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Accused of hate tweets against Gauri Lankesh, unrepentant

Nikhil Dadhich, Ashish Mishra:

The BJP responded to outrage over the PM following Twitter accounts spewing bile against slain journalist Gauri Lankesh, but the trolls are unrepentant.

I

While many protests were organised against the murder of senior journalist Gauri Lankesh, Twitter users who put out offensive tweets against Lankesh remain unrepentant.
While many protests were organised against the murder of senior journalist Gauri Lankesh, Twitter users who put out offensive tweets against Lankesh remain unrepentant. (AFP)

“A bitch died a dog’s death and now all the puppies are wailing in the same tune,” said the tweet in Hindi, adding to the nationwide revulsion in the aftermath of senior journalist Gauri Lankesh’s murder.

But Nikhil Dadhich, the man behind the controversial tweet who is followed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the micro-blogging site, is unfazed by the uproar he has triggered. “A doggie had died in my street that day, so I wrote the tweet in reference to that,” the 38-year-old Surat-based textile trader told HT.

A screenshot of Nikhil Dadhich’s tweet against Lankesh.

A torrent of hate tweets that seemed to condone Lankesh’s killing in Bengaluru by unknown assailants on Tuesday night is now a matter of intense debate. The fact that Prime Minister Narendra Modi follows Dadhich and three others spewing ‘hatred’ on Twitter has fuelled the row further. Modi, incidentally, follows 1,779 people on Twitter.

But like Dadhich who came to Gujarat from his native Rajasthan some 15 years ago to set up a business, Ashish Mishra is unrepentant. Also followed by Modi, Pune-based Mishra had tweeted shortly after Lankesh’s killing : ’Jaisai Karni, Vaisi Bharni (as you sow, so shall you reap). “I didn’t say anything wrong. She (Lankesh) was with the anti-nationals of JNU, with the azadi gang of Kashmir,” the computer science graduate from IIT Bombay insisted.

Stung by the uproar the tweets sparked, the Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) has said the prime minister followed a cross-section of people on Twitter and that his ‘following’ handles did not mean a character certificate for those being followed.

A screenshot of Ashish Mishra’s tweet against Gauri Lankesh.

But Dadhich and Mishra are thrilled to be followed by the prime minister. Both are also die-hard Modi fans. “I was inspired by Modi who was very active on social media. I wanted to tell people about how he was working for the development of Gujarat,” said Dadhich who was followed by the prime minister in 2015. He said the prime minister did nothing wrong in following him. “He can’t check everyone’s background before following them. Is Modiji responsible for everything bad that happens in this country?”

Mishra has 17,000 Twitter followers and reiterated his faith in the prime minister. “I had a lot of angst against parties like the Congress and Samajwadi Party that only appeased the minorities. I used to feel that no one cares about the Hindus,” he said. Incidentally, there is speculation that Lankesh could have been killed by a right-wing outfit because of her strident anti-Hindutva views.

Rita Gupta, whose Twitter handle is @RitaG74, is a former All India Radio presenter living in Delhi. She is followed by 12,000 people, including the prime minister. After Lankesh was dead, her tweet said: “For those who don’t know Gauri Lankesh a brief introduction – Leftist, naxal sympathiser, anti-establishment, anti-Hindu”. For Gupta though, her tweet was only to change the current narrative that “conservatives are bad and liberals are good”.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/nikhil-dadhich-ashish-mishra-accused-of-hate-tweets-against-gauri-lankesh-unrepentant/story-69h6xTyekDG5X6pFUbeLYI.html

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PUDR Fact Finding on Zoha Bibi’s Case , domestic worker , Noida

 

 

PUDR investigated the aftermath of July 12, 2017, when Zohra Bibi, a domestic worker in Noida’s Mahagun Moderne, was severely beaten up and later went missing from her employer’s flat after allegations of theft were leveled against her. Subsequently, the local police, administration, Resident Welfare Association, as well as the MP and BJP minister Mahesh Sharma have been complicit in unleashing the combined might of the state machinery and the wrath of upper class residents in the violence, detention and deprivation of livelihoods of the protesting workers.

On the morning of July 12, Zohra Bibi’s husband and other domestic workers gathered at Mahagun Moderne to ascertain her whereabouts after she did not return home the previous day. As Zohra was physically dragged to the gates by security guards, exhibiting clear signs of assault, the crowd spontaneously broke into a protest against Zohra’s harassment from the residents.

Instead of acting on Zohra’s FIR against her employers, the police participated in the series of stringent retaliatory actions by the residents against the protestors. Acting on two FIRs lodged by the residents of Mahagun Moderne, the police conducted a midnight raid in the locality and detained 58 persons and arrested 13 on charges of vandalism. Zohra’s minor  has also need detained without cause,  in violation of the Juvenile Justice Act. The workers have further been charged not under rioting, but under S.307, IPC on the claim of attempt to murder, leading to a denial of bail for the 13 arrested workers at the Surajpur District Court. Subsequently, they have been sent to judicial custody in Kasna Jail. News reports clarify that SP Noida, Arun Kumar Singh has reportedly said that no resident of Moderne Society was injured in the mob violence and that none of the FIRs mention any attempts at physical attacks.

From July 13 onwards, the RWA started banning the entry of maids into the society, and also blacklisted 143 domestic workers to prevent them from finding employment in other societies in the area. Identifying them as illegal Bangladeshi immigrants, the residents also petitioned the Noida authority against the ‘encroachments’ of the workers’ shops and houses- bare shanties with no potable water or electricity. This, despite the fact that the workers are from West Bengal’s Cooch Bihar, Malda and Jalpaiguri, and have valid voter IDs and Aadhar cards. Showing uncharacteristic promptness, on July 17, the Noida authority demolished three dozen such shops in pouring rain and without prior notice while they were all away at work in the morning. Such communal charges are not new as several slum demolitions have been carried out in Delhi after charges of “Bangladeshi” were made against Bengali Muslim migrants, such as in Yamuna Pushta in 2000, or even earlier, in 1981 in New Seemapuri.

The unceasing retaliation by the residents of Mahagun Moderne in complicity with the state has destroyed the workers’ livelihoods, caused their arrest on false charges, and has created an atmosphere of terror. These actions must be understood against a persisting context of the exploitation and harassment of domestic workers.

