1. Drawing Attention to the Use of UAPA
Michelle Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights, has recently expressed concerns over the use of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act-UAPA in India. The Commissioner has remarked that the state has the highest number of cases registered under the Act. She has also said that, the ongoing use of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act throughout India is worrying, with Jammu & Kashmir having among the highest number of cases in the country.
NCHRO invites immediate attention of Indian government to this statement of the highest human rights body in the world and take urgent action to put an end to the use of the Act for political purposes. The judiciary should also intervene in favour of the victims and should grant bail to all those intellectuals, activists, and innocent citizens who are languishing in Indian jails.
The NCHRO also draws the attention of all political parties and rights organisations to the autocratic use of the law. They should come forward to build a broad alliance for joint actions against the law.
The Government should also give compensation to those who were acquitted but forced to waste long years as remand prisoners under UAPA and other draconian laws in India. Legal actions should be taken against the investigation officers responsible for the arrests of the innocent people.
In the case of UAPA and other repressive laws, there must be some time limit to conclude the trial. After the specific time limit, there must be a provision for default bail like under section 167 (2) of CrPc.
All anti-people laws in the country like UAPA which are against the fundamental rights enshrined in the constitution of India should be immediately repealed.
2. Tributes to Fr Stan Swamy
NCHRO pays its respects to late Fr Stan Swamy who is a victim of state repression. The whole nation condemned the way in which the octogenarian activist who was suffering from the Parkinson’s disease was treated in the custody. We are also much worried about the cavalier and insensitive way judiciary treated his bail petitions. His contribution to the struggle of the adivasis in Jharkhand for their basic rights was without parallel, acknowledged by right thinking people around the world. NCHRO is also much worried about the intellectuals and activists who are languishing behind bars after being framed wrongly under UAPA for being critical of the government and its functionaries.
3. Release Bhima-Koregaon Prisoners on Bail Immediately
NCHRO is much worried about the intellectuals and activists languishing behind bars in Bhima-Koregaon case, after being framed wrongly under UAPA for being critical of the union government and its street fighters. Now it is so proved forensically that some documents said to be seized from the laptops of some of the jailed activists were inserted into their laptops as evidence as NIA has nothing to substantiate its allegations. Some of the jailed activists are suffering from diseases while others have physical disabilities. It looks like that NIA is planning to keep these people in jail by delaying the trial as a sort of punishment for their political views.
NCHRO demands that all these political prisoners incarcerated in Bhima-Koregaon case be released immediately on bail and proper trial should be started as early as possible.
4. Support to the Farmers Struggle
For the past ten months now the farmers of the country have been fighting for the repeal of the three ant-farmer and pro- business farm laws. They have been camping at the gates of the national capital and it has attracted worldwide attention. NCHRO declares its solidarity with the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha for their extraordinary perseverance and determination. At the same time we condemn the insensitivity of the government without paying any attention to their just demands except in words. This is the most undemocratic way of dealing with people’s issues. This campaign of the farmers is unheard of in the history of India world and the farmers deserve our appreciation for their steadfastness as much as the government deserves condemnation for its obstinacy.
5.Give up Privatization Plans
In the name of four year National Monetization Pipeline, the central government is crying on the sly to hand over public wealth to private individuals and corporate bodies. A large number of public projects and facilities including airports, airports, cold mines, highways, stadia and hotels are now to be offered for private investors to fetch around Rs 5.96 lakh crore through structured leasing and securitization transactions. The government’s plan to sell out public sector enterprises and infrastructure projects raises many questions like how the government would ensure that private managers of assets would provide services of acceptable quality to the common public. The will lead only to the expansion of the terrain of big business only. NCHRO demands that the union Government give up its attempt at privation of people’s wealth in the name of ‘monetization of de-risked assets’,
6. Keep the NEP Pending
NCHROexpresses its concern in the hurried implementation of the controversial National Education Policy for many reasons. Academics and educationist have expressed doubts about the foxy ways used by the bureaucrats to induct Hindutwa concept of history and society in the education programmes.More over due to pandemic schools, colleges and universities are not at all functioning in the usual way for the past two years. The pandemic has caused an unprecedented crisis in the field of education in the field of education. This health emergency has led to the massive closure of face-to-face activities of educational institutions not only in India but all over the world.
8. Welcomes Delhi High Court Decision
NCHRO welcomes the Delhi High Court’s decision to release the three student activists Natasha Narwal, Devangana Kalita and Asif Iqbal Tanha on bail. They were arrested under the UAPA and kept in jail for about one year. NCHRO feels it is quite unfortunate that the higher judiciary including the SC has skirted the issue of going into the merits of the case and offered excuses of grounds like old age etc., and never went to the basic question of whether an accused who participated in a peaceful protest can be termed as a terrorist and can be incarcerated under such a draconian law. This meeting of the Confederation also hopes that on the basis of this sound and upright judgement, the SC will take steps to declare the Section 43 (D) 5 of the Act as unconstitutional and against natural justice.
9. Concerned about the Tendency to Attack Dalits and Marginalized Sections
NCHRO views with concern the growing tendency to attack Dalits and minorities on the silliest of pretexts. It is part of the political game played by Sanghi elements to keep them under control. Many instances of rape are being reported being reported from different parts of the country on hapless women and even small girls. The Hathras incident is a case in point. The Confederation demands that the government take proper measures to ensure that the country is a safe place for all citizens irrespective of class, caste or religion, to live in. Only timely police and judicial action will stop such incidents; justice is be done on all cases of rape and molestation to create a sense of confidence in the society.