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Archives for : June2018

India – PM Narendra Modi ‘assassination plot by Maoists

MAOISTS ARE STUPID, if the Pune Police are to be believed, that is!

First the Maoists plot to assassinate Modi.

Then they write a long letter detailing the entire plan of assassination giving reasons on why they think Modi should be assassinated.

They also give the possible locations where Modi can be targetted and how in the same letter.

They talk about BJP’s electoral victories in the same letter almost praising Modi for being instrumental in getting those victories.

Then, in the same letter the Maoists ask for specific sum of money to procure specific type of arms and specific amounts of rounds of ammunition.

They also solicit a reply to the letter in writing from the person to whom the letter has been sent.

They mention the names of their “Comrades” in that letter, who would be involved in this assassination.

They end the letter with even a “date” written at the end clearly defining when it was written. 18/4/17

Finally, they leave the letter lying around in their house, for more than an year, in a very convenient place where the Cops can easily find it and then give it to the media and the local court instead of the investigation/intelligence agencies to pursue the matter quietly.

And all this happens in that digital age, where data encrypted messaging apps are on every phone and one doesnt really have to send anyone any written letters.

So yes, either the Maoists are stupid or someone thinks that the people are stupid to fall for this.

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India – No funeral in Kashi without #Aadhaar #WTFnews

Sharukh Khan and Karan Johar To Work Together Very Soon

The Rising News

new Delhi.

The  adhaar card of the deceased has been made compulsory for Manikarnika and Raja Harishchandra Ghat for funeral in Moksh Nagri Kashi. It is being told that now the identity cards for the Aadhar card or the deceased has now been made compulsory for the carcass (Motorboat) facility in Kashi. This new system has been started in collaboration with NDRF.However, the identity card is not necessary at present for burning the body on the Mahashmashan.

 

This is reason

A large number of bodies are brought to the funeral from the surrounding districts, besides local people, on Mahashmashan Manikarnika and Harishchandra Ghat of the Parliamentary Constituency of Benaras. In such a way, the Sudhanshu Foundation of Gujarat has come forward to provide development of Manikarnika Ghat and to provide relief to the dead bodies.

At present, four steamer “corpse corps” have been provided to the Ganges to bring the bodies to Mahashmashan on behalf of the Foundation. Under this arrangement, people are taken to Bhainansur Ghat before taking bodies and from there they reach Manikarnika or Harishchandra Ghat from the corpse. This arrangement has been done to get the city out of jam.

 

So that the last rites could not be stolen

Foundation Coordinator Gulshan Kapoor said that Aadhar card or any other identity card has been made mandatory for the corpse. This step was taken after the information that in the case of murder, dowry death or even in a mysterious situation, the funeral is being done by bringing the burglars to Banaras.

The only basis for this thing is mandatory

On the other hand, Vishal Chaudhary of the Domraja family told that no introduction letter is necessary for burning the dead body at Manikarnika or Harishchandra Ghat. Under the first arrangement, a fire is being offered for the funeral. It has been said on behalf of the family that the Aadhar card has been made mandatory for those who come from the ancestral body of the body..

https://www.therisingnews.com/national-news/aadhar-card-is-mandatory-for-funeral-in-kashi-36354

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Adani’s road project to be funded by Queensland government, reveals RTI reply

