Posts Tagged ‘Delhi’

This is a press release by the JKCS and the Kashmiri women fighting on behalf of Kunan Poshpora villagers


Press Statement
24 June 2013

On 22 June 2013, for the first time, the villagers of Kunan Poshpora spoke to the civil society and media of Srinagar. They spoke of rape, torture, suffering, pain and courage. More specifically, they spoke of the fight ahead. They vowed to continue the struggle for justice, and never to forget persons responsible for the cover up of the Kunan Poshpora case.

B.G. Verghese was called a liar by the villagers of Kunan Poshpora and several civil society members in the audience. He headed the Press Council of India fact finding team report on Kunan Poshpora, which was ‘appointed’ by Indian army. But, he never visited the villages of Kunan and Poshpora. He, through the report and subsequently, has sought to malign the men and women of Kunan Poshpora. He has called them shameless, as according to him the allegation was orchestrated on behalf of the militants.

In the recently held public meeting B.G. Verghese was accused of actively abetting the rape and torture of Kunan Poshpora. It is public knowledge that B.G. Verghese served as an “Information Consultant” for the Indian Defence Minister.

The re-opening of the Kunan Poshpora case also implies that those involved in cover ups and in maligning the women of Kunan Poshpora had lied. Therefore recognizing his criminal role in the Kunan Poshpora case, it was unanimously resolved that B.G. Verghese is to be socially and professionally boycotted. The civil society vowed to not engage with him. Further, anyone who does engage with B.G. Verghese will in turn be boycotted. B.G. Verghese presently occupies positions of importance in the Center for Policy Research, Delhi and the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, Delhi. The Support Group for Justice for Kunan Poshpora alongwith other civil society stakeholders will communicate directly with these institutions, and any other institution that may have ties with him, to immediately stop all engagement with him.

We urge civil society groups, conscientious citizens in India and Jammu and Kashmir that until B.G. Verghese is prosecuted for his role in the Kunan Poshpora case, there must be an absolute boycott: he must not be invited to speak at public functions, he must not be allowed to occupy any positions of responsibility, and he must constantly be reminded of his own criminality.

Finally, before and after the 22 June 2013 press conference, the State has continued its intimidation. The Jammu and Kashmir Police [Tregham Police Station], Indian army [specifically 24 Rashtriya Rifles, based at Trehgam] and other agencies, have sought to intimidate the villagers of Kunan Poshpora. They have gone to the villages, demanded answers to questions about the case and sought to intimidate them through repeated phone calls. This will not be accepted. Legal action will be taken against anyone who seeks to intimidate and threaten the villagers of Kunan Poshpora. They will, first, be named in public, and then dragged to court.

Representatives of the Support Group for Justice for Kunan Poshpora
1. Ifrah Mushtaq
2. Samreena Mushtaq
3. Uzafa Basu
4. Uzma Qureshi

DNA Special: Agents decide how much you will pay for Kashmiri apples

Published: Monday, Apr 1, 2013,
By Sandeep Pai | Place: New Delhi | Agency: DNA

Have you ever wondered why Kashmiri apple costs Rs 105/kg in Delhi, Rs110/kg in Mumbai and Rs 120/kg in Bangalore even though its production cost is just about Rs 35/kg? It’s all thanks to agents who on the one hand rob the orchard owners of their earnings and fleece the customers on the other.

Commission agents in major cities such as Delhi manipulate the market and hoard apple to create artificial scarcity and sell it at a high price. For this, they resort to self-buying – they themselves buy the apple in their own name or their men instead of selling it to market immediately.

The draft report of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) on production and marketing of apple in Jammu and Kashmir – a copy of it is exclusively available with DNA– says, “Supply is manipulated in artificial manner generally at agents level through hoarding of apple in cold stores for short duration and controlled atmosphere stores (CAS) for long duration up to 6-9 months.”

The report says that if a kilo of apple is sold at Rs 100 in market, the grower gets only Rs 26, while the rest goes to retailers and agents.

The commission agents start self buying the apple in July/August, the report says. In Azadpur mandi, around 20% of these agents are big, 20% small and 60% medium in terms of turnover and financial power.

Price manipulation takes place by artificially quoting price so high so as to attempt exclusion of other smaller buyers from auction and then bringing it down next day/next time to self-buy at whatever price, mostly reduced price because bigger ‘lots’ of boxes cannot be purchased by smaller buyers even if price is low,” the report said.

Even large open auctions are manipulated. “Largely, open auction takes the shape of self buying or buying by market functionaries of agents like ‘fixed match’,” the report says.
Once the auction is manipulated and the apple is bought at a cheap rate, the agents store it in the CAS units to manipulate the supply in market. According to the NABARD report, agents are now setting up cold stores and CAS to store self purchased apple from market.

Read more here –


DNA Special: Agent’s apple growers don’t get fruit of labour

Published: Sunday, Mar 31, 2013,
By Sandeep Pai | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

You may be cursing when you pay a high price for Kashmiri apples, wondering what share of the moneyorchard owners would receive. But in reality, the apple growers wouldn’t be even knowing the price at which the fruit is sold in the mainland, leave alone reaping profits.

