Terrorism, Maoism biggest threats to human rights: Shah

Union Home Minister Amit Shah speaks during NHRC foundation day. (PTI Photo)

 Asserting that there should be zero tolerance towards custodial deaths and extra-judicial killings, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday called for the protection of human rights of the victims of terrorism and Maoism, even as he asked NGOs to look at issues with a different lens.

Shah said that terrorism and Maoism are among the biggest threats to human rights and thousands of families have fallen victims to these.

"In Kashmir alone, 40,000 people have fallen victim to terrorists. Is it that the families of these victims do not have any human rights. Due to naxals, people in several districts are not able to unable to enjoy the fruits of development. Don't they have human rights," he said.

Addressing the 26th foundation day celebrations of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), he told the Commission and other institutions involved in the field of human rights to rise above the confines of law and take the protection of human rights as a sacred ethical duty.

"I appeal to the NGOs to see the issue with a different perspective. There is a need to infuse Indian ethos, our cultural values," he said.

He said the concept of human rights as applied in India was very different from that as applicable globally because there has been inherent protectors of several human rights, without any legal obligation needed to enforce this protection within traditional Indian social structures and institutions.

Insisting that poverty and rise in violence were major challenges to human rights and any step taken to eliminate poverty will immediately enhance India's standing in the field of human rights, he said that the Narendra Modi government has successfully begun to address the problem of poverty in the larger context of provision of human rights.

Describing homelessness, lack of basic amenities and lack of access to healthcare as violations of human rights, he said that the for the first time after 2014, the BJP government has begun tackling these challenges with great focus.

"These efforts need to be showcased to the world and hailed it as the biggest effort globally to protect and promote human rights," he said.

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