26 April 2007
National Commission for Human Rights
People’s Union for Democratic Rights is shocked to learn of the continuing harassment of Hari Krishna, the eye witness to the fake encounter at Ansal Plaza. In his complaint to the NHRC earlier this month, Hari Krishna stated that the Delhi Police has lodged a false case against him, in order to shield the guilty police personnel involved in the fake encounter. From the very beginning in November 2002, Hari Krishna has faced harassment and intimidation by the police.
As a witness to the fake encounter, Hari Krishna had rebutted the Special Cell’s claim that the police had managed to foil and prevent a shoot out at the busy shopping mall by two hard core terrorists on November 3, 2002. He had, instead, said that the two were empty handed and were mercilessly beaten before being shot.
Today, after over four years, Hari Krishna is still fighting for his witness account. In his statement he reminded the NHRC that “our only guilt was that we tried to say boldly what we saw at the spot.” Witnesses to such fake encounters are not easy to find as there is intense pressure from the police. The police in this case has doubted the credibility of the witness and the authenticity of his version from the very beginning and harassed him.
The National Human Rights Commission has been involved in this case, as it had directed the police to offer adequate security to Mr. Hari Krishna in November 2002. It is indeed disturbing that despite the intervention of this apex body, the police have managed to threaten and harass the witness by lodging a false case. Way back in 1996, the NHRC had itself set up guidelines for police investigation into fake encounters following a petition filed by the Andhra Pradesh Civil Liberties Committee.
We would like to know the steps that NHRC has taken in ensuring that the police adhere to guidelines in this case. More importantly, we wish to know what measures have been taken regarding the witness’s complaint. PUDR is concerned about this continuing harassment and intimidation by the police against the witness.