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Archives for : September2018

Will kidnap the girl you love: Maharashtra BJP MLA Ram Kadam tells youngsters #WTFnews

Shiv Sena, NCP and several other parties have demanded the arrest of Ram Kadam.

Will kidnap the girl you love: Maharashtra BJP MLA Ram Kadam tells youngsters
Image Credit: ANI

MUMBAI: In a big embarrassment for the ruling BJP in Maharashtra, one of its lawmakers on Tuesday courted a controversy by saying that he will kidnap a girl even if she refuses a proposal from a boy and help him elope with her.

The controversial comments were made by BJP MLA Ram Kadam, who came under severe attack from ally Shiv Sena and other parties.

Kadam had made the controversial remarks at a ‘dahi handi’ event in his suburban Ghatkopar assembly constituency in Mumbai on Monday night.

“You (youngsters) can meet me for any work,” he had told a huge gathering of youngsters there.

A video clip of the event later surfaced in which Kadam can be seen saying that he was flooded with requests from youngsters to help them after girls rejected their proposal.

“I will help, 100 percent. Come (to me) with your parents. What will I do if parents approve? I will kidnap the girl concerned and hand her over to you (for marriage),” he told the crowd in Marathi.



Whenever you need me, call me. Say you’ve proposed a girl & she isn’t ready&you need help. It’ll be wrong but I’ll help. What will I do? I’ll go&talk to your parents, &if they say they like the girl, we’ll help you elope: BJP MLA Ram Kadam during Dahi Handi celebrations yesterday

Kadam also reportedly shared his mobile number with the crowd.

However, when quizzed about his controversial statement, Kadam said that his remarks were distorted.

”If there was something objectionable, there were several journalists and they would’ve paid attention. They didn’t because they heard entire speech and not just a small video. Opposition leaders are making a 40-second clip viral on Twitter. That’s creating a wrong impression,” Kadam’said.



I said that every youth, whether it’s a boy or a girl, should marry after taking their parents into confidence. After saying this, I took a long pause & someone from audience said something. I repeated that on mike & after that also, I spoke some more: Ram Kadam on his statement

View image on Twitter



If there was something objectionable, there were several journalists & they would’ve paid attention. They didn’t because they heard entire speech & not just a small video. Opposition leaders are making a 40-second clip viral on Twitter. That’s creating a wrong impression: R Kadam

View image on Twitter

”I said that every youth, whether it’s a boy or a girl, should marry after taking their parents into confidence. After saying this, I took a long pause and from the audience said something. I repeated that on mike and after that also, I spoke some more,”Kadam told ANI.

Demanding an apology from the MLA, the Shiv Sena asked Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who is also the state’s home minister, what action would be taken against Kadam for making a statement that “threatens the safety of girls”.

The Congress also called for Kadam’s arrest, while the NCP that said his comments exposed “Ravana-like” face of the ruling party.

Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray took to Twitter to slam the MLA offering to marry off girls “against their will”.

“Ashamed and disgraced that he sits in the legislative assembly of Maharashtra- a land of culture & women liberty,” he tweeted.

Aaditya Thackeray


One BJP MLA has offered from a stage to help boys kidnap girls and marry them even against the will of the girls. I guess he believes marriage is like forming a govt. Ashamed and disgraced that he sits in the legislative assembly of Maharashtra- a land of culture & women liberty


Aaditya Thackeray


One BJP MLA has offered from a stage to help boys kidnap girls and marry them even against the will of the girls. I guess he believes marriage is like forming a govt. Ashamed and disgraced that he sits in the legislative assembly of Maharashtra- a land of culture & women liberty

Aaditya Thackeray


Not just an outright apology from him, but I’d want to know from the Home Minister of Maharashtra what action will be taken for openly making such statements that threaten the safety of girls and offering safety to those wanting to kidnap them.

“Not just an outright apology from him, but I’d want to know from the Home Minister of Maharashtra what action will be taken for openly making such statements that threaten the safety of girls and offering safety to those wanting to kidnap them,” he added.

Opposition Leader in Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil said Kadam’s remarks were unfortunate and condemnable. “The state government should immediately arrest him,” he said.

State NCP chief Jayant Patil said, “Cases should be filed against Kadam if a girl is kidnapped in Maharashtra as the MLA himself is encouraging their kidnapping.”

“He should apologise. I am sure women members of the Assembly will pose questions to him,” Patil said.

State NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said Kadam was speaking the language of abducting girls.

