IMPHAL July 23: “The police have harassed us, this is an unbecoming conduct from the so called protectors of the law, we have been denied the right to peacefully observe the deaths of innocent people who died at the hands of the security forces”, irked family members of deceased Th Rabina and Ch Sanjit who died at the Khwairamband bazaar incident in July 23 in 2009, told media persons today.
Police personnel prevented family members of the deceased along with members of civil organizations from paying tribute to the memory of the deceased at three separate locations in Imphal area today.
Family members of the deceased first went to the Bir Tikendrajit Flyover near Ima Market and Maimu Pharmacy located along BT road where Rabina and Sanjit died. They were stopped by city police from offering customary prayers at both locations.
Further, in spite of having permission from the chairperson of the Imphal Municipality Council chairperson to assemble at GM hall, the procession was further denied entry to the premises as police gave their reason that there was no proper authorization from the concerned DC to assemble at the location.
It was voiced by members of civil bodies that permission was given verbally yesterday by a senior cabinet minister that the observance could be held at the said complex. Following the assurance and coupled with the permit from the IMC chairperson, the JAC against the Brutal Killings of Th Rabina and Ch Sanjit had planned to assemble and observe the memorial function at GM Hall.
As police stood their ground, the gathering tried to assemble at Manipur Press Club at Majorkhul but later opted to converge at THAU Ground following directions tendered by the same senior cabinet minister. An activist told IFP that the minister was Th Devendra.
As the program commenced, floral tribute was paid to the photos of Sanjit and Rabina and memorial function commenced attended by members of different civil organizations.
Coordinators of Apunba Lup, Phulindro Konsam, Langdon Leima, Sunil Karam, L Memchoubi, Ph Shakhi and Y Leirik Leima graced the occasion as the dais members.
As the observation was underway, OC of Imphal Police Station Meghaberna and OC of City PS Rk Tejbir along with security personnel arrived and intimated the organizers to disband the gathering. After some heated arguments between the police and the organizers, it was mutually agreed that the memorial observance shall be concluded at 3 in the evening. During the period, the speakers hinted on the democratic rights of citizens being violated by the security forces and condemned the government attitude in forcing their diktat on a peaceful memorial gathering.
Talking to reporters during the sidelines of the observance, Ch Taratombi, mother of Sanjit expressed angst that even though the CBI has submitted its findings and charge sheeted nine policemen, the case has been put in cold storage. “We have demanded justice for the death of my son and Rabina, still there is no word of any follow up actions taken since September 9, 2010 as the charge sheet was submitted to the Chief Judicial Magistrate since, justice delayed is justice denied” she said.
It may be mentioned that nine police personnel including the OC Imphal city police station, Inspector Y Munal, Inspector Hijam Debendra, others who have been charge sheeted by the CBI included constable Thounaojam Herojit, rifleman Ngangom Toyaima of 8th MR, constable Wahengbam Bioykumar, havildar Thokchom Jagat of 8th MR, rifleman Md Imran Khan of 5th IRB, head constable Oinam Kishore and constable Makon Kanchung Chothe still await judgment.