Rights abuse slur on BJP

Cancer patient accused of assaulting peaceniks, dies

By A staff reporter in Guwahati
  • Published 13.10.17
Pradyut Bordoloi addresses the news conference in Guwahati on Thursday. Picture by UB Photos

Guwahati, Oct. 12: The Assam Congress and leader of the Opposition Debabrata Saikia today criticised the state government for not doing enough for the treatment of Sujit Dey, a cancer patient who was arrested in connection with the assault on pro-talks Ulfa cadres in Nagaon on August 22. Dey died on October 1.

On August 22, five peaceniks led by Moon Bora, went to M/s Das Enterprise, a tractor dealer, to collect "donation for flood relief". A group of traders there roughed up Bora, accusing him of extortion.

Talking to the media here, senior Congress leader and former power minister Pradyut Bordoloi said the incident was a gross violation of human rights. "Dey was a cancer patient who was undergoing treatment at Tata Memorial Centre (TMC) in Mumbai. He had to take a special injection every week and visit the TMC every three months," Bordoloi said.

"When Dey came to know that police were looking for him he, after returning from Mumbai, surrendered at Paltan Bazar police station in Guwahati on September 8. He was taken to Nagaon and put in jail. His family members and lawyer had informed the jail authority, officer-in-charge of Nagaon police station, deputy superintendent of police Samiran Baishya about his medical requirements. But he was not allowed to take the injection," Bordoloi said.

"When Dey's health deteriorated he was admitted to Bhogeswari Phukanani civil hospital in Nagaon on September 11. Then he was referred to the GMCH on September 13. Although the cancer wing of the GMCH was just on the other side of the road he was not admitted there. Despite repeated requests from Dey's family and his lawyer, he was not given the injection," Bordoloi said.

"The court will decide whether Dey was guilty or not. But the court would have surely made arrangements for his treatment had the administration informed it about his condition. This is an incident of gross human rights violation. We demand an inquiry into the incident," the Congress leader said.

Saikia expressed "grave concern" at the "state government's attitude towards upholding human rights".

"Even those who are accused in murder cases are entitled to their rights under the Constitution, so this kind of treatment meted out to a person accused in an assault case exposes the callousness of the police and civil administration under the BJP-led government in Assam," Saikia said.

Saikia said the "apathy" and "neglect" displayed towards Dey did not represent a stray case of abuse of human rights by the state government.

"Be it the firing on unarmed protesters in Goalpara on June 30, the vindictive arrest of Akhil Gogoi on September 13 and the subsequent denial of due facilities to him in jail, the eviction drive in Amchang on August 25 without any rehabilitation measures, or the brutal police action on the campus of Margherita College on September 19, there is an unmistakable pattern of arrogance and disregard for human rights," he said.

Police had arrested 14 persons in connection with the Nagaon incident.

On August 25, Several organisations took out a rally over the "assault".

Groups like the All Assam Students Union (AASU), Assam Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad and Ulfa pro-talks faction participated in the agitation, seeking action against those involved in "assaulting" Moon Bora and four others.