New Delhi: Taking into account the findings of a magisterial inquiry, the National Human Rights Commission has closed a case of police firing in which four persons were killed during a protest in Assam`s Barpeta district last year.
The incident took place on August 21, 2010, when protestors under the banner of District Minority Students Union gathered in front of Barpeta deputy commissioner`s
office demanding cancellation of work of pilot project of updating the National Register of Citizens.
Four persons were killed in police firing on protestors following which activists Radhakanta Tripathy, RH Bansal and others filed complaints alleging lack of restraint
by police in controlling the agitators and demanding the cancellation of the pilot project.
Considering the matter recently, the Commission took into account a magisterial inquiry report which said the students union leaders, who organised the agitational
programme, "could not control the mob".
The report said torching of vehicles, files and other government properties, uprooting of barbed wire fencing and attempt to enter the DC office campus forcibly indicate that
the mob wanted to ransack and set ablaze the office.
"The magisterial inquiry report has concluded that timely action of police saved lives and property and had police not acted, the damages to the lives and property could
have been much more...No foul play or adverse fact has been recorded in the magisterial inquiry report whereas the complaints have alleged that people were not violent," the rights body noted.
It said a CD sent by Barpeta district magistrate relating to the coverage of the incident has shown that the mob was violent and that they pelted stones, damaged government property and set vehicles on fire.
The Commission closed the case, noting that as per themagisterial inquiry report, the police firing was justified in the given circumstances and that the use of tear gas,
lathi-charge, rubber bullet firing and firing were done in sequence to control the situation.