Tuesday, 30 March 2010

'Now, nobody can call my son a terrorist'

Mohammad Ameen is a proud father today, though his son is long dead and buried.
What has changed for the 55-year-old from Sanjarpur village in Azamgarh district of Uttar Pradesh is a response to a Right to Information plea that his son, Atif Ameen, may not be an Indian Mujahideen terrorist on the suspicion of which he was gunned down in the controversial Batla House encounter on September 19, 2008.
According to the autopsy report, which was revealed after an RTI plea, the bullet wounds on the body of Atif - who was a Jamia Millia Islamia student and used to put up with his friends at the L-18 Jamia Nagar suggest that the allegations of him being killed in a gunfight might be wrong.

But Mohammad Ameen is concerned only about the fact that now nobody would dare call his son a terrorist. "No report can bring back my dead son. But it has at least rendered some authenticity to our claim about his innocence," he told MiD DAY. The sudden death of his young son has taken its toll on him but Mohammad Ameen remains resolute to restore the honour of his family.
"I am really thankful that we have so many people supporting us. I have read the post-mortem report, but still I want a full judicial inquiry into the matter," he said. "The police labelled my son a terrorist. But then my son is not alone. In the past, so many people have been meted out the same treatment and this will continue," Mohammad Ameen said. He says it a conspiracy against the minority community. "They are picking on those who can do well in the future."
Mohammed Ameen's mood changes frequently and sometimes he becomes reclusive, perhaps lost in his thoughts about Atif. The suffering and hardship faced by him is reflected in his reluctance to face the media.
The RTI also came as a relief to the family of Mohammad Sajid, roommate of Atif who was fell to the bullets of the Special Cell cops. The police on the other hand lost senior Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma.

Sajid, who had never gone out of his hometown in 17 years, moved to Delhi so that he could be like his role model and cousin Atif. A second year intermediate student, Sajid left his home on July 10 for the first time so that he could join coaching classes in Delhi, as there were no proper arrangements in Sanjarpur, said Dr Ansar-ul Hassan, father of Sajid.
"My son was innocent. He went to study there (Delhi) and he spent just two months in the city before being shot. We got to know through media reports about his death in an encounter. The autopsy report clearly shows it was a fake encounter," Dr Hassan, a BUMS doctor, said.
Dr Javed Akhtar, president of Association for Welfare, Medical, Educational and Legal Assistance (AWMELA), an umbrella organisation of eminent people from Azamgarh, said: "They have clearly seen injury marks/abrasion etc on the bodies that could only be the result of brutal torture prior to shooting at point blank range."
He also ridiculed the "ever changing" police version vis-a-vis the fatal injuries to Inspector Sharma. Dr Akhtar demanded an impartial probe into the incident and emphasised the need for review of all the allegations against Atif and Sajid "in the light of this report."
Classified no more

The highly secretive autopsy report, which the Special Cell of the Delhi Police refused to make public despite repeated demands by civil society groups, and which finally came out of the closet on March 17 after sustained efforts by RTI activist Afroz Alam Sahil, further strengthens the barrage of questions from all quarters challenging the authenticity of the September 19, 2008 police encounter in which the two youngsters from Azamgarh were killed. Special Cell cop MC Sharma too was killed in the 'encounter'. His post-mortem report has also been disclosed. This fact was revealed in the post-mortem reports of Atif Ameen, 24, and Mohd Sajid, 18, provided by the NHRC.

Some points revealed by the RTI
The four-page autopsy reports reveal that Atif Amin and Mohammad Sajid had suffered injuries by a blunt object apart from gunshot wounds.
Eight out of 10 bullet entry wounds on the body of Atif are on the back side, in the region below the shoulders and at the back of the chest, which point to the fact that he was repeatedly shot from behind.
Sajid's post-mortem report says there were two wounds on his body which were not caused by a firearm. These injuries were antemortem in nature i.e caused before his death.
Sajid was shot three times in the head with the bullets travelling downwards.
Source URL: http://www.ndtv.com/news/cities/my-son-was-not-a-jihadi-says-atifs-father-18620.php

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

The Golden Rule of Humanity

The Golden Rule of Humanity

Brahmanism: This is the sum of duty: Do naught unto others which would cause you pain if done to you.: Mahabharata 5:1517

Christianity: All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.: Matthew 7:12

Islam: No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother what which he desires for himself. Sunnah

