Rss

  • stumble
  • youtube
  • linkedin

Archives for : Maharashtra

More than 100 Activists condemn PAC recommendation of compulsory sex determination tests

Mumbai – We the undersigned representatives of women’s and health rights organizations strongly condemn the recommendations of Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly making pre-natal sex determination and tracking of pregnant women mandatory to prevent  sex selection.

These recommendations are grossly violative of the PcPNDT Act itself, and will impinge upon the MTP Act as well. It is ironical that such a recommendation is being made in Maharashtra, which pioneered the law to curb sex selection after a long campaign by women and health activists that linked the use of sex-selection and sex-detection technologies to gender based discrimination and thereafter to  the declining child sex ratio in India .

It is shocking that the proposal is being mooted at a time when yet another racket of sex selection has recently come to light in Mhaisal, Sangli, which clearly exposes the nexus between unscrupulous medical professionals and corrupt government health officials in allowing illegal sex determination to proliferate in the state.

It is quite clear that such a proposal is intended to absolve doctors and to shift the burden to the shoulders of pregnant women. The 2003 amendments to the 1994 PcPNDT Act recognized the lack of autonomy faced by women and had specifically kept the pregnant woman out of the ambit of the Act. This new proposal will only result in a twenty-four hour surveillance of pregnant women both within the family and by the state authorities. It will unnecessarily target every woman bearing a female foetus, and will link any abortion that such a woman has (for any reason) to sex selection. This will adversely impact women’s already poor access to safe abortion.  It will fuel a proliferation of illegal facilities for getting rid of unwanted female foetuses.

PAC suggestions of  surveillance is violation of our fundamental right to privacy and victimization of the woman when the focus of surveillance should be providers who are the key link to practice of sex determination and sex selection.

We demand that the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly rejects the recommendations of the PAC. We also demand stringent implementation of the present Act, which has clearly acted as a deterrent wherever it has been used effectively.

 

गर्भलिंग चाचणी सक्तीचे करण्याची अजब शिफारस करणाऱ्या लोकलेखा समितीचा कडक निषेध

 

लोकलेखा समितीने महाराष्ट्र विधान सभेला सादर केलेल्या आपल्या अहवालात राज्यात लिंग निदान रोखण्यासाठी गर्भलिंग चाचणी सक्तीची करून सर्व गरोदर महिलांवर पाळत ठेवण्याची अजब शिफारस केली आहे, त्याचा आम्ही खाली सही करणाऱ्या महिला व आरोग्य हक्क संघटना तीव्र निषेध करीत आहोत.

 

मुळात अशी शिफारस लिंग निदान प्रतिबंधक (पी.सी.पी.एन.डी.टी.) कायद्याचे घोर उल्लंघन करणारी असून, गर्भपाताशी संबंधित एम.टी.पी. कायद्यावर देखील त्याचे विपरीत परिणाम होतील. स्त्रियांशी टोकाचा भेदभाव करणारी लिंगनिदानाची पद्धत आणि त्यासाठी वापरण्यात येणाऱ्या तंत्रज्ञानामुळे भारतात ०-६ वर्ष वयोगटातील मुलींचे प्रमाण कसे घटत आहे, ह्या गंभीर मुद्द्याकडे प्रथम महाराष्ट्रातील महिला आणि आरोग्य हक्क कार्यकर्त्यांनी लक्ष वेधले. त्यांनी दीर्घ काळ चालवलेल्या मोहिमेचा परिणाम म्हणून महाराष्ट्रात प्रथम लिंग-निवड प्रतिबंधात्मक कायदा मंजूर झाला, ह्याचा विसर लोकलेख समितीला पडलेला दिसतो.

 

म्हैसाळ (सांगली) आणि नाशिक शहरात अलीकडेच उजेडास आलेल्या बेकायदेशीर लिंग निदानाच्या प्रकरणातून अप्रामाणिक वैदकीय व्यावसायिक आणि भ्रष्ट सरकारी अधिकारी ह्यांच्यातल्या संगनमताने राज्यात बेकायदेशीर लिंगचाचणीची केंद्र कशीं फोफावली आहेत, हे समोर आलेले असताना, अशी शिफारस करणे अधिक धक्कादायक आहे.

 

प्रत्यक्षात लिंग निदान करणाऱ्या डॉक्टरांना सुट देऊन, गरोदर स्त्रीवर सर्व जबाबदारी टाकण्याचा हा निषेधार्य प्रकार आहे. १९९४च्या लिंग निवड प्रतिबंधक कायद्यात २००३ मध्ये सुधारणा करताना स्त्रियांना निर्णय स्वातंत्र्य नसल्याची वस्तुस्थिती लक्षात घेऊन, गरोदर स्त्रीला कायद्याच्या कक्षेतून काढले होते. ह्या नव्या प्रस्तावामुळे गरोदर स्त्री वर कुटुंबांतर्गत आणि शासकीय पातळीवरची चोवीस तासांची पाळत सहन करावी लागेल. स्त्री-गर्भ असलेल्या प्रत्येक गरोदर महिलेला विनाकारण लक्ष्य बनवून, तिने कोणत्याही कारणास्तव गर्भपात करून घेतला तरी त्याचा संबंध लिंग निदानाशी जोडला जाईल. स्त्रियांना अगोदरच सुरक्षित गर्भपाताची सेवा मिळणे अवघड झाले असताना, नको असलेले स्त्री गर्भ नष्ट करणारी एक बेकायदेशीर यंत्रणाच ह्यामुळे फोफावणार आहे.

 

अशा पद्धतीने स्त्रियांवर पाळत ठेवण्याची ही लोकलेखा समितीची शिफारस स्त्रियांच्या खाजगी आयुष्यात हस्तक्षेप करणारी आणि मुलभूत अधिकारांवर घाला घालणारी आहे. उलट बेकायदेशीर  पद्धतीने लिंग निदान आणि लिंग निवड करणारी केंद्र चालवणाऱ्यांवर सरकारने पाळत ठेवून त्यांचे उच्चाटन करण्याची आवश्यकता आहे.

