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regular-article-logo Thursday, 22 February 2024

Latehar: Tribal widow still waiting for compensation ordered by Jharkhand High Court

Jiramani Devi, 24, a resident of Piri village, had on Saturday evening submitted a petition addressed to state home secretary apprising about delay in payment as directed by HC

Animesh Bisoee Jamshedpur Published 28.11.23, 05:32 AM
Jiramani Devi with her son during a protest at Latehar last year.

Jiramani Devi with her son during a protest at Latehar last year. Bhola Prasad

The wife of a tribal youth allegedly killed by security personnel in Latehar district on suspicion of being a Maoist is yet to receive the compensation as ordered by Jharkhand High Court even after three months of the verdict.

Jiramani Devi, 24, a resident of Piri village in Latehar district of Jharkhand, had on Saturday evening submitted a petition addressed to Jharkhand home secretary apprising about the delay in payment of compensation as directed by the high court in four weeks through the office of deputy commissioner of Latehar district.

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The Jharkhand High Court had in August this year ordered Rs 5 lakh compensation to the widow of the tribal villager, Brahmadev Singh, who was killed two years ago by security forces during an anti-Maoist operation.

The court also ordered an independent investigation to identify the guilty cops within three months.

The court of Justice S. K. Dwivedi while hearing the petition of Jiramani in its judgment has directed the Jharkhand government to constitute a "fresh team of investigators under a senior police official" by the DGP and the secretary home department, Jharkhand, to probe into the "killing by the police” and submit its report within three months.

The court also directed the state to pay “a sum of Rs 5 lakh in favour of the petitioner (Jiramani) within four weeks from the date of receipt/production of the order and directed that this shall be implemented through the Jharkhand government home secretary within the aforesaid period".

The Jharkhand police had admitted before the high court that the death of Singh had occurred because of police firing.

The Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha, a coalition of human rights organisations, in its fact-finding report shared with the media two years back had stated that on June 12, 2021, security forces, out on a Maoist search campaign, opened fire on innocent adivasis of Piri village during which Singh was shot dead.

Adivasis, including Singh, were going out on a traditional hunting ritual, as every year, for the Sarhul festival. They all carried the single-fire Bhartua gun which is used to hunt small animals and birds like rabbits, pigs and chickens and to protect crops from animals.

“It took more than a year for police to lodge an FIR of Jiramani Devi, showing its real attitude towards the tribals. The verdict has again shown how innocent tribals are victims of fake cases/fake encounters/state repression and how difficult it is for their families to get justice. Even after the high court it has been nearly three months and the widow is yet to receive even a penny,” said Mohan Singh Kherwar, a member of the Mahasabha and a social worker helping Jiramani in the legal fight.

Repeated calls and messages to Latehar deputy commissioner Himanshu Mohan and Latehar superintendent of police Anjani Anjan went unanswered.

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