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Archives for : October2018

India: 75 Professors, 30 Institutes, What Happened To Raya Sarkar’s List Of Sexual Harassers? #MeToo

We asked 23 colleges and universities if they conducted an enquiry into the allegations against their faculty.

Exactly a year ago, Raya Sarkar published a list of names of alleged sexual harassers in academia.

Exactly a year ago, Raya Sarkar published a list of names of alleged sexual harassers in academia.

KOLKATA, West Bengal — A year ago, when 24-year-old Raya Sarkar decided to publish the names of dozens of men who had been accused of sexual harassment by women in her extended social network, she was aware of the magnitude of the risk she was taking. The idea of ‘naming and shaming’ alleged harassers was not considered legitimate by a staggering number of feminists and days before her list was published, HuffPost US had to pull down an article penned by Christine Fair, where the academic had accused a former colleague of relentless harassment.

“When the article was published, I thought, ‘Wow, I am so thankful for this information. This will save so many students like me from ever approaching him and hence, avoiding the risk of harassment ourselves!’ When it was taken down, I was very angry. But I realized there are so many men in academia that I don’t know about and my friends don’t know about,” Sarkar told HuffPost India.

So, on 24 October 2017, she went ahead and published on Facebook what later came to be known as the LoSHA (list of sexual harassers in academia). Sarkar’s list, which she expanded as more women contacted her, finally had 75 names from approximately 30 colleges and universities across India, UK and the US.

In the days following LOSHA’s publication, defending it and protecting the identities of the women who reached out to her took its toll on Sarkar’s mental health. Despite having a strong support system and access to healthcare, she suffered from depression and put on 20 kilos.

Exactly a year later, scores of Indian women have bypassed ‘due process’—which refers to filing complaints through official channels—and decided to name their sexual harassers on social media, sometimes protecting their own identity, sometimes not

There have been some concrete results: several men—journalists, admen, filmmakers, artistes, actors, entrepreneurs—have been dropped from projects, sent on leave or face investigation following harassment charges made on social media.

HuffPost India reached out to 23 colleges and universities to enquire if they had taken any suo moto action or steps to address the concerns raised by Sarkar on the ‘List’. We asked them if they initiated an inquiry into the allegations or reached out to Sarkar to seek details about the harassment allegations levelled against their faculty over the year following the publication of her ‘list’.


HuffPost India sent emails to the following institutions:

  • Jadavpur University, West Bengal (10 names on the list)
  • Delhi University (9 names on the list)
  • Ambedkar University (5 names on the list)
  • Film & Television Institute of India [FTII] (3 names on the list)
  • Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute [SRFTI] (3 names on the list)
  • Banaras Hindu University [BHU] (2 names on the list)
  • Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU)
  • IIT Bhubaneswar
  • DY Patil University
  • Ashoka University
  • Centre for Studies in Social Sciences (CSSS), Kolkata
  • Institute of Rural Management [IRMA], Anand
  • St Xavier’s College, Kolkata (2 names on the list)
  • TERI, New Delhi
  • University of Cambridge
  • TISS, Tuljapur
  • University of California, Riverside
  • EFLU, Hyderabad
  • NLSIU, Bengaluru
  • MES Abasaheb Garware College
  • Gurudas College, Kolkata
  • Manipal School of Communication
  • The University of Chicago

HuffPost India also called the official numbers on the websites of institutes which had names of more than one faculty member on the ‘list’.

Twenty one out of 23 institutions did not respond to HuffPost India’s emails sent three days ago. (The article will be updated if any of the institutes respond later.)

The director of CSSS in Kolkata responded to our email regarding the harassment allegations against one of their professors. She said that the institute did not investigate the professor as there was no official complaint against him.

“Our institutional policy does not allow for suo moto cognizance of claims of harassment,” Dr Rosinka Chaudhuri told HuffPost India.

Rutuja Shinde, a Mumbai-based lawyer who has offered pro-bono help to survivors who have outed alleged harassers on social media, told HuffPost India that in the absence of a formal complaint, organisations can still conduct an independent enquiry into allegations they are aware of.

“Evidence can be gathered to corroborate the statements alleging sexual harassment. In the absence of a complainant, the opportunity given to the accused to cross-examine will not be available. He can, however, produce other evidence to defend himself,” Shinde said.

Though the list was extensively written about in Indian and foreign media and circulated widely, Sarkar said none of the institutions mentioned in the list reached out to her to enquire about the allegations against their faculty over the past year.

“I would have cooperated with them after taking the consent of the complainant, of course,” Sarkar said. In several social media posts following the publication of her ‘list’, Raya had announced she’d cooperate with any official inquiry about the nature of allegations made against the people named in the list.

Some of the men mentioned Sarkar’s list as alleged harassers were later found guilty following investigations based on formal complaints filed against them. Gopal Balakrishnan, a history professor at University of California, Santa Cruz, was found guilty of violating the university’s sexual harassment policies in an investigation conducted by authorities based on multiple complaints filed by students and colleagues. UCSC revealed their findings on 25 September this year and Balakrishnan continues to be on leave as the university decides the appropriate way to penalise him.

In March this year, Lawrence Liang, the dean of Ambedkar University, Delhi, was found guilty of sexually harassing a PhD scholar from another Delhi university and was suspended from performing administrative duties. Liang has challenged the university’s decision in the Delhi High Court.

Sadanand Menon, adjunct faculty at the Asian College of Journalism (ACJ)—also mentioned in the ‘list’—stepped down from the position after allegations of harassment were made against him. ACJ refused to take action against him since the complainant alleged that Menon had harassed her outside the college at a cultural fest headed by him. ACJ chairman Shashi Kumar told reporters in May that the institution had been targeted for being ‘liberal’.

Unhappy with the probe conducted by IIT Bhubaneshwar (mentioned in the list) against a professor accused of harassment, the complainant filed an FIR and demanded a re-investigation.

Apart from these instances of universities acting on formal complaints, there is no publicly available evidence of suo moto action taken by any of the institutions mentioned in the list yet.


“I think a key difference between what happened last year and what is happening today is that women who helped me add names to the list were fearful of retaliation on professional fronts so they chose to remain anonymous, but today, many women are overcoming this fear and making the accusations themselves,” Sarkar told HuffPost India.

While in this wave of #MeToo revelations on social media, a few Twitter users shared allegations posted by anonymous accounts and accusations were directly posted by anonymous accounts as well, Sarkar said that approximately 60 women reached out to her and they did not use fake accounts.

“They used their own Facebook accounts to speak to me. A small number of women spoke through their friend to maintain anonymity, but I vetted their accounts through additional evidence and witness testimonies,” Sarkar added.

The new wave of #MeToo in India, Sarkar said, had normalised the notion that due process is a failure.

“It is changing the discourse on ‘witch hunts’—more people are open to rubbish the idea that women are making false allegations to fulfill a personal vendetta against a man. This moment is also, I hope, changing the notion that only direct evidence counts as credibility,” she said.

She also urged that the women who had come out a year ago to support the list and name their harassers not be forgotten.

“They were not taken seriously, they were accused of enabling my so called ‘witch hunt’,” Sarkar said.

In the formative days of the second wave of #MeToo in India over the past month, while the idea of naming and shaming people was met with some reservations, only a few spoke against it. That led to some conflicts which played out publicly on social media, but didn’t last for too long.

“If a group of women are behaving in a way that is harming to another group of women, it is very important that the grievances are addressed—that is how you pull more people to your own camp. I am against token white feminism because it harms non-white women and I’m against token savarna feminism because it harms bahujan women. It should be our priority to not let these two ideologies shape liberation movements because they liberate only a select few,” Sarkar said in response to questions about the conflict over her methods.

Women’s rights activist Kavita Krishnan had recently chastised news website The Wire for publishing a video in which journalist Vinod Dua, who has been accused of harassment by filmmaker Nishtha Jain, defended himself and mocked the #MeToo movement.

Jain first spoke about her ordeal on Facebook, following which The Wire reached out to her.

Krishnan was also known to be critical of the implications of Sarkar’s list last year. A year on, though she refused to revisit the debate over the ‘list’, Krishnan told HuffPost India that she was never against women sharing their accounts of trauma and had urged that there should be more details than just an alleged harasser’s name in the public domain.


