Monday, October 30, 2017

“ENDING TORTURE: COLLECTIVE CONCERN”

Restoring and respecting five values- federalism, diversity, pluralism, human dignity and inclusiveness- are vital for peaceful society. And human rights and rule of law are essential instrument to realize all these values giving win-win situation to all.[i] Stopping torture is the first step towards improving human rights in general. Torture[ii] has been called ‘the mother of all human rights violations’. As long as a country practices or tolerates torture, people will be reluctant to speak, assemble and participate in the political life. So elimination of torture is elimination of locust effect of fear and phobia, which is main foundation of sustainable peace with justice.

PVCHR welcomes recommendation of Law commission of India[iii] and recent judgement of honourable Supreme Court. The Law Commission of India finally recommends the ratification of the UN Convention against Torture and the passing of a stand alone criminal law to prevent torture respecting the tenets of the UN CAT. On the other hand, ratification of the UN convention and framing of an enabling legislation could simplify the extradition process for the government. The absence of a standalone law prohibiting torture in India makes it difficult for the government to extradite criminals. A case in point is the recent refusal of a Danish court to facilitate the extradition of Purulia arms drop case accused Kim Davy on the grounds that he might face torture at the hands of the Indian police. In fact, the apex court had precisely made the same point while asking the government to consider framing a law against torture and custodial violence. “India faces problems in extradition of criminals from foreign countries because of this (having no law against torture),” the SC said in April.

The court’s observations came while hearing a PIL filed by former Law Minister Ashwini Kumar who argued that despite being a signatory to the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, India had not ratified it because that would mean framing an enabling legislation on preventing custodial torture.

No other human acts can be so degrading as the act of torture; no other human instincts can be as repulsive and repugnant as idea of torturing someone, whosoever the culprit, government or a person. Stigma on the modern civilization, the practice of torture is widely prevalent among modern states up to the extent, where it seems, torture has been legalized. Torture dehumanizes a person to the level where ones faith is shaken in society. In addition, the effect of torture percolates, through the survivor of torture, in deep fabric of society, affecting people and communities.

 A torture victim may deal the impact of torture in various ways; immediate impact of torture may benumbs the sense of victims, deeply affecting physical and psychological layers of the personality. In most cases, torture victims suffer from, to certain degree, psychological or physical harm. Exposure to extreme traumatic experiences not only affects the victims but also has profound impact on their family, the community, and the nation. Torture may alter personal feeling, beliefs, and judgment. However the cumulative effects of torture extend to the whole society, impacting generations to come. Various studies have proved that torture has lasting impact of fear, feeling of helplessness, loss of control, and anxiety.

Apart from the visible wounds, Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can emerge after to a traumatic events. The defining characteristic of a traumatic event is its capacity to provoke a feeling of fear, horror, and helplessness in response to a threat of injury or death. Whether, physical torture or mild form of psychological torture, equally leave the lasting impact on the wellbeing on the torture victim. The torture victim is in essence de-humanized, striped of their dignity and self worth. This de-humanization manifests into various forms such as sexual humiliation, desecration (especially religion), and feral treatment (such as forcing victim to act as animal).

Torture is not restricted to an isolated event, as conditions of detention and repeated acts of cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment can meet the threshold of torture as outlined in the United Nations Convention against Torture (1984). This  include forced starvation, prolonged solitary confinement, repeated denial of basic medical health care, and custodial violence such as rape or being stripped naked.

In Indian context, torture in police custody is widely prevalent; include beating, use of third degree methods, verbal abuse and humiliation in public.  Alarming rate of torture cases has shaken the Indian civil society. Numerous cases of torture have been documented and highlighted by the People Vigilance Commission on Human Rights (PVCHR). Nonetheless, PVCHR has taken the vital steps to combat the menace of torture particularly 'police-torture'. Remarkably, PVCHR, not only doing advocacy against police torture, but also, has lead 'anti-torture initiatives and campaigned on torture free society.

In its unique endeavor to provide a heeling hand to torture survivor, PVCHR is involved in a pilot project 'to improve psychological wellbeing among survivors of torture in India (Torture 2009 vol.19). Last but not the least; PHCVR has convened a National Consultation on (12-13 July 2012, New Delhi) 'Testimonial campaign which contributes to eliminate impunity for perpetrators of torture in India.' This is an organized effort of PVCHR to propagate the importance of testimonial therapy as a psycho legal support to the victims of torture.
However, high number of recorded cases of torture seeks more attention and consistent vigilance from local Civil Society. Furthermore, commitment to protect dignity of ordinary person must be a topmost priority of government. There is no justification, legal or moral, can be made to support the practice of torture.

