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#India – Dalit family restrained, detained and tortured by BSF; police inaction


The Chairman

National Human Rights Commission

Manav Adhikar Bhawan
Block-C, GPO Complex, INA
New Delhi – 110023


Respected Sir,


I want to draw your kind attention on the matter of physical torture on the victim; Mr. Suman Mondal, resides at Parashpur under Murshidabad district by the perpetrator BSF personnel of Dayarampur BSF BOP Camp. Our fact finding report provides the details of whole incident.


The whole incident took place inside the Dayarampur BSF BOP Camp. On the date of incident, the perpetrator BSF personnel restrained the victim, his brother and his aunty for twice with intention to harass them. Later one BSF personal snatched two mobiles of the victim and his brother, declared them as Bangladeshi and took them to the BSF camp office. Subsequently the victim was inhumanly beaten by the BSF personal without any reason inside the said camp. The aunty of the victim was also physical assaulted by the BSF personal while she tried to save her nephew. Later the victim lodged a written complaint before the Officer-in-Charge of Jalangi Police Station, but the police personnel registered his complaint by making only one General Diary Entry instead of lodging a First Information Report. In this regard, I want to mention that the police personnel of Jalangi Police Station clearly violate the judgement of Supreme Court in the case of Lalita Kumari vs. Govt. of U.P. & Ors vide WRIT PETITION (CRIMINAL) NO. 68 OF 2008 where the Supreme Court clearly defined that-

  • Registration of FIR is mandatory under Section 154 of the Code, if the information discloses commission of a cognizable offence and no preliminary inquiry is permissible in such a situation.


  • The police officer cannot avoid his duty of registering offence if cognizable offence is disclosed. Action must be taken against erring officers who do not register the FIR if information received by him discloses a cognizable offence.


  • If the inquiry discloses the commission of a cognizable offence, the FIR must be registered. In cases where preliminary inquiry ends in closing the complaint, a copy of the entry of such closure must be supplied to the first informant forthwith and not later than one week. It must disclose reasons in brief for closing the complaint and not proceeding further.


On 12.11.2013, the victim lodged a written application before the Block Development Officer (B.D.O.), Sahebrampur, Murshidabad informing the whole incident of physical torture by the BSF personnel.


Hence we seek your urgent intervention regarding the following matters: –

  • The whole incident must be investigated by the Commission’s own investigating wing.
  • The accused BSF personnel must be booked under law and punished accordingly for their alleged criminal acts.
  • The ineffective role of police personnel of Islampur Police Station must be investigated and they should be punished as the violation of Supreme Court’s judgement in the case of Lalita Kumari vs. Govt. of U.P. & Ors videsWRIT PETITION (CRIMINAL) NO. 68 OF 2008
  • The victim should be compensated and provided adequate protection so that they do not come under any threats or inducement.


Thanking You

Yours truly




Kirity Roy

Secretary, MASUM &

National Convener, PACTI



Name of the victim: – 1) Mr. Suman Mondal, son of- Mr. Sushanta Mondal, aged about- 20 years, by faith- Hindu, by community- Schedule Caste, residing at Village- Parashpur, Post Office- Dakshin Parashpur, Police Station- Jalangi, District- Murshidabad, West Bengal, India.


Name of the perpetrators: – 1) Mr. Sailendra Singh (Constable of 91 Battalion of ‘E’- Company of Dayarampur BSF BOP Camp); 2) Mr. Rajendra Agarwal (D.I.B of 91 Battalion of ‘E’- Company of Dayarampur BSF BOP Camp) under Murshidabad district; 3) The Commander of Dayarampur B.O.P. 91 BN BSF and 4) The Officer-in-Charge of Jalangi P.S.


Date and time of incident: – On 10.11.2013 at 9.00 am to 10 am


Place of occurrence: – Inside Dayarampur BSF BOP Camp.


Case details: –


It is revealed during fact finding that the victim and his family members lost their all belongings in incessant erosion caused by river Padma in the year of 2005 and later they started to live at Dayaram village under Murshudabad district. The victim is a student of B.A (1st year) of Karimpur Pannadevi Collage. Fishery is the only source of income of Mr. Sushanta Mondal; the father of the victim. The victim is living with his two sisters namely Ms. Sampa Mondal, aged about 22 years, Ms. Soma Mondal, aged about 15 years, grandmother named Ms. Surbala Mondal, aged about 75 years and his parents.


On 10.11.2013 at morning, Ms. Umarani Mondal; the aunty of the victim came to his house and on the same day at 9 am, Ms. Umarani Mondal went to her house at Dayarampur village with the victim and Mr. Sambhu Mondal; the cousin of the victim. At that time, suddenly the on duty BSF personal Mr. Sailendra Singh restrained them on their way while they were passing before the main gate of Dayarampur BSF BOP Camp. The BSF personal snatched victim’s cap and asked their whereabouts. The said BSF personal afterwards released them to go. Suddenly the said BSF personal called Mr. Rajendra Agarwal who was in the said camp while they left that place. Mr. Rajendra Agarwal rashly came to that place and ordered them to returned back before the main gate of the said camp again. Then Mr. Rajendra Agarwal asked their whereabouts and details. The perpetrator BSF personal later forcibly snatched two mobiles from the possession of the victim and his brother after declaring them as Bangladeshi. The BSF personal caught the collar of the victim’s shirt and started to slap him on his face without disclosing any reason and took them to their camp. The BSF personal brutally assaulted Mr. Suman by his wooden stick inside the said camp. Mr. Suman was seriously injured. Ms. Umarani Mondal was also assaulted by the same BSF personal while she tried save her nephew; the victim. The said BSF personal subsequently ordered them to disclose their own voter cards. The victim requested the said BSF personal to take his voter card from his house. The involved BSF personal gave an opportunity to the victim to take his voter card from his house after restraining his aunty and brother inside the said camp as zimma and ordered him to return back to the said camp as soon as possible. The victim afterwards came to the said camp with his voter card, ration card and other essential documents of his college to the said BSF personal and the BSF personal afterwards released them on the same day at 10 am, after one hour.


