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Friday, December 8, 2023

NHRC directs Balasore authorities to act against NGO Human Rights Watch for cheating

NHRC (National Human Rights Commission) discovered that NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) whose Secretary Sangita Swain had lodged a complaint with NHRC alleging that tribals Baleswar District’s Chematata Village residents Padmabati Naik, Sameer Naik, and Rakhi Naik were seriously burnt due to falling of the parts of a missile from a fighter plane on December 31, 2016.

NHRC had then directed the airforce authorities to pay a compensation of INR 15 lakhs to the three victims. In this regard, NHRC had also directed the Union Defence Secretary and the Commanding Officer, Air Force Station, Kalaikunda to take appropriate steps, in coordination with Balasore District Administration in Odisha state and police to make sure that the compensation amount reached the victims.

However, when the concerned authorities submitted the proof of payment, NHRC came to know about the fraud committed by HRW which had received the amount but didn’t pass it on to the victims. After learning about this, NHRC issued orders to Balasore District Magistrate (DM) to conduct an enquiry into the case so as to confirm whether the victims had received the sum of INR 15 lakhs or not.

Accordingly, Nilgiri Block Development Officer prepared a report on 24 November 2020, The inquiry report confirmed that Liku Naik, the victims’ relative, didn’t receive any compensation amount in cash or through bank transfer from the NGO HRW or its representative Sangita Swain or Angul.

An ANI report in the matter states:

The District Welfare Officer, Balasore, Odisha stated that as per the draft letter submitted by the BDO and from the inquiry 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.

Taking the report contents submitted by the concerned authorities into consideration in addition to the facts and circumstances of the case, NHRC concluded that the NGO or the complainant had cheated the actual beneficiaries. It noted that even though Kalaikunda Air Force Station authorities had disbursed the compensation amount of INR 15 lakhs to the NGO or complainant Human Rights Watch vice agreement in August 2019, the same had not reached the intended beneficiaries.

Having perused the reports submitted by the concerned authorities, NHRC issued directions to both Odisha’s Balasore District Magistrate as well as Balasore Superintendent of Police to take criminal action against the errant NGO or complainant for having cheated the actual beneficiaries.

(Featured Image Source: ANI)

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