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PVCHR

Open Letter to Prime Minister of India and Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh

Anti Torture Initiative, Anti Violence Initiative, Basic Rights, Campaign

We appeal to you to create definite rules of procedures for the cases of the minority and marginalized, at the level of the administrative, state and human rights commissions and institutions. These rules of procedures will spread the spirit of the constitution and the international human rights standards and prevent the influence of any bias, prejudice and discrimination.

To,

The Prime Minister, India

The Chief Minister, Uttar Pradesh

 

Sirs,

Wishing you a radiant Diwali, we would like to share with you a distressing dilemma. Due to the acquaintance of the persisting injustice in our society, one is compelled to take action driven with urgency, regardless of the occurrence of this joyously celebrated festival. We request you to read and thoroughly consider the written manifestation of the struggling people.

On 11th March 2009, in Bazardiha area of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, police opened fire indiscriminately on a crowd gathered to commemorate a Hindu ceremony in a majorly Muslim populated area. All of the victims belong to the Muslim community who were just bystanders or passing by the site. 2 young persons were killed and 8 were injured by being fired at by the police. All of the victims belong to the weaver’s community and are struggling with their families to survive due to the death or disability of their sons, caused by the police.  In spite of rigorous perseverant efforts of seeking legal justice since more than three years, at the local, state and national governments, and Human Rights institutions, the victims have not received compensation; rehabilitation and the perpetrators have not been punished.

While perusing through the happenings of this horrid incident and many cases of torture filed at the National Human Rights commission by People’s Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) we realized the vital need for intervention for creating a pluralistic democracy. On comparative study of the cases we have identified patterns of biased, discriminatory action taken by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) towards the victims who belong to the Muslim minority community.

Link:

http://muslim-minority.blogspot.in/2012/11/nhrc-discrimination-with-hindu-and_7031.html

We appeal to you to create definite rules of procedures for the cases of the minority and marginalized, at the level of the administrative, state and human rights commissions and institutions. These rules of procedures will spread the spirit of the constitution and the international human rights standards and prevent the influence of any bias, prejudice and discrimination.

 

With kindest regards,

Lenin Raghuvanshi
Secretary General
Peoples' Vigilance Committee on Human Rights

 Gwangju Human Rights Award – 2007

Association of Cultural Harmony in Asia (ACHA) Star Peace Award – 2008

Director of ACHA - Since 2009

International Human Rights Award of Weimar (Germany) - 2010

SA4/2 A Daulatpur, Varanasi - 221002
Mobile No: +91-9935599333

 

www.pvchr.asia

www.pvchr.net

www.testimonialtherapy.org

 

A brief out sketch of the indiscriminate police firing in Bazardiha and tabular timeline of the extensive labor done by People’s Vigilance Committee for human rights and Dignity: Danish Institute against Torture is also presented below.

This is an example of the laxity of the administration, state and human rights commissions in bringing about justice to the victims of brutal torture and organized violence.

Brief sketch of the police firing based on the testimonies given by victims of the police firing.

On the 11th of March 2009, Matkafod was held by Mr.Mata Prasad in front of his house in Bazardiha area of Varanasi which is a densely Muslim populated area, for which a large crowd of Hindu community members had gathered (from other areas of the city). After the matka (small earthen jar) was broken the procession moved towards the Kolhua Mosque. Dirt, colors and alcohol bottles were thrown at the Mosque, followed by derogatory slogans belittling Islam. The elderly of the Muslim community could not tolerate it any more as similar debasing conduct had been repeated in the preceding 3 years.  So they approached few out of the 20-25 policemen who had been posted near the mosque to take control over potential display of derogatory behavior. The police commanded the complainants to overlook what had happened as it was an ordinary happening which didn’t need any consideration. When the offended members of the Muslim community persisted on their appeal to the police to take action against the mischievous persons, they were retorted back with abuses and threats. All of a sudden, someone from Mata Prasad’s house threw a brick towards the police, which was followed by a stone thrown towards the house from the facing lane. The police reacted impulsively by indiscriminatingly firing at the crowd. As the people ran haywire and hid, trying to save their lives, two young boys were shot dead and 8 others were injured by the gun bullets. The police and the people of the neighborhood (from varying religious background), took the injured and almost dead persons to the nearest hospitals. Each of the 10 victims was Muslim aging between 17 and 25 years of age. The victims were alarmed and baffled in pain when shot, as they were innocent passersby’s who had committed no crime.

