Friday, June 2, 2023

Nagaland: Cry for justice at candle light vigil for late Henveih Phom


Hundreds of people from a cross section of society including representatives of various tribal organisations held a candle light service here at Old MLA Hostel Junction in memory of late Henveih Phom (35) of Anaki-C village who died while in custody of Assam Police after being taken to custody from the village under Mokokchung district on August 16.
Most of the participants clad in traditional attire were seen with placards that read: “The worst form of justice is pretended justice”, “Where is Article 21?”, “Justice delayed is justice denied” etc.
Addressing the gathering here at Old MLA Junction, president Phom Students Union Kohima, Manngai Phom said late Henveih was taken into custody by Assam Police on August 16, 2022 from Anaki ‘C’ Village Jurisdiction (Nagaland). Manngai said late Henveih was tortured and beaten by the Assam Police in broad daylight and lodged at Sivasagar district jail, Assam.
Manngai said late Henveih was in good health at the time of his abduction and arrest but after six days of torture, died under suspicious circumstances while in custody of Assam Police on August 21. He said the victim’s family were informed that Henveih was in a hospital and when they reached the hospital, they found that Henveih had already died and his body left in the verandah of Joysagar Civil Hospital, Assam.
Manngai condemned the heinous act committed by Assam saying that the inhuman and barbaric act committed by the law enforcing force which paid no heed to the fundamental right of the citizen enshrined in the Constitution of India and International Human Right Law.
PSUK strongly demanded that the state government immediately constitute the Special Investigation Team (SIT) to enquire into the mysterious circumstances that led to the death, ensure that timely justice by booking the perpetrators under the relevant sections of the law. The union also conveyed the deepest condolences to the bereaved family members and prayed for the departed soul to rest in peace.
President Phom Union Kohima (PUK) Dr. Manyau Phom cited the provisional post mortem report as per the local dailies dated 27 August, which claimed that the cause of death as being due to cardiac failure because of chronic anaemia.
Dr. Manyau however contested the reports when he said that the injuries sustained on the body as per the photo and videos out in the media showed a completely different picture. While stating that as a death man tells no tale, Dr. Manyau also said a dead body does not lie and so demanded that a proper forensic investigation be carried out to ascertain the actual cause of death.
Dr. Manyau also expressed shock that the torture and brutality inflicted on the person leading to his death was committed by none other than the law keepers themselves.
He reminded that Every citizen of the country deserves the right to a fair trial in the court of law no matter what the offence was. He appealed to the competent authority to take action against the culprits as per law and deliver justice without delay. He said those police personnel responsible for the custodial death should be charged for homicide.
He also appealed the government of Assam and Nagaland to provide due compensation to the family members of the deceased.
Eastern Naga People’s Union Kohima (ENPUK) president N. Toshi Chang vehemently condemned the barbaric act of the Assam Police whose outrageous act ended up taking the life of a person and clearly showed their utter callousness and disregard to human life.
He said Nagas are peace loving people and like any other community want to live in peace with their neighbours and so any offence committed should be dealt as per the provisions of the law.
He said the eastern Nagaland people and all Nagas demand that both Assam and Nagaland government should work in coordination and conduct a thorough investigation to bring to j the culprits to book and restore the honor of the victim’s family.
In his speech, ENSF assistant general secretary Molo Phom condemned the dastardly act and accused the Assam police of violation of the fundamental rights as guaranteed in the Indian constitution and a gross violation of the right to live as per the human right charter under Article 21.
He urged upon both the state governments to thoroughly investigate the death of late Henveih and bring out the facts so that peace and harmony is restored between the two states and to deliver justice for peace loving citizens.
Eastern Nagaland Women Organisation Kohima (ENWOK) unit representative Limei Phom expressed anguish over the custodial death, senseless and brutal killing of late Henveih.
Condemning the act, ENWOK demanded the state government ensure thorough investigation and appropriate action as per the provisions of the law.
It may be noted that the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) issued a suo moto notice on Sivasagar Police over the custodial death of Henveih Phom and sought an action taken report (ATR).


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