NHRC directs defence ministry, IAF to take action on plea to compensate Abhinandan
National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Thursday directed Ministry of Defence and the chief of Indian Air Force (IAF) to take appropriate action in relation to a complaint that sought compensation to Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman. The NHRC has given the authorities eight weeks time for the same.
In an order, the NHRC said that, “These complaints should be transmitted to the concerned authority for such action as deemed appropriate. The authority concerned is directed to take appropriate action within eight weeks associating the complainant/victim and to inform them of the action taken in the matter.”
The NHRC direction came in respons to a complaint filed by Thane-based lawyer Aditya Mishra. He had asked the NHRC to “recommend the Central government to compensate Abhinandan Varthaman suitably.”
Mishra, in his complaint had said that, “Various petitions are filed in our country for the compliance of due process of law and to ensure that human rights of anyone are not violated. But hardly any petition has been filed for appropriate compensation to our defence forces who lay down their life in protection of our country.”
“Our country has witnessed a gallantry act by our Air Force officer Wing Commander Shri Abhinandan Varthaman, who was detained by Pakistan army on 27.02.2019,” the complaint said.
The complaint also said, “There were numerous reports in media in which it was shown that our officer Abhinandan was tortured and beaten when he was kept in captivity by Pakistan forces. He suffered all this for our country.”
After the Balakot airstrike in Pakistan by the IAF, the neighbouring country had tried to enter the Indian airspace. During the aerial combat which ensued in the aftermath, IAF fighter jet pilot Abhinandan Varthaman’s plane was shot down and he crash landed in Pakistan.
Abhinandan was spotted by the Pakistani forces when he was attacked by a mob of local villagers. The pak rangers rescued him. He subsequently made it back to India after a series of diplomatic dialogues.
Since, Mishra’s complaint was filed during the time when Varthaman was in Pakistan, he had also sought “special protection to his family members”. However, with Varthaman’s release after a few days, his demands did not survive.
NHRC took cognisance of the complaint on May 1 and subsequently passed an order on May 7.