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Encounter Killings of Five Muslims by Telangana Police – A Fact Finding Report

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NCHRO Fact Finding Team Press Meet on Aler Encounters on 30.4.2015The Fact Finding Team’s Report was released in Press Club, Hyderabad on 30.04.2015 at 12.30 pm:

Two weeks after Hashimpura verdict which acquitted all the police personnel involved in the custodial killings of 42 innocent Muslims, the news about the killing of five Muslims in custody by the Telangana police came as a rude shock to all peace loving people. A seventeen member escort police team of Warangal central prison led by one Uday Bhaskar (RSI) shot and killed five under trial prisoners on their way to Hyderabad trial court.

The persons who lost their lives are 1.Viquar Ahmed (UT No 1064) 2.Mohammed Haneef (UT No 1077) 3.Syed Amjad Ali (UT No 1065) 4.Mohammed Zakir (UT No 1002) all from Hyderabad and 5.Izhar Khan (UT No 1066) from Uttar Pradesh. All of them are accused of forming a militant outfit Tehreek – e- Galba -e -Islami and operating a hitting squad targeting the police. They were arrested between 2007 and 2010 on various charges that included terror acts such as attacking police and killing them. They were shifted from prisons in Cherlapalli and other places on the pretext that they were creating trouble there.

According to police version all these five were taken in a minibus from Warangal prison on April 7 morning at 7.55 am to Nampalli trial court in Hyderabad. “On the way at about 10.05 hours when the escort vehicle reached out skirts of Tangatur Village in ALer police station limit UT Prisoner Viqar insisted to stop the vehicle for passing urine, after passing urine and getting into the bus the UT prisoners led by Viqar pounced on the police party snatching an INSAS RIFLE by uttering words ‘MAR SALEKU, CHODNA NAHI’, Then he opened fire on RSI Uday Bhaskar and party. In self defense, police party opened fire resulting in the death of 5 UT prisoners.”

A case is now registered against those killed in this encounter in Alair PS, Nalgonda district (35/2005 u/s 120 b, 143, 147,397,307, 224,332 r/w 149 IPC & S 25 (1), 27 Arms Act).

Loopholes in the police story 

The media as well a number of Human Rights Activists have pointed out many loopholes in the police story. Some of them are:

1. Usually the escort team with the trial prisoners start from the prison complex at about 11 am. Why on this fateful day they have started at 7 am itself? Is it because they want to finish the matter at the early hours on the highway?

2. The distance between Warangal and Hyderabad is 147 km which can be crossed with in 3 hrs at the maximum. Usually at the start itself the prisoners are asked to attend the nature’s calls and there is no need to stop the vehicle in the midway for this purpose.

3. The photographs published in the media reveal that all of these 5 UT prisoners were hand cuffed and some of them are tied to their seats. Then how can they over power the 17 strong armed police and tried to kill them?

4. The trial court had said that the trial will continuously conducted from April 1 to 10 and all the accused should be present in the court daily. Fearing that something very bad is going to happen, the trial prisoners were also pleading that they should be shifted to some prisons in Hyderabad. The accused prisoners had complained to their near and dear that they were tortured heavily during such transits. Viquar Ahmed’s father Mohammed Ahmed had submitted a written petition to the chief justice of AP high court on 25th April 2012 praying that his son should be shifted from Warangal prison as his life is in danger. On the 6th April 2015 Viquar Ahmed himself submitted an affidavit that his life is in danger and hence he should be shifted immediately to any prison in Hyderabad. That prayer was to be heard on the next day in which he and his four other co accused were killed. The under trials had also complained to their relatives that in a previous occasion they were asked to get down from the vehicle and run away which they refused as they knew that it was a ploy to kill them.

5. The trials are to be completed within a few days and the prosecution was not able to prove their cases convincingly due to lack of evidences. The police were fearing that all these five accused will be acquitted at last and left free. Since they were all arrested on charges that included targeting and killing of police personnel the department is not ready to leave them free. Also two weeks back in an encounter between some escaped prisoners and police, those two prisoners and three constables were killed. The Telangana home minister N.Narasimha Reddy termed them as escaped gangsters from UP while the Telengana police branded them as SIMI activists. In these backgrounds to boost the morale of the police these five people should have been killed in a fake encounter.

The Telangana government is keeping its mouth tightly shut up and the police higher ups were not able to satisfactorily counter the loopholes identified by the activists. The Seshachalam fake encounters in which 20 innocent Tamil workers were killed by the AP police also happened in the same day. We are happy that it was widely condemned by almost all political parties and other such organizations. The NCHRO also performed a fact finding operation joining hands with others on that incident. At the same time we are worried that due attention was not given to this incident by the political parties and organisations in which five youths from a minority community were brutally killed in custody.

Fact Finding Committee

In this background the National Confederation of Human Rights Organizations (NCHRO) has organized a fact finding team to investigate the encounter killings of these five Muslim youths. The team members are:

1. Prof. A.Marx, Chair Person, NCHRO, Chennai, Cell: 094441 20582,

2. Reny Ayline, National Secretary, NCHRO, New Delhi, Cell: 086063 37319,

3. Ko. Sugumaran, Ex-Co Member, NCHRO, Puducherry, Cell: 094980 54640,

4. Adv. A. Mohamed Yusuff, National Secretary, NCHRO, Madurai, Cell: 094898 71185,

5. T.V.H. Prathmesh, Peoples Democratic Forum, Bangalore, Cell: 099163 80689,

6. Talaha Hussain, Student Activist, Bangalore, Cell:080505 65771,

7. Mohammed Abdul Ahad, Human Rights Activist, Hyerabad, Cell:090303 5044.

8. B.Sreenivasa Rao, National Ex-Co Member, NCHRO, Cell:093938 75195.

This team visited the houses of the victims in Hyderabad and also the encounter spot on the Warangal – Hyderabad highway near Tangatur village in Aler police station limit at which these five youths were shot and killed. We met the closest relatives of at least four of the victims, their lawyer Khalid Saifullah, Lateef Mohammed Khan and Kanneez Fathima of Civil liberties Monitoring Committee, Senior journalist and Editor of Siasat Urdu daily Zahid Ali Khan, some other people and shop owners in Hyderabad and Aler.

After visiting the place of encounter we went to Aler police station where no senior police officers were available. When we contacted the DSP Mohan Reddy, he replied that he was going to attend the magistrate enquiry about the encounters and could not answer our questions. However we were able to meet the Director General of Police of Telangana state Anurag Sharma IPS and the state Minorities Commission Chairman Abid Rasool Khan.

Statements of the relatives of the victims

1. Ishrat Bhanu (32) w/o Dr. Mohammed Haneef

“My husband Haneef (38) is a Gujarati. His aunt is married to one of our relatives in Hyderabad.  In a marriage ceremony we met and married. He is an Unani doctor (BUMS) and he practiced near by. He had no interest in politics and had no contacts with any political parties or movements. Except attending without fail the Friday namas he cannot even be charecterised as a religious person. He used to spend at least four hours in the morning and six hours in the evening in his clinic attending his patients. We are shocked to hear from our neighbors on July 11, 2010 that Haneef was arrested from his clinic and taken away by the police after covering his face with a black cloth. He was then implicated with Viqarudeen and others in various cases. We don’t know till today why he was targeted by the police. He didn’t know Viqaruddin or other people implicated with him till the day before they were arrested. Police never came to our house nor they took him for any enquiry before his arrest. This you can enquire with anybody in the surrounding area. Now my mother and three children aged 9,8 and 4 are without any bread winner. There were torture marks on the body of my husband apart from eight bullet injuries….”

When we came out of their house a man in plain clothes photographed us all.

2. Lakshmi Narayanan, the building owner of Haneef’s clinic and V. Narsingh, the owner of Annapoorna Medicals in the same building

“Mohammed Haneef is a very normal person and is a good character. Nothing suspicious about his activities. No others except his patients come to see him. Only after his arrest some police came here twice and enquired about him. Before that nobody came here and asked about him. We feel sad to hear his end.

