Crusader against communalism

Published: May 15, 2013 02:31 IST | Updated: May 15, 2013 02:31 IST


Meena Menon


The Hindu Asghar Ali Engineer.

Asghar Ali Engineer.

All his life he tirelessly worked for interfaith peace and harmony and religious reform in his own community

As a child in Wardha at the time of Partition, Asghar Ali heard “horrible stories of people being killed and trains full of dead bodies.” Those stories, he wrote in his autobiography, A Living Faith, disturbed him so much that he began thinking very early in his life about why people killed each other in the name of religion.

Then, as a student in 1961, he was deeply affected by the riots in Jabalpur, the worst till then in independent India. For Engineer, those riots were the beginning of his lifelong battle against the pathology of communalism and the engagement with creating interfaith harmony.

Only last December, on the 20th anniversary of 1993 Mumbai riots in Mumbai post the Babri Masjid demolition, he was part of a campaign to mark a bloody phase in the city’s history. At the launch, though unwell, he was spirited about the need to remember those riots: “Not for revenge but to ensure that it does not happen again.”

All his life he spoke for peace and communal harmony, his other passion being the democratisation and accountability of the religious establishment. He was physically attacked six times for his beliefs and his advocacy of religious reform. His family often worried about his safety, said his son Irfan.

Born on March 10, 1939, at Salumbar, a town near Udaipur, Rajasthan, Engineer grew up in an orthodox atmosphere. His father was a priest and was posted to different towns to provide religious guidance to the Bohra communities there. But, as he recalled, he never spoke anything against other religions.

It was at school in Dewas, when he and other Muslim boys were teased as being “pro Pakistani” that he became aware of religious and caste distinctions. Engineer was already writing articles in school, mostly on Islam and the problems of Muslims, something that he continued to do almost until the end.

In February, from his hospital bed, he typed out a keynote address on his laptop for an interfaith meeting in Indonesia. Two years ago, he delivered a speech, again from hospital, over the cell phone for one and a half hours, for a conference. A commitment was a commitment for his father, said Irfan.

A scholar and writer of over 70 books and numerous articles, Engineer, his son said, was a very humble person who could relate even to his critics, arguing differences with patience. Irfan, who has taken up Engineer’s crusade, remembers him to be a kind and understanding father who was also a friend.

Women’s rights

Women’s rights and equality was another of his missions. Engineer fought for understanding the Koran which he believed had given women equal rights. Medieval jurisprudence had cheated women and he wanted those rights restored. To support religious reforms, a conference to launch a democratically-elected Central Board of Dawoodi Bohras was held in February 1977 in Udaipur where he was elected general secretary. He later set up the Institute of Islamic Studies, in Mumbai and the Center for Study of Society and Secularism.

He counted Ghalib among his favourite Urdu poets and confessed to being deeply influenced by the Sunni thinker Iqbal among others. Initially repelled by Marxism because of its atheism, Engineer said he was later “won over” by Marxist doctrines “as I found them close to Islamic values,” and that it was not necessary to be an atheist to be a Marxist. Engineer’s father had decided not to force him to continue the priesthood tradition. The first time he had taken him to Bombay was for the ritual of kissing the feet of the Syedna, which Engineer had found revolting.

Arriving in Bombay again in 1963, he found a job with the city municipal corporation as an engineer but quit in 1983. He started writing against the oppression of the Dawoodi Bohras in Udaipur. For this he faced threats and demands for an apology. His family boycotted him. Some of the attacks on him were serious enough for him to be hospitalised. His Center for Study of Society and Secularism was vandalised.

Along with his intense participation in efforts to get to the bottom of communal riots that affected India’s social fabric, and his interfaith initiatives for harmony, Engineer was a scholar of Islam. In his Muslims in India since 1947: Islamic Perspectives on Inter Faith Relations, Yoginder Sikand says Engineer’s principal concern was to evolve a theology of Islam that seeks to grapple with the modern condition even while being rooted in it. Engineer’s main contribution was in articulating a contextual hermeneutics of the Koran one that he believed could help guide Muslims in dealing with the challenges of contemporary life.

Engineer combined a passion for knowledge and religion with action on the ground, taking along leading writers, journalists and members of progressive movements of the day in his battle for religious reform and what he believed was an “un-Islamic” imposition of the Syedna’s tenets.

Before he succumbed to diabetes-related complications on Tuesday, he had partially recovered from a prolonged illness (of three months), and had returned home from hospital on April 26. His passing comes at a time when many of the issues he fought for and deeply cared about are still far from settled. More than ever, we need the values of tolerance, communal harmony and inter-faith dialogue that Engineer stood for all his life.


#RIP- Renowned Islamic scholar, progressive thinker, author Asghar Ali Engineer no more

RIP Asghar Ali (1)


Mumbai, May 14 (IANS) Renowned Islamic scholar, progressive thinker, author and Dawoodi Bohra reformist leader Asghar Ali Engineer passed away here Tuesday after a prolonged illness, family members said. He was 74.