On the same day, the victim lodged a written application before the Officer-in-Charge of Jalangi Police Station informing the whole incident of restraining, detention, humiliation and physical torture by the perpetrator BSF personnel. But the said police personnel registered his application as General Diary Entry No. 526/2013 dated 10.11.2013 instead of lodging a First Information Report.


On 12.11.2013, the victim lodged a written application before the Block Development Officer (B.D.O.), Sahebrampur, Murshidabad informing the whole incident of physical torture by the BSF personnel.


On 13.11.2013, the victim was medically treated at Sadikhandier Rural Hospital, Jalangi and the medical officer prescribed that he was injured due to the physical assault.

Our team talked with several witnesses who corroborated the incident.


    Injury report 
   Written complaint 

Kirity Roy
Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha
National Convenor (PACTI)
Programme Against Custodial Torture & Impunity
40A, Barabagan Lane (4th Floor)
Balaji Place

  • #999; padding: 2px; display: block; border-radius: 2px; text-decoration: none;" href="" target="_blank"> #India – A conspiracy of silence against Dalit victims #gandhijayanti


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Kashmir Torture – Roller over legs, dipped in chilli-water, forced to drink acid #WTFnews

A still from the documentary, Kashmir’s Torture Trail.

Three years of Abdul Rehman’s torture
Electrocution, sexual molestation, physical beatings, moving rollers over the legs to break bones were a few methods of torture used by Indian troops to torture people in Kashmir that the International Committee of The Red Cross (ICRC) told the United States officials in India in 2005. Revealed by the whistleblower, Wikileaks, in 2010, the report said that the tortured victims were not “Islamist insurgents or Pakistani-backed militants” but were civilians. According to the report 1,296 detainees from Kashmir were interviewed. Among them 681 had told ICRC that they were tortured by using different methods like 498 electrocuted, 381 suspended from the ceiling, 304 sexually tortured, 294 victims’ legs crushed and 181 victims’ legs pulled apart into the splits. Some of them were tortured with multiple methods.

Indian-controlled Kashmir, continuing to be ruled by India, over the years has gone through its worst phase soon after the armed resistance that started in late 80s. Thousands of Kashmiris were arrested, accusing them of being with rebels. Several of them were tortured in the police stations and army camps. There were particular torture from where, it is said, no one returned alive. One of them was Papa 2 on the banks of the Dal Lake which has been converted into an official residence now.

In his late 50s, Abdul Rehman Tantray, from North Kashmir’s Varmul district – 60 kilometers away from the summer capital Srinagar, was imprisoned for three years by the joint team of “Army and Police” in 1992.

“I was at my work place when they arrived and asked about my relative Showkat Ahmad Sheikh, a rebel associated with the Hizbul Muhajideen (a Pakistan based rebel outfit) who joined jihad in 1989. But when I replied that how could I provide you the information as I have no contact with him, they assaulted me ruthlessly in front of everyone in the market. They dragged me into a vehicle and took me to a torture camp at Varmul,” says Rehman, in his room wearing a woolen cloak and a bulky woolen skull cap. A streak of light coming in through a hole in the window curtain makes his half face shine.

The illegal detention of Rehman followed the visit of few more officials to the camp to seek information about Showkat Ahmad. His truth turned out to be just the beginning for the assault by the police and army.

“In the beginning they kept me naked in an aloof room for several days to raise a level of fear about torture. Then they took me to a torture room and tied my hands to ceiling and began to beat ruthlessly with bamboo sticks and leather belts for half an hour,” Rehman recalls.

After the first day of torture, Rehman guessed the kind of torture he will be facing from the troops. The prediction about the future days of detention seemed challenging to him. “One day during that period four to five men dragged me to a torture cell; placed me on a chair, tied hands and feet with ropes, began their regular activity of harassing and beating,” Rehman continues, adding that his usual answer that he has no clue about Showkat’s location made his torturers so angry that they called for more objects used during the torture.

“They switched on the high voltage lamps and positioned them straight toward my eyes. It made me feel like blind, tears came out like the water from a running tap and my ribs ached due to continuous beating,” Rehman says, while pointing that his ribs are weak since then. “I kept shouting, ‘I’m not lying. I don’t know anything about him. I swear I have no clue about his hideout,’ but they never stopped and continued beating me with bamboo sticks.”

A few moments later cold water was mixed with the chilli powder and Rehman’s head was dipped in it. He still remembers the pain of caused due to the chilli water. “I fell unconscious after that for about thirty minutes. When I regained my senses, they smeared the same water around my eyes. They brought a bottle of acid from which they made me to drink a few gulps which burnt my throat,” Rehman adds.

Rehman attributes the adverse condition of his health as an outcome of the unjustified torture by the police and army forces. The torture didn’t stop there, it continued on and on. “They stretched my legs, rolled a roller over them and my back for several minutes,” adding this, Rehman also believes that the dislocation of his back bone is a consequence of that torture.

After three years, Rehman was released in 1995, but he thinks that he was released only because of the intervention of the higher officials after his family members “approached and begged” before them. He also says that another cause for the release was his consistent negative answers to their questions.

While Rehman was being tortured, his family was running from pillar to post to seek his release. “That was the worst time for my family. They didn’t even have shoes to wear. If there would not have been the relatives, they might have died,” he says.

Rehman says his children were warned and harassed at public places. “They were accused of helping their Uncle for the ‘terrorist activities’ which discouraged them a lot and one of them could even finish school due to fear. After my release I shifted from the main Varmul to Fatehpora but Police and Army continued to harass us there. Then, in 1997, I was again arrested under the same charges and was released after six months,” amid Rehman speaking, his older son, Farooq Ahmad Tantray, 28, steps in the room.

Farooq adds to his father’s words, saying that not only his father was arrested but they suffered a lot as well. “My younger brother Manzoor Ahmad Tantray (22) and I spent eight and five months in prison respectively under same charges of helping our uncle to carry out the ‘terrorist activities’.”

In 2006, Rehman’s house was set ablaze by “52 RR” (Rashtriya Rifles) by throwing “5 hand grenades at it.” “We were lucky that we survived in that deadly strike. My relatives and friends helped me to reconstruct the house but still some people think that I was provided the compensation by government for the construction. That is not true. I never received a penny from anyone,” Rehman says, loudly.

