35th JP Memorial Lecture by Gopalkrishna Gandhi

June 24, 2015 by · Comments Off on 35th JP Memorial Lecture by Gopalkrishna Gandhi
Filed under: Human Rights, Uncategorized 

35th JP Memorial Lecture by Gopalkrishna Gandhi, March 23 2015
For a full transcript Click Here

Press Release – Custodial Death of Mubarak Pasha

September 4, 2014 by · Comments Off on Press Release – Custodial Death of Mubarak Pasha
Filed under: Human Rights, Press Releases, Uncategorized 

People’s Union for Civil Liberties strongly condemns the custodial death of Mubarak Pasha under mysterious circumstances in Central Prison in Bangalore, as reported in the media on 1 Sept 2014. The shameful incident reflects poorly on the entire police and security force of Bangalore – the appointed custodians for citizens’ safety with responsibility to ensure constitutionally mandated right to life and liberty of all.

PUCL demands an immediate and rigorous inquiry into the incident following the guidelines provided by National Human Rights Commission.

 

Press Release – Amendments to the Goonda’s Act

August 16, 2014 by · Comments Off on Press Release – Amendments to the Goonda’s Act
Filed under: Press Releases 

PUCL Karnataka is shocked and strongly opposes the recent amendment to the Draconian Goondas Act passed by the Karnataka Assembly, which impinges on civil liberties and undermines constitutionally mandated guarantees of fundamental rights and freedom of expression for all citizens.

The State has egregiously grabbed wide and arbitrary powers, increasing enormously the scope of potential abuse, by the enormous expansion and clubbing of varied offences under The Karnataka Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Bootleggers, Drug-offenders, Gamblers, Goondas, Immoral Traffic Offenders, Slum-grabbers and Video or Audio Pirates, Acid attackers, Depradator of Environment, Digital Offenders, Money Launderers and Sexual Predators (Amendment) Bill, 2014.

Extraordinary laws, like this one, are extra-constitutional in nature and intended for use only under exceptional circumstances – which pose grave and imminent threat to public safety and order. The current amendment brings extraordinary measures into the realm of ordinary public life.

With the provision of preventive detention, there is little incentive within this Act for rigorous investigation, improved forensics and better policing leading to a conviction, and a much larger scope for indiscriminate or wrong indictments.

In serious and heinous issues of sexual violence this legislation has completely disregarded recommendations of the Verma Committee, laid down after consultations with the civil society groups, instead allowing suspected offenders charged with probable future crimes to be punished – a priori.

Academic studies have shown that the Goonda Act is susceptible to a strong class bias and criminalises habitual offenders; the practice of picking up rowdy sheeters and habitual offenders goes against the constitutional guarantee of a free and fair trial, apart from being contrary to the very notion of a rehabilitative criminal justice system. Versions of the Goonda Act in other states have been successfully challenged in courts.

The amendments introduce vague terms like ‘sexual predator’ and ‘environmental depredator’ that allow for arbitrary use of the law. Inclusion of the IT and Copyrights infringements, which pose little or no imminent public threat, are further examples of the legislative over reach of this act. These “offenders” can now be criminalised and punished on mere suspicion of possible future innocuous offences with detention up to a year even prior to being presented before a magistrate, placing a large section of the public, especially the younger internet and Facebook generation, in direct threat of indictment and incarceration.

Locking Out Workers – Fact Finding Report

June 23, 2014 by · Comments Off on Locking Out Workers – Fact Finding Report
Filed under: Reports From Other Organizations! 

A Citizens’ Fact-finding Report on the Lockout and Subsequent Events at Stump, Schuele, and Somappa Springs Private Limited, Hosur Road, Bangalore, 2014

Read / Download the full report here

Stumpp, Schuele and Somappa Springs Private Limited (hereinafter
SSSPL) is, arguably, the leading manufacturer of springs for cars,
two-wheelers and commercial vehicles, for clients like Maruthi
Udyog, Tata, Hyundai, TVS, Toyota, Bajaj etc. However, over the
past two months, it has been in the news for some of its labour
practices, which have also caught the attention of civil society
organisations. The workers of this factory were at its gates claiming
that the management had declared a lockout at its Hosur Road
factory for its contract workers on 1st March 2014, and, five days
later, for its permanent workers, and that all these workers were
suddenly rendered jobless, and their families face an insecure and
bleak future on the street.

