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UAPA accused Ateekur Rahman, suffering from heart ailment should be immediately released for treatment - Rihaai Manch

Rihaai Manch described the denial of emergency bail to Ateekur Rahman as inhuman and a violation of his right to life.

The General Secretary of Rihaai Manch, Rajeev Yadav, said that 27 year old Ateekur Rahman, resident of Meerut and son of Chaudhary Charan Singh, and student of PhD, is suffering from heart ailment and 10 years before his arrest in October 2020, his treatment was ongoing in AIIMS hospital. The doctors had suggested surgery for him a month before his arrest. They referred to his elder brother and said that if proper treatment is not provided to him, his life will be endangered.

Rajeev Yadav highlighted the death of Father Stan Swamy due to illness in Maharashtra jail, who was booked under the UAPA, and said that no lesson has been learnt from that case. Stan Swamy was not given bail despite asking for treatment several times. He said that in the case of Ateekur Rahman, too, the attitude of the government regarding interim bail for treatment is inappropriate and cruel.

The general secretary of the Manch said that the right to life is paramount and it cannot be compromised in any situation. If something untoward happens to Ateekur Rahman, its blemish will be not just on the Uttar Pradesh government but also on the court.

While on their way to Hathras to meet the family of the victim in the Hathras gangrape case, Ateekur Rahman and Siddique Kappan were arrested along with eight Muslims by the Uttar Pradesh government under the anti-terrorist law UAPA. Ateerkur Rahman was alleged to be a member of the Popular Front of India, although his family has denied it. Popular Front of India is not a banned organisation.

Rajeev Yadav,
General Secretary, Rihaai Manch

Threat to human rights is highest in police stations: Chief Justice of India NV Ramana

The chief justice said that constitutional right to legal aid and availability of free legal services was necessary to keep police excesses under check.

Chief Justice of India NV Ramana speaking at an event on Sunday, August 8. Chief Justice of India NV Ramana on Sunday expressed concerns at incidents of human rights violations of police stations in the country.

“The threat to human rights and bodily integrity are the highest in police stations,” Ramana said at an event of the National Legal Services Authority of India, or NALSA.

The chief justice said that custodial deaths and other forms of police atrocities were problems that still prevailed.

“Lack of effective legal representation at the police stations is a huge detriment to arrested or detained persons,” Ramana said. “Going by the recent reports even the privileged are not spared third degree treatment.”

He added that information about the constitutional right to legal aid and availability free legal services was necessary to keep police excesses under check. For a society to remain governed by the rule of law, the chief justice said, it was imperative to bridge the gap of accessibility to justice between the “highly privileged and the most vulnerable”.

Ramana’s comments on Sunday came days after the Centre told the Parliament that as many as 348 people died in police custody, while 1,189 were tortured during detention across the country in the last three years.

Responding to a question in the Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai said that 136 people died in police custody in 2018, 112 in 2019 and 100 in 2020.

UN Rights Experts Calls on India to Halt Eviction of Khori Gaon Residents in Haryana

Human rights experts at the United Nations have called on the Indian government to stop the eviction of nearly 1,00,000 people, including 20,000 children and 5,000 pregnant or breastfeeding women, from Faridabad’s Khori Gaon in Haryana, which was designated as a protected forest in 1992.

The local administration, which began its demolition exercise last week amidst the current monsoon season, aims to completely raze down the settlement by July 19, after the Supreme Court had failed to provide relief to residents who moved the court against the evictions and demolition.


“We appeal to the Indian government to respect its own laws and its own goal of eliminating homelessness by 2022 and to spare homes of 100,000 people who mostly come from minority and marginalised communities. It is particularly important that residents be kept safe during the pandemic,” a statement issued by UN human rights experts on Friday, July 16, stated.


They said that the ongoing demolition and eviction would put the residents at greater risk, who have already been severely hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Although Khori Gaon is a protected forest area, the statement said, the forest was actually destroyed by heavy mining carried out by authorities even before the settlement came up. Nearly 2,000 homes were demolished earlier in September last year and April this year. Residents who moved the Supreme Court against the eviction notices received a setback as the court last month ordered the removal of the settlement by 19 July.


