‘xpress News Service, SAS Nagar, January 29:
All India Human Rights Watch, an NGO, today organised its seventh annual seminar at the community hall, Phase-I. The chief guest at the seminar was Justice N.C. Jain, chairperson of Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC), while PSHRC member Justice R.L. Anand presided over the function and A.P. Bhatnagar, Advisor, Jail Department Punjab, was the guest of honour.
Justice N.C. Jain warned people against phoney human rights associations. He said often people fail to get justice because they furnish incomplete documents and evidence. They then complain that the commission is ineffective and it being a government-run body, tows the state government’s line. He clarified that the PSHRC is an autonomous body and such complaints are ill-founded.
Justice R.L. Anand emphasised that female foeticide itself was a violation of human rights. He said any person could approach the commission if he felt his right to life, liberty, dignity or equality was being violated. Stressing on the impartial functioning of the body, he said the PSHRC has sent recommendations against many officers, including those in the police and administration.
A.P. Bhatnagar spoke on the violation of human rights in Indian jails. He said segregation of offenders lodged in jail was very important. Criminals could be mentally sick, hard core, drug addicts or sexual offenders, but jail employees were not trained in segregating them. He said highly specialized training was imparted in this aspect in developed countries, but here, jail employees merely kept watch.
He also emphasized on the need for better living conditions in jails – including clean kitchens and adequate toilets, better provision for inmates to meet relatives and more vigilant security.
Lt Col Prem Singh, president of the All India Human Rights Watch Punjab, welcomed the guests while chairman Advocate Anil Kaushik presented a vote of thanks and general secretary M.M. Chopra presented the annual report of the AIHRW.
The president of AIHRW, Prof Gurmeet Singh, Advocate Charanjit Singh Bakhshi, Dr Jasmeet Kaur and Advocate Amar Singh Chahal also spoke on human rights and related issues.