Engineer, a widower, is survived his son Irfaan and daughter Seema Indorewala. He was ailing for several months and breathed his last at his Santacruz East home around 8 a.m. The funeral is likely to be held Wednesday, Irfaan indicated.

Born in Salumbar, Rajasthan, in a Dawoodi Bohra Amil (priest) family March 10, 1939, Engineer acquired his training in Quranic tafsir (commentary), tawil (hidden interpretations of Quran), fiqh (jurisprudence) and hadith (Prophet’s teachings, sayings) during his early days.

His father, Sheikh Qurban Husain, was the Amil who also taught the young Engineer Arabic. Later, Engineer studied all the major religious works and scriptures by eminent scholars.

He graduated as a civil engineer from Indore, Madhya Pradesh, and went on to work for nearly two decades in the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

In the early 1970s, he sought voluntary retirement from his BMC service and plunged into the reformist movement in the miniscule Dawood Bohra community, estimated at around 1.20 million worldwide.

In 1972, he assumed a leading role in the movement from Udaipur and also mobilised national and international public opinion through media articles and speeches.

In 1977, he was elected general secretary of Central Board of Dawoodi Bohra Community at its maiden conference in Udaipur and guided the reformist movement.

Later, Engineer devoted his time and energies to work for communal harmony and combat communalist forces in the country.

The recipient of several awards and honours from around the world, Engineer travelled across the globe speaking at international conferences, seminars and universities on Islam, peace, human rights and other issues.

He founded the Institute of Islamic Studies (1980) and the Centre for Study of Society and Secularism (1993), and also authored around 50 books on various topics and believed in treating all religions with equality.

According to reformists, Engineer never believed in blind acceptance of dogmas inherited from the past but strived to rethink issues and reinterpret Islam in keeping with modern times.

Asghar Ali Engineer, leader of the Progressive Dawoodi Borah movement speaks to Madhu Trehan on how priestly families in the community are distorting Islam, challenging fatwas, how Satanic Verses should be challenged but not banned & more.


#Rajasthan- Woman gives birth waiting in Aadhar queue #UID #Vaw


TNN Mar 1, 2013, 07.24AM IST
Zila Parishad|Woman gives birth on roadside|Aadhar card
JAIPUR: A 23-year-old tribal woman delivered a child while standing in a queue to apply for an Aadhar card in Rajasthan‘s Udaipur on Thursday .
Local women helped Logri Gameti deliver the child on the roadside after getting no response from the government-run 108 ambulance service and then rushed them to a hospital .
The district collector said he knew nothing about the incident despite angry locals alleging negligence in providing timely medical attention to Logri . They said they repeatedly kept calling for an ambulance but it did not arrive .
“I received a call from local residents that a woman went into labour while standing in queue for an Aadhar card . I rushed to the camp and found that the woman had given birth to a baby girl,” Zila Parishad councilor Ayub Khan said .
Khan said that Logri was forced to stand in the queue as it was necessary for her to give finger prints and other identification details herself . “Her husband Narayan Lal Gameti had brought her to the camp despite her pregnancy,” Khan said .
He added that as soon as the labour pain started the locals called the ‘108’ ambulance service run by the state government . They were told that it was unavailable .
“The call operator said that one ambulance had broken down while the remaining two were unavailable . As labour pain became unbearable, the local women surrounded her and helped her deliver the baby on the roadside,” he said .
“Both the woman and the child are admitted to the hospital . Doctors say their condition is stable,” Khan said.
Udaipur district collector Vikas Bhale expressed ignorance about the incident. “No one informed the administration officials. I don’t know about the delivery,” said the officer.
Raghuveer Kaushal, a local who was at the camp at the time said that long queues are an everyday affair at Aadhar card camps in the city. “The problem has been brought to the notice of senior administration officers but they have paid no heed. Old and sick people are forced to stand in long queues,” said Kaushal.


India – Single Women’s Association- A force not be forgotten #womenrights

Fellow members of the Jharol Block group of the Single Women’s Association in Udaipur, Rajasthan are an important source of strength and solidarity for one another.

Single, divorced or widowed women in India are customarily excluded from many areas of life, are often subject to significant discrimination and abuse, and can feel extremely ostracised and alone.

By Swapna Majumdar

Delhi (Women’s Feature Service) – ‘Namaste, main Radha hoon, ek paritakta. (Greetings, I am Radha, a deserted woman)’. When Radha Devi, 32, introduces herself her eyes brim with confidence, her voice is loud and clear. For a rural woman from Himachal Pradesh who five years ago did nothing even as her alcoholic husband thrashed her, this was a huge change.


