Amit Bhaduri Resigns
[Amit Bhaduri, Professor Emeritus, Jawaharlal Nehru University, resigns from JNU in protest against the mishandling of the current situation in the University. We reproduce below his resignation letter written to the Vice-Chancellor dated 14 January, 2020.—Fr]

The Vice Chancellor,
Jawaharlal Nehru University,
New Delhi-110067.
Dear Mr Vice Chancellor,
I have learnt from friends and witnessed through public channels with alarm, and now with increasing disgust how your handling of situations as the administrative and academic head of Jawaharlal Nehru University has led to its steady deterioration paving the way to its intellectual disintegration.

I joined the university as a young professor in 1973; with some years' gap in between, I left it in 2001. During my years at JNU, it passed through varios phases of justified or unjustified student unrest; competent or incompetent handling of situations by the administration: and even temporary shut-down of teaching. What is different now is not only incompetence of handling of situations by the authorities, but a deliberate attempt to throttle the free, and lively atmosphere of debate and discussion for which JNU was known all over the country. This was a matter of pride for its faculty as well as its students that they were exposed to a whole range of ideas which was something that did not happen anywhere else in India, even I would say from experience, in very few academic institutions in the world. It seems to me that the current attempt by the administration at destroying that atmosphere of freedom of expression is in line with a larger and more sinister plan of which you as the head of JNU also appear to be a pivotal part. You seem determined on imprinting your administration's narrow minded world view, and shut all other windows of ideas to the students. It pains me, but I feel it would be immoral on my part without registering my protest to remain a silent observer in this larger, sinister scheme of throttling dissent which is unfolding now at the University. I am protesting in the only way which I find is open to me. I am giving up my emeritus professorship at JNU. Along with some other emeritus professors, I have already been locked out several months ago from the room allotted to me in JNU (with books and some personal effects still in it). In practical terms therefore, it means little. And yet. I do hope that my returning the honour which was bestowed on me by the University sends you the right message of my deep concern at your leadership of the university which is leading that premier institution of learning to its systematic disintegration. For this reason alone. I feel compelled to place this letter also in public domain.
Prof Amit Bhaduri
Professor Emeritus, JNU

Prof Amit Bhaduri
Professor Amit Bhaduri has given up his title of Professor Emeritus of Jawharlal Nehru University. It is a slap on the face of the JNU authorities as well as of the Modi government. He has correctly accused the authorities, particularly the Vice Chancellor, of vitiating the atmosphere of free debates in the university.

Those who are familiar with Prof Bhaduri's writings know of his protracted battle against the so-called 'mainstream economies', which is basically the logic of the bourgeoisie, as well as his denunciation of the pro-corporate anti-poor economic policies of successive governments. He has also outlined an alternative, pro-people line of development and has forcefully argued that this is both desirable and feasible, given the resource base of the Indian economy. He has always presented his subject with a class approach and when needed, has not hesitated to set aside technicalities for the benefit of common readers not trained in the discipline of economics, although his grasp of these technicalities, including mathematical tools, is not unknown to those who have tried to follow his writings assiduously. Everything taken together, he is arguably the foremost speaker of truth in the world of economists in India. Hence he should be congratulated for his bold stand against the attempts at saffronisation of JNU and the present Vice-Chancellor's complicity to it.
N K Chatterjee
Bolpur, Birbhum

Reversible Sterilisation?
Phase One of the clinical trials progressed from rats to rabbits to monkeys and then to humans, and proved spectacularly successful in 1993. But then the ICMR brought them to a halt, after someone complained that certain components of Risug are known to cause cancer.

Dr Guha argued that these individual substances become harmless as compounds, just as chlorine, which could melt human flesh, becomes basic everyday salt when mixed with sodium. The ICMR wasn't convinced.

Also on 'Set your ovaries free': Tanzanian president urges women to have babies to boost economy.

Dr Guha then knocked on the doors of the Supreme Court; Phase Two was set in motion after a few years and, by 2002, Dr Guha's dreams were close to being realised, before another spanner was thrown in the works.

This time, it was changes to the international norms for clinical trials. It took the Indian medical authorities another five years to put these required norms in place.

Unsurprisingly Dr Guha's work evoked interest and envy in equal measure around the world. Peers began sniffing around his wonder drug, and not always with a sense of appreciation. The National Institutes of Health in the US raised questions, causing more delays.

Dr Guha believes to this day that this was meant to promote a pill-in-the-making which, unlike his one-time injectable hormone-based drug, promised a continual demand and endless profits.

