PEOPLE’S UNION FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES (PUCL)
National Office: Bhubaneswar Unit:
The Chief Minister, Orissa Dt.22.01.04
Sub: Inquiry into the Maikanch Police Firing / making public the Report of Justice P.K.Mishra Commission
We would like to bring the following issues to your notice and demand for necessary action.
First, as you are aware, three people had been killed in police firing in Maikanch village of Kashipur Block, Rayagada district. The incident took place on 16th December 2000. In January 2001, the Government of Orissa had instituted a commission of inquiry, headed by Justice P.K.Misra, then a sitting Judge of Orissa High Court, to look into different aspects of the incident.
The Commission, on completion of the inquiry, submitted its report to the Government on 17th January, 2003. The findings of the Commission were placed before the Cabinet in September 2003 for discussion. It is then that the public came to know about the findings of the Commission from the press reports. However, the full report of the Commission as submitted to the Government, has not yet been made public.
We fail to understand why the report has not yet been made public. Prima facie, reading of whatever has come out in the media, gives rise to a lot of suspicion in the public mind, both about the findings of the Commission and the Government's motive in not making the report public.
Going by the press reports, even though the Commission has fixed the guilt and responsibilities in clear terms, as follows, for reasons best known to it, (reasons not yet made public) it has not recommended any action against the officials for their acts of commission and omission:
Neither his superiors in the police nor the Executive Magistrate who ordered the firing and were present on the spot, restrained or gave proper direction to the erring police officer, thereby derelicting their duty.
On the other hand, the Commission has shown undue interest in giving recommendations on certain aspects like environment versus 'development', which, being far removed from its pronounced terms of reference, gives an impression of prejudice as far as it's findings and recommendations are concerned.
We believe and hope you will agree with us that the general public has a right to know, for obvious reasons, the full report of the Inquiry Commission. We think that by not making the entire report public, the public in general and the affected people of Kashipur in particular, have been denied of their right to information on a matter, which has serious consequences. .
In view of the above we do hope that the Government will take necessary measures to respect people’s right to information by immediately making the Inquiry Commission’s report public alongwith the Action Taken Report.
Cc: Prakrutik Sampad Surakshya Parishad, Kucheipadar, Kashipur, Rayagada