PRESS RELEASE ( english and hindi )-Tehri Dam oustees languish for the basic amenities #humanrughts

Village Chham, Pathri Part-4, Haridwar, Uttarakhand

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हिन्दी प्रैस नोट के लिये कृप्या नीचे देख

Press Note: January 26, 2013 (same isbelow)

Tehri Dam oustees languish for the basic amenities even though the government earns from the projects

The State government in Uttrakhand must have earned at least 1000cr from the electricity generated by the Tehri dam project on National River Ganga and this is a recurring incoming yet in the ongoing Supreme Court case between N.D Juyal and Shekhar Singh V/S GOI and another, the former government in its affidavit on the delay in rehabilitation work gave the reason that T.H.D.C has not provided funds for rehabilitation.The court had directed THDC in November 2011 to provide for a paltry 102.99 cr for the same. Even now the reason given to the SC for the delay in rehabilitation work is said to be lack of funds.

Before it come power the present Chief Minister Shri Vijay Bahuguna had conceded that the rehabilitation work was not being properly done. In response to the destruction of villages around the Tehri Dam during the monsoon in 2010 he had suggested that the state government should spend the earnings generated by the hydro electric projects on the project affected people. This line of thought is in consonance with the Power ministry’s guideline for the development of hydroelectricity projects sites dated 23 may 2006 which on page 10 states that the income so generated should be spend on project affected people .


2.3 Provision of 12% free power to the home state Government of India, vide its O.M. dated 17th May, 1989 have approved that “since the Home States are increasingly finding it difficult to locate alternative land and resources for rehabilitation of the oustees in hydro-electric projects. They, need to be suitably assisted by giving incentives, such as the (proposed) 12% free power, to enable them to take care of the problems of rehabilitation in the areas affected by the hydro-electric projects.

Without such assistance and incentives, considerable hydel potential of the country would remain unutilized. Accordingly, the State Government shall be entitled to realize 12% free power from the project for local area development and mitigation of Guidelines for development of Hydro Electric Projects Sites hardships to the project affected people in line with the Govt. of India policy”.

Further in this context the basic amenities mentioned below are nonexistent and if at all they exist ,they are of very poor quality, even at rural rehabilitation sites like Pathari part-1,2,3&4, the dam oustees in the rural area of Haridwar have not been properlly rehabilitated, even after 30 years 70% of them do not have land rights. These rehabilitation sites lack basic infrastructure like electricity, water, irrigation, transportation, health post, bank post office PDS, panchayat, mandir, roads, drains so much so these sites do not have picketed fence or a wall to keep out the wild animals. People have been fending off for themselves and have built houses on their own. In not so distant past on 11 June 2012, Shri Rajesh Nautiyal Assitant Executive Engineer at the shivilak nagar rehabilitation office in Haridwar division said that 4 cr have been sanctioned for the rehabilitation work but none for providing the basic infrastructures.

Matu Jansangthan had sent a letter on behalf of oustees, sign by Vimalbhai And Puran Singh Rana , Balwant Singh Pnawar and Jagdish Rawat (in Hindi, attached) to the Chife Minister Shri Vijay Bahuguna demanding that his government can do is spend the income (getting 12% free electricity form the Tehri and Koteshwer Dam) being generated to rehabilitate the dam oustees by providing them land holding with clear titles after sorting out with the central Ministry of Environment and Forest, provide the promised free electricity as per the Power ministry guidelines and set up committees of locals and project effected people to monitor and ensure quality in the provision of essential infrastructure and services at the rehabilitation sites.

Vimalbhai And Puran Singh Rana



विस्थापितों ने मांगा राज्य को मिल रही मुफ्त बिजली में अपना हक


उत्तराखण्ड में राष्ट्रीय नदी गंगा पर बने टिहरी बांध के ग्रामीण विस्थापितों ने राज्य को मिल रही मुफ्त बिजली में अपना हक मांगा है। 24 जनवरी को मुख्यमंत्री को दिये गये पत्र में उनसे मांग की गई है कि लिखा है कि राज्य सरकार को टिहरी बांध से मिलने मुफ्त बिजली संबधी सरकारी आदेश का जिक्र करते हुये पत्र में कहा गया है कि टिहरी बांध से मिल रही मुफ्त आमदनी को विस्थापितों पर खर्च किया जाये। पत्र साथ में है। जिसमें विस्तार से विषय को उठाया गया है।


