Update on Seema Azad Case- Protest on June 26th- Emergency Day


 
Kavita Srivastava-
This is short note to give you a quick update in the Seema Azad case.
At a few hours notice a meeting was called on the 13th of June, 2012 at the Gandhi Peace Foundation against the conviction by a trial court sentencing  the Seema Azad and her husband Vishwa Vijay to life imprisonment. the meeting was called to share the travesty of justice in the flawed judgement condemning Ms Seema Azad and her husband Vishwa Vijay for life in prison on ridiculous grounds. Seema Azad the organising secretary of PUCL, Uttar Pradesh is a cultural and literary activist based in Allahabad. She was the editor of Dastak, a monthly magazine.

 

 The Delhi meeting was attended by more than 35 persons who  included Justice Rajinder Sachar, ex chief justice of the Delhi and Sikkim high Court, and former president of the PUCL,  Ravi Kiran Jain, Vice President PUCL and Senior Counsel Supreme Court & Allahabad High Court and was her lawyer for Seema; Shri Anand Swaroop Varma, Editor of Teesri Duniya and writer; Neelabh, poet and writer, Harish Dhawan of the PUDR, Chhittranjan Singh, Mahipal singh and Kavita Srivastava from the PUCL, Harsh Dhobal from HRLN, Madhuresh from NAPM, Roma and AShok Chowdhary from the National Forum for forest workers and forest people, journalist Bhasha Singh, Literary critic Ajay Singh, Adiyog from Lucknow, ND Pancholi from PUCL Delhi, Mahtab from the FPHRD along with several other activists, lawyers and literary persons.
The meeting began with Mr. Chittranjan Singh welcoming all and stating the two fold agenda of the meeting, which was mainly sharing of the critique of the judgement and planning the campaign activities.
Mr. Ravi Kiran jain presented the critique. the 70 page judgement, showed no evidence. According to Mr Jain the case at no stage went never went beyond the FIR. Infact the incriminating piece of evidence that the police had tried to show,  were mainly books and pamphlets and other “Maoist” literature that they were supposed to be carrying and had on their body at the time of their arrest on the 6th of February, 2012, Mr, Jain clarified that under no circumstance any of this could be counted as evidence, as the police had broken the seals of the packets without taking the magistrates permission and therefore tampering and planting of material could not be ruled out.
Secondly, the police had taken Seema’s remand illegally after the completion of ninety days, which is not permissible. During this two day remand they  had taken her to her house, where they showed the recovery of two mobiles and some more literature. Apart from the fact that the remand itself was illegal and had been challenged in the Allahabad High Court where a recall application was pending. The proper search was not carried out as according to CrPC rules and therefore planting of material was possible. .
Apart from this there was no other shred of evidence, although the prosecution tried to string together Seema’s case with one other case made out in Gorakhpur and 2 cases of Kanpur,  where according to the police they picked up several maoists, who were actively involved with the CPI (maoist) party. They tried to show how they had seized the same literature and there were some confessions of some other prisoners which showed that they were Maoists.  Which goes against the Indian jurisprudence where confession in front of police is not addmissable as evidence.
It was shocking to read that Seema had been convicted for sec 13 (punishment for indulging in unlawful), 18( punishment for conspiracy), 20 (being a member of a terrorist gang), 38 (membership of a terrorist gang), and 39 (providing support to a terrorist organisation ) of the UAPA amended 2004 and 2008, and u/s 120, 121 and 121(A) of the IPC.
 It also came as a rude shock to all that that Seema had been sentenced to 10 year rigorous imprisonment in most of the above sections along with fines of 5000 to 10 thousand rupees. except in 13 where is it was 5 years rigorous imprisonment. She was also sentenced to life u/s 121, waging war against state.
For those who are not aware rigorous imprisonment means working in either the factory of the jail or in the kitchen
Mr Ravi Kiran Jain shared with all that the criminal appeal would be filed in the Allahabad High Court very soon. although they have sixty days but they would not wait in this case.
Mr Anand Swaroop Varma and Neelabh Ashk shared the possible campaign that we could undertake.
 It was decided  that
  1. 15th June : Press conference exposing the travesty of justice condemning Seema to life, will be addressed by Justice Sachar, Ravi Kiran Jain, Anand Swaroop Varma and Neelabh Ashk will address, Ravi kiran jain will present the legal critique.
  2. 26th June: Emergency Day : PUCL Convention against the judgement in the Seema Azad case, all groups will be invited to participate . Along with condemning the judgement a campaign for the release of Seema Azad will also be planned. A poster will also be released for this purpose.  A critique of the judgement will be presented which will be prepared by Ravi Kiran Jain, Harish Dhawan, Neelabh Mishra and Anand Swaroop in English and Hindi and will not be longer than 5-6 pages.
  3. 25th June : Delhi activists to protest outside UP Bhawan.
  4. The entire judgement will be translated in english, which is being coordinated by Harish Dhawan.
  5. It was also planned that Allahabad and Lucknow must have protests, probably several groups are already planning this. Also a letter to Akhilesh Yadava against this conviction.

