Illegal police action: States pay in 3 cases after NHRC nudge
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Last Updated: Monday, May 09, 2011, 19:46
New Delhi: The National Human Rights Commission is adopting a tough posture against illegal police actions - as outlined in three cases in which big amount of monetary relief has been recommended by the panel and paid by the state governments concerned.

The government of Uttar Pradesh has paid Rs five lakh as relief to the mother of a man killed in a police encounter in Muzaffarnagar, while Maharashtra has given Rs three lakh to the family of a person who died in police custody. Tamil Nadu government has provided Rs five lakh to the kin of a man who was shot dead by police.

Proof of payment in all the three cases has recently been received by the rights panel, official sources said.

In the UP incident, a man named Pratap, alleged to be a criminal who was going to commit a robbery along with two accomplices in a motorcycle, was shot dead by police in July 2008 in Muzaffarnagar district.

Though the police said they opened fire only after being fired upon, the rights panel noted that according to the post- mortem report, the deceased was fired from a very close range.

"It was a clear case of executing a person by unlawful means," it had said and recommended the monetary relief.

The NHRC also termed as an "execution" the killing of Ranganathan, an accused in a case who was shot dead in April 2006 by a police escort party returning to Salem from Chennai after he allegedly tried to escape.

"The post-mortem report showed that margin of the bullet wound on the body of the deceased was blackish, that it smelled of sulphur and a lacerated wound had a grease colour appearance. These are indications of firing from extremely close range and, therefore, contradict the claim of the escort party that they had fired at the victim from a distance to try to stop him from running away," it had said.

The Maharashtra government has also accepted the NHRC's recommendation in the case of Manish Anuplal Shah, who allegedly committed suicide in police custody in Pimpalner area in July 2006. A magisterial inquiry had found that two policemen might have abetted the suicide and the NHRC had said that the act was "provoked by public servants".

The Commission had formulated guidelines to be followed in cases of deaths in police encounters and circulated the same to the Chief Ministers and Administrators of all states and Union Territories through a letter dated December 2, 2003.

One of the guidelines is that a magisterial inquiry must be held in all cases of death which occur in the course of police action.

While deciding the case of a UP criminal who shot dead by police in Khurja in Bulandshahr on January 14, 2007, the commission had said that "an execution by police is illegal and the most grievous violation of human rights."


First Published: Monday, May 09, 2011, 19:46

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