March 23, 2015

nhrc-logoOdisha Channel Bureau New Delhi, Mar 23: The National Human Rights Commission, setting aside the contentions of the Government of Gujarat in a matter of encounter, reiterated that it had to pay Rs.5 lakh as monetary relief to the next of kin of the victim Rahim Kasam Sumra, which the State government eventually paid.The Commission had taken up the matter on a complaint from the brother of the victim that Rahim was killed by the Gandhinagar police in a fake encounter on January 8, 2007.In a prolonged exchange of notices and their replies, the Commission, on the basis of material on record, had found that the theory of genuine encounter by police did not hold the ground and recommended Rs.5 lakh as monetary relief, which was contested by the State government as unjustified on the basis of yet another report, according to a press release issued by NHRC today.NHRC Member Justice D.Murugesan noted that the SP, Gandhi Nagar, had offered the following clarifications: i) the deceased was among the ten most wanted criminals of the of the district and two police units were actively searching for him in a case of robbery registered at PS Kalol Taluka;ii) these two units assembled at LCB (Local Crime Branch) office, Gandhinagar on 07/01/2007 and started patrolling at 2100 hrs;iii) the bullets recovered from the body and the weapons used by the police were not sent for testing in FSL, since the police officials had admitted firing these bullets from the weapons issued to them;iv) the tyre marks of the motor cycle, and the footprints of the unidentified criminals who escaped, were not taken by the FSL officer, since the scene of crime was hard and covered by grass;v) two policemen were injured when they fell, trying to evade shots fired by the deceased; they received no bullet injuries;vi) on the recovery of only two bullets (one each from the barrels of two CMPs), it was possible that the two unidentified accomplices of the deceased had taken the spent cartridges with them;vii) the downward track of all bullets that hit the deceased was explained by the fact that the policemen were at a level higher than their target, though there was no sketch map of the scene of crime that illustrates this;viii) the sketch map was not prepared since the case was related to section 307 IPC and not to section 302 IPC;ix) GD entries of the two police units could not be provided because they did not maintain these;x) fingerprints were not taken because the surfaces of the metal of the weapons were hard and rough;xi) the hand-wash of the deceased had not shown any gunshot residue because there was a long gap between the encounter and the postmortem;xii) no independent witness could be examined since the encounter took place at the dead of night, when there was no one else present.However, the Member held that these responses were either inadequate as explanations, or simply a confirmation that there were lapses and lacunae in the investigation of the case. The fact remained that the police was unable to establish that there was a genuine encounter.The Commission, therefore, maintained its recommendation directing the State government to pay monetary relief of Rs.5 lakh to the family of Rahim, according to the release.

March 23, 2015 0 Comment

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