People’s Hearing on Fabricated Cases – 28-29 Sep. 2012 in Delhi




New Delhi, 26 September 2012.

Dear Editor/Chief of Bureau, Reporter,

Please depute a journalist and photographer to cover this event.


WHEN:  28-29 SEPTEMBER. 10 am -6pm

WHERE: Constitution Club, Rafi Marg, New Delhi

Over thirty civil society organisations from across the country will hold a two day peoples hearing on fabricated cases from 28-29 September at the Constitution Club in the city. Depositions on fabricated cases, ranging from the anti nuclear struggles at Koodankulam and Jaitapur, the POSCO project in Odisha, human rights violations in Kashmir and the North East, will be made to a six member jury.

Jury members include Dr. Binayak Sen, Former Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court Rajinder Sachar, poet K. Satchidanadan and journalists Saba Naqvi and Ajit Shahi.

The organisers of the public hearing include groups such as Peoples Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), Jamia Teachers Solidarity Association, Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF) and Solidarity Youth Movement.


For more information contact:

Wilfred D’costa  – 011-26517814;  Email:

PT George – 011-26560133 –

Sajeed K.  Email: –

Telefax: 011-26560133   online at:








MEDIA RELEASE.                                                             New Delhi, 26 September 2012.


People’s jury to hear violations of fundamental rights by the state from 28-29 September, 2012.

New Delhi: Over thirty civil society organisations from across the country will hold a two day peoples hearing on fabricated cases from 28-29 September at the Constitution Club in the city. Depositions on fabricated cases, ranging from the anti nuclear struggles at Koodankulam and Jaitapur, the POSCO project in Odisha, human rights violations in Kashmir and the North East, will be made to a six member jury.

Jury members include Dr. Binayak Sen who was himself a victim of trumped up sedition charges by the Chhattisgarh Government. While Dr. Sen was granted bail in April 2011 by the Supreme Court which found no evidence of sedition, hundreds of human rights defenders continue to face similar charges and jail sentences.

At Koodankulam in coastal Tamil Nadu a valiant and peaceful protest by thousands of local people living in the vicinity of the under construction nuclear plant has been met with brutal police repression and false charges. Recently the police filed more than 55,000 First Information Reports (FIR) against local villagers and incredibly charged 6800 of them with ‘sedition’ and ‘waging war’ against the state.

Chhattisgarh school teacher Soni Sori is languishing in jail with several instances of torture allegedly for being a ‘naxalite accomplice’. There will also be depositions on behalf of Delhi based journalist Ahmed Kazmi by his son Shauzab Kazmi. Kazmi was arrested by the Delhi police in March 2012 on charges of facilitating the bomb attack on an Israeli diplomat. So far the Delhi Police have not revealed any substantive evidence to prove their case against Kazmi.

Former Member of Parliament Sebastian Paul will depose on behalf of Kerala politician Abdul Nasar Maudany who was arrested in August 2010 for his alleged involvement in the 2008 Bangalore serial bomb blasts.

The organisers of the public hearing include groups such as Peoples Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), Jamia Teachers Solidarity Association, Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF) and Solidarity Youth Movement.

Jury members also include Former Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court Rajinder Sachar, poet K. Satchidanadan and journalists Saba Naqvi and Ajit Shahi.

The hearing will start at 10am on 28th September and conclude at 6pm the next day with comments from the Jury.

For more information contact:

Wilfred D’costa  – 011-26517814;   Email:

PT George – 011-26560133; Email  –

Sajeed K.  Email: –

Tele Fax: 011-26560133             Online at:



Resist the Silent Emergency in India – People’s Hearing on Fabricated Cases


Dear  Friends,


Venue: Constitution Club,  New Delhi 

Dates: September 28 – 29, 2012, Friday, Saturday.

The nightmare of the infamous Emergency of Mrs. Indira Gandhi was supposed to be over in 1977 when it was lifted after two years due to large scale public protest. Political parties, institutions and individuals who defended Emergency were discredited. The sigh of relief evoked a hope for a functioning democracy in India.

