CBI probe sought into minor’s kidnap

May 29, 2013

The Dalit Sangharsha Samiti (DSS) has demanded a CBIinquiry into the allegation that a woman volunteer with the South India Cell for Human Rights Education and Monitoring (Sichrem) was “involved” in the kidnap and torture of a minor girl. 

A memorandum in this regard was submitted by DSS’s district office-bearers to the Additional Deputy Commissioner, Sangappa, on Monday.

Complaint lodged

A complaint was lodged by Rukmini, the Superintendent of KGF’s Government Boys’ Home, against Sichrem volunteer, Manjula, at the Andersonpet police station.

The Dalit Sangharsh Samiti workers, however, allege that Manjula, who belongs to a Scheduled Caste (SC) is “a social worker known for her public service in the region”.

A resident of Gandhi Nagar in Kolar, Manjula has been associated with Sichrem in the town since April 2012.

‘Victim of target’

The DSS alleged that Manjula was being “targeted” by Rukmini as she opposed the former’s efforts to bring more inmates to the boys’ home.

A verbal duel also ensued between the two. Rukmini is supported by the President of Child Welfare Committee, Kalai Selvi, and the counsellor, Shilpa, in her efforts to “assassinate” the character of Manjula.

The DSS demanded that those attempting to “mislead” the course of justice be punished.
A CBI inquiry is needed to dig out the truth, it said.

 

Source : Deccan Herald, 29th May 2013


PRESS RELEASE – SICHREM Condemns Killings of Congress Party leaders and all others by Maoists in Dharba Ghati of Sukma District, Chhattisgarh

May 29, 2013

The South India Cell for Human Rights Education and Monitoring (SICHREM) strongly condemns the ambush and killing of a Congress party election cavalcade by the CPI (Maoist) party in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh on Saturday, 25th May, 2013, resulting in the death of more 30 people which included politicians, security personnel and locals of the area and critically injuring former Union Minister V.C. Shukla. 

SICHREM denounces as totally unacceptable, the abduction, kidnapping and killing of NK Patel(Congress Party President) and his son Dinesh.Salwa Judum’s founder, Mahendra Karma was also killed. SICHREM expresses its deepest condolences to the families of all those who were killed.

SICHREM’s stand, is that, under no circumstances can acts of brutality be justified, even if they be in response to equally heinous and brutal acts unleashed by the state or non state forces. 

Even while, politicians across the political spectrum are terming this act,  as an attack on democracy, it should also not be forgotten  that every time an adivasi is killed, jailed, houses burnt, women raped etc they only be termed as collateral damage in the ‘Operation Green Hunt’, whereas it is an attack on democracy and human rights. Complaints are a plenty of state security forces committing torture, secret detentions, abductions, enforced disappearances, unfair trials, arbitrary and prolonged incommunicado detention which is going on for all these years with impunity. 

While SICHREM firmly condemns the violence of the Maoists and acknowledges the constitutional duty and responsibility cast on the Governments to protect the life of all people it equally stresses that whatever be the situation, the state forces must act within the confines of law.

SICHREM asserts that any counter strategies devised by the Government should adhere strictly to the rule of law, constitution and specific standards and obligations of international human rights and humanitarian law.  Important to note in this regard is the, Declaration on Upholding Human Rights and the Rule of Law in Combating Terrorism,2005 (“A pervasive security-oriented discourse promotes the sacrifice of fundamental rights and freedoms in the name of eradicating terrorism. There is no conflict between the duty of States to protect the rights of persons threatened by terrorism and their responsibility to ensure that protecting security does not undermine other rights. On the contrary, safeguarding persons from terrorist acts and respecting human rights both form part of a seamless web of protection incumbent upon the State. Both contemporary human rights and humanitarian law allow States a reasonably wide margin of flexibility to combat terrorism without contravening human rights and humanitarian legal obligations”).

 

SICHREM joins in appeal with all other democratic and peace loving citizens for the immediate stopping of killings and violence by both the State and the Maoists.


Mobile Human Rights Legal Clinic at Lakshmanram Nagar Slum, Koramangla on May 22, 2013

May 27, 2013

SICHREM in collaboration with Global Concern India,Ananya Trust & Mahila Ookuta  organised Mobile Human Rights Legal Clinic at Lakshmanram Nagar Slum,Koramangla, Bangalore on May 22 ,2013. There were about 30 participants and 14 cases were handled at the clinic. Most of the cases were related to family issues, neighborhood issues & property issues. Adv.Manohar Hosea & Adv.Shashikaka gave legal counseling to the victims.

Below are some photos taken on site.

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Complaint of Dinesh’s torture by Head Constable Siddalingiah of Subramanyapura Police Station.

May 24, 2013

The Member

Karnataka State Human Rights Commission

4th Floor, 5th Phase, M.S.Building,

Bangalore- 560001

 

Dear Madam/Sir

The English dailies, The Hindu and DNA, in their columns dated 23rd May 2013; report that, A police head constable has been booked on charges of beating up a 38-year-old private firm employee in Subramanyapura on Tuesday, after the victim demanded a receipt for a fine for smoking in public.

