Thursday, April 12, 2007 

Politics of Fanaticism

What the BJP's election campaign CD `Bharat ki Pukar' presents — excerpts from the transcript
Special Correspondent
New Delhi: Here are some detailed excerpts from the verbatim transcript, translated from the Hindi original, of the VCD titled `Bharat ki Pukar' released by the Bharatiya Janata Party as part of its campaign material for the Uttar Pradesh elections. It is on the basis of the contents of this VCD — which the BJP says it has `withdrawn' — that the Election Commission has directed the registration of an FIR against a veteran State party leader who launched the VCD, the party's national president, and some others.
The VCD consists of a series of fictionalised scenes revolving around several dramatis personae including Masterji, a BJP campaigner, and an unnamed social worker. Judging from the final credits, a large number of actors were used to make the VCD.
[Editor-in-Chief's note: The Hindu considers the dialogue and message contained in this CD to be highly communal and offensive. It is publishing excerpts from the transcript because it believes the Indian public has a right to be informed about the reasons behind the ongoing controversy. Several TV channels have already shown visuals from the offensive CD.]
Opening credits: BJP Uttar Pradesh presents `Bharat ki Pukar' (`The Call of India')
Voiceover: Today Mother India is screaming aloud, "Oh my sons, save me from being broken into pieces again. I no longer have the strength to be enslaved another time. By using terrorists, spreading fear and dividing us, Pakistan wants to break India into pieces. Hyenas hungry for political power are egging them on. They have forgotten what the consequences of this will be. Now, ordinary people of India have to think, do they want slavery again or Ram Rajya in their independent India."
(Cut to image of Ram)
[Song — Ai Bharat ma tere charano mein... ]
[Flag of the BJP, clips of BJP leaders]
Section title: A contemporary picture of India and Uttar Pradesh
The scene: Newspaper delivery boy cycles past shouting headlines about terrorist attacks.
1. Bharat desh aatankvad ke giraft mein.
Masterji goes around telling people to come to January 26 flag hoisting. At the meeting, only four or five people come. Masterji laments the poor showing but gives a stirring speech and shouts `Vande Mataram.'
The camera immediately cuts to the image of a Muslim man (identified by cap on head) planting a bomb under a white Ambassador car.
Episode: Cow slaughter
Cut to scene in idyllic village home with soothing music. Two men rest in courtyard next to tethered cow.
Cut to two young men walking outside, wearing pants and shirts and carrying long lathis.
Youth 1: Bhai Javed, the Hindu village has come.
Youth 2: Salim, you are right. Hurry up and take out the stuff, the tika and red thread (kalava).
[Javed opens bag and puts tika on Salim's forehead.]
Salim: Bhai, put it properly.
[They then tie the kalava on each other's wrist while Javed looks around furtively.]
Javed: Now no one will recognise us [laughs].
The two walk into the courtyard of the home with the cow.
Javed: Uncle, Ram, Ram!
Uncle: What's up? Where have you come from?
Javed: We want a cow. The doctor has said we should give milk to our child. So seeing your cow, we have come. Will you sell me your cow?
Uncle: We have cow's milk. And we can sell it too.
Javed: What you say is true. But sell us this cow. Our child can drink milk and we will look after the cow.
Uncle: The sons of butchers have come around many times ...
[Cut to look of panic on Javed's face, cut to kalava on wrist]
... and even offered me 3,500 rupees. I told them I wouldn't sell it for even a lakh. But if you keep it at home and look after it, you can have it.
Javed: But uncle, 3500 is too much.
Uncle: Brother, give me what you want. You are one of us.
Javed: Uncle, I can only give 3000. I'm a poor man.
Uncle: Take it, but on one condition. Don't sell it to the butchers.
Javed: Uncle, we are not Muslims.
[He pays the money and takes the cow.]
[Cut to scene of Uncle sleeping. His nephew comes in.]
Nephew: Uncle, you've sold the cow to butchers and now you are sleeping!
Uncle: No, they were the Hindu boys. They had a tika on their forehead and kalava on their wrists. I saw it with my own eyes. It's only after seeing that that I sold it.
Nephew: I saw the butcher's sons on my way here. Neither did they have a tilak nor kalava. Aren't you ashamed? You sold your cow to the butchers.
Uncle: Are you telling me the truth?
Nephew: I know those boys.
Uncle: Oh, no this is a terrible thing that has happened. [Starts calling out for help, if anyone can find them] ... We'll find them and beat them up and bring my cow back.
