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Posters warn girls of acid attacks if seen in jeans in Ranchi #VAW #Moralpolicing

, TNN | Aug 8, 2012,

Posters threaten attack on girls for wearing jeans

Posters threaten attack on girls for wearing jeans
RANCHI: Posters warning of serious consequences like acid attacks if women wore jeans and tops created panic across the city on Tuesday but police refused to react to the threats and had made no arrests throughout the day.Written in red ink, these posters by a group calling itself Jharkhand Mukti Sangh were seen at Albert Ekka Chowk, outside the office of the registrar and St John School at around 9.30am. They were deliberately penned in red ink to give the impression that they were the handiwork of a rebel group, said police.

“We are not taking the posters seriously as we feel some miscreants are behind them. But we will investigate,” said DGP G S Rath, adding to the insecurity created among the city’s women.

“The police should immediately look into the matter and take action. If they are not booked, it will be very difficult for us to move around freely,” said a girl student of St Xavier’s College. She was furious with the group. “They are behaving like the Taliban. Recently a khap panchayat also decreed that girls would be punished for wearing jeans. I don’t know why they have started this moral policing,” she said on condition her identity be kept secret for fear of reprisal.

The chairperson of the State Women’s Commission, Hemlata S Mohan, was shocked. “There is no justification for such posters. We cannot allow the girls to be targeted in this fashion,” said Mohan.

The posters also warned of violence against job seekers in Jharkhand who are not domiciles of the state. “Outsiders” planning to buy land in the state have also not been spared, just as companies have been warned about the backlash if they displace people.

The police said “attacks” and warnings to “outsiders” is nothing new. Sometime back, activists of the Adivashi Mulvasi Chhatra Morcha (AMCM), roughed up a high school teacher, Avadh Bihari, who hailed from Samastipur, Bihar.

“I was called by the District Education Officer to join as a 10+2 teacher. AMCM members asked me to leave the state or face violence,” said Bihari over phone.

AMCM president, Kamlesh Ram, said no leniency would be shown while dealing with outsiders. “Outsiders cannot enjoy the fruits of the state at the cost of the tribals.” He added that the tribals had fought for their rights and a separate state. Now that they have it, they should be the first claimants over its resources.

Senior BJP leader, Raghubar Das, said the Constitution grants Indians the right to live anywhere they want. “Any attempt to challenge this right is condemnable. The police should immediately launch a probe. It might be the handiwork of some antisocial elements,” said Das.

Rashtriya Janata Dal state president, Girinath Singh, did not turn down the possibility of the involvement of some splinter group. “I want immediate action. The government’s failure has caused the people to stand up in protest. It is in fact a fallout of the domicile policy,” remarked Singh.

The efficacy of the intelligence system was also questioned. “It shows that the intelligence system has failed,” said Singh.

Threats of this kind are an unpleasant surprise anywhere, but even more so in a city like Ranchi which has long had a cosmopolitan culture. The government should not take such threats lightly, because they do tend to intimidate people even if those issuing the threat are only a fringe group. Outfits that take it upon themselves to do ‘moral policing’ must be dealt with firmly by the state. Firm action by the government at this stage can nip the menace in the bud. Any laxity shown in this respect is likely to encourage not just this group but other potential vigilantes

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Rejoinder to story on #SoniSori in Indian Express: (IADHRI)

 

 

The  International Alliance for Defence of Human Rights in India (IADHRI) is based in the US and has participated in the campaigns for the release of Dr. Binayak Sen, Kopa Kunjam and now more recently Soni Sori and Lingaram Kodopi.

On August 5th, The Indian Express published a disturbing, supposedly investigative story on Soni Sori, implying both that she was guilty of the charge of being a Maoist as well as casting doubt on the activists in India and outside who support her, and who are mainly responsible forbringing into the open the fact that she was and continues to be tortured in prison.

The IADHRI has written this response to the story, rebutting it point by point.

