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Fresh NHRC guidelines on police encounters

New Delhi: Alarmed by the news of encounters, which in course of time are alleged to be fake, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued fresh guidelines to all the states to report the facts within 48 hours. In the past a period of six months was granted for reporting such cases. It also made it mandatory on the states to send detailed second report “within three months” from the date of encounter which must include a post-mortem report, inquest report and findings of the inquiry conducted by a magistrate or senior officials. These guidelines make it amply clear that cases of culpable homicide lodged against policemen can now be investigated by any specialised investigation agency. Delhi shows a remarkable decrease in the trend of encounters in recent years. The period 1 August 2007 to 31 July 2010 registered death of eight criminals and arrests of 581 whereas in the period preceding this i.e., 1 August 2004 to 31 July 2007, the persons killed totalled to 52 while those arrested had been 834. Arrests of police officers in Gujarat following Sohrabuddin fake encounter has considerably influenced the senior ranking police officers who now are keen on arresting criminals instead of gunning them down. Special Cell commissioner P.N. Agarwal also substantiates the fact that the last three years saw 25 encounters while its preceding period had 70 such cases. Similarly compared to 199 registered cases in the recent past the earlier record was 399. The Special cell carry out anti-terrorist operation as well as preventive assignments. Peaceful completion of Common Wealth Games is a feather in special cell’s cap.
 

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-30 November 2010 on page no. 18

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