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  1. #1
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    ‘NCW, PMO misled by Noida police’


    ‘NCW, PMO misled by Noida police’


    Noida, December 27 Questioning the action taken by the Noida police to prevent the Nithari killings, the victims’ kin and activists working with them have alleged that officers of the Noida police misled the National Commission for Women and, subsequently, the Prime Minister’s Office was misled too. Commodore Lokesh Batra, an RTI and social activist who is planning to organise a meet at Jantar Mantar on December 29, said today, “We need to let the world know how officials from our governance system, who could have saved many lives if they had gone about their duties properly, have all gone scot-free.”

    In explanations given to the National Commission for Women (NCW) through an action taken report on six girls missing from Nithari village in 2005, the Noida police mentioned that teams were sent to various places like Muzaffarnagar, Faridabad and Gurgaon, among other cities in the state and elsewhere in the country.

    Police records, according to information received in a letter under a RTI application on January 4 earlier this year, say that no officer has ever claimed reimbursements after such visits. “It is amazing how officers of the (Noida) police kept paying for all the tours from their own pockets. They were either too concerned or no such search attempts were ever made,” Batra said.

    In a letter dated January 10, 2007, written by Inspector General of Meerut Zone Jagmohan Yadav to the Additional Director General of Police (Human Rights), Lucknow it is mentioned that a letter sent by a committee of the NCW looking into the case of the six missing girls on September 9, 2005 was never received at the office of the then Noida Senior Superintendent of Police Piyush Mordia.

    Interestingly, in a letter sent to the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Meerut Zone, dated December 12, 2005 Piyush Mordia himself mentions attaching a copy of the action taken report on a request sent through a letter dated September 9, 2005 along with the original letter. “Clearly, high ranking officers were trying to save each other when questioned by the NCW and even resorted to blatant lying and denial in the effort to do so,” Batra said.

    After the NCW committee reported that six girls were missing, DIG Meerut disputed their claim, saying the number of missing girls was five. Jhabbu Lal, who registered his case in 2005, said, “All six families had appeared before the NCW and submitted their complaints with copies of the FIRs.” In a letter sent to the Noida SSP by the then Additional SP Saumitra Yadav, dated September 9, 2005 Jhabbu Lal’s complaint that, “We suspect that the person responsible for children going missing is from the Nithari village”, was quoted. “If action had been taken instead of suppressing figures and cases, so many people might not have lost their children,” Batra said.

    While Payal (whose murder case is presently with the Special CBI court in Ghaziabad) had been missing since May 7, 2006 and even an FIR was not registered, in a letter written to the PMO in September 2006, Shailendra Pratap Singh, the then DIG Meerut Zone, said the Noida Police was taking all necessary actions.

    “Had the necessary action actually been taken, the reality would have been different today,” Batra said. According to information provided by the Noida Police in a reply to a RTI application on February 19 earlier this year, there was no chowki in-charge at the Nithari police post for three months, from February 20 to May 23 in 2005, around the time when the first missing case, of Rimpa haldhar, was reported, on February 10. Once again, an FIR was not registered. Also, on an average, no officer stayed there for more than two to three months.

    Batra said, “I have filed several applications under the RTI Act and this information proves the negligence of officers and lays open their attempt at cover-up after that.”


    ‘NCW, PMO misled by Noida police’





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  2. #2
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    Re: ‘NCW, PMO misled by Noida police’


    Nithari victims’ kin wonder if the authorities did enough for them

    Noida, December 28 As relatives of the victims of the Nithari killings await justice and arrange a havan on December 29, the day their children’s bodies were found in a drain last year, the question they are asking themselves is: did the authorities do their best?

    “I’ve lost half my family and no one has cared to take stock of my situation,” says Bandana Sarkar, whose daughter was one of the victims. She recently lost her husband Jatin in mysterious circumstances. “The Noida police might have committed blunders, but what did the Centre, to which we wrote many letters, do?”

    Commodore (Retd) Lokesh Batra, an RTI and social activist, says, “There were so many people from so many authorities to trace the son of Adobe CEO in November 2006. When children from the village were disappearing, nobody bothered.”

    Girija Vyas, chairperson of the NCW, wrote a letter to the prime minister on January 15 (copy of the letter received from PMO through a RTI) defending the commission after The Indian Express reported the same day that NCW had been sleeping on the case till the skeletons came tumbling out.

