Maid humiliated by employer succumbs to burns – The Times Of India
Kerala Rape: Independent fact-finding team alleges lapses in police probe – The New Indian Express
Halt march to the gallows – The New Indian Express
Vala termed ‘anti-Dalit’ for not giving assent to Ordinance – The hindu
Honganur clash: Police arrest dalit man – Deccan herald
Residents threaten to boycott poll – The hindu
The Times Of India
Maid humiliated by employer succumbs to burns
TNN | May 15, 2016, 03.12 AM IST
Ballari: A maid who set herself on fire after her employer accused her of theft succumbed to her burns on Friday evening.
Anjali, 18, doused herself with kerosene and set herself ablaze on April 15 – 13 days after her employer, Ballari jeweller Mehul Kantilal Jain, asked her whether she had stolen his three gold rings.
After the rings, weighing 10 grams each, went missing on April 2, Mehul and his family members questioned all domestic workers. Police said Mehul alias Chintu, 30, ordered Anjali to undress before him, his wife and mother to prove she was innocent. She refused. They also allegedly threatened to hand her over to police and her subjected to a lie-detector test.
On April 5, Brucepet police called the teenager and her mother Yeramma, 35, for questioning based on a complaint by the Jain family, their employers for years. Both mother and daughter said they knew nothing about the rings. A second round of questioning also didn’t yield any result.
On April 15, Anjali poured kerosene on her head and immolated herself. Hearing her cries, Yeramma woke up and rushed her to hospital. VIMS Hospital doctors informed the APMC police station that Anjali had suffered about 70% burns. The following day, Anjali named Chintu in a statement jointly recorded by tahasildar P Pramod and police officers. The cops arrested Chintu the same day. The accused got bail on April 30.
Several days later, Anjali’s mother requested the principal civil court-JMFC court to include Chintu’s wife Mukta, father Kantilal, proprietor of Prakash Jewellers, and mother Shantala in the list of accused. Police went to the Jains’ residence to arrest them, but found it locked. Meanwhile, Anjali named only Chintu in her subsequent statements.
Following Anjali’s death, police included IPC’s Section 306 (abetment of suicide) to the first FIR, which accused the family members under Sections 354 (assault or criminal force against woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 34 (criminal act done by several persons in furtherance of a common intention).
Deputy commissioner Sameer Shukla promised to provide the family an Ashraya site or a house to Anjali’s family under the SC/ST act. “We will arrest the four accused at the earliest,” police said.
The New Indian Express
Kerala Rape: Independent fact-finding team alleges lapses in police probe
Published: 15th May 2016 12:45 AM
NEW DELHI: Alleging “severe lapses” in the police investigation in the brutal rape and murder of a woman in Kerala, an independent fact-finding team of intellectuals and academicians has called for a CBI probe into the gruesome incident.
“There have been severe and fatal lapses in the investigation by the police. Police tried to mislead the people initially by terming it as a suicide case. The Circle Inspector, who first probed the case, described it as a suspicious case of death.
“Initially the case was registered under the charges of trespass and murder. The charges of rape and sexual assault were added only after the local media broke the story,” alleged Monika Arora, convenor of the Group of Intellectuals and Academicians (GIA), also a Supreme Court advocate.
At a press conference here, she further alleged that the crime scene was not sealed for nearly 10 days from the date of the incident (April 28) till May 8.
“From 9.30 pm on April 28 to 12.30 pm the next day, people were entering the room where the crime happened and clicked pictures, shared it on WhatsApp and police remained a mute spectator. Material evidence in the form of finger prints, shoe prints and others had been destroyed because of the non-sealing of the crime scene,” Arora said.
The GIA also demanded that police officials who allegedly tried to “mislead and misguide” the people and tried to cover up the incident should be identified and dealt with in accordance with law.
“Mother and sister of the victim repeatedly stated that they were being threatened by some local people, even hit by a motorcyclist and were asked a number of times to leave the village.
Also, according to the report, mother of the deceased had repeatedly requested the local gram panchayat leader for building a toilet but the legimate demand was not met.
“The FFT believes that the brutal rape and murder of the victim took place because of her gender, she being a woman, not being a Dalit, but certainly accentuated by her social and economic status,” the report said.
GIA would be submitting its report to the Home Ministry, to the National Commisison for Women (NCW), to the SC/ST Commission and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
The New Indian Express
Halt march to the gallows
By Gyanant Singh, Published: 15th May 2016 04:00 AM
Death sentence has survived years of criticism for being a barbaric form of punishment. With doubts having been raised over the retributive form serving as a deterrent—which tilts the debate in favour of its retention—a recent report by the National Law University, Delhi, should be a compelling reason to take a fresh look at death penalty.
The study reveals that two-thirds of the 385 prisoners on death row as in January 2015 belonged to the backward classes, Dalits, adivasis or religious minorities. Further, a vast majority was poor or illiterate (80 per cent) with half of them having no understanding of legal proceedings and 70 per cent having had no interaction with lawyers during pendency of their appeals.
Last year, the Law Commission recommended abolition of death penalty except in terror-related cases, while stressing that there was no evidence to show that it served as a greater deterrent than life imprisonment.
Though the sentence continues to haunt the vulnerable, it is doubtful if it can prevent hardened criminals when actual hanging is a rarity. It cannot be ignored that all three hangings that have taken place in India after August 2004 have been of terrorists. This in itself should be enough to convince us that we can do without death sentence for other crimes.