Verdict on Seema Azad and Vishwa Vijay: A pattern of judicial connivance to arbitrariness of the state in dealing with dissent


COMMITTEE FOR THE RELEASE OF POLITICAL PRISONERS

185/3, FOURTH FLOOR, ZAKIR NAGAR, NEW DELHI-110025

The singer was singing

And they question him

Why do you sing?

He answers them as they seize him

Because I sing

And they have searched him:

In his breast only his heart

In his heart only his people

In his voice only his sorrow

In his sorrow only his prison

And they have searched his prison

To find only themselves in chains

Mahmoud Darwish

                                                                                                                                                 13/06/12

The Verdict on Seema Azad and Vishwa Vijay: A set pattern of judicial connivance to blatant arbitrariness of the state in dealing with political dissent

If a police officer can take exception to the possession of a book on Shaheed Bhagat Singh as part of the several books shown in the seizure list of Seema Azad and Vishwa Vijay, questioning the motive of the two to read on the life of the great martyr, well that sums up the growing climate of an undeclared emergency being enforced with impunity on any form of political dissent that fundamentally articulate the interests of the vast sections of the masses of the people.

In 2010, when Seema and Vishwa Vijay were arrested from Khuldabad, Allahabad, several PUCL members had opposed their arrest pointing out that they had been framed as they were working extensively against land mafias and anti-people policies of the government. Though the arrests were made by the special task force, the case was later handed over to the anti-terrorism squad of UP so as to primarily deal it as an act of ‘terrorism’ a much abused word by the powers that be. For more than two and a half years the case is being tried in the Court of the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrates in Allahabad. It is not an accident that the judge who had heard the entire proceedings of the case was transferred just before the verdict was supposed to be given. So while sentencing Seema and Vishwa Vijay for life on charges of criminal conspiracy, waging war and under several provisions of the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) the Additional District Judge Sunil Kumar Singh, further slapped a fine of about Rs 70,000 on the couple.

As the Organising Secretary of People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) in Uttar Pradesh and editor of the magazine Dastak Seema had consistently reported and gave voice to the growing dissent of the people against the anti-people policies of the government in the form of Ganga Expressway which brought forth the nexus of the politicians, bureaucrats and the land mafia. As we may recall the Ganga Expressway can result in the displacement of thousands of peasantry. It was her initiative to expose the increasing arbitrary arrests, torture and incarceration of Muslim youth in Azamgarh. The magazine Dastak became a vehicle for expressing the voice of the voiceless. And this is precisely what the government would want us to believe as ‘waging war against the state’! And this is why the police officer would find fault with both of them, for ‘waging war’ with the state, for reading Bhagat Singh at a time when the country is growing and growing, but the condition of the people are going from bad to worse!

At a time when the governments at the state and the centre have been spending heavily on the way people perceive the changes that occur before them as part of the strategy of ‘winning the hearts and minds’ to generate a consensus towards a policy of displacement, destruction, destitution and death in the name of development, it becomes inevitable that voices like that of Seema Azad and Vishwa Vijay are silenced. Already the state has sensed that there is a mounting public opinion and discontentment among the vast sections of the democratic and freedom people of the country against the continuing incarceration of Seema and Vishwa Vijay. Little wonder that the perception managers have already started planting ‘horror’ stories of ‘mass unrest’ being hatched out under the garb of protesting against the unjust verdict of the sessions court. This is further evidence to show how the state is not leaving any stone unturned towards criminalising any form of dissent against the denial of fundamental rights to the people to express their views without fear or favour.

