Agnipath Suicide Attempt
A youth, who reportedly participated in the stir against the Agnipath at the Secunderabad railway station on June 17, attempted suicide by consuming weedicide near his village Kothapalli of Station Ghanpur mandal in the district on June 21. The victim, Govindu Ajay, son of Linga Swamy and Renuka, said that he had decided to end his life following the call from the police.

He said that he had gone to Secunderabad station and spoke to a news channel, but he had not indulged in any rioting there, said his mother Renuka. “As one youth died in the police firing next to me, I was saddened by the incident. Then some media people put their mike in front of me. Then I spoke against the scheme. But I did not participate in any kind of violence or rioting there,” Ajay claimed while speaking to the media after his suicide attempt. Meanwhile, MRPS leader Govindu Isak has found fault with the Centre for bringing the Agnipath scheme and added that Ajay had condemned the approach of the police in the investigation.
Telangana Today

Banning Urdu
Telangana state BJP leader and Karimnagar MP Bandi Sanjay, while talking on Shiva Lingas and corpses, on 25-5-2022 publicly declared that "As soon as they come to power and establish the Rama Rajya they will ban the Urdu language." It is pertinent to know what Gandhi, who advocated for the establishment of Rama Rajya, had stated about Urdu, a hundred years ago during the independence movement.

While addressing the Gujarati Vidya Mahasabha held at Bharuch in Gujarat in 1917 Gandhiji said, “There is a misconception among people that Hindi and Urdu are two different languages and that the language spoken by Hindus is Hindi and the one spoken by Muslims is Urdu. In fact, Both Hindus and Muslims in North India speak one language. It is the educated people who made the distinction based on the script. The language written in Deva Nagari script has come to be known as Hindi and the one written in Urdu has been called Urdu”. (Gandhiji's views on the National Language … Page 7) Now Bandi Sanjay has to clarify! Does he want to ban writing in Urdu or speaking in Urdu too? Does he want to ban Urdu as the language in the street or Urdu that is being spoken by 50 million people at home? None in human history has ever even thought of such lunatic fantasies. Probably Bandi Sanjay might have been blinded by his unfathomable hatred for Muslims and Urdu the language came to be known as belonging to them. Bandi Sanjay has to come to his senses getting rid of his religious bigotry; Urdu is the language of millions of people in the subcontinent. Though Urdu is the official language in Pakistan, people speaking Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashto, Balochi and Saraiki out- number Urdu speaking Indian origin families. Though these languages are different, the Persian script is commonly used for all these languages. Similarly, Devanagari script is used in Marathi, Nepali, Rajasthani and Bhojpuri languages, though these languages are different from Hindi. Bandi Sanjay should know that Viswakavi Rabindranath Tagore’s “Amar Sonar Bangla” (1906) is the national anthem of Bangladesh.
Divikumar, Janasahiti

Abdul Nazar Maudany
The documentary film called “Fabricated”, of human rights violations on the human rights defender Abdul Nazar Maudany. The film was screened widely in Kerala. It was also screened in Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi and other places. The film dealt with not just the injustice on Maudany, but also others who have been victims of draconian laws. Though the film made some impact, all these years he is still not free. Some of his well-wishers met him recently in Bangalore . He is almost half his size now. His eyesight is more or less lost. He had heart problems, blood Pressure, sugar problems and many other problems. He is being murdered silently like Fr Stan. Fr Stan did not suffer too long due to state imprisonment. But Maudany spent nine and a half years in Coimbatore jail for nothing. After nine and half years, the judge told him that `you are innocent'. The question is: ` Is it necessary to spend nine and half years in jail to be declared as innocent?' There was no compensation. The guilty police officers who fabricated the case were not punished. That was not punished. His problem did not end there. He was again arrested under another false case. He has been facing this injustice in Bangalore for almost 12 years in Bangalore. Again, there is no judgement. No court has ever declared that Maudany is guilty. But his freedom was violated for a major portion of his life. The only bomb he has seen in his life was a bomb which was thrown at him by the RSS. That bomb destroyed one of his legs. The remaining leg is affected due to sugar problems. Many parts of his body have become numb. If one touches his hands, he cannot feel. Even in hot climate, he feels very cold and he has to use a blanket all the time. Is this the way to treat a citizen of this country? He deserves to be freed even on simple humanitarian grounds. This nation should not witness another state sponsored murder of Fr Stan. It is high time that all those who believe in justice, democracy and human rights come out vocally for the freedom of Abdul Nazar Maudany. Do not watch a murder silently. Silence is to be party to the crime. On the coming August 17, 2022, Maudany will complete 12 years of his arrest. Human Rights organisations should come together and protest all over India for the freedom of Abdul Nazar Maudany.
K P Sasi, Kerala

