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People’s Tribunal finds “gross violations of human rights norms” in Mangalore

Tribunal report indicts police for harm caused to civilians and innocent persons during anti-CAA protests on December 19

21 Jan 2020

Mangalore firing

A People’s Tribunal comprising Justice (Retd.) V. Gopala Gowda, Mr. B T Venkatesh and Sugata Srinivasaraju was formed to conduct public hearings to hear from all the persons affected by the Police firing on 19th December, 2019 at Mangalore and to report on the observations made by it.

This was a civil society initiative to investigate various aspects of the violence that transpired on that day, including the build up to it. The tribunal heard witness testimonies to ascertain the following aspects of the situation:

  • Imposition of prohibitory orders and communication thereof

  • Lathi-charge and firing

  • Non-compliance with Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

  • Use of communal slurs etc.

The tribunal found that, “imposition of prohibitory orders under section 144 of Code of Criminal Procedure were unwarranted.” Also, “While the Commissioner of Police of Mangalore, Dr. P.S. Harsha, imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC on the evening of 18th December 2019, the order was not effectively communicated to the residents of the area. After the imposition of the prohibitory orders under section 144 CrPC, permission that was earlier granted was subsequently revoked/cancelled but the same was not effectively communicated.”

The report by the tribunal also states, “As a result of a complete breakdown of communication, civilians who had no connection with the protest were subjected to indiscriminate lathicharge and Police firing.” It goes on to say, “The actions of the Police personnel present on 19th December seem to contravene significant limitations on Police powers, as provided for in the Karnataka Police Manual.”

But the most damning indictment of the police’s communal tilt comes from the report where it says, “Apart from failing to issue warnings to the public before the lathicharge and Police firing commenced, victims and other eyewitness have alleged that the Police authorities present in the area used communal slurs and used deplorable language in order to provoke the protestors.”

The report concludes by saying, “From the statements it is observed that greater harm was caused to civilians and innocent persons who had nothing to do with the protests, if any. Their livelihood has been severely affected. More specifically, two lives have been lost.”

The entire report may be read here: 

 

People’s Tribunal finds “gross violations of human rights norms” in Mangalore

Tribunal report indicts police for harm caused to civilians and innocent persons during anti-CAA protests on December 19

Mangalore firing

A People’s Tribunal comprising Justice (Retd.) V. Gopala Gowda, Mr. B T Venkatesh and Sugata Srinivasaraju was formed to conduct public hearings to hear from all the persons affected by the Police firing on 19th December, 2019 at Mangalore and to report on the observations made by it.

This was a civil society initiative to investigate various aspects of the violence that transpired on that day, including the build up to it. The tribunal heard witness testimonies to ascertain the following aspects of the situation:

  • Imposition of prohibitory orders and communication thereof

  • Lathi-charge and firing

  • Non-compliance with Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

  • Use of communal slurs etc.

The tribunal found that, “imposition of prohibitory orders under section 144 of Code of Criminal Procedure were unwarranted.” Also, “While the Commissioner of Police of Mangalore, Dr. P.S. Harsha, imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC on the evening of 18th December 2019, the order was not effectively communicated to the residents of the area. After the imposition of the prohibitory orders under section 144 CrPC, permission that was earlier granted was subsequently revoked/cancelled but the same was not effectively communicated.”

The report by the tribunal also states, “As a result of a complete breakdown of communication, civilians who had no connection with the protest were subjected to indiscriminate lathicharge and Police firing.” It goes on to say, “The actions of the Police personnel present on 19th December seem to contravene significant limitations on Police powers, as provided for in the Karnataka Police Manual.”

But the most damning indictment of the police’s communal tilt comes from the report where it says, “Apart from failing to issue warnings to the public before the lathicharge and Police firing commenced, victims and other eyewitness have alleged that the Police authorities present in the area used communal slurs and used deplorable language in order to provoke the protestors.”

The report concludes by saying, “From the statements it is observed that greater harm was caused to civilians and innocent persons who had nothing to do with the protests, if any. Their livelihood has been severely affected. More specifically, two lives have been lost.”

The entire report may be read here: 

 

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UK MPs express concern about CAA-NPR-NRC in House of Commons

The MPs spoke about the potential disenfranchisement of Muslims and violations of human rights if the CAA-NPR-NRC is implemented

21 Jan 2020

CAAImage Courtesy: Muslim Mirror

The news of the current unrest in India due to the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) has reached beyond borders. The unrelenting protests, news of police brutality and the high-handedness of the state administration has received international attention. Solidarity for the students who have been beaten up in state-sponsored attacks and the fear of the marginalized and the minorities in India have led to people from all over the world to lend their voice to the cause of saving the secularism and the Constitution of India.

In another example of the same, a meeting was organized by the Ambedkar International Mission (UK) and the South Asia Solidarity Group in the UK Parliament (House of Commons) on January 20 to discuss the CAA, National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NRC) and the protests against them that are taking place all over India. At the meeting, several British MPs expressed their concern about the legislation, its implications for human rights and potential for mass disenfranchisement of Muslims, and the situation in India more generally.

Amrit Wilson of the South Asia Solidarity group introduced the meeting, highlighting the scale of the protests by students, women, Muslim communities, Dalits, urban and rural workers and many others and the violence which had been unleashed on the protestors. She also presented a report by the People’s Tribunals on State Action in Uttar Pradesh, India which documented the violence against Muslims by the police in a direct response to directions from the Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath who had called for ‘revenge’ to taken against the Muslim community for protesting.

At the meeting, lawyer and legal scholar Gautam Bhatia explained the brazenly discriminatory nature of the CAA, the potential for the mass disenfranchisement of Muslims and why it undermines the Indian citizenship guaranteed by the Constitution.

Satpal Muman, chair of the UK’s largest Dalit organisation, CasteWatchUK, reminded the audience of B.R.Ambedkar's warning that 'Hindu Raj' would be a calamity for India, and expressed solidarity with the many thousands on the streets in India defending their fundamental freedoms. He also noted the active role of the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh and other overseas Hindutva organisations in blocking legislation in the UK which would make caste discrimination illegal.

Stephen Timms, MP for East Ham (Labour) said, “I have been struck by the diversity of the people who are protesting against these measures in India in my constituency. Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs are all coming together.”

On Gautam Bhatia’s explanation about how the CAA-NPR-NRC would give more power to the government to cancel OCI status, Rupa Huq, MP for Ealing Central and Acton (Labour) expressed her concern about the impact of the legislation and raised the question of how NRIs’ citizenship may be affected.

MPs Claudia Webbe and Pat McFadden too expressed their concern and pledged to call on PM Modi to revoke the discriminatory CAA which violates human rights.

Members of the audience who had come from all over the country and represented a wide range of sections of the Indian diaspora in the UK spoke about the global rise in fascism, drawing parallels between far-right party leaders like Brazi’s Jair Bolsonaro, Boris Johnson, Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu. They emphasized the importance of sending a message to Modi about the opposition of the diaspora to these discriminatory measures by organising large scale protests and raising awareness in the wider community.

