Monday, October 10, 2016

For Indian activist, 13-year-old’s death after 68 days of fasting is absurd,-13-year-old%E2%80%99s-death-after-68-days-of-fasting-is-absurd-38817.html

Aradhana, who died of cardiac arrest, fasted to bring luck to her economically troubled family. Parents organised a funeral to venerate their daughter as a "holy child". Now they are being investigated for culpable homicide.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) – The death of a 13-year-old Jain girl after 68 days of fasting "is a heinous violation of human rights and of the dignity of a human being,” said Lenin Raghuvanshi, executive director of the Peoples' Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR).

The noted Indian activist spoke to AsiaNews about the death of Aradhana, a girl who died who refused water and food as part of chaumasa, a ritual that marks the fourth holy month in the Jain religion.

The eighth grade student died of cardiac arrest in Secunderabad, Telangana. According to investigation, she fasted to bring luck to her financially-strapped family after her father's jewelry business suffered losses. During the fast, she only drank a few drops of water, according to a precise schedule.

Aradhana’s death has sparked bitter protests from activists, incensed at her parents, guilty in their eyes of failing to protect their daughter.

For their part, the parents, Lakshmichand Samdhariya and his wife Manisha, organised a funeral for their daughter as a bal tapasvi, a holy child. At least 600 people attended the service.

Police in Hyderabad are investigating whether the girl was forced to fast by parents, who have been charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder (causing death by negligence) and cruelty to children (under the Juvenile Justice Act).

Prolonged fasting is a common practice in Jainism, and has been condemned by human rights advocates. For Lenin Raghuvanshi, "When religion is used for greed and power grabbing, we see misery, like in this case". Instead, "We must stop the use of our children in the name of religion and greed."

India: 13enne digiuna 68 giorni e muore, indagati genitori

Roma - La morte di una ragazza giainista di 13 anni, dopo 68 giorni di digiuno, "e' una ignobile violazione dei diritti umani e della dignita' di un essere umano". Lo afferma ad AsiaNews Lenin Raghuvanshi, noto attivista indiano e direttore esecutivo del Peoples' Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (Pvchr), commentando la notizia della morte della giovane Aradhana, deceduta per essersi rifiutata di bere e mangiare per osservare il "chaumasa", un rituale che celebra il quarto mese sacro della religione gianista. La giovane, una studentessa dell'ottava classe, e' morta per arresto cardiaco a Secunderabad, nel Telangana. Secondo le indagini, la ragazza digiunava per attirare la fortuna sulla sua famiglia, che era in difficolta' economiche dopo che la gioielleria del padre aveva subito delle perdite. Nei giorni del digiuno rituale avrebbe assunto solo poche gocce d'acqua, ad orari precisi. La morte di Aradhana ha scatenato aspre proteste degli attivisti, che hanno messo sotto accusa la condotta dei genitori, colpevoli di non aver impedito il sacrificio della figlia. Al contrario, Lakshmichand Samdhariya e la moglie Manisha hanno organizzato un rituale funebre per venerare la figlia come "bal tapasvi" ["santa bambina"]. Al suo funerale hanno partecipato almeno 600 persone. La polizia di Hyderabad sta indagando se la ragazza sia stata costretta al digiuno da parte dei genitori, che nel frattempo sono stati imputati di omicidio colposo (morte provocata per negligenza) e per crudelta' contro i minori (in base ad una norma del Juvenile Justice Act). Il digiuno prolungato e' una pratica diffusa nel giainismo, e da tempo viene condannato dai difensori dei diritti umani. Lenin Raghuvanshi dichiara: "Quando la religione viene usata per avidita' e per agguantare il potere, allora assistiamo a miserie come questo incidente". "Abbiamo bisogno - conclude - di fermare l'uso dei nostri bambini in nome della religione e della cupidigia".(AGI)

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Conflict transformation for sustainable peace

War is symptom of conflict escalation. We need to work to create conflict transformation for sustainable peace based on dignity, reconciliation, rule of law and pluralism.
During partition of India and Pakistan, hundred thousands people faced organised violence at both sides. But there is no reconciliation, which is created a Mindset of hatred and distrust.
I ask for pardon to me from all innocent people and their families who faced organised violence in partition. And I appeal to Government of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh to make effort for reconciliation for better world and Better South Asia.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Appeal for Peace in South Asia

