|Statement| PUCL Statement on Proposed Changes to Text Books

February 27, 2012 by · Comments Off on |Statement| PUCL Statement on Proposed Changes to Text Books
Filed under: Human Rights, Press Releases 

Statement on proposed changes to text books.

Click here for the full statement in Kannada

|Statement| Communal Mob Attack in Bangalore

People’s Union for Civil Liberties, Bangalore, strongly condemns the brutal and organised mob attack on Brother Phillip Noronha by members of Jaya Karnataka Vedike, in presence and with support of inspector BN Gopalakrishna, inspector of Whitefield Police Station. Brother Phillip was kidnapped in a van, beaten up and roughed up by these vigilante elements and finally taken to his school where media were present and recorded the lawless actions. The Inspector also assaulted the brother in the presence of TV and media people, without any apparent provocation. This grave assault on Br. Philip mirrors the worsening climate of intolerance within the state, in particular the undeclared police sanction and cooperation for such hooliganism. The grave, unjust and serious physical violence of this recent episode is a matter of utter shame and disgrace to the current State administration and our Police Force.

The modus operandi of the attack itself recalls the way communal forces have engaged in moral policing in Dakshina Kannada district often with the cooperation of the police. It is in this context that the attack on Brother Phillp assumes a serious dimension when the attackers seem to have the backing of the media as well as the police going by the fact that the attack was played out in front of the media and in the presence of the police.

The quality of individual rights available to all citizens of this country depend upon the integrity and impartiality of the police force, and severe acts of omission and commission of this kind in curtailing and controlling vigilante violence reflects very poorly on the role of the police in ensuring respect for the law of the land.

PUCL demands immediate investigation into the beating of Brother Phillip Noronha, particularly into the role of police, who participated in this heinous attack either overtly or covertly. We further demand that all perpetrators of this attack be arrested based upon the FIR which has been registered against them. We also demand most severe disciplinary action be meted out to concerned police officials, to discourage future police complicity in vigilante violence.

Polic Terror: Trafail Slum, Gulbarga

Police terror in the Tarfail slum, Gulbarga
Uncovering institutionalized caste prejudices and biases

A report by PUCL Karnataka

View/Download the complete report HERE [.PDF format]

Background Note and Need for the Report

On 8th April 2010, the People’s Union for Civil Liberties – Karnataka (PUCL-K) received a representation from Shri. Allama Prabhu Nimbaragi, Convenor of the Zilla Kolageri Nivasigala Okkuta, Gulbarga and a respected young social activist.

The representation drew the attention PUCL-K to an incident that is said of have occurred on 29th March 2010, where, allegedly, the police lathi charged residents of Tarfail slum located near the Gulbarga Railway Station. The representation also stated that several innocent persons, including women, children and old persons were harassed and traumatized by the police.

Further, it was stated that male members of almost all the houses had been arrested on false and frivolous charges. Given the grave allegations made against the police and alleged human rights violations and atrocities, it was necessary that the PUCL-K conduct a detailed fact-finding into the incident.

Accordingly, a fact finding team was constituted comprising of the following members:

  1. Prof. Y J Rajendra, Vice-president, People’s Union for Civil Liberties – Karnataka
  2. Dr. Ramdas Rao, Secretary, People’s Union for Civil Liberties – Karnataka
  3. Dr. Chandrakant Yatanoor, Professor of Political Science, Gulbarga University,
  4. Raghupathy S, Advocate
  5. Maitreyi Krishnan, Advocate, Alternative Law Forum

The Report of the fact finding team is available here

Oppose the Auction of Karnataka

May 31, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Human Rights, Tribal Rights 

OPPOSE AUCTION OF KARNATAKA

Demand People Friendly & Environment Friendly Development

Protest in Bangalore | Town Hall | 3 June 2010 | 5:00 PM |

The Chief Minister of Karnataka has announced that the two-day Global Investors Meet in Bangalore will bring 3 lakh crores of investment as well as around 3 lakh new jobs. The promise of 3 lakh jobs to be created by the GIM and the prosperity it will bring to Karnataka does not appear to be true. Read below to find out the real costs and real facts of the GIM.

