Archive for May, 2011
Madan Mohan, state convenor of Janmukti Sangharsh Vahini (Jasva) for Jharkhand state, has been arrested on 11 May 2011 on false allegations and sent to jail. Madan Mohan is former national convenor of Chhatra Yuva Sangharsh Vahini and is also one convenor of Jharkhand Mukti Vahini. Madan Mohan is one of the most active activists of Jasva. He has been in the forefront of the movements against displacement, for the rehabilitation of the displaced and against land grabs by mafia violating the CNT (Chotanagpur Tenancy) Act, apart from other national and local movements.
For protesting against encroachment by certain persons on the land of government’s Agriculture Farm, the goons of the encroachers attacked on Madan Mohan and other activists of Vahini and also filed an FIR with false allegations against them in the police station. It may be noted that encroachment had started 2 days before the incident and the police was intimated about the same but the police did not take any action.
Free Binyak Sen Campaign-Doctors in Solidarity felicitated Dr. Binayak Sen at the University Institute Hall at 4 pm on May 24. Over 1500 persons gathered in a hall which has the seating capacity of 900.
Poets Shankha Ghosh and Sabyasachi Deb presented the citation to Dr. Sen. Among the speakers were human rights activist Mr. Sujato Bhadra, poet Nabarun Bhattacharya, MP Dr. Tarun Mandal and Ilina Sen. Pallab Kirtania sang.
Dr. Binayak Sen talked on Health and Social Justice. His talk was followed by a question-answer session.
The meeting ended with a resolve to continue the struggle to free all prisoners convicted under the law of sedition.
The State Pollution Control Board has declared that the public hearing held today on 26.5.2011 for renewal of the UCIL Bhatin Uranium Mines Lease has been a “sucess” and the villagers affected by the project have given the green signal to the project, thereby giving the project life for another 29 years.
This is far from the truth. As in the past the UCIL once again in collusion with the State Pollution Control Board, the local administration and police and paramilitary forces has managed to get away from its liabilites as a public corporation as smoothly as can be. The public hearing has been declared to be a success without taking on record any dissenting opinion on the EIA/EMP Report, any discussion on the environmental and health impacts of uranium mining.
The State Pollution Control Board which is bound to ensure that all environmental concerns are taken into account has failed in its duty to take all public opinion on record, and has made all efforts to ensure that no dissent is recorded at the public hearing. At the public hearing held today the police and the local administration let alone facilitate the public hearing played the role of agents of the UCIL by ensuring that those who wanted to express their objections to the EIA/EMP report and seek clarifications on the same were not allowed to enter the premises of where the public hearing was being held.
Dr Binayak Sen’s acceptance speech at the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights Award Ceremony, 18 May 2011. Also included is an interview with Dr Sen by CNN-IBN correspondent Rupashree Nanda.
Baba Umar, Tehelka
FIGHTING DISCRIMINATION, can be a lifelong struggle for those born on the ‘wrong’ side of the caste divide — even if they have served as judges for 20 years. When 17 Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe judges were ordered to take compulsory retirement by the Chhattisgarh government on 26 March, they naturally wondered if they were victims of personal or casteist vendetta. Having served and been promoted over the years in the natural course, why were they suddenly fired? What makes their predicament all the more galling is that the Chhattisgarh government has not provided any reasons for this forcible retirement, except for a vague, sweeping statement that their performance was not up to the mark.
Apparently, the state law department took the decision on the basis of the Chhattisgarh High Court’s recommendation and was reportedly equivalent to the punishment for serious ‘misconduct’ and alleged involvement in ‘nepotism’. However, all the SC/ST judges, most of whom have 5-10 years of service still remaining, smell a “grand conspiracy” in the decision. For them, as for the litigant public, justice will be a long time coming. They have already appealed against their summary dismissal in the Consumer Forum and the special court that hears cases under the Scheduled Caste/Tribe Prevention of Atrocities Act. Then, if this does not serve the purpose, the aggrieved judges also plan to appeal in the Supreme Court.