The press release also stated that there would be National Demonstration against Fascism on January 25, bringing together many different diaspora organizations in solidarity with the resistance. The rally at Downing Street and March to the Indian High Commission has been called by: South Asia Solidarity Group, CasteWatch UK, Tamil People in the UK, Co-ordinating Committee of Malayali Muslims, Kashmir Solidarity Movement, SOAS India Society, Indian Workers Association (GB), Ghadar International, Indian Muslim Federation(UK), Federation of Redbridge Muslim Organisations (FORMO) & other diaspora groups.

 

Related:

Indians in US to observe Republic Day as “Day of Action”
Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019: The Fire that consumes India

International condemnation for CAA, travel advisories issued
Preparation for a genocide under way in India: Dr. Gregory Stanton

UK MPs express concern about CAA-NPR-NRC in House of Commons

The MPs spoke about the potential disenfranchisement of Muslims and violations of human rights if the CAA-NPR-NRC is implemented

CAAImage Courtesy: Muslim Mirror

The news of the current unrest in India due to the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) has reached beyond borders. The unrelenting protests, news of police brutality and the high-handedness of the state administration has received international attention. Solidarity for the students who have been beaten up in state-sponsored attacks and the fear of the marginalized and the minorities in India have led to people from all over the world to lend their voice to the cause of saving the secularism and the Constitution of India.

In another example of the same, a meeting was organized by the Ambedkar International Mission (UK) and the South Asia Solidarity Group in the UK Parliament (House of Commons) on January 20 to discuss the CAA, National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NRC) and the protests against them that are taking place all over India. At the meeting, several British MPs expressed their concern about the legislation, its implications for human rights and potential for mass disenfranchisement of Muslims, and the situation in India more generally.

Amrit Wilson of the South Asia Solidarity group introduced the meeting, highlighting the scale of the protests by students, women, Muslim communities, Dalits, urban and rural workers and many others and the violence which had been unleashed on the protestors. She also presented a report by the People’s Tribunals on State Action in Uttar Pradesh, India which documented the violence against Muslims by the police in a direct response to directions from the Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath who had called for ‘revenge’ to taken against the Muslim community for protesting.

At the meeting, lawyer and legal scholar Gautam Bhatia explained the brazenly discriminatory nature of the CAA, the potential for the mass disenfranchisement of Muslims and why it undermines the Indian citizenship guaranteed by the Constitution.

Satpal Muman, chair of the UK’s largest Dalit organisation, CasteWatchUK, reminded the audience of B.R.Ambedkar's warning that 'Hindu Raj' would be a calamity for India, and expressed solidarity with the many thousands on the streets in India defending their fundamental freedoms. He also noted the active role of the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh and other overseas Hindutva organisations in blocking legislation in the UK which would make caste discrimination illegal.

Stephen Timms, MP for East Ham (Labour) said, “I have been struck by the diversity of the people who are protesting against these measures in India in my constituency. Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs are all coming together.”

On Gautam Bhatia’s explanation about how the CAA-NPR-NRC would give more power to the government to cancel OCI status, Rupa Huq, MP for Ealing Central and Acton (Labour) expressed her concern about the impact of the legislation and raised the question of how NRIs’ citizenship may be affected.

MPs Claudia Webbe and Pat McFadden too expressed their concern and pledged to call on PM Modi to revoke the discriminatory CAA which violates human rights.

Members of the audience who had come from all over the country and represented a wide range of sections of the Indian diaspora in the UK spoke about the global rise in fascism, drawing parallels between far-right party leaders like Brazi’s Jair Bolsonaro, Boris Johnson, Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu. They emphasized the importance of sending a message to Modi about the opposition of the diaspora to these discriminatory measures by organising large scale protests and raising awareness in the wider community.

The press release also stated that there would be National Demonstration against Fascism on January 25, bringing together many different diaspora organizations in solidarity with the resistance. The rally at Downing Street and March to the Indian High Commission has been called by: South Asia Solidarity Group, CasteWatch UK, Tamil People in the UK, Co-ordinating Committee of Malayali Muslims, Kashmir Solidarity Movement, SOAS India Society, Indian Workers Association (GB), Ghadar International, Indian Muslim Federation(UK), Federation of Redbridge Muslim Organisations (FORMO) & other diaspora groups.

 

Related:

Indians in US to observe Republic Day as “Day of Action”
Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019: The Fire that consumes India

International condemnation for CAA, travel advisories issued
Preparation for a genocide under way in India: Dr. Gregory Stanton

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Relentless and Unyielding: Women protestors show how it’s done

Women protestors in Lucknow ask Amit Shah to turn up and remove their ‘misconceptions’ about CAA

21 Jan 2020

women protestors

About 5,000 people, mostly women, have gathered at Ghanta Ghar in Lucknow since January 17 to protest against CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act). One of the women said, “Let Amit Shah come and clear our doubts about the new citizenship regime; we’ll withdraw our protest and go home.”

Union Home Ministers, Amit Shah is addressing a rally in Lucknow’s Ashiyana which is 16 km from Ghanta Ghar, the site of the protest. The aim of attending this rally is to clear people’s ‘misconceptions’ about CAA. One of the protestors told The Telegraph, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said so many times that he has done Muslim women a great favour by making the instant triple talaq a punishable offence. The same women are now telling the Lucknow administration to persuade his home minister to address them from Ghanta Ghar.”

She invited Amit Shah to come and address their gathering of 5,000 women and remove their ‘misconceptions’. Another young girl among the protestors said, “If they feel we have misconceptions, who better than Shah to clear them? We have a few simple questions for him. We promise to return home if he allays our doubts.” A BJP politician rejected the demand. “Our home minister can’t attend a rally at a place where an illegal dharna is on,” he told this newspaper on the condition of anonymity.

The police had expected that the number of protestors will decrease on Monday as the work week begins but to their dismay, the protestors turned out to be to be resolute; as one batch of women leave, another comes in and maintains the number of 5,000 protestors.

women protestors

The police tactics

The police started using tactics to provoke the women with profanities, alleged one of the protestors. “They roamed among the protesters, using foul words. I heard them abusing us. They were also saying they would soon baton-charge us. They were hoping we would get irritated and commit a mistake, giving them a reason to assault us,” she said. The protestors aim is clear, to fight for the bigger cause and not give in to such cheap tactics. The women even coined a slogan for the state’s CM who is using the police in the most haphazard manner to counter the masses.

Yogi jab jab darta hai, police ko aage karta hai (Every time Yogi feels scared, he lets the police loose),” they chanted through the day along with the usual “azadi” slogans.

When asked about police abusing women, the deputy commissioner of police Vikas Chandra Tripathi denied the allegations and said that somebody is spreading rumors against the police on social and that they will take action on such people.

Among these 5,000 women at Ghant Ghar, 125 women, 18 identified, were booked by the police for violating prohibitory order under section 144 of the CrPC. Among those identified, is a former journalist, Samaiya Rana.

 

Little helpers

The women are not in this alone. There are some good Samaritans with whose help the women are able to keep their fight going. Some young girls, among protestors go around asking women if they need any medicines and the same are provided. A health camp is also scheduled for today. There are people distributing food packet for women who sit there all day. People also distribute dry fruits, nuts as well as biscuits.