But today, we are entering into a similar phase of authoritarian governance without any formal declaration of Emergency. This Silent Emergency has regulated, controlled and restricted all space for democratic public protests against ruling governments. Custodial deaths and encounter killings have become a routine phenomenon. Rape, murder, loot, torture and arrests in Manipur, Nagaland and other north eastern states as well as Kashmir have even crossed the excesses of the Emergency period. Many discriminatory laws have been enacted to silence the Media without a censorship. Several discriminatory laws were enacted to enhance and strengthen the power of the State over civil society and crush dissent.

Laws to facilitate the corporate control and loot over the resources of people are being enacted. This has also become a major reason for the human rights violations against adivasis, dalits, minorities, farmers, fisher people, workers, activists and human rights movements. The human rights defenders who take up burning issues of the people are being targeted. False cases are being fabricated against activists, people’s movements, media, theatre activists, minorities, self-determination movements, dalits and adivasis in a major way. Thus thousands of innocent people are languishing in Indian jails without any trial.

In this context of the Silent Emergency in our country we would like to invite you to attend the ‘PEOPLE’S HEARING ON FABRICATED CASES’ which has the following objectives:

  1. To defend fundamental rights, human rights and the Indian Constitution to preserve our democracy
  2. To popularize some of the most brazen cases of fabrication of false charges against political dissidents and members of the Muslim, dalit and adivasi communities
  3. To facilitate further legal action for freedom of these innocent people
  4. To generate pressure on the mainstream media to play a more socially responsible role
  5. To generate pressure on the institutions of Indian State for the release of undertrials.

The Programme:

The organizers expect the participation of around 50 victims, their family members or friends whose testimonies will be heard by a jury comprising of judges, lawyers, journalists, human rights activists and artists. After listening to all the presentations the Jury will report their observations and conclusions with clear recommendations for various institutions of the Indian State. 

Organisers: Solidarity Youth Movement – Kerala, Indian Social Action Forum – INSAF, PUCL, AISA, SIO, Right to Food Campaign, KSMTF (Kerala Swathantra Matsya Tizhilali Federation), PPSS (Anti Posco Movement), ICR, Focus on the Global South, Justice for Maudany Forum, Visual Search, Moving Republic, SAHELI, Pedestrian Pictures, National Campaign Against Fabrication of False Cases,, Jamia Teachers Solidarity Assiciation, Jamia Student Solidarity Forum, Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, National Adivasi Alliance, Kabani – The Other Direction, Human Rights Alert, Dalit Human Rights Movement (DHRM) – Kerala, Forum for Democracy and Communal Amity, Action for Social Equality, INSOCO – Indian Solidarity Committee for freedom democracy & human rights, Center for Harmony and Peace – Varanasi, PUDR, Socialist Front, Student of Resistance.

People’s Hearing on Fabricated Cases

Sept 28-29 Constitution Club, New Delhi

Programme Schedule

28-09-2012, Friday –     Inaugural Session: 10am – 11.30am

11.30am – 1.30pm

  Issue Speaker
1 Koodankulam Anti Nuclear -tbc-
2 Anti POSCO Struggle Abhay Sahoo
3 Jaitapur Anti Nuclear Vaishali Patil
4 Farmers Group, Madhya Pradesh Dr. Sunilam


2.30pm – 6pm

  Issue/Case Speaker
5 Journalist Mhd Ahmed Kazmi Shauzab Kazmi
6 Soni Sori Himanshu Kumar
7 Gujarat Fabricated Cases Zakiya Soman
8 Faseeh Mahmood Sabih Mahmood
9 Journalist Shahina KK Shahina KK
10 Seema Azad, UP Seema Azad
11 Jharkhand Dayamani Barla
12 Odisha Prafulla Samantara
13 Chattisgharh Ajay T.G
14 DHRM, Kerala Suresh
15 Email Surveillance Victims, Kerala T. Mohammed Vellom