  • Ashoka University responded to HuffPost India‘s queries and said that four committees were formed to investigate the allegations against their professor and they did not find him guilty of sexual harassment. The enquiries were instituted after it was referred to Ashoka University from JNU. “A total of four Committees have looked into the matter, including three at Ashoka and one at JNU. NONE of the Committees found him guilty of sexual harassment. This is the verdict of all the committees, and we should respect that verdict,” Anjoo Mohun, director, communications, Ashoka University told HuffPost India

Related posts

Forceful land acquisition and government brutalities define Jharkhand’s Adani power-plant project #StopAdani

With much fanfare, Jharkhand government signed an MoU with Adani groups in 2016 to setup a powerplant in Godda district. A recent fact-finding visit of members of Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha, an umbrella network of more than 30 people’s organisations, found that this project has gathered several accolades in the last two years – forceful acquisition of land, severe violation of processes set by land acquisition act 2013, bulldozing standing crops of farmers, lying to people about the potential benefits, intimidating affected people with police brutalities, lawsuits and so on.

According to the social impact assessment report of the company, 1364 acres of land, spread across 10 villages of two blocks of Godda, are to be acquired for the thermal power plant. The plant is to produce 1600 MW of electricity. The government and the company claim that this plant is a public-purpose project with ‘zero’ displacement that will lead to generation of employment and economic development.  25 percent of total power produced will be made available to Jharkhand.

The ground realities are far from these claims. According to the acquisition act, consent of at least 80 percent of affected families and permission of the concerned Gram Sabhas are required for acquisition of land for private projects. But most of the adivasi and several non-adivasi landowners are opposed to the project from the beginning. In 2016 and 2017, public hearings for social impact assessment (SIA) and environment impact assessment (EIA) were organised. Several landowners who were opposed to the plant were not allowed by Adani functionaries and local administration to participate in the hearings. The affected villagers also claim that people of non-affected areas were made to sit in the hearings. In one of these meetings, when affected families had protested against not being allowed to express their views, the police had misbehaved with several women and lathi charged at them.

The social impact assessment report of the company has several factual and constitutional errors such as no technically skilled person in the affected villages, zero displacement, marking all villagers of affected villages as Hindus and so on. It also does not take into account the impact on the sharecroppers. The report does not mention the other alternatives for the proposed project site. The report is silent on the number of jobs that would be created by this project. Also, neither the video recording of landowners giving their consent for the acquisition nor the signed consent forms are available. It must be mentioned that the act clearly specifies that affected families do not only include the land owners but also the workers and sharecroppers.

The government has acquired around 500 acres of land in four villages. This includes forceful acquisition of 50 acres of land of 40 families against their wishes. In its attempt to forcefully acquire land, the company with the support of the local police, bulldozed standing crops, several trees, burial ground and pond across 15 acres of land of Manager Hembram and five other adivasi families of Mali village. While forcefully acquiring land of Motiya village’s Ramjeevan Paswan, Adani functionaries threatened him that he would be buried in his land if he refused to give it to the company (“zameen nahi di to zameen mein gaad denge”). The police refused to lodge his complaint against the functionaries.

When the people of Mali complained to the Deputy Commissioner (DC) against the forceful acquisition of their land without their consent, the DC refused to take any action and instead told the people that since their lands had been acquired, they should just take the compensation. People of the affected villages claim that more than 1000 families will be displaced if land is acquired in all the ten villages. It will have a direct impact on their livelihoods and survival. Also, for adivasis families, the land is associated with their culture, history and identity, which they do not want to lose at any cost. It must be mentioned that according to section 20 of the Santhal Paragana Tenancy Act, agricultural land in Santhal Pargana area cannot be transferred or acquired for any government or private projects, barring a few exceptions.

According to the environment impact assessment report, 14-18 MT coal will be used by the plant every year. There is little doubt that this will severely affect the local ecosystem. The plant will need 36 MCM water per year which is supposed to be sourced from the local rainfed lifeline, Chir river. This will drain up the limited source in the water-deprived district of Godda.

The power produced in the plant will be supplied to Bangladesh. Even though Adani company is to provide at least 25 percent of total power to Jharkhand, its SIA report does not clearly mention the source from where the company will provide power to the state. A recent newsreport also exposed how Jharkhand government changed its energy policy in 2016 to buy power from the Adani company at a higher rate which might cost the exchequer more than Rs. 7000 crores in the next 25 years.

It is clear from the inquiry that several laws have been grossly violated by this project till now. The Adani project is yet another example of government prioritising corporate interests at the cost of blatant exploitation of people and their resources. It is not surprising that most of the documents related to the acquisition for this project are not available on the district administration’s website, as mandated by the act. Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha, on behalf of all the constituent organisations and activists, demands the following:

  • Implementation of the illegal project be immediately stopped, acquisition of land for the plant be stopped and illegally acquired land be given back.
  • Since this project has violated several constitutional provisions and laws, a judicial  inquiry of the project be undertaken and  legal action be taken against the Adani company and responsible officials for the exploitation of people
  • All affected families to be compensated for the loss in crops and livelihoods

Factfinding report and introductory statement of Mahasabha attached. All documents mentioned in the release are available on . Video testimonies of affected families available on the youtube channel of them Mahasabha – . For more details, please contact Vivek (8873341415), Kumar Chand Mardi (9934165214), Chintamani Sahu (8226961999) or Siraj (9939819763) or write at [email protected]


What is JJM?

Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha is a coalition of concerned citizens and thirty progressive organisations, formed in August 2018 to facilitate efforts to defend people’s rights and save democracy in Jharkhand.

The Mahasabha was formed against the background of multiple attacks on people’s rights and democracy: attempted amendments of land laws, starvation deaths, lynching incidents, harassment of activists, state-sponsored communalism, attacks on the freedom of expression, to name a few. It is committed to the use of all possible democratic means to counter these trends and assert people’s democratic rights.

Principles and Focus

The Mahasabha is committed to democratic working principles, including equality, participatory decision-making, non-violent action, and fair representation of disadvantaged groups at every step. It is opposed to all social hierarchies including caste, class and gender inequality.

The main focus of the Mahasabha is on defending constitutional rights, including the right to life, the right to equality, the right to freedom of expression, the right to self-governance and all socio-economic rights outlined in the Directive Principles. The Mahasabha proposes to initiate a series of activities around these issues: public awareness programs, meetings, street demonstrations, legal action, joint statements and more. It will also support initiatives taken by the participating organisations by mobilising member-organisations and resources.


JJM is an open platform – any organisation that agrees with its basic principles is welcome.

JJM has a steering committee, currently consisting of one member of each of the founding organisations (listed below), aside from a few invited individuals. To facilitate its day-to-day work, the steering committee has formed a core group and a secretariat.


The Mahasabha is a people’s movement, it will avoid any formal collaboration with mainstream political parties, the government and funding agencies.

Founding organisations*

Adivasi Mulwasi Adhikar Manch, Adivasi Sengel Abhiyan, Adivasi Women’s Network, APCR Jharkhand, Asangathit Mazdoor Vahini, Bagaicha, Bharat Jan Andolan, CPI-ML (Red Star), CPI-ML (Class Struggle),  Ekal Nari Sashakti Sangathan, Ekta Parishad, Gaon Ganrajya Parishad, Hasa aur Bhasha Jagao Sangathan (Godda), Jan Mukti Sangharsh Vahini, Jan Sangram Manch, Jharkhand Kisan Parishad (Chandil), Jharkhand Loktantrik Manch, Jharkhand Nagrik Prayas, Jungle Bachao Andolan,  Kendriya Jan Sangharsh Samiti, National Alliance of People’s Movements, NREGA Watch, Sajha Kadam, Samajwadi Jan Parishad, Sangharsh Vahini, SUCI (Communist), TRTC (Chaibasa), Right to Food Campaign,  Jharkhand, Kandi, Loktantra Bachao Manch, Swaraj India, United Milli Forum, Visthapan Virodhi Jan Vikas Andolan, YCR parties. (* In alphabetical order)