Nephew: Ha! You are not going to find your cow. They've probably already killed her.
[Cut to 50-second-long footage of a buffalo being slaughtered, including scenes of the blood pouring out from its throat.]
Text: The present government is giving full support to butchers. Cruel atrocities are being committed on Gaumata.
Uncle [head in hands]: This is a terrible crime, what am I going to do?
Nephew: You can cry about this your whole life. You've committed a big sin by selling your cow to the butchers.
Scene 2: `Duty of Muslim women to increase population'
Masterji stops a woman on the road.
Masterji: My child.
Woman: Yes.
Masterji: Elections are coming. Think carefully before you vote. And put your stamp only on the lotus symbol. Because if peace can come to this country, then it can come only under the BJP's rule. Congress and Samajwadi are the government of mullahs and maulvis.
Woman: Forgive me for saying so, but I am also a Muslim and Mullahs and Maulvis consider women their personal property.
[Cut to group women in black chador]
Woman 1: The duty of a woman is to produce children and increase the population.
Woman 2: What this sister says is right. Our leaders have issued an order. That those who produce more than 10 children will get economic assistance.
[Cut back to woman and Masterji]
Woman: This religion considers us as objects to be used.
Masterji: Well said, my child. If all the women become educated and wise like you, then this country's fate will improve.
[Cut to real news clip of speech by saffron-clad woman. "Hindus will produce two children and Muslims will marry five times and produce 35 pups and make this country into an Islamic state."]
Scene 3: "You will all have to grow beards"
Masterji [to group of shopkeepers]: Don't let this opportunity pass by. This time if you don't vote for the BJP, disaster will strike this country. The country will be destroyed. The BJP is a party that thinks about the country. It thinks about the Hindu religion. There is no other party like it. The other parties, they are all agents of the Muslims. What else have they done other than this? Prices have gone up. I tell you, we must vote only for the BJP.
Shopkeeper: Masterji, it's time for me to run my shop. Here Hindus and Muslims both come. What is it to me whose government is formed? You have unfurled the BJP's flag first thing in the morning. If you'd like a cup of tea, you are welcome. Otherwise, please excuse me.
Masterji: Tea? You think I am desperate for your tea? It's because I'm concerned about this country and our religion that I'm asking you to vote for the BJP. If you don't vote BJP, you will regret it. This country will be enslaved. First it was enslaved by the British, now it will be enslaved by the Muslims. Even earlier it was enslaved by the Muslims. That Aurangzeb earlier cut your choti [tuft of hair] and took off your sacred thread. And now these tikas on your forehead will have to go and in their place you will have to grow beards. That day you will repent, Panditji. And you will be destroyed and so will this country.
Shopkeeper: He is really irritating!
Friend: Panditji, you are calling the Masterji mad but everything he said is right. If today we don't take care, these tilaks will go and we will all be sporting beards and caps.
Scene 4: `You will end up in burqas'
Masterji [to group of women complaining about the price rise]: Listen, elections are coming and only by your votes can this country and the Hindu religion be saved. Otherwise we are standing in the jaws of slavery again. This time we have to make the BJP victorious and vote on the Lotus symbol.
Woman 1: Well you men know best, we will vote where you say.
Woman 2: People keep coming to ask for our votes.
Woman 3: No one is bothered about prices.
Masterji: That is why I am saying: if the BJP is in power, everything will be all right.
Woman 1: Masterji, why are you chewing your brains? People will vote for whoever they want.
Masterji: It is your brain that has been ruined! You will end up covered in burqas and eating paan!
Scene 5: Muslims abduct Hindu girl
[A social worker comes to a village looking for Chameli chachi. Chachi is lying huddled in bed.]
Social worker: Chachi, what happened?...
Chameli: A Muslim boy pretended to be a Hindu and lured my young daughter away. Fearing badnami, my husband committed suicide. If I say I am going to the police, then those people threaten me [cut to visual of a Muslim man wearing a turban and looking threateningly] that if you report us, we will kill your child. Now you tell me what should I do?
Social Worker: Don't worry, now that I am here, we will take care of you, we will solve everything.
