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Making up for lost time? J&K Govt to update database of those affected by violence in last 30 years

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jammu and Kashmir government will be updating data base of those affected by violence over last three decades to ensure their rehabilitation, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said today, asserting her dispensation’s “moral responsibility” to reach out to every victim of violence, irrespective of its source.Mehbooba stated this here, days after her government cleared ex-gratia for kin of 17 people, including brother of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, killed in militancy- related incidents.”We heve asked for updating the data base of people affected by the violence of past almost three decades in the state so that some concrete steps for their complete integration into the social set-up are facilitated,” she said.She pitched for proper rehabilitation, social integration of violence victims in J&K and said special programmes should be thought of for the rehabilitation and integration of these poor victims into the social mainstream of the state.Chairing the 7th Governing Council meeting of J&K Rehabilitation Council here, the Chief Minister said concrete interventions are needed for the proper and complete rehabilitation of women and children, particularly in education, health and psychological spheres. Mehbooba said the government has the moral responsibility of reaching out to every single victim of violence in the state, no matter the source of it.She asked the officers to factor in the needs and requirements of these victims while framing policies and schemes for the general public. The meeting decided to further finetune the number of widows, orphans and parents of killed persons in the state so that an actual and updated number of such victims is available for their rehabilitation.It also decided that the Action plan for the Council would henceforth be finalised in March every year so that the assistance could be disbursed from April onwards.The meeting also decided to enhance the one-time marriage assistance to young widows and grown-up daughters to Rs 40,000 per case. The meeting also asked the Council to pursue the various funding patterns available in the central government for the benefit of victims of violence in the State.

Manipur violence: Unrest spills to Naga dominated Senapati district; curfew on in Imphal East

Imphal: Violence on Monday spread to Senapati district of Manipur with two vehicles being torched even as indefinite curfew remained in force in Imphal East district and mobile data services suspended after protests over economic blockade by the United Naga Council.

However, curfew was lifted from Imphal West district early this morning.

Images from Sunday's protest against the United Naga Council (UNC)'s indefinite economic blockade. Imphal East: Angry people had set on fire vehicles in Imphal East district but no casualties were reported .PTI

Images from Sunday’s protest against the United Naga Council (UNC)’s indefinite economic blockade. Imphal East: Angry people had set on fire vehicles in Imphal East district but no casualties were reported .PTI

Amid heightened tension, unidentified persons torched two vehicles including a passenger bus at Naga Taphou area in Senapati district this morning, a police officer said.

Last night, four vehicles of former minister Marung Makunga were vandalised at Saombung in Imphal East district, the police said.

The police are on high alert to contain spread of violence in the wake of Saturday’s incident at Imphal-Ukhrul Road during which 22 vehicles were vandalised by a mob.

Mobile internet services were snapped till 25 December and Imphal East district was brought under indefinite curfew till further orders on Sunday after locals resorted to violence and vandalised vehicles on Imphal-Ukhrul road while protesting against the ongoing economic blockade by the United Naga Council (UNC) on the National Highways since 1 November.

The landlocked state has been experiencing severe hardship in supply of essential items since 1 November after UNC imposed an indefinite economic blockade on the two national highways that serve as lifeline for the state.

The blockade was imposed following the state government’s announcement of formation of seven new districts, four of which have been formally inaugurated.

Tension in the state escalated after militants ambushed Manipur Police and other state forces in the last few days that left three policemen dead and 14 others injured last Thursday.

The attack was followed by triple bomb blasts at Nagaram area in Imphal West district allegedly by Manipur Naga People’s Front the very next day.

In another incident, suspected militants overpowered a small outpost of Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB) at Nungkao area on Sunday in Tamenglong district and fled with nine service weapons.

First Published On : Dec 19, 2016 15:23 IST

Triple Talaq: HC ruling valid, but hyped and smacks of politics, says Flavia Agnes

The Allahabad High Court on Thursday called triple talaq or the practice of Muslim men getting an instant divorce by saying the word ‘talaq’ three times as ‘unconstitutional’. The high court said that ‘no personal law board is above the Constitution’, in effect reiterating the Centre’s stand in the Supreme Court recently.

But according to Flavia Agnes, a prominent legal scholar and the director of the Majlis Legal Centre, the judgment, though a boost to Muslim women’s rights, is hardly ‘historic’ as it simply echoes previously held views on the matter.
In an interview with Firstpost, Agnes reflects on the ‘hype’ around Thursday’s judgment and narrows down on the finer details of the triple talaq debate.

The Allahabad High Court’s judgment is being seen as a major step towards safeguarding Muslim women’s rights. What are your views on it?

I do not understand why such a big hype is being created around the judgment in the media. The Supreme Court, in the Shamim Ara case of 2002, had already established the practice of triple talaq as unconstitutional and had set a proper procedure for pronouncing the talaq. Since then, many high courts have endorsed the same view. The matter is already sub-judice in the Supreme Court, and in that sense, the high court’s judgment is not historic by any means.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

But, at the same time, because of the current hype around the issue of triple talaq and the Uniform Civil Code, any judgment on the issue is bound to picked up by the media, which in turn will help spread awareness among Muslim women about their legal rights. In that sense, it can serve as a positive step.

You said that the judgment reiterates previously held views. Why then, according to you, was the view echoed by the Allahabad High Court especially since it is not legally binding as a precedent?

If you consider recent developments abroad, with Angela Merkel proposing a burqa ban in Germany and France banning the hijab, you can perceive that there is a rise in Islamophobia globally. As a result, a false perception is being spread that everything Islamic and the Islamic culture, the Muslim law in particular, is anti-women.

In India, judgments questioning triple talaq have been passed since 1981 – the Guwahati High Court and the Bombay High Court have repeatedly questioned the Muslim divorce procedure. Then finally, the 2002 Shamim Ara judgment upheld the high court judgments. But back then, no hype was created around the judgment.

What is the reason behind this hype?

Now, any criticism of Muslim law is being highlighted, which is clearly a propaganda by the right-wing government. Anything to do with Muslim women becomes news now and is blown out of proportion.

Clearly, there is a political context to this judgment and that is the reason behind the hype around it. The judgment on its own is proper, but the bashing of the Muslim community as a whole is upsetting. This is absolute propaganda being driven by some people, which directly feeds into the right-wing government’s agenda.

Since the issue of triple talaq is limited to Muslim women, what other approaches can be adopted to prevent the bashing of the community as a whole?

Women’s right to maintenance and shelter are governed by the Domestic Violence Act of 2005, which is a common law for everybody, regardless of their religion. We need to question why Muslim women are not using the laws meant to protect them. Instead of making the issue communal, we should identify the problems being faced by all women and should focus on making the safeguards more accessible.

And it is not as if Hindu women do not face any problems. They face dowry harassment, they are killed for dowry, they are victims of domestic violence, they are victims of desertion, and face many issues that are similar to the ones faced by all women, regardless of religion. We need to understand that even if a Muslim man invokes triple talaq, the woman’s rights are not extinguished; she is still protected under the Domestic Violence Act. We need to stop criticising the religious practices of a particular religion and should focus on safeguarding the rights of all women instead. The problems are not religion-based, they are based on the social conditions prevalent in the country.

You talked about the social conditions prevalent in the country that dictate such practices. Can you elaborate on that?

The social set up that we live in defines the practices that exist here. For example, a Muslim woman living in Saudi Arabia will not face the problem of dowry harassment. She will be in a much stronger position to stipulate the terms and conditions of the marriage to which a Muslim woman is entitled, like Mahr (a mandatory payment, in the form of money or possessions paid to the bride at the time of marriage, that legally becomes her property). Whereas in India, the husband determines the dowry amount, how much money should be spent on the wedding, and how much money the girl’s parents should spend, which is non-Islamic. This practice is inherently Indian and originates from the Hindu-culture. Therefore, we need to identify these conditions as all women need to be protected from discrimination.

So what, according to you, needs to be done to curb this issue?

We need to take a broader approach when it comes to safeguarding women. We need to recognise the strength that is offered by the secular laws which are applicable to Muslim women, to Hindu women and to all other religions as well. We cannot continue to categorise Muslim women as the only ones that are suffering.

Organisations like the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) are instrumental in portraying a false situation where only Muslim women are suffering. It’s not true that only Muslim women face problems with their religious practices or laws. When you don’t use existing law, when you deliberately do ignore Constitutional safeguards like the Domestic Violence Act and then you make it out like only a Muslim problem.

Organisations like the BMMA are propaganda-based and only highlight the plight of Muslim women, thus reinforcing the Islamophobia prevalent globally and the anti-Muslim sentiments in the country. This perfectly fits into the right-wing communal agenda.

More than any other reform, we need to ensure that women’s civic rights are protected and that safeguards like the Domestic Violence Act are implemented properly.

First Published On : Dec 9, 2016 08:31 IST

Dealing with crimes against women in reality has become a matter of ‘jugaad’

Citing a new survey by ActionAid, an international women and child rights NGO, a report in The Times of India said that 41 percent of women in India have been subjected to sexual harassment or violence before the age of 19. The survey, covering a total of four nations — India, United Kingdom, Brazil and Thailand — revealed that women face harassment for the first time when they’re quite young. Survey further added that 6 percent have experienced it below 10 years of age. And to gain some more perspective here are the figures — Brazil at 16 percent, UK at 12 percent and 8 percent in Thailand.

This comes after the report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in August, stating that crimes against women had increased by 61 percent from 2010 to 2015, with a 43 percent increase in rape and 21 percent increase in cases of kidnapping.

Another survey by the National Crime Records Bureau pointed out that there was a dip in the number of rape cases in 2015 in comparison to 2014, but a spike in other sexual offences was noted, as well as an increase in abduction cases with the intent to force one to marry, in a report by The Indian Express.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

On the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women, these statistics build a strong case for more action.

Let’s refresh our memory of the past few months: the rape of a minor in Nashik from the Maratha community, the rape of 12 students in Buldhana of Ninadhi Ashram school, a six year-old raped in a school in Bangalore, the Monica Ghurde murder incident are just some of the cases that have been registered, reported and picked up by the media.

Thereafter, let’s look at the completely shocking verdicts announced for others, as in the Scarlett Keeling murder and rape case, Patna High Court’s verdict on rape accused RJD MLA Raj Ballabh Yadav, and the Allahabad High Court granting bail to Asif Khan in connection with the rape of a 14 year old girl from Badaun. The 14-year-old had to even fight a legal battle to terminate her pregnancy after the incident, according to The Times Of India report. In the case of a 21 year-old Dalit student in Rohtak, in Haryana, she was raped for the second time in three years, when two of the five that were accused were released on bail, and after she refused an out of court settlement. All this and we haven’t even made a mention of female foeticide and dowry deaths.

