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How Did a Form of Torture Become Policy in America’s Prison System?

Alternet  By Andrew Gumbel
The cruel rise of solitary confinement in America.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com/Scott Richardson

October 11, 2013  |

Tocqueville was favorably impressed. “Can there be a combination more powerful for reformation,” he wrote, “than that of a prison which hands over the prisoner to all the trials of solitude, leads him through reflection to remorse, through religion to hope, and makes him industrious by the burden of idleness?”

Ten years later, Dickens paid his own visit to Eastern State, and came away with a rather different opinion. Solitary confinement, he found, inflicted unimaginable torment on the minds of those subjected to it. Far from leading prisoners to enlightenment, it ruined their concentration and haunted them with hideous visions. They fell into deep despair, losing track of time and of themselves. “I hold this slow and daily tampering with the mysteries of the brain, to be immeasurably worse than any torture of the body,” he wrote in his American Notes for General Circulation:

[B]ecause its ghastly signs and tokens are not so palpable to the eye and sense of touch as scars upon the flesh; because its wounds are not upon the surface, and it extorts few cries that human ears can hear […] It wears the mind into a morbid state, which renders it unfit for the rough contact and busy action of the world.

Dickens was not alone. Harry Hawser, who wrote poems about his experience at Eastern State around the same time, hauntingly described the effects of being plunged into a “living tomb.” By the end of the 19th century, the Supreme Court noted that solitary confinement had caused many prisoners to fall “into a semi-fatuous condition,” and others still to kill themselves or to become violently insane. By World War I, the practice was largely abandoned.

Still, the idea never entirely went away, and in our bewildering world of chronically overcrowded, gang-infested prisons, it has returned with a vengeance. The new generation of high-security supermax prisons, whose spreading popularity over the past 40 years has coincided with an explosion in prisoner numbers, is premised on the notion that dangerous inmates — the “worst of the worst,” in official parlance — need to be kept separate from the general prison population, and from each other.

The term “solitary confinement” is scrupulously avoided in favor of other, more clinically bureaucratic terms like “security housing unit” (SHU) and “administrative segregation.” But the result is essentially the same as it was in 1840s Philadelphia. Prisoners are deprived of almost all human contact — not just for days or weeks but in many cases for years on end. They spend 22 or 23 hours a day in cramped cells without windows, with no work or other structured activity, and with limited access to books, television, and other outside stimulation. If they talk to their fellow prisoners at all, it is by shouting through the plumbing system. Visits are difficult or impossible to arrange, and contact with the outside world — even the opportunity to see or send photographs — is rare to nonexistent. Their only experience of touching another human is when they put their hands through a slot in their cell doors to be cuffed or chained en route to their hour-long daily exercise in an enclosed concrete pen.

Read more here-  http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/how-did-form-torture-become-policy-americas-prison-system?

 

 

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#India- ‘In Soni Sori’s case, the state project of victimising adivasis has reached inhuman levels’ #Vaw

 

Vrinda Grover, who is representing imprisoned adivasi teacher Soni Sori in a Dantewada court, speaks on the flaws in the cases against her

September 18, 2013

Vrinda Grover Photo: Baba Tamim

You recently met . How is she coping with her situation? Where does the case stand now?

I met  as well as her nephew – the  adivasi journalist,  – both in Jagdalpur jail as well as  court. Soni had six cases against her. She has been acquitted in four for lack of evidence and she’s already got bail in one case. There’s one more left though, where bail is pending. Ironically, in this case too, B K Lala, the alleged contractor who was to give the money to get his work done, as well as the manager of Essar company who is supposed to gain if there is such money are out on bail. The only two people who are still in jail in this case are and , who have no evidence against themselves. To my mind, as a lawyer, even if we admit the entire chargesheet – there’s no case to be made against either  or Lingaram. They are being falsely implicated and framed.

I speak for Linga and Soni, and they are asking, “Why are we being targeted, why are we being abandoned?” I think the answer lies in what the lady prosecutor said in a very brief argument in the court. Her argument was that all the offences were  made out against the accused. Secondly, that these were grave crimes. Thirdly, that it was a -affected area. As far I see it, the first one is her legal opinion. Second one is a statement of fact. Third one is not a statement that can be made in the court of law. Whether it is a -affected area or not should not influence a court of law. Each case has to stand on the basis of evidence presented to the court. In this case, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act as well as the charge of waging war against the state have been used to overwhelm the court – to make the court think that these are  leaders. They are only interested in continued incarceration.

Her husband Anil Futane died last month. There were allegations that he had suffered torture…

In Soni’s case especially, this state project of victimising adivasis has reached inhuman levels. At the court, I met her father, who had come walking on crutches. He had tied a piece of cloth on his foot, which had swollen. He has a bullet wound on his leg, which is not healing and the fate of the leg is not looking good. He was shot in the leg by Naxals as he had refused to be a  informer. ’s husband Anil Futane also had several cases against him before he got acquitted and released. He spent several years in jail and suffered torture. He died of ill-health – which must have deteriorated during his time in jail, owing to the poor diet.  wasn’t even granted an interim bail when her husband’s funeral was performed. They were all projected as Naxalites. Here’s a family that’s playing out the human tragedy that adivasis in Chhattisgarh are experiencing. They have three children – who have been destituted and are without any parental care.

In Soni’s case, how do we understand the way courts behaved and ask questions without inviting contempt?

I will not comment on the court that’s currently seeing the particular case. But in Jagdalpur, I met with a few judges and prosecutors to understand the situation here. I also met a lot of undertrials in jail. After conversations with judicial officers, lawyers, undertrials and prison officials, it’s clear that observations are the same – most of the adivasis in these prisons have been charged under what are called ‘ cases’. Off the record, these people will tell you, these adivasi villagers, whose village the Naxals visit, are not Naxalites. It’s undeniable that Naxals operate in those areas. The forces do not go into interiors and they do not risk keeping proximity to Naxals as they fear loss of life. The villagers are later picked up in large numbers. Witnesses don’t turn up to give evidence – not because they are petrified of adivasis – but because most witnesses are police and public officials. Hence these cases drag on and on for years. In south Chhattisgarh, the conviction rate in all cases is 3 percent. In this case too, what is the link the prosecution is making between Lingaram,  and the Naxals? Where is the criminal conspiracy? There is a line in the chargesheet without evidence or witness statement. It goes, “They have other  cases against them.” How can a court say I will convict you here because you have other cases elsewhere? The irony here is that they have been acquitted in all other cases. The two, who have nothing to do with the case, are languishing in jail.

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#India- 55 year old dalit woman, beaten, raped and tortured #Vaw #WTFnews

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STAFF REPORTER, The Hindu

The police are on the look out for a 35-year-old caste-Hindu man for allegedly raping a 55-year-old Dalit woman of a village in Tiruchengode Taluk on Friday night. The police said neighbours who came to know about the incident on Saturday, admitted her to Tiruchengode Government Hospital and informed the police.

