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  • Uttar Pradesh

    I. Overview. 1

    II. Human rights violations by the security forces 2

    a. Violations of the right to life. 2

    i. Custodial killings 2

    ii. Extrajudicial executions 3

    b. Arbitrary arrest, illegal detention and torture. 5

    III. Judiciary and administration of justice. 5

    IV. Violations of the rights of the Dalits 6

    V. Violence against women. 7

    VI. Violations of the prisoners’ rights 8

    VII. Violations of the rights of minorities 9

     

     


    I. Overview

     

    In 2007, Uttar Pradesh was the worst violator of human rights in India. Home Minister Shivraj Patil informed the Lok Sabha on 27 November 2007 that a total of 31,096 human rights violations were reported in India during 2006-2007 and Uttar Pradesh accounted for 21,899 or nearly 66% of all cases in India. On 1 December 2007, then Chairperson of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Shivaraj Patil stated that the majority of the 82,000 complaints received by NHRC in 2007 were from Uttar Pradesh, followed by Bihar and Delhi.

     

    Asian Centre for Human Rights recorded a number of custodial deaths. The NHRC registered seven cases of deaths in police custody in Uttar Pradesh during the period from 1 April 2006 – 31 March 2007.

     

    Uttar Pradesh had highest number of ‘encounter killings’. The NHRC registered 201 cases of encounter deaths in Uttar Pradesh during the period from 1 April 2006 – 31 March 2007. In a number of cases, the courts intervened    and ordered investigation.

     

    The condition of Dalits remained deplorable. Apart from killings, rapes and caste-based discrimination, Dalits in the state were subjected to particularly unusual barbarity including the cutting off of tongues and gouging out of eyes.  Dalit women continued to be subjected to high levels caste violence.

     

    The National Crimes Record Bureau of the Ministry of Home Affairs recorded a total of 4,960 cases against the Dalits in Uttar Pradesh during 2006 including 318 were cases of killing and 229 cases of rape.

     

    II. Human rights violations by the security forces

     

    The security forces were responsible for violations of the right to life including custodial death and killing in disproportionate use of force including the use of firearms. The National Crime Records Bureau recorded 103 civilian deaths related to police opening fire on civilians in 2006.  

    a. Violations of the right to life  

    i. Custodial killings

     

    Custodial killings were common in UP. The NHRC registered seven cases of deaths in police custody in Uttar Pradesh during the period from 1 April 2006 – 31 March 2007.

     

    The Asian Centre for Human Rights recorded a number of custodial deaths in 2007.

     

    On 11 July 2007, Rajesh (18), a resident of Khair in Aligarh district, was allegedly tortured to death in police custody at Nithauli Kalan Police Station in Etah in Uttar Pradesh. He was arrested on 10 July 2007 on charges of abduction and rape. After torturing him on the night of 10 July 2007, the police produced him before a court in Etah on the morning of 11 July 2007.  He was visibly ill during the proceedings. He collapsed on the verandah of the court and died.

     

    On the night of 21 November 2007, one Mr Sahiram, a resident of Kheda Islampur village, was arrested on charges of murdering his brother Ramdeen over a land dispute. Sahiram was lodged in Baghpat Kotwali police station. He died on the night of 22 November 2007. The police claimed that the deceased committed suicide by hanging himself in the police station, Sahiram’s family alleged that he died due to torture. The police station in- charge, Vijay Prakash Singh, Sub Inspectors Ram Kishen Rathi and Mateen Ahmad were suspended in connection with the custodial death.

     

    On 23 December 2007, one Mr Anis was arrested following a scuffle in Bazari Khera village. On the morning of 25 December 2007, Anis’s mother Hira Devi found her son unconscious inside the lockup of Malihabad police station when she went to visit him. He was rushed to a government hospital, which referred him to the trauma centre, where he was declared dead on arrival. Following protests by locals, a magisterial inquiry was ordered and Malihabad Station House Officer P Singh was suspended.  

    ii. Extrajudicial executions

     

    Uttar Pradesh has highest number of fake encounters in the country. The NHRC registered 201 cases of encounter deaths in Uttar Pradesh during the period from 1 April 2006 – 31 March 2007.

     

    While ordering an investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the alleged fake encounter killing of one Suraj Singh in Sultanpur in Uttar Pradesh, the National Human Rights Commission stated on 26 July 2007 that “the job of the police is to apprehend criminals and bring them to book. If the police transgresses its limits and takes the law in its own hands, the security of the citizen is seriously jeopardized. Merely because a person is perceived to be a dreaded criminal and threat to society, the Police can have no justification to deprive him of his life otherwise than in accordance with the procedure established by law”.

