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NHRC seeks action against guilty officials on death of Bollywood cook who is alive

ANI | Updated: Aug 28, 2021 18:26 IST


New Delhi [India], August 28 (ANI): The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has asked the District Magistrate of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh to conduct an enquiry with respect to how an alive person was declared dead in the revenue records and necessary action be taken against the guilty officials.
The NHRC also directed the Chief Secretary of Government of Uttar Pradesh to ensure that action is taken against the concerned guilty officials.
Acting on a petition filed by noted human rights activist, social justice lawyer and Supreme Court advocate, Radhakanta Tripathy, the NHRC passed the order recently.
Tripathy stated that the victim, Santosh K Singh, former cook of reputed Bollywood actors, including that of Nana Patekar and many others, was wrongly declared dead and issued a death certificate, as he married a dalit girl against the wishes of his higher caste relatives.
The victim is alive and has approached various authorities regarding this but the same was of no avail. It has been further alleged that his relatives have wrongly removed his name from land records by declaring him dead, Tripathy said.
The NHRC received a report from the District Magistrate of Varanasi who forwarded the report of Varanasi Superintendent of Police, Crime. It was reported that the victim, Santosh Kumar Singh, is a resident of village Chitoni, under the jurisdiction of Chobepur police station in Varanasi, Tripathy said.
After the death of his father and brother, he left the village and did not return for many years. Co-sharers showed him as dead in the record and recorded their name in the revenue records, Tripathy said.

When Singh came to know about it, he sat on dharna in the DM's Office. He was given possession of land after measurement. Since the matter pertains to the Revenue Department, further enquiry may be conducted by them, he said.
The NHRC in its earlier proceeding directed the District Magistrate, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh to conduct an enquiry into the specific allegation as to how a live person was declared dead in the revenue records and necessary action be taken against the guilty officials.
An Action Taken Report (ATR) has to be submitted to the Commission within four weeks. In response to the directions of the Commission, a report dated May 31, 2021, has been received from the District Magistrate, Varanasi, Tripathy said.
It is reported that the list of various properties registered in the name of the victim in the revenue record has been provided. The Commission perused the record and directed the District Magistrate and the Chief Secretary to conduct final enquiry and take legal action against the errant officials who are involved in the case, Tripathy said.
Tripathy has alleged that the victim, a former cook of Bollywood celebrities, was wrongly declared dead and issued death certificate, as he married a Dalit girl against the wishes of his higher caste relatives. The victim is alive and has approached various authorities regarding this but the same was of no avail.
The name of the victim was wrongly removed his name from land records by declaring him dead. Singh waged a battle to get back his 12.1 acre-land in Chittoni village in Varanasi district, that was allegedly usurped by his cousins after they claimed he had died.
To utter dismay, apathy and negligence of Government officials of Uttar Pradesh Singh, he has spent more than a decade trying to prove to officials that he is alive after his high caste relatives declared him dead following a row over his decision to marry a dalit woman, known as an "untouchable", Tripathy pointed out. (ANI)

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