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Tuesday, 7 December 2010


PRESS NOTE

New Delhi, December 7, 2010

‘The Coalition against Exclusion and Violations caused by the Commonwealth Games’ organised a public meeting and media consultation with the communities affected by the Commonwealth Games (CWG). The coalition also released a charter of demands to Members of Parliament, Members of the Legislative Assembly, and the media.

‘The Coalition against Exclusion and Violations caused by the Commonwealth Games’ consists of a number of organisations, civil society groups, and social movements that have been working on the human rights impacts of the CWG. Although the members work in diverse areas and have opposed the Games for different reasons, they unanimously condemn the large-scale human rights violations in the city, the financial irregularities inherent in the CWG process, and the continued lack of redressal for the grievances of the poor and marginalised citizens of Delhi.

Members from affected communities spoke about a range of human rights violations that they have had to face due to the CWG. These include:
* The forced eviction and displacement of approximately 250,000 people for the Games, including in the ‘beautification’, ‘cleaning’ and ‘security’ drives in Delhi.

* The arrests, detention and forced removal of ‘beggars’ and homeless citizens from Delhi for the duration of the Games. The Bombay Prevention of Begging Act 1959 was used to arrest and detain ‘beggars’ as well as gainfully employed homeless citizens. Several people were threatened to leave Delhi and forcefully sent back to their homes.

* The violation of the rights of construction workers, most of them migrants, who were denied adequate wages and safe working and living conditions. In many instances even children were made to work at the sites.

* The eviction of domestic workers, drivers, plumbers, and other informal sector workers and labour groups.

* The trafficking of women and young girls from other states for CWG visitors and participants.

* The loss of livelihoods for over 300,000 street vendors (according to the National Association of Street Vendors of India - NASVI). Cart-pullers, vegetable sellers, waste-pickers, balloon sellers, cobblers, street-food vendors and others were prevented from working on the streets, and thus denied their right to work and livelihood. Many of them were forced into starvation since they had no money to buy food. Eateries and weekly markets were also forcibly shut down. (Estimation from various sources put the figure at a daily income loss of Rs.10,70,00,000 (10 crore and 70 lakh rupees) for the above-mentioned groups)

* The diversion of Rs. 678.91 crore for Scheduled Castes in Delhi from the Special Component Plan to cover CWG-related costs. This was in violation of the 2006 Planning Commission Guidelines.

Read more: Coalition Releases Charter of Demands of Communities Affected by The 2010 Commonwealth Games;...

From MSN news:

New Delhi, Dec 7 (PTI) A coalition of civil society groups today demanded "justice" for victims of alleged large- scale human rights violations" of rickshaw pullers, street vendors and pavement dwellers during the Commonwealth Games.

The demands include immediate compensation to construction workers who had worked at the Games venues and daily wage earners who were not allowed to do business during the time as well as rehabilitation of those evicted from their homes.

The ''Coalition against Exclusion and Violations caused by the Commonwealth Games'' by Social Equity Watch has released a community charter to counter "continued lack of redressal" of the grievances of the marginalised arising out of the preparations for the mega-event.

"Corruption is one major aspect, but alongwith corruption accountability of the government to the welfare of the people which has been violated...," Paul Divakar of National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR) said on the charter''s purpose.

The return of Rs 678.91 crore diverted from the Special Component Plan (Scheduled Caste Sub Plan) for CWG by the government by end of this year has also been demanded.

A third demand is the probe of human rights violations in inquiries being conducted into the Games by investigating agencies.

Narrating his experience during the its release, Bhuvan Das, a hawker who resided in Bengali camp, claimed families in the area were given only an hour''s notice before the demolition of the clusters began as part of preparations.

Sri Ram, who was displaced from Prabhu Market near Lodhi Road, alleged "harassment" by the police and claimed he still has not got permission to start selling his wares as a street vendor there. "Nobody''s listening to us," he claimed.

The 19th Commonwealth Games were held in the national capital from October 3 to 14.

 

Press Trust Of India
New Delhi, November 26, 2010

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The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), probing alleged financial bungling in the Commonwealth Games-related projects, has referred certain cases to the Enforcement Directorate to check whether there was violation of foreign exchange laws. Official sources said that projects like construction of Commonwealth Games Village near Akshardham temple and flyovers, hiring and procurement of medical and fitness equipment and conduct of outdoor publicity campaign by the Organising Committee may come under the ED scanner.

They said a decision to hand over cases to ED for a "logical conclusion" was taken recently during a meeting Central Vigilance Commissioner P J Thomas had with senior officials.

Sources said the Chief Technical Examination (CTE) wing of the Commission, which has scrutinised all the documents related to bidding and grant of tender worth crore of rupees to various firms, has found substantive evidence that these private companies might have routed money through illegal means and bypassing laws.

They said the Chief Vigilance Officers (CVOs) of government agencies like Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), Public Works Department (PWD) and Delhi Development Authority (DDA) have been specifically directed to pursue all matters related to violation of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) with the ED.

A CVC team has seized documents from the Games OC office here to avoid any tampering of evidence. "There has been some cases where the Commission has noticed alleged violations of forex laws.

We will be giving those cases to ED for interrogation and report,"a CVC official said requesting anonymity. Sources in the anti-corruption watchdog said that the officials working in its "special cell" - exclusively made to deal with cases of Games corruption - will meet ED officials early next month in this regard.

Press Trust Of India / New Delhi/ Chandigarh November 19, 2010, 0:42 IST
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The ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in Punjab today said it will launch a ‘mass awareness campaign’ to mobilise people against what the party termed as unprecedented scams involving the bigwigs of the Congress-led UPA at the Centre.

A resolution to this effect was passed at the party’s Core Committee meeting here, a SAD spokesman said here today.

Describing the 2-G spectrum scam allegedly involving the UPA big shots as “mother of all scams” the committee said its magnitude along with that of Commonwealth Games and Adarsh Housing Society scandals had shocked the world and lowered the country’s image abroad.


The movement would also aim to educate masses on the conspiracy of the rich corporate world to defame the pro-poor and social welfare policies of the Punjab government in order to perpetuate their exploitation of the poor, the spokesman said.

The Core Committee lashed out at the opponents of pro-poor policies of the Punjab government, especially those aimed at providing help and relief to the deprived sections of society through the desperately needed subsidies.

“Those opposing the subsidies are backed by the rich tycoons of the corporate world who wanted to exploit the poor masses and swell their coffers through unethical means. The party is proud of the SAD-BJP government’s clear and firm stance on subsidies,” said the resolution.

A resolution passed at two-and-half-hour meeting of the Core Committee declared that the party would “fully expose the Centre resorting to hypocritical means to confuse the people on the issue of debt-waiver to Punjab.”

“The Centre is still refusing to categorically state whether an offer to waive Rs 35000 crore out of the total debt was ever made to Punjab but was instead resorting diversionary replies,” the resolution said.

The committee fully endorsed the continuance of subsidies being given by the Punjab government to farmers, pensioners, dalits and other poor and deprived segments of society in rural and urban areas.

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