Gautam Adani’s controversial mining and rail project in Queensland, Australia is once again hogging the headlines in that country’s newspapers since yesterday.
This time the news peg is the government considering funding an estimated 100 million dollars for a road project, despite Adani having committed to build it through his own funds and the government having assured its citizens that no taxpayer funds would go into the project.
Energy and Resource Insights (ERI), an Australian specialist consultancy and research firm,  which provides  analysis of Australia’s resource and energy sectors, sought information from Queensland’s Department of Transport and Main Roads, under Australia’s Freedom of Information law. Details that the ERI sought, were all documents related to state government funding of the upgrade of the Elgin-Moray Road and the Moray-Carmichael Road, required for accessibility to Adani’s Carmichael Mine and Rail Project. The period of information sought was from 1 January 2017 to 15 November 2017.
The information put on its website energyresourceinsights.com states that, “in order for the mine to be constructed these roads need to be upgraded to a sealed, single lane carriageway. During the Carmichael mine project assessment process, Adani made a commitment to do this work. In his 2014 report, the Queensland Coordinator General provided the recommended conditions for the approval of the project under the Transport Infrastructure Act 1994,  in which he noted the Adani commitment to upgrade the road at his own expense. The cost of this road is between 60-100 million dollars.’’
In its reply, the Department stated that it had over 2,200 pages of relevant documents including over 650 pages of drawings and specifications and over 1,400 pages of email correspondence. Since this would cost a whopping $2,000 or more as processing fee, the ERI refined the request to the quantum of the potential funding; the source of the potential funding; the method by which the potential funding would be provided and; any terms or conditions associated with the potential funding. Documents revealed that in April 2018 the Queensland government is still actively considering funding the $60-100million road upgrade.
The website stopadani.com is of the Queensland Mackay Conservation Group NGO which is furious at this revelation. The NGO has been opposing Adan’s projects in Australia, tooth and nail, as it alleges that “Adani Group companies have an appalling record of environmental destruction and prosecutions overseas, including illegal dealings, bribery, environmental and social devastation and allegations of corruption, fraud and money laundering.’’  The members of this NGO called on Premier Palaszczuk  on 6th June, “noting that dedicating public funds to the coal project would break her election promise.’’
Mackay Conservation Group community organiser Maggie McKeown said, “Yet again the Queensland government is actively considering giving Adani handouts to build a mine that the majority of Queenslanders do not want. The Queensland Coordinator General recommended Adani be responsible for road upgrades and Adani said it would pay for the upgrade. Why then would the Premier spend public funds on this project?
“Polls show that seven out of ten Queenslanders say Adani should fund its own project rather than expect a taxpayer subsidy. Queenslanders want public money spent on schools, hospitals and large-scale renewable energy projects. They quite rightly do not support their taxes being used to maximise the profits of an overseas mining billionaire.
“Adani has received special deals from all levels of government. The  Palaszczuk government has been the biggest offender, offering cut price royalties, a license to take unlimited groundwater for 60 years and a license to pollute at Abbot Point Coal Terminal during Cyclone Debbie. “Enough is enough. The Premier must today rule out this latest leg up, using taxpayers’ money,” Ms McKeown said.
From the limited information contained in the released documents it’s possible to glean that:
·Significant discussions occurred relating to the road between the Coordinator General and his deputy and various staff from TMR on the issue.
·An email from the assistant Coordinator General, Kerry Smeltzer, notes that an action point resulting from a meeting between her and TMR and Isaac Regional Council is “Discuss funding arrangements with QTRIP” [Queensland Transport and Roads Investment Program] (RTI pdf page 7)
·A separate email chain within TMR from February 2017, also heavily redacted, includes contributions from Cathy Currier the A/Director (Investment Funding) within Portfolio Investment & Programming in the department.
·Later emails from March 2017 involved correspondence with Co-ordinator General, Barry Broe, himself.
·Documents related to the CBRC were generated between March and July.
· Emails in July begin discussing the “Galilee Basin Access Road – Information on Likely Cost and Realistic Delivery Schedule” and include attachments with filenames such as “Preconstruction Schedule – v5.pdf ”.
· A draft email intended for the Director General of TMR, Neil Scales, dated 5th July 2017 from Deputy Director General Sally Noonan
“I have had a number of discussions with the Premier’s and Treasurer’s offices over the last 48 hours with regard to options for the Queensland Government to facilitate development of the Galilee Basin. Primarily, the discussions are about road access to the Adani Mining Carmichael Coal Project.”
 “TMR has no funding or planning for upgrading the Moray – Carmichael Road or building road infrastructure to open up the Galilee Basin in its current Queensland Transport and Roads Investment Program.”
·Cabinet deliberation related documents appear to have been generated between July and September 4.
· An email of dot points, possibly for a briefing paper dated 4 September, includes the following:
TMR has no funding or planning for upgrading the Moray-Carmichael Road or building road infrastructure to open up the Galilee Basin in its current Queensland Transport and Roads Investment Program. TMR also has no funding for ongoing maintenance for this road.
·An email dated Tuesday, 19 September 2017 had as its subject:
Subject: FW: IRC Meeting with Director-General, Office of the Premier and Cabinet, Director-General DTMR & Coordinator-General Re: Designation of Access Road to the Proposed Carmichael Mine as a State Controlled Road The email notes that a meeting with Adani is due to occur on the 21st September 2017
· A document titled “Adani Projects – Actions progress table” from 19 September 2017 includes as a topic “Investigating options for funding / upgrading Carmichael – Moray Rd”.
· On the 21st September TMR staff were discussing “Adani road estimates – Further Update”.
· It is noteworthy that emails from both the Co-ordinator General, Barry Broe, and the Assistant Coordinator-General, Kerry Smeltzer, were identified as within the scope of the Right To Information request to TMR. Yet a separate, identical, request made to their department by ERI was knocked back on the grounds that “there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the requested documents are in the possession or under the control of the department.”
(This article is based on the information provided in Energy and Resource Insights (ERI)’s website energyresourceinsights.com  and www.stopadani.com).

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Advancing Net Zero: Why Green Building is Crucial in the Fight Against Climate Change

As individuals and communities across the globe suffer the effects of extreme weather, the need for concerted action on climate change has never been more urgent. The 2017 UN climate report found that climate-related events, such as Hurricanes Irma, Harvey and Maria, wildfires in Portugal, unprecedented flooding in Bangladesh, India and Nepal, and coral bleaching in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, came with a phenomenal financial (estimated at $320 billion) and human cost. Their effects are shifting the environment, altering communities and changing lives; especially, and disproportionately, those of women.

It is an inconvenient truth that women are often hit hardest by environmental issues, particularly those in developing countries. UN figures suggest that around 80 percent of people displaced by climate change are women. Due to the impact of extreme weather on agricultural production, men are often forced to go further afield for work, leaving women to look after the household, provide food and fuel, and take care of the children, leaving them particularly vulnerable when flooding and drought occur. They are first to see the signs of climate change, they bear the brunt of it and have a vested interest in ending it.

The Paris Agreement recognized the disproportionate impact on women and made specific provision for female empowerment, while earlier this year US Congresswoman Barbara Lee introduced the Women and Climate Change Act “to address the disparate impact of climate change on women and support the efforts of women globally to address climate change and for other purposes”. There is an increasing recognition that climate justice and gender justice are fundamentally connected – a fact which is reinforced by the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs).

It is in this context that green building and the work of the World Green Building Council is increasingly important. The Paris pledge to keep the increase in global average temperatures to well below 2ºC above pre-industrial levels must be followed by real-world action, and the challenges and the solutions are all around us. Globally, building and construction account for more than 30 percent of CO2emissions. If we continue as we have been, the sector will contribute to 6ºC of global warming. We cannot continue with business as usual.

Green building can also make a significant contribution to meeting the SDGs. It can promote more affordable and clean energy; it can create jobs and boost the economy; and it can spur innovative design and contribute to climate-resilient infrastructure.

That’s why, along with international experts and our partners The Climate Groupand C40, the World Green Building Council is calling on governments, businesses and individuals to commit to a future where every single building produces no carbon emissions by 2050 – a future of net zero buildings. Advancing Net Zero is our global project to make that happen. We want all new buildings operating at net zero carbon by 2030 and 100 percent of buildings operating at net zero carbon by 2050. To support this aim, we have just launched the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment. This commitment calls on companies everywhere to take early action and commit to making their buildings net zero by 2030. Of our founding signatories, Majid Al Futtaim – a pioneer in shopping mall, retail and leisure destinations in the Middle East and North Africa – has publicly committed to eliminating operational carbon emissions from all its buildings across 13 countries by 2030. Meanwhile, Integral Group, a global engineering firm specializing in delivery of net zero buildings, has committed to Zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2020 across its 15 global office locations.

