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

Uttar Pradesh



I. Highlight: Land acquisition 

The death of three persons, including two farmers and a policeman, and injury to several others during protests by the farmers on 14-16 August 2010 against the Yamuna Expressway project brought land acquisition and denial of equal compensation to the spotlight. [1]  The farmers were protesting for higher compensation as given to farmers in Noida area for another project. While farmers were offered Rs 453 per sq ft in Aligarh and Mathura area, farmers in Noida reportedly got nearly double, about Rs 800 per sq ft. [2] About 1,546 hectare land was acquired for the expressway and about 2,500 hectare is being acquired for hi-tech cities in Noida, Mathura, Agra, Bulandshahr and Aligarh. As many as 13.98 lakh population were affected in four districts, Aligarh, Agra, Mathura and Mahamayanagar (Hathras). [3] Nonetheless, on 8 September 2010, the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal made by a farmers’ body on land acquisition by private companies for the Yamuna Expressway project. The farmers had moved the Supreme Court after their appeal was earlier dismissed by the Allahabad High Court. The court found merit in state government’s argument that the project was for the convenience of common people. [4]

In another case of acquisition of land of farmers, the Supreme Court on 20 September 2010 criticised the land acquisition policy of the state government. The Supreme Court held that “Throwing out villagers from their land and taking away their livelihood and way of life is state-sponsored terrorism. Land cultivated by them for generations is taken away. Half of the compensation awarded to them is also taken away… What are we up to?” [5] The Supreme Court was hearing an appeal by villagers from Noida against a December 2008 Allahabad High Court decision upholding the acquisition of their land in Uttar Pradesh’s Gautambudh Nagar district without giving them a chance to register objections.[6] The Supreme Court also censured the Allahabad High Court stating - “The High Court should have at least heard the farmers instead of throwing out their case summarily. The High Court doesn’t even think it proper to hear them out, that approach is perverse and absolutely unjust.” [7]

II. Violations of civil and political rights

Apart from the use of disproportionate force against those protesting against discrimination in payment of compensation in the Yamuna Expressway project, there were reports of violations of civil and political rights. The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) registered 19,024 cases against the police in Uttar Pradesh during 2009-2010 (as on 28 February 2010). [8]

During July-September 2010, the ACHR documented the following cases of torture in police custody. Of these, five persons died due to alleged torture.

On 21 July 2010, Nazar Hussain (45 years) died in police custody at the Nakhasa Police Station in Moradabad district. The deceased was taken into custody in connection with a case of theft. The deceased’s family alleged that Nazar Hussain died due to torture during interrogation. [9]

On 29 July 2010, Rama Shankar (32 years) died in police custody at the Sakaldeehah police station in Chandauli district. The deceased was picked up in connection with a case of assault. The deceased’s relatives alleged that Rama Shankar was subjected to torture that resulted in his death. [10]

On 10 August 2010, Rishi (19 years), son of Sher Singh, died due to alleged torture at a police station in Loni town in Ghaziabad district. The deceased was picked up in connection with a gambling case on 9 August 2010. [11]

On 15 August 2010, Ram Pal (21 years), son of Ayodhya Prasad, died in police custody in Barkhera area of Pilibhit district. The deceased was arrested on the charges of eloping with a girl. The police claimed that the deceased committed suicide. However, the deceased’s relatives alleged that Ram Pal was taken into custody on 13 August 2010 and tortured in illegal detention, resulting in his death.

On 26 August 2010, Ram Naresh Yadav (47 years) died in police custody at Kotwali Police Station in Jalaun district. The deceased had gone to the police station along with another man for recovery of his motorcycle which was seized by the police. The police claimed that the deceased suffered a heart attack following an argument at the police station and died. However, the deceased’s family members alleged that the deceased died after being tortured at the police station. [13]

On 10 July 2010, Mukesh Mittal, a scrap dealer, was subjected to torture at Vasundhara police post for hours in Ghaziabad. The victim alleged that he was taken to the police post and tortured after he hit his car into a Special Operation Group personnel’s vehicle. The victim was released only after his family paid money to the police personnel for the repair of the vehicle. The medical examination revealed that his ear drum was torn due to torture. [14]

In July 2010, a woman Chandrawati (name changed) was subjected to torture at a Mahila Thana (Women Police Station) in Moradabad district. In her complaint to the police, the victim stated that she was taken to the police station for questioning, illegally detained for seven days and tortured. The victim was hanged upside down from the ceiling and beaten with a cane. The police also poured petrol and chilly powder in her private parts. She was released with threats. Signs of torture were found during medical check-up. The Deputy Inspector of Police ordered an enquiry. [15]

