#India – Why were 103 women sterilised and left to die in a family planning camp #Vaw


 

On February 5, 2013 a mega female Minilap Ligation operation camp was held at Manikchak Rural Hospital (RH) of district of Malda, in West Bengal. On this particular day 103 women were sterilised. It was reported in the local media that the women who were sterilised in this camp were kept on the open ground (hospital campus premises) in semi conscious state, and their relatives were asked to take them back home immediately after the operation. This was highlighted in the media (NDTV and other news channels) as gross human rights violation and later enquires were conducted by the state health department and the national human rights commission. The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued notices to West Bengal’s Principal Secretary Health West Bengal and the Malda district magistrate, taking cognizance of an NDTV report that showed how nearly a hundred women were dumped unconscious.

Civil Society Fact-Finding: There was strong opposition to this from civil society groups as it is felt that despite government guidelines on quality assurance and standard procedures to be followed in camp settings are not being followed and implemented properly. This is a summary of this fact-finding exercise.

On April 6, 2013, an independent fact finding was conducted by a team comprising of public health experts, health and women’s rights activists and members of networks including Heath Watch Forum, Bihar; Coalition Against Two-Child Norm and Coercive Population Policies and Human Rights Law Network (HRLN). National Alliance for Maternal Health and Human Rights (NAMHHR) supported the team by sharing the ethical guidelines and checklists for case documentation. The team members are working actively on issues related to reproductive health and rights and are engaged in post ICPD processes in India. Dr. Prabir Chatterjee, RCH Raiganj, West Bengal; Praveer Peterfrom HRLN, New Delhi; Kanti from Smokus local NGO Raiganj, Leena Uppal from Coalition Against Two-Child Norm and Coercive Population Policies, New Delhi; Devika Biswas from Health Watch Forum, Bihar (also filed the PIL in Supreme Court earlier in 2012 about 53 women who were sterilised in a government school in Araria district of Bihar) formed the team.

The main aim of the fact-finding was to systematically document whether the standards specified in different guidelines (a) ‘Quality Assurance Manual for Sterilisation Services, 2006’, (b) ‘Standard Operating Procedures for sterilisation services in camps, 2008′ (c) ‘Standards for Female and Male Sterilisation Services, 2008’ were adhered to during this camp and assess whether the providers are maintaining standards of care as specified in the service guidelines.

Villages Visited: The team visited six villages in Malda district from where women had come for the operation.  Villages included Niranjanpur, Nawada Maheshpur, Fakirtola, Gopaltola, Bagditola and Najiruddinpur. Women who had undergone operations on February 5, 2013 and their families were interviewed. Meetings and interviews with the Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH), Block Medical Officer of Health (BMOH) of Malda district, five ANMs and four ASHAs were also conducted.

Key Findings: The fact-finding report describes the concerns and challenges faced by the women and their relatives, who underwent operations in the camp. It also throws light on the lack of basic minimum standards adhered by officials in the camp.   

One of the key finding was the fact that the standard camp protocols of the GOI were not followed. Infection control practices were inadequate. Though the GOI guidelines emphasise maintenance of prevention of infection, however the health care providers are unable to monitor or maintain records of infection control mechanisms followed at such family planning camps, given the large number of operations that that they conduct in a single day.

A total of nine women were interviewed. All women interviewed reported that they were not provided options for informed choice at the camp. All the women and their families voiced an environment of utter confusion and chaos at the camp. Women reported pain and minor complications after the operations, lack of complete knowledge about the operation procedure, consent being only in terms of thumb impressions and out of pocket expenditures during and after the operations.

A quick analysis of number and sex of children of all the women interviewed clearly showed a high preference for male child. Most of these women reported that they have been waiting for at-least one son before they go in for permanent sterilisation.  

Discussion: Women, who have undergone inhuman treatment where their dignity and rights have been denied, must be provided some form of redressal. The Family Planning Insurance Scheme which includes provisions for compensation to women who face failures and complications (and death) should be expanded to include humiliation of this nature. The Department of Family Welfare must also audit and ensure strict compliance of the quality assurance mechanisms it has already issued. The state government urgently needs to put the grievance redressal system/complaint box in place and ensure that such negligence is not repeated and the underlying deficits are addressed effectively.

It is hoped that the analysis from fact-finding will be of use to the larger community concerned with the experiences of women who have used family planning services and who are going to use them in future. It is also hoped that these findings will be deemed as relevant by the district officials at Malda, West Bengal who have been a part of this fact-finding process. 

We request you to share this summary widely and to urge your governments to stand up for women’s rights including their right to control their own bodies, fertility and sexuality!

Download Fact Finding Report

 

#India – For Kolkata Rape Survivor , a Lonely Wait for Justice #Vaw #Womenrights


By SWATI SENGUPTA
A demonstration in Kolkata, West Bengal, on Feb. 14, which was part of the 'One Billion Rising' campaign, a global initiative to oppose violence against women.Dibyangshu Sarkar/Agence France-Presse — Getty ImagesA demonstration in Kolkata, West Bengal, on Feb. 14, which was part of the ‘One Billion Rising’ campaign, a global initiative to oppose violence against women.

