NSA: 6 held for violence in anti-Sterlite protests

Tuticorin (TN): Six people arrested for their alleged involvement in the violence during anti-Sterlite protests last month were today detained under the National Security Act (NSA), police said.

The six were arrested on May 22 and are presently lodged in Palayamkottai Central Prison.
They were detained under NSA as per the orders of the Home Secretary Niranjan Mardi, police said.
The NSA empowers the Central and State governments to detain a person for maximum period of 12 months to prevent him/her from acting in any manner prejudicial to national security.
Thirteen people were killed in police firing on May 22 and 23 after protests for closure of the plant over pollution concerns turned violent in Tuticorin.

The Tamil Nadu government had last month appointed a one-person Commission of Inquiry headed by a retired judge of the Madras High Court to probe the violence in Tuticorin.

The State Human Rights Commission has also initiated an inquiry into the issue.

On May 28, the government ordered the state Pollution Control Board to seal and “permanently” close the Vedanta group’s copper plant, following the violent protests.

Indian man stabbed to death on Saudi street

xxAn expatriate Indian man was stabbed to death by a local Saudi man on a street near Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh, media reported Tuesday.

The unnamed man was stabbed by a Saudi man on the street Monday, Arab News reported Tuesday. The man died on the spot. The reason for the murder was unclear, police said.

According to local news website, riyadhconnect.com, the man was an Indian national employed in a grocery store on Hamza Bin Abdul Muttalib Street in Al-Oraija district of Riyadh, a short distance from where he was attacked.

A local resident recorded the incident and uploaded the footage on YouTube. It shows the Saudi man walking near the lifeless body lying on the street and then stabbing it again.

The report said the Saudi youth who fled the scene soon after the attack was later arrested. Police are investigating the murder.

(Source: IANS)

India asks UN to do more against sexual violence

Advocating greater participation of women in the areas of conflict prevention, peace negotiations, peace keeping and post conflict reconstruction, India wants UN organs to do more against sexual violence.

New Delhi believes that the UN Secretariat and the Funds and Programmes can do more in this respect, Hardeep Singh Puri, India’s permanent representative at the UN, said Friday during a Security Council debate on sexual violence and conflict.

India ‘believes that the perpetrators of these crimes must be brought to justice,’ he said citing American civil rights leader Martin Luther King who once said that ‘Injustice anywhere diminishes justice everywhere.’

‘We believe that the national capacities to adjudicate and to punish must be strengthened and supported to ensure that justice is done and the guilty punished,’ Puri said.

‘The international community has not just the responsibility, but the obligation to do its utmost to ensure the security of women and children to ensure that they are not handicapped in any respect and that every possible effort is made to create conditions where they can realise their potential.’

‘I belong to the Sikh faith,’ said Puri recalling ‘Four centuries ago, Guru Gobind Singh, at a time when conditions in India were unstable and conflict-ridden, ordered us to treat women captured in battle with the greatest respect.’

‘This is the Indian ethos in respect of women, particularly during situations of conflict. This is what we are committed to and this is what we will uphold,’ he said.

‘No country can be absolved from the responsibility of acting against sexual violence, one of the more abhorrent forms of violence against women,’ Puri said advocating the creation and augmentation of international regimes that furthers these objectives.

But, ‘it is not enough for the Security Council to mandate,’ he said. ‘It must make available the resources that are required to implement the ambitious legislative framework that it has created.’

‘UN peacekeeping missions and peacekeepers in the ground are being asked to do more and more with less and less,’ Puri said.

‘Being the largest troop contributing country in UN history, with more than 100,000 peacekeepers in 40 UN missions, India has perhaps more experience than most in implementing Security Council mandates,’ he noted.

UN campaign to protect Delhi women from violence

The United Nations Development Fund for Women (Unifem) Monday launched a programme here with the aim of checking violence against women and adolescent girls in public space. Delhi is one of the five cities across the world selected for the ‘Safe Cities’ programme.

The other four cities where the programme, ‘Global Safe Cities Free of Violence Against Women and Girls’, will be launched are Quito in Ecuador, Cairo in Egypt, Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea and Kigali in Rwanda.As per the model, each city will adopt different and new strategies to check cases of violence against women and young girls.

Unifem executive director Ines Alberdi said: ‘Everyday women and adolescent girls face sexual harassment and violence as they go about their daily routines – whether on the streets, in buses and trains, or in their own neighbourhoods.”This limits their freedom and rights to education, work, recreation and participation in political life. Violence against women in their private domain, in their homes is recognised as a violation of human rights. But violence in public space remains a neglected issue,’ she added.

According to Alberdi, the programme has got the support of local authorities, NGOs and agencies involved in ending gender based violence, community safety, urban planning and development in all the target cities. It will especially focus on the slum areas and poorest urban dwellers.

‘Collecting reliable data will be an important part of the Safe Cities programme, because the lack of data on the cases of violence against women in public space hides the problems and hampers the solution process,’ she said.

Implementation of the programme will see training of urban planners, grassroots NGO workers and police, special audits to identify the unsafe places, mass media campaigns for zero tolerance for violence against women and activities to engage local communities, including men.

The Safe Cities programme has been inspired by a similar Unifem initiative in Latin America in 2004. This model will be offered for adaptation to other cities across the world.According to global statistics compiled by Unifem, violence accounts for at least 25-30 percent of urban crime and women are twice as likely to be victims of violent aggression as men.

In 2010, as many as 82 percent of women in Delhi reported buses were the most unsafe public spaces in the city.A survey conducted in the capital said women found street sides unsafe followed by markets and parks. Alcoholism among men in slums and the fringe areas of the city contributed to the problem.

Less than 1 percent victims of sexual abuse filed official cases, though an increasing number reported gender abuse either at home or to spouses in the capital.The Unifem campaign will be executed at the micro-level in the capital by an NGO, Jagori.’In the next stage, it will move to panchayats in villages to empower women to counter gender crimes,’ said Anne F. Stenhammer, regional programme director of Unifem.