Nalbari OC suspended for role in ULFA rebel's mother's death

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Guwahati, Sep 14 (UNI) Facing flak from all quarters after the death of an ULFA militant's mother in Nalbari district allegedly at the hands of security forces a week ago, the government today suspended officer-in-charge of Nalbari police station Keshab Phukan.

The DIG of Assam Police ordered his suspension as the alleged death occurred in Phukan's presence and norms were flouted during the operation, informed government spokesperson and Cabinet minister Himanta Biswa Sharma here.

Two Special Police Officers(SPOs), Mrinal Goswami, a surrendered ULFA (SULFA), and Sanjay Das, who were present during the operation on September 8 night, were lodged at the Kokrajhar jail after being arrested on September 11, he said.

The death of 60-year old Sabitri Rajbonshi, mother of ULFA militant Bhaskar, after being allegedly hit by rifle butts by CRPF and police jawans while trying to protect her daughter-in-law on Friday, has sparked of major allegations against the government.

The presence of the SULFA member had further complicated matters for the government as Mrinal, who is an SPO appointed by the local OC as permissible under the Police Act, was present during the operation.

Dr Sharma also informed that Rs three lakhs would be provided as ex-gratia to the family of the deceased.

The state government had already directed the lower Assam Commissioner to conduct an inquiry into the circumstances leading to Sabitri's death.

Quoting the post mortem report, the minister said it had fixed liver failure, spine injury and shock as the causes of death, though her family had alleged that physical abuse had caused her death.

The deceased's brother had stated that she was repeatedly kicked by Mrinal.

''We are probing into all allegations,'' he added.

Dr Sharma said the entire inquest and post-mortem were video recorded and the government was being totally transparent in the matter.

''We are clear in our policy that no family member of any militant should be harassed in any form in the name of counter-insurgency operations,'' he said.

He also criticised the Opposition Asom Gana Parishad for trying to politicise the issue.

The death has also brought back memories of the infamous 'secret killings' of the last decade in which entire families of ULFA leaders were allegedly killed by government-hired killers.

UNI

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