“We find extremely worrying that India’s highest court, which has in the past led the protection of housing rights, is now leading evictions placing people at risk of internal displacement and even homelessness, as is the case in Khori Gaon,” the UN human rights experts’ statement said.


“The role of the Supreme Court is to uphold the laws and to interpret them in light of internationally-recognised human rights standards, not to undermine them. In this case, the spirit and purpose of the Land Acquisition Act 2013, among other domestic legal requirements, have not been met.”


The UN statement also lamented that water and electricity to the settlement were cut off several weeks ago, besides police beating up human rights defenders and residents protesting against the eviction.

“We call on India to urgently review its plans for razing Khori Gaon and to consider regularising the settlement so as not to leave anyone homeless. No one should be forcibly evicted without adequate and timely compensation and redress,” the statement added.


The statement was signed by UN human rights’ experts Balakrishnan Rajagopal, special rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and on the right to non-discrimination in this context; Mary Lawlor, special rapporteur on the situation of human rights defender; Cecilia Jimenez-Damary, special rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons; Fernand de Varennes, special rapporteur on minority issues; Pedro Arrojo-Agudo, special rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation; Olivier De Schutter, special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights; and Koumbou Boly Barry, special rapporteur on the right to education.

Custodial death in Sangod police station; investigation and compensation demanded: NCHRO

In the case of custodial death in the Saangod police station of Shahid Mansuri, human rights organisation NCHRO filed a complaint in the human rights commission. The organisation also wrote letters to the Chief Minister and the Director General of Police, demanding an investigation against the police personnel and an appropriate compensation to the family. In the letter sent via email, member of the national executive committee of the organisation, Adv. Ansar Indori, has written that cases of custodial death are serious which the human rights commission and the supreme court have linked to police brutality. According to the victim's family, Shahid Mansuri was tortured in police custody, as a result of which he died. They have demanded in the letter that an urgent investigation be started against the accused policemen and that the victim's family be given appropriate compensation. In the press note related to this case, he said that according to the human rights commission and the supreme court, no person should be subjected to any kind of torture in custody.

But the cases of custodial death are not ceasing. In the case of late Shahid Mansuri, prima facie the physical and mental torture cannot be denied. The state government should immediately start an investigation against the police officers.

Advocate Ansar Indori,
Human Rights Lawyer,

‘Manipuri mother of fake encounter victim can approach HC’

IMPHAL(IANS): The district and sessions court here on Wednesday told Chungkham Taratombi, mother of Chungkham Sanjit, a victim of an alleged extra judicial killing, that she could approach the higher court if she so desired.

M. Manoj, judge of the District and Sessions court, Imphal west said it in his verdict. The mother filed a petition, seeking another investigation in the light of the confession by a police head constable Thounaojam Herojit that following orders of a superior officer he shot dead Sanjit, an unarmed former insurgent who was overpowered.

The ruling was given on the second and final day of hearing on Wednesday. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) counsel argued there was no need for further investigation. Taratombi in her petition pointed out that the head constable has publicly confessed to have killed her son due to the order from a superior officer.

Judge Manoj said a trial is going on in his court. But it does not have jurisdiction over the matter prayed for. It may be recalled that eight other policemen are facing trial in connection with the killing of Sanjit on July 23, 2009 in the heart of Imphal city.

A pregnant woman, Thokchom Rabina who was walking with her young son, was also killed by a bullet which hit her on the forehead. Police have not been able to solve the mystery of where that bullet came from.

On January 25, Herojit told some reporters that he shot dead Sanjit inside a pharmacy on the orders of a superior officer. The officer implicated in the crime had denied the charge as “malicious, concocted and motivated”. Herojit appeared in the court with his confession. He said, “I committed the crime and I am ready to accept any punishment”.