False Promise of Investment and Job Creation

  • As per government data (from Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, the total FDI approved in Karnataka between 2000- 2010 is around 30,000 crores and the actual amount invested less than that. So how will 3 lakh crores be realised in 2 days, if the last 10 years brought in only 30,000 crores?
  • Further , the 3 lakh crores were supposed to bring in 3 lakh jobs. Now if the actual amount will be much lesser, how many jobs actually get created?
  • Also, here 1 job is being created for an investment of 1 crore (3 lakh crores = 3 lakh jobs)
  • However, for the same 1 crore which is invested in the small and Medium Industries , 20 jobs can be created.

Examples of Existing Investments and jobs created in Karnataka

  • The Government has approved MS Zuari fertilisers and chemicals ltd. to establish a urea plant in Mastihole Village, Hukkeri Taluk, Belgaum with an investment of 4565 crores. It is supposed to create1560 jobs. It means an investment of 3 crores for one job!
  • Similarly, the Government has approved a proposal to M/S India Cements limited to establish a 2 MTPA Cement plant and 60 MW coal Based thermal Power plant at Ganapur, Burugupalli of Chincholi Taluk, Gulbarga District with an investment of 850 crores. The promise of job creation is only 175. It means that 5 crores are invested to create one job. (Sources : Government Orders – CI 27 SPI 2010, CI 32 SPI 2010)

Jobs Lost Due to the GIM

The government has already acquired 50000 acres and is in the process of acquiring another 100000 acres. Hence a total of 1,50,000 acres are being acquired. Even by conservative estimates, farming on 1 acre of land can support at least 5 people. Hence the 1,50,000 acres of land being acquired will support atleast 7,50,000 people! Now once this land is acquired, all these jobs are lost. Even assuming that the GIM really creates 3 lakh jobs and that all these jobs(including managers, technical experts etc) are distributed amongst those who lost jobs, it still leaves 4.5 lakh people jobless as a result of the land acquisition for the GIM.

In its defense the government has stated that mostly non-agricultural land has been required. However seeing the gazette notifications for the land acquisition, we see that the government is lying. For instance, one of the Government Orders ( CI66SPQ2010, Bangalore , dated – 17 Feb 2010) says that 1,542 of land has been acquired in Bailahongala, Belgaum. Out of 1,542 acres acquired just 25 acres of land is barren, the remaining 1517 acres or 99.8% land acquired is agricultural land.

What Else are the People of Karnataka Losing?

There is a net loss of employment due to GIM. In addition, we will also lose valuable capital, water and electricity. The 3 lakh crore investment will not come directly from private firms. A large part of that will be from bank loans. Money in the banks consists of the savings of people of the state or is tax money which is with state owned banks. So in effect it our own money being diverted to them and coming back in the form of FDI.

All these industries will require water and electricity. No new water can be created. So even though there is an existing water crisis, Billions of Litres will be divested to these new industries. We also already have an electricity crisis with many rural areas having 16 hour power cuts. Where will we get more power to supply to these industries. It is also a matter of shame that many of these destructive industries are provided massive subsidies of water and electricity, while the farmers in the state are committing suicide.

Karnataka for Auction?

Hence, by organizing the GIM the state government has sold Karnataka, piece by piece. People voted for a government to rule the state, and not sell the state and its resources.The entry of Special Economic Zones will be a major blow to the lands, environment and labour relations of the people of Karnataka. Already Orissa stand as a glaring example for us to understand what is going to happen in the investment friendly states like Karnataka. POSCO and Tatas have been targeted by the activists for their role in police firing and lathi charge on innocent people in Orissa. Over 100 people resisting POSCO in Orissa were injured recently and even their medical care is being denied. Over a dozen people were killed by police firing in Kalinganagar earlier and recently the police killed one more adivasi. We strongly object the entry of such a model of development which sheds human blood instead of human welfare.

