PUCL Bulletin, Dec 2000
TN & Pondy State
PUCL TN & Pondy State Convention was held on October 27,28,and 29 at Sacred Hearts College Shenbaganur, Kodaikanal. Shri Jayakumar Albert, President, Dindigul welcomed all the delegates. Ms. Sudha Ramalingam, President, TN & Pondy PUCL welcomed the 95 odd delegates from 9m districts. She said, reviewing the activities of the State PUCL, that the organisation has gained a reputation on account of its activities. The State PUCL and the district branches had repaired and released some 75 fact-finding reports. The objectivity and the positive stands of the reports had made them, valuable documents in the eyes of the common citizen and the government alike. The Anti Prevention of Terrorism Act campaign by the PUCL in association with other groups made it stand out as a mass organisation. The major issue being taken up at present was globalization and its effect on the life of the common citizen.
Dr. Y P Chhibbar, in his
keynote address to the Convention, briefly talked about the history of the PUCL.
He said that the PUCL was established in 1976 by Late Shri Jaya Prakash Narayan
after Mrs. Indira Gandhi imposed Internal Emergency in the country on June 25
1975, by the name of PUCLDR. Its President was Shri VM Tarkunde; and Shri Krishna
Kant, who is the Vice President of India, was its General Secretary. At that
time it was not a membership organisation. In 1980 a conference was held in
Delhi, which drafted and adopted a constitution for the organisation and re-christened
it as the Peoples Union for Civil Liberties. It elected Shri VM Tarkunde as
its president and Arun Shourie as its General Secretary. Later Y.P. Chhibbar
was appointed its Executive Secretary. He was elected its General Secretary
in 1984 and is still continuing. Prof. Rajni Kothari, Shri Rajindar Sachar,
and Shri K. G. Kannabiran followed Shri Tarkunde as its President. Today there
are branches of the PUCL in most of the states of the country.
During the tenure of Shri Tarkunde as the President of the PUCL Dr. and later the President of the PUCL the organisation had become synonymous with his name. His commitment to Civil Liberties and Human Rights; his single-minded devotion to the broad objectives of democracy and People's rights had bestowed on him a unique status.
Some members in the PUCL were worried that the PUCL may crumble after his two terms has President, as provided in the Constitution. The Constitution was amended on the initiative of Shri SK Singh and Shri Tarkunde was requested to continue. Shri Tarkunde declined and stepped down.
Dr. Chhibbar said that he was recounting this history to bring out the fact that the method of working and the democratic attitudes of Shri Tarkunde and his other colleagues ensured that the PUCL does not become a person centered organisation. The effort always was to run it as an institution and not as a group of friends. The Constitution and its objectives were made the bedrock of its activities. Today there were a very large number of very active and committed members who had not even heard of JP or Tarkunde. Dr. Chhibbar said that what he was trying to convey was that all of us have to make an attempt to make the PUCL work as an institution, to work on issues and objectives.
Two things, he said, in the policies of the PUCL, that had stood the test of time were not to accept funds from funding agencies and not to get involved in political questions. Clarifying the second, he said, that the PUCL does not concern itself with the future of J&K or of some of the States in the North East. But it is always concerned with the rights of the people in these areas to express their opinions freely. Recently two of the most senior members of the PUCL, Shri Surendra Mohan and Shri Rajindar Sachar, had gone to Thailand where a prominent Naga leader was in jail in connection with the PUCL's efforts to bring the Naga People and the Government of India to the negotiating table. Similarly, he said, that on the Narmada dam issue the PUCL was concerned with the rights of the uprooted persons. On the question of the dam, the members of the Gujarat branch itself had different opinions. But on the questions involving human rights all the members were united. Dr. Chhibbar further said that the branches and the individual member have to be humane and not like machines. In this connection he mentioned that recently one auto rickshaw driver from Kerala had sent him a letter complaining that some goon had beaten him up and the police was not registering his FIR. He said that though we had to be cautious not to create a human rights issue out of nothing but at the same time we have to be clear that every legal right is not a human right. Though we should have a sympathetic attitude towards the poor and the Dalits' legal rights and try to give correct advice, we have to fight for human rights and Civil Liberties.
