[Assam] ndia now must allow International bodies and Rights organisations to look for the Mass Graves of Assamese murdered during the Nineties. The suspect sites are around the Indian Army camps in Assam.

Bartta Bistar barttabistar at googlemail.com
Thu May 10 00:06:36 PDT 2007

 Army admits to staged encounter in Assam

*Syed Zarir Hussain,<http://www.hindustantimes.com/Search/Search.aspx?q=Syed%20Zarir%20Hussain&nodate=1>IANS

Guwahati, May 10, 2007

First Published: 11:44 IST(10/5/2007)

Last Updated: 11:52 IST(10/5/2007)

    Admitting that the killing of a youth in Assam last week "was
unfortunate", Indian Army officials in Guwahati said on Thursday they have
ordered a probe to punish guilty officials involved in the fake encounter.

"The killing of Budheswar Moran was unfortunate," Major General NC Marwah,
general-officer-commanding (GOC) of the second Mountain Division, told

"I assure you that the inquiry would be impartial and those found guilty
will be punished," he added.

The killing of 24-year-old Moran in an alleged encounter with soldiers of
the Jammu and Kashmir Rifles over the weekend in eastern Assam's Tinsukia
district has led to protests with hundreds of people blocking highways since
Monday near Doomdooma, 515 km east of Guwahati.

The army had claimed Moran was a "hardcore militant" of the outlawed United
Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA). But locals and family members say that
Moran was innocent and that he had no links with any rebel group.

The army on Wednesday announced a court of inquiry. The Assam government
also ordered an independent probe to investigate the death following the
widespread protests.

"The very fact that the GOC admitted to the fake killing vindicates our
stand that such state-sponsored terrorism is rampant in Assam in the name of
countering militancy," said Lachit Bordoloi, who heads the Manab Adhikar
Sangram Samity (MASS), a leading rights group in Assam.

Moran's family members have refused to accept his body, which is still lying
at a morgue in Tinsukia.

The Indian army, which is engaged in anti-insurgency operations in Assam,
Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, is under fire over frequent allegations of
rights violations, torture of innocent civilians and fake encounters while
conducting raids.

Earlier this week the army tendered an apology to the Arunachal Pradesh
government after over alleged atrocities committed on locals by the army
while conducting raids on ULFA bases. Arunachal Rural Development Minister
Chowna Mein said villagers were tortured by the army in Lohit district after
an explosion triggered by the ULFA killed two soldiers a fortnight ago.

In July last year, the army punished Major Nishant Sharma and Rifleman Sudip
Gurung after finding the duo guilty of killing a villager in custody. The
military court ruling came after the state government lodged a protest with
the army saying the villager, Ajit Mahanta, was shot dead after being picked
up by the army on suspicion of having links with the ULFA.

Army authorities were forced to apologise and order a court of inquiry in
December after Nipul Saikia, a farmer, was picked up by soldiers and
seriously injured while in custody.

Moran's killing unfortunate: Army

http://www.assamtribune.com/scripts/details.asp?id=may1007/at08 Government
orders three probes in Arunachal Pradesh

Rajesh Sinha

Thursday, May 10, 2007  09:06 IST

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    NEW DELHI: Despite its initial reluctance to publicly accept the Chinese
incursion in Arunachal Paradesh, the Centre on Wednesday is learnt to have
asked the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), the Director General of Military
Operations (DGMO) and the Arunachal government to present confidential
reports on the status in the 'disputed territory'.

The reports are believed to have been submitted on Wednesday evening.
 DNA's report on Monday about the incursion raised a furore and the
government came under heavy criticism from the Opposition. Officially, the
government has not admitted any intrusion, but it has not denied it clearly

Minister of State for Defence MM Pallam Raju said there was no incursion and
explained that the area in question is "disputed territory".

The state police had sent a report on the matter in 2005 after the Centre
asked for it.
The government's response evoked criticism not only from the Opposition but
also from two former foreign ministers. Former defence minister KC Pant was
baffled that the government had not come out with a strong denial. Former
external affairs minister Yashwant Sinha said "this was hardly the way to

There was no statement from the government in Parliament and no response
from the external affairs ministry, which should have followed when MPs
raised the issue."

