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INDIA: Social boycott of Dalits in Madhya Pradesh, water supply cut off

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Hunger Alert Case : The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information from Kamal Singhi, a journalist based in Indore, about continuing social and economic ostracism of Dalits in Sitapat village of Mhow Tehsil in Indore, Madhya Pradesh. The ostracism that began some 17 days ago has culminated into the locally powerful landlords cutting off the water supply to the Dalit habitat. They have also enforced an illegal blanket ban on any non-Dalit citizens selling anything, including rations, to Dalits punishable by Rupees 5,000 fine if violated. The authorities are only attempting to broker a truce despite practice of untouchability being a criminal offence and constitutionally barred. The AHRC demands the authorities to break the illegal conduct and punish those responsible. Read More...

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Torture in India

Torture is practiced as a routine and accepted as a means for investigation. Most police officers and other law enforcement officers consider torture as an essential investigative tool, rather than an unscientific and crude method of investigation. Policy makers and bureaucrats believe that there is nothing wrong in punishing a criminal in custody, not realising the fact that a person under investigation is only an accused, not a convict and further, that even a convict cannot be tortured. This is due to the lack of awareness about the crime, its nature and about its seriousness. Torture is practiced by the all sections of the law enforcement agencies, the paramilitary and military units. Torture, as a form of violence is used for social control.

India has not ratified the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, but has signed the Convention on 14 October 1997. A draft Bill against torture is in consideration by the government.

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