That the media often compromises its integrity for corporate interests and the political elite is not news any more. The recent Sunday Express report titled ‘Soni’s Story’ is symptomatic of a belief that if a lie is repeated often, it becomes the accepted truth.  The report talks of Soni Sori, the Adivasi school teacher from Dantewada, Chhattisgarh, who has been arrested and accused of being a Maoist conduit. With a clever sprinkling of truth, a report can seem unbiased- the reporter appears to be the warrior fighting to find facts and settling for nothing less. It is, however, imperative that fallacies be broken down, and the casual picking and choosing of facts be exposed for what it is. Let us use the same structure that the story uses.
  1. Sori, the police and the Maoists
    1. The report paints a picture of Soni Sori, a vocal, educated school teacher with an influential family. It mentions that “Villagers in Palnar say Sori was not a Maoist, but like most people in these parts, she had links with the rebels.”
    2. However, in the quest for truth, the reporter does not remain satisfied, and to substantiate charges of Sori’s Maoist links refers to the incident where Maoists shoot her father in the leg but spare her as a subtle insinuation that there is something wrong brewing underneath. How exactly one’s father being shot is a sign of camaraderie we will never know, but the Sunday Express seems to have some ideas.
    3. The report does not stop at this, but cites an unnamed Palnar-based journalist and family-friend who says that “Madam was a bridge between Maoists and the local company contractors. She helped them levy taxes and was also close to the police,” which of course is sufficient evidence to incriminate Sori as a Maoist.
    4. The report exonerates Sori of the attack on Avdesh Gautam’s house, stating that “Evidence suggests both Sori and Futane were not involved in the attack. But curiously, while Futane was arrested and continues to be in jail, Sori remained free. She was slapped with several offences in a series of cases from July to September 2010—all false, say her lawyer and even the police.” Curiously, this does not prevent the reporter from quoting the same Gautam saying that “She was playing to both sides. She could not have managed it for long.” This begs the question: how does one take Gautam’s words to be credible when it was his FIR that led to charges being slapped against Sori for the first time in 2010?
    5. The report does reinforce the claim made by activists that Lingaram Kodopi (Sori’s nephew – a co-accused in the Gautam case and also arrested for being a Maoist conduit) was not arrested at Palnar market when handing over 15 lakhs to BK Lala, an Essar contractor, as suggested by the police. Relatives have confirmed that Kodopi was arrested from Sori’s father’s house, and Sori fled. What the report fails to inform readers is that after fleeing to Delhi, Sori sought out the office of Tehelka magazine and helped conduct a sting operation- the recorded conversation clearly suggests that she was framed through the conspiracy of SP Ankit Garg and a constable by the name of Mankar. It was also here that Sori spoke of repeated harassment by the Chhattisgarh police and their attempts to coax her to implicate her nephew Kodopi as being a Maoist.
  2. Sori and the activists
    1. This is perhaps the most intriguing part of the Sunday Express report. The journalist seeks to discredit activists for bringing attention to Soni Sori’s medical report, furnished by the NRS Medical College and Hospital in Kolkata. Sori was examined there between October 26th and 28th and it was through this report that Sori’s torture became evident after stones were recovered from her private parts. The medical report, contrary to what is mentioned in the report, was never “leaked”. The report was only made available after being produced before the Supreme Court. (It is also worth noting here that after the medical report was dispatched by speed post, it took a good two weeks for it to reach the Supreme Court.) One does not know what to make of the story’s suggestion that there was a “selective leak” of the medical report. What parts of the report that were of relevance were omitted by the various petitions? The report goes on to say, “While the four-page confidential report, submitted to the SC, a copy of which is with The Sunday Express, recorded in detail her medical condition and did not confirm the torture charges, only a sentence about the “foreign bodies” was leaked.” Is the Sunday Express trying to suggest that Sori inserted these foreign bodies into her body herself? If one were to also carefully read the four page medical report, it can be seen that the only sentence the Sunday Express chooses to mention is in the summary of the report. The foreign bodies are mentioned along with other details, throughout the rest of the report. The recovered stones themselves were also submitted to the Supreme Court by the  hospital.
    2. The other means of discrediting the NRS medical report is to cite the medical report from hospitals in Dantewada and Raipur, where no foreign object was discovered. It is also worthwhile to note that the scans from Raipur have not been made available to Sori’s lawyers despite repeated appeals for the same. To ward off the charges made by activists that these reports were “doctored” (no pun intended), the Sunday Express interviewed a private practitioner Dr. Rakesh Gupta who finds the NRS medical report to be contradictory. One is of course supposed to ignore the fact that Dr. Gupta has not examined Sori himself. But to lend credibility to his claims, the report cites that Dr. Gupta is the “state president of the Naagrik Sangharsh Samiti who supports “social and economic causes of Maoists”. We are now being coaxed to believe an alleged Maoist sympathizer! Ironic one would say, but irony is only every bright morning that Soni Sori spends in darkness behind bars in prison.
  3. The case of the letters
    1. The Sunday Express seems more interested in learning how the letters came from prison and were released through Himanshu Kumar rather than the contents of the letters themselves. It leaves no stone unturned in attempting to discredit these letters. At first the report attacks the handwriting, citing Himanshu Kumar as not recognizing the handwriting. Himanshu Kumar, in a response to this piece, has categorically stated that he recognizes the handwriting as that of Sori’s. It is not surprising that no one would confess to being a courier for Soni’s letter, considering that Dr. Binayak Sen spent two years in jail on similar allegations.
    2. While questioning Sori’s letters, the report had no problem in quoting a purported letter from Sori’s husband, who is currently in jail,  without explaining how they got hold of it.  Curiously, no one other than the Sunday Express seems to have seen this letter.
  1. The waiting family
    1. The journalist somehow manages to summon all his compassion for this last section to sign off on a sympathetic note. To show the readers that it really is the all-powerful “jholawalas” that are playing Sori. To do this again, the uncredible Avdesh Gautam is quoted as “feeling sorry for her”. Mr. Gautam could perhaps be more concrete in his sympathy if he drops Sori’s name from the FIR he filed. But perhaps that is wishful thinking.
At the end the story, one if left wondering what primary purpose such a report serves. Whether or not Sori is innocent (and indeed, the report itself questions some of the charges against her), why not question the administration and the judiciary that places thousands of Adivasis in the conflict zones behind bars, prolonging their detention and often refusing them any trial at all? It has been almost a year since Soni Sori was arrested. Months have passed since the Supreme Court expressed its anguish over the NRS Medical Report. No investigation has been initiated against those accused of this custodial torture, no response has been forthcoming from the government of Chhattisgarh. If the purpose is only to malign individuals who raise their voices against these injustices, the Sunday Express  has served the purpose very well.