It’s probably a good thing then, if beyond everything, some women have the luxury of being able to speak from their ivory towers to deny these crimes, going to show that they still retain greenness and trust in this world. But even if rape, trafficking, mutilation, domestic violence, exploitation, and coercion seem like far away realities to them, there is the problematically grey issue of consent.

A video titled Tea Consent, simplifies consent through the metaphor of tea and defines the line so one may not cross it, nor allow it to be crossed. The nuancing of this discussion, of knowing that one is not obligated to make tea, and that one can say ‘yes and then no’ over the ‘no means no’ argument, helps in raising awareness and normalising of all of one’s rights. Harassment is, after all, a form of discrimination, and this includes jokes, inappropriate remarks, threats, unwelcome physical contact, blackmailing and intimidation. Invasion of privacy in whatever way has to beget consequences.

But perhaps consent is a non-argument in a country wherein marital rape is still legal, nor even ordained with any seriousness. With public figures speaking and women’s wings of some parties saying things such as ‘women must not wear short clothes’ or ‘marriage is a sacred bond’ and ‘Indian society is woven by the divine element a woman carries within her,’ as revealed in this article by The Indian Express. Ironically, the same people then go on to speak out about Triple Talaq and argue about uniform civil code.

According to another report in The Times of India, our very own Union Minister for Women and Child Development has claimed that India was ranked among the lowest four countries in the world for rape, the dire, black paradox of the situation being that Maneka Gandhi revealed these statistics to an authority in Sweden when she went there in connection with the Delhi rape case incident. The report goes on to say that so many women, who have been sexually violated, do not come out to report crimes out of fear of further persecution and stigma.

The word ‘rape’ comes from the Latin word ‘Raptus’ which implies a violent theft. An article by Priyanka Rath in the India Law Journal, suggests that rape in India is considered as theft of a woman against the consent of her guardian (those with legal power over her). But what happens if the guardian (father, brother or husband) are the ones who rape her? In reality though, this is not even a theft of, rather a theft from a woman.

So many say that rape is political in nature, that it is the whiplash response of patriarchy to the feminist movement. But what about the underage six percent — little children, who don’t even know how to spell ‘agitation’? Aggression against them cannot, surely, be political. Is it not then indicative of the psychological rot within our country, of immense frustration and its unjust displacement, and a fearlessness that comes with impunity?

And speaking of crimes against juveniles comes with speaking about crimes by juveniles. We can hail the bill in the Rajya Sabha to alter the age at which one can be tried as an adult for rape to 16, but that still discounts the other teens, like in the Nashik rape case, who might walk away after three years in a correctional facility. Though contrary to our knee-jerk reaction to the delay in justice, the way to purge ourselves of the problem should hardly be to condemn perpetrators to capital punishment.

The first step to solving a problem is obviously to acknowledge that there is one. And this day thus goes a step above Women’s Day in value. Having a separate day to spread awareness, take stock and lick our wounds, may not be a solution, and maybe even less of a consolation, but one has to believe that this is germination in process.

It’s good news that the survey’s findings glint with a silver lining, showing that women are taking measures to protect themselves. The ActionAid India website shows 35 percent avoid parks and poorly lit areas, 36 percent change their travel route, 23 percent have said they make use of everyday objects like keys, and 18 percent arm themselves with devices like a rape alarms and pepper sprays.

Of course they shouldn’t have to avoid parks and poorly lit areas, or change their travel routes, or prep themselves with props. But at least they’re not staying back home.

One may endlessly argue against this protectionist approach, saying that it robs women of power, and that it objectifies them once again as something to be kept safe. But this seems to be such a movie-analysis like approach to talking about the issue of crimes against women. How can taking initiative to keep oneself safe be a bad thing? Wanting to be careful is genderless, not to mention especially necessary here when dealing with the ‘unfair sex.’

These multiple minute narratives of individuals are immensely hopeful, implying a certain robustness and coping – Indian jugaad at play once again, where help is never forthcoming.

First Published On : Nov 26, 2016 15:17 IST

Our Muslims must raise issues of violations on Hindus in Pakistan, Bangla: Ghulam Nabi Azad

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Muslims in India should speak out against any act of violence on Hindus committed by members of the majority population in Islamic countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said.He was a addressing a gathering here at a seminar on — Role of Muslim Youth in Strengthening Democracy — organised by National Tricolour Association of India, a non-profit organisation.”There have been cases of violence against Muslims, from (Mohammad) Akhlaq’s lynching in Dadri to two boys in Jharkhand who were hung from a tree. And, there has never been a lack of expression of secularism from Hindus in our country. You see on television, how they (Hindus) strip RSS and BJP bare, whenever such incidents happen. But, why we (Muslims) don’t raise issues when there are violations against Hindus in Pakistan and Bangladesh,” he asked.In his address, Azad also hit out at the Centre saying, “democracy has ceased to exist” in the country ever since the NDA government came to power.He added that if the Muslims in India start speaking out against acts of such violence in the neighbouring countries then, “BJP’s anti-Muslim edge will be blunted.” Two other scholars, who also spoke at the seminar held at the India Islamic Centre, underlined the “silence” of the country’s Muslim community in hours of violence in “India’s neighbourhood”.We hear cases of violence meted out to our Hindu brothers in Bangladesh, or of Hindu temples being razed or desecrated.But, do we (Muslims) speak out on such brazen acts of violations. We must speak out against injustice, just as we expect our majority Hindu brothers to stand by us in India, they said.Azad also hit out at the government over the demonetization issue saying, “the move has driven Indians crazy in the name of black money”.He also took a dig at the media and Prime Minister Modi, saying, “now it’s all Modi in newspapers and on TV channels, the Opposition cannot be seen.””The time of free and impartial media is no more. Now, you open, newspapers, and you see 10-20 pictures of Modi,” he alleged.

No religion teaches violence: Rajnath Singh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday said no religion teaches violence but much of the violence in the world now take place in the name of religion.Addressing the 17th conference of World Chief Justices in New Delhi, Singh said those who believe in God and religion and also those who are atheists and believe in humanism must keep themselves away from any kind of crime or violence.”However, today much of the violence is surprisingly being created in the name of religion and against the principles of the religion,” he said.Singh said the world is currently facing different kinds of threat and terrorism and separatism are the biggest ones. Singh said no one cannot remain oblivious to different kinds of threats, organised conflicts and serious disturbances that the world is currently facing.”Terrorism, extremism and separatism are the biggest threats the world has to deal with,” he said.The Home Minister said with the advancement of technology, terrorism poses even bigger threats all over the world.”Thousands of innocent people are becoming victims of violence. Since terrorism has engulfed different parts of the world, therefore, there is a need for the world leaders to unite and fight this menace, which is a danger to the humanity,” he said.Singh said India is a victim of various kinds of terrorist activities including cross-border terrorism. He said since the wings of terror are spreading all over, therefore, it has to be firmly and unitedly dealt with.”As I have been saying, a terrorist is a terrorist and there cannot be two different definitions of terrorist like a ‘good terrorist’ and a ‘bad terrorist’. All terrorists are to be dealt with in the strictest possible terms by all the nations of the world,” he said.The Home Minister said cyber crime is another cause of concern which is posing bigger threats with the advancement in information technology.”International disputes of various kinds and dimensions coupled with the everyday increasing stocks of armaments of mass destruction including nuclear weapons are yet other forms of hazards that the world is facing today,” he said.

Dear Vivek Agnihotri, let’s be clear: JNU’s Najeeb Ahmad going missing is not a film script

In an extremely journalistic piece, filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri blamed the disappearance of Najeeb — the student from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) —on Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU) and called it a larger conspiracy to overthrow the Narendra Modi government.

He has got ‘facts’ to back his argument which only God could have whispered into his ears because nobody else, let alone in the JNU, is aware of these ‘facts’. For lesser mortals like me and other readers I would like to counter his heavenly ‘facts’ with earthly ones.

Agnihotri argues that JNUSU is being controlled by the students wings of CPI(M) and CPI(M-L). “These are the same parties which are the strategic forces behind the Naxal/Maoist movement.” One should be aware that the Communist movement has many internal contradictions and not every party with a name communist in it shares its whole interest with the other such outfit. Politically-aware readers might remember that Maoists sided with the Trinmool Congress in order to overthrow CPI(M)-led Left government in West Bengal.

I hope Agnihotri starts reading newspapers too and stops relying fiction like he has written in his article:

“These are the same parties which are the strategic forces behind the Naxal/Maoist movement in India which alone is responsible for the loss of over 13,000 innocent lives in India. This is more than the killing of innocent people and soldiers in the insurgent Kashmir and North East.”

Kashmir alone has seen around 100,000 civilian deaths since late 1980s.

Now, coming to the 14 October incident, Agnihotri has written a good story but it is important for him to remember that it is not one of the scripts of his movies. At the very outset, one should understand that the whole incident is being investigated by the Delhi Police as well as the University Proctor. Since matter is subjudice, comments should be made very carefully about the case.

Only Najeeb or Vikrant and his two friends can tell what happened inside that room that night. While Vikrant’s version of the story can be confirmed through him and his friends other party in the case is still missing. Vikrant and his two other friends who were in that room came out with a public pamphlet on 23 October, eight days after Najeeb went missing, where they levelled a few charges against him. What the pamphlet claimed is that Najeeb slapped Vikrant ‘twice’ in an unprovoked manner and later pointed towards his wrist and asked that why did you wear this. Truth in this story is under investigation and a student is still missing. This pamphlet while gives us a description of what happened in that room it does not corroborate the “fact” any sort of “violence” perpetuated upon Najeeb.

Agnihotri's article on Najeeb Ahmed has nothing to do with facts. Image courtesy: News18

Agnihotri’s article on Najeeb Ahmed has nothing to do with facts. Image courtesy: News18

While there are no other witnesses to this incident, there are many who witnessed the violence against Najeeb. According to witnesses, he was beaten in the corridor, at the stairs and even in presence of the warden of the hostel.

Agnihotri, you have extrapolated the accusations levelled by one party in this case and totally ignored the other side of the story. Not just that, but Agnihotri’s article does not even honestly narrate Vikrant’s version.

