Manipur Human Rights Commission defunct, NHRC urged to recall all cases

New Delhi, June 11, 2013 --- Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) today urged the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to recall all the pending cases from the defunct Manipur Human Rights Commission (MHRC) and not to forward cases to the State Human Rights Commissions including Manipur Human Rights Commission which have not been functioning because of the lack of quorum.

In a letter to Asian Centre for Human Rights on April 30, 2013, Nungshitombi Athokpam, Deputy Secretary, Manipur Human Rights Commission stated that "the Office of Chairperson and Members of the Manipur Human Rights Commission are vacant after 9.5.2010 till date and not in a position to take up cases. ....Therefore, it is to request you to kindly move the NHRC for recalling the case for further proceeding in the NHRC."

The Deputy Secretary of Manipur Human Rights Commission was replying to the request of the Asian Centre for Human Rights dated 19 March 2013 to inform about the status of the complaint filed by ACHR pertaining to the torture of Nurkamal Sheikh, son of Md. Tomba, at the Khudekpi police outpost under Moirang police station in Bishnupur district of Manipur on 5 September 2011.

Asian Centre for Human Rights had filed a complaint on 16 September 2011 with the NHRC but the NHRC had forwarded it to the Manipur Human Rights Commission vide proceedings dated 17 October 2011.

"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. 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", stated Suhas Chakma, Director of the Asian Centre for Human Rights.

Apart from the case of torture of Mr. Nurkamal Sheikh, NHRC had forwarded various complaints of ACHR to the Manipur Human Rights Commission including NHRC Case No. 27/14/4/08-09 pertaining to the killing of Konsam Rishikanta Singh, sub-editor of Imphal Free Press, an English Daily based in Imphal, by unidentified persons in Imphal West district of Manipur on 17 November 2008; and NHRC Case No. 66/14/12/2010 pertaining to injuries to more than 30 persons, including women, in disproportionate use of force by the police during a protest at Sangaiyumpham under Thoubal Police Station in Thoubal district of Manipur on 19 October 2010. [ANI]

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