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India Court allows Sterlite smelter to resume production #WTFnews

Read more on: INDIA | STERLITE | SMELTER | Court | Delhi | Imports | Sterlite Industries | New Delhi

By Krishna N Das

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s largest copper smelter is likely to restart within a week, after a court on Friday gave a conditional go-ahead, ending a two-month-long shutdown that has squeezed domestic supply and boosted imports.

The smelter run by Sterlite Industries , a unit of London-listed Vedanta , can resume operations overseen by a court-appointed panel, Justice Swatanter Kumar of a fast-track court, the National Green Tribunal, said.

“A balance has to be struck between environmental interests and sustainable economic development,” the judge said, adding that the panel would determine if the smelter required additional anti-pollution equipment.

The court will issue a final order after July 10, he added, to follow Friday‘s interim order.

Sterlite’s smelter is expected to resume production in about a week, a company statement said. Earlier, the head of its copper business P. Ramnath had suggested a restart in two weeks, with supply to customers commencing in another week.

The smelter, which uses imported concentrates, produces 30,000 tonnes of refined copper a month, or more than half of India’s total production. Nearly half its output goes to China.

Its closure had made available to the market an extra 3,000 tonnes of copper concentrates each day.

“If the closure had been prolonged for some more time it would have led to a steep increase for premiums,” said a physical trader based in Singapore, who has Indian clients. “Already we had started getting copper cathode enquiries.”

Most of India’s exports of copper go to China, the world’s biggest consumer of the metal, which used around 9 million tonnes last year, well in excess of India’s annual consumption of around 600,000 tonnes.

“The restart will ease the tight supply situation across Asia, but particularly in India, where the domestic market has been suffering because of a shortage in cathode,” said another metals trader based in Singapore.

The shutdown of the Sterlite smelter helped drive up copper premiums, which rose in Shanghai to a high of $140 a tonne over cash London Metal Exchange copper, the trader added.

A long-arranged shutdown of Hindalco Industries Ltd’s Birla smelter on May 7 also cut tonnage to the market. That smelter, which produces around 30,000 tonnes a month, will reopen early in June, the company has said.

India’s cable makers faced a severe shortage of copper and potential manufacturing delays after the closure of the country’s two biggest copper smelters.

Sterlite, whose parent Vedanta is controlled by billionaire Anil Agarwal, has been waiting for government clearances to double the capacity of its smelter to 800,000 tonnes a year.

Its smelter, in the coastal town of Tuticorin near the southern tip of India, was shut on March 30 after residents complained of emissions that led to breathing problems.

Environmental issues and other concerns, including land acquisition, have enmeshed several global companies’ plans for big-ticket investments in India, ranging from South Korea’s POSCO to units of Vedanta.

Sterlite’s smelter has long been the target of protesters and politicians who call it a risk to local fisheries.

Several cases have been filed against the company since the plant started in 1996. In a different case, India’s top court last month fined Sterlite about $18 million for breaking environmental laws at the smelter.

(Additional reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr. and Melanie Burton in SINGAPORE; editing by Clarence Fernandez and Keiron Henderson)

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After Delhi gang-rape, India struggles to put words into action #Vaw

 

DELHI: A hundred days after India mourned the death of a gang-rape victim and vowed to fight sex crimes, the torn clothes and tears of Bharti Kagra bear testimony to a tide of violence that refuses to ebb.

 


AFP 

Tuesday 23 April 2013, 09:20AM


An Indian woman files a complaint in New Delhi. Photo: AFP/Manan Vatsyanyana

An Indian woman files a complaint in New Delhi. Photo: AFP/Manan Vatsyanyana

Kagra is one of the 812 women whom police say have been molested in New Delhi since the death of the medical student, who was brutally assaulted by six attackers in a moving bus on December 16 last year.

The student died in a Singapore hospital on December 29. The savagery of the attack triggered nationwide protests, prompting lawmakers to toughen punishments for sexual offences and pledge to make India safer for women.

Optimists called it a “turning point”, while Delhi’s under-fire top police officer said his force had been “jolted” and would institute “major changes in the way offences against women are dealt with”.

Kagra’s experiences give reason to doubt whether the outpouring of anger from women across the country, many of whom took to the streets in some cities, will result in better protection.