Zohra Bibi’s troubles began when she asked for her back wages and was instead accused of theft. Exploitation and withholding of pay is a common strategy that employers deploy as there are no laws that protect the rights of domestic workers. The National Policy for Domestic Workers which proposes a minimum wage of 9000/-, compulsory leave for fifteen days, maternity leave, right to education and safe environment, is only a draft policy, as of now.

According to official data, there are four million domestic workers across the country who live at the mercy of their employers and harassments begin even before they start work as they are expected to undergo police verification to confirm their credibility. In gated communities, such workers are further frisked by security guards to confirm that they are not thieves. Across homes, domestic workers are not allowed to use elevators meant for residents, use the toilets or utensils on account of casteist notions of purity and pollution.

Over 600 workers reportedly work at Mahagun Moderne and, following the July incidents, residents are demanding fresh verifications and tighter security tests. Significantly, in 2014, the Ministry of Women and Child Development released country-wide data regarding violence against domestic workers. There were 3564 cases reported in 2012 as against 3517 similar cases in 2011 (http://pib.nic.in/newsite/ PrintRelease.aspx?relid=103336 ). Such data only form the tip of the proverbial iceberg as large cases of violence and harassment go unreported. In the absence of any law, domestic workers cannot approach the labour court in case of dispute as, technically, they are not defined as ‘workers’.

Today, the pattern of blacklisting workers is meant to increases the fears and vulnerabilities of domestic workers in a bid to make them docile. The real issue is that the workers have no right to protest, express their anger or demand their rights without facing attacks from Moderne India.

We demand:

1)    Immediate action be taken on Zohra’s FIR against the residents of Mahagun Moderne.

2)    The police should return Zohra’s prescription, given to her after her medical examination.

3)    All those detained and arrested be granted bail and released immediately.

4)    Charges levied on the protesting workers under S.307, IPC on attempt to murder be revoked.

5)    The “blacklist” of domestic workers be withdrawn.

6)    All domestic workers at Mahagun Moderne, including Zohra, be paid their back wages as well as current wages withheld since they were blacklisted.

7)    Compensation be paid to all families whose shops were demolished.

 

Anushka Singh and Cijo Joy

(secretaries)

24-07-2017

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WSS Statement on Sukma Blasts which killed 12 CRPF men

WSS condemns the IED blast in Sukma on 11.3.2017 in which 12 CRPF personnel lost their lives and several others, including members of a road-construction crew, were injured. We express our condolences to the families of the deceased. 

We are concerned that this incident will further fuel the cycle of pointless violence in which the entire Adivasi community is made to pay the price for the violent acts of others. Our experience shows that such attacks are followed by violent reprisals against the community in surrounding villages, through random arrests, forced “surrenders” and illegal detentions. Such responses, and the rhetoric of “revenge for the blood of martyrs” that is used to justify them, only deepens the alienation and exclusion of Adivasi villagers.  

 

We hope that the state government will continue with efforts to restore the rule of law and regain public confidence, signalled by the shake-up in the police and administration in Bastar. But this is only a first step – the situation on the ground continues largely unchanged. We have a long way to go in combating the mindset that labels all Adivasis and human rights defenders and journalists questioning state violence as “Maoist supporters”, thereby legitimising the harassment and violation to which they are subjected.

 
We reiterate our stand that militarisation is not the answer to the present situation. The lives of combatants on both sides, and uncounted adivasi villagers continue to be lost in this war. Nothing can justify the bloodshed and loss of human lives and the destruction of the land and forests where this war is being fought.

WSS (Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression) is a non funded, nationwide network of women from diverse political and social movements comprising of women’s organizations, mass organizations, civil liberty organizations, student and youth organizations, mass movements and individuals. For more information, please see wssnet.org

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PUCL statement on the killing of 3 women in IED Blast in Narayanpur

 

The Chhattisgarh PUCL has come to know from police releases that 3 women including a 15 year old girl from Tumnar Village under Narayanpur police station have been killed in an explosion of IED device planted by Maoists. The Chhattisgarh PUCL expresses its deep grief at these killings. The Chhattisgarh PUCL condemns land mining by the Maoists which causes extreme hazard to life and limb of non combatant tribal villagers carrying out their normal life activities in the region. It reiterates its demand that in order to protect non-combatant civilians in this war zone, the Government of India should declare a state of internal armed conflict and allow strict independent monitoring under the Geneva Protocol of human rights violations by both parties to the conflict. Since there is also news that a jawan has been critically injured in an encounter with Maoists, thus the exact details of events have yet to be independently established.

Even earlier in the month of March 2016 the Chhattisgarh PUCL had issued a statement on the killing of a 55 year old woman Muchaki Hidme, resident of Village Gorkha, due to an IED blast on 18th March 2016. The incident had taken place on a ‘kuchha’ track used by the security forces during patrolling, near Kottacheru village under Bhejji police station limits according to then Sukma Superintendent of Police D Shrawan. A day earlier an 8 year old girl child Muchaki Anita, resident of Kanhaiguda village under Bhejji police station had also lost her life to an IED blast. Similarly two labourers were killed on 6th March at around 9:30 am at Amdai Ghati (valley) under Chhote Dongar police station limits. Superintendent of Police Narayanpur Abhishek Meena had told PTI that Maoists detonated a powerful IED when a joint team of district police and the Chhattisgarh Armed Force (CAF) was escorting a group of labourers through the valley and this was followed by a gun-battle, lasting for about two hours, after which the Maoists fled. On26th November 2013, the Chhattisgarh PUCL had written to the NHRC for directions to restrain the practice of using civilians for demining operations or as “police sahyogi” in land mined areas.

The Chhattisgarh PUCL takes exception to the manner in which Bastar IG Mr Kalluri has utilized the tragic incident of killing of 3 women in an IED blast by the Maoists to issue a threat “to legal aid groups, fact finding teams and so called human rights activists”. The PUCL has always had a clear policy that they do not support violence. However this does not mean that fact finding teams or human rights activists cannot enquire into incidents of encounters, sexual violence or arson particularly when alleged by villagers as atrocities by the security forces and confirmed by statutory institutions like the National Human Rights Commission, the Central Bureau of Investigation and the National SC ST Commission.