Agnihotri’s article is not only not factual, it also makes sweeping statements about many things without really getting a good grip of his subject. While Agnihotri, in his article, sympathises with the turn of events and mentions that students like Najeeb are the future of the nation, he suddenly shifts gears and claims that the case of the missing student is part of the larger conspiracy by Left parties who are conspiring to overthrow the Modi government.

Fact: Left parties are fighting for their own existence.

By which stretch of imagination are the Left parties, the power-players in the Indian political arena? And the idea that “political parties pushing their own agenda” and “Opposition is bad-mouthing the ruling party” has no novelty to it.

Jumping from one assumption to another — that’s how Agnihotri’s article reads. Moving further, Agnihotri writes:

Soon, Bapsa began putting up posters on campus glorifying ‘Dalit-Muslim’ unity and presented Najeeb as a victim of Hindu oppression. They attacked ABVP, BJP and RSS. The posters screamed of Brahminism (a very old and stale plank of the Leftists). The posters mentioned the Una incident to underline their narrative. The tactics used during the Umar Khalid episode in February and later Rohit Vemula episode, start repeating again. Another poster by the SIO screamed, ‘Violence against Muslims can be seen as a common denominator of Indian social existence’. It seems these parties have already assumed that Najeeb is a victim of communal politics. How can they assume this? Or is it that they know the plot? Who is the author of this script? Why is this similar to the earlier Umar and Rohit scripts?

We don’t know where Agnihotri is getting these newsbits, but as far as official sources are concerned, no parties have come out with any poster. Bapsa and NSUI did, but after 23 October. JNUSU also did not come out with any pamphlet or poster till that day. Yes, ABVP of course has pasted a number of posters in order to try to shift complete blame on Najeeb.

Agnihotri has written a great piece and I hope that one day he makes another movie with this script.

Author is a research scholar of Modern History at JNU, New Delhi and inmate of the same hostel where Najeeb and Vikrant resides

Quetta terror attack: ‘Uncontrollable violence’ shouldn’t be created, says Manohar Parrikar

New Delhi: Citing the example of ‘Bhasmasur’, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar expressed regret over the loss of lives in the deadly attack on a police training academy in Pakistan’s Quetta that left 60 cadets dead, saying such incidents show why one should not create “uncontrollable violence”.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. PTIDefence Minister Manohar Parrikar. PTI

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. PTI

He also rejected Pakistan’s allegations of India’s involvement in the attack, saying India does not believe in violence, lest such kind of violence. Parrikar clarified that he was not likening any country to any ‘sur’ (demon in Hindu mythology) when asked about the Quetta attack and said there is a saying in India about Bhasmasur.

According to the Hindu mythology, ‘Bhasmasur’ was a demon who was burned to ashes through his own power that he used to terrorise others with. “I express grief for any loss of life. We don’t believe in violence and this kind of violence. My sympathies are with people who lost their lives.

Terrorism anywhere and in any form cannot be justified,” he said while speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the naval commanders conference. The defence minister said the attack shows the importance of not creating uncontrollable violence.

“You need to control anything that the state does. Non-state actors should not be supported by any country. That is crux of our security doctrine. we have said that non-state actors, who are involved in terrorism, should be curtailed. Sometimes it can bounce on you also. I think this is one of such event,” Parrikar said.

In a brazen attack, 60 police cadets were killed and 118 others injured when three militants wearing suicide vests stormed a police training academy in Quetta city in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province.

Women, non-adults can now be tried under Domestic Violence Act, rules Supreme Court

New Delhi: In a landmark verdict, the Supreme Court has widened the scope of the Domestic Violence Act by ordering the deletion of the words “adult male” from it, paving the way for prosecution of women and even non-adults for subjecting a woman relative to violence and harassment.

The apex court has ordered striking down of the two words from section 2(q) of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, which deals with respondents who can be sued and prosecuted under the Act for harassing a married woman in her matrimonial home.

A bench of Justices Kurian Joseph and RF Nariman ordered the deletion of the words

A bench of Justices Kurian Joseph and RF Nariman ordered the deletion of the words “adult male” from the statute book saying it violated right to equality under the Constitution. AFP

Referring to earlier verdicts, the apex court said, “The microscopic difference between male and female, adult and non-adult, regard being had to the object sought to be achieved by the 2005 Act, is neither real or substantial nor does it have any rational relation to the object of the legislation.”

Section 2(q) of the Act reads: “‘respondent’ means any adult male person who is, or has been, in a domestic relationship with the aggrieved person and against whom the aggrieved person has sought any relief under DV Act.”

A bench of Justices Kurian Joseph and RF Nariman paved way for prosecution of any person irrespective of gender or age under the DV Act, ordered the deletion of the words “adult male” from the statute book saying it violated right to equality under the Constitution.

The bench said that the words “adult male person” were contrary to the object of affording protection to women who have suffered from domestic violence “of any kind”.

“We, therefore, strike down the words ‘adult male’ before the word ‘person’ in Section 2(q), as these words discriminate between persons similarly situated, and far from being in tune with, are contrary to the object sought to be achieved by the 2005 Act,” it said.

The major verdict came on an appeal against the Bombay High Court judgement, which had resorted to the literal construction of the term ‘adult male’ and discharged four persons, including two girls, a woman and a minor boy, of a family from a domestic violence case on the ground that they were not “adult male” and hence cannot be prosecuted under the DV Act.

The bench, in its 56-page judgement, said the remaining part of the legislation has been kept untouched and would be operative.

“We, therefore, set aside the impugned judgment of the Bombay High Court and declare that the words ‘adult male’ in Section 2(q) of the 2005 Act will stand deleted since these words do not square with Article 14 of the Constitution of India.

“Consequently, the proviso to Section 2(q), being rendered otiose (superfluous), also stands deleted. We may only add that the impugned judgment has ultimately held, in paragraph 27, that the two complaints of 2010, in which the three female respondents were discharged finally, were purported to be revived, despite there being no prayer in Writ Petition…for the same,” the court said.

Dealing with the term ‘adult’, the bench said “it is not difficult to conceive of a non-adult 16 or 17-year-old member of a household who can aid or abet the commission of acts of domestic violence, or who can evict or help in evicting or excluding from a shared household an aggrieved person.

“Also, a residence order which may be passed under Section 19(1)(c) can get stultified if a 16 or 17-year-old relative enters the portion of the shared household in which the aggrieved person resides after a restraint order is passed against the respondent and any of his adult relatives…”.

The bench said that the term “adult male” contained in the Act was “discriminatory”.

Mehbooba Mufti asks Kashmiris to embrace Gandhi’s ahimsa philosophy

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Her state limping to normalcy after nearly two months of unrest, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Gandhi Jayanti said following the philosophy of peace and brotherhood will be the best tribute to Mahatma Gandhi by the people in the Valley.Paying tributes to Father of the Nation, she said his philosophy of non-violence, harmonious co-existence and mutual respect will always remain relevant, more so in today’s world marred by varied political and ethnic conflicts. She said over the years Jammu and Kashmir has suffered colossal losses in terms of precious human lives, economic dispossession, cultural disintegration and educational dis-empowerment because of the turmoil.Mehbooba said Kashmir’s true picture is that of communal harmony and religious tolerance.Noting that her government be given time and space to mitigate the sufferings of the people, the Chief Minister said, “We can pay greatest tribute to Gandhi Ji by adopting his philosophy of non-violence and mutual respect.” “Help me bring back peace and I will find a way for dialogue to resolve the issues,” Mehbooba said.She said contrary to the ideal situation of maximum resources being utilized for addressing issues like poverty alleviation and unemployment, they are getting diverted towards defence and security.”Peace and harmony are therefore need of the hour, especially in the South Asian Region where the people are still plagued by poverty and impoverishment,” she added.The Chief Minister said under the prevailing situation on this day we need to resolve to give peace a chance.She said, “Violence has not achieved anything but only brought miseries to the people in terms of development, economy, business, trade, tourism and education.” Recalling the turbulent period during the partition when Mahatma Gandhi “saw a ray of hope in Kashmir alone”, she said Kashmir’s age-old traditions of amity and brotherhood have survived several threats in the past and it would continue to uphold the virtues of a civilized society in the future also.She said public policy must go beyond symbolism of standing for Gandhian philosophy and focus on religious harmony, equality of all religious communities and acceptance of diversity “as the basis of our nationhood which were integral to Gandhi’s way of approaching collective identity”.”A hundred years ago, Gandhi began to move Indian society in the direction of a nationhood that was non-competitive, non-combative and non-exclusionary. Nowhere in the world was there a precedent for such nationhood,” she said.”It is time to rediscover India as a symbol of that inclusive nationhood which forms the central pillar of the country’s present,” she said. Mehbooba said the biggest challenge the world faces today is that of violence and chaos. “Be it a large country like America or a smaller ones like Bangladesh, no one considers itself at absolute peace.” She said, “We have forgotten values of peace and brothe -hood, which we need to revive and if there is any time when Gandhi Ji’s ideals and philosophy are most needed, it is now.” With regard to the special sanitation drive, the Chief Minister lauded the work of Srinagar Municipal Corporation under the prevailing situation in the Valley.Mufti said Gandhiji believed that cleanliness was next to godliness and this drive should help imbibe in us the habit of keeping our surroundings and cities clean.She said specific instructions have been given to the LAWDA authorities with respect to maintaining cleanliness of the Dal Lake. She said if we need to conserve the beauty of Srinagar city we need to conserve Dal Lake and stressed that no encroachments shall be allowed within the area and any such construction will be strictly dealt with. Mehbooba meets Guv, discusses security situationJammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti met Governor N N Vohra and discussed the prevailing situation including the problems faced by the border area residents in the wake of surgical strikes carried out by Army along the Line of Control.”The Governor and the Chief Minister discussed the internal security situation and steps taken to deal with the problems faced by the residents of border villages consequent to the counter-terrorism operations recently carried out by the Army across the LoC,” an official spokesman said.He said they also discussed issues relating to the education sector and measures required to revive economic activities.

