The Karnataka State Human Rights Commission (KSHRC) itself has violated human rights by not registering a suo motu case against the police for torturing a minor on the charges of committing theft, human rights activists have alleged.
Activist Siddalinge Gowda noted that the boy had to go to the KSHRC office to lodge a complaint about the incident even though he was not able to walk because of the assault.
This amounts to human rights violation, he reasoned. He said that ideally, the KSHRC should have registered a suo motu complaint, but that did not happen as the body does not have a chairperson.
He added that in serious cases, powers are given to the human rights body’s in-charge, but it was not done regarding the attack on Suresh (name changed). He said the in-charge can be a member, secretary or investigation head, but none of them responded in this case.
Gowda said he has registered a complaint against city police commissioner BG Jyothi Prakash Mirji, the then DCP (West) SN Sidramappa, the sub-division’s ACP, and the staff members of Kamakshipalya police station.
He said the police commissioner has suspended the inspector concerned, but mere suspension is not the solution. He said the services of the guilty policemen should be terminated. He said the police had no right to torture the 16-year-old even if he had committed a wrongdoing. He added that he has sent a letter in this regard to the DG&IGP too.
Suresh has met KSHRC officials, the chief minister and Lokayukta officials, and filed a complaint against the Kamakshipalya police. He was promised that serious action would be taken against the erring police officials.
Headless, toothless KSHRC
KSHRC registrar KH Malleshappa confirmed that the human rights body did not register a suo motu case. He explained that the KSHRC cannot lodge a complaint on its own as it does not have a chairperson. He added that in the given circumstances, the organisation can only receive complaints; it has no powers to investigate them.
Gowda lashed out at the KSHRC’s sorry state of affairs. He asked of what use the organisation is if it cannot discharge its duties. He said the government has to take some initiative and appoint its chairperson immediately. He noted that the police’s atrocity on a 16-year-old is a gross violation of human rights.
The organisation that was supposed to give him justice is headless, and thus toothless, for about four months now.