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Showing posts from February, 2019

Protesters' police complaint indicts Modi: No NREGA wage transfer Oct 2018-Jan 2019

Counterview Desk
The NREGA Sangharsh Morcha (NSM) organized a nation-wide protest on February 28, 2019, following which the protesting NREGA workers filed police complaints against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, allegedly for “fraud in NREGA wages of workers”. Alongside complaints at hundreds of police stations across the country, a petition was sent to Modi and the Union Minister of Rural Development for “immediate release” of Rs 25,000 crore for the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) budget.

Jharkhand Adivasis protest failure to get ration for months, Aadhaar biometric snag

By Our Representative
Hundreds of Adivasis of several villages of Jharkhand’s Khuntpani block (West Singhbhum district) protested at the block administration’s office against the denial of ration, use of Aadhaar and other irregularities in the Public Distribution System (PDS). The protest took place following widespread unrest because of the “failure” to distribute ration in several of the villages for the last several months.

100 Indian, world conservationists criticize Supreme Court order to "evict" forest dwellers

By Our Representative
A joint statement by about 100 India’s and the world’s about 100 conservationists and conservation biologists, expressing dismay on the recent Supreme Court order to allegedly evict a million claimants under the Forest Rights Act (FRA) of forest land, has said it is "a real setback for conservation in India."
According to them, "Forest dwellers have for centuries used and managed these forests that we are now considering to be valuable for conservation. The rights of local communities are an integral part of any sustainable and just model of conservation, as is now recognised in international law."
"Furthermore", they say, "FRA not only recognises these rights, it also legally empowers communities to protect their forests and wildlife as well. It is the first and only law in India that gives those who live in and with forests the power to protect them."
They adds, "Since it was notified into force in 2008, the FRA h…

Come up with Ordinance before electoral code to stop eviction of forest dwellers: Letter to Modi

By Our Representative
PS Krishnan, IAS (retd), former secretary to Government of India, Ministry of Welfare, in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, referring to BJP chief Amit Shah and his Congress counterpart Rahul Gandhi asking their respective party chief ministers to file review petitions against the Supreme Court’s order of February 13, 2019, has said, it is good that an all-party consensus on STs' forest rights, but this is not enough.
The apex court order had allegedly endangered the rights of over a million forest dwellers over forest land. According to Krishnan, such review petitions "virtually never lead to positive results", insisting, "What is required is decisive action, which will at one stroke resolve the problem, and this has to be through the legislative route and, initially, at this pre-election stage though the Ordinance route."
Asking him to "consider issue of such an Ordinance, before the Election Code of Conduct comes into forc…

US Supreme Court order "clears way" to file case on IFC funding of Tata Mundra plant

Counterview Desk
The Centre for Financial Accountability (AFC), a New Delhi-based NGO, referring to the US Supreme Court 7-1 order in the Jam vs International Finance Corporation (IFC) case, allowing individuals and organizations to sue international organizations like the World Bank Group, has said has said that this has opened the way to sue IFC funding of the power plant in Mundra, Gujarat.

India's economic growth in Oct-Dec 6.4-6.9%, lowest in 5 years: Reuters survey

By Our Representative
In what may prove to be a major embarrassment to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, top international news agency Reuters has created a flutter by saying that it's survey of economists suggests India's growth rate slipped to 6.9 percent annually in the October-December quarter.
Pointing out that it would be the "slowest growth in five quarters, making it harder for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP to persuade voters that government policies were delivering economic success", Reuters' estimate comes one day ahead of the Government of India is scheduled to release the second advance estimates for fiscal 2018-19.
According to Reuters, "Weaker domestic and external demand were key factors behind the economists expectations of sub-7 percent growth. India would still be growing faster than China’s 6.4 percent growth in the same quarter, but its economy has decelerated from the more than two-year high of 8.2 percent growth posted in the April-Jun…

London's India, Pakistan solidarity group asks leaders to stop "warmongering"

By Our Representative
Three civil rights organizations, South Asia Solidarity Group, London; Awami Workers Party, Pakistan; and University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) India Society, have “urgently” called upon “warmongers” of India and Pakistan to “draw back from the brink”, insisting, “We want peace in South Asia and call on the Indian and Pakistani governments to work for peace, not war.”
Criticizing the BJP government, in a statement, they have said, the suicide bomb attack on February 14, in which 40 jawans of the Indian CRPF were killed at Pulwama in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K), is being used by it to “whip up nationalist anger before the general election due to start in April.” They add, “In doing so the India’s BJP government led by Narendra Modi is recklessly taking the country to the brink of war with Pakistan.”
At the same time condemning “the warmongering and attacks with which the Pakistani military has responded”, the statement urges …

