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PRELIMINARY FACT-FINDING REPORT OF WOMEN’S GROUPS INTO THE INCIDENT OF GANG RAPE OF 5 ADIVASI WOMEN IN KHUNTI

CONTINUING REPRESSION IN GHAGHRA AND NEIGHBOURING VILLAGES IN KHUNTI & ARAKI DISTRICTS OF JHARKHAND

Press Release

Date: 04 July 2018

Following up on media reports of the gang rape of 5 adivasi women in Kochang, Araki block, Khunti district while holding street plays on anti-trafficking, WSS constituted a fact-finding team comprising women’s groups from different states and local activists from Jharkhand to investigate into the incident. The fact-finding was held over 3 days, from 28 June to 30 June, in and around Khunti, Kochang, Ranchi and neighbouring areas, to gather further information on the incident and subsequent developments, as the only narrative available to the public was that of the administration, and the media did not carry information from independent and alternative sources. During the fact-finding, the team met with several persons and institutions related to the incident and with information on the case. The team also attempted to meet with the 5 survivors, currently under the custody of the Khunti police., but was not granted access.  Though we did seek appointments to meet with the district collector and S.P., they did not meet us.

Through the course of the fact-finding, several facts have emerged which throw into question the narrative of the police.

Facts emerging from the fact-finding

  1. The incident of gang rape against the 5 women performing street plays on anti-trafficking occurred on 19 June 2018 in Kochang village, Araki block. The street plays were a collaboration between , a home for rescued women, managed by the RC Mission in Jharkhand, and a troupe belonging to an NGO. Out of the 5 survivors (all adults) , two were those who had been under the care and protection of the organization affiliated with the mission, and 3 belonged to the troupe of the NGO. In the first FIR lodged by the head of the NGO, he alleges that the Sisters accompanying the troupe from the RC Mission pressured the troupe on holding the performance in Kochang. However, as per information gathered from several other sources, by 19 June, the troupe had already completed their planned 16 performances in the district, and it was on the persistence of the head of the NGO that the others reluctantly agreed to also hold another performance in Kochang, as he said he had already made announcements far and wide.
  2. The incident occurred on 19 June 2018, but two FIRs were filed on the incident, one at the Khunti PS and the other at the Khunti Mahila PS, only on 21 June 2018. As per our inquires, we believe that the police had already received information of the offence at least as early as 20 June. On 20 June itself, the police had called one of the two Sisters who were also a part of the troupe for questioning, and later in the night, had brought 2 of the 5 survivors (those who were in the NGO's troupe) for their preliminary medical examination, and on 21 June, a board was constituted as per law for the medico-legal examination of all 5 survivors. It is not known how, and from whom, the police first received information of the offence. As per our inquiries, the thana first received information of the offence directly from the SP office.
  3. The FIRs identify Father Alphonse and ‘other unidentified persons/ pathalgarhi supporters’ as the accused. However, there is videographic evidence of the incident. One week after the incident, the police released the photo of one of the accused from the same video, who is well known by the locals and journalists as Baji Samant, who is not a pathalgarhi supporter but a resident of a different village, Sarai-kela. all other sources we spoke to including those form near by villages said  that the 4 men who came on bikes (the suspects) were not from the area.
  4. While it is being projected in the media that Father Alphonse was arrested for not doing enough to prevent the incident, and for failing to report the case to the police, in the FIR he is accused of a range of very grave offences, most of which are non-bailable. Offences included in the FIR lodged at Mahila thana by one of the survivors on 21 June include: wrongful restraint, wrongful confinement, voluntarily causing hurt, disrobing, gang rape, kidnapping, kidnapping with intent to wrongfully confine and conspiracy. Offences in the other FIR lodged by the head of the NGO also on 21 June include: wrongful restraint, wrongful confinement, voluntarily causing hurt, causing hurt by means of poison, kidnapping, kidnapping with intent to wrongfully confine, criminal intimidation, hiding evidence and conspiracy.
  5. As per our inquiries, apart from Father Alphonse, two other persons have been arrested by the police. The police claim that these two accused have further identified 3 others as co-accused, who they claim are leaders of the Pathalgarhi movement. On asking whether the identity of all 5 identified accused and their claims have been verified by the 5 survivors, we were told that only the SP office will respond to all queries about the incident.
  6. On 26 June, the police claimed to have raided Ghaghra village in order to arrest these three other named suspects in the gang-rape who are also ‘leaders’ of the pathalgarhi movement. On this day, residents of Ghaghra and some from neighbouring villages were holding a Gram Sabha meeting on the issue of pathalgarhi, and we received no confirmation of the presence of any of these 3 named suspects at the meeting. The police force, initially comprising only adivasi personnel, but later also joined by more force, the DC , SP and others, attempted to stop the Gram Sabha meeting, after which there was an altercation between the people and the police. It was during this process that the women residents chased the police to the house of Karia Munda, and brought back three deployed guards with them.
  7. On 27 June, a 1000-member strong force of CRPF, RAF, JAF and personnel from other units raided Ghaghra (a village with a population of around 300) and neighbouring 7 villages. Out of these 7  villages, pathalgarhi had only been declared in 3 or 4 villages. Out of the 2 villages where pathalgarhi had been initiated, the security forces unleashed brutal violence in the form of beatings and atrocities on men, women and children, lathi-charge, tear-gassing and rubber pellet shootings, and also raided the homes of the residents. One person died in the lathi-charge, a minor girl suffered fracture, and between 150-300 persons, including women in substantial numbers, were arrested. After the raids, residents of all 8 villages have fled to the forest and nearby areas out of fear and terror. The security forces continue to camp outside the villages even after the so-called abducted guards returned safely on 29 June. The fact-finding team attempted to also enter Ghaghra village for inquiries, but were refused access by the heavy numbers of security personnel deployed outside the village, and the roads were blocked with armed vehicles.