The verdict against Seema Azad and Vishwa Vijay is against the grain of fundamental rights of the people of the subcontinent as it goes a long way in criminally profiling any political dissent or opinion or even spreading that as ‘waging war’ against the state. The state would tell us how we should think and express ourselves. We can be only part of the state in ‘managing’ the perception of the people. We cannot say a word against the growth stories that abound the press—electronic as well as print. As capital is development and development is capital—the presence or absence of it, capital is ready to satiate the perception of development too. You can only consume that perception; you just cannot go against it. Any perception or thinking that goes against the predatory, violent necessities of capital couched in the discourse of development has been termed ‘waging war’, ‘criminal conspiracy’ against the state! The need to stand up against the verdict of Seema Azad and Vishwa Vijay is a necessity for the struggle for our fundamental rights, our freedoms, our right to think critically and choose the life that we deem fit in the interests and well being of vast sections of the masses of people. The state and the government of Uttar Pradesh should release Seema Azad and Vishwa Vijay Unconditionally!

In Solidarity,

SAR Geelani

Working President

Amit Bhattacharyya

Secretary General

Rona Wilson

Secretary, Public Relations

Seema Azad Verdict: Another Attempt to Silence the Critical Democratic Voice


PEOPLE’S UNION FOR DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS

Press Statement

10th June 2012

Seema Azad Verdict: Another Attempt to Silence the Critical Democratic Voice

PUDR strongly condemns the verdict of a lower Court in Allahabad awarding life sentence to Civil Rights activist Seema Azad and her spouse Vishvvijay on charges of sedition, waging war and under several provisions of the draconian law, Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). Additional District Judge Sunil Kumar Singh, while pronouncing the order, also slapped a fine of approximately Rs 70,000 on the couple.  The couple were arrested from Lukerganj locality in Allahabad on February 6, 2010 by the Special Task Force (STF) of Uttar Pradesh, which claimed that Maoist literature was recovered from their possession and that they were associated with a banned organization, the Communist Party of India (Maoist). Their arrests were made by the Special Task Force, but the case was later handed over to the Anti-Terrorism Squad of UP making it a case involving terrorist activity.

Seema Azad’s incarceration and sentence is a clear case of silencing dissident voices. Her arrest followed Seema’s active chronicle of people’s movement. She was actively associated with women’s liberation front till 2001 and with the revolutionary students’ movement till 2004.  Seema is also an active member of PUCL, Uttar Pradesh. Furthering her concern towards violation of people’s rights she brought out a new magazine, Dastak, which carried out a thorough investigation of the Ganga Expressway plan which threatened to displace thousands of farmers. She published the findings of her survey in form of a booklet and distributed copies. Dastak also published a long report on the arbitrary arrests and torture of Muslim youth in Azamgarh. Seema’s arrest came in the wake of the growing efforts to sensitize people of violation of their rights and other concerns relating to human rights. Seema and Vishvvijay’s arrests were a move to crush such efforts on the pretext of containing efforts of incitement against the government. Following the detention, bail petitions were presented in court many a times. Each time the petition was rejected for Seema’s ‘dangerousness’ to the status quo constructing a civil rights activist into a naxal. Seema’s conviction is one of the many cases where proscription under UAPA shows its true colours. By banning an organisation as “terrorist” and thereby banning even its literature, it becomes possible for authorities to target anyone by accusing that person of having links with a banned organisation. Thus legitimate activities become unlawful and therefore offensive.

PUDR staunchly denounces the judgement as being representative of the efforts of the government to squash critical voices and extends support to the cause taken up by activists such as Seema Azad.

Paramjeet Singh

Preeti Chauhan

(Secretaries)

Seema Azad Yearns For Freedom


Human rights activist Seema Azad and her husband are in jail on dubious charges. On 8th February 2010, Seema Azad and her husband were arrested by the Allahabad Special Task Force, under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, for their alleged links with Maoist organizations. The only evidence provided was a book carried by Seema Azad containing information on Maoist politics. From then, they have been detained in custody, and have been refused bail.

