138 Important Facts from US Human Right Report 2011 including Gujarat Riots, Anna Hazare, Ramdev MNS, Shiv Sena ,Caste system, Child Labor, RTE
138 Important Facts from US Human Right Report 2011 including Gujarat Riots, Anna Hazare, Ramdev MNS, Shiv Sena ,Caste system, Child Labor, RTE
Following are the 138 important facts from the USA Human Right Report 2011
The most significant human rights problems were police and security force abuses, including extrajudicial killings, torture, and rape; widespread corruption at all levels of government; and separatist, insurgent, and societal violence.
Human rights problems included disappearances, poor prison conditions that were frequently life threatening, arbitrary arrest and detention, and lengthy pretrial detention.
The judiciary was overburdened, and court backlogs led to lengthy delays or the denial of justice. Authorities continued to infringe on citizens’ privacy rights.
The law in some states restricted religious conversion, and there were reports of arrests, but no reports of convictions under these laws. There were some limits on freedom of movement.
Rape, domestic violence, dowry-related deaths, honor killings, sexual harassment, and discrimination against women remained serious problems. Child abuse, child marriage, and child prostitution were problems.
Trafficking in persons and caste-based discrimination and violence continued, as did discrimination against indigenous persons.
Discrimination against persons with HIV and discrimination and violence based on gender identity continued.
Forced labor and bonded labor were widespread. Child labor, including forced and bonded child labor, also was a serious problem.
Widespread impunity at all levels of government remained a serious problem.
Investigations into individual cases and legal punishment for perpetrators occurred, but in many cases a lack of accountability due to weak law enforcement, a lack of trained police, and an overburdened court system created an atmosphere of impunity.
Separatist insurgents and terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir, the Northeastern States, and the Naxalite belt committed numerous serious abuses, including killing armed forces personnel, police, government officials, and civilians.
There were reports that the government and its agents committed arbitrary or unlawful killings, including extrajudicial killings of suspected criminals and insurgents, especially in areas of conflict, such as Jammu and Kashmir, the Northeastern States, and the Naxalite belt (see section 1.g.). According to the Institute for Conflict Management, during the year there were 1,074 fatalities in the country--including members of the security forces, individuals classified by the government as terrorists, and civilians.
On July 2, the Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission submitted an interim report, entitled The Enquiry Report of Unmarked Graves in North Kashmir, to the state government. This report was leaked to the press in August but was not made public. According to the media, the report documented 2,156 bodies in unmarked graves at 38 different sites in districts that had been at the heart of the insurgency in the 1990s.
Despite the published recommendations of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) that the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) investigate all police encounter deaths, many states did not follow these guidelines and continued to conduct internal reviews only at the discretion of senior officers.
Custodial deaths, in which prisoners were killed or died in police custody, also remained a serious problem, and authorities often delayed or failed to pursue prosecutions against members of the police or security forces. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) reported to parliament that there were 186 cases of custodial death due to police torture as of July 31. The MHA 2010-11 annual report stated there were 1,321 cases of custodial death reported to the NHRC by state governments from April to December 2010.
NHRC guidelines direct state governments to report to it within 48 hours all cases of deaths in police actions; however, state governments did not consistently comply with the guidelines.
The armed forces were not required to report custodial deaths to the NHRC, and the commission did not have the power to investigate the armed forces.
On August 9, the Ministry of Home Affairs reported 147 police custodial deaths in 2010-11. Maharashtra had the highest number of deaths at 31, followed by Uttar Pradesh with 15.
In Assam civilian protesters against an eviction drive in the Guwahati hills were killed in several incidents of police firing, including four on June 22, eight on July 10, and four on October 10.
West Bengal reported 104 incidents of security forces firing on demonstrators during the year, killing six civilians.
On August 9 in Pune, Maharashtra, police fired into a crowd of protesting farmers blocking the Mumbai-Pune arterial roads, killing three. Police initially claimed that the demonstrators turned violent; however, a video of the incident broadcast on television clearly showed some police constables themselves throwing stones at a car and other police aiming their guns at unarmed demonstrators. The Maharashtra government suspended two police officers for the shooting and six police constables for damaging the car. The government ordered the judicial magistrate to probe the incident; the probe was not completed by year’s end.
There were developments in the July 2010 killing of Amit Jethwa, a Right to Information (RTI) Act activist. The Gujarat High Court ordered further investigation to determine the alleged involvement of Dinu Solanki, a Bharatiya Janata Party Member of Parliament from Junagadh. On November 29, the court gave a two-month extension to submit its final report on the murder investigation; the report must be submitted by January 29, 2012. The victim’s father demanded a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
There were reports that police throughout the country failed to file required arrest reports for detained persons, resulting in hundreds of unresolved and unreported disappearances.
