New Delhi [India], May 18 (ANI): The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Tuesday issued a reminder of the notice issued to the Union Home Secretary and Union Health Secretary over the human rights violations in COVID-19 treatment, disposal of dead bodies, quarantine centers, attack on whistle blowers, and harassment of journalists in the country.
Considering the petition of noted human rights activist and Supreme Court advocate Radhakanta Tripathy, the Commission took the step after they failed to submit detailed and comprehensive reports.
Tripathy, in his petition, alleged that people like him are being targeted when they try to expose the irregularities and gross human rights violations by the government.
He cited several instances of assaults, arrests, threats to the media personnel who reporting the stories of mismanagement and corruption in the procurement of medical supplies and other incidents happening in quarantine centers, be it sexual harassment, suicide deaths, failure in providing proper medical facilities on the part of the state governments, and an undignified treatment of the dead bodies.
Tripathy also cited several instances of deaths, injuries, ill treatment of migrant workers, sexual offences, snake bites, electrocutions, suicides in quarantine centers across the country.
"Inhuman incidents in quarantine centers and COVID hospitals should be considered as custodial deaths and tortures as these are the creation of the state. The figures of cremation grounds and COVID-related death toll declared by the governments vary substantially," Tripathy said.
"For covering the essential humanitarian crisis, administrative failure, negligence and mismanagement, at least 32 journalists were allegedly named in FIRs across the country till July 2020," Tripahty added.
The activist also pointed out that although the Centre notified the Whistle Blowers Protection Act, 2014, and subsequently amended, it is yet to come in force.
He further requested the NHRC to ensure safe and hygienic environment in quarantine centers and COVID hospitals, to pay a compensation of at least Rs 20 lakh to family members of the deceased in these centres, and to ensure benefits of social welfare schemes to them. (ANI)