     

    On 12 February 2007, Suraj Singh was picked up by a team of Special Operation Group (SOG) of the Uttar Pradesh police at Sultanpur. The victim was killed in custody on the same day. At around 5 pm of 12 February 2007, the victim’s brother Chandan Singh sent a fax massage to NHRC about the encounter killing. But it was only on 14 February 2007 that the NHRC received two separate messages - one from Senior Superintendent of Police, Lucknow and the other from Special Task Force of UP Police. Both the communications stated that Suraj Singh had been killed in an encounter with the police at Lucknow- Rai Bareilly Road on 13 February 2007 at 7: 35 am. Both the messages also said that Suraj Singh was involved in a train robbery in which two constables were killed. The NHRC became suspicious as it had received the message from the deceased's brother before the alleged time of encounter (13 February 2007 at 7.35 am, as claimed by the police). Under NHRC’s directions a team of officials of the Investigation Division headed by DIG (NHRC) conducted an investigation at Lucknow, Sultanpur and Faizabad from 26 Feb to 2 Mar 2007. NHRC sent its own team for an on the spot inquiry. The investigation team of the Commission in its report said that Suraj Singh was killed in a stage-managed encounter. This led the NHRC to order the state government of Uttar Pradesh to order an investigation into the case by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on 26 July 2007.

     

    On 15 August 2007 a news channel aired live footage of a man identified as Pintu Mishra being shot dead by the police in a crowded street in Allahabad on 18th September 2006. The police described the victim as a petty criminal. The footage showed Mishra was willing to surrender and raised his hands but the police shot him.

     

    Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati has ordered an investigation into the incident. The original report of the Senior Superintendent of Police, Allahabad submitted to the NHRC on 21 September 2006 claimed that the deceased hade tried to run away after throwing a bomb killing the Head Constable, Ashok Pandey on 18th September 2006. He was chased and surrounded by the police Mishra again threw a bomb causing injuries to a Sub-Inspector and a Constable. He was then by the police “in self defence”.

     

    The NHRC on 18th October 2006, 19th Jan 2007 and 16th April 2007 asked the state government to submit a report in connection with the killing including the magisterial inquiry, postmortem and inquest reports. The state authorities failed to comply with the orders of the NHRC. On 29 August 2007, the NHRC summoned the Deputy Magistrate of Allahabad with magisterial enquiry report and the Senior Superintendent of Police of Allahabad with post-mortem and inquest reports to appear in person before the Commission on 24 October 2007.


    On 12 September 2007, a court in Etawah sentenced 15 police personnel to life imprisonment for killing physically challenged Raj Narain in a fake encounter at Dadra village under Chakarnagar police station in Etawah district.

     

    On 9 September 2007, three Gujjar youths identified as Praveen, Anit and Yadvendra of Nangli village of Saharanpur district were allegedly killed by police led by SHO of Kharkhauda police station in an alleged fake encounter. The authorities did not inform the NHRC about the killing of these youths as required under the guidelines of the NHRC. On 17 September 2007, the NHRC took suo-motu cognizance of the incident and sought a report from the state government of Uttar Pradesh.

    In April 2007, a local court in Meerut ordered that a case of abduction and murder be filed against 19 police personnel in connection with two fake encounters – one in Loni and another in Meerut in which two innocent persons were killed.

    On the night of 12 March 2007, a labourer identified as Bachcha Singh was killed in police firing in a case of mistaken identity after he was taken to be a criminal in the Miranpur area of Musaffarnagar.  

    b. Arbitrary arrest, illegal detention and torture

     

    The security forces were responsible for torture, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

     

    According to the information obtained from the National Human Rights Commission, the NHRC received a total of three cases custodial violence, 603 cases of illegal arrest, 995 cases of unlawful detention, 44 cases of disappearance, 2389 cases of false implication and 862 cases of “other police excesses” in Uttar Pradesh during the year 2006-2007.

     

    The Asian Centre for Human Rights documented several cases of torture, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment in Uttar Pradesh during 2007. On the night of 16 August 2007, Ashok, a 25-year-old physically chal­lenged painter, was allegedly beaten up by a drunk constable when he had gone to lodge a complaint at the Nasirpur police post of the Sihani Gate police station in Ghaziabad district. Doctors had to amputate half of two fin­gers of his right hand al­legedly crushed by a rifle butt wound.

     

    On 15 August 2007, a 17-year-old Dalit girl (name withheld), resident of Jagadishpur village, was arrested after she was found wandering near the Gaur Police Station in Basti district of Uttar Pradesh. The police detained her overnight at the police station. The victim was allegedly tortured. She was released from the Gaur Police Station on 16 August 2007 without charge. She died a few hours after her release.