 29-09-2012, Saturday

10am – 1.00pm

  Issues Speaker
16 Kashmir & North East Anjum Zamrud Habib, Babloo Loitongbam, Kaka D Iralu
17 Abdul Nasar Maudany Dr. Sebastin Pol, Omar Mukhtar


2.00pm – 3.30pm

  Issues Speaker
1 Prisoners Issue SAR Geelani
2 Repressive Laws Preeti Chauhan, PUDR
3 Increasing repressive state under neoliberalism Colin Gonsalves

 3.30pm – 6.00pm

Concluding Session: Comments from the Jury


1)                  Justice Sachar

2)                  Dr. Binayak Sen

3)                  Saba Naqvi

4)                  Ajit Shahi

5)                  Dr. Ram Puniyani




The Growing Divide between Economics and Politics in India – Arun Kumar


The Growing Divide between Economics and Politics in India

Arun Kumar

Chairperson and Sukhamoy Chakravarty Chair Professor, CESP,SSS, JNU.

Published in the Mainstream.

            Government has gone for a slew of `reforms’ and drawn strong protest from people and the political parties both in UPA and outside it. The package consists of raising of price of diesel, restricting LPG cylinder supply at subsidized prices to 6 per annum per family and allowing FDI in aviation sector and in multi-brand retail trading (MBRT). The first step is inflationary since it will immediately impact all prices through the cascading effect. In the current scenario of high inflation it can only further damage the ruling political party. According to the government, liberalization of foreign investment will boost investments and raise the rate of growth of the economy. Quarter after quarter the rate of industrial growth has not only been falling but even been negative in some of the quarters.

Foreign investment, hardly a few per cent of the total investment in the economy, cannot change this trend. Even if it rises, that will take time to materialize and, therefore, cannot have any immediate impact on the economic growth rate. Further, it is hardly a panacea for the ills of the industrial sector which is suffering from uncertainty due to corruption and declining exports. The stock markets have reacted positively but that cannot spur growth. Thus, the government is unlikely to derive any short term benefit from this policy. There will be the cosmetic effect that the charge of policy paralysis may no more stick to UPAII and foreign press can no more criticize the PM of inaction.

There is no disagreement on the inflationary impact of the steps taken to reduce under recoveries in petro goods. This is justified on grounds of the need to control the fiscal deficit and the health of the petroleum sector. However, there is a sharp divide on the issue of allowing FDI in multi brand retail trade. The government had proposed it in November 2011 but withheld implementation due to the widespread opposition to it. It had said that it would consult everyone before implementing this policy. The current reaction suggests that there was inadequate consultation and that the step is being taken for some other reason.

The government claims that FDI in retail will boost the economy, provide large scale employment to youth, lead to lowering of consumer prices, better prices to the farmers, reduction in wastage in farm produce, improvements in technology and creation of infrastructure. It has been presented as a win-win situation for the nation. It is only supposed to be anti-middlemen in the supply chain who squeeze both the farmers and the consumers. Traders are labelled as the vested interests who oppose this step. It is argued that the MNCs would not displace the neighbourhood stores which will continue to flourish. Finally, it is said that the Indian corporates are already operating in this sector and they have not wiped out the local stores.

Walmart, the largest multi-brand retailer in the world has been itching to enter the Indian markets and has had a tie up with the Mittals. Its global sales were over $400 billion in 2009 and it employed 2.1 million workers. In India, if the turnover of the retail trade is taken to be the personal consumption, it would be $650 billion in 2009 and this sector offered employment to at least 30 million. If companies like Walmart were to enter India and displace the existing retail stores, they would only employ 3 million workers for India’s current level of sales. This would not happen suddenly but the trend would be clear.

The small stores would not disappear immediately. To begin with their growth in sales volume would slow down as the sales of the big retailers rises. That is already the effect of  the emergence of the malls and the coming of the Indian big retailers like, Reliance and Big Bazaar. The crowds in these stores are at the expense of what could have been the clientele in the small stores. Does one see the poor in these stores? No, a huge segregation is taking place.

