Don’t harass people from North East: HC tells Delhi Police

The Delhi High Court stepped in on Thursday to ensure protection of human rights of all individuals,including protesting Tibetans,and restrained the police from treating those detained as criminals and lodging them in Tihar Jail.

Written by Utkarsh Anand | New Delhi | Published: March 30, 2012 1:55 am

A day after a Tibetan succumbed to his injuries after he set himself ablaze ahead of Chinese President Hu Jintao’s visit to the Capital for the BRICS summit,the Delhi High Court stepped in on Thursday to ensure protection of human rights of all individuals,including protesting Tibetans,and restrained the police from treating those detained as criminals and lodging them in Tihar Jail.

A Bench of Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw also ordered the police to immediately stop “indiscriminate hounding of Tibetans in the national capital”,and asked them to immediately shift the detained persons from Tihar to Ambedkar Bhawan if they were not released by Friday morning.

“They are not criminals and cannot be treated like them. All of them have been arrested under a preventive order. It is the duty of the police not to harass people in the name of maintaining law and order in the city,” said the bench.

Advocate Anant K Asthana and other lawyers had brought up the issue before the bench on Thursday morning,seeking imminent attention of the court. They pleaded a judicial order was required to ensure that basic human rights of the individuals are not violated.

The application alleged that the police had resorted to indiscriminate hounding and were not only questioning but also detaining all those who they thought had “Tibetan features.”

“People from India’s Northeastern states and those from Ladakh are scared to step out of their houses while police go on the rampage to detain and arrest everyone who has any resemblance with Tibetans,” Asthana contended.

Taking on record his submissions,the court had subsequently called upon Pawan Sharma,the standing counsel for Delhi Police,and asked him about the police actions.

Sharma assured the court that he will pass on all requisite directives to the department,and will ensure there was no harassment. “We will also release all those detained at 10.45 am tomorrow morning,” he told the court.

The court also permitted a group of lawyers to meet those persons who were arrested and lodged in Tihar Jail,or detained in police stations,to find out whether they are from Tibet or the Northeast,and also separate the juveniles from them.

The court,however,refused to restrain police from detaining the Tibetan protesters to maintain law and order.

Two days before Chinese President Jintao’s scheduled arrival in Delhi for the BRICS summit,27-year-old Tibetan activist,Jampel Yeshi,had immolated himself during a protest at Jantar Mantar. He died on Wednesday.

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