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  • Karnataka

    1. Overview.. 1
    2. Human rights violations by the security forces. 1
    a. Violations of the right to life. 1
    b. Torture. 2
    3. Violations of international humanitarian laws by the AOGs. 3
    4. Violations of the rights of the Dalits. 3
    5. Violations of the rights of the tribals. 4
    6. Violations of the rights of the child. 4
    7. Special focus: farmer suicides. 5


    1. Overview

    In 2006, Karnataka did not witness any major violence by the Naxalites. However, as many as 315 villages under 152 gram panchayats in 11 districts were identified as Naxal-affected.[1] The security forces especially the State Police were responsible for killing of three persons and perpetrating torture.

    On 1 December 2006, Sukhanand Shetty, Bharatiya Janata Party's General Secretary of Mulki-Moodbidri constituency, was killed by some unidentified men in front of his office at Kulai under Mulki police station.[2]

    There were 6 vacancies in the Karnataka High Court by the end of December 2006 while 162 posts of judges were lying vacant in the District and Subordinate Courts as on 30 September 2006. As many as 91,967 cases were pending in the High Court and a total of 10,66,131 cases were pending with the District and Subordinate Courts as on 30 September 2006.[3]

    The State Government failed to eradicate bonded labour and child labour in the State. The provisions of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2000 were grossly violated.

    2. Human rights violations by the security forces

    a. Violations of the right to life

    The security forces were responsible for human rights violations including extrajudicial killing of civilians. On 4 May 2006, Shankara Mallikarjun from Alawayi village allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself to the bars of the lockup of Hulasur Police Station. He was arrested on charges of stealing cows.[4]

    On the night of 1 December 2006, two persons were killed and several others were injured when police resorted to firing at the premises of Mulki police station in Dakshina Kannada district.[5]

    On 22 March 2006, the Karnataka High Court dismissed a petition filed by relatives of two persons Thajmul and Amjad Khan, who had died in a police encounter while allegedly attempting to steal a sandalwood tree in Malleswaram in 1999, seeking permission to prosecute the police. The petitioners alleged that their relatives were shot dead in fake encounter by the police. However, the court asked the petitioners to approach the appropriate forum.[6]

    In July 2006, National Human Rights Commission issued a notice to the Inspector General of Prisons, S T Ramesh asking for an explanation on the death of a convict Ahmed Khan lodged in the Parappana Agrahara jail. In a complaint, the deceased's brother Ibrahim Khan stated that Ahmed Khan had been complaining about his breathing problem to the jail authorities but the authorities took him to the hospital only when his condition worsened and he died on the way to the hospital.[7]

    b. Torture

    The police were responsible for torturing civilians. Efforts to file First Information Report (FIR) at police station resulted in torture by the police. This is despite the fact that lodging of FIR is a fundamental right of every citizen.

    On 11 January 2006, Sunil and Nagaraj, residents of Kethamaranahall, were beaten up by three constables identified as Ramanna, Chandrashekar and Ishwar Rangachar attached to the Subramanya Nagar police station when they had gone to the police station to lodge an FIR. All the constables were suspended.[8]

    On the night of 19 October 2006, 19-year-old Adam, son of Prasad Bidapa, was allegedly beaten up with lathis by the police at the Ashok Nagar police station in Bangalore. The victim was severely injured on his head, back and leg.[9]

    3. Violations of international humanitarian laws by the AOGs

    There was no major violence by the Naxalites during 2006. On 13 May 2006, Naxalites attacked the house of a school teacher identified as Bhoja Shetty and damaged a television set at Nadapal under the Hebri police station limits in Udupi district.[10]

    The State Government announced allocation of special funds for developing Naxal-affected villages over the next two years. Each gram panchayat would be given Rs 10 lakh a year for two years for developing Naxal affected villages in their jurisdiction. As many as 315 villages under 152 grama panchayats in 11 districts were identified as Naxal-affected. The gram panchayats were directed to prepare a comprehensive development plan as per the guidelines of the Kugrama Suvarna Scheme. The government also directed use of other grants from the government, zilla and taluk panchayats for developing these villages on priority.[11]

    4. Violations of the rights of the Dalits

    The National Crime Records Bureau recorded 1,780 cases of atrocities against the Dalits in 2005. These included 18 murder cases, 30 rape cases, 8 kidnapping cases, 4 arson, 86 hurt, 28 cases under Protection of Civil Rights Act and 1,108 cases under SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act etc.

    The Dalits continued to be treated with contempt. They faced discrimination while trying to exercise their fundamental rights such as collecting water from common source, praying in temples or casting votes.

