Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee announced today that the term for the Nanavanti Commission probing the 1984 massacres of Sikhs would be extended by one month. The Commission’s term was to expire on December 31.The Commission, which was set up on October 3, 2000, has almost completed its job and it is in the process of […]

Number of deaths in custody rising in Punjab

December 27, 2004 | Comments Off on Number of deaths in custody rising in Punjab

The Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) has reported an increase in the number of deaths of people in custody in Punjab. Justice Jain said as against four custodial death cases filed before the commission in 1997,the figure for the total cases till now stood at 479 cases with 375 being disposed off. The commission […]

Human Rights Groups Propose Draft Bill on Communal Violence

December 27, 2004 | Comments Off on Human Rights Groups Propose Draft Bill on Communal Violence

In late July, the government of Dr. Manmohan Singh proposed a new law to combat communal violence.  In August, a group of human rights activists, jurists, and retired police officials released a draft model law, called the Prevention of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity Act 2004.  In December, another collection of human rights groups proposed […]

Tehelka Says Zaheera Took Money from BJP: Updates on the Best Bakery Case

December 27, 2004 | Comments Off on Tehelka Says Zaheera Took Money from BJP: Updates on the Best Bakery Case

Zaheera Shiekh has dominated the news for the past two weeks, with people speculating over what prompted her to make her second recantation.  In her testimony last week, Zaheera said she saw nothing during the Best Bakery attack: In all six witnesses, among them Ms Sheikh’s mother and two brothers, have now refused to identify […]

Film on 1984 massacre to be released

December 17, 2004 | Comments Off on Film on 1984 massacre to be released

India’s Central Board of Film Certification has approved “Amu” to be released in January after its director, Shonali Bose, agreed to some cuts. “Amu” depicts the 1984 massacre of Sikhs and featured dialogue critical of the Indian government’s response, which the censor board demanded be cut. “I was told that dialogue which speaks of violence against minority […]

On World Human Rights Day, more than five hundred people marched in Srinagar, the summer capital of Kashmir. More than two hundred protesters, representing a faction of the main separatist All Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC), were taken into custody by police. The main procession included a large number of women carrying pictures of a 10-year-old […]

Sentencing for 1984 looting

December 11, 2004 | Comments Off on Sentencing for 1984 looting

A City Court in New Delhi sentenced nine people to three years in prison for looting a shop during the 1984 pogroms of Sikhs that followed the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Sardar Inder Singh Grover and his wife Prakash Kaur came to the capital as refugees in 1947. After years of struggle he […]

Panel reviewing Gujarat pogroms consider using cell phone records

December 11, 2004 | Comments Off on Panel reviewing Gujarat pogroms consider using cell phone records

A.K. Bhargav, Gujarat police chief and head of a committee established by the Supreme Court to investigate closed cases from the 2002 Gujarat pogroms against Muslims, said that he may use recordings of cell phone calls in the investigation. He added that he would discuss it with his officers, and that cell phone records cannot […]

Godhra hearing: police officer fails to turn up

December 11, 2004 | Comments Off on Godhra hearing: police officer fails to turn up

On November 30, Noel Parmar failed to show up before the judicial inquiry commission investigating the 2002 Godhra train massacre and subsequent pogroms of Muslims in Gujarat. The hearing, held by the G.T. Nanavati and K.G. Shah commission, will now be held on December 14. Though the reason for his absence today for the third […]

Lok Sabha passes bill to repeal POTA

December 11, 2004 | Comments Off on Lok Sabha passes bill to repeal POTA

On December 6, the Lok Sabha (lower parliamentary house) approved the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Bill, and approved the bill to repeal the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA). POTA has raised concerns because of issues such as its vague definitions of membership and support for “terrorist organizations,” its lack of pre-trial safeguards, and insufficient guarantees of […]

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