We are also disappointed that IG Mr Kalluri, despite being so active in Bastar, has given health reasons for not attending the hearing by the NHRC on 30th January 2017. The police must give adequate respect to statutory national human rights institutions, and abide their directions, not just in letter but also spirit.

 

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India – The sterilisation skew #healthcare

A public awareness campaign with banners about ‘Vasectomy week’. — Photo: Special Arrangement   | Photo Credit: Special ArrangementA fortnight after the national ‘Vasectomy Fortnight’, the Telangana experience reveals the gap in India’s family planning programme

Sterilisation is simpler in men than women — recovery time and surgical risk are smaller, complications are rare and deaths rarer. Yet, as the national ‘Vasectomy Fortnight’ came to end earlier this month, the writing on the wall is clear: men are unwilling to share the burden of birth control.

The government observed ‘Vasectomy Fortnight’ between November 21 and December 4 with the hope to create awareness about male sterilisation and, more importantly, to facilitate district administrations reach sterilisation targets through campaigns. Of the 40 lakh sterilisation procedures done in 2014-15, vasectomies accounted for minuscule 1.9 per cent.

Experiments in the country’s youngest State, Telangana, reveal the sterilisation gap in India’s family planning programme. This fortnight, five men walked into the vasectomy camp in Ranga Reddy, a district adjoining Telangana’s capital Hyderabad with a 25 lakh population. The district administration managed to convince them to opt for the procedure. A second camp on December 8 found no takers and officials have renewed efforts to draw more men before the end of the financial year. With an annual target of 2,500 vasectomies this year — the district’s count stands at 5. Last year’s numbers only seem marginally better with 37 men undergoing the procedure. The State paid them Rs.1,100 each for undergoing sterilisation while the 24,000 women who underwent sterilisation were paid Rs.880 per person.

Counselling the key

Vigorous campaigning, efficient counselling and post-operative services as well as education are real differentiators,” says Renu Kapoor of the Family Planning Association of India. She pegs the lack of willingness to share the burden of contraception on a misplaced sense of masculinity.

“Men who avail vasectomies at our centres are educated and from organised work sectors. They do not require much counselling but have queries. They have heard of it from other men,” Dr. Kapoor says. She stressed the importance of counselling in understanding the strong likelihood of pregnancy for three months after the procedure. Her observations suggest most men from middle- and higher-income groups who decide to undergo vasectomy arrive with their partners for counselling and the procedure; most women who opt for sterilisation, mainly from low-income groups, seek counsel of other women.

India’s total fertility rate of 2.3 is expected to sink below 2 within the next decade. Telangana’s fertility rate reached replacement levels before the State came into being in 2014 — “replacement level fertility” is when the total fertility rate, i.e. the average number of children born per woman is the same as the dying population, implying that the population exactly replaces itself from one generation to the next. The third round of National Family Health Survey (NFHS) done a decade ago established that undivided Andhra Pradesh had recorded fertility rate of 1.8.

The latest survey in 2015 affirmed Telangana’s fertility rate stood at 1.8 births per woman. “For men, concerns of losing sexual potency and physical vigour make them unwilling to discuss vasectomy,” says Harish Chandra Reddy, health official in Ranga Reddy district. “A small number of unintended pregnancies and a few unfavourable post-vasectomy fallouts seem to have thrown it out of the reckoning.”

Experts maintain that the gap between vasectomy targets and achievements remain unchanged over the years even as country’s fertility and birth rates continue to fall, driven mainly by female sterilisation.

Tubectomies still the norm

Despite aggressive promotional campaigns over the last decade, only a small proportion of couples use State-distributed condoms (0.5 per cent in 7,786 Telangana households surveyed in 2015), oral contraceptives (0.3 per cent), intra-uterine devices (0.3 per cent) and male sterilisation to prevent birth. Of the 77,000 sterilisation procedures performed in the State’s public health sector till October 2016, only 1,287 or 1.6 per cent were vasectomies. In the two years since Telangana’s creation, vasectomies as a percentage of total sterilisations stood at 3 per cent, unchanged over the last decade. The State’s health administration, under no pressure to reach targets given that Telangana has achieved replacement level fertility, aims to perform around two lakh sterilisations this year. If last year’s numbers are any indication, one lakh more Telangana women will undergo sterilisation in the next three months.

An analysis of family health data published in 2012 reveals that up to 5 per cent women who underwent sterilisation before 2006 regret doing so, either because they feel they were too young at the time or because they opted for it without having any sons. The study noted that in States with lowest fertility rates, including undivided Andhra Pradesh, the median age of women being sterilised was around 23.

“Lack of gender equality, vulnerability of women and early marriages makes them agreeable to mass sterilisation programmes,” says women’s rights activist Rukmini Rao. “In rural India, women are against their husbands undergoing vasectomies fearing it may rob the family of its means of earnings and cast aspersions on them should pregnancy ensue after vasectomy.”

Women’s rights activists across the country had discussed and commented on the National Policy for Women when the government introduced the draft in May. Among other things, the policy envisages shifting focus of the country’s family planning programme to male sterilisations but those like Dr. Rao who participated in the discussions remain highly sceptical. She believes sterilisation should be the last option of birth control.http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/health/The-sterilisation-skew/article16897144.ece

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Condemn the Fake Encounter of Com. Kuppu Devaraj, Central Committee Member, CPI (M), Incharge WGSGZ, Com. Ajitha, State Committee Member in Nilambur Forest, Kerala

 

 

Press Release

29 November 2016

Ø  Demand re-postmortem of the dead bodies of the deceased.

Ø  Demand judicial inquiry by a Supreme Court Sitting or Retired Judge

Ø  Release Com. Soman and Adivasis, if any in illegal police custody

Ø  Release MN Ravuni (78), the veteran Revolutionary Mass leader

Ø  Appeal to the people and democratic organization and individuals to raise their voice in solidarity

Com. Kuppu Devraj (60) also known as Yogesh, Central Committee Member and Incharge of CPI (Maoist) Western Ghats Special Guerilla Zone, comprising the forest regions of Kerala, Karnataka and Tamilnadu and Com. Ajitha (45) a State Committee Member of this region are killed in a fake encounter in the early morning hours of 23rd November, 2016 Thursday in Nilambur Forest of Mallapuram district, Kerala.

