IMPHAL, Apr 3
The Justice for Sanaton Athokpam continued its stir demanding speedy and impartial probe into the death of the 22-year-old.
People of Khurai area shut shops, closed markets and blocked roads today.
Sit-in protests were held at Khurai Lamlong Bazar, Khurai Heikrumakhong, Salanthong, Tharo Devi Lampak, Social Reformer Club premises etc.
Protesters burnt tyres and blocked roads in and around Khurai Telipati, Porompat Ayangpalli, Salanthong, Lamlong bridge etc.
Imphal East police were deployed at several places to control the agitation and remove the obstacles from the roads.
The protesters raised several slogans demanding jus- tice for Sanaton Athokpam.
One of the women who took part in the protest said people suspect the case to be a murder. She reiterated that the JAC's claim that the body of Sanaton had injury marks and bruises, which raised suspicion that he was beaten and murdered.
The case should be investigated thoroughly and all involved and responsible for his death must be punished. Any attempt to cover up the case would be met with strongest opposition and agitation, she said.
She also demanded that the higher authorities of RIMS should be suspended from their positions for the lapses in handling the case.
Significantly, the Justice for Sanaton Athokpam had yesterday alleged that despite repeated appeals, an FIR has not been registered yet in the case.
Notably, Sanaton was found hanging with both hands tied behind inside his room at a RIMS hostel on March 15. The Justice for Sanaton Athokpam had asserted that the right side of his (Sanaton’s) face and forehead had bruises. His body had bleeding and injury marks and the left little toe had cut marks. Despite his feet having mud on them, there was no mud on the floor of the room.
Meanwhile, expressing “profound grief and sorrow” over the death of 5th Semester MBBS student, Sanaton Athokpam, the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) said that it is extending full co-operation in the investigation.
A statement, the media department of the institute released today, said that the students, faculty and RIMS authority are just like a family and the death of Sanaton is a great loss to the RIMS family.
After hearing the news of the unfortunate incident on March 15, the family members were informed of the incident on that day itself. The next day on March 16, RIMS faculty, staff and students held a condolence meeting and after the meeting, a team of RIMS led by Dr AK Brogen, Professor and Dean visited the family at around 4 pm and conveyed the condolence message and stayed there for nearly one hour. He also assured all co-operation from the side of RIMS (Regional Institute of Medical Sciences).
Also, some of the family members including the sister of the deceased student and others met the Director RIMS at the institute on March 16. In the meeting the Director, RIMS expressed his grief and sorrow on the untimely demise of the student and assured the family members to extend full co-operation in finding the truth behind the sudden death of the student.
Further, the Medical Superintendent of RIMS met the members of the Joint Action Committee on March 27 and again assured full co-operation. The unfortunate incident is now under police investigation and Manipur Government has also announced a Magisterial enquiry too. RIMS authorities shall extend full co-operation in the police investigation and Magisterial enquiry to find out the truth of the unfortunate incident.
RIMS, therefore, appeals to those who love and care for late Sanaton Athokpam to fully cooperate with the investigation and enquiry so that the truth is found out at the earliest in the interest of all, added the institution.
It may be noted here that the clarification from the RIMS came after the JAC (Justice for Sanaton Athokpam) alleged that the authorities of the Medical institution and fellow classmates of the deceased have not yet reached out to the surviving family members with sympathy.
Alleging attempts to cover up the death case, the JAC, on the other hand, has also been demanding that the responsible authorities of the RIMS including its Director be suspended for the duration of the investigation to avoid them influencing the case.