But achieving this transformation was not easy. Radha had accepted that violence at her husband’s hands was her fate and was ashamed to tell anyone about the beatings. She was also afraid that she would be separated from her son if she complained. She would have probably continued this way had not she met members of the Ekal Nari Shakti Sangathan (Association of Single Women).




Says Nirmal Chandel, state coordinator of the Himachal Pradesh unit of ENSS, “Even after we met her, Radha was unwilling to leave her husband. It took us several meetings to convince her that unless she took some action, she would lose her son anyway because she would be dead.” 

Finally, Radha gathered the courage to leave her husband, along with her son. Since 2007, she hasn’t looked back and today heads ENSS’s state unit in Rakkar in Himachal Pradesh’s Kangra district.


Radha is not the only woman whose life has changed. Several ENSS members shared their stories of change at a recent meeting held in the Capital. Organised by the National Forum for Single Women’s Rights, the meeting brought single women comprising widows, abandoned, deserted, unmarried and divorced women from seven states together to discuss how their issues could be mainstreamed in the national discourse.


According to the 2001 census, more than 39.8 million women are single. This figure is expected to be much higher in the 2011 census, the results of which are presently awaited. The issues of single women were first raised in 2000 after the ENSS was set up in Rajasthan. Started by Astha Sansthan, an Udaipur-based non-government organisation, ENSS began with a handful of members. Over the last 12 years, the movement has gathered steam, with 80,000 members across eight states. Single women have formed state units in Bihar, Jharkhand, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. Other states expected to join the ENSS family soon are Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir.


As the movement grew, the single women’s collective broke several barriers, especially of silence. In Bihar and Jharkhand, support by the collective has helped to save many widows targeted as ‘daians’, or witches, from being lynched by violent mobs. In Rajasthan, the Sangathan has given single women the confidence and legal knowledge to claim their rights to land, while their counterparts in Gujarat have been helped to speak out against violence, discrimination and assisted in resuming their education. ENSS members in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra have helped each other break cruel traditional customs, stand up to sexual harassment and seek police and legal assistance. As single women came together, shared their experiences, grief and pain, they were inspired by the courage displayed by many of the other members of their group who had stood up for their rights and successfully accessed their entitlements, ranging from pensions to birth certificates.


Even while state units continued to reach out to single women, it was found to be necessary to bring their issues to the national fora in order to achieve policy level changes, according to Ginny Srivastava, founder of ENSS and co-founder, Astha Sansthan. To make that happen, in 2009, different state units of ENSS got together to form the National Forum for Single Women’s Rights (NFSWR) that lobbies for their rights at the national level. The NFSWR advisory committee is now focusing on strategies that could be translated, especially keeping in mind the upcoming general elections. “Getting politicians to include the issues of single women in their election manifesto is very difficult. We held several meetings with them to make them aware of the importance of single women’s rights. We also managed to get a few political parties to include some of our issues in their manifestoes during assembly elections, after convincing them that single women now form an important vote bank,” revealed Chandel, who was herself widowed at the young age of 23.


The Himachal ENSS unit, working through SUTRA, a NGO engaged with gender empowerment, has become a force to contend with. It is the recipient of the Ashoka’s Changemakers Award in 2010 for its success in enabling all 35 single women in Tikri village of Baijanth block to access government schemes.


Single women, as an entity, have also made it into the Twelfth Five Year Plan for the first time, which means that government programmes and policies can focus on their specific needs.


But the forum is not stopping with these achievements. One of the issues it is pushing is the allotment of land for collective farming to enable single women to access sustainable livelihoods. This demand has been supported by the National Commission for Women and the National Mission for Empowerment of Women, both of which have agreed that the government should help women claim community lands and form farming cooperatives.

Findings of a 2011 study conducted by representatives of the single women’s group have validated this demand. Entitled ‘Are We Forgotten Women? A study of the status of low-income single women in India’, the study found that in the absence of marketable skills, education, and ownership of resources, single women rely heavily on daily wage labour for survival. This makes them easy prey for exploitation and abuse. Conducted in six states, the survey covered 386 single women and noted that 75 per cent of single women survived on less than the minimum wage with as many as 90 per cent dependent on borrowings to make ends meet. Ironically, only 21 per cent managed to get recognised as living below the poverty line (BPL) by the government.

For single women, it is a long, hard road ahead. But they are determined to prove that while they may be single, they are not alone and will certainly not allow themselves to be forgotten.

Women’s Feature Service


#Aadhar services to miss Jan 1 deadline-‘ yeh to hona hi tha ‘;-) #UID

200 px

200 px (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


TNN | Dec 10, 2012,




JAIPUR: The pilot implementation of Aadhaar enabled services in the three selected districts of Ajmer, Udaipur and Alwar is set to miss the January 1, 2013 deadline as the enrollment of UID cards remains far below the desired level of 80%. As on Friday, Aadhaar cards have been issued to only 21% of the people in Ajmer, while the penetration is 23% in Alwar and 20% in Udaipur.



