- Hold a Parliamentary Debate on
security response to the Naxal crisis -

Atrocities against the Dalits are more under Mayawati

FCC South Asia, New Delhi: Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) in its “2009 India Human Rights Report” released to the media today expressed concerns about increased human rights violations in the Naxal conflict, and called for a parliamentary debate on security response to the Naxal crisis.

“It is not only because the Naxals were responsible for the maximum number of killings of innocent civilians during the latest parliamentary elections but also because of the consistent rise in the loss of lives in the Naxal conflict in comparison to the North East or Jammu and Kashmir in the last four years.” – stated Mr Suhas Chakma, Director of Asian Centre for Human Rights.  

While the number of security forces killed in Jammu Kashmir or North East decreased by more than half during 2005 and 2008, the number of security forces killed in the Naxal conflict doubled during the same period. The number of security forces killed decreased from 189 in 2005 to 75 in 2008 in Jammu and Kashmir and from 71 in 2005 to 46 in 2008 in the North East while the number of security forces killed in the Naxal conflict increased from 153 in 2005 to 231 in 2008. Similarly, the number of civilians killed during 2005 to 2008 were 1,965 persons in the Naxal conflict in comparison to 1,666 in North East and 1,195 in Jammu and Kashmir.  

Among the armed opposition groups, the Naxals were responsible for the gross violations of international humanitarian law. The methods of the Naxals include violence of extraordinary brutality, including the gouging out of eyes, bludgeoning to death and slitting of throats of those suspected of colluding with the State.  

Asian Centre for Human Rights stated that “current security-driven responses are not working; indeed they are counter-productive. India requires an answer to the increased violations both by the security forces and the Naxalites”.  

Extrajudicial executions:  Highest in Manipur  

Extrajudicial executions by the Manipur commandos and the Central security forces are rampant in Manipur and the maximum number of extrajudicial executions in 2008 took place in the State. Asian Centre for Human Rights itself investigated 19 cases of extrajudicial execution in Manipur in 2008. However, none of these extrajudicial executions were either recorded by the state agencies such as the National Crime Records Bureau or brought to the notice of the National Human Rights Commission by the State authorities.  

Khandamal: The single largest attacks on religious minorities in the world  

The attacks on Christian minorities in Khanmadamal following the killing of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Swami Laxmananda Sarawaswati on 23 August 2008 was the single largest attack on any religious group in the world in 2008.  

The State has failed to establish accountability for the killings of over 118 persons and until today it failed to create conducive conditions where the displaced persons could return with safety, security and dignity.  

The government of India has no policy to provide safety and security to the conflict induced internally displaced persons despite that conflicts had displaced millions of people since 1947.  

Uttar Pradesh: Dalits face more atrocities under Mayawati  

Atrocities against the Dalits and Tribals under the Chief Ministership of Mayawati, a Dalit herself, had increased by 4.74% in 2008 in comparison to 2007. A total of 6942 atrocities were recorded in 2008 in comparison to 6,628 in 2007 according to the records of the Uttar Pradesh Police.  

The Chief Minister has failed to take appropriate measures to ensure the rights of the Dalits while they continue to be denied entry into temples, barred from using public facilities, including water wells, and faced discrimination in educational institutions.  

Recommendations:  

“Impunity to the security forces and inability to bring the members of the armed opposition groups to justice is the single most important factor for increasing human rights violations in India” – stated Mr Chakma.  

Apart from the Parliamentary review of the security response to the Naxalite movement in India, Asian Centre for Human Rights also urged the newly formed United Progressive Alliance government to review all the laws/Acts that provide for prior permission of the government to prosecute the government officials/security personnel to ensure that no prior permission shall be required for corruption and human rights violations; place the draft Prevention of Torture Bill 2008 after necessary modifications in consultation with the stakeholders for adoption by the parliament; and ratify the UN Convention Against Torture and its optional protocol.

[Ends]

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