After declaring a lockout on their workers who were Union
members, the management illegally brought in more than 100
workers from other states (Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Tripura,
Jharkhand, Odisha, and Bihar) and from the northern districts of
Karnataka to resume production. This was discovered in a surprise
inspection by a team of officials from the Revenue Department
following a directive of Karnataka State Human Rights Commission,
which had received a complaint in this regard. The team of officials
found that the new temporary employees were working in
‘inhuman conditions’, sleeping on empty cartons on the rooftop;
they were not allowed to go outside the factory and were treated
like bonded labourers.

On 7th April, the state government passed orders prohibiting the
lockout declared by the management of permanent and contract
workers, hence requiring the management to lift the lockout with
immediate effect. On the 9th of April, the management lifted the
lockout, but only for the permanent workers. On the 11th of April,
the permanent workers resumed work on the guarantee that the
contract workers would also allowed to go back to work.

However, till date, the contract workers have not been allowed
inside. The management, instead, has taken the stand that only
contract workers of its choice would be allowed to resume work
while those who were active as union leaders would not be given
back their jobs. Even this is subject to two conditions. First, the
existing union would have to agree to only represent the
permanent workers and make the necessary changes in its
constitution. Second, there should be no outside leadership of
the union, and all the office bearers should be permanent workers.
We have also been informed that the permanent workers who
have resumed work are being subject to harassment tactics by
the management in order to break the union.
With a view to finding out more about the lockout incident, a
group of concerned citizens, comprising civil society activists,
including members of human rights organizations, formed a team
and decided to undertake a fact-finding investigation into the
circumstances that led to the lockout, the players involved in the
incident, as well as the impact of the lockout on the factory’s
workers.

Read / Download the full report here

 

Press Release | Assault on Sex Workers in Bangalore

March 30, 2014 by · Comments Off on Press Release | Assault on Sex Workers in Bangalore
Filed under: Human Rights, Press Releases 

On 23.03.2014, Peoples’ Union for Civil Liberties filed a complaint with the Karnataka
State Human Rights Commission, on behalf of sex workers who are being subjected to
police violence in Majestic, Upparpete KG Road and adjoining areas. This complaint
was in addition to the complaint filed by PUCL on February 06, 2014 on the same
issue, wherein incidents of violence against sex workers were detailed, including
incidents where women have been beaten up just for standing on the road, or while
walking towards the bus stop to catch a bus. Women have been beaten up and forced
to go to the police station, where they are compelled to pay money, failing which they
are threatened that false cases will be filed against them. They are neither given
receipts, and any question raised by the woman is met with further assault by police
officials. Further, the police have been indulging in acts causing public humiliation and
embarrassment to the women by shouting at them on loudspeakers when they walk
on the road and by pushing them aside and beating them on the road, and using
derogatory language with them. The police have also been taking photographs of
them, both in public and in the police station, and threatening to release them to TV
channels. In fact, there have been instances of women being beaten and humiliated
when they are with their children, outside the course of their work, simply because
they have been identified as sex workers. Any attempts to make complaints against
the police officials results in further harassment of the women. In fact there have also
been instance of social workers working with sex workers who have also been
targeted, assaulted and made to endure extreme police violence. Despite an order of
the SHRC directing that an enquiry be conducted by the Inspector General of Police,
State Human Rights Commission, into the contents of the complaint dated
06.02.2014, violence against the women continued, and on 24th and 25th of February,
ten sex workers were chased, abused and assaulted by the police in Upparpete. Mr.
CG Hunagund, member of the Commission, took cognizance of the new complaint
filed by PUCL, that the violence was continuing unabated and with impunity, and
passed an order directing the Inspector General of Police of the Commission to submit
a report within a month, i.e., by 23.04.2014. He also took note of the circular dated
30.09.2004, issued by the office of the Director General and Inspector General of
Police, which mentions that the provisions of the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act
should be used against the agents and facilitators of sexual exploitation of women
and children, and not against sex workers themselves. This complaint comes at the
end of a series of representations made by PUCL to various authorities, namely, to the
Commissioner of Police, to the Director General and Inspector General of Police, to the
Deputy Commissioner, West Division, the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Chikpete
Sub-division, and to Ms. Umashree, Minister of Women and Child Development in
Karnataka. However, any respite from violence is always temporary, and the verbal
abuse is incessant. It is hoped that the SHRC’s enquiry and recommendations will
finally allow women in Upparpete to access public spaces without fear of assault and
police violence.

