Category Archives: DNA

[Death Penalty] Balwant Singh Rajoana to be Killed by Hanging, on 31 March 2012 at 9am in Central Jail, Patiala

From the Worldwide Sikh Diaspora

[…] a delegation of Sikhs from a number of countries will later this morning meet with UN officials in Geneva and make a submission to the UN Human Rights Council. The submission will request the UN to take action against India to end the death penalty.

The submission produced by the Sikh Federation (UK) states: ‘the first step is to put pressure on India to endorse the moratorium at the General Assembly of the UN later this year with a view to exerting sufficient pressure so India completely abolishes the death penalty within 12 months.’

Sikhs will also be requesting an immediate public statement from the UN Human Rights Council condemning the imminent execution of Balwant Singh […]

From DNA: Execution of Balwant Singh taking political overtures

The execution of Balwant Singh Rajoana, a co-accused in the killing of former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh in 1995, is taking political connotations in the state even as top leadership of main parties SAD and Congress treaded cautiously on the issue here today.

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Beant Singh was killed in the high-security Punjab civil secretariat in Chandigarh, when a suicide bomber, Dilawar Singh, blew himself up, on August 31, 1995. Rajoana was the second human bomb to be used in case Dilawar failed in his mission.

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[DNA] The illegitimate children of the Republic

[…] To the state machinery, it remains a story of he said-she said, as torture in police custody leaves no witnesses besides the tortured themselves. But in this case, the accused has a medical report from Kolkata to confirm her allegations. Even then, custodial violence is endemic.

The National Human Rights Commission is on record saying that 1,574 custodial deaths took place between April 2010 and March 2011. And between 2001 and 2011, there were around 15,231 custodial deaths, according to the Asian Centre for Human Rights.

The unaccounted and the unaccountable:

Meena Khalko, 16, was killed in an alleged encounter and accused as a Maoist. Allegations surfaced that she was raped and murdered. The Chhattisgarh home minister parroted his police officials, who said she was ‘habitual about sex’ and had links with truck drivers.

The character of Ishrat Jahan, who the SIT confirms was killed in a fake encounter recently, was questioned on the basis that her checking into a hotel room with another man was suspicious.

Of 99 cases of rape allegations against special police officers or security personnel in South Bastar, the NHRC enquiry team, (which has 15 police officials out of 16 members) investigated only five. In one instance, they visited the wrong village and construed that the allegations were baseless as they ‘obviously’ couldn’t find the victims. […]

Read the full piece here.

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[DNA] Iron Sharmila Quietly Celebrates Her Birthday Inside Hospital

Irom Sharmila, who has been on an indefinite fast for the past 11 years demanding withdrawal of the controversial AFSPA from Manipur, today spent her 40th birthday quietly inside the hospital where she is forced fed through the nose.

Sharmila’s elder brother Irom Singhajit said there were no celebrations nor any visitors inside the high-security ward of the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences, where the ‘Iron Lady’ is kept.

Read the full article here.

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Finally, here’s a video of Mumbaikars listening to some information on Iron Sharmila on her 40th Birthday:

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[DNA] Free Waqar: A campaign for justice in Kashmir

Friends of Waqar are fighting for Waqar Ahmad Moharkan, a second year student of Bachelor’s in Commerce at Srinagar’s Islamia College of Science and Commerce. He was arrested by police of MR Gunj station on 4 October, 2011 on charges of participating in protests in Srinagar.

The court allowed his bail application on 23 October, 2011. Instead of being released, he was rebooked and moved to Central Jail under judicial remand on 15 December, 2011 suddenly slapped with the draconian Public Safety Act (PSA).

His lawyer, the head of the Bar Association in Kashmir Mia Qayoom has stated in writing that the youth was deliberately not handed a translated copy of the grounds of detention so that he would be unable to make an effective representation against the order of detention. The police passed the PSA without informing Waqar’s family, who had the legal right to challenge the act. […]

Read the full article here.

Here’s the Official Website for the Free Waqar Campaign

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“On March 12, Rahul Sharma, superintendent of police, Bilaspur, shot himself in the head with his service revolver”

Javed Iqbal’s column on Rahul Sharma’s death:

Death, in Dantewada, moves in circles, and only the ghosts know the end of the war. There was once a casual story about SP Rahul Sharma, who met Arundhati Roy and filmmaker Sanjay Kak when they were in Dantewada. He would tell Roy that he was an avid reader of her work when he was in JNU, and would say, like a market economist would concur, ‘Peace would come to Dantewada if the adivasis would be taught greed.’

I wish I knew Rahul Sharma a lot better now, and I wish I could’ve asked him what he learnt from the adivasis.

Read the full piece here.

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Himanshu Kumar’s heartfelt post to Rahul Sharma here. (in Hindi)

राहुल शर्मा जब दंतेवाड़ा में एस.पी. थे तब हम हफ्ते में एक बार जरुर मिलते थे | जब सलवा जुडुम द्वारा जला दिये गये नेन्द्रा गांव को हमारी संस्था ने दोबारा बसाया| तब हमने तो एक गांव बसाया पर उसे देखकर आस-पास के गांव भी बसने लगे | हमारे आदिवासी कार्यकर्ताओ ने नक्सलियों से कहा कि यदि अब इन दोबारा बसाये गये गांवों में कोई हिंसक वारदात होती है तो आदिवासियों की जिंदगी फिर बिखर जायेगी | इसके बाद अगले छह महीने तक नक्सलियों की ओर से कोई कार्यवाही नहीं की गई | मैं राहुल शर्मा से लगातार सम्पर्क में था | मैंने उन्हें समझाया कि देखिये आपने हमें इन गांवों को दोबारा बसने देने में रोड़ा नहीं अटकाया तो इसके फलस्वरूप पिछले छह महीने में आपके एक भी जवान की जान नहीं गई | […]

Read the full post here.

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Here’s a short documentary in which Rahul Sharma (among others) gives a short interview.

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[DNA] Javed Iqbal: The curious case of Lingaram Kodopi

I got a call around midnight in the Delhi summer. It was Lingaram, the young Muria adivasi from Sameli village in Dantewada, then studying in Noida’s International Media Institute of India. Linga’s misfortunes never seem to end: first he was accused of helping the Maoists, then tortured in the police station toilet, forced to be a special police officer, then released thanks to a habeas corpus petition.

In a few months, he would be dealing with encounter killings in his village that left three dead, to only add to the targeting of his family members by the Chhattisgarh police, and then to be accused in a press conference by Senior Superintendent of Police Kalluri of being slain Maoist leader Azad’s successor and a mastermind of an attack on a Congress leader.

‘Javed bhai,’ He asked me that night in Delhi, ‘do you know where I can get a Che Guevara T-shirt?’

Silence.

‘Linga, you wear that T-shirt in Dantewada, you’d be the first man in jail.’

Lingaram chuckled uncontrollably.

Read the whole piece here.

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