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NHRC warns, personal appearance of Odisha CS ,Railway Board Chairman on Bahanaga Train tragedy

Kendrapara,Sep 19 : The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)has warned the Odisha Chief Secretary and the Railway Board Chairman to invoke its coercive power u/s 13 of the PHR Act, 1993 calling for their personal appearances before the Commission in connection with the Bahanaga Train tragedy report.

The coercive power u/s 13 of the PHR Act, 1993 for their personal appearances will be invoked if the Odisha Chief Secretary and the Railway Board Chairman failed to submit the requisite report related to Balasore Train accident within a period of four weeks.

The NHRC passed the order last week on a petition filed by Human Rights Activist Radhakanta Tripathy.

Tripathy in his petition stated that the rare and tragic train accident happened in Bahanaga road station in Odisha balasore district on June 2 last due to gross negligence of Railways .There has been subsequent violation of human rights of the passengers, both dead and alive, due to lack of appropriate and timely action by the Railways and State administration, he alleged.

Tripathy said that the rights of deceased/ victims are being violated by the State Government/Railways as the authorities have failed to preserve the bodies till identification of the same by their kins.

He said dead bodies are still lying for disposal and fake claimants are coming forward to stake claims for which the compensation cases to the next of kin of the deceased victims are pending.

The petitioner requested the NHRC for an in-depth analysis, independent and impartial investigation of the incident and sought for heavy compensation to the family members of the deceased, dignified farewell of the dead bodies and compensation with proper medical care to the injured ones.

He also sought for intervention of the administration and Railways for proper documentation of all the passengers for loss of documents and preparation of further documents for claiming insurance and service benefits, Students, children care etc.

The petitioner sought for preventive, compensatory and rehabilitating action with some permanent solution to prevent such incidents.

Earlier the NHRC had sought Action Taken Reports from the Odisha Chief Secretary and the Chairman, Railway Board within a period of four weeks.

However, despite direction neither the state Chief Secretary nor the Railway board chairman submitted any report till date.

Only one internal communication on September 2 last has been endorsed to the Commission by the Additional Secretary, Home Department of Odisha government where a request has been made to Commissioner-cum-Secretary to Health & Family Welfare Department, DGP, Odisha, Collector & District Magistrate, Balasore and Superintendent of Police, Balasore for submission of action taken report in the icase, the NHRC noted.

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