GUWAHATI: Assam is among the country’s top five States that have the dubious distinction of killing more people in the police encounter, together with very slow disposal of killing cases.
A reality check shows that from April 1, 2015 to November 20, 2018 as many as 94 cases in police encounter were registered in the State. Oddly enough, only eight of the 94 cases have been disposed of during the period. Eighty-six of the 94 killing cases are still pending.
According to statistics from the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), in the financial year from April 1, 2015-March 31, 2016 there were 43 deaths/cases of police encounter. However, only four of the cases were disposed of, leaving 39 cases pending. Likewise, in the period from April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017 there were 31 cases of death in police encounter in the State. Of them, only three cases were disposed of, leaving 28 other cases pending. Even as the number of deaths in police encounter came down to 16 during the period from April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018, the number of case disposal is just one. Fifteen of the 16 death cases were pending in that financial year. During the current financial year till November 20, 2018 only four deaths in police encounter were registered in the State. However, none of the four cases has been disposed as yet.
The statistics given above shows that even as the number of deaths in police encounter keeps on falling in Assam from April 1, 2015 to November 20, 2018 in every successive financial year in Assam, the State is still among the five States in the country that have the tag of killing more people in police encounter, together with poor disposal of cases. The other four States that are clubbed with Assam are Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Odhisa and Jharkhand.
The NHRC has circulated guidelines to all state governments as well as union territories in dealing with cases of deaths occurring in police action emphasizing that all such cases of deaths shall be reported to the NHRC by the police within 48 hours or occurrence. The subsequent reports, along with post-mortem report, inquest report and findings of the magisterial inquiry and inquiry by senior officers must be sent to the NHRC within three months.
Rights body has further said that prompt prosecution and disciplinary actions must be initiated against all delinquent officers found guilty in the magisterial inquiry and police investigation.
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