     

    Similarly, on the night of 4 September 2007, an eight-year-old girl, (name withheld), was seriously injured and lost her voice after a Sub-Inspector searching for a criminal in a house beat her up in Mau district.  

     

    III. Judiciary and administration of justice

    The Judiciary was hampered by a shortage of judges and judicial delay. As of 1st January 2008, there were 89 vacancies of judges in the Allahabad High Court, while there were 513 vacancies of judges in the state’s District and Subordinate Courts as on 30 September 2007. A total of 808226 cases were pending with the Allahabad High Court and 4817554 cases were pending with the District and Subordinate Courts as of 30th September 2007.

    Due to inordinate judicial delay and gross negligence by the administration, several prisoners were detained in jails for years. On 13 February 2007, the Supreme Court directed the registrar generals of all High Courts to submit reports within six weeks giving details of all the undertrials whose cases had not been posted for hearing for years and also of those who had been sent to a mental asylum.

     

    The apex court took suo motu cognisance of a news report that one Ramjeevan Yadav has been in a jail in Uttar Pradesh for 38 long years without trial.  

     

    IV. Violations of the rights of the Dalits

     

    The treatment Dalits remained deplorable. Dalits women continued to be highly prone to violence perpetrated by upper caste people. Apart from killings, rapes and caste-based discrimination, Dalits were meted out barbaric treatment such as the chopping off of tongues and eyes gouged out.

    The National Crimes Record Bureau of the Ministry of Home Affairs recorded a total of 4,960 cases against the Dalits in Uttar Pradesh during 2006. Of these, 318 were cases of killing, 229 rape cases, 113 kidnapping and abduction cases, among others.

     

    In 2007, ACHR recorded a number of violations against the Dalits.

     

    On 1 August 2007, Dalit student Chakrasen Gautam (22), resident of Bhadevra village in Pratapgarh district, was killed by upper caste men because he was admitted to an engineering college. The deceased was reportedly tied up, stabbed with a screwdriver and beaten with sticks.

     

    On 13 September 2007, two

    Dalit children identified as Neeraj (9) and Akshay (7) were killed. Their eyes were gouged out and their tongues chopped off at Bajrahapurva village under Chaubeypur police station near Kanpur.

     

    On 21 September 2007, a Dalit woman, whose son was accused of eloping with a girl of another caste, was burnt to death while her family members were held hostage in. Krishnanagar area under Sirsaganj police station near Agra.

     

    On 12 November 2007, a Dalit youth identified as Guddu Jatav, a rickshaw puller, was beaten and buried alive by three upper caste men in Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh over a trivial dispute.

     

    Violence against Dalit women:

     

    Dalit women continued to be victims of killing and sexual violence. Between January and July 2007, 3,782 cases of crimes committed against Dalits were recorded in the state. Of these, 158 were cases of rape of Dalit women.

     

    In 2007, ACHR recorded a number of crimes against the Dalits.

     

    On 14 July 2007, two Dalit girls were reportedly gang raped by four persons identified as Zahir, Nizammudin, Ikrammudin and Faimmudin at Upeda village under Babugarh police area in Ghaziabad district.

     

    On 20 December 2007, a 55-year-old Dalit died while trying to save his two daughters-in-law from being raped by upper caste men in Unnao district. Similarly, on 27 December 2007, a Dalit youth was killed while trying to save his wife from being raped by two upper caste youths at Purwa in Unnao district.

     

    Often the police connive with the upper castes in committing the crimes. In March 2007, 15-year-old Dalit girl of Nirpura village in Bagpet under Dogat police station was gang raped and killed by some persons who had reportedly came along with some police in a police jeep. The police including a Sub-Inspector allegedly watched the incident mutely.

     

    In December 2007, Dalit woman Phool Kumari Rawat lost her job as a cook for mid-day meal scheme after students at the Bibipur Primary and Junior High School near Lucknow boycotted the mid-day meals cooked by her.  

     

    V. Violence against women

     

    Between January and July 2007, 11,453 cases of crimes against women were reported in Uttar Pradesh. The National Crime Records Bureau of the Ministry of Home Affairs recorded 16,375 cases of violence against women during 2006. These included 1314 rape cases, 2551 kidnapping and abduction cases, 1798 dowry death cases, among others.

     

    The police were responsible for committing rapes. On 4 February 2007, Constable Jaswant Singh was arrested for allegedly raping a 21-year-old woman in Gorakhpur district. On 29 January 2007, the accused constable entered the house of the victim after hearing cries for help but raped the girl finding her alone.

