| 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.

 

Defending Rights, Expanding Freedoms

June 29, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Meetings and Events 

Know your constitution Workshop – Why every citizen needs to know the Indian constitution!
Facilitator: Dr Suresh V, National Secretary, People’s Union for Civil Liberties
Sunday June 19 2011 – Indian Social Institute Bangalore

With every brand new day starting with the reality bites of arbitrary government policies, high-handed police actions, judicial apathy and corporate takeover of land and other resources, the future of human rights and civil liberties seem uncertain in our country. In many places across the country, men and women who stand up for human and social rights of people become highly vulnerable to the vindictive action by the state apparatus.

In this context, it is of utmost important for human rights and civil liberties defenders and those associated with all kind of peoples and social movements to know the fundamentals of our constitution and what rights, entitlements and safeguards the constitution of India provides to us, the citizens of India.

The workshop organized by PUCL Bangalore and facilitated by Dr Suresh V, National Secretary of PUCL on this topic came across as extremely useful with loads of practical learning and points to takeaway.

Audience

The audience for the workshop was a great mix of seasoned human rights activists, greenhorns like self, members of the minority communities such as Muslims, Christians and sexual minorities and students. It provided a great platform for cross learning and useful interaction within the group.

Content

The workshop focused primarily on preamble, fundamental rights, fundamental duties and directive principles of state policy. Suresh also explained various kinds of rights viz. fundamental, constitutional, and legislative and their relative importance. He also discussed the pulls and pressures within the constituent assembly and various influences that finally shaped the constitution. The historical significance and contexts of many of these laws from the days of European enlightenment to the modern era were also briefly touched upon building overall perspective on our constitution. The nuanced differences between the ways constitution treats the citizen vs. persons (foreigners included) in general was also explained in detail.

Apart from that it also looked at the essential principles of criminal law. Finally it dwelled on the importance of first complaint and do’s and don’ts of writing a complaint. Suresh went beyond theoretical understanding of these concepts and enumerated applications of these principles with real life scenarios and examples.

Structure

It all started with a group interaction. Participants were divided into multiple groups such as Dalits, Adivasis, Traders, Big Farmers, Industrialists, Minorities, Sexual Minorities etc and they were asked to write their own constitution in order to answer three fundamental questions;

What are the various rights of the respective groups that they want protected?
What is the role of the government and what should be the limits and checks on it in relation with the group’s rights?
What are the specific policy initiatives that they would to happen vis-à-vis their groups?

The groups were asked to make a presentation on these points. With this first interaction, it was established that constitution is not some legislative piece of paper but a living political document that has to respond to the different pulls, pressures and interests; legitimate and not so legitimate, of various groups within the diverse mosaic called Indian union.

The group interaction and presentations were followed by presentation by Suresh on the specifics of constitution such as fundamental rights, duties, directive principles and criminal law. Kannada translations were done on regular intervals by the few members of the audience as a large number of participants were Kannada speaking.

This was followed by a very interesting intervention by few members within the audience. They orchestrated and simulated a real life confrontation between the people present. The incident was used as backdrop for writing a police complaint.

Post this participants were asked to rate the complaints written by their colleagues based on the criteria explained by Suresh. This explained the essentials of the complaint in absolutely crystal fashion.
Using mix of multiple approaches such as group interactions and presentations, lecture with regular translations, real life incident simulations and participant activities, it became much easier for people to understand especially those who had no formal or prior grounding in law.

Key Takeaways
Workshop proved to be extremely useful in more ways than one.

First and foremost, it gave a sense of hope that all said and done, we do have a living vanguard that we can bank on in the event of oppression by those who hold or are attached to the strings of powers.

Second, it enables us to look at our rights as entitlements that we can demand and not as doles and giveaways by those sitting on the high tables.

And finally, going beyond the theory it gives us small, practical tools that we should be aware of and use in our line of defense of human rights and civil liberties.

A Discussion Meeting on the Story of POSCO Fiasco

June 17, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Meetings and Events 

A Discussion Meeting on the Story of POSCO Fiasco
Tales of Betrayal, treachery and subversion: Lessons for citizens from the controversy over the biggest steel plant in India

Sunday, June 19 · 5:00pm – 8:00pm
Venue: ISI Benson Town, Bangalore

By

Dr. V. Suresh, one of the majority MoEF committee members on the POSCO project who will share his experiences and insights

and

Leo Saldanha of ESG, who has jointly authored a comprehensive report on POSCO, will reflect on the issue and cull out concerns for citizens about industrial projects all over India.