3. Mohammed Ahmed f/o Viquar Ahamed (34)

“I am a retired civil engineer and I spent much of my life in gulf countries. I have five children and Viquar is my younger son. He is pious in nature. He is a B.Com degree holder. He is little emotional and actively takes part in rallies against Babri Masjid demolition. He used to attend DJS programmes. Everything went normal till the Mecca Masjid blast happened. Viqar’s name was implicated with other innocent Muslim boys in that blast case. Since these boys were arrested and tortured by the police my son went underground in late 2007. There afterwards we don’t know his whereabouts. If we had contacts with him we would have advised him. He is good in nature and only the fake cases foisted by the police led him to this end. He was arrested in 2010. He has nothing to do with the conspiracy to kill Narendra Modi. But he was implicated in that case also. He was shifted from Cerlapalli jail to Warangal prison and then to Sabarmathi jail in Gujarat and finally brought to Warangal for trial. Whenever we met him in the jail he complained about police tortures during transits. In the year 2012 I gave a complaint to the chief Justice of AP to shift him to any prison in Hyderabad since his life was in danger. Even the day before he was killed he gave a written complaint to the trial judge to shift him from Warangal. In this country and in this life we don’t believe that we can get justice. But I am sure my son will get justice here after…”

4. Imtias Ali b/o Amjad Ali

“Amjad is my elder brother. Viquar Ahmed is our cousin. Amjad was doing embroidery works. He used to go to jim and had no other connections with any organizations, After the Mecca  masjid blast Amjad was also implicated in the blast case. He went underground one day after Viquar Ahmed went underground. In the year 2010 he was arrested. During his underground years he was implicated in a number of cases. Of the thirteen cases against him he was acquitted in almost ten cases. Last year he gave a letter of threat to his life. On 6th April, one day before he was killed he requested the trial judge to allow him not to be present everyday during the trial since it is difficult for him to travel daily because of his disc problem. But the judge refused. There were so many torture marks in my brother’s body. I have photographed all of them. During my brothers underground period police never gave any trouble to our family.”

5. Mohammed Shahid b/o Mohammed Zakir (32)

“My brother was an auto driver. He was married and has two children. But they were not living with him. He had some financial troubles. He met Viqarudeen when he went to offer prayers in Musheerabad mosque. When Viquar Ahmed asked him to arrange a house for him he helped to find one. Apart from this he had no connection with either Viquar Ahmed or others. He had just passed 10th std and had no political affiliations.”

6. Advocate Shaik Saifullah Khaled

Saifullah Khaled is the lawyer for three of those killed (Viquar Ahmed, Amjad Ali and Zakir). He told that judiciary, NHRC and the political class all have different standards of justice when they face violations of the rights of Muslims. They didn’t take the cold blooded murder of these five Muslim youths seriously. NHRC sent a special team to investigate the Seshachalam murders and asked to submit a report. “Muslim ruling class also not worried about this since they have strong connections with the ruling parties” he said.

When we asked him about Viquar Ahmed’s connection with the DJS, he replied that, “Viquar Ahmed is an emotional person and DJS is neither a banned organization nor a terrorist outfit. It is just like the RSS. It gave training in physical exercises and some martial arts”. When we asked him about the police propaganda that Viquar Ahmed was the founder member of one Tehreek –e- Galba –e- Islami (TGI), he said that it is a total lie.

After the murder of all these five people he moved the High Court of AP and Telangana with a prayer to exhume the bodies and conduct a re-postmortem. He also prayed for the registration of  a case of murders against the escort team. The court was reluctant to pass an order and had postponed the case to June 8 which is meaningless since the bodies will be decomposed totally in the meantime.

When we asked him about the Special investigation team appointed by the Telangana Govt to investigate the encounters he replied that many of the police officers included in that team are notorious for their hate against Muslims.

7. Lateef Mohammed Khan and Kaneez Fathima, the office bearers of ‘Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee’

The ‘Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee’ has published a detailed report on this encounter killings immediately after it happened. Lateef Mohammed Khan has moved the court to pass order for a magisterial enquiry on the encounter which is mandatory as per CrPc 176 (1) (a). This case is also posted to June 8. He had also given a complaint to the station in charge of the Aler PS to register a separate case against the escort party for murder charges under Sec 302 IPC which was refused. Lateef is of the view that the lives of the Muslims of India are in danger and the lives of Muslim prisoners are more dangerous. When we asked about Viquar Ahmed’s connection with the ‘terrorist outfit’ TGI he laughed and said that TGI is an invention of the police to kill these people. He also said that these five youths might have been killed in a nearby ‘tanda’ and brought here.

8. Zahid Ali Khan, Editor, Siasat

Zahid Ali Khan is the editor of the Urdu daily Siasat. He told that except Abu Asim Azmi, Samajvadi Party leader local Muslim leaders have not opened their mouth to condemn these fake encounters. It is a clear case of revenge killing contemplated in the higher levels. He opined that some other killing squad other than the escort party might have been employed to kill these victims. Finally he said that he still has strong faith in Indian judicial system and he felt that a judicial enquiry by a sitting judge will bring the facts behind these killings.

9. Abid Rasool Khan, Chairman, Minority Commission

When we started to raise our doubts about this encounter story the minorities commission Chairman Abid Rasool Khan began to cogently narrate all the loopholes in the police story and said that the commission has raised all these questions and sought explanation from the police and other authorities. When we asked him about his impression on this so called encounter he replied that as a constitutional body he cannot form any impression before proper investigation. Regarding the SIT formed by the government, he said that it is just another police investigation and the commission will press for proper enquiries. When we complained that the Supreme Court directions and NHRC directives were not followed in this case, he said that if we give a written complaint to the commission explaining in what way these directions are violated, he would necessarily take action. Regarding compensation to the families of those killed , he said that if there are any precedents for this, the commission will recommend this also to the government.

10. DGP Anurag Sharma

Even before we begin to raise our questions he told that the case is under investigation and replying to our questions would be subjudice. When we asked why no murder case was filed against the police, he replied that the police happened to kill when performing their duties and hence no such case can be filed against them. When we pointed out that in the PUCL vs State of Maharashtra case SC has said (Sep 23, 2014) that such a case should be filed when a person dies in police firing, he asked us to show any reference to it. We immediately showed him a copy of the judgment which he brushed aside saying that they have already consulted legal experts and the attempt to murder case filed against the five persons killed in the encounter is enough to investigate the encounter. He also continued that the SIT will do that. When we pointed out that the leader of the SIT DIG Sangalia has resigned he said that he did it because of personnel reasons. Before we came out we said that our impression is that it is a cold blooded murder and he replied that he would not respond to this.

11. Boora Narsaiah Goud, Nalgonda MP (TRS)

When we contacted Member of Parliament, Nalgonda Constituency Boora Narsaiah Goud over phone, he hesitated to comment on this encounter. “Now I am in Delhi attending the Parliament. I can’t tell at this time, whether it is a real encounter or a fake one without knowing the full facts. I feel that the appointment of a Special Investigation Team is a correct act”.

Our Observations

All the loopholes in the police story , that we have narrated in the first part of this report remains unanswerable. All these five people were arrested more or less at the same time and all of them are implicated in all the cases with two other people who are now in jails. In the second part of our report the family members of Viquar Ahmed, Amjad Ali, Mohammed Haneef and Mohammed Zakir narrate their versions about how these five people were implicated in all these cases. The fifth person Izhar Khan from UP is charged as the person who gave a pistol to them.

Of all these five people only Viqarudeen had some political connections. He and his cousin Amjad Ali went underground only to avoid arrest and torture through implicating them in the Mecca majid blast case. The irony here is that a Saffron outfit was behind that blast. But the police targeted Muslim youths as usual. This led Viquar Ahmed and Amjad to go underground. Even their family members didn’t know what they were doing and who were behind them in the next three years.