The law prohibits torture, but many NGOs alleged that such practices were common, especially in areas of conflict (see section 1.g.). For example, on March 24, newspapers reported that the CBI took four Kerala policemen into custody in connection with the custodial death of Sampath, allegedly due to torture. Sampath, who died in March 2010, was accused of orchestrating the murder of the wife of a leading Kerala businessman. Authorities suspended 14 other police officers shortly after the death. On May 25, Sampath’s brother filed a court plea alleging that the police department was sabotaging the investigation.
In December 2010 parliament passed the Prevention of Torture Bill 2010; however, NGOs remained concerned about the law’s requirement that complaints regarding torture be made within six months and that previous sanctions by appropriate government bodies must be sought before a court is empowered to consider a complaint. There is no independent agency to receive torture complaints or conduct prompt investigations outside of the already overburdened legal system.
According to the NCRB Prison Statistics India 2010 report, the jail population was 368, 998, and there were 1,393 prisons in the country with an authorized capacity of 320,450 persons.
Persons awaiting trial accounted for two-thirds of the prison population. There were 15,037 female prisoners, approximately 4 percent of the total prison population, while juveniles were less than 1 percent.
The law requires juveniles to be detained in rehabilitative facilities, although at times they were detained in prison, especially in rural areas. Large numbers of pretrial detainees were held with convicted prisoners.
Investigations of prisoner complaints were within the purview of the NHRC, which received and investigated prisoner complaints of human right violations throughout the year, but some activists indicated that many complaints were not filed due to fear of retribution from prison guards or officials. Most investigation findings and NHRC recommendations were published on the NHRC Web site; however, there were allegations by NGOs that investigations and recommendations dealing with controversial issues were not disclosed. State and national human rights commissions can receive complaints on behalf of prisoners but have only recommendatory power.
The MHA acknowledged in its 2009-10 annual report that prisons were overcrowded and required repairs and renovations, including improvements in sanitation and water supply. During the year the central government began implementing a plan to modernize the prisons.
According to the MHA 2009-10 annual report, the plan had been implemented in 27 states and resulted in the construction of 99 new jails and 1,365 additional barracks in existing prisons.
The government’s Modernization of Prisons scheme has allotted 1,800 Crore (approximately $390 million) to construct new jails, reduce overcrowding, and improve water and sanitation in prisons, but most states were not able to meet the targets.
The law prohibits arbitrary arrest and detention, but both occurred during the year. Police also used special security laws to delay judicial review of arrests. Pretrial detention was arbitrarily lengthy and sometimes exceeded the sentence given.
According to HRW, cases of arbitrary arrest, torture, and forced confessions by security forces were common. Several laws, including part of the criminal procedure code and the AFSPA, were used to provide legal protection for members of security forces who violated human rights
The effectiveness of law enforcement and security forces varied widely throughout the country. Officers at all levels acted with impunity, and officials rarely held them accountable for illegal actions.
Cases against law enforcement officers are tried in public courts. When a court found an officer guilty of a crime, the punishment often was a transfer.
Arbitrary Arrest: The code of criminal procedure prohibits arbitrary arrest or detention, but police continued to arbitrarily arrest citizens. In practice police picked up individuals for custodial interrogation without identifying themselves properly or providing arrest warrants.
There were cases in which police denied suspects the right to meet with their legal counsel, as well as cases in which police unlawfully monitored suspects’ conversations and denied their right to confidentiality.
At the end of 2010, 85 Muslims detained in the 2002 Godhra train-burning case remained in jail in Gujarat under POTA, despite a 2005 POTA review committee ruling that POTA did not apply to them, a 2008 ruling by the Supreme Court granting their release, and a Gujarat high court ruling in 2009 that POTA charges did not apply to the accused and that they should be granted bail. Of the original 134 persons accused, 104 were charged formally. Of the 104, five died of natural causes, and 14 were released on bail. The trial in Gujarat concluded in 2010, but the judgment was not immediately released pending the Supreme Court’s authorization to the special court to announce the verdict.
In 2005 the Chhattisgarh state government enacted the Special Public Security Act (SPSA), which permits detention for as long as three years for loosely defined unlawful activities. Human rights groups voiced concerns that the law criminalizes any support given to Naxalites (Maoists), even support provided under duress.
