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Tura resident found dead in Assam rehab centre; family, NGOs seek justice

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From Our Correspondent

TURA, July 6: At least seven persons from a rehabilitation centre in Goalpara, Assam, were arrested after a 36-year-old resident of Tura, Niksamseng Marak, was found dead inside the bathroom there.
The arrest was made following a police complaint by the family of Marak along with the members of the Achik State People’s Front (ASPF).
Police have confirmed that more arrests were to be made in the case.
According to reports, Marak was traveling to Guwahati when he encountered two acquaintances who requested a ride. However, their car was stopped by police near the Krishnai Bridge, and they were allegedly detained for nearly eight hours. The family claims Marak was then sent to the rehabilitation centre without court approval, marking the start of his troubles.
Marak was then admitted to the New Life Foundation Rehabilitation Centre on July 3.
Shockingly, he was found dead by hanging in the bathroom the next day, between 12-4 pm.
The family, sceptical of the centre’s explanation, awaited the post-mortem report, which ruled out suicide. They allege Marak was beaten to death by members of the centre, who attempted to cover it up as a suicide.
In the FIR filed by the family, a thorough investigation has been sought.
“We were misinformed by the rehab centre on the cause of death of Niksamseng. They initially said that the victim had hanged himself before saying that he committed suicide by banging his head on the wall multiple times. Later they changed this statement as well and said that there was a fight among the patients which led to his death,” stated the FIR.  The sister of the victim stated that there were no injury marks to the head and the body bore signs of being brutally beaten.
“There were severe injuries on his chin, leg, hips and also a deep knife cut on the left side of his face. It clearly shows that he was brutally beaten, stabbed and tortured to death. The post-mortem report too says that the death was not by suicide and we have a copy of the report. When we investigated further, we came to know that the centre does not even have proper documentation and none of them have psychiatric or psychological degrees. The centre needs to be investigated,” said the sister of the victim.
Meanwhile, ASPF leader Bernita Marak informed that the family had contacted her late at night and sought her help. Unable to reach the location, she alerted her group members near Goalpara to help the victim’s family.
“We contacted the DC, the SP and have sought a thorough investigation into the case. Following the FIR, 7 persons have been arrested and more will be. The entire centre needs to be shut down and those guilty given the severest punishment for taking a young life. He was not even aware the people he allowed in his car were drug peddlers and he lost his life for no fault of his. This is highly unjustified and we demand that justice be given to the family,” said Bernita.
The FIR was lodged on July 5 with the Goalpara Police Station in Assam.

 

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