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AR personnel involved in Shanti murder: HRA, EEVFAM

by IT Web Admin
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Imphal, May 31: Human Rights Alert (HRA) and Extrajudicial Execution Victim Families Association Manipur (EEVFAM) have expressed suspicion that personnel of Assam Rifles have a role in the killing of Arabam Shanti in Moreh and asked the investigating agencies to probe this angle thoroughly.
In a joint press statement released today, the two organizations reportedly conducted a public meeting in connection with the killing of Shanti at Premnagar Mandop, Moreh. The meeting was attended by the family members of the deceased, meira paibis, community elders and youths of Moreh.
The family members including Shanti’s husband, her son and her sister described the fateful day in which half a dozen bullets were pumped into her body by two masked men coming in a bike on May 22, 2017 at around 4.00 PM. Her son who drives an auto-rickshaw took her to the hospital only to watch her succumb to her injuries.
The Moreh Police station has drawn up a suo motto having FIR no. 25(5)2017 MRH-PS under section 302/34 IPC and 25(1-C) Armed Act dated 22 May 2017.
According to the statement, the killing took place in close proximity to the Assam Rifles (AR) camp and according to eyewitness who does not want to be named, an Assam Rifles Gypsy was seen parked at a very short distance from spot of the killing. It is also pointed out that soon after the incident, some AR personnel came and picked up the empty cartridges lying at the crime scene.
“EEVFAM and HRA would like point out that if this act, if true, amounts to disturbing the crime scene and tempering valuable evidence, which raises serious questions about the motive of the AR in connection with the killing’, the statement said.
This suspicion, it said, is also further corroborated by a report that when police apprehended two men moving in suspicious circumstances in a bike at mid-night (intervening night of May 23 and 24) with small unregistered pistols, the Commanding Officer of the 11 Assam Rifles stationed at Moreh resisted the police taking the duo to Imphal for interrogation. It is not clear how these two suspects were laid off without even recording their statements under section 161 of CrPC or registering FIR against them, it questioned.  
Under these circumstances EEVFAM and HRA share the deeply held suspicion of the community that the role of AR in the killing of Shanti cannot be ruled out. The present investigation should thoroughly probe this angle. It is therefore recommended that the investigation should be handed over to the CB-CID and handled by a police officer or no lower rank than a DIG.  
“EEVFAM and HRA are also shocked by the atmosphere of insecurity prevailing in the community and the fragile ethnic balance due to divide and rule policy. Even though, the truth is known to the community , no one dares to speak out openly or publicly protest against the killing. It is therefore recommend that the Government should immediately take such action so that the citizens of Moreh are secured and to fully enjoy the right to life, the right to freedom of expression, the right to freedom of association and assembly as guaranteed by the Constitution of India and international human rights instruments” the release stated..

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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