If the state of Karnataka Is going ahead with the this kind of a development paradigm at the cost of the life and livelihood of the Dalits , Adivasis and the Farmers , the Global investors meet raises a set of questions like what will be social, environmental, economic and political costs involved in this entire process? Why is this whole process being rushed through without public consultations and political consultations?

In order to achieve overall inclusive development, we need to look at it from the perspective of increasing the purchasing power of the people of the state. However, these foreign direct investments will actually decrease the purchasing power of the people. Keeping this in mind, people from across the country need to oppose this form of investor led development. We demand that the state works towards a development approach which is based on strengthening local economic systems. The GIM however does not do anything to strengthen the local economic system or the people and hence the government should immediately stop this mode of development. It is the responsibility of all of us, the people of Karnataka to force the government to abandon this destructive mode of development. We appeal to all citizens of Karnataka to join this resistance for a people friendly and environment friendly development policy. Ultimately, it is matter of our jobs, our money, our natural resources and our lives.
Issued by-
PUCL-Karnataka, Peoples’ Solidarity Concern, Social Action Committee, Stree Jagruti, Sichrem, SCM, Radical IT Domestic Workers Union, Alternative Law Forum, Pedestrian Pictures, NAPM, Janasahayog, National Alliance for Peoples Movement, Karnataka Janapara Vedike, Samanatha Mahila vedike , Swabhimani Dalitha Shakthi

PUCL petition on hazardous working conditions of Sanitary Workers

April 20, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Report, Urban Poverty 

In response to the PUCL petition on the hazardous working conditions of Pourakarmikas and Sanitary workers:

  • The High Court of Karnataka has constituted a 10 member committee headed by the Member Secretary of the Legal Services Authority.
  • According to the court’s order, the committee will submit it’s report within four weeks of receipt of the copy of the order.

The petition was filed to seek the court’s intervention to:

  • Ban entry of workers into sewage lines and manholes
  • To ban entry of workers or handling of human refuse in septic tanks of individual homes, hotels and other establishments manually
  • To protect the best interests, employment and benefits of the permanent and contract workers currently employed in this work

Related Documents

Bajrang Dal attack on students in Mangalore

January 31, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Communal Violence, Minorities, Report 

Another case of Moral Policing

Fact finding report on Bajrang Dal attack on students of Vivekananda Pre-University College, Mangalore on 15th November 2009
Prepared by : PUCL, Dakshina Kannada

[Read Full Text]

News Reports on Violence in Sagar Shimoga [September 2003]

September 11, 2003 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Communal Violence, Human Rights 

VHP, Bajrang Dal blamed
DH News Service SHIMOGA, Sept 15

The Karnataka Vimochana Ranga has condemned the “planned” acts of violence unleashed by the Bajrang Dal and the VHP in Sagar town for fulfilling their political aims.

In a statement issued here today, District Convenor Kashinath said that the violent incidents in Sagar were part of the Sangh Parivar’s belief that it can come to power by unleashing violence in the manner of the Gujarat pogrom.
Hundreds of Ganapathi idols have been peacefully immersed in the district. It’s only during processions and immersion of idols installed by the Sangh Parivar outfits that trouble and violence break out, the statement said. Residents of Shimoga should unite against these reactionary and violent forces and stop them from carrying out their pogroms, the statement urged.

Bus stand: Transport Minister Ramanath Rai will lead a team of officials to Shimoga to survey the site allotted for the construction of the new private bus stand. Civilians of Shimoga had met the chief minister under the leadership of Leader of the Opposition D H Shankaramurthy and urged him not to shift the present bus stand to the proposed Millaghatta tank area.

******************

Kagodu chides Bangarappa over his fiery statements
SHIMOGA, DHNS:

‘‘I will not set fire to anything rather I will put down the fire started by others’’, district minister and Bangarappa’s arch rival Kagodu Thimmappa said here today.

