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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 suicide 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.”

Lack of legislation "prevents" Bombay High Court to order relief to 13-day-old homeless infant in Mumbai

By Our Representative
The Bombay High Court has reportedly regretted that it cannot provide any relief to a 13-days-old girl child, resident of a slum at Yari Road, saying it is “helpless”. The apex body of many of India’s mass organizations, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), in a statement said, the court “cited its limitation in its jurisdiction to provide relief to the homeless.”
The matter relates to a slum named Kavthekhadi at Yari road, Mumbai, demolished on March 22, 2016. The youngest member among those evicted was a five-days-old girl child. Evicted residents of the slum approached the Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan (GBGBA) for help.
“The GBGBA, with the help of Advocate Mathew J Nedumpara, took the matter to the Court. A writ petition was filed in the name of the five-days-old girl child through her mother. The child had become 13-days old at the time of filing of the petition”, NAPM says.
An informal settlement around mangrove areas on the land owned by the revenue department of Maharashtra government, the NAPM said, the court opined that “human habitation in such areas would be dangerous to the persons living there as well as to the environment.”
At the same time the court has acknowledged the plight of the now homeless petitioner and other homeless persons like her. NAPM, said, “The court, while expressing its helplessness to provide any relief to the petitioner said, ‘to extend to such persons any benefit or any assistance, there has to be a legislation or law in the field’.”
NAPM quoted the court as saying that “It is one thing to be sympathetic and consider such pleas, as are raised by Mr Nedumpara, on a humanitarian basis. It is quite another to grant any relief based on them and on the touchstone of law.”
“Eventually, we render justice in accordance with law and there are, therefore, restraints and limits on our jurisdiction also”, the court was further quoted as saying. It also asked the state to “take into consideration the plight of the homeless and provide them night shelter and other welfare schemes.”
Said NAPM, “At present there are only seven night shelters in the whole of the city of Mumbai which came into existence long back and not with enough capacity. As per the National Urban Livelihood Mission (NULM) run by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, there must be one night shelter per one lakh population.”
“As per this, at least 125 night shelters are required in Mumbai in accordance with 2011 census”, it added.
“As far as the central housing scheme the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana is concerned, it comes under ‘Housing For All by 2022’, but there has been no progress in implement it”, the NAPM said.
Pointing out that slum settlements have “no water facility giving way to mafias to regulate water supply”, NAPM, whose statement has been prepared by well-known social activist Medha Patkar, said. 
“The Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) is not complying with the order of the Bombay High Court which directed the corporation to provide water to all the colonies whether authorized or unauthorized. Similarly, there is either no provision or least provision of toilets in these settlements”, it added.

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India failing to dictate diplomatic preferences of Nepal, Bhutan, is unfairly blaming Beijing: Chinese daily

By Our Representative
In a sharply-worded editorial, a top Chinese media outfit, described by BBC as state-run, has said, commenting on India's foreign relations with its neighbours, that "speculation and suspicion" is "certainly not diplomacy". Published in "China Daily", the largest circulating English Monday-to-Saturday newspaper with branches across the world, the editorial notes (September 20) that "several recent events" in Nepal and Bhutan, are "gnawing worrywarts in New Delhi".
The editorial -- which comes close on the heels of a sharp critique of India's foreign policy in a state-supported Russian media outfit, Sputnik International, calling India's anti-Pak diplomacy as having "gone awry" following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "half-baked" push for anti-terror drill down "others' throat" -- says, the " worrywarts" include "Nepalese troops taking part in a joint…

Ahmedabad, GIFT, Adani city get 1.68 lakh acre ft Narmada water; Gujarat's rural areas just 4.27 AF: Letter to CM

Counterview Desk
Well-known farmer rights leader Sagar Rabari, in an open letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, has demanded a transparent account of Narmada water, saying, while he has received a "routine reply" from him to his earlier, the data emerging from his RTI application show huge quantity of water being directed to Ahmedabad, the 10 km stretch of Sabarmati for the Ahmedabad riverfront, and nearby elite urban areas, including the Adanis' Shantigram township and GIFT City.

