Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, July 22:
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has threatened the Odisha DGP with coercive action if it failed to submit a consolidated action taken report (ATR) on rape and molestation cases by police personnel in the state during the period from 31 October 2012 to 30 October 2013.
“Issue reminder to the DGP, Odisha, to submit a consolidated report on the subject in terms of the directions given by the Commission in its proceedings of 23 December 2013 and communicated to him through Commission’s notice dated 24/27 December 2013. Respond within four weeks positively, failing which the commission may be constrained to issue coercive process u/s 13 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993,” the Commission said in its direction.
Even though the direction was issued on 15 April this year, the police administration has not furnished any report to the commission.
Human rights activist Subash Mohapatra, in a petition, had alleged that during the period 2009-2013, 44 incidents of rape and molestation by policemen had taken place in Odisha. In 41 cases, the accused had been arrested; but none had been arrested so far in the three other cases.
In its proceedings of 23 December 2013, the commission had observed that the DGP was required to submit the report on the cases of rape and molestation by policemen occurring all over the state. The commission further observed “Section 36(2) of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 prohibits this commission from making any inquiry into any matter after the expiry of one year from the date on which the act constituting violation of human rights is alleged to have been committed.”
However, the commission took cognizance the complaint and directed the DGP to furnish report on the cases of rape and molestation involving policemen in Odisha, which occurred during the period of one year preceding 30 August 2013.
Hence, the DGP, Odisha, was directed to send details of all such cases which occurred during the period of one year starting from 31 August 2012. However, no response was given by the police administration to the commission.
However, separate reports have been received from some SPs, which do not serve the purpose, said the Commission.