Indira Gandhi negotiated with France's Mitterrand for Mirage-2000 in 1981, used in Surgical Strike 2.0

By Our Representative
Prime Minister Indira Gandhi negotiated with French President Francois Mitterrand in 1981 for the purchase of 150 advanced Mirage-2000 warplanes, used by the Indian Air Force in the surgical strike 2.0 on February 26, 2019 to attack Jaish-e-Mohammad camp at Balakot, deep inside Pakistan. The negotiations were for a $2 billion deal, which were meant to give India “a major source of aircraft other than the Soviet Union and give France's Mirage production lines a new lease on life”, the "Washington Post" (WP) had reported in 1981.
The deal came in following Indira Gandhi’s strong criticism of Pakistan's “plans to buy U.S.-made F16s”, the paper said, adding, the negotiations were finalized by Mitterrand and Gandhi, who participated in the summit meeting of 22 world leaders in Cancun, Mexico in October 1981, dealing with issues of economic growth for developing countries.
The negotiations from the Indian side were led by Defense Secretary PK Kaul, …

Need to ask: Why did the GoI once again "use" military operation for publicity?

By Rajiv Tyagi*
On February 26 morning as I woke up at 5 am in Gurugram, I was informed of an IAF strike on Balakot, in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunwa area, approximately 200 km north-west of India's nearest Air Force station at Avantipur, South East of Srinagar. A few phone calls later, I learned it was a pre-dawn attack at 0330 hrs, which delivered 1,000 kg bombs to a designated target area.

Terror attack, aftermath: Tactical move by JeM to "ensure" BJP returns to power?

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*
All we are saying is give peace a chance/ All we are saying is give peace a chance, is the chorus of an anti-war song "Give Peace a Chance written by the famous Beatle John Lennon and performed with Yoko Ono in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, exactly 50 years ago in May 1969. It became an anthem of the American anti-war movement during the 1970s. Give Peace a chance! was the message sent by Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday February 24.

Convention planned at Bhilai to counter "ongoing" propaganda of cultural fascism

Counterview Desk
Several cultural and civil rights organizations from across India have come together to organize an all-India cultural convention on March 16-17, 2019, at Bhilai, Chattisgarh, to analyse the role of culture at a time when India is allegedly undergoing social, political and economic unrest on a massive scale.

Surgical strike: Calling for restraint, Indo-Pak forum asks Pak to act against terror camps

Counterview Desk
In a move that is likely to raise the eye-brows of sections of "nationalists", the national committees of the Pakistan-India Peoples’ Forum for Peace and Democracy (PIPFPD), based in Lahore and New Delhi, with branches in Mumbai, Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Jammu, Bhubaneshwar and Srinagar, even as condemning India's second surgical strike in the wake of the recent terrorist attack on CPRF jawans, killing more than 40 jawans, has called for "restraint" from both the sides.

Congress would win just 9 of 26 Lok Sabha seats: Gujarat Assembly segment-wise analysis

By Rajiv Shah
Even as the Congress plans its first working committee meet in Gujarat on February 28 after an almost 58 year gap, there is reason to wonder what is in store for India’s grand old party in a state which has been long been a BJP bastion – in fact ever since mid-1990s. Ahead of the then assembly polls in late 2012, talking with me, a senior Gujarat Congress leader, currently Rajya Sabha MP, frankly said he saw no reason why Congress would win.

Protests planned in several states against Centre's silence on SC order to "evict" a million tribals

By Our Representative
The Campaign for Survival and Dignity (CSD), a national platform of adivasi and forest dwellers' organisations, has announced a national struggle over the next two weeks against the "unjust attack" on millions of people whose claims under the Forest Rights Act (FRA) have allegedly rejected through a Supreme Court order.
CSD said in a statement, "The Supreme Court's order to evict over one million claimant families is the direct result of the BJP government's decision to not say a word in court for the last four hearings. This is only the last step in this government's consistent sabotage of this law, from May 2014 to the present."
Mass protests would be launched under the banner “BJP Sarkar Jawab Do!”, starting on February 26 and ending on March 10. On February 26, Jal Jangal Jeevan Bachao Sajha Manch will be holding a mass rally in Bhopal.On February 28, Adivasi Chhattra Sanghatan and allied groups will be holding rallies in…

