Pay 50K compensation to two Assamese: NHRC to Centre
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Last Updated: Monday, March 15, 2010, 19:18
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 its recommendations.

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 electric shocks.

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 questioning.

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 said.

The Commission had taken cognisance of the case on the basis of a complaint filed by a rights activist Suhas Chakma.


First Published: Monday, March 15, 2010, 19:18

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