Thursday, September 29, 2016

State of impunity: nexus of corrupt officials and anti-women suspect criminal in India


Shruti Nagvanshi
The People’s Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) started Satyagrah (Human rights street movement) for rule of law and human rights defenders from 15th August, 2013 and it continues for a months in various place of Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand with the participation of thousands of people. 
The movement is to raise voices against drug Mafia, Sex mafia, police atrocity and apathy of cases against Human Rights defenders in various part of Uttar Pradesh. This satyagrah started on 15th August, 2013 and continues for four days in front of street of PVCHR office.

On 18th September, 2013 they organized first phase culmination of satyagrah at 10 am in front of the Vidhan Sabha Bhawan, Lucknow.

Satyagrah or as I call it a Human Rights Street Movement, is the way left now to bring facts about the corrupt system to the knowledge of leaders.

Discriminatory attitudes and lack of sensitization to the dynamics of crimes involving sexual or domestic violence leave victims without critical police aid or redress to which they are entitled. The police attitude that domestic violence is primarily of a private nature is the most unfortunate trivialization of a grave social evil, that too, when the police are empowered to arrest the perpetrator without any warrant.
The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, was enacted to augment women’s immediate protection from violence through emergency relief, including access to temporary protection order and domestic violence shelters.
In reality, the situation, however, depicts a complete reversal. The lawyers and activists say that due to poor implementation of the law, women facing imminent and life threatening violence remains hostage to police attitude. This attitude of the police perhaps stems from its traditional legacy of „rule of lords‟, the same as its colonial masters. This is the common bond between the police and the feudal lords in India, which do not believe in the concept of welfare state.

Mr. Sunil Gupta had a love marriage with his first wife Ms. Soni Gupta in 1995 and approximately after 7 years of the marriage his wife died due to hanging, which also means she was either killed or she herself committed suicide? The tragic death amply proves that Mr. Sunil Gupta has a bias attitude towards women which led to the untimely death of Ms. Soni Gupta. Ms. Sapna Chaurasia has testified, “His previous wife in all probability was forced to take such an extreme step of ending her life just because she could not bear such cruel and inhuman treatment meted out to her. After the incident Sunil Gupta had a compromise deal with the Soni’s family. In the absence of any legal action, Sunil Gupta got a moral boost for his actions”. It is a well known fact that Sunil Gupta has made clouts in the Bhelupur police station, Varanasi in India and using that power for illegal purposes which constitute a serious threat for the “Rule of Law”.  A false case with Crime number 199 under section 13, 342, 384, 498 was filed by Sunil Gupta in Bhelupur police station against me and my wife Shruti on 19 June , 2013 which is a clear example pointing to that. Surprisingly, Sunil Gupta filed the same complaint with the office of IG police, Varanasi zone on 21 January, 2013 and the matter was investigated by the Circle Officer, Cantonment area. Sunil Gupta has referred this also in his statement. In his final investigation report (No: CO Cant – CST/RGZ-09-2013) submitted by Mr. Rakesh Kumar Singh, Circle Officer on 20 February, 2013, the allegations leveled by Mr. Sunil Gupta were proved false and baseless. On the basis of same allegations Mr. Sunil Gupta filed a habeas corpus writ petition (No: 8753/2013) in the honorable High Court on which Sapna and her brother Shyam made their statements before the court. Honorable High Court while dismissing the writ petition passed the following order:

“Sunil Kumar Gupta, the husband of the corpus has appeared before this Court along with a five years child who is admittedly born out of this wedlock. The question of his custody may arise but for that purpose, corpus may apply before the proper forum in a separate suit if she is so advised. The petition stands disposed of, accordingly. Corpus is set at liberty she may go anywhere as per her wish and desire. Her husband, Sunil Kumar Gupta, is restrained from making any kind of interference in the peaceful life and liberty of the corpus.