On April 18, Binayak Sen was released from Raipur Central Jail three days after the Supreme Court granted him bail, striking down charges of sedition. Sen, a human rights activist and physician with the People’s Union of Civil Liberties, was arrested in 2007 for alleged links with the Maoists and in December 2010 was sentenced to life imprisonment under the SPSA on the charge of sedition.
In many states police made “preventive arrests” in the name of curbing public unrest. For example, in Delhi, on August 16, police preventively arrested social activist Anna Hazare, along with key aides Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi, and Manish Sisodia, ahead of Hazare’s proposed fast against corruption. Hazare was released 12 hours later but refused to leave Tihar Jail until the government agreed to allow him to carry out his fast at the location of his choice.
Arbitrarily lengthy detention was a major problem as a result of overburdened court systems and lack of sufficient safeguards and oversight of the law. On August 7, Man Singh was released after 32 years of waiting for retrial, when the Supreme Court rejected the Uttar Pradesh government’s plea for a fresh trial. Singh was arrested in 1979 for allegedly possessing half a bottle of illicit liquor and was convicted and sentenced to one year’s imprisonment, which he appealed
The legal system was seriously overburdened and lacked modern case management systems, often delaying or denying justice. On August 1, the Ministry of Law and Justice announced that there were 4,217,903 cases pending in the country’s high courts, and 27,953,070 cases pending in subordinate courts, as of September 2010.
As of April 1, nearly one-third of the sanctioned judges’ positions in the country’s 21 high courts were vacant. At the end of June, there were 57,179 cases pending in the Supreme Court. In 2010 one official estimated that the courts would require more than 320 years to clear the case backlog.
Many citizens reported that they offered bribes to move cases through the court system. In 2010 the minister of law Veerappa Moily reported that the average time for a case to work its way through the court was 15 years.
During the year the newly elected state government in West Bengal announced the names of 267 prisoners it proposed to grant general amnesty; of these, 83 persons, including some charged under the UAPA for their links with Maoists, were accorded the status of political prisoner. On July 21, Kolkata Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced the release of 52 political prisoners, including two Maoist leaders and several members of the Gorkha Liberation Organization. As of the end of September, only six persons had been released.
Naxalites abducted individuals during the year. For example, on February 16, a group of 50 Naxals in Orissa kidnapped Indian Administrative Services officer RV Krishna and junior engineer Pabitra Majhi. They were released on February 24, after the Orissa government accepted the Naxalites’ demands.
In August Prashant Rahi was released on bail after more than 3 and one-half years in Uttarakhand jails. Rahi, an engineering student at Banaras Hindu University, was accused of being a Naxal (Maoist). He alleged that he was stripped and beaten and had spent most of his time in solitary confinement while imprisoned.
There was no report of significant violence against out-of-state migrants by the regional political party Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS). Investigations into the violent incidents perpetrated by MNS members in February 2009 and 2008 continued, and MNS activists remained out on bail.
Indian National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights, in a March 2010 policy document, noted the recruitment and use of children by both Naxalites and Salwa Judum.
In the Kashmir Valley region, from 1990 onwards, Islamist militants threatened, abducted, and killed Pandits and demanded that they leave. Tens of thousands of Kashmiri Pandits fled to Jammu, Delhi, and other areas in the country because of conflict between the army and Muslim insurgents. According to the MHA’s 2010-11 annual report, there were 58,697 Kashmiri Pandit migrant families, of which 38,119 resided in Jammu, 19,338 in Delhi, and 1,240 in other states and territories.
law enforcement authorities continued investigating writer and activist Arundhati Roy and four others for sedition regarding public comments they made about the status of Jammu and Kashmir. Authorities directed police to file a status report by October 29.
AM radio broadcasting remained a government monopoly. Private FM radio station ownership was legal, but licenses authorized only entertainment and educational content.
There were allegations that the government network manipulated the news. Some privately owned satellite channels promoted the platforms of political parties that their owners supported.
On August 2, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting told parliament that 25 foreign channels were banned for causing “a security threat.”
August 3, the MHA informed parliament that the central government did not maintain a record of media personnel attacked in the country.
On June 27, Uttar Pradesh police detained Shalabh Mani Tripathi, Uttar Pradesh bureau chief of IBN7, a Hindi news channel, with his assistant and allegedly beat him. The reporter claimed that he was attacked for reporting on the alleged murder of the chief medical officer of Uttar Pradesh, AK Shukla, who was found dead in the Lucknow Jail hospital. Tripathi alleged that the police accused his news channel of showing wrong and sensational news.
