Illegal police action: States pay in 3 cases after NHRC nudge

Last Updated: Monday, May 9, 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."

PTI



First Published: Monday, May 9, 2011 - 19:46

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