Then, where does the money go? Into the pockets of commission agents, who, sitting in Delhi or any of the major cities, exploit and cheat the apple growers in Kashmir of crores of rupees every year. The apple growers live only in debt and distress, thanks to these agents.

The draft report of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) on production and marketing of apple in Kashmir — a copy of it is exclusively available with DNA — blows the lid off this scam which is affecting the Rs 4,000 crore apple industry that kept the Valley alive even during the peak of militancy. The report will be submitted to the J&K government soon.

Exposing the role of commercial banks (mainly J&K Bank) in the scam, the report says they give advance to commission agents (CAs) instead of farmers. The CAs then lend the same money to apple growers at usurious rates. “In this way banks are (indirectly) contributing to survival of the old practice of ruthless, continued over-dependence of small growers of informal funding by agents,” says the report.

During 2011-12, apple growers in J&K got an advance of Rs1,200 crore (This excludes loans availed of under the ‘Apple Project’ of the J&K Bank) of which only Rs 200 crore was from banks. The amount funded by agents to the apple growers that year was Rs 1,024 crore, of which Rs 645 crore (63%) came from Delhi-based agents and Rs 207 crore (20%) from Kashmir-based CAs.



Neelam Pandey, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, March 25, 2013
First Published: 00:50 IST(25/3/2013) |
The Delhi government has stopped monthly cash assistance to Kashmiri migrants pending submission of Aadhar Card (Unique Identification number).
According to sources, in a number of districts, cash assistance has not been disbursed for the past three months or more. Kashmiri migrants are entitled to a cash assistance of Rs. 1,650 per person subject to a ceiling of R6,600 per family per month of four or more members. According to Delhi government, this cash assistance is provided to over 3,500 families in the city.
The families have decided to meet the divisional commissioner over this issue.
“Aadhar card has only added to our problems. Our identity is clearly established for more than two decades since exodus in 1990. Then, why does the government time and again invent ways to harass us,” said Ramesh Handoo, a resident of Sarita Vihar who has not got aid so far.
A number of them do not want an identity card which establishes their residence as Delhi.
“We have been told to enrol ourselves and only then we will get the cash assistance. I am a Kashmiri and not a resident of Delhi. If given an option, I will return to the Valley. Why should I get a document which will establish my identity differently. All these years we have been getting the cash assistance, so why should it be linked to UID now? Later, I might be denied the option of going there as my identity gets linked to Delhi,” said Rakesh Kaul, who hasn’t received cash assistance for the past three months.
The scheme was started on April 29, 1990 when the government paid the migrants R125 per month to a person, subject to a ceiling of R500 per family of four or more.
“We had received a few complaints about bogus persons claiming the cash assistance. We decided to link it to UID to keep a check on them. They can simply get themselves enroled and provide the copy of the enrolment,” said Dharam pal, revenue secretary and divisional commissioner, Delhi government.
The Delhi government had recently made Aadhar mandatory for availing various government services, including Annashree Yojana, old-age pension, marriage registration, registration of property and birth and death certificates.


  • Musab Iqbal,

In Kunan Poshpora perhaps lie the truth of not only largest democracy, which moves on million boots, but also the secret of its non- violent conscience. The society whose conscience find no stimulation from the ‘distant’ brutality on it’s top, on it’s margin and in it’s heart.

It reminds us how the existence of oppressive power is denial of dignity to the oppressed. It reminds us of the history that is present and a past, which is not forgettable, and about the future which will emerge from the history of ruins.

The dream to come true is the dream of complete freedom from the rule of the power, which decides for itself and operates on us. The future is not known but what known is the presence of resistance; resistance against the ‘obvious’ – obvious of the power.

Can one speak after such an ordeal – a brutal operation on mind and body but then does ‘one’ remain after such a tragedy. There is no ‘one’ left – the experience transformed ‘one’ into ‘many’ and then into ‘another one’. The impossibility thus is in that very transformation whose beginning point is the singularity of the ‘collective pain’ shared by all but experienced by ‘one’. The moral of ‘one’ is then not in resistance – resistance to brutality but in the existential resistance to that very ‘other’. Resistance to the very operation of brutal has no meaning but the resistance to existence is the essence of that transformed ‘one’: Another One.

Can ones Army be imagined to rape and traumatize its own people but then we are forced to ask do army have any ‘people’ as ‘own’ people. The deployment itself is a detachment from ‘own-ness’. The police in localities of ours if catches someone, does that someone remains police’s own or not. The organized movement to traumatize ends the possibility of ‘own’ and ‘people’.


– 23rd February 2013, on his blog


By on Feb 19th, 2013, Medianama

It appears that on the same date that orders were given for blocking URLs criticizing IIPM, pursuant to court orders, India’s Department of Telecom issued another set of orders for blocking 55 URLs (all Facebook pages) related to Afzal Guru, who India hanged on Feb 9th 2013, after his mercy petition was rejected by the President of India.
Outlook has published this order here (download it here).

