NHRC pulls up Assam over witch hunting, custodial deaths

May 28th, 2012 - 10:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Guwahati, May 28 (IANS) The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Monday pulled up the Assam government for the delay in dispensing justice to victims of human rights violations in the state.

The NHRC, which held a sitting in Guwahati Monday to hear pending cases of human rights violations in Assam, fixed eight weeks time for the government to comply with the order and send a compliance report to the commission.

“The NHRC heard 50 pending cases of human rights violations in the state and recommended about Rs.18 lakh as monetary relief to the victims in different cases,” said NHRC Information and Public Relations Officer J.K. Srivastava.

The NHRC asked the Assam government to identify the child victims of communal riots in upper Assam districts without any further delay and give financial assistance to them.

The commission also heard encounter and in-custody death cases in Assam and asked the police authorities to scrupulously adhere to its guidelines and submit all the reports to the commission in time for early disposal of such cases.

“The NHRC took up the cases of witch hunting with the government and the state authorities admitted that this practice is prevalent in backward places of the state,” Srivastava said, adding that the commission was informed that about 88 women and over 40 men had become victims of such incidents in the past few years.

“The commission has asked the state authorities to create awareness among people and for fast investigation and speedy trials in incidents of witch-hunting,” Srivastava informed.

The commission has also taken up the cases of forced prostitution and asked the state government to inquire into such incidents and take action against the guilty. “Taking up the cases of force prostitution of three women in Cachar district, the commission has asked the state government to pay Rs.1 lakh each to the three victims,” he said.

In another matter relating to starvation deaths in Cachar district, the commission has asked the state government to pay Rs.1 lakh each to about 13 dependents of tea garden workers who died due to starvation,” Srivastava said adding that the NHRC had also directed the government to inquire if the Tea Associations were distributing food grains properly among the workers.

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