 

Gomti Nagar protest

A smaller protest with about 2 dozen women gathered at Ujariyaon dargah in upscale Gomti Nagar. They came with placards hidden under their shawls and sat in the small lawn. They were asked to leave by policemen and the police even took down the shamiana later in the night by the women stayed put.

Yogi Adityanath maintained that the protests are being sponsored by Congress and Samajwadi Party.

Meanwhile, while addressing the rally in Lucknow’s Ashiyana today, Amit Shah reiterated, “Protest as much as you can, CAA won’t be taken back.”

 

Related

Women ask Shah to turn up and clarify
West Bengal Assembly next in line to pass resolution against CAA
After Kerala, Punjab Assembly passes resolution against CAA
Kolkata Muslim resident threatened with Hindutva rant at home
The Many Meanings of Shaheen Bagh
Illegal border crossing: More Indians cross over to B’Desh than Bangladeshis to India

Relentless and Unyielding: Women protestors show how it’s done

Women protestors in Lucknow ask Amit Shah to turn up and remove their ‘misconceptions’ about CAA

women protestors

About 5,000 people, mostly women, have gathered at Ghanta Ghar in Lucknow since January 17 to protest against CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act). One of the women said, “Let Amit Shah come and clear our doubts about the new citizenship regime; we’ll withdraw our protest and go home.”

Union Home Ministers, Amit Shah is addressing a rally in Lucknow’s Ashiyana which is 16 km from Ghanta Ghar, the site of the protest. The aim of attending this rally is to clear people’s ‘misconceptions’ about CAA. One of the protestors told The Telegraph, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said so many times that he has done Muslim women a great favour by making the instant triple talaq a punishable offence. The same women are now telling the Lucknow administration to persuade his home minister to address them from Ghanta Ghar.”

She invited Amit Shah to come and address their gathering of 5,000 women and remove their ‘misconceptions’. Another young girl among the protestors said, “If they feel we have misconceptions, who better than Shah to clear them? We have a few simple questions for him. We promise to return home if he allays our doubts.” A BJP politician rejected the demand. “Our home minister can’t attend a rally at a place where an illegal dharna is on,” he told this newspaper on the condition of anonymity.

The police had expected that the number of protestors will decrease on Monday as the work week begins but to their dismay, the protestors turned out to be to be resolute; as one batch of women leave, another comes in and maintains the number of 5,000 protestors.

women protestors

The police tactics

The police started using tactics to provoke the women with profanities, alleged one of the protestors. “They roamed among the protesters, using foul words. I heard them abusing us. They were also saying they would soon baton-charge us. They were hoping we would get irritated and commit a mistake, giving them a reason to assault us,” she said. The protestors aim is clear, to fight for the bigger cause and not give in to such cheap tactics. The women even coined a slogan for the state’s CM who is using the police in the most haphazard manner to counter the masses.

Yogi jab jab darta hai, police ko aage karta hai (Every time Yogi feels scared, he lets the police loose),” they chanted through the day along with the usual “azadi” slogans.

When asked about police abusing women, the deputy commissioner of police Vikas Chandra Tripathi denied the allegations and said that somebody is spreading rumors against the police on social and that they will take action on such people.

Among these 5,000 women at Ghant Ghar, 125 women, 18 identified, were booked by the police for violating prohibitory order under section 144 of the CrPC. Among those identified, is a former journalist, Samaiya Rana.

 

Little helpers

The women are not in this alone. There are some good Samaritans with whose help the women are able to keep their fight going. Some young girls, among protestors go around asking women if they need any medicines and the same are provided. A health camp is also scheduled for today. There are people distributing food packet for women who sit there all day. People also distribute dry fruits, nuts as well as biscuits.

 

Gomti Nagar protest

A smaller protest with about 2 dozen women gathered at Ujariyaon dargah in upscale Gomti Nagar. They came with placards hidden under their shawls and sat in the small lawn. They were asked to leave by policemen and the police even took down the shamiana later in the night by the women stayed put.

Yogi Adityanath maintained that the protests are being sponsored by Congress and Samajwadi Party.

Meanwhile, while addressing the rally in Lucknow’s Ashiyana today, Amit Shah reiterated, “Protest as much as you can, CAA won’t be taken back.”

 

Related

Women ask Shah to turn up and clarify
West Bengal Assembly next in line to pass resolution against CAA
After Kerala, Punjab Assembly passes resolution against CAA
Kolkata Muslim resident threatened with Hindutva rant at home
The Many Meanings of Shaheen Bagh
Illegal border crossing: More Indians cross over to B’Desh than Bangladeshis to India

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After Shaheen Bagh, Women protesters roar in Roshan Bagh

Sabrangindia 21 Jan 2020

Protests continue at Allahabad's Roshan Bagh, where women have taken leadership and continue to show up on a daily basis voicing dissent against CAA and nationwide NPR-NRC.

After Shaheen Bagh, Women protesters roar in Roshan Bagh

Protests continue at Allahabad's Roshan Bagh, where women have taken leadership and continue to show up on a daily basis voicing dissent against CAA and nationwide NPR-NRC.

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Her ‘projected’ father’s daughter

Assam woman declared foreigner due to discrepancy in father’s name

21 Jan 2020

FT

This is the story of Khairan Nessa a.k.a Moyran Nessa, a woman from Assam who was declared foreigners when an FT ruled that she was not the daughter of her ‘projected’ father. Her troubles began way back in 1998 when a case was registered against her under the provisions of the (now scrapped) IMDT Act.

The Superintendent of the Border Police referred her case as she was suspected to have infiltrated into India from the ‘specified territory’ of Bangladesh. But after the IMDT was scrapped, Nessa’s case was transferred to a Foreigners’ Tribunal in Barpeta. Here, Nessa submitted the following documents to prove her citizenship:

·Voters’ Lists of 1970 and 1997 and 2008

·Copy of Voter ID

·Gaonburah certificates

·Copy of ration card

·Copy of land sale deed

·Copy of revenue receipt

But despite this the FT ruled against her claiming that she was unable to prove that the man who had been ‘projected’ as her father was indeed her father. Nessa’s father’s name has variously appeared as Khalek Ali, Abdul Khalek and Khalek Akand in different documents. The discrepancy was spotted in the Gaonburah certificates. Before her marriage, Nessa used to live with her parents in Sunbari village in Kamrup district. After marriage she moved to Gobardhana village in Baksha district. There were also discrepancies in the Voter ID as well as land sale deed.

Therefore, on September 25, 2018, the FT ruled against her. She subsequently moved Gauhati High Court. In a second blow to Nessa, even the HC concurred with the findings of the FT and ruled against her.

It is however pertinent to note that culturally people from the Assamese Muslim community often have nick names or variations of their names that they end up using in their documents. Therefore, though it is understandable that a discrepancy in the recorded name can cause confusion and people should try to maintain consistency in the name used in their documents, this cultural element needs to be taken into consideration while deciding the fate of unlettered people from marginalized backgrounds.

