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Rights panel seeks report

Guwahati, Jan. 15: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) today issued notices to the police chiefs of both Nagaland and Assam, seeking reports within a month on the recovery of nine decomposed bodies in Dimapur district on January 4.

Taking suo moto cognizance of media reports, the commission said if reports of the bodies being recovered from a drain, covered with polythene sheets, were true, the incident raised serious question of the violation of the victims’ human rights. The nine male bodies were found piled in a roadside drain at Pachaspura, about 15km from Dimapur. “Reportedly, the bodies were blindfolded with hands tied and shot from close range in the head,” the commission said in an email sent to The Telegraph today.

The NHRC asked Nagaland director-general of police Besesayo Kezo, Assam DGP J.N. Choudhury and Dimapur superintendent of police V. Angami to submit a report to it within four weeks.

The recovery of the bodies created further tension in adjacent Karbi Anglong district of Assam, where tension prevailed following the gunning down of four Rengma Naga villagers at Khowanigaon, about 100km from the district headquarters of Diphu, by suspected KPLT militants on December 27.

Two Karbi People’s Liberation Tigers (KPLT) militants had died in a subsequent clash with the Naga Rengma Hills Protection Force (NRHPF), another rebel group, that day. The Dimapur massacre is suspected to have been a revenge killing.

The nine bodies found in Dimapur district were identified to be those of nine persons from Karbi Anglong who had either gone to Dimapur or were working in Kohima and were returning home via Dimapur. The deceased included Harlongbi Engti, 21, a leader of Karbi Students’ Association (KSA).

Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi, who spoke to his Nagaland counterpart Neiphiu Rio soon after the incident, has urged the Centre for a CBI or an NIA probe. “We want the incident to be probed either by the CBI or the NIA,” Gogoi reiterated at a news meet here today. The KSA has demanded a CBI inquiry into not only the Dimapur massacre but also the December 27 killings at Khowanigaon and another Karbi youth under Khatkhati police station in Karbi Anglong on January 4.

Police sources in Karbi Anglong said about 100 cadres of both the KPLT and the NRHPF were keeping the hill district disturbed when two major militant groups, KLNLF and UPDS, had laid down arms.

“They (KPLT and NRHPF) are getting arms from the NSCN and extort villagers, mostly farmers, in Karbi Anglong,” a police officer said.


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