NHRC Chairman: Govt should review AFSPA periodically if situation improves
National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) chairperson Justice Arun Mishra on Friday said it would be wrong to generalize that human rights get violated due to the imposition of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in some of the northeastern states.
“It cannot be generalized that human rights are violated due to imposition of AFSPA. The government should review the need for application or withdrawal of the Act,” Justice Mishra told reporters
Justice Mishra was interacting with the media after a two-day public hearing on the complaints of the Commission from 15th to 16th December 2021, which was held in Guwahati in respect of the States of Assam, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, and Sikkim.
He informed that this is NHRC’s 42 open hearing/camp sitting and through such camp sitting, the victims of human rights violation are given justice at their doorsteps in turns of monetary compensation, etc.
In the northeast, AFSPA is in force in Assam, Nagaland, Manipur (excluding the Imphal Municipal Council Area), and parts of Arunachal Pradesh. The law empowers security forces to conduct operations anywhere and arrest anyone without a warrant.
In reference to the December 4 incident in which 14 people were killed and 30 injured by the security forces in the Mon district of Nagaland, the rights panel chief said that the commission had taken up the case suo-moto on the basis of media reports and issued notices to the concerned authorities.
Mishra said that the NHRC has sought a report from the Union Home Ministry and the Special Investigation Team (SIT), constituted by the Nagaland government.
To a question on the series of encounters in Assam, the NHRC Chairperson said that all encounters cannot be fake, you cannot generalize all the encounters in the same frame.
Around 28 accused including suspected militants, have been killed and around 40 others injured in Assam since early May when police fired on them as the “accused allegedly tried to escape from custody or during operations.”
The NHRC chairperson stated that humans are the best creation of God and we have the sense to think about the protection of human rights of the people which includes the Right to Food, Health, Education, a better environment, and so on.
He also stated that human rights violation takes place only when the same is not respected. “Being the public servants, it is our duty to protect the rights of the people and not the court. Commission comes into the picture only when there is serious and grave nature of human rights violations or when the government machinery fails in its duties.
He said that the police carry weapons to protect human beings and not to become violators of human rights.
“A jail should be like an Ashram, where the prisoners need to be reformed so that when they come out from the jail, they should be responsible citizens and should not indulge in criminal activities again. It is the duty of the state governments to adopt mechanisms to reform the society,” Justice Mishra said.
[With Inputs from IANS]
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