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Appointment of Lt. Governor’s Daughter-in-Law as Convener is misuse of Power: Request to reconstitute the ‘Lalit Kala Academi’ in Puducherry!

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Memorandum sent to His Excellency President of India, on 12.05.2014 regarding formation of Lait Kala Academi in Puducherry:

On behalf of Federation for People’s Rights (FPR), Puduchery, we are submitting this Memorandum for your kind consideration and necessary action.

We came to know through newspapers about the formation of a Committee for the ‘Lalit Kala Academi’ in Puducherry and the names of the Member of the Committee.

In this regard, we would like to express our views and demands. On 07.05.2014, we had met the Director, Art and Culture, Government of Puducherry to get more information in this regard. But we were shocked to hear from him that he has no official role in the formation or recommendation of the Members for the panel. We came to know that most of the Members of the panel do not belong to Puducherry or in the field of Art, which is the fundamental requirement as for we the people are concerned. The Government of Puducherry has not had any role in formation of this Committee.

At this juncture, we would like to bring to your attention that an organization by name ‘Lalit Kala and Sangeeth Nadak Academi’ was formed in Puducherry  in the year 1999 and Mr. Hariharan, the then Principal of Bharathiar Palkalai Koodam was made as the Officer on Special Duty of the institution. But till date from the day of the formation of the Academy, we the public do not know what were the contribution of the above organisation and any other facts and figures.

In the formation of the present Committee a very important and prominent role has been given to a person namely Ms. Meera Kataria, who is the daughter-in-law of the Lt. Governor, who is the Chief Executive of Puducherry. This has been done in total violation of the dignity of the office of the Lt. Governor and against the oath of office which is to act without ‘Fear or Favour.’ This Abuse of Power by the Lt. Governor is unconstitutional.

In the light of the above we demand the following:

(i) Immediately withdraw the Notification of the formation of the Committee of ‘Lalit Kala Academi’ in Puducherry.

(ii) Come out with the clear draft of the Aims and Objectives of the Organisation with clear Rules and Regulations and Financial implications and make it available to the public through physical and electronic means. After getting sufficient feedback and making necessary correction, the above could be finalized before starting the process of the formation of the Academi.

(iii) The Academi could call for applications through the Government of Puducherry from interested persons and process the same in a most transparent manner.

(iv) The Members should be willing to do voluntary service for carrying on the said objectives without expecting any remuneration or monitory benefits and only in honorary capacity.

Art and Culture are very important ingredient of mankind which would enable the Society to live in “PEACE and HARMONY” leading to its overall development and especially in a large democracy like ours, these organisations have the very important role of democratising Art which would take it to each and every human being of the territory in operation. Hence, due importance should be given to this organisation right from its formation. The receipt of this Memorandum may kindly be acknowledged and the action taken there upon may be communicated to us as and when it happens.

The copy of the Memorandum was also sent to The Home Secretary, Joint Secretary (UT), MHA, Secretary, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Chairperson, Secretary of Lait Kala Academi, Lt. Governor of Puducherry, Chief Minister, Chief Secretary, Secretary (Art and Culture) and Director (Art and Culture), Puducherry.

Media Person Right to Expression Should Not be Threatened – Joint Press Statement

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A Joint Press Statement of Political and Social Leaders, Human Rights Activists, Writers and Journalists

India is a Democratic Republic. To express one’s opinions freely and without
fear is one of the basic rights accorded to its citizens in the Constitution itself.
This right is fundamental to all citizens of India including Press and Media people. In this context, we the undersigned who have faith in the efficacy of the lofty ideal of secularism and ardently advocate it, vehemently condemn the forces of religious bigotry for their insistence on dismissing and removing the Political Analyst of Sun TV Mr. Thiru.Veerapandian from his post and position for his alleged speeches against religious fundamentalism. We would like to point out that this is an action which is very much against the ideals of secularism and the fundamental rights of expression.

A few weeks ago Mr. Veerapandian participated in a meeting in Chennai
wherein a Human Rights organization released its fact finding report on the
Muzaffar Nagar riots. While speaking on the occasion Mr. Veerapandian has made certain critical remarks on BJP and its Prime Ministerial Candidate Mr. Narendera Modi. Some persons have uploaded his speech in the social media.