He said two more things were very important. First was that we have to practice what we believe in. We always talk about the rights of the child, democracy, rights of women, rights of Dalits. We should look at our on life style and see if we are following our public commitments in our personal life. Is our family structure democratic? Does our kitchen and the bedroom have democracy? Do our children have some freedom? Are we employing children as domestic servants? Unless our personal life is based on our commitments in such areas, we have not internalized democracy and human rights and civil liberties.
The second thing, he said, that was very important in India was the denial of equal rights to and exploitation of women and Dalits. He mentioned that sexual harassment of women was rampant even at places like the Supreme Court and the High Court bars and there was a wide spread tendency to hush up these cases. Recently there was a case in Andhra Pradesh High Court where a female advocate was driven to commit suicide. There was recently a case in the Supreme Court bar which was taken up by a women's organisation and the protest letter against which was signed by him as the General Secretary of the PUCL. The pear pressure was not to make these instances public in the name of 'decency'. It is shameful. It is a matter of shame for all of us to try to hush up the misdeeds of our peers. Similarly he said Dalits and other disadvantaged groups were subjected to humiliation and degradation all around us and there were nor sufficient protests against it. Here also there was a conspiracy of silence.
Prof. Kurinji initiated the discussion on globalization saying hat it was a declared third world war to be fought against un-known adversaries. He said that the new policies were responsible for the collapse of most of the big industries of TN. It trend of consumerism had set in. Health and education were being taken over by the private sector and access to poorer sections of society was becoming difficult Dalits and women were being it hard. All over the country such trends were visible. Places like Cherapunji were facing water shortage due to withdrawal of government programmes.
CR Bijoy termed the present policies as transnationalism. He said that under it all products should be made available in all the parts of the world. All the products and all the raw materials all over the world have to be of the same quality.
In the history of Capitalization,
1810, 1825, 1890, 1913 and 1928 are significant for the fall of capitalists.
It was in 1982 that the debt level of the third world countries increased to
unmanageable levels. Early 1990's saw the fall of Mexican Currency and onset
of Asian Economic Crisis. To manage this economic crisis, a stabilisation programme
had to be implemented.
As per this stabilisation programme, the balance of payment between import and export had to be maintained. Due to the rise in production, the demand of the raw materials increased and this resulted in the price rise of raw -materials. At the same time, due to the sudden heavy increase in production, the demand for the products hit a low because of which the price stability was disturbed. To maintain the Price Stability, Devaluation of Rupees had to be done. To maintain the economic stability, the Government Expenditure had to be reduced.
The Structural Adjustment Programme was brought in. As per this, the restriction on the investment by the foreign companies was relaxed. The Customs duty was reduced. And most importantly, the labour rights are to be removed. The only factor, which will decide all this, is the market. Therefore, Market is the only solution for this crisis. The mode of Production has to undergo a re-structuring. Due to the cheap income of the foreign goods, the in-house production is damaged on the whole.
The Large Indian Factories are only a story of past now. Only smaller units are surviving now. And these small units also are let out on sub-contract.
In the earlier days, the company, which produced the goods, was also responsible for marketing the goods. But, now the situation has changed. The company, which manufactures the goods, is in no way concerned with the marketing of the goods. Marketing of the goods is done by a separate concern now.
In the present days, all the small industries are linked through e-commerce. Then, who has the controlling switch for all these small industries? - the Multi National Corporations. `Finance Capital' is delivered by the Moneylenders. 13 Trillion Dollars come through the Stock, Brokerage, Bank and Insurance. This is how the goods are taken to the Consumers.
What is the impact on the Labour sector? Due to the mechanization, the number of labourers necessary is drastically reduced. More number of workers was employed through the system of Casual Labour, Shift system and Re-deployment. The Number of Permanent workers has drastically come down.
The magnitude of the problem has now reached such a high level that about 100 Crore people are looking for jobs through out the world now. In the year 1998 alone one Crore Asians have gone jobless. Between 1994 and 1998 50,000 Port employees have lost jobs and 4 lakh Railway employees have lost jobs. Through the Voluntary Retirement Schemes of the Banks 5 lakh employees have retired which vacancies are not again filled up. In Andhra Pradesh, 20 lakh weavers had gone jobless.