On 13th March 2009, Mukhtar Ahmad, father of deceased Moin Akhtar (age 22), lodged an FIR against Shamsher Singh in-charge of Bazardiha police out-post, R.B Singh Station House Officer of Bhelupur  police station, Babu lal (a local leader), Vijay Vishawakarma (local cooperator), Sanjay Nath Tiwari Station House Officer of Sigra police station, Mata Prasad and other police men involved in the firing under section 302, 307, 147, 148, 149, 504, 506, 336, 295 of the Indian Penal Code. Mukhtar Ansari also sent a complaint to the NHRC appealing for justice. The police also filed an FIR, explaining the happening as a communal riot in which ‘unknown’ 500 persons were involved, which justifies their firing in the air, on receiving orders from the District Magistrate. Legal evidence clearly proves the story made by the police incorrect.

On the same day of the incident, People’s vigilance committee for human rights was informed of the incident, within an hour of which the news of the incident was posted on the online edition of Times today as ‘What is bigger tragedy: Clash or penury?’. Throughout the years numerous articles were published in local and national newspapers and other media.

PVCHR with the collaboration of Danish organization Dignity: Danish Institute against Torture provided psychological support through testimonial therapy to Mr. Mukhtar Ahmad and Mr. Salim, the fathers of the two deceased youngsters Mr. Moin Akhtar and Mr. Khali-uj –Jama who lost their lives in the police firing. The 8 injured persons were also given testimonial therepy.

 On 18th November 2009, Mr. Mukhtar Ahmad and Mr. Salim were honored by Dr. Sayeda Hameed, Member of Planning Commission, Government of India in the “People’s Tribunal on the situation of Muslim minority” at the Paradkar Smriti Bhawan press club in Varanasi.  

 The tribunal was organized with the joint collaboration of People’s Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR), Bunkar Dastakar Adhikar Manch (BDAM), Voice of People (VOP), Education Resource Centre (ERS), Citizen Front and Jaradoj Dastakar Union and supported by Sir Dorabji Tata trust (SDTT) at the Paradkar Smriti Bhawan press club in Maidagin, Varanasi

Dr. Sayeda Hameed, Member of Planning Commission, Government of India chaired the tribunal. The other jury members were Muniza Rafiq Khan, Registrar, Gandhi Vidya Sansthan, Mr. Mohan Lal Panda, Mr. Kamlesh Chandra and Mr. R.B Pal, Chief Secretary, Voice of People.  

 

Over the years numerous letters, appeals and RTI were filed to the administrative and judiciary institutions and commissions. Only 25,000 rupees has been given to the two families of the killed persons, which is negligible to what the victim’s family has a right to be provided and the 8 seriously injured have not been given any compensation and rehabilitation.

 

The police has submitted and taken the support of a forged report which accuses the victims of being mischievous perpetrators of communal clash and defend themselves by saying that they followed orders of their seniors and fired in the air, due to which accidently some were shot. Evident proof has also been submitted which prove the story of the police a creation of their imagination.

The present scenario

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) closed the file written by Mukhtar Ahmad who asked for inquiry into the incident and compensation for the death of his son and the son of Mohammad Salim. NHRC closed the case as the National Commission for Minorities had taken contingence before the NHRC.

On 5th February 2010, PVCHR wrote to NHRC requesting them to direct state authority to provide immediate medical support and compensation to Abdur Rahman, one among the eight injured survivors of the police firing, who has been suffering terrible physical condition. NHRC clubbed this case number 35900/24/72/2010 with above mentioned case 52089/24/72/08-09 because according to them they ‘relate to the same subject’.  On 9th October 2010, victim Abdur Rahman’s case was also closed because the case filed by Mukhtar Ahmad was closed earlier due to the explained reasons. The police has very cleverly filed an FIR and reported to the National Minority Commission that the police firing was done under orders, to control communal riot. This is a forged story that there was a communal riot in which 500 people were involved, so as to make it a very complicated case. The two cases are different and should not have clubbed together and closed. The National Commission for minorities has not taken appropriate action and implementation of Section D of Prime Minister’s New 15 Point Programme for Welfare of Minorities has also not been done.

The fight for justice is still on. The case is also being fought at the court. The victims, their families and PVCHR will persevere till justice is realized.

 

Timeline of deliberations done to bring justice-

Date

Action

11th March ‘09

Indiscriminate police firing in Bazardiha, Varanasi. Killing 2 and injuring 8 youths

13th March ‘09

FIR lodged by Mukhtar Ahmed, f/o Moin Akhtar killed in firing, at Bhelupur police station.

