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

Top upper caste judges 'biased' towards Dalit colleagues: US Bar Association report

By Rajiv Shah  A high profile report prepared by the influential  American Bar Association (ABA) Center for Human Rights , taking note of the fact that “in the 70-year history of the Indian Republic, only six Dalit judges have been appointed to the Supreme Court”, has taken strong exception to what it calls “lack of representation of Dalits” in the legal profession and the judiciary.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Whither SDG goal? India's maternal mortality rate fall target 5.5% per yr, actual 4.5%

By Srinivas Goli, Parul Puri* The maternal mortality ratio (number of maternal deaths per one lakh live births) is a key and sensitive parameter used by health policymakers to monitor maternal health conditions in particular and women's status in general in a country.

Fresh efforts to subsume Buddhism within Hindu fold 'undermining' Ambedkar

By Aviral Anand*  From Yeola in 1935, when Dr Ambedkar announced that he would not die a Hindu, to Nagpur in 1956 when he converted to Buddhism, is a considerable distance in time. But, there was in him a need to make a public announcement in 1935 about moving away from Hinduism. 

Unlike other revolutionaries, Hindutva icon wrote 5 mercy petitions to British masters

By Shamsul Islam*  The Hindutva icon VD Savarkar of the RSS-BJP rulers of India submitted not one, two,or three but five mercy petitions to the British masters! Savarkarites argue: “There are no evidences to prove that Savarkar collaborated with the British for his release from jail. In fact, his appeal for release was a ruse. He was well aware of the political developments outside and wanted to be part of it. So he kept requesting for his release. But the British authorities did not trust him a bit” (YD Phadke, ‘A complex Hero’, "The Indian Expres"s, August 31, 2004)

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Reverse progress in fight against hunger? 15.3% of India undernourished: GHI

By Harchand Ram*  Every year October 16 is observed as World Food Day to celebrate the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. In the year 2021, the theme for World Food Day is “Our actions are our Future-Better Production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life”.

Savarkar 'opposed' Bhagat Singh's, Netaji's dream of India, supported British war efforts

By Shamsul Islam* In a shocking development, the student wing of the RSS put the busts of martyrs Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose with Savarkar's on one pedestal at the University of Delhi late in the night on August 20, 2019. Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for a socialist-democratic-secular republic and Netaji raised Azad Hind Fauj (INA) consisting of people of all religions and regions for armed liberation of India.

Global Hunger Index: Govt of India response pathetic, 'lacks' scientific empirical evidence

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ* Come 16 October – and the world once again focused on the most basic need for a person’s survival: food! The first World Food Day was observed in 1994, to mark the launch of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. Ever since, the day is marked to highlight the need and importance of food security across the world. The significance is accentuated especially in these difficult times like the C-19 povidandemic. The theme for 2021 is ‘Safe Food Now for a Healthier Tomorrow’, emphasising on the various immediate and long-term benefits of consuming safe and healthy food.

Failure of 'trickle down theory' behind India's poor Global Hunger Index rating

By Dr Gian Singh*  On October 14, 2021, two organisations, Concern Worldwide (An Irish aid agency) and WeltHungerHilfe (a German organization that researches the problem of global hunger), jointly published the Global Hunger Index (GHI) for 2021. These organizations have included 116 countries in the world hunger rankings.