KOLKATA, West Bengal —In February 2012, a woman was gang-raped in a moving car after she was offered a lift from outside a nightclub on Kolkata’s Park Street. Unlike the majority of rape victims in India, she decided to report the crime, not only to the Park Street police, but also to the media. With her back to the TV cameras, her frizzy hair being her only identifying feature, she fielded questions from journalists.

Not long afterward, as she waited at a bus stop, another person saw her curls and asked, “Are you the Park Street rape victim?”

The woman immediately fled the bus stop. After that, she began to tie up her hair every time she went outside.

Katrina at a reporter's house in Kolkata, West Bengal, on May 14.Courtesy of Swati SenguptaKatrina at a reporter’s house in Kolkata, West Bengal, on May 14.

“Even my family and friends now ask me to straighten my hair,” said the woman, a 38-year-old Anglo-Indian who asked to be identified as Katrina. “I am constantly identified everywhere I go. But why should I? I love my curls and always like to keep my hair open.”

Since the gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old student in Delhi last year shocked the nation, the central government has passedstronger laws on sex crimes and harassment of women, and the suspects are being tried in a fast-track court that was set up for sexual assault cases, which usually take years to conclude.

Katrina’s case is also in a fast-track court in Kolkata, where three of the five men she accused of raping her — Nishad Alam, Naseer Khan and Sumit Bajaj – began their trial in March. However, the Kolkata police commissioner, Surajit Kar Purakayastha, said the police are still looking for the other two men, Mohammad Ali and Kader Khan, the main suspect.

However, tougher laws on crimes against women can’t prevent the ostracization that occurs to rape victims in India, as Katrina has learned.

For example, the chief minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee, responded to the initial reports about the rape by saying Katrina had lied in order to make her government look bad. Hours later, an angry mob formed outside Katrina’s apartment building.

Katrina has also been receiving calls from unknown people who have threatened her or offered her money to withdraw the case, the last one as recently as April, which she reported to the police.

The single mother of two teenage daughters decided to not take any chances with her safety. A former call center worker who was unemployed at the time of the rape, she has spent most of the past year at home while she looked for a job.

“I never stepped into a discotheque since then. I hardly go out with friends. I miss my life,” she says wistfully, sipping tea and nibbling on croquettes at a reporter’s house. She agreed to visit only after receiving reassurances that no one else would be home.

Her sense of isolation grew as her neighbors – many of whom used to celebrate Christmas and the New Year at her apartment — began to grumble about her. Katrina often came home at odd hours when she was running a call center, but after she went public with the rape, she said that her neighbors complained about her comings and goings.

“No matter how early I returned, everyone would suggest I got back late – hinting that I was in the wrong and had invited my rape,” Katrina said

Whenever she had guests or her teenage daughters stepped out, she said her neighbors would whisper: “Look! There they go!”

“Luckily, I have very strong girls,” she said. “I know they will protest every injustice, but I am scared out of my wits for them.”

Biswanath Acharya, one of her former neighbors, said the complaints about Katrina were purely for security reasons. “We objected about the odd hours in which she would leave and return home, or some of her friends – usually male – would visit her.”

His wife, Durga, said that while she supported Katrina’s decision to report the rape, she said that they got updates on the case from television and never from her. “We came to know from her landlord that she was facing a financial crisis as she couldn’t pay her rent,” she said. “But we were not close enough to discuss about her job requirements. Frankly, looking at her, you wouldn’t know she didn’t have a job.”

Katrina eventually moved, deciding that she didn’t want to deal with the dirty looks and snide remarks. But even while she was looking for another apartment, she was reminded of her status as a rape victim. She said landlords would take her deposit, make inquiries about her and finally return the money. They would tell her, “We can’t rent this flat to you. Surely you know why,” she recalled.

The government was partly to blame for Katrina’s plight since it didn’t offer her much help, said Bharati Mutsuddi, a senior advocate of the Calcutta High Court, who was also a member of the West Bengal Commission for Women when the Left Front governed the state. “The role of the state could have been to offer her succor, strongly supporting her in the case and to ensure she remains strong, mentally and physically,” Ms. Mutsuddi said.

The current head of the women’s commission, Sunanda Mukherjee, said that the commission was already handling many cases and that Katrina needed to file a case with the commission if she wanted aid.

Katrina ended up finding another apartment on her own, and, after many interviews that never went anywhere, another job. About six weeks ago, she was approached by Santasree Chaudhuri, an entrepreneur and a women’s rights activist, to work at a hotline she founded for victims of sexual and domestic violence, called Survivors for Victims of Social Injustice.

Ms. Chaudhuri, who was out of the country when Katrina’s case was first reported in the media, learned about Katrina after returning to India and contacted her through a nongovernment organization. “She came to my place and immediately offered me this job,” Katrina said.

She started the new job about six weeks ago. “Now I meet so many women and encourage them to go on fighting for their rights, and it feels good to support them in this manner,” said Katrina, who has been inspired to write a book about her own experience.

Katrina said she was hopeful that the next generation will have a more sympathetic view of rape victims, as her daughters’ friends have stood by them. “No snide remarks, no ditching my darlings because of my rape. I’ve been to parent-teacher meetings, and my children’s friends all surround me and chat,” she said.

She said although she had initially regretted coming forward about the rape, those feelings quickly dissipated, and now she was determined to see her case through to the end, no matter the cost.

“Had I died that night – and it’s only a miracle that I am alive – people would have sympathized,” she said. “The fact that I am alive, screaming, protesting with courage no matter how much I am crumbling inside, makes everyone angry. How can a raped, brutalized woman still have so much of courage and voice? They want me to break down.”

 

Kolkata- Cops ban ‘law-violating’ rallies in heart of city


May 26, 2013, TNN

KOLKATA: In a meeting with all political parties in the state, Kolkata Police commissioner Surajit Kar Purakayastha on Saturday announced that law-violation programmes will no longer be allowed in the city.

Opposition parties, particularly the CPM and the BJP, which have planned such programmes on May 31 and June 1, called the decision “undemocratic”.

Though the police chief cited reasons such as lack of infrastructure and the harassment caused to people, it was clear that the government wants to avoid trouble ahead of the crucial panchayat polls in the state. It was during a law-violation programme in April that SFI leader Sudipta Gupta lost his life while being hauled to the Presidency jail. Recently, a law-violation programme by the SUCI led to chaos in central parts of Kolkata. A sub-inspector was seriously injured in the violence that broke out.

According to Purakayastha, Kolkata Police does not have “adequate” infrastructure to handle law-violation programmes during which political workers are found to jostle with the police before being overpowered and herded into waiting buses to be taken to the lock-up. In most cases, the police have to use force to bring the situation under control. Though the Kolkata Police possesses water cannons and other crowd-control equipment, none of these have ever been brought to use during such programmes.

The commissioner, however, said that the ban is temporary and will be in place till the police build up adequate infrastructure. He didn’t make clear what the government has in mind so far as augmenting the police force is concerned.

“We met representatives of all major political parties and requested them to not to organize law-violation programmes,” Purakayastha said. He did not clarify whether there would be any amendment in the present law. When asked whether it a request or an order, the commissioner said that it was an instruction from the city police. In addition to the ban on law violation, the Kolkata Police also renewed its ban on the holding political meetings at Metro channel. “For long, we have been requesting political parties not to organize any programme at Metro channel as this disrupts the normal movement of traffic in the heart of the city. Today, we once again reminded all political parties about the existing ban in the Metro channel,” a senior police officer said. Sources in the police, however, said that officers were working as per instructions from the ‘top’.

The decision resulted in severe criticism from Opposition parties. “Firstly, these are not called ‘law-violation’ programmes. Members of responsible political parties simply ‘court arrest’ when the government fails to protect the interest of citizens. When they police says that it can’t handle such programmes, one wonders what it will do against people who break the law and try to get away. No wonder, the law and order situation in the state is in a mess. This is not a police decision. It is a decision taken by the state government to curb the rights of people,” said CPM leader Md Salim.

State BJP president Rahul Sinha said that the government is gradually trying to implement an ‘undeclared emergency’. “It wants to choke the Opposition‘s voice. We shall hold our programme as per schedule,” he said. West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee president Pradip Bhattacharya also said that his party wouldn’t abide by such instructions.

 

People should oppose FDI in retail: Mahasweta Devi #mustshare


 

Kolkata, May 21 — Supporting West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee‘s decision to withdraw from the UPA last September on the issue of FDI in retail, eminent writer Mahasweta Devi Tuesday exhorted people from all walks of life to protest against the measure.

“Of course, I support our chief minister’s decision to withdraw from the centre on FDI. I think everybody should protest against it. People from all walks of life should contribute in their own way in standing up against it,” Mahasweta Devi said while launching a book “FDI-Gobhir Shorjontror Shikar Aamra” (FDI-We are a target of conspiracy).

The 89-year-old Jnanpith awardee suggested tapping into indigenous resources for India‘s growth and development.

“We have sufficient resources. If we use them properly then India can walk on a path of progress and development,” she said.

Mahasweta Devi said she was “somewhat satisfied” with the state government’s stance on introduction of foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail.

Commending the Trinamool Congress for “trying” to bring about changes during its two years in power, she said it is too early to comment on its impact.

“It’s too early to comment. It has just completed two years. It hasn’t done too good or anything worth praising nor it has done anything bad worth criticising.

“It’s trying… let’s just say that,” she added.

Trinamool Congress Monday completed two years in power in West Bengal.

 

nydailynews.com

 

Story of a refugee grand mother, of identities and displacements #Sundayreading


In times of displacement, do we leave our former selves behind and create new identities? In this moving personal history, Garga Chatterjee profiles his Bengali grandmother whose true self was unmasked only by a tragic stroke .

http://www.thefridaytimes.com/

 

I have crossed the border between the two Bengals multiple times. In February 2013, I took back my maternal uncle Bacchu mama to his ancestral home in East Bengal (now part of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh). He had fled after his matriculation exams, a little before the 1965 war. Then we reached his modest, 2-storey, tin-shed erstwhile home in the Kawnia neighbourhood of Barishal Town. And here this mama of mine began to touch and feel the dusty walls and stairs. He is by far the jolliest person I have known. This was the first time I saw his eyes tear up. The story that follows is of his paternal aunt, or pishi.

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Dida and her husband - mid 1970s
Dida and her husband – mid 1970s
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Having taken an active interest, and in some cases an active role, in anti-displacement agitations of various hues, what rings hollow to my privileged existence is the trauma of such an experience. I know the statistics, the caste break-up of the internally displaced, the pain of being transformed from sharecroppers to urban shack dwellers – raw stories of loss and displacement. The “on-the-face” aspect of the accounts, unfortunately, has a numbing effect. When a populace is numb to the explicit, its sensitivity to things hidden is virtually non-existent. In spite of my association with causes of displacement, in my heart of hearts, I don’t feel I inhabit them. I can empathize but can’t relate. Nobody I have grown up with seemed to have any psychological scar or trauma about displacement – at least none that was carried around, although I grew up around victims of one of the biggest mass displacements of all times. I am talking about the partition of Bengal in 1947.

The narrow path was a metaphor for my dida’s connection to her new world

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Dida or Jyotsna Sen - early 1970s
Dida or Jyotsna Sen – early 1970s
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Growing up in Calcutta in the 1980s, visits to my maternal grandparents’ house were a weekly feature of my life. We lived in a 30-something-strong joint family, firmly rooted in West Bengal, very Ghoti. For Ghotis, the East Bengalis are a people with a culture less sophisticated than their own. In later years, especially post-1947, the term ‘Bangal‘, which used to mean East Bengali, also came to mean refugees, and hence evoked a certain discomfiture in West Bengal, if not outright animosity.

With time, however, social ties were built between certain sections of the two communities. I am a child of mixed heritage – I have a Ghoti father and a Bangal mother.

The people of my mother’s extended family had their displacement stories – not really of trauma, but of a sense of material loss – the money they couldn’t bring with them, the land they had left behind, the travails of some families they knew, etc. Calcutta subsumed much of their former selves. An exemplary figure here is my maternal grandmother, my dida. She was married off to my maternal grandfather, my dadu, who I hear opposed the marriage at that time, if not the match itself (both my parents were teenagers). When she came to Calcutta in tow with her husband, she was still quite young. My mother was born in Calcutta.

I have a Ghoti father and a Bangal mother

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The author and his dida
The author and his dida
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They lived in a rented place near Deshopriya Park. There was an air of dampness about the place. It was connected to the metaled road by a longish, narrow path, gritty and dimly lit, a metaphor for my dida’s connection to her new world, in that connecting to the mainstream required a certain tortuous effort. Inside that house, it was strange and intriguing to me. The lingo was different – they spoke Bangal (a Bengali dialect) with a Barishal twang (Barishal was one of the more pupulous districts of East Bengal) called Barishailya. Dida said chokh(‘eye’) as tsokkhu and amader (‘our’) as amago. I used to pick these up and relate them delightedly to my Ghoti joint family to regale them. Now I don’t think it’s hard to imagine that many Bangals didn’t like the fact that other people found simple pronouncements in their dialect amusing and even comical. (Some comedians have used this aspect in Bengali comedy: I am reminded of black clowns with artificial and heightened mannerisms who regaled white audiences.)

She bought her groceries at a bazaar full of grocers who were refugees from East Bengal

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Dida cooked well and was known for it. But what did she herself want to be known for? My mother related to me how her father was a great lover of letters and sciences. This was somewhat true – sometimes I abhorred going to him because he would not only tell me to do a math problem but also ask me why I did it that way. He tried to get all his children formally educated – a Bangal signature of the time. Markedly different was his attitude towards Dida – I remember numerous instances of “ o tumi bozba na” (‘You wouldn’t understand that’). On her 50th marriage anniversary, her children got together for a celebration. The couple garlanded each other. She looked happy with her self and her world. “ Togo sara amar ar ki aase” (‘What else do I have but you people’) was her pronouncement. Something happened a few years later that made me question the exhaustive nature of her statement.

Things happened in quick succession after that. The brothers and sisters fell out. This turn of events resulted in Dida staying with us. Our joint family had ceased to exist too. By now, I was a medical student. Dida was getting worse due to her diabetes. So I spent time with her. I remember her trying to speak (and failing miserably) our non-Bangal Bengali dialect to my paternal grandmother. She was still trying to fit in, for circumstances demanded that she do. At the time I thought she was extraordinarily fortunate. With my newfound sensitivity towards “identities”, I thought, she must have been very happy to speak Bangal until now. She bought her groceries at a bazaar full of grocers who were themselves refugees from East Bengal. Her husband’s extended family was essentially her social circle and they all chattered away in Bangal. They ate their fish in their own way. In spite of being displaced from East Bengal, she had retained her identity, her “self”. Or so I thought.

She was speaking gibberish – names we didn’t know, places we hadn’t heard of

[box9]She suffered a cerebral stroke not long afterwards. A stroke is tragic as well as fascinating to observe. It cripples and unmasks. The social beings we are, who care about what words to speak to whom, what state of dress or undress to be in where and when, all this complex monument of pretense comes crashing down with a stroke. For one whole day Dida had been in what would medically be termed a “delirium”, characterized by, among other things, a speech that was incoherent to the rest of us. She couldn’t move much and spoke what we heard as gibberish – names we didn’t know, places we hadn’t heard of. To ascertain the stage of cerebral damage, one asks questions like ‘Who are you?’ ‘Where are we?’ ‘What is the date?’ I was alone with her when I asked her these questions. Who are you? “Ami Shonkor Guptor bareer meye.” (‘I am a girl from Shonkor Gupto’s family.’) I repeated my question, and she gave the same answer. She couldn’t tell me her name. Shonkor Gupto wasn’t her father but an ancestor who had built their house in Goila village of Barisal in East Bengal. Later, when she had recovered from the stroke, she remembered nothing of this incident. When I asked her later, she replied “Jyotsna Sen” or “Tore mare ziga” (‘Ask your mother’). ‘Who are you?’ and ‘What’s your name?’ had become one and the same again. She died some time later. It was another stroke that felled her.

Displacement brings trauma with it. And the trauma can be cryptic. It can be hidden. It can be pushed down, sunk deep with the wish that it doesn’t surface. But displacement resurfaces in odd ways. And often an involuntary journey away from home is a journey away from one’s self too. The journey of displacement is hardly linear. It is more like a long arc. In most cases, the arc doesn’t turn back to where it started from. The journey looks unhindered by identities left back. But we can sometimes peer deeper. Nobody called my Dida by the name Jyotsna Sen – she merely signed papers with that name. She had a name by which people called her before her marriage – “Monu”. This name had become hazy after her marriage and the journey to her husband’s house; and it was essentially lost after she migrated to Calcutta. She had been doubly removed from the people, the household, the organic milieu that knew “Monu”. She had three children, four grandchildren, a husband, a new city. Where was she? And when all this was shorn off, what remained was a teenage girl from East Bengal village – a place she hadn’t been in 60 years, maybe the only place where she had been much of herself. Monu of Shankar Gupto’s house.

At this point, I wonder whether she silently bled all through her years in Calcutta. Would she have bled similarly if she had made choices about her own life, or if she had actively participated in the decisions that changed her life’s trajectory? The speculative nature of the inferences I draw from her “unmasking” story is not a hindrance to imagine what could have been. A little looking around might show such stories of long-drawn suppressions all around – suppressions we consider facts of life and take for granted. Who knows what she would have wanted at age 15, or at 22? Where was her voice, her own thing in the whole Calcutta saga that followed? The picture-perfect 50th anniversary clearly didn’t capture who she was. Her husband believed she had had her due – what more does one need, he would have thought. My mother assumed that with the well-intentioned husband that her father was, Dida must have been happy. The identity-politics fired lefty in me had thought she hadn’t been displaced enough, given the continuity of her Bangal milieu! But a part of her lived repressed.

In the microcosms we inhabit, there are stories of displacement, failed rehabilitation and denial of life choices. It is my suspicion that on learning about the Narmada valley displaced, a part of my Dida’s self would have differed vehemently with the Supreme Court judges, who upheld the prerogative of “development” over the costs of displacement.

 

 

Savage, inhuman torture & molestation by Jalangi police


 

6th May 2013

 

To

The Chairman

West Bengal Human Rights Commission

Bhabani Bhaban

Alipur

Kolkata – 27

 

Respected Sir,

 

I want to draw your kind attention regarding the matter of custodial torture committed upon Mr. Ariful Islam Sarkar by the police personnel of Jalangi Police Station. Our fact finding report provides the detail of the whole incident.

 

On the date of the incident the involved police personnel trespasses the victim’s house and brutally assaulted the victim in front of his wife Ms. Rina Bibi. They molested the victim’s wife by pulling her clothing.  After that the perpetrator police personnel forcibly took the victim to Jalangi Police Station and the victim was brutally assaulted by them inside the said police station during his custody. He was even waked at midnight, stripped naked and bashed. The victim received injuries over his body during the assault. After that the victim was medically treated at Sadhikandiyar Primary Health Centre and Murshidabad Medical College and Hospital; Baharampur. In both the places he informed the details of physical torture by the perpetrator police personnel to the attending doctors. Later, he was sent to prison and on 01.04.2013, the victim got bail. On 08.04.2014, the victim lodged a written complaint before the District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police, Murshidabad informing the incident of physical torture committed upon him by the involved police personnel of the Jalangi police station. But till date no actions has been taken by the higher authorities of the police.

Hence we seek your urgent intervention and demand for: –

 

·       The whole incident must be investigated Your own independent agency.

·       The involved police personnel of Jalangi Police Station must be booked under the specific law and prosecuted for their alleged criminal acts and acts committed in violation of law.

·       The victim and his family must be provided adequate compensation and protection so that they do not come under any further threat or inducement.

 

Thanking you

 

Yours truly

 

 

 

Kirity Roy

Secretary, MASUM

&

National Convener, PACTI

 

 

Name of the victim: – Mr. Ariful Islam Sarkar, son of- Late Abul Kasim Sarkar, aged about- 50 years, by faith- Muslim (backward community), residing at Village- Nabingram -Sagarpara, Police Station- Jalangi, District- Murshidabad, West Bengal, India.

 

Name of the perpetrators: – Mr. Mainuddin Khan (Assistant Sub-Inspector of Jalangi Police Station) and 4 other involved police constables of Jalangi Police Station.

 

Date and time of incident: – On 29.03.2013 at about 2 pm.

 

Place of occurrence: – Victim’s house at above mentioned address and inside Jalangi police station.

