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How Making Aadhaar Compulsory Violates Our Fundamental Rights

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Lately, there has been an active discussion about the implementation of Aadhaar card on various levels. Be it the welfare generating government schemes or simply applying for renewal of a passport, the centre is trying its best to make the Aadhaar card mandatory rather than voluntary.

Why use this sneaky tactic when we already have an ID system in place?

In the month of March, under the money bill, an amendment was made that mandated the declaration of the Aadhaar number while filing your income tax returns on or after July 1, 2017. For those who fail to do so, the government will have full right to cancel their permanent account number.

This raises a pertinent issue of privacy laws that our Constitution is supposed to provide us with, but to our surprise, there is nothing of such nature that exists. Therefore, we are already are in the middle of a crisis wherein being under the government’s mass surveillance has left us with literally nowhere to go.

When the highest of the country’s institutional bodies – which is responsible for framing laws to provide justice, which claims to be representative of the people of the country – willfully ignores their grievances and their pleas, it seems that its accountability has withered. They need to remain accountable to the people of this nation and also their own conscience.

Image Credit: Arun Sharma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images


Being part of this gigantically diverse country of billions, when the Centre makes such a decision regarding Aadhaar, it truly exemplifies a generalised laid back attitude and a lack of proper sense of responsibility. Perhaps this has something to do with this generation experiencing digitalisation and social media which might make them care less? There is a lot of buzz on social platforms with the youth raising concern regarding this case of utter bigotry shown by the centre in the form of the ordinance of Aadhaar card.

But the major setback would be to those children who will be denied midday meals for not having attained Aadhaar cards after June 30, 2017,  in UP, followed by other states in the country. The government of this country, the parliament and the judiciary, remain tight-lipped. The privileged classes sit in their air conditioned rooms with all the luxuries in life. Meanwhile, we continue to have 31% of the world’s poor kids. On top of it, we are making sure that the government beneficiary schemes existing in this country become futile.

The central government is not only violating the mid-day meal scheme but 11 other schemes along with it. This includes the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan and the Right to Education Act. Education should be a fundamental right of every child from 6-14 years of age. The party that had opposed the very idea of the 12-digit unique identification number has completely taken a u-turn in its stand after coming into the power.

This suggests an agenda of exclusion and coercion, in a possible attempt to make the government schemes that are supposed to be free from any conditioning – and whose sole purpose is to benefit citizens who are in dire need of it – useless.

The most vulnerable of the country continue to remain agonised till date. This draconian amendment by the centre to make Aadhaar compulsory throughout the country show a lack of concern for its weaker classes.

There have been major goof ups. The data of millions of citizens have been leaked online accidentally and made available for possible hackers to extract data from and use it to indulge in criminal activities. A recent such mishap was in Jharkhand, where 1.4 million pensioners had their bank accounts linked to their Aadhaar numbers. Their personal details are now freely available.

The surveillance of the masses and without taking their consent and our lack of seriousness in fighting for our basic privacy rights – which do not exist in the first place – is melancholic.

A fine line of clarity needs to be drawn via stringent laws that define the terms of government intervention into the usage of data that belongs to the citizens of this country.

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Kathua rape, murder case: Clashes continue in Kashmir

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Security forces on Saturday burst teargas shells to disperse the demonstrators, including students, at some places in Kashmir valley, protesting against rape and brutal murder of an eight-year-old girl at Kathua in Jammu.

Scores of youth hit the streets at main town Sopore in north Kashmir district of Baramulla, demanding death penalty for culprits in Kathua case.

However, when the youth tried to take out a protest march, security forces deployed in the area stopped them from moving ahead.
As the demonstrators didn’t back down, security forces burst teargas shells to disperse the protestors, who pelted stones.

Meanwhile, clashes erupted between security forces and students, who took to streets at Chadoora in central Kashmir district of Budgam and protested against the Kathua incident.

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Kathua Factories ‘Linked’ to Ex-Minister Lal Singh Raided | Crores of Rupees was Seized.

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“Our teams raided one factory in Kathua and two in Samba districts today,” inspector general of police Jammu zone SD Singh Jamwal told Greater Kashmir.

