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Rs 5 lakh for cop ‘brutality’ victim - Dispur promises compensation to truck driver who lost an eye in caning PANKAJ SARMA

Rs 5 lakh for cop 'brutality' victim

- Dispur promises compensation to truck driver who lost an eye in caning

Guwahati, Jan. 8: A truck driver who had lost an eye in police caning six years ago will receive a compensation of Rs 5 lakh in a case of justice delayed but not denied.

A traffic constable of Basistha police station allegedly assaulted Anil Ray after an argument over parking at Basistha Chariali in the city on February 20, 2005. A baton blow that landed on one of his eyes severely damaged the eyeball and led to loss of vision.

After much prodding by the Assam Human Rights Commission, the Assam government has finally given a written assurance to the rights panel that the police "brutality" victim will be paid a compensation of Rs 5 lakh.

A member of the rights commission, J.P. Chaliha, today told The Telegraph that the commission received a letter from home commissioner of Assam, Jishnu Baruah, last week, which said the state government was ready to pay the compensation amount to Ray.

"He also apologised to the commission for the delay on the part of the state government in abiding by the commission's order directing the state government to pay compensation," Chaliha said.

Ray approached the rights panel for justice after his loss of vision forced him to give up his primary source of livelihood — he was unable to drive with one eye. After thoroughly examining the allegation made by the complainant, the rights panel passed an order on December 16, 2008, directing the state government to pay a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the victim through the commissioner and secretary of the home department.

The panel also directed the state government to submit the "action taken report" within six months from the date of the order.

Even though the deadline expired on June 16, 2009, the state government failed to pay the compensation.

The rights panel sent a reminder to the home department on October 20 last year but received no response.

After former Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court, Aftab Hussain Saikia, assumed charge as the panel chairperson in December, the commission took up the matter again. On December 19, the panel issued summons to the home commissioner to appear in person before the commission on January 5 with the action-taken-report and explain the cause for the delay.

"We received a letter from the home commissioner last week apologising for the delay, saying that the state government was ready to pay the compensation. The home commissioner requested the commission to send a copy of the 2008 order as the home department had lost the order copy," Chaliha said.

"He said the compensation will be paid as soon as the home department receives the order copy," he said.

Chaliha said after receipt of the letter promising compensation, the home commissioner was exempted from appearing in person before the rights commission.

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