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NHRC to look into cases of Muzaffarnagar riots

September 09, 2013 20:32 IST

The National Human Rights Commission will look into cases of communal riots in Muzaffarnagar once the situation returns to normal, NHRC Chairperson K G Balakrishnan said.

He said the Commission would take cognisance of alleged rights violation cases, if any, reported from the affected areas.

"In such type of cases, many people are subjected to many problems. We will look into all such individual cases," said Balakrishnan at the inauguration ceremony of Manav Adhikar Bhavan - NHRC's new office in GPO Complex.

Expressing concern over the increase in number of human rights violation cases being reported from various parts of the country, Balakrishnan said, "The increasing number of complaints received in NHRC does indicate the growing awareness about human rights but also about the increasing violations thereof."

The commission has received nearly 12,80,000 complaints so far, out of which 12,50,000 have been disposed of. Apart from punitive action against the guilty public servants, crores of rupees have been recommended as relief to several victims and their next of kin, he said

"The number of complaints against police remains very high. NHRC would urge the Centre and State Governments to continue to make efforts to train and guide the policemen, especially at Chowki and Thana level, who directly come in contact with public," said Balakrishnan.

The commission is concerned about high number of under-trial prisoners who constitute 65.7 per cent of prison population. The tendency to arrest is needed to be curbed in small offences to ensure that undertrial prisoners do not crowd prisons, he said.

Balakrishnan also laid stress that there is a need to strengthen the mental health care system in country, which according to him is the most neglected one in health care system.

"The number of mental health care centres in the country in government sector is not more than 43 and barring a few, almost all these centres are short of psychiatrists, trained paramedical staff and other resources," he said.

"We have filed an application in the Supreme Court for directions to all concerned for improving the situation. "Hopefully, with the passage of the Mental Health Care Bill 2013, pending before the Rajya Sabha, concerns relating to this sector will be addressed," said Balakrishnan.

In a statement, the NHRC expressed deep concern over communal clashes in and around Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh and appealed to all sections of society to maintain calm and harmony to overcome this unfortunate situation.

"The National Human Rights Commission is deeply concerned over the riots in District Muzaffarnagar and adjoining areas of Uttar Pradesh. It appeals to all sections of society to maintain calm and harmony to overcome this unfortunate situation," the statement said.

The common man is the worst sufferer of the riots as people face various hardships including in getting basic amenities like food, water, health etc, it said.

NHRC said that it is keeping a watch on the developments even as government agencies are making their efforts to control the situation and restore normalcy.

The Commission also urged government agencies to ensure that human rights of the people are not violated in this process.

"The Commission's heart goes to the bereaved families who have lost their near and dear ones in the violent clashes.  It hopes that the State Government would take appropriate measures to duly compensate the victims and their families and bring the guilty to justice," the statement said.

The rights panel said that the state government should also take strict measures so that no further damage occurs to life and property by controlling the situation and restoring communal harmony and peace in society.

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