 

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“It would have been better if you had given me DEATH PENALTY”- #SoniSori writes from Raipur Prison

 

Translation of Soni  Sori’s letter from Raipur Prison on July 28. 2012

Letter in name of Supreme Court, Judge  from Raipur Jail

Your Honour ,

Today I am alive , because of your verdict. You gave the order at the right time so that  I could be  medically treated again.  I was very happy during my treatment at AIIMS hospital in New Delhi, but  Your Honour ,  I have to pay for it now. I am being  harassed and tortured here, I request you to have mercy on me . Your Honor I am  suffering mentally .

1. I am made to sit on the Ground  “Naked”

2. I am suffering from Hunger

3. I am frisked in an uncomfortable manner, each part of my body is touched .

4. Labeling me traitor and naxalite they torture me

My clothes, soap, surf have been confiscated and   I have been accused for many things.

Your Honour  How long will Chhattisgarh government, police administration  keep on stripping me naked ? I am an Indian tribal woman!  I also feel shame , and I am unable to save my modesty  here .  The use abusive words and accuse me  regarding my modesty.  After all what crime I have committed that I am being mentally tortured like this ?

It would have been better if you  had given me DEATH PENALTY ,how long  should I bear this physical and mental torture . Jail authorities want that I should  not speak the truth and send you any information  about  atrocities committed on me and  that  I should die bearing their torture in the prsion itself , this is what within the law of  Chhattisgarh . My voice  seeking justice should remain limited to Chhattisgarh so that  the naxalite problem could further aggravate. Your Honour If I have raised my voice for my rights, what wrong have I done ? I am being mentally tortured in various manners today. Is   it a crime to fighting against the  torture being  inflicted on one self ? I don’t have right to live ? Don’t  I have a right to give love to the children I have given birth to ? Today  I am in a  very serious condition. This type of oppression becomes the source for the naxalite problem .

