Q-mark over DGP’s anti-insurgency ops

Death of Nokma’s son raises storm in Garo Hills

SHILLONG: Trouble has beckoned the State Government over the death of son of Nokma during police operations in Garo Hills in the name of anti-insurgency activities.
After the new DGP Rajiv Mehta assumed office, operation against the militants was stepped up, but the killing of the son of Nokma has come under criticism as the pressure groups like GSU termed it as fake encounter killing and demanded a judicial probe into the matter.
In a statement issued here on Friday, GSU General Secretary John Miltu A. Sangma and the Union  President  Tengsak G. Momin said that as  per the enquiry carried out by the GSU and interactions with the villagers of Romba -A·dinggre (Oragitok) the incident which led to the death of Sengbat Ch. Marak, the son of Nokma  was a total misadventure on the part of police  and SWAT team
“Sengbat Ch. Marak  was not a member of any militant  organisation nor was he involved in any activities with them. He is innocent. The whole incident reeks of a frame up and may be linked  to a conspiracy”, the GSU leaders said.
According to GSU, late Sengbat Ch. Marak was a security guard at a Vodafone tower in the Arbella hill range.
The GSU leader said that police SWAT team came at around 5:30 am on March 4 and picked up the brother of the deceased to take him to Marak’s thatched house.
The GSU alleged that the police team who was positioned at a Government school above the house of the deceased fired in the air while calling out Marak to come out of the house.
According to GSU, the brother of the diseased was forced to flee the scene by the police.
The GSU said that there were several witnesses including one Samson A. Sangma, and some girls staying adjacent to the house of Sengbat Ch.Marak.
The students’ body alleged that at one time the victim was asked to run or that they will shoot at the house and at another time he was asked to surrender.
Finally after Marak denied that there were more people with him, police asked him to run and subsequently, police fired bullets at him, the GSU alleged, adding that it is not true that
Sengbat fired some rounds from his pistol.
According to GSU, the  bullets from the police hit some houses nearby as the GSU leaders later
found out that there were visible holes on the roofs and walls.
Samson Sangma, the brother of the deceased came out of his house and told the police that Sengbat was alone and there was nobody with him.
However, according to GSU, police manhandled Samson Sangma asking him to stay indoors even as the body of Sengbat was removed by the police.
The GSU said that the recovery of an obsolete pistol and a demand note recovered from the site was intended to frame the victim and moreover, several thousands of rupees are missing from his house.
According to GSU, the village elders said that this is the fourth incident which resulted in the harassment of villagers including fake encounters.
The GSU said that they had met the then Chief Secretary  W.M.S.Pariat three times regarding the  compensation to another victim of fake encounter killing Washington Marak
” It was communicated to us that the matter was in the process, but  it has been kept in abeyance  and the guilty policeman has been promoted as DSP”, the GSU alleged .
The GSU also wanted to know the Government action on the matters related to the custodial death of Balsan Marak and Witson Sangma.
The GSU also demanded that the guilty policemen should be punished and their services terminated for killing of son of Nokma.
Other demands of the GSU include institution of a judicial inquiry to probe the death of son of Nokma, and adequate compensation to the family.
The GSU also said that the families of Washington Marak, Witson Sangma and Balsan Marak must be compensated.
The GSU also stressed on the need to set up a counseling cell for the police personnel who are constantly engaged in fight against the militants.
It is noteworthy that the district police chief, Mukesh Kr Singh, had earlier claimed that there were four militants along with the Nokma’s son inside the house when it was raided. The ultras managed to escape by opening fire and fleeing into the jungle.
“We had information from our source that militants were taking shelter in the village. When our boys raided the village the militants opened fire from a house forcing our teams to return fire. In the exchange of fire Sengbath was killed,” the district police chief had claimed.

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