महाराष्ट्र विधान सभेने लोकलेखा समितीच्या ह्या शिफारशीला स्पष्ट नकार द्यावा अशी  मागणी आम्ही करीत आहोत. जिथे पी.सी.पी.एन.डी.टी. कायद्याचा प्रभावी उपयोग केला गेला, तिथे लिंग निदान रोखण्यासाठी मदत झाली असा आजपर्यंतचा अनुभव असून, कायद्याची महाराष्ट्रात कडक अंमलबजावणी करावी अशी मागणी आम्ही करीत आहोत.

Endorsed

Organziations 

Forum Against Sex Selection (FASS)

Janwadi Mahila Sanghatana (AIDWA)

Mahila Sarvgrameen Utkarsh Mandal (MASUM)

Forum for Medical Ethics Society

Forum Against Oppression of Women  (FAOW)

Jan Swasthya Abhiyan- Mumbai

National Allaince of Materal Health and Human Rights (NAMHHR)

Nazariya: A Queer Feminist ​Resource Group

LABIA –  A Queer Feminist LBT Collective, Bombay

Maharashtra Mahila Arogya Hakka Parishad

Point of View, Mumbai

SAMYAK, Pune

CEHAT, Mumbai

Sruti Disability Rights Centee

Saheli Women’s Resource Centre

National Federation of Indian Women

Streevani  , Pune

 

Individuals

  1. Kamayani Bali Mahabal,  (FASS)
  2. Kiran Moghe , (AIDWA)
  3. Sonya Gill, (AIDWA)
  4. Ravi Duggal, Health activist
  5. Manisha Gupte ,  Women and Health activist
  6. Adv Indira Jaising, Lawyers Collective
  7. Lakshmi Menon . Womens Health Movement
  8. Brinelle D’souza – Tata Institute of Social Sciences​
  9. Farah Naqvi, Writer & Activist, Delhi
  10. Dr B Ekbal ,  Jan Swasthya Abhiyan, Kerala
  11. Dr. Nizara Hazarika , Associate Professor, Sonapur College,Assam
  12. Gabriele Dietrich, Pennurimai Iyakkam, TN
  13. Sunita Bandewar, FMES and IJME
  14. Amulya Nidhi , .Health Activist Madhya Pradesh
  15. Dr. Sylvia Karpagam, Public health doctor and researcher
  16. Saswati Ghosh, Associate Professor and hod, Economics, City College (under Calcutta University)
  17. Nisha Biswas
  18. Abha Bhaiya
  19. Nivedita Menon, JNU
  20. Dyuti
  21. Johanna Lokhande
  22. Madhu Mehra, Partners for Law in Development
  23. Ulka Mahajan,  Social activist
  24. Mary E. John, Centre for Women’s Development Studies (CWDS)
  25. Virginia Saldanha, Indian Christian Women’s Movement,
    Manak Matiyani (Executive Director)- YP Foundation
  26. Vinita Sahasranaman (Director of Programs and Advocacy)- YP Foundation
  27. Souvik Pyne (Advocacy Officer)m YP foundation
  28. Nandita Shah, Akshara
  29. Jyoti Mhapsekar, Stree Mukti Sanghathana
  30. Dr Kamaxi Bhate, FASS
  31. Adv Manisha Tulpule
  32. Rashmi Divekar
  33. Urmila Salunkhe, Akshara
  34. Prasanna Invally, Pune
  35. Kalpana mehta. Manasi Swasthya Sansthan, Indore
  36. Chayanika Shah- LABIA
  37. Anagha Sarpotdar
  38. Chhaya Datar
  39. Bishakha Dutta , Point of View
  40. Meena Seshu, Sangram
  41. Hema Pisal, MASUM
  42. Anand Pawar, SAMYAK
  43. Ravindra R P – Member, Drafting Committees (Mah. PNDT Act, PNDT Act, PCPNDT Act)
  44. Jaya Menon, Women Networking
  45. Sanober Keshwaar
  46. Vijay Hiremath
  47. Shalini Mahajan, LABIA
  48. Rohini Hensman, writer and activist
  49. Lubna Duggal , Forum for Medical Ethics Society
  50. Narendra  Gupta, Prayas
  51. Aapurv Jain, Gender rights activist
  52. Burnad Fatima- SRED
  53.  Sandhya Gautam, NAMHHR
  54. Jashodhara Dasgupta – Sahayog
  55. Sarojini – Sama
  56. Leni Chaudhuri, JSA
  57. Anuradha Pati
  58. Anita Ghai –  Feminsit  and Disbaility Rights Activist
  59. Ritambhara, Nazariya
  60. Preet Manjusha, SAMYAK
  61. Neeraj Malik
  62. Sejal Dand, ANANDI
  63. E.Premadas- CHSJ
  64. Suhas Kolhekar- NAPM
  65. Sitaram Shelar
  66. Sneha Giridhari, SWISSAID, India
  67. Sapana, BGVS
  68. Brinda Bose, JNU
  69. Reena Martins, Mumbai
  70. Hasina Khan, Bebaak Collective
  71. Pouru Wadia, SNEHA
  72. Vibhuti Patel, SNDT
  73. Kajal Jain,MASUM,Pune
  74. Mohan Rao, JNU
  75. Suneeta Dhar, activist
  76. Vasavi Kiro
  77. Abhijit Das,CHSJ
  78. Vivekanand Ojha
  79. Jaya Sagade , activist
  80. Ujwala kadrekar
  81. Uma V Chandru, WSS
  82. Archana More ,Karve Institute of Social Work
  83. Pradnya Shende
  84. Shakuntala Bhalerao, JSA
  85. Shubhangi Deshpande
  86. Vrinda Grover
  87. Subhash Mendhapurkar, SUTRA
  88. Manmohan Sharma,  health activist
  89. Noorjehan  Safia Niaz, BMMA
  90. Dolphy D’souza, Convenor, Police Reforms Watch
  91. Adv Vijay Hiremath
  92.  Nita Shirali, activist
  93. Saumya Uma
  94. Sugandhi Francis
  95. Snehal
  96. Kranti
  97. Yasmeen, awwaze- niswan
  98. Aruna Burte
  99. Shobha, Stree Mukti Sanghathana
  100. Mukta Srivastava, NAPM
  101. Milind Ranade
  102. Prof. Ujwala Masdekar, faculty of Karve Institute of social service
  103. Panchali Ray. Jadavpur University. Kolkata.
  104. Sonal Shukla, Vacha
  105. Naureen, SNEHA
  106. Richa Minocha , Simla
  107. Jeevika Shiv, ANANDI
  108. Radhika Desai, Hyderabad
  109. Seema Kulkarni, SOPPECOM
  110. Rimple Mehta
  111. Ayesha Kidwai
  112. Runu Roy
  113. Dr Sadhana Natu,Savitribai Phule Pune University
  114. Vandana Prasad, JSA
  115. Leslie Rodricks
  116.      Ram Adsule, CCDT Trust
  117.      Pramod Nigudkar
  118. Renu Khanna, SAHAJ
  119. Poonam Muttreja, Population Foundation of India
  120. Rachana Johri
  121. Uma Chakravarti
  122. Lata Singh
  123. Susie Tharu
  124. Svati Joshi
  125. Lata Bhise Sonawane
  126. Preeti. Nari Samata Manch
  127. Prajkata Dhumal, Tathapi
  128. Sr Lucy Kurien, Maher trust
  129. Sanyogita Dhamdhere
  130. Bhargavi, Bapu Trust for Research on Mind & Discourse, Pune
  131. Manisha Naik,
  132.  Sijata Khandekar
  133. Nisreen Ebrahim- RF (I)T
  134. Gowri Rajendran.