In September 2010, three persons identified as Vishal Yadav, Deepak Ranjan and Watan Deep Gupta were picked up in an alleged case of theft and possessing illegal arm
and illegally detained at the Ghazipur police station. When the police produced them in court, the victims stated that they were subjected to electric shocks and burnt with cigarette butts. The victims further stated that the police picked them up on 1 September 2010 but showed them arrested on 7 September 2010. [16]

During July - September 2010, the NHRC recommended compensation in two cases of custodial death in the state. On 13 July 2010, the NHRC directed the state government to pay Rs. 500,000 to the family of a minor who was beaten to death in police custody in January 2008. The deceased Durgesh was picked up in connection with a theft case and tortured. [17] Similarly on 6 August 2010, the NHRC directed the state government to pay Rs. 300,000 to the next of kin of Mustan Sarulla Khan who died due to torture in the Kanpur district jail in June 2005. [18]

III. Violations of the rights of the Dalits

There were reports of discrimination against the Dalits in educational institutions especially with regard to mid-day meal scheme. In order to combat caste discrimination, in April 2010, the state government in an order directed that all primary schools having 26-100 students must employ two cooks and one of them must be from Scheduled Castes (SCs). A school having 101-200 students is required to employ three cooks - one each from general category, SC and Other Backward Classes (OBC) respectively. A school with 201-300 students must employ four cooks - two from SC, one each from general category and OBC. [19]

However, the students belonging to upper castes continued to boycott mid-day meals cooked by Dalits in schools in Uttar Pradesh.

In July 2010, government-run primary and junior high schools in four of the six districts under Kanpur division witnessed protests over mid-day meals prepared by cooks belonging to the Scheduled Caste and Other Backward Classes categories. Several students in Kannauj, Ramabai Nagar, Etawah and Kanpur had refused to eat the mid-day meals prepared by SC and OBC cooks.  The first protest was reported from Jaspura Primary School of Sandalpur Block where foods prepared by SC cooks were boycotted on 9 July 2010. Later, the protests spread to other areas in the Kanpur division. On 10 July 2010, residents attacked a police party posted in the Bahadurpur Manjhiganwa Junior High School of Sorrik in Kannauj district after the students boycotted mid-day meals and damaged furniture. [20] 

IV. Violations of the rights of the child

The state government of Uttar Pradesh failed to set up Juvenile Justice Boards as required under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act of 2000. In July 2010, the state government in a report submitted before a Bench of the Supreme Court dealing with the implementation of the Juvenile Justice Act stated that in the 71 districts only 26 Boards were functional. [21]

In July 2010, the Supreme Court released a juvenile identified as Sunil Pal (name changed), who was convicted for life in a murder case after conviction in the trial court and upheld by the High Court although he was a minor. On 23 July 2010, the Uttar Pradesh Police accepted their fault and informed the Supreme Court that Sunil Pal at the time of the committing the crime was a juvenile. Earlier, the police had claimed in the trial court and High Court that he was not a minor. The juvenile was released after spending six years in a regular jail. [22]

In September 2010, a minor girl was allegedly gang raped by three persons including two personnel of Railway Protection Force (RPF) near the Paniyhawan railway station in Kushinagar district. The victim along with a youth got down at the railway station from where she was forcibly taken away after the youth was locked up at a railway police outpost. [23]

In July 2010, the Allahabad High Court directed the Central Bureau of Investigation to inquire into the alleged gang rape of two minor girls inside the Kubersthan police station in Kushinagar district on 19 April 2010. In her petition to the High Court, the victims’ mother alleged that her daughters were raped by five persons including four police personnel and a gram pradhan (village head). [24]

V. Violations of the ESCRs
a. Violations of the right to education

Misappropriation of funds meant for providing education denied the right to education to poor students in Uttar Pradesh. In August 2010, the state government ordered verification of the records of over 572 schools which received grant worth lakhs of rupees from the Social Welfare department despite having less than 10 students. These schools received the annual grant of Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh for running schools in areas where population is below poverty line. The schools were given grants for paying building maintenance or rent, salary of teachers and other staff and books for students. [25]

In August 2010, the Social Welfare Department during an inspection of five schools in Lucknow district found that the schools hardly had any students enrolled in them though the school claimed to have 80-100 students. Besides, some of the schools were not primary schools for which the grants were meant for. In one school, it was found that the school received annual grant of around Rs 6 lakh but had only four students and five teachers. [26]

The provisions of the Right to Education Act which provides for the right to free and compulsory education is often violated.  In July 2010, Ms Lakshmi (13 years), a class III student of a school at Bhalsua village in Saharanpur district allegedly committed suicide after she was forced to clean the school toilet for failing to pay fees. The deceased’s mother, a daily wage labourer, stated that she was unable to pay the fees and the school authority told the parent that their daughter would not be allowed to attend classes till the clearance of arrears of fees. [27]

b. Mis-utilization of development funds for Bundelkhand region

Bundelkhand region, comprising of 13 districts of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, is one of the most backward regions in India. Seven districts namely Jalaun, Banda, Chitrkoot, Hamirpur, Jhansi, Lalitpur and Mahoba falling within the Bundelkhand region are in Uttar Pradesh.