In the existing high competitive market, the trade unions, which have to fight for the labour's cause, are collaborating with the management to tackle the market competition. The price of the goods is decided by the market and not by the manufacturer.
Coming to the Tea Problem in Nilgiris, the productivity of Indian tea has increased steadily over the years. After 1991, the productivity has gone up by 5 ½ %. PUCL conducted a detailed fact finding into this issue and the report has been released as a booklet.
The Percentage of people below the poverty line in 1989-91 was 31.37 %. Post 1991 it has increased to 43.01%, which is equal to the total population of India in the year 1947. The infant mortality has also not been brought under complete control by the government. The natural resources are now being exploited by the outsiders.
Coming to the latest sensation of `Uzhavar Sandhai' who fixes the rate of the vegetables in the market ? The State. Because state has done all the groundwork for the functioning of the market. Therefore, the rate fixed is only slightly lesser than the price in the outer markets. The control of the price is out of the control of the farmer, which results in the failure of the whole system.
The Import and export of various goods which were banned have now been relaxed which has made the market much more competitive. The marginalised people become more and more marginalised. The Profit from various wings of the governmental agencies have dwindled.
All these result in heavy debt for the government. And so, the Government is pushed to a corner.
Because of this, all the governmental wings are being privatised. Th en, what is the role of the government in the present context? The government is a mere broker between the MNC's and the people.
Government now has no responsibility in any of these sectors once it is privatised. The only job left over with the government is to maintain the law and order i.e. to control the people during the agitations of the people against this policy. Then, what is PUCL's role in this?
The role of human right groups like ours is very critical at this juncture. There is a fragmentation among the oppressed whereas there is a unity among the capitalists. The political parties do not take up certain problems. The social movements take these, problems up. The momentum of the fight against the problem persists until the political parties hijack these problems. At present, the number of Social movements has increased and the number of agitations has gone up. But, the total contribution made to the society has decreased.
Social Movements should concentrate more on the basic problems in concentrated areas. This is the techno-managerial approach. The Standard of the Human Rights is very high but the number of abuses have also gone up."
Benny Kuruvila, in his intervention, said, that till early 80's Trade and goods were the normal mode of trade. It was only after 1980's that Trade and service became prime concern. Service was not a part of GATT. So, I world countries wanted to include this and were pushed through the Uruguay round of conference. It was strongly opposed by the III World Countries.
The foreign agencies coming in would destroy our economy. As per the WTO, 1995 agreement 12 service sectors have been identified. In these service sectors foreign factories are to be set up. Here, the higher-level functionaries are the foreigners working under contract. The status of `Most Favored Nation' has to be totally scrapped. Adverse payment should also be removed.
The technology is transferred from the foreign countries whereas the cheap labour is available in India viz. In the software industry.
Due to the entry of the foreign companies, the local capital collapses. As per this agreement, all subsidies to the national companies are also available to the foreign invested companies. The transfer of money between countries has been liberalized. Even the core sector like Power has been privatized like the Enron Corporation. But, what is the result of this privatization? The power tariff has been increased in Orissa and Andhra Pradesh. There has been no study on the benefit and functioning of the GATT for the past 5 years.
Prof. Nammalvar said, continuing the discussion, that natural resources can be classified into two categories: 1) Things that are alive; 2) Things that are not alive
Naturally, there was no `Palai', i.e., the land of desert and related lands in India. But, now most of the regions have become `Palai'. I have myself been giving these kinds of speeches for the past 10 years. But, it looks as though we have learnt nothing out of this.
Now a day, we receive rain only through cyclone. But, the natural rain comes through a natural phenomena called as 'Mountain Effect'. As the clouds carrying water molecules pass through, the high mountains and the tall trees on the mountains cool down the clouds resulting in monsoon trees. But, due to the high rate of deforestation, the `mountain effect' is completely absent now.
In a 3 year stretch the normal rain days were 400 days earlier which has at present come down to 205 days. The best example of this is Orissa, which is going through cyclones and droughts simultaneously.
In the agriculture field, the pesticides are being used in all the cultivation of all the vegetables now. The grapes are completely dipped in pesticides, which is the same case with cabbage and cauliflower. Therefore, what we ear now is only pesticides and not the vegetables. Monocrotophos is a pesticide used for cultivation of coconut. U.S. fertilizers and pesticides are pumped into India.
