<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Reporting incest rape is a difficult task, especially because of the societal stigma surrounding it. In case the survivor is a child, as clinical psychologists and psychiatrists point out, reporting rape becomes all the more onerous. It is called the child sexual abuse accommodation syndrome, as lucidly described by Roland C Summit it in this article. The survivor often ends up putting all the blame on herself, and the courts buy that version. By the time she is able to come to terms with the treatment meted out to her, it’s too late — the courts have already acquitted the offender and are mostly reluctant to order a retrial or even reopen the case. Journalist Pinki Virani’s book Bitter Chocolate narrates in detail certain decisions of courts which have followed this tragic trajectory.However, in a recent decision — State of Himachal Pradesh v Sanjay Kumar @Sunny (Criminal Appeal Number 1231 of 2016) — the Supreme Court has ruled that in such cases, the courts below must follow a survivor-centric approach and not go by the hoary “proof beyond reasonable doubt” standard. Overturning a decision of the Himachal Pradesh High Court, the apex court went by the trial court’s decision of convicting the accused only on the basis of the testimony of the survivor.Since Article 141 of the Constitution mandates that Supreme Court judgements are the law of the land, this particular decision marks a watershed moment in India’s rape trial and sentencing jurisprudence, which, as many feminist and legal scholars have proved, is pockmarked with arbitrariness, victim-blaming and misogynistic stereotyping.Facts of the case(WARNING: Graphic details follow)A nine-year-old girl visits her grandparents during her winter vacations. Once she is there, an uncle lures her into a remote room, gags her mouth, undresses her, and rapes her. Not only does he gag her so that her screams go unheard, but he also threatens to kill her if she narrates or reports his dastardly act to anyone. The survivor falls unconscious, and when she regains consciousness, she finds herself alone in the room, and silently put on her garments. And remains silent.After a fortnight, the uncle repeats the same act, and again, during the survivor’s second visit, he commits rape again. Intimidated and ashamed, the girl remains silent.But after 2-3 years, when she suffers from acute stomach ache, the child is compelled to confide in her mother. Her parents immediately go to the police station and lodge an FIR for rape.The prosecution cross-examined as many as 12 witnesses, but the Supreme Court declined to repose faith in the witnesses put forward by the accused.The Defence Case, RebuffedThe accused’s defence lawyers put forth two strands of arguments— one, that the prosecutrix was being used as a pawn by her parents in order to settle a family feud. Two, that because she had complained of the alleged incident after three years, it was clearly a case of premeditated afterthought.But the court refused to believe this. It held that the survivor’s silence and hiding of the blood-stained garments was on account of the stigma and threats she would face if she opened her mouth. She was also scared of and scarred by the death threats.Instead, the court relied upon the unimpeachable medical evidence, which stated that:“prosecutrix was forcefully raped by the respondent and as a result of that her hymen was ruptured and her external anal sphincter was also torn. Even internal sphincter was not continence. She found that the anal sphincter of the prosecutrix was not functioning properly. In the opinion of the examining doctor, on account of injury to the prosecutrix’s anal sphincter, she might be a sufferer throughout her life.”Moreover, the apex court also relied upon the fact that a child of the tender age of nine would be extremely reluctant to disclose what was done to her, especially when threatened with death.The Crux of the RulingPerpetrators of child sexual abuse go out of their way to pin all the blame on the child, and more often than not, the courts are taken in by such pernicious alibi. But not so in this case. Here, the Supreme Court relied upon concrete medical evidence, psychological factors, and factors which took into account the totality of the case’s circumstances.Reasons enough to hail this ruling as a victory over those who sexually prey on children.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The five-member civil society delegation led by senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha completed its three-day visit to Kashmir on Thursday during which it met various stakeholders to “understand the situation” and “share the pain” of the people in Kashmir. The delegation will now discuss the future course of action after meeting in Delhi. “We came here to understand the situation and share the pain of the people. We will sit down (after going back to Delhi) and see how we can proceed further,” Sinha told reporters after completing meetings with various sections in the valley, including separatists.Sinha said the delegation, which does not have any official status, met Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday and Governor NN Vohra on Thursday. Since its arrival here on Tuesday, the delegation met hardline Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani, moderate separatist leaders Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Abdul Gani Bhat and representatives of Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry — the apex trade body of Kashmir.Sinha, former External Affairs Minister, disagreed when asked whether the meeting with the separatists could be seen as a breakthrough since they opened their doors to the delegation members unlike the members of all-party delegation who were turned away by Geelani earlier in September. “It was good on their part they decided to meet us. We had extensive discussions with various stakeholders here,” he said.
