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Fact-Finding Report | Extra-judicial killings of 4 suspected Maoists at Attapaddi, Kerala

December 14, 2019 by · Comments Off on Fact-Finding Report | Extra-judicial killings of 4 suspected Maoists at Attapaddi, Kerala
Filed under: Uncategorized 

Read the full fact-finding report here

On 28th October 2019 and 29th October 2019 at the forest areas at Attapaddi, Palakkad district, the Thunderbolt which is the special wing of the Kerala police “encountered” four persons who they have termed as belonging to the Communist Party of India (Maoists).

As per the police, 3 persons were killed on 28th October during cross-firing, and one person was killed on 29th October 2019 at the same spot. The Government has claimed that they have been shot in cross-firing.

Read the full fact-finding report here

Production Torture – Working conditions faced by garment workers

June 5, 2019 by · Comments Off on Production Torture – Working conditions faced by garment workers
Filed under: Human Rights, Report 

Production Torture is a study of the working conditions, including workplace harassment, faced by women garment workers in Bangalore and other districts.

This study is published by:

  • PUCL – K
  • Vimochana
  • The Alternative Law Forum
  • Concern – IISc
  • Manthan Law
  • Garments Mahila Karmikara Munnade

Production Torture
A telling phrase from English innovated by garment workers to articulate their daily experiences of the Government Factory.

In response to the widespread complaints about abusive conditions faced by women workers in the garment industry in Bangalore, a number of human rights organizations and activists, came together to institute a joint fact-finding inquiry to go into such abuses and their deleterious impact on the workers, and suggest measures for redress of complaints by state, brand buyer agencies, and other bodies.

As part of this study, 27 interviews and 8 focus group discussions with women garment workers and men garment workers — each of which discussions comprised not less than 20-25 workers — were undertaken. The conversations during the interviews and focus group discussions revealed various forms of violations and harassments that the garment workers are subjected to. Almost all conversations were unanimous in pointing to the impossible targets set for the workers per day as the primary source of most forms of harassment. they faced.

Manual Scavenging in Karnataka – A PUCL-K Study

June 5, 2019 by · Comments Off on Manual Scavenging in Karnataka – A PUCL-K Study
Filed under: Human Rights, Report, Urban Poverty 

What are the historical factors at work in India society in denying the right to dignity for the sanitation worker and allowing deaths from manual scavenging to continue? This study identifies four such factors and discusses them in detail.

Thread and Tension | An account of the historic uprising of garment workers

December 24, 2018 by · Comments Off on Thread and Tension | An account of the historic uprising of garment workers
Filed under: Human Rights, Press Releases, Urban Poverty 

Thread and Tension

An account of the historic uprising of garment workers

A fact-finding report by People’s Union for Civil Liberties – Bangalore and Women Against Sexual Violence and State

In April, 2016, lakhs of workers of the garment industry took to Bangalore streets to protest against a new Central Government Ordinance on the Employment Provident Fund. The protest was spontaneous, sudden, and unplanned, and took place over April 18th and 19th. Most of the participants and leaders were women workers. The protest was triggered by a newspaper article in Vijaya Karnataka – a Kannada daily – that appeared on April 16th, 2016. The resulting demonstration was a landmark event, as it led the Central Government to withdraw the ordinance, thus benefiting lakhs of salaried workers across the country.

Download the complete report in English here

Download the complete report in Kannada here

| Preliminary Report | Impact of Demonetization on Casual Labour at the Chowktis of Jaipur

December 31, 2016 by · Comments Off on | Preliminary Report | Impact of Demonetization on Casual Labour at the Chowktis of Jaipur
Filed under: Human Rights, Report, Reports From Other Organizations!, Uncategorized, Urban Poverty 

Read the full report HERE

Preliminary Report of the Survey ~ Conducted by PUCL Interns & supervised by PUCL and BGVS members

Though there are several general statements available suggesting that the maximum impact of the note withdrawal scheme has been this segment of daily wage earners, however no systematic assessment is available. Accordingly we decided to undertake a quick assessment survey of the impact of the demonetization on the casual labour in an urban setting covering daily wage earners who assemble at various Chowktis (labour markets where wage-work seekers assemble in the morning) in the city of Jaipur.

The broad purpose of the rapid survey was to understand (a) the impact of demonetization on work, wages, incomes, access to food, relations, (b) banking practices and (c) awareness about demonetization scheme and of black money among casual labourers who reach local labour markers to seek wage labour work.