Now, after another dozen years and nearly four decades all told, Dr Guha's dream is close to becoming a reality. Extended tests on Risug have shown no side-effects. The Indian medical authorities are hopeful of introducing his reversible contraceptive to the market in the next six to seven months. It would be the first injectable male contraceptive in the world. Its competitor, the pill, is nowhere in sight.

Indian men prefer to use condoms rather than invasive vasectomy surgery to sterilise their reproductive systems. But Dr Guha's invention is external, non-invasive and cheap, and could be effective.
Baz Ratner

Random firing of BSF
Again it is proved that Border Security Force authority are very much trigger happy when people witnessed another killing of unarmed people in the Indo-Bangladesh bordering district of Cooch Behar.

On 13.12.2019 within 9 to 10 pm at night under the Palpara Bridge near Krishnapur Border Out Post when a group of ten people tried to cross Indo-Bangladesh border with a herd of cattle to Bangladesh, the Border Security Force personnel without giving any intimation started 15 to 16 rounds firing and as a result one person namely Mr Safikul Islam was died and 3 other people are missing and rest 6 people crossed the Gadadhar river and entered to Bangladesh side. This valour of the Border Security Force authority again reveals the saddest part of human rights condition in this country before the eyes of International arena.

Those people were far away from posted BSF party, in the river of Gadadhar. BSF fired at them from a long distance. BSF has no right to kill the people by firing. There is no domestic law where any force person can fire to any people. If they were accused then BSF should act according to procedure established by law i.e., apprehend those accused and produced them before the Court of law. BSF has motor boats and other equipments. But without using those, BSF fired at those people in water. Is BSF think that they are above the Constitution?

Most important part is that one person namely Mr Safikul Islam residing at village Charbalabhut under Tufanganj Police Station who was admitted in the Kurigram Hospital of Rangpur Division, Bangladesh after bullet injury breathed his last today at about 2 pm. Before his last breathe Mr Safikul gave statement before the doctor that they were total 10 people in the border and he was received the bullet fired by the BSF.

The present act of the Border Security Force (BSF) personnel would appear to undermine the commitment to Right to life enshrined in Article 21 of Indian Constitution and India's obligations under the International law i.e., Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Goal number 8 and 16 of Sustainable Development Goal earmarked by United Nations and in both these instruments; the Government of India is a party and have agreement.
Kirity Roy
Secretary, MASUM & National Convener, PACTI

Bangladeshi Trafficking
This complaint is in relation to detention of Bangladeshi persons in West Bengal and accusing and treating them as criminals under Foreigners Act, 1946. Though MASUM tried to bring the on-going malpractice into light by making numerous complaints to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and other relevant departments the authorities including police and Border Security Force are not at all concerned to enquire into whether the persons including women and children crossed the border from Bangladesh to India were the victims of human trafficking or not. Here are two case details:

Case 1: In connection with Swarup-nagar Police Station Case no. 863/19 dated 15.10.2019 under Section 14/14C of Foreigners Act the following Bangladeshi persons were arrested:

1. Safikul Islam son of Md Gani, age-30 years, residential address : village-Koshmadi, Police station-Shyamnagar, District-Satkhira, Bangladesh.
(2) Parveen Bibi. wife of Md Safikul Islam, age-27 years, residential address;-village-Koshmadi, Police station-Shyamnagar, District-Satkhira, Bangladesh, along with her two minor girl child:
a) Suraiya Khatun (8 years)
b) Faria Khatun (7 years)
(3) Rujina Pramanik, daughter of Tahiruddin, age-27 years, residential address:-village-Basolada para, Police station-Nadigram, District-Bagura, Bangladesh.
(4) Sahidul Islam, son of Md. Mukhtar Hossain, age-35 years, residential address:-village-Khanpur, Police station-Shyamnagar, District-Satkhira, Bangladesh.
(5) Rabiul Biswas, son of Mouruddi Biswas, age-29 years, residential address:-village-Caschandrapur. Police station-Jigargachha, District-Jessore, Bangladesh.
(6) Mohasin Mallick, son of Kuddus Mallick, age-27 years, residential address:-village-Panchulia, Police station-Lohagara, District-Norail, Bangladesh.
(7) Easin Arafat, son of Abdul Fullmia, age-19 years, residential address:-village-Dakulkull. Police station-Tahpur, District-Sunamganj, Bangladesh.
(8) Lipi Begum, daughter of Kanchan Morter, age-30 years, residential address:-village-Jatarawari, Police station-Polas, District-Narsinghdi, Bangladesh.

