Sunday, 23 December 2007

A Fake Encounter in Barak Valley of Assam

A Fake Encounter in Barak Valley of Assam

It was reported in the news papers on 23 October, 2007 that on 22 October at about 10am five Central Reserve Police Force personnel belonging to Gharmura Camp of E-147 Company shot dead one Jamir Uddin Laskar of about 35 years of village Boinchera (also known as Bhaichera) under the Katlichera Police Station in the district of Hailakandi in Barak Valley of Assam. Members of the Barak Human Rights Protection Committee talked with family members, relatives and nieghbours of the deceased, local journalists, CRPF personnel of the said camp and police personnel of Katlichera Police Station. According to the sources, other than the two mentioned last, the victim Jamir Uddin Laskar was a poor daily wage labourer. He is an innocent peace loving and law abiding citizen. There were no complaints whatsoever against him in police records. His nieghbour Moijun Nesa states that in the morning of the day of incident the victim was collecting grass to graze his cattle from a paddy field adjacent to her house. At about 10am she saw five CRPF men accompanied by one Rezwan Uddin, who is known to be a CRPF informer, going towards the paddy field where the deceased was working. She smelt something wrong and informed Sajna Begum and Anwara Begum, sister and wife of the victim respectively. When three of them went to the place of occurrence they saw Rezwan Uddin identifying the victim was asking the men in uniform to shot by pointing his fingers towards Jamir Uddin who was dumbfounded at the sight. At that moment Sajna and Anwara started to cry and beseech the men with arms to spare the life of Jamir Uddin at which they were beaten, kicked, abused and humiliated. As per the accounts of the eye-witnesses named above, at the instance of Rezwan Uddin a bullet was shot targeting Jamir Uddin which was missed, the second shot also missed but the third bullet hit on the back of the target, who had already started to run away, and piercing his chest exited. The critically injured victim was sent to the Silchar Medical College Hospital, Silchar where he was declared dead at 6.30pm that day.

The relatives of the victims believe that the CRPF men was induced and bribed by Rezwan Uddin who wanted to teach Jamir Uddin a lesson for his denial of marrying his brother Jakir Uddin Laskar with the daughter of Sams Uddin who is a relative of Rezwan Uddin. But some villagers believe that there is something deeper. Requesting anonymity they claim that many CRPF personnel of the Gharmura camp extorting people in collusion with an extremist outfit dominated by Riyang (a tribal community) named United Liberation Front of Barak Valley. They cited the act of fixing sign boards containing the words "Beware, you are under the watch of CRPF" in electric posts and other conspicuous public places in the entire Gharmura area as an example of tactics adopted by the force to create panic in the minds of the people. However, the sign boards were withdrawn at the intervention of the Deputy Commissioner. The villagers of Boinchera are convinced that Jamir Uddin might have come to know of some concrete evidence of such extortionist and terrorist activities of CRPF there, for which it was necessary for the force to shut his mouth for ever.

On the other hand, CRPF and police claim that Jamir Uddin was a terrorist and died in an encounter but they are unable to say to which outfit he belonged. When B Rajput, the commandant of the camp was contacted he asked us to contact Rabindra Sinha, in-charge of Katlichera Police Station for more information who just told us that an FIR against the deceased was registered lodged by CRPF commandant.

The people of the valley demand unanimously and unequivocally an impartial investigation of the incident.

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