Your Honour, please have mercy on me , and solve my problems , this is my earnest request to you. Else the  officials of Raipur prison will definitely give me death. Earlier, I have been given a wrong medicine and my skin has burnt, and  I have been enduring that pain also.

Your Honour , Please Have mercy on me .

In end, my obeisance.

Applicant

Soni Sori

28/7/2012

 

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NHRC yet to act on a petition on the re-arrest of civil rights activist #IromSharmila.

 

NHRC yet to act on Sharmila’s re-arrest

By Express News Service – NEW DELHI

 

03rd August 2012 10:18 AM

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) is yet to act over a petition highlighting the re-arrest of civil rights activist Irom Sharmila.

A petition to sort out the cause for which she has been protesting in a Gandhian way was moved before the NHRC in April. Sharmila, who has been on an indefinite fast for the past 11 years, was re-arrested on March 12 this year, only a day after she was released on the charge of attempt to suicide. Under Section 309 of the IPC, the maximum punishment for trying to commit suicide is one year. Therefore, she is released once every year, only to be re-arrested for continuing the fast.

The civil rights activist, who turned 40 this year, was arrested, released and re-arrested for fasting for the past 11 years. She is being nasal fed forcibly at the state-run Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences in Imphal, the petitioner alleged.

Sharmila is demanding repeal of the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act.

The petitioner contended: “There are many people in this country who have been fasting, but are neither force fed nor arrested. Why such a discrimination against this lady from Manipur? She has been arrested illegally.”

 

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MUMBAI-Woman stabbed 20 times while people look on #WTFnews

, TNN | Aug 1, 2012

MUMBAI: A gym instructor stabbed a woman 20 times on Monday evening in the middle of a road in Andheri (East), notwithstanding the presence of scores of bystanders. The woman, a 24-year-old accountant, had refused to marry him, the police said.

Pradeep Patel (30) used a sharp weapon to repeatedly attack Deepti (name changed) in the back, hands, chest and abdomen, but onlookers stood frozen on the spot at the sight of the horror playing in front of them. “No one came forward to rescue her. Patel warned witnesses to keep away from him, threatening to kill them all. Some people ran to the nearest buildings when Patel started his orgy of attack. Many went inside their homes,” said senior inspector S L Hujband of the MIDC police.

The incident occurred between 5 and 5.15pm close to a school in Malpha Dongri, where Deepti is employed.

Around 4.30pm, Deepti signed off and went over to her aunt’s house, which is near the school. “Around 5pm, she left our house to go to Mahim, where she lives,” said a cousin in the police complaint. “Patel attacked her when she had hardly walked 100 metres away from our home. He must have been waiting there on the roadside. He accosted her and asked if she would marry him. When she refused, he became furious. Then he forced her to step aside and started stabbing her.”

Had her cousins not rushed to the spot, Deepti could have bled to death, the police said. She was taken to Cooper Hospital and from there to Nair Hospital, where she was operated upon. “Her condition is stable. She has been kept under observation. The abdominal injury was severe and any delay in admitting her to hospital could have cost her life,” said Hujband.

Patel fled the spot for a relative’s home in Borivli. After a nine-hour search, the police traced him there. He has been arrested and booked for attempt to murder and wrongful confinement.

Inspector Shobha Pise said Patel used to be a gym instructor but had taken to drugs and was unemployed. “He used to harass Deepti in the middle of the road every now and then. While stabbing her, he was raving and ranting like a mad man.”.

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The great unmentionable in disability politics #mustread

 

English: Barnstar for WikiProject Disability

English: Barnstar for WikiProject Disability (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

RAHILA GUPTA , 31 July 2012

 

 “I felt there was no space for me to express grief at my son’s disability”. The grief of those who care for people with a disability is betrayal of the Cause.  Rahila Gupta asks: how do you value disability at the same time as mourn the loss of ability?

