Facilities for foreign nationals detained at Lampur Seva Sadan, Delhi (CASE NO:693/30/97-98)
Harassment of denotified and nomadic tribals belonging to the Pardhis community in Bighwan Village, Pune, Maharashtra (CASE NO:512/13/98-99)
Atrocities inflicted on a family in Maharashtra (CASE NO:1361/94-95/NHRC)
Death of workers in silicon factories of Madhya Pradesh (CASE NO:7894/96-97/NHRC)
Rehabilitation of physically handicapped, Madhya Pradesh (CASE NO:1528/96-97/NHRC)
Violation of human rights of members of Reang community of Mizoram (CASE NO:40/16/97-98)
Atrocities on Dalit Women by Forest Officials, U.P.(CASE NO:2731/96-97/NHRC)
Seven Boys from Balmiki Community paraded naked by police, Haryana (CASE NO:393/7/1999-2000)
Killing of 7 Dalits by Upper Castes, Karnataka (CASE NO:628/10/1999-2000)
While considering the petition concerning the possible deportation of Shri Rongthong Kuenley Dorji, it came to the notice of the Commission that he had been detained at Lampur Seva Sadan, an institution for rehabilitation of beggars, administered by the Social Welfare Department of Government of NCT of Delhi. On 24 May 1999, the Commission directed the Director General (Investigation) [DG(I)] of the Commission to visit Lampur Seva Sadan to make an assessment of the conditions prevailing therein. After his visit to Lampur Seva Sadan, DG(I) submitted his report in which he stated that the foreigners were confined to a few barracks in one segregated corner of the campus, with a compound wall and a gate. Security was being provided by a section of the Rajasthan Armed Constabulary.
After considering the report, the Commission recommended that separate enclosures be created for foreign nationals and that the Government of NCT of Delhi undertake immediate repairs and to take the following steps to improve the arrangements:
(i) Replace the asbestos sheets roofing with roofing made up of some other material that would not be harmful to inmates.
(ii) Post adequate number of conservancy staff immediately for the cleanliness of the area and for the maintenance of the toilets/bathrooms.
(iii) Make separate cooking arrangements for the foreigners instead of supplying them food from the beggars home as that might hurt their sentiments and sense of dignity.
(iv) Consider provision of separate STD/ISD booths for use of the foreign detenues.
(v) Establish MI Room where a doctor and the para-medical staff are available round the clock for medical cover.
(vi) Issue proper instructions to ensure regular visits by senior officers to this detention centre.
The Commission also directed the Principal Home Secretary, Secretary and Director, Social Welfare Department and the FRRO of the Delhi Administration to visit the Lampur Seva Sadan and work out a proper strategy for bringing about ameliorative changes not only for the foreign detenues but also for the institutions for beggars located in the campus. The Commission has received a compliance report.
Shri G.N. Devy, Secretary, Denotified & Nomadic Tribals Rights Action Group, Baroda, Gujarat submitted a complaint to the Commission alleging atrocities on the Pardhis community, a denotified community of tribals living in the backwaters on the banks of the Ujni Dam, Bigwan village, Taluk Indiapur, Pune, Maharashtra by persons in plain clothes serving in the Railway Police on 12 July 1998. It was further alleged that their houses, fishing nets, boats and other materials were burnt. The police had also beaten up the women of the community, including pregnant women and had attempted rape on two teenaged girls.
On consideration of the reports of the Investigation Team of the Commission and the Superintendent of Police, Railways, Pune the Commission found that the police report, sent by the S.P. Railways, Pune also corroborated the report of the Commissions Investigation Team which conclusively established that the Police Anti-Dacoity Team had tortured four innocent women and molested two young women in their zeal to nab male Pardhis who were alleged to have been involved in committing crimes of theft, dacoity, etc. The evidence also established that several huts belonging to the tribals and their fishing nets were destroyed. The Investigation Team had estimated damage amounting to Rs.10,000/- in respect of each family. In addition, innocent women suffered trauma and torture. The highhandedness and misconduct of the police officials was unbecoming of their profession. Two young women, one of them a teenager, were molested by the police. The evidence on record indicated that, in their zeal to nab certain criminals alleged of belonging to the denotified Pardhi tribe, the police had behaved in a shocking and brutal manner.