Detecting defective EVMs: High margins of error "unacceptable", ex-babus tell poll panel

Counterview Desk
As many as 73 ex-civil servants, in a letter to the Election Commission of India (ECI), have sought urgent steps from ECI to make electronic voting machines (EVMs) more secure and less vulnerable to manipulation and tampering ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, scheduled in April-May this year. According to them, ECI’s audit plan is unable to detect outcome-altering miscounts due to EVM malfunction or manipulation, which defeats the very purpose of introducing ‘voter verified paper audit trail’ (VVPATs).

"Pro-corporate" Supreme Court order on FRA would further marginalize Adivasis

By VS Roy David, JP Raju*
For millions of Adivasis and other traditional forest dwellers February 13, 2019 will go down in history as the day of apocalypse. This is like the proverbial Black Friday where millions of most marginalized people of India were ordered by malicious anti-people draconian Supreme Court order depriving them the life and livelihood by evicting them from their habitats.

Seoul peace prize to Modi, who "isn't seeking" peaceful solution to Kashmir: Korean NGOs

Counterview Desk
As many as 28 Korean human rights and civil organizations, in a joint statement titled "Seoul Peace Prize to PM Modi: Why should we feel embarrassed, while they know no shame", has denounced awarding a ‘Peace Prize' in the name of Seoul to Modi, saying he is "accountable for the murders of thousands of Muslims".

NGO team finds chemical waste being illegally dumped on a farmland in Vadodara district

By Our Representative
Claiming to have exposed a racket in Vadodara district involving a former Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB), environment group Prakruti Suraksha Mandal (PSM) has said that its team has found large scale illegal disposal of solid waste in the premises of a farm in Nani Bhadol village of Savli taluka. In a statement, it said, the team found a tempo emptying barrels filled with chemical waste barrels on the farm.
“We made a complaint to the GPCB, Vadodara, which sent its officials to find out what was happening. The officials were surprised to see this type of activity was taking place”, said PMS’ Salim Patel, noting, “On inquiry, the officials found that a former GPCB employee was also involved in this illegal dumping of waste.” Suggesting that this is not an isolated incident, Patel added, “We demanded the GPCB should take investigate into the racket and take strict action against the culprits.”

Dalits, Muslims being targeted in UP: Rihai Manch

By Our Representative
The Uttar Pradesh civil rights organization Rihai Manch has taken strong exception to targeting of Dalits and Muslims in Muzaffarnagar district, pointing out that National Security Act (NSA) is being "selectively" imposed on members of these two communities, suggesting "Manuvadi" behaviour of the Modi-Yogi government at the Centre and the state.
Addressing media in Khatauli, Muzaffarnagar district, Manch leaders referred to the arrest of individuals during the April 2 Bharat Bandh, saying, most of them are Muslims and Dalits, and were booked under NSA.
Rajiv Yadav, general secretary of the Manch, said, "On one hand, cases against the 2013 communal violence accused, including BJP MLAs and MPs, are being withdrawn, on other, cases are being framed on fake charges on the deprived sections of society. Even minors and women in Khatauli are not being spared."
He said, things have reached another extreme in Deoband, where students from Kas…

Issue ordinance to undo damage done by SC order to "evict" tribals: Letter to Govt of India

By Our Representative
In a letter to Union minister for tribal affairs Jual Oram, former secretary to Government of India, Ministry of Welfare, PS Krishnan, IAS (Retd), who was also member, National Monitoring Committee for Education of SCs, STs and Persons with Disabilities, has said that emergency action is required to immediately stay eviction of lakhs of STs and find complete solution to the situation that has arisen following the Supreme Court order of February 13.
The order, says Krishnan, directed 21 States to evict a mind-boggling number, mainly of the Scheduled Tribes (STs) and of some other Traditional Forest Dwellers (OTFDs), in the case of the Wild-Life First and Ors vs the Ministry of Environment and Forests and Ors.
The letter regrets, "It appears that your Ministry was not in the picture in this case. In view of the orientation of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, there is room for apprehension that the facts and the Constitutional and legal position perta…

Attack on Kashmiri students: Modi's response "woefully inadequate", follows SC order

Counterview Desk
Reacting to recent attacks on Kashmiri students and traders, civil rights organization People’s Alliance for Democracy and Secularism (PADS) has regretted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the incidents more than a week of violence began, which is "woefully inadequate".

