Women’s panel takes note of molestation
Nitasha Natu TNN
Mumbai: The National Commission for Women (NCW) has taken note of a
complaint filed by womens’ groups against molestation of female cops
during the Azad Maidan rally on Saturday. TOI had reported about
traumatized female cops questioning the decision of being sent to
rein in a mob of hooligans, when it was known that female protesters
rarely turned up for such agitations.
“We were extremely concerned after going through reports of
deliberate manhandling and molestation of 8-10 policewomen while on
regular bandobast duty. Policewomen, as all women in public
administrative functions, are particularly vulnerable to such
incidents of gender violence. It is necessary for the NCW to not
just investigate this complaint but look into the wider issue of the
vulnerabilities of women in public spaces and suggest sensitization
in this regard,”
said Teesta Setalvad, secretary of Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP).
“We would urge that the NCW conducts an investigation and makes
public its recommendations in a time-bound manner. Sensitization of
the public on their conduct during protests is a must as also the
acknowledgement and assertion that such behaviour cannot be
condoned,” Setalvad said.
“It is imperative that such instances are not repeated and do
not go unnoticed. That the victims were policewomen does not matter
at all,” said Sandhya Gokhale of the Forum Against Oppression of
Women. Other signatories to the complaint are Awaaz-e-Niswaan,
Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, Sabrang, IIWA (Iqra International
Women's Alliance), WRAG (Women's Research and Action Group).
The CJP also contributed Rs 51,000 to the Commissioner of Police
Welfare Fund towards the injuries suffered by policewomen and men on
duty during the Azad Maidan rally.
Morphed images used to garner support,
Teesta Setalvad, greets Police Commissioner for mature handling of
A non-governmental organisation on
Monday submitted to Mumbai Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik certain
“morphed” images of “atrocities” on Muslims in Assam and Myanmar
which were allegedly used to garner public support for the August 11
protest which turned riotous at the city’s Azad Maidan.
“We have also shared details of the misuse of certain photographs
from the Internet claiming that these are about atrocities on
Rohingyas in Burma when in fact they belong to different tragedies
and protests,” said a press note issued by Citizens for Justice and
In the letter to Mr. Patnaik, the
CJP has annexed a copy of the blog written by a Pakistani writer
Faraz Ahmed on July 19, 2012, with the heading ‘Social media is
lying to you about Burma’s Muslim ‘cleansing.”
The blog categorically stated that the images used to incite people
are “drastic manipulation.” “These images are false and are only
igniting hatred and prejudice in our youth. We need to become more
vigilant and aware of the credibility and authenticity of pictures
we browse through. It only takes one wrong image to push us over the
edge towards extremism,” the blogger has allegedly written,
according to the copy annexed by CJP.
Teesta Setalvad, CJP secretary also congratulated the Police
Commissioner, saying: “His mature handling of a potentially
explosive situation on Saturday did ensure that matters were brought
under control. Most of all his immediate presence at the venue
within minutes of the situation spiralling out of control, his
direct appeal to the protesters and organisers, his reference to the
bloodbath of 1992-1993 worked to calm the crowd and draw apologies
from many sections of the Muslim community.”
Organizations laud Mumbai Police’s handling of Saturday’s protest
Submitted by admin4 on 13 August 2012 - 8:30pm
By TCN News,
Mumbai: Citizens for Justice and
Peace (CJP) and some Muslim leaders have praised Mumbai Police
mature handling of the protest on Saturday that turned violent.
CJP met the Commissioner of Police
Mumbai to express their concern over the fallout of Saturday's
violence. His mature handling of a potentially explosive situation
on Saturday did ensure that matters were brought under control. Most
of all his immediate presence at the venue within minutes of the
situation spiraling out of control, his direct appeal to the
protesters and organizers, his reference to the bloodbath of
1992-1993 worked to calm the crowd and draw apologies from many
sections of the Muslim community.
A delegation consisting of
representatives of Muslim NGOs also met the Chief Minister
Prithviraj Chavan and Mumbai Police Commission Arup Patnaik in
separate meetings. Mahmood Daryabadi, M. Burhanuddin Qasmi, Farid
Shaikh, Dr. Azimuddin and six others were part of the delegation.
The Muslim delegation appreciated police “professionalism in
handling the violent mob.” Condemning the incident Muslim leaders
appealed to all Mumbaikars to remain calm and watchful.
Teesta Setalvad, Secretary of CJP express her organization’s deep
sorrow at the loss of lives on Saturday and also deep regret at the
injuries --some serious caused to several police men and women last
August 13, 2012
As citizens of Mumbai committed to the rule of law and human rights
for all, we would like to place on record our appreciation for the
manner in which the Mumbai Police under your stewardship handled the
potentially explosive situation at Azad Maidan on Saturday. Though
better preparedness and bandobast before the protestwould have
undoubtedly helped, once violence broke out, the mature and handling
by the police without being further provoked by the behavior of the
protesters ensured that the situation was brought under control, and
that a potentially volatile situation did not spread to other areas.
Sir it is critical to ensure that there is no further fallout of
We would also like to condemn of the
use of provocative slogans and resort to violence by some of those
on the stage and in the crowd assembled to protest, as reported in
the media. We strongly condemn the attack on policemen and
misbehavior with women police officers as has been also alleged
alleged in media reports that must have caused deep anger among the
law and order enforcement machinery. The attack on the media is most
deplorable, as also the destruction of public property. Any issues
that any individual or group has with the media, selective
portrayals or biases—if any-- need to be furthered through
discussion and dialogue not violence and instigation.
While the right to protest is a
democratic right, the duty and responsibility of peaceful protest
must lie with not just the authorities but responsibility must also
be taken by organizers. (Justice Srikrishna in his report on the
1q992-1993 violence, had, relying on the earlier recommendations of
the Justice DP Madon Commission report that were never implemented,
recommended that deposits need to be obtained from organizers of
protests to ensure that damages for any losses could be recovered
from this deposit). We suggest that the Mumbai police immediately
apply this recommendation.
There have been reports that some
provocative photographs of the situation in Burma were shown or
talked of and the appeals to the media made. In this connection we
would like to offer the following information. Since mid-June 2012,
photographs allegedly depicting the horrific plight of the Rohingyas,
who happen to be Muslims of Burma have been widely circulated on the
Yesterday, after Saturday’s
violence, as we were checking the authenticity of these out, we
found, that some, though not all of them were actually not of
authentic and were altered/morphed on the computer. This information
has also been put out by a blogger who appears to be from Pakistan.
We attach some of these below for
We would also like to humbly state
that reviving the vibrant and collective effort of the Mohalla
Committee—with ordinary citizens not politicians—is critical given
that misconceptions and misgivings must have been caused across
communities after Saturday’s incident. This is also necessary to
ensure that there is no spill over resentment and anger with other,
ordinary Muslims following the conduct of a handful of compatriots
of the community on Saturday. The month of Ramzan, followed by Eid
after which the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi will be both a strain
and challenge to the Mumbai police. We hope that under your
leadership, maturity and calm governs public behavior, not
retaliation by the police or provocation by any other sections of
Kadri (President), Nandan Maluste (Vice President),
Krishnaswamy (Treasurer), Alyque Padamsee, Cyrus Guzder, Anil
Dharker, Javed Akhtar, Ghulam Pesh Imam, Rahul Bose, Cedric Prakash
Cops seek Facebook help to block morphed pics
14 Aug 2012 Hindustan Times (Mumbai) Debasish Panigrahi firstname.lastname@example.org
MUMBAI: The Mumbai police have asked
social networking site Facebook to block the page containing
doctored images of alleged atrocities against Muslims, which
resulted in the violence at Azad Maidan on Saturday.
On Monday, Himanshu Roy, joint
commissioner of police, crime, told HT that they had requested
Facebook to trace the IP address used to upload the photographs. “We
have also asked them to track the fictitious accounts used to
circulate the link,” he said.
Once the source is established, a
case under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code as well as the
Information Technology Act would be registered, Roy said.
Sources in the Mumbai police crime
branch claimed that the images had been uploaded from a Pakistani IP
Also, cellular service providers in the city have been asked to
trace the source of the inflammatory text messages that were
circulated. “Even the organisers are being questioned to reveal the
source of the SMSes,” Roy said.
Mumbai police commissioner Arup Patnaik, meanwhile, admitted that he
had to restrain his men from firing at the crowd as he feared a
repeat of the 1992 riots. MUMBAI: Technology, particularly the
internet and smart phones, has come as a boon to humankind. But it
can also be a bane, if left open to abuse and misuse. That is what
seems to have happened in the lead-up to the violence at Azad Maidan.
According to information gathered
from a multitude of sources, events were building up to the violence
from weeks beforehand with a series of MMSes and SMSes in
circulation about the violence in Burma.
These visuals were morphed from other events — earthquakes, tsunami
deaths and even a Tibetan boy who set himself on fire in New Delhi
before the Chinese premier’s visit to India — but passed off as
those of Muslims attacked by Buddhists in Burma.
Teesta Setalvad of the Citizens for
Justice and Peace, who submitted a memo to police chief Arup Patnaik
against these messages on Monday, says she had been receiving the
photographs in her mail for some time. Then she came across a blog
by Pakistani blogger Faraz Ahmed on the website of Pakistani
newspaper Express Tribune, titled ‘Social media is lying to you
about Burma’s Muslim ‘cleansing’,’ (http://bit.ly/Mxwu0S).
Ahmed had put together original pictures and those morphed, which
were also the ones circulated to young Muslims in Mumbai.
But, says Mohammad Faruque Azam, president of the National Institute
of Jihad Against Atrocities and Terrorism, nothing was done to
inform these boys that the pictures were not correct and that they
were intended to provoke. Azam sees a Pakistani conspiracy against
India. “Burma is not India’s problem. The boys should have been
educated that the Assam violence was not a Muslim versus nonMuslim
issue. It is Bodos versus non-Bodos, of which even Hindus are
Azam says certain Muslim politicians
from Muslim-leaning parties take advantage of the lack of knowledge
of Urdu in the rest of society to provoke youth. “They issue one
statement to the Urdu press and another to other newspapers that
might catch them out and invite punitive action for provocation,’’
he insists. The statements are jingoistic and are blown out of
But Sarfaraz Arzoo, editor of Urdu daily Hindustan, bristles at the
suggestion that the Urdu press could be irresponsible, though he
agrees that the conspiracy could be Pakistani, but aimed at
diverting attention from the violence against minority Muslim sects
in that country.
Joint commissioner of police Himanshu Roy said they were aware of
the morphed pictures and messages. “But this time we want the
provocateurs, not just some boys who were rounded up from the spot.
We will be tough.”
However, at a meeting with CM
Prithviraj Chavan, Muslim leaders from various groups complained
against heavy-handedness against innocent boys picked up on
Saturday, but promised help in identifying the brains behind the
The CM told HT, “I am worried whether this is an external conspiracy
to create disaffection in India between various communities.” The
morphed picture of Buddhist monks standing over bodies of earthquake
victims in China could be “an attempt to create problems between
Dalits and Muslims,” he says.
Mumbai violence: ‘Web provocative content, including Gujarat riot
had 60 lakh hits’
Joshua Patnigere : Tue Aug 14 2012,
State Home Minister R R Patil on
Monday said a link leading to a webpage with provocative content had
a serious impact on the protest at Azad Maidan. “There were 60 lakh
hits on a particular link leading to provocative content. But the
videos and images were not of incidents in Assam and Myanmar. They
were doctored and were actually images of the Gujarat riot and China
earthquake,” said Patil.
Even as Muslim leaders called for peace after Saturday’s violence
near Azad Maidan, the Mumbai Police has begun to take serious note
of groups that are continuing to post inflammatory content on social
Even as the organisers of the protest meet have apologised for the
violence, a few groups on social networking sites, with several
hundred followers each, have urged members to continue spreading the
word about atrocities against Muslims and to “come out on the
streets again in other cities”. Senior police officers confirmed
that the Mumbai Police was contemplating action against those
posting inflammatory content on these sites.
Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime)
Himanshu Roy said that the Cyber Crime Cell is monitoring all posts
and pictures of the Azad Maidan protest put up on Facebook and other
sites. “We are also checking and tracing persons who put up such
pictures, both before and after the violence, on Saturday. Action
will be taken against such persons,” said Roy.
One group on Facebook, called ‘STOP
killing Muslims in Burma’, had 12,606 members at the last count.
With posts asking group members to organise demonstrations and
inform the moderators for publicity, the Azad Maidan protest too
finds mention in the group page. Until Monday evening, there were
320 ‘likes’ and 153 comments about the Azad Maidan protest. One user
urged other group members to organise similar protests in their
The use of social media was key in
publicising the Azad Maidan protest with a special ‘public event
notification’ on Facebook still active. More than 1,500 users had
confirmed that they would attend the protest. Posts on the page
ranged from media bashing to condemning alleged police brutality on
“peaceful protestors” at Azad Maidan. One user referred to the two
victims who died in the violence as martyrs.
With posts ranging from “waking up
the Indian government” to “doing whatever it takes to draw
attention”, the groups have seen a flurry of activity. “As a general
rule, the hate-mongers are more active on the worldwide web,” said
Javed Anand, secretary of Muslims for Secular Democracy and trustee
of Citizens for Justice and Peace, which handed over a memorandum to
Commissioner of Police Arup Patnaik calling for, among other things,
reviving Mohalla Committees in sensitive parts of the city. “But the
overwhelming majority of young Muslims are angry at what happened.
They’re drawing comparisons with peaceful community movements and
are calling what happened at Azad Maidan a disgrace to the
community,” Anand added.
Retired assistant commissioner of police Shamsher Khan Pathan said
he believes the community members will hand over the perpetrators of
violence once CCTV footage identifies them. “But the police should
not pick up innocent Muslims. They should be strict against
criminals, but there should be no vindictiveness.”
Meanwhile, Pakistan-based blogger
Faraz Ahmed posted a link showing that some of these pictures were
conflict and disaster-hit Asian