US woman takes to Twitter to nab man who masturbated at her in South Mumbai

In an incident that could further damage Mumbai’s reputation for being unsafe for women, an American national tweeted the photo of a youth who allegedly masturbated at her in broad daylight in south Mumbai.

The incident occurred on Monday morning at around 8.59 am near Colaba Causeway. The woman managed to click the man’s picture before he fled the spot after she confronted him. She later tweeted the photo.

An American woman’s accusation and tweet, which went viral on Monday morning, led the police to launch a hunt for him.

The police are yet to decide which IPC Section is to be invoked in the matter.

US woman takes to Twitter to nab man who masturbated at her in South Mumbai

According to the woman, the man allegedly masturbated in front of her and ran away from the spot when she confronted him. The foreign national approached the police and narrated the harrowing incident.

Copspeak

Speaking to mid-day, Senior Inspector Vinay Gadgil from Colaba police station said the woman did not visit the police station after the incident. But when they discovered about the incident, cops contacted her. He added that the woman told the police that she would meet them on Tuesday, following which an FIR could be filed based on her complaint.

“I heard a woman shouting, so I came out of my car. She was with the accused when she sought directions for the police station. I showed here where the police station was located,” said an eyewitness.

“Based on a verbal complaint by the victim, the police have initiated a search for the accused. However, we are yet to record the statement of the complainant to know what exactly happened. We will get a clear picture only when we record her statement,” said Vinay Gadgil, Senior Inspector of Colaba Police Station.

“As the victim’s statement has not been recorded yet, I will not be able to say that under which (IPC) Section the accused would be booked,” added Gadgil.

The incident came to public notice when the American woman tweeted about it, and her tweet soon went viral on social networking sites like Tweeter and Facebook.

The victim also mentioned two men, who where passing-by and came to her help when she raised an alarm. She also tweeted the image again, this time to clarify the fact that the man approaching the camera was the accused and the other two were the Good Samaritans.

US woman takes to Twitter to nab man who masturbated at her in South Mumbai

To get clues about the identity of the accused, police are going through a photo which the victim had managed to click, said Gadgil.

(With PTI Inputs)

Source: Mid Day

Men’s rights activists want commission on lines of NCW

Mumbai: Men’s rights activists on Friday demanded setting up of a national-level commission for men on the lines of the National Commission for Women (NCW) to safeguard their interests.

The demand was made when men’s rights activists from across the country gathered in Bhayander on Friday at a meeting organised by an NGO Save Indian Family.

Kumar Jahgirdar, who spearheads the movement for gender-neutral laws, and also runs an NGO Childrens’ Right Initiative for Shared Parenting, said, “Though men pay more than 82 per cent of the country’s income tax, no government has ever bothered to address their problems. Therefore, we demand a dedicated ministry for men’s welfare and also a men’s commission on the lines of NCW.” It is ironic that while there are dedicated ministries for even animals and forests but none for men, he added.

Swarup Sarkar, president of the Save Indian Family, an NGO which advocates gender neutral laws, said, “Now there is an urgent need to act against those women, who file false complaints (against husbands) with the protection of women-centric laws.”

Source: The Asian Age

NGO to take up men’s cause on Independence Day

Tribune News Service – Jalandhar, August 12 | This Independence Day, a group of 50 NGOs, under the banner of Save Indian Family (SIF) and more than 180 activists across the nation will assemble in Mumbai for the advocacy of gender neutral laws.

The seventh national confluence has been earmarked to evolve a strategy for “protecting vulnerable men from laws facing undue harassment due to heavily loaded legal provisions against men.”

“The national confluence aims to evolve a consensus from nationwide volunteers to plan initiatives to empathise with the deteriorating situation of men on the legal front, health care and social status, to address men in distress through various channels, campaigns, creating of groups and establishing respect for men,” said members of the Insaaf Awareness Movement, including Kunal Aggarwal, president, Kamal Sharma, secretary, Vikas Madaan and Bharat Chauhan, the other activists from Jalandhar.

The members believe that men have been marginalised like never before. Apart from gender neutral laws, the group will also discuss the issue of suicide being committed by them. “Suicides exhibit social trauma and mental status of men. The NCRB 2014 illustrates the vulnerable situation that men are facing in the present scenario. Every 5.9 minutes, a men is committing suicide in India with family disputes as the single largest reason for male suicide,” they said in a press note.