A top official involved in project told TOI that given the current enrollment status, it would be difficult to implement the pilot projects from January 1.



It is not possible for us to implement the pilot projects for Aadhaar enabled services in Udaipur, Alwar and Ajmer from January next year. The level of Aadhaar cards coverage is very low. We are expediting the whole exercise, but we need more time,a said the official preferring anonymity.



The Centre has announced to roll out the project in 43 districts of the country on pilot basis from the beginning of next calendar year linking 29 government schemes to the Aadhaar. The electronic cash transfers of welfare schemes will be based on Aadhaar (Unique Identification Number) platform.



However, Rajasthan government was planning to initially link only three schemes such as social security pension, scholarships and benefits under public distribution system to Aadhaar, said the official.



Given the present status, the rollout schedule announced by chief minister Ashok Gehlot last month to implement the schemes across state may also miss the scheduled timeline.



Gehlot had set April 1 deadline for CM Rural BPL Awaas Yojana and social security pension schemes. The government has planned to link post-metric and higher education scholarships to Aadhaar from next academic year. February 1, 2013 has been set for payment of salaries to government officials through Aadhaar. But so far, people covered by Aadhaar cards in the state is only a little over 17% of the total population.



The Kotkasim pilot project in Alwar district has failed to live up to the expectations and unless the government cracks the whip, it may again not only miss the deadline but also fall far behind the finishing line.





Faking Happiness- #Vedanta will adopt 92 rural schools in south Rajasthan

TagsVedanta,Vedanta Rajasthan,Vedanta schools

Dec 3. 2012
Udaipur: Vedanta’s group company, Hindustan Zinc has signed an MoU with the Rajasthan Government to adopt 92 Schools in phases in Chittorgarh and Bhilwara District of the state.
The aim is to adopt 92 schools, 72 Government schools in Bhilwara for 5 years and 20 schools in Chittorgarh for 3 years, a company official said.The company would spend about Rs 3.35 Crore on this project.The project would provide basic infrastructure facilities like construction of class rooms, boundary walls of the school, installation of hand pumps, ceiling fans, coolers, construction of toilets, playgrounds, furniture for the children etc, said Pavan Kaushik,Head Corporate Communication.It will also provide scholarships to meritorious students.The company also plans to encourage plantation drive to develop green belt in schools.

To monitor the success of the project, a committee of 5 members has been formed which would have 2 members from Vedanta Hindustan Zinc, 2 from school and 1 member nominated by District Magistrate.

Based on the need of the school authority and assigned budget, the project will be executed by Vedanta Hindustan Zinc.

This would also ensure optimum utilisation of funds.

Earlier Vedanta Hindustan Zinc had provided 1000 computers to 200 government schools in rural areas and e-subject software support to about 500 schools.

The company is also providing daily mid-day meal to over 80,000 students in 2000 government schools in Rajasthan to ensure nutrition support to students.

Most of these children are from poor family and need regular nutrition support.


सराडा तहसील के कोलर गाँव की बर्बर घटना तहकीकात करने आए राष्ट्रीय महिला आयोग के सदस्यों के असंवेदनशीलता का निषेध

by Pragnya Joshi on Wednesday, 25 July 2012 at 22:34 ·

 प्रिय साथियों,

यहाँ दो नोट्स दे रही हूँ.

  1. राष्ट्रीय महिला आयोग की अध्यक्ष ममता शर्मा तथा सदस्य निर्मला सामंत प्रवालाकर की सराडा प्रकरण में जो असंवेदनशील पडताल और रवैय्या रहा है उस पर उदयपुर के महिला संगठनों की टिप्पणी और निषेध.
  2. संगठनों के समूह की टीम २३ जुलाई को घटना के दूसरे दिन उत्पीडिता से मिली और सराडा पुलिस थाणे जाकर मामले को समझने की कोशीश की, उसकी रिपोर्ट/ज्ञापन|

दोनों  यहाँ जारी कर रही हूँ ताकि सभी साथी सुझाव व प्रतिक्रियाँ दर्ज कर सके और महिला आयोग के रवैय्ये पर क्या किया जा सकता है इस पर सार्थक मंथन हो सके.



