OHRC asks state to pay Rs 5L each to kins of slain couple

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) today asked the state government to pay compensation of Rs 5 lakh each to the next of kins of Dubeswar Naik and his wife Budi Naik, who were killed allegedly by security personnel during an anti-Maoist operation on July 26, 2015 in Mgaduda reserve forest in Kandhamal district.

Noting that the administration has squarely failed to protect the basic human rights of tribal victims, the rights panel’s working Chairperson Justice B K Mishra gave this direction to the state government while hearing a petition regarding the alleged incident.

The tribal couple sustained bullet injuries and died on the spot while they had gone to the hilltop (Trapa mountain) to talk to their son over phone due to lack of connectivity in their village on the night of July 26, 2015.

Their son Rahul Naik was then staying somewhere in Kerala.

In course of inquiry by police, the Revenue Divisional Commissner (RDC), Southern division, submitted his findings to the administration.

Quoting the report, the OHRC observed, “On the face of the above findings, the Commission has no hesitatioin to observe that whatever has been paid to the next of kin of the deceased persons by the state appears to be not adequate”.

“Thus, keeping in mind the financial assistance/ ex-gratia already paid to the victims, who fell to the bullets and taking into consideration the financial assistance provided to the deceased persons at Gumudumaha firing incident in Kandhamal district on July 8, 2016 which is also similar to the case in hand, the Commission, on the ground of parity, recommends to the State to pay further compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the next of kins of each of the deceased namely; Dubeswar Naik and his wife Budi Naik,” the order said.

Justice Mishra said that this order be communicated to the Principal Secretary to Government, Home Department Bhubaneswar for compliance of the recommendations of the Commission within two months hence.

Copy of the order be also sent to the D.G. of Police, Odisha, Cuttack, R.D.C., Southern Division, Berhampur and Collector, Kandhamal for information and appropriate follow up action in the light of the observations, he said.