As human rights activists we are concerned here only with rights of these accused. Even if we assume that Viquar Ahmed was responsible for attacking the police we don’t know how even before he was arrested the others were implicated in these cases. S 120 (b) was also invoked against them. For this at least five people should be involved in the conspiracy. Without arresting Viquar Ahmed how the police came to know that others are also involved in it?

Though the trials are going on in Nampalli court in Hyderabad, all these arrested were shifted from jails near Hyderabad to Warangal prison on the pretext that they were creating trouble there. This was done only to kill them.

On the fateful day, they started earlier, reached a comparatively safe place where there are no houses nearby, diverted the traffic away from the highways for more than an hour and killed all these five under trials who were handcuffed and tied to their seats.

We strongly believe that this is a cold blooded murder to avenge the killings of police personnel. It was contemplated at a higher level to boost the sagging morale of the Telangana police. Not only those executed this at a lower level are responsible for these murders but those who contemplated this which include not only the higher police officials but also those in political power.

The political class as well the so called custodians of law and order are worried only about the sagging morale of the constabulary, but they were least bothered about the consequences of the solution they choose. This encounter remedy they choose will lead the minorities to loose faith in our democracy and justice delivery system. The ruling class should understand that peace is possible only with justice.

We are very upset with the way in which the judiciary handled this case before and after the encounters. The only last hope of the deprived people is the judiciary. Even the judiciary also leaves them without hope where will they go?

It is high time that we should put an end to this injustice of allowing those responsible for such heinous crimes to escape without facing the law of the land. In the Hashimpura case those cold blooded murderers who killed 42 innocent Muslims are allowed to escape from the law on the pretext that there were no evidences. How could strong evidences be presented before the court when the offenders themselves act as the investigators and prosecutors?

We have to create a clear cut mechanism that will ensure justice to those who are eliminated by the law enforcing agencies of the state.

Demands

1. The special investigation team (SIT) formed by the Telangana government will not do any justice to the victims. This is formed just to give a clean chit to the persons responsible for this fake encounters. We demand a CBI enquiry monitored by the Supreme Court. The bodies of all these five persons killed on April 7, 2015 should be exhumed and re postmortem should be done immediately.

2. All these five persons killed in this fake encounter were in the judicial custody. Killing people in judicial custody is an increasing phenomena in this country. Judiciary is responsible for the life and security of the people in its custody. It is deplorable that judiciary is not concerned about this. In this encounter in the Aler police station limit the judiciary and the Telangana state government should take the full responsibility for these cold blooded murders of the five under trials. We demand a compensation of Rs 30 lakhs to the family members of those killed.

3. Though detailed directives are provided by the Supreme Court and NHRC on what is to be done in the cases of encounter killings a clear cut mechanism should be evolved immediately without any loopholes so that the guilty should not escape from the clutches of law. It should be mandatory that cases should be filed against the police team involved in encounter killings for murder charges (Sec 302 IPC) and they should be suspended from service till they prove that they had no other way except to kill them to save themselves.

________________________________________________________________________

National Confederation of Human Rights Organisations (NCHRO), N-44, Hilal Homes, 2nd Stage, Ground Floor, Abul Fazal Enclave, Jamia Nagar, New Delhi – 110 025 Email: nchromail@gmail.com, Web: www.nchro.org

Representation to Government seeking action on college administration in the medical student suicide case!

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The Memorandum sent today (08.02.2014) on behalf of ‘Federation for People’s Rights (FPR)’ to Lt. Governor, Chief Minister, Chief Secretary and Director General of Police (DGP):

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

On 14th November 2013, one Lakshmi Anusiya (aged 24), a girl Student and House Surgeon of Mahatma Gandhi Medical College situated at Kirumampakkam, Puducherry committed suicide by hanging herself in the hostel room in a mysterious situation. The incident came to light on 17th November 2013, when the body was decomposed and emitted bad smell. The Kirumampakkam Police registered the referred FIR and investigated the case. In the due course of investigation, the Police altered the FIR and invoked Section 306 of IPC and arrested one PG Medical Student Dr. Pinnamenileela Prashant (aged 27) studying in the same college. The said Prashant developed love with the deceased girl and abandoned her after sometime and refused to marry her and this led to the end of the frustrated young girl student’s life.

The Police took the action after two months and anyway it is appreciable. In this context we would like to draw your kind attention on the following points.

The said incident occurred in the hostel room on 14th November and the incident came to light on 17th after three days. We heard that in the post-mortem report, which is crucial evidence in this case, the Forensic Science Experts stated that the incident occurred 72 hours before the autopsy. We wonder that the college administration is so lethargic in monitoring the hostel rooms and the welfare of the students staying in the hostel. This explicit gross negligence in the part of the college administration led to the loss of a young girl student’s life and the college administration is wholly responsible for this miserable incident.

We also learnt that the Investigating Officer (IO) of this case attached to the Kirumamapakkam Police Station mooted out a file to the Law Department seeking opinion whether to take any criminal action on the college administration side and inturn the Law Department opined negatively. We point out here that an IO in any case is legally empowered to take criminal action on anybody if he or she has clear cut evidence in the due course of investigation. It is unnecessary to get opinion from the Law Department and we also want clarification that any specific Law or Rule exists insisting the Police to get opinion from the Law Department before fixing and charging the accused.

So, we in public interest request your good self to explore suitable provision of Law and take criminal action against the college administration for their irresponsible attitude and mismanagement which attracts the penal action and render Justice to the victim’s family.

G. SUGUMARAN, Secretary.

Custody Death in Nagore Police Station: Expedite the Judicial Enquiry and Submit the Report Immediately!

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Memorandum sent today (20.01.2014) on behalf of Federation for People’s Rights (FPR), Puducherry to the District and Sessions Judge and Judicial Magistrate, Nagapattinam:

On behalf of the ‘Independent Fact Finding Committee’ we are submitting this memorandum for your kind perusal and necessary action to uphold the Law and Justice.

On 31.12.2013 at about 7 pm, the Nagore Police Inspector Mr. Rajendiran and his team were controlling the traffic in the Nagore – Nagapattinam road near Vanjore check-post. A quarrel developed between the Police Inspector and one Suresh (aged 39), an auto driver residing at Keezhatheru of Palpannaicheri village, regarding the parking of an auto near the cycle shop. Suresh was sitting in a Cycle Mart owned by one Rajendra Prasath near the Vanjore check post. Immediately, the said Police Inspector and his team beaten him severely near the cycle shop itself and took him in to their custody and continued beating him in front of the Vanjore check post. The public and the shop owners around that vicinity are witnessing the incident but nobody is bold enough to intervene and stop the Police excess. After some time, the said Police officer took him to the Nagore Police Station and continued beating. The auto driver is also booked in a case under sections 253, 353 and 506(ii) of IPC.

Due the brutal attack of the Police, Suresh was severely injured and he was taken to the Govt. General Hospital at Nagapattinam in the midnight of 31.12.2103 – 01.01.2014. There the Doctors in the duty treated him but he died in vain within some time. Next day morning (01.01.2014), the family of the deceased was informed about the death and the relatives of the victim, auto drivers and the people of Palpannaicheri village blocked the traffic in the Nagore – Nagapattinam road demanding action against the Police personnel responsible for the custodial death.

The RDO and SP of Nagapattinam assured the agitators that a Judicial Enquiry will be conducted soon. Also we learn that they also assured that a suitable compensation will be paid to the deceased auto driver’s family and a job for the victim’s wife. Following this the Police Inspector of Nagore Police Station Mr. Rajendran and Special Sub-Inspector of Police Mr. Jayaraman of Valivalam Police Station were suspended from service. Subsequently, the referred FIR was altered and the enquiry was assigned to the Judicial Magistrate of Nagappattinam as per the Section 176 (1)(A) of Cr.P.C. We understand that Ms. Latha, Judicial Magistrate of Nagapattinam is conducting the enquiry.

In this context, we, a group of Human Rights Activists led by Prof. A. Marx, a well known Writer and Activist visited Nagapattinam on 17.01.2014 and enquired the victim’s family, Trade Union leaders and people in and around the Vanjore check post. We also met the Nagappattinam District SP Mr. Sibi Chakravarthi who told us that the matter was pending enquiry with the Judicial Magistrate.

In this background we are calling your kind attention on the following aspects and request necessary action to enable proper Justice to the victim’s family.

In our enquiry it reveals that the said learned Magistrate has not completed the enquiry till date and she has not even enquired and recorded the statements of the victim’s family and people in the area around Vanjore check post where the deceased was thrashed by the Police. The above said Rajendra Parasath (52) s/o S.V. Ramamirutham who is the owner of the ‘Prasanth Cycle Mart’ near the check post is one of the eye-witness for the whole episode. The deceased was taken in to the Police custody from his Cycle Mart and he saw the deceased alive in the Nagore Police Station on 31st December night at about 8 pm. We are worried to find that the learned Magistrate has not yet enquired him and recorded his statement. Some other important persons having knowledge of the incident were also not enquired till this date.

Such lethargic approach of the learned Magistrate will definitely give room to the Police to compromise and settle the case. We also learnt that a compromise meeting was held in the Nagapattinam DSP office in which the DSP Mr. Venkatraman had promised to offer Rs. 3 lakh to the victim’s family and requested the leaders of the Political Parties and Trade Unions who attended the meeting not to press for any action against the police and accept it as a natural death. The DSP also pressurised them for an amicable settlement saying that the Police Inspector Mr. Rajendran is expecting a promotion and any case against him will affect his chance.

We also want to bring to your kind notice about a similar incident in Thiruthuraipoondi Police Station in which a custodial death case was settled because of the purposeful delay of the Judicial Magistrate enquiry. One Sundar (aged 34) of Nangali Village of Keerakalur Panchayat in Thiruvarur District was beaten to death by the Thiruthuraipoondi Police personals and the enquiry was assigned to the Thiruthuraipoondi Judicial Magisrate Mr. S.S. Siva. The learned Magistrate instead of enquiring and recording the statements of the victim’s family and eye-witnesses, began his enquiry with the Police officers and hospital authorities and thus enabled the errant Police personals to settle the case by giving enough time for a compromise. We understand that the case was now settled by offering Rs. 5 lakh to the victim’s family. The accused police personals had thus escaped from the clutches of law. We had complained about this to the Honourable Chief Justice of High Court of Madras and Port folio Judge for Thiruvarur District seeking action against the said Judicial Magistrate.

So, we humbly request your good self to expedite the Judicial Enquiry and conduct an in depth enquiry on the said incident and record the statements of the eye-witnesses and other related witnesses immediately. The delay will surely give room to the police personals involved to arrive at a settlement. As the Chief Minister of Tamilnadu had said the custodial death is a ‘travesty of Justice’ and will defeat the very purpose of the ‘Right to Life’ guaranteed to the citizens in the Indian Constitution.

G. SUGUMARAN, Secretary. Federation for People’s Rights (FPR), Puducherry. 

Memorandum to Chief Justice of High Court of Madras on Custodial Death in Thiruthuraipoondi

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Memorandum sent on behalf of Federation for People’s Rights (FPR) on 11.01.2014 to Chief Justice of High Court of Madras  Mr. Justice Rajesh Kumar Agrawal and Port Folio Judge Mr.  Justice S. Nagamuthu reg custodial death in Thiruthuraipoondi:

We on behalf of the ‘Fact Finding Committee’ constituted to find the facts about the custodial death in the Thiruthuraipoondi Police Station and led by the well known Human Rights Activists and Writer Prof. A. Marx to enquire the custodial submit this memorandum for your kind consideration and suitable action to uphold Law and Justice.

One Sundar (Age 34) s/o Murugayan residing at Nangali village of Keerakalur Panchayat of Thiruvarur District was forcibly picked up by the Thiruthuraipoondi Police on 23rd Dec 2013 at about 12 am from his residence. The Police team which included Mr. Rajagopal, Inspector of Police, Mr. Ilangovan, Special Sub-Inspector of Police, Head Constables Mr. Natarajan, Mr. Ramesh and a driver came in a TATA Sumo vehicle, thrashed him and took into their custody. Sundar’s father Murugayan (75), mother Rasammal (65) and his younger sister Praba (24) were in the house at that time. The neighbours were seen the Police taking Sundar into their custody and they are also the eye witnesses of the said occurrence. Sundar was a call driver and belongs to a very poor family and he is the only bread winner of the family. It seems that he was taken into the custody to enquire about a Tractor theft case. We want to bring to your kind notice that the Tractor theft occurred before six months and the said Sundar was not named as accused in the FIR.

In the next day (24th Dec 2013) early morning at about 6 am, the family members came to know that Sundar was beaten to death in the Police custody and the body was kept in the Government General Hospital at Thiruvarur. The annoyed villagers and the family members staged a road block protest in the Mannarkudi – Thiruthuraipoondi road demanding action against the Police personals responsible for Sundar’s death. Thiruthuraipoondi RDO Mr. Subbu and Thiruvarur District SP Mr. Kaliraj Maheskumar assured the protesters in writing that a proper Judicial Enquiry would be conducted and the autopsy will be conducted by a panel of doctors which would be video graphed. They also promised a departmental enquiry against the Police personals and adequate compensation to the victim’s family as per the Rules. A FIR was filed vide no. 737/13 u/s 174 Cr.P.C. in the file of Thiruthuraipoondi Police Station. Subsequently, the above said Police personals responsible for the custodial death were suspended from service.

The Judicial Magistrate of Thiruthuraipoondi Mr. S.S. Siva was assigned with the task of enquiring the said custodial death case under Section 176 (1)(A) of Cr.P.C. But the learned Judicial Magistrate did not conduct the enquiry in a proper way. Instead of recording first the statements of the kith and kin and neighbours of the house of the deceased, he went to the police station first and started to enquire the Police personals and then he went to the Government Hospital. The family members and neighbours of the deceased were the key witnesses in the custodial death case.

We categorically say that the Magistrate in collusion with the police personals responsible for the custody death, deliberately delayed enquiring and recording the statements of family members giving room to the errant Police personals to pressurise them for a compromise and settlement of the case. We also point out that after eight days of the occurrence i.e on 02.01.2014 the Magistrate issued summons to the victim’s family members to appear before him to depose on 06.01.2014. We hear that the Magistrate’s purposeful delay enabled the Police personals to settle the case out of the Court by offering Rs. 5 Lakh to the victim’s family.

We, the concerned citizen and activists are very much shocked to hear this kind of approach of a responsible Judicial officer. By acting against the established procedures of law he had betrayed the victim’s family. He had forgotten the ultimate fact that the judiciary is the last hope of the citizens.

Sir, we in the public interest humbly request your authority to institute an enquiry on this and take stringent action against the Thiruthuraipoondi Judicial Magistrate Mr. S.S. Siva and also pass necessary order to transfer the investigation of the said custodial death case to CBI and render Justice to the victim’s family.

Social Organisations met the Chief Minister and submitted a Memorandum on Law and Order Issue!

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Today (13.9.2013) Ira. Azhagiri (Thamizhar Desiya Iyyakkam), G. Sugumaran (Federation for People’s Rights), G.A. Jagannathan (People’s Livelihood Movement), Vera Mohan (Thanthai Periyar DK), M.Deva (Naam Thamizhar Party), A.Pavadairayan (Puratchiyalar Ambedkar Thondar Padai), G.Pragash (Thamizhar Kalam), Thiruvenkadam (Mudaliarpet Trader’s Association) and others met the Chief Minister N. Rangasamy, Chief Secretary Chetan B Sanghi and submitted a Memorandum. Since, the IGP was not in the office,  the Memorandum was handed over to the IGP Secretary.