Related posts

Political Prisoner brutally beaten up in Maharashtra – Case of JNU Student Hem Mishra

11082387_1635287170028011_4113633577546202603_o11076750_1635287906694604_7951556270017687527_o

 

 

 

Hem Mishra brutally beaten on Nagpur Central Prison premises by Nagpur Police.

Hem Mishra, Maroti Kurvatkar, and G Naga Saibaba demand strict action against guilty police personnel.
(Below is the English Translation of a Press Note issued in Marathi by Hem Mishra, Maroti Kurvatkar and G.N. Saibaba)
PRESS NOTE
POLICE BEAT UP PRISONER ON PRISON PREMISES
THE CASE OF POLITICAL PRISONER, JNU STUDENT, HEM MISHRA
The Nagpur police abused and beat up Hem Keshavdutt Mishra, student of Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University and Political Prisoner presently lodged in Nagpur Central Prison over the issue of applying handcuffs. They attacked him cruelly and injured him.
This illegal and inhuman act of the police occurred just outside the prison gate within the prison premises on 20-03-2015 at around 10-00 a.m. when Hem Mishra was being taken for medical treatment to the Government Medical Hospital.
The Supreme Court has long ago ordered that handcuffs should not be applied and ropes should not be tied to prisoners being taken from prison to court or hospital. This provision has also been incorporated in the Criminal Manual and the Jail Manual. Besides, the Assistant Inspector General of Police (Law and Order), Office of the Director General of Police has also issued a circular in this regard.
As per this, the police have been given clear orders not to apply handcuffs or tie ropes to prisoners being taken from the prison to the court or hospital. In case, in an exceptional circumstance, there is a need to apply handcuffs or tie ropes then it is necessary to take the permission of the concerned court. But the Maharashtra police are openly violating the orders of the Supreme Court.
On 20-03-2015, when undertrial prisoner Hem Mishra was being taken to the Government Medical Hospital for medical treatment he informed the police of these orders of the Supreme Court. But the police without bothering tried to forcibly apply handcuffs. When he again tried to explain to them, the police abused him and beat him up. Further, they cruelly attacked him and injured him. They tore his clothes and also threatened to “see” him.
These acts of the police are unconstitutional and illegal. They are also a violation of the orders of the Supreme Court. The victim has therefore sent a complaint to the Dhantoli Police Station through the Prison Superintendent calling for registration of an offence against the concerned guilty persons in this case and for their arrest. A complaint regarding this incident has also been made to the concerned court, the Principal Judge, Gadchiroli Sessions Court.
Hem Mishra, G.N. Saibaba, Maroti Kurvatkar, have vide Press Release demanded that strict action should be taken against the guilty in this case.

Yours faithfully,
1) Hem Mishra -sd-
2) Maroti Kurvatkar -sd-

Related posts

Bombay HC asks Why victims of custodial deaths in Maharashtra only from minorities

Related posts

What RTE? Maharashtra simply has no schools in 2,085 villages #WTFnews

Yogesh Pawar

day, 22 July 2014 –  | Agency: DNA

  • Uday Mohite DNA

Assam diaries
On April 8 2014, 11- year-old Radhika Gurung, studying in Class IV, was returning from school nearly 7 km away with her sisters Chandra and Maya along the river Teesta near Bardang, Sikkim. Suddenly, without having any time to respond, all three school girls were washed away by force of water released by upstream Teesta dam. While Maya and Chandra were lucky to be saved, Radhika wasn’t. She lost her life.

Mumbai diaries
An 11-year-old was killed by a leopard in Mumbai’s Aarey Colony in October last year. Prashant Salunke was returning home from school over 5 km away with two classmates around 5.15 pm when the animal struck. Prashant and two of his friends had taken a shortcut through the bushes when Prashant was attacked by the animal, which was hiding there. His friends immediately ran to seek help, but by the time the locals arrived 10 minutes later, the leopard had dragged Prashant into the forest. His body was found at quite some distance from the spot where he was attacked over an hour later.

If one goes by the blitzkrieg of advertisements — strangely enough, even on metro-centric English news channels and in newspapers — the Right to Education (RTE) and Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) are doing a spectacular job in improving access to schools and education. But grassroots realities like the examples above tell us a different picture of how bad the situation is not only in remote interiors but also in the country’s financial capital!

Maharashtra, be ashamed
Under the RTE, government rules stipulate that primary schools should be located a kilometre away, higher primary schools 3 km away and secondary schools should be located 5 km away at the most so that accessibility does not become a reason for drop-outs.