After the continuous suspension toward him and social alienation, Rehman joined the pro-resistance group Hurriyat Confrence (G) led by SAS Geelani, in 2008. After this he was arrested for “promoting stone throwing,” and “paying young boys” who came out on streets during 2008-2010 mass uprisings against the Indian rule.

He is facing the trial at Sopore and Baramulla courts. “Although I have to spend a lot of money on my case proceedings but I don’t need any compensation from the Government and will continue to fight for the cause of freedom,” he retorts.


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#India – Women Human Rights Defenders Day, Nov 29

INDIA: Mother’s Quest for Justice

Anjuman Ara Begum *

The culture of women’s movement often set it root in motherhood as symbol or a weapon to create space. The notion of motherhood proved instrumental for women struggle for justice world wide. Patriarchal values existing in the society portrays women as inferior, however, this portrayal raises their presence and accessibility in public life as evident in various armed conflict situation. One of the rare positive impacts of armed conflict is increased women’s leadership through a change in gender roles though often not the gender relations.

Photo by: Sri Dasarath Deka

Meira Paibis, (meaning torch bearers) is a popular women’s group in Manipur active over a century to address the issues of rights affecting women’s life. Changing socio-political landscape in Manipur with the advent of British administration in the late 19th century and its end in 1947 had a profound influence on the subsequent course of women’s networks like that of the Meira Paibis which is based on solidarity. The historic Nupi Lal(women’s agitations) of 1904 and 1939, running of the Ima Keithel (mothers’/women’s market), the organization of Nupi Marup (women’s revolving credit group) etc are few examples. It was this solidarity among women led to withdrawal of the use of forced labour in 1904. The Nupi Lan or the Women’s war that started in 1939 was against the oppressive economic and administrative policies ruled by the Manipur Maharaja under the supervision of the then political agent Mr.Gimson (1933-45) in Manipur, which evolved later into a movement for a series of constitutional and administrative reform in the Kingdom.

Meira Paibi movement is rooted in the Ima Keithals of Imphal city in Manipur. Ima Keithal is the world largest all women’s market where seller are women and selling daily essential items. Presently there are 34 women’s solidarity groups in the Ima Keithal.

Of late in 1980s, the Meira Paibis became a household name for being instrumental in curbing alcoholism and with the deployment of armed forces in the state of Manipur; the Meira Paibis wore a different role by being in the fore front of protests against excessive use of force by armed forces and non-state armed groups. They came forward in public grouping themselves as ‘mothers’ since the maternal platform provides the adequate space required for women to raise their voices. The mobilization for such movement started in between March 1975 and June 1976. They were initially called as the Nishabandi due to their activities against alcoholism. As changes in the socio-political and economic occur, the women’s movement also reflects the nature of the societal structure. Hence since last two decades Meira Paibis are mostly seen active against atrocities by the armed forces and the armed opposition groups. They received world wide attention for their bold protest against the killing of a female after custodial death and sexual violence in 2004.

To cite an example of deviation from this trend, it would be worth to mention the mammoth hunger protest staged by single woman. The killing of ten persons by paramilitary forces at Malom, Manipur on November 2, 2000 followed by brutal combat operation left Irom Sharmila shocked at the anarchical act of the state agencies. She decided to begin a fast unto death demanding the repeal of the Act responsible for such brutality on the part of the state, the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958. Thus began the fight of Irom Sharmila, the Iron Lady from Manipur whose fast completed 13 years recently. Though Sharmila began her marathon fast in protest, the investigation into the Malom massacre has still not yet been completed even after 13 years. It’s only in January 7, 2010, a team of the judicial officials led byTh. Surbala, the District and Session’s Judge, Manipur East, conducted a spot inquiry at Malom. However, the victims are yet to get justice. Since November 2, 2000, Sharmila continued to be arrested under section 309 of IPC for her attempted suicide each year.

Another glorious example of women’s movement in North East India that used motherhood as platform, is the Naga Mothers Association (NMA). Formed on 14th February, 1984 as a voluntary organization, the mothers committed to fight social evil which they continued till today. In 1970s and 1980s, they initiated resistance against alcoholism and drug addiction. However, challenges emerged as counter insurgency operations intensified in the state resulting enforced disappearances, extrajudicial killings and violence against women.

NMA adopted different strategies as mothers. They offered themselves as negotiators and engaged in dialogue with men deployed as armed forces by the state or those enrolled as the ‘nationalist’ activist representing armed groups, appealing both the parties for total cessation of bloodshed. NMA supported mothers and family members of the disappeared and started a campaign to honour the dead. NMA would arrange for funeral of the unidentified deceased by covering them with traditional shawls, preparing coffins and burial grounds.

NMA joined hands with other Naga organizations like Naga Hoho, Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR) and Naga Students Federation (NSF) etc. Peace movement under the banner, ‘Shed No More Blood’, was launched in 1990s to engage in dialogue with all parties to the conflict to cease blood shed. Mothers took journeys to the hill terrains in Burma and other difficult places to reach the rebel leaders as well as army officials for support. This trust-building process continues even in the midst of occasionally resurgent violence and constant suspicion. The NMA has provided a common platform for different parties and factions to meet and dialogue with one another.

Similarly, in Assam, Matri Manch and Mahila Samities played a seminal role in political mobilization both pre and post Indian independence period. They addressed violence against women, human rights issues specially killings and sexual violence by armed forces. Teresa Rehman, journalist, write that the ‘the first Mahila Samiti was established in Dibrugarh in 1915. These groups were formed as local associations in Assam’s urban centres and particularly picked up momentum during the 1920s’. To ease the life of women and to secure leisure time for them, the Samities passed resolution back in 1948 to fix meal timing in the family. Lunch was decided to be at 12 noon and dinner at 10 pm.

Despite the shield of motherhood, women human rights defenders face peculiar challenges due to existing gender discrimination in the society. Women activists in the region often cited of domestic violence, restricted mobility and sexual harassment at workplace as reasons for their limited participation in human rights activities.

Social notion of women as a symbol of ‘honour’ and dignity of the family has created silence over the issues of violence against women. Women in general and women activists constantly feel challenged to overcome stenotypes. The need of the hour is that each member of the society fosters a culture to respect and cooperate with the women human rights defenders in their struggle. It is for the interest of the whole society. There should be helping hands with dignity not with violence.

