Human Rights

Over 3.7 lakh HR complaints against police

New Delhi: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) got over 370,000 complaints against the police force related to human rights abuses in the last 10 years - most of them from Uttar Pradesh, a document of the rights body has revealed.
According to the document made available to IANS, the NHRC registered 377,216 complaints against the police.

“Among the complaints registered with the commission until March 31, 2010, those relating to police are the highest. Those pertaining to service matters is also quite high,” an NHRC official told IANS. According to the official, the nature of complaints against police include arbitrary use of power, abduction, rape, custodial violence and death, fake encounter and unlawful detention. “Death in police firing, false implications, prolonged trial, failure in taking lawful action and indiscriminate arrests are the other kinds of complaints registered against police with the commission,” the official added.

On a state-wise break-up, most complaints related to police came from Uttar Pradesh. According to records of the total number of cases on police atrocities, 248,505 - a chunk of it - came from the state.

The NHRC was established in 1993. “We had started the process of computerisation of data and classifying of complaints only around the year 2000, so all these numbers are from that period on,” the official said.

The second highest number of complaints that have been registered in the commission are clubbed under miscellaneous.

“Under miscellaneous, there are cases like the disappearance of a person, land dispute, hunger strike, family dispute, inaction by the state government or central government, matrimonial disputes, labour disputes and atrocities by the customs department and likes. “There have been 263,993 cases registered under this section,” the official said. Of the total, the maximum number was from Delhi at 18,777 cases.

Cases related to service matters, like disparities in employment opportunities, non-payment of pension and compensation, are the third highest. According to official records, such cases add up to 73,914.

There have been a considerable number of complaints regarding atrocities against women too. According to the commission’s records, there were 66,926 such cases registered until last month. A recommendatory body, the NHRC has often been criticised for being a “toothless body”. Reacting to this accusation, NHRC member P.C. Sharma had in an earlier interview to IANS said: “NHRC is a recommendatory body. Parliament has enacted it that way. But at the same time it has the power of the civil court. We can summon any person connected with the violation of human rights, we can summon records, we can hold court proceedings...”The NHRC is not a toothless body because 99 percent of our recommendations are accepted,” he added. (Azera Rahman - IANS)


This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 May 2010 on page no. 11

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