Chameli: Please bring my daughter back. Who knows what kinds of terrible things are happening to her.
[Cut to scene of Chameli's daughter praying in front of a portrait of Krishna.]
Daughter: Om Jai Jagadish Hare!...
[A man walks up and throws the Krishna portrait on the floor.]
Man: If you perform puja in this house again, I will really fix you. Remember that.
Girl: What is this you have done, Ram? You have thrown Bhagwanji's picture! What is this you have done, Ram?
Man: Ram? Ha ha ha! My name is not Ram, it is Shehzad Ali. And I am not a Hindu but a true Muslim! Ha Ha ha ha!
Girl: What is this you are saying? You are lying.
Man: Listen carefully to what I say because from today, I am no longer Ram and you are no longer Geeta. From today your name is Fatima Begum. And tomorrow, you will be married to this boy, Yaamin, according to our rituals. [Cut to picture of an older man laughing in an evil manner.] And then you will have to live with him.
Girl: [Crying] You are lying. This can't be.
Man [slaps girl]: And don't ever utter a name that is against our Islam. What is there in these pictures? [Camera pans to portrait of Krishna on floor.]
Where is God? This is all lies. If you want to pray, pray to that Khuda who has made the whole universe.
Girl: [Breaks down, falls at his feet, and says with folded hands] Let me go back to my home.
Man: Home? Ha ha ha! Which home? This is your home and you will have to live here. And stop this puja-wuja and start namaz. Because by tomorrow, you will have become a true Muslim. Yaamin! Come here. Take this girl away. Tomorrow you will be married to her.
Yaamin: [Grabs girl's hand] Come on, begum. I will make you happy.
[Yaamin drags girl away, minus her dupatta.]
Man: Ha ha ha! When Hindu girls get ensnared by us, they scream and shout but sadly there is no one to listen to them and we have great fun. Ha ha ha ha ha!
Written text on screen: Love in Jihad, injury to Hindu religion, and forced conversion. This is the protection provided by the SP government.
[Social worker goes on a political mission, meets Samajwadi and Congress leaders, and finally decides that the BJP is the party to support.]
Scene 6: `Soon there will be only Naqvis, no Sohanlals'
The newspaper man brings headlines of terrorist attacks. Masterji shouts that this is what he has been warning about for years but people thought he was mad. In anger, he pushes the newspaper man's bicycle, but then has a heart attack and dies.
Funeral scene: Social worker, shopkeepers, and all the dramatis personae we have met so far congregate around his body.
Shopkeeper: He was a great man, always worried about the country and our religion. One day he came to my shop and said Ramlalji, the country will be partitioned once again because Hindus are forgetting their culture and the government is taking the side of the Muslims ...
Shopkeeper 2: Yes, he was a true patriot. He used to consider the Samajwadi government as pro-Muslim and that is what is happening in reality.
Mourner: Do you know the Mulayam government has hired 13,000 Urdu teachers. So are ulema going to teach us from now? And they have removed all laudatory references to Hindus from the curriculum. What will happen to Hindu culture?
Social Worker: Who knows how many more masters will be martyred because of their concern for this country? But your eyes will still not open. And now, that day is not far away when we will be afraid to even call ourselves Hindu, and you will never be able to find a Sohanlal, Mohanlal, Atmaram, or Radhakrishan anywhere. Wherever we look, we will only see Abbas, Naqvi, Rizvi, and Maulvi. All schools and colleges will be shut down. What will open are madrasas from where fatwas will be issued to drive Hindus out from this country, enslave them — because they want to rule over here, they want to make India into Pakistan. Then it will be difficult for Hindu girls to ever venture outside their houses. Muslims will seize their houses. Then who will protect their honour?
Old man: No. We will never allow this to happen. In order to realise Masterji's dreams and prevent India from becoming Pakistan, we must live and die for the nation.
Social worker: Come, let us take a vow.
[All join hands over Masterji's body and shout `Vande Mataram! Jai Sri Ram! Vande Mataram! Jai Sri Ram!']
Social worker: Just as the slogan of Vande Mataram inspired us to throw out the British, today we have to take an oath to drive those traitors out of the country.
Visual of BJP flag
Social worker: Let us move ahead waving the flag of the BJP and the saffron flag. Jai Sri Ram!
[The CD concludes with songs, visual montages of BJP leaders giving speeches, clips of the Babri Masjid being demolished, etc.]

