INDIA: Re: Failure to provide adequate remedy under Article 2 of the ICCPR and under the law in India for a human rights defender who has complained of an attempted assassination on his life and further blackmail by the police

I refer to the complaint made by Dr. Lenin Raghuvansi [please refer to your case number 5840/24/97-98] of a well planned assassination attempt on his life. The attempt was on 18.02.1998. He has given detailed information that his house was surrounded by police officers from Ramnagar police station in an attempt to assassinate him the reason for which being the issue of many encounter deaths about which he, as a human rights defender has tried to voice the grievances of the affected families.

Ever since Dr. Lenin has in writing, and by telephonic means interacted with your commission to get a proper inquiry into this matter.  He now feels completely frustrated that despite the passing of several years no action has been taken into this serious allegation.

On 22.01.2002 the Assistant Registrar [Law] of the commission through a letter signed by Mr. Anil Parashar informed Dr. Lenin of a report filed by the police which stated “[A]nd feels that no further action is called for the complaint and the same may be treated as closed”. Immediately Dr. Lenin answered by letter 30 July 2002 and many other written and oral communications that the matter needs to be inquired into and that the police version given in their defense should not be accepted as the correct version of events. His position is based on the solid legal and the human rights principles that a person against whom a complaint is made is a suspect or an accused when the complaint is about an alleged serious crime. If in all cases of alleged crime no further action is to be taken once the probable accused makes his statement the criminal justice in this country will not have any place. We believe that it is unnecessary to labour this point further before you.

In the above mentioned report that the NHRC sent to Dr. Lenin the police also alleged that “Dr. Lenin was himself providing shelter to the criminals for his selfish motives … that it would be better to write about his removal from his post of convener of Manava Adhikar Jananigrani Samiti (PVCHR)”. This is a stark attack on a human rights defender in order to blackmail him and also to create a doubt about the complaint Dr. Lenin has made about the attempt on his life.

The AHRC appeals to you to investigate the alleged attempt on the life of Dr. Lenin and also the stark blackmail made on him in the police report mentioned above. The matter concerns not only the life and the reputation of one human rights defender but also the very legitimacy of human rights work in general. This is a matter of gravest importance that we are bringing into your notice.

As you may be aware that Dr. Lenin is the convener of The Peoples’ Vigilance Committee on Human Rights which is a reputed human rights organization in Varanasi district of Uttar Pradesh in India and internationally. This organization is involve in contributing to valuable human rights work on caste discrimination, prevention of torture and the elimination of discrimination against women.

Thank you

Yours sincerely,

Wong Kai Shing
Programme Officer
The Asian Human Rights Commission