All India Progressive Women’s Association (AIPWA) organised a ‘Mahila Adalat’ (women’s court) on 2nd October at Patna on the issue of increasing oppression and sexual violence against women. Thousands of women from villages and panchayats participated in this Adalat.
The Adalat was inaugurated by AIPWA General Secretary Meena Tiwari. A chargesheet against the Government was presented by AIPWA’s Bihar Secretary Shashi Yadav, and the Adalat was conducted by Bihar AIPWA President Saroj Chaubey.
Women survivors of sexual assaults and police repression, their family members, and AIPWA activists including Pratima Kumari from Siwan, Usha Devi from Darbhanga, Anita Sinha, AIPWA leader from Patna town, Madhuri Gupta, Patna rural, Sadhana Suman, AIPWA leader from Vaishali, and AISA leader Rinki Raj from Bhagalpur gave testimonies.
A jury comprising AIPWA National Secretary Kavita Krishnan, former JNUSU President Sucheta De, Prof. Bharti S Kumar, Meera Dutta, and advocate Anjana Bhagat delivered a verdict held the Bihar Government criminally responsible for encouraging violence on women and protecting the perpetrators. Apart from the jury members, women leaders of Left parties in Bihar also spoke.
On the same evening, the delegate session of AIPWA’s 6th State Conference began at Anjuman Islamia Hall. Jamila Bano from Arwal hoisted the AZIPWA flag. The Conference underlined important tasks for AIPWA in the coming days- challenges and tasks in building an extensive women’s movement and spreading AIPWA in every district. 275 delegates from 26 districts of Bihar attended the Conference. 91-member State Council and 23-member State Executive were elected, with Comrades Saroj Choubey and Shashi Yadav as President and Secretary respectively. At the conference, many delegates rendered songs on the women’s movement that they themselves had composed.
The Conference called for mobilising huge number of women in the ‘Parivartan Rally’ to be held on 9 November 2012 at Patna. Several resolutions were passed by the Conference.