The investigations of the Fact-Finding team raise the following questions:

  1. How and when did the police first get information of the incident? Why was an FIR not filed immediately but only 2 days later?
  2. Why were two of the survivors taken for a surreptitious medical examination on the night of 20 June, followed by a full medical examination of all 5 survivors on 21 June?
  3. When there was video recording of the incident, why was the FIR filed against ‘unidentified’ persons? Why did the police not pursue the accused, Baji Samant, identified in the video, despite being aware of his name and address? While it storms into unconnected villages of the pathalgarhi movement under the pretext of arresting the rapists.
  4. Why did the police raid the Gram Sabha meeting in Ghaghra where the pathalgari event was ongoing on the pretext of arresting the accused, when they knew that the accused belonged to another area, Sarai-Kela?
  5. Why have the police not verified the identity of the 2 persons arrested thus far by the survivors? Also, why have the police not verified the identity of three suspects being pursued by the police by the survivors, but instead only by the two suspects who are already in the custody of the police? Also, if Yusuf Purti has not been named by any of the arrested accused or the survivors, then why is the police projecting him and other Pathalgarhi leaders/ supporters as the rape accused in their proceedings and the media?
  6. Why are the girls still under the custody of the police? Why are they not being allowed to meet or speak to anyone (except the NCW team)?
  7. Who is head of the NGO which was a part of the troupe and who has filed the first FIR? Where has he disappeared after filing the FIR on the incident with the police? Is he also under the custody of the police?

Conclusions of the investigations into the incident by the fact-finding team:

  1. The Jharkhand police and administration are maintaining utmost secrecy in the actions and proceedings subsequent to the incident. As of now all information about the incident, the statement of the survivors and the witnesses is coming form only one source – The SP office. On the pretext of keeping the 5 survivors in the protective custody of the police, they have not been allowed to meet or speak with anyone, including their families and other care-givers, except the NCW team. The organizations to which they belong have also been not allowed to speak with press or any one else. The staff of that organization has also been ordered to stay within the organization premises and are not allowed to admit visitors or speak to anyone.  We also found out that the families of these women have not been informed by the police about the incident. In the whole incident, their voice (who are all adults, some of who are married and have children) is completely missing. There has been no statement from them, their families or friends. At the same time, the quick escalation of police action in the days after the incident has focused entirely on a campaign to tarnish pathalgarhi movements and leaders, with the result that investigations into the gang-rape and safety of the survivors have assumed secondary importance.
  2. The legal proceedings subsequent to the incident are shrouded in doubt, as these are based entirely on the questionable narrative proposed by the police and Jharkhand administration, without any avenues for independent verification and corroboration. This, combined with the subsequent repression by security forces has created a reign of terror for the residents of Khunti and neighbouring areas, further undermining chances of independent verification.
  3. In the name of pursuing unidentified suspects, the police has artificially linked those associated with the pathalgarhi movement with the gang rape, and has unleashed targeted persecution, harassment and arrests on them. There is sufficient evidence to suggest that the 4 bikers who committed the crime were not localites. One of those from the video has been identified as Baji Samant, resident of neighbouring Sarai-Kela. Yet, instead of pursuing these identifiable accused, the police, with the support of security personnel, is targeting pathalgarhi leaders as the prime suspects in the case.
  4. The targeting of the mission and mission run organization- It has been projected that the Father of the mission in Kochang has been arrested for not doing enough to stop the incident, or for failing to report when he had knowledge of the incident. The NCW is now projecting the whole incident as being pre-planed. The charges against Father Alphonse in the FIR are of a much more serious degree, carrying offences of gang-rape, wrongful restraint, conspiracy, among a range of others.
  5. The role of the media in the entire process has also been suspicious, with local and national newspapers and media channels widely misreporting on the incident, based on false and distorted facts. The media has concertedly cast adivasis, pathalgarhi supporters and the Church/ Mission organisations in a negative light in the absence of verifiable information. The press was also present in large numbers in the security camp prior to and during the raids on 27 June in Ghaghra, and was relaying the police version directly from the frontlines.

For these reasons, the fact-finding team demands:

The institution of an independent inquiry into the incident, through a high-level committee, comprising retired Judges, lawyers and women’s rights activists.

The police Investigation of this incident should not be conducted under the influence of the Khunti administration or police , it should be carried out by an independent agency.

An inquiry should be carried out not only of the incident of the alleged gang rape , but also of the aftermath , in which the police crackdown that caused the death of one person and many sustained grave injuries. We also demand the withdrawl of all security personnel currently camped outside Ghaghra and neighbouring villages.

All the safety of the women survivors is very important, their own agency too has to be kept in mind. It is not clear whether they have asked for protective custody or was it a decision taken  by the police?. To a large extent it seems like the latter. Keeping them cloistered and under the complete control of Khunti police can not allow for a fair inquiry.

The team also demands that the state government ensure the immediate removal of the 5 survivors  from the control of the Khunti police and some alternative safe arrangement be made for them, taking into consideration their own choice. In the present situation it is evident that they have not been given that choice and have been forced into this protective custody by the police. Some of the women have children and it is very possible that they may want to return to their families or the organization that they were living in.

- Rinchin, Radhika and Puja,

from Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression and Sexual Repression (WSS)

Women against sexual violence and state repression is a non funded national initiative to challenge and put an end to the violence being perpetrated upon womens bodies. We are a nation wide network of women activist, lawyers, writers and women connected  womens groups ,mass organizations and civil liberty groups. We unequivocally condemn sexual violence on women and girls by any perpetrators.

www.wssnet.org

Contact: againstsexualviolence@gmail.com

1

A meeting of the central office bearers of the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) held in New Delhi yesterday decided to support the idea of a Long March of the Dispossessed to Delhi to demand a special session of Parliament called entirely to discuss the serious agrarian crisis in the country.

This unprecedented agrarian crisis is reflected in the lakhs of suicides of debt-ridden peasants; the thousands of deaths of children and women due to starvation and malnutrition; the abysmal state of rural education and public health; the massive increase in rural unemployment and landlessness; and the unheard-of rise in economic and social inequality in the country.