As per a research of the Punjab University even the breast milk of the mother has DDT in it. The pesticides, which are used in the field, mix with the rainwater and poison everything. The bacteria present in the pesticide mixes with the body fat and functions thereby.
The General Principle is that Farmer has to feed only the land and the cattle. Both these together will produce food for man. But, now we are producing food for the market. Pesticides, which have been produced to kill the pests, have become man-killers. Due to the heavy loss incurred by the farmers, the Andhra Pradesh farmers have sold their kidneys.
Monsanto seeds are the latest imported seeds. These seeds can be sown only once. It cannot be re-used. The Monsonto Company purchased the Indian Parrys Company, which sells seeds, and through them the seeds are sold. In fact, the Karnataka Government has given land to this company at subsidised rate.
The Natural Indian cow had a structure called `Kondai' protruding on its back, which is a peculiar feature of the Indian cows. These cows were used to pull vehicles. But, in the latest gene culture, these cows have been lost once for all and today's cows are without these `Kondai'.
The natural mating of the cow has been completely stopped. It is only through veterinary process. Sperms of the cow are taken out and the embryo is artificially created. This embryo is inserted in one cow. Through Hormone injunctions, several embryos are created in the womb of the same cow and these embryos are inserted in several other cows. This is how mating is done now a days.
`Bovaine' is a hormone, which pushes the calf out from the cow at the time of delivery. This hormone also increases the quantity of milk in a cow. Therefore, instead of natural production of milk `bovaine' hormone injunction is given to the cow to increase the quantity of milk.
These hormones not only convert the blood of the cow into milk but also results in over-growth when drunk. This is one of the main reasons for over-growth of children these days.
Even, the breast hormone of the cow is implanted in other cows. Another Important after-effect of Monsanto is that it causes impotency.
Y.P. Chhibbar, in his brief intervention, Most of the members of the PUCL -TN & Pondy work among the deprived people. There is no understanding about WTO provisions among the Indian officials.
Said the in the market, as per the principles of Adam Smith, the weak have no place. This was the beginning of capitalism. The market functions on the basis of the competition. It results in monopoly in extreme cases.
Thus, slowly Adam Smith's competition changed to monopoly market. Due to these changes, the United States of America slowly replaced the United Kingdom as the super power. The original inhabitants were pushed out of the race. Whites from Europe slowly displaced the Native Americans and this resulted in the tremendous development of America.
Beyond a stage, the U.S. companies saw that there was no further place for investment in the native industries. So, they started looking for new avenues outside U.S., which resulted in Neo-imperialism. This revolution once begun could never be stopped after that. They looked at the III World Countries for these investments.
There are three levels of this neo-imperialism. The factories are situated in the third world countries, their Regional offices in European countries and the Head Office in the U.S. After a period of time, certain other European countries also developed and were looking for this type of neo-imperialism. All these countries started vying for this not realising that the spot at the top is for one.
But, when these western ideas are implemented in India, they have make adjustments for the caste system prevailing in India. In most of the North Indian States, caste system is very strong.
Due to the rule of the British, English has become the language of knowledge. But it is foreign to most of the people in India. Thus the people who don't know English are generally deprived.
In the days to come the atrocities of the state are going to increase very much. In these situations, it is important that the news of the atrocities should atleast reach the people concerned in due time. The one suggested solution for this is IT - Information Technology. Dr. Jagannathan's paper, circulated separately, deals with this theme. The Internet and e-mail facility should be used extensively. Most of us - the activists should have a mail-id for ourselves through which the messages can be conveyed easily to every body. We must all make use of this Information Technology.
Dr. V. Suresh dealt with Globalisation -Law and State Oppression. He sad that when the Constitution was framed by Our Constituent Assembly between 1948 and 1950, they wanted to upgrade the status of people which is reflected in the Preamble of the Constitution. Between 1950 and 1990 Public Interest Litigations were filed based on this. It was only after 1990 that the preamble went meaningless. Steps to amend the constitution were made in 1975 and 1984 also. The process of Globalisation began in 1981. Since there was tremendous objection for the amendment of the constitution steps were taken on the advice of the World Bank to amend all other supporting laws without which the constitution cannot be implemented. Because of all these amendments, the constitution has now more or less become meaningless.