We are seeking widest participation from diverse organisations working at the grassroots level on a variety of rights’ issues. There is no registration fee. We invite interested people who can commit for the duration of the entire day. All effort will be made to ensure full translation and answer relevant questions that arise directly from field experiences. Please register at the earliest as the participation in the workshop is limites. No need for registeration for Posco discussion. It is open to all

Defending Rights, Expanding Freedoms! Why Citizens Should Know Constitutional and Criminal Law

June 17, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Meetings and Events 

Defending Rights, Expanding Freedoms! Why Citizens Should Know Constitutional and Criminal Law

A Workshop by V Suresh, Lawyer, Activist, PUCL National Secretary

Sunday, June 19 · 9:00am – 4:30pm
Venue: ISI Benson Town, Bangalore

This one day workshop is being offered by PUCL to introduce citizens to the laws. The approach is to learn the essential principles and provisions of law so that we can use the law as a sword (to expand our rights) and as a shield (to protect our rights and freedoms). The emphasis is on equipping citizens with enough knowledge about the working of such laws to deal with ordinary day-to-day situations as also with special incidents. Using experiential learning methods, the workshop will focus on actual experiences to help participants gain a more nuanced understanding of the law; in the ultimate analysis knowledge of laws are required not only when facing criminal action but also when demanding new rights and freedoms; our actions to reclaim democracy will gain greater depth and quality when we understand the essence of constitutional and criminal laws.

The workshop is open to all those who cherish freedom and democracy!! All we need is your full attention and interest. There is however a limitation on numbers of participants. We request only those who can spend a full day during the workshop to apply.

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Photos and Media Reports from Repeal AFSPA March – May 22 2011

The Solidarity March for the repeal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act and release of Irom Sharmila organized by PUCL and other human rights and civil liberties groups concluded peacfully on May 22, This was one of first events organized in response to PUCL’s nationwide call for campaign from May 22 to August 18 demanding immediate repeal of AFSPA and immediate release of Irom Sharmila in solidarity with people of North East and Jammu and Kashmir. About eighty activists and concerned citizens participated in the march. The march was orginially planned from Town Hall to M G Road but due to an IPL match near M G Road, the route was changed to ‘Town Hall to Banappa Park’ at the behest of the local police who were generally cooperative. The event was reasonably covered by both print and electronic media.

The Hindu Report

Manipur Mail report

Kannada daily Varthbharathi and a number of Kannada channels carried the store.

PUCL Karnataka State Council Meet Resolutions

The meeting of the State council of PUCL-Karnataka was held at the premises of Fatima Retreat, Mangalore, on 14-5-2011, from 10.00 am to 2.00pm. Mr P.B. D’Sa, President , PUCL-K, presided over the meeting. Dr V. Lakshminarayana, General secretary, welcomed the gathering. The deliberations was attended by 17 state council members hailing from Bangalore, Mysore, Mangalore, Shimoga, Chamarajanagara and Koppala districts of Karnataka. Report of each units were presented by their respective representatives. After elaborate discussions on the contemporary issues the following resolutions were unanimously adopted. Click here for the resolutions

SOLIDARITY MARCH FOR THE REPEAL of AFSPA AND RELEASE OF IROM SHARMILA

Time Sunday, May 22 · 5:00pm – 7:00pm
Location TOWN HALL to Mahatma Gandhi Statue, M G ROAD , BANGALORE

The draconian act of AFSPA has been implemented in North eastern states of India since 1958 and in Jammu and Kashmir since 1991. It was on May 22, 1958, that the AFSPA was promulgated in the north east as an ordinance. This law is more draconian than its predecessor ordinance used by the British to suppress the Quit India Movement. It gave extraordinary powers to members of the armed forces, to arrest without warrant and shoot …to kill on the basis of suspicion; and no legal action can be taken up against the armed forces without prior sanction from the Centre.

Irom Sharmila has been on hunger fast for more than 10 years now demanding repeal of AFSPA . She has been force fed through her nose by the Government, arrested with charges for attempt to commit suicide, criminalized as a high security prisoner, denying her access to family, friends, supporters and the media.

