Threatened by AR for filing PIL, alleges NPF
By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Jan 14: The Naga People’s Front (NPF) has strongly condemned the alleged intimidation of its Ukhrul unit president AS Wungnaoshang by an Assam Rifles officer in connection with the detention of one Mungshang Konghay of Marou village, Ukhrul district.
Speaking to media persons at their Tarung office here, NPF Manipur State unit general secretary Hon-reikhui Kasung said they have learnt about the threats made by Assam Rifles against AS Wungnaoshang.
Threatening citizens by armed forces cannot be justified under any circum- stances, Honreikhui said.
He said that political parties are there to serve the public. If the armed forces do anything unlawful ag-ainst civilians, then it is the duty of political parties to face the wrongful acts, he said.
If the armed forces vent their fury against political parties for fighting for the cause of innocent people, then there is no rule of law and it is akin to humiliation of the particular political party, Honreikhui said.
AS Wungnaoshang said that Mungshang Konghay was waiting for bus at Litan on May 6 last year when he was whisked away by an AR team led by Captain (now promoted to Major) Dheeraj Gautam for not having Aadhaar card.
Mungshang was released only after he was allegedly subjected to extreme torture. He was treated at Yaingang-pokpi PHC.
Later, Mungshang lod-ged a complaint to police. Both the parents of Mung-shang had expired and he was unable to pursue formal education due to abject poverty, Wungnaoshang said.
“Moved by the harsh treatment meted out to a destitute man like Mungshang, I filed a PIL at the High Court of Manipur”, Wungnaoshang conveyed.
The PIL was disposed by the High Court on May 16 last year.
The High Court categorically stated that armed forces should comply with the Supreme Court’s order passed in the DK Basu Vs State of West Bengal case.
The High Court made it clear that the armed forces should strictly adhere to the do's and don’ts laid down for places where AFSPA is in force. The Court further instructed the armed forces to submit a compliance report within a month, Wungnaoshang said. On the other hand, 17 AR Commandant Col Rippon Bora conducted an enquiry into the matter.
Rippon Bora took statement of Mungshang Konghay on January 8 this year at the Lambui Assam Rifles post in the presence of village chiefs.
“As people gathered there were reading print-outs of Mungshang’s statement, Major Dheerej Gautam came to me and asked if I was the one who filed PIL at the High Court of Manipur”.
“Charging that I instigated illiterate Mungshang to lodge complaint to police in addition to filing a PIL, Major Dheeraj Gautam asked me to watch what he would do next. He further threatened that he would not let me off easily”, Wungnaoshang conveyed.
According to the NPF Ukhrul unit president, the AR officer also took his photographs without asking for his permission. All this while, Col Rippon Bora remained silent, he decried. Saying that he is a law abiding citizen who does not have any link with underground outfits or anti-social elements, Wungnaoshang expressed strong suspicion that Maj Dheeraj Gautam would do something harmful to him by using the photographs he forcibly took.
He then added that Maj Dheeraj Gautam should be held accountable if anything untoward happens to him.