Tag Archives: SAPAKS Samaj

MP Assembly Election: Sapaks Samaj and the NOTA factor

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Bhopal: In the just concluded General election to the Madhya Pradesh Assembly, the fate of dozens of winning candidates was decided by a difference of only a few hundred votes.

What is significant and should be noted is that when there was no wave and each vote was important, close to 5.5 lakh votes went for NOTA (None of the above) in Madhya Pradesh. To be precise, 5,42,295 of the total 3,81,38,186 votes polled in Madhya Pradesh went to NOTA.

The NOTA effect, which proved disastrous for the Bharatiya Janata Party, left its impact across a large number of constituencies due to the vigorous campaign that had been launched ahead of polling in favour of NOTA and against the SAPAKS Party that was registered by the Election Commission after notification for filing of nominations had already been issued and the party in question was leaving no stone unturned to encash the popularity and mass following of the anti-reservation SAPAKS Movement spearheaded by SAPAKS Samaj, a people’s organiation, founded and registered by senior journalist Lalit Shastri in November 2016. SAPAKS had taken the lead in demanding reservation on economic basis and not on caste lines. Especially ahead of polling for the Madhya Pradesh Assembly election, Shastri had urged voters to go for NOTA.

The photo above, a screenshot of a facebook post by Mr. Shravan Gaurav, says it all.
(The petition by Lalit Shastri was dismissed later by the High Curt on technical grounds – for more on it visit https://newsroom24x7.com/2018/11/23/high-court-dismisses-petition-challenging-the-ec-decision-to-register-a-political-party-by-the-name-of-sapaks-party/)

Madhya Pradesh was the epicentre of Bharat bandh against the Atrocities Act

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Bhopal/Lucknow/Jaipur/Patna: Poll-bound Madhya Pradesh was the epicentre of the Bharat Bandh (nation-wide strike) called by several organisations against the draconian SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act on Thursday (6 September 2018).

The impact of the Bandh was total in the central Indian State of Madhya Pradesh, where the police even lathi (cane) charged the protesters in Shahdol district. SAPAKS Samaj, an organisation of citizens belonging to the general, backward and minority communities, who are opposed to the quota system in its present form; Reservation in Promotion for SCs and STs; and the atrocities Act, has issued a statement condemning the brutal police attack that has left Shekhar Mishra, a local resident, critically injured. SAPAKS Samaj has asked the Government for a judicial inquiry into this incident and immediate suspension of the Shahdol SP Saurabh Kumar.

A Sapaks Samaj gathering in Gwalior in Jan 2017.  SAPAKS is a citizens’ body that supports to the hilt another organisation, also called SAPAKS that has been formed by State Government officers belonging to the general, backward and minority category, who are suffering due to the State government Rule for Reservation in Promotion for SCs and STs.

 

SAPAKS Samaj founder President, Lalit Shastri today said that SAPAKS is now a force to reckon with. According to Shastri, the pan Madhya Pradesh voluntary support to the Bandh call against the Atrocities Act, clearly shows that the people are now fed up of the vote bank politics of the ruling BJP and the main Opposition Congress. All other parties also never miss the opportunity when it comes to playing the Dalit card. Notwithstanding the trend so far, a third force is now getting consolidated in Madhya Pradesh and this would change the entire political narrative and bring to en end the highly polarised politics in the State. Having been caught unawares, neither the BJP managers nor those who matter in the State Congress unit are ready to acknowledge the fact that they have lost much of their ground before the coming State Assembly election. Hence, the BJP has chosen to create a smokescreen by spreading the message that the agitation against the Atrocities Act has been designed keeping the election in view and it is also being said that the Congress was behind it. The Congress on the other side is trying to regain lost ground by playing the rabidly casteist card. Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala, in a latest speech, has said that the Congress party has the Brahmin DNA, obviously to woo the so-called upper caste Brahmins.

While emphasising that the Atrocities Act and reservation in promotion should come to an end, Shastri  drew attention to  the quota system and said reservation should be on economic basis not on the basis of the outdated caste system. Even before the Constitution gets amended for this purpose, everything should be done to ensure:

  1. Overall reservation does not exceed 50% as laid down by the Supreme Court of India, and
  2. Anybody applying for a seat or job under the quota shall not be eligible for general merit seat.

On Thursday, there was widespread support to the Bandh call in MP as Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, while addressing a meeting organised by AJJAKS, an organisation of SC/ST State government officers and employees, had said when the Jabalpur High Court had declared the State Government provision for “reservation in promotion” as unconstitutional on 30 April 2016 that “Koi mai ka lal reservation samapt nahi kar sakta” (no mother’s son can abolish reservation as long as he is alive). This has left those who are suffering the brunt of reservation extremely annoyed and angry.