Buddhism: Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.: Udana Varga 5:18

Judaism: What is hateful to you, do not to your fellowmen. That is the entire Law; all the rest is commentary.: Talmud, Shabbat 31:a

Confucianism: Surely it is the maxim of loving-kindness: Do not unto others that you would not have them do unto you.: Analects 15:23

Taoism: Regard your neighbor's gain as your own gain, and your neighbor's loss as your own loss.: T'ai Shag Kan Ying P'ien

Zoroastrianism: That nature alone is good which refrains from doing unto another whatsoever is not good: for itself. : Dadistan-i-dinik 94:5

Monday, 8 March 2010

Humanity and Womanhood

Humanity and Womanhood
Actual humanity in biological form is feminine. Biological femininity or womanhood is, in fact, actual humanity, it is claimed. It follows that women are the real human beings and men are the aberration to be tolerated as a price for continuance of humanity, that is, womanhood in the earth. An analysis:
“Our sex is ultimately laid down by our genes, which in humans are bundled together in each body cell in twenty-three pairs of microscopic packages called chromosomes. One member of each of our twenty-three pairs was acquired from our mother, and the other member from our father. The twenty-three human chromosome pairs can be numbered and distinguished from each other by consistent differences in appearance. In chromosome pairs 1 through 22, the two members of each pair appear identical when viewed through a microscope. Only in the case of chromosome pair 23, the so-called sex chromosomes, do the two representatives differ, and even that's true only in men, who have a big chromosome (termed an X chromosome) paired with a small one (a Y chromosome). Women instead have two paired X chromosomes.
What do the sex chromosomes do? Many X chromosome genes specify traits unrelated to sex, such as the ability to distinguish red and green colors. However, the Y chromosome contains genes specifying the development of testes. In the fifth week after fertilization human embryos of either sex develop a "bipotential" gonad that can become either a testis or an ovary. If a Y chromosome is present, that bet-hedging gonad begins to commit itself in the seventh week to becoming a testis, but if there's no Y chromosome, the go-nnd waits until the thirteenth week to develop as an ovary. That may seem surprising: one might have expected the second X chromosome of girls to make ovaries, and the Y chromosome of boys to make testes. In fact, though, people abnormally endowed with one Y and two X chromosomes turn out most like males, whereas people endowed with three or just one X chromosome turn out most like females. Thus, the natural tendency of our bet-hedging primordial gonad is to develop as an ovary if nothing intervenes; something extra, a Y chromosome, is required to change it into a testis.
It's tempting to restate this simple fact in emotionally loaded terms. As the endocrinologist Alfred Jost put it, "Becoming a male is a prolonged, uneasy, and risky venture; it is a kind of struggle against inherent trends towards femaleness." Chauvinists might go further and hail becoming a man as heroic, and becoming a woman as the easy fallback position. Conversely, one might regard womanhood as the natural state of humanity, with men just a pathological aberration that regrettably must be tolerated as the price for making more women. I prefer merely to acknowledge that a Y chromosome switches gonad development from the ovarian path to the testicular path, and to draw no metaphysical conclusions.
But there's more to a man than testes alone. A penis and prostate gland are among the many other obvious necessities of manhood, just as women need more than ovaries (for instance, it helps to have a vagina). It turns out that the embryo is endowed with other bipotential structures besides the primordial gonad. Unlike the primordial gonad, though, these other bipolar structures have a potential that is not directly specified by the Y chromosome. Instead, secretions produced by the testes themselves are what channel these other structures toward developing into male organs, while lack of testicular secretions channels them toward making female organs.