17th March ‘09

Letter to Chief Election Commissioner to the government to provide compensation to family of deceased and injured by Dr. Lenin

17th March ‘09

Letter to the Chairperson of National Human Rights Commission by Dr. Lenin requesting to set up an independent inquiry of the case through CBCID and to convince the appropriate government to grant appropriate compensation to the family of deceased and injured.

17th March ‘09

Letter to the Chairperson of National Human Rights Commission regarding problem faced by PVCHR due to non- receipt of its official letters.

24th March ‘09

Letter to District Magistrate, Varanasi from NHRC, directing the DM to enquire into the incident and send a report to the NHRC for perusal

7th Nov ‘09

Letter to Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh to order fair investigation into the police firing so that they get compensation

7th Nov ‘09

Urgent appeal program to Home Minister, Director General of Police, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Inspector General of Police Varanasi, The Chairperson of National Human Rights Commission of India, Dr.Sayeda Hameed, member of Planning Commission, Chief Secretary of Government of Uttar Pradesh, Governor of Uttar Pradesh, Chief Justice, Allahabad High Court, Prime Minister of India

23rd Nov ‘09

Letter written to Prime Minister by PVCHR to implement Section D of Prime Minister’s New 15 Point Programme for Welfare of Minorities

23rd Nov ‘09

Letter written to Shri .P.Chidambaram, Minister of Home Affairs regarding implementation of Section D of Prime Minister’s New 15 Point Programme for Welfare of Minorities

3rd Dec ‘09

Letter to Chairperson of National Human Right Commission to implement Section D of Prime Minister’s New 15 Point Programme for Welfare of Minorities

18th Dec ‘09

Ali Anwar Ansari, member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha writes to the central government about the plight of the weaver community and the urgent need to provide compensation to the weaver victims of the police firing.

19nd Jan 2010

Letter to Chief Secretary, U.P to speedily provide for compensation to the victim families.

23rd Jan 2010

Letter written to Special Secretary, Home, Government of Utter Pradesh to provide compensation to deceased and injured persons and to direct National authority to order state and district authority for fair investigation by independent agency such as state CBCID according to NHRC guideline by Dr. Lenin.

3rd Feb 2010

Complaint addressed to President of India regarding police firing in Bazardiha

5th Feb 2010

Letter to Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh government to direct state authority to provide immediate medical support to Adbul Rahman and allotment of BPL red ration card.

5th Feb 2010

Letter to Chairperson of National Human Rights Commission to direct state authority to provide immediate medical support to Adbul Rahman and allotment of BPL red ration card.

6th Feb 2010

Letter to Sayida Hameed, member of Planning commission to order the implementation of weavers welfare programs for the victims’ families.

6th April 2010

Letter from NHRC acknowledges that they have been directed by the President Secretariat to take into consideration the police firing case no. 52089/24/72/08-09

20th July 2010

Letter to Chairperson of National Human Rights Commission regarding Khaliquzzaman s/o Mohammed Salim. Case no. 28972/24/72/2010, requesting them to direct fair investigation and bring justice by punishing the perpetrators.

21st  August 2010

Letter from NHRC to PVCHR informing that Khaliquzzaman s/o Mohammed Salim. Case no. 28972/24/72/2010 will be transferred to Uttar Pradesh State Human Rights Commission as the complaint relate to the matter which is a subject of the state.

9th Sept 2010

Letter from National Human Rights Commission to PVCHR wrote that case no. 35900/24/72/2010 was closed upon consideration as it relates to the same subject of case no. 52089/24/72/08-09, which has been closed as well under Commission’s order dated 18.06.2010

 

 

Right to Information files submitted-

Date

Efforts

17th Dec ‘09

Upendra Kumar filed a RTI enquiring into why Mr.Salim has not been given 25,000/- from the Chief Minister Relief fund when Mukhtar Ahmad has received and when he will receive it.

8th Jan 2010

Reply to the RTI filed by Upendra Kumar on 17th Dec 2009 sent.  It said that on receiving governments grant, Salim Mohammad will be given the compensation. It clearly said that he will be given compensation, though within how many days and what amount was not mentioned.

19th Jan 2010

Letter sent to Chief Secretary, U.P by Dr.Lenin sharing that the reply to the RTI filed by Upendra ensured that Salim Mohamad will be given compensation and thus requested the government to hasten their efforts to provide the compensation.