ALSO READ J&K deadlock: BJP leader Yashwant Sinha led delegation meets separatist GeelaniThe other delegation members — Wajahat Habibullah, the former chairman of National Commission for Minorities, Kapil Kak, former Air Vice-Marshall, Journalist Bharat Bhushan and Sushoba Barve of Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation — met Geelani again on Thursday.
New Delhi: Supreme Court on Monday asked the CBI to conclude its investigation in the journalist Rajdev Ranjan murder case in Bihar within three months.
A bench comprising justices Dipak Misra and Amitava Roy made it clear that no accused in the murder case shall seek bail on the statutory ground that charge sheets have not been filed in the matter.
The bench also sought a report from the sessions judge at Siwan as to whether the two absconding offenders, Mohammad Kaif and Mohd Javed, were declared proclaimed offenders in the case on the day they were seen along with Bihar Health minister Tej Pratap Yadav and controversial RJD leader Shahabuddin.
Bihar government, meanwhile, told the bench that the two accused in question were not declared proclaimed offenders when they met the Bihar Health minister at Siwan.
Ranjan’s wife Asha Ranjan had on 23 September claimed before the apex court that the CBI had not even started its probe in the case due to “political influence” and “fear of Shahabuddin”.
The apex court had later directed the CBI to proceed with its probe into the scribe’s murder and asked the Bihar police to provide protection to his family that has claimed threat to life from Shahabuddin.
The court had also sought the response of Shahabuddin, Bihar’s health minister and RJD supremo Lalu Prasad’s son Tej Pratap Yadav and Bihar government on a petition by Ranjan’s wife, who has also sought transfer of the case from Siwan in Bihar to Delhi.
The RJD chief’s son was seen in a photograph published in newspapers with one of the two sharp shooters of alleged gangster-turned-politician Shahabuddin.
A prominent journalist has been barred from leaving Pakistan after he reported on a suspected rift between civilian and military leaderships during a crucial meeting in which the ISI was told its support for terrorist groups was leaving the country globally isolated.
Cyril Almeida, a columnist and reporter for the Dawn, tweeted that he has been told he has been put on ‘Exit Control List’ — a system of border control maintained by Pakistan government under an ordinance which allows it to bar people whose names appear on the list from leaving the country.
“Puzzled, saddened. Had no intention of going anywhere; this is my home. Pakistan,” Almeida tweeted.
The Exit Control List is a system of border control maintained by the Government of Pakistan under the Exit from Pakistan (Control) Ordinance.
Almeida’s story about the “unprecedented” showdown between the Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif, and the army’s spy chief General Raheel Sharif triggered a controversy when it was published on 6 October.
Almeida was booked on a Tuesday morning flight to Dubai for a holiday with family. But on Monday evening he received word that he would not be allowed to board the plane.
Dawn’s editor Zaffar Abbas posted on Facebook, defiantly defending the newspapers position.
The development came less than a week after he wrote a front-page story in the daily about a rift between Pakistan’s civilian and military leaderships over militant groups that operate from Pakistan but engage in war against India and Afghanistan.
On 6 October, Almeida, citing sources, reported in the widely-read daily that the civilian government has told the
military leadership of a growing international isolation of Pakistan due to alleged support for militancy.
Pakistan government has thrice denied the story since.