Disappearance of environmentalist "suggests" police role against anti-Sterlite protestors

Counterview Desk
In a letter to Tamil Nadu chief secretary Girija Vaidyanathan, eminent citizens have expressed serious concern over the mysterious disappearance of environmental and human rights defender S Mugilan of Tamil Nadu, saying, he is "a target of attack by the state apparatus."

Ex-Navy chief: No amount of muscular policy can quell anger, alienation of Kashmir youth

Counterview Desk
Admiral L Ramdas (retd), former former Chief of the Naval Staff, PVSM AVSM VrC VSM, and Magsaysay Awardee for Peace, in a letter to the President of India, has argued, in the wake of the recent terrorist attack in Kashmir, that there cannot be a military solution to the Kashmir problem; it has to be a political one, he insists, adding, a political solution must involve a genuine and continuous dialogue with the people of Kashmir – including dissidents and separatists, and governments of Pakistan and India.

Unequal treatment: Kendiya Vidyalaya spends Rs 27,000 per child; govt schools Rs 3,000

Counterview Desk
A recent policy brief by Oxfam, “India Public Good or Private Wealth? The India Story”, insists that “universal health, education and other public services reduce the gap between rich and poor, and between women and men”, something that is not happening in India today.

Haryana cow lynching case: How police, "acting" under political pressure, wavered

Counterview Desk
A 25-year-old man from Jalalabad in Shamli district of Uttar Pradesh, identified as Naushad, was reportedly brutally thrashed by cow vigilantes at Bhalout village of Haryana's Rohtak district on January 19 night on suspicion of cow smuggling. A vigilante on a scooter followed Naushad, who was transporting a buffalo and its two calves in a vehicle to UP, and forced him to stop.

Karnataka High Court quashes ED decision to freeze Greenpeace accounts

By Our Representative
The Karnataka High Court has quashed the freezing of accounts of Greenpeace India by the Enforcement Directorate, holding the order of freezing to be null and void. Funding to the top international environmental watchdog was blocked following a raid by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) at its Bangalore office in October 2018.
In a setback to the ED move, not only has the High Court allowed funding of Greenpeace, it has directed immediate defreezing of Greenpeace India’s account.
Diya Deb, campaign director at Greenpeace India, has welcomed the Karnataka High Court's decision to unfreeze the bank accounts of Greenpeace India, saying, the decision not only strengthens its "belief in democractic values and constitutional propriety but also attests our stand that the organisation functions in accordance with Indian laws and for the benefit of society at large."
The campaigner adds, "We hope that the attempts to shut us down will continue to be thwa…

NGO working in J&K border area, two others receive Rs 5 crore HCL CSR grant each

By Our Representative
HCL Foundation, the CSR arm of HCL Technologies, has granted Rs 5 crore each to three NGOs -- She Hope Society for Women, Wildlife Trust of India and Srijan Foundation Noida, India -- under the top industry's corporate social responsibility programme.
The grants were handed over to the three NGOs in the presence of Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog, and Sourav Ganguly, former captain of the Indian National Cricket Team. These were in recognition of the NGOs' exemplary work in the field of healthcare, environment and education, respectively.
The HCL Grant award ceremony, held at the HCL Technologies campus in Noida, was also attended, among others by Shiv Nadar, founder and chairman, HCL, Roshni Nadar Malhotra, vice chairperson, HCL Technologies.
The She Hope Society for Women Entrepreneurs works in remote, border and isolated areas of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) on physical rehabilitation. It would use the grant as humanitarian assistance to strengthe…

BJP's "intentional" non-implementation of FRA: Political parties told to up the ante

Counterview Desk
India's top land rights network Bhumi Adhikar Andolan (BAA) in a statement has said that the recent Supreme Court verdict on Forest Rights Act (FRA) is a continuation of historic Injustices over Adivasis and other forest dwelling communities, insisting, if implemented, FRA 2006 would become "dysfunctional".

Whose bogus claims? Anti-forest rights petitioners' arguments "misleading"

Counterview Desk
The forest rights organization, Campaign for Survival and Dignity (CSD), claiming to have presence in a dozen states, has strongly contested the statement issued by Wildlife First's Praveen Bhargav "on behalf of" petitioners in Writ Petition 109 of 2008 -- -- in defence of the recent Supreme Court order, which, they said, is being wrongly interpreted as underling the Forest Rights Act.