Earlier to that the Kerala police involved in ‘Thunderbolt Operation’ meant to physically eradicate the Adivasis and Maoists in the Western Ghats for the vested interests of Multi-national and domestic companies in the country, cordoned the forest area for eighteen hours and did not allow any movement of the local people including the media persons into the forest. The incharge police officer for the Thunderbolt Operation falsely said that the police did not allow the media persons only to caution them that there would be land mines planted by the Maoists surrounding their camp.

The fact is that these two leaders of CPI (Maoist) who were suffering from serious health problems and were unarmed. According to the local people they were taking shelter in the Adivasi region and were caught and killed in cold blood. Later, the dead bodies were brought and thrown out in the spot where an incident of fake encounter was enacted. The people in surrounding areas told the media persons that they had not heard any exchange fire of gunshots in the preceding night. Even the police did not claim any injury being caused to any police personnel engaged in the so-called encounter. Where as in government medical college hospital, Kozikode 19 bullets were found in Devaraj’s body and seven in Ajitha’s body.

There are unconfirmed contradictory reports that Com. Soman, local CPI Maoist leader from Vynadu is injured and has been in police custody. But the police have been denying and stating that 11 CPI Maoist Guerillas have escaped and combing operations have been continuing in the region in full swing.

The dead bodies of Kuppu Devraj and Ajitha were shifted to Government Medical College hospital, Kozikode (Calicut) and the police claim that the postmortem has been conducted and bodies have been preserved in the mortuary till Monday, 28th November 2016. This means that means NHRC guidelines have not been complied with and the recent Supreme Court Judgment regarding the encounter killings also not followed. The photos of the dead bodies were not published in two National newspapers as per the legal requirement, except that of Devraj along with a press release from the police. The families were not informed. The dead bodies were not shown to the mother, brother and sister of Devraj and uncle of Ajitha who reached Kozikode on 25th November. Instead, the police lathi-charged and arrested twenty members of the human rights organization (Janakeeya Manushyavakasha Prasthanam) and Porattam, and threatened the relatives of deceased to leave the place. As the number of the protesters was kept on increasing, the police were forced to release the JMP activists but shifted Com. M.N. Ravunuri, Veteran revolutionary mass leader of Porattam and Vice President, Committee for Release of Political Prisoners (CRPP) to another police station.

Com. M.N. Ravunuri is 78 and one of the senior members of undivided Communist party of India in Madras Province in 1950s and a public advocate of the path of Naxalbari.

Ammini, aged mother of Kuppu Devarajan, Babu, his brother and sisters who have been waiting for the last four days in premises of the GMC Hospital, Kozikode have been demanding for re-postmortem of the bodies and the advocates of CRPP and JMP are supporting their demand and have filled a petition in sessions court of Kozikode which will be heard on 29th of November, Tuesday. The court ordered the preservation of dead bodies in mortuary of GMC Hospital, Kozikode till the petition is disposed.

The Kerala State Human Rights Commission asked the Chief of the state police to conduct probe into the matter and submit a report within two weeks. A member of the State Human Rights Commission, K. Mohan Kumar said that the mystery surrounding the incident should be unraveled. The order came on the basis of a complaint by an activist, P.K. Raju who stated that the police have not been able to furnish a credible explanation on the killings even two days after the encounter.

The Chief of State Police ordered a probe to be conducted by the Crime Branch of State. Such an enquiry cannot clear the doubts of fake encounter since it involves the ‘Operation Thunderbolt’ and anti-Maoist programme of three states, i.e. Kerala, Karnataka and Tamilnadu and the Central government, to serve the vested interest of mining and private industries of MNC’s and big bourgeoisie. We demand a judicial enquiry by the sitting or retired judge of Supreme Court into this fake encounter.

The Chief Minister’s office issued a note that the Chief Minister Pinaraya Vijayan has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the encounter and asked the sub collector to conduct the inquiry. The Chief Minister has also referred the case to be registered in connection with the ‘encounter killing’ to the Crime Branch for further probe.

Mani, the minister for electricity in Kerala state govt. was suggesting that since Maoists are not Communists as they indulge in mindless violence and extortion, they deserve encounter killings and tried to escape from the responsibility saying that a magisterial inquiry is already ordered and therefore he would not comment on the ‘Encounter’.

The situation in Kerala is sharply in contrast with the contemporary scenario in Chhattisgarh where the State Secretary of CPI (M) is implicated in a murder case along with Professors Nandini Sunder and Archana Prasad from Delhi.  The allegation Chhattisgarh is that the Maoists had killed an Adivasi who was of a stooge and informer of the police. Here the CPI (M) Govt. is continuing the Operation Thunderbolt, part of Operation Green Hunt of the erstwhile Congress Government at the Centre, while the code name changed to Mission 2016 for  the present Modi’s Hinduthva government. Code names proliferate, but all are the same Operation Green Hunt. In dealing with Adivasis, Dalits and Muslims the policies of political parties in governments are one and same is proved once again in Nilambur encounter.

Now the shoot at sight orders in Western Ghats continue to extend everlastingly. In Western Ghats it is the second major encounter after Com. Saketh Rajan in 2005 and it might be considered the second major encounter in Kerala after Com. Vergheese being killed in ‘encounter’ in 1969.

Vijaya Kumar, former CRPF Chief and the security advisor on the Maoist movement to Govt. of India, claimed in Chennai that it was a great achievement to the state and a big bolt to CPI Maoist. It seems his direction and the role of the Q branch of TN state police  cannot be ruled out in this Thunderbolt Operation. This will be the second direct involvement of Vijay Kumar after the assassination of Kishanji in Jangalmahal, West Bengal.

This is perhaps the first major fake encounter in Kerala under CPI (M) government. That’s why even the left front partner CPI is condemning it as a fake encounter and demanding judicial enquiry. The CPI State secretary Kanam Rajendran and state leaders in Kerala are critical of police action and had made it clear that the CPI did not approve of Kerala being turned into a land where Maoists are being hunted down.

