NHRC chairman credits Home Minister Amit Shah for 'new era in Jammu and Kashmir'

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: National Human Rights Commission chief and former Supreme Court judge Justice (Retd) Arun Mishra on Tuesday heaped encomiums on Union Home Minister Amit Shah for his “untiring efforts” to foster peace in Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeastern states. “It is because of you (the home minister) that a new era has now begun in Jammu and Kashmir,” Justice Mishra said while addressing the 28th foundation day of NHRC.

Incidentally, J&K has seen a worrying rise in incidents of violence, including a spate of civilian killings as well as that of security forces, over the past few days. Observing that it has become “a norm to accuse India of human rights violation at the behest of international forces,” Mishra said this should be opposed.  “India has the spirit of ‘Sarvadharma Sambhava’ (harmony of religions). Everyone has freedom to build a temple or mosque or a church. In many countries, such liberties are not there,” he said.

His comments came against the backdrop of media reports on attacks on human rights defenders and India’s falling rank on global press freedom and democracy index.  The NHRC chairperson also spoke about political violence and the need to condemn it. A large number of people had lost their lives to political violence globally in the last century and it was unfortunate that this had “still not stopped”, he said.

“Social service organisations and human rights defenders should strongly condemn political violence and terrorism as apathy on this issue engenders ‘fundamentalism and history will never forgive us for this,” he said, adding that “killers of innocent people cannot be glorified”. Calling such… terrorists ‘freedom fighters’ is inappropriate,” he asserted. 

The retired judge said India had a democratic system where the media and cyberspace had been given freedom. “But no one has the freedom to destroy the prestige of the Republic’s fundamental pillar, the judiciary, through contemptuous behaviour, and neither should anyone be given this freedom,” the asserted.