During the year state governments banned some books from being imported or sold in the state because they contained material that government censors deemed inflammatory and apt to provoke communal or religious tensions. For example, in March the Gujarat government banned the book Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle with India before the book was published in the country.
Google reported receiving 68 content removal requests from Indian courts, executive offices, and law enforcement agencies in the last six months of 2010, covering 358 items. The requests included removal of results from Web searches, social networking sites, and YouTube videos. Google categorized 255 of the items requested to be removed as government criticism.
In a series of meetings beginning September 5, Telecommunications Minister Kapil Sibal requested social media companies to find a technical solution to prescreen user content prior to posting on the Internet, appearing to circumvent legal justification for removal of content. When the request reached the media on December 5, pressure from activists, social groups, and the public forced Sibal to modify his comments.
On December 21, a lower-level criminal court in Delhi ordered 22 primarily social media Web sites to remove material deemed antireligious and antisocial, following a complaint by Mufti Aijaz Qasmi, a religious leader from Delhi. The Web sites were told to comply by February 6, 2012, or face contempt of court charges.
Academic guidelines issued by the Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) in 2003 required all central universities to obtain MHRD permission before organizing “all forms of foreign collaborations and other international academic exchange activities,” including seminars, conferences, workshops, guest lectures, and research. Although the restrictions remained in force, in most cases the MHRD permitted international academic exchanges to take place after bureaucratic delays.
State governments in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, and Andhra Pradesh banned the Bollywood film Aarakshan, a sociopolitical drama based on the policy of caste-based reservations in government jobs and educational institutions.
The film Dam 999 was banned the day before its scheduled release by the Tamil Nadu government, after political leaders complained the film was based on the Mullaperiyar Dam dispute between Tamil Nadu and Kerala and could disturb the relations between the two states. On December 17, the government extended the ban for an additional six months, citing fears to public safety if the film were screened.
On August 9, the MHA informed parliament that 42 NGOs were banned from receiving foreign contributions due to complaints of corruption or irregularities in the use of funds received under the revised Foreign Contributions (Regulation) Act (FCRA).
The government also placed 36 NGOs in the prior permission category, which includes associations already registered with the central government; these NGOs will remain registered for the next five years.
The accounts of 10 NGOs were frozen as their use of funds was investigated. Many NGOs had concerns that the ban on funding for organizations of a “political nature” made the FCRA vulnerable to abuse and corruption by government officials.
The FCRA prohibits political organizations or ssociations/companies engaged in the production and broadcast of audio or audio visual news or current affairs programs from accepting foreign contributions.
In New Delhi on June 5, yoga guru Baba Ramdev was arrested by the central government after violating government conditions for a large fast and protest rally he led in New Delhi against corruption and money hidden abroad. There were reports that police used force to evict protesters and clear the area. The NHRC requested a report on the midnight crackdown. A response from the government was pending at year’s end.
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) - The Internal isplacement Monitoring Centre reported in 2010 that “many of India’s IDPs had insufficient access to basic necessities of life such as food, clean water, shelter, and health care” and that tribal IDPs in camps in Chhattisgarh “faced the risk of attacks by government forces and government-allied militia on the one hand and Naxalite insurgents on the other.”
The violence in Gujarat in 2002 displaced more than 250,000 persons, many of them Muslims, from Gujarati villages and cities. According to the NRC, 19,000 displaced persons remained in camps as of September 2010, living in 86 relief colonies that lacked adequate infrastructure.
The government has no national policy or legislation to address internal displacement resulting from armed conflict or from ethnic or communal violence, and the responsibility for protecting and assisting IDPs often was delegated to the state governments and district authorities. The lack of a central policy allowed states to remain unaccountable for internal displacement and claim that they were unable to protect and/or assist IDPs. When state- or district-level authorities provided assistance, it was often ad-hoc and varied.
According to the UNHCR, in January there were 184,821 refugees in the country, including 68,606 Sri Lankan refugees in 114 refugee camps, 109,015 Tibetan refugees, and more than 14,000 urban refugees from other countries living in New Delhi. Of the 12,800 asylum seekers and 18,800 refugees registered with the UNHCR in New Delhi, the majority were from Burma and Afghanistan.
The central government and the state of Tamil Nadu jointly provided monthly cash payments and food subsidies to the Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in Tamil Nadu’s 114 camps.
The government of Tamil Nadu estimated that there were approximately 30,000 Sri Lankan refugees living outside of the camps throughout the state.
One NGO also reported a number of cases of abuse of refugees and arbitrary detention. The organization noted that many urban refugees worked in the informal sector or in highly visible occupations, such as street vendors, where they were subject to police extortion, nonpayment, and exploitation.
