Guwahati: The Gauhati high court reserved its verdict on the fake encounters PIL as the hearing of the case ended on Wednesday. The high court was hearing a PIL filed by Delhi-based advocate Arif Md. Yeasin Jwadder and a resident of Assam, seeking an independent probe under the supervision of the high court into the encounter killings in Assam.
Earlier, an affidavit filed by the Assam government before the Gauhati high court said that at least 171 incidents of police firing and four custodial deaths had happened in the state since May 2021.
In October last year, the Gauhati high court asked the state government to reply to the allegations of human rights violations on account of encounter deaths in the state. The high court has called upon the Advocate General (AG) of Assam to appraise the issue.
As per a petition, at least 56 persons were killed and 142 injured in police action while the accused were allegedly trying to escape from custody or attacked police personnel since the second term of the BJP-ruled state government started in May 2021.
He further stated that only magisterial inquiries were done in 92 incidents, forensic tests were done in 48 incidents and ballistic tests were done in 40 incidents. Petitioner claimed without complete FSL and ballistic how could an independent investigation be done?
Earlier, during the hearing of the case, the Assam government defied the charges and informed the court on June 20 via an affidavit before the high court and claimed that “no extra-judicial killing” has taken place in the state.
The PIL also prayed for setting up Human Rights Courts in the state as mandated under Section 30 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993.
Jwadder, citing media reports informed the court that over 80 such encounters have taken place since the new government took charge in May. He added that 28 people were killed and 48 were injured in “fake encounters” during the timeframe.
Earlier, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had also asked for an action taken report from the state police in September.