Trend of rising torture based on religion, caste and gender trigger a sense of alarm

Published 18.12.2013
An interface meeting with the Parliamentarian, policy makers and political parties on the issue of Muslim minority in Uttar Pradesh were held on December 9.

The meeting was organised  by  People's  Vigilance  Committee  on  Human  Rights (PVCHR), Varanasi and Human Rights Law Network (HRLN), New Delhi with
the  support  from  the European  Union  and  DIGNITY  on  the  "International  Human  Rights  defenders'  Day"  and  eve  of  "World Human  Rights  Day".

The  program  included this key note speech by Lenin Raghuvanshi, General Secretary, PVCHR.

"In  ancient republics,  torture  was  tied  to  citizenship.  Torture  was  inflicted  exclusively  on non-  citizens  like  slaves,  barbarians  and  foreigners.  As  an  instrument  of demarcation,  torture  delineates  the  boundary  between  slaves  and  free, between  the  touchable  bodies  of  free  citizens  and  untouchable  bodies  of  the slaves. It is unimaginable that modern democracies like India are as weak as Athenian  democracy  and  the  prevalence  of  practice  of  torture  resemble  the Athenian model. Today torture victim include not only terrorists and criminalsbut  street  children,  migrants,  socially  marginalized  group s  and  religiously discriminated  communities.  All  of  them  now  fall  into  the  class  of  quasi citizens.  It is time to break conspiracy of silence.

The trend of rising torture based on religion, caste and gender trigger a sense of  alarm  in  the  minds  of  all  civilized  people  of  this  country.  The  fight  against impunity  should  be  made  the  cornerstone  of  a  serious  approach  to  the eradication  of  torture. In  addition  to  the  criminalization  of  torture,  it  is therefore essential  that  India develops mechanisms  to guarantee  the fairness and effectiveness of inquiries.

In  the south  Asia  region,  spate  of  organised  violence,  police  torture,
discrimination, physical and psychological attacks on religious minorities have
emerged as a real threat for the pluralist and secular democracies. Attacks on
Hindu  and  Christian  communities  in  Pakistan  and  Bangladesh  and  targeting
of Muslim  and Christian communities  in  India  are being  increasingly used  as
a  political  weapon  by  the  communal  and  fascist  forces."

Documentary on police and muslims
After  the  keynote the documentary "Muslim  &  Police:  A
" were screened.

New book mapping police torture
Also a new book were presented at the meeting. The  book "Repression,  Despair  and  Hope" identifies the patterns of torture and injustice against the Indian Muslim minorities. It maps police  torture  in four  districts  of  Uttar  Pradesh.

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