According to the police, preliminary investigations revealed that the woman was in the pump shed of her landlord, when the accused, R. Senthil (35), who belonged to the same village, raped her.
The woman told the police that she was beaten and tortured by the assailant. She did not tell anyone about the assault on her as the man threatened to kill all members of her family if she revealed it to anyone. Agitated villagers urged the police to arrest the accused without delay. The police said he had gone into hiding after the incident came to light.
Superintendent of Police P. Kannammal told The Hindu that a case was registered under Section 376 (rape) of the Indian Penal Code and various Sections of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. A search was on for the accused.

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Dalit Woman Panchayat Chief tortured by Casteist Hindus #Vaw

Caste Hindus interfering in official work, alleges Dalit panchayat chief

By Express News Service – MADURAI

Published: 27th August 2013 10:18 AM

A Dalit woman panchayat president on Monday filed a complaint with the police demanding action against five caste Hindu  members for causing her mental agony and not allowing her to perform her official works.

“If their torture continues, I have no other option except committing suicide,” said Vijayarani Muthaiah, the woman Dalit panchayat president of Kinni Mangalam village near Checkanurani in Usilampatti taluk after submitting her complaint at the Madurai SP office here.

Vijayarani Muthaiah claimed in the petition that five Caste Hindus M Bharani Thevar, P Mani Thevar, A Mani Thevar and R Periya Karuppa Thevar were often found sitting at Periya Nachi Temple located close to the panchayat office and verbally abused her using filthy language whenever she visited the office. “They scold me in derogatory words referring to my caste name,” Vijaya Rani said.

Speaking to Express, she said that though the seven ward members of the panchayat cooperated with her, the five caste Hindus were causing her trouble. “They are not allowing me to sit in the chair at my office,” she alleged. Nearly for one-and-half years, they did not allow her to sit in the chair. Only after she took up the issue with the district collector, they allowed her to sit in the chair for few days. But now, they were again preventing her from using the chair, she said.

After receiving her complaint, the police said that they would investigate the case and take action.

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Press Statement- Release Jayeeta Das Unconditionally!

jayeeta
COMMITTEE FOR THE RELEASE OF POLITICAL PRISONERS
185/3, FOURTH FLOOR, ZAKIR NAGAR, NEW DELHI-110025

28/08/2013

Condemn and expose the state-sponsored intimidatory tactics of the lawless security agencies of West Bengal on people’s activists and their kin!

As part of the joint strategy to further increase the repression on the various people’s movements—against the anti-people policies of the state as well as for a society free from all forms of exploitation and oppression—the new desperate tactics of the state agencies has been to increase the rate of conviction of those put behind bars under various charges especially the UAPA. What is being witnessed in states like Maharashtra, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh etc. is an all out effort on the side of the state/central intelligence agencies to slap as many cases on various activists of the people’s movements so as to ensure that either the incarceration of the political prisoner is prolonged due to the perilous delay in trial on a large number of cases or through hook or crook his/her conviction is manufactured. This is yet another desperate act of the State who is witness to the fact that increasingly the people are fearlessly opposing the dog-eat-dog policies which the state wants to push forcefully on the people under the garb of growth and development. Not only are the people fighting fearlessly such policies but also mobilizing aid to the incarcerated despite threats and psychological war indulged in by the state to browbeat the people into submission. And because of the active and competent legal defence of many of the activists it is a fact that a considerable number of acquittals/bails have been successfully realized notwithstanding the frenzy created by an obliging media or the surfeit of charges of serious import slapped on many of the activists. Most discouraging for the fascist state is the active participation of the family members and friends of the political prisoners in such campaigns and legal defence. So what is the way out for a state when the people are losing fear by the day? That too at a time when there is all round crisis among various ruling class parties and within them vis-à-vis the deepening economic crisis and the increasing exposure of the real pro-imperialist, pro-capital face of these parties, the only way out for the state is to further unleash the whip of lawlessness and intimidation on the people and the people’s activists.
Of immediate significance is the case of people’s activist Jayeeta Das who was literally abducted on 1st August 2013 from open market place of south Calcutta and was shown to the media as a Maoist. We have already shown how this arrest like many that preceded it have once again violated the Supreme Court directives that has to be followed so that the basic rights of the detained/arrested is not violated. As part of the intimidatory tactics she was held incommunicado for hours by the police without allowing her access to a lawyer of her choice. It goes without saying that there was no arrest warrant. But the lawless Special Task Force of Kolkata knows full well that this alone won’t fetch them the much needed conviction of the accused. So the next act of impunity is to barge in to the houses of various friends and relatives of Jayeeta and threaten them with dire consequences if they don’t cough up evidence against her. In this particular case the public posture of the Special Task Force is that they have nothing against the family and friends of Jayeeta. But behind this smokescreen is the calculated/premeditated intimidation of the friends and kin of Jayeeta Das. Such unprecedented acts of impunity keep recurring despite the fact that various courts including the Supreme Court have expressed serious reservation on numerous occasions. It is also a grim reminder that beyond such lamentations from the side of the court, hardly has any positive step been initiated to restore the confidence of the common people on the much talked about ‘rule of law’.
From the acts of impunity of the police and the connivance of the judiciary people are increasingly forced to believe that the rule of law is only for the rulers and the wretched of the earth have to condemn themselves for their miserable/unenviable existence. But as mentioned earlier, people are refusing to take things for granted. The days won’t be far away when the wages of impunity of the security/intelligence agencies will be sought by the people themselves belied by a system that is increasingly getting tilted towards the interests of the god men, looters/bankers, black marketers, speculators, land mafia and pimps.
The need of the hour is to fight down the new face of Operation Green Hunt that has already reached the urban centres which has seen a section of the masses of the people, students and the intelligentsia standing resolutely against the genocidal policy of the state on the adivasis of Central and Eastern regions of the Indian subcontinent. CRPP condemns strongly the intimidatory tactics of the Special Task Force Kolkata on the friends and relatives of Jayeeta. This should not be seen as an isolated incident as it is part of a well thought out larger design to penalize and control all forms of dissent of the masses of the people for their genuine demands for a better future and society. CRPP calls upon all democratic and progressive forces to unitedly fight such fascist designs of the State.

