Letter of Protest Against Police Complicity In Implicating Manushi and Madhu Kishwar sign now

Protest against false FIR registered against prominent human rights crusader and scholar, editor Madhu Kishwar, based solely on the fabricated testimony of a local Sewa Nagar gang led by the Basoya brothers.

On Dec 31st 2007, as Prof. Madhu Kishwar was taking some pictures in the Sewa Nagar street vendor market, she was attacked by Mahipal Basoya's mother. Prof. Kishwar's hair was pulled; she was hit, and pushed into a drain. Other members of the Basoya gang joined in punching and kicking her. The attackers joined in a chorus, shouting "we will not let this randi go out alive from here". When Prof. Kishwar's associate, Sheeshpal, attempted to rescue her, he too was beaten up. The Basoya gang tried to break open Prof. Kishwar's car so that they could shove her in and set it on fire. Prof. Kishwar suffered several injuries including torn ligaments in her right arm. That day Prof. Kishwar and Sheeshpal barely escaped with their lives. On that same evening, this gang went and looted the stalls of three street vendors and threatened them with dire consequences if they dared give testimonies against any of the gang members. This attack had been preceded by several earlier life threatening attacks.

With a great deal of difficulty, Prof. Kishwar was able to register an FIR with the police. However, in a shocking turn of events, turning the very notion of justice upside-down, the police allowed the perpetrators of this brutal assault to lodge a blatantly false charge of "attempt to murder" against Prof. Kishwar. They further assisted the Basoya gang in misusing the process of law to file a patently bogus case in the Metropolitan Magistrate's Court so that on 30th May 2008, Metropolitan Magistrate Manish Yaduvanshi passed an order that an FIR be registered against Prof. Kishwar on the "attempt to murder" charge filed by the Basoya family.

This has been a standard pattern. Each time the Basoyas attacked Madhu Kishwar or other members of Manushi Sangathan, they instantly filed false counter cases against Prof. Kishwar with the active connivance of the police.

The fact that it was Prof. Kishwar who was the victim of the brutal attack on Dec. 31st, and not the other way around, is something that is fully acknowledged even by the local police (who accompanied her to the Trauma Centre for medical treatment) and the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP). Ever since Dec. 31st, the DCP, recognizing that her life is threatened by the Basoya gang, has on his own provided Prof.. Kishwar with round-the-clock police security. It is indeed strange that on the one hand, the DCP, recognizing the Basoya gang's threats against her life, has provided her with 24 hour security, while at the same time the Station House Officer (SHO) manipulates things in such a manner as to get the Metropolitan Magistrate to order registering an FIR based on trumped up charges by the same gang that is perceived to be a threat to her life.

The Seva Nagar Project

Manushi, a nationally acclaimed women's rights and human rights organization, led by Madhu Kishwar, a Senior Fellow at the Center for the Study of Developing Societies, has been engaged for the last four years in a project to create a model street hawker market in Sewa Nagar in Delhi as part of a larger endeavour to reform the exploitative street vendor policy in India.

Today street vendors throughout India are trapped in a web of illegality and therefore vulnerable to extortion and blackmail. In Delhi alone, street vendors are robbed of at least Rs.500 crores every year by way of bribes and confiscation of goods, in addition to being subjected to routine beatings and other human rights abuses. The Sewa Nagar Project aims to change this scenario by providing security of livelihood to street vendors, and also showing them the advantages of observing civic discipline and making them responsible stakeholders in cities. This project forms the cornerstone of an effort to evolve a practical mechanism for effectively implementing the National Policy for Street Vendors for urban areas all over India.

The project was begun as a partnership between the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and Manushi. This effort has received the sanction of the Supreme Court, and has been backed by Member of Parliament Local Area Development (MPLAD) funds. In addition, this project has been strongly supported by the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, the leader of the opposition Mr. L.K. Advani, as well as the Lt. Governor of Delhi. This flagship project has attracted national and international attention. It has received close attention from the Ministry of Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation of the Govt. of India. The United Nations Commission for Legal Employment of the Poor has adopted this model for promotion worldwide.

With Manushi's intervention, Sewa Nagar was being gradually transformed into a disciplined, clean and aesthetic street market that enabled poor vendors to earn a better living. Each vendor contributed a legal monthly rent to the MCD. However, when the legalization of street vendors began threatening the power of mafia gangs and criminal elements, thus eliminating their ability to extort money, these gangs struck back. Vendors involved in the Sewa Nagar project, as well as Manushi staff including Prof. Madhu Kishwar, have been repeatedly subjected to murderous assaults by mafia elements in a bid to drive Manushi out of Sewa Nagar so that they can take over the new stalls and other public assets worth several crores of Rupees that were created as part of the model market project. These attacks have been orchestrated by a gang led by the Basoya brothers who run several illegal businesses in the area.

Kotla Police Hand in Glove With the Basoya Gang

Unfortunately for Prof. Kishwar, rather than providing her with protection under the law, the SHO of Kotla Mubarakpur police station and the Investigating Officers appointed by him sided with and assisted criminal elements. These public officials have been acting in concert with the Basoya gang to hound Prof. Kishwar and Manushi out of Sewa Nagar so that they can grab hold of public assets created by Manushi Sangathan. Days before the actual order, the Basoya gang and the Court Naib of the Kotla police station openly boasted to Manushi members that they had made firm arrangements to ensure that Prof. Kishwar gets arrested in several bogus cases including the "attempt to murder case". This is a clear case of local police helping local mafias to target and destroy a well-respected human rights organization and its founder in order to safeguard the extortion rackets and other illegal businesses they run from Sewa Nagar.

It is imperative that:

1) All these bogus cases against Madhu Kishwar and Manushi are quashed by initiating an impartial enquiry into police complicity with the criminal activities of the Basoya gang.

2) All necessary steps are taken to save the pilot project at Sewa Nagar from takeover by criminal gangs by installing CCTV cameras as ordered by the Prime Minister and Lt Governor and enforcing the externment proceedings initiated against them at the behest of the Lt Governor to keep the Basoya gang out of Sewa Nagar.

3) Leading members of the Basoya gang are booked for their illegal activities, including misleading the court by filing bogus cases against Madhu Kishwar and Manushi Sangathan.

Note: This protest letter is also available here.

[For more information and updates on this struggle for street vendors' rights, see Manushi's web-site]

[For more information about the Seva Nagar Project, please click here]

[For a pictorial history of Manushi's struggle for street vendors' rights, click here]

Sign The Petition

Sign with Facebook

If you already have an account please sign in, otherwise register an account for free then sign the petition filling the fields below.
Email and the password will be your account data, you will be able to sign other petitions after logging in.

Privacy in the search engines? You can use a nickname:

Attention, the email address you supply must be valid in order to validate the signature, otherwise it will be deleted.

I confirm registration and I agree to Usage and Limitations of Services

I confirm that I have read the Privacy Policy

I agree to the Personal Data Processing


Who signed this petition saw these petitions too:

Sign The Petition

Sign with Facebook

If you already have an account please sign in


I confirm registration and I agree to Usage and Limitations of Services

I confirm that I have read the Privacy Policy

I agree to the Personal Data Processing

0 / 1000

Latest Signatures

No one has signed this petition yet


Cathleen WilcoxBy:
Petition target:
The Prime Minister of India


No tags


Invite friends from your address book

Embed Codes

direct link

link for html

link for forum without title

link for forum with title