People’s Watch, a Madurai-based Human Rights Organisation, has welcomed the Tamil Nadu State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) order that recommended the State government to pay compensation of ₹ 5 lakh each to 15 victims in an alleged case of rape of four women by four policemen attached to the Tirukoilur station in November 2011. The SHRC has also recommended departmental action be taken against the four policemen.
“It is appreciated that not only compensation was recommended but the commission has also directed speedy departmental action against the police officials in three months and the immediate filing of a final report in the criminal case registered against the policemen”, said People’s Watch Executive Director Henri Tiphagne.
People’s Watch demands that the government not only pays the SHRC ordered compensation of ₹ 75,00,000 but also ensure that disciplinary action is completed within the stipulated time, the chargesheet against the policemen is laid immediately and trial completed as contemplated under the SC/ST PoA Act, 2016 within the next three months.
The case needs a public condemnation of such continuing atrocities and should serve as a wake-up call to all IGs and the ADGP (L&O) of Tamil Nadu so that these acts of violence by our uniformed services are not continued, Mr. Henri Tiphagne said.
However, he said that it was appalled to also note that it has taken 10 years for such an important complaint to be completed by the SHRC.
Pointing out that there were more than 30 vacancies in the staff members, People’s Watch appealed to the Chief Minister that there was a need for a robust, well-staffed, well-funded, well-trained and financially well supported State Human Rights Commission (SHRC), State Commission for Women (SCW), State Commission for Minorities (SCM), State Commission for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SCPCR), State Commission for SC/STs (SC SC/STs), State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities (SCPwDs) and a State Information Commission (SIC).
We no longer need namesake commissions but independent, diverse, accountable, effective and transparent State Human Rights Institutions (SHRIs) which adhere to the UN Guidelines known as the Paris Principles, 1991, he said.