The headman and four others of Marou village in Manipur’s Ukhrul district have lodged a police complaint against an Assam Rifles officer for torturing a 28-year-old marginal farmer after he failed to produce identification proof during an allegedly impromptu checking of the bus he had boarded.
The incident happened on May 6 at Litan, near Ukhrul town.
According to the complaint, Mungshang Konghay of Marou village and his friends had boarded a bus in Litan at 10 a.m. to go to Yaingangpokpi Bazaar, about 13 km away, to buy essential commodities.
Personnel of the 17 Assam Rifles at a nearby outpost followed them into the bus and asked them to produce identity proof. While the others showed theirs, Mr. Konghay could not as he had lost his Aadhaar card a few days ago.
The AR personnel allegedly dragged Mr. Konghay out of the bus and slapped him in public view before blindfolding and whisking him away to a secluded forest patch 2 km away.
“I was kicked, punched and beaten with heavy bamboo clubs on the back and on the sides of both ankles,” he said after the paramilitary personnel released him at 12.30 p.m.
“They tried to make him confess that he was a member of an underground group. They also threatened to break his bones if he did not disclose his membership of the underground organisation,” said Wungnaoshang A. Shimray, the man’s uncle and local leader of Naga People’s Front.
Locals later took Mr. Konghay to the primary health centre at Yaingangpokpi Bazaar for treatment. In the evening, Marou village headman Ramkahao Awungshi and four others filed an FIR at the Litan police station against Captain Dheeraj Gautam, commander of the Assam Rifles outpost.
Timothy Maram, the officer-in-charge of the Litan police station, said there was no official intimation from the Assam Rifles authority regarding taking the victim into their custody and releasing him later.
Several social organisations, including the Tangkhul Naga Long — apex body of the Tangkhul community — have condemned the assault. “The incident is against humanity,” said the organisation’s vice-president Tuisem Kamkara.
The Assam Rifles, however, did not react. Messages and calls were not answered.