Human Rights

Gujarat human rights violations report submitted

Ahmedabad: Prashant, an NGO based here, has submitted a report to the international coordination committee on National Human Rights institutions. This was released by Justice A.P. Ravani (former chief justice of Rajasthan high court). In this report, Gujarat shown as a hub of human rights violations under the rule of Narendra Modi. Former chief justice of Rajasthan High Court A P Ravani said cases of "preventive detention" made a worrying trend in Gujarat since the 2002 communal violence. "Preventive detention of an individual is done on the basis of suspicion of crime and if this number has risen then its an issue of concern," Ravani said referring to official figures presented in the state assembly.  Ravani raised this concern while releasing a report 'Compliance with the Paris Principles by the National Human Rights Commission of India'. The report was prepared by the All-India Network of NGOs and Individuals working with National and State Human Rights Institutions (AiNNI) and submitted to the International Coordination Committee. AiNNI also questioned the selection of former Supreme Court chief justice K G Balakrishnan as the chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

"It is not enough merely to automatically install a retired chief justice of the Supreme Court as the chairperson of the commission. The process of appointment must be totally transparent and not restricted to only retired judges or chief justices of the Supreme Court or to former bureaucrats," the report said. Justice Ravani was critical of the role of the state commission. He pointed out that there was not a single order against the Modi government during the 2002 riots … as if there was not a single case of violation or irregularity of human rights done during this period. That is his (the then SHRC chairperson D S Sinha) credential!" He also pointed out that for five years, the state government has not filled the vacancies in the state commission. Added Fr Cedric Prakash of Prashant, a human rights organisation, "SHRC is not addressing the human right violations in the state. Why did it not intervene when thousands of farmers came from Mahuva? Why did it not take suo moto notice of their grievances?" Be it the forest land of the Adivasis or the Dalits' rights or the recent incident of a forest officer committing suicide (referring to a GEER Foundation official), why did the SHRC not intervene, Fr Cedric asked.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 May 2011 on page no. 11

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