Cauvery water row: 22-year-old woman set 42 buses on fire for Rs 100 and a plate of biryani

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A 22-year-old woman is suspected to have instigated the violence over the Cauvery row was allegedly offered Rs 100 to join protest, reported, reports Times of India.C Bhagya was allegedly offered Rs 100 and a plate of biryani to join the violent protest in September 12. According to her mother Yellamma, Bhagya was offered Rs 100 and a plate of mutton biryani to join the violent protestsAfter watching videos from CCTV footage, the police found Bhagya to be a main provocateur. But police is yet to confirm the same. She was also accused of dousing KPN fleet with diesel and threatening to burn them.Bhagya is the only woman among 400-odd people arrested in the violence. While the footage shows other women engaging in the violence, only Bhagya has been arrested as the extent of their participation is yet to be ascertained.On the night of Sept 12 after violence erupted with dozens of buses and lorries with Tamil Nadu registration being set on fire as mobs let out their fury over reports of some incidents of attack on Kannadigas and their property in the neighbouring state.The violence had also erupted within hours after the Supreme Court modified its September 5 order and asked Karnataka to release a reduced quantum of 12,000 cusecs of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu till September 20.In an interim order on September 5, Supreme Court had asked Karnataka to release 15,000 cusecs of Cauvery water daily for next 10 days to Tamil Nadu, leading to protests in parts of Karnataka.The apex court had also asked Tamil Nadu government to approach the committee to decide on the quantum of Cauvery water to be released to Tamil Nadu and other states after the period of 10 days was over. However, under pressure following the protests, the Karnataka government approached the Supreme Court on September 11 seeking modification of the interim order.Hearing the plea, the Supreme Court then amended its order, directing the state to release a reduced quantum of 12,000 cusecs of water daily to Tamil Nadu till September 20.With agency inputs.

Handful of people opposed to peace inciting trouble in Kashmir: Mehbooba Mufti

Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Monday said a handful of people opposed to peace were inciting youth to violence in the Kashmir valley.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. AFP

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. AFP

Speaking at an official function in Bhagwati Nagar area of the city, Mehbooba, who visited Jammu for the first time since violence began in the valley last month, said these people “who do not want peace in Kashmir are inviting youths to violence for their vested interests.”

The Kashmir Valley has been on the boil since the 8 July killing of militant commander Burhan Wani. At least 68 people have been killed and thousands injured in the subsequent unrest in the valley.

Mehbooba said violence was no means to achieve anything. “Guns went into Afghanistan, Syria and Russia. Was anything achieved there by using those guns? Violence brings only destruction and nothing else.”

The Chief Minister thanked the people of Jammu for maintaining peace and harmony at a time the valley was going through difficult times.

“These people started trouble in 2008. They started trouble again in 2010 following a fake encounter in Machil. After I took over, they tried to start trouble on the pretext of Handwara (alleged rape) incident which they failed to do.”

She said these elements also tried to raise the issues of separate colonies for retired soldiers and Kashmiri Pandits but “failed”.

Mehbooba asserted that the predominant majority of Kashmiris were peace loving and want “dignity and development”.

“Certain quarters are not happy with the PDP-BJP coalition in the state and they have been out to unsettle the alliance,” she said.

The Chief Minister said the fact that students from Kashmir studying outside the state did not face any problems because of the unrest proves the fact that people in other parts of the county love Kashmiris.

J&K opposition leaders meet Rahul Gandhi over prolonged unrest, to meet PM on Monday

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With Kashmir under curfew for the last 44 days, former state chief minister Omar Abdullah on Sunday led a joint delegation of opposition parties for a meeting with Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi where he pitched for efforts to find a political solution to the violent unrest which has claimed 64 lives so far.The delegation had called on President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday and would meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi tomorrow. The opposition leaders from the troubled state asked Gandhi to make efforts at the national level for finding a “political rather than administrative” solution to the current spell of unrest, the longest in recent memory, in the aftermath of the killing of militant commander Burhan Wani by the security forces on July 8.The PDP-BJP government in Jammu and Kashmir led by Mehbooba Mufti has been flayed by Abdullah’s National Conference and other opposition parties for “creating disaffection” in the Valley, particularly among the youth, by trying to find an administrative solution to end the current spiral of violence. “Discussed the current political crisis in J and K with a delegation of opposition leaders from the state led by @abdullah_omar (Omar Abdullah),” the Congress leader tweeted after the meeting.CPI-M MLA M Y Tarigami, who was part of the delegation, told Gandhi that the ongoing stir in Kashmir should be considered a national problem and a consensus be built among political parties for evolving a political approach to deal with the situation. “The present crisis should not be looked through the prism of another round of violence but needs a closer look keeping in mind the scope and implication of this serious crisis,” Tarigami said.State Congress chief G A Mir, who was also in the delegation that called on Gandhi, said “There is an urgent need to reach out to the people and not treat the present situation as a mere law and order problem.” He thanked the Congress vice president for taking up the issue in Parliament and forcing the government to a debate on the issue.”Violence and bloodshed is leading to no solution. The political doors need to be opened urgently before the situation turns more violent,” he said. The delegation also comprised senior National Conference leaders including A R rather, Ali Mohammed Sagar, Nasir Wani, Davinder Rana and independent MLA Hakeem Yasin.The delegation had met President Pranab Mukherjee yesterday and submitted him a memorandum urging the Centre to deal with the present crisis “politically” rather than administratively. It would meet Prime Minister Modi tomorrow to impress upon him the need for finding a “political solution” to the crisis by initiating a dialogue with “all stakeholders”.

Mathura violence probe: Commissioner of Aligarh to visit Jawahar Bagh

Mathura: A probe into the violence in Jawahar Bagh in which 24 people were killed, will begin on Sunday
with the spot visit by the Commissioner of Aligarh.

“I will first take stock of the situation by visiting the area. If somebody wants to present something (evidence or information) on the Jawahar Bagh episode, he would be heard,” said the Commissioner Aligarh and Presiding officer the probe committee, Chandra Kant.

Asked if it would be a magisterial probe, he said “it would be a high-power administrative probe.”

Violence in Mathura. PTI

Violence in Mathura. PTI

Meanwhile, a large amount of explosives were found during the search operation at Jawahar Bagh.

“Five kg of sulphur, 2.5 kg of gun powder, one kg potash, 500 grams of small iron balls and an electronic plate were found during the search operation in Jawahar Bag today,” SP Rural Arun Kumar Singh said.

Nine company of PAC, along with police personnel, have been deployed in Jawahar Bagh to carry out search operation, he said.

“The search operation is on and till the forensic team complete there work Jawahar Bagh would remain out of bounds for everyone,” he added.

He also said that associates of Ram Virksha Yadav, the chief of the violent encroachers in Jawahar Bagh, was among those killed in the clashes.

“After seeing the photograph, associates of Ram Virksha Yadav in jail, have confirmed that he had been killed,” Singh said when asked about the status of Yadav.

Asked about the reason of delay in conducting post-mortem, he said “it is legally binding to give 72 hours to the family members or well wishers before conducting post-mortem.”

Mathura violence: Rahul Gandhi attacks Akhilesh Yadav govt

Rahul Gandhi on Friday mounted an attack on the Akhilesh Yadav government in Uttar Pradesh over the violence in Mathura, saying it is a stark reminder of the “deteriorating” law and order situation in the state. “Unabated violence is a stark reminder of the deteriorating law and order situation in Uttar Pradesh”, the Congress Vice President said on micro-blogging site Twitter.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He hoped that the government ensured that peace is restored and the guilty are punished. “Deepest condolences to the family members of police officers and others killed in the violence in Mathura. Hope the Government ensures that peace in Mathura is restored immediately and the guilty are punished”, he said. Twenty four people, including an SP and an SHO, have been killed in yesterday’s massive clash between police and members of a sect who had encroached on government land in Mathura.

RSS-linked journal attacks the Left over Kerala violence

Pro-RSS journal ‘Organiser’ on Sunday assailed the newly-elected Left Front government in Kerala over the recent string of attacks on opposition workers, saying if the Communists were serious about turning the state into “God’s own country”, shunning “Fascist-Communist mindset is the pre-condition”.It also termed as “fraud” on the electorate appointing Pinarayi Vijayan as the Chief Minister after seeking votes in the name of CPI-M veteran Achuthanandan. “The violence that gripped all over Kerala, especially among the party villages against the ideological opponents, is a clear indication of danger looming over the state that had a tradition of acceptance and assimilation much before the advent of Communism. If Communists are serious about turning Kerala into truly God s own country , then shunning the Fascist-Communist mindset is the precondition. Hope this is part of the ‘makeover’ agenda of the new Chief Minister,” the editorial in the Organiser said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The pro-RSS journal also hit out at the Left for its “mindset” of “blatant use of violence as a political tool”.Alleging that the “epicentre” of the violence against ideological opponents was Chief Minister Vijayan’s home district Kannur, it voiced concern about it spreading to Kasargod, Kozhikode and Thrissur districts in the name of victory celebrations.Targeting CPI-M for preferring Vijayan to Achuthanandan, it said,”Firstly, asking for vote in the name of a popular face and then turning to a more ‘deterministic’ and hardliner leadership itself is a sign of Fascist-Communist jugglery.” It said elimination of competitive leadership within the party by all possible means is the art exemplified by Stalin and imitated by his followers in India and a similar trait is visible in Kerala as well when the popular leadership was cornered within the party by calling it ‘revisionist’ and then negated against the public mandate. “This can very well be termed as internal matter of a political party but certainly a fraud on the electorate in a democratic system,” it added.The journal added that “both ideologies of Communism and Fascism fed each other in the 20th century Europe and together brought an orgy of violence, killed millions and led humanity to its darkest hours, whether it is Gulag Camps of Stalinist era or Auschwitz Gas Chambers of Hitler’s times”.It also hit out at Communists for issuing advertisements in the ‘Capitalist’ newspapers about Vijayan’s swearing in and making promises to the people. The ‘Organiser’ also said the people of Kerala have voted against UDF for being “non-developmental and corrupt” and the youth are looking for jobs in the home state instead of forced migration. “If their aspirations are not addressed, CPM has to keep in mind that the real fight would be with the emerging nationalist force and not with the Congress with whom Communists in Kerala used to play shadow boxing,” the editorial said.

There are laws for marital rape but women don’t use it, claims Maneka Gandhi

The Union minister of women and child development Maneka Gandhi, on Tuesday said that marital rape laws are sufficient, and it is the lack of complaints that is stopping the ministry from taking action.”The law is there; it has been there. But women need to use it. 99.9% of women don’t use it. And since it is a matter where we need to intervene in the bedroom, we must do it with caution and grace. I can’t do much if you don’t complain,” she said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>This is the third stance that the minister has taken this year alone on the issue. In March, she said that the concept of marital rape cannot be applied to the Indian context. And later, in May, she said that criminalising marital rape will put stress on the family, and strain family ties.The minister has taken several stances on the hotly-debated issue. However, she cites the lack of numbers and complaints as her helplessness to act.Currently, under the Domestic Violence Act (2005), marital rape is not punished. Neither does section 376 of the Indian Penal Code. Or the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act (2013). Only if the wife is minor, is the man liable for punishment.The High Level committee on women, headed by Pam Rajput had recommended criminalising marital rape. A report submitted by amicus curiae Indira Jaising, too, recommended criminalising marital rape. Even the Justice Verma Committee, formed after the Nirbhaya rape case, recommended criminalising marital rape.

