WOMEN – 2009

Document Sample
WOMEN – 2009 Powered By Docstoc
					                                    WOMEN – 2009
                                      (January to December 2009)

                                                                                           Compiled By
                                                                                               K. Samu
                                                                        Human Rights Documentation,
                                                          Indian Social Institute, Lodi Road, New Delhi

Crime against women on rise in Delhi (8)
New Delhi (PTI): Despite public outcry over the lack of safety for women in the city, the national capital
continues to be vulnerable for the fairer sex with a reported increase in number of cases of crime against
them. According to the latest statistics by National Commission for Women (NCW), of the total 2,000
complaints of crimes against women received till mid-December this year, 535 were of rape, 338 of
molestation and eve teasing, 361 cases were related to gender and caste based discrimination and 21 for
attempt to rape among others. "These complaints are a matter of grave concern for us. Our Commission
is monitoring the situation and taking strict measures to check it," NCW Chairperson Girija Vyas said. All
state governments have opened separate women police stations in each districts and major cities to deal
with cases of crimes against women. "Even in all other police stations, women have right to be dealt with
by a women officer only for their complaints and grievances. But, the number shows that we need to do
more to stop cruelty against women," she said. The Commission also received 553 complaints of police
harassment and 192 for sexual harassment at work place. The NCW, however, had received a total of
1,086 cases of crimes against women last year, out of which 634 complaints were of rape and attempt to
rape, 249 of police harassment, 110 of sexual harassment at work place, 88 for outraging modesty of
women and 5 for gender discrimination. According to the apex court guidelines, it is mandatory for all the
government and semi-government organisations to have an in-house committee to check the cases of
sexual harassment, Vyas said, adding that "it is the job of the committee to ensure that no women is
being harassed in her office. (The Hindu 1/1/09)

Who's protecting the working women? (8)
According to statistics, 60 per cent of women acknowledge that sexual harassment at the workplace is
rampant. Yet, the awareness and implementation of the Vishaka Guidelines remain poor, laments A
Pandey In 1997, the Supreme Court (SC) took upon itself the task of framing the Vishaka Guidelines. The
idea was to evolve an alternative mechanism to fulfill the urgent social need to protect working women
from sexual harassment. These guidelines were declared as the law of the land and were binding and
enforceable until suitable legislation was enacted. But although over a decade has passed since then, the
legislation is yet to be put in place. Statistics show that one woman is molested every 26 minutes and this
refers to the reported cases only. If the unreported cases were to be included, it would be a matter of
seconds rather than minutes. Most cases are not reported by victims because of reasons ranging from
family and police pressures to the unreasonably long process of gaining justice. The population of
working women in India has grown multifold over the last decade. According to statistics, 60 per cent of
women acknowledge that sexual harassment at the workplace is rampant and has been accepted as a
professional hazard by most women. Yet, the awareness and implementation of the Vishaka Guidelines
remain poor. This was also recognised by the SC in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed in the case of
Medha Kotwal (2006). The apex court went on to make State Governments, through the Labour
Commissioners and Women and Child Departments, responsible for ensuring that all workplaces with 50
per cent and more women on their staff, set up a Complaints Committee (CC). In reality, however, either
the CCs don't exist as an ex-ante mechanism or are set up in an ad-hoc manner. The increasing number
of complaints filed in the courts, in the National Commission for Women (NCW) and the State Women's
Commissions (SWC), are a testimony to the lack of the proper implementation of the Vishaka Guidelines
by the employer and the general ineffectiveness of the CCs. A RTI application filed with the Labour
Commissioner in Maharashtra in 2007 revealed that no concrete measures had been taken by it despite
the SC order in the Medha Kotwal case. Another application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) with
the Maharashtra State Women Commission revealed that 60 complaints of sexual harassment at the
workplace were filed in four months between January 1, 2008 and April 30, 2008. Most developed nations
have recognised sexual harassment at the workplace as a serious abuse, resulting from the exertion of
power on the victim by the perpetrator. Therefore sexual harassment, in addition to being a violation of
the right to safe working conditions, is also a violation of a person's right to bodily integrity. As the
Protection of Women against Sexual Harassment at Workplace Bill, 2007, is being deliberated and
discussed, what is it that women have in terms of relief when employers fail to implement Vishaka
Guidelines? This is a difficult question to answer. Yet, in the midst of all the chaos and confusion, the
Courts have many times helped women secure justice, rights and their dignity. (Deccan Herald 3/1/09)

480 women killed, 195 raped in Karachi in 200(8)
Karachi, Jan 7 (ANI): More than 1,885 incidents of violence against women took place in Karachi in which
more than 480 women had been killed. The report prepared by the Aurat Foundation said that over 279
women were murdered and more than 284 people - including 80 men - killed on the pretext of karo-kari,
or honour killing, and attempts were made on the lives of 45 others. The report says that 62 women were
gang-raped, 86 raped; sexual assault was committed against 47 females and 157 suffered custodial
violence and 414 others were abducted. It says that 146 women committed suicide while 32 others tried
to commit suicide, the Dawn reported. Domestic violence was committed against 112 women, 135 others
were hurt or received injuries, 12 women were burnt and acid was thrown at three others and 16 women
were trafficked. It says that of the 1,885 incidents, 354 occurred during the fourth quarter of the year in
which 58 women were murdered and 51 others were eliminated on the pretext of honour killing, while
attempt was also made on the life of 21 others. Some 38 women committed suicide and 34 others tried to
kill themselves. The report says that eight women were gang-raped, 15 were raped and 43 others were
abducted. It says that 23 women were hurt, custodial violence was committed against 20 women while
nine faced domestic violence and five were trafficked, besides many others who faced various kinds of
violence. The report points out that most of the honour killings occurred in rural areas while a majority of
murders were reported in urban areas. Weapons used included guns, batons, ropes, knives, bricks, iron
rods, and poison. (ANI) (Oneindia 7.1.09)

January 24 ‘National Girl Child Day’ (8)
NEW DELHI: January 24 will be observed as the National Girl Child Day to create awareness of issues
related to girls. The proposal was cleared by the Cabinet recently. To mark the day, the Ministry of
Women and Child Development will launch a sustained campaign to highlight the evils of female foeticide,
female infanticide and discrimination in matters of health, nutrition, education and opportunities. The
importance of the girl child will be highlighted through TV spots, advertisements and announcements over
telephone. (The Hindu 7/1/09)

Student snatched from a car in Noida, gangraped (8)
New Delhi: Jan. 6: A 24-year-old MBA student who had gone to a shopping mall with her friend was
waylaid by 10 youth, taken to a desolate spot and gangraped in Noida around 5 pm on Monday. While
some of the youth dragged the girl, a resident of Lajpat Nagar, out of the car, others kept her friend, Amit
Pawar, pinned to the ground. The men then took turns raping the victim. This is the second case of
kidnapping and sexual assault in Noida within 48 hours. The police managed to arrest five of the youth.
The others were still at large. Those arrested, undergraduates in their early 20s, belonged to the families
of local farmers. They were identified as Husain, Srikant, Sanjay, Sudhir and Gautam. The police
recovered cricket bats, a cricket kit and stumps and three mobile phones from them. Sanjay, one of the
accused, claimed one of their friends saw the girl and the man inside the car in an intimate position. "We
were 10 people. We were returning after playing cricket. One of us saw the girl and the boy inside the car
and then we forced ourselves inside the car in turns to attack her," he was quoted as telling reporters.
The victim and her batchmate Pawar, a resident of Hauz Khas, had gone to the Great India Place
shopping complex (opposite Noida’s Sector 18) and were returning in the victim’s Maruti WagonR when,
at around 5 pm, they were waylaid by 10 youth riding motorcycles nearly a kilometre from the complex.
The attackers, who were carrying a cricket kit, bats and stumps, forced their way into the car and then
drove towards a "jungle" not very far from the complex where they allegedly raped the girl. They also beat
up the victim’s friend. After a couple of hours the young men left the victim and her friend at the same
spot, but took away their mobile phones. The victim’s friend later found his way to the Sector 39 police
station and narrated the incident. A complaint was finally lodged around at 1.30 am. It was learnt that the
young men had been returning from a cricket match and spotted the couple sitting in the car at Pushta
Parthala, a "bund" near Sector 58. Finding them alone and defenceless, they took her to the nearby fields
and raped her. On Tuesday morning the police began hunting local boys playing cricket. "The victims had
told us that the accused were carrying cricket bats and a cricket kit. This morning we went through the
local teams and traced the accused to Garhi Chaukhandi village to which where they all belonged," said
superintendent of police (Noida City) Ashok Tripathi. Mr Tripathi said a test identification parade would be
carried out on Wednesday. The medical report of the victim is awaited. On Sunday, a Delhi University girl
was abducted when she had gone shopping with her mother at the Sunday Bazar in Noida’s Sector 58.
The kidnappers abandoned her around 2 am near Bhopura crossing in Ghaziabad. The kidnappers are
still at large. Monday evening’s incident highlights the fact that Uttar Pradesh is among the most unsafe
states for women in the country. According to figures compiled by the National Commission for Women
and presented in the Lok Sabha, this past December UP registered 2,381 cases of crime against women,
including rape, torture for dowry, and harassment, the highest in the country. (Asian Age 7/1/09)

480 women killed, 195 raped in Karachi in 200(8)
Karachi, Jan 7 (ANI): More than 1,885 incidents of violence against women took place in Karachi in which
more than 480 women had been killed. The report prepared by the Aurat Foundation said that over 279
women were murdered and more than 284 people - including 80 men - killed on the pretext of karo-kari,
or honour killing, and attempts were made on the lives of 45 others. The report says that 62 women were
gang-raped, 86 raped; sexual assault was committed against 47 females and 157 suffered custodial
violence and 414 others were abducted. It says that 146 women committed suicide while 32 others tried
to commit suicide, the Dawn reported. Domestic violence was committed against 112 women, 135 others
were hurt or received injuries, 12 women were burnt and acid was thrown at three others and 16 women
were trafficked. It says that of the 1,885 incidents, 354 occurred during the fourth quarter of the year in
which 58 women were murdered and 51 others were eliminated on the pretext of honour killing, while
attempt was also made on the life of 21 others. Some 38 women committed suicide and 34 others tried to
kill themselves. The report says that eight women were gang-raped, 15 were raped and 43 others were
abducted. It says that 23 women were hurt, custodial violence was committed against 20 women while
nine faced domestic violence and five were trafficked, besides many others who faced various kinds of
violence. The report points out that most of the honour killings occurred in rural areas while a majority of
murders were reported in urban areas. Weapons used included guns, batons, ropes, knives, bricks, iron
rods, and poison. (ANI) (Oneindia 7.1.09)

Crime against women on the rise in Punjab, Haryana (8)
CHANDIGARH: The year 2008 turned out to be an unhappy one for women in Punjab and Haryana. Data
provided by the Women’s Commission of Punjab and Haryana, updated till November 2008, indicates a
steep rise in crimes against women. According to the data, on an average, two women in Haryana and
one in Punjab were criminally assaulted each day. In Punjab, at least two cases of kidnapping and one of
molestation were reported daily. Worse still is the fact that at least 12 women committed suicide every
month and as many were killed for dowry. Till November end, 140 women were murdered, 411 raped,
350 molested and over 600 kidnapped. The districts of Jalandhar and Ludhiana reported the highest
number of kidnapping cases, accounting for over 70 per cent those that occurred in the State. 60 rape
cases were registered in Ludhiana alone. Dowry deaths also showed an upward trend. In Punjab, more
than 70 per cent of these were registered in Ludhiana, Tarn Taran, Bathinda and Jalandhar. According to
the Punjab Commission for Women chairperson Gurdev Kaur Sangha, “Domestic violence and dowry are
usually fuelled by greed, which is a direct result of the commercialisation of weddings in this region.
Earlier the weddings were simpler but today each one tries to outdo the other in the ostentatious display
of wealth. People who cannot afford such large-scale functions end up cursing themselves for having a
daughter and this mind-set leads to female foeticide.” In Haryana, a disturbing trend is a 25 per cent
increase in the number of rape cases since 2008. Compared to 471 cases in 2007, more than 600
women had lodged rape complaints, including six against police officers, by 2008 November-end. Four
women, on different occasions, tried to commit suicide outside the Panchkula police headquarters
protesting against police inaction. “The police are hardly protecting women. Ladies who go to police
stations at night often complain of misbehaviour and the charges of rape and molestation against police
officers are a proof of this,” said Ms. Sangha. Faridabad and Gurgaon, districts neighbouring the National
Capital, together registered 179 rape cases. Rohtak comes a close second, with 150 cases. Haryana
Additional Director-General of Police (Law and Order) V. N. Rai attributes the crime against women to
“backwardness of society”. “Parents don’t want any societal backlash. Our law is progressive but the
society is yet to catch up with it,” he said. Sociologists claim that the numbers cannot be taken as a true
reflection of the state of women as many avoid lodging a complaint. The shameful trend of increasing
crimes against women is aptly reflected by the poor sex ratio in the region. The Capital of the two States,
Chandigarh, has one of the worst sex ratios in the country: 777 females for every 1,000 males. It dips
further if the ratio in the slums, 926 females per 1,000 males, is excluded. The city’s urban sex ratio then
stands at 500 females per 1,000 males. Despite the fact that the city ranks high in the literacy list and has
the highest per capita income in the country, the region as a whole has failed miserably in ensuring safety
and dignity of women. (The Hindu 8/1/09)

A new drive against domestic violence (8)
NEW DELHI: Insufficient budgetary allocation and lack of political will is leading to ineffective
implementation of the Domestic Violence Act , according to the Centre for Social Research. CSR will
soon launch an awareness campaign here to create a better understanding of the Protection of Women
against Domestic Violence Act and related legal procedures among women and law enforcement
agencies. “While there is increasing awareness of the legislation, there are many obstacles in its
implementation. To make the Act successful, we need well-trained protection officers, medical and shelter
facilities for aggrieved women, free and accessible legal aid and well-trained police and service
providers,” said CSR Director Ranjana Kumari. She said though the Act has provision for medical facility
or shelter home to be notified by the respective State governments, in reality there is a dearth of State-
sponsored facilities to meet the shelter and medical needs of aggrieved women. “The foremost need is
allocation of designated money by the Planning Commission for setting up the civil infrastructure for
implementing the Act,” she added. According to the CSR Director, a recent State-wise budgetary
allocation for investments to protect women against violence revealed that Andhra Pradesh tops the list of
States allocating the maximum budget for protection of women against violence (Rs.10 crore), whereas
Madhya Pradesh spends the lowest amount (Rs.2.92 lakh). CSR has conducted regional consultations in
which bureaucrats, law enforcement agencies, elected representatives and civil society organisations
discussed the roles and responsibilities of the authorities notified under the Act as well as the provisions
for victims of violence. (The Hindu 9/1/09)

CPI (M) meet on dowry harassment on Jan. 11 (8)
COIMBATORE: The Communist Party of India (Marxist) will hold here on January 11 a regional
conference on dowry harassment. Party Polit Bureau member Brinda Karat and State secretary N.
Varadarajan will address the conference, a release from district secretary P.R. Natarajan said. Party
cadres had been carrying out a survey on incidents of dowry harassment. The findings would be
presented at the conference, the release said. The conference was part of the party’s campaign against
atrocities on women. Such regional conferences were being held to sensitise people to the need to
eliminate the evil of dowry. The conference would have participants from Coimbatore, Tirupur, Erode,
Karur, the Nilgiris and Dindugul. (The Hindu 9/1/09)

Woman charges in-laws with targeting her lifestyle (8)
New delhi : Fed up by the constant nagging of her in-laws and husband over the way she dresses, a
woman has filed a case of domestic violence against them, alleging that she was constantly harassed
and tortured by them as they dissapproved of her lifestyle. In her petition, filed before the court of
additional chief metropolitan magistrate, the woman alleged, "the accused have been commenting on the
lifestyle, dressup and food habits of the complainant, her parents and friends." The woman also alleged
that she was forced to follow the lifestyle of her husband and in-laws. Filing a case against her husband,
mother-in-law and 78-year-old father-in-law, who is a retired Colonel from the Indian Army, the woman
also alleged that they were all jealous at seeing her guests, which included the "Lt Governor of Delhi,
ambassadors of Egypt and Iran and other high officials of many public and private sector undertakings".
Blaming her in-laws for influencing her husband, the woman claimed that her husband was otherwise fine
with her when he was not around his parents. Alleging "third degree torture" by her in laws, the
complainant also approached the CAW cell about the harrassment and beatings. An FIR was lodged in
this regard in the Sarita Vihar police station. Granting anticipatory bail to the 78-year-old retired Colonel
and his wife, accused of torturing their daughter-in-law, a trial court overturned the curbs imposed on
them by the local police from travelling abroad. "Considering the totality of facts and circumstances, I am
of the considered view that the applicants (accused) cannot be restrained from travelling abroad only on
grounds of pendency of proceedings against them," the court said. The accused had recently applied for
anticipatory bail in a trial court. The accused were suppose to leave for Dubai, where the complainant's
husband presently resides, to meet him. On the day of their flight, the old couple was, however, detained
at the airport by authorities on the grounds that a criminal case was going against them and that they
might flee from the country. They were, however, later allowed to fly out of the country. (Times of India

Law should be stringent on sexual offences: NCW (8)
Allahabad, Jan 10: The National Commission for Women (NCW) on Saturday pitched for comprehensive
changes in the existing legal system to put an effective check on incidents of sexual assault and said
"inadequacies" in law should be plugged to be tougher in cases of eve-teasing and molestation. "We have
sent the draft for the proposed Sexual Assaults Bill to the Government, wherein stringent punishment for
offences other than rape has been advocated," NCW Chairperson Girija Vyas told reporters here. The
proposal underlines inadequacies in existing laws, which are not adequately tough on offences like eve-
teasing and molestation -- both traumatising for women as any other crime. "Besides, even in cases of
rape, the severity of punishment needs to be much higher, if the victims are of tender age and the
perpetrators belong to law-enforcing Agencies One of the main reasons for growing incidents of rape
cases was reluctance of victims to lodge complaint. Realising that it might be due to "insensitivity" to
which they are subjected to during investigation and trial, the NCW has suggested remedies in the draft.
"There should be just one in-camera recording of statement after which the victim/s must not be asked to
narrate trauma again." "We need to understand that murder kills a person only once. But, a rape victim is
often condemned to die every moment of her life, a view expressed even by the apex court," she added.
Demanding speedy justice for the MBA student who was recently gang-raped in Noida, Vyas said, "we
receive the maximum number of complaints from Uttar Pradesh, though the state does not rank first in the
total number of crimes against women. This is, primarily, due to the insensitive approach of the state
police in handling such cases." "The state police has been insensitive towards female crime victims. It
was witnessed during the Nithari episode. Even more disgusting was the manner in which Aarushi murder
case was handled." The draft also calls for training of police force in states as they are found to be
"casual" about crimes against women. "This is one of the reasons why there has been an increase of
about 15 per cent in total incidents of crime against women between 2003-2007," the NCW chairperson
said. "Besides, we have suggested that there must be a mechanism for rehabilitation of rape victims, so
that they are not made to suffer the consequence of a crime that they have not committed." The public
should be sensitised about various laws framed to protect the rights of women. As part of it, the
Commission would launch a campaign on January 16 under which rural women would be introduced into
women-specific laws. (Cewntral Chronicle 11/1/09)

Sex determination still in vogue (8)
Dehradun: Despite several measures taken by the local administration to curb sex determination tests,
the ultrasound centres are still doing business. The administration's claim of strong measures has hardly
proven effective to check female foeticide. The Health department figures clearly indicate that the number
of girls born in the district are less than the number of boys born in the last two years. In the seven blocks
of Dehradun district, only 12,692 girls were born as compared to 14,221 boys in the previous year. A total
of 12,687 girls were born as compared to 14,711 boys in the 2007. However, sources revealed that the
owners of registered and unregistered ultrasound centres were indulging in sex determination activities.
The centre owners, it was stated, lured the patients and even practiced abortion after sex determination.
The remote areas of the district are more vulnerable as the teams formed to conduct raids on the centres
seldom visit blocks due to geographical conditions. “Strict action will be taken against unregistered
ultrasound centres in the district. No stone will be left unturned to nab the owners who are found indulging
in the sex determination activities”, Chief Medical Officer Dr GC Baunthiyal reiterated. He further said that
the department raids the ultrasound centers from time to time. If any ultrasound centre owner is found
guilty of breach of the PNDT (Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, 1994), the specialist doctor can be
slapped heavy fine or can be imprisoned for up to five years. Dr Baunthiyal said the department is also
taking several measures to promote institutional deliveries. (Pioneer 13/1/09)

Violence against women a growing reality (8)
KOLKATA, Jan. 13: Despite a sustained campaign endorsed by none other than chief minister Mr
Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, there has been an alarming increase in reports of violence against women in
the city during the last five years. According to a report prepared by the detective department, atrocities
against women in the city began increasing sharply in 2005. A total of 423 complaints of violence against
women were registered with the city police in 2005, a figure which rose to 614 in 2007, and increased
further to a total of 684 reports in the first 11 months of last year. The 2005 breakdown of these reports
stood at six reports of dowry death, 234 allegations of dowry-related torture, and 13 rape allegations (See
chart). Alarm bells rang in 2006 when city police registered a total of 549 reports of torture against women
across 48 police station areas in the city. Thirty eight of these reports concerned rape. Four dowry-related
deaths and 277 cases of dowry-related torture were also registered. In 2007, of the 614 complaints of
violence against women, 187 were reports of molestation. In the first 11 months of last year, 12 dowry
deaths occured ~ doubling the 2005 total ~ while 358 complaints were lodged, attesting to a spurt in
dowry-related torture. Thirty-three reports concerning rape were made in this period of 2008, as well as
195 allegations of molestation. Fourteen women were reported to have committed suicide due to physical
or mental torture. A police officer responded to the increase in reports thus, “From the figures it appears
that atrocities against women have increased in the city. But actually what's occuring is not an increase of
incidents, but an increase in reports, due to a higher level of awareness concerning crime against
women.” (Statesman 14/1/09)

 A rape every sixth day in Nagpur (8)
NAGPUR: City police say, 305 cases of rape have been reported in the city in the last five years. It means
one rape every sixth day, a 50% jump since 2003. A staggering 65% women never report the crime, but
thanks to the Domestic Violence Act, the awareness is on a upswing. Fifteen-year-old Nivedita (name
changed) knocked at the door of Seema Sakhare with a five-month baby in her arms. The infant was the
outcome of a rape. Nivedita’s child has been adopted. She is self-sufficient but scarred and resilient.
Seema Sakhare, founder-president of ‘Legal Literacy Movement for Women’ and ‘Stree Atyachar Virodhi
Parishad (SAVP) narrates a journey of tears, turmoil, tragedy and triumph with a voice of hope. “I was 13
when I first saw a rape victim who was barely 6 years old, bleeding and shaken. Her family immediately
wiped her clean saying, ‘Clean this mess before someone sees it or she won’t be able to get married’.
How could I not be moved?” she asks. “Rape is seen as the ultimate form of revenge. Pornography, lust
and seductive imagery never trigger rape. Only the psychology of the rapist drives him to commit the
crime. Although the act is violent, it is often a result of low self-esteem and the need to defeat it by
overpowering a vulnerable victim,” says psychiatrist Dr Sudhir Bhave. (Times of India 14/1/09)

 Women stopped from using road in Bangladesh town (7)
Dhaka, Jan 13: For the last month, women in a Bangladesh town have been unable to use a road that
has a mosque on it, but also the post office and several homes, thanks to a self-styled Muslim cleric who
says their presence is illegal under Islamic law. Retired soldier Abdus Sattar, who calls himself 'Pir', has
been guarding the road in Chittagong's Pirojpur town with the help of a stick for the last month. And the
administration is yet to act against Sattar, said Tuesday. A graffiti on Bara Masjid Road in Mathbaria says
'women are forbidden on this road'. Besides the mosque, the road has the town's post office and
residences. Those going to the hospital also need to use the road. Women residents and girls going to
the local school are taunted and scared off, the newspaper said. The newspaper correspondent
confronted Sattar after he witnessed a woman school teacher seeking to rush her sick child being barred
from using the road. Instead of replying and revealing his identity, the man showed the writings on a wall
that read 'Movement of women on this road is completely forbidden by order of Pir-e-Kamel Maulana Md
Abdus Sattar (retd soldier)'. The man was Abdus Sattar himself. An official at the post office, seeking
anonymity, said: 'Remittance from abroad comes here through money transfer. But as women cannot
come here using the road we face difficulty providing them the money. We informed the administration
but no action has been taken so far.'Sattar said: 'There is a mosque on this road. Use of this road by
women is najayez (illegal in Islam). So I have not only issued orders to women forbidding them from using
this road, I also prevent them from using it every day. I will do so as long as I live. The devotees in the
mosque will help me in this.'Mathbaria Central Jame Masjid committee president and Mathbaria
Municipality mayor Rafiuddin Ferdous said the matter had been discussed in the mosque committee. The
devotees had agreed to take action against the so-called Pir. (Central Chronicle 14/1/09)
 NCW wants sexual harassment law to cover educational institutes (15)
NEW DELHI: Faced with sexual harassment complaints from research scholars and university teachers,
the National Commission for Women (NCW) has proposed that educational institutions be recognised as
‘workplace’ and brought under the ambit of the Sexual Harassment at Workplace Bill. The bill is currently
with the women and child development ministry. A WCD ministry official confirmed the move, adding that
the matter was being looked into. NCW chairperson Girija Vyas said, "We have received numerous
complaints from UP and NCR. Teachers and research scholars are under tremendous pressure and no
one is adhering to the Vishakha guidelines set by Supreme Court. We are keen that the bill should cover
this aspect as well." According to statistics reported by the National Crime Records Bureau, crimes
against women have been increasing steadily since the past five years. Figures suggest that sexual
harassment cases have been mounting with the number of reported cases increasing from 9,984 to
10,950 in 2007. The conviction rate, on the other hand, is barely 50%. The bill has been in the works for
some time now. The WCD ministry, NCW and law ministry are looking at whether to include the
unorganised sector in the law. Another recommendation made by the law ministry was to include a
misuse clause. However, this was rejected by the NCW and the WCD ministry. The proposed legislation
is expected to provide redressal for women plagued by sexual harassment not just in government and
organised private sector companies but industries that have so far managed to stay out of the loop like
hospitality industry including catering services, restaurants, professions like NGOs, health services and
coaching centres, domestic helps, women working in tailoring, or beauty parlours. The penalty, if
harassment is proved, will be levied keeping in view the victim's mental suffering and trauma, income and
financial status of the woman, medical expenses incurred by the victim and loss in career opportunity
because of the incident. The bill also prohibits publication or making contents of the inquiry or the
aggrieved woman's details available. The employer will also be expected to provide a safe working
environment at the work place, organise sensitization workshops and create awareness regarding the
rights and penalties under law. (Times of India 15/1/09)

Girl commits suicide after eve-teasing in Begusarai (8)
Begusarai (PTI): Unable to bear the ignominy of eve-teasing, a 17-year-old girl allegedly committed
suicide by consuming poison in Samastipur village in Bihar's Begusarai district Late Thursday night,
police said. Balia Deputy Superintnedent of Police Mohammed Qasim said that the girl, an intermediate
student of a local college, was eve-teased by five boys of the village on January 13 while returning home
after collecting flour from a wheat grinding mill. The father of the victim, placed the matter before the gram
panchayat the following day which could not take any decision against the accused. Instead, parents of
the accused charged the girl with having "loose character". The victim, a meritorious student, who won
several medals in various sporting events at district level, could not bear the ignominy and committed
suicide, the the DySP said. The family members of the girl have lodged an FIR against the five eve-
teasers - Santosh Singh, Penter Singh alias Amar Singh, Rahul Singh, Chandan Singh and Saroj Singh -
under section 306 (abetment of suicide) of the Indian Penal Code, Qasim said adding that the police were
investigating the case. (The Hindu 16/1/09)

Amendment may make dowry law toothless (8)
NEW DELHI: Buried under vociferous calls by bar associations for court boycott and strikes, a largely
unnoticed fallout of the CrPC amendments has begun to bother astute legal observers in the capital. Had
lawyers agitating against the amendments highlighted this instead of issuing threats to shut courts, they
would have better mobilized public opinion against these amendments. For, once the amended law
comes into force, Section 498A of IPC (dowry harassment) will become a toothless penal provision as
errant husbands and in-laws will no longer face the possibility of being shunted to jail for harassment. The
amendment empowers police to simply issue a ‘notice of appearance' to the accused instead of putting
him behind bars in cases under Section 498A of IPC, which has a maximum punishment of three years. It
also means the deterrent effect behind Section 498A — fear of arrest by police — evaporates.
Experience has shown that, at present, in-laws and husband fall in line as soon as they realize they might
be whisked away to jail by cops, and more often than not, readily undertake to take care of the victim
before courts hear their anticipatory bail pleas. However, this might now change with the sting being
taken out from the provision, says advocate Shipli Jain. She explains: "Almost half of the cases in criminal
courts in Delhi are related to dowry-harassment bail pleas. We often notice that a husband and his
parents become very forthcoming for a settlement when they realize a court might dismiss their bail
applications. The amendment makes matters very easy and convenient for them. Most dowry cases get
settled at the bail stage itself, something that won't happen now." But isn't the provision of arrest under
498A a grossly misused one? Jain counters by saying: "Lots of divorces have been saved because men
are scared of throwing women out of the house lest they be booked under 498A. In a way, it is the most
effective provision despite the presence of the special laws like Domestic Violence Act." Another noted
women lawyer from Delhi, Minaxi Lekhi, also felt the CrPC changes will lead to problems: "At the end of
the day, criminal laws mean threat of arrest." (Times of India 19/1/09)

Village panchayat aims to become first dowry-free area (8)
Thiruvananthapuram: A Muslim-dominated village panchayat in Kerala's Malappuram district has
launched an year-long campaign to become the country's first dowry-free civic unit. Based on a survey
which found that it is people from the lower strata that is worst hit by the social menace, the campaign
seeks to obtain an assurance from all parents within an year that they would not give or accept any form
of dowry when their children are married. The campaign was formally launched at Nilambur by Congress
MP Sachin Pilot on the evening of Monday. "As far as we know, we are the country's first panchayat to
embark on this kind of a mission," said Arayadan Shoukat, Nilambur Panchayat President. "We know it is
not an easy task. It certainly is a tough job to root out a practice like dowry which has been an accepted
norm in our society for long among all the communities.” "But we are confident that we would be able to
achieve the goal with all parties and social groups supporting the programme," Shoukat told PTI. A major
component of the campaign would be creation of a sense of shame among the people about dowry so
that eventually they would discard it as an evil practice, he said. To start with, people's forums would be
formed in all the 22 panchayat wards and a series of meetings, interactions and counselling sessions
would be organised with the participation of the youth and parents. (Pioneer 21/1/09)

CrPC Amendment: Renuka to fight for women's rights (8)
NEW DELHI: A day after the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) Amendment Act 2008 got presidential nod,
minister for women and child development Renuka Choudhary challenged her own government's
decision by announcing that she would like to examine the amendments. The controversial amendments
say that the police, instead of arresting an accused, will be obliged to issue him a "notice of appearance"
for any offence punishable with imprisonment up to seven years. The person can be arrested only if
he/she does not appear before the police in response to the notice. "We are examining the amendments.
If we feel that the changed law is creating a problem, then we go back and fight it," Choudhary said.
There are several offences where seven years or less is the maximum penalty, including voluntarily
causing grievous hurt, outraging a woman's modesty and crimes under the Anti-Dowry Act.
Implementation of Protection of Domestic Violence Act will also come under cloud with the police unable
to arrest in-laws and husbands on the complaint of women. "All the good work of introducing strict
provisions under the DV Act may end up in naught if the provision for arrest is removed. In-laws will no
longer be afraid of beating up or burning their daughters-in-law," an official said. The law further says that
a police officer arresting a person will have to bear his identification badge or tag. Besides, a
memorandum of arrest shall be prepared, witnessed and countersigned. The person arrested shall be
told that he has the right to inform a relative or friend. The amendments have met with opposition from
Bar associations who feel that doing away with mandatory arrest provisions will increase the incidence of
crime as people will no longer fear arrest. (Times of India 21/1/09)

Women 'worse then men at giving in to hunger pangs' (8)
London, January 20, 2009: It's not men, but women who are more likely to give in to hunger pangs when
faced with their favourite foods, a new study has revealed. Researchers have carried out the study and
found that women find it harder to resist hunger cravings than men when faced with their favourite dishes,
particularly after fasting for a day. For their study, the researchers from the Brookhaven National
Laboratory in New York, asked fit, healthy and slim volunteers, to name their favourite foods before
asking them to fast for 17 hours. The 13 women and 10 men were also taught a technique called
cognitive inhibition to help them suppress thoughts of hunger and eating before being presented with their
favourite foods, which included pizza, chocolate cake and burgers. Both sexes said the inhibition
technique decreased their hunger, but brain scans showed that while men's brain activity diminished, the
part of women's brains that responds to food remained active, (Hindustan Times 21/1/09)
Six arrested for torture for dowry in Rourkela (8)
Saturday, January 24, 2009 Rourkela: Six members of a family have been arrested on the charge of
torture for dowry after their daughter-in-law took her own life on Thursday, the police said today.
According to a FIR filed by the woman, Sujata Maharana s, brother with the Udit Nagar police station, she
was subjected to torture by her in-laws for more dowry though it had been given as per demand at the
time of marriage in July 2006. Unable to tolerate the torture, she allegedly committed suicide on Thursday
night. The husband, his mother, brother, sister and two sisters-in-law were arrested, the police said. They
were produced in court which remanded them to judicial custody for 14 days.
Source : PTI (Indiainfo 24/1/09)

Sex determination still a worry (8)
AHMEDABAD: The Central government has declared January 24 as National Girl Child Day with a focus
on targeting scourges of female foeticide, domestic violence and malnutrition but a recent survey
conducted in Mehsana district in Gujarat, infamous for its severely skewed sex ratio, has busted certain
myths about sex determination tests. Conducted by a city-based NGO, Chetna, it revealed that the
decision to find out sex of the foetus was taken jointly by husband and wife in more than half the cases.
This is contrary to the popular perception that the mother-in-law is usually the instigator. Seven per cent
respondents accepted having undergone a sex determination test. On an average, they had more than
two daughters and, interestingly, their level of literacy was higher than that of all respondents. Though sex
determination facilities are available only at block and district levels, eight out of 10 respondents who lived
in villages had undergone the tests. Forty-two per cent of respondents knew the tests are illegal. But,
shockingly, less than 20 per cent knew medical termination of pregnancy (MTP) is illegal! The incidence
of tests is higher among joint families but the same across castes. Nine out of 10 women who had the
test, had an ultrasound at a private hospital. The study titled Pre-birth sex selection and elimination of girl
child: An exploratory study in Gujarat', which was completed in August 2008, covered 12 villages in three
blocks of Mehsana district. The sample consisted of 359 married women between 15 and 45 years with at
least one child less than three years old. Reasons cited for preference of a boy child were dowry practice
(37 per cent), that a boy provides support in old age (15 per cent) and concern for safety of daughters (12
per cent). Chetna is bringing out a series of posters on the girl child to sensitize people. They will cover
issues like female foeticide, infant mortality rate among girls, anaemia, child sex abuse, child marriage,
maternal mortality, female literacy, malnourishment among girls and women, higher level of child labour
among girls, and others. The posters bring out certain disheartening facts. A study measuring gender
equality has placed India 113th out of 130 countries. Female literacy in India is 54 per cent, lowest in
Asia. Every second girl in India is undernourished and the reason is not poverty, but discriminatory
feeding practices. Twice as many girls as boys are engaged in child labour in the country.”Gujarat is third
in terms of poor sex ratio - 879 girls per 1,000 boys. Our posters will be given to the government as part
of Beti Bachao Andolan' and will also be disseminated in schools, colleges and through other NGOs,”
says Minaxi Shukla, co-founder of Chetna. (Times of India 24/1/09)

NCW takes notice of Mangalore incident (8)
National Commission for Women (NCW) on Monday condemned the attack on girls in a pub in
Karnataka’s coastal city of Mangalore by a self-styled moral brigade called Sri Rama Sene. The
commission has taken suo moto cognizance of the incident and member in-charge of South India will be
flying to Karnataka to hold a meeting with DGP Karnataka to probe the case. Nirmala Venkatesh,
member in-charge of South India, has reacted sharply saying it was violation of a woman’s individuality
and freedom. She said the existing Section 354 IPC needs an amendment: "The section outraging a
woman’s modesty needs to be amended. There should be a more stringent punishment than just two
years’ imprisonment and instead of being a bailable offence with some fine, the offence should be made
non-bailable... so that there is stronger deterrent and hooligans don’t get off the hook that easily."
Recalling another incident where women were assaulted by drunken men on New Year’s eve in posh
south Mumbai, Venkatesh said the culprits had got off easily at that time. "One has to set some precedent
and come down harshly on such anti-social elements. And due action needs to be taken against them.
The culprits arrested should actually be booked under 307 (A), attempt to murder. It was obnoxious sight
to see how the young girls were dragged and punched by men, and shoved out of the bar. Two women
had to hospitalized as well." Barkha Singh, chairperson of Delhi Commission for Women, also
condemned the attack on the girls. "This is a violation of individual freedom. Who are they to stop girls on
the grounds of culture? Nobody has a right to behave as culture police. It should be taken seriously and
culprits should be punished severely," she said. (Times of India 27/1/09)

NCW team to probe pub incident (8)
NEW DELHI: The National Commission for Women (NCW) is constituting a three-member committee to
probe the January 24 attack on women in a Mangalore pub by activists of the self-styled Sri Ram Sene
activists in the name of “moral policing.” Headed by NCW member Nirmala Venkatesan, the committee
will visit Mangalore to get a firsthand account of the incident. The other members will be prominent
individuals from civil society in Karnataka. The NCW has sought an action-taken report from the Director-
General of Police. Chairperson Girija Vyas said she was shocked at the incident and demanded strict
action against the guilty. The All-India Democratic Women’s Association has strongly condemned the
attack on the young women. They were badly beaten up and molested in full public view for patronising a
pub. The attackers also objected to the women “mixing with youth of other faith,” an AIDWA statement
said here on Tuesday. The AIDWA demanded that the Karnataka government ensure that all those
involved in the attack were severely punished. Their links with organised crime and extortion rackets
should also be investigated. The government should ensure that such incidents did not recur and any
self-styled moral police should be dealt with severely, especially as Valentine’s Day was fast
approaching, the statement said. It also called on all democratic forces to unite against fundamentalist
forces that sought to restrict the rights of women in the name of “Indian culture.” The attack is a blatant
violation of the freedom of women as citizens of this country, said the National Federation of Indian
Women. It held the UPA government at the Centre also responsible for such heinous crimes. (The Hindu

HC order reins in dowry case accused (8)
New Delhi, January 28, 2009: Amarnath was fighting a lone battle for his daughter, who was allegedly
killed by in-laws after he failed to fulfill their dowry demands. After a four-year long legal battle, Amarnath
has found hope in Delhi High court verdict issuing warrants against the groom and his family against the
revision petition. A subordinate court had discharged the accused persons two years ago. On January 12
this year, Justice M. C. Garg issued bailable warrants against the accused Mohan Kumar, his parents and
two sisters. The family had allegedly been evading the court proceedings for past many dates. Victim
Sushma Devi (29) died at her in-laws’ home five years after her marriage to Mohan Kumar. Within 16
months of the marriage, Sushma had lodged a dowry harassment complaint against them, which was
later taken back. A city court however, on February 26, 2007, had discharged the accused and his family
of the charges of causing the death of Sushma Devi. The basis of the verdict was a viscera report that
said that Sushma died of anemia. Amarnath, however, insists that the viscera report submitted before the
court is not that of his daughter. “My daughter’s blood group is AB whereas the report said it was A.” He
also claimed that a case of dowry harassment was filed by his family much before Sushma died. HT had
reported the case in detail then. Amarnath however refused to acceot the verdict after losing in the city
court and moved the Delhi High Court last year. The family of Mohan Kumar has been evading the
proceeedings since. Now, they have to surrender before the court as per the order. As per the
prosecution’s story, Sushma married Mohan on January 16, 2001. Just two days after her marriage her
in-laws allegedly harassed her for not bringing enough dowry. They reportedly sent her back to her
maternal home and asked her to bring Rs 2 lakhs and a motorcycle for Mohan. Later Sushma’s father
Amarnath filed a compliant at the Tilak Nagar police station. On the police’s insistence, Mohan took
Sushma back but but her harassment did not stop. Her family again filed a police complaint under section
498-A in July 2002, which was later taken back. Following this her in-laws changed their address without
intimating Sushma’s family. Two years later her family finally met Sushma, dead, at a hospital. (Hindustan
Times 28/1/09)

Harassment forces Afghan girls out of school (8)
Kabul: Every day, as they walked to school, Maryam Mansoor and her sister ran a gauntlet of intimidation
and harassment by youths armed with knives. "A lot of my classmates and other female students don't
come to school anymore because they fear the boys' harassment and kidnappings," said Maryam, 18,
who finally quit school at her worried father's behest. From acid attacks, murder, torching of schools and
sexual assault, violence against female students is dashing the dreams of thousands of Afghan girls and
women who are thirsty for an education that may help rejuvenate the fractured economy and society of
their war-torn country. "I like to go to school and later I want to go to university to be a doctor or someone
important in the future, but I don't want to make my family upset because of my education. Whatever my
father has decided is right," Maryam sighed despairingly. In villages, and particularly in the deeply
conservative south, the Taliban have burned down schools, killed female students and teachers and
attacked schoolgirls by throwing acid in their faces. In relatively safer and less conservative Kabul, girls
are facing abuse, sexual harassment and kidnappings. "The security situation is worsening everyday. In
spite of all the problems, I continued to let them go to school but now I feel like things are getting worse,"
said Maryam's father Mohammad, who owns a fruit shop in Kabul. "I am not against my girls completing
their education, but their safety is more important ... I don't want them to study outside any more," said
Mohammad, who brought his family back to Afghanistan from Iran about two years ago. Under the
Taliban, ousted from Kabul by US and Afghan forces in 2001, women were barred from study and work
and were largely unable to leave their homes without a male relative. The Afghan Government has
sought to improve access to education for both boys and girls. Some 6.2 million young Afghans, including
two million girls now attend school, compared with less than one million, only male students, under the
Taliban. (Indian Express 29/1/09)

Woman burnt to death for dowry in Bermo (8)
Bermo: A young woman was burnt to death allegedly by her in-laws for dowry at Pordag village under
Peterwar police station of Bermo sub-division late on Friday morning. "The family members allegedly
disposed the body furtively on Friday night," said the Peterwar Officer-in-charge, Satish Kumar. According
to additional superintendent of police G Kranti Kumar, the victim, daughter of Subash Chander Jha of
Jaipur village of Purlia district of the adjoining West Bengal, was married to one Satanarayan Jha, a
resident of Pondag village of Bermo on May 3, 2008. "She came to her in-law's house six month back.
Soon after the marriage her in law's had been allegedly demanding Rs one lakh, colour TV, refrigerator
and other house hold materials which were promised to them by her father before marriage," added
police sources. According to preliminary investigations it seems that as her family members failed to fulfill
the demand, the in-laws burnt her to death late on Friday morning and disposed off her body late in the
night on same day near Chas in Bokaro. Officer-in charge added that deceased's father on getting
information lodged a complaint with the Peterwar police station in Bermo alleging the involvement of their
son-in-law Satayanarayan Jha, mother-in-law, Motibala Devi, her sister-in-law, Santa Devi, and two of her
husband's brother-in-laws, Madhusudan Jha and Sukhdeo Jha. Her neighbors confirmed that Baby was
tortured mentally and physically. A case (06/09) has been registered with Peterwar police station under
section 304B, 498 A, 201 and 34 of IPC. The police have arrested victim's husband and his two brother-
in-laws in this connection. Meanwhile, resentment brews among the villagers of Pondag over the
incident.(Pioneer 2/2/09)

Ban on girls’ education unjustifiable: Geelani (8)
SRINAGAR: Hardline separatist leader and chairman of one of the factions of Hurriyat Conference, Syed
Ali Geelani, has termed the reports of ban on girls’ education in some parts of Pakistan’s North-West
Frontier Province (NWFP) as disturbing. They were far from Islamic ideals and teachings, he said.
“Denying 74,000 young women the right to pursue education and burning and blasting of 150 schools are
unjustifiable acts,” Mr. Geelani said in a statement to the media. “It can be said without any hesitation that
those imposing such ban and prohibition are ignorant of the Islamic values and principles. In Islam, the
first revelations from Allah to the Holy Prophet Mohammad was ‘Iqra’ (to read). Prophet Mohammad
himself has repeatedly stressed the value of education and made seeking knowledge an obligation on
every individual. Preventing people, be they man or woman, from pursuing education is against Islamic
teachings,” said Mr. Geelani, who is known for defending Pakistan and the extremist forces. “I have also
read reports that these groups have now after persuasion agreed to allow girls to study till the fourth
standard and not beyond. That also amounts depriving half of your society of a basic and a fundamental
right,” he said. (The Hindu 3/2/09)

Reservation for women acts as a barrier to them’ (8)
MANGALORE: Jaya Indiresan adviser, Asian Centre for Organisational Research and Development, said
people should undo the accumulated distortions of the past caused by gender blindness. She was
speaking at the inaugural function of a five-day workshop on “Capacity building for women mangers in
higher education” on Monday. Ms. Indiresan said that the gender blindness was owing to the patriarchal
system of the world which shaped the mind and outlook of men. Reservation for women acted as a
barrier for them because they tended to depend on the reservations, ignoring their capacity to progress.
“The workshop is being conducted to raise the consciousness, to make the people committed for a cause
and then increase their competence,” she said. The University Grants Commission-sponsored workshop
was inaugurated at Sahodaya Hall here by social activist and columnist Shakuntala Narasihman. Ms.
Narasihman said: “Capacity or strength is not connected to levels of education, literacy or income level.”
Most of the educated women and those in the urban set up felt it to be humiliating to voice their opinions
in public because of the harassment they underwent in their family lives. Director of the Centre for
Women’s Studies in Mangalore University Kishori Nayak, who inaugurated the workshop, said that the
men dominating administration all over the university showed the real status of women empowerment.
This was, however, refuted in a lighter tone, later, by Vice-Chancellor of Mangalore University K.M.
Kaveriappa. He quoted examples of women, who were in higher posts at the administrative level of
various varsities. Women enjoyed a good status in mythology. But, in the physical world, there was a
need to sensitise people to gender issues, he said. (The Hindu 3/2/09)

Launch movement against female foeticide: Sonia (8)
NEW DELHI: United Progressive Alliance chairperson and Congress president Sonia Gandhi on
Thursday called for launching a national movement against female foeticide and atrocities committed on
children. “Unfortunately, we are still plagued by social problems of child labour, child marriage and female
foeticide, despite being in the 21st century. We need to create awareness to fight these social evils and
protect the rights of our children,” she said at a “National Child Awards for Exceptional Achievement”
event. “It is shameful that children are being tortured in India. It is a sad situation that despite having laws
to prevent child rights, we still see children being tortured and being deprived of their basic rights of good
food and education. It is the responsibility of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights
(NCPCR) as well as of every citizen to ensure that laws to protect children are used properly,” she added.
Referring to India as the “youngest nation,” Ms. Gandhi said that with over 40 crore children, India had the
largest pool of talent in the world. Stating that the Congress-led UPA government had been carrying out
various programmes for the welfare of women and children, Ms. Gandhi said: “We want to empower
women. We have expanded the integrated child development service [ICDS] scheme and increased
honorarium for Anganwadi workers. We are also supporting women’s self-help groups in a big way. We
will further strengthen such welfare initiatives.” Ms. Gandhi awarded 40 children for their exceptional
achievements in the fields of academics, arts, culture and sports. She presented the ‘National Award for
Child Welfare’ to 10 organisations and three individuals for their valuable services for the welfare of
children. Three well-known personalities — Azariah Korabandi (Andhra Pradesh), Meena K. Jain
(Karnataka) and Maheshbhai S. Kothari (Gujarat — were given the Rajiv Gandhi Manav Seva Award for
their outstanding contribution towards service to children. Ms. Gandhi released a postal stamp to
commemorate the ‘National Girl Child Day’ observed on January 24. Union Minister for Women and Child
Development Renuka Chowdhury and Union Communications and Information Technology Minister A.
Raja were present on the occasion. Ms. Chowdhury appealed to citizens to ensure that female foetuses
were not killed. “Even now we practice female foeticide. If we keep on killing girls then how can we have
colour in our society,” she added. (The Hindu 6/2/09)

Pub victims traumatised, says AIDWA (8)
NEW DELHI: The All-India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) has asked the National
Commission for Women (NCW) to immediately intervene and ensure justice to victims of the January 24
Mangalore pub assault and that such incidents are not repeated. “This can happen only when stringent
punishment is meted out to the perpetrators [Sri Ram Sene activists]” said a memorandum submitted by
an AIDWA delegation to Commission chairperson Girija Vyas here on Thursday. “As you know, the
victims along with their family members are completely traumatised and are feeling extremely threatened.
As a result, they are not filing FIRs and will have nothing to do with the case. It is, therefore, incumbent
upon the Commission to intervene. It may be necessary to approach the courts directly and to appoint a
lawyer who will monitor the proceedings,” said the delegation comprising Subhashini Ali, Sudha
Sundararaman, Ashalata and Pramila Pandhe. “We also appeal to you to take up the issue in all
seriousness with the Karnataka government and to ensure that it fulfils its constitutional responsibilities.”
“It is most unfortunate, however, that the [NCW] member concerned, Ms. Nirmala Venkatesh, has made
public statements that concentrate on the technical aspects of the licence of the pub and its security
arrangements rather than on the attack itself. This is most regrettable. The mandate of the National
Commission for Women is to safeguard women’s rights and not to go into extraneous issues,” the
memorandum said. “We were relieved to note that you did disassociate yourself and the Commission
from Ms. Venkatesh’s views.” (The Hindu 6/2/09)

Women urged to fight against foeticide, dowry menace (8)
SHIMOGA: R. Indira, professor of Sociology in the University of Mysore, said on Saturday that culture,
education and self-reliance were essential for development of women. Speaking after inaugurating a two-
day State-level girl students’ convention organised by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishat (ABVP) at the
Adichunchanagiri Samudaya Bhavan here, she said there were various avenues for young women in the
country to prove their mettle and play a vital role in the development of the country. Referring to culture,
Prof. Indira said that culture was not stagnant water, but was like a flowing river. Indian culture was very
rich as it had a society comprising various religions, languages and traditions. Prof. Indira said that
because of the male dominant system, atrocities on women had increased. Referring to education, she
said women were deprived of it in ancient days with the intention of restricting them from questioning the
injustice to them. Gaining a degree from a college was not enough, but it was the duty of every individual
to make use of his or her education through good deeds in society. On self-reliance, she said that women
should not compare their positions with men in all walks of life. A woman should become successful and
prove her ability and intelligence in society through hard work, commitment and determination. Women
should stand against female foeticide, dowry system and other evils, she added. (The Hindu 8/2/09)

 FBI sexually harassed me: 26/11 accused (8)
Mumbai, PTI: The FBI probe into the Mumbai terror attack took an unusual twist with Faheem Ansari,
one of the accused, levelling sexual harassment allegations against a lady officer of the American agency
who had reportedly interrogated him here. Faheem has moved the court with his lawyer Ejaz Naqvi filing
an application before an Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate alleging that a lady FBI officer, who had
interrogated the accused, had “sexually harassed him all through the night.” The court issued a notice on
Monday to the city police’s crime branch and directed it to file their reply to the application by February
26. The application also made a plea for Faheem to be sent for medical check-up as he has developed
“itches and wounds in his private parts and all over his body”. “Faheem had been interrogated by three
FBI officers out of which one of them, a lady officer, had sexually abused him,” Naqvi told the court.
Faheem had earlier filed an application seeking action against the city police for allegedly allowing the
FBI to interrogate him. (Deccan Herald 10/2/09)

Quota Bill: women’s groups to march to Parliament (8)
NEW DELHI: To express their deep sense of ‘betrayal’ over the non-passage of the Women’s
Reservation Bill in the 14th Lok Sabha and to reiterate their demand for 33 per cent reservation in
Parliament and State Assemblies, women’s groups will march to Parliament when the new session meets
on Thursday. The solemn assurance that was given in the national common minimum programme has
not been honoured and a historic opportunity to strengthen the democratic character of Parliament and
State legislatures has been lost, representatives of a broad alliance of 22 women’s organisations said
here on Wednesday. The women’s groups will submit a memorandum to the Rajya Sabha Chairman, the
Lok Sabha Speaker and the chairperson of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Women’s
Reservation Bill, urging them not to make any move to dilute the Bill in the name of consensus. The Bill
was tabled in the Rajya Sabha and referred to a Parliamentary Standing Committee. However, the
Committee has not yet submitted its report.(The Hindu 9\12/2/09)

NCW to move apex court over freeing ‘IAS’ rape convict (8)
NEW DELHI: The National Commission for Women (NCW) is planning to file an appeal in the Supreme
Court on the release of a rape convict from the Tihar jail after he cleared the Indian Administrative
Services exam. The NCW has also sought clarifications from the Department of Personnel and Training
(DoPT) on whether such a convicted person is eligible for appointment, according to the Commission
chairperson, Girija Vyas. The Delhi High Court on Tuesday set free Ashok Rai, a convict in a rape case
who made it to the civil services while undergoing life imprisonment, by reducing his sentence to the five-
and-a-half years he had already undergone. The All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) has
said it was deeply concerned about the Delhi High Court’s judgement commuting the life sentence and
setting free a rape convict for having cleared the civil services exam. “The High Court has assumed that
qualifying for IAS means that the convict has reformed himself. However, an ability to study, and qualify
for a Central service does not and cannot show that any such reform has taken place,” a statement
issued by AIDWA general secretary Sudha Sundararaman said. “There have been several instances of
rapists who have been highly educated, and have occupied responsible positions. The judgement reveals
a patriarchal and class bias, and sets an extremely retrograde precedent,” the statement said while
demanding that the judgement be reconsidered by Delhi High Court in the interest of justice. Meanwhile,
apprehending that some groups may act as “self-styled moral police forces” and cause disturbance on
February 14 celebrated as Valentine’s Day, the NCW has asked all Chief Ministers to be vigilant on that
day and ensure that women and girls were not harassed and assaulted by such groups. “There should
not be any infringement upon the freedom of individuals,” Ms. Vyas said in her letter to the States.(The
Hindu 12/2/09)

Ministry contradicts NCW report (8)
NEW DELHI: A government team that probed the attack on girls at a Mangalore pub last month has found
that drinks were not served when the incident took place. This contradicts the report submitted by
National Commission for Women (NCW) member Nirmala Venkatesh. It said the incident took place
because of poor security at the pub despite the restaurant serving liquor. The team, sent by the Ministry
of Women and Child Development, found that Amnesia Pub, where members of Sri Ram Sene thrashed
the girls on allegations of “obscenity” and “violating traditional Indian culture by consuming alcohol,” has
said the girls had simply gone to the pub to celebrate the birthday of one of their friends at 4 p.m. No
drinks were served as it was a normal restaurant, it pointed out. Talking to reporters on the sidelines of a
function here on Thursday, Kiran Chadha, joint secretary, who led the two-member team, said she
submitted a report to the Ministry and it was accepted. The team went early this month after differences
emerged in the NCW over Ms. Venkatesh’s findings. Ms. Chadha said the attack was “pre-meditated” by
Sri Ram Sene, which, she said, quoting complaints of the victims, was a kind of “anti-social” group there.
She said she met all the girls who were “roughed up” and found them in a “shattered” condition.
According to Ms. Chadha, the charge sheet in the case had been prepared by the local police and it
would be filed soon. Her team also gave a clean chit to the pub owners on security. Ms. Venkatesh had
recommended cancellation of the restaurant’s licence, but her report was later rejected by the NCW.(The
Hindu 13/2/09)

One million pregnant Pakistani women may have been physically abused by partners (8)
Islamabad, Feb 14 : Nearly a million pregnant Pakistani women may have been physically abused at
least once by their partners, reckons an expert. Prof Unaiza Niaz , president of the Women Section of
World Psychiatric Associations, said that in Pakistan, societal attitudes and norms, as well as cultural
practices like Karo Kari and Vani, severely affected women's mental health. She said that physically
abused women were more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety and stress-related syndromes.
Moreover, they were dependent on psychotropic medications and substance use. Suicide were other
mental health problems associated with violence in women's lives. Prof Niaz said that negative effects of
globalisation and economic reforms on public health had hit women harder than men. "More than one
billion people, mostly women, are living in extreme poverty and the change in the trend makes few
experts feel the onset of 'feminization' of poverty," the News quoted her as saying. She said that religious
and ethnic conflicts, along with the dehumanising attitude towards women, the extended family system,
and role of in-laws, represented major issues and stressors. "Gender discrimination at each stage of the
female life cycle contributes to health disparity, sex selective abortions, neglect of girl children,
reproductive mortality, and poor access to healthcare for girls and women," Niaz added. The risk of
depression in women was higher during the childbearing years and even after childbirth. (New Kerala

Illiterate woman spurns drunk groom (8)
Patna: An illiterate woman in a Bihar village on Monday night stunned members of her family and
community when she refused to marry the groom because he was drunk just ahead of the wedding
ceremony. The marriage of Poonam Kumari, a resident of Chandpur Bella village in Phulwarisharief, with
Sanjay Chaudhury was called off after she protested and refused to marry the bridegroom who had
reached the girl’s house in an inebriated condition. Although the guests at the marriage function were
stunned by her decision, most of them hailed it. Both the bride and groom are from poor families. The
marriage was to be solemnised according to Hindu traditions at a nearby temple. Poonam, daughter of
Manoj Chaudhury, reached the temple attired in red bridal dress and henna applied on her hands.
According to police, when the girl came to know that the boy was drunk she asked her relatives to cancel
the marriage. For Sanjay Chaudhury, who works as a mechanic in Digha, this was a real shock of his life.
Although her relatives tried to persuade her, she refused to relent and walked out of the venue. But when
the pressure became unbearable, she sought the help of police and reached Deputy SP Dilnawaj
Ahmad’s office. Later, police officials asked her parents and relatives not to force her to marry someone
against her wishes. When asked why the girl refused to marry him, the groom told mediapersons:
“Because I am drunk.” But, why has he taken liquor on this day? “I was tense because of the marriage,”
he said. Poonam said, “I refused to marry him as he was drunk when he had come for the marriage. If
this is the condition on the marriage day, he may beat me up later. Who would come to protect me then?”
She asked the mediapersons. “Can anybody guarantee that he would not harass me in future if I marry
him,” he asked. Meanwhile, after the news spread, people from nearby localities also came to appreciate
Poonam’s daring action. “She has set an example and the whole society appreciates this. We’re very
happy that she took such a bold step,” said Birendra Paswan. Interestingly, during the last one year there
have been several such instances in Bihar where brides have refused to marry drunken grooms at the
last minute of the marriage ceremony. (Pioneer 18/2/09)

Woman gives birth to daughter against in-laws' wish (8)
LUCKNOW: Great work often starts with small initiatives. What Sudha Singh did may not go down in the
history as outstanding but it was nothing less than a great achievement. Mother of five, now 40 years old,
Sudha knows how painful it is to be born as a woman in the patriarchal set up of the Indian society. And it
is even worse when the woman gives birth to a girl, not just one but four. After giving birth to three
daughters, when Sudha got pregnant for the fourth time, her in-laws forced her to go for an ultrasound
test to find the sex of the child. To her horror the medical report said "it was a girl". Under tremendous
pressure from the family, initially she agreed to abort the child. But then her conscience didn't allow. She
decided she will not commit the sin. And so Shrishti was born. Shrishti (in Hindi means universe) would
have not come into existence, if aborted by Sudha. Soon after her birth, her father Jagdish, in the catering
business, got a big contract, cleared all his debts and today owns two shops. "Yeh toh devi Lakshmi ka
avatar hai," says Jagdish now and has ensured that all the daughters get good education. He never
forgets to touch the feet of his daughters every time before going for any important assignment. But all
was not so easy. Married at the age of 19, when Sudha could not deliver a baby in five years, her in-laws
started taunting her to the extent that she asked her husband to marry again. "But God listened to my
prayers and Prarthana was born in 1992," she recalled. However, the wish of a boy resulted in two more
daughters in next three years. Again taunting started at home for not being able to provide an heir. In
2000, when Sudha got pregnant again, her in-laws asked her to go for an ultrasound test to find out the
sex of the baby. On finding it was a girl, she was asked to abort her but she refused and put up a brave
front. But it didn't happen overnight. It took Dr Neelam Singh, a gynaecologist devoted to the cause of
preventing female foeticide, hours of counselling for days to convince Jagdish that there is no difference
between a boy or girl. Sudha also told her husband: "Bachche nahi karne tou aisa kuchh bhi na karo jisse
woh paida ho, par abortion paap hai." She convinced her husband but could not convince her in-laws,
who didn't come to even see her after the caesarean delivery. The child was named Shrishti but her birth
made Sudha's life more difficult. "Four daughters... my God... but no son," she had to listen to this day
and night. Despite keeping ill, she was forced to bear a child again in 2003. Thank God, this time it was a
boy. He was named Anand. But now her mother-in-law wants one more son, but Sudha refused this time
saying, "we cannot bear the expenses of such a huge family." Thankfully, her husband also supported
her. The eldest, Prarthana wants to study in IIM, Kiriti aspires to be an engineer, Swikriti a doctor, Anand
a police officer and Shrishti likes to fly. "I want to become a pilot," she says, while hiding behind her
mother's pallu. Sudha was brave to say no to abortion and keep Shrishti but not bold enough to ask her
husband to stop after two children but she hopes that her daughter would be courageous enough to take
a decision about their motherhood. "In the country where one million girls are being killed every year
before being born, Sudha's contribution is only a drop in the ocean but then every drop is important to fill
a pot," said Dr Singh, who has convinced many couples not to abort the girl child by citing the example of
Sudha. It's not the question of Sudhas alone, even doctors need to be sensitised. Now after a sustained
campaign, doctors have also started inquiring from women coming for abortion the reason behind their
decision. "I refuse if the case is doubtful. We must also tell people that ultrasound tests are not foolproof,"
said another gynaecologist citing examples where tests said "a girl" but during abortion it turned out to be
a boy. Ramesh and Nirmala got the ultrasound test done at two places and reports were different in both
the occasions. "While the centre at BKT said the foetus is a boy, the centre near Vivekanand hospital said
it was a girl," said Ramesh, who has two daughters and does not want another. Finally, Ramesh's
problem was solved by Maulvi Sahib in the locality. "He asked me to listen to my heart. Whether I wanted
a boy or commit a sin by going against the will of God... I listened to my heart," he said. (Times of India