Published on the occasion of Women Human Rights Defenders Day, November 29, 2013

*About the author: Anjuman Ara Begum is Program Officer – India Desk at Asian Human Rights Commission and can be contacted at e-mail [email protected]


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Today is Guantánamo’s 12th anniversary, and there’s no end in sight #torture

Out of 779 detainees, only seven have been convicted and sentenced. The US must end this costly disgrace

The order was modeled on one issued by President Franklin D Roosevelt on 2 July 1942, authorizing a military commission to try eight Nazi saboteurs apprehended in the United States. The men were captured, convicted and six of the eight executed in a span of 43 days. Roosevelt’s military commission was swift, secret and severe, so some urged President Bush to dust it off and use it again.

A total of seven detainees out of the 779 men ever held at Guantánamo have been convicted and sentenced. Five of the seven are no longer at Guantánamo creating a paradox: you have to lose to win. Those lucky enough to get charged and convicted of a war crime have good odds of getting out of Guantánamo, but those who are never charged could spend the rest of their lives in prison.


The seven men tried in military commissions were all convicted of providing material support for terrorism. Two of the seven – Salim Hamdan and David Hicks – were convicted solely of providing material support. In October 2012, a three judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Washington DC Circuit – all appointed by Republican presidents – overturned the conviction of Salim Hamdan, Osama Bin Laden’s driver. Writing for the court, Judge Brett M Kavanaugh said that before Congress passed the Military Commissions Act in September 2006, “the international law of war did not proscribe material support for terrorism as a war crime”.

Since nearly all of the men held at Guantánamo have been there since long before 2006 and most were at best low-level flunkies, the government’s inability to charge them with providing material support for terrorism means they likely will never face a military commission for a trial that might have enabled them to find a way out of Guantánamo.

Proponents of military commissions argue that the United States is in a war on terrorism, a point they claim mandates that those captured face trial in a war court rather than federal court. In September 2006, 14 high-value detainees held in CIA black sites were transferred to military custody at Guantánamo. Only one has been tried and convicted. Ahmed Ghailani is the only detainee ever transported from Guantánamo to the United States where he was convicted in federal court for his role in the 1998 bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Ghailani was tried in 2010 and sentenced to life in prison, and the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently affirmed his conviction.

Meanwhile, some of Ghailani’s travel companions remain mired in the military commission morass where the parties argue over whether an accused is required to come to court, whether Khalid Sheikh Mohammedcan wear a camouflage vest, whether the judge or some secret CIA monitor controls the courtroom’s audio system, and how the government gained access to defense counsels’ files. As Chief Judge Colonel James Pohl slogs through these novel issues, the prosecution says it wants a trial date in late 2014. By then, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will have been in US custody for more than 11 years. Attorney general Eric Holder said recently that the trial would be over and KSM waiting on death row had the case been prosecuted in federal court in New York City instead.

Americans are oblivious to the high price they pay for Guantánamo. By the end of the current fiscal year, nearly $5.25bn(pdf) will have been spent on detention operations. At a cost estimated at over $2.5m per year for each detainee, the price is about 75 times higher than federal prison.

The law that has evolved from Guantánamo has been a black eye for the country; from the supreme court ruling that President Bush’s military commissions were illegal to the Washington DC circuit ruling all of the men convicted in military commissions were charged with an offense that was not a legitimate war crime. America’s enemies and allies alike, in their criticism of US war on terrorism practices, cite Guantánamo as an example of failed leadership. About the only positive thing that can be said for Guantánamo is it gives fearmongers a talking point to try andpaint a distorted picture of President Obama as soft on terrorists because he wants to close it.

In his 2008 bid for the White House, Senator John McCain said:

We should close Guantánamo. Our great power does not mean that we can do whatever we want, whenever we want.

President Obama has argued repeatedly that Guantánamo needs to close, saying in a speech in May, “there is no justification beyond politics for Congress to prevent us from closing a facility that should never have been opened”.

Now, a dozen years after President Bush signed the order that led to Guantánamo and the military commissions, there is still no end in sight. It is time to end this wasteful embarrassment that undermines what the United States purports to stand for. The United States cannot afford to allow Guantánamo to “just keep truckin’ on”.

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Srilanka – ‘Tamils still being raped and tortured’ #Vaw #Genocide

By Frances HarrisonPresenter, Our World

<iframe width=”640″ height=”360″ src=”//” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

Frances Harrison‘s report on Sri Lanka

As Commonwealth leaders prepare to meet at a summit in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo, allegations of rape and torture by the Sri Lankan security forces have emerged, some of them occurring four years after the civil war ended.

“When the lady left and that man closed the door, I knew what was going to happen,” says Vasantha. “They raped me.”

One evening earlier this year, Vasantha says, she was going back to her home in northern Sri Lanka when a white van drew up and two men asked for her identity card.

She says she was thrown into the back of the vehicle and blindfolded.

Continue reading the main story

Find out more

A Tamil rape survivor, who we are calling Nandini

Watch Our World: Sri Lanka’s Unfinished War on BBC World News on Saturday 9 November at 11:30 GMT and on Sunday 10 November at 17:30 GMT and 22:30 GMT or watch it later on the BBC iPlayer.

Vasantha says she realised the authorities had finally caught up with her, four years after the war and just as she was about to leave for Britain on a student visa.

Her story is one of a number given to the BBC, horrific accounts of torture carried out long after hostilities ended.

During the civil war, Vasantha had helped Tamil Tiger rebels pass messages and set up safe houses in the capital, but she says she never took part in the fighting or held a gun.

Like other women I have interviewed, Vasantha never saw the outside of the building where she was held or met another detainee, but she said she did hear female voices, screaming in Tamil.

She describes being photographed and fingerprinted and then kicked, beaten with batons and pipes, burned with hot wires and cigarettes, submerged in a barrel of water until she thought she would drown, suffocated by having a petrol-soaked plastic bag put over her head, before being repeatedly raped by men in army uniform.

She says she signed a confession in a language she could not understand – Sinhala – but the torture and rape went on for 20 days before a relative could find her and pay a bribe for her release.

