These days, Kashmir is always in the news for clashes between the security forces and civilians. However, far away from Kashmir, in Assam, a father of an alleged fake encounter victim has raised several pertinent questions regarding the role of security forces in killing alleged militants without a trial.
Bineswar Islary (55), the father of one of the victims in the March 30 Chirang "fake encounter" case, has questioned the need for jails if security forces kill people without trial.
"Why did they have to kill my son? What is the need for a jail if the security forces decide to kill somebody merely on suspicion or without a trial? All we want now is justice and punishment to all those involved in the fake encounter because my son was a labourer, not a militant," Bineswar told The Telegraph.
On March 30, security forces declared that Bineswar's son, David (25), and, Lucas Narzary (30), were killed in an encounter in Chirang. Both the victims lived 5 km away from each other under Amguri police station in Chirang district of Assam.
According to Amguri police the two were "hardcore" militants and Lucas was a cadre of the 42nd batch of the NDFB (S) and had received training in Myanmar. However, the families of both the alleged militants claimed that they were innocent, and became victims of conspiracy hatched by the security forces.
The case got reopened after a CRPF inspector-general, Rajnish Rai, claimed in a letter addressed to his senior, the army and Dispur in April that David and Lucas had died in a "staged" encounter and the weapons found on them were "planted".
On Thursday, Chirang sub-divisional officer Jayanta Sarkar conducted a hearing on the encounter. The magisterial probe on the encounter was announced on April 4.
"I raised Rs 88,000 by selling a 3.5 bigha plot to secure David's bail only to see him dead 13 days later. How could a boy who is illiterate and hearing impaired, who grew up in the homes of others doing odd jobs and then went to Bangalore to earn a livelihood be a militant? He was earlier arrested on the suspicion of being a militant from a relative's place and was in jail for three months. I got him out by selling my land only to see him dead 13 days later. It was all pre-planned because the police had come looking for my son even before he got bail," Bineswar told The Telegraph.
Like David's family, Lucas's elder brother Donbosco and widow Namita are also demanding justice and action against those responsible for his death.
Both widow and brother of Lucas said that they were not aware if he was a militant because he had been away from home and working in the coal mines of neighbouring Meghalaya for the last three years.
During the "fake encounter", Lucas was hit by a bullet on the chest while David was hit on chest and stomach. They were found dead at Simlaguri, 6 km from the house of Ranjit Basumatary, where they were staying the night, in remote Dighaldong area.