Four States to form task force against female foeticide (8)
Shimla: Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Uttrakhand have decided to constitute a joint task force
to check the social menace of female foeticide, Himachal Pradesh Health Minister Rajeev Bindal said on
Thursday. An understanding has been reached between the four States to launch a joint campaign
against the evil and the task force would start functioning soon, Mr. Bindal said while replying to a
question in the State Assembly. These teams would be particularly vigilant in the bordering areas to put
an effective check on people going for ultrasound to ascertain sex of the foetus, he added. The Minister
said that the State Government has taken effective steps to strictly implement PNDT Act prohibiting sex
test and has also undertaken several awareness programmes against the evil. Task force has been
formed at the state and district levels to conduct raids in government hospitals and private clinics, he
added. Mr. Bindal also said 1172 female panchayat health workers have been appointed across the state
for registration of pregnancies in the respective panchayats. The State Government has also announced
a reward of Rs 10,000 to person providing information against people indulging in killing of girl child in
womb, Mr. Bindal said. He said due to sustained efforts ratio of females per 1000 male has gone up to
903 now in H.P. against 856 in 2001. – PTI (The Hindu 20/2/09)

Violence against women continues unabated (8)
Mysore: Awareness on the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 seems to have made
no impact in the cultural city Mysore. Domestic violence continues unabatedly here. Statistics at the City
Crime Records Bureau (CCRB) reveal that in comparison to two previous years, the number of cases of
domestic violence has increased in 2008. While 169 and 199 cases of crime against women were
reported in 2006 and 2007 respectively, as many as 256 cases were reported till October 2008.
According to officials, it is a matter of serious concern and efforts are being made to address the issue.
While 15 and 13 cases of rape were reported in 2006 and 2007, respectively, as many as 21 cases of
rape were reported in 2008 till October. Similar is the situation with cases related to outrage of modesty.
Fourteen 14 cases were reported in 2006, 25 in 2007 and the figure escalated to 28 in 2008. (All figures
pertaining to the year 2008 show the number of cases registered till October 2008.) The cases pertained
to murder for dowry saw a dip last year. Numbers came down from 4 in 2006 to 2 in 2008. Seven cases
of murder of women for several other reasons were registered in 2007 and in 2008, nine cases were
booked. There were three attempt to murder cases in 2007 and 6 such cases in 2008. According to
official records, the number of cases related dowry death has considerably come down. While as many as
10 cases of dowry death were reported during 2006, the number reduced to four each in 2007 and 2008.
However, there is an alarming increase in the number of cases related to cruelty by husband or relatives.
While 94 cases were reported in 2006, it increased to 116 in 2007 and to 139 cases in 2008. Cases
related to abetment of suicide increased from six in 2007 to 10 in 2008. Seven cases related to Immoral
Traffic Prevention Act were registered in 2006 and 16 were registered in 2008. According to the police
officials, the increase in dowry harassment and domestic violence could be for frivolous reasons. Some
causes might be related to issues such as finance, infertility, neglect by children and alcohol
consumption. A senior official said domestic violence against women has increased because of the
increase in nuclear families. “In joint families elders tackle the differences that couples have”, he said.
However, strict punishment under the Dowry Act has brought down the number of dowry deaths to 6 in
2008. Another startling fact that the official records show is that there is a rise in the number of cases
related to children missing in Mysore city. Statistics of the CCRB shows that there has been a
considerable increase in number of cases of missing children compared to the previous year. As many as
76 boys and 55 girls were reported missing till October 2008 and of these, only 40 boys and 40 girls could
be traced. The whereabouts of the remaining are unknown. In 2007, 105 boys and 96 girls were reported
missing and the police could trace 81 boys and 86 girls. Incidents of girls missing have also increased in
the city considerably. According to sources, in many cases parents do not register a complaint for fear of
society. According to a police official there is a spurt in the cases related to missing girls after the release
of “Chaluvina Chittara” by S. Narayan in which a minor girl elopes with a mechanic. “I don’t know why
such films are allowed to be released. They poison young minds”, he said. The police sources said that
many cases of missing girls were solved last year but there are many unsolved cases. They said
investigation is on in other cases and missing children will be traced. (The Hindu 23/2/09)

Kerala nun alleges sexual harassment in convents (8)
Thiruvananthapuram (PTI): As a tell-all autobiography of a former nun revealing alleged sexual abuse
threatened to embarass the Catholic church in Kerala, the woman herself said on Friday society has
"every right" to know what is happening to Sisters. In her memoirs in Malayalam titled "Amen" (so be it,
said by Christians at the end of every prayer), 'Sister' Jesme alleged that harassment, sexual repression,
exploitation of nuns by priests and clandestine same sex relations take place behind the closed doors of
convents. The Catholic Church is silent on the book and is yet to make its official response to the tell-all
reminiscences of the 52-year-old Jesme holding they would react only after studying the book. But the
book released two days ago is being lapped up and selling like hotcakes. Narrating how deeply
disappointed and disillusioned she is after choosing the religious vocation on her own volition at a very
young age, Jesme exposes the power struggles in the 'dark confines' of convents she had lived for about
30 years and in corridors of church administration. An English professor and later the Principal of a
church-run college in Thrissur, Jesme quit the convent last year after what she said years of 'sufferings
and struggles.' "I wanted an outlet for my experiences of my trauma...Society has every right to know
what is happening to Sisters," Jesme said dismissing suggestions she has sensationalised issues to get
cheap publicity. (The Hindu 20/2/09)

1,200 crimes against women since November (8)
New Delhi: The National Commission for Women (NCW) registered over 1,200 complaints of crime
against women since November. Incidents of dowry harassment and cruelty topped the list, followed by
rape, molestation and dowry deaths. "Incidents of dowry harassment and cruelty top the list with 456
complaints, followed by 249 cases of domestic violence and matrimonial disputes and 190 of rape and
attempt to rape," women and child development minister Renuka Chowdhury said in a reply in Lok Sabha
on Thursday. She said that between November and January, 145 dowry deaths, 67 cases of kidnapping,
61 of molestation, eve-teasing or outraging modesty and 27 of sexual harassment at work were reported.
One incident of female foeticide and two acid attacks were also reported. (DNA 23/2/09)

Man burnt wife alive over dowry (8)
Bijnor, February 25, 2009: Police on Wednesday arrested a man for allegedly killing his wife over dowry
demand by setting her on fire at Kotdwar village in Bijnor. The woman identified as Mehsar was married
to Shamsad a month ago, police said. Soon after marriage Shamsad began torturing his wife physically
for dowry. Some days ago, he send Mehsar to her parents' house to bring money. But when his in laws
expressed their inability to meet his demand, Shamsad brought his wife back on Sunday, they said.
However, she left the house the same evening after he started beating her again. On Monday, when
Mehsar was alone at her parents' house, Samshad tied her to a plastic chair, set her ablaze and bolted
the door from outside, police said. Mehsar's father had lodged an FIR against Shamsad. (Hindustan
Times 25/2/09)

Woman attempts suicide in court (8)
Mumbai, February 26, 2009: A 32-year-old woman consumed insecticide at the family court in Bandra on
Wednesday. Surekha Pawar, who had filed a divorce petition against her husband Shekhar in 2004, was
allegedly depressed as her case had been pending for a long time. She was rushed to Bhabha Hospital
and is unconscious. The Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) police have registered a case against her of
attempted suicide and obstructing court proceedings. “She had gone to the court to ask for some
confidential papers. We have noted down her brother’s statement,” said Rolphy Pareira, senior police
inspector with the BKC police station. “We will call Shekhar for an inquiry.” Surekha married Shekhar from
Satara district in 2004, said Surekha’s brother Dhanaji Nikam. After six months, she returned to her
father’s house in Kurla saying her in-laws were harassing her, demanding a dowry of Rs 1 lakh. “We have
filed a case against Shekhar for demanding dowry and harassment,” said Pareira. “In 2008, the court had
asked Shekhar to pay Rs 1,000 to Surekha per month as alimony.” (Hindustan Times 26/2/09)

Ganjam dowry victim waits for justice (8)
Berhampur: It is unfortunate that dowry-related domestic violence still continues despite enforcement of
anti-dowry laws. In a latest incident, a dowry-tortured woman, Mira Nayak, has been running from pillar to
post for justice. Mira, in a letter to the Ganjam district Collector, Superintendent and MLA Berhampur, has
described her story and has sought justice. She has stated in the letter that she had married one Ramesh
Nayak of Nuapentha village under Jorada police station in Ganjam district five years back. Her family had
then fulfilled the dowry demand at the time of marriage but her in-laws started to torture her soon after
marriage for more dowry. When she refused to fulfill their demands, they started torturing her mentally
and physically. Unable to bear torture, she lodged a complaint at the Mahila police station. The police,
along with local people, settled the matter and managed to bring her back to her in-law’s house with a
written assurance from her husband’s family members, sources informed. However, after some days they
started torturing again and even went to the extent of tying her legs and hands and quarantining her in a
dingy room. They also did not provide proper food for some days. As soon as Mira’s family members
came to know about her pitiful condition, they rushed there along with Jorada police and succeeded in
rescuing Mira from her confinement. “But before that, my in-laws had taken my signature on stamp
papers forcefully,” alleged Mira. She further alleged that though her husband had been sent to jail, her in-
laws, including her husband’s father, mother, brother and sister were still at large and therefore could do
anything anytime. Apprehending of any untoward incident, Mira has beseeched the concerned officials to
arrest her in-laws as well, help in getting back all her dowry, including jewellery, and ensure all safety to
her innocent children. (Pioneer 27/2/09)

‘Can’t cheat as well as teach husband a lesson’ (8)
New Delhi, February 27, 2009: An adulterous wife cannot seek relief against her husband under the
Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, a city court has ruled. Metropolitan Magistrate Surya Malik Grover
said: “To enjoy the benefits of the provision (Prevention of Domestic Violence Act), the lady must come to
the court with clean hands, as she should not be guilty of adultery…”The court said, “the Prevention of
Domestic Violence Act was enacted to provide speedy and expedient remedy to protect hapless victims
of pervasive acts of violence occurring within family, and not to give the woman complete immunity from
getting away with any kind of misdeed.” After 18 years of marriage, Sheila had filed a case against her
husband Mohit (both names changed), accusing him of persistently demanding dowry and subjecting her
to mental and physical torture. She had prayed to the court to remove her husband from their shared
house in the posh Greater Kailash locality in South Delhi. The husband, however, refuted her allegations
pointing out that she had not complained about this before in their 18-year marriage. Mohit’s lawyer Vijay
Kumar Aggarwal argued that “Sheila made false complaints to cover up her extra-marital affair, and in the
garb of Domestic Violence Act she wanted to take possession of the house.” The court took note of the
fact that in their long marriage, there was not a single police complaint or any other material on record to
suggest that Sheila had suffered physical or verbal abuse at the hands of Mohit. The court observed that
trouble brewed after Sheila befriended Amit (name changed), and Mohit suspected they were having an
affair. “The suspicion of the husband is not based on a figment of imagination, as insisted by the
complainant, but rather upon material proof in the form of love letters and photographs,” said the judge.
Sheila “fabricated the entire story of violence against her. Even her complaint lodged in a dowry case was
cancelled, as the police did not find any substance in it,” said Mohit’s lawyer. (Hindustan Times 28/2/09)

Marriage registration will help prevent crime against women’ (8)
COIMBATORE: Registration of marriages will prevent atrocities against women, State Women’s
Commission Chairperson K.M. Ramathal said here on Sunday. Speaking at a mass marriage registration
camp organised by the Commission in the city, she observed that marriages, especially in the Hindu
community, were not registered because of the lack of awareness about its importance. Though
weddings were usually very elaborate, the process of registration, which did not exceed half-an-hour, was
often overlooked, she said. The marriage would become legally valid only if it was registered. “Especially,
in a patriarchal society such as ours where women were always considered inferior to men, there is a
need to stress the importance of registering the marriage,” she said. If there was no proof to show that a
person was legally married he or she could marry again and only the one which was registered would be
considered official. It could also prevent child marriage and domestic violence. The Commission would
continue its compulsory marriage registration campaign throughout the State and help the public,
especially women, understand the legal implications of non-registration, Ms. Ramathal said. District
Collector V. Palanikumar said incompatibility among couples was increasing today and it was more
among the educated youth. The number of people seeking divorce was on the rise too. Crimes related to
dowry were common. In such times, registration of marriage offered protection. Earlier, when the joint
family system prevailed, young couples had the support of a large family. With the emergence of nuclear
families, conflicts between couples were a common feature and the marriage itself was unstable. Both
man and woman had equal responsibility in maintaining the balance of a family, he said. Mr. Palanikumar
urged the families and girls not to encourage the practice of dowry. Universities and colleges should
promote value education and teach the students the values necessary to lead a happy life, he said. More
than 500 marriages were registered at the camp. Mayor R. Venkatachalam, Vice-Chancellor of
Avinashilignam University Saroja Prabhakaran, and Co-ordinator of the State Women’s Commission G.P.
Godhanavalli attended. (The Hindu 2/3/09)

Women still oblivious of legal 'shakti' (8)
ALLAHABAD: When Surekha (name changed) approached the police to register a complaint against her
husband's atrocities on a routine basis, the police asked her to lodge a case under the Domestic
Violence Act, 2005. However, the victim insisted the police to file a case under 498 A of IPC (Dowry Act)
even after 11 years of her marriage. Ironically, no case was lodged under Domestic Violence Act 2005 in
any police station of the district last year despite the fact that many cases related to domestic violence
were reported or were pending with the authorities concerned. Police officials candidly claim that people
are not aware about the Domestic Violence Act 2005, and its related laws and as a result, the victims
(women) insist police to lodge their cases under 498 A of IPC asserting that Dowry Act may be more
influential to teach a lesson to their errant husbands. "According to provisions of the act, if the police
during the course of investigations gets enough evidences that the incident is under the purview of
Domestic Violence Act, it can directly register a case and file charge-sheet accordingly," said a High
Court lawyer while talking to TOI. "The victims could dial 11 in case of emergency or approach the
members of state women commission," he further added. The fact is that DV Act can bring back the rights
of the victims. But, lack of knowledge has been a major obstacle for women to get their rights. The police
department, however, claims that they have been apprising the victims about the importance of DV Act,
2005 but all in vain. There are many like Surekha who are least interested to know the real strength of
Domestic Violence Act. Mahima (name changed) was thrown out of the house along with two children by
her husband and it took near about three years to rule that she has the right to reside in her residence but
her husband sold the house. When she again resisted, the law enforcement agency was not able to offer
any sort of help claiming that the owner has a right to sell the house. In year 2008, the police had
registered as many as 252 cases under 498 A of IPC. But when police investigated cases thoroughly,
police claim that in around 70 per cent of these cases, domestic violence was the main problem with
victims. As these victims were not aware about the Domestic Violence Act 2005, they simply asked police
to lodge the case under Dowry Act despite knowing the fact that the case had to do nothing with dowry
problem. "When a woman comes to a police station and wants to complain against her husband's routine
torture, she simply ask to lodge an FIR under Dowry Act," said an ASP rank official adding that the victims
even don't want to listen about Domestic Violence Act suspecting that their case would be weak if they go
for it. However, the police department are now geared up to aware fairer sex about the importance of
Domestic Violence Act and cops have been instructed to apprise the victims about it and lodge cases
under the same act if women (victims) complain about regular harassment or torture within four walls.
POLICE CLAIM: Victims very often don't want to know about the Domestic Violence Act, 2005 and insist
the officials to lodge their case under Dowry Act as they have some misconceptions. Victims prefer to get
their cases registered under 498 A of IPC instead of lodging it under appropriate Sections. Public
Awareness Needed TO Guide Victims--- Domestic Violence Act, 2005 is a good law but has been
rendered useless. There is an urgent need to aware women about the importance of the Act that if they
are facing routine torture or harassment from their husbands or some other person in the family they can
register their case under the DV Act, 2005. (Times of India 2/3/09)

Online youth forum fights female foeticide (8)
New Delhi (IANS): An online youth movement campaigning for gender justice and building public opinion
against female foeticide has launched a new initiative to spread awareness among the medical fraternity
against the social malaise. Fight-Back, which was set up in 2008, has declared the March 8 International
Women's Day as the International Missing Women's Day to highlight the missing number of girl-children
who fall victims to foeticide while they are in the womb. Estimates say that nearly two million girl-children
are victims of foeticide in rural and urban India every year. Fight-Back has brought 130 doctors on one
platform to "condemn female foeticide" and to "issue a pledge" March 8 that they will not abet illegal sex
determination tests and aborting of female foetuses. The pledge will be posted on the site of the
organisation www.fight-back.net.in March 8. "Female foeticide is one of India's most shameful secrets and
is supported by a nexus of doctors and affluent people. No one gets convicted, no one is jailed and the
efforts to curb it are mostly cosmetic. It is rampant in progressive states like Punjab, Haryana and in
several heartland states," Fight-Back founder Zubin Driver, creative head of Network 18 group, said from
Mumbai. "We are asking the Indian Medical Association to ban doctors who are found abetting female
foeticide. We may even make a small TVC (television capsule) for positive action. We are planning a
multi-pronged approach and doctors play a central role in curbing the practise because the first thing a
couple does is to go the general physician for consultation in times of pregnancies," Driver said.
According to Driver, the laws monitoring female foeticide and illegal sex determination tests were useless
because people in India have a disregard for such laws. Under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy
Act, 1971 and the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Technique Act, 1994, abortions may be carried out only if there is
threat to the life of the mother, if a child could be born handicapped or if a child has been conceived as a
result of rape. The organisation has also been campaigning for introduction of fundamental duties of the
constitution as a school module across India post the 26/11 Mumbai attacks to build consensus against
terrorism and foster a sense of patriotic spirit. (The Hindu 2/3/09)

* It is the first act to be made through public participation * Enacted after a gap of nine years after brain
storming discussions * Not only covers wives but all fairer sex in a family * Covers physical, mental,
verbal and economic violence * Separate justice delivery set up in every district * Aims to offer relief from
long civil or criminal suits * NGOs to work as service providers to assist victims * Protection officers and
counsellors to help victims Defines Aggression & Annoyance * Illegitimate dowry demands * Beating,
kicking, pushing ,slapping and hitting etc * Forcing girls to marry against their wishes * Act causing pain,
harm, danger to life and health * Humiliation or abuses to degrade * Accusation on a woman's character
or conduct * Not offering essential commodities like money, food, cloths and medicines * Also causing
hindrance to employment opportunities * Selling wives jewellery or other assets without assent
PUNISHMENT * A year’s imprisonment and R 20,000 fine * All crimes are non-bailable * Restraining
husband from selling off properties * Restraining husbands stand in household area where aggrieved
resides RIGHTS FOR WOMEN RESERVED * Right to reside in the matrimonial and share household *
Can directly approach protection officer * Role of police minimal * Polices duty to inform victim about
rights * Protection Officers to file domestic incidence report in court within 3 days * Court can give
immediate relief of Rs 20,000 * Court to dispose within 90 days (Times of India 2/3/09)

Feeling incompetent, women leave politics (8)
New Delhi: Even as general election are round the corner, women empowerment in politics appears
endangered. A Government report has indicated that women are leaving the local self-Government
system in large numbers for a variety of reasons — political and personal. A nationwide survey conducted
by AC Nielsen ORG-MARG on behalf of the Union Panchayati Raj Ministry has concluded that women
withdraw from political life due to a feeling of incompetence and inability to maintain a balance between
domestic obligations and public service. Another reason is the unwillingness of political parties to field
women when reserved seats turn into general category. The survey report, released on Monday here by
Union Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar, exposes the gender bias of the Indian political system. The main
reason for women representatives to leave politics was the feeling that they were “unsuitable to the work
and felt incompetent”. The survey was conducted across the nation among women representatives who
did not contest for a second term. Of the several reasons given for not contesting a second term, as much
as 45.3 per cent related to unsuitability or incompetence for public administration. The other major
reason, which amounted to 40 per cent, was the inability to “maintain balance between work and
household chores”. The third reason, which amounted to 39.1 per cent, was political parties’
unwillingness to reconsider women candidates when their constituencies became general seats. The
fourth reason, 29.9 per cent, as “resistance from spouse/family”. Studying the political career of women
representatives, the survey found that majority of them lacked prior association with any form of politics
and “whatever prior association they had was of limited nature”. “A family environment attuned to politics
can be an important factor underlying the choice of politics as a career. However, as much as four-fifths
of the elected representative did not have anyone in their family affiliated with politics. Pioneer 3/3/09)

‘Man can’t be forced to pay estranged wife’ (8)
New Delhi, March 2: The Supreme Court has said courts cannot force a man, accused of torturing his
wife for dowry, to pay maintenance to her as a condition for granting anticipatory bail in the case. Holding
that such conditions are "onerous and excessive", a bench comprising Justices R.V. Raveendran and
J.M. Panchal set aside a Delhi high court order which had directed a man to pay maintenance of Rs
12,500 as a condition for granting him anticipatory bail. "When a high court had found that a case for
grant of bail was made out, it was not open to the court to direct the appellant (husband) to pay Rs three
lakh for past maintenance and sum of Rs 12,500 per month as future maintenance to his wife and child,"
the court said. "The condition imposed by the high court directing the husband to pay maintenance to his
wife and child is onerous, unwarranted and is liable to be set aside," the court said. The court passed the
order on a plea of a Delhi resident Munish Bhasin challenging the high court’s order directing him to pay
maintenance to his wife as a condition for granting anticipatory bail in a dowry harassment case filed by
his wife. "There is no manner of doubt that the conditions to be imposed for anticipatory bail cannot be
harsh, onerous and excessive so as to frustrate the very object of grant of anticipatory bail," the court
said. —PTI (Asian Age 3/3/09)

Women-only engg colleges a huge hit (8)
Bangalore : Engineering seats in Karnataka may be going abegging every year, but bucking the trend are
the two women-only engineering colleges -- about 90% of seats are taken in these institutions. East Point
College of Engineering for Women here, which started a year ago, has filled 160 of 180 seats in computer
science, electronics and information science courses. "In Karnataka, women enrolment in technical
education is much better compared to other states. However, our vision is to empower, enrich and
liberalize women through professional education," Venkatakrishna Rao, principal in-charge of the college,
told TOI. Another college with a similar story is GSSS Institute of Engineering and Technology for
Women, Mysore, which opened in 2003. The college has 1,500 students. "The aim is to provide
education for women," S R Bhagyashree, head of the telecommunication department, said. The college
offers six courses: computer science, information technology, telecommunication, instrumentation,
electronics and electrical. "Two batches have passed out and students have got jobs in various
companies," she added. Students in these colleges are upbeat. "Who said we lack confidence to face
men? It's not as though we're cut away from boys completely. We interact with them at various
competitions," said Gangotri Naik, student of 6th semester, telecommunication engineering. She studied
in a co-ed institution till she joined GSS College. This trend has inspired a few to start women-only
engineering colleges. For 2009-10, Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) received applications to
start two such colleges in Bangalore and Gulbarga. These are the PNS Women Institute of Technology at
Bangalore and the Godutai Engineering College for Women in Gulbarga. "Some meritorious girls in North
Karnataka are unable to study engineering due to financial constraints. Some may not prefer studying in a
co-ed college. We don't want these girls to be deprived of technical education,'' said Anil Kumar Bidve,
principal, Appa Institute of Engineering and Technology. (Times of India 5/3/09)

Discrimination against women weakens society: UN (8)
New York: Deeply rooted discrimination against women in political, economic, social and cultural spheres
weakens society as a whole, the UN human rights chief has said on the occasion of International
Women’s Day. Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, noted that the negative effects
of discrimination are magnified by conflict as well as natural and man-made disasters such as the current
economic crisis. The effect of meltdown in global markets and financial institutions and ensuing recession
is likely to have a disproportionate impact on millions of women, who already formed the majority of the
poor and disenfranchised even before the crisis developed. “Unless gender-sensitive policies are
adopted, I fear we may well witness a serious setback in areas where progress has taken decades to
achieve,” she said in message for the Day, observed annually today. In an opinion piece published in
today’s edition of USA Today, Pillay said that “growing up in apartheid South Africa as a person of colour
and raised in poverty, I had experienced gender, race and class discrimination.” But, “I have (also) seen
the power of ordinary people who have stood up against injustices they faced and triumphed,” stressed
the High Commissioner. “On International Women’s Day, I will celebrate the power of women to
overcome the vulnerabilities resulting from these multiple forms of discrimination.” In the workplace,
women still do not receive equal pay to men for the same work, do not enjoy the legal protection afforded
to men, and domestic workers, especially migrants, often fall outside the scope of labour laws.
Discrimination also demonstrates itself in violence against women, which the UN regards as pandemic,
warned Pillay. “I have seen firsthand the effect of this violence on women, children and families, wrecked
by these crimes that are too often hidden and protected with impunity.” Yakin Ertürk, the UN Special
Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, its Causes and Consequences, also marked the Day with a
statement underscoring the importance for men and women to join forces in this time of economic turmoil.
“The scale and impact of the current crisis is still largely unknown, but it is expected that women and girls
in both developed and developing countries will be particularly affected by job cuts, loss of livelihoods,
increased responsibilities in all spheres of their life and an increased risk of societal and domestic
violence,” Ertürk said. She highlighted the World Bank’s prediction of 53 million more people being driven
into poverty in... (The Financial Express 8/3/09)

Government lambasted for attacks on women (8)
Mysore: Speakers at the International Women’s Day organised by Working Women Coordination
Committee (WWCC) here on Sunday lambasted the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Government in the
State for unleashing violence against women in the name of religion and culture. They alleged that
violence, intimidation, threat and insults have increased in the last nine months tenure of the BJP
Government and called upon women across the State to fight against injustice heaped on them by the
self proclaimed protectors of culture. They have also cautioned that if women do not protest against
violence against women in the name of religion and culture, it will be detrimental to future generation of
women. Inaugurating the International Women’s Day at the Institute of Engineers, the president of the
State unit of the Janavadi Mahila Sanghatane, K.S. Vimala, regretted that many women were even not
aware why March 8 is observed as the International Women’s Day. The idea of observing International
Women’s Day was first put forward at the turn of the 20th century amid rapid world industrialisation and
economic expansion and subsequent protests over working conditions. Women of the textile industry
protested against poor working conditions and low wages and police used brutal force to silence them.
These women established their first labour union and more protests followed on March 8 in the
subsequent years. Most notably in 1908 over 15,000 women marched through New York demanding their
rights and finally achieved success. It was Clara Zetkin, German socialist, urged the international body to
observe every March 8 as International Women’s Day to mark the contribution of garments workers to
securing women’s rights. “When we are celebrating the centenary year of the International Women’s Day,
over three lakh garment workers have lost their jobs because of the impact of recession on the export
sector”, she added. Ms. Vimala called upon working women to fight against violence heaped on by
“culture police” in the name of religion and culture. She recalled the several attacks on women in
Mangalore, Bangalore and Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts and added that the BJP Government in
the State, which claimed to be pro-women, was unleashing violence, insults on women and treating them
heinously. “Failure to protest against the phenomenon would help these culture police in gaining an upper
hand and future will be unsafe for our children. Our children have to act according to diktats of these so
called cultural protectors”, she said. Criticising Bangalore Commissioner Shankar Bidri for trivialising the
attacks on women, Ms. Vimala sought to know from whom women could expect protection when the
Police Commissioner himself had no concern for women. Speaking on the occasion, Police Officer
Devamma regretted that people are afraid to file complaints when their children go missing. In situations
when they need help to fight harassment, she asked the assembled women to contact her on phone
numbers: 2418310 or 9611417266. She added that they should make use of law to protect themselves.
Anganwadi Workers’ Association president Sunanda presided over the function. She said woman’s
struggle for survival begins when she is in the womb as female foeticide continues though laws have
been enacted to tackle the social problem. The Government had failed to punish those guilty of foeticide
but was extending “Bhagyalakshmi” scheme for girl child which had struggled to take birth, she noted.
The BJP Government, which earmarked Rs. 400 crore for religious institutions, did not bother to earmark
Rs. 40 crore for anganwadi workers to address their problems, she said. The State Government which
unashamedly defends pub attack was giving licences to open liquor shops and bars. Sunanda took a dig
at the District in-charge Minister Shobha Karandlaje for remaining silent when forest officials allegedly
molested tribal women in H.D. Kote taluk and police officials refused to register a complaint. (The Hindu

Dalit women seek government protection from atrocities (8)
Ahmedabad: The issue of atrocities against Dalit women in Gujarat came to the fore at a programme
organised for women belonging to the Valmiki community on Sunday, in Gandhinagar. Around 200
women who attended the programme spoke on the issues of gender bias, domestic violence and sexual
exploitation at work and sought protection from the government. The programme was organised by the
Kamdar Swasthya Seva Mandal (KSSM) and the participants had come from Mehsana, Kheda, Kalol,
Nadiad, Surat, Kheda and Gandhinagar. Ramila, a resident of Ramol village near Nadiad, said, “I remove
carcasses from roads and forest areas. When we go to work, people use abusive language and order us
to clean their places.” Likewise, women in Balasinor area of Kheda said they are not allowed to drink
water unless they bring their own glasses. A woman from Vadodara said, “Once, when I had gone to
sweep a street, a man called me inside saying he would like to give me some old saris. When I stepped
in, he said he would wrap the sari around me, and then tried to pull my clothes off.” Sexual exploitation of
Dalit women is very common, said the participants. Another woman from Surat said once she was beaten
up by shopkeepers as they were not happy with the way she swept the road. Bina Jadhav, an NGO
worker, said: “Rural women need to be taught first to identify exploitation and then fight it back.” She said
464 rape cases and 736 molestation cases have been reported from 2006 to 2008. Jadhav also spoke on
the issue of female foeticide and appealed to the participants to take a strong stand on sex determination
tests. H P Mishra from KSSM, said, “Most women in Valmiki community are illiterate. They should stop
tolerating violence and raise their voice against it. People take advantage of the situation as these women
are from a backward community.” The representatives of NGO present at the meet said they will make a
representation to the secretary of the Social Justice and Empowerment department of the state
Government on the issues. (Indian Express 9/3/09)

Women fight back moral policing (8)
Bangalore: Amidst the backdrop of attacks on young women in the name of ‘moral policing,’ women from
the City pledged on International Women’s Day to fight back against atrocities meted out to them. Various
activities were organised to highlight the spate of attacks on women. Dr Mary John, Vice President, state
committed, Akhila Mahila Samskruthikla Sanghatane (AIMSS) said that there is a dire need to organise
campaigns and activities to fight the fundamentalist attacks along with other problems. Dr B R Manjunath,
Secretary, Socialist Unity Centre of India (SUCI) said, “The concept of equality, fraternity and liberty of the
renaissance period freed women from the kitchen. But the ultimate emancipation of women can be
attained only in a classless society. Today women of all strata are faced with problems, more delicate and
sensitive.” A social group called ‘Fearless Karnataka/ Nirbhaya Karnataka (FKNK), working for the safety
and security of women will organise special walks in several areas on Sunday nights. Christened ‘Take
Back the Night Walk,’ the walk is an attempt to reclaim women’s right to be safe and secure anywhere in
the State during nights. FKNK was formed to mobilise citizen support to check harassment of women in
public places. The group has petitioned the city police to provide security to women for moving freely and
without fearing troubles or attacks by eve-teasers or right-wing activists indulged in moral policing.
(Deccan Herald 9/3/09)

Britain starts its largest-ever debate on violence against women (8)
London (IANS): The British government on Monday launched its largest-ever public consultation to tackle
violence against women and girls, including a probe into the sexualisation of teenage girls. Thousands in
towns and cities across England are expected to take part in the consultation, which was launched by
Home Secretary JacquiMs. Smith and also includes a review into police powers for dealing with serial
perpetrators of domestic violence. A new opinion poll conducted by Ipsos Mori shows that more than a
third of respondents know a woman who has been the victim of violence by a man she knows. In addition,
more than two in five respondents believe that a woman should be held, either partly or fully, responsible
for being sexually assaulted or raped if she was flirting heavily with the man before the attack. The
consultation will be held across 40 towns and cities across England over the next nine weeks. The
exercise is aimed at helping build a government strategy that will tackle persistent perpetrators, make
women feel safer when they travel, and examine how schools can prevent violence against women,Ms.
Smith said. "We've already made real progress, with domestic violence incidents more than halving in the
past 12 years and great improvements to the way rape victims are supported. But I want to start a
national debate on what more we can do to prevent it and challenging attitudes which condone it,"Ms.
Smith said. "Most importantly I want to reduce the fear of serious violence that can infringe the absolute
right of women to go about their lives free from fear." According to police figures, one in five of all violent
crimes reported in Britain are related to domestic abuse and one in six of all murders are domestic
violence-related homicides. The government's definition of violence against women includes stalking,
trafficking, domestic violence, sexual violence, female genital mutilation, forced marriage and other
'honour' related types of violence. (The Hindu 9/3/09)

Policeman's wife alleges torture of child for dowry (8)
CHENNAI: The wife of an armed reserve policeman lodged a complaint of dowry harassment at the
Chennai suburban police commissioner's office on Monday alleging that her husband had inflicted burn
injuries on the feet of their child, a two-year-old boy named Trishanth. Two years ago, M Selvi of Cheyyur
Taluk, Kappivakkam village, Kancheepuram, had married Murugan from the same village. Murugan is
attached to the suburban police commissionerate. "As it was a love marriage, Murugan's parents were not
happy. His family members - his mother Shantha, brother Venkatesan, sisters Rajeshwari and
Parameshwari - started torturing me for dowry. We had already given him a motorbike, but they were
harassing me for a car," said Selvi. On June 11, 2008, Selvi had lodged a dowry harassment complaint at
the Melmaruvathur police station. The couple was counselled. "Again they started torturing me for dowry
and demanded Rs 3 lakh in cash, 25 sovereigns of gold and an automobile. After this, I approached the
Sunambedu police station on February 21 and March 2 (this year), but we were sent back after
counselling," she said. According to Selvi, Murugan's family was planning to get him married to a girl who
could provide dowry. "She has given the complaint to the commissioner. He summoned Murugan and
ordered for a detailed enquiry. She is afraid to back (home). I do not see any point in counselling as the
wouls still continue to torture her. We are confused about what to do," said Gunasekaran, Selvi's brother.
During enquiry, Murugan had stated that Selvi was mentally disturbed. "The girl's brother said that the girl
was disturbed because of the torture. We will be conducting a detailed enquiry in the presence of both the
families," said a senior officer. (Times of India 10/3/09)

In-laws accused of dowry (8)
KOLKATA: Tumpa Adhikari, who was allegedly set on fire by her in-laws, died on Monday after struggling
with 90% burns for nearly six days. Her mother-in-law Menoka Adhikari has been arrested for murder.
The victim's husband Robin and father-in-law Mohan are absconding. Eyewitnesses have told police that
Tumpa (25) was dragged to the front yard of the house at Behala's Sarsuna by her husband and in-laws
and set ablaze. She leaves behind a three-year-old daughter. "Around 1.40 pm on Wednesday, I heard
screams. I rushed over and saw Tumpa crying out for help: Ora amake puriye dicche, amake bachao'
(They are setting me on fire, save me)," said Robin's aunt Purnima Mondal, who lives nearby. Tumpa's in-
laws allegedly threw stones at neighbours, who tried to rescue her. Tumpa's family alleged that she was
tortured by her husband and in-laws for dowry. "Her husband did not care for her. Tumpa had fled to her
parents' house twice but was brought back by her in-laws," said Angur Bala Barui, a next-door neighbour.
KMC chairman Nirmal Mukherjee called the incident "shameful". "The victim's mother-in-law deliberately
set her on fire. It was planned murder. The guilty must be punished," he said. (Times of India 10/3/09)

Acquire knowledge of Domestic Violence Act, women told (8)
 KOLAR: Principal Civil Judge Mallikarjuna Kinakeri has called upon women to educate themselves on
the provisions of Prevention of Domestic Violence Act in order to tackle their harassment. Speaking after
inaugurating a legal aid workshop organised to mark International Women’s Day at Vemagal in the taluk
on Thursday, the judge lamented that the practice of exploiting women, physically and mentally, was still
existing in the male-dominated society, which accords a respectable status for women. He suggested
girls to acquire knowledge of the Act assist in creating awareness on the legislation in rural parts.
Expressing concern that 7.30 lakh foeticide has been reported in the country in a year, he said that
female foeticide is an unlawful act and women should seek protection of law against it. Female foeticide
resulted in skewed sex ratio, he noted and advised the students to lodge a police complaint if they come
across any such events. Terming law as a codified knowledge system, the judge said that law helps in
ushering an equitable society. Delivering a lecture on Consumers Protection Act, Second Additional Civil
Judge, A Jayaprakash said that the Act provides for safeguarding the consumers rights. He suggested
the consumers to insist for a receipt whenever they purchase any item. “By doing so, you also pay tax to
the government and knock on the doors of Consumers Disputes Redressal Forum in case of any
deficiency in service”. Government Pre University College principal Varadaraj emphasised on legal
awareness for a utopian social order. Advocate M P Narayanaswamy spoke on the provisions of Motor
Vehicles Act. (Deccan Herald 13/3/09)

Sexual harassment (8)
The ideal of an egalitarian society is still some distance away in our region, a fact that a long list of
unaddressed issues proves. Recently this newspaper acquired information about the absence of
complaints committees in institutions, a measure that has been deemed essential to prevent sexual
harassment of women in workplaces. A progressive step that responds to genuine needs of women, it
was advocated by several groups and individuals, and more significantly, recommended by the apex
court of the country. The Supreme Court was swayed by the idea that women employees required a
conducive work environment free from sexual prejudice and harassment. There have been numerous
instances in which women have endured gender inequity, and to put it bluntly, sexual persecution and
lived on with silence. Sexual harassment would not just mean unwanted physical contact, but range from
indecent gestures to suggestive innuendos. It is believed that existence of complaints committees would
deter such offences from taking place, by giving women a plateform where they could raise their
grievances, and seek their redressal through an official mechanism. Unfortunately, in Assam such
committees have been absent in most institutions and organisations, many of which are not even aware
of the very significant Supreme Court directive. Ironically, it has been found that in institutes of higher
learning where the most educated section of society work the situation is one of utter indifference. A
recent survey conducted by an academic based in Upper Assam showed that just one college out of
twenty-two under survey had a functioning complaints committee; in Lower Assam the scene was equally
deplorable. Subsequent enquiries made by The Assam Tribune have revealed that in the capital city of
the State, many heads of institutions are not even aware of the need to form such committees. It can be
safely deduced that the State Government’s departments concerned have not taken the issue seriously,
and with no strong messages conveyed to institutions, women employees are left without a vital tool that
could have made them more confident in workplaces. Apart from being a compelling indictment of
Government inaction, the situation also calls to question the insensitive nature of our society. (The Assam
Tribune Editorial 15/3/09)

Harassed for dowry, woman attempts suicide (8)
HALOL: Unable to bear harassment for dowry by her husband, a woman attempted suicide at Halol bus
stand on Saturday. According to Halol police station officials, victim Rutu Jayaswal (23), native of Asaidi
village of Devgadh Bariya, had come to Waghodia to stay with her sister after she was thrown out of her
house by her husband. "Rutu's husband Ashok had asked her to bring Rs 5 lakh from her parents,
following which she had gone to her sister. On the fateful day, Ashok called up Rutu and asked her never
to return if she did not bring the money," said a police official. "This frustrated her so much that she tried
to end her life at Halol bus stand, where she had gone to catch the bus for her village. She consumed
poison and fell unconscious at the bus stand, from where she was rushed to Halol referral hospital by
fellow passengers," the official said. "The events leading up to the attempt were described in detail by
Rutu's sister Rinku and brother-in-law Bimal Jayaswal on the basis of which we've booked Ashok for
dowry harassment. Rutu was married to Ashok in December 2006 and had gone to stay with him in
Vadodara, where she was allegedly subjected to constant harassment for dowry," he added. (Times of
India 16/3/09)

79 per cent of women face sexual harassment at workplace: Study (8)
Sydney, March 17, 2009: A study has revealed that 79 percent of women face sexual harassment at
workplace and those in casual and contract jobs are more at risk. Anthony LaMontagne, associate
professor at the VicHealth Centre for the Promotion of Mental Health and Community Wellbeing
(VHCPMHCW), examined the likelihood of sexual harassment in different types of employment. "Our
study shows that 79 percent of those who experience unwanted sexual advances at work are women,"
LaMontagne said. "The study is an important new evidence because precarious employment has been
associated with a variety of adverse working conditions as well as with poorer mental and physical
health," he added. "People who are employed in casual jobs are about five times more likely to be
subjected to unwanted sexual advances." "The research also shows that people in contract positions are
about 10 times more likely to be sexually harassed at work," LaMontagne added. Victorian Health
Promotion Foundation CEO Todd Harper observed, "Not only are women more likely to experience
sexual harassment but females make up bigger proportions of industries which use more casual and
contract labour." "There is a strong link between sexual harassment and mental health problems. This
behaviour is costly and preventable," Harper said in a release. The study will be presented at the From
Margins to Mainstream Conference: 5th World Conference on the Promotion of Mental Health and the
Prevention of Mental and Behavioural Disorders. (The Hindustan Times 18/3/09)

Are you being harassed at workplace? (8)
A study has revealed that 79 per cent of women face sexual harassment at workplace and those in
casual and contract jobs are more at risk. 79 per cent of women face sexual harassment at workplace
(Getty images) Anthony LaMontagne, associate professor at the VicHealth Centre for the Promotion of
Mental Health and Community Wellbeing, examined the likelihood of sexual harassment in different types
of employment. "Our study shows that 79 per cent of those who experience unwanted sexual advances at
work are women," LaMontagne said. "The study is an important new evidence because precarious
employment has been associated with a variety of adverse working conditions as well as with poorer
mental and physical health," he added. "People who are employed in casual jobs are about five times
more likely to be subjected to unwanted sexual advances. The research also shows that people in
contract positions are about 10 times more likely to be sexually harassed at work," LaMontagne added.
Victorian Health Promotion Foundation CEO Todd Harper observed: "Not only are women more likely to
experience sexual harassment but females make up bigger proportions of industries which use more
casual and contract labour." "There is a strong link between sexual harassment and mental health
problems. This behaviour is costly and preventable," Harper said in a release. (Times of India 17/3/09)

NGO release women's charter; seek 33% quota for women in Parliament (8)
NEW DELHI: Disappointed with the UPA government's lack of commitment to gender issues, civil society
representatives have demanded 33% reservation for women in Parliament and compulsory registration
of marriages. These demands are part of the women's charter released by non-government
organisations. The charter will be given to political parties to include in their manifestos. All India
Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA) general secretary Sudha Sundararaman said that in a
recessionary economy, women were the worst hit but there was no support system for them. "Women are
not recognised or registered as farmers. A a result, they are left out of credit ratings and excluded from
debt waiver schemes," she added. NGOs also emphasised the need for greater allocation for health and
education sectors demanding 5% of GDP for health and 6% for education. "The union budget is anti-
national with little or no allocation for the vast majority that consists of women," Nirmala Fenn, YWCA
(India) national president, said. The NGOs have demanded enactment of the sexual harassment at
workplace bill and a comprehensive law to deal with sexual assault. They also pointed out that women
and child malnutrition had increased in India. India now has a record worse than sub-Saharan Africa.
"Food security has been severely impaired by the weakening of the public distribution system,"
Sundararaman said. Adding that more needed to be done to strengthen programmes like ICDS, National
Federation of Indian Women's Annie Raja said that by not providing minimum wages for anganwadis, the
government was perpetuating slavery. "Anganwadis should be given minimum wages and social security
benefits," Raja said. She added that it was important to plan a women-friendly rehabilitation policy for
those displaced by the special economic zones. Social welfare schemes also needed to keep in mind
single women, widows and families headed by women. (Times of India 18/3/09)

Woman killed for dowry (8)
LUCKNOW: Family members of a 24-year-old woman alleged that her in-laws strangled her to death
between the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday as they could not fulfil their demand for dowry.
The incident was reported from Bazaarkhala police circle. The victim was identified as Pinki. Pinki was
married to one Hari Om since the past four years. Hari Om along with her family members had been
harassing her and demanding dowry which included Rs 50,000 cash. When after being at the receiving
end of harassment from her in-laws the victim did not succumb to their demands, she was strangled to
death by her husband, mother-in-law, sister-in-law, brother-in-law and two others. All the accused were
arrested under Section 498A/304B of IPC and Section 3/4 of the Dowry Act. The victim's body was sent
for the postmortem examination. Snatched: In two separate incidents reported here on Tuesday, a
woman's chain was snatched while another woman's purse was snatched. In the first incident reported
from Madiaon police circle, one Pratibha Rastogi of Keshavnagar was going out of her house when a
motorcycle-borne youth snatched away her chain. A case in the connection was lodged. In the second
incident reported from Ghazipur police circle, one Mateen Siddiqui told police that two motorcycle-borne
youths snatched away his wife's purse, which had Rs 20,000 cash and some jewellery in it. The incident
occurred in Sarvodaynagar locality of Ghazipur. According to the police, the hunt to nab the culprits in on.
(Times of India 18/3/09)

Sexual harassment of CSWs; Police launch investigation (8)
Imphal, March 17 2009: Imphal West district police have reportedly begun investigation procedures into
the alleged sexual harassment of six commercial sex workers, who were picked up from North AOC area
recently. The sex workers had alleged involvement of four Thoubal district police commando personnel in
the said case. According to a police source, an advocate formally lodged complaint on the matter and the
investigation by a police team is being headed by an SDPO of Imphal West district police. The victims are
yet to file a formal complaint, the source disclosed while expressing that a final investigation report is
likely to be completed and placed before the Superintendent of Police (Imphal West district) in 2-3 days.
Further revealing that statements of the six alleged victims and owner/manager of hotel, from where the
six women were picked up have been recorded, the source confided of ongoing internal exercise to chaff
out and identify the perpetrators from within the commando unit. It had been reported that on the
intervening night of February 27-28, four armed persons with three of them in police uniform and one in
civies barged into a North AOC hotel rooms and forcibly unclothing the women molested them apart from
inserting foreign objects into their private parts. The police commandos are also accused of snatching
money from the women victims. Another source conveyed of five out of the six victims along with the hotel
owner narrating the incident to police officials at Imphal West police station on March 13 after a police
team on the previous afternoon insisted on their presence. Having recorded their statements on the
particular incident, the women victims were also asked to meet other top police officials who assured that
necessary legal proceedings would be initiated against those found guilty. Meanwhile, Manipur State
Commission for women has also apprised Imphal West district police authorities for a thorough probe and
submission of detailed report to the rights panel. (E-Pao 19/3/09)

Probe ordered into sexual abuse of deaf and dumb girls (8)
SHIMLA: Worried parents of 27 inmates of the Deaf and Dumb School at Totu, a suburb of Shimla,
rushed to the institution on Thursday and took the children home along with their bag and baggage. Six
girl students who had alleged sexual exploitation were sent to Nari Neketan in Mashobara after a medical
examination. According to the police, four accused were to be produced before a magistrate later in the
evening after a final medical examination of the girls. A second medical board of doctors at the Indira
Gandhi Medical College and Hospital here was constituted after only two girls were found victimised, said
police sources. Acting Principal Vijay and two teachers, Dinesh and Vinod, were arrested on Wednesday
after the police raided the premises following a complaint by the parents of one of the day boarders at the
institution. The fourth accused teacher, Amarjeet, was nabbed on Thursday in Mandi. The accused were
booked under Section 376 B of the India Penal Code. The institute, run by Prerna Welfare Association, an
NGO, since 2004, was being managed without any lady warden and the male employees were staying in
the same building. The institute is registered in the name of Komal, a Congress woman politician from
Bilaspur district, said sources. Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal has promised a thorough inquiry into
the matter and said the guilty would be punished. He said financial aid to all such NGOs would be
stopped. This deaf and dumb school was also getting financial aid from the Government-run Sarv
Shiksha Abhiyan to train the special children through speech therapy and sign language. SSA Project
Director Rajesh Sharma confirmed this and said the grant, being given since 2006, would be stopped with
immediate effect. (The Hindu 20/3/09)

21% of city's women have suffered abuse (8)
MUMBAI: The 21-year-old victim in the Mira Road rape case who shied away from speaking out against
her father and the tantrik who sexually abused her for nine years isn't alone in her silence. Only one in
six women in Maharashtra who experience any form of abuse actually speak out, and only 4% of those
turn to the police for help. Women activists said that the Mira Road case highlighted why mechanisms
needed to be fine-tuned to help victims of abuse. "Besides the shame of rape, women, particularly
children, fear that no one will believe them. This especially holds true in cases of incest, where the girl is
dependent on her family,'' said Soniya Gill of the All India Democratic Women's Association. She added
that very often such cases go unnoticed as society fails to take a sympathetic view and tends to hold the
girl responsible. Another expert pointed out that most victims keep quiet for fear that their tormentors
might become vindictive and up the abuse if they complained to anyone. Nearly 21% of women in the 15
to 49 age group in Mumbai have experienced some sort of violence, according to the National Family
Health Survey-III (see box). Where sexual violence is concerned, nearly 7% of women in Maharashtra
who faced abuse were victims of incest. P Arokiasamy of the International Institute for Population
Sciences in Govandi said that despite this, nearly three in four women suffer in silence. Insensitive
policemen or the long-drawn judicial process also prevent women from speaking out, said many activists.
Professor of women studies at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences Lakshmi Lingam felt information on
laws, helplines and women's groups need to be spread through schools, colleges and public transport.
"So also, our education systems need to identify signs of abuse in girls so that they can guide them to
report the crime as well as seek help,'' she said. Lingam explained that police stations often guided
women in distress to special women's cells where officials are sensitised to deal with such cases. (The
Hindu 22/3/09)

Women should be made aware of laws of land, says Purandeswari (8)
CHENNAI: Infanticide, foeticide, discrimination against the girl child and dowry issues continued to exist
despite laws against them, said D. Purandeswari, Union Minister of State for Human Resources. Women
had to be made aware of the laws of the land for which education was necessary. Speaking at a
valedictory session of the World Wellness Women’s Congress here on Sunday, she said to empower
women, education had to be redefined to make them aware of their rights. She said politicians could
educate women on their rights too and various forums and organisations could help them in their
endeavour. “Today, empowerment is only associated with economic independence and this needs to be
changed,” said Ms. Purandeswari. Striking the right balance between the family and professional life
would be empowerment rather than one assuming more importance than the other. Wellness of women
had to be redefined to include both physical and mental health, she said. On Lok Sabha elections, Ms.
Purandeswari believed that Congress would emerge as the single largest party, but there would be a
coalition at the Centre. She said she was contesting from Visakhapatnam. In the last elections, Ms.
Purandeswari contested from Bapatla constituency, which is reserved for SCs. (The Hindu 23/3/09)

Jaipur woman burnt alive for dowry (8)
JAIPUR: In yet another dowry death in the district, a 32-year-old woman was allegedly set on fire by her
in-laws at Kumharon Ka Mohalla under Bassi police station on Saturday. She was rushed to SMS
Hospital in Jaipur where she succumbed to her injuries on Sunday morning. The victim’s father has
lodged an FIR, but no arrest has been made as yet. According to police, the deceased – Anju Devi – was
repeatedly beaten up by her in-laws including her husband Mahesh Jangid and his brother Bhanwar Lal.
“Anju’s father Laxminarayan said that Mahesh and his family were demanding dowry ever since they got
married a few years back. On Saturday morning, Mahesh, Bhanwar Lal and his wife poured kerosene and
set her on fire at their house in Bassi,” said Rameshwar Bagariya, in-charge of Bassi police station. In
fact, this was not the first time that quarrel over dowry took an ugly turn. The victim’s father, a retired
government employee, had to lodge an FIR against the in-laws earlier also, but after the intervention of
relatives, a compromise was reached and the in-laws promised that they would properly lookafter Anju.
“Laxminarayan alleged in the FIR that when the in-laws started harassing his daughter, she had to come
to his house near Narayan Singh Circle in Rambagh and a case of dowry demand was lodged against the
in-laws. After the in-laws promised that they would not harass her anymore, Laxminarayan dropped the
case and sent Anju back to her in-laws. But they started beating her up again,” said Rameshwar. (Times
of India 23/3/09)

Dalit women narrate rights abuse, harassment (8)
MADURAI: A large number of women especially Dalit women narrated instances of violence, harassment,
persecution, insult and discrimination and demanded justice at a discussion on “Caste-based violence
and other forms of violence inflicted upon women” held here on Friday. A total of 40 cases were taken up
for discussion. The discussion organised by Centre for Dalit Solidarity and was chaired by K. Ramathal,
Chairperson, Tamil Nadu State Commission for Women. The participants felt that police and
administration should be made sensitive to crimes against Dalits and said the cases of untouchability, and
insult of Dalit women, was reported with regularity in the District. Ms. Ramathal said that the Commission
is not within the confines of any boundaries and woman should fight against domestic violence initially as
every form of violence starts at the domestic space and then enters the public. Most of the cases
represented during the day were related to issues of caste, domestic violence and human rights abuse. A
case in which a Dalit woman from Paraipathi near Thirumangalam whose daughter was murdered for
having an intercaste marriage was also discussed. Cases of social ostracism by upper castes in the
village were discussed. A dowry-related violence case was also presented and the woman stated that she
was allegedly tortured by her in-laws who also confiscated her jewellery. Even after representations at
various levels they were not able to retrieve the jewellery. A woman from Perungudi alleged that her
higher caste neighbours illegally sold her residential plot after preparing a forged power of attorney.
Muthumari of Arunthathiyar Pengal Ezhuchi Iyakkam said that Dalits had lost all hopes for justice in the
face of “insensitivity” of police, political pressure, and inordinate delay in court hearings. She also
explained the psychological disadvantage of being a Dalit and that too a woman. A plea was placed
before Ms. Ramathal before the Chairperson to intervene and change the working hours of women
conservancy workers who have to leave their homes early in the morning on a shift basis as it affects
their children’s education. She promised that necessary action should be taken in all the cases. Advocate
Rajni, organiser, Centre for Dalit Solidarity and Sr. Fatima Antony, Principal, Fatima College, S. Selvam,
organisers, Koodu Women’s Reading Club, were the discussants. (The Hindu 23/3/09)

Domestic violence: Maharashtra has miles to go in ensuring justice (8)
Mumbai: After 12 years of physical torture and sexual harassment, when Cuffe Parade-based Dr Alka
Vijayan (name changed) finally decided to take on her husband, she was beaten up, raped and thrown
out of her house, naked, at midnight. After moving the court and winning the case, Alka now stays in a
house owned by her husband and he has been prohibited from entering the house. With a handsome
compensation every month and her daughter’s custody, Alka is a leading physician in the city. It was only
after proper counselling that Alka could muster the courage to register a case under the Protection of
Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005. While for Alka it was purely the social stigma that prevented
her from speaking out, experts feel there are thousands who suffer silently owing to their inaccessibility to
law and the inability to fight red-tapism. According to data collected by a Lawyers Collective team,
Maharashtra lags behind the more socially backward states in acknowledging domestic violence. There
are 2,650-odd cases registered to date, much fewer than in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh (each has over
6,000 cases registered). Yet, Maharashtra is the only state to have as many as 3,667 Protection Officers
(PO) appointed under the law. In other words, there is more than one PO available to assist every
distressed woman here. However, a survey by the Lawyers Collective found that officers in Maharashtra
lack basic understanding of the law. “During our survey, we interviewed various officers who seemed to
have the least idea about their role and duties,” said women’s rights activists and lawyer Ujjwala
Kadrekar. When Ankita Damle, a Mumbai-based lawyer, first approached police against her father, she
was asked to go to a “local social worker”. She was told that the police weren’t supposed to look into
“family issues”. “It’s very difficult to make them (police) realise that any type of violence is unlawful and
has to be tackled within the law. Even POs see the issue as yet another complaint,” says Damle. The Act,
which by nature requires a multi-agency response, clearly defines the role of PO under Section 9, which
states: “Assist the aggrieved person and the court to meet justice”. However, most POs are torn between
their obligations under the Act (which are especially time-consuming because of the lack of infrastructural
support) and their pre-existing obligations under the other Government schemes. Kadrekar says, “Most
POs in the state are revenue officers from Women and Child Welfare Department. Even if an action has
to be initiated under law against the POs for the dereliction shown, one can’t, because they are in charge
of more than one office.” (Indian Express 23/3/09)

Dowry death accused still at large (8)
KANPUR: Even after a fortnight, the accused into the killing of a 27-year-old Meera Singh, who was
allegedly set on fire by her in-laws under the Bihar police station in Unnao district on March 11 evening,
are still at large. Though the case has been registered, the police are yet to conduct raids and arrest the
accused. Meera, the daughter of Dhananjay Singh, had been married to Satendra Singh of Badi Panai
village on May 20, 2003. Singh had given sufficient cash and items as dowry. Two months after the
wedding, the in-laws started torturing Meera, demanding Rs one lakh more. The girl's family members,
however, alleged that the post-mortem report also stated the accused had poured sugar all over the
victim's body after setting her ablaze. "They were torturing her to bring Rs one lakh in cash as dowry and
when we failed to fulfil their demands, they set Meera on fire," said the girl's father Dhananjay Singh. On
March 11 evening, Meera's neighbours heard her screams and rushed to her house. To their horror, they
found Meera engulfed in flames. The victim, who sustained 80 per cent burns, was immediately rushed to
a nearby hospital, from where she was later shifted to Lucknow, where she died later. "However, she had
informed me about a week ago, wherein she said her in-laws, who used to demand dowry, had beaten
her severely," said a distraught kin of the victim. "We gave each and everything in dowry along with a
huge cash. But we were being constantly pressurised for more. They used to beat Meera as there were
serious injury marks on her back caused by sticks," added another kin of Meera while talking to TOI.
(Times of India 24/3/09)

‘Congress didn’t fulfil promises to women’ (8)
New Delhi: March 30: The CPI(M), which has so far given tickets to only five women of the 75 candidates
announced by the party so far in the coming Lok Sabha elections, on Monday talked of empowering
women "politically, educationally, economically and legally". In the red bastion of West Bengal, of the 31
seats the CPI(M) was contesting, it fielded only two women candidates. Similarly, it fielded two women
candidates of the 15 Lok Sabha berths it was contesting from Kerala. It has fielded a woman candidate
from the only seat it was contesting from Uttar Pradesh. The party is yet to come out with its list of
candidates for Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. However, the party went on to blame the UPA for
neglecting women’s issues. Terming it the UPA’s "great betrayal" as far as women’s issues are
concerned, CPI(M) politburo member Brinda Karat alleged that the past five years of UPA rule "have
been a litany of broken promises".Meanwhile, to a question on the less number of women candidates
fielded by the CPI(M) to fight the Lok Sabha polls, Ms Karat said: "Let us wait. More lists of candidates
are yet to come out." Ms Karat, who has been vociferously demanding the passage of the Women’s
Reservation Bill, happens to be the sole woman in her party poliburo member. Ms Karat said, "Because of
a deal within the deal, the bill is now in cold storage." (Asian Age 31/3/09)

Man deserts wife for delivering girl child (8)
Rourkela: A woman was allegedly deserted by her husband after she gave birth to a girl child in a hospital
here. The incident came to light when hospital authorities asked money to pay hospital dues, sources
said. The husband, Raja Kumar Yadav of Gopabandhupalli here had admitted his wife to Ispat General
Hospital here for delivery of their second child. Yadav allegedly deserted his wife over the weekend after
knowing that the second child was also a girl, hospital sources said. The mother and the baby were still in
hospital, sources said. - PTI (The Hindu 31/3/09)

Two women held in Chennai for dowry harassment (8)
Chennai, April 06, 2009: Two women were arrested on Sunday on charges of harassment for dowry and
assisting bigamy by attempting to arrange the third marriage of an IT professional relative domiciled in
Singapore, the police said. “Madina Begum (55) and Safina (35) were arrested based on a complaint from
Abu Bakkar Siddique that his Singapore-based son-in-law Mohammad Ali Maraikkayar was attempting to
marry a third time through the efforts of his mother Madina and sister Safina,” police inspector S Kalyani
told IANS. “Investigations revealed that Maraikkayar had cheated his two previous wives, Yasmeen and
Afsin, after allegedly torturing them for extra dowry though he had received Rs 2 million worth cash and
jewellery through each marriage. Cases have been registered against the women and the Singapore-
based suspect,” Kalyani added. According to police sources, the women were arrested from their village
Parangippettai in Cuddalore district, some 230 km south of Chennai. (Hindustan Times 7/4/09)

Violence against women keeping them away from politics: NGO (8)
Women are making steady inroads into almost every profession in South Asia these days. Yet, when it
comes to politics, why are many women politicians not seen? The reason, according to an NGO, is
violence - more psychological than physical - against women in politics. Representatives of the South
Asia Partnership (SAP), an international organisation that promotes democracy through the civil society
came together Monday to discuss the various aspects of this disturbing fact that has, until now, not been
highlighted. Savitri Goonsekre of Sri Lanka said: 'Women participating in politics are victimized by both
direct and invisible violence, which is one of the major influencing factors to obstruct their participation in
governance.' 'Character assassination, kidnapping of their children, rape and even murder of winner
women politicians by opposition party members after losing elections, social boycott for being involved in
politics, breakage of relationships, ill treatment by husbands...there are a whole lot of reasons which
discourage women from entering the field,' she said. 'Despite the fact that most countries have signed the
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), a country like
mine (Sri Lanka) has just five percent women in the national assembly, which is shameful,' Goonsekre
added. Chandni Joshi of Nepal, one of the representatives, said that although it will be very difficult to
look for any data on violence against women in politics, it exists everywhere. 'There are one million
women involved in the panchayati raj in India, yet they continue to be faceless, not being able to do much
for their own upliftment. The patriarchal society ensures that the reins of the panchayat, even if the
woman is the sarpanch (village head), lie with the husband,' said Joshi, who has worked in India for 14
years. Martha Farrell of India said: 'In the Indian panchayat set up, the discrimination is very subtle. A
women sarpanch sits on the floor, while her male counterpart will sit on a chair.' 'Women are not allowed
to speak in the panchayat meeting and any kind of question from them is discouraged. Overall, in both
rural and urban set-up during elections, harassment of women is considered as nothing extraordinary.'
One of the major drawbacks which women face in politics, according to Farrell, is that the Supreme Court
guideline against sexual harassment of women in work places do not consider women politicians. 'Just
1.3 percent of India's budgetary allocation is for women's development and empowerment while many
other South Asian countries allocate 3.5 percent. Policies for development of women exist, but are not
implemented. These are all bottlenecks,' Joshi added. There is some good news too. Afghanistan's
constitution guarantees non-discrimination and equality of women and men and reserves a 25 percent
share of seats for women parliamentarians in the national assembly. In Bangladesh in the general
elections, for the first time the number of women voters exceeded the male voters. In Nepal, there is a 33
percent representation for women in parliament. 'A lot more has to be done to encourage women to come
into politics for the sake of allround development of our country. Women's issues should not just be
another publicity gimmick pointer in political parties' manifestos,' Farrell said. (India ENews 7/4/09)