    The letter says “NCW had taken prompt action as soon as report of missing girls was brought to its notice.” She also said that after August 2005, “neither guardians nor parents of missing girls nor any mediapersons or any other organisation approached us for any further action in the matter”.

    Usha Thakur, a social activist who lives in Sector-31 and has worked with the victims’ kin for over three years now, had written a complaint to the President, the Prime Minister and the NCW, besides 13 other higher-ups on May 18, 2006.

    In response to another RTI filed in the NCW by Batra, the Commission’s reply says “the letter dated 18.05.2006 by Usha Thakur was received on 23.05.2006” but “availability of the complaint was not known to Chairperson (Girija Vyas) and other senior officials at the time of writing the letters to the Honourable Prime Minister and Sonia Gandhi.”

    “Is this the kind of accountability expected from the chairperson,” Batra asks.

    The NCW conducted its first survey of Nithari village on August 24, 2005 (after complaints of Rajesh and Jhabbu Lal were received on August 4 and 5, respectively) and met the families of six victims who were then recorded missing. The report of the single-member committee headed by Nirmala Venkatesh, member of NCW, however, took almost three months to be formalised and was later sent to the Noida police on November 9, 2005 (Copy received through RTI filed in NCW).

    In response to a legal notice and another copy of the report sent to the Director General of Police, Uttar Pradesh by the NCW on January 2, 2007, the then DGP Bua Singh, in his letter (dated January 12) replied that no such report dated November 9, 2005, was ever received in the Noida police’s office. He also disputed the NCW’s claim that the number of missing children was five, and not six, as claimed by the NCW committee’s report of 2005.

    In the period between August 2005 and December 2006 (when the media exposed the case), close to 32 children were reported missing from the village. “And the NCW never cared to enquire about their letter for close to 14 months. It is nothing but incompetence of the members that nobody bothered about the children’s cases,” Batra says.

    Nobody from the NCW visited the village again and there is also no official record of anyone from there (including Nirmala Venkatesh) enquiring about the cases after that.

    However, a letter written to the DIG Police, Meerut Zone, by SSP, Noida, Piyush Mordia (he also mentions attaching a copy to NCW and the copy of this letter was found in records of the NCW during a file inspection by Commodore Batra) on December 12, 2005 mentions sending a copy of one of the Investigation Report (case of Jhabbu Lal) to the NCW in response to the same letter of November 9, 2005.

    “This proves that the NCW had received some response from Noida police but did not mention it in the letter to the PMO or while issuing notice to DGP, UP Police on January 2, 2007,” Batra said.

    “Also, the NCW committee never questioned or took any action towards establishing correctly the number of missing girls after their claim was disputed by the UP police. Is this the amount of concern and commitment they had for the children of our poor,” Batra says.


    Nithari victims’ kin wonder if the authorities did enough for them

  3. #3
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    Re: ‘NCW, PMO misled by Noida police’


    As reported by Sonal Kellog on howrah.org on 28 April 2008:
    No NCW reply to RTI query - Howrah News Service - Latest news and headlines on Howrah and West Bengal

    No NCW reply to RTI query

    New Delhi, April 28: The National Commission for Women could not locate the relevant documents concerning the meeting of chairperson of NCW Girija Vyas with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

    This was revealed when an application was filed for information at the NCW under the Right to Information Act. The NCW also failed to answer an application under the Right to Information Act 2005 on the basic information sought about the number of members in the commission and their responsibilities and roles in more than two months.

    The applicant filed by RTI activist retired commodore Lokesh Batra asked for information about the number of complaints received by the NCW in the wake of the Nithari killings of children which were discovered in Noida. He also asked about the action taken by the NCW and other information from the NCW.

    But the NCW failed to reply to him. When he filed a first appeal to the appellate authority, the public information officer instead wrote to him saying, "I am to inform you that the correspondance between chairperson of NCW and honourable Prime Minister and Smt. Sonia Gandhi is not traceable in the files of the commission".

    Mr Batra said, "This shows that the NCW is not serious about implementing the RTI and it also reveals that the documentation at NCW is not properly done."

    Since he did not receive any reply to his application filed on December 20, 2007 about the organisation structure of NCW, he applied to the central information commission to order the NCW to provide the information as soon as possible and also to penalise the concerned officer.