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संदर्भः टिहरी बांध के ग्र्रामीण पुनर्वास स्थलों की मूलभूत आवश्यकताओं को पूरा करें।


टिहरी बांध से मिल रही मुफ्त आमदनी को विस्थापितों पर खर्च करे।




टिहरी बांध से बिजली का उत्पादन भी हो रहा है जिससे राज्य सरकार को प्रतिदिन आमदनी भी हो रही है। जो आजतक करीबन्हजार करोड़ होगी। आप माननीय सुप्रीम कोर्ट में टिहरी बांध पर चल रहे एनडीजुयाल व शेखर सिंह बनाम भारत सरकार औरपुनर्वास पर चल रहे मुकद्दमों से परिचित होंगे ही। पूर्व राज्य सरकार ने अपने शपथ पत्र में पुनर्वास ना होने का कारण टिहरी हाइड्रोडेवलपमेंट कारपोरेशन ¼टीएचडीसी]½ द्वारा पैसा नही देना बताया था। कोर्ट ने नवम्बर 2011 ¼टीएचडीसी]½ आदेशमें पूर्व राज्य सरकार द्वारा मांगी गयी 102-99 करोड़ की राशि देने का आदेश दिया।

अभी भी माननीय सुप्रीम कोर्ट में पुनर्वास कार्य पूरा ना होने का कारण पैसे की कमी बताई जा रही है। आपने भी पिछले कई चुनावोंमें बार&बार पूर्व राज्य सरकार के बारे में कहा था कि वो टिहरी बांध विस्थापितों का पुनर्वास कार्य सही नही कर रही है। ंआपने2010 के मानसून में टिहरी बांध झील के आसपास के गांवों की तबाही के संदर्भ में भी कहा था कि राज्य सरकार को टिहरी बांध सेमिलने मुफ्त बिजली से जो आमदनी हो रही है उसे टिहरी बांध विस्थापितों के लिये खर्च करना चाहिये। आपका यह सुझाव ऊर्जामंत्रालय की “Guidelines for development of Hydro Electric Projects Sites” 23 मई 2006 के अनुरूप है जिसमें पेज न0 10 परलिखा है कि बांध से दी जाने वाली मुफ्त बिजली की आमदनी को बांध विस्थापितों पर खर्च किया जाये।


नीति का संबधित हिस्साः

2.3 Provision of 12% free power to the home state Government of India, vide its O.M. dated 17th May, 1989 have approved that “since the Home States are increasingly finding it difficult to locate alternative land and resources for rehabilitation of the oustees in hydro-electric projects. They, need to be suitably assisted by giving incentives, such as the (proposed) 12% free power, to enable them to take care of the problems of rehabilitation in the areas affected by the hydro-electric projects.


Without such assistance and incentives, considerable hydel potential of the country would remain unutilized. Accordingly, the State Government shall be entitled to realize 12% free power from the project for local area development and mitigation of Guidelines for development of Hydro Electric Projects Sites hardships to the project affected people in line with the Govt. of India policy”.


इसी संदर्भ में हम कहना चाहते है किः

पथरी भाग 1] 2] 3 व हरिद्वार के ग्रामीण क्षेत्र में रहने वाले टिहरी बांध विस्थापितों के मामले 30 वर्षाे से लंबित है। यहंा लगभग 40 गांवो के लोगो को पुनर्वासित किया गया है। यहंा 70 प्रतिशत विस्थापितों को भूमिधर अधिकार भी नही मिल पाया है। बिजलीपानीसिंचाईयातायातस्वास्थयबैंकडाकघरराशन की दुकानपचांयत घरमंदिरपितृकुटटीसड़कगुल]नालियंा आदि और जंगली जानवरों से सुरक्षा हेतु दिवार व तार बाढ़ तक भी व्यवस्थित नही है। बीसियों वर्षो से यह सुविधायें लोगो को उपलब्ध नही हो पाई है। यदि कहीं पर किसी तरह से कुछ व्यवस्था बनी भी है तो स्थिति खराब है। स्कूल भी कुछ ही वर्षो पहले बना है वो भी मात्र 10वीं तक है। प्राथमिक स्कूलों की इमारतें बनी है पर अघ्यापक नही है। स्वाथ्य सेवायें तो है ही नही। रास्ते सही नही है तो निकासी नालियां भी नही है। यातायात की सुविधायें भी नही है। लोगों को मात्र जगंल में छोड़ दिया गया है। अपने बूते पर विस्थापितों ने मकान बनाये है।