In Solidarity,

SAR Geelani,
President

Amit Bhattacharyya,
Secretary General

Rona Wilson,
Secretary, Public Relations

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Cuba – Guantánamo Bay, Another Injustice

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A restraint chair used to force-feed detainees at the military hospital at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

By JOHN GRISHAM
Published 10th aug, NY Times
ABOUT two months ago I learned that some of my books had been banned at Guantánamo Bay. Apparently detainees were requesting them, and their lawyers were delivering them to the prison, but they were not being allowed in because of “impermissible content.”
I became curious and tracked down a detainee who enjoys my books. His name is Nabil Hadjarab, and he is a 34-year-old Algerian who grew up in France. He learned to speak French before he learned to speak Arabic. He has close family and friends in France, but not in Algeria. As a kid growing up near Lyon, he was a gifted soccer player and dreamed of playing for Paris St.-Germain, or another top French club. Tragically for Nabil, he has spent the past 11 years as a prisoner at Guantánamo, much of the time in solitary confinement. Starting in February, he participated in a hunger strike, which led to his being force-fed. For reasons that had nothing to do with terror, war or criminal behavior, Nabil was living peacefully in an Algerian guesthouse in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Sept. 11, 2001. Following the United States invasion, word spread among the Arab communities that the Afghan Northern Alliance was rounding up and killing foreign Arabs. Nabil and many others headed for Pakistan in a desperate effort to escape the danger. En route, he said, he was wounded in a bombing raid and woke up in a hospital in Jalalabad. At that time, the United States was throwing money at anyone who could deliver an out-of-town Arab found in the region. Nabil was sold to the United States for a bounty of $5,000 and taken to an underground prison in Kabul. There he experienced torture for the first time. To house the prisoners of its war on terror, the United States military put up a makeshift prison at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. Bagram would quickly become notorious, and make Guantánamo look like a church camp. When Nabil arrived there in January 2002, as one of the first prisoners, there were no walls, only razor-wire cages. In the bitter cold, Nabil was forced to sleep on concrete floors without cover. Food and water were scarce. To and from his frequent interrogations, Nabil was beaten by United States soldiers and dragged up and down concrete stairs. Other prisoners died. After a month in Bagram, Nabil was transferred to a prison at Kandahar, where the abuse continued. Throughout his incarceration in Afghanistan, Nabil strenuously denied any connection to Al Qaeda, the Taliban or anyone or any organization remotely linked to the 9/11 attacks. And the Americans had no proof of his involvement, save for bogus claims implicating him from other prisoners extracted in a Kabul torture chamber. Several United States interrogators told him his was a case of mistaken identity. Nonetheless, the United States had adopted strict rules for Arabs in custody — all were to be sent to Guantánamo. On Feb. 15, 2002, Nabil was flown to Cuba; shackled, bound and hooded. Since then, Nabil has been subjected to all the horrors of the Gitmo handbook: sleep deprivation, sensory deprivation, temperature extremes, prolonged isolation, lack of access to sunlight, almost no recreation and limited medical care. In 11 years, he has never been permitted a visit from a family member. For reasons known only to the men who run the prison, Nabil has never been waterboarded. His lawyer believes this is because he knows nothing and has nothing to give. The United States government says otherwise. In documents, military prosecutors say that Nabil was staying at a guesthouse run by people with ties to Al Qaeda and that he was named by others as someone affiliated with terrorists. But Nabil has never been charged with a crime. Indeed, on two occasions he has been cleared for a “transfer,” or release. In 2007, a review board established by President George W. Bush recommended his release. Nothing happened. In 2009, another review board established by President Obama recommended his transfer. Nothing happened. According to his guards, Nabil is a model prisoner. He keeps his head down and avoids trouble. He has perfected his English and insists on speaking the language with his British lawyers. He writes in flawless English. As much as possible, under rather dire circumstances, he has fought to preserve his physical health and mental stability. In the past seven years, I have met a number of innocent men who were sent to death row, as part of my work with the Innocence Project, which works to free wrongly convicted people. Without exception they have told me that the harshness of isolated confinement is brutal for a coldblooded murderer who freely admits to his crimes. For an innocent man, though, death row will shove him dangerously close to insanity. You reach a point where it feels impossible to survive another day. DEPRESSED and driven to the point of desperation, Nabil joined a hunger strike in February. This was not Gitmo’s first hunger strike, but it has attracted the most attention. As it gained momentum, and as Nabil and his fellow prisoners got sicker, the Obama administration was backed into a corner. The president has taken justified heat as his bold and eloquent campaign promises to close Gitmo have been forgotten. Suddenly, he was faced with the gruesome prospect of prisoners dropping like flies as they starved themselves to death while the world watched. Instead of releasing Nabil and the other prisoners who have been classified as no threat to the United States, the administration decided to prevent suicides by force-feeding the strikers. Nabil has not been the only “mistake” in our war on terror. Hundreds of other Arabs have been sent to Gitmo, chewed up by the system there, never charged and eventually transferred back to their home countries. (These transfers are carried out as secretly and as quietly as possible.) There have been no apologies, no official statements of regret, no compensation, nothing of the sort. The United States was dead wrong, but no one can admit it. In Nabil’s case, the United States military and intelligence agents relied on corrupt informants who were raking in American cash, or even worse, jailhouse snitches who swapped false stories for candy bars, porn and sometimes just a break from their own beatings. Last week, the Obama administration announced that it was transferring some more Arab prisoners back to Algeria. It is likely that Nabil will be one of them, and if that happens another tragic mistake will be made. His nightmare will only continue. He will be homeless. He will have no support to reintegrate him into a society where many will be hostile to a former Gitmo detainee, either on the assumption that he is an extremist or because he refuses to join the extremist opposition to the Algerian government. Instead of showing some guts and admitting they were wrong, the American authorities will whisk him away, dump him on the streets of Algiers and wash their hands. What should they do? Or what should we do? First, admit the mistake and make the apology. Second, provide compensation. United States taxpayers have spent $2 million a year for 11 years to keep Nabil at Gitmo;give the guy a few thousand bucks to get on his feet. Third, pressure the French to allow his re-entry. This sounds simple, but it will never happen.

A lawyer and author of the forthcoming novel “Sycamore Row.”
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#India – When law-enforcers tread the unlawful path


It’s a dangerous scenario when those meant to uphold the law choose illegal methods to control crime or punish its perpetrators. At risk are innocent victims who stand no chance against such organised brutality, the argument of serving a national ‘cause’ notwithstanding.
Rohit Choudhary

THE filing of chargesheet by the CBI in the Ishrat case, implicating several police officers, brings to focus the issue of extrajudicial killings by the police. A recent UN report on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions claimed that 109 civilian deaths occurred in India due to police firing in 2011. Most of such deaths occurred when the security forces took up “riot control, anti-extremism and anti-terrorist activities”.

Proxy war

In policing, a serious role conflict always exists — as one between the ideals of crime control versus the ideals of due process. There are many limitations in our criminal justice system which hampers the efficient and effective functioning of the Indian police.

The Ishrat Jahan case has brought back into focus the issue of extrajudicial killings
The Ishrat Jahan case has brought back into focus the issue of extrajudicial killings.

Besides, there prevails an attitude in society, which primarily judges the effectiveness of policing on the achievement of goals, and there is a performance culture judged on its outcomes. To add to the complexity of the situation is the new dimension of “across the border” sponsored terrorism fought with the commitment of jihad, backed by the ISI of Pakistan. This proxy war has to be fought by the security forces in India with their hands tied back, following police rules and criminal procedures meant primarily to deal with general crime.

This gives rise to what is now termed as the “noble cause corruption” in the police. It is defined as corruption committed in the name of good ends to benefit society at large, in order to get the bad guys off the streets. It is the corruption of police power, when officers do bad things because they believe the outcomes will be good.

They rationalise that such behaviour is part of the job description, in a utilitarian sense, to get the criminals off the streets, regardless of the means. Examples of noble cause corruption are extrajudicial killings, planting or fabricating evidence, lying on reports or in court, and generally abusing police authority to make a charge stick. This subcultural value system rationalises constitutional rights violations and often leads the police to resort to extrajudicial methods.