झारखंड के अडानी पावरप्लांट परियोजना–

जबरन भूमि अधिग्रहण और सरकारी बर्बरता का सूचक


2016 में झारखंड सरकार ने बहुत जोरशोर के साथ गोड्डा ज़िले में एक पावरप्लांट स्थापित करने के लिए अदानी समूह के साथ समझौता किया था। झारखंड जनाधिकार महासभा, जो कि 30 से अधिक संगठनों का एक मंच है, के एक दल ने हाल में ही इस परियोजना का तथ्यान्वेषण किया। जांच में पता चला कि पिछले दो सालों में परियोजना की कई उपलब्धियां हैं, जैसे – जबरन भूमि अधिग्रहण,  भूमि अधिग्रहण कानून 2013 की प्रक्रियाओं का व्यापक उल्लंघन , किसानों की फसलों को बर्बाद करना,  संभावित लाभों के बारे में लोगों से झूठ बोलना,  प्रभावित परिवारों पर पुलिस बर्बरता, केस मुकदमे करना तथा अन्य हथकंडो से डराना।


कंपनी की सामाजिक प्रभाव मूल्यांकन रिपोर्ट के अनुसार, थर्मल पावर प्लांट के लिए गोड्डा जिले के दो प्रखंडो के 10 गांवों में फैली हुई 1364 एकड़ भूमि को अधिग्रहित किया जाना है। इस प्लांट से 1600 मेगावॉट बिजली की उत्पादन होगी। झारखंड सरकार और कंपनी का दावा है कि यह एक लोक परियोजना है, इससे रोजगार का सृजन और आर्थिक विकास होगा तथा इस परियोजना में विस्थापन की संख्या ‘शून्य’ है। कुल बिजली उत्पादन का 25 प्रतिशत झारखंड को दिया जाएगा।

ज़मीनी वास्तविकता इन दावों के विपरीत है। भूमि अधिग्रहण कानून 2013 के अनुसार, निजी परियोजनाओं के लिए भूमि अधिग्रहण करने के लिए कम से कम 80 प्रतिशत प्रभावित परिवारों की सहमति एवं ग्राम सभा की अनुमति की आवश्यकता है। लेकिन क्षेत्र के अधिकांश आदिवासी और कई गैर-आदिवासी परिवार शुरुआत से ही परियोजना का विरोध कर रहे हैं। 2016 और 2017 में, सामाजिक प्रभाव मूल्यांकन (SIA) और पर्यावरण प्रभाव मूल्यांकन (EIA) के लिए जनसुनवाई आयोजित की गई थी। कई ज़मीन मालिक जो इस परियोजना के विरोध में थे उन्हें अडानी के अधिकारीयों और स्थानीय प्रशासन ने जनसुनवाई में भाग लेने नहीं दिया। प्रभावित ग्रामीण दावा करते हैं कि गैर-प्रभावित क्षेत्रों के लोगों को सुनवाई में बैठाया गया था। ऐसी ही एक बैठक के बाद जिसमें प्रभावित परिवारों को अपनी बात रखने का मौका नहीं दिया गया था, ग्रामीणों और पुलिस के बीच झड़प हुई थी और पुलिस द्वारा महिलाओं के साथ दुर्व्यवहार ने उन पर पर लाठी चार्ज किया था।

कंपनी की सामाजिक प्रभाव मूल्यांकन रिपोर्ट में कई तथ्यात्मक व वैधानिक त्रुटियां हैं जैसे प्रभावित गांवों में कोई तकनिकी रूप में कुशल और शिक्षित व्यक्ति न होना, शून्य विस्थापन, प्रभावित गांवों के सभी ग्रामीणों का धर्म हिंदु बताना आदि। बटाईदार खेतिहर पर होने वाले प्रभाव का कोई ज़िक्र नहीं है। न ही इसमें वैकल्पिक ज़मीन की बात की गयी है । परियोजना से सृजित होने वाली नौकरियों की संख्या रिपोर्ट में स्पष्ट नही है। साथ ही, भूमि अधिग्रहण के लिए सहमती की विडियो और ज़मीन मालिकों द्वारा हस्ताक्षरित सहमती पत्र उपलब्ध नही हैं। यह गौर करने की बात है कि अधिनियम के अनुसार प्रभावित परिवारों का हिस्सा ज़मीन मालिक, मज़दूर व बटाईदार खेतिहर होते हैं.सरकार ने चार गांवों में लगभग 500 एकड़ भूमि अधिग्रहित की है। इसमें से कम-से-कम 100 एकड़ ज़मीन सम्बंधित 40 प्रभावित परिवारों की सहमती के बिना जबरन अधिग्रहण किया गया है। कंपनी  ने स्थानीय पुलिस के सहयोग से माली गाँव के मेनेजर हेमब्रम सहित अन्य पांच आदिवासी परिवारों की 15 एकड़ जमीन में लगी फसलों, कई पेड़-पौधों,  श्मशान घाटो और तालाब को बर्बाद कर दिया। मोतिया गांव के रामजीवन पासवान की भूमि को जबरन अधिग्रहण करने के दौरान, अडानी कंपनी के अधिकारीयों ने उन्हें धमकी दी कि, “ज़मीन नही दी तो जमीन में गाड़ देंगे”। पुलिस ने अडानी के अधिकारीयों के खिलाफ उनकी शिकायत दर्ज करने से इंकार कर दिया।

जब माली के लोगों ने उनकी सहमति के बिना ज़बरदस्ती भूमि अधिग्रहण के खिलाफ गोड्डा के उपायुक्त से शिकायत की,  तो उन्होंने कारवायी करने से इनकार कर दिया और कहा कि उनकी भूमि अधिगृहित कर ली गयी है,इसलिए उन्हें मुआवजा लेना चाहिए। प्रभावित गांवों के लोग दावा करते हैं कि अगर सभी दस गांवों में जमीन अधिग्रहित की जाती है तो 1000 से अधिक परिवार विस्थापित हो जाएंगे। इससे उनके आजीविका और रोजगार पर गहरा प्रभाव पड़ेगा। साथ ही, आदिवासी परिवारों के लिए ज़मीन उनकी संस्कृति, परंपरा और अस्तित्वा से जुड़ा है जिसे वे गवाना नहीं चाहते हैं. यह गौर करने की बात है कि संथाल परगना टेनेंसी अधिनियम की धारा 20 के अनुसार किसी भी सरकारी या निजी परियोजना (कुछ विशेष परियोजनाओं के अलावा) के लिए कृषि भूमि हस्तांतरित या अधिगृहित नही की जा सकती है।

पर्यावरण प्रभाव मूल्यांकन रिपोर्ट के अनुसार, हर वर्ष प्लांट में 14-18 मिलियन टन कोयले का उपयोग किया जाएगा। इसमें कोई संदेह नहीं है कि यह आस-पास के वातावरण को गंभीर रूप से प्रभावित करेगा। प्लांट में प्रति वर्ष 36 MCM पानी की आवश्यकता होगी, जिसे स्थानीय चिर नदी से लिया जाएगा। यह वर्षा आधारित नदी इस जल-आभाव क्षेत्र के लिए जीवनरेखा समान है।

प्लांट से उत्पादित बिजली बांग्लादेश में आपूर्ति की जाएगी। हालांकि अडानी कंपनी को कुल उत्पादन का कम से कम 25 प्रतिशत बिजली झारखंड को उपलब्ध कराना है, लेकिन इसके समाजीक प्रभाव मुल्यांकन रिपोर्ट में इस 25 प्रतिशत के स्रोत का स्पष्ट रूप से उल्लेख नहीं है। हाल के एक न्यूज़ रिपोर्ट ने यह खुलासा किया है कि झारखंड सरकार ने अडानी कंपनी से उच्च दर पर बिजली खरीदने के लिए 2016 में अपनी ऊर्जा नीति में बदलाव की थी। इस बदलाव के कारण सरकार से अडानी समूह को अगले 25 वर्षो में सामान्य भुगतान के अलावा 7000 हजार करोड़ रु का अतिरिक्त भुगतान भी मिल सकता है।

जांच से यह स्पष्ट है कि इस पूरी परियोजना में अभी तक कई कानूनों का घोर उलंघन हुआ है. इस परियोजना से स्पष्ट है कि सरकार लोगों का शोषण व उनके संसाधनों का दोहन करके कॉर्पोरेट घरानों के मुनाफे को प्राथमिकता दे रही है। यह आश्चर्य की बात नहीं है कि इस परियोजना के भूमि अधिग्रहण से संबंधित अधिकांश दस्तावेज जिला प्रशासन की वेबसाइट पर उपलब्ध नहीं हैं, जैसा कि अधिनियम अंतर्गत अनिवार्य है। झारखंड जनाधिकार महासाभा, सभी संगठनों और कार्यकर्ताओं की ओर से निम्न मांग करता हैं:

  • अवैध तरीके से लगायी जा रही परियोजना को तुरंत रोका जाए, प्लांट के लिए भूमि अधिग्रहण को तुरंत बंद किया जाय और अवैध तरीके से अधिग्रहित की जा रही ज़मीन को वापिस किया जाए.
  • चुकि इस परियोजना में कई कानूनों का उलंघन हुआ है, इस परियोजना का न्यायिक जांच करवाया जाए तथा लोगों के शोषण के लिए अडानी कंपनी और ज़िम्मेदार पदाधिकारियों के विरुद्ध कानूनी कार्रवाई की जाए

सभी प्रभावित परिवारों को अभी तक हुए फसलों और आजीविका के नुकसान के लिए मुआवजा दिया जाय

तथ्यान्वेषण रिपोर्ट और महासाभा का परिचय पत्र संलग्न है। सम्बंधित दस्तावेज़ इस लिंक से डाउनलोड कर सकते हैं – . प्रभावित परिवारों के बयान का विडियो महासभा की youtube चैनल पर उपलब्ध है। अधिक जानकारी के लिए विवेक (8873341415)कुमार चंद मार्डी (9934165214), चिंतमनी साहू (8226961999) या सिराज (9939819763) से संपर्क करे अथवा jharkhand.janadhikar.[email protected]com पर लिखें।


झारखंड जनाधिकार महासभा कई सामाजिक कार्यकर्ताओं और 30 जन संगठनों का एक मंच है जिसका गठन अगस्त 2018 में किया गया. इसका मुख्य उद्देश्य है राज्य में जन अधिकारों और लोकतंत्र पर हो रहे हमलों के विरुद्ध संघर्षों को संगठित और सुदृढ़ करना.

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Pakistani woman Asia Bibi acquitted after Supreme Court overturns death sentence for blasphemy

  • Asia Bibi has been living on death row since 2010 when she became the first woman to be sentenced to death under Pakistan’s blasphemy laws
  • She was condemned for allegedly making derogatory remarks about Islam after neighbours objected to her drinking water from their glass because she was not Muslim


Blasphemy is an incendiary charge in deeply conservative Muslim Pakistan, where even unproven allegations of insulting Islam and its Prophet Mohammed can provoke death at the hands of vigilantes – and the acquittal immediately sparked large protests from hardliners.

Bibi appeared to be in state of disbelief after hearing that Pakistan’s Chief Justice Saqib Nisar had quashed her conviction nearly eight years after she was first sentenced to death.

“I can’t believe what I am hearing, will I go out now? Will they let me out, really?” Bibi said by phone from prison after the ruling.

“I just don’t know what to say, I am very happy, I can’t believe it.”

Demonstrations broke out in major cities across the country following the verdict, with around a thousand club-wielding demonstrators blocking Islamabad’s main highway as several roads in the port city of Karachi were barricaded by protesters sparking chaotic traffic jams.

One of the most vocal groups leading the protests – the Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) – called for “mutiny” against the army’s top brass following the verdict.

“The Muslim generals of the army, it is their responsibility that they should launch a rebellion against these generals,” Afzal Qadri – a TLP leader – told supporters in Lahore.

But the acquittal was met with near silence on the country’s airwaves as broadcasters appeared to be steering clear of covering the controversial topic.

Bibi was set to be released immediately according to the court, although there was no word if any security arrangements were being made for her protection.

Her legal team celebrated the court’s decision amid beefed-up security in Islamabad.

“The verdict has shown that the poor, the minorities and the lowest segments of society can get justice in this country despite its shortcomings,” Bibi’s lawyer Saif-ul-Mulook said.

“This is the biggest and happiest day of my life.”

Her case drew the attention of international rights groups and swiftly became the most high-profile in the country.

Pope Benedict XVI called for her release in 2010, while in 2015 her daughter met his successor and the current head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis.

Freedom for Bibi in Pakistan, where university students have been lynched and Christians burned in ovens over blasphemy claims, means a life under threat by hardliners, who regularly hold demonstrations calling for her execution.

If there is any attempt to hand her over to a foreign country, there will be terrible consequences

The allegations against Bibi date back to 2009, when Muslim women she was labouring with in a field objected to sharing water with her because she was Christian.

After an argument, the women went to a local cleric and accused Bibi of blasphemy against the Prophet Mohammed, a charge punishable by death under colonial-era legislation.

During the appeal hearing on October 8, a three-member panel of Supreme Court justices appeared to question the case against her, with Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, considered Pakistan’s top expert in criminal law, listing flaws in the proceedings.

“I don’t see any derogatory remarks vis-à-vis the holy Koran as per the FIR,” added Chief Justice Saqib Nisar, referring to the initial complaint filed in the case.

Around 40 people are believed to be on death row or serving a life sentence in Pakistan for blasphemy, according to a 2018 report by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom.

Leading rights groups have long criticised the legislation, saying it is routinely abused to justify censorship, persecution, and even murder of minorities.

In recent years, it has also been weaponised to smear dissenters and politicians.

Mere calls to reform the law have provoked violence, most notably the assassination of Salmaan Taseer, the governor of Pakistan’s most populous province Punjab, by his own bodyguard in broad daylight in Islamabad in 2011.

Taseer had also called for Bibi’s release. His assassin, Mumtaz Qadri, was executed in 2016 and has been feted as a hero by hardliners, with a shrine to him built by Islamists just outside the capital.

Taseer’s son Shahbaz tweeted “Pakistan Zindabad”, meaning “Long live Pakistan”, following the ruling.

Politicians including new Prime Minister Imran Khan invoked blasphemy during a general election this summer, vowing to defend the laws.

Analysts have warned the tactic could deepen sectarian fractures and potentially spill into violence.

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Gulzar’s date with the legendary lady of letters, Amrita Pritam

Remembering Amrita Pritam on her Death Anniversary

She asked me to recite a poem and I recited Dastak, which spoke of friends arriving from across the border coming to our home and mats being laid out in the courtyard and food being cooked, but alas it turns out to be just a dream.

Amrita Pritam (HT File)

Punjabi writer and poet Amrita Pritam was the first woman to win the National Sahitya Akademi Award in 1956. A recipient of the Padma Shri, Padma Vibhushan and Jnanpith, she is remembered for poems such as Ajj Aakhaan Waris Shah Nu (Today I invoke Waris Shah) — which is an elegy to the 18th century Punjabi Sufi poet — and Pinjar (The Skeleton) , among many others. Her works have been translated in several Indian and foreign languages. Poet-filmmaker Gulzar pays a tribute to her on her 99th birthday and renews an old acquaintance with the Punjabi poet:

The first time I heard Amrita Pritam’s poem, Ajj Aakhan Waris Shah Nu, recited by none other than the actor-writer Balraj Sahni, was at a meeting of the Punjabi Sahit Sabha in Mumbai. As a young poet in the late 1950s and 1960s, I was acquainted for the first time with the Punjabi poetry of Amrita Pritam in Mumbai. I was a member of the Progressive Writers Association and also went to attend meetings of the Punjabi Sahit Sabha that had luminous writers such as Rajinder Singh Bedi, Balraj Sahni, Harnam Singh Naaz and Sukhbir.

It was a popular poem then as it is now and left a listener with goose pimples; more so for those who had migrated from Punjab to the new nation of Pakistan. Those were unhappy and unsettled times for the migrants, many of whom were unemployed.


My meeting with the legendary lady of letters came much later when Basu Bhattacharya was making a documentary on Amrita and her soulmate Imroz. I had known Inderjeet Imroz before he came to Mumbai and stayed with another artist, Pardooman, and together did some paintings and calligraphy for the Sohrab Modi film, Mirza Ghalib (1954). But it was the first time I came face-to-face with Amrita. Basu Da introduced me and she asked me, “What do you do?” I told her that I assisted in direction and also wrote some poetry.

She asked me to recite a poem and I recited Dastak, which spoke of friends arriving from across the border coming to our home and mats being laid out in the courtyard and food being cooked, but alas it turns out to be just a dream. She made me recite it again at lunchtime and after the pack-up she asked me to stay back with Basu Da. There were just Amrita, Basu Da, Imroz and I in the drawing room. The decor included paintings by Imroz in which he had painted the beauty of his lady love besides amazing lampshades that had calligraphy by Imroz of lines from Amrita’s poetry.

