ACHR demands inquiry into refusal of Army deployment

ACHR urged PM Manmohan Singh to order an inquiry into the alleged refusal by the Army to be deployed recently in Assam`s violence-hit areas.

Updated: Sep 11, 2012, 13:09 PM IST

Guwahati: Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) Tuesday urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to order an inquiry into the alleged refusal by the Army to be deployed recently in Assam`s violence-hit areas.

Releasing a report `Assam Riots: Preventable but not prevented` here, ACHR Director Suhas Chakma demanded that the responsibility for the refusal must be fixed and necessary measures, including disciplinary action for criminal dereliction of duty by the Army, should be taken.

"Refusal of the Army to be deployed directly led to increased loss of lives, displacement and consequent spread of hatred. Both under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958, wherein the Army operates in aid of civil power, and Sections 130 and 131 of the Criminal Procedure Code, the Army is legally bound to obey the orders of civilian authorities," he said.

By the time the Army moved in on 25 July 2012, about 44 persons were killed and over 200,000 were displaced and there must be accountability for such criminal dereliction of duty, Chakma added.

AHCR also recommended development of the Standard Operating Procedure to establish the supremacy of the Chief Minister as the Chairman of the Unified Command and deployment of the Army on the Chief Minister?s instruction without any sanction from the Ministry of Defence in cases of riots or natural calamities, he said.

"The recent riots in Assam were absolutely preventable but not prevented because of the criminal dereliction of duty by officials starting from the Officer-in-Charge of Kokrajhar Police Station to the highest authorities of India?s military establishment," he said.

PTI