Carrying the clothes she says were ripped by her husband and brother-in-law during an assault on her, she struggles to register a case at a south Delhi police station where no female officers are present – even though they are mandatory under the new anti-rape law.

“First, the men humiliated me and now when I come out to seek justice the cops insult me… some even suggested that I should make peace with my husband,” she told AFP inside the police station in the Moti Bagh district of the capital.

In response to her shouts and cries, two policemen reluctantly register her complaint. Kagra allowed AFP to use her name, to publicise the problems women still face in registering such complaints.

Women currently make up only 6.5 per cent of India’s police force and major recruitment changes will be needed to enforce the new sex crime law, which requires a female officer to record molestation and rape complaints.

This ruling risks going the way of so much legislation in India – well-meaning but mostly ignored in practice. Rights groups say real change will only come when widely held patriarchal and sexist attitudes change.

“I don’t see enough initiative to change the mindset of the law enforcement agencies, especially the police,” said Ranjana Kumari, director at the Centre for Social Research in New Delhi.

However, one consequence of the Delhi gang-rape is that women are more confident in reporting sex crimes, she says.

Delhi police reported a 148-per cent leap in rape cases lodged between January 1 and March 24 compared with the same period in 2012, and a 600-per cent rise in molestation cases reported up until April 3.

It’s not just Indian women who have been targeted. A Swiss tourist was gang-raped last month while camping in central India, an offence that led to another flurry of negative headlines.

Many Western countries have warned female tourists to exercise caution in India, a move that has hit the tourism industry which earned over US$16 billion from foreign travellers in 2011.

 

The Phuket News

– See more at: http://www.thephuketnews.com/after-gang-rape-india-struggles-to-put-words-into-action-38863.php#sthash.owwNW7rw.dpuf

 

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Delhi gangrape repeated, Bus driver rapes minor in chartered bus #Vaw #WTFnews

 

Dailybhaskar.com | Apr 14, 2013, 20:26PM IST
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New Delhi: In a shocking incident that brought disgusting memories of the Delhi gangrape incident, an eleven year old girl was raped in a chartered bus in Sultanpur area of the national capital. Police has arrested the bus driver. Further details are awaited.

 

In December 2012, a 23-year-old female physiotherapy intern was beaten and gang raped in a bus in which she was travelling with her male companion. There were only six others in the bus, including the driver, all of whom raped the woman. The woman died from her injuries thirteen days later while undergoing emergency treatment in Singapore.

 

After the rape,  public protests against the Government of India and the Government of Delhi for not providing adequate security for women took place in New Delhi, where thousands of protesters clashed with security forces. Similar protests took place in major cities throughout the country.

 

The incident has once again revealed the vulnerablity of women.

 

 

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Punjab- Aspiring model alleges sexual exploitation by singer Nachattar Gill #Vaw

gill

 

Thursday, February, 28 2013 – 14:27

LUDHIANA: Noted Punjabi singer Nachattar Gill and three others have landed in a trouble after an aspiring model alleged sexual exploitation by them. She alleged that they had established physical relations with her on the pretext of sending her abroad and making her a top model.

The girl, a resident of Haibowal appeared before Police Commissioner Ishwar Singh and alleged that he gave her a cold drink laced with sedative at a Chandigarh hotel where they took objectionable pictures of her.She said she was raped by three others also when they visited Singapore.

The victim disclosed that she came in contact with Gill when she was adjudged first runners-up at a beauty pageant at Jalandhar in 2006 where the singer was one of the judges.The duo soon became intimate after they started talking to each other frequently.

The girl used to meet the singer in Ludhiana and Phillaur hotels.She also claimed that the singer had assured to make her a top model in the industry and established physical relations with her on several occasions. She also disclosed that their relation turned sour when she questioned the singer why she was not featured in music albums.

Later, the singer started blackmailing the girl on pretext that he would make the video footage public.Apart from Gill, three city residents also took advantage of her condition. The trio took Rs 20 lakh from her parents so that she could settle abroad.The two city residents also made her MMS when they were in Singapore and established physical relations with her.

She alleged that the third person established physical relations with her on pretext of helping her seek legal action against those who had sexually exploited her.