There is now not an iota of doubt that this grave situation has been aggravated by the neo-liberal policies followed by the ruling classes during the last two and a half decades. The last four years have thoroughly exposed the Modi government as the most anti-farmer, anti-worker, pro-corporate and pro-imperialist government in Independent India. Along with this is its rabidly communal, casteist and divisive character.

The AIKS appeals to the broadest sections of progressive, democratic and secular organizations and individuals in the country who are sensitive to the intense pain and hardships being faced by farmers, both men and women, and their children, to support this idea of a Long March of the Dispossessed, to participate in it in huge numbers and to help it in any way that they can.

The AIKS appeals to all sections of farmers, agricultural workers, the working class, the middle class, students, youth and socially oppressed sections like women, Dalits, Adivasis, Minorities and others to support and join this Long March of the Dispossessed.

After a wider consultation with all concerned organizations and individuals, the date and programme of the March can be decided with consensus.

In the meanwhile, the AIKS calls upon all its units throughout the country to make a massive success of the three campaigns and agitations that have already been decided:

1. The 10 crore countrywide signature campaign on the burning demands of the peasantry;

2. The nationwide district-level Jail Bharo stir by lakhs of peasants and workers on August 9, Quit India Day;

3. The massive five lakh-strong All India Mazdoor-Kisan Rally in Delhi on September 5 organised jointly by the CITU, AIKS and AIAWU.

Dr Ashok Dhawale
President Hannan Mollah General Secretary
All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS)

2

I am often challenged about my political views, because I am "anti-BJP". So naturally, BJP trolls imagine that I am a Congressi, or Commie or Aaptard depending on what day of the week it is, I suppose. I don't support any political party. I don't have a preference for any political ideology. I don't have any preference for economic policy - as long as it is fair and does not disadvantage citizens by class. I see India as a shared space for all citizens, but I don't insist that you must obey me. I support and oppose all political parties depending on what they are up to - with one seeming exception - the BJP. This is because I don't see BJP as a political party at all. I see it as a cartel of opportunists at best and criminals at worst depending on what is going on. In my view, they have amassed power by hook or crook, telling blatant lies and faking their way to the top and have no regard for the well being of the country whatsoever. Here are further observations toward this.

Incompetence being a virtue with Modi sarkar

Ever since the election win to now, all the appointments by Modi sarkar have had one overwhelming common factor - the people appointed are spectacularly bad for the roles they are appointed. And this is not because of a lack of good people, but because to be appointed, an important requirement is that the people do not have any particular ambition for excellence that could get in the way of compromises that would be made for profit. Even a right wing Modi supporting professional would find it necessary to object if blatant wrongs were done - it is easier for the profiteers to have incompetent people there.

The list is endless and mentioned well here, but for a quick gist - the RBI governor who would face NPAs as among his hardest challenges is Urjit Patel, who has more experience governing the GSPC defaulting on loans than paying them. With a galaxy of outstanding actors kowtowing before the government in public and even making the sort of bigotted statements that appeal to the BJP crowd, the choice for FTII was Gajendra Chauhan. Gajendra who? Exactly. Ankit Fadia, absolutely sneered at among serious hacking/coding circles for being a "script kiddie" at best - was appointed as Digital India's brand ambassador - BJP with its legions of trolls and endless website launches hardly lacked good coders. Smriti Irani who could have served the FTII better than Gajendra Chauhan at least, was chosen to be the Minister of HRD - the biggest wrongdoing by her that was attracting attention was her faking educational qualifications. As HRD Minister, she would also be overseeing education. Including that of those far more educated than her.

The list goes on and on and on, but the basic point is this, deliberately putting incompetent people in key positions is an act that harms India and it is consistently done by the BJP government to the point that there is no doubt that it is deliberate. It is an intentional undermining of India. And there is a reason. A professional who takes pride in his work is likely to take pride in governing to high standards. Also a person who is authoritative about their subject is unlikely to have the kind of blackmail triggers that BJP likely uses to create puppets for its corrupt purposes - more on that later. That makes the blatant perversion of quality in the country going on harder. For example, would an excellent professional simply nod and agree if cronies were allowed to profit from every sector they could? Would a professional agree to favor incompetent and unlicenced cronies on critical things that could result in dead people? This, I see as a direct attack on India. BJP is an absolute enemy of India in my eyes. It is not a political party merely ideologically differing with others on how India should be governed, it is an entity that has absolutely no priority of excellence for the country or even preservation.

