Nearly 40 per cent of human rights violation cases lodged annually by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in the past three years till October 2021 were from Uttar Pradesh, the data by the Ministry of Home Affairs said.
In response to DMK MP M Shanmugam’s question of whether human rights violation cases were on the rise, Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai said it was the NHRC that was mandated to investigate and compile information regarding such violations.
According to the data shared by the government, the NHRC has registered 64,170 cases of human rights violations this year as of 31 October.
The data shows a decline in the number of cases registered in the last three years. The number of cases registered in 2018, 2019 and 2020 are 89,584,76,628 and 74,968, respectively.
The government told Rajya Sabha that there is no increase in the country.
“As per the data made available by the NHRC, no such increase of human rights violations is noticed,” Rai said.
Amnesty International, in its 2020 report, said the “freedom of expression was guaranteed selectively, and dissent was repressed through unlawful restrictions on peaceful protests and by silencing critics.
“Human rights defenders, including students, academics, journalists, and artists, were arbitrarily arrested, often without charge or trial. Despite a Supreme Court ruling to reduce prison overcrowding to curb the spread of COVID-19, the authorities continued to incarcerate many who were critical of the government.”
On 26 June, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights called on India to immediately release human rights defenders who had been arrested for protesting against the CAA. However, the majority remained in detention at the end of the year.
The report particularly highlighted the state of affairs in Uttar Pradesh, when the “UP Police arbitrarily arrested 10 Muslim men under a law introduced by the Uttar Pradesh Government that targets consensual interfaith marriages, and allegedly tortured them.”