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US human rights report slams India for abuses by police, security forces

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 10 February 2017, 1:50 IST

A report on human rights published by the US State Department says that abuses by the police

and security forces are the chief problem in this area in India.

According to the US State Department's 2015 Country Reports on Human Rights Practises, "The most significant human

rightsproblems involved police and security force abuses, including extra-judicial killings, torture, and rape; corruption remained widespread and contributed to ineffective responses to crimes, including those against women, children and members of scheduled castes or tribes; and societal violence based on gender, religious affiliation, and caste or tribe."

The report was released by Secretary of State John Kerry in

Washington, according to NDTV. Kerry wrote in the report's preface: "The frequently grim examples detailed in this report strengthen our resolve to promote fundamental freedoms, to support human rights defenders and to document and promote accountability forviolationsof human rights."

Lack of justice related to the 2002 Gujarat riots still features hugely in the report. "Civil society activists continued to express concern about the Gujarat government's failure to hold

accountablethose responsible for the 2002 communal violence in Gujarat that resulted in the deaths of more than 1,200 persons, the majority of whom were Muslim," the report says.


September16, the Gujarat High Court's acting Chief Justice assembled a new bench to hear the appeals from Maya Kodnani, Babu Bajrangi, along with others who authorities had sentenced to imprisonment for their role in the 2002 Gujarat riots. This was the fifth bench to hear these petitions," continues the report.

The report says that "lack of accountability" for misconduct at all levels of

governmentpersisted, contributing to widespread impunity. Investigations and prosecutions of individual cases took place but lax enforcement, a shortage of trained police officers and an overburdened and under resourced court system contributed to infrequent convictions.

"Separatist insurgents and terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir, the northeastern states and the Maoist belt

committed serious abuses, including killings of armed forces personnel, police, government officials and civilians. Insurgents were responsible for numerous cases of kidnapping, torture, rape, extortion and the use of child soldiers," the report says.

Disappearances, hazardous prison

conditions, arbitrary arrest anddetentionand lengthy pretrial detention are also big human rights abuses in India, says the report.

Court backlogs delayed or denied justice, including through lengthy pretrial detention and denial of due process.

First published: 14 April 2016, 10:08 IST