Skip to main content

Govt of India asked to stop extra-judicial killings, threats to UP human rights defenders

UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath
Counterview Desk 
The United Nations Human Rights Office of High Commissioner (OHCHR) has taken strong exception to “extrajudicial killings” in Uttar Pradesh, pointing out that most of those who have killed are poor Muslims. It has also expressed “serious concern” about family members of victims and human rights defenders working on the cases being “harassed, subjected to death threats from police and false criminal cases” in an attempts to “intimidate them”.
In a statement, OHCHR that that four UN human rights experts -- Agnes Callamard, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, and Michel Forst, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; Nils Melzer, Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment; Ahmed Shaheed, Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief -- have written to the Government of India on this.
According to the statement, the Supreme Court of India laid down guidelines on investigating killings in People’s Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL) vs state of Maharashtra (2014) 10 SCC 635, pointing out that the 15 cases raised by the Special Rapporteurs concern Gurmeet Singh, Naushad, Sarvar, Ikram, Mohammad Nadeem, Jaan Mohammad, Shamshaad, Muhammad Mansoor, Waseem Kala, Sumit Kumar, Aslam, Ramzani, Shamim, Akbar, and Noor Muhammad.
The threats or harassment against family members include Anwar (brother of Sarvar), Hanifa (wife of Ikram), Sajid (Mr. Ikram’s son), Feroz (Jaan Mohammad’s brother), Mustakeem (Waseem’s father), as well as family members of victims Gurmeet Singh, Nadeem, Muhammad Mansoor, Sumit Kumar, Shamim and Akbar.
The threats against HRDs include Rajeev Yadav and Akram Akhtar Chaudhary, OHCHR adds.
The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world.
Special Procedures experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

Text of the statement:

UN human rights experts have expressed alarm about allegations of at least 59 extrajudicial killings by police in Uttar Pradesh since March 2017. India’s Supreme Court is scheduled to consider several of the cases on 14 January 2019.
The experts have sent detailed information to the Indian Government on 15 of the cases, most concerning individuals from Muslim communities living in poverty. They have yet to receive a response to their letter.
Evidence indicates the killings took place in police custody. In all of the cases, the police said the killings were during encounters and in self-defence.
"We are extremely concerned about the pattern of events: individuals allegedly being abducted or arrested before their killing, and their bodies bearing injuries indicative of torture," the UN experts said.
They also expressed concerns that the Supreme Court’s guidelines on investigations were not followed. This included police failing to inform family members of the killings, to conduct examinations of the scene, to provide copies of post-mortem reports to families, and to transfer cases to an independent investigative agency.
"We have also received allegations of corruption including the police demanding money to release the victim prior to the killing," added the experts.
They expressed serious concerns about reports that family members of victims and human rights defenders working on the cases have been harassed, subjected to death threats from police and had false criminal cases brought against them in apparent attempts to intimidate them.
"Unfortunately we are continuing to receive reports of other similar cases of killings as well as threats and harassment," the experts said. "These are extremely serious allegations requiring immediate action."
They called for an urgent review of the use of force by Uttar Pradesh police to ensure all law enforcement operations were conducted in compliance with international standards, for prompt, independent, and thorough investigations into all allegations of potentially unlawful killings and for perpetrators to be prosecuted.
"Family members of victims and human rights defenders must also be protected from reprisals, and threats and harassment against them investigated," the experts said.
They also highlighted their concern over statements issued by high ranking state government and police officials seeming to incite, justify or sanction killings.
The National Human Rights Commission of India opened an investigation on May 9, 2018 into 18 deaths, including those raised by the experts, which is ongoing. The Supreme Court is scheduled to consider a request for a court monitored investigation into the killings by an independent body.

Comments

Uma said…
They can only make out reports. They cannot do anything about it and this is the most unfortunate part: in spite of having proof they are helpless.

TRENDING

JP advised RSS to give up Hindu Rashtra, disband itself: Ex-IAS officer tells Modi

Counterview Desk
Major MG Devasahayam IAS (Retd), chairman, People-First, in an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion of Jayprakash Narain’s (JP’s) death anniversary (October 11) has wondered whether he remembers “a patriot called Jayaprakash Narayan”. Recalling what JP thought on issues such as communalism, freedom, democracy, Hindutva etc., Devasahayam says, Modi has been been doing “the very opposite of the principles and values for which JP lived and died.”

India's GDP down by 50%, not 23%, job loss 200 million not 122 million: Top economist

By Our Representative One of India’s topmost economists has estimated that India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) decline was around 50%, and not 23%, as claimed by the Government of India’s top data body, National Statistical Organization (NSO). Prof Arun Kumar, who is Malcolm S Adiseshiah chair professor, Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi, said this was delivering a web policy speech, organised by the Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

By Our Representative
Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book, "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

UP chief secretary, DGP have 'surrendered' to political diktat: 92 retired IAS, IPS officials

Counterview Desk
In an open letter to Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, 92 retired IAS, IFS and IPS bureaucrats, commenting on “blatant violations of the rule law” following the Hathras incident, have blamed that the Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police for abjectly failing to exercise control over a “highly compromised” administration the state.

Hathras reflects Manu's mindset dominates: 'Women are false, it's in their nature to seduce'

By Parijat Ghosh, Dibyendu Chaudhuri*
The woman died and then we woke up to protest. She was alive for two weeks after the heinous incident. Many of us even didn’t notice what had happened at Hathras, how she fought during the next 15 days. Those who noticed, many of them were not sure what actually had happened. So much so, we as a nation were more busy in finding out who among the Bollywood actresses were taking drugs, who smoked weed, who had ‘inappropriate’ or more than one relationship, what kind of private conversations they had in their chat boxes and what not!

Gujarat literati flutter: State Akademi autonomy curb a Sahitya Parishad poll issue?

By Dankesh Oza*
The 115-year-old Gujarati Sahitya Parishad is in election mode. More than 3,000 life members of the Parishad are set to elect its 52nd president and 40 plus central working committee (CWC) members, which in turn will elect its executive and two vice presidents, six secretaries and a treasurer for the coming three years (from 2021 to 2023).

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur*
Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Atrocities against Dalits: Why don't MPs, MLAs from the community ever speak up?

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*
In Gujarat, a young Dalit activist lawyer Devji Maheshwari, belonging to the Backward and Minority Communities Employees Federation (BAMSCEF) was killed in Surat, allegedly by a goon who was warning him against his Facebook posts not to speak up against Brahmanism. Facts have come to light suggesting there are other issues also which led to the murder, mostly related to land disputes, many a time ignored by activists.

Delhi riots: Even British didn't accuse Bhagat Singh of reading Lenin, Jack London

By Vikash Narain Rai*
After the #BlackLifeMatters movement seriously tested the credibility of police across America, the Houston police chief Art Acevado talked of ending “lawful but awful” policing. No comparison, but in India, a citizens’ committee comprising former top judges and bureaucrats is now set to inquire into the role of the state machinery and media in handling the February 2020 Delhi violence, which followed protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), “as the investigation by the Delhi Police has evoked extensive critical commentary in recent times.”