दिनांक: 25 जुलाई, 2012


घटनास्थल पर न जाते हुए पीड़ित युगल को उदयपुर के पास बुलाकर मिलने व तहकीकात की खानापूर्ति की गई। उत्पीड़ितो को किसी भी प्रकार की चिकित्सकीय सहायता उबलब्ध करवाने या इस संबन्ध में किसी भी प्रकार का आदेश देने की जरुरत आयोग को नहीं महसूस हुई। इसी तरह घटनास्थल पर गवाहो से अथवा अन्य समुदाय को खासकर लड़की के सभी परिजनों को न्याय का आश्वासन या उनके कंधे पर विश्वास का हाथ रखने की जहमत आयोग ने नहीं उठाई। महिला अत्याचार विरोधी मंच, उदयपुर के तहत विभिन्न महिला संगठन, मानवाधिकार संगठन तथा सामाजिक कार्यकर्ता इस असंवेदनशील रवैये का निषेध करते है।

सामंतो के दरबार मे पेशी:  24 जुलाई को सुबह 9 बजे से पहले उत्पीड़ितों को मिलने की खानापूर्ति आयोग कर चुका था। इसका अर्थ है कि अलसुबह उन्हें उनके गाँव या आश्रयस्थल से बुलवा लिया गया। डबोक हवाई अड्डे से सर्किट हाउस के बीच में किसी अज्ञात स्थान पर यह मुलाकात की गई। इससे जाहिर है कि जिस संवेदनापूर्ण माहौल में यह मुलाकात होनी चाहिए थी वह नहीं हुई। इस घटना के संदर्भ मे उत्पीड़ितों के मन में बसी दहशत को देखते हुए उनके लिए इस तरह अचानक उदयपुर के पास आना निश्चय ही भयावह रहा होगा। उन्हें फिर से दहशत के दौर से गुजरने पर मजबूर किया गया। यह रवैया बिल्कुल वैसा ही है जैसे सामंतो के दरबार मे पेशी लगती हो।

दहशत तथा उत्पीड़न की स्थिति में आयोग का पीड़ितों पर दबाव: अगर आयोग दहशत और उत्पीड़न की स्थिति में उन्हें अपने आश्रय स्थल से अन्य जगह पर आने के लिए मजबूर ना करता व खुद उनके कंधे पर विश्वास का हाथ रखते हुए उन्हें न्याय दिलाने की आस जगाता तो उत्पीड़ितों का सरकारी तंत्र पर विश्वास गहरा होता। यह ना केवल खेद जनक है बल्कि यह आक्रोश पैदा करता है कि अगर उत्पीड़न के दर्द को महसूस करने की क्षमता आयोग के सदस्य नहीं रखते तो उन्हें इस तरह के सरकारी खर्चों की यात्रा पर नहीं आना चाहिए।

चिकित्सकीय सहायता को किया नजरअंदाज:उत्पीड़ितों को लंबे समय तक बंधक बनाकर पेड़ से बांध दिया गया था। उनके साथ मारपीट हुई थी, उन्हें विद्रुप किया गया था। ऐसे में उन्हें चिकित्सकीय सहायता उपलब्ध कराई जानी चाहिए थी। इस संबन्ध में महिला आयोग ने किसी भी प्रकार की टिप्पणी करने की आवश्यकता नहीं समझी। ना ही संबधित अधिकारियों को इस संबन्ध में निर्देष दिए और ना ही मीडिया को इस संबन्ध में कोई जानकारी दी। यह उनका उत्पीड़ितो के प्रति नजरिया स्पष्ट करता है और उनकी नीयत पर प्रश्नचिन्ह लगता है।

उत्पीड़िता से मिलने आम नागरिक पहुँचा परंतु आयोग नहींज्ञात हो कि इसी मंच की तरफ से चार सदस्यीय तथ्यान्वेषण टीम बिना किसी सरकारी सुरक्षा के 23 जुलाई 2012 को शाम लगभग चार बजे उत्पीड़िता के पीहर पक्ष के गांव मे, चावंड पंचायत के अंबाला गांव  में कटार फला में पीड़िता के पीहर पहुंची तथा सराड़ा थाना जाकर उन्होने मामले को समझने तथा तथ्य जुटाने की कोशिश की थी। देर रात यह टीम जिसमें विभिन्नन संगठनों से तीन महिला सदस्य और एक पुरुष सदस्य था, अंबाला गांव के सरपंच श्री कालूलाल मीणा के घर पर उत्पीड़िता से मिली व उन्होने उसका पक्ष तथा बयान सुना। रात के लगभग 8.30 बजे तक यह टीम गांव में थी। परंतु राष्ट्रिय महिला आयोग ने कानून व्यवस्था को हवाला देते हुए उत्पीड़ितों को उनके आश्रय स्थल पर मिलना उचित नहीं समझा। अगर पूरे सरकारी सुरक्षा के बावजूद महिला आयोग दूरदराज के क्षेत्रों में उत्पीड़ितों तक पहुँचने में अगर परहेज करें तो फिर उत्पीड़ित उनसे न्याय मिलने की अपेक्षा भी कैसे करें?

