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I. Ranking in Human Rights Violators Index: 7th

II. Political freedom

III. Human rights violations by the security forces

a. Custodial violence

b. Extra-judicial killings

c. Arbitrary arrest, illegal detention and torture

IV. Judiciary and administration of justice

a. Legal reforms

b. Judges' accountability

c. Judicial delay

V. Effectiveness of National Human Rights Institutions

VI. Repression on human rights defenders

VII. Freedom of the press

a. Attacks by the state agencies and political activists

b. Attacks by the AOGs

VIII. Violations of the rights of indigenous peoples

a. Atrocities against tribals

b. Land alienation and displacement

c. Repression under the forest laws

d. Encroachment by non-tribals

IX. Violations of the rights of the Dalits

a. Denial of access to public places

b. Physical attacks against the Dalits

c. Violence against Dalit women

d. Denial of land rights

X. Violence against women

a. Violence by the security forces

b. Violence by the AOGs

c. Cruel cultural practices

XI. Violations of the rights of the child

a. Child labour

b. Child trafficking

c. Children in armed conflict

d. Orphaned children

e. Girl child: Target of sexual abuse

f. Juvenile justice

g. Torture of children

XII. Status of internally displaced persons

XIII. Violations of the prisoners' rights

XIV. Violations of the rights of minorities

a. Attacks on the Christian minorities

b. Attacks on the minorities  by the AOGs in J&K

XV.Status of the refugees

a. Refugees under the government of India

b. Refugees under the UNHCR

XVI. Violations of International Humanitarian Laws by the AOGs

a. Torture

b. Killings

c. Abductions

d. Extortion

XVII. Application of the National Security Laws

a. Cases under the Prevention of Terrorism Act of 2002

b. Cases under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act

c. Cases under the Public Safety Act


I. Ranking in Human Rights Violators Index: 7th

In SAARC Human Rights Violators Index 2006, India has been given lowest negative ranking because of the existence of institutional checks and balances.

There were consistent reports of gross human rights violations in India but the democratic institutions remained intact and operational. Its judiciary, despite being plagued by delay, remained more independent than its SAARC counterparts. The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), despite its systematic, institutional and operational flaws remained the most effective in South Asia. Human rights defenders did face challenges but their status virtually remained the same across South Asia. The press freedom was more enjoyed in India.  Most importantly, there was no governmental policy per se to repress press freedom.

According to the statistics of the National Crime Records Bureau of the Government of India and the National Human Rights Commission show, India had the largest incidents of  human rights violations. India also had over one billion (1000 millions) populations in comparison to 152.6 million in Bangladesh according to 2001 census, 132 million in Pakistan according to 1998 census, 22.73 million in Nepal according to 2001 census, 18.73 million in Sri Lanka according to 2001 census, 0.67 million in Bhutan according to 2005 census, and 0.28 million in Maldives according to 2004 census. The vulnerable groups like the Dalits and indigenous/tribal peoples and those who reside in armed conflict situations remained more vulnerable to human rights violations. These violations did occur not because of the lack of laws unlike in few other SAARC countries but because of the lack of implementation of the laws. The attitude of the government of India and its agencies towards human rights violations remained the same as in other SAARC countries. India also had in place a number of laws to provide impunity to the security forces for human rights violations. It is the existence of institutional checks and balances that ultimately improved India's human rights ranking. The activism of judiciary and quasi-judicial institutions like the National Human Rights Commission, despite having flaws, had been instrumental for the realisation of human rights and fundamental freedoms in India more than in other SAARC countries.

II. Political freedom

Though India by large provided more political freedom than other SAARC countries but the vulnerable groups continued to be denied political freedom.

About 10 lakh refugees, mainly Sikhs, who came to Jammu and Kashmir from Pakistan during the partition of India in 1947[1] continued to be denied the right to citizenship as they have not been recognized as citizens of Jammu and Kashmir under the Jammu and Kashmir constitution. The government of India failed to ensure their political participation in the last 60 years. The conditions of those living in the bastis (colonies) were the worst. Although the refugees have been living in these bastis since 1947, they lacked developed roads, drinking water facilities, medical facilities and schools.[2]

In addition, about 65,000 Chakmas and Hajongs who migrated to northeast Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh in 1964 continued to be denied political freedom. The government of India also failed to implement the Supreme Court judgement of 9 January 1996 in the case of National Human Rights Commission versus State of Arunachal Pradesh & Another (W.P. (c) No. 720 of 1995) and applications for citizenship of 4,627 Chakmas and Hajongs under Section 5 of the Citizenship Act of 1955 remained indisposed till the end of 2005. Despite repeated interventions by the Election Commission of India, the State Government of Arunachal Pradesh continued to prevent more than 15,000 Chakma and Hajong eligible voters from enrolling their names in the electoral rolls during the Intensive Revision. On 23 March 2005, the Election Commission of India passed specific guidelines as to how to enroll the names of the Chakma and Hajong voters. Instead of complying with those guidelines, the Electoral Registration Officers and Assistant Electoral Registration Officers and other electoral officers who are also employees of the State Government summarily rejected the applications of the Chakma and Hajong citizens for inclusion of their names. The representative organization of the Chakmas and Hajongs namely Committee for Citizenship Rights of the Chakmas of Arunachal Pradesh (CCRCAP) complained to the Election Commission of India against gross non-compliance of ECI's guidelines of 23 March 2005 by the electoral officers in Arunachal Pradesh. Taking cognizance of CCRCAP's complaints, the ECI suspended publication of electoral rolls of all four Chakma and Hajong inhabited State Assembly constituencies. At the end of 2005, the Election Commission failed to give its final order.

The Scheduled Castes, who are also known as the Dalits, continued to face discrimination while exercising their political freedom – from casting of votes to denial of privileges if elected. On the night of 6 February 2005, four members of a Dalit family were shot dead at Saidpur village under Kako police station area in Jehanabad Assembly constituency in Bihar after they voted in the first phase of the assembly elections.[3] On 21 October 2005, a Dalit woman, Prabhavati Devi, contesting local elections on a Bahujan Samaj Party ticket was reportedly set ablaze by her rivals for refusing to pull out from the fray at Mujehra Khurd village in Mirzapur district of Uttar Pradesh.[4] She succumbed to her over 90 per cent burn injuries.[5] Earlier, on 15 August 2005, a Dalit woman Sarpanch, Village Council head, identified as Anita Bai Ahiwar of Patehra village under Damoh district in Madhya Pradesh was not allowed by government officials to hoist the national flag in a market place because of her caste.[6] In June 2005, it was reported that Deomanti Devi, a Dalit woman, who was  elected as the chairperson of the Bodhgaya Nagar Panchayat in Bihar in August 2002, had been deprived of allowances and other entitlements privy to a civic body head.[7]

III. Human rights violations by the security forces


According to the 2005 Annual Report of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) of the government of India, a total of 61,560 complaints were reported against police personnel in the country. Out of these, inquiries into 19,941 cases - 18,940 departmental inquiries, 713 magisterial inquiries and 288 judicial inquiries – were instituted. About 1,668 police personnel were sent for trial after investigation and framing of charges. During the year, trials of 225 police personnel were completed out of which 128 were acquitted and 97 convicted. Cases against 373 police personnel were withdrawn or disposed off.[8]

Yet, the statistics of the NCRB do not reflect the reality of human rights violations by the security forces. The complaints against the armed forces – the army and para military forces under the Central government - are not covered by the NCRB. The armed forces have also been kept out of the purview of the NHRC under Section 19 of the Human Rights Protection Act of 1993.

The Human Rights Cell in the army headquarters claimed that between 1993 and August 2005, only 342 allegations of human rights violations were made against the armed forces in the insurgency-hit North Eastern states. Out of the 318 cases investigated, 290 allegations were found to be baseless while 28 allegations involving 63 army personnel were found to be true.[9] But the armed forces seldom admitted human rights violations brought against them.

The security forces were responsible for serious human rights violations including torture, arbitrary arrest and detention, rape and other violations.[10] Majority of the cases of enforced disappearances were seldom inquired into. The Jammu & Kashmir High Court in early May 2005 issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against Ghulam Ahmad Bhat, Station House Officer (SHO) of Panta Chok for not registering a First Information Report (FIR) against the army personnel for arresting Mohammad Hussain Ashraf of Chowdhary Bagh, Rainawari in Srinagar, who went missing after being arrested by the troops of 7th Rajputana Rifles from Sempora in Balihama on 24 May 2003.[11] On 26 February 2005, the Court of Additional Sessions Judge of Patiala of Punjab sentenced two police personnel —Assistant Sub Inspector Massa Singh and Havaldar Baljit Singh — to three-years imprisonment on charges of causing the disappearance of Aj Di Awaz journalist, Sukhpal Singh Palli in 1994.[12]

a. Custodial violence


Torture and other forms of custodial violence have been an integral part of administration of justice in India. The NHRC received a total of 1493 cases of custodial deaths during 2004-2005, out of which 136 deaths occurred in police custody and 1357 deaths in judicial custody.[13]

However, prosecution of the guilty officials was extremely low as the government of India provided impunity to the security forces under section 197 of the Criminal Procedure Code and Section 6 of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) of 1958. On 11 March 2005, the Assam Rifles challenged the legality of instituting the Judge C Upendra panel by the State Government of Manipur to probe the Bungte Chiru firing incident in which LD Rengtuiwan was killed on 16 November 2004 on the ground that the State Government had no jurisdiction to inquire into the conduct of the personnel belonging to the armed forces under the AFSPA of 1958.[14]

In Jammu and Kashmir, about 230 police and security personnel were reportedly awarded punishments for human rights violations committed from 1990 to 2004[15] but the details were not made public. The state government of Jammu and Kashmir also failed to make the report of a magisterial probe into the killing of a school student Nitish Sharma alias Nishu of Roop Nagar on 28 October 2005 public though the report was submitted on 29 November 2005.[16]

Medical examinations into the custodial death of Satnam alias Satta, a Dalit youth at Lohian Police station under Jalandhar district of Punjab on 6 February 2005;[17] death of Kishan Singh on 16 March 2005 at Shahdara police station in East Delhi;[18] death of Rawoof on 9 May 2005 at Jayanagar police custody in Bangalore, Karnataka;[19] death of Gurmail Singh at Pehowa police station of Kurukshetra district in Haryana on 13 May 2005;[20] and death of Udayakumar, resident of Nedungadu, Kerala at City Fort police station on 27 September 2005[21] reportedly confirmed torture of the victims.


Many police officials were suspended after prima facie evidence of violations of rights was found against them. Those police personnel who were reportedly suspended included Circle Inspector Ravi Kumar and  Sub-Inspector of Police Mallikharjuna Gupta for custodial death of one Chalapathi in Tiruputi in Andhra Pradesh on 12 January 2005;[22] a police sub-inspector  Anisetti Raghu for the custodial death of Irpha Sitaiah at Charla police station in Khammam district of Andhra Pradesh in January 2005;[23] five policemen, namely, Head Constable Pawan, Constables Manoj, Surender, Malkeet and Pankaj of the Special Staff of East district of New Delhi for the torture of Akhtar, a tea stall owner in February 2005;[24] four policemen including Rajendra Prasad Bahera, the inspector-in-charge of Shahid Nagar police station of Orissa for the custodial death of Dilip Kumar Sahoo alias Swain on 3 March 2005;[25] and two policemen including SHO of Malihabad police station, Shashi Bhusan Dwivedi, who were suspended for the custodial death of Rashid, the Block Development Committee member of Rahimabad, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh on 3 December 2005.[26] Following the filing of a habeas corpus petition before the Andhra Pradesh High Court in October 2005, five policemen including Kurnool town circle-inspector Sivashanker Reddy and sub-inspector Maheswar Reddy were suspended for the illegal detention of Mr Seshanna Goud, Mr Panduranga Swamy Goud and Mr Ravindra Goud in October 2005. Their detention was not recorded and the police initially denied in the court that the three were in their custody.[27]

Magisterial inquiries were ordered in a number of custodial death cases including the custodial death of Abdul Gani Dar at the hands of Special Operation Groups personnel at Magam police station in Budgam district in Jammu and Kashmir on 19 January 2005;[28] Dwipen Bayan at the Udalguri police station in Darrang district of Assam on 26 January 2005;[29] Tadipatri Eswaraiah, resident of Akutotapalli village in Anantpur district of Andhra Pradesh in January 2005;[30] and Buru Bhumij at Mathurapur police station in Sivasagar district of Assam on 21 December 2005.[31]

In a few cases, the courts awarded punishment including sentencing of five policemen namely  Sub Inspector (SI) Anand Pratap Singh Parihar, Additional Sub-Inspector (ASI) Nand Kishore Mishra, constables Vijay Pandey, S Mishra and Mohan Singh to 5 years of imprisonment by a special court in Shahdol district of Madhya Pradesh for the custodial death of Suhawan Kewat on 10 December 1997;[32] and sentencing of constable Kishore Singh to life imprisonment, 10 years jail term to ASI Sumer Dan and 5 years jail terms to the then SHO of the Barmer police station, Sohan Singh, by the Additional District Judge Chandra Sekhar Sharma of Fast Track Court, Barmer, Rajashthan on 21 December 2005 for severing the private part of Jugta Ram in police custody.[33]

In a few cases, the courts also directed the authorities to take actions against guilty personnel. In June 2005, the Madhya Pradesh High Court directed to arrest and initiate action against the Superintendent of Police of Lokayukta, Bhopal, Mokham Singh Nayan, Inspector BP Singh and two constables for the custodial death of Deputy Commissioner of Commercial Tax Department, Rishabh Jain at Lokayukta police office on the night of 15 July 2004.[34] The Andhra Pradesh High Court in its order on 21 December 2005 also directed to take action against inspector T. Srinivas Reddy of LB Nagar police station for the illegal detention and torture of one Ms Shoba Rani in November 2005.[35]

The courts also awarded compensation in a few cases of torture and custodial deaths. These included grant of compensation of Rs 10 lakh by the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court in January 2005 to the family of a young jeweler who died in illegal police custody in Nagpur in 2003;[36] grant of Rs 1 lakh by the Chief Judicial Magistrate of Shillong in February 2005 to the next of kin of Banjoplang Kharbamon, who was gunned down by CRPF personnel in May 2003;[37] grant of Rs three lakh by the Delhi High Court in May 2005 to the kin of a custodial death victim Indal Singh who was killed in January 1996;[38] grant of Rs 75,000 in May 2005 by the Gauhati High Court to one Ningthoujam Pishak-macha Devi, who was beaten up at her house by the security forces in Manipur on 2 March 1996;[39] grant of Rs 2 lakh by the Delhi High Court in September 2005 to a taxi-driver, Surender Singh who was shot and injured by a traffic police ASI Anoop Singh on 9 August 2004;[40] and grant of Rs 1 lakh by the Guwahati High Court in November 2005 to the kin of Mayengbam Bisheshwar and Maibam Naobi of Manipur who were killed by troops of the 8th Assam Rifles on 22 July 2000.[41]

b. Extra-judicial killings 

Besides torture, there were also reports of killings in fake encounters and indiscriminate use of fire-arms. During 2005, 355 civilians were killed and 373 civilians were injured in police firing alone.[42]

Some of the cases of killings in police firing included killing of Bal Singh and Ratan at Peepalkhedi village near Soyat in Shajapur district of Madhya Pradesh on 28 April 2005;[43] killing of six Telugu Desam Party supporters at Penukonda in Andhra Pradesh's Anantapur district on 8 May 2005,[44] killing of Insaf Ali and Saifuddin Ahmed, members of a Joint Forest Management Committee at Borotari village under Sipajhar police station in Darrang district of Assam on 14 May 2005,[45] killing of Dillip Mahanta in Keonjhar district of Orissa on 8 June 2005,[46] killing of five farmers at Pipli village near Jaipur, Rajasthan on 13 June 2005,[47] and killing of five students at Williamnagar in East Garo Hills district and four students at Tura in West Garo Hills district of Meghalaya in indiscriminate firing by the security forces on 30 September 2005.[48] 

The highhandedness of the security forces also led to violations of the right to life. Some of such cases included killing of a lorry driver Jhantu Das by Assistant Commandant W Rajendra Singh of 46th Battalion of Border Security Force under Kalamchoura police station in West Tripura district on 26 March 2005;[49] killing of Dudhnath Yadav by Railway Protection Force constable G S Pandey at Sewree railway station on 25 April 2005;[50] and killing of Ashutosh Roy by BSF personnel at Sreepur border outpost in West Bengal on 24 August 2005.[51]

There were also reports of extrajudicial executions in fake encounters including of Deven Lahkar by the army personnel at Burburi village under Ghograpar police station in Nalbari district, Assam on the night of 17 January 2005;[52] Mohammad Rafiq Ganie and Mukhtar Ahmad Bhat by  the 17th Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry personnel on 27 February 2005 after arresting them while traveling from Yaripora to Munadgufan in Jammu and Kashmir;[53] Kamkhosei Khongsai of Lhungjang village under Saikul subdivision of Manipur by 13th Assam Rifles troops after picking him up on the evening of 23 April 2005;[54] Keshorjit Singh of the Nongada area in Imphal East district, Manipur in an alleged fake encounter on 21 June 2005 by the Assam Rifles personnel;[55] Ahanthem Rameshwor by the Assam Rifles troops based at Sagolmang in Manipur on 30 June 2005,[56] and Sajad Ahmed Budroo, an autorickshaw driver, in the custody of Rashtriya Rifles in Dooru Anantnag of Jammu and Kashmir on 27 October 2005.[57]

