Court starts proceedings in fake encounter’ case against Assam police

Guwahati, Sep 13 (PTI) A local court here on Monday started proceedings in a case alleging staging of a fake encounter by the Assam Police, by the family of an accused who was injured in police firing while purportedly trying to flee custody, the advocate of the complainant said.

This is the first court case against alleged fake encounters or shoot-outs by Assam Police. Since May this year when the new government assumed office, at least 24 people have been killed and 39 injured in police firing in cases where prisoners either tried to escape or snatch weapons.

The family of a person who was arrested for allegedly supplying cocaine to a rave party in Guwahati had filed the case in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Kamrup (Metropolitan), while a separate complaint has also been filed in the Sessions Court as per procedure.

The statement of the accused’s father was recorded by the court today, Angshuman Bora, the complainant’s advocate, said.

The court will call others, including the victim (accused), doctors or whomever it deems necessary, to record their statements in due course, he added.

Bora had earlier said the family of the accused has claimed before the Court that the encounter in which their son was injured was a “fake one”.

If he is found guilty of any crime, law will takes its own course. But the police claim that he had tried to flee and then he had to be shot at is not believable, he added.

The advocate said the accused had apparently refused to make a statement as desired by the police, and implied this could have led to the alleged staged encounter.

The son of the complainant was arrested from Delhi on allegation of supplying contraband to a rave party in Guwahati and had sustained a bullet injury on his leg when he was shot at as he allegedly tried to escape from custody around midnight of September 4 in Guwahati.

The rising number of shoot-outs have whipped up a political furore with the opposition alleging that the Assam Police has turned trigger happy’ and is indulging in open killings’ under the Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma-led regime.

Unfazed by the criticism, Sarma on July 15 had said in Assam Assembly that the state police has full operational liberty’ to fight against criminals within the ambit of law.

At the first ever face-to-face meeting with the Officers In-Charge (OCs) of all police stations of Assam on July 5, Sarma had said that shooting at criminals should be the pattern’ if they attempt to escape from custody or tried to snatch arms from the police.

Taking suo moto cognizance, the Assam Human Rights Commission (AHRC) on July 7 asked the state government to institute an enquiry into the circumstances that led to the death and injury of the accused in police encounters over the past two months.