GUWAHATI, June 6: The Gauhati High Court has directed the Assam Government to pay a compensation of Rs 3 lakh to the next of kin of the prisoners who died unnatural deaths while in jail within 30 days. This direction was given by Chief Justice Ajit Singh and Justice Achintya Malla Bujor Barua on June 4. The public interest litigation (PIL) was taken up following direction from the Supreme Court “with a view to identify the next of kin of the prisoners who have admittedly died an unnatural death during the period between 2012 and 2015 and even thereafter, and award suitable compensation, unless adequate compensation has already been awarded.” Subsequently, the number of such deaths in custody was collected.
There were reportedly 16 such unnatural deaths in the jails in Assam from 2012 to 2016. In four other northeastern States, the number of similar deaths is two in Arunachal Pradesh and one each in Nagaland and Mizoram.