Fragile public support

While the whole concept of justification of the use of extrajudicial methods is based on what is being perceived as good for the largest number, the role and support of public opinion is a very important pillar here. But public support in itself is very elusive and difficult to quantify. It may be there today, but not tomorrow — there is also no explicit contract or demand. Any activity that may have legal implications must not be indulged in, with only public opinion to support. It would not be judicious to tread such a path which may land the practitioners into serious trouble in their career.

The public is also awakening to the fact that the difference between a totalitarian state and a democratic one upholding principles of personal liberty does not lie in the laws, but in the manner in which these are applied. Fake encounters, illegal detentions, fabrication of evidence, planting of false cases and withholding from the suspects the right of the due process of law is bringing considerable criticism to the police from the courts and public alike. For a police officer, an equally important duty (besides ensuring that the guilty are punished) is the duty to see that the persons suspected of the crimes are not deprived of their constitutional rights.

In their enthusiasm to secure the conviction of a suspect, very often police officers forget the importance of their obligations as guardians of personal liberty.

Though their intentions may be bona fide, for a cause like national security, they may find themselves being prosecuted for their acts. As on October 12, 2006, 462 police officers were facing criminal writs, trials and investigations for allegations of acts of omission or commission during terrorism in Punjab. Writs faced by officers included two ADGPs, three IGs, two DIGs and 12 SPs. Court trials were under way in CBI cases against 20 SPs, 21 DSPs, 57 Inspectors, 52 Sub-Inspectors, 53 ASIs, 42 Head Constables and 51 constables for this period.

Back to barracks

There is great danger in allowing policemen to decide what are the situations where they would resort to the use of illegal methods. The police force that has taken to the path of extrajudicial methods of functioning would find it difficult to confine the use of such methods in only justifiable and limited cases. The control of the superior supervisory officers becomes weak when they start overlooking the transgressions. The ill-effects of police brutality and use of other illegal methods in policing do not remain limited. The Mollen Commission, set up to investigate corruption in New York in the 1990s, argues that the use of excessive force may be a rite of passage into the police subculture and the beginning of “the slippery slope” that leads toward other forms of police misconduct. Once the line is crossed without consequences, it is easier to abuse their authority in other ways, including corruption. This happened with some officers of the Mumbai police, who were hailed as “encounter specialists”, but were later arrested and suspended from service for being in cahoots with the underworld they had pledged to eliminate, and for amassing huge wealth.

Miscarriage of justice

Policemen may form a premature opinion in a case and investigation carried out with a predetermined mind is likely to ignore many evidences that may prove the innocence of the accused. And when there is little evidence to conclusively prove the guilt, other set of consequential illegal actions follow, such as the use of torture to get confession, planting of evidence and illegal confinement. Many times, miscarriage of justice has resulted in these kind of investigations. In September 2000, the CBI filled a chargesheet in the Pathribal “fake” encounter case against five Army officers, including a Brigadier and a Colonel. They were accused of acts punishable under Sections 120(b), 364, 307, 302 and 201, IPC, after the slain were conclusively proved innocent civilians.

Getting to the truth

The drafting committee of the National Criminal Justice System Policy, headed by Prof NR Madhavanan, has recommended various measures for effective management of not only the traditional forensic science requirements, but also to overhaul science and technology needs of the criminal justice system to raise the levels of capability and sophistication.

Narco analysis during the past was only used by psychiatrists to find out psychological truth. The revelations made during the analysis were found to be very useful in cracking sensational cases like the Mumbai train blasts, and blasts in Delhi and Malegoan.

The narco analysis technique has thus not only revolutionised the causes of crime investigation, but also has led various courts to redefine the very scope of the constitutional provisions vest under clause 3 of Article 20 (3)10 to 16 and Article 21.

Brain-mapping technology scientifically detects the record of crime stored in the brain and the test represents a new paradigm in law enforcement. Increased understanding of neurosciences will contribute significantly towards piecing together the crime pattern stored in the brain. The recent amendments [2005] made to Section 53 of the CrPC, apart from others, is positive and proactive towards the recognition of the importance of scientific tests, including narco analysis amd brain mapping.

The stakeholders

While in cases of extreme crime like terrorism, extrajudicial killings may appear to be an effective deterrent — especially considering the instances of retaliatory kidnappings and hijacking to secure the release of arrested terrorists, and in majority of cases where terrorists escape conviction due to lack of evidence and no witnesses — resorting to extrajudicial methods as a means to control crime has its pitfalls as it takes away the checks and balances in the system and also does not account for plausible mistakes. The system also becomes extremely vulnerable to unscrupulous elements within the law enforcement community, who can bring about untold damage to society.

Moreover, even in terrorist crimes, the use of extrajudicial methods delays the operation of appropriate channels and the debate to evolve new methods due to such ad hoc reactions providing temporary respite. In the end, in place of getting a legislation to tackle the problem at hand, more often it has been the enactment of restrictive legislation — at times, arrests of some committed, indiscreet and overzealous officers and the development of adverse public opinion for police. Therefore, no police action can be justified in the use of extrajudicial methods.

The real remedy lies in the amendment to laws, rules and procedures to bring them in sync with the times, as strongly recommended by the National Police Commission; and a dynamic national counter-terrorism policy framework to meet the challenge posed by terrorist strikes.

‘Noble’ corruption

In police circles, it is defined as corruption committed in the name of good ends to benefit society at large and get the bad guys off the streets.

It is the corruption of police power, when officers do bad things because they believe the outcomes will be good. They rationalise that such behaviour is part of the job description, in a utilitarian sense, to ensure criminals don’t escape the system, regardless of the means.

Examples of ‘noble cause corruption’ are extrajudicial killings, planting or fabricating evidence, lying on reports or in court, and abusing police authority to make a charge stick.

The pitfalls

This subcultural value system rationalises constitutional rights violations and often leads the police to resort to extrajudicial methods.

— The writer is an IG in Punjab. The article appeared in The Tribune

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#India – Custodial death , family being threatened in Murshidabad

 

To

The Chairman

National Human Rights Commission

Faridkot House

Copernicus Marg

New Delhi– 110001

 

Respected Sir,

 

We lodge this present complaint in the matter of the victim Jhantu Saha (deceased), son of- Mr. Biren Saha, aged about- 40 years, by faith- Hindu, address-village- Bishnupur Kalibari, Post Office+ Police Station- Berhampore, District- Murshidabad, West Bengal. The victim was arrested by the involved police personnel of Berhampore Police Station on 11.5.2013 at about 9 pm near Berhampore Court area reportedly under intoxicated condition. The perpetrator police personnel of the said police station illegally detained the victim and on 13.5.2013 he was produced before the concerned magistrate (the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Berhampore) thereby implicating him in a criminal case. The magistrate rejecting his bail application sent him to judicial custody at Berhampore central Correctional Home.

