Over 900 cases of human rights violation in various forms, including that of by men in uniform, are still pending before the Assam Human Rights Commission (AHRC).
This can be attributed to the pace of probes and the acute shortage of manpower in the commission.
Though Union home minister Rajnath Singh earlier assured the provision of infrastructure, and financial and human resources to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) as well as the state commissions.
He had also said the recommendations of the Justice GP Mathur Committee would be considered. The promises, however, are yet to be fulfilled.
“As per the Mathur Committee recommendations, every state human rights commission should comprise at least 100 human resources. However, AHRC barely has some 30-32. Some of the vital positions are lying vacant including that of a member,” AHRC sources said.
Sources added that the current chairperson and one member are likely to retire by the end of this year.
“Though a separate research and law wing should be set up in every state human rights commission, the AHRC has none of these provisions. The NHRC and state human right commissions are autonomous bodies and not government departments and the PHR Act, 1993, does not permit direct or indirect interference by governments in their functioning. However, the quality and the quantity of the activities of the Commissions depend on the attitude and support of the concerned government and its response to their recommendations,” it said.
Official statistics highlight the plight of the AHRC.
Till May 2016, some 945 cases (including cases from earlier years) of human rights violation were pending before the AHRC since 1999-2000.
“In 1999-2000, only 29 cases were pending. Over the years, public awareness has increased. The commission took suo motu cognizance of media reports of several incidents of human rights violations. But without strengthening the commissions, the desired goal will not be achieved,” an AHRC official said.