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NAPM yatra pays tribute to India's first anti-dam campaigner

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Samvidhan Samman Yatra of the National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM), which passed through Pune and Satara, paid tribute to Senapati Bapat, the revolutionary freedom fighter and leader of the first anti-dam movement in the country. He fought against the Mulshi Dam in 1921. It recalled the struggle of the five generations of the dam displaced people who travelled with the Yatra and supported their demand for return of the land occupied by the dam operators, Tatas.
The yatra, which began on October 2 at Dandi and will reach Delhi on December 10 after travelling the whole of India, comprises of 75 people from 15 states. Speaking at a public rally in Pune, Subhash Ware, eminent constitutionalist, said that Dr Ambedkar was aware of the fact that courts or Parliament alone cannot guarantee the rule of law. There is a need to struggle to achieve justice.
Medha Patkar of NAPM, who is leading the yatra, said that every woman is asserting today with movements such as #MeToo on th…

#MeToo petition seeks internal complaint committees in every workplace in India

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A #MeToo petition begun by Koshika Krishna, addressed to Union Minister For Women & Child Development Maneka Gandhi, has said that time has come for Indian workplaces to “experience its #MeToo moment.”
Taking a cue from Roya Sarkar, a US-based law student, who created a flutter by published a list on Facebook accusing more than 50 Indian professors of sexual harassment, and actor Tanushree Dutta, who called out co-actor Nana Patekar, Krishna says, while many women have found the courage to speak out, what’s disturbing is that there is “deafening silence and lack of support for those individuals who have spoken out.”
Pointing out that most companies have not set up Internal Complaints Committees (ICCs), as mandated under the Sexual Harassment at the Workplace Act, 2013, the petition regrets, in the media world, only 7 out of 17 major production houses in Mumbai confirmed that they had sexual harassment committees in place.
Seeking signatures, the petition says, “In a country whe…

Chemical waste being "dumped" in Bharuch from outside: NGO busts racket

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The Prakruti Suraksha Mandal (PSM), a Bharuch-based environmental NGO, has claimed that it has busted a waste disposal racket in Bharuch district. In a statement signed by PSM’s Salim Patel, it said, the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) was informed about how polluting units were “illegally” discharging chemical waste from outside and dumping it into Bharuch district.
PSM said, it “gathered information” and caught a tempo containing highly acidic chemical/drug-filled drum, adding, the drum contained chemical waste from Vadodara district’s Nandesiri industrial area. The tempo driver admitted that it did not have any appropriate document to carry the waste, hence GPCB officials were informed about it, PSM added.
As a result of the complaint lodged by PSM, a team consisting of GPCB, Vadodara, led by Bhadresh Patel and Ashish Patel, have begun investigation.

Focus on environmental, livelihood issues as second phase of Samvidhan Samman Yatra begins in Mumbai

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The second phase of the Sanvidhan Samman Yatra, organised by well-known civil rights network National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), began on October 20, with a public meeting held at Chaityabhumi, Dadar, Mumbai, highlighting increasing attacks on marginalised sections. Begun with protest songs performed by the Swadeshi Hip-Hop collectives, environmentalist Stalin Dayanand of the Save Arey movement insisted on the need to preserve Aarey forests in order to save Mumbai.
Another environmentalist Prakash Bhoir, also belonging to Save Arey movement, said 145 acres from the land of Adivasis has been given to the Veterinary College, where adivasis are treated worse than animals. “We had to fight even for the basic facilities like toilet. Our land has been given for construction of the Mumbai Metro and now they are throwing us out of the our land”, he said.
Rekha Ghatge, activist, Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan (GBGBA), said, she was a victim of the failed rehabilitation at Mahul…

India's polluted stretches along rivers rise from 302 to 351 in two years

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The number of critically polluted stretches of the country's rivers has increased to 351 from 302 two years ago, and the number of critically polluted stretches has gone up to 45 from 34, according to a recent assessment, released by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
The report analyses the water quality data under national water quality monitoring programme for the years 2016 and 2017. Scrutinizing the situation statistically. the report seeks to identify monitoring locations for water quality, identifying their polluted levels.
The polluted locations in a continuous sequence are defined as polluted river stretches and categorised in five priority classes based on BOD concentration exceeding to BOD levels >30 mg/l, BOD between 20&30 mg/l, BOD between 10&20mg/l, BOD between 6-10 mg/l and BOD between 3& 6 mg/l.

Sanjiv Bhatt's arrest in 22 years old case: Govt lawyers' "delaying" tactics

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Shweta Sanjiv Bhatt, wife of former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, who was arrested in a 22 year old case, has strongly objected to the government lawyers' “delaying tactics” at the Sessions Court in Palanpur, Banaskantha district. In a Facebook statement, Shweta Bhatt said, “On October 16, the Sessions Court was supposed to hear Sanjiv’s bail application. The audience was scheduled at 10:30 am. Nevertheless, in a flagrant display of tactical lateness, government lawyers arrived at 3 pm.”
She added, “Shamefully attempting to further delay the hearings, they asked for another 10-days extension to prepare the case. Another 10-days extension, even though Sanjiv was taken away from home 44 days ago; one might wonder what the government lawyers have been doing since! Another 10-days extension in a 22-year old case, already heard and stayed by the Supreme Court 22 years ago.”
According to her, it is a case “which used to be the State of Gujarat Vs the State of Rajasthan, but has suddenly …

Murder of Amreli Dalit youth: Action sought to arrest 3 accused, who are at large

In a letter to Nirlip Roy, Superintendent of Police, district Amreli, Dalit rights leader Kantilal Parmar has sought urgent action for arresting the accused who are involved in the murder of a schedule caste (SC) community youth Mahesh Ratilal Zala on October 1, 2018. Pointing out that three persons belonging to a dominant caste killed Zala, Parmar said in the letter, "Till today there are none of the three accused have been arrested. All three have run away from their residence."
The letter added, "As a consequence of this incident, the family members of the scheduled caste community are living under fear. I request to you to look into this personally and intervene in this case to deliver justice to the schedule caste community family, which has lost its son. The arrest of the three accused alone would help reduce the atmosphere of fear in which the family members of Zala are being forced to live."