Whither critical wildlife habitat? 72 lakh ha "given way" to forest dwellers since 2008

Counterview Desk
Following widespread apprehensions across India that the recent Supreme Court order on Forest Rights Act (FRA) would lead to the eviction of about 10 lakh forest dwellers, depriving them of their rightful ownership of forest land, a statement issued by Wildlife First's Praveen Bhargav "on behalf of" petitioners in Writ Petition 109 of 2008 -- Kishor Rithe, Nature Conservation Society, and Harshwardhan Dhanwatey, Tiger Research and Conservation Trust -- has claimed that the order does not affect genuine claimants.

Protest organized against Hyderabad national Urdu varsity chancellor, a "Modi appointee"

By Our Representative
A protest took place on the Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU) campus in Hyderabad against its chancellor Firoz Bakht Ahmed, dubbed as an RSS appointee and a Modi man. The protesters sought Ahmed's removal from his post, alleging interference.
Calling it "very unfortunate" and "wayward", Ahmed in a statement said, first the university "hurt the national sentiment in the aftermath of the martyrdom of our 44 soldiers by celebrating a gala musical evening and then followed it up with this protest against the chancellor, who had reprimanded the administration for having gone through with this festivity."
Alleging that the protest was engineered by the vice chancellor, Ahmed said, it is being used "as fodder" to create an atmosphere against the chancellor, whose photograph was blackened. He added, "The future of these poor students is not in safe hands."

Letter to Modi: 18 whistleblowers killed, as govt refuses to implement Act to protect them

Counterview Desk
The National Campaign for Peoples’ Right to Information (NCPRI), in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding non-implementation of the Whistle Blowers Protection (WBP) Act, passed 5 years ago, on February 21, 2014, has said that government indifference stands in sharp contrast to scores of whistleblowers being threatened, attacked and even killed.

Police raid 40 minority houses in Gujarat village, beat up women, children: Complaint to district admin

By Our Representative
About 300 individuals belonging to the Muslim community, in a representation to the Amreli district collector, have complained that the policemen, forest staff and electrical staff of the Pashchim Gujarat Vij Nigam raided 40 houses of Semardi village of Dhari taluka belonging to the minorities and looted them.
The representation said, this happened on February 17 afternoon. Not just males, even women and children were not spared. They were indiscriminately beaten up. They did not even spare children's toys, even as they destroyed TV, fridge, fans, treasury closets, window bars, bathroom and toilet doors, bicycles, motor bykes, etc.
Asking the district officialdom to immediately rehabilitate the victims, carry out a survey to make payment against the destruction of property, take legal steps to ensure equal justice for all to regain trust in law and order machinery, the representation wanted the officialdom to ensure that those who raided the houses return cas…

International law "set aside": SC order on Forest Rights Act to "trigger" forced eviction

Counterview Desk
In a strong reaction, one of the top-most international NGOs, Amnesty International, has termed the recent Supreme Court ruling of Forest Rights Act (FRA) as “devastating”, warning, this could render over a million indigenous people homeless. A statement issued by Amnesty International’s India office in Bangalore says that India is party to a number of international human rights treaties, including the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which prohibit forced evictions.

SC order may be made pretext to attack lakhs of forest dwellers across the country

By Our Representative
The forest rights organization, Campaign for Survival and Dignity (CSD), has said that the latest Supreme Court order in a case challenging the Forest Rights Act (FRA) is a major blow to the struggle of tribals and forest dwellers for justice and to the homes, lands and livelihoods of millions of our poorest people.
A CSD statement said, the Government of India, for the fourth time in a row, chose not to argue at all in the Court. "As no other party can speak effectively in defense of a law, the version of the petitioners – forest officials, ex-zamindars and a handful of wildlife NGOs – was hence taken to be the truth."
The Supreme Court’s order directs various State governments to report on the status of people’s claims for their traditional rights over lands, forest and forest resources under the FRA, and – for some States – goes on to state that claimants whose rejections have “attained finality” should now be evicted.
According to CSD, "The fac…

Half of non-Dalits in Rajasthan, UP, one third in Delhi report "practicing" untouchability

Counterview Desk
A recent paper “Open defecation: Manual scavenging’s legacy in rural India” by Payal Hathi and Diane Coffey of the Research Institute for Compassionate Economics, has undertaken a mobile phone survey, called Social Attitudes Research, India (SARI), in order to collect data on caste prejudice among adults in several states in India, claiming to confirm what manual scavenging activists have long argued: that Indian society suffers from deeply ingrained casteist attitudes.

