States Round Up Issue-01 July to September 2010 Index Page
Full version of the report

Haryana



I. Highlight: No safety for the Dalits

Haryana continues to fail in its obligation to safeguard the rights of the Dalits in the State. On 1 April 2010, the Ministry of Home Affairs issued an advisory to states and Union Territories to improve law and order situation by employing adequate enforcement agencies and to protect the life and properties of weaker sections of the society and to ensure implementation of the laws on crimes against Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes. [1] Haryana did not act and Dalits were attacked at Mirchpur in Hisar district in April 2010. A 60-year-old Dalit and his handicapped daughter were burnt alive and 18 houses were set on fire allegedly by upper caste belonging to Jat community following a scuffle between the two communities. [2]

On 26 August 2010, the Supreme Court criticized the state government for its failure to arrest and provide relief and rehabilitation to the victims. The Supreme Court observed that “If those responsible for committing atrocities cannot be arrested, then what right does the director general of police have to continue in office. If you (Haryana police) are not able to arrest them, we will ask some paramilitary force to arrest them.” [3]

The state government informed the Supreme Court that it had announced a compensation of Rs 20 lakh to the family of the deceased and Rs one lakh to those whose houses were burnt down. However, the state government informed the apex court that only 52 accused were arrested and 71 others remained to be arrested. [4]

On 30 August 2010, a team of Parliamentary Committee on Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes after a visit to the affected village criticized the Haryana Police in its report submitted to both Houses of the Parliament. The Parliamentary Committee stated that “the negligence and lackadaisical attitude of the state police in apprehending and taking proper action against all the accused justify the fear psychosis that has engulfed the affected people.” Further, the Parliamentary Committee stated that the dominant Jat community continued to threaten the Dalits and asked them to withdraw the first information reports (FIRs) filed against the accused. [5]The Committee also pointed out that the Station House Officer in Mirchpur was the same officer under whose watch Scheduled Castes were made to strip in 2005, an offence under the Prevention of Atrocities Act. [6]

II. Violations of civil and political rights

During July – September 2010, the Asian Centre for Human Rights documented the following cases of human rights violation by the police in the state.

On 9 July 2010, a Dalit girl identified as Monika (18 years) and her two minor brothers (names withheld) were allegedly tortured at Chandimandir police station in Panchkula. The victims were summoned at the police station after a complaint was lodged against the victims’ father Puran Chand for failing to repay a loan amount to the complainant. The victims suffered injuries in their bodies due to the torture. Monika suffered injuries in one of her ears. [7]

On 13 September 2010, Sunil Lamba (22 years) of Ladwa village died and over a dozen people sustained injuries when police opened fire during a protest at Mayyar village in Hissar district. [8]

In August 2010, the state government of Haryana directed the administration to take necessary steps to establish a state human rights commission headed by a retired Chief Justice of a High Court at the earliest. The initiative was taken following Mirchpur incident and honour killings. [9]

III. Atrocities by Khap Panchayats

The Khap Panchayats which believe that the victims bring “dishonour” upon the family, clan or community have been responsible for serious violations including torture and killing.

There were number of cases of crimes committed by these Khap Panchayats during July and September 2010. This was despite the fact that in June 2010, the Supreme Court issued notices to the Centre and some states including Haryana on the growing cult of honour killings being reported across the country. The Court sought response from the state governments on the petition
filed by NGO, Shakti Vahini expressing grave concern over the increase in killings at the instance of khap panchayats. [10]

On 4 July 2010, the bodies of Ms Reena (16 years) and Sham Mohammad (19 years) were found in a suspected case of honour killing at Somain village in Fatehabad district. The victims had run away in 2009 but later caught by the police. The police stated that village panchayat was against their relationship as Reena was Jat and Sham a Muslim. The deceased youth’s eyes were missing and his hands were found broken. [11]

On 24 September 2010, the bodies of Inder Pal (22 years) and Maya (18 years) were found at Phoolkan village in Sirsa district. The police suspected the case to be an honour killing as they were in a relationship to which the families of both the deceased were against. [12]

IV. Violations of the ESCRs

a. Violations of the right to education

The state government failed to provide basic facilities in government schools, especially in rural areas.

According to official statistics, 20 percent out of 5,388 government schools as of February 2010 in the state had no toilet facilities. [13]

This sits uneasily with the claim of the state government that it had ameliorated the sanitation conditions in the government schools under the Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC), a scheme of the Union Ministry of Rural Development. The scheme aimed at ensuring sanitation facilities in rural areas with the broader goal to eradicate the practice of open defecation. [14]

During 2008-2009, the state government launched an innovative monthly stipend scheme for children of Scheduled Caste, Backward Classes and Below Poverty Line (BPL) families. Under the scheme the boys and girls students of Class I to V get an incentive of Rs. 100 and Rs. 150 respectively and the amount increases as the children move to higher classes. Following the launch of the scheme, there has been an increase in enrollment of poor children. However, the scheme is also not without problem. Some government schools pointed out that they were facing problems in opening bank accounts because of banks’ stringent rules of requiring two identity proofs for opening an account. The banks were returning the forms of students due to lack of the mandatory two identity proofs. As a result, some schools were facing problem in disbursing stipend to the children especially of migrant families. [15]

b. Violations of the right to health

The mis-appropriation and mis-use of healthcare funds negatively impacted enjoyment of the right to health. On 3 September 2010, an inquiry conducted by the Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Sirsa District Satish Kumar Jain, revealed large-scale irregularities and misuse of funds under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) in Sirsa district. The funds were meant for improving access to quality health care for people residing in rural areas, the poor, women and children. The health authorities reportedly received Rs. 50 lakh as grant under the NRHM in 2008-09 but the same were shown spent on repairs and renovations of residences of senior doctors, the Civil Surgeon’s office including plugging of seepage and leakage of water in the general hospital. [16]

c. Violations of the right to work

On 9 July 2010, four village council members were arrested by police for misappropriating Rs 9.34 lakh from panchayat funds in four installments in October 2009. The money was withdrawn from the panchayat funds for construction of roads and a drainage channel in the village. However, the entire amount was given to a construction company without completion of any of the works. [17]

Endnotes:
1 . Haryana ignored Centre’s advisory - MIRCHPUR ARSON: Home Ministry had sent a warning on April 1, The Tribune, 28 August 2010
2 . House panel slams Haryana police, The Hindustan Times, 31 August 2010
3 . Hooda govt pulled up for moving slow on Mirchpur, The Times of India, 27 August 2010
4 . House panel slams Haryana police, The Hindustan Times, 31 August 2010
5 . Ibid
6 . Haryana’s response to dalit attacks irks panel, The Times of India, 31 August 2010
7 . Complaint of Asian Centre for Human Rights to National Human Rights Commission, 13 July 2010
8 . Police open fire on rampaging mob in Hisar, one killed, The Indian Express, 14 September 2010
9 . Haryana to set up Human Rights Commission, I-Government, 30 August 2010
10 . Honour killing: SC issues notice to Centre, States, The Indian Express, 21 June 2010
11 . Teens found dead in Haryana, honour killing suspected, The Indian Express, 5 July 2010
12 . Couple found dead in Haryana, honour killing suspected, Daily News and Analysis, 27 September 2010
13 . Schools in Haryana still short of toilets, The Pioneer, 28 September 2010
14 . Ibid
15 . BPL children realise a dream, The Tribune, 15 September 2010
16 . Rural health mission funds siphoned off: Probe, The Tribune, 4 September 2010
17 . Four Panches held for cheating, The Tribune, 10 July 2010
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