Security forces should not compromise with the rule of law and human rights despite the challenges they face while carrying out their duties, NHRC chairperson K G Balakrishnan said today.
He said that the role of the security forces in upholding human rights is well defined and only someone with a narrow mindset may feel that national security will be compromised by respecting human rights.
"The security forces have to operate in difficult situations, but for this special powers have also been given to them to deal with extreme situations. Counter terrorism and counter intelligence should not undermine the democratic rule of law," Balakrishnan said here at the NHRC debate competition for para-military forces.
Referring to poor conviction rate, the NHRC Chairperson said criminal justice system needs to be corrected to ensure speedy trial by setting up more courts.
He insisted that steps should also be taken to increase the number of police personnel in various parts of the country to expedite the process of investigation and hearing.
Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) was adjudged the winner of All India Inter-Para Military Forces Debate competition, organised by the National Human Rights Commission in collaboration with the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB).
The topic of the debate competition was 'Human Rights can be observed by Para Military Forces only by endangering national security'.
Among the individual honours, the first prize for debate in Hindi went to Santosh Verma, Head Constable, CRPF and in English to Neeraj Chand, Deputy Commandant, SSB.
NHRC has been organising this debate competition in Hindi and English since 1996. The debate is initially conducted at eight zonal levels short listing 64 debaters and then the semi-final and final rounds are conducted.
Additional Director General, SSB, R C Tayal said the problem is not with Acts like Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA) but with the misuse of such acts.
Human rights are sacrosanct to civil society and peace can be guaranteed only by holding these values, he said.
While CISF was declared the overall winner of the debate competition, Sashastra Seema Bal was declared the joint winner of the annual debate event.
A total of 16 teams from forces like CRPF, BSF, ITBP, CISF, NSG, RPF, SSB and Assam Rifles participated in the contest.
National Human Rights Commission Chairman K G Balakrishnan awarded the winners after the two-day competition finished.
Counter Terrorism Should Not Undermine Rule of Law: KGB
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