In some cases of indiscriminate use of fire-arms, the state governments paid compensation. On 19 January 2005, the state government of Manipur agreed to pay an ex-gratia of Rs 1 lakh[58] to the family members of Lourembam Maipak and a 9-year-old girl Thokchom Puspa who were extrajudicially killed by personnel of the CRPF personnel in Thoubal district on the evening of 18 January 2005.[59] On 16 March 2005, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Babulal Gaur announced ex gratia of Rs 1 lakh each to the family of deceased, Honey alias Aniket (6) and Pappu Lodhi (17) and Rs 10,000 each to those injured (over 12) when the police opened fire at a protesting mob on 15 March 2005 at Banda in Sagar district of Madhya Pradesh.[60] But prosecution of the guilty personnel remained elusive.

c. Arbitrary arrest, illegal detention and torture

Cases of arbitrary arrest, illegal detention and torture of detainees were consistently reported from across the country.  The complaints included arbitrary detention and torture by application of electric shock to a tea vendor, Sami Akhtar at Mayur Vihar Phase-II in Delhi on the night of 17 February 2005;[61] torture of Rajpal Singh by Delhi police at Bhati Mines police post of Mehruli on 19 September 2005;[62] beating of one Dinesh by Line Par Police Station House Officer Virender Singh in Bahadurgarh town in Jhajjar district of Haryana on 15 October 2005;[63]  and beating of Showkat Ahmad Shalla at Nawa Kadal in Jammu and Kashmir on 27 June 2005.[64] In several cases, torture of the victims was confirmed by medical reports. Medical test conducted by the Deen Dayal Upadhaya Hospital in Delhi reportedly confirmed the presence of burn marks and physical injuries on Raju and Titoo of Palam Colony, who were tortured after being picked up by the police from Dabri in southwest Delhi on 30 August 2005.[65]

The armed forces were also responsible for torture, including of Mohammad Lateef Mir by the security forces of Bonora camp in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir on the intervening night of 23 and 24 January 2005;[66] Hemin Khongsai and Manginlun Thangsing by the 14th Assam Rifles at Kangpokpi area in Manipur in February 2005;[67] Jitul Saikia and Nripen Saikia at Biyakorua village under Merapani police station in Golaghat district of Assam in May 2005;[68] Alok Basumatary, president of Jharbari unit of All Boro Students' Union by the army personnel of Jharbari in Kokrajhar, Assam on 4 May 2005;[69] and torture of 50-year-old mentally challenged Okram Kunjabihari of Nambol Kha-jiri Mamang Leikai in Manipur by the personnel of the 22 Maratha Light Infantry on 21 May 2005.[70]

The armed forces desployed in armed conflict situations rarely admitted arrests of  innocent persons and suspects. On 7 March 2005, Tongbram Ibungomcha Singh of Thanga along with four others was picked up by four Assam Rifles personnel without issuing arrest memo from Phumlou area of Bishnupur district in Manipur. Following the Manipur State Human Rights Commission's intervention, the Officer- in-Charge of Lamshang police station, after investigation, confirmed that Tongbram Ibungomcha Singh was under the custody of the Assam Rifles till 24 March 2005 while other four were released on different dates.[71]

IV. Judiciary and administration of justice

India's judiciary remained more independent than its counterparts in South Asia. However, it continued to be plagued by judicial delay.

a. Legal reforms

The adoption of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Act, 2005[72] was an important initiative for legal reforms on the administration of justice. Through this Amendment Act, the Central Government effected 33 amendments in the existing provisions while 10 new sections were inserted. Some of the key amendments were - setting up of a Directorate of Prosecution by State Governments {Section 25-A}, prohibition of arrest of women after sunset and before sunrise, barring exceptional circumstances {Section 46 (4)}; mandatory requirement of informing by the arresting officer(s) about the arrest to a person nominated by the arrestee {Section 50-A}; mandatory requirement of furnishing report of medical examination of the accused to the accused or to a person nominated by him (Section 54 (2)}; power to prohibit carrying arms in procession or mass drill or mass training with arms {Section 144-A}; medical examination of the victim of rape {Section 164-A}; mandatory requirement of holding an inquiry by Judicial or Metropolitan Magistrate in case (a) any person dies or disappears, or (b) rape is alleged to have been committed on any woman in custody {Section 176 (I-A)}; under trial already detained for a period up to one-half of the maximum period of imprisonment shall be released on personal bond {Section 436-A} etc.

Many of the amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code were regressive and faced opposition. Following wide spread protests by the lawyers throughout India against some of the provisions like setting up Directorate of prosecution; requirement of physical presence of the accused in court for anticipatory bail; declaration of an accused as proclaimed offender; attachment of properties of an accused etc, on 14 July 2005, the Central Government passed an order keeping in abeyance all the amendments.[73] In another notification in December 2005, the Ministry of Home Affairs set crucial amendments like the ones prohibiting arrest of women after sunset for implementation, while others like the setting up of Directorates of Prosecutions in States and cancellation of bail etc were put on hold.[74]

b. Judges' accountability

In 2005, Congress led United Progressive Alliance Government proposed to establish a National Judicial Council (NJC) by amending the Judges (Inquiry) Act of 1968. The government drafted the Judges (Inquiry) Bill, 2005 and sought the opinion of Chief Justice of India. Both the former Chief Justice Ramesh Chandra Lahoti[75] and present Chief Justice of India Justice Yogesh Kumar Shabbarwal, who succeeded Mr. Justice Lahoti on 1 November 2005, expressed reservations to the proposal of establishing the NJC.[76]

c. Judicial delay

Judicial delay continued to plague India. The lack of judges continued to hamper delivery of justice.[77] According to a Supreme Court judge, six times more judges were needed for expediting the pending cases and supporting the present judicial system.[78]

As of December 2005, there were four vacancies in the Supreme Court and as many as 141 vacancies in the 21 High Courts in the country with Calcutta (21), Madras (20), Allahabad (14), Punjab and Haryana (11) topping the list.[79] As on 31 December 2005, 34,481 cases were pending with the Supreme Court, 35,21,283 cases with the High Courts, and 2,56,54,251 cases with the subordinate courts.[80]

In the  Salem Advocate Bar Association of Tamil Nadu Vs Union of India (2003 1 SCC 49) challenging the 2002 Amendments to the Civil Procedure Code, the Supreme Court in its judgement in August 2005 directed the Central Government to conduct “judicial impact assessment” and provide finance and infrastructure to deal with additional cases every time a new law is enacted.

In a case of judicial delay and gross negligence of the administration, in July 2005, the Kamrup Chief Judicial Magistrate released Machang Lalung Lalung  on a token personal bond of Rupee 1 from LGB Regional Institute of Mental Health.[81] Lalung was an under-trial for 54 years and he was never produced before any court. The NHRC had intervened with regard to Lalung and four other under-trials at the LGB Regional Institute of Mental Health - Khalilur Rehman, an under trial for 35 years, Anil Kumar Burman, an under trial prisoner for 33 years, Sonamani Deb, an under-trial prisoners for 32 years, and  Parbati Mallik for 32 years.[82]  On 11 November 2005, the Supreme Court issued notices to the state government of Assam questioning the illegal detention of Lalung.[83]

As many as 1,734 fast track courts (FTCs) have been operational across India since 1 April 2001. The incumbent Congress led UPA government did not pursue with the 12th Finance Commission to get the funds approved in 2005 and the tenure of FTCs expired on 31 March 2005. However, following the Supreme Court's extension of term of the FTCs till 30 April 2005, the Central government decided to continue the functioning of the FTCs across the country and the government sanctioned Rs.509 crores for another 5 years.[84]

Besides this, in order to speed up delivery of justice, a three-judge Bench of the Supreme Court in August 2005 also directed the High Courts to take prompt measures to speed up all cases, civil and criminal, within a specific time frame. The Supreme Court suggested that the cases should be graded as sprint; middle-distance and long-distance with a view to clear the burden of backlog of cases. The apex court segregated cases in different tracks on the basis of their nature, quantum of evidence and possible time the courts would take to clear them. For instance, civil suits covering maintenance, divorce, rent and eviction would be in Track-I. These cases should be cleared in nine months. Track-II, covering suits for money, would have a one-year limit and Track-III and Track-IV, covering suits for partition, property disputes, etc, would have a two-year limit. In the criminal side, the bench classified criminal cases in five segments. Cases of murder, rape and dowry deaths in Track-I and other non-bailable offences in Track-II would have deadlines of nine months and one year respectively. Economic offences in Track-III and offences tried by special courts under special laws like Prevention of Terrorism Act and Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Prevention Act in Track-IV would have deadlines of one year and 15 months respectively.[85]

V. Effectiveness of National Human Rights Institutions

Established on 12 October 1993, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of India disposed of 85,661 cases during the period from 1 April 2004 to 31 March 2005 while 49,548 cases were pending before the Commission as on 31 March 2005.[86]

Despite its critical role, the NHRC suffered from serious credibility crisis due to both statutory limitations and operational flaws. The statutory limitations included inability to investigate abuses committed by the armed forces, inability to visit prisons without prior permission from the executive authorities, inability to investigate into complaints which are more than one year old, and the lack of power to implement its recommendations. NHRC often failed to respond to the victims in time, ensure transparency in its operation and follow the principle of natural justice for adjudication of the complaints.

Only 16 states - Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and West Bengal - established State Human Rights Commissions.

The SHRCs were in shambles. They lacked financial resources, necessary, infrastructure and investigative skills.

Since 10 December 2003, Manipur Human Rights Commission had been functioning with a single member, its chairperson, retired Chief Justice W A Shishak. In April 2005, the Imphal branch of Gauhati High Court directed the state government of Manipur to fill up the vacancies[87] but the State government failed to comply with the directions of the Court. On 20 August 2005, Justice Shishak pointed out that he himself had not been getting his salary.[88]

The recommendations of the State Human Rights Commissions were seldom implemented.

The Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission stated that the State government did not submit any Action Taken Report (ATR) on the 2,112 cases of human rights violations that had been disposed off by it since its inception in 1997.[89] In its 2003-2004 Annual Report, the State Human Rights Commission of Jammu and Kashmir stated that state government and its officials, especially the Deputy Commissioners, blatantly ignored the recommendations of the Commission, and instead ordered fresh inquiries of their own. The findings of many such fresh enquiries contradicted the findings of the Commission.[90]

In January 2005, the then Chairman of the Kerala State Human Rights Commission, Justice V.P. Mohan Kumar alleged that the government of Kerala did not take any action against certain police officials against whom the SHRC recommended action after finding them guilty of committing human rights violations.[91]

When the State Government of Karnataka issued the notification on 16 April 2005 to set up human rights courts as provided under Section 30 of the Human Rights Act, 1993[92], there was little euphoria.[93]

VI. Repression on human rights defenders

Frontline human rights defenders continued to suffer from repression by the State and the armed opposition groups while the Central government maintained strict control under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act of 1976. In 2005, human rights defenders came under severe attacks from the security forces, state sponsored vigilante groups, religious fundamentalist groups, self-styled vigilante groups etc.

In Andhra Pradesh, human rights defenders faced the worst form of repression from the State police and the self-styled anti-naxalite groups like ‘Narsi Cobras' and other vigilante groups.[94] Between August and November 2005, the vigilante groups killed at least four activists for allegedly supporting the Naxalites. On 24 August 2005, “Narsi Cobras” gang killed a rights activist Kanakachari, a teacher at a local school in Mahbubnagar district allegedly to avenge the killing of Congress MLA Narsa Reddy by the Maoists.[95]  The State Police Chief Swaranjit Sen justified the threats and killings by the vigilante groups as “a natural reaction against the atrocities of the Maoists”.[96]

On 29 July 2005, police arrested Debashis Chakraborty, a member of the Association for Protection of Democratic Rights and Siliguri Welfare Organisation, from his Hyderpara office in Siliguri town of West Bengal, accusing him of giving shelter to members of the banned Naxalites.[97] He was booked under Sections 121, 121(a) and 121(b) of the Indian Penal Code for “waging war against the State.” On 29 October 2005, he was granted bail by the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Siliguri after the police failed to file a chargesheet against him within the stipulated 90-day period.[98]

Human rights defenders were also harassed by the rightwing fundamentalist groups. On 14 June 2005, San Francisco-based academic Angana Chatterji, along with other women members of the Indian People's Tribunal on Environment and Human Rights, were allegedly threatened with rape by some members of the Hindu fundamentalists while investigating the spread of communalism and human rights violations in Orissa.[99]

VII. Freedom of the press

Although press freedom was generally respected in India, the journalists had to face attacks, harassment and intimidation from the law enforcement agencies and the armed opposition groups as well as the government servants, leaders and the cadres of political parties etc.  In December 2005, the Chattisgarh government passed “Chhattishgarh Special Public Security Act, 2005” prohibiting the media from reporting any activity that could be termed “unlawful”.[100]

a. Attacks by the state agencies and political activists

The security forces continued to invoke obsolete laws to restrict press freedom. In June 2005, Meghalaya police registered cases under section 502 (sale of printed or engraved substance containing defamatory matter) and section 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) of the Indian Penal Code against Editor of The Shillong Times, Mr Manas Chaudhuri, who was also a Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) of Meghalaya; Executive Editor of The Meghalaya Guardian, Mr MA Venugopal; and photojournalist of The Meghalaya Guardian, Mr Suraj Joshi over news reports relating to eviction of Khasis residing in the disputed Lumdorbar area of Karbi Anglong in Assam.[101] In December 2005, M. Venkateswara Rao, Revenue Divisional Officer of Visakhapatnam of Andhra Pradesh served an interim order on Andhra Jyothi and Leader to go for screening before publication of news reports pertaining to public servants.[102]

Journalists reporting from conflict areas were more vulnerable to atrocities of the security forces. On 20 February 2005, N Noren of The Sangai Express and W Lukhoi of the Mannaba daily were brutally assaulted by personnel of the 130th Central Reserve Police Force posted at Sajiwa Jail, when they were covering the agitation launched by activists of Meitei Erol Eyek Loinasillon Apunba Lup near the Sajiwa Jail in Manipur.[103]

In Jammu and Kashmir, security forces often targeted the journalists. In May 2005, a group of photo-journalists including Habib Naqash of The Asian Age, Tauseef Mustafa of Agence France-Presse, Omar of Subah Kashmir and Qazi Irshad of Khidmat were hit with rifle butts and caned by the police while covering a protest at Lal Chowk in Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir.[104] On 13 September 2005, two cameramen, Sajjad Ahmed of state-owned Doordarshan and Tabrez Madni of Zee Kashmir, were beaten up by the army personnel in Srinagar for inquiring as to why vehicular traffic was stopped.[105]

In Andhra Pradesh too journalists were targeted. On 30 May 2005, N. Venugopal, senior journalist and editor of the Telugu-language fortnightly Veekshanam, was arrested under sections 121A (“waging war against the state”), 122 (“conspiracy”) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code along with three other members of the Revolutionary Writers Association, G. Pinakapani, editor of the pro-Maoist literary magazine Aruna Tara, Chenchaiah and Ravi Kumar and two alleged members of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) in Nizamabad in Andhra Pradesh. They were produced before a judge in Bodhan only on 3 June 2005.[106] On 16 June 2005, N. Venugopal was released on bail.[107]

In Assam, the police arrested Binod Behari Nath, the Bongaigaon correspondent of Assamese daily Ajir Dainik Batori and vice-president of Bongaigaon District Journalist Association in Assam on 11 October 2005 on the basis of a case (88/47/94) filed against him in 1994 accusing him of having links with the proscribed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA).[108]

The media also came under the attack of the right-wing groups.

On 11 March 2005, the Meitei Irol Eeyek Loynsillon Apunba Lup (MIELAL) of Manipur declared a ban on distribution of all newspapers published in Manipuri language, demanding publication of newspapers in the Meitei script instead of Bengali script.[109] The MIELAL activists tore copies of newspapers at Keisampat area in Imphal West district.[110] On the same day, Shiv Sena activists rampaged India Today office at Nariman Point in Mumbai, the capital of Maharastra, in protest against inviting Union Petroleum Minister Mr Mani Shankar Aiyar to an awards function by the magazine's sister publication, Business Today. The Shiv Sainiks accused Mr Aiyar of disrespecting freedom fighter Veer Savarkar.[111]

b. Attacks by the AOGs

The armed opposition groups especially in Jammu and Kashmir and Manipur targeted the media persons. 

