NHRC issues notice to Rajasthan Govt for torture and jailing of Dalits after ‘Bharat Bandh’ protests

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has taken suo motu cognizance of a media report that several people belonging to the Dalit communities were falsely implicated in criminal cases and are languishing in jails without bail in Rajasthan after they allegedly participated in Bharat Bandh organized by the Dalit organizations on 2 April in protest against the Supreme Court order regarding SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

“The Commission has observed that the allegations of illegal arrest, physical torture and implication of people in false criminal cases, if true, raise serious issue of violation of human rights of the victims and is a matter of concern. Accordingly, it has issued a notice to the Chief Secretary, Government of Rajasthan calling for a report in the matter within six weeks with a further direction upon the Director General of Police, Rajasthan to submit action taken report about the alleged police brutality”, the NHRC said in a statement on Friday.

According to the media report dated 18 May, a CRPF jawan, posted in Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir, who had come to attend his sick mother on leave, was allegedly dragged out of his house by the police on 2 April. He was severely beaten up and was not even allowed to put on his slippers. He was implicated in a false case and languishing in jail for almost a month now. His plea for grant of bail has been rejected by the court.

The report also mentioned that on 2 April the police broke open the door of the house of a government school teacher; barged inside and beat him while taking to the police station and from there to jail, the NHRC’s statement said.

“As per the news report, hundreds of other Dalits are also languishing in jails and what they have got is another date on every hearing before the court”, it said.

Earlier on 7 April, BJP parliamentarian Dr Udit Raj had alleged that members of his Dalit community in different parts of the country were being “tortured” in the wake of the violent protests during the ‘Bharat Bandh‘ organized by the Dalit organizations on 2 April.

“Reports are pouring in that those Dalits who participated in agitation on 2 April are being tortured and it must be stopped,” he had said in a tweet on 7 April.

“Dalits r tortured at large scale after 2nd April country wide agitation. People from badmer, jalore, jaipur, gwalior, meerut, bulandshahr, karoli & other parts calling that not only anti reservatists but police also beating &slapping false cases”, he had alleged.

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