Polls: Women candidates focus on empowerment, education and healthcare (8)
VISAKHAPATNAM: Empowerment of women, suitable healthcare and sanitation facilities, educational
institutions and a proper representation of the fair sex in politics seem to be the main agendas of the
women candidates in the fray for the Visakhapatnam Assembly constituencies. Shirin Rehman (PRP),
contestant of Visakhapatnam (North) Assembly constituency, wants to set up a multi-purpose women’s
training centre for their income generation, a degree college at Kancharapalem and rigorously campaign
for liquor prohibition. “Women are the central nucleus of the society. Without the progress of women and
their proper participation in administrative and decision-making sectors, society cannot progress,” she
said. Agreeing to the fact that the fair sex continues to get a raw deal in politics she said, “There is less
than 10 per cent representation of women in politics. Lacks of education and exposure are the major
hindrances towards the progress of women. It is only through education and financial independence that
women’s liberation can be achieved.” Ms. Shirin Rahman noted that never before were the atrocities on
women through rape and murder so high in the State. Several girls were becoming victims of sexual
assault and rape and minor girls were no exception. “I want to work to ensure social security for women
so that a woman could go safely come up back home from work during night shifts. Increasing night
patrolling and introducing a mandatory class of marshal arts at the school level are among her priorities.
According to Jhansi Lakshmi (Lok Satta Party), who is contesting for Visakhapatnam East Assembly
constituency, education, public health, sanitation and drinking are the main issues that needs attention.
Blaming the government for its apathetic approach, she said that unless the people cast their vote
thoughtfully, the system is not going to change. Talking about women’s representation in politics she said
that while most of the parties in their manifestoes promised to ensure more women participation in the
political arena, the records tell a different story all together. “The number of seats allotted to women
candidates speaks volumes about this. The fact is women have to fight for their rights. Men do not want to
share their power with women,” she said and added that she would focus on these issues and work to
ameliorate the lot of women and focus on employment generation. Bharanikana Jaya (TDP), contestant
of Visakhapatnam (North) Assembly constituency, criticized the Congress government for the poor
conditions of the people living on hill slopes. Ms. Jaya, who has been living in the north constituency for
25 years, promised regularised housing for the weaker sections. (The Hindu 7/4/09)

Harassed by husband, woman commits suicide (8)
LUCKNOW: Two women committed suicide in separate incidents reported here on Monday. In the first
incident reported from Gosainganj, a 30-year-old woman took the grave step by hanging herself as she
was being harassed by her husband for the past few months. The victim was identified as Rajpati.
According to Rajpati's brother, Ram Singh, his sister has been married to Mewalal for the past twelve
years but was unemployed. Mewalal is also an alcoholic and used to often thrash his wife. The couple
has three daughters, who were identified as Nisha, 8, Anisha, 7 and Anita, 2. As the victim's brother
alleged harassment of his sister, a case under section 306 of IPC was lodged against the husband. The
body was later sent for the postmortem examination and investigations were on with regards to the
charges against Mewalal. In another incident reported from Kakori police circle, a 25-year-old woman's
body was found in mutilated condition on a railway track near Kakori railway station. According to the
police, the victim was later identified as Vishnu Kanti of Basant Khera. During the initial investigation it
came to light that some locals saw the woman moving on the track around 9.00am. Police said that
although the reason behind the woman taking the grave step is not known, the woman had given birth to
a baby a fortnight ago. The body was sent for the postmortem examination and investigations were on.
(Times of India 7/4/09)

Sexual harassment is a human rights violation: CIC (8)
New Delhi (PTI): Sexual harassment amounts to human rights violation and no organisation, including
RAW, should be exempted from the purview of RTI Act in such cases, the CIC has said. While hearing
the plea of a women RAW officer, the Central Information Commission held, "... this entire application
centres on allegations of sexual harassment which is a material basis for allegations of human rights
violation. We have also on earlier occasion also held that overt gender discrimination amounts to violation
of human rights." Although the commission dismissed the plea of Nisha Priya Bhatia, a RAW officer who
had demanded information under RTI Act on her complaint regarding allegations of sexual exploitation by
seniors on technical grounds, it advised her to move a fresh application seeking information which was
denied by the agency. "It will be open to Nisha Bhatia to move a fresh application before the RAW
seeking information on the matters which she has now sought at the level of second appeal. Her right to
so move an application notwithstanding the listing of RAW in the second schedule is upheld in light of
proviso to sec 24 (1)..." Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah held. (The Hindu 8/4/09)

Controversial Afghan marital law under attack (8)
Kabul, April 08, 2009: A controversial law that critics say legalizes marital rape is unconstitutional and
leads toward the "Talibanization" of Afghanistan's legal system, according to a petition signed by dozens
of Afghan ministers, lawmakers and officials. The law, quietly passed and signed last month, has stirred
international outcry over women's rights. The law says a husband can have sex with his wife every four
days unless she is ill, and it regulates when and for what reasons a wife may leave home alone. Critics
have said the legislation undermines hard-won rights for women enacted after the fall of the Taliban's
strict Islamist regime in 2001. The regime banned women from appearing in public without a body-
covering burqa and a male escort from her family. Following an international outcry, with President
Barack Obama calling the law "abhorrent," President Hamid Karzai ordered its review. The Justice
Ministry has said the law, which has not been published in the official registry and would apply only to the
country's Shiite population, between 10 percent and 20 percent of Afghanistan's 30 million people, is not
being enforced while it is under review. "We are greatly dismayed and express sincere apologies to
Afghan sisters and mothers, civil society and others who are committed to the preservation of human
rights," said a petition signed Wednesday by more than 100 Afghan officials and public figures, including
six government ministers and 22 lawmakers. The law contradicts the country's constitution and human
rights, treating women as objects rather than subjects, the joint declaration said. "Notwithstanding the
advancement of Afghan women, including their active participation in the political and social spheres, the
rights of women have once again been neglected and violated in the name of 'law,"' the petition said. "We
believe that all those who support democracy ... will confront the Talibanization of the legal system of the
country with determined efforts," it said. Much has improved since the fall of the Taliban. Millions of girls
now attend school, and many women own businesses. Of 351 parliamentarians, 89 are women. But in
this conservative country, critics fear those gains could easily be reversed. The petition came as Poland's
President Lech Kaczynski held talks in Kabul with Karzai and reiterated his country's plans to increase its
troop contribution in the country by 20 percent this year. Poland has 1,600 troops in Afghanistan as part
of the NATO-led force and is among the few countries other than the United States to substantially
increase the number of soldiers pledged to fight insurgent groups. Southern Afghanistan is the center of a
growing Taliban-led insurgency, where thousands of new U.S. troops will deploy later this year to try to
reverse militant gains of the last three years. NATO said in a statement that one of its soldiers was killed
Wednesday in a "hostile incident" in southern Afghanistan, but it did not provide the exact location of the
incident or the nationality of the victim. In the southern Uruzgan province, U.S. coalition and Afghan
troops killed six militants with mortar fire while they were planting roadside bombs and constructing an
ambush site Wednesday, the coalition said in a statement. Also Wednesday, a roadside blast hit a civilian
vehicle south of Kandahar city, wounding six civilians, said the spokesman for Kandahar province's
governor, Zalmai Ayubi. Two of those hurt were in critical condition, he said. Militants regularly plant
bombs alongside roads used by foreign and Afghan troops, but the majority of victims in those attacks are
civilians. (Hindustan Times 8/4/09)

Girl tied up & beaten for stealing (8)
KOLKATA: It was mob justice at its worst. A teenaged beggar girl, allegedly caught while snatching
jewellery, was tied up to a grille and brutally beaten up for more than one and a half hours on
Wednesday. However, realizing that they might be in trouble, her tormentors released her before police
arrived. Moina Das (14), a resident of Birati Rail Colony, had reportedly entered a home at Barasat's
Hariharpara to seek alms around 10 am on Wednesday. She noticed some ornaments lying near the idol
of the family deity in a room and tried to steal those. Residents allegedly caught her in the act. After the
news spread, other locals rushed in and started questioning her. While this was going on, some of the
more enthusiastic thought about teaching her a lesson she wouldn't forget. They dragged her towards the
balcony and tied her up to the grille and started raining blows on her. When a police team arrived around
11.30 am, it was as if the torture never happened. Some people who got wind of the cops' arrival had
quickly set her free. Moina was taken to the Barasat police station. She has been detained. (Times of
India 9/4/09)

Dowry harassment: Cops move for anticipatory bail (8)
PONDA: Two police officers, accused of dowry harassment, have moved the Sessions Court for
anticipatory bail. The matter will be heard on April 17. On Saturday, Ponda resident Sangeeta Gaonkar
alias Sanjyokta Khandeparkar, 30, filed a police complaint against her husband Sanjiv Khandeparkar and
his brother Eknath Gaude, also from Ponda. She was married on June 9, 2008 and complained that the
duo mentally harassed her for dowry. Accordingly, Ponda police have registered a case under sections
504 (abusing with filthy language), 506 II (threat of dire consequences), 509 (attempt to insult modesty of
a woman) and 498 A (harassment for dowry) against the duo. While Sanjiv is a sub inspector, Eknath is a
deputy superintendent of police attached to the wireless section at police headquarters, said police
sources. (Times of India 14/4/09)

Woman, kin in dock for giving dowry (8)
New Delhi, April 15, 2009: A Noida court has ordered registration of a criminal case against a woman and
her family for allegedly giving dowry. The chief judicial magistrate ordered the registration of an FIR
against Sheila (name changed) and her family after her husband Mohit (name changed) complained that
his in-laws were trying to extort money by filing a dowry demand case against him. Mohit, an engineer in
an MNC, alleged that police registered a case against him without verifying the complaint of his wife, also
an engineer in an MNC and her family members, who claimed to have given him articles and cash worth
about Rs 23 lakh. “The police officials in Noida simply denied taking any action against my in-laws, and
also refused to register any complaint,” Mohit alleged. The court noted that according to a Delhi Police
circular, the commissioner has issued standing orders that in case a grown-up and educated women gets
married to a person despite a demand for dowry, she and her family members also become accomplices
under Section 3 of the Dowry Prohibition Act. “The charges were never verified.... Dowry-givers are
considered accomplices under the Dowry Prohibition Act,” said Mohit’s counsel Pradeep Nawani.
(Hindustan Times 15/4/09)

Dowry drives student to death Crime notes (8)
Bangalore: Unable to bear the alleged harassment for more dowry, a student of Government Dental
College in the city hanged herself here on Monday. The victim has been identified as Manasa (26), a first-
year postgraduate student. Manasa, a native of Mysore, had married R. Harish, a software engineer with
IBM residing in Mathikere, a senior police official said on Tuesday. The victim’s father, Manjunath, is a
retired Orthopaedics Surgeon in Mysore Medical College (MMC) while her mother Tulasi is a senior
Medical Officer of MMC. Manasa was married in February 2007 and in May, Harish was posted in the
U.S. on a project. She was staying with her in-laws and was pursuing her studies, and was keen to settle
abroad with her husband, said the officer. However, Manasa was allegedly being harassed for money and
valuables and unable to stand it any more, she hanged herself on Monday afternoon. Her death came to
light at night. The Yeshwanthpur police are looking for her father-in-law Raju, a realtor. His wife
Nagamma got herself hospitalised saying she had chest pain, said the officer. (The Hindu 15/4/09)

Women protesting 'rape law' stoned (8)
KABUL: Hundreds of Afghans swarmed a demonstration of more than 100 women protesting on
Wednesday against a new marriage law they say restricts wives’ rights. The women were pelted with
small stones as police struggled to keep the two groups apart. The law, passed last month, says a
husband can demand sex with his wife every four days unless she is ill or would be harmed by
intercourse — a clause that critics say legalizes marital rape. It also regulates when and for what reasons
a wife may leave her home alone. Women’s rights activists scheduled a protest on Wednesday attended
by mostly young women. But the group was swamped by counter-protesters — both men and women —
who shouted down the women’s chants. Some picked up gravel and stones and threw them at the
women, while others shouted “Death to the slaves of the Christians!” Female police held hands around
the group to create a protective barrier. The government has said the Shia family law is being reviewed
and will not be implemented in its current form. Governments around the world have condemned the
legislation, and President Barack Obama has labeled it “abhorrent.” Though the law would apply only to
the country’s Shias — 10% to 20% of the population — it has sparked an uproar by activists who say it
marks a return to Taliban-style oppression. “You are a dog! You are not a Shia woman!” one man
shouted to a young woman in a headscarf holding aloft a banner, who told him: “This is my land and my
people.” (Times of India 17/4/09)

Steady decline in infanticide cases in Dharmapuri District (8)
Dharmapuri (TN) (PTI): Once haunted by the scourge of female infanticide, Dharmapuri district in Tamil
Nadu has made big strides in containing infant killings with the number of such cases coming down every
year. Dharmapuri registered only two cases of infanticide last year as against 183 such cases in 1995. As
many as 178 infanticide cases were reported in 2001. The figure came down to 73 in 2002. "Last year two
cases of infanticide were reported and this year we have one case reported from Pennagaram taluk,"
Dharmapuri District Collector P Amudha told PTI here. Girl children, considered here as a "drain" on their
parents' resources due to dowry, were either killed by feeding them with "Erukampal" (milk extracted from
poisonous weed) or abandoned. The practice was similar to male child with physical disabilities.
Paradoxically, the dreaded practice continues unabated in neighbouring Salem, where 860 such cases
were reported last year. Nearly half of them were physically disabled boys. Salem District Deputy Director
of Health Dr Nirmalson said the cases were slightly less compared to 890 cases of infanticide in 2007.
The district continued to witness periodic incidents of body parts of infants strewn around garbage dumps
near hospitals, he added. (The Hindu 19/4/09)

Sexual harassment from males 'damages relationships between females' (8)
London, April 22 (ANI): Sexual harassment from males can damage relationships between females, says
a new study. Led by the Centre for Research in Animal Behaviour at the University of Exeter, the study
focused on guppies, a popular aquarium fish, in which scientists have previously observed a very high
level of sexual harassment from males towards females. The researchers found that male harassment not
only breaks down female social structures but also affects females' ability to recognise one another. The
research provides the first insight into the effect of male sexual harassment on female social networks
and social recognition. The findings could have relevance to other species. "Sexual harassment is a
burden that females of many species ranging from insects to primates suffer and the results of our work
suggest that this harassment may limit the opportunities for females to form social bonds across a range
of species," lead author Dr Safi Darden of the University of Exeter said. The research team worked with a
population of wild guppies in Trinidad, isolating the females and introducing males to change the sex ratio
and examining the effect of males on female social behaviour. They conducted a number of experiments
on each group to test the females' ability to recognise their peers and form bonds with other members of
the group. The researchers found that, after experiencing a high level of sexual harassment, females
were less able to recognise the other females in the group. They were also more likely to form bonds with
new females, introduced from outside their network. Co-author Dr Darren Croft of the University of Exeter
said: "This is an extremely interesting result as it appears that females that experience sexual harassment
actually prefer to avoid other females with whom they associate the negative experience." Those females
that were grouped without males were better able to recognise one another and also showed a
preference for females from within, rather than outside, the group. The researchers do not know exactly
why sexual harassment from males has such a marked effect on female social interaction. However, it is
possible that the sheer amount of time spent by females dealing with unwanted male attention prevents
them from forming relationships with other females. They believe females from groups with more males
may have bonded with females from outside in order to try to establish themselves in a more favourable
environment. (OneIndia 22/4/09)

Sexually harassed women bad at relations (8)
Sexual harassment from males can damage relationships between females, says a new study. Sexual
harassment damages female relationships (Getty Images) Led by the Centre for Research in Animal
Behaviour at the University of Exeter, the study focused on guppies, a popular aquarium fish, in which
scientists have previously observed a very high level of sexual harassment from males towards females.
The researchers found that male harassment not only breaks down female social structures but also
affects females'' ability to recognise one another. The research provides the first insight into the effect of
male sexual harassment on female social networks and social recognition. The findings could have
relevance to other species. "Sexual harassment is a burden that females of many species ranging from
insects to primates suffer and the results of our work suggest that this harassment may limit the
opportunities for females to form social bonds across a range of species," lead author Dr Safi Darden of
the University of Exeter said. The research team worked with a population of wild guppies in Trinidad,
isolating the females and introducing males to change the sex ratio and examining the effect of males on
female social behaviour. They conducted a number of experiments on each group to test the females''
ability to recognise their peers and form bonds with other members of the group. The researchers found
that, after experiencing a high level of sexual harassment, females were less able to recognise the other
females in the group. They were also more likely to form bonds with new females, introduced from outside
their network. Co-author Dr Darren Croft of the University of Exeter said: "This is an extremely interesting
result as it appears that females that experience sexual harassment actually prefer to avoid other females
with whom they associate the negative experience." Those females that were grouped without males
were better able to recognise one another and also showed a preference for females from within, rather
than outside, the group. The researchers do not know exactly why sexual harassment from males has
such a marked effect on female social interaction. However, it is possible that the sheer amount of time
spent by females dealing with unwanted male attention prevents them from forming relationships with
other females. They believe females from groups with more males may have bonded with females from
outside in order to try to establish themselves in a more favourable environment. The study is published
in Proceedings of the Royal Society B. (Times of India 22/4/09)

Women’s groups speak up for TISS gang rape victim (8)
MUMBAI: Reacting sharply to the controversies emerging in the aftermath of the recent gang rape of a
TISS student, women rights’ activists have clarified that the victim’s testimony is most important when
there are difficulties in gathering medical evidence. Members from the Forum Against Oppression of
Women, the Women’s Center, Awaaz-e-Niswaan and Center for Enquiry into Health and Allied Themes
(CEHAT) on Friday raised several issues—ranging from the limitations of forensic examinations to the
need to review the legal definition of rape. Clarifying that victims can undergo a medical test at a hospital
even without an FIR, they said there should be no issue about the victim reporting the matter after a
passage of time. The American woman, who is pursing gender studies at TISS in Deonar, reported the
gang rape after over 24 hours, leading to speculation that crucial evidence may have been lost due to the
delay. It has been pointed out that victims need time to recover from the trauma caused by sexual
assault, before lodging a police complaint. “It is (hence) ridiculous for defence lawyers to question the
delay in reporting the case to the police,’’ they said. Moreover, Sangeeta Rege of CEHAT said there are
limitations of forensic and medical evidence. “If the accused had used a condom while having intercourse
with the woman (as rapists have been known to do), there would be no evidence of semen on her,’’ she
said. Studies across the world have shown that only a third of sexual assault victims have physical
injuries. “It is a myth that women who have been sexually assaulted will show obvious signs of injury.
Moreover, the woman (in this case) was unconscious when sexually assaulted,’’ said the activists. The
women’s activists have also called for attention to the way sexual assault is defined in Indian law.
“Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) restricts its definition to peno-vaginal intercourse and ignores
all other forms of sexual abuse. Other acts of sexual assault such as using foreign objects, oral and anal
penetration do not, currently, come under the purview of this law. It is high time that these acts of forceful
sex be included in the definition as well,’’ said Rege. Pointing to the practice in western countries, the
note said, “For proving a charge of rape with the aid of medical evidence, it is essential to corroborate
physical and material evidence found on the victim with that of the accused and vice versa.’’
Unfortunately, in most cases, these examinations are done by different doctors and hospitals—as in this
case as well. (Times of India 25/4/09)

Doc, husband, in-laws acquitted of female-foeticide charges (8)
Ahmedabad: Sessions Judge R H Sharma on Friday acquitted all the accused in a case of female
foeticide. In the case, a woman had alleged that her former in-laws and a doctor from Bapunagar area
had forced her to medically terminate her pregnancy in 2004 after she had been found carrying a five-
month-old female foetus. The complainant in the case has been identified as Mamta Veradia, whereas
the accused who have been acquitted have been identified as Pradeep Veradia, her husband, and
Sanjay Veradia, Kanchan Veradia, Ghanshyam Veradia, Nimisha Veradia — her in laws, and Mukesh
Savalia, the doctor who carried out the MTP (Medical Termination of Pregnancy). Mamta and Pradeep
had got divorced after the case was registered in 2004. Dr Savalia’s lawyer, Mitesh Amin, said, “The court
has pronounced the judgement and acquitted all the accused of all the charges.” The case had seen
some unexpected twists and turns in the past as on one occasion, the judge had cancelled the bail of all
the accused and sent them in judicial custody for misbehaving in the court. In another such incident, Dr
Savalia was arraigned as an accused in the case under the provisions of the IPC. He had been accused
of carrying out the MTP without the consent of the pregnant woman. (Indian Express 25/4/09)

Sexual harassment rules in RU prospectus (8)
JAIPUR: Rajasthan University has decided to include the Supreme Court guidelines prohibiting sexual
harassment at educational institutions in its prospectus along with subjects details from new academic
session. "This initiative would educate the girl students on certain laws that can be exercised in case of
any sexual harassment," said Asha Kaushik, director of Centre for Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy
She further added that considering the fact most of the girl students were not aware of provisions made
for them to counter the menace of harassment. In the last academic session, many girls alleged that they
were subjected to sexual harassment by their guides or professors. In most of the cases the girl students
had to face sexist gestures, lewd jokes and remarks that are not civil on the RU campus. Rajasthan
University's Women Harassment Cell' also remained inactive during the year as very few complaints were
lodged by the students there. These few complainants were disappointed when they were asked to give a
formal complaint to the proctor or the vice-chancellor of the university. The victims were apparently
scared to approach the authorities fearing loss of honour if their names came out in the open. They were
also apprehensive as they thought that the concerned professor or guide would hit back by not
cooperating with them in their research work or give them bad marks. Interestingly, Supreme Court had
laid down certain guidelines in 2007 prohibiting sexual harassment at workplace. It had directed all the
states to establish a complaints committee at their educational institutions and other places of work,
headed preferably by a woman and with at least half of its members being women. Adhering to the apex
court order, RU has formed a committee to look into complaints of sexual harassment. However, when
girl students are asked about the committee, most of them express ignorance about its existence. (Times
of India 26/4/09)

Rising suicides give cause for concern (8)
VARANASI: The increasing incidents of suicide, especially by youth, have started producing an alarming
picture. Two incidents of suicide by girls in different areas of the district on Saturday have only proved
the point. Soni (15) of Khadagpur village under Shivpur police station committed suicide due to alleged
sexual harassment by her father. She jumped with her sister Renu (14) in front of a train. Soni lost her life
in the bid while Renu survived. Renu revealed that her father, Vansh Bahadur, a power loom weaver, had
sexually exploited Soni for more than a month, though the natives of Khadagpur and Sabhaipur villages
claimed that the girl was telling a lie. Apart from her, Neetu Barnwal, aged around 19, committed suicide
by hanging herself from the ceiling fan of her room in Kayasthtola locality under Adampur police station
on Thursday. It was stated that she was frustrated due to weak financial condition of her father. Before
these girls, several others had initiated similar hard steps. In the first four months of this year, the police
record had revealed 18 other cases of suicide in different police stations. Records of 2008 made it clear
that 75 cases of suicide were recorded with various police stations of the district. Out of these 75 cases,
the number of cases of suicide by women was high. Records stated that in the dispute over illicit
relationships, as many as six men and three women had committed suicide last year. Betrayal by lovers
had led to suicide by seven men and three women. Seven persons, including two women, had ended
their lives after getting frustrated by their illness. Due to unemployment, three men committed suicide.
Maximum cases of committing suicide by women had taken place due to dowry harassment by their in-
laws. The number of such cases was 29 in 2008. Apart from them, 17 others, including three women, had
ended their lives due to unknown reasons. These figures of suicide maintained in police records are not
considered as complete as many cases of suicide remain unreported. When efforts were made to contact
the people whose family member had initiated extreme steps, it came to light that more than reasons like
poor results in examination, poverty and financial reasons, family and personal reasons led to initiating
such step. (Times of India 27/4/09)

Doctor fights a lone battle against female foeticide (8)
Ludhiana: Dr Raminder Soi, a city-based Ayurvedacharya, is fighting a lone battle against female
foeticide. Her aim is to create more awareness about this social evil among people and contribute her bit
towards giving a positive direction to the society. Talking to Newsline, Dr Soi, who runs a clinic at Urban
Estate, says: “Many women visit my clinic for free consultation from 8 to 11 am daily. They visit me with
health problems, mostly related to gynaecology and body fitness.” According to Dr Soi, for running her
campaign against female foeticide, she visits houses of her patients and holds meetings with women at a
few educational institutions. “It is a disgrace for the Indian society, which considers a girlchild as a bad
future investment,” she adds. Dr Soi says that among the most frequently asked questions by women is
what they should do when their family members put pressure on them to have a son. “A majority of
women who attend my counselling sessions come from rural areas. I plan to include men of such families
in my sessions as well,” she says. Dr Soi, who holds six to eight such meetings in a month, says: “The
root cause of female foeticide is the lack of education. A woman is considered to be a consumer rather
than a producer and this narrow viewpoint of the Indian patriarchal society has led to malpractices like
female infanticide and female foeticide. I fear the declining sex ratio in Ludhiana might lead to
degradation of moral values, which might result into increased violence against women and women
trafficking.” (Indian Express 27/4/09)

Why not CCT in the name of girl child in school? (8)
Come election time and suddenly, the freebies begin to shower. In a race to the finish, each political party
promises a piece of the moon to the masses, albeit on public money. Recently, the Congress party in its
manifesto, promised rice and wheat at Rs 3/kg to the poor, and soon after, the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP)
announced that they will give grains at even lower price of just Rs 2/kg Some are promising free TV, while
some others are even talking of direct cash transfer. All such promised freebies, if given in reality, will
surely cost the state exchequer heavily, thus leaving lesser resources for development. In the medium to
long run, it is this development process, and not these freebies, which will alleviate poverty on a
sustainable basis. But if this is the case, why is it that political parties love announcing these goodies for
the poor, and why are the poor supposedly being lured by these? Presumably, the answer lies in the very
myopic vision of the political parties, but also because poor cannot wait for long for the growth process to
run its full cycle to alleviate their hunger and poverty. The stark reality is that despite growing at about 8 to
9% a year for the last five years, India still has the largest number of poor in the world. So, while the
growth engine is running, India has to innovate and find effective safety nets for its poor. For this purpose,
we have two major safety net programs—the Public Distribution System (PDS) and the National Rural
Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS). While these are laudable initiatives in addressing the needs
of the poor, and together they claim more than Rs 50,000 crore, there are major loopholes in the PDS,
where the leakages are more than 33%, and they also distort the grain markets. The jury is still out for
NREGS in terms of its costs and benefits. So the moot question for the political economy analyst is to
know what is the best way to help the poor? Extensive research at IFPRI across countries has shown that
the most efficient and cost-effective method of helping the poor is through Conditional Cash Transfer
(CCT). In such a system, the government imposes a condition tied to development—such as sending a
child to school. And for all families that fulfill the condition, the government would automatically transfer a
stipulated amount in their account. A Biometric Smart Card is used to identify the person concerned
through a fingerprint or the iris and that person from the family (generally a female) is allowed to withdraw
government funds, given that they are fulfilling the condition. In order to address the challenges of India’s
poor, and to empower women, it may be good to have CCT in the name of a girl child in the school, or the
old woman at home, who cannot do much physical labour. Rather than enticing the electorate with a free
TV, or with highly subsidised grain, conditional cash transfers in the name of women will be much more
cost effective and perhaps more powerful in changing the discrimination in the society against women.
This can also fetch them votes without distorting the grain markets. (Economic Times 28/4/09)

Say no to female foeticide’ (8)
Belgaum: Sri Someshwar Swamji of Sri Mukti Math at Bhutramanahatti near here has called upon young
couples to say “no” to female foeticide. In his blessings to young couples who were married at a mass
marriage ceremony organised under the auspices of the math on the occasion of Basaveshwara Jayanti
on Monday, he said female foeticide amounted to discrimination and injustice against women and girl
child.He also wanted these young couples to set a trend by distributing “peda” if they are blessed by a girl
child and “jalebi” for male child. Of late, young girls and women are no less competitive than their male
counterparts and deserve equal treatment in all respects, he said. “Therefore, hereafter you distribute
‘peda’ if God blesses you with a girl child and ‘jalebi’ for a boy child, as a first step against gender
discrimination,” he said. Earlier, Sri Chaitanya Maharaj of Beed in Maharashtra observed that marriage in
Eastern countries such as India was considered as one of the 16 “samskaras” (sacraments) leading to
spiritual nourishment. (The Hindu 28/4/09)

Dowry harassment claims woman’s life (8)
NALGONDA: A 22-year-old woman committed suicide unable to bear dowry harassment by her husband
and mother-in-law at Datthappagudem in Mothkur mandal. According to sources, N. Adi Laxmi, wife of N.
Suresh, an auto driver, set herself ablaze at her home on Monday. Adi Laxmi was admitted to the district
headquarters hospital with grievous burn injuries the same day. She succumbed while undergoing
treatment at the hospital on Tuesday morning. The deceased is survived by a nine-month-old baby. The
police registered a case against her husband and mother-in-law on a complaint lodged by Padma,
Laxmi’s mother. Mothkur Sub-Inspector L. Bhaskar Rao is investigating the case. (The Hindu 29/4/09)

'One complaint of crime against women in Mohali daily' (8)
MOHALI: In a wake-up call for women and organisations that claim to work for their rights, Mohali
reportedly receives one complaint daily, on an average, of crime against women related to either dowry,
physical and mental harassment or domestic violence among others. Translated into figures, while 323
complaints were received by the women’s cell in 2007, the number rose to 410 in 2008 and this year
already 103 complaints have been received so far. However, the tally for cases registered average a
mere 12-15 annually, mainly because compromises are often reached to avoid litigation. Mohali police
women’s cell incharge inspector Deepinder Kaur said, ‘’There has been an increase in the number of
complaints against dowry demand, domestic violence and other forms of abuse against women in the
past few years.’’ Explaining that abuse could be physical or mental and violence, whether inflicted by a
family member or outsider, was a crime, she added, ‘’Though the number of complaints received is very
high, very less people go on to register cases. Following a complaint, both parties either arrive at a
compromise or decide to get divorced if it involves a married couple.’’ Therefore, in 2007 only eight cases
were registered, 10 in 2008 and 5 cases till now. Even as most cases reported pertained to harassment
for dowry, cops let out the unsettling fact that violence against women was common in the region.
According to police officials, ‘’Harassment and violence are often resorted to for want of finances,
infertility, neglect by children and alcohol consumption.’’ (Times of India 30/4/09)

Harassed bride ends life, husband arrested (8)
BANGALORE: Preeti Biyani, 29, was married on February 28 in Maharashtra. It was a dream wedding.
Two months on, her dreams were shattered. She was found hanging in the bedroom of her
Kaggadasapura home on Tuesday. Her family members allege she committed suicide because of dowry
harassment. Preeti, daughter of Rajgopal Madanlal Biyani, a businessman from Latur, Maharashtra,
passed BE architecture last year. She was married to Naveen Mantri, a software engineer and son of
Bipinchandra Mantri, a Nanded district magistrate. from Nanded in Maharashtra. The couple shifted to
Bangalore, where Naveen works in a software multinational. Naveen went to work as usual on Tuesday.
when he returned around 8 pm, he found Preeti hanging. She had used her dupatta. Naveen took down
the body. A case of unnatural death was registered on Wednesday. But her family alleges that Preeti
committed suicide because the Mantris harassed her for dowry, and lodged a case. The Mahadevapura
police arrested Naveen on Thursday, based on the complaint of Preeti’s relatives. They are also looking
at provisions to arrest the magistrate and his wife, who have obtained transit bail from a court in Nanded.
Sandeep, a close relative of Preeti, said the marriage, held at Latur, was a lavish affair. The Biyanis had
spent about Rs 20 lakh, given Rs 12 lakh to the Mantris, besides Rs 5 lakh worth of clothes for the entire
family. He said Preeti’s parents had given an additional Rs 2.7 lakh to the groom’s father by demand
draft. Though the police found a suicide note which said “nobody is responsible for my death’’, the family
members allege it is not Preeti’s handwriting. At first, they were not informed about the suicide. Naveen’s
family members did not bother to visit them till a complaint was lodged, they alleged. Rajgopal Biyani
claims his daughter - who was frequently harassed for Rs 25 lakh to buy an apartment in Bangalore - was
fed up with the mental torture. The post-mortem was done at the Bowring Hospital, and the body taken to
Latur on Thursday evening. The police said they would ascertain if the suicide note is genuine. (Times of
India 1/5/09)

Declining sex ratio : a national concern (Editorial by — Dr HK Goswami, Assam Tribune) (8)
The declining sex ratio has been a matter of great concern for India. Sex ratio in India has declined over
the century from 972 in 1901 to 927 in 2001. Sex ratio has been most pronounced in several north Indian
States, namely Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Gujarat, Chandigarh and Himachal Pradesh. Punjab has an
alarming ratio of 798 girls per 1000 boys as per 2001 Census against the national average of 927. For
Haryana and Delhi, the sex ratios are 819 and 868 respectively. The reason for decline in sex ratio in this
northern belt of the country could be due to the common socio-religious and historical background which
unfortunately led to lowering of status of women in the society. World Health Organization (WHO) has
stated that “in India, son preference affects all aspects of a woman’s life, including child care, health,
education and employment, because she is discriminated against the moment she is born and sometimes
even before, if sex selection procedures are available.” It is sad that ultrasonography, one of the most
beneficial diagnostic tools of medical science is consciously misused in sex determination leading to
abortion. There are 32,292 registered centres of ultrasonography in the country as on 5.9.07. In order to
check female foeticide, the Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act
1994, was enacted by the Government of India. This Act was brought into operation with effect from
January 1, 1996. The Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act 1994,
has since been amended to make it more comprehensive. The amended Act and Rules came into force
with effect from February 24, 2003. The Act is both prohibitive and regulatory in nature. It regulates the
use of pre-conception and prenatal sex selection techniques, regulates use and sale of ultra-sound
machines and make advertisement for sex selection punishable. Use of pre-natal diagnostic techniques
and genetic counselling is permissible only for detection of certain genetic abnormalities. The
implementing authority of the Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse)
Act, 1994, at the Central level is the Central Supervisory Board (CSB) headed by the Union Health and
Family Welfare Minister. The CSB is for policy making, reviewing and monitoring of the implementation of
the Act at the national level. At the State level, a State Supervisory Board (SSB) functions under the
chairpersonship of the concerned State Minister-in-charge of Health and Family Welfare. The SSB
monitors the implementation of the Act at the State level and reviews the activities of the District
Appropriate Authorities (DAAs). The District Appropriate Authorities implement the Act at the district level
with the advice of the District Advisory Committee (DAC). Contraventions of the provisions of the Act are
punishable with imprisonment up to 3 years and a fine of Rs 10,000 for the first offence and imprisonment
up to 5 years and a fine of Rs 50,000 – Rs 1,00,000 for subsequent offences. Significantly, sex
determination is far more common in urban areas than in the countryside and among literate people than
illiterate ones. The States with worst sex ratios are generally economically stronger. For example, Punjab
has topped in economic growth as compared with other States of India. In Fatehgarh Sahib district of
Punjab, sex ratio is 766 females against 1000 males while in Patiala district, the sex ratio is 777 : 1000.
Similarly, certain districts of Delhi, namely, South-west and North-west Delhi, where some of the richest
and most educated Indians reside, have the lowest sex ratios. This testify the myth that with increasing
levels of affluence and education, gender bias gets eroded gradually. The trends of adverse sex ratio are
alarming for India and could be disastrous if economic boom associated with son preference makes
families to limit their size leading to elimination of girls further. Meanwhile, the Union Health and Family
Welfare Ministry has constituted a Central Supervisory Board (CSB) for monitoring the implementation of
the Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act 1994. Meetings of the
Central Supervisory Board are being held regularly every six months under the chairmanship of the Union
Health and Family Welfare Minister. It is proposed to conduct medical audit of all the ultrasound clinics of
the country so as to detect the violators of the PNDT Act by scrutinizing ‘Form F” filled in respect of all
pregnant women by the clinics. District Magistrates/District Collectors have been empowered as District
Appropriate Authorities to strengthen the implementation of the PNDT Act at the ground level. Several
States, namely, Maharashtra, Tripura, Gujarat, Orissa and Chhattisgarh have already notified this.
Besides, sensitization on sex ratio issue has been made a part of the curriculum for the auxiliary nurse
midwife (ANM) and accredited social health (ASHAs) under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM).
(Assam Tribune Editorial 3/5/09)

Prosecution over dowry inescapable, says SC (8)
New Delhi, PTI: The Supreme Court has held that a man cannot escape criminal prosecution for
harassing a woman over dowry or other issues merely on the plea that she was not his legally wedded
wife. A bench of Justices Arijit Pasayat and Asok Kumar Ganguly ruled that Indian Penal Code Sections
304 B (dowry death) and 498A (harassment of woman by husband/family members) would apply even if
the husband “claims” that the woman alleging harassment was not his legally wedded wife. “It would be
appropriate to construe the expression ‘husband’ to cover a person who enters into marital relationship
and under the colour of such proclaimed or feigned status of husband subjects the woman concerned to
cruelty or coerce her in any manner or for any of the purposes enumerated in the relevant provisions —
Sections 304B/498A, whatever be the legitimacy of the marriage itself for the limited purpose of Sections
498A and 304B Indian Penal Code,” the bench observed. Under Section 494 Indian Penal Code
(bigamy), a Hindu woman/husband cannot marry for the second time during the subsistence of the first
marriage. Any such subsequent marriage is invalid in the eyes of the law. The bench passed the ruling
while dismissing the appeal filed by Koppisetti Subbharao of Andhra Pradesh who sought to challenge
the complaint of harassment filed by a woman claiming to be his wife. Subba Rao had claimed that
complaint against him was not maintainable as the complainant was not his legally wedded wife as he
was already married to another woman. The Andhra Pradesh High Court rejected his plea following which
he approached the apex court. Concurring with the High Court’s view, the apex court said a person
cannot take shelter behind such arguments as otherwise, it would encourage harassment of women.
“Can a person who enters into a marital arrangement be allowed to take a shelter behind a smokescreen
to contend that since there was no valid marriage the question of dowry does not arise? Such legalistic
niceties would destroy the purpose of the provisions. Such hairsplitting legalistic approach would
encourage harassment to a woman over demand of money. “The nomenclature ‘dowry’ does not have
any magic charm written over it. It is just a label given to demand of money in relation to marital
relationship,” the bench said. The apex court pointed out that when legislature has taken care of children
born from invalid marriages, there cannot be exception in the case of invalid marriages. (Deccan Herald

Unable to face harassment, girl commits suicide (8)
KARIMNAGAR: A Lambada girl committed suicide in Karimnagar on Monday unable to face harassment
from a lovelorn youth. The youth has been pestering Bhookya Ambali for the last six months. Despite
warnings from the girl's family, he used to harass the girl to accept his proposal. As a result, Ambali
poured kerosene and set herself on fire in her house when her family members went out. Based on a
complaint from the victim's family, police took the youth into custody. (Times of India 6/5/09)

Wife files FIR against Adnan Sami, in-laws for harassment (8)
Mumbai: Singer Adnan Sami’s wife Sabah Galadari on Monday evening filed an FIR against Sami and his
parents for allegedly causing cruelty and mental and physical harassment to her. As per the officer of
Oshiwara police station, where the case has been registered, Sabah approached them on Monday
evening and filed a case of cruelty and harassment against her husband and his parents. “In her
statement, she has alleged that she was subjected to mental harassment and verbal abuse at the
instance of her husband. She also claimed that a fraud has been perpetrated on her by Sami and his
parents by fraudulently misappropriating some of her property,” said acting senior police inspector
Dattatraya Sankhe from the police station. Sankhe said that Sabah, in her complaint, has alleged that
Sami used foul words while addressing her and would often harass her by bringing female companions to
the house. She suspects they had illicit relationships. The statement further claims that Sabah was
threatened by the accused and was told that her obscene pictures would be published. (Indian Express

SC: Man can be prosecuted for demanding dowry in 2nd marriage (8)
The Supreme Court has held that a man who has married for the second time during the lifetime of his
first wife without divorce can be prosecuted for demanding dowry from his second wife irrespective of the
validity of the marriage. The case will have a significant implication for live-in relationships as now the
second wife, though the marriage may not be valid, can prosecute her husband for dowry harassment
under the section 498A of IPC. Rejecting the contention of a man that he cannot be prosecuted for an
offence of the demand for dowry as his marriage with the complainant was not valid because his first wife
was still alive, a bench comprising Justices Arijit Pasayat and A K Ganguly noted, ‘legislatures enacted
policy to curb and alleviate some public evil rampant in society and effectuate a definite public purpose or
benefit positively requires to be interpreted with certain element of realism too and not merely pedantically
or hyper technically. ‘The obvious object was to prevent harassment to a woman who enters into a marital
relationship with a person and later on becomes a victim of the greed for money. Can a person who
enters into a marital arrangement be allowed to take a shelter behind a smokescreen to contend that
since there was no valid marriage, the question of dowry does not arise?’ the court added. The bench
said, ‘Such legalistic niceties would destroy the purpose of the provision. Such hairsplitting legalistic
approach would encourage harassment to a woman over demand of money. ‘The nomenclature dowry
does not have any magic charm written over it. It is just a label given to demand of money in relation to
marital relationship.’ Justice Pasayat, writing the 20-page judgment also noted, ‘the legislative intent is
clear from the fact that it is not only the husband, but also his relation, covered by section 498 A.
Legislature has taken care of children born from invalid marriages and the children of void and voidable
marriages. ‘Can it be said that legislature which was conscious of the social stigma attached to children of
void and voidable marriages closed eyes to plight of a woman who unknowingly or unconscious of the
legal consequences entered into the marital relationship, if such restricted meaning is given, it would
further the legislative intent. On the contrary, it would be against the concern shown by the legislature for
avoiding harassment to a woman over demand of money in relation to marriages.’ The Supreme Court
upheld the judgment of the Andhra Pradesh High court, dismissing the petition of husband Koppisetti
Subbharao alias Subramaniam for quashing of the criminal proceedings for dowry harassment under
section 498A IPC. (Indlawnews 6/5/09)

69% women face harassment at work: Study (8)
CHANDIGARH: It can be a look that leaves you a bit uneasy or an explicit demand for sexual favour.
Whatever the form, sexual harassment at workplace is rampant in the city, states a study conducted by
Dr Reena Chaudhary, a research scholar with Panjab University’s department of sociology. Titled
‘Harassment of women at workplace’, the study has the shocking findings of 69% respondents claiming to
be harassed by superiors. While 200 women employed in the private sector formed part of the sample,
none reported the matter to police, apparently due to fear of losing their jobs. Putting all talk of women
empowerment to shame, the study found women who were young, educated, married and worked as
receptionists, clerks, call centre employees, actors, nurses and construction workers had faced the worst
kind of torment at the hands of those holding higher positions. The perpetrators were married and elderly
men, all above the age of 45. Respondents claimed these men had harassed them without any apparent
fear of punishment or castigation. Dr Chaudhary said, “Some 138 admitted being harassed by superiors
at the workplace. Of those, while 26 ignored the issue, 30 reported the matter to their husbands or family
and 44 shared their traumatic experience with close friends and office colleagues. Only 38 harassed
women approached their management. Worryingly, none of them even thought of complaining to police.”
The commonest forms of exploitation were attempts to make physical contact, direct request for sexual
favours and verbal harassment. Of 38 women who sought help from top bosses or management, eight to
10 had to bear the consequences of heightened harassment. “One of them, a teacher, was even
suspended from school. She then moved HC, which finally got her justice in form of employment and
other benefits,” added Chaudhary. Social stigma and getting the pink slip were most cited reasons to stay
mum. “Though the problem has been documented as a widespread and damaging phenomenon, it
continues to occur across a wide range of occupations. Sexual harassment at workplace is being
recognized as an occupational hazard and a violation of human rights. It is not so much about social and
economic factors, but about perception of male and female sexuality in society,” she said. Apart from
other measures, the study suggests special cells headed by women coordinators to check this problem.
(Times of India 7/5/09)

Court asks techie harassing women to sweep hospital (8)
Hyderabad: A young software engineer will sweep the premises of a government-run hospital here for
one month, in a novel punishment announced by the Andhra Pradesh High Court after the man was
convicted of harassing two women. M. Dinesh Kumar, 21, a software engineer working with Dell
Computers, was on Thursday ordered by Justice B. Chandrakumar to sweep the hospital. The order
came when the court was hearing Kumar's plea for anticipatory bail. Asking the accused to surrender
before the police, the judge told him to sweep the premises of Gandhi Hospital for one hour daily. He is
allowed to choose the hour according to his convenience. However, to ensure that the court order is
complied with, the judge asked the superintendent of the hospital to maintain a register for Dinesh Kumar
to mark his attendance daily. What angered the court was the act of the techie in pulling the "dupattas"
(scarves) of two girls. Dinesh Kumar and his friend Balarngasai, while going through Gautamnagar in
Malkajgiri area here on a motorcycle March 21, harassed the girls. While locals caught and beat up
Balarangasai, Dinesh Kumar managed to escape. On a complaint by the girls' escort Venkatakrishna,
police registered a case against the two under sections 354 (assault or criminal force to a woman with
intent to outrage her modesty) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of Indian Penal Code (IPC) against Kumar.
The techie's plea for anticipatory bail was dismissed by the district court and he then approached the high
court. The judge directed the accused to surrender before the police within seven days and asked the
police to release him on conditional bail. (Times of India 8/5/09)

Girl Student Alleges Sexual Harassment, Non-payment Of Stipend (8)
LUDHIANA: In an astounding revelation against the staff members of Baba Jaswant Singh Dental
College, an internee alleged that her college teachers tried to sexually exploit her. In a press conference
organized here on Friday, the internee also alleged that the internees were never paid stipends by college
authorities. However, the dental college strongly denied the charges and brushed aside the complaints by
terming these baseless. The girl alleged that she had made several complaints against the teachers of
Baba Farid University of Health Sciences in June 2008, stating that she was asked to come alone to their
office. However, university authorities had refused to act, while maintaining that she was mentally upset
and thus spreading baseless allegations. The girl also went on record to say that she even missed a
semester since she was unable to appear in her examinations on account of mental agony caused by
these teachers. 'I know of many other students who have had similar experiences but fear to come out in
the open,' she said. Talking about the issue of stipend, the girl alleged that she has lodged a formal
complaint with the vice-chancellor and also submitted necessary evidence against the management
regarding non-payment of stipend. 'It's been more than 20 days since the VC assured me about payment
of stipend, but no action as been taken as yet,' she said. According to information sought under the RTI
Act, while the university is liable to pay stipend to its internees, it has never done so. 'The college charges
exorbitant examination fee and no student has ever been refunded the security amount,' she further
added. While talking to The Times of India, principal DS Kalsi termed all the allegations as baseless,
while also stating that he was unaware of any such complaint against the university. 'According to
regulations, the stipend amount has not been quantified for an unaided private institution. In fact, we are
spending a large amount on each internee by providing them facilities like medical material and coaching.
These costs far exceed the average amount of stipend. It is therefore deemed to be paid in kind rather
than cash,' he said. Meanwhile, another internee also alleged that girl students were harassed in different
ways as they were instructed to wax their hands and humiliated by paramedical staff. (times of India

Woman commits suicide by consuming poison (8)
LUCKNOW: A woman committed suicide by consuming poison. She was allegedly being harassed by her
husband and in-laws for dowry. The incident was reported from Talkatora police circle on Saturday. The
woman was identified as Sandhya Srivastava. According to the victim's mother Asha Devi, Sandhya had
married Sachin Srivastava, resident of Rajajipuram, two years ago. Ever since her marriage, her husband
along with her in-laws started harassing her. They had put up the demand for a car from her parents.
Asha Devi also told police that earlier the victim tried to ignore the demands, but when harassment
increased she informed her parents. Things did calm for a little while, but in a span of few days things
worsened. On Friday, Sandhya consumed poison after which her condition became critical. The woman
was rushed to the Trauma Centre, where she died during treatment. A case was lodged against
Sandhya's in-laws. Investigations were on in the matter. BODY: A body of a man around 45 years of age
was found on the banks of Gomti river, near Balu Adda in Hazratganj police circle. A local informed the
police about the body around 11.30 am. The body has been sent for postmortem examination.
Investigations were on with regards to identify the body. (Times of India 10/5/09)

Woman alleges harassment by police official (8)
BERHAMPUR: An Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) of police posted at Digapahandi in Ganjam district is
alleged to have sexually harassed a woman. The 22-year-old woman along with her two-year-old child
was rescued by the police from a building at Gosaninuagaon area of the city. The woman alleged that the
ASI had kept her and the child locked up in this house for two months. After getting rescued, the woman
also filed a case against the ASI in the women’s police station in the city on Sunday. According to the in-
charge of the Women’s Police Station, Jyotsna Kanhuri, investigation has started and strict action would
be taken against the accused if the allegations were found to be true. As per the FIR filed by the victim,
she happened to be a resident of Balasore district. She had come over to the city around five years ago
to study in a private professional institute. During that period she had come in contact with the ASI and
they had developed an affair. She added that they had got married at her village and a child was born two
years ago. But she had found that the official was a married man. According to her when she pressed
upon the ASI for proper marital rights, she was tortured. She alleged that two months ago, the ASI had
locked her and the child in the top floor of a three storied house at Gosaninuagaon area. This house did
not have any power connection or water supply. The ASI had told people of the area, including the house
owner that the woman kept under lock and key was suffering from severe mental illness. Her hair was
also cut up in irregular manner to prove she was mentally retarded. But on Saturday the wife of the house
owner came in contact with locked up woman, who started to speak in English with her. Hearing the
allegations, the woman preferred to inform the Berhampur Superintendent of Police (SP) about it. The
Berhampur SP initiated the rescue of the woman and her child from the locked house and gruesome
details of mental and physical torture came to the fore. (The Hindu 11/5/09)

Crime against women continues to rise in Bidar (8)
Bidar: Cases of crime against women outnumbered other cases in the first quarter of the year in Bidar
district. Superintendent of Police N. Satish Kumar said in a press release issued here on Monday that
from January to April 2009, 22 cases of outraging modesty of a women were registered, 12 cases of
dowry harassment and three cases of dowry deaths were registered. The release added that out of the 22
cases of outraging modesty of women, 17 were under investigation and five cases were in the court. Mr.
Kumar said that while all three dowry death cases were under investigation, 11 cases of dowry
harassment were under investigation and one case was in the court. During the same period, the district
registered 31 cases of robbery. While 21 were being investigated, 10 were being tried in the court. Of the
seven extortion cases registered, six were under investigation, Mr. Kumar said. Five murder cases were
reported and three of them were under investigation and two of the cases were under trial in court. The
district had not registered any case of murder for profit, the release added. Besides all other cases, there
was one pertaining to dacoity, another pertaining to chain snatching and two cases of theft were
registered, according to the release. K. Neela, State president of Akhila Bharata Janawadi Mahila
Sanghatane, attributed the prevalence of feudal values in the district to rising crime against women. She
added that illiteracy and poverty were other contributing factors. She alleged that officials concerned,
including the police, did not initiate action against erring persons owing to which there was an increase in
the crime rate. The Police Department had “neglected” the welfare of women. Associations working for
women’s welfare should create awareness in society to control incidence of crimes against women, she
added. Superintendent of Police N. Satish Kumar said that it was proposed to open “Spandana” counters
where women police officers along with counsellors from a non-government organisation will work to help
women in distress. (The Hindu 13/5/09)

Man held for banging nail into pregnant wife's head (8)
HISAR: In a shocking incident of dowry harassment, police have arrested a local trader for attempt to
murder, after he allegedly hammered a nail into his pregnant wife's head. A police officer said the
accused, Joginder (27), had been harassing his wife Vaishakhi (24) ever since the two got married, a
year back. Joginder, abetted by his mother, used to thrash Vaishakhi regularly for dowry. "Before
hammering the nail into her head, Joginder had branded Vaishakhi's body with hot iron rods. He then
abandoned her at Jhunjunu, Rajasthan," the officer said. A team of Rajasthan police was put on
Joginder's trail after a good Samaritan informed them about Vaishakhi's plight. Joginder has denied
dumping Vaishakhi at Jhunjhunu, saying he took her there for treatment. Vaishakhi's X-ray has revealed
that a 3cm nail was hammered in her head. (Times of India 13/5/09)

GU sexual harassment case: Varsity panel fails to meet deadline again (8)
PANAJI: The prevention of sexual harassment committee of the Goa University did not submit its report in
the case against a head of department at the varsity even on the extended deadline granted to it of May
15. Goa University registrar, M M Sangodkar, informed that the head of the department had sent a letter
to the committee stating that he has been recovering from a severe backache at the Goa Medical
College. "He was to depose before the committee on May 14 which he could not. Therefore, I do not think
the committee will be able to submit the report," Sangodkar said. He pointed out that the date on which
the report will be submitted is uncertain in view of the circumstances. When questioned on the genuinity
of the HoD's illness, Sangodkar said that the university had confirmed his claims. The prevention of the
sexual harassment committee had failed to submit its report at the prescribed time of April 30. The
committee was granted time up to May 15 after it stated to university officials that they required more time
to speak to those involved in the case. The sexual harassment charges were filed by students of the
university against the HoD late March following which he was asked to go on leave. The decision came
after parents of some students raised doubts about the fairness of the examination and evaluations
procedure in view of the charges against the HoD by seven of the department's enrolment of 16 students.
(Times of India 17/5/09)

Agri staffer decries delay in action in sexual harassment plaint (8)
 Ludhiana: In another case of alleged sexual harassment of a working woman by a senior officer, a
female agriculture sub-inspector posted at Mukerian today alleged inaction on the part of the senior
officers of the agriculture department to bring the erring officer to book. She alleged that she was
molested by an agriculture development officer two months ago but no action had been taken on her
complaint yet. The victim alleged the senior officers were hand-in-glove with the accused and were
dithering on action on her complaint which she had filed before the chief agriculture officer, Swantantra
Kumar, who is currently posted in Hoshiarpur. “Instead of looking into my complaint, the chief agriculture
officer summoned me with regard to a complaint of absenteeism filed against me by the agriculture
development officer Rakesh Kumar as I had protested against molestation,” she alleged. Rakesh Kumar
has denied the allegations saying that the agriculture sub-inspector was using it as a weapon against him.
(Indian Express 18/5/09)

Woman sets herself ablaze over dowry (8)
Moga: Harassed for dowry, a young married woman allegedly committed suicide by setting herself
ablaze, police said on Monday. Victim Rajni set herself on fire on Sunday after pouring kerosene on
herself, police said, adding that her body has been handed over to her parents after post-mortem.
According to Rajni’s sister Sonam, the victim had been depressed for last many days because of constant
abuse by her in-laws for more dowry. Later, her father Puran Chand came to Moga to take her back for
treatment but her in-laws refused, police said. A case has been filed against her husband Sohan Lal,
father-in-law Bhagwan Das, mother-in-law Jamna Devi and sister-in-law Sunita, all residents of Rehgar
Basti here on Chand’s complaint, they said. (The Hindu 19/5/09)

Biwi ka zulm bardasht karo, SC advises harassed man (8)
New Delhi: Matrimonial peace cannot be bought without sacrifice. But in the changed times, it is not the
wife who has to toe the husband’s line; rather the husband must surrender to his wife’s whims and
fancies. This message was sent loud and clear by the Supreme Court to an Armyman who sought an end
to his 17-year-old marriage after being ceaselessly harangued by his wife. She had lodged several
criminal cases against him, and it took him almost 14 years to be exonerated by the trial court.
Meanwhile, he was sacked from service based on the wife’s complaints. She simultaneously obtained a
divorce decree from the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which directed the husband to pay Rs 10 lakh
as maintenance. Reduced to penury, the husband’s plea for early hearing of his case was turned down by
the apex court on Tuesday. Responding to his plea, a Vacation Bench of Supreme Court comprising
Justices Markandey Katju and Deepak Verma said, “It appears you have less degree of tolerance.”
Suggesting what tolerance meant, Justice Katju explained, “Jo biwi kahen who karo, biwi ki baat maanke
chalo. (Do what wife says. Every word she says, obey it.)” Taken aback by the comment, that too coming
from the Supreme Court, Deepak Kumar complained that he had faced a criminal trial for 17 years. His
counsel said, “The allegations in her (wife) petition are so pathetic that no reasonable man could ever
believe.” Suggesting the grounds on which divorce was granted by the high court, Kumar submitted, “She
has complained that I bark like a dog, I have committed sodomy upon her. She has filed four criminal
FIRs against me. I have undergone trial for 14 years and have been exonerated in all cases.” But wife
Manisha, represented by advocate Kamini Jaiswal, sought the Rs 10-lakh maintenance and complained
of the problems she faced in raising a 16-year-old daughter without receiving a single penny from
Deepak. “I got married in 1991 and was thrown out of the matrimonial house in 1992. Subsequently, I
went from one court to another to fight for my rights. After a single judge of the Punjab and Haryana High
Court granted judicial separation, he did not bother even to file an appeal.” Convinced by Jaiswal’s
arguments, the Bench held the husband to be at fault. Speaking from “self-gained experience”, Justice
Katju said, “Hum sab bhukt-bhogi hain (We are speaking from our own experience)…Aap apni biwi ka
zulm bardasht karle toh duniya pe raaj karenge…Tumne yeh baat follow nahin kara ab hum kya karein (If
you can tolerate your wife, you will conquer the world…Since you did not follow this wisdom, we cannot
help you.)” (Pioneer 20/5/09)

Rights groups see Red over unfair treatment to fair sex (8)
Thiruvananthapuram: The CPM-led LDF Government in Kerala has been accused of bringing Taliban’s
rules to the realm of the fair sex by asking local bodies to form committees to monitor movement of
women. The move is official, and is said to be intended for preventing women from going “astray”. Rights
activists are already up in arms against the Government move which, they say, is the typical example of
official commodification of women by a male chauvinistic administration. That such a move is coming from
the Government led by communists, who claim to stand for gender equality, is highly embarrassing and
dangerous, they say. The order, issued by the Urban Affairs Department under the Local Administration
Ministry on April 24, has asked the municipalities and corporations to constitute local committees to
monitor the “unethical movements” of women. It also states that the urban local bodies, which already
have similar committees, should strengthen them. However, no instructions have been issued as to what
should be the exact area of work of these committees or how the monitoring should be done. It does not
also say what kind of behaviour can be termed “unethical movements”. Women’s rights groups say that
the Government’s order would give the right to any male chauvinist in the local body or politician to
harass them. The move to constitute such monitoring committees is in addition to the existing Vigil
Groups to handle issues related to women in local bodies. The latest order does not also specify whether
it is applicable to sex workers only or to all women, but legal experts say that it is amply clear that the
order is applicable to all women. The order is issued strangely in association with the initiatives to check
female foeticide and child marriages. However, rights groups wonder if such an order has anything to do
with female foeticide and prohibited marriage systems. They say that legalised spying on women’s
movements is not the way to prevent female foeticide. Women’s rights groups allege that the move will
embolden all male chauvinist forces in the society to step up atrocities against women. They also point
out that any politician in the local body could use this as an opportunity to settle personal scores. “Who
gave them the right to decide how a woman is going astray? What is the criterion to decide whether a
woman has gone astray? Anybody can say anything and trap any woman. This is more dangerous than
what Taliban has been doing in Afghanistan. Out politicians are proving that they are no better than
certain religious fundamentalists,” said a rights activist. Officials in the Local Administration Department
refused to offer any explanation, but several of them agreed that there was no need for any such move
and that it was totally against human nature. (Pioneer 20/5/09)

Up-in-arms against women's exploitation (8)
PUNE: An action committee for the eradication of atrocities against women, the Mahila Attyachar
Nirmulan Kruti Samiti, was recently inaugurated at the Nowrosjee Wadia College to help fight exploitation
of women in the institution. The Samiti has an 11-member advisory committee comprising lawyers, social
activists, police officers, principal of the Wadia college as well as its faculty members. "We have formed
the committee as per the University of Pune (UoP) guidelines. This platform is meant for the female
teaching and non-teaching staff, as well as female students of our college. We intend to look at ways of
spreading awareness about and countering women's harassment and exploitation," says principal
Bhagwan Thakur. The Samiti's advisory committee members had come together to study the nature and
types of harassment of women at the workplace. They are now organising different programmes to
spread awareness on the same. "We will be organising talks and workshops for our college's female and
male students, because this has to be a combined effort. It also requires men to understand women's
point of view and be sensitive towards them. So far, we have not come across cases of women's
exploitation on our campus. But the committee members will take immediate action in case they do find
such incidents. The committee is empowered to take legal action against the culprits," says Ranjana
Phadke, faculty of Marathi at the college, who is also part of the committee. Other members of the
advisory committee include Vijayalakshmi Pandit, president of Kasturba Trust; social worker Aruna
Ashtekar; lawyer Shirish Malegaonkar and police officer Mridula Karvande. Future programmes of the
committee will include lady police sub inspectors (PSIs), women lawyers and other professionals coming
in as speakers to share their experiences on dealing with cases of women's abuse. Also, speaking at the
programmes will be people from families that have dealt a female kin being subject to harassment at the
workplace. Vasantha Sivaramakrishnan, co-ordinator of the committee, says the first talk-cum-workshop
will be held in June. "First and foremost, we want to make students aware of what is meant by sexual
harassment', the term's use and misuse and the legal provisions attached to this crime," says
Sivaramakrishnan, also reader of Chemistry at the college. Around three years ago, Thakur had formed
the Women's Forum at the college. The objective had been to counter mental and physical abuse that
women suffer. "This Forum has a wider angle and a broader approach. It works on the lines of raising
awareness on women's rights, social justice for them and the various cultural, political and economic
aspects related to their individuality and survival. From now on, the action committee and the Women's
Forum will work hand-in-hand," says Thakur, who feels that the Women's Forum has managed to tackle
women-related issues and helped create a secure environment in the college. He has chalked out plans
for the students once their academic year begins in June. "Under the committee, we have plans wherein
our women faculty members and female students, who are members of the National Service Scheme
(NSS), will conduct a survey on issues like dowry and women's abuse, especially in the rural areas," says
Thakur. Indira Patil, head of psychology department at the college, is also a part of the Samiti's advisory
committee. "Eventually, we want to counsel women teachers and students. We will also be coordinating
with the secretary of Women's Cell in UoP," adds Sivaramakrishnan. (Times of India 20/5/09)
Abusive relationships raise women's HIV infection risk (8)
Washington, May 22 : Women who are in physically abusive relationships are at higher risk for HIV
infection, reveals a new US study. The study, which involved nearly 14,000 women, appears in the
May/June issue of the journal General Hospital Psychiatry. The research shows that "intimate partner
violence," which is physical or sexual assault of a spouse or partner has become a significant public
health concern around the world. Researchers led by Jitender Sareen, M.D., used data from the National
Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions, which conducted interviews with women ages
20 and older during 2004 to 2005. They analyzed information from 13,928 women who reported being in
a romantic relationship during the last 12 months. Researchers asked the women whether they had
experienced physical or sexual violence from their partner during the last year, and whether they had
received a diagnosis of HIV during the same time. The researchers found that 5.5 percent of the women
in relationships reported abuse by their partners. The rate of HIV infection in the women was 0.17
percent. The results showed that women who experience violence from their partners were more than
three times as likely to have HIV infection as women who do not. In addition, almost 12 percent of HIV
infection among women was due to intimate partner violence. "These numbers are solely due to forced
sex on women from their infected partners. It is a substantial percentage," said Sareen, an associate
professor of psychiatry at the University of Manitoba in Canada. "This is a very large sample of people
and, on methodology side, it's a decent study, so people will need to pay attention to it," said Julia
Heiman, director of The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction at Indiana
University. "The relationship between the two is definitely known worldwide," Heiman said. "The partner
violence issue, however, is an important one that often gets lost. The numbers that the researchers found
should make people take notice that partner violence is definitely a risk factor for HIV," she added. (New
Kerala 23/5/09)