11 जून 2012 को हरिद्वार क्षेत्र के शिवालिक नगर स्थित पुनर्वास कार्यालय के अधिकारी उपअधिशासी अभियंता श्री राजेश नौटियाल ने बताया की हरिद्वार पुनर्वास क्षेत्र के लिये करोड़ रुपये की मंजूरी हुई है। पैसा आने पर ही काम शुरु होगा। किन्तु इन कामों में उपरलिखित कोई भी काम नही है। जबकि यह मूलभूत समस्यायें है।

टिहरी बांध से मिलने मुफ्त बिजली से जो आमदनी हो रही है उसे टिहरी बांध विस्थापितों के लिये खर्च करना चाहिये। पथरी भाग1] 2] 3 व हरिद्वार के ग्रामीण क्षेत्र में रहने वाले टिहरी बांध विस्थापितों के 30 वर्षाे से लंबित कार्यो के निपटान के लिये इस राशि का उपयोग करना चाहिये।

आपसे हमारी मांग है कि निम्नलिखित विषयों पर तुरंत कार्यवाही का आदेश करेंः


  • भूमिधर अधिकार तुरंत दिये जाये। यदि वन भूमि की समस्या है तो इस बारे में आप केंद्रीय पर्यावरण एंव वन मंत्रालय से स्वंय बात करें और विस्थापितों को भूमि अधिकार दिलायें।

  • ऊर्जा मंत्रालय की नीति के अनुसार विस्थापितों को मुफ्त बिजली दिये जाने के प्रावधान को लागू करें। इस विषय में केंद्रीय ऊर्जा मंत्रालय से बात करें।

  • शिक्षास्वाथ्यययातायातसिंचाई व पेयजल और अन्य मूलभूत सुविधायें तुरंत पूरी की जाये। इन कार्यो के लिये टिहरी बांध परियोजना सेजिसमें कोटेश्वर बांध भी आता हैमिलने वाली 12 प्रतिशत मुफ्त बिजली के पैसे का उपयोग किया जाये।

  • सभी कार्यों के लिये विस्थापितों की ही समितियंा बनाकर काम दिया जाये ताकि कार्य की गुणवत्ता बने और सही निगरानी भी हो सके।


इस समय केन्द्र व राज्य में आपकी ही सरकार है। नये बांधों को बनाने से पहले कार्यरत बांधों के विस्थापनपर्यावरण की समस्याओं का निदान आवश्यक व न्याय की मांग है।


अपेक्षा में


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#India- Life sentence for man who raped teen niece #Vaw #incest

Press Trust of India | Updated: January 25, 2013

 New DelhiA man found guilty of committing rape on his minor niece resulting in the girl getting pregnant and then suffering a natural abortion has been awarded life imprisonment by a Delhi court which also directed the government to pay Rs. 1 lakh compensation to the victim.

Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau sentenced 29-year-old Tara Chand, a native of Uttarakhand and the father of a minor son, to life in jail and a fine of Rs. 10,000 for raping his minor niece after consuming alcohol.

“Convict Tara Chand had been regularly and unashamedly raping his own niece hardly aged 13-14 years after voluntarily consuming alcohol

“Not only did he violate the body of child but he also tormented her mentally and played treachery with the family of the child who had given him shelter. Let alone leniency he deserves exemplary punishment,” the court said, noting the case related to “intra familial sex abuse.”

Observing that the act of the convict is unpardonable, the court said, “as per the official statistics a total of 568 cases of rape have been reported in Delhi alone in 2011 out of which only 2 per cent have been committed by strangers.”

The judge also directed the Delhi government to grant a compensation of Rs. 1 lakh to the victim, studying in class 6th, to provide her “restorative and compensatory justice”.

Chand was the maternal uncle of the victim and had come to Delhi nearly five months prior to the incident in search of work. Due to his poor economic condition, the girl’s father helped him get a job at the hotel where he was a cook and also allowed him to stay with them in their one room rented accommodation in North West Delhi.

The convict used to sleep in the same room as the victim and her parents.

Chand used to consume alcohol daily with the father of the victim, whose mother was a patient of depression addicted to sleeping pills. Taking advantage of the situation he used to sexually exploit the girl after taking her to an adjoining vacant room.