The Bundelkhand region is characterized by poverty, hunger, lack of development and infrastructure. Persistent poverty in the region forced people to migrate from villages to other states in search of alternative source of livelihood. The economy of Bundelkhand is largely agricultural and livelihoods are mainly based on subsistence, rain-fed, single crop agriculture and small-scale livestock production, with wheat and oilseeds being the predominant crops. However, the uncertainty of rainfall along with poor quality soil makes agriculture difficult in many parts of Bundelkhand. The people face water scarcity for both agricultural and domestic use round the year. Large numbers of farmers are highly dependent on the monsoon rains for agricultural activities. Industries are mostly absent in this region. [28]

On 19 November 2009 the Central government approved a special package for drought-affected Bundelkhand region based on the report “Drought Mitigation Strategy for the Bundelkhand Region of UP and Madhya Pradesh”. The Central government also approved a special package of Rs 3,506 crore for Bundelkhand to be implemented in two financial years - 2010-11 and 2011-12. So far, proposals worth Rs 1,224 crore for UP have been approved by the Centre and Rs 332 crore were released on 31 March 2010. The Centre set up a review and monitoring committee headed by B K Chaturvedi, member, Planning Commission wherein the Chief secretaries of UP and MP are members. On 27 June 2010, the Centre asked the state government of Uttar Pradesh to ensure the implementation of various schemes sanctioned under the Bundelkhand Package to be completed within the timeframe laid down for each project. [29]

The funds meant for Bundelkhand region were diverted to other schemes by the state government of Uttar Pradesh. The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in its report for the year ending March 2009 tabled in both Houses of the state legislatures in August 2010 revealed that the state government diverted funds amounting to over Rs 330 crore, allocated for development of Bundelkhand and Purvanchal regions, to other schemes. The CAG conducted the audit of the development works undertaken in both regions between 2004 and 2009, financed from the Vikas Nidhi. The audit revealed that allocation of funds to both regions was not made by taking into account the disparities and deficiencies in development. [30]

Endnotes:
1. Expressway protest toll 3, officials shunted, The Indian Express, 16 August 2010
2. Ibid
3. Farmers threaten to plough land acquired for E-way, The Times of India, 29 August 2010
4. Yamuna Expressway: Mayawati gets Supreme Court thumbs-up, Daily News and Analysis, 9 September 2010
5. Court slams U.P.’s land acquisition policy, The Hindu, 22 September 2010
6 . SC ‘terror’ tag on land rush, The Telegraph, 21 September 2010 
7. Court slams U.P.’s land acquisition policy, The Hindu, 22 September 2010 
8. Figures of Police Atrocities against prisoners reported to NHRC from 1 April 2006 to 28 February 2010, Lok Sabha, Unstarred Question No 2001 Answered on 09.03.2010
9. Complaint of Asian Centre for Human Rights to National Human Rights Commission, 23 July 2010
10. Complaint of Asian Centre for Human Rights to National Human Rights Commission, 4 August 2010
11. Complaint of Asian Centre for Human Rights to National Human Rights Commission, 11 August 2010
12. Complaint of Asian Centre for Human Rights to National Human Rights Commission, 17 August 2010
13. Complaint of Asian Centre for Human Rights to National Human Rights Commission, 30 August 2010
14. Scrap dealer: Police beat me up after accident, The Indian Express, 10 July 2010
15. Cops detain, brutally torture innocent woman, The Times of India, 31 July 2010 
16. Ghazipur police accused of torturing accused, The Times of India, 10 September 2010
17. UP Police atrocity: NHRC orders 5-lakh relief, The Hindu, 13 July 2010
18. http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/NHRC-asks-UP-govt-to-pay-300000-for-custodial-torture-death/657024/ 
19. Dalit cooks in UP schools spark outrage, The Hindustan Times, 16 July 2010
20. In Kanpur, students refuse mid-day meals made by SC, OBCs, The Indian Express, 14 July 2010
21. Juvenile walks free on delinquent UP Cops, The Pioneer, 23 July 2010
22. Ibid
23. Complaint of the ACHR to the NHRC on 13 September 2010
24. Gang rape inside police station: HC orders CBI inquiry, The Hindustan Times, 10 July 2010
25. Govt orders statewide probe into anomalies in schools records, The Indian Express, 4 August 2010
26. Ibid
27. Girl forced to clean school toilet, ends life, IBN Live, 30 July 2010
28. Statehood for Bundelkhand, a genuine demand, The Hindu Business Line, 1 June 2010
29. Bundelkhand: Centre gives UP a run for its money, Express India, 27 June 2010 
30. CAG raps govt for funds diversion, Express India, 14 August 2010
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