Seema Azad is a grassroots journalist and civil liberty activist. She has relentlessly raised her voice against local scams and injustices, denouncing the working condition of mining workers, exposing the practices of the local mafia and its nexus with the police force. She created a bi-monthly magazine — Dastak — as a platform to publicize all the wrongs around her. It is clear to human rights activists that Seema Azad and her husband have been jailed for political reasons. Campaigns have been launched to support her and to put an end to her unfair detention.

The People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), of which she is an active member, has petitioned the National Human Rights Commission to plead for her release and to expose the iniquity of her treatment. Till date, Seema Azad has seen no improvement in her situation. Ajeet Bahadur hopes that his video will mobilize people all over the country to support Seema Azad, and other activists, jailed because of their fight for political and social justice.

Uttar Pradesh: Court Says No Proof to Detain Seema Azad

The Uttar Pradesh Police received a setback on Saturday when they failed to submit any evidence in court against Seema Azad, the state secretary of People’s Union for Civil Liberty (PUCL) and her husband Vishwavijay Azad.

The Special Task Force had arrested Seema and Vishwavijay on February 8 in Allahabad. They were booked under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for their alleged links with a banned Maoist organisation.

Judicial Magistrate Vikas Kumar rejected the application of the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) seeking a week’s remand for Seema and Vishwavijay. Dismissing the application, the judged observed that the police have not come up with any concrete evidence against them. “There was no need to accept the request for police remand of the accused and the police did not mention any concrete ground for the remand,” the court observed.

Lalji Kaithwas, Seema’s advocate, argued that the ATS did not even record the statement of the accused before seeking their remand. “The police cannot seek remand without recording the statement of the accused. Remand is taken only after the police are convinced during the recording of statement that they can get evidence or make recovery in support of their claim against the accused,” he added.

Citing a Supreme Court judgment, the judge observed: “How could the ATS know that they could get some more information without recording the statement of the accused? The permission for police remand for mere interrogation of the accused cannot be granted as the police can interrogate the accused even in jail. When there is no claim of any recovery by the police, there is no need for granting police remand.”

On Monday, a local court will hear Seema and her husband’s bail application. On February 8, the STF had arrested three alleged Naxalites from Allahabad and Gorakhpur. While Seema and Vishwavijay were arrested from Allahabad, Asha alias Heerman Munda was arrested from Gorkhapur.

(Indian Express, 22nd February, 201o)

Govt says AIIMS refusal to admit Soni Sori will be probed



First Post, May 10, 2012

New Delhi: Government today assured Rajya Sabha that it will inquire into the denial of admission by AIIMS of  Soni Sori despite the Supreme Court directing the hospital to medically examine her.

Raising the issue during Zero Hour, T N Seema (CPI-M) said Soni was “brutally tortured” in police custody for last one year in Chhattishgarh, a remark which drew sharp reactions from BJP members who opposed raising a subject related to the state in Parliament.
P J Kurien, who was in the Chair, however, said the matter related to a tribal and is within the ambit of the central government.

Seema said she was not talking about the case but about the failure on the part of the AIIMS authorities to admit her despite the Supreme Court order.

“When the Supreme Court has ordered to admit her, on whose authority AIIMS turned her away on 9 May? Why the government has not ordered a high level inquiry into allegations of custodial violence and sexual exploitation?” Seema asked.

She rued that instead of taking actions against the accused policemen, they were given gallantry awards. “The Union government cannot wash its hands off treating it as state matter,” she said.

As members from the CPI-M sought a response from the government, Tribal Affairs Minister Kishore Chandra Deo assured the House that he will get details of the matter and “will surely inquire why the AIIMS did not admit her”.

Amid allegations that foreign bodies were thrust into her private parts, the Supreme Court had last week directed AIIMS to medically examine  Soni Sori to treat her and ascertain the charges and submit a report to it before 10 July.

Soni-, Sori has been accused by the police of receiving “protection money” from a company. She was arrested on 4 October in South Delhi by Chhattisgarh police.