Gujarat budget allocation for minorities' welfare discriminatory: MCC

Calling the Gujarat government allocation for the minorities in the state budget “discriminatory”, Minorities Coordination Committee (MCC) convener Mujahid Nafees has said, as against its population of 11.5% of the state, the state government has set aside only Rs 5.51 crore for them. Total size of the 2019-20 budget, presented in the state assembly on February 19, is Rs 1.92 lakh crore.
Giving a breakup, MCC says, quoting budget papers, while the Gujarat Minority Finance Development Corporation has been given Rs 1 lakh, Rs 1.50 crore go to the National Minority Finance and Development Corporation, and Rs 4 crore for the Multi-Sectoral Development Plan (MSDP), meant for minorities.
The civil rights organization had demanded Rs 5,940 crore for the development, protection, education and employment of minorities. In a statement, it regrets, “But the current government, which talks about development, has deliberately neglected the plight of 11.5% of the population in Gujarat.”
It underli…

Atmavodhanand's fast unto death: Civil society to protest against govt "silence"

By Our Representative
Several civil society organizations have decided to hold a foot march starting near Amar Jawan Jyoti, India Gate, to Jantar Mantar via Copernicus Marg on February 23 afternoon, followed by a public meeting, to protest against the government’s alleged silence on fast unto death by Swami Aatmabodhanand for free Ganga since October 24, 2018.
A National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM) statement ahead of the protest rally regrets, "Regardless of all the claims being made in the Ardhakumbha, the symbol of the Ganga-Jamuni culture, river Ganga is in danger. While the Ganges in Uttarakhand is suffering from dams, pollution, sand mining, barrages and waterways affect the river in the plains."
Aatmabodhanand, 26, of Matri Sadan is on fast unto death after the death of Swami Sanand (Prof GD Agrawal), who gave up his life after 111 days of continuous fast for the noble cause of free flow of Ganges.
A student of computer science, Aatmabodhanand took sanya…

44 cow-related deaths: US-based rights body blames BJP rulers for violence, cover-ups

Counterview Desk
The New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW), in detailed report, "India: Vigilante ‘Cow Protection’ Groups Attack Minorities", has blamed for BJP for increasingly using communal rhetoric since it came to power in May 2014, spurring a violent vigilante campaign against beef consumption and those deemed linked to it.

Food security: Delhi HC asks state govt to file reply on "failure" to implement greivances mechanism

By Our Representative
The Delhi High Court has issued notice following a contempt petition against the Delhi government's failure to implement directions on grievance redress under the National Food Security Act (NFSA).
The petition was filed by the Delhi Rozi Roti Adhikar Abhiyan for the state government "failure" to comply with the directions of the High Court given in September 2017 regarding implementation of grievance redress and accountability measures under NFSA.
Giving time till March 5, 2019 to the government to file its reply, the High Court in September 2017, while hearing a PIL on the difficulties faced by people in accessing their entitlements under NFSA (due to Aadhaar being made mandatory) took cognisance of the non-implementation in Delhi of provisions related to grievance redress under the NFSA.
The High Court had stated that they were appalled to note the failure of the Delhi government to promulgate rules under the NFSA, including those related to t…

How most wanted terrorist Azhar Masood has come to rescue Hindutva establishment

By Shamsul Islam*
All Indians are devastated by the massacre of 44 para-military personnel and maiming of many of them by the notorious, Azhar Masood led Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) who tops Security Council’s list of most wanted terrorist. The most heinous part of this carnage was that the victims were not on the battle-front but travelling.

All-India protest against commercialization and communalization of education

By Prof Madhu Prasad, Dr Vikas Gupta*
The All-India Forum for Right to Education (AIFRTE) organized on February 18 in Delhi a protest demonstration at Parliament Street, a nation-wide referendum on education policy, a People’s Parliament (Jan Sansad), and an evening of cultural resistance as part the full-day All-India Shiksha Hunkar Rally.

