Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS) is deeply anguished by the incident of sexual harassment of a Gwalior additional district judge by a judge of the Madhya Pradesh High Court which came to light on 4th August 2014 and is outraged by the fact that the complainant has had to resign from her job in the face of continuous persecution by the High Court judge in question (who was the administrative judge of her district) and the conspiracy of silence of his brother judges, including the Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court.
The fact that the complainant heads the District Vishakha Committee against sexual harassment is an indicator of the alarming gaps in the way the Sexual Harassment of Women at Work Place Act, 2013 is being implemented in the country in general, and the judiciary in particular.
Condemning the Supreme Court Judgement upholding IPC Section 377, Bhopal Groups demand a just society irrespective of caste, class, gender and sexual orientation.
On 15th December, 2013 a protest was organised by groups in Bhopal and a statement against the SC ruling was released and read out by various people participating in the protest.
We are outraged by the regressive decision of the Supreme Court to uphold IPC Section 377. Section 377 criminalizes same-sex relations between consenting adults and is in violation of Articles 21, 14 and 15 of the Constitution and an assault on the democratic rights of all citizens of India. Section 377 falls under the category of other draconian laws that take away the constitutional rights of citizens like ASFPA, UAPA, POTA etc.
The following letter was submitted to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on the 11th of October 2013, demanding action in the incidents of looting, arson, and violence, on 9-10th October 2007 on the Pardhi community in Multai, in Betul, Madhya Pradesh. The letter demands that necessary steps on the statements of the ten affected Pardhi women who were gang raped be taken and rape charges be filed against the accused persons so that trials for the same can take place in the court of law; and that the CBI take cognizance of offence against the officers of the administration and police, as well as against the concerned politicians, of abetment, conspiracy, omission of duty and active participation, and for further investigation thereafter.
On 9 September 2007, Pardhidhana, a locality in Chouthiya village in southern Madhya Pradesh was razed to the ground by hundreds of local farmers. Several members of the state machinery, including the police and higher administration, stood by as men rampaged through Pardhidhana setting fire to the shanties and demolishing the pucca houses after looting them. Several politicians, including the sitting MLA of the region took an active part in the proceedings.
Within hours of the demolition, two sets of heinous crimes had occurred: in one, two people, Bhondru and Dodelbai of Pardhidhana were found murdered in cold blood, and eyewitnesses alleged the gang rape of Dodelbai as well; in another, ten women alleged that they had been held back when the police forcibly evacuated Pardhidhana before the demolition, and had subsequently been gang raped. While the murders of Dodelbai and Bhondru have been investigated, only one person has been charged with both the crimes!
Based on the fact finding and a close analysis of the CBI charge sheets, what emerges is a systematic mis-carriage of justice. Despite fair judgements by the High Court, the displaced Pardhis have been systematically impoverished. This report details the many ways in which this has occurred.
To get a copy of the report, click here
For a copy of the report in Hindi, click here
Madhuri of Jagrit Adivasi Dalit Sangathan was released from the Khargone Women’s Sub Jail on May 31. While WSS welcomes the release of Madhuri, it is disturbing to note the impunity with which activists are being imprisoned simply for raising issues of public importance. WSS continues to press for an independent enquiry into the entire incident related to Baniya Bai at Menimata PHC, and demands an enhanced focus on the issue of maternal health in Barwani district.
The news report for Madhuri’s release can be accessed here.
A letter was sent to the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Shri Shivraj Singh Chauhan demanding the release of Madhuri from JADS and a withdrawal of all charges being pressed by Health department staff against her and others from JADS. This arrest has been carried out in context of an earlier protest by JADS, carried due to the inhuman conditions in which an adivasi woman, Baniya Bai was forced to deliver at the roadside in public, since delivery care had been denied to her by the nearby Menimata PHC in Barwani district in November 2008. An independent enquiry into the entire incident related to Baniya Bai at Menimata PHC was also demanded along with prompt and effective action to improve maternal health services in Barwani district and other districts of Madhya Pradesh, to ensure that such denial of basic health rights and human rights is not repeated in future.
We are shocked and distressed to know that Ms. Madhuri, a leading organiser of Jagrit Adivasi Dalit Sangathan (JADS) has been arrested in Barwani on 16th May 2013. This arrest has been carried out in context of an earlier protest by JADS, carried due to the inhuman conditions in which an adivasi woman, Baniya Bai was forced to deliver at the roadside in public, since delivery care had been denied to her by the nearby Menimata PHC in Barwani district in November 2008. Some of us have met Baniya Bai and her family, and have documented from them directly the details of the event and the denial.
This report presents the terror faced by the people living in village Chaukhand, which is a village on the dam site of the Kharak dam proposed to be built on Kharak river in District Khargone, Madhya Pradesh. The incident occurred on 26th May 2013