However, there is still some hope to combat practices of torture by various stakeholders. In July 2014, the Supreme Court directed state governments to install closed-circuit television cameras (CCTV) in all prisons within two years to prevent torture and other violations of prisoners’ rights, and to consider installing them in all police stations. Also in July 2014, the Ministry of Home Affairs expressed that the government was considering amending the Penal Code to specifically recognize torture as a crime. In addition, vibrant Indian civil society has exerted a tremendous amount of efforts to convince Indian government to rectify CAT and speedy hearing for under trials.iv]  

However, despite the existing legal safeguards, widespread use of torture is continuing in India. Torture remains endemic, institutionalized and central to the administration of justice.The Government of India will now act as it promised at the UPR3 India [ 4th May , 2017 ].[v] It is noted that chairperson of national Human Rights Commission (NHRC) appealed to Government of India for ratification of UNCAT.[vi] 

 Analysis of the individual cases of torture handled by PVCHR illustrates the critical failings in a dysfunctional public justice system in India. Prison conditions in India are appalling with all the known symptoms of poor correctional systems. There is no unified correctional system in India but many different systems in the individual states. The biggest problems are found in the prisons. In many ways PVCHR has made similar findings and analysis as in The ‘Locust Effect’.[vii] 

Post 9/11, India has seen increasing discrimination and communal attacks against Muslim and Madrasa schools. Muslim areas are often target of anti-terror campaigns. 54% of prisoners in Indian prisons are Muslims and 28% are Dalits. Right wing Hindu fascists orchestrate planned communal riots, such as in Aligarh (Uttar Pradesh). The attacks on Muslims are frequent and the consequences are destruction of livelihood – a paradox as Muslims constitute the backbone of Indian small scale industry. PVCHR has been able to document the role of police in attacks on Muslims. Ultimo 2013 PVCHR completed the EU funded project ‘Police Torture against Muslim Minorities’. The project documented severe human rights violations and the general socio-economic deprivation of Muslim communities. In last initiative organized an interface meeting with the Parliamentarian, policy makers and political parties on the issue of Muslim minority in Uttar Pradesh were held on December 9, 2013[viii].

It is time to rejoice by many of us in the country, all human rights organizations and many platforms and collectives, who have tirelessly worked asking for the ratification of CAT[ix].

Practice of torture must be eliminated to restore the dignity of humanity. No society and government can claim to be civilized, democratic and peaceful, if practice of torture allowed. Conflict inside any nation-state is responsible for creating conflict with neighbouring countries. So we need to work on grassroots level for elimination of locust effect of torture and hegemonic masculinity based organized violence [x] .In this context, India should be join process for torture and organized violence free world.

Written By Lenin Raghuvanshi (http://leninraghuvanshi.com/)




Saturday, October 28, 2017

The DM, Madurai be further directed to submit a report showing the steps taken by him for the permanent rehabilitation of the bonded labourers



Case Details of File Number: 331/22/0/2014-cl
Diary Number
1617/JR
Name of the Complainant
LENIN RAGHUVANSHI, SECRETARY GENERAL
Address
PVCHR COMMUNCATION,

VARANASI , UTTAR PRADESH
Name of the Victim
FOUR CHILD LABOURERS RELEASED FROM BONDAGE
Address
AVANIAPURAM NEAR USILAMPATTI,

TAMILNADU , TAMIL NADU
Place of Incident
ENNORE

TAMILNADU , TAMIL NADU
Date of Incident
Not Mentioned
Direction issued by the Commission
These proceedings should be read in continuation of the earlier proceedings of the Commission dated 29.8.2016. In response to the conditional summons vide proceedings dated 29.8.2016, the DM, Madurai vide communication dated 22.10.2016 intimated that all the three child labourers of Madurai District were paid their rehabilitation assistance of Rs. 19,000/- each (acknowledgment of receipts enclosed). The Commission carefully considered the contents of the report dated 22.10.2016. The DM, Madurai be further directed to submit a report showing the steps taken by him for the permanent rehabilitation of the bonded labourers as per the provisions of Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976. No response was received from the DM, Dindigul. Let non-conditional summons be issued to him to appear before the Commission in person on 17.3.2017 along with the required report and explain the delay.
Action Taken
Additional Information Called for (Dated 1/5/2017 )
Status on 10/28/2017
Response from concerned authority is awaited.