Woman beaten to death by husband (8)
LUCKNOW: A 38-year-old woman was beaten to death by her husband between the intervening night of
Thursday and Friday. The incident was reported from Bazaarkhala police circle. Identified as Anita
Rawat, the woman was killed after she had an argument with his husband over his drinking habits and
her aborting a child few days ago. Anita was married to Jagdeesh alias Baba of Ambedkarnagar on
Talkatora Road for the past 14 years and the couple has four kids, the eldest being 11-year-old.
According to circle officer (CO) Bazaarkhala, Chiranjeev Nath Sinha, the accused was a fourth class
employee in the state electricity board and had an excessive drinking habit because of which the couple
used to often argue with each other. On Thursday night too, the couple had an argument with each other
over a petty issue after which Jagdeesh assaulted her. Their eldest child, Akhilesh was an eyewitness to
the incident while the other children identified as Sangeeta, Neha and Abhishek were fast asleep. The
woman was beaten so harshly that she succumbed to her injuries. The incident, however, came to light
around 7.30am on Friday when one of the neighbour Phool Kumar went to their house and found the
woman lying dead. Phul Kumar then informed the police. Senior officials including the senior
superintendent of police (Law and Order) Raghubir Lal reached the site and after the initial investigation
sent the body for the postmortem examination. Jagdeesh was taken into custody by the police and a case
under Section 302 of IPC was lodged. Raghubir Lal said that the exact cause of death would only be
ascertained after the postmortem report. (Times of India 23/5/09)

Father-son duo booked for dowry harassment (8)
Panchkula: The husband and father-in-law of a 22-year-old woman were booked by the Panchkula police
on Sunday for allegedly torturing her for dowry. Anu Bala has accused her husband, Gaurav Mangla, and
his father, Manjit Mangla, of beating and threatening to kill her. She further alleged that her in laws
illegally detained her on Friday evening. It was only on the following day that I managed to escape and
reach my relatives who admitted me in the General Hospital, Sector 6, Bala told the police. “I married
Gaurav in August, 2008 and ever since I have been harassed by my in-laws for dowry. They beat me up
but also tried to poison me to death. While I had lodged a police complaint then, the matter was settled
after we struck a compromise. The dowry harassment, however, continued thereafter,” said Bala to the
police, while adding that she was even forced to write a note under duress denying the involvement of
anyone in her death. (Indian Express 25/5/09)

Dowry death alleged at Missamari (8)
TEZPUR, May 25 – Sensation prevails in entire Missamari area over the alleged murder of a newly-
married woman of Arabari village falling under Bahbera GP of Missamari area under Missamari police
station of Sonitpur district for allegedly not being able to bring dowry during her marriage. According to
information available here, one Chandra Kurmi (33) of the aforementioned village got married to one
Radha Kurmi (22) of Nagaon during the last puja session. Since then the husband his relatives including
were allegedly inflicting inhuman torture upon her for the question of the dowry. The neighbours said that
since Saturday evening Chandra’s family members and himself tortured her for a long time following
which she became senseless. Family members of the husband allegedly poured something poisonous
into her mouth. Later they informed the neighbours that Radha had consumed something poisonous while
trying to commit suicide. On receiving the information people of the area rushed to the spot to find the
woman in a very bad condition. She was immediately taken to Dhekiajuli PHC where the doctor attending
on her declared her brought dead. Meanwhile the father-in-law of the deceased, Babua Kurmi lodged a
complaint at Missamari police station stating the woman committed suicide by consuming some
poisonous thing and based on this police visited the spot and conducted the postmortem at Tezpur
Kanaklata Civil Hospital. The police inquiry into the incident has started. The family members of the
deceased woman have lodged a complaint with the police seeking justice into the whole incident and
urged the police to apprehend the culprit involved. (Assam Tribune 25/5/09)

Girls being killed... before birth (8)
JAMMU, MAY 26: Incredible it may sound but it is true! About 7,800 girls are being eliminated in the
womb of mothers every year in Jammu province of Jammu and Kashmir state and this illegal practice
earns Rs five crore per annum business to the illegal practioners in the region. Making this startling
revelations at a workshop organised on Prenatal Diagnostic Technique (PNDT) Act in the Government
Medical College and Hospital, Dr Sabu George, Consultant on female foeticide from Delhi said that as per
the sample registration system data done at the level of hospitals, 7,800 girls are being killed before birth
every year in Jammu region.“About 680 female foeticides are taking place every month in Jammu”, he
said adding in Jammu district alone, 2,800 girls are being eliminated in the womb of mothers every year.
Such incidents are more in Sunderbani and Hiranagar where girl child ratio has declined to 765 and 743
girls per 1,000 boys. Female foeticide has gained alarming proportion in five districts of Jammu, Reasi,
Rajouri, Samba and Udhampur where sex ratio is not even 900 females per 1,000 males. Infact, a fresh
survey by the Directorate of Economics and Statistics for 2008 in all 22 districts of the state has once
again brought to the fore a grim picture. “Illegal practice of female foeticide has been generating Rs 5
crore per annum across the Jammu region which clearly indicates that the female foeticide is being done
intentionally and for monetary benefits," said Dr Sabu George expressing concern over non-seriousness
in implementing Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act,
1994 in Jammu and Kashmir. Among 22 districts, Udhampur has the lowest sex ratio of 880 females per
1,000 males in sharp contrast to 894/1000 males in 2006. Likewise, 2008 statistics of Rajouri (895), Reasi
(899), Samba (896), Jammu (889), Kathua (913), Kishtwar (931), Poonch (920), Doda (933), Leh (939),
Kargil (916), Anantnag (944), Bandipora (948), Baramulla (939), Budgam (930), Ganderbal (948), Kulgam
(908), Kupwara (930), Pulwama (933), Shopian (948), Srinagar (940) and Ramban (973) also reflect
mindset of the people. In 2006 Rajouri had 894, Jammu 878, Kathua 911, Poonch 906, Doda 943, Leh
951, Kargil 939, Anantnag 933, Baramulla 932, Budgam 923, Kupwara 917, Pulwama 961 and Srinagar
had 950 females per 1,000 males. Dr Sabu said if we fail to act, this genocide would assume alarming
proportion because of “medical terrorism” adding: “Society, medical fraternity, media persons and
politicians have a greater role to play in checking decreasing girl child ratio in the society”. J&K state
government has failed to implement the J&K Preconception and Prenatal Sex Selection/ Determination
(Prohibition and Regulation) Act 2002 in letter and spirit (Statesman 27/5/09)

Doctor, wife held for demanding Rs 10 lakh dowry (8)
A reputed doctor from Nallasopara and his wife have been arrested for allegedly harassing and
demanding Rs 10 lakh from their daughter-in-law, a software engineer. Smita Menon, 25, married Abhijit
Menon, 28, also a software engineer on November 30, 2008. They stayed at Shanti Park, Nallasopara,
with Abhijit’s mother Jyoti and stepfather, Dr Mohan Menon, who has two clinics at Nallasopara and
Matunga. Smita, who is currently at her brother’s house in Vashi, said things were good at the beginning
but soon Jyoti and Dr Mohan started demanding Rs 10 lakh to fund their daughter's MBBS course at D Y
Patil College, Navi Mumbai. Smita said, “My father refused to oblige as he had already given 101 tolas of
gold worth Rs 15 lakh.” On December 7, Abhijit left for Singapore. “My mother-in-law promptly stopped
me from speaking to him on the phone or chatting with him on the Internet. She then started threatening
she would get Abhijit to divorce me if my parents didn’t give the money,” Smita said. She added, “They
even told my parents that I did not want to conceive. This was shocking as it was my mother-in-law who
gave me contraceptive pills saying I shouldn’t have a child as Abhijit was not settled in life.” Smita says
she found out even Abhijit was cheating her. “When I asked him to take me to Singapore, he made
excuses like accommodation problems etc. But when I approached his boss, he said there was no such
problem and I could join Abhijit anytime. When he realised he was caught, Abhijit said he would send me
a ticket for March 26, which never arrived,” Smita said. Smita Menon (left) says her husband Abjijit (right)
also gave flimsy excuses for not taking her along to Singapore On May 23, Smita, her father, mother and
brother went to meet Dr Menon. When he saw them, Dr Mohan demanded to see the Rs 10 lakh. “When
we said we didn’t have it, he set his Labrador on my brother. He then got goondas to assault my brother
and father. We managed to escape and lodged a complaint with the Nallasopara police,” Smita said. PI
Pradip Mane, of Nallasopara station, said, “We have arrested Dr Mohan and Jyoti under Sections 498 A
(assault on woman) and 323 (injury) of the IPC on Monday, while Abhijit is absconding.” (Mumbai Mirror

Gurgaon woman found hanging, husband held on dowry charges (8)
Gurgaon: A 28-year-old woman was allegedly murdered by her husband for dowry in Sector-55 Surya
Apartment in Gurgaon on Sunday. The victim Tapsya had married Rajiv Singh (32) in 2004. Police said
both Rajiv and Tapsya are from Khurja in Uttar Pradesh. Rajiv works as a project manager with New Tech
in Gurgaon. The Gurgaon police have registered a case of dowry death under Section 304-A against five
persons including Rajiv, his parents, his brother and sister-in-law. But no arrests have been made so far.
According to Tapsya’s brother Lalit: “Rajiv’s parents called up ours in Khurja on Sunday evening to tell
them the couple had been injured after fighting with each other. My parents rushed to Gurgaon but by the
time they reached, she was dead.” Lalit also said that Sunny, the couple’s three-and-a-half-year old son,
had told them that he had seen his father hit his mother and then hang her from the ceiling fan. Lalit also
alleged the police were trying to cover up the matter. “Initially, they would not register an FIR,” he said.
Joint Commissioner of Police Manjit Singh Ahlawat said the couple had a fight on Saturday night when
Rajiv returned home late from a party. “Their son told Rajiv around 4 am that Tapsya was hanging from
the ceiling fan. They rushed her to the hospital where she was declared dead on arrival.” When asked
whether the police thought it was a case of suicide, Ahlawat said: “We are waiting for the postmortem
report and have registered a case on the statements of Tapsya’s brother and mother.” (Indian Express

Bride burners should be hanged: SC (8)
NEW DELHI, 1 JUNE: The Supreme Court today said that those burning women to death for dowry
should be hanged and no mercy shown to them. “You have burnt to death a woman by pouring kerosene.
How can you do such a barbaric act? It is an uncivilised act. You should be hanged for the crime," a
vacation bench of Justices Mr Markandeya Katju and Mr Deepak Verma observed. The apex court
lamented that in India, there has been a spurt in the number of dowry cases in which hapless women are
burnt to death by the husband and the in-laws. “In India hundreds of innocent women are being burnt to
death. It is an uncivilised act, How can we do it? We should hang such persons," the apex court
observed. The apex court passed the observation while refusing to grant bail to Mahender Kumar Gulati,
a convict in a bride burning case. “People who burn newly weds or brides need to be hanged. You
behave like animals,” Justice Katju told the petitioner Gulati when his counsel pleaded for interim bail on
his behalf. “We will not grant you any relief. You can try your luck before another bench,” the apex court
told counsel Jasbir Singh Malik.The bench rebutted the counsel’s claim that it was a case of suicide and
not bride burning, Justice Katju said: “They all say that. Every time they burn a bride, they say it was a
suicide.” “On the one hand they regard women as devi (goddess), on the other hand they burn them alive.
Not only is this against the norms of civilized society, it is barbaric,” said Justice Katju. In this case, the
deceased Rajani in her dying declaration had accused her husband Mahender Kumar Gulati, his elder
brother Prem Kumar Gulati and the latter's wife Rajani of constantly harassing her and then setting her
ablaze after pouring kerosene over her at their house in Haryana's Bhiwani district. The Bench at one
stage proceeded to issue notice to accused Prem Gulati as to why the sentence of life imprisonment
should not be enhanced to death. “We will issue notice as to why the punishment should not be enhanced
to death,” the bench told counsel Jasbir Singh Malik. But, later, it refrained from passing any order and
instead advised the counsel to move some other bench for securing bail to the convict. The bench was
not convinced with Malik's argument that the accused had no role in Rajani's death, which he claimed
was an accidental case of burning. Malik submitted that Prem further had no motive to kill Rajani as he
himself was devastated as his wife Bimla had an illicit relationship with his younger brother Mahender
who was also the husband of the deceased. The sessions court in Bhiwani on 25 April, 2006 convicted
and sentenced Prem to life imprisonment, his wife Bimla and Mahender for the murder of Rajani.
(Statesman 2/6/09)

Women’s Reservation Bill still a distant dream (8)
New Delhi: Although the UPA Government has a decisive mandate, it could face stiff resistance in getting
the much delayed Women’s Reservation Bill passed in Parliament. Its principal opponents have vowed to
scupper the proposed legislation in its present form. The Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, Janata
Dal (U) and Rashtriya Janata Dal have decided to oppose the Bill unless a provision of ‘quota within the
quota’ for ‘lesser privileged’ women is not inserted in the Bill. “Even the Congress and BJP are divided on
this issue and we will not accept any reservation for women if it does not include separate quota for SC,
ST, OBC and minorities’ women in its ambit,” JD (U) president Sharad Yadav told The Pioneer when
asked to specify his party stand on the matter. “Bihar Government has already made provision for quota
within quota and it is running successfully,” he added, suggesting that a similar effort be made in the Bill
to gain wider acceptance among political parties. Another trenchant opponent of the Bill, Lalu Prasad is
critical of the idea itself to have reservation in Parliament for women, though he said reservation, if any,
should be for women from oppressed sections of society. “In the first place, what is the need of women’s
reservation when prominent women are sitting in prominent posts of the country,” he said, citing
examples of President Pratibha Patil, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, UP Chief Minister Mayawati,
AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa and Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee. He added, “Our stand remains the
same — reservation for women, if at all, should specifically include those who are from the oppressed
categories.” He said that, whatever formula the Government wanted to adopt for implementing
reservations, only quota within the quota for women belonging to SC, ST, OBCs and minorities would be
accepted. The Samajwadi Party is also against the proposed Bill ever since its inception. “We are not
against reservation, but we cannot allow its passing if the bill does not include separate provision for
women of oppressed categories like SC, ST, OBCs and minorities,” SP general secretary Mohan Singh
said. While the BSP is hardly seen on the same side of the fence as the SP, the two opponents have
joined hands to oppose the bill. The BSP wants “oppressed women’’ to be given separate reservation as
it fears better off women would corner all the benefits of reservation. “We don’t agree with the present
format of the bill,” BSP think-tank member Gandhi Azad said adding that OBC, SCs, STs and minorities
must be included as a “separate section’’ in the Bill. (Pioneer 3/6/09)

Dowry death not applicable if harassment is over a year: Supreme Court (8)
New Delhi (PTI) If a woman dies one year or so after an alleged harassment by husband and in-laws, it
cannot be treated as a cruelty for dowry and the accused cannot be convicted for causing dowry death,
the Supreme Court has ruled. "Some harassment which had taken place one year prior to the death
without something more, in our opinion, could not have been considered to be a cruelty which had been
inflicted soon before the death of the deceased. It does not satisfy the proximity test," a bench of S B
Sinha and Mukandakam Sharma ruled. The apex court passed the ruling while setting aside the
conviction of Suresh Kumar Singh under Section 304 B (dowry death) for causing the death of his wife
Asha Devi on December 8, 1993, who died due to severe burn injuries. In the present case, family
members of the deceased had alleged that Asha was subjected to harassment by her husband and in-
laws for gold ornaments a year before she died. Singh was convicted under Section 304 B IPC(dowry
death) and awarded a sentence of seven years by a sessions court in Uttar Pradesh which also convicted
him under Section 498A IPC (harassment by husband/relatives) and sentenced him to three years for the
offence. Both the sentences were to run concurently. The Allahabad High Court confirmed the sentences,
after which Singh appealed in the apex court. (The Hindu 5/6/09)

Court questions mother's conduct in infanticide case (8)
Mumbai: Shefali Sheth, 28, accused of committing female infanticide, has contended that she was under
post-partum depression at the time of the incident. The Thane sessions court on Thursday, however,
questioned her conduct. Shah's contention was that the child was born on January 14 this year as a
result of precipitate labour and its death was an accident. In precipitate labour delivery occurs suddenly
and rapidly without the knowledge of the mother. District judge MK Walchale, however, asked that if that
was the case then why was the child's body disposed in a fishy manner. The body of the child, wrapped in
a plastic bag while the umbilical cord was still attached, was found in a Bhayander housing society's
garbage dump by a sweeper. Providing medical explanations for both precipitate labour and post partum
depression, Shah's advocate Ashish Chavan told the court that after the child was born out of precipitate
labour she was under post partum depression. "Under this state of depression the woman shows
unpredictable behaviour," Chavan explained. He admitted that Shah was under stress as the child was
born out of an illicit affair. Shah, already an unwed mother of a one and a half-year-old girl, in her second
bail application has stated that she was arrested on January 24 and booked under section 302 (murder)
and 318 (concealment of birth by secret disposal of dead body) of the Indian Penal Code. The court had
earlier rejected her bail application as the investigations in the case were yet to be concluded. The
prosecution on Thursday said that Shah had committed a heinous crime of female infanticide and should
not be granted bail. Chavan argued that the charge of murder was not applicable to Shah as the death of
the child was an accident. The police earlier said that Shah has been tight-lipped about the deceased
child's father. However, two of her colleagues were called by the police for DNA testing. The court is likely
to decide her bail application on Friday. (DNA 5/6/09)

Court can’t decide on abortion, victim’s consent a must (8)
Chandigarh: Amicus curiae and senior advocate R S Cheema opposed the UT Administration's
suggestion that the pregnancy of the 19-year-old mentally challenged girl who was allegedly raped at Nari
Niketan be terminated. While the demand was supported by the advocate generals of Punjab and
Haryana, Cheema vehemently averred in the court on Thursday that the consent of the 'victim' was a
must. Cheema, former advocate general of Punjab, asserted that the law did not permit the court to take
a decision on this. According to the law, if the girl refuses to give her consent to the termination of
pregnancy, even the court cannot order abortion. Submitting that the girl was an adult and “active
enough” to take a decision, Cheema said she should be shifted to a place with a friendly atmosphere
where she could interact with others. “This will help her take a decision on the issue. Her judgment is
important; we have no right to decide the future of her pregnancy,” Cheema added. (Indian Express

Dahod doc booked for illegal abortions (8)
VADODARA: The case of a doctor, Dr Bharatsinh Jadhav, involved in illegal practices at his clinic at
Dhanpur village in Dahod took an ugly turn on Friday with Jadhav being booked for performing illegal
abortions against the consent of women. Block health officer of Dhanpur taluka filed an offence regarding
the incident. According to police sources, the offence was registered after the block health officer
Manmohan Sharma visited Pipargota village during investigation of the death of a patient, Somla Bhavla
at Jadhav's clinic. The patient had died on May 2 and investigations were launched in the case after
relatives of the deceased approached the police and health department. "Sharma reportedly came across
four women in the village who claimed they were pregnant and had gone to Jadhav's clinic to get
themselves examined. Some of the women also had mild fever. The women have alleged that their
foetuses were aborted without any prior consent," said circle police inspector JB Sutariya. Based on
statements of the women, Sharma filed an offence against Jadhav at Dhanpur police station. The women
had claimed that the abortions were conducted around Holi this year. An offence was registered against
Jadhav under the Indian Penal Code and Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act. Jadhav is already in
police custody. (Times of India 6/6/09)

‘We do the same with women older than you’ (8)
Betul, June 07, 2009: A day after the Madhya Pradesh Commission for Women confirmed that a 48-year-
old Dalit woman was gang-raped at a police station in Betul district, 200 km from Bhopal, and called for
sacking of four policemen allegedly involved in the crime, the cops are busy defending their colleagues.
The victim and her family claimed that she was raped by at least four policemen at the Amla police
station, 217 km from Bhopal, on the intervening night of June 1 and 2. She was picked from her residence
after a local court rejected her bail plea in a dowry harassment case. Though the victim’s elder son
Kailash accompanied her to the police station, he claimed the police sent him out to buy beer and snacks
before they assaulted his mother. “I was taken to a dark room and pinned on the floor before my clothes
were forcibly taken off and I was raped by at least four policemen who were using contraceptives,” the
victim said. When she objected, she was told: “We do the same with women who are older than you.”
Later, they told her that she would have escaped the assault had she paid them the money they
demanded. The victim’s family said her custody was unlawful as there was no woman constable in the
police station that night. The police, however, said a female constable was present there. But the victim’s
family members said the constable was hurriedly brought over from her residence at around 4 am after
the assault had already taken place. The matter first came to light on June 2, leading to agitations by
several NGOs. Incidentally, some local organisations which had a month ago launched a major
campaign against the Amla police, are supporting the cops in this case. At least eight of them have
submitted a memorandum to the tehsildar, citing allegations against the police as baseless. Meanwhile,
the members of the Youth Congress burnt effigy of the police administration, demanding termination of
the accused policemen. The members of the National Campaign for Dalit Human Right is planning to
launch a statewide campaign against the incident. They also demanded investigation into the alleged
gang-rape by a different agency. Doctors, who had examined the victim, have submitted their report to
the jail superintendent — who forwarded it to the probe committee. District collector Arun Bhatt and
Superintendent of Police JS Sansanwal remained tightlipped. So too was the jailer. (Hindustan Times

Smoking more harmful to women than men (8)
New Delhi, June 08, 2009: Smoking is injurious to health - and more so for women. According to doctors,
smoking can lead to multiple complications in women and the very first heart attack could lead to sudden
death. Praveen Aggarwal, chief cardiologist, Escorts Heart Institute and Research Centre, New Delhi,
confirms a series of heart attacks among female smokers. Aggarwal told IANS: "The cause of heart
ailments among female smokers is much higher because women have small arteries in comparison to
men. Even the first heart attack in a women smoker can cause sudden death." Roshan Roa, senior
cardiologist, Metro Hospital and Heart institute, Noida, said: "The risk of heart complications among
woman smokers is twice that of a normal smoker." "If a women is smoking from a young age then she
stands a greater risk of contracting heart problems. Female smokers who use oral contraceptives risk
serious after-effects, including increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, such as blood clots,
heart attacks and strokes," Roa added. Sanjay Mittal, also from Metro Hospital, said during pregnancy
smoking increases the chances of sudden infant death syndrome, learning disorders and attention deficit
disorder in the child. If a woman is in a child-bearing age and still smoking then it will have a bad effect on
the child during pregnancy along with a greater risk of heart attack to the mother. According to a new
World Health Organisation (WHO) study, one in 10 women in urban India smoke or chew tobacco. The
WHO report also estimates that seven percent of women in developing countries smoke compared with
48 percent men. "Women who smoke are at a higher risk and face a number of health hazards such as
heart disease and lung cancer," said K.K. Aggarwal, president, Heart Care Foundation of India. "Women
who quit smoking have a 21 percent lower risk of dying from coronary heart disease within five years of
quitting smoking. The risks of dying from other conditions also decline after quitting, although the period
varies depending on the disease. For chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, it may take up to 20 years,"
he said. According to a study, smoking leads to greater risk of developing cervix and vulvar cancers.
Nineteen percent of cervical and 40 percent of vulvar cancer are caused by smoking. Harmful affects of
smoking for women: - Smoking greatly increases risk of heart disease and stroke. - Smoking causes
interruptions in menstrual cycle and induces quicker menopause. - Smoking causes pre-term delivery, low
birth weight, miscarriage, and neonatal death. - Children born to smoking mothers experience more colds,
ear aches, respiratory problems, illnesses. - Smoking affects fertility. - Female smokers are more
susceptible to osteoporosis. - Smoking causes more breathing difficulties in women than in men.
(Hindustan Times 8/6/09)

Address female infanticide first, then women's quota: Akali MP (8)
It was her maiden speech in parliament and Speaker Meira Kumar didn't mind giving her an extra two
minutes. Akali Dal MP Harsimrat Kaur surprised many with her poise as well as passionate anger over
female infanticide and the plight of farmers in Punjab. 'More than 2,000 female babies are killed
everyday,' the graceful Kaur informed Lok Sabha (lower house), asking members to address the
shameful practice of killing of unborn female foetuses. 'We need to ask why it has taken 62 years after
independence to bring this proposal,' she said, while asking the house to look afresh at the contentious
women's reservation bill that proposes, among other things, 50 percent reservation for women in
panchayat bodies (village councils). 'Providing the right environment for women is as important as
providing opportunity for women,' Kaur, MP from Bathinda and wife of Punjab Deputy Chief Minister
Sukhbir Badal, said. She urged for a multi-fold agenda to curb the conditions that have led to rampant
female infanticide in the state. Kaur also highlighted what she termed as 'discrimination by the central
government' against Punjab farmers who, she said, did not get their due despite contributing nearly 50
percent to the nation's granary. 'The Punjab farmers feel totally cheated,' she said during the motion of
thanks to the president's address in parliament. Supporting the Women's Reservation Bill mooted by the
United Progressive Alliance government, Kaur said her party would in fact demand 50 percent reservation
for women in all spheres of activity. 'Why it has taken democratic India 62 long years to send 58 women
to Parliament to voice the needs of half a billion women of our country?', she asked. 'More than five
million girl children are denied their right to take birth due to their gender in India every year,' she said.
'Under these circumstances, where killing of a girl child is so rampant, I regret that the Honorable
President's address does not even carry a mere reference of female foeticide.'She also raised the turban
ban issue in France and the attack on Indian students in Australia. Alluding to the farmers' debt relief
package of Rs.65,000 crore, Kaur said that Punjab had merely received Rs.750 crore equalling only one
percent of the total relief package. She asked, 'Does a state like Punjab, which contributes 50 percent to
the national food pool, deserve only one percent of this package? Punjab seeks no favour. All we demand
is justice and fair play,' said Kaur. A diploma holder in textile engineering from Delhi, Kaur ended her
emotive speech with a couplet from Kabir, eliciting appreciative thumping of desks from members in an
otherwise somnolent house. (India E-News 8/6/09)

Domestic abuse plagues India's upper crust (8)
New Delhi With stylish sunglasses on her head, brightly painted nails and dressed in black designer gear,
the woman sitting at a trendy New Delhi cafe might not look like a battered wife. But the woman, who
asked that her name be withheld to protect her identity and that of her children, was abused for years by
her husband, a lawyer. "He strangled me, he spat on me, he slapped me," the woman, a 37-year-old
mother of two who grew up in a wealthy London-based Indian family, said in an interview. She is among
millions of Indian women, from all classes, who are abused by their husbands. A recent government
survey said one in three Indian women were victims of domestic violence. Her education and status
among India's elite gave little protection against her well-heeled and well-connected spouse. After years
of abuse, she took her husband to court under a landmark domestic violence act meant to protect
battered wives and give stiff penalties to abusers, but so far to no avail. "This law, which is enacted by the
parliament in 2006, has not been taken seriously," her lawyer, KK Manan, said. "On one pretext or
another, the case is being adjourned". A total of 185,312 crimes against women were reported in India in
2007, compared to 164,765 in 2006. Rights groups say many more cases go unreported. Domestic
violence has long been in the public eye and the media regularly features cases of wife-beating over
issues such as dowry, as well as torture and killings of women, especially in poorer households. India's
economic boom has brought a rise in affluent women, often with careers, who enjoy greater freedom than
their parents' generation. They dress in Western clothes and visit restaurants, bars and night clubs.
These changes sometimes clash with hardline elements of what remains a largely conservative society.
Even among India's upper crust, women's freedom can be superficial. The domestic violence act was
meant for the first time to give protection and compensation for all kinds of abuse in the home, including
physical, sexual, verbal, emotional or economic. Previously, for example, husbands could not be
prosecuted for raping their wives, unless the wife was under the age of 15. The new law aims to pass
sentence within 60 days of the first hearing. But more than a year later, the woman's case is still bogged
down and in early March she had to make yet another appearance at a special Delhi women's court.
From her lawyer's cramped chambers, she walked past a low colonnade of clerks who still use
typewriters, up a grimy staircase to a crowded, tiny courtroom for her case to be heard. "Women are not
being safeguarded from this act," she said. "Any woman who is a victim of domestic violence has to face
lengthy court cases, hence exorbitant lawyers' fees ... It's all about money and power in this country. You
can buy anyone." Once more, her husband and his legal counsel did not turn up at court, but the judge
hears the case in their absence. Come June, she is still waiting for the next court appearance. Often
cases are adjourned if the accused is not present. One member of her legal team says few sentences
have been passed against abusive husbands, partly because of such delays. Long-held attitudes towards
domestic violence in India are slow to change and justice can be murky and remote. A recent government
survey found 54 per cent of women, against 51 per cent of men, say wife-beating is justified in some
circumstances. Also, there is a still a commonly held opinion in Indian society that women lodge false
complaints of abuse, Manan said. "There is always a stigma attached ... to a divorcee, to a woman who
goes and reports against the family," said Kumud Sharma, vice chair of the Centre for Women's Studies.
"This notion of family integrity or not speaking against the family or family members, prevents many
women from going and reporting about it." ……. (Indian Express 8/6/09)

Unable to bear ‘domestic abuse’, wife kills husband (8)
New Delhi: Tired of constant abuse at the hands of her alcoholic husband, a 30-year-old woman killed her
husband on Friday. The woman, identified as Neha alias Sunita, was arrested by the Outer Delhi police
on Saturday after her father reported the matter to the police. Police officers said Neha killed her husband
Naveen, 32, by first hitting him on his head with a wooden plank. Naveen reportedly fell unconscious after
the attack. She then stabbed him in the throat with a kitchen knife. The knife reportedly got twisted, after
which Neha took another knife and continued to stab him “After the murder, she changed her
bloodstained clothes, washed her hands and went to her maternal house. On Saturday morning, she
confessed the murder to her father, Chandoo Lal, who reported the matter to the police,” Deputy
Commissioner of Police (Outer) Atul Katiyar said. (Indian Express 8/6/09)

The changing face of dowry (8)
Bangalore: Vijayalakshmi’s (name changed) husband and his parents are not asking Vijayalakshmi’s
parents for cash or jewellery in dowry. This educated upper middle class family is forcing her, a software
engineer who was married last year, to do a hotel management course in Australia against her will. The
expenses adding up to Rs. 20 lakh will of course have to be footed by her father. This case being handled
by the city-based women’s non-governmental organisation, Vimochana, points to the “modern” forms in
which the age-old practice of dowry is being re-invented in our own Silicon Valley. Dowry, an everyday
occurrence, is once again in focus with the recent observation of Justice Markandey Katju in the Supreme
Court that those burning women for dowry deserved to be hanged. Though Dowry Prohibition Act is
perceived as “stringent”, Bangalore City Crime Record Bureau data indicates that it has hardly proved a
deterrent. Till April of this year, 18 dowry death cases have been registered in Bangalore. The figures for
2008 and 2007 stood at 51 and 54. As many as seven cases of women being burnt for dowry were
reported in 2007 and the number more than doubled in 2008 with 16. Cases of dowry harassment have
also steadily gone up from 290 in 2007 to 307 in 2008 and 121 till April in 2009. Ironically, as senior
advocate and former Chairperson of Karnataka Women’s Commission Pramila Nesargi puts it, the dowry
menace seems to be getting “more secular and universal” with castes and religions which were
traditionally not known to follow dowry system also embracing the practice now. Growing consumerism,
coupled with a deeply entrenched feudal culture, seems to have strengthened the system. Feminist
groups are unanimous in the opinion that bringing in more laws against dowry is not a solution to the
problem. “It is already a strong Act and there is no meaning in changing it without enforcing what exists,”
said K.S. Vimala, State president of Janavadi Mahila Sanghatane. The most urgent need, on the other
hand, is “streamlining of dispensation of justice”, said Donna Fernandes of Vimochana. Some changes
within the existing law will also help. “As of now both giving and accepting dowry are punishable. Many do
not approach the police for this reason,” she said. Police officials admit that the biggest deterrent to the
dowry laws being effective is that the process of law is extremely slow and conviction rates are abysmal.
According to Alok Kumar, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime), this is the reason why most victims
choose to compromise and turn hostile. “It is basically issues related to subsistence during the long-
drawn trial. There is pressure from the families, including the issue of maintenance of children,” he added.
Mr. Kumar expressed the need for an institutional system of victim’s advocacy and assistance to make
women secure. “This will be far more assuring and women will come forward with complaints,” he said.
Joint Director of Prosecution, Shankar Arehunashi, underlines the need for expediting the recording of
dying declaration, which is vital in a case of death of a woman. “There have been cases where police
have delayed coming to hospitals and thus have not been able to record statements while the victim is
conscious. You can get conviction solely on the dying declaration even if other witnesses turn hostile,” he
said. (The Hindu 8/6/09)

Five held for demanding dowry (8)
Mumbai: The Khar police on Sunday arrested five members of a family on charges of mentally and
physically harassing a 22-year-old girl for dowry. Kaainat Limboowala lodged a first information report
after she was thrown out of her house on Thursday. In her complaint, Kaainat said that she married Abid
Hussain, a resident of Pali Village in Bandra, last year. Hussain, who works in a money exchange firm in
Saudi Arabia, had promised to take her with him after their wedding. He, however, left a month later and
Kaainat stayed back with her husband's brother Sajid Hussain, mother Khairunissa and three sisters --
Kamajahan, Shabina and Mumtaz. Kaainat claimed that as soon as her husband left India, his family
began harassing her for money. "They were demanding Rs70 lakh from my parents. We had already
given them a lot during the marriage," she told the police, adding that her family had given the Hussains
Rs37 lakh as well as jewellery worth lakhs. According to Kaainat, whenever she refused to ask her
parents for money, her in-laws would physically and mentally abuse her. "I was thrown out of the house
on Thursday. They asked me to return only with the money," she said. Kaainat then approached the
police and filed a complaint. The police arrested the Hussains from their Yellow Rose Apartment in Pali
Village on charges of dowry harassment. "They have been remanded in police custody till June 11.
Further investigations are on," said a senior officer from Khar police station. (DNA 9/6/09)

Woman burnt to death (8)
BANGALORE: A 19-year-old housewife was, allegedly, set ablaze over dowry harassment by her
husband and his parents in Kanakapura police station limits on Monday. The victim, Shilpa, was married
to Raja Nayak some 20 days ago. During the wedding, Shilpa’s mother had, reportedly, given cash and
gold as part of dowry, but Raja demanded more later on. Even on Monday, when Shilpa refused to fulfill
their demand, which aggrieved the family, Raja Nayak and his parents set Shilpa ablaze. Shilpa’s mother,
Yashodamma, has filed a dowry harassment death case with the Kanakapura police and the accused are
still at large. Lottery agency raided CCB sleuths have raided the premises of an agency running illegal
lottery business under Chamarajapet police station limits. The accused were running this banned
business in Sukanya Agency and selling lotteries of Arunachal Pradesh namely Shubha Ganapathy, Tula
Rashi, Kuil, Tapaz Tangam, Abdal, Kumaran, Diamond Lion, Mani and Time Lakshmi. The lottery tickets
were being sold for Re 1 and Rs 15 was being offered to the public, police said. The main accused is N
Ranganath Aithal (45). Two more accused Rajesh and Prakash are still at large. Police have recovered
lotteries, mobile phones and Rs 11,900. (Indian Express 9/6/09)

Women panel urges govt's lasting solution non-locals issue (8)
Imphal, June 10 2009: Chairperson of the state women commission, Dr Ch Jamini who paid a visit to
Dharamasala where non-local migrants are taking refuge along with members of the commission
suggested government for finding a last solution to the repeated attack on the life of the non-local
migrants in the state.Members of the commission, Lhingjaneng Gangte and Laaljan Begumalso
accompanied the visit of the chairperson and held interaction with the wives of the non-local migrant
labourers who poured down their grievances. During the visit, Dr Jamini said that keeping confined the
non-locals at a place to avoid attack on their life is not the lasting solution. Government should take up
find a way to solve the problem forever at the earliest. Speaking to the visitors, 40-year old Shanti wife of
Ramanda hailing from Behuraj of Bihar expressed that many Manipuris are also working in Bihar as
doctor, nurse, engineer and others professions."They are not attack or kill by any of the residents there.
So, there is no reason for killing Biharis working here. If wanted to live in togetherness spirits, it will be
better to stop attacking and killing us," she said. Shanti and her husband run a hotel at Mayang Imphal
Bazar before they took asylum at Dharamasala.Even though, they are repeatedly attack and killed, they
will not go back to their home state.They will go to the place where they work earlier after some days stay
at the relief camp, Laxman, a barber said.He said that he will earn enough money till his family could
repay the money borrowed from others. "I will work and earn till the family relief from debt," he reiterated.
In the meantime, with the non-locals started leaving the relief camp, only 13 are in the camp today. Those
staying in the camp also blamed the government not providing any relief materials to them even though
they are in the camp for the last six day. The women commission provided Rs 3000 as assistant to the
non-locals at the relief camp. The commission further paid visit to the woman Worlingla (28) wife of SW
who has been hospitalizing at JN Hospital after she was abandoned after beaten up by some unknown
persons when she out from home to phone to her younger sister. Warlingla has been leading a life of woe
as apart from assaulting her by the unknown, she has been living at her parental home after her husband
and family ill-treated her. Dr Jamini assured the victim woman that the commission will take up step to
make inquiry into the incident of beaten up her.(E-Pao 10/6/09)

To stop eve-teasing, jeans banned in girls’ colleges (8)
 Kanpur: To keep eve-teasing at bay, four Kanpur girls’ degree colleges have banned students from
wearing jeans, tight tops, sleeveless blouse, high heels and tight-fitting clothes in the campus. The
students have also been instructed not to carry cellphones. The colleges which imposed the ban are
Acharya Narendra Deo College, Dayananad Girls Degree College, Sen Balika College and Johari Devi
Degree College. “The move will certainly deter eve-teasers. Often girls wearing tight clothes and jeans
are on the target of eve-teasers. It is our duty to take precautionary measures,” said Meeta Jamal,
Principal of DG College. The staff members have also been instructed to minimise the use of mobile
phone in the campus. Though students flouting the rules will be let off after a reprimand, teachers will
have to pay a fine of Rs 100. “Only if there is an emergency, staff members will be permitted to use their
mobile,” she said. Even teachers should wear decent clothes, she added. (Indian Express 11/6/09)

Two married women commit suicide due to alleged torture (8)
RAJKOT/JAMNAGAR: Inability to bear a child, torture for dowry and mental harassment allegedly' forced
four women to kill themselves in Rajkot city, district and Jamnagar. Two of them succumbed to the
attempts of suicide. While Hetal Dudakiya (26) attempted suicide at her father's house in Nehrungagar
area of Rajkot on Tuesday, Santok Vasant (28), staying in Shanker Tekri of Jamnagar, succumbed to
poison consumption on Monday. Married for eight years, Santok's in-laws repeatedly taunted her,
suspected her character and called her a sinner for not bearing a child. Santok's brother Naja Makwani
filed a complaint against her husband Vasant, mother-in-law Punji and brother-in-law Hansraj. Hetal's
father Bhupendra Chavda too filed a complaint of torture against her husband Tejas, father-in-law Dipak
and mother-in-law Jyoti at Malaviyanagar police station. The posh Man Sarovar Apartment in Royal Park
6 near Indira Circle in Rajkot also witnessed the greed of in-laws. Namrata Bachha (25), who was
allegedly tortured for dowry, filed a complaint on Monday. Daughter of an electronics dealer from Surat,
Prakash Rajani, Namrata married Ravi Bachha, a factory-owner at Shapar Veraval, last year. According
to the complaint, Ravi and his parents often beat Namrata. Ravi has already taken Rs 10 lakh from Rajani
twice and asked him the third time, which he refused. The family then started torturing Namrata. At
Amreli, too, dowry torture has been identified as the motive for the death of a housewife on June 7.
Bhavana Dhankecha, 27, staying at Shivnagar behind Patel wadi of Bagsara taluka, hanged herself and
her son to the ceiling fan. Bhavna's father, Popatlal Vaishnav, a native of Visavadar, stated in his
complaint, that the in-laws insisted that he employ a housemaid and buy a car. Bhavna's husband
Manish, father-in-law Vrajlal, mother-in-law Diwali, sister-in-law Mittal, harassed Bhavna for the past
seven years. Bhavna could not bear the physical abuse and ended her life, the plaint said. (Times of India

Woman accuses husband, in-laws of five forced abortions (8)
Ahmedabad: Raising her voice against mental and physical torture for not bearing a male child, a 32-
year-old woman from the city has accused her Vadodara-based husband and in-laws of forcing her to
abort female foetuses five times in the last nine years. After the woman, Amisha Yagnik, lodged a
complaint with the Vastrapur police on Saturday, her husband Priyavadan Bhatt (35) and his parents,
Gunvant (67) and Niranjana (64) were arrested. They have been booked under various sections of the
Indian penal Code, including 313 (causing miscarriage without a woman’s consent). Further
investigations are on, the police said. Amisha, who at present stays with her parents in the Bodakdev
area, said in her complaint that Priyavadan and his parents had forcibly got her to undergo sex
determination tests and abort foetuses as they were found to be of females. Vastrapur Sub-Inspector K R
Jhala said: “These forced abortions were done in 2001, 2002, 2004, 2007 and in April this year. While
four of these abortions were done in Anand, the last one was done at a clinic in Vadodara.” Amisha and
Priyavadan were married on December 12, 2000. A resident of Makarpura in Vadodara, Priyavadan
works in a private company, while Gunvant is a retired government servant. The Bhatts, the police said,
had shifted from Anand to Vadodara in January 2008. The couple has a five-year-old daughter. “Amisha
has alleged that Priyavadan and his parents subjected her to mental and physical torture for not being
able to conceive a male child. She has also mentioned the names of radiologist and gynaecologists who
carried out these sex-determination tests and abortions. Some more arrests are likely,” Jhala said. (Indian
Express 15/6/09)

Rise in atrocities on women in Bihar: report (8)
Patna (PTI): The year 2008 witnessed an increase in incidents of atrocities on women related to
abduction, murder for dowry, molestation, eve-teasing and rape in Bihar, a government report said.
According to the figures compiled by the state police headquarters here, as many as 6,186 cases of
atrocities (1,041 incidents related to rape, 1,494 kidnapping, 1,233 murder for dowry, 2,230 dowry
harassment and 188 cases of eve-teasing and molestation) against women were registered across Bihar
in 2008. A comparative study of the figures available suggested that there were rise in incidents in 2008
compared to the corresponding period previous year. While a total of 1,012 cases were registered for
kidnap of women in 2007, the number went up to 1,494 in 2008. Similarly, the number of incidents related
to dowry death rose from from 1,226 in 2007 to 1,233 in 2008, the figures revealed. (The Hindu 14/6/09)

Women Rights Commission praises police, Gujarat government (8)
Surat, Jun 15 : The one-member delegation of National Women Rights Commission today praised city
police for their alertness in nabbing the offenders of gangrape case within hours and expressed hope that
the Gujarat government would conduct their trial in fast track court for early justice to the rape victim.
Talking to mediapersons, Manju Hembrom, who was on a visit here to assess the situation post the
incident, said observations found during the visit will be compiled into a report which will be submitted to
Union Home Ministry. ''Commission wants that the trial should be held in a fast track court rather than
Sessions or High Court to dispense early justice to the victim as it happened with gangrape case in
Rajasthan, last year. If state government does not move the case in fast track, the Commission might
bring suo motto in this matter to force state government. Due to 14 days remand of the three offenders, it
might take 15 more days to move case in the court,'' she said. Blaming tuition classes for the improper
timings of tuitions, Ms Hembrom asked the state government to place a ban on early morning tuitions. ''If
girl’s tuition classes had proper timings, then the incident could have been averted,'' she observed. She
also held parents of the offenders responsible for not monitoring their activities. ''Parents should keep a
watch upon the activities of their kids, to prevent them from doing anti-social activities. In this case too,
parents had a loose hand upon their kids, which spoiled them to such an extent,'' she added. Earlier, Ms
Hembrom met the gangrape victim and her family members and later held a meeting with city police
officials, leaders and intellectuals, where she discussed the progress of the case and asked police
officials to complete investigation in due time. (New Kerala 16/6/09)

Anand Nagarpalika chief alleges harassment against husband (8)
Vadodara: Anand nagarpalika president Sejal Patel has registered a police complaint against her
husband alleging physical and mental harassment, after she was abused on Friday night. She has a
daughter out of her 17-year-old marriage. According to the complaint registered with the Mahila Police
Station, on Friday, when Sejal’s husband, Hitesh, reached home, she was taking a shower and took time
to open the door. This angered him and he started verbally abusing her. He even physically assaulted her
and allegedly tore her clothes. According to Sejal, there have been several instances earlier when Hitesh
attacked her physically. On a previous occasion when she threatened to go to the police, Hitesh had
pledged in an affidavit not to harass her. But nothing changed. “I don’t want to comment anything on my
husband. I was being harassed and so I registered a complaint. I cannot say anything more than that,”
Sejal said. It is believed that Sejal-Hitesh’s marriage hit the rocks six months after they had tied the knot,
after he became an alcoholic. Neigbours refusing to be named even said that Hitesh is mentally unfit and
has been undergoing treatment in a Vadodara private hospital. Sejal, a BJP worker for many years now,
joined the party after her marriage. In 2007, she became the vice president of the Anand Nagarpalika and
later became president in 2008. As per sources in the Nagarpalika, till 2008, it was Hitesh who was
running the show while she played second fiddle; but later, the party asked her to assume charge, after
which problems between husband and wife began. .. (Indian Express 21/6/09)

 Woman suffers burns resisting sexual assault (8)
Hyderabad, June 22, 2009: A 30-year-old woman suffered minor burns when diluted acid kept in a can
fell on her while she was resisting an alleged sexual assault on her by two persons in Hyderabad, police
said on Monday. The woman, who works as a labourer at Pot Market in Secunderabad, complained of
being molested by construction workers Shankar and Upender at a store-room here, they said. The
victim, who filed a police complaint, alleged that on June 20 the duo misbehaved with her. She thwarted
their attempt to sexually assault her, but in the process suffered minor burns on her face when diluted
acid kept in a can in the store-room fell on her, a police officer said. Police have arrested Shankar and
Upender and registered a case against them under relevant sections of IPC. Further investigations were
on. (Hindustan Times 22/6/09)

NCW seeks report from Delhi Police on rape allegations (8)
New Delhi (PTI) the National Commission for Women (NCW) on Tuesday sought a report from the Delhi
Police about the allegations of rape of a woman by an SHO and four others in a city police station. "We
have sought a report from Delhi Police. The final medical report is yet to come. We will take necessary
action after we get the police report," NCW Chairperson Girija Vyas told PTI. "If such an incident has
taken place, it is very unfortunate," she said. Ms. Vyas said the proposed sexual assault bill, the draft of
which has been sent by the NCW to the Central government, aims at preventing such kinds of incidents.
"If policemen commit such offences, inside police station premises, they should be dealt with very strictly,"
she said. A woman, a resident of a slum in Inderpuri in southwest Delhi, on Tuesday claimed she was
raped by a station house officer and four other policemen in Inderpuri police station. The allegation
sparked violent protests with a large crowd attacking and ransacking the building. Delhi Police transfered
the investigations to the Crime Branch but a case is yet to be registered. Police maintained that the
preliminary medical examination report of the woman suggested that she was not raped. (The Hindu

Probe against T20 team manager accused of sexual harassment (8)
Hyderabad: The Andhra Pradesh government on Tuesday ordered a probe into allegations of sexual
harassment against V Chamundeswarinath aka Chamundi who was the manager of the Indian team at
the T20 World Cup in England. Home Minister P Sabita Indra Reddy ordered the probe after a group of
six girls from Visakhapatnam accused Chamundi, who was secretary of Andhra Cricket Association
(ACA), of seeking ‘sexual favours’ for selection. Chamundi was last week suspended by ACA following
allegations of sexual harassment and corruption in buying chairs for a stadium. The probe ordered by the
home minister will also cover allegations of corruption against Chamundi. Durga Bhavani, one of the
women cricketers who met the home minister, said, “Though the secretary has no role in the conduct of
training camps, Chamundi used to visit the camps. He once took me to the gym, saying he would help me
in training even though it was not his job. He also made lewd comments.” The girls showed the minister
sleazy SMSes Chamundi allegedly sent them. The girls alleged that Chamundi boasted that no IPS
officer would entertain their complaints. Chamundi, who returned from London on Sunday, denied the
allegations and offered to face any probe. He sought police protection saying he feared a threat to his life
from ACA president Gokaraju Gangaraju and other office-bearers. He alleged a conspiracy by Gangaraju
and another office-bearers to remove him from the post of secretary. Already, a six-member ACA panel is
probing the allegations against Chamundi. He has been given time till the general body meeting in July to
place his point of view. (Mumbai Mirror 24/6/09)

Female foeticide may result in social imbalance: DC (8)
HAVERI: DC P S Vastrad said that people, who fight for the rights of animals, are indifferent to the rights
of unborn child when it comes to female foeticide. Speaking after inaugurating a workshop on `Misuse of
pre-natal sex determination technology' here on Sunday, he said: "Female foeticide, being done against
the law of nature, may result in social imbalance. He raised concerns over the rise in female foeticide
cases. "This illegal act is going on in the society unabated. This would have a negative impact on the
society in the near future. The trend is deadlier than the bombs. People must come out of the
discriminating mindset and create a healthy society," Vastrad said. District session judge K N Phaneendra
said that misuse of pre-natal sex determination technology and an Act to prohibit the same have been
there since 15 years. "But the mindset of people has not changed and it is not a good sign," he added. ZP
chief executive officer G Govindaswami, deputy director of women and child welfare department,
Prabhavati, Parisara Vedike president Madhuri Deodhar, and IMA president Jagdish Goddemmi also
spoke. (Times of India 22/6/09)
Foeticide issue: Women's rights body writes to minister (8)
VARANASI: Savitri Bai Phule Women Forum, an organisation of rural women working for the cause of
women's rights, has written a letter to the UP minister for health and family welfare and president,
supervisory board, NDPS Act, demanding appropriate action against the culprits of female foeticide. It
may be mentioned here that a woman Reena, native of Tendui village under Jansa police station, made a
complaint to the district magistrate that her husband Jitendra Vishwakarma, a compounder, killed the
female foetus in her womb after sex determination. Taking serious note of it the DM AK Upadhyaya
instructed the police to lodge an FIR against the accused and take necessary action. According to the
convener Shruti, the forum demanded immediate arrest of the accused of female foeticide and action
against the ultra sound centre for sex determination under NDPS Act. Interestingly the FIR was lodged
against Jitendra on June 16, the police are yet to arrest him. According to the station officer of Jansa
police station, Jitendra was absconding. On the other hand the health department is investigating the
matter of sex determination. "The matter is being investigated, and appropriate action would be taken if
anyone is found guilty," additional chief medical officer Dr LC Yadav told TOI on Tuesday (Times of India

Concern over maternal, infant mortality rate (8)
BHUBANESWAR: Experts here on Tuesday expressed concerns over high maternal mortality rate and
infant mortality rate in Orissa and called upon implementing agencies to work on mission mode to reduce
these rates. Addressing State level sharing of “Deliver Now for Women and Children campaign in Orissa”
State health and Family Welfare Minister Prasanna Acharya said there was neither dearth of schemes
nor funding, but an accountable administration was required to wipe out stigma. Orissa earned dubious
distinction for 358 deaths of mothers per every 100000 live births and death of 65 newborn babies per
every 1000 live births. State Finance Minister Prafulla Chandra Ghadai Panchayati Raj Minister Prafulla
Samal and Chairman of State unit of White Ribbon Alliance Shaktidhar Sahoo spoke. (The Hindu

Delhi records 3,900 incidents of domestic violence against women (8)
New Delhi, June 28 : Three years after the pathbreaking Protection of Women from Domestic Violence
Act was introduced, the Indian capital has recorded a whopping 3,901 cases - possibly the highest in the
country. However, relief under this law has not been swift, say lawyers and women. States like Kerala
(3,287 cases), Chattisgarh (2,921), Maharashtra (2,751), Punjab (2017), and Andhra Pradesh (1,625)
also recorded too many incidents of domestic violence. This is as per court data available with some -
though not all - states till February 2009. 'Ideally, justice should be delivered to the victim within three
months but in many places, including the role model state Andhra Pradesh, cases drag on for more than
six months,' said a Ramesh Gupta, a criminal lawyer. The state was the first in India to implement this
law. He said the late appointment of protection officers results in delays in addressing these cases. The
Delhi government has appointed 17 protection officers in all the districts of the state under the domestic
violence law. 'Though the Delhi government has appointed protection officers, their numbers are very
few,' said Gupta. The capital's west district recorded the highest number of domestic violence cases - at
844 - followed by 613 cases in the north district and 37 in the New Delhi district. The much-welcomed Act
was aimed at giving protection and compensation for all kinds of abuse at home, including physical,
sexual, verbal, emotional and economic. The new law requires a sentence to be passed within 90 days of
the first hearing. Apart from wives and live-in partners, the Act also extends its protection to women who
are sisters, widows or mothers. Sections 18-23 of the Act provide a large number of avenues for an
abused woman to get relief. She can get, through the courts, protection orders, residence orders,
monetary relief, custody order for her children, compensation order and interim orders. But for Shruti
Arora (name changed), an MNC executive who filed a domestic violence case against her husband
almost a year ago, the rule promising relief within three months is far from reality. 'My husband's lawyer
makes one or the other excuse at every hearing and this thing has been on for almost a year. I just don't
understand why the timeframe of three months was framed by our legislators when our courts don't abide
by it,' Arora told IANS. Arora's case is still bogged down and in early July she has to make yet another
appearance at a special Delhi women's court at Patiala House. 'Women are not being safeguarded with
this act,' Shruti said. 'Any woman who is a victim of domestic violence has to face lengthy court cases,
hence exorbitant lawyers' fees...It's all about money and power in this country. You can buy anyone.'
(New Kerala 28/6/09)
Call to fight against attacks on women (8)
Rajahmundry: Youth Congress State president T.J.R. Sudhakar Babu has called upon frontal
organisations of Congress to fight against assaults on women like acid attack, domestic violence and
ragging in colleges. He also stressed the need to take up constructive programmes like literacy, tribal
welfare and rural development. Addressing East Godavari district Youth Congress meeting here on
Sunday, he said the government was very sharp in taking action towards cases related to violence
against women. He said for the first time a woman has been made as the Home Minister and only two
days ago a meeting was called particularly on women issues with the police and other related
departments, which shows that how keen the government on assault women. Referring to recent
elections, he said it was sorry to say that the presence of eminent personalities and stalwarts and Youth
Congress workers could not bring more number of seats in East Godavari. It should be a lesson for
forthcoming local body elections, he added. MP Vundavalli Arun Kumar said youth should first reach poor
and needy people and should take all government welfare schemes to them. He asked them to fight
against poverty, illiteracy and backwardness. MLA R. Suryaprakasa Rao said the Congress has lost
many seats with narrow majority and won with little majority in other seats, except in Anaparti due to
internal squabbles. However, now the party would win local body elections hands down PCC Secretary
Siva Rama Subrahmanyam also spoke.. Kandula Durgesh, MLC, M. Madhav, District Secretary of Youth
Congress, Md. Arshad, NSUI city president and Srinivasa Yadav of Youth Congress were present. Mr.
Sudhakar Babu was felicitated on the occasion. (The Hindu 29/6/09)

132 rape cases in a year, is Ahmedabad safe for women? (8)
Ahmedabad: Raising slogans for justice, more than 300 social activists from over 20 NGOs and voluntary
organisations took out a rally at Sardarbaug, Khanpur. Among the eminent personalities who joined the
rally were Ela Pathak, president AWAG; Lila Desai, president, Gujarat Stree Kelvani Mandal; Suwarna, a
social activist; Professor Nalini Trivedi and Saraben Daldiwala. "We organised the rally to lodge our
protest against the indifferent attitude of police and government towards rape cases. It is time to take
strict action against the culprits because the rape victims don't only go through physical and mental
trauma but also face social stigma," said Meenakshi Joshi, convener, All India Mahila Sanskrutik
Sangathan. Gujarat for long was regarded a safe place for women, a myth which has been shattered by
some rape cases in recent times. In 2008, 374 cases of rape, 1,110 of abduction, 122 of sexual
harassment and 6,094 cases of domestic violence were reported in Gujarat, with 132 rape cases reported
in Ahmedabad alone, claimed the woman organisations. "The government should take appropriate action
against such grave crimes," said Ela Pathak. The Surat gangrape has brought to fore another disturbing
trend - that of the lucrative business out of selling MMS clips of gangrapes. This has made rape a
business to earn money, sometimes even through blackmailing the victim's blackmailing. (DNA 1/7/09)

Maid harassment under workplace exploitation law now (8)
 New Delhi, July 03: With reports of a number of incidents of sexual harassment of domestic helps in the
country, the government today said it will bring such cases within the scope of a proposed law to prevent
exploitation of women at workplaces. Women and Child Development Minister Krishna Tirath, replying to
supplementaries in the Lok Sabha, said the legislation will also include Dalit women, who are brought
from rural areas to work as domestic helps in the cities. Noting that there were reports of incidents of
sexual harassment and mental torture of domestic helps, Tirath said such trends would be contained and
action taken against the culprits whenever such reports were received. She said as per a Supreme Court
order, the government intended to constitute Local Complaint Committees at district and block level under
the proposed bill to deal with such complaints. The proposed legislation would cover women working in
both organised and unorganised sectors, she added. A number of cases of sexual exploitation of
domestic helps have come to light in the country recently, the most high-profile being the case of
Bollywood actor Shiney Ahuja who has been accused of raping his maid. (Zee News 3/7/09)

Rape case registered against constables of Mylavaram police station (1)
VIJAYAWADA: The city police on Thursday registered cases against five persons, including two
constables of the Mylavaram police station, on the charge of raping a woman in a lodge in Mylavaram on
March 20. Though the incident happened under the jurisdiction of the Krishna district police, the police
headquarters in Hyderabad issued orders transferring the case to the commissionerate for impartial
inquiry. Police Commissioner K.V. Rajendranath Reddy, who recorded the statement of the victim, later
said that a case was registered against constables Venkata Rao and Prasad, besides Munna and
Venkata Narayana, their friends, under Sections 342 (wrongful confinement), 354 (assault or criminal
force to woman), 365 (kidnapping or abducting), 376 (g) (gang rape), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 509
(word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman). A separate case under Sections 376
(rape), 417 (cheating), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) was registered
against Kodali Krishna Kishore, her maternal uncle’s son, who was named by her as the one who took
her to the lodge. The issued saw light only on Thursday following the spilling of beans by the victim
herself to a television channel. The police recorded her statement and registered the cases. The victim, a
28-year-old woman from Gampalagudem, told the police that she was taken to the lodge by Krishna
Kishore, who for long been promising to marry her. After they checked into the room, the constables and
two others joined Krishna Kishore and they all raped her. She told the police that one of the constables
recorded the scene in his mobile phone camera and he threatened her frequently later that he would
make it public. The woman said she was unable to resist them, as she was helpless and none from the
lodge came to her rescue. After the incident, Krishna Kishore refused to marry her and began abusing her
in filthy language. As he disappeared suddenly, she was left with no option but to bring the issue to the
light to protect herself from the constant threatening by the constables. Representatives of women’s
organisations expressed their solidarity with the victim and announced that they would fight until the
accused were punished. Secretary of the Andhra Pradesh Mahila Samakhya P. Durga Bhavani
demanded that all the five accused should be arrested immediately and stringent action must be initiated
against them. (The Hindu 3/7/09)

Sensitive issue: NCW (8)
NEW DELHI: The National Commission for Women (NCW) has called for a nationwide debate on Section
377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) in the wake of the Delhi High Court judgment that described
criminalising homosexuality as a violation of human rights. “It is a sensitive issue, particularly for a country
like India, and therefore requires a wider debate,” chairperson Girija Vyas told reporters here on
Saturday. Ms. Vyas said the NCW held a limited debate on the issue while discussing amendments to
laws on rape and related provisions, specifically, Sections 375 and 376 pertaining to the definition of
sexual assault and punishments. “Then we had recommended repealing of the Section but that really was
not our agenda. At that time we discussed Section 377 from the perspective of a small population it
impacted, but now it involves the entire society,” she pointed out. “The issue needs to be discussed at
length,” Ms. Vyas said, adding the Commission had obtained a copy of the judgment and would study it in
full before reaching any conclusion. “The judgment will have an impact on several other laws also,” she
said. Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad on Saturday denounced the court ruling. “Gay sex should
not be legalised at any cost, and the Centre should appeal against the verdict in the Supreme Court,” he
told journalists here. “I am dead against legalisation of gay sex and will strongly raise the issue in
Parliament. Section 377 of the IPC should not be amended.” Asked whether homosexuality was still a
crime, he said: “Yes, it is a crime. Such obscene acts should not be allowed in our country. Society is
adversely affected. The government has a greater responsibility towards society. I don’t want to talk about
such rubbish things. These are obscene things which our country and culture do not permit.” (The Hindu