Most political movements at their inception demand radical resolution of the wrongs and injustices that they have been set up to overturn – and the disability movement is no different. My first brush with the movement happened in the 80s when I began the battle for a proper education for my son who had cerebral palsy as a result of a difficult and negligent birth. There was a huge amount of institutional oppression and individual prejudice which was hard to fight as an individual both in physical and emotional terms. There was no right to a mainstream education enshrined in the law and various groups of parents and carers of disabled children and disabled people themselves came to our support at critical moments in the struggle. As I had been involved in race and gender politics, it would have been a natural transition to become active in the wider disability movement, a transition I did not make and which I put down to a lack of time then. Gradually I became aware that there were some deep seated reservations which I had not articulated even to myself. Only now, ten years after I lost my son, I realise that the contradictions of the movement had me in a vice like grip which I can only now begin to untangle.

There is no doubt that the history of disabled people is littered with the most grotesque and inhumane attempts to wipe them off the face of this earth – even progressive socialists, like the Fabians, of the early twentieth century supported the idea of eugenics to create a super race until Hitler’s experiments with it consigned the idea to the scrapheap.  Of course, the first step towards unwinding this hatred would be to promote positive images of disabled people, of the excavation of a hidden history of great contributions, of heroic stories, of moving towards light and glory, of asserting the right to exist, of being and becoming visible. It has been the inevitable pattern, with some variations, of the feminist, anti-racist and gay movements among others. But this is where the similarity ends, or should end. Whereas the attributes of sex or race or sexual orientation become a ‘handicap’ because of patriarchy, racism or heterosexism, there is a point at which impairment becomes a ‘handicap’ not merely because of disablism but a condition which can cause pain, discomfort, aggravation and frustration to the individual concerned, regardless of how far society travels in its attitudes and how far technology succeeds in bridging that gap.

This is not to promote the suffering, helpless victims deserving of charity narrative. Important insights have emerged from the disability movement which challenge those narratives, namely the distinction between the medical and social models of disability. The medical model sees disability as an individual problem to be ‘cured’ and ‘treated’ whereas the social model recasts this as a problem inherent in the way that society and the physical environment have been structured, so wheelchair users cannot attend a meeting not because they are in wheelchairs but because no ramps have been provided.  As Vic Finkelstein puts it, ‘What was paramount was our focus on the need to change the disabling society rather than make us fit for society.’

I completely agree with the flaws of ‘the fit for society’ model. And yet, and yet what about being fit for your own sake?. Somewhere between the medical and social model stood individuals like me and my son. We did both: I campaigned for schools to admit him which meant they had to do a lot more to become accessible than merely provide ramps but devise and implement policies of inclusion and initiate a thoroughgoing change of attitudes. At the same time, I tried Botox on the advice of the doctors so that it might make his eating more efficient, his muscles less stiff and therefore less painful. He had operations on his leg muscles to prevent his hips becoming dislocated. He wore a variety of splints and braces, the line between chasing a ‘cure’ or increasing comfort often a blur.

The attempt to rescue disability from its tragic status tipped over into a glorification of disability. A similar trend was apparent in the early days of the women’s movement when it was impossible to be openly critical of mothers or to even admit the possibility that women could be violent. The great immigration lawyer Steve Cohen said towards the end of his life when severe arthritis had all but stopped his campaigning and writing, ‘I’m not disabled and proud, I’m disabled and pissed off!’ Like him, I felt there was no space for me to express grief at my son’s disability. It was the great unmentionable in disability politics – the grief of those who care for them. How do you value disability at the same time as mourn the loss of ability? By separating the disability from the person, by valuing the disabled person, would be one answer, another version of the biblical exhortation to ‘hate the sin but love the sinner’. It is, of course, hard to separate these in practice: the disability is so much a part of a disabled person’s identity that any comment on the disability feels like an assault on the person.  I raised these knotty questions in The Ballad of Nihal Armstrong,  a dramatic monologue performed at the Arts Theatre in London last June, in which I recount the story of our struggle and triumphs in the fight for my son’s rights. Perhaps it is the intense love for my son that permeates the Ballad that gives me the ‘permission’ to mourn his loss of ability.

There are some who see disability as a gift, a position which finds particular favour among religious groups. Eleanore Stump, an American Professor of Philosophy, argues that suffering makes one grow and narrates approvingly  the story of a mother with an autistic child ‘who came to see that even the suffering (i.e. her autistic child) of her life was a gift’ in her book, Wandering in Darkness: Narrative and the Problem of Suffering. The language and perspective of this position, while trying to be positive, would be dismissed by most disabled people because of its equation between suffering and disability.