 

In the morning on 04.06.2013, the physical condition of the deceased started to collapse. He was taken to Berhampore General Hospital in very critical condition by the jail authority. The examining medical officer of the said hospital declared him dead upon examining him. The hospital informed the incident to Berhampore Police Station and the police personnel of the said police station registered one unnatural death case vide Berhampore Police Station Unnatural Death Case No. 355/2013 dated 04.06.2013. The Post Mortem examination of the victim was done at Berhampore General Hospital on 5.6.2013 vide P.M. examination no. 486. The inquest on the body of the victim was done by one executive magistrate namely Mr. Ashok Pain.

 

Our fact finding team talked with the family of the victim and the brother of the victim stated that the victim was tortured and subjected to custodial violence during his illegal detention at Berhampore Police Station.  But the family of the victim is afraid to lodge complaint before the authorities in this matter apprehending police harassment.  The incident of the victim’s death in jail custody has been reported in two daily Bengla newspapers namely ‘Sambad Protidin’ (issue dated 5.6.2013) and ‘Anandabazar Patrika’  http://www.anandabazar.com/archive/1130605/5mur2.html

 

The facts and circumstances of the incident revealed that the victim suffered custodial death but there has been no enquiry by judicial magistrate in compliance of the provisions of Section 176(1-A) of criminal Procedure Code. Section 176(1-A) of Criminal Procedure Code mandates enquiry by judicial magistrate in case of custodial death.

 

We condemn the incident and seek your urgent intervention against the perpetrators involved in this case i.e. the Superintendent of Berhampore Central Correctional Home and the Officer-in-Charge and other involved police personnel of Berhampore Police Station.

 

We demand your urgent action in this matter in the following manner:-

  • The whole matter must be investigated by one neutral investigating agency.
  • The provisions of Section 176(1-A) of Criminal Procedure Code must be complied with immediately in this case and the enquiry by judicial magistrate shall immediately be conducted in this case.
  • The perpetrator police personnel of Berhampore Police Station must be booked under the law immediately for committing custodial torture upon the victim and they must be punished in accordance with law.
  • The role of the Superintendent of Berhampore Central Correctional Home must be neutrally investigated into and punished according if found guilty for acts leading to the custodial death of the victim.
  • The victim’s family must be compensated adequately.

 

 

Thanking you

Yours truly

 

 

Kirity Roy

Secretary, MASUM

&

National Convener, PACTI

 

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#India – Womb and Wolves #Vaw #Womenrights #medicalethics

By Swagata Yadavar, THE WEEK
Story Dated: Monday, April 15, 2013 15:8 hrs IST
Guddi devi, 27: She had sought treatment for a simple stomach ache. The doctor prescribed hysterectomy. Today, with all her vitality sapped, she feels it was the biggest. Photo by Amey Mansabdar

“I feel sick.”
“I feel sick.”
“I feel sick.”
These words still echo in my ears. They did not come from a dying man or a depressed woman. They were whimpered by scores of ‘normal’ women in India‘s rural hinterlands.
The cause lay in two words uttered by their unscrupulous doctors: bacchedani kharaab. These gullible women were told their uteri were faulty, and that they had to be removed.
THE WEEK’s journey through some villages in Bihar and Rajasthan revealed the plight of women—many of them allegedly unmarried—whose wombs were removed as “treatment” for everything, from a simple stomach ache to menstrual issues.
Why? The reason, again, lay in two words: filthy lucre.


Sunita Devi, a 35-year-old labourer of Latbasepur village in Bihar’s Samastipur district, would tell us more. It all started with a debilitating stomach pain, which she had ignored for long. Thanks to the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana, she hoped to finally get proper treatment at a private hospital.
At Krishna Hospital, one of the hospitals empanelled in the rural health scheme, Sunita was told she needed an appendicitis surgery. And a hysterectomy, too.
She underwent both eight months ago. Today, she is feeble. “I often get palpitations,” she said. “I get frequent headaches and gas trouble.”
The mother of five can no longer work in the fields. She now assists at a small shop in the village. The plight of her two sisters-in-law who also underwent hysterectomies is no different.
Three years ago, the RSBY, which entitles families below poverty line to free treatment up to Rs.30,000 a year, was implemented in Samastipur district of Bihar. It was a godsend for the rural masses. But, in the hands of greedy doctors, it became a cruel instrument to siphon off public money.
The Samastipur scam came to fore when District Magistrate Kundan Kumar found an alarming number of hysterectomies conducted by private nursing homes during an RSBY meeting. Of 14,851 procedures conducted under RSBY between 2010 and 2012 in 16 empanelled hospitals in Samastipur, 5,503 were hysterectomies. That is about 37 per cent of all procedures. In some hospitals, more than 50 per cent were hysterectomies, which costs the highest of all procedures under the RSBY scheme.
Kundan Kumar organised a five-day medical camp to ascertain if the procedures conducted were needed. About 2,600 women who had undergone hysterectomy attended the camp. The expert team found 717 cases of unwanted surgery, 124 cases of underage surgery, 320 cases of fleecing and 23 cases of non-surgery.
The magistrate’s report clearly pointed to gross unethical practices. For instance, Anita Devi, 23, who complained of abdominal pain and white discharge, had been operated upon. The expert team commented: “Conservative treatment should have done, hysterectomy not justified.” Similar was the case of Ratna Devi, 40, who underwent hysterectomy for appendicitis.
The report noted that many beneficiaries mentioned by the private hospitals could not be traced. In many cases, the hospitals simply swiped their RSBY cards but never conducted the procedures. There were also instances of procedures being marked against the name of dead people. Worse, some hysterectomy ‘cases’ reportedly turned out to be men!
It was found that many of the private hospitals and nursing homes did not have the requisite infrastructure for the procedures. Only some of them had well-trained surgeons, and in a few cases, operations were conducted by non-medical practitioners.
Subsequently, 12 of 16 nursing homes in Samastipur were de-panelled from the list. FIRs, too, were lodged against five of these guilty hospitals under various sections.

Sangita devi, 26: She underwent hysterectomy two years ago. Her husband says the doctor who operated upon her often hassles her for signatures on “some paper”. Photo by Amey Mansabdar

The involved doctors, meanwhile, were doing their best to cover their tracks. “Dr Thakur from Krishna Hospital often comes to our house asking for our signature on some paper,” said the family of Sangita Devi, 26. Sangita underwent hysterectomy two years ago. Since then, she has been battling frequent spells of weakness, dizziness and  headaches. She now weighs just 30kg and can hardly manage any work. She has already spent Rs.5,000 on medicine and the frequent trips to the doctors are eating away most of what her husband earns. When THE WEEK contacted, Dr Thakur refused to meet us.

Next, THE WEEK travelled to Rajasthan’s Dausa district, where a high number of hysterectomies was reported recently. Guddi Devi, 27, felt sick, though she technically was not. Her bones and joints ached all day. Fatigue bound her to bed. Food did not interest her. And her eyesight was fading. It was nothing but a clear case of premature menopause, courtesy the hysterectomy and oophorectomy she underwent three years ago.
“I had gone to the doctor, complaining of stomach ache. He told me that my uterus should be removed or I would get cancer,” she said. Her family, which owns just a small piece of land, was convinced to go for the “life-saving” surgery costing Rs.16,000.
“I feel weak all the time. I constantly fall ill, and the stomach pain for which I sought treatment initially persists,” said the mother of three. She has already paid another 110,000 on treatment of these symptoms, often travelling two and a half hours by tractors and buses to the nearest hospital. Now, her 12-year-old daughter, Rinki, takes care of all the household responsibilities. “I am upset about spoiling her education,” added a sullen Guddi.