Jisha is being raped over and over again in social media, in small talk, by vested interests

Rape is never just about sex. A high degree of violence frequently takes it from a physical and emotional offence straight to homicide.

After the initial tch-tch and feelings of helplessness, there is a human tendency to justify such crimes. Rapes bring out the inner rapist in most people. When Nirbhaya suffered that brutal attack in the back of a bus, the kitchen consensus was on the lateness of the hour, the boyfriend aspect, the dependence on public transport, on pre-marital permissiveness.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Yes, it is wrong, all sanctimoniously agreed, but. And in that ‘but’ is the second rape. Jisha, the law student in Kerala that was raped and killed last week by a stalker in a yellow shirt (according to witnesses) is being raped over and over again on social media, in small talk, by vested interests.

The 30-year-old was butchered to death in her own home at Vattolippidi Canal Bund near Perumbavoor in Kerala’s Ernakulam district. Her body had at least 30 injuries, including in the genitals. Gory details are doing routine rounds. Everyone knows where she was stabbed and how many times, and that her small intestine had spilled out.

There is a peculiar tone and facial expression reserved for sharing such information. A mixture of ‘how sad’ and ‘did she have it coming, you think?’

Her house, apparently, has turned into a museum with people going in and out, posting pictures of it on social media. A tourist spot if you please. Mementos and souvenirs are probably in the offing. In the aftermath of grievous personal attacks like these, the absence of taste is more keenly felt.

First comes the naming and shaming; we are informed of the identity straight away in an act of insta-reporting. Then come the insinuations. No one says ‘RIP rape victim, we will pull out the intestines of your rapist, too, we promise’. Instead, there are the whispers, the gossip, and the character assassination.

There is a thin line between drawing public attention to an injustice and salacious reference.

Talk now revolves around the number of times the victim was stabbed – 30 times – the exact spots where she was stabbed and, oh, how her back was covered with bite marks.

Confusing semantics follow. The victim is called ‘survivor’ to bestow posthumous honour, as if that was what was really at stake and in doubt – her angle on the whole issue.

Rape itself was included in the FIR as an afterthought. Emerging details go into the ‘unsoundness’ of her mother’s mind. And the incident seems to have flushed out ‘neighbours’ with lots to say and nothing to do.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) blames the Congress-led UDF government and the state police of a cover-up. Perhaps, ahead of state polls on May 16, no one wants an awkward silence. But now that the Centre is asking for a report and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) issued a notice to the state government, Kerala is reluctantly pulling up its socks, or tying up its mundu.

Kerala was never a safe place for women. The staring alone makes women cover up more than they normally would. Incest, suicides, domestic abuse – the state is in the running when it comes to statistics. But when Kerala, in the wake of Nirbhaya gang-rape, murmured how they can’t send their daughters to an unsafe Delhi anymore, it was presumed that they were keeping their own women secure. That particular mask has come off. Now the South, like the North before it, has to admit that their men, too, rape.

Perhaps the saddest detail in the case is that the police have preserved the victim’s tooth for DNA analysis. It is difficult to remember that beyond the scandal, beyond the word ‘rape’, beyond the gruesome details that shocked the nation is a person who lived her life like you and me and who is now just a tooth. Teeth are for smiling, not to be preserved in a lab somewhere.

Rape is rampant all over the world. It remains a political act, a terrorist act, an inhuman act. But rape doesn’t always happen like this – with cymbals and cacophony and news cameras. It happens in bedrooms, silently, by ‘loved’ ones; a kiss in the end doesn’t make it something else. In Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones, the rapist says ‘I love you’ just before he kills his victim. Like that was what she really wanted to hear.

Rape doesn’t happen because women are promiscuous or preoccupied. Rape happens because of rapists. No one wants to remember to carry her pepper spray. Most women – like most men – prefer to die from old age.

Phase two of Bihar panchayat elections begins amid tight security

Patna: The second phase of the 10-phase panchayat elections in Bihar began on Thursday to elect 27,514 posts of the three-tier rural administrative structure, officials said.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

“Polls began on a peaceful note amid tight security. There were no reports of violence during initial hour,” an official said.

In the first phase of polls, one person was killed and over a dozen injured in group clashes in the state.

Around 59.85 lakh people are eligible to vote in this phase in 60 blocks spread in 38 districts.

There are 12,719 polling stations and state election commission has deployed 3,742 patrolling magistrates.

The panchayat system elects representatives at the district, block and village levels.

Of the 7.38 lakh nominations, 3.85 lakh have been filed by women against the 50 percent reserved posts.

The staggered elections will conclude on 30 May.

AMU VC demands CBI inquiry into campus violence

Days after violence rocked the AMU campus leaving two persons dead, Vice Chancellor Zameer Uddin Shah on Wednesday said that he was determined to trace the real instigators behind it and demanded a CBI inquiry into the matter. In a letter to UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, the Vice Chancellor sought “either a CBI enquiry or an enquiry by the Special Task Force (STF)”.Acknowledging that “some mistakes may have been made by University authorities” in controlling the violence, Shah said he was “determined to set things back on track” and trace the “real instigators” behind the violence. Two persons were killed in violent clashes between two groups on the campus last Saturday following which Rapid Action Force was deployed.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Preliminary reports suggested that a majority of those involved in the violence were external elements including students who have been expelled earlier for criminal activities. When pointed out that no arrests have been made till date despite several named FIRs, Shah told PTI, “We are working on videographic evidence and in the next few days you will see the results”. “When the University closes for summer vacation, we are going to ensure that each and every room in the hostels is vacated by June 15. The only exception will be medical students who will be provided special accommodation,” he said.
ALSO READ AMU campus violence: Two persons succumb to bullet injuriesThe University will then make fresh allotments on the basis of recommendation of the Central Allotment Committee. When the University reopens after the summer vacation, a new system of “accountability and checks” will be in place in all University hostels, he said. Shah said once the report of the high powered enquiry committee is received, and if anybody is found to be “sheltering anti-social elements at the campus”, then he will have no hesitation whatsoever in taking “strong punitive measures”.The AMU Teachers’ Association has also made a strong pitch for instituting a CBI enquiry. The Vice Chancellor has also written a letter to central authorities seeking deployment of Rapid Action Force for the next fortnight to help in “Operation Clean Up”.District Magistrate Balkar Singh has ordered a magisterial probe and the police have instituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) which has been handed over the responsibility of working out all cases of violence.

AMU row: In a letter to Akhilesh Yadav, VC demands CBI inquiry into campus violence

Aligarh: Days after violence rocked the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) campus leaving two persons dead, Vice Chancellor Zameer Uddin Shah on Wednesday said that he was determined to trace the real instigators behind it and demanded a CBI inquiry into the matter.

In a letter to UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, the Vice Chancellor sought “either a CBI enquiry or an enquiry by the
Special Task Force (STF)”.

Acknowledging that “some mistakes may have been made by University authorities” in controlling the violence, Shah said he was “determined to set things back on track” and trace the “real instigators” behind the violence.

Two persons were killed in violent clashes between two groups on the campus last Saturday following which Rapid Action Force was deployed.

A file photo of AMU. News 18A file photo of AMU. News 18

A file photo of AMU. News 18

Preliminary reports suggested that a majority of those involved in the violence were external elements including students who have been expelled earlier for criminal activities.

When pointed out that no arrests have been made till date despite several named FIRs, Shah told PTI, “We are working on videographic evidence and in the next few days you will see the results”.

“When the University closes for summer vacation, we are going to ensure that each and every room in the hostels is vacated by 15 June. The only exception will be medical students who will be provided special accommodation,” he said.

The University will then make fresh allotments on the basis of recommendation of the Central Allotment Committee.

When the University reopens after the summer vacation, a new system of “accountability and checks” will be in place in all University hostels, he said.

Shah said once the report of the high powered enquiry committee is received, and if anybody is found to be “sheltering anti-social elements at the campus”, then he will have no hesitation whatsoever in taking “strong punitive measures”.

The AMU Teachers’ Association has also made a strong pitch for instituting a CBI enquiry.

The Vice Chancellor has also written a letter to central authorities seeking deployment of Rapid Action Force for the next fortnight to help in “Operation Clean Up”.

District Magistrate Balkar Singh has ordered a magisterial probe and the police have instituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) which has been handed over the responsibility of working out all cases of violence.

West Bengal polls: EC outsmarted as strategy of violence takes a curious turn in West Bengal

Election Commission has run into Hydra, the nine-headed serpent in Greek mythology, while trying to tackle poll violence in West Bengal.

When the EC announced polls over six phases in the state, more than a few eyebrows were raised. Spreading elections over a month and a half is a logistical nightmare. Apart from deployment of central armed forces — who are not conversant with the local language — in distant locations, it also involves realigning the state’s own punitive machinery which temporarily comes under the EC’s supervision.

But what seemed a paranoid measure was actually a prudent tactic given West Bengal’s history of bloodshed. Mindful of the gory statistics which date back to decades and repeated complaints from the opposition (especially in light of last year’s civic body polls), the EC put in place an apparently foolproof strategy.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Consider the arrangements for the recently concluded third phase of Assembly Polls.

On Thursday, when polling was held in 62 seats across Kolkata north, Murshidabad, Nadia and Burdwan, the EC fielded a ring involving one lakh security forces. It included 714 companies of central paramilitary personnel in election-bound areas and a contingent of 25000-strong state police force to assist them in tackling the language barrier.

There were police observers in each district (three for sensitive Murshidabad). The forces were asked to do routine flag-marches to instill confidence among voters.

The thrust of the effort was to prevent and tackle violence on the polling day. It has to be admitted that so far, the EC has been largely successful in limiting the spilling of blood during the time that ballots were cast starting 4 April.

But what about the time in between?

In addition to the security forces, the media also play a crucial role in bringing incidents of violence and rigging to light. On polling days, teams of reporters, TV journalists swarm every far-flung booth with their OB vans and paraphernalia. So effective has the media been in their vigilance that in many cases, the EC has acted on the basis of reports which have emerged on TV channels. But the media, too, remain centred on polling activity. What happens after the last ballot is cast, lights are switched off, wires recoiled and scribes return home?