PTI

AIIMS silent on Soni Sori’s admission after 24-hour delay as police play hide and seek

By Newzfirst Correspondent5/10/12

NEW DELHI – The whereabouts of Soni Sori, a tribal woman allegedly tortured by Chhattisgarh Police last year, were unknown to her lawyer and family until Thursday noon, more than 24 hours after the police were supposed to bring her to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences here for treatment under orders from the Supreme Court.

“I have been here at the AIIMS since the morning but I do not know if Sori has been admitted or not,” Supreme Court lawyer Brinda Grover, who is Sori’s counsel, told Newsfirst.

AIIMS was yet to put out a formal statement. Unconfirmed reports from within AIIMS suggested that Sori is inside and that hospital has constituted a board of doctors of gynaecology, endocrinology and cardiology to examine her health, as the Supreme  Court directed on May 2.

The Chhattisgarh Police brought Sori from Raipur, the state capital, on Wednesday by a 7a.m. flight. Even though they landed in Delhi before noon, they brought her to AIIMS only at 5p.m. and were sent back because admissions at the hospital close at 4p.m.

Since then, Grover said, Sori’s whereabouts are unknown.

A 35-year-old schoolteacher is to be treated at AIIMS under orders from the Supreme Court given May 2.

Rights activist Himamshu Kumar slammed the police as well as AIIMS for violating the Supreme Court order, both in letter and spirit.

“How could the hospital deny admitting a patient in emergency and that, too, on the Supreme Court’s orders?” Kumar asked.

Sori accuses Chhattisgarh Police of brutal torturing her, including putting stones in her private parts, to gain a false confession from her that she belongs to an outlawed Maoist group that is waging a long-running insurgency in the central Indian forests.

In October, the police alleged Sori and a nephew of hers extorted money from an industrial group with interests in Chhattisgarh. The nephew, Kodopi Linga, is in jail.

Sori and her nephew claim the police framed them after they refused to play ball with the police. They claim the police wanted the nephew to pose as a Maoist to trap a contractor with the industrial group into paying him extortion money.

Fearing arrest in her home district of Dantewada in Chhattisgarh, Sori fled to New Delhi, only to be arrested by the police here on October 4.

A Delhi court rejected her bail plea on October 7 and she was taken to Dantewada district, to which she belongs, and jailed. Police failed to produce her in a court on October 10 as they had been ordered. They claimed she was injured after falling in the washroom.

But a video of her shot privately at the government hospital where she was brought appeared to suggest she had been badly tortured. A public outcry forced the police to take her to a government hospital in the neighbouring Jagdalpur city.

When doctors there denied she had been tortured, Sori’s lawyer Grover moved the Supreme Court seeking an order for Sori’s independent examination.

The Supreme Court Sori to be sent to Kolkata for the examination. On December 2, a government hospital in Kolkata reported to the Supreme Court that Sori had indeed been brutally tortured. They said they found “foreign elements” inserted in her private parts.

Grover approached the Supreme Court again last month pleading for her to be treated at AIIMS as Sori had fallen very ill at the Raipur Central Jail, where she was returned.

On May 2, the Supreme Court directed AIIMS to form a special medical board, including experts of gynecology, endocrinology and cardiology, to examine Sori.

The court ordered the AIIMS director to submit the report of the board before July 10.

Sori has three preteen children. They are in Dantewada.

Immediate Release–80 percent paraplegic Seema granted bail by Supreme Court


PEOPLE’S UNION FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES

RAJASTHAN

 

N Delhi, 1st May, 2012

The Supreme Court today granted interim bail to Seema an 80 percent paraplegic, victim of custodial sexual torture, from Jaipur in Rajasthan. Seemahad been made an accused by the Jaipur Police (District East) in a counter case to hers against the police. Justice CS Thakur and Justice Gyan Sudha Mishra who heard the matter in the Supreme Court said that Seema was a living corpse and she deserved dignity and not custody. quoting from the order the Judges said that

