Guwahati, July 14: A complaint has been filed with the NHRC accusing the Assam Police of gross human rights violation. The complaint claims that more than 20 encounters have been reported since May this year.

A complaint has been filed with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) accusing the Assam Police of going on an “encounter spree” in recent weeks after Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma-led government took charge in the state.

Arif Jwadder, a Delhi-based lawyer hailing from Assam who has lodged the complaint, accused the Assam Police of gross human rights violation. He claimed that more than 20 encounters have been reported since May this year.

“Very recently Assam Chief Minister stated in a police conference that police should shoot at alleged criminals at legs which are permitted by law. After such a statement by Chief Minister, now police are staging fake encounters with impunity,” Jwadder alleged in his letter to NHRC.

In the complaint filed on July 10, the lawyer alleged that small-time criminals were being shot with police citing that most of them tried to “flee from police custody snatching pistols”. Those being killed in such “fake encounters” were mostly drug dealers and cattle smugglers, he alleged.

Listing ten such cases, Jwadder said, “All the injured or dead persons are/were not militants and hence not trained to use pistols and it is very unlikely that they could use the pistols after snatching against the police force that was outnumbered and was heavily armed.”

“It cannot be believed that all alleged petty criminals could snatch a pistol from a trained police officer whose pistols/guns are normally tied to the waist belt. It also cannot be believed that an army of police couldn’t stop the alleged criminals from fleeing from custody,” he added.

Also Read: ‘Shooting down escaping criminals should be a pattern’, says Assam CM on rise in encounter killings

Recently, Chief Minister Himanta Sarma Biswa had directed the police officers in the state to adopt a “zero-tolerance policy” against crime and criminals.

“Today, some people told me that police shooting incidents have taken place in the last few days and if it is becoming a pattern to deal with criminals. I told them, yes. This should be the policing pattern from now on. If a rapist runs away, tries to snatch arms from the cops, they will have to fire but not on the chest. The law says you can shoot at the legs. We want to transform the Assam Police into one of the best policing organizations in the country,” the chief minister had said.