Dinesh, a resident of Gowdarapalya, was outside Uttar Karnataka Military Hotel smoking while waiting for a food parcel, when night beat head constable,Siddalingaiah,told him that he violated a rule by smoking in public and  demanded he pay Rs. 200, which he agreed to and demanded a receipt. Siddalingaiah refused to give the receipt, which led to a heated argument and Siddalingaiah beat up Dinesh black and blue while other customers and hotel staff watched in horror.

Dinesh, undergoing treatment in a private hospital, has sustained serious injuries, had to have 25 stitches on his face because of the repeated punches. On Wednesday, a complaint has been lodged at the Subramanyapura station and Siddalingaiah has been absconding after the severe assault.

The Subramanyapura police claim that Dinesh was found standing in a group outside the hotel smoking and was asked to leave the place but had refused leading to a fight between the duo and they also allege that he was drunk. Further, the  Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) H.S. Revanna is said to have stated that no one came and complained to him but after he came to know of the incident, he has asked the Police Inspector to conduct an enquiry and file a report for further action to be taken.

We file this complaint with a hope that a detailed enquiry into the whole matter is initiated;

1.    To look into the assault and torture of Dinesh,

2.    Why did the Head Constable refuse to issue a receipt for the fine?

3.    Why was the station or control room not informed of the creating of nuisance at that hour?

4.    Whether a medical test was done to ascertain if he was under the influence of alcohol?

5.    If there are eye-witness to conclude that there were drunk and were creating nuisance?

Thanking you,

Yours Truly,

R.Manohar

Head – Programs


Bangalore TCS 10K Marathon 2013

May 20, 2013

SICHREM Group Photo – II

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SICHREM Group Photo – III

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Bangalore TCS 10K Marathon 2013

May 20, 2013

Bangalore TCS 10K Marathon 2013

Group photo – SICHREM Team


Platform for alleviating social problems.

May 20, 2013

The thrill of finishing a race, the fierce competition in organised sport — these are some of the reasons why many participate in the TCS World 10K run.

For others, the stakes are higher. Disabilities, human rights abuse, and other issues are usually swept under the carpet, but this international event serves as a platform for the masses to understand — as well as help alleviate — the problem.

SICHREM, an NGO which strives for human rights education, aimed to bring about greater awareness by taking part in the race.

“We want to raise funds for the victims of human rights violations. One of the issues we deal with is domestic violence against women, which is punishable by law, but not enforced often,” says Chitra Ranganada, fund raising co-ordinator of SICHREM.

The funds raised will be channelled to SICHREM’s clinics in slums, which seeks to educate women about their basic rights, and how to tackle cases of domestic violence. Most women in these areas do not know that the law is on their side, says Ms. Ranganada.

SICHREM hopes to collect Rs. 5 lakh through its entry in the TCS World 10K, and has realised Rs. 1.2 lakh so far. ‘Dream A Dream’, an NGO with the mission to impart life skills to children from vulnerable backgrounds, uses an unique method to reach the goal.

The NGO uses sport and art to teach children these lessons, which cannot be found in the regular curriculum of a school.

“We have after-school programmes with government-aided schools, where life skills such as decision-making and conflict-resolution are taught. Through sport, we use experimental mediums to simulate situations that these children will face in life. Then, through discussion, the students learn the best ways to tackle these types of scenarios,” says Suchetha Bhat, Chief Operating Officer, ‘Dream A Dream’.

The cheers from many of the beneficiaries of these NGOs, when their parade passed, is proof that this race is more than just that.

Source: The Hindu, May 20, 2013


Jail inmates want mobile jammers removed.

May 17, 2013

The inmates of Parappana Agrahara Central Prisons and Mysore central jail have written to National Human Rights Commission urging it to help remove mobile phone jammers installed in these two prisons citing deaths due to radiation emitted by them.

The deaths of Nanjangud-based prisoner Puttashetty in Mysore jail in December 2012 and Akram Pasha in Bangalore in January 2013, were caused by high radiation emitted from the mobile jammers, they have claimed in the letter.

‘2 died due to radiation’

In their letter to the NHRC dated March 15, 2013, the inmates have said that the two were diagnosed with radiation-induced carcinogenesis and cerebrovascular syndrome (CVS), which has been suppressed by the authorities.

Sources in the prisons and the South India cell for Human Rights Education and Monitoring (Sichrem) have said that the hospital authorities have confirmed that they died of CVS and the post mortem report which will throw light on their death has been suppressed.

“Puttashetty exhibited all sorts of syndromes of CVS. There were many who exhibited such syndrome, which has been found to be stated by the experts at Kidwai, Nimhans and Victoria Hospital,” the prisoners have said.

“He was suffering from a form of cancer and was earlier operated for brain abscess in the neuro surgery department of Nimhans. CVS in his case was due to exposure to radiation of mobile jammers in the prisons in Mysore, because the investigation has revealed that none of his family members had this problem,” the inmates in their letter to Chairman, NHRC have said.