Prof.Rajendra Y J
PUCL-K
9449011530
Isaac Arul Selva
PUCL-K
9480452037

| Fact Finding Report |Governance By Denial – Forced Evictions and Demolition of Homes in Ejipura

June 15, 2013 by · Comments Off on | Fact Finding Report |Governance By Denial – Forced Evictions and Demolition of Homes in Ejipura
Filed under: Human Rights, Meetings and Events, Report, Urban Poverty 

Read the FULL REPORT HERE

From 18–21 January 2013, the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), responsible for providing infrastructure and services in the Greater Bangalore Metropolitan area, bulldozed 1,512 homes in the economically weaker section (EWS) settlement in Ejipura/ Koramangala. The 5,000 people rendered homeless by the four-day demolition drive included around 1,200 women and 2,000 children.

Given the extensive damage rendered by the forced eviction and reports of violations of human rights of the residents of Ejipura/ Koramangala, Peoples’ Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL – Karnataka) and Housing and Land Rights Network (HLRN – Delhi) undertook a fact-fi nding mission (21–22 February 2013) to investigate the incidence of forced eviction in Ejipura/Koramangala and its aftermath.

This report presents the main findings of the fact-finding mission and makes specific recommendations to the Government of Karnataka.

 

Governance By Denial – Interim Fact Finding report on Ejipura

March 17, 2013 by · Comments Off on Governance By Denial – Interim Fact Finding report on Ejipura
Filed under: Human Rights, Press Releases, Report, Uncategorized, Urban Poverty 

Download full Interim report

Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), responsible for providing infrastructure and services in the Greater Bangalore Metropolitan area, bulldozed 1,512 homes (comprised of 42 blocks), and evicted over 5,000 slum dwellers living in tin sheds in the economically weaker section (EWS) quarters in Koramangala (near Ejipura), Bangalore, from 18-21 January, 2013. The four-day demolition drive a^ected around 1,200 women and 2,000 children, and rendered thousands homeless. It was the largest eviction the city of Bangalore has witnessed in recent years.

Given reports of alleged violations of the human rights of the residents of Koramangala (Ejipura), People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL – Karnataka) and Housing and Land Rights Network (HLRN – Delhi) decided to undertake a two-day fact-finding visit (21–22 February 2013) to investigate the incidence of forced eviction in Koramangala (Ejipura) and its aftermath. The aim of the mission was to:
a) Ascertain if any human rights violations occurred before, during and after the eviction, particularly of women and children;

b) Understand the socio-political economy of Bangalore’s urbanisation process and development; and,

c) Assess the response of the state and civil society.

