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Archive for July 10th, 2009

The Evil That Men Do

Posted by Admin on July 10, 2009


Tribal women claiming rape by Salwa Judum men in Chhattisgarh put a question mark on the NHRC, which rejected their testimonies. Photographs by SHAILENDRA PANDEY

AJIT SAHI Editor-at-Large

Assaulted Raped Women turned away by the NHRC seek justice

In the Indian setting, refusal to act on the testimony of the victim of sexual assault in the absence of corroboration as a rule is adding insult to injury. A girl or a woman in the tradition- bound non-permissive society of India would be extremely reluctant even to admit that any incident that is likely to reflect on her chastity had ever occurred… [A rape victim’s testimony] does not require corroboration from any other evidence, including the evidence of a doctor. — Supreme Court justices Arijit Pasayat and P Sathasivam, July 2008

FOR DECADES, the Supreme Court of India has cleaved to a rigorous legal standard in cases of rape: the testimony of the victim is enough evidence to launch the prosecution of the accused. Successive judgments over the years have reinforced this position. Thousands of convictions of alleged rapists have been effectively obtained on the basis of victims’ testimonies, with no corroborative evidence sought or offered. Often, the courts have overlooked minor discrepancies in the victims’ accounts, if the main narrative holds up. Read the rest of this entry »

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300 protesters stopped on way to Lalgarh

Posted by Admin on July 10, 2009


MIDNAPORE: Police had a harrowing time trying to prevent 300 workers of the Majdoor Kranti Parishad (MKP) on Thursday. The MKP workers looked determined to reach out to Lalgarh breaking the police barricade right at the Midnapore railway station. Police finally detained all MKP at Kotwali police station for five hours and later released them on personal bond.

Agitators complained that police heckled some of their senior leaders and rounded up 48 women without women police being present. “Police can’t stop us at Midnapore railway station because the prohibitory orders are not in force in this area,” said general secretary Amitava Bhattacharya. “Our target was to reach Lalgarh and put pressure on the administration to immediately call off the joint operation. Villagers are leaving their home and hearth. Most of them are scared of the security forces. Some have already faced police torture. The government should concentrate on the development of Jangalmahal, including the forest hamlets in Belpahari, where the distress is maximum.”

MKP president Binanda Jha alleged that police heckled women’s wing leader Rakhi Sarkar and arrested all 48 women workers without any women police personnel being present.

Meanwhile, PCPA spokesperson Chhatradhar Mahato saw a CPM and police plan in an unsigned letter he reportedly received, demanding PCPA’s accounts. “I have received an unsigned letter asking me to furnish PCPA’s accounts. I fear that it is a mischievous design of the ruling CPM and police. Police ransacked a PCPA leader’s house at Amkola near the Kangsabati and beat him up. We will launch a movement against such atrocities very soon if police continue with the repression,” he said.

Rajesh Mahato, secretary of the Chhatra Yuva Kurmi Sangram Committee, said: “We will violate Section 144 in Jhargram on Sunday as the SDO did not give permission for a peace rally requesting the administration to stop torture on innocents and putting false charges on poor people.”

Meanwhile, Sudir Mahato, Swapan Mahato, Buddheswar Mahato and Saumyajit Mahato CPM leaders from Chuansol, 25 km from Midnapore, quit the party reportedly after being threatened by Maoists.

TOI

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PSBJC chief threatens to launch a “greater movement”

Posted by Admin on July 10, 2009


Raktima Bose

West Bengal, Jharkhand police plan simultaneous operation against Maoists

Synchronised flush-out operation in Purulia, Bankura and Paschim Medinipur districts

‘Police indiscriminately arresting people, ransacking their houses and fields’


KOLKATA: Threatening to launch a “greater movement” within a couple of days unless the West Bengal government withdraws the joint security forces from Lalgarh, Police Santrash Birodhi Janasadharaner Committee (PSBJC) convener Chhatradhar Mahato has warned it against “any more arrests of innocent people in the name of a Maoist flush-out.”