Angoori devi, 34: She underwent hysterectomy as treatment for excessive menstrual bleeding. She recalls that about 40 women were admitted along with her in the same hospital for hysterectomy. Photo by Amey Mansabda

Every village THE WEEK visited had similar stories to tell. “I went to the doctor for excessive menstrual bleeding and he advised hysterectomy,” said Angoori Devi, 34, of Sikandara. “She cannot do anything now; she gets easily tired,” complained her daughter, Guddi. The family had to sell their buffalo to pay for the surgery, which gave her joint aches, indigestion, dizziness and fatigue as companions.
“When I was admitted in the hospital, there were about 40 women who were undergoing the same operation,” Angoori recalled about her stay at Madaan Hospital. Activists in the area said as many as 2,300 women in the region have undergone unwanted hysterectomies at private hospitals in the past two years.
An RTI application filed by advocate Durga Prasad Saini of Dausa revealed that of 385 procedures conducted over six months in three private hospitals of Bandikui town in 2010, at least 226 were hysterectomies. And of them, 185 were below the age of 30.
“Is there an epidemic in Dausa that forces women to undergo hysterectomy?” asked Saini, who is also National General Secretary of Akhil Bharatiya Grahak Panchayat (ABGP). “If there was a suspicion of cancer, why was not a single biopsy done?”
What compounds the issue in such villages is the people have no one else to go to. For instance, the post of a gynaecologist had been lying vacant for many years in the community centre in Bandikui despite repeated requests.
Though the centre got a gynaecologist, it wore a dark and deserted look when we visited. “Tell us how we will manage when such a big centre only has five doctors,” said an employee. On the other hand, there are five big private hospitals in the town, doing well.
“The doctors have an understanding with the rural practitioners, who are promised a commission on referrals,” alleged Dr O.P. Bansal, who runs a hospital in Dausa. Even employees at government hospitals act as agents who take patients to private clinics.
Hysterectomy was so ubiquitous in the town that some households had three generations of women who had gone under the knife. Take the case of Sushila Devi of Maanpur village who had gone to Katta Hospital to meet a relative, Guddi Devi, admitted for hysterectomy. Sushila, too, got caught in the trap and was operated upon three days later.
Guddi Devi, a mother of four, was advised hysterectomy to cure body ache. Now, she can no longer work as a labourer. “I feel dizzy when I am in the sun, I cannot lift heavy loads and get frequent palpitations,” she said.
Surprisingly, despite protests and frequent media reports, no action was taken against erring private hospitals. “They have consent papers from the women, so we cannot do anything unless the Clinical Establishment Act is passed,” said O.P. Baherwa, chief medical and health officer, Dausa.

Vimla Devi, 20: Her caesarian section that went wrong was followed by a hysterectomy. The childless couple has filed a police case. But her husband, Mahendra Kumar, says the cops have been threatening him to not pursue the case. Photo by Amey Mansabdar

Many FIRs, too, were lodged in the local police stations against the doctors. Mahendra Kumar filed a case against Madhur Hospital and its owner Dr Rajesh Dhakar, after his 20-year-old wife, Vimla Devi, was subjected to hysterectomy following a failed caesarian section.
The crestfallen childless couple alleged that the police did not investigate the matter properly and threatened ‘action’ if Kumar pursued the case.
The attitude of officials at Dausa was, indeed, sympathetic towards the doctors. “People here attack the doctors and threaten to destroy the hospital, hoping to get compensation,” said District Collector Pramila Surana. Police Inspector Rohitash Devanda said he had not come across any cases against doctors since he took charge 10 months ago. “These people blackmail doctors to gain money. If some patients die during treatment, it does not mean the doctors are at fault,” he said. A clock bearing Madhur Hospital’s name hung on his office wall.
The RSBY triggered a uterus loot in Chhattisgarh, too. Health Minister Amar Agrawal stated that 1,800 hysterectomies were done in just eight months last year. It was estimated that at least 7,000 hysterectomies were conducted in the state over the past three years under the RSBY scheme. The issue, which was noted by the National Human Rights Commission, led to a furore and licences of 22 private hospitals were cancelled.
Down south in Andhra Pradesh, it was the state government’s insurance scheme, Arogyashri, that led to rampant exploitation. Ever since the scheme was implemented in 2007, there was an exponential rise in hysterectomy cases.
Hyderabad-based NGO Centre for Action, Research and People’s Development found that 171 women under age 40 in just one administrative block of Medak district had undergone hysterectomy. About 95 per cent of them had gone to private clinics for treatment and 33 per cent had their ovaries also removed.
A survey by the Andhra Pradesh Mahila Samatha Society found that as much as 32 per cent of about 1,000 women who underwent hysterectomy were below age 30.

These case studies and statistics point to deep rot in the health care system. In fact, it is disheartening to see a project like the RSBY—termed by the World Bank as “path-breaking”—being exploited. The RSBY was seen as a prelude to the Centre’s ambitious Universal Health Coverage, which is expected to be implemented under the 12th Five-Year Plan (2012-17).
While private health providers bring better infrastructure and quality, they also bring in the risk of greed and exploitation. Without proper monitoring, this kind of public-private partnership is a cause for concern, said Padma Deosthali, coordinator of Centre for Enquiry into Health and Allied Themes, Mumbai. “For instance, there is no mention of quality of care in the empanelment under the RSBY scheme. Not even basic standards like presence of a qualified medical practitioner and nurse,” she pointed out.
“More than treating health problems, the focus is on procedures and surgeries, which was exploited by private nursing homes,” said Dr A.V. Sahay, medical officer and district head of Bihar Swasthya Seva Sangh. He also stressed on the need for enhancing the public health care system and improving the “reproductive hygiene” of women in rural regions.
Dr Yogesh Jain of Jan Swasthya Sahyog said a major flaw in the scheme was that it did not cover out-patient treatment and, hence, encouraged unwanted hospitalisation. Without strict guidelines, doctors cannot be expected to regulate themselves, he added.
Currently, however, the Central government has directed all state nodal agencies of RSBY that approval from the insurance company concerned is mandatory for hysterectomies performed on women under age 40.
But does the issue end there? The brouhaha shall pass. The scam will turn stale. But what about the innocent women who went under the knives for no reason? Sadly, no one, except a few NGOs, has reached out to them.
“The cost of maintaining the health of a woman who had undergone hysterectomy with medicines and supplements is Rs.18,250 a year,” said Dr Prakash Vinjamuri of Hyderabad-based Life HRG, which studied the surgery’s impact on women in Medak district of Andhra Pradesh in 2011.
The toll is not just monetary. Loss of vitality and libido affects the psychological and social health of the woman. The study in Medak, for instance, found women whose uteri were removed faced domestic violence over sexual issues, and many husbands had extra-marital affairs. The worst part was the impact on the next generation, as children of these women are forced to quit school to handle household chores.
When and who will compensate for all these losses?

