Bangalore, 27th December 2013
Welcoming Janatadal (Secular)’s stand on IPC 377:
Praja Rajakiya Vedike welcomes the stand of Janatadal (Secular) in welcoming the review petition filed by the central government challenging the recent Supreme Court of India’s judgement on Section 377 of the IPC. The letter written by former Prime Minister of India and national president of Janatadal (Secular) said that this step of central government of India protects the fundamental rights accorded by our constitution.
The letter also said “Janata Dal (Secular) has been supporting the sexual minorities’ movement for equal rights and justice for a decade. We will continue to support the struggles for human rights.
The laws of the land should reflect constitutional morality and guarantee fundamental rights to all citizens irrespective of them being a minority or majority. Constitutional guarantees can’t be denied to a section of population just because they are a ‘minuscule minority’. As a secular party we believe that laws should reflect the constitutional ideals and not the narrow-minded views of any section of public based on religion, culture, tradition etc.
If there is a discussion on IPC 377 in parliament, we will extend our support to repeal this outdated and draconian provision, brought to India more than 150 years ago by the colonial British rulers.”
Appeal to Bharatiya Janata Party to consider their stand:
We appeal to BJP to reconsider its stand and to extend support to sexual minorities with regard to IPC 377. The main opposition party at the centre should support the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution of India by reversing its stand on IPC 377.
Amend IPC 377 in Karnataka:
We appeal to all political parties in Karnataka to amend Section 377 of the IPC by excluding consensual sex between adults from the IPC 377. This is an opportunity for the political parties to show that Karnataka is in the forefront of defending sexual minority human rights in India.
Repeal Karnataka Police Act Section 36A:
We appeal to all political parties in Karnataka to repeal Section 36A of Karnataka Police Act, a draconian provision that gives enormous power to police to regulate transgenders.
Withdraw fabricated cases against sexual minorities in Hassan:
We deamnd the Government of Karnataka to withdraw the fabricated cases filed against 14 sexual minority persons in Karnataka.
Appeal to sexual minorities to participate actively in Electoral Politics:
We appeal to sexual minorities to join various political parties and participate actively in the electoral politics. Political participation and political power is central to human rights of any community. As of now there are almost no sexual minorities (who are open about their sexual preference/ gender identity) in the mainstream political parties. This needs to change.
For more information contact: 96322 23460/ 94839 50202
Over 200 people protested at Town hall today to condemn the police terror in Hassan against Sexual Minorities last week. The protest is organised by Karnataka Sexual Minorities Forum. Praja Rajakiya Vedike and many other organisations took part in today’s protest.
Karnataka Sexual Minorities Forum
Protest to condemn police terror on sexual minorities in Hassan
Bangalore, 11 Nov 2013: Over 200 sexual minorities including hijras and other supporters protested at Town hall today to condemn the police terror in Hassan against Sexuality and Gender Minorities last week.
They demanded withdrawal of all cases including under section 377 against the 13 members of the sexuality minority community in Hassan.
During the midnight hours of Nov 3 and 4, when the whole country was celebrating Diwali, the Hassan police carried out a systematic raid arresting 13 persons under Section 377 of the IPC and other sections. They were charged under 3 separate FIRs.
In the first FIR the complainant, a 21-year college student, alleged that in 2011 he was coerced into having sex with 6 persons. These 6 persons, according to him, threatened him saying that they would reveal his history in his college as well as to his parents. He said that he was forced into having `unnatural’ sex and hence he was infected with HIV. It is only now in 2013 that he had the courage to report on what had allegedly happened to him two years ago.
“The police began the midnight operation by going to the house the programme officer of Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement, an NGO implementing the State government’s HIV prevention program, and pressurised him to identify the project staff members. From there the programme officer was taken to the house of a sexual minority person, who was in turn coerced to give the names of other sexual minorities. Using this method, the police arrested 5 from their homes and 8 from other public places,” said Mallappa, President of Karnataka Sexual Minorities Forum, which formed a coalition of organisations to fight these type of harassment.
“The arrests and methods used clearly indicates their intention of spreading fear and terror among the gender minority community and the huge visibility in the media resulting in shaming and humiliating the arrested persons. All of the arrested were also harassed in the jails,” he added.
The modus operandi was to target members of the community, ignoring the fact that as per the judgement of the Delhi High Court in Naz Foundation v. NCR Delhi, sexual minorities are full citizens of India.
“Just when the struggle for equal citizenship of sexual minorities is slowly getting established, the mass scale of the Hassan arrests pushes sexual minorities underground. The arrests are a reminder of the arbitrary power vested in Section 377 of the IPC in local police officers and hence the urgent need for the repeal of this draconian provision,” said human rights activist Manohar Elavarthi, who founded Sangama, which fights for the rights of sexuality minorities.
The protesters main demands are:
Withdrawal of prosecution against all the accused under Section 377 of the IPC
Suspend and Prosecute Mr Ravi D Channanavar (SP), Mr Mahesh JE (PSI), Mr Krishna SK (PSI) and other police officers responsible for the fabrication of cases
Compensation to all the arrested for the harm to reputation done by the false and frivolous prosecutions.
Ensure that there is no sexual abuse/harassment of sexual minority prisoners in the jail by ensuring separate cells
Repeal Section 377 of the IPC
According to Karnataka Sexual Minorities Forum (KSMF), the protest was organised along with Abhayaspandana, Alternative Law forum, Aneka, Apthamitra, Jeeva, Jyothi Mahila Sangha, Karnataka Sex Workers Union (KSWU), Milana, Navasahaja, Navaspoorthy, Nisarga, Pragathi, Praja Rajakiya Vedike (PRV), Prakruthi Seva Samsthe, People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL)-Karnataka, Raksha, Sadhane, Samara, Samara Dharwad, Samara Doddaballapura, Samara Jayanagara, Samara Ramanagara, Samara Yeshwanthpura, Samatha, Sammelana, Sangama, Sanjeevini, Sarathya, Sneha Society, Shristy Sankula, Sweekar, Vimochana and other supportive organisations.
For details call Mallappa, KSMF, at 95915 40181 or Manohar Elavarthi at 94839 50202.