Memorandum:

On behalf of Political Parties and Social Organisations of Puducherry, we are submitting this memorandum for your kind perusal and necessary action. We put forth some of our demands scrutinised after a detailed consultation in the meeting held on 10.09.2013, attended by various Political Parties and Social Organisation’s leaders.

We are very much worried about the deterioration of Law and Order situation in Puducherry. The rowdies are continuing their illegal activities by threatening the business community people and extorting money. The rowdies in Prisons of Puducherry are threatening and extorting money by using cell phones illegally. Instead of taking severe action, the Police are mute spectators and it creates panic among the people.

In recent days, we witness that the Police seized hundreds of cell phones from the Prisons of Puducherry. We request to disclose the details of persons whom were called by the rowdies from Prisons and also criminal action should be initiated against them. We further demand to order for a CBI enquiry in this regard.

We urge to constitute a Special Court to speed up the trial of the cases of land and house grabbing, extortion of money by rowdies, operation of rowdies from Prisons, etc. We also demand for a CBI enquiry in this regard.

We plea to disclose the assets of serving and retired Police officers who were in close nexus with the rowdies in Prisons and accumulated enormous wealth beyond their earnings. The relationship between the rowdies in Prisons and Police should be probed and stringent action should be taken on the errant police personals. We appeal to order for a CBI enquiry in this regard.

The District Collector of Puducherry has announced the activation of the “Anti Land Grabbing Cell” which was inactive for long period. We expect that the said cell should function without any bias and a Special Court should be constituted to conduct the trial of the cases filed by Police following the findings of the said cell.

We demand to convene the tri-party meeting of Police, Jail and Judicial officers every month to review and suggest suitable action on Law and Order situation. We also request to constitute an Enquiry Commission headed by a retired High Court Judge to study in depth and recommend to the Govt. suggesting the action on present Law and Order problem.

In the public interest, we are submitting these demands for your kind consideration and appropriate action to restore the derailed Law and Order situation in Puducherry region.

Memorandum seeking action on corrupt official Dr. Hariharan of Pondicherry University

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The Memorandum sent to Vice-Chancellor of Pondicherry University Ms. Chandra Krishnamurthy and others on 05.08.2013 regarding action on a Corrupt Official:

To
The Vice-Chancellor,
Pondicherry University,
Puducherry.

Respected Madam,

Sub: The CBI, ACB, Chennai has filed a case against Dr. S. Hariharan, presently
working as Dean, College Development Council, Pondicherry University and
others that they have entered in to a conspiracy and cheated the AICTE in
extending the approval of J.A. Institute of Engineering Technology (JAIET) run by St. Alfred Educational Trust at Chennai – Dr. S. Hariharan and Members of AICTE Expert Committee also benefited and willfully acted favouring the Trust violating the norms of AICTE – The Trust Management forged all the relevant documents and managed to get the AICTE approval for the JAIET – The said CBI case was pending at trail stage for long period – The CBI had sent a letter requesting the Pondicherry University authority to give ‘Sanction for Prosecution’ – The University authorities are willfully delaying in giving the ‘Sanction for Prosecution’ and thus protecting the officer listed as accused in the FIR from the clutches of law – Request to take steps to send the ‘Sanction
for Prosecution’ immediately – Request to place the accused officer under
suspension until the case concludes – Also relieve him from the sensitive post
of Dean of the College Development Council and other Committees – Reg.

Ref:

1) RC 48 (A) / 2009, CBI, ACB, Chennai – U/s 120-B r/w 420, 467, 468, 471
IPC and Sec. 13 (2) r/w 13(1)(d) of P.C. Act 1988.

2) Letter No. C1/ RC 48(A)/2009/CBI/AC/CHEN dated 08.12.2010.

***

Federation for People’s Rights (FPR), Puducherry is an organization working for Human, Civil and Social Rights since 1989. We wish your good self for assumed the charge as Vice-Chancellor of Pondicherry University and request your kind attention on this vital issue which degrades the fame of the profound University.

In 2009, the office of the CBI, ACB, Chennai has filed a case (Ref. No. 1) against Dr. S. Hariharan, presently posted as Dean, College Development Council, Pondicherry University and few others for the offence of entering in to a conspiracy and cheating the AICTE in connection with the grant of extension of approval of J.A. Institute of Engineering and Technology (JAIET) at Cheyyar Taluk in Tamilnadu.

‘St. Alfred Educational Trust’ applied to AICTE to start an Engineering College in the name of ‘J.A. Institute of Engineering and Technology College’ in Parukkal Village, Cheyyar Taluk, Chengalpet District in Tamilnadu. Based on this, the AICTE had sent an ‘Expert Committee’ to inspect and examine the requirements prescribed by the AICTE to run an Engineering College.

The AICTE ‘Expert Committee’ inspected the residential site at Koyempedu in Chennai instead of the said Parukkal site, knowing well that the site was not quoted in the application and submitted its ‘Inspection Report’ recommending the AICTE to approve the said Engineering College, contrary to the AICTE norms and standards. They have totally concealed the material facts and submitted a false report and made the AICTE to take a wrong decision. Based on this report, the AICTE approved the said JAIET and allowed for intake of total 180 students.

Consequently, the AICTE had sent two committees to the said JAIET sites at Koyempedu and Parukkal and they strongly recommended the AICTE to withhold the admissions due to insufficient infrastructure and academic facilities which has exposed the corrupt intent of the previous committee member. Based on this report, the AICTE ordered for reducing the intake of student’s from 180 to 120. Following this, the Anna University had disaffiliated the JAIET for the deficiencies and recommended the AICTE to withdraw its approval in 2003–2004. Accordingly, the AICTE took action and placed the said college in ‘No Admission Category’.

In 2004, the Trust Management indulged in lot of irregularities and illegal activities to get AICTE approval for the JAIET. The Trust Management forged the land documents to satisfy the minimum requirement of land for the college as per the AICTE norms, as if they possess 5.45 acres of land for the college in survey no. 186/2 in Koyempadu. They further forged the two FDRs for showing the financial status of the said Trust. They appointed one Mr. M.S. Ragunathan as the Principal of the JAIET knowing well that he is having only B.E. Degree and created forged Degree Certificates for M.E. and Ph.D. The Trust Management has forged the No Objection Certificate (NOC) of Government of Tamilnadu and Madras University as if they were issued to JAIET at Koyempedu for the purpose of getting AICTE approval.

The Trust Management submitted its ‘Compliance Report’ with all these false information and forged documents to AICTE with the intention to get approval. The AICTE authorities have approved the JAIET for the academic year of 2004–2005, without taking in to the consideration of the earlier ‘Expert Committee Report.’ The Anna University also affiliated the JAIET for the academic year 2004–2005.

The Trust Management submitted an application to AICTE attaching all these forged documents for the change of temporary site at Koyempedu as permanent site during 2005–2006. Based on this, the AICTE again sent an ‘Expert Committee’ to inspect and submit a report for the purpose of change of site and extension of approval. The said committee inspected the college on 25.06.2005 for physical verification of academic facilities and verification of original documents submitted. Then the ‘Expert Committee’ submitted its report to AICTE, stating ‘the present site is suitable for permanent site’ without any proper verification and intentionally aided the AICTE to accord extension of approval to JAIET. The Trust Management got a favourable order from AICTE for the change of the site i.e. Koyempedu as permanent site in 2009.

The said Dr. S. Hariharan, was one of the ‘Expert Committee’ member of AICTE and he and others were benefited and knowledgeably favoured the said Trust to get extension of approval of AICTE for the JAIET.