The government is touting an increase in investments in the retail sector to spur growth. But, as small stores begin to suffer, their rather substantial investments would slow down. One need go to any market in India, even in small towns and see how the neighbourhood stores have grown. The sleepy Khan Market has turned into a fancy shopping centre (mall without a common roof) in the heart of Delhi. Has all this happened without investment?

The government claims that the companies with FDI will have to source 30% from the MSME sector which will help the growth of this sector. But does the Indian retail sector which is likely to be displaced not source more than 30% of its supplies from the MSMEs? Further, given the global linkages of the MNCs, they are likely to buy more from outside the country than the Indian small retailers do and this will adversely affect demand.

Thus, whether it is employment generation or the amount of investment or the impact on MSME sector, one has to see the net effect of the entry of MNCs in multi-brand retail trade. In the case of employment and MSMEs, there would be an adverse effect and in the case of investment the net effect even if positive would be too small to boost growth.

The expected positive impact of elimination of middlemen for farmers will be illusory given that India has a large number of very small farmers (unlike in the USA) and big business would not be able to deal with them. Further, given the deep pockets of the MNCs, speculation in food prices in India would only increase. The states are being given the freedom whether to implement the policy or not. But once the MNCs are ensconced in Delhi would state capitals be able to resist? It has to be a national policy either way.

The proponents argue that there would be backward linkages with the setting up of infrastructure that is presently lacking and that new technology would be introduced in India. Did Amul not set up infrastructure for milk marketing? Have the Indian organized sector in retail not been creating infrastructure? What is the high technology that Indian retailers cannot set up or evolve in India? If Indian big business has not found it profitable to set up more infrastructure and supply chains then would MNCs find it profitable to do so?

Consider the entry of Pepsi Cola in India in 1988. It promised revolution in tomato and potato farming in India to produce potato chips and tomato ketchup. By 1992 it had invested Rs. 80 crores and was buying from 80 farmers only. When Coca Cola was allowed to enter India without any conditionalities then Pepsi also demanded that it be exempted from its promises. The lesson is that promises made to gain entry are hardly implemented.

Today, the USA and Europe face massive unemployment. How far have the MNCs in retail which dominate these markets helped in reducing it? Walmart is growing but wherever it has gone, employment has declined. In India, where under employment in the unorganized sectors is massive, entry of organized sector firms can only aggravate the situation. They will not employ the poor and ill educated labour working in the small neighbourhood retail stores. Thus, they may create some employment for the middle class, public school educated youth but what of others?

Given all these imponderables for the Indian economy why is the government pushing ahead with this policy, in spite of the disquiet in the public? Indian big business in retail has been tieing up with MNCs through various means like, Private Equity (PE), FII and PN route. The black funds of the Indian big business and politicians (some of whom are big businessmen) has been `round tripped’ into India. Thus, the Indian political class and big business are interested in the entry of FDI so that they can bring their funds back. To them the threat of MNCs is secondary.

Genuine Indian big business will not be able to survive the competition because FDI will come via tax havens like, Mauritius and be exempt from taxes. The former would have to sell out to the latter whether of Indian or foreign hue. Is another potential scam brewing? In brief, the ruling class is acting on its own behalf while over looking the larger interest of the Indian people – this is the growing divide between politics and economics in India.



India’s Prime Minister should not betray the People


National Office : A Wing First Floor, Haji Habib Building, Naigaon Cross Road, Dadar (E), Mumbai – 400 014. Phone – 9969363065; Delhi Office: 6/6 jangpura B, New Delhi – 110 014. Phone: 9818905316 E-mail: | Web :


 For Immediate Release 22nd September, 2012

Prime Minister should not betray the ‘natural’ and ‘real’ mass-investors in favour of the foreign

The issue of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Retail has led to maximum politicization & polarization amongst the political parties & within civil society. The right to left opposition parties have come together, the ruling UPA is not only cornered by the Trinamool Congress party that has withdrawn from alliance of UPA but is also challenged by the (left & right parties both on the ideology of economic development with FDI not only in Retail but also in every single sector ranging from education to real estate development) economic policy, reform & development in FDI in Retail.