With the aforesaid observations, this petition stands disposed of.”
After the court judgment Sapna sent registered letters to DGP, SSP, SHO- Cant, SHO-Women’s Police Station and SHO-Bhelupur Police Station on 25 March 2013.  It is quite astonishing to know that Sunil Kumar Gupta has filed a case in the High Court on behalf of his wife in which he has made District Magistrate, SSP and the UP government via Home Secretary along with me as a party in the case. I was served a notice in the case. It is quite obvious that District Administration and Varanasi Police must also have been served notices for the same. But on 18 March, 2013 but no one was present in the court on behalf of District Administration and Varanasi Police. Varanasi district police also sent a report to the National Human Rights Commission on 10 April, 2013. But the above mentioned facts and the details of the Honorable High Court’s judgment were not taken into consideration as evidences. While Sunil Gupta clearly mentioned about it in his statement to Varanasi police. It proves that Varanasi police is giving additional protection to Sunil Gupta. On 3 December, 2013 Sapna Chaurasia sent a registered complaint letter to the Senior Superintendent of Police and I also sent complaint letters to Senior Superintendent of Police and the National Human Rights Commission on 5 December, 2013. After the notice of Honorable Human Rights Commission and reminder from the Home Ministry, Varanasi Police filed a case with No: 4/13 under Sections 328, 511, 498 A, 323 and 504 of the Indian Penal Code. At the same time before 10 April crucial sections namely; 328, 511of the IPC were removed from the case list. While under the other sections the case was referred to the mediation center in Varanasi by the government order in which 11 April, 2013 was mentioned as the date for mediation. A day before this, on 10 April, 2013 report was also sent to the honorable Human Rights Commission. This action also makes it clear that Sunil Gupta was being protected by the Varanasi police. At the first stance the FIR was filed after three months and within less than one month of time two crucial sections were removed from the charges and the whole matter was made out to be a case for mediation. An FIR on the same charges was filed in Bhelupur police station against those who were pleading the case on which police investigation had already been completed and the honorable High Court had passed its judgment. Therefore an FIR under section 166 A of IPC should be registered against the police officials of Varanasi police responsible for this act. In this connection on 20 June 2013, I have sent my statement before my death through a registered letter as well as through E Mail to DGP-UP, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and Chairperson, National Human Rights Commission in which I have clearly mentioned that Varanasi SP (City), corrupt officials of Cant police station, corrupt non government organizations along with anti women elements could conspire to eliminate me physically. On 24 January, 2013 I also issued an urgent appeal to conduct a high level enquiry by CBI or CB-CID and sent my petition to various police officials and the National Human Rights Commission. I made accusations for an imminent threat on my life and security along with attempts to implicate me in fabricated legal cases but no action was taken on my complaint. On 19 June 2013 on the basis of a letter written to Chief Medical Officer by Sunil Gupta, a case was filed against me and my wife Shruti. On 23 June 2013 I informed the DGP- UP, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and Chairperson, National Human Rights Commission about death threats and attempts to falsely implicate me through a registered letter and E Mail. Meanwhile on 26 June 2013 I held a meeting with the honorable Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh at his residence and DGP- UP with a representative committee having 8 members and I gave an application for investigation and action on this incident along with several other issues. On the same evening I got a phone call threatening to implicate me in a rape case and I informed about it through social networking site Face Book.  I sent my complaint regarding calls threatening to implicate me in false cases and my murder, through registered letter to various officials of the honorable National Human Rights Commission.

But no action was taken and after that on 24 April 2013 I was attacked with weapons with a clear intention to kill. A case was registered with case no: 359/13 under sections 307, 452, 341, 323 on 25 April, 2013. Even after the registration of the case no investigating officer came to investigate even once. After that Sunil Gupta and his gang started attacking my wife with slanderous remarks by creating an account in Face book. They also made objectionable and unethical remarks on my cousin sister’s marriage terming as a high profile NGO party by using photographs from my wife’s face book account for which Shruti filed a case with Crime no: 418/13 in Cant police station under sections 66 G, 66 GH and 67 B of the IT Act.  On that complaint investigating officer visited us only once. On 13 May, 2013 I wrote a letter to the Senior Superintendent of Police, Varanasi informing about it. On 18 June, 2013 I wrote a complaint to the IG, Varanasi Zone informing him that Sunil Gupta has threatened the relatives of Sapna to make a compromise otherwise she would have to face consequences. While talking about the gang war he claims to be a member and close confident of Munna Bajrangi gang