Citing the Supreme Court order fixing a cap on radiation emitted from cell phone towers at 0.05 watts per square meter, the letter to NHRC chairman says that Bangalore prison jammers emit a total power output up to 300 watts.

Pointing out that the Bulgarian firm which supplied jammers to City’s prison has also supplied to the prisons in Afghanistan, the prisoners have stated that since these jammers emit more radiations they should be replaced.

SHRC authorities, on receiving complaints, deputed officers to hear their grievances. “ However the officers deputed were all police officers who conducted an inquiry before the prison authorities and the prisoners dared not to open their mouths,” the complaint said. Mathew Philip, Executive Director, Sichrem said the SHRC is vested with powers to conduct surprise raids, but this action seems to be more suspicious. He also expressed his surprise that NHRC failed to look into the complaint by the inmates.

Claim rubbished

However, a top official in Parappana Agrahara Central Prisons rubbished the claims of the prisoners regarding the jammers and reason for deaths of Puttashetty and Pasha and said: “The jammers have been tested before installation and has been installed as per the rules. It is a hidden campaign of the rowdy sheeters, who are losing out on their business of extorting money.”

Blaming a rowdy sheeter ‘Silent Sunil’ who is now in the prison, the official said there are at present 12 groups of rowdy sheeters in the prison, that are funding this campaign because they are unable to make money from prisons without using cellphones.

The NHRC, considering the seriousness of the Bangalore Central Prison, has not responded to the letter. He  said the prison has inmates from about 40 international drug mafia, 15 mining mafia and 20 arrested with terror links which includes those from Pakistan.

In additions to Sunil group there are 11 groups of rowdy sheeters headed by Kavala, Palani, Kutti, Dairy Mahesh, Robbery Giri, Cycle Ramesh, Balla, Tanveer Group, Lokesh, Korangu and Ravi Poojary groups.

Additional Director General of Police Gagan Deep, when contacted, said he is not aware of this complaint or any incident pertaining to the deaths of two inmates.

Source : Deccan Herald, 16th May 2013.


SICHREM welcomes CPM’s Decision for the call for abolishing death penalty

May 16, 2013

The South India Cell for Human Rights Education and Monitoring (SICHREM), a South India human rights organization based in Bangalore working for the protection, promotion and defense of human rights welcomes the decision of the Communist Party Of India (Marxist)’s call for abolishing of death penalty in the country and wanting it to be changed into imprisonment till death in rarest of the rare cases.

SICHREM appreciates the decision taken on Monday (13 May 2013) at the two-day Central Committee meeting and also congratulates the CPM which became the first national-level political party to seek abolition of the “arbitrarily implemented” death penalty in India and advocating for an indefinite jail term in the rarest of the rare cases and that the death penalty, as it is in practice is arbitrarily implemented. It is inhuman and after execution irreversible” 

The CPM joins the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) in Tamil Nadu and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in J&K that have argued that India needs to join the 97 countries in the world that have already abolished death penalty.

Moreover, throughout the world, the calls for abolition of death penalty and also to place a moratorium on all death sentences is increasing with a view to abolish death sentences for all crimes from the law books and thereby the demand for signing of the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. (II OPT to ICCCPR on abolition of Death Penalty)

SICHREM also joins CPM and all other organizations and individuals in asking the Government of India to amend its statutes to accommodate abolition of death penalty.


Amendments to child labour law suggested

May 7, 2013

Realising the need for a robust child labour law and its effective implementation, a panel of stakeholders recommended that all the existing legislation for enforcement of effective law be converged into one and proper rehabilitation package for rescued child labourers be made available.

The Bachpan Bachao Andolan along with major child rights advocacy organisations and academic institutions proposed these amendments to the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act 1986, on Friday.

Vocational courses

The panel of stakeholders felt that introduction of a vocational stream at the secondary education level could help avoid child labour in the age group of 14 to 18. Strict restriction on hazardous occupations and production of items like beedi, agarbathi, firecrackers was recommended, stringent punishment be meted out to those who employ child labour and employment of child labour be made a cognisable offence.

Among the other recommendations was a total ban of child labour of under-14s in accordance with the Right to Education Act. The panel suggested that a child be defined as one who is below 18 years and recommended that international law should not be diluted by creating definitions such as ‘child’ and ‘adolescent’. These amendments have been suggested to the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act 1986.

Commissioner of Education S.R. Umashankar and Additional Labour Commissioner J.T. Jinkalappa were present at the consultation along with representatives from Centre for Child and the Law from the National Law School of India University, Citizen’s Voluntary Initiative for the City, South India Cell for Human Rights Education and Monitoring, Association for Promoting Social Action, Sparsha Trust, Justice and Care, International Justice Mission, Bridge Network, Radio Active and Evangelical Social Action Forum.

Source: The Hindu; Dated: May 4, 2013