On 23 February 2005, ESPN/ Star Sports correspondent, Obed Longvah was assaulted by some unidentified armed cadres of an underground organization at Litan in Ukhrul district of Manipur.[112]

On 29 July 2005, seven journalists identified as Ejaz Ahmed and Aamir Ahmed (ANI), Manzoor Ahmed (India TV), Muzamil Rashid (Srinagar Mail), Firdous Ahmed (Zee Kashmir), Amir Hussain (Subhe Kashmir) and cameraman Muzaffar Ahmed (Sahara TV) were injured in a grenade attack by the armed opposition groups at Budshah Chowk in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir. Two Islamic groups, Al Mansoorian and Jamiat-ul Mujahideen reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack.[113]

The press in insurgency-hit Manipur state faced continued harassment, threats and intimidation from the armed opposition groups. On 14 June 2005, Manipur Hill Journalists Union suspended publication of all Churachandpur-based newspapers from 16 to 19 June 2005 protesting against “interference” and “pressure” from several armed opposition groups.[114]

On 7 September 2005, armed opposition group Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL) imposed ban on two local dailies Matamgi Yakairol and Mannaba and cable network ISTV for allegedly not “properly” reporting on the abduction of the Manipur University Students Union president, Ashok Kumar Singh.[115] In protest against the ban, All Manipur Working Journalists' Union called one-day shutdown of Imphal-based newspapers and ISTV on 8 September 2005.[116]

On 28 October 2005, media houses in Manipur did not publish newspapers in protest against diktats from armed opposition group, Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP) to the media houses. Earlier, on 27 October 2005, KCP chief City Metei had reportedly warned newspaper editors against publishing newspapers if they did not carry the press release sent to them by the KCP.[117]

VIII. Violations of the rights of indigenous peoples

Over 84 million indigenous/tribals peoples of India, known as the Scheduled Tribes, continued to be disproportionate victims of “development”, displacement and dispossession. Many tribal communities including Birhores of Jharkhand,[118] Karbongs of Tripura,[119] the Great Andamanese, Onges, Shompens, Jarawas, and Sentinelese of Andaman and Nicober[120] have been facing extinction. In 2002, the Supreme Court ordered the closure of those parts of the Andaman Trunk Road that run along and through the Jarawa Tribal Reserve as it threatens their survival. But the Andaman Trunk Road continued to remain open in gross violation of the Supreme Court orders.[121]

a. Atrocities against tribals

According to the 2005 Annual Report of the National Crime Records Bureau, a crime against the tribals was committed in every 29 minutes. In 2005, a total of 5,713 cases against Scheduled Tribes were reported in the country as compared to 5,535 cases in 2004 showing an increase of 3.2% in 2005 from 2004. These included 1,283 cases reported under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act of 1989 and 162 cases under the Protection of Civil Rights Act. Although the average charge-sheeting rate for the crimes against the STs was 91.6 per cent, the average conviction rate was only 24.5%. A total of 8,273 persons (83.8%) out of 9,870 persons arrested for crimes committed against Scheduled Tribes were charge-sheeted but only 24.2% were convicted consisting of 1,934 persons out of 7,981 persons against whom trials were completed.[122]

In many cases, the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act of 1989 was never invoked to prosecute the accused. On 28 April 2005, Rameshwar Steels' factory manager Dinesh Gupta and security guard Remaul Kujur in Raipur, Chhattisgarh allegedly forced two Adivasis identified as Shyam Lal and Shadanand to sit on burning iron plates on the charges of stealing raw material from the factory. The tribal victims reported the matter to local police at Gharghora police station but their complaint was allegedly not entertained.[123]

In addition, the tribals were often intimidated to withdraw the cases.[124] On 20 October 2005, a Gond tribal identified as Suraj Singh Gond, the president of the Teacher-Guardian Association of the village school, was allegedly burnt alive by members of an upper caste family at Kataria village under Katni district of Madhya Pradesh.[125] Suraj Singh Gond had refused to withdraw the complaint of theft of school material against the accused.[126]

On 10 November 2005, two tribal village leaders identified as Dinu Gurjibhai Gamit and Rameshbhai Melekbhai Gamit of Motherkui village were reportedly beaten up with sticks and poles in front of the public by the police officers at Areth police outpost under  Mandvi police station in Surat district of Gujarat. The victims were arrested on the basis of a case filed at Mandvi police station (number 113/2005) on 8 November 2005 by Haribhai Parmar after the Gram Panchayat, Village Council, passed a resolution against the quarry of Haribhai Parmar. The quarry was illegally operating and adversely affecting the environment and health of the villagers. On 9 November 2005, both the tribal leaders were granted bail by the Magistrate Court in Bardoli but the police registered a new case against them and detained and tortured them.[127]

Tribal women were extremely vulnerable to sexual violence. In 2005, a total of 640 rape cases were reported against the Scheduled Tribe women as compared to 566 cases in 2004. During 2005, Madhya Pradesh reported the highest number of rape cases against Scheduled Tribe women (294) accounting for 45.9 percent of the total rape cases of tribal women in the country.[128]

On the night of 9 December 2005, the right hand of a tribal woman Kamlabai was chopped off in an attack on her family by the upper caste men at Nigari village in Raisen district of Madhya Pradesh. The attack was made following her refusal to withdraw her complaint of rape against two upper caste villagers Manmod Singh Mehra and Siyaram Raghuvanshi despite repeated warnings. The assailants barged into the house of the victim, dragged her to the courtyard and brutally chopped off her hand with an axe after tying her hands and feet. They also beat up her family members and set afire the house. The victim had filed a rape case against Manmod Singh Mehra and Siyaram Raghuvanshi with Silwani police station on 9 April 2002. On 27 September 2005, the victim's sister filed another complaint alleging rape by Manmod Singh Mehra.[129] The police arrested five persons identified as Manmod Singh, a schoolteacher, Devi Singh, Premnarayan, Ramsevak and Dinesh Raghuvanshi in connection with the attacks on 9 December 2005.[130]

b. Land alienation and displacement

The tribals constituted 8.2 % of the total population of India according to the 2001 census. But they also constituted 55.1% of the total displaced persons as a result of socalled developmental projects like dams, mining, industries and conservation of nature.

The Sardar Sarovar Project, the largest dam being constructed on the Narmada river would displace 400,000 persons including 200,000 by the reservoir at the proposed height of 136.5 meters.[131] In November 2005, the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) alleged that the Narmada basin States were violating the Supreme Court order of March 2005 in the Sardar Sarovar Project case by disbursing cash to the displaced families instead of providing “land for land.”[132] Earlier in September 2005, the Government of Madhya Pradesh informed the Narmada Control Authoritty that out of 30,690 families to be affected in 177 villages by Sardar Sarovar Project at the proposed dam height of 121.92 metres, 17,288 had been resettled including 4,262 families in Gujarat. The remaining 13,402 families were yet to be resettled. These included a backlog of 13,233 families at the current height of the dam, which was 110.64 metres at the end of 2005.[133] These figures were contested by the NBA.

The Jharkhand Government reportedly signed over 42 MoUs with investors including Mittal Steel, Tata Steel, Jindal Steel and Power Company Limited worth about Rs 1,69,198.26 crores since Jharkhand became a state in 2000. Approximately 47,445 acres of land would be required for the projects in mineral-rich Kolhan Region, which was likely to affect about 10,000 families and cause deforestation of 57,15 kms land.[134] A study by People's Union for Civil Liberties showed that over 74 lakh tribals were displaced in Jharkhand by different projects between 1950 and 1990. Out of them, only 18.45 lakhs displaced tribals were rehabilitated.[135]

During 2002-2005, the Orissa government signed 42 MoUs with companies for proposed steel and other plants in the state and thousands of tribals would be displaced.[136] The MoU with Korean steel major Pohang Steel Company (Posco) signed on 22 June 2005 for setting up a steel plant at Paradeep in Jagatsinghpur district in Orissa with a total investment of $12 billion would displace around 4,000 tribal families.[137]

About 1.4 million people, most of them tribals, have been reportedly displaced in Orissa between 1951 and 1995 due to dams, canals, mines and other industries. Majority of the displaced persons have not received compensation and rehabilitation. Another 80,000 to 1,00,000 tribals from 50 villages in Subdega and Balisankra blocks in Jharsuguda district of Orissa faced imminent displacement due to the proposed dam on the Ib river.[138]

In October 2005, the Central government reportedly granted “forest and environmental clearance” to the multi-purpose Polavaram project being built across the Godavari river at Polavaram in West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh.[139] The proposed 46-metre high Polavaram multi-purpose dam is likely to displace nearly 2,00,000 people, of which about 150,000 are tribals. The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests also admitted that about 193,350 persons would be displaced in three states - Andhra Pradesh (175,275), Orissa (6,316) and Chhattisgarh (1,766).[140]

c. Repression under the forest laws

Thousands of petty cases have been lodged against the tribals under the Forest Act of 1927.

On 8 November 2005, the Forest Department of Chattisgarh reportedly decided to close 2,57,226 forest cases registered against 1,62,692 tribals between 1953 to 30 June 2004 under Sections 26, 33 and 41 of the Indian Forest Act 1927 pertaining primarily to illegal felling of trees for domestic use and ferrying of wood by bullock carts.[141] On 11 March 2005, Chief Minister of Orissa, Navin Patnaik stated that his government withdrew 2531 cases against the tribals, and returned 1183.40 acres of land to the tribals.[142] The opposition leaders in Orissa contested the claims of the Chief Minister.[143]

Tribals faced false prosecution because of the connivance of the mafia and the police and the forest officials. On 8 June 2005, the timber mafia in alleged connivance with the forest officials attacked and burnt the houses of Agaria tribe at Kumba Kurd village under Nagar Untari police station limits of Garhwa district in Jharkhand after the tribals opposed the activities of the timber mafia. One eight-month-old baby was reportedly burnt alive and 140 huts of the Agaria tribe were burnt to ashes. A case was lodged with Nagar Untari police station against 23 persons including 13 forest officials. On the other hand, the forest department lodged an FIR against the Agaria tribals on the basis of which the police swiftly arrested eight Agaria tribal villagers. But the police refused to take action against the accused forest officials.[144]

The Supreme Court-appointed Central Empowered Committee in its report submitted on 29 April 2005 stated that the State government of Kerala could transfer forest land to tribals if compensated with afforestation programmes. The State government was reportedly willing to resettle 53,000 tribal families in the forests of Muthanga Sanctuary by transferring nearly 7,000 hectares of forest land.[145] But the Kerala government failed to take action into the Muthanga firing incident of Feburary 2003.[146]

The government also failed to place the Scheduled Tribes (Recognition of Forest Rights) Bill 2005, which seeks to protect the rights of those who had been occupying forestland prior to October 1980, before the parliament.

d. Encroachment by non-tribals

Despite various laws prohibiting transfer of tribal lands to non-tribals, alienation of the tribals' lands continued unabated. In 2005, the government of Jharkhand identified 1500 tribals in Ranchi who had lost their land to outsiders and decided to give back physical possession of their land under an action plan drawn up by the land revenue department.[147] The non-tribals encroached upon the tribal lands and harassed them by filing false cases with the police.[148]

In Assam, a report tabled before the State Assembly on 6 April 2005 by the State Revenue Minister Goutom Roy stated that over 2.20 lakh bighas of tribal land were either  transferred to or encroached upon by non-tribals in the state. This included tribal land measuring 1,77,082 bighas in Lakhimpur, 518 bighas in Goalpara, 4,867 bighas in Nalbari, 4,451 bighas in Barpeta, 14,895 bighas in Dhemaji, 417 bighas in Morigaon, 5,366 bighas in Dhubri, 2,21,257 bighas in Udalguri and 196 bighas in Kamrup districts.[149]

IX. Violations of the rights of the Dalits

The Scheduled Castes, known as “Dalits”, constituted 16.2 % (166,635,700) of the total population of India according to the 2001 census. They continued to face atrocities and discrimination in all spheres of life.

The 2005 Annual Report of the National Crime Records Bureau reported a total of 26,127 cases -   8,497 cases under the Protection of Civil Rights Act and 291 cases under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act of 1989 - against the Scheduled Castes. Although the average charge-sheeting rate for the crimes against the SCs was 94.1 per cent, the average conviction rate was only 29.8%. A total of 46,936 persons (82.4%) out of 57,804 persons arrested for crimes committed against Scheduled Castes were charge-sheeted but only 28.3% were convicted consisting of 12,691 persons out of 44,842 persons against whom trials were completed.[150]

Madhya Pradesh topped the crime rates against Dalits with 6.6 per cent, followed by Rajasthan (6.2%) and Andhra Pradesh (3.9%) against the national average of 2.4%.[151] The conviction rate under the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act was  low because of biases against the Dalits.[152]

Accountability for violations of the rights of the Dalits was seldom established. The findings of the Justice K S Lodha Commisson which probed the Kumher massacre in Rajasthan in which 17 Dalits were burnt alive in June 1992 was not made public by the state government despite a High Court order to place the report in the State Assembly.[153]

a. Denial of access to public places

Untouchability is still practised across India and the Dalits continue to be denied access to public places including temples, tube-well, etc. In some temples, idols of deities are removed if the  Dalits come to offer prayers.[154]

In Gulbarga district of Karnataka, untouchability was reportedly being practised in 542 villages of the total 1,530 villages in the district.[155] The Andhra Pradesh State Commission for Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes also received several complaints on the untouchability from capital city Hyderabad.[156]

Despite the government's directive for recruitment of women preferably from the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes for the mid-day meal schemes in schools in Kendrapara district of Orissa, Dalit women applying for the job of cooks were allegedly turned away by the school authorities for the fear that upper caste students might not eat the food if cooked by the Dalits.[157]

In Badhram village in Pulwal district of Haryana, Dalit villagers were ostracized and confined by the landlords after they offered prayers at the village temple on 20 July 2005. They were prevented from buying essential commodities from the village shops. Many were beaten up and the moustache of one 65-year-old Bhajan Lal was forcibly shaved off on 10 August 2005. On 11 August 2005, the National Commission for Scheduled Castes asked the Inspector-General of Police (Gurgaon range) to provide security to the Dalit villagers and submit an action-taken report within 10 days.[158] On 12 August 2005, a Deputy Superintendent of Police visited Badhram village but atrocities reportedly continued to take place.[159]

b. Physical attacks against the Dalits

Physical attacks against the Dalits were extensively reported. The National Crime Records Bureau of the Ministry of Home Affairs recorded a total of 669 cases of killing, 258 cases of kidnapping and abduction and 210 cases of arson against the Dalits during 2005.[160] Hundreds of cases are seldom reported to the police.

The failure of the police and the administration in the prevention of attacks against the Dalits has been glaring. Following the murder of a Jat youth allegedly by some Dalit youths of Balmiki colony in Gohana under Sonepat district of Haryana on 27 August 2005, the Dalits had sought police protection in view of threats by the Jats. But the police instead allegedly asked the Dalits to flee their houses. Between 27 August and 30 August 2005, about 1000 Dalits reportedly fled from the Balmiki colony to safer areas.  On the day of the attack on 31 August 2005, about 54 Dalit houses were set on fire and several others ransacked and looted by a mob of the Jats.[161] Field investigations by National Campaign for Dalit Human Rights[162] and the All India Lawyers Union[163] confirmed that the police remained silent spectators during the violence which lasted for nearly three hours. The National Commission for Scheduled Castes in its interim report to the Haryana government blamed the district administration for its failure to take any preventive measures, although the authorities had prior information about such a threat from the Jat community to the Dalits.[164] The police reportedly registered cases against 23 persons under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 and some were reportedly arrested. Following intense political pressure and condemnation from all quarters, the Haryana government acted by moving out Deputy Commissioner S K Goel, Superintendent of Police Anil Kumar and Deputy Superintendent of Police, Paunki Ram[165]and also suspended some police officers.[166] On 5 September 2005, Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda ordered a CBI probe into the incident, and increased the compensation to Rs 1 lakh for each victim.[167]

The Dalits were targeted because of their caste. On 1 March 2005, a Dalit youth identified as Mohanlal Meghwal was killed in broad daylight allegedly by former Congress Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) Thakur Shivdan Singh at Bedkalan village in Pali district of Rajasthan. The deceased was first stabbed with a dagger and later a tractor was run over his body in broad daylight. Thakur Shivdan Singh, his son Tikam Singh, and his brother Daler Singh were arrested and sent to judicial custody.[168]

On late night of 10 July 2005, three members of a Dalit family identified as Bhagirath, Kachru and Ramchandra were hacked to death by an upper caste Rajput family on alleged charge of stealing a buffalo near Bamankheda village in Ujjain of Madhya Pradesh. A compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the victim's family was announced by the district administration.[169]

Many Dalits were tortured and subjected to humiliation and degrading treatment in public.

On 27 February 2005, a 15-year-old Dalit boy C. Muthukumar of Arunthathiyar Colony in North Kaavalaakurichi under the Ooththumalai police station limits in Tamil Nadu was tortured by an upper caste youth Kaalaisamy. The accused thrashed the Dalit boy, tied his hands at the back and then suspended him from his genitals in a well. Instead of taking stern action, the police allegedly released the accused without registering any case.[170]

In November 2005, 19-year-old Dalit youth Banesh Malayya Pulluri was reportedly beaten up in public, garlanded with chappals, sandals, and forced to eat human excreta by the gram sabha, village council, for writing a love letter to an upper caste girl at Jamanpalli village under Sironcha tehsil in Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra. The police reportedly arrested four persons .[171]

c. Violence against Dalit women

Though Dalits are considered untouchable, rape of Dalit women is common. The National Crime Records Bureau recorded a total of 1,172 cases of rape against the Scheduled Caste women during 2005.[172]

On the night of 10 April 2005, a Dalit woman, wife of a Dalit policeman from Begusarai, was abducted and gang raped by four upper caste men after taking her to a hotel in Munger in Bihar.[173]

On 12 June 2005, a 5-year-old Dalit girl was reportedly gang raped after taking her to an abandoned area at Sukhdevpur village under Dhaulana police station in Ghaziabad district of Uttar Pradesh. The police reportedly refused to register the case.[174]

Dalit women have been subjected to brutal torture, degrading treatment, humiliation and rape.

