Patna: Forty-five of the 95 sanctioned posts in Bihar Human Rights Commission (BHRC) are vacant. “The state government should consider filling up the openings soon so that the pace of settlement of cases is not hampered,” BHRC chairman Bilal Nazki said on Friday.
Between April and June, BHRC received almost 1,400 cases, which Nazki attributes to rising credibility of the rights panel. “While infrastructure shortage definitely hampers the working, another problem I’ve noticed here is that people are not aware of their rights or the procedure to get justice in case of violation of rights,” Nazki says and adds about half the posts are vacant but the registrar and deputy registrar are immediately needed. “We are in talks with the state home department for the same,” he said.
The commission is also in talks with the home (police) department to organize training programmes for the police at the grassroots. For, most of the BHRC petitions pertain to alleged police excesses.
Another innovative mechanism the commission plans is involving collegians to spread awareness about human rights. “In the first batch, we plan to train 300 students in the city with the assistance of Chanakya National Law University. The students in their spare time will be expected to sensitize people to their rights,” Nazki said and added, “We will also ask the students to spend some time in the rural areas during their vacation.” Within three years, Nazki expects to have an army of rights activists in the state.
The commission also plans to publicize the welfare schemes of the government so that the benefits reach the desired beneficiaries.
Asked if the commission needs more teeth to mete out justice, Nazki said, “A newborn baby doesn’t have teeth. It grows eventually. Ours is also a relatively new institution and in due course we’ll get all that we need.”