PUCL Bulletin, 2001

State terrorism and human rights

PUCL Ballia, UP organized a seminar on 'State terrorism and Human Rights' held at 5 criminal lawyers 'Association Building in the civil court campus. Mr. Chittaranjan Singh, Vice-President of UP PUCL was the Chief Guest of the function. It was presided over by Mr. Ajai Kumar Singh, Senior advocate and former President of PUCL Ballia.

Addressing advocates, journalists and social activists, Mr. Chittaranjan Singh said, " whenever the question of human rights comes to the forefront, a good section of public generally closes their eyes in such a callous way that nothing at all happened there". But call of the hour is to change this pathetic behaviour of society. It is necessary to be sensitive towards movements for minimum wages and other constitutional rights of our fellow citizens. Discussing State terror and fake encounters by police, Mr. Singh emphasized the role and relevance of human rights movement and activity for civil liberties in India, especially backward areas of the country. He pointed out Congress after Independence as the main agency who led the country to such a shameful situation where common people are deprived of their rights guaranteed by the law; the economic disparity among people widened and this was much responsible for many problems of the society. Instead of opening new vistas for democratic forum, and dialogue and dialogues on Kashmir crisis, our government sends the para military forces and the whole action by State goes against common men in many cases, said Mr. Singh defining the origin of terrorism.

In the Presidential address, Mr. Ajai Kumar Singh indicated the hijacking of JP Birth Century celebration at JP Nagar by anti JP elements and agencies. He said that committed people who work for a cause should organize such function. He said that since the early days of civilization, there had been violence by people against the State to fight for their human rights. In any civilized and democratic society, Mr. Singh advocated the right to dissent. He said that before independence persons like Mahatma Gandhi and Bhagat Singh had criticized the British rule. It was a rule according to the law and both said that law had itself become unlawful.

He also advocated the right of self-determination in case of nationalities, in the case of demand of autonomy in some regions to solve the problem of terrorism and to fulfill the desires of the local people. -- Dr. Akhilesh Kumar Sinha, Convenor, PUCL, Ballia, UP

(This seminar was held to commemorate 25 years of PUCL)

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