Meanwhile, Nachattar Gill termed her allegations baseless and a conspiracy against him, adding that he was ready to join investigation on March 5.

 

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#Delhigangrape- Prime accused Ram Singh’s ‘suicide watch’ had been lifted #joke #WTFnews

By IANSNEW DELHI

11th March 2013 04:45 PM

Ram Singh, the prime accused in the Dec 16 gang-rape case who reportedly hanged himself in the Tihar Jail, was removed from ‘suicide watch‘ a few weeks ago, officials said Monday.

The 35-year-old along with four other accused were put on ‘suicide watch’ after they stopped talking with other inmates and with each other, a Tihar official told IANS.

“The alert was lifted when we found he and others were behaving normally and were not showing any sign of depression. They were eating normally and looked ok. We then lifted the suicide watch,” the official said.

Officials refused to say when the alert was lifted but said it happened “a few weeks ago”.

Ram Singh was found hanging from the grill in his cell at around 5.45 a.m. Monday. He was warded in ward no. 5 of Jail no. 3.

He shared the cell with three other inmates, also facing trial. The prison officials refused to reveal their identity.

Officials said Ram Singh had been speaking to his prison mates till 2.30 a.m. None of them heard or saw him hanging himself.

Ram Singh was the driver of the bus in which the 23-year-old woman was raped by six males, including his younger brother.

The six, including a minor, also thrashed the woman’s friend and later threw them out of the bus bleeding and without clothes. The student died of internal injuries in Singapore two weeks later.

 

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#India- Woman alleges gang-rape in Delhi #Vaw

Last Updated: Sunday, March 10, 2013,
 0

New Delhi: A 34-year-old woman on Sunday alleged that she was abducted and gang-raped by four men in a moving car in east Delhi, police said.

The woman alleged that she was abducted from Akshardham at around 9 AM by the gang which took turns to rape her in the moving car, which also had two women.

“All the six persons in the white car were known to the victim.

“She told us that she was going from Pandav Nagar to Akshardham and when she reached near the Akshardham metro station, the vehicle moved towards her and she was abducted,” police said.

She claimed she was dumped near Pragati Maidan after the sexual assault.

She also claimed her two mobile phones and some jewellery were robbed.

The victim later approached police which took her to a government hospital for medical examination. A case was registered.

No one was arrested till late in the night.

The city has witnessed a surge in rape cases this year. The national capital was outraged over the gang-rape of a 23-year-old medic in a moving bus on December 16. The victim, who was raped, brutally assaulted and thrown from the vehicle, died on December 29 in a Singapore hospital.

Last year, 706 rape cases were reported while 247 cases of rape were registered till March three this year.

PTI

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Delhi gang-rape accused must be given chance to reform #Vaw

PTI Mar 8, 2013, 10.21PM IST
(Actor Rahul Bose. )

NEW DELHI: Actor activist Rahul Bose on Friday came out in favour of giving the perpetrators of last year’s Delhi gang rape a chance to reform and create a “gender warrior” among them.

“… We have to ask ourselves of the five or six of the rapists of the December 16 is there anyone who wants to change, who wants to reform … Nobody is saying about commuting any sentence, the sentence stands as it is but while it stands can we create a gender warrior among them?” he asked.

The actor was participating in a year-long ” Ring The Bell” campaign launched by NGO Breakthrough which seeks to mobilize one million men around the world to commit to taking concrete action to end violence against women.

“If anybody is open to reaffirmation do we have it in us to subvert our patriarchal mindset and tell them that we are ready to confer even the right to reform to you even if there is such a massive public upsurge against you,” said Bose.

The actor further said,”If we have to move further civilizational as a society, if we have to evolve as a civilization further beyond the boundaries of India then we have to look at forgiveness.”

The 23-year girl, who was gang-raped by six men in a moving bus on December 16, died in a Singapore hospital after battling for life.

The campaign “One million men. One million promises to end violence against women”, simultaneously launched today in six cities across the world including New York, Johannesburg and Rio, pledges to connect people through social media to discuss and find new solutions to end violence.

