the court’s order,” said Yadav.

Armed with the court order, Rekha met officer Jyoti Bhopale with the court order. But instead of registering the FIR, Bhopale started giving her some unsolicited advice, replete with veiled insults.

“She told me, ‘Tumhara chehra rape ka FIR karne layak nahin hai. Agar tum usse sachcha pyar karti to uske khilaf complaint nahin karti. Jao kisi aur se shadi kar lo aur khush raho (Your face doesn’t merit a rape FIR. If you loved him truly, you would not lodge a complaint against him. Go marry someone else and stay happy,” said an outraged Rekha.

False promises
Rekha met Santosh Sharma (30) at a garment shop in 2006 and they soon became friends. They started living together. Sharma even introduced Rekha to his family as his ‘wife’. Sharma would give Rekha Rs 8,000 every month. Rekha would even give part of her salary to Sharma’s father. In 2009, Sharma went abroad for a job. He then started distancing himself from Rekha, and stopped communicating with her. When he was confronted, he refused to tie the knot with her, saying that he couldn’t do so as he was a heart patient.

“Sharma told me, ‘Main heart ka patient hun isliye shadi nahin kar sakta,’” said Rekha.

In March, Rekha went to Sharma’s native district in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh. She was shocked when police officers and villagers told her that Sharma had married another woman.

Sharma’s father Guru Dayal Sharma told Rekha that since she couldn’t pay him Rs 2.5 lakh in cash and give four tolas of gold, he made his son marry another woman. “Santosh swore on his mother’s life that he didn’t know me,” said Rekha.

The other side
In spite of repeated attempts, Senior Inspector Dafle of Kurar police station could not be reached for comment. “I am not aware about the court order, but I will look in to the

If only we had more Rekhas… #Vaw


19-year-old maid puts her life on the line to save minor from rapist dad

by-Sunchika B Pandey, DNA , Mumbai, Dec 10, 2012 

Enlarge Image

A fortnight after a 3-year-old girl was allegedly raped by her father near Kalyan, it has come to light that it was the courage and concern shown by a 19-year-old domestic help, who was completely unknown to the girl, that saved the child.
On November 24 around 11pm, Rekha Timple first noticed the man sexually assaulting the child in a thicket of bushes near Kalyan station. Rekha, a Vashi resident, had just met her boyfriend in Kalyan and was on her way to the station to get home. However, she said she could not move ahead as she was too disturbed at what she had just seen.
DNA had reported about the sexual assault of the 3-year-old who is currently undergoing treatment at Sion hospital.
“I lunged forward to save the girl from her father’s advances. But I moved away he stared angrily at me,” recalled Timple. “The only thought on my mind was to save the child. But I knew that if I acted impulsively, he would attack or kill me. Not that I was scared of death, I just wanted to live to save that little girl from that torture.”
Timple slipped out of the place but said she couldn’t stop crying. “I lurked around the spot to look for the girl and her father,” said Timple, who let go of her train and stayed the night at Kalyan station.Around 2.30am and again at 4am, she went back to look for the girl.
“At first, I could not find her anywhere. Then, around 6am, I called my friend to join me. We found her near the Shiv temple close to the parcel office near Kalyan station. She seemed to be in pain; she was bleeding profusely,” said Timple.Timple and her boyfriend took the girl to a nearby washroom where they cleaned and dressed her and took her to the police. Just then the girl’s father spotted her with his daughter. “He tried to attack me, but there were people around. I raised an alarm and passersby caught hold of him and took him to the police,” said Timple.
The girl has now received several gifts


Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS) member from Bhilai arrested


The Honourable Justice KG Balakrishnan


National Human Rights Commission

Faridkot House, Copernicus Marg

New Delhi – 110 001

7th March, 2012

Dear Justice Balakrishnan,

Subject: Please ensure safety of Advoate Rekha Parganiha in police custody in Bhilai, Chhattisgarh

We, the members of WSS, a national platform of women’s groups, are alarmed at the news of another woman activist, Advocate Rekha Parganiha, arrested in Chhattisgarh in relation to suspected Maoist links. A newspaper story (attached) indicates that Advocate Parganiha was picked up from her house in Bhilai on Sunday (March 4th) and was remanded into police custody on March 5th for 5 days, until March 10th.

We are deeply concerned at the long duration of police remand, especially in the wake of recent reports of custodial sexual violence perpetrated by Chhattigarh police, and considering that the only evidence that exists against the accused so far consists of writings of Bertolt Brecht, Bhagat Singh, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.

We would like to remind you that Chhattisgarh police has a track record of subjecting women under trials, especially those accused of political offences, to brutal torture. Soni Sori, an adivasi school teacher, was subjected to extreme sexual violence by the Chhattisgarh police while she was in their custody in October 2011. As her letters later revealed, she was verbally abused, stripped naked, electric shocks were applied to her and stones, pebbles, batons were inserted into her vagina and rectum. This was also corroborated by an independent medical examination conducted by a Government Hospital in Kolkata under the directions of the Honourable Supreme Court. In her letters, Soni Sori reveals that many women prisoners in Chhattisgarh jail have been subjected to similar torture and brutalization.