Speaking to The Hindu over telephone from his hideout in the Lalgarh area, he said: “The government is bent on quashing our movement. Even the Home Secretary acknowledged that it was a ‘just movement’ on his visit to Lalgarh last Sunday… It has decided to term any protest in the Jangalmahal [forest area], a Maoist movement to hide its own failures. We will launch a greater movement within a couple of days if the police atrocities continue.”

Common man’s support

Apparently emboldened by the partial success of the bandh called by the PSBJC in the Maoist-hit districts of Paschim Medinipur, Purulia and Bankura on Wednesday, he asserted that common people were supporting the movement in spite of “police atrocities.”

Mr. Mahato accused the police of disrupting farming in the region.

“They are indiscriminately arresting people, ransacking their houses and fields. The farmers cannot till their land out of fear, even after the arrival of the monsoon,” he said.

High-level meeting

Meanwhile, plans are on to launch a simultaneous offensive on the Maoists in both West Bengal and Jharkhand. At a high-level meeting attended by the Directors-General of Police of both States in Ranchi on Wednesday, strategies were chalked out for a coordinated operation by the police of both States.

Bhupinder Singh, West Bengal DGP told The Hindu that a synchronised flush-out operation would also be launched in Purulia, Bankura and Paschim Medinipur districts.

Intelligence reports

Amid intelligence reports that top Maoist leaders have fled to Jharkhand through forests following the operation by the joint security forces in the Lalgarh region, the simultaneous operation by West Bengal and Jharkhand police has been planned to leave the Maoists with no escape route.

Mr. Mahato, however, criticised the police intelligence network. “If they had all the information beforehand, how did the Maoists flee? It indicates their failure and to cover that up, they are harassing innocent people.”

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Maoists demand wage hike Ghatshila

Posted by Admin on July 10, 2009


KUMUD JENAMANI

Jamshedpur, July 9: The CPI(Maoist) today launched a poster campaign at Chakulia township in Ghatshila sub-division, triggering fresh panic among residents.

Posters were seen in the heart of Chakulia town, on walls of a temple and the panchayat office. More than issuing warnings, the posters appealed to owners of rice mills and detergent factories to pay up a minimum wage of Rs 100 to daily-wage labourers.

The rebels also sought an assurance from government agencies regarding timely, uninterrupted and adequate wage payment to rural folks under National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS).

The news of the rebel posters spread like wildfire through Chakulia and its neighbouring areas, leading to the police removing most posters as quickly as possible. The police also launched a combing operation in jungles located on the Jharkhand-Bengal border.

Deputy inspector-general of police (Kolhan) M.K. Mishra confirmed the incident to The Telegraph. “By raising the wage issue, rebels are hoping to win over the villagers,” said Mishra.

He added that Naxalites were adopting similar tactic across the border in Lalgarh. There, rebels had promised Bengal villagers a higher wage than what the government had fixed under the NREGS.

“We are keeping a watch on Chakulia,” said the senior police officer and hinted at the possibility that the poster campaign was being carried out by a squad active in Ghurabandha area of Ghatshila sub-division. The DIG accepted that the CPI(Maoist) were active in the Chakulia area and were often guided by leaders operating in West Midnapore of Bengal.

On Wednesday, rebels had called for the prohibition of liquor in Ghatshila by resorting to a poster campaign. Liquor shops in Ghatshila had downed shutters in response to the call. Meanwhile, personnel of Indian Reserved Battalion, Central Reserved Police Force and Jharkhand Armed Police stepped up vigilance in and around Ghatshila, Dhalbhumgarh and Chakulia.