     

    In March 2007, a woman was allegedly gang raped by seven police personnel including the Station House Officer of Sheshamau and Inspector Yadunath Singh after forcefully entering her house in Kanpur. The police refused to register her complaint. On 13 July 2007, a local court in Kanpur ordered the police to register a case against the accused policemen.

     

    Poor migrant women were also targeted for sexual violence. On the night of 21 February 2007, 17 tribal women including minors from Jharkhand were allegedly gang raped by about 25 youths at a brick kiln at Sirohideeh village in Ballia district.  

     

    VI. Violations of the prisoners’ rights

     

    The NHRC registered 241 cases of deaths in judicial custody in Uttar Pradesh during the period from 1 April 2006 – 31 March 2007.

     

    The conditions of prisons remained deplorable due to overcrowding. According to the findings of an inquiry conducted by the police and administration, 3,112 prisoners were lodged against a sanctioned capacity of 670 in the Dasna jail in Ghaziabad district as of mid-April 2007. The report also revealed that there were no watchtower, no metal detectors, no public address system, no wireless sets, no generator, no helmets or tear gas or a jail superintendent. Even the walls were below the official norms and standards.

     

    The biggest jail in Uttar Pradesh, Naini Central Jail was overcrowded. There were 3,926 prisoners living in this jail against the actual capacity of only 2,060 prisoners as of 14 July 2007. There were around 1,729 general convicts with 1,695 males, 13 women and 21 minors. There were 2166 undertrials including 46 women and 111 adolescents. Four persons are in Jail under National Security Act. The Jail had a hospital with four doctors. But the post of one doctor was lying vacant.

     

    On 21 September 2007, the National Human Rights Commission sent notice to the Director General of Police (Prisons) of Uttar Pradesh on conditions of the female prisoners in Mirzapur jail. The Commission took suo-motu cognizance of a report published in the Hindi daily "Jansatta" on 17th September 2007. The daily carried the statement of a human rights activist, Roma, who was detained at Mirzapur jail. Ms Roma following her release alleged that the jail lacked medical facilities and women prisoners gave birth to children without medical assistance. There were 29 women prisoners including some minor girls. At least six women prisoners were living along with their babies in the jail. The minors were detained as there was no one to pursue their case.

    Clashes between prisoners and jail officials were reported on regular intervals. On 25 June 2007, five persons – two jail wardens and three prisoners were killed in a clash inside Sultanpur district jail.

    Unlawful items such as mobile phones, luxury items could be easily smuggled inside the jails. The high-profile inmates enjoy various privileges in violation of the jail manual.  

    VII. Violations of the rights of minorities

     

    Religious minorities such as the Muslims and the Christians were targeted in Uttar Pradesh. Christian religious leaders were specifically targeted.

     

    On 16 September 2007, Pastor Virendra Singh and his wife were beaten up by some persons including VHP activists at Barauli village under Madiaon police station near Lucknow. The couple was accused of forced conversions in the area.

     

    On 17 August 2007, Dr Raju Abraham, chief surgeon of Kachhwa Mission Hospital and Pastor Joy were beaten up by activists allegedly belonging to Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and Bajrang Dal during a programme organised for Dalit children at Kachhwa in Mirzapur district. Earlier, Hindu extremist had threatened the organisers with dire consequences if they went ahead with programme.  

    On 25 March 2007, Pastor Rajender Chauhan was conducting a prayer meeting at Jaunpur which was attended by more than 13,000 persons. Suddenly two police jeeps and a van arrived at the scene and the police dragged Pastor Rajender Chauhan to the police vehicle without explanation. The crowd prevented the police from taking the Pastor away. The police claimed that they wanted to discuss a few things with the pastor regarding the upcoming elections in the state. The crowd allowed the police to detain the Pastor.  However the Pastor was detained beaten up all night. He was accused of conversion. The next day, he was produced before the Chief Judicial Magistsrate and was remanded for 14 days. At the court premises, activists of Viswa Hindu Parishad allegedly dragged and kicked the pastor in public.