Read the full interim –>  Governance By Denial

Photos From the Ejipura Protest and EWS Colony

January 20, 2013 by · Comments Off on Photos From the Ejipura Protest and EWS Colony
Filed under: Human Rights, Minorities, Press Releases, Urban Poverty 

[wppa type=”slide” album=”4″][/wppa]

|Press Release| Demolition of EWS quarters and the Eviction of Residents

January 19, 2013 by · Comments Off on |Press Release| Demolition of EWS quarters and the Eviction of Residents
Filed under: Human Rights, Minorities, Urban Poverty 

PRESS RELEASE

Demolition of EWS quarters and the Eviction of Residents

Saturday, January 19, 2013, Bangalore

The BBMP today began demolition of homes and evicting residents from the EWS quarters at Ejipura.  During the process of demolition and eviction protestors were lathi charged, physically dragged by the police and arrested – all of them women. They have been remanded to judicial custody till next Tuesday. These women have been separated from their families and homes, and cannot protect their shelters and belongings from the demolition bulldozers.

The BBMP official, B T Ramesh who was at the spot could not produce any official documents that showed that he and his crew had the authority to demolish structures and evict residents. Nor did he produce any copy of the notification supposedly shared with the residents a month back.  Notices which the BBMP claimed were pasted on the houses, were not visible on any of the houses. All the residents that we spoke to had not been notified and were unaware of this demolition drive.

In a meeting with the BBMP Commissioner today, Mr. Siddaiah agreed to stop demolitions of the occupied homes and to give a time period of 3 months for evacuation. In fact, Mr. Siddaiah called BT Ramesh in presence of activists and EWS residents. However, the demolition continued unabated; Mr. Ramesh insisted on a written order from Commissioners office, who conveniently disappeared by then. As of this afternoon, the police had given a 6 pm notice to the residents to clear their belongings.  As of now, it is reported that as many as 500 homes have been razed to the ground by the BBMP bulldozers today. Many families are out on the streets, since they do not have the finances or support to re-locate. Children whose mothers were arrested are in streets – searching them. Women cry helpless, not knowing where to take their young and old.

We, the members of civil society, representing different organisations (PUCL, PDF, and Concern) condemn the deplorable and inhuman way the demolitions, police violence and evictions have been implemented. We call for an immediate and complete halt to the eviction of residents and the demolition of occupied homes in the EWS quarters. We further demand that all charges against the residents and activists be dropped.

Right to shelter is one of the principle rights enshrined in Article 21 of our constitution. A state, under no circumstance, has a right to go against either the letter or the spirit of this right without providing alternative arrangements for all those it renders homeless. Further the police protection of demolitions does not legitimise its use of brute force and physical violence against the weakest in our society – who are but protesting, losing their all.

——————————————————————————————————————————

Issued by: People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), People’s Democratic Forum (PDF) & Concern – Bangalore

|Fact Finding Report| Attacking Pubs and Birthday Parties ~ Communal Policing by Hindutva Outfits

November 5, 2012 by · Comments Off on |Fact Finding Report| Attacking Pubs and Birthday Parties ~ Communal Policing by Hindutva Outfits
Filed under: Communal Violence, Human Rights, Minorities, PUCL Mangalore, Report 

[Read the full report Here]

On January 24, 2009, Pramod Muthalik’s men belonging to the Sri Ram Sene in coordination with Subash Padil (then of the Sri Rama Sene) stormed into a pub in Mangalore and violently attacked girls, on the ground that drinking was against Hindu culture. Three years later on July 28, 2012, Subash Padil (now with the Hindu Jagarana Vedike) and his men, in a cruel imitation of Sri Rama Sene’s act, stormed into a birthday party in Padil, a locality in the heart of Mangalore, and attacked both boys and girls. While these two attacks captured national and even international attention, unfortunately they were not exceptional in what they set out to do. They were only exceptional in the share of media attention they received. In the time span between these two attacks, there were at least one hundred and twelve such attacks on young persons found socializing together, and on young women in particular. The attacks were not captured by the electronic media and were reported in small columns in newspapers, mostly in the local press, and on a few occasions, made it to the national news.

This Report will first document what happened in the attack on the birthday party through the eyes of the victims and media, and then document the responses to the attack by the Hindutva groups as well as by state institutions such as the State Women’s Commission. The Report will then place the attack in the context of the breakdown of law and order in Dakshina Kannada and then make out a case for the changes that need to be brought about.

[Read the full report Here]

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