This idea of disability as a gift, as something special and worth reproducing was taken to its logical, but in my view extremely troubling, conclusion by a deaf couple in 2008 who wanted the right to select an embryo with the deaf gene. They wanted their child to be part of a proud linguistic minority although it was not clear why a hearing child could not be brought up in that culture with the additional advantages that hearing brings such as the ability to enjoy music. The argument as seen from the perspective of the disability lobby is twofold: an interpretation of equality, if you have the right to discard a deaf foetus, you should have the right to discard a hearing foetus rather than an equality between people with more strings to their bow; and doing anything that reduces the number of disabled people in the world is evidence of discrimination, an argument that underpins the opposition to abortion and the right to die movement.

Definitions of impairment are becoming wider so that, from some perspectives, the size of the disabled community in most societies is larger than ever.  Laying claim to greater numbers has often been the strategy used by minorities to tackle their powerlessness – black people claiming powerful ‘white’ men and women rumoured to have black antecedents as their own, for example – although as we have seen numbers are no guarantee of increased bargaining power as women are still widely oppressed.

As political movements mature and strengthen, they move from striking either/or positions to a recognition of the complexity of human situations and responses. Having established its presence, a movement does not feel threatened by a multiplicity of opposing views. I believe the disability movement is at that point. Baroness Jane Campbell, Commissioner of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said in 2008, ‘I believe our position as disabled people is fundamentally different to what it was 20, 10, even 5 years ago. I believe we have a powerful voice.’  She argues that is time for the disability movement to join forces with other disadvantaged groups, even carers, because ‘the ideas of the disability movement – barrier removal, reforming public services to give people greater control over their own lives, and equality legislation based on accommodating difference rather than ignoring it – are the blueprint for the next stages of promoting equality and human rights overall.’  The movement should be ready to accommodate a carer’s perspective without feeling threatened and to explore the contradictions that dishearten potential allies.

 

 

 

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Mangalore attackers behaved like animals: victim #Moralpolicing #VAW

 

Mangalore Bureau, The Hindu

SThe last building inside this gate is Morning Mist, a homestay at Padil. Photo: R.Eswarraj
The last building inside this gate is Morning Mist, a homestay at Padil. Photo: R.Eswarraj

Hindu Jagaran Vedike responsible, says ADGP Bipin Gopalakrishna

“I saw the men coming and jumped from the balcony, but they chased me and touched me in [inappropriate] places and dragged me back into the room,” Namitha (name changed) said, as she narrated her ordeal at the Morning Mist Homestay (a house rented out for parties) at Padil on the outskirts of the city on Saturday evening.

She told The Hindu that the attackers behaved like “animals”. When another girl asked the men why they were being targeted, the assaulters reportedly abused her and “one of them slapped me”.

The attackers, said a victim, removed the shirt of a man who was made to sit on a bed along with other women, apparently to project them in a poor light. Women said the attackers took away some of their valuables.

Defended

The Hindu Jagaran Vedike’s State convener Jagadish Karanth said at a press conference that his organisation was not behind the attack, nevertheless, defended it. Admitting that city coordinator of the vedike Subhash Padil was in the raiding party, he said this was the reaction by society against “immoral activities”.

He threatened that a ‘Janandolan’ (mass campaign) against activities opposed to Hindutva traditions would be launched. To begin with some pubs, spas, resorts, home stays and discotheques would be targeted as they “harboured prostitution and drugs”.

Bipin Gopalakrishna, ADGP Law and Order, said the vedike was responsible for the attack and that the eight persons arrested were its members. Amongst them was Mr. Padil.

The police booked cases under Section 18 1(a)(b) of unlawful activities prevention act, 1967 and IPC Sections for unlawful assembly, rioting, molestation, assault and dacoity against 27 persons, including the reporter and cameraman who were present and filmed the attack.

Ban orders

The police imposed prohibitory orders in the city under Section 144 of Cr.PC. as a preventive measure, but it was seen by groups such as the Democratic Youth Federation of India as an attempt to scuttle the voices protest.

