CURTAIN RAISER: NHRC to hold Open Hearing and Camp Sitting at Kolkata, West Bengal from 13th -14th December, 2018 (12.12.2018)
New Delhi, 12th December, 2018
A high level delegation of the National Human Rights Commission led by Chairperson, Mr. Justice H.L. Dattu and comprising Members, Mr. Justice P.C. Ghose and Mrs. Jyotika Kalra and senior officers will be holding a two day ‘Open Hearing’ and ‘Camp Sitting’ of the Commission on the matters related to West Bengal at West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, 12, LB Block, Sector III, Salt Lake City, Kolkata from 13th -14th December, 2018.
On the first day, after the inauguration of the Open Hearing by the NHRC Chairperson at 10.00 am, the Commission will hear 140 cases. These relate to thegrievances of aggrieved people and the problems they face in seeking justice from Government agencies. These will be heard in three single benches, to be presided over by Mr. Justice H.L. Dattu, Chairperson, NHRC and Members Mr. Justice P.C. Ghose and Mrs. Jyotika Kalra. These cases include matters relating to atrocities on Scheduled Castes and other depressed sections of society.
On the second day, i.e. 14th December, 2018, 10 cases shall be taken up in the sitting of Full Commission to be presided over by the NHRC Chairperson at West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata. The matters relate to deprivation of basic human rights and denial of other legitimate rights to the people residing in the Indian and Bangladeshi enclaves, poor condition of inmates of state-run Berhampore Mental Hospital, issue of arsenic-laden groundwater in nine district of West Bengal, Payment of compensation to the victims of fire accident in a five storey building in Kolkata, Silicosis etc. shall be taken up for consideration.
After the sitting of Full Commission, the Commission will hold a meeting with NGOs of the State on human rights issues at West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata from 11.00 AM to 12.00 Noon. Thereafter, The Chairperson and Members of the Commission would brief the media about the outcome of the Open Hearing/Camp Sitting as well as discussions with the NGOs and senior officers of the State Governments for wider dissemination of information on the human rights issues and action taken by the NHRC for their protection and promotion. The media briefing will also be held at the same venue from 12.00 Noon to 12.45 PM.
In the concluding session, the Commission will hold discussions with the Chief Secretary, DGP, DMs, SPs and other senior civil, police and jail officers of the State on the issues raised by the NGOs at the same venue from 12.45 PM – 01.30 PM. The following important issues are also likely to be taken up during discussion with senior officers of the State Government:
1. Atrocities on Scheduled Castes and other depressed sections of society.
2. Proper implementation of the provisions of Scheduled Castes (POA)Act/Rules.
3. Deprivation of basic human rights and denial of other legitimate rights to the people residing in the Indian and Bangladeshi enclaves
4. Issue of arsenic-laden groundwater in 9 district of West Bengal
5. Poor condition of inmates of state-run Berhampore Mental Hospital
6. Residents of Sunderbans facing multiple problems e.g. malnutrition, lack of livelihood, healthcare, potable water, sanitation and hygiene due to alleged inaction and negligence of Govt. of West Bengal
7. Environment pollution in “Rani Jheel” under the jurisdiction of Howrah Division of the Eastern Railways
8. HEALTH issues in Purulia AND Bankura districts
i) Poor maintenance of Primary Health Centres and the Hospitals, 3-4 women on a bed along with their newly born babies in the Post Natal Ward. Insufficient sweeping and cleaning staff.
ii) No Specialist doctors and Sub Divisional Super Speciality Hospitals
iii) No Ambulance Facility For The Persons Injured In Road Accidents. Ambulance Meant For Only Pregnant Women And Children.
iv) Only One Health Centre at The Hill Top In Ajodhya Area of Purulia and no Doctor Found Present at the Facility by the NHRC Team.
9. Health facilities-Heath Centres, infrastructure, doctors, para-medical staff in other districts.
10. Silicosis, death, awareness and preventive measures.
11. Protection of rights of trans-genders, elderly people and differently abled persons
12. Delay in submission of compliance reports including inquest, PMR and MER in cases of encounters and custodial deaths
13. Timely submission of legible copies of reports by authorities.
14. Jail reforms.
15. Condition of juvenile homes.
16. Protection of Right to Education, conditions of schools, infrastructure, Teachers etc.
The National Human Rights Commission has been organising Camp Sittings in different States with an aim to dispose of pending cases concerning one particular State by hearing the senior government officers; sensitize them about the importance of human rights issues and compliance of NHRC recommendations by them; meet the local NGOs to get an insight into the problems being faced by the people.
In its endeavour to implement the recommendations made by Shri K.B. Saxena, IAS (Retd.) in his report submitted by him after carrying out a study about the atrocities against persons belonging to Scheduled Castes, on the request of the Commission, public hearings on various issues relating to atrocities and problems faced by Scheduled Castes, have also been held in a number of States and Union Territories in the country.