I was asked to recite the poem a third time and then she said, “The subject is so complex yet you have rendered it with immense ease!” Appreciative words coming from a person of her poetic stature were enough to make my day.

There grew a literary acquaintance with the acclaimed poet and she took interest in my writing and lyrics. She also published several of my poems in her magazine, Nagmani.

After some more years of struggle, I became a director and set up my one-room office in Mumbai. One day, Amrita and Imroz came to meet me there. I welcomed them and I gave her my chair as a respect to a senior poet, while Imroz and I sat across the table on chairs kept for visitors. She had a request that I make a film on her novel, Pinjar. She had a script and I told her to leave it with me and we would discuss it the next day.

I went through the script and read it along with the novel at night. Pinjar spoke about the Partition through protagonist Puro, who stands as an epitome of violence against women.

At the second meeting, I told her that I would like to make a film of just the first three chapters, which were about Puro’s story, but for that I would have to write a screenplay. Amrita insisted that the film was to be made just as she had scripted it. When I declined saying that this was not possible and suggested that she make the film herself the way she wanted it, I could see displeasure on her face when she left.

However, this episode did not in any way sour our acquaintance. Whenever I went to Delhi, I would go to meet her. She published a long interview with me and that became the prologue of my first book in Hindustani, Chand Pukhraj Ka.

The last visit to see her was with Gopi Chand Narang, then president of the Sahitya Akademi, to give her the Akademi’s prestigious fellowship award. Sadly, she was then just a piece of flesh. She recognised no one nor could she speak. Imroz said, “These awards should come when a person is well enough to appreciate them.” Narang replied that he wanted it to reach her in her lifetime.

A year later, I recited her poems for a music company in tribute and each word touched my heart”.

(Gulzar as told to Nirupama Dutt)

Hindutan times

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CBI Diluted Supreme Court-Monitored Investigation To Protect Chhattisgarh Police

CBI dropped witnesses and withheld information in a 2011 case accusing police of rape, arson and murder in Tadmetla, Bastar.

NEW DELHI — The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) dropped the testimonies of key witnesses, ignored its own findings and withheld critical information from the Supreme Court in a 2011 case accusing the Chhattisgarh police of burning over 300 homes, killing three men and raping three women in the course of a counter-insurgency operation in 2011, according to an internal memo leaked to HuffPost India.

The memo, HuffPost India learnt, was intended as the basis for the CBI’s chargesheets and closure reports submitted to a Raipur special court in October 2017, as part of a Supreme Court monitored investigation into human rights violations in Chhattisgarh.

The memo was shared with HuffPost India as allegations of corruption within the CBI, traded between the CBI’s former Director Alok Verma and his deputy Rakesh Asthana, has resulted in the disclosure of key information that had been suppressed in the course of its investigations.

HuffPost India has written to the CBI and will update the story once the agency replies.

The CBI’s actions in such a sensitive case offer fresh evidence that the institution described as both India’s premier investigative agency and a “caged parrot”, can’t always be trusted with cases that prove inconvenient to its political masters.

The closure reports were submitted to the Special Judicial Magistrate, CBI Raipur in 2017, when the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) was in power in the centre and in Chhattisgarh — a situation that continues to this day.

Report versus memo

A comparison of the closure reports filed by the agency to the court, and the internal memo, shows the following discrepancies:

  • The closure report chargesheets four junior policemen, but dropped the testimonies of two witnesses [HuffPost India is redacting their names to protect them from reprisals] who said Inspector General SRP Kalluri was present at the site when his forces allegedly ran amok and burnt the Tadmetla village. Kalluri is a controversial police officer who headed anti-Maoist operations in Bastar until he was sidelined in 2017.
  • The memo quotes official logs that indicate that Kalluri was present at a police base less than 10 km from the scene of the crime and there are no logs to indicate his further movements.”The tour programme of Shri S.R.P. Kalluri also reveals that he was present at Chintalnar outpost during the same period,” the memo states. “Hence, involvement of Shri S.R.P. Kalluri also can’t be fully ruled out. If prosecution is thought fit to be recommended against the SPOs, who have been identified by the villagers having committed the offences, then the same logic would also apply for Shri S.R.P. Kalluri and Shri D.S.Maravi, as they have been also identified by the villagers and they were leading the operation.”

An excerpt of an internal CBI memo considering Inspector General of Police SRP Kalluri’s role in the 2011 Tadmetla incident.
  • The closure reports do not include the testimony of a CPRF trooper, recorded in the memo, who said, “when the police party was returning from village Tadmetla, he saw the police party taking two civilians seeming to be villagers along with them. Some old women along with children of village Tadmetla were also following the police personnel who picked up the villagers with them.”
  • The closure report said the CBI could not find evidence to support the testimony of a woman who said she was raped by Special Police Officers, as they could not find biological evidence or witnesses to support the charge. The internal memo agrees with these findings, but offers more details and context than the version submitted to the court.The memo states: “Though the allegations of rape is proved by the statement of the victim herself, by corroboration of the fact of injury mark near eye available on [Redacted], by corroboration of the fact that she was lying unconscious, but as no individual responsible for the stated offence of rape could be identified, hence, no further action can be taken in this matter.”

    Here’s a photograph that this reporter took of the victim in March 2011, days after the police operation.

    March 2011 Photograph of the alleged rape survivor, showing the wound noted by the CBI in the course of their investigation. (Aman Sethi, March 2011)
  • The closure report reproduces a First Information Report, filed by the police, that claims that the villages were burnt, and villagers attacked, when 100 to 150 Maoists ambushed a police party, and concludes that further investigations are required.The memo, includes the testimonies of 18 CRPF troopers who said they did not hear any gunshots — from Maoist or policeman — despite being present at the spot.

    “In such a situation where many of the security personnel is unaware about any firings/gunshots, there are high possibility of there being no encounter with any naxals.” the memo concludes.

Chilling lapses

Perhaps the most chilling aspects of the memo touch upon what passes for standard operating procedure in Chhattisgarh.

The Chhattisgarh police, the CBI found, “could not submit the details of arms and ammunition issued to all the police force who had participated in the operation.”

“This is really a very worrisome fact and has got serious ramification, where there is no strict accounting and the government is not sure about the exact number of ammunitions issued to its personnel. This could even lead to illegal trading of ammunitions to the very perpetrators of naxalism and terrorism.”

Further, the inquiry found that the Chhattisgarh police had given the CBI an incomplete information on the number of police officers who participated in the raids.

“The FIR of RC.08(S)/2011 mentions the number of security personnel as 340 and the FIR of RC.11(S)/2011 mentions the number of security personnel as 327, who had participated in the operation, yet the police has furnished list of only 323 personnel,” the memo states.

The implications are profound, as the memo notes, “There is a possibility of commission of crime by those personnel, whose names are not reflected in the official records and yet remain away from clutches of law as no record would show their names for having participated in the operation under question.”

The Tadmetla Case

In 2011, this reporter and Anil Mishra, a reporter with Rajasthan Patrika at the time, reported on the aftermath of a scorched-earth counter-insurgency operation by the Chhattisgarh police in Bastar’s Konta block, that ended with three villages in flames, three alleged deaths, and three alleged rapes.

When the Chhattisgarh police attacked convoys of relief materials headed for the affected villages, the matter was brought to the Supreme Court who directed the CBI to investigate the matter in July that year. The matter was taken up sociologist Nandini Sundar, who was already fighting a on-going case on the constitutionality of counter-insurgency operations in Chhattisgarh, particularly the deployment of civilian vigilantes in the Salva Judum.

In the course of its investigation, the CBI’s investigating team was itself attacked by the Chhattisgarh police to stymie the investigation. In October 2016, the agency filed a set of closure reports that downplayed most of its findings and focused on punishing junior policemen rather than focussing on the IPS officers who planned the operation.

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Toronto’s Consul General of India Keynotes Hindu Nationalist Event

Toronto’s Consul General of India Keynotes Hindu Nationalist Event


“Dinesh Bhatia’s presence at an RSS event inspires fear,” say Indian minorities

ONTARIO, Canada: Oct. 31, 2018 — Some minorities of Indian origin are asking for Dinesh Bhatia, the Consul General of India’s Toronto consulate, to resign after he appeared as the keynote speaker at an Oct. 19 event which was hosted by Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS), the international wing of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the world’s largest paramilitary.

