New Delhi, May 9 : The National Human Rights Commission has sought the comments of West Bengal Chief Secretary on its 12 point recommendations on the violence in Nandigram.
The recommendations were given by a three-member committee of the Commission, which visited Nandigram.
The NHRC Committee comprising A.K. Jain, Secretary General, Damodar Sarangi, Special Rapporteur and A.K. Garg, Registrar, was appointed on February 8, 2008 to suggest compensation regarding the damage that occurred and to ensure that the monetary relief reaches the genuine persons.
The Committee was constituted after an inquiry team of the Commission submitted a report, after visiting the violence hit areas
The NHRC Committee's recommendations are:
(1) Instructions may be issued to State Government to publish complete list of persons whose houses were damaged in the incidents from March 14 to November 2007 related to SEZ issue in Nandigram area, giving details like address, nature of construction (Pucca/Kutcha), extent of damage (fully/partially), exgratia amount paid or proposed to be paid, etc.
(2) List of applications received so far in this regard and status thereof may also be published.
(3) The above list may be published in at least two local Bengali papers having wide circulation in the area.
(4) A date may be indicated in the publication by which time anyone who likes to make an application or submits a representation can do so.
(5) Three weeks or one month's time from the date of publication in the newspapers is considered reasonable for receipt of applications.
(6) Receipt should be given to the individuals making application.
(7) The lists may also be displayed on the notice boards in Gram Panchayat and Block offices and copies may be given to the district level representatives of all recognized political parties in the State. Copies may also be given to representatives of Bhoomi Uchhed Pratirodh Committee (BUPC). Receipts must be obtained.
(8) All fresh applications or representations must be duly enquired into and decision taken subject to confirmation by the NHRC.
(9) The Committee considers that for damaged houses/shops, following amounts of ex-gratia is reasonable.
(10) Pucca houses - Rs. 20,000/- for fully damaged and Rs. 10,000/- for partially damaged.
(11)Kutcha houses - Rs. 12,000/- for fully damaged and Rs. 6,000/- partially damaged.
(12) Provide shops at the same rate as kutcha houses.
The NHRC said payment must also be made to the next of kin of those who died in other incidents related to the issue and that the State Government should immediately take a decision about payment of ex-gratia amount to injured persons and inform the Commission.
It also urged that the information sought in the letter of Secretary General dated February 8, 2008, may be furnished immediately.
It said that the Superintendent of Police, East Midnapore, shall ensure that appropriate action is taken on all the complaints received at the police stations in the District. If the allegations made in the complaint disclose cognizable offence, the provisions of Section 154 Cr. P.C. should be complied with, and, all persons who have been arrested in connection with police cases regarding incidents of clashes and riots should be provided legal aid, if required.
The NHRC Committee visited West Bengal on April 3 and 4, 2008. It held discussions with District Magistrate East Midnapore, SP East Midnapore, ADM Haldia, SDO and SDPO Haldia, BDO Nandigram I and II Blocks and other officials.
It also interacted with the victims and met Ashok Behra (CPM), Sabapati Panchayat Samiti of Nandigram block and Mohd. Yasin, Chairperson, Standing Committee of Panchayat Samiti on Education. The Committee also met the Joint Secretary of the BUPC.
Besides, the committee saw damaged houses. It met the Chief Secretary, West Bengal on the second day. The Chief Secretary was informed that there was lack of transparency in the matter of publication of list of damaged houses and most of the affected persons and even the representative of BUPC who met the committee mentioned that they were not aware of such lists.