Our vision is ambitious, but the property and construction industries have the knowledge and the capability to deliver. It is achievable – technically, financially and politically. There are some tremendous examples of projects that push the boundaries of design and technology. Barangaroo in Sydney, Australia aims to be the first precinct globally to be carbon neutral. The developers have taken a holistic approach to achieving that, looking at waste, energy, water use and wellbeing, and setting challenging targets for agencies, contractors and organizations at Barangaroo, including planting 100 percent native plants in Barangaroo Reserve, using recycled water for flushing toilets and reducing construction waste going into landfill by 97 percent.

The Mineirão Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil is powered by just 10 percent of the solar energy it generates, with the rest supplying more than 1,000 homes in the local community. The solar photovoltaic power plant generated more than 300 MWh in just two months of operation, supplying energy to about 1,200 houses.

These projects show that net zero buildings have the power to transform the places that people live, play, work and learn. They not only have the ability to reduce energy use, but to save money, promote a sense of community and support increased health and wellbeing. They show that a shift in the market can happen. It takes ambition, commitment and vision, but the payback will be huge.

We must move fast if we are to ensure the livability, productivity and long-term sustainability of our cities. The task is urgent. We have to rethink the way we build and the way we live. If our economies are to grow, we need to accelerate the shift to a low-carbon future. We have made a promising start, but there is much still to be done. We are at a turning point. We must walk together towards net zero.

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Major Gogoi – A history of transgressions

After being heralded for the “human shield” incident, Major Gogoi’s latest transgressions need to be brought to book by the Army.

 

“The image of an alleged ‘stone pelter’ tied in front of a vehicle as a ‘human shield’, will for ever haunt the Indian Army and the nation” — tweet by Lt Gen H. S. Panag (R), April 15 2017

On May 25, 2018, when the Army Chief General Bipin Rawat was visiting the Army Goodwill School in Pahalgam, he made an unusual statement when answering a question from a journalist. Speaking in Hindi, he said, “Dekhiye, Hindustan Army ka koi bhi ohdedar ho, kissi bhi ohde par ho, agar woh koi galat karwahi karta hai, aur hamare nazar mein yeh aata hai ki kissi ne bhi koi galat karwahi kari hai, toh usske khilaf sakhat se sakhat karwahi ki jaegi. Agar Major Gogoi ne koi galat karwahi kari hai, toh main aapko yaqeen ke sath keh sakta hoon, ki jaldi se jaldi ussko saza di jaegi, aur saza aissi doonga main, ki woh ek udharan ban kar reh jaega. (If anyone in the Indian Army, at any rank, does any wrong, and it comes to our notice, then strict action will be taken against him. If Major Gogoi has done anything wrong, I assure you that he will be punished and I will give such a punishment that it will become an example.).”

On Wednesday, May 23, Srinagar police held an Army officer, his driver, and a Kashmiri girl from Hotel Grand Mamta, Dalgate, when the hotel staff reported to the police that the officer and his driver were creating a ruckus in the hotel lobby. The Army officer, posing as a businessman from Assam, had booked a room for 24 hours on the morning of May 23 and arrived at the hotel at approximately 10.30 am, accompanied by a Kashmiri girl, to check into the hotel. He showed his driving licence as proof of identity and gave his address as ***, Tinsukia, Assam.

When the girl was asked to identify herself, the Army officer produced her Aadhaar card. The hotel staff, quoting their rules, refused entry to the Kashmiri girl. This led to an altercation in which the driver of the officer also joined in. A scuffle ensued, and both the Army officer and his driver were roughed up by the hotel staff and some taxi drivers. The police were called and the Army officer, the Kashmiri girl, and the officer’s driver were taken to Khanyar police station for questioning.

It soon emerged that the Army officer was none other than Major Leetul Gogoi, a virtual national hero, who (as per the popular narrative and his own version) had dramatically rescued a party of election officials held hostage by a 500-900 (as per various versions) strong mob, by tying a Kashmiri shawl maker as a “human shield” on his vehicle. His driver was a Territorial Army (TA) soldier, Sameer Ahmed Malla, attached to 53 Rashtriya Rifles (Major Gogoi’s unit). The Kashmiri girl in question was a major (born October 13, 1998, as per her school records) from a poor family belonging to village Checki Kawoosa.

Within hours, as is the norm in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), two distinct narratives emerged. The first narrative, based on Major Gogoi’s statement and the story spun by his “nationalist” supporters, stated that the officer was on an “intelligence operation” to meet a “source”: the Kashmiri girl. When—for the obvious reasons of using his actual name, not being an intelligence officer, and the nature of the meeting place—the “meeting a source” theory was debunked, his “nationalist” supporters, including very vocal, veteran officers on TV media, settled the issue by saying that there was no crime in two consenting adults spending time together in a hotel.

The contra-narrative, or the version of the local people, focused on a known rogue Major using his position to force or persuade a poor minor girl for his sexual gratification. It soon emerged that the girl was not a minor. However, the rest of the narrative remained the same. It was alleged that the officer, wearing civilian clothes, had earlier visited the girl’s house with his driver at odd times and that the driver, a rogue TA soldier, was arranging local women for other officers too.

Over the next three days, the following facts became clear. Major Gogoi had booked the room without using his rank and posing as a businessman from Assam. He did try to check in along with the Kashmiri girl. He told the police that he had come to meet a “source”. He had twice earlier visited the girl’s house in civilian clothes. She was a 10th standard graduate from a poor family, and was not a minor. She stated in front of a sub-divisional magistrate, that she had accompanied Gogoi of her own free will, and had earlier gone on outings with him too. She had befriended Gogoi on Facebook where he was using a pseudonym, Ubaid Arman. In due course, he revealed his identity to her and they became friends. Both, the Army and the J&K police ordered an inquiry.