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Maoist – Naxalite Movement in India

Posted by Admin on July 10, 2009


Kashmir Watch

The Naxalite movement owing to its rightful cause and wide spread support has become very significant surpassing in scale and magnitude of freedom movements in Indian Held Kashmir (IHK) and northeastern states of India. Out of 630 districts the Indian government has declared 220 districts as the Maoist affected areas. As per government announced figures more than 200 security personnel have been killed during the past six months, however, there is no official mention of collateral damage, civilian causalities and or losses suffered by Maoists guerillas. The fact of the matter is that India is fighting a bloody war against Naxalite freedom fighters. The Naxalite-Maoists, as they call themselves, are the liberators, redeemers and saviors representing the down trodden workers and landless / poor farmers who have been entangled into vicious circle of poverty, misery and wretchedness. The Indian social order and state culture treats them contemptuously without any regard for human dignity and self esteem. Hence their patience withered away and they turned against the repressive system of government, draconian legislation, evasive political practices and mischievous manifestation of elected representatives, feudal pundits and bureaucrats. They frequently challenge the writ of the government and disrupt the communication system. Being the spokesmen of poor farmers and neglected tribes, the Naxalites enjoy the popular support of the masses they represent. They command the hearts and souls of the people and have started a legitimate freedom movement against Indian rule. Their main support bases are in West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. They have the will and the capacity to fight and defeat the Indian Security Forces. Since they enjoy considerable influence in five Indian states therefore their potential to crush Indian Security Forces appears to be a viable assessment and a crystal-clear possibility. So far they have put up the toughest resistance to the Security Forces marking their signatures by frequently challenging and making the state administration ineffective.

On 16th June 2009 approximately 300 to 400 Maoist guerillas entered Lal Garh and captured the town including the City Police Station. They also removed all signs and symbols of state authority and openly challenged the writ of the government. They blew up a railway building and damaged three mobile phone towers in Orissa (Koraput district) and cut off 125 villages from rest of the state. Trouble in Karnataka also marked Maoists upheaval blended with inner commotion, rage and cataclysmic activities. In West Bengal the Maoists made an effort to disrupt the supply line of the Security Forces involved in the Lal Garh operation by detonating a landmine at Chara village. During the “bandh call” (strike), life was hit in Maoist populated areas of Lal Garh, Binpur, Pirakata and Jhargram in Midnapore districts, and areas of Bankura and Purulia. In Bihar the Maoists attacked a police escort at Lakhisarai court and freed their two colleagues including area commander Babulal Besra, blew up a mobile tower at Barachatti village of Gaya district. They also exploded an art and culture building at Madanpur in Aurangabad. The Central Government has launched a massive repressive operation against the Maoists in Lal Garh using over 1000 Security Personnel. The operation is reportedly still going on as BSF and Polices claims to have retaken the town of Lal Garh. Independent reporters state that Maoists still control 90% of the area of district. Indian Security Forces are required to undertake series of operations in five different Maoists affected states. Will they be able to eliminate the Maoist opposition without shedding enormous blood and massive killing, is a big question. Surely another human tragedy and mass exodus is becoming imminent in India.

The state government has banned the Communist Party of India (CPI) terming it a terrorist organization. The ban came in the backdrop of violent incidents in Lal Garh and the ongoing operation by Police and Security Forces to reclaim the area. Political differences, especially those between the CPI (M) government in West Bengal and the Congress at the Center, have affected the operation against the Maoists. The CPI (M) and its other leftist allies have opposed the ban imposed by Union Home Ministry on CPI (M), stating that the ban would serve little purpose and that the extremists should be handled politically. The ban on CPI (M) is not a new thing as the three extreme left outfits: Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist), People’s War Group and Maoist Coordination Centre that merged to form the CPI (M) are already banned along with their front organizations. The CPI (M) also now stands banned for all practical purposes.

Indian spin masters are busy to give a new twist to Maoists movement by coining links with Lashker-e-Taiba (LeT) � a figment of imagination and a white lie. The aim is to reinvigorate propaganda against Pakistan and cover own administrative mismanagement. Indian intelligence agencies have already been tasked to implicate LeT for providing training to the Maoists. Actually Indians are convinced that Maoists movement is totally home grown having the potential to defeat Indian Security Forces for its just cause. Media and human rights organizations must project human rights violations committed by Indian Security Forces against Maoists movement. Maoists’ predicament deserves world attention and suitable media projection. India must stop her obstinacy and allow freedom to the Naxalite – Maoists.

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