Thanks 'The Hindu'

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Wednesday, April 04, 2007 

The Story of Nallakaman - State Terrorism - Police

Madurai Bench confirms conviction of Premkumar

Staff Reporter

MADURAI: The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Tuesday confirmed the conviction of Superintendent of Police K. Premkumar, who is under suspension, and three other policemen for assaulting and humiliating an ex-serviceman in a civil dispute in 1982.
Passing orders on a batch of petitions, Justice A. Selvam sentenced the convicts to one-month simple imprisonment and instructed the trial court to take steps to incarcerate them.
The judge did not agree with the trial court on releasing the convicts under Section 3 (power of courts to release certain offenders after due admonition) of the Probation of Offenders Act.
The Additional Sessions Court here convicted them on July 11, 2003.

((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((FLASH BACK(((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((

His beginnings were appropriately ominous. When he was only a sub-inspector in Vadipatti in Madurai district he took upon himself the job of evicting a tenant of a fellow policeman. The ex-serviceman tenant, Nallakaman, only wanted the advance of Rs 5,000 he had made returned.

The money was not coming and so Nallakaman decided to dig in his heels. But he had failed to take into account Premkumar’s interest in the case and had to pay for his costly mistake.

On February 1, 1982 Nallakaman, his wife and son were beaten up at the Vadipatti police station by Premkumar and his colleagues. The head of the family was then handcuffed and paraded in the streets and dragged to the Vadipatti bus stand.

To top it all, a criminal case was registered against the hapless Nallakaman on charges, including attempt to murder. Public outcry followed, an RDO inquiry was ordered and the report confirmed all the allegations.

Finally, the Usilampatti RDO filed a criminal complaint against Premkumar and three others. Premkumar himself was placed under suspension.

Meantime, the case filed against Nallakaman, the one filed by the RDO against Premkumar and a private complaint preferred by Nallakaman himself dragged on in the Madurai District Sessions Court.

Interestingly, Premkumar took the Group-I services examination during the period, emerged successful and was appointed Deputy Superintendent of Police.

At one stage, he was also successful in having the Madurai proceedings quashed by the Madras High Court, but the Supreme Court reversed the ruling and directed that all the three cases be tried together and disposed of by March 31, 1995.

Premkumar moved up the ladder fast, nevertheless. As Superintendent of Police, he was perhaps unhappy that he should be bothered by the likes of Nallakaman and moved the Madras High Court to quash the proceedings against him, but it was his petition that was dismissed with costs.

While Premkumar had alleged that Nallakaman was stalling the trial, Justice Karpagavinayagam held that the cases had indeed been stalled by Premkumar and the other accused policemen and that the officer had shown disrespect to the Supreme Court and the High Court.

The judge noted that the Madurai court had issued as many as 13 non-bailable warrants against Premkumar between September 1995 and March 2000, but none of them was executed.

The judge also expressed dismay that the police officer should have ‘‘disrobed the saree of the woman teacher (Nallakaman’s wife) at the police station and attempted to remove her thali (mangalya sutra).’’