In view of the facts and circumstances, the Commission recommended: of the four women victims, namely, Smt. Shalan Pratap Kale, Smt. Manda Latif, Kum. Jyoti and Smt. Alka Chandrasal Kale, the first three be paid Rs.1 lakh each and Smt. Alka Chandrasal Kale, Rs.1,50,000/- as immediate interim relief; a sum of Rs.10,000/- may be paid to each of the families of the Pardhis who were staying on the bank of Ujni Dam, near the backwaters, whose huts, utensils and fishing nets were destroyed, as compensation by way of immediate interim relief; in case a charge-sheet had not yet been filed in the court against the erring police personnel, the case may be entrusted to the State CID and a charge-sheet be filed thereafter against all the culprits in the appropriate court; (d) disciplinary action may be initiated against the erring police personnel. The State Government has sent a compliance report with regard to the payment of compensation
Shri A.R. Antulay, Member of Parliament (MP) filed a petition dated 12 September 1994 before the Commission highlighting the case of the Haspatel family of village Walwati, Shrivardhan Taluk, Raigad District, Maharashtra, who were allegedly subjected to serious atrocities by the police during the communal riots that took place in Maharashtra in December 1992 - January 1993. The complainant stated that the act of the police against an innocent family had the distinct tinge of communal bias.
On consideration of the matter, the Commission noted from the report of the State Government that departmental action had been ordered against the police officials involved in the matter. The Commission accordingly recommended that, keeping in view the nature of findings in the departmental proceedings, appropriate prosecution should be launched in respect of all or such of the persons who were found responsible for the conduct which had been indicted in the Government order.
The matter was again considered again by the Commission on 17 January 2000. The Commission observed that from the conclusions reached and the findings recorded by the State CID, it was evident that Shri Iqbal Ismail Haspatel, his wife, three sons and a daughter-in-law, i.e. in all six members of that family, were not only humiliated and harassed but also unlawfully tortured. Some of them were subjected to illegal arrest. All of these persons were subjected to several indignities wholly inconsistent with norms of decency. It was also noted that allegations had been made to the effect that valuable property estimated at Rs.1.87 lakh, owned by the victims of the incident, had also been taken away or destroyed by the police officials; this required further verification. The Commission directed the Government of Maharashtra to pay an amount of Rs.5 lakhs as compensation by way of immediate interim relief to Shri Ismail and his family members. The Government of Maharashtra has complied with the Commissions recommendations on the payment of compensation of Rs. 5 lakhs to the victims.
A news-item appeared in the "Sunday Observer" in September 1996 captioned "Death in the Air". The Commission took suo motu cognizance of the news item and called for a report from the Government of Madhya Pradesh. The report indicated that there were 134 slate factories which were set up in Mandsaur District of Madhya Pradesh. The health of the majority of the workers employed in these factories was affected due to inhalation of silicon dust. The Government had taken steps to provide medical facilities and ensure that all these workers were covered under the Employees State Insurance (ESI) scheme. There was a mobile van in operation to provide medical facilities to the workers. They were even provided with pensions on the declaration that the worker was affected by the disease, which was an occupational hazard. The district administration had advised owners of these factories to instal BHEL machinery to minimise dust particles. However, many of the owners of these factories were unable to meet the cost of the sophisticated machinery, this resulted in the spread of silicosis dust and affected the workers health. The Labour Inspectors were visiting the factories and prosecuting those who were not applying the minimum standards laid down for prevention of this pollution.
Having regard to the provisions of the Indian Constitution as well as to the International Human Rights instruments with regard to the right to life. the Commission gave the following directions to the State for compliance in future:-
1. To ensure the establishing of BHEL machinery in the factories to prevent dust pollution and to ensure that pollution free air is provided to workers.
2. Periodic inspection, on a monthly basis, by the Labour Department and reports made to the State Human Rights Commission for monitoring.
3. Widows and children of deceased workers to be taken care of by the factory owner by providing assistance.
4. To ensure that child labour is prevented by the following methods:
(a) Establishing schools at the cost of factory owners, with assistance from the State for the education of workers children.
(b) The provision of periodic payments for their education and insurance coverage at the cost of factory owners.
(c) The position of mid-day meals and clothing to dependent children or children of deceased workers.