For example, already in the eighth week of gestation the testes begin producing the steroid hormone testosterone, some of which gets converted into the closely related steroid dihydrotestosterone. These steroids (known as an-drogens) convert some allpurpose embryonic structures into the glans penis, penis shaft, and scrotum; the same structures would otherwise develop into the clitoris, labia minora, and labia majora. Embryos also start out bet-hedging with two sets of ducts, known as the Mullerian ducts and Wolffian ducts. In the absence of testes, the Wolffian ducts atrophy, while the Mullerian ducts grow into a female fetus's uterus, fallopian tubes, and interior vagina. With testes present, the opposite happens: androgens stimulate the Wolffian ducts to grow into a male fetus's seminal vesicles, vas deferens, and epididymis. At the same time, a testicular protein called Mullerian inhibiting hormone does what its name implies: it prevents the Mullerian ducts from developing into the internal female organs.
Since a Y chromosome specifies testes, and since the presence or absence of the testes' secretions specifies the remaining male or female structures, it might seem as if there's no way that a developing human could end up with ambiguous sexual anatomy. Instead, you might think that a Y chromosome should guarantee 100 percent male organs, and that lack of a Y chromosome should guarantee 100 percent female organs.
In fact, a long series of biochemical steps is required to produce all those other structures besides ovaries or testes. Each step involves the synthesis of one molecular ingredient, termed an enzyme, specified by one gene. Any enzyme can be defective or absent if its underlying gene is altered by a mutation. Thus, an enzyme defect may result in a male pseudohermaphrodite, defined as someone possessing some female structures as well as testes. In a male pseudoher-maphrodite with an enzyme defect, there is normal development of the male structures dependent on enzymes that act at the steps of the metabolic pathway before the defective enzyme.
However, male structures dependent on the defective enzyme itself or on subsequent biochemical steps fail to develop and are replaced either by their female equivalent or by nothing at all. For example, one type of pseudohermaphrodite looks like a normal woman. Indeed, "she" conforms to the male ideal of female pulchritude even more closely than does the average real woman, because "her" breasts are well developed and "her" legs are long and graceful. Hence cases have turned up repeatedly of beautiful women fashion models not realizing that they are actually men with a single mutant gene until genetically tested as adults.
Since this type of pseudohermaphrodite looks like a normal girl baby at birth and undergoes externally normal development and puberty, the problem isn't even likely to be recognized until the adolescent "girl" consults a doctor over failure to begin menstruating. At that point, the doctor discovers a simple reason for that failure: the patient has no uterus, fallopian tubes, or upper vagina. Instead, the vagina ends blindly after two inches. Further examination reveals testes that secrete normal testosterone, are programmed by a normal Y chromosome, and are abnormal only for being buried in the groin or labia. In other words, the beautiful model is an otherwise normal male who happens to have a genetically determined biochemical block in his ability to respond to testosterone.
That block turns out to be in the cell receptor that would normally bind testosterone and dihydrotestos-terone, thereby enabling those androgens to trigger the further developmental steps of the normal male. Since the Y chromosome is normal, the testes themselves form normally and produce normal Mullerian inhibiting hormone, which acts as in any man to forestall development of the uterus and fallopian tubes.
However, development of the usual male machinery to respond to testosterone is interrupted. Hence development of the remaining bipotential embryonic sex organs follows the female channel by default: female rather than male external genitalia, and atrophy of the Wolffian ducts and hence of potential male internal genitalia. In fact, since the testes and adrenal glands secrete small amounts of estrogen that would normally be overridden by androgen receptors, the complete lack of those receptors in functional form (they are present in small numbers in normal women) makes the male pseudohermaphrodite appear externally superfeminine.
Thus, the overall genetic difference between men and women is modest, despite the big consequences of that modest difference. A small number of genes on chromosome 23, acting in concert with genes on other chromosomes, ultimately determine all differences between men and women. The differences, of course, include not just those in the reproductive organs themselves but also all other postadolescent sex-linked differences, such as the differences in beards, body hair, pitch of voice, and breast development.”
Jared Diamond, Why is Sex Fun? The Evolution of Human Sexuality, New York: Basic Books, 1997