Source: The Tribune

Young love often reported as rape in our ‘cruel society’

Young love often reported as rape in our 'cruel society'

“I lay the blame for a lot of this at the door of Parliament,” lawyer and leading women’s rights activist Vrinda Grover said.

In January 2013, Seema (name changed), who had moved to Delhi from rural Bihar with her brother went to the Hanuman temple on Delhi’s Panchkuian Road with 19-year-old Sameer (name changed). He put vermilion on her forehead, the couple embraced and now married in their own eyes, they ran away to Sameer’s native village in Samastipur. By May, Seema, now pregnant, was in a court-mandated shelter home for young women visited only by Sameer when he got bail, accused of kidnapping and raping his young love.

The content of 600 court judgements analysed by The Hindu and interviews with complainants, judges and police officers illuminate for this first time the real stories behind the headlines on the national capitals rape statistics.

As Part 1 of the series showed, one-fifth of the trials ended because the complainant did not appear or turned hostile. Of the cases fully tried, over 40% dealt with consensual sex, usually involving the elopement of a young couple and the girl’s parents subsequently charging the boy with rape. Another 25% dealt with “breach of promise to marry”. Of the 162 remaining cases, men preying on young children in slums was the most common type of offence.

These numbers too do not on their own illuminate the stories behind these numbers; for this, The Hindu interviewed judges, prosecutors, police officers, complainants, accused, lawyers and activists most of them under condition of anonymity because they were not free to publicly discuss confidential rape trials. What emerged were heart-rending stories and the role of the police and judiciary.

‘Teenage love drama’

Of the 460 cases dealing with sexual assault in Delhi’s district courts in 2013 that went to a full trial, 174 involved or seemed to involve runaway young couples like Seema and Sameer, The Hindu found. This was especially true for inter-caste and inter-religious couples.

Across the system, there was some amount of concern and sympathy for these consenting couples, especially among judges. Ruling on Seema and Sameer’s case in October 2013, Additional Sessions Judge Dharmesh Sharma said, “The instant case racks [sic] up a perennial problem being faced by all of us on the judicial side: what should be the judicial response to elopement cases like the instant one… This life drama is enacted, played and repeated everyday in the Police Stations and Courts…” Of the case before him, Judge Sharma noted, “This case is a teenage love drama where our dysfunctional cruel society and the justice system have separated the two love birds and have taught them a bitter lesson.”

“We get innumerable such cases in Lucknow too,” Seema Mishra, lawyer and women’s rights activists with Association for Advocacy and Legal Initiatives (AALI), said. AALI has been at the forefront of the pushing for women’s right to choose sexual relationships, which is at the heart of the 174 cases The Hindu looked at. In case after case, as well as in interviews with The Hindu, the behaviour of the girls’ parents was shocking: they arrive at the hotel the couple has eloped to and drag them home, they beat and even injure the couple (in one case breaking the girl’s spine), they threaten her even with acid, they force her to submit to invasive medical tests and in many cases, even to an abortion.

In Judge Sharma’s case, he was able to acquit Sameer since Seema was over the age of consent for sex at the time – 16 years. However now that the Criminal Law Amendment Act (2013) is in force, the age of consent now stands at 18. “I lay the blame for a lot of this at the door of Parliament,” lawyer and leading women’s rights activist Vrinda Grover said. “By raising the age of consent, they have ensured such cases of consensual sex being called ‘rape’ are just going to multiply.”

Promise of marriage

Judges, prosecutors and police officers tended to be far less sympathetic towards the other major area of concern – the 109 cases which deal with “breach of promise to marry”. The argument used by prosecutors in these cases is that if a woman had sexual relations with a man only under a false promise of marriage by him, her consent was not free as it was obtained through deceit. However in most such cases, showing that the accused never intended to marry the complainant becomes hard to prove, unless he is already married to someone else and hiding it.

“You might say it is wrong, but when the girl’s father comes to the police station and says she has been ruined, a policeman will tend to take the father’s side,” one senior Delhi police explained. More often than not, he said, the FIR was a way to force a man attempting to call off a marriage into going through with it; in a third of such cases The Hindu looked at, the woman deposed in court that they were now married and hence she no longer accused him of rape.

“Your family discovers you have been having relations with a man for five years and now he has called it off because of pressure from his family,” one complainant who lost her case explained. “Before you know what is happening, your father and uncle have gone to the police station and you are forced into this. Everyone tells you that if you do not go along with it, you will never get married,” she said.

