Bhubaneswar: Unable to come to the rescue of people sandwiched between Maoists and security personnel in different LWE-hit areas, NHRC today sought amendment in The Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993.
Speaking at the end of the commission's three-day camp and open session here, NHRC Chairperson Justice H L Dattu said, "There should be amendment in the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 so that the commission can take action against officials who ignore its recommendations."
"The commission should have the power to start proceedings against officials ignoring recommendations," he told newsmen admitting that NHRC has ended up only as a recommending body.
Since its inception in 1993, NHRC has provided justice, liberty and equality to many victims of human rights violation, he said.
On a question on the plight of people sandwiched between the Maoists and the police, Justice Dattu said, "Situation is gradually changing. The chief secretary of Odisha has informed me that incidents of Left Wing Extremism are reported from certain pockets of only two districts. Gradually, things will improve."
Asked about how NHRC could come to the rescue of innocent people caught between Maoists and police, Justice Dattu said, "The government has been working to improve situation in the Maoist-hit areas. Things may not change overnight."
Speaking on imprisonment of certain tribal people on the basis of alleged false cases, Justice Dattu said, "The commission will act if it gets complaints in this regard. Publish these in newspapers and bring them to our notice."
The commission observed that its recommendation to include human rights in the school curriculum has been accepted by CBSE. Odisha Chief Secretary A P Padhi said he has informed the commission that the state will include human rights as a subject in the schools from 2018-19 academic year.
Justice Dattu also said the Commission last year took at least 350 cases suo motu and issued notice to authorities, some of which have been responded.
He said the commission has made certain recommendations to the state government on the issues relating to the food security, rehabilitation of bonded labourers, issuance of case certificates, atrocities in police stations and others.