Gender-based violence’, ‘unlawful killings’, and ‘arbitrary arrests’ are cited as ‘human rights challenges’ in India by a US report.

The annual US report 2022 on global human rights standards has identified “serious human rights issues” in India, including “targeting of religious minorities,” “gender-based violence,” “persecution of journalists,” and “restrictions on freedom of speech,” among others.

The US State Department report, released on Monday, cited a “lack of investigation and accountability for gender-based violence, including domestic and intimate partner violence, sexual violence, workplace violence, child, early, and forced marriage, femicide, and other forms of such violence” and stated that “lack of accountability for official misconduct persisted at all levels of government,” which contributes to widespread impunity. A few convictions were caused by lax enforcement, a lack of trained police personnel, and an overworked and underresourced judicial system.

The US State Department cited a Supreme Court panel report labelling the encounter of four accused in the 2019 gangrape-and-murder case in Telangana as “fake” and stated, “There were reports the government or its agents committed arbitrary or unlawful killings, including extrajudicial killings of suspected criminals and terrorists.”

The report enumerated torture and other inhumane practices, adding that “reliable sources” reveal that government personnel deployed them in violation of the country’s laws. “The law prohibits the admission of coerced confessions into evidence, although nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) have stated that officials have utilised torture to coerce confessions. Officials allegedly employed torture to extract money or as summary punishment, according to a report from the US State Department.

It also highlighted overcrowding in jails, describing the conditions as “life-threatening” due to insufficient sanitation and lack of medical attention.

The department mentioned reports of “arbitrary arrests” under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), and Public Safety Act (PSA) and stated that India’s judicial system remained “severely overburdened and lacked modern case management systems, frequently delaying or denying justice.” Citing the case of journalist Siddique Kappan, the report states that while the Supreme Court granted Kappan bail in a UAPA case two days after his arrest in 2020, activist Atikur Rahman — who was arrested along with Kappan during their travel to Hathras following a Dalit woman rape case — remained in custody until the end of the year despite reports of severe medical conditions.

The report also discussed violence in war zones, noting that its intensity “continued to fall.” “The nation’s armed forces, state security forces, and paramilitary forces engaged terrorist organisations in various northeastern states and Jammu and Kashmir, as well as Maoist insurgents in the country’s northern, central, and eastern regions. The level of violence in these regions continued to diminish. The army and security personnel remained stationed in Jharkhand and Bihar, two northeastern states. In Jammu and Kashmir, the armed forces and police also engaged terrorist groups, according to the report.

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Hi, my name is Nisha and I'm an educational journalist based in India. I've always been passionate about the power of education to transform lives, and that's what led me to pursue a career in journalism focused on this area. I completed my Bachelor's degree in English from Hindu College in Delhi in 2013 and then went on to earn my Master's in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication in 2017. During my studies, I also completed several short-term courses on Education in India, Sociology, and other related subjects to deepen my knowledge in this field. I'm particularly interested in improving access to quality education in rural areas, where students often face significant challenges. I've worked on a number of initiatives to address this issue, including advocating for better policies, resources, and practices that can make a difference. As an educational journalist, I'm passionate about using my platform to highlight important issues in the education space. I've covered a wide range of topics, including the impact of technology in the classroom, innovative approaches to teaching and learning, and the challenges facing students from marginalized communities. One of the things I love most about my work is the opportunity to constantly learn and grow. I'm an avid reader and believe that reading is key to expanding one's knowledge and perspective. I'm always seeking out new ideas and insights to help me better understand the world around me. In summary, as an educational journalist, I'm dedicated to using my skills and expertise to make a positive impact in the field of education. I'm committed to improving access to quality education for all students and to using my platform to raise awareness about important issues in this area.

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