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Submit report on ‘police encounters’ by Nov 14: HC to Assam govt

Guwahati:Gauhati Excessive Court docket on Thursday directed Assam authorities to submit the detailed investigation report on the police encounters by means of an affidavit by November 14, because the state authorities failed to supply the identical in six weeks.

Listening to a Public Curiosity Litigation (PIL) filed by Delhi-based lawyer and activist Arif Jwadder, the Excessive Court docket on July 29 had given six weeks time to submit the detailed report by means of an affidavit into all of the police encounters which have taken place in Assam since May final yr.

The Assam authorities by means of an affidavit had earlier knowledgeable the court docket that 51 accused folks died and 139 had been injured within the encounters between May 2021 and June 2022 in 31 of the state’s 35 districts.

Jwadder instructed IANS on Thursday that the variety of deaths by now has elevated to 55.

After Himanta Biswa Sarma took cost as Chief Minister in May 2021, Assam had recorded 161 incidents of police encounters and actions ensuing within the dying of 51 accused folks whereas 139 others had been injured. The Assam authorities, by means of an affidavit on June 20, instructed the Excessive Court docket that the variety of deaths had elevated to 54.

Jwadder had sought an intensive Excessive Court docket-monitored probe into these police encounters by impartial businesses together with the Central Bureau of Investigation or any police crew of different state.

Assam’s General Police, the Regulation and Justice Division, the Nationwide Human Rights Fee and the Assam Human Rights Fee had been named as within the PIL, filed by Jwadder.

Civil rights lawyer and activist Prashant Bhushan and senior lawyer Indira Jaising throughout their separate look for the petitioner, had earlier argued within the Excessive Court docket that the PIL raised the problem of public significance involving the rule of legislation in Assam.

“The Assam Police did not follow the law and procedure laid down by the Supreme Court in the 2014 case of People’s Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL) versus Maharashtra on alleged fake encounters. The state government also did not follow the Supreme Court’s guidelines on conducting independent inquiries in all the cases of encounters, including those resulting in injuries,” Bhushan had instructed the Excessive Court docket throughout his current look on the PIL.

After assuming workplace in May final yr, Assam CM introduced a crackdown on militants, drug sellers, smugglers, murderers, cattle lifters and people accused of rape and crimes in opposition to girls. Sarma, who additionally holds the house portfolio, has emphasised on a ‘zero tolerance coverage’ in the direction of crime and criminals, giving the police ‘full operational independence throughout the purview of legislation’ to behave.

Of the 51 or 55 accused, some had been killed in custody, some whereas ‘attempting to flee after snatching police’s firearm’ whereas a number of others had been shot within the leg.

Just a few accused died ‘after being hit by the police autos’ whereas going to confirm their (accused) assertion on the crime spot. The deaths of 51 or 55 folks in lots of encounters included militants, needed criminals, anti-socials concerned in numerous crimes, drug peddlers, dacoits, arms smugglers and cattle thieves.

Jwadder, who additionally earlier lodged the same criticism about these alleged ‘pretend encounters’ with the Nationwide Human Rights Fee (NHRC), in his PIL mentioned that each one the victims had been unarmed and handcuffed on the time of the encounter.

“Those people who have been killed or injured were not dreaded criminals. Above all, this petition raises the issue of violations of the rule of law and equality before the law and equal protection of laws. Police personnel do not have a license to kill, The whole idea of ​​the CrPC is to apprehend criminals and bring them to justice, not to kill them.”

The PIL additionally mentioned that such encounter killings deprive the victims of the appropriate to private liberty and life, which can’t be denied besides by “procedure established by law”.

“There is no law enabling what has come to be known as ‘encounter killings’ and the Assam Police, like any other persons, are bound by the provisions of the CrPC. Failure to apprehend criminals and bring them to justice is a failure of the entire policing system in the state which requires an investigation by this court,” the PIL identified.

Jwadder mentioned that the NHRC had earlier taken cognizance of his criticism and requested for an motion taken report from the Assam Police.

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