Manipur: NHRC urged to recall cases from defunct human rights commission

New Delhi -  Citing the continued vacancy of key posts and lack of quorum, a noted human rights group -Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) - on Tuesday urged the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to recall all the pending cases from the defunct Manipur Human Rights Commission (MHRC) and urged it not forward anymore cases to the State’s rights body.

Referring to a letter from the Deputy Secretary of Manipur Human Rights Commission, Suhas Chakma, director of the ACHR said that the non-appointment of the Chairperson and the members of the MHRC by the State Government of Manipur is scandalous and shows that the State Government has no interest to protect human rights.

In his letter sent to the ACHR, the Deputy Secretary of MHRC reportedly stated that the Office of Chairperson and Members of the Manipur Human Rights Commission are vacant since 9 May 2010 and not in a position to take up cases.

Further he (Deputy Secretary) reportedly appealed to the ACHR to move the NHRC for further proceedings of a case filed by the ACHR.

At the same time, forwarding complaints to the defunct MHRC is meaningless as the victims are effectively denied justice and made to live in false hope, said Chakma.

The Deputy Secretary of MHRC was replying to the request of the ACHR dated 19 March 2013 to inform about the status of the complaint filed by it pertaining to the torture of Nurkamal Sheikh at the Khudekpi police outpost under Moirang police station in Bishnupur district of Manipur on 5 September 2011.

The ACHR had filed a complaint on 16 September 2011 with the NHRC but the NHRC had forwarded it to the Manipur Human Rights Commission on 17 October 2011.

Apart from the case of torture of Nurkamal Sheikh, the NHRC is said to have forwarded various complaints filed by ACHR to the Manipur Human Rights Commission including cases pertaining to the killing of Konsam Rishikanta Singh, Sub-editor of Imphal Free Press and about disproportionate use of force by the police on protestors at Sangaiyumpham wherein 30 persons, including women, had injured.

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