Stressing on the needs to challenge the habits, norms and behaviour that perpetuates violence, ‘Breakthrough’ vice president Sonali Khan said, “We are calling on men and boys around the world to take a stand against violence against women by making a concrete promise that they keep.

“With men as partners, we can build a world in which women are respected- and in which all of us live freely and without fear. Each action will add up to one million; one million will start the change,” she added.

Sitar player and composer Anoushka Shankar said, “I am excited to be part of a campaign that promotes deeper dialogue and therefore understanding to help bring about a groundswell of change in the tragic global epidemic of violence against women. It’s important to engage men in this dialogue as this violence against women is not exclusively a women’s issue.

 

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#India- #Budget2013, Gender insensitive ,enforcing gender stereotypes #Womenrights

Budget 2013- Gender Gap yet again

Not only is budget gender-insensitive, it strengthens gender stereotyping and reinforces the invisibility of women from the economy
First Published: Fri, Mar 01 2013. ,livemint.com
womenindia
What is even more cynical, if not insulting, is the `200 crore allocated for women “belonging to the most vulnerable groups, including single women and widows, (who) must be able to live with self-esteem and dignity”.
Budget 2013, unveiled 10 weeks after the Delhi gang-rape and 10 days before International Women’s Day, was preceded by hope among women that the promises and pledges made by the government to advance their cause would, for once, not remain mere platitudes but be articulated in the single-most important financial document of the year.
The hope was belied. Not only is Budget 2013 gender-insensitive, it in fact strengthens gender stereotyping and reinforces the invisibility of women from the economy in almost every sense of the term.
It is a well documented fact that both the agricultural and the rural sector are heavily feminized, providing a livelihood to four-fifths of all working women in India. Yet, nowhere is this recognized even though the 12th Plan emphatically states that schemes such as Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) will have a special women’s quota, and that single women can form collectives for group cultivation. The latter is an issue that some of us, as part of the Feminists Economists Committee for the 11th as well as 12th Plan have struggled hard for.
Similarly, hugely transformative programmes such as the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Rural Mission (JNNURM) and the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) are all “gender-less”. As is the fundamentally democratic issue of gendering governance, what with Panchayati Raj institutions themselves being given such short shrift.
In fact, no economic agency is ascribed to women; they are the predictable, stereotyped, reproductive agents defined as usual in the syndrome of patriarchal semantics. So, therefore, increased allocations to women and their tag-ons both in societal and budgetary terms—children, nutrition and so on. The issue here is not to deny the crucial importance and desperate urgency of even higher funding for these sub-areas, but to give visibility to the independent economic, budgetary, fiscal and financial status of women.
Additionally, the imperative of gendered financial inclusion has been totally trivialized in the form of an all-women bank, which is easier to set up than to gender-sensitize existing banking procedures; it’s something that will marginalize women even more. Gendered financial inclusion can be greatly enhanced by introducing an equilibrium between financial and physical targets; this is especially important in the context of the fact that women generally take small loans, and the fact that while physical targets may be filled, financial disbursements constitute an insignificant amount. Similarly, what was hoped for were changes in other supplementary monetary instruments such as medical insurance policies which currently have different rules for single women and also men who are out of the marital patriarchal slot.
Additionally, individual taxation is preferred because the economic benefit of working depends on how much a woman earns and not the fact of her location in the patriarchal marital structure. The fiscal instrument of an additional tax exemption to women was expected to be re-introduced in order to increase her incentive to take up employment and shift her labour supply curve. Budget 2013 appears to have absolved the State of any responsibility whatsoever of incorporating employment in its current strategy by insisting that women undertake their own economic empowerment through “assisted” self-employment while men may do so by “skill” enhancement.
While it is good that social sector spending has not been negatively impacted by the Budget, already introduced cuts in subsidies on household maintenance commodities such as kerosene and cooking gas have directly affected the time use pattern of women and increased their time poverty. It thus increases the “reproductive” tax that the woman has to pay to the economy as a direct result of change in macroeconomic policies.
The budget asserts that “We have a collective responsibility to ensure the dignity and safety of women…for which Rs.1,000 crore are pledged…(to) the Nirbhaya Fund..,” so-called because Nirbhaya, or fearless, was the fictional name given by a newspaper to the Delhi gang-rape victim who died on 29 December in a Singapore hospital. Money was allocated but no measures were promised to promote the goal.
What is even more cynical, if not insulting, is the Rs.200 crore allocated for women “belonging to the most vulnerable groups, including single women and widows, (who) must be able to live with self-esteem and dignity”. This largesse works out to a humiliating Rs.74 and 07 paise even if this entire amount is spent solely for the benefit of the 27 million female-headed households in the country. This works to even less than that allocated for the setting up of a National Institute of Sports Coaching.
A budgetary gender critique, to be relevant and true, must be located within the context of the paradigm within which the budget is perceived. If the mantra is “higher growth leading to inclusive and sustainable development,” then we need to urgently re-examine all evidence that has points unequivocally to the fact that in the years when the Indian economy was growing at an 8% pace, there was less than 1% reduction in poverty.
The writer is professor and head, Centre for Gender Economics, Department of Economics, University of Mumbai