The Gauhati HC order may be read here:

 

Her ‘projected’ father’s daughter

Assam woman declared foreigner due to discrepancy in father’s name

FT

This is the story of Khairan Nessa a.k.a Moyran Nessa, a woman from Assam who was declared foreigners when an FT ruled that she was not the daughter of her ‘projected’ father. Her troubles began way back in 1998 when a case was registered against her under the provisions of the (now scrapped) IMDT Act.

The Superintendent of the Border Police referred her case as she was suspected to have infiltrated into India from the ‘specified territory’ of Bangladesh. But after the IMDT was scrapped, Nessa’s case was transferred to a Foreigners’ Tribunal in Barpeta. Here, Nessa submitted the following documents to prove her citizenship:

·Voters’ Lists of 1970 and 1997 and 2008

·Copy of Voter ID

·Gaonburah certificates

·Copy of ration card

·Copy of land sale deed

·Copy of revenue receipt

But despite this the FT ruled against her claiming that she was unable to prove that the man who had been ‘projected’ as her father was indeed her father. Nessa’s father’s name has variously appeared as Khalek Ali, Abdul Khalek and Khalek Akand in different documents. The discrepancy was spotted in the Gaonburah certificates. Before her marriage, Nessa used to live with her parents in Sunbari village in Kamrup district. After marriage she moved to Gobardhana village in Baksha district. There were also discrepancies in the Voter ID as well as land sale deed.

Therefore, on September 25, 2018, the FT ruled against her. She subsequently moved Gauhati High Court. In a second blow to Nessa, even the HC concurred with the findings of the FT and ruled against her.

It is however pertinent to note that culturally people from the Assamese Muslim community often have nick names or variations of their names that they end up using in their documents. Therefore, though it is understandable that a discrepancy in the recorded name can cause confusion and people should try to maintain consistency in the name used in their documents, this cultural element needs to be taken into consideration while deciding the fate of unlettered people from marginalized backgrounds.

The Gauhati HC order may be read here:

 

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The Many Meanings of Shaheen Bagh

21 Jan 2020

Shaheen Bagh

It began as a trickle, with some twenty men deciding to sit on a busy road to protest against the recent enactment of Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the intended National Register of Citizens (NRC).Joined by many others, especially women, this group swelled to hundreds within no time. Nearly a month later, the numbers of protestors at Shaheen Bagh has ebbed and flowed, but the central message of these protests has remained the same: that Muslims are severely hurt by the proclamation of this Act and that coupled with NRC, this will make Indian Muslims stateless in their own country.

 

 

 

 

 

 

At Shaheen Bagh, 12-Year-Old Talks About Meaning Of Democracy

------

Tucked in a blighted neighbourhood, Muslims here are making bold statements that they will not tolerate their humiliation anymore. Defying the stereotypical image of Muslim neighbourhoods, Shaheen Bagh today is the epitome of an egalitarian defiance; where men and women, young and old, all are making an effort to be heard by this tone deaf government. History must remember that when it became nearly impossible to say anything against this government, these brave women and men of Shaheen Bagh raised their fists which eventually ruptured that ominous silence.

The Muslim-ness of this protest therefore cannot be denied. Just as Indian and Hindu are not exclusive categories; similarly Indians and Muslims are also not mutually exclusive categories. This tearing hurry to reclaim the protest as ‘Indian’ needs to be called out. This is nothing but casuistry wherein the whole attempt is to deny agency to Muslim protestors. Certainly, there has been a lot that has happened in the last many years. Institutions have been compromised; universities have been attacked and any form of dissent is in danger of potential criminalization. However, no one should overlook the fact that the primary target of this regime has been Muslims. Left liberals are free to protest the curbing of dissent and free speech but they are no one to tell Muslims how to protest, what slogans to raise and what to avoid. For a very long time, Muslims in this country have been represented by liberal voices but Shaheeh Bagh and myriad other such protests have meant that Muslims have now found their own voice. This voice is largely of young people and therefore must necessarily be celebrated.

Largely, the protests have been secular and the protestors have only been demanding the restitution of their constitutional rights. It is the bravery and the far-sightedness of these protests that they have not allowed any religious cleric to come near them. What also needs to be underlined is that the established Muslim leaders of different political parties have not been allowed to make political speeches. The beauty of the movement is that it is acephalous wherein young people are refusing to be cowed down despite brutal repression at some places. To tell them to ‘behave’ in a certain way, as Shashi Tharoor did, amounts to policing this protest and certainly needs to be condemned. Let me add a caveat here: I am not saying that certain slogans were not problematic. However, whether it was problematic or not should be a matter of debate internal to the community. By no measure, Congress leaders should teach these Muslim protestors what slogans to raise, especially when the party has done too little to support Muslims on this issue.

 

 

 

 

 

 


The colourful dissent: When Shaheen Bagh, Jamia become a canvas for protest

-----

While students and civil society members have joined these protests in large numbers, it is fair to say that in North India, anti CAA-NRC protests have largely been Muslim. Those wanting to see the down fall of the present regime should not be too happy because minorities are never instrumental in regime change unless they are joined by the majority. That certainly is not what is happening. Despite liberal pretentions, the majority community is not joining in, barring young students from some universities. On the contrary, there is considerable silent support amongst the majority community for this Act. Through a very sophisticated communication strategy, they are supremely confident that the NRC will not apply to them and that they will not even have to show their papers. They are resenting Muslims protesting on the street and the brutal police response in many places was partly a result of this feeling. Till the time the Hindu majority of the country does not protest against this Act, the government will be under no pressure to roll it back or at least start a genuine discussion about the need for such an Act and the upcoming NRC. Make no mistake: those protesting are any way not voters of the present government; their presence on the streets do not affect this government. On the contrary, the government seems to be using these protests for its own ends.

Shaheen Bagh seems to exemplify this problem. Many from the Left and Liberal establishment have joined the protests there. This largely amorphous group of people are lending their voice to Muslims which should be appreciated. However, this appreciation of solidarity should not blind us to the fact of what is not happening. For one, it would have been much better if those supporting Shaheen Bagh by coming to this place would have pitched their tents in their own localities. We do not need just one Shaheen Bagh but many protests like this in different parts of Delhi. Why is it that those keen on coming to Shaheen Bagh do not organise small protests in Hindu majority areas of the city? By coming to this largely Muslim area, the Liberals are only strengthening the government claim that only Muslims are protesting against this Act. This is not the time for these liberals to feel guilty and start romanticizing Muslims; it is time for them to act, to start a protest of their own.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Muslims also need to think what they have achieved in this nearly one month of protests in order to further strategize. They need to think really hard how to bring other communities into their struggle, how to explain to them that the impending NRC is disastrous for the whole country and not just for them. It has nearly been a month that Shaheen Bagh protestors have blocked the road which in leading to huge jams in the nearby areas. Within the adjoining areas, this protest is already polarising people on religious grounds. Within any struggle, there is always the option of strategic retreat which is not equivalent to defeat.