“Thousands of Indians fled religious and ethnic persecution in India to find refuge in Canada,” says Ram Mohan, an activist with Canadian Minorities of India (CMI). “Many refugees, including Christians, Dalits, Muslims, and Sikhs have endured persecution at the hands of the RSS. The moment Consul General Bhatia spoke on a stage featuring photographs of RSS leaders, he discarded his diplomatic credentials. Bhatia’s presence at an RSS event inspires fear in the hearts of many Canadians from Indian minority communities. He must resign.”

Bhatia was joined at the event by Ved Nanda, Sanghchalak (Leader) of HSS North America, and Saumitra Gokhale, International Coordinator of HSS. Garlanded photos on the stage included K.B. Hedgewar and M.S. Golwalkar. Hedgewar, who founded the RSS in 1925, said his intention was “to put in reality the words ‘Hindustan of Hindus.’” He stated, “Hindustan is a country of Hindus. Like other nations of other people (eg. Germany of Germans), this is a nation of Hindu people.” Golwalkar, who was the RSS’s longest-serving leader, stated, “We repeat: in Hindustan, the land of the Hindus, lives and should live the Hindu Nation.”

“The RSS calls Indian Christians ‘foreigners’ and murders them,” says Bill Rogers, a U.S.-based observer of international Christian persecution. “One horrible example is the 2008 Odisha Pogrom, where the government of Odisha is on record saying that it was the RSS and its affiliates who massacred dozens of Christians and made so many tens of thousands refugees in their own country. A diplomat who claims to represent a secular country has no business going anywhere near an RSS event.”

The RSS is the parent of a family of organizations known as the Sangh Parivar. According to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, “Sangh Parivar entities aggressively press for governmental policies to promote their Hindu nationalist agenda, and adhere in varying degrees to an ideology of Hindutva, which holds non-Hindus as foreign to India.” In June 2018, the CIA labeled the RSS as a nationalist organization and its affiliate, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), as a religious militant organization.

“The RSS, VHP, and HSS are supremacist groups which spread hatred against non-Hindu Indians,” explains Pieter Friedrich, an analyst of South Asian affairs. “The RSS and VHP are implicated in pogroms against Indian minorities, assassinations of journalists, and terrorist acts. They share ideological affinity with white nationalists. White nationalists want a whites-only nation while the RSS wants a Hindus-only nation. Both are anti-Semitic. Both glorify Aryanism. Both lynch minorities. Horrifying events like the Tree of Life Synagogue massacre in Pittsburgh are regularly replicated in India by Hindu nationalists who invade churches, mosques, and gurdwaras.”

Friedrich notes, “The goals of the RSS are very clearly indicated in the writings of Golwalkar and of Savarkar — the originator of the term Hindutva. Both suggested that Indian minorities should be treated the same way as Nazi Germany treated the Jews.” He identifies a selection of quotes from both figures taken from the 1920s to 1960s.

“We are Indians because we are Hindus and vice versa,” wrote Savarkar. He said that, “India must be a Hindu land, reserved for the Hindus.” Asserting that “so far as the Moslem minority is concerned… we must watch it in all its actions with the greatest distrust possible,” he concluded, “If we Hindus in India grow stronger, in time these Muslims… will have to play the part of German-Jews.”

“Conversion of Hindus into other religions is nothing but making them succumb to divided loyalty in place of having undivided and absolute loyalty to the nation,” wrote Golwalkar. He demanded, “Muslims and Christians here should give up their present foreign mental complexion and merge in the common stream of our national life.” Claiming that “the first Semitic religion was Judaism — an intolerant faith,” Golwalkar declared,

“To keep up the purity of the race and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of the Semitic races — the Jews. Race pride at its highest has been manifested here. Germany has also shown how well-nigh impossible it is for races and cultures, having differences going to the root, to be assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for us in Hindustan to learn and profit by.”

Bhatia courted controversy earlier this year when his office protested the presence of a Punjab pavilion at the July 2018 Carabram multicultural festival in Brampton, Ontario.

According to Brampton Mayor Linda Jeffrey, consular officials threatened to “go to the highest office in the country and cancel this festival.” Their objection was that the Sikh community wanted to host a Punjab pavilion apart from the India pavilion. “This type of unwarranted interference by Indian officials in a local cultural festival in Brampton was shocking,” said Jeffrey. The office of Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland stated, “Interference in domestic affairs by foreign representatives in Canada is inappropriate.”

Meanwhile, RSS Sarsanghchalak (Supreme Leader) Mohan Bhagwat and HSS Sanghchalak Ved Nanda have both sparked protests in the U.S. over the past year.

In September 2018, Bhagwat faced relentless resistance when he keynoted the VHP-organized World Hindu Congress (WHC) in Chicago. African-Americans, Buddhists, Christians, Dalits, Muslims, and Sikhs united in two days of street protests. Several U.S. politicians who were scheduled to attend dropped out, some issuing statements.

Representative Tulsi Gabbard, the first Hindu elected to U.S. Congress, was confirmed to chair the WHC but dropped out after protests against her sharing the stage with Bhagwat. She stated, “Due to ethical concerns and problems that surround my participating in any partisan Indian political event in America, effective immediately, I respectfully withdraw myself.” Ram Villivalam, a nominee for Illinois State Senate, was scheduled to appear but also dropped out. Citing the presence of “nationalist individuals and organizations affiliated with WHC 2018,” he stated, “Therefore, I cannot participate in this convening…. I do not support any group and/or an event arranged or led by organizations that intimidate minorities, incite discrimination and violence, commit acts of terror based on race or ethnic background, promote hate speech, and/or believe in faith based nationalism.”

In November 2017, Nanda stirred controversy in California when the Uberoi Foundation for Religious Studies, an organization he chairs, sponsored demands to revise school curriculum. A broad spectrum of Indian minority groups — including Dalits, Muslims, Sikhs, and Ravidassias — protested proposed revisions which included removal of the word “Dalit,” insertion of language claiming that the caste system created “social stability,” insertion of language suggesting that Dalits (formerly known as Untouchables) chose to do “dirty work” which made them untouchable, insertion of references to the mythical Saraswati River as a geographical reality, removal of references to Sikh Guru Nanak’s opposition to Brahmanism (the philosophy holding the highest caste, Brahmans, as superior) and the caste system, and labeling of U.S. Congressman Dalip Singh Saund as an Indian instead of a Sikh.

“Nanda directly modeled his efforts to revise American curriculum after efforts by Bhagwat and his predecessors to rewrite Indian curriculum according to the whims of Hindu nationalists,” notes Arvin Valmuci, a spokesperson for Organization for Minorities of India (OFMI). “We have seen solidarity among diverse communities protesting the California curriculum changes as well as the WHC in Chicago. Indians in Canada, including freedom-loving Hindus, should also unite, speak out, expose, reject, and eject Consul General Dinesh Bhatia’s affiliation with the agenda of militant religious nationalism.”

Toronto’s Consul General of India Keynotes Hindu Nationalist Event

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India – Statue of Unity or Statue of Tribal Injustice?

A night before the unveiling of Sardar Patel’s statue, actvists, locals and journalists were detained by the police to prevent them from protesting

By Darshan Desai
Last Updated: Wednesday 31 October 2018

Statue of Unity

Locals protest land acquisition for road widening, a 53-room hotel and tourist facilities around the structure. Credit: Arranged by author Locals protest land acquisition for road widening, a 53-room hotel and tourist facilities around the structure. Credit: Arranged by author

The simmering anger of thousands of tribals in Gujarat’s eastern belt snowballed into a deafening silence today as Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled a statute of Sardar Patel, touted to be the world’s tallest statue.

Scores of villages remained shut and stoves were not lit in home kitchens as a symbol of mourning. Traditionally, no food is cooked when mourning the dead.

As many as 75,000 people from at least 72 villages have been affected by the Statue of Unity located at Sadhu Bet island, which is three km from the Sardar Sarovar Project and within the Garudeshwar weir supporting the dam.

The state machinery, including the top bureaucracy, executive officers, State Reserve Police Force and home guard companies were pressed into service to ensure Modi’s big show-stopper moment ahead of the crucial 2019 electoral battle was picture perfect.

