Asian Centre for Human Rights

Dedicated to promotion and protection of human rights in Asia




I. Overview. 1

II. Atrocities by security forces 1

i. Arbitrary deprivation of the right to life. 1

ii. Arbitrary arrest, detention and torture. 2

III. Female infanticide and trafficking. 2

IV. Gotra injustice 2

V. Atrocities against the Dalits 3

VI. Internally Displaced Persons 3

I. Overview

Ruled by Indian National Lok Dal, Haryana faces no internal armed conflict. However, atrocities perpetrated by Haryana Police reflect the ills of law enforcement in the country. In 2004, arbitrary deprivation of the right to life, torture and other harassment by police were common. But, the State government failed to establish a State Human Rights Commission. This is despite the fact that in February 2004, the Punjab and Haryana High Court issued a notice on the establishment of a State Human Rights Commission. [1]

In a State where the imbalance of sex ratio is 861 females for every 1000 males, [2] buying of brides - the victims of trafficking, is a common practice.

Panchayats across Haryana have been acting as extra-constitutional authorities to declare marriages of different gotras (clans) invalid with virtual impunity. While judicial interventions in a few cases provided relief to the victims, no action has been taken against such village council members.

The National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes ranked Haryana as number two in 2003 for atrocities against the Dalits. There has been little improvement of the situations of the Dalits.

The State government of Haryana has taken little measures to rehabilitate the persons who were displaced by industrial projects in Panipat district.

II. Atrocities by security forces

i. Arbitrary deprivation of the right to life

The National Human Rights Commission had registered 29 custodial deaths in 1999-2000, 24 in 2000-2001, 39 in 2001-2002 and 47 in 2002-2003 in Haryana. [3]

In 2004, there were many reports of arbitrary deprivation of the right to life by Haryana Police.

On the night of 25 February 2004, Kailash was taken into custody by the Criminal Investigation Agency (CIA) personnel on suspicion of possessing charas, marijuana, and died in the police custody in Jind town. He was allegedly tortured till he became unconscious and was dumped nearby his residence. He was taken to the General Hospital of Jind where the doctors declared him dead. The police reportedly registered a case under Section 302 of Indian Penal Code against Assistant Sub-Inspector, Mr Heera Lal, Head constable, Mr Jaipal and four other police officials. [4]

On the intervening night of 12 and 13 June 2004, Sheo Chand, a resident of village Dulet was killed in the custody of the Bhuna police station in Fatehabad district. He was earlier handed over to the police after being tied with a rope by one Pawan and his father Satish. He was also beaten up following an altercation with the two after buying and consuming liquor from their shop. The shop allegedly did not have a licence but liquor was sold in connivance with the local police. The police took him to Bhuna Police Station and later moved him to the Community Health Centre at Bhuna at about 2 a.m. in the night in a serious condition. At 3 am, he died. On 13 June 2004, the police arrested the two shopkeepers who were remanded to judicial custody in Hisar jail for 14 days. A post-mortem of the body of the victim was reportedly conducted on 13 June 2004. On 14 June 2004, the Judicial Magistrate, Ms Ritu Y. K. Bahl remanded Sub-Inspector Umed Singh, who was also the Station House Officer (SHO) of Bhuna police station to 14-day judicial custody. [5]

In early July 2004, two policemen, Havildar Dalip Singh and Assistant Sub-Inspector Mahabir of Loharu police station arrested a Dalit, Hari Singh, and allegedly tortured him to death inside the police station. His dead body was recovered from a deserted well on 10 July 2004 with multiple marks of torture. A medical board, which performed a post-mortem examination, had reported that he died due to severe beating. The police however refused to register a murder case. [6]

ii. Arbitrary arrest, detention and torture

Torture is an integral part of law enforcement in Haryana. Police resort to torture to extract confessions or information, for extortion or simply to settle personal enmity.