(With PTI Inputs)

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“People like you should not have sex” – Young people with disabilities claim their right to reproductive health

Stella Chiwaka, 28, has suffered stigmatization throughout her life for being born with albinism. © UNFPA Malawi/Leticia Nangwale
Stella Chiwaka, 28, has suffered stigmatization throughout her life for being born with albinism. © UNFPA Malawi/Leticia Nangwale

MCHINJI, Malawi – As Stella Chiwaka, a 28-year-old primary school teacher, walked into a local health centre for information on contraceptives, her hopes soared. Then the male service provider asked her something startling.

“Do you experience sexual feelings? Have you become sexually active?” he probed.

Ms. Chiwaka was born with albinism, a genetic condition that decreases the amount of melanin produced in the skin, hair and eyes. While she has suffered stigmatization throughout her life, she never expected to encounter it at a health centre.

“People like you should not have sex,” the service provider told her. Instead, she should live a life of celibacy.

Dejected, Ms. Chiwaka left the health facility never to return to it – or any other – for her family planning needs.

Abused for her disability

Ms. Chiwaka’s experience is not unique.

Onesta Chidyela, 27, was verbally abused by her mother-in-law
because of her disability. © UNFPA Malawi/Leticia Nangwale

On the day Onesta Chidyela, now 27, started menstruating, she rushed to tell her mother.

She knew that when her sisters had reached this milestone, they were taken to a secluded place and counselled on sexual health and hygiene. Now it was her turn.

But as the hours turned into days, and the days into weeks, the moment she longed for never came.

Ms. Chidyela has faced discrimination due to her disability throughout her life.

“I was called so many animal names [and told] I would give birth to a baby that would look like an animal,” she told UNFPA.

When she did become pregnant, even her mother-in-law joined in the abuse.

“I felt bad seeing this coming from someone who should support me,” Ms. Chidyela recalled. “After I gave birth I started using contraceptives. I do not want to become pregnant again.”

Empowering young people

Millions of young people around the world lack access to safe and effective family planning. But these challenges are amplified for people with disabilities, who are often unaware that they, too, have a right to make choices about their own health and sexuality.

Initiatives that tackle sexual and reproductive health issues often neglect the needs of young people with disabilities or other stigmatized conditions, leaving them particularly vulnerable to risky sexual behaviours as well as sexual exploitation and coercion.

“[Having a disability] has prohibited them from accessing sexual and reproductive health services and leaves them at greater risk of discrimination and exposure to HIV,” said Bruno Mwase of the Malawi National Association of the Deaf (MANAD).

But a programme in Malawi aims to change things.

Ms. Chiwaka and Ms. Chidyela were among 150 young people to receive training from a programme of MANAD and the Parents of Disabled Children Association of Malawi (PODCAM). Supported by UNFPA, the programme launched in October 2017 to promote access to sexual and reproductive health services for young people living with a disability or other condition.

Young people in Malawi, as in many developing countries, often lack access to family planning information. The country’s adolescent birth rate of 136 births per 1,000 is over three times the global average.

“Being a girl and [being] deaf, I have very limited access to sexual and reproductive health information,” said Mphatso Seda, a young woman who participated in the training. “Nonetheless, I have gained knowledge, which will enable me to make reproductive decisions for myself.”

Taking action, making change

Today, Ms. Chiwaka is focused on mobilizing other young people with disabilities in her community. She has even formed a youth club to promote dialogue on sexual and reproductive health.

Ms. Chidyela says that the programme has enhanced her confidence. People living with disabilities, she told UNFPA, are often taken advantage of.

“I cannot begin to imagine what would have become of me if I was not on any family planning method,” she said. “I am a survivor.”

– Leticia Nangwale and Henry Chimbali

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IIT-BHU May Offer A Course On ‘Adarsh Bahu’ #WTFnews

& Here’s The Lesson Plan We Want

The start-up is apparently incubated with Indian Institute of Technology (BHU) Varanasi, but is not officially linked to it

Mothers-in-law and their man-babies can finally rest easy. The woman of your dreams will soon light your ‘aangan ka diyas’ whilst flaunting their ‘adarsh bahu’ degrees. A Varanasi-based startup has specially designed a three-month course to ‘groom’ potential daughters-in-law and teach them ‘how to strike a balance between the job and responsibilities back home’.

Young Skilled India Start-Up is apparently incubated with Malviya Nav Parivartan Kendra of Indian Institute of Technology (BHU) Varanasi or IIT-BHU. However, the start-up’s CEO has asserted that the course, named ‘My Daughter, My Pride’, isn’t officially linked to the IIT-BHU, DNA reported.