The judge went on to wonder how Premkumar came to be promoted so rapidly when his first appointment as DSP itself was temporary and subject to the issue of the Madurai trial.

But Premkumar seems to be having the last laugh now, emerging as a dashing officer who does not flinch before the might of a prestigious mutt.

If in June 2002, Justice Karpagavinayagam was appalled by what Premkumar had done as a sub-inspector at Vadipatti, more revelations were to follow barely four months later.


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State Terrorism - Atrocity Against Makkhal Mandram

ancheepuram People’s Forum or Makkal Mandram is based in Kancheepuram and has been actively working since 2000, among marginalized sections of people like Tribals (Irulars), Dalits, Women, rural and urban poor in more than 60 villages. Makkal Mandram takes up issues of gross economic inequalities faced by these people. Makkal Mandram considers the social, cultural & political repression of these people as violations of their basic human rights; Makkal Mandram conducts campaigns for bringing such awareness among the people; It works to get central and state laws implemented in favour of the marginalized people;

Issues taken up by Makkal Mandram:

Makkal Mandram has got tribals working as bonded labourers (who are Irular tribals) released from the clutches of their owners and conducted long struggles for their rehabilitation to ensure basic rights for them, like livelihood, housing and security / safety from their erstwhile owners. It has confronted and pressurized the district administration to give some land and compensation to these people. Makkal Mandram supported these Irulars to form the Makkal Mandram Brick Workers Welfare Society to run a co-operative brick kiln themselves.

Makkal Mandram has been taking up the issue of caste oppression of Dalits at the hands of the upper castes and some backward castes who perceive themselves to be higher placed (and therefore superior) in the caste hierarchy.

Makkal Mandram has been taking up issues of violence against women, which is deeply rooted, in our patriarchal society. Makkal Mandram is doing awareness raising work and taking up campaigns against female feticide and infanticide, child sexual abuse, dowry harassment, wife battering, domestic violence, sexual harassment, rape, murder and other assaults on women. Makkal Mandram has been instrumental in getting sexual assaulters of Irular tribal women convicted under SC/ST (Atrocities) Act.

Makkal Mandram was in the forefront of the campaign to expose the misdeeds of Godmen like Jayendra Saraswati & Vijayendra Saraswati, Shankaracharyas of Kancheepuram.

Makkal Mandram has also taken up environmental issues like sand quarrying in the river beds, most of which takes place illegally. This also becomes a very sensitive issue for the administration as a lot of corruption and big money is involved.

Problems with District Administration and police:

In taking up these activities, Makkal Mandram often has had to confront the district administration, revenue and police departments. Land remains a basic issue of confrontation as the district administration refuses to give land to the poor people but gives away thousands of acres of government ‘poromboke’ land to foreign companies. Hence the administration has been trying to suppress Makkal Mandram for the past several months now in various ways due to several of the campaigns and issues taken up.

The Donkey Protest:

Many people of the Irular community are living in riverbeds and roadsides with no land or houses of their own. Since they have been living in the same place for years together, Makkal Mandram represented to the District Administration to give atleast 3 cents of land to each family. This issue has been taken up vigorously for the past more than a year. With a change in government in May 2006, Makkal Mandram hoped to get a better response as the DMK party has promised 2 acres of land to each poor family during the elections. The District Collector too was appointed by this govt. Hence Makkal Mandram met him several times with delegations of Irular people concerning this demand. However, he resolutely refused to accept it. In one meeting on 17.06.2006, he very arrogantly told Makkal Mandram activists that lands in this district are very precious and meant only for companies and I will not give it to these Irulars. So Makkal Mandram took up a weeklong poster campaign highlighting the plight of these people and the administrations indifference to their demands. When that too had no impact, Makkal Mandram decided on a novel method of protest. On 26.06.2006, Makkal Mandram put up a pandal in a prominent place (with police permission) where around 30 persons lay down on mats with files for pillows and chatting on phones etc to signify the working of a typical govt. office. They also had a donkey with a placard around it saying district administration. The people came in a queue to give their representations and memos concerning their requests / demands to the ‘District Administration’ and the donkey kept on eating these promptly! It was a symbolic protest, which was peaceful and democratic. On the collector’s orders, 8 leading activists of Makkal Mandram (4 men and 4 women) were booked under Section 124A (sedition / conspiracy against the state). They came out on getting bail from the Chennai High Court after about 13 days. The sessions court had refused bail as the prosecution strongly objected to granting of bail to them.

