Security forces should not adopt `eye for eye` theory: NHRC
Kolkata: National Human Rights Commission member Satyabrata Pal has said that security forces should not follow the `eye for an eye` theory while combating the Naxal menace.
"Just because they (Maoists) have no compunctions in annihilating people, security forces cannot adopt a similar approach. It cannot be the rule of the game for our forces," Pal said here referring to the death of 12 Maoists in a past encounter in a state, which he would not name.
"Although 12 Naxalites were cited as being killed in the gunbattle, NHRC found that actually eight had died in the exchange of bullets. The rest four were executed by forces after taking them to custody. Shouldn`t they be tried under law?" the ex-diplomat said.
Pal, a former envoy to Pakistan, was delivering his key note lecture on `An empty cup, human rights in the new India` on the eve of the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, organised by Netaji Research Bureau last night.
"Extra-judicial killings, torture or wrongful imprisonment are crimes. But they take place far more frequently than they should," the former diplomat said, adding the opinions were his individual ones.
"Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said the challenges from naxals is the most serious threat to the country`s internal security, but isn`t it more than that?," he asked.
He said the Maoist issue was more complicated in the mineral-rich tribal areas.
While exploiting mineral resources is one of the paths for growth and eradicating poverty, attention should be paid to the tribals who inhabit the areas, he said and referred to the Niyamgiri Hills, worshipped by the Gond tribes, where bauxite was being mined by a private company before being ordered to stop by the Supreme Court.
"A vicious cycle has been set in motion. The denial of economic and social rights bred Naxalism," he said.
Pal said democracy can be subverted to undermine human rights. "There have been acts of violence by military units and personnel against innocent citizens in Jammu and Kashmir, while in Assam commissions of inquiry have found some complaints of similar cases were true."
A host of dignitaries including Krishna Bose, member of the Bose family and former MP, Chief Mentor of Infosys Naryan Murthy and senior lawyer Bikash Bhattacharjee were present at the occasion.
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