CEO of the start-up Neeraj Srivastava told DNA, “They wanted a special course for their marriageable daughters, which could train them in a variety of skills useful for their careers as well as day-to-day life after marriage.”

Since they offer a crash course on how to be the ideal daughter-in-law, we assume these five lessons would be a part of the curriculum:

1) Ghunghat is BAE

No ‘adarsh bahu’ (ideal mother-in-law) would willfully accept a daughter-in-law who doesn’t know the acceptable length of a ghunghat. An extra inch to cover the face goes a long way in finding a corner in the mother-in-law’s heart.

2) Controlling the wandering eye

The course aims to boost communication skills and instill confidence among the women, who are preparing to become the ‘ghar ki laxmi’ extraordinaire. Eye contact is key if one wants to make sure handing over of the ‘ghar ki chhabi’ (keys of the house) goes smoothly. Direct eye contact is best avoided because it would show assertiveness and confidence. And, let’s face it, adarsh bahu and assertiveness is hilarious in the same breath.

3) Ambition is the death of relationships

The course would help a would-be daughter-in-law figure out ‘how to balance work and household’. An overly ambitious bahu (daughter-in-law) would be like a fly in an insect zapper. One that falls in line gets the chance to make the ‘malas’ (garland) for the idols. And if TV soaps have taught us anything about Indian homes, it’s all about who’s picked to do the ‘aarti’ first.

Image used for representational purpose only.

4) Make round rotis

This is akin to trial by fire when Indian mothers-in-law are judging, ‘Who Wants To Be My Son’s Wife?’ Women pursuing the course could be taught if a roti is round, the relatives won’t hound.

5) Pop out ‘perfect’ babies

A wise male batchmate in school had once questioned me, “Why do women really exist?” and pat came the reply to his own question, “Ahh! Because they are required to make babies.” One year of marriage later, the only question that resonates among all in-laws is, “Hume bhi dada-dadi ka sukh de do” (Give us the happiness of becoming grandparents). At this opportune moment, your uterus must immediately start preparing for the blessed event.

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Chhattisgarh- False Allegations Against against tribal activist Soni Sori

Soni Sori said she did not know the person from Sukma district who has file a complaint to the police against her in this matter.

False Allegations Against Me In Chhattisgarh Encounter: AAP's Soni Sori

Police complaint against Soni Sori was filed on August 24. (Representational)

RAIPUR: Aam Aadmi Party leader and tribal activist Soni Sori on Sunday accused the Chhattisgarh police of trying to implicate her in a “false” case in connection with an encounter on August 6 in which 15 Maoists were killed.

She said she did not know the person from Sukma district who has file a complaint to the police against her in this matter.

A senior Sukma police official told PTI that Sodi Hadma, a resident of Nulkatong village, close to the site of the August 6 encounter, has filed a complaint with Konta police station that Soni Sori and a few others had come there to provoke residents.

In his complaint made on August 24, Hadma alleged Sori and a few others had visited Nulkatong, as part of an AAP fact-finding team, and provoked villagers to give statements against the police.

The police official said no FIR was registered on Hadma’s complaint but Sori was called to Konta police station for questioning.

Speaking at a press conference in Raipur on Sunday, Soni Sori called it a conspiracy by the police.

“Sodi Hadma, who I have never met, has complained against me. It is a conspiracy of the police to implicate me in a false case. The truth will come out if he and I are brought face to face,” Ms Sori told reporters.

AAP state convener Sanket Thakur defended Sori and said the Chhattisgarh government was “scared” of the influence of his party and her in Bastar region, of which Sukma is a part.

“Sori has been fighting for the rights of tribals for several years. The state government is scared of the increasing impact of AAP and her growing popularity in Bastar region. Therefore, it is trying to implicate her in a false case,” Mr Thakur said.

He warned that the party will stage protests if any attempt was made to arrest Soni Sori.

On August 6, personnel from District Reserve Guard, Special Task Force, Central Reserve Police Force and its elite unit Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) encircled a maoist camp in Nulkatong, about 500 kilometres from the state capital, and gunned down 15 naxals in a 30-minute firefight.

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India – RTI officer who gave Patanjali land papers quits #WTFnews

Priyanka Kakodkar

MUMBAI: A information officer, who was abruptly transferred two weeks after providing RTI documents to TOI last year on land allotment to Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali Ayurveda Ltd, has quit the Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC).
Marketing manager Atul Thakare had been transferred from Nagpur to Mumbai in March last year in a sudden move that raised questions about whether it was a punitive measure. After waiting for a year and a half in the hope of being sent back to Nagpur, the frustrated official chose to quit, sources said. Thakare, whose last day at MADC was August 31, did not comment. Soon after his transfer last year, he had told TOI: “The erstwhile MD had assured me of a promotion for my work but I got a sudden transfer instead.”