Men in uniform may face stiffer rap for rape (8)
NEW DELHI: In keeping with increasing instances of sexual misconduct by men in uniform and in
positions of authority, the National Commission for Women (NCW) is pushing for a radical overhaul of
laws on crimes against women, including the anti-rape law, to make punishment more stringent. The
NCW is seeking higher punishment for policemen, public servants and employers, for not just rape but
sexual offences that stop short of forced penile penetration. The maximum punishment for non-rape
offences, it proposes, should be increased from five years to 10 years in jail. It has suggested a broader
definition of sexual assault to include "introduction" instead of "penetration" as the defining crime and to
include anal and oral sex on an unwilling woman or minor. Towards this end, the Commission has
proposed a slew of changes in the Indian Penal Code, Criminal Procedure Code and Indian Evidence
Act. Said NCW chairperson Girija Vjas: "The need for a new law on sexual assault was felt as the present
law does not define and reflect various kinds of sexual assault that women are subjected to in our
country." She said the Supreme Court had, in the Sakshi vs Union of India case, recognized the
inadequacies in the law relating to rape and suggested that the legislature bring about the necessary
changes. NCW has also suggested changes in the process of reporting, medical examination and the role
of police officials. While several of the amendments are already in practice following Supreme Court
rulings, the Commission strongly pitched for bringing about changes in the law to dispel any ambiguity. In
its 172nd report, the Law Commission had examined the laws relating to rape and sexual assault and
suggested their complete overhaul. In keeping with that, the NCW has sought amendments to sections
375, 376, 354 and 509 of IPC. While NCW has accepted almost all amendments suggested by the Law
Commission, it has differed on one: the NCW has asked for deletion of section 376A that invites a two-
year prison term and fine if a husband has sexual intercourse with his wife without her consent while the
two are living apart. The NCW has also come down heavily on sexual offences committed under judicial
custody. It has proposed that if a police official commits sexual assault within the limits or on the premises
of the police station where he is appointed or commits assault on a woman or child under 16 years of
age, he should be liable for a minimum punishment of 10 years in jail and a maximum punishment of life
imprisonment. The staff or management of a hospital, remand home or a women's or children's institution
committing such an act should be liable to punishment from five years to 10 years in jail and a fine, NCW
has said. The commission has suggested the introduction of a new section -- 376D -- that would make
any man who touches, directly or indirectly, any part of a woman's body with sexual purpose, liable to
three years' imprisonment. In order to discourage incest, NCW has said that if the offender is related to
the woman, the prison term should be increased to seven years. Unlawful sexual contact in the case of a
minor would invite a five-year term and if the minor is in a relationship of dependency to the offender, the
punishment could be increased to seven years. The number of rape cases reported has been increasing
steadily. NCW received 57 complaints in January 2009 which increased to 61 in June this year. "These
are cases that have come to us. There are many other women who do not have the courage to complain,"
Vyas said. Accordingly, the commission has redrafted a scheme to rehabilitate victims and give them
compensation. The NCW has also suggested repeal of the Section 377 of IPC (dealing with
homosexuality) and addition of a new section that is in line with the Delhi High Court's ruling. The
commission on Saturday reiterated its stand that it would hold wide-ranging consultations on the issue of
homosexuality. (Times of India 5/7/09)

Students accuse TDP MLA of attempt to molest (8)
Hyderabad, July 04, 2009: The rape-cum-murder case against MLA T V Rama Rao today took a new
turn with two students of a nursing institute, run by the legislator, accusing the TDP leader of trying to
molest them. The students along with their parents, who came from Kerala, made the complain to Home
Minister P Sabita Indra Reddy at the Secretariat here, officials said, adding that the minister asked the
girls to lodge a formal complaint and approach the CID, which was investigating the case. "I have asked
the students to approach the CID to record their statements and file a complaint in this regard," Reddy
told reporters here. Meanwhile, the TDP said the girls were "paid" hefty amount by the Congress to make
complaint against Rao. The MLA representing Kovvuru in West Godavari district along with his wife and
daughter went on a hunger strike here recently demanding withdrawal of the rape-cum-murder case
against him. (Hindustan Times 4/7/09)

Nepali woman gang raped in Delhi (8)
New Delhi, July 05, 2009: A 21-year-old Nepali woman, who had come to Delhi a few weeks ago was
gang raped by three men in east Delhi, police said on Sunday. The woman from Nepal had come to Delhi
on June 21. She was staying in north Delhi's Mukherjee Nagar area. She was promised a job in the Gulf
by a person called Manoj, police said. The assault on the woman occurred late on Saturday when Manoj
took her to the Delhi international airport and abandoned her there. "The woman, after she found that her
name was missing from the passengers' list, took an auto to Mukherjee Nagar," a police officer said. "The
auto driver, however, took her to Mandawali to his friends' place where she was intoxicated and raped by
the auto driver's friend and two other men," the police officer added. The woman was discovered roaming
the streets in a distraught condition by some passerbys who informed the police. The woman was taken
to a nearby hospital for where the medical examination confirmed rape. (Hindustan Times 5/7/09)

Nursing students: Kerala government writes to YSR (8)
HYDERABAD: The Kerala Government has written to the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, and the
Chief Minister, Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy, seeking a detailed probe into the allegations of sexual
harassment levelled by five girl students from that State against Kovvur MLA T. V. Rama Rao. “We have
already sent an email seeking inquiry into the allegations levelled by the nursing students from our State.
We hope the Andhra Pradesh Government would respond immediately and take necessary action,” a
senior official in the Kerala Health and Social Welfare Minister’s office told The Hindu on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the students met Governor N.D. Tiwari on Sunday to submit a memorandum to him on the
issue. The girls were accompanied by their parents and representative of J.K. Associates, a Kerala-based
agency, which helped them get admission in the college. Denying the allegations, Mr. Rao said that he
had not committed any wrong and would fight for justice. Talking to reporters after he was discharged
from the hospital on Sunday, he alleged that cases were foisted on him. There was no truth in the
charges made by the students from Kerala. In a related development, the CLP accused the Telugu
Desam of insulting women by casting aspersions on the girl students and alleging that the Government
was behind the ‘drama’. Chief Whip Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka and Government Whips K. Murali Mohan
and S. Shailajanath lamented that the TDP was trying to blame the students and questioning their
‘character’. (The Hindu 6/7/09)

Approve rehabilitation scheme for rape victims this session: NCW (8)
NEW DELHI: The National Commission for Women (NCW) has asked for early implementation of the
scheme for relief and rehabilitation of rape victims. In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on
Friday, Chairperson Girija Vyas said the scheme, mooted by the NCW and endorsed by the Supreme
Court, should be approved in the current session of Parliament, more so in the wake of the series of
rapes reported from across the country in the past six months. The scheme, which the court had directed
the NCW to evolve, envisages a monetary compensation of up to Rs. 2 lakh that will be announced by a
board to be constituted when a complaint is filed. The scheme was sent to the Centre last year. “In our
recommendations on amending rape-related laws, we have suggested more stringent punishment for
rape of minors, gang rape, sexual assault in custody and even rape by employer, as has been alleged in
the actor Shiney Ahuja case,” Ms. Vyas said. Such cases would also come under the purview of
harassment at workplace. Expressing concern over the increase in sexual assaults in the past six
months, Ms. Vyas said at least 286 cases had come to light. There must have been numerous others in
rural areas and slums that went unreported. The NCW reiterated its demands that statements of the
victim be recorded under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code as expeditiously as possible, that
medical examination be conducted at the earliest, and that the cases be tried in a fast track court. (The
Hindu 6/7/09)

Call to widen scope of Bill against sexual harassment (8)
KOCHI: The Protection of Women Against Sexual Harassment at Work Place Bill, 2007 should have
wider scope of ambit and more teeth, said panellists at a workshop on ‘Human Rights of Women –
Reforms for Effective Legal Protection,’ organised by the State Planning Board and the National
University of Advanced Legal Studies. They suggested that the term sexual be removed to widen the
scope of the Act. Geetha Ramaseshan, lawyer, Madras High Court, Geena Kumari, lawyer, Family Court,
Thiruvananthapuram, and Sindhu Thulaseedharan, lecturer, Department of Law, University of Kerala,
who took part in the discussion on ‘Sexual harassment at Workplaces – Strategies for Reforms and
Proposal for Legislation,’ suggested that the Bill include protection of domestic workers and self-
employed women such as vegetable vendors. It was suggested that provision for punishment for wrong
complaint made by a woman be removed from the Bill. The perpetrator of the crime should be made
personally liable to pay compensation to the victim. The committees formed to inquire into the crime
should have an independent chair. The State should act as a model employer in combating sexual
harassment. It was also suggested that service rules be adequately amended to fight sexual harassment
(The Hindu 7/7/09)

Army court orders woman officer's dismissal (8)
Chandigarh (PTI) An Army court martial has ordered the dismissal of a woman officer from service, a first
in almost two decades since women were recruited, after holding her guilty of falsely accusing her seniors
of sexual harassment. The court martial, which had assembled in the Division Headquarters at Patiala in
Punjab near here, gave its orders yesterday and ordered that Army Service Corps (ASC) officer Captain
Poonam Kaur be sacked. "The Court Martial has ordered her dismissal from service. Capt Kaur had been
charged on 10 counts including disobedience, making false allegations against superior officers and
addressing the media pertaining to service matters," Capt. Kaur's counsel and retired Colonel S.K.
Aggarwal told PTI over phone on Saturday. The army court's decision, which came after about five
months of hearing, will now go to the Western Army Commander Lt. Gen. T.K. Sapru for confirmation.
Capt. Kaur is the second woman officer of the Army to be court martialled after Major Dimple Singla, an
officer with the Judge Advocate General branch of the Army, was tried on corruption charges in 2006 at
Chandigarh since the Army began recruiting women as officers in the army in 1993. Major Singla's court
martial was later stayed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court in 2007. (The Hindu 11/7/09)

TDP MLA "guilty" of molestation, police tells APSHRC (8)
Hyderabad, July 11: The West Godavari District Police have informed the AP State Human Rights
Commission that there was prima facie evidence against TDP MLA of Kovvuru T V Rama Rao, that he
was "guilty" of outraging the modesty of girl students at the nursing college run by him at Nidadavolu. The
Commission Chairman B Subhashan Reddy had sought a response from West Godavari police following
a complaint lodged by five girl students from Kerala last week. The West Godavari police were earlier
investigating the case of alleged rape and murder against the MLA, before it was transferred to CID. The
Narsapur DSP P Venkatarama Reddy submitted the report to the SHRC chairman yesterday wherein it
was mentioned that there was prima facie evidence against the MLA for attempting to molest a girl in the
college. "The investigations reveal that the incident took place and the matter has been referred to the
CID," the DSP told reporters after submitting the report. The hearing has been posted to August 3.
Quoting the report, SHRC Chairman Reddy said the girls did not initially reveal the acts of the MLA
against them out of fear. However, investigation by police revealed that the Kovvuru MLA was liable to be
booked under Section 354 of IPC. Subhashan Reddy also asked the CID to submit details of the
investigations to him on August 3. (Zee News 11/7/09)

Over 50% of crimes against women reported from UP: NCW (8)
NEW DELHI: UPCC chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi's statement on the dismal state of law and order in Uttar
Pradesh may have been in poor taste but it has a ring of truth. According to data, 50% of the complaints
registered with the National Commission for Women (NCW) are from UP. Between January 2009 to date,
NCW received 8,179 complaints of atrocities against women. Of these, 4,601 complaints are from UP.
The commission receives complaints of rape, dowry harassment, sexual harassment, molestation and
domestic violence amongst other gender-related crimes. UP tops the list with 4,601 complaints while
Delhi is a distant second with 1,100 complaints followed by Rajasthan at 534. Incidentally, the number of
complaints in UP has been steadily increasing. In January 2009, the number of cases registered was 572
which nearly doubled to 1,012 in June 2009. July has already recorded 564 cases. According to the
ministry of women and child development, crime against women is up by 31%.AIDWA's Sudha
Sundharaman condemned Joshi's statement and the political sparring between Congress and BSP
saying that it trivialised the trauma of a rape victim. "This political upmanship underestimates the trauma
that rape victims go through. Instead of these tiffs, the powers that be should address the issue of
rehabilitation of rape victims," she said. Centre for Social Research director Ranjana Kumari said, "The
real issue of security and safety of women has got lost. Instead of tightening the law and order machinery
and enforcing law effectively, the UP CM is compensating with money. That cannot restore dignity of
women. The discourse has become extremely indecent in UP." The National Crime Records Bureau
supports UP's lawless tag to some extent. Its 2007 report ranked the state second, after Andhra Pradesh
in crimes against women. NCW and the WCD ministry have been mulling over a scheme to provide
compensation and relief to rape victims. In fact NCW had recently written to the PM asking for the
scheme to be looked at as a priority. (Times of India 17/7/09)

“I wanted to convey Dalit women’s plight” (8)
Moradabad: UPCC chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi on Saturday walked free from jail here after securing
interim bail in the case of derogatory remarks against Chief Minister Mayawati. She regretted her
controversial statement, but said Ms. Mayawati had no right to continue in office. “I regret that one word I
used against the Chief Minister ... I crossed the limits but the context in which it was said should be
understood. My purpose was to convey the plight of dalit women [who were raped] and the woman Chief
Minister should have understood this ,” she told journalists on coming out of jail. She attacked Mayawati
for filing a case against her and claimed the assault on her residence was state-sponsored. In New Delhi,
Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh said the attack on Ms. Joshi’s residence took place at the
behest of Ms. Mayawati He did not expect justice to be done in the case and demanded a CBI inquiry .
Ms. Joshi said her struggle on women’s issues would continue and she was prepared to go to jail a
hundred times if it helped . The UPCC chief said she agreed with what Congress president Sonia Gandhi
said about her remarks, but added that her entire statement should be read because it referred to the
problems faced by the oppressed women. It was unfortunate that the State government applied certain
provisions of the law which should not have been used. “See, I have got bail within two days.” Ms. Joshi
said it was sad that the administration had behaved this way with a family that had worked for decades for
the sake of minorities, scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. She said she had no personal fight with
Ms. Mayawati, but her struggle on issues facing women would continue. — PTI (The Hindu 19/7/09)

Clinton underlines women's role in national growth, visits SEWA in Mumbai (8)
Mumbai, July 18 (ANI): Away from her official meetings, Hilary Clinton on Saturday met volunteers of Self
Employed Women's Association (SEWA), a non-government organisation, in Mumbai on Saturday.
Highlighting the contribution of women in a country's growth, Clinton said, "We simply cannot make
progress in our world if we leave women behind. What SEWA has accomplished, the most vulnerable
women can work their way towards self sufficiency and towards secured healthy lives and then its not just
women who benefit, it's their families, their communities." Last time, Clinton had visited SEWA's
headquarters at Ahmedabad in 1995 as the US First Lady. Underlining the role of women being crucial in
the growth of any nation, Clinton pledged her country's support and cooperation to help India in meeting
some of its health challenges. She said the U.S would help India in eliminating diseases like tuberculosis
and polio. "As you may know, [we] contribute a lot of money from our government to HIV/AIDS. But, we
want to add to commitment, a commitment to maternal and child health which is especially important here
in India. The eradication of infectious diseases like tuberculosis, polio which are still problems here in
India. And we are going to work very hard with our counterparts in India as part of our new
comprehensive dialogue to figure out whether the United States can be of help in solving some of India's
health challenges," said Clinton. Clinton's five-day visit is aimed at strengthening ties between the world's
biggest and largest democracies. (ANI) (One India 18/7/09)

'Law to curb acid attacks against women soon' (8)
VIJAYAWADA: Home minister Sabitha Indra Reddy said on Saturday that a new legislation will be
introduced in the next assembly that would seek a minimum imprisonment of seven years for those who
carry out acid attacks including against women. Speaking to reporters here on Saturday, the minister said
the state government would not tolerate any sort of violence particularly against the women. She said that
the ragging in educational institutions would also be treated as a serious crime where all the players
including the heads of the educational institutions would be taken to task. She suggested that the
students to realise about the danger to their career and put a halt to such inhuman practices. Meanwhile,
parents of engineering student Hebsiba who was killed by an auto driver recently met the home minister
and sought justice. The home minister released an anti-ragging poster prepared by the city police at the
guest house. (Times of India 19/7/09)

SCR staffer lodges complaint with SHRC (8)
HYDERABAD: A woman employee of South Central Employee (SCR) lodged a complaint with the State
Human Rights Commission (SHRC) alleging that she was sexually harassed by the Government Railway
Police (GRP) SP Venugopal Rao. A woman employee working in the SP’s office approached the SHRC
Chairperson B Subhashan Reddy yesterday seeking action against the SP for sexually harassing her.
The woman alleged that Venugopal Rao used to call her to his chamber’s frequently and harass her.
Venugopal Rao earlier worked as the Deputy Commissioner of Police (traffic) in the city police. The
SHRC Chairperson has called for a report before September 3 from the SCR authorities. (Express Buzz

Harassment case: HC vacates stay on Brar's repatriation (8)
LUDHIANA: In a major jolt to the case of director students welfare Dulcha Singh Brar at Punjab
Agricultural University, the high court has vacated the previous stay on the university’s orders for his
repatriation to department of entomology. After pronouncement of these new orders, Dulcha Singh Brar,
who is facing allegations of sexual harassment levelled by a female employee, is being sent to
department of entomology, said ML Saggar, the varsity’s counsel in high court. He added the arguments
in court went on for one and a half hours, after which the court announced the decision in favour of PAU.
The university is committed to following this case until it reaches its logical conclusion, he said. Saggar
added the HC has stayed the inquiry proceedings with regard to the case till the next hearing, after which,
the committee already pursuing the case would take a decision in consultation with HC. On December 11,
2008, following allegations of sexual harassment by a female university employee working under him, the
university had signed his suspension orders. However, later, the university’s board of management, in its
meeting on December 23, 2008, had revoked Brar’s suspension and he was repatriated to department of
entomology as professor. Later, in a major relief for him, Brar had procured stay orders from the court,
paving the way for his rejoining as director students welfare. Meanwhile, university officials are waiting for
the university to resume work on Monday to decide Brar’s fate in the light of the court orders. On Monday,
the university would go through the court papers and do the needful. A committee under Pam Rajput,
executive director, Women Resource and Advocacy Centre, Chandigarh, is already probing the case
against Brar. Before that, a fact-finding committee of the university held Brar guilty of the charges filed by
the female employee on September 14. (Times of India 19/7/09)

Yet another woman poisoned for dowry (8)
KANPUR: A housewife was allegedly poisoned to death by her in-laws for dowry in Sutarkhana locality
under Harbanshmohal police station on Saturday night. Rupali Singh (25), who got married to Lal Singh
about three years ago, was issueless. The woman's kin claimed that Rupali's in-laws were harassing her
for Rs 1 lakh. A police official of Harbanshmohal police station informed that her family members had
alleged that the woman had been murdered. "We have also observed some injury marks on the victim's
body, suggesting that she was severely thrashed before being offered poison. Post-mortem will shed light
on the cause of the death," he said. Mishap: A 35-year-old man was killed in a road mishap under
Chakeri police station late on Saturday evening. According to reports, the police identified the victim as
Govind Dikshit, a resident of Bhau Khera. He was a loader driver and on late Saturday evening, had gone
to purchase vegetables from the nearby market when he met with the accident. He was rushed to a
nearby hospital, where he later died. (Times of India 19/7/09)

Sexual harassment case: GU asked to give report in 7 days (8)
PANAJI: The Goa state commission for women has asked the Goa University to submit the report of the
prevention of sexual harassment committee indicting the head of the varsity's political science department
within a period of seven days. The letter submitted to the Goa University registrar late last week is the
third request of the commission to the university for the report. Chairperson of the Goa state commission
for women, Pramod Salgaonkar said that the women's commission had first sent a letter asking for a copy
of the report in the sexual harassment case when it was found that a investigation was underway. She
informed that the commission got no response to this communication and wrote yet another letter to Goa
University officials when media reports revealed that the report of the prevention of sexual harassment
committee was ready and submitted to GU officials. Salgaonkar informed that to this the university
officials replied stating that the report is confidential and cannot be provided. She said that the information
was sought under section 13 of the Goa state commission for women regulations of 1996. The
commission has now written the third time to the university informing officials that they are bound to
provide a copy of the report to the commission under the rules. Salgaonkar said that the university will
have make a copy of the report available to the Commission however confidential it is. She said that they
Commission will have to decide a future course of action if the university does not comply this time to the
request. Nearly a month after the head of the political science department of the Goa university was
placed under suspension for being found guilty of sexually harassing students, the university is yet to
form the inquiry committee to carry out further investigations under service conduct rules, sources
informed. Sources informed that the committee will be formed only next month when the next executive
council meeting is scheduled. The Goa University's executive council in its meeting on June 13 had
placed under suspension Aureliano Fernandes, head of the university's political science department. The
HoD was found guilty of sexual harassment by the university's 10-member standing committee for
prevention of sexual harassment of women at work place in its report submitted to the executive council.
The new committee was to consist of one or two former judges. If the HoD is found guilty by the
committee of judges to be set up he will then be dismissed as per the prevention of sexual harassment
committee has recommended. (Times of India 20/7/09)
Seven booked for dowry death (8)
Sangrur, Jul 20 : Police today booked seven members of a family for allegedlly killing their newly-wed
daughter-in-law for dowry in Chhajli village in Sunam sub-division of this district. According to police
sources, Gurtej Singh, a resident of Maidewas village in Lehra lodged a complaint today that his daughter
Gagandeep Kaur, who was married to Karamjit Singh of Chhajli villge about 5 months ago, was being
harrassed for dowry from the first day of the marriage by her husband and his relatives. He alleged that
last night her in-laws killed Gagandeep by administering poison to her. On his complaint, police have
registered a case under section 304 B IPC against the deceased girl's husband Karamjit Singh, her father
in-law Gurmit Singh and his wife Kulwant Kaur, her brother in-law Raju Singh, sister-in-law Chhinder Kaur
and also her husband's uncle Raghuvir Singh and his wife Karnail Kaur as they lived in a joint family. All
the accused are absconding but police hoped to nab them soon, sources said. Meanwhile, after the post
mortem, police handed over the body of Gagandeep to her parents, who have taken it to her native
village for cremation. (New Kerala 20/7/09)

11 cases of sexual harassment in armed forces in 5 yrs (8)
New Delhi: Defence Minister A K Antony on Wednesday said that 11 cases of sexual harassment have
been reported in the armed forces in last five years. "During the last five years, 11 cases relating to
sexual harassment have been reported in the armed forces," Antony said while replying to a query in
Rajya Sabha. He said that necessary investigations have been instituted in all these cases and
punishments have been awarded wherever charges have been proved. Antony said that a Major General
rank officer was also sentenced to be dismissed from the Service after trial by an Army court on charges
of sexual harassment by a lady officer but the sentence has not been confirmed due to directions of
Rajasthan High Court. Maj Gen A K Lal, commanding Army's 3 Division in Jammu and Kashmir was
dismissed by a General Court Martial (GCM) after he was found guilty of charges of sexual harassment
levelled against him by a serving lady officer. After the GCM verdict, the Maj Gen had approached
Rajasthan High Court in appeal against Army court's decision. (Zee News 22/7/09)

Walking out is emotionally taxing for abused women (8)
Washington (IANS): Walking out, a process both confusing and complicated, is emotionally taxing for
abused women, say researchers. "When a woman is disengaging from a relationship, she is often unclear
about her family's boundaries. Is her partner in or out of her life," said Jennifer Hardesty, professor,
University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign (UI-UC). "A woman's spouse may be physically in the home but
psychologically unavailable. He's not caring for the kids or being a loving partner," she added. "Or she
may have physically left him but still be psychologically connected. She misses him, and for the sake of
her children, she'd like for her family to be together again," said Prof. Hardesty. "It's not unlike the
experience of having a child leave for college," she noted. "Your child isn't living at home, but you're still
very connected emotionally. Yet, when they come home for visits, they may pay little attention to you
while they make the rounds of their friends." "In the first two stages, women begin to disconnect
emotionally from their relationships. You hear them say things like, I started not to care for him anymore,"
said Lyndal Khaw, who co-authored the study with Prof. Hardesty, based on 25 abused women from
varied backgrounds. Stage three is often marked by a pileup of abusive episodes and noticeable effects
of the violence on their children. "Women make preparations to leave, such as finding a place to stay or
secretly saving up money. This stage is important for women as they switch from thinking about leaving to
actually doing something about it," she said. "Then, at stage four, when women take action, we see a lot
of what we call 'back and forthing' because when women leave, the emotions often come back. They
need clarity. They want to be physically and emotionally connected again," said Prof. Hardesty. The last
stage, maintenance, is achieved when women have been gone for six months or more. "With continued
contact through court-ordered child visitation, the potential for ongoing abuse remains as well as
continued confusion over the abuser's role in the woman's life," she said. "Children can be a powerful
influence in motivating a woman to get out of a relationship and in pulling her back in," Prof. Hardesty
added. These findings were published in the Journal of Family Theory & Review.(The Hindu 23/7/09)

Nun was paraded half-nude after rape: Govt (8)
Bhubaneswar, July 23, 2009: In a sensational disclosure in the Kandhamal nun rape case, Orissa
government has admitted that the victim was paraded half naked after being allegedly raped at K
Nuagaon last year in the riot-hit district. This was part of the white paper presented by the home
department in the Assembly. The torture on the Catholic nun was described under the heading: 'some
complicated cases and police investigation in 2008'. Stating that communal riot erupted in Kandhamal in
the aftermath of the killing of Laxamananda Saraswati on August 23, 2008, the white paper said
"suspected Christians were behind the murder while the Hindus attacked churches and set afire houses
of people belonging to the minority community".During the riots, the report said, Divyajyoti Pastoral
Centre at K Nuagaon was set on fire by some anti-socials. "The inmates of Divyajyoti Pastoral Centre -
Father Thomas Chelan and Sister Meena Lalitha Barua - took shelter at the house of one Prahallad
Pradhan out of fear," it said. "About 40 to 50 rioters on August 25, 2008, forcibly entered house of
Pradhan and assaulted the Father and the Sister," the report said. "Some of the rioters lifted the Sister
into Jana Bikas Kendra where one of them raped the nun," the report said, adding both the Father and
the Sister were later taken to K Nuagaon block office in "half-nude" condition and handed over to the
block development officer. Thereafter, the BDO handed them over to the police, it said. Maintaining that a
case under section 147, 148, 354, 355, 506 And 376 of the IPC was registered at Baliguda police station
on August 26, 2008, the report said at least 10 persons were arrested during 2008 in this connection. The
case was being investigated by crime branch of police since October 4, 2008. The clothes and blood
sample of the nun was sent to the Kolkata-based Central Forensic Laboratory for DNA test, the report
said. Official sources, however, said 18 persons had so far been arrested in the nun rape case besides
holding of two Test Identification Parades.(Hindustan Times 23/7/09)

Woman stripped, assaulted in Patna; Nitish orders probe (8)
Patna The alleged assault and stripping of a young woman on the busy Exhibition Road in Patna sparked
an outrage on Friday among woman bodies and the opposition who described the incident as shameful
even as Chief Minister Nitish Kumar ordered a high-level police probe. The National Commission for
Women (NCW) sought a report from the Bihar Government into the "shocking" incident in full public view
on Thursday which also rocked the state Assembly. It asked the chief minister to ensure such incidents
do not recur after the 22-year-old woman from Jharkand became a victim of yet another vigilante action in
the state after being suspected to be a cellphone thief. "It is a highly condemnable incident and we will not
tolerate it," Kumar said, adding he had ordered DGP D N Gautam to inquire into the incident and book the
guilty. "A campaign will be launched by the police against vigilante justice," he told reporters. Additional
DGP (HQ) Neelmani said an assistant sub-inspector Shiv Nath Singh was suspended for alleged
dereliction of duty. Ashok Kumar and Manager Shailendra--the owners of the hotel where the girl stayed--
were detained for interrogation, police said. The woman, who was allegedly involved in flesh trade,
claimed she was lured to Patna with a job promise. "It has come to our notice that policemen reached the
spot late," the chief minister said. Nitish's bete noire and former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad said no
probe will serve any purpose since people have taken law into their own hands. Opposition members in
the Assembly stormed the well forcing Speaker U N Choudhary to adjourn the house four times in the
pre-lunch session. The issue was raised in the Assembly by RJD, LJP, Congress and the Left parties
whose MLAs shouted slogans like "Mahilaon par atyachar band karo, mahilaon ka utpidan band karo,
cheer haran band karo (stop atrocities on women)". They urged the Speaker to accept the adjournment
motion moved by them seeking a debate on what they claimed as growing atrocities on women in Bihar.
Some of the members lifted the reporters' chairs and put them on the reporters' desk to register their
protest. Nitish Kumar charged the opposition with 'politicising' the incident instead of cooperating with the
state government. In New Delhi, NCW Chairperson Girija Vyas said she was "shocked to see TV footage"
of the incident. The woman, a resident of Jasidih, was allegedly engaged in flesh trade and had picked up
a quarrel with one Rakesh, a suspected pimp, over sharing of money, police said. She then took
Rakesh's mobile demanding more money. Rakesh started shouting that she had stolen his mobile phone
after which a group of people beat up the woman and allegedly tore her clothes. "Even if something of
that sort has happened, one should go to police, nobody can do like this...I have already written to the
Commissioner and Chief Minister that he should take care that such things do not take place," Vyas said.
Congress spokesperson Jayanti Natrajan said the incident was outrageous deserving severe
condemnation. Former Child and Women Development Minister Renuka Choudhury said it was the
responsibility of the Chief Minister to launch a crackdown on such elements and set an example. "If he
goes on for a crackdown, it will act as a huge deterrent because a signal goes out that the government is
not going to tolerate or accept such behaviour," she said. (Express India 24/7/09)

Stripping of woman: Top police brass transferred (8)
PATNA: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday reshuffled the state's top police brass following an
alleged assault and stripping of a woman by a group of men. The incident shocked the nation. Fourteen
Indian Police Service (IPS) officers including the inspector general of police and the deputy inspector
general have been transferred, IANS reported. Top police officers in Patna, including district and city
police chiefs, have been removed and posted at different places. Fourteen deputy superintendents of
police have also been transferred. The reshuffle of the police brass is being seen as a damage control
exercise after the opposition and women's rights activists criticised the government for alleged
lawlessness in the state. A group of men had abused, assaulted and then stripped a woman in her 20s in
full public view at a busy road in the state capital Thursday evening. A police team was reportedly present
at the site and watched the attack on the woman for nearly an hour before taking the culprits to the police
station. Assistant sub-inspector Shiv Nath Singh, who was in charge of patrolling the area, has already
been suspended for not helping the woman in time. The woman was identified as a resident of Jesidih, a
town in the neighbouring state Jharkhand. Rakesh Kumar, a resident of Punaichak here, had lured her to
Patna with a promise of providing a job to her. Soon after she came here, Rakesh allegedly forced her to
have sex with his friends. She ran away from the hotel where she had been staying with him for the last
few days. However, Rakesh and his friends caught up with her and attacked her. 3 held for assault on girl
in public According to PTI, three persons were on Saturday arrested in connection with alleged assault
and stripping of a young woman by a group of people. Police said the arrested persons were Ashok
Kumar, owner of the hotel where the woman allegedly engaged in flesh trade stayed, and the hotel
manager besides an alleged pimp. DIG Police (central range) J S Gangwar said that the arrests were
made after a case was registered on the basis of the woman's statement under various sections of the
IPC and the Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act. (Times of India 25/7/09)

Women's groups urge centre to address grievances of rape victims (8)
New Delhi, July 25 : The National Commission for Women (NCW) along with its Delhi wing Saturday
urged the central government to address the grievances of rape victims with sensitivity. Several
advocates, NGO workers and the members of the NCW and the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW)
held a seminar to discuss the guidelines approved by the Delhi High Court a few months back to tackle
sexual offences with more sensitivity. Girija Vyas, chairperson of NCW, pointed out that there is lack of
sensitivity in the country towards sexually assaulted women and children. 'The civil society needs to take
care of rape and molestation victims. I feel that the government should be more sensitive. We have seen
cases in Mumbai, Madhya Pradesh and the most recent case in Patna that just shows how careless and
insensitive people and the police are towards the victims. There is a need for awareness and change in
the mindset of the people,' Vyas said. DCW chairperson Barkha Singh said: 'There is a need for the
authorities to tackle sexual offences with sensitivity and care. Of late, there has been an increase in the
number of rape and molestation cases and we need to make sure that the victims are provided with
proper counselling and also police should also be sensitised on how to handle such cases.'Hoping that
the scheme would be implemented soon, Singh added: 'We have spoken to Delhi Chief Minister Shiela
Dikshit and she assured us that the government will look into the matter soon.'Several guidelines
submitted by the DCW to the Delhi High Court suggest that the Delhi Police introduce a Crisis
Intervention Centre. It also recommends presence of policewomen in police stations round the clock and
formation of a Sexual Assault Forsenic Evidence (SAFE) kit consisting of a set of items used by medical
personnel for gathering and preserving physical evidence following a sexual assault. The apex court in
1995 felt that it was necessary to set up a Criminal Injustice Compensation Board. The women's groups
also sought the suggestions of advocates and police officers so as to improve the guidelines for relief and
rehabilitation of victims of rape. Ravi Kanth, advocate of Supreme Court, said: 'There is no mention of the
victims of gang rape in the scheme. The scheme says that the compensation to the victim will be provided
within three weeks, which is too late. This needs to be reviewed.'(New Kerala 25/7/09)

Panchayat forces minor to marry her molester (8)
RAMGARH(Jharkhand): A village panchayat in Jharkhand’s Ramgarh district forced a Class V student to
marry the man who tried to molest her. Sources said Indra Bedia, president of Gram Shiksa Samity, was
caught red-handed by villagers while he was trying to molest Reema Kumari (name changed). The
villagers beat up the accused, who is married and a father of four, and took him to the panchayat at Joba
village. The panchayat found both Bedia and Reema guilty and asked Bedia to marry the girl three times
younger than him. School records show Reema was born in 1994 and joined her school in 2006 under
the ‘School chale abhiyaan’. The girl told villagers that Bedia had tried to molest her. Village sources said
no one has so far challenged the marriage between Bedia and Reema, who belongs to the same caste.
"We are investigating. We will take action according to our findings. No FIR has been filed as yet,"
Ramgarh SDPO Dhananjay said. (Times of India 26/7/09)

Clerics to be tapped to fight foeticide (8)
New Delhi, July 25: The Centre is planning to take the help of Muslim clerics to create awareness on
education and health, inspired by a Bengal government scheme to try out every possible way to
“modernise” the minority community. An official in the minority affairs ministry said the plan involved
training imams from across the country to act as campaigners for social welfare that would include efforts
to check female foeticide and the practice of taking dowry. “Religious leaders can play a great role in
creating awareness among members of the community on matters related to health and education.
People listen more to maulvis and imams than to a government employee. So we thought of using this
link,” the official said. “We have seen that whenever religious bodies take up social causes, they have
come up with better results,” the source added. “When clerics joined hands for the polio campaign in Uttar
Pradesh and Bihar, the results were better.”The official said the inspiration came from the governments of
Jammu and Kashmir and Bengal which conceived similar schemes. “But those schemes could not
succeed much as they did not have a national perspective,” he said. As part of its initiative, the ministry is
planning to ask state governments to send a list of religious leaders who can be trained. State-level
training sessions will also be held. “States can use their own criteria to choose the clerics. All we want is
that they should be able to pass on the message effectively,” the official said. The All India Imam Sangh
welcomed the drive. “We welcome the programme. We will be happy to assist the government in all ways
possible. Our only complaint is that the government has been a bit late in realising our significance in
social welfare,” said Abdul Hameed Illyasi of the Imam Sangh. “For instance,” he said, “if an imam tells
parents to take their child to get polio drops or to send them to school, the parents will certainly listen. The
same may not happen if an official says the same thing.” (Telegraph 26/7/09)

Parties play blame game over crime against women (8)
PATNA: The stripping of a woman in a commercial hub here, kidnapping of a girl in Darbhanga who was
later pushed into flesh trade and a mentally deranged woman in Patna being mercilessly beaten up, all
have contributed to a political boil in the state. Even as Opposition members termed the Nitish
government as "Duhshashan Raj", JD(U) is on the offensive. "So many things happened in the Lalu-Rabri
raj. They include the Gautam-Shilpi case and yet the RJD MLAs are behaving as if something has
happened for the first time," said JD(U) MLA Ram Charitar Prasad. Even as some NDA leaders recalled
that one of the two brothers-in-law of RJD chief Lalu Prasad had publicly abused the wife of an IAS
officer, RJD MLA Prema Choudhary described the public stripping of a woman in Patna on July 23 as
"unprecendented". "It is like the civilisation moving back to the stone age," she said. These highly
publicised cases have brought out what the polticians are best at __ leveling charges against each other.
RJD chief Lalu Prasad declared that the stripping incident had proved that there was no governance in
Bihar. CM Nitish Kumar hit back saying Lalu claims himself to be descendent of Lord Krishna so, like him
(lord Krishna), he should have stopped the stripping rather than make public statments. "The information
of stripping reach the government first. If the CM is incapable of stopping it, he should tell us we will stop
it," retorted senior RJD leader Shakeel Ahmad Khan. The annual report of state home department for
2009-10 which was recently distributed in the assembly has conveniently left out statistics related to
cases of crime against woman -- dowry, rape and kidnapping of girls. However, police headquarter
sources indicate that there has been an alarming rise in dowry cases. "Many of these dowry cases are
actually family disputes. The dowry case is slammed on the husband and his family because it is the only
option left," said a DG-rank official. Similarly, he said, most of the cases of kidnapping of girls were
actually elopment cases. "However, proper investigation has to be carried out in each case because we
cannot afford to leave anything to chance," he said. The high profile cases reported by the media appears
to have stirred the government. Not only did it take quick action in the stripping case, the CM has directed
ADG (law and order ) to probe the lapses in Pinki Kumari case, the Darbhanga girl who was abducted
and forced into flesh trade even as her father visited the Janata Durbar 13 times and the Darbhanga
police declared the case to be false. "No official found lacking in duty in this case will be spared," Nitish
said. "It's no use playing the blame game. Its the question of building a civil society which respects
women. Right now the civil society is being politicised. Every Laxman Rekha is being crossed," Gandhi
Sanghalaya secretary Razi Ahmad said. (Times of India 27/7/09)

Sex ratio improves in Punjab (8)
Chandigarh, Jul 27 : As many as 21,498 Anganwadi Centres were playing active role to check sex ratio in
the State. Announcing this here today Social Security and Development of Women and Child
Development Minister Swarna Ram said Aanganwadi workers had launched a door-to-door campaign to
identify pregnant women and had urged them not to abort their female unborn child. The Minister said
due to awareness campaign launched by Social Security Department sex ratio had improved. He said
awareness was the only weapon to check the sex ratio. He said the ratio in the age group of 0-6 years
was 793 females to 1000 males in 2001. According to a recent survey the ratio had improved to 874
females per 1000 males. He further said social security department had taken up the challenge of
improving the sex ratio in the State. During 2008-09 a provision of Rs 4 crore was made to create
awareness against female foeticide amongst people of the State. Besides state government has
earmarked Rs 10 crore for girl child under ''Nanhi Chhan'' project. Various other schemes have also been
launched for child and women health care, he added.(New Kerala 27/7/09)

Members want govt to check atrocities on women (8)
PATNA: The government almost admitted in the state assembly on Monday that the cases of atrocities
against women has increased. Replying to a short notice question of Ramdeo Verma of the CPM, water
resources department minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav read out the figures of atrocities on women
registered during 2008. He said a total of 4,415 cases were reported of which 1,028 were related to
molestation and physical assault and 902 women and girls were abducted. Verma quoted media reports
that every day three women fall victim to dowry-related atrocities and wanted to know what steps the
government intends to initiate to check this crime. The minister said that a women cell in CID looks after
such cases and announced the decision to open Mahila, Baal Kalyan Thana (women, child welfare police
station) at four places. The government has also urged the railways to open women cell under their
jurisdiction. He also talked about the lack of social awareness of occurrence of such crimes against
women and stressed on more awareness on this front to contain them. Later, talking to TOI in his
assembly chamber, CM Nitish Kumar said that the number of cases have increased because now all the
incidents are registered by the police. He said, "One should also see what is the feeling of the people and
impact of the action taken by the police in such cases. Earlier, neither cases were lodged nor action were
taken, but now cases are lodged and actions are taken. Our government does not believe in concealing
the figures." Reacting to a call attention motion by Maheshwar Singh of the LJP, Shrawan Kumar of the
JD(U) and others, the minister admitted that there was delay in out of turn promotion to the cops who had
been awarded by the President due to their gallantry work with regard to taking on Maoists' attack in
Madhuban in East Champaran district in 2005. Yadav said that Mohd Faroghuddin, Ram Pukar Singh,
Surendra Kumar and Nasir Husain Khan were awarded by the President on Independence Day (2007)
and since then files relating to their promotion was pending. The cops who are awarded for their gallantry
by the President are accorded out of turn promotion as a matter of policy. When members pointed out
that there was delay of about two years in their promotion, the minister announced that it will be done in
two to three months. (Times of India 29/7/09)

Stories of torture, horror and courage (8)
Bangalore: “If not for my mother and sister who have stood by me and are working hard so that I can
continue my studies, I would have been married before I turned 18,” said Sakku Bai, a courageous young
high school student from Bellary district. She was one of the 25 people who presented testimonies at
“Daughters of Fire”, the India Court of Women on Dowry organised by Vimochana here on Tuesday. Of
those who presented narratives of both horrific gender abuse in the name of dowry and their attempts to
live a life of dignity out of its clutches, Sakku Bai was perhaps the youngest. But the story of how she had
resisted pressure from her alcoholic father and the larger community to marry her uncle “to lessen the
burden of dowry”, was the most inspiring. Sakku Bai narrated how she, with the help of her teacher,
women community workers and the police had thwarted her father’s attempt to marry her off just as she
finished Standard 7. Sakku Bai is today continuing her studies, with the help of her mother and sister. The
testimonies of various women held a mirror to how dowry is wrecking the lives of women, cutting across
class and caste barriers. They also pointed to whole set of new factors — globalisation and changing
developmental priorities — which are resurrecting dowry in new forms. They were also about women’s
attempts to re-build their lives. Anjana and Selvi from Tamil Nadu spoke of how they had worked in the
worst of conditions in a mill to “gather money for their dowry”. Mithu Khurana, a Delhi-based doctor, said
that her professional background had not spared her the horrors of dowry harassment. She is fighting her
husband and in-laws, even as she faces threats to her life. Siddamma, 65-year-old from Kollegal, has got
her three daughters married by paying dowry. “I got married at 9 and my husband had to pay tera (bride
price) to earn my hand. Today I pay dowry for my daughters, and yet, none of them are happy,” she said,
pointing to strange reversal of traditions. Five jury members heard these deeply-personal testimonies.
They included Kamala Bhasin, lauded as the songwriter for the women’s movement in India; Veena
Talwar, historian and feminist; Shiv Vishwanathan, social scientist; Mallika Sarabhai, dancer and activist;
and Vandana Shiva, noted eco-feminist.(The Hindu 29/7/09)

One woman dies every 5 min during delivery in India: report (8)
New Delhi Every five minutes, a woman dies in India while delivering a child. According to a report
prepared by Centre for Reproductive Rights which was released on Saturday, the maternal mortality in
the country is 301 per one lakh live births. "Every five minutes, roughly one maternal death occurs in
India," the report said. UN Special Rapporteur on Health Anand Grover said that in most cases, such
deaths "are avoidable" and called for empowerment of women at the grassroot level. "Maternal mortality
rate in India has become unacceptable, which in most cases are avoidable. We, instead of empowering
the civil society, must work for empowerment of women at the grassroot level," he said. Legal Advisor of
Centre for Reproductive Rights, New York, Melisa Upreti said "it is a matter of shame for the government
of India which has failed to provide basic nutrition and health care for women. In South Asia region, India,
Pakistan and Bangladesh have refused to endorse the UN Resolution on Maternal Mortality," she said.
Zameen Kaur of Human Rights Law Network claimed that out of the total maternal deaths, 25 per cent
are from the Dalit community in the country. MP Sandeep Dikshit favoured closer interaction between
NGOs and the government for a targeted approach to check the malaise. (Express India 1/8/09)

Rise in crimes against women concerns state rights body (8)
The Gujarat State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) has expressed serious concern over the
increasing incidents of crimes and domestic violence against women. In its second annual report (2007-
08) tabled in the Assembly early this week, the Commission also took serious note of atrocities against
the weaker sections of society, particularly against people belonging to the Scheduled Castes and
Scheduled Tribes across the state. The SHRC has noted that the number of crimes against women in
Gujarat has gone up to 16,113 in 2008 from 12,602 recorded in 2001. Ahmedabad city tops the list with
1,715 crimes in 2008, followed by Surat city (629), Junagadh (607), Bhavnagar (601), Rajkot rural (492)
and Banaskantha (426). In the last year alone, as many as 359 cases of rape, 1,041 of kidnapping, 284 of
murder, 857 of molestation, 1,840 of suicide, 3,166 of accidental deaths, 28 of dowry deaths and 6,093
incidents involving physical/mental torture of women had been registered from different parts of the state
In 2007-08, the SHRC said, it had received as many as 117 complaints relating to various crimes
committed against women. These included complaints of rape, kidnapping and murder, gender bias,
dowry deaths, demand for dowry, and exploitation. The Commission received 67 more complaints in
2007-08 as compared to 2006-07. In that year, a total of 1,159 cases relating to atrocity committed
against the SCs and another 199 cases of atrocity against the STs had been reported from across the
state. The SHRC had received 37 complaints of atrocity against the SC/ST communities, of which 27 had
been disposed off. (Indian Express 1/8/09)

WCL official booked for sexual harassment (8)
NAGPUR: A Western Coalfields Limited (WCL) official was arrested on Saturday on charges of sexually
harassing a female colleague. Rural police arrested Anurag Khare, assistant colliery manager, Sillewara
sub-area. Police said that the victim Pramila (name changed), in her thirties, received around three calls
from Khare on her residential landline number on Thursday. Pramila was at work at the time and was
given the message by her mother and sister. Pramila called back Khare to know the reason. She was
stunned when the official allegedly invited her over at his place in the night. According to police, Khare
invited the victim at his Chankapur official quarter in absence of his wife. An enraged Pramila took up the
matter before the management which immediately reacted by calling both the parties to hear out their
versions. "Police was approached after the management failed in its attempt of settling the issue. We
immediately registered the case after receiving the complaint," said senior inspector Sudhakar Ambore,
in-charge of Khaparkheda police station, adding that the matter is being further probed under supervision
of SP, Rural C H Wakde. Khare, who later got bail, has been slapped the charges for using indecent
words leading to outraging modesty of a woman. (Times of India 2/8/09)

Two Army wives seek NCW help (8)
CHANDIGARH: Aug. 3: Two military wives who had recently alleged harassment by senior officers
because of their refusal to participate in activities of the Army Wives Welfare Association (AWWA) have
petitioned the National Commission for Women pending further legal action against the Indian Army. This
is possibly the first time wives of serving Army officers have made representations to the women’s
commission. Ms Savneet Paul and Ms Rosme Chaube, both the wives of serving majors have petitioned
NCW chairman Girija Vyas, seeking the commission’s intervention and "suitable action" against the
commanding officers of their spouses. They have also sought the constitution of a special committee to
"examine the ground realities of how serving junior officers’ wives are harassed in the name of welfare."
Notably, Army authorities have admitted under oath that the AWWA is essentially not a governmental
organisation that has nothing to do with the Indian Army. Despite this, Col. D.S. Loomba, a former CO of
Maj. P.S. Paul chose to assess the couple rather than the major’s abilities as a soldier. "On the social
front, including AWWA, the couple’s performance was found below average," the colonel recorded in the
major’s ACR. (Asian Age 4/8/09)

Female bosses more likely to be sexually harassed (8)
During the study, nearly 50 percent of women supervisors, but only one-third of women who do not
supervise others, reported sexual harassment in the workplace. In more conservative models with
stringent statistical controls, women supervisors were 137 percent more likely to be sexually harassed
than women who did not hold managerial roles. While supervisory status increased the likelihood of
harassment among women, it did not significantly impact the likelihood for men, the study found. "This
study provides the strongest evidence to date supporting the theory that sexual harassment is less about
sexual desire than about control and domination," said Heather McLaughlin, a sociologist at the University
of Minnesota and the study''s primary investigator. "Male co-workers, clients and supervisors seem to be
using harassment as an equalizer against women in power," McLaughlin added. The researchers
examined data from the 2003 and 2004 waves of the Youth Development Study (YDS), a prospective
study of adolescents that began in 1988 with a sample of 1,010 ninth graders in the St. Paul, Minnesota,
public school district and has continued near annually since. Respondents were approximately 29 and 30
years old during the 2003 and 2004 waves. The analysis was supplemented with in-depth interviews with
a subset of the YDS survey respondents. The sociologists found that, in addition to workplace power,
gender expression was a strong predictor of workplace harassment. Men who reported higher levels of
femininity were more likely to have experienced harassment than less feminine men. More feminine men
were at a greater risk of experiencing more severe or multiple forms of sexual harassment (as were
female supervisors). In a separate analysis examining perceived and self-reported sexual orientation,
study respondents who reported being labelled as non-heterosexual by others or who self-identified as
non-heterosexual (gay, lesbian, bisexual, unsure, other) were nearly twice as likely to experience
harassment. Researchers also found that those who reported harassment in the first year (2003) were 6.5
times more likely to experience harassment in the following year. The most common scenario reported by
survey respondents involved male harassers and female targets, while males harassing other males was
the second most frequent situation. The will be presented at the 104th annual meeting of the American
Sociological Association. (Times of India 9//8/09)

Delhi female births rise hailed (8)
India's capital, Delhi, recorded more female than male births during 2008, for the first time in many
decades. Latest government data shows for every 1,000 males, 1,004 girls were born in Delhi in 2008.
One of the main reasons for the earlier skewed male-female ratios was seen to be the greater number of
abortions of female foetuses. The news has been hailed as a gender revolution in a country that has been
struggling to get the balance right. Delhi is now second only to the southern state of Kerala, which has the
highest number of female births. Now activists hope that those days have been consigned to history.
They say that it is the news that they have been waiting for. Boys have traditionally been seen as superior
to girls Although the government made scanning pregnant mothers to determine the sex of foetuses
illegal, the practice continued. Dr Dharm Prakash of the Indian Medical Association, which ran a
campaign against aborting girl foetuses, welcomed the report. "The community has responded to our
request that girls should be born," he said. His organisation started a "Say No To Sex Selective
Abortions" campaign and urged doctors to refrain from doing so. "Our own colleagues have stopped
especially after the implementation of the law against it," Dr Prakash said. Officials also put the
turnaround down to a number of schemes started by the Delhi government, including financial incentives
for parents to register the births of female children. Women's groups say more time is needed to analyse
the data to know if it really indicates a favourable trend towards girls. At the last count in 2001 the figure
for females stood at 933 per 1,000 males. Experts say achieving a normal sex ratio remains an uphill task
but the latest figures show that it is not impossible. The real challenge, they say, is changing the attitude
towards daughters given the preference for boys in Indian society. (BBC News 13/8/09)

Woman paraded naked by sarpanch (8)
KENDRAPADA: A 35-year-old Anganawadi worker was beaten and paraded naked by a sarpanch and
his aides at a Kendrapada village as "punishment" for lodging a police complaint against their extortion
bid. The barbaric incident took place at Nadiabarei village in the Patakura police station area on
Wednesday, police said after registering cases against the accused. The victim told police that the
sarpanch, Bibhuti Parida, and his henchmen had several times demanded rice, dal and baby food
allocated for poor villagers. On Tuesday, when she refused to give in, they abused her in filthy language.
This prompted her to lodge a police complaint against Parida and some of his aides. "The sarpanch, who
enjoys the backing of some influential politicians, was furious because I had dared to lodge a complaint
against him. He along with three of his men barged into my house, dragged me out and then shackled my
hands. They started raining blows on me. The four men then stripped me and forced me to walk through
the village," the victim said. "They threatened my husband and some other villagers with dire
consequences when they tried to rescue me from the extreme humiliation," she added. Several women
activists on Wednesday visited the village and met the victim and her husband. The activists shot off
letters to the State Women's Commission, the State Human Rights Commission and the chief minister,
demanding exemplary action against the accused. They alleged that police were shielding the culprits
because of political pressure. Police, however, rubbished the allegations. "We have filed a case against
the sarpanch and others under several sections of the IPC. All the accused are absconding and we are
conducting raids to catch them," officer in-charge (Patakura police station) Alok Ranjan Ray said. (Times
of India 13/8/09)

NGO to campaign against female foeticide in Haryana (8)
New Delhi (IANS): A city-based NGO will take out rallies, hold street plays, protests marches and
community discourses in Haryana with one message -- do not kill unborn daughters. The state has one of
the worst sex ratios in the country, 819 women per 1,000 men. The two-year campaign Fight against
Female Foeticide will be launched by the Centre for Social Research (CSR) as a pilot project in two
districts of Haryana, Kurukshetra and Ambala, which have the lowest sex ratio -- 770 females and 784
females per 1,000 males respectively. "Delhi, Punjab and Haryana are some of the highly prosperous
states in the country. Ironically, these are the very same states which have a bad reputation for killing the
unborn daughters in the womb. We hope our campaign will help in checking the menace of sex selective
abortions," said CSR director Ranjana Kumari. According to the 2001 census, Punjab had a sex ratio of
798 females per 1,000 males and Delhi 868 females pee 1,000 males as against the national average of
927. "Haryana's districts like Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Ambala, Sonepat, Rohtak recorded figures of less than
800 girls per 1,000 boys. Sonepat has 783 girls per 1,000 boys and Rohtak 796 girls per 1,000. The
numbers show that there is no sign of the trend reversing," said Ms. Kumari. Haryana is the second place
after Delhi where the NGO has launched such a campaign. "Female foeticide is fast emerging as a big
problem in our country. Income and wealth, usually taken as symbols of prosperity and development,
have not led to a change in the social mindset of the people. It is now clear that the prosperous areas of
the city are not immune to the trend of female foeticide," she added.(The Hindu 14/8/09)

Female foeticide a shame on Indian society: PM (8)
New Delhi, August 15, 2009: Terming female foeticide as a "shame" on Indian society, Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh on Saturday said the country cannot progress unless women become equal partners in
growth. "It is very sad that in our society, the girl child is being killed even before being born. This is a
shame on our society," Singh said addressing the nation from the Red Fort on the 63rd Independence
Day. "As soon as possible we have to remove this blot. Our progress will be incomplete till women
become equal partners in the growth," he said. Asserting that the Government was committed towards
providing 33 per cent reservation in the Parliament, Singh said "We are trying to make a law through
which women will be given 50 per cent reservation in rural and local bodies so that they get equal
representation".The Prime Minister announced the launch of a National Female Literacy Mission with an
aim to reduce female illiteracy by half. He said special care would be taken of needs of women and
children and added that the Government has decided to extend the benefit of ICDS to every child below
the age of six years by March 2012. (Hindustan Times 15/8/09)

New law on sexual harassment (8)
New Delhi, August 16, 2009: Under the proposed sexual harassment law, each district will have to
constitute a complaint committee to inquire into allegations. Its verdict will be binding on government and
private organisations. The Women and Child Development ministry has also convinced the National
Commission for Women, which drafted the law, that the deterrent provision will be used only when it is
proved beyond doubt that the allegation is on malafide grounds. The commission is agreeable to the
clause as long as it is not used to prevent women from lodging sexual harassment complaints, said its
chairperson Girija Vyas.(Hindustan Times 16/8/09)

Women's panel order can't stop probe in dowry harassment case, says HC (8)
CHENNAI: An order passed by the Tamil Nadu State Women's Commission will not stand in the way of
the Guindy police in investigating a case of dowry harassment, the Madras high court has ruled. An
interim order to this effect was passed by Justice SJ Mukhopadhaya on a writ petition filed by Swetha
Bathu of Kollampalayam in Erode. The judge posted the matter to August 17 for admission. The matter
relates to a criminal complaint lodged by Swetha against her husband Sadasivam Naveen Senthooran
and mother-in-law Gomathi, alleging that they subjected her to cruelty and demanded dowry. According
to her, her husband withdrew money from a joint bank account, and took away gold ornaments from her
locker. She complained to Guindy police, and a first information report was registered on May 17, 2008.
Meanwhile, she received intimation from the women's commission asking her to participate in an inquiry,
initiated on the basis of a representation from her mother-in-law. Swetha's counsel, Geetha Ramaseshan,
told the commission that her marital dispute was pending investigation and also in court and that the
commission could not probe the issue. However, she was surprised to be informed by the Guindy police
later that the women's commission had "restrained" them from investigating the case any further. Noting
that the commission is empowered to examine all matters relating to the safeguards provided to women
under the Constitution, and to take up cases of violation, besides looking into complaints of deprivation of
women's rights, Swetha said it had no powers to interfere with police investigations. Only courts have
jurisdiction to interfere with investigations, that too only after thorough probe and due consideration, she
submitted. On the basis of the "restraint" order of the commission, Swetha's husband broke open her flat
despite objections from the residents welfare association office-bearers and put up a new lock. The
commission, on its part, restrained Swetha from entering the house, her petition said. The women's
commission, in effect, prevented criminal investigation against Swetha's husband besides stopping her
from entering her matrimonial home, the petition said, and wanted the court to quash the unlawful
interference of the commission. (Times of India 16/8/09)

Women’s empowerment does not mean hating men: writer (8)
Udupi: Writer and lecturer at the Government Pre-University College S. Suma said on Sunday that the
mindset of society should change and there should be more gender sensitivity. She was speaking at the
inaugural function of the 12th Women’s Convention, organised by the Udupi division of the Insurance
Employees’ Union here. Ms. Suma said that the new family structure with both husband and wife being
employed called for new dynamics. Some of the old beliefs needed to be changed. This did not mean that
women should hate men. But it was essential to have equal rights for both men and women, she said.
Relations between the husband and wife had an impact on the minds of children. They could easily make
out where the power centre in the house was. This was responsible for the dominating behaviour of boys
in schools. “Boys should be taught that their gender is not meant for merely dominating,” she said.
Separate schools and colleges for girls and boys should not be encouraged as it became difficult to teach
gender sensitivity to them. Instances of acid-throwing on girls by boys showed how cheap the lives of
women had become. Cases of suicide by women, sexual harassment, dowry harassment, and divorce
were on the rise, Ms. Suma said. Although both husband and wife went to work, it was essential to note
that women worked both at home and in office. But not much credit or recognition was given to their work
at home. Women sacrificed a lot to make their marriage successful. Even in rural areas, there was
disparity in wages given to men and women agricultural workers. Old attitudes were still prevalent in
Indian society. What else could explain the prevalence of female foeticide in the country? Women were
the first target during any communal riot. This had been witnessed in Gujarat and Orissa. In Udupi and
Dakshina Kannada districts, it had become difficult for girls and boys to be just friends, she said. Although
women constituted 50 per cent of the electorate in the country, it was difficult to get 33 per cent
reservation for women in legislature and Parliament. The media had a class bias while reporting atrocities
against women. While problems of women in the IT sector were given prominence, atrocities against Dalit
women rarely made it to the front pages in newspapers, Ms. Suma said. Vice-president of the union
Sumana Upadhyaya, general secretary U. Gurudutt, and president of Udupi district unit of the Centre of
Indian Trade Unions Vishwanath Rai were present. (The Hindu 17/8/09)

Trafficked women face high HIV infection risk: Study (8)
BALI, Indonesia: Up to a quarter of a million women and girls in Southeast Asia, mostly adolescents, are
forced into prostitution each year and face violence and the prospect of contracting HIV/AIDS,
researchers said on Wednesday. The researchers, in a report documenting criminal activity in Thailand,
Cambodia and Indonesia, predicted circumstances would worsen as the financial crisis prompts women
in the region to migrate in search of work. Trafficking victims, many of them aged 12 to 16, are raped,
locked up, denied food, water and medical care or forced to take narcotics and alcohol, they said.
"Victims of trafficking suffer horrendous, horrendous violations of human rights, deprivations of the most
basic human dignity. It's a form of enslavement," said Jay Silverman, an associate professor at the
Harvard School of Public Health. Narcotics and alcohol were used in Indonesia and Cambodia "to keep
these people in bondage," he said. A premium was paid for young girls, prompting traffickers "to
continually bring them in to maintain the supply".Caitlin Wiesen, an HIV expert at the U.N. Development
Programme, said most victims were lured away by promises of jobs as domestic workers or in restaurants
to end up in brothels where they faced "extreme situations of violence and exploitation. "Asia is both the
source and the destination," she added. The study, entitled "Sex trafficking and STI/HIV in Southeast
Asia: Connections between sexual exploitation, violence and sexual risk", was undertaken by the UNDP
and the Harvard School of Public Health. It found that in Thailand, trafficked girls were subjected to more
frequent sexual encounters than sex industry workers. Incidence of anal sex, with a greater risk of HIV
infection, was three times more common. In Indonesia, HIV prevalence was nearly 20 percent among
trafficked women who had been sexually exploited for a year or more. Seventy-five percent had
experienced violence. Malaysia, it said, was the destination for a third of the women and girls trafficked
from Indonesia. In Cambodia, 73 percent of women and girls who were rescued tested positive for
sexually transmitted infections. The researchers said the financial crisis would prompt more women to
look abroad for jobs, making them easy prey. "They are getting more desperate and travelling under more
unsafe circumstances that make them terribly vulnerable to unsafe migration, HIV and exploitation such
as trafficking," Wiesen said. Rosilyne Borland of the International Organization for Migration said criminals
"take advantage of places where people are looking for work, places where people need to go find a
better life". The researchers called for a dialogue between the United Nations, non-governmental
organizations and law enforcement agencies. Police had to be "sensitized" to the problem and avoid raids
and imprisonment which would only drive the activity further underground. (Times of India (12/8/09)

Women’s empowerment does not mean hating men: writer (8)
Udupi: Writer and lecturer at the Government Pre-University College S. Suma said on Sunday that the
mindset of society should change and there should be more gender sensitivity. She was speaking at the
inaugural function of the 12th Women’s Convention, organised by the Udupi division of the Insurance
Employees’ Union here. Ms. Suma said that the new family structure with both husband and wife being
employed called for new dynamics. Some of the old beliefs needed to be changed. This did not mean that
women should hate men. But it was essential to have equal rights for both men and women, she said.
Relations between the husband and wife had an impact on the minds of children. They could easily make
out where the power centre in the house was. This was responsible for the dominating behaviour of boys
in schools. “Boys should be taught that their gender is not meant for merely dominating,” she said.
Separate schools and colleges for girls and boys should not be encouraged as it became difficult to teach
gender sensitivity to them. Instances of acid-throwing on girls by boys showed how cheap the lives of
women had become. Cases of suicide by women, sexual harassment, dowry harassment, and divorce
were on the rise, Ms. Suma said. Although both husband and wife went to work, it was essential to note
that women worked both at home and in office. But not much credit or recognition was given to their work
at home. Women sacrificed a lot to make their marriage successful. Even in rural areas, there was
disparity in wages given to men and women agricultural workers. Old attitudes were still prevalent in
Indian society. What else could explain the prevalence of female foeticide in the country? Women were
the first target during any communal riot. This had been witnessed in Gujarat and Orissa. In Udupi and
Dakshina Kannada districts, it had become difficult for girls and boys to be just friends, she said. Although
women constituted 50 per cent of the electorate in the country, it was difficult to get 33 per cent
reservation for women in legislature and Parliament. The media had a class bias while reporting atrocities
against women. While problems of women in the IT sector were given prominence, atrocities against Dalit
women rarely made it to the front pages in newspapers, Ms. Suma said. Vice-president of the union
Sumana Upadhyaya, general secretary U. Gurudutt, and president of Udupi district unit of the Centre of
Indian Trade Unions Vishwanath Rai were present. (The Hindu 17/8/09)

