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Human rights body issues notice to Assam chief secy over police firing on ex-student leader

Human rights body issues notice to Assam chief secy over police firing on ex-student leader

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Kirti Kamal Bora Kirti Kamal Bora

GUWAHATI: The Assam Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has taken suo motu cognisance of an incident of police firing on a former student leader in Nagaon district and issued notice to Chief Secretary Jishnu Barua asking why the state government should not pay compensation to the man.

Based on media reports, the AHRC had on January 24 issued a suo motu order, which stated that there is a "prima-facie" case of violation of human rights.

"It is felt necessary to issue notice to the chief secretary of Assam to show-cause as to why payment of compensation of Rs 1.5 lakh as interim relief to the victim (Kirti Kamal Bora) should not be recommended," AHRC member Naba Kamal Bora said in the order.

The Commission has fixed February 28 for the next hearing of the case with a reply from the chief secretary.

Bora was injured in police firing in Nagaon district on January 22, leading to opposition parties and social groups calling it an effect of the prevailing "police jungle raj" and claiming that the present situation is worse than that during the "secret killings" of the 1990s.

Police claimed that the former Nowgong College general secretary was selling drugs and he was shot in the leg after he had attacked law enforcers, while the All Assam Students' Union (AASU) alleged that he had protested to "drunk policemen" beating up a youth and it irked them.

Under pressure due to public backlash over the incident, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had on January 23 announced an inquiry by a one-man commission of Additional Chief Secretary Paban Kumar Borthakur into the circumstances leading to the police firing.

The Assam Police had sent the police personnel, involved in the shooting incident at Kachalukhua in Nagaon, to the police reserve on the next day of the firing.

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