Indian National Human Rights Commission seeks report from Odisha state govt, interior ministry on killing of tribals

The government had also assured National Commission for Scheduled Caste that the children?of victims would be provided free education up to graduation level. Image source: commons.wikimedia.org Photograph:( Others )

PTI Bhubaneswar, India Jul 14, 2016, 04.47 PM (IST)
Indian National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has sought reports from Odisha state government and Indian interior ministry on the killing of five tribals during anti-Maoist operations by Indian security personnel in Kandhamal district of the state.

"We have sought the report on the July 8 killing of tribals in the firing in Kandhamal both from the (Odisha) state government and the Home Ministry (Interior ministry) within two weeks," NHRC secretary Satya Narayan Mohanty, who attended a meeting at the state secretariat here during the day, told reporters.

Earlier, Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) had also sougt reports from the state government on the July 8 night incident in Kandhamal.

Chairperson of Indian National Commission for Scheduled Caste (NCSC) PL Punia claimed security personnel had opened fire "unilaterally" without any provocation.

Punia, who met the family members of the victims in Kandhamal earlier in the day, said, "The police opned fire unilaterally without any provocation leading to the death of five persons."

He suggested that the state government register cases under the provision of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities, POA) Act for the incident.

He also said that victims families should also be given "adequate compensation" as per the provisions of the POA.

The state government, he said, had informed him that the state government has already made provisions for providing housing for the victims' families.

The government had also assured NCSC that the children of victims would be provided free education up to graduation level.

Punia said NCSC would keep a watch on the actions taken by the state government. "If required the senior officers like the chief secretary, home secretary and director general of police of Odisha will be called to meet the Commission."

The NCSC visit came a day after the one by members of National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) under its chairman Rameshwar Oraon.

The NCST while expressing satisfaction over the measures taken by the state government immediately after the July 8 night incident, came down heavily on the Special Operations Group personnel who had opened fire on the innocent people. 

Meanwhile, a parliamentary delegation of ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), led by party vice-president Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, are scheduled to visit the spot on the the incident tomorrow, a BJP release said.

The delegation, comprising BJP national secretaries Jyoti Dhurve and Ramvichar Netam, are also scheduled to meet the victims' families, the release added.

A delegation of opposition political party Congress led by its leader Narasingha Mishra is also scheduled to visit the firing spot at Gumudimaha village tomorrow, sources in the party said.

Both BJP and Congress had separately called bandhs in Kandhamal to protest against the killings.

(PTI)