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Odisha rights panel orders compensation to victims of firing

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau

Bhubaneswar, Feb 13:

The Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) has ordered payment of financial compensation of Rs Rs 2.5 lakh and Rs 1 lakh to two young tribal people who were severely injured due to indiscriminate firing by CRPF jawans during a combing operation on 8 January 2013 near Khaliapali village under Komna block in Nuapada district, sources said.

Hube Majhi, victim of firing by CRPF
Hube Majhi, victim of firing by CRPF jawans in Nuapada 

Two young tribals, Hube Majhi and Hari Majhi sustained severe injuries after they were hit by bullets sprayed by CRPF jawans during an anti-Maoist combing operation. Both the victims were catching fish from a pond inside a small forest near their village when the firing incident occurred.

The Commission’s order came in response to a petition filed by PUCL’s state convener Pramodini Pradhan and lawyer Biswapriya Kanungo on 3 February 2013.

Terming the incident as a serious violation of human rights as well as the right to life and personal liberty guaranteed to all citizens by the Constitution, the Commission has asked the state Home secretary and the Nuapada district collector to comply with the order within four weeks, sources said.

The Commission has also asked the Nuapada collector ensure the two young victims receive all necessary assistance under the BPL scheme and see to it that they live with dignity.

The Nuapada SP in his submission had said that the police had taken both injured persons to hospital and underwritten their medical expenses. The SP had also said that financial assistance of Rs 10,000 and Rs 7500 had been paid to Hube and Hari respectively from the district Red Cross funds.

The SP had also argued that the tribal people were hit by bullets fired by Maoists and not by CRPF jawans.

The Commission, however, said whether the injuries on the bodies of the victim were caused by Maoists or the security forces is immaterial because these were not self-inflicted and evidently the State had failed to offer protection to two of its citizens.

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