On one occasion, the girl told her mother about Chand’s ill-intentions but she refused to believe her.

On May 1, 2012, the girl complained of stomach pain and her father took her to a hospital. Medical examination revealed that the girl was pregnant and had suffered a natural abortion. She then informed the doctors about being sexually exploited and a case was lodged against Chand after which he was arrested.

The DNA of the aborted foetus matched with that of Chand.

During arguments on quantum of sentence, Chand pleaded leniency on the ground that he was under the influence of alcohol at the time of incident and was incapable of understanding the nature of his acts.

Rejecting his plea, Mr Lau said, “A person cannot be allowed to take advantage of his own wrong and hence convict Tara Chand cannot turn around to claim that his acts were outcome of whatever he was consuming being freely available in the market.”

Stemming from Chand’s plea for leniency, the court highlighted that “based on Global Scientific Research which proves that there are linkages between patrons of alcohol abuse and crime. Alcohol is by a wide margin, the biggest law enforcement problem world-over.”

Citing examples from the USA and several Islamic countries where consumption of alcohol and beverages with high alcohol contents and caffeinated alcoholic beverages have been banned respectively, the judge said, “Consumption of certain alcohol beverages (particularly laced with Caffeine) cause an aggressive behaviour.”

“Scientific research has also proved that alcohol with coverage of Nicotine and Caffeine has an extremely harmful effect on human body.”

The court said that the most violent crimes, including crimes of sexual nature, have a connection with substance abuse especially illicit alcohol spiked with caffeine and nicotine by bootleggers.

It said in such circumstances, it would be “imperative for the authorities to check the demand and supply of illicit liquor in the country”.

Uttarakhand govt prohibits women from working beyond 6 pm #WTFnews #Vaw #Womenrights


Agencies : Dehradun (Uttarakhand), Sat Jan 12 2013,

In a bizarre development, the Uttarakhand government has passed an order that prohibits women from working beyond 6 pm in private and government jobs.

The step is being seen as too extreme to curb crimes against women.

The state government is being severly criticised for this regressive approach, and the opposition is objecting to the directive.

The Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna-led state government has reportedly taken the step in the wake of the gang rape and subsequent death of a 23-year-old woman in New Delhi late last month. The woman was repeatedly raped inside a dark tinted glass moving bus, and suffered gruesome injuries. She had to be eventually flown out to Singapore’s Mount Elizabeth Hospital, but succumbed after a battle for survival of 13 days.

In the wake of the December 16 gangrape incident, there has been a flurry of media revelations regarding incidents of rape across the country.

The reports have prompted several state governments and the central government to fine tune the laws of the country regarding rape and other sexual crimes against women. Several commissions, headed by retired judges, have also been set up to discuss the problem threadbare and to come out with recommendations for change. The police is also under pressure to improve its responses to the general public on issues of law and order as well as crimes.

Congress distances itself from Uttarakhand Govt. order on women, BJP criticises

Uttarakhand government’s bizarre decision has invited criticism both from the Congress and the BJP.

Reacting to the state government’s decision here on Saturday, Union Waters Resources Minister and Congress leader from Uttarakhand Harish Rawat said: “Issuing such guidelines that when should they (women) go out and till what time they should work is not a fair step. It is not going to work.”

“I think stricter laws should be made and enforcement agencies should be held accountable to ensure swift and harsh punishment for the culprits. We will have to change the mentality. We will have to come up with a broader social campaign to change the mentality of society to stop such crimes,” added Rawat.

Taking a jibe at the state government, BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain advised Chief Minister Bahuguna not to go out after 6 pm if he feels so scared.

“Instead of improving the law and order situation in the state, they are putting out a ‘Talibani’ diktat that women should not go out of their houses after six p.m. Congress chairperson Sonia Gandhi should take cognizance of this matter and she should ask the chief minister what he means by making such remarks,” said Hussain.

Another BJP spokesperson, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, said that such dictatorship by governments or by the police will make the women feel more unsafe.

BJP leader Balbir Punj asked Bahuguna to resign as his government was not being able to provide better security for women in the state.

“By making such statements, the Chief Minister has admitted his inability to run the government and establish law and order in the state, and he actually feels that the government may not provide security to women, he must resign from the office,” said Punj.

