On Batla House Encounter Day, Concerns Raised Over Rights Violations across Country

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Activists addressing audience at UP Press Club

Caravan News

LUCKNOW – On the 11th anniversary of Batla House encounter, which was termed as fake, social activists on Thursday have voiced their concerns over the violation of the human rights across the country especially in Assam and Jammu and Kashmir.

Different groups and organisations in Lucknow and Delhi organised programmes to mark the controversial encounter which was carried out by a Delhi Police team at Batla House, a locality in Jamia Nagar of Delhi, on September 19. While a civil rights group, Rihai Manch, held a seminar in Lucknow, Student Islamic Organisation’s Delhi chapter and Fraternity Movement held separate events in New Delhi.

Former Judge BD Navi, human rights activist Ravi Nair, former IPS officer SR Darapuri and Rihai Manch president Mohammed Shoaib addressed the seminar held at UP Press Club in Lucknow.

Justice Naqvi said that the present government believed in targeting people. They brought in the National Register of Citizens (NRC) with the same aim but failed. The issue in Assam was the dominance of Assamese over Bengalis. But attempts were made to turn this issue into a Hindu versus Muslim matter.

He said the government has the same aim behind the revocation of Article 370 and 35 A. It is a matter of relief that the Supreme Court seems to be serious regarding Kashmir issue. However, fundamental rights and civic amenities are yet to be restored.

Ravi Nair, who is the director of South Asia Human Rights Documentation, said it was extremely unfortunate that the constitution of one of the largest countries of the world has a provision for house arrest. There is no such example in the world. He denounced the Congress for making laws like UAPA and the BJP for making it more draconian saying, “There is no big difference between the Congress and the BJP as far as human rights are concerned.”

He pointed out that India is a signatory to anti-torture convocation held 19 years ago. But till date, torture-related laws have not been amended.

He suggested three steps to be taken urgently to safeguard the rights of people. First, the trial in cases should be completed in a limited time period. Second, if the charges are not proved in the court, the accused should be given compensation for damaging his reputation and time. And third, the ministers and the government employees must not have the legal impunity from facing trial in any case.

Speaking about the NRC process, SR Darapuri said the judges of foreign tribunals who included people belonging to a particular community in the NRC in large numbers were not given extension. He also alleged that national coordinator Prateek Hajela has continued to hold the post and made his cronies and incompetent officials member of the NRC.

Lashing out at the Yogi Adityanath Government in UP, Mohammed Shoaib noted that in Sonbhadra, 11 innocent Adivasis (tribals) were killed, in Bulandshahar Inspector Subodh Kumar was killed by the activists of BJP’s youth wing and Hindu Yuva Vahini, in Kasganj, entire city was pushed into the fire of riots by hoisting saffron flag in the name of the tri-colour. Yet, Yogi claims the he has zero-tolerance for crime and no riots and mob lynching happened.

He said the government which on the Republic Day released the names of those killed in police encounters should tell us that why it threw its weight on the protection of criminals like Kuldeep Sengar and Swami Chinmayanand. He asked the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister why most of the people killed, injured and arrested in 3,500 encounters are from Dalit, Muslim and OBC communities?

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