In examining this matter, the Commission observed that the Right to Health and Medical Care is a fundamental right under Article 21, read with Articles 39(e), 41 and 43 of the Constitution. The Right to Life includes protection of the health and strength of workers and is a minimum requirement to enable a person to live with human dignity. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as other International Instruments also speak of this right. Continuous exposure to the corroding effect of silicon dust can result in the silent killing of those who work in such an environment. The duty of the State, under the Directive Principles of the Constitution, is to ensure the protection of the health of workers employed in such Slate factories in Mandsaur and elsewhere in the State.
Shri Bihari Lal Thevait, a resident of District Bilaspur, Madhya Pradesh sent a petition to the Commission wherein he said that he was a 26-year old man whose lower limbs had not been affected by polio. He also suffered from a cardiac problem. He had approached the District Collector for assistance and employment. Although the District Collector arranged for his operation at a private hospital, free of cost, the operation was not successful and even after four to five years he was not cured. He alleged that the operation was suggested instead of providing him with a tricycle. The then District Collector also provided him with assistance at the rate of Rs.2,000/- per month and this continued until such time as that Collector was in office. The Collector also passed an order for his appointment as an Assistant Teacher. However, this did not materialise. He, therefore, sought compensation of Rupees Fifty lakhs for violation of his fundamental rights, treatment of his heart ailment, management of his disability and employment as an Assistant Teacher.
Though the Commission does not normally take action on petitions which relate essential to service matters, the Commission in this case issued a notice to the Collector and called for a report as the petitioner was a disabled person. The Collector responded saying that the complainant was affected by polio when he was one-and-a-half years old and that both his feet were deformed. The opinion of Orthopaedic Doctors was sought, and they had certified that the complainant would have to move on hands and knees, in a crawling position, unless he was operated upon. Accordingly, he was operated upon in 1988 and his limb deformity was corrected to a large extent. In five months time, he was fitted with calipers and a walking frame to help him stand erect. The Collector also stated that the complainant was entitled to be considered for a job under the quota for persons with disabilities. According to the Collector, the complainant had tried to obtain a certificate of complete recovery to enable him to get the job of an Assistant Teacher. He was advised to obtain a disability certificate from the competent authority. The petitioner apparently made the complaint as he was aggrieved by this advice. The report of the Collector was sent to the complainant for his comments. However, the petitioner stood by his complaint and stated that the operation, which was performed, was not successful and his defect was not cured even after four years. The complainant claimed Rupees Twenty lakhs as compensation for mental and physical torture he had undergone and Rupees Thirty lakhs for protection of his rights and for his living.
The Commission considered the matter carefully and expressed appreciation of the action taken by the District Collector. The question whether the condition of the petitioner worsened after the operation, as claimed by him, was not probed further. However, the Commission felt that the State Government, in a Welfare State, should help alleviate the suffering of such disabled persons. Accordingly, the following recommendations were made by the Commission to the State of Madhya Pradesh:
(a) To grant ex-gratia monetary relief to the tune of Rupees One lakh to the petitioner, either from the fund established by the State Government for the welfare of the handicapped persons, or from the Chief Ministers Relief Fund.
(b) To offer a job to the petitioner commensurate with his academic qualifications and physical ability, in accordance with the provisions of Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995, or on compassionate grounds.
The State Government has intimated the Commission that it has paid a sum of Rs. 1 lakh as compensation to the petitioner
The President, Akhil Bharatiya Vanwasi Kalyan Samiti and seven other such like-minded persons submitted petitions to the Commission wherein they alleged that since September-October 1997, the Reang community members had been living in an atmosphere of terror created by the Mizos, with the tacit support of the local administration and police. As a result of this, over 30,000 Reangs left Mizoram for Tripura. There were apparently several incidents of killing, rape, abduction and burning of houses by the Mizos. The condition in the refugee camps established by the Government of Tripura was also not satisfactory. The petitioners requested intervention by the Commission.
The Commission called for reports from Governments of Mizoram, Tripura and Assam. The Government of Tripura in their report stated that although the influx of Reangs started with about 10,000 people in October 1997, the number had gone up to 30,000. The Government of Tripura was finding it difficult to bear the burden though they were financially helped by the Government of India. They mentioned that efforts made to persuade the refugees to return to Mizoram had failed.
The Government of Assam in their reply stated that some families had gone into the Karimganj and Balkandi districts of Assam and were living there in forest villages, earning their living by labour on daily wage basis. No refugee camps had been set up. However, medical aid was being provided.
