Guwahati: The Assam Human Rights Commission (AHRC), taking a suo moto cognisance, has directed the Assam government to conduct a high-level inquiry to find out facts and circumstances leading to the death of 12 alleged criminals and injury of five in police firing since the new government came to power two months ago.
The Commission, in a notice issued on July 7, has ordered the Principal Secretary, Home and Political Department, Government of Assam to inquire into the incidents and submit a report before the Commission within a month.
AHRC took suo moto cognisance following news reports of alleged police firing published in two local dailies.
“Considering the gravity of the reported incidents, the Commission has felt necessary to issue notice to the higher authority of Home and Political Department for high-level inquiry,” the order copy said, which EastMojo has accessed.
“Accordingly it is ordered to issue a notice with a copy of the news clipping to the Principal Secretary to the Government of Assam, Home and Political Department to cause an inquiry to find out facts and circumstances leading to the death and injuries of the alleged accused persons and submit the report within one month of receipt of the notice [sic],” the order added.
In the notice, the Commission mentioned that 12 alleged criminals were killed and five were injured in police firing incidents. The notice mentioned the details of such incidents.
“It is reported that six suspected Dimasa National Liberation Army (DNLA) militants and two alleged insurgents of United People’s Revolutionary Front (UPRF) were killed in two separate encounters with police in Karbi Anglong district,” the order mentioned.
“Four other suspected criminals were killed in different encounters. One Sub-inspector K Sing Siddhu, accused of a kidnapping case was killed while he was taken to Guwahati, who alleged to have snatched the service pistol of the police officer, following which shootouts had taken place…” added the order.
The Commission mentions the shootouts involving the death of Chaurangi Syni in Kokrajhar, one abductor in Rani Forest near Assam-Meghalaya border near Guwahati and Bubu Knowar, a professional killer, who was killed in a shootout in Sivasagar on May 13.
“It is also reported that no inquiry has been instituted so far in any of such incidents,” the order sheet said.
The Commission will inquire themselves if the government fails to submit the report before them within one month, a member of the Commission disclosed.
The advocate in his complaint said, “Since the new government took office in the state, there have been fake encounters wherein alleged small-time criminals are being shot, and the reason cited for such encounters is that the alleged criminals tried to flee from the police custody snatching pistols.”
“Also, it cannot be believed that all alleged petty criminals could snatch a pistol from a trained police officer whose pistols/ guns are normally tied by a rope to their waist belt,” the advocate added.
Earlier, Assam Chief Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma said that that shooting at criminals “should be the pattern” if they attempt to escape from custody or try to snatch arms from the police to open fire.
“Someone asked me whether shooting incidents are becoming a pattern in the state, I replied it should be the pattern if it involves a criminal trying to escape police custody,” Sarma said on July 5, in a meeting with the Officers In-Charge of all police stations of Assam.
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