So what do we make of it? A legendary hero meeting a “source” to get information on terrorists. Even if this is dubious, there is nothing wrong with two consenting adults spending time together. Of course, there were risks involved: a “honey trap”; locals discovering his identity and lynching him; terrorists laying an ambush. But given the Rambo reputation of Major Gogoi, these were not risks for him. Why then are “anti-nationals” hounding him? Of all people, why was the Army Chief—who one year and 22 days before the incident, on May 1, 2017, had decorated him for his “gallantry” in rescuing election officials by using a “human shield” now talking of giving him “exemplary” punishment?

The answer lies in the military ethos, rules, regulations and law. Major Gogoi has violated virtually all these. He is guilty of a number of offences under the Army Act.

It is not clear whether Gogoi had taken leave of absence from his unit. Indications so far are that he had not. This makes him liable to be charged with “absence without leave” under Section 39(a) which carries a maximum punishment of three years’ rigorous imprisonment.

In J&K, it is forbidden for officers and soldiers to visit civilian houses/areas except when on duty. This is specifically spelt out in unit orders. Major Gogoi has clearly violated this order. He is liable to be charged under Section 63—“violation of good order and discipline”—both for visiting the Kashmiri girl’s house on two occasions and for going to the hotel at Dalgate, Srinagar, with her. Section 63 carries a maximum punishment of seven years’ rigorous imprisonment.

Major Gogoi can also be charged under Section 45 for “unbecoming conduct”, which carries the maximum punishment of being cashiered (dishonourable dismissal) from service. Of course, for all these charges, if proven, any lesser punishment as prescribed under the Act can also be awarded.

These charges may seem vague and innocuous to a civilian mind, but are taken very seriously in the Army. Officers and soldiers can be “honey trapped” for espionage or set up to be killed by terrorists. Establishing relationships with women in conflict zones, especially using authority-driven coercion or monetary enticement, carries serious ramifications for the ethos and discipline of the Army. Military rules, regulations and law bridge the gap between the idealistic and absolute requirements of the Army and the omnipresent individual human failings, as no human being is perfect.

As highlighted by me in my columns dated May 2, 2017, and May 29, 2017, the Army had not only condoned all violations of rules, regulations and law done by Major Gogoi on April 9, 2017, but the Chief had also decorated him even before the finalisation of the Court of Inquiry. By using a poor Kashmiri as a “human shield”, irrespective of the alleged justification, Major Gogoi had violated the Army’s Standard Operating Procedures, Rules of Engagement, COAS Commandments, Supreme Court Guidelines for application of the AFSPA, Article 21 of the Constitution, and committed offences under the Army Act Sections 63 and 69 read in conjunction with the Indian Penal Code. None of these rules, regulations, guidelines and acts of law make an exception for “circumstances” or the “unique situation” or “bona fide actions to save casualties”.

There is no doubt that “intent” and “circumstances” do matter, but that is a matter of law to decide once the charges are filed, and are not decided by emotions. To date, not a shred of evidence has come forth to support the version of Major Gogoi that was glibly accepted by the Army, the government, and by the “neo-nationalists”.

What has changed in the last one year? It is apparent that the Chief is a worried man today. He may have succumbed to “political prodding” and got carried away by the “mood of the nation” last year when he condoned the offences committed by Major Gogoi and decorated him. But today, he simply cannot ignore the Frankensteinian ramifications of his own actions. Major Gogoi serves as a case in point, and should be a screaming example for the Army not to deviate from its ethos, rules, regulations and the law.

The Chief also needs to have a chat with his Judge Advocate General. Under the Army Act, the Chief is not only the confirming authority for the findings arrived at and sentences awarded by court-martials, but is also an appellate authority in most cases. His statement before finalisation of investigation or trial can jeopardise the carriage of military justice. His action of awarding the COAS commendation card and his comments upon the findings and opinion of the Court of Inquiry with respect to Major Gogoi, while it was still in progress, may lead to the reopening of the case in civil courts years later.

Similarly, his statement about personally awarding an exemplary punishment to Major Gogoi may eventually lead to his exoneration in the Armed Forces Tribunal or the Supreme Court due to premeditated nature of the legal proceedings, bias and conflict of interest. More so, when the Chief himself may be the confirming and appellate authority at a future date.

Between these two “out of the ordinary” actions of Major Gogoi lies the Chief’s problem. Seen in isolation and if the same person was not involved, both incidents were aberrations keeping in view the exemplary and model conduct of the Indian Army during six decades of counter-insurgency campaigns. At the very onset, a suo moto, clear-cut statement in crisp military language could have been given saying that the conduct of the individual(s) is not as per military ethos, rules, regulations and law, and that necessary action as per law will be taken after due investigations. This done, the investigations and inquiry as per law should have been carried out.

If this route was followed, there was ample flexibility available for follow-up action on merits of the case. It could have been a rap on the knuckles or a reprimand if it was a case of enthusiastic action by a young officer in the heat of the moment. Or a severe punishment could have been awarded for a stand-alone rogue action. The real worry of the Chief should be the extent of damage that has been done to the ethos and culture of the Army and the psyche of the officer corps by the very popular “Major Gogoi principle”. In my view, a lot!

The image of the “human shield” has come to haunt the Army and the nation, just as I had predicted last year. Ironically, it came in the form of Major Leetul Gogoi, the “national hero” created by the “neo-nationalists ”, unfortunately, abetted by the Army.

My last word is from the wretched Farouq Ahmed Dar, the unfortunate “human shield”. “…today was the day of divine judgement. The Army rewarded him (Major Gogoi) for tying me to the jeep and god shamed him in front of the whole world.

https://www.newslaundry.com/2018/06/07/panag-major-gogoi-indian-army-transgressions-human-shield

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India – Government Systematically Targeting Dalit and Rights Activist, Muzzling Dissent

National Alliance of People’s Movements strongly condemns the unlawful persecution and arrests of pro-people activists Shoma Sen, Advocate Surender Gadling, Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Wilson, and Mahesh Raut by the Maharashtra Police and demand for their immediate and unconditional release. 