The Government of Mizoram in their reply stated that the administration was making efforts to take action against the local Mizos who had indulged in burning of houses of some Reang families. It was the demand of the Group National Union of the Reangs for an autonomous district council and the murder of a Mizo forest guard by suspected Bru-Reangs militants, which led to violence between the two communities. Some arrests had been made in this regard. The refugees had been requested by the Home Minister of Mizoram to return and they were also given Rs.2,000/- for reconstruction of their houses and a weeks ration. However, some of the Reangs received the amount and again went back to the refugee camp in Tripura. The Ministry of Home Affairs also confirmed this position and stated that the matter was being closely monitored.
Shri Sudarshan Agarwal, Member, NHRC and Shri R.C. Jain, Registrar General visited the spot to make an assessment of the situation. The Special Rapporteur Shri Chaman Lal was also deputed to meet the Reang refugees and make a report on their problems. According to his report there were certain inadequacies in the arrangements made at the refugee camps. The Special Rapporteur made certain recommendations to improve the situation. Shri Agarwal, Member, NHRC held a meeting with Chief Secretary, Tripura and other concerned officers who were requested to implement the recommendations of Shri Chaman Lal on a time bound basis. The Member, NHRC also held separate meetings with the petitioners who emphasised the urgency for settlement of the issue since they had serious apprehensions about their security in Mizoram. The Member, NHRC subsequently held meetings with Chief Secretaries of three States and the Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs. It was made clear to the Government of Mizoram that there is a specific provision in the Mizoram Accord regarding the protection of rights and privileges of minorities of their economic and social development by the Government of Mizoram. The Ministry of Home Affairs assured Government of Mizoram that para-military forces in adequate strength would be provided to the Government for ensuring safety and security of the repatriated families. The Government of Mizoram was reminded of their constitutional obligations to take back the refugees and ensure their peaceful settlement in the villages.
The Commission, taking into consideration the reports from Member, NHRC and Special Rapporteur made the following recommendations:
(i) The Reangs are lawful inhabitants of Mizoram and the Government of Mizoram should not only take them back in accordance with the agreement made in November 1997, but should also instill in them a sense of confidence and security.
(ii) The Government of India should play an active role to arrange repatriation of the Reangs to Mizoram and should also give special attention to the safety and security of the Reangs on their return to Mizoram.
(iii) The Ministry of Home Affairs and the State Governments of Mizoram and Tripura shall keep the Commission informed of the progress made at regular intervals.
The Commission has received reports from the Governments of Tripura, Mizoram and the Government of India with regard to the action taken on its recommendations.
The Commission took suo-motu cognizance of a news item entitled "Girls paraded naked by the Daroga" on the basis of a report in a newspaper on 21 June 1996 and called for a report from the Director General of Police, Uttar Pradesh.
In his report, the Director General of Police, Uttar Pradesh mentioned that a case No.49/96 under the relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 had been registered against the concerned Forest Officer and four Forest Guards. Upon preliminary investigation, the charges had been proved against all the five accused persons and the State Government had been requested to sanction the prosecution of these persons.
Upon considering the above report, the Commission directed the State Government to grant sanction for the prosecution of the errant officials expeditiously.
In response, Shri Bhagwan Shankar, Special Secretary, Government of Uttar Pradesh informed the Commission that a chargesheet dated 16 July 1998 had been filed in court by the Investigation Officer, Naraini, District Banda. The report of the Superintendent of Police, Banda indicated that the concerned Forest Officer had taken two ladies into his custody. He had later apprehended two more women. The four women were disrobed and later beaten by the Forest Sub Inspector. They were released only after they had agreed to pay a sum of Rs.1000 and give honey to the Forest Department officials. The Commission noted that the involvement of the officials had been proved during investigation and that a chargesheet had been filed. In view of the fact that dignity of the four women had been violated by the Forest Sub Inspector and five officials, the Commission held that the State was vicariously liable for the payment of compensation. Accordingly, the Commission recommended the payment of a sum of Rs.50,000 as interim compensation to each of the four women. The Director General (Investigation) of the Commission was asked to monitor the trial of the case closely.
The Commission has since been informed, however, that the errant officials have filed a case in the High Court of Allahabad, where the matter is now pending.
In this case, the Commission by its order dated 2nd June 2000 had recommended the payment of Rs.50,000/- as interim compensation to each of 4 women.