In the aftermath of this, Mr. Sarvothaman, BJP’s State Office Secretary, had
written a letter to the MD of Sun TV Group on 23rd December. In it he has stated that Mr Veerapandian’s speech was divisive and could create problems between two groups, and his programs on Sun TV has never been impartial and has requested that action be taken against him. He has also mentioned that no BJP representative would participate in any future programme compared by him. An article has also been published in Vijaya Bharatam magazine, criticizing and threatening Mr Veerapandiyan. We also learn that the right wing elements who have threatened Mr. Veerapandian with dire consequences in the social media have forgetting their own hawkish attitude lodged a complaint against him with the Commissioner of Greater Chennai Police.

Consequently from the last Saturday, Sun TV has stopped telecasting Mr.
Veerapandian’s programmes. We, who have full faith in democratic values are very much pained and worried by these events.

We think that this is a personal attack of the BJP on Mr Veerapandian of Sun TV who has been conducting the TV’s popular political talk show for the past seventeen years in a fair manner, without fear or favour. Mr Veerapandian has a right to have his own opinion about things relating to the affairs of the country. None can deny that. But we all know that he has been careful enough that he never allowed his opinions to stain the color of truth in his programmes. They were always impartial and unprejudiced.

The ethics of the media demand that a media person should be impartial while discharging his duties as an anchor. However this does not mean that he or she should not have any personal opinion or political leanings of his or her own. Whatever rights a common citizen of India could enjoy, a media person also is entitled to enjoy.

The Sun TV has been giving space to the opinions of all kinds of people and all
kinds of political views through its myriad programs. We request the Sun TV should allow him to resume his duties as an anchor person and telecast programmes featuring him and uphold the freedom of expression.

We also insist that all press and media people should come forward to condemn the threatening moves by politico-religious bigots to the media in future, as such biased demands will be anti-constitutional, and ruinous to our time-honored secularism enshrined in our Constitution.


Mr. K. Veeramani
President, Dravidar Kazhagam

Mr. Gnanadesigan, State President, TNCC

Dr. M. Sudarsana Nachiyappan
Hon’ble Minister of State for Commerce and Industry

Mr. S. Peter Alphonse
Former Member of Parliament

Mr. Tha. Pandian
State Secretary, CPI

Mr. Thol. Thirumavalavan MP
President, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi

Dr. M.H. Jawahirullah MLA
Legislative Party Leader, Manithaneya Makkal Katchi

Mr. J.S. Rifayee
President , Tamilnadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam

Prof. K. M. Kader Mohideen Ex. MP
General Secretary, Indian Union Muslim League

Mr. Abdul Rahman
Member of Parliament, Vellore Constituency

Mr. Senthamilan. Seeman
Chief Coordinator, Naam Thamizhar Katchi

Mr. Viduthalai Rajendran
General Secretary, Dravidar Viduthalai Kazhagam

Kovai Ku. Ramakritinan
General Secretary, Thanthai Periyar Thi.Ka

Prof. Suba. Veerapandian
President, Dravida Iyakka Thamilar Peravai

Dr. Peter Fernando, Archbishop of Madurai

Dr. Devasagayam, Bishop CSI, Chennai

Dr.M. Ezra Sargunam, Bishop
Evangelical Church of India
Founder, Indhiya Samuga Neethi Iyakkam

Mr. Pe. Maniyarasan
President, Tamildesa Podhu Udamai Katchi

Kaviko Abdul Rahman, Poet & Writer

Mr. Gnani, Writer & Journalist

Mr. Henri Thiphange, Executive Director, Peoples’ Watch

Dr. V. Suresh
National General Secretary, People’s Union for Civil Liberties

Prof. A. Marx, Human Right Activist

Kavingnar Manushya Puthiran, Writer, Publisher

Mr. Tamil Selvan, State Secretary, Progressive Writers & Artist Association

Mr. A. Kumaresan,  Cheif Editor, Theekhadir

Mr. Ko. Sugumaran, Federation for People’s Rights – FPR (Makkal Urimai Kootamaippu)

Mr. TSS Mani, Journalist

Mr. Thirumurugan Gandhi, Coordinator, May 17 Movement

Mr. Senthil,  Coordinator, Save Tamils Movement

Federation condemns the Fundamentalist Forces attacked Prashant Bhushan

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Federation for People’s Rights (FPR), Secretary, G. Sugumaran, issued a Press Release on 13.10.2011:

Federation for People’s Rights strongly condemns the attack on Supreme Court Senior Advocate Mr. Prashant Bhushan by Hindu fundamentalist forces.

Mr. Prashant Bhushan was engaged in an interview with a private channel yesterday at his office at the New Law Chambers opposite to Supreme Court.  At that time the Hindu fundamentalist gang forcibly entered in to his office and attacked him. Now he was treated in private hospital at New Delhi.