It is now clearly seen how the police misuse the Preventive Detention laws against the general public. The other capitalist laws like FERA are being diluted. Laws relating to capital are being de-stratified.
So much is being spoken about the foreign investments in Indian industries. But, the most major point that we must make note of is that all these investments are made only in industries which are profitable to the investors. No investment is made with the motto of service. There is no restriction on the foreign capital investment. They are free to take the money back at any time.
Unfair Practices Act: The war of Coke with the Indian Soft Drink Industry is an apt example for this. These soft drinks like Coco-cola and Pepsi- cola have completely destroyed the Indian soft drink industries. Similar is the Potato chips. In these potatoes, the nutrient is sucked out and they are sending out to U.S. Only the left out residue is imported to India and is made into chips and these chips are sold in the third world countries.
Though generally it is stated that all the citizens are equal before the eyes of law, during the time of constitution framing, it was seen to that there were some protective laws for the weaker sections.
The provisions of the Industrial Dispute Act, which are favourable to labourers, are being amended. Further there is a zone called as Export Processing Zone (EPZ). In this EPZ, no Indian law is applicable. There is a proposal to declare the Chennai-Cuddalore belt as EPZ. We should all join hands to question these decisions.
When an act is framed, the mere framing of the act is not enough. Rules as to the method of implementation of act should also be framed along with the act. When acts like TADA and POTA, which are basically anti-people, are framed, the Government sees to it the rules for the act are also framed along with the act. But, when acts which are framed for the welfare of the people viz., Child Labour Abolition Act, Bonded Labour Abolition Act and Family Courts Act, the rules are not framed immediately and for certain acts the rules have not even been framed so far.
For the Protection of Human Rights Acts, so far no Act has been framed despite the directions given by the High Court. The Government is now making steps to frame certain Preventive Detention Laws.
When the Tamil Nadu Government tried to bring in the Prevention of Terrorist Act, it was due to the joint opposition by the Human Rights groups like us that this Act put in the backburner. But, now the Central Government is again trying to bring in these Preventive Detention Laws. As per the Law Commission Report, the latest Criminal Law Amendment Bill is a `TADA with Human Face'.
The general impression among the public is that anything that comes with the seal of the court is true. That is why even when certain anti-people judgements are given by the Courts, there is generally no opposition from the Public.
The Gross Domestic Profit of the State Government is gradually coming down and at the same time the investment by the Government in welfare functions is also coming down.
For example let us consider the ALMITRA Case-law. It is a case regarding the scavenging workers from the city of Bangalore. In this case, the Supreme Court called for a report from a commission of 7 IAS officers. This committee submitted its report, which recommended that all the Corporation Scavenging works be privatised and firms from foreign countries be allowed to take up the scavenging work. The reason given was that the People who are generally doing the scavenging work are people belonging to a particular committee of Dalits. (In fact, this is the only work there is perfect reservation for this group of people.) The situation being thus, it was alleged in the report that these people don't do the work properly and if the officers question them, they threaten the officers that they will give complaints against the officers under SC/ST Act. And it was recommended in the report that to avoid this, the contract work should be given to the foreign private firms.
The other recommendations in the report that were that no prior notice to the people was necessary when the slums were to be demolished and that alternate site for the people who had to be rehabilitated from the slum was not necessary.
The highest court of our land also accepted these recommendations. This is the Indian Courts are today. It is up to organisations like ours to join hands and fight against all these.
October 28, the second day of the Convention, was devoted to reports from District branches and the State Presidents intervention. New office bearers were elected: President: Mr. Ravikumar (Pondicherry); Vice Presidents: Prof. Saraswathi (Chennai), Prof. Shankaralingam (Madurai); General Secretary: Dr. V. Suresh (continuing); Joint Secretary: Mr. Balamurugan, Bhavani (Continuing); Treasure: Ms. Jesintha (Kodaikanal).
The Convention condoled the death of Shri Keshavan, a member from Erode
Resolution adopted by the Convention after elaborate discussions:
1. 33% reservation for women in bodies like Parliament and state legislatures should be implemented. This long pending demand should be enacted into a law at least in this winter session of the Parliament.
