BHUBANESWAR: The Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) on Thursday directed an officer of State police to pay a compensation of `2.5 lakh each to two persons whom he had framed for murder of a 19-year-old boy. The boy was later found alive and traced to Kolkata.
The rights panel directed the former Inspector in charge of Paikmal Prakash Kumar Karna to pay compensation to the two accused who suffered for the botched up police investigation. While Karna was investigating officer of the case, the then Padampur SDPO Laxminarayan Panda supervised the case that occurred in Paikamal police limits of Bargarh district four years back.
The boy Jitu Dandasena of Piplipali village went missing on December 7, 2016. A case was registered under Sections 363 and 394 of IPC on December 25 and police arrested Halu Gurla and Raghav Naik of Bargarh Town in June next year. On the basis of Karna’s probe report, the incident was converted into a murder case under Sections 34, 201 and 302 of IPC and chargesheet was filed in October the same year.
The police report that Gurla and Naik had forcibly taken Dandasena near Jira riverside, robbed his two mobile phones and `2,000 before killing him. The two accused were sent to judicial custody and their bail pleas rejected. Gurla walked out of jail on bail in March, 2018 while Nayak was released in November the previous year.
However, Dandasena was traced to Kolkata and came back home in July 2018. He was found to be mentally unstable. Rights activists Biswapriya Kanungo and Bijay Kumar Panda lodged a complaint with the Commission alleging lackadaisical probe without collecting adequate evidence.
“The petitioners’ complaint can be summed up that a person who is alive was declared dead due to the lackadaisical attitude of the IO and he obtained confessional statements from the two persons by coercing them which is gross violation of human rights,” OHRC said on Monday.
Chairperson of the Commission Justice Bimala Prasad Das and Member Asim Amitabh Dash noted that the police’s declaration of Dandasena’s murder also led to mental agony of his family members. Had Dandasena not returned, the court could have possibly completed its trial, convicted Gurla and Nayak and awarded them life imprisonment or capital punishment, they observed.
The Commission had directed the Crime Branch to inquire and submit a report. “Continuance of these two officers in the police force is detrimental for public interest but considering the long duration of service left for Karna, we recommend that the compensation should be deducted from his salary,” said the order. Since Panda is nearing retirement, no action was recommended.
OHRC has recommended the State Government to train police officers at least for a month on human psychology and rights along with behavioral aspects as incidents of misbehaviour, custodial deaths and torture are on the rise.