In Assam, High Court Seeks Report On Encounters Amid Rights Abuse Claims

In Assam, High Court Seeks Report On Encounters Amid Rights Abuse Claims

The Gauhati High Court sought the details of the encounter cases in the state. (File photo)

In a significant development, the Gauhati High Court on Monday called upon the state government to reveal the details of all the encounters that have been taking place in the northeastern state since May amid allegations of human rights abuse.  

On Monday, a division bench of Chief Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia and Justice Soumitra Saikia told  Assam Advocate General Devajit Lon Saikia to inform the court of the progress made in the cases of encounter referred by the State Human Rights Commission in its order on July 7 whereby it took a note on its own of the alleged encounter killings and had issued a notice in the matter.

The bench also took judicial notice of a killing of a boy in the Sivasagar district of Assam. It directed the listing of the matter on January 11.

The petitoner in the case had claimed that more than 80 encounters had taken place since May when Himanta Biswa Sarma took charge. 
The court also asked if there was any FIR registered on each encounter as mandated by law or if any internal enquiry had been conducted about the encounters.

The state government’s top lawyer sought to submit that five policemen of the state government were killed but nobody is talking about their human rights violation.  “Our police has shown utmost patience and perseverance,” he told the court.

He was apparently referring to the violent clashes that erupted at the Assam-Mizoram border last year in which five personnel of the Assam police had lost their lives. 

The court said it was totally a different issue as it involved a dispute between two neighbouring states.

The High Court was hearing a petition filed by Arif Md. Yeasin Jwadder, who is a Delhi-based advocate and an inhabitant of Assam, seeking an independent probe under the supervision of the High Court into the encounter killings in Assam. 

Besides, he has sought registration of First Information Reports (FIRs) into the killings of alleged criminals under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). He has also sought the constitution of Human Rights Courts in the state as mandated under Section 30 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993.

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