Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Editorial, 'TORTURE REPREHENSIBLE', in LAW ANIMATED WORLD, Vol. 8, Part 1, No. 3, 15 February 2012 issue

is allegedly widely used in our governments’ campaigns against armed opposition groups, especially against those of Naxalite/Maoist type. Then, there are counter allegations too of the terrific torture/violence indulged in by many such opposition groups, as per the well-compiled work of Kathrin Wessendorf (The Indigenous World 2009, Copenhagen, 2009). In the crossfire even innocent citizens, particularly tribals – men, women and children – are caught and suffer enormously. The case of Soni Sori, a latest icon of victims of police torture for human rights activists, is one such matter of which the highest court of our country is now ‘in seisin’. But then there are murmurings about the callous approach in this matter of that Court even, since no quick relief is dispensed despite sure indications of torture of the tribal woman given out in the Court-solicited medical examination report, and several prominent citizens and scores of civil society groups have come out with an open letter to the Apex Court voicing their anguish over this issue. At this point it is not necessary to deeply go into the truth or not of the allegations that Soni Sori, daughter of Mudra Ram Sori – a State-identified and compensated naxalite victim, is herself a Maoist activist/ supporter, or just a socially conscious teacher or a clever person in conduit for illicit (protection) money transactions between the Maoists and Corporate bodies (the Essars here), etc., but if the torture element in her interrogation is proved to any credible degree, it is certainly very sad that the police/administrative authorities in our country - which is a state party, though not so far completed the ratification/accession process, of the UN Convention Against Torture – should indulge in such socially undesirable, harmful and counter-productive practices seriously infringing people’s rights to life and liberty. As rightly enjoined by the Convention (Article 2), no exceptional circumstances whatever, whether a state of war or threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, nor an order from a superior officer or a public authority, may be invoked as a justification for torture, because it is basically wrong, unjust and violates the inherent dignity of human person §§§

No comments: