To,       The Chief Minister, Odisha

Bhubaneswar

Sub: Regarding unconstitutional statement by Minister of Law of your Cabinet on the infamous Hyderabad ‘encounter’ killings

Sir,

As you know the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has taken,suomotu, cognizance of the infamous Hyderabad ‘encounter’, suspecting the version of the police.The High Court of Telengana has also intervened in the same matter in response to a representation by concerned citizens. Time and again the Supreme Court of India has opined that right to life guaranteed by the Constitution cannot be violated, except according to procedure established by law;the killings in police encounters affect the credibility of the rule of law and the administration of the criminal justice system, hence killings in police encounters require independent investigation.

It is a matter of concern that here in Odisha, the Minister of Law, Mr. Pratap Jena has given a statement in the public justifying police action in Hyderabad. According to media reports the Minister of Law has said, “In other countries such ‘culprits’ are shot and killed on road side.”  By giving such statement is he not ratifying extra-judicial killings? How a minister who takes oath to protect the constitution can go beyond it and issue such a statement?

Through this statement, is the Minister of Law not encouraging the Odisha police to take law into its own hands and resort to such type of extra-judicial killings? Will such Minister in office not protect the Police on such cases when it happens?  Can we say he is ‘faithfully and conscientiously’ discharging his constitutional duties?

We all know that at the time of taking oath of office the Minister Mr. Jena had sworn,‘in the name of God that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India as by law established that ….. ..I will do right to all manner of people in accordance with the Constitution and the law, without fear or favour, affection or ill will.’ Thus, the recent statement of the Minister of Law shows he has no allegiance and faith on the Constitution as established by law.

We, the concerned citizens including human rights activists strongly feel that by justifying and supporting the extra-judicial killings by Hyderabad police the Odisha Minister of Law has clearly acted unconstitutionally and has demonstrated that he has no respect for the Rule of Law.  So, we urge you to dismiss Mr.Jena from the Council of Ministers of Odisha for the sake of protection of values of the constitution in name of which you also have taken oath.

We hope you would come forward in protecting our constitution and would not hesitate to dismiss him from the Council of Ministers.

Yours,

BiswapriyaKanungo, Human Rights Activist

DebaRanjan, GASS, Odisha

Pramodini Pradhan, PUCL – Odisha

SrimantaMohanty, Political Activist

SubashSahu, Advocate

Bijay Kumar Panda, Advocate

Golekh Prasad Nayak, Advocate

NarendraMohanty, Campaign Against Fabricated Cases

Lenin Kumar, poet

RumitaKundu, Political Activist

Kedar Mishra, Poet

Sivaram, State Secretary, CPI (ML) Red Star

Rajendra Prasad Barik, State Vice-President TUCI

Pramila, State Secretary, AIRWO

Hena Barik, President, Basti Surakhya Mancha

Tuna Malik, State Convener, Adivasi Bharat Mahasabha

Bibek Ranjan, Advocate, Koraput OPDR – India

Sankar Sahu, State Secretary, AIKKS

Bichitra Kumar Patra, Odisha Nirman Shramik Union

Abani Gaya, Advocate, Berhampur MASM

Sandeep Sahu, Journalist

Sudhir Pattnaik, Journalist

Prof. Bijaya Bohidar

Jyoti Nanda, Writer

Suresh Panigrahi, Political Activist

Saral Das, Writer

Saroj Mohanty, Farmers’ leader, Sambalpur

Shankar Pani, Advocate

Bhalachandra Sadangi, Spokesperson, CPI (ML) New Democracy, Odisha Committee

Chandranath Dani, Human Rights Defenders’ Alert


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