NHRC notice to Kerala on minister`s remarks against protester

The National Human Rights Commission on Monday issued notice to the Kerala government after a woman who is protesting against sand mafia alleged that the state revenue minister made defamatory comments against her.

PTI| Last Updated: Nov 19, 2013, 00:08 AM IST

New Delhi: The National Human Rights Commission on Monday issued notice to the Kerala government after a woman who is protesting against sand mafia alleged that the state revenue minister made defamatory comments against her.

According to a statement issued by NHRC today, the commission has issued a notice to the Secretary of Revenue Department in Kerala asking for state government`s response on the complaint by the woman Jazeera V within four weeks.

The woman alleged that Kerala Revenue Minister Adoor Prakash has made baseless and defamatory allegations against her in the wake of her agitation against sand mafia and action taken report sought by the NHRC from the state on the issues raised by her.

The Revenue Minister had allegedly said that "she connection with terrorist organisations" and that she "got financial support from a fundamental outfit".

In her complaint dated November 4, Jazeera has stated that she had met the Minister in person and demanded in writing that either he should prove the allegations or withdraw them.
Since no response has come from the Minister even after two weeks, she has requested the Commission to ensure she gets justice in the matter.

The Commission observed that if the allegations of Jazeera are correct, she indeed would be feeling hurt and aggrieved.

The statements attributed to the Minister amount to attempt to malign a citizen who, in exercise of her fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression, is agitating against the illegal mining of sand from riverbeds and seashores of Kerala.

The Commission asked the Secretary, Revenue Department that if the statements attributed to the Minister are correct, Government may furnish the materials to support the statements within four weeks.