PMO Calls for Actions in A Disappearance Case in Assam

Waliullah Ahmed Laskar Silchar, 30 August: The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) asked the Chief Secretary of Assam to take actions in a case of two residents of Assam who went missing in Manipur, Barak Human Rights Protection Committee (BHRPC), a human rights organization working in Assam, said in a statement issued yesterday. BHRPC said PMO issued instruction to the Chief Secretary on the basis of its letter addressed to Dr. Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister of India sent on 18 July, 2009 regarding disappearance of Paresh Das (55) and Dilip Das (45) of Nandan Kanan Tea Garden area under the Jirighat Police Station in the district of Cachar, Assam (India) on 25 May, 2009 from Tamenglong in Manipur. They usually buy damaged/unused utensils and other household things made of tin, steel, iron etc. from the villages in the districts of East Imphal and Tamenglong and sell them in Silchar, Assam. On that fateful day at 6.00am both the workmen left home for Tamenglong together and never
returned. The statement said, the PMO informed the BHRPC by a letter vide No. 13/3/2009-PMP3/75979 dated 6 August, 2009 that it has asked the Chief Secretary of Assam to take appropriate actions regarding the incident. BHRPC complained to the Prime Minister that the day after they went missing both the Jirighat

police station in Assam and Jiribam PS in Manipur were duly informed about the incident but no action was taken. Local people got worried and met the administrative and police authorities and urged them to find out the whereabouts of the disappeared. Getting no satisfactory response, the people called for a 36-hour bandh of the NH-53 to demonstrate on June 4. Hundreds of people from neighbouring areas supported the demonstration. According to witnesses, when these unarmed peaceful people were demanding the administration to take proper actions by shouting slogans, a large number of armed para-military personnel from 72 Field Regiment of Assam Rifles camping nearby at Lalpani entered the spot and allegedly beat the demonstrators with sticks without provocations injuring about 40 people in the process including women and children, some of whom sustained serious injuries. It is in these circumstances that BHRPC urged the Prime Minister for his intervention to ensure that: 1. prompt actions are taken to find out the missing persons or there whereabouts or their fate; 2. adequate financial aid is paid and other assistance are offered to the family members of the missing persons to ensure their physical and mental well being; and 3. a prompt, impartial investigation into the incident of foray made by the Assam Rifle personnel into the peaceful demonstration is conducted.

BHRPC expressed hopes that the Chief Secretary of Assam will take these and other appropriate actions to unearth the truth about the incident and to ensure rehabilitation and reparation of the family members of the two missing persons.

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