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Archives for : September2018

Activist-educationist Prof Haragopal manhandled as Hyd cops crackdown on protest

Prof Haragopal and other activists had gathered to launch their Save Education Yatra in Hyderabad.

In a crackdown on activists, who were protesting at Gun Park in Hyderabad on Friday, the Telangana Police allegedly manhandled prominent activist and educationist Prof G Haragopal. The activists had gathered at Gun Park, under the banner of Save Education Committee and were planning to launch a national campaign ‘Save Education Yatra’ to ensure free education for all. The campaign also aimed to remind the ruling TRS of its promise of free education from kindergarten to postgraduation.

However, claiming that the gathering was illegal as they did not take prior permission, the Saifabad police allegedly manhandled the activists and forcefully bundled them up in vans. Visuals from the protest show professor Haragopal being pushed around by police, as they try to detain him. He then falls on to the ground before being picked up and shoved into the van. Few students were also reportedly injured during the scuffle.

The professor later was taken to Bollarum police station while others were let off. Others who have been detained include Prof Vishweshwar Rao and Prof Laxminarayana

Saifabad police Venkat Reddy said that the gathering was illegal and caused inconvenience.

“We did not register any case. The students didn’t let the police detain the activists, so we had to forcefully take them. No charges were filed against them. This is only preventive detention,” he said.

He further added that one girl, who had fainted during the commotion, is well and has gone to home.

Speaking to TNM, professor Haragopal, who has since been released, said, “The police did resort to rough treatment.” He said that the yatra was a 100-day national campaign, demanding the Centre to ensure that the poorest of poorest gets quality education for free.

The committee’s general secretary and prominent educationist Professor G Haragopal, the organisation’s President Professor Chakradhar Rao and Organising Secretary Professor Laxminarayan were among those held. The Telangana Police allegedly shoved and pushed Professor Haragopal and others who had gathered. The educationist reportedly fell when the police were trying to detain him and injured his knee. Those detained were taken to different police stations across the city.

“The system seems to be reaching an intolerant point,” Professor Haragopal said after being released from Bolarum station. “Detaining and arresting people who are peacefully gathering to express their discontent is the new normal that is being set in all over the country and Telangana is keeping pace with that new normal.” He pointed out that the organisation was 40 years old and its meetings have never been disrupted in such a manner.

Activist Sandhya who also took part in the protest said, “This is the first time that Professor Haragopal has been manhandled in this manner. Even under the Andhra regime, we didn’t face such brutality. Both the Centre and KCR government specifically have been attacking the educationists. This is really shameful. If civil rights activists don’t condemn it, it will be a shame.”

Professor Laxminarayan said the organisation had applied for permission at both the Saifabad police station and the police control room. The police, however, claimed they anticipated that the demonstrators would take out a rally, for which permission had not been granted. Those held were only taken into prevention custody, Venkat Reddy, a police officer at Saifabad police station.

The committee has been a vocal critic of the state government’s lack of efforts to recruit teachers at government schools, junior colleges and universities. It has been critical of rampant privatisation of education and the government’s policy of inviting foreign universities to set up campuses in the state, said Padmaja Shaw, a retired professor and journalist who is also a member of the committee.

Prof Haragopal works at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Hyderabad and is also a Visiting Professor at NLSUI in Bengaluru.

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India – Right To Freedom Of Expression under threat #FOE

Prof Shoma Sen was ­arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, as were activists Rona Wilson, Mahesh Raut and Sudhir Dhawale, and lawyer Surendra Gadling as part of the ­police probe into the violence at Bhima-Koregaon.

Right To Freedom Of Expression
Prof Shoma Sen

July 31 would have been a day of celebration for Prof Shoma Sen—her colleagues and students at Nagpur University were set to host conferences and a festschrift to ­honour the scholar on her retirement along with her 60th birthday. It was not to be. At the break of dawn on June 6, the Pune police came knocking at the professor’s house. Shoma, head of the English department, was ­arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, as were activists Rona Wilson, Mahesh Raut and Sudhir Dhawale, and lawyer Surendra Gadling from other places as part of the ­police probe into the violence at Bhima-Koregaon on January 1.

The professor has now spent more than three months at Pune’s Yerawada prison. The police had taken her straight from Nagpur to Pune—without a transit warrant, says her daughter Koel Sen, a Mumbai-based ­independent film-maker. Moreover, the police had swung into the raid just by waving an order by the Pune ACP, written in Marathi.

