Ruled by Samajwadi Party,
Uttar Pradesh recorded highest number of custodial
deaths in India in 2004. According to the National
Human Rights Commission, during 2003-2004 it recorded
217 custodial deaths - 18 in police custody and 199
in judicial custody.
While the Uttar Pradesh
State Human Rights Commission received 1265 complaints
in 2002-03, the number swelled to 2052 in 2003-04.
Most of these complaints were against police personnel. The police personnel continued
to be responsible for arbitrary arrest, detention,
torture, rape and custodial death and violence against
Uttar Pradesh also reportedly
topped the list of harassment cases against women
in India in 2003. Out of 5,160 complaints of atrocities
and harassment against women received by the National
Commission for Women in 2003, as many as 2,580 cases
were reported from the state. The women were subjected to rape,
domestic violence, honour killings and dowry deaths.
The Dalit women were extremely
vulnerable. They are tonsured, stripped, paraded naked
and raped. The Dalits also faced physical violence
including killing at the hands of the upper castes.
They are also deprived of the lands allotted to them.
On 28 July 2004, Mansaram, a Dalit farmer, committed
suicide in Ramnagar Tehsil in Barabanki district after
the Uttar Pradesh Sahkari Gram Vikas Bank arbitrarily
auctioned off his tractor and land for a paltry sum
without following procedures.
Land grabbing from the Dalits
has been widely reported. Yet, on 26 July 2004, the
State cabinet decided to introduce amendments in the
UP Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms Act 1950 to
lift the ban on sale of land owned by Dalit farmers.
As per the existing Act, any Dalit owning 3.125 acres
or less land is not allowed to sell the same to non-dalits.
Lifting the ban on sale of land owned by dalit farmers
would pave the way for malpractices. Atrocities and
violence by the upper castes to force the Dalits to
sell their lands would also intensify.
Adivasis in Sonebhadra district
and Dalit families in Gorakhpur district have been
facing severe starvation. In Raup village in Sonebhadra
district, there were reports of death of many tribal
children due to hunger in 2003. Many tribal families
survived by eating roots and leaves of plants. In
September 2004, the Supreme Court reportedly issued
notice to the state government to take steps to guarantee
the right to food of the affected persons.
Though 19 policemen were
killed in a landmine blast by suspected Naxalites
on 20 November 2004 at Naugrah of Chandauli district,
according to state Revenue Minister Ambika Chowdhary
only seven incidents of violence by Naxalites were
reported in 2004 as against 27 incidents in 2002.
The state government has been spending Rs 13.2 crore
annually on the Central paramilitary forces deployed
in Chanduli, Mirzapur and Sonebhadra districts.
. Custodial deaths: UP leads
offenders’ pack, The Times of India, 26 August 2004
. Rights Violations On The Rise
In Up, Deccan Herald, 13 August 2004
. UP tops list of harassmwent
cases against women, The Kashmir Times, 8 January
. Dalit UP farmer commits suicide,
The Indian Express, 30 July 2004
. UP keen on special force to
fight Naxals, The Pioneer, 25 September 2004