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5th August – Editorials/Opinions Analyses

Contents

  1. Violating human rights in the Valley
  2. J&K and Ladakh, a year on
  3. What happened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

VIOLATING HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE VALLEY

Focus: GS-II Governance

Introduction

  • Concerns of Human Rights violations are raised saying unchecked preventive detention — whether in the form of house arrest (admitted or denied) or preventive detention in jail in the Valley or outside the erstwhile State — is a matter of grave concern.
  • Similarly, the difficulty in accessing information whether through normal channels of communication or through electronic means such as the Internet, is also a grave concern.

What does it mean to be Under house arrest?

  • The concept of house arrest is not specifically mentioned in the criminal manual but the state is empowered to declare a building or house as a sub-jail.
  • Through such declarations, residential accommodations of some political leaders have been converted into sub-jails.
  • The resident of a sub-jail is automatically and undeniably under detention and what is commonly known as house arrest.

The Argument of double jeopardy

  • When a residential accommodation is declared a sub-jail, the state virtually acquires and takes over the property for its own purposes.
  • The owner of the property is entitled to rent or compensation for the use and occupation of the property.
  • So, in a sense, a person under house arrest without receiving compensation is doubly jeopardised.

Preventive detention

  • Preventive detention is based on a prognosis of future events on the basis of past conduct.
  • Our Constitution provides important procedural safeguards that must be followed by the state or else the detention order will be quashed.
  • Among the safeguards provided by the constitution against preventive detention are- the fundamental right to be communicated, as soon as may be, the grounds on which the order has been made and the earliest opportunity of making a representation against the order.
  • Decisions of the Supreme Court hold that if there is an unexplained delay of even one or two days in dealing with the representation, the order of preventive detention is vitiated.
  • A challenge to an order of preventive detention can be mounted on these and other procedural grounds.
  • A Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court held in the case of A.K. Roy v. Union of India (1981) that, “Laws of preventive detention cannot, by the back-door, introduce procedural measures of a punitive kind… The normal rule has to be that the detenu will be kept in detention in a place which is within the environs of his or her ordinary place of residence.”

Access to information

  • For the last one year, the residents of the Valley have been deprived of the benefit of 4G Internet.
  • Orders concerning the Internet were required to be reviewed under the rules by a committee which is now headed by the Home Secretary.
  • While it may be that uncontrolled access to Internet could pose a security risk through misuse by terrorists and militants – blocking access in a limited way (i.e., specific sources and content) would have been more proportionate and effective rather than permitting download only by 2G.

Jammu & Kashmir Public Safety Act (PSA), 1978

  • The Jammu & Kashmir Public Safety Act (PSA), 1978 is a preventive detention law, under which a person is taken into custody to prevent him or her from acting in any manner that is prejudicial to “the security of the state or the maintenance of the public order”.
  • It is very similar to the National Security Act that is used by other state governments for preventive detention.
  • It comes into force by an administrative order passed either by Divisional Commissioner or the District Magistrate and not by a detention order by police based on specific allegations or for a specific violation of laws.
  • The duration of the detention is 2 years and the order is passed either by Divisional Commissioner or the District Magistrate.
  • The only way the administrative preventive detention order can be challenged is through a habeas corpus petition filed by relatives of the detained person.

National Security Act (NSA)

  • The National Security Act of 1980 is an act of the Indian Parliament promulgated on 23 September, 1980.
  • The purpose of this act is “to provide for preventive detention in certain cases and for matters connected therewith”.
  • The act extends to the whole of India.
  • This act empowers the Central Government and State Governments to detain a person to prevent him/her from acting in any manner prejudicial to the security of India, the relations of India with foreign countries, the maintenance of public order, or the maintenance of supplies and services essential to the community it is necessary so to do.
  • The act also gives power to the governments to detain a foreigner in a view to regulate his presence or expel from the country.
  • The act was passed in 1980 during the Indira Gandhi Government.

-Source: The Hindu


J&K AND LADAKH, A YEAR ON

Focus: GS-II Governance

Introduction

Syama Prasad Mukherjee highlighted the implications of Article 370 with the slogan “Ek desh mein do vidhan, do pradhan, do nishan nahi chalenge (We can’t have two Constitutions, two Prime Ministers and two flags in one country)”.

The PAST: Instances of Discrimination based on Permanent Residence

  • The law in J&K deprived benefits to thousands of descendants of West Pakistan refugees who migrated during that period even though they are Indian citizens.
  • It ensured that the descendants of Dalit Valmikis, brought in from Amritsar and Gurdaspur in Punjab as safai karamcharis in 1957, were ineligible for government jobs and were forced to continue in their designated occupation.
  • According to the law in J&K if a woman from J&K marries a foreigner, she loses her right to inherit, own or buy immovable property in the state; whereas no such law affects a male in a similar situation.
  • In 2002, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court overturned the established legal position and said that by marrying an outsider, a J&K woman does not lose her permanent-resident status.

Other Constitutional Anomalies

  • While Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code was struck down by the Supreme Court, it continued to exist in the Ranbir Penal Code that was followed in the erstwhile State.
  • Critical legislation passed by the Government of India, such as the Right to Information Act, Right to Education Act and the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, were not applicable to the erstwhile State.

Steps taken to improve the situation

  • Under the National Saffron Mission, more than 3,500 hectares of land are being rejuvenated for saffron cultivation (Kashmiri Saffron has the GI Tag).
  • The government is also incentivising farmers to introduce ultra-high-density plantation of apple and other fruits.
  • Tourism infrastructure is being upgraded in mission mode.
  • The health sector has been transformed with the opening of two AIIMS Hospitals and five new medical colleges.
  • The Ayushman Bharat scheme is now available for all residents of J&K.

-Source: The Hindu


WHAT HAPPENED IN HIROSHIMA AND NAGASAKI?

Focus: GS-I History

Introduction

  • On the morning of August 6, a B-29 bomber Enola Gay dropped the atomic bomb called “Little Boy” on the city of Hiroshima, killing over 80,000 people. Three days later, another atomic bomb called “Fat Man” was dropped over Nagasaki killing more than 40,000 people
  • The bombs affected many more who would suffer the effects of the radiation from the blast and the “black rain” that fell in the aftermath of the explosions.

Why in news?

  • Recently, a district court in the city of Hiroshima recognised the survivors of “black rain” who proved to the court that they suffered medical conditions caused by the post-explosion rain and, therefore, were eligible to avail benefits, including free medical care, being given to survivors of the blasts who are known as “Hibakushas”.
  • August 6th marks the 75th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing.

Why did the US bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

  • After the conclusion of World War II in 1945, the relations between Japan and the US worsened, especially after Japan forces decided to take an aim at Indochina with the intention of capturing the oil-rich areas of the East Indies.
  • Therefore, the then US president Harry S Truman authorised the use of atomic bombs in order to make Japan surrender in WWII, which it did.

Why were Hiroshima and Nagasaki chosen?

  • Truman decided that only bombing a city would make an adequate impression and, therefore, target cities were chosen keeping in mind the military production in the area and while making sure that the target sites did not hold cultural significance for Japan, like Kyoto did. This was because the aim was to destroy Japan’s ability to fight wars.
  • Hiroshima at the time was also the seventh-largest city of Japan and served as the headquarters of the Second Army and of the Chugoku Regional Army, making it one of the most important military command stations in Japan.

-Source: Indian Express

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