‘80,000 rights violation cases recorded every year’

August 6th, 2010 - 3:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Agartala, Aug 6 (IANS) On an average 80,000 cases of violation of human rights are recorded every year in India. Custodial deaths are also a matter of concern, senior officials and rights activists said here Friday.
“In India human rights violation is a serious matter. Usually 80,000 cases of human rights violation are being registered each year,” former director general of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Sankar Sen said.

He said: “Custodial deaths is another issue of concern. By and large 170 to 180 cases of deaths in police custody and 2,500 incidents of deaths in jail are taking place every year.”

“However, in a large number of cases of violation of human rights there was no substantial proof,” said Sen, a former Indian Police Service (IPS) officer and former director of the National Police Academy.

Sen, other former top police officials and human rights activists were speaking to reporters here after a two-day seminar-cum-orientation programme on ‘Human Rights in Counter Insurgency Operations’.

The New Delhi-based Institute of Social Sciences (ISS) and state police department have so far organised 20 such seminar-cum-orientation programmes on human rights during policing and operation of armed forces across the country.

Rights activist and former director general of Sikkim police P.S. Bawa said: “More than 80 percent recommendations of the NHRC have been accepted by the governments. Whenever, NHRC noticed any doubt of any inquiry of human rights violation, the commission immediately intervened.”

According to Bawa, the NHRC has been asking the central government to suitably amend the regulation to provide more powers to the commission and for probe (by the NHRC) those human rights violation cases involving army officials and soldiers.

“Currently the NHRC can only seek reports from the army authorities regarding violation of human rights by the army officials and soldiers and then given recommendations. The NHRC has no rights to inquire into any case of violation of human rights by the army officials and soldiers,” he added.

About the alleged misuse of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act of 1958 (AFSPA) in different parts of the country, Sen said: “Suitable amendment of the act is necessary to make the law more meaningful.”

“The centre should accept the Jeevan Reddy commission recommendation on AFSPA,” he added.

In view of the outcry against AFSPA, the central government had appointed a five-member committee headed by Supreme Court judge B.P. Jeevan Reddy a few years ago to examine the necessity of the act.

After visiting the affected states, the committee submitted its report to the government in October 2006, but its findings have not been made public.

The AFSPA gives the armed forces special powers to detain terror suspects without any prior notice in insurgency-prone areas.

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