In early January 2004, a 20-year-old mentally ill destitute woman was allegedly beaten up by the police in the Palwal police station in Faridabad district. The activists of the Shakti Vahini, an NGO, rescued the destitute woman hailing from Madhya Pradesh. When the NGO activists handed over the women to the police for sending her to the Nari Niketan, the police started beating her in front of them without any reason. [7]

In September 2004, Head Constable Rajender Singh Saini was arrested for torturing Manish Kumar of Uttam Nagar, Rewari district on 24 March 2003. Manish Kumar was arrested for an alleged abduction of a teenaged girl. He was allegedly tortured by Head Constable Rajender Singh Saini, Assistant Sub-Inspector, Zile Singh and a few other policemen during detention. A medical report of the PGIMS, Rohtak confirmed that the victim had been grievously hurt during the “inhuman treatment”. The Punjab and Haryana High Court issued a directive ordering IG (Crime Branch), Haryana, to conduct a fresh investigation into the matter, following which Rajender Singh Saini was arrested. [8]

On 20 May 2004, Bhagwan Singh of Joshi village and his 20-year-old son Pawan Kumar were arrested by Assistant Sub-Inspector Mohindra Singh. They were allegedly tortured inhumanly during their illegal captivity in Matloda police station in Panipat district by Station House Officer Baali Singh, Assistant Sub-Inspector Mohindra Singh and four other Criminal Investigation Agency (CIA) staff. After torture, Bhagwan Singh was released on 21 May 2004 but his son was kept in illegal captivity. The SHO Baali Singh and ASI Mohindra Singh allegedly demanded a bribe of Rs 20,000 for the release of his son. Pawan Kumar was taken to CIA staff near Panipat Devi Temple on 25 May 2004 where four police personnel allegedly did not spare even his private parts during torture. The NHRC directed to take actions against the guilty cops. [9]

On 14 May 2004, Rakesh, an army personnel from 65 Engineering Unit (Army) at Roorkee allegedly raped a woman in Sargathal village under Gohana Sadar police station of Sonepat district. He was arrested in July 2004. [10]

On 25 September 2004, a youth named Tarun of Jamalpur Mohalla was allegedly beaten up by the police in the Civil Lines police station in Sonepat because of a personal enmity with a policeman. He was picked up from the Ashok Nagar bazaar and taken to the Civil Lines police station where he was beaten up mercilessly without any crime. [11]

III. Female infanticide and trafficking

The imbalance in sex ratio because of female infanticide has been having disastrous effects and a cause of major crimes. The sex ratio in Haryana is 861 females for every 1000 males. To meet the demands of marriage, women from Bihar and Jharkhand are trafficked and bought or sold as “brides” in many parts of Haryana. They are abused and often pushed into the flesh trade. [12]

Police sources reported in December 2003 that at least 5,000 girls from Assam and West Bengal were “purchased” and confined in various households in Haryana’s Mewat region consisting of Faridabad, Gurgaon and Rewari. [13]  However, due to lack of awareness and unwillingness of authorities to coordinate, strengthen inter-state links, lack of proper collection of information and inefficient handling of cases, little action was taken to combat trafficking.

On the night of 26 January 2004, one Sandhya (name changed) reportedly lodged a complaint with the Chandni Chowk police station in New Delhi alleging that a woman from the Old Delhi Railway station abducted her in July 2003 and sold her to one Wazir at Sivan village in Karnal district. An agriculturist of Ror community, Wazir reportedly bought her for Rs 35,000 as a bride for his unmarried nephew, Joginder. Before she was sold Sandhya was reportedly kept in Sivan village for over a month, while her abductors tried to strike a deal. She was rescued by STOP, an NGO, with the help of the Gurgaon police after she had written a letter to her family giving details of her whereabouts. [14]

On 29 December 2003, a 15-year-old dalit girl, who was living with her cousin at Hardwar in Uttaranchal, was reportedly brought to Ambala by a woman, a native of Ambala, and allegedly sold her to one Satish and his brothers in Hassanpur village, near Karnal on 31 December 2003 without the knowledge of the girl. It was only when the village women commented at her saying “Bahu to suthri sai” (bride is beautiful) that she came to realise that she had been married.  She was repeatedly raped by relatives of Satish till evening of 13 January 2004 when she managed to escape from Satish’s house at Hassanpur and reported the matter to the police station at Madhuban. A medical examination reportedly confirmed the rape. On 14 January 2004, the police arrested Satish. [15]

In July 2004, a minor girl from Assam, identified as Padmavati, daughter of one Sahil, alias Raghu, a resident of Tongla village in the Kamrup district of Assam was rescued by NGO, Shakti Vahini. She was kept in captivity near sector-6 of Faridabad. She was brought along with five other girls on pretext of providing employment by a woman from Ranchi where she had gone to attend a family function. [16]  

IV. Gotra injustice

While buying of brides is a common practice in many parts of Haryana, the village councils have been perpetrating atrocities in the name of gotra.

