All states must constitute rights panels: NHRC Chief

All states must constitute rights panels
Agartala, Nov 16: Despite repeated requests, several states are yet to constitute panels to deal with the human rights violations, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Chairman Justice K.G. Balakrishnan said Saturday.

"I have written personal letters to the chief ministers to constitute state human rights commissions, but the response is not encouraging," Balakrishnan told IANS.

34 percent are against the police and various security forces

Balakrishnan was the chief guest at a two-day seminar titled "Indian Concept of Human Rights: A Dialogue" held at the Tripura (Central) University Friday-Saturday.

He said 24 states had so far formed the panels, but Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and a few others are yet to appoint a chairman who would be a retired or sitting high court chief justice.

Among the northeastern states, only Assam has a full-fledged rights panel, while Manipur and Meghalaya are in the process of constituting them.

Balakrishnan, a former Supreme Court chief justice, said that when the NHRC was constituted in 1993, only 495 complaints of violations had been received. The number has now risen to 10,80,000.

"Every year, on an average, 90,000 complaints of human rights violations are received by the commission from across the country. Currently, 60,000 complain are pending for disposal," the NHRC chief said.

"Of the complaints, 34 percent are against the police and various security forces. Illegal and wrongful detention, custodial death, atrocities in custody are the main nature of the complaints against the security forces. Denial of various human rights is the other area of major complains lodged with the NHRC."

According to the latest annual report (2010) of the NHRC, Uttar Pradesh topped among the states from where 51,270 complaints were registered, followed by Delhi (5,228 complain), Haryana (2,921), Bihar (2,893), Maharashtra (2,609), Rajasthan (2,249) and Madhya Pradesh (2,228).

The 68-year-old veteran legal luminary said that young people should come forward in a bigger way to protect the human rights of the people.

NHRC secretary general Parvinder Sohi Behuria, joint secretary J.S. Kochar, assistant director S.K. Shukla, Tripura University acting vice-chancellor R.C. Srivastava and renowned educationist Radha Vallabh Tripathi, among others, spoke at the seminar.


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