Guwahati: The Assam Human Rights Commission has found two police officials guilty of killing a man accused of theft in an alleged fake gunfight in 2021.
The commission has directed the state government to pay Rs 7 lakh as compensation to the deceased’s wife within two months and also punish the two officials.
According to the inquiry by the commission, Md Asha Babu, who was taken into custody on August 11, 2021, was taken to the banks of the Dhansiri river in the Darrang district to recover arms and ammunition.
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Babu’s wife, Monuwara Begum, alleged that Babu was bedridden at the time of the arrest and was forcefully taken to the police station by the two police officials.
She had also questioned why Babu, who was booked in a theft case, was taken to a forest area at the banks of the Dhansiri river without any witnesses.
The commission’s investigation found that Babu’s fingerprint was not found on the pistol alleged to have been seized by the police near his dead body at the encounter site.
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This, along with other circumstances, led to the conclusion that Babu was killed by the two charged officers in a fake encounter killing while he was in police custody.
The commission’s finding comes amidst increased police shootings in Assam since Himanta Biswa Sarma became the chief minister of the state in May 2021.
An affidavit submitted by the Assam government to the Gauhati High Court said that 171 such incidents between May 2021 and August 2022 had taken place in the state, resulting in 56 deaths and 145 injuries.