The Foreign Office vehemently rejected the report and termed it “speculative”. On Monday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ordered authorities to take “stern action” against those responsible for publishing the “fabricated” story.
“Prime Minister took serious notice of the violation and directed that those responsible should be identified for stern action,” according to an official statement.
Almeida’s scoop came amidst a backdrop of heightened tension between India and Pakistan following the attack on an Indian army base in Uri on 18 September in which 19 soldiers were killed by Pakistan-backed terrorists from the
On 29 September, India carried out “surgical strikes” on seven terror launch pads across the LoC, and the Army said it had inflicted “significant casualties” on terrorists preparing to infiltrate from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
Pakistan has denied the surgical strike by India but has claimed two of its soldiers were killed in alleged ceasefire violations along the LoC by Indian troops.
Various senior journalists stood in support of Almeida and criticised Pakistani government’s actions. #StandWithCyril was seen trending.
With inputs from PTI
Patna: Bihar police on Wednesday claimed to have cracked journalist Rajdeo Ranjan’s murder case by arresting five persons in Siwan district.
“The police arrested five persons in connection with the murder of journalist Rajdeo Ranjan and recovered a 7.65 bore country-made pistol and three motorcycles,” Additional Director General of Police (ADG Headquarters) Sunil Kumar told reporters.
The arrested were identified as Rohit Kumar, Vijay Kumar Gupta, Rajesh Kumar, Ishu Kumar and Sonu Kumar Gupta, the ADG said.
He said Rohit Kumar has admitted that he fired on the scribe resulting in his death.
Search is on for some more persons involved in the crime, he added.
The police have also seized a 7.65 bore country-made pistol and three motorcycles used in the crime, he added. Rajdeo Ranjan, district bureau head of a leading vernacular newspaper, was shot dead by unidentified men when he was going on his motorcycle near fruit market on station road under town police station area of Siwan on 13 May evening.
The killing had drawn country-wide criticism for Nitish Kumar government as a reflection of the slide in law and order situation in the state.
New Delhi: The Press Club of India and the entire journalist community on Saturday condemned the brutal murder of two media persons in Bihar and Jharkhand and demanded action against the culprits by both the Centre and state governments.
Rajdeo Ranjan, the Siwan bureau chief of Hindi newspaper Hindustan, which is part of the HT Media, was shot dead at a busy market near Station Road in the district on Friday night. Four suspects have been detained in connection with his killing.
In the other incident, Indradeo Yadav, also known as Akhilesh Pratap, was gunned down in Jharkhand’s Chatra district on Thursday night. He worked as a correspondent for a local TV channel.
“Both, the murders of Rajdeo Ranjan in Bihar and Akhil Prasad Singh in Jharkhand were targeted killings and form a part of attempts on part the mafia to muzzle the independent voice of the media,” said Press Club of India president Rahul Jalali.
“It is with increasing dismay we also note the increase in attempts to target the press throughout the country, by denigrating them and if nothing else works by eliminating them as has happened in these two cases,” he said.
Nadeem Ahmad Kazmi, secretary general of Press Club of India, said: “It is in this context we demand from the government, both at the centre and states, to come down heavily on the culprits and also create an atmosphere conducive to the free and fair functioning of the media in the country.”
“We also appeal to all media organizations in the country to come together and deliberate on how to resist increasing attacks on press freedom. In this context, we offer our forum for every media outfit to come together to strategise on the action plan for our battles ahead,” he added.
Rajdeep Sardesai is culpable because he erred in leaving Twitter, even if temporarily, as he put it. Because, by doing so, he has given his tormentors a glimpse of his weakness. He has given the sanskari trolls what they always wanted.
Watching him give up, concede defeat and beat a retreat was always their dream. And Sardesai just made them shriek a collective howl of joy.
For those who are wondering what this is all about, here is a brief history of Rajdeep’s sudden exit from Twitter.