Contempt petitions against Prashant Bhushan meant to intimidate critics: Top activists

Counterview Desk
More than 100 activists, academics and former civil servants have signed a statement expressing solidarity with leading human rights advocate Prashant Bhushan, against whom contempt petitions have been filed in the Supreme Court. The statement says, "Unfortunately, expressing an apprehension that the government might be misleading the apex court is being alleged to be contempt of court."

Modi wants Pak govt be held responsible for JeM terror strike: World doesn't agree

By Sandeep Pandey*
I went to participate in a candle light homage paying event at Dr BR Ambedkar's statue organised by about 200 Dalit students on Hazratganj main crossing in Lucknow on February 16, 2019 evening, two days after the dastardly terrorist act in Pulwana, Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), in which 44 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel was killed.

Music festival in Hyderabad Urdu varsity an "insult" to memory of CRPF jawans: Chancellor

By Our Representative
Firoz Bakht Ahmed, chancellor, Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU), Hyderabad, has sharply criticized the university authorities for bothering little about the sacrifice of 44 CRPF jawans in near Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir but going ahead with celebrating a gala musical evening on February 16 involving 2000 MANUU students, teachers and journalists.
Ahmed, who was appointed MANUU chancellor last year but holds little authority, says in a statement, "Nothing more insensitive and anti-national", adding, this was being in order to appease students to obtain a "positive" report from the UGC Fact Finding Committee. It is probing into allegations of mismanagement and misappropriation in the university.

North-East: Generating patriotism by raising anti-Citizenship Amendment Bill banner

By Nava Thakuria*
It would seem that the people of northeast (NE) India have become more conscious about India’s constitution, rule of law and its secular image abroad. Indeed, groups of people, including politicians, civil society group representatives, media personnel etc. recently hit the streets raising strong voices against the Union government’s proposed citizenship amendment initiatives.

Melghat Tiger Reserve, Amravati: Tribals' community forest rights "ignored"

By Our Representative
Khoj, a forest rights organization working in the Melghat region of Maharashtra, has said that villages in the Melghat Tiger Reserve, Amravati, Maharashtra, have been relocated without resettling either their individual rights or their collective community forest rights (CFR).
In a letter to the Minister of Tribal Affairs, Government of India, Khoj's Purnima Upadhyay has said, this is a violation of the Forest Rights Act (FRA), adding, the affected Villages are Barukheda, Nagartas, Amona, Churni and Vairaat.
"In fact the people of Vairat had made their CFR application, however, it was rejected at the Gram Sabha of the Gram Panchayat and the appeal to the SDO was not heard appropriately", Upadhayay said, adding, "There are further more villages to be resettled and hence your urgent intervention is needed".
Pointing out that "people are not only adequately informed by the authorities", the letter states, "It is the respon…

Militant talking about fidayeen strike before Pulwama attack "suggests" security lapse

Counterview Desk 
A statement issued "on behalf of" Pakistan-India People’s Forum for Peace & Democracy (PIPFPD), a civil society organization seeking to promote peace between the two neighbouring countries, commenting on the Pulawana terror attack, has wondered, "how many deaths will it take till we know that too many people have died?"

Failure of democratic ways to resolve Kashmir unrest root cause of JK terror attack: NAPM

Counterview Desk
The National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM), India's well-known civil rights network, even as condemning the "fatal attack" on the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) convoy at Pulwama, killing 44 jawans, has insisted that "military and militant violence must end and give way to democratic aspirations of people of Kashmir". 

Allocate Rs 5,900 crore for minorities: Letter to Gujarat CM ahead of interim budget

By Our Representative
The Minority Coordination Committee (MCC), Gujarat, has demanded that the state government should allocate Rs 5,940 crore for the development of minorities, regretting, unlike Government of India, Gujarat has no separate budget for them.
In a letter sent to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani ahead of the interim budget session of the state assembly, MCC convener Mujahid Nafees said, this situation is there despite the fact that Gujarat has 11% population of minorities, of which 9.7% are Muslims, and the total budget for 2018-19 was Rs 1,825,000 crore.
Insisting that the minorities are "very backward" and need "protection", Nafees said, a new department of minority affairs on lines of the Centre should be created and it should be allocated Rs 1,000 crore.
Other major demands are: A State Commission for Minorities which should be allocated Rs 250 crore; Rs 1,100 crore for the Multi-Sectoral Development Programme (MSDP) for Minorities; an allo…