National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) today asked Maharashtra government to ensure that FIRs are registered on receipt of complaints of atrocities against Dalits.
NHRC chairperson Justice (retd) K G Balkrishnan told reporters here that during the three-day visit of the commission and public hearings on complaints of violations of the rights of Scheduled Castes members, it came to light that in most such cases, police do not register the First Information Report (after which the probe starts).
"We have told the state Chief Secretary and Director General of Police to ensure that FIRs are registered after receiving complaint and then investigate the case," he said, adding that lapses will not be tolerated.
Balkrishnan also said that NGOs told him that State Human Rights Commission Chairperson's post was vacant and then meeting of the State Vigilance Committee had not taken place for a long time.
"The NGOs also told the commission about the subhuman conditions of slum dwellers in Mumbai. We were told that there was massive corruption in the Slum Rehabilitation Scheme and basic amenities are not provided to the slum-dwellers."
Social activist Medha Patkar asked the commission to make an inquiry into the housing rights of Dalits. An NGO pointed out that 'Dispute-Free Village' scheme (under which the villages where no police complaints are received are rewarded) was prejudicial to the interests of the scheduled castes.
About the molestation of women constables during the Azad Maidan violence in Mumbai last year, Justice Balkrishnan said the commission had not received any complaint in this regard.
He also said no complaints were received regarding recent atrocities against Dalits in Satara and Ahmednagar districts.
Justice Balkrishnan also said that the commission had asked the state government to increase the number of courts for speedy trial of cases of atrocities against the scheduled castes.
"We have also emphasised that citizens should not be denied their basic rights if they do not have the Aadhar unique identification number," he said.
The NHRC chairperson also said that the commission was inquiring into the allegations that police targeted Muslims during the recent riots in Dhule in north Maharashtra. "We have taken cognisance of the allegations and inquiry is on," he added.