For a state which prides itself as the fifth most developed state in the country, in Maharashtra 2,085 villages have no schools forcing children to either travel or walk to other villages for schooling often covering between 8-10 km, according to data gathered by the Directorate of Education. “This data is a result of a meeting held in June 2009 when the need for such a survey was expressed. But though the data came in July 2009 itself, the state education ministry has shown little interest in doing anything about it,” rued a senior bureaucrat in the ministry. “This also violates the state government’s own stipulations that there will be a primary school per 200 population and a secondary school for every 2000.”

A watery education
Who will the know the pain of this better than Kalamboli village, barely an hour and half’s drive away from Mumbai, in Bhiwandi tehsil of Thane district. Children from this village have to strip to their undergarments and swim across choppy waters of the Bhatsa river with uniforms and school satchels in a polythene bag. With no bridge, all the children who want to pursue education beyond Std IV are forced to undertake this arduous route as the local zilla parishad school is only from KG to Std IV.

After all, the Bhatsa has claimed lives every year. The monsoon before last, Gavhshya Bhoir, 12, died while returning from school after Independence Day celebrations. “He kept insisting on going to school and his parents gave in. He didn’t want to put the paper flag in a bag as it would get crumpled. As he struggled to hold the flag, he was washed away in the swollen monsoon currents,” recalls village headman, Rambhau Patil.

Girls suffer the most
The worst hit are of the course the girls in the village who have to drop out after Class IV. Indu Palvi, 19 says, “In today’s times, girls need education more than boys, but because of the river-crossing involved, like me and my elder sister Sunanda, most girls drop out. It’s not like we don’t want to study and take up jobs. But how can we strip and swim like the boys?” With no state transport buses and the journey from village to the highway and then to the other side being 25km, the over 500 locals seem to have no choice but to risk their lives daily.

Standard answer
State education director Sarjerao Jadhav admitted he was aware of the statistics and said, “We are working on improving the situation.” Maharashtra school education minister Rajendra Darda too said, “The state government is seized with the issue and steps are being taken.” Repeated calls to Union HRD minister Smriti Irani went unanswered.
Interestingly, Bihar which has always been treated as a basket case, does better than Maharashtra with only 1,781 villages without schools. Many attribute this to the Nitish Kumar government’s insistence on improving education in the state.

Cry, the beloved nation
UP: 9,812
Rajasthan: 6,951
MP: 5,112
Haryana: 4,987
Maharashtra: 2085 http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report-what-rte-maharashtra-simply-has-no-schools-in-2085-villages-2004112
Bihar: 1,781

Read mor ehere –

Related posts

Maharashtra tops the list of incest crimes as saviours turn predators

Thursday, 4 July 2013 – 7:05am IST | Agency: DNA
Maharashtra recorded maximum incest rapes compared to other states in 2012.
  • Prashant Chaugule DNA

When it comes to incest, it’s a matter of shame and concern that Maharashtra tops the list of having the highest number of such cases in the country in 2012.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), Maharashtra reported 77 cases of incest rape, followed by Kerala with 47. Out of the 77 cases registered in the state, seven cases were reported in Mumbai.

In 2012, the state police registered 1,839 cases of rapes. Out of these, in 1,832 (99.61%) cases, the perpetrator was known to the victim. The statistics also indicated that out of the 77 registered incest rape cases, 24 of the victims were in the age group of 14-18 years. The second most targeted age group, with 18 cases, was of those who were up to 10 years old.

In 2011, Maharashtra police registered 43 cases of incest rape. Rajasthan recorded 44 and topped the list.

Sources said that crimes like rapes are mostly committed by those who are known the victim. There are very few cases in which the victim has fallen prey to an unknown perpetrator.

The police suspect that cases of incest rape are much higher and that many of them go unreported as it is a family member who is involved. The victim, more often than not, is convinced or even forced  not to approach the authorities concerned.

Out of the 1,832 cases of rape cases registered in Maharashtra in which the accused was known to the victim, 77 (4.2%) were committed by either the parent or a close family member. In 153 cases (8.3%) relatives were involved and in 501 (27.34%) were committed by neighbours.

Experts say that incidents should be nipped as soon as the first sign is seen.
The victim, especially if it’s a child, will try to discuss the matter with the mother and would be uncomfortable around the perpetrator. These signs should not be ignored and as soon as the victim confides in the parent, immediate action should be taken.

Not only is the crime heinous and leaves a scar on the victim’s mind, but the fact that her perpetrator is freely roaming around, can be traumatic too. A psychiatrist said, “The child should be made comfortable so that she can express her fears to her mother. In many cases, she does not understand what has been done to her. She is scared to mention about it as she fears that nobody would believe her. It is the responsibility of the schools to teach children about the subject and offer help whenever a child approaches.

Read mor ehere – http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report-maha-tops-the-list-of-incest-crimes-as-saviours-turn-predators-1856748

Related posts

Dumping garbage in rivers is now a crime in Maharashtra

Issue Date:
2014-7-4

Bombay High Court orders municipalities to register cases and take action against anyone who violates the law

image

The Bombay High Court has declared washing vehicles and dumping nirmalya (flowers and other paraphernalia from worship rituals) into rivers an offence and ordered all municipalities in the state to register cases and take action if anyone is found indulging in such acts

The order also makes a reference to the practice of immersing idols in rivers and has ordered that idols should only be immersed in artificial tanks.

The order calls on municipalities to install containers for dumping nirmalya near river banks during festivals. It also says that municipalities should appoint police squads to guard river banks. The squad should take action against anyone found dumping garbage into the river under the Bombay Police Act. The bench has asked the state government to issue any guidelines required in this regard.

The order came in a case regarding cleaning-up of the Chandrabhaga river in Pandharpur in Maharashtra. But since the problem is state-wide, the court extended the order to the entire state, says Asim Sarode, who represented the petitioning organisation, Manavi Vishta Vahatuk Virodhi Sanghatana. The organisation opposes manual scavenging.

