Jayanta Borah ,Age 23
On midnight of Sunday, 14thJune, Jayanta Borah, a resident of Kakodonga village, in Borholla under Titabor subdivision of Jorhat district, was picked up in a joint operation by Indian army’s 249 Field Regiment and the state police. Borah was sleeping on his bed when he was picked up. According to the mother of Jayanta Borah, nothing was recovered from Mr. Borah. A few hours later he was declared dead by the Jorhat Medical College. Police personnel from Borholla said to the reporters that they had no records of Jayanta Borah being linked to extremists and that they were not aware why the army had picked him up. The army, on the other hand, claimed that Borah was picked up in an anti-insurgency operation. When the body of Borah, the son of an ex-serviceman himself, was brought back, the family and the villagers refused to accept it, saying that Borah died as a result of torture by the army and police and demanded action against the perpetrators. Jorhat district Deputy Commissioner Roshni Aparanji Korati ordered a magisterial inquiry into the death on Monday asking its report to be submitted within ten days. Army has not given any official statement. Assam Human Rights Commission, taking suo-moto cognizance of the newspaper reports on the death appearing on 16thJune, issued a notice on Wednesday 17thJune, directing Jorhat Upper Assam Division Commissioner to initiate an inquiry into the case. The ex-servicemen association of Titabor has submitted a memorandum to the CM of Assam demanding proper investigation leading to the punishment of the culprits and compensation of at least 50 lakhs to the family. Meanwhile, the mother of the deceased has filed an FIR on the death of Borah. Three policemen have been suspended, and Mr.Atul Bora, the agricultural minister of the state, while visiting the family promised that the case would be tried at a fast track court, and a sum of Rs 6 lakhs and a government job will be given to the family as compensation.
Phanidhar Borah, Age 51
In a separate incident under Jajori police station of Nagaon, a 51 year-old man & father of a girl child, Phanidhar Borah, a village defence party (VDP) secretary died at a hospital in Guwahati after being beaten up by constables Ataur Rahman and Paresh Sharma. The police version of the incident is that the accused constables had some personnel enmity with the deceased. However, eyewitnesses and local people say that VDP secretary Borah was beaten mercilessly just because, while on duty as a VDP person, he flashed a torchlight towards the policemen stationed outside a Covid19 quarantine centre. Local people have reported that Phanidhar Borah was targeted because of the fact that he spoke about the financial irregularities in the construction of a Shiva temple in the police thana campus. The death had led to angry protests by the local people and forced the police to arrest the two constables involved in the beating, and a case has been registered against them under sections 241/20.
For both instances of death due to state atrocity, Manab Adhikar Sangram Samiti (MASS) demands that:
- A high-level judicial enquiry, with a retired HC judge, be constituted to investigate the cases
- The culprits, involved in the killing of two innocent citizens, belonging to state police and army personnel be given exemplary punishment
- The family members of both the deceased are granted compensation of at least Rs 50 lakh compensation and a government job for the next of kin.