महिलाओं तथा मानवाधिकार के मुद्दों पर आयोग की समझ पर प्रश्नचिन्ह:जब प्रैस वार्ता में रामआ की अध्यक्ष ममता शर्मा ने यह कहा कि सराड़ा के कोलर गांव जाने का इसलिए औचित्य नही है क्योकि घटना हो चुकी है और वहां जाकर क्या वे पेड़ो से बातें करती। ऐसे में जाहिर है कि गवाहों से बात करके उन्हें विश्वास दिलाना आयोग ने जरुरी नहीं समझा। साथ ही वहां पर गांवो में जाकर उत्पीड़ितों के परिजनों को मिलकर उन्हें दहशत से बाहर निकालने की जरुरत आयोग को नही महसूस हुई और ना ही वहां की आम महिलाओं को उनके आने से जो सुरक्षा का अहसास होता वह अहसास दिलाने की जरुरत भी उन्होनें नही समझी।

सुरक्षित पुनर्वास भूल गया आयोग: मीडियाकर्मियों के द्वारा ली गई फोटो, विडियों फुटेज तथा इस तथ्यान्वेषण समूह को उत्पीड़िता द्वार दी गई जानकारी के अनुसार वहाँ मौतबीर / पंच भी उपस्थित थे व लगभग 200 लोगों का जमावड़ा था। प्रशासन बार बार इसे केवल एक परिवार के साथ जोड़ रहा है। ऐसे में इस दहशत के माहौल से उत्पीड़ितों को सुरक्षित स्थल पर पुनर्वासित करने की आवश्यकता है और इस आवश्यकता को अधिकारियों के समक्ष रखना आयोग ने जरुरी नही समझा।  साथ ही परिजनों को सुरक्षा प्रदान करने के संबन्ध में आयोग ने कोई जिक्र नही किया।

महिला अत्याचार विरोधी मंच, उदयपुर के  हम सभी संगठन आयोग के असंवेदनापूर्ण रवैये का निषेध करते है व आयोग से अपेक्षा करते है कि वे  महिला व मानवाधिकार के मुद्दें पर अपनी समझ को अधिक गहराई से विकसित करेंगे।


उषा चौधरी         प्रज्ञा जोशी          सुधा चौधरी         लोकेश गुर्ज़र

विकल्प संस्थान     पीयूसीएल        ऐपवा              एडवोकेट, उदयपुर          


महिला अत्याचार विरोधी मंच, उदयपुर 

96 – बी, पुराना फतेहपुरा, उदयपुर 


दिनाँक – 24  जुलाई 2012 

माननीय अध्यक्ष,                                          

राष्ट्रीय महिला आयोग,

नई दिल्ली

विषय – 22 जुलाई, 2012 को सराड़ा तहसील, उदयपुर के कोलर गांव में महिला को निर्वस्त्र कर उत्पीड़न करने के मामले में प्रतिवेदन व आवेदन।  

माननीय महोदया,

उपरोक्त विषय में नम्र निवेदन है कि उदयपुर (राजस्थान) जिले की सराड़ा तहसील के कोलर गांव में दिनांक 22 जुलाई 2012 को एक सामुदायिक फरमान के तहत एक युगल को मारपीट कर पेड़ से पेड़ से बांधकर उत्पीड़ित किया गया तथा उसमें से महिला को सार्वजनिक रुप से निर्वस्त्र कर यौनिक रुप से उत्पीड़ीत किया गया। इस मामले में चार सदस्यीय तथ्यान्वेषण टीम संबधित महिला के पीहर स्थल पहुँची, दिनांक 23 जुलाई 2012 को इस तथ्यान्वेषण टीम ने सराड़ा थाना तथा चावण्ड  पंचायत के अंबाला गांव में सरपंच श्री कालूराम मीणा तथा उत्पीडिता के पीहर पक्ष के परिवार से मिलकर मामले की जानकारी हासिल की। इस जानकारी के अनुसार निम्न तथ्य सामने आए –

