Ruled by the Indian National Congress, Haryana remained a lawless State especially with regard to the Dalits. Their rights continued to be violated by upper caste people in alleged connivance with the police.
The Haryana Police continued to be responsible for serious human rights violations such as extrajudicial killings, illegal detention, torture and rape.
The Haryana State Cabinet on 20 December 2006 approved the draft Haryana Police Ordinance, 2006. The ordinance will replace the Police Act of 1861 and the Punjab Police Rules, 1934. The new law gives powers to the District Magistrate to coordinate and direct the functioning of the police with other agencies of the district administration. This will strengthen the control of the civil authority over the police. A single-member State-level police complaint authority, who will be either a retired Judge or a retired civil servant not below the rank of Secretary to the State Government or a lawyer well versed in criminal law and with a standing of at least 20 years, will inquire into complaints regarding custodial deaths, custodial torture, rape or an attempt to rape in police custody.
Despite lawlessness in the State, there is no State Human Rights Commission. On 18 January 2006, the Haryana Government informed the Punjab and Haryana High Court that it had no intention to constitute a State Human Rights Commission.
The Dalits faced systematic violations of their rights. The Haryana Government announced a compensation policy for Dalit victims of atrocities by the upper castes. But, there were consiste nt reports of violations of the rights of the Dalits.
Women and girl children were sexually abused. Trafficking remained a flourishing business for the traffickers due to skewed sex ratio (861 per 1,000 males as per the 2001 census) in the State.
The administration of justice continued to be plagued by shortage of judges. By the end of December 2006, there were 15 vacancies in the Punjab and Haryana High Court while the number of vacancies in the District and Subordinates Courts was 84 as on 30 September 2006. The Punjab and Haryana High Court had a total of 2,41,579 pending cases, while a total of 51,9,338 cases were pending with the District and Subordinate Courts as on 30 September 2006.
The Haryana Police continued to be responsible for serious human rights violations such as illegal detention, torture, rape and custodial deaths. On 15 July 2006, Karan Singh of Mohana village was found dead at the Veterinary Hostel premises under Mohana police station in Sonepat district after his arrest by police on the evening of 14 July 2006. The post-mortem report reportedly confirmed death due to suffocation.
Police also resorted to indiscriminate use of fire-arms. On 21 June 2006, one person was killed and 23 others were injured when police resorted to firing to control a crowd at Badsikri village of Kalayat sub-tehsil in Kaithal district.
High-handedness of Haryana Police was well-known. In November 2006, the National Human Rights Commission asked the Director General of Police, Haryana to submit within four weeks a report on the alleged beating of Jirender Singh Sandhu, a resident of Gurgaon, by the police on 16 November 2006. According to media report, the victim was taking a stroll with his daughter when two policemen stopped them and asked what they were doing. When the victim asked the policemen to behave properly he was taken to the police station and beaten for about 20 minutes. Three policemen were suspended in the case.
Women continued to be victims of violence including from the law enforcement personnel. On the night of 15 June 2006, a rag picker was raped by two police constables identified as Sandeep and Mahavir at Sector-9 in Faridabad. Both the constables were arrested.
Haryana was turned into “bride bazaar” of India where women trafficked from other States such as Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, West Bengal, Maharashtra, etc were sold. Haryana had very low sex ratio which was 861 per 1,000 males as per the 2001 census and thereby increasing the demand for women. The price of the women in the market usually ranged from Rs 4,000 to Rs 30,000 but depended on factors like virginity, skin colour, age and the number of times the woman had been sold before.
An NGO, Shakti Vahini that fights trafficking, reportedly rescued more than 150 minor girls in the last four years. There were over 5,000 such girls in Mewat, while Ghasera has over 100 such girls. One 13-year-old Memoona from Assam was sold by an agent for a mere Rs 4,000 to a 40-plus farmer in Mewat district. Such bride could be resold or shared with unmarried brothers if she gave birth to a male heir. In March 2006, an 18-year-old Tripala from Jharkhand was reportedly murdered by her husband in Jind district after she refused to sleep with his younger brother.
The Dalits faced systematic violations of their rights. The National Crime Records Bureau recorded 288 cases of atrocities against the Dalits in 2005. These included 10 murder cases, 35 rape cases, 15 kidnapping cases, 5 arson cases, 52 hurt cases, and 73 cases under SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act etc.
The Haryana Government announced a policy to provide compensation to Dalit victims of atrocities by the upper castes. As per the policy, the State Government would pay a compensation of about Rs 2 lakh in case of death and in some related cases the amount could be around Rs 1 lakh provided the victim had no source of income. However, the benefit would be applicable only if a case was registered under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act on the complaint of the victim and the financial aid would be released after the police filed the challan in court in connection with the case. The Faridabad district administration reportedly sanctioned about Rs 2.5 lakh as compensation during the financial year of 2005-06.
