ANI Photo | NHRC issues notice to Centre, States, UTs over reported deaths of inmates in private drug de-addiction centres

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New Delhi [India], April 18 (ANI):Taking suo moto cognizance of a report of yet another death of an inmate at a private drug de-addiction centre, which is the third such incident in the recent past, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Tuesday issued a notice to the Centre, States and Union Territories over the reported deaths of inmates due to alleged torture in private drug de-addiction centres.
The NHRC has issued notices, returnable in four weeks, to the Chief Secretaries of all the States/Union Territories (UTs), and the Secretary of the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
“The authorities are to report regarding how many de-addiction centres are presently available with the Government Sector, can private entities be allowed to set up the centres, are there any rules or regulations framed under the NDPS Act to regulate these centres as mandated in Section 71 of NDPS Act, what is the mechanism for providing training to the persons employed in such centres and specify the mechanisms to regulate private de-addiction centres including charges/fees, employment of staff, counsellor, medical staff, food supplied and overall upkeep of such rehabilitation centres”, reads the statement.
Prior to this, the Commission had taken suo moto cognizance of two similar incidents at de-addiction Centres in Uttar Pradesh’s Noida and Ghaziabad and the reports have been sought, the statement said.

“All three rehabilitation centres, two in UP and one in Uttarakhand were being run by private entities. It needs serious consideration as to whether the De-addiction Centres can be allowed to be operated by private entities, and if it is so, whether State(s) have ensured sufficient safety measures in place to protect the interest of the inmates with a view to achieving the desired goal”, the Commission observed.
The notices have also been issued to the Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police, Uttarakhand calling for a detailed report in the instant case of the death of an inmate at the Dehradun Rehab Centre.
“The reports should include the present status of the investigation of the case and compensation and relief, if any, provided to the Next of kin of the deceased”, the notice said.
Reportedly, a 24-year-old man was beaten to death by the people running a de-addiction centre in the Chandramani area of Dehradun, Uttarakhand on April 10.
According to a media report, carried on April 13, the patients of the Dehradun De-addiction Centre, said that their beatings were frequent and routine, as were hunger and lack of hygiene. No doctor or counsellor ever visited the centre, the report said.

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