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NHRC, Tripura govt lock horns

Agartala, Jan. 25: In the first RTI-related controversy in the state, a tug of war has commenced between the National Human Rights Commission and the Tripura government over a complaint of human rights violation made by an indigenous youth.

Sanjit Reang, an RTI activist and resident of Longtarai valley under Dhalai district, had, in January 2012, protested against the forest departmentís initiative to displace a few hundred tribals from Shikaribari on the ground of encroachment of reserve forestland. He wrote to the forest department under the Right to Information (RTI) Act to elicit information about the activities of forest officials. Sources in the department said replies to his queries were furnished.

A few days later, he was hit by a jeep on his way home from Ambassa and sustained minor injuries. He filed a complaint with the NHRC, alleging attempt to murder. His case was taken up by a West Bengal-based NGO, MANAV.

On an NHRC directive, chief secretary Sanjay Panda got the matter probed by the DGP and sent the report to the commission. The DGP and the tribal welfare department also probed the matter and filed reports. The NHRC, saying it had not received any report, issued summons to Panda to appear before it on March 31 this year, A source in his office said they had not received the summons. Sanjit was not available for comments.

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