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Human rights awareness still low: MHRC chief

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  17 Nov 2017 12:00 AM GMT

From A Correspondent

Tura, Nov 16: Meghalaya Human Rights Commission (MHRC) Chairperson Justice Dr Altaf Hussain Saikia said six decades after Independence people of the country are still not aware about their rights.

"There is lack of awareness about human rights that calls for an urgent need to change people's mindset," observed Saikia at a human rights awareness workshop here on Thursday.

The MHRC was constituted in the State last year and the workshop at Tura was the first in Garo Hills region. It attended by people from all walks of life.

"Even after more than six decades of our country's independence, we still do not know our rights. Hence, awareness and sensitisation is very important," said Justice Saikia.

He also said the Constitution of India, under Article 51, provides every citizen to abide by its laws and to respect and protect the integrity as well as to promote harmony irrespective of caste, creed, religion and language.

"We need to respect our tiol anthem, our tiol flag. For that we need to change people's mindset. Otherwise, no matter how many laws are brought in, nothing will change," said Justice Saikia while appealing to the citizens to always come forward and extend a helping hand to people in need because helping itself is also another form of awareness.

Former Meghalaya Director General of Police (DGP) and MHRC member Peter James Haman, who gave a PowerPoint Presentation during the programme, informed the gathering about the constitution of the MHRC under Section 21 of the Protection of Human Rights Act of 1993.

He said Meghalaya is the third State in the Northeast after Assam and Tripura to have a human rights commission constituted in order to safeguard the rights of every individual.

During the presentation, Haman highlighted the five categories of human rights, mely civil, political, economic, social and cultural human rights.

"Right to one's own religion and opinion, freedom of speech, non-discrimition on grounds of sex, work without exploitation, right to vote in elections, right to clean environment are some of the important human rights of citizens in our country," Haman added.

West Garo Hills Superintendent of Police Dr MGR Kumar, who participated in the programme, highlighted the necessary guidelines to be followed while registering FIRs with police and other formalities to be followed in connection with a case.

An important highlight of the programme was a human rights case study alysis by West Garo Hills additiol district magistrate AVD Shira of the gruesome and brutal murder of five persons from a single family by villagers of Mrigre village under then Rongram police outpost in which, after a prolonged investigation, charge-sheet has been filly filed..

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