 

Case Details: –

 

It is revealed during fact finding that the victim is an agricultural labour. His financial condition was impecunious and he is living under financial duress.  He was not been enlisted under Below Poverty Line (B.P.L) category. In the year 1995, the victim got married with Ms. Selina Parvin, daughter of Mr. Ajimuddin Mondal. Fact finding reveals that she was from financially well off family as her father was a government employee. As a result, after their marriage, she developed marital discontent. In the year 2006, she left the victim’s house. The victim tried to convince his wife and father in law for her return but failed. Ms. Selina Parvin filed a divorce petition for the dissolution of her marriage with the victim. In the year of 2006, the victim got remarried with Ms. Ruma Bibi after getting divorce from his earlier marriage. This infuriated Ms. Selina Parvin and she started to conspire against the victim.

On 26.05.2010, she filed a petition under section 125 of Criminal Procedure Code before the Judicial Magistrate, 1st Court, Berhampore against the victim vide Execution Case No.-233/2010 and the court (JM 1st Court, Baharampur) ordered the victim to pay sum of Rs. 1800/- as maintenance per month to Ms. Selina Parvin. But the victim failed to pay few instalments of monthly maintenance due to his financial distress and as a result the court issued arrest warrant against the victim on the basis of non-payment of maintenance.

On 29.03.2013 at about 2 pm, Mr. Mainuddin Khan an Assistant Sub Inspector of Jalangi police station accompanied with four other police constables of Jalangi police station came to the house of the victim by an ash coloured Bolero make four wheelers. They trespassed into the victim’s house and at that time police force was not accompanied by any lady police. They foul mouthed with the members of the family and verbally abused the victim and his wife with filthiest language having sexual connotation. The police personnel brutally assaulted the victim in front of his wife with their wooden sticks and forcibly shoved the victim to the courtyard of his house, then Ms. Rina Bibi was molested by the said police personnel while she was asking for release of his husband from their clutches. During the melee the police personnel pulled her wearing, unclothed her and intentionally touched her private parts. In the mean time the perpetrator police personnel repeatedly had beaten the victim while they dragged the victim to their parked car. The victim was taken to the Jalangi police station and was put into the lock-up. The said ASI, Mr. Mainuddin Khan got the victim out from the police lock-up at midnight and again bashed him up. He was kept naked at the lock up for whole of night. While the victim asked for drinking water, the police personnel present at the time with the said ASI tried to force the victim to drink his own urine instead of giving him a glass of water

On 30.03.2013 at about 9 am, the victim was taken to Sadhikhandiyar Primary Health Centre for medical treatment. The victim informed the attending doctor; Dr. Nurujamman about the horrific physical torture meted upon him by the mentioned police personnel at the Jaangi police station. On 8.4.2013, he was again treated at Murshidabad Medical College and Hospital at Beharampur, after released from judicial custody on 1.4.2013 after granted bail from the court.

On 07.04.2013, our fact finding team wanted to talk with Mr. Mainuddin Khan; the involved ASI through telephone (03481-23553) regarding the incident of physical torture upon the victim by him. But the said police personal refused to discuss the issue and abruptly disconnected the telephone line. Our fact finding team again called to the said police station over telephone and wanted to know the details of the incident regarding the matter of custodial torture upon the victim by the police personnel attached with the police station. But the then Duty-Officer disagreed to discuss the happenings and he also disconnected the line in a haste.

On 08.04.2013, the victim lodged a written complaint before the District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police; Murshidabad, informing the whole incident of custodial torture committed upon him by the police personnel of the Jalangi police station. But till date no appropriate actions have been taken by the higher authorities of the district or police administrations.

Inline images 1
VICTIM – MR. ARIFUL
 
Inline images 2
TREATMENT SHEET – FROM GOVT. HOSPITAL


Kirity Roy
Secretary
Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha
(MASUM)
&
National Convenor (PACTI)
Programme Against Custodial Torture & Impunity
40A, Barabagan Lane (4th Floor)
Balaji Place
Shibtala
Srirampur
Hooghly
PIN- 712203
Tele-Fax – +91-33-26220843
Phone- +91-33-26220844 / 0845
e. mail : kirityroy@gmail.com
Web: www.masum.org.in

Half of India’s dalit population lives in 4 states- UP, West Bengal, Bihar and TN


 

B Sivakumar, TNN | May 2, 2013, 06.14 AM IST
CHENNAI: Four states account for nearly half of the country’s dalit population, reveals the 2011 census. Uttar Pradesh stands first with 20.5% of the total scheduled caste (SC) population, followed by West Bengal with 10.7%, says the data released by the Union census directorate on Tuesday. Bihar with 8.2% and Tamil Nadu with 7.2 % come third and fourth. Dalits form around 16.6% of India’s population.

The 2011 census recorded nearly 20.14 crore people belonging to various scheduled castes in the country. As per the 2001 census, the number was 16.66 crore. The dalit population showed a decadal growth of 20.8%, whereas India’s population grew 17.7% during the same period. “Though there is an increase in the population of dalits in the country, many states with a considerable number of dalits don’t have any legislation to protect the interests of the community. Dalit empowerment is very poor in many states,” said former Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) MLA D Ravikumar.

Many scheduled caste families don’t own land or any other property, said Ravikumar. “Many dalits are landless and efforts to empower them by giving free land have not been successful in Tamil Nadu. Unlike Punjab, which has a considerable number of dalits as industrialists, here there is hardly any industrialist from our community,” the leader of the dalit party said.