A factoid may put things in perspective. While one person, CPIM’s Tahidul Islam, has died so far in violence during the time of polling, the death toll since the announcement of election since 4 March stands at 12.

Though the EC has said it takes incidences of post-poll violence “seriously”, no sooner did polling ended for the third phase on Thursday there were renewed clashes between the ruling Trinamool Congress and alliance partners CPIM and Congress, resulting in the deaths of three party workers, two from CPIM and one Congress.

Lodhna village in Khandaghosh constituency in Bengal’s Burdwan strict witnessed two gruesome killings. CPIM’s Sheikh Fazal Ali, 58, was hacked to death with sharp weapons while 57-year-old Dukhiram Dal’s veins were cut as he bled to death right before the eyes of his son Sisir, who hid behind a wall to save his life.

In a report carried by The Telegraph, Sisir, who assists his dad in selling vegetables, recalled how alleged TMC workers attacked them with bombs and hatchets after voting ended on Thursday.

“As bombs exploded all around, I hid behind a wall and saw my father being chased. He tripped and several TMC men, armed with cleavers and hatchets, pounced on him. One of them told the others how to cut the veins in my father’s legs. I shall never forget the scene,” Sisir was quoted, as saying.

Ali, CPIM’s polling agent for booth No 108, also met his death in a similar fashion though his son Sajal, who hid in a nearby bush, was spared the ordeal of watching his dad being killed.

The men lay bleeding and gasping till 9 pm when the cops arrived and eventually took them to the Burdwan Medical College and hospital where they died a few hours later, according to Burdwan SP Gaurav Sharma.

In Burdwan’s Raina, Congress worker Khandekar Ali was killed in the Mathnurpur area when alleged TMC workers, who had got into a spat with him over casting of votes, hit him with a rod.

In each of these cases, the ruling party has denied involvement, blaming it on either intra-party skirmish between alliance partners or family feud.

Elsewhere on Friday, TMC leader Chanchal Debnath was beaten up by alleged CPIM activists in Nadia district’s Haringhata area. In return, a group of TMC workers allegedly ransacked the house of former MLA Nani Gopal Malakar and beat up former CPIM minister Bankim Ghosh.

In his complaint, Ghosh, who is now admitted with injuries and respiratory problems, said 12 TMC miscreants were involved in the attack and the “mayhem went on for about 20 minutes.”

“The TMC men also took away money and valuables and escaped through the back door when police came,” Dipti, Nani Malakar’s wife, was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

West-BengalWest-Bengal

“In the day of polling, police, central forces and media keep strict vigil. So the TMC strategy is now to indulge in violence immediately after the polls or to intimidate voters before the day of voting. Villager are being told they will face dire consequences if they so much as go near the booth,” CPIM MP and politburo member Mohammad Salim told Firstpost.

“Law and order is a state subject. It is the responsibility of the administration and the Election Commission to prevent such incidents from happening. The killings are a sign of TMC’s insecurity. Facing defeat, Mamata Banerjee has increased her rhetoric,” he added.

“The killings are a desperate step to instill a sense of fear among voters who have so far refused to be cowed down by such tactics and are answering TMC’s reign of terror by casting their ballots,” added the CPIM MP.

Surjya Kanta Mishra, state CPIM leader and the alliance partner’s CM candidate, repeated the charge on Twitter.

Amid the rhetoric and counter-rhetoric, the EC’s job is cut out in West Bengal. Three phases are still left.

Domestic Violence Act cannot be forced upon police to pressurise others: Delhi Court

The Domestic Violence Act cannot be made a tool for using cops to pressurise others, a Delhi court has said while dismissing a woman’s plea seeking police protection to attend her daughter’s wedding.The court dismissed the woman’s appeal seeking presence of two policemen to pressurise her husband and in-laws to let her attend the marriage peacefully, saying there were no specific allegations of threat in her domestic violence complaint, hence the relief could not be granted.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The protection order under the Domestic Violence (DV) Act is aimed at protecting a vulnerable victim. DV Act cannot be used for using the police force to pressurize others. In these circumstances, the court does not find any ground to grant relief to the appellant. Appeal is, therefore, dismissed,” Additional Sessions Judge Vrinda Kumari said.The woman, who had earlier secured monthly interim alimony from her husband in the domestic violence case lodged against him, argued that presence of two police constables with her would pressurize her husband and his family members and she would be able to attend the marriage ceremony of her daughter, who lives with her father, in peace.The court noted that there is no protection order in favour of the woman and also in her complaint she had not alleged that she was not being allowed to see her children but had merely stated that her kids were brainwashed against her.”In the entire complaint before the trial court as well as in the rejoinder, there is no allegation that the appellant (woman) is not being allowed to see her children. In the rejoinder filed before the court, the woman has merely stated that her children have been brain washed by the husband and are not being imparted any religious training. There is no specific allegation that the husband had ever restrained her from visiting her children,” it said.A magisterial court had on January 19, 2016 granted the woman interim maintenance from her estranged husband in which the court did not consider her prayer for police protection.Earlier this month, the woman moved two applications- one for release of the cheque deposited by her husband pursuant to maintenance order and the second seeking police protection to attend the wedding of her daughter, who lives with her father.

Communal violence in Jharkhand during Ram Navami, situation under control, say cops

Ranchi: Curfew was imposed in four police station areas of Bokaro district in Jharkhand on Friday night following communal violence sparked by pelting of stones at a Ram Navami procession, police said on Saturday.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

Violence also took place on Friday in Hazaribagh district where too the trigger was pelting of stones at a Ram Navami procession.

“Curfew has been imposed in Bokaro. The situation is under control both in Hazaribagh and and Bokaro district,” Jharkhand Police spokesman S N Pradhan told IANS on Saturday.

There were violent clashes between members of two communities in Siwandih suburb of Bokaro steel city when a Ram Navami procession was stopped and pelted with stones.

Several people were injured in the violence, including some journalists and government officials. A mob also burnt three vehicles.

In Hazaribagh, the trouble spot was Keredari where violence erupted after a Ram Navami procession was stopped. Several people were injured and some houses were set on fire.

One person also reportedly died in the violence, but the police said the death was unrelated to the communal clashes.

“An elderly person in the troubled area died after slipping from stairs,” Pradhan said.

West Bengal Elections 2016: History repeats itself, violence comes back in part 2 of first phase polls

History repeating itself, violence came back to parts of West Bengal on Monday, as 31 constituencies across West Midnapore, Bankura and Burdwan districts went to polls on the second day of the first phase of state assembly elections. The sporadic incidents were a deviation from the peaceful polling reported on the phase IA of state polls in 18 constituencies on April 4. The state, however, saw a high voter percentage with West Midnapore recording a good 84.81 voter percentage. Bankura and Burdwan recorded a voter percentage of 78.71 and 74.67, respectively, as per the EC.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Polling began at 7am in the 31 constituencies, 13 of which are in West Midnapore and nine each in Bankura and Burdwan districts. However, within hours after the poll started, a polling agent of the CPI(M) was attacked and subsequently hospitalized at Jamuria in Burdwan district. While there were reports of clashes between the BJP and Trinamool Congress workers at Nandi, a village in Jamuria, CPI(M) workers clashed with TMC workers at its Sattar village where a couple of houses of left party supporters were reportedly set on fire.Dulal Mondal, an eyewitness from Nandi told dna, “When we went to cast our vote at the Nandi polling booth, we saw a huge crowd. I saw a party worker bleeding from the head. He was being carried away from the booth to a local hospital.” Crude bombs were also recovered from near a polling station in the same assembly station. Locals reported of hearing loud thudding sound in the morning near the Jamuria polling stations. Few bomb blasts reported in the area.Masked men armed with bamboos and sticks were seen roaming around in certain parts of the constituencies. There were allegations of violence in the Pandaveshwar, Keshpur, and Sonamukhi Constituencies. A Parimal Barui in the Pandaveshwar of Burdwan district died of a suspected sun stroke.In the Malligram village of Sabong, clashes were reported between the CPI(M) and TMC workers. The Sabong assembly seat is a Congress bastion, Bengal Congress president Manas Bhunia is the current legislator there.Fights were also reported between the TMC and CPI(M) at the Keshpur constituency of West Midnapore, with 150 polling booths reportedly captured by TMC workers. Three injuries were reported in this area. Violence, however, is a regular affair at the Keshpur seat since the last many state elections.CPM state party secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra, who was contesting from the Narayangarh seat, was allegedly heckled at five polling booths.Winning the Narayangarh and the Sabong seats had become a matter of ego for the TMC as both are CPM and Congress strongholds respectively. With the TMC desperately trying to make a dent in these constituencies, chief minister Mamata Banerjee had come down heavily at the Congress and left alliance in a recent rally at Narayangarh.Poll violence is not new to West Bengal. Instances of booth capturing, false voting and other forms of rigging have been traditionally a part of the state politics. After the TMC came to power in 2011, the perpetrators of violence merely exchanged hands. About 1,878 complaints lodged with the EC, most of them against the TMC by opposition parties.Nearly 70 lakh voters, including 33,68,311 women, were eligible to choose their representatives from 163 candidates contesting on Monday. Twenty-one of the contestants were women. Voting was being held across 8,465 polling stations, including two auxiliary stations.Questions were raised by political leaders on the ineffectiveness of central forces deputed in the polling booths were violence were reported.State Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury alleged that because of the secret alliance between Banerjee and PM Narendra Modi, the central forces in these constituencies were deliberately rendered ineffective.

Ahead of Kerala polls, BJP asks EC to ensure violence-free environment

New Delhi: Citing cases of political violence targeting workers of the party in Kerala, BJP on Tuesday asked the Election Commission to take strong measures to ensure violence-free poll in the state.

Union ministers Smriti Irani and Rajiv Pratap Rudy told a press conference that the attacks were outcome of a “nexus” between ruling Congress and the Left as they are worried by the “surge” in BJP’s support in the state.

Rajiv Pratap Rudy. AFPRajiv Pratap Rudy. AFP

Rajiv Pratap Rudy. AFP

“Violence is being used as a political tool to suppress our voice,” Irani said, alleging that Left workers were carrying out attacks while Congress was strategically supporting it.

“Situation is very critical. We do not expect a free and fair election in Kerala,” Rudy said, adding that a party delegation will soon meet the Commission to press for strong measures to be taken in the state.

In recent cases of violence, former Kerala BJP chief V Muraleedharan was among 16 persons injured in an alleged attack by CPI-M workers at Kattayikonam on Monday.