It is still obvious that none of the political parties including SP, BSP, JD(U) or even TMC & the left have questioned per se, the ideology behind economic development with foreign support & investment through investors & investments from the foreign source. This issue based re-alliance, therefore, no doubt has its role in raising a critical issue, otherwise is raised by the common people asserting right to livelihood & no State violence or intervention against the national scenario of local resource based economies of and for the millions.

The movements such as that of farmers & hawkers, have had always questioned the very rationing & indispensability of the foreign investment which invariably has led to changing our policies against the poor i.e. the toiling masses. All the reasoning put forth by the Prime Minister in his latest speech, that justified FDI in Retail on the basis of generation of employment to compulsion of the global economics and market is contestable on very logical grounds. This is because the entry of the investors with the flow of Capital has invariably led to taking over of the jobs & the tasks serving as livelihood for the millions.

The big market players that are in, whether in farm sectors, retail or education have always raise the prices of the costs of services & goods that they initially offer as cheaper & good quality products. Later on the consumers or the beneficiaries have also found it difficult to challenge the marketers – profiteers whose strategies & means of manoeuvring & manipulating are beyond the control & monitoring of the common people. In short, in a sector such as retail which provides self-reliance through self-employment & related job opportunities to crores of small traders, hawkers & the service persons engaged in a large number of services ranging from domestic to small commercial enterprises could certainly snatch away the livelihood of a large population of the unprotected (mistakenly called unorganized) sector workforce.

It is not only the fear but the experience of the loss of economic space as also the political space for those who live upon small scale & partly self monitored market processes who are knocked-down by the big investors through not just entry but encroachment upon the ‘small’. The farmers to small traders who live on the natural and human resources, therefore, feel unsafe to face & challenge the big investors – corporates at the national level & more so at the International level. The opposition by people’s movements across the country and the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), therefore, is in the wider context whereby we question the global interference & not just investments in our economics & relatively in our politics.

In the present context of the unprecedented politicization of the issue we certainly welcome the courageous position & decision taken by the TMC led by the Mamta Banerjee, holding the economic sovereignty & the people’s livelihood above the political interest. However, taking into consideration the tricky challenge thrown by the UPA & PM, the real test of the parties in opposition would be, their commitment to execute ‘No FDI in Retail’ policy in the State where they or their allies enjoy power.

The movements cannot just wait & watch the political outfit of the present alignments to agitations but must educate & mobilize the masses including farmers, fish workers, vegetable growers, hawkers as also large section of the populations dependent on them, and raise a voice and wage a battle to get the anti-people decision to permit FDI in retail on one hand and make a dent into the pro-corporate, globalisation and privatisation based economic policies by bringing the wider issues onto the political agenda. The task, as always, appears to be difficult to impossible but it is not impossible, with the combined might of the struggling masses.

It is only and only the people’s power that can make the ‘political’ power holders accept the people’s vision of a self reliant and sovereign economy in order to ensure that they do not bring in the global glamour through FDI, but actually safeguard the right to life ( including livelihood to millions of Indians).

Medha Patkar,Sandeep Pandey, Prafulla Samantara, Gabriele Dietrich, Suniti S R, Ulka Mahajan, Roma, Arundhati Dhuru, Sister Celia, Maj. Gen. (Retd) Sudhir Vombatkere, Geo Jose, Hussain Master, P Chennaiah, Ramakrishna Raju, Vimal Bhai, Rajendra Ravi, Anand Mazgaonkar, Mukta Srivastava, Madhuresh Kumar


National Alliance of People’s Movements
National Office: Room No. 29-30, 1st floor, ‘A’ Wing, Haji Habib Bldg, Naigaon Cross Road, Dadar (E), Mumbai – 400 014;
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