“Board   of Doctors constituted under the orders of the High Court, a copy whereof has been placed on record.  A perusal of the said report shows that the petitioner is a complete paraplegic. Her left leg has been        amputated above the knee. She has also lost voluntary control of bowel and bladder and is completely dependent for all her activities of daily living. She has permanent disability of more than 80%.         Mr.   Gonsalves   submits    that    keeping   in   view   the medical condition of the petitioner and the fact that she has been in custody for past 63 days, this court could consider granting interim bail to her.Dr. Singhvi, does not seriously oppose that prayer and submits that pending. Final disposal of the petition and filing of objections by the respondent, the court could grant interim bail to the petitioner.   In the circumstances, therefore, we direct that the petitioner shall be released from custody on her furnishing bail bonds in a sum of Rs. 10,000/- with one surety in the like amount to the satisfaction of the trial court This order is only an interim arrangement and shall remain subject to the final outcome of the SLP.  

Seema was represented by senior counsel Colin Gonsalves and the State of Rajasthan was represented by Additional Advocate General Manish Singhvi.

It may be recalled that Seema was sexually abused in police custody on the 23rd of January, 2011 when the police violating all procedures had got her to the police station, in the name of interrogation in a missing case of one of her friends, Hina. Completely shattered by the sexual abuse she threw herself in front of a train next morning on the 24th January,2011 and survived the suicide attempt becoming a paraplegic for life. Following the outrage that followed the policemen were arrested. When Hina, Seema’s friend returned on 4th May 2011, after having spent time in Jadonpur, Mathura and having worked in Agra as a marketing manager in a company, she became a tool in the hands of the police who got her to make statements againstSeema. Seema and her two witnesses of sexual torture were arrested in due course. Seema got arrested on the 29th of February, 2012.

Despite the law on bail which clearly gives powers to police and magesterial courts to grant bail u/s 437 (1) (2) to released on bail “if such person is under the age of sixteen years or is a woman or is sick or infirm: “ However, in the case of Seema neither did the Investigating officer of the case, who could have released her on bail, nor the magisterial court nor the District court granted her bail. Although she was a fit case of bail at all levels as she can neither escape, nor influence witnesses nor tamper evidence, which are the three dimensions that need to be examined when bail is granted.

Kavita Srivastava                                                          Prem Krishan Sharma

( General Secretary)                                                     ( President)

Address for Correspondence: 76, Shanti Niketan Colony, Kisan Marg, Jaipur -302015

Phone No: 0141/ 2594131, pucl.rajasthan@gmail.com

Immediate Release-Women’s Organisations Condemn the Arrest of Paraplegic woman in Jaipur


Dharna at the Vidhan Sabha on 1st March, 2012

Women’s Organisations Condemn the Arrest Of Seema who Is 80% Disabled And Hold A Protest Outside The Vidhan Sabha.
Probably the First Case in the State where a Person Leading a Completely Paralytic Life Has Been Arrested. It Is Very Clear That That The Rajasthan Police And Home Department HAVE DONE THIS TO SAVE THE POLICEMAN WHO WAS HER SEXUAL HARASSER
Cases Of Murder Victim Sonu and Soni Sodi, victim of sexual torture by Chhattisgarh police also Raised.
Kavita Srivastava And Others Put In List Of Persons Prohibited From Entering The Vidhan Sabha

Jaipur,

1st March, 2012

Under the leadership of Dr Pawan Surana, Ex chair of the State Women’s Commission women’s organisation with representation from trade unions protested outside the Vidhan Sabha against the arrest of Seema a parpaplegic in an abduction and conspiracy case. As is well known Seema is herself a victim of sexual torture by the Pratap Nagar police station SHO and other constables who are presently lodged in Jail and the trial is underway. ( FIR no 51/2011). Probably in the history of Indian Criminal justice system a paraplegic of this sort was never arrested and the Rajasthan police has made history.

According to the groups the arrest of Seema in the Hina case (50/2011), is part of the design to prevent the witnesses of Seema in the sexual torture case to give their statements against the SHO and his colleagues. They also have been arrested as conspirators in the case and are lodged in the same jail where Ram Niwas vishnoi is. The main agenda of the arrest of the police has been to discredit Seema and her witnesses and save Ram niwas Vishnoi.

Women’s groups were of the opinion that while Hina’s case may be genuine and they have sympathies with her, but her parents had grudgingly got her to meet senior leaders of the movement just once. After that she was never available.

