Either the violation of human rights by the police machinery is rising or more people are coming forward to report such violations.
For,reports of violation of human rights,resulting primarily out of harassment from the police machinery,has been on a steady rise since 2001,at an alarming speed. Since its inception in 2001,the complaints received by the State Human Rights Commission has increased almost six-fold. The rate of disposal of pending cases has also shown a similar increase.
Commission chairperson and former Chief Justice of Bombay High Court Kshitij Vyas said,Almost 80 per cent of cases we receive are against police for harassments and custodial deaths.
While the number of fresh complaints received has increased from 1,454 to 6,473 between 2001 and April 2008,the cases disposed have substantially increased from 538 to 5,974. In a span of just six months (April – October 2008),the commission has received 4,723 complaints,of which 4,744 have been disposed of.
According to Vyas,the disposal rate has gone up since the past one year. The commission is now reaching out to people by holding camps in far-off districts to make it convenient for them. They can thus save their cost of transport,lodging and other expenses, he said. Such camps also see 100 per cent attendance and the disposal rate is high.
The commission members had organised camps at places like Nanded,Sangli,Kolhapur,Chandarpur,Satara,Nagpur and Amravati. Recently I had gone for one such camp with 48 cases and succeeded in disposing of 43 cases, Justice Vyas said. He said though such camps were organised earlier also,the frequency has increased now.
Since January,the commission has also been publishing a magazine,Maharashtra Rights Path,detailing the commissions work,important cases and its other activities.