The State Government has stated that immediate interim relief of Rs.2 lakhs @ Rs.50,000/- for each of the 4 women has been sanctioned. However, payment had been made to only two of the women. The other two women were yet to be identified and they had not yet come forward to make a claim. The State Government has assured the Commission that, as and when the remaining two women come forward or are identified, the payment would be made to them on the basis of sanction already issued.
Upon being satisfied with the response of the State Government, the Commission closed the case on 2nd July 2001.
In a complaint to the Commission, one B. Jit Singh stated that on 2 June 1999, an Assistant Sub Inspector and two Constables from the Police Post Khandsa Road, Gurgaon, Haryana had picked up seven boys aged between 7 and 12 years, taken them to the Police Post, stripped them naked and paraded them on the streets. They were also forced to clear garbage from nearby areas. The parents of the children were also insulted. The only fault of boys, it was stated, was that they were playing cricket in their locality and that their ball had landed in the premises of the Assistant Sub Inspector.
Pursuant to the Commissions directions, two reports were received from the Superintendent of Police, Gurgaon. In view of the inherent anomalies and contradictions in these reports, the Commission, however, directed its own Investigation Division to inquire into the matter and submit a report.
After a thorough investigation, the Commissions team reported that seven children belonging to Balmiki Community were humiliated, stripped naked, and paraded in the locality and also beaten up by police personnel. In its proceedings dated 2 May 2000, the Commission accordingly held that the concerned police personnel had abused their power. Apart from exhibiting depraved conduct, the Commission held that the behaviour of the concerned police personnel constituted a gross violation of the rights of the children involved. The Commission therefore directed the Superintendent of Police, Gurgaon to file charge sheets against the three errant police personnel under the appropriate provisions of the Indian Penal Code and the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act , 1989, to pursue the case diligently and also initiate disciplinary action. In addition, the Commission recommended the payment of a sum of Rs. 20,000 as compensation to each of the seven boys. The Commission also observed that the State Government was at liberty to recover this amount from the salaries of the concerned police personnel.
The State Government has subsequently reported to the Commission that it has paid the compensation to the children and was complying with its recommendations.
In this case, the Commission in its proceedings dated 2 May 2000 came to the conclusion that seven children, belonging to the Balmiki community, were humilitated, stripped naked, and paraded in the locality and also beaten up by the police personnel of Gurgaon, Haryana. It held that the concerned police personnel had abused their power and, accordingly directed the Supdt. of Police, Gurgaon to file charge-sheets against them under the appropriate provisions of the Indian Penal Code and the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, to pursue the case diligently and also intitiiate disciplinary action against delinquent police personnel. In addition, the Commission recommended the payment of a sum of Rs.20,000/- as compensation to each of the seven boys. It also observed that the State Government was at liberty to recover this amount from the salaries of the concerned police personne.
The State Governmennt has, through its letter dated 23 October 2000, reported to the Commission that it has paid the compensation to the children as directed, and that disciplinary proceedings/prosecution had been initiated against the delinquent public servants.
Previous reports of the Commission have indicated in detail the steps taken by the Commission to protect the rights of members of the Christian community in the aftermath of the killing of the Australian priest, Mr. Graham Stewart Staines and his two sons in Orissa, as well as attacks on members of the community in Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. During the year under review, the Commission continued to pay the closest attention to instances when atrocities were reported to have been committed against Christians. At the time of the writing of this report, the Commission had intervened, often by invoking its suo-motu jurisdiction, in twenty incidents in which persons professing the Christian faith had been mistreated, assaulted or even killed in different parts of the country.
