Centre asked to pay for 'doubtful' encounter

NHRC fixes Rs 5 lakh each for next of kin of the victims

The Central government should pay compensation over a ‘doubtful’ encounter by Delhi Police in which five persons were killed in north-east Delhi’s Sonia Vihar in May, 2006, said the National Human Rights Commission on Friday.

The commission maintained that a grievous violation of human rights was committed and recommended payment of Rs 5 lakh each to the next of kin of the victims. Interestingly, three officers involved in the encounter had received the President’s Police Medal for gallantry in 2010.

Sanjay, 30, Aslam, 25, Manoj, 25, Shehzad, 30, and Ayub, 32, were killed near the Sonia Vihar Water Treatment Plant on May 6, 2006. Police claimed they were members of a gang active in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

The decision for reparation was taken after show cause notices were sent to Union Home Ministry, Delhi government and Delhi Police.

“The Union Home Ministry claims Delhi Police have managed to prove that the encounter was genuine. The response, however, has been as an extra-ordinary assertion made without any mooring in facts,” the commission said in a statement.

In the FIR, police stated that the five men had opened fire due to which they retaliated and killed them on the spot. However, the NHRC has already observed that the five men might not have opened fire as there was no trace of gunpowder on their palms or fingerprints on the firearms recovered from them.

The commission had ordered a probe after Aslam’s father Zamal Ahmed moved a petition in 2006 alleging that they were picked up from their house in Meerut and killed in cold blood after being taken to Delhi.

The NHRC has further criticised Delhi Police for not holding a magisterial enquiry over the encounter despite guidelines issued to all states in 2003.

“All state governments have accepted these guidelines and are acting on them. The egregious exception is in the National Capital Territory, where Delhi Police, who appear to be deeply apprehensive of any impartial scrutiny of their actions, oppose magisterial enquiries and have an extra-ordinary veto on these decisions,” the commission added.

Police also did not forward all the relevant documents to the commission such as seizure memo of the articles recovered and the map of the spot.Scientific evidence was also not available with police.

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