Ten states rights commissions are without full-fledged chairpersons
Trithesh Nandan | March 26, 2013
Even as the human rights situation in Manipur has taken a turn for the worse in the recent years, the state human rights commission has been without a chairperson and thus dysfunctional since May 2010.
“The state human rights body is presently in the defunct state. It is duty of the state to appoint a chairperson and member/s and make the organisation functional but nothing is happening on this front,” says a top official who did not wish to be named.
Jinine Laishramcha, convenor, NE Human Rights Defenders Committee (NEHRDC), an organisation working for the betterment of human rights in the state, said, “Without a chairperson and a member in the body, there is only immunity and impunity to the perpetrators of human right violators in Manipur, especially the security forces.”
According to Laishramcha, there have been 28 incidents of extrajudicial executions involving 36 victims from January to November 2012.
However, there is growing pressure on the state government from civil society groups to make the rights panel functional again. “The human rights scenario is not improving and the government response is questionable in this sense,” says Laishramcha, whose petition in 2005 forced the state to appoint a chairperson and a member to the panel. The chairperson and the member retired in 2010.
“Without a proper space for complaining about state atrocities, it will only prolong the agony and trauma among the numerous victims’ families and will retain its negative socio-economy impact on society in general,” adds Laishramcha.
Meanwhile, the situation elsewhere in the country is not very encouraging either. The latest report of the Human Rights Watch took a grim view of it. (Link: http://www.hrw.org/world-report/2013/country-chapters/india?page=3) Its world report 2013 pointed to abuses by the government and security forces in India’s conflict-torn areas such as Jammu & Kashmir and the northeast.
In Jammu & Kashmir, the state human rights commission is working without a full-fledged chairperson since 2011. “The organisation is functional. (But) without a full-fledged chairperson, it affects organisation’s work. There is need for a full-fledged chairperson,” says an official of the Jammu & Kashmir human rights commission.
Out of 23 states with rights panels, five (Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Karnataka, Jammu & Kashmir and Maharashtra) don’t have chairpersons at all, while five others (Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Odisha) are working under acting chairpersons.
The worst case is that of Himachal Pradesh, where the panel has been without a chairperson since 2005, and is non-functional.
“Actually, there is no concern or commitment from the states to create proper human rights commission,” says Suhas Chakma, director of the Delhi-based think tank Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR).
In Madhya Pradesh 13,000 rights-related complaints are received a year –75 percent of which are against the state police, there has been no chairperson at the human rights commission since August 14, 2010. In Karnataka, the rights commission has been without a chairperson since July 25, 2012.
“The different state governments do not want to empower the state human right commissions. In the states where this body exists, it is just in signboard,” says Chakma.
Yield gaps in wheat production in India can be countered with an earlier sowing date, says a University of Michigan researcher. Using a new way to measure wheat yields, Meha Jain, assistant professor at the U-M School for Environment and Sustainability, found that the wheat yie
Kharpariya village, about 50 km from the headquarters town of Madhya Pradesh’s Mandla district, is like many villages in the region, home to the Baiga, deemed a particularly vulnerable tribal group (PVTG) for whom permanent contraception methods are banned to prevent extinction. However, care for p
Somabhai Modi says he remembers only one occasion when he offered his younger brother prime minister Narendra Modi advice regarding work. This, he says, was when Modi was chief minister of Gujarat. After one of his weekly grievance redressal sessions, the then chief minister had enquired after the well-b
Should ration cards not linked to Aadhaar be rendered ineligible?
INS Kiltan, the third anti-submarine warfare (ASW) stealth corvette built under project 28 (Kamorta class), was commissioned into the Indian Navy by defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman at the naval dockyard in Visakhapatnam. The anti-submarine warfare stealth corvet
Maharatna enterprise, Steel Authority of India Ltd. (SAIL) has supplied defence grade micro-alloyed grade of steel (DMR 249A) steel plates for the indigenously built anti-submarine warfare (ASW) stealth corvette INS-Kiltan commissioned into Indian Navy. SAIL’s integ