On March 8, RSS worker E K Biju was hacked to death, Rudy said, adding that hundreds of party workers over the years have been killed in Kannur.

The BJP-led alliance in the state had created concern among the two bigger parties, he said, and “emerging signs of its great victory” have compelled them to target saffron workers.

A Dalit girl student tried to commit suicide after being harassed by the Left workers, Irani said.

Rudy is party’s co-incharge for Kerala assembly polls and the delegation to the Commission will be headed by Union Minister J P Nadda, who is in-charge, he said.

PTI

BJP creating false binary of nationalism vs anti-nationalism: MP Pavan Verma

Amid a raging row over JNU, Rajya Sabha MP Pavan Verma today attacked BJP for “creating” a “false binary” and “unwarranted” argument of “nationalism vs anti-nationalism” for “short-term political benefits”.”They (BJP leaders) are not going into the subtleties of the meaning of nationalism and are dishing out monolithic argument of nationalism vs anti-nationalism,” Verma said extending his support to the JNU students agitating against alleged branding of the university as “anti-national”.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Aggression, violence, distortion of logic and the creation of this brittle hysteria every time there is an opinion, voice which is contrary to their notion of what nationalism is, is not acceptable,” he alleged.Verma, who was addressing the students at the varsity’s administration block, which has been the venue of students’ protest for a month, said that he had faith in the country’s judiciary and its people and that they will ultimately reject such kind of “extreme” nationalism and politics.Earlier in the day, historian Jairus Banaji addressed the students and said India today lives “in a climate of violence” consciously created by a few organised groups.”In this country, we are today living in a climate of violence. ‘They’ are the upholders of the law. This climate of violence has emerged in the last so many months and it’s really dangerous for us,” said Banaji.”It seems to me that explosions of violence (communal riots) that happen from time to time have nothing spontaneous about them. They are the works of organised groups and have very careful and intricate planning. The violence is the product of these organisations wanting to create a climate of violence and fear and triggering,” he added.

Jat agitation: INLD meets Governor, seeks dismissal of Haryana govt

A delegation of Haryana’s main opposition Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) leaders on Monday met Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki, seeking dismissal of BJP-led Manohar Lal Khattar government over its alleged failure in controlling law and order in the state which has ‘worsened’ in view of the Jat stir.The delegation led by INLD’s senior leader Abhay Singh Chautala also sought a judicial probe into the “untoward happenings” during the ongoing stir. “Precious lives have been lost and the state had to suffer loss worth thousands of crores of rupees..the government has completely failed to control the situation,” a memorandum submitted by the party to the Governor said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The party has sought Rs 25 lakh compensation for kin of those killed in the agitation and employment to one member of the family. It also favoured compensating the loss of private properties. Chautala, a prominent Jat leader himself, alleged BJP MP Raj Kumar Saini had been making anti-Jat quota statements for past several months but the party failed to rein him in.”He had been inciting people with his remarks. However, BJP took no action against its MP and overlooked the fact that he was spreading poison in the society with his outbursts,” Chautala charged. Violence continued unabated in the state today with stone-pelting mobs attacking security personnel trying to clear a road blockade triggering a clash in which three civilians were killed raising the death toll to 19 in the nine-day old Jat stir for reservation.

Jat agitation: Rajnath briefs PM Modi, meets army chief and other top officials to take stock

Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the situation in Haryana arising out of Jat agitation for reservation and violence.During the half-an-hour meeting, Singh gave a detailed presentation about the agitation and subsequent violence as well as the steps taken to restore normalcy in Haryana, official sources said. The Home Minister also told the Prime Minister about the meeting he had with a delegation of Jat leaders on Sunday and the decisions taken in it, sources said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today took stock of the prevailing situation in the state with top officials, including NSA Ajit Doval, Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag besides others. The Home Minister was given a detailed presentation by senior officials on the violence during the agitation and blockades put up by the Jats, who have been demanding quota, official sources said.Singh told all concerned that all necessary steps must be taken to bring back peace and normalcy in Haryana and there should be no compromise in maintaining law and order. The Home Minister was told that around 7,300 paramilitary personnel have been deployed, besides Army columns, to assist the state government to deal with the situation arising out of the violence, sources said.Singh said water supply to Delhi must be maintained at all cost and road and other communication networks must be restored as early as possible. Those present in the meeting included Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi, Director of Intelligence Bureau Dineswar Sharma besides others.Last night, Singh had announced that a committee headed by Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu has been formed to look into the demand for reservation in central government jobs for Jats. BJP general secretary Anil Jain also had announced that the BJP government in Haryana will bring a legislation in the coming session of the Haryana assembly to give OBC status to Jats.The Centre today directed security forces to use force to clear all blockades put up by Jats whose violent agitation has paralysed normal life in Haryana. Water supply to the national capital from Haryana is expected to be fully restored tomorrow after security forces took over control of the Munak canal and evicted all the Jat protesters from that place. Violence continued to rage in Haryana on Monday with stone-pelting mobs attacking security personnel trying to clear a road blockade and torching government vehicles even as the death toll in the nine-day old Jat quota stir was put at 19.

Jat agitation: BJP issues showcause notice to party MP for comments opposing Jat Reservation

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday issued showcause notice to party MP Raj Kumar Saini for making comments ‘opposing’ Jat reservation.Saini had earlier expressed objection over giving reservation to Jats and even threatened to resign if there was ‘any loss’ to reservation quota for Other Backward Classes (OBC).”In relation with the Jat unrest, we have spoken to the Centre and briefed them about the current situation there. Regarding the recent statements made by few party leaders over the current issue, the party has distanced itself from any leaders who have made comments against Jats. Even after continuous warnings, Raj Kumar Saini kept making controversial statements and the party has issued show cause notice to him over that,” BJP leader Anil Jain told the media.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He added that the BJP is not against any caste on in favour of any caste in particular and stated that Jats must be included in quotas.Union Minister Birender Singh appealed to all protestors to come ahead and discuss their issues with the state government, so that the agitation ends and all their demands can be heard.”I appeal to all the agitators to maintain calm and have a discussion with the leadership so that peace returns in Haryana. The BJP is strictly in favour of reservation for the Jat community,” Singh said.Jat leaders from Uttar Pradesh will meet Home Minister Rajnath Singh at 8 pm on Saturday to discuss the current state of unrest by the community.Earlier, agitating members of Jat community demanding reservation pelted stones at the residence of Raj Kumar Saini in Kaithal yesterday. The police said that around 50 persons attacked Saini’s residence damaging window panes.Meanwhile, curfew had already been clamped in Rohtak, Bhiwani and Jhajjar towns in the wake of incidents of violence during the Jat agitation. Violence escalated in different parts of the state after a mob in Rohtak district’s Meham area set a police station, a petrol pump and a government building on fire.The army conducted a flag march in Rohtak, where three people were allegedly killed and 78 others injured in firing and clash between security personnel and Jats demanding reservation in jobs and education.However, the army could not enter Rohtak initially as protesters had put up blockades at several places, forcing the authorities to air drop the personnel using helicopters.

Jat agitations: More Haryana towns brought under curfew

As violence spread to more areas in Haryana over the Jat quota agitation, curfew was clamped in Jind, Hisar and Hansi districts.The authorities clamped curfew in Jind in view of some violent incidents that included setting afire three Haryana Roadways buses in the district by agitating Jats. Army, paramilitary and police conducted a flag march in Jind, where incidents of violence were reported from various places including Julana, Uchana and Pilukhera.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Curfew has been imposed from 8 PM to 6 AM in Hisar and Hansi as a precautionary measure. Earlier on Sunday, the Sonipat district administration had clamped curfew in the city and Gohana town of the district.Curfew has now been imposed in at least eight towns in Haryana in the wake of incidents of violence during agitation.Curfew had already been clamped in Rohtak, Bhiwani and Jhajjar towns. Road transport and rail services have been badly hit because of the protest as buses remained off the road while protesters were squatting on rail tracks at multiple points.

JNU row: SC to hear plea for fair proceedings in Kanhaiya Kumar’s case tomorrow

Supreme Court will on Wednesday hear a plea complaining of inaction of police against those involved in thrashing journalists, students and teachers in a Delhi court and seeking a fair trial “free from fear of violence and prejudice” for JNU Students Union President Kanhaiya Kumar.A Bench comprising Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justices R Banumathi and U U Lalit agreed to give urgent hearing to the petition which was mentioned by senior advocate Indira Jaising, who said Kanhaiya Kumar’s two days of extended police remand was expiring on Wednesday and he will again be produced before the Metropolitan Magistrate at Patiala House court complex which had witnessed violence on Monday.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The petition filed by N D Jaiprakash, an alumnus of JNU who was hurt in the violence, alleged that police were a “mute spectator to this brazen display of violence and brute force being perpetrated on innocent persons” who had gathered in the Court premises.”This petition merely seeks to assure safety of the accused, their relatives, friends, lawyers and journalists while discharging their legal as well as professional obligations,” the plea said, adding that “the surcharged and vicious atmosphere” in the Court premises would come in the way of the fundamental right of the accused for a fair trial.The petitioner urged the apex court that neccessary directions have to be passed o the Centre and Delhi Police as a congenial atmosphere was imperative for a fair and impartial judicial proceeding, which is a fundamental right of every person under Article 21 of the Constitution.The petitioner has sought directions for the Ministry of Home Affairs and the police to ensure that the proceedings against Kanhaiya Kumar at the court of Metropolitan Magistrate Loveleen, is carried out in a manner which is not prejudicial to the fundamental rights of the persons.Giving details of the violence in which JNU teachers, students and journalists, including some female mediapersons, were roughed up by advocates and a politician, the petition said there was a need to ensure that no physical harm or any form of intimidation or disturbance is caused to the accused or any person attending the court in connection with the proceedings. It has been urged that proper and appropriate action is taken against any person who is obstructing the proceedings against Kanhaiya Kumar before the trial court in any manner.The petitioner has sought the safeguarding of the CCTV footage in and around the Metropolitan Magistrate’s court, which may be used as evidence in any further proceedings in the matter.”It is submitted that violence in the court complex can never be permitted or countenanced. It is so serious a breach so as to tantamount to criminal contempt of court and denial of access to justice. The judicial functioning requires calm and tranquil atmosphere. Even surcharge atmosphere is considered not conducive to justice by that standard physical violence must be treated as grosses of contempt apart from various other offences,” petitioner Jaiprakash said.He said the issue involved in the instant case was protection of fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution and the immediate cause of approaching the apex court was the physical violence and intimidation faced by him and a large number of students, teachers and journalists while attending a judicial proceeding.The petition said that police remained a “mute spectator” yesterday and there was need for direction to the cops to ensure the safety and security of persons inside the court premises during the trial of the JNUSU President.”It is submitted that the Respondents (MHA and Delhi Police) are duty-bound to protect innocent citizens from acts of violence and vandalism in court premises,” it said.The plea said due to the “surcharged and vicious atmosphere in the court premises, it is not possible to even produce the accused” as violence broke out just before the court was to assemble at 2 pm on Monday.Giving details, the petition said the violence initially broke out inside the court and thereafter spilled over in the adjacent areas of the court complex as people started running to save themselves from the brutality of lawyers and outsiders which included several politicians.The plea said that Monday’s incident raised serious threat to life of the accused and the atmosphere was so surcharged that even women journalists were not spared and not permitted to discharge their journalistic duties and able to report the events as witnessed by them directly.”More than a dozen journalists including women journalists suffered physical assault and sustained injuries; the mobile phones of journalists were snatched, broken or stolen to prevent them to able to report the violence,” it added.The petition said a surcharged atmosphere in the court room where there exists a threat of physical violence and threat of intimidation, to family and friends or other persons known to the person against whom a FIR has been filed, such as the Petitioner, violates the fundamental rights of such persons, in particular under Article 21. It said officers of Delhi Police being present at the court should have avoided escalation of the violent situation which clearly impeded the proceeding and the safety of various persons present, including the Petitioner.”It is submitted that a congenial atmosphere is imperative for a fair and impartial judicial proceeding, which is a fundamental right of every person under Article 21 of the Constitution.” the petition said.