For the last three days, she remembers her skin itching terribly in a filthy cell as she was kept completely naked.

This man says he was brandedThis Tamil man says he was branded during a torture session

“On the last day, at about two in the morning, three people came and they blindfolded me again and handcuffed me. At that moment I thought they were going to kill me,” she recalls.

Vasantha has a medical report from an independent expert who corroborates her story of rape and torture, as well as documents to show her family reported her disappearance to Sri Lanka’s Human Rights Commission at the time.

She has recently been granted asylum in the UK on the basis of her story.

Vasantha is one of 12 men and women who say they were raped by the Sri Lankan security forces in detention this year – one as recently as August.

The Sri Lankan government says it does not tolerate torture and the military says there were only five incidents of sexual violence involving soldiers in the north of the island from 2007 to 2012.

But a Human Rights Watch report documented 62 cases of sexual violence involving the security forces after the end of the civil war in Sri Lanka and said their evidence strongly suggested the abuse was widespread and systematic.

Continue reading the main story

Sri Lanka Timeline

  • 1948 – As Ceylon, the island gains independence from Britain.
  • 1972 – The government changes its name to Sri Lanka and gives Buddhism primary place as country’s religion, antagonising largely Hindu Tamil minority.
  • 1983 – As ethnic tensions grow, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) launches a violent uprising, seeking autonomy for the Tamil-dominated north and east.
  • 2005 – After years of war, and failed peace talks, Mahinda Rajapaksa is elected president.
  • May 2009 – Tamil Tigers defeated after army over-runs last patch of rebel-held territory in the north-east. LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran killed.
  • Apr 2011 – UN says both sides committed atrocities against civilians and calls for an international investigation into possible war crimes. Sri Lanka says the report is biased.
  • Nov 2012 – Another UN report says 70,000 civilians were “unaccounted for” at the end of the war.
  • Nov 2013 – Colombo prepares to host Chogm

The UK charity Freedom from Torture has examined 120 incidents that took place after the war in Sri Lanka, while two British doctors from the charity Medact have seen more than 60 cases of Sri Lankans branded on their bodies with hot metal rods since the war ended.

“There is such a systematic set-up in Sri Lanka, whereby it’s absolutely clear to me… that detention and torture is going on in a very large scale and that it’s done in a very similar way every time,” says Dr Alison Callaway, an NHS doctor from Coventry who has written 200 independent assessments for the Home Office of alleged torture cases from Sri Lanka in the past five years.

“It must be assumed that it’s the deterrent effect that they will never again be able to have the strength or the purpose to want to fight against the Sri Lankan government or undertake underground activities against them because the terror and the distress and the trauma has been so great,” she concludes.

A BBC investigation also found seven Tamil men who allege they were tortured in the Sri Lankan government’s official rehabilitation programme for suspected former rebels. Four have documentation to show they were rehabilitated as well as medical reports corroborating their allegations of torture.

Organisations such as the International Commission of Jurists and two United Nations reports have said the Sri Lankan rehabilitation programme failed to meet international standards and warned of the possibility of torture, but this is the first testimony from survivors.

Chogm summit poster in ColomboThe allegations come as Sri Lanka prepares to host the Chogm summit

The Sri Lankan Ministry of Defence says it had “a world-class terrorist rehabilitation programme” that offered healthcare, education, vocational training and facilities for sports, meditation and entertainment to former Tamil Tiger rebels.

This was not the experience of Ravi, who says he was forced to join the rebels for the last six months of the war but then spent four years in rehabilitation being tortured in all the places he was detained.

“They would put my testicles in the drawer and slam the drawer shut. Sometimes I became unconscious. Then they would bring someone and force me to have oral sex with him. Sometimes if we lost consciousness during the torture they would urinate on us,” he says.

A leading British lawyer examined the evidence of continuing torture and rape gathered by the BBC along with other documentation from the United Nations and human rights groups.

Kirsty Brimelow QC says: “It all equates to a crime against humanity and therefore in cases like this, normally you’d be looking at them being referred to the international criminal court for further investigation.”

A still from a Sri Lankan government promotional videoThe Sri Lankan government paints a picture of an Indian Ocean paradise recovering from decades of war

The Sri Lankan High Commission in London said: “Allegations of systematic abuse are a travesty of the truth for they suggest that this is the policy of the Sri Lankan government. It is certainly not so.”

They said it was not fair to expect them to respond fully to allegations contained in anonymous testimony.

Their written statement suggested the people who spoke to the BBC could have been paid to discredit Sri Lanka or even tortured by the Tamil Tigers themselves.

The names of Vasantha, Ravi and Nandini have been changed to protect their identities.

Our World: Sri Lanka’s Unfinished War will be broadcast on BBC World News on Saturday 9 November at 11:30 GMT and on Sunday 10 November at 17:30 GMT and 22:30 GMT.


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#India – Anti-terror campaign of MP police booking innocents on frivolous charges #WTFnews

Monday, Nov 4, 2013, 7:39 IST | Agency: DNA
Pic for illustrative purpose only

Pic for illustrative purpose only

Despite being the most peaceful and largely a terror-free state, Madhya Pradesh has fairly a large number of prisoners booked under anti-terrorist laws. The state police may take credit for foiling terrorist plans in advance, but a cursory look at the evidences against as many as 200 youth in 80 different cases under the amended Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (ULAPA), belies the claim and exhibits the mindset of randomly booking youth of a particular community.

Muslims, who comprise 6% of the state’s population, account for 13% of the jail population in the state. In 2013 alone, the state has filed 8 FIRs for, what the officials called, “non-violent” acts of terrorism.

Documents and evidence gathered by a research team under the Jamia Millia Islamia Teachers Association has found cases being registered against members of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), their friends and acquaintances – and often people with no links to either SIMI, or with any of its former members. Documents also show sanction for prosecution been granted for their trial, without going through the seized material. In one case, the chief secretary, the sanctioned authority, confessed in court that he could not read Urdu and the material was not even translated for his consideration.