Speaking to Down To Earth, Sarode said that while the order regarding nirmalya and garbage is quite relevant, it is not likely to be effective in cases of idol immersion since the mention of idol immersion was just a passing reference. “A more exhaustive court order will be required to ban idol immersion,” he said.

 

Read more here – http://www.downtoearth.org.in/content/dumping-garbage-rivers-now-crime-maharashtra

 

Related posts

#India – Maharashtra tops custodial deaths again #torture #humanrights

,TNN | Jul 1, 2014, 11.10 PM IST

MUMBAI: Maharashtra has once again earned the ignominious distinction of having the most custodial deaths of all Indian states, according to the National Crime Records Bureau’s (NCRB) latest report.

A total of 35 people died in police lockups in Maharashtra in 2013; just one of them was remanded in police custody by court. Second in the shameful chart were Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh with 15 custodial deaths each. And third was Gujarat with 13 deaths. State director general of police Sanjeev Dayal refused to comment on the 2013 statistics, saying, “I have not seen the NCRB records.”

Past NCRB reports show that Maharashtra had the most custodial deaths of all Indian states in 10 of the 13 years since 2001. In 2010, the figure was 23. The tally rose to 35 in 2011 and dropped to 24 the year after.

The issue of custodial deaths has, in the recent past, cast a dark cloud on the law enforcers in Mumbai. Agnello Valdaris, a 25-year-old resident of Reay Road, was picked up by the Wadala railway police on April 15, 2014, for an alleged theft and found dead three days later. Akash Kharade, a 23-year-old resident of Kandivli, was found dead in the Samata Nagar police’s lockup on April 22.

The latest NCRB report says that autopsies were conducted on all 35 people who died in police custody in 2013. Magisterial inquiries were set up in five instances and cases registered in two. No policemen were, however, charge-sheeted or convicted.

The figure of 35, the NCRB report explains, is just for the deaths in police lockups. Four more died in “police custody at the time of production or proceedings in court” or during a “journey connected with investigations” in 2013.

 

 

 

 

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Maharashtra-records-most-custodial-deaths-again/articleshow/37589735.cms?

Related posts

Is Maharashtra Caste Blind or Caste Prejudiced?

By Anand Teltumbde

15 June, 2014
Countercurrents.org

If you recall, Khairlanji, as it was first reported in the media (on 30 September 2006) was a crime that happened out of outrage of simpleton villagers at the defiance of a woman having affair with a man from a neighbouring village. There was no question of caste or cruelties. Needless to say it was a police version aimed at burying the incident as a simple law and order issue. After eight years, Khairlanji is getting reproduced in a Kaulewada village in the adjacent Gondia district, which incidentally was a part of the same Bhandara district, in which Khairlanji fell until recent years, where the Maharashtra government has declared a case of a Dalit activist being burnt alive to be just a law and order issue, sans caste or conspiracy.

Even after the state wide flare up over the Khairlanji incident, the case ended up just as a casual crime that happened in the mode of avenging a witness of Surekha and Priyanka Bhotmange, mother and daughter respectively, given against some villagers for which they suffered ‘great humiliation’ of having to secure bail before going to jail. That is what the fast track court in Bhandara had concluded and the Mumbai High Court also confirmed. It was another matter that the village mob that attacked Bhotmange household shouting, ‘Mahar majlet’, a self declaration of the intent that the Mahars had to be taught a lesson for defying the caste code. But the court perhaps saw it as mere interpretation and not the evidence that the killers should have submitted as a written statement that they killed the mother, daughter, and her two sons only because they were Mahars and nothing else. Well, the court would depend upon the case of prosecution and here was the super-competent star-prosecutor Ujwal Nikam failing to make the most pertinent point in the case! Now, the police has created a similar story that Sanjay Khobragade was burnt alive not by the people whom he named thrice in his independent statements before the tahasildar and the police but by his own wife and her so called paramour, a simple law and order issue, sans caste or conspiracy.

Fault lines of Caste

Sanjay Khobragade, an Ambedkarite activist of Kaulewada village in Gondia district who died on 22 May of his burn injuries, was set ablaze, dousing him with Kerosene, while he was sleeping in his courtyard on the night of 16-17 May by six people. He named them as Rushipal Tembhare (45), his wife and village sarpanch Madhuri Tembhare (40), Bhaulal Harinkhede (45), Punaji Thakre (58), Hemant Thakre (30) and Shriprakash Rahangdale (50), a doctor, deputy sarpanch and president of the Bahyababa temple trust, all belonging to the dominant (actually an OBC, a hallowed constituent of the weird mixture called bahujan) Powar caste. Following his statement, the police had to arrest them all immediately. However, as in any caste crime, the culprits here also had strong political connections with BJP and police had to move fast to take the incident past them to set them free. They therefore fabricated a story of Khobragade’s wife Devakabai (48) and her so called paramour, Raju Gadpayle (42), a poor rickshaw puller and their neighbour committing the crime to get rid of Khobragade. They soon enacted the story by arresting both Devakabai and Gadpayale on 19 May, tortured them to get their confession to the crime, and allowed the six accused to be let out on a conditional bail of Rs 15,000 each, unopposed. The process of discharging them of charge altogether is also on. Everybody is stunned in the village at this astounding behaviour of the police but the latter has so far persistent. As usual the Dalit leaders and the Maharashtra’s Human Rights Commission Chairman Ashok Thool who also happens to be Dalit himself marked their attendance at Kaulewada but with no avail to the victims.

In this case even the media also adequately covered the context of the incident, which was consistent with the statement of Khobragade and the observations of the Fact Finding Team organized by the Jatiya Atyachar Anyay Virodhi Andolan, Nagpur. Khobragade had led a struggle of Dalits for securing a patch of land near the Bahyababa temple, which itself was on the government land, from the Bahyababa temple trust controlled by the village politicos belonging to Powar caste to build a Buddha Vihar. Initially, it appeared to went smooth to the extent that on 14 April 2012 the bhoomipujan of the land was performed by Dr. Shiv Prakash Rangdale who was the president of the trust and Rushipal Chaitram Tembhare, sarpanch, attending the programme organized by Dalits for building Buddha Vihar. However, the Powar community did not like it and decided to beat up Rangdale. He was saved by some Dalit activists. Dalits had bought some materials to celebrate Buddha Jayanti, which was kept in the pan shop of Khobragade. The same night, this shop was burnt down. Khobragade filed a complaint with the Gangajhari police station naming Punaji Premlal Thackrey (58) and Hemant Thackrey (30), father and son respectively, as suspects. Police did panchnama but did not pursue the case.