  1. यह पूरी घटना पूर्व नियोजित थी व सामादायिक रुप से असंवैधानिक फरमान जारी करते हुए उत्पीड़न की घटना को अंजाम दिया गया। उत्पीडिता के अनुसार वहाँ चार पालों (आदिवासी समाज के सामुदायिक पंचायत के क्षेत्रवार विभाजन) के मौतबीर / मुखिया / पंच घटनास्थल पर मौजुद थे।  लगभग 200 लोगों का जमाव वहाँ मौजुद था। चूंकि ये एक पूर्वनियोजित अपराध है इस आधार पर आईपीसी की धारा 120 भी अपराधियों पर लगाई जाए।
  2. दुर्भाग्यपूर्ण बात है कि इतने बड़े जमाव में किसी ने भी उत्पीड़ित युगल के बचाव का कोई भी प्रयास नही किया। पुलिस ने यह भी जानकारी दी कि पुलिस को गुमराह कर अन्य स्थान पर भेजा गया। जिससे यह साफ जाहिर है कि पुलिस के कार्य में बाधा डाली गई। यह भी की पुलिस पर पथराव किया गया, लाठियां बरसाई गई व रास्ते अवरोधित किए गए।
  3. उत्पीड़ित का मेडिकल जांच कर रिपोर्ट तो दी गई परंतु चिकित्सकीय सहायता उपलब्ध नही कराई गई। लड़की के हाथों पर तथा कंधो, पीठ पर घाव व चोट के निशान थे।
  4. बाल छोटे-छोटे काटकर युगल को विद्रुप किया गया। जमाव ने दोनों पर इतना कहर बरसाया कि उत्पीडिता ने कहा कि पुलिस समय पर ना पहुँचती तो यह पूरा जमाव उसका बलात्कार कर देता व लड़के को मार देता। इसकी दहशत उत्पीडिता के मन पर इतनी गहरी है कि जब तक इसे चिकित्सकीय सहायता नहीं प्रदान होती। इस दहशत से उभरी नहीं सकती।
  5. उत्पीड़िता को पुलिस ने उसके परिजनों को सौप दिया परन्तु उस परिवार के संरक्षण की आवश्यकता है क्योंकि चढ़ोतरे के डर से वे दहशत और दबाव में है। ऐसे माहौल से उत्पीड़िता को निकाल कर उसकी सुरक्षित पुनर्वास की व्यवस्था की जानी चाहिए।
  6. यह मामला चूंकि युगल का है इसलिए उत्पीड़ित युगल को उनकी इच्छा अनुसार सुरक्षित पुनर्वास उपलब्ध कराया जाए और मुआवजा दिया जाए।
  7. सराड़ा क्षेत्र के संबधित समुदाय के मुखियाओं को पाबंद किया जाए ताकि वे समुदाय या किसी भी नागरिक पर असंवैधानिक, अमानवीय और कानूनी फरमान और कार्यवाही न करें। यह भी कि वे प्रत्यक्ष रुप से किसी उत्पीड़न या गैर कानूनी कार्य के लिए लोगों को प्रोत्साहित न करें। पुलिस यह पाबंदी तत्काल रुप से करे ताकि उस स्थान और समुदाय में पसरे दहशत से लोग मुक्त हो पाए और भविष्य में ऐसी घटना करने की कोई हिम्मत न कर सकें।
  8. सभी अपराधियों को तुरंत गैर-जमानती धाराओं के तहत गिरफ्तार किया जाए।
  9. तथ्यान्वेषण टीम जब सराड़ा थाने 23.07.2012 को देर शाम पहुँची तो उसने यह पाया कि जिस पुलिस थाने की परिसीमा में एक दिन पहले महिला पर इतना बर्बर जुर्म हुआ हो वहाँ एक भी महिला पुलिस कांस्टेबल तैनात नही थी। यह मामला शांत होने तक वहाँ महिला पुलिस कांस्टेबल तैनात की जाए।
  10. कोलर गांव और उसके आसपास के गांवों में समुदाय को इस बर्बर मानसिकता से उबरने के लिए कुछ सकारात्मक पहल की जाए ताकि आगे ऐसी किसी भी अमानवीय घटना का दोहराव न हो।

राजस्थान में प्रेमी युगलों पर बढ़ रही हिंसा के मद्देनजर कुछ ठोस कानून तथा निर्वाण व्यवस्था हो ताकि उन्हें सुरक्षा, चिकित्सा और पुर्नवास हो। इस तरह की व्यवस्था संपूर्ण देश में लागू हो।

महोदया हमें आपसे सहयोग की आशा है…

आपके भवदीय

प्रज्ञा जोशी         उषा चौधरी             डॉ. सुधा चौधरी         लोकेश गुर्जर

पीयूसीएल          विकल्प संस्थान         राज्य सचिव एपवा       एडवोकेट 

After Caste panchayat strips, thrashes woman, lover- 8 arrested in Jaipur


Eight held for stripping of woman, CM orders probe

TNN | Jul 24, 2012, 04.18AM IST

JAIPUR: A day after a married woman and her paramour were tied to a tree, stripped and severely beaten for nearly three hours before a crowd of 1,000 people under orders of a caste panchayat at Sarada area in Udaipur district, the police arrested eight men including the woman’s husband on Monday. The two were ‘punished’ for having an illicit affair by the panchayat, said police.

Chief minister Ashok Gehlot directed Udaipur divisional commissioner to probe the matter and prepare a report in a week.

SP, Udaipur Hari Prasad Sharma told TOI that the woman’s husband Hamji Meena had stripped her half naked in front of villagers. “The woman had registered an FIR against 12 identified and several others unidentified people with the Sarada police station on Sunday evening. Of them eight have been arrested while the search is on for others,” Sharma said.

The officer said, “The eight men including Hamji, a former sarpanch Nandlal and five others were booked under Sections 147 (rioting), 149 (unlawful assembly), 365 (kidnapping), 323 (causing hurt), 342 (wrongful confinement), 354 (assaulting a woman to outrage her modesty) and 504 (breach of peace). A separate FIR has been lodged for attacking policemen who had gone there to rescue the couple.”

