Assam Police Accountability Comm seeks salary scam probe report

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Guwahati, Apr 19 (UNI) The Police Accountability Commission of Assam today sought a detailed report from the state DGP on the progress of inquiry into the salary scam in two police battalions.

The four-member Commission, however, refused to divulge whether it was taking a suo moto cognisance to inquire into the anomalies.

The 4th and 10th Assam Police battalions are facing inquiry over allegations of forged withdrawal of salaries, running into crores of rupees with several senior officers of the police department likely to be indicted for it.

Talking to mediapersons after a meeting of the Commission, the members informed that they have received eight complaints from various sources so far, which are in various stages of investigations.

The Commission also held an interactive session with top police officials of the state, where DGP R N Mathur was also present.

The Commission has urged the police leadership of the state to develop some kind of accountability framework to ensure accountability at all the levels of hierarchy of the police department.

The interactive session also discussed the feasibility of having close circuit cameras in each of the police stations of the state, which would help in reducing the number of serious misconduct inside the police stations.

The members of the Commission are retired judge of the Gauhati High Court D N Choudhury, former DGP Dipak Narayan Dutta, former Commissioner (Home) D N Saikia and professor Jahanara Saikia.

The Commission was constituted on December 17 last year, with the first sitting conducted on January 18 last.

Chairman of the Commission D N Choudhury informed that it was holding regular sittings at the Guwahati circuit house every Wednesday and taking complaints.

The Commission will inquire into allegations of 'serious misconduct' against police personnel based on complaints from individual or organisations like the National Human Rights Commission and the State human rights body or any other source, said Mr Choudhury. The public complaints, however, would have to be backed by an affidavit.

'Serious misconduct' includes death in police custody, grievous hurt, molestation or rape, unauthorised detention or arrest, forceful deprivation of a person of his rightful ownership or possession of property, blackmail or extortion and non-registration of FIR.

The Commission is not empowered to take any punitive action after inquiry but its findings would be binding on the state government.

UNI SG KK AM KN1729

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