Former Chief Minister of Uttarakhand and BJP leader Bhagat Singh Koshiyari said the Congress is not capable of running a government.

“It shows that the state government is incapable of providing security to women. Tomorrow, the government will stop them from going out of their homes. Instead of passing such laws, criminals should be scared of committing crimes. The government is prohibiting women,” claimed Koshiyari.

“If the authorities work properly, such incidents don’t take place. We will have to spread awareness and teach ethics and values to young people. People in authority should also be alert and work properly,” he added.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna has denied issuing such guidelines that restrict women from going out, and said: “ It is the responsibility of the management of the organisation where they work, to take care of the women employees and they should drop them at door steps if they get late.”

“There is no restriction on women and children, but the organization they are working at should drop them at their doorsteps if they get late while coming home. We will provide every possible security, but it is not our responsibility to drop them home,” said Bahuguna.


States list manual scavengers as “dead”

21 November 2012 , By Priscilla Jebaraj , The Hindu

Geeta Devi’s neat Hindi signature is written below her photograph – a shy-looking woman with a dupatta covering her head – in an affidavit duly notarised in Haridwar last month. Dehradun district resident Manju smiles out of the photograph on her affidavit, where she states she is just 36 years old.

According to the government of Uttarakhand, both Manju and Geeta Devi are dead. After all, both women are manual scavengers, engaged in an occupation that the state does not believe exists.

“There is no data because we simply deny their existence,” admits Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh. “It is not kosher to admit that we still have manual scavenging in this country.”

The Uttarakhand government stated that both women – and hundreds of other manual scavengers – were dead in its submission to the Supreme Court in response to a 2003 petition filed by the Safai Karamchari Andolan, an organisation working to end the practice whereby lakhs of people dispose of the excreta of their fellow human beings with their own hands, usually carried on their own heads.

Uttarakhand is not alone. Several state governments have told the court that both the census which found 26 lakh manually cleaned latrines in the country, and the SKA which has documented the profiles and photographs of almost 9,000 scavengers are simply wrong.

For example, in the Dehradun district, the local administration has dismissed the claims of every single one of the 244 profiles documented by SKA. “Retired”, “[in] service”, “death”, “not interested in loan [granted by government]” reads page after page in the government’s submission against the names of people whom SKA has painstakingly profiled.

“Census workers…have drawn wrong inference,” says the Madhya Pradesh government’s submission. “The report of the census of India may be based on old data/figures,” says the submission from Bihar. Similar statements were submitted by Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

“This is why we have gathered photographs, addresses, and notarised affidavits,” says SKA national convenor Bezwada Wilson. “But the government refuses to admit to the truth.”

SKA estimates that over three lakh manual scavengers – mostly women – may be cleaning excreta from dry latrines, open drains and railway tracks across the country. But the government has no accurate figures.

The Rural Development Minister Mr. Ramesh expects the ongoing Socio-Economic Caste Census to document and enumerate manual scavengers, and give women like Manju and Geeta Devi a presence in government records.

In the meanwhile, the Rural Development Ministry has promised to bring every manual scavenger identified by SKA into the net of the National Rural Livelihood Mission, giving the highest priority to providing them with alternative livelihoods, training and skill development.


Immediate Release-Memorandum against repression of worker’s movement in Haridwar

October 22, 2012

There was a protest demonstration at Uttarakhand Bhawan on 20th October 2012 against repression of worker’s movement , particularly against registration of false and fabricated F.I.R. against 32 workers related with Inqulabi Mazdoor Kendra who were participating in a peaceful rally organized after completion of their 2 day long 3rd Conference in Haridwar. Activists of different organization gathered at Uttarkahand Bhawan and submitted a memorandum to Resident commissioner demanding quashing of fabricated FIR. They also demanded judicial inquiry in registration of false FIR and punishment to officer involved in imposing the said false and fabricated FIR. Activists of Inqalabi Mazdoor Kendra , Krantikari Lok Adhikar Sangathan, Krantikari Naujawan Sabha, Mehnatkash Mazdoor Morcha, Mazdoor Patrika, Pragatisheel Mahila Ekta Kendra & others were present their. A gate meeting was also organised where in speakers emphasized on fight against onslaught of indian state against workers and poor masses. Copy of memorandum given to the R.C. Uttarakhand is given below.