The All-College Students’ Union called for a college bandh in Mangalore taluk on Monday, condemning Saturday’s attack saying it had created an atmosphere of fear among students which could affect their future adversely.

State women’s Commission Chairperson C. Manjula said in Bangalore that she had sought a report on the incident from the Deputy Director of Women and Child Development.

The officer had been asked to speak to the victims and include their version in the report.

They want to shoot the messenger:

Mangalore journalist

Sudipto Mondal

Saturday night’s vigilante attack on a group of young girls and boys, and which was caught on tape by a television crew, has revived the debate about what journalists are supposed to do in situations like this. The Mangalore police have charged Naveen Soorinje, a reporter, and Shiva Kumar, camera person, as well as the attackers under the same sections of the Indian Penal Code and Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. Seeking to put his side of the story in the public domain Mr. Soorinje spoke to The Hindu.

Q: Why did you not inform the police?

A: I called the [jurisdictional] police inspector and he did not pick his calls. I called a reporter from another channel and asked him to call the police. That reporter too could not get through to the police inspector.

But the police allege that you made that call after the attack, and after you had shot the scenes.

That is not true; my phone records are proof.

It is being alleged that the attackers informed you in advance.

I was informed by a mechanic who has a shop in the same area. Again, my phone records should be enough to prove this.

Why did you not inform the Police Commissioner?

He was not in Mangalore. His flight landed in the city around about the time the attack was taking place.

The Home Minister has alleged that you or your cameraman was holding up a girl’s face for the camera.

That is not true to the best of my knowledge. The Home Minister might have confused the attackers with us.

Why did you not help the girls?

There were at least 70 attackers from the Hindu Jagarana Vedike; we were just two. If you watch the video, there is a male voice asking the attackers to spare the girls. That voice was mine. That is all I could do at the time.

What if one of the victims was your relative? Would you still have done nothing?

Firstly, that is not a fair question. And there have been cases where women have been molested and humiliated by vigilante groups in front of their families in Mangalore. The fathers, brothers and lovers were forced to watch helplessly.

There are some who say that you were more interested in TRP ratings than helping the girls.

If I was interested in TRPs, I would not have passed on the exclusive video footage to every Kannada, Hindi and English channel in the country. I wanted to help the girls, but more importantly I wanted the world to see what happens here almost every day and how the police deal with such crimes.

How do the police deal with such crimes?

If you see Saturday night’s footage, you will notice that even after the police arrived on the spot, no action was taken against the attackers. They continued to attack the girls as the police were trying to take them to safety and the police did not retaliate. If I had not shot the entire shocking episode, no action would have been taken against the vigilantes. What few people see is that there has been a rise in such incidents in Dakshina Kannada over the last few months. Every time the police has booked cases of obscenity against the victims and allowed the vigilantes to walk free. If the police were doing their job, these groups would not have dared to carry out such attacks. And now that we have exposed the administration’s failing, they want to shoot the messenger.

The attackers seemed to be encouraged by the fact that you were shooting the scene.

What we have shown is only some of the more decent shots. What we saw through own eyes and chose not to shoot, was nothing short of rape.

There are some who say that the victims were further shamed by the filming.

Why should they be ashamed? They did nothing wrong. They were not doing the molesting and beating.

How do you respond to the police filing a case against you and your cameraman?

I have no problem with the fact that they have booked us. But I am happy that our visuals helped identify eight of the people they have arrested.

 

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A long shadow: Nazi doctors, moral vulnerability and contemporary medical culture #SundayReading

 

Animated map showing German and Axis allies' c...

Animated map showing German and Axis allies’ conquests in Europe throughout World War II (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

ABSTRACT
More than 7% of all German physicians became members of the Nazi SS during World War II, compared
with less than 1% of the general population. In so doing,these doctors willingly participated in genocide,
something that should have been antithetical to the values of their chosen profession. The participation of
physicians in torture and murder both before and after World War II is a disturbing legacy seldom discussed in medical school, and underrecognised in contemporary medicine. Is there something inherent in being
a physician that promotes a transition from healer to murderer? With this historical background in mind, the
author, a medical student, defines and reflects upon moral vulnerabilities still endemic to contemporary
medical culture.

