Police brutality on Sarathi protestors under NHRC scanner

— Odisha Chief
Secretary, DGP asked for report
Bhubaneswar, August 14:
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has sought an action-taken report
(ATR) from the Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police (DGP) over
the blatant human rights violation at Sarathi Ashram in Kendrapara district.
Acting on a petition
filed by Supreme Court lawyer and rights activist Radhakanta Tripathy, the NHRC
registered a case in this regard and sought an ATR within four weeks.
Notably, lawyers,
journalists and other people, including women activist Mamata Samamntaray, were
beaten brutally by police in Kendrapara on August 6 and 7 for demonstrating
demanding arrest of controversial self-styled godman Srimad Sarathi alias
Santosh Raul. The police excess and brutality continued violating all the norms
and parameters of human rights, Tripathy alleged in his petition.
Police resorted to
unprovoked baton charging on protesters and destroyed vehicles. The police
selectively searching for people involved in protest against the wrongdoings of
self-styled godman, Sarathi Baba and beating them up. Photo journalists were
reportedly assaulted by the cops during the pitched battle when they were
trying to cover the incident. The cops have damaged the private properties such
as bikes, cars and houses too, the petitioner contended.
The failure of the
State government to act over the issue of fake spiritual-leaders, self styled
godman, rampant corruption by them and their associates amounts to serious
violation of human rights. The illicit affairs and obscene acts with cheating
to common man pose serious threat to basic human rights. The inaction of
government in nailing out the truth beneath the activities and police brutality
on common man and attack on journalists proves severe human rights violation by
State mechanism, Tripathy alleged.
He requested the commission
to direct the Chief Secretary and the DGP to arrest the culprits and take legal
action against them and pay compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the victims and direct
the state to expedite probe and trials in cases related to the offences.

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