Jharkhand starvation case: Girl’s family ‘heckled out of village’, now back home

Sub-Divisional Police Officer (Simdega) A K Singh, however, said there were no signs of vandalism at Koyli Devi’s house in Karimati.

By: Express News Service | Ranchi | Published: October 22, 2017 5:52 am
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The family members of Santoshi Kumari, the 11-year-old girl who died allegedly due to lack of ration in Jharkhand’s Simdega district on September 28, were allegedly harassed and heckled by villagers in Karimati village on Friday night for “bringing them a bad name”.

On Saturday morning, Koyli Devi, Santoshi’s mother, and her four daughters was found in a house a few kilometers from their home in Karimati, but officials of the district administration swung into action and brought her back home.

Officials said they would register an FIR if she lodged a formal complaint. Activist Tara Mani Sahu, who has been leading the cause for the family, said, “I was in Ranchi, when I got to know this morning that Koyli Devi and her daughters vhad come to my home (in nearby Patiamba). I was told that their house in Karimati village had been ransacked and their belongings thrown in a pit (that had been dug for the construction of a toilet) outside her house. I then asked them to get their statement recorded and have it sent. In the statement, Koyli said villagers had heckled them last evening. I then informed the administration.”

Sub-Divisional Police Officer (Simdega) A K Singh, however, said there were no signs of vandalism at Koyli Devi’s house in Karimati. “We have got her to come back to the house and given her security. If she gives a written complaint, we will register an FIR. She has said that villagers were angry with her for bringing them a bad name’ to themhe said.

Sahu alleged that PDS dealer Bhola Sahu, whose licence has been suspended for allegedly denying ration to Koyli Devi and her family because her Aadhaar was not linked with her ration card, had instigated people in the village to threaten the family.

PDS dealer Bhola, however, denied his role in threatening the family. “Why do I need to go that village? Though my licence has been suspended, I know I have not done anything wrong. There was no way I could have given her ration because there was no Aadhaar link. But it is also a fact that I have always given the family whatever I could because I knew that they were poor. But every time I would remind the family that they needed to get their Aadhaar card linked, they would promise to do it the following month. It never happened. There was a limit to which I could have helped,” he said.

Simdega Deputy Commissioner Manjunath Bhajantri said there were “extreme contradictions” in Koyli Devi’s statement. “While she is claiming to have been harassed, the villagers have expressed complete surprise. We are still investigating. We are also keeping an eye on people spreading rumours and action will be taken if we find that fake information is being spread on social media.”

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  1. R
    Reader
    Oct 29, 2017 at 9:56 am
    The Supreme Court is yet to take a decision on the validity of Aadhaar and whether the State can compulsorily link Aadhaar to various programs and all financial transactions. The Supreme Court is set to hear peti-tions related to Aadhaar including those for scrapping the Aadhaar Act, stopping biometric profiling, halting bank and mobile databases seeding with Aadhaar, etc. in November 2017.
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    1. R
      Reader
      Oct 29, 2017 at 9:56 am
      A centralized and inter-linked biometric database like Aadhaar will lead to profiling and self-censorship, endangering freedom. Personal data gathered under the Aadhaar program is prone to misuse and surveillance. Aadhaar project has created a vulnerability to identi-ty fraud, even identi-ty theft. Easy harvesting of biometrics traits and publicly-available Aadhaar numbers increase the risk of impersonation, especially online and banking fraud. Centralized databases can be hacked. Biometrics can be cloned, copied and reused. Thus, BIOMETRICS CAN BE FAKED. High-resolution cameras can capture your fingerprints and iris information from a distance. Every eye hospital will have iris images of its patients. So another person can clone your fingerprints and iris images without your knowledge, and the same can be used for authentication. If the Aadhaar scheme is NOT STOPPED by the Supreme Court, the biometric features of Indians will soon be cloned, misused, and even traded.
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      1. R
        Reader
        Oct 29, 2017 at 9:55 am
        UK’s Biometric ID Database was dismantled. Why the United Kingdom's biometrics-linked National Identi-ty Card project to create a centralized register of sensitive information about residents similar to Aadhaar was scrapped in 2010?? The reasons were the massive threat posed to the privacy of people, the possibility of a surveillance state, the dangers of maintaining such a huge centralized repository of personal information, the purposes it could be used for, the dangers of such a centralized database being hacked, and the unreliability of such large-scale biometric verification processes. The Aadhaar program was designed in 2009 by mainly considering the 'Identi-ty Cards Act 2006' of UK, but the UK stopped that project in 2010, whereas India continued the biometrics-based program. We must think why the United Kingdom abandoned their project and destroyed the data collected. (Google: Identi-ty Cards Act 2006 and Identi-ty Documents Act 2010 )
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        1. R
          Reader
          Oct 29, 2017 at 9:54 am
          The US Social Security Number (SSN) card has NO BIOMETRIC DETAILS, no photograph, no physical description and no birth date. All it does is confirm that a particular number has been issued to a particular name. Instead, a driving license or state ID card is used as an identification for adults. The US government DOES NOT collect the biometric details of its own citizens for the purpose of issuing Social Security Number. The US collects the fingerprints of only those citizens who are involved in any criminal activity (it has nothing to do with SSN), and the citizens of other countries who come to the US.
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