The person who was taken custody from the scene of occurrence revealed in preliminary investigation that the Ram Sena is behind the attack. The Ram Sena is the violent outfit which carried out the attack on Christians in Karnataka in 2008.

The attack was the back drop of Mr. Prashant Bhushan’s interview to media on Kashmir issue.  It is a great threat to right to expression. We also point out that expressing view on Kashmir issue is not anti National.

Mr. Prashant Bhushan, is not only a legal expert but an activist who is in fore front in raising and solving various social issues. He is also an active member of Team of Anna Hasare and working to combat corruption. In particular he is firmly fighting against the corruption in Judiciary.

We demand the central government to arrest the persons responsible for this well planned attack and also probe the background of the attack and brought to book all the culprits immediately.

A Fact Finding Team is to visit Ramanathapuram and Madurai Districts to probe Police firing and Caste Violence

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PUHR, Tamilnadu Chapter Organiser Prof. A. Marx issued a Press Release on September 16, 2011:

A Fact Finding Team comprising of civil rights activists from Tamilnadu, Puducherry, Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh will visit Paramakudi, Madurai and other places in Ramanathapuram and Madurai districts of Tamilnadu where seven dalits are killed in police firing on September 12.

Though prohibitory order under section 144 is promulgated in this area, the Madras High Court Madurai Bench has issued an order today to the Ramanathapuram district collector to consider favourably our letter seeking permission to visit the places.

The team members are:

Prof. A. Marx, People’s Union for Human Rights (PUHR) , Chennai.

G. Sugumaran, Federation for People’s Rights, Puducherry.

G. Metelon George, NCHRO, Kerala.

Karthic Navyan, Advocate, Andhra Pradesh.

Prof. Ramesh, NCHRO, Karnataka.

Adv. Rajni, PUHR, Madurai.

Kutti Revathi, Poet, Chennai.

M. Sivagurunathan, PUHR, Thiruvarur.

Adv. A. Mohammed Yousuf, NCHRO, Madurai.

B.S.Hameed, SDPI, Madurai.

Adv. Thai. Kandasamy, Dalit Cultural Academy, Thiruthuraipoonti

Ravi, PUHR, Kalpakkam.

The team will visit the places on 18th & 19th Sept. And will meet the relatives of the victims as well the district officials. The Fact Finding Team’s report will be released to the press on 20th September at  Madurai.

Arrest the Police personals responsible for the Custodial Death

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Federation for People’s Rights (FPR), Puducherry Secretary G. Sugumaran issued a press statement on 27.04.2011:

In connection with a murder case one Damodaran was taken into Police custody and beaten up to death at Mudaliarpet Police Station. On behalf of Federation for People’s Rights, we urge the Puducherry Government to immediately suspend and arrest the Police officials responsible for this custodial death.

Damodaran aged 35 years belongs to T.K. Mandapam, Thirukovilur at Villupuram Distirct. He worked in a private concern as building mason at Mettupalayam. One Jayasankar of Thirukovilur was murdered at Mettupalayam on 24th April 2011. In connection with this murder case, the Mettupalayam Police on 25th April 2011 at about 2 pm took Damodaran, Rajendran, Santhosh, Balu, Ramu and Datchanamurthy into their custody for interrogation.

Then the Police shifted all the persons to Mudaliarpet Police Station and the Mettupalayam and Mudaliarpet Police personals tortured them by using third degree methods. On the same day at about 7 pm said Damodaran fell down due to the torture and immediately one Police constable took Damodaran and three others in an auto rickshaw to Kathirkamam Medical College Hospital for treatment. The Doctors in duty there treated Damodaran said that he was brought dead.

The Supreme Court of India in several cases delivered judgment that if anything happens to a person in the Police custody, the concern Police personals are sole responsible for it.  In this light we state that the said Damodaran is dead in Police custody and it is a crystal clear case of custodial death.

In this regard we sent telegrams yesterday to the Government and Police officials and National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to order for a Judicial Magistrate enquiry complying with the Section 176 (1 A) of amended Cr.P.C. Also we requested to conduct the post mortem by a panel of Doctors and video graph it completely. Now, the Judicial Magistrate enquiry is going on.

We came to know that the Police are threatening Rajendran, Santhosh, Balu, Ramu and Datchanamurthy who are all the eye witnesses of this case and we request the Government and Police Department to provide adequate security for them.

