The Telegraph
Thursday , April 24 , 2014
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Guijan probe report soon

Jorhat, April 23: The magisterial inquiry into the killing of a youth inside Guijan police outpost, allegedly by a policeman, in Tinsukia district on April 15 night is nearing completion and the report is expected to be submitted to Tinsukia deputy commissioner Puru Gupta in a couple of days.

Sources said the probe conducted by additional deputy commissioner Diganta Saikia since April 17 has recorded statements of 13 people, which included main accused constable Thaneshwar Phukan and two other policemen present at the time of the incident.

Sources said the evidence available with the additional deputy commissioner during the course of the inquiry indicated that the victim, Kartik Das, 38, was killed in “cold blood”.

Among those who appeared before the ADC were the four local youths, with whom Das had reportedly gone to the outpost on that fateful night.

The four youths wanted to lodge an FIR against some persons with whom they had a quarrel with earlier that day.

The youths are Mahananda Borgohain, Niharanjan Borgohain, Mahesh Gogoi and Rupam Borgohain.

Among the policemen whose statements were recorded were the then outpost in-charge sub-inspector Monisena Sinha, constable Ramani Sonowal and civilian driver of a vehicle under police requisition attached to the outpost, Prasenjit Moran.

Sources said all of them have in their statements stated that Phukan fired from his service .303 rifle at Das “without any provocation and in a cold-blooded manner”, leading to Das’s death.

However, Phukan in his statement has denied shooting Das intentionally, stating that a “scuffle” had broken out between them, which resulted in an “accidental firing” from his rifle.

The victim was the secretary of the Guijan unit of the Youth Congress. Guijan, 12km from Tinsukia town, falls under Chabua Assembly seat under Lakhimpur Lok Sabha constituency.

Das, whose house was near the police outpost, reportedly went with the youths to the outpost following their request around 9.30pm.

As there was reportedly no electricity and paper available at the outpost, the four youths came out to get the FIR written by Julash Rahman, local village defence party secretary, whose house was in the same locality, with Das staying back at the outpost.

They took nearly 20 to 30 minutes to return to the outpost.

In the meantime, Das and Phukan, who was “drunk”, had an altercation. Phukan reportedly discouraged Das from lodging an FIR, saying that it was festival time (Bohag Bihu) and asked him to settle the quarrel amicably.

As the altercation heated up, the outpost in-charge reportedly tried to intervene and defuse the situation, but Phukan suddenly fired a shot from his service rifle.

Phukan was arrested on charges of murdering Das and outpost-in-charge Sinha was suspended by the police authorities with departmental proceedings being initiated against him.

The incident triggered massive protests by residents in front of the outpost on April 16 and a 24-hour Tinsukia district strike call from 5am was called the next day by several local organisations.

On April 17, deputy inspector-general (eastern range) Satyen Gogoi according to the instruction of Assam director-general of police Khagen Sarmah, had handed over a cheque for Rs 1 lakh to Malati, the elder sister of the victim. The DGP released the money from his department’s funds as a one-time relief for the victim’s family.

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