Addressing a press conference in SHimoga city on Monday, Mr Thimmappa refused to react in kind to inflammatory statements made by Bangarappa in Sagar and Soraba on Sunday. No political leader of any stature should indulge in such inflammatory statements which have the power to incite communal passions.

There have not been any poll-related violence in Shimoga district so far. All political parties should take pride in this and should continue this good tradition, Mr Thimmappa urged.

He said that the Shimoga District Congress Committee will complain to the Election Commission about the inflammatory statements being made by Bangarappa.

He noted that Bangarappa by his speech in Sagar on Sunday had confirmed suspicions that he had instigated the communal disturbances in the town on Sept 11, 2003.

Referring to Kumar Bangarappa’s re-entry into the Congress, Mr Thimmappa said that he had not caused any rift in the family. Kumar had voluntarily decided to join the Congress and the decision was entirely his. No Congress leader had any role to play in this decision, he said.

Reacting to Deve Gowda’s statement that Congress is purchasing people, he said the party has no need for such tactics.

Dismissing statements that Sagar constituency had not seen any progress, Mr Thimmappa challenged Bangarappa to visit villages in Soraba taluk where he had started hospitals and health centres during the past four years. The projects for which Mr Bangarappa had only laid foundation stones fourteen years ago were completed now, during his tenure as district minister, he pointed out.

In view of Bangarappa’s defection, Block Congress units have been reorganized, Mr Thimmappa said and added that the Congress will emerge victorious in the district in the ensuing polls. Seeking to remove the confusions about SAS, he said that the government has already ordered a review of the construction value.

People should pay taxes as per the new system and any extra payment will be adjusted in the coming financial year, he said. The Congress party needed an able Brahmin candidate in Shimoga district. If K H Srinivas had joined the party bit early (Srinivas came into Cong fold last week), he could have been given the ticket, Thimmappa said here today.

Referring to Kimmane Rathnakar joining the Congress, he said that efforts in this regard were being made for a long time. He will surely get a ticket from the party to contest the assembly polls, he said.

K H Srinivas to Shimoga

Mr K H Srinivas who has joined the Congress will be in Shimoga on March 31 where he will meet party workers and address them. He will be given the campaign responsibility, Mr THimmappa said.

District congress president Mir Aziz Ahmed, general secretary N Ramesh, CADA president Prasannakumar, Sagar TMC president T N Srinivas, DCC secretary Shivananda were among those present on the occasion.

**************************

CoD begins clash probe in Sagar
SAGAR, DHNS:
The CoD has begun investigating into the September 11 communal clashes in Sagar town.

CoD inspector C K Shashidhar who is in Sagar now visited both the rural and town police stations and examined the cases filed, the number of people arrested and those chargesheeted.

He also visited the taluk office to verify the compensation awarded.

Mr Shashidhar is trying to get all the relevant information about the incident and told Deccan Herald that the investigation will be completed within fifteen days.

It may be recalled that former MLA L T Thimmappa Hegde, former MP K G Shivappa, politician Mohammad Qoya and others had visited Kagodu Thimmappa in Bangalore and demanded an enquiry into the incident.

Mr Thimmappa had forwarded the request to the home minister and a CoD enquiry was instituted on February 7 this year.

Communal clashes rock Karnataka town [September 2002]

September 28, 2002 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Communal Violence, Human Rights 

[Source] [From September 2002]

New Delhi: South Indian city of KR Nagar witnessed a rise in communal temperature on September 13 evening following a clash between two youths taking on a communal colour.

The tension led to communal clashes in the Karnataka state town the following morning and police resorted to lobbing of teargas shells and lathi-charge to bring the situation under control, the police said.

Ten persons were injured in the melee and one person, identified as “Ravi” was taken to K R Hospital for treatment. Incidents of stone-throwing, arson and looting were also reported in several areas of the town.

An argument between two youths belonging to Hindu and Muslim communities respectively at the Manchanahalli bus-stand in the town is said to have led to communal clashes, said the police.

In a related incident in the same area, two groups resorted to stone-throwing in Harapanahalli area during the immersion of Ganesha idol, and police had to resort to caning and lobbing of teargas shells to bring the situation under control. A tense situation prevailed in the town and prohibitory orders were clamped in the area.

