Open letter by Mangalureans demanding action against saffron outfits for threatening St Aloysius College

Open Letter by Individuals and Organizations
October 9, 2021

Various media have reported that Hindutva fascist groups including ABVP, VHP and Bajrang Dal have opposed the decision of the St Aloysius College, Mangaluru a private autonomous college to name one of its parks after Human Rights and Adivasi Rights Activist Late Father Stan Swamy. They have threatened to stage a protest if the college goes ahead with the plan. Threats have been made by them stating that “the college will be responsible if any untoward incident takes place”.

We call upon the district administration and the police to take immediate action against these organizations for engaging in criminal intimidation and issuing such threats. They have absolutely no right to interfere in the goings on of the private institution. These organization have a stated purpose and history for violence, communal divisiveness and subscribe to an idea of our country, with scant regard to the Constitution and the Rule of Law.

This blatantly illegal behaviour is a consequence of the free run that is being given to these fascist organizations in coastal Karnataka. These organizations are imposing social apartheid, interfering in the private affairs of citizens and acting against the Constitutional principle of fraternity by engaging in daily acts of violence and intimidation with impunity. Members of these organizations have engaged in lynching of minorities across the country, conducting riots and engaging in violence to push minorities into second-class citizenship

Fr. Stan Swamy was a person who was falsely implicated in the cases pending against him and subject to the most inhuman treatment leading to his untimely death. Imprisoned at the age of 84 years while suffering from Parkinson’s disease, he was denied the most basic of rights, being deprived of even a sipper. He dedicated his entire life for the upliftment of the oppressed sections of society and was targeted precisely for this reason. We stand with Fr. Stan Swamy.
 
We demand that immediate action be taken against these fascist organization for their actions of criminal intimidation and the district administration and police provide adequate protection to the college to ensure that there is no interference in its private affairs.

