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The Youtube video by Ahmedabad Talkies, published on April 14, 2016, takes us back to 2014, when Navsarjan Trust started a campaign to end violence against women. “We followed the campaign with our camera and tried to cover the campaign and we came across the excessive human rights violence. This video shows one of the strongest cases from our documentary ‘No more now’ which depicts the human rights violence in the state of Gujarat”, it is pointed out by the publishers.
Despite allocation of 25 exclusive courts across Gujarat to deal with cases related to scheduled caste persons, under the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, in reality no exclusive courts exist or such cases are tried along with other cases in regular courts. The state government had announced setting up of exclusive courts in 2008-09 and till now about Rs 12 crore have been spent for the purpose. Recent figures revealed by the state government mention that from 2010 to June 2015 around 6,500 fresh cases were registered under the Prevention of Atrocities Act.
Executive director of Navsarjan Manjula Pradeep said courts set up to deliver speedy trials to SCs are not able to function properly as they are loaded with other criminal cases. “As such there are no exclusive courts for atrocity cases in Gujarat,” she stressed.
Two members of the inspection committee appointed by Gujarat high court to look into the conditions of women’s shelter homes in the state has reported finding unhappy inmates living in prison-like conditions in the Nari Sanrakshan Gruhs. After inspecting seven shelter homes across the state, Jhanvi Andharia of Area Network & Development Initiative (Anandi) and Manjula Pradeep of Navsarjan said that inmates are not ready to stay in shelter homes. At Odhav’s shelter home, “inmates were crying and wanted to leave the place” they reported. They are verbally and physically abused by the in-charge in Vadodara, and the story is no different in Godhra, Bhuj, Chikhli and Palitana, which has got five inmates, and all from other places, said the report.
In a letter to Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel, a well-known Dalit rights NGO Navsarjan Trust’s activist, Prakashbhai Jayantibhai Parmar, has given the instance of two villages of Surendranagar district to point towards how, despite availability of Narmada waters, the Dalits are being deprived of drinking water. Pointing out how in the two villages – Gedigam and Jambugam – the Dalits are being discriminated against in the distribution of Narmada waters, Parmar said, “While the water gathers in the village drinking water tanks, the responsibility rests with the local village panchayat to distribute it.”
Over three years after three dalit youths were killed in police firing in Thangadh town, their kin and community are awaiting justice. Navsarjan Trust organized a sammelan in Surendranagar town on Monday to exhort the government for speedy trails in the case. Parents and relatives of the three young boys – Pankaj Sumra (16), Mehul Rathod (17) and Prakash Parmar (26) – were killed in police firing on September 22 and 23, 2012. Their deaths, just before the state assembly polls in 2012, had sent shock waves across the state and complaints were lodged against four police officials. Investigation was handed over to CID (Crime). However, dalits rights activists say that despite three FIRs being filed against policemen, chargesheet has been filed only in one case and one accused B C Solanki is yet to arrested.