Dated: – 20.10.2012


The Resident Commissioner
Uttrakhand Bhawan
New Delhi

Subject: – Memorandum against repression of worker’s movement and registration of false and fabricated FIR against workers and activists at P.S. Ranipur Haridwar.

We the undersigned organizations/ individuals have come to oppose the repression of workers and rampant violation of worker’s as well as common citizen’s democratic and fundamental rights by Uttarkhand Police.

Uttarkhand Government is adamant to repress the worker’s movement. They want to kill the worker’s unity at nascent stage and for that purpose resort to illegal use of police force and other administrative machinery. On 15th October 2012 a false and fabricated F.I.R. bearing no. 321/2012 at p.s. Ranipur has been registered.

The local administration as well as concerned police authorities was aware that on 14th and 15th October, 2012, 3rd Conference of Inqlabi Mazdoor Kendra was going on in Haridwar, Uttarakhand. At the end of the conference a procession was taken out from Chinamay Degree College to Rawali Mahdood village and written intimation dated 05.10.2012 regarding this procession was also given to the SDM Haridwar10 days in advance. (Copy Enclosed).

The said application was forwarded to SHO Ranipur with direction to do the needful, however on instructions of authorities at state level, a forged and fabricated F.I.R. No. 321/2012 U/S 147/341/447/505 I.P.C. as well as under 7 criminal law amendment act was registered against 32 named persons and 150 unknown. It is pertinent to mention here in that several persons who were not present in the conference or even few are those who never visited Haridwar have been named in F.I.R. with ulterior motive to crush the worker’s movement at nascent stage.

There is state offensive against the general masses as well as working class of the country, who are prone to state repression. The worker’s right is being violated rampantly by the state machinery. Labor department has become defunct institutions and labor laws gets place in books of law only for record.

The incident of 15th October is one stark example of worker’s repression. On 15th October when the activists and members of Inqulabi Mazdoor Kendra came out with the procession namely Majdoor Adhikar Jagrukta Rally in a peaceful manner, police registered a false F.I.R. against them.

We are living in a democratic country. Holding meetings, taking out processions, organize conventions, make slogans and protest in peaceful manner is democratic right of Indian citizen. Article 19 of The Indian Constitution makes guarantee to the freedom of speech & expression as well as freedom of association and assembly in peaceful manner as fundamental right. In the incident cited above, local police have crossed the limit by registering false and fabricated case against innocent citizens of India violating their fundamental right. The Uttarakhand Government as well as Indian state has failed to protect the rights of its citizen, particularly of those which comes from vulnerable sections of the society.

We undersigned organizations/individuals feel that the police had lodged entirely false and fabricated FI.R. against the activist and members of Inqlabi Mazdoor Kendra . We also condemn this police action on the innocent members and the activists of Inqlabi Mazdoor Kendra.

We demand that:-

(1) F.I.R. No. 321/2012 registered at P.S. Ranipur , Haridwar, uttarakhand against workers, activists and members of Inqlabi Mazdoor Kendra be quashed immediately.

(2) Police officer be punished for lodging a false and fabricated F.I.R.

(3) Stop repression of worker’s movement.

(4) Restore worker’s right.

Inqalabi Mazdoor Kendra
Krantikari Lok Adhikar Sangathan
Krantikari Naujawan Sabha
Mehnatkash Mazdoor Morcha
Mazdoor Patrika
Pragatisheel Mahila Ekta Kendra
Radical Notes
Shramik Sangram Samiti
Shramik Duniya
Students For Resistance
Vidyarthi Yuvjan Sabha
Workers Unity Trade Union


Police Brutality- Citizen Caned

Citizen caned

Anahita Mukherji | May 19, 2012, Times Crest



FACING UP: Hospital reports corroborate Soni Sori's allegations of custodial torture (above); Bangalore youth Sampath (left) who was allegedly tortured by city police in March last year seeks justice

Victims of police brutality rarely get justice. The procedures for seeking redressal are complicated and often the panelists on the Police Complaint Authority are men in uniform. The Soni Sori incident is a case in point.

If you are arrested for no fault of yours and severely tortured in jail, will the perpetrators be brought to book? If a policeman hammers you in full public view, will he ever be punished ? If you were to put these questions to Ramesh Rawat, he is likely to shake his head in despair. Two years ago, this rickshaw driver says, he was brutally beaten up by the police on the streets of Dehradun for questioning a policeman who issued him a chalan. “He beat me so badly that I was hospitalised and had to undergo surgery, ” says Rawat in a telephonic interview with TOI-Crest.

