High Court issues notice to Punjab on plea for probing 6733 ‘encounter killings’ : The Tribune India

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High Court issues notice to Punjab on plea for probing 6733 ‘encounter killings’

The petition was filed in 2019 by Punjab Documentation and Advocacy Project and other petitioners

High Court issues notice to Punjab on plea for probing 6733 ‘encounter killings’

The Punjab and Haryana High Court issued notice to Punjab on plea for probing 6733 ‘encounter killings’. Tribune file



Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7

The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday issued notice of motion to the State of Punjab on a petition filed in public interest seeking a SIT/CBI probe and “wider investigation” into approximately 6733 “encounter killings, custodial deaths and illegal cremations of bodies” from 1984 to 1995 on the “pattern of Manipur petition pending in the Supreme Court”.

The petition, placed before the Bench of Acting Chief Justice G S Sandhawalia and Justice Lapita Banerji, was filed in 2019 by Punjab Documentation and Advocacy Project (PDAP) and other petitioners through senior counsel Rajvinder Singh Bains.

The petitioner submitted that the Punjab Police and the security forces abducted the victims, killed them, burnt their bodies as being “unclaimed and unidentified in secret and documented cremations and by other means, including throwing the bodies in rivers and canals”.

The petitioner added the persons extra-judicially executed were cremated without informing their kin and handing over their bodies for last rites.

“The present petition identifies many of these victims through the FIRs and cremation records,” the petitioner submitted, while praying for independent and effective investigation into these killings, besides “a diligent prosecution of those involved in the murders and the subsequent cover-ups”.

Bains also prayed for directing the setting up of an appropriate committee headed by a retired Supreme Court or High Court Judge to conduct the inquiry into “all enforced disappearance and extra-judicial killings in Punjab.

Directions were also sought for compensating the victims’ families by “payment of amounts reflecting the seriousness and gravity of these heinous crimes”.

It was added that the victims of mass killings and cremations in Punjab under the guise of encounters and security operations had suffered in silence.

“In many cases the Municipal Corporations have refused to issue death certificates to the families as they have not been able to prove the deaths of their kin in absence of the dead body.

The absence of death certificates means that widows are denied government widow pension schemes. The children of the disappeared are not given subsidies in education otherwise available to other orphans. It also means that the victims face considerable hurdles and difficulties in matters of inheritance/succession and employment on compassionate grounds…,” it was added.

 

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#Central Bureau of Investigation CBI #Custodial Death #human rights


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