A total of 15 persons including five policemen were injured in the stone throwing. The clash is said to have occurred when a Hindu nationalist outfit Yuvashakti Sangha took out a Ganesha idol procession through Banageri and members of Hindu and Muslim communities had an argument over the volume of a loudspeaker.

South India did not know communal riots, that is Hindu-Muslim clashes, until about a decade ago when the North-based Hindu nationalist organisations like the RSS, BJP and VHP introduced this virus there. Now they have floated outfits like the Hindu Munnani which are on the lookout how to vitiate the communal harmony on one pretext or the other in order to convert the resulting communal polarisation into a vote-bank for the Hindu nationalist BJP and similar outfits.

|Report| Police Atrocities and Human Rights Violations at Katipalla [2002]

PUCL Bulletin, January 2002

Karnataka: Mangalore PUCL

Police Atrocities and Human Rights Violations at Katipalla

By P.B. D’Sa

Thursday 23rd 2001 morning about 100 men in uniform stormed the Katipalla town with Lathis, Tear Gas cells and guns to the utter shock of the unsuspecting citizens of this locality .The Police personnel beat up every person they could lay their hands upon irrespective of their age, sex or social standing. The Police forcibly entered at least a hundred houses and indulged in indiscriminate rampage. In some houses they forcibly broke open the doors and damaged household articles. They dragged out every male person found in the houses or in streets and brutally assaulted them before thrusting them into waiting Police vehicles. They used extremely foul language against the members of the families and in many cases misbehaved with the women folk.

Obviously there was no provocation whatsoever from the inhabitants of the area for this high handed and inhuman attitude of the police personnel. In fact one local bus driver who belongs to the Muslim Community had been assassinated two days prior to this incident by an armed gang of hooligans at a place close to this locality. But people of this locality where members of the Muslim Community who occupy a predominant position were sane enough not to give any communal color to the incident and were with full sense of responsibility waiting for the judicial machinery to take its own course on the case. Although a bundh was observed on 22nd August the local Muslim community had absolutely no role to play in this bandh because the bundh was in fact called by Bus Workers Association, Mangalore.

Thus, having proven that they are law-abiding citizens and having refused to be provoked even after the brutal murder of a member of their community they naturally never expected the police forces to be hostile against them. One may recall areas were up in flames due to communal riots. People of this particular area in the 2nd block, Katipalla had successfully ensured that their area remained peaceful. Hence a wholesale and indiscriminate attack against them was the last thing they expected from the police.

On 23rd August morning when the situation in the locality was perfectly normal at around 9 a.m. people were busy shopping. In fact these shops had remained closed the previous day. Many people had come there accompanying their children studying in one of three schools situated in the proximity. As the school hours were yet to commence there were many school children all around. It was in this backdrop that Mr. H.R.S. Shetty, Circle Inspector of Police arrived in a jeep along with another vehicle and accompanied by about a dozen uniformed men. His first target was one Abdul Salam, a young businessman and social activist. Mr. Shetty approached him using extremely foul language and dragged him all the way to the Police van and brutally assaulted him with his cane before dumping him into the van. Shocked at this brutal sight the people around came together and some of them sat down on the road protesting Mr. Shetty’s highhandedness and demanded the release of Abdul Salam. This response of the people was totally spontaneous and was provoked by the fact that Mr. Abdul Salam who was known to them as a law-abiding citizen and was not guilty of any crime, was being treated in this cruel manner. Taken aback by this spontaneous response of the local citizens Mr. Shetty agreed to free Mr. Abdul Salam from his illegal custody. On being released Mr. Abdul Salam came out of the van and requested the crowd to disperse peacefully. At this stage a few stones landed on the sitting crowd and on some police personnel obviously thrown by school going children who were witnessing the bizarre happenings. Having seen this Mr. Salam rushed to prevent the boys from this mischief. It was at this moment that the superintendent of Police Mr. Seemanth Kumar Singh came menacingly to the scene along with a few police vehicles and a couple of dozen uniformed personnel. Without even bothering to spend, even a moment to assess the situation, he straightaway ordered lathi charge against the crowd, which had already started dispersing. Police personnel started chasing and assaulting people indiscriminately. Even while people were trying to run away from the wrath of the police, the men in uniform fired tear gas shells in all directions and the beatings continued. After a long spree of indiscriminate beating the police first entered the shops and started dragging people out and dumping them into police vans. Even old people were not spared. Later the police started forcibly entering the houses in the locality. At places where people were too scared and shocked to open the doors the police broke open the doors and ransacked the houses.