They comdemned Ashok Gehlot for this move by the police, which was said was being done under orders of the Rajashan High Court. . They were of the opinion that incase it was such, then why did they not rush to the Supreme Court, as they did in the Reservation case and got relief.

They could have done it in Seema’s case too if they cared for the dignity of the disabled. According to PUCL Vice President Radha Kant Saxena the National Jail reforms expert said that the Ashok Gehlot Government and the Rajsathan police had made history by arresting a paralytic.Women’s groups have decided to go to all authorities against this.

The assembly also raised the issue of the case of the murder of domestic worker Sonu where the police refused to respond to the missing report of the parents and the husband and instead said that Bengali women like to have sex with other men and that she would return in a few days. The family and the members of the domestic workers union ran around urging the police to respond. Finally, eight days later the body of Sonu was found close to the SP office. The manner in which the police had handled this situation was taken up strongly with the senior police officials and an SP was appointed to investigate the allegations. Her case was also taken up strongly.

When a delegation from the dharna tried to go into the Vidhan Sabha to meet the Chief Minister they were told that all the people could go but Kavita Srivastava as she was in the prohibited list of persons from entering the Vidhan Sabha. The entire group condemned the Ashok Gehlot Government and decided that they would not go into the Vidhan Sabha. From informal sources we were told that other activists were also put on this list of those prohibited people. The assembly has decided to attack this clipping of democratic rights.

The meeting concluded with a resolve to call a meeting of all activists urgently and build a movement for the justice of Seema. They also decided that they would build a campaign against this list prohibiting people from entering the VIDHAN SABHA

We are,

The speakers at the Meeting were Dr. Pawan Surana, ex chairperson State Women’s Commission, Mewa Bharti, Rajasthan Domestic Workers Union, REnuka PAmecha, Women’s Rehabilitation group, Prem Krishan Sharma and Kavita Srivastava, PUCL, Harkesh, Construction and General Worker’s Union, Mukesh and LAxman, Suchana evam Rozgar Adhikar Abhiyan, Manju from CFAR, Hemlata, Jagriti Mahila Manch, Jaipur, Akshay from the Right to food and Resource Centre, Sunita a domestic worker,

Kavita SRivastava..

Appeal for acid attack victim Aarti Thakur


AKHIL BHARATIYA JANWADI MAHILA SANGHATA

(All India Democratic Women’s Association)

MUMBAI DISTRICT COMMITTEE

E5, Ensa Hutments, Mahapalika Marg (Next to Mumbai Marathi Patrakar Sangh), Mumbai 1. Tel: 65286823

APPEAL

Many of you would have read about the brutal acid attack on 22 year old AARTI THAKUR on 31st January at Goregaon station. This was the third attack since November 2011, the first two being cases of slashing and stabbing, both with the intention to inflict grievous injury and severely intimidate her. Aarti lives with her mother, Seema and younger sister, Pooja. Aarti was the only one holding a job at the time of her attack. She had joined a private firm in Goregaon as a receptionist in January and is too new in this job to be entitled to any financial support. Her mother has been unable to rejoin her work in the past two months as she has been trying to protect Aarti, including shift out of their Malwani rental accommodation to Nalasopara.

Aarti is a victim of gross negligence by the police which failed to take cognizance of the first attack of slashing that took place in Malwani. Even as the crimes are being investigated, the immediate need is for a fund for Aarti’s immediate and long term treatment and surgeries. We visited Aarti in the hospital on February 3rd. We learnt that she needs to undergo her first surgery immediately as the burns are fairly deep. Some friends have already contributed which we handed over on the 5th February.

The Akhil Bharatiya Janwadi Mahila Sanghatana (AIDWA), Mumbai District Committee, appeals to all concerned citizens to support Aarti and her family and contribute towards a fund for her treatment. If you wish to make a contribution, please contact us on the mobile numbers given below. We also urge you to share this appeal with your friends and encourage them to contribute to this cause.

Sonya Gill Sugandhi Francis

Secretary, Secretary,

Maharashtra State Committee Mumbai District Committee

09869250126 09869129146

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