RJD MP Manoj Jha issues suspension of business notice to discuss partisan role of NHRC
NHRC has visited Bihar but has so far not made visits to Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh following hooch tragedies there
The Rashtriya Janata Dal MP Manoj K Jha gave a suspension of business notice under Rule 267 in Rajya Sabha to discuss the “partisan role of organisations like NHRC.”
Jha highlighted that the National Human Rights Commission headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice Arun Mishra had sent a notice to the Bihar government on account of the “unfortunate hooch tragedy in Bihar’s Saran district.” But, the commission has so far not made visits to states such as Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh following hooch tragedies there.
“Such a brazenly partisan approach is eroding the credibility of NHRC besides encroaching upon issues which is (sic) fundamentally a state subject. We did not come across the similar approach following the ‘Morbi Bridge Tragedy’ on 30 October 2022,” read Jha’s letter to the Rajya Sabha chairman.
“There is no precedence of NHRC getting involved in hooch tragedies of other states. In the recent Morbi bridge tragedy where close to 200 people died, there was no NHRC visit. This kind of situation where central institutions, which are supposed to be impartial, are being used and made partisan should be discussed. It is a matter of concern,” added Jha.
The NHRC decided to depute its own investigation team to conduct an "on-spot" inquiry into the Bihar hooch tragedy. Toxic hooch has reportedly killed at least 37 people in Bihar, where alcohol is prohibited with unconfirmed estimates placing the death toll at over 70.
Last year, NHRC had formed a committee to look into alleged human rights violations during post-poll violence in West Bengal. The committee was set up by the NHRC chairperson on a direction by the Calcutta High Court. The benchhad directed that the committee will examine all the cases, the complaints of which have already been received by the NHRC or which may be received, and “may be by visiting the affected areas” submit a comprehensive report before it about the present situation.
NHRC had not sent a team to investigate incidents of violence in Tripura in July 2021. Trinamool Legislature Party chief whip in Rajya Sabha Sukhendu Sekhar Roy had reportedly said that human rights violations are happening only in the non-BJP states. “Such a partisan view of the NHRC is unfortunate. It does not hesitate to send teams to Bengal and other non-BJP states but looks the other way when human rights violations take place in BJP-ruled states,” said Roy.
The BJP had not performed well in Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council polls in Tripura. Roy alleged that ever since the election results were declared in Tripura, the BJP workers unleashed a reign of terror in the state.