Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 24:
The Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) today directed the collector and SP of Keonjhar to probe the alleged assault of a lawyer by the police at the Keonjhar Town Police Station on August 21 and submit a report within three weeks.
The directive of the OHRC acting chairperson Justice Bira Kishore Mishra came in response to a petition filed by well-known lawyer and human rights activist Prabir Das.
The petitioner had informed the Commission that the lawyer Daitary Apat, a member of the Keonjhar Bar Association, had gone to Keonjhar Town Police Station to register a complaint of bike theft on August 21. While he was narrating the sequence of events leading to the theft of the bike in the presence of Sub Inspector (SI) Trinath Sethi and constable Sambhu Patra, the police personnel allegedly misbehaved with him and beat him up.
Following information, secretary of Keonjhar Bar Association, Alok Mohanta, along with other members, rushed to the police station where they were also allegedly subjected to abuse by the said policemen.
The incident triggered widespread outrage in the legal fraternity. The Odisha State Bar Council had called upon the advocates to protest the incident by wearing black badges today.
Seeking a fair and impartial probe in his petition, Das had demanded stern action against the erring policemen, compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the victim advocate, appropriate guidelines to register cases of vehicle theft without delay in view of the recurring incidents/allegations of non-registration of vehicle theft cases by the police.
“This incident requires urgent attention of the Commission. Since this incident has taken place after the inhuman torture of a lawyer by the police in Kendrapara on August 7, the intervention of the Commission will help prevent the recurrence of such incidents,” the petitioner had pointed out.