Gujarat BJP MLAs, youth leader "incited" attack on North Indians: Cong releases video

Counterview Desk
Senior Gujarat Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil, currently in charge of Bihar and national spokesperson, All-India Congress Committee, has sent a legal notice to chief minister Vijay Rupani threatening criminal case and civil defamation suit for accusing him with "baseless statement" that he was responsible for attacks on north Indians in Gujarat.

Ethnocide in Caribbean island filmed following award winning docufilm on Jamaica's anti-colonial Indian roots

International awards winner for Best Feature Documentary Linda Aïnouche for “Dreadlocks Story” (2014), which shows how Indians are entangled in the Jamaican society, and how Hinduism was a source of inspiration for the Rastafari movement, is all set to release her new documentary, “Marooned in the Caribbean”, which aims at documenting the awful desolating living conditions that Raizal people, the native inhabitants of San Andres Archipelago, endure.
Sons of slaves, these islanders have fallen prey to what the Colombian government calls Colombianization. “It’s a process”, according to her, “which kills the Raizal culture; it’s the killing of the Raizal soul. Colombianization subjugates Afro-descendants of San Andres to an ethnocide.”

Explorer, director and producer, Linda Aïnouche writes exclusively for Counterview: ***
Nobody escapes from blood and thunder in Colombia, and definitely not in the archipelago of San Andres, situated closer to Managua and Kingston than Bogota. The Raizal p…

17 lakh Jharkhand elderly, widows, differently abled do not receive pension: Public hearing told, aadhaar is a hurdle

By Our Representative
Hundreds of elderly, widows, single women and differently-abled persons from different districts of Jharkhand gathered near the Raj Bhavan in Ranchi for a public hearing organized by the Jharkhand Right to Food Campaign and Pension Parishad demanding the right to universal social security pensions ahead of World Elderly Day on October 1.

India to deport Rohingya refugees, as the world moves towards prosecuting Myanmar for genocide

By Tapan Bose*
Seven Rohingya Muslims refugees who were held at a detention centre in Assam since 2012 will be handed over to Myanmar. The Supreme Court of India has refused to stop their deportation. The new Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gagoi said, "We are not inclined to interfere on the decision taken".

An elite Kutir set up by Modi far from the "madding" crowd: This Gandhi museum is formal, unapproachable

By Rajiv Shah
Have you ever heard of a Gandhi museum, sough to be projected as the “largest” on the Mahatma, yet totally inaccessible, in sharp contrast to Ahmedabad’s humble, approachable and unassuming Gandhi Ashram on the banks of Sabarmati, set up by the Mahatma during the heydays of the freedom movement? It exists about 30 kilometres away, its idea was conceived by none other than a person who has today become even more inaccessible than he ever was: Narendra Modi, India's Prime Minister.

Accused of being RSS plant, Modi man, Hyderabad Urdu varsity chancellor asks President to probe "irregularities"

Counterview Desk
Refused entry in the Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU), the central university's newly appointed chancellor Firoz Bakht Ahmed, who claims to be grand nephew of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, has, in a letter to the President of India, said that MANUU vice-chancellor (V-C) Dr Aslam Parvaiz has accused him of being an RSS plant and a Modi man, whose sole aim is to "interfere in the working of the university".

History less known: Kasturba's role as an independent woman and a freedom fighter in her own right

By Nandini Oza*
Even the most deserving of women do not find a place that equals their worth in history. Kasturba is one such woman whose contribution to India’s struggle for freedom has been exemplary, and yet, it has not received the recognition it deserves. Kastur Makhanji Kapadia was born in the year 1869, the same year and in the same town of Porbandar in Gujarat as Gandhiji. In fact she was older than Gandhiji by a few months.

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.”