Archive for July, 2008
Resolution on serial bomb blasts in bangalore and ahmedabad
This convention against draconian laws organised by Asha Parivar, INSAF, NCDHR, FDI, SAHR APDP (J & K Manipur forward youth front, Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee Hyderabad and Reach out Condemns the serial bomb blasts at Bangalore and Ahmedabad.
In any civilised democratic society killing of innocents, women and children, whatever the demands and politics should be condemned. We condemn the barbaric acts of killing, maiming and sexual assaults in all forms of conflicts.
It should be noted that the serial bomb blasts will further vitiate the already communally charged atmosphere of Gujarat.
The country is yet to come over the Shock and Trauma of the Ghastly state sponsored communal carriage in Gujarat in year 2002, which is one of the blackest Spot in Post Independent India.
SUPREME COURT DIRECTS PUCL TO CHALLENGE THE DRACONIAN LAW IN CHHATTISGARH HIGH COURT
The Supreme Court of India has permitted the PUCL to withdraw its Petition challenging the constitutionality of The Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act 2005, and said in the order that the petitioners were at “liberty to go to the High Court”.
Appearing for the Petitioners, Mr. Rajendar Sachar, Former Chief Justice of Delhi High Court & Former National President of the PUCL argued that the Chhattisgarh Act 2005 was linked up with the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act 1967 (Amended in 2004), and the main issue before the Apex Court was to examine whether the States could bring in similar laws when the Central Act like UAPA was already applicable to the entire country. Mr. Sachar also gave example of other State legislations like the Maharashtra Control of Organized Crimes Act, 1999 (MCOCA), whose provisions were under challenge before this Hon’ble Court. The questions relating to violation of constitutional provisions,human rights and civil liberties are required to be examined by this Hon’ble Court.
Human rights activists want the world’s biggest democracy to admit jailing dissenters
BEHIND THE NEWS
There has been a series of arrests of human rights activists across the country. It is plain now that there is a policy to arrest people, put people in jail. We must talk about peace,” Binayak Sen said quietly from the dock.
The judge adjourned the proceedings at the hot and steamy 11th Additional District and Sessions Court in Raipur, capital of Chhattisgarh state in east-central India. Sen was not allowed to finish speaking. The first day of trial was over, his lawyer said, adding that it could last a year. Sen has been in custody, denied bail by three courts, since his arrest on May 14 last year. He was charged with sedition and waging war against the Indian government. He denies the charges. If convicted, he faces life imprisonment.
His case is far from unique. Human rights workers allege that increasing numbers of ordinary people, activists and journalists are being jailed and tortured for opposing the Chhattisgarh state government’s policies.
The New Delhi-based Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners (CRPP) has launched a national campaign to lobby the Indian government to recognise thousands of political prisoners as a separate category of detainees. The CRPP, which alleges detainees are routinely tortured, estimates that India has more than 10,000 political prisoners and the number is rising as state governments act increasingly to crush dissent.
Bangalore July 28: Decrying the conspiratory moves by forces with vested interests to thwart the rendering of constitutional benefits to the Adivasis across the country, the National Adivasi Alliance (NAA), a national level NGOs network has, in unison declared to intensify its efforts to lobby for the effective implementation of the Forests Rights Act. The resolution to this effect was taken at the three-day national workshop on “Adivasi World View and Adivasi Dialogue organized by NAA in association with Coorg Organisation for Rural Development (CORD) that concluded here on Sunday.
Briefing reporters here on the deliberations, NAA spokesperson, V S Roy David informed that the discussions which were actively participated by Adivasi representatives from eight states across the country including Jharkhand, Chattisgarh and Orissa, strongly felt that it was high time that the Governments and the other powers that may be, accorded serious weightage to the Adivasi ways of sustainability, ecology governance and justice system so as to enable progress in the true sense.
Two and a half months have passed. Ajay TG, journalist, filmmaker and human rights activist remains behind bars in a Chhattisgarh prison. His crime? He made a film about and attended the trial of Dr. Binayak Sen. Dr. Binayak’s crime? He worked for decades as a doctor amongst adivasis in an area where no doctor dared to tread. Their joint crime? Both Binayak and Ajay worked with the People’s Union for Civil Liberties and questioned the state-sponsored “Salwa Judum” under which vigilantes in Chhattisgarh are trained and armed to fight Naxalites and end up terrorizing the entire local populace.
Dr. Binayak has already been held as a suspected “Naxalite” without bail and without evidence for two years. His case is now internationally known after 22 Nobel laureates wrote a letter to the PM and President of India asking for his unconditional release. Dr. Binayak has deservedly won several national and international awards from the medical fraternity. Amnesty has spoken up for him. Yet there is no response from Chhattisgarh or from the Government of India and the gross injustice continues. The Supreme Court rejected his bail application without ascribing a single reason to defend
Ajay’s case is in some ways even more heartrending if only because he is less well known. A 35 year old from a modest Kerala family, Ajay settled in Chhattisgarh, worked with the youth wing of CPI and with the Peoples Union for Civil Liberties and later learned to make films with “Jan Darshan” a voluntary video training group. Since then Ajay has made several valuable human rights and development films including one on the arrest of Dr. Binayak Sen.
