A bulk of the human rights violations in the State refer to police atrocities; if the police follow procedure, the violations in the State will reduce drastically, he said.

A bulk of the human rights violations in the State refer to police atrocities; if the police follow procedure, the violations in the State will reduce drastically, said C.G. Hungund, Member of Karnataka State Human Rights Commission, here on Sunday.

Delivering a talk at ‘Praja dharma’, a convention of human rights awareness held here, Mr. Hungund estimated that up to 70 per cent of the complaints in Bangalore were of police atrocities, while up to 50 per cent of the complaints in other districts involved the police department.

“I don’t agree with the contention that human rights comes in the way of the police maintaining law and order. All we ask for is that they follow procedure during arrest. Illegal custody occurs as the police believe it is the only way to maintain peace,” said Mr. Hungund, and added that there was a need to sensitise officers who believed that human rights was low priority.

The KHRC member said modernisation and privatisation had led to issues such as female foeticide, enforcement of the Right to Education Act, and bonded labour — albeit existing in a “concealed form” of low wages and lack of benefits – and inter-country adoption, which amounted to “human trafficking” – that continued to persist in the state and needed the attention of human rights activists. “Violations such as moral policing come out of modernisation and deviation from our culture,” said Mr. Hungund.

U.T. Khader, Minister of Health and Family Welfare, believed that using “human rights” as an excuse to release anti-social elements came in the way of police functioning. “Yes, there are numerous cases of police not taking complaints and other violations. But, there are cases when their hands have been tied after the culprit starts to take shield under human rights,” he said .

The programme, organised by the nongovernmental organisation Human Rights Federation of India, also saw eight activists from Uttara Kannada, Hassan, Udupi, Chikmagalur, Shimoga and Dakshina Kannada being felicitated for their roles in addressing human rights violations.

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