    Former Commodore Batra asked for information about the total number of members sanctioned in NCW including the chairperson, their names, designations, date of joining and responsibilities. He also asked about the number of tours undertaken by each member and the leave details fo all the members from January 1 2005 to December 31, 2006.
    Twitter: @cjkarira

  4. #4
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    Re: ‘NCW, PMO misled by Noida police’



    This matter finally reached the CIC during the course of Second Appeal.
    The CIC has come down very strongly on NCW for poor management of records, etc.
    Cdr. Batra has been allowed full access to ALL files held by NCW regarding Nithari.
    The full decision can be viewed at:

    http://cic.gov.in/CIC-Orders/WB-20082008-01.pdf

  5. #5
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    CIC asks NCW to provide all Nithari files to activist


    CIC asks NCW to provide all Nithari files to activist
    as reported by Arpit Parashar, August 24, 2008, ExpressIndia

    Noida, August 23 In a landmark judgement on the Nithari killings, the Central Information Commission (CIC) on Saturday pulled up the National Commission for Women (NCW) for failing to maintain proper records of information relating to the case.

    The judgements in two cases filed by Commodore Lokesh Batra (Retd) an RTI activist, with the CIC against the NCW have imposed penalty on the commission and strongly recommended to the Ministry of Women and Child Development that the Ministry institute a regular administrative structure for the Commission, which will then bring its functioning into conformity with the RTI Act, 2005, by instituting a system of maintenance of records.

    The CIC also asked the commission to complete the exercise within thirty days of the issue of this decision.

    After Batra was denied access to files in the National Commission for Women records, the CIC has now ruled he be provided access to all files connected with Nithari killings on August 26 at 11 am in the office of the National Commission for Women. This will include those on the concerned subjects which are in the custody of the Chairperson and any other officers... who are custodian (s) of the information sought, the order further states.

    Newsline had reported last year that Girija Vyas, Chairperson of the NCW, wrote a letter to the Prime Minister on January 15, 2007 (copy of the letter received from PMO through an RTI) defending the commission after an Indian Express report that came out the same day said the NCW had been sleeping on the case till the skeletons tumbled out. The letter says NCW had taken prompt action as soon as report of missing girls was brought to its notice.

    She also mentioned that after August 2005, neither guardians nor parents of the missing girls nor any mediaperson or any other organisation approached us (NCW) for any further action.

    However, Usha Thakur, a social activist who lives in sector-31 and has worked with the victims kin for over three years now, had written a complaint letter to the President, Prime Minister and NCW, besides 13 other higher-ups dated May 18, 2006.

    In response to another RTI filed with the NCW by Commodore Batra, the commissions reply says the letter dated May 18, 2006 by Usha Thakur was received in the commission on May 23, 2006 but availability of the complaint was not known to the Chairperson (Girija Vyas) and other senior officials at the time of writing the letters to the honourable Prime Minister and Sonia Gandhi. Similarly, as reported by Newsline last month, the NCW had termed information demanded by Batra through a RTI application cumbersome and stated in its reply that it cannot be provided.

    Batra had made a presentation before the CIC regarding all the cases where such information had been concealed or mishandled.
    It is a success of the RTI activism that such a presentation was allowed and the CIC took note of the lax system of the NCW, Batra said.

    CIC asks NCW to provide all Nithari files to activist - Express India

  6. #6
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    Re: ‘NCW, PMO misled by Noida police’


    Hats off to Commodore Lokesh Batra (Retd).
    It takes each of us to make difference for all of us.

  7. #7
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    Re: ‘NCW, PMO misled by Noida police’


    I thank CIC for their positive approach.

  8. #8
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    Re: ‘NCW, PMO misled by Noida police’


    This matter is finally seeing some light at the end of the tunnel.

    In a order dated 03 October, the CIC has ordered:

    1. Disclosure/inspection of some more documents/files to Commodore Batra.
    2. Penalty of Rs 25,000.00 to be shared by 2 people (4750 + 20250) for delay in providing information.

    It must be noted that neither the PIO nor the other person who was penalised, came for the CIC hearing. There was no response on the PIO's mobile. The decision of the CIC was therefore ex-parte.

    It is also strange that NCW writes "unsigned" letters to the Prime Minister and Ms. Sonia Gandhi, MP.

    The full order can be seen at:

    http://cic.gov.in/CIC-Orders/WB-03102008-01.pdf

    Overall conclusion is that NCW was sleeping all through the Nithari affair.

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