 

Read full article here genocide

 

 

 

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JSPL guard part of plot to shoot RTI activist Ramsh Agarwal : Police

Ramesh Agarwal

Friday, 27 July 2012, Zee News
Staff Reporter In Raigarh

In a stunning revelation, the police claimed on Thursday that a security guard working with private steel major Jindal Steel & Power Ltd (JSPL) had hired contract killers to shoot a noted RTI activist who has a history of exposing industrial houses for flouting rules.

The police presented the three accused at a crowded Press conference in Raigarh town and said the interrogation revealed that the guard, who was working with JSPL through a security agency, had a key role in the daring attack on Ramesh Agrawal, 56, who was shot at twice in his office on July 7.

Agrawal was operated on more than once at a private hospital in Raipur and is still in the intensive care unit, though doctors have taken out both bullets from his body.

The accused security guard has been identified as Tarkeshwar Rai.

“Rai had given money to G Vyankatesh, who hired a few goons. The three of them have been arrested in Odisha last week and brought to Raigarh on transit remand. The attack plot was then revealed before the media by the police,” said Neha Pandey, Additional Superintendent of Police (city).

She added that the arrested men — Sunil Behra, Sanjay Das and Naresh Patro — were history-sheeters in the neighbouring Odisha, while one of the key accused, G Vyankatesh, was still at large.

“Sunil Behra revealed during police interrogation that he was given `10,000 to kill Agrawal. Police teams would soon be sent to track down Vyankatesh,” Pandey said.

Asked about motive behind the attack, Inspector General of Police Ashok Juneja told The Pioneer over the phone, “Very soon, the mastermind behind the attack will be in police clutches and then I will be able to give you more details about the sequence of the attack.”

JSPL has massive business interests in Raigarh district and Agrawal has a track record of lobbying against industries in the district.

In one of his most recent campaigns against the Jindal Group, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had, in April, cancelled environmental clearance granted for a 4-million tonne per annum coal mine to JSPL on the basis of documental evidence submitted by the RTI activist.

Agrawal had claimed before the tribunal that the mandatory public hearing held to clear the project did not follow accepted procedure.

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In shadow of Maruti violence, memories of a police attack

Manesar, July 26, 2012

Aman Sethi, The Hindu

“We fight because of the hunger in our stomachs”

Seven years ago, Vikramjit Singh was in a crowd of about 800 workers from the Honda factory at Manesar in Haryana, when they were surrounded by the police and beaten up. “Our demands were that the management recognise our union and that all those workers suspended or terminated during the agitation be recognised. We were called to the mini-secretariat by the administration and then rounded up and beaten.”

Today, 8,000 workers gathered in the Honda factory to mark the seventh anniversary of the attack in the backdrop of the recent violence at the nearby Maruti Suzuki plant, in which one general manager was killed and several other managers were injured.

Speakers from local and national trade unions expressed their concern over the violence at Maruti, but maintained that workers had legitimate grievances that were often ignored. “We fight because of the hunger in our stomachs,” said Ashok Yadav, president of the Honda Workers Union, “Everyone should remember this.”

The Honda meeting acquired particular significance after a ‘mahapanchayat’ of local villages resolved to support companies such as Maruti and Honda and vowed to fight the unions.

On Monday, panchayat leaders, many of whom have transport and ancillary contracts with companies such as Maruti and Honda, voiced concern that big manufacturing firms might withdraw from Manesar in the wake of last week’s violence and threatened to stop the Honda workers meeting by force if need be.

This morning, the unions, panchayat and local police appeared to have arrived at a compromise in which the union didn’t take out a procession but held a worker’s meeting within the plant premises.

“We, workers, are the children of uprooted farmers,” said Centre of Trade Unions (CITU) representative Satbir, “It is deplorable that vested interests are trying to create schisms between workers and farmers.”

In an interview after the meeting, workers recalled the successes and failures of the union over the last seven years. While they said wage negotiations and settlements were satisfactory, 63 workers are still battling charges of attempted and murder and rioting that were slapped on them after the police attack.

“It has been seven years, not a single manager or policeman has been charged for attacking us,” said Vikramjit Singh. “Instead we are facing charges of murder and appearing in court every month.”

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