Mrigank Tiwari,TNAritra Bhattacharya
Mumbai, 28 September
Dalit activist, Vidrohi editor and member of Republican Panther Sudhir Dhawale was today ‘questioned’ by the police, apparently for not having proper documents pertaining to the flat he resides in. However, the questions put to him, and the fact that the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) picked him from his flat in Mumbai’s Deonar area today, go against this apparent claim, and point to attempts of harassing the activist.
Dhawale had earlier been charged with being a member of CPI-Maoist, and spent 40 months in jail before being acquitted in May this year. Since his release, he has been busy bringing out issues of the Vidrohi magazine, and fighting for the annihilation of caste through Republican Panther.
Around 2 pm today, some policemen from the ATS arrived at his residence and attempted to enter his house. When Dhawale asked if they had a search warrant, they replied in the negative and asked him to accompany them to the police station.
Says Dhawale, “At the Deonar police station, they kept asking me whether I knew Arun Bhelke and Kanchan.” The duo was arrested by the Pune arm of the ATS for alleged links with CPI-Maoist. “I told them I knew Arun and Kanchan, as well as Kobad Ghandy (alleged senior member of CPI-Maoist, now in Tihar jail)…they are people I have worked with earlier.” Bhelke and Kanchan have been booked under sections of the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), which criminalises any association with banned organisations. Residents in Dhawale’s locality said cops have been visiting the area for some time and questioning members of a local club for ‘links’ with the duo.
Dhawale says he was also asked to state the difference between Marxism and Maoism. “I told them the difference was like the difference between Jyotirao Phule and B R Ambedkar,” notes Dhawale. He was taken to the police station with Sagar, who was also at his residence when cops came visiting. Sagar says the police kept asking him what he does, how long he has been a part of the ‘organisation’ and what kind of things are discussed at its meetings.
At the Deonar police station, a senior official said Dhawale had been called for questioning since he was staying in a flat leased in the name of Sharad Gaikwad, who is also part of Republican Panther. “We are only doing our duty…we have questioned many people in connection with not having proper documents for flats occupied by them,” he noted.N | Oct 1, 2014, 06.28 AM IST
UP seeks ‘no dowry’ affidavit
Eligible bachelors in government service will have to submit the affidavit to their respective head of department, who in turn will forward it to the state government.
BAREILLY: A circular sent to all government departments in Uttar Pradesh makes it mandatory for bachelors among the staff to file an affidavit with their HoDs vowing they will not demand dowry. Any non-compliance would result in loss of job.
Not only this, government employees getting married would not be allowed to take from their in-laws any cheques, fixed deposits or any other “costly items” even in the bride’s name, district probation officer Usha Tiwari told TOI.
The order signed by director, social welfare department, has been sent to all government offices across the state. It accompanies a detailed format on which the affidavit has to be prepared. Eligible bachelors in government service will have to submit the affidavit to their respective head of department, who in turn will forward it to the state government.
The order, Tiwari said, apart from providing relief to parents struggling to arrange dowry for a suitable groom employed in government service, would also provide more teeth to the government in cracking down against those patronizing the dowry system, which is a major social evil, more so in the Hindi heartland.
Not to be outdone, Ambika Prasad, an employee with the social welfare department, set up a precedent by submitting the affidavit on the very day (Monday) the order was sent out to the other departments. “I am very happy with what Ambika Prasad has done,” Tiwari said promptly in appreciation. “Those from other government departments should draw inspiration from this man, who is barely matriculate.”
Appreciating the move, national general secretary of All India Democratic Women’s Association, Jagmati Sangwan, said, “It is a fact that two-thirds of the cases of violence against women in the country are related to dowry. Such an initiative by the state government is commendable. Even other state governments should follow suit and issue similar directives to discourage dowry and restore the dignity of women in society.”