Koel fears the police may plant fake evidences in the hard disks and pen drives, as they did not seal them after removing from the laptops of Shoma and her husband Tushar Kanti. She says her parents were forced to sit in a corner of the house for 10 hours and the police stopped them from entering the kitchen or have food. The ordeal continues in jail. The first two months were tough for Shoma, an arthritis patient, as the jail authorities would not allow her to sit on a chair or bed. Koel had to run from pillar from post to let her mother get a portable ­commode chair.

Rubbishing the police’s claims of her mother being linked to the outlawed CPI(Maoist) and plotting to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Koel sees her ordeal as an outcome of efforts to distract the people from real issues such as lynchings and real threats like Hindutva terror outfits.

Growing up in Mumbai in the post-Emergency era, the struggles of Dalits and women for democratic rights have been at the centre of Shoma’s work. Later she moved with her husband to Nagpur and taught at PWS College, which has students ­predominantly from the Dalit and min­ority communities, for more than 26 years. Also active with the Committee for the Protection of Democratic Rights, the professor’s current academic research was on Dalit women’s writing in Maharashtra. Shoma’s arrest and subsequent suspension from the university had hit her plans for a relaxed retirement. Koel alleges that the authorities might delay releasing her mother’s post-retirement benefits.

SOURCE- outlook

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Himachal Pradesh -Fact Finding Murder of RTI activist Kedar Singh Jindan

Jindan Murder: Team of human rights and social activists visits Shillai, makes shocking revelations

Himachal RTI Activist Murder facts

Sirmaur: The brutal murder of Kedar Singh Jindan – an RTI activist, social worker, and a leader of Scheduled Caste community – in broad daylight and in public view has jolted peaceful State of Himachal Pradesh.

While the police claim to have solved the case and that the accused have confessed their crime, the matter is getting a political color as it relates to the murder of a person who belonged to the SC community and was raising their voices. Amid this, some shocking revelations were made by a seven-member team of state and national level human rights defenders, social workers and activists.

Not only the team rejected the media reports saying that it was not a caste-based vendetta but also alleged that caste discrimination was quite prevalent in the Shillai region.

The findings of the team said that Jindan was even brutally beaten for supporting an inter-caste marriage in the region. The murder was a planned one as it was committed in a public view, it said. Despite being a public scene, only two witnesses have come forward due to the fear of the people involved.

The team visited Sirmaur on the September 13 and 14 to probe the brutal killing of an activist. The team also met the family of the deceased.

The team in no uncertain words condemned the heinous murder of Kedar Singh Jindan, which they said was intended to target the activist who was uncovering corruption and speaking against injustice at the local level.

On September 13, 2018, we visited Paab, the village in Shilai block from where Jindan hailed and interacted with his family members to give our condolences and also let them know that the issue of the murder was being condemned widely

, a team member said.

The team interacted with a large number of people belonging to various communities including the Pradhaan of the Gundaha Panchayat. The team also visited members of the administration and the police.

Kedar Singh Jindan aged 43 years was also a lawyer and had struggled tremendously to complete his education, the team said. He used to run an educational academy at Shilai to train young students. Over the years, he emerged as a voice of the ‘Koli’ (Scheduled Caste) community in the region. He used the RTI Act to uncover information related to local development issues, the team said.

As per the team, in June this year, Jindan had held a press conference in Shimla, in which he had exposed irregularities in providing Below Poverty Line (BPL) certificates in his village and alleged that Jaiprakash (the prime accused in the murder, who also drove the Scorpio over Jindan) had illegally obtained BPL certificates for his well-to-do relatives. Through these certificated, they had also managed to get appointed in government jobs. Jindan obtained all of these details using the RTI Act 2005.

The team further said that after this expose, Jaiprakash’s relatives lost their jobs, which they held against Jindan apart from his other exposes in public services in the area.

On the morning of September 7, Jindan was murdered. Following this, the police had first nabbed two persons on the same day while the third arrest was made a few days later. A Special Investigation Teamheaded by ASP Nahaan) Virender Thakur was investigating the matter. An FIR was registered under Section 302 (Murder) as well as the section 3(2)(5) of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Prevention of Atrocities Act.

The Superintendent of Police, Rohit Malpani and ASP assured the team that the documentary and forensic evidence in the matter was strong. The police was doing a thorough job to ensure justice for Jindan, they further told the team. The officials appeared confident about solving the case.

The fact-finding team, however, expressed concern that the police had not responded adequately to the repeated threats received by Jindan from different members of the community who were irked by his work. Last year too there was an attack on Jindan at Sattaun where he was pulled out of a bus and beaten up badly by people for supporting an inter-caste marriage in the area, the team members said.

