Skip to main content

Gujarat govt "war" on Dalit activists? Minister seeks inquiry against Dalit NGO, cops file FIR to placate Mevani

By Our Representative
Gujarat's top Dalit rights organization, Navsarjan Trust, has taken strong exception to a senior Gujarat minister, Atmaram Parmar, in charge of social and justice empowerment department, seeking to “inquire into” the use of funds under the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act (FCRA) norms, wondering whether the matter comes under him.
“His ministry and department are nowhere involved in any capacity on any of these matters”, executive director, Manjula Pradeep, has said in a statement, adding, “At the outset, we welcome any impartial inquiry by the judiciary.”
Pradeep, who earlier took exception to Parmar blaming what he called “Christian” NGOs as being behind the post-Una Dalit uprising following the gruesome flogging of four Dalit youths on July 11, has said, “Navsarjan Trust goes through audit every year. We have an internal as well as external auditor.”
She says, “Every year the Audited report is submitted to the Charity Commissioner, Income Tax Department and to the Home Ministry”, even as warning, “We are not shying away. And if nothing is proved in the inquiry then the state government will have to face the consequences as the minister has gone on the record.”
While it is not known whether the decision of the Gujarat minister to do an inquiry into the foreign funds has the sanction of chief minister Vijay Rupani, who is known to take a sober view of things, the development has come alongside the state police filing FIR against Una uprising leader Jignesh Mevani.
Mevani, a practicing lawyer, has been charged with going ahead with road block demonstration at Income Tax Circle in Ahmedabad (click HERE) on Tuesday morning, along with hundreds of sanitation workers, even though the police refused permission. The FIR also blames him for "attack" on the police van, leading to cracks on the police van which had come to take agitators away and detain them for the day.
Others who have been named under the FIR are Amrish Patel, Bharat Zala and other sanitation workers' leaders. The development has taken place in the aftermath of the successful completion of the sanitation workers' agitation (click HERE). The sections invoked in the FIR are 143,146, 294(b), 332, 34,186,18, 427 of the Indian Penal Code.
This apart, Sections 3 and 7 of the Damage to Public Property Act have also been invoked. Denying the charges, an alternative media organization, Dalit Camera has released a footage of the kind of violence being dished out by the police, saying it is a “trick of blaming the workers of destroying window panes when in fact they did so themselves” (click HERE).
According to media reports, the Gujarat minister's “decision” to initiate criminal proceedings against Navsarjan Trust comes despite the fact that the Gujarat High Court asking Amreli police to “take a quick decision” whether a police complaint should be lodged on criminal complaints filed by some former employees of the NGO.
In her ruling, Justice Sonia Gokani reportedly directed Amreli police to decide whether the complaints disclosed any cognizable offence. If an offence was revealed, the police were directed to lodge an FIR, otherwise they should explain in writing to the complainants why the FIR was not possible.
Significantly, the Amreli police, which found nothing against the NGO for nearly a month, following which these ex-employees approached the Gujarat High Court demanding the registration of an FIR.
The employees had alleged, in their complaint to the High Court, that the NGO obtained Rs 30 crore from a Switzerland-based funding agency, Swiss Development Corporation to pay its field workers, even as stating their funds were stopped by its trustees but were later released.

Comments

TRENDING

Call to support IIM-Bangalore professor, censured for seeking action against Uniliver

Counterview Desk
Sections of the Indian Institute of Managements (IIMs) across India have strongly reacted to the decision to censure Dr Deepak Malghan, a faulty at IIM-Bangalore. Prabhir Vishnu Poruthiyil, who is faculty at IIM-Tiruchirapalli, has sought wider solidarity with Dr Malghan, saying, "The administration has censured Deepak for merely suggesting a meaningful action against Hindustan Unilever for their abysmal environmental record" by “disinviting” it for campus placement.

Actionable programme for 2019 polls amidst lynch mobs, caste violence, hate mongering

Counterview Desk
Reclaiming the Republic, a civil rights network, has released a document prepared under the chairmanship of Justice AP Shah (retired) -- and backed, among others, by Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan, bureaucrat-turned-human rights activist Harsh Mander, economist Prabhat Patnaik, Right to transparency activist Anjali Bhardwaj and social scientist Yogendra Yadav  (click HERE for full list) -- with the "aim" of putting forth policy and legislative reforms needed to “protect” and “strengthen” the Constitutional safeguards for India’s democratic polity.

Noam Chomsky, top scholars ask NRIs to take stand on human rights violations in India

Counterview Desk
Renowned world scholars, including Noam Chomsky, James Petras, Angela Davis, Fredric Jameson, Bruno Latour, Ilan Pappe, Judith Butler, among others, have issued a statement castigating the Narendra Modi government for allegedly creating an environment of fear through arrests, intimidation and violence.

India under Modi "promoted" crony business, protected financial fraudsters, fueled bigotry

By Sandeep* and Rahul Pandey**
Narendra Modi's ascension to power was accompanied with jubilation and expectation. His supporters were expecting an end to era of corruption and initiation of good governance which was described as Achche Din. His party's adherence to idea of nationalism was believed to make India a vibrant country and guide India to be a world leader. He gave the slogan of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas' conveying that his government was for all.
Corruption The government system is infested with corruption. A minimum of 10% is siphoned off from government schemes and projects, some of which goes back to political party in power and remaining is pocketed by various administrative, executive and political functionaries. This corruption continues and has increased. Now an additional Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) person working as Official on Special Duty or some equivalent position in every government department also has a share in this booty.
The Narendra M…

Inviting Rajapaksa to India "insult" to 1,40,000 Tamils killed by Sri Lankan army

Counterview Desk
In the context of Sri Lankan opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa being invited in India, about 75 human rights activists*, claiming to be concerned about rights violations during the civil war in Sri Lanka, especially in 2009, have joined together to express their dissent through a statement.

A Godse legacy? BJP rulers have "refrained" from calling Gandhi Father of the Nation

By Dr Hari Desai*
What an agony! On one hand, the entire India is celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but on the other side, so-called Hindu Mahasabha members have been found mock-enacting the killing of the Mahatma and celebrating the murder by distributing sweets!

No aadhaar, no ration? Hard blow by Gujarat govt on poor and marginalized

By Pankti Jog*
Only those who have aadhaar registration and linked it with ration card will get ration from a Public Distribution System (PDS) shop. This decision of the Gujarat government has hit very badly thousands of poor and marginalized communities of Gujarat, especially during the drought year.

Not just Indian women engineers, men too face sexual harassment at workplace: US study

By Rajiv Shah
A recent research, carried out jointly by two US-based non-profit organizations, Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and Center for WorkLife Law (WLL), based at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, has found that 45% of women engineers as against 28% of men engineers complained that it was perceived as “inappropriate when women argued at work, even when it was work-related.”

Post-advisory, Govt of India appears reluctant to ban e-cigarettes, "harmful" to kids

By Rajiv Shah
Is the Government of India dilly-dallying over the issue of banning e-cigarettes, which have been declared by anti-tobacco activists across the world as providing “an entryway to nicotine addiction”, especially among the kids? It would seem so, if the latest developments are any guide.

Poser to Modi: Why is Gujarat not fulfilling Constitutional obligations to minorities?

Counterview Desk
In an open letter, Mujahid Nafees, convener, Minority Coordination Committee (MCC), a Gujarat-based civil rights organization, has accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi on infringing upon MCC activists’ constitutional right to protest. Nafees says, they had no other demands except that the Gujarat government should move towards fulfilling the constitutional obligations towards minorities and international treaties to which India is a signatory.