The protest in Shaheen Bagh has achieved a lot. They have the whole city and elsewhere talking about the indomitable strength of the protestors, especially women who are participating in these protests. There has been both domestic and international coverage of the protest which has supremely embarrassed the government in question. The world has started taking notice of what Indian Muslims are going through and in all of this Shaheen Bagh has contributed immensely. But now they need to think whether the protest is becoming all too repetitive and is no longer required. They need to think about the next stage of the protest which should ideally be how to take the meaning of this protest to other parts of the city and country. It is highly unfortunate that local politicians of the Congress party have developed vested interest there and they are adamant to keep blocking the road, thus building up an eventual showdown between the protestors and the police. The average Shaheen Bagh protestors must realise this and chart out a new course of struggle, one which is independent of political parties and one in which they have the agency to decide the course of action.

Arshad Alam is a columnist with NewAgeIslam.com

First published on NewAgeIslam.com

The Many Meanings of Shaheen Bagh

Shaheen Bagh

It began as a trickle, with some twenty men deciding to sit on a busy road to protest against the recent enactment of Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the intended National Register of Citizens (NRC).Joined by many others, especially women, this group swelled to hundreds within no time. Nearly a month later, the numbers of protestors at Shaheen Bagh has ebbed and flowed, but the central message of these protests has remained the same: that Muslims are severely hurt by the proclamation of this Act and that coupled with NRC, this will make Indian Muslims stateless in their own country.

 

 

 

 

 

 

At Shaheen Bagh, 12-Year-Old Talks About Meaning Of Democracy

------

Tucked in a blighted neighbourhood, Muslims here are making bold statements that they will not tolerate their humiliation anymore. Defying the stereotypical image of Muslim neighbourhoods, Shaheen Bagh today is the epitome of an egalitarian defiance; where men and women, young and old, all are making an effort to be heard by this tone deaf government. History must remember that when it became nearly impossible to say anything against this government, these brave women and men of Shaheen Bagh raised their fists which eventually ruptured that ominous silence.

The Muslim-ness of this protest therefore cannot be denied. Just as Indian and Hindu are not exclusive categories; similarly Indians and Muslims are also not mutually exclusive categories. This tearing hurry to reclaim the protest as ‘Indian’ needs to be called out. This is nothing but casuistry wherein the whole attempt is to deny agency to Muslim protestors. Certainly, there has been a lot that has happened in the last many years. Institutions have been compromised; universities have been attacked and any form of dissent is in danger of potential criminalization. However, no one should overlook the fact that the primary target of this regime has been Muslims. Left liberals are free to protest the curbing of dissent and free speech but they are no one to tell Muslims how to protest, what slogans to raise and what to avoid. For a very long time, Muslims in this country have been represented by liberal voices but Shaheeh Bagh and myriad other such protests have meant that Muslims have now found their own voice. This voice is largely of young people and therefore must necessarily be celebrated.

Largely, the protests have been secular and the protestors have only been demanding the restitution of their constitutional rights. It is the bravery and the far-sightedness of these protests that they have not allowed any religious cleric to come near them. What also needs to be underlined is that the established Muslim leaders of different political parties have not been allowed to make political speeches. The beauty of the movement is that it is acephalous wherein young people are refusing to be cowed down despite brutal repression at some places. To tell them to ‘behave’ in a certain way, as Shashi Tharoor did, amounts to policing this protest and certainly needs to be condemned. Let me add a caveat here: I am not saying that certain slogans were not problematic. However, whether it was problematic or not should be a matter of debate internal to the community. By no measure, Congress leaders should teach these Muslim protestors what slogans to raise, especially when the party has done too little to support Muslims on this issue.

 

 

 

 

 

 


The colourful dissent: When Shaheen Bagh, Jamia become a canvas for protest

-----

While students and civil society members have joined these protests in large numbers, it is fair to say that in North India, anti CAA-NRC protests have largely been Muslim. Those wanting to see the down fall of the present regime should not be too happy because minorities are never instrumental in regime change unless they are joined by the majority. That certainly is not what is happening. Despite liberal pretentions, the majority community is not joining in, barring young students from some universities. On the contrary, there is considerable silent support amongst the majority community for this Act. Through a very sophisticated communication strategy, they are supremely confident that the NRC will not apply to them and that they will not even have to show their papers. They are resenting Muslims protesting on the street and the brutal police response in many places was partly a result of this feeling. Till the time the Hindu majority of the country does not protest against this Act, the government will be under no pressure to roll it back or at least start a genuine discussion about the need for such an Act and the upcoming NRC. Make no mistake: those protesting are any way not voters of the present government; their presence on the streets do not affect this government. On the contrary, the government seems to be using these protests for its own ends.

Shaheen Bagh seems to exemplify this problem. Many from the Left and Liberal establishment have joined the protests there. This largely amorphous group of people are lending their voice to Muslims which should be appreciated. However, this appreciation of solidarity should not blind us to the fact of what is not happening. For one, it would have been much better if those supporting Shaheen Bagh by coming to this place would have pitched their tents in their own localities. We do not need just one Shaheen Bagh but many protests like this in different parts of Delhi. Why is it that those keen on coming to Shaheen Bagh do not organise small protests in Hindu majority areas of the city? By coming to this largely Muslim area, the Liberals are only strengthening the government claim that only Muslims are protesting against this Act. This is not the time for these liberals to feel guilty and start romanticizing Muslims; it is time for them to act, to start a protest of their own.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Muslims also need to think what they have achieved in this nearly one month of protests in order to further strategize. They need to think really hard how to bring other communities into their struggle, how to explain to them that the impending NRC is disastrous for the whole country and not just for them. It has nearly been a month that Shaheen Bagh protestors have blocked the road which in leading to huge jams in the nearby areas. Within the adjoining areas, this protest is already polarising people on religious grounds. Within any struggle, there is always the option of strategic retreat which is not equivalent to defeat.

The protest in Shaheen Bagh has achieved a lot. They have the whole city and elsewhere talking about the indomitable strength of the protestors, especially women who are participating in these protests. There has been both domestic and international coverage of the protest which has supremely embarrassed the government in question. The world has started taking notice of what Indian Muslims are going through and in all of this Shaheen Bagh has contributed immensely. But now they need to think whether the protest is becoming all too repetitive and is no longer required. They need to think about the next stage of the protest which should ideally be how to take the meaning of this protest to other parts of the city and country. It is highly unfortunate that local politicians of the Congress party have developed vested interest there and they are adamant to keep blocking the road, thus building up an eventual showdown between the protestors and the police. The average Shaheen Bagh protestors must realise this and chart out a new course of struggle, one which is independent of political parties and one in which they have the agency to decide the course of action.

Arshad Alam is a columnist with NewAgeIslam.com

First published on NewAgeIslam.com

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Indians in US to observe Republic Day as “Day of Action”

The protest by Stop Genocide in India is to be held across 30 US cities to get the Indian govt. to repeal the CAA and NRC

20 Jan 2020

Indian in US

With international solidarity pouring in amid the ongoing anti Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) agitations and against violence against students in universities, thousands of Indian Americans along with American civil rights activists have pledged to mark January 26, India’s Republic Day as a “Day of Action” with protests in 30 cities across the United States of America.