On Saturday, Sardesai bid goodbye to Twitter. He did this after direct messages were sent out on Twitter through his account. “Teri maa ki boo aa rahi hai,” one of them allegedly read in response to an allegation that Sardesai was a beneficiary of money spent by Finmeccanica, parents of AgustaWestland, for managing media coverage of the chopper deal and was, thus, smelling fear.
Nobody knows if Sardesai had tweeted out the abusive response. For years, the celebrated journalist and his wife have been victims of relentless social media campaign questioning their integrity, primarily because they are an anathema to followers of the BJP and fans of prime minister Narendra Modi. Sardesai had so far exhibited restraint and caution in spite of serious provocation.
Sardesai claimed the tweets were not his. He said his account was hacked and the messages were a new low for the rightwing commentariat in India. Twitter is yet to verify Rajdeep’s claim.
Does it matter?
Abusive social media trolls are digital avatars of the louts who lurk in street corners, on intersections and markets, waiting to pass nasty comments on women, the bullies who prowl in schools and campuses in search of soft targets. Nothing frustrates them more than the realisation that even their most vile, villainous antics failed to break the resolve of their quarry. Nothing encourages them more than the satisfaction of a triumph over a victim.
Even if Sardesai reacted in the way he is accused of, it is understandable, if not justifiable, in light of the continuous provocation and abuse he’s been receiving. It happens to all of us. None of us is god incarnate to control our hurt and anger for years, as Rajdeep has done since the advent of online bullying. It is natural to get upset, though not advisable to assume the language of the trolls — which in itself if a bigger victory for the trolls (if his handle was not hacked, that is).
But, by disabling his account, Sardesai gave the social media bullies a trophy victim. He gave them hope that if they continue, the voice of reason can be silenced. He let down others who are subjected to such online violence, including journalists like Barkha Dutt and his wife Sagarika Ghosh who have proferred a thicker skin despite uglier provocation.
In some other world, where there are mental health experts scanning social media behaviour, most of these abusers would have been recommended some form of therapy. Some of them would even have been dragged, kicking and screaming, to a shrink and locked up in rehab. Online trolling, as research has shown, is a mental sickness.
In a recent article, The Guardian argued that many of these trolls can benefit from cognitive behavioural therapy. “This approach is grounded in the idea that changing patterns of thought can alter our emotions and behaviour. In one form of therapy called ‘stress inoculation training’, patients begin by identifying triggers that provoke reactions of anger or aggression. They then practise self-statements to counteract their usual responses, such as ‘This isn’t important enough to get angry about’ or ‘I shouldn’t take this personally’. Some evidence suggests that CBT may be effective in reducing aggression, though whether it leads to real-world benefits for anti-social behaviour has been questioned,” the paper advised while looking at the psychology of online abusers.
Clearly, it is the online abusers — notice the word ‘patients’ used for them — who need a break. Not their victims like Sardesai.
Two days ago, when Congress leader Digvijaya Singh’s daughter died, some of the rightwing trolls broke into inhuman glee. They rejoiced at the loss of a young life, like barbarians dancing around a corpse, cracking one-liners and jokes just because the unfortunate girl’s father was their political and ideological rival. Had they been endowed by talons and claws, they would have even turned into vultures.
A global website that tracks incendiary bullying concludes trolls are people with serious sociological, psychological and deep-seated mental issues, stemming from either sexual abuse, mental illness, and problems with their sexual identity.
“Do you really think any sane person would want to go onto a discussion board, with the sole purpose of starting an argument, if they were not mentally ill? These people would not act that way in the street in front of a random stranger, so what gives them the right to do it in an online environment? ” argues anti-troll.org.
Sardesai’s exit from Twitter is the right opportunity to ponder what is acceptable online, what is a cognisable offence and what can be tolerated without ruining lives and reputations. And to ask ourselves what are the borders of online sanity, for both Sardesai and his tormentors.
Here is my suggestion: Let us ensure that all trolls come out in the open, share their real names, identities and faces. And be held liable for their claims and allegations.
