TODAY -

HR meet decries death of Manjur
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, April 01 2019: Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) and Human Rights Alert (HRA) in association with EEVFAM, FIDAM, COHR, AMKIL, NEIPF, IP, Free Press School of Journalism, AMANA and CRAM, organized a three-day North East consultation on human rights, social movements and law, from March 30 till today, at PP Park, Bishnupur.

The consultation was attended by field experts consisting of lawyers, civil society leaders, women activists, Meira Paibis, LGBTQIA activists, academicians, journalists and students from all over North East India.

On the other hand, the participants strongly condemned the death of Constable Md Manjur Ahamad in police custody after he was arrested after the escape of Th Nando from JNIMS hospital.

The consultation noted that the deceased Constable, who used to be one of the police personnel guarding Nando, was put under suspension on March 12 on allegation that he had links with the escapee as a voice recording was found in a mobile phone by police.

However, Nando escaped from JNIMS where he was guarded by armed security guards, on March 26 and moreover, the escapee (while in the hospital) was seen chained to his bed, the consultation noted thus concluding that Nando's escape could not have been possible without the involvement of higher police officials.

It further continued that it cannot help but view the reported interrogation of the deceased Constable by Joint Interrogation Cell (JIC) itself was planned intentionally to eliminate Md Manjur Ahamad as JIC is not authorised to interrogate him.

In face of all the facts and circumstances leading to Manjur's death, the consultation resolved that it has every reason to believe that his death is to cover up and to prevent any disclosure of the police officers who helped/are involved in the escape of Th Nando by misusing their rank as seniors and not following protocol to avoid any interrogation or prosecution for their wrong doing.

Pointing out another case of custodial death of one Heisnam Sharatkumar Singh of Khordak Mayai Leikai on February 17 this year as well, the consultation demanded the State Government to hand over the investigation of Manjur's death and Nando's escape to the CBI to ensure a fair, impartial and just investigation and prosecution of those involved in the case.

The participants further deliberated on various issues such as torture, extrajudicial executions and enforced disappearances, human rights defenders, violence and discrimination against women, indigenous peoples rights, freedom of expression, destruction of the environment, LGBTQIA and land and resources.

The three day consultation opened with a session on torture, extra judicial execution and enforced disappearances.

One of the speakers brought in the current challenges and hurdles faced by the families of EEVFAM.

Failure to grant prosecution sanction by both the State and Central Governments despite being sought by the Central Bureau (CBI) who were indicted in its charge-sheet submitted before various Courts in Manipur, has created reasonable apprehension among the public, particularly those who lost their near and dear ones in fake encounter cases.

The consultation endorsed relentless effort made by the victims' families and decided to redress these issues by all legally available means.

The meet further resolved that threat and intimidation of human rights defenders and journalists for exercising Constitutionally guaranteed fundamental rights continues to exist by slapping draconian laws like NSA and sedition charges.

Ruling that the inaction of the State by refusing the registration of FIRs despite being reported in written is clear abdication of State's responsibility towards human rights defenders, the consultation unanimously decided to approach Manipur Human Rights Commission to adopt a mechanism by appointing a focal person so that threat and intimidation faced by the HRDs are given more priority.

The discussion also deduced that violation of right to privacy is constantly faced by the LGBTQIA people as there are unprofessional sexual questions posed in health sectors, State security sectors etc.

The consultation equally included discussions on indigenous people's rights, destruction of environment and issues of land and resources in the NE region.

During the consultation, panellist Malem Mangal pointed out that the economic trade obligation of the State must not compromise the needs of the indigenous people who depend upon the natural resources for livelihood and as means of subsistence and most importantly, their identity as native people of the land.

Developmental projects such as construction of dams need proper assessment to not disrupt the ecology and harmonious relationship between the locals and the environment.

PK Jamatia, leader of Tripura People's Front talked about the shrinking of its indigenous people's population from 93 percent to 18 percent currently, due to influx of illegal migrants and various Governmental policies and amendments which violate the indigenous people's rights.

Mizoram State Assembly's initiative of passing the implementation of UN declaration of Rights of the Indigenous Peoples was highly appreciated and it was deliberated in the consultation that the other North Eastern States should also follow the same.

The consultation also urged the Manipur State Assembly and other State Assemblies of North East region to pass a resolution in order to implement UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.


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