Denial of the achievements of India

In their process of ideologically wiping out their much hated Congress, the BJP consistently defames the country. Over and over. Relentlessly. There isn't much to say here, because it is an outright falsehood, so I simply quote a disgruntled Congress supporter "If the Congress hadn't brought India from a struggling colony to the tech age, this blight (Modi-BJP) would not be inflicted on the country with their false propaganda."

Inhumanity

BJP operates through a process of dehumanization. Dehumanization is necessary in order to make people hate. No one likes to think of themselves as malicious to another human being. When they are reduced to hollow symbols of evil and stripped of all identity beyond that, it becomes possible to absolutely want the extinction of a "concept" you have been taught as harmful. The crazy buggers spewing hate on a daily basis can do that, because they have been conditioned to see anyone not BJP through various lenses that they have been taught. No one independently comes up with identical labels for any entity, because independent minds operate in diverse ways. Even all critics of BJP and Modi will have their own reasons and methods and they may even vary from subject to subject, mood or time. In contrast, those spewing hate will have very specific reasons for very specific categories of people - this is because the information provided to convince them what "reality" is, is the same.

Those who see Muslims hunting Hindu girls when a government action fails massively don't realize that they are being used to leverage nuisance value and misdirect attention from issues important to the well being of the country. It is not possible that thousands of supporters of one party alone actually have seen Muslims target women and others haven't. But they have been told so many times and in such convincing ways, that the stories they are told become real to them. Then all it takes is for whoever is controlling the propaganda to trigger the outrage when needed. Earlier it used to be subtle. Private groups and whatsapp and such. Now it is in the open, with most news channels discussing the demonetisation and other news of importance to the country, the Republic was busy broadcasting a victimhood narrative. Hindu khatare mein hai! The programmed trigger for bhakts to start attacking people who are not BJP for whatever latest threat has been announced.

With BJP getting less than a third of the votes, this basically targets the vast majority of the country for bullying with various labels and insults. This is basically creating a culture of cruelty and the only people benefitting are the leaders and cronies of BJP - even the supporters will actually lead less satisfying relationships because their minds are constantly bombarded with behavioral triggers to be intolerant. Such a mind finds the world divided into two types of people - those in agreement and those not. And it does not stop with the online world of politics. Once conditioned to be inhuman to those who disagree, the mind will tend to react in such a manner to all disagreement. Quality of life and relationships will be considerably undermined, unless they manage to live among people who always agree with them.

The profiteering cartel that is BJP

It is hard to find a single large group of people - particularly people with criminal leaders or members that is not affiliated with the BJP. This is not an accident. BJP has gone around collecting people - regardless of political ideology - to support them electorally. It appears that being a criminal is actually preferred - possibly so BJP has CBI investigation blackmail leash. There are businesses exploiting the resources of the country with no checks and balances in sight. Various godmen are undercutting established manufacturers on prices and cornering markets - not because their quality is better, but because their business being religion, is tax free - even inferior quality FMCG products. Entire monopolies are being created. Crazy godmen are sheltered from law in return for votes from their massive followings. Even a "corrupt Congressi" like Nilekani has been able to impose his globalist scam of Aadhaar with far more impunity with this cartel than he ever could with the Congress in rule and acting on public demands for committees and such (even though the Congress is no innocent). Politicians accused of crimes and corruption by BJP have switched parties to join the BJP and in many instances contest on seats and win. It is a cartel of criminals and profiteers becoming a monolith and giving each other impunity. And this too has been dishonest. Economically disadvantaged groups were exploited for electoral profit and discarded after winning. Bharatiya Majdoor Sangh - the labour wing of the RSS has suffered like all other labourers in the country and protested and objected and complained with no interest from the government whatsoever in improving the conditions of workers.