According to the UNHCR and NGOs, the country has a large population of stateless persons, but there were no accurate estimates of the number. Stateless populations include Chakmas and Hajongs, who migrated to India from East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), and groups affected by the 1947 partition of the Indian Subcontinent into India and Pakistan.
According to the UNHCR, 28,500 of the estimated 100,000 Tamil refugees living in refugee camps in Tamil Nadu had applied for Sri Lankan citizenship documents, but none had been issued by year’s end.
The law provides criminal penalties for official corruption; however, the government did not implement the law effectively, and officials frequently engaged in corrupt practices with impunity.
Corruption continued at a significant level. On December 14, parliament was informed the CBI had registered and was investigating 517 cases of alleged corruption between January and October. The Central Vigilance Commission reported 39,123 officers were fined between 2008 and 2010 for being involved in corrupt practices.
A 2010 Transparency International report noted that 54 percent of the population admitted to bribing authorities, with lower-income earners reporting paying more bribes.
Bribes typically were paid to speed up procedures, such as police protection, school admission, water supply, or government assistance. Half of the bribes were paid for the benefit of registering for government assistance. The report also stated that the population considered political parties to be the most corrupt institution in the country.
Social activist Anna Hazare led protests and fasted against corruption in August, fighting for the introduction of a bill in parliament. His anticorruption movement had less traction in the east and Northeastern States compared with the north and the western parts of the country. Hazare ended his fast on August 28 after parliament agreed to draft new antigraft legislation.
Election campaigns for parliament and state legislatures often were funded with unreported money, and the government typically failed to control the practice.
During the year A. Raja, the former telecommunications minister, and Kanimozhi, a member of the Rajya Sabha (upper house of parliament), remained imprisoned pending trial in a scandal over an allegedly rigged sale of the “2G” mobile phone spectrum in January 2008. The two were accused of taking bribes and causing a loss to the national treasury of up to 1.9 trillion rupees ($36 billion).
Another former telecommunications minister, Dayanidhi Maran, stepped down from his cabinet post in July in the face of an investigation by the central government into charges that he manipulated mobile phone licenses in a separate, earlier incident.
On September 26, newspapers reported that Road Transport Office (RTO) staffers killed Anant Lal Gupta, a truck driver in Uttar Pradesh, after he refused to pay a bribe during a vehicle-checking safety drive. The RTO constables allegedly demanded 1,000 rupees ($19), but the victim was willing to pay only 500 rupees ($9.50). A First Incident Report (FIR) was filed. The accused were suspended and subsequently absconded. At year’s end, the police had not traced them.
In July Karnataka’s then chief minister, B.S. Yeddyurappa, was forced to resign following his indictment in an illegal mining investigation by Karnataka’s Lokayukta. A number of corruption charges were pending against Yeddyurappa, who also was implicated in several land allocation scandals during his tenure as chief minister
Critics claimed that many government-run programs to alleviate poverty and provide employment suffered from poor implementation and corruption. For example, on June 14, newspapers reported on a Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) dam-building scam in Dantewada.
The NREGA program provided for 100 days of work for rural households. The newspaper reported that 122 persons, several of whom were dead, were listed as working in the program; the executive engineer of the project disappeared shortly after the investigation began. Senior officials estimated that nearly 40 to 50 percent of government expenditures in Dantewada were lost to corruption.
On April 25, authorities arrested Suresh Kalmadi, the former chief of the organizing committee of the Commonwealth Games, on charges of cheating, conspiracy, and corruption in connection with the awarding of several contracts, after the CBI questioned him for a fourth time. The Commonwealth Games were plagued by allegations of financial mismanagement, work safety violations, construction accidents, and massive delays.
On March 3, unidentified men beat to death Niyamat Ansari, who was working for the implementation of the NREGA, in Lathehar District, Jharkhand. Ansari exposed a case of embezzlement of NREGA funds on February 20 and lodged a FIR against the block development officer.
On January 29, the CBI registered a criminal case against 14 persons, including former chief minister Ashok Chavan, in connection with the Adarsh housing scam in Maharashtra. The scam, which became public in November 2010, involved Congress Party politicians, bureaucrats, and military officers who allegedly purchased apartments reserved for veterans and war widows. The CBI’s failure to file appropriate paperwork resulted in bail being granted to four persons. On August 2, the Mumbai High Court chided the CBI for the slow pace of its investigation. By year’s end the CBI had questioned more than 100 persons, including former Maharashtra chief minister Sushil Kumar Shinde.