MADC officials claimed his resignation had nothing to do with the transfer or the RTI information. “He got a job with better prospects. He asked for a no objection certificate before resigning, which we provided,” said MADC managing director Suresh Kakani.

But RTI activist Bhaskar Prabhu, convenor of the Mahiti Adhikar Manch, wasn’t convinced. “Transfers are becoming a tool to exercise control on information officers. This serves to muzzle the RTI Act which is aimed at boosting transparency in the government,” he said.

On March 8, 2017, TOI had reported on the shunting of IAS officer Bijay Kumar shortly after he questioned the basis of the 75% discount given on land eventually awarded to Patanjali. The story was written on the basis of RTI documents on the allotment process of the land which falls within the Mihan area in Nagpur and belongs to MADC. The RTI documents were received eight months after sending the application, that too only after appeals were pursued all the way up to the then Chief Information Commissioner of Maharashtra, Ratnakar Gaekwad. He had summoned then MADC chief Vishwas Patil to appear in person for a hearing.

TOI finally received the documents on March 3, 2017, the day of the hearing. On March 15, two public information officers (PIO) involved in organizing the documents were transferred.

Thakare, who was then the PIO of MADC Nagpur branch, was transferred to Mumbai, and marketing manager Sameer Gokhale, PIO in Mumbai, was sent to Nagpur. While Thakare had served in his post for four years, Gokhale was transferred just four months after his appointment as marketing manager. The issue of the transfers had come up in the state assembly session in Nagpur in December 2017. In response to questions, the government had said the transfers were for administrative reasons and that neither official had handled the Patanjali RTI.

However, among the RTI documents received by TOI on March 3, 2017, was a letter written by then MADC chief Vishwas Patil, saying he wouldn’t be able to attend the hearing but, “I would be sending Atul Thakare, marketing manager of MADC, for the hearing with all the documents”. By the time he resigned, Thakare was functioning as First Appellate Authority under the RTI Act

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Mumbai Rises to Save Democracy- Kis Kis ko Qaid Karoge? #mustshare