The Swabhimani Shetkari Sangh representing farmers in Maharashtra has withdrawn support for the BJP after three years of farmers being betrayed by them after being elected. They had vigorously protested the cattle slaughter ban as well. To no avail. The rapist godman Ram Rahim who was affiliated with the BJP, whose supporters were allowed to amass and intimidate the High Court prior to his verdict were dumped once he was convicted and became a political liability. Other rapists are still enjoying protection as long as they hand the votes over to BJP. Today after fifty kinds of "reasons for demonetisation" dodges, Arun Jaitley admitted, as this blog had immediately pointed out among many others, that the demonetisation was done to encourage the country to move to digital payments. Yes, you hear that right. The finance minister of the country had absolutely no problem with an economic assault on the country that devastated lives and livelihoods - to promote payment products.

There is no resemblance to a political party. There is no attempt whatsoever to represent the interests of the people. This is why I say I am politically completely neutral. I am anti-BJP because I am anti-criminal cartels. I don't see them as a party. It doesn't walk, talk or act like a party, therefore to me it isn't one.

Before I get into deconstructing the coverup, let us get one thing straight. If the government were innocent, taking straightforward action would have been a simple issue. There would be no need for organized trolls, massive fake news deployment on right wing blogs, smear campaigns against a doctor recognized to have saved lives in a nightmare that already took too many. The coverup, in my eyes, is a confession of guilt. Because direct and appropriate action needs to be avoided, it becomes important to manipulate the country into believing another reality.
Running through the various coverups, diversions and scapegoating attempts.

Siddharth nath singh - Uttar Pradesh health minister

No child died due to lack of oxygen supply

Known facts blow this nonsense claim out of the water so much, there is little to dispute. Oxygen supply was stopped. Patients who died were dependent on oxygen. Efforts were made to ventilate them manually, efforts failed, they died. People saw their kids struggle to breathe and die. If this isn't death due to lack of oxygen, one wonders what is.


Why was oxygen supply absent?

7 deaths a day is normal, explain Uttar Pradesh government

But the death toll is more than 7 per day. It is:

August 7: 9 (4 NICU, 2 AES, 3 non-AES)

August 8: 12 (7 NICU, 3 AES, 2 non-AES)

August 9: 9 (6 NICU, 2 AES, 1 non-AES)

August 10: 23 (14 NICU, 3 AES, 6 non-AES)

August 11: 7 (3 NICU, 2 AES, 2 non-AES)

Given that one doesn't expect doctors, administrators, magistrates to be illiterate, one must conclude that this is a deliberate misreporting of facts that the UP govt is doing.

Yogi Adityanth calls deaths a 'despicable incident'

One wonders which deaths Yogi Adityanath is talking about. The ones that didn't happen as a result of oxygen deprivation or the ones that are not out of the ordinary because 7 deaths a day is normal.

The Uttar Pradesh government is denying a problem with the deaths at all.

So, if there are no deaths out of the ordinary, what is Yogi Adityanath calling despicable? The normal happenings in Uttar Pradesh?

One tends to agree that what is coming to light about how things work in UP is ghastly, even if we don't agree about the deaths being routine.

Pushpa Sales, oxygen supplier booked

The hospital did not pay the bills for the oxygen. The supply was cut off after the supplier continued to provide oxygen for months without payment. When they could no longer do it, the government, instead of finding out why they were not paid, is investigating them for stopping supply. What is to investigate in why they stopped supply? Oldest reason in the book - unpaid bills!

Principal of college resigns / sacked

Depending on which version you believe, the principal of the Baba Raghav Das Medical College resigned on the 12th - the day after the tragedy. The government apparently was planning to sack him, but he had already resigned.

Why did he resign or why did the government want to sack him, if there were no death due to lack of oxygen, as claimed by the health minister and the number of deaths was normal?

