MHA and North Eastern states not complying with Supreme Court order for vacating school premises by the security forces

New Delhi:  Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) alleged that the Ministry of Home Affairs and the North Eastern states are not complying with the Supreme Court order for vacating the school premises by the security forces. The Supreme Court in its order dated 1.09.2010 in the matter of “Exploitation of Children in Orphanages in the State of Tamil Nadu Vs. UOI and Ors concerning large scale transportation of children from one state to another” directed the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) “to ensure that the para military forces vacate the school and hostel buildings occupied by them and submit an Action taken report to this Court as well as NCPCR within two months”. 

“It is not only the Central security forces under the Ministry of Home Affairs but also State security forces (Police, Armed Police, Commandos, State Rifles, Indian Reserve Battalions) who have been occupying schools across North East” – stated Mr Suhas Chakma, Director of ACHR while addressing the “High Level Meeting on Inter-State Trafficking of Children on the Pretext of Education” organized today at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) which has been asked by the apex court to inquire into large scale transportation of children from one State to another, including from the North Eastern states.

Mr Chakma further stated that as per information available with the Asian Centre for Human Rights, at least two schools in Assam are being occupied by the security forces until today. These schools were Routa Bagan LP School in Udalguri district currently occupied by Indian Reserve Battallion (Mizo); and Khwirasal LP School, Bhakatpara, occupied by Assam Rifles in Udalguri district.

The Asian Centre for Human Rights has recommended that (1) the NCPCR  establish mechanisms to independently verify the reports submitted by the relevant Ministries about vacating of the schools, hostels and children home complex by the security forces; (2) Considering that State security forces (Police, Armed Police, Commandos, State Rifles, Indian Reserve Battalions) have been occupying schools across North East, the District Collectors of the North Eastern States should submit the report about the vacation of the schools by the State security forces and this particular matter should be brought before the Honourable Supreme Court by the NCPCR while reporting about the compliance with the directions of 01.09.2010; (3) the NCPCR should take measures to send missions to the IDP camps to ensure that right to education, food, health and housing are provided to the displaced children and to address trafficking, the NCPCR should appoint focal point/staff in all the IDP camps to collect information about the trafficking of children, and take appropriate measures either to investigate on its own and take necessary measures or direct the State to investigate, take appropriate measures; and (4) the NCPCR should submit “financial assessment” to the government of India to implement the tasks assigned by the Supreme Court of India. [Ends]

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