• Uttarakhand

    1. Overview.. 1
    2. Human rights violations by the security forces. 1
    3. Violations of the rights of the SC/STs. 2
    4. Status of the IDPs. 2

    1. Overview

    Ruled by Indian National Congress, Uttarakhand faced no internal armed conflict. However, the State witnessed an increase in crimes during 2006. According to the State police records, 7,133 crimes were registered during the year as against 6,735 in 2005 and 6,960 in 2004. These included 196 murders, seven kidnapping for ransom and 398 riots, among others. Crime against women increased to  26.83 per cent with 1,073 cases in 2006 as against 846 in 2005. These included 91 rapes, 52 dowry deaths, 48 murders and 138 abductions, among others. Haridwar district recorded the highest number of rape with 30 cases.[1] The police were responsible for violation of the right to life.

    All the nine posts were filled up in the Uttranchal High Court as of 31 December 2006 which was very rare with regard to other States. However, there were 170 vacancies in the District and Subordinate Courts as on 30 September 2006. There were a total of 30,275 cases pending with the High Court and a total of 12,8230 cases were pending with the District and Subordinate Courts as on 30 September 2006.[2]

    Prisoners had to spend in jail for decades without trial. A few such prisoners were released by the court in 2006.

    2. Human rights violations by the security forces

    The police were responsible for violations of the right to life.

    On 19 January 2006, 52-year-old Chudamal, resident of Rampura, reportedly died of torture at kotwali police station in Udham Singh Nagar district.[3]

    On 11 April 2006, Athar, a Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited employee, was reportedly beaten to death by police at Bahadrabad police check post during interrogation following alleged recovery of a revolver with licence valid only in Uttar Pradesh. The deceased was on his way to attend the annual Urs festival held in the memory of the famous sufi saint, Sabir Saheb at Peeran Kaliyar near Roorkee.[4]

    3. Violations of the rights of the SC/STs

    According to the statistics of the Uttarakand Police, crime against the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes witnessed a rise of 3.37 per cent with a total of 92 cases in 2006 including eight cases of murders, seven cases of rape, one abduction and 21 cases registered under the Scheduled Castes and  the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, among others.[5]

    On 9 February 2006, an 18-year-old Dalit girl, resident of Dhanpura in Hardwar town, was kidnapped by one Ashok at gunpoint and taken to a hotel where she was allegedly forced to consume liquor, beaten up, burnt with cigarettes and raped for refusing to marry him. However, when the villagers came to know about the incident they asked the victim's father not to report the matter to the police. The gram pradhan (village headman) let off the accused after subjecting him to a shoe-beating and a penalty of Rs 21,000.[6]

    In August 2006, the priests of Mahasu temple at Hanol village in Dehra Dun district reportedly imposed a fine of Rs 500 and some silver and gold coins on a group of Dalit artists of Jaunsar Bawar Sanskrit Lok Kala Manch for daring to enter the temple premises and touch the priests' feet. The Dalits had gone to the temple to offer prayers after the temple authorities opened its doors for Dalits and women two years ago.[7]

    4. Status of the IDPs

    Hundreds of Sikh families continued to be on the verge of eviction from the land allotted to them in Udham Singh Nagar district. On 16 January 2006, the Supreme Court directed that the 251 Sikh families facing eviction orders should not be evicted from their land and status quo should be maintained. Earlier on 13 July 2004, the Uttarakhand Government had directed 251 families of the 550 Sikh families settled in Dohrivakil, Kharmasa, Panchwala and Ramnagar villages in Kashipur tehsil to vacate the land despite the fact that they were vested with “bhumidhar” rights by the undivided Uttar Pradesh government. Further, the revenue records of the 251 families showed that the government had allotted them “khasra” numbers for the 441.22 hectares in their possession. The Uttaranchal High Court had refused to grant stay on eviction of these families on 23 December 2005. These families were settled there in phases between 1965 and 1970.[8]

    On 8 August 2006, the Supreme Court directed the Centre, the Uttarakhand Government and Tehri Hydro Development Corporation to submit a status report on the rehabilitation of over 500 families likely to be affected by the increase in the height of the Tehri dam from 760 metres to 790 metres. The directive came following allegation of not taking proper steps by the authorities to rehabilitate the oustees.[9]

    [1]. Crime Statistics, Uttrakhand Police

    [2]. Court News, October-December 2006, Supreme Court of India

    [3]. Mob fury leaves 35 injured in Uttaranchal town, The Times of India, 22 January 2006 

    [4]. Cops 'Beat' man to death, The Hitavada, 13 April 2006 

    [5]. Crime Statistics, Uttrakhand Police

    [6]. Dalit teenager raped, brutalised in Hardwar, The Pioneer, 16 February 2006 

    [7]. Dalits fined for entering temple, The Deccan Herald, 28 July 2006 

    [8]. Eviction of Sikhs from Udham Singh Nagar stayed, The Tribune, 18 January 2006 

    [9]. SC asks for Tehri rehab report, The Telegraph, 9 August 2006 

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