After this incident too, Makkal Mandram carried on its regular work and its activists kept meeting the Collector alongwith the rural people from time to time, especially on grievance days.

Parking Fee Protest:

In the month of Feb. 2007, the district administration introduced a new system. All vehicles including two-wheelers and cycles entering the Kancheepuram Collectorate Office premises had to pay parking fees at fixed rates. All government departments are mostly located in this campus. The District Collector was the Chairperson of the Society which was formed to collect this parking fee. The collection of parking fee from the public who have to visit the office complex frequently and repeatedly to get their grievances redressed, in view of lengthy procedural delays put a lot of hardships to the poor people especially those coming from the rural areas. Hence Makkal Mandram opposed the introduction of parking fee. The police denied permission to organize a protest demonstration. Still Makkal Mandram went ahead with the demonstration on 07.02.2007. Several hundreds of people were arrested at around 8.30 am even before they started the demonstration. The police tried to book a case on some 8-10 activists. But when the assembled people all threatened to get arrested, the police finally had to release all of them. This campaign received wide publicity and the public too supported it. Hence the District Administration was forced to withdraw it.

Grievance Day incident

Every Monday is a Grievance Day in Tamil Nadu when people can meet the District Collector with their grievances. Some activists of Makkal Mandram had accompanied the Irular tribal people from Karukkupettai and Muthialpettai villages to the Kancheepuram Collectorate Office to give representations regarding the problems of basic amenities faced by them at the ‘Grievance Day’ meeting on 19.02.2007. They met the collector and gave the representations. When the District Collector, Pradeep Yadav, saw the activists of Makkal Mandram, he got very angry and shouted at them, “Should I do it because you ask me to?” and then abused these women activists using the foulest possible sexist language like “Bastards, Bloody fools” and shrieked “get out”. At this point he jumped up from his seat, gestured violently and threatened them saying “this is the last warning. If you come with these village people again, I will not do anything for them”. He shouted at all the villagers who had come there to get out at once. They got so shocked they left the place at once. The next day, on 20.02.2007, Makkal Mandram did a lot of wall postering in Kancheepuram condemning the Collector’s behaviour.

Sexual Harassment of Makkal Mandram activists and 307 case against women:

On the next day 21.02.2007, there was a Makkal Mandram branch being opened in Nathapettai village. Three Makkal Mandram activists, Asha @ Hemavathy, Sarasu @ Sengodi and Ramesh went to the Bus stand and took a bus. Immediately, three guys got into the bus. One of them came and sat next to Sarasu and pinched her waist. She started crying. Asha and Ramesh noticed this and objected. Immediately, the three eve-teasers caught hold of Ramesh and beat him up. They went on using foul language throughout the 45 minute journey. As the bus neared Nathapettai, one guy jumped down and ran off. The other two followed the Makkal Mandram activists and got off at Nathapettai. Since the programme was being held in an enclosed ground close to the bus stop, several activists of Makkal Mandram had gathered there. When Ramesh narrated the incident to them, they questioned the guys about their behaviour. Those two guys arrogantly challenged Makkal Mandram people. Hence the people caught hold of them and said we will take you to the police station. Just then senior activists of Makkal Mandram arrived there. They tried to intervene and sort out the matter amicably. But one of the eve-teasers rang up his friends and asked them to come with knives and lathis. Hearing this, one of the MM activists rang up all the police stations. But no police help came. Within the next ten minutes, some 30 guys rushed into the ground (it was closed on three sides with a small gate, one side was a paddy field with a narrow passage) and attacked Makkal Mandram activists, mainly women, with thick lathis. Hence, Makkal Mandram activists were forced to defend themselves. In the melee, three male activists from Makkal Mandram and three from the attacker’s side got injured.