Lawyer who led mob against scribes defends himself; says JNU students started the fight

At the Patiala House Court scuffle on Monday where media was attacked at by the lawyers, Vikram Singh Chauhan was one such lawyer who was caught on camera involved in the scuffle. Chauhan claims that the lawyers were provoked by JNU teachers.While speaking to NDTV, Chauhan admitted that he arranged the protest against ‘anti-nationals’, but didn’t imagine the situation to go out of hand. He said that the lawyers were provoked by JNU teachers. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Vikram Singh Chauhan seen in the picture involved in the scuffleChauhan also told NDTV that the students had started the fight. He claimed that when he told the students that “they wanted to divide Kashmir and Kerala, the students said they were never a part of India.”Reports suggest that Chauhan is a BJP sympathiser and has earlier been photographed with several BJP leaders.Vikram Singh Chauhan (left) seen with BJP veteran leader LK Advani and Pratibha Advani. (Facebook)Vikram Singh Chauhan seen with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. (Facebook)Violence broke out in the court complex on Monday as groups of lawyers attacked journalists, students and teachers of JNU and unidentified people dubbing them as anti-nationals in the wake of a row over the arrest of a student leader.BJP leader OP Sharma, who was also caught on camera involved in a fight, claimed a group of people had hit him and that his action as “natural”.”When I objected to their slogans, they hit me and ran away. I and some other people then started chasing them and, thereafter whatever happened yesterday is before you as evidence,” Sharma said.”When someone will beat me up, the possible natural action that could be followed is what happened in this incident…Unknown people who were shouting in favour of Pakistan, were creating a wrong atmosphere. They should go there. Why they are residing in India,” he said.BJP MLA OP Sharma seen beating up a student. PTI

Clash between two communities in Delhi injures 15 people

New Delhi: At least 15 people were injured in a clash which broke out between two communities in northwest Delhi’s Sangam Park area on Saturday evening.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

By midnight, several police teams were deployed in the area and a case of rioting was registered, said a senior police official.

The violence erupted after a youth was thrashed by some locals when he was caught allegedly trying to forcefully enter the residence of a family belonging to the another community, said an official.

People from the youth’s community soon gathered at the spot and were confronted by a group representing the other community, the official said.

The injured have been hospitalised and police are questioning locals, trying to ascertain the identity of those involved im the violence, the official.

Earlier in the day, two youths were shot at by unidentified persons near the same locality where violence erupted later in the evening, police said.

PTI

Peace cannot be discussed under shower of bullets: President Pranab Mukherjee

In significant remarks against the backdrop of the Pathankot attack, President Pranab Mukherjee said on Monday night that disagreement with neighbours should be resolved through dialogue but “we cannot discuss peace under a shower of bullets”.He also said terrorism is a war beyond any doctrine and is a “cancer which must be operated out with a firm scalpel”. “There is no good or bad terrorism; it is pure evil,” the President said in his address to the nation on the eve of 67th Republic Day. Mukherjee said nations will not agree on everything but the challenge today is existential because terrorists seek to undermine order by rejecting the very basis of strategic stability which are recognised borders.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”If outlaws are able to unravel borders, then we are heading towards an age of chaos. There will be disputes among nations; and, as is well known, the closer we are to a neighbour, the higher the propensity for disputes. “There is a civilised way to bridge disagreements; dialogue, ideally, should be a continual engagement. But we cannot discuss peace under a shower of bullets,” he said. The President also utilised the occasion to caution the country to guard itself against forces of violence, intolerance and unreason.Against the backdrop of debate on intolerance in the country, he said reverence for the past is one of the essential ingredients of nationalism. “Our finest inheritance, the institutions of democracy, ensure to all citizens justice, equality, and gender and economic equity.”When grim instances of violence hit at these established values which are at the core of our nationhood, it is time to take note. We must guard ourselves against the forces of violence, intolerance and unreason,” he said. In a delicate balancing act, he appeared to counsel the law makers and the Government that it was their duty to ensure reforms and enactment of progressive legislations for which a spirit of accommodation and consensus building should be the preferred mode of decision making. For revitalising the forces of growth, the President said there is need for reforms and progressive legislation.”It is the bounden duty of the law makers to ensure that such legislation is enacted after due discussion and debate. A spirit of accommodation, cooperation and consensus-building should be the preferred mode of decision-making. Delays in decision-making and implementation can only harm the process of development,” he said.Mukherjee’s remarks assume significance in the context of the deadlock over the Constitution amendment bill on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) following Congress’ three main demands which the Government has refused to concede.

Republic Day 2016: Here are 10 best WhatsApp messages to celebrate patriotism

India will celebrate its Republic Day on Tuesday which also marks the 66th Republic day of the country. This day assumes significance, as it observes the enforcement of the Constitution of India thus declaring India as a sovereign, democratic and also republic country. There is a national holiday declared on this day which every Indian celebrates by hoisting flag and remembering the works of our forefathers.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>However, as tech-savvy as we are, we also like to share the joy of the occasion with our friends, family and relatives. To do so, there are some common text messages, forwards that are shared by Whatsapp or Facebook. Take a look at 10 of the best messages you can forward to your friends and family this Republic Day.1. The Roots of Violence: Wealth without work, Pleasure without conscience, Knowledge without character, Commerce without morality, Science without humanity, Worship without sacrifice, Politics without principles Happy Republic Day!!2. Freedom in Mind, Faith in Words, Pride in our Heart, Memories in our Souls. Let’s Salute the Nation on Happy Republic Day!3. Let’s celebrate and solute the noble cause, It’s our nation which is shining as it was,4. Watan hamara aisa koi na chhod paaye, Rishta hamara aisa koi na tod paaye, Dil ek hai ek jaan hai hamari, Hindustan hamara hai hum iski shaan hain. Happy Republic Day.5. Desh bahkton ke balidaan se, Swatnatra hue hain hum.. koi pucche kaun ho to Garv se kahenge bhartiya hain ham… Happy Republic Day6. Let us remember the golden heritage of our country and feel proud to be a part of India.Happy Republic Day7. Nahi sirf Jashn Manana, Nahi sirf Jhande Lehrana, Yeh Kaafi nahi hai watanparasti, Yadon ko nahi bhulana, Jo Qurbaan hue, Unke lafzon ko aage badhana, Khuda ke liye nahi .. Zindagi Watan k liye Nibhana.. Happy Republic Day…8. Reunite On This Republic Day To Celebrate the Victory of Our Freedom Fighters and Rejoice in the Sacrifices That Made It Possible On This Republic Day, Let Us Unite In the Chant Vande Mataram and Let the Glory of Our Land and the Spirit of India Live Forever9. Come Let Us Celebrate The Proud Moment Of The Republic Day And Remember The Selfless Sacrifice Of Many Indians Before Us. Let Us Unite Again To Remember The Glorious Moment Of Our Republic Day And Relive The Sacrifice Of Our Freedom Fighters Vande Mataram Happy Republic Day10. Today Is The Day When Everyone Or Old, Tall Or Short, Light Skin Or Dark Must Come Together To Show The Whole World That This Nation Is The Best Nation Under The Sun. Happy Republic DayRead: #dnaOfARepublic: This Republic Day be the change you want to see

VHP slams Mamata govt over Malda violence; clash leads to shake-up in Kaliachak police station

An equal number of officials have been transferred from Kaliachak to other police stations, the SP said adding this is a temporary measure. Besides, nine constables have been transferred from Kaliachak, he said.
Violence had broken out at Kaliachak on Sunday over an alleged remark of a BJP leader.

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Alert in Gurdaspur after locals report suspicious movement, search operation launched

There were also reports that five terrorists had sneaked into the border area of Gurdaspur and Pathankot, following which army formations have been put on alert, officials said. Gurdaspur was targeted by Pakistani terrorists in July last year also when they struck at a police station here. Six terrorists in army fatigues attacked the Air Base in Pathankot on Saturday last, leading to an encounter that lasted over four days. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

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SC to hear plea of Arunachal Speaker who was removed by rebel MLAs

He also claimed that the plea, filed in the judicial side, was decided by the Acting Chief Justice in his “administrative” capacity.

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dna Must Reads for evening: Top five stories of the hour

The Tourism Ministry has debunked Twitter rumours stating that Aamir Khan is still the brand ambassador of Incredible India. As the rumour gained momentum, the Tourism Ministry issued a statement saying that there has been no change on the matter from the ministry. Read more here.

dna Web Team

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Audio tape row: Congress expells Amit Jogi, dares PM Modi to sack Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh

“The decision is unwise, partial and unjust. I am not going to be scared by such a decision.” he said.

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Why Pathankot terror attack shouldn’t derail Modi’s Pakistan talks

After the Lahore bus visit, Kargil happened. Pathakot too happened just after Modi’s visit. History has repeated itself again, in a twisted way. Hopefully the lessons learnt this time will be far better and will not push back the Indo-Pak talks for a decade or so.

Arghya Roy Chowdhury

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