New Delhi: Two Bodo militants reported to have been killed in an encounter with security forces in Assam’s Chirang district had been picked up earlier and shot in cold blood, a report by a top paramilitary officer has told the government. The officer has called for an independent probe into the “pre-planned murders”.
Rajnish Rai, who sent the report, is a Central Reserve Police Force Inspector General, in-charge of the anti-insurgency force in Assam and other parts of the Northeast.
According to the official version, the police had come under indiscriminate fire from a group of 4-5 persons during a joint operation on late on March 30. This, the police claim led to the death of two suspected militants of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (Songbijit). Weapons and ammunition were also recovered. But in his 13 -page report, reviewed by NDTV, Mr Rai finds many loopholes in this account.
His report, amongst other evidence, is based on testimonies of witnesses who claimed to have seen the security forces pick up the 2 men from another village much earlier. The report said the security forces had only seized a Chinese-made grenade from them; the other weapons were “planted”.
The CRPF’s official report, writes Mr Rai, “present(s) a fictitious account of the joint operation by the security forces to conceal pre-planned murders of two persons in custody and present it as some brave act of professional achievement”.
Calling custodial killing as “one of the cruelest forms of human rights abuse”, Mr Rai said the antecedents of the persons in custody was immaterial as “even dastardliest criminals and hardcore insurgents/militants are required to be subjected to the due process of law”.
“Security forces do not have the right to kill them in cold blood under the cloak of larger societal good. Therefore, it is crucial to strike a balance between the individual human rights and societal interests while combating the insurgency,” the report said.