2. The Nilgiris Tea Plantation workers and farmers are very much affected by the WTO agreement. This agreement should be cancelled and the rate for per Kg of tealeaves should be fixed as Rs. 15/-.
3. Karnataka High Court has stayed the proceedings of the Sadasiva Enquiry Commission, which was formed by NHRC to enquire into the Human Rights violations committed by the STF under the name of `Search for Veerappan'. NHRC should take immediate steps to vacate the stay. We vehemently condemn the NHRC for showing no attention in the proceedings of the Sadasiva Commission and not impleading itself as a party in the TADA detenues release case pending before the Supreme Court of India.
4. All the 51 TADA detenues now detained in the Karnataka prisons should be immediately let out on bail. NHRC should take active interest in this issue.
5. India should become a
signatory in the United Nations Refugee Convention. The practice of detaining
the Sri Lankan Refugees should be immediately stopped. They should be given
their due rights. Though India is not a signatory in the U.N. Convention, India
is a part of the UNHCR
administrative wing. Indian Government is preventing the UNHCR representatives from directly meeting the refugees. This should be stopped.
6. We welcome the efforts taken by the Government to introduce Tamil Medium Education. Both the State and Central Governments should take steps to get constitutional immunity so that the Courts cannot interfere in this issue. Tamil Medium should be introduced from the primary level onwards up to the higher secondary level. Proportionate reservation should be guaranteed to the Tamil Medium students in higher studies.
7. This convention vehemently condemns the arrest, detention and torture of Prof. Kalyani who democratically raised his voice against the unsecular effort to construct a Vinayaka temple in the Dindivanam court campus. We request the Tamil Nadu Government to unconditionally withdraw the case.
8. After the lapse of TADA
in 1995, the Supreme Court recommended to formulate review committees to review
the cases filed under TADA. Most of the states have not complied with this recommendation.
It is important to note here that all the detenues in the Karnataka prisons
The Karnataka Government has made use of the law on racial basis. This is against the U.N. resolutions. Therefore, we not only request to release the people arrested under TADA charges but also conduct the trial under ordinary penal laws.
9. We vehemently condemn the non-implementation of 18 + 1 % reservation in Education and employment opportunities for the Scheduled Caste and Tribe people guaranteed under the Constitution in IIT and Government employment opportunities. This reservation should be strictly implemented from this Educational year.
10. Indiscriminate killing of people under the name of "Encounter Death "has been on the rise for some time now. We vehemently condemn this.
11. When the atomic plants, which damage the environment, are being closed in Germany, America, Russian Chernobyl and other countries, it is dangerous to commission one in Koodangulam. This should be stopped.
12. South India's Water Tank - The Nilgiris forests are being forcibly occupied and destroyed by the Kerala aristocrats with the aid of forged documents. Forged Patta has also been given to these places in contempt of Supreme Court orders. These Forged Pattas should be immediately cancelled and the Nilgiris forests, which are Tamil Nadu's lifeline, should be saved.
13. In demand of proper
road facilities for the Gundupatti village near Kodaikanal, the residents have
been conducting several struggles for a long time now. They even boycotted the
elections once and also underwent police atrocities. Before two years the Government
sanctioned funds under the
Namakku Naame Plan to lay roads from Poomparai to Gundupatti. But, that plan has not been implemented so far. We condemn the unnecessary delay caused by the Government. We press upon the government to at least lay the road immediately hereafter not cheating the people any further.
14. Several self-financing colleges have been started and very high fees than the fees stipulated by the Government are being collected in these colleges. Therefore, the Government should hereafter stop giving permission to start new self-financing colleges. Proper guidelines should be framed to see that only proper fees, as stipulated by the Government, in the stipulated installments, are being collected by the existing self-financing colleges. The licenses of the colleges, which do not comply with these regulations, should be immediately revoked. Further, of late, the state Government has been granting permission to start self-financing schools consisting of only + 1 and + 2. This affects the other Government schools very much. Therefore, the Government should not grant license to these kinds of schools at any cost.
15. Though it is being officially announced that the `double tumbler' system - a symbol of untouchability has been abolished, it still exists in many of the districts. Proper steps should be taken to abolish this.
