Blood on his hands, but still a free man

Accused of authorising his gunman to fire on civilians using his official AK-47 in 2006, B Dayananda was never taken to task for the death of two people, and instead was elevated to Joint Commissioner. He was also accused of three fake encounters when he was the appointed Superintendent of Police of Dakshina Kannada district

The People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) claims that the faith of the civil society in a transparent system has been completely shattered. The issue has been rekindled as even four years after committing a grave offence, Joint Commissioner of Police, B Dayananda has not been taken to task.

Moodbidri Judicial Court in Dakshina Kannada had registered a double murder case under IPC 302 against B Dayananda in connection with the killing of two civilians at Mulky town

In 2006, Dayananda was the appointed SP of Dakshina Kannada district. As per government rule, officers working in a naxal-infested area are given an AK-47 Rifle.

However, after a procession turned violent, he allegedly authorised his gunman to open fire on civilians with the weapon, resulting in the instant deaths of two members of the crowd.

Thorough probe
The PUCL filed a complaint at the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on the matter and four years after the incident occurred and post several probes that absolved the cop, now the NHRC has ordered a full bench hearing into the matter.

"We filed a complaint at the NHRC in July 2007 and the matter was taken up and the DGP (Administration), Karnataka Police was asked to file a report on the incident. The DGP asked the local IGP, Western Range to send the same report to them, which could be forwarded to the NHRC," said B V Seetaram, Vice Chairman, PUCL.

MiD DAY has in possession the report that the then IGP, HNS Rao sent to the DGP (Administration), in which he confirmed that Dayananda breached the instructions of the MHA.

The MHA circular (a copy of which is available with this paper) was first issued in May 1990 and then reconveyed to all SPs' by the DGP of Karnataka through a circular 27/2002-03. The circular states, "Under no circumstances Rifle AK-47 to be used by police forces deployed to control Law and Order situations, mob violence, riots, etc".

The DGP forwarded the same report to the NHRC and the commission ordered the District Magistrate to probe into the matter, where it was concluded that the force used by Dayananda was not excessive.

Based on the conclusions of the magistrate enquiry, the PUCL again petitioned the NHRC citing that the enquiry was inadequate. The NHRC then asked the CID to probe the case in December 2010. The CID then absolved the SP and claimed that since the SP was in a hopeless situation, he had to give the order.

"State authorities have sought to defend the SP's action saying that the situation was getting out of control and Dayananda had no other choice.

Even if a situation existed for firing, conventional weapons other than an AK-47 could have been used. Does the retribution not follow an act of sin by the IPS officer?" questioned P B D'sa, State President, PUCL, Dakshina Kannada.

After both the probes absolved the officer, PUCL wrote to the DGP, Home Secretary, Chief Secretary and petitioned the Secretary MHA, Govt of India in the matter.

In June this year, the NHRC proceedings observed, "From the perusal of the papers available on record, it is clear that by the use of AK-47 rifle against the civilians in DK District, two persons succumbed and a few others sustained bullet injuries. Since it is an issue of national importance and also it is a case of death of two civilians by the use of AK-47 rifle by police officer, place the file before the full commission."

Meanwhile, the Moodbidri Judicial Court in Dakshina Kannada had also registered a double murder case under IPC 302 against B Dayananda, former SP of DK district in connection with the killing of two citizens at Mulky town.

Not following rules
However, the main question the civil society is posing before the Karnataka government relates to the purposeful elevation of Dayananda to higher positions, despite the NHRC nailing him for this illegality and violating the MHA.

"With Dayananda being an official accused in the murder case, he should be immediately suspended from service till the court absolves him of murder charges. There is one set of rules for ordinary people and another for an IPS officer," said P B D'sa in his letter to State Home Department.

MiD DAY questioned Dayananda on the matter, but he claimed that he has filed his report to the NHRC.
"I have not been intimated by the NHRC about a full bench hearing. I have submitted my report to the NHRC and there has been no official communication post that," he said.

Meanwhile, the PUCL is now planning to ask for an independent body to probe the matter. "We want the CBI or any other independent body to probe the case and we want justice in the matter," said Seetaram.

Dayananda on the other hand maintained that he is not aware of why PUCL is carrying on this campaign or what they eventually intend to do.

For now, the common man in Mangalore continues to believe that this top cop got away in spite of such a glaring violation. Their faith might be shaken, but the PUCL continues to fight the battle.

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