NHRC asks J

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New Delhi, Jun 11 (UNI) The National Human Rights Commission has asked the Jammu and Kashmir Government to pay Rs three lakh as monetary relief to the next-of-kin of a deceased who was subjected to torture and later on died after release.

The Commission's direction came on a complaint registered earlier.

As per the complaint received in the Commission, Banarasi Das Sharma was arrested by the police along with his two sons on May 2, 2000. The complaint said that his two sons were let off but he was unlawfully detained and flogged to such an extent that he became permanently crippled. He was released on May 9, 2000.

A letter later on received in the Commission said Banarasi Das died on October 19, 2000 due to torture and beating by the police during unlawful detention.

The Commission issued a notice to the State authorities following which DGP, J &K submitted a report. The report said that Banarasi Das and his two sons were arrested by Army Intelligence with the help of a police Sub-inspector for suspected involvement in espionage. It said a room at Police Station Pacca Danga had been provided to Army for interrogation. Following this the Commission called for a report from the Ministry of Defence. The Defence Ministry in the report submitted denied its involvement.

An enquiry report of SDPO City North Jammu in the year 2004, stated that Banarasi Das was kept in PS Pacca Danga by the verbal orders of senior officers of Army Intelligence. It said that no entry with regard to detention was made in the record of the police station.

The Commission after carefully examining the reports from both the J& K Police and the Defence Ministry said that though the two authorities have blamed each other yet the fact was that Banarasi Das was kept in detention at PS Pacca Danga for seven days and the factum of his detention was not entered in the records. This indicates that the local police had not come out with all the facts.

Besides the fact that his two sons were released on the directions of SP, City North Jammu, indicates that Banarasi Das was in police custody and not in the custody of the Army.

The Commission further said that if Banarasi Das was tortured by the Army and not by the police then why he would exonerate the Army and make false allegations against the local police. Keeping these factors in mind, the Commission said that it was satisfied that the victim was tortured by the local police itself and a case of violation of Human Rights was made against them.

The Commission recommended that the State government should pay three lakh rupees to the kin of the deceased and submit a compliance report by August 8, 2008.

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