Guwahati: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) organised a two-day “camp sitting” in Guwahati, Assam, during which it heard 56 cases of human rights violations in the Northeastern states.
The camp sitting, presided over by the NHRC chairperson Justice Arun Kumar Mishra, concluded on Friday.
Members of the commission, Dr DM Mulay and Rajiv Jain; Bharat Lal, secretary general; Surajit Dey, registrar (law) and senior officers also attended the camp sitting.
During the sitting, the commission heard the pending cases and complaints in the presence of concerned officers of the Northeastern states.
The cases, among others, included alleged arbitrary and unlawful division/partition of the lands of the Chakmas at Anandapur-l and Anandapur-Il, Brajapur, Bodhiasatta-ll villages in Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh; alleged rape of a 16-year-old tribal girl by a non-tribal person in Kokrajhar town, Assam; death of 57 persons, injuries to 18 and four persons who went missing owing to negligence of the Northeast Frontier Railways while executing a project entailing construction of tunnels and railway tracks to connect Jiribam with Imphal; poor condition of the district hospital at Churachandpur, Manipur and complaints regarding incidences of violence in Manipur.
Another case was heard in the sitting was the alleged failure on the part of Arunachal Pradesh to pay compensation to 108 Chakma and Hajong families of the Changlang district who have been affected by the “construction of the 132KV T/L from Namsai to Miao” project despite direction/sanction of the central government to pay for the lands acquired and other damages caused to assets during the construction of the tower/pillar of that project and erosion of two villages in Tinsukia district by the Buri Dihing river.
After hearing the cases, the commission interacted with the NGOs and human rights defenders (HRDs) who raised a gamut of issues related to human rights violations.
The commission appreciated the work being done by the NGOs and HRDs in the Northeastern states and encouraged them to continue to do so without fear or favour.
The interaction concluded with the observation that the continued partnership of the NGOs, HRDs with NRHC would go a long way in strengthening the human rights regime in the country. They were informed that they can file complaints of human rights violations through hrcnet.nic.in.
The commission also held a meeting with the chief secretaries/DGPs of the states and asked the officers to submit action taken reports on advisories issued by the commission on various issues such as mental health, police encounters, bonded labour, Right to Food and Safety, ocular trauma, prevention of suicides in judicial and police custody, manual scavenging, etc.
The officers were directed to ensure timely submission of the reports in cases pending before the commission and in particular the compliance reports wherein the commission makes a recommendation in cases of alleged and proven cases of violation of human rights of individuals.
The commission further asked the state governments to improve infrastructure in the State Human Rights Commissions (SHRCs) and fill up vacant posts on priority for smooth functioning of the SHRCs.
Notably, NHRC has been working to promote awareness of human rights issues at the ground level. The main objective of the camp sitting was to sensitise the state officials about human rights and also interact with the representatives of the NGOs and HRDs.
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The Commission also briefed the media about the outcome of the camp sitting to have a wider dissemination of information on the human rights issues of the states and the actions taken by the NHRC.
It may be mentioned that the NHRC has been holding camp sittings since 2007. Victims of human rights violations can receive prompt justice through such sittings. So far, the commission has held camp sittings in Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Kerala, Maharashtra, Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Nagaland, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Arunachal Pradesh, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, Odisha, Gujarat, and Assam.
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