Press Release | Death of Two Manual Scavengers in Bengaluru

November 1, 2016 by · Comments Off on Press Release | Death of Two Manual Scavengers in Bengaluru
Filed under: Human Rights, Minorities, Press Releases 

Download the Full Statement Here


On October 18, 2016, two manual scavengers named Venkataramana, 24, a dalit, and Manjunath, 32, died in the septic tank of Shantinivas Apartment, near Yeshwantpur, Bengaluru, due to asphyxiation. The owners/residents of Shantinivas Apartment had employed the deceased persons through a private contractor, and they were not provided with any safety gears which led to their tragic deaths.

Section 7 of the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and Their Rehabilitation Act, 2013, prohibit employment of persons for hazardous cleaning of a sewers or septic tanks and any contravention of this section is cognizable and a non-bailable offence under section 9 of the above Act. Additionally, offences are made out under section 3(1) (j) of the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 as amended in 2015 (prohibits manual scavenging), as well as under Indian Penal Code (IPC) section 304 (II) which is for culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

So far, an FIR has been registered only against the contractor for death due to negligence under IPC section 304A, and not against the owners of the apartment. A group of Dalit activists protested in front of the Bengaluru Urban Deputy Commissioner’s office demanding compensation. The DC handed over a cheque of Rs 5,00,000/- to a social welfare department officer, which is only 50% of the compensation amount, meant for Venkatramana’s family who were not present at the protest venue.

As per the 2014 Supreme Court judgment in Safai Karamachari Andolan & Ors. Vs. Union of India & Ors, families of Venkataramana, and Manjunath should be provided a compensation of Rs.10,00,000/- each immediately, and the state government should also take immediate steps towards providing a government job to one member of the deceased persons families as per the provisions of the 2013 Act and 2014 SC judgment. Family of the deceased Venkataramana, a dalit, should also be provided with an additional Rs. 8,00,000/- compensation as per the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2015.

Based on the above mentioned facts and developments, we, the People’s Union for Civil Liberties- Bengaluru, demand:

  1. That the owners of Shantinivas Apartment should be booked under IPC Section 304(II), sections 7 and 9 of the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and Their Rehabilitation Act, 2013, and section 3(1) (j) of the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2015. They should be arrested immediately for the unfortunate deaths of Venkataramana, and Manjunath.
  2. That the concerned officials in the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), which is the local authority under the 2013 Act, should be charged under the above mentioned provisions for blatantly breaching their obligations as per the law.
  3. That the local authority act immediately in identifying the manual scavengers in Bengaluru, and rehabilitate them as per the 2013 Act.
  4. That the District Magistrate, Bengaluru, should issue a circular immediately to prohibit the practice of manual scavenging in private apartment complexes/private spaces, and failing of which should result in criminal liability of the owners of those spaces.
  5. That the hoardings depicting the prohibition of manual scavenging be displayed in different parts of the Bengaluru city.

For more details, please contact Geeta (94482-243171), or Kishor Govinda (9886-334715)


Download the Full Statement Here



Press Release | Kaveri Water Issue

September 16, 2016 by · Comments Off on Press Release | Kaveri Water Issue
Filed under: Minorities, Uncategorized 

The Kannada Press Release is Available Here

The Supreme Court has given its’s verdict over the sharing of Kaveri between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, and directed the Karnataka government to release forthwith 15000 cusecs of water every day for ten days to Tamil Nadu. This verdict has created tremendous tension in Karnataka and resulted in continuous protests throughout the state for the last 10 days, causing enormous hardship among the people and has disrupted normal life throughout the state. Under these circumstances, the Karnataka government filed a petition before the same bench on Monday 12th Sept, requesting the court to review its verdict. It has been reported that the bench summarily refused to hear the submission made by Karnataka. This latest order has further aggravated the situation, turning it from bad to worse in the state. The peaceful protest has turned into violence, resulted in the killing of two innocent persons in police firing, and also causing a lot of damage to vehicles and property. The situation in the southern region of Karnataka is quite grave, and normal life has been thrown out of gear.
In the light of the above, PUCL – Karnataka proposes the following steps to defuse the situation:
1. With regard to the sharing of water, the state government should constitute a committee with experts to look into and recommend possible scientific solutions, and the court should monitor the implementation of the recommendation.
2. There should be long-term policy guidelines with regard to selecting of cropping patterns in the Kaveri basin, subject to the availability of quantum of water, both in normal and crisis situations, thereby preventing such crisis situations getting out of hand.
3. With regard to the decision on sharing of water at times of acute water scarcity, the two governments should constitute a committee with farmers living in Kaveri basin from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu and urge them to deliberate on proposals / solutions, based on which decisions can be taken by the respective governments
4. In order to defuse the current tensions prevailing in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, the two Chief Ministers should set aside their political calculations, and meet immediately and take a courageous decision on amicably sharing the water at this time of crisis in order to restore normalcy in their respective states.
5. The media in both the states should show due restraint in reporting incidents of unrest, and should make clear that linguistic minorities from either state are not in any way responsible for the conflict, and the resultant violence.
The government of Karnataka has so far taken concrete steps to protect the linguistic minorities in the state, barring two incidents of killing in police firing. The protection of lives and properties should be a priority issue for both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu governments.

