NHRC ready to take up Cheristerfield’s killing

SHILLONG, Dec 15: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Wednesday said it was ready to take up the case pertaining to the alleged encounter of former HNLC cadre, Cheristerfield Thangkhiew if there are any grievances.
“The aggrieved should complain to the Commission otherwise we cannot take suo motu cognizance. It should be on the basis of tangible facts before us,” NHRC member, Justice Mahesh Mittal Kumar told reporters here.
He pointed out that the state government has already constituted a judicial inquiry into this matter.
It may be mentioned that the Chairperson of the Meghalaya Human Rights Commission (MHRC), Justice (retd) T Vaiphei is heading the one-man inquiry commission to probe into the circumstances leading to the killing of Cheristerfield by police at his home on August 13.
When his attention was drawn to the queries that had been raised as to how the police had gone to the residence of the former HNLC cadre after midnight, the NHRC member said they had taken up a similar case which had happened in Tripura.
Justice Kumar said that the person was killed and the defense of the state was that the person was a dacoit. “We had discarded the version of the Tripura police. We accepted the version of the complainant and awarded compensation.
The Advocate General of Tripura, SS Dey was present when we had taken up this case,” he said.
According to him, the Commission after minutely scrutinising the matter had found there were many loopholes in the version of the police.
“This is not the only case where we had discarded the police version. We are ready to take up this case in Meghalaya if the tangible facts are placed before the Commission so that we can issue notice to other side and then seek their response,” Justice Kumar said.
He said that if the Commission finds their (police) response to be false then they have enough weapons in their armoury to explore this theory also.
“The Tripura case which we had taken up yesterday proves that we are not going to accept whatever the state authorities are going to claim. We had recommended paying compensation of Rs 5 lakh in the Tripura case,” Justice Kumar added.

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