We’ve taken great pains to transcribe the URLs below. Do tell us in the comments to this post whether they work for you or not, and which ISP you are trying to access them from. Most of the URLs do not work for us, on an MTNL Delhi connection.

In case there are other DoT orders floating around, asking for blocking of websites, or if you have a copy of court orders blocking access to websites, contact us at

How should the DoT have approached these blocks?

Read our take on How India Should Approach Website Blocking.

Do follow our live blog for updates on Internet blocks in India.


Hindustan Times
New Delhi, February 11, 2013,
When Kashmiris say they don’t feel part of India, they are only reiterating a truth that Indian politicians and governments voice all the time. What else does it mean when politicians and large sections of the media talk of how happy ‘Indians’ are at the hanging of Afzal Guru, when his execution is touted as a cathartic closure for ‘India’.

The last time I checked, there was curfew in Kashmir and thousands of other justice-loving people were deeply unhappy at the secretive execution, and at the use of the death penalty to fulfil some atavistic blood lust. How else to read the judges’ pronouncement — even as they noted discrepancies in the police version of his guilt — that the hanging was required to satisfy the ‘collective conscience’?  In fact, Durkheim’s phrase ‘collective consciousness’ conceals the manufacture of consent through the media, the courts and other institutions. And contrary to his prediction that in an interdependent and complex society we would see a growth in reparative justice, in India, what we see is the growth of a vulgar retributive justice, where primal passions are deliberately inflamed to create a divide between ‘us’ and ‘them’.‘Us’ in the context of contemporary India means the Bajrang Dal who distributed sweets to celebrate the hanging and blackened the faces of people with opposite views; it means the rightwing goons who groped and sexually abused female protesters outside a Delhi college last week with full police connivance.

But ‘us’ also includes the cynical coterie of Congress politicians who periodically decide to join the BJP bandwagon for electoral purposes. If opening the locks of the Babri Masjid and legislating against the Shah Bano judgement were permanent blots on Rajiv Gandhi’s claim to be secular, his son’s installation in the formal pecking order of the Congress has been accompanied by the opportunistic hanging of Afzal Guru.

Sonia Gandhi may have pleaded against the death penalty for Rajiv’s killers, but unless her party takes a principled position against the death penalty for all, this will seem like the rest of her liberal outreach programme, designed to ensure her own good name.

‘Them’ includes all the ordinary people of India — who have had their lands forcibly acquired, their homes burnt, their relatives killed  — in riots and pogroms. ‘Them’ are the seditious fisher folks of Kudankulam, the grave security threats who inhabit the mineral rich villages of Dantewada, the Naga elder and the Kashmiri woman.

And then there are some whose status as ‘us’ or ‘them’ depends on the political calculations of the day. Balwant Singh Rajoana, on death row for the assassination of former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh, may not be hanged because the Akali lobby is important to ‘us’.  But clearly it is not important enough for the victims of 1984 to get justice, in which case they fall into the ‘them’ category.

We are told that the ‘Law’ has taken its course, the ‘Law has come full circle’. Where is this law when the widows of Delhi 1984 are still waiting for justice — and people like HKL Bhagat have died before they could be hung (not that this was ever a worry for him); when the murderers of Gujarat 2002 are still roaming free, and having the EU and others cosy up to their government? Did the law come full circle when the murderers of Bathani Tola were acquitted? Where was the law when thousands of mass graves were uncovered in Kashmir and thousands ‘disappeared’; where is this law when women are raped and their rapist officers or jawans get full protection under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA)?

Deponents at the Verma Commission provided a number of cases in Kashmir where the courts had prima facie indicted army personnel, but the central government refused to give permission to prosecute. The Upendra Commission clearly found that Thangjam Manorama was raped and murdered by personnel of the Assam Rifles in Manipur, but not one person has been punished. In Chhattisgarh, young bravehearts who filed rape cases against special police forces with great difficulty  — resulting in arrest warrants against the accused  — are being coerced to take their statements back. But then, I forgot, Kashmiris, Manipuris, the adivasis of central India — are not ‘us’, they are not ‘Indian’.

When asked why the AFSPA is needed to protect armed personnel — since rape can never be done in the line of duty — high-ranking officers come on television to say that 99% of the charges against the army are false, and the women are put up to it by Maoists and militants. So shall we assume then, that the women of the North-east, of Kashmir and adivasi India are congenital liars? Or that the law is designed to ensure they are fair game, a welcome pastime in the ‘course of duty’? Or perhaps, more simply, these women are not ‘Indians’.

If to be Indian is to accept the death penalty, if to be Indian is to accept the unjust hanging of a tortured man born of a tortured and alienated people, if to be Indian is to accept the rapes of my sisters and the impunity of its officers, let me say in the words of the Turkish poet, Nazim Hikmet, “Yes, I am a traitor, if you are a patriot, if you are a defender of our homeland, I am a traitor to my homeland; I am a traitor to my country… if patriotism is the claws of your village lords, … if patriotism is the police club, if your allocations and your salaries are patriotism,… if patriotism is not escaping from our stinking black-minded ignorance, then I am a traitor.”

Nandini Sundar teaches sociology at Delhi University. The views expressed by the author are personal.