In a significant development, the Gauhati High Court on Monday called upon the state government to reveal details of all encounters that took place in the northeastern state since May amid allegations of human rights abuses.
On Monday, a division bench of Chief Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia and Justice Soumitra Saikia asked Assam Advocate General Devjit Lone Saikia to inform the court about the progress made in the encounter cases as specified by the State Human Rights Commission in its order dated July 7, so that it He himself took cognizance of the killings in the alleged encounter and issued a notice in the matter.
The bench also took judicial notice of the murder of a boy in Assam’s Sivasagar district. It directed to list the matter on January 11.
The petitioner in the case had claimed that more than 80 encounters have taken place since May when Himanta Biswa Sarma took charge.
The court also asked whether any FIR was registered on each encounter as mandated by law or whether any internal inquiry was conducted regarding the encounters.
The top counsel for the state government sought to submit that five state government policemen were killed but no one was talking about their human rights violations. “Our police have shown utmost patience and perseverance,” he told the court.
He was apparently referring to the violent clashes on the Assam-Mizoram border last year in which five Assam Police personnel lost their lives.
The court said it was a completely different issue as it involved a dispute between two neighboring states.
The high court was hearing a petition filed by Arif Mohammad Yasin Jawadar, a Delhi-based lawyer and resident of Assam, seeking an independent probe under the supervision of the High Court into the encounter killings in Assam.
In addition, they have sought registration of a First Information Report (FIR) in the murders of the alleged criminals under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). They have also demanded the setting up of Human Rights Courts in the state under Section 30 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993.
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