After taking a serious note of Nithari killings and issuing notice to the State Government the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) is going to hold a three-day special session in Lucknow from January 18, 2007 to clear all pending cases of human right violations in Uttar Pradesh.
At least 1000 cases of human right violations pending since 1996 are likely to come up for hearing before the NHRC in Lucknow. The NHRC has sent the list of all the pending cases and if senior officers of the State Government were to be believed about 75 per cent of pending cases concern directly with the police while the remaining cases remain pending with other departments.
Besides NHRC Acting Chairperson Dr Shivraj V Patil the three members of the human rights panel may also be in Lucknow for the hearing. At the end of the three-day hearing on January 20, 2007 the NHRC has summoned senior officers of the State Government to discuss the human rights issues. In addition to the Nithari killings the NHRC may also take up other cases of disappearance of children or human rights violations at its three-day hearing in Lucknow.
A senior officer of the State Government said the State Government would put up its point of view if the NHRC listed the Nithari killing case for hearing in Lucknow. The State Government has already transferred the case to the CBI and action including dismissals from service and suspensions have already been taken against those responsible for lapses, he said. Asked to comment the Home Secretary Arun Kumar Sinha said the State Government was preparing its reply on Nithai killings and the same would be filed if the case came up for hearing in Lucknow. The NHRC officials were not available for comments.
This is, however, for the first time that the NHRC would be holding hearing in Uttar Pradesh. Senior officers expressed surprise over NHRC's decision to hold the hearing in the state. "We have submitted reply in most of the cases," said another officer of the State Government adding the compliance report had also been sent to NHRC in most of the cases. In many cases senior officers have been summoned to explain the delay in compling with the NHRC orders.
Much significance is being attached to NHRC's visit as it comes in the backdrop of reports that UP topped the list of human rights violations. According to a NHRC report the state had remained on the top in terms of registration of cases of human rights violations. A NHRC report for 2004-2005 indicated that out of 74401 cases reported nearly 44643 cases were reported from UP alone.
A number of cases reported from the state are against the police for perpetrating atrocities and the death in police custody. Senior officers of the State Government however counter the NHRC's statistics saying that the proximity of the NHRC's headquarters to the state was one of the reasons for the large number of cases. This was evident from the fact that a number of cases were reported from the districts of western Uttar Pradesh, he said.