Through Tuesday night, a huge posse of policemen deployed in Narmada district, indiscriminately knocked at the huts and thatched homes and more than 90 social and human rights activists were whisked away without giving any reason.

A local activist Mudita Vidrohi told Down To Earth, “My mother and me were picked up without any reason as though we were hardcore criminals. We were there just to express our solidarity with the Adivasis and there was no public protest programme planned by us or the tribal organisations.” Mudita posted a video on the social media that showed others, including journalists being taken away.

Tribals from across the eastern tribal belt of Gujarat, not just Narmada district, were protesting against the 182-metre statue, two times the height of the Statue of Liberty. There were reports of police making arrests of tribals even in the Dang forests and Banaskantha district in the North to prevent them from staging any demonstrations.

Tribal leader Praful Vasava, who has been at the forefront of the protest ever since the then chief minister Narendra Modi had declared the project in 2013, says, “We have never had any problems with the statue, but we can’t keep quiet about something which hits at our very existence.”

Of the 72 villages affected by the statue, rehabilitation has been left half way in 32. The Kevadia Colony that houses the staff of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada dam project is likely to affect six villages. In seven villages in Garudeshwar block, cash compensation was given but other commitments like land for land or jobs have not been fulfilled.

A local human rights activist, Anand Mazgaonkar, who was detained by the police says, “There are as many as 13 villages with an approximate population of 20,000 which have been directly affected by the land acquisition for the statue project. This also includes land plots taken away for road widening, a 53-room hotel and a host of tourist facilities around the structure.”

He has also said that the first six villages acquired for Sardar Sarovar staff colonies were never recognised as project affected and that they are still fighting this.

“The 19 villages that were, in fact, recognised as project-affected are fighting because promises made repeatedly to them were not kept. The seven villages that would be affected by Garudeshwar weir are fighting for their rights,” he added.

Besides, 28 villages on the right bank of the Narmada dam’s main canal are not allowed to share a drop of water even in this rain-scarce year. They have also resolved to fight, says Mazgaonkar.–61997

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Aadhaar: Searching Database with Fingerprints Not Possible, UIDAI Admits before the Bombay HC

Despite the claims, media stories and myth created about help find missing person by matching fingerprints, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), admitted before the Bombay High Court that searching Aadhaar database using latent chance fingerprints is not technologically feasible. This ratifies that Aadhaar is not a magic tool that will put an end to Bollywood’s favourite story line of siblings lost and separated on trains, or fairs or parted from their parents, because a quick scan in an Aadhaar database will find anybody, anywhere!

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In an order issued on 12 October 2018, Justice VK Jadhav from the Aurangabad bench of Bombay High Court, noted, “It has been specifically explained that the UIDAI does not collect biometric information i.e. based on technologies, standards or procedures suitable for forensic purposes. Thus, the matching of the finger prints without mentioning Aadhaar card is not feasible and even the system cannot respond to it.”
The case is related to identifying a dead woman whose body was found at Daulatabad in Aurangabad district. Since the investigating officer (IO) could not identify the dead woman, he filed an application before the District and Session Court seeking permission to compare fingerprints in Aadhaar database. UIDAI’s deputy directed filed his reply, after which the Additional Sessions Judge dismissed the petition.
The investigating officer then decided to approach the high court. VM Kagne, counsel for the IO, submitted that the application filed by the IO is not any adversarial litigation against Aadhaar or UIDAI. “IO is seeking help of the Aadhaar authorities to establish the identity of a dead body of a woman. Nobody has come forward to identify the dead body of the deceased and as such, the IO is helpless to find out any way to identify the deceased woman,” he said.
Bhalchandra Jichkar, deputy director of UIDAI, submitted that it is not at all possible compare the fingerprints with the information stored. BB Kulkarni, counsel for UIDAI, informed the court that, at present ,in all, there are more than 1.22 billion Aadhaar cardholders in the country and technological architecture of UIDAI does not allow matching of the fingerprints without mentioning Aadhaar number.
Mr Jichkar contended that “…the technological architecture of the respondent does not allow for any instance of 1:N matching (wherein fingers print, including latent and chance fingerprints are matched against the other fingerprints in the respondent’s database), except for generation of Aadhaar number where the biometric information has been collected in accordance with the technically laid down procedures. Further, it is reiterated that, the respondent does not collect biometric information, i.e. iris scan and fingerprints, based on technologies, standards or procedures suitable for forensic purposes. Therefore, searching the Aadhaar database using latent chance finger prints, which may be called as 1:N matching, it may not be technologically feasible.”
The HC then dismissed the application filed by the IO.
Finding missing persons by using fingerprints is a hoax created by ‘vested interests’ through media propaganda. The biometrics in the Aadhaar apparently help the authorities re-unite lost family members. Unfortunately, it is simply not possible for UIDAI to match fingerprints of anyone with other members of the person’s family.
Sometimes, Aadhaar holders even face difficulties in matching own fingerprints.
Here are some facts. The UIDAI, which has tagged Indian residents with a number, has repeatedly told the courts that it can only provide a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ answer to any query on Aadhaar. It also stated that all biometrics and demographic information of Aadhaar holders is never shared with anyone. UIDAI even went up to the Supreme Court to oppose efforts by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to seek access to its biometric database for investigation in a criminal case.
Under these circumstances, how can anyone claim that a ‘lost’ person was united with his/her family by using Aadhaar?
Biometrics do not provide demographic details, so how is this possible? There are three big holes in this propaganda. One, biometrics of a person keep changing every three years. So a perfect match can only happen if the person is recently lost and not in case of long lost persons. Forget about persons missing for years, the biometric authentication of UIDAI’s chief executive Ajay Bhushan Pandey also failed, as per his submission to the Supreme Court in the Aadhaar hearings.
Documents submitted before the five-judge Constitutional Bench list the attempts at Aadhaar authentication by Mr Pandey. There was only one attempt out of 26 attempts to use biometric authentication. And that failed!

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After apology to Manmohan Singh, Anupam Kher resigns as FTII chief

File photo of Anupam Kher

Veteran actor Anupam Kher said he has resigned as the Chairman of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune, due to his commitment to his international assignments

Veteran actor Anupam Kher said on Wednesday, October 31, that he has resigned as the Chairman of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune, due to his commitment to his international assignments.

“It has been an honour, a privilege and a great learning experience to be the Chairman of the prestigious FTII. But because of my international assignments, I won’t have much time to devote at the institute. Hence decided to send my resignation,” Anupam tweeted.

I was wrong, history won’t misjudge you’: Anupam Kher on Manmohan Singh

A known right-wing supporter in Bollywood and a seasoned actor who “does not mind” calling himself Modi’s chamcha (stooge), Anupam Kher accepted that he “wrongly judged” former PM Manmohan Singh

A known right-wing supporter in Bollywood and a seasoned actor who “doesn’t mind” calling himself Prime Minister Modi’s chamcha (stooge), Anupam Kher on Saturday said that he previously had “wrongly judged” former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The actor has just wrapped up the shooting of his upcoming film “The Accidental Prime Minister” which is a biographical political drama based on the book of the same name, written by Sanjay Baru. Akshaye Khanna also stars in the movie and essays the role of Baru. During UPA I government, Baru was the media adviser to Manmohan Singh.

The 63-year-old actor took to Twitter on Saturday, and posted that living Manmohan Singh’s life in reel life was a “great experience”, maintaining that his perception “changed” after living the character for a year.

Sharing a video on his social media handles, Kher wrote: “And it is a wrap for one of my most cherished films #TheAccidentalPrimeMinister. Thank you, the cast and the crew, for the most enriching times. Thank you #DrManmohanSinghJi for your journey. It has been a great learning experience for me.”

“I did have my reservations before doing this film and also wrongly judged you at times but today after finishing the shoot and having almost lived the role for more than one-year I can say it with utmost sincerity that history will not misjudge you. Will wait to have that cup of tea with you once you watch our film,” he added.

Anupam Kher


It is a WRAP for one of my most cherished films . Thank you d cast and d crew for the most enriching times. Thank you for your journey. It has been a great learning experience. One thing is sure “History will not Misjudge you.” 🙏

Anupam Kher


On the last day shoot of someone shoots a off camera moment between @suzannebernert playing & I having tea & biscuits. Shares it on social media. It is already on tv now. Best option is to share it myself. So here it is. Enjoy.😊🤓👇

Kher has also shared a behind the scenes video from the sets of his upcoming film. In the video, Kher can be seen dressed as the former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with German-born actor Suzanne Bernert, who portrays UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, engaged in a conversation.

