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*Preliminary* Fact Finding Report – Bangalore Garment Workers’ Protest Demonstration:

May 31, 2016 by · Comments Off on *Preliminary* Fact Finding Report – Bangalore Garment Workers’ Protest Demonstration:
Filed under: Human Rights, Press Releases, Report, Urban Poverty 



On the two days of April 18th and 19th, 2016, workers of the garment industry, predominantly women, took to the streets in a sudden unplanned demonstration to protest the new ordinance on the Employment Provident Fund by the Central Government. The angst among garment workers was triggered by a newspaper article in Vijaya Karnataka – a Kannada daily – 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.

On May 1st, 2016, the Chief Minister of Karnataka, Mr. Siddaramaiah, congratulated the garment workers for creating “a successful workers’ movement”, which was “historic” and was able to cause the Central government to roll back the “ill-conceived amendments to the EPF Scheme” .

While this protest has been lauded across the country as a victory for workers’ rights, specifically for the distinctive role played by women workers, the response of the state law enforcement machinery has been of utmost repression and violence, with an attempt to systematically create an atmosphere of abject fear, by targeting workers due to their vulnerable class character. The State Government and its machinery, which on the one hand praised the struggle and on the other lathi-charged them, needs to recognize that the garment factory workers resorted to the demonstration as the Central Government’s move to restrict access to their EPF funds was the last straw on their already burdened backs.

This report is an inquiry into the 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 which took place on April 18th and 19th, 2016.

This preliminary report about the April 2016 events and the resulting police brutality has been prepared in order for SHRC, State Government, and Police Complaint Authority to take cognizance of and initiate immediate action against the serious violations of human rights that took place and still continue. This report has been put together with names of workers not being mentioned, as the workers are scared of being targeted by their factory managements and the police. They have agreed to speak to the fact-finding team on the condition of anonymity.

This fact-finding team comprises members of People’s Union of Civil Liberties – Karnataka (PUCL-K), Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression-Karnataka (WSS), and other independent researchers.


Schooled into Hindu Rashtra – Interim Fact Finding Report

April 1, 2016 by · Comments Off on Schooled into Hindu Rashtra – Interim Fact Finding Report
Filed under: Human Rights, Report 

Click HERE to read the full report

For the last couple of years, newspaper reports have appeared about a large
number of children from the North-Eastern states of Meghalaya and
Manipur being transported to the southern states of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil
Nadu and Karnataka. It is revealed that this migration of children is the
initiative of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and its associates. This
operation is carried out at the behest of RSS by a number of individuals and
organisations that contact parents belonging to tribal and backward caste
communities in the North-East states who are eager to give their children a
good education. Once the children are brought here, they are often enrolled
in schools and hostels run by individuals and organisations having
allegiance to RSS. With a view to finding out more about the work that RSS
is doing with these children from the North-East, or in other words, the
schools that they run, the kind of education they impart and the impact that
this educational initiative continues to have on these North-Eastern children
in Karnataka, two organisations in Karnataka, PUCL and KKSV decided to
conduct a fact-finding investigation.

Click HERE to read the full report

|Human Rights Day| Challenges Facing the Left: Remembering Praful Bidwai

December 19, 2015 by · Comments Off on |Human Rights Day| Challenges Facing the Left: Remembering Praful Bidwai
Filed under: Human Rights 

Praful’s death on 23 June 2015 was met with widely felt shock in South Asia and elsewhere as his courageous journalism, environmental activism and anti-nuclear as well as anti-communal activism and had won him vast numbers of admirers across the subcontinent and the globe. His latest book, The Phoenix Moment, investigates whether the Left’s core agenda of progressive or socialist transformation can yet be reinvented and restored to relevance – either with its own agency or through other forces, formations and initiatives.

Alternative Law Forum, Environment Support Group, Karnataka Komu Souharda Vedike, New Socialist Alternative, People’s Solidarity Concerns, People’s Union for Civil Liberties and others were associated with the event.

Panelists speaking on this day are:

• Lawrence Surendra, Social Scientist
• Saumya Uma, Asst. Professor, National Law School of India University, and Assistant Director, Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy
• Suvrat Raju, Physicist, International Centre for Theoretical Sciences of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research
• G.N. Nagaraj, Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader
• Cynthia Stephen, Independent writer and researcher will chair the session.

Watch the full recording @
HUMAN RIGHTS DAY | Challenges Facing the Left ~ Remembering Praful Bidwai | 10 December 2015

Permanent Suspects

October 9, 2015 by · Comments Off on Permanent Suspects
Filed under: Human Rights, Report, Uncategorized 

A fact finding report into the arrest of Muslim Youth in Bangalore.

Published in 2013.

Full report available for download @ : http://puclkarnataka.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Terrorism-and-Muslim-Youth.pdf

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

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
Isaac Arul Selva

| 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 


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.


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