Surprisingly, the language of almost 78 FIRs filed at different places and at different times is remarkably similar. The common thread in the FIRs is that the accused were standing in public places and shouting slogans in favour of the banned SIMI. “They were carrying posters and pamphlets, as if waiting for the police to arrest them with proof of their guilt. In many cases, the accused was addressing public at the time of arrest. But the police is unable to arrest anyone, except the alleged speaker,” pointed out the report which will be released in Bhopal next week.

Not only are the crimes identical, but so are the set of accused and the dates and time of the crimes. In other cases, it appears that old FIRs are brought out, the files dusted and the facts of the case simply copied on to a new FIR. Same copy of a magazine is being produced in at least four different cases across the state. The same receipt of contribution to SIMI funds has been produced as evidence at least in two different cases.

On 7 April 2008, the police in Chachoda raided the house of one Rafeeq Maulana and arrested nine persons including five of his neighbours. The incriminating material listed by the police having recovered from the spot are clippings of Hindi newspapers NaiDuniya and Dainik Jagran, identity cards, mobile phones and a document related to appeal for funds issued by a registered madrasa Darul Uloom Rashidia of Mewat in Rajasthan. All these people are in jail.

In another striking case, Imran Ansari, accused and arrested in another case, was charged with holding a “secret meeting” on 1 November 2006, in Wadi Chicken Centre, Banda Compound in Indore, while he was in police custody. He is alleged to have met with the owner of the Wadi Chicken Centre, Akhtar Rasheed, Abdul Razzaq, Gulrez and others to disturb the communal harmony and to perform terrorist acts. The two constables Rajesh Jhansekar and Parshuram Dawar who had brought Ansari to Indore from Khandwa were suspended. But, they were soon reinstated and no case was filed against them for allowing such a “secret meeting”.

More brazen is FIR No. 36/06 in police station Gohalpur, under which 23 people are behind bars. The FIR claims that on 12 January 2006, on the occasion of ‘Eid Festival’, these people had put a hoarding on the electric poll at Charkhamba wherein a drawing of an Ox and Camel was drawn. The police inferred the picture was put to encourage people to sacrifice these animals.

In another brazen case, police claimed a citizen Raja Bhaghel reported that at a bus stand at Seoni, two persons Ahmad and Abdul Rahman, persuaded him to purchase a particular book. When he purchased and read the book, he found that it was a journal of SIMI which had articles spreading hatred against other communities. A magazine Tehreek-e-Millat, allegedly seized from a lady Asiya Khan in Kotwali Khandwa and shown as an item of recovery in the court, has magically also appeared in the seizure list of Mumbai ATS in at least four different cases.

Commenting on these cases, former senior police officer KS Subramanian believes while terrorism is a live phenomenon and needs to be tackled with iron hand, booking innocent youth on frivolous grounds creates an unrest and resentment. “This becomes the breeding ground for disenchantment and victims become easy catch for sponsors of terrorism,” he said, adding that a cycle of terrorism needs to be broken by providing transparent policing, justice and stopping harassment of innocents.


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CIA made doctors torture suspected terrorists after 9/11 #WTFnews #medicalethics

Doctors were asked to torture detainees for intelligence gathering, and unethical practices continue, review concludes

CIA made doctors torture suspected terrorists after 9/11, taskforce finds

An al-Qaida detainee at Guantanamo Bay in 2002: the DoD has taken steps to address concerns over practices at the prison in recent years. Photograph: Shane T Mccoy/PA

Doctors and psychologists working for the US military violated the ethical codes of their profession under instruction from the defence department and the CIA to become involved in the torture and degrading treatment of suspected terrorists, an investigation has concluded.

The report of the Taskforce on Preserving Medical Professionalism in National Security Detention Centres concludes that after 9/11, health professionals working with the military and intelligence services “designed and participated in cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment and torture of detainees”.

Medical professionals were in effect told that their ethical mantra “first do no harm” did not apply, because they were not treating people who were ill.

The report lays blame primarily on the defence department (DoD) and the CIA, which required their healthcare staff to put aside any scruples in the interests of intelligence gathering and security practices that caused severe harm to detainees, from waterboarding to sleep deprivation and force-feeding.

The two-year review by the 19-member taskforce, Ethics Abandoned: Medical Professionalism and Detainee Abuse in the War on Terror, supported by the Institute on Medicine as a Profession (IMAP) and the Open Society Foundations, says that the DoD termed those involved in interrogation “safety officers” rather than doctors. Doctors and nurses were required to participate in the force-feeding of prisoners on hunger strike, against the rules of the World Medical Association and the American Medical Association. Doctors and psychologists working for the DoD were required to breach patient confidentiality and share what they knew of the prisoner’s physical and psychological condition with interrogators and were used as interrogators themselves. They also failed to comply with recommendations from the army surgeon general on reporting abuse of detainees.

The CIA’s office of medical services played a critical role in advising the justice department that “enhanced interrogation” methods, such as extended sleep deprivation and waterboarding, which are recognised as forms of torture, were medically acceptable. CIA medical personnel were present when waterboarding was taking place, the taskforce says.

Although the DoD has taken steps to address concerns over practices at Guantánamo Bay in recent years, and the CIA has said it no longer has suspects in detention, the taskforce says that these “changed roles for health professionals and anaemic ethical standards” remain.

“The American public has a right to know that the covenant with its physicians to follow professional ethical expectations is firm regardless of where they serve,” said Dr Gerald Thomson, professor of medicine emeritus at Columbia University and member of the taskforce.

He added: “It’s clear that in the name of national security the military trumped that covenant, and physicians were transformed into agents of the military and performed acts that were contrary to medical ethics and practice. We have a responsibility to make sure this never happens again.”The taskforce says that unethical practices by medical personnel, required by the military, continue today. The DoD “continues to follow policies that undermine standards of professional conduct” for interrogation, hunger strikes, and reporting abuse. Protocols have been issued requiring doctors and nurses to participate in the force-feeding of detainees, including forced extensive bodily restraints for up to two hours twice a day.

Doctors are still required to give interrogators access to medical and psychological information about detainees which they can use to exert pressure on them. Detainees are not permitted to receive treatment for the distress caused by their torture.