The leader of opposition, Ramesh Chennithala of Congress Party came out against magisterial and Crime Branch enquiries terming them grossly inadequate to bring out the truth. “The Crime Branch inquiry would be particularly futile as the killing had been carried out by another wing of State Police. Only a fair inquiry would convince the people about the veracity or the claims of the police. Therefore, there must be an inquiry by a sitting or retired judge of the High Court” Mr. Chennathala noted. Though this statement reflects the changing of colours and positions of parliamentary parties while in and out of power, it should go on record for as posterity of history demands.

Com. Kuppu Devraj is born in Krishnagiri of Tamilnadu but his revolutionary political activity is all through in Karnataka, till he took the responsibility of Western Ghats Special Guerilla Zone. Devaraj is an engineering graduate with an intellectual of high caliber and is well versed in Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Telugu and English languages.

He was a performing cultural activist and served as an executive member of All India League for Revolutionary Culture (AILRC) in the later years of 1980s. After one term in AILRC, he had gone underground and became the Secretary of CPI (ML) PW, Karnataka and rose to the Central Committee, CPI-Maoist after the merger its with MCCI in 2004. He is senior to martyr Com. Saketh Rajan and junior to Cherukuri Raja Kumar in Karnataka state committee of CPI-Maoist party during last four decades.

Com. Ajitha daughter of late Parandhaman, who was retired officer with Indian Railways, joined the revolutionary mass movement in 1980s and organized the women liberation movement. She also fought for democratic rights as an advocate in Chennai. Later, she went underground and has become part of the revolutionary struggle in Western Ghats.

In spite of her failing eyesight and deteriorating health Ajitha withstood the ordeal of an underground life in the midst of Adivasis and Dalits. Kuppu Devaraj and Ajitha were born into Dalit families and imbibed revolutionary class consciousness and served the exploited toiling masses of this country.

RDF joins with the people paying homage to these two comrades Kuppa Devaraj and Ajitha and demands for re-postmortem of dead bodies and judicial inquiry into the encounter, and for punishing the officials involved in this operation. RDF appeals to the democrats and all the people’s organisation to stand in solidarity.

 

Varavara Rao

President

Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF)

Hyderabad

29th November, 2016

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राष्ट्रीय सेक्यूलर मंच द्वारा धार जिले के दंगा प्रभावित क्षेत्रों की रपट

 

भोपाल: 28 अक्टूबर 2016: राष्ट्रीय सेक्यूलर मंच के चार सदस्यीय-टीम द्वारा धार जिले के दंगा प्रभावित क्षेत्र का दिनांक 26 अक्टूबर 2016 को भ्रमण किया गया। यहां दिनांक 12 अक्टूबर, 2016 को सांप्रदायिक हिंसा हुई थी।

टीम ने पीपल्या व गंधवानी के दंगापीड़ितों और प्रत्यक्षदर्शियों से बात की और घटना स्थलों का मुआयना किया। प्रभावितों द्वारा टीम के सदस्यों को घटनाक्रम के बारे में विस्तार से बताया गया। टीम में एल.एस. हरदेनिया, साजिद कुरैशी, अनिल धीमान एवं तौकीर निज़ामी शामिल थे।

पीपल्या में पीड़ितों ने बताया कि वहां उपद्रवियों द्वारा लगभग 25 मकानों और 5 दुकानों में आगजनी व लूटपाट की गई, लोगों के साथ मारपीट और महिलाओं के साथ बदसलूकी भी हुई। घटनास्थल को देखकर ऐसा लग रहा था कि जैसे वहां किसी आक्रमणकारी सेना ने हमला किया हो। वहां घरों में टी.वी., फ्रिज, गैस चूल्हा, अलमारी,निकट भविष्य में होने वाली शादियों के लिए रखे गये जेवरात, कपड़े, बर्तन, अनाज आदि को या तो जला दिया गया या लूट लिया गया। अनेक वाहनों, जिनमें मोटर साइकिल, जीप, ट्रेक्टर, लोडिंग ऑटो, ट्रक आदि शामिल थे, को भी आग के हवाले कर दिया गया। उपद्रवियों द्वारा कई घरों में रखे धार्मिक ग्रंथ कुरान शरीफ को भी जलाया गया। गांव की मस्जिद में भी आगजनी की गई और वहां रखे गये धार्मिक ग्रंथों ‘सिपारों’ को जला दिया गया और पंखे,माइक, लाइट आदि को तोड़ा गया। मीनार पर चढ़ कर अज़ान देने के लिए उपयोग आने वाले लाउडस्पीकर को भी निशाना बनाया गया। मोहर्रम पर मुस्लिम धर्मावलंबियों के ताजियों के साथ तोड़फोड़ की गई और उन्हें जलाया गया।

पीड़ितों ने टीम को बताया कि 12 अक्टूबर, 2016 को शाम 7.30 बजे जब भीड़ द्वारा हिंसा की तैयारी की जा रही थी तब तत्कालीन एस.डी.एम. घटनास्थल पर मौजूद थे लेकिन आगजनी शुरू होते ही वे घटना स्थल छोड़कर खाना खाने चले गये। अगर वे स्थिति को देखते हुए वहां रुके रहते और पुलिस बल को बुला लिया जाता तो घटना रुक सकती थी।

गांव वालों द्वारा बताया गया कि वहां डॉक्टर राधेश्याम पाटीदार ने अपने मकान पर स्थायी रुप से सायरन लगाया हुआ है, जिसकी आवाज आसपास के दूसरे गांवों तक भी जाती है। सायरन का इस्तेमाल लम्बे समय से भीड़ को इकट्ठा करने और उकसाने के लिए किया जाता है। अगर एक बार सायरन बजता है तो इसका मतलब है कि साधारण रुप से एकत्रित होना है। दो बार सायरन बजने का मतलब किसी गंभीर गतिविधि के लिए एकत्रित होना है। अगर सायरन तीन बार बजे तो इसका मतलब है कि तैयारी के साथ इकट्ठा होना है।

पीड़ितों ने बताया कि जिन लोगों के साथ हिंसा और आगजनी हुई, पुलिस द्वारा उनमें से ही 13 लोगों पर कई धाराओं में प्रकरण दर्ज कर लिए गए हैं जबकि आगजनी और लूटपाट करने वालों में से अनेकों की अभी तक गिरफ्तारी तक नहीं हुई है।