    Endnotes:

    1.     31,000 complaints of police atrocities in India, Rediff News, 27 November 2007

    2.      available at http://www.rediff.com/news/2007/nov/27human.htm

    3.     Most human rights violations reported from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Delhi, The Hindu, 2 December 2007

    4.     Information obtained by ACHR from NHRC through filing RTI application

    5.     Information obtained by ACHR from NHRC through filing RTI application

    6.     Information obtained by ACHR from NHRC through filing RTI application

    7.     Alleged torture : Youth dies at court, The Indian Express, 12 July 2007

    8.     See http://news.oneindia.in/2007/11/23/3-cops-suspended-over-custodial-death-1195808859.html

    9.     SHO suspended after detainee dies in custody, Indian Express, 27 December 2007 (online) http://www.indianexpress.com/story/254635.html

    10.   Information obtained by ACHR from NHRC through filing RTI application

    11.   NHRC says police should not take law in its own hands; calls for a CBI inquiry by UP, Government into a fake encounter case, Press Release of NHRC on 26 July 2007

    12.   NHRC says police should not take law in its own hands; calls for a CBI inquiry by UP, Government into a fake encounter case, Press Release of NHRC on 26 July 2007

    13.   India probe into 'fake' killing, The BBC News, 16 August 2007, available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/6949194.stm

    14.   NHRC summons DM and SSP Allahabad on the incident related to the killing of Pinto Misra”, press release of NHRC on 29 August 2007

    15.   Disabled son shot in ‘encounter’, father took cops to court: 15 yrs later, life in jail for 15, The Indian Express, 17 September 2007

    16.   Gujjar anger puts heat on police after Meerut encounter, The Hindustan Times, 12 September 2007

    17.   NHRC calls for explanation from UP authorities on non-compliance of Commissions' guidelines in a case related to police encounter: sends notice to UP authorities on two other incidents of human rights violation”, The press release of NHRC on 17 September 2007

    18.   Probe indicts 19 cops for fake encounters, The Tribune, 23 April 2007

    19.   Labourer killed in police firing, The Indian Express, 14 March 2007

    20.   Information received from the National Human Rights Commission of India through filing of RTI application

    21.   Painter thrashed by cop, loses fingers, The Times of India, 21 august 2007

    22.   Dalit girl detained by police, dies after stay at Thana, The Indian Express, 19 August 2007

    23.   Minor beaten up by police, The Deccan Chronicle, 7 September 2007

    24.   Supreme Court of India, “Court News, October – December 2007”

    25.   Undertrial Cases: SC directs HCs to submit reports, The Kashmir Times, 14 February 2007

    26.   Black flags on I-day after Dalit son who made a UP village proud is murdered, The Indian Express, 15 August 2007

    27.   2 Dalit kids killed, eyes gouged out, The Times of India, 15 September 2007

    28.   Dalit woman burnt to death in Firozabad, The Hindu, 23 September 2007

    29.   Dalit youth buried alive, The Deccan Herald, 14 November 2007

    30.   Woman as victim, Frontline, Volume 24 – Issue 25, 22 December 2007-4 January 2008

    31.   Two Dalit girls gangraped in Ghaziabad, The Hindustan Times, 16 July 2007

    32.   Uttar Pradesh: Five Dalits killed, NDTV, 13 January 2008, available at: http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/ndtv/story.aspx?id=NEWEN20080043895

    33.   Minor Dalit girl ‘gangraped’, killed, The Tribune, 13 March 2007

    34.   Boycotted by students, Dalit cook to lose job, The Indian Express, 17 December 2007

    35.   Woman as victim, Frontline, Volume 24 – Issue 25, 22 December 2007-4 January 2008

    36.   Cop in net for rape in curfew, The Telegraph, 5 February 2007

    37.   Rape case registered against seven cops, The Hindu, 14 July 2007

    38.   Probe ordered into brick-kiln rapes, The Indian Express, 26 February 2007

    39.   Information obtained by ACHR from NHRC through filing RTI application

    40.   No watchtower, wireless sets at Ghaziabad jail, says report, Available at: http://cities.expressindia.com/fullstory.php?newsid=232464

    41.   Naini Central Jail is overcrowded, The Hindustan Times, 14 July 2007 available at http://hindustandainik.in/news/5922_2009924,0015002500010000.htm

    42.   NHRC sends notice to DGP(Prisons), UP, on inhuman conditions in Mirzapur jail: asks for factual report from DGP, Bihar, on dumping of bodies of lynched men by cops” , National Human Rights Commission’s press release dated 21 September 2007

    43.   Jail clash: Probe hints at collusion of four policemen with prisoners, The Indian Express, 27 June 2007

    44.   Jails will no longer comfort in UP, The Tribune, 9 July 2007

    45.   UP pastor, wife face attack by VHP men, The Asian Age, 18 September 2007

    46.   All India Christian Council, see “Christian doctor attached by RSS in Uttar Pradesh” available at http://indianchristians.in/news/content/view/1550/45/

    47.   All India Christian Council, see “Hindu fanatics and police brutally attack pastor in Uttar Pradesh” available at http://indianchristians.in/news/content/view/989/45/

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