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NHRC DG to probe Odisha police encounter death

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Nov 4:

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has directed its Director General (Investigation) to probe the death of a youth, who was killed in a police encounter in Odisha’s Sambalpur town on October 2 this year.

Raju Saha with his wife Manasi and son Saurabh
Raju Saha with his wife Manasi and son Saurabh

The Commission has directed the DG to collects factsand reports in the matter within eight weeks.

One Raju Saha (30) was killed when police opened fire on him at Dengasaragi village under the Ainthapalli police station in Sambalpur.

Police have claimed that acting on a tip-off that some criminals were hiding at Dengsaragi village under Ainthapalli police station limits, they raided the village.

During the raid, the deceased Raju Saha (30), opened fire at the police who in turn returned the fire. Raju, who was grievously hurt in the cross fire, died on the way to the VSS Medical College Hospital at Burla.

The Sambalpur SP later had informed the NHRC about the matter.

However, rights activist Akhand, in consultation with the family members of the deceased, later lodged a petition with the NHRC against the police officers involved in the encounter.

The family members of the victim had alleged that Raju was killed in a fake encounter. The police have not registered the FIR lodged by the victim’s wife, Manasi Saha in Ainthapalli police station, the petitioner alleged.

“There are some big questions that put the police action in doubt. Under what circumstances the exchange of fire took place? Whether the police had any other options left with them rather than going for an encounter and in which criminal offences was the deceased involved,” asked the petitioner in his complaint while demanding a Crime Branch/Criminal Investigation Department (CID) probe into the incident.

Taking cognizance of the case, the NHRC has asked its DG (investigation) to probe the matter and urged the Odisha State Human Rights Commission (OHRC) to inform it whether the cognizance of the above referred case had been taken by it and if so, on what date, in four weeks.