If arrests aren't backed by proof, it'd be violation of rights: NHRC chief


Why does the Human Rights apply only to Terrorists, Maoists, Naxals, Docaits and Fraudsters only?

What about Dowry, Rape, Molestation, SC/ST laws where anyone can play victim without evidence to harass others? Why rules differ? Just for political convenience?

A week after Maharashtra police arrested five activists for alleged links with the Maoists, chairperson of National Human RightsCommission (NHRC), HL Dattu said the body had been flooded with letters from various organisations and activists seeking its intervention on the issue, and said if the arrests were not backed with evidence it would be a serious violation of human rights.

Talking exclusively to the TOI, Dattu said, "We don't know what evidence is there against the activists. But if there is nothing against them, then it would be serious violation of human rights".

Asked about his views on the arrests, Dattu said, "Whenever there is action against the human rights defenders, we (NHRC) step up for their rights. We always ask the governments and police about the reasons for the action. We have asked Maharashtra police as well but haven't heard anything from them so far," Dattu said.

NHRC had, on August 29, taken suo motu cognisance of the arrests and issued notices to Maharashtra government and police. It observed that the standard operating procedure had not been properly followed by the police authorities while arresting Sudha Bhardwaj, Gautam Navlakha, Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira and Varavara Rao, which may amount to violation of their human rights.

HL Dattu asserted that "to improve the human rights, there is a need for change in the mindset of people in India".

NHRC works with several human rights defenders in various fields, including rights of marginalised, children, women, LGBT and physically challenged. Other officials in NHRC said that many human rights activists are even part of core groups formed to discuss various issues in the commission.

The commission had earlier received a complaint from an NGO from Geneva regarding "illegal arrest" of five human rights defenders - Surendra Gadling, Rona Wilson, Sudhir Dhawale, Shoma Sen and Mahesh Raut - by the Maharashtra police in June. On both the occasions, officials said, Maharashtra Police has not given a satisfactory response to the commission.

Source, here.

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