The Bandh in Madhya Pradesh was total between 10 am and 4 pm. During this period, even the petrol stations remained closed. What is significant is that there was no attempt to instill fear and hardly anyone was forced to pull down their shutters. When contacted by media-persons, shopkeepers and business establishment owners told them that they had chosen to support the Bandh and their establishments had been shut down voluntarily. Almost everyone belonging to the unreserved category and those from the OBC category and the minority communities has criticised the latest amendment to the Atrocities Act.

It been reported that Six policemen were injured during clashes in Uttar Pradesh during today’s Bandh. Schools, Shops and business establishments also remained closed across districts in Rajasthan during the day. In Bihar, train services were affected for some time, especially in Patna, where protesters also held a demonstration in front the of the State BJP headquarters and near the Chief Minister’s residence.

People have equated the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act with the extremely repressive Revolutionary Crimes Act of 1919, that was enacted by the British to extend for an indefinite period the emergency measures of preventive indefinite detention, incarceration without trial and judicial review enacted in the Defence of India Act 1915 during the First World War. A protest against deportation under this Act had led to the Jalianwala Bag Massacre in Amritsar in 1919.

Prevention of Atrocities Act & quota system: BJP and Congress are facing the heat in Madhya Pradesh

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Bhopal:  Ahead of the Assembly election in Madhya Pradesh, the anti-reservation movement led by SAPAKS (Samanya Pichda Alpsankhayak Kalyan Samaj) has intensified and there is also widespread anger in a large section of the people, especially among the youth, due to the amendment to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act at the initiative of the BJP led NDA Government and brazen support of political parties of all hues.

Those from the unreserved category, cutting across religious and caste lines , are already angry because of the discriminatory provision for reservation that too for the SCs and STs in the creamy layer. The Madhya Pradesh Government officers and employees have been up in arms under the banner of SAPAKS (Samanya Pichda Alpsankhyak Adhikari karmchari Sanshta) after the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had gone on the offensive following the Jabalpur High Court order on 30 April 2016 declaring the State Government provision for Reservation in Promotion for SCs and STs. At his behest, the State Government not only went in appeal to the Supreme Court against the High Court order but also did everything to delay the proceedings in this matter.

SAPAKS SAMAJ founder President Lalit Shastri wearing the popular “Hum hain Mai ke Lal” cap

After the High Court judgement against reservation in promotion, the Chief Minister was quick in declaring that the State Government was ready to pay any fees to the Supreme Court advocates engaged by the State and also the officers and employees belonging to the SC/ST category. Chouhan has continued to remain a target of strong criticism on this count and also because he went to the extent of publicly daring the citizens by saying “Koi Mai ka Lal Arakshan Samapt Nahi Kar sakta) (no mother’s true son can abolish reservation). SAPAKS members have responded to the challenge thrown by the Chief Minister by wearing caps that carry the slogan “Hum hain Mai ke Lal” ( I am the true son of my mother)

The declaration by SAPAKS that it would be fielding candidates in all the 230 Assembly constituencies in the general elections to the Madhya Pradesh Assembly and the widespread anger and resentment that has spread across the State, is causing sleepless nights for those in the ruling BJP as well as in the main Opposition Congress party that was seeing the coming State Assembly election as an opportunity to return to power after 15 years in exile.

On Sunday night (2 September 2018), at about 9.30 pm, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s Jan-Ashirwad Yatra (procession) was attacked by an angry mob at Churhat in Sidhi district.

According to reports received here, protesters started pelting stones when Chouhan’s Yatra reached Churhat. The Chief Minister’s decked up Van, also called Rath (chariot), was hit and the driver’s window was damaged.

A day earlier, also on Saturday (1 August 2018), angry protesters raised slogans during Chouhan’s vote garnering Yatra.

Union Minister Thavarchand Gehlot and senior Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia had to be escorted out by the police through the back door of the Guna Circuit House to escape the wrath of angry youth. The protesters were there to lodge protest and show their anger against the SC/ST Act.

Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar was gheraod (encircled) by slogan shouting supporters of SAPAKS in the Vidisha Circuit House on Saturday. They gave him a memorandum demanding that the draconian Prevention of Atrocities Act be withdrawn immediately.The same day in Bhind, BJP MP Bhagirath Prasad and in Morena State Minister Rustam Singh faced angry protesters who blocked their cars and raised slogans against the SC/ST Atrocities Act and the Modi Government at the Centre.

On Friday (31 August 2018), Scindia and BJP national Vice President Prabhat Jha were shown black flags in Gwalior district.

The Supreme Court had passed an order recently stating that for persons accused of committing an offence under the Prevention of Atrocities Act, approval of the Senior Superintendent of Police will be mandatory before any arrest.