Once we know who they are it would be easy to put to test Ram Prasad Bismail’s hypothesis: Dekhna hai zor kitna bazu-e-katil main hai.
Deposed Chief Minister Harish Rawat on Saturday asked Uttarakhand Governor K K Paul to take cognisance of a sting operation video against him, claiming it carries enough evidence to prove there was a “criminal conspiracy” by BJP and Congress “backstabbers” to topple an elected government.Rawat said he has been ready for any probe from day one as he knows he is innocent but the “so-called sting CD should be investigated in entirety and not in bits and pieces.” The CBI has initiated its preliminary investigations into the sting operation in which Rawat was purportedly seen talking to middlemen in a bid to strike a deal with rebel Congress MLAs.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The agency questioned the journalist allegedly involved in the sting operation at its headquarters in New Delhi yesterday as part of its preliminary enquiry. Alleging that the reputation of the journalist who made the CD has always been under suspicion, Rawat said a close analysis of the content of the CD in totality puts it beyond doubt that there was a “criminal conspiracy jointly hatched by BJP and Congress backstabbers” to topple an elected government in Uttarakhand.Reading out transcripts of the CD as it appeared on social media at a press conference here, Rawat said names of Vijay Bahuguna, Saket Bahuguna and Kailash Vijayvargiya had been mentioned in the CD as people involved in the plot to throw him out of power.Questioning the antecedents of the journalist who had made the CD, Rawat alleged dozens of cases had been lodged against him during the tenure of a former BJP chief minister on the basis of which a red corner notice had also been issued against him.”Why doesn’t the BJP show the courage of instituting a probe against the man who made the CD. His reputation has always been under a cloud of suspicion,” he said.Claiming that he was innocent, he said the CD was made to “malign him – a fact corroborated by its timing exactly six months before the state was to go to polls.” However, he said he was ready for any probe and will cooperate with any impartial inquiry into the sting CD.
The 12-year-old whose Eminem cover has been seen by millions
New Delhi: A Delhi-based journalist was on Tuesday questioned by police for his news report claiming that the government had been discriminating against Muslims in appointment as yoga instructors in AYUSH Ministry.
Journalist Pushp Sharma of Milli Gazette, where the story was published, was questioned at Kotla Mubarakpur police station in south Delhi on a complaint by a senior AYUSH Ministry official, police said.
A senior police officer said that Sharma had earlier been arrested in 2009 on the charge of extorting government officials by threatening sting operations on them.
There were also allegations that Sharma even tried to extort police officers, the officer said.
The Ministry had earlier condemned the “misreporting” which it claimed was aimed at causing a “chasm” between different sections of society and “promoting disharmony and mistrust with ulterior motives”.
“The Ministry of AYUSH has noted with anguish certain mischievous misinformation being spread in certain section of media and social media quoting a reply to an RTI by mentioning a fabricated draft as Annexure I to that letter, which has never been issued by the Ministry of AYUSH or any of its agencies.
“The Ministry strongly condemns this piece of misreporting, clearly aimed at causing chasm between different sections of society and promoting disharmony and mistrust with ulterior motives,” the Ministry had said in a statement.
The Milli Gazette issued a statement on its Facebook page, saying “a police force claiming to be from Kotla Mubarakpur police station in New Delhi picked up journalist Pushp Sharma from his home in Lajpat Nagar at around 6:30 pm today.”
It also claimed that Sharma has been arrested. However, police did not confirm report of his arrest.
New Delhi: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday termed the attack on journalists at Patiala House Courts as a “terrible exception” and decried the presence of crowds inside court premises which he said creates an “oppressive environment”.
He said the courts must remain “detached” and should not be carried by issues or trends of the moment as anything on the contrary would be a threat to free speech and a fair trial.
“It was a terrible exception what happened. Normally people in the public place find media as their natural ally. The whole idea of getting the media dragged into contemporaneous controversy and then attacking it physically is absolutely unacceptable, anywhere, in courts so more particularly,” he said.
