By Suchitra Kalyan Mohanty
New Delhi [India], April 14 (ANI): The National Human Rights Commission of India (NHRC) had directed the Union Defence Secretary and the Commanding Officer, Air Force Station, Kalaikunda to take appropriate steps, in co-ordination with Balasore District Administration in Odisha state and police, to ensure that Rs 15 lakh compensation will be received by the eligible victims, who suffered serious burn injuries due to the falling of the parts of a missile from a fighter plane in December 2016.
Adjudicating the case, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had directed the Air Force authorities to pay Rs 15 lakh compensation to three victims.
To the Commission's surprise, after the submission of the payment proof, Commission learnt that the amount has been disbursed to the complainant NGO, but the actual victims have never received the amount meant for them.
The complainant, Sangita Swain, Secretary of an NGO, "Human Rights Watch" alleged that on December 31, 2016, three tribal persons namely Padmabati Naik, Sameer Naik, and Rakhi Naik, Village Chematata, District Baleswar, Odisha were seriously burnt due to falling of the parts of a missile from a fighter plane.
Hence the Commission had directed the District Magistrate, District Balasore, Odisha to conduct an inquiry by confirming from the victims whether Rs 15 lakh, in cash, has actually been received by them as claimed by the complainant, or not. The statement recorded during the inquiry, if in vernacular, be transmitted to the Commission by duly translating the same in English.
Pursuant to the directions of the Commission, a report of November 24, 2020, has been submitted by the Block Development Officer, Nilgiri, Odisha. It is reported that after an enquiry in the instant case, it is found that the victim's kith and kin, Liku Naik has received Rs 15 Lakhs neither 'in account transfer' mode nor by 'cash in hand' mode by the Human Rights Watch NGO, Angul or its representative Sangita Swain.
The District Welfare Officer, Balasore, Odisha stated that as per the draft letter submitted by the BDO and from the enquiry report of Welfare Extension Officer, Nilgiri, it has been revealed that no compensation has been given to Liku Naik and Padmabati Naik, neither in cash nor in cheque or DBT mode of transfer.
The actual beneficiaries are living in the worst conditions and facing problems, the complainant, Swain alleged.
The Commission took note of the contents of the reports submitted by the authorities and has also considered the facts and circumstances of the case.
Since, the compensation amount of Rs 15 Lakhs has not been received by the beneficiary, though the same has been paid by the authorities of the Air Force Station, Kalaikunda to the NGO or the complainant namely Human Rights Watch vide agreement on August 2019. The actual beneficiaries have been cheated by the NGO or the complainant.
After perusal of the reports submitted by the authorities in the instant case, the NHRC directed the District Magistrate, Balasore, Odisha and Superintendent of Police, Balasore, Odisha to initiate criminal action against the guilty NGO or the complainant who have allegedly cheated the actual beneficiaries. (ANI)