 The conversation had been recorded and produced before the police official. The matter is being investigated by the Circle Officer, Cant Police Station, Varanasi. My statement has also been recorded and further action is awaited in the matter (CST/RTZ 997-13, June 23, 2013, Senior Superintendent of Police). On the complaint of Shruti, the District Probation Officer has already sent a letter to the Senior Superintendent of Police to take action on the matter (Letter No: 2572-73/ Dist/ Pro/ Office/ SSP/Complaint/2012-13).Once again by disregarding the order of Honorable High Court Sunil Gupta gave a complaint to District Collector, Varanasi and asked District Probation Officer to start investigation against me once again  (Letter No: 778-9/Dist/Pro/Off/Complaint/Investigation/2013-14/ Dated 17, June 2013).  Before all this I and Sapna had already submitted our prayer to take action against Sunil Gupta under section 182 of IPC. It is to be noted that Sunil Gupta can harass me and my organization with the connivance of corrupt police, corrupt lawyers, corrupt media and corrupt officials, so one can only imagine the fate and condition of Sapna and her family. One day Sunil Gupta forcibly abducted Sapana’s younger sister Soni and she could be freed only after her brother Shyam interfered in the matter. In its investigation report on 10 February, 2013, Bhelupur Police station, Varanasi wrote to the Senior Superintendent of Police, Varanasi that when the missing girl was found, Lenin Raghuvanshi neither informed the police nor he informed the higher officials whereas on 3 December, 2012 Sapna immediately sent a registered letter to the Senior Superintendent of Police, Varanasi informing about it. The same complaint was sent to the honorable National Human Rights Commission on which the commission sent a notice to the Senior Superintendent of Police, Varanasi on 15 December, 2012. Before 10 February, 2013 the committee has written letters to many higher officials. But contrary to expectations, the Bhelupur police station acting like a court and without recording my and Sapna’s statements decides on its own which clearly indicates the influence Sunil Gupta has on the officials of Bhelupur police station.

 On 24 January, 2013 it has been demanded in written from National Human Rights Commission that an enquiry from the CB-CID should be set up in this case. In this case I was physically attacked in attempts to save the life of the victim. I had to approach the High Court in a false case. False case was filed against me and Shruti. I was defamed in the social networking site. It all happened because I am a human rights worker. I filed a complaint in the National Human Rights Commission but the ‘Human Rights Defender Desk’ at the commission did not take appropriate and legal steps.

