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|Preliminary Report| Death of Kitta Koraga, Safai Karamchari in Kinnigoli

November 27, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Human Rights, Minorities, Report 

Download the Report HERE

In yet another tragic incident of death by manual scavenging in Karnataka, Shri Kitta Koraga, 45 years old, succumbed to asphyxiation while engaged in cleaning a soak pit in Kinnigoli town, Dakshina Kannada district on 6.11.11. On 7.11.11, PUCL, Bangalore, was contacted by Shri Balraj, member of Koragara Abhivrudda Sanghada Okkoota, a community-based organization devoted to the welfare of the Koraga community in Mangalore and Dakshina Kannada districts. Accordingly, a 2-member team of PUCL was formed, consisting of Ramdas and Raghupathi, both members of PUCL Bangalore, to visit Kinnigolli and do a fact-finding investigation of the incident.

Read the Preliminary Report HERE

|PRESS STATEMENT| Response to Kolar Deputy Commissioner

We are responding to the statement of the Deputy Commissioner, Kolar that was reported in the newspapers dated 29th October, 2011 alleging PUCL’s role in the death of 3 persons performing the work of manual scavenging in KGF on 24th October, 2011. (Reference 1, 2) Since the statement makes serious allegations about the functioning of a national human rights organization like PUCL, we request you to publish our reply to his statement.

PUCL-K would like to express its enormous disquiet at the statement of the District Commission, Kolar blaming PUCL-K for the incident of manual scavenging in the Kolar Gold Fields. It is difficult to even fathom the extent of the defamatory intent, unscrupulous twisting of facts and the self serving nature underlying the DC’s statement. In brief the DC’s statement is nothing other than a cynical attempt to pass the buck for the comprehensive failure of the district administration to abolish manual scavenging (which is in fact the most heinous expression of untouchability). Such casual and baseless charges are not only defamatory to PUCL-K, but more importantly amount to a show of contempt and disrespect towards the deceased persons, Shri Kutti Prasad, Shri Nagendra Babu and Shri Ravi, and wilfully ignores the economic situation which had forced them into this form of employment.
Even sixty years after independence, the state, by its failure to fulfil its constitutional mandate, is responsible for the continuing tragic deaths of Dalits while cleaning soak pits and manholes. These conditions grossly violate the promise of working with dignity which is a constitutional birthright for all citizens.
The most cynical part of the DC’s statement is to insinuate that PUCL-K actually engineered this incident to record and use it to tarnish the image of the District Administration. At this point it might be useful to remind the DC of the fact that the PUCL-K has been actively involved in the public campaign against the practise of manual scavenging in all its forms across the State of Karnataka, and specifically in KGF. In 2009, PUCL -K filed a Public Interest Litigation before the Karnataka High Court placing on record the fact that scores of safai karmacharis have died while performing the work of manhole cleaning which is akin to manual scavenging in various parts of Karnataka. In the last several months, we have visited Savanur, KGF and Alur in Hassan district, and brought out fact-finding reports on the pervasive extent of manual scavenging in Karnataka and its effects on the health and survival of the safai karmacharis. In fact it was after PUCL-K complained about this practice in KGF that the State Human Rights Commission in an order dated 28th June, 2011 recognised the existence and gravity of the problem of manual scavenging in KGF as well as the failure of the District Administration to take any steps to ameliorate the situation, and to implement the Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act, 1993. The SHRC has issued orders directing the District Administration to take full fledged rehabilitation measures. It is only subsequent to the orders of the SHRC that the District Administration was compelled to initiate rehabilitation measures.
The burden of the DC’s rhetoric is that there is no manual scavenging in KGF, and that adequate measures have been taken to abolish manual scavenging. The so-called rehabilitation measures undertaken by the district administration are not only grossly inadequate but are in fact responsible for driving the three workers to their deaths.
PUCL-K is in the process of bringing out a comprehensive report on the extent of manual scavenging in KGF in which we will detail the complete failure of the district administration to provide rehabilitation in any meaningful way. This Report will bring out the gravity of the situation and the need to take immediate and substantial steps to end this heinous practice thereby fulfilling the constitutional mandate of a life with dignity for all persons compelled into this degrading profession.
Finally, PUCL-K calls upon the Deputy Commissioner, Kolar to apologise for his irresponsible and defamatory statements, acknowledge the failure of the district administration that has resulted in the deaths of the three safai karmacharis and to take immediate steps towards preventing the recurrence of such tragedies.

Ramdas Rao
94493 99729

Y. J. Rajendra
94490 11530

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.

Draft Memorandum on Implementation of the Karnataka Prohibition of Beggary Act, 1975

May 25, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Human Rights, Report 

Draft Memorandum on Implementation of the Karnataka Prohibition of Beggary Act, 1975 submitted to
1) Director
Department of Social Welfare
Government of Karnataka

2) Under Secretary

3) Chief Secretary

4) Tehsildar

5) Minister of Social Welfare

Click here for the memorandum


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

Press Release – Police Crackdown on Hijras


PUCL, Bangalore, strongly condemns the call by city’s new police commissioner JP Mirji to target and crackdown on Bangalore’s Hijra community authorising mass arrests for creating public nuisance and under the Karnataka beggary Act. Criminalising either poverty or sexuality of a community are against the fundamental rights and freedoms constitutionally guaranteed and are far out of proportion with the nature of offense considered. Police force, by construction, should see itself, above all, as facilitators to adherence of constitutional values on matters of individual freedoms and cannot indulge in excesses under any subsidiary act that violates the above principals. In the case of the Hijra community, PUCL, via its work, is very aware of the social exclusion and boycotting faced by this marginalised community that perforce requires the community members to solicit as a primary livelihood means. We urge Mr. PJ Mirji to immediately halt the proposed unleashing of police repressions on a community that is already largely ostracised.


Arati Chokshi
General Secretary
PUCL – Bangalore Chapter

Ref: http://www.bangaloremirror.com/article/1/2011051320110513001823509858f13d0/Top-cop-gives-his-men-three-days-to-put-an-end-to-eunuch-menace-.html

134 activists detained while on their way to Jaitapur

April 23, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Human Rights, Press Releases 

April 23 2011

Press Statement

PUCL condemns the illegal detention of activists protesting peacefully against the Jaitapur power plant. 134 activists have been detained in the jurisdiction of the Voisar police station (near Tarapur in Maharashtra) on their way to Jaitapur. Arati Chokshi, Secretary of PUCL Karnataka, is one of the activists that has been illegally detained.

PUCL is deeply concerned about the impact and risks associated with a Nuclear Plant especially on the scale of the Jaitapur plant. In the light of the Fukushima Nuclear incident it is important that issues related to Nuclear Energy be debated and discussed in a transparent manner. Local citizens living in the Jaitapur area have been protesting against their impending eviction. Their voices and their constitutional rights can not be ignored by the state.

We strongly condemn police action that seeks to disrupt peaceful protest by concerned citizens. The attempt to silence dissent through illegal detention is of grave concern. Voices that seek to raise issues that concern citizens that are most likely to be impacted by radiation risks should not be silenced.

Update: All activists that have been illegally detained are on a huger strike.

Beggary Survey

April 12, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Human Rights, Minorities, Report 

Beggary Survey

Please scroll down in the document to see data points

Please scroll down in the document to see data points


Please scroll down in the document to see data points


April 2, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Human Rights, Report 




April 2, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Human Rights, Report 



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