The NCRB stated that a woman is raped in the country every 30 minutes. The NCRB reported 22,172 cases of rape across the country in 2010. Law enforcement and legal avenues for rape victims were inadequate, overburdened, and unable to address the issue effectively.
human rights activists in Chhattisgarh alleged that on July 6, police in the Maoist-affected Surguja district raped and killed Meena Khalkho, a 16-year-old member of the Uraon tribe. The police claimed that Khalkho was a Maoist killed in an encounter near her village, a claim questioned by her family and several other villagers. A postmortem report revealed sexual assault, and Khalkho’s family alleged that police raped and killed her. The police tried to dismiss the allegation of rape by labeling Khalkho as a “slut and habitual sexual offender.” After severe media criticism and protests by villagers, the Chhattisgarh government ordered two parallel probes by a judicial magistrate and the state’s CID. The probes by the judicial magistrate and the CID continued at year’s end.
National Family Health Survey revealed that more than 50 percent of women reported experiencing some form of violence in their home. The NCRB reported that in 2010 there were 94,041 cases reported of “cruelty by husband and relatives.”
NCRB, in 2010 there were 8,391 reported dowry deaths. Delhi had the highest incidence of dowry deaths with 112, followed by 92 deaths in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. However, since many cases were not reported and not properly monitored, statistics were not complete. On August 4, the MWCD told parliament that 5,650 cases of dowry were reported in 2009. The NCRB reported 2,917 criminal cases related to dowries, with a conviction rate of 21 percent.
So-called honor killings continued to be a problem, especially in Punjab and Haryana, where as many as 10 percent of all killings were honor killings. In some cases the killings were the result of extrajudicial decisions made by traditional community elders such as “khap panchayats,” unelected village assemblies that have no legal authority.
NGOs estimated that at least 900 such murders occurred every year in Haryana, Punjab, and Uttar Pradesh alone
On May 13, relatives of newlywed bride Gurleen Kaur killed Kaur and her mother-in-law and injured the groom, reportedly because the couple married against the wishes of the bride’s family. Police registered cases against eight persons by year’s end. The incident happened despite the fact that after the marriage the couple was under the protection of the Punjab and Haryana High Court
According to a joint survey released on February 13 by the UN Development Fund for Women and the NGO Jagori, approximately 66 percent of women in Delhi had been sexually harassed between two and five times in 2010. The survey reported that more than 40 percent of incidents of harassment and molestation occurred in broad daylight, and nearly 45 percent of women believed that “the police will do nothing” if approached.
A November 2010 survey of female employees in the information technology and outsourcing industry found that 88 percent of them had faced some form of sexual harassment at work. In two-thirds of the incidents, the perpetrator was a superior.
A 2009 nationwide study commissioned by the MWCD and completed by the NGO Gram Niyojan Kendra studied 68 tourist destinations. It found that sex tourism occurred at sightseeing attractions in major cities and also that pilgrimage centers were a growing hub of sex tourism.
Many tribal land systems, notably in Bihar, denied tribal women the right to own land. Sharia (Islamic law) determines land inheritance for Muslim women, allotting them less than men. Other laws relating to the ownership of assets and land accorded women little control over land use, retention, or sale.
On April 15, a report by the MHRD stated that 124,022 children between six and 14 years of age were out of school in Delhi, one year after the Right to Free and Compulsory Education was passed. The act makes education a fundamental right for children and enables every child between the ages of six and 14 years to demand free elementary education. However, there were numerous reports of schools refusing admission or denying entry to underprivileged students. Across the country more than eight million children between six and 14 years of age remained out of school. On August 5, the MHRD informed parliament that more than 20 percent of children dropped out of school between grades one and six in 2008-09.
In its 2011 State of The World’s Children report, UNICEF stated that school attendance among girls dropped from 86 per cent at the primary school level to 59 percent at the secondary school level
In Delhi drinking water facilities were present at 100 percent of schools, but there were reports of children being asked to carry water from home because the water was contaminated and the supply irregular.
A 2007 study by the MWCD stated that approximately 69 percent of children reported having been physically abused, 65 percent of schoolchildren reported receiving corporal punishment at school, 53 percent of children reported sexual abuse, 48 percent of children reported emotional abuse, and 71 percent of female children reported neglect.
UNICEF’s State of the World’s Children 2011 report stated that 43 percent of women were married before age 18. In comparison, men got married at a median age of 23.4 years
There is no national law addressing the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) and cutting. According to human rights groups, between 70 and 90 percent of Bohra Muslims practiced various forms of FGM. The states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan have a Bohra population estimated at one million. Late in the year, several Bohra women began an online and media campaign against FGM among the Bohra community.