On 11 October 2004, Rampal and Sonia of Assanda village in Jhajjar district who have been married for two years were issued order to dissolve their marriage by the Assanda village Panchayat and declare themselves brother and sister as they belonged to the same `gotra’ (caste). [17] The panchayat had even decided that Sonia, who is pregnant with Rampal’s child, would have to abort her child as it was “illegitimate”. The NHRC intervened in the matter. [18]   On 28 October 2004, the village Panchayat decided to validate Sonia’s marriage to Rampal and accept her back in the village after Sonia’s father swore that he belonged to the Hooda gotra. [19]

In October 2004, Jakholi village Panchayat reportedly directed the breakup of proposed marriage of Satyajeet Kadiyan, son of Dr. Randhir Singh of Jakholi in Kaithal district, with Pinki, daughter of Pratap Singh Lohan of Ramra Bhain in Jind. The caste Panchayat held that no Lohan girl could be married into a village where some Lohan families are settled. The Panchayat also announced social boycott of Lohan families of Jakholi village and imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 on anyone found to be keeping relationship with these families. The social boycott hit the Lohan’s livelihood. Nobody would buy from their shops nor shopkeepers from other communities were ready to sell goods to them. Even the chemists refused to sell them medicines. Labourers refused to harvest their crops fearing action by the panchayat. [20]

On 7 December 2004, Supreme Court directed the Haryana Police to provide adequate protection to Hari Om from a lower caste of Badshahpur village and Manju belonging to an upper caste from Gurgaon. They belong to different castes and got married in a temple at Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh on 21 July 2004. However, the village Panchayat declared their marriage illegal. Both of them had left their homes as they were sure that their parents and village panchayat would not approve of their marriage. Manju’s parents filed a case of abduction against Hari Om and the police brought the girl back and restored to her parents. Her parents forced her into second marriage on 18 August 2004. But she fled the house of her second husband and returned to Hari Om at Muzaffarnagar. Meanwhile, the village panchayats at Badshahpur (Gurgaon) and Ladhpur (Jhajjar) refused to recognize the marriage and ordered that the girl should be produced before them and sent back to her second husband Pradeep of Ladhpur. Feeling threatened by the diktats of panchayats, Manju and Hari Om moved the Supreme Court. [21]

On 14 December 2004, Chander Singh Mann’s son Birpal of Hadodi village under Badhra subdivision of Bhiwani district married the daughter of Chhatar Singh Bhambhu of Basdi village despite objections from villagers, as the bride was allegedly the maternal niece of Sheoran gotra. A panchayat was convened late on the night where former Sarpanch Jawahar Singh, who presided over the Panchayat, authorized a 21-member committee to decide about on the matter. The committee recommended social boycott and expulsion of the family of Chander Singh. The Panchayat directed the couple to break up by 20 December 2004. Following the defiance, the village Panchayat ordered social boycott and expulsion of the Maan family from the village. The Panchayat further warned that anybody ploughing the fields of Chander Singh Maan or co-operating with his family in any way would invite rigorous punishment. [22]

V. Atrocities against the Dalits

The Dalits face many atrocities ranging from lynching to murder, sexual assault on women, public humiliation, stripping, shaving off of the head etc. [23]

On the night of 9 July 2004, about 12 persons barged into the house of a Dalit at Nahri village, Sonepat and allegedly manhandled the members of the family and raped a minor girl. The girl was taken to the civil hospital in Sonepat for medical examination. [24]

A Dalit woman accused five members, including two women, of the upper caste family of Mohinder Singh of Dodhipur village of molesting her and using abusive language against Dalits on 12 October 2004. The victim, an Anganwari worker stated she had gone to administer polio drops to children in that area as part of her duty when the incident happened. Although she reported the matter to the police on that day, the police allegedly refused to lodge her complaint.  An FIR was registered on 3 December 2004 after several days of dharna outside the office of the Samalkha Deputy Superintendent of Police. A case was filed against five members of the upper caste family under relevant sections of the 1989 Prevention of Atrocities against Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Act. But at the same time the police also registered a counter-FIR allegedly lodged by a woman of Mohinder Singh’s family accusing Karan Singh, husband of the Dalit woman, of raping her on 11 October 2004. No medical examination of the alleged rape victim was conducted nor a case was registered against Karan Singh on that day. These were allegedly part of the strategy to reach compromise. [25]

Risal Singh Rathee, a disabled Dalit employee of the postal department, has allegedly been victimised by his department. He was able to get the order of his pre-mature retirement in February 2004 reversed and was re-instated in June 2004. However, the postal department officials reportedly stopped his salary for the intervening period between his “retirement” and re-instatement. They also delayed his wages for about three months after he had joined the duty again. [26]  

VI. Internally Displaced Persons

The State government of Haryana has taken little measures to rehabilitate the persons who were displaced by industrial projects in Panipat district.