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Opinion – Leader Page Articles
Rights activists face a series of obstacles to their work. Rights violations also have wider repercussions. They create a climate of fear.
The Karnataka convener of the National Alliance for People’s Movement, A.D. Babu, was killed recently. He was on his way, along with two colleagues, to a NAPM meeting on an anti-liquor campaign at Ramnagaram, when a group stopped his vehicle at Mayanagram, a few km from the venue, and attacked him with knives and swords. He died on the spot. It is believed that a Karnataka liquor mafia is behind the gruesome murder.
In May, Lalit Kumar Mehta of Palamau district, Jharkhand, who fearlessly raised the issue of corruption in implementation of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme , was murdered. So was Narayan Hareka — a naib sarpanch belonging to the Kandha tribal community — of Kambivalsa village in Koraput district, Orissa, who fought against liquor brewing, private money-lending, land alienation and corruption.
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DELHI, JULY 26-27, 2008
Venue : Garhwal Bhavan, Panchkuian Road, Opp Videocon Tower, New Delhi
(near New Delhi Railway Station)
In order to seek moral legitimacy for their existence in the present neo-liberal era, governments increasingly are resorting to sideline the constitutional provisions of civil liberties, right to association and freedom of expression in the name of global action against terrorism. The Indian government has joined the US in this global campaign. Man Mohan Singh has also said, on more than one occasion, that naxalism is a bigger threat than terrorism. The other side of the coin is that citizens get killed or face repression at the hands of police when the state machinery brands anybody a naxalite or a terrorist and violates all norms of human rights.
Binayak Sen, the General Secretary of Chattisgarh People’s Union of Civil Liberties and national Vice President of the same body, an organization established by late Jayaprakash Narayan, and a doctor who used to run a non-governmental people’s health care programme is presently the target of Chattisgarh government. Binayak had started exposing some of the misdeeds of the state machinery in persecuting people by invoking the fear of naxalism. He is presently languishing in jail in spite of national and international protests.
Business Standard, July 20, 2008
EAR TO THE GROUND
The collector of Dantewada has agreed to give 10 quintals of paddy seed to restart farming in Nendra. Nendra is a village in Konta block in Dantewada district in Chhattisgarh which has been lying deserted for the last three years after multiple attacks by the government-backed anti-Naxal militia, the Salwa Judum, and the police. The collector’s gesture was in reciprocation of a rehabilitation effort by an NGO called Vanvasi Chetna Ashram to facilitate homecoming for the villagers who were living either in jungles fearing reprisals from the Salwa Judum and the police, or in neighbouring villages of Andhra Pradesh. Some of them are in camps set up by the state government.
Hindustan Times, July 20, 2008
If Ajay TG had been smart enough to know where to point his camera, his films might have been showing in Osian today. As it stands, he is in Durg jail, 40 km from Bhilai.
Having started making films 7-8 years ago, he would capture “daily life, festivals and rituals of Durg”, and particularly, says Ajay, in a statement, “my own neighborhood — an old village now surrounded by urban growth.” In Chattisgarh though, these are acts of terrorism.
This week, www.releaseajaytg.in, a website was set up by a committee for his release. Playwright Habib Tanvir, activist Aruna Roy, professor Dr Kamal Chenoy, ex-director ActionAid India, Harsh Mander, law expert Usha Ramanathan, journalist Siddharth Vardharajan, among others, are its members.
Renowned film-maker Mrinal Sen who signed the petition condemning Ajay’s arrest, says: “I wish I was 30 years younger, so that I could have physically joined you all in this campaign.”
Tanvir says, “Chattisgarh was always a peaceful place. It is a great shame that artists, film makers and journalists are being targeted in this state.”
Prosecute Rights Violators and Protect Internally Displaced Communities
“The Chhattisgarh government denies supporting Salwa Judum, but dozens of eyewitnesses have described police participating in violent Salwa Judum raids on villages – killing, looting, and burning their hamlets. ” – Jo Becker, children’s rights advocacy director at Human Rights Watch
(Raipur, July 15, 2008) – The Indian central and Chhattisgarh state governments should hold accountable government security forces and state-backed vigilantes responsible for attacking, killing, and forcibly displacing tens of thousands of people in armed operations against Maoist rebels since mid-2005 in southern Chhattisgarh, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today.
Human Rights Watch called for an end to all government support for unlawful activities by the Salwa Judum vigilantes, and urged affected state governments to take immediate measures to protect the tens of thousands of persons displaced. Human Rights Watch also called on Maoist rebels known as Naxalites to end attacks on civilians and other abuses.
The 182-page report, “‘Being Neutral Is Our Biggest Crime’: Government, Vigilante, and Naxalite Abuses in India’s Chhattisgarh State,” documents human rights abuses against civilians, particularly indigenous tribal communities, caught in a deadly tug-of-war between government security forces and the vigilante Salwa Judum and Naxalites.