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Rights panel reports the wrong side of cops

BHUBANESWAR: Rapid industrialisation and rising Naxalism have indeed brought to the fore one major issue, violation of human rights. The functioning of the law-keeping apparatus has come into sharp focus in this context.An inquiry reveals that ‘police’ top the chart of cases relating to rights violation in the State.

Open the Orissa Human Rights Commission (OHRC) records and State Police’ dubious distinction of being associated with the most number of complaints magnifies.According to OHRC registrar Santanu Kumar Rajguru, as many as 4,398 cases were registered with the rights panel from 2003, when it came into being, till 2006-end. The number includes complaints received and suo motu cognisance taken by the panel.

But, complaints to police outscore that of the panel in other individual categories by a huge margin.Around 1,207 cases are registered in ‘police, etc’ in the three-year span. The nearest to ‘police’ are ‘service matter’ with 677 cases and ‘women’ with 156 cases.However, DGP Amarananda Pattanayak had no comments.

“OHRC is a commission and unless I go through the details I would not comment,” he said. The cases include palm-chopping after 2006 Kalinga Nagar firing. A complaint about human rights violation during ‘bhumi puja’ for an industrial project there in May 2005 and sundry allegations of custody and Naxal encounter deaths.

But whither the recommendations of the panel? Here is a pointer. The panel investigated an allegation by one Sabitri Dash that Capital Police didn’t investigate killings of her daughter and grand-daughter by her son-in-law.

‘Indicting’ police, OHRC recommended CBI probe. But, the compliance of the Government is awaited, Rajguru said.The time-consuming inquiry, bundles of paperwork, repeated summons and post-mortem of cases by OHRC are all futile unless the recommendations are carried out in true spirit, feel insiders.

Supreme Court ex-judge and Chairman of OHRC Justice D P Mohapatra said, “Exercises should be result-oriented and the decisions of the panel carried out in a time-frame. Also the OHRC should be apprised of the actions taken.”

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posted by Bimal 7.2.07,

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