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regular-article-logo Thursday, 25 April 2024

NHRC notice to Bengal govt, DGP over Sandeshkhali violence, to depute team for 'on-spot inquiry'

The rights panel said it has also been reported that safety and security of the womenfolk as well as children and aged persons have been allegedly 'jeopardised'

PTI New Delhi Published 21.02.24, 08:10 PM
Representational image.

Representational image. File picture.

The National Human Rights Commission has sent a notice to the West Bengal government and the state's police chief over reports alleging "unabated human rights violations" due to continued violence in restive Sandeshkhali, officials said on Wednesday.

Considering the gravity of the matter, the Commission has also decided to "depute its team to ascertain facts by an on-spot inquiry" into the incidents of "violence of human rights" in Sandeshkhali in North 24 Parganas district, they said.

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The team will be led by a member of the NHRC who shall be assisted by officers of the rights panel, the statement said.

The NHRC has taken "suo motu cognisance of print and electronic media reports that in Sandeshkhali, North 24th Paraganas, West Bengal, innocent and impoverished women have been harassed and sexually assaulted by a group of local gang of a political person, as a result of which, for last few days, local villagers have started protesting for appropriate legal action against the perpetrators of horrific crimes indulged by various goons and anti-social elements, when the local administration failed to take appropriate legal action against the perpetrators of crime," it said.

The rights panel said it has also been reported that safety and security of the womenfolk as well as children and aged persons have been allegedly "jeopardised". It has resulted in women allegedly leaving places of abode due to torture and sexual abuse that are looming large upon them, according to the statement.

The Commission has observed that the recent incidents in Sandeshkhali, as have been reported in various print and electronic media, "indicate prima facie violation of human rights, shocking the conscience".

"Therefore, it becomes imperative for it to exercise its jurisdiction under Section 12 (a) of the PHR Act, 1993 to preserve, protect and promote human rights, and take suo motu cognisance of the reported incidents of violence," it said.

Accordingly, it has issued notices to the chief secretary and the director general of police of West Bengal, seeking reports in four weeks with regard to the violence and the action taken or proposed to be taken against the perpetrators, the statement said.

It also asked if any compensation was paid or is proposed to be paid to the victims.

"Issuing the notices, the Commission has further observed that life is precious in itself, which encompasses the rights to dignity, freedom, equality and liberty. It is the solemn duty of the State to protect these rights as constitutionally guaranteed," it added.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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