Custody death sparks tension in NC Hills

Custody death sparks tension in NC Hills
TNN 2 May 2009, 10:29pm IST
SILCHAR: The death of a senior Autonomous State Demand Committee (ASDC) leader in the custody of Assam Rifles has triggered tension at Haflong, the district headquarters of North Cachar Hills.
Laden Jidung, the ASDC’s election monitoring office secretary, and Rajen Langthasa, another functionary of the party, were picked up for questioning from their respective houses on Thursday night by personnel belonging to the Sarkari Bagan-based 45th Assam Rifles battalion.
Jidung died under mysterious circumstances in the Assam Rifles camp on Friday, though Rajen was released by the securitymen. “The Assam Rifles personnel have killed my husband,” alleged Jidung’s widow, Rothsang.
NC Hills additional superintendent of police Amitava Singh on Saturday said, “The Assam Rifles men said Jidung had fallen ill at the camp and died while being taken to hospital on Friday morning.”
Though the autopsy of Jidung’s body was carried out at the Haflong Civil Hospital, it was sent to Gauhati Medical College and Hospital for the second round of post-mortem. Singh said the circumstances leading to Jidung’s death could be divulged only after the autopsy.
The ASDC leader’s death sparked widespread protests in North Cachar Hills district, where people are fuming following frequent militant attacks over the past few weeks.
“This is a case of custodial death. We called on the deputy commissioner and the superintendent of police. The DC had said the ASDC leader was safe in the custody of Assam Rifles. But his assurance was wrong. It’s disturbing to learn that security personnel are picking up people in the name of combating militancy and torturing them,” said Kalijay Sanguing, an ASDC leader and chief executive member (in-charge) of the NC Hills Autonomous Council.
A number of Dimasa organizations, including All Dimasa Students’ Union (ADSU) and Dimasa Students Union (DSU), staged a demonstration near the DC’s office in protest against the ASDC leader’s death.


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