On 2 August 2005, a young pregnant Dalit woman Manju Devi, wife of Binod Sada, reportedly died after being brutally hit with rifle butt by former Rashtriya Janata Dal MLA Sunil Kumar Pushpam because she failed to move out of the road quickly when his jeep started honking at her on the muddy road at Beethan village in Samastipur, Bihar.[175]

On 28 April 2005, a Dalit woman Nirmala Devi was allegedly beaten up, tonsured and paraded naked after blackening her face by the upper caste men for refusing to work as domestic maid in Paswan Tola at Dhameli village under Mirganj police station in Purnia district of Bihar. A case was filed with the Mirganj police station on 2 May 2005.[176]

On 19 September 2005, a group of Dalit women belonging to the barber community were reportedly dragged out of their houses and paraded naked on the streets by some men from upper-caste Khandayat community in Bhubanpati village in Puri district of Orissa after their husbands refused to wash the feet of upper caste bridegroom and other members of the marriage party.[177]

d. Denial of land rights

The Dalits also faced dispossession from their lands.

In Rajasthan, lands of Dalits were illegally encroached upon and occupied by the upper caste people. Agricultural land measuring thousands of bighas belonging to Bheel tribals and Dalits in Chittaurgarh, Baran and Kota districts were either illegally occupied by the influential upper caste people or declared as Government property under Rajasthan Tenancy Act, 1955.[178]

The state government of Karnataka also failed to provide houses to the Dalits under different welfare schemes. As in December 2005, in Nimbarga of Karnataka, title deeds were not given to 63 Dalit families despite allotting houses under Ashraya Housing Scheme.[179]

In Andhra Pradesh, the Dalits were often allotted pattas for land, but not the actual land. On the other hand, such land schemes of the government allegedly took away the original lands of the Dalits. On the night of 22 August 2005, a Dalit farmer Katuri Moses committed suicide fearing that his 22 cent land would be taken away by the administration at Pedapalaparru under Mudinepalli mandal in Andhra Pradesh.[180]

X. Violence against women

According to the National Crime Records Bureau's 2005 Annual Report, 1 crime was committed against women in every 3 minutes, 1 rape in every 29 minutes, 1 molestation in every 15 minutes, 1 dowry death case in every 77 minute in the country during 2005. The NCRB recorded a total of 1,55,553 cases of Violence Against Women (VAW) including 18,359 cases of rape involving 18,376 victims, 34,175 cases of molestation, 15750 cases of kidnapping, 6,787 cases of dowry deaths and 58,319 cases of torture in 2005.[181] Despite high rate of violence against women, only 24 out of 28 states in India have established State Commission for Women by 2005.[182] 

Women also became victims of violence by the security forces and armed opposition groups and as a result of cruel cultural practices.

a. Violence by the security forces

The law enforcement personnel  responsible for  sexual violence included officers like Inspector-General of Police Mr P.S. Natarajan of Ranchi, Jharkand[183] to constables. On 23 December 2005, the personnel of Indian Reserve Battalion of Haryana  shot dead three Boro tribals identified as Thomas Basumatary, Ramen Moshahary, and Raju Basumatary who were protesting against the molestation of eight girls from Gossaigaon College who had boarded the 4056 UP Brahmaputra Mail at Salakati railway station under Basugaon in Kokrajhar district of Assam.[184]

Many officers and police personnel were arrested for rape including Circle Inspector  of Nandapur in Orissa Mr S K Odu, Nageswar Rao and a doctor, P K Rath of Nandapur Community Health Centre who were arrested on 12 January 2005 for alleged gang rape of a 30-year-old tribal woman at their official residence,[185] constable Hamid Nazir Kazi of Nerul police station for raping a former bar girl in her house at Sector-8 in Nerul of Navi Mumbai[186] and Delhi police constable Rajendra in December 2005.[187]

Many police personnel were dismissed from services including Sub Inspector J D Bhardwaj of Bhajanpura police station of Delhi in June 2005[188], 7 policemen including Head Constable Arjan Singh, constables Nishan Singh, Balbir Singh and Mohan Lal of Tarn Taran police district in Punjab in October 2005,[189] and constable Sunil More who raped a 17-year-old girl at Marine Drive police outpost in Mumbai. Marine Rive rape victim gets Rs 3 lakh compensation, The Free Press Journal, 27 September 2005.[190]

In armed conflict situations, the security forces perpetrated similar atrocities. In early December 2005, two Tripura State Rifles personnel were arrested for raping the wife of one Purna Mohan Rupini at gunpoint under the guise of searching for the outlawed National Liberation Front of Tripura cadres  in Agartala, Tripura.[191]

b. Violence by the AOGs

During 2005, there were also reports of violence against women by the armed opposition groups (AOGs) especially from Jammu and Kashmir. On 5 November 2005, a school girl was gang raped by alleged militants at her residence at Muradpur in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir. The victim later committed suicide by consuming poison.[192]

On 14 December 2005, a Public Interest Litigation was filed in the J&K High Court for seeking justice for a minor girl, daughter of Ashiq Hussain from Laroti village in Rajouri district. She was kidnapped by members of the Lashkar-e-Taiba, forcibly married off and raped by their members. After the minor girl escaped from the captivity, the Lashkar-e-Taiba announced reward of Rs 50,000 on her head. Though Ashiq Hussain went to the nearby police station to lodge an FIR, the SHO Javed Manhas refused to lodge the FIR.[193]

c. Cruel cultural practices

Women continued to become victims of violence because of cruel cultural practices like Sati (the traditional Hindu practice of a widow immolating herself on her husband's funeral pyre), honour killings, witch hunting etc and the traditional justice delivered by the panachayats and clerics.

Though police arrested 11 persons including a 42-year-old woman, Basanti Devi, who allegedly attempted to commit Sati at a temple at Sumel village in Rajasthan's Pali district on 20 March 2005 in front of over 10,000 villagers from Pali, Ajmer and Nagaur districts in Rajasthan,[194] the Rajasthan Tourism Development in its guidebook, Popular Deities of Rajasthan, released on 30 May 2005 glorified Sati and described Rajasthan as “‘best-known for various Sati Matas”.[195]

There were also reports of honour killings. On 7 October 2005, a businessman shot dead his 24-year-old daughter identified as Neeru at Rohini multiplex in Delhi for marrying one Saranjeet Singh against the family's consent. Saranjeet Singh managed to escape with bullet injuries.[196]

Dozens of women were killed for alleged witchcraft especially in Assam, Tripura, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh. Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR)  recorded killing of 34 persons, mostly women, and attack on 7 others on the charges of practising witch-craft. The victims who were killed included Chatu Tirki at No. 1 Daolabari village in Kokrajhar of Assam on 17 November 2005,[197] Budhuni Singh at Birwal village in Sundargarh district of Orissa on 20 March 2005,[198] Savitri Devi who was beaten to death by the villagers in Gulabbagh village under Sadar police station of Purnea district of Bihar on 17 April 2005,[199] Munni Bandra, who was raped and killed at Uttam Basti on the outskirts of Rourkela city in Sundargarh district of Orissa on 21 April 2005,[200] Lakshmi Murmu at Kumodda village in Sagardighi in Murshidabad district of West Bengal on 5 June 2005,[201] Kosharam Reang who was beaten to death at Tainani in South Tripura on 26 June 2005,[202] Soli Oraon and his wife Mungri who were killed in Mill Bagan tea estate in Darjeeling, West Bengal on the night of 12 October 2005,[203] Jayanti Chatar who was killed at Belabahali village under Tomka police station in Jajpur district of Orissa on 17 November 2005,[204] Pinpina Turi and Golapi Bhumij who were killed at Rajmai Tea Estates in Sivasagar district of Assam on 20 November 2005,[205] and three members of a family identified as Karuna Devi, her husband Marari Singh and son Kaushal Prasad who were shot dead by their relatives at Pyarepur village under Giriak police station in Nalanda district of Bihar on 28 November 2005.[206]

The village panchayats acted as “cultural courts” where victims were held guilty. In September 2005, the panchayat of Muslim-dominated Padhyar village in Banka district of Bihar allegedly forced a rape victim to publicly lick the spit of her husband Mohammad Farooq, who had instantly pronounced talaq when she told him that she had been raped by one Mohammad Ajaz on 28 August 2005. The rape victim was also thrown out of the house by her husband. On the other hand, the rapist was let off by payment of a paltry fine of Rs 15,000 after he refused to marry the victim. The victim filed a case in the court of chief judicial magistrate and the court directed the Dhoraiya police station to lodge an FIR against Ajaz and his father.[207]

XI. Violations of the rights of the child

The situation of children remained vulnerable with the lack of effective programmes for the child labourers, recruitment as child soldiers, sexual violence against girl child and deplorable conditions of the juveniles in conflict with the law.

a. Child labour


According to the 2001 census data of the government of India, there were 1,2,666377 child labourers across the country with 19,27,997 in Uttar Pradesh alone, followed by Andhra Pradesh with 13,63,339, Rajasthan with 12,62,570, Bihar with 11,17,500, and Madhya Pradesh with 10,65,259.[208] Of the total of 604 districts across the country, only 271 districts were covered by government's rehabilitation process. While 250 districts were covered under the National Child Labour Project[209] and 21 districts  under the Indo-US Child Labour Project,[210] the child labourers in rest of the districts were left to fend for themselves.

The failure of the government of Delhi to rehabilitate some 477 child labourer rescued by the police and labour department officials in November 2005 showed the failure and reluctance of the government to rehabilitate the child labourers. Immediately after their rescue, the children were reportedly housed at a Raen Basera, a night shelter for beggars at August Kranti Bhawan at Bhikaji Cama Place in Delhi. Failing to put together rehabilitation plans for the children and unable to bear the cost of food and lodging, the children were reportedly sent to 11 observation homes, which mainly housed the juvenile delinquents.[211] A Division Bench of Delhi High Court on 22 December 2001 directed the government to file an affidavit explaining why it was not taking any step to prosecute those employing child labourers in Delhi.[212]

b. Child trafficking

The only regular source of data available is from the National Crime Records Bureau which recorded a total of 3518 cases of kidnapping and abduction of children during 2005. It also recorded 28 cases of buying of girls and 50 cases of selling of girls for prostitution during 2005.[213] The figures of the NCRB however do not reflect the reality.

The NHRC in a report in July 2004 stated that every year an average of 44,476 children went missing during 1996-2001 and about an average of 11,008 children per year were never traced during the same period.[214] In northeast India, Assam has been one of the most vulnerable states to child trafficking. Between 500 to 1,000 children, majority of them girls, have been  reported to be missing from different parts of Assam every year and only about one third of them could be traced.[215]

c. Children in armed conflict

In armed conflict situations, children were subjected to killing, torture, sexual abuses and other forms of physical violence both by the security forces and the armed opposition groups.

In Jammu and Kashmir, while the security forces used children as human shields in the guise of taking them as guide during raids and combing operations, the armed opposition groups recruited the children as combatants.[216] The state government of Chhattisgarh earned notoriety for recruiting Adivasi children as Special Police Officers to fight with the Naxalites. The Naxalites too have been using large number of children as combatants.

About 50% of the armed opposition group members in Jammu and Kashmir were reportedly within the age group of 14 to 18 years.[217] In Andhra Pradesh, police claimed that there were around 150 minors in various Naxalite organizations.[218] Two Naxalites, Boggula Ramadevi alias Vennela (14) and E Saraswathi (18) who surrendered in Warangal on 1 February 2005 were minors.[219]

d. Orphaned children

Over the past 17 years of armed conflict, about 40,000 children were reportedly orphaned in Jammu and Kashmir. According to the Iqbal Memorial Trust, which has been reportedly helping the orphans through its social service programe, “Sakhawat Centre”, these orphaned children have been facing miserable conditions.[220]

The State Government of Jammu and Kashmir failed to provide any help to the orphaned children except a monthly stipend of Rs.200/- sent to each by post. The population of destitute children kept on increasing each year. However, the J&K Government ran only nine male (Baal Ashram) and five female (nari niketan) homes across Kashmir having a total inmates population of 600. Even these 14 destitute homes were not managed properly and most of them did not have the basic facilities. Barring the female-homes where the grown up inmates take care of kitchen, cleanliness and other basic tasks, the male homes were reportedly in shambles almost everywhere.[221]

e. Girl child: Target of sexual abuse

According to Annual Report 2005 of National Crime Records Bureau, a total of 4026 cases of child rape were recorded during 2005.[222] Many of the cases of child-rape were committed by the law enforcement personnel.

Some of the cases of child-rape reported  were rape of a 12-year-old girl by an Assam Rifles constable Gautam Tamang in Karbi Anglong district of Assam on 7 February 2005;[223] rape of a minor girl by Tripura State Rifles personnel Rabi Debbarma at Gajapara under Sidhai police station area in the West Tripura district on 9 February 2005;[224] rape of a 17-year-old college girl by constable  Sunil Atmaram More inside a police post on Marine Drive in Mumbai, Maharashtra on 21 April 2005;[225] rape of a 8-year-old girl by an SPO of Punjab police at his residence in Ludhiana in Punjab in May 2005;[226]  rape of a 14-year-old girl at the police quarters in Bhuj, Gujarat by  Police sub-inspector BN Chawda and assistant sub-inspector Raghuvirsinh Jadeja on 28 July 2005;[227] repeated sexual abuse of his minor domestic help by Head Constable Abdul Hanief at Sowjian area in Jammu and Kashmir;[228] rape of a 15-year-old ragpicker by Head Constable Chandrakant Pawar  attached to Sahar police station in Mumbai on the night of 17 October 2005;[229] and rape of a 14-year-old girl of IG Colony in Nangloi by constable Bijender posted with the Sarai Rohilla railway police in Sarai Rohilla in north Delhi on 21 December 2005.[230]

In one of the worst cases, on 23 September 2005, Rama Shankar Yadav, a constable posted at the Transport Nagar police station in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, allegedly set on fire a teenaged girl identified as Poonam, daughter of Radhey Shyam, after failing to molest her. The girl succumbed to her burn injuries on the way to hospital. A case under Sections 376, 511 and 302 of the Indian Penal Code was registered with the Cantonment police station.[231]

Law enforcement officials often try to shield the guilty especially if the accused are government servants. On 1 January 2005, two persons, including a Naib Tehsildar of the state government posted at Palwal town in Faridabad district of Haryana, reportedly abducted a 15-year-old girl student of Government Girls Secondary School, Palwal. In her statement, the victim reportedly claimed that her captors raped her and the medical examination also confirmed rape. The police officials allegedly forced the victim to change her statement. On 6 January 2005, lawyers staged a demonstration alleging that a senior police official posted at Palwal called the victim to the police station on the pretext of personally hearing her and thrashed and forced her to change her statement.[232]

f. Juvenile justice

Despite the enactment of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act in 2000, by and large, the Act remained unimplemented. Many states did not establish adequate number of Juvenile Justice Boards as provided under the Juvenile Justice Act of 2000. Proceeding in a Public Interest Litigation petition on 15 July 2005, a division bench of the Jharkhand High Court directed the government to speed up the process of constituting the Juvenile Justice Boards to look after the welfare of juveniles lodged in the different remand homes of the state.[233]

National Capital Territory of Delhi had only one Juvenile Justice Board at Kingsway Camp, North Delhi for all nine districts of the India's capital. The total number of pending juvenile cases stood at 3,050 at the end of August 2005.[234]

The conditions of the juvenile homes remained wanting. In January 2005, as many as 50 inmates ran away from the two juvenile homes situated at Alipur and Kingsway Camp in Delhi because of the lack of basic provisions like food, clothes etc.[235]

In January 2005, the NHRC also raised concerns about the protection of human rights of juveniles lodged in the observation homes in Karnataka. On 13 December 2004, 14-year-old Santosh, an inmate of the Observation Home in Madivala police limits in Bangalore, allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself by a rope from the ceiling of the toilet.[236]

Apart from the denial of basic facilities, torture of inmates has been a part of administration of the juvenile homes. On 26 May 2005, a Juvenile Justice Board Principal Magistrate Santosh Snehi Mann issued bailable warrants against a former SHO of a North Delhi police station, three guards and some officials of the juvenile observation home in Majnu Ka Teela on charges of “brutally torturing” four boys after some other inmates escaped from there on 13 April 2005. The Principal Magistrate issued the warrants on a complaint by the counsel for the boys alleging that they were beaten up with iron rods and kicked after being made to lie on the floor by the guards and the Station House Officer of Timarpur Police Station jumped on their chests.[237]

Juveniles were often found to be at the mercy of policemen. On 18 April 2005,  a minor was arrested by two policemen from Najafgarh police Station in west Delhi while having food and subjected to torture which resulted into  multiple injuries. When Juvenile Justice Board Principal Magistrate Santosh Snehi Mann ordered the SHO of Najafgarh Police Station, Shri Kailash Chandra, to produce the photographs of all the policemen posted there in order to help the victimised juvenile to identify the two accused policemen,[238] the SHO allegedly tried to influence the victim through threat and inducements.[239]

g. Torture of children

Children were also subjected to torture by the law enforcement personnel. In February 2005, a 12-year-old boy was allegedly tortured in police custody by N Islam, Officer-in-Charge of Hallydiganj police outpost in West Garo Hills district of Meghalaya without any reason. The boy reportedly sustained a fracture in his right leg due to the beating.[240]

Salwinder Singh, Sub-Inspector of Crime Investigation Agency (CIA) of  Amritsar, Punjab was suspended for giving electric shocks to 10-year-old Sumit, a student of Class IV in January 2005. The boy was released after his father allegedly handed over a cheque of Rs 2.35 lakh – signed under coercion – to the Sub-Inspector.[241] Sub-Inspector Singh was later suspended.[242]

Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda ordered a probe after a television news channel showed a clip of a 14 year old  boy being tortured by the police at the CIA police station in Panchkula on 13 March 2005. The boy was accused of theft from the Mansa Devi temple. He was also hung upside down from a tree as punishment.[243]

In January 2005, a city court rejected the bail plea of a Delhi Police Sub Inspector Parveen Kumar, who was accused of assaulting a boy by injecting petrol and thinner into his rectum for refusing to pay Rs 50,000 as bribe for his release at Ambedkar Nagar Police station in Delhi on the intervening night of 13 and 14 June 2004.[244]

XII. Status of internally displaced persons

There were over 600,000 conflict induced IDPs in India in the beginning of 2005.[245] The IDPs included 33,362 displaced persons in Kokrajhar district and 74,123 in Gosaigaon district[246] of Assam; 55,476 Kashmir Pandit families who were displaced due to the conflicts in Jammu and Kashmir since 1990;[247] and about 35,000 Brus (also known as Reangs) from Mizoram who were displaced in October 1997 and took shelter in Tripura.

In addition, over 44,000 tribal Karbis and Dimasas were displaced during the Karbi-Dimasa ethnic conflict which began in September 2005 in Assam's Karbi Anglong and North Cachar (NC) Hills districts. Another 6,000 Hmars and Paites were displaced from Manipur's Barak circle.[248]  In Chhattisgarh, about 50,000 tribals were displaced due to the Salwa Judum campaign which began in June 2005.

The IDP camp conditions were deplorable. During its field mission in November 2005, Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) found that out of the 44,071 inmates in Karbi Anglong and NC Hills of Assam, 17,971 or an overwhelming 40.78 per cent were listed as minors by the government. Yet, there was no baby food. Nor was there any special treatment for 200 women who were in advance stage of pregnancy. In Karbi Anglong, 32,871 inmates were provided only 8,504 plates, implying that four persons had to share a plate.

During a field mission in December 2005, Asian Centre for Human Rights found that the Bru IDPs camps in Tripura were in similar situations. The daily cash dole of Rs 2.90 i.e. Rs 87/- per month given to each adult Bru was extremely inadequate. Since 2001, the new-born babies have been included only in the census but not in the relief cards, making them ineligible for food items. Those who become adult in the last five years continue to be given rations as minor. The food ration of rice was so inadequate that displaced Brus had not even been reporting death for the fear of further reduction of the rations being provided.

Medical facilities were non-existent. The literacy rate among the Bru IDPs was only 10%.[249] The Tripura government did not provide any educational facility including under the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (Education for All) programme of the government of India. Effectively, over 5,000 minors were denied the right to education and an entire generation of the Brus have been kept illiterate in the last eight years.[250]

No visible measures were also taken to ensure return of the IDPs. The Jammu and Kashmir State Revenue and Rehabilitation Minister Hakim Mohammad Yaseen stated that by August 2005, about 1600 applications were received from willing migrant families to return.[251] However, most of the Kashmiri Pandits remained skeptic over the return due to security concerns.[252]  The Mizoram government refused to take the Bru IDPs while Assam government showed no intention to rehabilitate the IDPs.

XIII. Violations of the prisoners' rights

Prisons are governed by the state governments. Prison conditions remained deplorable across India. According to the statistics of National Human Rights Commission, there were a total of 3,32,112 prisoners against the total capacity of 2,38,855 prisoners in the 1315 jails of the country as on 31 December 2004. Out of them, 2,32,731 inmates were undertrials, comprising of staggering 70 % of the total inmates. This included 12276 women and 1,570 children. The highest overcrowding rate was reported from Jharkhand with 195.2 % overcrowding, Delhi with 149.7 %, Chattisgarh with 94.5 % and Gujarat with 91.5 % overcrowding.[253]

The showpiece of India's prisons, Tihar Jails had 13,697 prisoners, including 520 female, against the total sanctioned capacity of 6250.[254] About 80% of the prisoners were under-trials.[255]

The jail conditions were sub-human and most of them lacked even basic amenities such as adequate food, drinking water, sanitation, and health services.

Following a field study conducted by NHRC led by its Special Rapporteur and Chief Coordinator of Custodial Justice Cell to assess the conditions of prisons in Tripura, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Goa and Chandigarh, the NHRC team expressed serious concern over alarmingly high overcrowding in most of the jails visited by the team, lack of proper food, lack of full time doctors and proper medical facilities, lack of free legal aid to the poor inmates, lack of vocational training facilities for the women inmates, poor living conditions, high mortality rate of prisoners, and instances of non-compliance with the Commission's instructions regarding the death of prisoners.[256]

In June 2005, it was reported that a fact-finding delegation sent under the direction of the Gauhati High Court to examine the state of affairs of Kokrajhar district jail in Assam reportedly found, among others, that the jail wards were utterly filthy, the inmates were being served poor quality food, forced to drink water directly from the tube-wells, and deprived of speedy justice. The latrines, urinals and the septic tanks released horrible stench. Mosquitoes created havoc for the inmates, yet they were not provided with mosquito nets. There was lack of even primary medical facilities. A woman detainee had been suffering for a long time with multiple diseases but she was not getting proper attention. A male inmate with grenade splinters injury had not been taken to Guwahati Medical College Hospital despite the doctors referring his case. There were 189 prisoners including 185 males and 4 females in the Kokrajhar district jail.[257]

In March 2005, inmates of Alipingal subjail in Orissa's Jagatsinghpur district launched mass hunger strike demanding proper food, drinking water, and medical treatment.[258] Similar demands were also made by the inmates of Orissa's Bhanjanagar sub-jail[259] and Padampur sub-jail.[260]

On 9 September 2005, police beat up some of the jail inmates of central jail, Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir for staging hunger strike against failure on the part of the jail administration to take them to the courts on time during trials.[261]

During a visit to the Central Jail in Aizawl, Mizoram in June 2005, human rights activists and journalists found that the jail did not have a permanent doctor and the jail's infirmary had no medicine. In the Aizawl Central jail, about 40 male inmates in each ward shared a single blade for shaving purposes. Since no segregation was made between the HIV positives and the non-HIV inmates, there was imminent risk of proliferation of HIV/AIDS, among others, by sharing blades.[262]

In November 2005, NHRC directed the Inspector General (Prisons) of Delhi to segregate the prisoners suffering from communicable diseases from the healthy ones and transport ailing prisoners to courts in jail ambulance separately. The direction was issued following an anonymous complaint from some prisoners stating that undertrials were huddled together in vehicles in excess of the capacity while being taken to the courts.[263]

A number of deaths due to alleged denial of medical treatment were reported from different prisons across the country. In December 2005, the National Human Rights Commission, while confirming the death of an under-trial prisoner Babu Lal, who succumbed to his burn injuries due to inordinate delay in taking him to the hospital by the jail administration of Banda district jail of Uttar Pradesh in November 2000, held that technical considerations for shifting a patient to the hospital cannot outweigh the right to life of the patient.[264]

The victims who died due to alleged lack of medical facilities or treatment included Bhagat Rajbangshi of Raiganj district jail in West Bengal on 11 July 2005,[265] ULFA leader Robin Handique of Tezpur jail in Assam on 30 August 2005,[266] Ch Nagaraju of Nellor Central jail in Andhra Pradesh in August 2005,[267] Bheega Ghagrai, Indira Munda, Shyam Oraon and Malua Oraon who respectively died on 8 November 2005, 15 November 2005, 20 December 2005 and 25 December 2005 at  Birsa Munda Central Jail in Jharkhand.[268] The hospital of Birsa Munda Central Jail in Jharkhand's state capital Ranchi reportedly had only two doctors to look after patients whose number was three times of the actual capacity of 100.[269]

There were also reports  of torture of the inmates. On 24 April 2005, Jalandhar Jail officials in Punjab tattooed Neevi Jaat (lower caste) with a hot iron rod on the back of a Dalit under-trial Mohan Lal.[270]

Many prisoners died allegedly because of torture. Some of the victims included Rafeeq, an alleged ISI agent who died in the district jail of Meerut, Uttar Pradesh on 13 April 2005,[271] Ravidas Prabhudas in the Surat district sub-jail in Gujarat on 15 May 2005,[272] Babu Ram in Kurukshetra district jail in Haryana on 13 June 2005,[273] Ganjeli of Tihar Jail in Delhi on 13 June 2005,[274] Gurpreet Singh of Barnala sub-jail in Punjab on 11 July 2005,[275] Kuldeep at Agra District Jail in Uttar Pradesh on 25 September 2005,[276] Mahendra Prasad Mahto at the Varanasi Central Jail on 27 September 2005,[277] Suraj Bhan of Central Jail, Bathinda on 1 October 2005,[278] Sama Vasava at Vadodara Central Jail in Gurajat on 18 October 2005,[279] and  Sankar Patra of Balasore jail in Orissa on 15 November 2005.[280]

XIV. Violations of the rights of minorities

The religious minorities in India constituted 18.6 % of the total population as per 2001 census of India. Of them, Muslims constituted 12%, Christians 2.3%, Sikhs 1.9%, Buddhists 0.8%, Jains 0.4% and others 0.7%.[281]

The National Commission for Minorities is mandated to safeguard the constitutional legal rights of the minorities.  Only 15 States - Andhra Pradesh (Statutory Commission), Assam (Non-Statutory), Bihar (Statutory), Chhattisgarh (Statutory), Delhi (Statutory), Jharkhand (Statutory), Karnataka (Statutory), Madhya Pradesh (Statutory), Maharashtra (Non-Statutory), Manipur (Non-Statutory), Rajasthan (Statutory), Tamil Nadu (Non-Statutory), Uttar Pradesh (Statutory), Uttaranchal (Statutory), and West Bengal (Statutory) have established State Minorities Commission.[282]

The recommendations of the National Commission for Minorities were seldom implemented. In a resolution adopted on 30 March 2005, the NCM stated, “The provisions of the Bodh Gaya Temple Act, 1949, are not in harmony with the Fundamental Right enshrined in Article 26 of the Constitution, guaranteeing the right of freedom to every religious denomination to manage their respective religious affairs. Appropriate legal measures should be taken to ensure that all members of the committee entrusted with the management and control of the Bodh Gaya Temple, including the Mahabodi Mahavira in Bihar are Buddhists”.[283]  Under the Bodh Gaya Temple Act, 1949, the Hindus run the management of the Bodhgaya complex in Bihar. But the recommendation of the NCM remained unimplemented.

a. Attacks on the Christian minorities

Among the religious minorities, Christians faced more systematic attacks because of their beliefs.

In Andhra Pradesh, two Christian pastors were murdered. On 21 May 2005, K Daniel, a gospel preacher was found dead near Pedashapur on the outskirt of Hyderabad. He went missing on 19 May 2005.[284] On 2 June 2005, Pastor K. Issac Raj of Rock Church was found murdered with his body tied up with ropes in a gunny bag at Errakunta in Shaikpet, Andhra Pradesh. He went missing on 24 May 2005.[285] The police claimed that they arrested the main culprit identified as Kokala Govardhan, an activist of a little known Hindu fundamentalist outfit called Hindu Vahini.[286]

In Rajasthan, Hindu fundamentalist groups beat up workers of Emmanuel Mission on the charges of converting a group of about 250 Hindu Dalit youths from Andhra Pradesh at Kota city in Rajasthan on 19 February 2005.[287] On 21 February 2005, Bajrang Dal workers forced another group of 27 tribals from Udaipur, Rajasthan, to go back and beaten up one Pastor Kalu. The next day, 600 Christians who had come from Kerala to attend the ceremony organized by Emmanuel Mission were stopped by Bajrang Dal activists.[288] The National Commission for Minorities sent a two-member team to probe the incidents in Kota.[289]

In Karnataka, six persons identified as Shekar, Ramachandra, Poornachandra Keekar, Bhasker, Naveen and Manju were reportedly arrested on charges of vandalizing King Jesus Church, injuring devotees including two infants and sexually assaulting women in an attack in Channapatna town in May 2005.[290]

In Manipur, a church was vandalized and later torched by miscreants at Lamding village in Thoubal District on 19 April 2005.[291]

In Maharashtra, about 20 locals barged into a Bible reading session on suspicion that a religious conversion was going on and allegedly beat up three of the eight missionaries from the United States in a hall near Malwani church in Mumbai on the night of 11 June 2005. The attackers also allegedly kidnapped one of the missionaries. The police arrested two persons on charges of abduction and assault.[292]

In July 2005, the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh proposed amendments to Freedom of Religion Act to check conversions following the publication of an official probe committee report that found alleged disproportionate rise in the population of Christians in the state. The report quoted census figures which showed about 80 per cent rise in Christian population in Jhabua from 14,000 in 1991 to 26,000 in 2001.[293]

While the Hindu right-wing groups demanded ban on conversion, they themselves converted tribals into Hindusism. On 17 April 2005, 45 Adivasis were reportedly reconverted to Hinduism at a  Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) sponsored function at Popra village in Malda district of West Bengal.[294] On 1 May 2005, about 567 Christian tribals were reportedly reconverted to Hinduism in a re-conversion ceremony organized by VHP at Bijepur block in western Orissa's Bargarh district.[295]

b. Attacks on the minorities  by the AOGs in J&K

Religious minorities of Jammu and Kashmir were specific targets of the armed opposition groups (AOGs). On 12 May 2005, the armed opposition groups threw a grenade into Tyndale Biscoe Memorial High School, a Christian missionary school at Lal Chowk, Srinagar killing two women guardians and injuring 50 people including 20 school children.[296]

On 29 July 2005, militants slit the throats of five Hindus identified as Karnail Singh, son of (s/o) Tota Singh, Dharam Singh, s/o Rambo, Saran Singh, s/o Sheru, Ashok Kumar and Sahber Singh both sons of Mangal Singh, after dragging them out of their houses at Dhar Sankari in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir.[297]

Again on 10 October 2005, militants slaughtered 10 Hindus of two families in the Budhal area of Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir.[298] On 23 October 2005, seven Hindu families comprising of about 31 persons reportedly fled their hamlet in Rajouri district after militants threatened to kill them.[299]

XV.Status of the refugees

a. Refugees under the government of India

According to Annual Report 2005-06 of Ministry of Home Affairs, there were  1,08,414 Tibetan refugees and the government of India reportedly spent an amount of about Rs. 18.17 crore on their resettlement.[300]

About 50,750 Tamil refugees from Sri Lanka were staying in 103 refugee camps in Tamil Nadu and one camp in Orissa. In addition, about 17,064 refugees were staying outside the camps on their own.[301] In August 2005, the Union Home Ministry reportedly withdrew the subsidy on rice being provided to them citing administrative inconvenience. The Central Government's annual commitment on rice subsidy was Rs 7 crore per year while the State government bore an expenditure of around Rs 25 crore on cash doles, shelter, food, clothing and utensils in the camps, which were subsequently reimbursed by the Union Government.[302] The Government of India spent around Rs. 354 crore for providing relief and accommodation to them from July 1983 to December 2005.[303]

An estimated 82,000 Chin-Burmese have fled to India ever since the military regime took over power in 1988. About 70,000 were in northeast Indian state of Mizoram, which borders Myanmar's Chin State, while 10,000 were in Manipur and 2,000 in Delhi.[304]

The Myanmarese refugees did not receive any assistance from the government of India or the State governments. Their conditions were deplorable. In Mizoram, they lived under the fear of eviction and deportation by the Young Mizo Association and government authorities.

b. Refugees under the UNHCR

In 2005, there were about 11,400 refugees, mainly from Afghanistan and Myanmar under the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).[305] Only about 1200 Burmese were recognized as refugees. The rest were undocumented and therefore, vulnerable to violations of their rights including arrest and detention.

In New Delhi, even the conditions of a few, who were receiving Subsistence Allowance (SA) from the UNHCR were not better as most of them had to share their SA with other members of the community or relatives not receiving such allowance. Their conditions deteriorated further due to decrease in their Subsistence Allowance by half from the sixth month of grant of SA by the UNHCR.[306]

XVI. Violations of International Humanitarian Laws by the AOGs

Majority of the armed opposition groups were responsible for violations of international humanitarian laws during 2005. The armed opposition groups banned by the Government of India under the Unlawful Activities (prevention) Act, 1967 were United Liberation Front of Assam, National Democratic Front of Bodoland, People's Liberation Army, United National Liberation Front, People's Revolutionary party of Kangleipak, Kangleipak Communist Party, Kanglei Yaol Kanba Lup, Manipur People's Liberation Front, Revolutionary People's Front, All Tripura Tiger Force, National Liberation Front of Tripura, Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council, Achik National Volunteer Council, Babbar Khalsa International, Khalistan Commando Force, International Sikh Youth Federation, Lashkar-E-Taiba/ Pasban-E-Ahle Hadis, Jaish-E-Mohammed/ Tahrik-E-Furqan, Harkat-Ul-Mujahideen/ Harkat-Ul-Ansar/ Karkat-Ul-Jehad-E-Islami, Hizb-Ul-Mujahideen/ Hizb-Ul-Mujahideen Pri Panjal Regiment, Al-Umar-Mujahideen, Jammu and Kashmir Islamic Front, Liberation of Tigers of Tamil Eelam, Students Ismalic Movement of India, Deendar Anjuman, Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist)-People's War and all its formation and front organizations, Maoist Communist Centre and all its formations and front organizations, Al Badr, Jamiat-Ul-Mujahideen, A-Qaida, Dukhtaran-E-Millat, Tamil Nadu Liberation  Army, Tamil National Retrieval Troops, and Akhil Bharat Nepali Ekta Samaj.

According to the 2005 Annual Report of the Ministry of Home Affairs of the Government of India, during 2005, a total of 1466 civilians were killed by the armed opposition groups, including 557 in Jammu and Kashmir, 393 in the North East and 516 in the Naxalite affected States.

a. Torture

The armed opposition groups were responsible for brutal torture. In Jammu and Kashmir, the armed opposition groups slit the throats of the victims and chopped off the tongues or other body parts.  On 14 August 2005, suspected members of Lashker-e-Toiba abducted and chopped off the tongue of Abdul Majeed of Sariliya-Sumi area of Gandoh tehsil in Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir on the charges of being an informer of security forces.[307] In Manipur, the armed oppostion groups kidnapped and shot the victims on their body parts to create chilling fear.

b. Killings

The AOGs have targeted innocent civilians and perpetrated a series of massacres of the innocent civilians. On 29 October 2005, at least 57 persons were killed and 153 injured in three bomb blasts in Delhi. The blasts took place between 5:30 pm and 6 pm at a crowded Delhi Transport Corporation bus and busy market places at Paharganj and Sarojini Nagar to cause maximum damage just two days before the Hindu religious festival Diwali.[308]

On 2 November 2005, at least six persons were killed and 16 others injured in a car bomb explosion allegedly carried out by the Jaish-e-Mohammad at Nowgam in the outskirts of Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir.[309]

On 31 January 2005 at 12:45 am, the cadres of the AOGs shot dead four members of a family identified as Naseema Begum, wife of Abdul Aziz, their daughters Rehana Banoo (5) and Razia Banoo (10), son Sabha Ahmed (15) after entering into their house in the guise of security personnel at Nashala Bijarani village about six kilometers from Doda town in Jammu and Kashmir.[310]

On the night 13 April 2005, the cadres of the AOGs tortured and slit the throats of Qamar Din and Roshan Din and shot dead another person identified as Mohammed Shafi for refusing to open the door at Mahore area of Udhampur district of Jammu and Kashmir.[311]

In Chhattisgarh, civilians became specific targets for participating or supporting the government sponsored Salwa Judum campaign against the Naxalites. On 29 September 2005, suspected Naxalites killed Mahadev Manjhi by slitting his throat after dragging him out of his house at Pandiyarapara village in Bijapur of Chhattisgarh.[312]

On the night of 11 September 2005, Naxalites shot dead 15 innocent villagers at Bhelbadari village in Giridih district of Jharkhand.[313] In Maharasthra, suspected Naxalites brutally murdered Mondi alias Deepak Gawde, Sarpanch of village Umanur under Jimalgatta Sub-police Station in Aheri taluka on the night of 27 September 2005.[314]

In Manipur, the armed opposition groups played the role of moral police and carried out execution of civilians in the most brutal way for failing to comply with their diktat. On the night of 22 April 2005, cadres of the proscribed Kanglei Yawol Kann Lup (KYKL)[315] killed five alleged drug dealers Md Sikandar, Md Sajid Khan, Md Munal, Md Balal  and Md Sanideer  at Khetrigao area in Imphal East district.[316] On the night of 31 May 2005, two non-tribal tobacco sellers were shot dead and another injured by unidentified gunmen at Kakching Bazar in Thoubal district of Manipur. Earlier banned Revolutionary People's Front announced that it would punish those found selling and chewing zarda and khaini.[317]

The AOGs, particularly the Naxalites, continued to deliver kangaroo justice. On 19 January 2005, a Telegu Desam Party activist Bikkati Ramudu was awarded death sentence by the Peoples' Court at Kalagallu under Kuderu mandal in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh. He was reportedly shot death from close range from behind.[318] On 12 August 2005, Naxalites also killed a village Sarpanch, Rajman Uike of village Baghadongari in Chhattisgarh after he was convicted in Peoples' Court on the charges of being a police informer.[319]

Killing of “police informers”

Many innocent people were brutally killed on the charges of being “police informers”. Maximum number of such killings were reported from Andhra Pradesh. On 29 January 2005, alleged Maoists dragged Dhole Zuru Matami from his house at Maweli village under Kasansur in Etapalli in Gadchiroli district of Andhra Pradesh and brutally chopped off his head with a sharp weapon on the charges of being a police informer.[320] Often, the victims included former Naxalites who had surrendered to the police. On 10 August 2005, a former Maoist J Bachibabu  was brutally killed by the alleged Naxalites at Pedavalasa village in Visakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh.[321]

The AOGs in Jammu and Kashmir also killed people on the charges of being “police informers”. On the night of 11 January 2005, 75-year-old Abdul Aziz was shot dead at Bharneli village of Mahore tehsil of Udhampur district.[322] Again on 10 July 2005, armed cadres tortured and beheaded a tribal identified as Hukam Din on the charges of being a police informer at Bhulla village in Udhampur district.[323]

Killing of political party activists

Political party activists were mainly targeted by the armed opposition groups in Jammu and Kashmir and the Naxalite affected states, mainly Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and West Bengal.

At least three Members of State Legislative Assembly (MLAs) were killed by the AOGs. They were Congress MLA Chittem Narsi Reddy who was shot dead by the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) in Mahabubnagar district of Andhra Pradesh on 15 August 2005,[324] J&K Minster of State for Education Dr Ghulam Nabi Lone who was killed in a fidayeen attack at his high security official residence at Tulsibagh in Srinagar on 18 October 2005,[325] and Communist Party of India-Marxist Leninist (CPI-ML) legislator from Bagodar, Mahendra Prasad Singh  who was killed by the Naxalites at Durgi Dhowaiya village in Giridih district of Jharkhand on 16 January 2005.[326]

The other political parties whose activists and leaders were targeted during 2005 included Telegu Desam Party, Telengana Rashtra Samithi, Bharatiya Janata Party, National Conference, People's Democratic Party and Communist Party of India (Marxist). The highest number of killings of political leaders and activists were reported from Andhra Pradesh for their alleged anti-Naxalite stand.

c. Abductions

There were consistent reports of abduction by the armed opposition groups from all over India.

On 18 January 2005, suspected Naxalites abducted a Border Roads Organisation (BRO) Supervisor Major Unnikrishnan from Gumankonda village in Gadchiroli district of Maharasthra and demanded Rs 400,000 as ransom for his release.[327]

On 27 July 2005, All Tripura Tribal Force (ATTF) cadres abducted five schoolteachers identified as Phanindra Shil, Parimal Deb, Rita Paul, Bijay Debbarma and Akhil Debbarma of Ultabari SB School, and the driver of the autorickshaw in which they were travelling at Ultabari in Khowai sub-division in West Tripura. While Bijay and Akhil Debbarma were set free on the way, the rest were taken away.[328] The woman teacher Rita pal was released on 1 August 2005.[329]

On 9 February 2005, suspected Maoist Communist Centre ultras abducted at least 19 labourers from two camps at Phulkusuma and Podanala villages in Sambalpur district of Orissa. The armed MCC cadres stormed the camps early in the morning and took away at least 23 men with them, Sambalpur Superintendent of Police Susant Kumar Nath said. However, they later released four labourers.[330] On 12 February 2005, 14 other labourers were released.[331]

On 8 March 2005, suspected CPI (Maoist) cadres abducted 10 villagers, including 2 from Sadokhar village under Chenari police station, and 8 from a Shivratri Mela near Gupta Dham in Rohtas district in Bihar after they reportedly refused to pay “tax”. A boy, among those kidnapped, was later set free.[332]

d. Extortion

All the armed opposition groups resorted to extortion and imposed socalled "taxes". In open session of Autonomous State Demand Committee (Progressive) party conference at Sariohjan in Assam on 12 January 2005, ASDC (P) leader and former Member of Parliament (MP) Dr. Jayanta Rongpi alleged that all government officers of Karbi Anglong district including the Deputy Commissioner and the Superintendent of Police had to donate 4 per cent of their salary to militant outfits.[333]

Despite signing ceasefire agreement with the government on 25 May 2005,[334] National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) reportedly continued to serve extortion notices to businessmen, contractors, and government officials. In June 2005, the construction company engaged in building the 22-km Kokrajhar-Ramfalbil road and the 18-km Gaurang Tinali-Patgaon road in Kokrajhar district of Assam reportedly had to cease work following alleged extortion demand of Rs 1 crore from the company and intimidation to its workers by the NDFB militants.[335] NDFB cadres also allegedly served an extortion notice of Rs 5 lakh to the District Elementary Education Officer, Nalbari, Nagen Ch Boro in July 2005.[336]

The Achik National Volunteers' Council (ANVC) allegedly extorted money from local coal barons and other businessmen in South and East Garo Hills of Meghalaya despite signing tripartite ceasefire with the Centre and the State government.[337]

Extortion was also rampant in Manipur. On 2 March 2005, the Principal of the Manipur Institute of Technology, Takyelpat, Mr. Thingom Kulachandra, was shot at his leg by unidentified gunmen at Mongsangei in Imphal, the capital of Manipur state allegedly for not paying Rs five lakh extortion that an underground outfit had demanded from the staff of Manipur Institute of Technology Takyelpat a few days before the incident.[338] In June 2005, more than eight senior professors including some head of the departments of the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences in Imphal resigned from their posts following alleged extortion demands from underground outfits in Manipur.[339] On 26 October 2005, the government employees in Thoubal district of Manipur went on leave en masse in protest against extortion demands by the armed opposition groups.[340]

On 11 November 2005, at least two persons were killed and 19 others injured at a blast carried out by banned Kanglei Yawol Kann Lup (KYKL) at a Market in Manipur's capital Imphal. The KYKL stated that the bomb attack was carried out to target a particular shop which had refused to pay money to the outfit.[341]

XVII. Application of the National Security Laws

National security laws like the Prevention of Terrorism Act, Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, Public Safety Act, Armed Forces Special Powers Act and Official Secrets Act continued to be misused. According to Home Ministry's assessment, 65 per cent people detained under POTA could have been tried under normal laws, while there was evidence against only 35 per cent of all the POTA detainees.[342] In May 2005, Justice Jeevan Reddy Committee to Review the Armed Forces Special Powers Act of 1958 submitted its report but the government of India failed to make it public.

a. Cases under the Prevention of Terrorism Act of 2002

There were 350 cases under POTA across India. Of these, over one-third were under trial and the rest were under investigation. The maximum number of cases was reported from Jharkhand, with 147 cases and 1127 accused, followed by Jammu and Kashmir (91), Andhra Pradesh (43), Delhi (23), Gujarat (14) and Maharashtra (13). In Andhra Pradesh, less than 10 per cent of the cases had reached the POTA court. The scenario was not different elsewhere. As on 13 July 2005, only 22 out of the 147 POTA cases were under trial in Jharkhand and more than two-thirds of the accused were absconding. While Gujarat and Maharashtra had fewer cases registered under POTA, the number of accused in these states was surprisingly high. There were 456 accused in just 14 POTA cases in Gujarat, while in Maharashtra, 131 people were accused in 13 cases.[343]

In September 2004, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government repealed the controversial POTA and gave one year to the three Central POTA Review Committees, instituted in 2003, to review all the POTA cases. Justice Nag Committee was assigned to review cases in Jharkhand, Justice Jain Committee dealt with cases in Gujarat and Jammu and Kashmir, and Justice Usha Mehra Committee reviewed cases in the rest of the seven states - Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Sikkim and Tamil Nadu. The committees were to consider only prima facie evidence provided to them by investigative agencies.[344]

However, the constitutional validity of the Central POTA Review Committees and their decisions on POTA cases were challenged by the State governments of Tamil Nadu and Gujarat. In January 2005, the Tamil Nadu Government challenged two key provisions of the Prevention of Terrorism (Repeal) Ordinance 2004, promulgated in September 2004, and sought to quash all the proceedings of the Central POTA Review Committee. The first of the two impugned provisions, Section 2(3)(a), pertained to a mandate to review all cases registered under the POTA within 12 months. The other, Section 2(4)(b), conferred the powers of a civil court on the committee with powers to call for any public record from any court or office.[345] On 21 July 2005, the Madras High Court quashed a December 2002 Tamil Nadu Government order declaring the entire State a notified area for the purpose of Section 4(a) of the Prevention of Terrorism Act. The court also quashed the charge under Section 4(a) of POTA against Mr R.R. Gopal, editor of Tamil bi-weekly 'Nakkheeran', by which he was accused of possessing a firearm within a 'notified area'.[346]

On 29 January 2005, the Gujarat High Court gave an interim stay against the Justice Jain Committee questioning the Constitutional validity of the Committee on the ground that it had been conferred with unfettered powers.[347] In February 2005, the Supreme Court vacated Gujarat High Court stay order and directed the court to dispose of a petition challenging the Justice Jain Committee's constitutional validity within seven weeks.[348]

On 9 April 2005, the Justice Jain Committee completed its hearings on the applicability of POTA on 14 cases including Godhra train carnage, ISI conspiracy case, Tiffin bomb blast and former Gujarat Minister Haren Pandya assassination cases. The Committee heard 200 accused in the 14 cases.[349] The Justice Jain Committee recommended dropping of all charges against 131 accused under POTA in the Godhra train case while it upheld the application of POTA in the Akshardham case in which 46 persons were killed.[350] On 13 April 2005, the Gujarat High Court stated that the Justice Jain Committee's findings would not be binding on the state government and the final decision to revoke POTA would lie with the designated POTA court.[351] On 10 June 2005, the state government of Gujarat also reportedly rejected the observations of the Justice Jain Committee of dropping all the charges against all the accused in the Godhra train carnage case.[352]

As many as 135 persons were still detained under POTA as on 13 December 2005. Of them, 87 were in Gujarat, 18 in Jharkhand, 4 in Maharashtra, 3 each in Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, 2 in Himachal Pradesh and 1 in Delhi. 17 others remained under the cases registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation. However, human Rights activists disputed the figures given by the Minister of State for Home S Regupathy in a written reply in the Lok Sabha. They insisted that there were still large number of persons detained under POTA. According to the Minister, only 13 persons detained under POTA were convicted as in September 2004 when the Act was repealed.[353]

Delhi had 23 POTA cases.[354] In February 2005, the Justice Usha Mehra Committee, in the first case of its kind in Delhi, directed that the case against Rajesh Bhai Prajapati, a resident of Mumbai, be withdrawn in the absence of any evidence against him. Mr Prajapati had approached the Justice Usha Mehra Committee with a complaint expressing grievance about application of POTA in his case. He was arrested on 18 January 2002 from Mumbai on alleged charges of delivering hawala money to certain individuals associated with the Lashkar-e-Toiba for terrorist activities in Delhi on the Republic Day. He was produced in Patiala House Courts on 20 January 2005 and charges against him were framed on 30 April 2002. He had undergone 2 years in judicial custody.[355]

In late September 2005, the POTA Court at Patiala House reportedly rejected the Delhi government's plea against the Justice Usha Mehra Committee's decision to release Ibotombi Sapan, a Manipuri student arrested under section 3(4) of the Act by the Delhi police on 15 March 2005. Earlier on 11 May 2005, the Justice Usha Mehra Committee had found no prima facie case against Sapan to prove that he was harbouring a terrorist. The Delhi police had arrested Sapan, a graduate of Journalism and Mass Communication from Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) with another person on alleged charge of arranging medical assistance for members of Manipuri terrorist orgainsation, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) that is banned under POTA, and its political wing, the Revolutionary People's Front (RPF).[356]

As on 12 July 2005, there were 91 POTA cases in Jammu and Kashmir.[357] The number of detentions under draconian laws including POTA and Public Safety Act was also very high.[358]

In Maharashtra, 131 people were accused in 13 cases.[359] 

On 11 June 2005, a special POTA court acquitted all the eight accused in the Ghatkopar blast case. On 2 December 2002, two persons were killed and 49 were injured when a bomb blew up a BEST bus.[360]

 On 14 June 2005, the Justice Usha Mehra Committee in its recommendations to the State Secretary of Maharashtra asked to discharge two accused, Mohammed Ansari alias Urman Laduwala and Mommed Ansar Sheikh alias Hasan Batteriwala, held for conspiring the twin blasts in Mumbai in 2003 as there was no material against them.[361]

In early May 2005, the Justice Usha Mehra Committee directed the Tamil Nadu government to close two separate cases under the anti-terrorism law against Tamil National Movement (TNM) leaders. In the first case, the Review Committee cleared National Movement chief P Nedumaran and four others - Suba Veerapandian, Paavanan alias Podukottai Paawanan, Thayappan and Shahul Hameed who were charged under POTA for their alleged speeches supporting the banned LTTE under POTA in April 2002. In the second case, the Review Committee asked the government to drop charges under POTA against TNM General Secretary Paranthaman for his alleged interview to a private channel criticizing the then Jayalalitha government for its stand against the LTTE.[362]

In Uttar Pradesh, despite the recommendation of the Justice Usha Mehra Committee for release of Sheikh Miraj Hassan, a Kashmiri student studying in Shamli, Mr Hassan continued to languish in Meerut Jail as on 24 August 2005. Earlier in May 2005, the committee had found no prima facie case against Hassan, who was arrested in March 2003.[363]

b. Cases under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act

Although the Terrorists and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) was allowed to lapse in 1995 by P V Narasimha government, still 147 persons were reportedly being detained for offences under the Act as on 14 December 2005. Of these, 59 cases were registered by CBI, 20 each in Assam and Punjab, 14 each in Gujarat and Maharashtra, 12 in Jummu and Kahsmir, 5 in Rajasthan, 2 in Delhi and 1 in Haryana.[364]

On 21 April 2005, the Supreme Court acquitted Independent MLA Mukhtar Ahmed Ansari from Uttar Pradesh in a TADA case registered against him on 10 December 1993 for lack of evidence to convict him. Earlier, he had been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment by a trial court in 2003.[365]

In Punjab, 51 people were jailed under TADA. In April 2005, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh announced review of 17 cases of those detained on terrorism charges.[366]

c. Cases under the Public Safety Act

The Public Safety Act (PSA) of Jammu and Kashmir was invoked extensively. The Act empowers the district magistrates to send suspects to jail for up to two years without trial.[367] On 3 October 2005, the state government of Jammu & Kashmir admitted that 140 foreign nationals were serving prison terms under the PSA alone. However, the government failed to state as how many of these cases involved in militancy related activities. There had been cases of innocent people being detained under the PSA in the past.[368]

Pursuant to the meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Hurriyat delegation held in Delhi on 5 September 2005, the Joint Screening Committee reviewed the cases of all detenues held under the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978. On the recommendation of the Joint Screening Committee the state government ordered the release of 44 detenues, including seven women activists of Dukhtaran-e-Millat.[369] The Union Home Ministry advised the state government to examine the cases and make its recommendation at the earliest for consideration of a Joint Screening Committee.[370]

[1]. Refugee in J&K - A hapless lot, The Kashmir Times, 15 September 2005

[2]. Vohra apprised of refugees' problems, The Tribune, 27 August 2005

[3]. Four dalits gunned down in Jehanabad, The Kashmir Times, 8 February 2005

[4]. Dalit woman candidate set ablaze by ‘rivals', The Hindu, 22 October 2005

[5]. Dalit woman contender set ablaze, The Deccan Herald, 7 November 2005

[6]. Dalit woman not allowed to hoist national flag, The Times, of India, 17 August 2005

[7]. All work, no funds for Dalit panchayat head, The Indian Express, 18 June 2005

[8]. 2005 Report of National Crime Records Bureau, Ministry of Home Affairs, available at:

[9]. 342 cases of rights violations by army, The Hitavada, 12 August 2005

[10]. Human misery: common thread - among disappeared persons families, The Kashmir Times, 7 May 2005

[11]. Disappearance of youth - HC issues SHO's arrest warrant for not lodging FIR, The Kashmir Times, 3 May 2005

[12]. 2 cops get jail for journalist's disappearance, The Tribune, 28 February 2005


[14]. Panel serves arrest warrant on AR men, The Sangaiexpress, 16 March 2005

[15]. 230 security men punished for rights violation in j&k, the hitavada, 14 april 2005

[16]. Probe reports in cases of abuse by cops gathering dust, The Kashmir Times, 13 December 2005

[17]. Cops' bid to cremate Dalit's body, The Tribune, 8 February 2005

[18]. Three policemen face custody death charge, The Hindustan Times, 31 July 2005

[19]. Murder accused dies in custody, The Times of India, 10 May 2005

[20]. Probe ordered into custodial death, The Tribune, 16 May 2005

[21].  ‘Uruttu' torture leads to suspect's death, The Asian Age, 6 October 2005

[22]. Death in custody: CI, SI suspended, The Hindu, 14 January 2005

[23]. SI suspended for death of a tribal, The Deccan Chronicle, 13 January 2005

[24]. 5 policemen suspended for harassing tea stall owner, The Indian Express, 21 February 2005

[25]. Custodial death sparks off controversy, The Pioneer, 4 March 2005

[26]. UP suspends cops after uproar over custody death, The Indian Express, 6 December 2005

[27]. Five cops suspended for illegal detention, The Deccan Chronicle, 28 October 2005

[28]. Protest against ‘custodial killing' Kashmir Times, 21 January 2005

[29]. Probe ordered into killing of Dwipen Bayan, The Assam Tribune, 31 January 2005

[30]. Man dies in police station, The Deccan Chronicle, 29 January 2005

[31]. Probe into ‘torture' death, The Telegraph, 26 December 2005

[32]. 5 policemen jailed for youth's death, The Times of India, 15 July 2005

[33]. 3 cops jailed for bobbytising man, The Tribune, 23 December 2005

[34]. SP, others' arrest ordered: Custodial Death, The Hitavada, 25 June 2005

[35]. Action on cop for torture, The Deccan Chronicle, 22 December 2005

[36]. Custodial death compensation, The Times of India, 29 January 2005

[37]. M'laya Govt asked to pay ex-gratia to firing victim, The Shillong Times, 9 February 2005

[38]. Policemen to pay Rs 3 lakh compensation for custodial death, The Pioneer, 12 May 2005

[39]. Compensation, The Sangaiexpress, 19 May 2005

[40]. Compensation for taxi driver shot by cop, The Statesman, 27 September 2005

[41]. Court orders Rs. 1 lakh each compensation for two killed by AR, The Kanglaonline, 11 November 2005

[42]. 2005 Report of National Crime Records Bureau, Ministry of Home Affairs, available at:

[43]. Two die in M.P. police firing, The Hindu, 29 April 2005

[44]. TDP activists killed in firing, The Asian Age, 14 May 2005

[45]. Adequate compensation to police firing victims urged, The Assam Tribune, 28 May 2005

[46]. Police fire on mob, one killed, The Statesman, 9 June 2005

[47]. 5 farmers killed over water, The Hindustan Times, 14 June 2005

[48]. 9 die in Meghalaya police firing, The Hindu, 1 October 2005

[49]. Strike over driver murder hits normal life in Tripura, The Assam Tribune, 28 March 2005

[50]. One gunned down by RPF jawan, The Free Press Journal, 27 April 2005

[51]. Man shot dead by BSF, The Statesman, 26 August 2005

[52]. Army killing sparks furore in Nalbari, The Assam Tribune, 19 January 2005

[53]. Probe ordered into Shopian fake killings, The Kashmir Times, 4 March 2005

[54]. Another custodial death slur against AR, The Kanglaonline, 27 April 2005

[55]. Jawans kill minister's relative, The Assam Tribune, 22 June 2005

[56]. AR authorities apologise, order court of inquiry into death - AR beat captive labourer to death, The Kanglaonline, 2 July 2005

[57]. In J-K, probe ordered into ‘custody' death of 26-yr-old, The Indian Express, 29 October 2005

[58]. Ibobi strikes peace deal, The Telegraph, 20 January 2005

[59]. Nine-year old among three slain by CRPF, The Kanglaonline, 19 January 2005

[60]. Banda bloodshed rocks Assembly, The Central Chronicle, 17 March 2005

[61]. Police allegedly tortures vendor, The Statesman, 19 February 2005

[62]. Cops lapse into brutality - Man thrashed for not paying, The Statesman, 22 September 2005

[63]. Cops beat up youth, fracture his leg, The Tribune, 17 October 2005

[64]. Protest against police action, The Kashmir Times, 28 June 2005

[65]. 2 allege torture by city police, The Asian Age, 8 September 2005

[66]. Civilian tortured in custody, hospitalized, The Kashmir Times, 25 January 2005

[67]. AR detentions spark public ire at Kpi, The Kanglaonline, 10 February 2005

[68]. Atrocities of Merapani police, CRPF condemned, The Sentinel, 17 May 2005

[69]. Protest over ‘torture' of Absu leader, The Telegraph, 5 May 2005

[70]. Probe sought on Army assault on mentally retarded man, The Kanglaonline, 24 May 2005

[71]. Police report cast slur on AR, The Sangai Express, 1 April 2005

[72]. Received the assent of the President on June 23, 2005 and published in the Gazette of India, Extra., Part II, Section 1, dated 23rd June, 2005, pp.1-13, No. 28

[73]. Amending the Criminal Procedure Code, The Hindu, 28 July 2005

[74]. Coming: a revised Criminal code, in two parts, The Indian Express, 16 December 2005

[75]. CJI's views sought on scanner on judges, The Tribune, 2 July 2005

[76]. New CJI opposed to judicial council: Says SC capable of curbing ‘corruption' in judiciary, The Tribune, 3 November 2005 available at:



[79]. Too many vacancies, send names in 2 weeks: Govt to CJs, The Indian Express, 8 December 2005

[80]. Court News, Vol 1, Issue 1 available at

[81]. SC issues notice to State Govt over jail inmate, The Assam Tribune, 12 November 2005 

[82]. SC issues notice to State Govt over jail inmate, The Assam Tribune, 12 November 2005

[83]. 54 yrs without trial in jail, SC issues notice, The Sangaiexpress, 12 November 2005

[84]. Centre to top court: Fast track courts will stay on, The Asian Age, 30 April 2005

[85]. On the fast track, The Tribune, 5 September 2005

[86]. NHRC Annual Report 2004-2005,

[87]. High Court tells Govt to appoint MHRC members expeditiously, The Kanglaonline, 1 May 2005

[88].  ‘MHRC chairperson's charges unwarranted, unreasonable', The Kanglaonline, 24 August 2005

[89]. No ATR from Govt – SHRC Registers 3187 cases for HR violations in J&K, The Kashmir Times, 23 September 2005

[90]. Human rights panel unhappy with J-K Government, The Hindu, India, 29 April 2005, available at

[91]. Rights panels to discuss effective interventions, The Hindu, 27 January 2005

[92]. Human rights courts proposed in districts, The Hindu, 8 April 2005

[93]. Sessions courts to try cases of human rights violations, The Hindu, 17 April 2005

[94]. Gangs attack rights activists in Andhra Pradesh, The Tribune, 29 August 2005

[95]. Ibid

[96]. Killer gangs on rampage: AP rights groups, The Deccan Herald, 4 October 2005

[97]. Caution to NGOs on Naxalite, The Telegraph, 21 August 2005, available at

[98]. Out of jail, activist lists ‘plotters'- Freed on bail of Rs 55, imprisoned NGO worker smells conspiracy by police and govt, The Telegraph, 31 October 2005

[99].  ‘Sangh Parivar activists threatened to rape us', The Times of India, 30 June 2005


[101]. Police swoop on scribes, The Shillong Times, 12 June 2005

[102]. Gag order against two Telugu dailies withdrawn , The Hindu, 9 December 2005

[103]. CRPF men assault scribes on duty, The Sangaiexpress, 21 February 2005

[104]. Police beats up photo journalists, The Kashmir Times, 14 May 2005

[105]. Armymen beat up two photojournalists in Srinagar, The Kashmir Times, 14 September 2005

[106]. Magazine editor arrested in Andhra Pradesh for “waging war against the state”, Reporters Without Border, 10 June 2005

[107]. N. Venugopal released on bail, Reporters Without Borders, 20 June 2005,

[108]. Scribe arrested for ‘ULFA link', The Sentinel, 12 October 2005

[109]. Meitei activists stop publication of newspapers, The Shillong Times, 12 March 2005

[110]. Mediapersons stage protest in Manipur, The Assam Tribune, 14 March 2005

[111]. Sainiks smash up magazine office on Aiyar issue, The Asian Age, 12 March 2005

[112]. Scribe assault case, The Sangaiexpress, 25 February 2005

[113]. Journalists injured in Srinagar attack, The Hindu, 30 July 2005

[114]. Churachandpur papers shut down against assault on press freedom, The Kanglaonline, 17 June 2005

[115]. AMWJU lists compulsions that forced a day of news holiday, The Kanglaonline, 10 September 2005

[116]. Manipur dailies protest against ultras' diktat, The Assam Tribune, 9 September 2005

[117]. Angered by ultras' threats, Manipur dailies Stop Press, The Pioneer, 29 October 2005

[118]. Birhore tribe, may soon become extinct in J'khand, The Hitavada, 4 July 2005

[119]. Only 23 families still surviving, The Sentinel, 25 June 2005

[120]. Andaman tribes at risk of extinction, The Statesman, 17 May 2005

[121]. Andaman activists allege sexual exploitation of Jarawa women, The Kashmir Times, 20 August 2005

[122]. 2005 Report of National Crime Records Bureau, Ministry of Home Affairs, available at

[123]. Steel company manager held for torturing tribals, The Indian Express, 9 May 2005

[124]. Concern over violence against tribals, The Hindu, 5 August 2005

[125]. Tribal burnt alive in Madhya Pradesh, The Hindu, 21 October 2005

[126]. Govt flayed over burning of tribal youth, The Central Chronicle, 25 October 2005

[127]. UA-215-2005: INDIA: Brutal custodial torture of two men from the tribal community in Areth police outpost of Surat District, Gujarat, Asian Human Rights Commission, 21 November 2005, available at

[128]. 2005 Report of National Crime Records Bureau, Ministry of Home Affairs, available at

[129]. Rape victim's hands chopped to silence her, The Pioneer, 10 December 2005

[130]. Schoolteacher among five in police net, The Pioneer, 12 December 2005

[131]. Narmada Dams: No Judicial euphemism, Indigenous Rights Quarterly (Vol. I, No. 01, April - June, 2006), Asian Indigenous & Tribal Peoples Network

[132]. Basin States violating court order: NBA, The Hindu, 16 November 2005

[133]. Cash, not land, on offer for the displaced, The Hindu, 1 December 2005

[134]. Jharkhand tribals up in arms against projects, The Hitavada, 16 November 2005

[135]. Homeless in rush for progress - Alarm over displacement, The Telegraph, 25 April 2005


[137]. All about India's biggest FDI project, 23 August 2005,

[138].  “Development not for tribes” by Joseph Marianus Kujur, Open-Ed, The Pioneer, 18 June 2005

[139]. Polavaram project gets clearance, The Hindu, 2 October 2005

[140]. State Pulse: AP: Dam to displace hundreds, The Central Chronicle, 14 December 2005

[141]. Over two lakh forest cases against Chhattisgarh tribals to be withdrawn, The Hitavada, 11 November 2005

[142]. Govt withdraws 2531 cases against tribals, The Pragativadi, 12 March 2005

[143]. Naxalite bodies demand probe into police firing, The Statesman, 14 March 2005

[144]. Torching incident: 8 villagers arrested, 13 forest officials absconding, The Deccan Herald, 21 July 2005

[145]. Kerala leads the way in tribal forest rights crusade, The Pioneer, 3 May 2005

[146]. Tribals demand CBI probe, The Hindu, 17 March 2005

[147]. Tribals to get back lost land - Task force formed, 1500 identified, The Telegraph, 7 June 2005

[148]. Tribals allege police harassment, The Hindu, 5 July 2005

[149]. 2.20 lakh-bigha tribal land under non-tribal occupation, The Sentinel, 7 April 2005

[150]. 2005 Report of National Crime Records Bureau, Ministry of Home Affairs, available at

[151]. 2005 Report of National Crime Records Bureau, Ministry of Home Affairs, available at

[152]. Dalit lawyers highlight discrimination in judicial system, The Hindu 7 February 2005

[153]. Dalits still being denied basic rights, The Hindu, 4 June 2005

[154]. Untouchability rules beyond city limits, The Deccan Chronicle, 20 July 2005

[155]. Protest demanding measures against atrocities on Dalits, The Deccan Herald, 19 July 2005

[156]. Untouchability rules beyond city limits, The Deccan Chronicle, 20 July 2005

[157]. Caste tag keeps Dalit women away from school kitchens, The Pioneer, 11 January 2005

[158]. Landlords confine 45 dalits in village, The Asian Age, 12 August 2005

[159]. Landlords set 3 houses on fire, The Asian Age, 13 August 2005

[160]. 2005 Report of National Crime Records Bureau, Ministry of Home Affairs, available at

[161]. 200 cops on duty when colony was attacked, The Indian Express, 3 September 2005 

[162]. Dalit NGO for CBI inquiry into Gohana incident, The Times of India, 5 September 2005

[163]. Dalits were attacked with police, admn complicity: Report, The Kashmir Times, 14 September 2005

[164]. No preventive action taken in Gohana, says report, The Times of India, 19 September 2005

[165]. Gohana case: Top officials moved out, The Times of India, 4 September 2005

[166]. Gohana: Police officers suspended, The Hindu, 9 September 2005

[167]. Hooda orders CBI probe - Compensation for Gohana victims hiked to Rs 1 lakh, The Tribune, 6 September 2005

[168]. Dalit youth's murder sparks off tension in Pali district, The Hindu, 20 March 2005

[169]. 3 of Dalit family hacked to death near Ujjain, The Indian Express, 12 July 2005