The responses came from the 4 Corps commander, a field army officer, Defence
Secretary Shekhar Dutt, and Minister of State for Defence Raju. Neither Dutt
nor Raju denied Chinese presence in the area in question. However, Sinha
went on to add, "the army officials admit the Chinese presence in hushed
conversations, but for obvious reasons they will not accept it formally."

While Dutt's contention that it was a part of an understanding with the
Chinese to share some areas, the same was rejected by security experts and
Sinha. Raju's statement was seen as a watering down of India's stand so far
as the area in its control was concerned.

An analyst and former Indian Foreign Service officer Bhadra Kumar, however,
agreed with the term used by Raju. He said, "the two countries are having
talks to resolve a border dispute and the statement merely reflects this

He said a formal statement from the government on the matter would be a
serious matter and taken as stating its position. "It would have political
and diplomatic implications. Hence there is nothing wrong in the government
letting the response come from field officers or other officials," he said.

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From S C Patkak
 TINSUKIA, May 9 – It was Ajit Mahanta of Kakopathar Gossaigaon, then a
5-year-old boy of Mohonggaon, Pengeri and now Buddheswar Moran of Doomdooma
Kordoiguri. All of Tinsukia district. All found to be innocents but killed
by the Army during the counter insurgency operations, claiming them to be
ULFA militants, except the five year old boy, because he was too young to be
called a militant.

Buddheswar was killed by the troops of the 5 Jammu & Kashmir Rifles late on
May 5 at Laopatty village under Doomdooma police station. Army claimed he
was a ULFA militant and that some arms, ammunition and incriminating
documents were recovered from his possession. Later his native villagers
claimed that Buddheswar was an innocent villager with no links with the
ULFA. In fact the villagers said Buddheswar was a beneficiary of a
vocational programme in metal welding imparted by the Army under its
Operation Sadbhavana. A chowkidar in a private tea estate, Buddheswar was
father to two tiny tots. His wife is a plain housewife.

Irate villagers this time too came out to the streets in large numbers to
protest the killing of an innocent by the Army. In the course of their
protests, they have been blocking National Highway-37 and national
Highway-52, and more significantly, have refused to accept the body of
Buddheswar for his last rites, leading to a piquant situation. On May 8,
district administration officials of Tinsukia had to beat a hasty retreat,
as an offensive measure of trying to clamp section 144 CrPC at Dholla,
Doomdooma and Kakopathar was met with stiff public resistance. The police
and the CRPF tried every trick in their bags to prevent people from staging
any demonstration, but even so, people came out in large numbers. Obviously,
the civil administration did not have a faintest inkling of what is in the
mind of the aggrieved people.

At the Circuit House here today, the GOC of 2 Mountain Division, Major
General N C Marwah, after much persuasion from the scribes, agreed to
address the media, where he termed the Buddheswar Moran killing as
unfortunate. He said he will institute an Army inquiry to look into the
incident, and assured that the inquiry would be impartial and time bound.
The GOC later went to Rupai, where he spoke to the agitating crowd and
reassured that an Army inquiry is on.

Power Minister Pradyut Bordoloi and MLAs from the district also visited
Doomdooma today. Bordoloi requested the people to cooperate with the
Commissioner level inquiry being conducted by Upper Assam Commissioner
Hemanta Narzary. Without quantifying, Bordoloi said the State Government
would make an ex-gratia payment to the family of Buddheswar Moran. He too
requested the locals of Kordoiguri to take the body of Moran for the last
rites. The body is still at the morgue of the civil hospital here.

Meanwhile, at both Kakopathar and Tiphuk, where the National Highway
blockade agitations are on for the third and second day today respectively,
people there appeared in no mood to call off their stir. This evening, the
agitators said they would consider the matter of calling off the stir only
after Assam Governor Lt Gen (Rtd) Ajai Singh or Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi
came to speak to them personally.

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