On October 9th, 2006, the Indian National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) effectively ended its consideration of the Punjab mass cremations case, arbitrarily compensating 1,245 victim families and establishing another commission of inquiry. Among its many failings in the case, the NHRC refused to investigate a single cremation, thus making any compensation arbitrary and inadequate. Moreover, the NHRC failed to hold any officials accountable for the victims’ deaths.
Ensaaf’s summary report, India Burning the Rule of Law (pdf), describes the history and legal proceedings in the Punjab mass cremations case. The ultimate resolution of the case will serve as precedent for victims of mass state crimes throughout India and will give content to the rights to life and redress. Ensaaf is working in partnership with the Committee for Information and Initiative on Punjab, an original petitioner in the case, to challenge the NHRC’s ten-year denial of justice and create precedent based on international human rights and Indian law.