NHRC orders compensation to victims of custodial death, rape

SHILLONG: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has asked the State Government to pay Rs 1 lakh to a person who died in police custody in 2013.
The principal secretary in charge of Home, M.S Rao, said on Friday that during the recent hearing in Guwahati, NHRC took up several pending rights violation cases in Meghalaya.
One such case is that of the custodial death of Topo A. Marak due to drug overdose in West Garo Hills. “An NGO had contacted the police about the case and he was taken to hospital and later he was lodged at Tura police station where he died in 2013,” Rao said.
According to NHRC, the hospital should not have released him to the custody of the police before he was fully cured.
In another case in East Khasi Hills, NHRC has asked the government to pay compensation to a victim raped by a police constable.
The constable, identified as Toilong Well Toi, raped the minor domestic help at his house in 2012.
Rao said the issue of releasing compensation was taken up by the East Khasi Hills Deputy Commissioner with the District Judge, who is also the chairman of the district legal service authority. NHRC wanted the police to add sections of the POCSO with the pending case though it was charge-sheeted.
The Commission also took up the case of denial of ST certificate to the son of a petitioner, Monica Kharkongor.
Earlier, the petitioner was denied ST certificate as belonging to Khasi by the state authorities citing that her husband was a Naga and hence the offspring cannot be granted the status of a Khasi since he does not speak the tribal language.
The Commission has asked the East Khasi Hills Deputy Commissioner to hear the case again and decide on the matter.
Another case was the death of a thief in Nongstoin.
Two persons were arrested in a case of theft and one of the thieves identified as Oljen Sangriang died in the hospital while another was charge-sheeted.
The Commission reserved its verdict on the matter and the order will be made known shortly.
Central schemes
Earlier on Thursday, Justice H.L Dattu, Chairperson of NHRC said the Centre’s flagship schemes should be implemented effectively so that the marginalised section is not deprived of the basic rights.
Dattu was speaking on the concluding day of the two-day session of NHRC in Guwahati where the panel took up several cases.
NHRC had also held discussions with NGOs from Assam and Meghalaya on the various aspects of human rights violations.
The NGOs drew the panel’s attention to rights violations in the form of human trafficking, problem of witch-hunting, unlawful arrest, handcuffing, maternal heath and other health services, custodial torture and death, low wages in tea gardens, regulatory measures for sale of acid, lack of immediate response by police on FIRs pertaining to missing children, lack of awareness on human rights, and implementation and proper utilisation of the state disaster relief fund.

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