|Locals block the railway tracks in Mariani on Friday to demand an investigation into the August 18 police firing. Picture by UB Photos
Jorhat, Aug. 30: Assam Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has directed the Upper Assam commissioner S.I. Hussain to probe the circumstances leading to the death of a school student in police firing at Hemlai sub-division of Boisahabi tea estate near Mariani on August 18.
A commission source in Guwahati told The Telegraph that it took suo moto notice last week of media reports about the killing of a Class IX student and injury to a college student in police firing and asked Hussain to conduct an inquiry into all aspects of the incident.
A bench of the commission, comprising chairman Aftab Hussain Saikia and commission member Tarun Phukan, has asked the commissioner to submit the report within 30 days of receipt of the directive. Jorhat district police have already filed a preliminary report on the incident to the state rights panel and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
Sujit Nayak, 14, was killed while Rajib Nayak, 17, was injured in the firing. Two policemen ó N. Islam, then in-charge of Deberapara police outpost and constable Tileshwar Gogoi of the first Assam police battalion ó were also injured in the incident, when a mob reportedly attacked the police team.
Islam was suspended subsequently and a departmental inquiry ordered by the district police. The police team had gone to rescue two youths, who were passing the area in a vehicle and were detained by a crowd of tea workers suspecting them to be pisal bhoot (slippery ghost).
The incident had led to massive protests by workers, several organisations and Mariani Congress MLA Rupjyoti Kurmi demanding stern action against the police personnel involved in the killing.
Kurmiís supporters blocked the railway tracks today at Nakachari station, halting the Dibrugarh-Chandigarh Express from noon till 1pm, demanding arrest of the policemen involved in the incident.
District administration sources said the probe report of the magisterial inquiry ordered by Jorhat deputy commissioner Solanki Vishal Vasant has been sent to Dispur for necessary action. Additional deputy commissioner D. Hazarika had conducted the probe within two days after Vasantís order on August 20.
On the other hand, investigation is under way in the case (211/13) registered at Teok police station following an FIR filed by the victimís uncle Rajen Nayak against the police firing.
Three witnesses, Ramesh Patnaik, Rajen Pradhan and Dipak Hazarika, have given their statements in the court of judicial magistrate K.K. Sarmah under Section 164 CrPC.
The trio gave their account of the situation that prevailed during the night of the incident but none of them said they witnessed the police firing.
Another case (210/13) registered at the Teok police station on the basis of an FIR lodged by Islam is also under investigation.
Islam alleged the mob had attacked the police personnel with sharp weapons, leading to injuries to two policemen and damaging two magazines of INSAS rifles of the police.
Two witnesses, Biju Nayak and Dipak Hazarika, too, have recorded their statements in the court under Section 164 CrPC.