Next year, on 14 April 2013, during the celebrations of the Buddha Purnima, sarpanch Rushipal Tembhare had publicly announced that Buddha Vihar would come at the site. However, when Khobragade learnt that some portion of the demarcated land was allotted for some Bhakt Niwas, behind the proposed Buddha vihar area, the conflict errupted. In January 2014, when the Gram Panchayat began actually putting up columns, Dalits protested and even registered a complaint in the Gangajhari police station. The conflict thus escalated, some Powars threatening Khobragade to keep quiet else they would pick up his daughter and rape her. During the last three years, Khobragade had filed over six police complaints against the accused for some or the other matter relating to the land for the Buddha Vihar. Recently, the trustees seemed to have reconciled. Rushipal Tembhare told Khobragade to come after 16 May 2014 and collect the NOC. There however was palpable unease in the community. Whatever was the plan, on the night of 16-17 May, Khobragade was set ablaze.

As he battled for life over the next five days, he gave three separate statements to the tehsildar and the police, each time naming the same six persons. He claimed that he had seen and heard the culprit before they fled the scene. Since he died thereafter, legally his statements become his “dying declaration”. But strangely the police rejected it saying it was only “suspicion”. When someone makes a dying declaration, it becomes a bounden duty of the police to take it seriously unless the innocence of accused is established in due process of law. However, Police arrested Gadpayale on May 19 and claimed that he confessed to hatching a conspiracy with Devakabai to kill Khobragade. As in the case of Surekha Bhotmange, the police made out a story that both Devakabai and Gadpayale had an illicit relationship and Khobragade had seen them in a compromising position that night. Therefore, they both decided to kill him. When his son Pradeep (30) told this to Khobragade, he reportedly wept and vehemently denied it.

Sub-Divisional Police Officer, Tirora, Dilip Girhe told the court on May 26 that Devakabai and Gadpayle had known each other since childhood and had an affair for the last 30 years. This police story however was denied by both Gadapayle and Devakabai, when produced in court. They stated that they were tortured by police and made to confess to the crime they had not committed. Pradeep Khobragade dismissed the police claim as false. The police are reluctant in taking the context of past conflicts related to the temple land into consideration. The police are yet to record the family’s statement. Dalit activists are unanimous that police were trying to save the real culprits in falsely implicating Devakabai. Opposing Devakabai’s bail, the prosecution had told the court that they feared “communal tension”. Dalits, however, vouched for the Khobragade family. Everyone knew that Devakabai was firmly with Sanjay in agitating for the Buddha Vihar and did not have an iota of discordance to insinuate an affair.

Maharashtra, Maha in Everything

This kind of framing of the incident has come handy for the Maharashtra government to declare it as a simple law and order issue. It serves two objects. One, at the minimum, it potentially protects the culprits, usually its protégées from the stringent provisions of the Atrocity Act and at the maximum absolves them completely of crime as in this case; and two, it spares the blot of a caste crime being credited to the government, a statistical window dressing. Every state government has this tendency which impels one to read the statistics of crimes against Dalits by National Crime Research Bureau with as large a factor of correction as ten. Maharashtra’s case is special: It somehow represents a miniscule India with all its characteristic vices blown over a smaller area so as to appear ten times more intense. It may be axiomatic to say that governments are hypocrites, corrupt, anti-poor, anti-minorities, anti-Dalits, etc.; in the case of Maharashtra one may have to simply scale up these epithets to depict its reality. It is therefore that Maharashtra is one of the few major states that have not set up special courts to try atrocity cases despite figuring as one of the high ranking states in terms of number of caste atrocities and one of the few states that are characterized by infamous atrocities like Khairlanji, sharing the dubious dishonour with Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and of course Bihar.

While the two cases of caste atrocities—the murder of Nitin Aage in Kharda along with this one–have come to prominence during the last month there have been several others, equally gruesome, that went unnoticed. At a Buddhist wedding function in Bodwad village in Jalgaon district on 15 May, while guests were revelling with customary Ambedkar songs, around 100 members of the dominant Maratha and Mali castes broke in and began attacking the revellers. Ten people were badly injured in the attack. While some guests rushed to call the police, Dalits from neighbouring villages had to come to take injured victims to the hospital. The police arrested 14 people reportedly under the Atrocity Act but not without the counter charge on some Dalit boys for having harassed the caste women of the village. Such counter-charge is almost an adjunct of any case under the Atrocity Act which serves the purpose of striking a compromise later to squash the main case. On 25 April, Umesh Agle, a Dalit labourer in his early twenties paid with his life for getting into a fight with youths from the dominant Maratha community in Aurangabad’s Devpul village. In the night, four or five Maratha men came to Agle’s house and took him out for a talk. His body was found in a well the next day, with broken limbs and knife wounds. While the men identified by Agle’s family have been arrested and booked under the Atrocity Act, the alleged masterminds are still at large. In another incident, Manoj Kasab, a Dalit sarpanch of Nanegaon village, was beaten to death on the night of 3 April by a group of men from a dominant caste. While his brother, who was also attacked, suffered a leg injury, Kasab’s wounds proved fatal. The police have reportedly made 10 arrests under the Atrocities Act. There could be several such incidents, not to count minor crimes all over the State. In all these cases, surprisingly the Police have registered the cases under the Atrocity Act, ostensibly to pacify Dalits and thwart further flare up in the election year.

