Category Archives: The Hindu

[The Hindu] Security Forces Harassing Tribal People

Thousands of people in the villages under Kashipur Block of Rayagada and adjacent Lakshmipur Block of Koraput districts were living under fear of being harassed by the gun-toting security personnel who were entering villages in the name of combing operation, alleged Bhagaban Majhi, convenor of the Kashipur-based Prakrutika Sampad Suraksha Parishad (PSSP). Talking to The Hindu in Bhubaneswar on Friday, Mr. Majhi alleged that the paramilitary forces had picked up Jaga Majhi, an innocent tribal man from Barigaon village from a weekly haat at Sankarada on March 13. The police had made false claims that Jaga Majhi was a Maoist and had surrendered before them, Mr. Majhi said.

Such has become the situation that tribal men and women were not stepping out of their homes apprehending harassment at the hands of the Central forces deployed in the area, said Majhi. […]

Read the whole article here.

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[The Hindu] Irom Sharmila arrested again

Irom Sharmila, who has been on an indefinite fast for the past 11 years, was today re-arrested on the charge of attempt to suicide, only a day after she was released.

She was produced in a local court which remanded her in judicial custody for 15 days, Additional SP of Imphal East district A. K. Jaljit told PTI.

Ms. Sharmila has been arrested, released and re-arrested for not eating over the last 11 years. She is being nasal fed forcibly at the state-run Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences. […]

Read the full article here.

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More coverage on her recent (re)arrest here.

24 Hours After Being Freed, Iron Sharmila in Custody, again

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(Latest Media Coverage Round-Up) Human Rights Watch Letter and International Women’s Day Re: Soni Sori

On Human Rights Watch Letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

From The Hindu: Soni Sori case: HRW wants PM to order impartial probe on torture

HRW Executive Director of Women’s Rights Division Liesl Gerntholtz, in a letter to Dr. Singh, said the Soni Sori case raised serious questions about the commitment of the Indian government to prevent torture, investigate the torture allegations, hold accountable those responsible for the torture, and ensure that detainees and prisoners have adequate access to health care.

Besides being subjected to sexual assaults at the hands of the Chhattisgarh police, the woman was also given electric shocks in the name of interrogation, the letter said quoting various reports.

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From Salem-News: INDIA: Soni Sori’s Case Reflects Broader Problems

In this letter, William Gomes urges Dr. Manmohan Singh, Honorable Prime Minister of India in New Delhi, to independently investigate the conduct of Chhattisgarh law enforcement officials in the Soni Sori case, ensure that she receives health care, and also review the condition of women detainees and prisoners, to determine whether other women may have been subjected to torture and other ill-treatment.

This, as India prepares to present its human rights record as part of the second Universal Periodic Review before the United Nations Human Rights Council.

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On International Women’s Day Show of Solidarity to Soni Sori

From TwoCircles.net: Activists reads Soni Sori lettre to mark International Women’s Day

Participants in this video project joined hands to draw attention to Sori’s case by reading from Sori’s letters on camera, supplementing the video with additional materials including photographs, news footage and Sori’s medical reports. As Sori said in one of her letters, she is only one of dozens of women in her prison who say they have suffered torture and sexual assault in police custody.

Sori’s lawyers have filed an appeal in the Supreme Court of India to transfer Sori to Delhi or another state where she would not be under the control of the Chhattisgarh police. Despite the severity of the torture, the hearing on the final decision on her appeal has been repeatedly delayed. Today marks the completion of five months since Sori was tortured.

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From UnBoxed Writers: Letters from Prison on International Women’s Day

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FeministIndia writes about Soni Sori

The Soni Sori Case: A Travesty of Justice

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[The Hindu] Monk’s arrest turns into a controversy

H/T Karthik Navayan

‘Let them go’:Buddhist monks from different parts of the country and Dalit activists taking out a procession in Gulbarga on Tuesday demanding the release of monk Bante Bhodidhamma and four other Dalit leaders.

The arrest of a Buddhist monk and four leaders of Dalit organisations on February 6 in Gulbarga district is snowballing into a major controversy with Dalit groupsand Buddhist monks from different parts of the country increasing pressure on the Government to withdraw the cases filed against them and release them unconditionally.

On Tuesday, more than 21 Buddhist monks from different parts of the country including Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and different parts of Karnataka including Bangalore, Bidar and Chamarajanagar, extended their support to the agitation, demanding the release of Bante Bhodidhamma and Dalit leaders Nagendra Jawali, Kishore Gaekwad, Santosh Melmani and Hanumanth Itagi, who were arrested on February 6.

Bail rejected

The police slapped cases under sections 153 (A), 295 and 504 of the Indian Penal Code against those arrested, and the jurisdictional JMFC court at Chitapur had remanded all the accused to judicial custody till February 16, rejecting their bail applications. […]

Read the full article here.

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Trapped in concrete woes [Bhagwati Sahu]

It’s been nine months since Panchayat member and union leader Bhagwati Sahu was imprisoned in Ravaan, Chhattisgarh, for allegedly assaulting two employees of the Ambuja-Holcim cement factory and making off with Rs.3500 and a Nokia 2700 Classic cell phone. […]

In court submissions, the police say that Mr. Sahu is a man of criminal antecedents, pointing to the 18 cases registered against him. Mr. Sahu has been twice denied bail in light of these cases. Mr. Sahu’s lawyers say he has been framed and victimized for standing up to Ambuja Cement, a subsidiary of Holcim, a cement manufacturer with production sites in about 70 countries.

