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29th "NRC-related" suicide in Assam, as Nirod Baran Das takes his life by hanging on a fan

By Our Representative Reporting 29th case of National Register of Citizens (NRC)-driven suicides in Assam, one of India’s human rights campaign sites has said that, on October 20, tragedy struck Kharupetia town in Darrang district of Assam, when a retired school teacher and advocate Nirod Baran Das “took his life by hanging himself to a fan in his home.” The report adds, “The NRC process has so far claimed over two dozen such lives in the past four months alone.”
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When radical lawyer-activist Girish Patel's prophecy on "cchote Hitler" came out to be true

By Darshini Mahadevia*, Ghanshyam Shah**
Girish Patel, a prominent presence and voice in the radical section of Gujarat’s civil society, human rights lawyer and social activist, breathed his last on 6 October 2018, at the age of 86 years. Girishbhai, as he was popularly known, was the son of a sanitary inspector in the Ahmedabad municipality. His career began in 1958 as a professor in one of Ahmedabad’s law colleges. He went on to study at the Harvard Law School where he got his Master of Laws degree and also learnt about the vast philosophical aspects of law. He then studied at The Hague Academy of International Law.

#MeToo movement: Justice eludes Bhanwari Devi for 26 years

Counterview Desk
“As India's #MeToo movement mounts, we mustn't forget Bhanwari Devi's struggle”, says Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) in an email alert. Releasing her profile, CJP, one of India’s premier civil rights organizations, has pointed towards how, despite the “horrific assault” on her, she has retaliated with “path-breaking work as a saathin”, and “for over 26 years, Bhanwari has fought a long and challenging battle in the pursuit of justice.”
At the same time, CJP regrets, despite the “ground-breaking Vishakha Guidelines, where the Supreme Court laid down legally binding obligations for institutions regarding the prohibition, prevention and redressal of sexual harassment in the workplace”, these couldn’t come to her aid. It underlines, “Unfortunately, Bhanwari herself could not be covered under the Vishakha judgment, because as per the law, her rapists were not her ‘employers’ and were not at work.”
Text of Bhanwari Devi’s profile by Sushmita: “Indian cu…

#MeToo moment in Hyderabad Urdu varsity? Two girl students seek action against authorities

Counterview Desk
Has the #MeToo movement reached Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MAANU)? It would seem so if a recent letter by newly-appointed chancellor Firoz Bakht Ahmed to MAANU vice-chancellor Dr Aslam Parvaiz is any indication. Seeking reinstatement of two girl victims of “sexual harassment and humiliation”, the letter specifically names head of the department of the Media Centre for Journalism, suspecting, the problem could be much deeper.
Text of the letter: It is a matter of utmost perturbation for me to receive the two representations from the girls studying in the MCJ (Media Center for Journalism) regarding their sexual and subsequently, mental and social harassment at the hands of Prof Ehtesham Ahmad Khan, the HOD, MCJ.
We do not know, how many girls have been exploited by him and preferred to be silent for saving their family’s honour; however, there are two brave girls who stood to the depraved advances and misuse by Prof Ehtesham and came up with written complai…

Vadodara redevelopment "polluting" river Vishwamitri's environs

By Our Representative
Several senior environmentalists and academics of Vadodara have written an open letter to the Municipal Commissioner, Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC), asking the administration to take immediate steps to “immediately stop demolition, tree felling and clearing of vegetation, dumping of debris, discharge of untreated sewage, dredging, digging, filling, leveling, construction, etc. along the city’s Vishwamitri river and its environs.”

Post-MJ Akbar resignation: #MeToo movement and fears of backlash

By Sheshu Babu*
For the last few days, #MeToo movement has picked up momentum and many women are coming out with horrific tales of severe harassment in their past lives. They are not afraid anymore to expose famous persons including those at ministerial levels. As a senior journalist Neeraja Chowdhury opined (“An exit, a beginning”, October 18, 2018, indianexpress.com), "The #MeToo revelations are like the eruption of a volcano which was imminent, given the journey working women have covered. It was not easy to make public what they had gone through,and take on powerful men.”

National TUs' betrayal? Birla-Century workers seek coop ownership

Counterview Desk
Well-known civil rights organization, Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), which claims to have championed the cause of 900 protesting workers of the Birlas-owned Century mills in Madhya Pradesh, has taken strong objection to established unions such as INTUC (Congress), AITUC (CPI) and Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BJP) for failing to consult the workers in agreeing to choose the option of voluntary retirement scheme (VRS), one of the three offered by the Birlas.