16. During the last parliamentary elections, violence was incited in several places. Several complaints arose that the Dalits were not allowed to vote. We press upon the State Election Commission to make proper security measures in the places where violence took place during the Parliamentary elections and create an congenial atmosphere for voting.
17. People gave their residence places and agricultural fields, which they were occupying for long time to the NLC. These lands, which were purchased by the NLC at very low price, were sold to private parties by the NLC at very high price. If the NLC management is not in need of those lands, those lands should be returned back to the owners itself.
18. In the new millennium, giving due respect to the voice of the human right bodies, so far no death penalty has been executed. But, still that threat looms over the head. Recently, the District courts have been giving a lot of death sentences. One in Pondicherry, five in Cuddalore, and 3 in Ooty thereby amounting to 9 in total has been given in the past one week alone. The District Magistrates should also take into consideration the voices raised by the Human Rights groups. We request the state government to bring the amendment to totally abolish death penalty.
19. Proper rules should be framed to re-introduce Tamil language pooja in the Tamil Nadu temples.
20. Amendment should be made to include the recommendations given by the Supreme Court in `D. K. Basu Vs State of West Bengal' at the time of arrest in the Criminal Procedure Code.
21.The purchase of Scheduled Tribe people's land by others should be banned. Proper and safe laws should be enacted to this effect. All the lands purchased in this way should be returned back to the Scheduled Tribe People itself, also adequate compensation should be granted to the affected people. The areas occupied by the Scheduled Tribe people in Tamil Nadu should be included in the Fifth Schedule.
22. In Erode, Namakkal and Salem regions several people are living as bonded labours in the Mechanised weaving works. They should be released under the Bonded Labour Abolition Act, 1976 and proper compensation should be granted to them. Severe punishment should be given to the owners of such weaving industries.
23. We vehemently condemn the way in which the Tamil Nadu police have been of late refusing permission to Public meetings and rallies and similar activities where people join together. This is equivalent to refusing the constitutional right to express one's views.
24. As per section 125 Criminal Procedure Code, the maximum maintenance amount, which a parent, wife or child could get is only Rs.500/-. Considering the fact that in today's circumstances this amount is inadequate, the State Government passed an amendment to leave the power of deciding the compensation amount in the hands of the magistrate itself. This amendment has been waiting for the President's approval for the past 4 years. The Tamil Nadu Government should show proper interest in this and take steps to get presidential assent for this bill.
25. The practice of giving the photographs of the under-trials in half nude postures is still prevailing. This is a violation of Human Rights. Now a day the Television media is also indulging in this disgusting practice. Considering the fact that what would be the psychological impact of these kind of cruel gestures and the fact that there is a lot of difference between an accused and a convict, this cruel practice should immediately be stopped. The State Government should pass immediate orders on this to the State Police.
26. We condemn the brutal attack launched by the Police on the farmers and workers who demonstrated in demand for their rights in Nilgiris and Chennai respectively.
27. The planned "Petro-chemical Park" of the Japanese Mitsubishi Multi National Corporation in the Kattupuli island of Pazaverkadu is very dangerous. Therefore, we request the Government to drop this plan.
28. Mr.Raghavan, Director, CECRI - Karaikudi is curbing the Scientist Association there in several ways. 10 persons of that association have been transferred to different places and 9 persons of that association have been placed under temporary suspension for the past 1-½ years. For all these, he is not even an honest officer. He has obtained his Doctorate (Ph.D.) by Plagiarizing Government Secret documents from ISRO and portions from other's thesis. Therefore, we request the Central Government to remove such an anti-national person from service and re-instate the affected scientists in their posts.
29. The mixing of Tuticorin Thermal Plant's Fly ash in sea should be banned. Since Mannar region is declared as "Sea Wealth Park", the Mangrove forests and the corals should be protected. The fisherman who has now lost their fishing work should be given employment in the Tuticorin Thermal Plant.
30. The fish wealth and
the environment of the Pazaverkadu region in the Tirevellore District is being
affected by the release of wastes from the Ennore and North Madras Thermal Power
Stations and other Chemical Industries into the sea and the lake. Due to the
desilting work for the new Ennore Port, there is a grave danger that 29 fisher
villages might get drowned in the sea. Proper steps should be taken to save
the birthrights of the fishermen.
-A brief report prepared from taped proceedings- Chief Editor
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