“Putting on a uniform does not and should not abrogate the fundamental principles of medical professionalism,” said IMAP president David Rothman. “‘Do no harm’ and ‘put patient interest first’ must apply to all physicians regardless of where they practise.”The taskforce wants a full investigation into the involvement of the medical profession in detention centres. It is also calling for publication of the Senate intelligence committee’s inquiry into CIA practices and wants rules to ensure doctors and psychiatrists working for the military are allowed to abide by the ethical obligations of their profession; they should be prohibited from taking part in interrogation, sharing information from detainees’ medical records with interrogators, or participating in force-feeding, and they should be required to report abuse of detainees.

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#India – Illegal arrest, detention, torture in custody, released without charge: IMPUNITY #WTFnews

30 October 2013



The Chairman

National Human Rights Commission

Manav Adhikar Bhawan

Block- C, GPO Complex, INA

New Delhi- 110023


Respected Sir


Here I am informing you about an incident of illegal arrest, detention, custodial torture of a person from socio- economically marginalised section. The case detail is self explanatory in nature. The person was falsely taken into custody, illegally arrested, and during his custody physically tortured. Lastly, he was released abruptly by the police without any charge. But he was threatened and warned for not revealing the incident.

One of his companion make a written court complaint before the Court of ACJM and the said magistrate asked the victim to initiate a specific criminal case against the erring police.

In this regard I want to demand for:-

  • An independent investigation over the incident
  • Immediate action against the erring police personnel
  • Initiation of specific criminal case with appropriate sections against the erring police
  • Adequate protection and safety for the victim and witnesses
  • Adequate financial compensation for the victim


Sincerely Yours




(Kirity Roy)

Secretary- MASUM

National Convener- PACTI



Name of the victim: –  Mr. Humayun Sarkar, son of late Marfatullah Sarkar, aged about 59 years, resides at Village- Ramnagar – Nayansukhpur , Post Office – Jinnatpara, Police Station- Raninagar , District- Murshidabad, Pin code- 742308


Name of the perpetrators-   1. Mr. Sumit Talukdar (Officer in Charge of Raninagar police station) 2. Mr. Anil  Biswas (Assistant Sub Inspector of Raninagar police station) and 5 constables of Raninagar Police station.


Date and Time of the Incident: – On 5th October 2013 at around 4 pm.


Place of the Occurrence: – D.N Club More, Raninagar PWD Road under Raninagar Police station, District- Murshidabad


Case Details: – Mr. Humayun Sarkar is a person from socio- economically marginalised section. He was appointed as beneficiary worker for “Nibir Ban Srijan” project of Government of West Bengal, since 1990. He was assigned for beautification of the PWD Road in Ramnagar area by planting various trees and maintaining them. He was dedicated to his job.  During his official assignment, he noticed that some people regularly felling the planted trees from that area for illegal purposes.  Mr. Sarkar made consequent complaints to the higher authority about this illegal acts but nobody took any steps to prevent that.


On 5th October 2013, at around 2 pm, Mr. Sarkar saw that some people were felling the trees from that area. At that time Mr. Sarkar tried to prevent them but he failed to do that.  One of the members of local “Panchayet”, Mrs. Manjura Bibi and her husband; Mr. Isha Seikh had previous dispute with Mr. Sarkar and to take revenge against Mr. Sarkar, they contacted the Raninagar Police station and made a false complain of involvement in felling and stealing of wood products against Mr. Sarkar. After some time, Mr. Anil Biswas, Assistant Sub Inspectos of Raninagar Police station with 5 constables of said police station reached to that place in a white coloured Police vehicle and forcibly dragged Mr. Sarkar to that car. Those perpetrator police personnel took the victim to Raninagar police station and kept him in lock up.  On the next day police did not send him to the court, he was detained for more than 24 hours.  One of his companions; Mr. Ajahar Mollah made a written complaint to Lalbagh Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate’s court and inform the whole incident happened to the victim. Mr. Sarkar was detained till 7th October 2013 in Raninagar police custody and in between he was physically tortured. On that day; 7th October, he was abruptly released from the police station without framing any charge against him. Though, the police threatened him and warned him not to reveal the happenings, otherwise he will face the consequence.


On 8th October 2013 Mr. Humayun Sarkar made a statement before the Magistrate at Lalbagh ACJM Court. The said court asked him to lodge a specific criminal case against the erring police personnel. On the same day Mr. Sarkar visited Lalbagh Sub-Divisional Hospital for his treatment. On 9th October 2013 Mr. Sarkar lodged a written complaint to the District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police of Murshidabad.  According to Section 19 & 20 of Police Regulation of Bengal, 1943, the District Magistrate have power to take steps against the erring police officer.

On that day, Mr. Sumit Talukdar (Officer in Charge of Raninagar Police Station) again threatened the victim and the other eye witness of that incident and warned them not to file any case against police.

Complaint received by the office of DM, Murshidabad
 Inline images 1
Complaint received by the office of SP Murshidabad
Treatment sheet of Govt Hospital
Inline images 4
1st page of court complaint submitted by eye witness
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India’s prisons overcrowded, Chhattisgarh jails have 252 % occupancy

HYDERABAD, TNN : Indian jails are over-crowded. While the available capacity is 3, 43,169, the total inmate populationis much higher at 3, 85,135. That would make the occupancy rate 112.2 per cent.

While there is not a single prisoner in the Union territory of Lakshadweep island prison which has an inmate capacity of 16, the situation was reverse in Chhattisgarh sate, according to prison statistics available with the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).

In Chhattisgarh state, while the available capacity of the prisons is 5,850, there is a total of 14,780 prisoners stuff in the jails. This only means the occupancy rate is as high as 252.6 per cent. There are also other states where the jails were overcrowded in the year 2012, going by the figures with the NCRB.

Though the capacity of jails in Delhi is 6,250, the total number of prisoners in them was 12,113, which is 193.8 per cent occupancy. In Uttar Pradesh jails, there were 80,311 prisoners in accommodation meant for only 47,518 prisoners. The occupancy was 169 per cent. In Punjab, 23,219 prisoners occupied space meant for only 17,410 and the occupancy rate is calculated at 133.4 per cent.

