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PRESS RELEASE- Attack on Office of AALI and assault on staff #Vaw #Womenrights #Wtfnews

PRESS RELEASE BY ORGANISATION,
29th October 2013, Press Club, Lucknow


ON OFFICE AND ASSAULT ON STAFF
On the evening of 27th October 2013, the office of Association for Advocacy and
Legal Initiative (AALI), women’s rights organisation based in Lucknow, was
attacked by Ashish Shukla, BSP leader from Amethi (Uttar Pradesh), along with
his family and goons.
Around 5.00pm, the BSP leader Ashish Shukla, his wife Uma Shukla, son Akarsh
Shukla along with 40‐50 men, barged into the premises of the house where the
organisation is based and beat up the caretaker and his wife. The organization is
based in the house of a retired High Court judge. They then forcibly entered the
premises, beat‐up the two women AALI members, dragged them by the hair and
abducted them. They took them to Khatu Shyam Mandir (Old Hyderabad Colony,
Thana Mahanagar), where they were confined, badly beaten up and mauled for
45 minutes. When the team member refused to gave away information about
the survivor’s whereabout, she was threatened with rape and murder.
In the meanwhile, the other team members got to know about the incident and
managed to trace the girls. Girls were rescued by Mahanagar police from the
temple. Some of the perpetrators were arrested.
AALI’s office was also ransacked, property was damaged and documents were
taken away. FIR regarding the incident was lodged the same evening at
Mahanagar PS along with written statements by the two AALI team members.
Given that present status AALI team is not functioning from that office.
We are apprehensive about the manner in which investigation into the attack
has so far been carried out. The main perpetrators (named in the FIR and
statements of girls) are still at large. We have been informed that one of them
has already been released on bail.
The next day on 28th October 2013, the AALI team members were again
physically and verbally abused in Civil Court premises when they were
accompanying the girl to record her statement before the Magistrate, by the
relatives of the survivor including her mother.
However, the threat and fear of further attacks still remains as the attackers have
threatened the team members and are constantly enquiring about the
whereabouts of the team members from the caretakers of the organization’s
office.
This attack has occurred in the context of the case of a 19 year old girl who
approached AALI for help as she was being sexually abused within the home .
AALI followed all appropriate legal procedures and provided her safe shelter as
per her wishes. The attackers are family members of the girl.
We, women’s rights and human rights organisations based in Uttar Pradesh,
vehemently condemned this attack on two staff members of AALI and demand
strict action against the perpetrators.
We demand that the police conduct proper and prompt investigation in the case
of attack against the staff members of AALI and arrest the perpetrators
immediately.
At this juncture we are all asking you to support us in this fight for justice.
As the main perpetrator has been identified and given his power and
influence, we demand immediate arrest of all those involved.
It is to be noted that this is not an isolated incident. In the recent past there
have been attacks on Sahjani and Sanatkada. It is shocking to see the way
muscle power and violence is being used that too in the State capital and in
civil court premises. We strongly condemn this blatant display of power
and use of brute force against women’s human rights defenders. This is
absolutely unacceptable and must stop. We demand justice, action and
accountability. And we demand them now.
Sanatkada, Humsafar, Sahayog, MASVAW, AIDWA, AIPWA, Vanangana, Saanjhi
Duniya, AALI, Nirantar, Suraksha, Oxfam, Saksham, DAG, Action Aid, Mahila
Federation, Mahila Samakhya, UNICEF, Plan India, Upvan, Vayam, Breakthrough

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