In each instance, the Commission called for reports from the highest echelons of the concerned State Governments and pursued matters thereafter. A number of incidents related to Uttar Pradesh. But the intervention of the Commission was also required in respect of incidents that occurred in Indore, Madhya Pradesh; in various locations of Gujarat; in Rewari, Haryana and in Nashik, Maharashtra. Further, the Commission intervened following the killing of a Christian priest, Ashish Prabhash, in Batala, Punjab and the bomb blasts that rocked Churches in the States of Goa, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
In addition to issuing directives as required in these cases, the Commission also received and considered a number of petitions, both from organizations and individuals complaining that such incidents disclosed a pattern of violence against Christians and their institutions, particularly in some States, which created a reasonable apprehension in the minds of Christians throughout the country of victimization and the violation of their human rights. The Commission took careful note of similar apprehensions that were voiced in editorials, articles and news items in the media and the general feeling that they conveyed that there was need to better protect the human rights of the Christian community and the safety of their institutions, as also to ensure that such acts of violence were prevented from occurring in the future. The Commission observed that such apprehensions were of serious concern, that they were shared by many in the country, and that they must be addressed by all the authorities. For this reason, the Commission considered it essential to make an in-depth scrutiny of the situation, not merely by inquiring into the violation of human rights of the section of people involved in the specific incidents on which suo-motu cognizance had already been taken, but also by exploring the avenues necessary for the prevention of any such violations in future, and ensuring that there was no neglect on the part of the public authorities concerned in the performance of their duties.
The Commission therefore issued notice on 21 June 2000 to the Chief Secretaries of all States and Union Territories as well as to the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, calling for reports on the measures already taken in this behalf and the plans of action drawn up by them to meet the situation. Urging all of them to accord top priority to this matter, the Commission pointed out that it was necessary to preserve "the secular credentials of the nation and to fulfill the promise of fraternity and common brotherhood" envisaged in the Constitution. The Commissions decision was based on the need to take a holistic view of the situation as well as to inspire the requisite confidence amongst persons of the Christian community. In response to the notice issued by the Commission, reports were received from all the concerned authorities, who sought to answer in full the concerns raised by the Commission.
On 18 October 2000, the Commission directed the issue of fresh notices to all State Governments inviting their attention specifically to letter No. 9/42/96-CHC dated 22 October 1997 of the then Union Home Minister, Shri Indrajit Gupta, with an annexure thereto addressed to all Chief Ministers of States/Union Territory Administrations and D.O. letters No. 14013/35/98-US (D.V) dated 2 January 1999 and No. 5/98-NIMC dated 28 January 1999 of the then Union Home Secretary, Shri B.P. Singh to the Chief Secretaries/Administrators of all the States/Union Territories. The State Governments were requested to indicate the follow-up action, if any, taken by them to comply with the directions contained in the above-mentioned letters of the Union Home Minister and the Union Home Secretary. The Home Minister had enclosed with his letter the revised "Guidelines To Promote Communal Harmony" with a request to the States to take urgent action in accordance with those Guidelines.
Based on an analysis of all the responses received, the Commission is taking steps to call a meeting of the senior officers of the States principally concerned to discuss and monitor all aspects of this matter. It is important, in this report, to recount illustratively the specific action that the Commission took following the murder of Brother George, during the night of 6-7 June 2000, in St. Francis Public School, Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, in respect of which crime a case was registered under section 396 IPC. On 11 June 2000, the cook of Brother George, Vijay Ekka was picked up by the police for interrogation. He remained in police custody but was found dead on 17 June 2000. On 19 June 2000, in response to a press report entitled "Clerics cook dies in police custody", the Commission issued notice to the Chief Secretary and Director General of Police, Uttar Pradesh calling for a report within one week. The Commission also directed the Director General of Police, Uttar Pradesh to have a video recording made of the post-mortem examination conducted in this case. Pursuant to the Commissions orders, a team from its Investigation Division also conducted an on-the-spot inquiry into this incident and submitted a report to the Commission.
On 26 September 2000, the Commission asked the Government of Uttar Pradesh, through its Chief Secretary, to show-cause, if any, why an amount of Rs. 2.00 lakhs be not granted as `immediate interim relief to the next of kin of Vijay Kumar Ekka. As there was no response from the Government of Uttar Pradesh, the Commission on 20 November 2000 recommended that an amount of Rs. 2 lakhs be granted as immediate interim relief under section 18(3) of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 to the next kin of Vijay Ekka.
The Commission continues to keep a close watch on all incidents and reports expressing an apprehension regarding the violation of rights of members of the Christian community. The situation in this respect is under the constant monitoring of the Commission.
The Commission received complaints from a number of organisations concerning the killing of 7 Dalits in Karnataka on 11 March 2000 by persons belonging to the upper castes. They requested a probe by the Commission and called for the granting of compensation to the victims.