With terror attacks and organised crimes pushing the demand for abolition of death sentence back by years, the commission seems to have suggested a practical solution. Capital punishment should be abolished from the Indian Penal Code, leaving terror laws untouched.
The UK made a similar move before abolishing the penalty. The Murder (Abolition of Death Penalty) Act 1965 replaced death for murder with life imprisonment while empowering the court to declare a period which should elapse before the executive ordered the person’s release. This ensured that courts were able to award adequate punishment even after the abolition of death sentence.
Despite hanging being a rarity, the reason for over 300 convicts being on death row could be because of the huge gap between death and life imprisonment in India. With life sentence practically meaning jail term of mere 14 years, a trial court might find it inadequate for some crime committed in a heinous manner even though death may be a bit too harsh.
Though in India, life imprisonment means jail term till one dies, the executive is empowered to release a life convict after 14 years. The 1965 law in England filled a similar void.
With legislature not making a move, the apex court tried to bridge the gap between death and life (14 years, the second highest sentence) in the 2008 Swamy Shraddananda case by taking upon itself the power to bar remissions till death or a certain number of years. The court substituted death with imprisonment till death in the case.
A sentence till death or jail terms of 20 years, 30 years, 40 years or more can be introduced instead of continuing with death sentence, in which case an error costs no less than a life.
Vala termed ‘anti-Dalit’ for not giving assent to Ordinance
In yet another instance of tug-of-war between Governor Vajubhai R. Vala and the State government, the former has declined to give assent to the Ordinance on reserving a percentage of construction works for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (SC/STs) in various government departments.
While this is part of a series of decisions of the government that have failed to get the Governor’s assent, the latest one has been described as “anti-Dalit” by a section of Dalit activists, who are planning a protest on the issue.
Karnataka State SC, ST Contractors’ Association members met Social Welfare Minister H. Anjaneya and Public Works Department Minister H.C. Mahadevappa on Saturday and they have promised to meet the Governor on Monday to convince him on the need for the Ordinance, said N. Mahadeva Swamy, general secretary of the association.
The association is meeting on Sunday to decide on the next course of action. “Other Dalit organisations are also joining us,” Mr. Swamy told The Hindu . “We also want to know what the position of the Bharatiya Janata Party is on the issue,” he added.
The State Cabinet on April 20, , had decided to reserve a certain percentage of construction works valued up to Rs. 50 lakh for the SCs and STs. It was decided to set aside works without inviting tenders based on the population of SCs and STs. Instead of bringing amendments to the Karnataka Transparency in Public Procurement Act, 1999, the State Government had proposed to promulgate an Ordinance. However, Mr. Vala rejected the ordinance and reportedly told the government to introduce the necessary clause in the Bill to amend the KTPP Act by holding discussions in the legislature.
Honganur clash: Police arrest dalit man
the accused Kemparaju is the president of Dr B R Ambedkar Association
Police have finally succeeded in apprehending the prime accused in the case of disrespecting Dr B R Ambedkar’s portrait by garlanding it with footwear, triggering a group clash at Honganur, Yalandur taluk in the district, recently.
The arrested has been identified as Kemparaju of the same village. What has come as a shock is that the prime accused is none other than a dalit and also the President of Dr B R Ambedkar Association in the village.
Speaking to Deccan Herald, SP Kuldeep Kumar R Jain said, “The prime accused was at large after the clash. He was produced before a court on Saturday and has been remanded in police custody.” Six people have been arrested so far for defacing Ambedkar’s portrait and eight others on the charge of triggering violence, following the incident.
It may be mentioned that miscreants had garlanded Ambedkar’s portrait with footwears on April 28 in Honganur.
This had triggered tension in the village and more than 20 shops were torched and destroyed.
According to another source, it was a politically motivated incident, as two associations named after Ambedkar exist in the village, backed by two different national political parties.
One of the association had organised Ambedkar’s birth anniversary celebrations on the day of the incident.
Residents threaten to boycott poll
Condemning the killing of the Dalit woman, residents of Elango Nagar here staged a day-long dharna in their hamlet on Saturday besides threatening to boycott the May 16 Assembly poll.
After S. Viswanathan, a Dalit youth from Elango Nagar in Vannarpet under Palayamkottai police station limits, married a Caste Hindu girl Kaveri of Thatchanallur and left for an undisclosed destination recently, the girl’s father Sankar alias Sankaranarayanan allegedly issued death threats to the youth’s family members whenever he came to Viswanathan’s house in search of the couple.
When he came on Friday, Sankar hacked Viswanathan’s sister Kalpana to death and surrendered along with his wife Chellammal on Friday night.
Condemning the murder and demanding compensation and employment to one of the family members of the deceased, residents of Elango Nagar staged a dharna in their hamlet on Saturday. The protestors said the police failed to act on the petition submitted by Shanmugam, father of Viswanathan, seeking protection to his family from Sankar as he was issuing death threats. They also said the police should give protection to Viswanathan and Kaveri.
“If our demands are not accepted, we’ll not receive Kalpana’s body and boycott the Assembly polls,” the villagers said.
When Revenue Divisional Officer, Tirunelveli, P. Fermi Vidhya came to Elango Nagar and held talks with the protesting villagers, they refused to accept the officer’s assurance and she left the spot.
Meanwhile, post-mortem was conducted at Tirunelveli Medical College Hospital on Saturday and the police continued to persuade the family members to accept the body with the assurance that they would provide due protection to Viswanathan and Kaveri.
News monitored by AMRESH & AJEET