PUCL draws the attention of the two governments to how a similar incident over Kaveri issue two decades ago resulted in horrific violence. Accordingly, we urge the constitutionally established authorities, including the central government, the two state governments, and the Judiciary to exercise their constitutional authority with sensitivity and caution and arrive at a permanent solution to this issue.

Dr. R V Chandrashekar – Treasurer
Mr. K Venkataraju – General Secretary
Prof. Y J Rajendra – State President


Fact Finding Report | Garment Workers Protest in Bangalore in April 2016

August 31, 2016 by · Comments Off on Fact Finding Report | Garment Workers Protest in Bangalore in April 2016
Filed under: Uncategorized 

Read the full report [HERE]

A report by PUCL Banglaore Chapter and WSS

This report is an inquiry into the garment workers’ protest in Bangalore, the developments that led up to the tumultuous events of April 18-19 as well as its aftermath, the underlying issues that came to the fore, as well as the wider significance of a spontaneous protest demonstration by women workers that compelled the central government to concede their demands. The report specially focuses on human rights violations by the police against citizens, including workers of the garment industry’s surrounding factories in Bangalore as well as bystanders, during the spontaneous demonstrations that took place on April 18th and 19th, 2016.

Read the full report [HERE]

Press Statement | Sedition Charges Against Amnesty International

August 17, 2016 by · Comments Off on Press Statement | Sedition Charges Against Amnesty International
Filed under: Uncategorized 

Download the complete press statement HERE or Copy and paste the below link in your browser.



Press Statement – PUCL Bangalore | Violence in Kashmir

August 11, 2016 by · Comments Off on Press Statement – PUCL Bangalore | Violence in Kashmir
Filed under: Human Rights, Press Releases, Uncategorized 