Police said 27-year-old Prakash Meena was having an affair with the 22-year-old woman living in the neighbourhood Limbat Falan near Kolan village in the area. Prakash and the woman had fled the village a fortnight ago. The villagers were looking for the couple and they found them near Keshiriyaji area in Udaipur.

The villagers brought them back and kept them confined throughout the night. “A panchayat was called on Sunday morning in which the woman’s husband and her in-laws were present. They demanded action against the two,” the officer said.

The villagers and half-a-dozen panchayat leaders gathered around 9.30 am. Soon, Prakash and the woman were tied to a tree.

Her husband stripped her and the youth in front of the crowd, and then cut their hair. The police came to know about the incident around 11.30 am and a team was rushed.

“When the cops reached the spot, the villagers surrounded them and started hurling stones. Some vehicles were damaged and two policemen sustained minor injuries,” he added.

The cops managed to untie the couple from the tree but could not take them out of the area. Later, they were taken to a government school around 4 pm and then to the police station.

Chief minister Gehlot called the incident unfortunate. “No one has the right to take the law into their hands. The divisional commissioner has been asked to carry out a thorough enquiry into the incident,” said Gehlot.

Caste panchayat strips, thrashes woman, lover

TNN | Jul 23, 2012,

JAIPUR: A married woman and her paramour were tied to a tree, stripped half-naked and severely beaten up for nearly three hours before a crowd of 1,000 people under orders of a caste panchayat at Sarada area in Udaipur district on Sunday. The two were ‘punished’ for having illicit relations, said sources.

The woman’s husband himself stripped the woman and the youth. Later their hair was cut. When a police team tried to intervene, the villagers hurled stones at them, injuring two cops. Acting fearlessly, the panchayat continued to discuss other penalties on the couple till late evening. Later the police rescued them and took them to Sarada police station.

Sensing the seriousness of the matter, National Commission for Women chairperson Mamta Sharma said that she would send a team to the village on Monday to look into the incident.

According to the police, 27-year-old Prakash Meena had an illicit relationship with a 22-year-old woman living in the neighbourhood. “She is a distant relative of his. While Prakash works as a labourer in the village, the woman’s husband was staying in Ahmedabad for the past few years. The woman has a three-year old daughter,” said SP, Udaipur, Hari Prasad Sharma.

The officer said that Prakash and the woman had fled from the village a fortnight ago. “The villagers were looking for the couple and they found them near Keshiriyaji area in Udaipur on Saturday evening,” said the officer.

The villagers brought them back and kept them confined throughout the night. “A panchayat was called on Sunday morning in which the woman’s husband and her in-laws were present. They were demanding action against the couple,” said the officer.

The villagers and half-a-dozen panchayat leaders gathered around 9.30 am. Soon, Prakash and woman were tied to a tree.

Woman’s husband Hamji Meena stripped her and the youth in front of the crowd. They then cut off their hair. The police came to know about the incident about 11.30 am and a team was rushed there.

“When policemen reached there, the villagers surrounded them and started hurling stones. Some vehicles were damaged and at least two policemen sustained minor injuries,” said an officer.

Though the police managed to free the couple they could not take them out from the spot. Later the couple was taken to first a government school around 4 pm and then to the police station.

“We have registered two cases against the woman’s husband, about six members of the panchayat and hundreds of villagers for attacking police team and outraging the modesty of the woman,” said the officer.

When asked why the panchayat continued till late evening, SP Sharma said that they were trying to restore law and order. “We will soon arrest the accused villagers,” he said.

Times View

There are legal ways to settle matrimonial disputes, but the dominance of caste panchayats and their diktats are turning out to be a major bane for the society at large. In the age of caste-driven politics, no party has shown the willingness to come out openly and minimise the role of such panchayats, whose principles are not only archaic but devastating for the society. The government should launch campaigns on the redundancy of such panchayats and urge people to seek the administration’s help in case someone violates norms. Bureaucrats must also take initiatives instead of toying the political line.


2 killed, 14 injured in Vedanta zinc plant blast in Udaipur

Ramesh Garg [ Updated 19 Jun 2012, 17:16:11 ], India TV
2 killed, 14 injured in Vedanta zinc plant blast in Udaipur

Udaipur (Rajasthan), Jun 19: Two workers were killed and 14 others were seriously injured when a boiler exploded inside the Hindustan Zinc plant owned by Vedanta group on Monday.

Workers alleged that nearly ten workers were killed in the blast.

The boiler was shut down on June 4 for servicing, but the management carried on with the production, workers alleged.

There were nearly 40 workers on duty near the boiler, when it suddenly exploded.

Angry workers scuffled with security officials after the mishap, and ransacked the Hindustan Zinc ambulance.

District officials of Rajsamand and the Hindustan Zinc management were tightlipped about the mishap


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