Vital loss

Hysterectomy  is the surgical removal of the uterus but may also involve removal of the cervix. A patient may require 3-12 months for full recovery.

TYPES
Radical hysterectomy
Removal of cervix, upper vagina, lymph nodes, ovaries and fallopian tube. Recommended in case of cancer.

Total hysterectomy
Removal of uterus and cervix.

Subtotal hysterectomy
Removal of the uterus.

RISKS
* Excessive blood loss, injury to ureter and bladder
* Cardiovascular disease
* Osteoporosis
* Decline in psychological well-being
* Decline in libido
* Premature death
* Affects the functioning of ovaries in 40 per cent of women

Early menopause
The average age of menopause in India is 51 years, and removal of ovaries advances it by 3.7 years. Menopause leads to a drop in oestrogen (female hormone) level, causing calcium loss and bone breakdown.

When is hysterectomy needed?

Hysterectomy should be a last resort in conditions such as cancers of the reproductive system, severe infections, persistent vaginal bleeding, uterine prolapse, endometriosis and to prevent further conception.

Before undergoing hysterectomy, one should undergo either a hormone test, sonography or a pap smear to test for cancer.

 

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Indian Army –Magic Formula to have beautiful and successful daughters ? #WTFad #AFSPA #Kashmir #Manipur

Dear Indians

Do you want a daughter ? No of course not, why will you want a girl child , she is such a burden and a son will only carry on the family name etc etc… blah blah.

Oh No  !  you dont want to have a  girl child !!!

Well  in shillong specifically and allover india generally, the  Indian army  is giving the incentive, to have a girl child. Wow, this advertisement will go a long way in balancing child sex ratio ?  and it might also give impetus to the ‘ Laadli Campaign, which is in deep shit for now, 42% girls dropped from Laadli scheme over 2 years

army

So above in the advertisement you see—  PRIYANKA  Chopra, Gul Panag, Preity zinta,  Anushka  Sharma , Celina Jaitley , Simmi Garewal,  Amrita singh, Chitrangadha , Sakshi Tanwar, and it says -‘If you want to have beautiful and successful daughters  join INDIAN ARMY”,.

Now , Indians this  is your  chance dont let ti go away.. RUSSSSHHH TO INDIAN ARMY,  if you want to have BEAUTIFUL daughters who will become a hit  Bollywood  or television actresses, and will make you PROUD and will  add to the great  HONOR  of your family, ie   if they save themselves from honor killing.!

Also all women in the ad are BEAUTIFUL as per what is  ingrained in our brains. The super-skinny, super-tall, and amazingly gorgueous figure; The Super-Models and Actresses.The  certain typecast images fed on physical appearances and . If you don’t fit into those notions, you feel terrible – that’s why people are unhappy about their bodies. This advertisement further promotes, the fact  that to succeeed you need to have a hour glass figure ?. How do you define beauty ? Who said “big” isn’t beautiful? Who said curves aren’t sexy?
Who told you to change who you are, loosing the weight that you’ve gained so far. For me Tuntun, Manorama  all were beautiful also. beauty has nothing to do with your body but your innerself , your personality as a whole. For me Sheetal Sathe, Soni Sori, Aparna Marandi, Irom Sharmila are all BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE, and SUCCESSFUL as well.

 The Fact that  whether you will  have a daughter or son THE MANS SPERM WILL DECIDE, if  you have a daughter, she has to decide her life and what’s success for her ?

This  sexist  advertisement further strengthens  the stereotypes feminist have been fighting.  Women are human being and not relationships , think about them outisde their roles as  daughters mothers and sisters. Valourising women as  daughters, sisters, , mothers, bhabhi, dadi and Nani.  Today women are screaming at top of their voice-– ” I am not your  Mother, Wife, Sister or daughter . I am a PERSON.  So this ad, adds to all the sexists ads which are defining every woman by her relationship to another person rather than as a person in her own right; and that relationship (by implication if not stated overtly) is usually with a man. The self-sacrificing mother who bravely sends her son to war; the devoted sister who pampers her brother, the obedient daughter who makes her  PARENTS  proud, as stated in the ad . Women are  fed up being boxed into traditional roles. They are angry at being told what to wear, how to behave and lead their lives.  Respect women”, we tell our sons, “for they are all someone’s mother, sister or daughter.” Aha,,,,, yes…..  But the childless woman;  and a  woman whose husband is no more or whose  father has died and has no brother to ‘protect her honour’ — well, she’s fair game, isn’t she?  This is the kind of logic we perpetuate when we glorify a woman by her relationship rather than as a person.

I wonder if all these ‘ SUCCESSFUL DAUGHTERS’  have given their permission to be on the Advertisement and if they agree

and gulpanag tweets says so,

About the join army ‘ad’.Whether in jest or not,I have no problem with it.I owe 100% of what I am to my AF upbringing. Proud of it. @rwac48

— Gul Panag (@GulPanag) April 14, 2013

I wonder,   if all of them are  proud of  The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act . which is to-date the single most direct instrument violating the democratic rights of the people of the North East and of Jammu and Kashmir. The Act is implemented when an area is declared ‘disturbed’ by either the central or the state government. Since 2 November 2000, she has been on hunger strike to demand that the Indian government repeal the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (AFSPA), which she blames for violence in Manipur and other parts of northeast India. Having refused food and water for more than 500 weeks, she has been called “the world’s longest hunger striker”.

What is  rationale for  keeping AFSPA ,  thinking that security persons who rape innocent women should enjoy impunity in the name of national security? For whose security was the law enacted, for that of the country or of the criminals in uniform? Whenever some change is suggested in the Act the army seems to oppose it and the civilian government buckles under its pressure. For Eg , when the Jeevan Commission appointed to inquire into the alleged rape and murder of 30-year old Manorama Devi of Imphal in Manipur arrested by the Assam Rifles suggested  AFSPA should be repealed ,the  Government did not even publish the report.

Do you all know of woman called Manorma ?  In 2004, the women of Manipur held a protest after the brutal murder of Thangjam Manorama who was taken into custody from her home by the Assam Rifles under suspicion of having links with rebels. Her bullet ridden body was found a few kilometres away from her home, bearing signs of torture. Twelve Manipuri women came out naked, holding a banner saying ‘Indian Army Rape Us’ to protest against the paramilitary forces of the Assam Rifles demanding justice and taking a stand against the many rapes of other girls. Despite the curfew imposed, the protests by the women continued as they wanted the men responsible to be punished

One of the major rape cases in the history of Kashmir and indeed whole of India is the Kunan Poshpora mass rape incident. A village in northern Kashmir’s Kupwara district, Kunan Poshpora, on February 23, 1991 witnessed incidents of alleged mass rape of 20 women by the Army troops in one night. The incident drew the attention of national and international media. However this was soon forgotten and the womenfolk of the village landed in unending troubles. Women who deserved the respect and honor of the society, were not secure anymore form the cruel face of the armed forces and since that incident, numerous other cases of rape and enforced disappearances have come to fore in the last three decades. Another case which shook the region was the 2009 Shopian rape and murder case which resulted in protests rocking the whole Valley and several families lost their loved ones in the agitation.