Fascist BJP Government stop diverting attention of people from your oppressive policies and the failure of governance!!
Join Protest on 5th September 2018, 5:00pm outside Dadar (E) Station, Mumbai
#NoMoreFakeCharges   #DefendDissent   #SaveDemocracy   #ExposeUndeclaredEmergency
Since the beginning of this year, Maharashtra police has been illegally raiding and randomly arresting citizens of this country. In January, five Reliance contract workers’ union activists were arrested. In June, police arrested activists Mahesh Raut, Rona Wilson and Sudhir Dhawale, Nagpur University Prof. Shoma Sen and Sr. Adv. Surendra Gadling. On August 28th, Advocate Arun Ferreira, Writer Gautam Navlakha, Advocate Sudha Bharadwaj, Writer-Activist Varavara Rao and Ex-Mumbai University lecturer and writer Vernon Gonsalves were arrested. At the same time, police raided and interrogated KV Kurmanath (journalist, The Hindu), Kranthi Tekula (journalist, Namaste Telangana), K Satyanarayana (professor, EFLU Hyderabad), Anand Teltumbde (writer, professor, activist), Naseem (writer and activist), Advocate Susan Abraham and Father Stan Swamy (a Jesuit priest and senior activist in Jharkhand).
All the arrests have been made in aftermath of massive protests held across Maharashtra after the attack on Bhima Koregaon visitors on 1st January 2018. Hundreds of dalit bahujans who came to the streets in protest, were brutally attacked by the Police during ‘combing operations’ and continue to be implicated in false cases filed against them. On other hand, the Pune police, which is in charge of the case, has diverted the attention from the master minds of the attack – Sambhaji Bhide (founder of the Shivpratishthan Sanghatana, former member of RSS) and Milind Ekbote (Executive president of Samasta Hindu Aghadi and Gau Raksha Abhiyan). The Police has used the Elgar Parishad – a program organized in Pune on 31st December 2017, by over 250 organizations across Maharashtra to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the battle of Bhima Koregaon – as an excuse, and falsely claimed that the attacks were instigated by organisers of this program. It produced a false narrative of “Urban Naxal” and charged 18 activists under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), in connection to the same case. The stories manufactured by the police in name of Urban Naxal, or the plot to assassinate PM Modi or many other flimsy plots, are being pitched to divert the attention from the real culprits Bhide and Ekbote, who are being given a clean chit by the Maharashtra Police at the behest of RSS backed BJP government.
This situation created by the fascist BJP government is nothing short of undeclared emergency because the constitutional rights of the citizens are being violated and there is a heavy clampdown on all voices of dissent! The urban naxal plot is an excuse to divert attention of citizens, before the upcoming elections. The BJP government wants to distract everyone from the failures of demonetization and destruction of jobs, disappearance of Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi after looting thousands of crores of Indian citizens’ money, the unprecedented shooting up of petrol-diesel price, record fall in the value of rupee, corruption by government in the Rafael fighter jets contract, failure of the Aadhaar project, increasing costs of education and health services, organised lynch killings of Dalits and Muslims, instances of burning of the Indian Constitution, the meticulously planned sexual assault cases of Kathua, Unnao where BJP party leaders are involved, or the organized Hindutva terror outfits that have been caught manufacturing bombs and explosives, and have been arraigned in cases of assassinations of rationalists, anti-superstition activists like Gauri Lankesh, Narendra Dabholkar, Kalburgi! It is these violent and hate-spewing right wing outfits that are truly anti-Indian, anti-national and terrorist! The current dispensation is creating an atmosphere of hate, violence, lawlessness, ‘othering’ and a complete disregard of the Indian Constitution.
The activists, lawyers and professors whom the Maharashtra police has arrested are those who have been exposing these anti-people, unjust policies and actions of the government. Thus, their voices are being silenced by criminalizing and targeting them. Those arrested since January are lodged in Anda cells of various prisons in Maharashtra, while those arrested recently were prevented from imprisonment for the time being and are kept under house arrests on the orders of Supreme Court of India. The SC while denying police custody to Pune police, reiterated the value of dissent in a democracy. But Maharashtra police is unabatedly promoting a vicious media trial against them by circulating false material as ‘evidence’ in the case, to influence public sentiment. Since, the evidence in the court has not passed court scrutiny yet, hence Maharashtra police has received a warning from the Bombay High Court on 3rd September from indulging in such media trial. Also, even after more than 3 months have passed, police has not submitted charge-sheet on those arrested in June and have applied for further time to keep the activists falsely incarcerated for longer!
We, the students and citizens of Mumbai appeal to everyone that this is an extremely dangerous attack on the democracy of this country and the constitutional rights of every citizen. Before this undeclared emergency causes irreversible damage to our society, all of us must stand up against it. We strongly condemn and protest against such illegal acts by Indian government through Maharashtra police and their attempts to silence dissent and free thinking.
We demand from the government:
1. Immediate – unconditional release of those arrested under UAPA and during combing operations after the attack in Bhima Koregaon!
2. Immediate STOP to the impunity granted to right wing leaders and outfits, and arrest of Milind Ekbote, Sambhaji Bhide and members of Sanatan Sansthan for their illegal acts!
3. Immediate STOP to the illegal raids of the citizens’ houses and unjustified arrests of activists which is creating terror and fear of reprisals in the citizens, hurting dignity and undermining democratic rights of citizens and breaking all kinds of laws and court orders!
4. Repeal draconian UAPA law used as a tool to curb dissent and political opposition, and uphold the Citizens right to dissent!
Issued By:  Concerned Students and Citizens of Mumbai

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Maharashtra – Tale of 2 Cases Bhima Koregaon Violence Vs Dabholkar and Pansare murder

10 Arrests in 8 Months of Bhima-Koregaon Riots

SPOTLIGHT ON TWO PROMINENT CASES IN MAHARASHTRA State police working on both cases, but not without political challenges; while FIR was filed seven days after Bhima-Koregaon violence, Maha police, which is probing Pansare murder case, and CBI, which is pursuing Dabholkar murder case, had not made breakthrough for long


On January 8, seven days after the Bhima Koregaon violence in Pune, the city police filed an FIR claiming that provocative speeches made at the Elgar Parishad on December 31 led to the Bhima -Koregaon riots.

The Elgar Parishad was organised by former Bombay HC Judge BG Kolse Patil and retired Supreme Court Judge PB Sawant. The FIR mentions the names of six people. While one was a Dalit activist, Sudhir Dhawale, the other five belonged to Kabir Kala Manch some of whose members have been accused by past governments of helping Maoists. On the basis of the FIR, Pune Police registered a case under Sections 153 (A) and 505 of the IPC, which pertain to creating enmity between communities.

