NHRC ask WB govt to compensate police brutality victims

During the hearing of the case, the commission had sent a show cause notice to the state government, asking why "suitable" amounts of compensation to the victims be recommended.

New Delhi: The National Human Rights Commission has asked the West Bengal government to pay compensation to three victims of police brutality during a rally organised by the Bharatiya Janta Yuva Morcha, the BJP’s youth wing, in different parts of the state in 2020.

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Concluding the hearing of the case, the rights body has asked the state’s chief secretary to pay a compensation of Rs 1 lakh to Anamika Aich, noting that she was pulled by her hair and “mercilessly” beaten up by police personnel during the rally.

It also recommended paying compensation of Rs 50,000 to each of the two other victims — Rohit Verma and Paromita Bannerjee — noting that they were subjected to “brutal physical torture” during the march organised by the BJP’s youth wing.

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The Commission has directed the West Bengal chief secretary to pay the compensation amount to the three victims of police atrocities within six months and send a compliance report.

“The Chief Secretary, Government of West Bengal, is directed to submit a compliance report along with proof of payment to the Commission at the earliest but not beyond the stipulated period of six weeks, in any case,” the NHRC said in an order passed on September 19.

The commission had received a complaint from a delegation of BJP MPs from West Bengal on October 14, 2020.

In the complaint, the delegation of BJP MPs comprising Saumitra Khan, Swapan Dasgupta and others had alleged “police brutality and atrocities during a peaceful rally Nabanna Chalo’ organised by the BJYM at Howarh, Dankuni, Santragachi and other places in West Bengal on October 8, 2020.

“It was mentioned in the complaint that the police personnel, at the behest of the state government, unleashed severe violence on innocent BJYM workers, during the protest,” the NHRC noted.

According to the complaint, BJYM worker Rohit Verma had been “mercilessly” beaten by two police officers during a rally in Dankuni area. Paromita Banerjee had been “severely assaulted” by the police personnel during the rally in Howrah and Anamika Aich in Santragachi.

During the hearing of the case, the commission had sent a show cause notice to the state government, asking why “suitable” amounts of compensation to the victims be recommended.

“It is apparent that no response to oppose the show cause notice, issued by the Commission has been submitted by the government of West Bengal except a communication dated July 3, 2023, from the Assistant Commissioner of Police-III, Chandannagar Police Commissionerate adding no new grounds to contradict Commission’s view,”.

“The Commission, therefore, finds it appropriate to recommend the Government of West Bengal, through its Chief Secretary, to pay compensation of Rs 1,00,000 (One Lakh) to the victim Anamika Aich whose hair was pulled by the police personnel and was mercilessly beaten up and Rs 50,000 each to the other two victims, Rohit Verma and Paromita Bannerjee who were subjected to brutal physical torture by the police during the march organized by the BJYM on 08.10.2020, within six weeks, positively,” the NHRC added.

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