Human rights abuses by police in Kashmir are the worst in entire India, State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) Chairman Justice (Retd) Bilal Nazki said Tuesday.
Speaking at a one-day basic training programme on human rights organised by the School of Legal Studies, Central University of Kashmir in association with the National Human Rights Commission, Justice (Retd) Nazki said, “Kashmir is the worst in the context of human rights abuses in whole of India.”
Making confessional statements about the role of SHRC, he said, “SHRC is part of the State establishment.”
Justice (Retd) Nazki served as the Chairman of the Human Rights Commission of Bihar and also heads the Government of India’s committee to review functioning of the Hajj Committee of India and its state units.
Nazki, a retired Chief Justice of Orissa High Court, served as a High Court judge in Kashmir and Jammu, Andhra Pradesh and Bombay.
Using metaphors, the SHRC Chairman said the role of SHRC was like an “inverter” that comes into place where other forums fail while the role of the High Court and the Supreme Court was like a “generator”.
Criticising the State for its failure in safeguarding the interests of widows, old aged, destitute and disable population, he said, “A total of 5 lakh cases of pensions of widows, destitute, old age and disable seeking monthly pension of Rs 1000 under various schemes are pending with the authorities since year 2009 and it was only after the intervention by SHRC that 50,000 such cases had been cleared.”
Justice (Retd) Nazki said the government had even failed the people whose land it had acquired for various public purposes.
“Lakhs of people are not being compensated for the land acquired by the government for various projects,” he said.
Accepting that SHRC was a “toothless tiger”, the SHRC Chairman said, “I agree that we are a toothless institution but people should not forget that every child is born toothless and with the passage of time, the teeth evolve, and same is true in our case.”
However, he was also all praise for commission he heads for making references to the High Court.
“For the first time, SHRC made references to the High Court, which was never done prior to my appointment,” Justice (Retd) Nazki said.
Expressing a grouse that the activities of SHRC were not given due credit as people remain unifocal, he said, “I have been the chairperson of Bihar Human Rights Commission as well, but, over there, I had support of the civil society and the press but Kashmiri civil society and Kashmir media doesn’t play any role here.”
However, SHRC chairman was left speechless when a student responded to him with a question that SHRC too does not play any role when Kashmir media comes under attack.
Justice (Retd) Nazki said in Kashmir no institution be it the executive, the legislature and for that matter even the SHRC had any credibility.
Earlier, delivering the presidential address, CUK Vice Chancellor, Mehrajuddin Mir said forget about human rights even the fundamental rights of the people were being violated every now and then and nobody was raising a voice about it.
Dean School of Legal Studies, Sheikh Showkat Hussain said human rights always become causality within a conflict zone.
He said the varsity had invited resource persons from SHRC, judiciary and other relevant fields and asked participants to gather firsthand information from them regarding the implementation of laws pertaining to human rights and impediments they face.
Faculty members Noor Muhammad Bilal and Nighat Majeed also spoke on the occasion while workshop coordinator Gulafroz Jan conducted the programme proceedings and proposed the vote of thanks.