The protests are being held to condemn the rising fascism and police brutality in India; apart from being a call to get the Indian administration to safeguard India’s Constitution and civil liberties and repeal the CAA and NRC.

In a press statement released by Stop Genocide in India, the protests are organized under the banner “Coalition to Stop Genocide”, in the wake of the Indian government’s relentless undermining of India’s pluralist and secular Constitution. The intention of holding these protests is to call on Congress and the Trump administration to censure India for passing the CAA and its continuing attacks on religious minorities and the caste oppressed.

Keeping in mind the current human rights crisis, Genocide Watch had also issued a formal genocide alert for India on January 7, 2020.

The press statement read, “The CAA applies a religion based criteria to grant citizenship to immigrants. In combination with the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the National Population Register (NPR) the CAA lays the legal foundation to potentially denaturalize millions of people who have been Indians for generations. Detention centers being built across India are explicit proof of the government’s intent, given its ideology of Hindu nationalism and its abysmal track record on human rights and religious freedom.”

The organization asked organizations and individuals participating in the international campaign to “urge the US State Department to heed the recommendation of the US Commission for International Religious Freedom and impose sanctions India’s Union Home Minister Amit Shah. The rallies are intended to also urge the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to include India in the list of 10 countries guilty of severe religious freedom violations.

Thenmozhi Soundararajan – a coalition member from Equality Labs said, “The Hindutva brigade that is currently ruling India has grossly underestimated the resolve of millions of Indians to safeguard their country from hate and bigotry. The time to stop a genocide is before it starts.”

Talking about a phenomenon reminiscent of the ethnic cleansing of Uighur Muslims in China, Dr. Shaikh Ubaid, another coalition member said, “We will commemorate January 26 as a day of resolve and action to demonstrate solidarity with the anti-CAA movement in India. The threat of ethnic cleansing of millions of Indian Muslims needs to be recognized by the international community as one of the top human rights issues in the world.”

Syed Ali, from a member from the Indian American Muslim Council echoed the sentiments of lakhs of people opposing the CAA. He said, “A global resistance is rising to hold the Modi administration accountable for its gross violations of human rights and religious freedom, and for leading India down the path of fascism.”

In September last year, Congressman Ro Khanna (D-Fremont) had reacted to an article by Caravan that analysed the history of Hindutva organizing in the US and how the ultra-right organizations cultivated political allies. In a tweet he’d said, “It’s the duty of every American politician of Hindu faith to stand for pluralism, reject Hindutva, and speak for equal rights for Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, and Buddhist & Christians. This is the vision of India my grandfather Amarnath Vidyalankar fought for.”

While Khanna’s words were loved and hated in equal measure, they did depict his courageous stance; especially at a time when the right-wing brigade are on a path to influence US policy from within the system.

However, the efforts of Stop Genocide in India, coupled with the comments of Khanna and the work of Sadhana, a group that works to mobilize Hindus in the US against Hindutva, seem like a ray of hope that may work to dispel the dark narratives and myths about minorities and get the administration to treat all the citizens of India as equal.


Related:

Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019: The Fire that consumes India
International condemnation for CAA, travel advisories issued
Preparation for a genocide under way in India: Dr. Gregory Stanton

Indians in US to observe Republic Day as “Day of Action”

The protest by Stop Genocide in India is to be held across 30 US cities to get the Indian govt. to repeal the CAA and NRC

Indian in US

With international solidarity pouring in amid the ongoing anti Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) agitations and against violence against students in universities, thousands of Indian Americans along with American civil rights activists have pledged to mark January 26, India’s Republic Day as a “Day of Action” with protests in 30 cities across the United States of America.

The protests are being held to condemn the rising fascism and police brutality in India; apart from being a call to get the Indian administration to safeguard India’s Constitution and civil liberties and repeal the CAA and NRC.

In a press statement released by Stop Genocide in India, the protests are organized under the banner “Coalition to Stop Genocide”, in the wake of the Indian government’s relentless undermining of India’s pluralist and secular Constitution. The intention of holding these protests is to call on Congress and the Trump administration to censure India for passing the CAA and its continuing attacks on religious minorities and the caste oppressed.

Keeping in mind the current human rights crisis, Genocide Watch had also issued a formal genocide alert for India on January 7, 2020.

The press statement read, “The CAA applies a religion based criteria to grant citizenship to immigrants. In combination with the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the National Population Register (NPR) the CAA lays the legal foundation to potentially denaturalize millions of people who have been Indians for generations. Detention centers being built across India are explicit proof of the government’s intent, given its ideology of Hindu nationalism and its abysmal track record on human rights and religious freedom.”

The organization asked organizations and individuals participating in the international campaign to “urge the US State Department to heed the recommendation of the US Commission for International Religious Freedom and impose sanctions India’s Union Home Minister Amit Shah. The rallies are intended to also urge the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to include India in the list of 10 countries guilty of severe religious freedom violations.

Thenmozhi Soundararajan – a coalition member from Equality Labs said, “The Hindutva brigade that is currently ruling India has grossly underestimated the resolve of millions of Indians to safeguard their country from hate and bigotry. The time to stop a genocide is before it starts.”

Talking about a phenomenon reminiscent of the ethnic cleansing of Uighur Muslims in China, Dr. Shaikh Ubaid, another coalition member said, “We will commemorate January 26 as a day of resolve and action to demonstrate solidarity with the anti-CAA movement in India. The threat of ethnic cleansing of millions of Indian Muslims needs to be recognized by the international community as one of the top human rights issues in the world.”

Syed Ali, from a member from the Indian American Muslim Council echoed the sentiments of lakhs of people opposing the CAA. He said, “A global resistance is rising to hold the Modi administration accountable for its gross violations of human rights and religious freedom, and for leading India down the path of fascism.”

In September last year, Congressman Ro Khanna (D-Fremont) had reacted to an article by Caravan that analysed the history of Hindutva organizing in the US and how the ultra-right organizations cultivated political allies. In a tweet he’d said, “It’s the duty of every American politician of Hindu faith to stand for pluralism, reject Hindutva, and speak for equal rights for Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, and Buddhist & Christians. This is the vision of India my grandfather Amarnath Vidyalankar fought for.”

While Khanna’s words were loved and hated in equal measure, they did depict his courageous stance; especially at a time when the right-wing brigade are on a path to influence US policy from within the system.

However, the efforts of Stop Genocide in India, coupled with the comments of Khanna and the work of Sadhana, a group that works to mobilize Hindus in the US against Hindutva, seem like a ray of hope that may work to dispel the dark narratives and myths about minorities and get the administration to treat all the citizens of India as equal.


Related:

Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019: The Fire that consumes India
International condemnation for CAA, travel advisories issued
Preparation for a genocide under way in India: Dr. Gregory Stanton

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A book fair and its curb on freedom of expression

Chennai Book Fair ends up muzzling fundamental right by preventing free voices from criticising the government

20 Jan 2020

Chennai Book Fair

Literature and freedom of expression as well as freedom of press go hand in hand. Yet at this Chennai Book Fair, both were gruesomely muzzled. First a journalist’s and then a writer’s freedom was trammelled.