19th Jan 2010

Dr.Lenin filed RTI enquiring

5th April 2010

Dr.Lenin filed RTI enquiring why his previous RTI application dated 19th Jan 2010 had not been replied, requested for a last date for the provision of compensation to the victims and asked for a copy of the investigation report of the accused policemen. A copy sent to Chief Minister, U.P

4th May 2010

Vishal Pandey(Kshetriya adhikari Bhelupur) wrote to Police (Up Mahanirikshak) that under the orders of the magistrate, the police investigated the no crime has been committed by the police in the 11th March 2009 firing. That the police followed the orders of the magistrate to fire in the air when a mob of 500 religious fanatic persons clashed in a communal riot.

June 2010

Reply to RTI filed by Dr.Lenin on 5th April received. It clearly said that the investigation done by the police testifies that police were not negligent in the police firing.

20th July 2010

Dr.Lenin filed RTI asking for the progress report of the investigation done regarding the stealing if the wages of Salim Mohammad f/o deceased victim of police firing. Answers for the RTI filed on 30th March 2010 was asked for.  

20th July 2010

Dr.Lenin filed RTI asking the details of the schemes, weaver introduction letter, Mahatma Gandhi Life insurance, ICICI health scheme, that have been provided to Salim Mohammad as said in letter from Handloom and textile industry department, Varanasi dated 26th May 2010.

 

 

 

 

Efforts to provide support to the victims through government schemes and compensation.

Date

Efforts

26th Sept ‘09

Mukhtar Ahmad given 25000/- under chief minister relief fund

18th Jan 2010

Letter written to ADI Handloom by Dr. Lenin to provide weavers identity card to Salim Mohammad, father of deceased Khalikurjma

18th Jan 2010

Letter written to ICICI Lombard by Dr.Lenin asking them to provide ICICI Lombard health card to Salim Mohammad

19th Jan 2010

Letter to Chief Minister, U.P by Dr.Lenin requesting for compensation to be given to the family of deceased Khalijurma, mentioning that the family of the second deceased

22nd Jan 2010

Letter written to Chief Minister Mayawati by Mukhtar Ahmed to be entitled to Kashiram urban poor housing scheme. Copy sent to District magistrate

22nd Jan 2010

Letter written to ADI handloom, Varanasi by Mukhtar Ahmed requesting to be provided weavers identity card, Mahatma Gandhi insurance and ICICI Lombard weavers health card.

22nd Jan 2010

Letter written to ADI handloom, Varanasi by Salim Mohammad requesting to be provided weavers identity card, Mahatma Gandhi insurance and ICICI Lombard weavers health card.

6th Feb 2010

Letter written to Chief Minister by Dr. Lenin, requesting to entitle Mukhtar Ahmad to Kashiram urban poor housing scheme, to order fair investigation into the police firing and to provide rehabilitation under the Prime minister new 15 point program for Welfare of Minorities.

20th July 2010

Letter to Chief Secretary by Dr. Lenin requesting them to provide compensation and government scheme benefit to the victims of the Bazardiha Police firing case.

5th October 2010

Letter to Senior District Officer by Dr. Lenin enquiring for information regarding the compensation to be given to the victim families.

 

 


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Key Achievement

The work of PVCHR was awarded with the Gwangju Human Rights Award 2007, ACHA Star Peace Award 2008 and 2010 Human rights prize of the city of Weimar in 2010 and Usmania Award from Madarsa Usmania, Bazardiha for the development and welfare of education.

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Basic Rights

Basic rights for marginalized groups in the Indian society, e.g. children, women, Dalits and tribes and to create a human rights culture based on democratic values. PVCHR ideology is inspired by the father of the Dalit movement, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar.

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The life narratives, voices, and actual experiences on this website reflect the spiritual awakenings of personalities extraordinaire who desired to make a difference in the lives of others. The passion for social justice and meaningful activities, the dedication to compassion, the commitment and healing journeys of those ordinary individuals and their stirring stories is what we intend to showcase.

PVCHR founded in 1996 by Mr. Lenin Raghuvanshi and Ms. Shruti Nagvanshi in close association with Sarod Mastro Pandit Vikash Maharaj, Poet - Gyanendra Pati and Historian Mahendra Pratap. PATRON: Justice Z.M Yacoob Sitting Judge Constitution Court of South Africa & Chancellor of University of Durban, South Africa.