On June 6, Pune Police moved swiftly and arrested Dhawale from Mumbai. However, they also arrested others whose names were not there in the FIR like Nagpur-based lawyer Surendra Gadling, activists Mahesh Raut and Shoma Sen from Nagpur and Rona Wilson from Delhi. The Pune police claimed that besides inciting the Bhima Koregaon violence, the five have also been charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. The police alleged that they found communication from Rona Wilson’s home in Delhi on discussions about a ‘Rajiv Gandhi type incident’ and attempts to procure M4 rifles. On August 28, Pune police arrested five more people from across the country –– Maoist ideologue Varavara Rao from Hyderabad and human rights activists Gautam Navlakha, Sudha Bharadwaj, Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira. Pune police claimed that the searches at their homes had provided them more evidence on how the accused were not only trying to ‘destabilise’ the government but also trying to ‘assassinate political figures’ and were in touch with Kashmiri separatists and planning to get arms and ammunition into the country from Russia and China via Nepal.

The Supreme Court has, however, intervened into the arrests made on August 28 and has directed that those arrested be kept under house arrest till September 6 when it hears their case.

Pune police have claim that they have strong evidence against all the accused like letters written by the accused to Maoists talking about the need for violence to target security forces. Basically, the Pune police, within six months of the Bhima Koregaon riots, managed to unveil the conspiracy to not only create riots but also assassinate political figures and overthrow the government. It has managed to find out that arms were to be brought in the country for this purpose.

Dabholkar Murdered: 2013; Pansare in 2015; Cases Cracked: 2018



Two sensational murders –– that of Narendra Dabholkar in 2013 and Govind Pansare in 2015 –– which the Maharashtra police failed to crack, is now seeing a breakthrough through the involvement of the Karnataka police. Ironically, it was the police sleuths from the neighbouring state, who were on the Gauri Lankesh murder trail on Maharashtra soil, that led to crucial tip-offs leading to some breakthrough in the Dabholkar/Pansare cases as well.

On 20 August, 2013, rationalist Narendra Dabholkar was shot dead during his morning walk in Pune. The Pune police launched a search for his assailants for close to two years but made no breakthrough. Following this, in May 2014, the case was handed over to the CBI.

Two years later, on February 16, 2015, Communist Party of India leader Govind Pansare was also shot at. He died four days later. The Maharashtra Police, which is investigating the Pansare murder case, and the CBI which is pursuing the Dabholkar murder case, had not made any breakthroughs until August this year when the Karnataka police tipped off the ATS (anti-terrorism squad) after cracking the Gauri Lankesh murder case. On August 9, the Maharashtra ATS arrested Vaibhav Raut, a man alleged to be affiliated to the Sanathan Sanstha –– a right wing radical outfit whose members were always under suspicion –– for the murders of both Dabholkar and Pansare. Raut’s arrest came after a tip off from the Karnataka SIT to the Maharashtra police. Raut’s arrest led not only to the recovery of several homemade bombs, but also to the arrests of Sharad Kalaskar and Sudhwana Gondhalekar. Kalaskar’s was the key arrest because it is now being alleged that he, along with one Sachin Andhure who was arrested on August 18, were the ones who pulled the trigger on Narendra Dabholkar.

There are already many loopholes to this charge as the CBI itself has claimed earlier in court that Sarang Akolkar and Vinay Pawar were the ones who shot Dabholkar.

While there have been more arrests in the case, the ATS and CBI have not been able to say as to which organisation the men belonged to. Interestingly, the key player involved in the murders of Dabholkar, Pansare and Gauri Lankesh is one Amol Kale. Kale, a resident of Pune and who lives in Bengaluru, was arrested on May 21 this year by the Karnataka SIT investigating the Lankesh murder case.

Kale allegedly belongs to the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti –– an offshoot of the Sanathan Sanstha.

Economic Times

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SC- ‘Anyone Speaking for Human Rights Cannot be Treated as a Maoist’

Supreme Court Had Said 8 Years Ago

Had rapped Chhattisgarh in 2011 for treating Guha, Nandini Sunder, Swami Agnivesh and EAS Sarma as Maoists

The Supreme Court questioning Maharashtra police’s arrest of five social activists last week and reminder that dissent is a “safety valve” of democracy is not without precedence.

The top court had in 2011 rapped the then Chhattisgarh government for treating historian Ramchandra Guha, academic Nandini Sunder, social activist Swami Agnivesh and former bureaucrat EAS Sarma as Maoists or supporters of Maoists, for speaking up for the human rights of citizens.