 
 
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: <nhrc.india@nic.in>
Date: Oct 28, 2017 10:08 AM
Subject: Direction Issued by NHRC for Case No.-331/22/0/2014-cl
To: <cfr.pvchr@gmail.com>
Cc:

The NHRC has issued direction on Case No.-331/22/0/2014-cl. For more details visit NHRC website www.nhrc.nic.in on next working day

Saturday, September 16, 2017

CBI investigation in the case of 3 minor sisters looking for food raped, murdered at a dhaba in Maharashtra



Case Details of File Number: 793/13/6/2013-wc
Diary Number
1767
Name of the Complainant
LENIN RAGHUVANSHI, SECRETARY GENERAL
Address
PEOPLE VIGILANCE COMMITTEE ON HUMAN RIGHTS, SA 4/2 A, DAULATPUR,

VARANASI , UTTAR PRADESH
Name of the Victim
THREE MINOR SISTERS VICTIM OF RAPE
Address
VILLAGE. LAKHNI,

BHANDARA , MAHARASHTRA
Place of Incident
VILLAGE. LAKHNI

BHANDARA , MAHARASHTRA
Date of Incident
2/15/2013
Direction issued by the Commission
In the instant case, pursuant to the directions of the Commission, the Head of Branch, Central Bureau of Investigation, Special Crime Branch, Mumbai vide letter dated 7.6.2017 has submitted that the CBI, Special Crime Branch Mumbai has re-registered Crime No.40/2013 u/s 302, 376, 201 IPC r/w Sec. 4 & 6 Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 of Lakhni P.S. District Bhandara vide Case No. RC 3(S)/2016, Mumbai on 29.8.2016 against unknown persons and taken up for investigation. The CBI, SCB, Mumbai collected all documents and articles seized in the case from Lakhani Police Station, Bhandra and S.D.P.O., Sakoli Division, District Bhandara. The CBI team visited the Scene of crime in September 2016. So far 54 witnesses have been examined in the case. The documents collected are also being scrutinized. The case is under investigation. It is also informed that compensation has been paid to the victims under the SC/ST Act. Since the matter is being investigated by the CBI, the Commission does not intend to proceed with the matter further and the case is closed.
Action Taken
Concluded and No Further Action Required (Dated 7/17/2017 )
Status on 9/16/2017
The Case is Closed.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: PVCHR Communication
Date: Wed, Feb 20, 2013 at 3:53 PM
Subject: 3 minor sisters looking for food raped, murdered at a dhaba in Maharashtra
To: covdnhrc , jrlawnhrc
Cc: lenin


To,
The Chairperson
National Human Rights Commission
New Delhi

Dear Sir,
I want to bring in your kind attention towards the news published in NDTV on 20th February, 2013 regarding 3 minor sisters looking for food raped, murdered at a dhaba in Maharashtra http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/3-minor-sisters-looking-for-food-raped-murdered-at-a-dhaba-in-maharashtra-333117


3 minor sisters looking for food raped, murdered at a dhaba in Maharashtra
Reported by Saurabh Gupta, Edited by Surabhi Malik | Updated: February 20, 2013 10:14 IST
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MumbaiAs India celebrated the One Billion Rising movement to fight violence against women on February 14, three little sisters aged five, nine and 11, went missing from their home in a small Maharashtra village. Four days later, their dead bodies were found in a well on the outskirts of the village, next to a roadside dhaba or eatery.

Autopsies have confirmed that the three children were brutally raped and killed before their bodies were thrown into the well. In terrible irony, their tiny slippers were found next to empty liquor bottles. A shocking story of extreme poverty, hunger and assault has since come to light.

Police say the three fatherless children - whose mother works as a domestic help in Lakhni village of Bhandara district and was away from home - were hungry and left home on Thursday afternoon in search of food. They found their way to the dhaba, where they were brutally raped and murdered.
 






That evening, their mother filed a missing persons complaint with the police. When their bodies were discovered, the police reportedly said the children, driven by poverty and hunger, could have killed themselves. Local residents say it was only when they protested that autopsies were conducted on the bodies. The post-mortem reports confirmed horrific assault. 
 
The police have since registered a case of rape and murder and say investigations are on to trace the unidentified attackers. Rajendra Singh, Inspector General of Police, Nagpur Range told NDTV, "We have checked out 100 to 150 people and interrogated 10 to 15." Six-seven special teams have been formed to probe the incident, police sources have said.
 
Villagers, who are horrified at the three hungry children becoming easy prey to such brutal assault and murder, say they have complained about such dhabas which illegally serve liquor and attract "criminal elements."



Therefore it is a kind request please take appropriate action at earliest.

Thanking You

Sincerely Yours

Lenin Raghuvanshi
Secretary General
Peoples' Vigilance Committee on Human Rights
Sa 4/2 A Daulatpur, Varanasi - 221002
Mobile No: +91-9935599333