Pune Police
The Bhima Koregaon incidents of violence began after activists organised an event in Pune on December 31, 2017, commemorating the battle of Bhima Koregaon in 1818, when a force of Mahar soldiers of the East India Company defeated the 28,000-strong forces of Peshwa Baji Rao II. The battle is seen as a Dalit victory against upper-caste oppression. The event was marred by incidents of violence, after stone-pelting took place at the location, allegedly by right-wing groups, which led to state-wide protests the next few days as Dalit protesters called for a Bandh in Maharashtra.

During the probe into the violence, police arrested human rights activists Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Wilson, Surendra Gadling, Mahesh Raut, Shoma Sen, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj and Varavara Rao for alleged Maoist links. Activists Dr Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha were also later arrested. The activists were charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

Earlier reports too, headed by Amnesty India, had claimed spyware campaigns against the accused with the alleged role of Israeli hacking contractor NSO Group.

Now, according to Wired report, researchers at security firm SentinelOne have revealed ties between the hackers and the Pune Police. According to the publication, SentinelOne’s new findings that link the Pune City Police to the long-running hacking campaign, which the company has called Modified Elephant, centre on two particular targets of the campaign: Rona Wilson and Varvara Rao.
The Week

RMT Worke
Ever since 40,000 members of the Rail Maritime and Transport union, the RMT, voted for strike action late last month, the barrage from the media and political establishment has been relentless.

In an interview, Jeremy Kyle suggested to RMT assistant general secretary Eddie Dempsey that Mick Lynch earned ‘a package’ of £124,000 per year. ‘You know that’s a fact,’ he said. Except, of course, he didn’t. Jeremy Kyle was including employer national insurance contributions among a litany of other irrelevances.

But this was far from the most lurid accusation levelled at the union. That accolade belongs to Dorset MP Chris Loder, who took to parliament to accuse leading members of the RMT of being agents of Vladimir Putin and Russia. They were, he proclaimed, ‘bankrolling’ the Labour Party—an organisation the RMT disaffiliated from in 2004.

The truth is, RMT workers are not earning extravagant sums, but they are somewhat better paid than the average worker. And there is a very good reason for this: rail workers are some of the best organised in the country, and probably the most prepared to take action to defend their terms and conditions.

In Low Pay Britain, very few workers go on strike. In 1979, ONS figures show that around 4 million workers participated in industrial action. In 2017, it was just 33,000. Successive rounds of anti-union laws have made it harder to strike effectively—removing the right to solidarity action, enforcing draconian rules on pickets and imposing criminal penalties on trade unions.
Roman Burtenshaw, London

Severodonetsk Falls
It may have felt like an inevitability, but that does not make the fall of Severodonetsk any less painful for Ukraine.

For weeks it had been the main focus of Russia's invasion, huge artillery barrages and air strikes reducing much of the old industrial city to rubble.

In the end, Ukrainian commanders said defending the ruins would cost too many lives.

In his Saturday night address after Russia had confirmed complete control of Severodonetsk, President Volodymyr Zelensky said it was a difficult day, "morally and emotionally" for his country.

There is no denying it, the loss of the largest city they still held in the Luhansk region does bring one of Russia's key strategic aims one step closer. Ever since the failure of their initial attempts to capture the whole country, Moscow has focussed on taking the wider eastern area known as the Donbas.

That is composed of two oblasts, or regions, Donetsk and Luhansk. Taking one of those would allow President Putin to present his people with a genuine achievement, something he badly needs after the failures of the start of this invasion.

But, taking the entirety of Luhansk is still not guaranteed, even if it is increasingly likely. In Russia's path is the city of Lysychansk, just a few miles away from Severodonetsk - but still in Ukrainian hands.

It is to here that Ukrainian forces are thought to have withdrawn after abandoning Severodonetsk.

To understand why Lysychansk matters, one needs need to understand the geography of the region and the role it has played in the war so far.

The two cities sit on the Siversky Donets River: it runs through the Donbas and has been the scene of a number of very costly battles for Russia.
Joe Inwood, London


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Vol 55, No. 2, Jul 10 - 16, 2022