In this context, the CBI, ACB, Chennai had filed a case against 13 persons including the said Dr. S. Hariharan in 2009 (Ref. No. 2) under Sections 120-B r/w 420, 467, 471 IPC and 13(2) r/w 13(1)(d) of Protection of Corruption Act 1988. After the completion of the investigation, the CBI prepared the charge sheet and sent a letter addressed to the Vice Chancellor, Pondicherry University, to sign and send the ‘Sanction for Prosecution’ for launching the prosecution process against the said accused Dr. S. Hariharan on 08.12.2010 (Ref. No. 3).

Unfortunately, the previous Vice Chancellor, who is the sanction authority to issue the ‘Sanction for Prosecution’ replied to the CBI denying the sanction saying vague and without valid reasons. Meanwhile, our Federation came to know about the said case and we immediately shooted out a petition to the DIG, CBI, ACB, Chennai on 23.01.2013 requesting him to intervene in to this issue. We came to know from the reliable sources that the CBI after receiving our petition acted very swiftly and again sent a letter to the present Vice Chancellor seeking ‘Sanction for Prosecution’ in last week of January 2013.

We point out here that the Vice Chancellor never turned up for this letter and the said file was freezes under cold storage for last 6 months. We strongly say that the Vice Chancellor, who is the Sanction Authority, is protecting the officer who have committed a grave criminal offence defrand the public authority with misleading information which formed the basis for AICTE to take wrong decision.

It is also shocking that the said felonious officer was offered additional charge of the Dean, College Development Council of the University by the Vice Chancellor. It is the Council which should form the Expert Committees to inspect the colleges affiliated to the University and to monitor whether they are complying with the University and other Statutory Bodies norms and standards and also to provide affiliation to the new colleges. He was also appointed in 9 very important committees of the University. The Vice Chancellor’s act of appointing Dr. S. Hariharan as Dean to this sensitive department is widely criticized and it exposes the attitude of the Vice Chancellor openly supporting a man without clean hands and facing a criminal case.

We also bring to your good self’s knowledge that Dr. S. Hariharan’s performance as the Director of UGC – Academic Staff College is also not appreciable. During his tenure the said college went to 26th ranking in NAAC due to his maladministration, which was in first rank in 1998.

So, we request your authority to intervene in to this vital issue and take steps to clear the file and send the ‘Sanction for Prosecution’ to CBI immediately and place the accused officer under suspension until the case concludes and also relieve him from the sensitive post of Dean of College Development Council and Member of other committees.

We humbly say here that we expect your good self’s immediate action in this regard and otherwise we have no other option to organize agitation against the University and simultaneously legal action in the High Court of Madras.

Thanking You.
Yours truly,

(G. SUGUMARAN)
Secretary.

The copy of the same was also sent to

1. His Excellency President of India, Rastrapathy Bhavan, New Delhi.
2. Honourable Home Minister, MHA, New Delhi.
3. Honourable Minister of Human Resource Development, MHRD, New Delhi.
4. The Home Secretary, MHA, New Delhi.
5. The Secretary (Human Resource Development), MHRD, New Delhi.
6. The Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), CBI, ACB, Chennai.

 

Interim Fact Finding Report on Assam Violence and Refugee Life

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Toaday (30.11.2012) at 10 am at Press Club at Guwahati, capital of Assam the Fact Finding Interim Report was released:

Following the news reports about the second phase of violence and the continuance of the IDP camps for over five months in the BTAD areas, a team of National Confederation of Human Rights Organisations (NCHRO) visited the places and met the affected people, some authorities and concerned citizens with a view to collect the facts regarding. The team, consisting of NCHRO National Secretary Reny Ayline, Executive Members Prof. A. Marx, G.Sugumaran and Assam State Committee Member Advocate Ansarul Hoque visited at least 14 camps in Kokrajhar and Chirang districts in BTAD areas. The team met the IDPs there, took stock of the real conditions of the camps, both recognized and unrecognized. The team also met the Gossaigaon SDO Vinod Seshan IAS, the Bijni Police Station OC Aditya Deori, Goalpara MLA Monowar Hussain and some Intellectuals, academicians and HR activists from various social groups.

The team is moved at the sub human conditions in which the IDPs are now kept in the temporary shelters without any basic amenities necessary for a human being to survive. Most of the camps are situated in godowns, school buildings, river banks, paddy fields and drainage areas. In a winter season they are living without clothes suited to endure the cold and chilly climate. Most of them are farmers and they already lost one crop. Due to the lack of trauma counseling and proper medical assistance people are suffering from diseases and dying here and there. We have collected information about at least four deaths in the camps. The team is much worried to see hundreds of children loosing their education and playing and helping their parents in their daily works. We emphatically state that such a situation is a violation of Article 15 and 21 of the constitution which guarantees right to life and protection against discrimination on the basis of caste, religion etc. The IDPs are entitled according to UN guiding principles to proper security, food, shelter, medical aid etc.

Though different varieties of paramilitary forces are now deployed in the affected areas, people still feel insecure not only to return to their original dwellings but also to stay in the camps. In the recent violence the situation is brought to control only after 12 Muslims and two Bodos were killed between 10th and 14th this month. Most of the camps are without even a single security personal to protect any attack by armed groups who want to drive the IDPs away from the BTAD areas. The police and security personnel themselves prevented us from visiting many camps saying that our safety cannot be assured.

We understand that initially there were about 3,00,000 people in 171 camps. About 80% of them are Muslims and the remaining are Bodos. Though the individual household losses were not assessed properly by trained persons, the State govt has issued forms to gather relevant information. In the affected districts of Kokrajhar and Chirang about 19,632 forms were cleared by the state govt. But of these only 5,000 to 6000 applications were now recognized by the BTAD administration. This means that only 25% of those displaced by violence will be entitled for the rehabilitation package which includes 22,700 rupees cash relief and other few amenities. And only they will be allowed to return to their original dwellings. Nobody knows about the fate of others. The situation is worse in other areas. For example, in Mazrabari camp no 5, out of the 120 families only four applications are cleared by the BTAD administration. Thus the administration allows the benefits of violence to be reaped by the perpetrators of violence which is against the fundamentals of human ethics and basic principles of jurisprudence.

Though they are legal citizens as per the Assam accord and are living there for decades before independence, the BTAD administration requires land records such as pattas for allowing them to return to their places. Though most of them own lands in their respective places, many lost the records during the attack and burning of their houses. And for the past few decades we understand that documents for land transfers are not issued to the concerned people. The correlated documents such as voter ID and family card are also lost in the riots. The exact serial nos and other details in the records are not remembered by the people. Since the state govt has no revenue powers most of the duplicates for the lost documents are to be issued by the BTAD administration which is reluctant for obvious reasons. Only when the state govt and BTAD officials sit together and issue the duplicates for the past records this problem will be minimized to some extent.

Since most of the people are not recognized in this way, for fear of that their landed property in their village would be permanently lost, the IDPs now begin to move towards their respective villages and set up make shift temporary camps in the nearby areas. These camps are not recognized and protected by the administration. In Gossaigaon SD alone only 9 camps are recognized where as atleast 70 camps are there now. Their return to their original inhabitats are very much uncertain, and as one academic in Guwahati said, in due course the camps themselves will be converted as their villages which usually happen in Assam.

We understand that leaflets and notices are circulated in public places asking people not to buy anything from Bangaladeshi nationals and give any job or work to any of them. Though such an “economic blocade” does not mean muslims directly everybody knows that it is against them only. This will lead the muslims, who are already living in utter poverty, to hunger and starvation in the near future.

A govt’s most fundamental responsibility is to ensure the safety of its citizen and when it is violated, it should not only compensate the losses and rehabilitate the affected, but also should apprehend and punish the guilty and the perpetrators of violence. As per the govt account itself atleast 111 people are killed from July till date about 3,00,000 people are ousted, and crores worth property are looted. But not all who are responsible for these are yet arrested. In one camp, the inmates said that they can identify those who attacked them, but the police have not yet arrested them.