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Forwarded Urgent Appeal issued by AHRC Re INDIA-- A Human Rights Defender Tortured and Electrocuted in Manipur

Forwarded Urgent Appeal issued by AHRC Re INDIA-- A Human Rights Defender Tortured and Electrocuted in Manipur

Barak Human Rights Protection Committee (BHRPC) is pleased to forward the following Urgent Appeal issued by Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) regarding an incident of severe torture of a human rights defender by the police in Imphal, Manipur, India. It is reported that the police arrested and tortured the victim, Oinam Bikramjit, in custody. The victim fears that he will be re-arrested and tortured if he takes any actions against the police officers.

AHRC states “Oinam Bikramjit is a human rights activist in Manipur. He is an active campaigner in the state-wide movement calling for the withdrawal of the draconian laws like the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 from the state. He has also been vocal against the extrajudicial executions carried out by the security forces in Manipur. He is the General Secretary of the United People Front of Manipur. He is part of the Apunba Lup, an umbrella body of different organisations in Manipur. It is believed that Bikramjit's arrest was a kneejerk reaction by the state government against the mass protest organised by Apunba Lup and other human rights organisations against the 23 July killings in Manipur.”

You are urged to send appeals to the concerned authorities and disseminate it widely.

Waliullah Ahmed Laskar
Information Division, BHRPC
Rongpur Part Part-IV, Silchar-9,
Assam, India
Email: bhrpc.net@gmail.com

Guwahati, 2 March, 2010

1 March 2010

INDIA: A human rights defender tortured and electrocuted in Manipur
ISSUES: Torture; human rights defender, arbitrary detention, draconian laws


Dear friends,
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information about the case of a human rights defender tortured by the police in Imphal, Manipur state. It is reported that the police arrested and tortured the victim, Oinam Bikramjit, in custody. The victim fears that he will be re-arrested and tortured if he takes any actions against the police officers.
According to the information received by the AHRC, the Manipur State Police Commando Unit arrested Mr. Oinam Bikramjit on September 1, 2009, along with three other human rights defenders namely: Ms. Mutum Ibemhal, Ms. Mayanglambam Radhesana and Ms. Oinam Amuthoi.
At about 5pm on that day, police officers surrounded the house of Mrs. Ibemhal, in Imphal West District. Ibemhal along with Bikramjit, Radhesana and Amuthoi were having tea. The officers searched the house but found nothing incriminating. Soon, a team of women police officers arrived and arrested Ibemhal, Bikramjit, Radhesana and Amuthoi. It is reported that the police violated all legal procedures regarding arrest of persons.
The police produced the four detainees at the Imphal Chief Judicial Magistrate court, on the next day. The Court released Radhesana and Amuthoi on bail but remanded Bikramjit and Ibemhal into custody. The Court allowed the police to keep Bikramjit and Ibemhal in police custody instead of judicial custody till 4 September. On 4 September the police produced Bikramjit and Ibemhal again in court, and the court remanded them into judicial custody till 17 September.
At this point the officers from Nambol Police Station approached the court with a prayer to allow them to arrest Bikramjit in connection with a case concerning the burning of Nambol Sub Divisional Office that happened on August 20, 2009. The court ordered to produce Bikramjit before the court and allowed the Nambol police to record their arrest of Bikramjit. Then they produced Brikamjit in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate in

Bishnupur with a prayer for police remand. The Court allowed the application and remanded Bikramjit into police custody till September 7, 2009.
In the meanwhile, the District Magistrate, Imphal West District issued an order on September 5, 2009 to detain Bikramjit under the National Security Act, 1980 (NSA). The NSA allows preventive detention of a citizen for prolonged periods with limited possibilities of bail. Bikramjit was not brought before the Bishnupur court on 7 September.
According to our information, the police tortured Bikramjit in custody. Bikramjit along with others were released from custody on January 7, 2010. But he is suffering from physical as well as mental trauma from the severe torture inflicted upon him while in custody. It is reported that the police resorted to brutal forms of torture upon Bikramjit, including electrocuting him. Bikramjit is afraid that the police will detain him again if he initiated any action against the officers. He requires immediate expert medical assistance and counseling for trauma.
Oinam Bikramjit is a human rights activist in Manipur. He is an active campaigner in the state-wide movement calling for the withdrawal of the draconian laws like the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 from the state. He has also been vocal against the extrajudicial executions carried out by the security forces in Manipur. He is the General Secretary of the United People Front of Manipur. He is part of the Apunba Lup, an umbrella body of different organisations in Manipur. It is believed that Bikramjit's arrest was a kneejerk reaction by the state government against the mass protest organised by Apunba Lup and other human rights organisations against the 23 July killings in Manipur. For further reading about the 23 July murder, please see AHRC-UAC-098-2009; AHRC-UAC-122-2009 and The state of the republic is showcased in Manipur.
The NSA allows detention of persons considered as security risk anywhere in India. Under its provisions, the authorities could detain a suspect without charge or trial for a period up to one year. The state government must confirm the detention order, which is reviewed by an advisory board within seven weeks of the arrest. The process however is non-transparent. The NSA limits the power of the lower courts like the magistrate courts to review detention orders and thus deprive the persons detained under this law from obtaining any immediate legal redress. Declaration of a state of emergency is no precondition to charge a person under the NSA. For these reasons the NSA has been misused by authorities in India. In particular, the NSA is used against human rights and other political activists to silence opposition.
In February 2009, the UN Working Group on arbitrary detention released a joint study along with other Special Rapporteurs on the practice of arbitrary detention in countering terrorism. It stated that 'arbitrary detentions and disappearances have been a long-

standing concern in India, particularly in the states in which the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958 applies'. During the 2008 Universal Periodic Review of India, the Human Rights Council also remarked that the continuing reliance on special powers under legislations such as the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 the Public Safety Act, 1978 and the National Security Act, 1980 in areas declared to be disturbed is cause for serious human rights violations.

