NCHRO decides to form National Registry of encounter killings

By Pervez Bari,

New Delhi: The National core committee meeting of the National Confederation of Human Rights Organizations, (NCHRO), has decided to form a National Registry of encounter killings that have taken place in the country from 1st November 2007 onwards.

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The NCHRO has set up a law cell to monitor and intervene in the cases of victims of human rights violation. These decisions along with others were taken at a meeting held at the India International Center, New Delhi on Saturday. The meeting was presided over by the national president of NCHRO Justice (Retd.) Hosbet Suresh.

Other participants included Dr. John Dayal, vice-president NCHRO; Adv. K. P. Muhammed Shareef, secretary general NCHRO; Dr Shams-ul-Islam (New Delhi); G Subramaniam (Chennai); T Sukumaran (Pondicherry); M. A. Khalid (Mumbai); Adv. Latif Muhammed Khan (Hyderabad), E. M. Abdurahman (Kerala); Prof. N. Babayya (Bangalore), Dr. V. M. Abdul Salam (Kerala) and this correspondent (Bhopal), who is also executive member of the NCHRO.

Adv. Latif Muhammed Khan, executive member of the NCHRO hailing from Hyderabad, at the meeting narrated the heart-rending atrocities being perpetuated on the youth of Hyderabad in the name of investigations of the three bomb blasts since May last in the city. What the police is conducting is a roving enquiry into the socio-political beliefs of Muslim youth of Hyderabad, he opined.

Adv. Latif said 26 youths are in jail in Hyderabad who are being tortured most inhumanly. He charged that torturing is being done deploying Israeli methods under some central policy. He said that the statement of Andhra Pradesh Home Minister that nobody has been tortured is a complete lie. He pointed out that three youths namely Ibrahim Ali Junaid, Muhammed Abdul Majeed and Muhammad Rayeesuddin have given affidavits to the High Court describing the prolonged illegal detention and torture they have been subjected to.

He revealed that the three-some have spoken of repeated electric shocks to sensitive parts of the body, legs being stretched apart painfully, heavily-built policemen standing on the outstretched legs, being suspended by ropes tied to the hands or legs, being beaten with rubber tubes etc.

The meeting was informed that about a dozen persons are languishing in Khandwa jail of Madhya Pradesh without trial for last three years and have been denied bail. It is only that in the beginning of this month the trial has begun.

The resolutions passed at the meeting of the NCHRO are as follows:

— The NCHRO has decided to collect details of encounter killings that have taken place in the country from 1st November 2007 onwards and form a National Registry. Follow up action will be taken by a team led by Dr. John Dayal.

— The NCHRO has set up a law cell to monitor and intervene in the cases of victims of human rights violation. Justice Suresh, Dr. John Dayal , Dr. Shams-ul-Islam and Adv. K P Muhammed Shareef will lead the committee.

— NCHRO demands that State governments to appoint an advocate at every police station limit to represent the State Minority Commission to help the victims of human right violation.

— Alarmed at the increasing number of under-trial prisoners in the country, NCHRO has decided to collect data and bring it to the notice of National Human Rights Commission. NCHRO will also help the victims to file civil suites and other litigations in order to facilitate compensation.

— A monitoring committee has been formed to examine the police atrocities in Andhra Pradesh, especially Hyderabad, following recent incidents of bomb blasts.

— NCHRO will soon publish the reports of fact finding committees which investigated the Hyderabad cases as also similar cases in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala. Fact finding teams will also investigate cases in other states.

Meanwhile, in the afternoon a panel discussion was held on “Discriminations against Religious Minorities”. The panel discussion was also presided over by NCHRO president Justice (Retd.) Hosbet Suresh. The participants included Syed Shahabuddin, former diplomat-turned-politician & Editor Muslim India; Dr. John Dayal; Dr. Shakeel Samadani & Dr. Mohib-ul-Haq (both from AMU, Aligarh); E. Abubacker; Prof. N. Babayya, E.M. Abdurahman; Prof. S A R Geelani (New Delhi) etc.

Syed Shahabuddin, who initiated the discussion, said: “There should be proper use of coercive powers of the state by just not having a composite culture but have also composite machinery to fight out discriminations against religious minorities”.

Shahabuddin said that discrimination is all pervasive and in all walks of life. There is judicial discrimination also, he added.

He observed that certain virus is permeating through our veins, whether consciously or unconsciously, which should be contained forthwith through proper continuous social education, not only at the primary level but at the later stage also, along with proper governance and mass media.

Elaborating the role of mass media, he said, it must focus on the discriminatory acts and create a revulsion against them. He lamented that in India secularism has not been understood in right perspective.

Justice (Retd.) Hosbet Suresh winding up the discussion said that all human rights commissions appointed by the governments are farce as committed people do not come forward to take up such assignments.

He expressed his displeasure over the Babri Masjid case has been hanging in the courts for more than five decades. “If I were the judge then the case would not have continued for a day or two. How can you say a building (Babri Masjid) was built on the remnants of another building (Ram temple) in Ayodhya”, he remarked.

Prof. S. A. R. Geelani, who was falsely implicated in a terror plot, alleged that judiciary has been used in a different manner to further the fascism agenda. He charged that fascists have occupied important positions in society which is very harmful for democracy.

Prof. Geelani said: “I am of the opinion that all minorities should come together on one platform and fight for their rights as guaranteed in the Indian Constitution and not beg for it”.

He lamented that Muslim youths are being targetted by law enforcing agencies but Muslim leadership has not come forward to help them.

“You have to feel the pain within the community”, Prof. Geelani remarked.

He said that there is impunity provided to law enforcing agencies. POTA (Prevention of Terror Act), though repealed by the Central Government, is still there in existence with all its deadly provisions in a new garb. He pointed out that when POTA was being repealed the Prevention of Unlawful Activities Act was amended simultaneously and the provisions of POTA were added to this. So, POTA is still intact in a new form, he emphasized.

Dr. John Dayal, vice-president NCHRO, threatened that if the government does not appoint a committee for Christians on the lines of Sachchar Committee to study the reasons of Muslims’ backwardness in India, the he would set up “John Dayal Self-Important High-Powered Committee” for his co-religionists. “There should be holistic development of all”, he remarked.

Dr Shams-ul-Islam said that the communal violence in Gujarat started in 1996 and not in 2002 when Christians were not allowed to celebrate Christmas as the community members were hounded and killed with their homes burnt down. Unless and until the religious minorities unite discrimination against all minorities would continue and fight against the RSS fascism would be meaningless, he added.

Meanwhile, Justice (Retd.) Suresh released a CD of the National seminar on “Encounter Killings” held in Mumbai on June 26 this year under the banner of NCHRO on the occasion and handed it over to Shahabuddin. Dr. V. M. Abdul Salam at the end of panel discussion proposed a vote of thanks. ([email protected])