Panaji: Goa State Human Rights Commission (GSHRC) on Monday issued notice to State government responding to the petition filed by a group of social activists against the deployment of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) in the state during lockdown period.
State government has posted two battalions of CISF to man the law and order situation during the lockdown period.
GSHRC member Justice (Rtd) Pramod Kamat while admitting the petition issued notice to the state government and CISF through Assistant Solicitor General Pravin Faldesai returnable on April 01, 2020.
The petition is filed by social activists Kashinath Shetye, Dr ketan Govekar, Arthur Dsouza, Desmond Alvares, Inacio Domnic Pereira, Narendra chodankar and Ramchandra Manjrekar.
The petition has taken strong objection both to the request for and the deployment of CISF in Goa reportedly to discipline the people who are said to be loitering on the streets in various localities of Goa. “Deployment of CISF in Goa, only goes to show that we are treating a humanitarian crisis as law and order problem and intending to use force to handle the crisis, without realizing that it will not work and will in fact cause further human rights violations,” the petition reads.
Deploying CISF in Goa could lead to uncontrollable civil unrest if hungry citizens are met with by their ‘disciplining’, the petitioners said.
“People are on the roads on account of lack of clarity and confusion due to constantly changing announcements about supply of essential commodities and services, with no real systematic access to food,” the petitioners said.
The petitioners said that to blame this situation on the people on the roads is to absolve the State’s own responsibility to multilingually disseminate information about COVID-19 and the measures being taken in Goa and the failure to comply with the human right to food security of the people.
“It is about placing the onus on the weakest sections of society who have no choice but to be on the roads to get their survival needs. It is about not listening with compassion and empathy to the poor and the marginalized,” the petition reads.
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