Sify news/ 18 January , 2006
Mixed Human Rights report card for India
Giving a mixed report card for India, the Human Rights Watch has said the government took "some important positive steps" with respect to human rights in 2005 but slammed New Delhi for failing to contain "religious extremism".
Among the positive aspects that have been taken note of are the appointment of a committee to review the armed forces special powers act, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh personally apologising for the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, and for the first time the army in Kashmir apologising last July for the killing of three boys mistaken for militants.
At the same time New Delhi has been slammed for failing to contain "violent religious extremism" and to prosecute those who instigated or participated in religious violence. "Such failures only reinforce communal resentments," HRW has said.
"Some problems persisted however and new problematic issues emerged," the 2006 report says pointing to incidents in Kashmir as also the Naxalite movement through central India resulting in a number of deaths.
"Despite legislative measures to protect marginalised groups, discrimination based on caste, social or religious status continues widely in practice with the failure to implement anti-discrimination policies being especially apparent after the December 2004 tsunami," HRW said.