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Arrest warrants against rights activists: Jharkhand, Maharashtra govts 'collaborate'

By Our Representative
Condemning the arrest warrant issued against Stan Swamy, Aloka Kujur, Vinod Kumar, Rakesh Roshan Kiro and Babita Kashyap on June 19, 2019, in relation to FIR filed on July 26, 2018 for "waging war" against the state, sedition, conspiracy, and Sections 66 and 66A IT Act "based simply on their Facebook posts", the People's Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR) has said it is "part of the continued wave of repressive measures" unleashed by government authorities.
PUDR said, this has been happening against the backdrop of the Jharkhand government FIR 124/2018 at Khunti PS against 20 writers, intellectuals and activists against the Pathalgarhi movement in the state over June-July 2018, wherein more than 300 villagers have also been slapped with sedition cases without their knowledge, and there has been deployment of security forces, raids and constant surveillance over the past one year.
"The arrest warrant has been issued close to one year after the FIR was filed, with no follow-up investigation, even though the Supreme Court has struck down S.66A as unconstitutional as far back as 2015, and has held repeatedly that sedition cannot be invoked to target speech, unless there is direct incitement to violence", PUDR said.
"Yet, the Jharkhand government continues its fear tactics against writers and activists working or writing on issues of land rights and the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act (PESA) for adivasis in the state. Without taking lawful action on FIR, those named in the FIR have been subject to raids and continued surveillance, even as a petition for quashing the FIR remains pending before the Ranchi High Court since last year without a hearing", it added.
Referring to the recent "attack" on Stan Swamy, who is 80 plus, PUDR said, "He was one of the six activists whose houses were raided on the morning of August 28, 2018 as part of the Maharashtra government’s conspiracy related to Bhima Koregaon, and his premises have been raided again on June 12, 2019. As he continues to be threatened as part of that conspiracy, the Jharkhand government, on the encouragement of the CID, is attempting to further target him through the present FIR."



132 Gujarat citizens, including IIM-A faculty, others declare solidarity with Kashmiris

Counterview Desk
A week after it was floated, 132 activists, academics, students, artists and other concerned citizens of Gujarat, backed by 118 living in different parts of India and the world, have signed a "solidarity letter" supporting the people of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), who, it claims, have been silenced and held captive in their own land. The signatories include faculty members and scholars of the prestigious Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A).

Amit Shah 'wrong': Lack of transparency characterized bank frauds, NPAs, jobs data

Counterview Desk
India's senior RTI activists Nikhil Dey, Anjali Bhardwaj, Venktesh Nayak, Rakesh Reddy Dubbudu, Dr. Shaikh Ghulam Rasool, Pankti Jog and Pradip Pradhan, who are attached with the National Campaign for Peoples' Right to Information (NCPRI), have said that Union home minister Amit Shah's claim that the Government of India is committed to transparency stands in sharp contrast to its actual actions.

Bharat Ratna nominee ‘joined hands’ with British masters to 'crush' Quit India

By Shamsul Islam*
The Quit India Movement (QIM), also known as ‘August Kranti' (August Revolution), was a nation-wide Civil Disobedience Movement for which a call was given on August 7, 1942 by the Bombay session of the All-India Congress Committee. It was to begin on August 9 as per Gandhi's call to 'Do or Die' in his Quit India speech delivered in Bombay at the Gowalia Tank Maidan on August 8. Since then August 9 is celebrated as August Kranti Divas.

Gujarat's incomplete canals: Narmada dam filled up, yet benefits 'won't reach' farmers

By Our Representative
Even as the Gujarat government is making all out efforts to fill up the Sardar Sarovar dam on Narmada river up to the full reservoir level (FRL), a senior farmer rights leader has said the huge reservoir, as of today, remains a “mirage for the farmers of Gujarat”.
In a statement, Sagar Rabari of the Khedut Ekta Manch (KEM), has said that though the dam’s reservoir is being filled up, the canal network remains complete. Quoting latest government figures, he says, meanwhile, the command area of the dam has been reduced from 18,45,000 hectares (ha) to 17,92,000 ha.
“According to the website of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd, which was last updated on Friday, while the main canal, of 458 km long, has been completed, 144 km of ranch canals out of the proposed length of 2731 km remain incomplete.
Then, as against the targeted 4,569 km distributaries, 4,347 km have been constructed, suggesting work for 222 km is still pending. And of the 15,670 km of minor canal…

Ceramic worker dies: 20,000 workers in Thangadh, Gujarat, 'risk' deadly silicosis

By Our Representative
Even as the country was busy preparing for the Janmashtami festival on Saturday, Hareshbhai, a 46-year-old ceramic worker from suffering from the fatal lung disease silicosis, passed away. He worked in a ceramic unit in Thangadh in Surendranagar district of Gujarat from 2000 to 2016.
Hareshbhai was diagnosed with the disease by the GCS Medical College, Naroda Road, Ahmedabad in 2014. He was found to be suffering from progressive massive fibrosis. He is left behind by his wife Rekha sister and two sons Deepak (18) and Umesh (12),
The death of Hareshbhai, says Jagdish Patel of the health rights group Peoples Training and Research Centre (PTRC), suggests that silicosis, an occupational disease, can be prevented but not cured, and the Factory Act has sufficient provisions to prevent this.
According to Patel, the pottery industry in the industrial town of Thangadh has evolved for a long time and locals as well as migrant workers are employed here. There are abou…