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

Arrest of Fr Stan Swamy: UN makes public letter seeking explanation from Govt of India

Counterview Desk In a letter to the Government of India (GoI), three senior United Nations (UN) officials – Elina Steinerte, vice-chair of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; Mary Lawlor, special rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; and Fernand de Varennes, special rapporteur on minority issues – have said that the arrest of veteran activist Father Stan Swamy in October 2020 marks “the escalation of harassment the human rights defender has been subjected to since 2018.”

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Farm laws 'precursor' to free trade deal envisaged by US corporates to allow GMO

By Rajiv Shah Did the Government of India come up with the three farm laws, first rushed by promulgating ordinances in June 2020, to not just open the country’s agricultural sector to the corporate sector but also as a precursor to comply with the requirements of the United States for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), as envisaged by the outgoing US president Donald Trump?

Modi govt 'implementing' IMF-envisaged corporate takeover of Indian agriculture

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak* The surge of wealth of Indian billionaires and the Modi-led BJP government’s onslaught on poor, marginalised and farmers continue to grow simultaneously as masses face annihilating pandemic of coronavirus. There is 90 % rise of Indian billionaire’s wealth over last one decade. It is not accidental.

Differing from Ambedkar, Kancha Ilaiah holds a 'different' theory of caste system

By Banavath Aravind* I was introduced to Kancha Ilaiah’s work when I was about 20 years old. He was then in the midst of a controversy for a chapter in his book "Post-Hindu India: A Discourse in Dalit-Bahujan, Socio-Spiritual and Scientific Revolution", which termed the Baniya community as social smugglers. During many of his debates, I had come to notice his undeterred fighting spirit in trying to bring up certain fundamental social issues that were hitherto undiscussed. I eventually came across some of his works and started reading them silently. I’m deliberately stressing upon the word ‘silently’ here, as this was the kind of silence particularly associated with sensitive social issues like caste, religion, etc. But, as I write this essay, I feel silences on sensitive issues should be broken. Ilaiah opened up an entirely new debate that had the vigour and strength to counter the systemic Brahmanism. His methods of research were also novel in terms of going back to the roo

New trend? Riots 'expanded' to new rural areas post-2002 Gujarat carnage: Report

A VHP poster declaring a Gujarat village part of Hindu Rashtra  By Rajiv Shah  Buniyaad, a Gujarat-based civil society organization, engaged in monitoring of communal violence in the state, in a new report, “Peaceful Gujarat: An Illusion or Truth?” has said that a “new trend” has come about in communal violence in the state, where the parts of Gujarat which didn't see communal riots in 2002 are experiencing “regular bouts” of communal violence.

Fr Stan's arrest figures in UK Parliament: Govt says, Indian authorities were 'alerted'

London protest for release of Stan Swamy  By Rajiv Shah Will Father Stan Swamy’s arrest, especially the fact that he is a Christian and a priest, turn out to be major international embarrassment for the Government of India? It may well happen, if a recent debate on a resolution titled “India: Persecution of Minority Groups” in the United Kingdom (UK) Parliament is any indication. While Jesuits have protested Fr Stan's arrest in UK and US, the resolution, adopted in the Parliament, said, “This House has considered the matter of persecution of Muslims, Christians and minority groups in India”.

More than 5,200 Gujarat schools to be closed down, merged, says govt document

RTE Forum, Gujarat, releasing fact-sheet on education By Our Representative A Gujarat government document has revealed that it is planning to close down 5,223 schools in the name of school merger. The document, dated July 20, 201 was released by the Right to Education (RTE) Forum, Gujarat. It shows that the worst-affected districts because of this merger are those which are populated by marginalized communities – especially tribals, Dalits and minorities, said RTE Forum’s Gujarat convener Mujahid Nafees.

Consumption pattern, not economic shock behind 'poor' child health indicators

By Neeraj Kumar, Arup Mitra* The findings of the latest round of National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) conducted in 2019-20 covering 22 States/UTs under Phase-I  present a somewhat disappointing picture of children’s health in India. Majority of the experts, based on prima facie evidence, just highlighted the deteriorating sign of child health in terms of increase in proportion of stunted and underweight children in most of the phase-I states/UTs over last two rounds of NFHS (2015-16 to 2019-20).

A new fad in India, coding-for-toddlers culture needs to be 'nipped' in the bud

By Aditya Pandey* We are all aware of the dire consequences of subjecting young kids to intense academic pressure from an early age. In India, we have coaching institutes like FIITJEE and Resonance offering programmes for 6th standard kids to prepare them for “NTSE, IJSO, PRMO and other Olympiads”. The duration of these programmes is around 175 hours – hours that could've been spent playing games and making friends instead.