Please recall that we had urged you to intervene in Soni Sori’s matter in order to ensure that the perpetrators of such violence are punished, and that Soni Sori receives the medical treatment that she so urgently needs. However, the NHRC refused to intervene maintaining that the fact that Soni Sori’s matter is sub-judice precludes any intervention by the Commission.

However, in the case of Advocate Rekha Parganiha, where similar apprehensions of torture exist, the limitations of the matter being sub-judice do not arise. Hence, we request the NHRC to take appropriate and immediate steps to ensure the safety of Advocate Parganiha during police custody.

We also urge you to look into the growing phenomenon of arresting women activists in Chhattisgarh under serious criminal charges on the basis of flimsy evidence, such as the “incriminating documents” in this case – which consist of literature by Bertolt Brecht, Bhagat Singh, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, which is not only widely available publicly, but is included in the canons of great world philosophy and literature. Such infringements of the constitutionally guaranteed rights to life and liberty, and of freedom of thought and expression are unacceptable.

Yours Sincerely,

Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS)

Enc: Story on Advocate Rekha Parganiya’s arrest that appears in Indian Express, 06.03.2012

Arrested ‘Naxal’ an award-winning technician

Chandralata Parganiha clutched the Vishwakarma Award for Best Technician her son Deepak had won in 2008 while working at the Bhilai Steel Plant. Deepak had disappeared soon after. She recently found that he was arrested in Kolkata and the police had termed him the “urban face of Maoists”.

“I saw him last in February 2009. I don’t know what happened to him thereafter. Prior to that he was not involved in such (Naxal) things. It’s shocking,” Chandralata said.

After his marriage with Rekha, an advocate, in 2002, Deepak had gradually distanced from his family. “They lived separately. I met him last in 2008,” said his sister Jyoti.

Rekha was arrested from her home in Bhilai on Sunday. “Several incriminating documents were recovered from her home,” said Durg IG R K Vij. The Indian Express managed to see these “incriminating documents”, which included postcards of poems and quotes by Bertolt Brecht, Bhagat Singh, Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx.

A newspaper quoted Bhilai Thana incharge V D Nand as saying that “no material linked with Naxals was recovered from Rekha’s home”. But Nand denied it. Rekha was produced before the court on Monday and is in police custody till March 10.

“We never saw Deepak visiting her,” said her landlord Tamendra Yadav. “We don’t know about her husband, but she is innocent. He left her three years ago,” said one of her colleagues.

The Chhattisgarh Police said Deepak provided the Maoists with technical inputs for making bombs. Vij said Deepak had been on their radar for long. In 2009, two arrested Maoists, Bholabag and Sunita, had named him for giving them shelter. Deepak was held with five others, including Sadanala Ramakrishna (62), secretary of the central technical committee of Maoists, from Kolkata last week. They had expertise in making bombs, police said.

In his confession before a joint team of Bengal and Chhattisgarh police, Deepak reportedly said he joined CPI(Maoists) in 2004. Following this, the police raided two Raipur transporters on Sunday and seized metal, nut-bolts, rods, pipes in 70 boxes. No explosive was recovered. “The consignment was sent from Maoists in Kolkata to Chhattisgarh and could be used for making bombs,” said ADG (Naxal) Ramnivas.

As investigations are on, everyone is silent about Deepak and Rekha’s seven-year-old daughter. As per Yadav, Rekha’s brother came to lock the house and probably took the girl with him. Rekha’s brother denied it. The police have no clue, nor does Chandralata.

Visit WSS Blog

Pregnant woman bleeds to death after sterilization

Feb 26, 20120 BHOPAL: A 35-year-old pregnant women bled to death in Madhya Pradesh‘s Balaghat district earlier this month while doctors were trying to sterilize her as part of the state government’s vasectomy-sterilization drive.

This comes days after CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan was forced to call an urgent video conference last week warning district collectors to “implement family planning only through counseling” amid widespread complaints of forced sterilization.

Rekha Wasnik, a poor labourer’s wife, died on February 9. But her post-mortem report was released on Saturday that described “external and internal bleeding” in her uterus from injuries caused by a sharp and pointed instrument as the cause of her death. The report said she was 12-week pregnant with twins — both girls – when she was operated.

Reports said an anganwadi workers had taken Rekha, a mother of six, to Balaghat the district hospital on February 9 for sterilization. The woman died hours after she began bleeding on the operation table.

Sources in the district said sheer negligence killed Rekha, as no checkup was done to see if she was fit to undergo sterilization. Normally pathology tests are done before a woman is sterilized which was not done in this case. There are no records any blood or urine tests having been done on Rekha.

Dr Anita Parashar, who operated Rekha, told TOI that she made the first incision and found she was pregnant. “So I stitched her up and told her to undergo an abortion.” Dr Parashar claimed that she left the hospital soon after and received a call later to inform her that the woman was feeling unwell.

