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Bare facts of the matter as reported by ANS activist Krishna Chandgude

जातपंचायतचे कौर्य : महिलेच्या योनी मार्गात मिरची ची पुड कोंबली..अंनिसमुळे गुन्हा कागदावर.

बारामती जवळील झारगडवाडी येथील हनुमंत शिंदे यांच्या मुलाचे लग्न पंचांना पसंद नसणार्‍या (स्वजातीय ) मुलीशी केले. त्यामुळे वैदू जातपंचायत ने त्यांच्या परीवारास जात बहिष्कृत केले . पुढे त्यांच्या मुलीच्या साखरपुड्यातील वर्‍हाडींना पंचांनी पिटाळून लावले.दि.19 डिसेंबर रोजी ग्रामपंचायत च्या आवारात जातपंचायत बसली.सरपंच ही हजर होते(लोकशाहीची थट्टा ! ).पुन्हा जातीत घेण्यासाठी पंचांनी पाच लाख रुपयांची मागणी केली. पिडीत परीवारास गरीब असल्याने अर्थातच त्यांनी त्याला नकार दिला. पंच चिडले.भांडण झाले. पिडीत परीवार घरी गेल्यावर पंचांनी काठ्या, कुर्‍हाड, तलवारीने हल्ला केला. परीवारील एका महिलेला अर्धनग्न करून मारहाण केली तर दुसर्‍या महिलेच्या योनी मार्गात मिरचीची पुड कोंबली. आवाज ऐकून काही गावकरी मदतीला धावून आले. मात्र आमच्या जातीचे भांडण आम्हीच मिटविणार,इतरांना तो अधिकार नाही, असे सांगून त्यांनीही मारहाण केली. शेवटी आठ गंभीर जखमींना बारामतीच्या रुग्णालयात दाखल करण्यात आले. काल अंधश्रद्धा निर्मूलन समिती च्या कार्यकर्त्यांनी पिडीत कुटुंबियांची भेट घेतली. पोलिसांनी गावकर्याची तक्रार दाखल केली मात्र पिडीतांची जबानी घेतली नसल्याचे समजले. आठ दिवस होऊनही जबाब नोंदवून घेतले नसल्याने पोलीस निरीक्षक चंद्रकांत कांबळे यांच्याशी चर्चा केली.या प्रकरणी राजकीय दबाव जाणवत होता. कारण राष्ट्रवादी काॅग्रेसचे सरपंच असुन इतर जखमी गावकरी राष्ट्रवादी काॅग्रेसचे दुसर्‍या गटाचे आहेत. पोलिसांनी पिडीतांचा पुरवणी एफआयआर व खंडणीचे 385 कलम लावण्याचे कबूल केले. लगेचच कारवाई सुरू केली. परिसरातील अन्य जातपंचायत बंद करण्यासाठी पंचांनी सुसंवाद साधण्याच्या प्रबोधन मोहिमेला त्यांनी होकार दिला.लढू या...बारामती चे 'वार' बघितले.. पवारांच्या भागातील सामाजिक न्यायाचे धिंडवडे पण पाहिले.

अधिक माहितीसाठी संपर्क कृष्णा चांदगुडे 9822630378

In Zhargadwadi near Baramati, Hanumant Shinde decided to marry his son with a girl not approved of by the local caste panchayat. As a result, the caste panchayat (an unconstitutional, social body formed along the lines of caste hierarchy) boycotted them from the caste. Further when his daughter got engaged, the caste panchayat members also chased away the groom's family members.

On the 19th of December, the caste panchayat met in the premises of the gram panchayat (the constitutional, elected representatives of the village), in the sarpanch's (chief representative) presence in a complete mockery of democracy and rule of law. There, they demanded a payment of rupees five lakh in order to reinstate Shinde's family into the caste community. The family in question being poor, naturally declined to pay the amount. The panchs (representatives) got angry and an argument ensued. When the family returned home, the panchs attacked them with sticks, axes and swords.

The panchs stripped a woman from the family naked and beat her up. They stuffed chilli powder in the vagina of another woman from the family.

On hearing the commotion, some villagers came running to assist. Declaring that this was a caste matter and that it would be dealt within the caste and others had no right to interfere, the panchs also attacked the villagers who had come to help.

In the end, eight grievously injured villagers were admitted to the hospital in Baramati.

Members of the Andhashraddha Nirmulan Samiti met the villagers to understand the case. The police have recorded a complaint but not the statements of those injured. Since it had been eight days since the incident without statements of the victims being recorded, the ANS workers met Police Inspector Chandrakant Kamble. They realized that there was political pressure being exerted to suppress the case. The sarpanch in question belonged to the Nationalist Congress party while the injured villagers were not.

Baramati is the stronghold of the Nationalist Congress Party and Supriya Sule, the daughter of the Chairman of the Party, Sharad Pawar is the elected Member of Parliament from the constituency.

The police took the statements of the injured and promised to apply section 385 to the case and started proceedings accordingly. Panchs committed to strike dialogue to shut down caste panchayats in the region.

Observations and questions

The section applied by the police is 385 which states:

385. Putting person in fear of injury in order to commit extor­tion.—Whoever, in order to the committing of extortion, puts any person in fear, or attempts to put any person in fear, of any injury, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.

This essentially amounts to the legal case being reduced to scaring the injured party and extorting money from them. However, there are several other things that are illegal that happened - caste discrimination and crime, assault, outraging the modesty of a woman and RAPE. The police appear to not notice this. In effect, the criminals roam free still.