PL SIGN AND SHARE PETITION https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/Chief_Minister_Release_activists_arrested_in_connection_with_Elgaar_Parishad_NOW/

New Delhi, June 8, 2018 : At around 6 am on the 6th of June, Professor Shoma Sen – Head of the English Department in Nagpur University and a long time Dalit and women’s rights activist, Advocate Surendra Gadling – General Secretary of the Indian Association of Peoples’ Lawyers (IAPL), who has been relentlessly fighting cases of human rights violations, Sudhir Dhawale – editor of the Marathi magazine Vidrohi and founder of the Republican Panther – Caste Annihilation Movement, Rona Wilson – human rights activist and Secretary of Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners (CRPP) and Mahesh Raut – anti-displacement activist working with Gram Sabhas in the mining areas of Gadchiroli and a former Prime Minister’s Rural Development Fellow – had their houses raided and were arrested from different locations in Nagpur, Bombay, and Delhi by the Maharashtra police. This was reportedly in connection with the Bhima-Koregaon agitation that took place in January 2018.

Mahesh Raut has been fighting alongside local communities against State and corporate land grab, and the resultant  exploitation of indigenous communities and natural resources. Adv. Gadling has been fighting out these battles in the court room and representing many Dalits and adivasis accused and arrested under false charges and draconian laws. He is also a legal counsel in the case of Dr. G.N. Saibaba, a Delhi University professor with 90% disabilities, who has been accused of having Maoist links. Similarly, Shoma Sen has been intensely involved in various human rights campaigns against State repression and  has regularly raised her voice to bring out true stories from the ground, both in her role as an academic and an activist. Sudhir Dhawale is a well-known Dalit rights activist and writer who was arrested in 2011 under the UAPA but was acquitted in 2014 due to lack of evidence. Rona Wilson is a long-time activist and strong critic of draconian laws such as AFSPA, POTA, and UAPA. Bhima Koregaon is an excuse to prevent these activists from carrying on their work for justice, against oppression and against loot of natural resources in tribal areas.

In April, these activists had their houses raided; electronic equipments and documents seized by the Maharashtra Police, who also raided the homes of Kabir Kala Manch cultural activists Rupali Jadhav, Jyoti Jagtap, Ramesh Gaichor, Sagar Gorkhe, Dhawala Dhengale and Republican Panther activist Harshali Potdar. The initial FIR at Vishrambaug Police Station, Pune, named Sudhir and other KKM members. FIRs had also been filed against Dalit activist and MLA Jignesh Mevani from Gujarat and student activist Umar Khalid who had been invited to speak at the Bhima Koregaon celebrations. Later, the prosecution made an appeal to add the names of Surendra Gadling and Rona Wilson to the chargesheet. The names of Mahesh Raut and Shoma Sen were never mentioned in court papers. The recent arrests of these activists in the context of the Bhima Koregaon agitation is suspicious as some of those arrested weren’t involved in the celebrations or the agitation that followed. However, when seen in the context of today’s regime, it reeks of a well-planned, desperate move by the government to remove all voices that stand to challenge or critique it, like it has been doing all along – in Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, the North East, and elsewhere.

This attack on activists is nothing new under this regime. Rational thinkers like Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare, M. M. Kalburgi and Gauri Lankesh were brutally murdered by members of right wing Hindutva groups in broad daylight. Common citizens like Junaid, Akhlakh and Pehlu Khan are being lynched. Trade unions like the MSS (Mazdoor Sangathan Samiti) in Jharkhand are being banned and several rights-based groups and individuals are being blacklisted, having their bank accounts frozen or are being accused in false cases. People’s leaders like Chandrashekha Azad ‘Raavan’ of Uttar Pradesh and Bacha Singh of Jharkhand , journalists like Teesta Setalvad, professors like Dr. G.N. Saibaba, student activists, cartoonists and  democratic voices are being booked and branded under draconian laws. Media trials, a culture of fake news and social media persecution are being used to poison public sentiments against those who are daring to speak truth to power and to instil fear in the hearts of the rest. There is blatant lawlessness as those vested with the power of maintaining law and order, and justice are turning into the biggest abusers thereof. The murder of citizens protesting the Sterlite copper factory by the police forces in Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu or the fake encounter killings of 40 alleged ‘Maoists’ in Gadchiroli recently, many of who were minors and local adivasis, are only among the latest in a series of such violations – a chilling reminder of how it is not some alleged underground organisation but the very State in which people have vested their power and good faith that is openly threatening democracy.

 

 

WE CONDEMN:

1)       This clampdown by the Maharashtra Government on  Dalit assertions.

2)       The continuous brutal and violent suppression of dissenting voices and defenders of most marginalised groups in the name of curbing anti-national threats and Naxal terror.

3)       The blatant abuse of power by the State using draconian laws like UAPA, AFSPA, and POTA as weapons to silence people protesting the anti-people agenda of the Government of Maharashtra and Government of India.

4)       The free reign given to vigilante groups to protect and promote the idea of a Hindu Nation, by a State that claims to be secular and democratic.

5)       The media trials and building of false narratives along with judicial delays and irregularities leading to poisoning of public opinion around those arrested.

 

 

WE DEMAND: 

  • The immediate and unconditional release of Professor Shoma Sen, Advocate Surendra Gadling, Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Wilson, Mahesh Raut and other political prisoners of the Indian State.
  • A high-level investigation into the widespread violence organized against Dalit communities in the aftermath of the Bhima-Koregaon commemoration.
  • The immediate and complete strikedown of UAPA and all draconian laws including AFSPA, and POTA used to terrorize people across the country and give unchecked power to the police and the  military.
  • An end to the vindictive harassment and state repression of all those activists and intellectuals who organized or spoke at the Bhima Koregaon bicentennial celebration.
  • Immediate arrest of Sambhaji Bhide on serious charges of rioting, attempt to murder and under the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, and cancellation of bail of Milind Ekbote.