There are around 9.79 crore women among the total SC population, and the sex ratio works out to 946 females per 1000 males. Nagaland, Lakshwadeep and Andaman and Nicobar islands have no scheduled castes among their population. Though UP has the largest chunk of the total SC population, Punjab has the largest share of dalits in its population at 31.9%. Himachal Pradesh and West Bengal follow Punjab with 25.2% and 23.5%. In Tamil Nadu, dalits account for about 18% of the population.

The state budget should also allocate funds for creation of assets for dalits, said Ravikumar. “Instead of distributing freebies, the state governments can set aside a portion of the total allocation for dalits. In many cases, funds are being diverted and dalits lose whatever is due to them,” he said. The states with considerable number of dalits in their population must pass a separate legislation on the lines of Andhra Pradesh, which has passed the SC/ST Sub Plan Act, said a dalit activist.

 

#India – Sodomy by BSF upon children, Protest ! #sexualabuse


To

The Chairman

National Human Rights Commission

Faridkot House

Copernicus Marg

New Delhi-110001

 

Respected Sir,

 

I want to draw your kind attention regarding the matter of sexual abuse committed upon the minor victim boys by the perpetrator BSF personal. The incident took place within the jurisdiction of Swarupnagar Police Station, District-North 24 Parganas, West Bengal.

On the date of incident the perpetrator BSF personal took sexual pleasure by forcing the minor victim boys to act at his whims. Our attached fact finding report gives details of the incident. The incident continued for an hour. The heinous incident sexual torture and abuse committed upon the victim boys was primarily complained to the BSF Official but the family of the victim boys did not get any relief. One written complaint was lodged before the Superintendent of Police, North 24 Parganas informing the whole incident of sexual offence committed upon the minor victim boys by the perpetrator BSF personal. But till date no action has been taken by the said authority.

Hence we seek your urgent intervention regarding the following matters: –

·       The whole matter must be investigated by Commission’s own investigating wing.

·       The perpetrator BSF personal must be booked under the law and should be prosecuted under Section 377 of Indian Penal Code and the criminal law and the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 considering the complaint lodged before the Superintendent of Police, North 24 Parganas.

·       The victims and their families should be provided with adequate compensation as well as protection so that they do not come under threat or inducement.

 

Thanking You

Yours truly

 

Kirity Roy

Secretary, MASUM

&

National Convener, PACTI

 

 

Name of the victims: –

1.    Master Sundar Sarkar (Name changed), son of- Mr. Shankar Sarkar, aged about- 9 years,

2.    Master Hrishi Das (Name changed), son of- Mr. Rabin Das, aged about- 11 years,

3.    Master Sujay Das (Name changed), son of- Mr. Deben Das, aged about- 8 years, all are residing at Village- Gunrajpur, Post Office- Govindapur, Police Station- Swarupnagar, District- North 24 Parganas, West Bengal, India.

Name of the perpetrator: – Mr. Ramkumar being BSF jawan at Gunrajpur BSF BOP under Police Station- Swarupnagar, District- North 24 Parganas

Date and time of the incident: – On 17.03.2013 at about 1 pm

Place of occurrence: – Inside Gunrajpur BSF Border Out-Post (BOP).

Case details: –

It is revealed during fact finding that on 17.03.2013 at about 1 pm Mr. Ramkumar being the BSF jawan of Gunrajpur BOP, BSF called the victims inside the Gunrajpur Border Out-Post while they were playing with each other on the street adjoining to the said out-post.  After that the perpetrator BSF personal put off his wearing pant while they came inside the said out-post. The perpetrator BSF personal forced the victims to hold his genital and asked them to rub it by hands. The perpetrator BSF jawan started to enjoy sexual pleasure by abusing the victim boys. The victim Master Sagar Sarkar could be able to escape the place with fear. But other two minor victims could not be able to escape from that place. The perpetrator BSF personal forcibly penetrated his genital into the mouths of those minor victims and brutally seduced them for an hour. After that the perpetrator BSF personal illegally detained those minor victims after completely seducing them. The minor victims were seriously felt sick due to such inhuman sexual abuse the perpetrator BSF personal of that said BSF out-post. After that Master Hridoy Das and Sanjib Das returned to their homes and informed the whole incident to their family members. Ms. Laxmi Das, the mother of Master Hridoy Das went to that said BSF out-post to inform the whole incident to other BSF jawans of that said BSF camp taking with Mr. Sahidul Gaji, the member of local Gunrajpur Gram Panchayat. Mr. Sahidul Gaji talked with others jawans of that said BSF camp and told Ms. Laxmi Das to solve that matter in exchange of money. But she did not agree to do that. After that one BSF jawan called the Commanding Officer of the said out-post and informed him the whole incident. The Commanding Officer came to the camp and the whole matter was video recorded by them. After that he took her signature in a blank paper and told her that the total cost of medical treatment of those minor victims would be paid by them and also convinced her by saying that the perpetrator BSF personal would be punished regarding the matter of physical molestation upon the minor victims. After that the Commanding Officer threatened her saying that they would suffer if they dared to disclose the incident to anyone and also told the member of the Gram Panchayet not to disclose the matter to anyone.

On 02.04.2013, Ms. Laxmi Das lodged a written complaint on behalf of the victims before the Superintendent of Police, North 24 Pgs informing the whole incident of sexual abuse committed upon the minor victim boys by the perpetrator BSF personal. But till date no action has been taken by the said authority.