Proper sections of the IPC need to be applied against the accused in the case and the police officials in question must be investigated as accomplices to the crime who are essentially contributing their effort to let the criminals flee after the crime. The elected representatives who misused their authority to enact a crime must be removed from office and arrested. Failure to do this should result in investigation of pressure leading to inexplicable refusal to uphold the law of the land.

I will post updates as more information becomes available or developments happen. In the meanwhile, you can demand accountability from the government of Maharashtra and the leadership of the Nationalist Congress Party. The more attention the case gets, the less likely it will be to be brushed under the carpet and the safer those fighting for justice will be.

Dear Maharashtra,

I have been reading news on this drought of yours and the misery you are in. I thought that the joke has gone too far, and today might be a good day to reveal that you have been pranked. It is time to stop crying about not having water and realize that things are going exactly to plan and we all can have a good laugh and you can stop pretending to suffer then.

For example:

"There will be total support from the government of India," Sharad Pawar told the Rajya Sabha

screenshot of report from Jalna saying no government tankers were providing water
Sharad Pawar's idea of "Total support from the government of India,"

He was speaking about Maharashtra's drought on the 8th of March. At that time 3908 villages were reeling under drought. Reeling is turning round and round, like we used to as kids. It is supposed to be fun, but what is fun if not shared? We now have over twelve thousand villages reeling. Now THAT's fun.

The MAHAcartel (Abbreviation for Maharashtra State Government) is of course dead certain this is a natural drought. I am inclined to agree. Nothing except the nature of politicians and their cronies can explain such a grand achievement.

Two days later, Sharad Pawar spoke of cooperation, "I want to appeal to the people of Maharashtra that as water-crisis is terrible, water should be judiciously used. At one point, people will have to share water in villages. Therefore, being patient, people should cooperate with each other," This actually makes sense, because if government tankers are not going to reach the thirsty, then only cooperation can save his friends from business losses, because otherwise they are going to have to buy water, and we all know how terrible that is.

Sharad Pawar had also said "In 1972, shortage of foodgrains was felt tremendously. Foodgrains had to be imported from abroad. Now we have sufficient foodgrains. However, this time there is no water. We cannot bring water from elsewhere," But fikar not, things are not as dire as all that. They are managing.

Screen capture from P Sainath's article in the Hindu that describes the Tanker Economy
Screen capture from P Sainath's article in the Hindu that describes the Tanker Economy

Fact is, within days of news of sugarcane planting being hit by the drought, the relief package had been announced. Actions had been taken to provide immediate relief to the impoverished. For example, removing curbs on the sale of sugar and scrapping state purchases to  may allow Bajaj Hindusthan Ltd. (BJH) and Balrampur Chini Mills Ltd. (BRCM), the biggest mills, and other producers to boost revenues by about 27 billion rupees ($497 million) annually. Is this not funny? Your orchards lie devastated, but the sugar industry was even more fragile than your shrivelled lives.

Taps run dry in Satara

The US $ 394 Maharashtra Water Sector Improvement Project that started in September, 2005 and was scheduled to be closed in March 2012. The main components of the project are: (i) Water Sector Institutional Restructuring and Capacity Building, (ii) Improving Irrigation Service Delivery and Management, (iii) Innovative Pilots, and (iv) Project Management. It was expected (on paper) to increase the irrigation coverage by up to 222% and crop production by 5-20%. Farm incomes on average are expected to increase by 49 percent, and about 33,610 farm families fully dependent on agriculture will be enabled to rise above the poverty line by the time the project is completed.

World Bank President Paul D. Wolfowitz and Finance Minister P. Chidambaram signed the agreement and World Bank agreed to give us US $ 325 million of its cost. When I say give, I'm using the term loosely. We are going to have to return it. For the ignorant, World Bank is a bank that aims to end poverty in the world by giving poor countries large loans for large projects with small returns and more damage. And the poor people it helps are usually empowered under the working principle of "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger". Tough love and all that. It is like a credit card. The advertisement only shows the spending part of it. Never the repayment. There is something about world level glamour. It sounds like a Miss World "world peace" speech, no?

The World Bank loan from the International Bank of Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) will fund rehabilitation and modernisation of 286 selected irrigation schemes covering about 670,000 hectares of cultivable area, enhance the safety of 291 dams besides helping in capacity building of water users associations.

It will also support four user-centred aquifer level groundwater management, and four innovative irrigated agriculture pilot projects.

Actually, Wolfowitz remembered you in his speech. "I hope this project - which is aimed at making every drop of water count in Maharashtra - can be an excellent example of development work making a real difference for people battling to improve their lives,"

jalna_pkg

 

It is a full year since the project was scheduled to complete, and we are still talking about 0.1% increase in irrigated land since 1999, which the state government has white chitted itself into God knows what wet dream it had (wet is only in dreams when it comes to irrigation - unless you are a sugarcane field or other agricultural crop like distillery, thermal plant or steel plant).

A greenpeace protest at Churchgate carries the message for maharashtra's deaf government - "Thermal Plants want water, farmers need it"
A greenpeace protest at Churchgate carries the message for maharashtra's deaf government - "Thermal Plants want water, farmers need it"

MAHAcartel claims to have invested over 700 billion rupees to bring you water. The management is superb. They are bringing it to you in tankers on payment. Never let it be said you were left high and dry as long as you paid for it. Even the World Bank paid for you to get water. The state paid. Chidu called it a national priority. Surely you aren't so stingy?

beed_drought3

What remains to do? Laugh. It is April Fool's day and the joke is on you.

Laugh while you can.