“We were aghast at the blindness to constitutional limitations of… Chhattisgarh and some of its advocates in claiming that anyone who questions the conditions of inhumanity…rampant in many parts of that state ought to necessarily be treated as Maoists or their sympathisers…,” the court had said then.

A two-judge bench, comprising justices B Sudarshan Reddy and SS Nijjar had also ordered the state government to disband the rag-tag armed private militia propped up by the state to fight the Naxals.

“What was doubly dismaying to us was the repeated insistence…that the only option for the state was to rule with an iron fist, establish a social order in which every person is to be treated as suspect and anyone speaking for human rights of citizens to be deemed as suspect, and a Maoist,” the bench had said in its ruling.

The court had said that the problem lay in the “amoral political economy that the state endorses, and the resultant revolutionary politics that it necessarily spawns”.

Naxalism was a problem, it had said, citing a home ministry estimate that 120-160 out of 607 districts in Chhattisgarh were “Naxal infested”.

But the state cannot claim that it has a constitutional sanction to perpetrate indefinitely a regime of gross violation of human rights by adopting the same modes as done by Maoist/Naxalite extremists. The root cause of the problem, and hence its solution, lies elsewhere, it had said.

The justification often advanced by advocates of rapacious development push under neo-liberalism in India is that unless development occurs, via rapid and vast exploitation of natural resources, the country would neither be able to compete on the global scale, nor accumulate the wealth necessary to tackle endemic and seemingly intractable problems of poverty, illiteracy, hunger and squalor. “Whether such exploitation is occurring in a manner that is sustainable, by the environment and the existing social structures, is an oft debated topic, and yet hurriedly buried. Neither the policymakers nor the elite in India, who turn a blind eye to the gross and inhuman suffering of the displaced and the dispossessed, provide any credible answers,” the court had observed then.

“Worse still, they ignore historical evidence which indicates that a development paradigm depending largely on the plunder and loot of the natural resources more often than not leads to failure of the state; and that on its way to such a fate, countless millions would have been condemned to lives of great misery and hopelessness.”

“Instead of locating the problem in the socio-economic matrix, and the sense of disempowerment wrought by the false developmental paradigm without a human face, the powers that be in India are instead propagating the view that this obsession with economic growth is our only path, and that the costs borne by the poor and the deprived, disproportionately, are necessary costs,” the court had observed.

The fight against Maoist/Naxalite violence cannot be conducted purely as a mere law and order problem, to be confronted by whatever means the state can muster, it said.

“The primordial problem lies deep within the socio-economic policies pursued by the state on a society that was already endemically, and horrifically, suffering from gross inequalities. Consequently, the fight against Maoists/Naxalites is no less a fight for moral, constitutional and legal authority over the minds and hearts of our people,” the court had said.

Supreme Court Said:

We were aghast at the blindness to constitutional limitations of… Chhattisgarh and some of its advocates in claiming that anyone who questions the conditions of inhumanity…rampant in many parts of that state ought to necessarily be treated as Maoists or their sympathisers

The fight against Maoist/Naxalite violence cannot be conducted purely as a mere law and order problem, to be confronted by whatever means the state can muster

Our Constitution provides the gridlines within which the state is to act, both to assert such authority, and also to initiate, nurture and sustain such authority. To transgress those gridlines is to act unlawfully, imperilling the moral and legal authority of the state and the Constitution

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Urban Naxals? Yeah, I have heard of them


I was born into a middle class family with three kids. Yeah, my parents were respectable people (what did you think?), and not like some of those folks who have 7 or 8 children. Chee!

Despite the fact that both my grandparents came from the same village, my parents were respectable city dwellers.

They sent my siblings and me to proper city schools, where we learnt, among other things, how to speak in English.

I finished my school with decent marks and got an admission into a fairly well-known college.

I knew my parents could not afford to pay huge capitation fees – my father was only a clerk in a government office and my mother a house-wife – so I studied hard.

Though I played cricket every evening with my school friends, I made it a point to study for four hours every evening.

Despite scoring 87 per cent marks in my 12th standard, I did not get my much deserved seat in medicine because of this disease called reservations. And my seat was given to some lower caste person with pass marks. (Who knows what kind of a doctor he would make and how many persons he has killed until now?) That is why I say, reservations should be eradicated from this country so that everyone gets a fair chance.

Anyway, I opted for a course in computer science and learnt how to write codes. Somewhere along the way I also got an MBA and was fairly well qualified to get good a job.

Soon after I finished college, I got a job in a good company where I have been working for the last ten years.

