NHRC had closed case, recommending ₹1 lakh in compensation for 13 persons who had been implicated in false cases.
Almost six months after the National Human Rights Commission’s (NHRC) recommendation, the Chhattisgarh government is yet to compensate a group of rights defenders, including Jawaharlal Nehru University professor Archana Prasad and Delhi University professor Nandini Sundar, implicated in false cases in 2016.
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The NHRC had taken suo motu cognisance in 2016 of the harassment faced by rights lawyers and academics working in Bastar, Chhattisgarh, at the hands of the police, including burning of their effigies by the Chhatisgarh Auxiliary Police. On February 13, it closed the case, recommending ₹1 lakh in compensation for the 13 human rights defenders who had been implicated in false cases. The Chhattisgarh Chief Secretary was asked to make the payments and file a compliance report within six weeks.
“In our considered opinion, these persons would have certainly suffered a great mental pain and agony as a result of registration of false FIRs against them by the police, which is a violation of their human rights and for this the State Government should compensate them,” the NHRC proceedings read.
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In a statement on Thursday, six of the rights defenders, Profesors Sundar and Prasad, Manju Kawasi, Vineet Tiwari, Sanjay Parate and Mangla Ram Karma, said they welcomed the NHRC’s decision.
“We welcome the NHRC order and hope that the Chhattisgarh government will act promptly to redress the reputational loss and mental agony suffered by us. We hope that the police officials responsible for filing false charges against us, especially then Inspector General of Bastar S.R.P. Kalluri will be investigated and prosecuted,” the statement read.
Professor Sundar said neither she nor any of the others affected were yet to receive any communication from the NHRC on the compensation. In fact, the Peoples’ Union for Civil Liberties, which had taken up the case, only received the NHRC’s letter dated March 13 informing it of the decision in July.
In the same case, the NHRC also recommended compensation for a group of seven lawyers from Telangana who had been accused and later acquitted of “false charges”.
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