“Frankly I think this shouldn’t be counted as rape. It comes from a patriarchal context, from the premium placed on a woman’s chastity. But if we want to talk of women’s agency, we cannot have it both ways,” Ms. Grover said, a sentiment shared by several other feminist lawyers.

Rape as we know it

The 161 remaining cases look a lot closer to what is conventionally referred to as rape. Nearly half of these involved an adult neighbour preying on a minor child of a neighbour or a vulnerable woman sleeping outdoors or alone at home, most took place in slums, and had a conviction rate of over 75%. “Mothers like me have to work all day and are not able to keep an eye on our children,” one mother who secured a conviction in the rape of her three-year-old by a neighbour, said in tears. The medical investigation and courtroom terrified her, the woman said, but her family supported her.

In such cases, the consistent testimony of the complainant played the most important role. Judges were usually willing to convict in the absence of medical evidence, and in one case, Additional Sessions Judge Renu Bhatnagar convicted a man of raping a mentally challenged minor girl even though she was unable to depose in court apart from nodding. However in at least two cases where the complainant admitted that she met the accused alone voluntarily but did not consent to sex, judges disbelieved the woman’s testimony.

The judgement in the December 16 gang-rape formed part of The Hindu’s study and was notable in its length, detail and unprecedented extent of medical evidence. It was one of only 12 rapes heard in 2013 that were alleged to have been perpetrated by strangers, and all of the others pre-dated it.

Conclusion

The stories behind Delhi’s sexual assault statistics indicate that the image created by police statistics alone might be a misleading one.

Source: The Hindu

73-year-old Tamil Nadu librarian donated Rs 30 crore to the uneducated poor

73-year-old Tamil Nadu librarian donated Rs 30 crore to the uneducated poor
TN activist Palam Kalyanasundaram remained a bachelor so that he could dedicate his life to the poor.

Thin, frail, emaciated and sporting a shy smile, Palam Kalyanasundaram looks like your next-door neighbour’s old, but affectionate grandpa. Once you get to talk to him, the fire and determination in him shines forth through his words. He speaks in a childlike manner, and his voice, too, is high-pitched, but as you listen, you are awestruck at the yeoman service he has done for humanity. He has received several awards and has donated Rs 30 crore of prize money he got from these honours.

Born at Melakarivelamkulam in Thirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu, Kalyanasundaram lost his father at a very young age. It was his mother who inspired him to serve the poor.

A will to serve humanity has been 73-year-old Kalyanasundaram’s guiding principle throughout his life. A gold medalist in library science, he also holds a masters degree in literature and history. During his 35-year-long career at Kumarkurupara Arts College at Srivaikuntam, he diligently and willingly donated his salary month after month towards charity and did odd jobs to meet his daily needs. Even after retirement, he worked as a waiter in a hotel in exchange for two meals a day and a meagre salary so that he could continue to donate to orphanages and to children’s educational funds.

He was amply rewarded for his service to humanity. The Union government acclaimed him as the best librarian in India. The International Biographical Centre, Cambridge, has honoured him as one of the ‘noblest of the world’ and the United Nations adjudged him as one of the most outstanding people of the 20th century. He also received Man of the Millenium award and Life Time of Service Award from Rotary Club of India in 2011.

“People think that I started doing charity when I was young by donating clothes and helping people study, and they attribute it to a public cause, but I insist it was for a private one. The place where I lived was a tiny village with no provision for roads, buses, schools, electricity, and there was not even a shop to buy a matchbox from. I had to walk 10km to school and back and walking all that way alone can be a pretty lonesome experience. Hence, I had this thought that if I could motivate most of the children to come with me to school, it would be great fun as well.”

Kalyanasundaram says with a twinkle in his eye. “In those days, children could not afford to pay school fees which were around Rs5. I offered to pay their school fees, got them books and clothes as well.”

Kalyanasundaram says money does not impress him at all. “One can get money in three possible ways. First, through earnings; secondly, through parents’ earnings, and thirdly, through money donated by someone. But there’s nothing more fulfilling than being able to donate money for charity out of your own earnings.”

Palam Kalyanasundaram lives a simple life all on his own in a small house in Saidapet, Chennai. He never married for the simple reason that he did not want to spend all that he earned on charity. Even today, he comes to office at Adyar regularly and does whatever he can for the uplift of the underprivileged people.

Source: DNA News