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New Delhi : Justice A K Mishra, Chairperson, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), on November 9, 2021, said that the armed forces have rendered yeoman’s service to the national security in adverse situations despite facing provocation, stone pelting, armed attack, etc. However, he said that the armed forces cannot adopt the same methods as these terrorists may do to defend themselves risking the lives of innocent civilians. Justice Mishra was addressing a gathering as the Chief Guest at the NHRC Annual Debate Competition for the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) organised in collaboration with the Assam Rifles through hybrid mode in New Delhi.

Referring to the topic of the debate competition “Are human rights a stumbling block in fighting evils like terrorism and naxalism”, the NHRC Chairperson said that the arguments given by the security personnel for and against the motion in the debate are of very high standard and indicate their sensibility and understanding of the respect human rights require to be given during their operations. He said that a balance is required to be observed to ensure proportionate use of force, if the situation demands so, but there is no room for fake encounters and instant justice.  A due process of law to punish the guilty should be observed, he said, according to an NHRC release.

The Assam Rifles lifted the overall best team rolling trophy winning the final round of debate competition in Hindi and English. Among the individual honours, the first prize for debate in Hindi went to Assistant Sub Inspector, Kapil Kumar Arya, CISF, South Zone, and in English to Captain Ashwin S P, Assam Rifles, Delhi Zone.

The second prize in Hindi went to Rifleman, R L Yadav, Assam Rifles, Delhi Zone, and in English to Assistant Commandant, Amit J., CISF, East Zone. The third prize in Hindi went to Rifle Woman, Razia Bano, Assam Rifles, North-East Zone, and in English to Inspector, Afsara Khan, CISF, Uttar Pradesh Zone. Besides the certificates and a memento, the first, second and third prize winners were also given cash awards of Rs 12,000, Rs 10,000, and Rs.8,000, each respectively.

The winners were decided by a three member panel of jury headed by NHRC Member Justice M M Kumar, and comprising Rajesh Ranjan, former Director General, CISF, and Prof. (Dr.) Ranbir Singh, former and Founder Vice-Chancellor, National Law University, Delhi.

Earlier, in the opening remarks of the event, Santosh Mehra, DG (I), NHRC, said that right to life is the most important human rights which needs to be protected despite operational challenges of the security forces.

 Bimbadhar Pradhan, Secretary General, NHRC, said that terrorism is the most serious threat to the national and international community and cause unspeakable human sufferings and loss, which amount to grave human rights violations.  Maj. Gen. D.K Singh, ADG, Assam Rifles, said that the security forces operate in very challenging situations upholding the human rights.

The NHRC Members: Jyotika Kalra, Dr D M Mulay, Rajiv Jain, Joint Secretary and other senior officers attended the event. The NHRC has been organising this debate competition for the CAPFs for the last 25 years for their sensitisation towards human rights.