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Jagdalpur Legal Aid group condemns arresy of Advocate Sudha Bhardwaj – an intimiate friend, mentor and inspitaion

The Jagdalpur Legal Aid Group and Collective strongly condemns and mourns the incidents of arrest and police remand of Advocate, friend, mentor, and colleague Sudha Bharadwaj and calls upon a collective expression of solidarity and strength from all activists, students, lawyers, democratic rights and civil liberty communities, friends and the general public. We also denounce this ongoing onslaught on other activists, lawyers, writers and professors, including Advocate Surendra Gadling, Advocate Arun Ferriera, Professor Shoma Sen, Vernon Gonsalves, Mahesh Raut, Varavara Rao, Gautam Navlakha, Sudhir Dhawale, Fr. Stan Swamy, Rona Wilson, Anand Teltumbe and several others who are being implicated by this mesh of lies and deceit spun by the Pune Police. We also condemn attacks direct and indirect by the State to silence civil rights and democratic rights organisations and extend our heartfelt solidarity to the People’s Union for Democratic Rights, Indian Association of Peoples’ Lawyers, Committee for Release of Political Prisoners, Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights, and the Persecuted Prisoners Solidarity Committee, which have been under relentless attack through the Indian Government’s strategy of labelling all voices of dissent ‘anti-national’ and ‘Urban Naxal’.
We most vehemently deny and condemn all the stories concocted by the Pune Police in the infamous letters leaked by them to several media houses, and call upon larger common sense to prevail in this matter.The entire case is based on a cloak of criminality woven out of unsigned, uncorroborated, unverified letters which are unfathomably ridiculous, substantially and otherwise. As was noted by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud in his dissenting judgement, the letter allegedly written by Advocate Sudha Bharadwaj is clearly written by someone who is a Marathi speaker, when Adv. Bharadwaj learned her Hindi in Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, where she has lived and worked in the last 45 years, and does not speak any Marathi! The fact that the police have themselves released these letters to the press before producing them in court clearly shows that the prosecution has little faith in its case and is falling back on petty media tactics to colour the impression of the arrestees in the general public. This has been done with brazen impunity and has not been a one-off incident of the police using the media to polarise public opinion but is a dangerous trend in the present pattern of malicious prosecution on the part of the State where entire battles are sought to be fought on lies and deceit in the media instead of hard law in the courtrooms.
We categorically deny the allegations made by the Pune Police through a fabricated letter which they have created and addressed to some “Comrade Prakash” by one “Sudha,” which alleges that “Sudha” has been arranging funds for our activities in the interiors of Bastar. We entirely and wholly deny these allegations put forth and most explicitly state that we have never been funded by Advocate Sudha Bharadwaj for our work and our activities. We have received financial support from groups, friends and individual lawyers and we would be happy to share our bank statements with anyone who would wish to peruse through our finances. As we deny financial patronage of Sudhaji with JagLAG, we also wholeheartedly, and with full honours accept our most intimate association with her. To have our association carved out with her is and always will be a fortune for we  have immense respect for the incarcerated lawyer and her invaluable work.
Furthermore, we wish to make explicit that we have in no manner been travelling into any ‘interiors’ but have been discharging our duties as lawyers in courts, police stations, administrative officers and as researchers. There has been a social media campaign to malign us and our work and to cast serious aspersion on our identity. Such fabrications by police against us are not new and we have been on the receiving end of threats, intimidation and vilification tactics of the local police and vigilante groups. In February 2016, our involvement in challenging the mass sexual violence in Bijapur District resulted in our exodus from Jagdalpur. We have consistently been attacked for our work of providing legal aid to those who have been at the brunt of gross human rights violations in the conflict prone area of Bastar. Since our conception, we have been engaging in documentation related work apart and have been providing legal representation to the incarcerated marginalised adivasis and filing and pursuing writs and PILs in the High Court challenging extrajudicial killings by the police and security forces. This has rendered us an eyesore for the police and the government alike despite the fact that we work within the confines of law and our work is driven by the Constitutional duty to protect, preserve and uphold the law for even the most marginalised.
While Adv. Sudha Bharadwaj has never given us any money, what she has given to us, as young lawyers and to the entire lawyering community is so much more. Advocate Sudha Bharadwaj has through her indomitable spirit been an inspiration to many. We have just had the fortune of watching her in her legal practice and learning from her. In moments of frustration and despair at the limits of law, she taught us the value of rigor and patience while fighting battles legally. From her, we learned that big victories aren’t everything it is the process of the fight and struggle that matters. She has always acknowledged and given value to even simple questions and suggestions, creating a space where we could be colleagues and not put down as juniors. She has inspired several to pursue legal education and human rights lawyering.
Sudhaji has above all, been a lawyer of exceptional ethic and dedication and has fearlessly provided legal representation in cases which no other advocate would dare to touch. She played a crucial role in the Commission of Inquiries of the Sterilization incident where 13 women died on account of Government negligence. She has also proactively filed cases in the High Courts and Labour Courts on matters of the Pragatisheel Cement Shramik Sangh and has been applauded for her vigorous legal acumen by lawyers and judges alike. She has also represented in various cases challenging land grab for “development”, mining, and industrial benefits all at the expenses of the marginalised farmers and Adivasis, represented MoTA in Jharkhand. She was also appointed as a member of the Chhattisgarh Legal Service Authority by the Chief Justice of Chhattisgarh and provided rigorous legal aid to many. And her work as a lawyer is only a small part of her identity. Sudhaji is also a trade unionist associated with Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha, General Secretary of the Peoples Union of Civil Liberties, Vice President of IAPL, member of Chhattisgarh Bachao Andolan, and an activist with an ethic to reckon with. Sudhaji was also a firm voice, supporter, and organiser in the aftermath of the infamous arrest of Dr. Binayak Sen who was the President of PUCL. As a member of the PUCL she spoke strongly against the human rights violations that were brought on by the Salwa Judum and as a lawyer she represented the victim-survivors in the Samsetti rapes by the Salwa Judum activists and SPOs. For us lawyers who have worked in JagLAG or are working with JagLAG, Sudhaji has been the force which sustains us, guides us and shapes us.
As news of Sudhaji’s remand in police custody trickles in, we carry on with our work, with increased vigour and strength. We stand firmly with Sudha Bharadwaj and the rest of the arrestees in the Bhima Koregaon case. We dedicate the next chapter of our work to Advocate Sudha Bharadwaj, and we hope that we shall not fail her. Simultaneously, as further legal recourse against these unjust arrests happens, we hold on to the last vestiges of hope that this legal system shall not fail her either.
Nikita Agarwal, Chhattisgarh High Court at Bilaspur
Shikha Pandey, Devid Lee-Bron Fellow
Isha Khandelwal, Advocate, Jagdalpur Legal Aid Group
Shalini Gera, Chhattisgarh High Court at Bilaspur
Priyanka Shukla, Advocate
Rupesh Kumar A.
Guneet Ahuja, Advocate, Supreme Court of India,
Parijata Bharadwaj, Advocate
Aarushi Mahajan, Advocate at Lawyers Collective (HIV/AIDS wing)
Kuldeep Singh, Hidayatullah National Law University
Gaurav. Bakshi, Hidayatullah National Law University
Abhinav Gupta, Researcher
G.V.S. Sahith Reddy, Advocate, Delhi
Arpit Gupta, Legislative Assistant to Member of Parliament (LAMP) fellow
Praavita, Advocate
Shardul Gopujkar, Maharashtra National Law University
Riddhi Pandey, Masters Student, IHEID, Geneva
Nikita Sonawane, Lawyer
Maansi Verma, Lawyer
Sarah Jacobson, Maati
Ashwin Pantula, NLSIU Bangalore
Atindriyo Chakrabarty, Advocate
Gopika N, Advocate
Gutta Rohit, Human Rights Forum
Zeba Sikora, Advocate
Ira- Chadha Sridhar
Mukta Joshi, NLSIU Bangalore
Upasana Chauhan, Volunteer at Migration and Asylum Project
Sanjeev Menon, Advocate

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