HC asks Aizawl authorities to submit status report on assault of teenagers by volunteers

Aizawl, Apr 29 (PTI) The Aizawl bench of Gauhati High Court on Wednesday asked the deputy commissioner and the SP of Mizoram's Aizawl district to submit a status report on the alleged assault of eight teenagers, who flouted lockdown norms, by volunteers of a local level task force on April 25.

Justice Michael Zothankhuma said the status report would have to be submitted within two weeks.

Seven respondents in the case, including the chief secretary, home secretary and the chairman of Dinthar local level task force on Covid-19 were also asked to submit their affidavits in this regard within two weeks.

Dinthar is a locality in the western part of the state capital.

The judge said the authorities would also inform the court about the steps taken so that such incidents are not repeated in future.

Volunteers of the Dinthar local level task force captured eight teenagers for allegedly defying the lockdown on April 25. The incident came to light the next day when a video footage purportedly showing the volunteers beating and slapping them was circulated on the social media.

The task force on Tuesday claimed that the teenagers were caught while smoking ganja and violating the lockdown norms imposed to contain the spread of novel coronavirus.

The high court suo motu took up the matter after it was reported in a section of the media.

The judge said what the volunteers had done violated Article 21 of the Constitution, which deals with personal life and liberty.

The court observed that the youngsters should have been handed over to police, or excise officials if they had been caught with drugs or ganja.

However, the judge also said, 'The good work done by the various local level task forces should not be derailed and given a bad name by some persons who took the law into their own hands.' PTI COR NN NN