Staff Correspondent

Rs. 2.5 lakh granted to the next of kin of 38 persons who died in custody and were illegally cremated by the Punjab Government

NEW DELHI: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Wednesday ordered monetary relief of Rs. 2.5 lakh each for the next of kin of 38 persons who the Punjab Government has admitted were in police custody prior to their deaths. Their bodies were allegedly cremated illegally by the security forces in Punjab.

The Commission directed the Punjab Government to pay the amount within three weeks. This order by the Commission in the ongoing Punjab Mass Cremations case takes to 148 the total number of persons who have been awarded such relief.

NHRC chairperson Justice A.S. Anand said the case of these 38 persons fell within the parameters of its earlier orders of November 11, 2004 and October 4, 2005. On November 11, 2004, the Commission, in a landmark order, awarded Rs. 2.5 lakh monetary relief each for the next of kin of 109 persons who the Punjab police admitted were in their custody before they were killed and illegally cremated. On October 4, 2005, the Commission had included in this list one more person, Paramjeet Singh, whose custody prior to his death and illegal cremation, was disputed by the Punjab police.

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