टीम ने वहां जा कर महसूस किया कि घटना के बाद से वहां भय का माहौल है और प्रशासन द्वारा इसे दूर करने का कोई प्रयास नहीं किया जा रहा है और ना ही इस दौरान हुए नुकसान का आंकलन किया गया है। क्षतिग्रस्त मकान और मस्जिद अभी भी उसी अवस्था में हैं। किसी भी पीड़ित को अभी तक कोई मुआवजा नहीं दिया गया है। प्रशासन द्वारा अभी तक मस्जिद की पवित्रता को कायम करने का भी कोई प्रयास नही किया गया है।

गंधवानी के पीड़ितों ने टीम को बताया कि यहां एक विवादित स्थल है जिस पर पूर्व में दोनों वर्गो के दुकानदारों द्वारा अतिक्रमण कर लिया गया था। विवाद बढ़ने पर विगत् वर्ष स्थानीय प्रशासन द्वारा वहां पुलिस चैकी की स्थापना की गई थी। स्थानीय प्रशासन द्वारा गणेशचतुर्थी, दुर्गा पूजा एवं मोहर्रम के अवसर पर एस.डी.एम. और एस.डी.ओ.पी के नेतृत्व में शांति समिति की बैठक का आयोजन किया गया था जिसमें तय किया गया था कि उक्त विवादित स्थल पर किसी धार्मिक गतिविधि का आयोजन नहीं किया जायेगा। लेकिन पुलिस पर दबाव डाल कर वहां गणेश प्रतिमा एवं दुर्गा प्रतिमा की स्थापना कर दी गई। दुर्गा प्रतिमा विसर्जन के बाद मोहर्रम का जुलूस उपरोक्त स्थान से निकल रहा था तब दोनों पक्षों में तनाव हो गया और बाद में यह पथराव और आगजनी में तब्दील हो गया। इस दौरान मुसलमानों की लगभग 14 दुकानों में आगजनी और लूटपाट की गई। गंधवानी कस्बा लगातार तीन दिनों तक असामाजिक तत्वों के हवाले रहा। घटना के बाद अब वहां मुस्लिम समुदाय का बहिष्कार शुरू हो गया है और लगभग 35 मुस्लिम दुकानदारों से, जो अपनी दुकानें हिन्दुओं के भवनों में किराये से चला रहे थे, दुकानें खाली करा ली गई हैं।

विशेष:- पीपल्या में जहां आगजनी हुई है वहां मुस्लिम परिवारों के बीच एक मंदिर है जिसे कोई नुकसान नही पहुंचा है और यह अपनी पवित्रता के साथ सुरक्षित है।

हमारी मांगें

  • पीड़ित परिवारों को यथेष्ठ राहत दी जाए। उनके क्षतिग्रस्त मकानों का पुनर्निर्माण कराया जाये और जिन लोगों की दुकानें जलायीं/लूटी गई हैं उन्हें आर्थिक सहायता दी जाए।
  • पीपल्या मस्जिद की तुरंत मरम्मत कर उसे पूर्व की स्थिति में लाया जाए।
  • सभी प्रभावित परिवारों के लिए प्राथमिकता के तौर पर कम से कम तीन माह के राशन की व्यवस्था की जाए।
  • पीड़ितों द्वारा बताया गया है कि उपद्रवियों पर सिर्फ आगजनी की धारा लगायी गई है। हमारी मांग है कि उन पर लूटपाट की धारा भी लगायी जाए और लूटी गई संपत्ति को बरामद किया जाए।
  • घायल लोगों को इलाज के लिए सहायता उपलब्ध करायी जाए।
  • जिन पीड़ित परिवारों के शादी के लिए एकत्रित किये गये कपड़े, गहनें, जेवरात आदि या तो जला दिये गये हैं या लूट लिए गये हैं, ऐसे परिवारों की लड़कियों के शादी हेतु विशेष आर्थिक सहायता उपलब्ध करायी जाए।
  • साम्प्रदायिक हिंसा से प्रभावित परिवारों के बच्चों की मनोदशा को सुधारने हेतु उनकी काउंसलिंग की व्यवस्था की जाए।
  • धार संवेदनशील जिला है जहां साम्प्रदायिक घटनाएं बढ़ती जा रही है इस स्थिति को देखते हुए वहां जिम्मेदार पुलिस और प्रशासनिक अधिकारियों की तैनाती की जाए।
  • पीड़ितों द्वारा बताया गया है कि घटना क्रम पूर्वनियोजित था इसलिए इसकी प्रशासनिक जांच करायी जाए जिससे यह पता लगाया जा सके कि इसके पीछे कौन से संगठन और व्यक्ति थे
  • पीड़ित व्यक्तियों द्वारा इस घटना में शामिल ऐसे लोगों के नाम बताये गये हैं जो पहले भी इस तरह की घटनाओं में शामिल रहे हैं, उन्हें चिन्हित किया जाये और उन पर रासुका लगाई जाए।
  • पाटीदार के मकान पर लगा सायरन तुरंत हटाया जाए।

भवदीयः- एल.एस. हरदेनिया (9425301582), साजिद कुरैशी (9425004363), अनिल धीमान (9893809950), तौकीर निजामी (9755990081)

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Karachi Press Club demands withdrawal of journalist’s name from Exit Control List

cyril-almeida-transfer

KARACHI, Oct 11: Karachi Press Club has expressed deep concern over placing the name of DAWN correspondent Cyril Almieda on Exit Control List, ECL, without taking any legal court and demand its immediate withdrawal.
In a statement issued here on Tuesday, KPC President Fazil Jamili and Secretary AH Khanzada termed the move from Ministry of Interior as ‘action in haste’ without even holding an inquiry into the matter.
The Ministry of Interior did not even followed the required legal course in this matter in putting someone name on the ECL, without a court order. In this case the story under question is of serious nature and the DAWN as well as the reporter concerned ‘stand by’ on the news.
Now, we urged both the government as well as DAWN, to take up this issue to the Press Council of Pakistan, PCP, which can also take suo moto, as all the representative bodies are members of PCP.
If the government want to take legal course against DAWN or the said correspondent, it has every legal right, but, before any judicial order any such move would mean putting undue pressure on the newspaper and harassment of the journalist.
Without any case of proper inquiry, putting the name of a journalist on ECL, would be considered as an attempt to suppress the media.
There is no doubt that in the last few years there have been decline in the standard of journalism and reporting particularly in the electronic media because of rising corporate culture. What we need is strong editorial oversight, editorial board and proper training.
Therefore, we urged the government to constitute Media Complaints Commission, MCC as per directive of the Supreme Court in Hamid Mir‘s case and in the light of the draft send by the PFUJ in 2008.
We also appeal to all the journalist bodies, senior editors and journalists unions to join hands to protect freedom of the Press and work for responsible journalism.

Released by,
Fazil Jamili,
President, KPC…

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Statement on Kashmir & arrest of Advocate Babbar and other Kashmiri Lawyers

KASHMIR

END THE WITCH-HUNTING OF LAWYERS, ACTIVISTS AND REPRESSION ON THE PEOPLE OF KASHMIR!!

Indian Association of People’s Lawyers (IAPL), expresses its outrage and strongly condemns the continuing use of brute force by the Indian Army, Security Forces and J&K Police on unarmed civilians in Kashmir including a crack down on lawyers.

The current escalation of violence in Kashmir, one of the world’s most militarized zone where the ratio of civilian to security personnel is 1:7, is a result of the killing of militant leader Burhan Wani by the armed forces of the Indian State, on July 8, 2016. The reactions to the death of this 22 year old youth leader, who embodied the deep frustrations of the Kashmiri youth suffering under the repression of the Indian security forces, lifted the veil on the reality of the constantly-simmering valley and rejuvenated the demand for Self-Determination or Azadi. The ongoing Intifada has been met by deadly state force, numerous reports from the ground speak of police tear-gassing and then shooting bullets and pellets at protesters to kill. Many of the killed protesters have been found with bullet injuries in the chest and pellet injuries to eyes showing that the police shot to kill, rather than incapacitate the protesters. The present phase of suppression of popular agitation which has been going on for almost two months has ended up killing more than 70 unarmed civilians and injuring more than 8500 in different parts of the Kashmir valley, out of which more than 1400 were the victims of pellet injuries and are now on the verge of losing their eye sight forever. Apart from this killing spree, 1300 civilians and activists have been arrested and many of them have been slapped with draconian laws such as Jammu and Kashmir Public Security Act, 1978 (PSA). The valley has also witnessed a sharp rise in cases of sexual violence and more than 90 such incidents were witnessed in month of July alone. The security forces have not even spared the medical services and ambulances, which is in violation of international humanitarian laws. . The Indian State’s policy of governing the region through draconian laws such as the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, a British-era law that allows soldiers to shoot dead anyone on sight, on mere suspicion, has virtually allowed the police and other security forces to play with the lives of the people, with total impunity.

The government of Kashmir has broken all past records in imposing the longest curfew in the territory which has been on for 55 consecutive days. The Indian state has continued its old tactics of curbing the press, snapping all forms of communication including mobile and internet services, besides incarcerating political and community leaders, thus denying the people all avenues to express and demand the fulfillment of their aspirations democratically and peacefully. It seems that for all practical purposes martial law has been imposed in the state and lawyers too are not being spared.

On, 27 August, 2016, the J&K Government arrested prominent peoples’ lawyer, social activist and human rights defender, Babar-ul-Islam Nehru from Saah Mohallah of Doda district in Chenab valley and booked him under the draconian PSA. The PSA allows arresting and incarcerating a person without trial for two years on the mere ‘suspicion’ of disrupting law and order. In the name of ‘security of the state’, the law has been abused to imprison juveniles on charges of ‘stone pelting’. The police have filed three different FIRs against Adv Babar for alleged ‘anti-India activities’. Advocate Babar is the founder of Ababeel, an NGO, which actively mobilised resources from the Chenab valley during 2014 floods in Kashmir. His organisation, amongst other issues, works on health and education sector. Adv. Babar, a people’s lawyer in the true sense, used to provide free legal aid to the poor.

Other than this youth icon, senior advocate and senior leader of Hurriyat Conference (G), Advocate Muhammad Shafi Reshi is under continuous house arrest for more than a month now. This is not the first time that Advocate Muhammad Sahfi Reshi has been illegally and unlawfully detained. In November last year when he was en route to Srinagar from Supreme Court of India in connection with a case filed at the Supreme Court for scrapping of Article 35-A of the Constitution, he was arrested illegally from Srinagar airport and unlawfully detained at the police station Humham. The PSA was slapped against Adv. Mohammad Shafi Reshi, which was later revoked after strong resistance by the Kashmir High Court Bar Association.

Similarly, Adv. Shabir Ahmad Bukhari, a noted lawyer and member of Kashmir High Court Bar Association, was arrested in November, while on his way from lower court to High Court, and has been in continuous incarceration since then. Advocate Javed Hubbi’s father, a senior Hurriyat leader Dr G M Hubbi has been arrested and kept in illegal detention at the Police Station in Chrari Sharief. When Adv. Javed went to see him in the Police Station, he was not only dragged out from the Police Station but was also humiliated by the SHO and other police staff.  Recently, J&K Government invoked PSA to book 169 persons among an estimated 1,000 identified, who have been accused of being ‘organisers and provocateurs’ playing a ‘leading role in the current unrest in Kashmir’. The people on this list are mostly community leaders, activists, and lawyers.

IAPL strongly condemns the witch-hunting of lawyers and the motivated systematic repression on lawyers, activist and journalists in Kashmir which only points to the continuing impunity at the highest level.