A Chennai-based journalist was arrested on January 12 for displaying a book written by him at the Chennai Book Fair. V Anbazhagan had displayed books that exposed corruption within the state government. He was asked to vacate the stall after having been issued a notice which states that selling ‘anti-government’ books was in violation of their prescribed guidelines.

This act of the state government was not very well received by the journalist community. The Chennai Press Council condemned the arrest and demanded that Anbazhagan be released. The Council said that Anbazhagan only asked for the reason he was being asked to vacate the stall and he was given one in writing, after which he left the venue. The police complaint, however, alleges that the journalist attacked the Book Fair management after they asked him to vacate the stall. Police have filed a case under sections 341 (wrongful restraint), 249(b) (sings, recites or utters any obscene song, Ballard or words, in or near any public place) and 506(2) (punishment for criminal intimidation) of IPC.

The book that Anbazhagan had displayed was a booklet that consisted a compiled version of the RTI queries filed by him and responses he had received over the years. His RTI queries had exposed the state government’s corruption in various departments, including the Smart City Project.

A few days later, a well-known writer, Arumugam Tamilan, who was addressing an event at the same Book Fair was asked to cut his speech short as he was making references to Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the National Register of Citizens (NRC). Immediately after his speech was stopped, a group of people from the audience raised this issue with the book fair management and demanded an explanation.

The organisers have however given the reason that he was asked to cut short his speech because time was running out. The President of Book Sellers and Publishers Association of South India (BAPASI), RS Shanmugham, said, "The police had given time for the book fair authorities to have their activities till 9 pm. But yesterday when Tamilan [the writer] was giving his speech, it was around 9:05-9:10 pm which is why he was asked to wrap up. There was no other problem.”

This incident angered the writer community as well as activists in Chennai. Both incidents are clearly indicative of the rising intolerance of dissenting voices and the beginning of an era that curbs freedom of press and justifies it.

Related:

Why a protesting nation needs both dedicated doctors & a transparent medico-legal system
After Kerala, Punjab Assembly passes resolution against CAA
Women gather at Agripada in thousands; show way against CAA-NPR-NRC
CAA-NPR-NRC protests cut across all religious and communal divides
Kolkata Muslim resident threatened with Hindutva rant at home

A book fair and its curb on freedom of expression

Chennai Book Fair ends up muzzling fundamental right by preventing free voices from criticising the government

Chennai Book Fair

Literature and freedom of expression as well as freedom of press go hand in hand. Yet at this Chennai Book Fair, both were gruesomely muzzled. First a journalist’s and then a writer’s freedom was trammelled.

A Chennai-based journalist was arrested on January 12 for displaying a book written by him at the Chennai Book Fair. V Anbazhagan had displayed books that exposed corruption within the state government. He was asked to vacate the stall after having been issued a notice which states that selling ‘anti-government’ books was in violation of their prescribed guidelines.

This act of the state government was not very well received by the journalist community. The Chennai Press Council condemned the arrest and demanded that Anbazhagan be released. The Council said that Anbazhagan only asked for the reason he was being asked to vacate the stall and he was given one in writing, after which he left the venue. The police complaint, however, alleges that the journalist attacked the Book Fair management after they asked him to vacate the stall. Police have filed a case under sections 341 (wrongful restraint), 249(b) (sings, recites or utters any obscene song, Ballard or words, in or near any public place) and 506(2) (punishment for criminal intimidation) of IPC.

The book that Anbazhagan had displayed was a booklet that consisted a compiled version of the RTI queries filed by him and responses he had received over the years. His RTI queries had exposed the state government’s corruption in various departments, including the Smart City Project.

A few days later, a well-known writer, Arumugam Tamilan, who was addressing an event at the same Book Fair was asked to cut his speech short as he was making references to Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the National Register of Citizens (NRC). Immediately after his speech was stopped, a group of people from the audience raised this issue with the book fair management and demanded an explanation.

The organisers have however given the reason that he was asked to cut short his speech because time was running out. The President of Book Sellers and Publishers Association of South India (BAPASI), RS Shanmugham, said, "The police had given time for the book fair authorities to have their activities till 9 pm. But yesterday when Tamilan [the writer] was giving his speech, it was around 9:05-9:10 pm which is why he was asked to wrap up. There was no other problem.”

This incident angered the writer community as well as activists in Chennai. Both incidents are clearly indicative of the rising intolerance of dissenting voices and the beginning of an era that curbs freedom of press and justifies it.

Related:

Why a protesting nation needs both dedicated doctors & a transparent medico-legal system
After Kerala, Punjab Assembly passes resolution against CAA
Women gather at Agripada in thousands; show way against CAA-NPR-NRC
CAA-NPR-NRC protests cut across all religious and communal divides
Kolkata Muslim resident threatened with Hindutva rant at home

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Why a protesting nation needs both dedicated doctors & a transparent medico-legal system

Medical facilities are facing collateral damage in these protests and keeping them stable is imperative to keep the agitation going

20 Jan 2020

protest against CAA

The protests against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) have entered the second month. Groups of women, people from Muslim communities, students from well known universities have all joined these protests at some point or the other and the protests are relentless. In the initial stages of these protests BJP ruled states saw unprecedented police brutality. Every day news would be rife with reports of a new method of police excess. One of these reports was of Mangaluru where not only did the police fired bullets at protestors but also entered Highland Hospital and hit people with batons and tried to bash down doors of intensive care unit. The police even resorted to tear gas shelling.

The protest was taking place at some distance from the hospital and the protestors injured in the police firing were brought to Highland Hospital with bullet injuries. The police arrived at the hospital sometime later, and then went on their rampage. All of this was captured on the hospital’s CCTV cameras, and played widely across news media.

The police had done the same in a confined space of a library of Aligarh Muslim University which was also widely condemned. The use of tear gas in a hospital, where no one was protesting is something that India has not witnessed, not on civilians at least.

The Mangaluru Police seems to have taken inspiration from Hong Kong police who resorted to a similar kind of brutality on its protestors, about a month before the Mangaluru incident. At least the HK police used tear gas outside the hospital where protestors had gathered and the smoke had entered the hospital premises. Mangaluru went a step further and did shelling within the premises.

This incident is only one of the many such shocking incidents of police action where students have been attacked, activists and locals beaten up and detained, medical care denied to those injured, many a times ambulances were also attacked and medical professionals were injured in this fight of masses versus the State.

A source at Highland Hospital confirmed that the police used tear gas in the hospital four times and that patients had to be shifted to the ICU (Intensive care Unit) because of breathing difficulty. The source said on the condition of anonymity, “The way the police handled the situation, it was unacceptable”. The management of the hospital even sent a written complaint to the police to investigate the matter and to conduct proper investigation in this regard. A month has passed since the terrifying incident and yet no inquiry has begun neither has any final report been filed by the police.

