IMPHAL, May 31 : Rights defenders, the Human Rights Alert (HRA) and Extra-Judicial Execution Victim Families Association Manipur (EEVFAM) have asserted that they share the deeply held suspicion of the community of Moreh that the ‘role of the Assam Rifles cannot be ruled out in the killing of Arambam Shanti.’
A Shanti was killed by two men who opened fire at her on May 22 at Moreh.
Speaking to the media at Manipur Press Club today EEVFAM and HRA said that the killing took place in close proximity to the Assam Rifles camp and recounted eye witnesses accounts that an AR Gypsy was seen parked at a very short distance from the spot of the killing.
The two rights bodies further claimed, “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 to point out that this act, if true, amounts to disturbing the crime scene and tampering valuable evidence. Which raises serious questions on the motive of the AR in connection with the killing.”
The suspicion is also further corroborated by the report that when police detained two men in suspicious circumstances on a bike at midnight (intervening night of May 23 and 24) with small unregistered pistols, the CO of 11 Assam Rifles stationed at Moreh resisted the police taking the duo to Imphal for interrogation, alleged EEVFAM and HRA.
It is not clear how the two were let off without registering FIR against them, added the statement. EEVFAM and HRA recommended that the investigation of the case be handed over to the Crime Branch of the CID and handled by a police officer of the rank of not less than a DIG.
The United NGOs Mission (UNM), Manipur has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi drawing his attention to the killing of Shanti.
In a memorandum mailed to the Prime Minister, UNM said that the spot of the killing is just three metres away from an Assam Rifles station at Gate number 2 (cross border).
UNM also alleged that the spent cartridges were picked up by AR personnel from the crime scene and corroborated the claim of EEVFAM and HRA that two AR men were detained by police commandos with a non-service and one unlicensed revolver near the 2nd Gate at Moreh.
They were let off after verification and without taking their statement, it further alleged.
The people of Moreh are gripped with a fear psychosis and they cannot speak out freely about the killing of Shanti, it alleged and added that her killing is a serious violation of human rights.
Source: The Sangai Express