Case 2: In connection with Swarupnagar Police Station Case no. 961/19 dated 11.11.2019 under section 14/14C of Foreigners Act the following Bangladeshi women and children were arrested:

(1) Moni Khan, son of Amjad All Khan, age-30 years of Vill-Piljangal, PS-Fakirhat, Dist-Bagerhat Bangladesh.
(2) Mukta Begum, wife of Moni Khan, age-20 years of Vill o Piljangal, PS-Fakirhat, Dist-Bagerhat, Bangladesh.
(3) Nasima Sheikh, wife of Amirul Sheikh, age-30 years of Vill-Alomdanga, PS-Alomdanga, Dist-Chuadanga, Bangladesh.
(4) Moina Sheikh, daughter of Moslem Sheikh, age-31 years of Vill-Alomdanga, PS-Alomdanga, Dist-Chuadanga, Bangladesh.

Swarupnagar Police produced all of them as accused before the Court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Basirhat, North 24 Parganas district. The court sent them to Dum Dum Central Correctional Home, for further detention.

Fact finding reveals that the arrested Bangladeshi persons entered India for the purpose of working in India as they are terribly poverty-stricken people with no jobs in Bangladesh. Most of them work as domestic help, construction workers and hotel workers in various locations of India. The victims are either trying to enter India through the border or return to their home in Bangladesh with the help of local touts, involved in cross border illegal movements (both side of the border), when they are being arrested by the Border Security Force (BSF) personnel. These touts / middlemen / DHURS are operating in connivance with border guards of both sides, India and Bangladesh. The Bangladeshi persons arrested were treated as accused under the Foreigners Act and no attempt has been taken up by the police or the concerned court to ascertain whether they were the victims of human trafficking or not. Such approach of the criminal justice system is against the advisory issued by the Government of India vide office memorandum No. 14051/14/2011-F.VI of Ministry of Home Affairs (Foreigners Division), Government of India Dated 1st May. 2012 clearly states as "(IV) it is seen that in general, the foreign victims of human trafficking are found without valid passport or visa. If, after investigation, the woman or child is found to be a victim, she should not be prosecuted under the Foreigners Act.
Kirity Roy, Secretary, MASUM & National Convener, PACTI

'No' to Sand Mixing
Led by the All India Kisan Maha Sabha (AIKMS) on November 6,2019 thousands of sand mine workers assembled at Bheeta hill to protest against the ban on boats, use of machines by sand mafia and lodging of false cases against leaders of sand workers.

Workers from more than fifty villages from Allahabad, Kaushambi, and Mau where has been effected and more than 1 lac families have been rendered jobless, gathered to protests against the illegal sand mafia and the complicit administration.

To support the workers in their quest for justice, the rally was led by members of the AlKMS, advocates and other leaders from villages where workers have been affected.

Giving a voice to the people who have been devoid of their rights, the leaders took charge to explain the misery of the workers—they are left with no income, their children are being expelled from school for the fees is not paid in time and the sick are suffering because there is no money to seek treatment for their ailments.
By stopping operations of the boats on river ghats and allowing the sand mafia to continue mining there, instead of mid-stream. It has been reiterated by several government organizations and corroborated by High Court orders from various states that mid-stream mining and dredging is a normal activity to clean the river bed and is not harmful to the environment as well.

The boats have been banned citing an order from the National Green Tribunal (NGT), which only states that JCB sand mining machines be removed from the site.

Several High Court orders also have banned the use of machines, but the administration has shown no respect for these judgments. When JCB machines dig up embankments to extract cheap sand, they destroy the aquatic and biotic life on embankments and also disturb the natural flow of the river. Leaders officials are refusing to accept this truth.

Leaders also alleged that Piyush Ranjan, the lone lease holder is illegally charging Rs. 6,000 for a ravanna (receipt) for which he pays the government only Rs 600.

ln the rally, which is set to continue till the administration doesn't heed to the demands of the locals, leaders requested the officials to dismiss the false cases lodged by the police against innocent protestors. The police, who are hand-in-glove with the mafia, have filed cases against people who are not engaged in mining under the Gangster Act which is not applicable in the matter.

Protestors and leaders have also requested that the administration include not just the revenue officials and contractors, but also the worker representatives and village pradhans in all decisions related to sand mining so that the interest of the workers are protected.
All India Kisan Maha Sabha

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Vol. 52, No. 30, Jan 26 - Feb 1, 2020