Questioning the genuineness of an encounter in Assam’s Sonitpur district on February 19, 2010 in which a person named Bijoy Boro was shot dead, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has instead recommended Rs 5 lakh as monetary relief to Boro’s next of kin.
“On the basis of the material on record, the Commission observed that there was no proof that an encounter took place, initiated by extremists, in which the security forces were compelled to return fire. Also, no proof or the explanation was provided as to how the security forces came to this conclusion that Bijoy Boro had extremist links,” NHRC said.
NHRC also turned down the defence ministry’s contention that monetary relief should not be given to Boro’s next of kin as the operation in which he was killed was “conducted in accordance with the laid down procedure and there was no human rights violation by the security forces”.
“Thousands of such fake encounters have taken place in the Northeast. In Manipur itself, we have documented 1528 such fake encounter cases. But unlike the Ishrat Jhan case, where the investigations have already started, not a single case in the Northeast has been investigated till now and only monetary compensations have been offered. The law should be equal for everyone,” said Babloo Loitongbam, leading human rights activist who is fighting the issue in the Supreme Court.
While an AK-47 rifle was recovered from the scene of the incident, the police or the Army recovered no spent cartridges.
“Therefore, there was no proof that this weapon was fired,” the Commission noted adding that none of the standard tests that should have been routine in a thorough police investigation were conducted.
While the Commission had sought specific forensic reports to establish that the rifle was in working order and had been fired, matching of Boro’s finger prints with those on the rifle and swabs from Boro’s fingers to confirm gun shot residue, none of those reports were produced before the Commission.