The Commission took cognisance of the matter and, in response to a notice, received a report from DGP Karnataka. The report stated that there was a clash between two groups. To escape from the fury of the clash, the members of one group, who were Dalits, entered the house of a relative and bolted the door from inside. The accused persons bolted the door from outside and set the house ablaze. In this criminal act, 6 persons were burnt alive and another person, who was in a neighbouring house, also sustained severe burns and died while being taken to the hospital. A case had been registered against the accused. Inquiry into the incident indicated that a police Sub Inspector (PSI) had failed to take precautionary measures and to arrange appropriate 'bandobust' to avoid untoward incidents. The PSI had exhibited gross negligence and dereliction in the discharge of his duties. He had been placed under suspension and a departmental enquiry had been intitiated against him.
The Commission, in its proceedings dated 19 December 2000 held that the failure of the Government of Karnataka to protect Dalits was, in this instance, beyond doubt. It therefore issued a show cause notice to that Government asking as to why immediate interim relief u/s 18 (3) of the Act be not awarded to the next-of-kin of the deceased.
A further report was then received from the State Government. It stated suitable 'bandobast' had been arranged in the village; that an amount of Rs.1.5 lakh had been paid to the next-of-kin of each of the deceased as compensation, and that disciplinary proceedings had been instituted against the delinquent public servant. The Commission took note of the action taken and closed the case on 30 June 2001.e for any inadvertent error that may have crept in the Information being published on NET.
The Commission took suo motu cognizance of a newspaper report entitled
“five dalits lynched in Haryana” published in The Indian Express of 17
October 2002. The report stated that five dalits, all in their twenties,
were beaten to death on 15 October 2002 in Jhajjar District, Haryana and
that two of them had been torched. The victims were reported to have been
dragged by a mob out of a police post where they had taken refuge and
lynched in the presence of the City Magistrate, the Deputy Superintendent of
Police of Jhajjar and Bahadurgarh, the Block Development Officer and at
least 50 Policemen.
Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, Leader of Opposition, Andhra Pradesh
Legislative Assembly, submitted a petition in September 2001 alleging that
about 117 farmers had committed suicide in the year 2000 and about 160
persons had committed suicide during the period January-September, 2001. The
total number of suicides during the last 5-6 years was stated to be about
2000 accordingly to newspaper reports. Subsequently, the Commission received
a further complaint, on the same matter, from Shri M.Shyam Prasad.
The Commission received a complaint from P.L.Mimroth, General Secretary,
Society of Depressed People for Social Justice alleging that one Mohan Lal
Regar, a Scheduled Caste, Officiating Headmaster of Government Secondary
School, Kalesaria, Rajasmand was forced to commit suicide due to harassment,
humiliation by caste name and beating by the school staff and teachers. The
victim allegedly had complained to the local authorities against harassment
to him, but no action was taken.
J.J.Bonney, Executive Secretary, Maximising Employment to Serve the
Handicapped, Uday Park, New Delhi in a Complaint had drawn the attention of
the Commission to the plight of about 63 people, affected by leprosy who
were camping in Amarjyoti Leprosy Rehabilitation Society and were being
evicted from there without being provided with any alternative site for
The Commission received a complaint dated 21 June 2002 Desh Raj, an
orthopaedically challenged person with more than 50% disability of lower
limbs residing in Mandawali-Fazalpur, Delhi stating that he had appeared in
the Medical entrance examination 2002 conducted by the University of Delhi.
He had alleged that there was no provision of reservation for candidates who
were physically handicapped and that the result of entrance examination for
admission in MBBS/BDS Course 2002 announced by the University also did not
display any separate merit list of candidates who were handicapped.
The Commission received a complaint from Ms. Nirmala Deshpande and others
alleging that on 19th Febraury 2003, the police, forest officials and
personnel of Kerala Armed Police opened fire at a gathering of over 1100
Adivasi families who were protesting against the non-implementation of the
agreement reached between the Adivasis and the Kerala Government for
delivery of the promised land at the Muthanga Forest region of Wayanad
District. It was alleged that 16 Adivases died and a large number of
Adivasis including children and women received injuries in the incident.
The Commission received a complaint from Smt. Susheela Devi, a landless
Scheduled Caste labourer, Distt. West Champaran, Bihar alleging that on
asking for wages she herself and other labourers were mercilessly beaten and
attacked with fire-arms and stripped off and forced to sit naked for 4-5
hours by the landlord and his accomplice. When the matter was reported to
the Inspector of Police, PS Subhadra, no action was taken.