The Dalit women were specifically targeted. On the night of 3 January 2006, a 15-year-old handicapped Dalit girl, resident of Jhatauli village of Pataudi, was allegedly gang raped by three men in a cab and then by a truck driver at Manesar in Gurgaon district.
On the night of 4 February 2006, a 13-year-old Dalit girl of Kailana village under the Ganaur police station was found murdered after rape when she had gone to the fields. A postmortem examination of the deceased conducted in the Civil Hosptal reportedly confirmed rape.
On 14 February 2006, 10 Dalits including women were injured when a mob of about 50 upper caste men, mostly Rodhs, armed with sharp-edged weapons, including axes and swords allegedly attacked the Dalits of Ravidas Colony at Mehmadpur village in Karnal district.
Failure to take action by the police and administration also forced Dalits to flee their villages. On 22 February 2006, more than 200 members of 31 Dalit families of Farmana village in Sonepat district fled their village to save their lives following alleged attack by upper caste people led by sarpanch (village head) of the village identified as Sunil due to a dispute over construction of a boundary wall around a temple. The Dalits had to spend the night camping at various temples, dharamshalas and schools in and around Khokhrakot locality of Rohtak. The police registered a case against five persons including the Sarpanch Sunil on the charge of harassing Dalits and demolishing their houses on 14 and 15 February 2006.
In July 2006, a Dalit family of Dhingsara village in Fatehabad district was forced to take shelter at a nearby village following threats by some upper-caste families. Complaints to the police and district administration had fallen on deaf ears.
On 1 September 2006, over two dozen Dalit families were forced to flee their village after about 100 upper caste youth attacked them with sharp-edged weapons and ransacked their houses at Kila Jafargarh in Jind district. Several Dalits were injured, 11 of them seriously.
On 6 December 2006, the police registered cases against 10 persons in a three-month-old case pertaining to the families of two Dalit brothers, Ramesh Kumar and Kalu Das of Lisan village under Khol police station of Rewari district. The brothers had to leave the village in the first week of September 2006 after being tortured and threatened by men of the upper caste in alleged connivance with the police. Assistant Sub-Inspector Ram Swarup of the Dahina police post, where Kalu Das had been forcibly taken by his alleged torturers on the night of 2 September 2006, was reportedly transferred.
There were widespread reports of violations of the rights of the children. On 18 November 2006, three minor girls identified as Sita, (12) Santoshi (7) and Sujata (6) were rescued by an NGO, Shakti Vahini, from their employer in Faridabad's Indraprastha Colony. The children were beaten up with belts, cricket bats and canes during their two-year confinement. However, they spent the next five days at the Faridabad Sector 31 police station as there was nowhere else for them to go. There was no children home in Haryana except one Nari Niketan in Karnal district.
Girl students were target of sexual abuses including rape and molestation by their teachers. The Haryana Government had decided to constitute special surveillance committees to monitor instances of sexual harassment in schools and other educational institutions following such reports. In early February 2006, the Haryana Government suspended seven school staff including two accused teachers and the Principal of Government Senior Secondary School in Durjanpur in Jind district. 17 schoolgirls of Class VIII and IX were allegedly raped for eight months by the accused teachers. The incident came to light when one of the girls studying in Class IX got pregnant and told her parents about the rape. Two other girls who also got pregnant were forcibly got abortions done by the teachers. The teachers had reportedly approached the family and offered them Rs 1.5 lakh to get the child aborted in another case.
. Haryana to have new Police Act, The Tribune, 21 December 2006
. Compensation policy for Dalit victims of atrocities, The Tribune, 5 January 2006
. Court News, October-December 2006, Supreme Court of India
. Protest against villager's death, The Tribune, 18 July 2006
. 36 injured in police firing, lathi charge - Dispute over land attached to religious dera, The Tribune, 22 June 2006
. NHRC asks for report in police assault case, The Tribune, 24 November 2006
. Two constables held for raping rag picker, The Tribune, 17 June 2006
. Bride Bazaar, The Times of India, 26 March 2006
. Compensation policy for Dalit victims of atrocities, The Tribune, 5 January 2006
. Another moving rape story, this time from Manesar, The Pioneer, 6 January 2006
. Minor Dalit raped, killed, The Tribune, 6 February 2006
. 10 injured in attack on Dalit colony, The Tribune, 15 February 2006
. Scared Dalits flee Sonepat village, The Times of India, 24 February 2006
. 5 booked for harassing Dalits, The Tribune, 6 March 2006
. Dalit family 'forced' to leave village, The Tribune, 25 July 2006
. Two dozen Dalit families leave village, The Tribune, 4 September 2006
. Dalits' torture: ASI shifted, 10 booked, The Tribune, 7 December 2006
. Maid in hell, The Times of India, 26 November 2006
. Committees to check harassment in schools, The Asian Age, 18 September 2006
. 17 girl students raped; 7 school staff suspended, The Tribune, 9 February 2006