Pollution caused by the Tau Devi Lal Thermal Power Station in Panipat  reportedly displaced over 10,000 residents of the five villages of Khukhrana, Sutana, Jatal, Aasnkala and Asankhurd in the vicinity of the plant. The release of the huge quantity of fly ash waste by the thermal plant has been polluting air, groundwater, agricultural land and atmosphere. It has resulted in serious health hazards like asthma, skin and eye diseases. After 20 years of the plant’s functioning, hundreds of tonnes of ash waste up to 30 feet high have been collected in the dumping ground. Many villagers have migrated to other places without any compensation. The situation will further worsen as two more units of 250 MW capacity each will start functioning. [27]  

In September 2004, the displaced families of Bohli village in Panipat district, whose thousands of acres of land was acquired by Indian Oil Corporation Limited to set up a refinery about a decade ago requested the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to constitute a committee to look into their rehabilitation. Over one-fourth of the 483 displaced  families of Bohli village were yet to be rehabilitated in New Bohili village, especially carved out for them. The basic facilities have not been provided to even those families in New Bohli. The then Chief Secretary of Haryana had reportedly assured the displaced persons on 12 November 1992 that at least one person of each displaced family would be provided job in the refinery but it has not been implemented. The PIL filed before the High Court three years ago has been pending determination. [28]   

[1] . HR commission notice to Haryana, The Kashmir Times, 7 February 2004

[2] . Gender discrimination rampant in Haryana, The Hindustan Times, 15 December 2004

[3] .  Please refer to the NHRC Annual Reports

[4] . Protesters seek cops’ arrest for youth’s death, The Tribune, 27 February 2004

[5] . Custodial death case: judicial custody for SHO, The Tribune, 15 June 2004

[6] . Dalits protest ‘custodial killing’, The Tribune, 28 July 2004

[7] . Destitute woman beaten up by policemen, The Tribune, 6 January 2004

[8] . Head Constable held for torturing youth, The Tribune, 22 September 2004

[9] . NHRC orders action against cops, The Tribune, 14 September 2004

[10] . Army man held on rape charge, The Tribune, 29 July 2004

[11] . Youth beaten up by police, The Pioneer, 27 September 2004

[12] . Gender discrimination rampant in Haryana, The Hindustan Times, 15 December 2004

[13] . Girl trafficking on the rise in Assam, The Sentinel, 27 December 2003.

[14] . Woman abducted, sold as brides, The Indian Express, 29 January 2004

[15] . 15-yr-old ‘sold off’, raped, The Tribune, 15 January 2004

[16] . Captive minor girl rescued from traffickers, The Tribune, 15 July 2004

[17] . AIDWA takes `gotra' case to NHRC, The Hindu, 27 October 2004

[18] . NHRC to move SC in case of alleged human rights violation, The Deccan Herald, 27 October 2004

[19] . Sonia’s struggle bears fruit - Villagers to validate her marriage, The Tribune, 29 October 2004

[20] . Uneasy calm at Jakholi village - Boycott of Lohans hits their livelihood, The Tribune, 27 October 2004

[21] . Supreme Court asks Haryana cops to protect couple, The Tribune, 8 December 2004

[22] . Another couple in gotra knot, The Tribune, 19 December 2004

[23] . Victims call for stringent laws to end ‘honour killings’, The Indian Express, 12 January 2004

[24] Minor Dalit raped, The Tribune, 10 July 2004

[25] . Police ‘pressurising’ Dalit family to compromise, The Tribune, 5 December 2004

[26] . Disabled Dalit worker alleges witch-hunt, The Tribune, 11 October 2004

[27] . Villagers forced to migrate due to thermal plant pollution, The Tribune, 21 June 2004

[28] . Plea to CJ to set up panel for the displaced, The Tribune, 21 September 2004