Following are only a few among many extremely foul remarks passed by the police personnel targeting the Muslim community during the process of their uncalled-for house to house raids.

You Muslims deserve to be dispatched to Pakistan. You have no place in India. Right now we need only men. We will come in the night to pick your women. You Muslims have been spoiled by eating too much of cow meat. You Bearys (alluding to the Muslim community in the District) are anti nationals.

This entirely inhuman operation ended up in the arrest of 69 persons of the locality. Incidentally not a single person there arrested has any previous criminal record and even during the time of arrest obviously there was no charge existing against them. It was only at the later stage that the police attempted to concoct an entire story of their own and framed false charges against the arrested in order to justify their false charges against the arrested in order to justify their own atrocities and inhuman acts.

Out of the 69 persons arrested on 23rd August 2001,42 were released on the same day late in the night. The rest 27 were released on 29th August 2001. Most of those who were released on 23rd night have complained that they have been subjected to severe physical assault and torture by the police at Panambur Police Station. They were ridiculed, humiliated and thus were tortured mentally too by the police. The personnel used extremely offending words against their faith, religion and religious practices. Most of these persons showed obvious marks of Police beating on the different parts of their bodies. Those 27 persons who were released on 30th August 2001 had to go to the hospital for treatment. Eight of them had been admitted in the hospital for the treatment of wound and fractured wrist, this was because of the frequent assault by the Police.

The most surprising aspect of the whole dirty episode is that the police resorted to such inhuman treatment without any provocation. In fact it was only after unleashing their terror against the civilian that the police engaged themselves in covering up false evidences to protect themselves. For instance, after beating up almost all the inhabitants of the second block and after having created an atmosphere of terror in the area the Police went to a nearby house and forced the women in the house to hand over the key of the car which was parked well inside the compound of the house. The Police brought this car to the middle of the second block junction and after parking it there, they brought empty soda bottles from the nearby shops and piled them up in the vehicle along with the piled up bottles. People of the locality who were witness to this drama have reasons to doubt that this might be a conspiracy by the Police to create false evidence against the unsuspecting masses.

In the late night of August 23rd 2001, the Police took those 27 accused to the residence of the JMFC II Court Magistrate all the accused had told them that they had been brutally beaten up by the Police by dragging at their houses and he was convinced then. But unfortunately in his report the Magistrate has written otherwise. He had given the police clean chit saying the accused had got the injury in the incident itself; this was really shocking.

|Report| Bababudangiri and communal situation in Chikamagalur town [January 2000]

[From the Archives – Januray 2000] [Read the full Report]

Bababudangiri and communal situation in Chikamagalur town

a PUCL-Karnataka Report

A joint fact-finding team commissioned by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties – Karnataka (PUCL), which included members from Citizens For Democracy – Karnataka, and South India Cell for Human Rights Education and Monitoring (SICHREM), comprising Sriyuths V. Lakshminarayana, Raja Rain Hedge, Muzaffer Assadi, N. Divakar, Mathews Philip, Manohar Hosea, Dominic Joseph, Munichowdappa, Nandeesh, Shankar, Ramdas Rao, and Hasan Mansur visited Bababudangiri and Chikamagalur on the 21st and 22nd of January 2000. The team met police officials, government officials, Shah Khadri of the Dargah and common people of the town.

[Read the full Report]

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