From a very different perspective, the Maharashtra government itself has been a major contributor to the atrocities on Dalits. It has earned notoriety of picking up dalit activists protesting against atrocities on and other material injustice to dalits and incarcerating them in jail using the Maoist label as long as possible. They have not spared even the cultural outfits like Kabir Kala Manch, which evoked indignation all over the country and even abroad. People are arrested and incarcerated in jails for years on flimsy made-up charges of association with Maoists or possessing their literature in utter disregard of the Supreme Court judgements that even being Maoist itself does not constitute a crime. The case of Sudhir Dhawale perhaps exemplifies it best. He was widely known as Dalit activist, one of the organizers of the Republican Panthers- Movement for Annihilation of Castes, and the editor of Vidrohi, a bi-monthly Marathi magazine devoted to the issues of Dalits and other oppressed people. The entire who’s-who of progressive Maharashtra therefore had come forward in his defence and pleaded with the government for his release. But without any charge whatsoever the haughty government held him in jail for 40 long months. It would be a mistake taking him as a lone case. Recently, he was acquitted along with eight others, mostly Dalits, by the Gondia Court, which trashed the charges as baseless, essentially reiterating the Supreme Court judgement. During these 40 months, Dhawale’s family was devastated; his son who was in 12th standard when he was arrested with significant harassment to the family, lost track of his education. All others have also suffered such losses in varying degree. Considering the fact that most of these people and 44 like them who are still in jail are Dalits, are these not atrocities being perpetrated by the caste-prejudiced State? The repercussion of it is indeed far reaching than ordinary caste crime in which a humiliated body or a corpse is the outcome. In this atrocity, not only the lives of people are devastated, the spirit of entire community to resist injustice is killed leaving behind the social corpses strewn all around.

Reviving Feudal Lordship

The recent spate of atrocities appears to have been caused by the state policy. Maharashtra government introduced a scheme to settle the village level disputes under the much eulogized Mahatma Gandhi Tanta Mukti Gaon Mohim (Dispute-free Village Scheme) to bring about harmony in 2007. It has only served to suppress the grievances of Dalits and other poor by the dominant people of the villages. As the Dalit activists all over Maharashtra reveal this scheme has created an alarming situation where every village appears to be potential Khairlanji. The so called resolution of disputes is virtually imposition of dictatorship of the dominant caste in a village setting, a return of the feudal lordship in a legitimized form. A minor departure of a Dalit from the expected norm therefore flares up into ghastly atrocity. The pattern emerging out of the recent cases of atrocities can testify to this fact. It was for this reason that Babasaheb Ambedkar was spiritedly opposed to Gandhi’s scheme of Gram Rajya, saying that villages were ‘cesspool, a den of ignorance, narrow-mindedness, and communalism. The scheme reads good on paper and hence earned recognition from institutions like United Nations. But its local consequences, particularly to the Dalits and poor in villages are devastating. Over the last five years, it takes pride in resolution of over nine lakh disputes and awarded 1223 villages as tantamukt gaon prizes. The veritable joke has been that Khairlanji was given this award in the very year it was instituted.

All this goes to show that Maharashtra is far from being a caste blind progressive and secular state. It is the state, which is as badly prejudiced against Dalits as any other. The self-worn soubriquet of Phule-Ambedkarancha Maharashtra (Maharashtra of Phule and Ambedkar) has only served to fool the people.

Dr Anand Teltumbde is a writer, political analyst, columnist with EPW and civil rights activist with CPDR, Mumbai.
E-mail: [email protected]

Related posts

Maharashtra – 560 farmers committed suicide in 4 months after hailstorms #WTFnews

Author(s): Aparna Pallavi 
Date:Jun 11, 2014

State minister says relief will be provided to even those farmers who have not taken loans though their applications were rejected

The hailstorms that struck central India in February and March this year destroyed crops in vast swathes of farmland; the freak hailstorms were linked to global climatic anomaliesThe hailstorms that struck central India in February and March this year destroyed crops in vast swathes of farmland; the freak hailstorms were linked to global climatic anomalies

As many as 560 farmers have committed suicide following the hailstorms that battered Maharashtra in February and March this year, relief and rehabilitation minister Patangrao Kadam informed the Maharashtra State Assembly which is in session now. Out of them, 232 farmers have already been provided relief by government; 148 cases are pending and relief was rejected in 180 cases by officials on ground of ineligibility, he said.

Kadam was responding to a discussion on the damage inflicted by the hailstorms and delay in reaching relief to affected farmers.
He said that examination revealed that the 180 cases were rejected by administration on the premise that these farmers had not availed of a loan. However, orders have been issued to ignore the loan clause and provide relief to the affected families in view of the losses suffered due to the hailstorms. Orders have also been issued to expedite the 148 pending cases, he added.

Read more

During the discussion, Agriculture Minister Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil said that automatic weather stations will be installed in 2,900 revenue circles in the state within the next three months so that farmers may be provided up-to-date weather information through SMS. He said that the process has been delayed due to discrepancies in tenders earlier.

Read more here -http://www.downtoearth.org.in/content/560-farmers-committed-suicide-maharashtra-after-hailstorms

Related posts

Is Maharashtra Police cracking down on social activism in the name of fighting Maoism ?

The ‘Maoists’ In Our Midst

Is the Maharashtra Police cracking down on social activism in the name of fighting Maoism, asks Ushinor Majumdar

2014-06-07 , Issue 23 Volume 11


Delayed justice? Sudhir Dhawale spent nearly 40 months in jail before he was acquitted

Delayed justice? Sudhir Dhawale spent nearly 40 months in jail before he was acquitted. Illustration: Mayanglambam Dinesh

A few days after Delhi University professorGN Saibaba was arrested by the Maharashtra Police and accused of having Maoist links (Silencing dissent with a ‘Maoist’ tag? by G Vishnu, 24 May), a Mumbai-based activist, Sudhir Dhawale, who had been in jail since January 2011, was acquitted from similar charges by a sessions court. There is a striking similarity in the way the police went about their work in the two cases, both under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

Around eight months before Saibaba’s arrest, the police had raided his residence in Delhi University’s North Campus, purportedly looking for evidence linking him with the Maoists. The police had secured the search warrant after the arrestof two other activists, Hem Mishra and Prashant Rahi, from Maharashtra. The wheelchair-bound Saibaba had then expressed apprehension that the police could plant some incriminating evidence to haul him into jail in a false case. After his arrest in May, the police claimed that the interrogation of Mishra and Rahi had led to their nailing the DU professor, who was later suspended from his teaching job.