Jaitley, who also holds the Information and Broadcasting portfolio, was speaking at the International Press Institute (IPI) India Award For Excellence in Journalism award here.
He stressed that more serious the offence, “stronger” must be the avenues of defence while underlining that “exceptions” like the Patiala House court incident would act as a reminder to keep the media as a detached third party. “I think the idea of crowds in court is itself not acceptable. The more serious the offence the stronger must be the avenues of defence. And if protests within court premises create an oppressive environment in which bar associations sometimes pass resolution that we won’t appear for so and so accused.
“It is not merely a threat to free speech but it also becomes a threat to a free and fair trial because an oppressive environment is created in judicial institutions.
Courts must remain detached. Courts can’t be carried by issues of the moment. Courts can’t be carried by the trends itself,” he said.
Calling upon the conventional media to “stand up”, Jaitley said the danger of proliferation of multiple avenues of media was of the “desire” to hog the limelight by doing or saying something “controversial”.
He contended that in a robust democracy, the width of the media is so large that almost every viewpoint finds its mention in some place of the media. “But one obvious danger of this is its impact on institutions. It’s that the desire to be before the floodlights become so large that the tendency to do something or say something which is controversial, which is out of the ordinary increases,” he said.
To make his point, the minister cited cases of hardworking legislators who find no reflection of their work in the media, while someone who says something “outlandish” generates buzz.
“For somebody who has done something sensational or said something outlandish obviously it has greater charm on the media because that adds to creating a controversy that the media itself would generate,” he said.
On the occasion, M Shajil Kumar of Malayala Manorama was conferred the award for his outstanding work on “endangered tribal communities” who live on the slopes of Western Ghats in Kerala. The award comprises a cash prize of Rs 2 lakh, a trophy and a citation.
The jury, which was headed by former Chief Justice of India A S Anand, unanimously selected Kumar’s exclusive report, out of several entries. The jury included N Ravi, Chairman IPI India chapter and Director, The Hindu; M K Razdan, Editor-in-Chief, the Press Trust of India; and Riyad Mathew, Senior Assistant Editor Malayala Manorama.
Importantly, Jaitley noted that there would be many others like him who “enjoy what happens in the evening” (TV shows) but “I think it is also taking its toll and therefore it is time for conventional media to stand up and strike”.
“In campaign journalism it is very difficult to remain a detached third party because now TRPs depend on campaign journalism and not on objective reporting… who participates on which channel depends on the nature of the campaign,” he said.
Jaitley observed that conventional definition of news “no longer holds true” and that what makes news is “predominantly what is captured in the camera”.
Journalist Revati Laul, who was allegedly assaulted by a Gujarat riots convict presently out on parole, on Thursday asked as to how the people can feel safe if the courts are unable to save the common people from such convicts. “My question is how the court could give him parole despite knowing the fact that he attacked his wife last time when he came out,” Laul told reporters here.”How can the country feel secure if the courts are unable to save the common people from these convicts?” she asked. Laul said the convict Suresh Chhara slapped her when she asked him to share information about his past.”I visited him at his house and I politely asked him if he wanted to share information about himself, his past and family. Without provocation, he started slapping me,” she added. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Laul, who is writing a book on the convicts in the 2002 Naroda Patiya massacre case, said she was attacked by Suresh Chhara when she visited his house in Naroda area of Ahmedabad late Wednesday evening. “I kept meeting his family members regarding my book. Last year in July, his wife telephoned me saying Chhara raped her while he was released on parole and asked for my help, I helped her to get a lawyer and lodge a complaint,” she added. Chhara has been convicted to 31 years in prison for his involvement in the Naroda Patiya massacre case.
It was also decided to name after Niranjan the government ITI coming up at Elambulassery, the home village of the brave solider. Chandy said a stadium coming up at the Palakkad Medical College would also be named after Niranjan. The 32-year-old bomb expert with the National Security Guard was killed on Sunday last.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>
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