He complained about the policeman to the Uttarakhand Police Complaint Authority (PCA), but nothing came of it. “I have submitted medical reports of my injuries and testified several times before the authority, but the case is still pending, ” he says. “The police even put me under lock-up to force me to withdraw the complaint. One of the members of the PCA is a retired IPS officer. He even swore at me and argued that I must have done something wrong. ”

While Uttarakhand has a retired IPS officer on its PCA, Kerala, the only state to have PCAs at the state and district level, has serving police officers on its PCAs.

“I have sat through a session at a Kerala PCA where the complainant, a victim of police torture, was unable to speak or register his complaint because the man in front of him was in uniform, ” says Navaz Kotwal, Police Reforms Coordinator with the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI). Kotwal edited a CHRI report released earlier this year called Police Complaints Authorities: Reforms Resisted. Rawat was one of many victims interviewed for the report.

Accurate statistics on police violations are virtually impossible to come by. The available data paints a bleak picture of police accountability. “Of the total complaints registered against police officers in 2009, departmental, magisterial and judicial inquiries were instituted in only about 46 per cent of the complaints . . . 51. 2 per cent remained un-investigated, ” says the report. Further, of 1, 279 cases against police officers sent for trial in 2009, only142 trials were completed and even in these, 70 per cent of police personnel were acquitted, says the report.

“There are multiple channels through which one can complain against the police. Depressingly most of them don’t work, ” says former IPS officer YP Singh, who cited corruption as the reason for quitting the service.

According to Singh, the nexus between junior police officers and their seniors, as well as the one between the police and politicians whom they have paid for postings, ensures that little action is ever taken against the police.

In 2006, the Supreme Court directed each state to set up a Police Complaints Authority both at the state and district levels. But CHRI’s recent report shows that only 18 of 28 states have set up a PCA. Of the 18, the authority is functional in only eight states: Assam, Chandigarh, Haryana, Goa, Kerala, Puducherry, Tripura and Uttarakhand. None of the PCAs comply with all the Supreme Court guidelines. Those that are functional are often designed to fail.

For starters, states have needlessly complicated procedures for filing a complaint. According to the Assam Police Act, complaints against police officers need to be accompanied by a sworn statement. There is also a fine for frivolous complaints.

In Uttarakhand, complaints must be on stamp paper. Victims need to submit multiple copies of the complaint and the cost of notarising a complaint is Rs 500. Victims are daunted enough to hire lawyers to represent them. Except in Kerala, victims have to travel long distances to register a complaint at the state PCA.

The very composition of the PCA often violates the SC order, according to which the chairman of the state-level PCA must be a retired High Court/ Supreme Court judge chosen by the state government from a panel of names proposed by the chief justice.

The other members are to be chosen by the government from a panel prepared by the state human rights commission. In practice, all members of functional PCAs are appointed directly by state governments.
The Haryana PCA consists of a single member, a retired IAS officer as chair. Kerala has subverted the system by appointing serving police officers and “no independent members who do not wear the government hat. ”

The Tripura Police Act says that not more than one member of the PCA should be a police officer. In violation of its own Act, there are two retired police officers as members.

“Complainants recounted experiences of further threats, and even physical torture and illegal detention in some cases, after they complained to the PCA, or when they tried to file an FIR against the police officers concerned, ” says the report.
“It is very difficult for an ordinary person to register an FIR against anyone. It is virtually impossible to register an FIR against the police. If you try to do so in Chhattisgarh, the police will brutally beat you and then register a case of Naxalism against you, ” alleges Colin Gonsalves, Supreme Court advocate and founder director, Human Rights Law Network.

“The maximum that a PCA would do is to recommend that an FIR be registered against the police officer or that a departmental inquiry be held. This means that after the PCA spends time carrying out its own inquiry the police must carry out a similar one against its own officials, ” says Kotwal. He points to several instances in Chandigarh where a departmental inquiry has given a police officer a clean chit despite the PCA recommending action against him.

“We had gone on a hunger strike in prison to protest the fact that the person in charge of investigating our wrongful arrest and detention was the person who had put us in jail to begin with, ” says social activist Arun Ferriera, wrongfully jailed for four years on the false charge of being a Naxalite.