The hospital quietly sent her body for post-mortem. But by then, word had spread about the issue and local Congress workers held a demonstration with Rekha’s body at the hospital gate till the next morning. “We refused to move the body from the gate till the administration assured that action will be taken against the erring doctor and medical staff. But a fortnight later now, nothing has been done,” said one of the protestors, Anoop singh Byas, adding the post-mortem report appears to have been delayed with purpose.

“We took the issue to the superintendent of police as well, but we were told that both the district collector‘s report and the post-mortem report are needed to register a case. They have delayed the post-mortem till Saturday, and the collector has told us that he sent the file to the state secretariat for instructions from the secretariat,” Byas added.

Balaghat district collector Vivek Porwal refused to comment on the issue, saying he was busy at the state assembly, which does not function on Saturdays.

‘Would they have tortured me the same way had I not been a Dalit?’

Rekha Chavan shows the bruises four days after she was beaten up. Photo: Amruta Byatnal

Rekha Chavan shows the bruises four days after she was beaten up. Photo: Amruta Byatnal

Karad (Maharashtra), January 14, 2012 -Rekha was assaulted because her son allegedly eloped with a Maratha girl

Four days after she was beaten up, stripped and paraded in her own village, 42-year-old Dalit widow Rekha Arun Chavan wonders if she would have lived a life of more dignity had she been born in an upper caste. Rekha was assaulted because her son Amol allegedly eloped with a Maratha girl Anita Desai from Mulgaon village in Karad, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan‘s hometown. Relatives of the girl confessed to The Hindu that they had indeed beaten her up.

Bai aahe ka kutri? Am I woman or a dog to be beaten up like that,” Rekha asked this correspondent while she lay in a bed on Friday afternoon in Karad’s Krishna Hospital. “About 12 persons of the Desai family assaulted me for one and a half hours. They called me names and swore at me for being from a lower caste. Would they have tortured me the same [way] had I not been a Dalit,” she asked. She had no clue about her 22-year-old son Amol’s relationship with 17-year-old Anita, their neighbour.

“What was wrong?”

Speaking to The Hindu in Mulgaon village, where the incident happened, Anita’s cousin Bhimrao Desai said, “What is wrong? How would anyone else react if their daughter had run away with a lower caste man?”

So far, five persons from the Desai household have been arrested in the case, and are under police custody.

The Desais are Marathas. According to Rekha, the village always lives in fear of the Marathas. Nobody speaks against them. There are about 25 Dalit families, and 100 Maratha families, she said. “When I was being beaten up, everyone just watched. They want to live safely in the village,” she said, showing the black and blue marks on the thighs, back and hands. Rekha said she had been ostracised by the villagers, even from her community, on the orders of the Marathas. She owns a small provision store. She lost her husband 22 years ago.

Like every village in Maharashtra, Mulgaon also boasts a ‘Tanta Mukti Samiti’ (committee to resolve disputes) under the much talked about Mahatma Gandhi Tanta Mukti Gaon Yojana (dispute-free village scheme). A dispute like this should have been identified and resolved at the village level. However, as Bhimrao Desai reveals, the head of the committee is also from the Desai community. “When things are going wrong in your own house, what can the committee do,” he asks.

Rekha’s son left the house stating that he was going to Pune for a job. “He left on December 13. I haven’t heard of him since,” she said. Anita went missing a day after. Since then, Rekha was threatened repeatedly. Her nephew Sharad and sister-in-law Surekha were also beaten up. While Sharad has lodged a police complaint, Surekha was too scared to take the step. It is also perhaps a sense of guilt that stopped her. “Amol had told me before leaving. He wanted me to give his mobile phone to Anita and help her hide her bag, I had conveyed the message to her,” Surekha said.

When attempts to get the information about her son from her relatives failed, the Desais targeted her, Rekha says. I kept begging them to leave me, and I repeatedly told them that I didn’t know about his whereabouts. But nobody listened. Both the men and women were merciless,” she stated.

In Mulgaon, though, there is a sense of acceptance of the atrocity. “Such things [inter-caste marriages] can happen in cities, but even we don’t feel good that it is happening in our own village,” Eknath Chavan, also a Dalit, said. “We know it is permitted by law but we cannot be OK with it,” he said.

Rekha’s neighbour Samabai Chavan, who was one of the eyewitnesses, said: “I tried to stop them. She held on to my feet while they were beating her with sticks.” According to Samabai, Rekha went to the hospital alone after being assaulted. Nobody from the village has gone to visit Rekha in the hospital. “She is paying for what she has done. We have to do our own work,” Eknath Chavan says nonchalantly.

In the hospital, Rekha’s 70-year-old mother Gayabai Sathe asks, “What has my daughter done? How will she go back and live in her house?”

Says Rekha: “I want to prove to them that I cannot be scared away. I will go back to my house in the village and live with dignity.”

Source- Hindu-  Amruta Byatnal


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