Implementation of Bhuria Committee’s recommendations sought

Social activist and former IAS officer B.D. Sharma on Sunday said policemen, irrespective of the position they hold, should be punished if their involvement in ‘fake’ encounters was proved.

Asked to comment on National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) recent order confirming 16 of 19 encounters that took place in Kurnool and Guntur during 2000-02 as fake, he said if evidence established the killings as fake, the persons responsible should be brought to book.

Mr. Sharma, national coordinator of the Bharat Jan Andolan and a noted advocate of tribal rights, told The Hindu that all those who participated in and engineered the ‘fake’ encounters should face the consequences as per law. The NHRC also awarded for the first time a compensation of Rs.5 lakh to families of each of the 16 persons killed in `fake’ encounters.

Mr. Sharma, who played a key role in the release of Sukma Collector Alex Paul Menon as an interlocutor, said `Operation Green Hunt’ should not lead to harassment of tribals and committing of atrocities against their communities.

He said Green Hunt was a violation of the law of the land.

The Home Ministry should have the mechanism to stop misuse of power. He was referring to reports on `fake’ killing of 19 tribals in the name of Maoists in Sukma-Bijapur area of Chattisgarh sometime ago by security forces.

Mr. Sharma, who also served as Vice-Chancellor of North-East Hill University, said the Bhuria Committee’s recommendations on ownership of resources should be implemented.

A dozen MPs were on the panel as members.

He said in any industry, the community should own 50 per cent stake leaving 26 per cent to the persons/groups investing in the venture and 24 per cent to farmers and labourers.

Expressing regret over tribals converted into labourers in various projects due to their displacement, he said Panchayat Extension in Scheduled Areas (PESA) Act should be implemented in true letter and spirit in the scheduled areas.