With OHRC top post falling vacant, concerns raised over protection of human rights

Bhubaneswar: After the tenure of Justice Bira Kishore Mishra, the acting chairman of the Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC), ended on Thursday, concerns are being raised over the thousands of pending cases.

With Mishra’s retirement, OHRC is without any active jury in its three-member panel.

According to sources, there are more than 10,000 cases pending before the OHRC.

“For suo motu cognizance of cases, presence of two members is required. Such cases are currently on stay. A full-fledged Commission should run,” Justice Bira Kishore Mishra said.

“This is a unique case where the human rights body is vacant. Chief Minister is completely responsible for this,” Human Rights activist Bishwapriya Kanungo said.

Former Pradesh Congress Committee president, Jaydev Jena alleged that the State government doesn’t consider the Human Rights Commission important.

“There is no significance of Human Rights Commission before the BJD government that’s why they are not appointing a new chairman,” Jena said.

Similarly, Odisha BJP Vice-president Samir Mohanty said the people of Odisha will suffer because of this.

“If someone becomes victim of police atrocity then there will be nobody to help. There will be no other way for such victims to get justice,” Mohanty said.

On the other hand, ruling BJD vice-president Debi Prasad Mishra has defended the State government and said,” The government doesn’t want any cases to be ignored. It is taking steps to fill the vacant post as soon as possible.”