Divorce rights unite husbands (8)
Shimla, Aug. 16 (PTI): A group of “harassed” husbands from across the country today vowed to fight for
their rights in conjugal disputes, alleging that the law favoured women in cases of divorce and custody of
children. About 150 men, including the former spouse of Anil Kumble’s wife Chetana, attended the two-
day meet that began here yesterday. The event, where wives were strictly prohibited, was organised by
Bangalore-based NGOs Save Indian Family and Children Rights Initiative for Shared Parenting (Crisp).
Strategies to take forward the movement to protect men’s rights were discussed, Crisp president and
Chetana’s ex-husband Kumar V. Jahgirdar said. Jahgirdar, a stockbroker, is fighting for the custody of his
14-year-old daughter in a Bangalore court. The participants claimed that the legal provisions for marriage
and family-related matters favoured women. Women were misusing the dowry act and got preference in
winning custody of children in cases of divorce, Jahgirdar alleged along with other participants like Umesh
Talwar, Arvind Aggarwal (both from Lucknow) and S.K. Goel (from Jaipur). “The provisions under the
dowry act favours the woman and gives them a stick to beat their husbands,” Jahgirdar said. (Telegraph

Punjab fails to use funds to fight female foeticide (8)
Chandigarh, Aug 18 : Having one of the worst sex ratios in the country does not seem to bother
authorities in Punjab. The Punjab State Commission for Women has noted that the state has failed to
utilise central funds to combat the menace of female foeticide. At a meeting with health and family welfare
department officials here Tuesday, the commission expressed concern that in 2007-08, the department
utilised only 12.7 percent of funds provided under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) for
measures relating to correcting the adverse sex ratio. In 2008-09 too, the department utilised only 33.9
percent of the NRHM funds and the remaining amount was allowed to lapse. "This has resulted in a great
loss to the general public," the commission, headed by Gurdev Kaur Sangha, noted. Punjab has about
800 girls per 1,000 boys against a national average of 933 females per 1,000 males. In the 0-6 years age
category, the state's sex ratio is even worse. The commission has asked the health and family welfare
department to utilise funds within the stipulated time in 2009-10 to combat female foeticide - the killing of
the unborn female child to fulfill the desire for male progeny. Stressing the need for the department to
forcefully implement the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PNDT) Act, which prohibits sex determination
tests of unborn children, the commission asked officials to use the provision in the NRHM budget to give
prizes to obtain information by sending decoy patients or through undercover operations. The commission
pointed out that in Punjab's 20 districts, only 13 licences were suspended under the PNDT Act in 2009.
(New Kerala 18/8/09)

Sexual harassment case rocks Pondy House (8)
PUDUCHERRY: Allegations of sexual harassment against a male employee of the Perunthalaivar
Kamarajar Institute of Engineering and Technology (PKIET) at Karaikal surfaced in Puducherry Assembly
on Monday. Speaking on a debate on demand for grants of Education and other departments, A
Marimuthu, an independent member from Karaikal, said the male staff has been making advances and
sending SMSes to the unmarried woman lecturer and girl students. He said the lecturer and students
attended the college with fear and insecurity. The MLA further said that he was intimidated and
threatened with derogatory remarks over phone for trying to take up the issue. The MLA through the
watch and ward forwarded the complaint to Speaker R Radhakrishnan. Another complaint from the
parents’ association was also submitted. A CD containing the recorded remarks threatening Marimuthu
was also submitted. He asked the government to take immediate action against the employee. Minister
for Higher Education M O H F Shajahan said he had already received a complaint in this regard and has
initiated an enquiry through the District Collector. An appropriate action would be taken, after going
through the enquiry report, he added. Meanwhile, the members asked the government to transfer the
person involved to another place till the completion of the enquiry. Shajahan said the government lacked
the powers to do so and hence had referred the matter to the Lieutenant The members, however,
pressed for the transfer of the employee. Welfare Minister M Kandasamy said he would immediately meet
the Lieutenant Governor and get the necessary instructions.(Express Buzz 18/8/09)

The sex ratio numbers game (8)
Delhi’s sex ratio may be shifting in favour of females, but let’s hold the champagne. A skewed gender
ratio is a complicated thing. If news reports are to be believed, Delhi’s sex ratio is shifting in favour of
females: In 2008, 1,004 girls were born for every 1,000 boys, according to Delhi government registration
data, which the articles cite. But let’s hold the champagne. Birth registrations are a unscientific measure
of sex ratio. North India’s sex ratio imbalance is a powder keg waiting to explode: The coming generation
will face what can be called a bride deficit of great severity. And we should be concerned about how to
track and correct that. It is difficult to disentangle what is actually happening in Delhi. A few things are
clear. Families are reporting a greater number of female births. That much we know. As of 2008, parents
have a financial incentive to report female births. Many births in the Capital take place at home, outside of
hospitals or clinics. These same parents may now be inclined to report female births—but not male ones.
In the spring of 2008, the Delhi government passed a scheme to financially reward families with girls. In
the Ladli scheme, the state deposits about Rs1 lakh in an account for female children born into low-
income communities in the Capital; the money is only accessible after the girl turns 18. It’s likely that this
scheme is driving up the reporting of female births. But there might be more at play than the Ladli
scheme. It is unclear how a scheme passed in the spring of 2008 can so quickly change cultural norms
towards girls— especially when the data being lauded dates from 2008. More females may very well have
been born than males in the Capital, but we cannot know for sure until we see the 2011 census data. A
skewed gender ratio is a complicated thing. Foeticide is part of it, but the full story is more complicated.
Infant and childhood mortality rates for females tend to be higher, suggesting that, in a household, male
children receive a greater allocation of resources, or that females go neglected. Anti-foeticide
campaigns—or barring sex screening, which the government does—won’t address this part of the
problem. Northern India has long suffered from dismal sex ratios. The Delhi sex ratio numbers might be
cause for optimism, but we’ll have to see the census data first.(The Mint 18/8/09)

‘Only education will help empower women’ (8)
MYSORE: The former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Mysore P. Selvi Das has said that women’s
education is more important for their empowerment than 33 per cent reservation in legislatures. She was
speaking after inaugurating a workshop on capacity-building for women leaders organised by the
International Centre and the Centre for Women’s Studies, University of Mysore, here on Tuesday. Ms.
Das called for measures to help women develop self-confidence within the academic curriculum, which
would also help them develop a greater sense of self-respect. She said there should be greater
awareness and sensitisation of both men and women to women’s issues if society were to progress. She,
however, cautioned that women’s empowerment was not about wearing Western clothes or focussing on
physical attributes. Empowerment came along with enormous responsibility towards one’s family and
society. Indian culture should not be done away with, she added. She said 62 years of Independence had
not resulted in much advancement in the status of women in the country. “There is a general perception
and a deep-rooted belief that marriage is the summum bonum of all existence, and that a woman
increases in stature if she is married,” said Ms. Das. “There is social stigma attached to unmarried
women, which is not good. Incidents of female infanticide and female foeticide are a direct off-shoot of
this belief,” she added. Recalling her experience of dealing with women aspirants for the IAS when she
was a member of the Union Public Service Commission, Ms. Das said that although women were found
to be as competent as men, even after selection and completion of probation they were being given
insignificant postings. “So even educated women in urban areas perceive discrimination,” Ms. Das added.
She said that the situation was worse in rural areas. Ms. Das said discrimination against women in society
was deep-rooted and pointed out that less than 6.25 per cent of all legislators in the States were women.
Vice-Chancellor of the University of Mysore V.G. Talawar, the former Director of the Madras Institute of
Development Studies V.K. Nataraj, and Director of the International Centre R. Indira were present. (The
Hindu 19/8/09)

Harassed wife to take on in-laws in court (8)
Imphal, August 23: Taking a daring move against domestic violence, Takyenjam (O) Sharmila, w/o Nabin
Kumar, Khurai Thangjam Leikai, who has been reeling under the domestic violence of for past few years
informed that she would file a case at the court against her husbands and in-laws. Sharmila was allegedly
molest by her father-in-law`s friend, namely one Yendrenbam Kumar of Kongpal Laishram Leikai, on
August 9, since then she moved out of her husband house and is currently staying at her parental home
at Haobam Marak. She blames her in-laws, terming as a plot to drive her out. While talking to media
persons today she recounted how the family including her husband, who left her after some months of
their marriage, has traumatized her. She said that her in-laws still continue to emotionally harass her, yet
her in-laws continue clarifying the incident of August 9 in local papers as false reports. The in-laws in their
clarification asked for intervention of concerned NGOs and CSO, into finding the fact of the incident of
August 9 said Sharmila and added that she is ready to faced any one and she would not make further
clarification apart what she was giving today but welcomes any individual who are willing to enquire about
the August 9 incident. According to her the clarification made by her in-laws on August 17 and 22, was a
suggestion to project her wrongly. There has been many incidents besides the molest case she said and
expressed her discontentment over the silent of her husband till date, Sharmila disclosed that she has
been facing domestic violence from their in law since the day she came to the house. She revealed her
husband is an army personnel, territorial army, their in laws was against their marriage, about a year of
after their marriage husband elope with another women and cut off her contact with her husband by their
in laws and was currently staying at Leimakhong. She was left facing with the violence of her in laws. She
informed that she filed a case against her husband and in laws for what they did to her and also said that
an attempt to rape case would be filed against Yendrenbam Kumar who molested her. In the meantime it
was reported that the in laws of Sharmila was driven out from there home permanently by the locals. It
may be recalled that Sharmila, was recalled that Kumar a friend of Sharmila`s father in law sexually
molest her on the noon of August 9. her father in law along with some of his friends including Kumar had
a party at there resident during which Kumar and Sarat came to her while she was watching television.
She said that Kumar was not wearing shirt. He came to her with only "Khudei" (towel wrap around waist)
however Sarat left the room and Kumar approached her, who starts indecent conversation about her
relationship with her husband. She further disclosed that Kumar asked how they spent their night with her
husband and further talked of their (Kumars`) married life. After being warned of what he was speaking,
Kumar touch her chicks saying that he was just trying to be franked and then suddenly touch her breast
following which Sharmila ran out of the house and rushed to her neighbours` house and told them of what
happened. Following which they rushed outside and found that her father in law along with his friend flee
on a gypsy ( No. MN1A-3425) which Kumar brought they were managed to blocked by the local nearby
and gathered a mob and started attacking them. During the mob violence the vehicle was damaged by
the mob and turned turtle and also attacked victims` in law house. (Kangla Online 23/8/09)

Saving the girl child (8)
Devra village in Rajasthan’s Barmer district made history in 1997 when a baraat arrived there after a gap
of 110 years. It was a momentous event as this Rajput-dominated village had a long tradition of female
infanticide. The custom of killing female infants is widespread in western Rajasthan, especially among
specific Rajput clans. Some villages in desert areas are reported to have less than a dozen girls against
an estimated 400-500 boys. The killing of female infants is not known to have invited penal action against
offenders, who cite convention to perpetuate the crime with impunity. Earlier, sati too was rampant but
enforcement of the anti-sati Act, combined with social vigilance, has more or less put an end to the
barbaric practice. Brides are obtained from other clans, otherwise considered inferior. Those who
eliminate female infants after birth — though now foeticide is common on account of the use of ultrasound
for sex determination — are spurred to do so by the misguided notion that giving daughters in marriage
lowers their social standing vis-à-vis grooms’ families. Moreover, marriage in India being largely a
monetary transaction between allied groups, with the scales weighed heavily against brides’ families,
female infanticide/foeticide is seen to preempt demands for dowry. It also prevents property disputes
among farming communities such as Jats, who zealously guard their land holdings from claimants.
Midwives or some crone is usually around to quash the new life, either by snapping the neck with a jerk
by holding the baby upside down by its head or stuffing its mouth with opium or placing a sandbag upon
its chest or, less frequently now, drowning it in a vessel of milk. This gruesome reality is mirrored in other
parts of the country, with better off Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat, Delhi and Chandigarh showing the most
skewed male-female sex ratio, according to the 2001 population census. The shortfall in females may be
gauged from a report about eight brothers in Gujarat’s Dang district being married to one woman. Similar
stories concerning polyandry have emanated from interiors of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. There are
also reports of men in Haryana’s Rohtak district and Punjab’s Fatehgarh Saheb being forced to pay ‘bride
price’ in order to get married, or even having to go as far afield as the northeast, West Bengal, Bihar,
Madhya Pradesh and southern States to hunt for wives. The tables have turned because it is the men
who have to pay money to obtain a spouse. It is a thriving business, involving middlemen. Wives so
obtained do not always stay, with some escaping from their husbands’ homes. Sometimes the trade in
brides degenerates into human trafficking, with hapless females at the mercy of the men who profit from
them. For, bridal marts often lead them to brothels. Devra was again in the news this August because its
12 surviving girls undertook to tie rakhis on the wrists of 250 boys, irrespective of whether they were
related to them or not. Some boys reportedly even belonged to different castes. A television serial,
exposing the malaise of female infanticide, is credited with this sudden awakening though the
Government appears to be a mute witness. Currently, the Delhi Government’s Ladli scheme to counter
the bias against the girl child seems to have borne fruit, with the latest data showing that 19,000 more
girls were born in 2008 than in the previous year. The sex ratio apparently is 1,004 girls for 1000 boys.
The number of female babies exceeding males in Delhi is unprecedented in recent years. Possibly, more
births are being registered. Or, the influx of migrants from other States may have caused the spurt in
female births. Some officials credit it to the financial incentives offered under the Ladli scheme. These,
briefly, are that the Government deposits a sum of Rs 5,000-6,000 for every baby girl, born to a family
with an annual income below Rs 1 lakh. Subsequently, in a bid to ensure that the child goes to school, the
Government deposits Rs 5,000 at the time of admission, and when the girl enters Class I, VI, IX, X and
XII. These sums mature in a fixed deposit till the beneficiary turns 18. She can then claim the amount.
However, this scheme neither applies to nor influences higher income families, nurturing a bias against
female progeny.(Pioneer 25/8/09)

19,000 more girls born in 2008 in Delhi: Govt report (8)
New Delhi, August 25, 2009: For the first time in a decade, Delhi has recorded a positive sex ratio, up
from 822 in 2005 to an impressive 1,004 in 2008, according to a government report released in New Delhi
on Tuesday. Crediting the numbers to the state government's Ladli scheme - which provides incentives to
parents throughout the girl's education - the report said almost 19,000 more girls were born in Delhi in
2008 than the year before. Titled "Annual Report on Births and Deaths in Delhi-2008", the report was
released by Delhi Finance Minster AK Walia and prepared by the Directorate of Economics and Statistics
and Office of the Chief Registrar. While lauding the government's efforts to check infanticide and
foeticide, Waila said "however the fact remains that despite our best efforts, 40 per cent births in Delhi
happen at home and our emphasis is on encouraging expectant parents to come to hospitals for better
birth rate. "Nevertheless, now under the Ladli scheme, parents are coming forward to register girl child
birth with us." Under the scheme, the government deposits Rs 5,000 each at the time of admission to
class I, VI, IX, X and XII. The money is kept as a long-term fixed deposit in the name of the child who can
encash it when she turns 18. As per the report, numbers of total female births registered increased from
1.48 lakh in 2007 to 1.67 lakh in 2008. Overall, Delhi registered 3.34 lakh births that include 1,66,583
male (49.89 per cent) and 1,67,325 female (50.11 per cent) in 2008.(Hindustan Times 26/8/09)

Dowry harassment case: Cops yet to trace TV actress' spouse (8)
MUMBAI: More than a week after television actress Shaheen Ansari lodged a complaint of dowry
harassment against husband Syed Gulzar alias Firoz, the Dindoshi police are still to trace his
whereabouts. Firoz (30) is an automobile dealer. "We received a tip-off on Monday that Firoz would be
coming to Malad. Our officers laid a trap, but he couldn't be found,'' a senior official said. The cops are
now tracking his cellphone records to find out his location. Firoz got married to Shaheen (23) in 2008 after
meeting her on the sets of a popular tele-serial four years ago. The couple lived in a rented flat on Yari
Road, Andheri (W). Within two months of their marriage, Firoz allegedly started demanding large amounts
of money and a new cellphone from her. Shaheen was branded with cigarette butts, beaten and taunted
whenever she was unable to meet his demands, police said. "We are questioning Firoz's acquaintances
to locate his whereabouts,'' senior inspector V Kakade of the Dindoshi police said. "Shaheen does not
know where Firoz is holed up. She doesn't even know where his parents live.''(Times of India 26/8/09)

Woman ends life over dowry demands (8)
MUMBAI: Unable to meet her husband's dowry demand of a motorcycle, a 23-year-old housewife from
Malad (E) ended her life on Wednesday by hanging herself from the ceiling fan. Puja Tiwari had been
married to Vijay Tiwari since the last two years and they were staying at Kurar village. Right since the
marriage, Vijay had been demanding a motorcycle from his wife and used to repeatedly harass her for
this reason. After a few months, the woman got frustrated with his demands and went to stay with her
mother, the police said. However, her husband joined her even at his in-laws' place, and he continued to
harass her and even beat up on several occasions. During this period, he took Rs 20,000 in cash from his
in-laws to start some business, the police said. A few days back, they shifted to a nearby house and the
woman reported that she was still facing harassment from her husband. On Tuesday night, a neighbour
told her mother and brother that the couple was having a major fight at home, the police said. When her
family members came to her house in the early hours of Wednesday, they found her hanging from the
ceiling fan. In a police statement, her brother, Vivek Tiwari, has narrated the entire sequence of events
and has said that she had been facing repeated harassment from her husband. Senior inspector,
Mohandas Sankhe, said they have registered a case against the husband and have arrested him under
the relevant sections. He had been demanding a motorcycle from his in laws and used to beat her up
when his demand was not fulfilled, he said. The cause of death was confirmed as hanging, and there was
also injury marks on her cheeks and nose, sources said. (Times of India 28/8/09)

Women three times more likely to be arrested for domestic violence(8)
While the vast majority of perpetrators of domestic violence are men, women are arrested in three of
every 10 incidents and men in only one of 10, a study says Men are responsible for most cases of
domestic violence, but women are three times more likely to be arrested for incidents of abuse, research
reveals today. A report into domestic abuse and gender by Bristol University found that the majority of
cases involved alcohol misuse, that women were more likely to use a weapon to protect themselves and
that children were present in the majority of cases. Previous research has shown that the vast majority of
domestic violence perpetrators recorded by the police are men (92%) and their victims mainly female
(91%), with many more repeat incidents recorded for male than female perpetrators. While the majority of
incidents of domestic violence recorded by the police involve male-to-female abuse, little is known about
the nature of incidents where men are recorded as victims and women as perpetrators, nor about the
circumstances where both partners are recorded as perpetrators. The new study, by professor Marianne
Hester of the University of Bristol's school for policy studies and carried out on behalf of the Northern
Rock Foundation, looked at 96 examples from 692 "perpetrator profiles" tracked from 2001 to 2007. The
research looked at 32 cases where women were the aggressors, 32 where men were in that role, and 32
where it was both partners. It found that 48% of the cases were related to couples still in a relationship,
27% involved violence after separation and the rest involved couples in the process of splitting up. Some
83% of men had at least two incidents recorded; one man had 52. In contrast, 62% of women recorded
as perpetrators had only one incident recorded, and the highest number of repeat incidents for any
woman was eight. Men were significantly more likely than women to use physical violence, threats and
harassment, and to damage the women's property; women were more likely to damage their own. Men's
violence tended to create a "context of fear and control", the researchers said, whereas women were
more likely to use verbal abuse or some physical violence. But women were more likely to use a weapon,
although this was often to stop further violence from their partners. All cases with seven or more
incidents, most of which involved men, led to arrest. But in general, women were three times more likely
to be arrested: during the six-year period, men were arrested once in every 10 incidents and women
arrested once in every three. Issues of divorce and child contact were common in "dual perpetrator"
cases, and also included the greatest number of instances where both partners were heavy drinkers.
Children were present in 55% of cases when the violence or other abuse took place. In cases involving
post-separation violence, problems of child contact were cited in 30% of cases. Hester said: "Both men
and women can be violent, but there are significant differences in the way men and women use violence
and abuse against their partners and also the impact of such behaviour. "This needs to be taken into
account if we want to ensure greater safety for individuals. The research has crucial lessons for the
criminal justice system in this respect." (CNN IBN 28/8/09)

Dalit women sarpanches forced out of villages (8)
BHOPAL: While the Union government has approved the increase in reservation for women in
Panchayats from 33 per cent to 50 per cent, feudalism continues to get the better of women in the remote
parts of Madhya Pradesh. Two Dalit women sarpanches of the Bundelkhand region have been forced to
move out of their villages due to constant threats and oppression from people of upper castes.
Bundelkhand is infamous for its highly discriminatory and feudal social structure. Gundiya Bai Ahirwar
(40), sarpanch of the Vikrampura village of the Badamahalra block in Chhatarpur district, has been living
out of the village for the past four years. She was elected sarpanch from Vikrampura, a general seat. This
earned her the wrath of upper castes. She and her family have repeatedly been threatened and beaten
up by them and forced to live out of the village. Similarly, Premrani Prajapati (35), sarpanch from the
reserved Chandwara village seat of Gaurihaar block in the same district, has faced threats and abuse
from powerful village groups. Premrani’s husband Gulabchand and her children were beaten up in their
house, following which they had to move to Baarigarh village. Both women have decided not to contest
the village election again. (The Hindu 30/8/09)

'Domestic violence on the rise' (8)
Imphal, August 30 2009: Cases of domestic violence have been rising in Manipur, said Chairperson of the
State Commission for Women, Dr Ch Jamini. Dr Jamini was speaking at the release function of a book
titled Protection of Women from Domestic Violence and Stories of Some Famous Women at Manipur
Press Club here today. The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence, was translated into Manipuri
by Angomcha Araba and published by Kanglei Chanura Chaokhat Lamjing Lup (Kangleichal). The book
has some certain chapters about the biographies of some famous women. Speaking as chief guest at the
book release function, Dr Ch Jamini said that cases of harassment and violence against women within
families have been increasing. Both educated and uneducated women are facing harassments of
different forms. The case is worse with uneducated women. Even as they are at the receiving end of
domestic violence for years, they don't have the courage to disclose their experience, for they are not
literate nor economically independent. However, the number of women lodging complaints for justice has
also risen with the establishment of the Women's Commission and dissemination of awareness about
women's rights, Dr Jamini said. With the rise in the number of widows, whose husbands died of AIDS,
and the emergence of a large section of youth addicted to drugs, cases of domestic violence have also
been rising, she said. Women who have lost their husbands to AIDS are seldom welcome at their
parental homes. Spinsters are also not always treated well by their brothers. Although women are legally
entitled to inherit the properties of their parents just as their brothers, very few women make claims on the
properties of their parents, Dr Jamini further observed.In the back drop of such situation, the Manipuri
translation of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act would go a long a way in creating
awareness among the womenfolk about their rights, she noted. Earlier giving key-note address of the
function, general secretary Kangleichal Tamphatombi said that a large number of women have been
enduring domestic violence over the years. Victims of domestic violence are always shadowed by fear,
anxiety and trauma, she said. The book release function was graced by Kangleichal president
Thounaojam Ayangleima as president and member of the Manipur Human Rights Commission RK
Rajendra as guest of honour. Observing that women being biologically weaker than men and less
educated, Rajendra observed women were often subjected to harassments and violence within families.
He also highlighted the importance of the Manipuri translation of the Protection of Women From Domestic
Violence Act 2005 . Other speakers remarked that resorting to the Act would be great boon to women.
However, they also cautioned that utilising the Act with a wrong perspective or misplaced notion would be
more harmful. (e-Pao 31/8/09)

Rescued after suicide bid, woman alleges dowry torture (8)
SURAT: A woman, who attempted suicide by jumping into river Tapi along with her child on Friday, filed a
dowry torture complaint against her husband and in-laws on Sunday. Officials of Umra police station
registered the plaint under sections 323, 504, 498(a) of Indian Penal Code and sections 3 and 5 of Dowry
Prohibition Act. However, police found a locked house when they went to arrest the accused. Riddhi
Marfatiya, married to Hemant Marfatiya of Suruchi Society on Ghod Dod Road since 2003, jumped off
Sardar bridge along with her two-year-old daughter Nishita at 4pm on August 28, police said. Both were
saved by swimmers, who brought them ashore and handed them over to the police. " We registered her
statement on Sunday evening and have converted it into a complaint. In her statement, Riddhi has named
Hemant, father-in-law Pravin, mother-in-law Geeta and brother-in-law Dhaval as her tormentors. They
had been harassing her for a dowry of Rs 5 lakh," said police sub-inspector B M Vasava. Hemant works
as a medical representative, while his father is a bank employee. The family is well-off, but still they
insisted on dowry and tortured her physically and mentally. She was regularly beaten up and as she could
not bear the torture, she decided to end her life, her statement read. "We will arrest the accused Marfatiya
family members," said Vasava, adding that Riddhi has been sent to her father's home along with her
daughter. (Times of India 1/9/09)

'Abolish female foeticide, dowry system from society' (8)
LUDHIANA: "The Nanhi Chhan programme has been launched in the state to spread awareness
regarding protection of the girl child and preservation of trees." This was stated by member of parliament
Harsimrat Kaur Badal while attending the concluding day function of the two-day 'Virasti Mela Dhiyan Da'
at the Government College for Women here on Monday. She said evils like female foeticide and dowry
system should be abolished as they hindered the society's growth. She said to promote girl child in the
state, the government had started a new scheme wherein Rs 10 crore had been earmarked for the
current fiscal. Harsimrat said the government would deposit Rs 13,000 with LIC in favour of every girl
child born in low-income families, wherein she would get staggered payments and scholarships worth Rs
50,000 throughout her school years. She said the state government had made the Nanhi Chhan project a
part of its annual plan and had allocated separate funds to carry forward the mission. Appreciating the
state cultural affairs department for organizing the mela at Ludhiana, Badal said our students must derive
inspiration from our traditional culture. She said the project during its one-year of existence could help
build strong network with religious organizations like SGPC, colleges, schools, teachers, students and
other NGOs. Speaking on the occasion, minister for jail, tourism and cultural affairs Hira Singh Gabria
said, "The aim of organizing the mela is to abolish female foeticide and dowry system in our society."
Gabria also appealed to the social, religious and educational organizations and other NGOs to launch a
mass drive to abolish the menace of female foeticide from the society. He also announced a grant of Rs 5
lakh for the college.(Times of India 1/9/09)

Victims asked to report sexual harassment (8)
IMPHAL, Aug 31 – The Manipur State Commission for Women (MSCW) has received a report from West
Bengal about sexual harassment of a Manipuri girl receptionist at the Manipur Bhavan in Kolkata. The
report was received from the West Bengal State Commission for Women recently, a Commission
spokesperson said, adding that it was being looked into it. She said that there were also reports with the
Commission of sexual harassment at work places in Manipur. Victims of sexual harassment at the work
place should not hesitate to report it as the Commission was prepared to assist victims, she told
newsmen last evening. The Commission would launch an awareness campaign among women workers
so that they could lodge complaints with it, she added.(Assam Tribune 1/9/09)

'Abolish female foeticide, dowry system from society' (8)
LUDHIANA: "The Nanhi Chhan programme has been launched in the state to spread awareness
regarding protection of the girl child and preservation of trees." This was stated by member of parliament
Harsimrat Kaur Badal while attending the concluding day function of the two-day 'Virasti Mela Dhiyan Da'
at the Government College for Women here on Monday. She said evils like female foeticide and dowry
system should be abolished as they hindered the society's growth. She said to promote girl child in the
state, the government had started a new scheme wherein Rs 10 crore had been earmarked for the
current fiscal. Harsimrat said the government would deposit Rs 13,000 with LIC in favour of every girl
child born in low-income families, wherein she would get staggered payments and scholarships worth Rs
50,000 throughout her school years. She said the state government had made the Nanhi Chhan project a
part of its annual plan and had allocated separate funds to carry forward the mission. Appreciating the
state cultural affairs department for organizing the mela at Ludhiana, Badal said our students must derive
inspiration from our traditional culture. She said the project during its one-year of existence could help
build strong network with religious organizations like SGPC, colleges, schools, teachers, students and
other NGOs. Speaking on the occasion, minister for jail, tourism and cultural affairs Hira Singh Gabria
said, "The aim of organizing the mela is to abolish female foeticide and dowry system in our society."
Gabria also appealed to the social, religious and educational organizations and other NGOs to launch a
mass drive to abolish the menace of female foeticide from the society. He also announced a grant of Rs 5
lakh for the college. (Times of India 1/9/09)

Designer Anand Jon gets 59 years in US jail for rape (8)
Washington: India-born fashion designer Anand Jon Alexander has been sentenced to 59 years in prison
for sexually assaulting aspiring models after enticing them to his Beverly Hills apartment in Los Angeles
with the promise of jobs. US Special Court Judge David Wesley pronounced the sentence after rejecting
the 35-year-old’s renewed plea for a new trial on the ground that he did not receive a fair trial because a
juror had inappropriately contacted his sister, Sanjana, during the trial. The celebrity designer, who has
designed clothes for the likes of Paris Hilton and Mary J Blige, was convicted last November of 16 counts
including rape, sexual battery and performing lewd acts on a child. Prosecutors said his victims ranged in
age from 14 to 21. In his last-ditch bid for a retrial, Alexander made a lengthy presentation, asserting his
innocence. “I am not perfect, but I’m not guilty,” he told the judge. But some of his victims, who spoke
before the sentencing, had something different to say. “I was 14. You took my adolescence, my trust, my
dreams and completely manipulated them for your sexual desires,” one of the victims, now aged 17, said
in the court. Judge Wesley said Alexander should be incarcerated as long as possible for preying upon
young girls and women, stressing that he showed no remorse for his actions and posed a danger to other
young women. Alexander stared ahead blankly as the judge handed down the hefty sentence, while
some of his victims — seated in the jury box — wept. Citing statements by the victims, the Los Angeles
Times reported that they spoke of continued suffering from depression and paranoia. Their families were
also tormented by what their daughters went through, they said. The designer faces similar charges of
sexual assault in New York and Texas. If he is convicted in those States as well, the sentence he
receives there will be added to the California pronouncement. Alexander was arrested in March 2007
after a woman alleged that he had raped her in his Beverly Hills apartment. After his arrest, more women
came forward and claimed that they too were sexually assaulted. A grand jury initially indicted him on 59
counts but, by the time of the trial, prosecutors had dropped more than half of them. During the trial,
prosecutors argued that the designer lured girls as young as 14 to his apartment, often through the
Internet, and used them to act out his sexual fantasies. Alexander denied the allegations, with his lawyer
saying that the women who were belatedly complaining were disgruntled because of their failure in the
fashion industry. Ahead of the sentencing, Alexander argued that he had not received a fair trial because
juror Alvin Dymally had inappropriately contacted his sister during trial and the prosecutors had withheld
evidence. But Judge Wesley said he was not convinced that there was a conspiracy. “There’s nothing
before me right now that substantiates that,” he said. Alexander, who graduated from the Parsons School
of Design in New York and launched his fashion line in 1999, has been featured on the reality television
show, “America’s Next Top Model”. Just two months before his arrest, Newsweek magazine had
projected him among a list of persons to watch in 2007. Reacting to the steep sentence, Sanjana termed
it a “travesty of justice” and made a renewed plea for help from the Indian Government since her brother
continues to be an Indian citizen. “It’s purely a case of prejudice and racism. It’s a travesty of justice,” she
told Indian television channels. “We requested over and over again that the case be tried in a federal
court, but it was refused. From 59 counts, we brought the case down to 16 counts,” she said.(Pioneer

Girl raped, murdered (8)
DURGAPUR, 3 SEPT: A 15-year-old girl was gangraped and then strangled to death in a village under
Kulti police station area near Asansol today. The incident raised a commotion in the village and locals
obstructed the National Highway-2 for over two hours demanding immediate arrest of the culprits. The
victim, the daughter of a wage labourer in Shobhonpur village was mentally challenged. She had to give
up her education. The girl's father said: “She went out last evening to meet one of her friends who lived in
the locality.” But she didn’t return home. When we looked for her, we were told by her friend that she
didn’t visit her place yesterday. We were worried and discussed the matter with a few of my neighbours.”
The body of the victim was found this morning in a deserted old house just beside the village primary
school. It bore marks of severe torture. Locals assembled and the police was informed. The victim had
only a piece of cloth wrapped around her neck. Police recovered the body and the post-mortem at the
Asansol SD Hospital confirmed that the girl was gangraped before being strangled to death. About 200
locals blocked the NH-2 demanding immediate arrest of the culprits. The father said: “Some local youths
engaged by the coal mafia used to stalk my sick daughter. I had several confrontations with them.” He
gave police the names of some youths who would stalk her. Mr Debarshi Dutta, DSP (SR), Asansol, said
that no one had been arrested as yet. SNS (Statesman 3/9/09)

UHRO pooh poohs sexual harassment probe (8)
The Universal Human Rights Organisation (UHRO) has dubbed the investigating committee formed to
investigate the sexual harrassment case of a female sub-inspector of the Agriculture Department, as
“eyewash” and has sought its dissolution and re-investigation of the case. The UHRO said that though
this committee had been formed on the direction of the Supereme Court, issued in another similar case.
but the Chief Agricultural Officer (CAO), Hoshiapur, by including clerical staff and fourth class employees
in the panel had played a cruel joke on the victim. The NGO has also demanded immediate transfer of
Chief Agricultural Officer (CAO), Hoshiapur, and the Agricultural Development Officer (ADO). In a press
release issue today, UHRO president Satnam Singh Dhaliwal said that inclusion of clerical staff and
fourth class employees in this committee was a clear indication that the committee was just an eyewash.
The organisation has demanded that the victim woman should be posted at the place of her choice. The
UHRO has demanded that the government should get this case investigated according to the guidelines
issued by the Supereme Court in its judgement passed in the Vasakha and others versus State of
Rajasthan case. (Indian Express 5/9/09)

Sergeant slapped with harass charge (8)
A woman in her mid-30s has lodged a complaint against a Reserve Force sergeant accusing him of
harassing her and trying to outrage her modesty. The sergeant, Sandip Dey, surrendered before
Bankshall court on Friday morning and was granted bail. He has been slapped with a bailable case under
IPC Section 509 (using words, gestures or acts intended to insult the modesty of a woman). An officer of
Hare Street police station, where the woman lodged the FIR on Thursday night, said the complainant had
accused Dey of harassing her for several months. But Dey told his superiors that he had an affair with the
woman and she was levelling “false charges” against him under pressure from her family members.
According to the complaint, Dey often called up the woman on her cellphone and made “lewd remarks”
ignoring her repeated pleas to stop harassing her. Dey also managed to trace the woman’s office on Hare
Street and would allegedly stand at the gate waiting for an opportunity to accost her. “The woman
repeatedly told the sergeant not to hound her. But when all her pleas fell on deaf ears, she decided to
come forward and lodge an FIR,” said an officer of Hare Street police station. The woman mentioned in
the complaint that Dey had revealed his professional identity and warned her not to lodge a complaint
against him. “The itemised call-list of the woman’s cellphone shows that the sergeant had called her on
several occasions. He had also sent her a few text messages,” said an officer, requesting anonymity. Dey
denied the charges during interrogation, alleging that he was in a relationship with the woman and that
she was going after him to save herself. “I am a bachelor and she never disclosed that she was married.
We used to meet secretly as she told me that her parents were conservative and would not take kindly to
our affair,” an officer quoted Dey as saying. “She is now slapping false charges on me to suppress the
truth from her family members, who have got wind of the affair,” the sergeant told those probing the case.
A senior officer at Lalbazar expressed shock at the allegation against Dey. “Such behaviour by men in
uniform tarnishes the image of our force. Stern action will be taken against the sergeant if the charges are
found true.” This is the fourth instance (see box) in the recent past of policemen bringing the force into
disrepute, ranging from the sleeping-on-duty act of the cops on train while escorting the marmoset thief to
Calcutta from Durg to two on-duty jawans of the Railway Protection Force getting drunk on a Howrah-
bound train and misbehaving with passengers. (Telegraph 5/9/09)

Woman alleges dowry torture (8)
VISAKHAPATNAM: A woman from Peda Waltair, here, claimed on Saturday that she was brutally
tortured by her husband for dowry. Madhurima (27), daughter of a retired DSP, got married to George
Chakravarthy of Mehabubnagar 11 months ago. "After three months of marriage, Chakravarthy began to
torture me brutally by branding my body with cigarette butts. He has also been forcing me to take alcohol
and poisonous tablets," she told the media here on Saturday. She said she was forced to turn to the
media as the local police failed to lodge her complaint. Madhurima said at the time of the marriage,
George was given Rs 5 lakh as dowry by her parents. An MBA graduate, Madhurima said she is unable
to sit and walk for more than a few minutes because her spinal cord has been damaged due to the
various tortures and abuses by her husband. After her marriage, George shifted to Gangtok in Sikkim for
hotel business where she claimed he continued the torture. "I complained to the Gangtok police who
directed us to hold counselling sessions. After some weeks, George abandoned me and fled from
Gangtok," she said. She further said her husband took away all the jewellery her father had given her as
part of the dowry. Luckily for Madhurima, a Telugu-speaking pastor who was at a nearby church informed
her parents about the condition of their daughter after which they brought her to the city. (Times of India

100 days on, Shopian’s still waiting for justice (8)
Shopian, September 06, 2009: The muezzin’s voice rang out in call for prayers to break the fast as the
sun set on the 14th day of Ramzan — the Muslim holy month of fasting. But this town, 50 km south of
Srinagar, has been left wondering why its prayers for justice for Asiya and Nelofar Jan have gone
unanswered. The two women lived in a house at the end of an alley in Bongam area, a congested lower
middle class neighbourhood of Shopian, till 100 days ago. They went missing on the afternoon of May 29;
the next morning, their bodies were found near the town’s Ramibara stream. Asiya (17) was a five-day-
prayer devout Muslim. She had done her ablution for the afternoon prayers, but was persuaded by sister-
in-law Nelofar (22) for a “quick visit to the apple orchard at Nagbal, 1.5 km away. “I will be back soon,”
were Asiya’s last words to her elder sister Roomi Jan (20). “The nights are an unending nightmare for us.
We cannot sleep,” said Nighat Parveen, another sister. “We hear Asiya’s cries for help, ‘mein bachiwaton’
(save me).” The entire family is fasting in the hope for justice. But investigators are struggling. The case
was first with a special investigation team, which failed to gather any evidence of consequence that
established how the victims died, if they were sexually assaulted, and who the perpetrators might have
been. Now, it’s believed that the government of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah wants to hand it over to the
CBI. The case that’s been billed as a complex and grinding affair has rocked the Abdullah administration
since June and put a question mark on his credibility. From street protests and strikes to fending off
Opposition assault in the Assembly, Abdullah has seen it all. One wrong step at the initial stages — not
lodging an FIR of rape and murder — gave the impression that Abdullah was endorsing the police’s
“drowning” theory. This cast a shadow over his government’s intentions, which persists till today despite
measures taken by the CM, including a public apology and judicial commission. Four police officers were
arrested on the directions of J&K High Court. An affidavit submitted in the court on Friday by Farooq
Ahmad, IG of the SIT, says it all: “No deadline could be set for investigations to reach the results.” Black
flags fluttering on poles and vehicles are an expression of the collective rage and frustration over the
unending wait for justice. Slogans like “qatilon ko pesh karo (produce the culprits)” can be heard across
the town. “When the state has been able to solve all cases of murders and rapes, why is there no forward
movement in this case?” said Javed Ahmad (30), who runs a chemist shop. The townsfolk believe it took
Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s intervention to get an FIR of rape and murder registered. HT
photographer Waseem Andrabi was taunted by a woman at the bridge across the stream. “For the past
three months we have seen you (media) guys taking films, pictures. What has come out of it? Where are
the culprits? Bring out their pictures.” Nelofar’s husband Shakeel Ahngar (28) makes an offer. “I will give
all my property and orchards to the government, get me the culprits.” (Hindustan Times 6/9/09)

Nurse abused in sex scandal resigns from post (8)
AKOLA: The sex scandal at the subdistrict hospital at Murtizapur tehsil town took a dramatic turn on
Saturday when the victim nurse resigned from her post, official sources said. The nurse has said in her
resignation letter that she had been mentally shocked by the sexual exploitation and does not want to
continue serving at the hospital. Earlier, the nurse had declined to depose before the enquiry committee
set up by the district civil surgeon Dr Aadhar Patil, sources said. She is alleged to have taken Rs 50,000
from the accused doctor to cover up the sexual advances and hence she is reluctant to testify about the
sexual torture, it is learnt. In all 22 women employees of the hospital had filed a complaint of sexual
exploitation at their workplace and threatened to go on strike indefinitely. Dr Pawar and Dr Rathod, who
were allegedly involved in sexual exploitation, and one of the victim nurses appeared before the enquiry
committee on Friday last. However, both the doctors refuted the charges levelled against them. Though
both doctors have got relief now that the victimized nurse has made a volt face, they would still have to
face the departmental enquiry. The said nurse and two other nurses had been appointed on contract,
which is about to expire in the near future. In the meanwhile, the women employees of the hospital have
threatened to proceed on strike if the doctors are allowed to join their duties. The enquiry committee is
expected to submit its report in the near future as it has speeded up its work, sources said. (Times of
India 7/9/09)

South Korean police arrest man accused of raping 125 women (8)
Seoul, September 08, 2009: South Korean police said on Tuesday they have arrested a man accused of
raping 125 women over the past nine years. The 39-year-old delivery man, identified only by his family
name Cha, is accused of some 200 rapes involving 125 women, some of whom were subjected to
multiple assaults. Police in Gyeonggi province surrounding Seoul said the offences took place between
July 2000 and July 2009. The suspect was traced after being pictured on closed-circuit TV. He is also
accused of stealing jewellery worth around 40 million won ($32,000) from his victims, who were mostly
young and living alone.Police said the suspect, who lives in the city of Paju north of Seoul, has been
married since 2001 and has a daughter of pre-school age.(Hindustan Times 8/9/09)

Low female literacy impeding growth: PM (8)
PTI | New Delhi: Noting that low female literacy was impeding growth, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
on Tuesday launched a major initiative in the education sector saying all steps to empower women
socially, economically and politically would be taken by the government. Launching the Saakshar Bharat
Mission here, Singh also announced that a National Mission for the empowerment of women would be set
up soon. While the Cabinet has already decided to amend the Constitution to provide 50 per cent
reservation to women in panchayats and local bodies, the Self Help Group movement would be
"expanded by restructuring and revitalising the Rashtriya Mahila Kosh", he said. Observing that about half
of Indian women were still not able to read or write, Singh said "a National Mission for the empowerment
of women is being set up." Maintaining that female literacy was a force multiplier for all actions for social
development, he said it had been observed that infrastructure development in economic sector and
female literacy in social sector were "the two critical factors that impede India's steady climb to a higher
and sustainable level of growth." Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, HRD Minister Kapil Sibal and Minister
of State for HRD D Purandeswari were also present at the launch of the 'Saakshar Bharat Mission' which
aims at making 70 million people, including 60 million women, literate in the next five years. The Mission
would be implemented in 1.7 lakh gram panchayats spread over 365 districts which have low female
literacy rate as also 33 districts affected by Left-wing extremism. Eighty five per cent of its beneficiaries
would be women and nearly half of them would be from scheduled castes, tribes and minorities. "Female
literacy is absolutely necessary to empower Indian woman in her everyday struggle in dealing with
multiple deprivation on the basis of class, caste or gender," the Prime Minister said. Maintaining that the
government would recast the National Literacy Mission "to make every woman literate in the next five
years", Singh said "today we take the first step towards fulfilling that promise. "But this is not a stand
alone step. Our government is committed to doing all that is necessary for the social, economic and
political empowerment of Indian women," he said. Pointing out that one-third of India's population
continued to be illiterate, he said "about half of our women cannot still read or write. The number of
illiterates in India is the highest in all nations of the world." He said the persistent illiteracy among women,
SCs, STs, minorities and other disadvantaged groups was "a challenge that we must face head on. We
must make our nation fully literate if we want to empower the average citizen and make rapid progress."
Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar said literacy is key to sustainable development and growth of the
country. She said the International Literacy Day reiterates the commitment of international community to
education for all. She hailed the recent Right To Education Act. HRD minister Sibal said about 30 crore
people are still illiterate in the country today. They are unable to enjoy the fruits of development. The
newly launched scheme will aim at imparting more than reading, writing and arithmetic to the people. It
will aim at transformation of the illiterates and making them partner in the process of growth and
development. The new scheme will be a flagship programme of the government and its progress will be
monitored by the Delivery Monitoring Unit in the Prime Minister's Office. The total estimated cost of the
mission is Rs 6,502 crore and the Central share is about Rs 4,993 crore. The sharing between the
Central and states would be 75:25 except in northeastern states where the ratio will be 90:10. The
National Mission Authority will be the implementing agency at the national level. "It is a national
enterprise. The demand of adult education is not only explicit but also diverse. The mission will offer
functional literacy, skill development and continuing education," Sibal said. The government will engage
10 million volunteers in this mission and nearly 70 lakh literacy centres will be created, Sibal said. The
step assumes significance in view of poor literacy rate of women in the country. As per the 2001 census,
female literacy stands at 54 per cent against 75 per cent male literacy. Sibal said the mission would aim
at reducing the gender gap from 21 per cent to 10 per cent in the next five years and achieve 80 per cent
overall literacy. He said the mission will take use of Information Communication technology and the
learners will be digitally tagged. Besides, a web-based management system will be in place to monitor the
mission. Minister of State for HRD D Purandeswari said women are target group in the new mission as
they are first teachers of children. Besides, women are seen as homemakers in Indian society. The
objective of the mission is to impart functional literacy to adults in the age group of 15 years and above. It
will enable about 1.5 million neo-literates to continue learning beyond basic literacy and acquire
equivalency to formal education system. It will equip 1.7 million persons with skills. (Pioneer 8/9/09)

Crimes against women on the rise in Malabar Law & order (8)
Crimes against women are showing an upward trend in Malabar. Statistics with the State Crime Record
Bureau reveal that such crimes are high in the districts of Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad,
Kannur and Kasaragod, when compared to the rest of the State. Malappuram has the highest incidence
of violence against women this year with 306 cases registered till April 30. Cases pertained to rape,
molestation, kidnapping, cruelty by husband and relatives. No dowry deaths were reported in these
districts. The total number of cases reported throughout the State was 3,156. Ill-treatment by husband or
relatives has been the single factor contributing to the rise in crimes against women in all these districts.
Palakkad reported 96 such cases; Malappuram, 178; Kozhikode city, 52; Kozhikode rural, 98; Wayanad,
69; Kannur, 84 and Kasaragod, 86. Palakkad reported more rape cases this year followed by Kannur and
Kozhikode rural. Malappuram and Kannur reported more molestation cases than other northern districts.
Kozhikode revenue district has been bifurcated into Kozhikode city and Kozhikode rural based on the two
police districts. The overall cases reported in the district till April this year is 384. Last year, the total
number of cases recorded in Palakkad was 539; Malappuram, 935; Kozhikode city, 404, Kozhikode rural,
752; Wayanad, 402; Kannur, 688 and Kasaragod, 533. The number of cases of cruelty by husband or
relatives was also highest in these districts the previous year. As many as 525 cases were reported in
Malappuram district. The figure in Palakkad was 294; Kozhikode city, 165; Kozhikode rural, 289;
Wayanad, 115; Kannur, 274 and Kasaragod, 202. The police say that the number of cases in
Malappuram district would exceed the 1,000-mark in 2009 considering the cases reported in first four
months of this year. Interestingly the figures for Thiruvananthapuram city last year stood at 310;
Thiruvanthapuram rural, 809; Kollam, 837; Alappuzha, 553; Kottayam, 559; Ernakulam city, 241,
Ernakulam rural, 515 and Thrissur, 838. The total cases reported in the State last year were 9,706,
according to the police. (The Hindu 12/9/09)

Molestation led to stampede at Delhi school, allege girls (8)
Molestation of a few girls by some boys triggered the stampede at a government school in north-eastern
Delhi, where five girls died on Thursday, some parents alleged on Friday. Initial reports said rumours
about electric shocks had caused the stampede, which left 32 students injured. Two of the injured girls
are battling for life at the Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital in the capital. Some of the girls spoke out on Friday,
after which their parents approached the police. Meena Kumar, a student of std VII, told DNA, "Boys are
not supposed to come to the first floor, but on Thursday teachers sent them upstairs without supervision.
They pushed us around, pretending that they were falling down." Meena said the boys kept saying that
the "dark-skinned among us should go downstairs, while the fairer ones should stay back". Veer Singh,
father of a girl studying in std IX, said they had complained to the authorities but no action was taken. "On
Thursday, some boys molested the girls, which led to the stampede," he alleged. Dr JP Kapoor, senior
medical superintendent of Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, too, said initial tests didn't suggest any of the girls
had received electric shocks. The final reports will be out by Monday, he said. "Most of the injured
students had head and abdomen injuries, which were caused by the stampede. Many of the children
were crushed and got suffocated. Two girls are in a serious condition," he said. SS Yadav, chief of Delhis
northeast district police, said: "We are investigating the possibility (of molestation). If evidence suggests
so, we will do the needful." (India Info 12/9/09)

24 girls rescued from orphanage (8)
BHUBANESWAR: Police rescued 24 minor girls, who were being allegedly exploited sexually, from an
orphanage here on Saturday. They seized a large number of CDs, video cameras, computers and other
electronic devices, pointing to the sexual exploitation of the girls, from a house where the orphanage,
Basanti Trust, operates. Managing trustee of the Trust Byomakesh Tripathy has been arrested. The
rescued girls have been shifted to Child Line, another orphanage in Old Town. The incident came to light
after the caretaker of Basanti Trust complained to Chandrasekharpur police about her plight and the
miseries of the inmates. Talking to mediapersons, the caretaker said she was repeatedly harassed in the
orphanage. Unable to bear the torture, she was taken ill and had to be hospitalised. Even after getting
discharged from the hospital, there was no end to her physical abuse, she said. Dismissing the
allegations, Tripathy said he is a victim of conspiracy. ``Let the police arrest me if Ihave committed any
crime,’’ he said, adding that he is an ambulance driver. He, however, failed to give a convincing reply on
the use of CDs, computers and other electronic gadgets seized by the police. Irate locals came out to the
streets in an attempt to attack the building, housing Basanti Trust. Deputy Commissioner of Police
Himansu Lal rushed police force to the spot to bring the situation under control. (Express Buzz 13/9/09)

Mother, infant son burnt for dowry, in-laws, father booked (8)
In an alleged case of dowry harassment, a woman was burnt with her infant son in Mohali on Sunday.
One-and-a-half-year-old Ajay and his mother were rushed to PGI where the child succumbed to his
injuries. His mother Sunita sustained 30 per cent burn injuries. Sunita reportedly told the police that her
husband and in-laws used to harass her for bringing inadequate dowry. Sunita and Lekh Raj got married
around four years ago. Ajay was their only child. “Last night when I and my son were sleeping, my
husband and in-laws doused us with kerosene and torched us,” Sunita reportedly said. Lekh Raj, his
father Ram Kumar and mother Ram Piari, residents of Popna village in Mohali, have been booked for
murder, attempt to murder and other related charges, Sub-Inspector Gurbax Ram told Newsline. No
arrests have been made. Contrary to Sunita’s statement, however, some neighbourhood women told the
police that all accused were away from home when the incident took place. Ads by Google Buy Tata Sky
Today 50% Off on Installation 1 Month Subscription Free*www.tataskydth.inSurvivor: Child Abuse Now
an adult, Jane shares how she lives with the memories each day.www.thoughts-about-gJustice Before
Mercy A memoir about bringing a predator to justice 35+ years after the factwww.authorhouse.com “We
have recorded the statements of four neighbours. We will take appropriate action after a thorough
investigation,” SI Gurbax Ram said. (Indian Express 14/9/09)

24 girls rescued from orphanage (8)
BHUBANESWAR: Police rescued 24 minor girls, who were being allegedly exploited sexually, from an
orphanage here on Saturday. They seized a large number of CDs, video cameras, computers and other
electronic devices, pointing to the sexual exploitation of the girls, from a house where the orphanage,
Basanti Trust, operates. Managing trustee of the Trust Byomakesh Tripathy has been arrested. The
rescued girls have been shifted to Child Line, another orphanage in Old Town. The incident came to light
after the caretaker of Basanti Trust complained to Chandrasekharpur police about her plight and the
miseries of the inmates. Talking to mediapersons, the caretaker said she was repeatedly harassed in the
orphanage. Unable to bear the torture, she was taken ill and had to be hospitalised. Even after getting
discharged from the hospital, there was no end to her physical abuse, she said. Dismissing the
allegations, Tripathy said he is a victim of conspiracy. ``Let the police arrest me if Ihave committed any
crime,’’ he said, adding that he is an ambulance driver. He, however, failed to give a convincing reply on
the use of CDs, computers and other electronic gadgets seized by the police. Irate locals came out to the
streets in an attempt to attack the building, housing Basanti Trust. Deputy Commissioner of Police
Himansu Lal rushed police force to the spot to bring the situation under control. (Express Buzz 13/9/09)

Newly wed woman killed over dowry (8)
MUZAFFARNAGAR: A newly married woman was allegedly hanged to death by her in-laws over dowry
issues in Tissa village of the district, police Said today. Poonam, wife of Rajender Seni, had last night
called her parents and told them that her in-laws were beating her for more dowry and to save herself
from the beatings she has locked herself in a room, police said. However, when her parents reached the
house, they found Poonam hanging with the door lock broken. Police suspects that Poonam's in-laws
broke open the door and hanged her to death. They are absconding. Meanwhile, the body has been sent
for post mortem (Times of India 16/9/09)

'Lost' papers haunt HIV+ve woman (8)
CHANDIGARH: When a two-year fight for justice finally landed two health workers accused of sexually
harassing an HIV positive woman behind bars, the victim had heaved a sigh of relief. Little did she know
that this very justice would apparently become an impediment in her way to better health. In 2007, James,
a senior technician at PGI and Nekram, a counsellor with Chandigarh AIDS Control Society, were
arrested under rape charges after they were accused of seeking sexual favours from the victim, who is
HIV positive. After their arrest, the woman had hoped of continuing her treatment at PGI. However, she
alleged, cops lost her medical records, making her unable to do so. ‘‘Police misplaced some of the
medical reports that I required to continue my treatment at PGI. For six months, my health was held at
ransom to official carelessness,’’ the woman alleged. The records reportedly included reports that
confirmed the woman’s HIV status.Interestingly, in what seems like an action that resulted from media’s
prodding, police handed over the medical file to the woman on Thursday. ‘‘I was taken by surprise when
the investigating officer called me on Thursday evening, asking me to collect the papers. At least I can
start my treatment again,’’ the HIV positive patient added. However, police denied the allegations that the
records had been displaced. ‘‘The file was kept for investigation. Until the inquiry is complete, we cannot
hand over the original documents to anyone,’’ said Gurjit Kaur, the investigating officer in the case at
Woman and Child Support Unit.(Times of India 18/9/09)

Woman, 2 children commit suicide (8)
MADANAPALLE: Frustrated by constant harassment from her husband, a woman committed suicide after
killing both her children in the wee hours of Thursday at Madanapalle in Chittoor district. Subhashini, 25,
of Tekulapalem in Madanapalle constituency, administered pesticide-laced food to her two children --
Gayatri, 6, and Sivakumar, 4, -- and later consumed the food herself to end her life. Sources said
Subhashini had a massive fight with her husband Bhaskar, 30, on Wednesday night. "Unable to
overcome the physical and mental torture from her husband, the woman might have resorted to the
extreme step," a police official said. The neighbours found the bodies in the house in the early hours.
Subhashini, who belonged to Kurabalakota of Tamballapalle constituency, was married to Bhaskar seven
years ago. Bhaskar, who has been suffering from epilepsy for the last couple of years, used to quarrel
with his wife on petty matters, villagers said. Upon learning about Subhashini's death, the villagers of
Kurabalakota came in two lorries and attacked Bhaskar's house. They beat up the inmates of the house,
including Bhaskar's father Nagaiah charging them with killing Subhashini and her two children. Tension
prevailed for some time before police entered and pacified them. (Times of India 18/9/09)

Eve-teasing now made non-bailable in Andhra (8)
Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh has made eve-teasing a non-bailable offence, and will also ask the High
Court to set up fast track courts to try offences against women. The government has asked officials to
register every case of eve teasing under Section 509, which deals with insulting the modesty of a woman
in any way. Booking under this section invites a year’s imprisonment, police say. Anybody teasing or
harassing a girl would be booked under non-bailable sections. The home ministry also plans to set up
grievance cells in colleges to record complaints of sexual harassment. Home Minister P Sabita Indra
Reddy said SPs must hold grievance cells in colleges under their jurisdiction once a month. (Mumbai
Mirror 20//9/09)

Concrete steps to check atrocities on women sought(8)
VISAKHAPATNAM: Women’s organisations in the city organised a huge demonstration in front of the
Gandhi statue near the GVMC on Saturday and demanded concrete steps to curb atrocities on women.
Members of Mahila Chetana, Streesakthi, APCLC, Mahila Action and Jaibhim Cultural and Welfare
Association organised the demonstration with the slogan ‘Stop violence against women’ in the wake of
the murder of three women in the State on a single day on Friday. Addressing the gathering, Mahila
Chetana general secretary K. Padma, who led the agitation, noted that atrocities on women continued to
be on the rise demanding dowry, domestic violence, sexual harassment, eve-teasing and also in the
name of love. “We are attacked daily in some name or other. And the attacks have not stopped even after
the accused who threw acid on two girls were killed by the police in a fake encounter in Warangal,” she
pointed out. The women’s organisations demanded that the police immediately take into custody the
accused whenever a complaint of harassment in the name of love was lodged, and called for a new
legislation to curb the evil. They also sought special counselling for youth in schools and colleges, training
in self-defence and setting up special police stations for women posting adequate personnel and vehicles.
President of Mahila Chetana C. Ramana Kumari, coordinators of Mahila Action M. Radha and Parvathi,
president of APCLC T. Sreeramamurthy, general secretary of Jaibhim Cultural and Welfare Association
Kothapalli Venkataramanarao and Streesaakthi’s D. Lalita were among those who addressed the
demonstrators. (The Hindu 20/9/09)

Crimes against women increasing: CPM (8)
HYDERABAD: The Government has failed to prevent atrocities on women and such incidents were
increasing by the day, alleged Communist Party of India (Marxist) State secretary BV Raghavulu. In a
letter to Chief Minister Rosaiah, he called for strict laws and their stringent implementation to check such
barbarism. The CPM leader pointed out that a single day had seen a spate of heinous attacks: by a
stalker on a girl in Rajamundry after murdering her parents, the killing of a woman at Miryalaguda bus-
stand, sexual harassment of girls in Rajahmundry, the attack on a girl in Proddutur and on a woman in
Hyderabad, the killing of three housewives, and the disrobing of a woman in public in Narasannapeta.
After the Warangal acidattack outrage, the Government had vowed tough action to protect women and
yet such acts continued to be perpetrated, Raghavulu said. Pointing out that the State had the dubious
distinction of being declared by the National Crime Bureau as No 1 in the country in respect of
harassment of women, he criticised the Government for not waking up to the problem. Raghavaiah urged
the government to consult women organisations, public representatives and political parties and formulate
administrative and statutory steps to prevent atrocities. He also demanded setting up of special courts to
try cases of harassment and the immediate formation of a Women Commission. (Express Buzz 21/9/09)

Women empowerment will lead the country's development: Study (8)
Mumbai, Sep 22 : In order to accelerate development goals for India, investments in the development of
the girl child are the need of the hour, a study report on status of girl said here today. The report 'Because
I am a Girl', prepared by Plan India, a child centered development organization that promotes child rights
and improves the quality of life of vulnerable children in India, highlighted economic rights and
empowerment of girls and problems faced by them at different stages of their lives globally and in India.
The report will be released every year in India till 2015, till the 20th anniversary of the 1995 Beijing
Conference on Women. Through 70 years of work at the grassroots, the organisation has always found
girls as the most discriminated social group. A major goal of Plan is to fight gender inequality, promote
girls' rights and support the millions of girls to come out of child poverty. It is with this in mind that Plan
has initiated a compaign based on the report to highlight the issues of the girl child and gather support to
empower the girls and hence, a community leading to a better world. Governing board member of Plan
India Raj Nooyi said, ''Across the country, girls face double discrimination of their gender and age, leaving
them suffering at the bottom of the social ladder. Girls are denied access to health services and
education, and also face extremely high levels of violence, abuse, and harassment.'' ''Plan aims to invest
in the Girl Child and bring about a shift in the social attitudes towards the girl child. The programmes at
the grass root level are designed to increase girl child participation to secure the benefits of economic
growth while breaking inter-generational poverty,'' he said. Ms Bhagyashri Dengle, Executive Director,
Plan India said, ''While there are many more girls in the trap of poverty and injustice in India than ever
before, there are many more girls today whose lives have changed because of the good work being done
by NGOs, corporates and government. And both these stories need to be told ' the stories of problems
faced by girls as also the stories of achievements and empowerment of girls. The State of the Girl Child in
India Report 2009 seeks to capture both these aspects surrounding girls in India today.'' Govind Nihalani,
Chairperson, Governing board, Plan India, Raj Nooyi, Member, Governing Board, Plan India, Ms Madhabi
Puri-Buch, MD & CEO, ICICI Securities, Ms Bhagyashri Dengle Executive Director, Plan India, Madhu
Kannan, MD, BSE, Kiran Kher, Manali Vensarkar, and Ila Arun were present on the occasion of release
of the study. (New Keralaz 22/9/09)

Micro financing a boon for women weavers in Orissa (8)
Nayagarh (Orissa), Sep 23(ANI): Micro financing by a voluntary organisation, 'Adhikar', is helping women
weavers in Golabai village in Orissa's Nayagarh district to become self-reliant and weave their own
destiny away from the clutches of moneylenders.Earlier, these women weavers had to take loans from
the moneylenders to buy raw material, and they also used to work on a daily wage basis. The village,
which comprises of 70 families, has been benefited by 'Adhikar', which started a micro-financing scheme
in which an initial loan of Rs. 10, 000 is given to a group of women to buy raw material and establish
looms. "I was working as a weaver since I was 12 years old. Earlier, we used to work for the Sahukar
(moneylender) and we used to get daily wages. But, thanks to Adhikar's micro financing programme, it
has made us self reliant, we are now the owners of our own product," said a weaver. Following the
finance scheme, the earnings of these women have also increased from a meagre Rs. 80 to Rs 1000 to
1200 per day, making it easy to have a better standard of living and also to repay their loans. The scheme
falls under the poverty elimination programme of the organisation and the results, as seen in Golabai
village, have been encouraging. "The motto of this micro finance scheme is poverty elimination. So, as
per that we build an association in the village and then give loans to the weavers and they weave saris, "
said Aniudh Bera, an official with 'Adhikar'. (ANI) (One India 23/9/09)

