HYDERABAD: Torture does not simply mean the physical pain that criminals suffer at the hands of the police. The term includes violence against women, corporal punishment in schools and even untouchability acquiesced by Governments, according to Henri Tiphagne, executive director of People's Watch, a Madurai-based human rights network.
Speakers at the inaugural of `National project on preventing torture in India' underscored the need for all sections of society to join hands and bring pressure on the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and State-level bodies in this regard. The project would be taken up in Hyderabad, Ranga Reddy, Medak, Mahabubnagar and Nalgonda districts, he said.
Mary Ravindranath, Chairperson of the State Women's Commission, expressed concern over the increasing instances of violence against women. She said whether it was a husband, son, father or brother, it was the woman who suffered emotional trauma. Sardar Ali Khan, former High Court judge, expressed concern that torture was assuming political flavour. It was regrettable that torture was coming on a "plate of discrimination" on the basis of caste, creed, religion and sex, he noted. Malladi Subbamma of the Mahila Abhyudaya Samstha, Jaya Vindhyala, general secretary, People's Union for Civil Liberties, and Gogu Syamala, coordinator, Dalit Women Desk, Anweshi, spoke.