South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

Guess which state of India fares the worst when it comes to human rights violations? Well, the dubious distinction goes to Uttar Pradesh. But Delhi’s record is not shining either. The national Capital occupies the second place, though the gap between the two states is pretty wide.

This has come to light from the Action Taken Report (ATR) of the Union Home Ministry (MHA) on the National Human Rights Commission’s (NHRC) report for the year 2009-2010.

The report, submitted by the ministry to the Lok Sabha on Tuesday, has slammed the UP government on rights violation.

The largest number of cases were registered from the state, paragraph 7 of the document says.

“Out of the total number of complaints registered by the Commission, UP accounted for 51,270 cases or 62 per cent, followed by Delhi with 5,288 cases or 6 per cent complaints while Haryana came third with 2,921 cases or 3.5 per cent of the total complaints,” it reads.

Overall, though, the number of cases declined from 90,946 in 2007- 08 to 82,021 in 2009- 10. Of the 82,021 complaints, 80,260 were of rights violations, 1,599 related to custodial deaths and 2 of custodial rapes while 111 cases were of encounters.

The report says 104 encounters were done by the police and seven by the defence forces. It also gives a breakdown of custodial deaths and says that 124 deaths took place in police custody and 1,473 in judicial custody. Most of the deaths in judicial custody, however, took place because of prolonged illness, old age and other incapacitating factors.

The ATR also lambasts the state human rights commissions (SHRC) for failing to do their job properly. It states: “…The establishment of SHRC so far has not brought about any significant reduction in the number of complaints received by the NHRC, as more than 85 per cent of the complaints received were from the states having their own human rights commission.” That, it says, ” is a matter of concern and this ministry has forwarded a copy of above observations to all states and UTs for appropriate action”.

But what is striking is that the ATR has mentioned the Dantewada incident ( para 19) in which 70 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were killed by the Maoists. It says the state cannot be permitted to be selective in its approach or go overboard and declare war on civil liberties. However, it observes that the Commission accords importance to the protection of the human rights of all the citizens of the country. In the context of Dantewada, the report says,”It needs no emphasis that the aggrieved families would be suitably compensated.” The ATR observes that there is an overall trend of decline in overcrowding of the prisons.

It says Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa and Pondicherry have done well on this front.

Source: India Today – 22/08/2012 (