Girls seek end to discrimination against them (8)
LUCKNOW: Reciting "Beti hun beti hun taara banugi, bade ho kar ma-baap ka sahara banugi.." and
carrying placards with slogans slamming female foeticide and the practise of abandoning girl child, scores
of little girls and their mothers took out a procession in the city to mark the Girl Child Day on Thursday.
Organised by All India Democratic Women Association (AIDWA), the procession saw girls from one year
old to 15-year-old walking on the streets, some in the lap of their mothers and others on their own, asking
people to change their biased attitude towards the girl child. Most girls were from the poor families. They
questioned the social norms which discriminate against girls. Incidentally, this year's Girl Child Day
coincided with the Navratri and Durga Puja wherein girls are worshipped are as incarnations of the
goddess Durga. "On one hand girls are worshipped and on the other thrown in the garbage bin after birth
or are killed before taking birth through female foeticide," questioned 12-year-old Mamta. Young social
activist Saumyata Pandey drew attention towards the fact that 19 girls were found abandoned on the
streets of Lucknow in 2008 and this year 14 have been recovered so far. Madhu Garg, state secretary,
AIDWA, expressed concern over the drop in child-sex ratio and slammed authorities for not implementing
laws banning female foeticide in letter and spirit. (Times of India 26/9/09)

Pak women forced to parade nude (8)
Lahore, Sep. 29 : Three women were forced to walk naked on the streets of Pakistan's Kasur district for
allegedly being involved in a prostitution racket. According to the Daily Times, an angry mob attacked the
house of three women, saying they were running a brothel in the village. However, the victims said all the
accusations against them were baseless and were levelled against them because Union Council Nazim
Ilyas Khanzada wanted to occupy their home illegally. UC Nazim, who confirmed that the incident, denied
that he had orchestrated it. Local police registered a case against the women under sections 371-A and
371-B for running a brothel. Police did not register a case or even question the mob that attacked the
women and publicly humiliated them. A district court has directed action against policemen for registering
a case under wrong sections. (New Kerala 29/9/09)

‘Violence a tool to deprive women of right to property’ (8)
JAIPUR: Activists attending a two-day workshop on “Dignity of women” here over the week-end
expressed concern over crimes against women increasing at a fast pace mainly to deprive them of their
right to property as well as the skewed sex ratio that had led to imbalances in the rural society in the
State. While emphasising the need for changing the mind-set of the law enforcement agencies, the
participants pointed out that offences such as female foeticide, rape, murder and driving women out of
home were often committed to deprive the victims of their property rights. The workshop, seventh in a
series, was organised by Prayatna, a non-government organisation, in collaboration with Action Aid and
Rajasthan Women’s Dignity Forum. Rajasthan University Women’s Association president Lad Kumari
Jain said legislation alone was not sufficient for abolishing sex-based discrimination against women and
called upon voluntary groups to promote awareness about the issue in society. Action Aid Regional
Manager Vijaylakshmi Joshi said the next Census might reveal a disturbing sex ratio in Rajasthan, which
was 922 women against 1,000 men in the 2001 Census. She said the situation was alarming in Dholpur
district where a large number of men in the age group of 40 to 45 years were still unmarried as they could
not find a match at the marriageable age. Former State Women’s Commission chairperson Pawan
Surana said women were generally hesitant to come forward with their complaints because of societal
pressure. Narendra Kumar of Indraprastha Public Affairs Centre, New Delhi, said men’s reluctance to
accord equal rights to women was a “direct result of power equations” in which individuals enjoying power
would not like to give it up. Meeta Singh, country head of the International Foundation for Election
System, said several initiatives taken at the panchayat level in Sriganganagar and Hanumangarh districts
had led to a slow but steady change in the mind-set that earlier treated girls as inferior to boys. (The
Hindu 30/9/09)

No exclusive police station for women in state (8)
PATNA: Women in Bihar still fear lodging a case with a male-dominated police station. To date there is
no exclusive police station for women in Bihar where they can lodge their complaints. Out of the 881
police stations in Bihar, there is not a single separate police station for women. CM Nitish Kumar had
initiated a number of measures to ensure women's empowerment, the first being reservation of 50 per
cent posts for them in the Panchayati Raj institutions and local bodies. In a RTI query, state police
headquarters admitted there is not a single women police station in Bihar. Out of the 881 police stations,
there are only 10 separate police stations for scheduled castes in the state. The proposal for setting up
separate women police stations one each at Patna, Muzaffarpur, Darbhanga and Gaya are still under
consideration. The home department, in its annual report tabled in the state legislature in the last
monsoon session, said that the government is committed to set up separate police stations for women so
that they could lodge their complaints without any fear. The government was also committed to set up
psychological support centre and helpline exclusively for women and children. Incidentally, the
government report suggests that incidents of atrocities on women in Bihar witnessed a rise in 2008
especially in the cases related to abduction, dowry-related deaths, molestation, eve-teasing and rape.
According to the figures compiled by the state police headquarters, as many as 6,186 cases of atrocities
(1,041 incidents related to rape, 1,494 kidnapping, 1,233 murder for dowry, 2,230 dowry harassment and
188 cases of eve-teasing and molestation) were registered against women across Bihar in 2008. A
comparative study of the figures available clearly indicates there was increase in such incidents in 2008
compared to the corresponding period the previous year. While 1,012 cases were registered in
connection with kidnapping of women in 2007, the number went up to 1,494 in 2008. The number of
dowry death rose from 1,226 in 2007 to 1,233 in 2008. Similarly, cases of atrocities perpetrated on
women for dowry rose to 2,230 in 2008 from 1,493 in 2007. Cases relating to eve-teasing and molestation
shot up to 188 during 2008, 20 more than the previous year. The recent disrobing of a woman in Patna in
full public view on the busy Exhibition Road had put the NDA government on the back foot. CM Nitish
Kumar had described the stripping of the woman in public view as a slur on a civilized society. (Times of
India 1/10/09)

Harassed woman finally gets possession of house (8)
LUCKNOW: The Domestic Violence Act can be a potent weapon for a woman to get her rightful claim, if
used and implemented properly. Akashi Gosh finally got to enter her house after three months. After
allegedly being thrown out by her husband, the 35-years-old woman kept running from pillar to post but to
no avail. Neither she was helped by the police, nor the State Women Commission. Finally, she filed a
case under the Domestic Violence Act and as per the provisions in it, the police was forced to `help' the
woman get back into her house in Krishnanagar. Akashi was married to Arun Kumar Bose in 1996. She
has an 11-year-old son. She claimed that her husband used to harass her regularly, which increased after
the death of her father two years back. The lady approached the state women commission in June.
However, in retaliation the husband allegedly showed her the door and took away the child with him to
another place, while putting a lock on the old house. Later, she got a divorce notice from the husband.
When Akashi did not get any substantial help from police and women commission, she approached social
activist, Prof R R Verma, who along with All India Democratic Women Association (AIDWA) helped her
file a case under the Domestic Violence Act. Akashi, then with the help of AIDWA, went to senior district
police officers, who directed Krishnanagar police to take immediate steps to help the woman in getting
back her house. However, local police officers arrived four hours late and did not cooperate as directed
by seniors. However, women activist accompanying Akashi broke open the lock in the presence of police
and helped her take possession. While Akashi's husband, was not available for comments, she said that
government should publicise about the Domestic Violence Act and ensure its strict implementation. "The
Act can help women in distress but has government agencies taking least interest in it," said AIDWA
secretary, Madhu Garg. (Times of India 1/10/09)

Indian women peacekeepers have set an example: Hillary Clinton (8)
In preventing violence against women and girls in Liberia, Indian women peacekeepers have set an
example that must be emulated in UN peacekeeping missions across the world, Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton has said. 'I recently met with an all women police unit from India in Liberia who provide an
excellent example of the steps a UN mission can take in cooperation with the host government to prevent
violence against women and girls,' Clinton told the Security Council Wednesday. 'The Indian unit has
helped to motivate more Liberian women to participate in a campaign against rape, launched jointly by
UN and the Liberian government,' she said, adding the women peacekeepers have 'set an example that
must be repeated in UN peacekeeping missions all over the world'. Asking member states to include
women in designing and implementing national and international peace building programmes, she said:
'More bodies like the Indian unit in Liberia were needed to combat sexual violence in the conflict
zones.''We must seek to ensure that our respective military and police forces especially those that will
participate in peacekeeping missions develop the expertise to prevent and respond to violence against
women and children,' Clinton said. 'This will be helped by increasing the number of women who serve in
UN peacekeeping missions,' she said, adding 'Let us not forget that women lead the call for peace in
communities shattered by violence.'During its 15-year-long civil war Liberia suffered from rampant rape
and other forms of sexual violence and India has recently offered to help train the police force of the west
African nation in an coordinated effort with the UN. The peacekeeping unit, comprising of Indian women,
is the first all female UN police unit which has been stationed in the west African nation since 2007 and
will return in 2010.(Sify News 1/10/09)

Villagers allege harassment by gang (8)
KRISHNAGIRI: About 75 people, including 30 women, from Gopasandiram village under the
Gammonthotti Panchayat on Thursday urged Collector V.K. Shanmugam to save them from land
grabbers. A petition submitted to the Collector alleged that a group of people were threatening the
villagers for the past four years to grab their agriculture and residential properties. The petition signed by
179 people alleged that the villagers who resisted their attempts were attacked by the gang with
weapons. They also alleged that the land and houses of many people in the village were grabbed using
forged documents. The gang claimed that they had the support of revenue and police officials.
Complaints to the Shoolagiri police, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Hosur and Superintendent of Police
in Krishnagiri did not evoke any response, the villagers alleged. They urged the Collector to protect them
from attacks of the land grabbers.(The Hindu 2/10/09)

AI mid-air scuffle: Molestation, assault case against 2 pilots (8)
New Delhi, October 04, 2009: A case of molestation and assault during an alleged mid-air scuffle was on
Sunday registered by the Delhi police against the two pilots of an Air India flight on a complaint of an
airhostess and the airline also probed the incident. Satyender Garg, Joint Commissioner (Operations),
Delhi Police said a medical examination of the unidentified air hostess has confirmed injuries on her body.
The pilot Ranbeer Arora, co-pilot Aditya Chopra , the airhostess and a flight purser Amit Khanna were
derostered on Saturday after the airline management took a serious view of the alleged scuffle between
the cockpit crew and some cabin crew members. 106 passengers and a seven-member crew were on
board the Airbus A-320 on an international flight. An Air India spokesperson called the incident "a clear
case of indiscipline" and said the airline would take stringent action on the basis of the inquiry report
against whomsoever found guilty. Chopra and Khanna also allegedly received minor injuries during the
scuffle. The scuffle between the two pilots and cabin crew members of IC 884 (Sharjah-Lucknow-Delhi)
was reported on Saturday shortly after the flight landed at Lucknow at 0600 HRS. The incident occured
around 0430 HRS when the aircraft was cruising over Pakistan territory. A three-member panel set up by
Air India here probed the incident and heard the parties involved following claims and counter-claims.
Details of the probe were not available. Garg said as per the airhostess's complaint cases were registered
agaisnt the pilots under IPC Sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 354 (assault or use of criminal force
against a woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the
modesty of a woman) and 34 (common intention). "Basically her (the air hostess) complaint had said that
she had been abused, manhandled, assaulted in an undignified way. So the content of the complaint
made out a case under these sections," Garg said. He also said the police would also take the version of
the accused before initiating further proccedings in the case. The airhostess said she has given a
statement to the management but declined to anwser newesmen's questions. Arora said there was never
any risk to passengers during the flight. "Inquiry is on. We will get the details soon," he said. Khanna
claimed he did not hit anyone. "I must speak to the Air India management first. Since we are under great
shock, I have not been able to talk to them." The scuffle apparently was a sequel to verbal exchanges
between the two sides during the pre-flight briefing session ahead of take-off from Sharjah, airline
sources said. An airline spokesman claimed that at no point of time did any of the two pilots come out of
the cockpit. Denying some reports in this regard, he said, "There was never an instance of no pilot being
present in the cockpit. The Commander of the flight was in his seat throughout the flight and never left it.
Thus, there was no question of flight safety being compromised. This could also be corroborated by the
recordings of the Cockpit Voice Recorder (or the black box)." (Hindustan Times 4/10/09)

AIDWA demands probe in sexual harassment case (8)
KANNUR: All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) State secretary K.K. Shylaja, MLA, has
called upon the police to conduct an inquiry into the alleged sexual harassment of a teenage girl from
Mattannur and bring all those involved in the case before the law. Speaking at a press conference here
on Sunday, Ms. Shylaja said the girl from Keecheri, near Mattannur, had been found during a raid in a
suspicious place in Kochi recently. The police had found that the girl who was staying with her mother
and step-father at Keecheri had been lured by an acquaintance of her mother into accepting an offer to
go to Kochi purportedly to get a role in a film. It was understood that the girl was sexually harassed, the
MLA said adding that the case should be investigated seriously as it was apparently similar to the Kiliroor
sex scandal case. A ‘middle-aged woman’ was said to have taken the girl to different places, she said.
(The Hindu 5/10/09)

Disciplinary proceedings against policemen stayed (8)
MADURAI: The Madras High Court Bench here has stayed disciplinary proceedings initiated against two
policemen accused of stripping a woman naked inside the Sempatti police station in Dindigul in February
2001 and assaulting her husband in the guise of investigating an unregistered theft case. Justice R.S.
Ramanathan granted the interim stay after counsel for the two Head Constables contended that there had
been a delay of over eight years in initiating the proceedings. Counsel also pointed out that the prime
accused, a police inspector, had been allowed to retire from service. According to an enquiry conducted
by a Revenue Divisional Officer (RDO), the police personnel picked up the couple from their house at 1
a.m. on February 21, 2001 in connection with a theft complaint without registering a First Information
Report. The woman was sexually abused and her husband, assaulted. Unable to bear the humiliation,
the woman attempted suicide by jumping into a well after she was released by the police. This led to a
large-scale public uproar. G. Devi, district secretary of All India Democratic Women’s Association
(AIDWA), lodged a complaint with the District Crime Branch (DCB) police. The DCB registered a criminal
case against the inspector and seven constables on the basis of a statement obtained from the victim
when she was undergoing treatment in a government hospital. However, after a few years, the
prosecutors filed a final report before the trial court and closed the case of sexual abuse as a “mistake of
fact.” In the meantime, the government, acting on the basis of the RDO’s enquiry report, issued an order
on August 31, 2006 requesting the Director General of Police to take departmental action against the
police personnel and intimate the results to it. “Even though nearly three years had gone by, no action
was taken. Therefore, a writ petition came to be filed in 2009 questioning the G.O. This Honourable Court
was pleased to order notice. After coming to know about the institution of the writ, the Superintendent of
Police issued charge memos on June 30, 2009,” the petitioners said. (The Hindu 5/10/09)

Need to promote education for girl children highlighted (8)
SALEM: The need to reduce poverty and promote girl child education was highlighted in a seminar
organised here on Thursday. The seminar was held to mark the World Population Day. Population control
is essential to reduce poverty and ensure better socio economic conditions, were the views of speakers
who participated in the function and explained their views at the seminar. In his address to the gathering,
Salem Government Medical College Hospital Dean P. Shanmugam said that government was
implementing a number of programmes in order to spread awareness among people on the negative
impact of population explosion. Early marriage for girls, illiteracy, ignorance and gender inequality were
the some of main reasons for population growth, it was pointed out at the seminar. The reduction in
poverty levels would help control the population explosion, because of the awareness that was likely to
come through increased income levels and better standards of living. The girl child education should also
be encouraged. With education, people could easily understand the need for family planning and
preventive healthcare. People should not show any indifference to girl’s education he said. According to
reports, the sex ratio in Tamil Nadu was 987 women per 1,000 men. It was 929 women per 1,000 men in
Salem district. Senior officials were present in the seminar. Earlier, students took out an awareness rally.
Collector J. Chandrakumar flagged off the rally. Joint Director of Health C. Mani, Deputy Directors M.
Gnanasekaran, G. Indumathi, City Health Officer S. Porkodi and senior officials were present. (The Hindu

Woman beaten up for not bringing dowry; husband, in-laws booked (8)
After Karamjeet Kaur, a resident of Desumajra village, filed a complaint alleging that she was assaulted
by her in-laws for not fulfilling their dowry demands ,the local police have booked her husband Taranjeet
Singh, father-in-law Jagjeet Singh and mother-in-law Rajinder Kaur on Friday. The four have been
booked on charges of voluntarily causing hurt, criminal breach of trust and subjecting the complainant to
cruelty and harassment for demanding dowry under Sections 323, 406 and 498-A of the IPC. No one has
been arrested yet. In her complaint, Kaur said she married Taranjeet in 2006. But soon after, her husband
and in-laws started harassing her for dowry. “Recently, they asked me to bring Rs 20 lakh from my
parents, who were unable to give such a huge amount. They mercilessly beat me up and forced me out of
the house,” alleged Kaur, who is a native of Punjab chief minister’s Badal village in Muktsar district.
(Indian Express 10/10/09)

NCW seeks report from Air India (8)
NEW DELHI: The National Commission for Women (NCW) has sought a report from Air India on the
alleged molestation of and assault on an airhostess by two pilots onboard a flight from Sharjah to New
Delhi. The NCW has also decided to constitute a committee to look into the complaint by the airhostess
who moved the Commission, Chairperson Girija Vyas told journalists here on Monday. The names of the
committee members would be finalised by Tuesday. The airhostess told journalists: “I want justice from
the management [AI] as well as the NCW for what happened to me.” The Commission asked the national
carrier to ensure her safety and security. Pilot Ranbeer Arora, co-pilot Aditya Chopra, the airhostess and
flight purser Amit Khanna have been derostered by the management, which took a serious view of the
scuffle between the cockpit crew and cabin crew members on Saturday.(The Hindu 6/10/09)

Air India places pilot, flight purser under suspension (8)
New Delhi: The management of Air India on Tuesday placed under suspension a senior pilot and a flight
purser of a Delhi-bound international flight in the controversial case of molestation of an airhostess.
Airhostess Komal Singh had filed the case against two pilots of the Sharjah Lucknow-Delhi IC 884 flight
on October 3 when the incident took place. The management, which conducted an inquiry, suspended
commander Ranbir Arora and flight purser Amit Khanna, an airline spokesman said. The probe found
them guilty of playing a major role in the mid-air scuffle that led the air hostess to file the molestation case
against two pilots. The management, after examining a report of its internal enquiry, has also set up a
separate five-member committee, headed by a senior woman official, to probe the molestation charge
while keeping the complainant grounded till the probe was over. “This committee, which has begun its
investigations today, also has a representative from an NGO, in accordance with the Government
guidelines”, the airline said in a press release. The airline had initially de-rostered the two pilots, purser
and grounded the airhostess. Co-pilot Aditya Chopra continues to be de-rostered. Charge-sheets will also
be issued against the two suspended employees. The alleged victim had charged that when she went to
the cockpit to greet the pilots, she was abused, molested and was pushed out of the cockpit during which
she sustained bruises. Purser Khanna, who tried to defend her, had got into a scuffle with the pilots. It is
said that at one point of time, both the pilots had come out of the cockpit putting a question mark on the
safety of the flight. The management, though, denied this. The Airbus A-320 from Sharjah, carrying 106
passengers and seven crew had reached Lucknow when the matter was reported. While the “attitude” of
flight purser Khanna led to the altercation that later blew up into a scuffle, the behaviour of flight
commander Arora, who pushed the air hostess out of the cockpit, was “objectionable”, the panel is said to
have concluded. The findings of the departmental inquiry, set up now, will determine the extent of
involvement and culpability of Arora and Khanna and the quantum of punishment to be awarded to them
will be decided accordingly. The Delhi police, who had registered the FIR, has recorded statements of
some ‘concerned persons’ but did not identify them. Delhi Police chief Y S Dadwal said the department
has also asked the airline to provide the list of passengers travelling in the business class. By virtue of
being seated in the front of the aircraft and near the cockpit, these passengers could act as crucial eye-
witnesses to the scuffle and throw light on the incident, a senior police official said. Reacting to the
suspension of the senior pilot, Indian Commercial Pilots Association President Shailendra Singh said, “we
have full faith in the management. Whatever they have decided is as per the preliminary inquiry” but
added that they reserved the right to appeal after the final outcome. He said that separate inquiries were
being conducted by the airline, the police and the DGCA. “Let these be completed, then only we will
decide, what should be done,” he said.(Deccan Herald 6/10/09)

NCW concerned over rise in rape cases in Madhya Pradesh (8)
Bhopal, October 08, 2009: Expressing concern over the unprecedented surge in crimes against women,
National Women's Commission (NCW) chairperson Girija Vyas on Thursday, citing the National Crime
Record Bureau figures, said Madhya Pradesh reported the highest number of rapes in the country in the
last five years. Talking to reporters in Bhopal, Vyas said though the state stands third in the country in the
number of rape cases, as per the figures given by state government, the matter of concern was the rising
incidence of rape and the lower ratio of convictions in the state rather than its statistical position. The
NCW chairperson, however, said that a sexual assault bill, which will cover all other forms of harassment,
including sexual harassment other than rape - proposed by the commission - will put a check on the
assault on women in any form. The proposed bill, which would enable the recording of the statement of
the victim secretly, she said, would also go a long way in providing justice to women as they will not be
able to change their statements under pressure. "If any rape victim identifies the accused, then he should
be immediately arrested," she said. Vyas also said that women should be made aware about the
Domestic Violence Act so that they know their rights. Answering a question on virginity tests episode in
the state, Vyas said the commission has asked the state government to review the scheme and to take
action against the guilty. Expressing concern on trafficking cases, she said such cases have increased in
three years and they are being overlooked. Similarly, a proper search is not being held for missing
women and children. Vyas also expressed unhappiness over the treatment meted out to sprint queen
P.T. Usha during the 49th National Open Athletics Championship here, saying Usha was an athlete of
international repute and should not have been treated shabbily. She also called for resignation of state
Sports and Tourism Minister Tukojirao Pawar. A local court has framed charges against Pawar for
allegedly threatening election returning officer Sanjana Jain on Nov 8, 2008 - about a fortnight before the
assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh were held - and a case was filed Nov 10. (Hindustan Times

Dalit woman suffers miscarriage after being assaulted by cop (8)
KANPUR: In an inhuman act, a police constable attacked a pregnant Dalit woman, carrying twins, so
brutally that she suffered miscarriage in Pahewa village of Ghatmapur, 20 km from Kanpur. The incident
came to light on Thursday after the family of the 30-year-old woman, carrying the six-month-old aborted
fetus, reached the office of the DIG (deputy inspector general) and apprised the senior police officials
about the barbaric incident. The police, however, have yet to take any action against the erring cop. The
victim, who was initially shooed away by the policemen from the DIG office also, was later sent for
medical, when the matter was brought to the notice of DIG, Neera Rawat. Identified as Somwati, wife of
Anil, is in trauma after the attack and undergoing treatment at the Ursala Horsman hospital. The incident
took place on Tuesday, October 6, after neighbours of the victim Somwati, identified as Mohan Lal, Jai
Karan, Hari Om and Ramesh first beat up her family members including her husband Anil, father-in-law
Ram Asrey, sister-in-law Rajrani and a relative Guru Prasad, after her father-in-law had raised objection
over the caging of saplings sown on the Gram Sabha land located adjacent to their house. According to
sources, all the four accused, who were armed with axe, other sharp-edged weapons and wooden sticks,
thereafter, forcibly entered Somwati's house again on Wednesday and beat up her family members. It
was when Somwati and her sister-in-law Rajrani rushed to the spot in order to rescue their family
members, a policeman identified as Ram Milan, attached with the Ghatampur police station, who was on
routine patrolling, reached there and allegedly started bullying them further. "When Somwati came in the
way, the cop Ram Milan ignoring her pleas, dragged her by her hair aside and kicked her in her stomach.
She immediately started crying with pain and we rushed her to a nearby hospital," said Ram Asrey,
victim's father-in-law while talking to TOI. Later in the evening, she suffered a miscarriage and delivered
stillborn babies. "Soon after the assault, I suffered an abortion. Later, when my sister-in-law Rajrani and
one of my relatives Guru Prasad reached Ghatampur police station and tried to register an FIR, the
policemen, instead of registering their complaint further confined us illegaly in the police lockup. However,
the Ghatampur police allowed all the four accused to go scot-free," she said on Thursday at the Ursala
hospital. Interestingly, the Ghatampur police denied the whole incident when TOI tried to contact them for
their version. "I have directed the officials to constitute a high-level probe into the incident and register a
case against the culprits who assaulted Somwati," DIG, Neera Rawat, said.
(Times of India 9/10/09)

Infanticide in Tamil Nadu: Twin girls killed (8)
MADURAI: In a shocking case of female infanticide in southern Tamil Nadu, a woman allegedly murdered
one of her newborn twins two weeks ago by slitting the infant's throat, while her mother strangled the
other. Both the women were arrested in Thoothukudi district on Thursday.The police said the women
were disappointed that both the babies were girls. They feared the family would incur a huge expenditure
in their medical treatment, since they were born premature. According to police, Revathy (21), wife of an
autodriver in Thoothukudi district, was eight months pregnant. She went into labour on September 23 and
was rushed to the district government hospital where she delivered the twins. The babies weighed about
two kg each. The doctors kept the newborns in an incubator and the babies were brought out only for
breast-feeding. According to the police, on Thursday morning, Revathy and her mother Thennila (45), had
taken the infants for feeding after informing the nurse. After being with the infants for a while, they rushed
back to the incubator room and created a commotion, demanding to know what the nursing staff had
done to the babies, as they were unconscious. The hospital's chief maternity officer Lourdes Alpino, who
checked the babies, found traces of blood on one of them and became suspicious and informed the
police. The mother and grandmother later reportedly confessed to having killed the infants. (Times of
India 10/10/09)

NCW seeks report on TN infanticide (8)
New Delhi: Oct. 11: Taking note of the recent horrifying incident of a case of female infanticide in Tamil
Nadu, the National Commission for Women on Friday sought a report from the Tamil Nadu government
on the incident. "It is a horrifying incident. We have sought a status report from the state government in
the case within next 10 days. Further action will be taken in the matter after we get the report from the
state authorities," NCW member Yasmin Abrar said. The police has already arrested the mother and her
grandmother for allegedly killing the twin pre-matured babies kept in the hospital incubator. According to
reports, while the mother had slit the throat of one of the girls, the twin was strangulated by the
grandmother.(Asian Age 12/10/09)

Women outnumber men in migration in State (8)
BHUBANESWAR: If statistics are to be believed, women outnumber men as far as migration is concerned
in Orissa. Of the 11 million people migrating from and inside Orissa, 8.6 million are females. Sounds
tricky? Here is an explanation. Marriage, which is considered a cause, accounts for a majority of the
migrating population. It is not just about search for livelihood after all. At the launch of Human
Development Report, 2009, by UNDP, interesting facts were dished out about human mobility in Orissa
here today. It said one in four is a migrant given the analysis that 11 million Oriyas are on the move out of
a population of 37 million. A high female migration is attributed to societal practice of marriage. The
movement due to work, employment, business and education come later. For men, work is the major
cause of migration. The figures say that the share of female migration as compared to men drops steadily
as the geographical area rises. In case of intra-district migration, share of females is 83 per cent and it
falls to 66 per cent for inter-district, 59 per cent for inter-state and just 45 per cent for international
migration. The UNDP analysis says that rural to rural migration is the highest amongst all forms of
migration and constitutes 76 per cent of the total but those who move from rural to urban areas account
for 15 per cent. Urban to urban migration is 6 per cent while urban to rural migration is the lowest at just 3
per cent. While there are positives and negatives about migration, a low point is the health hazard -
vulnerability to HIV/AIDS as well as alcoholism was found to be high for single migrant workers from
Orissa to Surat. In fact, members of the SC community have a growing share among workers migrating to
the Gujarat city known for diamond and textile industries. Magsaysay Awardee Jockin Arputham, who has
worked extensively towards slum development, said Mumbai would not be Mumbai but for migration from
across the country, in an indirect hint at the growing resistance towards the North Indians in the western
metropolis. He, however, called for increasing sanitation facility in the slums saying, the least policy-
makers and planners could do is give each family a toilet. Arputham too called for increasing participation
of women in the development process. State Information Commissioner Jagadananda said about
200,000 people from the tribal districts migrate to brick kilns and construction sector every year. “The sad
part is most of them end up as “invisible citizens” living in dehumanising conditions. These unorganised
migrants lead to a data gap which eventually means a policy gap,” he said. Among others Manorama
Mohapatra of Lok Sevak Mandal and UNDP’s State Programme Officer Ambika Nanda spoke.(Express
Buzz 7/10/09)

Dowry torture whiff in housewife’s death (8)
Guwahati, Oct. 11: The death of a young housewife under mysterious circumstances triggered protests in
Fatasil Ambari today. Panchami Sarkar, alias Purnima, 24, was found hanging from the window grille by a
sari at her in-law’s house in the Kalapahar area this morning. Panchami’s husband Pankaj, who works
with a local travel agency, informed police but said his wife had “committed suicide”. Panchami’s family,
however, alleged that her in-laws had murdered her. The police arrested Pankaj, who married Panchami
eight months back, and his parents Purna Chandra and Pratima, on charges of harassing Panchami for
dowry. Panchami’s brother Mantu Mondal said: “She was seven months pregnant but suffered a
miscarriage last month after her husband assaulted her. I have every reason to believe that they killed her
and then tried to make it look like a suicide.” Though the victim’s family claimed that she was murdered
for dowry, the police are waiting for the post-mortem report to ascertain the cause of death. A post-
mortem was conducted at the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) this afternoon. After the
incident came to light, many residents of the area, mostly women, laid siege to the Fatasil Ambari police
station, demanding exemplary punishment to Panchami’s husband and in-laws who had allegedly
tortured her for dowry. “It may appear to be a suicide, but murder cannot be ruled out. We are waiting for
the post-mortem report which will help establish the cause of the death,” an officer of Fatasil Ambari
police station said. “The body was found in a kneeling position. Had she committed suicide the knees
would not have touched the ground,” Mantu alleged. “Soon after her marriage, she was subjected to
constant harassment for dowry which disturbed her. Her husband ordered her to bring Rs 50,000 from
us,” he said. “Everybody in their neighbourhood was aware that Panchami was harassed and beaten up
for dowry. She was forced to starve for days,” Mamoni Bhattacharjee, a resident of the area, alleged.
Panchami is the second housewife in the city to die under mysterious circumstances in a month.
(Telegraph 12/10/09)

Police brutality on woman and son alleged (8)
BHOPAL: The Mahila Congress of Madhya Pradesh and women’s rights groups here have alleged police
brutality on a woman and her son. Sushila Bai (40) and Deepu (12), picked up from a slum by the police
in an alleged theft case, were beaten up inhumanly in the lockup, according to these groups. The woman
was allegedly sexually abused. The two were apprehended at 8 p.m. on Wednesday last when the
daughter of a personal assistant to a senior Congress leader reported the loss of her wallet from the New
Market area. Deepu and Sushila, who were taken in the case, were kept in custody at the T.T. Nagar
police station for six hours and allegedly tortured. Sushila was allegedly threatened with rape and more
violence by the Thana In charge Umesh Tiwari and others if she did not return the Rs. 20,000 that was
reportedly lost. The slum residents, on hearing the matter, collected some money and gave it to the police
upon which the two were released at 3 a.m. on Thursday. On learning of the alleged torture, the residents
gheraoed the police station in the morning. After this, Sushila was arrested again and booked for theft. “It
is a clear case of human and child rights violation and illegal detention. The woman and the child were
subjected to intense torture by the police,” said president of the Madhya Pradesh Mahila Congress
Shobha Ojha. “Not only was she picked up at night, which is strongly objectionable, they willingly delayed
presenting her before a magistrate,” she said. A complaint has been filed with the State Human Rights
Commission. The police also reportedly threatened the women activists present during the medical
examination of the woman. “It is correct that the woman and child were illegally detained and brutally
beaten up. The police also tried to influence the HRC investigation by tampering with the medical
reports,” said a high-ranking investigating officer in the Human Rights Commission on condition of
anonymity. The Police Department has refuted the allegations. “The officials were just doing their duty
and the people in question were at fault,” said Bhopal Superintendent of Police Jaideep Prasad.
Questions have been raised as to why Sushila was let off late on Wednesday night and arrested again
the very next day. She was finally released on bail late on Friday evening, while Deepu was sent to a
juvenile home. (The Hindu 14/10/09)

Husband and in-laws held for dowry death (8)
JAIPUR: The Sikar police have arrested the husband of Manju alias Suntia, who was found dead in her
in-laws house, on charges of murder and dowry harassment on Wednesday. On a day before ‘Karwa
Chauth’ on October 6 two-months pregnant Manju, who was just eight months into her married life, was
found hanging in her in-laws house. Her family members allege that Manju was murdered by her husband
and the in-laws for dowry and also for rejecting her husband’s demand for an abortion. Manju of Jotwara
in Jaipur was married to Jaiprakash, son of Ramswaroop, at Sirohi village under Neem ka Thana in Sikar
district only in February. She was the youngest of three brothers and two sisters. After her parent’s death
at a very young age her brothers brought her up. Manju was in her second year of graduation when she
was married off. Manju’s in-laws were paid a handsome dowry of Rs 2 lakh in cash, a motor cycle and a
‘decent’ wedding reception party was also organsied stretching the resources of a lower middle class
family. However, according to family members Manju’s in-laws had started harassing her demanding
more dowry. They were demanding a car and money to set up a shop for her husband which was beyond
the capacity of her family. Her problems were compounded after she became pregnant. Her husband
started ill-treating her and demanded abortion. Manju’s brother Sitatram said Manju came to her ancestral
house in Jaipur during ‘sawan’ for a week and returned to her in-laws place only on October 1. He said he
had received a distress call from her on October 5 complaining of harassment. “She asked me to take her
home. She was weeping all through the conversation and I assured her that I will come and take her
home. However, everything ended before I could do anything,” said a distraught Sitaram. On October 6
the very next day and just a day before Kawachauth, the Neem ka Thana police informed her relatives
here that she had committed suicide. DSP of Sikar, Dilip Saini said the Manju committed suicide by
hanging herself and her autopsy report says she died of asphyxiation. He said the police on Wednesday
arrested Manju’s husband Jaiprakash on charges of dowry harassment and murder. However, we could
not collect any evidence to initiate action against her in-laws till now. He said apart from dowry, the
insistence of her husband for an abortion may have caused Manju’s death. (Times of India 16/10/09)

'Few women pursue higher studies' (8)
BANGALORE: Bishop Cotton Women's Christian College, departments of Botany, Chemistry and
Biotechnology, conducted a one-day inter-collegiate seminar in association with Centre for Women
Studies Empowerment and Social Research on the topic `Women in science and technology' on
Thursday. The programme was inaugurated by chief guest Prof. Shobhana Narasimhan, associate
professor, Theoretical unit, JNCASR, Jakkur, and was presided over by Joyce Sunder, principal,
BCWCC, and Dr Uma, regional director, UGC Centre for Women Studies. Shobhana said: "Women
pursuing higher studies are very low in number.'' She shared a personal experience from her college days
at Harvard University. "Women are denied science subjects. Only those who are loud and aggressive can
take up science. Some of them cannot persist because they are tradition-bound. A few of them are
suppressed on the assumption that women can't multi-task,'' she said. She threw light on the high
percentage women taking up under-graduate courses, and the figure declining in PG and research
programmes. "A majority of the women chose technology and not research,'' she added. Annapurni
Subramanium, former reader, Institute of Astrophysics, Koramangala, explained the hurdles in pursuing
higher education. She spoke of factors like family problems, parental issues, economic concerns, egos
and secularism. The third speaker Agnes Madhusavani M, head of microbiology department, Maharani
College, spoke about women achievers, potential scientists and career prospects in the field of science
and technology. She gave details on the fellowships and sponsorships offered by the Indian government.
(Times of India 17/10/09)

'Harassed' by TDP MLA, woman commits suicide (8)
HYDERABAD: A woman agriculture officer in Andhra Pradesh committed suicide alleging mental
harassment by a legislator, a minister said Sunday. B. Rajeswari Sunday died of burn injuries at a
corporate hospital, where she was undergoing treatment after she set herself ablaze four days ago.
Minister for Small Industries D.K. Aruna said action would be taken as per law against those responsible
for the woman's death. She said Rajeswari named a legislator and two other people's representatives in
her statement. In her dying statement recorded before a magistrate, the 26-year-old mandal agriculture
officer blamed opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) legislator Sita Dayakar Reddy and two district and
mandal level public representatives. Sita Dayakar Reddy represents Devarkadra assembly constituency
in Mahbubnagar district. After returning home from office on Oct 15, the Devarkadra agriculture extension
officer had poured kerosene over herself and lit the match. She sustained 60 percent injuries and was
shifted to Hyderabad for treatment. Rajeswari, who had joined as agriculture officer only six months ago,
told her family members that she resorted to the extreme step as the legislator and two other public
representatives were mentally harassing her. Sita Dayakar Reddy, however, denied that she was
harassing the official and clarified that she only wanted to know about the steps being taken to help
farmers. Minister Aruna visited the hospital and consoled the parents of Rajeswari. She also gave a
financial assistance of Rs.30,000 to the family. Police officers in Mahbubnagar said they would take
action against the legislator after receiving the statement recorded before the magistrate. The Communist
Party of India (CPI) has also demanded the immediate arrest of Sita Dayakar Reddy, who is also the
president of the women's wing of TDP. CPI activists staged a road blockade in Mahbubnagar district,
demanding the legislator's arrest and a compensation of Rs.1 million to the family of the deceased.
(Express Buzz 18/10/09)

Women NGOs concerned at growing violence in Assam (8)
 IMPHAL, Oct 18 – Indigenous Women Forum for NE India and Women Against Militarisation and State
Violence Programme have expressed their concern over the increasing violent activities in Assam. Dr
Gina Shangkham, convenor of IEFNEI and N Sorhie of the WAMSVP in a joint statement has said that
the October 8 incident involving the president of Bodo Women’s Justice Forum, who is also a lecturer of
Barama College, Assam was an incident of lawlessness promoted by the State. The two women
organisations also took strong exceptions to the October 4 incident where 12 people had been killed at
Bhimajuli in Assam. “We condemn the killing of 12 innocent villagers and injuries to several others at
Bhimajuli on October 4. It is believed that they were harassed by extortionists against which the villagers
had protested and declared openly that they would not pay any extortion money. The local administration
and the State Government was aware about this situation but did nothing to protect the lives of these
innocent people,” Dr Gina Shangkham and Sorhie said in their joint statement. These two organisations
recalled that long years of bloody conflicts have made the police and even the top political leadership
oblivious to the threats to the lives of ordinary people. “The police in Assam is ever busy in its VIP security
duties. We strongly condemn the attitude of the local administration and the State level top leadership for
their apathy towards protecting the lives of its citizens,” the statement said. It stated that Assam has
passed through long years of unresolved claims to territories, autonomy and homelands. The State has
denied basic civil and democratic rights to its people. “The climate of lawlessness has made different
groups and communities to take law into their hands. The attack on Boro Women’s Justice Forum
president Anjali Daimary on October 8 by two motorcycle-borne youths in front of the College is yet
another incident of this lawlessness promoted by the State. We strongly condemn this attack on a rights
activist,” it said. The organisations urged the government to investigate forthwith into the killings at
Bhimajuli and the attack on Daimary and put the guilty on trial immediately. The administration and police
responsible for providing security to the people should also be punished for the lapse of duty, it further
urged. (Assam Tribune 19/10/09)

Five women suspected of being witches, beaten up (8)
Ranchi, October 20, 2009: Five women were paraded naked and beaten up on Sunday by villagers on
suspicion of being witches in Deoghar district, about 350 km north-east of Ranchi. Three of the five
women are widows. The women were beaten up so severely that they were seen writhing in pain. The
face of one was burnt with incense sticks. The Palajori block development officer and officer-in-charge of
the local police station got wind of the incident and reached the village with the police. They rescued the
women from the crowd and brought them to the police station. Sushila Kumharin, Sagiran Bee, Hafijan
Bee, Sujan Bee, and Gulnar Bee — the women who were beaten up – belonged to Pathalghatia village,
where the incident took place. It is not known which three were widows among them. According to
reports, a witch doctor instigated the villagers to thrash the women. A witch doctor is meant to exorcise
evil spirits. Villagers first beat up the women in the morning. Subsequently, they misbehaved with them
for an hour and dragged them out naked, abusing and thrashing them relentlessly. The villagers were
pressing these women to confess that they practised witchcraft. The police, later, recorded the
statements of the victims in which they named the culprits. According to reports reaching here, four
women were also involved in the five women getting beaten up. (Hindustan Times 20/10/09)

Labourer assaulted, burnt alive (8)
NIZAMABAD: In a shocking incident, a 40-year-old woman labourer identified as Dumala Mallavva was
suspected to have been sexually assaulted and burnt alive in Neelagiri forest on the Chukkapur village
border in Machareddy mandal. The highly mutilated body was recovered from the offence site by the
police on Friday afternoon. According to information reaching here, Mallavva belonged to Jangampally
village in Biknoor mandal used to work as a daily wage labourer in Kamareddy town. As usual, she went
for work on October 19 and since then her whereabouts were not known. A ‘maestri’ (group leader)
belonging to Velpukonda village reportedly took her to work on that day. The body was burnt by dousing
some fuel on it, reports said. The victim is survived by husband Mallaiah, two daughters and a son.
Deputy SP Janardhan, Circle Inspector of Police Jaipal Reddy and Sub-Inspector Sreedhar Kumar visited
the site.(The Hindu 24/10/09)

Dowry torture allegedly drives woman to suicide (8)
RAJKOT: Dakshaba Zala, resident of Kherali village in Wadhvan taluka of Surendranagar district
committed suicide by setting herself ablaze allegedly due to dowry harassment. Her father Mahipatsinh
Vaghela, resident of Isanpur in Ahmedabad, has filed a complaint at Joravarnagar police station.
According to the complaint, the deceased was constantly tortured physically and mentally by her in-laws
over dowry issue. The complaint has been filed against Daksha's husband Tejpalsinh Zala and in-laws
Prashantba Zala, Rupba Zala and Arjunsinh Zala. Joravarnagar police officials are investigating the
matter. (Times of India 25/10/09)

Stop attacks on N-E people: Naga women bodies (8)
IMPHAL: Naga women bodies in Manipur have termed the murder of Ramchanphy Hongray a
"systematic racial attack" on northeasterners and urged all concerned to stop such assaults immediately.
Nineteen-year-old Hongray of Greenland in Ukhrul district was allegedly killed after being raped by her
fellow tenant Pushpan Kumar Sinha (30), a PhD scholar of IIT-New Delhi, on Saturday night. Five years
ago, Leishichon Shaiza, a Naga girl from Ukhrul was murdered in Mumbai. Hongray went to New Delhi to
visit her elder sister who works there. Since she was new, she had to spend most of the time indoors
while her sister was away for work. Taking advantage of the situation, Sinha committed the heinous
crime. Expressing shock over Hongray's murder, Naga Women Union Manipur (NWUM), has cautioned
that any attempt by Delhi Police to dub the murder as an isolated case will further hurt the sentiments of
people from the North-East. "NWUM believes the media will not shy away from this kind of racial
discrimination against people from the North-East," said union president Grace Shatsang on Tuesday.
The Tangkhul Shanao Long (TSL) said attacks on people from the North-East, especially students
studying in New Delhi, has given rise to fear psychosis and a sense of alienation. "TSL is also shocked by
the manner in which Delhi Police is trying to divert such issues as isolated cases' instead of ensuring
safety of people from the North-East," said a statement issued by its president AS Dinah and general
secretary Ys Praising. (Times of India 27/10/09)

Domestic Violence Act misused, says group (8)
THE All India Forgotten Women (AIFW) group has demanded that the Government make the Domestic
Violence Act gender-neutral and that equal protection be provided to men and women against physical,
emotional, verbal and economic abuse. On the occasion of third anniversary of DV Act, the organisation
observed a ‘black day’. At a press conference on Monday, AIFW president Uma Challa said that DV Act is
not genderneutral and gives scope for women to misuse. The DV Act is based on the assumption that
victims of domestic violence are always women and that the perpetrator is always a man. “National Crime
Bureau statistics show that between 2005 and 2006, more number of men committed suicide than
women,” she said. According to her, DV Act contradicts many other Acts followed in our country. “Article
14 of the Indian Constitution declares that the State shall not deny to any person equality before the law
or the equal protection of laws within the territory of India. However, the DV Act blatantly denies
protection to men against any form of domestic abuse,” Uma Challa said. The DV Act attempts to legalise
live-in relations thereby violating laws against polygamy. “But the DV Act forces legal interference into a
relationship that is legally invalid,” Uma Challa added. (Express Buzz 27/10/09)

Woman's heart is at greater risk (8)
New Delhi: Changing lifestyle, stress and a poor metabolic profile are making young and middle-aged
women worldwide more prone to heart attacks, according to two American studies. However, women,
especially those younger than 55 who are protected by hormones, also have greater chances of survival
after a heart attack compared to men, say the studies published in the latest issue of Archives of Internal
Medicine, a Journal of American Medical Association publication. India, with consistently poor metabolic
profiles among urban and rural women above 35 and rising obesity, needs to be on guard, another study
says. Middle-aged women historically had a lower overall risk of heart events compared to men of a
similar age, but that is changing. "Although men in their midlife years continue to have a higher
prevalence of myocardial infarction (heart attack) and a higher 10-year risk of hard coronary heart
disease than women of similar age, our study suggests that the risk is increasing in women, while
decreasing in men,'' the authors said, calling for intensification of efforts at screening for and treating
vascular risk factors in women in their midlife years. "Men are still believed to be at greater risk and are
thus more aggressively informed, counselled and treated for these diseases," wrote the experts. They
added that vigorous attention to the prevention of cardiovascular risk factors -- by healthy diet, regular
physical activity and avoiding smoking -- is necessary for both men and women. A similar multi-centric
study conducted recently under the department of science and technology on women above 35 years age
found Indian women have worse metabolic profiles consistently in both rural and urban areas. Low life
expectancy among Indian women is a systemic problem. But while "previously it was due to complications
of pregnancy and delivery, and infections, now these are combined with rising diabetes, hypertension and
heart disease,'' said Dr Anoop Misra, head of department of diabetes and metabolic diseases, Fortis
Hospitals, New Delhi, and former professor of internal medicine in AIIMS. "Increasingly, underprivileged
women, and those living in rural areas are being affected. These women are clearly unaware of their
health problems and complications and cannot afford treatment," said Misra. For the JAMA study, experts
from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, analysed data of American adults between 35-54
years from 1988-1994 and 1999-2004. In the same journal, another report by Emory University School of
Medicine, Atlanta, experts found that in-hospital death rates had decreased more markedly in women
than in men. The reduced risk of death was largest in women younger than 55 years (a 52.9% reduction)
and lowest in men of the same age (33.3%). "Such improvement may be due to better recognition and
management of coronary heart disease and its risk factors in women before the acute myocardial
infarction event," the authors wrote.(DNA 28/10/09)

Girl escapes human traffickers, reunites with family (8)
VARANASI: Gudia alias Moni, a 14-year-old tribal girl who managed to escape from the clutches of a
couple trying to sell her, was handed over to her Sonebhadra-based parents by NGO Guria on Thursday.
However, the police have denied having any knowledge of the incident. According to Ajit Singh, the
member of central advisory committee on combating human trafficking and child prostitution and Guria, a
couple had gone to Singrauli from Pandeypur a few weeks back. They contacted Binu Panika and his
wife Hema to send their daughter Moni with them as they had arranged for a job for her. However, they
brought the girl and allegedly forced her to learn dance and also showed her obscene films. He said four
days back, the girl heard the telephonic conversation about a deal to sell her to some person. Hearing it,
she managed to flee from the house at wee hours. A family of Sarsauli locality provided shelter to the girl.
After failing to trace her parents, the family handed over the girl to Guria. The Guria volunteers reached
the place of Binu Panika in Singrauli on Wednesday night and returned with him on Thursday. They took
the girl to police office to lodge an FIR against the couple. Singh said despite repeated efforts, the Cantt
police refused to lodge a case of human trafficking in the matter. Finally, the organisation handed over the
girl to her parents without lodging any complaint. When the inspector Cantt was contacted, he refused to
have any knowledge of recovery of any girl. (Times of India 30/10/09)

School girl ends life, principal taken into custody (8)
Hyderabad, October 29, 2009: A 15-year-old girl student at a private high school in Hyderabad hanged
herself to death after alleged harassment by her school Principal, police said on Thursday. The school
principal Niraja and her husband Laxmaiah were on Thursday taken into custody and further
investigations were on, they said. P Vijay Vani, a 10th standard student was found hanging at her
residence in V K Dhage Nagar in Hyderabad last night, Saidabad police said. According to police, Vijay
Vani locked herself in her study room and hanged herself to the ceiling fan with a sari. "The body was
found by her parents when they went to her room asking to join for dinner," a police officer said. A suicide
note purportedly written by Vani was found in the room in which she alleged that "School Principal and
her husband were subjecting her to mental harassment and were responsible for her death." "They
(Principal and her husband) were harassing our daughter and using foul language stating that she was
not studying well. The actual reasons for the harassment is that we had recently shifted our younger son
from their school," the victim's parents alleged in a complaint. The school principal and her husband were
on Thursday taken into custody and further investigations were on, the police officer said adding the girl's
body has been sent for post-mortem.(Hindustan Times 30/10/09)

Women self-help groups to man parking lots soon (8)
THANE: Women of Thane are soon to make a foray into another male bastion working as attendants in
parking lots. As many as 63 women's self-help groups (SHG)s in Thane have been given the contract to
work at 112 locations across the lake city, helping motorists and bikers park their vehicles at specified
places for a certain period and recover the money for it. The first-of-its-kind initiative, which is expected to
be launched by next week, is expected to serve a dual purpose, of opening a new horizon for the SHGs
as well as cutting down on corruption in the pay-and-park scheme. Calling it a viable business plan,
deputy municipal commissioner B G Pawar, who initiated the proposal, hoped that this kind of job would
instil confidence among women's groups. As part of the scheme, the SHGs will have to deposit half the
day's earnings at the local ward committee offices. Pawar said Thane municipal corporation teams would
patrol the parking lots to check if the attendants were maintaining the register and issuing coupons to
vehicle owners. For the assignment, the SHGs will hire new hands, who will initially work for two months.
Their contracts will extended following assessment of their performance; it will also depend on the mutual
consent of the two sides. According to a civic source, the project is expected to turn out to be a money-
spinner for the SHGs as well as the TMC. In fact, a survey conducted by a market research agency,
Dnyanprabhodhani, had indicated that the earnings from the pay-and-park scheme could cross an annual
amount of Rs 2.50 crore. However, private players, who sought to win the TMC contract, had offered to
pay a maximum of Rs 45 lakh annually. With the SHGs supervising operations at the parking slots, TMC
officials hope greater transparency in their account books and are confident that the women will help instil
parking discipline among motorists. The pay and park scheme was first introduced in Thane in 2002 for a
period of three years. However, the contractors continued to operate on the streets even after the expiry
of the contract. In fact, it places where parking was free of any charges, the contractors men would
recover money from the motorists. (Times of India 3/11/09)

Mumbai boys may have to go hunting for brides (8)
There is a dearth of girls in the city. The sex ratio -- at birth and overall -- is skewed because of a strong
and unjustified preference for sons, the human development report says. The BMC released the report
last week. For every 1,000 boys, there are only 809 girls in the city. To make matters worse, the sex ratio
at birth is declining. In 2006, it was 919.5 girls for every 1,000 boys. The report, compiled by the All-India
Institute of Local Self-Government (AIILSG) in association with the United Nations Development
Programme (UNDP), has blamed sex determination tests that lead to abortion of the female foetus. The
craving for a boy child is so intense, says the report, that people do not mind violating the law and going
for selective abortions. "There has been some active and clandestine misuse of advanced scientific
techniques to enable pre-birth medical termination of pregnancy," the report says. Though sex
determination tests are banned in the country, several maternity clinics continue to do it. The report also
blames the public health department of the BMC for failing to take action against such clinics. Contrary to
popular belief that the poor want to get rid of the girl child, the craving for a boy is more prevalent among
the educated and the rich. Elimination of the female foetus is more pronounced among them, the report
says. Quoting the recent ward-wise data on child gender composition, the report says the sex ratio is
most skewed in areas dominated by the rich. The C municipal ward -- the only ward without any slum --
covers the area from Kumbharwada to Fanaswadi in South Mumbai. But it has the worst sex ratio (587
girls for every 1,000 boys). The A ward, which covers Colaba and Cuffe Parade, comes second with 733
girls for every 1,000 boys. Other areas in South Mumbai such as the B ward (735 girls) and E ward (755
girls) do not have much to boast of either. "The propertied classes do not desire daughter/ daughters
because after marriage of the daughter, the son-in-law will demand a share in property," the report says.
"Hence in the richest areas in Mumbai, the most skewed sex ratio is found. "The property-less class,
meanwhile, believes in disposing of daughters to avoid dowry. They, however, do not mind accepting
dowry for their sons." (DNA 4/11/09)

Centre urged to create database on NE women (8)
GUWAHATI, Nov 3 – In view of the escalation of violence against people of the North-East particularly
girls and women staying in the country’s capital, the Assam State Commission for Women has called
upon the Union Government to create and maintain a database of NE students and working women in
collaboration with nongovernment organizations (NGOs). The Commission has suggested that the
database be maintained by the Delhi Government also and that the work necessary for creating the data
base should be taken up immediately. “The government should not ignore this issue of harassment of NE
people and provide the requisite infrastructure for creating the data base. The Bhavans of the NE States
should be requested to provide the necessary help in this regard,” said Mridula Saharia, chairperson of
the Commission. The Commission taking serious note of the incidence of sexual harassment of women
and girls from the region in Delhi has suggested for a strong networking among the metro-based NE
students organizations and local NGOs working on women issues. “It would be of great advantage to the
NE girls and women if women police kiosks are set up in residential areas dominated by NE students,”
said Saharia, adding that the police force in Delhi should be sensitized towards the problems encountered
by the NE people. “A mobile police force should be on the vigil near the educational institutes too to
prevent crime against students from the NE,” said Saharia. The Commission, Saharia said, was ready to
work with the National Commission for Women, the Delhi Women Commission and the local NGOs to
create awareness on the issue and prevent its recurrence. The Commission has appealed to the people
of the region settled for long in New Delhi to come forward and help the efforts aimed at preventing crime
against NE people. The Commission has insisted financial compensation be provided to all victims of
atrocities by the union government as well as the Delhi Government. (Assam Tribune 4/11/09)

Children to campaign against female foeticide (8)
ALLAHABAD: To check the cases of female foeticide, the district health department will now rely on the
religious books like Quran and Vedas. For the purpose, the department has roped in as many as 1000
children of 15 city based schools who would carry out play cards and banners displaying quotes from
religious texts and appeal to the people to eradicate the social evil of female foeticide. As part of the
campaign, an awareness rally will be held in the city on November 9. This would be the first occasion
when children in the city would make an appeal against female foeticide. The children, divided in three
groups of 5,000 each, will pass through all major areas in the city covering a distance of 20 kms. The rally
will conclude at three major points including the SRN hospital, Colvin and TB Sapru hospitals where it
would be welcomed by district officials. Though the exact figures of female foeticide in the district are not
known, the situation is termed alarming. Dr Meesum SAM, assistant district programme officer, AIDS
control told TOI that children would tell people not to discriminate between boys and girls. Further, he
added, children would appeal to people to refrain from sex determination tests. The rally will have the
slogan of `Beti-Bachao'. Along with the rally, a series of street plays will be held at Civil Lines and district
collectorate to aware people about ill effect of female foeticide with the help of NGOs and civil defence
personnel. Dr SAM said that the entire programme has been initiated on the directives of health minister
and principal secretary health. He informed that the purpose behind organising the rally by children is to
motivate people to discard sex determination. Female foeticide cannot be tackled without the active
participation of people, he added. In an attempt to make the programme a success, a brain storming
session was held on Wednesday at TB Sapru hospital. Chief medical officer Dr Ravi Dutt Dwivedi, chief
medical superintendent of Beli hospital Dr GK Tripathi and Dr Meesum Sam participated in it. (Times of
India 5/11/09)

UN initiative to make Delhi safe for women (8)
NEW DELHI: The United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) is working with the Delhi
Government to make the Capital a safe city for women. “We are working with the Chief Minister on the
proposal and have made some headway,” UNIFEM executive director Ines Alberdi told reporters here on
Wednesday at the end of her three-day official visit to India. The global safe city programme, already
being implemented in some cities of Latin America and Africa, entails some simple solutions like special
transport facility for women, providing alarms in the public transport system and improving street lighting
to give women a sense of security. To begin with, the programme will be launched in New Delhi and then
replicated in some other cities also, Ms Alberdi said. She met Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit in this
connection on Wednesday. The programme would be implemented with the help of local authorities,
women’s groups and civil society. This would also mean providing women access to violence-free cities
and promoting gender equality, she said. Ms Alberdi, on behalf of UNIFEM, also signed an agreement
with the Norwegian government for promoting and strengthening women’s participation in local
governance and political leadership. The $ 9 million agreement will be implemented in India and some
other countries of South Asia for building capacities of the elected women so that their voices are heard in
the political spheres. “I think India is making appreciable efforts in promoting women’s participation in
politics and the proposed 33 per cent reservation in elected bodies is one such initiative,” she said. The
UNIFEM promotes women’s empowerment and gender equality by focussing on strengthening women’s
economic security and rights, ending violence against women, including trafficking, reversing the spread
of HIV/AIDS among women and girls, and achieving gender equality in democratic governance. (The
Hindu 5/11/09)

Housewife commits suicide (8)
VISAKHAPATNAM: A housewife committed suicide allegedly due to harassment of her husband. D.
Nagamani of Jodugullapalem married Penta Rao, an autorickshaw driver of Kancharapalem, four years
ago. He was allegedly given Rs.50,000 as dowry at the time of the wedding. He was allegedly addicted to
alcohol and used to beat his wife. He was allegedly torturing his wife to get additional dowry. Penta Rao
was chided by his brother-in-law P. Venkata Kanaka Raju for harassing his sister. Unable to bear the
harassment, Nagamani consumed pesticide on Wednesday morning. She was rushed to a hospital where
she died later in the day. (The Hindu 5/11/09)

Norway to fund UN project for women's role in panchayats (8)
New Delhi, Nov 4 : The Norwegian government Wednesday signed an agreement to grant the United
Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) $9 million for strengthening participation of women in
local governance in India. The partnership agreement was signed by UNIFEM executive director Ines
Alberdi and the Ambassador of Norway to India Ann Ollestad. "This signature is an initial step in working
to promote women's participation in local governance and government in India," Alberdi told reporters
here at the UN office. The grant will be used over a period of three years to initially train 30,000 women
elected representatives from six Indian states. "The grant can be extended to a longer period," Alberdi
added. "The government-run National Institute of Rural Development (NIRD) will be in-charge of training
to the women. The training could in turn be conducted by the state institutes of rural development," said a
UNIFEM South Asia official. UNIFEM is already in talks with the ministry of women and child development
(WCD), National Commission for Women (NCW) and the Planning Commission to promote and sustain
the project. Alberdi said that UNIFEM would also be working in partnership with the ministry of panchayati
raj. "All the UN's millennium development goals (MDGs) are inter-linked with the third goal focusing on
development of women and gender issues. Our proposal wants to relate this with the Indian government
efforts," Alberdi stressed. In the three years the project will be implemented in states with varying women
representation in local government which will include Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Meghalaya, Karnataka as
well as Kerala. (New Kerala 5/11/09)

These girls have shed purdah for computers (8)
VARANASI: A group of Muslim girls, all in their teens and hailing from weaver community, have shed their
veils to bring about a new dawn for the community in general and other girls of their age group in
particular. These girls are learning computer application to keep pace with the developing society. Today,
they not only know computer terminology like DOS, MS Office, Windows, page-maker and photoshop, but
are also swift in these applications. "I am learning computer applications to get a good job to support my
family," said Sultana Bano, a Class XI student and daughter of a weaver of Dhannipur village in Lohata--
an area dominated by poor Muslim weavers. Sultana has completed the six-month diploma in computer
applications and is now pursuing the advanced diploma in computer applications at a computer institute in
Lohta market. Like Sultana, many other girls from different localities of the area were also busy on
computers when TOI visited Lohta in Kashi Vidyapeeth block on Thursday. These girls attend computer
class daily before going to their schools. They have big dream too. Some of them dream to become
engineers and doctors while some want to become teachers. "I want to join the field of journalism," said
Saijiya Bano. Though, they want to reach out for the moon, most of them are not very sure about their
future because of the financial condition of their families as well as social bonds. "Abhi mein graduation
karna chahati hoon. Age kya hoga pata nahi (Right now I want to do my graduation. I don't know what is
in store for me in future)," said Kaisar Jehan, a Class XI student and resident of Alawal area. Her sister
Asgari Bano is also learning computers with her. "Getting the permission of our parents and guardians to
step out of our homes for learning computer and joining school is a big achievement for us," they said.
According to them, poverty is the biggest hurdle in getting education, particularly for poor girls. Besides,
"the social bounds are also there that work against us," lamented another girl, adding most of the girls
were bound to live behind the veil. But, she also hastened to add that a change was gradually taking
place and many families were allowing girls to go to school and learn computer. "Definitely a change is
taking place. I am a high school failed, but I want to educate my daughter because it is necessary for her
future," said Abdul Quadir, the weaver father of Sultana. Quadir has four sons and four daughters and
Sultana is the youngest. His sons assist him in weaving while Sultana is the only child learning
computers. Similarly Hafiz Ahmadeen, the father of 10 and imam of local mosque, also sends his
daughter Shabnam Bano to learn computer. "It (computer learning) will definitely benefit the girls in the
days to come. And, other girls also get inspiration from seeing them learning computer," said the imam,
adding that the mindset of people was also changing. "People's mindset is changing in Lohta area, which
is known for poverty-ridden weaver families. The computer learning and education to these girls became
possible because of the Vidya Gyan Scholarships provided by the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation in partnership
with the Shri Sivasubramaniya Nadar Educational and Charitable (SSN) Trust for Muslim and Dalit girls.
In UP, the programme has focused on the three districts of Varanasi, Rae Bareli and Barabanki," says Dr
Rajni Kant, president of Human Welfare Association (HWA), the NGO that runs the programme in Kashi
Vidyappeth block. According to him, 290 girls have been given scholarships in Lohta area. Besides, the
programme is also being run in Araziline, Cholapur blocks and Pilikothi locality in city area by different
organisations. (Times of India 6/11/09)