Similarly, Dhawale’s arrest on 3 January 2011 was based on an alleged confession by another activist Bhimrao Bhowte, who had been picked up a few days earlier along with four other activists on 26 December 2010. Dhawale, 45, was arrested from the Wardha railway station, two days after he arrived at the city to address a gathering of the Yuva Ambedkari Sahitya Sammelan.

Saibaba, 48, has been a vocal critic of Operation Green Hunt, the government’s counter-offensive against the Maoist insurgency. Starting as a direct engagement of the security forces with armed formations of the Maoists, the counter-offensive seems to have acquired new dimensions over time, with critics calling it an attempt to suppress any form of activism, legal or underground, that gives voice to the predominantly tribal population in the remote, forested terrain of central India.

Counter-insurgency officials and advisers consider Left-leaning intellectuals to be the torchbearers of radical ideology and, therefore, the greatest threat. They see people like Saibaba and Dhawale as “urban Maoists”, who galvanise people’s sympathies for the same causes that the Maoists claim to fight for.

Soon after Mishra’s arrest last September, the outlawed CPI(Maoist)’s Western Regional Committee spokesperson Srinivas had alleged that the police was trying to “terrorise intellectuals and activists”. “First, it was TISS student Mahesh Raut, then Mumbai University student Harshola Potdar and now it is Hem Mishra,” said the Maoist leader, claiming that the persecution was aimed at clearing the way for corporate mining interests in Surjagarh, Kamderi and Korchi in eastern Maharashtra.

There had been several encounters between the Maoists and security forces last year in this region. The Maoists had claimed that the encounters were fake and that “by arresting activists, the administration wants to instil fear in them and suppress the truth about the arrests and killings”.

However, the line between legitimate dissent and outlawed Maoist activity runs through a grey zone that needs to be reinterpreted. For instance, Dhawale toldTEHELKA that he had been a part of the Maoists’ frontal organisations and agrees with the Marxist-Leninist-Maoist ideology, but does not support any form of violence. Dhawale’s lawyer Surendra Gadling points out a Supreme Court directive that the doctrine of association by guilt cannot be applied to such cases.

As a student in Nagpur, Dhawale was a cultural activist with the Vidyarthi Pragati Sangathana and Ahwan Natya Manch from 1985 to 1994. During that period, he had met many senior Maoist leaders, including alleged politburo member Kobad Ghandy, who is currently lodged in New Delhi’s Tihar Jail. Later, when the Maoists stopped operating in Nagpur, Dhawale moved on to other forms of activism. At the time of his arrest, he was working as a Dalit rights activist.

“In Maharashtra, there are village-level committees of an organisation called the Mahatma Gandhi Tanta Mukti Abhiyan, which are similar to the khap panchayats (caste-based councils) of north India. The upper-caste Marathas run these as an instrument of oppression against any form of assertion by the Dalits,” says Dhawale.

The chargesheet against Dhawale names eight other accused, all of whom were cultural activists rooting for Dalit rights. While the mainstream media only reports incidents of violence and extreme oppression, several insidious forms of discrimination in the rural and forested belts remain hidden. No wonder, activists such as Dhawale often find themselves on the same page as the Maoists because both sets of people believe they are fighting for the same causes. Many such people eventually end up in jail, waiting for trial in cases hobbled by the lack of evidence.

A closer look at Dhawale’s case is quite revealing. The police had initially accused him of putting up posters for the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army, the armed wing of the CPI(Maoist). That charge had to be dropped later as Dhawale proved that he was at a public event in Mumbai on the day of the alleged offence.

A day after Dhawale’s arrest, the police raided his residence and seized electronic devices, including storage devices, in which they claimed to have found Maoist literature and pamphlets such as Prabhat, a magazine published by the outfit’s Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee.

During the trial, the court rejected the police’s claim that Bhowte had identified Dhawale as a Maoist. There was no signed confession or any other documentary evidence to the effect. The courts have repeatedly observed that in the absence of proper gathering of evidence, the police often extract false confessions from the accused in custody.

Dhawale’s lawyer Gadling also proved that the materials seized from Dhawale were tampered with and most of the so-called Maoist documents were available online. He also argued that possessing banned literature and sympathising with Maoist ideology was not sufficient reason for conviction. In 2011, the Supreme Court had held that “mere membership of a banned organisation will not make a person a criminal unless he resorts to violence or incites people to violence or creates public disorder by violence or incitement to violence”.

While Dhawale was released after nearly 40 months in jail, 44 undertrial inmates, including seven women, continue to languish in Nagpur Central Jail, waiting for a verdict in similar cases. “The Centre sanctions a huge amount of funds for counter-Maoist operations. When the police fail to apprehend armed Maoists, they arrest unarmed activists to justify the expenditure,” says Gadling.

One of the biggest challenges before the newly-formed Narendra Modi government is to end the Maoist conflict, which is one of the promises made in the BJP manifesto. During the UPA-2 regime, the then rural development minister Jairam Ramesh had remarked that the first step towards that could be to free around 6,000 “innocent” tribals who have been lodged in jails in Maoist-related cases.

“Recently, Sonimata Kowase, a tribal woman was released after awaiting trial for four years. I had to arrange for someone to accompany her to her village because she could not go back on her own. Her family had not visited her in Nagpur jail even once as they could not afford the train fare,” says Gadling, who is fighting the cases of many such tribals.

Meanwhile, the Maoists’ central committee, their top decision-making body, has released a statement condemning the arrest of Saibaba because he spoke out against police atrocities. The police, however, claim they have records of Internet chats between Saibaba and Maoist leaders.

Saibaba has been held under the UAPA, India’s anti-terror law. The courts are usually reluctant to grant bail to those charged under this law. So, it is doubtful if Saibaba will get bail easily, if at all.

[email protected]

Read more here – http://www.tehelka.com/the-maoists-in-our-midst/

Related posts