Meanwhile, Babloo Loitongbam, the executive director of Human Rights Alert, deposed before judge Manoj that he had supplied the photographs which tend to establish that the unarmed Sanjit was accosted in the street, pushed inside a pharmacy and his dead body was dragged out after some minutes.

He said, “I gave the photographs to the Tehelka magazine. But as per request of the photographer I am not disclosing his name.”

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had reacted to the confession of the fake encounter saying: “It is a serious matter and it would be looked into.”

Kiren Rijiju, the minister of state for home, said, “My department will instruct the Manipur government to provide security to the head constable.” Herojit, however, has not demanded any security guards and is staying on his own.

Journalist tortured in custody must be released

CHATTISGARH: Authorities in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh must immediately look into serious allegations of torture, drop charges against journalist Prabhat Singh for allegedly sharing a message on Whatsapp underlining the absence of any kind of protection extended to journalists by the state police, and release him without delay.
‘The authorities must respect the crucial work of the media and human rights defenders and refrain from apparent attempts to silence them through arbitrary arrests and torture. This is violating the victim’s human rights and sending a chilling message to those who want to speak out and express grievances. There must now be an independent investigation into allegations of torture. Intimidation and harassment cannot become order of the day in Chattisgarh,’ said Tara Rao, Programmes Director at Amnesty International India.
Known for his reports denouncing police inaction and excesses, Prabhat has been under the police’s watch for a long time.
According to Prabhat Singh’s lawyer Xitiz Dubey, “Prabhat was picked up by the police on Monday and was in their custody without a first information report (FIR) for one day. Finally, when he was produced in court on Tuesday, Prabhat told the judge about the torture he was subjected to in custody. His chest and hand had several marks resulting from such treatment.”
Prabhat, who is a stringer with the local newspaper Patrika, was arrested under Section 67 and 67A of the Information Technology (IT) Act for “publishing and transmitting obscene material in electronic form.” He has also been charged for extortion and obstructing the police from duty which Singh claims to be false. A local court remanded Prabhat in judicial custody for a week. If convicted he could face imprisonment for up to three years. Prabhat, who was also working with a television network ETV News for two months, had his contract suspended allegedly under police coercion.
Journalists in this region have received threats from Samajik Ekta Manch, a vigilante organization that has often been alleged as being a front for the Bastar police.
‘The state government must ensure safety of journalists and investigate reports of police brutality. ’, added Tara Rao.
Torture violates Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), a treaty binding on India. This provision is reflected in Article 21 of Indian Constitution, it sets out the non-derogable right to be free from torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Journalists and human rights defenders in Bastar have been at the receiving end of human rights abuses by both security forces and Maoist armed groups in connection with their work.
Local journalists Santosh Yadav and Somaru Nag have been in judicial custody since July and September 2015, respectively. Santosh Yadav, who has faced repeated police harassment in the past, is charged of rioting, criminal conspiracy, and attempted murder, as well as “associating with a terrorist organization” and “supporting and aiding terrorist groups” under laws including the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, none of which complies with international human rights law and standards.
Following the arrests, journalists in Chhattisgarh have been protesting against what they say is growing police harassment and a deteriorating work environment, especially in Bastar districts. In December 2015, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh met protesting journalists and reportedly acknowledged the challenges they faced. He also proposed to set up a committee to look into issues faced by journalists.
In July 2015, a senior police official allegedly called for the ‘social exclusion’ of Soni Sori and Lingaram Kodopi, both considered by Amnesty International to be prisoners of conscience, after they accused the police of carrying out an extrajudicial execution.
Journalists in Chhattisgarh have been targeted by both security forces and Maoist armed groups in the past. In December 2013, journalist Sai Reddy was killed allegedly by Maoist armed groups who suspected him of working with the police. Another journalist, Nemi Chand Jain, was found dead under mysterious circumstances in Sukma district in February 2013. In 2011, two other journalists, Umesh Rajput and Sushil Pathak, were also killed in Chhattisgarh.