Lawyers For Human Rights International shows concerns at the anti democratic attitude of the civil servant of India, namely Mrs. Pramilla Srivastava, who while representing the country in the meeting of United Nations Human Rights Council’s 11th session at Geneva, Switzerland , between 2-19 June 2009 had threatened Dr. Harshinder Kaur, who had gone over there to attend the session on the invitation of an NGO, named Interfaith International.
Dr. Harshinder Kaur, who is working as an Medical Officer at Rajindra Hospital Patiala and has done her MD in Pediatrics had won laurels for her social work in the field of Female Infanticide and had been honoured by the Punjab Government with PARMAN PATRA in 2006 and had also won UNITED NATIONS LAADLI MEDIA AWARD in 2008, for her work in the field of Preventions of Female Feticide and the said award was bestowed upon her by the Governor of Punjab and the Health Minister of Punjab Smt. Laxmi Kanta Chawla, has now been dis-honoured by the same state of Punjab by labeling her presentation in the United Nations Human Rights Council to be Anti Government. The order passed by the same Health minister dated 29th June 2009 reads, “Dr. Harshinder Kaur, Medical Officer gave a speech against the government in United Nations Human Rights Council meeting held at Geneva from 2-19 June 2009. So taking the matter seriously the government has decided to recall the Doctor. So you are being asked to relieve Dr. Harshinder Kaur Medical Officer immediately without any delay and send a copy of the same to the department”.
Dr. Harshinder Kaur made a presentation in the Human Rights Council on the topic of “Infanticide concern in Punjab”, based on facts and figures which were drawn from the government figures and she tried to make out a case that the report of UNICEF was wrong and the State of Punjab or the Sikhs do not top the list of the largest killers of female children in India and in fact the figures are otherwise. The total presentation which the petitioner made before the United Nation Human Rights Council was based on the facts and figures which were drawn out by the petitioner is contained in the printed material on which the petitioner relied and made her speech. That in the meeting of the council there was a lady by the name of Dr. Pramilla Srivastava, whose name came to the knowledge of her at a later stage and it also came to the knowledge that she was honorary Director General of International Institute of Non-Aligned Studies, New Delhi, which is a Government of India sponsored institute. This lady reacted to the closing sentences of her in the Human Rights Council, when Dr. Harshinder Kaur made an appeal, that the UNICEF should provide funds for free education of the girl child in Punjab, so that the people should be attracted towards having a girl child rather than killing her. To this Dr.P. Srivastava reacted and said that in Punjab there was 100% literacy and there was 100% free education for the girl child, to which Dr. Harshinder Kaur replied that this statement was wrong and that neither Punjab had 100% literacy and nor is girl child given free education in Punjab and rather quoted that she herself is supporting 300 girl children and providing them free education. The presentation of the Doctor ended and when she came out, the said lady also came out and entered into a discussion with her to the effect that she has not given the true picture and has contradicted her ( Dr. P Srivastava) in the meeting and has insulted India and that she would face the consequence upon her return to India. Rather she remarked, that are you not returning back to India? Dr. Harshinder Kaur was openly threatened and she immediately made a complaint to the concerned quarters of the United Nations and exhibited her fears before them, about her security after returning back to India. On her return to India, she was questioned by CBI and other intelligence agencies and then this Stigmatic order of State of Punjab was served upon her.
LFHRI strongly condemns the action of the State of Punjab, who has with closed eyes and ears believed some concocted version of an arrogant public servant of our country, who had the audacity to threaten a renowned medical doctor, who has been Internationally acclaimed for her dedication, professionally and socially. It’s time that we should start respecting the fundamental rights as enshrined under the Constitution of India and under the International law and also give respect to the Right to Expression and Speech as enshrined under Article -19 of Constitution of India. LFHRI has gone through each word of the presentation of Dr. Harshinder Kaur and no word of it is Anti Government. It’s also high time that the Public servant’s should come out of their Pseudo Nationalism and stop interpreting any healthy criticism against the Government , if any at all, to be as serious as taking the same to be Anti National. If criticising the wrong actions of the Government is Anti National, then many of us would be behind the bars. In the view of LFHRI the action of the said Public servant who threatened Dr. Harshinder Kaur for speaking the truth, based on the data available on the internet, is itself Anti National and against the Interest of the Indian Nation and action should be taken against her for under mining the reputation of the Indian Nation and democratic values on basis of which our nation is seeking a seat in the UN Security Council.
We hope that better sense would prevail upon the concerned quarters and more damage to the respect of Indian Nation would be controlled.
NAVKIRAN SINGH ADVOCATE
WWW.LFHRI.ORG DATED : 5THAUG 2009