1.    Campaign to Defend Democracy (Karnataka)
2.    All India Peoples Forum
3.    People’s Union for Civil Liberty (PUCL)
4.    A. John Vincent, Advocate, High Court Bench, Madurai
5.    Abha Rao
6.    Akhil Mythri, NIAS
7.    Alice, AEO
8.    Alwin, Jesuit
9.    Alwyn, Alumni
10.    Amar Jesani, Independent Consultant, Bioethics & Public Health
11.    Amod Shah, PhD Researcher
12.    Amulya D’Souza
13.    Anil Sadgopal, Former Professor & Dean, Faculty of Education, Delhi University
14.    Archana Kaul, Srijanatmakanushi Sanstha
15.    Arindam Roy, CPI ML
16.    Ashiqa
17.    Ashish Kajla, Delhi Solidarity Group
18.    Avani Chokshi, All India Lawyers Association for Justice
19.    Basavalinga, Alumni
20.    Brian D
21.    Brinda Adige, Ananya Mahila Okkutta
22.    Cedric Prakash
23.    Chayanika Shah, Forum Against Oppression of Women, Mumbai
24.    Cheriyan Alexander
25.    Clifton D' Rozario, All India Lawyers Association for Justice
26.    Cynthia D
27.    Cynthia Stephen, Independent researcher
28.    Cyril, Alumni
29.    Deepak D'Souza    Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
30.    Dr.Mohan Rao, Jan Swasthya Abhiyan
31.    Dr.Sudhir Vombatkere, NAPM
32.    Dunu Roy, Hazards Centre
33.    Dwiji Guru, NAPM Karnataka
34.    Emmanuel David, HRDA
35.    Esmeralda D’mello, Justice Task force
36.    Francis
37.    Francis Balaraj, Indian Social Institute
38.    Frazer Mascarenhas, St. Peter's Parish
39.    G. Mary
40.    H (Laltu) Singh, AIFRTE
41.    Harsh Mander, Human rights and peace worker and writer
42.    Harshita, St. Claret College
43.    Hartman de Souza, Writer
44.    Jagdish Patel, Peoples Training and Research centre
45.    Jolly Chacko, Retd Govt Servant
46.    Joseph Xavier,    Indian Social Institute Bangalore
47.    Karuna, Journalist
48.    Kavita Srivastava, PUCL
49.    Kavya
50.    Lekha, All India Students' Association
51.    Madhu Bhushan, Women's rights activist/researcher
52.    Maimoona Mollah, AIDWA Delhi
53.    Manshi Asher, Nagrik Adhikar Manch, Kangra
54.    Manu
55.    Marian Furtado
56.    Mary Ann B
57.    Meera Sanghamitra, National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM)
58.    Michael Rajamathi, St. Joseph's College, Bengaluru
59.    Milagrin, Alumni
60.    N Manu Chakravarthy, Individual
61.    N Thamizhseran
62.    N. Jayaram, PUCL
63.    Nandini Sundar, Sociologist
64.    Nisha Biswas
65.    P A Devaiah, All India Students' Association
66.    P. Sainath, Journalist
67.    Philo Thomas, Women's Welfare Centre
68.    Pieter Friedrich,Centre for Liberty and Peace in South Asia
69.    Prabhat Sharan, Journalist
70.    Prayer KC, Independent Doctor
71.    Ram Puniyani, All India Secular Forum
72.    Ramnarayan, Independent Ecologist, Educator
73.    Raphael Dsouza, The Bombay Catholic Sabha and All India Catholic Union
74.    Rohit Prajapati, Activist, Gujarat
75.    Rohit, AISA
76.    S Subramanian, Independent Researcher
77.    S.Krishnaswamy, Madurai District President, PUCL
78.    Sawani Shiraz
79.    Sejal Dand, Anna Suraksha Adhikar Abhiyan
80.    Selvaraj Arulnathan, Loyola College, Vettavalam
81.    Shashank SR, Research For Equity
82.    Shiva Shankar,IIT
83.    Shujayathulla, PUCL Bangalore
84.    Siraj Dutta, Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha
85.    Sridhar Venkatesh, University of Michigan
86.    Sudha N, Independent Researcher-Activist
87.    Sultan Mahmud, All India Students Association
88.    Suraj Samrat
89.    Synthia
90.    T.Dlee
91.    Thomas Kailath
92.    Uma Shankari, Human rights organisation
93.    Usha, NMSWorks Software Pvt Ltd
94.    Vidya Dinker, Citizens Forum for Mangalore Development
95.    Vijayashree CS, National Institute of Advanced Studies
96.    Vinay Sreenivasa, Advocate
97.    Walter Fernandes, NESRC
98.    Xavier Jeyaraj SJ, Society of Jesus
99.     Vasant Kumar

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News Network
November 26,2021

Chikkaballapur, Nov 26: A 28-year-old man died after coming in contact with the electric fence of a tomato farm in Charakamattenahalli, Gauribidanur taluk of Chikkaballapur district. Hours later, the angry kin of the deceased youth beat the farm owner to death with wooden logs.

With tomato prices more than doubling and fetching Rs 200 per kg in auctions, the farm owner, Aswath Rao, 47, had erected an electric fence to protect his crop.
  
Cowherd Vasanth Rao from the same village was electrocuted when he came in contact with the fence on Wednesday night. As the news of Vasanth’s death spread on Thursday morning, his angry relatives rushed to the tomato farm where Aswath was resting. 

The mob attacked him and caused him grievous injuries. Other villagers rushed Aswath to hospital, where he succumbed.

Chikkaballapur SP GK Mithun Kumar said Aswath had grown tomato on his one-acre land. Police sources said amid the rising tomato prices, growers in the district also have to contend with robbers who steal the fruits.

Mithun Kumar, however, said it was illegal to erect a live electric fence around farmlands. He has asked Bescom authorities to take steps to prevent people from resorting to such steps as it could result in loss of not only lives but also cattle heads.

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News Network
November 18,2021

cows.jpg

Even though the ‘Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Act, 2020’, claims to protect cattle and increase the breed of cattle, in reality the Act has a detrimental impact on the cattle rearing and market ecosystem, according to a scientific study. 

The study was led by public health specialist Sylvia Karpagam and independent researcher Siddharth Joshi. The study was an initiative by a group of researchers part of Ahaara Namma Hakku collective. 

The study report “Criminalising Livelihoods, Legalising Vigilantism” analyses the impact of the legislation on various communities including farmers, cattle transporters, slaughterhouses, skin and hide curing units, butchers, eateries and consumers.
It states that the justification provided by the government to implement the Act “betrays a complete lack of understanding of how the cattle production cycle works, and the utter disregard for the destructive impact it is going to have on the lives, incomes and livelihoods of the those who are part of the long chain of economic activities sustained by slaughter of cattle...”

While farmers usually sell unproductive cattle to traders who transport them to slaughterhouses, the new legislation which prohibits the slaughter of bulls, bullocks and buffaloes (below the age of 13 years), criminalizes traders who buy cattle for slaughter. Without an option to sell unproductive animals, farmers have to continue taking care of the animal making it economically unviable, it says. The report also highlights farmers lamenting how the legislation portrays them like criminals, leaving them vulnerable to vigilantes.

Further, the measures proposed by the government for mitigation of these adverse impacts are also impractical, it points out. For instance, while the government has proposed to take care of stray cattle in gaushalas, it doesn’t solve the economic loss to the farmers from being unable to sell the unproductive cattle. The report also quotes stakeholders who point out that cattle aren’t fed properly in gaushalas and they are sold on the sly. 

Considering that Karnataka is grappling with malnutrition, the researchers emphasize the importance of beef as a nutrition source.

Karpagam demanded that the government revoke the Act. “Else, it should at least allow slaughter of all other animals such as ox and bull. Now the exemption is allowed only for buffalo, which people in Karnataka do not consume,” she said.

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News Network
November 20,2021

modigandhi.jpg

New Delhi, Nov 20: BJP MP Varun Gandhi, who has been increasingly offering views divergent from his party, on Saturday posted online a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, listing four big demands following the centre's surprise cancellation of the controversial farm laws.

Reminding the Prime Minister that over 700 farmers would have still been alive had he taken the decision earlier, the MP demanded ₹ 1 crore compensation for those who died in the course of the year-long protest.

He also demanded that all "all politically motivated false" police cases filed against farmers must be dropped and their calls for widening the programme of guaranteed prices for farm produce known as Minimum Support Price or MSP be accepted, saying their movement wouldn''t end without it.

Mr Gandhi also raised the deaths of protesters in Uttar Pradesh's Lakhimpur Kheri last month where a BJP minister's son and aides have been accused of running over a group of farmers, triggering violence and leaving eight people dead.

"I thank you for your large-heartedness in announcing that these three laws will be repealed. More than 700 of our farmer brothers and sisters have been martyred in this movement, as they peacefully protested in extremely difficult and hostile conditions. I believe that if this decision had been taken earlier, all these innocent lives would not have been lost," he wrote.

"All politically motivated false FIRs that have been registered as weapons of harassment against our farmers during this movement must immediately be quashed," Mr Gandhi said.

"This (farmers') movement will not end without the resolution of this demand and there will be widespread anger amongst them, which will continue to emerge in one form or the other. Therefore, it is very important for the farmers to get the statutory guarantee of MSP for their crops. The MSP should also be based on the C2+50% formula of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices," he wrote.

On Lakhimpur Kheri, he wrote, "Many leaders sitting in senior positions have given provocative statements against our agitating farmers. It is the result of such statements and the adversarial atmosphere created around the movement, that on October 3, five of our farmer brothers were crushed to death by vehicles in Lakhimpur Kheri. This heartbreaking incident is a blemish on our democracy. It is my request to you that appropriately strict action is taken against the Union Minister who has been connected to this incident, so that there is a fair enquiry."

The sharp critique for the BJP is the latest from Varun Gandhi who was dumped from his party's National Executive after calling for justice for the families of farmers killed in UP's Lakhimpur Kheri and speaking out in support of other farmers protesting the centre's new laws.

A member of the Nehru-Gandhi family that controls the opposition Congress, Varun Gandhi and his mother joined the BJP in 2004 just months before the party went out of power but are believed to have fallen out of favour with the leadership in recent years.

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