Several other prisons too were overcrowded. These included Meghalaya (131.3%), Madhya Pradesh (127.7%), Arunachal Pradesh (126.8%), Jharkhand (124.5 %), Goa (119.5%), Rajasthan (116.6%), Sikkim (114 %), Himachal Pradesh (105.5%), Kerala (104.4%), Assam (103.7%), Andaman and Nicobar Islands (101.5 per cent), West Bengal (100.7%) and Karnataka (100.3%).

Women prisoners too had to adjust with the overcrowding problem in Uttarakhand (153.6%), Chhattisgarh (150.3%), Delhi (135%), Goa (112%), Jharkhand (106.9%) and Uttar Pradesh (102.8%).

Though the NCRB did not specify the reasons for overcrowding of prisons, the reasons could be several. It is learnt that many languish in prisons without getting bail in the court. There are also many instances where though the court does grant bail, the prisoner finds it difficult to get sureties on his behalf. Since the sureties would be responsible if the accused jumps bail, they back out of standing surety for their friends or even family members. There can also be cases where the court will let off the prisoner with a fine but the accused may not even have the money to pay it and come out of jail.

Overcrowding in prisons leads to infectious diseases spreading in the jail. It is the responsibility of the government to provide space as per international norms for prisoners.


  • #999; padding: 2px; display: block; border-radius: 2px; text-decoration: none;" href="" target="_blank"> #India -Justice deliverance down in Chhattisgarh, RTI reveals #WTfnews


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PRESS RELEASE— IADHRI Demands Freedom for Soni Sori and Lingaram Kodopi


Contact: [email protected]

25 October, 2013



On Monday, 28th October, the Supreme Court of India will take up the bail petitions of Soni Sori and Lingaram Kodopi, adivasi prisoners in Chhattisgarh who have been incarcerated for more than two years. The arrest and the subsequent torture of Soni Sori in October 2011 drew international condemnation [1]. Much less widely known has been the arrest the previous month of Sori’s nephew, Kodopi, who was also subjected to torture by the Chhattisgarh police [2].

False charges were subsequently foisted on both of them, with Sori being implicated in eight cases and Kodopi in two cases. Sori was acquitted in all but two of the cases and Kodopi in one of the two cases. Sori was also granted bail in one of the two remaining cases [3]. The one remaining case against both of them relates to allegations of acting as a courier between Essar, a business conglomerate with steel manufacturing operations in Chhattisgarh, and the outlawed Maoist Communist Party of India. Though two other accused in this case, the general manager of the Essar operations in the state and a contract worker, were granted bail within months of their arrest, the trial court and the state High Court have denied Sori and Kodopi bail earlier this year [4] and it is their appeal against this decision that the Supreme Court is expected to hear on Monday.

Sori was arrested on October 4, 2011 in New Delhi, where she had gone seeking legal help, and taken by the Chhattisgarh police to Dantewada. As detailed in her letters from prison, she was tortured in police custody and sexually abused. Her allegations were substantiated by independent medical examinations conducted in Kolkata under the directions of the Supreme Court. While imprisoned in Raipur, she continued to face abuse and denial of medical care from the police and the jail authorities until the Supreme Court ordered that she be taken to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences for treatment [5,6].

Sori’s husband Anil Futane died last August 2nd, soon after being released from jail [7]. He was arrested in July 2010 and accused of involvement in the attack on the home of Congress politician and contractor Avdesh Gautam. Sori, Kodopi and fourteen others were also falsely implicated in this case but all of them were acquitted. According to other jail inmates, Futane was beaten so severely in the prison that he was paralyzed. They attribute his death to health complications resulting from torture and the failure of prison authorities to give him medical care.

Kodopi himself has undergone serious abuse and torture since his detention without charges in 2009, when he was locked up inside a toilet in a police station for forty days. He was freed the following year only after the intervention of the Chhattisgarh High Court responding to a habeas corpus petition. Facing continued threats from the police and the Maoists, he went to Delhi where he studied journalism for a year. During his time in Delhi, he spoke out against the atrocities committed by the police on the Adivasi communities. Soon after he graduated from his journalism program in April 2011, he returned to Chhattisgarh where police and paramilitary forces had burnt down the villages of Morpalli, Timmapuram and Tadmetla, killed three people and raped three women. He documented the scenes of these crimes and recorded video testimonies of the survivors [8].

The cases of Sori and Kodopi are not isolated. Especially (but not exclusively) in Chhattisgarh, thousands of other prisoners are known to be held for years on spurious charges, some of them are not charged for many years and held as under trials for long periods of time. The draconian provisions of the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act enable the state police and other security officials to arrest and imprison anyone on dubious grounds, often to silence critical voices. Many of these prisoners are also known to undergo torture, sexual and other abuse at the hands of police and prison officials.

During her more than two years of incarceration, the Supreme Court of India has been the only institution from which Soni Sori has been able to get any judicial relief. We are hopeful, therefore, that this time too, the Supreme Court would decide in her and Kodopi’s favor and grant them bail. However, as we have pointed out many times and as corroborated by human rights organizations and groups such including PUCL, PUDR, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, Soni Sori and Lingaram Kodopi deserve to be free. Now bereft of their father, Sori’s three young children need to be urgently reunited with their mother. Therefore, we reiterate our demand that the Chhattisgarh government

  • Drop all charges against Soni Sori and Lingaram Kodopi

  • Compensate them for all the suffering and cruelty inflicted on them,

  • Conduct an impartial and expeditious investigation of all the cases of prisoners in the state and release all those facing spurious charges, and

  • Punish the police and other officials responsible for carrying out torture and for filing spurious cases against them.


[1] IADHRI Statement against the Torture and Politically Motivated Arrest of Soni Sori.

[2] They dared to speak up, but that’s not done in Chhattisgarh, Tehelka, 30 June, 2012.

[3] Activist Soni Sori gets bail in one more case. The Hindu, 31 May, 2012.

[4] Soni Sori, Lingaram Kodopi denied bail by Chhattisgarh High Court, The Hindu,  8 July 2013.

[5] The Government will kill me, Tehelka, 7 April, 2012.

[6] Reading Soni Sori’s Letters from Prison: An International Women’s Day Video Montage.

[7] Soni Sori’s Husband, Anil Futane, Passes Away, Tehelka, 3 August, 2013.

[8] The very right of living in this country has been snatched from me, Tehelka, 4 May, 2012.

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