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NHRC chief defends remarks

NHRC chairman justifies his comparison of Nandigram violence with Godhra violence by saying it reflected his anguish for the victims of human rights violations, reports Satya Prakash.

india Updated: Nov 22, 2007 02:02 IST
Satya Prakash

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Chairman Justice S. Rajendra Babu on Wednesday sought to justify his statement comparing the CPM cadres’ ‘recapture’ of Nandigram to the post-Godhra violence in Gujarat, saying it reflected his anguish for the victims of human rights violations.

“It is incontrovertible that in recent times, there have been violations of human rights on a mass scale in Nandigram. Any violation of human rights and that too on such a scale is a worse scar on the nation. The comparison between post-Godhra and Nandigram incidents was only to that extent,” Justice Babu said replying to a memorandum from some left MPs, including CPM leader Sitaram Yechury.

Breaking his silence over the criticism directed against him from the CPM, the NHRC chairman denied that his statement was biased. “Bias if any, was only towards the victims of human rights violations and not anything else”, he added.

Maintaining that he was only responding to the questions posed by the media, he said, “the statements attributed to him were made only in the context of his anguish for those victims of violations of human rights and no more.”

The left MPs taken strong exception to an agency report quoting the NHRC chief as having said that “the NHRC was committed to protect the rights of the people, who were victims of “opportunist” politics in both the states (West Bengal and Gujarat)”. However, Justice Babu denied having made any such statement. He said various statements attributed to him in the media were neither accurate nor did they reflect the true language or terminology.

He sought to stress “when it comes to the notice of the Commission that there are violations of human rights, it is the duty of Commission to act, if necessary in the public glare.”

Urging the signatories of the memorandum to appreciate his statement in the media in the context it had been made, he requested them to “put an end to the controversy.”