Jindan’s family informed us that he was left buried in a heap of sand and left there to die. While he survived that attack, he had exposed that a large number of people from the area were out to get him and they are all complicit in the murder according to the kin of Jindan. This needs to be investigated

, the team said.

As per the team, the observations from various discussions make it obvious that this was not just an incident of a personal vendetta as it’s being claimed in some media reports. Rather, it was a planned targeting of an activist by the dominant community because he was a member of the Dalit community.

The demand to withdraw the charges under the SC-ST Act is baseless,

the team said.

The team said this remote area of Himachal is known for deep-seated caste discriminatory practices. The fact that the dominant caste groups were defending the murder was a clear sign of the same.

The Khumri Panchayats in the area are like Khap system here where the so-called upper castes take the decisions about everything. Exclusion and discrimination are seen in all spheres here – economic, social, and cultural.

, the team alleged.

Further, the team claimed that the manner in which the incident took place in broad daylight at Bakras on a working day close to the premises of the Block Primary Education Office located next to a school where he was run over by an SUV reveals that this was a case of a murder in full public view.

The fact that there are only two people who have come forward to testify to the murder proves that there is an atmosphere of fear and intimidation in the area, the team said. The protests by Rajput Sabha in favor of the accused have also polarised the community making it difficult for people to stand up for the truth.

We are shocked that such an incident could occur in a state like Himachal but this also shows that there is an increasing normalization of violence in the society around us. Also shows the vulnerability of people who challenge the status quo or expose those who are powerful even at the village level.

, the team further added.

Kedar Singh Jindan is the 73rd person to be killed for using the RTI Act for exposing corruption in the country, the team said.

The team also expressed concern that the ruling government in the state and the local MLA were silent on the matter. They have not issued any statement of condemnation of this brutal killing. This is a time when we all should speak up against this kind of violence, the team said.

The team will be preparing a detailed report with recommendations which it will present to state and national level authorities and commissions.

About Team

The team comprised of Kuldeep Verma, Birbal (Dalit Vikas Sangathan Sirmaur), Sukhdev Vishwapremi (Centre for Mountain Dalit Rights), Advocate Sanjay, Rajkumar (National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights & National Dalit Movement for Justice), Raja Velu from Human Rights Defenders Alert and Manshi Asher from Kangra Citizens Rights Group.

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There is no refugee crisis. There is only the crisis of humanity-Mimesis

 

 

Fady Joudah is a Palestinian-American poet, translator, and physician. The poems in Alight alternate between the estranging familial and strangely familiar, between burning and illumination. As father, husband, and physician, he gives children and vulnerable others voice in this hauntingly lyrical collection.

The Palestinian poet Fady Joudah ‘sa poem called ‘Mimesis’

My daughter
Wouldn’t hurt a spider
That had nested
Between her bicycle handles
For two weeks
She waited
Until it left of its own accord

If you tear down the web I said
It will simply know
This isn’t a place to call home
And you’d get to go biking

She said that’s how others
Become refugees, isn’t it?

 

There is no refugee crisis. There is only the crisis of humanity, a crisis of war and hunger that drives refugees. There is a crisis of humanity in the way people are forced to starve  . There is a crisis of humanity in the way merchants of death sell weapons (as shown by this latest CodePink report) and by the way soldiers and the police train other soldiers and the police to treat other humans with harshness (as shown by this latest Jewish Voice for Peace report about Israeli training of the US police). There are no refugees. There are only people who have been forced from their homes.

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India -A Poverty Of Rights

It’s easy to thwart constitutional guarantees using draconian laws and the police

Now that the euphoria over the Supreme Court’s landmark Section 377 verdict is fading, we can ask whether such pronouncements are anything more than ineffectual dictums on paper—just like the many rights enshrined in the Constitution that are conspicuous only in their violation, as would happen in any society that is yet to imbibe rational and scientific values. And when the political regime itself promotes obscurantism, traditions and customs, against the constitutional mandate, the prospects of reform are bleak. The recent crackdown on top defenders of democratic rights by the Pune police, branding them ‘urban Maoists’, illustrates how draconian laws and the discretionary powers of the police can easily thwart and render useless the fundamental rights in the Constitution. The devil—as BR Ambedkar lamented in 1955, exp­laining his earlier outburst in the Rajya Sabha disowning the Constitution—had taken possession of the temple (the Constitution of India) they built before they could install the gods.

