New Delhi: The National Human Rights
Commission has asked the Centre to pay a compensation of Rs
50,000 each to two residents of Assam who were apprehended and
allegedly tortured by the army personnel last year on
suspicion that the duo had links with ULFA.
The Commission also asked Defence Secretary to submit
a compliance report along with proof of payment of the
compensation within six weeks from the date of the receipt of
Personnel of Maibel Base Army Camp had apprehended
Bhadrakanta Baruah and Ghana Neog, both residents of
Tokolimara village, and allegedly beat them up on January 31
last year suspecting them of having links with ULFA militants.
They were taken to the army camp where they were
allegedly assaulted. Baruah charged that he was administered
They were later handed over to police which too
interrogated them. The two were released as nothing
incriminating was found against them, the NHRC noted.
In its reply to the Commission`s show cause notice,
the Defence ministry said that the two villagers were
apprehended on the basis of reliable intelligence inputs which
had said that the duo had "harboured and provided food and
shelter" to ULFA cadres on January 28.
The ministry also claimed that during questioning,
Baruah and Neog had accepted that militants had stayed in
their houses on January 28 before proceeding to another
village next day but denied that armymen tortured them while
The rights body, however, noted that during
investigation by the police, victims were found not having any
links with ULFA and were released on the same day.
"This negates the claim of the Ministry of Defence
that they confessed before the army personnel that they had
given shelter to the militants," it observed.
"...even though the injuries have been opined by the
doctor as simple, yet they are suggestive of the torture
during interrogation by the army personnel," it said.
Hence, prima-facie, a case of violation of human
rights is made out and "the Government of India cannot escape
its liability to compensate them monetarily", the rights body
The Commission had taken cognisance of the case on
the basis of a complaint filed by a rights activist Suhas