[Reader-list] GBGBA condemns the rape of woman environment activist

Asit Das asit1917 at gmail.com
Fri Jun 30 08:39:37 CDT 2017

*GBGBA condemns the rape of woman environment activist*

*Demands immediate action by Mumbai Police on such groups*

*Mumbai | 29 June:* Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan (GBGBA) strongly
condemns the rape of a woman environment activist by five men who were
apparently aggrieved by the woman's complaint about destruction of

GBGBA is also shocked to know the callousness of the Mumbai Police
department who didn't take immediate steps which would have avoided such a
heinous crime.

Generally, every informal settlement in Mumbai has a strong and active
nexus of slumlords and local police which is involved in illegal selling of
govt. and private plots to poor working class of the city to construct
their dwellings. This nexus controls water and electricity supply. Sell
plots by cutting trees of mangroves and fill the marshy land by filling
debris. Members of this nexus also harass the women living in the community
and in nearby areas physically and sexually. This nexus takes full
advantage of the helplessness of poor working class of the city who due to
the unavailability of cheaper housing option fall prey to slumlords.
Slumlords control areas far away from the sight of the city-mainly marshy
areas and only allows construction of a hut when they are paid some money.
Police is directly involved in this.

Several activists GBGBA have in past made complaints to local police
station of their respective areas complaining cutting mangroves, public
consumption of hooch, harassment of women and so on only to be returned
with hollow assurance.

There will be considerable fall in the number of crimes in Mumbai if such
nexuses are systematically brought down.

*Uday Mohite      Punam Kannojiya      Jamil Akhtar     Bilal Khan    Medha
Patkar *

Contact: 9958660556

Mumbai – Activist Raped After She Exposed Mangrove Killers #WTFnews
By Linah Baliga, Mumbai Mirror |
[image: Activist raped after she exposed mangrove killers]
Rubble from the razed shanties
*Five men sexually assaulted her a day after her complaint led to the
demolition of their illegal hutments in Kandivali’s Charkop*

An activist engaged with conserving the mangrove cover in Kandivali’s
Charkop area was raped by five men on Sundayafternoon after her complaint
led to the tearing down of illegal hutments raised on the green patch at
Sai Dham Nagar.

The Charkop police have booked 45-year-old Jialal Chouhan, his sons Ram
(25) and Laxman (20), Munnalal Prajapati (45), and Ram Milan Yadav (45) for
rape and assault under Indian Penal Code sections 326 and 376, among
others. The first information report was lodged on Monday.

The mangrove swamp in Kandivali routinely sees trees getting killed, debris
dumped indiscriminately, and unauthorised structures constructed to be sold
for up to Rs 12 lakh.

The activist is associated with a non-profit called Anyay Nivaran
Bhrashtachar Nirmulan Paryavaran Sanrakshan Sanstha, which works against
corruption, injustice and environmental destruction.

On Saturday, she lodged a plaint with the forest department about the
shanties that she had seen come up in the past few days on land which is
supposed to be protected by the coastal regulatory zone (CRZ) norms. A day
later, she was sexually abused for getting the authorities to enforce the

Archana Shinde, state president of the NGO the activist was working with,
told Mirror: “She was assigned the task of monitoring mangroves. After her
complaint on Saturday, the structures were demolished.”

Then, around 3.30 pm on Sunday, the men who had built the shacks went to
her home and began filming her from the window to terrorise her, Shinde
said. “They dragged her outside and hit her with an iron rod. She was
thrust to the floor and raped. Her mother heard the commotion, arrived at
the spot and called the police. It must have been 4 pm then,” she said.

She was taken to Ambedkar Hospital nearby, where she received stitches on
her face and ribs. Shinde said that the police didn’t inform the hospital
about her case.

The victim spoke with Mumbai Mirror over phone. “I didn’t know being a
complainant would create this nightmare. They have destroyed my spirit. I
am unable to go to the bathroom. My whole face is swollen. I am in terrible
pain. Even the police are hand-in glove-with the rapists,” she said.

Her lawyer, Laxmi Narayan, said that the police official on duty at Charkop
police station, Mahadev Tukaram Bhonsale, didn’t register the FIR on time.
“Instead, he went to her house and arrested a family member after taking a
cross-complaint from the accused. He pressured the victim to withdraw the
plaint,” he said, adding that her statement hasn’t been recorded
accurately. “I am going to make another complaint,” he said.

Bhonsale said the FIR had been registered on Monday and that the matter was
in court.

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