Medha Patkar, Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) and National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM)

Aruna Roy, Nikhil Dey and Shankar Singh, Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS), National Campaign for People’s Right to Information, NAPM

Vilayodi Venugopal, CR Neelakandan, Prof. Kusumam Joseph, Sharath Chelloor, John Peruvanthanam, V D Majeendran, Purushan Eloor, Suresh George, NAPM, Kerala

Prafulla Samantara, Lok Shakti Abhiyan; Lingraj Azad, Samajwadi Jan Parishad & Niyamgiri Suraksha Samiti, NAPM Odisha

Dr. Sunilam, Adv. Aradhna Bhargava, Kisan Sangharsh Samiti,NAPM, Madhya Pradesh

P.Chennaiah, Andhra Pradesh VyavasayaVruthidarula Union-APVVU, Ramakrishnam Raju, United Forum for RTI and NAPM, Meera Sanghamitra, Rajesh Serupally, NAPM Telangana – Andhra Pradesh

Dr Binayak Sen, Peoples’ Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL); Gautam Bandopadhyay, Nadi Ghati Morcha; KaladasDahariya, RELAA, NAPM Chhattisgarh

Kavita Srivastava, People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL); Kailash Meena, NAPM Rajasthan

Sandeep Pandey, Socialist Party;Richa Singh, Sangatin;Arundhati Dhuru, Manesh Gupta, Suresh Rathor, Mahendra, NAPM, Uttar Pradesh

Gabriele Dietrich, Penn UrimayIyakkam, Madurai;Geetha Ramakrishnan, Unorganised Sector Workers Federation; Arul Doss, NAPM Tamilnadu

Sister Celia, Domestic Workers Union; Maj Gen (Retd) S.G.Vombatkere,NAPM, Karnataka

Anand Mazgaonkar, Swati Desai, Krishnakant, Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti, NAPM Gujarat

Vimal Bhai, Matu Jan sangathan; Jabar Singh, NAPM, Uttarakhand

Dayamani Barla, Aadivasi-MoolnivasiAstivtva Raksha Samiti; Basant Kumar Hetamsaria and Ashok Verma, NAPM Jharkhand

Samar Bagchi, Amitava Mitra, NAPM West Bengal

Suniti SR, Suhas Kolhekar, Prasad Bagwe, &Bilal Khan, Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan, Mumbai NAPMMaharashtra

Anjali Bharadwaj, National Campaign for People’s Right to Information (NCPRI), NAPM

Faisal Khan, KhudaiKhidmatgar; J S Walia, NAPM Haryana

Guruwant Singh, NAPM Punjab

Kamayani Swami, Ashish Ranjan, Jan Jagran Shakti Sangathan; Mahendra Yadav, Kosi Navnirman Manch; Sister Dorothy, Ujjawal Chaubey, NAPM Bihar

Bhupender Singh Rawat, Jan SangharshVahini; Sunita Rani, Domestic Workers Union;Rajendra Ravi, Nanhu Prasad, Madhuresh Kumar, Amit Kumar, Himshi Singh, Uma, NAPM, Delhi

For details contact : 9818905316 | email : [email protected]

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Activists Arrest – Lawyers protest Bhima Koregaon ‘vendetta’

Members of All India Students Association, All India Students Federation and other organisations stage a protest against the arrest of Surendra Gadling, Sudhir Dhawala, Shoma Sen, Rona Wilson and Mahesh Raut in their alleged link to the Bheema-Koregaon violence case by Maharashtra police,  at Parliament road in New Delhi, on Thursday. (PTI picture)

New Delhi: Lawyers on Thursday condemned the arrest of advocate Surendra Gadling in connection with the Koregaon violence that claimed one life last December and also for alleged Maoist links.

The lawyers, including Gadling’s colleagues in the Indian Association of People’s Lawyers (IAPL), called the arrest an act of “vendetta” by Maharashtra police for the clients he represents.

Gadling was arrested along with four others on Wednesday on the basis of an FIR by a Pune businessman accusing Dalit activist and journalist Sudhir Dhawale and members of the Kabir Kala Manch (KKM) cultural troupe of inciting violence during an event to commemorate the second centenary of the Battle of Koregaon that led to the end of the century-long Brahmin Peshwa rule in Pune.

Gadling represents KKM members and Delhi University professor G.N. Saibaba in separate cases in which they are charged with working for the CPI (Maoist) – banned under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. Those arrested on Wednesday have also been accused of violating the UAPA.

IAPL vice-president Sudha Bharadwaj told reporters at the Press Club of India in New Delhi on Thursday: “This is part of a new trend of trapping lawyers in cases they are fighting, like we have seen in the cases of Odisha’s Upendra Nayak, Tamil Nadu lawyer Murugan and Satyendra Chaubey of Chhattisgarh…. Being a lawyer for a political prisoner does not make you a criminal.”

She added: “The arrest of Surendra Gadling comes at a time when several Dalit lawyers like him have come forward to defend those arrested for the bandh (organised to protest) the violence against those who visited Bhima Koregaon on January 1. They look up to him as a role model.”

The IAPL and the KKM were named as fronts of the CPI (Maoist) in Maharashtra by the Union home ministry in February 2014.

PL SIGN ONLINE PETITION HERE –https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/Chief_Minister_Release_activists_arrested_in_connection_with_Elgaar_Parishad_NOW/

Gadling, who practices in the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court, had fought several cases of atrocities against Dalits. He had been made a special public prosecutor in a rape case, Bharadwaj said.

Gadling’s wife Minal, who has moved a habeas corpus petition before the Nagpur bench, told The Telegraph: “We were not informed about when he was being produced in court. Our lawyer could not represent him as he was produced in the judge’s house in the morning.”

The writ petition, due to be heard on Friday, alleges that Gadling’s arrest was the fulfilment of a threat that he “would be next”. The threat, the petition alleges, had been made by deputy superintendent of police Suhas Bawache, the officer who investigated Saibaba’s case.

In Pune, joint commissioner of police Ravindra Kadam – earlier Nagpur inspector-general of police who handled the Saibaba case – told reporters that cops had found documents establishing links between one of the five arrested persons and the Congress.