The police arrived at the Kancheepuram General Hospital and instead of recording a complaint of eve-teasing arrested Makkal Mandram activists (5 women and 2 men) under several sections including 307 (attempt to murder). The two girls who were sexually harassed on the bus, Asha and Sarasu were also arrested. Asha is a Dalit and Sarasu is a tribal. The FIR also says 50 other unnamed persons were involved in the attack. The three eve-teasers were booked under Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Women Harassment Act. But only one of them was arrested. Two others are still absconding, according to the police. But they have been roaming about the town following women activists of Makkal Mandram.

After this, the police have let loose a rein of terror and harassment against Makkal Mandram and its members and did all kinds of unlawful things.

1. The five women activists were held at the all Women Police Station at Kancheepuram throughout the night of 21.02.2007, without any FIR or case. It was illegal detention. They were informed of their arrest only at 7.30 am the next morning. They were not even allowed to contact the commune members or lawyer and their cell phones were taken away.

2. That night (21.02.2007) two jeepfuls of policemen including the DSP Muniappan forcibly entered the Makkal Mandram Commune at 1.30 in the night to search for other activists. At that time only three women members of the commune were present. The police came without warrant and without any woman police.

3. The next day on 22.02.2007, at around 12.00 noon, DSP Muniappan came with all male police team to search the Makkal Mandram commune (with search warrant). They took away daily expenses account book and some documents. (These had no relevance to the case). This search lasted for more than 3 hours.

4. Kumar and Ramesh were admitted to G.H. and arrested immediately. The police did not allow commune members to meet them. At 1.30 in the night of 21.02.2007, a policeman came in mufti and told Kumar some relative had come to meet him and tried to take him out of the hospital to a lonely spot. It could have been an attempt to encounter him. Kumar was alert and ran back into the hospital. He refused to go anywhere after that.

5. Kumar’s Tata Sumo was towed away from the Govt. hospital without giving information or seizure memo. The lock was broken open by the police. Now the stepney, car radio, some books, one bag, one small money purse with some money and silver anklets etc are missing from it.
6. On 23.02.2007, a big police posse went to Mangalpadi village where rehabilitated bonded labourers have their co-operative brick kiln. On finding only women in the village, DSP Muniappan threatened the women there. He also made enquires about where they had come from. They gave the names of the mills where they were held as bonded labourers earlier. The next day, some erstwhile owners were seen roaming around these villages. This seems to be deliberate intimidation of ex-bonded labourers by the police.

7. The police have gone to other villages where Makkal Mandram is active e.g., Amman Nagar, Orikkai, Kolivakkam and Kamugampalam etc and intimidated the villagers there. Just a few days back, the police went to Nathapettai village where the incident took place and interrogated the Irular people there.

8. From 22.02.2007 till now, goondas have been following Makkal Mandram women activists wherever they go. They keep on whizzing past the commune during the day and night hours too. They make threatening gestures at women activists. There were atleast 6 anonymous calls threatening Mahesh with dire consequences. On the phone they also claim that the DSP and Collector are behind them, so they can do anything.

9. The Collector is reported to have said that he will wipe out Makkal Mandram from the District.

10. There are also apprehensions that some case may be foisted on Mahesh, Jessy and Kumar under Goondas Act or NSA.

11. On 18.03.2007, i.e., today the police arrested ten Irular tribal people from three villages on the same charges viz., Section 307. These were people who had gone to meet the District Collector and give him their representation reg. lack of land pattas, drinking water and other basic facilities, on grievance day held on 19.02.2007. The police seem to have got their names and addresses from the memorandums submitted by them to the District Administration.

Related Article:

மக்கள் மன்றத்தின் மீது அரசு எந்திரத்தின் வன்முறை!


Tuesday, April 03, 2007 


Thanks 'The Hindu - Tuesday, Apr 03, 2007'


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