By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Apr 2: Demanding speedy and impartial probe into the death of the RIMS 5th Semester MBBS student, the Justice for Sanaton Athokpam, convenor, M Loyalakpa has said that the JAC is intensifying its agitation to put pressure on the Government to find out the truth behind the death at the earliest.
Speaking to media persons at Bamon Mandap, Khurai Thangjam Leikai Leimapokpam Leirak, Loyalakpa said it has been 17 days since the 22-year-old was found dead and there is no visible progress in the investigation.
Notably, the MBBS student Sanaton Athokpam was found dead with both hands tied behind under mysterious circumstances at his room at a RIMS hostel on March 15. Family members and Justice for Sanaton Athokpam have been claiming that there were injury marks on his body making it a case of suspected murder.
At the press meet today, Loyalakpa said that the RIMS authority and fellow students of Sanaton have not yet contacted the family and express sympathy. The authorities concerned seem to be allegedly trying to cover up the death, he said asserting that there have been serious lapses in handling the case.
Despite repeated appeals, an FIR has not been registered yet in the case, he said and questioned why was the body (of Sanaton) which was allegedly found hanging inside the room removed without any witness and brought to the RIMS Casualty on a two wheeler vehicle.
Sanaton was found hanging with both hands tied behind. The right side of his face and forehead had bruises. His body had bleeding and injury marks. His little toe had cut marks and despite his feet having mud on them there was no mud on the floor of the room. Moreover, it is claimed that the door to the room was kicked open. However, the door which is made of plywood has no mark of kicking or forced entry.
This detail was also published by a local newspaper on March 16. Considering all these details, it is suspected that he was beaten and then murdered, said Loyalakpa.
Further, a senior and responsible police officer of Imphal West PS had initially informed the JAC members that the call history records of two mobile phones belonging to Sanaton were found blank for the last one month (30 days prior to his death). Later, the said officer retracted his words 5 days after Sanaton’s death and informed them that there was a history of calls made/received. In addition to this, the police had initially claimed that the Tablet belonging to Sanaton was missing. But 4/5 days later, the police again claimed that the Tablet had been found on his bed inside his hostel room, Loyalakpa said.
He then stated that while the postmortem of the corpse was pending, some persons had posted on social media that Sanaton’s death was a case of suicide. After the JAC informed the Chief Minister of the post, he had then directed the police to arrest the persons who posted the information on social media. However, police have not yet arrested anybody.
Even after 17 days of Sanaton’s death, RIMS authorities have not yet reached out to the family members. Even his fellow classmates and their families have not contacted the family members and expressed sympathy. This has led the JAC to suspect that some powerful persons are prohibiting them (Sanaton’s friends) from visiting and contacting the surviving family members, Loyalakpa said.
Urging the investigating agencies and the Government to find out the truth behind the death at the earliest, he said the Justice For Sanaton is intensifying its agitation. He also sought the support of all hill and valley based civil society organisations for early justice to the family members.
Those involved in the case should be punished and responsible RIMS authorities should be suspended from their jobs, Loyalakpa added.