Illegal arms is another important issue to be addressed immediately. As a professor told us today, in Assam one can get a gun more easily than a phone connection. Many agencies including the state is responsible for this situation. As long as the gun culture prevails, we feel that peace and safety of people cannot be assured.

We don’t want to enter into the “illegal immigrants” debate in this interim report. We agree that there are genuine grievances on either side. Though either side have opposite opinions on whether the influx is still continuing, we feel it is going on decreasing. As the CM has declared it now almost reduced to a bare minimum. We agree that even this minimum number should be still reduced and those who infiltrate should be identified and legal actions be taken against them. In a similar manner the ‘land encroachment’ problem should also be settled through negotiation without violating any party’s rights. But one should not take law into their own hands and oust people and kill them for these reasons even if they are true. A dialogue is now necessary between different communities. But unfortunately the Bodo representatives are not ready even to participate in peace committees.

Under these circumstances we demand that:

1. Immediate steps to be taken to rehabilitate the IDPs in their respective places. The central and, state govts should sit together with the BTAD administration and clear the legal and political hurdles against this. As for as issuing duplicates for the lost records and documents a special empowered committee should be formed under the SDOs in each sub divisions. The relevant authorities of both the state and BTAD should be included in the committee which should conduct special fast track drives in the IDP camps and issue the documents.

2. The displaced people should be relieved from their fear psychosis. The deployment of army personnel should be increased in these areas. A special investigating team (SIT) should be formed to cease the illegal arms. The perpetrators of violence should be arrested immediately.

3. The rehabilitation package should be extended to all the IDPs unconditionally. It should not be clubbed with other issues. The cash relief of 22,700 is a very meager amount which should be increased to at least 2 lakh rupees. The other losses of each households should be estimated and be fully compensated as early as possible.

4. The hate speeches and the “economic blockades” should be brought to an end. All the political parties, intellectuals. Writers and academics should take initiative against this and try to open a platform and provide a conducive atmosphere for a dialogue among communities. Intellectuals and civil society leaders of the neighboring NE states also should be included in such efforts.

5. The international borders between Bangala Desh, Bhutan, Myanmar and Nepal should be sealed and illegal influx to be stopped completely.

6. The state govt should not shy away from the problem and leave everything to the BTAD administration. It should not forget that rehabilitation is a state subject. Indian govt should understand that it is very much alienated from the people of NE states and should try to rectify this immediately. This includes settling age old problems politically. It should stop handling the insurgencies in these areas to its political advantage.

Save Sonali Mukherjee – A Deserted Acid Attack Victim

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Federation for People’s Rights (FPR), Puducherry, Secretary, G. Sugumaran sent Memorandum to Home Minister of India, Chief Ministers of Jharkhand and Delhi on 16.07.2012:

Sonali Mukherjee (aged 27 years) of Dhanbad District of Jharkhand was drenched with acid before nine years by three of her neighbours after having been subjected to years of sexual harassment. Due to this attack she is blind in both eyes, partially deaf and melted away the skin on the skull, neck, chest and other parts of the body. Her younger sister was also injured in this attack and escaped with minor injuries. Sonali Mukherjee is now undergoing treatment as outpatient in Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital. Since there is no regular income, she is facing difficulties to spare money even to travel from Jharkhand to Delhi or staying at Delhi for treatment. There is continuous life threat for her and family members from the acid attack culprits following their release from Jail. She is seeking help from the Delhi Government to survive or to permit her for euthanasia. We are shocked that she is almost abandoned by this ‘civilised’ society.

We also extended our support for M.A.S.E.S – Movement Against Sexual Exploitation and Sexism, Tamilnadu and other groups which took up the issue and campaigning for getting Justice for the deserted victim.

So, we request your good office to intervene and provide necessary financial assistance and protection to the hapless victim.

State shall not hang – Justise V.R.Krishna Iyer

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Eight sentenced to death is group murder is mass homicide.  This is against Mahatma Gandhi and Tamil life-giving culture of Kannagi’s demand.    The group murder is gory carnage.  The facts are terrible but compassion is just and fundamental under Article 51A of the Constitution.  The facts justifying the clemency of the Governor and the President are as follows:

The eight prisoners on whose behalf this plea is made have been convicted and sentenced to death, which was affirmed and reaffirmed by higher courts, live only with the hope that their clemency petition would be accepted and shown mercy. Indeed every saint has a past and every sinner a future.

These languishing eight prisoners awaiting death are:

1.      Mr. Surendra Raja alias Santhan

2.      Mr. Srikaran alias Murugan

3.      Mr. Perarivalan alias Arivu. All the three convicted in connection with the assassination of former Prime Minister Mr.Rajiv Gandhi.

4.     Mr.Mohanarangam  alias Mohan

5.      Mr. Gopi, who are convicted on the charge of the murder of Master. Sriram in 1993.

All the above prisoners are imprisoned in Vellore Central Jail.

The prisoners who were sentenced to death in 1995 in respect of a murder in the premises of the Kanyakumari district Court namely:

6.      Sheik Meeran

7.      Selvam

8.      Mr.Radha Krishnan are imprisoned in the Trichy Central Jail.

The prisoners convicted  in the Rajiv Gandhi case are behind the bars for the past  17 years. The prisoners convicted in Master. Sriram murder case have been imprisoned for the past 15 years.

These eight prisoners who are undergoing the trauma of awaiting death have no light to seek than to knock the doors of the first citizen of the Republic in their search of mercy.

The United Nations is against Death Sentence.  As Home Minister, I never hanged, always commuted and my Governor agreed. The Chief Minister could play an affirmative role in this issue as had been done by Sri. V.R.Krishna Iyer, the Hon’ble Home Minister in the E.M.S Namboodripad ministry in Kerala, in regard to one Mr.C.A.Balan, who was sentenceded to death and whose clemency petitions were rejected by the Governor and the President, who was released by the earnest effort of the Hon’ble Home Minister G.B. Panth.  A Tamil sentenced to death in Coimbatore but kept in Kerala Central Jail I declined to hang and pressured the Central Home Minister G.B. Panth to commute the death penalty.  Your name is karuna clemency; your government is kindness.  Today, the noblest day for Tamils the world over.  Don’t hang in the name of Tamil humanity.  I in two notable cases have held that the majority of nations have decided against death penalty. The USA in many States have no death penalty.  Life is given by God; Man shall not deprive it.  Lord Scarman a great law lord of Britain wrote to me appreciating my contra-death penalty judgments.  I, with the Swedish Prime Minister inaugurated in the seventies an International Conference in Stockholm against capital punishment.  Let us Indians vote for life.  I beseech you great Karunanidhi that on the historic glorious occasion of World Tamil Conference set a supreme example of clemency by commuting Death into Life.  The finest hour of Tamil culture of compassion is a fundamental duty to violate and kill eight Tamils is a grievous unconstitutional act.  An excellent example to the nation, to the UNO and the cultural universe Karunanidhi the great and sublime Chief Minister of Tamil country at a World Conference saved the lives of eight Tamils.  They will have life sentence for their crime but save their lives since our Constitution in Article 51A lays down as a fundamental duty a clemency obligation of compassion to all living creatures.  From Macaulay to Mahatma, Tamil Nadu has transformed the Penal Law of clemency as a measure of Social Justice.  It overrides all harsh penalty.  The crime is terrible.  We condemn it.   But compassion and clemency is for commutation.  We are for Gandhi, not for Godse nor Macaulay.  Our tryst with Destiny is to wipe every tear—Not make more people weep.  Beloved Karunanidhi, show mercy to the eight Tamil lives.  It will be a great gesture on this celebrated occasion of global Tamil marvel to save condemned lives in the name of humanism.

