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NHRC seeks J&K Police response on alleged failure to provide protection to sarpanch

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has asked the Jammu and Kashmir Police to submit a report by August 8 on its alleged failure in providing protection to a sarpanch, Ajay Bharti Pandita, who was killed by terrorists in Anantnag district on June 8.

The NHRC on Wednesday ordered the J&K Director General of Police to submit an action taken report within four weeks on the complaint by Hyderabad-based law student Baglekar Akash Kumar, who cited a June 10 report of The Hindu that said the victim had requested police protection before his death, but to no avail.

Being a member of the minority Kashmiri Pandit community and part of the democratic process, Pandita had been targeted by militants, J&K DGP Dilbag Singh had said. His family said he had been asking for police protection but the local police had not acted on the requests, The Hindu had reported.

The NHRC noted in its proceedings that the complainant had sought relief for the victim’s next of kin and for an inquiry in the matter.

“The Commission directs its registry to transmit the copy of the complaint to DGP, Jammu and Kashmir calling for a report within four weeks. In case the report will not be received within the stipulated time, the Commission shall be constrained to invoke coercive process u/s 13 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 for personal appearance of the concerned authority,” the NHRC observed.

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