Anti-maoist op: OHRC notice to Odisha government and police

Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) on Monday served notices to senior state government and top police officers.

PTI| Last Updated: Jul 11, 2016, 18:45 PM IST

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) on Monday served notices to senior state government and top police officers asking them to submit within two weeks their reports on the killing of five persons in Kandhamal during an anti-maoist operation.

The notices were issued to the home secretary, revenue divisional commissioner of southern division, the director general of Odisha Police and IG of southern range.

OHRC acting chairperson Justice B K Mishra gave the direction after taking into cognisance petitions filed by Manoj Jena, Chairman of Human Rights Front(HRF), Bhubaneswar and six others as well as press clippings.

The petitioners have alleged that on the evening of July 8, 2016, when about 12 people were returning to village Gungudmaha in Parampanka gram panchayat under Baliguda sub-division in Kandhamal district in an auto-rickshaw from Baliguda after receiving their wages under MGNREGA, they were fired upon by police in Malapanga forest.

The petitioners alleged that the killing of unarmed innocent persons in a fake encounter is a serious violation of their right to life as guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

They have alleged that the security personnel have violated the basic standards of human rights as they failed to adhere to the standard operating procedures.

The petitioners also contested the police version that the auto-rickshaw carrying the victims was caught in an exchange of fire between the Maoists and the security personnel on the ground that it was quite impossible for the vehicle to enter an area where an encounter was on and strangely not a single occupant of the vehicle was spared from bullets.

Moreover, there was no recovery of any arms and ammunitions from those persons, the petitioners pointed out.

The petitioners have demanded that apart from an inquiry into this incident being ordered by the Commission, a compensation of Rs 25 lakh and Rs 10 lakh be paid to the families of the deceased and the injured, respectively.

They also demanded stringent action be taken against the perpetrators of such a heinous crime.