A 2011 study by Save the Children found 50,923 children below age 18 on Delhi’s streets. Twenty percent of them were rag pickers, 15.2 percent were street vendors, 15 percent were beggars, 12 percent worked in roadside or repair shops, 6.2 percent worked at roadside restaurants or hotels, and 1.2 percent worked in manufacturing.
NGOs reported that students were denied admission to certain schools because of their caste or were required to present caste certification prior to receiving admission. According to the executive director for the South India Cell for Human Rights Education and Monitoring, caste discrimination continued in Karnataka, particularly in rural areas. Dalits in rural Karnataka frequently were denied access to temples, clean water sources, and passage through village streets.
The Tamil Nadu Untouchability Eradication Front (TNUEF) continued to highlight continuing caste-based discrimination in the state. According to the TNUEF, many Dalits were not permitted to walk on public pathways, wear footwear, access water from public taps in upper caste neighborhoods, participate in some temple festivals, bathe in public pools, or use some cremation grounds. For example, Dalits in Perali village, Perambalur District, reported that they could not ride bicycles on streets where upper caste families reside. There were also separate temples on upper caste and Dalit streets so that the two communities could worship separately.
On June 17, the NHRC asked the Tamil Nadu government to submit a report on the alleged beating of a Dalit boy who took water from a public tap in Karikkilipalayam village, Coimbatore District. The NHRC also asked the government to report on specific steps taken to prevent future acts of discrimination against Dalits.
During the year there were reports that school officials barred Dalit children from morning prayers, asked Dalit children to sit at the back of the class, or forced Dalit children to clean school toilets while denying them access to the same facilities. There were also reports that teachers refused to correct the homework of Dalit children, refused to provide midday meals to Dalit children, and asked Dalit children to sit separately from children of upper caste families.
In April 2010 members of the dominant Jat community burned 10 Dalit homes in Mirchpur, Haryana, killing 70-year-old Tara Chand and his disabled daughter Suman and injuring more than a dozen other individuals. On September 24, newspapers reported that of the 97 persons accused, 82 of them were acquitted by a Delhi court. Fifteen persons were convicted but none were found guilty of murder; three were convicted of culpable homicide not amounting to murder, with a maximum 10-year jail term.
The issue of manual scavenging continued, and the National Advisory Council set March 2012 as the new deadline for abolishing the practice, despite the practice having been outlawed under the Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prevention) Act of 1993. On September 21, Chennai’s National Commission for Scavenger’s Welfare reported that men were being forced to get into sewage pits without safety measures despite orders against the practice, and requested state intervention. Violators may face up to one year’s imprisonment and a fine of 2,000 rupees ($38), but the law was not enforced. In June six persons died in the Kolar Gold Fields, near Bangalore, as a result of illnesses contracted from manual scavenging.
Tribal women employed as domestic workers often were neither properly paid nor protected from sexual exploitation. Land encroachment on tribal lands continued in almost every state, despite limited efforts by the states to combat it, as businesses and private parties continued to exert political influence and pressure on local governments. Those displaced by the encroachments typically were not provided with appropriate relief and rehabilitation packages.
On April 13, the Odisha government dismissed the resolutions of villagers claiming land rights over property the government planned to give to the Posco Steel Plant. The Odisha government sent an “assurance” letter to the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) stating that the land was free of any claims. On May 3, the MoEF granted final approval for diversion of the land. Previous environment ministry committees had concluded that the lands in question were forest land and that the Odisha government had failed to allow the villagers the opportunity to claim rights as required by the Forest Rights Act.
There were no developments in the trial of Anil Dubey, a former leader of the Hindu chauvinist political party Shiv Sena, who in February 2010 allegedly raped and set on fire a 19-year-old tribal teacher in Barwani, Madhya Pradesh. The victim suffered serious burns and was hospitalized; Dubey was arrested and charged under the Scheduled Castes and Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
On July 4, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad stated during an AIDS conference in New Delhi that men having sex with men is a “disease” and “unnatural.”
According to the 2010-11 annual report of NACO, the government agency responsible for monitoring HIV/AIDS, there were approximately 2.3 million persons with HIV/AIDS in the country, and according to the International Labor Organization (ILO), as many as 70 percent faced discrimination. HRW reported that many doctors refused to treat HIV-positive children and that some schools expelled or segregated children because they or their parents were HIV-positive. Many orphanages and other residential institutions rejected HIV-positive children or denied them housing.