    On 25 July 2006, the upper caste people reportedly imposed a social and economic boycott against around 80 Dalit families of Kadkol village of Basavanabagewadi taluk in Bijapur district for daring to collect water from the village tank. The landlords refused to give them work, shops and flour mills were shut for them and they were even not allowed to buy from the fair price shop under the Public Distribution System.[12]

    For the last three years, eight Dalit families of Kamanakerehundi village in Mysore district continued to be ostracized. As a result, they were living miserable lives as they were being denied access to water, shops, telephone, tailors, hospital, temple, cable facility and sanitation. They were not even allowed to cast votes in the Gram Panchayat election. On 29 March 2006, some Dalits including one Nagamma were allegedly assaulted when they visited the temple during a special festival observed in the village. The police failed to initiate any action even after a complaint was lodged.[13]

    5. Violations of the rights of the tribals

    The National Crime Records Bureau recorded 161 cases of atrocities against the tribals in 2005 including 5 murder cases, 6 rape cases and 85 cases under SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act etc.

    In Karnataka, over 200 tribal families had been displaced from the Nagarhole National Park from the last three years. The State Government had allegedly been promoting jungle lodges in Nagarhole National Park of Kodagu district. About six to eight lodges had come up around the Park as on early June 2006. Since 1972 about 1,600 families had been evicted from the national park.[14]

    However, the conditions of those shifted out from the park were deplorable. About 250 tribal families who were shifted out from the Nagarahole National Park to Nagapura were not provided necessary facilities such as electricity supply, hospital, proper infrastructure to create job opportunities for the tribals, among others, as on 4 February 2006. Earlier, a committee appointed by the Karnataka High Court in its interim report stated that it had identified 1,738 tribal families in the national park area.[15]

    6. Violations of the rights of the child

    The conditions of the children were miserable. In February 2006, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) member Justice Shivraj V Patil stated that the steps initiated by the State Government towards implementation of NHRC's guidelines for eradication of bonded labour and child labour system was not “satisfactory”. As per the NHRC guidelines issued in 2003, the State Governments should initiate steps to completely eradicate the illegal practice of bonded labour and child labour by 2007. The Karnataka Government even failed to furnish details of aid extended to those who were freed from bonded labour system as on 19 February 2006.[16]

    An Observation Home is meant to house minors (below 18 years of age) for any offence that they might have committed. However, the provisions of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2000 was grossly violated. As per the findings of Deccan Herald, the Act was being severely misused by adults (above 18 years of age) who were allegedly faking their legal age to avoid jail altogether. The Observation Home in Madivala had been housing several such majors.[17]

    7. Special focus: farmer suicides

    As per State Government's statistics, a total of 134 farmers committed suicide between April and December 2006 in Karnataka. Of these, the State Government paid compensation of Rs 1 lakh to 49 claimants, while rejecting 43 others and 42 were pending as on 20 December 2006.[18] According to the Union Ministry of Agriculture, 52 cases were reported between 1 April 2005 and 23 August 2005 alone. In 2004-05, 271 farmers committed suicide, while the figure was 708 in 2003-04, 2,340 in 2002-03, 2,505 in 2001-02 and 2,630 cases in 2000-01. The main causes identified by State Government were indebtedness, crop failure, non-payment of loans taken from moneylenders at high rates of interest.[19]

    The State Government proposed to implement the Karnataka Money Lenders (Prevention of charging exorbitant interest rates) Act to check suicides by bankrupt farmers. The Act which was enacted by the previous government four years ago remained unimplemented. The government had set a target of disbursing Rs 3,000 crore as farm credit at four per cent interest. A sum of Rs 2,000 crore had already been sanctioned.[20] 


    [1]. Naxal-hit villages to get special funding, The Deccan Herald, 16 April 2006 

    [2]. Two killed in police firing, The Deccan Herald, 2 December 2006 

    [3]. Court News, October-December 2006, The Supreme Court of India

    [4]. Lockup death, station besieged, The Telegraph, 6 May 2006

    [5]. Two killed in police firing, The Deccan Herald, 2 December 2006 

    [6]. 1999 POLICE ENCOUNTER DEATHS, The Deccan Herald, 23 March 2006

    [7]. Convict's death: IGP gets notice from NHRC, Deccan Herald, 16 July 2006 

    [8]. 3 constables suspended, The Deccan Herald, 13 January 2006 

    [9]. Police brutality alleged, The Deccan Herald, 21 October 2006 

    [10]. Naxalite group attacks schoolteacher's house, The Hindu, 14 May 2006 

    [11]. Naxal-hit villages to get special funding, The Deccan Herald, 16 April 2006

    [12]. Boycotted Dalits of Kadkol have none to fall back on, The Hindu, 21 October 2006 

    [13]. 8 Dalit families ostracized, The Deccan Herald, 14 December 2006 

    [14]. 'Jungle lodges displacing tribals', The Deccan Herald, 7 June 2006 

    [15]. 250 tribal families denied facilities: HC, The Deccan Herald, 4 February 2006 

    [16]. State has not acted: NHRC, The Deccan Herald, 19 February 2006 

    [17]. A safe haven for 'adults', The Deccan Herald, 13 January 2006 

    [18]. '134 farmers committed suicide', The Deccan Herald, 20 December 2006

    [19]. 52 farmers committed suicide in 6 months, The Deccan Herald, 9 January 2006 

    [20]. '134 farmers committed suicide', The Deccan Herald, 20 December 2006 

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