PUCL Karnataka Towards civil liberties and human rights for all in Karnataka

|Statement| Encounter Killings in Bangalore

12.21.2010 · Posted in Human Rights, Press Releases

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

PUCL, Bangalore strongly condemns the two encounter killings by police in Bangalore, reported on the front page of The Hindu on 19th December 2010.

Guarantees of individual fundamental rights form the backbone in functioning of any democracy and the role of police is to ensure preservation of the same. We, as a nation , run great risks when our police become empowered to take issues of law and justice in their own hands , including ‘right to kill’ those alleged to be threats to society. PUCL Bangalore is further deeply distressed at the media portrayal of these particular events especially the seeming condoning of excessive power by the police leading to the two deaths of suspected criminals. It should be noted that even if the suspects had committed the offences of which they were accused, it does not justify killing them in cold blood.

The only justification in this context for killing by the officials by the state would be self defence. The claim of self defence cannot be a self evident justification but must be judicially investigated. The NHRC guidelines on encounter deaths clearly mandate that in any case of so called ‘encounter’, an FIR must be registered against those who caused the death. The judicial process is then set into motion and the judiciary must test the claim of  ‘self defence’ and come to the conclusion that the killing was either murder or was act of killing  which was done in self defence.

The highest authorities of the police are responsible for the actions of the force under them and cannot justify any civilian deaths by their officers due to suspected culpability.

Presumption of innocence till proved guilty is an ideal demanding respect of all especially our police force. Further, responsible media is required to portray incidences of human rights violation as equally serious even if the  victims are offenders against the law.

PUCL, Bangalore demands a registration of an FIR against those who have perpetrated the encounter and also the institution of an immediate enquiry into these encounter killings.

We hope to be kept informed about future actions taken by the police dept. in this matter.

Arati Chokshi, General Secretary
PUCL Bangalore
Mobile: +91-994-520-1029

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