“In one document there are references (of links with the Congress), but till what extent it is right or wrong can be said after further investigation,” Kadam said.

The officer added that from the Delhi house of one of the arrested five – Rona Wilson, the public relations secretary of the Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners – a pen drive, a hard disk and some documents had been seized and sent for a forensic examination.

“We also got to know about Rona Wilson’s and Surendra Gadling’s connection with Maoists. Later we found that they had links with three others and arrested them. Surendra Gadling was presented before the court after he was arrested and we have been given his custody for eight days,” Kadam said.

Activists and students protested on Sansad Marg on Thursday demanding the release of all those arrested.

Senior Supreme Court advocate Nitya Ramakrishnan said: “It is natural for a lawyer’s computer to have material that the State thinks is wrong…. This kind of guilt by association is unjustified even under the UAPA. It is a direct assault on the right to legal representation.”

The CPM politburo demanded that the “Maharashtra government rescind these vindictive actions”.

https://www.telegraphindia.com/india/lawyers-protest-koregaon-vendetta-236280

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Indravati Massacre – Fact Finding Report

The Human Rights Forum (HRF) demands that personnel of the C-60
Commandos, CRPF and regular police who participated in the killing of 40
persons including 22 Maoist armed cadre and 18 civilians on April 22 and 23, in
the forest abutting the Indravati river on the Chattisgarh side and the Nainer
forests of Aheri tehsil in Gadchiroli, Maharasthra, be prosecuted for murder and
under relevant provisions of the SC, ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

We also strongly urge the governments of Maharashtra and Chattisgarh to make concerted and sincere efforts to ascertain the identity of 10 civilians killed in this staged encounter.

 

Their identity is unknown to date.

A four-member HRF fact-finding team on June 2 and 3 visited several
villages in south Gadchiroli as well as the areas where the killings took place. We
were able to determine that about 36 armed Maoist cadre belonging to the Aheri
and Perimili armed squads had set up camp in a thickly forested grove close by
the Indravati river and were assembled with Adivasis from several villages in
Gadchiroli and also Bijapur district of Chattisgarh. The location, contrary to most
media reports, actually falls in the forest region of Kerpe panchayat in
Bhoopalapatnam block of Bijapur district in Chattisgarh. It is southwards of the
Karkawad reserve forest. In all, there were about 57 persons at the camp of whom at least 21 were civilians.

At around 6.30-7 am on April 22, the security forces encircled the camp
from three directions and without any warning unleashed heavy fire on the
gathering. The armed Maoists were in no position to retaliate, hemmed in as they were and having been taken totally by surprise. Several camp inmates who were taking a bath or freshening up in the Indravati river were also shot dead.

 

About 14 of them who were further downstream at a bend in the river, as well as a few others who had gone to a nearby village when the attack happened, were fortunate to escape.

In all, 34 persons, including 18 unarmed civilians, were slaughtered while six
others including a senior district-level Maoist functionary Vasudev Atram were
captured alive. These six were taken by the security forces the next day across the river to the Nainer forest area located in the jurisdiction of Damrancha police station of Aheri tehsil in Gadchiroli district, made to locate a ‘money dump’ and then liquidated in cold-blood. This spot is close to the Modumodgu village.
The toll in this carnage, the highest in any fake encounter in the country, is 40.
Nineteen of the killed were women, 18 were civilians and all but one were
adivasis. What is significant is that the security establishment is not even making
an effort to put out the customary falsehood of ‘firing in self-defence’. Rather,
there has been an ugly and macabre celebration of what is in reality a mass killing, a massacre. In the normal course, the presence of such a large number of unarmed civilians should have occasioned extreme restraint by the security forces.

 

Instead, they shot to kill and even fired around a dozen lethal grenades using UBGLs (Under Barrel Grenade Launchers).

Among those killed were eight civilian residents of Gattepalli, a village in the
Kandoli panchayat of Etapalli block in Gadchiroli. Five of them were women, the
youngest a 15-year old girl Bujji Karme Usendi. Also among the dead from
Gattepalli is Mangesh Chundu Madavi (17), a student of class 11 at the
Bhagwanth Rao Ashram School in Bhamragad. The identity of the remaining
10 civilians killed is not known to date, even after a good six weeks. We believe
they were residents of remote forest villages in the Kerpe panchayat of
Bhoopalapatnam block in Bijapur district of Chattisgarh. In fact, the place where
the butchery of April 22 took place is in the jurisdiction of the Bedre police station in Bijapur district of Chattisgarh.

The killings of April 22 and 23 amount to an abhorrent violation of law and
human rights. HRF calls upon all those who value democracy to raise their voice
against this brazen brutality by the State.

A humanist response to these callous and unlawful killings is called for, irrespective of whether one agrees or disagrees with the politics and methods of armed struggle.

 

We believe that the Maoist movement, despite the violence that it deploys, is fundamentally a political movement that is born out of the dispossession and deprivation of the marginalised. The State does have the duty to meet the violence of the Maoists but only in a manner that is consonant with the law and the Constitution and is respectful of people’s rights. It cannot trample upon those rights, mock the rule of law, or hunt down dissenters as if they are wild game. The Maoist movement must be addressed politically.
N Amar (HRF Telangana State secretary)
Y Rajesh (HRF AP State secretary)
K Sudha (HRF AP State general secretary)
VS Krishna (HRF AP&TS Coordination Committee member

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Activists Arrest – A letter from Comrade ‘M’, is it authentic?

Prateek Goyal & Mubarak Ansari

PUNE: Pune police which doesn’t have a single concrete evidence against the five persons arrested for their alleged role in Elgar Parishad at Shaniwarwada on December 31 is leveling all its allegations just on the basis of a letter written by a so called comrade ‘M’ to Delhi based activist Rona Wilson. Though police claims that letter is written is by senior Maoist leader Milind Teltumbade it raises many questions on its credibility as it has a political tome to it.

