Formation of People’s Union for Human Rights in UP

A day-long meeting of advocates, human rights activists and prominent citizens was held at Darulshafa B-Block Common Hall on 21 January 23, 2001 to take stock of the human rights situation in the state. The meeting was inaugurated by the CPI(ML) State Secretary of UP, Comrade Akhilendra Prataph Singh. Proceedings were conducted in two separate sessions, in which about 60 people representing 8 important districts of the state were present. It was observed by most of the participants that since UP was second to no other state in terms of cases of human rights violations, and since the UP Government had consciously flouted the directive of the High Court for setting up a human rights commission, it was imperative that such a forum, for the protection of human rights of the people of the state be formed.

The first session was presided over by Mr.Devendra Pandey, advocate from Deorea district. The proceedings were conducted by Mr.Balram Yadav, advocate of the Allahabad High Court, who is also the convenor of the Progressive Advocates Association. The participants decided to form the ‘People’s Union for Human Rights’ to take up cases of human rights violation. At the same time, it would launch struggles against the fascist methods used by the BJP government. Comrade Chittaranjan Singh was elected the convenor of the PUHR while a 15-member coordination committee was formed. It was resolved that the PUHR would build a strong relationship with civil liberties and democratic organisations.

In the second session, it was proposed that the courts should be democratised. It was demanded that Section 144, Goonda Act, NSA and all other black laws be scrapped, and judicial powers conferred with the executive be taken back. The meeting also demanded the backlog of cases be expedited, judicial authoritarianism be curbed, and legal aid committees be formed in each district.

–Arun Kumar

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