Troops face custody death slur
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- Published 24.01.10
Imphal, Jan. 23: The widow of a farmer today alleged that the troops of 33 Assam Rifles based in Thoubal district of Manipur had killed her husband in custody after arresting him. Local residents formed a joint action committee and demanded a judicial probe into the killing.
The Assam Rifles unit had, on Thursday night, informed the Moirang police station in Bishnupur district that a Peoples United Liberation Front militant was killed in an encounter at Kwakta Khuman in the district that night. While handing over the body to Moirang police, the troops submitted a 9mm pistol with two live rounds, claiming that the arms were found on the deceased.
The deceased was later identified as Md Faziruddin, 45, a native of Moijing in Thoubal district who resided at Saiton in Bishnupur district with family and engaged in farming.
Speaking to reporters here this afternoon, Faziruddin’s widow, Memcha Bibi, dismissed the version of the Assam Rifles. She said the troops had taken away her husband from their house at Saiton on the night of January 21. “My husband was having dinner with me and our three children when some Assam Rifles personnel came and took him away. They also damaged household property and took away a mobile phone from my house,” she claimed.
The residents of Moijing have formed a joint action committee to fight for “justice”. “We demand a judicial inquiry into the case and punishment of the personnel involved in the custodial killing. We will not compromise with ex gratia. We will call bandhs and strikes if the demands are not fulfilled,” the committee’s co-convenor, Md Amin, said.
Memcha Bibi said her husband did not have any links with any underground organisation and had earned a livelihood through agriculture. She said she would not accept her husband’s body until the guilty personnel were punished.
In another development, residents of Lilong Haoreibi in Thoubal district today blocked the Imphal-Thoubal road to protest the arrest of a youth from the locality late last night by some persons believed to be security forces in civil attire.
The residents said the youth, identified as Haji Ilyaj, a clerk at Haoreibi High Madrassa, was taken away from his residence, apparently by some security personnel, who had come in two vehicles at 11pm.
The police said no security agency had claimed any arrest. The residents fear that Ilyaj could have been killed in custody.