Please write to the authorities named below demanding an investigation into the case of torture. The circumstances under which Bikramjit was arrested must be investigated and if the investigation reveals breach of law, the concerned officers must be punished.
The AHRC is writing a separate letter to the Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders calling for his intervention in this case.
To support this appeal, please click here:
Dear …………….,

INDIA: The case of torture of Oinam Bikramjit must be investigated
Name of the victim: Oinam Bikramjit, 34, General Secretary of United People's Front, resident of Oinam Mamang Leikai, Bishunupur District, Manipur, India
Date of incident: September 1, 2009
I am writing to express my concern regarding the case of Mr. Oinam Bikramjit who was arrested and reportedly tortured in custody in Manipur.
According to the information I have received, the Manipur State Police Commando Unit arrested Bikramjit from the house of Ms. Mutum Ibemhal on September 1, 2009. The police have reportedly arrested Bikramjit along with three other persons, Ms.

Mayanglambam Radhesana, Ms. Oinam Amuthoi and Ms. Mutum Ibemhal. I am informed that at the time of arrest, the police officers failed to follow the procedures stipulated in the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973.
I am aware that the police released Bikramjit from custody on 7 January. I am however concerned to know that the police tortured him in custody and even electrocuted him. I am informed that he is afraid to speak about the incident due to fear for re-arrest, even though he is outside the police custody. I am also informed that Bikramjit requires immediate medical care and trauma counseling to recover from the mental and physical trauma he has suffered at the hands of the police.
I am aware that torture is not permitted under Indian law. I am however concerned to know that torture is widely practiced in India. I suspect that the lack of appropriate investigations and prosecutions of officers is one of the reasons for the widespread use of torture in the country.
I am further informed that draconian laws like the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 and the National Security Act, 1980 are misused by the police as well as other state agencies in India.
I therefore urge you to review the implementation of these laws in India. I am aware that entities like the United Nations and its several mandate holders like, the UN Working Group on arbitrary detention have urged the government of India to review the operation of these laws. I am also informed that a similar opinion was made by the Human Rights Council during India's Universal Periodic Review and that the same opinion is shared by India's National Human Rights Commission.
I therefore urge you to ensure that:
1. The statement of the victim is recorded;
2. The victim is provided immediate security and medical treatment;
3. A judicial inquiry is held into the entire incident and the records of the inquiry transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation, investigating the July 23 murder;
4. If the judicial inquiry reveals a crime committed by the police officers against the victim, that the officers are immediately prosecuted in a separate trial;
5. The officers accused in the case of having tortured the victim are immediately placed under suspension and removed from active duty;
6. To review the operation of draconian laws like the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 and the National Security Act, 1980 are reviewed.
Yours faithfully,

1. Pratibha Patil Devi,
Office of the President
Rashtrapati Bhawan,
New Delhi 110004
Fax: +91 11 23017290
E-mail: presidentofindia@rb.nic.in 

2. Dr. P. Chidambaram
Minister, Ministry of Home Affairs
Griha Mantralaya Room
No. 104, North Block Central Secretariat
New Delhi 110001
Fax: +91 11 2301 5750, 2309 3750, 2309 2763
E-mail: hm@nic.in 

3. Mr. Okram Ibobi
Chief Minister & Home Minister of Manipur,
Chief Minister's Secretariat, Babupara
Imphal 795001, Manipur
Fax: + 91 385 2221817
Email: cmmani@man.nic.in 

4. Chairperson
National Human Rights Commission of India
Faridkot House, Copernicus Marg
New Delhi-110001
Fax: +91 11 23340016
E-mail: chairnhrc@nic.in 

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (ua@ahrc.asia)

Posted on 2010-03-01

The AHRC link to the document: http://www.ahrchk.net/ua/mainfile.php/2010/3379/