Minor girls continue to toil despite child labour ban (8)
GUWAHATI, Nov 6 – No legal provisions actually can improve the lives of Ashima Begum, Juhura Khatun
and the others unless the society to which they belong changes its perception towards the girl child.
Though child labour has been banned by the Government of India, these girls and many others, all in the
age group of 10 to 14, living in the Dhirenpara slum area, still toil from morning to evening, forgoing their
midday meal. These young girls have been made to believe that it is their duty to contribute to the family
earning. While their brothers either attend school or stay back at home, they engage themselves in
various odd jobs. The elders in their family say that they cannot afford to educate all the children in the
family and hence the responsibility falls on the shoulder of the girl child to contribute as much as they can
to meet the family expenditure. The day for 10-year-old Ashima starts at 8 am. She hurries to get out of
the ramshackle hovel, but not to attend any school like others of her age. She has to reach a factory
where she works till 4 pm. “They pay us Rs 20 per day,” said Ashima really happy with the amount she is
bringing home every month. Daughter of a rickshaw-puller, Ashima does not know that she is being
exploited by her employer. As she got Rs 10 per day earlier, Ashima thinks she is earning big at present.
The condition of 11-year-old Juhura is no better. She too works in a factory and earning the same as
Ashima. Her mother is a domestic help. Her day also starts early and she too like Ashima works till
evening. Shamina Begum, 11 years old is also working to contribute to the family income. “I earn Rs 500
per month,” she says proudly. They would have remained illiterate but lady luck smiled on these girls and
now they are attending a National Child Labour Project centre from 5 pm to 8 pm. But nevertheless they
will have to go on toiling and sweating as long as their families feel that the girl child is born to tolerate
and suffer.(Assam Tribune 6/11/09)

State women leaders petitioned President, PM on Tangkhul girl murder case in Delhi (8)
Imphal, November 08 2009: A group of 67 women leaders across various ethnic communities in Manipur
has demanded that IIT doctorate scholar Pushpam Kumar Sinha who attempted to rape and later
murdered 19 year-old Tangkhul girl from Manipur, Ramchanphy Hongray by at Munirka village in New
Delhi on October 24 last be booked at the earliest and punished, as well as adequate compensation to
Ramchanphy's parents and family members. Condemned the recent rape attempt and murder in a
memorandum sent recently to the President Pratibha Patil, the women leaders expressed that the
incident should not be seen as a case in isolation. "Rather it reflects the deep-rooted and widespread bias
of mainland Indians against the people of the northeast," it said. Copies of the memorandum were sent to
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Delhi CM Sheila Dixit and Manipur CM O Ibobi as well as the national
and state human rights and women commissions. The women leaders came up with the memorandum
after minutely discussing the frequent exploitation and ill-treatment of northeastern people in various parts
of India during a two-day Women Leaders' Meet organized by the Women Committee of the United NGOs
Mission Manipur (UNMM) at DSSS, Mantripukhri (Manipur) premises on October 28-29, 2009 .Stating
that this is not the first case of rape, molestation or exploitation of young people from the northeast in
mainland India, the women leaders cited cases of rape, harassment and exploitation of northeastern
people in major cities of the country particularly in New Delhi due to the difference in their facial features,
culture and tradition. "They are treated as second class citizens. This is against the very ethics and stand
of independent and secular India as the Indian Constitution is based on the equality of all its citizens
regardless of the diversity of race, religion, cultures and traditions," the memorandum reads. Denouncing
the failure of the Indian Constitution to protect its citizens from the northeast as well as the failure of the
Delhi Government to protect the northeastern citizens in its soil, the memorandum further questioned the
statement of the Delhi Police that Pushpam was a "pervert and mentally deranged person". The
memorandum also questioned how could a prestigious institute like the IIT which is very strict about
allowing admission to only the brightest and most brilliant minds in the country have allowed a "mentally
deranged" person like Pushpam to enroll in its doctoral course? . The memorandum which was signed by
the 67 women leaders from nine districts of Manipur also appealed for intervention in initiating a change
in the mindset of the people of mainland Indians towards the northeastern people as continuation of the
derogatory and ill-treatment of northeastern youths in metropolitan cities of India "will only serve to further
alienate the people of the region". The memorandum also questioned how could a prestigious institute
like the IIT which is very strict about allowing admission to only the brightest and most brilliant minds in
the country have allowed a "mentally deranged" person like Pushpam to enroll in its doctoral course? .(E-
PAO 8/11/09)

UNIFEM launches platform to end violence against women (8)
NAIROBI: The U.N. Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) has launched a campaign in the Kenyan
capital Nairobi to mobilise people around the world to take part in a drive to stop the pandemic of violence
suffered by women. The global advocacy initiative Say NO — UNiTE to End Violence against Women, will
stimulate, count and showcase actions on ending violence against women. The innovative platform will
spotlight global efforts and demonstrate the groundswell of support and actions on the issue. Based on
country data, it is estimated that up to 70 per cent of women experience physical or sexual violence from
men in their lifetime. Say NO — UNiTE to End Violence against Women is a global call for action to end
violence. The multi-year initiative will contribute through advocacy and outreach to the high-profile U.N.
Secretary-General-led campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women. The initial target of the plan is
to reach 1,00,000 actions by March 2010 and 1 million in one year. Actions to be showcased and counted
can range from reaching out to students at schools, to volunteering at local shelters, advocating for
legislation or donating funds towards programmes that protect women and girls from violence. The luxury
watch manufacturer OMEGA announced a challenge grant of $50,000 for the first 50,000 actions, a result
of cooperation with UNIFEM Goodwill Ambassador Nicole Kidman. The money will go to organisations
working on the ground. Kicking off the international efforts, UNIFEM Executive Director Ines Alberdi in
Nairobi along with Kenyan Minister of Gender, Children and Social Development, Esther Murugi
Mathenge, met patients and medical staff at the Gender-Based Violence Recovery Center at Kenyatta
Hospital, which provides a one-stop solace to survivors of sexual violence. The centre is run in
partnership with the the Coalition on Violence against Women, COVAW, a UNIFEM partner. They also
saw first-hand work to prevent gender-based violence as they interacted at Ngara High School with girls,
who are participating in leadership, mentorship and self-protection programmes led by the Kenyan child
rights organisation The Cradle, another UNIFEM partner. “We know that violence against women is a
problem with solutions. What I have seen first-hand today in Kenya is the impact of effective work at the
grassroots level, yet there is an urgent need for the governments to make this issue a top priority and
take decisive action,” said Ms. Alberdi. “UNIFEM is launching today the Say NO — UNiTE initiative to
trigger actions from all walks of life and engage people to come together and end violence against
women,” Ms. Alberdi added. Applauding the launch of the innovative advocacy platform, Minister of
Gender, Esther Murugi Mathenge, said ending violence against women is a top priority of the Kenyan
Government. The initiative, which will count actions by individuals, the governments and civil society
partners, has already gained the support of more than 80 launch partners from across the world. —
Xinhua (The Hindu 9/11/09)

Difference between men's and women's health (8)
The World Health Organisation said on Monday women tend to receive poorer medical care than men.
click here Following is a breakdown of the differences between male and female health in children,
adolescents, adults and elderly people, according to the United Nations health agency's report: Infants
and children -- Death rates and causes of death are similar among boys and girls until 9 years of age. --
Pre-term birth, birth asphyxia and infections are the main causes of death in the first month of life, when
mortality is the highest. Pneumonia, diarrhoea and malaria are the main causes of death during the first
five years of life. -- Girls are more likely to suffer sexual violence than boys. Adolescents-- Teenaged girls
are at risk of unsafe, unwanted and forced sexual activity that can make them vulnerable to HIV AIDS,
other infections, unwanted pregnancy and unsafe abortion. -- Women catch sexually transmitted
infections more easily than men for biological reasons and also due to lack of access to information as
well as health services. -- Pregnancy-related complications are among the main causes of death among
girls aged 15 to 19 in developing countries, with unsafe abortions accounting for a large number of such
deaths. Adults-- Every year, about 500,000 women die from giving birth, almost all in developing
countries. -- Poorer nations lack services to screen and treat cervical cancer, the second most common
type of cancer among women. -- Women are more susceptible to depression and anxiety than men.
Some 73 million women worldwide suffer a major depressive episode every year. Mental disorders
following childbirth affect about 13% of women within a year of delivery. -- Women typically prepare most
of the family food, and thus are most exposed to indoor smoke from burning solid fuels for cooking, a
phenomenon most common in poor countries. The burden of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a
lung ailment also related to smoking, is 50% higher among women than men. -- Women suffer far more
fire-related injuries and deaths than men, with most related to cooking accidents and others the result of
intimate partner violence. Burns are a leading cause of death among women aged 15 to 44 in Southeast
Asia. Elderly -- Though often considered a "male" problem, heart attacks and stroke are the main killers of
older women. Cardiovascular disease is often undiagnosed in women. -- Because they live an average of
six to eight years longer than men, women represent a big proportion of all older people. Their main
problems in older age, often untreated, include poor vision, hearing loss, arthritis, depression and
dementia.(DNA 9/11/09)

Late IAS' daughter harassed for dowry (8)
CHANDIGARH: Jasleen, daughter of Punjab’s former secretary for science and technology, Avinash
Singh Chhatwal, has got an FIR lodged at Sector-39 police station against her husband Jagjit Singh
Kohli, his father Daljit Singh and mother Harjit Kaur for dowry-related harassment. She has also levelled
allegations of assault and wrongful confinement against the Kohlis and stated that her husband had made
an objectionable video of her and threatened her with releasing it on the internet. Chhatwal, a 1986-batch
IAS officer, had committed suicide on October 21, 2008, at his official residence in Sector 39. He had
taken the extreme step after some time passed following Jasleen’s wedding, which, sources said, had
taken place against his wishes. Jasleen is the only child of her parents. Her in-laws reside in Sector 36.
She had filed a complaint against them two months ago and a senior official of the Crime Against Women
(CAW) Cell was investigating it. Sources said insiders of the victim’s family told investigators that accused
had started demanding money from her. They added that before lodging an FIR in this connection,
counselling sessions had also been organized for both the parties. A case under sections 406 and 498-A
of the Indian Penal Code was registered against the Kohlis. Police have not arrested anyone in this
connection. (Times of India 11/11/09)

Public condemnation of racial discrimination staged at Ukhrul (8)
Imphal, November 10 2009: Taking strong exception against the repeated harassment and discrimination
that girls from the North East region are subjected to in cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, the
people of Ukhrul today came out as one and publicly denounced such discriminations at the Tangkhul
Naga Long ground. Thousands of students from different schools located in and around the district
headquarters took part in the public demonstration with leaders of various Tangkhul civil society
organisations addressing the gathering. School kids in their uniform turn out in large strength to publicly
condemn racial discrimination meted out to people of North East Region in cities like Delhi, Mumbai and
Bangalore during a public demonstration at Tangkhul Naga Long ground UkhrulSpeaking at the occasion,
president of the Tangkhul Naga Long, Stephen Angkang, president of the Tangkhul Shanao Long, AS
Tinah and president of Tangkhul Mayar Ngala Long, Zamyo Varam said that girls from outside the North
East region who are settled here are treated with respect and dignity. However it is the reverse when girls
from the North East venture out to the mainland, they pointed out and advised parents, guardians and
elders to carefully study the environs, whenever they want to send their children to study outside the
region. The mindsets of such people can never be changed, they said and added North East girls will
never be safe outside the region. They also questioned why girls from the region should be discriminated
against. Later speaking to newsmen at the office of the Tangkhul Naga Long, Stephen Angkang said that
numerous representations and memoranda have been submitted to the Centre as well as the
Government of Manipur to highlight the harassments faced by the North East girls. However nothing
positive has been forthcoming and girls from the region continue to be harassed and insulted, he said.
Since the people of North East come from a different stock of people, profess their own religion and
culture and dress differently, they are being discriminated against, said Angkang. If such a trend of
looking down on the people from the North East does not stop, then it would lead to bad blood and
animosity between the North East States and others, he added. The continuing discrimination of girls
from the North East has given rise to a deep sense of disappointment amongst the people here, he said
and cautioned that such a trend could lead to unwanted situation. "I am not endorsing such a situation,
but this cannot be ruled out," he added. President of Tangkhul Mayar Ngala Long, Zamyo Varam said that
the issue is extremely sensitive. Varam said that tension ran high the day body of Ramchanphy Hungyo
was brought back home from Delhi and they had a difficult time to calm down frayed nerves, lest people
from outside the region are harmed. Hungyo was brutally killed by a neighbour in Delhi's Munirka after
attempted rape, last month.(E-PAO 11/11/09)

IAF plan: Women fighter pilots with no-child condition rule (8)
NEW DELHI: The Indian Air Force on Tuesday said it was planning to have women fighter pilots in future,
but they will be inducted with a pre-condition of not bearing children till a certain age. "In a few years time,
we might see this change (women getting inducted as fighter pilots) coming in with certain pre-conditions
that till this age we request you to be happy, be married, but no offsprings," IAF Vice Chief Air Marshal P
K Barbora told reporters here. "After 13-14 years of service, investments made on fighter pilots are
actually recovered by the government," he said in an indication that women fighter pilots will be allowed to
have kids only after putting in 13-14 years in IAF. Now, women in the age group of 21-23 years are
inducted into the flying branch and may be allowed to start family after crossing the 35-37 years age
bracket. The IAF Vice-Chief said if a woman pilot has to take pregnancy leave, she will be off-flying for
around 10 months, which will not be fruitful for both her and the Service. Citing reasons for Services not
inducting women into combat arms, Barbora said, the armed forces "feel that it is not right to have a lady
or a woman exposed to a conflict where she can be a prisoner of war." "Secondly, psychologically, are we
fit? another factor," he added. (Times of India 17/11/09)

Statins cut healthy women’s heart attack risk (8)
The finding could pressurise family doctors to prescribe statins to “healthy” patients.
A brand of the cholesterol-lowering drug called Crestor was shown to reduce the risk of cardiac events by
as much as 46 per cent. It is the first data to show that statins offer this protective effect in women. Statins
are usually prescribed to patients who already have cardiovascular disease or those at high risk of
developing the condition. These patients are known to be at higher risk of cardiac events such as heart
attack and stroke. GPs are now being told to assess all patients over the age of 40 and prescribe statins
to all those at risk of developing the condition. However, the move towards this “primary prevention”,
which is seen as mass medication of an otherwise healthy population, has attracted widespread concern.
And many health experts have said there is not enough evidence that the benefits for this group will
outweigh the risk of side effects. Last year a trial called the Jupiter study revealed that both men and
women would benefit from taking Crestor even if they did not have heart disease. And the recent study
has revealed more details, concentrating only on women patients. “Cardiovascular disease can be
mistaken as an ‘old man’s disease’, while unfortunately the evidence suggests that people are suffering
cardiovascular events younger and more women are at risk of developing the disease,” the Daily Express
quoted Dr Sarah Jarvis, the Royal College of General Practitioners’ spokesperson for women’s health, as
saying. “There has long been support for the wider use of statins in women, but we didn’t have the
outcomes data to support these recommendations. “This data is extremely exciting as this level of risk
reduction among women has never been seen before in a primary prevention statin outcome trial,” she
added.(Times of India 18/11/09)

96% women feel unsafe in Delhi (8)
New Delhi, Nov 13: Nearly 96 percent women do not feel safe in the national capital, especially so in the
popular markets of Chandni Chowk, Connaught Place and Karol Bagh and in the buses, according to a
survey. The survey was conducted by the Centre for Equity and Inclusion (Cequin) in association with the
Centre for Media Studies (CMS). "Almost 96 percent of the women in Delhi believe that women are not
very safe in the city and 44 percent of the abused respondents chose to remain silent after the incident,"
said Lora Prabhu, director and co-founder of Cequin. "While sexual harassment in public places in Delhi
is a common phenomenon, it is not dependent on the economic status of the individual," she added. The
report is based on the responses of 630 women in the age group 12-55 living in New Delhi and Old Delhi
across the major socio-economic strata. Sixty percent women feel that girls under 10 are most vulnerable
to sexual harassment, according to the survey, and nearly 82 percent women feel that public buses are
the most unsafe mode of transport in the national capital. The survey also reveals that 88 percent women
feel that when a woman is harassed in a public place she rarely gets help from bystanders. And most
women do not feel they can trust the police. Only 19 percent feel that the victims should report to the
police. "While there is always the provision of using the existing IPC (Indian Penal Code) sections like
375, 354 and 509 to deal with heinous crimes like rape, physical molestation and eve-teasing, it is the
implementation of these laws which constitutes the major problem," said Sara Pilot, Cequin's chairperson.
"A large number of these incidents happen because of the flawed concept of masculinity giving rise to
deviant male behaviour," Pilot added. One of the key findings of the survey was that the level of
awareness among the respondents on existing laws and support mechanisms is very low. According to
the findings, "harassment in public spaces has a hugely negative impact on women's mobility and
access". The survey is a part of Cequin's bigger initiative to sensitise Delhiites towards the problem. "The
Delhi Daredevils team is supporting the initiative," said cricketer Virender Sehwag. "We are aiming at a
public campaign which would include public advertisements on radio, television, posters, hoardings. The
campaign would target young men and boys and effect a mindset change through sensitisation and
deconstruction of stereotype images," Pilot added. "This will encourage men and boys to respect women,
and be proactive in shunning all violence against women," she said. (Central Chronicle 19/11/09)

‘Harassed’ husbands rally for equal laws on International Men’s Day (8)
Mumbai, November 20, 2009: Over 100 “harassed” husbands sporting stickers on their shirts with one-
liners like ‘My wife gifted me a law suit’ and ‘Hen-pecked or hand-cuffed’, raced their cars from Mulund to
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus to demand gender equality on the occasion of International Men’s Day on
Thursday. The men, who identify themselves as “victims of wife-centric laws”, are members of various
non-governmental organisations united under the Save Indian Family Movement. They later held a
demonstration at Azad Maidan to highlight that husbands have become a “vulnerable section” due to the
misuse of the domestic violence and dowry harassment laws. “We want the law to be gender-neutral.
Husbands should also be able to file cases if they are harassed,” said Bunty Jain, one of the participants.
He pointed out that the laws were being misused by educated and empowered women in cities while the
unlettered women living in villages, who were truly victims of domestic violence, did not even know about
it. The men’s demands include the setting up of a ministry and commission for men. “When there can be
ministries for women’s welfare and animal welfare, why isn’t there anything for men who pay 82 per cent
of India’s taxes,” said Dr Sandeep Padwade. The men also want people to understand a father’s
emotions and allow joint custody of children during marital disputes. Tejender Singh, whose children live
with his wife, was carrying a placard that read: ‘Jasleen, Goldie, Papa loves you’. Another father held up a
placard saying, “Children need a father, not visitor.” Manish Katira from non-governmental organization,
Child’s Rights and Family Welfare, said that they had come across many cases where women seeking
divorce were threatening to slap domestic violence cases against their husbands if they did not give up
the demand for child custody. The participants also wanted to use the occasion of Men’s Day to shed
their typical manly inhibitions and admit that that they experience pain and cry just like women. Each one
had a heart-rending story to tell. Goregaon resident Purshotam Mahajan recounted how his wife used to
beat him every time they got into an argument. “She was having an affair. Every time I confronted her she
would start hitting me. I was shocked when she slapped a case of domestic violence on me,” he said.
Compact discs with a video of Mahajan’s wife thrashing him were distributed to prove that men need
support. (Hindustan Times 23/11/09)

Raise voice against harassment, women told (8)
HYDERABAD: The members of South Central Railway Mazdoor Union (SCRMU) on Wednesday
organised a meeting to mark the International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women at Rail
Nilayam. Over 500 SCR women employees participated in the meeting, in which a Telugu skit ‘Neti
Mahila’ with the theme of violence against women was enacted. SCRMU president V.P. R. Pillai, while
addressing the gathering, called upon women to raise their voice against harassment and violence
committed against women in the society. SCRMU General Secretary Ch. Sankara Rao said that already a
counselling centre set has been up in the central office of SCRMU to help women employees of SCR.
SCR, FA & CAO, Radha Variyar, Chief Public Relations Officer Chandrima Roy and other top women
officers of SCR and women office bearers of SCRMU participate in the meeting. (The Hindu 26/11/09)

Crimes against women up in state (8)
PUNE: Cruelty in the marital home remains the most reported crime against women in Maharashtra. As
the ‘International Fortnight Protesting Violence Against Women’ got under way from November 25,
statistics with the crime branch of the state police reveal that cruelty by husband and relatives account for
45 per cent of the total 17,510 crimes against women registered in 2008. This marks an increase of 6.82
per cent since 2007 (7,829 cases in 2008 and 7,356 cases in 2007). Ahmednagar had the dubious
distinction of registering the most number of cruelty cases at 537. Molestation cases accounted for 20 per
cent of the crimes against women followed by rape (9 per cent). while the number of molestation cases
rose from 3,306 in 2007 to 3,619 in 2008, the number of rapes showed a 7.5 per cent increase from 1,457
in 2007 to 1,567 in 2008. The total crime profile against women shows an upward shift by 5.42 per cent
— up from 16,610 cases in 2007 to 17,510 cases registered in 2008. The police records observe that the
rate of crime against women — that is, the number of crimes per lakh of population — is 15.10 in
Maharashtra. Though the figure may not appear to be alarming at the outset, one must taken into
consideration that most crimes go unreported due to the fear among women of being stigmatised. One
alarming finding is the rise in the number of rape victims aged below 10. The figure rose by 19.19 per
cent between 2007 and 2008, and by a whopping 49.37 per cent since 1998. (Times of India 27/11/09)

Rats eat body of woman poisoned for dowry (8)
HAZARIBAG: It was a double tragedy for the parents of Anjum Ara, who died on Thursday. She was
poisoned by her in-laws and husband for dowry. But the torture did not end there. As her body lay
unattended at the Hazaribag Sadar Hospital, rats ate her eyes and other parts of her body. Anjum was
the only child of her parents and mother of an eight-month-old child. She was constantly harassed by
husband Javed Akhtar and in-laws for dowry. After her death, her body was dumped at the hospital.
Hazaribag police have arrested two persons, including Minhaz Ansari, father of Akhtar, on the basis of an
FIR filed by the woman's father Md Manzur. This was disclosed by Naushad Alam, DSP (headquarters).
Anjum Ara was married to Akhtar about two years back. Manzur alleged they had given cash and
jewellery according to the demands of Akhtar's family. But they kept asking for more and threatened to
throw Anjum out of the house if their demands were not met. Unable to see his daughter's suffering,
Manzur handed over Rs 1 lakh in cash about a week before the tragedy. But Akhtar was not happy, he
wanted more. Then when they realised their demands would not be fulfilled, they laced poison with her
food. Deputy superintendent of Hazaribag Sadar Hospital Binay Kumar said when they suspected foul
play, they immediately informed the police. He said the police recorded the dying declaration of the victim.
There was not a single relative around her when she died. When Anjum's family was informed the next
morning, they rushed to the hospital and informed the police how Anjum would be tortured. Then they
were shocked to see her face defaced by rats. The DS said they conducted a post-mortem by a medical
board. The report is awaited. He also informed that they have instructed sweepers to kill all rats in the
hospital. Alam said a case has been registered under 498A and 304A of the IPC against Akhtar and other
members of the family. The DSP added that the police conducted a raid and arrested two persons,
including Minhaz Ansari and his brother. However, the husband, the main accused, and other members
of the family, are absconding. (Times of India 26/11/09)

Crimes against women up in state (8)
PUNE: Cruelty in the marital home remains the most reported crime against women in Maharashtra. As
the ‘International Fortnight Protesting Violence Against Women’ got under way from November 25,
statistics with the crime branch of the state police reveal that cruelty by husband and relatives account for
45 per cent of the total 17,510 crimes against women registered in 2008. This marks an increase of 6.82
per cent since 2007 (7,829 cases in 2008 and 7,356 cases in 2007). Ahmednagar had the dubious
distinction of registering the most number of cruelty cases at 537. Molestation cases accounted for 20 per
cent of the crimes against women followed by rape (9 per cent). while the number of molestation cases
rose from 3,306 in 2007 to 3,619 in 2008, the number of rapes showed a 7.5 per cent increase from 1,457
in 2007 to 1,567 in 2008. The total crime profile against women shows an upward shift by 5.42 per cent
— up from 16,610 cases in 2007 to 17,510 cases registered in 2008. The police records observe that the
rate of crime against women — that is, the number of crimes per lakh of population — is 15.10 in
Maharashtra. Though the figure may not appear to be alarming at the outset, one must taken into
consideration that most crimes go unreported due to the fear among women of being stigmatised. One
alarming finding is the rise in the number of rape victims aged below 10. The figure rose by 19.19 per
cent between 2007 and 2008, and by a whopping 49.37 per cent since 1998. (Times of India 27/11/09)

Ganjam to deal strictly with female foeticides (8)
Berhampur, 29 Nov: Identifying sex detection as a major cause for female foeticides in Orissa, Ganjam
district officials has decided to strictly implement the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic
(Prohibition) Act. Declining sex ratio is one of the causes of the female foeticides and tough action will be
taken against those practising it illegally,” chief district medical officer (CDMO), Ganjam, Mr Ratnakar
Behera said. Sex selection, detection and abortion without any illness are illegal and under the Act one
should be punished up to five year jail and fine up to Rs 50,000, he said. In Ganjam district, there are at
least 36 registered ultra sound machines in different hospitals including five in government hospital, he
said. The government has decided to implement the Act stringently as 11 of 30 districts in the state
recorded reduced male-female sex ratio than the state average. The sex ratio in the state was 972 female
per 1,000 male as per the census 2001. The districts which have recorded low sex ratio than state
average are Angul (941), Balasore (953), Cuttack (938), Dhenkanal (961), Jagatsinghpur (963),
Jharsuguda (946), Khurda (902) Nayagarh (938), Sambalpur (969), Sonepur (966) and Sundargarh (957).
(Statesman 30/11/09)

'Now need for court, if husband wife make their (8)
NAGPUR: The increasing number of dowry deaths and ill-treatment with wife by husband or by in-laws
was the reason for IPC section 498(A) to protect women. Swami Vivekananda College of Social Work
organised a talk on "Domestic Violence ACT" on Monday. "There are many women who have misused
Section 498(A) of IPC. There is no prohibition clause in the 498 (A) law that would stop women to misuse
it like submitting false reports and others. According to our report, there are 20 - 25 males who have
suffered under this law," said one of the speakers. Naresh Jambulkar (sufferer) said, "The law is not
wrong but the women who misuses the law are wrong. National Commission for Women has made the
law only for wives and not for sisters or mothers. A husband-wife tiff should be confined inside the
bedroom, but it goes out in the open. There is no welfare ministry for men," he said. An engineer by
profession, Jambulkar left his job and entered social work. Advocate Sister Philomena said, "Our
Constitution has provided us with this law because they felt there is need of this law. If men and women
make their family law together, there is no need for any law. The Constitution has guaranteed us right to
expression, so we cannot stop anybody to express his or her thought. As a lawyer, I try my best to
resolve the problems before taking it to the court." She later said, "I think there should be a three year
degree course for those who want to marry." (Times of India 1/12/09)
‘Sexual assaults on women alarming’ (8)
HYDERABAD: One out of four women in university campuses in the United States face sexual assault in
one form or other and it is feared that, while there are not statistics, the problem could be rampant in India
too. Karen Singleton, a crusader against sexual violence against women students in varsities, working for
a global voluntary organisation ‘Take Back The Night’ was in the city on Tuesday and interacted with
students at the University of Hyderabad. Giving an overview of the voluntary organisation that worked in
40 nations, she said it was founded by a gathering of about 1,000 women in Belgium in 1976.
Interestingly, the second country the organisation spread to was India, when it organised members in
Mumbai around 1978. In a majority of the cases it was either a faculty member or an administrator who
believed in exercising the power he had over students and who was the culprit, she said. The background
of the organisation was a classic case of the ‘Leeds Ripper’ who raped and killed 14 women in Leeds,
England, she said. It was later revealed that the Leeds Ripper was ‘inspired’ by ‘Jack the Ripper’ of the
year 1800. The key to reducing instances of harassment of women in general and on girl students on
campuses lay in improving awareness levels among them, she said, adding that they needed to be
motivated to come out openly and talk about the problem instead of keeping quiet. Ms. Singleton will visit
the voluntary agency Prajwala in the city on Wednesday morning. She will then travel to Warangal for an
interaction with a gathering of clinical psychologists, victims and students and voluntary action workers
organised by Tharuni, working with adolescent girls, women and the aged, established by Dr. Mamatha
Achanta Raghuveer. (The Hindu 2/12/09)

“NCW receives maximum complaints on domestic violence, sexual harassment at workplace”
PUDUCHERRY: Out of 100 to 150 complaints received by the National Commission for Women (NCW)
every day, 60 per cent pertained to domestic violence and sexual harassment at workplace, according to
member of NCW, New Delhi, Yasmeen Abrar. “We receive complaints on dowry deaths, female foeticide
and also rape at times. But, the maximum number of complaints are on domestic violence and sexual
harassment at workplace,” she told reporters during the sidelines of a workshop on Friday. States such as
Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh reported several cases such as dowry harassment,
domestic violence, female foeticide and property dispute. Haryana had high number of female foeticide
cases, while Uttar Pradesh accounted for many domestic violence cases, the official said. She was here
for the inauguration of a two-day programme on “Art of counselling” for faculty members of Government
Women’s Polytechnic College organised by the Puducherry Women’s Commission (PWC) in coordination
with the NCW. About the draft Bill on Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention,
Prohibition and Redressal), she said, “This is aimed at bringing in stringent action for sexual harassment
of women at workplace. We have revised the Bill by including eve teasing and threats. It is with the Union
Ministry of Women and Child Development and yet to be tabled in Parliament.” The NCW was taking
steps to get compensation for victims of rape and acid attacks, she said, adding, “We have opened a Non
Resident Indian cell for addressing problems arising from NRI marriages.” Though there are laws such as
Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, she felt proper implementation was lacking. Women
should be made aware of laws which protect them at home and outside, she stressed. Public Works
Minister M.O.H.F. Shahjahan, Welfare Minister M. Kandasamy and Chairperson of PWC S. Kamalini
spoke. (The Hindu 5/12/09)

Plight of Afghan women may worsen as war effort is stepped up, warns report (8)
The already dire plight of women in Afghanistan risks deteriorating further as the US and its allies take
steps to turn around the war against the Taliban, according to a report by Human Rights Watch today.
Eight years after the Taliban were ousted from power, rapists are often protected from prosecution,
women can still be arrested for running away from home, and girls have far less access to schools than
boys, the report says. With the insurgency strengthening in the south and making inroads into the north,
the few gains made for women's rights since the US-led invasion of 2001 could be further eroded if Hamid
Karzai's government and the international community push for peace talks with factions of the
fundamentalist movement. Among the examples of abuses against women collected by the organisation
was the case of a woman who was gang raped by a group that included a powerful local militia
commander. Although she fought to have her rapists prosecuted, they were subsequently pardoned by
Karzai. Later, her husband was assassinated. Rape was put on the statute books as a criminal offence
this year but it is still not widely regarded by the police or the courts as a serious crime, with the attackers
often receiving greater legal protection than the victims. One survey found that 52% of women had
experience physical violence, while 17% reported sexual violence. "Police and judges see violence
against women as legitimate, so they do not prosecute cases," said Soraya Sobhrang, a commissioner at
the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission. Human Rights Watch said that more than half
the women and girls in Afghan prisons were held for "moral crimes", such as adultery or running away
from home – although the latter is not a crime under Afghan or Islamic law. "Whether it is a high-profile
woman under threat, a young woman who wants to escape a child marriage, or a victim of rape who
wants to see the perpetrator punished, the response from the police or courts is often hostile," the group
said. Rachel Reid, of Human Rights Watch, said the situation "could deteriorate". She added: "While the
world focuses on the Obama administration's new security strategy, it's critical to make sure that women's
and girls' rights don't just get lip service while being pushed to the bottom of the list by the government
and donors." The report also warns that wives in half of all marriages are younger than 16, and up to 80%
take place without consent. A 13-year old girl said that after she escaped marriage she was pursued by
her husband's family. Years later she still has not succeeded in getting a legal separation from her illegal
marriage and women's activists have been denounced in parliament for giving her shelter. Campaigners
have also been angered by the murders of high-profile women, including Sitara Achakzai, an activist and
member of Kandahar's provincial council, who was shot dead in April. A female member of parliament,
who cannot be named, said: "I've had so many threats. I report them sometimes, but the authorities tell
me not to make enemies, to keep quiet. But how can I stop talking about women's rights and human
rights?" In August, Afghanistan quietly passed a law permitting Shia men to deny their wives food and
sustenance if they refuse to obey their husbands' sexual demands, despite international outrage following
a report in the Guardian about an earlier version of the legislation, which Karzai had promised to review.
Although western and Afghan politicians like to hail the increase in school building since 2001 as a major
success story, the Human Rights Watch report says the participation of girls remains very low, with just
11% of secondary school-aged children in education. Karzai, who was reappointed as president after a
fraud-marred election regarded by most legal experts as unconstitutional, is due to announce his new
cabinet in the coming days. Human Rights Watch called on Karzai to release all women detained for
running away from home and offer them compensation. (Guardian 7/12/09)

Afghan women among worst off in world: Rights group (8)
Kabul: Afghan women are among the worst off in the world, violence against them is "endemic" and
Afghanistan's government fails to protect them from crimes such as rape and murder, a rights group said
on Monday. Human Rights Watch said in a report the situation for women in Afghanistan is "dismal in
every area". "Women will not seek help because of their fears of police abuse and corruption, or their
fears of retaliation by perpetrators of violence," said the 96-page report, which is based on 120 interviews
from different Afghan provinces. Afghanistan is a deeply conservative, Muslim country where women
have only been allowed to return to work and education since 2001, when the Taliban were overthrown
by US-led forces. "Whereas the trend had clearly been positive for women's rights from 2001-2005, the
trend now is negative in many areas ... it is a reflection of the power of conservative leaders who want to
deny women their basic rights," the report said. The report cites cases where rapists have been pardoned
by the government, girls and women have been imprisoned for running away from home, rape victims
have been charged with adultery and where women in public life have been murdered. It comes a week
after the United Nations said violence and rape against women in Afghanistan was a problem of
"profound proportions".When president Hamid Karzai was first elected president of Afghanistan in 2004,
he appointed three women ministers. Five years on, the minister for women''s affairs is the last remaining
female in the cabinet. The report's author said Karzai's reliance on support from powerful former warlords
has further restricted women from making progress in Afghan society and government, and attacks on
women in public life seem to be worsening. "There are definitely some negtive trends and attacks on
women in public life is one of those," said Rachel Reid, Afghanistan researcher for the Washington-based
rights group. "As Karzai has weakened over the last few years he's got more dependent on warlords,
whose views are not that different from the Taliban often and that has an effect on women." A further sign
that women''s status in Afghanistan is declining, the report said, is the introduction of the Shi'ite Personal
Status Law, which caused an international outcry because some of its articles were seen to legalise
marital rape. Last week US president Barack Obama announced an additional 30,000 U.S. troops for
Afghanistan. Reid said his silence on women''s issues during his speech signalled that attacks against
women in the war-riven country were permissible. "It matters so much that on the presidential level, it
matters from top to bottom that leaders in society, that men and women try to tackle the injustices that are
meted out to women daily," Reid said. (DNA 7/12/09)

Violence against women in Gujarat on rise: Mahila Adhikar Abhiyan (8)
Ahmedabad, Dec 7 : Amid Gujarat shining reports, a human rights organisation today claimed that
violence on women was on the rise in the BJP-ruled state. Gujarat's Mahila Adhikar Abhiyan activist
Manjula Pradeep, in a statement here, said at least one case of rape is reported every day, besides
unnatural deaths of 15 women and complaints of physical and mental harassment by 17 women on an
average. Various women's organisations, civil society and human rights groups will come together to
highlight the violence faced by women in Gujarat at a public hearing here tomorrow. 'The silence of the
society and impunity of the state in day to day reported incidents of rape, unnatural deaths, abortion of
lakhs of girls through sex determination, domestic violence, sexual harassment at work place and in
educational institutions on minor girls and women have attacked the basis of the action taken by the state
to ensure security, peace and justice in the golden Gujarat', Ms Pradeep said. 'It is also found that instead
of taking proper action against the increasing violence, lot of efforts are being taken to portray Gujarat as
a rich, secured and a prosperous state,' she added. Ms Pradeep said Gujarat ranks 11th in gender
equality and ninth in patriarchal attributes among 15 large states in the country. The state has achieved
only 48 per cent of its target in human development index, as a result of which Gujarat is the last in
human development and gender equality index among other states, she added. (New Kerala 7/12/09)

60 pc of women living in US face sexual harassment (8)
New Delhi, December 09, 2009: Sixty per cent of women living in the United States face sexual
harassment and are quite prone to resulting depression and disorders, according to some researchers. "A
recent study recently pointed out that more than 60 per cent of the women admitted to facing sexual
harassment at some point of their life. 80 per cent of the girls below the age of 14 talked about similar
experience," Suraiya Baluch, director, Princeton University's SHARE (Sexual Harassment/ Assault
Advising, Resources and Education office) said on Wednesday. Baluch was at a panel discussion on
'Women Empowerment and the Changing identity of Women in India and America' organised by the
American Embassy here. "Poverty and racism are two of the most important factors that contribute to the
trauma and abuse that women face there," Karen Singleton, Director of the Columbia University Sexual
Violence Prevention and Response programme said. Neelam Katara, the mother of Nitish Katara who
was killed allegedly by Vikas Yadav, the son of UP politician D P Yadav, spoke about the issue of
property rights vis-a-vis empowerment. "There is an attempt to curb the sexuality of a women when it
comes to the issue of inheritance. The general idea is now the girl is going away and is taking away the
land, let us ensure that the land is in the same race or community," she said.(Hindustan Times 9/12/09)

2,715 cases of abuse registered in Ahmedabad (8)
Ahmedabad: The Gujarat State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) has expressed serious concerns
over increasing incidents of crime and domestic violence against women. The commission conducted a
study on the number of cases of atrocities against the weaker sections of the society, particularly against
people belonging to scheduled caste (SC) and scheduled tribe (ST) across the state. The SHRC study
revealed that the number of crime against women in Gujarat has gone up to 16,067 in 2008 from 12,602
recorded in 2001. Ahmedabad city tops the list with 2,715 crimes in 2008, followed by Surat (629),
Junagadh (607), Bhavnagar (601), Rajkot rural (492) and Banaskantha (426). In the past one year alone,
as many as 359 cases of rape, 1,041 cases of kidnapping, 284 cases of murder, 857 cases of
molestation, 1,840 cases of suicide, 3,166 cases of accidental deaths, 28 cases of dowry deaths and
6,093 incidents involving physical and mental torture of women were registered in different parts of the
state. In 2007-2008, the SHRC said it received, "as many as 117 complaints relating to various crimes
committed against women. These included complaints of rape, kidnapping, murder, gender bias, dowry
deaths, demand for dowry and exploitation." The commission received 67 more complaints in 2007-2008
as compared to 2006-07. A total of 1,159 cases relating to atrocity committed against SCs and another
199 cases of atrocity against STs were reported from across the state in 2007-2008. The SHRC received
37 complaints of atrocity against the SC/ST communities, of which 27 had been disposed off.The
commission had recommended the authorities concerned to take action against the offenders and protect
the weaker sections of the society. Referring to incidents of violation by human rights by the policemen,
the Navsarjan Trust had recommended the higher authorities to initiate department inquiry and punitive
action against 'erring' cops.According to a source in the SHRC, the commission received as many as 394
cases of violation in 2007-08, which included 91 cases relating to 'misuse of power' (by the police), 23
cases of false implication and another 233 cases where the police failed to take legal measures. Kantilal
Parmer, a member of the Navsarjan Trust, said, "There has been an increase in the number of cases
relating to molestation, sexual exploitation and dowry, resulting in suicide and accidental deaths.
Moreover, investigation done by the law enforcement agencies in such cases is halfhearted, which is also
one of the reasons why a lot of complaints are not filed at the police stations. For most women, finding a
public prosecutor is a challenge." Incidentally, to mark Human Rights Day on Thursday, the manhole
workers' unions organised a human chain and staged a demonstration near Town Hall. The unions called
for a joint platform for taking action against injustice. Zakir Qazi, member of the Swasthya Suraksha
Mandal, said, "The demonstration is staged to make people aware about their rights. How can we call the
state Swarnim Gujarat?" (DNA 11/12/09)

“Guidelines ignored in some crime cases against women” (8)
NEW DELHI: Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Tuesday said it was a matter of concern that the
police, prosecutors and judges were ignoring the guidelines issued by the Centre on handling of cases of
crime against women. Responding to supplementaries during the question hour in the Lok Sabha, he said
there were strict guidelines on how a case (crime against women) should be investigated and prosecuted.
“I agree that the guidelines are not followed in some cases by police, prosecutors and judges,” he said.
Pointing out that law and order was a State subject, he said the Centre, time to time, had impressed upon
the States to follow the guidelines to reduce the agony of the victim. Spelling out some of the guidelines,
he said it was stressed that a thorough investigation must be launched and a charge sheet against the
accused filed within three months of the date of occurrence of the crime, medical examination in case of
rape without any delay and creation of special women police cells. Women judges hearing cases of crime
against women, policemen not touching the victims, recording of statement of the victim at her home in
the presence of her parents, relatives or women social workers and in camera hearing of the cases were
some of the other guidelines. Admitting that some foreign women tourists were molested, Mr.
Chidambaram said it was not proper to “exaggerate” the issue and paint an alarming picture of India not
being safe for foreign travellers. The Centre had issued a detailed advisory on safety and security of
foreign tourists and some States had created tourism police forces. On crimes against domestic help, he
said they were “quiet victims” due to the kind of relationship and unequal power situation they were in. If
domestic help get organised, as witnessed in some cities, it would be possible for holding sensitisation
and education campaigns. He assured the members that the Centre would continue to do its best and
impress upon the State governments to ensure that women got justice. (The Hindu 16/12/09)

Activists divided over legalization of prostitution (8)
NEW DELHI: The number of sex workers in the country may touch a whopping five million in just a few
years, if the world's oldest profession is legalized as suggested by the Supreme Court, warn activists.
Hearing a PIL by NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan about large scale child trafficking, the apex court had
last week said that if the trade can't be curbed through punitive measures, legalizing it would be a better
option to avoid trafficking of women and children. However, this suggestion has divided activists who
work for the welfare of sex workers in the country. Though some welcomed it, many feared that such a
move could aggravate the situation. "By legalizing prostitution, you are going to give immunity to the
pimps and brothels to buy or sell human beings. It will in turn increase trafficking of young women and
children," said Ruchira Gupta, founder of Apne Aap Women Worldwide, an anti-trafficking organization. "If
this trade is legalized, the number of prostitutes in the country might double in just a few years," she said.
According to the Women and Child Welfare Ministry, there are over three million women working as sex
workers in India as of 2003. Of them 1.3 million are children below the age of 14. But activists, who
believe the real number is much more than the official figure, fear once the profession is legalized, the
number of sex workers would surpass the population of some European countries like Finland, which has
a population of about five million. "Once it is legalized, buyers will seek more young girls. It would in turn
increase trafficking and brothels will flourish in the country," says Gupta. Echoing similar views, Praveen
Patkar, the founder of Mumbai-based NGO Prerana, which works for rehabilitation of children of sex
workers, said de-criminalization of the profession will open the floodgates for human trafficking. "Despite
having a well-formulated law against trafficking, we have been unable to check the menace. By what
stretch of imagination can we believe that trafficking can be curbed when the trade itself is de-
criminalized?" he said. In India, prostitution is not illegal. Only commercialization of the profession is
criminal, as per the Immoral Traffic (Suppression) Act, 1956. According to the Act, a woman can use her
body for a commercial purpose in private, but she cannot solicit business or seduce clients in public. The
law, which doesn't recognize male sex workers, also bars organized prostitution -- running brothels,
pimping and prostitution rings. The clients can be punished for sexual activity at or close to a public place.

According to Gupta, the countries which have legalized prostitution, have witnessed a sharp rise in
trafficking and also in the number of sex workers. "Besides, an increase in the number of sex workers, the
rates of assault and rape against prostituted persons has also increased in Australia and the Netherlands
- where prostitution is legalized," she said. Following the legalization of prostitution in Victoria, Australia,
not just legal brothels proliferated, it in fact gave rise to illegal brothels - by 300% in one year. It also
created a conducive environment for sex tourists. As a result, women and girls are being trafficked from
South-East Asia to meet the demand. The same is the case with Amsterdam, the Netherlands, where
there are more Eastern European and North African girls than Dutch ones in the brothel district, which
according to the city mayor, Job Cohen, has become a centre for illegal immigration and money
laundering. "Being developed nations, if Australia and Netherlands cannot curb illegal trafficking by
legalizing prostitution, how will it serve the purpose in a country like India," asked Gupta…….. (Times of
India 16/12/09)

Nurse moves SC for mercy killing (8)
New Delhi: Dec. 16: A Mumbai nurse, who became the victim of a violent sexual assault by a class-IV
employee 36 years ago at work place and paralysed for life reducing her to a vegetable existence over
the years, on Wednesday moved the Supreme Court for "mercy killing". In her heart rendering petition
moved through the KEM Hospital dean, the nurse who came to Mumbai in 1966 from Haldipur in Karwar
district of Karnataka and was working with the said hospital since then, said she was "sodomised" by
Sohanlal Bartha, a sweeper on the night of November 27, 1973. He had wrapped a dog chain around her
neck and strangled her to make her immobile. "Due to this her brain cells were damaged. She had
brainstem contusion injuries with cervical cord injuries, which reduced her to almost a vegetable," the
petition said. (Asian Age 17/12/09)

NGO lashes out at male chauvinist politicians (8)
Panaji, Dec 16 : A Goan NGO 'Bailancho Saad', championing the cause of women, today strongly
condemned the statements made by elected representatives blaming the victims of rape, instead of
ensuring that the mechanisms meant to deal with crimes against women function efficiently without any
bias. The purported statement of Chief Minister Digambar Kamat in the national electronic media, blaming
the women tourists who are out in the night as responsible for the rape is highly condemnable, the NGO
representative Sabina Martins said in a release. She said the statement of MP Shantataram Naik in the
Rajya Sabha that complaints of rape of women moving with strangers should be viewed differently is a
direct assault on the rights of women. ''It is also very shameful that Minister Churchill Alemao at a function
to launch helpline for women, blamed the women for the rapes committed on them,'' she said. ''It is
deplorable that our elected representatives have a mindset which blames a victim instead of the person
who commits the crime'', Ms Martins said. ''Rape is sex without consent and it is immaterial whether the
person is known or a stranger. It is the duty of the police to register the complaint and investigate as per
the law. It is shameful and condemnable that whenever the authorities have failed in their duty to take
action against the accused, they have blamed the victim to cover their incompetency,'' she said. There
are hundreds of women working in the night as nurses, doctors and in private business related to tourism
or otherwise, dealing with known and unknown people. It is the duty of the elected representatives to
ensure that their right to movement, right to pursue their profession enshrined in the Constitution is not
curtailed by rising crime. Bailancho Saad stated that the non constitution of the Goa State Commission for
Women after the expiry of the term of the previous Commission, speaks volume of the concern they have
for issues pertaining to women. It also pointed out that infrastructure at the Women Police Station is sadly
lacking in all respects that it has paralysed its mobility and functioning. If the Government cannot maintain
law and order and curb crimes against women it has no right to exist, she added. (New Kerala 17/12/09)

NGO lashes out at male chauvinist politicians (8)
Panaji, Dec 16 : A Goan NGO 'Bailancho Saad', championing the cause of women, today strongly
condemned the statements made by elected representatives blaming the victims of rape, instead of
ensuring that the mechanisms meant to deal with crimes against women function efficiently without any
bias. The purported statement of Chief Minister Digambar Kamat in the national electronic media, blaming
the women tourists who are out in the night as responsible for the rape is highly condemnable, the NGO
representative Sabina Martins said in a release. She said the statement of MP Shantataram Naik in the
Rajya Sabha that complaints of rape of women moving with strangers should be viewed differently is a
direct assault on the rights of women. ''It is also very shameful that Minister Churchill Alemao at a function
to launch helpline for women, blamed the women for the rapes committed on them,'' she said. ''It is
deplorable that our elected representatives have a mindset which blames a victim instead of the person
who commits the crime'', Ms Martins said. ''Rape is sex without consent and it is immaterial whether the
person is known or a stranger. It is the duty of the police to register the complaint and investigate as per
the law. It is shameful and condemnable that whenever the authorities have failed in their duty to take
action against the accused, they have blamed the victim to cover their incompetency,'' she said. There
are hundreds of women working in the night as nurses, doctors and in private business related to tourism
or otherwise, dealing with known and unknown people. It is the duty of the elected representatives to
ensure that their right to movement, right to pursue their profession enshrined in the Constitution is not
curtailed by rising crime. Bailancho Saad stated that the non constitution of the Goa State Commission for
Women after the expiry of the term of the previous Commission, speaks volume of the concern they have
for issues pertaining to women. It also pointed out that infrastructure at the Women Police Station is sadly
lacking in all respects that it has paralysed its mobility and functioning. If the Government cannot maintain
law and order and curb crimes against women it has no right to exist, she added. (New Kerala 16/12/09)

Wives abusing Domestic Violence Act, says group (8)
ARE women misusing the Domestic Violence Act and making lives for husbands miserable? Yes, says
Uma Challa, president of ‘All India Forgotten Women’ who says that she gets 10 complaints almost
everyday from husbands who complain against their wives. The organisation has taken up a few case
studies and found that the wives were lodging false complaints against husbands and in-laws who are
ending up behind bars. “On an average, about 10 fake cases are registered in police stations across the
State everyday. During our case studies, we saw that women blackmail their in-laws and husbands
following a minor argument at home,” Uma Challa told Expresso. The All India Forgotten Women, a non-
profit organisation is working to protect the rights of housewives, husbands and mothers-in-law in the
State. While demanding that the Government consider amending the DV Act to protect everyone, Uma
Challa says that she plans to extend the activities of the organisation to other places including
Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam and Tirupati to bring about awareness among the people. “Our motive is to
protect the rights of everyone without any gender bias,” she says. She says that the universal declaration
of Human Rights states that “men and women” are entitled to equal rights to marriage and its dissolution
and all are equal before the law without any gender variation. “The State shall not deny to any person
equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India. But the
implementation of DV Act denies protection to men against any form of domestic abuse,” she feels. She
further added that the DV Act violates the child’s right to love and affection of both parents. “After a
number of case studies, we decided to conduct awareness camps to educate people on the Act. We have
set up a counselling centre with senior counsellors to provide advise to women, husband and mother-in-
laws. We also conduct weekly meetings with women and their mothers-in-law to discuss various family-
related issues,” she says. Uma Challa has now started Andhra Pradesh Mothers-in-law Protection
Association and All India Men Welfare Association to protect their rights.(Express Buzz 17/12/09)

Sri Lankan military 'sexually abused' Tamil girls in refugee camps (8)
London: In what may bolster the claims of human rights organisations, Tamil women in refugee camps in
Sri Lanka were "sexually abused" by their military guards while many suspected of links to LTTE were
taken away and not seen since, a British medic of Asian-origin has alleged. According to 25-year-old
Vany Kumar, who was locked up in a refugee camp for four months, along with many who escaped the
horrors of the civil war, not only did the military guards traded sex for food with Tamil women but
prisoners were also being made to kneel for hours in the sun, The Observer reported. "It was a
concentration camp, where people were not even allowed to talk, not even allowed to go near the fences.
Sexual abuse is something that was a common thing, that I personally saw. In the visitor area relatives
would be the other side of the fence and we would be in the camp. "Girls came to wait for their relatives
and military officers would come and touch them, and that's something I saw. The girls usually didn't talk
back to them, as they knew that in the camp if they talked anything could happen to them. "It was quite
open, everyone could see the military officers touching the girls. Tamil girls usually don't talk about sexual
abuse, they won't open their mouths about it but I heard the officers were giving the women money or
food in return for sex. These people were desperate for anything," Kumar said. (DNA 20/12/09)

Ruchika case: Uproar in Parl (8)
New Delhi: Fast track justice was needed in sexual harassment cases involving minors, CPI-M MP Brinda
Karat said in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday while referring to the 1990 molestation of a 14-year-old girl for
which a former Haryana director general of police (DGP) was sentenced to six months in prison.
Expressing outrage at former Haryana DGP S P S Rathore on Monday getting six months jail term for
molesting the teen, who committed suicide three years later, Karat said: "A criminal who committed that
crime in police uniform and escape justice for 19 years was rewarded with promotion after promotion.
And, 19 years later this criminal has finally been found guilty. What is the punishment - just six months."
"And the day he was convicted, he was out on bail within 10 minutes. Isn't it a shame for all of us... how
long can we tolerate this kind of action. It reveals deep infirmities in our system of delivery of justice," the
Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) parliamentarian said. Rathore was on Monday sentenced to six
months in prison for molesting 14-year-old budding tennis player Ruchika Girhotra, who committed
suicide in 1993 following continuous harassment of her and her family. "It is not anybody else but a very
sensitive family Anand and Madhu Prakash and their brave daughter Aradhana who were friends of the
victims who stood for 19 years as witness in this case, refused to be cowed down and because of that the
culprit has been punished," she said. "My point is how are we going to tolerate these kind of cases in
which our young girls have absolutely no security and when justice is denied in the way it has been in this
case." Appealing for a fast track justice system, Karat said: "A appeal to the law minister, the Home
Minister (who) is also here... what can we do to reform our laws and to ensure fast track justices. We are
talking about commercial courts for big firms for to give them speedy justice but our young children get no
justice. We need fast track justice for young minors who are victims of sexual harassment." Rathore was
allowed bail by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court special judge J S Sidhu immediately after
his sentencing. The former DGP can now appeal before a higher court against the CBI court order.
Sources close to Rathore said he would appeal against his sentencing.(CNN IBN 22/12/09)

Remove socio-cultural, economic barriers: Experts (8)
JAIPUR: Experts attending a State-level sensitisation workshop on “Gender and sex selection” here
earlier this week have called for elimination of socio-cultural and economic barriers which undervalue
women. This would help prevent female foeticide, stop violence against women and check the declining
sex ratio in the population, they affirmed. The participants in the half-day workshop expressed concern
over the sex selective abortions leading to population imbalances and felt that a strategy should be
devised to promote gender equality and generate awareness about the gravity of the situation. They said
a change could be brought about if the social and technical fabric around sex selection was properly
addressed. The Jaipur chapter of Public Relations Society of India (PRSI) and the United Nations
Population Fund (UNFPA) jointly organised the workshop, which was attended by activists, medical
practitioners, journalists and academicians. UNFPA-Rajasthan programme coordinator Sunil Thomas
Jacob said the sex selection reflected a “deep-seated discrimination” against girls and merited a
concerted response from the civil society. “The practitioners in gender equality must address through
advocacy and real life stories the mindset of treating investments in daughters as unproductive.” There
was a consensus at the workshop about the need to aim at raising consciousness among parents,
families and communities about the value of daughters. Some of the medical experts pointed out that sex
selection should not always be confused with abortion and the medical termination of pregnancy was
legal under certain circumstances. Senior gender specialist of Jaipur-based Institute of Development
Studies Kanchan Mathur said the girls’ right to life should be ensured in the backdrop of their declining
number during the past decade and the continuing discrimination against them. She added that the
mindset that treats women as inferior human beings should be changed and a proper support structure
developed for themMeeta Singh, State Director of International Foundation for Election Systems, dealt
with the frequently asked questions on sex selection and correct use of terminology to influence public
opinion and said the representatives of Panchayati Raj institutions and voluntary organisations in villages
should be trained to stop sex selection. In his presentation on the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal
Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994, health consultant and former professor in
Sawai Man Singh Medical College, Jaipur, S. C. Mathur, threw light on the legal provisions, procedures
and implications of sex selection. Urvashi Rawal of Hindustan Times, Jaipur, said the issue of gender and
sex selection should be put in the media coverage in the larger context of discrimination against women.
She said the senior editors in media organisations should exhibit more sensitivity to the subject. Public
relations activist Manohar Prabhakar said that divergent forms of social media, such as theatre, novels
and poetry, should be utilised for spreading the message, while the mainstream print media should focus
on the human interest aspect in this field. (The Hindu 25/12/09)

Ruchika case: PIL filed against Rathore (8)
Chandigarh, Dec 29: A public interest litigation (PIL) was filed in the Punjab and Haryana High Court
seeking a 'fresh case' against former Haryana DGP SPS Rathore. Senior lawyer and human rights activist
Ranjan Lakhanpal, who filed the PIL, said that a fresh case was being sought against Rathore under
Section 305 of the Indian Penal Code. The matter is likely to be taken up by the high court on Jan 6. "I
have filed the PIL. The hearing will take place on Jan 6. We have sought a fresh case against Rathore
under Section 305 of IPC," Lakhanpal was quoted by news agency as saying. Section 305 has harsher
punishment, including death penalty or life imprisonment, if the offender abets the suicide of a minor or
insane person. Ruchika, a budding tennis player, was molested by Rathore in Panchkula town in Haryana
and had committed suicide three years later by consuming poison Dec 29, 1993. In the petition Lakhanpal
has also sought appropriate action against all those officials who favoured Rathore and delayed the trial
for 19 years. "I have appealed to the high court to register a case against Rathore for implicating Ashu
(Ruchika's brother) in 11 cases of theft and illegally detaining him and torturing him for two months," said
Lakhanpal. (One India 29/12/09)

‘Appoint more women in higher judiciary’ (8)
KOCHI: The national conference of the All India Federation of Women Lawyers requested the Chief
Justice of India to provide adequate representation for women in higher judiciary. A resolution to this
effect was passed at the valedictory session of the conference on Tuesday. The Bar Council of India Act
should be amended for providing 33 per cent reservation for women lawyers in the council. The State and
national presidents of women lawyers’ organisations should be made members of the State and National
commissions for women, the conference demanded. The meeting also urged the Chief Justices of High
Courts to form committees at various courts to check sexual harassment of women lawyers and staff. The
service of women lawyers should be utilised for the helplines set up to check atrocities against women,
another resolution adopted at the conference demanded. K.S. Radhakrishnan, Judge of the Supreme
Court, called upon women lawyers to take up the cause of destitute women and children. The women
lawyers can make significant contributions towards improving the juvenile justice system of the country,
he said. Cyriac Joseph, Judge of the Supreme Court, lauded the achievements by women lawyers in the
country. The President of India and the Speaker of the Lok Sabha were lawyers by profession, he pointed
out. K.K. Usha, former Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court, in her presidential address urged the
women lawyers to work for the betterment of rural women. The life of womenfolk in rural areas is not a
glittering affair as depicted in advertisement brochures. They had to tread difficult terrains for collecting
drinking water and firewood each day, she said. Sheela Anish, former president of the Federation,
welcomed the gathering and N.N. Girija, secretary of the Kerala Federation of Women Lawyers, proposed
a vote of thanks. (The Hindu 30/12/09)

Women subjected to brutal atrocities in Godhra: Setalvad (8)
AHMEDABAD: Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) has alleged police atrocities on women belonging to
a particular community in Gujarat’s Godhra town. The Godhra judicial magistrate, I class, has asked
senior police officers to inquire into the allegation and report to the court. Teesta Setalvad, secretary of
the Mumbai-based voluntary organisation, on Monday produced before mediapersons some of the
women who, she said, were subjected to atrocities at home and later in police custody when they were
arrested on charges of rioting and stone throwing. They were subsequently released on bail. According to
Ms. Setalvad, policemen from the Godhra “B” division station went to Geni Plot in search of Syed Husain
Badam, an alleged cow thief, and some others on the night of December 19 on a complaint lodged by the
Godhra municipality. She claimed that Badam, who had been absconding for 14 months, and the other
accused were picked up from his residence at Geni Plot, but they gave the police the slip. Around 1.15
the same night, policemen raided some of the houses at Hathila Plot, about 1.5 km away, suspecting that
the accused were hiding there. But unable to find them, the police allegedly took away gold and cash
from three houses. Ms. Setalvad claimed that the police picked up only women and subjected them to
sexual abuse and physical torture. They even snatched a 19-day-old baby from her mother’s lap and
tossed her to the ground, she said. Later, eight women were arrested on charges of rioting and throwing
stones at the police. They were taken to the Godhra sub-jail at 4 a.m. Even in the police van, the women
were sexually harassed, she alleged. The next day judicial magistrate M. Nalawala ordered the police to
take the women to the civil hospital for treatment. She also ordered an inquiry into the incident. But, Ms.
Setalvad said, the police not only delayed taking the women to the hospital till the evening but also
insisted on male doctors examining them. So the women preferred not to be treated, enabling the police
to concoct a medical report showing no police atrocities. Demanding that the National Women’s
Commission visit Godhra for a first-hand account of the atrocities, Ms. Setalvad named a sub-inspector
and three constables for the atrocities. A CJP delegation later called on Sudhir Singh, Additional Director-
General of police, law and order, demanding action against the erring policemen. Panchmahals
Superintendent of Police G. M. Muthalia, however, denied the allegation and claimed that the women
were actually hand in glove with the accused. They tried to prevent the arrest of the accused by keeping
the police party at bay. It was subjected to heavy stone throwing when it went to arrest Badam and the
other accused, enabling them to flee, he said. (The Hindu 30/12/09)

NCW for fresh cases against Rathore (8)
NEW DELHI: The National Commission for Women (NCW) on Tuesday demanded the filing of fresh
cases in connection with the molestation case involving the former Director-General of Haryana Police,
S.P.S. Rathore. Charges should be filed against anyone any individual or institution responsible for
suppressing or influencing investigation, thereby preventing delivery of justice, NCW chairperson Girija
Vyas said here. She said the charges should include abetment to suicide, attempt to murder, criminal
conspiracy, public servant disobeying the law, framing an incorrect document, giving false evidence, and
criminal intimidation, apart from action against Mr. Rathore for misconduct as per the service rules. Ms.
Vyas said she had also sought a report from the Rajasthan government on the alleged molestation of a
constable’s wife by DIG Madhukar Tandon in 1997. The woman was allegedly kidnapped and taken to
Noida in U.P. from Jaipur and molested. The officer has been evading arrest since then and later
declared a fugitive. The victim’s husband was harassed after he lodged a complaint against the DIG and
forced to give up his job in 2002. The couple are now living in Dausa. “There are similarities in the two
cases, and we will take up the Dausa case also,” Ms. Vyas said. Briefing reporters after the first meeting
of a committee of lawyers — constituted by the NCW to enquire into the Haryana molestation case — Ms.
Vyas said it held its first meeting on Tuesday and concluded that prima facie there were serious lapses in
handling the case and attempts made to hush up the matter. (The Hindu 30/12/09)


Shared By: