“Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan continue to register the largest number of cases reported on bonded labour from across India,” noted National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) member Justice (Retd) B. C. Patel while speaking on Friday at a meet on bonded labour and encounters by police in India.

Mr. Justice Patel noted that often in the case of bonded labour people do not want to follow laws because exploitation is the motive. “There is often no transparency of the loans given to labourers and the pay they get. The law imposes responsibility on the owners to take care of the employees working with him which is rarely done,” he added.

Justice Patel also noted that the Commission has received almost 1,700 complaints of alleged encounters by police across the country since 1993 with Uttar Pradesh topping the list.

“We aren’t getting adequate assistance from State executives in disposing encounter cases with several officials opting not to adhere to established rules and practices. With regard to encounters intimated by police, again Uttar Pradesh tops the list with 948 cases followed by Assam (229), Maharashtra (124) and Andhra Pradesh (120). If officers with the State Government follow the recommendation process honestly, then the issue of handling the cases and providing compensation will be easy. Not all officers are discharging their duties in accordance with the law,” added Mr. Justice Patel.

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