Some  more cases of rape and sexual assault against personnel of the Army and central forces in Kashmir:

Case against Harbhajan Singh and Gurtej Singh

May 15, 1994: Rashtriya Rifles men entered the house of a couple and took the husband to Qazigund Hospital. When he returned the next morning, his wife told him she had been gangraped. A case of rape an other charges was filed at Qazigund police station. Responding to an RTI application, the home department said it sought sanction on January 23, 2006, to prosecute the Army men and have not yet got it. In a 2009 affidavit in the high court, the defence ministry said the state was informed that both accused, Nk Harbajan Singh and Rfn Gurtej Singh, had been tried by a summary general court-martial for rape, sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for 10 years and dismissed from service. “A retrial for the same offence will be in contravention to Article 20 (2) of the Constitution,” it argued.

Case Against Major Arora

January 3, 1997: A family comprising a 60-year-old, his two daughters and a grandson were preparing to go to bed at Manzgam, Kokernag, when some soldiers allegedly broke in. They were allegedly led by Major Arora of 5 Rashtriya Rifles. “He slapped me and dragged my younger sister (then 16) into a room and raped her,” the elder daughter told The Indian Express recently. The elder daughter’s husband had joined the Hizbul Mujahideen and the local army unit would often raid her father’s house. The day of the alleged rape, the Army allegedly picked up the father, who remains untraced 15 years on. The younger sister is now married with children, the elder one said, while her own husband surrendered  to the army, divorced her and remarried.

The police registered a case of rape at Anantnag and the government sought the defence ministry’s sanction to prosecute the officer. In an affidavit in the J&K High Court on June 5, 2009, then defence secretary Ajay Tirkey said the ministry received the request in December 2006 and it is “under consideration in army headquarters/Ministry of Defence”. On January 10, 2012, the ministry, responding to an RTI query, said permission was denied on April 21, 2007. “There were a number of inconsistencies in the statements of witnesses… The lady was forced to lodge a false allegation by anti-national elements,” the MoD said.

Case against Major Aman Yadav

December 5, 1999: Army men led by Major Aman Yadav of 28 Rashtriya Rifles, along with a few counter-insurgents, raided a house at Norpora, Kitter Dhaji, in Rafiabad. The officer allegedly raped a housewife, whose husband wasn’t home, while his men allegedly robbed the house. The family later left the village.

On January 4, 2000, based on a complaint by the victim’s husband, Panzala police lodged an FIR, one of the charges being rape. In an affidavit to the high court on June 5, 2009, then defence secretary Tirkey said the ministry received the request for sanction in January 2009 and “the case is under consideration in Army headquarters/Ministry of Defence”. In response to a separate RTI query, the MoD said sanction was denied on September 23, 2010. It has argued the allegations are “baseless and framed with mala fide intentions to put army on the defensive” Intriguingly, the ministry has cited it as a case of torture leading to death. Calling the allegations “mala fide” was effectively an indictment of J&K police, for it was on the basis of the police probe’s outcome that sanction was denied. There was, however, no follow-up government action. In response to an RTI application, police said they closed the case on August 19, 2011, having declared the accused “untraced”.

Case against Captain Ravinder Singh Tewatia

February 14, 2000: Captain Ravinder Singh Tewatia and three special police officials allegedly entered a house at night in Nowgam, Banihal. Captain Tewatia and one of the SPOs allegedly raped a mother and her daughter in separate rooms. A case of rape was filed in the Banihal police station. Two chargesheets were prepared for house trespass, assault, wrongful restraint and rape, and submitted to the Banihal chief judicial magistrate’s court on April 1, 2000.According to information gathered by rights group International People’s Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice through RTI applications, the case was split between a court-martial and criminal courts (in Banihal, Ramban and Jammu). The court-martial found Tewatia guilty of rape, sentenced him to seven years of imprisonment and dismissed him from service. He challenged the findings on October 1, 2000. On December, 31, 2002, the high court set aside the court-martial’s ruling. In 2003, the defence ministry filed a letter patent appeal in the high court, where it is pending. The state government didn’t challenge the high court order.

Rape case against  BSF Personnel

April 18, 2002: Personnel of the BSF’s 58 Battalion allegedly gangraped a 17-year-old in front of her mother, relatives and neighbours, all held hostage at gunpoint in Kullar, Pahalgam. Some 15 or 16 men in a BSF patrol party, passing through their village, had been beating up the girl’s uncle and she had tried to rescue him. A medical examination confirmed rape, while then BSF inspector general (Kashmir Frontiers) G S Gill, too, conceded that BSF personnel had committed rape. The girl identified three men at a parade. The same day, a case of rape was registered at Pahalgam police station. The police say that they submitted a chargesheet before the chief judicial magistrate in Anantnag. There hasn’t been any progress since.

Case against Major Rehman Hussain

November 6, 2004: Troops of 30 RR raided the home of a horsecart driver at Badhra Payeen village in Handwara at night. The man’s younger brother said, “The officer went into my brother’s room and pushed him out.” “He dragged my daughter (then 10) into the kitchen,” the wife of the targeted man this correspondent, adding the officer left and returned after an hour. This time, the woman alleged, she was raped in the kitchen.

The police registered a rape case and the district administration ordered a magisterial inquiry. The Army invoked the AFSPA . The accused officer, Major Rehman Hussain, was tried by a general court martial, which absolved him of rape. He was, however, found “guilty of using criminal force with the intent of outraging the modesty” of the 10-year-old girl and dismissed from service. But he challenged the decision in court and returned to service.

Even the  comments by apex court few days back while hearing PILs filed by families of victims of alleged fake encounters in Manipur, are a stinging rebuke of the lack of political will on revoking laws like the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). In this instance, the government’s response to the damning report of the SC-appointed committee set up to probe six such cases in Manipur was that it agreed that such fake encounters should not take place. But mere “taking note” will not do any more. The government must speedily act to revoke this black law from wherever it is in effect, be it the north-east or Jammu and Kashmir. Blanket immunity for security forces has led to murder, rape and other crimes. And when the legal framework vests such crimes with impunity, it vitiates the basic principles of democracy and the rule of law that are necessary for the citizens of these areas to feel part of the national mainstream.

The  Court  also sharply brought attention to another vital fact: keeping these laws, and thereby maintaining an unnatural state where the armed forces are seen as the primary representatives of government, mutates the whole political, democratic system itself.

Now after  getting a glimpse of AFSPA, what the supreme court of india says of Indian army ?

I wonder  if you  all are still proud of Indian Army

This sexist  advertisement should be immediately removed,

It will be great if  women part of the advertisement ask to do so.

best

Kamayani Bali Mahabal

Not proud of Indian Army

Not a Proud Indian

A Person  , A  Feminist and a  Human Rights Activist

April 15th, 2013

 

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