: The Assam government on Thursday failed to submit to the Gauhati High Court a detailed updated investigation report for every encounter case since May 2021.
Hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Delhi-based lawyer-activist Arif Jwadder, the court observed that the State government was on July 29 given six weeks to submit the updated report into all the police encounters that have taken place in Assam from the stated month.
Assam had recorded 161 incidents of police action in 13 months after Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma took charge in May 2021. These incidents resulted in the death of 51 accused people while 139 others were injured.
In an affidavit on June 20, the Assam government told the high court that the number of deaths had increased to 54 in another months after May 21, 2022.
Mr Jwadder had sought an inquiry into the Assam police encounters by an independent agency such as the Central Bureau of Investigation or any police team from any other State under the supervision of the high court.
Apart from the State government, Assam’s Director-General of Police, the Law and Justice Department, the National Human Rights Commission and the Assam Human Rights Commission had been named as respondents in the PIL.
According to the petitioner, the dead or the injured persons were not extremists and it “cannot be the case that all the accused could snatch a service revolver from a trained police officer”.
In most of the cases, the police had claimed the accused shot had tried to escape after snatching a weapon from the policemen on duty.
The Gauhati High Court has fixed November 14 as the next date of hearing the case.