Dated: August 5, 2016

Press Statement of People’s Union for Civil Liberties – Bangalore Chapter

Violence in Kashmir

Since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen Commander Burhan Wani on 8 July 8 2016 by Indian armed forces, the Kashmir Valley has entered another and heightened phase of a war-like conflict. The people of Kashmir who wanted to grieve the loss of someone they held in high regard were barred from doing so by the Indian state, which mobilised its forces in the Valley and rushed reinforcements from India. In the ensuing days the response of the Indian state has stoked a major escalation of many decades long struggle for self-determination in Kashmir.
Indian authorities and the forces they have unleashed in Kashmir have persisted in quashing resistance mounted by unarmed civilians there who have been hurling stones and raising slogans, seeing them as fronts of terrorist organisations, passing them off as youth who have been waylaid by Islamist and Pakistani propaganda. The Kashmiri people’s unarmed struggle is being met with by bullets and pellets both of which have proven to be lethal.
The Indian State which in 1990 extended to Kashmir the infamous Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act – originally meant to subjugate the peoples of Assam and Manipur and smother their thwarted aspirations for self-determination – of 1958 has lain siege to Kashmir by creating roadblocks that have even prevented the injured from reaching hospitals, launching inhuman attacks on health infrastructure and ambulances. Casualties including deaths have resulted from such dastardly action. Communication links are being sundered, with mobile internet and SMS being targeted first and then shutting down all phone services except that of state-owned BSNL. In eight days, 42 (need to UPDATE in final version) civilians have been killed and thousands injured by the dangerous pellet guns which launch up to 400-500 small ball bearings at a time.
Over the past few days, the Indian media has been reducing its reporting on Kashmir. On 16th July, the offices of several newspapers in Kashmir, such as Greater Kashmir, Kashmir Times, Rising Kashmir, Kashmir Reader and Kashmir Observer were attacked and copies of the newspaper seized. Not only is the volatile situation being reported most inadequately and partially with selective and biased approaches, but there is also an excessive focus on the Islamic nature of the conflict. This has led to polarisation at different levels:
Within the Valley between Kashmiri Muslims and Kashmiri Pandits and in India through the projection of the Kashmir issue as one that is entirely Islamic and therefore in opposition to the increasingly Hindu India that has emerged.
Unfortunately, what the Indian media is wilfully myopic about is how the situation and issues on the ground in Kashmir – as they depict them – have moved from one of self-determination to a struggle of one community’s claim over a region versus another’s. In fact, if there has been increased Islamic radicalisation in the Valley, then it has also been so as a response to the onslaught of Hindu right-wing forces in the region. This has been done sometimes with tacit support of the State as in the recent attempts of the RSS to spread Ekal Vidyalayas in the Valley, presence of Hindu temples in army cantonments and others. Or by consciously facilitating the ingress of large numbers of Hindus into Kashmir by promoting State-sponsored Yatras such as the Amarnath Yatra, Buddha Amarnath Yatra and the pilgrimage to Kauser Nag. The most recent cases of such under-the-radar initiatives are the pilgrimage to Abhinav Gupta’s cave and the Maha Kumbh, Saidipora at Ganderbal.
In other words, the Kashmiri Pandit issue is also part of the Hindutva supremacist machinery’s larger project to lay claim to the lands of Kashmir, while trying to wipe out its people at the same time. Even in the current situation, it has been reported that some Kashmiri Pandit families have left their villages and moved to Jammu fearing that they would be attacked. However, there have been no reports of actual attacks or even of attempts being made to harm Kashmiri Pandits. On the contrary, there have been many reports in even the Indian media of how yatris to Amarnath have been saved after they met with serious accidents by Kashmiris who defied the curfew.
To be sure, Kashmir has long been home to Kashmiri Muslims as well Pandits and they have shared public spaces. Kashmiri Pandits have maintained their identity as Kashmiris, rather than as Hindus. The exodus of Kashmiri Pandits in the 1990s has to be studied and articulated more objectively than is being done in popular media right now. For example while there might have been episodes of violence against Kashmiri Pandits, it is also true that investigations into some of the reports of attacks of them have not been able to prove the role of Kashmiris or separatists. For instance, in the Nadimarg massacre of 2003, when 24 Kashmiri Pandits were killed, it is believed that the renegades (fringe groups of the armed forces) were the ones who carried out the killings. The Indian state has played to the saffron gallery even on this issue.
Even in the current interregnum, Kashmiri Muslims have been welcoming the return of Kashmiri Pandits. However, even here, the attitude of the State to politicise this issue by trying to settle them in separate colonies on the lines of similar attempts by Israeli authorities in Gaza and Jerusalem is objectionable and reeks of keeping the communities separated. The Indian state has also effectively victimised Kashmiri Pandits who chose not to leave the valley by reserving government jobs and college or university seats for only those Kashmiri Pandits who left the valley.
A response to these developments has of course been the rise of Islamisation and Islamic fundamentalism in the Valley with active support from Pakistan. India and Pakistan have played their religious games to communalise what was once a struggle for self-determination and independence.