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Sexual violence: a global awakening, from India #delhigangrape #Vaw

The rape and murder of a 23-year-old female physiotherapy student from Delhi—six men have been arrested for the attack, which took place on Dec 16—has rightly caused outrage and anguish across India. Immediately after her death, following treatment in a hospital in Singapore, Delhi was locked down by police to prevent outbreaks of public protest. Despite these measures, thousands of Indian citizens took part in peaceful vigils to express their anger at the violence inflicted against this young student, as well as the harassment experienced daily by thousands of Indian women.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has called for “a constructive course of action”. But there is agreement that India has failed to address a pervasive culture of sexual violence and gender injustice. This political neglect has created a permissive environment where men can rape, beat, and kill a woman with impunity. India is a respected democracy that has delivered phenomenal economic success for its growing middle class. But the country’s inattention to fundamental protections and liberties for its citizens reveals a nation facing a moral turning point. We endorse the campaign by the The Times of India and others to address “the lack of respect for women in our patriarchal society”.
Yet it would be a grievous error to conclude that sexual violence is a predicament confined to India. It is not. Rape and other forms of violence against women and girls are a feature of all societies. In South Africa, for example, as many as a third of men have taken part in acts of rape.
As a first step, sexual violence must be acknowledged as a reality by all of us, and its causes discussed. We must support the creation of safe systems for preventing, reporting, and remedying acts of sexual violence. As advocates for women’s health, health professionals have a special role in defeating rape. It’s time we exercised our voice more strongly. The greatest respect we can give to the memory of the Indian student who died on Dec 29 is by protecting and strengthening the political and social rights of women worldwide.

 

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Demand to reduce age of juvenility in heinous crimes unjustified, says Minna Kabir

Aneesha Mathur : New Delhi, Sat Jan 05 2013, 02:39 hrs

At a time when there’s a chorus for showing no leniency to the juvenile among the six arrested for the gangrape of the 23-year-old woman who later died in a Singapore hospital, children’s rights workers are cautioning that laws should not be bent simply because there is public outrage.

Minna Kabir, voluntary children’s rights worker who has long been associated with the legal aid cell at the juvenile justice boards in Delhi, said: “The law says it is not the crime that matters, it is the child standing before you that matters.”

“Why should we treat him as different from other children? If a child has committed a crime, it means society has failed him in one way or another and needs to think about his reform and rehabilitation,” said Kabir whose husband Altamas Kabir is the Chief Justice of India.

She said calls for reducing the age of juvenility for those accused of heinous crimes are unjustified.

“We should strike a balance in our thinking. Instead of reacting with hysteria, various people should come up with constructive ideas to combat the systemic failure that leads to criminality. There is need for proper education, counselling of these children. Society seems to encourage sex, advertisements today are full of sexual situations, we are losing values and that is why such cases are happening,” Kabir said.

Professor Ved Kumari, expert on juvenile justice law and ex-chairperson of the Delhi Judicial Academy, said: “Let our outrage at the absence of safe spaces for women not blind us to the absence of care to children.”

Raaj Mangal Prasad, former chairperson of the child welfare committee, cautioned against a “knee jerk reaction”. “A change in the law will have a negative impact on all children who are in vulnerable positions. What will you do if a 13-year-old is accused of rape and murder?” he said.

 

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