Leader of workers movement in Gorakhur Tapish Maindola has been arrested and taken to an undiclosed locaton by the police today this afternoon. about 500 workers have also been detained and are being held by the police near the Gorakhnath temple. The workers were taking out a peaceful demonstration in support of their demands to end the lockout in two factories, reinstate 18 of their dismissed workers and action in the firing incident which injured 19 workers on 18 May.
All the 500 workers along with the 5 hunger stikers have tied themselves with long ropes and sitting on the road where they were
stopped by a heavy police force ed by the DIG range. Tapish Maindola was arrested from another place – he was not with the
procession at the time. The police has taken him to an unknown place and it is feared that he can be harmed. It is known that some police and administrative officers were threatening the workers leaders with ”dire consequences”. They were particularly targeting Tapish, Pramod Kumar and Prashant and branding them as “terrorists-maoists.”
We appeal to all to immediately call officials in Gorakhpur and Lucknow to stop this repression immediately.
Aarti Dhar, The Hindu
NEW DELHI: Human rights activist Binayak Sen, whose inclusion in the steering committee on health by the Planning Commission has upset the Chhattisgarh government, had contributed significantly to the conceptualisation and implementation of ‘mitanin’ or rural social health worker programme initiated by the State — now adopted under the successful National Rural Health Mission (NRHM). The ‘mitanins’ of Chhattisgarh are known as Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) elsewhere in the country while mitanins continue to be known by the same name in the State as a special concession.
Dr. Sen was member of the State Advisory Committee that developed and conceptualised the Mitanin Programme in 2003 when Ajit Jogi was Chief Minister.
The guidelines had been brought out by the State Health Resource Centre with support from ActionAid India. Dr. Sen’s inclusion in the Planning Commission’s panel prompted the Chhattisgarh Chief Minister to register his protest with the Prime Minister and decide not to attend the panel meetings.
Dr. Sen was charged with sedition in 2007 and imprisoned for life by a trial court. His case is admitted and pending before the Chhattisgarh High Court while he was granted bail by the Supreme Court last month.
In a message to the Gwangju Prize Ceremony, where Dr Binayak Sen was awarded the prestigious Human Rights Prize for 2011, the Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi underscores the importance of democracy in Asia and says the day when her own country Burma will be free of dictatorship is not very far away.
Click here to watch:
To: The Prime Minister of India
Dear Prime Minister,
In the context of the recent national debates on corruption, we wish to draw your attention to another ongoing case in which both State and Central officials are blatantly favouring a private multinational company – Pohang Steel Corporation (POSCO) – in violation of law. There is enough information in the public domain for us to suspect criminal collusion between this company and government officials.
The proposed POSCO steel project in Orissa is incredibly lucrative – POSCO will make an estimated profit of Rs. 1,95,000 crores over the life of the project (Rs. 6,500 crore per year after all expenses) just on the basis of having captive iron ore mines. The fact that corporates are making super profits from our natural resources is today a national issue; the faith of the public in regulatory institutions is already deeply shaken. We cannot see any difference between the recent handover of 2G spectrum and the seeming collusion in the POSCO case, where it seems that equally valuable resources – iron ore, land, water, a natural harbour – are being sought to be given to a private company “on the cheap” without complying with the law. As such, the public has a right to know what has happened. It is vital that a transparent, public investigation is held into the actions of State and Central officials in this case. A few examples of such actions are as follows:
- A criminal complaint has been filed by villagers in the proposed steel plant area against the District Collector for repeatedly lying on record. For instance, he claimed on 01.03.2011 that the land had no forest prior to 1930 – when six months earlier an Enquiry Committee had found that the government’s own maps show the villages as surrounded by forests in 1928. The Collector also claims there are no forest dwelling STs when the government’s own public notice showed compensation payments to two STs in July 2010 when a small area of land was illegally taken for the project. The criminal complaint was only filed after repeated representations to all State and Central authorities failed to elicit any action. The Environment Ministry, whose own committee had proved that these statements were false, simply carried on accepting them without a murmur.
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