"No oxygen deprivation."No postmortem that would prove it conclusively either

there is no provision to get postmortem conducted on patients who died of infection. “Hence, we are not conducting autopsy on bodies of the children"
Dr. P K Singh
New Principal of BRD Medical College
"No post-mortem was done on the deceased"
Siddharth nath singh - Uttar Pradesh health minister
Siddharth Nath Singh
Health Minister
"No postmortem is being conducted on the children who died at the hospital. No family member has come forward till now requesting that postmortem be conducted. We have received no orders for autopsy, in case postmortem examinations were conducted, the cause of death would have come as cardio respiratory arrest."
Dr. K K Gupta director general of medical education
K K Gupta
Director General (Medical Education)
“A detailed inquiry is on… There was no shortage of oxygen,”
Anil Kumar
Gorakhpur Division Commissioner
“I have not received any directive to conduct autopsy on the bodies.”
Ravindra Kumar
Chief Medical Officer

Hospital staff kept the information about non-payment from Yogi Adityanath

Um... oops. Pushpa Sales wrote letters directly to the Chief Minister's office. Multiple times. Well in advance. If Yogi Adityanath won't be informed by hospital authorities AND he won't be informed by his own office about his correspondence, perhaps he should resign and make way for a CM at least respected by his own staff.

Adityanath had made mega efforts against encephalitis

Deaths happened after oxygen supply failed. Only 12 out of 60 deaths in 5 days were in the encephalitis ward. If govt can't understand names of wards, then their competence on encephalitis fight too is suspect. God knows what Adityanath fought, if he cannot even recognize the name or lack of it.

Or, it is a deliberate irrelevant diversion to project Adityanath as blameless.

“Anyone found guilty will not be spared,” ~ Adityanath

If this isn't just lip service to appear to be taking the deaths seriously, why were autopsies not ordered to establish the cause of death conclusively? Why was the doctor who saved more children from dying sacked and organized party trolls put to the job of smearing his reputation? Why is there no investigation into the delay in paying Pushpa Sales for the oxygen supply or investigating rumors of demands of kickbacks?

The targeting of Dr. Kafeel Ahmad

The organized BJP fake news and paid tweeting machinery is at work spreading rumors about Dr. Kafeel Ahmad. Identical points made in identical posts across known BJP fake news websites display a desperate and rambling array of accusations against Dr. Kafeel Ahmad.

Clearly, someone with a reason went digging for dirt on him after appreciative reports of his role in the Gorakhpur tragedy emerged. No such compilation predates the incident. All the compilations make several identical accusations. It seems that BJP does not appreciate anyone saving lives in Uttar Pradesh.

Or more likely, BJP does not like a Muslim saving lives, when it is clearly their thug Adityanath's govt that has fucked up big time and resulted in these deaths. Therefore, standard process. Sleaze, slander, carpet bomb false information.

Dr. Kafeel Ahmad stole oxygen cylinders from the hospital

During normal operations, oxygen is supplied to a large central tank and piped through the hospital for providing to patients. A tank is large enough to last the entire hospital for 6 days and costs several lakh rupees. Oxygen cylinders are only the emergency backup, and repeatedly missing or empty cylinders would be noticed. This is like saying someone stole your society's water tank and no one noticed. This is ABSURD.

Dr. Kafeel Ahmad spent a year in jail for raping a woman

The minimum sentence for rape in India is 10 years. It is impossible for a rape convict to be out of jail in a year, unless he spent a year in rape without trial and was set free for lack of a case - which is the police closure on record - of him being falsely accused.

If cases being filed is evidence of guilt, Adityanath has cases of murder and attempt to murder against him. Sack? Yes, please.

Dr. Kafeel Ahmad was responsible for oxygen supply

Not true. Verified by several individuals and news outlets. Besides, bhakts need to decide whether there were no deaths due to lack of oxygen, or whether there were deaths due to lack of oxygen, requiring someone to be sacked for the lack, in which case, the paper trail for investigating lack of payments is useful. Multiple letters to both the hospital as well as the CM show that the matter was raised often by the supplier. So why was he not paid?

Dr. Kafeel Ahmad's ward was the only one with deaths - no adults depending on oxygen died.