 Sapna revealed in her testimony, “I was kidnapped approximately after 4 days and after completing marriage formalities they took me to home. My mother was alone at home; she could not do anything because she was frightened by his power”.  Sapna also told that they forced her to sign on a paper and this happened in a hotel. She said “I know one can get notary papers signed forcibly at home”. The matter should be investigated whether notary register carry the signatures of Soni Gupta and Sapna or not?
  The other fact is that in 2012 the age of Sapna was 23 years and during 2005-6 her age must have been 15 to 16 years. At that time, this marriage is clearly a case of child marriage which is illegal under Indian law. But Varanasi police continues to hide this fact. Whereas this is a case of forced marriage which was agreed upon due to pressure and fear? Sunil Gupta’s influence within the police administration can be found in his statement where he says he get the call details of his wife. SP (city) police office does not even care to know the matter that how he manages to get the call details. It should be mentioned that Sapna has been nominated in the category of crusaders of women’s rights in the Hindustan Times and her name was also published in the daily. Sapna was also honored with a certificate presented to her by Member of Parliament, Mrs.Dimple Yadav and the famous film actress Shabana Azami . Therefore, action should be taken against the police officials under section 166A of IPC.
 In the evidence scrutiny no: 3 police has told that the evidence given by Sunil Gupta shows that Sapna’s medical treatment with drugs started in 2010 while their marriage took place in 2005. So clearly in the span of 5 years she was tortured and also forcibly given alcohol and administered injections. When Sapna’s condition deteriorated, she was taken to a doctor. The doctors diagnosed her with “Adjustment disorder”“An Adjustment disorder occurs when an individual is unable to adjustment to or cope with a particular stressor, Like a major life event,”.It has been stated further, “Unlike major depression however the disorders is caused by an outside stressor & generally resolve once the individual is able to adopt to situation”. The police should have managed to detect the “Adjustment disorder”. It also means that Sunil Gupta worked as an Outside Stressor, tortured her, gave her drugs and injections and oppressed her. When she became too sick then took her for treatment.  It is also a fact that false case against me and Shruti was filed based on the letter addressed to the Chief Medical Officer. This also reveals an open nexus between the doctors, Sunil Gupta and the police. Therefore it is prayed that action should be taken against anti women gang under the law along with an enquiry by the Independent agency.
 Sunil Gupta has accused that Sapna ran away taking jewellery and cash with her in November 2012. Then in July 2012 why did he make a claim for Vidavidai (ceremony performed when wife goes to her parental home) in the family court. Sunil Gupta is a cunning and anti women person.
 On 20 December, 2012 Sunil Gupta came to my residence and threatened me. I have already sent a registered complaint letter to various higher authorities. Again on 16 February 2013, I got a threatening call on my mobile which I already reported to the Senior Superintendent of Police, Varanasi through a registered letter. Meanwhile, Sunil Gupta sent a letter to the IG on 21 January 2013. Before this Sunil Gupta did not provide any information of the previous incidents to any police authority. This fact has neither been registered by investigating officers nor been included in the evaluation of police report. It clearly shows that a corrupt section of police department, corrupt gang of lawyers and some anti social elements have joined together in their efforts and facilitated to send this letter to the IG police. There was an enquiry on this matter and Circle Officer Cant police station submitted his report. But on my complaints filed on 20 December, 2012 and 16 January, 2013, even my statement has not been recorded so far. This also proves a close nexus of local police with Sunil Gupta. Even on the complaint letter written to the honorable National Human Rights Commission related to threats given to me, no action has been taken so far.
 By terming the mental and physical exploitation of Sapna Chaurasia as controversial and a case of personal disagreements in its investigation report, the Varanasi police are trying to hush up the matter. A corrupt section of the police is opposed to any move to defend human rights issues. After the initiative of National Human Rights Commission on a complaint filed on 5 December, 2012, a case was filed against Sunil Gupta (case no: 04/2013 under section 328/511/498A/323/504/506 of IPC) on 13 March, 2013 but two crucial sections namely 328/511 were removed from this case by the Varanasi police. The fact is that this marriage took place in 2005 but Sapna was taken to a psychiatrist for treatment in 2010. The psychiatrist diagnosed Sapna suffering from Adjustment disorder which is caused by the Stressor. In this case Sunil Gupta is the prime cause for such stress. Unfortunately the police removed both the crucial sections from the case which help in this kind of offences.

Hindu fascists and communal forces from other religions of Intelligence agencies, police, media, society and other civil society organizations in India want to destroy PVCHR and finish me & my family. Continuously they are trying to break me psychological and attacked few times physical. But I am remembering quote of Mahatama Gandhi, “You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind.”
All Rights Reserved © by The Oslo Times

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Challenging Law: Voices from Civil Society

Civil societies have been critical to these laws. In October, 2012, J. L. Chugh, joint secretary of the Indian Home Ministry, issued a statement to the local People’s Vigilance Committee (PVCHR) on Human Rights in India, and said a hearing would be convened to discuss the sedition law. PVCHR believes that concerned law is incompatible with democracy. PVCHR requested that the Indian parliament should immediately repeal this colonial era sedition law.
The Committee to Protect Journalist also believes that repealing such law would represent a commitment to press freedom and human rights that is in keeping with India’s democratic character. Democracies across the globe have already acted to repeal their sedition laws.

#dissent #u4humanrights #CPJ

Monday, September 12, 2016