June 22, 2010                                                                                     V.R. KRISHNA IYER

FPR Secretary G.Sugumaran met Union Home Minister and submitted a memorandum pressing various demands!

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Federation for People’s Rights (FPR), Puducherry, Secretary G. Sugumaran met the Home Minister of India Mr. P. Chidambaram in the Chief Secretariat in Puducherry and submitted a memorandum today (10.04.2010):

On behalf of “Federation for People’s Rights (FPR), Puducherry” an organization working for Human and Social rights since three decades, we are submitting this memorandum in the public interest and humbly request your authority to consider the same and uphold the interest of Puducherry people and render Justice.

(1)    Request to terminate the illegal concession agreement of Puducherry Port project and reclaim the 153 acres of  Government land handed over to the private port firm.

The Government of Puducherry evolved a plan to develop the existing port and entered in to an agreement with a private concern at an estimated cost of Rs. 2600 crore on 2005. The Government had transferred 153 acres of its owned land around the existing port site, to the private firm without obtaining prior permission from Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), which is the competent authority as established by law. It has also attempted to acquire the private lands in and around the Thengaithittu village.

As the people of Puducherry firmly believed that their fundamental basis for existence would be jeopardized on implementing the port project, they embarked into intensive agitation against the Government’s wrong decision. Following the agitation launched jointly by Political Parties and Social Movements, the Government announced that the port project would be kept in abeyance. It is worth to note here that our Federation has  played a vital role in these struggles.

Following the Madras High Court and Supreme Court Judgments in the Port Project case, the Puducherry Government had determined to execute the project and announced the same in public.

The Government of India, particularly the MHA has preferred an Appeal Petition in the Supreme Court of India to recall or modify the decision delivered earlier. The SC admitted the petition and had taken on file on 7th December 2009. In the light of this new development, the issue gains significance.

MHA had exhaustively pointed out various Infirmities and violation of Rules and Regulations, Statutory Provisions of Puducherry Administration Act, Puducherry Rules of Business, Governance of UT Act and Constitution of India.

The Government had violated in the bid process, selection of bidder, terms of contract, disproportionate quantum of lease amount, constitution of governing body, etc. The Ministry of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Home affairs, Planning Commission have recorded the violation of the rules to the core and undue favoritism shown to the private firm, which has been found guilty by the SEBI authorities. Besides the terms of contract has caused huge monetary loss to the Exchequer. The matter has been taken cognizance by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) which is yet to receive its reply from the Puducherry Government.

Further, it has been pointed out by the Government of India that handing over of 153 acres of state owned land to private firm is beyond the jurisdiction of Puducherry Government, as the power vest only with the MHA.

The lease amount has been fixed as 3.06 lakhs per annum for the above said land payable to the Government by the private firm. As per the normal procedure in practice in the states like Andhrapradesh, is that the lease amount should be 2% of the fair market value of the land. Hence, the lease amount to be collected figures around 14.5 crores. Hence, the Government has shown undue favour to the private firm causing substantial loss to the Government.

We infer from the reliable source that the MHA has written a letter stating categorically to the Government of Puducherry to cancel the said agreement and also to take back the 153 acre Government land handed over to the private concern illegally. But still the Puducherry Government is firm in disobeying the order of the MHA.

Following the MHA, the Shipping Ministry of India has also filed an application before the Supreme Court of India, opposing the said port project praying for the recall or modification of the earlier judgment favouring the port project.

Hence, we humbly request your authority to take steps to terminate the said illegal concession agreement, forthwith. Also to take steps to reclaim the said 153 acres of Government land from the private port developer.

(2)    Request not to give sanction for the further extension and take steps to cancel the concession agreement of Karaikal Port project and reclaim the said 597 acre Government land handed over to the port developer.

In 2006 a concession agreement on Karaikal Port entered between the Government of Puducherry and Marg Constructions. The all-weather deep sea Port project is being built on private public partnership mode by a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) called Karaikal Port Limited, a subsidiary of Marg Constructions on BOT basis for the Puducherry Government.

As per the said agreement, the revenue sharing between the Puducherry government and Karaikal Port Limited is for a period of 30 years and the developers would extend 2.6 percent of the gross income to the Government. The government of Puducherry had transferred 597 acres of Government land to the private developers on 5th February 2007. The MHA not yet approved for the transfer of the above mentioned 597 acre land to the port developer.

The Karaikal Port became operational in August 2009, after completion of first phase of the project at an estimate of Rs 416 crore. In expectation of the gross income of Rs 46.78 crore during 2009 – 2010, the port developer handed over Rs 30 lakh to the Government at its share of revenue for the first quarter out of a targeted share of Rs 1.21 crore in 2009 -2010.

The MHA has sent a letter to the port developers for revision of the concession agreement through an upward revision of the percentage of gross revenue to the Government. MHA also communicated for the enhancement of the land lease amount to Rs 1,000 per acre. But, the port developers never turned up to the MHA conditions and continued their process of developing the Karaikal Port.

The villagers of Karaikal region particularly the coastal area fisher folk people are very much affected by the said port project. The main export in the port is coal and it causes huge air pollution and hazardous to the environment. The drinking water in the coastal area of Karaikal is already getting saline and the people are living with scarcity of drinking water.

Hence, we request your authority not to give sanction for the further extension and take steps to cancel the concession agreement of Karaikal Port project. Also to take steps to reclaim the said 597 acre Government land from the private port developer.

(3)    Request to take steps to reclaim the lands acquired for the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) since the MHA ordered to the Puducherry Gevernment to reclaim the land provided to the private developer.

The Puducherry Government entered in an agreement with a private developer to set up a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Setharapet – Karasur area in Puducherry in 1000 acres of land. The Government acquired about 800 acres of agricultural land from the farmers at the cost of 70 crore for the SEZ.  Also the Government has approached the MHA to get approval to hand over the 13 acres of Government land to the private developer.

The MHA found that the 800 acres already acquired were not fit for developing the SEZ. As per rules, an SEZ should be developed in a contiguous area and specially delineated enclave. The MHA ordered to the Puducherry Government to reclaim the land provided to the private developer. But till date the government is very reluctant to obey the MHA order to get back the land and hand over to the farmers of Setharapet – Karasur area.

Hence, we request your authority to take steps to reclaim the acquired agricultural land and hand over to the farmers of Setharapet – Karasur area in order to protect the livelihood of the farmers.

(4)    Request to instruct the Government to immediately issue the G.O. providing 2.5 percent reservation for the Backward Muslims and 1 percent reservation for the Backward Tribe.

The Government of Puducherry announced 2.5 percent reservation in Education and Employment for the Backward Muslims and 1 percent reservation for the Scheduled Tribe people categorising them as Backward Tribe. The Backward Class Commission initially recommended providing 2.5 percent reservation to Backward Muslims by taking 1 percent from BC and 1.5 percent from MBC. The Muslims and MBC people opposed this distribution of percentage and since the Muslims of Puducherry come under BC category, they demanded to provide reservation to Muslims from the BC category following the other states of India. Due to wide spread agitation from the aggrieved MBC people, the BC Commission reviewed its recommendation and sent a modified recommendation to the Government to provide 2.5 percent to the Backward Muslims from the BC category.

The Scheduled Tribe people of Puducherry are fighting for about 25 years for the status of ST and their legitimate rights including reservation benefits. The Government of Puducherry accepting the long pending demands of ST people announced to provide 1 percent reservation. The Backward Class Commission recommended providing 1 percent reservation categorising them as Backward Tribe.

Hence, we request your authority to instruct the Government to immediately issue the G.O. providing 2.5 percent reservation to the Backward Muslims and 1 percent reservation to the Backward Tribe.

We sincerely trust and hope that your authority will certainly give due consideration to the legitimate aspiration of the people of Puducherry and would ensure justice to our people.