The support of the medical community has been commendable in all this mayhem. The Hippocratic oath asks that doctors treat all people to the best of their abilities. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights demands that, even in conflict, people have access to a good standard of health care.

Doctors in Delhi have even gone to site of protests to give medical aid to injured protestors and have demanded the police to allow them to treat the injured detainees. All this is being done while the medical professionals, the support staff put themselves in danger as there have been incidents of ambulances being attacked and vandalised thus injuring the medical staff.

Ambulances have also not been let to pass by rallies in support of the contentious and discriminative law. One such incident took place when BJP’s West Bengal State President, Dilip Ghosh, who is also notorious for making controversial statements and hate speech, refused to let an ambulance on duty to pass through the rally that he was addressing. By contrast, when ambulances wanted to get through thousands of protestors in Delhi, Karnataka, and Kerala, the crowds parted swiftly to let the vehicles through.

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has also condemned police action in its press statements. These statements say that the violence on doctors and nurses is a “barometer of anarchy”, that hospitals should remain “safe zones”, and that the Indian Government has “no right to deny anyone their right of access” to health care.

The lethal combination of CAA-NRC seeks to ultimately disenfranchise the poor and marginalised and also the Muslim community. Those who are not able to prove their citizenship will be put in detention camps, as is being predicted seeing Assam as a case study. Assam has 6 detention centres where about 970 people have been detained and live a miserable life.

The processes of National Register of Citizens and detention have unsurprisingly led to enormous mental trauma resulting in suicides and deaths. A member of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) team who visited those in detention spoke of the “environment of intense, permanent sadness…. It was as though everyone was in mourning”.

The British Medical Journal’s (BMJ) Indian community has appealed the government to “repeal the Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 and stop the nationwide implementation of the National Population Register and National Register of Citizens immediately”; and has also called upon the nation-wide medical fraternity to be alert to the danger of a public health emergency as a consequence of this (NRC) exercise.

Related:

Sikh-Muslim friendships started with Guru Nanak Dev Ji
After Kerala, Punjab Assembly passes resolution against CAA
Women gather at Agripada in thousands; show way against CAA-NPR-NRC
CAA-NPR-NRC protests cut across all religious and communal divides
Kolkata Muslim resident threatened with Hindutva rant at home

 

Why a protesting nation needs both dedicated doctors & a transparent medico-legal system

Medical facilities are facing collateral damage in these protests and keeping them stable is imperative to keep the agitation going

protest against CAA

The protests against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) have entered the second month. Groups of women, people from Muslim communities, students from well known universities have all joined these protests at some point or the other and the protests are relentless. In the initial stages of these protests BJP ruled states saw unprecedented police brutality. Every day news would be rife with reports of a new method of police excess. One of these reports was of Mangaluru where not only did the police fired bullets at protestors but also entered Highland Hospital and hit people with batons and tried to bash down doors of intensive care unit. The police even resorted to tear gas shelling.

The protest was taking place at some distance from the hospital and the protestors injured in the police firing were brought to Highland Hospital with bullet injuries. The police arrived at the hospital sometime later, and then went on their rampage. All of this was captured on the hospital’s CCTV cameras, and played widely across news media.

The police had done the same in a confined space of a library of Aligarh Muslim University which was also widely condemned. The use of tear gas in a hospital, where no one was protesting is something that India has not witnessed, not on civilians at least.

The Mangaluru Police seems to have taken inspiration from Hong Kong police who resorted to a similar kind of brutality on its protestors, about a month before the Mangaluru incident. At least the HK police used tear gas outside the hospital where protestors had gathered and the smoke had entered the hospital premises. Mangaluru went a step further and did shelling within the premises.

This incident is only one of the many such shocking incidents of police action where students have been attacked, activists and locals beaten up and detained, medical care denied to those injured, many a times ambulances were also attacked and medical professionals were injured in this fight of masses versus the State.

A source at Highland Hospital confirmed that the police used tear gas in the hospital four times and that patients had to be shifted to the ICU (Intensive care Unit) because of breathing difficulty. The source said on the condition of anonymity, “The way the police handled the situation, it was unacceptable”. The management of the hospital even sent a written complaint to the police to investigate the matter and to conduct proper investigation in this regard. A month has passed since the terrifying incident and yet no inquiry has begun neither has any final report been filed by the police.

The support of the medical community has been commendable in all this mayhem. The Hippocratic oath asks that doctors treat all people to the best of their abilities. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights demands that, even in conflict, people have access to a good standard of health care.

Doctors in Delhi have even gone to site of protests to give medical aid to injured protestors and have demanded the police to allow them to treat the injured detainees. All this is being done while the medical professionals, the support staff put themselves in danger as there have been incidents of ambulances being attacked and vandalised thus injuring the medical staff.

Ambulances have also not been let to pass by rallies in support of the contentious and discriminative law. One such incident took place when BJP’s West Bengal State President, Dilip Ghosh, who is also notorious for making controversial statements and hate speech, refused to let an ambulance on duty to pass through the rally that he was addressing. By contrast, when ambulances wanted to get through thousands of protestors in Delhi, Karnataka, and Kerala, the crowds parted swiftly to let the vehicles through.

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has also condemned police action in its press statements. These statements say that the violence on doctors and nurses is a “barometer of anarchy”, that hospitals should remain “safe zones”, and that the Indian Government has “no right to deny anyone their right of access” to health care.

The lethal combination of CAA-NRC seeks to ultimately disenfranchise the poor and marginalised and also the Muslim community. Those who are not able to prove their citizenship will be put in detention camps, as is being predicted seeing Assam as a case study. Assam has 6 detention centres where about 970 people have been detained and live a miserable life.

The processes of National Register of Citizens and detention have unsurprisingly led to enormous mental trauma resulting in suicides and deaths. A member of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) team who visited those in detention spoke of the “environment of intense, permanent sadness…. It was as though everyone was in mourning”.

The British Medical Journal’s (BMJ) Indian community has appealed the government to “repeal the Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 and stop the nationwide implementation of the National Population Register and National Register of Citizens immediately”; and has also called upon the nation-wide medical fraternity to be alert to the danger of a public health emergency as a consequence of this (NRC) exercise.

Related:

Sikh-Muslim friendships started with Guru Nanak Dev Ji
After Kerala, Punjab Assembly passes resolution against CAA
Women gather at Agripada in thousands; show way against CAA-NPR-NRC
CAA-NPR-NRC protests cut across all religious and communal divides
Kolkata Muslim resident threatened with Hindutva rant at home

 

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Thousands of Women protest against CAA nationwide

Sabrangindia 20 Jan 2020

Following Shaheen Bagh, the rising number of women led protests, all around the nation,against the unconstitutional CAA and nationwide NPR-NRC paint a delightful picture of strength, empowerment and dissent. SabrangIndia pays tribute to the soaring voices of these women.

Thousands of Women protest against CAA nationwide

Following Shaheen Bagh, the rising number of women led protests, all around the nation,against the unconstitutional CAA and nationwide NPR-NRC paint a delightful picture of strength, empowerment and dissent. SabrangIndia pays tribute to the soaring voices of these women.

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