Civil society activists continued to express concern about the Gujarat government’s failure to arrest those responsible for communal violence in 2002 that resulted in the killing of more than 1,200 persons, the majority of whom were Muslim. The Gujarat government appointed the Nanavati-Mehta Commission to investigate the violence in 2002. In June the Gujarat government gave the commission another extension, asking it to submit its report by December 31, 2011. On December 21, the commission received its 17th extension; the new deadline was March 31, 2012, for submission of its final report. The Supreme Court appointed a Special Investigative Team (SIT) in 2008. In May 2010 the SIT submitted to the Supreme Court its final report on the complaint filed by Zakia Jafri, which blamed Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and 60 others for complicity in the communal violence. The court did not release the contents of the report to the public. On March 15, the Supreme Court asked the SIT to conduct a further probe and equested that the civil society activist and senior counsel, Raju Ramachandran, conduct an independent probe into the SIT findings. The SIT submitted its report to the Supreme Court on April 25, and on July 25, the SIT also submitted to the Supreme Court two status reports on the nine other cases of Gujarat communal violence from 2002. The SIT told the Supreme Court that trials
On March 31, the Ministry of Labor reported that 289,327 bonded laborers had been identified and released and 269,365 laborers had been rehabilitated since a 1976 law abolishing bonded labor went into effect.in seven cases were nearing completion and that the statements of witnesses were being recorded in the other two cases. Ramachandran submitted his report on July 25. On September 12, the Supreme Court referred Zakia Jafri’s complaint to the Gujarat state courts. The Supreme Court directed the trial court to consider the SIT report and Ramachandran’s report and decide if a criminal complaint could be filed against Modi and 60 others.
On March 8, newspapers reported that the state government of Orissa abolished the traditional practice of semibonded labor called the “bartan” after pressure from social activists and intervention from the NHRC. Under the practice upper caste families extracted work from barbers and washermen for as little as 15 kilograms (33 pounds) of paddy rice a year.
Kerala police reported registering 399 human trafficking cases between March and September and rescuing 637 victims. The majority were bonded laborers working in hotels and restaurants, brick kilns, and the construction industry.
Forced labor practices remained widespread. Estimates of the number of bonded laborers in the country varied widely; several NGOs placed the number in the millions. Most bonded labor occurred in agriculture. According to NGOs, nonagricultural sectors that had a high incidence of bonded labor were stone quarries, brick kilns, rice mills, construction, and beedi (hand-rolled cigarettes) production.
Members of Scheduled Castes and Tribes lived and worked under traditional arrangements of servitude in many areas of the country.
In Arunachal Pradesh the Nishi tribe traditionally subjugated Sulungs or Puroiks as customary slaves.
131. The law establishes a penalty for employers of children in hazardous industries of 20,000 rupees ($380) per child employed. The fines go into a welfare fund for formerly employed children. The law does not apply to family farms or family businesses
During India Action Week in September, the NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan, in conjunction with state governments and local police, removed 86 child laborers in Delhi alone. The children were working in scrap, leather, beedi, and purse factories. All of the children were entitled to rehabilitation packages of 20,000 rupees ($420) and priority access to government housing and education. Of the 20,000 rupees, some is given to the removed child’s parents/guardians as immediate relief. The remaining money is put into a bank account to be used for the welfare of the child when the child turns 18 years of age.
The incidence of child labor remained widespread. The government estimated the number of child laborers at 1.2 million; UNICEF recently estimated the number of child workers at 29 million. Some NGOs estimated that there were between 50 and 115 million child workers.
According to a 2009 UNICEF report, private companies in Andhra Pradesh reportedly employed 200,000 children in the hybrid seed industry. Most were girls between the ages of seven and 14
There were no new specific government actions to prevent violations, improve wages, or improve working conditions during the year.
In a study conducted in 2009 and late 2010, the National Referral Centre for Lead Poisoning Prevention in India found dangerous levels of lead in blood samples collected from a cross-company study of workers in the country’s battery industry.
The government had not established biological exposure indices for lead or other hazardous chemicals for the workplace.
Coal mines located in Jaintia District, Meghalaya, had poor working conditions. The privately owned mines employed mostly young adults who were not provided any protective gear. The mines had no safety systems or hardware, were unregulated, and did not fall under the ambit of the safety regulations.
Suggested Reading –
Read complete Human Rights Report on India 2011 Human Rights Report released by US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton
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Sunday, June 03, 2012
Tags – USA Human Right Report India 2011 Facts