We urge the Puducherry Government to modify this case as custodial murder case and entrust the investigation to C.I.D. Police and immediately suspend and arrest the police personals responsible for this custodial death. We also request to provide Rs. 10 lakh compensation to the affected family. In this regard, we are going to send a detailed report to the State, Central Government and NHRC.

Remove Lt. Governor of Puducherry Mr. Iqbal Singh from his post

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Federation for People’s Rights (FPR), Puducherry, Secretary, G. Sugumaran issued a Press Statement on 25.04.2011:

In back drop of various charges leveled against the Lt. Governor of Puducherry Mr. Iqbal Singh, on behalf of Federation for People’s Rights, we urge the central government to remove him from the post.

The Enforcement Cell officials enquired the Lt. Governor Mr. Iqbal Singh on 20th April 2011, for helping Hasan Ali to get passport, who was in jail in income tax evasion charge. We also hear that the Enforcement Officials are going to interrogate him once again.

The Government of Puducherry allotted a Medical College at Karaikal to “The South Education Trust” in which the Lt. Governor Mr. Iqbal Singh’s sons and relatives are members. The said medical College was allotted without the approval of the Puducherry cabinet. Also about 32 acres of land was bought for the Medical College at Karaikal. The said land was planned to acquire for the Health Department for various purpose, but the officials acted as middle man and helped the Trust to buy this land for Medical College.

The Trust after getting the essentiality certificate from the Government applied to the Pondicherry University for recognition. The University authorities refused to recognize the Medical College stating that there are no adequate building structures and basic facilities. But, they issued a letter to get loan from the bank for the said Medical College.

The OSD of Lt. Governor and the Trustees continuously refusing the charges leveled against the Lt. Governor Mr. Iqbal Singh should explain why the Raj Nivas top level officer signed and got the said letter from the Pondicherry University.

We request the Government to take stern action against the Chief Secretary and other Health Department officials who illegally allotted the Medical College to the said Trust.

While the Enforcement Wing enquiry is going on, the Chief Minister Mr. V.Vaithilingam and Ministers Mr. Malladi Krishna Rao and Mr. Kandasmy met the Lt. Governor and briefed the media that the Lt. Governor Iqbal Singh was not guilty and he never committed any crime. This attitude is covering up the crime to save the Lt. Governor from the clutches of law. It is also a planned action to hinder the Enforcement Wing’s enquiry.

We insist on the President of India to sack the Chief Minister and other Ministers who openly supported the tainted Lt. Governor and violated the oath taken while swearing as minister to uphold the Constitution of India. In this regard, we are going to send a detailed memorandum to the President of India.

We urge the Central Government to remove the Lt. Governor Mr. Iqbal Singh from the post, who acted illegally by misusing his official power to get a Medical College and helped the accused Hasan Ali to get a passport.

In Union Territory like Puducherry, the Lt. Governors are vested with ample of administrative powers under the Constitution of India and Union Territories Acts. Due to these powers the Lt. Governors are pressurizing the Elected Governments and enjoying lot of benefits illegally. So, we request the Central Government to take steps to reduce the powers of the Lt. Governors and afford all the powers to the Elected Governments only.

The Central Government is appointing the Governors and Lt. Governors without consulting the State and UT Governments. The Central Government is appointing his party persons as Governors or Lt. Governors for whom they are not able to offer any other higher posts. If we request action against the guilty Governors or Lt. Governors, instead of taking action, the Central Government is safe guarding them. So, we urge the Central Government to make suitable amendment in our Constitution enabling to consult the concern State and UT Governments while appointing the Governors and Lt. Governors.

Release Human Rights activists arrested by Sri Lankan Army

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Federation for People’s Rights (FPR), Secretary, G. Sugumaran issued a Press Statement today (22.01.2011) in Puducherry:

Federation for People’s Rights (FPR), Puducherry, condemns the arrest of the grand daughter of Tamil Scholar Perunchithiranar and Chennai High Court advocate Kayalvizhi and her assistant by Sri Lankan army, who were went to Sri Lanka by obtaining proper visa to study the status of Tamils in camps there.

After the war between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan government came to an end, the Tamils are suffering in the barbed wire camps in Sri Lanka.  This attitude of the Sri Lankan government was widely condemned by the people who have concern in humanism. The U.N. has also intervened in this issue and instructed the Sri Lankan government to ensure the safe life of Tamils.

In this context, Kayalvizhi and her assistant Thirumalai from Chennai went to Sri Lanka after obtaining proper visa to study the present status of the Tamils in camps in Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan army arrested both of them while they were in Omandai and they were kept in undisclosed place.

