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2 yrs on, NHRC orders compensation

Chhattisgarh custodial death: First instance of rights panel ordering relief in Maoist case.

Written by Ashutosh Bhardwaj | Raipur |
June 24, 2014 12:47:42 am
The Jan 16, 2012 report in The Indian Express.  The NHRC took suo motu cognizance of this report. The Jan 16, 2012 report in The Indian Express.
The NHRC took suo motu cognizance of this report.

Slamming the Chhattisgarh government, the National Human Rights Commission has ordered a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the family of tribal youth Pudiyami Mada, who died “in illegal custody” at the Sukma police station in January 2012.

This is the first instance when the NHRC has awarded compensation for a custodial death in Maoist-related cases in Chhattisgarh.

Taking suo motu cognizance of a report published by The Indian Express on January 16, 2012, the commission had sent an immediate notice to the state. The report mentioned that the CRPF had first detained Mada on suspicion of being a Maoist and then handed him over to the local police, a fact confirmed by the subsequent magisterial inquiry. The report also quoted a state policeman blaming the CRPF for illegally detaining Mada and burning his genitals.

“In response to the notices, the state government provided various reports, including the magisterial inquiry report, which confirmed that Pudiyami Mada died in police custody. According to the magisterial inquiry report, the police kept him in custody in spite of having been remanded in judicial custody and the fear of torture might have triggered his suicide. The magisterial inquiry report has observed that death in custody was a clear security lapse and officials who illegally kept him should be answerable. He (magistrate) has recommended that the matter be investigated by the CID and an FIR be registered against the offenders,” said the NHRC. The case, however, was not investigated further.

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The NHRC has now ordered to pay the compensation and asked the Chhattisgarh chief secretary “to submit a compliance report along with proof of payment within eight weeks”.

Mada left behind his wife Pushpa, who was five months pregnant when he died, a younger brother and parents.

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