As soon as I got a job, my parents found a match for me. The girl was from a similar background and had also done her MBA.

Though neither I, nor my parents believe dowry, her parents were insistent that they give their daughter something to begin her new life. After all, in our caste, we don’t sent girls to their homes empty handed.

Within 5 years of getting a job, I already had my own car and my own house. Though the EMI is a bit steep, but mine and my wife’s salary takes care of it.

Our only child studies in a very prestigious school, where apart from the basic reading and writing, he is also taught one musical instrument, public speaking and painting. Once a week he goes to a cricket camp. My wife wants him to become a cricketer, though I am sure that I want him to study well and become qualified, maybe even a doctor. But who knows?

Of course since both I and the wife are good with computers, we have already gifted him with an ipad. Though he is only nine years old, you should see how good he is with it.

Though I am not religious, we celebrate all Hindu festivals grandly. My son also likes to visit his grandparents during the Diwali holidays and sometimes I and my wife argue about whether we should go to visit my parents or her parents. Now, we have come to an agreement and we make sure that our son visits my parents during the Diwali holidays and her parents during the summer vacation. That way my wife also gets to spend some time with her parents. I am an understanding husband, you see.

My wife is very religious and offers pooja to different Gods through out the year and prays for our happiness and prosperity. I participate in all the rituals because that makes her happy.

I try to fulfill every need of my family and keep them happy. Just last week, I got a new 55-inch television because my son wanted to watch the India-England cricket series. I try to be a good father.

No, I don’t read about what is happening in far off places like Orissa or Chhattisgarh? Yes, my wife and I have been to a forest resort for a holiday in the first year of our marriage, but I must admit that I got bored of that place pretty soon. No TV, no internet (in those days) and nothing to do. Just jungle all around and mosquitoes….

No, bauxite mining or indigenous people mean nothing to me. Though, I must say that I do watch Discovery Channel (Hindi) regularly and have seen programmes about tribals from all over the world. I like the fact that they really dance well. I am told some of them even eat human beings… but then what can you expect from tribals? I sometimes think I should go to Africa for a holiday and see some real tribals, but my wife keeps saying that we should go to Europe. In fact, my son also has been asking for a foreign holiday, because many of his friends have gone abroad for holidays.

Urban Naxals? Yes, I have heard of them. They are the ones who are trying to divide India and assassinate the Prime Minister. If you ask me, those buggers should be shot dead or sent to Pakistan.
After all I am proud of my country and its government.

I am an Urban Nationalist.

Asma is a sometimes writer, a constant fighter, a disobedient dreamer

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Pakistan-Press freedom vital to government’s democratic credentials

Islamabad. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has strongly urged the government to acknowledge and promptly address constraints to press freedom. In a statement released today at the launch of its report investigating recent curbs on newspaper distribution and journalists’ freedom of expression, HRCP has said:

‘The new government must uphold freedom of expression across the print and broadcast media to establish its democratic credentials. Its commitment to ensuring that all state-run media have complete editorial independence is an important and welcome step, but this is still the tip of the iceberg. The government has inherited a difficult situation vis-à-vis curbs on press freedom, but having done so, it must now acknowledge and take responsibility for the actions of all state institutions and services in this context. This means investigating allegations of continued unlawful interference with newspaper distribution among private media organizations, notably Dawn. It will also entail monitoring the press freedom announced for state-run media to see if it extends to areas that the security establishment had set out of bounds for the press, such as the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement.

‘There is also overwhelming evidence that corroborates reports of the systematic, strategic intimidation and harassment of journalists and social media activists – to the point that an increasing number of media persons feel compelled to practice self-censorship at the expense of professional, objective journalism. There appears to be little compunction about intimidating journalists and their families, subjecting them to vicious character assassinations through social media and creating fear through reprisals in the shape of abductions and physical attacks. Moreover, arbitrary media blackouts of ‘sensitive’ areas, notably North and South Waziristan, does not point to a ‘free’ or ‘independent’ media.

‘HRCP calls on the federal and provincial governments and all other state institutions and services to take appropriate steps to prohibit and prevent unauthorized, illegal interference with freedom of expression in the country. There should be no interference in the sale and distribution of any newspaper, nor should any TV channels be deliberately displaced. The system of issuing ‘press advice’ on the part of state agencies must cease immediately and the complaints documented in HRCP’s report redressed. The state must also set up complete and effective information commissions in each province to implement its obligations under the Right of Access to Information Act 2017.’

Dr Mehdi Hasan


Human Rights Commission of Pakistan

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