[170]. Boy tortured by `upper caste' youth, The Hindu, 1 March 2005

[171]. Sironcha Dalit youth beaten up, made to eat faeces; 4 held, The Hitavada, 12 December 2005

[172]. 2005 Report of National Crime Records Bureau, Ministry of Home Affairs, available at

[173]. Dalit woman reported gang-raped in Munger, The Patna Daily, 14 April 2005

[174]. 5-year-old Dalit raped; cops refuse to register case, The Pioneer, 15 June 2005

[175]. RJD leader beats pregnant Dalit woman to death, The Pioneer, 8 August  2005

[176]. Woman paraded naked in Purnia village, The Times of India, 6 May 2005

[177]. Dalit women paraded naked in Orissa, The Deccan Herald, 24 September 2005

[178]. Give back our land, demand tribals, The Hindu, 6 January 2005

[179]. Dalit sena seeks basic amenities for villages, The Deccan Herald, 13 December 2005

[180]. Dalit's suicide puts State in fix, The Deccan Chronicle, 24 August 2005


[182]. National Commission for women, available at

[183]. Arrest warrant against on-run IG, The Telegraph, 6 August 2005

[184]. 4 killed in firing at Salakati - IRB personnel molest college girls in train, The Sentinel, 24 December 2005

[185]. Cop held for raping tribal woman, The Pragativadi, 14 January 2005

[186]. Mumbai shame: Cops rape ragpicker, bar girl in one day, The Times of India,  19 October 2005

[187]. Constable arrested on rape charge, The Statesman, 11 December 2005

[188]. Rapist Delhi cop gets the boot, The Times of India, 18 August 2005

[189]. 4 cops dismissed, seven suspended for gang rape, The Tribune, 11 October 2005

[190]. Marine Rive rape victim gets Rs 3 lakh compensation, The Free Press Journal, 27 September 2005 

[191]. Jawans held for raping housewife, The Asian Age, 7 December 2005

[192]. Girl ends life after being gangraped by militants, The Hitavada, 7 November 2005

[193]. LeT men rape girl, put reward on her head, The Times of India, 16 December 2005

[194]. Sati rumour leaves many hurt in Rajasthan village, The Hindu, 22 March 2005

[195]. Rajasthan tourism's new line: welcome to the state of Sati, The Indian Express, 31 May 2005

[196]. Businessman kills daughter for ‘honour', The Times of India, 8 October 2005 

[197].  “Witch hunt” claims one more life?, The Sentinel, 20 November 2005 

[198]. The Frontline, Volume 22 - Issue 11, 21 May – 3 June 2005 

[199]. Woman lynched for witchcraft, The Deccan Herald, 20 April 2005

[200]. The Frontline, Volume 22 - Issue 11, 21 May – 3 June 2005 

[201].  ‘Witch' hacked, The Telegraph, 7 June 2005 

[202]. One more victim of witch hunting in Tripura, The Assam Tribune, 28 June 2005 

[203]. Couple killed after being branded witches, The Times of India, 15 October 2005 

[204]. Tribal woman hacked to death, The Statesman, 19 November 2005 

[205]. 2 killed for ‘witch craft', The Sentinel, 22 November 2005

[206]. Three killed, one injured for suspected witchcraft, The Free Press Journal, 30 November 2005 

[207]. Husband throws out rape victim, The Times of India, 23 September 2005 


[208]. State-wise Distribution of Working Children according to 1971,1981, 1991 and 2001 Census in the age group 5-14 years, available at



[211]. Lure of UN funds drives NGO to ‘rescue' kids, The Pioneer, 24 November 2005

[212]. HC notice to govt on rehabilitating child labour, The Tribune, 3 December 2005

[213]. Annual Report 2005 of National Crime Records Bureau,

[214]. SOCIAL ISSUES: Trading children, Frontline, Volume 23, Issue 12; 17-30 June 2006,

[215]. State's missing children falling prey to immoral trafficking, The Assam Tribune, 28 September 2005

[216]. Impact of violence on children of J&K State-II, The Kashmir Times, 6 August 2005

[217]. Impact of violence on children of J&K State-II, The Kashmir Times, 6 August 2005

[218]. Minors go the Naxal way, The Deccan Chronicle, 2 February 2005 

[219]. 2 minors along with 6 Naxals surrender, The Deccan Chronicle, 2 February 2005 

[220]. Orphanage set up in Srinagar J&K has 40,000 orphans, The Tribune, 11 June 2005

[221]. Srinagar model orphanage too little & comes too late, The Economic Times, 19 May 2005


[223]. 12-yr-old raped by AR constable, The Sentinel, 10 February 2005 

[224]. Tripura also sees minor girl's rape by jawan, The Asian Age, 11 February 2005  

[225]. Mumbai constable gets boot after rape charges - Cops say More threatened girl before raping her, The Indian Express, 25 April 2005 

[226]. 8-year-old raped in police colony, The Tribune, 6 May 2005

[227]. 2 cops held for rape of minor, The Times of India, 1 August 2005

[228]. Cop charged with raping minor, The Central Chronicle, 19 September 2005

[229]. Cop rapes girl near Mumbai airport, The Indian Express, 19 October 2005

[230]. Cop fired for raping 14-yr-old, The Times of India, 26 December 2005

[231]. Constable molests, kills girl, The Asian Age, 26 September 2005

[232]. Rescued girl alleges rape  - Police ‘shielding' the accused, The Tribune, 7 January 2005 

[233]. HC prods govt on juvenile justice, The Telegraph, 16 July 2005

[234]. It's a long wait for justice at observation homes, The Times of India, 8 September 2005

[235]. Not at home: Children seek way out of custody, The Indian Express, 3 February 2005

[236]. NHRC directs State to enquire into boy's death, The Deccan Herald, 28 January 2005 

[237]. Observation home brutality; ex-SHO gets warrant, The Deccan Herald, 27 May 2005

[238]. Juvenile to identify culprit cop, The Statesman, 6 May 2005

[239]. Juvenile Board accuses police of influencing 12-yr-old victim, The Times of India, 11 July 2005

[240]. Boy tortured, The Shillong Times, 15 February 2005 

[241]. Class IV student given electric shocks by SI?, The Tribune, 20 January 2005 

[242]. Child's torture: police Inspector suspended, The Tribune, 21 January 2005 

[243]. 6 policemen suspended in Haryana, The Times of India, 18 October 2005 

[244]. Cop accused of torturing boy denied bail, The Tribune, 15 January 2005

[245]. Tens of thousands newly displaced in north-eastern and central states, February 2006, Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre

[246]. Assam's paths of violence, BBC, 9 December 2005, available at  

[247]. Ministry of Home Affairs, Annual Report-2005-06,

[248]. India: Tens of thousands newly displaced in north-eastern and central states, IDMC, 9 February 2006

[249]. Brus literacy rate only 10 per cent: Reang, The Shillong Times, 28 July 2005

[250]. Despair in Bru IDP camps in India, ACHR Review,

[251]. First migrants batch likely to return in October, The Kashmir Times, 11 August 2005

[252]. Displaced Kashmiri Pandits - Dreams to go home but skepticism overpowers, The Kashmir Times, 4 June 2005

[253]. Available at “Prison Population Statistics” at NHRC website,

[254]. Prison Statistics & Classification of Prison Population as on  30th April 2006, 

[255]. Available at

[256]. NHRC Annual Report 2004-2005 available at

[257]. Kokrajhar jail authority's apathy adds to inmates' woes, The Assam Tribune, 29 June 2005 

[258]. Jail inmates in Orissa on hungerstrike, The Asian Age, 7 March 2005 

[259]. Prisoners call off hunger-strike, The Statesman, 28 October 2005 

[260]. Orissa jail siege ends, prisoners free staff after talks with SP, The Indian Express, 4 November 2005 

[261]. Kashmir Bar protests against beating up of jail inmates, The Kashmir Times, 11 September 2005

[262]. Central jail inmates complain of lack of medicine, The Newslink, 27 June 2005 

[263]. Keep ailing prisoners away from healthy, NHRC tells Tihar Jail, The Kashmir Times, 12 November 2005 

[264].  “Technicalities cannot outweigh right of undertrial prisoner Patient to healthcare : NHRC”, 16 December 2005, available at

[265]. Prisoner chokes on food, The Telegraph, 12 July 2005 

[266]. Activists demand probe into ULFA advisor's death, Deccan Herald, 1 September 2005  

[267]. Inmates of Nellor jail go on strike, The Deccan Chronicle, 9 September 2005 

[268]. Inmate death hits Birsa jail, The Telegraph, 29 December 2005 

[269]. Inmate death hits Birsa jail, The Telegraph, 29 December 2005 

[270]. Undertrial alleges branding by jail officials in Punjab, The Indian Express, 26 April 2005

[271]. One more prisoner dies in Meerut jail, The Pioneer, 15 April 2005 

[272]. Sub-jail inmate hangs self in Surat, The Times of India, 16 May 2005 

[273]. Prisoner dies, probe ordered, The Tribune, 15 June 2005 

[274]. Undertrial woman dies, cause unknown, The Pioneer, 15 June 2005 

[275]. Prisoner dies under mysterious circumstances, The Tribune, 12 July 2005 

[276]. Prisoners clash with police after suicide by inmate, The Tribune, 26 September 2005

[277]. Prisoner commits suicide in Varanasi, The Times of India, 28 September 2005 

[278]. Prisoner dies in jail, The Tribune, 3 October 2005

[279]. Murder convict ends life in jail, The Deccan Herald, 19 October 2005 

[280]. Tension in Balasore jail after inmate's death, The Statesman, 17 November 2005 

[281]. The figure excludes Jammu and Kashmir and Assam. National Minority Commission, 


[283]. Give control of Bodh Gaya to Buddhists: NCM, The Tribune, 2 April 2005 

[284]. Christian Group wants pastor death probe, The Asian Age, 24 May 2005

[285]. Missing pastor found dead, The Deccan Chronicle, 3 June 2005

[286]. Man held for killing pastors, The Deccan Herald, 27 June 2005

[287]. RSS beats up Christians over Andhra boys on train, The Asian Age, 20 February 2005

[288]. Sangh again stops Christians, The Asian Age, 23 February 2005

[289]. Two-member team to probe Christian attack in Kota, The Pioneer, 25 February 2005

[290]. Church vandalised: Six arrested, The Deccan Herald, 7 May 2005

[291]. Miscreants torch church in Manipur, The Shillong Times, 21 April 2005

[292]. Missionaries beaten up in Maharashtra, The Times, of India, 13 June 2005

[293].  ‘Many poor tribals forced into conversions in MP', The Deccan Herald, 12 July 2005

[294]. In Bengal, VHP's converts go covert, The Indian Express, 21 April 2005

[295]. VHP orchestrates mass reconversion in Orissa, The Deccan Herald, 2 May 2005

[296]. 2 dead, 50 hurt in school blast, The Times of India, 13 May 2005

[297]. Militants slit throats of 5 Hindus, The Pioneer, 30 July 2005

[298]. After quake, it's terror in Rajouri - Militants slit throats of 10 of community, The Tribune, 11 October 2005

[299]. 31 Hindus flee village in Rajouri after threat, The Deccan Chronicle, 24 October 2005

[300]. Ministry of Home Affairs, Annual Report-2005-06,

[301]. Ministry of Home Affairs, Annual Report-2005-06,

[302]. Restore rice subsidy for Lankan refugees, The Pioneer, 26 August 2005

[303]. Ministry of Home Affairs, Annual Report-2005-06,

[304]. Chin-Burmese refugees in India air woes, available at:

[305]. UNHCR's Calendar for 2006


[307]. Militants chop off man's tongue, The Central Chronicle, 15 August 2005 

[308]. Capital's worst terror attacks kill 57, injure 153 just before Diwali, The Hindustan Times, 30 October 2005

[309]. Six killed, 16 injured in Nowgam car bomb explosion, The Kashmir Times, 3 November 2005

[310]. 4 of family shot dead, The Kashmir Times, 1 February 2005

[311]. Militants kill 3 civilians in Mahore, The Kashmir Times, 15 April 2005

[312]. Naxals attack common people, The Hitavada, 1 October 2005

[313]. Naxals massacre 15 in Jharkhand, The Assam Tribune, 13 September 2005

[314]. Naxals kill sarpanch near Aheri, The Hitavada, 29 September 2005

[315]. KYKL claims responsibility for killing ‘drug dealers', The Sentinel, 26 April 2005

[316]. Militants kill 5 in Manipur, The Assam Tribune, 24 April 2005

[317]. Thoubal tobacco traders shot dead, The Telegraph, 2 June 2005

[318]. Maoists gun down Desam activist, The Deccan Chronicle, 20 January 2005

[319]. Naxalites kill kidnapped Baghadongari Sarpanch, The Hitavada, 28 August 2005

[320]. Naxals kill police informer, The Tribune, 31 January 2005

[321]. Maoists kill 2 informers, The Deccan Chronicle, 11 August 2005

[322]. Ultra surrenders - Two civilians killed in Mahore, The Kashmir Times, 13 January 2005

[323]. Ultras behead tribal in J&K, The Statesman, 11 July 2005

[324]. Maoists in AP kill MLA, his son, 8 others, The Deccan Herald, 16 August 2005

[325]. Kashmir Minister shot dead, CPM leader has close shave, The Pioneer, 19 October 2005

[326]. MLA killed in rebel hotbed - Mahendra Singh shot dead in Giridih, The Telegraph, 17 January 2005

[327]. Naxals abduct BRO officer, demand Rs 4 lakh, The Central Chronicle, 21 January 2005

[328]. 5 teachers abducted in Tripura, The Telegraph, 28 July 2005

[329]. Woman teacher released, 2 NLFT rebels held, Tripurainfo, 3 August 2005

[330]. 19 labourers abducted in Orissa, The Central Chronicle, 10 February 2005

[331]. MCC ultras set free 14 labourers, The Pragativadi, 14 February 2005

[332]. On day one, Naxals kidnap 10 villagers, The Indian Express, 9 March 2005

[333]. MIT Principal shot, wounded, The Kanglaonline, 3 March 2005

[334]. Teachers quit due to extortion, The Asian Age, 23 June 2005

[335]. Staff protest rebel diktat  - Manipur workers go on mass leave, The Telegraph, 27 October 2005

[336]. KYKL claims responsibility, The Assam Tribune, 12 November 2005

[337].  ‘ANVC indulging in extortion despite truce', The Sentinel, 4 February 2005

[338]. MIT Principal shot, wounded, The Kanglaonline, 3 March 2005

[339]. Teachers quit due to extortion, The Asian Age, 23 June 2005

[340]. Staff protest rebel diktat  - Manipur workers go on mass leave, The Telegraph, 27 October 2005

[341]. KYKL claims responsibility, The Assam Tribune, 12 November 2005

[342]. Unjustified POTA cases, The Kashmir Times, 5 October 2005

[343]. Under the shadow of a dead Act, The Telegraph, 13 July 2005

[344]. Under the shadow of a dead Act, The Telegraph, 13 July 2005

[345]. Tamil Nadu plea against POTA ordinance referred to Bench, The Hindu, 8 January 2005

[346]. POTA case against scribe quashed, The Pioneer, 22 July 2005

[347]. Gujarat HC stays review by POTA panel, The Deccan Herald, 31 January 2005

[348]. SC vacates stay on POTA panel, The Indian Express, 22 February 2005

[349]. POTA Review Panel finishes hearing in Guj cases,, 19 April 2005,

[350]. Terror angle in Akshardham, not Godhra: POTA panel, The Indian Express, 22 May 2005

[351].  ‘Pota review panel finding not binding on state govt', The Asian Age, 14 April 2005

[352]. Gujarat rejects Pota panel's observations, The Statesman, 11 June 2005

[353]. 135 languishing in jails under POTA, The Free Press Journal, 14 December 2005

[354]. Under the shadow of a dead Act, The Telegraph, 13 July 2005

[355]. Committee finds no Case against Mumbaikar held under POTA, The Hindustan Times, 23 February 2005

[356]. POTA Court rejects Delhi Govt. plea, The Hindu, 27 September 2005

[357]. Under the shadow of a dead Act, The Telegraph, 13 July 2005

[358]. Unjustified POTA cases, The Kashmir Times, 5 October 2005

[359]. Under the shadow of a dead Act, The Telegraph, 13 July 2005

[360]. Ghatkopar blast: All eight accused acquitted, The Hindustan Times, 11 June 2005

[361]. Discharge Petition of POTA accused to come up today, The Free Press Journal, 10 August 2005

[362]. POTA panel asks TN to withdraw Nedumaran case, The Deccan Herald, 3 May 2005

[363]. Youth in jail despite POTA panel advice, The Hindu, 24 August 2005

[364]. 135 languishing in jails under POTA, The Free Press Journal, 14 December 2005

[365]. Ansari acquitted of TADA charges, The Asian Age, 22 April 2005

[366]. 17 Of 51 Tada Prisoners Set To Walk To Freedom, The Kashmir Times, 25 April 2005

[367]. Two-yr jail for separatist- Andrabi Booked Under PSA For Anti-National Activists, The Times of India, 7 September 2005

[368]. Unjustified POTA cases, The Kashmir Times, 5 October 2005

[369]. Govt mulling repeal of armed forces Act, The Tribune, 8 December 2005

[370]. Centre begins review of POTA cases in J&K, The Tribune, 8 September 2005

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