Tag Archives: Sheetal

#India- Why Is This Pregnant Woman Still In Jail ? #Vaw #Womenrights #mustshare

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Denied bail again, Sheetal Sathe may give birth behind bars. Is this the human face of justice?

ANAND PATWARDHAN

15-06-2013, Issue 24 Volume 10

ON 2 JUNE, eight months pregnant,  (KKM) activist was denied bail by the Mumbai Sessions Court. Sheetal, along with her husband and other members of the cultural group, had come overground in full media glare in April this year after being accused by the Anti- Terror Squad of the Mumbai police of being Naxalites.

They had courted arrest voluntarily, and had chosen to face the due process of law. But clearly, this system is faulty. Bail is usually denied when there is a possibility of the accused running away, but in this particular case, since the accused gave themselves up there are no grounds to suggest that they are going to run away.

Denying bail to somebody who is eight months pregnant is inhuman. It looks increasingly certain that Sheetal and Sachin’s child will be born in jail. We all know what conditions in jail are like. The food is extremely poor at the best of times. Hygiene is non-existent. Though Sheetal is getting medical checkups, her nutrition remains a major cause for concern.

There is not much to prove that these people — youths who use music and poetry, not guns, to protest the institutionalised inequalities rampant in our country — are Naxalites. Even if you assume that they were in some way attracted to the ideology, the Supreme Court has established that mere membership of a banned organisation is not something punishable by itself, in that there is a distinction between active and passive membership of a banned outfit. In fact, the Bombay High Court granted bail to Deepak Dengle and Siddharth Bhonsle, two other members of the KKM who were arrested in 2011 in the same case under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, saying that sympathy for an ideology does not incriminate someone. It was that decision that gave Sheetal and Sachin hope for a fair hearing.

These people have not committed a violent crime. Even the State does not accuse them of having committed one. They are being victimised for what they think, or to put it more accurately, what the State assumes they think. By restricting people from singing songs, performing plays or speaking out against injustice, it is reducing the space for dissent a democracy naturally allows. If people are not allowed to voice their grievances publicly, they will be pushed underground. So, in effect, the State is forcing people like them to go against the law.

The  attack in Chhattisgarh has also negatively impacted the general atmosphere. If anyone is accused of being a Naxalite in these volatile times, it becomes a very hard thing to overcome in court or in society.

We are trying to go to the High Court as soon as possible, hopefully before the baby is born. In Sheetal’s case, of course, bail is urgent, but it is important to remember that this is not just an injustice to her. It is an injustice to all the accused who were expecting a chance to have their side of the story heard. In a country where people accused of masterminding the fixing of lucrative cricket matches are given bail in no time, why are radical musicians and performers, one of whom is pregnant, being denied bail? Does justice in this country depend on one’s bank balance?

Patwardhan is a founding member of the Kabir Kala Manch Defence Committee.

(As told to Nupur Sonar)

letters@tehelka.com

 

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Sheetal Sathe’s Baby maybe Born in Prison, Bail Rejected #Injustice

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Photo: Sheetal's bail was rejected this morning without further arguments. The prosecution lawyer was not even present. Obviously what is appearing on TV and in the news in the aftermath of the Chhatisgarh attack last week has completely influenced the court. Our next resort is to move the High Court and hope for justice and humanity there.</p><br />
<p>Sheetal's baby may have to be born in jail after all as there is just over one month to go. The only logic for denying bail is that the accused may run away. Here the accused themselves came forward to be arrested so there was no question of running away. Neither are they accused of any violent crime. Shame on the system. We have no choice but to fight on to make our democracy behave like one.

June 3, 2013

Sheetal’s bail was rejected on June 2, 2013 at the Session Court Mumbai . This was  the third bail  hearing, earlier, also there was no public prosecutor and  it was adjourned and this time again  prosecution lawyer was not  present. Obviously what is appearing on TV and in the news in the aftermath of the Chhatisgarh attack last week has completely influenced the court. Our next resort is to move  for Bail at teh Bombay  High Court and hope for justice and humanity there.

Sheetal’s baby may have to be born in jail after all as there is just over one month to go. The only logic for denying bail is that the accused may run away. Here the accused themselves came forward to be arrested so there was no question of running away. Neither are they accused of any violent crime.

Shame on the system.

We have no choice but to fight on to make our democracy behave like one.

 

Daughter’s songs never caused violence, says Sheetal Sathe’s Mother

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MUMBAI: Sandhya Sathe looks tired as she emerges from the Byculla women’s jail on Monday. She has travelled from Pune to Mumbai for her weekly meeting with her daughter, Sheetal Sathe, who has been in judicial custody for two weeks.

Sheetal, 27, and her husband Sachin Mali, both Pune-based singers and poets from the cultural group Kabir Kala Manch (KKM), were arrested in Mumbai on April 2 under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act for their alleged association with the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist).

Sheetal, whose bail application will be heard on Wednesday, is six months pregnant.

“My daughter and her group sing about poverty, caste discrimination and women’s rights. But there has never been any instance of violence breaking out because of their songs,” says Sathe, 50, who lives in Pune’s Bhavanipet slum and spoke to HT outside the prison.

Until a year ago, Sathe worked as a sweeper in a private hospital in Pune. She also worked as a part-time domestic help with two families who had helped fund Sheetal’s education in a private Marathi-medium school. Sheetal went on to do her Master’s in sociology at Fergusson College, topping her class.

Sachin Mali, who comes from a poor family in Sangli, was a student at the same college, also a gold medallist in his subject, Marathi.

In 2003, Sheetal and Mali joined KKM, a cultural organisation of students and professionals who performed protest music in villages and colleges across the state. Sachin, who married Sheetal seven years ago, also worked as a bus conductor with the Pune Municipal Corporation.

“After the police began hunting for KKM members two years ago, my family cut me off and I was asked to quit my job at the hospital,” says Sathe, a widow since 2007.

She now hopes Sheetal and Sachin are granted bail. “Sheetal has lost a lot of weight because of the food in jail. I worry about her,” she says.

 

Court Arrest proves they are innocent: Sheetal Sathe’s mother

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sheetal

Chandan Haygunde : Pune, Wed Apr 03 2013,  Indian Express
Both Sheetal Sathe and Sachin Mali used to write what they called “revolutionary songs and poetry” in Pune. The songs composed by the KKM like “Bhagat Singh tu zinda hai…” are often sung on different occassions by youths, activists and cultural groups in the city.

Family members say the duo got married through Satyashodhak vivah at the historic Mahatma Phule Wada a few years ago. While Sheetal is a postgraduate in sociology from Siddhivinayak College in Pune, Sachin got his MA from Fergusson College.

“I am happy they have surrendered. It proves their innocence,” said Sheetal’s mother Sandhya Sathe. She lives in a small hut in the Kaseadi slums of Pune. “I got phone calls as the news flashed on TV channels. I was happy to see Sheetal on TV after three years now. She has been a talented singer since her childhood. She had won awards during college days,” she said.

The mother said Sheetal left home about five years ago. “She got married to Sachin. Both had started working for KKM before marriage and wanted to do something for the backward classes,” she said.

KKM was formed by a Pune based activist Amarnath Chandaliya after the 2002 Gujarat riots. According to Chandaliya, Sheetal and Sachin along with Ramesh Gaychor, Sagar Gorkhe, Deepak alias Dhawala Dhengle joined the KKM in 2005.

The activists were lauded by prominent social activists in Pune for their performances in various colleges, slums, agitations and social functions. However, their names were included in the list of some 37 organisations prepared by the police for alleged Naxal links in 2008. The activists went into hiding after they were booked by the ATS in April 2011.