India’s armed forces started occupying territories in Kashmir as far back as in 1947, but there has been a steady rise in their numbers and saturation presence was gained in 1990s thanks to the dastardly extension of the AFSPA, originally meant to subjugate the peoples to the northeast of India, to Kashmir in 1990. Needless to say, the boots on the ground, armoury and the impunity afforded by AFSPA led to breaking much of the backs of Kashmiri resistance against Indian occupation. Although the heightened phase of the conflict started to subside from the early part of the last decade, the Indian State has continued to post large numbers of its armed forces in Kashmir. These forces have used intimidation, threat, murder and rape as tools to terrorise the Kashmiris. Such stationing of the Indian armed forces in Kashmir on so large a scale is unjustified and is a clear manifestation of occupation. If the Indian state claims that it has not occupied Kashmir and is only there to protect the citizens of the valley then that is unvarnished nationalist propaganda. The resistance that has erupted time and again, violations of the Indian armed forces and excesses meted out to the Kashmiris are all manifestation of this highly disturbing trend.
Now, the AFSPA, as has already been stated above, is itself entirely abusive of human rights not only in the northeast of the subcontinent where it was meant to have been used for a short period of time while quelling peoples asserting their right to self-determination but is entirely criminal in the way it is being implemented in Kashmir over the aspirations and wishes of the people in the valley. The Justice B.P. Jeevan Reddy Committee report, the Justice Santosh Hegde Commission which enquired into the way AFSPA was being enforced on the people of Manipur – neither report published by the Indian authorities in both the Congress and BJP-led dispensations to their continuing shame – as well as the Justice J.S. Verma Committee Report formed following the infamous December 16, 2012 gangrape in New Delhi and consisting of former Supreme Court Chief Justice Verma, former Delhi High Court judge, Just Leila Seth and former Solicitor General of India Gopal Subramaniam.
As is becoming abundantly clear over the past several days, the attitude of the Indian state is quite clearly to quash dissent in Kashmir by terming it terrorism. In fact, any dissent in not only Kashmir but even in many parts of India is seen by Indian authorities as acts of and/or supportive of terrorism. There is absolutely no free speech in Kashmir as the complete gagging of the media there has shown – an eloquent manifestation of occupation, by a cowardly colonial dispensation, pure and simple.
Finally, it is worth recalling that a Kashmiri Afzal Guru, was killed by the Indian state in secret in Tihar Jail on 9 February 2013 – his alleged complicity in the attack on the Indian parliament of 2001 never established and his death ordered by the Supreme Court of India in order to satiate the “conscience of the society” and Kashmiri freedom-fighter Muqbool Butt was nearly three decades earlier killed in Tihar jail on 11 February 1984.
And now, Burhan Wani and many such other instances exist as examples of this striking down of dissent.
There can be no democratic process with the presence of large numbers of Indian armed forces in Kashmir. Therefore, de-militarisation needs to be immediately initiated. Our specific demands are:
1. Demilitarise the Kashmir Valley, withdraw AFPSA and Public Securities Act and a host of other draconian Acts enacted in Kashmir like Enemy Agents Act, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, National Security Act and others. The perpetrators of the armed forces for the massive violence and human rights violations they have committed should be tried in impartial civil courts.
2. Kashmir has been in the throes of an exceedingly long standing state of a war of occupation. For the past several decades, curfews have been imposed by the Indian state disrupting normal life. Movement in the Valley is restricted with Kashmiris being randomly stopped, frisked and are made to display their identity cards. News and media bans – print, electronic and social media, bans on peaceful protests and demonstrations are some the ways extreme control and stifling of free speech are a norm. Structures of impunity in the form of armed forces bunkers and mobile vans and occupation of several structures and public spaces by the armed forces are visible all over Valley. Right of Association has also been taken away from Kashmiris – example, forming of students union has been banned in Kashmir University Campus life in Kashmir is also under constant surveillance where student unions, especially the Kashmir University Students Unions has been banned. The University also has its own IB cell which keep a track of students’ activities on social media and rights to hold different opinions is denied. Means of communication like mobile, internet and telephone, a central part of life today, especially with gagging of mainstream media, have been taken away at the mere possibility of resistance by the people of Kashmir.
In the light of this situation, where any form of civilian life and been coloured with hues of green, it is necessary that it be instated.. A road map to civilian life needs to be put in place, allowing for the people of Kashmir to reclaim their spaces which had been earlier taken over by too many organs of the Indian state, especially in the form of the occupying armed forces. This would amount to an important element of withdrawal of the Indian state from the Valley.
3. Justice is not just in terms of trying perpetrators of offences of rape or encounter, but also enforced disappearance, which should be declared an offence. India should sign UN’s International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.
Mass Graves should be investigated as done by forensics groups such as the Argentinian Forensic groups. This would be another way of acknowledging to Kashmiris the gruesomeness meted out to them.
4. The Indian state has continuously undermined the right of self-determination in Kashmir since the late 1940s. The voices of the common Kashmiri people have been drowned out thanks to the – from the Kashmiri peoples’ perspective – the ugly charade of an inter-state dispute between India and Pakistan with little regard to the aspirations of the Kashmiri people. The universal will of the Kashmiri people has to be heard and acted upon. India needs to initiate a process for a referendum.

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