NHRC issues show cause notice to Haryana govt in woman's disappearance case

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New Delhi, Jan 25 (PTI) The NHRC on Monday said it has found that the Haryana Police 'did not act professionally' to pursue an FIR and interrogate the accused in connection with a case of disappearance of a woman and subsequent recovery of her body in Mahendergarh district last year.

It has also issued a notice to the government of Haryana, through its chief secretary, to show cause why Rs 3 lakh should not be recommended to be paid to the next of kin of the victim woman, officials said.

The state government has been given six weeks to respond, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) said in a statement.

In addition to this, the Haryana director general of police (DGP) has been directed to submit an up-to-date investigation report within four weeks on the FIR lodged at the Nangal Chaudhary Police Station in Mahendergarh. The case is being investigated by the Crime Branch, the rights panel said.

'The NHRC, in a case of disappearance of a woman and subsequent recovery of her body in district Mahendergarh, Haryana, has found that the police did not act professionally to pursue the FIR in the matter and interrogate the alleged accused,' the statement said.

The commission had registered the case on the basis of a complaint by the victim's husband that his wife had gone missing on January 22 last year and one of his friends had also disappeared on the same day.

'An FIR was registered at the Nangal Choudhary Police Station, district Mahendergarh, Haryana, but police did not take interest to trace the woman despite regular follow up by the complainant. Later on, his wife's dead body was found in mysterious circumstances on January 31, 2020. The complainant had also alleged that the inquiry into the matter was being influenced under political pressure,' the statement said.

The commission had also directed its DG (Investigation) to submit an inquiry report, it said.

'The inquiry report of DG (Investigation), NHRC, dated 29.10.2020 stated that on the basis of available documents and spot enquiry, it appeared that the police did not act professionally in the matter; neither it interrogated the alleged accused nor collected the CCTV footage of the cameras installed in the village,' the statement said.

'The statement of crucial witnesses and witnesses were not recorded. The statement of the alleged prime accused was recorded much later after the recovery of the dead body of the victim. The police on its own have altered the charges from 302/376D/365 IPC to 306 IPC (Indian Penal Code) despite the fact that victim's nail had some skin, which was sent for DNA testing and report was still awaited,' it said.

Section 302 pertains to punishment for murder, while section 365 of the IPC is related to kidnapping or abducting. Further the charges of section 306 (abetment of suicide) of the IPC were levelled against the suspect. Hence, the alleged 'negligent act of the police' led to 'dilution of scientific evidence and delays in taking timely action' complicates the case and raise suspicion in the mind of the complainant, the statement said.

Therefore, the commission had directed the DGP to take action against the erring police officials of the Nangal Chaudhary Police Station, the rights panel said.

'He was further directed to transfer the investigation of the case to the Crime Branch, CID of the state under the close supervision of a Senior ADG level officer following which, the show cause notices were also issued to the police officials concerned by the police authority concerned. Further investigation is continuing in the matter by the CB-CID,' it said. PTI KND ANB ANB