PUCL, January 2004
[Published in PUCL Bulletin, March 204 ]

Transparency in arrests

-- By Pushkar Raj, General Secretary PUCL-Delhi

The special cell of Delhi police after manhandling children and women picked up six youths on Tuesday from Shastri Park, under Seelam Pur police station in trans yamuna area. They neither gave their identity nor showed modicum of civility. Even the social worker that included students and a teacher from St. Stephens College were not spared.

When we approached the head of local police station next day, though sympathetic to our concern, he expressed his inability to do any thing in the matter.

On the next day it was reported in the newspaper that a Kashmiri militant has been arrested. He is reported to have in possession explosives and cash. No human rights watch agency is taken into confidence. No transparency whatsoever; it is police’s word against the accused men.

When out of a blue encounters take place and human rights activists cry foul the concerned authorities are agitated and accuse the former of being sympathetic to militants.

As a responsible human rights organization PUCL-Delhi remains strongly committed against any form of terrorist manifestation, whatever its causes and objectives. However the law enforcing agencies would do a great service to the cause of human rights and national interest and integrity if they take into confidence NHRC or some credible human rights organization when such arrests are executed.

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