The letter which is in possession of Sakal Times starts with the greeting to Rona Wilson , the letter states, “ Dear Comrade Rona, Lal Johar, we have received two letters and PGP (Pretty Good Privacy )material through Manoj, we have also informed the concerned area commanders about the upcoming fact finding of 6th December. In case the fact finding is delayed due to present condition in the state, it should be rescheduled for end of month.The higher committee appreciated the untiring efforts of all urban comrades with regards to political prisoners and also for the specific tasks that were assigned to MO ( Movement Organization) leadership in Delhi and Maharashtra. Overall agenda that was set out in the last ERB ( East regional Bureau) meeting seems to be largely followed on the ground, campaigns in support of the marginalized people are now visible in some states but there is still lot of ground to cover.

The letter further states and mentioned the name of all arrested five persons , “Comrade Manglu , Comrade Deepu have been coordinating the Koragaon praogramme since two months with Comrade Sudhir , they have been able to gather support from large sections of Dalits across the state.RDAA comrade Jignesh and Comrade Umar are young fighters of our revolution with strong support from comrade Prakash Ambedkar . We can forsee the outcome of their efforts in consolidating many dalit struggles across the country within few years.Last year in July and August the higher committee has provided two rounds of funds to comrade Sudhir for this task. Comrade Shoma and Comrade Surendra are authorities to provide the funds for future programs. The Bhima-Koregaon agitation has been very effective/ the unfortunate death of a youth must be exploited to prepare future agitations and propaganda material.Please explore the possibility of new fact finding to further highlight the incident. Simultaneously, try to engage with our friends in London and elsewhere, Radha D souza, Azad HoshiyarpuriMarques and others to organize the similar programs.

It further states about the congress and says, “if conditions are right, one of the CC ( Central Committee) member will join the international meeting to honor the invitations from swedish delegates at London. Senior Comrades from the CPI (Maoist) urban leadership have had prior talks with our friends in Congress who suggested to continue the dalit mobilizations more aggressively, whatever legal and financial aid is required they are ready to provide to through the intermediary Jignesh/ Dallit sentiments are clearly against the brahim-centered agenda of BJP-RSS. This should be converted into large scale mobilization and Chaos.For the first time since coming to cover the state government feels heavily cornered on this issue. We must keep up the pressure through simultaneous protest programs across many states, it will undoubtedly help to take down the Modi juggernaut in 2019.Proof of which is visible through Gujrat election results.

The letter further mentions states, “ Congress friends have assured assistance for the release of senior political prisoners include comrade Cobad and Comrade Sai, please speak with brother Anand , inform him to send reports through comrade manoj.USDF (United Students Democratic front) activists can support us to organize protest across BJP ruled states”

It is significant to note that according to police claims the letter was found in the computer of Rona Wilson.

The letter with starts with Lal Johar raises a question as there is nothing such Lal Johar in tribal culture. The letter which is dated January 2 mentions that an upcoming event is coming on 6th December, which raises the doubt as December never comes after January.

Anand Teltumbade, brother of Milind Teltumbade and a professor at renowned Goa Institute of Management said, “this is absolute nonsense, this is a figment of there imagination and everybody knows what police is capable of. This letter is absolutely planted and no Maoist will write such kind of thin and will send it to somebody. They do not have basic brains to copy a letter; they are stooping to such a low level that it even beyond comment. Rona Wilson might be a sympathizer but he is not in touch in party, Jignesh Mewani is just being targeted because he is critical of Modi. Any democratic government should be ashamed of such politics.”

Suzan Abraham, the lawyer representing the five persons said, “They are just making allegations on the basis of some letter which were refuted by the arrested persons, they have not even handed the letter to us , they are just making some stories.Its totally a fabricated thing.

 

Tosif Shaikh, another defence lawyer, said, “The prosecution was alleging that these people were collecting Rs 8 crore for acquiring a weapon, M-4 Machine, which can shoot 4 lakh rounds. They said Mahesh Raut has received Rs 5 lakh for PESA work.We argued that the prosecution is just sensationalising the case by bringing the matter of the attack on Rajiv Gandhi and trying to bring it into reference with the current prime minister.”

source- Sakal Times

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Haryana – 3 gang-rape, poison class X girl to death #Vaw #WTFnews

Manvir Saini

CHANDIGARH: A Class X student was allegedly poisoned to death after she was gang raped by three persons, including a minor, in a village in the Bhattu Kalan block of Haryana’s Fatehabad district on Tuesday. The victim and the three accused belong to the same community and the same village.

Two of the accused are on the run. The third accused, who is a juvenile, also consumed poison and was rushed to Agroha Medical College and Hospital in Hisar. He is out of danger, Haryana DSP (headquarters) Gurdayal Singh said on Wednesday.

The three accused have been booked under the POCSO Act and murder charges have also been registered against them at the women police station in Fatehabad.

The minor girl’s body was handed over to her family after a post-mortem.

The victim was kidnapped by two of the accused from her home on Tuesday when her parents were at their flour mill on the outskirts of the village. The Class X student was taken to a secluded area where the third accused was waiting. After this, all the three accused, including two cousins, allegedly raped the student one by one.

Viscera samples to identify poison used

The accused then poisoned the student on pretext of giving her medicine and dropped her home.

In his complaint, the victim’s father said he and his wife had found their daughter missing from home when they returned for lunch. They started searching for her, but did not find her anywhere. The accused later dropped their daughter at home in evening.

At the time, the Class X student was semi-conscious and the accused told her parents that they had given her a medicine as she was unwell.

“Later in the evening, the girl’s condition deteriorated and she was rushed to the Fatehabad civil hospital. According to the victim’s father, she narrated the sequence of events she had gone through when the family was on its way to the hospital. The victim died during the treatment,” said DSP Gurdayal Singh.

After recording the father’s statement, the police sent her body for an autopsy. “We have sent the viscera samples for chemical examination to ascertain the kind of poison used by the accused,” he added.

Referring to the accused, the DSP confirmed that one of the accused is a minor.

“Let the accused be arrested. Only then will we be able to elaborate on the circumstances and exact place where the girl was raped and given poison,” DSP Gurdayal Singh said.

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