The National Human Rights Commission on Friday issued notices to the director general of Tamil Nadu police and the Chennai district magistrate, asking them to investigate the death of five suspected burglars in a police encounter.
The direction came after the commission received a complaint on the basis of media reports regarding the Chennai encounter on Thursday, in which the police killed five persons suspected to be involved in bank burglaries.
The notices have been issued to Tamil Nadu's director general of police and the district magistrate and the senior superintendent of police in Chennai.
"The commission has directed them to respond to its notices within eight weeks along with the magisterial enquiry report, the post-mortem report and the independent investigation report into the incident as per the guidelines of the commission," an NHRC spokesperson said.
Quoting reports, the commission said that the police was on the lookout for a gang of robbers reportedly involved in a series of bank robberies in the city.
In this connection, they surrounded a house at Velachery in Chennai, where some suspects were lodged. According to the police, the encounter happened when instead of surrendering, the alleged suspects opened fire at the police, injuring two inspectors.
The five persons, four from Bihar and one from West Bengal, were identified with the help of voter ID cards and driving licenses recovered from the spot. The deceased are Chandrika Ray, Harish Kumar, Vinay Prasad, Vinod Kumar (all from Bihar) and Abhay Kumar from West Bengal.
In less than a month, branches of Bank of Baroda and Indian Overseas Bank in Chennai were robbed of Rs 19 lakh and Rs 14 lakh, on January 23 and February 21 respectively, in daring daylight heist by armed men. The police had set up 30 special teams to crack the cases.