Three factories in which ousted BJP minister Lal Singh is believed to own a share were raided by the police on Friday and acacia catechu (kattha) worth crores of rupees was seized.

“Our teams raided one factory in Kathua and two in Samba districts today,” inspector general of police Jammu zone SD Singh Jamwal told Greater Kashmir.

Sources said that the raids came after major reshuffle in the Forest department carried out by Deputy Chief Minister, Dr Nirmal Singh, who took over charge of the department from Choudhary Lal Singh.

The former Forest Minister was compelled to resign by his party high command alongwith Industries Minister Chander Prakash Ganga following their controversial remarks in Kootah’s Hindu Ekta Manch Rally against Crime Branch probe in the brutal rape and murder case at Rasana.

Sources said that the Forest Vigilance team along with Police jointly conducted raids at J K Integrated Park in Kathua (close aide of Choudhary Lal Singh) and another factory of Katha wood in Kathua.

The raids were carried out on the Katha wood factory, where medicines are extracted. The State government has banned the export of wood out of the State, while a mafia runs the trade illegally.

Sources said that the former minister “was using his influence and most of the contractors were his close aides and the factories, which were given licenses, were run by close relatives of former Forest Minister”.
During the raids, sources told Rising Kashmir, records were checked, and seized by the Forest Department officials, and it was also learnt that large quantity of raw material was seized from the spot.
“Illegal registration has been given to some factories which processed the Khair wood more than the approved capacity,” said the sources citing the complaint.

Initially there were only three units of Khair wood— JK Katha, Guru Nanak, and BK Katha (Govt contractor) at Gangyal— but now the number was much higher. The case against Lal Singh was based on the fact that he instead of renewing the licenses had given the permissions to his kith and kin to start the work of extraction.

The involvement of former Minister started after 1994, sources said, as another unit was established with the name MS Industry and it was opposed by all three previous units who lodged a complaint with the Vigilance and later the matter went to the court.
Sources said that the court gave a ruling and directed the Government to form new policy and issue fresh licenses on the bases of raw material availability without hurting ecology or environment.

Sources told Rising Kashmir that the court directions were violated and the licenses to four units were not renewed by the Forest Department by Lal Singh. The licenses were also issued in violation of rules.

Meanwhile sources said that the BJP high command is unhappy with the former Forest Minister who is openly conducting rallies in support of a CBI inquiry in the Kathua case.
Sources told Rising Kashmir that the rallies by a senior BJP leader has put the alliance partner in a tight spot as these actions by Singh are being viewed as an “open revolt” after he was forced to resign over his participation in a pro-rape rally in Hiranagar last month.

“His campaign was seen as revolt in BJP by many and, he took out a march from Jammu City to Kathua and in Udhampur where some of his supporters shouted slogans against the Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh,” sources said.
Lal Singh, sources said, is considered to be the close aide of Jatinder Singh, who is Minister of State in PMO. On Thursday, brother of Lal Singh held a press conference in Kathua and demanded that Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh should step down.

Rajinder Singh Babbi demanded that Jitendar Singh should be made Deputy Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir.
Sources said that the BJP high command was unhappy with the activities of Lal Singh after he lost portfolio in the Government and started taking out protest rallies demanding CBI probe in Rasana case. His stand has put the government in trouble as people in Kathua and Samba, and Bar Associations are openly demanding CBI probe.
Sources said that Lal Singh “will not be taken back in the cabinet of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti due to his rallies against the Government.”

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Asiya Andrabi, associates arrested in Anantnag in south Kashmir

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Jammu and Kashmir Police has arrested the Dukhtaran-e-Millat (DeM) chief Asiya Andrabi along with her associates from Anantnag district late last night.

An official said that Andrabi and her associates were arrested from Anchidora area of the district for their alleged role in female student protests and subsequent stone-pelting on the forces.

Many other youth were also rounded up by the police during nocturnal raids in Anantnag town.

Asiya was detained at 10.00 pm yesterday after which raids followed, said the official, wishing anonymity.

Those arrested include Tehreek-e-Hurriyat tehsil Saddar Anantnag Aashiq Hussain.

Massive student protests against Kathua incident erupted earlier this week in south Kashmir, especially Anantnag town, where protesters clashed with the forces, leaving dozens of them injured.

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