Oxyguri, Dec. 16: A 65-year-old widow has been inconsolable since her youngest son was kidnapped and killed by suspected militants in Chirang district last week. With folded hands, Nalini Medhi asks anybody visiting her house to return her son.
Nakul Chandra Medhi, 30, the youngest of her three sons and a jawan of the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), was abducted by suspected militants on December 6 along with his colleague Anil Kumar Yadav. Their disfigured body was found on December 12.
Cursing the militants, the devastated mother says, “They will suffer a similar brutality for what they did to my innocent son”. As for the the SSB, she says, “They have to compensate and support us as I have lost my youngest son for them. I will not spare the SSB,” she says.
Nakul, a resident of Oxyguri under Gobordhona police station in Baksa district, also leaves behind his two-year-old daughter, a 7-month pregnant wife and two elder brothers and their families.
Nakul, who had joined the SSB in 2005, was posted at Panbari border outpost in Chirang district for the past three months.
According to Nakul's family, he and his colleague Anil Kumar Yadav had gone with four colleagues on December 6 for a recce of the area under the border outpost’s jurisdiction. They set out on bicycles at 9am.
According to an SSB signal inspector, Jagdish Chand, who was not part of the group, after reaching the area the five split into groups. They were to meet at a particular spot near the Hakua river at 1pm after the area visit. When Nakul and Anil did not turn up for a long time, the other three reported the matter to Panbari border outpost. The officials there filed a missing report with Panbari police outpost that evening.
Nakul’s eldest brother Sashadhar Medhi, 38, said an SSB officer from Panbari border outpost had called them that evening to enquire about Nakul’s whereabouts and whether they had received any ransom or threat call from any militant group before or after Nakul went missing. “We replied in the negative.”
The SSB and police then launched a joint search in the Kahitama area from where the jawans were believed to have gone missing.
The family came to know about the recovery of the bodies through TV channels. An SSB doctor called them the next day to identify the body.
Elder brother Jaduram Medhi, 32, identified Nakul’s body, which bore cut marks by sharp weapons on the face and belly, with difficulty. “Anil’s eyes were gouged out and his hands, legs and nose were chopped off,” Jaduram said.
The other body was of Anil. His body was taken to Uttar Pradesh, from where he hails, by his family.
Nakul’s family received only Rs 7,000 from the SSB for performing his last rites on December 13.
Nakul’s brother-in-law, Harihar Das, alleged that he had died because of “utter negligence of the SSB as they had sent Nakul and his colleagues to the militant-dominated area unarmed”.
Villagers and various NGOs demanded compensation for the family and punishment to the militants.
They also demanded a probe into the killing of the two SSB jawans like other cases of killings in Assam. The family too sought a probe and justice from the government and the SSB.
Nakul’s family members live at Oxyguri village in Baksa district under the BTAD. Their house is located beside a paddy field. The village is 152km from Guwahati and 72km from Bongaigaon.
Nakul was the only job-holder in the family, said Sashadhar. Nakul’s elder brothers are farmers and find it hard to make ends meet. “That is why Nakul looked after his family and our mother,” he added.
Scattered dwellings in Oxyguri reflect both serenity and insecurity. Nakul's family members said the village had witnessed many killings either by militants or by security forces in the past few years. Its police outpost, Labganguri, was destroyed by the NDFB in 2000.
There has not been any formal statement from the SSB yet, even five days after the bodies were recovered.