Various movements in the North East and Kashmir and human rights groups across the country have consistently demanded the repeal of the Act. AFSPA is not only opposed by the civil society groups but also by the Government’s own commissions and committees appointed to look into the matter. The Committee to Review the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, headed by Justice B. P. Jeevan Reddy in 2005, the Administrative Reforms Commission headed by Dr. Veerappa Moily in 2007 and several others have recommended its repeal. Internationally, UN bodies including the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and the U N High Commissioner for Human Rights and recently the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders have urged for its repeal.

People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) hereby calls to all democratic forums, human rights groups , people’s movements and all concerned citizens to initiate various public protest actions from May 22 to August 18, demanding repeal of AFSPA and immediate release of Irom Sharmila.

Organised by PUCL, Bangalore, with National Alliance of People’s Movement (Karnataka), Alternative Law Forum, New Socialist Alternative, People’s Solidarity Concerns, Kashmir Youth Intellect, Centre for Social Concern(St. Josephs College), Maraa, Sangama, Aneka, Pedestrian Pictures, National Confederation of Human Rights Organisation, Student Christian Movement of India (Bangalore), Stree Jagrutu Samiti, Slum Jagattu, Sichrem, Vimochana, People’s Democratic Forum and many other human rights and communal harmony organisations.

Please circulate widely. For ePamphlet click here

PUCL-IIMB ~ Annual Inter Collegiate Debate

PUCL – IIMB Debating Society Annual
Inter-Collegiate Debate
On Civil Liberties and Human Rights

Feb 5th 2011, 11am-2pm, IIM Bangalore

Debates and discussions are tools for people’s participation on wide range of issues in democratic societies and play an important part in the search for solutions to longstanding problems. Many of the recent social, economic and political upheavals and events in our country indicate a great need for engaging with public opinion that might form a key input in a vibrant democracy.

Our hope to energise democratic processes lies in laying sound foundation of public enquiry and exploration, especially by our youth, on key topics and issues, based on current events. To this end, People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), and the Debating Society of Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, are organizing an Inter-Collegiate debate on the 5th of February 2011 at the IIMB campus. This is a new initiative, planned as an annual debate on contemporary issues of national importance primarily with a focus on civil liberties and human rights.

The topic for this year’s debate is “Ayodhya Verdict: A Case of Secular Balance?” The objective is to engage with our youth and explore this very important issue which has had a huge impact on our society and polity in the past, and is likely to be a critical question defining the idea of India in the foreseeable future. This will be a platform to examine this issue from multiple perspectives and understand what our youth think of this and what solutions they have to offer in light of the recent verdict by Allahabad High Court.

The debate is a team event comprising of two members in each team and a maximum of 3 teams from each college. A good number of teams from colleges across the city are planned to participate in the debate. There are going to be 3 rounds of debating to decide on the winner.

Protest in Bangalore – Calling for the Release of Dr Binayak Sen

January 29, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Human Rights, Meetings and Events 

**PLEASE CIRCULATE WIDELY***

What?
A silent protest and vigil!!!
Calling for the release of Dr Binayak Sen
Part of Nationwide Protest!

When and Where?

5PM to 7PM

Martyr’s Day, JANUARY 30th, 2010

Town Hall, Bangalore

Background?

The protest in Bangalore is a part of a Nationwide protest calling for the release of Dr.Binayak Sen. Protests are being organized across different cities and towns in India.

We hold that Dr Binayak Sen is a victim of the vendetta of the Chhattisgarh government for his bold and principled opposition to state sponsored vigilante operation Salwa Judum, which has been held unacceptable even by the Supreme Court. His conviction is one more example of the state succeeding in securing the conviction of an innocent person on the basis of false evidence. It is an occasion for the nation to demand drastic reform of the criminal justice system to ensure that it is not manipulated by the state to persecute, prosecute and victimize innocent persons.

Activists are being targetted under dragnet legislations such as UAPA, CSPSA, AFSPA and sedition laws. We are calling for a repeal of all such draconian laws.

Call To Action
Please join us at this peaceful protest and circulate the information about the event widely.

Organized jointly by Alternative Law Forum, Aneka, Bengalooru Janara Vedike, Jana Arogya Andolana Karantaka, Janasthra, Karnataka Sex Workers Union, National Alliance of People’s Movements, People’s Democratic Forum, People’s Union for Civil Liberties, Sangama, SICHREM, Vimochana and many others.

For More Information: bangalore@puclkarnataka.org

|Photos| Binayak Sen Candle Light Vigil

January 5, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Human Rights, Meetings and Events 

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[Images courtesy Ayushranka.in]

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