Union members have noted that in India, an overburdened judicial system means that the process is often the punishment for those awaiting trial. 2010 data provided by prison authorities indicate that approximately 60 per cent of Chhattisgarh’s inmates are prisoners under trial, and may ultimately be found innocent. Ambuja-Holcim has denied these allegations. “There is no malice or victimizing …as alleged. Nor is his case anyway connected with his position in any union. [sic]” said a spokesperson for Ambuja-Holcim in an email, adding that a local court had forbidden Mr. Sahu and his associates from holding meetings within 500 metres of the plant premises. […]

Read the whole article here.

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Debates around the National Counter Terrorism Centre

From The Hindu: Opinion/Editorial – Spies Shouldn’t Police Us

[…] Mr. Chidambaram may be right about the Constitution but there are three sound reasons why the mounting concerns over the NCTC must be taken seriously. First, the Intelligence Bureau is not an organisation that is, or ought to be, concerned with criminal justice. Like other intelligence services across the world, its task is to gather information that the police can use to guide and inform the course of a criminal investigation, not to make judgments on whether that intelligence has value as evidence. Blurring the distinction between intelligence-gathering and policing will open up the possibility of abuses — abuses for which Hoover’s FBI became notorious. […]

Read the full editorial here.

From The Indian Express – NCTC Row: Centre Gets Hit From Left and Right

As more non-Congress chief ministers joined the protest against the proposed National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), the UPA government said today that the fight against terror should not be politicised and asserted that the Centre has no desire to infringe on the rights of states. Upping the ante, the BJP said NCTC was anti-constitutional. […]

Read the full piece here.

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[Sichrem] Rights Panel Finds Boy Illegally Detained in Police Station

Via Sichrem

A 16-year-old boy was found by the Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (KSCPCR) illegally detained, handcuffed and chained to a window at the Sampigehalli police station on Tuesday.

According to a press release, the commission received information that the minor had been detained at the police station since December 17. When a team reached the police station, they found the boy seated on a blanket and handcuffed with a leading chain attached to the bars of a window.

In the release, chairperson of the commission Nina Nayak said that the boy appeared to be in pain and showed several fresh bruises on his torso, arms and legs. He said that he was given little food and was chained since Saturday evening. He claimed that he was picked up by the police on December 17 at around 9.30 p.m. near his home at Sadiq Layout, Thaneersandra, when he was going to a pharmacy to purchase medicines. The boy alleged that he was beaten by several police men at the station.

The release stated that the boy’s parents received a call that he was at the police station. When they went there, they were not allowed to meet him. The boy’s father Dastagi, a welder, reportedly produced documents showing that his son was 16.

Read the full article here.

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[The Hindu] ‘Essar Accused Remand Extended Without due Process’

Note: B.K. Lala was arrested and charged along with Lingaram Kodopi last year.

The Chhattisgarh High Court at Bilaspur on Thursday directed a Dantewada court to reconsider a bail application filed by B.K. Lala, a construction contractor accused to ferrying ‘protection money’ between the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) and the Essar group, a steel and shipping company with mining interests in Chhattisgarh.

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The High Court considered a writ petition alleging that a Judicial Magistrate First Class [JMFC] court in Dantewada extended Mr. Lala’s remand beyond the legally stipulated period of 90 days without hearing the accused. “Under section 167 (2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the police must file a charge sheet against the accused within 90 days of arrest, failing which the accused has the right to bail,” said Manish Sharma, Mr. Lala’s lawyer.

“Under the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act, the police can take up to 180 days to file a charge sheet but only after the accused is given a hearing. In our case, we filed an application for bail on December 10, only to be told that — behind my back — the JMFC court has already extended the remand and rejected my application,” Mr. Sharma said.

The High Court order directed the JMFC court to give Mr. Lala a hearing before deciding to extend his period of judicial remand while the police file their charge sheet.

Read the full article here

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[The Hindu] Court anguished at Soni Sori’s medical report

A report submitted by a Kolkata hospital, which examined tribal teacher Soni Sori, who was allegedly tortured by the Chhattisgarh police, has said two stones were found in her private parts and rectum.

Anguished at the report, a Bench of Justices Altamas Kabir and S.S. Nijjar of the Supreme Court on Friday sought the Chhattisgarh government’s response. It also directed the State government to shift her to the Raipur jail after senior counsel Colin Gonsalves told the court that the teacher’s life was in danger in the Jagadalpur prison.

Read the full story here

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[Hindu] ‘Maoist’ Soni Sori admitted to hospital with injuries

RAIPUR: Soni Sori, a 36 year old adivasi school teacher arrested in New Delhi on charges of being a Maoist, and sent to Dantewada for police interrogation, was admitted to the district hospital on Monday morning with head and back injuries.

“She was unconscious when she was brought here around 9.30 am,” said Dr SPS Shandilya, chief medical officer. […] Dantewada SP Ankit Garg denied Sori had been beaten in custody. He claimed she had sustained injuries by falling in the bathroom.

Read the full story here.

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