In sharp contrast, the CrPC categorically defines the powers of arrest by police officers and what has been re-established in the case of complainants belonging to the SC/ST category by amending the SC/ST Atrocities Act in gross disregard of the Supreme Court order is discriminatory and strikes at the root of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution

Whereas, merely a complaint lodged by an SC or ST person can lead to arrest without investigation, a police officer  can arrest without a warrant under Sections 41, 42, 151 CrPC, only in the following conditions:

  • Who has been concerned in any cognizable offence or
  • Who has in possession, without, lawful excuse, of any house breaking weapon or
  • Who has been proclaimed as an offender either under CrPC or by order of the State Govt. or
    Who is in possession of any stolen property or
  • Who obstructs a police officer while in the execution of his duty or who has escaped, or attempts to escape, from lawful custody or
  • Who is reasonably suspected of being a deserter from any of the Armed forces of the Union or
    Who has been concerned in any law relating to extradition or
  • Who, being a released convict commits a breach of any rule made under sub-section (5) of Section 356 CrPC or
  • For whose arrest any requisition has been received from another police officer specifying the person to be arrested and the offence and other cause for which the arrest is to be made

Madhya Pradesh Assembly election 2018: SAPAKS Samaj will field candidates in all 230 constituencies; SAPAKS to collect 1 cr signatures

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Bhopal: It was formally announced at the one-day State convention of SAPAKS Samaj Society (General, Backward and Minority Welfare Society) here today (17 June 2018) that Sapaks Samaj would be fielding its candidates in all the 230 constituencies in the coming general election to the Madhya Pradesh Assembly.

This announcement was made by Hiralal Trivedi,  a retired IAS officer, inducted recently in SAPAKS Samaj as a “सरंक्षक सदस्य” (patron member)  after his retirement as State Information Commissioner.

SAPAKS Samaj Founder President and renowned journalist Lalit Shastri was present on this occasion. The session was also attended by a large number of delegates, who had come to the State capital to attend the Sapaks convention from all parts of Madhya Pradesh.

Also present as special guest was Shyam Sundar Yadav of the Lokrantrik Samajwadi Party.

It was decided at the session that if the Government goes ahead and takes any action contrary to the law, as defined by the Supreme Court, Sapaks would register stiff opposition and lodge protest.

It was pointed out by speakers – When the Jabalpur High Court has declared the Madhya Pradesh reservation in promotion Rules of 2002 as null and void and the Supreme Court has granted a stay in this matter and referred the case (2006 decision in the M Nagraj case) to a Constitution Bench, the Union Government has crossed limits by asking state governments to go ahead with promotion in reservation for the SCs and STs on the basis of a specific order of the Supreme Court which is only in context of the Government of India ministries, departments and autonomous corporations.

It was also emphasised that the State government was only dedicated to a particular class and all resources and facilities of the state were being squandered on them. The latest example of the Supreme Court verdict in the Atrocity Act case, and how the government had turned a blind eye towards those who had indulged in large-scale violence on 2 April to register protest against the Supreme Court judgement was cited as example. Even after innocent lives had been lost during the riots that followed, the officers and employees belonging to a particular category against whom there is evidence were being protected.

Due to the highly discriminatory reservartion policy and the poor standard of education, the youth was suffering due to lack of jobs and many brilliants stidents were even being forced to commit suicide, it was pointed out.

Addressing the convention as representative of Loktantrik Samajwadi party led by Raghu Thakur, the Madhya Pradesh unit President of the party Shyam Sundar Yadav, extended his party’s support to various issues being raised by Sapaks Samaj Society and said that even hsi party is ooposed to Reservation in promotion.

CLICK here for speech by founder President of SAPAKS, Lalit Shastri at the Bhopal convention on 17 July 2018

10 millions signatures against reservation

Presiding over the State level convention of Sapaks (General, Backward and Minority Officers and Employees’ Association held simultaneously at the same venue today, Sapaks (officers’association) Patron Rajeev Sharma, a serving IAS officer, announced that his organisation would be collecting 10 million signatures from people across the State against the reservation system in ts present form and these would be submitted to the President of India for action.

Sharma also announced that a huge rally would be organised by Sapaks in the State capital to drive home the point and convey to those in power and the politcal parties that only resort to vote bank politics to stay in power that the people were fed up with reservation on caste lines.

The Sapaks delegates approved a six point charter of demands including:

It was resolved on this occasion that hostel facilty for students belonging to the general category in the State capital, divisional and district headquarters just as it was being provded to the SC/ST students; same facilities for all in schools and colleges, irrespective of their class or category, and that there should be no discrimination between different categories of people when it came to providing benefits and concessions to those in the farm sector.

A separate session of Sapaks (officers and employees society), also held today was attended by Hiralal Trivedi, KL Sahu, aapaka founders Dr. K.S. Tomar, and Ajay Jain and the main defendent in the reservation in promotion case in the Supreme Court, R. B. Rai.

It was emphasised during the Sapaks convention that their fight was not restricted only to combating the injustice being perpetuated in promotions but was also linked to  the injustice and the sufferings of people at all levels. Whether it was the exploitative policy of giving employment on contract basis or discrimination against the youth and farmers. It was decided at this convention that Sapaks will continuously organize rallies at district and development block levels throughout the state to build social awareness on all these issues.