24 December 2020
The National Campaign Against Torture (NCAT) has urged the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to order the Tripura government to hand over the investigation into Pindulal Chakma murder case to the CBI.
The NCAT in its complaint to the NHRC also called upon to invoke the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
Pindulal Chakma, a scheduled tribe of Laljuri Burshingpara under Kanchanpur Police Station in North Tripura district succumbed to his injuries on November 4.
He sustained grievous injuries in an attack by a group of men on October 22 while holding a peaceful protest against grabbing of his lands.
On October 22, “non-tribal/general category people” associated with Vivekananda Memorial Club forcibly constructed a Pandal for Durga Puja on Pindulal Chakmas land allotted by the Forest Department under the Forest Rights Act in May 2009 at Laljuri, NCAT said in a statement.
Chakma and his family members immediately approached the Kanchanpur Police Station to lodge a complaint against the illegal trespass and land grabbing through the construction of a pandal for Durga Puja, it said.
The police instead of taking action on a strictly ‘law and order’ issue directed them to approach the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM), Kanchanpur as it was a land dispute, NCAT added.
They thereafter submitted a complaint to the SDM but the SDM also did not take timely action.
Chakma with his family members and villagers subsequently staged a peaceful protest at Laljuri.
About 150-200 “non-tribal people”, including those who constructed the Pandal, attacked the peaceful protestors with a machete, lathi etc and grievously injured Pindulal Chakma and Bikanta Chakma.
“It was premeditated murder as Pindulal Chakma was specifically targeted among the protestors and further he was not allowed to be taken to Laljuri Hospital by the general category mob and therefore had to be taken to Machmara Hospital which referred to Dharmanagar District Hospital and then to the ILS Hospital at Agartala before succumbing to his injuries on 4th November 2020 at ILS Hospital, Agartala,” said Suhas Chakma, coordinator of the NCAT.
He said following the murderous attack, Tripura Police registered an FIR (No. 40/2020) under sections 341, 320, 307 and 34 of the IPC but did not invoke the ST-SC (Prevention of Atrocities) Act despite it being a case of grabbing the lands of tribals by non-tribals as alleged in the complaint itself.
“This clearly shows that the State government of Tripura is not implementing the Prevention of Atrocities Act,” Chakma further said.
The NCAT in its complaint further urged the NHRC to provide relief to the next of kin of Pindulal Chakma and injured Bikanta Chakma and other victims.