He says the biggest problem when it comes to registering a complaint of custodial torture is finding witnesses, as the only witnesses are other police officials or prisoners who are anyway in the hands of the police.
The CHRI report cites a case where a person threatened to lodge a complaint against the officer for naming him an accused in false cases. To this the officer said, “If you make a complaint against the police, you’ll have to approach the police;and you know nothing will come of it. ”

This is a sad fact both the public and the police are aware of. Take for instance a case where a 16-year-old boy was assaulted by a builder over a family dispute in 2009. When his parents approached the police, they refused to register a complaint against the builder and registered a case against the boy instead. The family complains of continued police harassment, with no action taken against the errant police office

Irish man missing in India- Pl share widely


The family of an Irish man who has been missing for more than a month while backpacking in India, have appealed for assistance in tracing him.

Jonathan Spollen (28), a freelance writer and journalist from Ranelagh, has not been seen or heard from since February 3rd.

Mr Spollen, who has been based in Hong Kong working for the International Herald Tribune until recently, was last known to be in Rishikesh, in the state of Uttarakhand in northern India.

It is thought he may have been planning on going a trek at the time of his disappearance having changed his mind about a trip to Delhi to meet up with a friend.

Mr Spollen had arrived in India from Nepal in late November and was planning to leave the country by February 21st, when his visa was due to expire.

His father David Green has travelled to India to join in the search for him.

Mr Spollen’s mother, who last spoke to him on the day he went missing, said it was completely out of character for Jonathan to be out of contact with her for so long.

“Jonathan has lived overseas for a number of years and has always been good at keeping in touch,” said Lynda Spollen.

“We are 75 per cent confident that he may still be in the Rishikesh area and we don’t think he has left the country.”

Ms Spollen said that friends who had seen Jonathan shortly before he went missing had commented on the fact that he had lost weight.

“Jonathan was planning to come to Ireland before his visa expired and when I was last speaking to him had said he might take a trek before he left. Our concern is that he may have picked up a virus of some kind while trekking because he maybe wasn’t as fit as he thought he was. We are worried that something may have befallen him.”

Ms Spollen said her son would have been determined to leave India before his visa expired.

“Originally, Jonathan wanted to stay in the country for a while and travel from the south to the north but was only able to obtain a three-month visa. However, as a journalist the last thing he would have wanted to do was to overstay in the country because he wouldn’t have wanted blots on his copybook. His intention would always have been to try and get out in time rather than overstay,” she said.

“Jonathan hadn’t been home since April last and so the idea was to head home and be here in Ireland for a while and then see what he would do next,” she added.

The Department of Foreign Affairs is providing consular assistance to the family.

Anyone with possible information regarding Jonathan is asked to contact Ms Spollen at

Cow Urine in BJP manifesto

New Delhi, :If re-elected to power in Uttarakhand, BJP will encourage the production of filtered Gau Mootra (cow urine) in the state, says a rather ambitious party manifesto.

Among a host of promises on the ‘development’ front, the staple of each poll manifesto, BJP also has promises related to cow, ranging from utilisation of the animal’s products for medicinal purposes to provision of shelters for ageing and sick cattles.

The party’s Uttarakhand in-charge and national general secretary, Thawarchand Gehlot, detailed the uses cow urine would be put to: “Gau Mootra is filtered and cleaned to produce a concentrated juice called ‘ark’. This helps cure various diseases from cancer to injuries.”
Cow urine also helps produce medicines for the treatment of eye and ear diseases.” The urine can also be dried to produce tablets, Gehlot said, adding yoga guru Baba Ramdev in Uttarakhand and Kamal Kishore Nagar in Madhya Pradesh have made medicines from cow urine.

The uses, apparently, are not restricted to humans alone, but will widely benefit agriculture and environment. “The liquid (derived from filtered cow urine) can be used as a fertiliser. It does not harm soil like the fertilisers having strong chemicals,” Gehlot said.

Flag of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), a na...

Image via Wikipedia

BJP’s ideological mentor RSS has been promoting ‘scientific’ experiments on the five cow products (Panchgavya), including urine and dung, exploring everything from medicinal properties to making a cola from cow urine and endorsing cow urine as a fertiliser, thereby improving soil fertility as well as increasing farmers’ income.

Days ago, the BJP’s central cow development cell had taken offence at the media calling the Madhya Pradesh government’s cow–related initiatives “superstitious”.
Thanks Hindustan times

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