IAPL further condemns the attack on citizen’s freedom of speech and expression. The recent registration of sedition cases under section 124-A of the Indian Penal Code against the Amnesty India, an international human rights group, for organising an event focusing on human rights abuses in Kashmir, where allegedly anti-India slogans were raised, and another against Tausif Ahmad, resident of Sopore, Kashmir for allegedly sharing and forwarding a post on social media endorsing Kashmir’s independence, is illogical and unconstitutional. Ahmad was arrested from a train on his way back to his home in Kashmir from Chhattisgarh, where he had been working since the last seven years. He is incarcerated in Durg jail of Chhattisgarh. IAPL also condemns the filling of sedition case against actor-politician Divya Spandana for allegedly praising the people of Pakistan and their hospitality. In the last one year, more than 150 people have been booked under this draconian British-era law, to clamp down on any form of dissent. The misuse of this tyrannical law has reached the stage where any voice against the Modi-Government is now being branded anti-India and criminalized. Other than this, there have been repeated acts of censorship on the social media, of the people who have come out in support and solidarity for the people of Kashmir. This level of oppression and censorship is unprecedented and unacceptable in a democratic country where freedom of speech and expression are constitutional rights.

IAPL strongly condemns the grossly disproportionate military response and repression by the security forces in Kashmir, which is not only in violation of basic human rights and international humanitarian laws, but also perpetuates state terror. IAPL demands that the Indian state must shun state violence and uphold international law, respect and adhere to the UN charter and especially the UN resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir. IAPL demands the initiation of political process, by acknowledging the genuine aspirations of the people of Kashmir, who have suffered grievously for nearly seven decades under Indian military suppression and are claiming the right to self-determination or Azadi. IAPL believes that self-determination of the Kashmiri people is an inalienable right, and demands that the Indian state honour its long standing promise and conduct plebiscite in Kashmir. We appeal to the mainstream Indian media to break the silence on Kashmir. Kashmir is under siege and is facing a humanitarian crisis that requires urgent international attention and intervention. We appeal to the democratic sections of India and the international community to take serious notice of the current volatile situation in Kashmir and respect the democratic aspirations of the people of Kashmir and stand in solidarity with them.

IAPL Demands:

  1. To release all lawyers preventively arrested and detained immediately and unconditionally, including AdvocatesBabar-ul-Islam Nehru, Advocate Muhammad Shafi Reshi, Adv. Shabir Ahmad Bukhari, and stop obstructing the access of Kashmiri people to legal recourse and aid.
  2. To release all activists and political prisoners, immediately and unconditionally, including those kept under illegal indefinite house arrest and hundreds of children and teenagers detained for stone pelting.
  3. To prohibit and ban the usage of pellet guns or any other lethal weapons on unarmed resisting masses, with immediate effect.
  4. To repeal draconian laws like AFSPA, PSA, and sedition.
  5. To end the war on the people of Kashmir by Indian security forces and to conduct plebiscite in Kashmir so as to honour the long standing promise of the Indian State.

 

 

 

Sd/-

 

Adv. Surendra Gadling (Nagpur),

Adv. Ravindra Balla (Hyderabad),

Adv. Maharukh Adenwalla (Mumbai),

Adv. Sudha Bharadwaj (Bilaspur),

Adv. Ankit Grewal (Chandigarh)

for IAPL

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Dr. Asghar Ali Engineer Fellowship for Post-Graduate Scholars in Islamic Studies

asghar

Objective

The Fellowship is designed to promote scholarship in Islamic studies for young researchers in the early stages of their career.

About Dr. Asghar Ali Engineer:

Dr. Asghar Ali Engineer was a renowned Islamic scholar who worked tirelessly in the areas of Bohra reforms, rights of Muslim women in Quran, secularism and human rights and liberation theology in Islam. He has made monumental contribution to these fields through his numerous works particularly The Rights of Women in Islam, Lifting the Veil – Communal Violence and Communal Harmony in Contemporary India, On Developing Theology of Peace in Islam, The Bohras etc. He is well respected for the fact findings of communal violence including Nellie massacre, Bombay Riots, Bhivandi Riots. For his seminal work, he has own multiple accolades and awards, the most prominent being Right Livelihood Honorary award and National Communal Harmony Award 1997. He founded organizations like Centre for Study of Society and Secularism and Institute of Islamic Studies to give impetus to carry on research in these areas. He was also part of the drafting committee of the National Advisory committee.

  1. Guidelines

1.1 Scholars working on the below-mentioned research areas may apply for the award of Fellowships

  1. i) Liberation Theology in Islam
  2. ii) Islam and Gender Justice

iii) Sufi Islam

  1. iv) Feminist readings of Islam
  2. v) Reforms within the Islamic World
  3. vi) Secularism and Islam

vii) Islam and Democracy

viii) Emerging Challenges within Islam

  1. ix) Islam and Inter- Faith Engagement
  2. x) Islam and Human Rights
  3. xi) Islam and Doctrines of Peace

xii) Environment, climate change and Islam

xiii) Gender diversity and Islam

xiv) Islam and concept of compassion and mercy

 

 

  1. Eligibility for Award of Fellowship

2.1 The fellowship will be awarded to one (1) post-graduate student with outstanding research skills and records.

2.2 There is no age bar for this fellowship.

2.3 Scholars belonging to weaker sections of society, women and those who are differently abled/physical challenged are encouraged to apply and will be given preference.

2.5 Dates for Application:

Application letters along with resume should be mailed to [email protected] before 30th September, 2016. The application must be accompanied with a statement of purpose not exceeding 500 words describing the topic the applicant wishes to pursue and the reasons for the same.

  1. Procedure for Award of the fellowship

3.1 The short-listed scholars would be invited to make a presentation before the Expert Committee.

  1. Conditions of the fellowship

4.1 The amount of the fellowship is Rs. 25,000/- pm.

4.2 The term of Fellowship would initially be for a period of one year, allowing continuation for another year after evaluation of the work done during the first year.

4.3 The fellow will be expected to conduct his/her research activities within the organization as well as coordination of the activities related to his/her research.

4.4 At the end of the fellowship the fellow will submit a manuscript for publication. CSSS will have the first right of publication and will have the copyright of the manuscript submitted by the Fellow.

  1. Monitoring of Fellowship

5.1 The research undertaken by fellow would be reviewed periodically/time to time and the fellowship being granted by the Centre may be discontinued if research undertaken by any fellow is found unsatisfactory. Fellowship amount already released to a fellow may be recovered if the research undertaken by him/her is not found to be satisfactory.

5.2 Reports in the form of Short Articles are required to be submitted at every quarter that will be considered for publication by the Organisation.

5.3 A simple statement of accounts is required to be submitted so that the next instalment of funds may be released.

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