Freedom Under Fire: Weapon ‘Planted’ on Gadoli; Saibaba Asked Not to Visit College

A round-up of news, both bad and good, on the rights front from India.

Sandeep Gadoli

Sandeep Gadoli

Sandeep Gadoli ‘encounter’: CCTV shows weapon planted on dead man, says Mumbai police 

Mumbai police’s special investigation team that is probing the killing of gangster Sandeep Gadoli in Mumbai by a team of the Gurgaon police has studied three video clips from the CCTV footage, which suggest that a weapon was planted on the man after he was killed, The Indian Express reports.

Gadoli, a Gurgaon-based gangster, was shot dead by a team of the Gurgaon police at the Hotel Airport Metro near Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport on February 7. According to police sources, the CCTV clippings show two policemen at the door of the hotel room not helping Gadoli who is seen writhing in pain on the floor for almost 20 minutes after being shot, and planting a weapon on him and then destroying some CCTV cameras.

The Gurgaon police had said after the encounter that they “retaliated with cross fire” when Gadoli fired at them. Gadoli’s family had, however, alleged it was a fake encounter.

Sources in Mumbai police said an FIR against nine persons was imminent.

Delhi University college asks G.N. Saibaba not to visit campus

Delhi University’s Ram Lal Anand college has asked 90% disabled professor G.N. Saibaba not to come to campus without prior permission as it creates a “law and order problem,” an India Today report says.

In a letter sent to Saibaba, college principal Vijay Sharma has termed his recent visits to the institute “unauthorised and unwarranted conduct” and has warned him of action. “It has come to our knowledge that you have entered the classrooms of the college and held interactive session with the students. The Governing Body has taken serious note of your unauthorised conduct of entering the classes during suspension without any written permission,” the letter said.

“Your entry inside the class is unwarranted as during suspension you are not required to teach the students. You are directed not to enter the college without permission as it creates law and order problems. Violation of this will be treated as misconduct and interference in activities of the college and you shall be liable for further action for the same,” it added.

An english teacher at the college, Saibaba was suspended after the Maharashtra police arrested him on alleged Maoist links in 2014. He was released on bail earlier this month. A one member committee in the college is looking into the question of his reinstatement. While the Delhi University Teachers Association is supporting his reinstatement, a group of students led by members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) is opposing it claiming the move will have a “bad influence” on students. Members of the ABVP have allegedly tried to attack him on campus premises thrice.

Medha Patkar, dam-affected people on hunger strike for rehabilitation

Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar and Sardar Sarovar dam-affected people from Barwani and Dhar districts started a three-day hunger strike in Bhopal on Wednesday, demanding the rehabilitation of the homeless, Hindustan Times reports.

Patkar said the government’s claim of complete rehabilitation was false, and 7,000 families from Madhya Pradesh, 1,200 from Maharashtra and 300 from Gujarat are yet to get relief.

The Narmada Bachao Andolan also demanded making public the report of the Justice S.S. Jha Commission, which was set up by the high court in 2008 to probe the allegations of nearly 2,000 fake land sale registries, corruption in rehabilitation sites and other issues related to those displaced by the Sardar Sarovar Dam Project in Alirajpur, Dhar, Khargone and Barwani districts.

“But the state government is not making it public. The government wants to table it first in the state legislative assembly, arguing that the commission was constituted under commissions of inquiry act, which mandates its submission in the state assembly,” Patkar said.

Prakash Ambedkar, Radhika Vemula stopped at Hyderabad Central University gate

Former member of parliament Prakash Ambedkar, Rohith Vemula’s mother, Radhika Vemula, and a few others were stopped from entering the Hyderabad Central University (HCU) campus on Thursday, Deccan Herald reports. They had been invited by the Ambedkar Students’ Association for B.R. Ambedkar’s birth anniversary celebrations.

“We did not allow them inside the campus, so they addressed the students at the main gate,” HCU Chief Security Officer T.V. Rao said.

On March 23, the varsity authorities had decided not to allow any outsiders, including mediapersons and politicians, onto campus premises. The university has been tense ever since Rohith’s suicide and protests by students against the vice chancellor.

Delhi Commission for Women questions delay in setting up creches for poor

According to a report in The Times of India, the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) has issued a notice to the state’s Department of Women and Child Development (DWCD) on the lack of creche facilities for children in low income and slum settlements, and the delay in setting up these facilities by the Delhi government.

Emphasising the need for creches for safety of children, the DCW wanted to know the reason for the delay and the timeline for implementation within seven days. “The commission views this delay seriously, as creches can play an important role in ensuring safety of children in Delhi,” the notice issued to the director of DWCD stated.

Girls in Delhi University hostel demand accountability on water problem

Students at Delhi University’s Rajiv Gandhi Hostel for Girls have been facing an acute shortage of water, including drinking water, for the last two months. After a protest where they broke curfew and took to the streets at night, Water Minister Kapil Mishra met with them and agreed to their demands.

However, not all students are satisfied. “I know it will take time to change the pipes,” Harleen Kaur, a student living in the hostel, told The Wire. “But what we want is some accountability and transparency on the matter. There was prolonged negligence from the authorities at different levels, will anyone be held responsible? We wrote to university authorities multiple times, but got no response. Why did 200 of us have to take to the streets at night before any action was taken?”

Mishra has promised to provide students with all the information they have asked for and make the process more transparent.

JNU student Anirban served show-cause notice for a film screening nine months ago

JNU student Anirban Bhattacharya, who has been rusticated from the university in connection with the February 9 event on campus, was on Thursday served a show-cause notice by the varsity for his alleged involvement in a screening of ‘Muzaffarnagar baaqi hai’ (a film on the Muzaffarnagar riots) in August, 2015, News18 reports.

“A complaint against you was received in chief proctor’s office in August, 2015. It has been alleged that you were involved in participation in screening of a documentary-film ‘Muzaffarnagar abhi baqi hai’ without permission of the administration near Godvari dhaba,” the notice read. Members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad had protested against the screening of the film.

Several students and teachers in JNU have raised their eyebrows at the timing of this notice.

Do you know of any other incident we should highlight in this column? Write to me at [email protected].

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