False. 18 adults died. This was reported by local newspapers well before the incident became a national outrage.

Dr. Kafeel Ahmad supported Samajwadi Party and was appointed by them. He was a critic of BJP

Irrelevant even if it were true. The political beliefs of Dr. Kafeel Ahmad are irrelevant to the situation and should not be a reason to punish him in a misplaced political vendetta.

Dr. Kafeel Ahmad had an illegal private practice

It is common for doctors in government hospitals to have a private practice - though it is illegal. Government salaries do not pay as well as private practice and enforcing this rule would result in good doctors stopping working at government hospitals. However, in the case of Dr. Kafeel Ahmad, it isn't true, as he was employed by the hospital on an "ad hoc" basis and was not a full employee and thus the rule did not apply to him.

Even if all the allegations against Dr. Kafeel Ahmad were true (and they seem pure fiction so far)

There is no official explanation for why he was sacked. His guilt on other issues does not explain why he is sacked after saving lives when he was employed just fine before. The sacking of Dr. Kafeel Ahmad does not explain why the bills for oxygen were not paid.

Clearly, there is every effort to evade looking at the obstruction of payments to Pushpa Sales that led them to cut off oxygen supply to the hospital.

Combined with multiple allegations of kickbacks, avoidance of autopsies to establish cause of deaths, a CM who had been informed of the dues pretending to be unaware of them, and organized trolling and fake news being employed to deflect attention and invent scapegoats, it seems clear that the holds on payments came from someone high up in Adityanath's government - the person/s is being protected now.

Otherwise, it would have been a simple matter of finding the deaths outrageous, like everyone else and calling for an investigation into the dues owed by the hospital and the deaths to establish the cause. There would be no need to find someone to blame - the people naturally to blame would be known to the masses and they would be behind bars by now.

I received this email from Change.org - it was Women and Child Minister for India - Maneka Gandhi petitioning for policy ideas! Whacky, but this is a government for the absurd. I delted the email and forgot about it, till Swarna Rajgopalan asked about it on Twitter. Someone had forwarded the email to her. She couldn't find the link to the petition. So I dug it out of the trash, and went through the email. This is it. As it is. There is no petition it is a carefully crafted promotion of a government form that looks like a notification for a new petition. Additionally, the sender for the change.org email is "Maneka Gandhi" and not "Change.org" as for usual petitions.

change.org email notification from Maneka Gandhi
change.org email notification from Maneka Gandhi

As a bonus, thelink to the privacy policy from their email gives a 404 error - page not found. Obviously it is a broken link, but what a poetic metaphor for their actions contained in their own email!

Dear Vidyut,

I am writing to you to see if you have a new idea for women safety and empowerment.

We at the Ministry of Women & Child Development have formulated the National Policy for Women. It has been a 2 year process with several stakeholder consultations.

This transformative policy will address the needs of women in the New India and also guide the functioning of the Government in decades to come.

We have a draft ready and before we conclude it, I am seeking some out-of-the-box ideas and suggestions from you that could be incorporated into the policy.

Vidyut, I have been happy to take action on Change.org petitions supported by you. We have taken steps to ease the passport rules for children of single parents and control the alarming rates of caesarean section births.

I would now like to hear your suggestions for this policy by the 15th May 2017. Click on this link to submit your suggestion.

You can also send your suggestions on Twitter and on the Facebook page of the Ministry. Don’t forget to add#NationalPolicy4Women on all your suggestions.

Thank you for participating in developing this Policy for Women.

Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi

Minister For Women and Child Development

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The person (or organisation) who started this petition is not affiliated with Change.org. Change.org did not create this petition and is not responsible for the petition content.

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So I made a suggestion:

Misuse of subscription lists by Indian government
Misuse of subscription lists by Indian government

This is the end of the road for supporting causes on Change.org for me. I had never figured out why anyone needs a special website to create petitions, but given that a majority of petitions are made to the government, a site that gives the government access to its most loyal readers is clearly not one that can be trusted.

So fuck you, Change.org. Bye!