The Chairman of the Karnataka State Human Rights Commission (SHRC), S.R. Nayak, on Tuesday accused the Government of deliberately depriving facilities to the commission so that the Government’s violations of human rights are not exposed.
Mr. Nayak was responding to a comment made by a person while submitting a complaint at the Deputy Commissioner’s office here that people’s representations to the commission hardly reached their logical end.
An enraged Mr. Nayak said the silence of the Government over the repeated letters from the commission had led him to conclude that the Government was ensuring that the commission does not do much work. It (the Government) feared that increased activities of the commission could expose the Government and its functionaries, he said.
Mr. Nayak said the Government had not posted an Inspector-General of Police (IGP) for the last two months, though the commission had proposed two names. As a result, the judicial officer (the commission’s Registrar) was acting as the IGP. The commission was forced to get investigation done through this official. He said the Government could have continued the service of the previous IGP but he was promoted. “All our letters are lying with the Government,” he said.
Mr. Nayak alleged that violations are rampant in police stations in Bangalore. People are held in police stations for months together even to this day, he alleged. He said he was sure of finding something like this in Mangalore too, if he visited the police stations. But he had no staff to bring all such violations to book, he said.
Mr. Nayak pointed out that when he took over in July 2007, Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, who was then the Deputy Chief Minister, along with the other Ministers had promised that the SHRC units would be set up in all the districts. Let alone setting up the units in the districts, the Government has ignored the proposal of the commission to set up units in at least six ranges (divisions for police administration). “The Government is sleeping,” Mr. Nayak alleged.
Earlier, Mr. Nayak advised Muslim representatives, who submitted a formal complaint with regard to the ban on headscarf at SVS College in Bantwal, to foster harmony in the coastal region. He said Hindus and Muslims lived with true harmony in the region earlier. Stating that he grew up in the region, he said all leaders in the region should unite to restore amity and peace.
Mr. Nayak regretted that children were being taught “how to hate not how to love”. He said the fact that a representative of a minority community cannot attend the wedding of a member of the majority community is a “serious situation” for everyone who believes in the country’s secular principles. So it is to those who respect the sacrifices of freedom fighters and those who believe in the supremacy of law, he said.
The students of Meridian College submitted a complaint alleging that the college was demanding from them higher fee than that recommended. They said about 25 students of the college, selected for merit seats to take up Master of Social Work course in the college, were being asked to pay Rs. 44,000 as against Rs. 16,800, the fee fixed for merit seats. The students alleged that such instances could be found in many colleges.