As the working of law largely depends upon the government’s morality, when it resorts to amoral means for ulterior motives, law’s utility comes under question. Take Dalits, who have been granted certain safeguards, in an exception to the universal rights in the Constitution, with a plethora of Articles for promotion of their interests and their protection from social injustice. Article 17 outlaws the practice of untouchability, making enforcement of any disability arising out of unt­ouchability a punishable offence. And yet survey after survey since the 1960s have revealed the practice remains intact despite enactment of the Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955, and later the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, which only served the pol­itical purpose of placating Dalits and paradoxically intensifying prejudice against them among others.  The Action Aid Survey in 2001-02, Navsarjan survey of Gujarati villages in 2009 and the latest NCAER and the University of Maryland (IHDS) survey in 2011-12 all reveal that untouchability in all its forms is still rampant in India.

Many rights are visible only in their violation, as would ­happen in any society yet to imbibe rational, scientific values.
There has also been a new phenomenon of gory violence against Dalits born out of the policies pursued by the post-colonial state to create a class of rich farmers out of the populous caste band and promote capitalist relations in rural India with the Green Revolution. The saga of this new form of atrocities began in the late 1960s in Kilmenmani, Tamil Nadu, and has only grown over the years, reaching an alarming level during BJP rule. On an average, two Dalits are killed and five Dalit women raped every day, as per government statistics. The abysmally low rate of conviction can be directly attributed to institutional biases more than civil-society prejudices.

Another major Dalit right that flows from the Constitution is reservation—an instrument to promote Dalit interests. Reservations were first implemented by the non-Brahmin princely states like Kolhapur, Mysore and Baroda, and in British India vide the India Act, 1935—due ent­irely to Ambedkar’s struggles. In order to implement these reservations, the colonial rulers created a separate identity “Scheduled Caste”, thereby snapping its ties to the caste system—an unintended step in the right direction. Moreover, by making them an exceptional category of people, reservations reflected as the State’s countervailing measure against anti-­Dalit social prejudice.

The post-colonial rulers, however, skillfully distorted this by opening the schedule for rev­iew—dil­uting the concept of reservations by ext­ending it to all and sundry, making space for claims and counter-claims by various castes for reservations by subtly linking it to backwardness. It only helped to enliven caste consciousness. Though reservations surely helped some Dalits transcend their class to the extent that they speak of Dalit capitalism and mark sizeable international presence, they comprise not more than one-tenth of the Dalit population. The cost in terms of psychological damage, accentuation of social prejudice and abandonment of the project of ‘annihilation of caste’ far outweighs the benefits.


(The writer is an activist with the Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights, Mumbai).

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Enviornmentalist and Former Teri chief R.K. Pachauri to stand trial for Sexual Harassment #Goodnews

An FIR was registered against Pachauri by a colleague in 2015, and more women levelled allegations of sexual misconduct against him in the months that followed.

RK Pachauri to be Charged for Sexual Harassment, Former TERI Colleague Says Big Leap Towards Truth
New Delhi: A Delhi court has ordered the framing of charges in the alleged sexual harassment case against RK Pachauri, former Director General of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), by a former colleague.

Metropolitan Magistrate Charu Gupta ordered framing of charges under sections 354 (outraging her modesty), 354 A (making physical contact, unwelcome and sexually coloured remark) and section 509 (teasing and using vulgar gesture and actions) of the Indian Penal Code.

The court, however, discharged him of certain other sections and said that it will formally frame the charges on October 20.

Reacting to the court’s order, Pachauri said, “I don’t want to comment on the matter. I am out of the country.”

The complainant expressed satisfaction over the development.

“I am relieved. It is a big leap towards the truth. This has not been easy at all. It’s been a long wait,” said the complainant.

The next hearing in the matter will take place on October 20.

Another court had in February dismissed a suit by Pachauri urging it to stop media from reporting anything other than court proceeding. He had filed the suit following telecast of a news report by a private channel where a woman and a lawyer had made certain comments about him.

Over 1,400-page charge sheet was filed by the Delhi Police on March 1, 2016, saying there was “sufficient evidence” against Pachauri that he had sexually harassed, stalked and threatened the complainant.

A supplementary charge sheet was filed in March 2017 after the police said it had retrieved several deleted emails and chats exchanged between the accused and the complainant.

The final report had said the deleted WhatsApp chats, text messages, retrieved from the cell phones, computer hard disks and other devices, were “not fabricated”.

Pachauri has denied all allegations against him.

An FIR was registered against Pachauri by a colleague in 2015, and more women levelled allegations of sexual misconduct against him in the months that followed.

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MP- Six Disabled Inmates of Shelter Home ‘raped, sodomised’ for yrs

Bhopal:

What makes this case even more horrifying is that Awasthi was accused of the same crimes by some minors of a Hoshangabad shelter last year, but was allowed to run his home in Bhopal, where he allegedly continued to prey on children as young as 10.

