Re: One day protest demonstration to demad CBI probe in the matter of 'COLD BLOODED KILLINGS OF INNOCENT TRIBALS at SINGARAM
It appears that the police were trying to cover up something. Autopsy should be routine event after an encounter killing. In USA, in such matters, usually an internal affairs inquiry is ordered irrespective of whether the encounter is genuine or fake. The officer involved were asked to go on leave till the inquiry is pending.
Apparently, the police were trying to cover up some facts. Please don't miss the news item
AP High Court issues land mark order against police on encounters
HC orders for autopsy of 8 tribals killed in encounter
Bilaspur: The Chhattisgarh HighCourt on Thursday directed the authorities to conduct post-mortem of eight tribals who were killed in an encounter that took place near Simgavaam village in Dantewada district of South Bastar on January 8.
"The court directed the authorities concerned to conduct the post-mortem between 11 am and 12 noon on February 1," petitioner's counsel Saurav Dangi told The Indian Express.
As the petition filed by Vanvasi Chetna Ashram director Himanchu Kumar and 20 others--all relatives of those killed in the encounter--came up for hearing on Thursday, the petitioners moved an application, pointing out that post-mortem of those killed had not been conducted so far.
Advocate General Prashant Mishra, who appeared for the state Government, did not oppose the application. According to the petitioners' counsel, the court was informed that bodies of eight tribals were buried and the remaining bodies cremated as per local tribal traditions.
Meanwhile, the respondents -- the state government, senior police officials and 18 Special Police Officers (SPO) -- had sought ten more days to file their replies on the petition. The petitioners had sought a court directive for a CBI inquiry into what they alleged was a "fake encounter" in which 19 tribals, including women, were killed.
Besides, the petitioners also prayed for a compensation of Rs 25 lakh to the families of each of those killed in the "encounter" as well as a directive to initiate criminal proceedings against 18 SPOs and others who were allegedly involved in the killings.
The petitioners had submitted before the court that a group of people, including SPOs, had rounded up several people and taken them to the forests where they shot 19 of them.
They claimed that the villagers had faced the ire of these people, mostly SPOs staying in Salwa Judum relief camps, as the local had earlier refused to move to relief camps, disobeying the anti-Naxalite movement activists.
AP High Court issues land mark order against police on encounters (Feb 6, 2009, Rediff)
In a judgment with far reaching implications, the Andhra Pradesh High Court has ordered that the details including the names of the policemen involved in any encounter should be made public and a case should be booked against them. A five judge bench headed by the Chief Justice A R Dave passed a long pending petition filed by the civil rights organisations in the state seeking action against the policemen involved in "fake" encounters. While not committing it on whether certain encounters were fake or not, the bench set certain procedures to ensure fair investigations of such cases. The bench held that as soon as any encounter takes place, the First Investigation Report should be booked against the policemen involved in such a case, and investigations should be launched to establish the genuineness of the claims that the encounter was an act in self defense.
The petition was filed by the Andhra Pradesh Civil Liberties Committee and others after a series of encounter cases were pending before the court for several years. Bojja Taraka, a prominent lawyer and the counsel for the petitioner said that so much time was taken to deliver the verdict because initially the petition was heard by a single judge. But in view of the importance of the case, the petition was referred to a three judge bench. But as this bench was also divided on the issue, the matter was referred to the full bench of five judges. Earlier the government of Andhra Pradesh and the police top brass had refused to make the names and other details of the policemen and officials involved in any encounter public, on the ground of security concerns. The High Court order is being seen as a big blow to the government and the police as it will put the policemen involved in such incidents under pressure. But it was hailed by the civil liberties activists.
Hailing the court verdict Bojja Tarakam said that it will bring transparency and fairness in the working of the police. "Now it will be in the hands of the court to decide whether an encounter was fake or not. Once the FIR is lodged against the policemen, the matter will go before the court", he said elaborating the significance of the court verdict. "The law does not allow the police to indiscriminately fire and kill any body. Now they will have to establish that they genuinely opened fire in self defense," he said, rebutting the claim of the policemen that they always kill people in encounter after the other side open fire on them.
The popular balladeer Ghaddar hoped that the High Curt verdict will put some sense in the police. "Other wise both the police and the government which shields them will have to face the court", Ghaddar said. "The general feeling of the people in the state is that all the encounters in the past were fake, Ghaddar said. He also rubbished the police officials' claim that such a court order will affect the efforts to maintain law and order. Ghaddar said, "Police officials don't have to worry about it. Why are they taking every body's responsibility on their head? There is also political administration, elected government and judiciary."