If so many people around the world visit Sri Lanka to study the situation there, the arrest of these activists is highly condemnable. We urge the Indian government to intervene and speak to the Sri Lankan government for the safe release and return of activists to India.

Kayalvizhi, is the grand daughter of Tamil Scholar Perunchithiranar and daughter of Tamil Scholar Iraikuruvanar. She is a practicing advocate in Chennai High Court and works for Human Rights.

In this regard, today, we sent telegrams to the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and External Minister S. M. Krishna for immediate action in this regard.

Following Delhi HC Judgment, Upload all the FIRs in Puducherry Police Website!

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Federation for People’s Rights (FPR), Secretary, G.Sugumaran issued a Press Release on 15.12.2010:

The Federation for People’s Rights demands the government of Puducherry to observe the recent Delhi High Court Judgment and should upload on Police website all the FIRs filed within twenty-four hours of lodging of the FIR from 1st February 2011 onwards.

In this regard, today (15.12.2010), we sent the following representation to the Chief Secretary, Law Secretary and the Director General of Police enclosing the Judgment copy:

We would like to draw your kind attention on the above referred Judgment pronounced by the Honourable Chief Justice Mr. Dipak Misra and Honourable Justice Mr. Manmohan of Delhi High Court, in W.P. (Crl.) No. 468 of 2010 on 06.12.2010.

The Directions of the Judgment (relevant operating portion) is reproduced here for your kind consideration:

(A) An accused is entitled to get a copy of the First Information Report at an earlier stage than as prescribed under Section 207 of the Cr.P.C.

(B) An accused who has reasons to suspect that he has been roped in a criminal case and his name may be finding place in a First Information Report can submit an application through his representative / agent / parokar for grant of a certified copy before the concerned police officer or to the Superintendent of Police on payment of such fee which is payable for obtaining such a copy from the court. On such application being made, the copy shall be supplied within twenty-four hours.

(D) The copies of the FIR, unless reasons recorded regard being had to the nature of the offence that the same is sensitive in nature, should be uploaded on the Delhi Police website within twenty-four hours of lodging of the FIR so that the accused or any person connected with the same can download the FIR and file appropriate application before the court as per law for redressal of his grievances.

(J) The directions for uploading the FIR on the website of the Delhi Police shall be given effect from 1st February, 2011.

In the light of the above Judgment, we request your authority, to take necessary steps to implement the Court Directions in Puducherry also and circulate the copy of the Judgment to the Offices under your control and all Police Stations, to uphold the rights of the accused, ultimately the HUMAN RIGHTS.

Human Rights Activists Prof A. Marx and G. Sugumaran visits Ayodhya

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In the back drop of the recent Babri Masjit – Ayodhya verdict, Peoples Union for Human Rights (PUHR), Tamilnadu Chapter President Professor A. Marx and Federation for People’s Rights (FPR), Puducherry Secretary G. Sugumaran will visit Ayodhya for an on spot study of the situation and the issue.

After 60 years, the Allahabad High Court delivered the judgment on the title suit of the land on which the demolished Babar Masjit stood, on 30th September 2010. In their judgment the learned judges have ordered to give two thirds of the disputed land for the Hindu litigant and one third to Sunni Wakf Board. This Judgment has created a lot of criticisms from various sections. Now both the parties have decided to appeal to the Supreme Court.

In this background Peoples Union for Human Rights (PUHR), Tamilnadu Chapter President Professor A. Marx and Federation for People’s Rights (FPR), Puducherry Secretary G. Sugumaran will visit Ayodhya and related places. They will be in Ayodhya from 28th to 30th October. They have plan to meet both the Hindu and Muslim Community leaders and litigants and as well as other Left Democratic and Secular Political Leaders and Intellectuals.

The aim of the visit is to study the mood of the various sections of the people and to suggest an amicable solution which would uphold the Communal Harmony and Peace in India. They will submit the report to the nation after their visit in the first week of November in Chennai.

FPR extends supports for the Opposition Parties Bandh in Puducherry.

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Federation for People’s Rights (FPR), Puducherry, Secretary G. Sugumaran issued a press statement on 23.08.2010:

Federation for People’s Rights extends its support for the tomorrow’s bandh announced by the opposition parties in Puducherry.

The opposition parties of Puducherry announced for a bandh tomorrow urging the government to get approval from Medical Council of India for the government Medical College and start the courses in this academic year itself and scrap the regional quota, which is against the Constitution and the judgment of Supreme Court of India.

Federation for People’s Rights appeals to the students and general public to participate and make the bandh success.