Congress took the youngsters to the party office for a press conference before they even had a chance to speak with police. Till late Friday night, police were still trying to take down statements and had not yet filed an FIR.

On Friday afternoon, 40 deaf and mute teenagers trooped in, accusing Awasthi of rape. The teens — who covered their faces — let out their sufferings through translator Shraddha Shukla. State Congress spokesperson Shobha Oza spoke in support of the survivors, and said, “Officials are not heeding their grievances. Why wasn’t Awasthi punished if he was found guilty in the Hoshangbad case last year? Why did the government allow him to run the Bhopal shelter?”

The six complainants alleged that Awasthi repeatedly raped them and would beat them mercilessly if they resisted. The teenagers submitted a signed complaint listing Awasthi’s horrendous and sickening act

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Haryana – Student, Ex-CBSE Topper, Gang-Raped And Dumped Near Bus Stop #Vaw

Haryana gang-rape: The 20 -year-old college student was on her way to a coaching centre when she was allegedly kidnapped and gang-raped.

65COMMENTS

Haryana gang-rape: The woman’s parents alleged the police have not acted on their complaint

GURGAON: 

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. Woman allegedly raped till she fell unconscious, dumped at bus stand
  2. Second-year student was on her way to coaching centre near her village
  3. Three men allegedly kidnapped her and dragged her to a field

A 20-year-old woman, who once topped the 10th standard Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) board examination from Haryana’s Rewari district, was allegedly abducted and gangraped in Kanina by at least three men while she was on her way to a coaching centre, also in Kanina, the police and her family said on Friday.

Police in Mahendragarh district, neighbouring Rewari, said they had formed a special investigation team (SIT) and launched a hunt for the alleged rapists. Kanina (Mahendragarh) deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Vinod Kumar is heading the team.

The second-year student was on her way to a coaching centre near her village when three young men, who came in a car, allegedly kidnapped her and dragged her to a field, where they raped her.

On Friday evening, the state women’s commission chairperson Pratibha Suman visited the victim at the Rewari civil hospital and said the panel had asked the police to provide security to family members of the woman.

“I have personally talked with the victim; she is stable now. Being chairperson, I have asked the police to send proper investigation reports to the commission. The commission will also look into the facts and findings of the police and if anyone is found guilty, the commission will recommend action,” she said.

The woman’s father said he had left the victim at a bus stand on Wednesday, from where she was to catch a bus to Kanina where she was attending lessons for a railway examination.

According to the police complaint, she was accosted by the three men, who are from the same village, who started asking her about the coaching centre.

As she talked to them, the men offered her water which she drank and fell unconscious, according to the complaint.

The three then took her in a car to an agriculture field in Kanina where they raped her, said the complaint, which also alleged that they called some other men who took turns to rape her.

“When my daughter told me about the incident, I took her to the superintendent of police’s office, but it was evening by then, and the SP was not at the office. We took her to women’s police station, where we lodged a complaint. The police registered a Zero FIR (first information report) on the matter,” the victim’s father said.

“My daughter was rewarded by Modi ji after she topped the CBSE board exams. Modi ji says ‘beti padhobeti bacho‘, but how? I want justice for my daughter. Police have taken no action yet,” the woman’s mother told news agency ANI.

A police officer, however, claimed a “zero FIR” was filed against the accused based on the woman’s complaint. A zero FIR is filed in a police station which is not in charge of the area where the crime took place, and can be transferred to the relevant police station.

The police said the zero FIR was converted into a regular FIR this morning after it was successfully transferred to the police station under whose area of watch the crime took place.

The woman’s father alleged that soon after the alleged rapists came to know about the FIR, they started threatening the family to withdraw the complai

Haryana Chief Minister ML Khattar said the “guilty will be punished”. “Law will take its own course,” he said.

Now we are under fear and our request to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar is to ask the police to arrest the accused soon,” the victim’s mother said.

Mahendragarh SP Vinod Kumar (who shares his name with the Kanina DSP) said none of the rapists had been arrested so far.

“We have formed Special Investigation Team to investigate and arrest the accused. We got important clues about the whereabouts of the accused and the teams will nab them soon.” He said the police will record the victim’s statement once her condition improves. “We have also sent (her) blood samples to know about the drug the accused used.”

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/20-yr-old-woman-allegedly-gangraped-on-way-to-tuition-class-in-haryana/story-RiUCqjlqCEo875sR79rF0K.html

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