Inline images 1

Birth Certificate of a victim boy

 

#India – Tribal rally in Delhi protests land grab


New Delhi

Posted 30 Apr 2013

Dressed in their traditional attire, thousands of tribals, including women, from 10 states staged a joint rally here Tuesday to protest what they called loot of natural resources.

Carrying bows and arrows and flags signifying each tribal community, thousands of them marched from Jantar Mantar on Parliament Street and raised their voice against how lakhs of hectares of land and forest lands have been “stolen” from this country’s poorest people.

“The debate on the coal scam has focused only on the government’s exchequer. Today’s rally showed that the scam extends to more than just money – lakhs of hectares of land and forests have been stolen from this country’s poorest people,” said Bijaybhai, convenor of the Joint Morcha of Tribal Organisations, in Delhi.

“This protest is to showcase that the loot of natural resources is growing and the government ignores it at its own peril,” Bijaybhai said.

“Tomorrow (Wednesday) a delegation of tribal leaders will meet the president and will submit a memorandum against the violations of the PESA Act (Panchayat (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996), the Forest Rights Act, among other issues,” Bijaybhai said.

Participating in the rally, Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Brinda Karat said: “The state machinery has betrayed the rights of adivasis at every turn. The Congress and the Bharatiya Janta Party are crushing tribal rights in the Land Acquisition Bill and the Mining Bill.” She argued that the way forward would only emerge from an alternative politics and the struggle for it.

The tribals, who constitute eight percent of India’s population, came from states like Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Jharkhand.

“The only way to stop this loot of the natural resources is to respect democracy and the rights of local communities as provided in law, in particular in the PESA Act and Forest Rights Act. At present the rule of bureaucracy is riding roughshod over law, national interest and people’s rights,” Bijaybhai added. – IANS

 

Press Release-Condemn the Growing Tendencies of Re-arrests of Political Activists!


COMMITTEE FOR THE RELEASE OF POLITICAL PRISONERS

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

 

Dated: 19.04.2013

Condemn the Growing Tendencies of Re-arrests of Political Activists!

Condemn the Brutal Torture and Illegal Detention of Zakir Hussain!!

Release Zakir Hussain and Sabyasachi Goswami

Immediately and Unconditionally!

Punish the Officers Responsible for the Torture and

Illegal Confinement of Zakir Hussain!

 

Yet again the People of West Bengal are being witness to another instance of police brutality, trampling all constitutional norms, perpetration of third degree torture in police lock-up and the submission of false statements in the court of law. In its treatment of dissident voices, the present Mamata-led government is no different from the previous Buddhadev-led government which had ruled the state of West Bengal for more than 3 decades.

On 19 April 2013, Zakir Hussain and Sabyasachi Goswami were produced in Bankshall Court, Kolkata. The police force (STF) as usual showed them to have been arrested on 18 April from Behala in Kolkata for having Maoist links. Zakir had signs of police torture in STF lock-up all over his body and was almost unable to move. Actually, Zakir was arrested on 15th from Dharmatala in Kolkata—a place other than what was stated before the court. He was produced after four days of arrest—a clear violation of Supreme Court directives which makes it binding for the police to produce an arrested person within 24 hours of arrest. Zakir’s face was covered by a mask by the police in the lock-up to escape identification. Then he was beaten black and blue to extract confession—yet another violation of court directives and UN Covenant relating to Civil and Political Rights.  Sabyasachi Goswami was picked up on 18 April from Piyali, Canning in South 24-Parganas. He was subjected to mental and physical torture and was not allowed to sleep the intervening night between 18 and 19. They, as usual, were implicated in false cases like carrying arms and indulging in seditious acts, having Maoist connections.

 Both Zakir and Sabyasachi were arrested and incarcerated earlier for years together in another case and both were acquitted and released in 2011 after spending six years in prison. Both of them had been attending courts regularly since then in cases where they were released on bail. Last year, the STF raided the house of Sabyasachi and threatened his relatives. His mother who had been suffering from various ailments had a traumatic experience and she expired recently—a clear case of death by torture, brutal police forces driving a mother to her death by intimidation. This is how ‘democracy’ works in this ‘this largest democracy’ in the world.

Re-arrests of activists who have been acquitted of previous trumped up charges that too after prolonged periods of incarceration—in this case six years—has become a regular feature of the modus operandi of the police forces whether it is in West Bengal, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa Bihar etc. This while undoubtedly shows the growing impunity of the police and other special forces as well as investigating agencies is further becoming a standard operating procedure vis-à-vis criminalizing all forms of political dissent in the subcontinent.     

At CRPP, we unequivocally condemn the re-arrest of Zakir Hussain and Sabyasachi Goswami, the torture perpetrated on them in police custody by the notorious Special Task Force under the Mamata Banerjee-led government, demand exemplary punishment of those police personnel guilty of committing torture as well as the immediate and unconditional release of the political prisoners.

 

In Solidarity,

 

SAR Geelani                  

President                

 

Amit Bhattacharyya             

Secretary General                    

 

Sujato Bhadro              

Vice-president           

 

MN Ravunni

Vice President

 

Rona Wilson

Secretary, Public Relations

 

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